Category Archives: Desserts

Cinnamon Raisin Bagels and Skinny Brownies: A Perfect Snowstorm Sunday

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It’s snowing. A lot. I woke up at about 9:30am and there was already 4 inches on the ground. I did end up making the trek to Trader Joe’s this morning with the company of my little brother who is in town from college. He lives in New Orleans now where it’s currently 80 degrees and sunny. I’m sure he’s super thrilled to be home for his SPRING break with what appears to be now 7 inches (at least) out there. It’s literally pouring snow from the sky. I’m looking outside my window right now and I can’t even tell the different between the sky and the white top of the apartment across the lot.

It’s not even really that cold outside. It’s just wet and gross. But it sure is pretty out there. The trees are catching the perfect snowflakes and the hill outside the window hasn’t been touched by the young sledders yet. I’ll be sad when the first footprints show up. That always ruins a hillside for me this time of year. What am I talking about? This time of year there should be green grass and flowers outside! Doesn’t the sky know it’s the end of March?

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Photo by Allyson Grillo

I’m currently making cinnamon raisin bagels. The dough is rising and I can already smell the cinnamon. It’s taunting me in there. I want to go in there and just eat the dough; why bother even baking them? Okay…fine. I’d probably regret that when either my stomach feels like crap or when I realize I don’t have any breakfast this week.

We’re having dinner tonight at my parent’s house. With my brother home from school and requesting dinner, we couldn’t really pass up good company and a delicious meal. With the snowstorm going on outside, it’s going to be a perfect evening to be with my family and my dogs sitting by the fireplace (in their new furniture that was delivered yesterday!).

Tonight I will be baking “skinny” brownies, a dessert that will only have about 120 calories per serving. When I read that, I knew I had to give them a try. If you haven’t guessed by now, I’m all about my favorite sweets being on the healthier side. I love that I can still enjoy good food without all the processed ingredients. I ate Taco Bell with my brother this afternoon and I’ve felt disgusting since. My stomach is torturing me for putting that in my body. “WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME?!” I can hear it screaming. I know, I know…quit eating that shit. I get it people. Sometimes you’re just in a rush and theres 6 inches of snow falling from the sky and your brother is saying he’s hungry and you just pull into the closest, fastest place you can think of. Okay? Geez.

Eat these bagels. Eat these brownies. And have a very very happy Sunday.

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Photo by Allyson Grillo

Homemade Cinnamon Raisin Bagels

adapted from Ambitious Kitchen

yields 12 bagels

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1-1/2 cups warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, divided
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2-3/4 to 3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of raisins

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place warm water in a large bowl and add yeast, 3 tablespoons of brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins, and salt; mix well. Next, add in enough flour to form a soft dough that doesn’t stick to the bottom of the bowl.
  2. You can use a dough hook or your hands, but continue to knead, until dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Next, place dough in a bowl coated with oil, and cover the top allowing it to rise in a warm place until dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.
  3.  Punch down the dough and shape into 12 balls. Push your thumb through the center to form a 1 inch hole. Strech the dough to form an even ring. Cover, place in warm place and let rise again for 20-30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray.
  5. Fill a Dutch oven two-thirds full with water and add remaining brown sugar; bringing water to a boil. Drop bagels, two at a time, into boiling water. Cook for 1 minute on both sides. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain well on paper towels. Place on baking sheets and bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and cool on wire racks.
  6. Eat with COOKIE BUTTER and a dash of cinnamon sugar. It won’t disappoint 🙂
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Photo by Allyson Grillo

“Skinny” Brownies

adapted from Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice

yields 16 (2-inch) brownies

INGREDIENTS:

  • non-stick olive oil cooking spray
  • 2/3 cup mild honey like clover or orange blossom
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder like Ghiardelli
  • 1/2 cup white whole-wheat flour like King Arthur Flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment and spray with olive oil.
  2. Measure the honey into a deep-sided small bowl and microwave on high power 45 seconds. Whisk in the cocoa powder and let cool.
  3. Meanwhile in a small bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.
  4. In a large bowl whisk applesauce, oil, egg, and vanilla together until well combined. Whisk in the cooled honey-cocoa mixture until smooth. Add the flour mixture and stir until all the flour is incorporated. Stir in the walnuts and chocolate chips if using.
  5. Add the batter to the prepared pan and spread out evenly. Bake until the surface looks dry around the edges and a toothpick in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it, about 25 minutes or 30 minutes if you added walnuts and chocolate chips. Don’t over bake.
  6. Cool the pan on a wire rack. Once cool refrigerate for 20-30 minutes. Remove the brownies using the parchment to a cutting board and slice into 16 squares. For clean cuts wipe the knife clean after each cut and dip in hot water. Store in an airtight container in a cool place 3-4 days.
Photo by Allyson Grillo

