Monkey Bread (with Parker House Rolls)
In honor of that sappy holiday coming up, the kids and I made some treats. One being these Red Velvet Cookies…
Because even though Valentine’s is all lovey, dovey, romance-y grossness…I will use any excuse to make cookies! That’s how I roll.
The dough was delicious, but not as red as it was supposed to be since I thought we had plenty of red food coloring, and of course, we didn’t. Story of life. The MM’s are Red Velvet too! They were just okay IMO (in my opinion. I’m getting all text savvy. Not really.) You know I love you little hard shelled candies, but this was not my favorite flava. Sorry love. Obviously, you could use any M’s you choose (html code hates the ‘and’ symbol and does weird things if you are wondering why I am not writing MM’s correctly. Just a little useless fyi.)
Red Velvet Cookies
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1.5 tablespoons red food coloring (we only had a scant tablespoon)
3/4 cup Red Velvet MandM’s candy
- Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl.
- In a separate mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugars together until creamy.
- Add the egg, milk, and vanilla; mix until combined.
- Add food coloring and mix.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix on low until soft dough is formed.
- Stir in MM’s and chocolate chips.
- Cover the dough and chill for at least 1 hour (recipe source says up to 4-5 days and to make sure you let the cookie dough sit at room temperature for 45 minutes before baking if chilling for more than 1 day.) We let ours chill overnight.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat. Roll dough into balls (about a tablespoon) and bake about 7-9 minutes.
- These cookies do not spread. At all. So when they come out of the oven, press down on the tops to slightly flatten them. You can add a couple of candies or chocolate chips to the tops if desired.
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I know, some of you are thinking ice cream?! As cold as it is? Is she nuts?! Well, uh..probably, but that’s not the point. The point is…my middle child had a birthday in January (she’s twelve!) and this is the cake she wanted.
She is also the reason behind the now infamous (at my house anyway) Kit Kat Candy Cake and last year’s Reese’s Peanut Butter Better Than $#% Cake (so.good.) This year, she wanted an ice cream cake – but not a traditional one with layers of cake and ice cream…she doesn’t allow her ice cream and cake to touch. *insert eye roll* Nope, this ‘cake’ is made entirely of ice cream. And candy of course. With some Oreos thrown in for good measure.
I have to admit, it was very good. It has also given me some great ideas for future ice cream cakes. It was also much easier than I thought it was going to be, which is always a plus. My only complaint is she didn’t want chocolate ice cream. Are we related? I’m not so sure. (I’m kidding daughter of mine. KissKiss LoveYouMeanIt).
Don’t let the long list of “instructions” fool ya, it’s not difficult, I just added a lot of commentary in there. “Tips” if you will. You’re welcome or I’m sorry. Whichever fits.
Ice Cream Candy Cake
- 2 quarts of your ice cream of choice (We used mint chocolate chip and vanilla)
- 1 package Oreo cookies
- 1/4 c. milk
Kit Kat candy bars (I used about 10 Kit Kat bars…which is 40 ‘sticks’)
- toppings of choice (we used leftover Kit Kat bars, mini M’s, chocolate chips)
- (optional) 1 tub Cool Whip, thawed enough to spread, for ‘frosting’
- Remove ice cream from freezer and let soften so that it is soft enough to remove from carton, but not completely melted (The more melted it is, the more the ice cream will ooze through the Kit Kat bars surrounding the cake. This isn’t a big deal, but just something I learned in the process. It can always be cleaned up afterwards, if you want it really “pretty” on the outside.)
- While ice cream is softening, combine 24 Oreo cookies and the milk in a food processor (a blender would probably work for this as well). Set aside. This will form the bottom layer or “crust” for the ice cream cake.
- Spray the springform pan with non-stick spray. Cut a piece of parchment or wax paper into the same size circle as the bottom of the pan. Line the pan with the paper, then line the Kit Kat bars (standing upright) around the inside of the pan. I find that working with the bars in pairs of two works best. Place bars as close as possible to each other, all facing out the same way. You may find that you need a single bar to close a gap. (Another tip I’ve learned along the way…if you are making Kit Kat cakes in the hot summer time, refrigerate the candy bars and remove from the fridge a few at a time. It makes handling them a little less messy.)
- Once Kit Kats are in place, press the Oreo crumb mixture evenly on the bottom of the pan.
