Tuesday, February 17, 2015

King Cake (With Cream Cheese Filling) Fake Out

It's Fat Tuesday and a Southern tradition that we carried north is the King Cake. You can read more about the history of the King Cake HERE.

A King Cake is basically a cinnamon coffee cake.  Some cakes (the good ones) are filled with a cream cheese filling. The others, in my humble opinion, tend to run a little boring and dry. As my time this weekend was pressed, and the bakery selection of King Cakes around these parts is limited, I decided to take a few shortcuts and make my own. Here's my Fake Out!

Start the King Cake with some pre-packaged Cinnabon rolls. Carefully unfold two packages onto a parchment lined baking sheet.  It might seem a little messy, but just go with it.  Frosting covers a multitude of sins.

Next, spread a delicious cream cheese filling onto the dough. (See recipe below.) The cream cheese filling is what makes the cake worth eating. Trust me on this one.

Starting from the long ends, roll up the dough into a long tube and bend it around to form a circle, sealing the edges.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Drizzle with the glaze that comes right in the package and sprinkle with Green, Yellow and Purple sanding sugar or nonpareils.  If you don't use these colors, it's not a King Cake. In case you didn't know. I'm just saying.

Pastry Cream Cheese Filling

2 8-ounce packages Cream Cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg

Mix ingredients together until well blended.  Use as a filling.  Bake as pastry is directed.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Heart Shaped Egg-In-the-Holes: Tips for the Perfect Egg!

Sometimes breakfast is the only meal we can have together and I'm thankful that, even though my kids are getting older, they still appreciate the magic of the cookie cutter.  These heart shaped Egg-In-The-Holes turned out to be the perfect breakfast on a sub-zero day.

Through trial and error, here are a few tricks I picked up for producing the perfect egg:

  1. Use hearty bread for a good, clean, cookie cutter cut (like Ezekiel Sprouted Grain.)
  2. Butter one side of the bread and put it butter side down on a heated griddle.
  3. Crack your egg into a separate vessel and spoon the yolk into the hole in the bread.  Spoon in enough of the egg white to fill the bread hole, but not so much as it will flow over the cut edge.
  4. Place a large skillet lid over the bread to help steam the egg.  This will allow the egg to cook without the need to flip it.
  5. When the egg begins to solidify, sprinkle with kosher salt.  Garnish with chives.

Wishing you all a Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Mini Chocolate Reindeer Cookies

This was the one cookie that my teenage daughter wanted to make this year and I thought they were adorable.  Mini Chocolate Reindeer Cookies!  Due to the way life has been going this year, we took advantage of every available shortcut.

Did you know you can get chocolate cookie dough in sheets?  Cookie dough in sheets is one of my great friends in life.  Rolled out cookies at our house ranks right up there with homemade pie crust. It's best left to others. These turn out exactly like you cut them. No excess puffing or spreading!

I always keep candy google eyes in my pantry. You never know when they will come in handy!

Wishing you a Blessed Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip

Just a few more days until Christmas and I'm doing my last minute menu planning. I always like to include an appetizer/snack that includes fruits or veggies because A) It's one way to get my kids to eat their fruits and veggies and B) It's one way to get me to eat my fruits and veggies in a sometimes produce-barren time of year!

 This dip comes together in a snap and tastes great with both apples and gingersnaps! 
(And, for my SIL, Fritos! :-)

Merry Christmas!


Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip

by Rachel @ Simple Girl

8 ounce package of cream cheese, room temperature (full fat -  light comes out too runny)
3/4 cup pumpkin pie filling (not plain pumpkin!)
1 cup powdered sugar
8-ounce container of Cool Whip (can be light)

Beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Add powdered sugar.  Beat until lumps are removed.  Add pie filling.  Beat until combined.  Fold in Cool Whip until combined.  Chill until ready to serve.

Serve with apple slices, gingersnaps or Fritos!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Light a Candle

While we are in the midst of the advent season, I just want to encourage you to light a candle.  When the days go by so quickly that you can't even grasp them in your hands, candles cause us to pause. When our to-do lists seem unmanageably long, candles give us a moment to reflect.

Advent candles have long been a tradition in the Christian church. They help us tell the story of the Birth of Christ. As Christmas draws near, the increasing candle light reminds us of the star that shown over Bethlehem. Our anticipation swells with each additional candle lit.

While typically placed in a round wreath, I like to change our candles a little every year to keep them relevant with our lives. This year I took apple red pillar candles and put them in vases from the dollar store.  I wrapped them with green raffia and clipped some chalkboard tags (from Target's dollar section) on each.  I labeled four of them for each of the four Sundays in advent and marked the middle one for Christmas Day. (FYI, lighting the fifth one on Christmas Eve is ok, too!)

Although my kids are getting older, they still enjoy reading Benjamin Bear's journey to the manger in Advent Storybook each night during dinner.

So pause. Light a candle. Reflect on the manger. The shepherds didn't have seven kinds of Christmas cookies. The wise men didn't have coordinating wrapping paper. But the night was holy, full of calm and peace.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

2-Ingredient Pumpkin Pancakes

Winter arrived with a vengeance.  One day I was happily raking leaves, enjoying the simple pleasures of autumn and the next day I woke up to this:   An icy, freezing, slippery blizzard. I was not prepared. I need new tires. I need a new car. My mums are buried under a fluffy white blanket. My pumpkins are frozen to the steps. I drove the kids to school watching cars slip through intersections. A long commute becomes longer. Amazon Prime becomes my friend.

This is the post I started exactly one month ago today. Winter came and it stayed. Eventually I was able to scrape the pumpkins off of the sidewalk and shimmy my pots inside long enough for them to thaw.  We got the Christmas tree up and, while I haven't started the Christmas cards yet, preparations are underway.

Even during the Christmas season, I still love the warmth of pumpkin spice.  This easy recipe for Pumpkin Spice Pancakes is perfect for every day or for a crowd.

While I would never use pumpkin pie filling to make an actual pie (doesn't taste like mom's), 
it's a great shortcut for pancakes!

Just remember 3 - 2 - 1.

Three cups of buttermilk pancake mix.
Two cups of water.
One cup of pumpkin pie filling.

The syrup is calling!

2-Ingredient Pumpkin Pancakes

by Rachel @ Simple Girl

3 cups Complete Buttermilk Pancake Mix (Like Krusteaz)
2 cups of water (does not count as an ingredient!)
1 cup pumpkin pie mix (Not pureed pumpkin which doesn't have the spices)

Mix together until just combined.  Spoon 1/4 cup portions onto medium hot griddle.  Flip when they start to bubble on top.  But you knew that.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Cute Vampire Bagels

Hahaha!  I am so putting these in my kids lunch boxes tomorrow!

Plastic Vampire Teeth stuck in the center of a bagel, topped with candy eyes.

There is so much to love about being a mom! :-)



Source:  Family Fun Magazine