Photo by Allyson Grillo

“Babe, we should make homemade bagels…”

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This is what Luke said to me Sunday afternoon while we were meal planning together. It’s this new thing we started doing. On Sundays when he is off work, we sleep in, lounge around till we feel fully awake, then seize the day by heading to Trader Joe’s and Schnuck’s for our weekly grocery needs. I whip out my laptop and hop on Pinterest and stalk a bunch of other blogs till I find exactly what I want to make (or read enough of the same concept to make my own version). This Sunday was St. Patrick’s Day! Our routine was a little different this week–we celebrated the Irish holiday with Luke’s family at the Missouri Veterans Home. His grandfather, who has alzheimer’s, is living in the home now and the family gathered there for a small lunch and to hang out. We were out late the night before and family time took a toll on our energy so we came back to relax before we made our trip. This was when Luke said the soon-to-be famous line. 

Homemade bagels? I’ve never even thought to do such a thing. I mean, it’s possible. But how do I do that? Pinterest is my new Google.

The recipe is claimed to be from a baker who made bagels for years. I went with a basic bagel this time, hoping I could at least figure the plain version out. I was so nervous. I actually don’t think I have ever been so nervous about cooking something before in my life. It was a combination of something new and not wanting to disappoint Luke that got me all jittery. I made these while I was making gluten-free cookies and granola bars so that I was in the zone and could put all my attention to the food and not to my worries. 

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Photo by Allyson Grillo

And here they are. The best freaking bagels I’ve ever had. Seriously. For a plain bagel, this did not disappoint. They are nice and crunchy on the outside with a soft center. And they are huge. Perfect for an on-the-go breakfast. We ate two right out of the oven, nice and warm. I’ve been toasting mine when I get to work and adding a tablespoon of Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter. If you have never tried this, you need to get in your car and drive to a TJ’s right this second. It is heaven in a jar. This recipe made 8 bagels, so next time I’ll probably double the batch to make enough for the entire week. I’m also going to figure out how to make different flavors. This is the most exciting thing I’ve done since I started cooking on my own! Please make them. I’m never buying store-bought bagels again. Ever.

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Photo by Allyson Grillo

 

Plain Bagels

adapted from John D Lee

yields 8 bagels

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water

DIRECTIONS

  1. Mis all the ingredients in a bowl. The dough should feel stiff, but add extra water if it’s really stiff, or you can’t get all the dry flour incorporated.
  2. Plop the dough down onto the counter, and knead for about ten minutes, or until the dough is uniform and smooth.
  3. Cut the dough into 8 equal sized balls, and let rest for 10-20 minutes.
  4. Pre-heat your oven to 425.
  5. Take each of the dough balls and using two hands, roll it into a little snake on the counter. When the snake is longer than the width of your town hands, wrap it around your dominant rolling hand. The dough rope should be wrapped so the overlapping ends are together at your palm, near the start of your fingers. Now take the two overlapping ends, and use your palm to squish/roll these two ends together. 
  6. Let bagels rest on the counter for about 20 minutes, and meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil and grease a large baking tray lightly.
  7. After the 20 minute wait, your bagels will start to look puffy. Add them to the boiling water, as many at a time as you can fit without crowding them. Boil for about a minute, turn over, and boil for another minute. Take them out and let dry for am inute and then place them on your oiled baking tray. Repeat until all the bagels are boiled.
  8. Add the tray to the over, bake for 10 minutes, flip, and bake for another ten minutes. 
  9. Add cream cheese (but really, you’re missing out if you don’t have cookie butter!).

