The Recipe Olympics: The Easiest Crepes You’ll Ever Make!

Continuing with our Recipe Olympics we are traveling to France to taste these lovely fluffy and sweet crepes. BTW, If you have a great international recipe, we’d love to see it and post it on our blog, please email it … Continue reading

Mini Raspberry Cheesecake Dessert Cups

I don’t know about you, but I’m always in the mood for something sweet to finish off the meal. I know I shouldn’t binge on the desserts and all of that added sugar. So I’ve set out to change the … Continue reading

Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread


I needed to get my baking fix in for the week.  The house wasn’t smelling like baked goods and I’m soooo not okay with that.  Neither are my children or the hubs.  They think something’s amiss if I’m not baking or cooking up a storm.  In reality, I had just been preoccupied with other things.  But really, what’s more important than food to a foodie? This situation needed to be remedied stat!

I knew just what I was going to bake.  It’s sweet, cinnamon-y, moist, chewy in the right spots and has a few crunchy spots too from the topping and swirled goodness.  It’s even drizzled with a powdered sugar icing *swoon*…my Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread.  Yep.  Time for a little less talk and more action!  Let’s get you started…

Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread

Ingredients:

¼ Cup Butter (softened)
1 Cup Sugar
1 Egg
1 tsp. Pure Vanilla
2 Cups Flour
1 tsp. Baking Powder
½ tsp. Baking Soda
½ tsp. Salt
1 Cup Buttermilk
  Swirl/Topping
½ Cup Brown Sugar
¼ Cup Sugar
¼ tsp. Ground Nutmeg (freshly grated is best)
1 Tbs. Ground Cinnamon
 

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease a bread loaf pan and set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine butter, sugar, egg and vanilla.  Beat until well blended.

3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and mix together. Add these ingredients alternately with buttermilk to egg mixture above.

4.  In a small bowl, mix together swirl/topping ingredients.

5. Spread 1/3 of bread batter into prepared loaf pan.  Sprinkle with a 1/3 of swirl/topping mixture.  Take a bread knife and lightly drag it through the swirl/topping to create ‘swirling effect’.  Repeat layers twice, ending with swirl/topping sprinkled on top of bread batter.

6. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out almost clean.

7.  Allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes, then remove and place on wire rack to finish cooling.

8.  When thoroughly cooled, drizzle with a powdered sugar glaze or icing. I used the Powdered Sugar Icing from our Cookin’ Up Sweet Treats eBook
that’s available now in the Amazon Kindle Store.  It was just perfect for this bread!

Tip: If you don’t keep buttermilk on hand at home, it’s easy to make your own!  Take one cup of milk and 1 Tbs. of white vinegar and combine.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes.  The vinegar ‘sours’ the milk and voila!  You’ve got homemade buttermilk that works great for baking!

Makes:  Approximately 8 servings

Really want a ‘slice’ of heaven?  Eat the bread fresh out of the oven with a nice schmear of butter.  Ahhhhh, bliss and possibly breakfast perfection!

Cookin’ Up Summertime Favorites: The Go-To Smoothie and Smoothie Secrets!

Smoothies are a wonderful way to get your servings of fruit or veggies for the day, and they’re packed with vitamins. I often find myself sneaking some supplements of fiber or protein into my smoothies as well, to further their health benefits. All of my friends and family know I can make some killer smoothies. So I wanted to share with all of you my secrets -and the best part is they are super easy to follow. I also added my ‘Go-To Smoothie’ recipe, this smoothie pleases everyone as its flavors are both sweet and tart.

Smoothie Tips

1. If you’re planning on making a lot of smoothies this summer invest in a good blender. So many cheaper blenders will work for a little while, but you may only get one season out of them. A lower powered blender will also need to blend longer to fully blend up the fruit, this will produce more heat, and essentially melt your smoothie making it runny. When it comes to blenders you really do get what you pay for. I love my Kenmore 900 watt blender that I picked up at Sears. As a rule of thumb, you don’t have to get top of the line, but something around 1 horsepower or about 800 watts will be a great blender that will last years. You can also use your blender for so many things besides drinks, like blending soups, salsas, sauces, or a substitute food processor. For me, a good blender is a staple in the kitchen.

