Cranberry Coffee Cake

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This coffee cake is a little bit of everything: sweet; yet, tart, & moist; yet, crunchy. It comes together quickly & is perfectly suitable for brunch or a late afternoon snack.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 3 tbsps Turbinado or granulated sugar

PREPARATION:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 inch pie pan with non-stick spray; set aside.

In a medium size bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, & salt. Stir in the cranberries & walnuts. In a measuring cup, melt the butter. Allow to cool slightly. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs. Add the eggs, cooled melted butter, & almond extract to flour mixture. Stir, stir, & stir again to incorporate as the mixture will be very thick. Spread evenly in prepared pan.

Using the same measuring cup with the buttered residue, add in 3 tbsps of sugar & stir to soak up any butter remaining in cup. Sprinkle on the top of the batter.

Bake for 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted into middle comes clean.

Source: rumblytumbly.com

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BLTA Sandwich

These sandwiches are perfect for a light dinner or summertime lunch. In my neck of the woods, it’s cold & blustery as winter approaches, but that didn’t deter me from making these for dinner the other night. Also, it’s a good way to use the leftover bacon from breakfast/ brunch.

Ingredients:

  • Sourdough bread
  • Mayonnaise
  • Romaine lettuce
  • 1 Beefsteak tomato, sliced
  • 2 – 3 slices of cooked thick cut bacon
  • Freshly ground S & P
  • 1 avocado, sliced

Preparation:

With the oven on low broil, place the bread on a baking sheet & toast to a light golden, rotating to toast on both sides.

As the bread is toasting, slice the tomatoes into thick slices. Since I’m not a fan of soggy sandwiches, & tomatoes can make bread soggy, I place the tomatoes between a few layers of paper towels & press down to soak up the moisture. Discard the paper towels & season tomatoes with S&P.

Heat up the bacon. If it’s already cooked, 9 – 12 seconds in the microwave does the trick without making it rubbery.

Remove bread from oven & spread a little (or a lot, if that’s your thing) mayonnaise on one slice of bread. Add lettuce, tomatoes, bacon, slices of avocado & top with remaining slice of bread.

Enjoy!

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Homemade Cinnamon Rolls with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

 

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“Mom, what are you making for breakfast tomorrow?”

”I made breakfast today. What are you making for breakfast tomorrow?”

“I want cinnamon rolls, but those take too long.”

Fast forward to this morning & I’m awake at 6:30am. That, my friends, is sleeping in. The forecast was set for drastically reduced temperatures from yesterday’s perfect 70 degrees, by about 50 degrees, starting with rain, quickly turning to sleet, snow, and lots of northerly winds. AKA: perfect baking weather.

For the record, I tried my hands at cinnamon rolls once a long, long time ago as a new wife so essentially I was starting from scratch. After perusing a few trusted blogs (Add a Pinch, Smitten Kitchen, & I Am Baker) I pulled ideas from each to create my own & I got a big thumbs up from the family. I may have even put my own thumbs up after taking the first bite.

Give yourself ample time to make these, about three hours. It’s a process, but well worth the wait.

Ingredients: 

for the rolls:

  • I cup warm milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 packet fast rising yeast
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup melted butter, cooled
  • 2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for handling

for the filling: 

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened

for the whipped cream cheese frosting: 

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup (or 2 oz. cream cheese)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • pinch of Kosher salt

Preparation:

for the rolls: 

Warm milk to 110 degrees (not more than 110 or it will kill the yeast) and whisk in the sugar and packet of yeast. Cover with plastic wrap & allow to proof, approximately 30 minutes.

Add egg yolks, one egg, cooled melted butter, kosher salt, & proofed milk, sugar, yeast mixture into the bowl of a stand up mixer & whisk together using the paddle attachment.  Add flour, one cup at a time, stirring to incorporate. Remove the paddle attachment with the dough hook, and knead for 5-7 minutes. The dough should be soft & moist, not overly sticky. Transfer the dough into a large, lightly oiled bowl & cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise at room temperature until doubled, approximately 2 – 2 1/2 hours.

Once the dough has doubled in size, transfer to a large, lightly floured surface and roll to to a rectangle that is 18 or so inches wide (the side closest to you) & 12 or so inches long with 1/4 inch thickness.

for the filling: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon. Spread the softened butter over the dough and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture all over the buttered dough. Beginning with the edge closest to you, roll the dough into a tight, 18 inch long spiral. Very gently, using floss and/ or a string (or even a serrated knife sawing gently) cut into 1 1/2 inch sections. (I got a bit wonky with my sizing so I had 15 cinnamon rolls of various sizes, but ideally you’ll want 12). Place in a lightly buttered 9×13 baking dish.

NOTE: if making the night before, stop here, cover with plastic wrap, and place in refrigerator for up to 16 hours. Allow to rest on counter for 30 minutes prior to baking.

Bake until puffed and golden, approximately for 28-30 minutes, or until thermometer inserted reads 190 degrees.

for the whipped cream cheese frosting: 

While rolls are baking, add the butter, sifted powdered sugar, cream cheese, vanilla extract, & salt into stand up mixer. Mix on low to just combine. Once ingredients are incorporated, turn mixer on high & beat for 4-5 minutes, scraping down the sides. Frosting will be light & fluffy.

