Sunday, November 18, 2012

2 Ingredient La La Lemon Angel Cake Bars

1 Box Angel Food Cake Mix
15 oz. Can Lemon Pie Filling

Preheat oven to 350'F.

Mix together Angel Food Cake Mix with Lemon Pie Filling gently with a spoon or form until just incorporated.  It will start to fluff up and seem foamy.  Make sure not to over mix, DO NOT USE A MIXER.

Spread out into a 9x13 nonstick or parchment paper lined pan.  Do not grease pan.  Spread evenly.

Bake until golden brown on top 25-35 minutes, depending on your oven.  Let cake cool.  Cake may seem puffy but will fall.  This is supposed to happen.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar while still warm.  Cool completely, then cut into bars.  This cake is like a chewy, fluffy, lemony and marshmallowy dense angel food cake texture.

That's it, it's that easy!

Have a great weekend,

Monday, November 12, 2012

Rainbow Babies & Children's Miracle Network Hospitals & Bruegger's Bagels and Bakery Free Coffee Day

(Photo courtesy of UH Hospitals, Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital)

When I got an opportunity to promote this donation/fundraising event with Bruegger's Bagels and Bakery and Rainbow Babies & Children's Miracle Network Hospital, it came easy to me.  I have a personal connection to these hospitals and many of my friends do to.

See Bruegger's is presenting a Free Coffee Day on November 14th. from the time they open to 2pm.  You can get any beverage for Free.  You have the opportunity to donate money to these hospital that do tremendous work and care for our nation's children and beyond or you can buy their Bottomless Mug and get any beverage for as many times as you like for FREE for 1 year!

This is an amazing this that Bruegger's has partnered up with.  It's a great cause and a great way to thank you for your patronage.

I have a personal story to share with you.  I don't talk about it much because it's hard to explain and it's so personal to our whole family.  Once our family was blessed with a presence of an angel.  He wasn't here long but he brought many smiles and tears of joy along the journey of his life and that was my nephew T.J.

I can't say exactly what kind of condition my nephew had but it was one that started in the womb and it's so very rare.  My dearest nephew, the first grandchild of the family was brought in this world barely having a chance.  He always amazed me.  How he fought.  He fought through every obstacle, every seizure every disability.  Though all the problems he faced, he was loved so dearly.

My dear nephew might of had many disabilities but because of the care given by these network of hospitals, he got great quality care and was cared for like any child and treated with love and understanding.  He was an amazing little guy.  When you thought he was about to give up he surprised you with another miracle.  He surpassed what they said he would live to and when God took him we knew he was finally at peace.

Not everyone is lucky enough to have a happy healthy baby all the time.  But when there is that special little angel that graces us with their presence we are lucky to have this special team of people in these organizations that are there for us when we need the help for our children.  My nephew's name is T.J. for short.  He has a healthy big brother by who is 11 now.  My nephew Christian was also a special baby too even though he's not a baby anymore!  Christian too needed help when he was a baby and came into this world.  He was luckier than his older brother and with the studies and treatments that are partnered with hospitals, they were able to help my nephew Christian live and be a strong a boy!  He's quite the talented boy!  He never forgets his older brother and keeps his memory dear to him.  We all do.  We have little special memories that are near and dear to us of T.J. and makes us grateful the happy healthy children we do have and Thank God everyday for their happy healthy lives.

My Nephew Christian with my Brother Tony who is an Iraq War Veteran as well....
He was born the exact day after my car accident, we were in the hospital at the same time!

So I ask you for your support to stop by your local Bruegger's Bagels and Bakery for this special day event. On November 14, 2012 until 2pm.  Show your support and know that you can make a difference.  You can donate and you can buy their featured Bottomless Mug for $160.00 which gives you free coffee for a year!  That comes out to $0.43 (43 cents) per day for a cup of coffee!!!!  I know I've spent more than that in a year for coffee and it doesn't help anything except break my wallet!  So why not at least do it all at once and be guaranteed as much coffee as you'd like for one year, part of the proceeds will go to helping kids like my nephews.  To help them have better chances for life and the kind of life they have for the time they are here.  These donations have gone to support research and training, purchase equipment, and pay for uncompensated care, all in support of the mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible.

