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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Applesauce Oat Muffins

apple-oatmeal-muffinsSo, I know that I’ve referred you to recipes from Mel’s Kitchen Café a few times now and I tried really hard not to do it again. I wanted to include an apple muffin recipe for my healthy muffin week and I gave a couple recipes that I found on Pinterest a go and they were not good!  I guess I should have had a clue when the recipe said I could use flour or smelt that it was a little more hard core than I like.  Needless to say, I had to go back to my standby because nothing could beat it.  Why, you may ask?  Let me explain…No, there is too much.  Let me sum up.

AnneOpinion

These muffin are simple, sweet and chewy.  They only have 1/3 Cup of sugar in the recipe, which makes 12 muffins.  That is a really small amount in case you were wondering!

They are soo simple to make.  No peeling, slicing or dicing here.  Just pour, measure and dump.

They are fine plain, but we really like them with dried fruit, in particular cran-blueberries.  They are big and plump and add just the right burst of flavor.

One suggestion that Mel had was to send them in school lunches in place of a sandwich.  I love that idea!  I’m always looking for new things that I could send and these are so healthy I wouldn’t feel a moments guilt about putting a muffin in the kiddos’ lunch.  They also freeze great so make a double batch and save some in the freezer for those morning when you’re out of bread and need a lunch time alternative. (does that just happen to me?)

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Applesauce Oat Muffins
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Applesauce Oat Muffins
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a 12 cup muffin cups liners or grease the muffin cups. Set aside.. In a medium bowl, stir together the oatmeal, applesauce, milk, egg, vanilla, butter and sugar. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt (and dried fruit if using). Make a well in the center and pour in the applesauce mixture. Stir until just combined (don't overmix or the muffins will be dense and dry). Distribute the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups. Bake for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Don't over bake or the muffins will be dry. Remove the muffins to a rack to cool completely. Eat immediately or freeze for later enjoyment.
Recipe Notes

AnneOpinion from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

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Cheesecake Graham Cracker Pancakes with Raspberries

grahamcracker-pancakes In case you’ve missed a general pattern around here, I love anything with graham crackers. S’more Cookies, Peanut Butter Smuggies, and Kitchen Sink Pies are just a few examples. When I found this recipe on bitememore.com for Graham Cracker Pancakes with Cheesecake and Glazed Blueberries, I said “Sign me up!” These are a must try. Unfortunately I ended up with some mixed feeling about them.

AnneOpinion

grahamcracker-pancakes2Let’s start with the graham cracker pancakes. These showed such promise. They had graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar and cinnamon. I thought they would knock it out of the park. They didn’t. Now, don’t get me wrong, they were good, but regular pancakes are good too and the don’t take nearly the effort or the amount of ingredients. Everyone liked them and ate all of them, but on one went crazy for them. Do what you will with that information.

The cheesecake topping was really good. I thinned it out by putting in more cool whip than was originally called for. When I ate it on the pancakes I felt like it overtook the whole thing. I ended up spreading it on very thin and it was perfect. It was a delicious filling and would work well as a frosting. I’m keeping this recipe tucked away to use on a cake or cupcakes in the future. It would be perfect with pumpkin cupcakes, or pumpkin bread, or gingerbread…you get the idea.

I’ve saved the best for last…the glazed fruit. The original recipe called for using blueberries.  I’ve been buying raspberries like crazy this year (yeah for low prices!!) and so I had raspberries on hand. I love that the fruit is not cooked for this glaze. You simply make a lemon syrup and then toss the berries in it. The syrup gives them a wonderful sweet tang that would pair well on any breakfast or dessert that berries would be appropriate for.

So there you have it. The pancakes may not have been all that I was hoping that they would be, but the cheesecake and berries (great surprise!) made up for it.

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Cheesecake Graham Cracker Pancakes with Raspberries
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Cheesecake Graham Cracker Pancakes with Raspberries
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Ingredients
Graham Cracker Pancakes
Cheesecake Topping
Raspberries
Servings:
Instructions
  1. For the pancakes, in a large mixing bowl, combine flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, buttermilk, whole milk, melted butter and vanilla extract. Gently stir egg mixture into the dry ingredients do not over mix, lumps are okay. Over medium heat, pour batter onto a hot griddle. Cook until bubbles form, flip pancake and continue to cook until done. Serve with cheesecake topping and glazed raspberries. To make the cheesecake topping, beat cream cheese on medium speed with a handmixer until soft and fluffy. Add brown sugar, powdered sugar, vanilla and cinnamon continue to beat at medium speed until well combined. On low speed, add Cool Whip just until combined. To make the glazed raspberries stir powdered sugar, water and lemon juice in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat until mixture boils vigorously, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in berries.
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Southern Banana Pudding

southern-banana-puddingAngels.  They come into our lives at critical times. Times when we may be feeling emotionally or physically overwhelmed and they remind us that we are not alone.  That there are those in this world, and above this world, that available to support us, if we will only let them.  Two such angels came to me after the birth of my second son.