 

 

 

I’m also throwing in the recipes for the gluten-free cookies and granola bars I made. OMG, both are so stinking good. I like the granola bars because I know exactly what went into them and they taste way better than anything I’ve had from a store. Honestly. The cookies are really good too. A peanut butter dark chocolate chip combo makes my mouth water. I might go eat one now…

And I won’t feel guilty about it because they don’t have any flour, white sugar, or butter! 🙂

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Photo by Allyson Grillo

 

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

adapted from Averie Cooks

yields 12-16 cookies (depending on size–I got 12)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 6 oz dark chocolate chunks (I found morsels and just used those!)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine peanut butter, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla and beat on medium-high speed until well-combined and the sugar is fully incorporated and the mixture is no longer grainy, about three minutes.
  2. Add the baking soda and beat to incorporate. Add the chocolate and stir well. Transfer dough to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 5 days, before baking.
  3. Preheat oven to 350, line baking sheets with foil and spray with oil. Make about 2 tablespoons worth of dough into a ball and place on baking sheet. 
  4. Bake 8-10 minutes, until edges are set and the tops are barely set, even if slightly under-baked in the center. The cookies will firm up as they cool so leaving them in too long will burn them and give you a crunchy cookie.

 

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Photo by Allyson Grillo

 

Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

adapted from Shugary Sweets

yields 24 bars

INGREDIENTS

    • 4 Tbsp butter
    • ½ cup brown sugar
    • ¼ cup honey
    • 2 cup granola (mine was a Praline Granola…delicious)
    • 1 cup Rice Krispies
    • ½ cup lightly salted peanuts
    • ½ cup pretzel sticks, broken
    • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels

DIRECTIONS

  1. In large saucepan, heat butter, sugar and honey over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and continue to cook about 2-3 minutes (until sugar is completely dissolved).
  2. Remove from heat. Add in granola, rice Krispies, peanuts and pretzels. Quickly add in chocolate chips. Press into a parchment lined 13×9 pan. Refrigerate for about 15-20 minutes. Cut into bars and enjoy!

 

Getting Back On Track

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What a weird week.

That is literally all I have to say about it. I was sick in the beginning and then busy towards the end. On top of that, the kitchen became empty too early for me to care about eating healthy. I got super off track this week and need to get back on it. I went to Trader Joe’s this afternoon and stocked up on groceries for the week–I AM READY!

I have a boat load of recipes I plan on making so get ready to read and head to your own store! I’m already making a few things ahead of time for the whole week. I plan on baking some chicken breasts tonight for a few dinners later this week that call for shredded and chopped chicken. I figure it will be much easier to have it ready to go on a week night than have to wait for it to cook the day of. You see? I’m getting the hang of this lifestyle!

After TJ’s, I came back and cleaned Luke’s entire apartment. I was just in one of those moods. I then baked a flourless chocolate cake. I know, I should stop making desserts if I want to eat healthier. But it’s seriously so hard. I’m trying out some recipes that are “healthier” and found this cake recipe through Weight Watchers. It was really easy to make and tastes amazing. You would never know that there isn’t flour and the texture is so rich and creamy, almost like a brownie. I ate my slice tonight with a few strawberries. That was smart…right?

For dinner, I made another take-out fake-out dish. My last version of beef and broccoli turned out so well that I was dying to try a different Chinese meal. Tonight, I chose sesame chicken with broccoli. This version is WAY healthier than any restaurant and tastes even better. I don’t really have anything to steam vegetables in at the moment so I threw my broccoli in a skillet and covered for a few minutes and it steamed pretty well. Just be careful not to burn it if you use my method. 

Tomorrow, look for a recipe for a cinnamon quinoa breakfast bake and whatever I decide to make for dinner!

 

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Photo by Allyson Grillo

Lighter Sesame Chicken

by Iowa Girl Eats

serves 2

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup brown rice
1/4 cup honey
2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
1 egg white
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 small chicken breasts (12oz), cut into 2″ pieces
salt & pepper
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
2 green onions, chopped
2 cups broccoli florets

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Prepare rice according to package directions. Meanwhile, combine honey, sesame seeds, soy sauce, and garlic together in a small bowl then set aside. In a separate larger bowl, whisk together egg white and cornstarch until smooth. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper then add to egg white mixture and toss to evenly coat.
  2. In a small saucepan, steam broccoli until crisp tender then set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, then carefully add chicken. Cook for 3-4 minutes a side, or until cooked through. Turn off heat and remove skillet from burner. Add prepared sauce and green onions then toss to combine. Stir in broccoli, then scoop mixture into bowls over cooked rice.