When rolls are finished baking, allow them to cool for 5 minutes in pan before topping with frosting.

 

 

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Brisket Quesadillas

Recently, the hubby & I spent a weekend in Dallas. It’s not too far from home & our girls are now relatively old enough to fend for themselves & are more than happy to have their parents out of their hair for a bit. The extra cash we left them was the proverbial cherry on top. While there, we ate excellent Tex-Mex & barbecue. We were reminiscing about the brisket quesadillas we had & opted to recreate our own. They were super tasty, and to be honest, you can’t go wrong with brisket.

Ingredients:

  • 5 lb brisket
  • Carne Asada steak seasoning
  • 4 tbsps Olive oil
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • Flour tortillas
  • Colby jack cheese, shredded

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a large cast iron skillet, add the olive oil & bring to medium heat so that it sizzles when a drop of water is added. While the oil is heating, cut the brisket in half & season both sides liberally with carne asada steak seasoning. Once the oil is ready, sear each side of the brisket for 4 minutes. Add two cups of beef broth to a baking pan & add the seared brisket to the pan. Cover tightly with foil & bake for 3 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted in the middle reads between 200 & 205 degrees. Remove from heat & allow to rest for 20 minutes before slicing.

Bring a griddle to medium-high heat. Lightly butter the flour tortillas, add cheese, slices of brisket, & top with another lightly buttered tortilla. Toast each side until lightly golden and cheese has melted.

We had plenty left over so I’m envisioning brisket tacos or enchiladas in our future! For the leftovers, we poured the beef broth into the container to help keep it moist.

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Almond Poppy Seed Bread

This is not the picture I intended to use for this recipe, but I’ve had more issues with my brand new phone being sent off & repaired, that I didn’t back it up yet again before they decided to send me a brand new phone to replace the previous one. So far, a couple weeks in & it’s been issue free which is how a new phone should be in the first place. That being said, I managed to snap this one, but don’t let the crappy photo deter you from baking this yummy bread. I had to save myself from myself when it came to this bread. One day I had it for brunch & dinner with nothing else. Yeah, it’s that good.

INGREDIENTS:

for the bread:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsps almond extract
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups oil
  • 3 tbsps Poppy seeds
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp butter flavoring
  • 1 1/2 tsps baking powder
  • 3 eggs

 

for the topping:

  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp butter flavoring
  • 3/4 cup sugar

PREPARATIONS:

 

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray 2 bread pans with non-stick spray; set aside. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, sugar, & oil until smooth. Stir in the almond & vanilla extract & the butter flavoring. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, & Poppy seeds. Beginning and ending with the milk, alternate adding some of the milk, then flour, stir & repeat. Distribute evenly between the two pans & bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Once the bread is finished baking, remove from the pans & transfer to a cooling rack & place parchment paper underneath. I learned the hard way and added the topping while the loaves were still in the pan and then allowed them to cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Once I went to remove the bread, the bottom of the loaves stuck to the bottom of the pans. So trust me when I say, boil the topping ingredients on the stove & then pour topping over the loaves after you’ve removed them from the pans. Allow to cool before slicing.

 

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Pan Seared Garlic Butter Steak

When it comes to steak, 9/10 Chris fires up the grill & I busy myself making baked potatoes & salad or some other type of veggie, but tonight I changed things up & opted for seasoned & seared steak with garlic butter. That’s right, garlic butter, mmm hmm! When the family declares, “This is so good!” after every other bite, you know you’ve got a new favorite on your hands. This is truly excellent & nearly fail proof.

Ingredients:

  • 3 (9-10 oz) Ribeye steaks
  • S&P, freshly ground
  • Olive oil
  • 4 tbsp butter, at room temperature
  • 8 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Parsley

Preparation:

Allow steaks to come to room temperature, 30-60 minutes. In a small bowl, add the butter, minced garlic, Thyme, & Rosemary; stir together until well combined; set aside. Liberally apply freshly ground salt & pepper to both sides of the steaks. Heat a large cast-iron skillet to medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat pan evenly.

Add seasoned steaks to pan, cover, & cook 3 minutes on each each side. Reduce heat to medium-low; add half of the butter mixture; distributing evenly to tops of the steaks. Turn steaks over, spread remaining butter mixture evenly over steaks, remove from heat, sprinkle tops of steaks with parsley, & let rest for 5 minutes.

Note: I only had dried Thyme & Rosemary on hand, so I sprinkled some into the butter. If you happen to have fresh, use 2-3 sprigs of each.

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Breakfast Quiche

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Ingredients:

  • 1 unbaked pastry shell
  • 12 strips of bacon, cooked & crumbled (8 if using thick cut bacon)
  • 1 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese
  • 1/3 cup onion, chopped
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Preparation:

Preheats oven to 450 degrees. Line un-pricked pastry shell with double thickness of foil. Bake for 5 minutes; remove foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Reduce heat to 425 degrees. Sprinkle bacon, cheese, and onion over the crust. In a bowl, beat eggs, cream, salt, and cayenne; pour into crust. Bake for 15 minutes and then reduce heat to 300 degrees and for 30 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center of the quiche comes clean.

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