Friday, March 29, 2013

Super Sweet Cornbread

Cornbread made with cake mix ~ another fabulous Pinterest find!  It's truly the best cornbread!  Or cake...or cornbread.  I don't know which.  It's very sweet, so it is really a treat to make this once in a while.  We had it with my Turkey Two Bean Chili, but I also ate it over the next couple of days when I was craving something sweet.


The original recipe calls for a box of Jiffy Cornbread mix, but I made my own.  You make that first, then make the cake mix, then combine them both together.  I used Duncan Hines Butter Golden mix apparently (from the notes from the recipe that this is adapted from) it's the only mix without pudding in it, which makes it a little less "cakey".  This is also a mix that calls for 3 eggs - I used just two because you will be combining this with the cornbread mix that already has 2 eggs.  I felt like 5 eggs would be too much.    


If you wanted to, you could also add cheddar cheese, jalapenos, etc.  That would also make this mix a lot more savory.  I LOVE sweet cornbread so I was so excited to find this.  It's also so moist, which is another must.  


Super Sweet Cornbread

1 box yellow cake mix (I used Duncan Hines Butter Golden)
water, butter or oil and eggs (from the directions on the box - minus 1 egg if using what I used)

For the cornbread mix (or use 2 boxes Jiffy Cornbread Mix):
1 1/3 cups flour
1 cup cornmeal
6 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 eggs
2/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9x13" baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.  Start with the cornbread by combining all ingredients through the vegetable oil.  After that is mixed together, add the eggs and milk.  Set aside.  Make the cake mix according to package directions in a large mixing bowl.  Combine the two mixes together and pour into the 9x13" pan.  Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.   Cut into squares.

(Source:  Adapted from The Sisters Dish)

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Strawberry and Cream Cheese Pastries

One of my absolute favorite breakfast foods are Toaster Strudels - you know exactly what I'm talking about,  right?  The pastries in the frozen section that come with the little icing packets?  I'm such a kid at heart sometimes.  I LOVE the strawberry and cream cheese kind - and that's where I got the inspiration for this recipe.  Oh, also it was one of those rare occasion days where I actually got to watch what I wanted to on TV (and not My Little Ponies or a Disney Princess movie) and Claire Robinson of 5 Ingredient Fix was making these with blueberry jam!!  They looked so yummy, I had to give them a try.    


So not only are they yummy, but they are incredibly easy.  It's Puff Pastry dough, thawed, cut into 4 strips, topped with cream cheese and jam!  And while I was making these, my mind immediately went to chocolate croissants (because you know how they are always rectangle?) and I decided that I needed a chocolate drizzle, not vanilla icing. 


You'll layer the cream cheese with the strawberry jam on the top portion of the strips of dough, then fold the bottom part over that.  Crimp the sides with a fork and you have one adorable little breakfast!  Or dessert...


Bake for 8-10 minutes until they are golden brown.  They will be very puffy, but will fall a bit as they cool down.  Once they are completely cool, melt chocolate chips in the mircrowave until they are completely melted and drizzle away!  Or make cute shapes and smiley faces...I didn't think about that until after the fact...


Strawberry and Cream Cheese Pastries

1/2 cup strawberry jam
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water
2 oz cream cheese, softened
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  In a small saucepan, bring the jam and cornstarch mixture to a boil over medium heat.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes.  Set aside and let cool to room temperature.

Lay 1 sheet of pastry on a board dusted with flour and cut into 4 equal strips.  Spread about 2 tablespoons of cream cheese in the middle of the upper part of the dough (leaving a little bit of an edge).  Top the cream cheese with about 2 tablespoons of the jam mixture.  Using your finger, dab the edges with a bit of water and fold the bottom part over the top part.  Crimp with a fork.  Arrange the pastries on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes, until golden.  Let cool completely.

Make the chocolate drizzle:  in a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips by heating for 30 seconds at a time, stirring and repeating another 30 seconds until the chocolate is melted and shiny.  I put my chocolate into a plastic squeeze bottle but you can dip a fork in the chocolate and just drizzle that way too!

(Source:  Adapted from Food Network's Claire Robinson)

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Friday, March 8, 2013

Too Easy Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

Hands down, one of the easiest recipes you will ever make.  And it's so good (and good for you!).  I've been buying strawberries like they are going out of style lately - my 3 year old is addicted - and thought I'd try a little dessert with them one night.  I started researching recipes for frozen yogurt and found that most had steps like, strain the yogurt 2-4 hours and make a strawberry puree in the food processor.  Don't get me wrong, those things aren't hard...it's just that I wanted dessert like, now.  I'm all about instant gratification!  


So, I took a large tub of low fat Strawberry yogurt that I had in the fridge and dumped it into my ice cream maker!  I let that go for about 15 minutes, then chopped 1 cup of fresh strawberries, tossed them in a little sugar and lemon juice and dumped them in for about the last 5 minutes.  


