Thursday, December 16, 2010

"Secret" Cinnamon Roll Recipe

I had two friends combine Cinnabon, Betty Crocker, and a few others until they felt their recipe was perfected. This was once a secret, but I begged, and alas, now the world has the greatest cinnamon roll recipe!

2.5 teaspoons yeast (1 pkg.)
2 eggs
1 cup milk
3/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons wheat gluten
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon vanilla (double if "imitation")

1. Mix 1 cup flour with yeast and wheat gluten in a mixing bowl and set aside.
2. Melt butter in a saucepan and then add milk. Add sugar and salt until just dissolved. Heat through until warm and add to mixing bowl (the flour mixture).
3. Mix on high for 3 minutes. Add eggs and mix until blended. Add vanilla. Add flour gradually until dough is pliable and can be kneaded (you may need to add another cup or so of flour).
4. Knead dough on lightly floured surface for 6-8 minutes, or until dough is elastic. Put into a large, greased plastic bowl and let rise until double, about 1 1/2-2 hours. Once dough has risen, roll out to the size (about) of a cookie sheet and about 1/8-1/4 inch thick (aim for 1/8 inch thickness).

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 Tablespoons cinnamon

1. Mix cinnamon and sugar together in a bowl and set aside. Spread butter evenly on dough and then sprinkle with sugar mixture. (You can leave one end plain--about 1/2 inch edge--to make the log stick together.) Roll dough into a log and cut every 2-3 inches. You can use a serrated knife or dental floss to avoid smashing the log.
2. Place on cookie sheets 1-2 inches apart (they will grow a lot in the oven!) Let rise on cookie sheets for about 1 hour. Bake at 335 degrees for about 20 minutes. Remove when tops begin to brown (to avoid dryness).

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon lemon flavor

1. Cream butter and cream cheese together at low speed for 6 minutes. Switch to whisk attachment and whisk on high for 10 minutes. Add 1 cup sugar on low speed, and then go back to high speed for another 3 minutes. Add vanilla, lemon, and remaining sugar on low and then return to high speed for another 3 minutes, or until creamy.
2. Keep leftover frosting in fridge. Store extra rolls at room temperature, covered. Don't ice the rolls until just before serving.

(*note: when I made these, I kept my oven at a low temperature (around 150 degrees) while the dough was rising. Then I put the bowls (when the dough ball was rising) and the cookie sheets (when the rolls were rising) on top of the oven to make sure they were warm enough to rise properly. It worked like a charm!)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Homemade Oreo Cookies

This is my most asked for recipe- by far.

1 Box Devil's Food Cake Mix
2 Eggs
1/2 c. Shortening

Mix eggs and the cake mix then add the shortening. Roll into very small balls. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.

Once cookies are cooled match up into pairs of equal size and frost.

1 8-ounce Package Cream Cheese softened
1/4 c. Butter
4 1/2 c. Powdered Sugar

*I added food coloring for Halloween and rolled the edges in orange sugar for more impact

Monday, November 15, 2010

German Pancakes


  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter


  1. Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Whisk the eggs, flour, milk, salt, vanilla extract, and cinnamon in a bowl; set aside.
  3. Put the butter in a 9x11-inch baking dish. Melt the butter in the preheated oven, making sure it doesn't burn, about 5 minutes. Pour the batter into the baking dish with the melted butter.
  4. Return to the oven and bake until the pancake is puffed and no longer moist in the center, 20 to 25 minutes.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Mediterranean Stuffed Chicken

4 Chicken Breasts
7 ounces feta cheese
2-3 cups chopped fresh spinach
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil, chop)
3/4 tsp. minced lemon peel
1 tsp. dried basil or oregano (I like basil)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Ground Pepper
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes undrained
1/2 cup olives (packed in oil) (I like green)

1. Place each chicken breast between 2 large pieces of saran wrap, and pound to be 1/4 inch thick with a mallet or skillet
2. Combine feta, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, lemon peel, bail, garlic powder, and pepper in a bowl
3. Lay pounded chicken with smoothest side down on a work surface. Place about 2 TBS feta mix on the widest side of the chicken breast, roll tightly. Repeat with all breasts and stuffing.
4. Place rolled chicken with the seam side down in a slow cooker. Pour diced tomatoes with juice and the olives over the top.
5. Put lid on the slow cooker, cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Make a day ahead or at least 8 hours so there is plenty of time to cool (thus a fantastic party dessert as you have time to prep everything else the day of!)

