Sunday, July 31, 2011

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

 Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 Tablespoon canola oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten

1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

4 Tablespoons butter
2 ounces cream cheese
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

 Prepare pancake batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk in milk, oil and egg, just until batter is moistened (a few small lumps are fine).  In a medium bowl, mix butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Scoop the filling into a small zip baggie, or disposable piping bag and set aside. You don't want this to remain super-liquidy. It's best if it becomes a consistency similar to toothpaste.  In a medium, microwave-safe bowl- heat butter and cream cheese until melted. Whisk together until smooth; whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla extract; set aside.  Heat large skillet over medium-low heat. Grease. Scoop about 3/4 cup batter onto the skillet. Snip the corner of your baggie of filling and squeeze a spiral of the filling onto the top of the pancake. When bubbles begin to appear on the surface, flip carefully with a thin spatula, and cook until browned on the underside. Top with cream cheese glaze.


-Keep the heat low or your pancakes might cook up too quickly. Don't flip them until you see those bubbles starting to pop on top. Flip them with a wide spatula so you can grasp the whole thing without batter and filling dripping all over the place!
-If your baggie of filling begins to get too thick, just pop it in the microwave for a few seconds to soften it up again. On that same note, it shouldn't be too runny. The consistency of soft toothpaste is perfect. If it's melty and runny, it will tend to run all over your pancakes. Once you micro it, let it sit on the counter at room temp for a while until it thickens slightly.
**I loved this picture of them on the griddle!
**These were so great for a fun Sunday lunch! And I sneaked in the healthy pancake (School Pancake Mix) and they loved them.  I doubt I'll ever try the pancake recipe if it's this easy to get away with sneaking in the healthy!
** I piped my cream cheese glaze on too, but I'm sure it could be done a little prettier.

School Pancake Mix

School Pancake Mix

2 1/2 C whole wheat flour
1 C buttermilk powder
5 T dried egg whites
1/4 C sugar
1 1/2 T baking powder
2 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 C flaxseed meal
1 C nonfat dry milk
1/2 C wheat bran or oat bran

Mix dry ingredients together and store in an airtight container in refrigerator.  When ready to make, mix:
2 C pancake mix
1 1/2 C skim milk
2 T canola oil
1 t vanilla
Cook on a griddle and top with favorite toppings.

** I have a silly little rule that school morning breakfasts have to have at least 5g of fiber per serving. As you can imagine, my kids live for weekend breakfasts. However, these pancakes are great (6g fiber and 9g protein per 2 - 4inch pancakes), and I let them put whatever they want on them! Tons of syrup, I don't care!

Pumpkin Pancakes

Do one batch of pancakes (2 C mix etc.)
And add:
1 C pumpkin
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Mix and cook as usual. Best with buttermilk syrup.

**The pumpkin adds another gram of fiber and maybe .5 g of protein! Nice! So much good and they don't even know it!

 Gingerbread Pancakes

Do one batch of pancakes (2 C mix etc.)
And add:
1 T molasses
1/4 t cloves
1/4 t allspice
3/4 t ginger (may increase to 1 t if kids like it)
1/2 t cinnamon

Mix and cook as usual. Best with buttermilk syrup. And some cinnamon whip cream can't hurt!
**Looking at all my pancakes, they all look so's because I have a grill with a mind of it's own.

Banana Pancakes

Do one batch of pancakes (2 C mix etc.)
And add:
1 C mashed bananas
Mix and cook as usual. Best with buttermilk syrup. (My kids preferred the badder blended, I used a hand blender.) Serve with sliced bananas on top.

Lime-Cilantro Quinoa with Pineapple

Lime-Cilantro Quinoa with Pineapple

1 C quinoa
2 C water
2 T butter
2 T fresh lime juice
1 (8oz) can crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 C fresh cilantro
Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Cook quinoa according to package directions in a rice cooker or saucepan.  When done cooking, let rest for 5 minutes then add butter, lime juice, pineapple and cilantro.  Stir to combine, then add salt and pepper to taste.

Stacked Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas

Stacked Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas

1 poblano chile, cut into matchsticks
2 red bell peppers, cut into matchsticks (I used one red and one yellow for color)
1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 yam, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 medium onion, halved and slivered
1-2 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen
3 T olive or canola oil
2 tsp ground cumin
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and black pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 cups homemade or store bought pico de gallo
6 C fresh spinach
14-18 corn tortillas, halved
3 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
sour cream and thinly sliced green onions for garnish, if desired

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly oil a large shallow roasting pan or rimmed cookie sheet.

