Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll Cake

31 01 2013

If you are like my house and have somebody who is totally obsessed with Cinnamon Rolls then this cake is for you. My husband loves cinnamon rolls and while homemade are amazing they take a lot of work that I am not willing to put in early in the morning. Bonus of this recipe was that it made such a big pan that we were also eating it as dessert in the evening. Not sure that fits into healthy eating but hey it was homemade so I controlled the ingredients, right?

I found this over at Six Sisters Stuff and to be honest I am kind of obsessed with their blog. They have some amazing recipes that are super easy and are right up my families alley. I can’t wait to try out a few more of their recipes.

Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll Cake

~ 3 cups flour

~ 1/4 tsp. salt

~ 1 cup sugar

~ 4 tsp. baking powder

~ 1 1/2 cups milk

~ 2 eggs

~ 2 tsp. vanilla

~ 4 Tbsp. butter, melted

~ 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened

~ 1 cup brown sugar

~ 2 Tbsp. flour

~ 1 Tbsp. cinnamon

~ 2/3 cups nuts (optional)


~ 2 cups powdered sugar

~ 5 Tbsp. milk

~ 1 tsp. vanilla

1. With an electric mixer, mix flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, milk, eggs, and vanilla. Once combined well, slowly stir in 4 Tbsp. melted butter. Pour batter into a greased 9 x 13 baking pan.

2. In a large bowl, mix the 2 sticks softened butter, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nuts until well combined. Drop evenly over cake batter by the Tbsp. and use a knife to marble/swirl through the cake. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out nearly clean from center.

3. Place powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla in a large bowl. Whisk until smooth. Drizzle over warm cake. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll Cake

Writing Boxes

30 01 2013

When my daughter started Kindergarten at the beginning of the year we were asked to provide a writing box for our child. A box that had crayons, pencils, tape, paper, markers, stickers, and any other craft thing we wanted to put in it. They used it at school during free time and almost every day my daughter would come home so excited about all the cool things that she did with her writing box that day.


When we moved of course we got to take the box home with us and it became one of the coolest boxes that my kids play with almost on a daily basis. Since my daughter brought hers home I had to of course come up with one for my son so that they would each have their own box with their own special creations in them. Both of them have scissors which has been great for my 3 year old son to learn how to cut. My daughter has glitter glue and stamps which my son does not because who knows where he would use those at.


Defiantly a great way to keep your kids entertained while allowing them to be creative. Plus most of the items I picked up on sale or in the dollar isle of Target. Don’t forget to think about things that come in your junk mail like pads of paper, stickers, address labels, or anything else. My kids had a blast cutting up a catalog and that lasted a whole weekend! The possibilities are endless. One side note, I would stay away from paint because that can make a big mess inside the box. Also pick things that are age appropriate for you child and that you don’t mind them using or cleaning up.


Some Great Ideas for your writing boxes:

~ markers

~ crayons

~ colored pencils

~ stickers, don’t forget about the address ones you get in the mail

~ pads of paper, mini pads of paper, construction paper, scrapbook paper

~ scissors, regular and craft

~ scotch tape (you won’t believe how much fun this is)

~ stencils

~ stamps

~ glitter glue depending on the age

~ foam stickers

~ fun little notebooks

~ folders

~ post it notes

The sky is the limit and your kids will have so much fun!

Bordeaux Candy

29 01 2013

Anyone who lives in or has lived in California probably knows about See’s Candies. I can remember getting See’s candies for Christmas since I was a little girl. When my husband and I were first dating we would frequently go in and just get some Bordeaux Candy since they were his favorite. When we lived in Utah for a bit Bordeaux candy was something that we missed and couldn’t wait to get our hands on when we visited California.

This year my husband was feeling ambitious and decided that he was going to try and make a copy cat version of his favorite candy treat. He found the recipe over at The E Wife Blogs Again and of course we were skeptical at first. They didn’t take long to make and tasted pretty darn close to the original thing. Defiantly a sweet treat that he will probably be making again.


