Thursday, January 24, 2013

Apple-Berry Cinnamon Roll-Crust Pie

 Today I was Pinspired.
Yes, that's right inspired by a Pinterest pin.

I was having my coffee, scrolling through the pin feed, and then I saw it.
 - Just use cinnamon rolls for a pie crust-

I was floored. The genius behind this sent my mind racing. I must make this recipe.
   But then....The worst thing that could happen to any avid pinner such as myself happened-
  DEAD LINK. (Horror music playing in the background....)

Okay, no big deal. I will just find one that works. Search "Cinnamon Roll Crust"
  Wow. There were so many to choose from. 

Yet, after 6 I still had no recipe,no tips, no baking times. Nothing. My heart was sinking. And then, I put on my big girl panties and declared to my 2 year old Little Mister, " Well then, I'll just have to make up a pie with a cinnamon roll crust! SO, HA!"

     He wasn't impressed but I was determined to win him over. And since I already had a few cans of Pillsbury cinnamon rolls in the fridge (because my family wants them made into waffles at least once a week) I decided to go for it. 

  My market has had a really good sale on blueberries the past few weeks, so I had a few pints of those and some apples that my family had clearly been neglecting in the fruit bowl. And thus- Apple-Berry Cinnamon Roll-Crust Pie was born. And shortly after devoured, proving to not have lived a very long life.


Here's how it all went down......


I used a combo of Granny Smith and Red Delicious apples. These were what I had on hand, so you could probably use whatever apples you like.


I peeled, cored, and sliced the apples. And yes, I have a fancy pants apple peeler thing- and if you don't have one I am telling you it is worth the $25 at Bed Bath and Beyond. So worth it, and look at how fun these apple spirals are! 
But of course, do this the old school way if you want to- just make sure the apples are somewhat uniformed so they cook evenly.



I cut them into half moons, yours could be more rustic if you wanted. This is a messy pie, and it tastes so good NO ONE is going to notice if your apples aren't perfect.







Next I browned them in a skillet, with the melted butter and flour about 5 minutes. Then I mixed in every other ingredient and let it simmer for about 5 more minutes. Letting everything get nice and thick and gooey....



While my apples did their thing in the skillet, I rolled out the cinnamon rolls slightly overlapping them and then lined them into a lightly greased 9.5 inch (you could use a 9 or 10 inch I'm sure) pie dish. The crust overlapped a little.


After filling the pie dish with all that warm goodness, I folded the edges of crust over onto the top and gave them a little pinch at the seams.


I popped it into the oven at 400 Degrees F, and bake it for 14 minutes. You could go to 16 if you want it a little crispier but I would keep an eye on it.


It came out golden and the crust was slightly puffed up and fluffy just like a cinnamon roll would be.
 And it smelled so good as it cooled on a wire rack.









  I topped it off with a dollop of whipped cream, because I love whipped cream! Yum!


This pie was a keeper, my husband who is a sweets expert even called me a "Rockstar" and high-fived me for it! I hope you like it as much as we did!


Apple-Berry Cinnamon Roll-Crust Pie
An L.A. Walter Original Recipe


Ingredients

2 cans Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon flour
4 medium apples (peeled,cored,and sliced)
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Directions

Preheat oven to 400 Degrees F

In a large skillet over med-high heat melt butter and flour together. Whisk frequently to ensure smoothness. Cook 2 minutes and reduce heat to medium, adding the apples and sugars. Cook for 5-7 minutes to soften apples, stirring often. Add in the blueberries, vanilla,cinnamon,salt, lemon juice and nutmeg. Continue to cook another 5 minutes, allowing everything to become well combined and the juices to thicken up.

Meanwhile lightly grease a 9-10 inch pie dish. Roll cinnamon rolls out on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin. Form cinnamon rolls into a large circle, slightly overlapping and pinch at the seams, making sure there are no holes.

 Line the pie dish with the crust and fill with the apple-berry mixture. Fold the crust hanging off the edge over the filling and pinch together at the seams.

 Bake for 14-16 minutes. Until golden brown and bubbly. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes on a wire rack before cutting. Serve as is, or with a little whipped cream for a bonus!


  

Monday, January 21, 2013

Sweet Cream Blueberry Biscuits

 Lately I keep catching myself in the midst of a very detailed pastry day dream. This year I will make this sweet food fantasy come true, I even made it a New Year's Resolution.

