Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Disney Princess Cake

My little girl turned 3 recently.  How did that happen?  She absolutely adores the Disney princess so I decided to make her a princess castle cake and put on all of the Disney princesses.  Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture before my youngest took all of the towers off of the castle. 

Keeping the kids away from the castle and not playing with the castle was the biggest struggle I had with the cake.  My youngest especially thought this castle was for playing.  She didn't quite understand that this for eating.  By the time we were actually ready to eat the cake, the princesses had been moved to several different spots.

My daughter already had the Disney princesses and they were the perfect size to be cake toppers.  The castle was made with rice krispy treats, gumpaste and fondant. The cake itself is covered in fondant.  The rocks that you see at the bottom of the cake are chocolate rocks.  They looked incredibly realistic but tasted wonderful.

It's hard to see in this picture, but the half circle portions of the grass are imprinted using a vine imprinted roller.  I thought it brought a touch of elegance and I can't wait to use that roller again.

I'm kicking myself because one thing I didn't think of until later was that I could have used small waffle cones for the roofs of the towers.  That would have saved myself a lot of aggravation from having to mold the rice krispy treats into points.  That also would have probably been easier to cover in fondant and would have created a neat pattern through the fondant.  Oh well, next time. 


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Skinny Double Chocolate Chip Muffins

I adore these muffins.  My kids love anything chocolate and they always think they're getting a treat when they can eat chocolate for breakfast.  The amazing thing about these muffins is that they don't have a lot of sugar.  These muffins are with unsweetened applesauce, honey and Greek yogurt.
The other thing I adore about these muffins, besides the chocolatey goodness, is that they are easy to make.  I've made these with the help of my 3 kids and even though some of the ingredients amounts didn't get put into the batter perfectly (somehow additional flour, sugar and chocolate always get added when baking with my kids) the muffins still turned out to be amazing.
Skinny Double Chocolate Chip Muffins (source: Sally's Baking Addiction)
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 large egg whites (or 1 large egg)
3/4 cup vanilla Greek yogurt (or regular yogurt, plain or vanilla)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, plus a few more for sprinkling on top

  1. Preheat oven to 425F degrees. Spray 12-count muffin pan with nonstick spray. Do not use liners.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the applesauce, sugar, honey, egg whites, greek yogurt, and vanilla extract.  Whisk all together.
  3. Sift  the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and baking powder together. Slowly stir in the wet ingredients, being careful not to overmix.  Fold in the mini chocolate chips. The batter may look a little chunky.  This is alright.
  4. Divide the batter evenly amount 12 liners - fill them all the way to the top if you can. Bake for 5 minutes at 425F. Keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the temperature down to 375 and continue to bake for 13 more minutes. Insert a toothpick into the center of one muffin. If it comes out clean, they are done. If not, bake for only 2 more minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 3 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Crockpot Enchilada Casserole

I love this casserole.  It's quick to throw together and it delicious.  The first time I ever saw this recipe was on the The Crockin' Girls website.  If you've never checked them out before I highly recommend them.  They provide videos and recipes once a week and they have a ton of slow cooker recipes on their site. 
The original recipe looked delicious, but I made a few changes to fit my family's preferences.  The original recipe had ground turkey, but I changed that to ground beef.  You could also use sausage, shredded chicken or shredded beef.  I also changed the corn tortillas to flour tortillas.  I've always preferred flour tortillas to corn tortillas, especially when it comes to leftovers, but it's whichever you prefer.  I've also used taco seasoning when I make this recipe, although I like it without as well.
The original recipe also calls for this to be cooked on LOW for 3 hours.  My slow cooker only takes about 2 hours or I find it gets burned.  My slow cooker runs hotter so it doesn't take as long as some of the recipes call for.  The cooking time will vary depending on your slow cooker.
Crockpot Enchilada Casserole
1/2 onion chopped
1 lb. ground beef
1 T. cumin, or to taste (or leave out the cumin and replace with 1 package taco seasoning and 2/3 c. water)
1/2 c. light sour cream
2 c. low fat cottage cheese
5-10 flour tortillas
2 c. mozzarella cheese or Mexican cheese
1 (10 oz) can mild red enchilada sauce
Cook onion until tender and then add the ground beef.  Cook until the ground beef is cooked through.  Add the cumin or taco seasoning and water (the water isn't needed unless adding the taco seasoning) to meat mixture halfway through cooking the meat. 
In a mixing bowl, combine the sour cream and cottage cheese.  Mix in the meat mixture.  Mix well.
Spray the crockpot with non stick cooking spray.  In layers, line the bottom of the slow cooker with the flour tortillas. 
Spread half of the meat and cheese mixture on top of the flour tortillas. Sprinkle with a layer of mozzarella cheese or Mexican cheese.  Top with a layer of flour tortillas.  Cover with remaining meat and cheese mixture.  Sprinkle a layer of mozzarella or Mexican cheese on top.  Cover with a layer of flour tortillas.  Pour the red enchilada sauce on top and sprinkle with a final layer of mozzarella or Mexican cheese.  Cook on LOW for 3-4 hours.
Turn the heat off and let sit for 10 - 15 minutes to let the sauce thicken.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Grilled Ranch Chicken with Spicy Ranch Mayo

