Monday, May 28, 2012

French Breakfast Muffins

I'll be honest, I don't know if this recipe is actually french. But then again, there are many recipes that claim to be french, but really aren't. The name does make them a little more intriguing than just breakfast muffins. If I saw a recipe for breakfast muffins I might look at it (mealy because I love breakfast), but French Breakfast Muffins... I definitely am more interested. I got this recipe from a friend, and as soon as I read what was in it I knew I had to try them. Let me tell you that these muffins are delicious! My friend also likes to call them doughnut hole muffins because that is what they remind her of. I am honestly not a huge fan of doughnuts, but these muffins I am huge fan of! I may or may not have eaten them for dinner last night, and lunch today (yes I know somehow I missed breakfast). I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. I think I better go eat another one right now!

French Breakfast Muffins

I like to call these “donut hole muffins,” because they taste like cake donuts.


2 cups flour

2/3 cup sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 large egg

1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons milk

6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

Heat the oven to 375.

Butter the bottoms only of 12 standard size muffin cups and set the pan aside.

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.

In separate bowl, whisk egg until frothy. Blend in milk, melted butter, and vanilla.

Add wet to dry ingredients. Stir until just combined. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full.

Bake 15 minutes. Rotate pan and bake 5-7 more minutes. Transfer pan to cooling rack until muffins are cool enough to handle, about 5 minutes.

While muffins cool, prepare topping. Mix sugar and cinnamon in small bowl. Melt butter in another small bowl.

Quickly dip tops of muffins into the melted butter and then the cinnamon sugar, rolling to cover the entire top. Serve immediately.

Makes 12 muffins

Thanks Melanie for the great recipe!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Creamy Crock Pot Spaghetti

Who would have ever thought that spaghetti could get any easier? Spaghetti for many of us is that go to recipe when we don't want to cook anything, or we just don't have time. Somehow this recipe took that concept, and made it even better. Really the only part of this recipe that takes any time at all is cooking the meet. Then you throw everything in and you can continue on your merry way, not worrying about a thing. A few hours later you have the most delicious spaghetti ever! My husband went back for not just seconds but thirds. This recipe will definitely be appearing in our house again! I threw some pureed zucchini in with the sauce. It doesn't change the taste and you get some more  veggies in your meal! This recipe also makes a ton so I have left overs which I love taking to work.

Creamy Crock Pot Spaghetti

1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder or salt
3 jars 26 ounce pasta sauce
2 cups pureed zucchini (optional)
1 pound spaghetti noodles
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
4-8 ounces cream cheese
1-2 cups chicken broth

1. Cook/brown beef in a medium skillet over medium heat until crumbled and browned Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Drain fat from pan if necessary.
2. Pour one jar of pasta sauce and pureed zucchini if using into bottom of crock pot on high heat. Break spaghetti noodles in half and place noodles over sauce. Pour cooked beef over noodles, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and top with cubes of cream cheese. Pour another jar of pasta over cream cheese, close lid and let cook on high for 3 hours. After 3 hours, give a good stir (will be thick) and add last jar of pasta sauce and 1-2 cups of chicken broth (more if you want a thinner sauce). Close lid and let cook another hour or until ready to serve.
Makes 10-12 servings

Recipe Source: Picky Palate

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Chocolate Lava Cake

I love chocolate. I love love love this cake. I pretty much love everything that has to do with this cake. I love that each person gets their own individual cake. I love that they are rich and full of chocolate. But mostly I love that they are ooey gooey in the middle!

I know there are many recipes that call for egg yolks or egg whites. If I can find some that I can make on the same day that is wonderful, otherwise I hate it! I don't like wasting either the yolk or the white. Sometimes I will save them. Sometimes I will make scrambled eggs with whatever extras I have. And sometimes I find recipes like this that I can just use the whole egg instead!

Chocolate Lava Cake

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4


6 oz. Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate (or use your favorite 70% dark chocolate bar)
6 oz. Butter (diced, room temperature)
3 Eggs
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
1/3 cup Flour
Butter for Ramekins

How to Make It:

Preheat oven to 350°F
1. Melt chocolate on low flame in a double boiler. When melted, take of flame, and…
2. Stir in diced butter, until it melts.
3. In another bowl, beat eggs and sugar, until it starts to whiten.
4. Stir in melted chocolate and then the flour.
5. Butter 4 individual ramekins well, and pour in chocolate batter.
6. Cook for about 10 minutes. (See tips below)
7. Tip ramekins upside down onto dessert plates and serve.
VoilĂ !