My first son had arrived late and I had needed to be inducted to have him.  I had been born 11 days late, (not that that means anything) but in my mind these two things meant that I would not be having babies early. Imagine my surprise when Baby #2 decided to demand his arrival 2 weeks early!  I was not ready for this and neither was my husband.  My mother was not in town (she quickly moved her flight to come in 4 days later).  She was my planned babysitter for while I was in the hospital and she was to be my help when I arrived home.  Oh, the best laid plans…

My husband took the next two days off from work, while I was in the hospital, but his schedule wouldn’t permit more than that.  So, I awoke that first morning home in full dread of the day ahead.  I had just given birth to a 10 lb 4 oz baby 3 days before and now I was on my own until 6:00 at night with said baby and a crazy active 23 month old.  It was all I could do to survive the day.  I’ll spare you my whining’s of the day’s happenings and just end with the wonderful angels that came to my house with a hot dinner for my family.  What a blessing!  It’s such a small thing, but it meant so much!  I was loved and others knew and empathized with what I was going through.  I was not alone!

The dessert that they brought was Southern Banana Pudding.  It was so good!  I savored every bite and managed to make it last for 3 days. I loved the soft cookies with the creamy pudding and the touch of sour that each of the lemon coated bananas had.  As far as I was concerned, it was heaven in a bowl.  I got the recipe and now every time I have Southern Banana Pudding I think of those angels and the light that they brought me.

I recently found this recipe on Chef Maria Kitchen and decided to try it because it was so similar to the one I already loved and I wanted to see if the differences improved it.  I actually like it better and this is now my go to recipe for Southern Banana Pudding.

AnneOpinion

I like to run my banana slices through lemon juice immediately after I slice them.  This makes sure that the slices don’t brown and I like the little bit of acidy that it adds to the dish.  To do this just quickly dip the slices in a small bowl of lemon juice and then place them in another or bowl to store until you need them.

This recipe is just like the one that I got from those angels 13 years ago, expect for one ingredient.  The cream cheese was a new addition for me to this recipe.  I liked how it help tone down the taste of the sweetened condensed milk and brought a real balance to the flavors.

When you make this pudding make sure and give it a least four hours to sit in the refrigerator before serving it.  This will give the cookies time to soften.

This is a perfect dessert for a summer BBQ or a potluck dinner.  It’s light and refreshing and friends, big and small, love bananas and vanilla wafers!

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Southern Banana Pudding
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Southern Banana Pudding
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Place lemon juice in a small bowl. Slice bananas and quickly run them through the lemon juice. Set aside. Line the bottom of a large glass bowl or a 9x13 pan with 1 bag of cookies and half of the bananas on top. In a medium mixing bowl combine the milk and pudding and mix according to the directions on the box. In another bowl combine the cream cheese and condensed milk with an electric mixer and mix until smooth. Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture. Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and fold with a spatula until thoroughly combined. Pour half of the mixture over the cookies and bananas and repeat each of the layers (reserving cookies for the top if you want to decorate the top of the pudding.) Cover and refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours before serving.
Recipe Notes

AnneOpinion adapted from Chef Maria Kitchen

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Oreo Italian Love Cake

italian-Love-cakeSometimes you find a recipe that you like the look of so much that you accidently pin it on Pinterest a half a dozen times.  Italian Love Cake is one of those recipes for me.  I don’t know if it’s the beautiful clean lines between the layers or the fact that it’s chocolate cake with a cheesecake layer and chocolate frosting (yum!) but it’s been one that I’ve been contemplating for a while.  I realized that all of my pins linked bake to this original recipe from chewnibblenosh.com (who had adapted it from Paula Deen.) I finally tried it a couple of weeks ago and after making it a few times I feel like I’ve got a good recipe.

AnneOpinion

I originally thought that the recipe called for Oreos.  It did not, but since I already had them I decided to use them.  It was a good choice.  The Oreos add a nice texture difference and a punch of flavor that is needed.

I really was not in love with this recipe that first time I made it.  My family’s favorite part was the frosting which is pudding and cool whip.  Everyone thought that while the white layer looked cool, it was completely lacking in flavor.  My kids called it the white layer that tastes like nothing.  I knew that while it had very little flavor, it was made with 2 lbs of ricotta cheese so it had plenty of calories!  This really bothered me so I decided to add some flavor to it.  I used orange emulsion one time (if you’re wondering what emulsions are, check out my explanation here) and I used almond extract another time.  Both needed a lot (a whole tablespoon) and the flavor that came out was very mild.  It was enough though to make this cake one that I would make again.

