Saturday, May 09, 2015

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

There is nothing else that smells more like home than fresh cinnamon rolls baking in the oven. Add a little mix of chocolate and fresh brewed coffee and you have yourself the warm sweet fragrance of home! A fragrance that always brings back good memories of my childhood. I should market this stuff! My house smells wonderful this morning! 

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls 

2 packages active dry yeast (4 1/2 tsp) 
1-1/4 cups warm water (110° to 115°) 
1.5 cups warm milk (110° to 115°) 
1/4 cup butter, softened 
1 egg 
1/2 cup honey 
2 teaspoons salt 
7 cups all-purpose flour 


3 tablespoons butter, softened 
1 1/8 cups packed brown sugar 
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 


1.5 cups confectioners' sugar 
3 tablespoons butter, softened 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
3 to 4 tablespoons milk 

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water; let stand 5 minutes. Add the milk, butter, eggs, honey, salt and 1.5 cups flour; beat on low for 3 minutes. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. 

Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Place in a large greased bowl; turning once. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. 

Punch dough down. Turn onto a floured surface; divide into two pieces. Roll each into a 14-in. x 8-in. rectangle; spread with butter. Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over dough to within 1/2 in. of edges and press into dough. 

Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seam to seal. Cut each into 12 slices. Place cut side down in four greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dishes. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. 

Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. 

For glaze, in a large bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, butter, vanilla and enough milk to achieve desired consistency; drizzle over rolls. 

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Thursday, May 07, 2015

Blackberry Crumble Cheesecake

I started off with a basic cheesecake recipe and dressed it up with some blackberry jam and a wonderful crumb topping.  Who would have thought this would be such a winning combination.
Oh my...just heavenly!

Blackberry Crumble Cheesecake

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs...
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.. Mix all ingredients together and press evenly across bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes; cool and fill.


3 packages 8 Ounce Cream Cheese
1-1/2 cup Sugar
4 whole Eggs
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1 cup of seedless blackberry jam or jelly

Beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add sour cream and mix again. Pour half of mixture into crust and drop dollops of blackberry jelly on top. Pour remaining cheesecake mixture on top and smooth the top. Bake for 1 hour and 5 minutes. Turn oven off. Sprinkle crumb topping (recipe below) on top of cheesecake and return to the oven for another 10 minutes with oven off.


1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

In a medium bowl, stir together brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt, until combined; knead in butter using fingertips or a fork, until ingredients are well incorporated and start to clump together.

Sprinkle the crumbly mixture evenly over the cheesecake filling. Return pan to oven and for an additional 15 minutes with oven off. Cool for an hour before removing ring. Then chill for at least another hour or two before slicing.

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♥ Pineapple Cake with Cheese Cake Filling

Now this is one of my baking experiments that turned out great. I don't always create the master piece I have in my mind when I set out to make something for the first time but this one hit the mark. Last summer I wanted to make a cake for a family cookout,  but not just any cake. I wanted something creamy and rich with a tropical flare.  I made a basic yellow cake, added some pineapple juice and then filled it with cheese cake filling and topped it with a cherry! It was the perfect combination. Notice the cherry is missing on top? My Dad got to it before I took the picture! 

Pineapple Cake with Cheese Cake Filling 

1 super moist yellow cake mix 
1 tablespoon pineapple juice 
1 egg 
butter, melted 

Follow the directions on any super moist yellow cake mix you choose (I like Duncan Hines), however, replace the oil in the recipe and use melted butter instead. Replace the water in the recipe and use whole milk instead. Add one more large egg than the directions call for, and add the tablespoon of pineapple juice. Then follow the directions for baking. Pour batter into two greased 6 inch cake pans. Bake as directed on box or until cake tester comes out clean when inserted in the center of cakes.

Once the two cakes have finished baking, allow them to cool completely. 

No Bake Cheese Cake Filling 

3 (8oz each) packages cream cheese (room temperature) 
2/3 cups plus 6 tablespoons sugar 
1 1/2 cups whipping cream 
3 tablespoons pure vanilla extract 

In the electric mixer on high speed whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form and set aside. Then in another bowl, on medium speed, mix the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until light and creamy. Fold in the whipped cream. 

Cake Assembly 

Make cake as directed and cool completely. Slice the two cakes in half lengthwise through the middle, using a long serrated knife.  Set all four of the cake layers aside.

Place your  bottom layer on a plate. It should be evenly flat on top.  Pour and spread some of the cheesecake filling on bottom layer.  Top with a second cake layer that should be evenly flat as well.  Pour and spread some of the cheesecake filling on second layer. Add a third layer making sure it is also evenly flat on top. With a flat spatula spread the remaining filling on top and all around the sides cake.  

Next, place a pineapple ring on top of cake and gently press down into filling.  Make fine crumbs out of the final layer you did not use by using a food processor.  Apply cake crumbs to the sides of cake. Top with a maraschino cherry for an added garnish! 

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Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Incredible Shrimp Enchiladas

I'm a Maryland girl and I love seafood.  I enjoy cooking with shrimp and clams and crab and lobster and any kind of fish.  I also love Mexican food...not too spicy and with lots of cheese!  So it's only natural that one of my favorite recipes is Seafood Enchiladas....or in this case I've narrowed it down to shrimp.  You will love this recipe! Absolutely delicious!