You can definitely prepare your chocolate lave cake recipe ahead of time, and then bake 10 minutes before serving.

In terms of buttering the ramekins: butter the bottoms first, and then butter the sides, wiping from the bottom up to the top. It helps the chocolate to rise even more.

In terms of baking time… well, it depends on how runny you want it! I like it with a super-liquid-oozing center -- so do my guests! For this, you want the top to be cooked through, but the center to be liquid. You can check with a toothpick after 10 minutes of baking.
If you don't like liquid-center chocolate desserts, just cook for a little longer, and you will have an incredibly moist chocolate cake. So, either way, you can't go wrong!

Recipe Source: Famous French Desserts

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Stovetop Broccoli and Cheese Chicken Pasta

I am always looking for new dinner recipes. We honestly eat very simple dinners around my house. This recipe was very tasty. I also loved it because I had all of it on hand. I love when I can make a dinner and not have to go to the grocery store to get everything that is in the dish. I mean don't get me wrong I love going to the grocery store (this actually is true) but mostly because I love food. This recipe was fairly easy, very tasty, and didn't take too long to make. It is also very kid friendly. Again lets be honest, almost everything i like, kids like...I don't think I have gotten my big girl taste buds yet. I was thinking that this recipe is actually quite healthy, but then I remembered the cube of butter that is in the sauce. I personally don't think butter is bad for you, but it definitely isn't low fat or low in cholesterol.  But again, I love butter and use it a lot of recipes!


 Stovetop Broccoli and Cheese Chicken Pasta

1 pound thin egg noodles
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
1 pound broccoli florets, steamed
1-1 1/2 cups milk

1. Prepare egg noodles according to package directions, drain and run under cool water to stop cooking.

2. Melt butter into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour, salt and pepper, whisking until thick and combined. Slowly whisk in chicken broth until combined. Increase heat to high and whisk until thick and bubbly. Reduce heat to low and stir in cheese until melted.

3. Transfer cooked noodles to a large dutch oven or pot over low-medium heat. Add chicken, broccoli and cheese sauce, stirring; will be thick. Stir in milk to loosen sauce to your liking. Serve immediately. This dish does best when served as soon as possible. If needed to be prepared ahead of time, add additional milk or chicken broth to loosen sauce.

Makes 6 servings

Recipe Source: Picky Palate

Friday, May 18, 2012

Simple Breakfast Syrup

I love breakfast. I always have. Do you ever have those days where you want something delicious like pancakes, waffles, french toast, or whatever it may be, but you realize that you ran out of syrup last time you ate one of those items? No? So its just me huh? Well this does happen to me sometimes. I typically love getting pure maple syrup. I feel like its just a little bit healthier, but on those days that I don't have any or just feel like having something sugary then this syrup is a life saver! It is quick and easy to make. It is very low maintenance. You can get it started, then finish making the rest of you breakfast without much worry. This recipe is one I got from my mom, and is the syrup recipe she would make whenever we wanted or needed homemade syrup.

Simple Breakfast Syrup

2 cups white sugar
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups water
1/3 cup Karo syrup
1 tbs pure maple syrup (if using mapleine use only 1/2 -1 tsp)
1 tbs vanilla

Combine both sugars, water, and Karo syrup in a medium sized heavy duty saucepan. Mix briefly to combine. Cook over medium high heat. Once mixture starts to boil continue to simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add maple and vanilla. Serve warm or at room temperature (I prefer warm). Technically you should be able to store it at room temperature, but I store it in the fridge just to be safe, then warm it up before I use it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Cheesy Pull-A-Part Bread

I kind of just threw this recipe together, and loved it so much that I just had to share it with you. It was easy, and we gobbled it up so fast! The 2 cups of cheese is just enough to make it cheesy but not completely covered in cheese. I am a huge cheese fan and would be just fine with even more cheese. Feel free to put as much or as little cheese  as you desire. Also the small the balls of dough are the more cheese you will have throughout the bread. Its so fun having little pockets of yummy cheese throughout the bread!

