My Announcements and Achievements

Monday, February 29, 2016

Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

I just got a new KitchenAid Stand Mixer so I am a Happy Cook. So yes I will be having fun using it.

Here is a recipe that will top any other Cinnamon Roll you can buy or make and it's so easy to make and the word DELICIOUS does not do them Justice. These are good for breakfast, a snack or a dessert.
Enjoy Good Food

What you need:
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter (melted)
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg (room temperature, beaten)
3 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 orange (zested)

1 stick butter (softened)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 block cream cheese (8 ounces, room temperature)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (softened)
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk
pinch kosher salt
toasted almonds or pecans (topping if desired)

How to make it:
For the Dough: in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with dough hook attachment, add the water and yeast. Sprinkle the sugar over the top and allow to stand for 5 minutes, until the yeast is frothy. Add butter, vanilla, and egg and mix to combine.
In a large bowl, add the flour, sugar, salt and orange zest and mix to combine. Add the flour mixer to the stand mixer and mix until the dough climbs up the hook and pulls away from the bowl, about 5 minutes. If the dough is too sticky add 1/2 cup additional flour.
Continue to mix the dough until shiny and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover and allow to rise until doubled in size about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Grease a 13 inch x 9 inch baking dish with cooking spray, line the bottom with parchment and spray with cooking spray.
For the Filling: on a floured surface, roll the dough to a 16" x 14" rectangle. Spread the butter over the surface and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture leaving 1/2-inch clean edge on the side furthest away. Roll into a tight log, pinching with each rotation to keep a tight spiral.
With a sharp serrated knife Slice into 12 equal pieces. Place each roll, sliced side up, in the pan, leaving some space between. Cover and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven to cool slightly.

For the Icing: in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add cream cheese and butter and whip until combined. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk and whip until light and fluffy. Ice the cinnamon rolls and serve with toasted pecans or almonds on the side.

Helpful Tips: preheat oven to 200ºF and turn off. Place dough inside the warm oven to rise.

Rolls are best enjoyed the same day, but stay fresh and soft in a covered container for 5 days. Glaze the rolls immediately before serving.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Crock Pot Red Beans and Rice

I went to Louisiana years ago and first tried Red Beans and Rice and I finally decided I could make them in the Crock Pot to save time and have them ready when we came home just as easily and they still would tasted delicious.

what you need:
1 pound dried red beans
1/2 pound andouille sausage, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 smoked ham shank
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
Kosher salt
4 cups chicken stock

8 cups cooked long-grain white rice, for serving
4 scallions, chopped

How to make it:
In a crock pot, combine the beans, andouille, celery, ham shank, onions, bell peppers, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, cayenne, onion powder, paprika, brown sugar and 2 teaspoons salt. Add the chicken stock and 2 cups water and stir to mix.

Cook on the high setting until the beans are tender, 6 to 8 hours. Season with salt. Serve with rice, topped with green onions if desired.

Blueberry Donut Egg Bacon Breakfast Sandwich

My son created this breakfast sandwich
it's a sweat and savory delight

what you need:
blueberry donuts sliced in half
fried eggs 1 for each sandwich
1 slice of cooked bacon cut in half for each sandwich

how to make it
Cook bacon till crispy as you like then drain
cook eggs how you like 
stack up bacon and egg on each sliced donut and serve warm

Sweetness and heartiness all wrapped in one breakfast sandwich
You need to try these


This meatloaf is stuffed with cheese and a thin layer of spinach then wrapped and topped with a rich mushroom tomato sauce, I like to serve it with mashed potatoes and another vegetable for a well balanced meal.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large yellow onions (thinly sliced)
1 1/2 pounds ground beef (80/20)
1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian fennel sausage (removed from casing)
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (freshly grated, 6 ounces)
2 large eggs (lightly beaten)
2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 pound pepper jack cheese (sliced)
1/2 cup spinach (chopped, stems removed)
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

1 pound cremini mushrooms (thinly sliced)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 recipe Mario's Basic Tomato Sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

How to make it:
Preheat oven to 350ºF
In a large sauté pan, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and place over medium-high heat. Add the onions and season with salt and pepper. Sauté until the onions start to caramelize, about 10 minutes. Turn the heat to low, and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onions are brown and caramelized, about 30-40 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, add the beef, sausage, breadcrumbs, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, eggs, dried oregano, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, and mix to combine.
On a baking sheet with parchment paper lined with plastic wrap, add the meatloaf mixture in a 12-by-10-inch rectangle, about 1/2-inch thick. Add an even layer of  spinach leaves then cheese, top with an even layer of caramelized onions. Starting from the long end of the plastic wrap closest to you, tightly roll up the meat loaf, tucking in the filling and using the plastic wrap to guide you. Bring the ends together to seal the meatloaf. Discard the plastic. Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the meatloaf reaches 165ºF.
Let cool 15 minutes before slicing into 1-inch pieces. Serve with Mushroom Tomato Sauce over the top.
For Mushroom Tomato Sauce: place a large high-sided sauté pan over high heat. Add the oil and mushrooms. Sauté, stirring frequently, until golden-brown. Season with salt and pepper. Add 1 recipe Mario's Basic Tomato Sauce to the pan. Bring to a simmer and set aside.

Baked Bacon Wrapped Chicken Bites

These will go fast when you serve them hot out of the oven at your next event.
Enjoy Good Food

what you need:
1 lb bacon slices cut in half
4 chicken breasts cut in bite size pieces

How to make it:
Heat oven to 350 degrees
Wrap the chicken bites in half a strip of bacon
season with cracked pepper
Place on a wire rack inside of a baking pan for crispy bacon on both sides
Bake for 20-25 minutes

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Spices in bulk Savings

So I hear all these things about so many things these days not being natural and that everything is bad for us, You too? Right? So I decided to go buy my spices in bulk, because I found SPROUTS and WHOLE FOODS near us both have bulk spices.
It's easy to do, just takes a little time but I'm feeling that I am doing such a good thing for my family and my cooking is so much tastier to boot. So it's worth the time it takes to fill the bags and take these home and refill spice jars.
So start saving your spice jars and reuse them with bulk spices, Plus in the long run., it saves $$$.
I bought all these spices shown in this picture for less than $25.00 and they will last a long time for the most part.
It's easy to refill and you know what good spices you are buying this way.
What you need:
Spices in bulk
Spice Jars(save your old ones or buy new as you need)
Good tape and labels or use Sticky notes and cut how you like
A Sharpie pen or marker
I save my spice jars, wash them out and make sure to dry well, then I make hand written or printed labels and use a good package tape to tape on the spice names and be sure to put the date I bought the spices, this is a good way to make sure you know how old your spices are and when to toss them out, I don't keep spices older than a year, if they make it that long LOL