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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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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Homemade Ketchup

homemade-ketchupI visited my sister a little while ago and had an eye opening experience.  One of her children has problems with digesting anything that contains high fructose corn syrup and consequently she has become a bit of an expert on what contains it and what doesn’t. The eye opening part came when we were out shopping and I offered to buy some frozen waffles for the kids to eat in the morning.  It seemed like it was the least I could do since me and my swarm of locus had descended on her house.  I said that I thought I’d get the generic one and she told me not to because it had high fructose corn syrup in it.  I checked it and sure enough it did!  Why do waffles need high fructose corn syrup?  This got me checking labels better and the next week I made an even more alarming discovery.  The brand name applesauce that I’d been buying for my kids school lunches had high fructose corn syrup.  Are you freaking kidding me?!?!  If I’m trying to give my children a healthy snack in their lunch, I probably want it to be healthy.  Is that too much to ask?

So the question is, has this experience made it so I never buy anything with high fructose corn syrup and we now eat everything organic and unprocessed.  Umm, no.  But it has made me decide to start to make little changes in our lives.  One of the things that I decided to start with was our ketchup.  I found that companies charge a lot to buy the kind that they make that doesn’t have high fructose corn syrup in it and it doesn’t come in large quantities, which is kind of a requirement for me considering how quickly ketchup disappears around here.  I found this recipe on topsecretrecipes.com for a homemade “Heinz Ketchup” and after reading the good reviews that it got, I decided to give it and try and see if I could convert my family and it worked!

AnneOpinion

This recipe makes a thick ketchup that is very, very close to Heinz.  We loved it and really couldn’t tell a difference.

You will notice that the ingredient list has corn syrup.  There is a difference between corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup.  Regular corn syrup does not contain fructose. (surprise!)  Do be careful when you buy your corn syrup though because some companies add high fructose corn syrup to their corn syrup.  It’s everywhere people, everywhere.

If you don’t want to use corn syrup, honey is a good alternative, but it will change the flavor.

I would suggest doing what I did and make a small batch (the regular recipe size) and see how you like it.  If you do like it and go through lots of ketchup too, multiply the recipe to make a bigger batch.  When making a bigger batch, a slow cooker works great.  Just set it on low and let it go for a few hours.

I was amazed at how easy it is to make my own ketchup and I love that I feel better when my kids ask for ketchup with their corn dogs.  Yes, I know that corn dogs aren’t a healthy food, but Rome wasn’t built in a day!

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Homemade Ketchup – – tomato paste, corn syrup, white vinegar, water, sugar, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, Combine all of the ingredients together in a medium sized sauce pan. Whisk until smooth while cooking over a medium heat. After mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and cover pan. After ketchup has cooled, pour into container and store in the refrigerator.; – AnneOpinion recipe from <a href="http://www.topsecretrecipes.com/Heinz-Ketchup-Copycat-Recipe.html">topsecretrecipes.com</a>%5B/wpurp-searchable-recipe%5D

Homemade Ketchup
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Homemade Ketchup
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients together in a medium sized sauce pan. Whisk until smooth while cooking over a medium heat. After mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and cover pan. After ketchup has cooled, pour into container and store in the refrigerator.
Recipe Notes

AnneOpinion recipe from topsecretrecipes.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
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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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A Play on S’mores 3 Times

smore-2Kami over at No Biggie saved me last week.  I am going to be the cook this summer for my church’s Girl’s Camp for teenage girls.  We had our Camp Kickoff last week to get the girls excited for camp this summer and make sure the parents had all of the information that they needed.  I was in charge of the refreshments and had been thinking that I would do cupcakes.  It felt so boring, but I couldn’t think of anything fun to do until I saw this post on No Biggie for 3 Indoor S’mores.  What would be better than s’mores to get the girls looking forward to camp?  Um, nothing!  My hunch turned out to be right.  We had the refreshments set out at the beginning of the Kickoff because I had my son’s last football game of the season (playoffs this week!) and was going to be a few minutes late to the meeting.  Normally at all meetings at the church, where food is served, the refreshments are eaten at the end, after it has been blessed.  Apparently these s’mores were too irresistible for that because I got a text from one of the other cooks just after the meeting started saying that people had been grabbing them before the meeting and that they were already refilling the table. People were going so crazy for these treats that they were grabbing them off the tray carried by another cook trying to refill the refreshment table.  To say we had a hit is an understatement!

The first s’more that we made was a marshmallow, dipped in chocolate, rolled in graham smore-1cracker crumbs, and toasted under the broiler.

The second s’more was a graham cracker square with a square marshmallow toasted under the broiler and a piece of chocolate placed on top (after the toasting!)