Here is a copy of the promotional article:
(BURLINGTON, Vt.) Oct. 24, 2012 – Bruegger’s Bagels kicks off its annual fundraising for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals today with a coffee-flavored campaign that benefits children’s hospitals across the U.S. The bagel chain, known for its authentic, award-winning New York style bagels, will donate a portion of proceeds from sales of its popular Bottomless Mugs through the end of the year.

Bruegger’s Bottomless Mug Club started more than 10 years ago, and has been helping out local children’s hospitals since 2010. Guests who purchase the Bottomless Mug receive free coffee, tea and soda for the remainder of 2012 and throughout 2013, saving an average of $300 per year. Sales begin today at nearly all of 300+ Bruegger’s locations nationwide.

“Through the Bottomless Mug campaign, Bruegger’s staff and loyal guests can work miracles together for their local children’s hospital,” said Bruegger’s Bagels President David Austin. “Our customers love the benefits of the Bottomless Mug, but more importantly, enjoy the opportunity to help kids in need.”

The highlight of the national campaign comes on Wednesday, Nov.14, when Bruegger’s hosts its popular annual Free Coffee Day until 2 p.m. Guests can enjoy their first cup on Bruegger’s while donating their spare change (or more) to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at canisters located by the register. In 2011, guests contributed more than $30,000 on Free Coffee Day.

"Bruegger’s Bagels is such a valued partner, raising both awareness and funds for our local hospitals,” said Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Chief Corporate Partnerships Officer Clark Sweat. "Through sales of its coffee mugs and the support of its guests, Bruegger’s helps us do more good for millions of children and families across the U.S.”

Last year, Bruegger’s donated nearly $100,000 to benefit kids and families in need through Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. In addition to the Bottomless Mug campaign, Bruegger’s neighborhood bakeries host fundraisers and events for local children’s hospitals throughout the year.

About Bruegger's Enterprises, Inc. Bruegger's Enterprises, Inc. (BEI), a leader in the fast casual restaurant segment, operates more than 300 Bruegger’s bakeries in North America. Renowned for its award-winning bagels, Bruegger's offers a wide variety of freshly prepared breakfast and lunch options made with high-quality, simple ingredients served with its unique brand of hospitality. Bruegger's is dedicated to the communities it serves and supports charitable causes locally and nationally. BEI’s parent company, Groupe Le Duff, SA, is the world’s second largest company in the bakery-café sector. Founded in 1983, BEI is headquartered in Burlington, Vt. For more information, please visit or become a fan on Facebook at

About Children’s Miracle Network HospitalsChildren’s Miracle Network Hospitals® raises funds for 170 nonprofit children’s hospitals across North America, which, in turn, use the money where it’s needed the most. When a donation is given it stays in the community, ensuring that every dollar is helping local kids. Since 1983, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals has raised more than $4 billion, most of it $1 at a time. These donations have gone to support research and training, purchase equipment, and pay for uncompensated care, all in support of the mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible. Learn more at

You can visit Bruegger's Bagels & Bakery on the internet and look for a location by you.

Visit Children's Miracle Network Hospitals website to learn more about them!

This is my nephew's grave and on his plaque he has a special poem...

Do not stand at my grave and weep I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry; I am not there. I did not die.
 ~Mary Elizabeth Frye

This is the original poem by Mary Elizabeth Frye:

Do not stand at my grave and weep I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush I am the swift uplifting rush Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night. Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.
~Mary Elizabeth Frye

Although sometimes it's really hard to not cry because it is was a sad time but he did brings us so much joy.  Although he could not talk, walk, see or eat on his own.  He knew our touch, he knew when we were there. I'll never forget when I had to hold him and he squeezed me tight.  That is a feeling I'll never forget.  So please, help these organizations, these hospitals who have helped so many children in their lives.  I know that so many families and children would appreciate it.  Lets not forget our little ones who depend on us to help them make a better day tomorrow.