Don’t eat this right out of the oven!  I did that the first time and it wasn’t good.  It need time to chill to have the flavors blend together.

Make sure and use an electric mixer with the pudding.  There is less milk than with a regular pudding recipe and will be lumpy if you just whisk it.

It’s really fun to see the white and brown layers switch places.  You start with the chocolate cake on the bottom and after baking the cheesecake is on the bottom.  The layers looks so impressive when the cake is cut!

I think it would be fun to try more flavors in the white layer.  Raspberry is next on my list!  Let me know if you try a new one and how you liked it!

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Italian Love Cake – – plus ingredients to make cake, ricotta cheese, eggs, sugar, pkg of chocolate pudding, milk, Cool Whip, Oreos, Orange or almond extract or emulsion, Preheat your oven to 350*F and spray a 9×13 inch pan with nonstick spray. Line the Oreos on the bottom of the pan. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix together your cake mix according to the directions on the box. Pour over Oreos. In another bowl, using a hand mixer, beat together the ricotta cheese, eggs, sugar, and orange or almond emulsion until smooth. Spoon cheese layer over the whole cake evenly. Don’t worry! The layers switch during the baking time! Bake the cake at 350 for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before frosting. Once the cake is cool, stir the pudding mix and milk together with an electric mixer until combined. Carefully, fold the Cool Whip into the pudding until combined. Spread the pudding mixture over the top of the cooled cake. Cover the cake and refrigerate at least 6 hours before serving. It tastes even better the next day.
9.ENJOY!
; – <strong>AnneOpinion</strong>  adapted from <a href="http://chewnibblenosh.com/2013/05/28/chocolate-italian-love-cake/">chewnibblenosh.com</a>%5B/wpurp-searchable-recipe%5D
Italian Love Cake
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Italian Love Cake
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Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350*F and spray a 9x13 inch pan with nonstick spray. Line the Oreos on the bottom of the pan. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix together your cake mix according to the directions on the box. Pour over Oreos. In another bowl, using a hand mixer, beat together the ricotta cheese, eggs, sugar, and orange or almond emulsion until smooth. Spoon cheese layer over the whole cake evenly. Don't worry! The layers switch during the baking time! Bake the cake at 350 for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before frosting. Once the cake is cool, stir the pudding mix and milk together with an electric mixer until combined. Carefully, fold the Cool Whip into the pudding until combined. Spread the pudding mixture over the top of the cooled cake. Cover the cake and refrigerate at least 6 hours before serving. It tastes even better the next day. 9.ENJOY!
Recipe Notes

AnneOpinion  adapted from chewnibblenosh.com

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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
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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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Neapolitan Chocolate Crepes

crepes1I am very excited to finally get this post up today!  It has been in the works since before Valentine’s Day when my husband brought home a recipe from the newspaper for crepes and suggested I do a post on them.(I love how he’s always thinking of me 🙂 )  First I had to try out the recipe and it was perfect!  I love these chocolate crepes.

crepes2 Next, I needed to work out the fillings and that is what has slowed down this post. I now have three different crepe fillings that each are amazing in their own right.  The wonderful thing about all three of the flavored whipped creams is that they all are simple to make.  No using a double boiler or tempering eggs like is required in traditional mousse recipes.

As you know, the strawberry cream took a while for me to figure out.  I’m so happy with the final results of it.  You can click on this link to find the recipe.

The article also had a recipe for a hazelnut mousse that I was super excited to try.  It called for hazelnut paste, which I had never used.  I tracked some down and tried out the recipe and it was good, but the nutella mousse that I made for mini trifles I thought was just as good, a lot easier to make and cost less to make.  So, after all of those points in the original recipe’s favor, I saw no point in using the new recipe.  If you are a fan of hazelnut and chocolate, this is a guaranteed winner.

The final filling in our trifecta is coconut whipped cream.  I really cannot say it enough.  I love this whipped cream!  Coconut+ Chocolate=YUM!  Here’s the details on how to create this sophisticated and impressive dessert that is always a hit.

AnneOpinion

The chocolate flavor in these crepes is very mild.  They are light and tender and perfect for breakfast/brunch, a bridal shower, baby shower, or dinner party.  You can have a fancy “Build your own Crepe” bar with different fillings and toppings.  I used coconut whipped cream, strawberry whipped cream, and nutella mousse. (click on the links to find the recipes)  I garnished the tops with toasted coconut, grated hazelnuts, and powdered sugar.  Chocolate syrup is also great drizzled across the top.

