Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Cinnamon Bun Oven Pancake

Today is Baby Cakes’ 31st Birthday.

Since we met I have been with him through, as of today, 5 birthdays. I sometimes feel like I missed out on so much of what it is that made him into the man he is today but I am blessed to get to spend all his future birthdays with him. I love you Baby, here’s to the next 70 more birthdays!

So because today is his birthday seems to me that he should get whatever he wants for supper, within reason, and when asked what he would like me to make for him he chose pancakes.

The thing about it is that I have always wanted to try baked pancakes. Like dutch pancakes but I also know that it has to be over the top for my hubby.

This post is how I made an over the top baked pancake for my gorgeous husbands birthday.

Cinnamon Bun Oven Pancake


½ cup butter
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon maple syrup
3 tablespoons of white sugar
½ teaspoon of cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

In a small bowl combine the sugar and ½ teaspoon cinnamon together. Set aside.
Smear the butter over the entire surface area, inside, of a cast iron skillet. Place skillet in warming oven to melt.

In a mixing bowl mix the eggs, vanilla extract, maple syrup and milk together vigorously until it is frothy. Gently mix in the flour and cinnamon until well combined.

Pull the hot skillet with the melted butter from the oven and pour the batter in.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Pause about 15 minutes into baking to sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the top of the pancake. Continue baking until done.

Meanwhile, make the frosting.


1 cup confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons melted salted butter
2 tablespoons cream

Whisk the ingredients together until smooth and at a drizzling consistency. If it is too thick add bit more cream, if it is too thin add a bit more sugar.

Now when it comes to icing it is completely up to you. I chose to drizzle a bit for aesthetics and then let Baby Cakes decide how much extra he wanted along with it.

I wanted to share how it looks before icing, right out of the oven while it's still puffy...

and after is falls which in this case is a good thing.

I cannot tell you how decadent this recipe is. While baking the entire house smelled of cinnamon and sugar, exactly like cinnamon rolls baking. It is sweet for a breakfast so make sure to serve it along with some protein and maybe even some fruit.


Happy Birthday Baby.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Crock Pot Chops and Gravy

So Baby Cakes has been a bit tired as of late, so has the wife but there’s no rest for the weary, and because of this he took a day off yesterday. The plus side to him being home was that instead of having to bake something for an hour after I get home from work it can slowly cook in the crockpot. I armed him with all the ingredients, a recipe and directions not to play with the ingredients, not the first time we make it, and off to work I went.

When I walked in the door the scent was amazing. It smelt so good and after quickly changing into my PJ’s and putting my hair into a ponytail holder I was in the kitchen putting the finishing touches together.

This recipe is out of this world, to quote Paula Deen. Thank you Real Mom Kitchen for yet another fantastic and simple meal, if you have never been to visit her blog I highly recommend that you go now. Do not walk, run!

Crock Pot Chops and Gravy
recipe from Real Mom Kitchen

4 lean pork chops
4 tablespoons soy sauce
4 ounce can sliced mushrooms, drained
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 medium onion, sliced or diced
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon parsley

Place pork chops in the crock pot. Put onions over the top of the pork chops.

Mix the rest of ingredients in a bowl and pour over the pork chops.

Cook on low for 5-6 hours.

For thicker gravy (optional):

2 tablespoons cornstarch

Transfer pork chops, onions and mushrooms to a dish and set aside.

Pour the gravy into a saucepan and set over medium heat. Slowly whisk in cornstarch and heat, stirring constantly, until thickened.

I whipped up some Mashed Potatoes and buttered corn and it was on. It is wonderful, so wonderful that leftovers are calling my name for supper tonight.

The best part, the hubs made dinner last night! Woot woot.

Love my crockpot,

Monday, May 23, 2011

Chicken Parmesan Pasta

As you might be aware I am a coupon user. Have I mentioned that before? Well the idea of super couponing is you stock up on items when they are at their rock bottom prices and a few weeks or months ago, I kind of lost track, pasta was at its rock bottom price in my area. Being as I buy 4-8 newspapers a week (for the coupons) that meant when it was on the above said sale I stocked up on that many boxes of pasta, for free might I add. Moral to this story? I have a ton of pasta to cook.

