Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Triple Coconut Donuts

There is not much better than homemade donuts. And baked donuts are really a great addition to breakfast, brunch or breakfast for dinner. I have lots of varieties already on this blog - cinnamon roll, chocolate, strawberry, pumpkin, caramel apple - but when I had some leftover coconut milk I knew I wanted to try a coconut version.

Because there is also not much better than toasted coconut - am I right? I ate quite a bit of it right off the sheet pan (true confessions).

These donuts have coconut milk and extract in both the dough and the icing, and then are topped with that amazing toasted coconut.

The dipping in icing and topping with coconut can get a little messy, so I put a paper towel (or a baking sheet) under the wire rack to catch all the drips. Bonus: you can then pick off the coconut laden icing treats and eat them. Ha!

Make your donut dreams come true with this amazing recipe.

Find more inspiration at Full Plate, Hearth and Soul, Inspire Me.

Triple Coconut Donuts

3 1/2 cups bread flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
4 Tbsp. butter, melted
2 tsp. coconut extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup canned coconut milk
1 large egg

Icing and topping:
2 cups shredded coconut, sweetened
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. coconut extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup canned coconut milk

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, 1/2 tsp. salt, and nutmeg.

Using an electric mixer, beat together sugar, butter, coconut extract, vanilla extract, coconut milk, and egg until well-incorporated. Gently add the dry ingredients to the bowl of the stand mixer and mix until a soft & sticky dough forms.

Carefully spoon the dough into donut pans sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Carefully remove the donuts to a wire rack to cool completely.

Spread the shredded coconut on a baking sheet in an even layer and bake at 400 for 4-6 minutes. The coconut will not start to brown til several minutes in, but then it will brown quickly and could burn. After the first 3 minutes, shake the pan, and then check it every minute. Once it starts to brown, remove it from the oven.

In a medium bowl, big enough for you to dip the donuts in, whisk together the salt, extracts, coconut milk, and powdered sugar until smooth.

Dip the cooled donuts in the glaze, then let the excess drip off. Dip in the toasted coconut and return to a wire rack to dry. Repeat until all donuts have been topped. Makes 12-15 donuts.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Bacon, Broccoli and Hashbrowns Breakfast Bake

Since we've been spending so much more time at home, I've been trying to be creative about weekend breakfasts. During the week, everyone is on their own for breakfast, and actually our teens usually go right to lunch since they sleep in! But on the weekend I like to have breakfast (or let's be honest, lunch, but I call it brunch to be more fancy) together.

Waffles, french toast and pancakes are the usual standbys, but I made this casserole last weekend and it was a huge hit. I simply adjusted my recipe for Sausage and Potato Breakfast Casserole, and voila, another great version!

It also is so hearty that we had half leftover, so it became supper later in the week. Score!

It's easy peasy, too - just layer hash browns with bacon, broccoli and cheese and pour a seasoned egg mixture over the top. While it bakes, you can make a fruit salad or whatever else you would like to serve. I had a danish in the freezer from Easter (recipe coming soon) and made donuts when I served this for supper. However you serve it, I hope it's a new favorite in your house like it was in ours.

Find more great ideas at Inspire Me, Inspire Me 2, Fabulous, Hearth and Soul.

Bacon, Broccoli and Hashbrowns Breakfast Bake

8 - 10 ounces bacon
10 ounce package frozen broccoli florets, thawed but not steamed or cooked
1 (30-32oz) bag frozen shredded hashbrowns
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
8 eggs
2 cups milk

Cut bacon into small bite sized pieces. (I do this with a kitchen shears holding the bacon over the skillet and just snipping away.) In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until nearly crisp. Remove with a slotted spatula and then drain all but 1 Tbsp. fat. Return skillet to the heat and add hash browns to skillet. Cook until lightly browned.

Place hash browns in bottom of lightly greased 9x13 inch pan. Top with bacon and broccoli (if there are large pieces of frozen broccoli, cut them up smaller first!) and then cover with the cheese.

Whisk together eggs, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and milk. Pour over hash brown mixture.

Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Serves 8-10.

(If you want to make this ahead of time, after adding the egg mixture, cover and refrigerate. Add ten minutes to the baking time.)

Monday, April 27, 2020

Easy Peanut Butter Cookies {Gluten Free, Dairy Free}

These cookies. They are SO good. And so addicting. It's hard to eat just one; but why should you? Especially if you make them small enough, you won't feel badly about eating several! I used my small cookie scoop and the cookies are just adorable - 3 bites and they're gone!

And they're SO easy. They come together in a snap.

These cookies are naturally gluten and dairy free, but even if you don't have those dietary restrictions, you will really enjoy these cookies. Whip them up tonight and you will have a happy family on your hands. Just be sure you have tall glasses of milk to serve with these. I think I'm off to make more cookies!