I haven't been posting as regularly as normal.  I've had family come into town for my daughter's birthday and for the past couple of weeks I've had sick kids and been sick myself.  Needless to say I haven't felt much like blogging or cooking.  Luckily, I have tons of recipes that I have already made or created that I need to blog about. (Yes, I am that much of a planner.)

I originally made this recipe using Italian dressing as the marinade.  You can see that recipe here.  It is now one of our go to grilling recipes.  We liked that recipe so much that I decided to make a ranch version of this recipe. 

Grilled Ranch Chicken with Spicy Ranch Mayo (adapted from favorite family recipes)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
Chicken marinade (see below)
8 slices thick-cut bacon
4 slices Colby Jack Cheese
4 fresh kaiser rolls, lightly toasted
Spicy Ranch Mayonnaise (see below)

Chicken Marinade:
1 pkg Ranch dressing mix
1/2 c. olive oil

 Spicy Mayonnaise:
1 c. mayonnaise
1 T. Ranch dressing mix
1 tsp. paprika
1 1/2 Tbsp. hot sauce

1. Pound chicken breasts until thin and place in ziploc bag.
2. Combine marinade ingredients and pour into ziploc bag with the chicken. Allow to marinade for at least 1 hour.
3. Cook the bacon until nearly done.
4. Toast the kaiser rolls
5. Remove the chicken from the marinade (throw away the marinade) and grill the chicken until cooked through.
6. As the chicken is grilling place the bacon on the grill. Be careful to not burn it.
7. Just before you take the chicken off the grill put the colby jack cheese on it.
8. Combine the spicy ranch mayo ingredients and spread over toasted kaiser rolls.
9. Add chicken and bacon to each roll.


Friday, August 16, 2013

Super Easy Cornbread


This is a super yummy cornbread recipe!  It's a copy cat version of the Boston Market cornbread.  I had never been to Boston Market until we went to visited my brother to celebrate his college graduation and on our way home we went to a Boston Market.  The cornbread was different than I had ever tasted before.  It tasted like cornbread but had a sweetness added to it as well.  This is now my husband's favorite cornbread recipe.
Super Easy Cornbread
2 boxes Jiffy Cornbread Mix
1 box Yellow Cake Mix (one without pudding in the mix)
Pour boxes all into one large bowl and mix in the ingredients called for in the back of the mix boxes. 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pour the batter into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish.  Bake for 30 - 45 minutes.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Jelly Donuts

Whenever my in-laws go to their hometowns in the summer they always bring back bismarks from a local bakery.  They are incredible.  I had never heard them called bismarks before though.  I had just heard them called jelly donuts.
One of the things I love about jelly donuts is that you can use whatever type of jelly you like as the filling.  These were blackberry, but my favorite are probably the raspberry filled ones. 
These were the third type of donuts I made with the Kopy Kat Krispy Kreme Donuts recipe.  The other was the Chocolate Covered Cream Filled Donuts.  For the Jelly Donuts, I covered them with powdered sugar because the jelly donuts my in-laws always bring back are covered with powdered sugar and I've never seen them that way before.  If you prefer a glaze over them you can always use the glaze recipe from the Kopy Kat Krispy Kreme Donuts.
Jelly Donuts
Kopy Kat Krispy Kreme Donut recipe and ingredients
Piping Bag
Coupler for Piping Bag
Size 10 Piping Tip
2 c. Powdered Sugar
Jelly in the flavor of your choice
You will need to follow the Kopy Kat Krispy Kreme Donut Recipe. After the dough has risen, turn dough onto floured surface; roll around lightly to coat with flour. Gently roll dough 1/2 in. thick with floured rolling pin. Cut with floured large round cookie cutter or a donut cutter with the center piece removed. Cover and let rise until double, approximately 30 - 40 minutes.

