Saturday, November 28, 2015

Better Than Cinnabon Cinnamon Buns

I love coffee. I also love sweet breakfast treats with my coffee and there is nothing better than a warm cinnamon bun. These were a huge hit and didn't last very long. I guess I will be making more soon. Also, be prepared to fight over the leftover icing. 

Cinnabon Cinnamon Bun Copycat Recipe

1 package active dry yeast
1 c warm whole milk
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/3 c butter, softened
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
4 c flour
1 c brown sugar
3 Tbsp cinnamon
1/3 c butter, softened
*Cream Cheese Icing
6 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 c powdered sugar
1/4 c cream cheese
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt

1. In large bowl, dissolve yeast in the milk.
2. Add sugar, butter, salt, eggs, and flour to mixer bowl and mix together. 
3. Pour yeast mixture in, using a dough hook mix well.
4. Place dough into oiled bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour. It should double in size
5. Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface to 16 by 12 and 1/4 inch thick.
6. Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 9 inch pie pan or baking sheet.
7. Make filling by combining the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl.
8. Spread mixture evenly over dough. 
9. From the long edge, roll dough tightly.
10. Cut into 1 1/2 inch slices using fishing line. 
11. Place rolls into prepared pan. Cover with a damp towel and let rise for another 30 minutes. 
12. Bake fr 20 minutes or until golden brown.
13. While rolls are baking, make the icing by combining all ingredients with mixer until fluffy.
14. When done spread generously with icing. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Best Cranberry Sauce

I was going to wait until after to post some of the recipes I used for Thanksgiving but this one is too good to share. I will add more pictures later. This is an easy to put together meal. I made mine two days in advance so the flavor a can mix and I might make another batch!

 Best Cranberry Sauce

1 12 oz bag of cranberries, washed
2 large oranges
1 cup maple syrup 

1. Zest oranges and add to a medium saucepan
2. Add cranberries
3. Squeeze the juice from the oranges
4. Pour in the maple syrup
6. Bring mix to a gentle boil over medium heat
7. Reduce to low heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or until it is nice and thick
8. Transfer to a dish and cover. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

You can make and store for up to 2 days in the fridge.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Carrot Cake Muffins

I remember growing up and there being carrot cake at some place we were eating. I also remember thinking why would I want to eat cake that has a vegetable in it!?! So up until now, I had never eaten carrot cake but when you get a wheelbarrow full of carrots, it's time to try it. It turned out better than I could imagine and it went so well with the buttercream icing. Now, I just need to make more and practice icing them. (Darn the bad luck)

Carrot Cake Muffins

1 1/2 c all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c granulated sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 c apple sauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 c shredded carrots
1/2 c chopped nuts or chocolate, optional


**Pre-heat oven 350
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and sugar. Stir until mixed evenly.
2. Add beaten eggs, apple sauce, and vanilla. Stir until mixed well. (Dry ingredients should be all mixed in.)
3. Fold in carrots.
4. In a greased muffin tin or lined with liners (I used the silicon reusable ones), fill with batter until 2/3 full. A ice cream scoop works great.
5. Bake in oven for 22-25 minutes.
6. Let cool in pan for about 15 minutes and then move to rack to cool completely. 
7. Add icing if you would like.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Carrot Soup

Other than a wood stove, one of the best things about colder weather is soup (okay, maybe a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows). There is something comforting about a nice warm cup of soup on a cold day. I found this recipe to help use some of the wheelbarrow carrots. I will not lie, I was not thinking this would be really good. But it was and is even better with a nice bread bowl. 

Be careful when asking your husband to hand you the hot sauce... always read the label!

Carrot Soup


3 Tbsp olive oil
2 lbs carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large onion, sliced thin
2 Tbsp minced garlic
32 oz chicken broth
2 strips bacon, cooked
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp hot sauce


1. Heat oil in a pot.
2. Add carrots, onions, and garlic and cook for 15 minutes, until carrots are tender.
3. Put the vegetables into a blender and puree.
4. Add broth and continue to puree.
5. Pour back into the pot and heat.
6. Add bacon, season with salt and pepper, and hot sauce. 
7. Simmer until ready to serve.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

French Vanilla Creamer

So again I made a different creamer. The base of it is the same just the flavor is different. Not only are they good but it you look at the ingredients on creamers you purchase and the fact that this one only has 3 items it absurd. 

