Fruit Pizza

fruit pizzaYou may have noticed that I’ve been a little MIA from my blog for the last few months.  I didn’t mean to be gone for so long and I don’t have a really good excuse.  This year my oldest started high school and along with that, he started attending a church seminary class every morning before school at 6:00!  Between that, high school football and all of my other boys activities, I just felt like I needed to get things under control and focus on my family.

Last week I laid in bed, composing two different posts and I knew it was time to come back. 🙂  I decided to start with this amazing fruit pizza that I put together last week.  I was asked to bring one to an event at church so I experiment with it early in the week and found that I could not resist it!  I normally can stay away from a treat if I put it out of sight, but not this one!  I swear I was getting it out and cutting a slice every 5 minutes. (in semi related news, I’m pretty sure I’m going to lose my DietBet next week)  It seems like a dessert as irresistible as this is appropriate for my comeback. 🙂  Here’s the details I think you should know.

AnneOpinion

This recipe is made for a half sheet pan.  I have two reasons for this.  One is that everyone will want it and you need to have enough to go around and two, I find it impossible to find a pizza pan these days.

The limeade glaze is what really separates this from other Fruit Pizzas you may have eaten in the past.  It not only adds the delightful zip that only citrus can bring but it also enhances the flavor of all the other fruits.  The glaze is brushed onto the cream cheese frosting.  I like to do more dabbing than brushing so that they don’t start to mix together.  You then place the fruit on and then I like to dab the fruit with the limeade glaze.  Not required, but delicious!

I would put fruit that is in season on your pizza.  Blackberries were on sale here last week, so I used them instead of blueberries.  Canned mandarin oranges and fresh strawberries are always a must for me!  To try and minimize the fruit from staining the cream cheese frosting all around I always gently press the sliced fruit between two paper towels to get as much moisture out as possible.  This helps, but is not full proof, so put your fruit on as close to serving as possible, or put on enough fruit that you can’t see the cream cheese frosting.

I’m excited to be back!  Thanks for stopping by!!

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Fruit Pizza
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Fruit Pizza
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Ingredients
Crust
Glaze
Servings:
Recipe Notes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, cream together the butter and 1 1/2 Cups sugar until smooth. Mix in eggs.  Add the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt; stir into the creamed mixture until just blended. Press dough into an ungreased half sheet pan.  Bake in preheated oven for 13-16 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool.

In a bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the granulated and powdered sugar, vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Spread on the cooled pizza crust leaving an edge around the outside.

For the glaze: Combine the limeade, cornstarch, lime juice, and sugar in a small saucepan, whisk and cook over medium heat until clear and thick, about 2 minutes. Let cool. With a pasty brush, glaze the entire pizza. You will not use all of the glaze. Cut fruit and dry off excess juice on paper towels.  Arrange fruit on top of the pizza. You can add glaze to the top of the fruit, if desired.  Cover lightly with plastic wrap and chill until serving.

Recipe adapted from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/12604/fruit-pizza-i/ and http://www.melskitchencafe.com/fruit-pizza/ and http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/fresh-fruit-tart-recipe.html

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Pumpkin Cookies and Cake

no-bake-pumpkinI feel like there has been a backlash lately against the overload of pumpkin in the cyber and the real world and I get it.  I feel the same way about many of the things that have gotten so popular in online culture that it’s assumed that everyone loves it.  For example, from my following of my many other bloggers online and on Instagram I have learned that everything that is awesome can be purchased at Target and while shopping there, don’t forget to have your dirty Diet Coke in hand.

better-than-pumpkin-cakeSee, I get it.  Pumpkin is overdone.  Which is so sad for me because I really do LOVE pumpkin.  So if you can’t look another pumpkin recipe (or two) in the face, please return next week and I promise no pumpkin there.  But for now, I have to let you know about two recipes that I’ve seen surfacing frequently in the blogging world that I couldn’t pass up trying.  The first is a No Bake Pumpkin Cookies Recipe from Once a Month Meals and the second is a Better than…Pumpkin Cake from Something Swanky.

 

 

AnneOpinion

The no bake cookies were good. They had a nice fall taste but I didn’t feel like they had a true pumpkin flavor.  They were very sweet and I added in chocolate chips that added a nice balance to the flavor.