 

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Photo by Allyson Grillo

Flourless Chocolate Cake

by Weight Watchers

serves 10 slices

INGREDIENTS:

4 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
powdered sugar (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 300 F. Grease an 8 inch round cake pan and dust with cocoa powder. If you want to ensure the cake comes out then cut a circle of parchment paper for the bottom and grease and dust with cocoa powder. Put chocolate and butter in a metal or glass bowl over a pan of simmering water or use a double boiler to melt the chocolate and butter. The second the chocolate melts, remove from heat. Stir in sugar, cocoa powder, eggs, and vanilla. Pour into pan and bake for 30 minutes. If removing from pan, let cool in pan for 10 minutes and turn out onto wire rack. Dust with powdered or granulated sugar if desired.

A Very Special Valentine’s Day

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Wow. I do believe I owe my (very few) readers a sincere apology. I’ve been making amazing food and haven’t been writing about it. How selfish of me! I’ve been super busy the past few days and work was a little chaotic. William punched me yesterday. Not that it was painful, I mean, the kid is six years old. But still, no need to punch me. Care to know why I was abused? We took away his new airplane toy because he wasn’t listening. Kids are so unaware of how upset they get over the DUMBEST things.

Besides dealing with that nonsense, I had an amazing end to my week. I’ll admit that earlier this week I was really upset. I pretty much have to re-evaluate everything I’ve been working for over the past four years and try to create a new path for me to head down. Might not sound that bad, but man, how much more can I do? I feel like I’ve put in so much effort to just keep getting rejected. So now I need to figure out what it is I really want to be doing with my life. So I’m probably going to be off the radar every now and then so I can figure out my next move. Anyway, I was uplifted on Thursday because of that silly little holiday we call Valentine’s Day. I’m usually not a huge fan of this day. It’s mushy and I feel like you should celebrate love every day, not just once a year. However, I’m now realizing the day is to simply express how much you do care for those in your life. Not just a significant other, but your friends and family as well.

In the morning, I took little Sam to the zoo. We had a blast! It was a beautiful morning and so quiet. We were one of a select few that had chosen to enjoy the nice weather. Sam is just now reaching the age where he is understanding that the animals are alive and moving around. And he’s totally fascinated by them. We sat and looked at the gorillas for about 20 minutes. He just kept laughing and giggling at them, pointing every time they did something. It was seriously one of the cutest things in the world to see him light up by these creatures. Will and Chris came home from school with bags full of cards and candy from their classmates. Instead of dumping out all of their goodies, they immediately presented me with hand-made cards and a bunch of flowers shouting, “WE LOVE YOU!” My heart melted I think.

I came home, smiling from ear to ear already, to my super cute boyfriend and a pile full of presents for me. The best one? A GIANT REESE’S HEART! I’m saving it for later. But now that I’m thinking about it…maybe tonight is a good night for that to be tested. And then devoured. I cooked us dinner and we watched Ted. I laughed; it was funny. We had a few hours to ourselves to just relax and enjoy each other’s company, and that was absolutely perfect.

For dinner, I made cilantro shrimp with green beans. What an incredibly easy and quick, yet fresh and fancy dinner. The cilantro gives the shrimp a refreshing taste and the green beans had the perfect crunch to go with it. I used a little of the sauce from the bottom of the shrimp pan and spooned it over the beans. At the last minute, I threw some naan into the toaster over. I had originally bought it to make pizzas this weekend, but it just looked so lonely on the shelf. So lonely and so good. BEST CHOICE I EVER MADE. At one point, I stopped eating the shrimp and beans and just took the naan and wiped up all the juices on my plate with it. I was mildly disgusted with myself, but when I looked over and saw Luke putting shrimp on his bread like a mini taco, I knew I wasn’t alone in thinking I was a genius for adding the carbs. I made chocolate covered strawberries (that actually ended up looking awful, but they’re still being eaten) which I served with some dark chocolate almond milk. I’d make this meal again and again…and again.

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Photo by Allyson Grillo

Cilantro Shrimp & Green Beans

from Zahlmann Zoo Crew

Ingredients:
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 lb shrimp, shelled and deviened
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime
  • salt and pepper
  • 6 cups green beans
Directions: 
Heat a large frying pan on medium-high heat. Add oil to the pan, when hot add shrimp. Season with salt and pepper. When the shrimp is cooked on one side, about 2 minutes, turn over and add garlic. Saute another minute or two until shrimp is cooked, careful not to overcook. Remove from heat. Squeeze lime all over shrimp and toss with cilantro. Serve hot.
In a separate pan, add 6 cups green beans, crushed garlic to taste, and season with salt and pepper. Cook on medium high for 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water and cover, cook for an additional 8 minutes. Uncover and cook until water evaporates. Serve hot on the side of shrimp.
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Family & Photos

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Happy Tuesday! (Shout out to my main girl Marge today!)