Bordeaux Candy

~ 1 cup brown sugar

~ 1/2 cup butter

~ 1/4 cup whipping cream

~ 1/2 tsp. instant coffee

~ pinch of salt

~ 2 cups powdered sugar

~ 12 oz. milk chocolate

1. Melt butter and brown sugar together in heavy pan. Bring to a boil and boil for two minutes. Stir in cream, coffee, salt and bring to a boil again stirring constantly. Boil for 30 seconds and remove from heat. Let cool for 10 minutes.

2. Add powdered sugar to mixture. Stir well to combine. Chill until mixture holds shape of a small ball. Roll into 2-inch balls. melt chocolate according to package instructions. Dip candy balls into melted chocolate. Makes approx. 30. Best if stored in refrigerator.

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Bordeaux Candy

French Dip Sandwiches

28 01 2013

I love a good French dip sandwich, you know the one you get at a restaurant that is dripping in au jus and has melted cheese and sautéed onions on an amazing roll. Love them! So with a little bit of help from Rachel Ray I made an amazing French dip sandwich the other night. It was super quick to make and the best part was we ate it in stages. I just let the broth on low on the stove and made the sandwiches as we needed them.

French Dip Sandwiches

~ 2 Tbsp. Butter

~ 1/2 onion, chopped

~ 1 Tbsp. flour

~ 2 cans beef broth

~ 1 lb. your favorite deli sliced roast beef

~ Salt and pepper or your favorite grill seasoning

~ 4 torpedo sandwich rolls

1. In a medium pot melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add flour to the butter and cook a minute longer.

2. Whisk in beef broth in a slow stream. Bring sauce to a bubble and allow to simmer over medium heat until ready to serve sandwiches.

3. Pile meat loosely across your cutting board or a large work surface. Season meat with grill seasoning or salt and pepper. To assemble, using a pair of kitchen tongs, dip meat into au jus and pile into rolls. Serve alongside au jus for dipping.

*You can also sauté up some onion to place onto your French Dip Sandwiches, top with cheese, or toast your rolls. The possibilities are endless.

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French Dip Sandwiches

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

22 01 2013

I am going to warn all of you that this weeks recipes are all sweet treats. There is nothing healthy about them, but they taste amazing and to start off the week I am giving you what has now made it on my top 5 cookies!

I found this recipe over at the novice chef and with my love of Reese’s Peanut Butter cups I knew it would be a hit. What I didn’t know is that would be so great that my husband and I contemplated not giving a single cookie to the kids just so that there would be more for us to eat. Now in the original recipe she calls for regular sized Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups for the top of the cookie. I didn’t want to buy that many so I used the minis and it was just as amazing!

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

~ 1 3/4 cup flour

~ 3/4 tsp. baking soda

~ 1/2 tsp. salt

~ 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

~ 3/4 cup peanut butter

~ 1/2 cup sugar

~ 1/2 cup packed brown sugar

~ 1 egg

~ 1 tsp. vanilla extract

~ 1 (8 oz.) bag Reese’s Mini Peanut Butter Cups, unwrapped and coarsely chopped.

~ 18 Reese’s Mini Peanut Butter Cups, unwrapped


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with baking mats.

2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl beat the butter, peanut butter and sugars, until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla. Gradually add in the flour mixture and stir until dough forms. Then stir in Reese’s Mini Peanut Butter Cups by hand.

4. Using your hands, form balls of dough with 2 heaping Tbsp. of dough. Gently flatten cookie dough (to form a disk shape) and place on prepared baking sheets.

5. Bake for 8 minutes and remove from oven. Press a Reese’s Mini Peanut Butter Cup into the center of each cookie. Bake cookies for 3 minutes more. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before transferring cookies to a wire rack to cool.

*Note: Cookies will not spread much and will look like they are not done baking, but they are.