These are a fun no hassle treat that is super quick to make.  Perfect for an after school snack.

Better Than…Pumpkin Cake- I was not that impressed with this cake.  The batter was super thick and cake was uneven on top once baked.  The whipped cream frosting was able to cover this up so that the cake looked fine.  I found the flavors to be a little bit lackluster.  I can’t say it was bad, I mean we did eat it, but it lasted for a few days, which at my house means, don’t make it again.  In short, it was not Better Than…most pumpkin desserts I can think of. 😉

I’m including the link for the Better Than…Pumpkin Cake here so you can check out the recipe if you want.  I didn’t see any point including it since it’s not something that I would make again.

If you want to make something pumpkin that I HIGHLY recommend try my Gluten Free Pumpkin Cheesecake with Brown Sugar Whipped Cream, Pumpkin Waffles with Buttermilk syrup (to die for!), and my recent post of Pumpkin Snickerdoodles.  All are completely AnneOpinion approved!

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No Bake Pumpkin Cookies
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No Bake Pumpkin Cookies
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Lay out wax paper on counter. This is to place the cookies on. In a saucepan, combine sugars, butter and milk. Bring to a boil. Boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add in the pudding mix, stirring to combine completely (it will be lumpy, but keep stirring!) Add in pumpkin pie spice, vanilla and oats. Stir to combine and let stand for 5 minutes. Add the chocolate chips. Quickly stir in and stop. (the chips will start melting and if you continue they will mix in completely. Use large cookie scoop or spoon to drop mounds of cookie onto waxed paper. Allow to cool completely before serving..
Recipe Notes

AnneOpinion adapted from Once a Month Meals

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Salted Caramel Sauce with Dark Honey Cake

salted-caramel-sauceI have had this dark honey cake pinned for years.  It was one of my first pins and I have been thinking about making it for so long, I think that I had built it up in my mind into something magical.  I remembered that there was a homemade caramel sauce and whipping cream with it and having these added components is what stopped me from making it sooner.  It just sounded…complicated.  Luckily it wasn’t at all.  The cake came together quickly and I made the caramel sauce, but I have to admit that I planned on saying that you could just buy a caramel sauce at the store.  Yeah, I was very wrong on that count.  Don’t even think about not making this caramel sauce.  It is the stuff that dreams are made of.  In fact I wrote a poem about it.

Ode to Salted Caramel Sauce

Oh how I love thee, let me count the ways

I love thee in the morning with yogurt, oatmeal and pancakes

I love thee in the noon day with grahams, apples and ice cream shakes

I love thee all throughout the day when I only wield a spoon

I loved thee until thou wast gone; I hope you return soon.

AnneOpinion

So I guess you can tell that I fell kind of hard for the caramel sauce.  I was amazed at how much I loved this sauce.  I’m normally more of a chocolate girl.  I like caramel, but if I’m given the choice between a caramel or a hot fudge sundae, the hot fudge will win every time.  My love of this caramel sauce took me completely by surprise and soon I was dipping all kinds of things in the caramel (see poem), but then I decided to stop wasting calories on the vehicle and just grab a spoon and satisfy the craving that way.  (could someone please tell me why I’m constantly needing to diet?) 😉

What I learned after making this a few times is that you want to whisk the water and sugar until the sugar dissolves and then turn up the heat and leave it alone.  How long you let it brown will determine how dark your caramel sauce is.  The one pictured above was just barely brown.  Other batches I let go about a minute longer and they were much darker.  All of them were good. 🙂  The key thing that I learned, is that you cannot add all of the cream at once.  The sugar will seize up and you’ll have hard sugar chunks stuck to your whisk (tasty, but no bueno).  You have to temper the sugar by adding the cream a quarter cup a time, stirring constantly. Keep that in mind and you should be golden.

The cake (get the recipe here) had a mild flavor and it went well with the caramel sauce.  The flavors worked well together and neither was overpowering.  The dark part of it was cocoa, but it wasn’t super chocolately.  I liked the honey used as the sugar in the cake and it wasn’t as dense as I would have thought.  I thought that using shortening in cake was different but it worked fine.  I think that it would also be good with a hot fudge sauce, but then you wouldn’t have reason to make the salted caramel sauce, and you really need to make the caramel sauce.