Heat your oil to 350F. Place the donuts in the oil. Cook on each side for about 1 minute. Remove the donuts from the oil and place on a rack to drain.

While the donuts are cooling, place the jelly into a piping bag fitted with a coupler and a large piping tip.

Place the piping tip into the donut and put approximately 1 tablespoon of the jelly into the donut. 

Put 2 c. powdered sugar into a small mixing bowl and coat the donut with the powdered sugar. 


Friday, August 9, 2013

Chocolate Cream Donuts

The day I made kopy Kat Krispy Kreme donuts I decided to make more than just regular glazed donuts but wanted to use the same dough recipe for the base. 
These chocolate covered cream donuts are incredible! They have a chocolate ganache layer with a vanilla cream center that's not too sweet. The vanilla and chocolate flavors play off of each other and melt in your mouth. If you love chocolate, you could make a chocolate cream instead of a vanilla cream.

Chocolate Covered Cream Filled Donuts
You will need the Kopy Kat Krispy Kreme Donut Recipe, divide if desired
Ingredients for Kopy Kat Krispy Kreme Donut Recipe
A piping bag
A size 10 piping tip
A Coupler for the piping bag
Chocolate Glaze:
2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
8 T. heavy cream
Cream Filling:
1 (3 oz.) package vanilla or chocolate pudding
1 c. milk
1 container of Cool Whip
Canola Oil

You will need to follow the Kopy Kat Krispy Kreme Donut Recipe.  After the dough has rise, turn dough onto floured surface; roll around lightly to coat with flour. Gently roll dough 1/2 in. thick with floured rolling pin. Cut with floured large round cookie cutter or regular donut cutter with center piece removed.  Cover and let rise until double, approximately 30 - 40 minutes. 

Heat your oil to 350F. Place the donuts in the oil. Cook on each side for about 1 minute. Remove the donuts from the oil and place on a rack to drain.
While the donuts are cooling mix 1 package vanilla or chocolate pudding with 1 c. milk.  Whisk together until the mixture starts to thicken.  Fold in 1 container of Cool Whip.  Place the pudding mixture into a piping bag fitted with a large piping tip. 

Place the tip into the donut and put approximately 1 tablespoon of the vanilla pudding mixture into the donut. 

Take the 2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips and melt them in the microwave at 30 second intervals.  Once the chocolate chips are melted, mix in the heavy cream.  Dip the top of the donut into the chocolate glaze until the top of the donut is covered.  Allow the glaze to harden.


The best icing!! All you do is mix one vanilla pudding packet with half of the milk called for on the package. Whisk until it begins to thicken. Then fold in one container of Cool Whip. A great frosting spread on cakes and piped onto cupcakes, a tasty filling in crepes or on waffles along with some fruit...way less sugar too!!!!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Kopy Kat Krispy Kreme Donuts

I love donuts or is it doughnuts?  I have no idea.  My absolute favorite are cake donuts and all of the different donuts I'm seeing on pinterest have me seriously wanting to try about a dozen different recipes. 

Anyway, back to this recipe.  I remember the first time I tried Krispy Kreme Donuts.  My dad was at some meeting and my mom and I decided that we needed to try some Krispy Kreme donuts.  We had heard about them and how wonderful they were so we badly wanted to try them.  I absolutely loved their glazed donuts.  There's something about a warm donut that is wonderful and addicting.  One night I was watching an episode of Duck Dynasty and Jase was talking about how there was nothing so important going on that you couldn't wait 10 minutes for a hot donut.  I can totally relate!

These make a ton of donuts so you can cut the recipe in half or do like I did and create different donuts with the dough.  I made jelly donuts and chocolate covered cream filled ones. 