The last s’more that we did was different than Kami’s.  We did a brownie bite with a marshmallow frosting and graham crumbs on top.

We made close to 500 s’mores for 200 people and there wasn’t a crumb left in site.  I’d say these are a definite winner!

AnneOpinion

The marshmallow s’more that’s dipped in chocolate and than placed under the broiler had us all a bit leary.  We were sure that the chocolate would just melt off.  I did an experiment with placing one in the freezer for 15 minutes and one that was left on the counter.  The frozen one did not broil as well and the chocolate did not melt on either!  Kami was right, the chocolate doesn’t melt off. (sorry I doubted!)  I used milk chocolate chips for my dipping chocolate.  I melted 1 cup of chocolate chips with 1 Tablespoon of shortening.  If you melt the chocolate on the stove, you will want to use a double boiler; in the microwave, use 50 percent power and 30 second increments.  I was able to do about 75 marshmallows with one cup of chocolate.  After melting the chocolate, simply dip the marshmallow in the chocolate up to about 1/3 of the way, scrape the bottom to remove excess chocolate and then roll the chocolate part in graham cracker crumbs.  Watch carefully under the broiler and remove as soon as they are the color that you desire.  Kami had cute skewers in them that made a fun handle, but we decided with the number that we were making, to forgo them.  IMG_1875Word of Warning: do not place your marshmallows on a hot pan to put under the broiler or these “blob” s’mores will be your result.

The second s’more is made by placing the graham squares on a baking sheeting,  Placing one square marshmallow on each, toasting under the broiler and pressing on a square of chocolate just after they come out of the oven.  The one trick that we learned with these is that if you buy the square marshmallows with a chocolate stripe in the middle, it doesn’t stick to the graham cracker after cooking ( I think it’s because it’s thicker than the regular square marshmallows).  We put a dab of the marshmallow frosting on each square before the marshmallow and this seemed to help them stay together.

The third is also pretty straight forward.  A brownie, a dollop of marshmallow frosting and a sprinkling of graham crumbs.  The one warning I have is that when you make the frosting make sure and beat the eggs on the stove to a firm peak (somewhere between soft and stiff).  The original recipe says soft peaks but I’ve gotten mine to what I thought was a soft peak before only to have runny frosting after all was said and done.  That is very frustrating after going to the effort to make this frosting. Other than that, easy peasy.

If you want a s’more cookie to add to your collection, these are one of my favorites!  One of the beauties of each of these s’mores is that you can make just a few or a few hundred.  I hope these s’mores are as big of a hit for you as they were for me!

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Marshmallow Frosting
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Marshmallow Frosting
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Place the sugar, water, and egg whites in a medium-size heavy saucepan. Cook over low heat, beting continuously with an electric hand mixer on high speed until firm soft peaks form. *make sure and keep the mixer cord away from the burner. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the marshmallow crème and beat the mixture with the mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Use at once. Store extra in the refrigerator.
Recipe Notes

AnneOpinion- Recipe source The Cake Mix Doctor

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Strawberry Whipped Cream

strawberry-whipped-creamI have been on a mission for the last month to find a yummy strawberry mousse recipe.  You may remember my disastrous results when I tried to make an Oreo Strawberry Trifle.  After that I decided that I didn’t want to mess around and so I found an America’s Test Kitchen recipe for strawberry mousse.  This recipe was very involved to make but I decided that it would be worth it if it was amazing.  It wasn’t.  I pureed strawberries and strained out the juice.  Then I cooked the juice to reduce it down and I re-pureed the pulp the was left and re-strained it.  There were even more additional steps but sufficient to say, when I was done I had lots of dishes and an OK strawberry mousse.

So I spent another couple of days thinking about what I was wanting out of the strawberry mousse (a filling for chocolate crepes and a layer in an Oreo trifle) and I decided that a strawberry whipped cream would be able to do the trick.  I also decided after the pain in the neck effort the other strawberry mousse took, I was going to use strawberry jam.  I looked online and found that Joy of Baking had a recipe that was just what I was looking for.  Hallelujah!  I made their recipe and made a couple of changes (because why would I ever just leave a recipe alone).  I loved the results.  It worked awesome as a frosting for cupcakes, I loved it as a filling for my chocolate crepes (stay tuned for that recipe on Wednesday) and it was delicious in a trifle with crushed Oreos (or on a spoon with an Oreo dipped in). Any way that you want to roll with it, you will not be wrong!

AnneOpinion

You will definitely want to freeze your bowl and beaters before you start.  That 15 minutes in the freezer really helps the cream whip up faster.

I like to use the gelatin because then the cream stays whipped and I don’t have to do it again later.  If you are using the whipped cream immediately, you don’t need to include it.