When I first learned to make crepes I would put all of the ingredients in the blender, turn it on, and cook the crepes.  Since then I learned a few things to make my crepes better.  First, I have you strain the ingredients twice when making these crepes.  Once to make sure and get the lumps out of the dry ingredients and once to make sure there are not lumps in the batter.  I have you do the first one because cocoa can have a tendency to have lots of lumps and I want to lose as little cocoa as possible when we strain the batter the second time.

You will want to make sure that you give yourself enough time to let the batter rest for at least 1 hour.  This will give the gluten time to relax and will result in a lighter, more airy crepe.  If you plan on making them for breakfast, making the batter the night before and putting it in the refrigerator will make cooking them in the morning a breeze.

Cooking crepes on both sides is a personal decision.  I grew up cooking crepes on only one side, my husband insists that they be cooked on both.  I now cook ours’ on both sides because the second side only takes about 5 seconds to cook and it’s that important to him.

I’m including a video with a demonstration of “How to cook crepes;”  If you’ve never done it before, don’t be intimidated.  They really are fairly easy.  Hopefully the video will help you feel comfortable enough to try.

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Chocolate Crepes
Print Recipe
Servings
8 Crepes
Servings
8 Crepes
Chocolate Crepes
Print Recipe
Servings
8 Crepes
Servings
8 Crepes
Ingredients
Servings: Crepes
Instructions
  1. Measure flour, sugar, cocoa, and salt into a strained and sift together into a bowl. Wisk in milk and egg. Pour ingredients through a strainer to remove any lumps. Stir in butter and vanilla. Let rest for 1 hour or refrigerate overnight. When ready to cook, heat a non-stick pan over medium heat until hot. Spray with cooking spray and pour 3 tablespoons of batter into the 11 or 1 o'clock position of the pan. Off heat, rotate the pan until the batter covers the pan. Cook until the edges curl and the batter has turned dark, about 40 seconds. Flip the crepe and cook another 5-10 seconds. Stack cooked crepes between sheets of parchment paper, if not being eaten immediately. Serve with strawberry, Nutella, or coconut cream. Garnish with powdered sugar, grated hazelnuts or powdered sugar. Drizzle chocolate syrup on top.
Recipe Notes

AnneOpinion, recipe from The Crepe Bar

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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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The Tale of Two Oreo Trifles

strawberry-oreo-triflemint-oreo-trifleOne of the reasons that I started this blog was because I wanted to give an honest voice.  So many times I would see things on blogs that were beautiful, but didn’t taste good.  Take this Strawberry Oreo trifle, I was so excited to make it, and I was able to get a beautiful photo of it.  I was looking forward to being able to post a pair of trifle recipes (a Strawberry Oreo and a Mint Oreo) that you could make. Unfortunately that’s not how it worked out.  First of all, I would not recommend ever buying the Strawberry Oreos.  Their artificial strawberry taste isn’t good.  Now, I do believe that there is such a thing as good artificial strawberry flavor, McDonalds strawberry shakes and strawberry gummies come to mind.  However, the Strawberry Oreos were disappointing.   Next, I made Jello strawberry pudding to go with it.  That was not good either.  Apparently making good artificial strawberry isn’t very easy.  Long story short, I tried to make it better by turning it into a strawberry cheesecake mousse but lots of ingredients later, it was still just OK.  Sorry.  I’m hoping to have a good recipe for strawberry trifle sometime in the future.

Today though I do have a good one for Oreo Mint Trifle.  Here’s the deal on it.

AnneOpinion

These trifles are so super simple to make.  Chopped Oreos and different kinds of instant pudding made from a box mix.  Doesn’t get much easier than that!

I have found that generic instant pudding mixes are not the same as name brand (and by that I mean Jello).  Splurge for the name brand.

Mint Oreos are sooo good.  Be careful not to eat too many of them before you make your trifle(s). 😉

Adding the Cool Whip to the chocolate pudding is a great way to make a faux chocolate mousse.  The lightness of it is a good contrast to the heavier mint pudding.

I made the mint pudding by adding mint extract and green food coloring to vanilla pudding.  It worked great!

Enjoy this St Patty’s Day treat!

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Mint Oreo Trifle
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Mint Oreo Trifle
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Rough chop Oreos. Make vanilla pudding according to directions. Add mint extract and food coloring. Make chocolate pudding according to directions. Fold Cool Whip into chocolate pudding. Layer Oreos in the bottom of the cup, next add chocolate mousse and finally mint pudding. Repeat layers and top with Oreos.
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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
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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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