Cheesy Pull-A-Part Bread

5 1/4 c. white flour
1/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 rounded tablespoons saf-instant yeast
3 T. oil
2c. hot tap water
Adobo Seasoning *
2 cups Sharp cheddar cheese shredded

Mix dry ingredients to bowl of stand mixer. Add oil and water. Mix for 1 minute and check consistency. If dough is too dry, add a little more water. Dough should clean the bowl of the mixer. Mix for 5 minutes. (Do not add flour to the dough after it has finished mixing.) Grease a bunt pan well. Pull of small golf ball sized pieces of dough and place them in the pan. Do one layer at a time leaving a small amount of space between each ball of dough. Once you have a single layer sprinkle some adobo seasoning on dough. Next sprinkle some cheese on dough. Repeat with another layer of dough, then adobo, then cheese. Repeat this process until you have used all your dough, or your pan is 2/3 the way full. Really this dough recipe makes enough for one huge pan, 2 small pans, or 1 pan and some rolls or whatever you want to do with the extra dough. Cover pan with a dish towel. Let rise 25 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown on top. While still warm flip onto a serving plate. This will be the real test if you greased you pan well enough. If you haven't it can be a little tricky getting it out of the pan. Hopefully it will come out nicely for you. If you are having trouble getting it out of the pan take a butter knife, or something that won't scratch your pan and gently loosen the edges. Once the edges are loose it should come out beautifully. I prefer this when its warm, but it tastes great when it is cooled as well. You can either serve it in slices or just pull pieces off and eat them.

*If you don't have Adobo, can't find it, or don't want to buy it that is ok. Adobo is just a seasoning that combines salt, garlic, pepper, oregano, and turmeric. Feel free to use your own combination of these things to make a delicious cheesy bread!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Brown Butter-Peanut Butter Truffle Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ok I have had to make these cookies 3 times just to get a picture of them. I  have made them, then somehow we eat/give away all of them before I can get a picture to put them on this site.  My husband said that these might be his new favorite cookies. I can't seem to get enough of them.  They are kind of like a peanut butter cookie and a chocolate chip cookie combined into one delicious irresistible cookie. 

Brown Butter-Peanut Butter Truffle Chocolate Chip Cookies

Peanut Butter Truffles
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups chocolate chips

Line an 8x8-inch baking dish with foil and spray with no-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix powdered sugar and peanut butter until smooth (using your hands or some sort of food processor works best). Spread in baking dish and flatten with hands. Place in freezer for at least 30 minutes.

To brown butter, melt butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Whisk frequently and heat until it's golden brown and giving off a nutty aroma. Remove from heat and pour into a heat-proof bowl; allow to cool to room temperature.  If you want to speed up this process stick your bowl in a sink full of cold water.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Remove peanut butter truffles and cut or tear into small pieces; place back in freezer for at least ten minutes. Don't worry about them looking perfect; I  didn't...
In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and browned butter. Whisk in eggs and vanilla. Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour, baking soda, and salt until just incorporated.  (You can also do this step in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.) Fold in chocolate chips. Gently fold in chunks of peanut butter truffle. You want them to be visible, not completely blended into the dough. (Note: This makes a lot of peanut butter truffles. Use as much or as little of it as you want!)

Scoop onto a silpat or parchment-lined baking sheet, flatten slightly with hand, and bake for 8-10 minutes.  8 minutes is perfect in my oven but watch your cookies closely to see if they need to be cooked a little longer. You want your edges to just start to get golden brown. The center might still look a little doughy, don't worry they will continue to cook on the pan as they cool. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then remove to cooling rack to cool completely.

Recipe Source: Bakergirl

Thursday, May 10, 2012

7 Layer Bean Dip

I'll be honest I never thought I was a fan of 7 layer dips. I'm actually a very picky eater and don't like things that most people put in it. So when my husband suggested that we bring a 7 layer bean dip to a super bowl party I looked at it as a challenge. I looked up several recipes, took some recommendations from my husband, and voila this 7 layer bean dip was created. I didn't take a picture of it that day, mostly because I didn't know if I was going to like it. With my first bite I knew that it was love. I honestly don't know if anyone else at the party was able to eat it. My husband and I stayed by that dip and chowed down. I tried to eat other foods, but kept finding myself right back at the bean dip. I was kicking myself all night that I didn't take a picture of it before I started devouring it. I knew this dip was totally blog worthy.

Since that time I haven't really had a reason to make this dip. Today I decided that I was making a reason to make this dip. If you really need to know, we may or may not have just had chips and this dip for dinner. I'm not confessing anything, but I am saying its possible. Regardless of when, where, why, and how much of this dip we ate, the conclusion was that we still love it. The best part is most of the ingredients I have in my house most of the time. I hope you enjoy this dip as much as we do.

 Look at all these delicious layers!

 You better believe that we ate that bite!