Shrimp Enchiladas

8 (6-inch) flour tortillas
1 pound small shrimp, peeled and de-veined
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons chili Powder
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup white onion, diced finely
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (15 Oz. Size) Enchilada Sauce
2 1/2 cups grated Jack Cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9 x 13 pan with non stick cooking spray.

Toss shrimp in a tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle shrimp with cumin and chili powder and grill on skewers just until slightly pink. Set aside.

In a large skillet melt the 2 tablespoons of butter and the oil. Saute the onion and garlic until slightly soft.  Transfer onions and garlic to a plate or bowl and pour in the enchilada sauce and reduce the heat to low, allowing the sauce to warm through. Pour 1 cup of sauce into the casserole dish.

To assemble the enchiladas, dip a tortilla into the sauce then lay on a sheet pan or plate. Sprinkle some cheese down the middle, followed by some shrimp, and finally, some of the onion mixture. Roll it up tightly, then place it, seam side down, in the pan. Repeat with the rest of the tortillas.  Pour the rest of the sauce over the enchiladas, then sprinkle on the rest of the cheese. Bake it for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.  Remove it from the oven and let it sit for 15-20 minutes before serving.

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Quick And Easy Nachos

It just can't get much easier than this my friends. This is my go to when I am really hungry and want something delicious and fast. I am a simple girl with a simple appetite and so I keep my nachos pretty basic...but you can add anything you want to this basic recipe.

Quick And Easy Nachos

1/2 lb ground chuck...
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup mild cheddar
1/2 cup Monterrey Jack cheese
1 can refried beans
Round nacho chips

Mix all three cheeses in a big bowl and set aside. On medium heat fry the ground chuck until brown, breaking in up with a wooden spoon.

While meat is frying, arrange a layer of nacho chips on a dinner plate that is microwave safe. Spread some of the refried beans on a few of the chips but not every one of them. Leave some without the beans.

Drain ground beef or use a slotted spoon to sprinkle meat over the first layer of nacho chips. Then sprinkle mixed cheeses all over the top.

Start the next layer. Spread some of the refried beans on a few of the next layer of chips then sprinkle meat and then cheese all over nachos.

Build a third layer exactly the same way. Then microwave plate uncovered on high for 2 minutes until cheese is melted. Serve with sour cream or guacamole or salsa. Enjoy! 

Note: You can chilies, tomatoes, salsa, jalapenos, bacon, onions, olives, beans, and anything else you can think of.

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Mini Toffee Streusel Apple Cakes

These make such a pretty little individual dessert for each of your guess and they are so good. Decadent little mini apple pies with a Streusel topping and a wonderful toffee sauce that will have your guests asking for more! Top with ice... cream while they are still warm for an added treat!

Mini Toffee Streusel Apple Cakes

Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust 
4” spring form pans

Roll out and cut the dough into four 6-inch circles. Ease into four 4-inch spring form pans, chill in the refrigerator while you make the filling.


4 baking apples, (Gala, Golden Delicous, etc),  sliced or grated
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon powder (depending on your taste)
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cornstarch

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.


3-1/2 tablespoon cold butter, diced
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
½ cup flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Zest of ½ lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt

Mix the streusel ingredients in a bowl until crumbly.


 ¾ cup heavy cream
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tsp. vanilla

Bring cream, brown sugar and butter to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and stir occasionally for about 5 minutes. Take the saucepan out of the heat, stir in vanilla.


3 tablespoons powdered sugar
½ tsp. vanilla
1 tablespoon milk
Whisk everything in a bowl.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Divide apple combination into prepared pans, put streusel over apples. Set the small spring form pans on a sheet pan or any large oven tray. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Let them rest for about 15 minutes. Then remove pies from pans and place on serving plates. Drizzle with toffee sauce and sugar glaze on top.

Buy the four inch spring forms I use at by clicking here:

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Homemade Apple Cake with Vanilla Glaze

One of the most moist cakes you'll ever make. This is one of those throw it all in a bowl, mix it up a little and bake kind of cakes! So easy to make and so delicious! I made one on Sunday and put it in the freezer for one of those too tired to make breakfast mornings. 

Apple Cake with Vanilla Glaze

3 cups peeled, diced or sliced Honey Crisp, Fuji, or Gala apples
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/4 cup apple juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
zest of one medium orange

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium size bowl, sift together all purpose flour, wholewheat flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves; set aside.

In a small bowl toss apples, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and lemon juice; set aside. With an electric mixer, beat the white and brown sugars with the oil. Add one egg at a time mixing in each one thoroughly. Add the vanilla extract, apple juice and orange zest. 

Slowly stir in flour mixture into wet batter stirring just to combine. Fold in apples and any juices that have accumulated. Pour batter into a prepared 12-cup bundt or tube pan. Bake in preheated oven on the middle shelf for 55-60 minutes or until cake is done. 

Remove from oven and let cool in pan on baking rack for 10 minutes before turning out of pan. While cake cools, prepare the vanilla drizzle.


8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3-4 tablespoons whole milk

In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Remove pan from heat and pour butter into a bowl. Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and 3 tablespoons whole milk; stir until smooth. If the icing is too thick, add the remaining tablespoon milk, a little at a time, until consistency is thick but pourable. Let cool 5 minutes. Then use to drizzle over warm cake. Frosting will harden as cake cools.

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