Monthly Archives: January 2014

Homemade Beer Bread


Everyone knows I love Penzey’s Spices! I received their quarterly catalog, Winter 2014, last week. I always at least make 2 to 3 recipes out of the magazine. I’m never disappointed! This beer bread recipe is on page 25 or on Penzey’s website. I decreased the butter amount significantly! Yikes the original was a little out of line with using 1/2 a stick.

3 cups of AP Flour
1 1/2 TB kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3 TB sugar
1/2 tsp dried Basil
1 12 oz bottle of light beer (room temperature)

Topping: optional

2 TB melted butter
1/4 tsp ground granulated garlic powder

Makes 12 slices of bread

Preheat oven to 350 degree and spray with cooking spray a 5 by 9″ bread pan.


2. Place in large bowl flour, salt, baking soda, Basil, and sugar.


3. Mix together using spatula. Add beer.


4. Mix together to incorporate dry and wet ingredients. Be careful not to over mix.


5. Add wet batter to cooking sprayed bread pan.


6. Bake for an hour to an hour in 5 minutes.


7. Set bread in pan on wire rack. And take butter in a small dish and melt in microwave mix garlic in. Brush garlic butter on warm bread. Add as much or as little as you would like


Let cool and cut into slices.


Apple Streusel Crescent Bites

Apple  Streusel  Crescent BItes


These tasty little bites are not too sweet, in fact just right. I used my grandfathers apples leftover from his orchard last year ( I have been savoring them). I was cleaning out the refrigerator and noticed I was stock piling up on crescent rolls. Apparently I did not do inventory very well last time I went to the grocery store. This is a great way to use up some of the extra inventory. Plus I got to use my new pampered chef brownie pan again !!!



1 package of reduced fat crescent  rolls

3 medium apples cored, peeled and diced

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Cooking Spray (canola oil is my favorite)


Streusel Topping

1/8 cup of cinnamon sugar blend (a good ratio is 1/4 cup sugar to 1 TB cinnamon)

1/8 cup AP flour

1 TB unsalted Butter (diced)

This recipe yields 8 streusel bites


1. Preheat oven to 325 and spray with cooking spray either a mini preportioned brownie pan or stand size muffin pan.


2.  Take a medium sized nonstick saute pan and heat to medium low heat. Cooking spray the pan and add the diced apples and cinnamon.

Apples with cinnamon


Sauté for 5 to 7 minutes while the apples caramelize.

caramelized apples with cinnamon


3. In the meantime take the crescent roll package and lay out the dough on cutting board. Seam together two of the crescent each making 4 rectangles. Once 4 rectangles are formed cut into 8 squares. As pictured below.




4.  Take the squares and place them individually in the pan. Press the dough lightly down to form a vessel for the caramelized apples.




5. Add a TB and a half of the Caramelized apples into each vessel.


6. In a small bowl combine cinnamon sugar, flour and butter. Run the butter through your fingers with the sugar and flour to break into small particles.


7. Add one TB of cinnamon sugar mixture onto the apples.


8. Bake for 13 minutes on 350 degrees.


9. Let cool on wire rack in pan for 5 minutes.



Perfectly Portioned Brownies


My sisters in law for Christmas bought me the pampered chef individual brownie pan which I love….love!! Of course I had to try brownies first but I have Apple Sreusel Crescent Bites in the oven now for breakfast.

This recipe yields 9 brownies (even though the pan is made to yield 12)

1/2 cup canola oil or (1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup no sugar added applesauce)
1 tsp Mexican Vanilla Extract
1 cup sugar ( or 1/2 cup Splenda for baking and half cup sugar)
2 eggs or <(1/2 cup egg substitute) or (4 egg whites)>
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup Dutch processed cocoa (high quality brand you know my favorite )
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cooking spray mini brownie pan.


2. Take a medium bowl and add oil ( and applesauce if using), vanilla, eggs, and sugar whisk until mixed well.


3. Add salt, baking powder, cocoa and flour and mix until combined.


4. Use scant 1/2 cup or 2 oz scoop to place batter into pan.


Add water in leftover empty vessels to prevent scorching.