Place poblanos, red bell peppers, cauliflower, yam, onion, and corn kernels into a bowl. Pour olive oil into separate bowl, add the cumin and minced garlic to oil. Add a generous pinch or two of salt (important) and black pepper, then pour over vegetables and mix well, coating all the vegetables with oil.  After everything is coated well, spread the vegetables evenly in a shallow roasting pan or rimmed cookie sheet.  Roast for 30-40 minutes until vegetables are tender and begin to brown in spots. Stir or shake the pan every 10 minutes for even roasting.  Remove pan from oven and reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F.

Prepare an 9 x 13 baking pan with nonstick spray. In a small bowl, stir the cilantro into the salsa. Spread 1/2 cup of salsa into the bottom of the baking pan. Add a layer of tortilla pieces, to completely cover the salsa. Top with 1/3 of the vegetables, 3 C of spinach, and 1 C of the cheese. Make a second layer of tortilla, salsa, vegetables, spinach, and cheese. Top with with a layer of tortillas, salsa, vegetables, and cheese. Cover with aluminum foil.

Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 10 minutes, until cheese is melted and everything is heated through.

Let it sit for 5 minutes and cut into squares. Serve with Guacamole, sour cream and a sprinkle of sliced scallions.

**Adapted from The Roasted Vegetable by Andrea Chesman
**We have this with Lime-Cilantro Quinoa with Pineapple, and it was a great combo for a vegetarian meal!

Mexican Cheesecake

Mexican Cheesecake

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese ( softened) 
1 1/2 cups sugar  (divided)
2 eggs 
2 (8 ounce) cans crescent rolls 
1/2 C  butter (melted)
1 T cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350°F.  Mix cream cheese, eggs, 1 cup of sugar (reserve 1/2 cups of sugar for the topping). Roll out 1 can of crescent rolls and places on bottom of buttered 13 x 9 glass cake pan. Pour mixture on top of crescent rolls.  Roll out other can of crescent rolls and place on top of mixture. (If seams come undone while rolling out. pinch together).  Mix 1/2 cup of sugar and 1 T of cinnamon in different bowl.  Spread melted butter on top of crescent rolls.  Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon mixture on top of butter.  Place in oven for 30-40 minutes depending on your oven.  Let cool. Serve with whipped cream.
**Much easier to cut and serve when cool, but yummy when warm too!  

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Christy's Shrimp and Grits

Christy's Shrimp and Grits

Marinate for an hour or so:

2 lbs of raw de-veined and peeled shrimp
olive oil
fresh parsley
fresh basil
lemon juice
(No official measurements were given....1/4 C oil? 1/4 C lemon? 1/4 C basil and parsley? 2 t garlic?)

Place on skewers and cook on grill.

Cheese Grits
2 C Grits
8 C water
4 C cheddar (grated finely....melts easier) (Hans and the kids prefer less cheese ..3 1/2 C?)
6 T butter
salt and pepper
(extra milk if need to thin)
Bring water to a boil, add grits and cook until thickened, stirring often with a whisk to break up chunks.  When thickened, but still soupy, add butter and cheese, stirring until well blended. Add some milk if it thickens up too much.  (Keep warm until shrimp are ready!)

Serve with 2 slices of crisp bacon and a Flying Biscuit!

**My southern friend Christy cooked this for me...never having anything like this before, I loved it!  It was down home cooking, with a gourmet flare and flavor! Sure to become a family favorite, if for nothing else, the bacon seals the deal! Thanks Christy!
**Enough for 4 very generous adult servings, but could easy feed 2 adults and 4 kids...just depends on how many shrimp they like.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011



3 medium avocados, scooped from the skins (about 1 1/4 C)
1 T fresh lime juice
1/2 -1 t fresh garlic, minced (to taste)
2 T finely minced onion
1/4 C sour cream
3-4 T diced tomatoes (optional)
kosher salt to taste
pepper to taste

Mash avocado with a fork in a small mixing bowl.  Add remaining ingredients and combine.  Add tomatoes at the end. Refrigerate in an airtight container, or cover with plastic wrap pushing down onto the guacamole, sealing out all air.  If possible, make about 30 minutes before serving to allow flavors to mingle. (From Our Best Bites Cookbook)

**I love all guac, but particularly love one that isn't spicy.  Let the salsa have the heat, because I love the heat, but then the guac can cool it down!

Christy's Tres Leches Cake

Christy's Tres Leches Cake

3/4 C butter, softened
1 1/2 C sugar
9 egg yolks
1 t vanilla
2 C flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 C milk
9 egg whites
1 t cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease and flour (or spray with Pam) a 9 x 13 pan (better if it's a little deeper than normal).

Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until whites form stiff peaks. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the vanilla.  Sift together the flour and baking powder.  Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk; beat well after each addition.  Gently fold egg whites into the batter using a rubber spatula.  Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

While cake is baking, mix:
4 C heavy cream
1 lg can evaporated milk
2 14oz cans sweetened condensed milk
Wisk until mixed well.