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Salted Caramel Sauce
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Salted Caramel Sauce
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar and water over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and bring to a boil, without stirring. If necessary, use a wet pastry brush to wash down any crystals on the side of the pan. Boil until the syrup is a deep amber color, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the sugar from the heat and carefully whisk in the heavy cream, adding only a quarter cup at a time and thoroughly whisking before adding the next. The mixture will bubble and steam. Stir in the butter and salt. Allow to cool. Store in a refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
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Earthquake Cake

mudslide-cakeEarthquake cake is

  • Chocolate Cake
  • Coconut
  • Pecans
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Cream Cheese
  • Butter

Is it just me or does that sound like it has to be a winning combination?  I found this recipe on The First Year and I think that I tried pinning it at least a half a dozen times (I always get that little “oops! looks like you’ve already pinned this!”) I finally got around to making it and here’s what I thought.

AnneOpinion

This was good.  It really was, but it wasn’t “I’m dying to have this again and need to think of an excuse to make it today” good.  I think that if I were to make it again that I would use a regular chocolate cake mix and not a German chocolate cake mix.  I wanted more chocolate flavor in the cake.

The chocolate chips add a rich chocolate taste and the crunch from the pecans add a nice texture to this rich dessert.  The melted butter and cream cheese is good but I can’t decide if it’s worth the calories.

Raspberries or strawberries were a delicious addition, when serving, that complimented the flavors in the cake well.

This would be a great dessert to take to a potluck.  It would go over well in a crowd and it looks like something that you just want to dive into.

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Earthquake Cake
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Earthquake Cake
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a 9 x 13 inch pan with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle the coconut, chocolate chips, and pecans on the bottom of the pan. Mix the German chocolate cake mix with the oil, eggs, and water using a spatula or hand mixer on low. Pour the cake mix on top of the coconut/chocolate chip/pecan layer. In a saucepan, melt the butter and cream cheese. Using a spatula or hand mixer on low, beat in 1 pound of powdered sugar until it's smooth to the butter/cream cheese. Spread this mixture on top of the uncooked chocolate cake in the pan, and swirl into the cake mix using a knife. Bake for 35-45 minutes. It is done when it doesn't wobble in the pan if you shake it. The toothpick test shouldn't work because the cake should be more gooey in nature. Enjoy! Store any left over cake in the fridge.
Recipe Notes

AnneOpinion from The First Year

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Cinnamon Roll Cake

cinnamon-roll-cakeMy friend, Vanessa, asked me to make a Cinnamon Roll Cake for her daughter’s birthday.  Her little girl is not a fan of cake, but adores cinnamon rolls.  Vanessa found this cake from Sally’s Baking Addiction on Pinterest and forwarded the pin to me.  I had seen it before but had never looked into making one.  I decided I’d better try it before the actual “birthday cake” was needed, so I tried making it a couple of times.  I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to make.  Sally had some great tips in her post and I discovered some things that helped me.

AnneOpinion

cinnamon-roll-cake2This is made just like a cinnamon roll until the assembly time begins.  When rolling the dough flat it is very important to use a ruler and measure a 12×15 rectangle.  You will also want to keep the ruler handy (warning: it will be food on it!) for measuring the 2 inch strips.  Having the strips the same size will help with the cinnamon roll looking uniform in height.  That said, I still have never had mine end up looking completely uniform on the top.  Sally suggests taking the cake out during the baking process and pressing raised areas down gently with a spactula to give the top uniformity.  I like the beauty of the imperfectness that mine has so I have not done that.

The first time I made one I left a two inch space at the top where I didn’t put any butter or cinnamon sugar, just like I would do with regular cinnamon rolls.  This turned out to not be necessary and I liked it better the next time when there weren’t spaces where there was less cinnamon sugar.

Sally says to loosely roll up the first strip and she means it.  I even rolled it loosely, then unrolled it and tried it again two more times, rolling it as loose as I could.  You want room for the roll to expand as it rises and if it is rolled too tightly it will rise up instead of out.  If you would like to see step by step pictures, click on this link.

I decided that I liked making this in a 9 inch spring form pan best.  That way you can take off the sides and have a beautiful giant cinnamon roll.  So fun!