  Today my thoughts kept creeping back to fluffy pastries, sweet glazes, baked fruits.....creams that are so creamy you want to pronounce them creme with a french accent. There I go again.
So I took the first step and looked into making my own pastry dough. There were a few different variations I even found one "quick and easy" version by Martha. Yet, even this quick method required over 2 hours of wait time just for the dough to chill. I'm usually a patient person, but it's Monday. And in the words of one of Oklahoma's most beloved internet sensations Sweet Brown, "Ain't nobody got time for that!".

  Yet, I couldn't fight the urge to bake something. So my crazy little mind came up with these fantastic substitutions.

  Sweet Cream Blueberry Biscuits



Quick, easy, and freakin' delicious too.








Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F and grab a medium sized mixing bowl.
Whisk your flour, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Then cut in your shortening with a fork, pastry cutter, or if you're super cool like me an old school potato masher.












Once your flour mix looks like a coarse meal gradually stir in 1 cup of milk.
Stir until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl, then gently stir in your blueberries.


Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead about 10 times, adding a little more flour if it is too sticky to work with.












Use a rolling pin to shape dough into a nice square about 1 inch thick. Cut biscuits into circles. I used a cookie cutter, but by all means use that biscuit cutter you bought at Bed Bath and Beyond- or do what I did for 2 years and use a small mouth glass. Just make sure you dip whatever you use in flour before to ensure the dough doesn't stick to the cutter.


Place on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 13-15 minutes. Mine were perfect at 14.

While your biscuits are in the oven make the sweet cream glaze- simply whisking together powdered sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla until smooth,







Pour glaze over warm biscuits, or you could serve them with the cream on the side.


These totally satisfied my need to use a rolling pin. And even though I have been eating extra healthy- I had to take just one bite in the name of research. Only...these were so good- I ate the whole damn biscuit! Oh well, I bought a kettle bell today so it should all balance out!



Sweet Cream Blue Berry Biscuits
Adapted from J.P.'s Big Daddy Biscuit Recipe
Yields 10-12 biscuits

  • 2 cups all purpose flour 
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

For the Sweet Cream Glaze:

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F

 In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Cut in the shortening until the flour mixture resembles a coarse meal. Gradually stir in the milk until the dough begins to pull away from the bowl. Gently stir in the blueberries.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead about 10 times. Use a floured rolling pin to shape the dough into a square about 1 inch thick. Using a circle cutter dipped in flour cut biscuits out of the dough. Recombine dough scraps, and repeat cutting process until all dough has been used.

 Place on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 13-15 minutes.

Meanwhile whisk together in a small bowl the powdered sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla extract to make the glaze. Pour glaze over warm biscuits- or serve on the side.












Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Sausage & Red Pepper Frittata

 I am a creature of habit. I go to the same grocery store every Wednesday morning with my little menu and list in hand.
   What can I say, I spent the first half of my life so unorganized that I have to be Mrs. Super Organization now to make up for it or something.

So.... By the time we get to Tuesday's dinner, my fridge is starting to run a little low on ingredients. To make it seem like this is all part of my plan(because yes I'm a nut) I have dubbed Tuesday official Breakfast for Dinner or Raid the Leftovers night.
   
      My wonderfully hungry husband thought it was Raid the Leftovers Lunch however and wiped us out when packing his lunch bag for work.
     
   No problem- I have my Breakfast for Dinner PLAN B, which is always a hit in my fam. E man would actually be happy to eat pancakes and bacon every night for dinner if I let him. But with 3 guys and me (never underestimate how much a lady like myself can eat) grubbing down we go through quite a bit of eggs. So when I discovered there to be only 5 eggs my heart kind of sank and I started thinking about getting take out... or watching my husband look at his tiny portion with sad hungry eyes (not the fun Dirty Dancing kind either...). 
    
    But have no fear- my awesome cook of a mom saved me with the simple phrase of " just make a frittata". And so I did.

I was kind of winging it but just in case it turned out yummy I snapped some pics to share with you nice people here.

   And guess what- It DID turn out yummy!


I started with a 1/2 lb of pork sausage and 1/2 of a chopped red bell pepper. Sauteed in a cast iron pan .

Next I whipped up my last 5 eggs with a 1/4 cup of heavy cream and a little salt, pepper, and garlic powder. This little mixture got poured right onto my sausage and peppers.

After about 1 minute on medium heat the egg began to set up a little. So I followed my instinct and covered it with Colby Jack cheese. Then it got popped under the broiler for a few minutes.

It was nice and puffy, and the cheese was melted. It looked so good!

It tasted good too!