Baby Cakes called me on his way home from a guy’s trip Saturday afternoon to ask me if I had eaten yet because he was starving. (What he was actually asking me was “Baby, I’m really really hungry, could you, would please make some dinner and maybe have it ready when I get there?”.) So I forced myself off the couch, sigh, and went to the kitchen to see what I could throw together. I hadn’t thawed out any meat. I hadn’t pre planned. I guess I assumed we would eat out like most Saturday nights. But, then I caught something from the corner of my eye pushed into the deepest corner of the deep freeze- chicken nuggets. A scan of the stock shelf and I see that I also have pasta, and lots of it and I know I have a ton of canned pasta sauce (also on sale a week or two ago) and then it dawns on me.

You know those ready-made frozen meals you can find in the freezer section at the grocery store? Well I love them. They are so easy and fast to cook. And although not a true home cooked style meal it is fairly good and hey, it get's the job done. Well one of those frozen bags is what dawned on me and became the inspiration for this recipe.

Chicken Parmesan Pasta

26 ounce can chunky vegetable pasta sauce
6 ounce can tomato paste
4 ounce can sliced mushrooms, drained
14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, with the juice
1 tablespoon ketchup
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 large tablespoon of chicken base or 3 chicken bouillon cubes
12 ounce package of shredded mozzarella cheese
12-16 chicken nuggets, baked according to package directions
14.5 ounce box of rotini pasta, cooked according to package directions and drained

In a large saucepot combine all the canned items together as well as the ketchup, garlic powder, Italian seasoning and chicken base. Stir to combine. Simmer over medium low heat for 30-60 minutes stirring occasionally.

Once you have cooked and drained your pasta and the chicken nuggets are baked toss all the items together until coated in sauce. Add the cheese and combine once more until melted.

Serve warm with a cold crisp side salad.

First, a little note regarding the picture. I know that it doesn't look cheesy but it is. If I had though aesthetically before I used the whole bag of cheese I would have reserved some to top it off with but as it were I didn't have any to make the picture pretty with. Maybe one day I'll post a cheesier picture (that's a good thing in this case, grin).

So could this be improved? Most likely; perhaps with homemade chicken nuggets or homemade pasta sauce but for a quick thrown together meal this is perfect.

In regards to the man I made this for, Baby Cakes, he ended up fat and happy. He was passed out asleep on the sofa after downing a large dish full, so, my job was done. Now about those dishes…


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pineapple-Glazed Meatballs

Ah summer is here, with a vengeance. Soon even the cool evenings will be gone and we will be left with heat to sit and puddle in. So in anticipation of that very thing I plan on arming myself with simple and quick and possibly even heat proof recipe. This is the first one dedicated to summer. Yes, summer kicks but we can kick back.

I came across this recipe fairly recently, actually more than fairly, like two days ago on a blog I find myself coming back to again and again, Real Mom Kitchen. I love that she whips up simple fair because let’s face it as much as I like to eat fine cuisine there isn’t always time for it, or the want for it. (Okay, you got me; I really don’t eat fine cuisine. The finest thing I eat would be crème brulee or crab legs, oh or oysters, fancy right?)

This recipe handles both obstacles, needing something simple and something that won’t force me to kick the AC down to 60 degrees. Oh and did I mention how amazing it is? So tasty that Baby Cakes took the leftover meatballs and some bread to work to fashion his very own meatball sub. (Perhaps a future blog post?)

Pineapple-Glazed Meatballs
recipe from Real Mom Kitchen

1 cup barbecue sauce
1 cup crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
1 (16 oz) package fully cooked frozen meatballs
cooked rice

In a skillet combine the barbecue sauce and pineapple together. Add meatballs and stir until coated.

Bring to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and simmer for 10 minutes or until heated through.

Serve over rice.

Serves 4-6.

Amazing. So simple and the kitchen wasn’t a 100 degrees when I was done.

Love. Love. Love.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Strawberry Pear Salad

Growing up my Grandma Lolly would make a simple pear dessert for us when we were staying with her. It consisted of canned pears, whipped cream and a maraschino cherry. I was a light and yummy dessert after a home cooked meal prepared lovingly by her. Something about this recipe always appealed to me and I find myself on summer days wanting to eat some of the ice cold pears and creamy whipped cream; not to mention the cherry. While my siblings were arguing over who would get to drink the cold syrup that pears were canned in I would be sneaking cherries out of their bright red syrup. Youth, where did the time go?