I preferred a cream cheese icing on my cake.  I’m sure that the maple/vanilla glaze that Sally used would be amazing too.

I think the thing that I loved the most was the ratio of inner cinnamon roll yumminess to the crust.  On a regular cinnamon roll you have lots of edges (unless you’re the lucky dog that gets the center one) and with this cake there is only a little bit of edge on the outside.  Even better for me, 9 out of ten times when I’m having a piece, a kid will come and ask for some and I pawn the outer edge off on to them.  They’re happy that I gave them some and I’m happy because I only enjoyed the best part.  Don’t you love it when everyone is a winner?

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Cinnamon Roll Cake
Print Recipe
Servings
12 pieces
Servings
12 pieces
Cinnamon Roll Cake
Print Recipe
Servings
12 pieces
Servings
12 pieces
Ingredients
Dough
Filling
Cream Cheese Icing
Servings: pieces
Instructions
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine 2 and 1/2 cups flour, sugar, salt, and yeast together until evenly dispersed. Set aside. Heat the water, milk, and butter together in the microwave until the butter is melted and the mixture is hot to touch (30 seconds-1 minute.) About 115-120F degrees. Stir the butter mixture into the flour mixture. Add the egg and only enough of the reserved flour to make a soft dough. Dough will be ready when it gently pulls away from the side of the bowl and has an elastic consistency. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for about 3-4 minutes. Form a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl. Cover tightly and let rest for 30 minutes. The dough will slightly rise. After 30 minutes, roll the dough out in a 15x12 inch rectangle. Spread the softened butter on top. Mix together the cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle it all over the dough. Brush a 9-inch spring form pan with melted butter. Set aside. Using a knife or a pizza cutter, cut the dough into six 2-inch wide strips. Loosely roll up one strip and place it in the center of the pan. You're rolling it up loosely so the dough has some give as it rises. Coil the remaining 5 strips around the center roll, starting each strip at the end of the previous one to make one large rolled cake. Some of the filling may spill out as you pick up the strips, but I just sprinkled that on top of the cake after I was finished spiraling. Loosely cover the cake with plastic wrap or a damp teal towel and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place for 60-90 minutes. (Mine only took 60 minutes, but I live in Arizona where a warm room is never a problem. 🙂 After the cake's dough has nearly doubled in size, preheat the oven to 350F. Bake for 30-35 minutes until lightly browned. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Remove the ring of the spring form pan. Cream the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and powdered sugar together. Add milk in small amounts until desired consistency is reached. Drizzle over the cake. Cake is best enjoyed the same day, but will remain fresh covered tightly for up to 4 days at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
Recipe Notes

AnneOpinion- from Sally's Baking Addiction with slight changes

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Easter Eggs Benedict

eggs-benedictI have always loved Easter.  I was dying eggs until I left for college and my parents even have a picture of me participating in the family Easter egg hunt when I was 15.  My favorite part was always getting a new Easter dress every year.  There was something always very special about that dress and each year I searched for the perfect one. I think I could tell you what each one looked like until I turned 18 (I remember dumb things like that) and then real life set in and I quit getting them every year.  That is probably the one thing that comes around every year that makes me wish I had a daughter.  My boys could care less about getting Easter ties and in fact they seem to think it’s a chore to have to get their pictures taken in their Easter outfits. Sigh, the differences between boys and girls. 🙂

My thoughts on Easter now have more to do with making sure we keep up on traditions and preparing good food than getting a new dress.  One thing that I have found is that I always have a lot more hard boiled eggs than I know what to do with.  There are only so many deviled eggs and egg salad sandwiches that we want to eat.  I got this recipe at a recipe exchange group years ago and after some tweaking of my own, it has become a staple of after Easter menu.

AnneOpinion

I love this recipe because it uses two of the both of the things that I have left over after Easter, hard boiled eggs and ham.

I love it when you make something really easy, but you can make it sound super fancy. Like this: You start by making a béchamel sauce (that’s the fancy French way of saying white sauce.)  After adding some cheese, lemon juice and mustard to help make it taste more like a hollandaise sauce, you add in chopped egg whites.

Next you build your Eggs Benedict by starting with a toasted English muffin, add a piece of ham or Canadian bacon, pour on the sauce and add egg yolk crumbles and smoked paprika.