The original Joy of Baking recipe had you add sugar to the whipping cream along with the jam.  I did not add any sugar to the whipping cream because I felt like there was enough sweetness from the jam.  I think the almond flavor that I added also helped the whipping cream taste more complete without needing to add additional sugar.

Make sure and stop beating the cream once the stiff peaks have formed.  If you go for too long you might just end up with strawberry butter.  Unless, of course, that’s what you’re going for and then I say just go a head and whip away.  😉

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Strawberry Whipped Cream
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Strawberry Whipped Cream
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Place a metal mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer for 15 minutes. Place gelatin and water in a small bowl and allow it to "bloom" (grow and soften) for 5 minutes. Place whipping cream in chilled bowl and start beating on a low speed, gradually moving up to high. Beat until soft peaks form. Place gelatin in the microwave for 5-10 seconds. Pour gelatin, jam, and almond extract into the whipping cream. Combine together on a low speed, then increase speed to high. Beat until stiff peaks form. Your whipped cream is now ready to use as a frosting, filling, topping or for your spoon. 🙂
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Fried Lemon Ricotta Ravioli with Strawberry Sauce

lemon-ravioliI had a plan.  I was going to review this recipe for a copycat Oliver Garden Toasted Ravioli from Frugal Coupon Living.  I went to the store to pick up the needed meat filled ravioli.  Just for fun I looked to see what other kinds of ravioli they carried and low and behold they (Trader Joe’s)  had a lemon zest and ricotta ravioli and suddenly everything changed.  They sounded so good that I knew that had to try them.  I decided that I would try the lemon ravioli two different ways, a savory and a sweet.  They both were good, but one was decidedly better.

AnneOpinion

The first thing that I tried was the savory.  I made a Parmesan sauce to dip them in because I knew that it would pair well with the lemon. (it did)  I used the same process as  Ashley from Frugal Coupon Living  with the meat ravioli except that I used Italian breadcrumbs so I didn’t need to add any seasonings.  Everyone agreed that these were good, but no one felt like they were anything to get excited about.

I then made some with breadcrumbs (plain), cinnamon and a touch of nutmeg.  We tried dipping the sweet ravioli in strawberry jam and icing.  Everyone preferred the strawberry jam.  The strawberry and the lemon worked together so well!  It was like a match made in heaven.

I started out dipping each one in the ravioli the flour but I didn’t like how it was working.  I then took all of the ravioli and the flour and put it all in a Ziploc bag and shook it around.  This made things much faster and I liked the way they were floured.

I’m sure that the meat filled ravioli with marinara sauce from Frugal Coupon Living is great.  I’ll have to pick up some next time. 😉

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Fried Lemon Ricotta Ravioli with Strawberry Sauce
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Fried Lemon Ricotta Ravioli with Strawberry Sauce
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Instructions
  1. Beat water with eggs together. In another bowl, combine cinnamon, nutmeg and bread crumbs. Heat oil to 350 degrees. Put ravioli in a gallon bag with flour. Shake lightly. Dip individually in egg wash and finally in bread crumbs and set on plate for 3-5 minutes. Carefully place in oil and fry until golden. Place on paper towels on a plate to drain. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with you strawberry sauce.
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Strawberry Lime Pie with Coconut Cream

strawberry-lime1This pie is something that came to me in a blaze of glorious inspiration and I fantasized about and dreamed that it would be as good as I hoped.  I love strawberry and lime together.  In fact I frequently pay extra to get a Strawberry-Lime slushie at Sonic instead of a Lemon-Berry.  Why it costs more to get lime instead of lemon, I don’t understand, but for me it’s worth it.  I have a serious obsession with lime.  Even if you don’t, there’s a good chance that you’ll love this pie too.

AnneOpinion

This pie is a graham cracker crust with a lime custard-like layer on the bottom, a strawberry gelation layer on the top and is served with a coconut whipped cream that is so over the top good I can hardly stand it.  (I’m not kidding, it took all the willpower I had to not get a spoon and just eat all of the coconut whipped cream that was left.)

I have tried the pie with both key lime and lime juice.  I liked them both; my husband thought the key lime was a little bit too sharp.  If you don’t have a lime obsession like me, you should probably stick with regular lime juice.  My favorite brand of lemon and lime juice is Italia Garden. (I’ve included a picture; completely my opinion, not sponsored!)   It has the freshest taste of any that I’ve tried.  I also have tried adding a drop of green food coloring to the lime so it was green and not yellow.  I personally decided I like the natural look better; I thought it looked like a Christmas pie with the green and red.

