Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Cake Mix Cinnamon Rolls

I usually don't make cinnamon rolls, but I found a recipe on pinterest for Cake Mix Cinnamon Rolls that I wanted to try.  Since we had a bake sale coming up last Saturday, so I decided to give it a go.

I found the recipe on Six Sisters Stuff.  I love their blog.  I've made several of their recipes, and my family has raved about them.  I love the idea of using canned frosting on the cinnamon rolls.  By the time I have made rolls, I don't feel like making frosting.  I will be keeping some cream cheese frosting on hand from now on!  I also added some sprinkles to these rolls because I thought it looked fun. 

Our bake sale was a great success.  We raised almost $4000 for our friends' adoption costs.  As a side note, we had 7 dozen cinnamon rolls sell within fifteen minutes after we began the sale.  I would say we could have sold at least 5 dozen more.  Something to keep in mind!
Saturday, July 28, 2012

Little Cowgirl Dress

I made this dress for my niece Abby's first birthday.  The instructions are found in my Ruffle-trimmed Shirred Dress post.  I had to post this one as well because I thought the material was so cute. 

My cousin, Kendall, posted a pillowcase dress using these same materials on Facebook.  When I asked her where she got the material, she was kind enough to get some for me from Hobby Lobby and mail it to me.  This was great since my nearest Hobby Lobby is two hours away, and I did not have to pay as much for shipping! 
Friday, July 27, 2012

Guess Whoo? Pillowcase Dress

I saw a similar dress to this on pinterest, and I just had to make one for my niece, Abby, who turned one this month.  I love the pink and green together!

For instructions on fabricating a pillowcase dress, see here.  With this dress, I did a few things differently.  I usually put a contrasting border at the bottom of my dress.  Instead, I made the casing at the top using the pink material.  Add 1/2 inch what you want the finished size of the casing to be and sew with 1/4 inch seam to your main fabric.  After finishing the sleeve holes, I folded the top down 1/4 inch farther than the finished seam on the front.  Then I topstitched on the front of the dress right along the seam joining the pink and green fabrics together. 

For the owl applique, I used cardstock to draw the pattern I wanted.  See here for my details on my applique technique.

The tie is made of fabric.  I cut two 2 1/2 inch strips of pink fabric from selvedge to selvedge.  I cut off the selvege and sewed the two strips together.  I cut this strip 1 1/2 yards long.  Then I folded the strip lengthwise with right sides together and sewed along the edge and one end.  Next, I turned it right side out, pressed it, and finished the raw edge. 

I think I could have made the tie a bit wider, maybe 1 1/2 inches finished.  I'm used to working with ribbon which is a bit stiffer. 

I'm anxious to see this on my niece Abby and will hopefully get a picture of her to update this post soon!  Until then, happy sewing!
Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Snickers Brownies

We are continuing to make items for the bake sale this Saturday.  Of course, I had to make one of my favorites:  Snickers Brownies.  The name says it all. 

My husband teases me because I think that brownies are the perfect dessert.  If we are having people over, I almost always make a pan.  Often, we have brownie hot fudge sundaes--perfection in dessert if I ever tasted it!  My sister-in-law, Steph, teases me because I almost never make a "plain brownie."  To me, if a little chocolate is good, more is better! 

Snickers Brownies

1 box German chocolate cake mix (or any chocolate cake mix)
3/4 cup butter
2/3 cup evaporated milk, divided
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts
50 caramels, a 14 oz. bag (or buy the bag of caramel bits that you don't have to unwrap.  You can find these by the chocolate chips)

Combine cake mix, butter, and 1/3 cup evaporated milk.  Spread 1/2 of cake mixture in greased 9 by 13 inch pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 6 minutes.  Meanwhile, melt caramels and 1/3 cup evaporated milk in microwave.  Sprinkle chocolate chips and nuts over the cake mixture.  Drizzle caramel mixture over the nuts and chips.  Place small spoonfuls of remaining cake mixture over the top and gently spread with spatula.  Bake 20 - 25 minutes at 350 degrees.  Cool before cutting.
Monday, July 23, 2012

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

I adapted this recipe from the Rival instruction book recipe to work for my Kitchenaid mixer ice cream maker attachment.  It worked great.  I like the fact that it doesn't contain any eggs, so you don't have to worry about getting it cooked enough.  My kids liked it--my husband thought it was a little too sweet.  While I think that "too sweet" is a bit of an oxymoron, I may try to dial back the sugar slightly the next time I make it.  Here's the recipe:

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

1 cup milk
1 3/8 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup half and half
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups whipping cream

Scald milk until bubbles form around edge of pan.  Remove from heat.  Add sugar and salt.  Stir until dissolved.  Stir in half and half, vanilla extract, and whipping cream.  Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Freeze as directed.  Yield:  2 quarts.
Saturday, July 21, 2012

Pecan Coffee Cake

So, we continue to bake and freeze to get ready for our bake sale fundraiser next week.  Yesterday, it was Pecan Coffee Cake.  This is an easy and tasty recipe to enjoy for a weekend breakfast.  The recipe calls for a 9 by 13 inch pan, but I made two 8 by 8 inch cakes to sell.  I baked them for a little less time than the recipe calls for.