It’s as simple as that.  No messing with poaching eggs, you get to use the words béchamel, faux hollandaise, and eggs benedict when describing it to someone and it is a delicious way to use up all of those eggs!

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I didn’t feel like I could talk about my thoughts on Easter with out mentioning Jesus Christ. I am grateful for all that I am and for all that I can become because of Him. I hope you enjoy this video!  Happy Easter!!!

Easter Eggs Benedict
Print Recipe
Servings
8 servings
Servings
8 servings
Easter Eggs Benedict
Print Recipe
Servings
8 servings
Servings
8 servings
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Cut eggs in half and remove yolks. Chop egg white into small pieces and set aside. Place egg yolks in a bowl and break up into a crumble mixture using the back of a fork; set aside. On a medium heat melt the butter, add flour and whisk together for 30 seconds. Add milk and whisk until thick. Add cheese, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Add egg whites to sauce. Cut English muffin in half and toast. Brown Canadian Bacon on a frying pan. To assemble place an English muffin half on a plate. Top with a slice of Canadian Bacon, egg white sauce, sprinkle with egg yolks and smoked paprika. Enjoy!
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Parmesan (or Pecorino) Noodles

parmesan-noodlesHave you ever noticed how so many times, it’s the simplest foods that are the best?  Rice Krispies Treats, sugar cookies… and parmesan noodles need to be added to the list.  If you have never had them, you need to try them, like today.  No excuses.  All they are is pasta, butter and parmesan.  So simple, so easy and so unbelievably good.  I first heard about them from my friend Alisha.  They sounded so good and so easy that I went home and looked up a recipe so I could make them.  I have to have exact measurements when I make something so I have an idea of what I’m going for.  I found a recipe that sounded just like what she had told me about on foodiecrush called Easy Parmesan Buttered Noodles.  Heidi made them sound as delicious as Alisha had so I knew I needed to try them right away.

AnneOpinion

In case you couldn’t tell from my earlier remarks, I really like these noodles, and I generally am not a big pasta person.  Pasta for me is one of those foods I can take or leave.  These noodles, on the other hand, are not something that I can leave alone.

They are so versatile!  You can have them for a meal, all by itself.  You can have them with a sauce (we had them with Slow Cooker Bolognese tonight), or serve them as a side dish with chicken, fish, or beef.  They would be oh, so elegant, served with some beautifully cooked shrimp.  Really you can’t go wrong pairing them with any meat.

Sometimes I like to use Pecorino cheese with the noodles instead of Parmesan.  Pecorino is similar to Parmesan but a bit stronger in scent and taste.  Whether you choose to use it is completely personal preference.

One question I’m sure some of you are asking is “Can I use the stuff in the green canister?”  The answer is “Yes!”  Obviously, it’s not quite the same as freshly grated Parmesan, but you can use the pre-grated just fine.  The two things I would suggest if using it is 1. Go name brand.  This is one case where you get what you pay for.  2. Make sure and get any lumps out before you pour it onto the noodles.  This will help prevent clumping.  Some clumping will happen anyway, but is anyone going to complain if they get a chunk of cheese with their noodle?  I think not.

So, there’s the low down.  Now, promise me you’re going to try them.  You promise? Good.

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Parmesan (or Pecorino) Noodles
Print Recipe
Servings
2-4
Cook Time
10-12 minutes
Servings
2-4
Cook Time
10-12 minutes
Parmesan (or Pecorino) Noodles
Print Recipe
Servings
2-4
Cook Time
10-12 minutes
Servings
2-4
Cook Time
10-12 minutes
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Boil heavily salted water. Add pasta and cook about 8 minutes (until al dente). Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 C of pasta water. In warm pot, melt butter. Add noodles and toss to evenly coat with butter. Pour in 1/4 C of pasta water and cheese. Immediately toss pasta again. Add more water if needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with parsley, if desired.
Recipe Notes

AnneOpinion adapted from Foodiecrush

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Cake in a Jar

cake-in-a-jarHave you ever watched one of those miracle recipe videos on Facebook and wondered if it really works, or finished watching it and wish that you had just a little more information?  That’s how I felt watching this video.  Things like this are the reason that I started this blog.  I remember wishing that there was someone out there that would try these things and let me know if they actually work.  I also would look at crafts and recipes on Pinterest and wish that someone would give me the real scoop.  I hope that this blog fills that void for you.  If you ever have anything that you want someone else to try before you do, tell me about it in a comment or email me a link.  I’d love to help you out!