7 Layer Bean Dip

1 (16 oz) can re-fried beans
1 (1 oz) package taco seasoning
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
16 oz sour cream
16 oz salsa
1 large tomato chopped
1 avocado sliced thinly
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
1 can sliced olives


  1. In a medium bowl, blend the taco seasoning mix and refried beans. Spread the mixture onto a large serving platter.
  2. Mix the sour cream and cream cheese in a medium bowl. Spread over the refried beans.
  3. Top the layers with salsa. Place a layer of tomato, avocado, and top with Cheddar cheese. Garnish with black olives. 
  4. Enjoy with your favorite chips (my favorite is Fritos or other corn tortilla chip but any chip will work) 
Recipe Source: Adapted from Allrecipes 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

My First Wedding Cake

My sister in law recently got married and she asked me to make her wedding cake. I am all about good tasting food, but making things look pretty and elegant isn't necessarily my strong suit. I first told her no about 5 times, then finally told her I would. It was actually a really good learning experience. This was my fist time using fondant in anything. Of course I had to make my own fondant. Store bought fondant just doesn't taste good. I couldn't have anything I made somehow not taste good. The fact that it would taste good was the only thing I was confident about, so I had to make sure that it really did taste good. All in all it turned out pretty good. I was pleased with it, and she said it was exactly how she wanted it! It of course wasn't perfect, and I have no plans of quitting my day job to do wedding cakes full time, but I think I was pleased with the cake.

For the cake I used my Strawberry Cake recipe. I also use Strawberry Filling, and my favorite Buttercream frosting.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Delicious Dinner Rolls

These might be my new favorite rolls. I have now made them several times and absolutely love them. Maybe its all the delicious butter that goes into them. Whatever it is these are tasty! This makes a huge batch of rolls so I will often half it.

Delicious Dinner Rolls


1 1/2 cups of milk
3/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 egg
1 Tablespoon salt
2 Tablespoons yeast
2 cups of warm water
about 9-10 cups of all purpose flour
at least 1 cup of butter

To start out: Scald 1 1/2 cups of milk, 3/4 cup sugar and 1/2 cup of butter, in a microwave safe bowl, for about 2 minutes. Cutting the butter into pieces helps it melt faster. There will probably be some little cubes of butter still floating in the hot mixture, they will melt.

We are going to add yeast to this hot mixture, but it will be too hot to just dump the yeast straight in (it would kill it!). To cool it down stir in 1-2 cups of flour, then add 1 egg and 1 Tablespoon of salt, and leave it to cool for a couple of minutes. Meanwhile, in a measuring cup dissolve 2 Tablespoons of yeast in 2 cups of warm water and 1 Tablespoon of sugar. Let it sit for a couple of minutes until it is bubbly.

**Keep track of how much flour you are adding!!!

Make sure your milk mixture is just warm, not boiling and add the yeast mixture!Using a fork or wooden spoon, gradually stir in 9-10 cups of flour (counting the flour you have already added to cool it earlier). I would recommend only adding 2 cups at time and stirring in between. These rolls turn out so much better when they are mixed by hand.

At the end the dough will be dense and sticky, and may be hard to stir, you can use your hands to incorporate the rest of the flour if needed. Be sure not to add too much flour. Then smooth the dough out and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Leave it in a warm place and let it raise.

When your dough is close to raising completely, butter 2 cookie sheets and set them aside.

Let the dough raise until it has doubled in size.

Cover your working space with flour to prevent the dough from sticking. Dump your dough out and divide it into 4 balls. Eyeball the sizes, then lift them up and feel the weight of each ball. Try to make them even, but they don’t have to be perfect.

Using one ball of dough at a time: roll the dough into a circle on a floured counter. Once it is rolled out spread the top with butter from edge to edge. You will use about 2 Tablespoons per circle of dough.

Cut the dough into quarters using a pizza cutter.

Then cut each quarter into 3 pieces. You should end up with 12 triangles from each circle of dough.

Roll the dough starting with the wide end of the triangle.

Tuck the tail of the triangle under the roll and place it on the buttered cookie sheet. You will make 3 rows, with 8 rolls per row. This will give you 24 rolls per pan. Two balls of dough will fill 1 pan. You will get a total of 48 rolls!

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Place the pans of rolls in a warm place (on top of the oven if possible) to let them rise. Once they are touching and full in size, cook (one pan at a time) in the oven ’till they are golden brown. About 10 – 15 minutes, It may take longer depending on how hot your oven cooks. Keep a close eye on your first pan to get the right time for the second.

While they are still hot and fresh out of the oven run a stick of butter over the tops of the rolls for a delicious buttery glaze.

Recipe Source: How Does She?