Buttery Pretzel Bites

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This last weekend we had a UFC party here at my house. We all had a blast and you know I had to make a few goodies for people to munch on ūüėČ So I made pretzel bites, Gooey Ham Sliders and Cheese Cake! The Pretzel Bites¬†were by far everyone’s favorite treat – I’m lucky I was able to get a picture of them!

The recipe I use is from AllRecies: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/buttery-soft-pretzels/ but when the recipe calls for pretzels to be shaped I roll them out and cut them into bites sized pieces. 

 

  • 4 teaspoons¬†active dry yeast

  • 1 teaspoon¬†white sugar

  • 1 1/4 cups¬†warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)

  • 5 cups¬†all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup¬†white sugar

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons¬†salt

  • 1 tablespoon¬†vegetable oil

  • 1/2 cup¬†baking soda

  • 4 cups¬†hot water

  • 1/4 cup¬†kosher salt, for topping

 

Directions

  1. In a small bowl (I use a glass measuring cup), dissolve yeast and 1 tsp sugar in 1 1/4 C warm water. give this 5 to 10 minutes to Bloom
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center; add the oil and yeast mixture. Mix and form into a dough. If the mixture is dry, add one or two more tablespoons of water (I do this in with my Kitchen Aide then I knead by hand) Knead the dough until smooth, about 7 to 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Grease 2 baking sheets.
  4. In a large bowl, dissolve baking soda in 4 cups hot water; set aside. When risen, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and twist into a pretzel shape (this is where I deviate and create my little bites by rolling out and cutting into bite sized pieces). Once all of the dough is shaped, dip each pretzel into the baking soda-hot water solution and place pretzels on baking sheets. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
  5. Bake in preheated oven until browned, about 7 or 8 minutes.

Easy Homemade Ice Cream

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I recently picked up an ice cream maker on clearance and finally got around to trying it today. After looking around for an easy ‘no fail” recipe I found this one. Only 3 ingredients and about an hour? Sure! And taste? OMG! Delicious! Its like frozen whipped cream. So here it is:

 

1 1/2 cups Cold Whole Milk

1 1/8 cups Sugar

3 cups Cold Heavy Whipping Cream

1 1/2 TBS Pure Vanilla

 

Prepare your Ice Cream Maker.

With your mixer on low mix Whole Milk and  Sugar till well blended. Add Heavy Cream and Vanilla.

Continue per your Ice Cream Makers Instructions

The Best Cinnamon Rolls Ever!

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I have tried a few different recipes for cinnamon rolls and they were ok. ¬†I had trouble finding the one that was something I would want to make again. ¬†You know, the wow factor. ¬†Then I was discussing this with a friend of mine during a summer wiffle ball game. ¬†Turns out she has a great recipe. ¬†I’m skeptical but I figure I will give it a shot. ¬†Really I just figured the only good way to get a good cinnamon roll was to go buy them pre made at the store. ¬†Oh boy was I ever wrong! ¬†These are just fantastic. ¬†Nothing but good things to say about these delicious beauties! ¬†Here is the recipe.

Cinnamon Rolls

 

1 fourth cup melted butter

1 fourth cup water

1 cup of milk

2 tablespoons of sugar

1 egg

half a package of instant vanilla pudding

teaspoon of salt

4 cups of bread flour

2 and 1 half teaspoons of yeast

Add to bread machine and set to dough cycle. When done roll out (I cut my dough into 2 pieces and work from there) and smear with butter then put brown sugar on the dough and sprinkle with cinnamon.  Slice into strips with a pizza cutter with your desired thickness and roll.  They do not need to rise again, but sometimes I let them rise just a bit more to make them nice and puffy.  Bake at 350.  Frost with cream cheese frosting while still warm and ENJOY!

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I’ll be honest. ¬†I have never actually timed how long it takes for these to bake. ¬†I just go by smell and my nose never lies! ¬†I would guess it’s about 35-40 minutes. ¬†My pictures in no way to them justice, but I really don’t get much time to snap pictures. ¬†They are gobbled up very quickly.