Remember November 14th!  Only until 2pm!  I'll be there and I am getting my yummy coffee in memory of my nephew and give to help.  Don't forget to enjoy some amazing bakery and goodies that Bruegger's has to offer!  Thank you everyone!

Thank You & God Bless,

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Honey Ham & Baby Swiss Crescent Calzone

Were you ever so hungry but you just didn't know what to make?  Nothing could be easier than this crescent calzone.  I mean, it felt like it took me literally 5 minutes to make.  Took me longer to take the pictures than the actually assembly of it.  What I ended up having was this AMAZING, WARM, FLAVORFUL, GOOEY, CHEESY and YUMMY dinner.  Now I was satisfied with just this but if you were to turn it into a meal for like 4 people, I'd double the recipe and make a salad or some potatoes like French Fries, Roasted Potatoes, Mashed Potatoes or whatever, even a veggie too.  I went solo on this one.

So basically it was just taking my lunch meat, cheese slices and rolled it up in a non-perforated recipe ready crescent roll sheet.  I've done step by step photos with instructions.  I have to mention, I used Baby Swiss in this recipe, My favorite is Guggisberg Baby Swiss.  I love it because it melts perfectly, it's creamy and the perfect taste.  It's not a harsh hard Swiss that many people are used to.  So if you kinda have a love & hate relationship with Swiss, I would try this Guggisberg Baby Swiss.  You will not be disappointed, at least I wasn't.  If you don't like Swiss AT ALL, you can certainly use another cheese and if you don't like Honey Ham, you certainly can swap it out for any other lunch meat, or cooked steak or chicken sliced thin.

THIS RECIPE MAKES ONE Calzone enough for 2 people

Honey Ham & Baby Swiss Crescent Calzone
1 Refrigerated Pillsbury Recipe Creations Crescent Dough or Crescent Roll Dough with Perforations Sealed
1/2 Pound Honey Ham or Any Lunch Meat or Thinly Sliced Cooked Meat (Steak, Chicken or Pork)
1/2 Pound Sliced Baby Swiss Cheese or Your Favorite Sliced Cheese, you can also used Shredded Cheese.
Any Spread like Ranch Dressing, Mustard, Honey Mustard, Thousand Island Dressing, Italian Dressing
(I wouldn't use mayo inside, while baking it could get icky, I would slop it on while you eat it or in a dipping cup.  You can also skip this step completely)
You can certainly add some veggies too if you'd like, like Sauteed Mushroom, Peppers, Roasted Red Peppers, Pepperoncini or Onions, etc....  (If adding veggies do so on top of the cheese).

Preheat Oven to 350'F.

Line a Baking/Cookie Sheet with Parchment Paper.

First Step is to unroll your crescent dough and stretch it out a little but do not tear it.  Just to get it out of it's tight form from being in the can.

Lay your lunch meat down or your cheese down first, (I think this worked better the second time around, helps not to make the dough soggy).

Add your sliced or shredded cheese on top of the lunch meat.  Leave about a half inch space so that you can pinch close.

Start at the long end and begin rolling to the end.  Pinch all opening together.  Snip with a scissors or poke top with a fork to do some venting.  Cook until a Golden Brown, it varies depending on temperature but I checked it about 15-20 minutes in.  You may see some cheese oozing.  That's completely fine!  Means it's hot and cheesy!  =)

Important step is to let it set up before cutting because if you don't it will just smash and fall apart.  You want some stability while eating this.

I hope you enjoy, we sure did.  I think I just thought up my most versatile recipe yet.  It might of been made before by others but hey for me, I thought of it!  ;)

Stay tuned for my sweet dessert version using this method....Can you guess what I might use?  Here are some photos....

Before laying the lunch meat down or cheese down, this is when you add your spread lightly and gently over your crescent dough.
This is when I put down the cheese first over the stretched crescent dough.