So, back to the video at hand.  It’s only one minute and shows how to make a delicious cake in a jar.  Looks simple right?  I tried it out for you and here is what I learned.

AnneOpinion

The video says to use 2 cups of fruit, 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp salt and butter.  It shows her making 4 half pint jars.  I discovered that the measurements are for what will go in 2 jars, with a little left to spare.  If you follow the directions and use the ingredients over 4 jars, the cake will only be about halfway up the jar after baking.  My 2 jars only would take 1 1/2 cups of fruit and not quite all of the flour mixture would fit.  Shake it to get the cake mixture all the way down and get as much in as you can.  The difference may be that I used all berries and in the video she uses cherries.

I tried this with pouring yellow cake mix over it instead.  It worked fine and was like the Dutch oven cobblers that use a similar recipe, but I liked the flour and sugar mixture better.

I used strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries.  You could use whatever mixture of berries that you want.  Mine was really good.  I’m trying to lose weight right now, and so when I make things I only let myself eat a couple of bites so that I can get a feel for the taste and how the flavors of a recipe work together.  I was not able to stop myself after one or two bites of this, or three or four for that matter.  I was very grateful when my kids got home from school and I could give the rest to them so that it would stop tempting me.

I just put the jars on a baking sheet to cook.  I didn’t feel the need to use beans around them.  Just be careful to not spill when taking it out.

One warning.  The cake will be at the top of the jar when it first comes out of the oven.  Shrinkage will happen very quickly and you will find that there is plenty of room for the whipped cream or ice cream.

I like these because it is so easy to make the number of them that you need.  If you want one, just half the recipe.  If you want 10, multiply everything by 5.  It’s nice that it’s so portable and would be great for a picnic, as suggested in the video, it would be a perfect hostess gift at a party or shower, or adorable set out at each place for dessert at a dinner or luncheon. There are so many possibilities! Try making just one, and you’ll be looking for an excuse to make more; I guarantee it!

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Cake in a Jar
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
60 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
60 minutes
Cake in a Jar
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
60 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
60 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degree. Wash berries and cut the strawberries into quarters. Fill 2 half pint size mason jars with 3/4 cup of fruit in each. Mix the flour, sugar, and salt together. Spoon the mixture over the fruit, shaking it down, so you can fit as much as possible in. Set 1/2 tablespoon of butter on the top of each. Place on baking sheet and bake for 1 hour. Eat immediately with whipped cream or ice cream or place in the refrigerator with a lid and eat when you get a craving.
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Coconut Chicken Fingers with Apricot Sauce

coconut-chickenI think that my city’s parks and rec department has it out for me.  We signed up 3 of our boys to play sports this winter (we actually had 4 signed up, but Boy 2 broke his arm the week before the season started, so that put us down to 3 teams).  Practices can be any night Monday-Thursday.  Guess when ours’ are?  Tuesday night at 5:30, 6:30 and 7:30.  I know I should be grateful none are at the same time, but really did they have to all be on the same night?

This fun new schedule has meant that I need to make dinner by 5:00 and the family eats it at various times over the next hour and a half.  I’ve had to come up with some new recipes that will be good for everyone no matter when they eat.  These Coconut Chicken Fingers that I found on Seeded at the Table have worked out great.  I’ve tried a few tweaks to the recipe.  Here’s what I decided.

AnneOpinion

The original recipe had you use chicken breasts.  I liked the ratio of chicken to breading with chicken tenderloins better and you can eat it with your fingers.  That always gets a thumbs up around here.

I tried dipping it in flour, then egg, and then the coconut mixture.  That wasn’t needed.  I also tried upping the amounts on the seasonings because I thought they seemed a little small.  Turns out they were perfect.

I loved the Apricot/Mustard dip.  It was sweet and tangy and it worked really well with the coconut chicken.  Don’t skip out on making it if you make the chicken!