Find more good things at Inspire Me, Inspire Me 2, Fabulous, Hearth and Soul, Tasty Tuesday, Full Plate.

Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup peanut butter (not natural)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt

In a large bowl of a stand mixer, beat peanut butter and brown sugar until smooth. Add egg, vanilla, baking soda, and salt. Mix for about a minute. Shape into balls, and if desired roll in additional sugar (about 1/4 cup will work). Flatten with a criss cross pattern with a fork, or simply flatten with the bottom of a glass. Bake at 350 for 8-9 minutes, don’t over-bake, and let them sit on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Recipe Source: Our Best Bites

Monday, April 13, 2020

Creamy Chicken Stuffed Peppers

This is a delightfully different dinner idea. And it was a huge hit at my house. Bonus: significant vegetable eating. When I serve these, my teenagers eat a whole bell pepper in one sitting.

The cream cheese makes these stuffed peppers delightfully creamy (as you would expect based on the title!) and the jalapeno, cumin and salsa contribute amazing flavors. These are so easy to make, and especially easy if you have cut up chicken on hand.

Change up your dinner rotation with these great stuffed peppers. You will be glad you did!

Creamy Chicken Stuffed Peppers

4 bell peppers
2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
1 - 8 ounce package light cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded Colby jack cheese
1 jalapeno, seeds removed and finely diced
2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup salsa
Fresh chopped cilantro, for garnish

Slice each pepper in half and remove the seeds. Set each pepper half in a greased 9x13 baking pan.

In a large bowl, mix together chicken, cream cheese, Colby jack cheese, jalapeno, cumin, salt, and salsa. Scoop mix into each pepper.

Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes. Remove the foil and broil the peppers for 3-4 minutes to crisp up the tops, if you like.

Garnish with cilantro and serve. Makes 4-6 servings.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

One-Hour Cinnamon Rolls

While I'm at home all the hours of the day now I want to learn new things. Most of my learn new things goals center around cooking and baking. I have never made cinnamon rolls, so on my birthday yesterday, I decided that was a good new thing to learn.

However, I also wanted rather immediate gratification since I decided this at 8 am. So I found this recipe for one-hour cinnamon rolls and they turned out wonderfully. There are a lot of other cinnamon roll versions out there that proof for a long time or require overnight resting and rising. Maybe one day I'll try those too. But if you want cinnamon rolls quickly, this is the recipe for you.

Homemade cinnamon rolls are really much easier than you might think. This is yet another example of thinking something is hard, and then being surprised when it's not! This recipe doesn't even require a mixer. I didn't use one, but you certainly could, especially if you want your mixer to do the kneading. After your dough has been kneaded, roll it out and then cover it with butter and cinnamon sugar.

Roll it up, slice it, and place in a pan. (Doesn't this make you want to sing "Patty cake, Patty cake, Baker's men!" ???)


and glaze,

and when your teenagers stumble out of their rooms after noon, they will be ecstatic to find this treat. (Note: for said teenagers, the rolls warm up nicely in the microwave -- about 20 seconds.)

What are your cooking and baking goals in this strange season?

Find more great ideas at Inspire Me, Inspire Me 2, Fabulous, Hearth and Soul, Tasty Tuesdays.

One-Hour Cinnamon Rolls

1/3 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. active dry yeast
1/2 cup oil
1 1/4 cup warm water
2 eggs, lightly beaten
5 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt

5 Tbsp. butter, melted, divided use
1 1/2 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup warmed milk
2-3 cups powdered sugar

For the dough, in a large bowl, mix sugar, yeast, and oil with warm water until dissolved. Cover and let stand in warm place for 15 minutes. (Heat your oven to 170, turn it off, then put the bowl inside.)

Whisk eggs into the yeast mixture. Add salt to flour, then gradually add to yeast mixture to make a very soft dough. (You may not need all the flour; I had about 1/4 cup leftover which I used to flour my kneading surface.)

Knead dough for 5 minutes on lightly floured surface, or use the dough hook on your mixer. Roll dough into rectangular shape, about 1/4 inch thick.

Brush dough with melted butter, reserving 1 Tbsp. for the glaze. Combine cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle over dough.

Roll up dough the long way and slice into 12. I first slice it in half, then half again, then in thirds to get 12 pieces. Place in a greased 9x13 pan. Let rest 10 minutes.

Bake at 425˚ for 12-17 minutes or until nice and brown on top--it's easy to under bake this recipe, so if you're unsure, bake for another minute or two.

Let the rolls cool for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, for the glaze, combine the warm milk with the reserved melted butter (it's ok that it's slightly solid now!) with a whisk. Add the powdered sugar gradually, whisking as you go. Add more powdered sugar as necessary to get the consistency that you like. Drizzle over the warm rolls and serve.