Secondly, place your lunch meat or cheese down, whichever way you do it.
This is when you can add your veggies.

Start at the end and start rolling....

Finished rollings, do small snips, just a couple on the stop or poke with a fork to vent.

Bake in a 350'F oven for about 15-20 minutes until golden brown.  

Enjoy and I hope you make it.  Let me know how it turns out.  Don't forget to add some sides to complete the meal!  YUMMY YUMMY!

Happy November (EEK! Already!),

Friday, October 26, 2012

Fall Perfection at Bruegger's Bagels

How it was great to get invited to check out the "Behind the Scenes" in the making of the yummy Bruegger's Bagels Blog Event.  I got an email telling me that I was invited to try some new menu items and get to hear the whole process of creation to customer service.

I've worked pretty much every position in the restaurant business.  Honestly, it took me back to back in the day of working in the industry.  It brought back great memories of having a blast while working and making some great friend, not to mention the skills I learned in the process.

I was late.  Who me?  Yeah me!  Yeah Yeah, I know....but seriously time is never on my side!  Something always disrupts my schedule.  I just don't get lucky with time no matter how hard I try.  Something always drags me.  Nonetheless, I went, late or not!  I did catch some informative information and got to try some things I never had at Bruegger's.

The last time I've had Brugger's Bagels was back when I worked in Downtown Cleveland for a big Medical Insurance Company and at lunch time, if it was nice outside, a few of us would go on a walk to eat something.  One of the places was Bruegger's.  My favorite was to eat a signature bagel sandwich called, "The Leonardo da Veggie".  It has Light herb garlic cream cheese, roasted red peppers, muenster cheese, lettuce, tomato & red onion. Yum! On a fresh chewy and crusty bagel that has been toasted, well it's just an artistic sandwich fit for an artist named after an artist!

Sadly, as I ventured out of the hectic city work, avoiding deadlock rush hour traffic, paying for parking and gas.  I was glad to let it go.  Along with it I left my love of Bruegger's.  That was the end of it sadly.  There was no other "Bagel Place" that fit the Bruegger criteria.  Then many years later Panera was opened near me.  I can't really compare the two.  They are very different and at the time Panera replaced Bruegger's because that was in my area.  Panera was introduced to me when I would visit my cousin in Columbus, Ohio where I first tried Panera, then when I would go to Canada and it happen to be at a break station.  Then when I worked at another medical insurance company, a competitor of the last company I worked for, we would have a "Bagel Lady" who came in every morning and sell bagels.  The company that I worked for was in the middle of nowhere.  So it was nice someone would bring something for us to purchase.  I fell in love with the Asiago Bagel and then was told it was Panera Bagels.  Well it was cheaper obviously if I bought my own and that is what I did.

This however is not a review for Panera but my first love, Bruegger's!  Which I am so grateful my love has now been rekindled!  Yum!  I also got to meet Bruegger''s Chef Philip Smith.  He's from England and he opened Bruegger's to us and explained the ins and outs of Bruegger's!  It was nice!  I had little Johnny with me and he was definitely occupied with some crafts of the season.  I thought, recognizing  that some of us our moms and basically can't just drop our kid off to go to a blog event, they involved our children!  Major Brownie Points!  Made me feel really connected to the company on a personal level.  Although the craft Johnny had to work with, combined candy and apples both which he rather eat than be crafty!  That's my Johnny!

At this point in the above picture he was put in his stroller because he grew quite restless.  LOL!  Johnny restless?  Never!  =)

I arrived right when Chef was touring the back kitchen.  Very small and not much room.  I never saw a small kitchen like this with a restaurant, but I remembered that they work with a very small menu necessities.  Complexity a little but still humble, but flavor and care in products much bigger!  Here is Chef in the cooler going over some processes that Bruegger's takes.  Very interesting, I could tell he took pride and they are specific on how they developed a product.

The bagels in this freezer are developing until they hit the huge oven.  Chef is holding some Salmon that Bruegger's uses on menu items.  I looked around to judge freshness and cleanliness.  It was all in check.