Right when the cake is taken out of the oven, using a wood kebob stick, pierce cake all over (each hole about 1/4 inch apart from the next).  The cake will fall. As soon as cake is adequately pierced (it may look messy, but don't worry, it will be covered with whipped cream), slowly pour the three milk mixture over the cake, allowing it to absorb.  It may look like it is going to over flow, but give it time to absorb and more milk can be poured in.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Just before serving (or an hour before), whip:
2 cups whipping cream
Until almost stiff then add:
1/2 C powdered sugar (or more if desired)
1 t vanilla

Spread over the Tres Leches Cake and serve nice big pieces! Lovely with a little fruit on the top or side!

**My friend Christy made this for me and I died and went to Heaven! I couldn't stop thinking about it, so a few days later, I made it for Hans and the gang...everyone loved it! Thanks Christy!

Cucumber Lime Drink

Cucumber Lime Drink

2L Sprite Zero (Just one big bottle)
½ 12oz can limeade concentrate
1 cucumber peeled and sliced (Or use a English cucumber and don't peel.)
Mix sprite and concentrate, add cucumbers and refrigerate until ready to serve.

**So yummy with Mexican food. 

Baja Fish Tacos

Baja Fried Fish Tacos

1 C dark beer  (Or Ginger Ale)                     
1 C flour
1 t salt                         
1 1/2 pounds tilapia (I use frozen Tilapia Loins from Costco)
Canola Oil                     
12-16 corn tortillas warmed

Whisk beer, flour and salt. Rinse fish and pat dry; cut cross wise into 1 inch wide strips.  Pour about 1 inch of oil into 10-12 inch fry pan (tall sides are good to prevent oil splatter).  Heat oil on med-high heat. With a fork dip each piece of fish into batter, let drain briefly and then slide into oil, a few pieces at a time.  Cook until golden turning a few times.  2-4 minutes per batch.  Remove with a slotted spoon and put on a paper towel lines cooking sheet. Keep warm in a 200 degree oven.  Must be served with Cabbage and cilantro slaw and chipotle tartar sauce,

Cabbage Cilantro Slaw
1 1/2 quarts finely shredded cabbage         
1/3 C chopped cilantro
3 T lime juice                     
2 T oil
1/4 t hot chile flakes                 
salt to taste
Mix and keep chilled until ready to assemble tacos.

Chipotle Tartar Sauce
Rinse 2 T canned chipotle chiles and discard seeds and veins.

In a blender, blend the chiles with:
1 C mayo
1/4 C sweet pickle relish
1/4 C chipped onion until smooth.

To assemble taco, take a corn tortilla and top with a couple pieces of fish, then a spoonful of slaw and sauce to taste.  Yummy with lime juice squeezed over the top.

**I love these tacos! The hot crunchy fish, with the cold crunchy slaw and the warm spicy tartar...oh its heaven for me.  And I love them on a yummy corn tortilla (homemade if you have the time)!  You could get away with not frying the fish, or using a different slaw or lettuce, but don't substitute the tartar!
**Hans' sister Holly made these for me years ago and I have been thanking her ever since! Along with a ton of other fave the midnight cake!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Roll Ups

 Roll Ups

2 eggs
1 C milk
1 C Bisquick

Serve with cinnamon, sugar and fresh lemon. No other way. :)

Blend in a blender. Cook in a large skillet over medium heat, by melting a little butter (1/4 tsp) and pouring batter to make about a 4-5 inch circle. Tilt and swirl the pan to spread batter, like you are making a crepe. When mostly cooked through, ease spatula under the roll up (the middle usually has a little spot that sticks) and flip. Re-invert on to a plate.  Butter generously, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and squeeze some lemon over the sugar.  Roll up and eat.

**This recipe gives me grief. Sometimes they stick, somettimes they don't. So sometimes I add a little oil (a tablespoon to a double batch of batter) and sometimes I add a little more Bisquick to thicken the roll up a bit. But no matter what I do, the first one is always a disaster.

**This is what I ate almost every Saturday growing up.  I can see my Mom with a dish towel on her shoulder, swirling the pan, and all of us waiting impatiently because they couldn't come fast enough.  My kids love them and every once in a while they try to add syrup and I shudder. Long live the Roll Up!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Peanut Butter Yum

Peanut Butter Yum

3 C  white chocolate chips
1 1/4 C peanut butter

Melt together in pyrex bowl in microwave or in double boiler on stove to prevent burning.
Pour over...

8 C rice krispies
1 bag of small marshmallows (10.5 oz bag)
1 C  milk chocolate chips
1 C  mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 C Reeses pieces

Mix well and pour onto a foil lined cookie sheet.  Refrigerate until set.  Break apart or cut before serving.  Best flavor is at room temperature, but are yummy cold too.

* I love having a big bowl of broken up chunks for a fun gathering!