Friday, January 31, 2014

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

There is a real art to making bread. I believe that you can follow a bread recipe to a T but if you don't know the way the dough is supposed to look and feel like it can turn out a total flop! Which is frustrating for someone that likes to follow recipes to a T... cough cough. :) My dad is a wonderful bread maker and I have learned a lot from him. I still will call him to ask him baking questions all the time. We share our love of baking and eating anything with a ton of carbs! ;) Shame on us!!
I'm starting to learn and get used to the dough in my hands and how it should feel. I love kneading dough and making something so glorious from scratch. It's very rewarding for me. Plus it's really good to eat!
This bread is great on it's own, warm, with a little bit of butter. Or it's even better drizzled with cream cheese icing. I went with the cream cheese icing if you can't tell.

4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 package active dry yeast
1 1/3 cups milk
3 Tablespoons sugar
3 Tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs

Filling :
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 3oz packages of cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar

Mix together 2 cups of flour and the yeast and set aside.
Heat the milk, sugar, butter, and salt until it is warm (120-130 degrees) and until the butter melts.
Add the heated milk mixture with the dry mixture along with the eggs.
Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 20 seconds.
Beat on high speed for 3 minutes.
Using a wooden spoon stir as much of the remaining flour in as you can.
Knead your dough on a flour surface adding as much of the flour as you can to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic. (6-8 minutes total)
Shape the dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl.
Cover and let rise in a warm place till double in size, about an hour.
Punch dough down.
Divide the dough in half and cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
Grease two 8x4x2 inch loaf pans.
Roll each ball of dough into  two 12x7 rectangles on a lightly floured surface.
Brush them lightly with water.
Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon.
Sprinkle half of the sugar mixture onto each rectangle.
Roll Up jelly roll style, starting with the short side.
Seal the the seam.
Place seal down in prepared loaf pans.
Cover and let rise in a warm place till nearly doubled in size.
Bake in a 375 oven for 25-30 minutes or till bread sounds hollow when you tap the top.

Beat together two 2 3ounce  packages cream cheese, softened; 1/2 cup butter, softened; and 2 teaspoons vanilla till light and fluffy.
Gradually add 2 cups of powdered sugar, beating well.
Slowly add in more powdered sugar until you reach your desire of spreading consistency.

Recipe modifies and adapted from the Better Homes and Garden Cookbook

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Tortilla Soup

It's another cold day here in San Antonio and we are trying to stay warm. Today seems to be another soup day for us. This Tortilla Soup is going to really hit the spot. It's so flavorful and filling. We love the tomato base with the fresh cilantro! You can never have too much cilantro in my opinion! Yummy!! What is your favorite go to soup whenever it is really cold outside?

1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced                                                 


  1. In a pan, heat oil over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic in oil until soft. Stir in chili powder, oregano, tomatoes, broth, and water. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in corn, chiles, beans, cilantro, and chicken. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Once the soup has warmed through you can top with crushed tortilla chips, avocado slices, cheese, and chopped green onion.
Recipe adapted and modified by: All Recipes

Monday, January 27, 2014

Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball

All you really had to say to convince me to make this cheese ball was bacon & ranch! That's it and I was convinced it would be delicious and it was!! The evening that I made this appetizer we had some friends over and I think my friends husband and I could have eaten the whole thing ourselves. ;) It's addicting for all you ranch lovers like us out there. Definitely should make for your next party. I know I will. There are a lot of different cheese balls out in the recipe world. What is your favorite?

2 (8 oz each) packages cream cheese (I used the fat free)
1 (1 oz.) packet dry buttermilk ranch dressing mix
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
4 green onions, thinly sliced
5 pieces of turkey bacon, fried and crumbled
1/4 cup chopped black olives, optional
pecans or almonds, finely chopped for coating

Combine all the above ingredients except for the pecans or almonds.
After the ingredients are combined roll them all into a ball.
Lay out your chopped nuts on a flat surface.
Roll your cheese ball in the nuts until the ball is covered.

Recipe Source: Favorite Food Recipes

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Italian Pasta Salad

I love pasta salads! You almost always can put whatever you want in them and throw on a vinaigrette dressing and your done. It's hard to mess up a pasta salad. Which is one of the main reasons it is always a go to dish when company comes over. ;) This salad is delicious, light, and flavorful. I love the salami & mini pepperoni's along with the mozzarella. So tasty!! It can be a side or a whole meal in itself. What are your favorite ingredients to put in your pasta salad?
  • 1 (16 ounce) package fusilli (spiral) pasta                       
  • 3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved                                                                 
  • 1/2 pound provolone cheese, cubes                       
  • 1/2 pound salami, cubed                             
  • 1 bag of small pepperoni's
  • 1 large green bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces    
  • 1 (10 ounce) can black olives, drained                  
  • 1 (4 ounce) jar pimentos, drained                    
  • 1 (8 ounce) bottle Italian salad dressing
1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain, and rinse with cold water.
2. In a large bowl, combine pasta with tomatoes, cheese, salami, pepperoni, green pepper, olives, and pimentos. Pour in salad dressing, and toss to coat.
Recipe adapted & modified from All Recipes.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Spanish Rice