2. Freeze your fruit. Frozen fruit will make a thicker smoothie, and may keep you from watering down the flavor with tons of ice. In fact, I rarely use ice in my smoothies. So I will go buy fresh fruit, rinse, and then freeze it in good ziploc freezer bags. For strawberries, cut the leafy green heads off and if they are huge you may want to cut the strawberries in half before freezing them. Mangoes, peaches, and bananas (you may or may not freeze your bananas) should all be diced into about 1 inch size cubes/slices for freezing. having smaller pieces helps the blender and also helps your measurements when you make your smoothies.

3. Use fresh juice. I know a lot of places use concentrate, and if you want to save some $ you can too. But if you want healthier smoothies, use the good stuff. If you do use concentrate, I suggest not adding as much water as it calls for, you want a richer flavor to your juice for smoothies. And if you really want to invest in your health, and knowing exactly what you’re putting in your mouth, juice your own fruit. Nothing beats fresh squeezed O.J.

4a. If you like creamy smoothies use about 1 cup of frozen yogurt, and try using 4oz of soy milk and 6oz of juice to start your smoothies. I use plain, non-fat frozen yogurt. You can also use plain refrigerated yogurt, but your smoothie will be more runny because it is not frozen.

4b. If you like tart smoothies use more sorbet/sherbet, approx 3/4 cup raspberry, or lime, or lemon sorbet and only 1/4 cup yogurt. Also use all juice for your smoothies. Orange juice, pomegranate juice, and lemonade will make a very tart smoothie with lemonade being the most powerful.

5. Use these ratios for a general medium-thick smoothie. 10 oz of juice (or juice and soy). 4-5 servings of fruit, where a serving is about 1/3 of a cup (use your 1/3 measuring cup as a scoop to measure your fruit). 1 – 1 1/2 cups of one or a combination or frozen yogurt, sorbet, or sherbet (that’s about 4-5 scoops using a small ice cream scoop).

And with that let’s get to an awesome smoothie recipe!

Very Berry Smoothie

The perfect balance of tart, sweet, creamy, and fresh. This is sure to please everyone!

Ingredients

10 oz Orange Juice

2/3 Cup Frozen Strawberries

2/3 Cup Frozen Mixed Berries (whatever you like, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries)

1/3 Cup Frozen Banana (or 1/2 fresh banana)

3/4 Cup Plain Non-Fat Frozen Yogurt (if you’re using regular yogurt use 1/2 cup and then 1/2 of sherbet)

1/4 Cup Raspberry Sherbet

Blend all of the ingredients well until the smoothie will spin in the blender for a few seconds with out hitting any chunks of fruit. If the smoothie is too loose for you add some more fruit, if it is too thick and won’t blend, add some more juice. Enjoy!

Tip: to trick your kids into thinking this is a milkshake or if you’re doing some small taster smoothies at a backyard party, put a little light whipped cream on the top of the smoothie. That only adds 1 gram of fat!

Makes about 32oz, perfect for 2 large glasses, or 4 small 8 oz smoothies for kids, or parties.

This post is partying over at:Savvy Southern Style

Scratch Made Dinner Rolls in 40 Minutes

Perfect for Easter Dinner! You can have fresh homemade rolls in 40 minutes from scratch. No kidding!

I found a recipe and decided to play with it a little. I took a chance and the results were outstanding. Fast rolls from pantry to table in 40 minutes?? I know what you are thinking, I thought the same thing. “Sure they will be fast but, they will be dense little hockey pucks!” Nope, not even a little! They were fluffy and delicious! I believe bread flour would have been just great, but I did not have any on hand and just used regular all purpose and a little whole wheat! I used my trusty kitchen aid mixer which made this go very quickly.

Fast Fresh Rolls in 40 minutes

2 ¼ Cups Warm water
4 Tbs Yeast – regular is just fine, Rapid Rise works too!
¼ Cups Sugar
1/3 Cup Canola oil
2 Eggs
1 tsp. Salt
1 Cup Whole Wheat flour
5 Cups regular All-Purpose Flour

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In the bottom of the mixing bowl, add the water, yeast and sugar, give a gentle stir and let stand 3-4 minutes. Attach the dough hook, then add the oil, eggs, salt, whole wheat flour and 2 C. regular flour. Mix very well, perhaps a minute. Then add the rest of the flour gently.
Knead in mixer until sides are clean. 3-4 minutes. Remove hook and let dough rest for 10 minutes.

Then make your desired shaped rolls and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Let rest again for another 10 minutes. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. And that’s it! Super Easy!