The result was excellent!  The strawberries froze a bit and the yogurt was creamy with a bit of added sweetness from the lemon juice and sugar.  We ate one of these small tubs immediately (don't laugh - they are the containers that soup from Chinese restaurants come in - I love them!) and put the other in the freezer for later.  Just a heads up, left in the freezer for a couple of days this gets REALLY hard.  I had to put it in the microwave for about 30 seconds to get it a little softer (or get it out 15 minutes before you want to eat). 


Too Easy Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

1 large tub of low fat Strawberry yogurt (32 oz)
1 cup of chopped strawberries
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Turn on ice cream maker and pour yogurt into frozen freezer bowl; let mix for about 15-20 minutes until it gets thickened.  Meanwhile, combine strawberries with the sugar and lemon juice.  Dump the strawberries into the yogurt for the last 5 minutes to combine everything.  The yogurt will be softer if you decide to eat it right away or you can transfer to an airtight container and place in freezer for about 2 hours.  Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving (or 30 seconds in the microwave).

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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Buffalo Ranch Pretzels

Where else but Pinterest can you find such goodies as Buffalo Pretzels?  This recipe was adapted from the blog A Taste of the Best, and these pretzels are addicting!!  Great football snackin' food in my opinion - or any sport or get together for that matter. 


Be sure to use a very large bowl so you can really get everything nicely coated in the butter, hot sauce and ranch seasoning mixture.  I mean how good does that sound already?


Spread the coated pretzels onto a baking sheet and bake for an hour stirring everything every 15 minutes (similar to making Chex Mix).  This recipe is also very easily doubled.   


Buffalo Ranch Pretzels

6 cups pretzels (sticks or mini twists, etc.)
1/2 stick melted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons ranch dressing mix
2 tablespoons hot sauce or buffalo sauce

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.  Pour the pretzels in a large bowl and set aside.  In small bowl, combine melted butter, ranch dressing mix and hot sauce and pour over pretzels.  Stir to coat and spread out onto a 11 x 18-inch baking sheet.  Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.  Cool and eat! 

(Source:  Adapted from A Taste of the Best)

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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Filoncino Bread

I had never heard of this type of bread before either so don't worry.  My dad makes this ALL the time and he gave me the recipe forever ago and I just made it.  Took me two attempts to get it, well, let's just say, perfect.  It's crusty on the outside and soft in the middle and so great dipped in a combination of olive oil and really good balsamic vinegar.

Filoncino is a classic Italian bread that is long and airy.  It is very similar to France's baguette, although I didn't make mine that long.  I did mine a little shorter, therefore a little puffier.  


It is amazing to me how something so simple can be so good.  I don't know if I'll ever buy a baguette at the store again!  I'll just make these and keep them in my freezer (there's one in there right now!).  It's literally 4 ingredients, about 2 minutes of your time to prepare the dough, then you shape it and bake it!


The result is golden brown, crusty on the outside and soft and airy on the inside!  


Don't let the length of the instructions scare you - it's really so simple.  There's just a lot of cutting and shaping and resting in between.  Take a look - you'll see! 


Filoncino Bread 

3 and 1/2 cups bread flour, plus more for counter
1 teaspoon instant yeast
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/4 cup cornmeal

In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, yeast and sea salt (you can also use a food processor, just follow the same steps).  Turn on the hook for about 5 seconds.  Slowly add 1 and 1/4 cups of warm water (110 degrees) while the dough hook is running.  The dough should come together, forming a somewhat sticky smooth ball in a couple of minutes (your sides and bottom of the bowl should be clean at this point).  Add a little more flour if the dough is wet or a little more water if it is too dry.

Turn the dough out on the counter, shape into a ball, spray your mixing bowl with non-stick cooking spray and return the dough to the bowl.  Cover and let rise at room temperature for 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in bulk.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Cut it into 2 equal pieces and shape each into a ball, making sure you don't press out all the air bubbles that have developed.  Place on a plate or baking sheet and cover with a towel for another 15 minutes.  Preheat the oven with a baking stone in it to 475 degrees (or a baking sheet if you don't have a baking stone).

On a lightly floured surface, take one of the balls of dough and start to roll it and stretch it to about 12-14 inches.  Repeat with the remaining ball of dough.  Cover with a towel and set aside to rise for 30 minutes.

Slash each cylinder diagonally at 3-inch intervals with a sharp knife or razor blade.  Sprinkle lightly with flour.  Place on a baking peel sprinkled with the cornmeal and dust the bread with flour; slide onto the baking stone.  Lower the oven temperature to 450 degrees.  Bake for 25 minutes, or until it is golden brown and crisp, misting with water from a spray bottle 3 times during the first 10 minutes (I just used my hands to spritz water from a cup - but I'll probably get a spray bottle for next time).  Cool the bread on a wire rack and serve at room temperature.  Or freeze up to 2 weeks - reheat for 10 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven.

(Source:  Adapted from Rustico Cooking)

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I'm a super busy mom of 3 and a Beachbody coach. Follow along as I try to find a balance between eating good food and keeping my family healthy and happy! We eat mostly clean with a few fun treats thrown in every once in awhile. Thanks for stopping by!

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