We then sat down with Chef and talked and I wanted to know where he came to be as a Chef.  I learned that he was in Italy for 4 months and he impressed me with speaking in Italian.  I was taken off guard.  He had asked me in Italian, if I spoke Italian, and although I do, I answered him in English.  I guess I'm just used to talking it with family and friends.  Pretty funny.  We also both had in common that we both worked for the Ritz Carlton Hotel.  Pretty cool eh?  He worked at the one in Washington DC and I was in Downtown Cleveland.  I guess when you work in the restaurant industry, you sometimes end up crossing paths with other people at some point!  Although when I did spend my time at the hotel it was nothing to do with working with the food aspect but more in the business area.  It all ties in together.

I enjoyed how Chef gave us some casual talking time.  Very personal.

So okay I am getting to the food.  Yes it was as good as I remembered it.  I would like to say I am pretty diverse in foods but I have never ever eaten Butternut Squash in any form.  However, we got to have and I took a bowl home o f their incredibly amazing Butternut Squash Soup which is also vegetarian.  I first would describe it with it's flavors as similar to Tomato Soup but better.  It was so good, buttery, creamy and great savory flavor perfect to have with a chewy fresh bagel.  The right thing to have on a rainy October day!  

Some of their signature soups, the orange one is their Butternut Squash Soup.  Photo courtesy of Bruegger's Bagels.

As for the bagels, well yes they are as good as they look!

There is no hiding what goes into these bagels and they weren't afraid to show it on the impressive spread that was laid out for us.  So here are the basic ingredients that go into their yummy bagels.

I got to have their new seasonal items, one of the newer ones being the Cranberry Apple Bagel.  Sweet, tart and chewy, yummy!  Now when you make a great product and you add the flavors of Autumn with it, you get some tasty creations!  For instance the Pumpkin Bagels & Pumpkin Cream Cheese, that's it, you're set!  

Photo Courtesy of Bruegger's Bagels & Bakery.
Pumpkin Bagel with Pumpkin Cream Cheese.

Buuuuuut, I wouldn't miss their Pumpkin Spice Latte!  This is where I say O-M-G!!!!

Okay the Pumpkin Spice Latte was just AMAZING!  Warm, cozy, creamy, topped of with Whip Cream and drizzled with Caramel!  Yeah that did me in!  Mmmmmmm, I was happy!  Perfect to go with this amazing scenery I caught that day....  Perfectly goes together or at least puts you in the mood!  This is when I am so blessed to live in the Midwest and see this amazing leaf color changing experience!

(C) ASM 2012, All Rights to this Photo Reserved By Me, Do Not Copy.

Well, the perfect end to this event was a bag of goodies.  Bruegger's spoiled us with a sack of bagels, plain and veggie cream cheese tubs with cute bagel balloons tied to the bags.  Soon as my Johnny saw the balloons, it was time to go!  See my son has an obsession with balloons and he will stop at nothing until he has one in hand.  Luckily it was at the end and I had to go.  It was all about the balloons at this time!

I just want to thank Becki, Chef Smith, Amber, Tina and everyone at Bruegger's Bagels and Bakery in Westalake for your invite, warm welcomes and great experience and knowledge into your company, hardwork and products!  I am glad to have been brought back to my love of Bruegger's Bagels back into my life!  I am a forever a customer and recommend this highly to everyone to try Bruegger's because I know they will love it!  Now just I wish....  Please open one by me!!!!  =)

Also it was great to meet other Cleveland Bloggers!  I look forward to getting to know all of you more!

So all of you, my readers from everywhere, find a Bruegger's by you!  Try everything, it's all awesome!  Definitely taste the products of the season!  You will not be disappointed!  Now I am craving for Bruegger's!    It's perfect for breakfast, lunch, a mid snack and a light dinner or full dinner!

Go try the TRIO and oh yeah they do Catering!
Photo Courtesy of Bruegger's Bagels &Bakery.

Please let me know if you have any questions!  I'll be more than happy to answer them.