As an adult and with the responsibilities of planning and cooking for my own husband (perhaps someday my family) I find myself coming back to the recipes I was raised on time and time again. No matter how simple or different they may be. And every once in a while I like to revisit them and make them a bit more mine. With the current weather, HELLlllOooooooooO SUMMER (think Good Morning Vietnam), I am aching or would that be melting for cool dishes. This hits the spot.

The best part about it is that it is a make ahead of time kind of dish. It would be great for guests or a simple late night snack. My grandma served it along with dinner as side dish. But I tend to serve it afterwards because I beleive it derserves to be in the spotlight. I know it seems so simple, the thought actually crossed my mind to not even blog it, but it is a recipe that makes me think of my Grandma and one that I thought of and think of fondly still. That and this is my blog so Na-na-nana-na.

Strawberry Pear Salad
minimally adapted from Grandma Lolly’s recipe

serves 2 adults

1 regular can of halved pears, drained
6-8 strawberries, rinsed, cored and sliced
whipped cream, about 2-4 tablespoons
maraschino cherries, amount up to you

In the bowl you will use to serve the salad place two halves of pear. Top with half of the strawberries, a dollop of whipped cream and a cherry.

Place the bowls into the refrigerator and chill until ready to serve.

This recipe is sneaky. It will hit you out of nowhere on a sweltering day and before you know it you’ll be craving a bite of an ice cold pear.

Don't judge me (wink),

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Apple Cheddar Beer Dip

It has been crazy busy in my life as of late, and I can imagine that I am not the only one. Spring brings sunshine, hope, rebirth and so many get togethers and parties. Bring on the margaritas.

My best friends in the whole wide world planned a Birthday Party and I offered to bring a dish. So the morning of the shindig I needed something and stat. Luckily I recalled this dip, one of my sister in laws made it for our Girl’s (Adult Beverage) Slumber Party a little more than a year ago and I really liked it. Not to mention I had all the ingredients to make it. Easy Peasy.

Melissa, SIL, made it with regular beer but I never can leave any recipe alone so I changed it up a bit using Woodchuck Apple Cider, or also known as hard apple cider. It was a tart surprise in a creamy dip. I loved it. Baby Cakes loved it. And many of the party goers loved it. Love love love all around.

Apple Cheddar Beer Dip
recipe from Melissa Jones, Sister in Law

16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 packet ranch dressing mix, dry
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup apple beer

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, beer and dressing mix until smooth. Stir in the cheddar cheese.

Serve with pretzels for dipping.

I know, couldn’t be any simpler right? Don’t let its simplicity fool you the flavor is complex and it really has just enough apple to it.


Monday, May 9, 2011

Green Bean Roll Up Casserole

I didn’t contribute much this year for Easter. Like most Jones side family holidays my parents cook the main part of the meal be it turkey or ham and it is the kids, me and my siblings, job to bring the side dishes. I have been waiting to take this dish for quite some time now. I am always in charge of the sweet potatoes but Easter doesn’t really need sweet potatoes so I finally got to showcase probably one of my favorite vegetables, green beans.

Baby Cakes’ Aunt Norresa made these last Thanksgiving and since eating them I have craved them. The reason I don’t make them for everyday is because they are a bit of work to make, not labor intensive but time consuming. However, they are well worth the time invested.

The name came from the fact that the original recipe is for green bean roll-ups where instead of canned green beans you use fresh ones wrapped in bacon and then with the marinade poured over the top. I can’t say I won’t be making it that way too but it seems so, well, stuffy. I want casual, I want Sunday Supper style not Saturday Dinner Party.

Green Bean Roll Up Casserole

3 cans cut green beans, drained
4 slices bacon, diced large
1 cup brown sugar
onion, 1/2 cup, chopped
1 stick butter
2 tablespoon soy sauce
garlic salt, dash

Melt the butter in a saucepan; add the brown sugar, soy sauce and garlic salt. Mix on low heat until smooth and thickened.

Pour the drained green beans into a baking dish.

Fry the chopped bacon and onion in a skillet until bacon is crisp, do not drain and pour it into the marinade and stir. Then pour the entire mixture over the green beans.

Marinate overnight, stir, then cook as above.

Bake on 350 for 30 minutes.

Get ready because once you taste these regular old green beans just won’t cut a decadent holiday meal anymore. These are amazing.

I doubled the recipe and left with an empty casserole dish.

Until next time,

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...