- Place in the freezer for 10 minutes.
- Remove pan from freezer and spread one quart of ice cream evenly over the Oreo crust. I added some chopped Oreos over this bottom layer to kind of break it up. You could layer anything you wanted, or nothing at all…your choice! Place pan back in the freezer for 10 more minutes.
- Remove from freezer again, and spread the second quart of ice cream over the first, and freeze again for 10 minutes.
- At this point you can either leave cake in the freezer for 8-10 hours to firmly set or you can add the thawed Cool Whip topping as a ‘frosting’, then freeze for 8-10 hours. Since we used vanilla ice cream on top, I didn’t add the Cool Whip.
- Remove from freezer 10 minutes prior to serving. Add your toppings of choice, and remove the springform outer ring of pan. Slice and serve!
Winter is…cold. (Thank you Captain Obvious) I’m not a fan. Therefore, there have been lots of hot bevvies filling my day – mainly coffee, but a little hot tea, some apple cider, a hot toddy here or there, and of course, hot chocolate.
I made these for Christmas gifts, and thought they turned out pretty cute…I do love a mason jar. Since my kids are constantly asking for hot chocolate, I am getting ready to mix some up to have on hand at home. It’s nice to have a dry mix available that the kids can prepare themselves.
You can layer it all pretty for gift giving, or mix everything together and store in a sealed container so it’s ready to go. One of my friends who received this did say it wasn’t quite sweet enough for her taste, so you may have to adjust the amount of sugar to your liking.
Peppermint Hot Chocolate Mix
1/2 cup dry (powdered) milk
1/2 cup cocoa, unsweetened
1/2 cup sugar (adjust to taste)
pinch of salt
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
1/4 cup crushed peppermint candy
1/4 cup mini marshmallows
Yes, this was another Christmas gift involving booze, but would also be fun for Valentine’s Day. And seriously, anytime you throw together chocolate and booze…it’s going to be a fun day.
Even though this is not my most beloved old-fashioned fudge, it was pretty darn good…I happen to love Jim. And Jack. It’s also easy…no candy thermometer required! And before anyone asks, yes you can omit the alcohol.
Loaded Chocolate Bourbon Fudge
20 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (I used , half milk and half dark chocolate)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3-5 tablespoons bourbon (I used 5 – Jim Beam and )
approx 1-1/2 cups of desired toppings
1/2 cup milk chocolate, melted
- Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
- Melt the 20 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate in the microwave or using the double boiler method (I almost always use the microwave, just remember to microwave it slowly. I heat for one minute, then stir, then heat for 15 seconds until mostly melted, stirring between each interval).
- Once melted, stir in sweetened condensed milk and vanilla extract
- Stir in bourbon 1 tablespoon at a time. The mixture will thicken, but continue stirring or folding with a sturdy spoon.
- Pour the chocolate mixture in the prepared pan and place in fridge for 10 minutes to set.
- Melt the 1/2 cup milk chocolate using desired method and spread a couple of tablespoons evenly over the top of the chilled fudge. Immediately sprinkle on desired toppings, gently pressing into the chocolate.
- Use the remaining milk chocolate and drizzle it over the top. This will help keep all the good stuff from falling off when cutting.
- Let set in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- I recommend cutting into small pieces (about an inch or so, because it is very rich!)
This post is sponsored by Nasoya. All opinions are 100% my own.
Well, somehow Christmas is OVER. As I say every year, I have no idea how it came and went so fast. It doesn’t matter that I started listening to Christmas music in November and *gasp* had my tree up BEFORE Thanksgiving. Yep, I sure did…doesn’t matter however, because Christmas still came and went too fast.
Oh yeah, and 4 weeks before Christmas…Number One got sick. Three weeks before Christmas, Mr. Three got sick. Two weeks before Christmas, Miss Two got sick. And guess what happened ONE week before Christmas? You guessed it…mama got sick. So, that is why my last blog post was December 16. *insert sad face* I have all this cool Christmas stuff to share too…and who wants to read about that now? It’s New Year’s Eve. Party time! Then it’s ohmigahhh….resolution time. Time to give up everything we indulged in over the past month. *insert crying sad face*.