In college my roommate was an excellent cook and I learned so much from her. She taught me how to make Spanish rice and I have never wanted instant again. It's so easy to throw together and you won't regret the little extra time it takes. This version of Spanish rice is your starter recipe. In south TX authentic Spanish rice most of the time has carrots, corn, peas, cooked onions, or cilantro. You can pretty much add any veggie that you want and it's Delish!!
Is Spanish rice a common side in your area? If so, how is it made? What all is added to the rice to make it special? I'd love to hear from you. :)


1 cup rice
1 tsp minced onion
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
dash of red pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil
dash of chili powder (optional)


In a skillet, brown rice in 1 T canola oil.  When rice is almost done, add onion, salt, pepper, cumin, red pepper and chili powder if you want. Brown rice until complete. Slowly add your tomato sauce while stirring it into your rice. Add 1 1/2 cups water. Cover until rice is done, about 20 minutes.

Friday, January 17, 2014

ABC i love u

Have you seen this printable?? I'm not sure where I saw this last year, but knew I wanted one of my own to put up in the house. So I made this on Photoshop and wanted to share it with you. Just click the above image and print. This would also be super cute to give to a teacher with a little candy attached to it. The size is an 8x10. I hope that you can use it. :)


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

White Bean Chicken Chili

I made a white bean chili several years ago that my husband I both loved, but when we were craving it the other night I couldn't find the recipe anywhere!! Isn't that frustrating?? So I looked up white bean chili's on All and this one seemed to be the closest to what we remember the chili having in it. It turned out just perfect and hit the spot. What type of chili is your favorite?


tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
1 (18.75 ounce) can tomatillos, drained and chopped
1 (16 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (7 ounce) can diced green chiles
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seed
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cans corn
1 lb diced, cooked chicken meat
2 (15 ounce) can white beans
1 pinch salt and black pepper to taste


  1. Heat oil, and cook onion and garlic until soft.
  2. Stir in broth, tomatillos, tomatoes, chilies, and spices. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Add corn, chicken, and beans; simmer 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Recipe modified and adapted from: All Recipes

Monday, January 13, 2014

Football Finger Foods

Are you ready for some FOOTBALL!?!?! Will you be watching the Superbowl in a couple of weeks? We are getting together with my husbands new boss for the Superbowl and I'm nervous because I don't know them very well yet and want to take something that everyone will like. So far I can't make up my mind which dish to make and it's driving me crazy!! While looking through some of my recipes though I found some of my favorites and put them together to share with you just in case you are wanting to prepare something for that night as well.  You really can't go wrong with any these. :) Which dish do you think I should make for a Superbowl party?

Buffalo Chicken Wings

Bean & Corn Salsa


Queso Blanco

Stuffed Chicken, Black Bean & Corn Quesadillas

Chili Dogs

Seven Layer Dip

Party Sandwiches

Italian Beef Sandwiches

Friday, January 10, 2014

We go together

<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="winter and a sweater photo Winterampsweater_zps0d45bf8d.jpg"/></a>

I love this saying!! The moment I read this I knew that I wanted to make a print to put into a frame and place on our mantle.  I have never had a mantle before so I can't wait to start decorating it with the seasons. Yes, I am that nerdy person that will do this and send you all the pics! ;) This is an 8X10 and I am going to print on card stock. Please feel free to click on the image and print one for yourself. If you do print one I would love to hear where you put it in your home. Hope you are staying warm. :)


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Homemade Brownies

There are some things that you should always have on hand  in your panty and those are the ingredients for these brownies. Most of you that bake probably already do have most of these items in your pantry all the time. The unsweetened chocolate is a hit or miss for me, but it's something I try to remember to pick up at the store. You never know when you might have an unexpected guest pop in or just have a craving for some homemade brownies. I love these brownies!!

1/2 cup butter or margarine
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped nuts(optional)

  • Grease an 8x8x2 inch baking pan; set aside.
  • Melt butter and chocolate over a low heat.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the eggs, sugar, & vanilla.
  • Using a wooden spoon, beat lightly until it is just combined. Stir in flour & nuts.
  • Spread batter in prepared baking dish.
  • Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. 
  • This recipes makes 24 brownies (for mice!! This recipe only made 9 brownies for my family. We like them pieces big in TX!! :)
Source: Better Homes and Garden Cookbook

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Party Sandwiches

With the Super Bowl coming up many of us will be getting together with friends and family to watch the game. These sandwiches would be great to serve your guests. They are delicious!

1 (12 roll) package of Kings Hawaiian Bread Rolls
1 lb of ham
12 slices of Swiss Cheese
1 8oz container of Philadelphia  Onion and Chive cream cheese spread
1/2 cup butter melted
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 Tablespoon minced dried onion
1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut the rolls in half and place them into the bottom of a 9X13 baking pan.
Place a slice of ham and swiss cheese onto each roll half.
Before placing you top roll half onto the bottom half spread generously with the cream cheese.
Combine the butter, Worcestershire sauce, dried onion, and Parmesan Cheese and pour over your completed sandwiches.
Let sit for 20 minutes.
Cover sandwiches with foil and let bake for 20 minutes or until heated through.