1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (very finely crushed)
2 TBSP sugar
4 TBSP melter butter

Pat crust into 9 inch spring-form pan
Preheat over to 350 degrees

In a separate bowl:
24 oz cream cheese softened
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Mix together until smooth and then pour over crust.

Bake 35 minutes. Immediately refrigerate for 30 minutes to stop cooking process.

Mix together until smooth:
1 pint sour cream
3 TBSP sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Carefully spread over cake and return to oven (350 degrees) and bake 5 minutes. Immediately return cake to refrigerator.
Serve plain or with fruit, chocolate, or other toppings.

*Thank you Mimi Matheson for this amazing cheesecake recipe shared over a double date

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

5-A-Day the Sneaky Way Breakfast Smoothie

This is the perfect on-the-go food for busy people trying to eat healthy- you won't even taste the spinach and you can sub ingredients for what you have frozen or fresh at home- it's delicious with almost all substitutions!

Servings: Two LARGE glasses full of smoothie:

4-6 whole frozen strawberries
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 banana
1 large handful of spinach (about 1-2 cups)
1 TBS protein powder (I use soy, boys many want to use whey)
1 cup vanilla soy milk
1 individual portion container yogurt (use your favorite flavor, I use strawberry to keep the flavor)
1/2 cup water

*I also add a TBS of ground flax seed and oat bran, but they are optional, as would any other health supplement you wish to add to yours
* If you aren't a soy milk fan use 1 cup regular milk with a few drops of vanilla and a tsp of sugar or honey to get a similar flavor

These keep well so you can make one for two days and trick yourself into eating spinach twice!

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high for about 2 minutes.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Pita Chicken


  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into strips
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 2 pita breads
  • 8 ounces diced tomato
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce
  • 1/2 cup sliced avocado
  • 2 tablespoons low-fat sour cream


  1. Cut chicken into strips. In a skillet, saute in hot oil until almost done. Sprinkle garlic powder, onion powder, salt, ground black pepper and cayenne pepper over chicken. Add salsa and simmer until done (about 5 minutes).
  2. Split pitas in half, fill with chicken and garnish with tomatoes, lettuce, avocados and sour cream. Add whatever garnishes you like and eat!

Joyce's Amish Bread

In a small bowl
1 TB yeast
1 TB sugar
1/2 cup warm water

set aside and let the yeast start to work

In a Kitchen Aide Mixer mix
2 TB's Margarine
2 TB's Sugar
2 tsps Salt
2 cups VERY hot water

Mix until cool enough to add yeast- add yeast mixture, stir.

Add 5-6 cups of flour. Unbleached is more nutritious and works the same.

Dough should be soft and somewhat sticky...but not gooey.
Cover bowl and set aside to rise 30 minutes.

Pat down and let rise 15 minutes
Pat down and let rise 15 minutes
Pat down and let rise 15 minutes

Divide dough in half and roll with rolling pin, each half on a floured board...about 1 inch depth. Air bubbles will go out to the edge. Toll them up and place on a cookie sheet.

Slit the tops then coat with 1 egg yolk mixed with 1 TB of milk
Let rise a few minutes then bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees

Fruit Dip


  • 1 (3 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
  • 1/2 cup yogurt


  1. In a medium bowl, mix the vanilla pudding mix, sour cream and yogurt. Chill in the refrigerator at least 2 hours before serving.