Here is a beautiful little seating area outside of Bruegger's.  Johnny spent an outdoor moment with me and he threw a coin into the fountain!  Then we were off to make some stops at a neighboring city.  That's a later blog!  The fountain was tucked in this little area.  I just love Westlake, The Promenade and Crocker Park.

Bruegger's Bagel Bakery on Urbanspoon

Happy Fall Everyone!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Chocolate Chip Eggo Waffle Sandwich with Nutella and Bananas!

I said what?  Yes, Chocolate Chip Eggo Waffles with Nutella and Bananas!  That was Scott's midnight snack.  One night he tells me, "Ya know what's good?",  A Chocolate Chip Waffle Sandwich with Nutella and Bananas.  Huh?  Yes, I must admit, it sounds good!  Really good!  I haven't had the urge to quite do it yet, but if I do have a slight late night craving, I may just give in!

So as I was sitting, Scott walks in not with one but two sandwiches.  I saw it and it looked good!  I didn't ask for a bite.  I wasn't ready for it!  What's holding me back?  I don't know!

See Scott is a Mailman, he works about 12 hours a day, 6 days a week.  He walks his route.  So all those calories he consumes, burns right out of him.  I suppose I have eaten worse.  After all, it's just 2 waffles (well 4 in his case), so 2 waffles, a fruit (the banana) and some Nutella spread.  Sounds like a complete meal right?  I mean we're not using maple syrup or butter right?  So seems like this is looking better as a meal at breakfast.  Right?  Back me up  here!!!!

So I wanted to share this with you.  I just had to.  I need some convincing!  It couldn't be any worse than bacon, eggs, toast with butter and potatoes?  So if you get to try it before I do, let me know how it tastes.  This is looking great right about now.  So it's very easy to make....obviously....  But I will list them as I do with everything.  I give credit to Scott for this one!  Have a Sweet Weekend!

Mind you, I have to say, all the items used are wonderful products!
I encourage you to try Chocolate Chip Eggo Waffles
Ferrero's Nutella Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
of course Bananas!

My favorite Eggo Waffles Flavors:
Chocolate Chip
French Toast
(waiting to try....)
Pumpkin Spice

The Chocolate Chip Eggo Waffle with Nutella and Bananas Sandwich
2 Toasted Chocolate Chip Eggo Waffles
2 Tablespoons of Nutella
1/2 a Banana, sliced

Toast your waffle to desired crispness.  When done, spread one side of each waffle with Nutella and add the sliced banana, make a sandwich.  Voila!  Chomp Away!

I hope you enjoy it!  It seems Scott does as he has eaten 2 sandwiches!  He convinced me to share it with you!

L'eggo My Eggo!
Photo Courtesy of Eggo Waffles via Facebook

Love Me Some Nutella,

Friday, September 14, 2012

Sweet Buttery Vanilla Glaze for Donuts, Cookies, Cakes, Cinnamon Rolls & More

Yummy Glaze!

This has to by far be the best ever glaze to use on just about anything that requires a glaze.  For instance, Donuts, Cakes, Cinnamon Rolls, Muffins, Scones, Cookies and more! It's just like that glaze on that amazing  fresh yeast or cake donut, or freshly baked cinnamon rolls.  You know how there is just not enough glaze in the refrigerated cinnamon roll cans?  Well make this instead and you will have yourself some gooey yummy cinnamon rolls.  It's great for that drizzle on Bundt Cakes.  The butter just gives it a comfort smoothness to the glaze and the milk/cream of course give it that creaminess along with the butter and the vanilla is a great flavor for it.  You can also use lemon extract, anise extract, almond extract, maple extract, rum extract....etc...  I like to use pure extracts if I can and if it's available, imitation is only a last resort.  Pure extracts are a little more expensive but really worth it and you can use one bottle a long way.  You get the real true flavor potency too.  So a little bit ago I made a Cinnamon Roll Coffeecake, which I used this glaze. It was perfect.  I am forever in love with this recipe.  Make sure you follow the directions exactly to get the best smoothness possible, or you can always send it through a mesh strainer to get the lumps out from the powdered sugar.  Make sure to sift it the powdered sugar.  Enjoy and if you do use this glaze please give me your feedback!

