Saturday, April 24, 2010

Cinnamon Steusel Bread

This past Wednesday was "Administrative Professional's Day"! It was a fantastic time to celebrate those fabulous assistants, secretaries, and receptionists. I baked a delicious and very moist banana rum cake for our office. That delicious cake can easily be made into a bread. One of the reasons I love baking cakes and breads is because they're so versatile. I love to combine new flavors and levels of sweetness.

My mom used to make a cake version of this delightful cinnamon streusel bread you could hardly keep me out of it. And as always, altering ingredients can lower the fat and calorie content.


3 c. baking mix
1/2 c. sugar
1/3 c. flour
1 c. milk
1 egg


1/3 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp. flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tbsp. cold butter
2/3 c. chopped nuts (optional)

Mix the streusel ingredients together until it becomes crumbly. Set aside. Combine baking mix, sugar, flour, milk, and egg. Beat until mixed. Spread half of the batter into greased loaf pan, 9 x 5 x 3 inch. Sprinkle the streusel mixture on top. Place remaining half of batter in pan, spreading evenly. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes or until wooden pick comes out clean. Cool on wire rack before slicing.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Women Behaving Badly

Sometimes, I love making those special once-in-a-while sort of complicated recipes that you truly only pull out for special occasions, either because it's costly or time consuming or just a level of difficulty that's easier to complete by winning Olympic Gold.

Welllllll, I attemped and succeeded at a new idea for a recipe, and it turned out amazing. Sometimes it's okay to have an over-the-top delicious and fattening weekend brunch.

Try this Praline Topped French Toast Casserole.
*It's an overnight recipe, so plan ahead.

1 large loaf fresh French Bread
4 eggs
2 cups milk (or 1 cup milk+1 cup half and half)1 tsp Vanilla
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Nutmeg

Praline topping:
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
2 Tablespoons Maple syrup
Slice bread into 3/4 to 1" slices. Layer overlapping pieces in a generously buttered 13x9" dish.

In a medium bowl, mix together next 5 ingredients with a whisk or hand mixer, but do not let eggs get bubbly. Pour mixture over the bread and in between the slices. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Mix together the praline topping and spoon over the sliced bread.

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour. Serve warm with maple syrup!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

"You say goodbye, and I say hello, hello, hello...."

Sorry for my absence. I think I'm apologizing more to blogger than I apologize to anyone who actually reads my blog. I've been a super busy bee this spring.

For spring break this year, my 2 daughters took their annual trip to see their dad's family...for 2 whole weeks. So, I spent my time crafting and filling orders for my newest venture, Cursive-T-Creations!

Enjoy the site!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Blessings

What a beautiful warm sunny day here in Virginia! Hugs to you who are across the miles. And HUGE Easter lovin' to my sweet girls who are visiting family in Georgia! I miss you so so so much!

Well, it's been a fairly normal morning for our crew. We have 2 of the boys, Scott is still slightly under the weather and I, well I reprised my role as the Easter bunny, but I'm all out of floppy ears and a fluffy tail.
Easter Dinner was always about the Ham when I was growing up. My mom would slave away in the kitchen and the outcome was always amazing and wonderful. She'd make so many wonderful side dishes and desserts, and we'd all eat until we were stuffed and then the afternoon came and it was time to hunt Easter Eggs! As I got older, the traditions changed and my nephews became the hunters. The eggs always remained the same....the hunted.

It didn't take me long to decide on a menu for this Easter. Ham was definitely on the out list, since we don't eat it anyway. Beef has been a strange staple lately, so I was thinking chicken. A crunchy, zippy texture with a lot of flavor.Herb Crumb Chicken is a show stopper!
3 lbs chicken breasts (this would work for thighs too)
1 egg
splash of milk
crusty bread crumbsyour favorite herbs and seasonings
2 tsp each of these dried and ground herbs: parsley, onion, garlic, oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme, white, black and red peppercorns, sage, & paprika.
In a shallow bowl, beat egg and milk together.
In another shallow dish, mix together seasonings and bread crumbs.

Dip chicken into egg mixture on both sides. Then, dip chicken into the crumb mixture making sure to coat the chicken really well.

Place in a baking dish and bake at 350 for at least 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. (I used large thick cuts of chicken, so I baked mine for about an hour)
Choose sides that compliment your entree. What's Easter without eggs, right? Well, we're having jazzy Eggs DeVille, Elbow Queso (Homestyle Mac and Cheese), and Steamed Broccoli.

Then, for dessert, All American Cherry Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream and Key Lime Pie.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Cheeseburger Pizza Casserole

It's Saturday night and I'm at a loss for our menu, he wants beef, I want spice and everyone is hungry. What do I have onhand that will suffice for an easy weekend dinner?

Ready made pizza dough....check!
Ground beef....check!

I think it'll be a Cheeseburger Pizza Casserole!

Refrigerated pizza dough
1 lb ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 package montreal steak seasoning
1 Tb minced garlic or a couple of cloves chopped
1 4 oz. can of chopped green chilis

Cheese Topping:
1/2 stick of butter (4Tb)
2 Tb flour
1/2 cup of milk
2 cups shredded cheese

Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly oil a casserole dish.

In a skillet, brown ground beef and drain. In same skillet, saute onion and garlic.
In a large bowl, mix together ground beef, onion and garlic, mushroom soup, & steak seasoning.

To make the cheese topping:
in a small saucepan, melt butter and mix in flour until smooth. Add milk and stir well. Mix in cheese and stir until melted and bubbly.

Unroll pizza dough line the bottom of casserole dish. Pour ground beef mixture and spread evenly on the dough. Pour the melted cheese over the ground beef until the beef is evenly covered.

Bake for at least 25 minutes or until cheese is starting to brown. Let it cool for at least 15 minutes. YUM!