Bake for 23 to 25 minutes (test using toothpick method).


Let rest in pan for 5 minutes and move brownies to wire rack for cooling.


Meatloaf Cupcakes


My husband loves meatloaf! By far one of his favorite comfort foods. I always use a very lean ground beef at least 93/7. I added some whole wheat bread crumbs to add some extra fiber and used egg substitute to decrease extra cholesterol and calories.

This recipe yields 6 large muffins sized mini meatloaves.

Leftover mashed potatoes 1 1/2 cups
1 tsp canola oil
1 small onion chopped
2 TB bacon bits
2 TB grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1.5 TB Worcestershire sauce
1.5 TB low sodium soy sauce or liquid aminos if you want to cut the sodium down more
1.5 TB egg substitute or 1 egg white
2 chopped garlic cloves
1 1b 93/7 extra lean ground beef or ground turkey
Pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and cooking spray large muffin tins.

1. Take a small skillet and sauté onions and garlic in oil until onions are translucent on medium heat. Make sure stir occasionally.

2. In a large bowl add beef, egg substitute, soy, Worcestershire sauce, bacon bits, bread crumbs, cheese, and finally cooked onions and garlic.


3. Massage meat with hands to incorporate ingredients. Be careful not to over mix the meat.


4. Use size 8 scoop ( 4oz / half a cup) to perfectly portion the meat mixture into the tins.


5. Now top meat mixture with 1/4 cup of mashed potatoes. (If you want to add extra flavor sprinkle with cheese or fried onions but that will add additional calories for those who are counting).


6. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Or until internal temperature reads 160 degrees.


Key Lime Cookies


My husband’s favorite cookie is an orange cookie that his mom always made growing up. She still makes them to this day. Matter of fact it is not Christmas without them. They are best served cool. This Christmas I thought, well if the cookies taste so mouth watering delicious with orange juice I bet they will be divine with key lime juice….

Recipe yields 48 cookies (using a size 40 scoop)

Cookie Batter Ingredients:
4.5 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temperature) (1 stick)
1/2 cup crisco
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp baking sofa
2 tsp baking powder
4 key limes juiced and key lime zest

Frosting :
Key lime juice about 3 key limes ( each key lime yields about 1 TB of juice)
4 TB unsalted butter (melted)
1 to 2 TB of skim milk (depends on how thick you want the frosting)
1 1/2 cup powered sugar
1 drop of green food coloring (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1. Cream sugar, crisco, and butter in stand mixer on medium speed.


2. Add one egg at a time and mix using paddle attachment.


3. Add lime juice and zest and mix on medium speed.


4. Place baking soda in buttermilk and let sit for a minute


5. Add the buttermilk solution to the batter and mix to incorporate.


6. Add the flour and baking powder and mix on low speed to incorporate all the dry ingredients.


The batter is a thick batter so don’t fret.

7. Using number 40 scoop place 9 to 12 cookies on a half sheet pan. Bake the cookies for 10 to 13 minutes (my oven 12 minutes).

You don’t want these cookies to brown so do not let them over bake in the oven.


8. Place cookies on a wire rack for 1 minute. Remove the cookies from the pan and let cool completely before frosting.

9. Place all the frosting ingredients in a bowl and mix. Add milk until you reach your desired frosting consistency.

10. Spoon the frosting on the cooled cookies and move spoon around in circular motion spread evenly.


Store in a cool place. Everyone always enjoys the cookies cooled best.

Spice Wheat Waffles


We had the pleasure of having my nephew stay the night. One of my favorite things to do when he stays is make breakfast with his help. Today we made homemade waffles.


By the looks of this picture I think he liked them okay!

This recipe yields 6 (6 1/2 inch in diameter) waffles

3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup AP flour
1 tsp ground Cardamon
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup egg substitute or 4 egg whites
1 cup skim milk
1/3 cup brown sugar (not packed)
1 5.3 oz container of greek cinnamon vanilla or plain greek yogurt
1 tsp of vanilla extract (I prefer Mexican)
1 TB canola oil


Take the first 8 ingredients and place them in a large bowl and whisk together ( this was the fun park for my nephew).