They give directions for freezing the chicken and recooking later on Seeded at the Table.  I can’t vouch for this because I’ve never managed to have any left over to be able to freeze. 🙂

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Coconut Chicken Fingers with Apricot Sauce
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
5-7 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
35-40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
5-7 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
35-40 minutes
Coconut Chicken Fingers with Apricot Sauce
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
5-7 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
35-40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
5-7 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
35-40 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Beat eggs in a pie dish or bread pan. In another similar pan, mix together the coconut, flour, garlic, salt and pepper. One by one, dip the chicken in the egg and then in the coconut/flour mixture and place on a baking sheet or Silpat. Evenly drizzle butter over all of the chicken. Bake for 35-40 minutes, turning chicken over after 20 minutes. Mix the apricot preserves and mustard together in a small bowl.
Recipe Notes

 

AnneOpinion adapted from Seeded at the Table

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Homemade Hamburger Buns

Hamburger-Bunsbut A few weeks ago I was deciding what I was going to make for Sunday dinner.  Normally Sunday is the one day of the week that I definitely have planned in advance because I try and make it a little bit nicer, and I don’t shop on Sundays so I have to have everything that I’m going to need on hand.  This particular Sunday I was having to change my original plans.  My husband suggested hamburgers since we had some frozen patties on hand.  I thought about it and decided that I could make some hamburger buns and that would work perfectly.

I started by googling to find a recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Café.  I’ve tried a couple of her roll recipes and have been impressed with them.  I clicked on a homemade hamburger bun recipe and started to make it, not even noticing that I had gone to Mel’s Kitchen, not Mel’s Kitchen Café.  Turns out, getting it wrong worked out for me this time.

AnneOpinion

I really like these buns because they are solid enough to not fall apart with sloppy joes or BBQ chicken, but they are still light enough to not weigh down the sandwich.

The egg wash adds a pretty brown gloss to the top that makes them look very professional.  Be careful to not leave any drips on the buns before baking though.  If you see them when they go in the oven, you’ll see them on the finished product.

My family really has liked these.  So much in fact that Boy 3 has asked if from now on I could just make them and not buy them at the store.  Believe me when I say that a thumbs up from him is a very big deal!

If you are making them with a Bosch, you can knead the dough on speed 1 for 6 minutes, skip the first raising and immediately shape them into buns.  (I am not paid in any way to endorse Bosch, I just really love my mixer.)

The recipe originally called for 12 buns but those were too small for me and so I make it into 10.  Feel free to make what ever number of buns you want.  They would also make the cutest slider buns!  (I am so going to have to try that!)

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Homemade Hamburger Buns
Print Recipe
These homemade hamburger buns are light and fluffy, but solid enough to hold together whatever you want to fill them with. Fresh from the oven with a brown glossy top, you'll swear you're eating at a restaurant.
Servings Prep Time
10 buns 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15-20 minutes 2.5 hours
Servings Prep Time
10 buns 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15-20 minutes 2.5 hours
Homemade Hamburger Buns
Print Recipe
These homemade hamburger buns are light and fluffy, but solid enough to hold together whatever you want to fill them with. Fresh from the oven with a brown glossy top, you'll swear you're eating at a restaurant.
Servings Prep Time
10 buns 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15-20 minutes 2.5 hours
Servings Prep Time
10 buns 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15-20 minutes 2.5 hours
Ingredients
Servings: buns
Instructions
  1. In a glass measuring cup, combine water, milk, butter and sugar. Microwave until liquid is warm/hot and let the butter melt in the milk mixture (let mixture cool till very warm). In a mixing bowl, combine 3 c. flour, salt, and yeast. When milk mixture has come to a very warm temperature, add to dry ingredients. Mix until combined, add more flour to desired consistency. Knead for 8 minutes, adding flour if dough become too sticky. Placed dough in a greased bowl in a warm draft free place (in the oven works best). Cover and let dough rise for 1 hour. Punch down dough, and divide into 12 pieces. Grease a jelly roll pan or cookie sheet. Roll each piece on dough into a ball, stretching it to make a smooth top, place in cookie sheet. Cover, and let rise for 25-45 more minutes or until almost doubled. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl combine egg yolk with water, and mix. Brush the tops with egg wash. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
Recipe Notes

 

AnneOpinion adapted from Mel's Kitchen

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