Saturday, May 23, 2009

Cinnamon Roll Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze

We were heading over to my in-law's and I wanted to take a dessert (go figure) but I wanted to bring something more "grown-up", meaning something that didn't have sprinkles, mini-chocolate chips or a gooey layer. A dessert that went well with their after-dinner tea. That's when I remembered this recipe from Cinnamon rolls crossed with cake is a beautiful thing. This recipe uses a box cake mix which feels like cheating but really, what's a cake mix ? It's just pre-measured ingredients, great for a busy mom whose toddler has run off with all her measuring cups. Doctoring up cake mixes (or making them exactly how you're told to on the box) is a perfectly acceptable baking practice, and totally yummy in my opinion.

Cinnamon Roll Cake

1 Boxed Yellow Cake Mix
4 eggs
¾ cup oil
1 cup sour cream
1 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon


1. Mix the first 4 ingredients together and pour into a 11 x 9 greased baking pan.
2. Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle over top of the batter and using a knife swirl the sugar mixture into the cake batter.
Bake at 325 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Let cake cool 10 – 15 minutes before icing.

Cream Cheese Glaze

1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
4-5 tablespoons of milk


1. Beat ingredients together until smooth.
2. Pour over warm cake and serve.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Juicy Roast Chicken

There are so many recipes out there that claim to be the juiciest roast chicken recipe that it'll make your head spin. I've tried most of them and they were all lying! So when I found this recipe on I was skeptical, but ever the optimist I decided it was to be last night's dinner. It totally exceeded my expectations. I have never seen a more juicy, succulent chicken come out of an oven. The white meat was so moist and tender I had to wipe up drips on the table transferring slices from the bird to our plates. My husband, who only ever eats dark meat cause white meat is too dry, actually ate white meat and loved it! I encourage you to try this recipe, you'll never have to eat another dry bird again.

seriously, look at that, that's one juicy chicken!

Juicy Roast Chicken

1 (3 pound) whole chicken, giblets removed
salt and black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon onion powder, or to taste
1/2 cup margarine, divided
1 stalk celery, leaves removed (I actually used the leafy part as I find ti has a great deal of flavour)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Place chicken in a roasting pan, and season generously inside and out with salt and pepper.
3. Sprinkle inside and out with onion powder.
4. Place 3 tablespoons margarine in the chicken cavity. Arrange dollops of the remaining margarine around the chicken's exterior.
5. Cut the celery into 3 or 4 pieces, and place in the chicken cavity.
6. Bake uncovered (approx.) 1 hour and 15 minutes in the preheated oven, to a minimum internal temperature of 180 degrees F (82 degrees C).
7. Remove from heat, and baste with melted margarine and drippings. Cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest about 30 minutes before serving.

This method would also work with your Thanksgiving Turkey!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Caramel Bars

My third favourite flavour combination, after chocolate and peanut butter, and chocolate and mint, is chocolate and caramel. I love the rich buttery flavour of caramel, and the smell reminds me of my grandma's kitchen. I read the ingredients for this recipe and decided I had to try it. Oatmeal, caramel, chocolate, what's not to love?

The original recipe called for chopped walnuts but since my husband will be taking most of these into work, as he does with all my baking, I thought I would leave them out in case there are any allergies. I don't think it hurts the taste at all. I gobbled down 3 of these wonderfully rich bars while photographing them and I have to say they were pretty darn tasty, although I think next time I make them I'm going to double the chocolate chips but that's just cause I'm a chocolate junkie.

Caramel Bars adapted from

50 individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
7 tbsp heavy cream
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. rolled oats
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 c. butter, melted
1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 c. chopped walnuts (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt together the caramels and heavy cream, stirring occasionally until smooth.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and salt.
3. Stir in the melted butter until well blended.
4. Press Half of the mixture into the bottom of a 8x8 inch baking pan. Reserve the rest.
5. Bake the crust for 8 minutes in the preheated oven.
6. Remove and sprinkle with chocolate chips (and walnuts).
7. Pour the caramel mixture over the top and then crumble the remaining crust mixture over everything.
8. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 12 minutes, or until the top is lightly toasted.
Cut into squares while it is still warm.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Taco Bake

We are koo-koo for Mexican food. Even our (almost) 3 year old loves taco night. It's one of the foods my husband refers to as 'Fun Dinner Night' along with pizza, wings and hamburgers, basically anything you east with your hands.

Although I'm usually a purest when it comes to favourite dishes (whole wheat pasta for spaghetti night? blasphemy!) I decided to try a recipe I stumbled upon on when I did a search for Mexican. This is what I found, originally called Taco Pie, I changed the name only because I made it in a square dish and it looked nothing like a pie and I added some refried beans cause it ain't mexican without'em!

I really enjoyed it, my husband prefers another dish I make where I layer tortillas with con queso and taco meat. Like most Mexican food is far from low-fat, but definitely worth a try.

Taco Bake adapted from

1 pkg. Pillsbury Cresent Rolls
1 lb. Ground Beef
1 pkt. Taco Seasoning
1/2 c. Sour Cream (I used Light)
1/2 can of Refried Beans
2 c. Tex Mex Shredded Cheese
10-12 tortilla chips, crushed


1. Roll out cresent rolls into a square cake pan pressing together to cover bottom. Bake according to package directions.
2. Meanwhile, brown the ground beef in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the taco seasoning and stir together well.
3. Mix together the sour cream and beans and set aside.
4. When dough is done, remove from oven and spread out the
sour cream& bean mixture over top, then layer with meat, and top with the cheese, and then with the crushed tortilla chips.
5. Return to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and it is heated through.
6. Serve with sliced scallions, salsa and sour cream. Olé!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Hashbrown Quiche

Happy Mother's Day! I have been M.I.A. for the past two weeks and I apologize for that. I went to visit my parents for a week and the second week was spent building a patio in our backyard. I did very little actual cooking in that time and the vacation was nice but I've been itching to get back in the kitchen.

My parents came to help build the patio and while they were here I made my favourite quiche for breakfast. It's Paula Deen's recipe and instead of the heavy pastry crust this recipe uses shredded hashbrowns and it's so completely yummy. With a slice of hot buttered toast and a cup of coffee this is an amazing way to start the day!

Hashbrown Quiche by Paula Deen
3 cups, shredded frozen hash browns, thawed and drained
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted
3 large eggs, beaten
1 cup half-and-half
3/4 cup diced cooked ham
1/2 cup diced green onions
1 cup shredded Cheddar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Preheat oven to 450˚F.
2. Gently press the drained hash browns between paper towels to dry them as best as possible.
3. Lightly coat a 9" pie plate with cooking spray. Toss the hash browns with the melted butter and press them into the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate to form a crust.
4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and starting to crisp.
5. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. When the hash brown crust is ready pour the egg mixture into it and return to the oven.
6. Lower the oven temperature to 350˚F and bake for about 30 minutes until the quiche is light golden brown on top and is cooked through and puffed up Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

look at that cheesey goodness!