Sausage & Red Pepper Frittata
Makes 4 servings
  • 1/2lb pork sausage
  • 1/2 of a medium size red bell pepper chopped
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tspn garlic powder
  • 1/4 tspn fresh ground black pepper
  • 3/4 tspn salt
  • 1/4 cup Colby Jack (or any shredded cheese)

Directions 


Turn on broiler.
In a medium sized cast iron or non-stick oven safe skillet brown sausage. Add in bell peppers cooking until soft.

Meanwhile whisk the eggs, heavy cream, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and cook for around 1 minute over medium heat.

Cover the frittata with shredded cheese and pop under the broiler for 2-3 minutes. Slice into little wedges and serves.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Bento Baby!

 Over the weekend my heater went out on me, and now my house is freezing. So although I have still been cooking(some of the time..) I haven't had the motivation to take pictures and make a post.  
 But, I want to keep this little blog going so today I reminded myself to snap a couple pics of the bento box I made for my older son. 

Here is the thing- I'm super into bento style lunches for E-man. I like making them, he likes eating them, they are less wasteful, and I feel good about what he's eating. 

  I pack a bento for him about 4-5 times a week. Most of the time, it is really simple, healthy foods that he loves put together into a nice little package and arranged to be appealing to him.
    And then sometimes.....
 I embrace my inner-food-nerd and go crazy with his lunch.

Like this morning's lunch which has a circus theme. Because, although I find clowns super creepy- E man thinks the circus is where it's at. 

Here is what I came up with:

Look, It's a clown!














For the silly clown sandwich I made used a big mug to cut a circle out of whole grain white bread. I filled it with all natural peanut butter and a little bit of honey. Then I used a little peanut butter like glue to stick on candy eyes (you can get these at Target or Walmart) a pretzel M&M for the nose, and a fruit and veggie strip for the mouth. His hair is made of grapes on toothpicks- I cut the pointy edges off, mainly because he's a boy and I wouldn't put it past him to try and poke someone/something with the stick. Same thing with all the little balloon and star picks that I put in for a finishing touch. 

  For a sneaky side that looks like candy, but isn't I made tiny sandwiches out of vanilla wafers and banana slices and then rolled them in a little bit of sprinkles. 
  
 The little thing that looks like a pie is a raspberry tartlet from Buddy Fruits, a really good kid snack brand that makes all natural food with real fruit and no preservatives. 

  He also has an organic Apple Mango GoGo apple sauce on the side and a bottle of water.

Any one who has school age kids, and hasn't tried bento yet should look into it.
 There are a ton of awesome bento blogs out there, and so many awesome easy ideas for fun and healthy meals.

  And guess what- the kids actually like to eat them! 

My lunch boxes are from http://www.easylunchboxes.com/ in case any one is wondering.









Friday, January 11, 2013

Cocoa Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

  I'm sad to say 2 year old Little Mr. doesn't have very many friends. Let's face it, when you're two and you don't go to daycare your playmates tend to consist of Mom, the puppy, and your parents' friends' kids- which in my case aren't the same age or gender as my kiddo. That is why Little Mr. counts down the days of the week 'til Thursday when he goes to a toddler play group at his big brother's school.

  After a long winter break stuck at home with me he couldn't believe that his Smart Start day had finally come. He was so excited he even got himself dressed before anyone else that morning.

 That was... until we got to school and they informed us that it was canceled because the librarian who hosts the group was out sick. The disappointment on his face was a Heart Breaker.
   I can't handle Heart Breakers.

So to make it all better we came home and made cookies.
Once again I find myself baking at 9am and wondering.... if drinking before noon indicates alcoholism- what does this mean for me and my baking habits.

  Little Mr. is a great helper in the kitchen and together we came up with these yummy little cookies. They remind me of no bake cookies- but baked. So they are nice and chewy on the inside but crispy on the outside.


  Little Mr. approved.

Start with brown and granulated sugar. Mix them together and then cream with softened butter.

While your butter and sugars are mixing combine your dry ingredients.


















Once the butter is nice and creamy add in your eggs and vanilla mixing well before moving on to your dry ingredients. Add the dry stuff in gradually. This batter is nice and thick so give your mixer a little break in between additions.

The next step is to stir in 1 cup of peanut butter chips (I dare you to not pop some in your mouth while you measure them out...I find it nearly impossible!)


Having a taste tester near by is never a bad idea.
And yes, I let my kids eat a little raw cookie dough- save your gasps for a mom who isn't fun! 


Drop cookie batter by rounded tablespoons onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.