In a separate bowl whisk egg substitute, milk, sugar, vanilla, greek yogurt, & canola oil.


The kids can also help with this part.

Now pour the liquid batter into the dry ingredients.


Whisk until all the ingredients are incorporated with no signs of dry flour.


Heat your waffle iron according to manufacture’s directions.


Follow manufacture’s directions as to how much batter to fill the hot waffle iron with. My iron used about 2/3 cup but every iron is different.


Cook for as long as you like and again stick with the directions for your iron.



Hazelnut Spread No Bake Bars


We had a quarterly meeting today at work. To help improve attendance I try and made a home baked treat. During my research for the perfect mid morning treat, I came across a no bake recipe using hazelnut spread which intrigued me. However I was appalled by the recipes I found adding up two two cups of sugar into the recipe! Yikes! In preparation for this snack I wanted to decease some of the less favorable calories by removing the butter (saturated fat) and significantly decreasing the added sugar to make the bars a little more diet friendly.

Recipe yields 24 bars

2/3 cup sugar
1 cup Nutella or the New the Jif Hazelnut Spread (or any other Hazelnut Spread)
1/2 cup skim milk
3 1/8 cup of old fashion oats (not the quick oats)
1/2 TB of Mexican vanilla extract (however if you do not have this kind on hand I recommend purchasing it!! However in the meantime you could double the traditional McCormick Vanilla extract for this recipe)
Canola oil cooking spray


Line an 8 by 8 inch glass dish or pan with foil. Spray the foil with cooking oil spray and set a side.

Add hazelnut spread, sugar, and milk into heavy sauce pan and bring to a simmer for approximately a minute to dissolve the sugar granules.


Add vanilla and oats to the sauce pan.

Mix to fully incorporate and then pour into the lined pan.


Spread the batter evenly and freeze for at least 2 hours in the freezer.

Remove the bars from the freezer and lift the bars out using the foil to make for easy cutting. Store in a cold dry place for optimal flavor and shelve life .

Enjoy! WW Plus 4 points per serving.


Nutrition Facts 


Hazelnut Bar
  24 Servings 
Amount Per Serving
  Calories 139.4
  Total Fat 5.5 g
  Saturated Fat 1.3 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 0.3 g
  Cholesterol 1.8 mg
  Sodium 15.5 mg
  Potassium 8.3 mg
  Total Carbohydrate 20.2 g
  Dietary Fiber 1.4 g
  Sugars 13.1 g
  Protein 2.1 g
  Vitamin A 0.2 %
  Vitamin B-12 0.3 %
  Vitamin B-6 0.1 %
  Vitamin C 0.1 %
  Vitamin D 0.5 %
  Vitamin E 0.0 %
  Calcium 2.6 %
  Copper 0.0 %
  Folate 0.1 %
  Iron 4.6 %
  Magnesium 0.1 %
  Manganese 0.0 %
  Niacin 0.0 %
  Pantothenic Acid     0.2 %
  Phosphorus     0.5 %
  Riboflavin 0.4 %
  Selenium 0.2 %
  Thiamin 0.1 %
  Zinc 0.1 %

Pizza Shop Dough


This is round two, for my husband and I’s take on our hometown favorite pizza dough. We have so many amazing authentic pizza dough shops back home. This is a classic thicker crust recipe. We believe the key to this one is fermentation.

4 cups of AP Flour
3/4 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 cup warm water
3 tsp active dry yeast
4 TB vegetable oil (I’ d rather use canola or olive oil but we are pretty sure the shop uses vegetable)
Canola oil cooking spray

Place all the dry ingredients (except for the yeast) in a stand mixer with dough hook.


Now place the yeast in the warm water and let proof for about 5 minutes.

Add yeast mixture and oil to dry ingredients and knead with dough hook for 6-8 minutes and work up to medium speed.


Once dough forms a ball.

Place the dough on lightly floured surface to knead by hand for 30 seconds.


Place the dough ball in a canola sprayed glass bowl to allow to double in size (about 60 to 90 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap.