Source: Six Sisters Stuff

If you are having a party below are some more excellent party foods!

I hope you have a good time!

1 (12 count) package King's Hawaiian Bread Rolls
1 pound black forest ham, cut into 12 slices
12 slices swiss cheese
1 (8 ounce) container Philadelphia Chive & Onion Cream Cheese Spread
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 Tablespoon dried minced onion
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Cut rolls in half and place the bottom halves in a 9x13" baking pan.  Place a slice of ham on each roll and top with a slice of swiss cheese.  On the top half of each roll, spread a generous amount of cream cheese spread.  Replace the tops of the rolls to make sandwiches.  In a small bowl, combine melted butter, Worcestershire sauce, minced onion and Parmesan cheese.  Pour over sandwiches and let sit for 20 minutes.  Cover baking pan with foil and bake for 20 minutes or until heated through.


Monday, January 6, 2014

9 Glorious Breakfasts

I hope that everyone is doing well and surviving this cold Arctic air we are all experiencing here in the states. I know that the cold we are experiencing in San Antonio isn't even close to what the northern states are having so I truly hope that you have a warm place to be this week. If you are stuck inside and feel like doing some baking for breakfast her are 9 Glorious recipes for you to enjoy. :)

Apple Puff Pancakes

Apple Turnovers with Cream Cheese Icing

Baking Powder Biscuits

Bed & Breakfast Cherry Crumb Coffee Cake

Cinnamon & Sugar Donuts

Cinnamon Rolls

Huevos Rancheros

Orange Bow Knots

Pancakes Down Under

Just in case these 9 aren't enough here are 9 more! ;) Click here to get these recipes.

 Enjoy your week!



Friday, January 3, 2014

Pork Carnitas

Today I'm sharing with you an authentic recipe for Pork Carnitas. These carnitas are TO DIE FOR!! My husband asks me to cook these for him on a weekly basis. Cooking 4-5 pounds of pork makes a lot so I like to use the meat for other dishes as well. You can easily freeze 3-4 cups of the pork and use later for enchiladas, chalupas, pork nachos, or even put some on top of your huevos rancheros. ;)

4-5 pounds boneless pork shoulder or pork butt, cut into 2-inch cubes, fat left intact

3/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lime juice (from about 2 to 3 limes)
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons Kosher salt, plus more to taste
For serving: corn tortillas, cheese, Southwestern Slaw or shredded lettuce, and salsa verde
4-5 pounds of boneless pork shoulder or pork butt cut into 2 inch cubes with fat still intact.
3/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lime juice
4 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
For serving: corn tortillas, cheese, southwestern slaw, and salsa.

Place pork in a heavy bottomed pot. Add the orange juice, lime juice, garlic, ground cumin, and salt. Then add just enough water to cover the top of the pork.
Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to simmer. Simmer uncovered, without stirring, for two hours.
Increase the heat to medium high and stir the meat occasionally.  The more that you stir the meat the more that the meat starts to fall apart.
Continue cooking until all the water has evaporated, about 45 minutes, leaving only the pork fat. Let it fry, turning as needed, until the meat is crispy and browned.
Add salt as needed and serve on corn tortillas. Before placing the meat in the tortillas make sure you wrap about 6 in damp paper towels and heat them up in the microwave for about a minute. If you don't do this the tortillas will crack.
I topped our carnitas with a southwestern slaw kit that I found next to the lettuce in the produce section of our grocery store. It came with a cilantro dressing that was really good.

Source: Buns In My Oven

These carnitas would be delicious along side some Seven Layer Dip or The World's Best Queso!

4-5 pounds boneless pork shoulder or pork butt, cut into 2-inch cubes, fat left intac
4-5 pounds boneless pork shoulder or pork butt, cut into 2-inch cubes, fat left intact

3/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lime juice (from about 2 to 3 limes)
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons Kosher salt, plus more to taste
For serving: corn tortillas, cheese, Southwestern Slaw or shredded lettuce, and salsa verde
4-5 pounds boneless pork shoulder or pork butt, cut into 2-inch cubes, fat left intact

3/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lime juice (from about 2 to 3 limes)
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons Kosher salt, plus more to taste
For serving: corn tortillas, cheese, Southwestern Slaw or shredded lettuce, and salsa verde

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Ham & Potato Soup

Happy New Year friends! I hope everyone is finding themselves doing well this week and is enjoying the start to this new year. :)

For Christmas this year my husband and I cooked a ham. We had a lot left over so I am trying to be creative with recipes that I can put ham into. ;)
We love potato soup at our house so this year we are having Ham and Potato soup! Delicious and perfect during this cold weather.
Today I am contributing this recipe over at Memories by the Mile. Hop on over there to get this delicious recipe.
Have a great day!!