Friday, June 27, 2014

DB: Roasted Banana Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Frosting

This month the Daring Bakers kept our creativity rolling with cinnamon bun inspired treats. Shelley from C Mom Cook dared us to create our own dough and fill it with any filling we wanted to craft tasty rolled treats, cinnamon not required!

As you know, I'm a sucker for cinnamon rolls so I was beyond excited when I read our challenge for The Daring Bakers this month was cinnamon rolls.  But, it didn't have to be a simple cinnamon roll, we could create a roll with any type of filling we wanted! 
Hmmm, what should I fill that wonderfully fluffy, pillow-y dough with?  Nutella? Raspberries? Chocolate?  I mean the options just keep going.  But then, I saw it.  I know it's not an original creation, but I saw roasted banana cinnamon rolls and that was it.  The bells and whistles were going off in my head.  A roll filled with brown sugar roasted bananas.  Oh, but it didn't stop there.  Not that cream cheese frosting is ever disappointing but these bad boys were topped with a maple frosting.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Chewin' Tuesday: Creamy Bacon Potato Salad

One of my favorite daytime shows is The Chew.  I love it; love the hosts, the topics, the recipes, everything.  Since I started staying home I've been able to watch it regularly and I honestly can't get enough of Clinton, Carla, Daphne, Michael and Mario.  I love listening to them, I learn from them, they make me laugh, and it's an hour of time I take just for me.  I look forward to each and every episode and literally drool over each and every recipe.  I find myself bookmarking and adding pretty much every recipe I see them make to our menu and my list of menu options has grown by leaps and bounds, I honestly can't keep up!  Since I love The Chew so much and we've inhaled everything I've made from the show, I decided to start doing a series called "Chewin' Tuesday".

Each Tuesday I am going to start sharing a recipe from Chew with all of you.  So, without further or due I present to you the first of many installments of Chewin' Tuesday.

For the first recipe of this series I wanted to share a side.  But not just any side, a creamy bacon potato salad.  Since we're entering summer and grilling season, I thought a potato salad would be ideal.  When I saw Curtis Stone making this potato salad and describing the tastes and elements during the process my mouth was literally watering.  I have several potato salad recipes, but honestly, I can never have enough side options, and potato salad is one of my all time favorite sides.  It's easy, pretty much everyone love is and it can be made in advance, leaving you more time to enjoy the sun, cookouts and your guests.  It's a win win.

Monday, June 23, 2014

SRC: Cornflake Biscuits

Before this month I had never heard of a cornflake biscuit.  But while I was perusing Food Baby Life, the blog I was assigned for this month's Secret Recipe Club exchange, I came across an unusual recipe.  One that I had never had or heard of before.  But apparently it is a rather common recipe in Australia.  Aside from being a common recipe, it's a favorite among adults and children alike.  After reading that Susan had enjoyed these as a child and now makes them for her own children I knew I had to try this recipe that she held so close to her heart.
I wasn't quite sure what consistency to expect with these biscuits.  Initially, just from the title, I expected something along the lines of what we enjoy for breakfast or with our fried chicken.  But after looking at the picture and taking in what she said, that they are a great snack or lunchbox treat, I thought that they could go a whole new direction.  Still, I was intrigued.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Fail-Proof Pizza Dough and Cheesy Garlic Bread Sticks

There are some foods that I could take or leave, some that I just have to be in the mood for, but then there's pizza.  Oh, glorious, cheesy pizza.  I love pizza, and if I'm not addicted to it then I'm close to it.  I could eat pizza multiple times a week, and honestly, sometimes I do.  Tucker, like me, is obsessed with the stuff.  If I give him the option to choose what we have for supper one of the first things that comes out of his mouth is pizza. 

Since pizza is such a popular request for him, I try to let him choose whether we stay in or eat out.  It's a toss up, sometimes we'll go to one of our favorite local pizza joints and other times we'll stay home.  It all depends on his mood and if he feels like playing games or just vegging.  On those nights we stay home, I try to make pizza night special. 

Our pizza night is typically Friday, because pizza is the perfect way to end the week.  Our pizza night usually consists of me and my little guy tossing the dough, and yes, we literally toss the dough and he laughs his head off the whole time.  Then he helps me make the cheese sticks and "his" pizza.  After they go in the oven, we go set up our spot in the living room, pop in a movie and wait for the pizzas to come out of the oven.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Fudgy Tar Heel Pie

I'm a sucker for sweets in general.  If it has sugar, give me a plate and a fork and I'll dig in to whatever is on the table.  Fruity, chocolate, vanilla, brown sugar, cookies, cake, ice cream, pie and so on, I don't discriminate.  I love all my desserts, but there's one thing that is my ultimate weakness.  What's that you ask?  Well, a good ol' simple fudgy brownie.
The type of brownie that has a slightly crispy top, but then once you penetrate that barrier it's fudgy and almost sticks to your teeth.  Oh, you know what I'm talking about.  I'd be lying if I said my mouth wasn't watering just thinking about that pure perfection.

Friday, June 13, 2014

{Baked} S'mores Donuts for Dad

Donuts are a staple at breakfast on the weekends.  At least one day of the weekend we either enjoy a batch of homemade donuts, or we load up and head to our favorite shop and rack up a collection of delicious, light and fluffy donuts.  So, since father's day is right around the corner I thought I'd only be fitting to share a decadent and indulgent donut recipe that you can make for pop on his special day.