French Vanilla Creamer

1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz)

1 3/4 c whole milk (or any milk that you prefer)
2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Mix all ingredients together
2. Shake well before use.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Bourbon Glazed Carrots

Get ready for all the carrot posts... We dug our carrots up and filled a wheelbarrow full. I think my eye sight is actually getting better! 

This recipe turned out better than I thought it would and it was so delicious. Whiskey glazed carrots would make a great side dish for Thanksgiving or Christmas. It is so easy to make and so good.

Bourbon Glazed Carrots

1 stick butter, cut in chunks
2 lbs carrots, cut into 1-2 inch thick circles
1/2 c whiskey (I used Crown Royal)
3/4 brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
Pepper to taste

1. Melt 1 Tbsp butter in cast iron skillet.
2. Add carrots in batches, cooking for about a minute each. Remove from skillet.
3. Pour whiskey into skillet (be careful if using a gas oven.) and allow 30 secons to evaporate. 
4. Reduce heat to medium and add remaining butter.
5. After butter melts, sprinkle in the brown sugar and stir together.
6. Add carrots back and stir in. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
7. Add salt and pepper.
8. Continue to cook until carrots are done and glaze has thickened. 
9. Pour into platter and serve immediately. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Easy Buttercream Icing

For the longest time I always thought that icing was this difficult, evil recipe and that is why you should just buy it from the store. But I came to the day where I made carrot cake muffins and my husband asked if I was going to ice them. I looked to the pantry and found nothing. So I found a recipe and crossed my fingers. Boy did it work. This icing is so good and creamy. Be prepared for a fight over who gets the extras. 

Buttercream Icing

1/2 c butter, softened (1 stick)
2 tsp vanilla
3-5 Tbsp milk
4 c powdered sugar

1. Add butter to the mixer and beat the butter on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
2. Just before 3 minutes, add vanilla and milk, continue beating.
3. Reducing to medium low, add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time.
4. Beat for about 3 more minutes, moving to a high speed. (You can add food coloring if you want during this part.) (If frosting is too stiff add a little milk)
5. Spread on cakes, cupcakes, or cookies!

Naan "Fried Bread"

One of our dear friends invited us over for dinner, she was cooking Indian food. I never realized how delicious and flavorful the food was. There was this one item that I could just eat like chips. Naan is fried bread and is good with just about anything, even just by itself. I made some last night just to try it out and my husband and I were pulling a Forrest Gump, listing everything that it would be good with naan. We even ate them as snacks with hummus. They really do just go well with everything!


1 package active dry yeast
1 c warm water
1/4 c white sugar
3 Tbsp milk
1 egg, beaten
2 tsp salt
4 1/2 c bread flour (all purpose flour also works)
2 tsp minced garlic (optional)
1/4 c butter, melted

1. In large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and let sit for 10 minutes. 
2. Mix in sugar, milk, egg, salt, and flour (1 c at a time). Stir until a soft dough forms.
3. Knead on a lightly floured surface for 6 to 8 minutes. 
4. Place dough in a oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth and let sit for 1 hour or until dough has doubled in volume. 
5. Punch dough down. (You can knead in the garlic at this point). Pinch off small handfuls of dough (golf ball size) and roll into balls. Place on a cookie sheet and cover with towel. Let rise for 30 minutes.
6. In a skillet, heat lard or oil. (We used lard the first half and peanut oil the second half both were just as good.)
7. Take dough ball and roll out into a thin circle. Place in grill. Brush the top side with butter and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. The side being cooked will be lightly brown. 
8. Flip over and brush the cooked side with butter and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. 
9. Remove and place on a plate with paper towels. These are best served warm.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Skillet Biscuits

So obviously I need to cut back on bread... but it is so good! These skillet biscuits are so good and even have the layers (just like the canned ones). These are making their way to my dinning room table for Thanksgiving (which I have a whole game plan for... it has a binder and all!) For thanksgiving I am going to simply mix all of the dry ingredients together and store in a mason jar. 