Vanilla Butter Glaze for Cakes, Cinnamon Rolls and Donuts: 
2 Tablespoons Butter, Melted
1 Cup Powdered Sugar
1 Tablespoon of Milk or Heavy Cream
1/4 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Sift powdered sugar into a bowl. Add the melted butter. Add 1 Tablespoon of milk or cream. Mix in Vanilla Extract. Beat until smooth and creamy, adding more milk if necessary. Drizzle over cake, cinnamon rolls or donuts.

Have A Sweet Weekend!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Quotations: "Happiness of Every American" Benjamin Franklin

The Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.

Benjamin Franklin
January 17, 1706-April 17, 1790

Pursuit of Happiness does not just apply for Americans but of all who inhabit the world.  We as Americans are blessed to have such a written document to ensure Happiness.  I think all should have an unwritten Constitution for themselves to "Pursue Happiness".  ~Annamaria

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wellesley Coffeecake; Cinnamon Roll Coffeecake

Scott came home today with the Wednesday Recipe in the local newspaper.  This recipe was actually one where I had all the ingredients.  I thought why not and give it a try.

It's a pretty straight forward recipe and not hard to follow.  I think the only recommendation is to cook it a little longer than what the recipe said.  Other than that, it's outstanding.  It's moist and melt in your mouth.  Buttery and Sweet.  I don't think is the typical coffeecake.  It's a bit heavier than most coffeecakes but so good and dense in a sense.  I loved the filling, like a cinnamon roll.  I also used Brown Sugar instead of regular sugar in the filling as written in the recipe below.  I added some cinnamon into the batter to just give a little more cinnamon kick but you can skip that if you'd like.

I baked mine into a bundt pan but the recipe didn't state whether to bake in a 9x13 pan or a bundt pan.

I really love the taste of it.  The whole family loved it so it's a winner and added to my list of recipes.  I think the newspaper however needs to recheck their writing on how to completely write a recipe out.

If I had to describe this cake it was like eating a cake, a cinnamon roll and a donut all in one.  Yes, it was that good!  So if I had to call it something, I guess I would call it a Cinnamon Roll Coffeecake.  Perfect to serve at Breakfast, Brunch, Coffee or Tea or as a dessert after dinner.  This would be great for any Tea Party!

Wellesley Coffeecake
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups of sugar
2 eggs
1 cup of sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Sprinkle of Cinnamon (optional)

4 teaspoons brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350'F
Thoroughly Grease and Flour Bundt Pan.

Cake Directions:
Cream Butter and Sugar.
Add Eggs, one at a time, beating with each addition.
Add Sour Cream, vanilla and almonds extracts, sprinkle of cinnamon (cinnamon optional); beat well.
Sift together Flour, Baking Powder and Salt together and add in wet ingredients.

Filling Directions:
In a separate bowl, combine sugar, pecans and cinnamon.

Place 1/3 of batter in prepared bundt pan.
Sprinkle with 3/4 of filling mixture
Spoon in rest of batter and sprinkle with rest of filling on top.

Bake for 1 hour until toothpick inserts comes out clean.

When cake is cooled, either dust with powdered sugar, leave plain or glaze it with the following glaze recipe.

Vanilla Butter Glaze for Cakes, Cinnamon Rolls and Donuts:
2 Tablespoons Butter, Melted
1 Cup Powdered Sugar
1 Tablespoon of Milk or Heavy Cream
1/4 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Sift powdered sugar into a bowl.
Add the melted butter.
Add 1 Tablespoon of milk or cream.
Mix in Vanilla Extract.
Beat until smooth and creamy, adding more milk if necessary.
Drizzle over cake, cinnamon rolls or donuts.


Sugar & Spice and Everything Nice!