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Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Homemade Green Bean Casserole

16 01 2013

Now don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with green bean casserole made with condensed soup and French fried onions. In fact I like it a lot. But I wanted to give something new a try and when I saw this on The Pioneer Woman’s site I was game to give it a try.

On a side note if you do not read The Pioneer Woman’s blog you are missing out on something and need to get over and check it out right away. I always get a laugh and she shares lots of cute things. Not to mention every recipe that I have ever tried of hers is always good and easy to cook. So I knew this would be a winner!

This recipe was defiantly a winner but I am warning you it really has its own flavor and really doesn’t resemble the condensed soup recipe. My family and I loved it but we did make one minor change, we added a whole pound of bacon instead of the 3 slices it calls for. Lets be honest, I have never had a recipe that called for a few slices where I didn’t add the whole pound. It has never been a mistake but if you are watching what you eat you might not want to go that route.

Homemade Green Bean Casserole

~ 2 lbs. fresh green beans, trimmed

~ 4 slices of bacon, cut into 1/4 inch pieces (or the whole pound)

~ 3 cloves garlic, minced

~ 1/2 large onion, chopped

~ 4 Tbsp. butter

~ 4 Tbsp. flour

~ 2 1/2 cups whole milk

~ 1/2 cup half and half

~ 1 1/2 tsp. salt, more to taste

~ freshly ground black pepper, to taste

~ 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

~ 1 cup grated sharp cheddar

~ 1 jar (4 oz.) sliced pimentos, drained

~ 1 cup Panko bread crumbs

1. Cut green beans in half if you like smaller pieces. Blanch green beans by dropping them into lightly salted boiling water. Allow the green beans to cook for about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove them from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and immediately plunge them into a bowl of ice cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain beans once they’re cool and set aside.

2. Add bacon pieces to a skillet over medium heat. Cook bacon for two minutes, then add diced onion and garlic and continue cooking until bacon is done. Remove from heat and set aside.

3. In a separate skillet or saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Sprinkle flour into the pan and whisk immediately to evenly mix it into the butter. Cook for a minute or two, then pour in milk and half and half. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, while sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne then add the grated cheddar. Stir while cheese melts. Turn off heat.

4. Add pimentos to pan, then add bacon/onion mixture. Stir to combine. Pour over green beans and stir gently to combine. Pour into a baking dish and top with panko crumbs.

5. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and panko crumbs are golden.

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Homemade Green Bean Casserole

Oven Baked Meatball Sandwiches

15 01 2013

So yesterday I posted a recipe from home cooking memories for Baked Turkey Meatballs with Spinach. Now that you have them made how about some Oven Baked Meatball Sandwiches, yummy! Now you can of course used prepackaged meatballs, you know the ones that they sell at Costco or any other supermarket. Same thing goes for the sauce, use homemade or jar, what ever strikes your fancy. This would be a super fast weeknight dinner and should please the whole family so give it a try tonight!

Easy Dinner Idea: Oven Baked Meatball Sandwiches

Oven Baked Meatball Sandwiches

~ Sandwich rolls, cut keeping one side intact

~ Cooked Meatballs (your favorite recipe or frozen)

~ Pasta Sauce (homemade or jarred)

~ Shredded Mozzarella cheese

1. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Place your meatballs in a large pot. Cover with pasta sauce. Gently fold the meatballs with the sauce. Heat the meatballs and sauce on low-medium, stirring occasionally, until the meatballs are heated thoroughly.

3. Fill a roll with as many meatballs as you can fit. Top with more pasta sauce from your pot. Place filled sandwich rolls closely on baking sheet. Top each sandwich with shredded mozzarella cheese.

4. Bake until cheese is melted, hot, and bubbly.

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Oven Baked Meatball Sandwiches

Baked Turkey Meatballs with Spinach

14 01 2013

A good meatball recipe is great to have especially if it makes a lot. You can freeze them and add them to pasta sauce and spaghetti for a quick week night dinner, throw them in some minestrone soup, or even make meatball subs.