 

DIY Ice Packs

I know I have mentioned in previous posts that I have a bum hand. ¬†Part of the problem is tendinitis on the side of my hand between the thumb and wrist. ¬†I have been trying many things over the last 2 years, physical therapy, cortisone injections, and even a cast for 2 miserable weeks! ¬†Nothing has worked and now I am looking at surgery to open the sheath around the tendons to give them enough room and hopefully reduce the massive inflammation that has plagued me for 2+ years. ¬†I have used ice packs constantly to try and reduce pain and inflammation and after awhile they tend to get a freezer bunt smell to them that I just don’t want to deal with. ¬†I also do not want to waste money to buy new ones just because they are smelly. ¬†As often as I use them, that is expensive! ¬† Also, my surgery is going to be scheduled in the next week or so, so it seems this would be a good time to have plenty of ice packs on hand. ¬†So on to Pinterest I go to see what can be done. ¬†The most common recipe is as follows.

 

3 parts water

1 part rubbing alcohol

food coloring (optional)

 

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I just want you to know…I cleaned off my kitchen table for you guys! ¬†I have been¬†trying failing miserably at this goal in my house. ¬†Anyway, I gathered my ingredients and got to work. ¬†I started with 3¬†cups of cold water (I know it is a little over 3, but it’s a hectic morning here and I choose my battles). ¬†I then added 1 cup of rubbing alcohol.

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Then comes the food coloring. ¬†I used the food coloring simply to ensure if there was a leak, I would find it. ¬† I recommend you use the drops and not gel. ¬†It doesn’t dissolve well, but since it is all I had on hand, it was good enough!

 

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After 2 hours I checked my little snack size baggies and found major leaks!  I transferred the smaller baggies into 2 quart size freezer zipper bags, double bagging each one.  

Next up, fill my snack size baggies leaving room for expansion when frozen.

 

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Oh yeah, having a paper-towel on hand is a VERY good idea! ¬†I only spilled a little but it could have been much worse! ¬†Next I just stacked them in quart freezer bags and tossed them in the freezer. ¬†I double bagged just in case one wasn’t totally sealed. ¬†That would not be a mess I would want to clean up!

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The next day…..

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I have ice packs!  So happy to find this works.  It will be so much cheaper.  Have a great week!

 

Lynn

Honey Teriyaki Chicken

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Dinner in my house is always a challenge due to Mr. Picky, aka my loving fiance. ¬†I am constantly saying he has the pallet of a 5 year old, but I’m pretty sure I know some 5 year olds that will eat more than him! ¬†I tend to buy in bulk when there is a sale so I don’t have to pay full price later. ¬†This is how I became really tired of baked chicken breast. ¬†We are not always the most inventive at the end of the day so I started looking for some chicken recipes that Mr. Picky will try. ¬†Luckily I have found a winner with this recipe from http://www.frugalitygal.com/. ¬†Honey, teriyaki, chicken. ¬†Yep, he will eat this! ¬†This is where I got the recipe. ¬† ¬†http://www.frugalitygal.com/2013/09/honey-teriyaki-chicken-recipe.html#_a5y_p=1258963

  • 1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken tenders (I had roughly 3.5lbs of chicken)

  • 1/3 cup honey (I used 1 cup of local honey)

  • 1/3 cup teriyaki sauce (I used 1 cup)

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce (3 TBSP low sodium soy sauce)

  • 1 tbsp minced garlic (I didn’t have fresh garlic so I just used about 2 TBSP garlic powder)

  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper (2 Tsp black pepper)

  • 1/4 tsp. Salt (1/2 tsp salt)

  • 2 tbsp. sesame seeds (I didn’t use these because I didn’t have them)

This is where I veered off the path of her directions. ¬†I mixed all of this in a large bowl with a fork, sorry, I don’t touch raw chicken if I don’t have to! ¬†My mother cut the chicken for me since my bum hand doesn’t allow for me to do that sort of thing. ¬†Anyway, I put it in the fridge covered for 2 hours and then cooked it in a saucepan while my rice cooked away in the rice maker. ¬†Once the sauce thickened I turned off the heat and let it stand for 5 min to thicken some more and then served over rice. ¬†This was seriously delicious! ¬† Oh how I love easy recipes !