I got the recipe from the Sharon Springs Wesleyan Cookbook.  This has been another great recipe book for me--I have made lots of the recipes with positive reviews from my family.

Pecan Coffee Cake

1 yellow cake mix
1 small package vanilla pudding mix
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream (I used plain greek yogurt)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
2/3 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice

In a mixing bowl, combine the first six ingredients and beat on medium speed for two minutes.  Pour into a greased 9 by 13 inch bakin gpan.  Combine pecans, sugar, and cinnamon; sprinkle over batter.  Cut through with a knife to swirl.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar and orange juice until smooth; drizzle over warm coffee cake.
Friday, July 20, 2012

Maddie's Eighth Birthday

We celebrated Maddie's eighth birthday with family on July 15th.  Her birthday is actually on the 6th, but we were a little late due to Grant's arrival.  Instead of trying to make the cake myself, I had my friend Erin, who runs a commercial baking business, make the cake for me.  I love how the fondant looks--I'm going to have to try it sometime.  Maybe next year!  Check out Erin's facebook page here.  She makes great stuff and will ship to you!  Maddie wanted a cake with a Sharon Springs Wildcat pawprint on it.  I thought it turned out perfectly.   I usually like to make the cake myself, but it took a lot of stress out of the occasion for me! 

Happy Birthday, sweet girl!
Thursday, July 19, 2012

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

The preparation for the bake sale next week continues at my house--yesterday we made one of our favorites:  Lemon Poppy Seed Bread.  My son, Evan, can't get enough of this stuff.

I got the recipe from Simply Colorado, Too, a cookbook that we received as a wedding gift.  It boasts healthier recipes.  This one uses applesauce and still is moist and delicious, so I feel good about making it.

Here's the recipe:

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

3 cups flour
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2  tablespoons poppy seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups skim milk
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup water
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract. 

For the bread, combine the dry ingredients in a mixer bowl and mix well.  Add the remaining ingredients.  Beat at low speed until blended, scraping the bowl occasionally.

Spoon the batter into 2 greased 5 by 9 inch loaf pans.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  Cool in the pans for 5 minutes.

Whisk the glaze ingredients together in a small bowl.  Drizzle over warm bread.  Cool in the pans for 15 minutes longer.  Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

I made three 6 by 3 1/2 inch loaves and one 5 by 9 inch loaf.  With all the bake sale items around the house that he can't eat, my husband was feeling left out.  He got to cut into the bigger loaf, and I froze the other three.  It was a win-win situation. 

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!

Double Fudge Brownie Mix

So, the bake sale preparation continues at our house.  Today, Evan and I mixed up some Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies to bake tomorrow.  I also put together a couple of Double Fudge Brownie Mixes.  The original recipe says to put it in a quart jar, but I like to use a bag.  I think they will make a nice addition to the bake sale--something people can buy and make later.  Find the recipe here.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012

County Fair Pie

My good friend, Tanna, and her husband are adopting a little girl from Russia.  The way they have opened their hearts to this precious child has been quite an inspiration for me.  What does this have to do wtih pie, you ask?  Well, international adoption costs a lot of money, and my friends are in the midst of raising funds.  Naturally our Mom's group wanted to help.  So, we will be hosting a bake sale fundraiser in a week.  Since it's during the Wallace County Fair, I thought it was only appropriate to make County Fair Pie to sell.  I am not a person who likes fruit pie, so this pie is right up my alley--it basically tastes like a chocolate chip cookie inside a pie crust!  It is also a fairly easy recipe that comes together quickly.  With a new baby in the house, I need that kind of simplicity!

I found the recipe in my Best of Taste of Home's First 10 years cookbook.  I have found many favorite recipes in this book.

Here's the recipe for one 9 inch pie:

County Fair Pie

1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (I use pecans instead)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup butterscotch chips
1 unbaked pastry shell (9 inches)

In a mixing bowl, beat the butter, sugar, flour, eggs, and vanilla until well blended.  Stir in nuts and chips.  Pour into pie shell.  Bake at 325 degrees for one hour or until golden brown.  Cool on a wire rack.

For the bake sale, I purchased three 8 inch aluminum pie pans.  I made a 1 1/2  recipe of Aunt Joyce's Pie Crust and made the crusts for the pies.  It helps to place the crust in the freezer for about an hour before filling.  This helps the crust not to slump down.

Stirring the chips and nuts into the filling!

I made a double recipe of the filling for three 8 inch pies.  Looking good already!

To bake, I put the pies on baking pans to help stablilize them.  I rotated them from top to bottom racks in the oven at 30 minutes.  The one that was on the bottom at the end needed a few more minutes to get brown enough.

I put press and seal over the top of the pie and placed it in a freezer bag with a label.  Then I popped them into the freezer to be ready for the bake sale next week.
Considering the amount of yumminess in this pie, I think that I will suggest a donation of $10 a piece for the pies. 

Hopefully we can raise lots of money for this worthy cause!

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