                                I found that these didn't spread very much so you can put them pretty close together 


Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees F. Let rest on cookie sheet for 1 minute before transferring to a wire rack to cool.


These are super yummy warm and gooey with a glass of milk to go along!




Cocoa Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chip Cookies
Yields approx. 40 small cookies

·         3/4 cup brown sugar
·         3/4 cup white sugar
·         12 tblspn softened butter
·         2 eggs
·         1 tspn vanilla
·         3 cups old fashioned oats
·         1 cup flour
·         ½ tspn baking soda
·         1 tspn salt
·         5 tblspn unsweetened cocoa
·         1 cup peanut butter chips

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Cream together softened butter and sugars in an electric mixer on med-high speed. Reduce speed to low and mix in the eggs and vanilla. In a medium sized mixing bowl mix together oats, flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa.
Gradually add the dry ingredients into the wet. Next, stir in 1 cup of peanut butter chips, mixing until just combined.
Drop batter by the rounded tablespoon-full onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. And bake for around 10 minutes. Don’t over bake them or they will be a little too crunchy!
Let the cookies rest for 1 minute on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.



Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Jameson Infused Tres Leches Cake

 This is not your ordinary cake. No, no my friend this cake is a Rock Star. On its own Tres Leches cake is pretty fantastic- light and fluffy left soaking in a sweetened cream mixture and topped with whipped cream. But when you add in the very special ingredient of Jameson Irish Whiskey this cake is taken to a-whole-nother-level real quick.

  This is a grown-up only cake, because we aren't going to cook any of the liquor out(although you can just omit the whiskey and still end up with a great kid-friendly cake). You won't be getting tipsy, but you will get just the right amount of Jameson flavor in each and every bite. Like I said folks, it is a Rock Star. Maybe that is why I decided to revisit this cake for a family friend (and future rock star)'s birthday.

   Of course.... I'm that crazy girl who decides to make someone a birthday cake at 8:30 am the morning of...and then finds themselves waiting outside the door for the liquor store to flick on the OPEN sign at 9:59 am. I knew I was buying whiskey that early for the holy mission of super special rock star worthy birthday cake- but maybe I still felt a little like I was being judged.... just a little.    

 Either way, it was worth it. Our friend was surprised and the Tres Leches turned out amazing.


                                           
Separate your egg white from the yolks easily by gently tossing the egg yolk back and forth between the two halves of shell allowing a little of the white to slip out as you go.










Whip the egg whites until you get nice soft peaks. This takes time, so be patient!

Once your egg whites have a little life to them it is time to add in the sugar gradually as you whip.


 Sugar pumps up the volume and you should end up with nice stiff peaks.


Now add in your egg yolks one at a time mixing well in between. After your yolks are good and mixed add in the flour/baking soda and whole milk, alternating between the two.
Mix in the vanilla to complete your batter.



















Pour that yummy batter into your greased and floured 9X13 pan.

















And bake at 350 degrees F until it is lightly golden.


                                                        Like this-











Now for a little fun grab a toothpick, chop stick, skewer or any kind of pointy tool and poke lots of little holes in the cake. Let cool for 10 minutes while you whip up that awesome Jameson cream.



After you whip the ingredients up in the blender and reserve a cup and a half for later, you pour the rest over the hot cake slowly. Let it absorb as you feed the liquid into it. If it looks scary full- don't worry. It will soak up in time. So give it a wrap and pop it in the fridge to do some magic for at least 4 hours.

It's worth the wait guys.












When you are ready to serve the cake whip up a little fresh Jameson infused whipped cream to top this whole thing off.
You can even go a step further and top this whole cake with your favorite fresh berries for a great touch of flavor and presentation as well.

Serve it up with the extra cream you reserved, and prepare to have your world rocked.



Jameson Infused Tres leches Cake
Recipe adapted from Emeril Lagasse,originally appearing in Emeril's There's a Chef in My World, HarperCollins Publishers, New York, 2006


·         1 tablespoon shortening
·         2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour divided
·         6 large eggs, separated
·         2 cups granulated sugar
·         2 teaspoons baking powder
·         1/2 cup whole milk
·         1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
·         ½ plus 2 teaspoons Jameson Irish Whiskey divided
·         1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
·         2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
·         2 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided
·         1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar

Directions
Position rack in bottom 1/3 of oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Lightly grease a 13 by 9-inch baking pan with the shortening. Add 1 tablespoon of the flour to the greased pan and shake it around to coat the entire pan with the flour. Shake out excess flour. Set aside for later.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the sugar with the mixer running, beating until stiff peaks form.
Add the egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each egg is added. In a small mixing bowl, mix together the 2 cups flour and baking powder. Add the flour mixture to the batter in stages, alternating with the whole milk, beginning and ending with the flour. (Do this quickly so that the batter does not lose its volume.) Add 1 teaspoon of the vanilla extract. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and place in the oven. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.
In a blender combine the evaporated milk, ½ cup of Jameson Irish Whiskey, sweetened condensed milk and 1 1/2 cups of the heavy cream. Cover and blend on high for 45 seconds.
Remove 1 1/2 cups of the milk mixture, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve the cake.
Pour 1/2 of the remaining milk mixture over the warm cake.
When the cake has soaked up most of the liquid, pour the remaining half of the milk mixture over the cake, and cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.
When ready to serve, beat the remaining cup of heavy cream in the electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add the confectioners' sugar, 2 teaspoons Jameson and remaining 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla, and beat until stiff peaks form. Spread the Jameson infused whipped cream over the chilled cake.
Serve the cake with the reserved chilled milk sauce and fresh berries.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Lemon & Dill Foil Pack Salmon


Believe it or not the majority of my life I thought I didn't like fish. I suppose I had this notion that all fish would taste like fish sticks- which as a child I despised. That was until I tried my first salmon filet. It was like my whole world was opened up. I couldn't believe that fish could taste so wonderful.

  Maybe that's why salmon has remained my all time favorite fish. This was one of the first ways I ever made salmon at home. Back when I was just starting to feel my way around a kitchen could successfully prepare around 4 dishes. Over the years I have tweaked the recipe, but the method of baking(or grilling) salmon in a foil packet has stayed a star player in my recipe rotation. Not only does it provide a perfect little cooking environment for your fish, but it makes the clean up a snap.



Start with fresh salmon cut into 6 oz filets with or without the skin. I leave mine on.



Next mix the dill, garlic powder, old bay, salt and pepper into the softened butter.


Slice 1-2 lemons up depending on the size of your lemons

Overlap 2 good sized sheets of foil onto a large baking sheet and cover with the lemons. Next top the lemons with salmon and spread with your butter mixture. Follow it with a healthy squeeze of lemon juice.


Fold it all up and pinch the seam at the top to make a loose packet of goodness.
Ignore my ugly baking sheet!


Now pop that bad boy into the oven and bake for around 15 minutes. I like my salmon at a good medium, but if you want it a little flakier just bake for a little longer.

I like to serve this with extra lemon wedges for squeezing and a side fresh veggies and rice pilaf.



Lemon and Dill Foil Pack Salmon
 1 ½ lbs salmon filets
6 tblspn softened butter
1/8 cup dried dill
1/2 tspn sea salt
1 tspn old bay seasoning
1/2 tspn ground black pepper
½ tspn ground garlic
2-3 lemons

Preheat oven to 400
Mix together the softened butter, dried dill, salt, pepper, and garlic.
Lay out two sheets of foil on a baking sheet, one crossing over the other. Slice 1-2 lemons (depending on size) into thin slices. Place some of the slices over the foil in a single layer. Place the salmon filets on top of the lemon slices. Spread the butter mixture over the salmon. It may look like a lot, but you really want to be generous. Cover with the juice of one lemon. Wrap the foil up into a loose pouch, pinching in the center for a tight seal. Place in oven and bake for approximately 15-20 minutes, depending on how cooked you like your salmon.
Serve with extra lemon wedges for extra tastiness! 



Hello world!

Welcome to Add Life, Mix Well!
 I'm Laura and this little blog is a big adventure for me. I'm one of those people who are passionate about food. I love cooking, eating, sharing, and discovering whatever I can in the culinary world. I am not a professional cook or a professional writer- but I have this crazy desire to get on here and share my kitchen experiences with the world. I'm a wife, a mom, and a 20-something living in my hometown of Oklahoma City. I love to spend time with my family, bake to make people smile, and gather with friends over cheap wine and cheese I really can't afford.

I'm not sure exactly what to tell you to expect from this blog. I am going to start with some family favorites, and go from there. I'm still learning and I hope that anyone can use this site to learn along with me.

If anyone has any feedback ever- don't be afraid to leave it!
 Like I said, I am still learning.

 This is my very first blog, so be patient with me if my pictures aren't the best or I'm not as organized as I should be. I will get better! I will try to post a few times a week. So check back!

    This is just a slice of my life- enjoy!