Once the dough has doubled in size place it in the refrigerator to ferment for at least 48 hours.


Take bowl with dough out of refrigerator to come to room temperature for at least two hours before baking. Please keep plastic cover over dough.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees

Roll out into deep dish pan.


Place the toppings to your liking on the dough and bake the pizza for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and enjoy.


Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Glaze


Cinnamon Rolls w/ Maple Glaze

I have been wanting to make cinnamon rolls for a while now and this recipe is a nice size for a small crowd. All the recipes I’ve encounter make 12 or 24 large rolls which has deterred me from making them. Little treats of sweetness are permitted from time to time especially on a Sunday morning with a nice cup of coffee.  The smell of these tasty rolls in the oven will wake up your husband and have him asking for seconds. This recipe was adapted from TOH.


This recipe yields 8 small Rolls

Dough Ingredients:

79 milliliters of warm skim milk

2 1/2 TB of maple syrup

3 TB of unsalted butter (softened)

1/4 Tsp Kosher salt

2 tsp of active dry yeast

1 1/4 Cup of Bread Flour

1/4 Cup of Whole Wheat Flour

1 TB egg substitute


Filling Ingredients:

4 TB of Brown Sugar

1 TB of Bread Flour

2 Tsp of ground Vietnamese Cinnamon

3 TB of unsalted Butter


Maple Icing:

1/2 Cup of Confectioner’s Sugar

1 1/2 TB of Unsalted Butter

1 1/2 TB of Maple Syrup

1 Tsp skim milk

1/4 tsp of Mexican Vanilla


  1. In standing mixer  place the first seven ingredients in the bowl and set mixer with dough hook attachment. Use dough hook and knead dough for 6 to 8 minutes on medium speed. Dough will form a ball shape.
  2. 20140112-090144.jpg

    Cooking spray a glass bowl and place dough in bowl covered with plastic wrap for 60 to 90 minutes (or until dough doubles in size ).


    Once dough has doubled; roll out


    On lightly floured surface. Roll dough into one 12-in. x 7-in. rectangle.


    In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.


    Sprinkle evenly the brown sugar mixture over the rolled out dough.


    Roll up jelly-roll style, starting from a long side; pinch seam to seal.




    Cut in half with sharp knife.


    Then half the halves and so on.

    Until you get 8 slices. Place cut side down in one greased 8 x 8-in. baking pan.


Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 20 minutes.


  • Bake at 375° for 23-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes.


    Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, butter, syrup, vanilla, and enough milk to achieve desired consistency.


    Spread over warm rolls. Yield: 8 rolls.

  • 20140112-122512.jpg

    Apple Spice Oat Bars


    We have an intern leaving us tomorrow and as a farewell I wanted to bake her a special treat. I used my Grandpa Harper’s Dehydrated Apples and my apple butter recipe. This recipe bakes really nice and is full of flavor!

    2/3 cup chopped dehydrated apples
    1/3 cup chopped raisins
    1 cup slivered almonds toasted
    2 1/2 cup old fashion oats (not quick oats)
    1 tsp ground Vietnamese cinnamon
    1/2 tsp Mexican vanilla
    1/3 cup agave nectar
    1/4 cup honey
    3/4 cup apple butter
    1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

    This recipe yields: 12 bars

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line an 8 by 8 inch Pyrex glass dish with foil. Spray with cooking spray.


    Mix wet ingredients in a bowl ( apple butter, honey, agave nectar, vanilla, peanut butter) and cinnamon.


    Mix until incorporated.


    Add oats to liquid batter and fold.


    Now add almond slivers, apples, and raisins.


    Fold in almonds, raisins, and apples mix by hand with spatula until all ingredients are spread evenly throughout.


    Pour batter into foil lined and cooking sprayed 8 by 8 inch baking dish. Pat down the batter to make uniform and level so that the bars will bake evenly.


    Bake on 325 degrees for 25 minutes and place in freezer to cool for at least one hour.


    Remove the bars using the foil (which makes this job a lot easier than trying to cut in the pan.

    Cut into 12 bars and enjoy!