What I like about this recipe is that it uses ground turkey which is leaner. Also I could buy this at Costco and freeze what I didn’t use in this recipe for another recipe. The other great thing is that it used spinach, which when you have children trying to get veggies in them is sometimes hard. So if you had Spaghetti and Meatballs they would get a dose of veggies and probably not even know it.

I found this recipe over at home cooking memories. It makes around 40 meatballs but you can cut the recipe in half if you don’t want as many or freeze the ones that you don’t use once they are cooked. You can also use frozen spinach or if you have a bundle of fresh stuff, just sauté it down and it is the same as having a package of frozen stuff. Lots of ways to make this recipe fit your family!

Baked Turkey Meatballs with Spinach

~ 2 Tbsp. olive oil

~ 1 large onion, chopped

~ 2 garlic cloves, chopped

~ 1 tsp. salt

~ 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

~ 1/4 tsp. dried thyme

~ 1/2 tsp. dried oregano

~ 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (adjust to your taste)

~ 16 oz. frozen chopped spinach (defrosted, drained, and squeezed to remove excess water)

~ 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

~ 1/3 cup chicken broth

~ 2 1/2 lbs. ground turkey

~ 3/4 cup bread crumbs or Panko

~ 2 large eggs

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a large baking sheet by spraying with cooking spray.

2. In a frying pan on medium heat, heat olive oil until hot. Then add onion, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Sauté until onion is tender.

3. Add spinach to pan and combine with onion mixture. Add Worcestershire sauce and chicken broth and mix to combine. Cook until most of the liquid has cooked out. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

4. In a large bowl, combine the turkey, bread crumbs, and egg. Add cooled onion/spinach mixture to the meat.

5. With your hands, create meatballs that are about 1 – 1 1/2 inches in diameter and place them on the baking sheet. Leave a little bit of space between each meatball. When you are done shaping your meatballs, you will probably have about 40 meatballs.

6. Bake until your meatballs are cooked through which is about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and serve as desired or once cooled freeze.

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Baked Turkey Meatballs with Spinach

Warm Bean Dip

10 01 2013

The playoffs have begun and with super bowl right around the corner I am sure that many people are looking for things to make during their football parties. Recipes that are a crowd pleaser. These Warm Bean Dip that I found over at Life as a lofthouse made a huge batch and it was super yummy. The taco mix gave the bean dip something special and the melted cheese on top was amazing.

Warm Bean Dip

~ 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened

~ 1 cup sour cream

~ 2 cans (16 oz. each) refried beans

~ 1 packet taco seasoning

~ 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

~ 2 cups Monterey jack cheese, shredded


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together cream cheese and sour cream in a large bowl. Mix in refried beans until combined. Stir in taco seasoning.

2. Spray a 9 x 13 baking pan with cooking spray. Spread mixture evenly into the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle the top with both cheeses.

3. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until cheese is melted and slightly browned. Serve with tortilla chips.

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Warm Bean Dip

Snickerdoodle Blondies

9 01 2013

If you are ever in need of something quick to make that you don’t need to run to the store for ingredients and everybody will love, you need to make these! I made these and in less than a day the whole pan was gone and my kids didn’t eat much. I found these over at My Own Sweet Thyme. They were everything that you love about a snickerdoodle but in a brownie form. Amazing!

Snickerdoodle Blondies

~ 2 2/3 cups flour

~ 2 tsp. baking powder

~ 1 tsp. salt

~ 2 cups packed brown sugar

~ 2 cup butter, at room temperature

~ 2 eggs, at room temperature

~ 1 Tbsp. vanilla

~ 2 Tbsp. white sugar

~ 2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350o. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and beat until well blended.

4. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.

5. In a small bowl, combine the white sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the batter in the baking pan.

6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the surface springs back when gently pressed. Remove from oven and let cool slightly on a wire rack. While still warm, cut into squares with a sharp knife.

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Snickerdoodle Blondies

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