Skillet Biscuits

2 c all purpose flour
1 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
8 Tbsp butter, cut in cubes
3/4 c milk

Preheat oven to 425.
1. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix well.
2. Cut in butter until it resembles cornmeal.
3. Push ingredients to the sides, making a bowl in the middle. Pour in milk.
4. Knead dough. 
5. Roll dough out onto lightly floured surface 1/4 inch. Fold in half and then fold in half again. (This will help with the layers). Roll back out to desired thickness.
6. Butter the bottom of the skillet.
7. Using a biscuit cutter, cut out biscuits and place in the skillet.
8. Place in oven for 12 minutes or until golden brown. I like to take mine 1/2 through and add butter on top.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Squirrel Dumplins

So for our anniversary my husband got me a new gun for squirrel hunting. So of course I drug him out to take me squirrel hunting and it was a complete success! I got 5 my first time. So now what do you do with them... I had never cooked squirrel before and we got this recipe from a friend for squirrel dumplings. They turned out so good my husband does not want to share them. If you do not have squirrels or do not hunt it is a simple fix to substitute chicken in for the squirrel.

Squirrel Dumplings
**Broth and Squirrel
5 medium sized squirrels
10 c water
Salt and Pepper
1 12oz can evaporated milk
1/2 stick butter

4 c all purpose flour
5 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
3 Tbsp lard
2 c buttermilk

1. In a crockpot, add the water, squirrel, and salt and pepper. Cook on high for 4-5 hours.
2. Remove squirrel and pour broth into a large pot on a medium to medium high temperature.
3. Add evaporated milk and butter to the broth.
4. Make dumplings: in a large mixing bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda together.
5. Cut in lard until it looks like coarse corn meal. 
6. Add buttermilk and stir until soft dough forms.
7. Divide into 4 balls. Roll (one ball at a time) out to 1/8-1/4 inch thick rectangles and cut into large squares. **Note the thinner you make them the thinner the dumplings.
8. Return broth to a boil (if there pot is not 1/2 full then add extra water), add in dumplings a little at at time. Stir.
9. Cover and let simmer on low for 15 minutes. 
10. Remove from heat stir in the squirrel. Stir until hot.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Thanksgiving Menu

I have never cooked a holiday meal before! So why not go with one of the biggest meals right?? (What am I thinking!) My husband has been making fun of me for this but I completely made a binder that has everything that I will be cooking... (and maybe a plan on what to do when...) Okay, I'll admit I might be taking this a little too far!

This is the menu I am planning on fixing... (of course I will let you know how it turns out.)

I am making a pumpkin roll, rye bread with beau monde dip, oyster stuffing, green bean casserole, sweet potato dish, baked apples, wild rice, cinnamon butter, skillet biscuits, cranberry sauce, and of course a little southern pecan pie. My husband said he will take care of the turkey.

This does seem like a lot and as I am reading this over again I do have my doubts. But when you look at some of this, most can be made ahead of time and set a side until the day of. 

The game plan will be coming up later... stay tuned.. (and yes it is called the game plan)

Monday, November 2, 2015

Hot Pepper Mustard

This one is completely all for my husband. If you attempt this... do this all outside! The smell and acid from the peppers is really strong! We even put the Ninja outside. But it did get rave reviews from everyone.

Canned Hot Pepper Mustard
Makes 14 1/2 pint jars
40 banana peppers (we mixed in some habanero, Thai as well), stems removed
4 c. yellow mustard
5 c. sugar
1 c. honey (spray cup with olive oil to make it pour out easy)
4 c. Apple Cider vinegar
1 Tbsp salt
1 1/2 c. flour
1 c. water

1. Put peppers in processor and process until smooth.
2. Pour into large pot and stir in mustard, sugar, honey, apple cider vinegar, and salt.
3. Bring to a boil (should not stop boiling when you stir)
4. Stir together flour and water, until smooth.
5. Pour into boiling mixture.
6. Continue to boil, stirring for about 5 minutes.
7. Pour into sterile jars and seal.
8. Place in a water bath for 5 to 10 minutes.