Luckily, I have something that will make the transition from indulgent eating to healthy eating virtually painless. It’s also party ready, fun, cute, portioned controlled, low fat. low in Weight Watchers points…no, I’m not talking about air. These actually taste great and are portable! Great for New Year’s, football, appetizers, or if you are like me, can make a meal out of them. They are Baked Shrimp WonTon Cups. They are quick and easy to prepare too. You can make the filling with whatever veggies and quantities you like. I’m just going to give what I use, and you can play with the recipe to make them your own.
Baked Shrimp Won Ton Cups
1 bag Cole Slaw Mix (or you can shred your own cabbage and carrots)
3-4 green onions, chopped (I usually use whatever onion I have on hand, green/red/yellow)
1/4 – 1/2 cup celery, finely chopped (just depends on how much you like celery!)
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bag frozen small shrimp, thawed and cut in half or thirds (can also use chicken/beef/pork)
2 Tablespoons soy sauce (I prefer tamari)
1/2-1 tablespoon hoisin sauce (Hoisin is strong and sweet. I use it if I have it, but it’s not mandatory)
salt and pepper, (to taste)
1 tablespoon olive oil
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Place won tons in a mini muffin pan, one won ton per muffin cup. (Just push them down in the cup, there will be some overlapping). Set aside.
- In a skillet over medium heat, heat tablespoon of olive oil. Add onions and celery. Heat until onions begin to soften. Add garlic, heat a minute or two until fragrant.
- Add bag of cole slaw mix, soy sauce, hoisin sauce and salt and pepper. Carefully stir (my skillet is always very full until cabbage begins to wilt.)
- Add thawed shrimp, stir frequently until shrimp is pink. Once shrimp is done and cabbage is softened, remove from heat.
- Place a tablespoon of mixture into the won ton cup. Bake won tons approximately 5-7 minutes, until lightly browned and crisp.
- Remove cups from oven and place on serving tray. Top with cilantro and drizzle with Ponzu Sauce if desired.
*Feel free to add any veggies and seasonings you like. My only recommendation is watch the amount of liquid produced (some veggies leach a lot of water out). You want as little liquid as possible in your wrappers because it will cause them to fall apart.
This is the same filling I use for egg rolls too. I love baked egg rolls, which is odd, because I do not like fried egg rolls, and we all know everything is usually better fried. To make the baked egg rolls, use the same filling, put a few tablespoons of filling in an (fold them better than I do!), place on a baking sheet, spray both sides with olive oil or cooking spray. Bake about 10 minutes per side. They are healthy and delicious!
My kids love these Baked Mozzarella Sticks. They are so easy, as it is just a mozzarella cheese stick (“string” cheese) wrapped in an egg roll wrapper and baked. Spraying both sides with olive oil or cooking spray just like with the egg rolls. They can be dipped in marinara or pizza sauce too.
Since my kids love Baked Cheese Sticks, I knew they would like Baked Cheese Cups too. I was right! Just add cheese to your won ton cups and bake until the cheese is melted and won tons are brown and crisp. You could serve these along side a sauce as well. So much healthier than frying and I love the little cups for a party or as an appetizer. You could add anything really…any dip can be placed in a won ton cup and suddenly becomes portable! Tonight I am making Buffalo Chicken Dip in won ton cups…it will make it so easy to eat! You can also bake the shells then add things like chicken salad or pimento cheese…the possibilities are endless. It makes me want to put pretty much everything in a won ton cup. What can I say, I love party food.
Happy New Year’s Eve as my little one said first thing this morning! I’d love to hear what’s on your menu for tonight. Or tomorrow…I haven’t fully decided what I’m cooking for New Year’s Day yet…but I’m pretty sure it won’t be black eyed peas!
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When I was growing up, my Grandma always had some type of jello salad at family gatherings. I, being the picky, stubborn, petulant child that I was, would never eat the jello salad because I do not like jello. And it often had either marshmallows or fruit cocktail in it…and I didn’t like those either. Don’t you feel sorry for my parents? Anyway, jello salad consisted of jello, obvi, and fruits, nuts, etc. If it was formed or molded into a shape…it was called a jello mold. I’m telling you all this for no apparent reason just to say that for Thanksgiving I wanted to make a jello salad. My Grandma is no longer on this earth, but she is very much a part of me and I knew my mom would like it. I found a recipe that felt familiar and I liked from Taste of Home, but they have given it a much more sophisticated name…Cranberry Mousse.