Krispy Kreme Donut Recipe (adapted from Nurse Loves Farmer)

3 (1/4 oz.) packages yeast (I used Red Star Platinum yeast)
1/2 c. warm water
2 1/4 c. milk, scalded, then cooled
3/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. shortening
7 1/2 c. all purpose flour
canola oil for frying

1/2 cup butter
3 cups powdered sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla
6 -9 tablespoons (90-135ml) evaporated milk (can substitute regular milk or water for milder flavor)


Proof your yeast by adding it to the warm warm.  Mix it up and let the yeast mixture rest.  Scale the milk and let cool.  Combine yeast, milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening and 3 c. flour.  Beat on low for 30 seconds, scraping the bowl constantly.  Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally.  Carefully, stir in remaining flour until smooth.  Cover and let rise until double  (about one hour)

After the dough has rise, turn dough onto floured surface; roll around lightly to coat with flour.  Gently roll dough 1/2 in. thick with floured rolling pin.  Cut with floured donut cutter.  Separate donuts and holes, as they take different frying himes.  Cover and let rise until double, approximately 30 - 40 minutes.

It's time to make the glaze.  Melt the butter and stir in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth.  Add milk until you reach the desired consistency.

Heat your oil to 350F.  Place the donuts in the oil.  Cook on each side for about 1 minute.  Remove the donuts from the oil and place on a rack to drain.

Dip your donuts into the glaze and set them on a rack to dry. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Copy Cat Old Chicago Sicilian Pepperoni Rolls

This is another copy cat recipe from Old Chicago.  A friend ordered these one night at Old Chicago and they looked so yummy that I had to try and recreate them.  Since I hadn't actually tried them myself, I did a google search for what cheeses were in Old Chicago Sicilian Pepperoni Rolls.  Every search I came up with had pepperjack cheese as one of the cheeses.  My family isn't very big on anything spicy so I decided to use monterey jack cheese instead.  I was also surprised to discover they had ranch dressing. The ranch dressing keeps the dough moist and adds a hint of flavor to the pepperoni rolls. They were a hit!

Sicilian Pepperoni Rolls
Frozen Bread Dough
Ranch Dressing
Montery Jack Cheese or Pepper Jack Cheese
Minced Onion
Pizza Seasoning
Pizza Cheese
Parmesan Cheese

Thaw the frozen bread dough.  Roll out thin and cut into rectangles.  Mine were about 2 in. by 3 in. rectangles.

Put a teaspoon of ranch dressing onto the bread dough.

Spread out the ranch dressing
Place a slice of montery jack or pepper jack cheese onto the center of the rectangle. 

Place the pepperoni on top of the cheese.  I used 3 pieces of pepperoni for each rectangle.
Sprinkle a little bit of pizza seasoning onto the pepperoni.

Sprinkle a tablespoon of pizza cheese on top of the pepperoni.
Roll up the rectangle and fold a small portion of the bottom up.
Place into a greased muffin tin and sprinkle with parmesan cheese and pizza seasoning.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 - 30 minutes.


Friday, August 2, 2013

Alfredo Spaghetti Pie

This is a copy cat version of Old Chicago's Alfredo Spaghetti Pie.  I had this for the first time about a month ago and I loved it!  It was different than the usual baked spaghetti pie but you still get that spaghetti sauce flavor.  I also love the combination of Alfredo sauce and spaghetti sauce.  There's something about the combination of the cheesey flavor of the alfredo sauce and the tomato of the spaghetti sauce that I absolutely love.
Alfredo Spaghetti Pie
1 (8 oz) package of spaghetti noodles
2 jars Alfredo sauce, divided
1 package Italian Cheese, divided.
2 eggs
1 jar Marinara sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Boil the entire package of spaghetti noodles.  Drain the spaghetti noodles.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the cook spaghetti, 1 and 1/2 jars of alfredo sauce and 1 and 1/2 cheese and 2 eggs.  Mix everything together.  Place into a 9 x 13 baking dish.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Add the remaining alfredo sauce to the top and cover with the remaining cheese.  Cook until golden brown.  Let sit for 10 minutes to set.  Pour marinara sauce on plate and place a piece of alfredo spaghetti pie in the center.