Lynn

Easy Creamsicle Cupcakes

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I have been passing off these awesome cupcakes as homemade for months!  I mean, they were made at home, so they are homemade right?  Ok, ok, since I finally fessed up to the truth I can share this with you.  These are so easy and oh so delicious.  Here we go.

 

Creamsicle Cupcakes with cream cheese filling and orange cream cheese frosting

For the cupcakes purchase Pillsbury Orange Creamsicle cake mix and make according to the directions.  Once cool, core out the center of each cupcake unless you have a frosting tip that will pierce the cupcake.

Make a basic cream cheese frosting.

2 Sticks of butter softened

2 8oz packages of cream cheese

3-4 cups powdered sugar

1 TBS Vanilla

1-2 TBS Milk

Cream the butter and cream cheese together in your stand mixer, add vanilla and sugar slowly, adding milk as needed for texture.  Voila!  Cream cheese frosting is complete!

Fill a frosting bag with frosting and pipe frosting into the top of each cupcake.  Super difficult I know!

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Next take one container of Pillsbury Orange Creamsicle frosting and add it to the remaining cream cheese frosting.  Mix until combined in your stand mixer.

Fill a piping bag with frosting and whichever frosting tip you like (the first picture was a batch without a frosting tip) and frost those bad boys!  I like to sprinkle chocolate sprinkles (aka jimmies for my east coast friends) on top to make them look even more appealing.

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This does take a little time and effort, but really it is so easy to do and I have NEVER had anyone not absolutely love these!  I have to hide some in the fridge for a friend and his son and every time I text him and tell him I have cupcakes for him, he is always very excited!  I have made these for snacks at bible study, birthdays and just because.   These are just delicious.  Please try these and let me know how they go over.  I anticipate some very positive reviews!!

 

Lynn

Delicious Guacamole In Under 5 Minutes

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Every Monday night my fiance unfortunately watches WWE Wrestling.  Most of the time one of his friends comes over to watch with him.  He is a great guy, and single so of course the mom in me wants to make sure he gets fed right.  Also, he is NOT picky like my fiance and loves to try my experiments.  I decided Taco Salad was on the menu for tonight.  While at the grocery store (because of course I had nothing in the house for taco salad), I saw avocados and remembered he loves my guacamole.  I found 2 kinda soft and decided that we had a new item on the menu!

This recipe really has no measurements because it all depends on how much you like. ¬†I did measure out what I did last night but please add or reduce as you please. ¬†You know what you like and that’s what counts. ¬†ūüôā

 

This is what you need:

2 ripe avocados

Helmans Mayonnaise

Pace Chunky Salsa

Lime Juice

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In a bowl mash your avocados with a fork, making them as creamy or chunky as you like. ¬†I leave some decent size chunks because I LOVE the taste of avocado. ¬† Add 1-1.5 TBS of Helmans Mayo and stir. ¬†You want it to have a creamy texture but not have the mayo overpower the delicious avocado flavor. ¬†I recommend you start out small with the mayo and add more if you need to. ¬† It is difficult to remove too much mayo. ¬†Next add in and mix 1/4 cup of your salsa. Add 1 tsp of lime juice to help prevent the guacamole from browning as fast as it tends to do. ¬† Again this is just what I did. ¬†If you like more, or less, by all means use what you want. ¬† This is just what I used last night. ¬† If you use a different brand of salsa and mayo that’s fine too. ¬†Personally I will only use Helmans. ¬† Anything else tastes awful to me. ¬†The Pace Salsa was what happened to be on sale yesterday or I would have bought store brand.

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This is so easy to make and really doesn’t take much effort. ¬†Of course you can always pretend otherwise ūüôā . ¬†This went over just as I expected. ¬†Loved and enjoyed by¬†everyone everyone except for my fiance who made questionable faces at it!

I really hope you try this and enjoy it.  It is so easy and oh so delicious.  ENJOY!!