But to me, it will always be jello salad. You can call it whatever you like, but I know something else we can call it – a keeper! It was delicious! Obviously my tastes have changed a little over the years, and even though I still don’t care for jello, this salad/mold/mousse has a lot of flavors and textures going on and I really enjoyed it. I also decided to lighten it up by swapping out the sour cream with Greek yogurt. The ending result was delish. If I do say so myself. Which I do. I think my Grandma would be proud!
Cranberry Mousse (aka Jello Salad)
1 cup boiling water
1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained (SAVE juice)
1 can (14 ounces) whole-berry cranberry sauce
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups (16 ounces) Greek yogurt (I used , can also use sour cream)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
- In a large heat proof bowl, pour in gelatin mix. Add boiling water and stir until jello mix has dissolved.
- Add juice of drained pineapple.
- Stir in can of cranberry sauce, gently breaking up the large chunks.
- Add lemon juice, lemon peel and nutmeg. Stir to combine and chill until mixture begins to thicken. (Not fully set, just thick like pudding)
- Remove from fridge and fold in yogurt, crushed pineapple and pecans.
- Pour into desired serving bowl or a lightly sprayed mold (9-cup).
- Chill until set, at least 2 hours. (I made mine the day before)
- If using a mold, let mold sit at room temp for 20-30 mins., inverted onto serving plate. Gently remove from mold. It will soften as it warms, but not so soft that it loses shape.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of . All opinions are 100% mine.
The Christmas countdown is ON in the Mo’Betta house! I have a 6 year old that is literally counting down the days, and his excitement is contagious. (Let’s just hope the cold he had last week is not. ‘Tis the season.) I’m sure we all have some favorite recipes for the holidays, some being more labor intensive than others (can you say old-fashioned fudge?!), but we all need a few quick and easy ones lined up that will feed a crowd, yet be delicious. I thought I would share a few that have served me well over the years. These little ‘holiday hacks’ get me out of the kitchen, and able to spend more time with my friends and family.
These 3-ingredient meatballs have been around for years. They make an appearance around the holidays, as well as baby showers, bridal showers, you name it. I got the recipe from one of my uncles many years ago, and I’m surprised it has not made the blog before now. The ingredient list seems a little odd, but it works! I always have people asking for the recipe…and it’s SO easy!
- 2 lbs. frozen meatballs
- 1 bottle (12 ounces) chili sauce
- 1 bottle (12-15 ounces) grape jelly
*These can be prepared on the stove top, or in a slow cooker. The slow cooker is also great for keeping them warm during a party or get-together. Amounts can also be adjusted based on the number of people you are feeding.
Add meatballs to crock-pot aka slow cooker. Mix together the chili sauce and grape jelly, then pour over meatballs. Heat through on high for 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally, then turn heat to low or ‘warm’ setting for serving.
I’ve seen many variations of this recipe so feel free to play with it…you can use barbecue sauce in the place of chili sauce; you can use cranberry sauce in the place of grape jelly; you can use turkey meatballs instead of beef, which I do often. makes original and turkey meatballs that are also gluten free. They look like this:
but you can use the to find them near you. Before heading out, I would go coupon! Another quick and easy meal is to heat up your meatballs, and add them to slider buns with a little pizza sauce and mozzarella cheese. Stick them in the oven to melt the cheese…
In addition to frozen meatballs, you can save yourself a lot of time by stocking the freezer with other snacks that can easily be heated and served like Farm Rich Mozzarella Sticks, Loaded Potato Skins, Pepperoni Pizzeria Bites, Toasted Ravioli, and Breaded Mushrooms. My girls and I LOVE Loaded Potato Skins. Top with a little sour cream (or plain yogurt) and green onion and you are good to go.
Sausage Balls are another family favorite, and to save time, I mix up a batch early in the season, roll into balls, and freeze. Then when company comes or we want sausage balls, I can pop them in the oven straight from the freezer.
What about a breakfast timesaver?
These Oven Baked Pancakes can serve a crowd quickly with all the great comforting taste of pancakes, without all the standing and flipping over a griddle. Or this Make Ahead Breakfast Casserole that can be made up the night before and just baked when ready in the morning.
And of course, if you know me, you know that I will definitely have plenty of sweets…our favorites being a sweet and salty combo…
This Chocolate Lover’s Snack Mix can be whipped up fast and easy, using basically whatever is in your pantry. Also, these little gems…
These easy Turtle treats can be made in minutes.