Recipe Source: Adapted from The Food Charlatan

Monday, March 9, 2020

Pork and Green Bean Stir Fry

I have many favorite things, but one of my very favorites is a simple meal with extraordinary flavor. That's what this stir fry is. This dish needs only a few ingredients to pack a flavor wallop. Besides flavor, it has a couple different textures (always a plus in my book) and lots of color from the gorgeous green beans. The "secret" to this dish is charring the green beans. Do you see the beautiful char? It adds so much flavor.

Unless you have the most gigantic pan ever, you will likely have to do this in batches, but don't worry, it is still extremely fast. Put some rice on to cook before you start the stir fry, or you may end up waiting! The secret to the char is to be patient - let the green beans sit in the hot pan without stirring it. That pretty much goes against the title of this recipe - STIR fry - but it will be worth it. As with all quick dishes, be sure you have all your ingredients chopped and ready to go before you start.

This was a huge hit with my family and we fought over the leftovers. I won. That's what happens when you can pull the "cook card."

Find more great stuff at Inspire Me, Inspire Me2, Fabulous, Hearth and Soul.

Pork and Green Bean Stir Fry

2 Tbsp. dark soy sauce
2 Tbsp. Chinese cooking wine
2 tsp. sugar
2-3 tsp. chili garlic sauce
1 pound fresh green beans
2 1/2 Tbsp. sesame or peanut oil
4-6 ounces sliced mushrooms
1 pound ground pork (not sausage)
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp fresh ginger, finely chopped

In a small bowl or measuring cup, combing the soy sauce, wine, sugar and chili garlic sauce. Whisk well and set aside.

Trim the green beans, then chop into 1" pieces. Heat 1/2 Tbsp. oil in a heavy skillet over medium high heat until the oil smokes. Add a layer of green beans so they are covering the bottom of the skillet but are not overlapping. Leave for 1 minute. Stir, then let sit another 30 seconds. Repeat one or two more times until beans are charred but tender crisp (not withered and floppy). Remove to a bowl. Repeat this process until all the beans are charred (it took me three times with a pound of beans and a large skillet.)

Add the remaining 1 Tbsp oil to the pan, then add onion, garlic and ginger. Cook for 1 minute until edges of onion are golden. Add mushrooms and cook and stir for 2 minutes.

Add pork and cook, breaking it up as you go. Cook for 2 minutes until the pork is cooked through, then whisk the sauce again and add it to the pan. Cook for 30 seconds, then add beans and stir for another 30 seconds.

Serve over rice or cauliflower rice.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Creamy Shrimp Pasta with Asparagus and Mushrooms

First the good news: This is a restaurant-worthy dish that you can easily make at home. And now, more good news: It's super fast. Even more: Only dirties two pans. And finally: Super delicious.

Start the pasta water boiling, and you'll have plenty of time to whip up the creamy shrimp and mushroom mixture. The asparagus cooks right with the pasta, so you get two things done at once. Get someone in your family to whip up a salad, and you will have a fantastic dinner in no time.

I typically used cooked shrimp for the convenience factor, but if you use raw shrimp, simply peel and devein, then add to the sauce before the pasta so it can cook in the sauce for a couple minutes.

If your family loves shrimp, they'll love this fantastic pasta dish. I love that it uses ingredients that I usually have on hand. Winner all around!

There are more excellent ideas at Fabulous, Hearth and Soul, Inspire Me, Full Plate, Tasty Tuesday.

Creamy Shrimp Pasta with Asparagus and Mushrooms

12 ounces small pasta shapes
8 ounces asparagus, trimmed and chopped
2 Tbsp. olive oil
12 ounces cooked shrimp
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp. basil
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
8 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 cup half and half
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese shredded
1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese shredded

Cook pasta according to package instructions, adding cut up asparagus in the last minute. Drain pasta and asparagus, reserving about 1 cup of the pasta water.

In a large skillet, over medium heat, add 1 Tbsp. olive oil and garlic. Add mushrooms, basil, paprika and red pepper flakes and cook on medium heat for about 2 minutes, occasionally stirring, until mushrooms become soft and release juices. Sprinkle with salt part way through cooking.

Immediately add 1 cup half-and-half. Bring to a simmering boil.

Add half the cheese. Bring to boil, and immediately reduce to medium-simmer. Cook, constantly stirring, until the cheese melts.

Gradually start adding the remaining cheese, stirring constantly until all cheese is melted.

Add pasta and asparagus to the skillet and stir in the shrimp. Stir well to coat all the pasta.

If the cream sauce is too thick, add the reserved pasta water in small amounts to the cream sauce (while the sauce is simmering on low-medium heat) until you reach desired consistency.

Season with more salt and add more crushed red pepper flakes and basil, if desired.
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