Monday, July 23, 2012

La La Lemon Crinkle Cookies

Since it's Summer I decided that Lemon seems to be the flavor these days.  Although it has been exceptionally hot all over the United States, I couldn't give up baking!  I know the heat varies throughout the Summer months nationally but I have to tell you reaching a heat index of about 105'F with about 90% Humidity is just utterly disgusting!  Just standing you have sweat pouring down your body.  The air is so thick you feel like you're suffocating and all your joints ache!

I feel so bad when the weather is so horrible for my husband since he has to walk and deliver the mail.  He walks about 12 miles a day carrying packages, mail, magazines and advertisements.  It adds up and the bag gets heavy.  I know I couldn't do his job.  So think of your mailman during bad weather whether it's cold, hot, snowing or raining.  They go through a lot especially when the are on foot.  So offer them a cold beverage and remember them during the holidays.  It really is a stressful job!

So back to this recipe.  I added this recipe to my line up of cookies to bring to a graduation party that was so much fun!  My platters looked abundant and nice.

These cookies are like a marshamallowy cloud with a hint of lemon that is not overpowering to even the people who don't eat lemon desserts.  The kids loved them as well as the adults.  What is even more awesome that these are using the biggest short cut....CAKE MIX!  You can't even tell and they are so yummy that I was blown away.  The whole concept of using Cake Mix for something other than making a Cake was not so believable by me, but you have to try!  After all if it's approved by Sandra Lee of Semi Homemade and all her cut corners ideas, than it's good enough for me!

So I used the same concept as I did my Snickerdoodles but did a Lemon Cookie.  These are puffy and soft as well.  They are super easy and a great quick cookie to make in a flash.  With all my cookies to keep them uniform I use a cookie scoop.

So here we go!

La La Lemon Crinkle Cookies
1 pkg. Lemon Cake Mix
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 tbsp. lemon juice
Powdered Sugar to roll dough ball in

Preheat oven to 350'F. Mix cake mix, oil, eggs, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice together.

Dough will be very stiff. 

Scoop dough or pinch dough and roll into balls.

Roll around in a bowl of powdered sugar.

*Great for kids to chip in!

Place dough balls on parchment paper lined cookie sheets.

 *My daughter did such a great job and got powdered sugar on her and her face!  =)

Bake cookies between 10-14 minutes until cookies are set and barely golden around edges and crackle shows on cookies. Do not over bake.

Remove from oven and let cool and transfer to cooling racks.

This was a great recipe to get my daughter involved to make some memories just like I was a little girl helping my mom.  The tradition continues....

My daughter loved the cookies so much she kept stealing them and I had to eventually put them away in an air tight container so I can plate them up on the platters the next day for the party.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Thick and Soft Snickerdoodles

OMG!  It's not easy to have a perfect tasting cookie and be simple on top of it all!  But this has to take the cake, in fact it's made with Cake Mix!  Yep, I said it Cake Mix!  They are one of those cookies that you're like No way, you make it with cake mix!  That was what I thought when I made them.  

We all love them and they go fast so I suggest doing a few batches.  It's a buttery, sugary and cinnamon goodness.  The cinnamon and sugar on the outside creates a great crust with a yummy soft goodness inside!  A comfort cookie!  You have to make these!  So yummy!

I'm in love!

Thick & Soft Snickerdoodles
1 package Classic Yellow Cake Mix
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil

3 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Combine 3 Tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon in small bowl, set aside.

Combine cake mix, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, eggs and oil in large bowl. Stir until well blended.

*My daughter was awesome at mixing!

Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Place balls 2-inches apart on cookie sheets.

*That's powdered sugar from cookies I made right before the Snickerdoodles! =)

Bake at 350ºF for 8 to 9 minutes or until set and look crackled on top.

Cool one minute on cookie sheets. Remove to cooling rack to cool completely.

Here they are about to be hidden from the cookie monsters in my house.
Powdered Sugar gets everywhere!

Sugar & Spice and Everything Nice,


Bizzy Bakes Blog
 Somewhat Simple KitchenFun the Grant Life