So, these are a few of my ‘Holiday Hacks’…feel free to share yours!
You can find more recipe ideas by following Farm Rich on . (They are also on , , and )
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of . All opinions are 100% mine.
‘Twas the days before Christmas when all through the store, the moms were all busy buying more, moRE, MORE!! When what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a display full of Christmas candy that I raced to get near! Red ones, greens, big ones and small….I just knew I had to have them all, aLL, ALL!
They had dark chocolate, pretzel, and mini’s too…and when I saw M&M;’S® White Chocolate Peppermint I thought it was too good to be true!
So I grabbed them all up and raced towards the door, I had cookies to bake and egg nog to pour! I would take cookies to neighbors so they wouldn’t be sad, but just then I spotted Holiday Storage products by GLAD!
These would be perfect for the cookies I bake, making it easy and convenient for the goodies I take. I grabbed a few and checked out with a swipe of my card, got home and searched Pinterest long and hard.
Found the perfect recipe, it was out of sight! And when the cookies were all done I exclaimed “Happy Christmas to all…and to all a goodnight!”
Triple Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa (I used 1/4 cup Hershey’s Special Dark and 1/4 cup regular Hershey’s cocoa)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons instant coffee crystals
1/2 cup butter, slightly softened
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup White Chocolate Peppermint M&M;’s ()
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used the red and green holiday ones)
- Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, and coffee crystals together in a medium sized mixing bowl.
- In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar until well mixed, add vanilla.
- Slowly add in flour mixture to the butter/sugar (I say slowly since I use my stand mixer and everything will be covered in a flour cloud if you pour it all in too quickly). Batter will be thick.
- Fold in candy and chocolate chips.
- Chill in refrigerator for 30 mins.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
- After dough has chilled, scoop about a tablespoon of dough and roll into a ball.
- Place on cookie sheet approx. 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 9-10 minutes. (The inside will seem slightly underdone.)
- Allow to cool on wire rack and then consume several. Or package in your Holiday Glad containers and get them over to the neighbors ASAP!
Not only are the Glad Holiday Storage containers great for gifting, they also include recipes on the back! Each recipe will fit in the container it comes with. Of course, I just had to try out the Santa’s Snack Mix. The sweet and salty combo is always a favorite around here.
How yummy does that look?!
Santa’s Snack Mix from Glad
- 8-10 cups Popped popcorn
- 2-3 cups Holiday shaped pretzels
- 1 cup red and green Holiday sprinkles
- 1 package DOVE® Dark Chocolate candies *I used white chocolate drizzle
- 2 cups Peanuts *I omitted due to my son’s peanut allergies and used Cheerios instead
- 3/4 c. Corn syrup
- 1 tsp. Vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 c. Sugar
- 1/2 c. Butter (1 stick)
- 1 package M&M;’S® Holiday Baking Mini’s and/or M&M;’S® Holiday Mint candies
How do you improve upon a classic? By browning the butter. It takes the awesomeness of butter and amps it up times ten. True story. I discovered what all the fuss about brown butter was quite by accident when making my most favorite Chicken and Dumpling Casserole. Best mistake I ever made in the kitchen. So, when my daughter wanted to make pecan pie for Thanksgiving, and she found a recipe using brown butter, I knew it would be a winner.
- 1 (9-inch) deep dish pie crust
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup butter (one stick)
- 2 cups pecans, chopped (plus additional pecan halves for decorating tops if desired)
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium heat proof bowl, whisk together sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, salt and cinnamon.
- Add eggs and whisk until combined.
- In a small sauce pan, melt butter on medium heat, stirring frequently until butter turns brown and fragrant. This will take 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Stir brown butter a few tablespoons at a time into your sugar mixture (to avoid cooking the eggs). Once you have added about half the butter, you can slowly pour the remaining in, continuing to stir.
- Stir in chopped pecans, and pour into pie crust.
- Decorate the top with additional pecans if desired.
- Bake for approximately 50 minutes, then check to see if crust is getting too dark, if so, loosely cover with foil and bake an additional 10-15 minutes. Check pie to see if the filling is set. The outer edges should be firm, with a slight jiggle in the middle. If it seems very “jiggly” or loose, continue to bake until set.
- Once done, remove from oven and let cool for 3-4 hours before slicing. We like to make ours the day before.