Make sure and use a nine inch pie plate.  As it is, you will have extra of the strawberry mixture.  I couldn’t figure out how to reduce it so just have a bowl or glass handy to put the extra in and you can serve it with whipped cream, keep it hidden for yourself to eat later. 🙂

The first time I made this pie I gave my kids the option of coconut or regular whipped cream.  All of my kids chose regular.  The next time I covered the whole pie with the coconut whipped cream and they all loved it.  Boy 1 commented that it was way better with the coconut.  Go figure, Mom knows what she’s talking about.  If you’ve never used an emulsion, they are used in place of extracts by professional bakers and contain no alcohol.  This enables the flavor stay more intense and true when exposed to high heat.  I used to have to go to a cake decorating store to find them but they are becoming more popular and most Wal Marts and Hobby Lobbys are now carrying a selection of them.

strawberry-lime2The lime, strawberry and coconut come together to make this pie a tropical dream.  So if you can’t be in paradise, just eat this pie, close your eyes and you’re almost there.

 

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Strawberry Lime Pie with Coconut Cream
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Strawberry Lime Pie with Coconut Cream
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the graham crackers in a blender or food processer and grind down to crumbs the texture of sand. Pour into 9 inch pie plate and add 1/4 cup sugar. Mix together; add melted butter and combine until evenly incorporated. Press the mixture onto the sides and bottom of the pie plate. Set aside. In a mixing bowl place the egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk and lime juice. Whisk together and pour into pie plate. Cook in oven for 12-14 minutes. Take out and allow to cool. After lime layer has cooled, combine water, corn starch and sugar in a pot. Turn on heat to medium high and stir until boiling and the mixture is clear. Add jello and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Turn off oven and allow mixture to cool for 20-30 minutes. Cut strawberries and place them on top of the lime layer. Pour cooled strawberry mixture over the pie until pie is full (there will be extra). Pour extra strawberry mixture into a small bowl and put in the refrigerator; this is extra that you can use however you would like. Put pie in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours. Just before serving pour whipped cream into a mixing bowl. Whip until soft peaks form. Add the sugar, coconut, and vanilla and whip until hard peaks form. Whipped cream can be served on individual pieces, spread over the top of the entire pie, or scooped into a piping bag with a large star tip and piped onto the top of the pie. Enjoy your taste of the tropics!!
Recipe Notes

AnneOpinion

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Bunny Rolls

bunny-rolls Easter morning can be a little bit crazy around our house.  Between the Easter Bunny coming and the kids finding their baskets, getting everyone ready for church, trying to get pictures of everyone in their Easter clothes, and getting things ready for Easter dinner, making a breakfast can add pressure to an already packed morning.  In fact around 5 years ago I vowed to never make breakfast on Easter again.  Between the time and stress (and dishes!!) that it created, I decided that it just wasn’t worth it to me.   This hasn’t gone without objections and sounds of surprise every year.

When I found these cute Cinnamon Sugar Breakfast Bunnies on Tablespoon.com I thought that they looked like they would be a breakfast that I could commit to in terms of time, energy and dirty dishes. 😉

AnneOpinion

These were perfect for  Easter Breakfast.  They created almost no dishes, and were really fast to make.  Making them was as easy as opening a can of Pillsbury Italian Bread, cutting it into 8 pieces, shaping and cooking.  For pictures of how to do it go here.  You can also find the recipe below.

I wasn’t crazy about the taste but I will admit that I rarely buy rolls and bread and when you’re used to homemade, Pillsbury canned bread doesn’t compare.  But these are infinitely faster and easier than homemade and if kids are involved, they probably won’t be too judgmental about the flavor.

bunny rolls2One thing that I always wonder about when I look at a blog picture is, I see that one or two look great but how did the others look.  Well, there’s the truth.  I had most of them work out, but I had a few that the tails rolled off of.  I think when I make them again I won’t have this problem because I twisting the bottom too tightly.

 bunny-rolls-3  As you can see, that didn’t stop anyone from eating them.

Bunny Rolls
Print Recipe
Servings
8 Rolls
Servings
8 Rolls
Bunny Rolls
Print Recipe
Servings
8 Rolls
Servings
8 Rolls
Ingredients
Servings: Rolls
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. Remove dough from can. Cut dough in half crosswise; cut each half lengthwise into quarters. Roll quarter piece of dough into a rope 15 1/2 inches long. Cut 1/2-inch piece off the end, and roll into a small ball for the tail. Fold dough rope in half, and loosely twist twice. This will be the body of the bunny. Leave ends long for the bunny ears, angled up for ears. Place on cookie sheet. Press ball of dough into folded end of twist for the bunny tail. Repeat with remaining dough to make 8 bunnies. Mix egg white with water. Brush dough with egg wash. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar evenly over dough. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.
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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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