Thursday, October 3, 2013

Pull Apart Cinnamon Pumpkin Bread

I love fall baking!  As soon as September hit I was ready for the pumpkin recipes.  This was SO good but not a strong pumpkin taste at all.  I found it on Sunnyside Up and changed it slightly.
I had a hard time getting mine out of the pan and then turned back over - so it ended up in a heap.  Here is a picture of one piece of my heap =).  

  • 2 Tbsp  butter                                                                                                                    
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups flour

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp  butter

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, brown 2 tablespoons of butter, letting it bubble up and turn a dark golden brown but being careful not to allow it burn (turn black). Once browned, remove the pan from the heat and carefully add the milk, return to stove and heat through.  Pour the milk and butter into the bowl of standing mixer (fitted with a dough hook) and allow to cool so it is no longer hot but also not cool (about 100-110 degrees F). Once it has reached a warm but not hot temperature add the yeast and 1/4 cup of sugar and allow to proof (the top will look foamy and the liquid cloudy). Then add the the pumpkin, salt, and 1 cup of flour. Stir until combined then add the rest of the flour 1/2 cup at a time and knead for 6 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic and just slightly sticky. If the dough is too moist, add extra flour 1 tablespoon at a time.
Move dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a clean towel. Allow to rise in a warm place for 60-90 minutes or until doubled in size.
While dough is rising, brown another 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg and mix well.   Making sure sugar evenly absorbs the butter. Set aside. Next, grease and flour a 9×5 loaf pan and set aside.
When the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and flip out onto a clean floured surface and knead with hands for 1-2 minutes. Roll dough into a 20×12 inch rectangle.  Evenly sprinkle the dough with the cinnamon sugar mixture and press into dough with palms of the hand. Cut the rectangle into 6 strips. Lay strips on top of each other and cut each strip into 6 even squares (cut in half then each half into thirds). Stack strips vertically into the loaf pan. Cover the pan with a clean towel and let rise for 30-45 minutes.
In the meantime preheat an oven to 350 degrees. After rising in the pan bake for 30-40 minutes or until top is a very deep golden brown.
Buttered Rum Glaze  (I used a little bit of rum flavored extract and some vanilla, you could leave the rum out)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/8 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp milk
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/8 tsp rum flavored extract and 1tsp vanilla

To prepare the glaze, heat the butter, milk, and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to boil then immediately remove the pan from the heat and stir in the flavoring and powdered sugar.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Cucumber Soup

I thought we needed something refreshing on a hot summer day.  So I started making a chilled cucumber soup.  Then it stormed and it wasn't hot anymore.  Oh well, it was still good.  This soup is good hot, room temperature or chilled.  

The original recipe is from here and the changes I made were a from all the comments left.  I love all recipes just for that reason!

Surprisingly, everyone ate it - most of us even liked it =).  We're going to eat it again and probably use all the cucumbers in our garden to freeze a bunch of this for the winter!

4 cucumbers
1/4 cup sliced onion
2 tablespoons butter or oil
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
7 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk
2 tablesppons farina or wheat flour
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon dried dill
1 cup sour cream

Peel, seed, and chop cucumbers. The healthiest part of a vegetable is the skin and seeds, so I peeled mine with stripes - only about half the skin and I didn't remove all the the seeds.  The quickest way to remove seed is to cut the cucumber in half lengthwise and then you can easily scoop them out.

Cook the chopped onion and garlic in the margarine until soft. Add the chopped cucumbers and vinegar. Pour in the broth, as much as will fit.  I held out a few cups because my pan wasn't big enough.  Salt & pepper taste, and add dill. Bring to a boil and wisk in the farina or flour.  Let the soup simmer for 20 minutes, or until the cucumbers are soft.

Put the soup into a blender, and puree it.
Pour the puree into a bowl, and whisk in the remaining broth, 1 cup of milk and sour cream. Taste the soup for seasoning. Either eat hot or store in the fridge to eat cold.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Peanut Butter Protein Balls

This is a great healthy snack for kids and adults.  

1 c. natural, organic peanut butter (I use whatever peanut butter I have)
2 ½ c. rolled oats or quick oats
½ c. flax seed meal
¾ c. honey (use local – helps fight allergies)
½ c. unsweetened coconut
3/4 c. raw cacao nibs (found in health food store or online) (or choc. chips – just not as healthy)

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.  It does get quite sticky, so I just use clean hands and mix it all together.  It should look like the consistence of thick cookie dough.  After mixed, wash hands and pour a bit of Canola oil on your hands so mixture won’t stick to you.  Scoop teaspoon size balls into your hand and roll.  I use a small cookie scoop. I like to put them on a cookie sheet line with wax paper to set in fridge for about an hour.  After that, just throw them into baggies and your set.  You could also freeze them if you will not eat in a week or so.  I often times double the recipe and then freeze them.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Blackened Salmon Tacos with Corn Salsa and Cilantro Lime Ranch

Marshall and I absolutely love tacos. We probably have some variation of a taco once or twice a week. Yeah I know we are a little obsessed with them. So, when I found this blackened salmon taco recipe I was pretty excited to try it, and let me tell you it did not fall short of my expectations. It was quick, pretty easy, and absolutely delicious.

2 (6 0z) salmon fillets
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour  
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp packed brown sugar
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Corn Salsa
2/3 cup frozen corn, warmed
1 medium Roma tomato, diced
1 small Avocado, diced
2 Tbsp finely chopped yellow onion
2 tsp lime juice
1/3 cup black beans(I added these. I just love black beans)
1 dash garlic powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
Cilantro Lime Ranch
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1 Tbsp buttermilk ranch seasoning mix
1/4 cup cilantro
1 small clove garlic
Juice of 1/2 - 1 lime
For Serving:
Flour or corn tortillas, warmed
Shredded Cheese (your choice)
Corn Salsa
Cilantro Lime Ranch
Blackened Salmon Tacos
In a shallow mixing bowl, using fork, combine flour, chili powder, paprika, brown sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper. Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Baste salmon fillets with 1/2 tsp olive oil on each side and dip salmon into spice mixture and generously coat each side. Place coated salmon in preheated skillet and cook 3-4 minutes per side until outside is lightly blackened and center of fillet is cooked through and opaque. Flake salmon using a fork. Assemble tacos by dividing salmon among tortillas, top with lettuce, corn salsa, cheese, and drizzle with Cilantro Lime Ranch. Serve immediately.
Corn Salsa
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Cilantro Lime Ranch
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
This recipe was adapted from

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Brownie Desssert

I found this recipe on pinterest and knew that I had to try it.  I made it conference weekend so that we would have guests and plenty of help eating it.  It is as yummy as it looks but not too rich which is nice.  I found this recipe at  It is a home cooking blog.  I followed the recipe just as it is written and we wouldn't change a thing.  Enjoy!
2 brownie mixes
1 extra large egg
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
2 (8 oz.) containers whipped topping
1 (3 oz.) package instant chocolate pudding
1 (3 oz.) package instant vanilla pudding
3 1/2 cups milk
1 Hershey candy bar or chocolate syrup
Directions: Mix brownie mixes according to directions. Add egg. Bake in 9x13 inch greased and floured cake pan. Mix cream cheese, powdered sugar and 1 container whipped topping. Put this mix on top of the cooled brownies. Blend puddings and milk together and put on top of the cream cheese mixture. Top with another layer of whipped topping. Put chocolate shavings or chocolate syrup on top. Refrigerate until ready to serve.