When Tucker was in daycare they would always go above and beyond to make moms and dads feel special on Mother's and Father's day.  For moms they would always have muffins for moms and they would serve various flavors of muffins along with juice and coffee.  For the dads they would always have donuts for dads and serve donuts along with juice and coffee.  It was a little way to show how much they appreciated not only us but our kids.  Tucker isn't in daycare anymore, but the donut for dads is still stuck in my head so I decided to make an over the top donut for Tucker to give Spencer this Sunday. 

This, my friends, isn't just your basic donut.  It's not even a basic donut that has a fancy or off the wall frosting.  This is a s'mores donut.  A graham cracker donut, topped with roasted marshmallow buttercream and drizzled in a dark chocolate.  Oh. My. Word.  Right? 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Sweet and Spicy Nut Mix

I have long been a fan of snack mix; the regular ol' seasoned mix, sweet and salty and even the variety that has a drizzle of chocolate.  I'm not prejudice, I like them all.  My favorite part of any snack mix is those little overly-seasoned pieces.  I will pick through an entire bag of snack mix and search for those little pieces of seasoned goodness.

So what's your favorite part of snack mix?  The nuts, cereal, pretzels, pieces of rye toast?  Or, are you like me, and like the overly-seasoned pieces?

I'm addicted to all the deliciousness so much that I've been wanting to make my own for so long, but for some reason or another just haven't gotten around to it...until now.  And it couldn't be better timing since Father's Day is right around the corner.  What better snack to give dad than a big bowl full of sweet and spicy mix filled with a variety of nuts, pretzels and rice cereal.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Ale and Pretzel Soft Caramels

This week it's all about dads.  I've been featuring a variety of recipes and easy DIY gift ideas that the special guy in your life would love.  From a fun s'mores filled beer mug to brown sugar bacon cookies (The ultimate man cookie), there have been some fun and delicious ideas shared with you so far this week, and the ideas don't stop there.  For the next 3 days I am going to have some delicious recipes that will be sure to win dad over.

Like these ale and pretzel caramels.  The salty and sweet combination is obvious in here; sweet and chew caramel paired with salty and crunchy pretzels.  Could it really get any better?  Um, the answer here is yes!  This winning combination has another addition that truly puts this candy over the top, beer.  And we're not talking just taking a bottle of beer and dumping it in the mix; this is beer two ways.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

S'mores Filled Beer Mug

Are you still searching for gifts for dad?  We're on the downhill stretch to Father's day!  Today I have a fun little gift to share with you.  One that is so simple but perfect for the dad that is a beer connoisseur as well as a s'mores enthusiast. 
There's not a lot to this mug, but it is incredibly fun to make.  You could also go one step further and personalize a mug by etching your dad's name or initials on it.  When I started thinking about this idea I started thinking about all the different types of beer and the coloration of them.  I wanted to do a mug that held the makings for s'mores since Spencer LOVES s'mores, and my mind automatically went to a dark, amber style beer.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Brown Sugar Bacon Cookies- A.K.A The Ultimate Man Cookies

Oh. My. Goodness.  Have I got a cookie for you.  A cookie that has IT all.  Bacon. Sweet. Salty. Nutty. Cararmel-y. Chocolate.  Oh, and did I mention bacon?  Yeah, it's got all that.  Are you sold yet?

This is a whopper of a cookie to say the least.  A quarter cup of dough, pressed out to fit in a muffin top pan.  A pan, that I have been anticipating to use for a couple of months now.  A pan, that I knew would help the cookies to hold their shape, ensuring that they were the perfect size and width.  Can you tell I was chomping at the bit to use this pan?

But, back to the cookie.  When I started thinking of Father's day and what foods dads would want to enjoy on their special day, my mind instantly went to sweets.  But not just any sweets.  A cookie.  A cookie that was thick and chewy, kind of caramel-like undertones.  One that was packed with not one, but two kinds of chocolate and then salt.  Salt of two variations; chips and bacon.  These elements would comprise the ultimate man cookie.  But, I wanted to take it one step farther.  What else?  Brown butter.  The magical stuff that dreams are made of.  The substance that just makes everything better.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

"You're an Awesome Pop" Gift Bucket

Father's day is exactly one week from today.  Have you already shopped for, purchased and wrapped the gift(s) for those special men in your life?  Or, are you frantically scouring the net trying to find the perfect gift for your guy?

Shopping for Father's Day gifts can be a daunting task.  You want to find just the right gift to say thanks for being the best dad ever.  Sometimes the hard part is finding something that the person doesn't have.  That's the problem I have when it comes to my dad, the dad who has everything.  Although he doesn't care about getting stuff, I still like to get him something special, even if it's a little something special.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Creamy Potato Salad

We've hit our first of many 90 degree days.  Hello heat, humidity...hello summer.  I know we haven't made it to the first "official" day of summer, but I believe it's safe to say summer is here.  The heat is here, pools are opened up and kids are out of school.  This also means it's cookout season.  Grills are being dusted off and fired up, roaring to cook steaks, burgers, chops and much more.

For me, planning the entree isn't the hard part; it's the sides that give me fits.  I feel like I have a nice variety in the entree realm, but the sides are a different story.  I feel like I get in a rut; I make the same few things over and over again and try to rotate them in such a way that the family doesn't get burned out.  Does anyone feel my pain?

One thing to keep in mind is keep the sides simple.  I know I don't want to be in the house prepping and assembling the side dishes while everyone else is out visiting and enjoying the summer sun.  I am always on the lookout for dishes that can be assembled quickly, or even better, ahead of time.  This will require very little time in the kitchen, away from your guests. Cool dishes are also a plus, especially on a hot summer day.

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