White Cheese Chicken Lasagna


  • 9 lasagna noodles
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups cubed, cooked chicken meat
  • 2 (10 ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese for topping


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, and rinse with cold water.
  2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook the onion and garlic in the butter until tender, stirring frequently. Stir in the flour and salt, and simmer until bubbly. Mix in the broth and milk, and boil, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Stir in 2 cups mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Season with the basil, oregano, and ground black pepper. Remove from heat, and set aside.
  3. Spread 1/3 of the sauce mixture in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Layer with 1/3 of the noodles, the ricotta, and the chicken. Arrange 1/3 of the noodles over the chicken, and layer with 1/3 of the sauce mixture, spinach, and the remaining 2 cups mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Arrange remaining noodles over cheese, and spread remaining sauce evenly over noodles. Sprinkle with parsley and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
  4. Bake 35 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven.

Asian Lettuce Wraps


  • 16 Boston Bibb or butter lettuce leaves
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 teaspoons minced pickled ginger
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • Asian chile pepper sauce (optional)
  • 1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Asian (dark) sesame oil


  1. Rinse whole lettuce leaves and pat dry, being careful not tear them. Set aside.
  2. In a medium skillet over high heat, brown the ground beef in 1 tablespoon of oil, stirring often and reducing the heat to medium, if necessary. Drain, and set aside to cool. Cook the onion in the same pan, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, vinegar, and chile pepper sauce to the onions, and stir. Stir in chopped water chestnuts, green onions, and sesame oil, and continue cooking until the onions just begin to wilt, about 2 minutes.
  3. Arrange lettuce leaves around the outer edge of a large serving platter, and pile meat mixture in the center. To serve, allow each person to spoon a portion of the meat into a lettuce leaf. Wrap the lettuce around the meat like a burrito, and enjoy!

Spicy Gingerbread Cookies


  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg


  1. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and sugar until smooth. Stir in molasses and egg yolk. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg; blend into the molasses mixture until smooth. Cover, and chill for at least one hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place cookies 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until firm. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks. Frost or decorate when cool.

Famous Family Rolls

2 T yeast
1/4 c sugar
1/2 c warm water

1 c milk
1/4 c sugar
1 t salt
3/4 cube butter
2 eggs

4+ cups flour

Proof yeast, sugar, and warm water for about 5 minutes. Stir the foam, and let rise again for another 5 to 6 minutes.

While yeast is proofing, in a medium saucepan, warm milk, sugar, salt, and butter. When this warm (but not too warm), pour in mixer and add eggs. Mix well. When this mixture has colled just enough so you don't kill the yeast, add the yeast mixture and mix.

Start by adding 2 cups flour, keeping adding flour until the dough is soft, but not sticky. Knead for at least 10-15 minutes (this is the secret to get the right texture).

Cover and rise until double. When double, punch down and let rise again for about 15 minutes.

Cut into quarters, and then cut each quarter section into 1/4's. Let rise until double.

Bake at 375 until golden brown. Brush with butter as soon as rolls come out of oven.

Chocolate Carmel Apples

This is always the biggest hit at parties- it combines a dessert with something healthy, and it tastes amazing! I always bring this to fall parties, it's easy, pretty, and so so good!

3 cups caramel apple dip (you can make my recipe or buy one from the store)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2+ tablespoons butter
8-12 Granny Smith apples cut into slices

Place apples on a tray, spread out and arranged neatly on its side so each has at least part exposed. in a small saucepan on low heat, melt the chocolate and add the butter. If the chocolate isn't smooth add more butter.
Drizzle melted chocolate on the apples making long lines for aesthetics.
Microwave 1 cup of the caramel dip for about 20-30 seconds, or until smooth and able to drizzle. Drizzle on apples criss-crossing chocolate.

Place remaining dip in a bowl in the middle and serve.

Carmel Apple Dip


  • 16 individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar


  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, or in the microwave, melt caramels with water, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. In a medium bowl, cream together cream cheese and sugar. Fold in caramel mixture. Serve immediately.

Albino Enchiladas

Being a Southwest child, I was shocked when I went to college to see my roommates making enchiladas with a white cream instead of chili red sauce. We all laughed about this, and their enchiladas became known as "albino enchiladas."


  • 3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 2 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 10 (8 inch) flour tortillas, warmed


  1. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, chicken, sour cream, soup, chilies, onion, pepper and salt. Spoon about 1/2 cup off center on each tortilla; roll up. Place seam side down in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish.
  2. Cover and bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese. Bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.