It’s been a few days since I posted. Mainly because dinner was taken care of for me the past few nights. Kind of nice, eh? Sunday afternoon, Luke and I modeled for some photos for his brother and sister-in-law. Melissa is starting up her own photography business and asked Luke and I to help with her portfolio! It was a little chilly and rainy but we still managed to find some great spots in Larson Park. I haven’t seen the pictures yet, but I have no doubt she did an amazing job.

After we took photos, we stayed at his parents for dinner. Luke’s mom made lasagna, bread and salad. IT WAS SO GOOD. I had two helpings, not gonna lie. (I also hadn’t eaten all day, so I was STARVING.) I made dessert, a chocolate eclair cake, that turned out way better than I had expected. It was pretty easy to make, although my mom has a recipe that I like a lot better. But hey, it’s always good to try out new ideas!

I had a lot of fun on Sunday. It was nice to hang out and relax after our long weekend. Plus we got to play with Luke’s nephew, Sam. He’s seven months and as cute as a baby can be. He just started crawling, so the new thing is to watch him in amazement while he tries to figure out what he’s doing. Babies are so cool. After we left I got to watch The Grammy’s while making some chocolate chip muffins for breakfast this week. I was pleased with Mumford & Sons taking home best album of the year. It was definitely on my list of favorites this year! Hope everyone had a great weekend and is having a good start to the week!

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Chocolate Eclair Cake

from The Girl Who Ate Everything

Ingredients:
1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1 cup flour
4 large eggs
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 large box (5.1 ounces) vanilla instant pudding
3 cups milk
1 8 oz. container cool whip
chocolate syrup

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 400. Lightly grease a 9″X13″ glass baking pan.

Eclair Crust: In a medium saucepan, melt butter in water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in flour. Mix in one egg at a time, mixing completely before adding another egg. Spread mixture into pan, covering the bottom and sides evenly. *If the sides of your pan are too greased you won’t be able to get the mixture to stay up the sides so make sure to just lightly grease. The dough is very sticky so flouring your hands before hand will help for this process.

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown (Mine only took 25 minutes. It also looked awful when I first took it out until I read comments on the original recipe and others had the same turn out.) You may want to check it occasionally-you don’t want to overcook the crust, it will ruin the cake! Remove from oven and let cool (don’t touch or push bubbles down).

Filling: Whip cream cheese in a medium bowl. In separate bowl make vanilla pudding. Make sure pudding is thick before mixing in with cream cheese. Slowly add pudding to cream cheese, mixing until there are no lumps. Let cool in fridge.When the crust is completely cooled, pour filling in. Top with layer of cool whip however thick you want it and serve with chocolate syrup.

Laissez Bon Temps Rouler!

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Happy Mardi Gras! This, to me, is the most wonderful time of the year. While St. Louis only celebrates the actual day (or the Saturday before for the parade), in New Orleans and Mobile it is celebrated weeks before Fat Tuesday. I went to school in Mobile where the American celebration of Mardi Gras originated. But no matter what they say in Alabama, New Orleans will always throw down the best party. If you’ve never experienced carnival in the South, I encourage you to save your money now and plan your next trip. It is truly something unique and  special, not to mention the only time of year where smelling like cheap beer and wearing so many beads your shoulders feel like they’re going to fall off is acceptable. In fact, it’s encouraged. (I learned last year that you can never have too many beads. I have a 20 gallon size trash bag sitting in my closet from last year’s adventure to prove it.)

Last year, I spent Fat Tuesday sitting in a lake house with a few of my best friends in Waveland, Mississippi. We took a few days after wandering the city streets of New Orleans drinking nothing but Bud Light and Daquris to relax and sleep before school started back up again. (Yes, I had a Mardi Gras break in college.) We also ate as if we hadn’t eaten in a week and a half. More food was consumed on Tuesday than we had eaten all weekend. And none of it was healthy for us because, well, that would defeat the entire purpose of Mardi Gras.

Now that I’m back in St. Louis, where Mardi Gras is still celebrated, I decided I had to continue my tradition of the years past on pigging out. Up until last night, I thought I was working a double on Tuesday so I figured I’d make my planned dinner on Saturday instead. Which ended up working out perfectly because we went to Soulard for a few hours while Cajun smells filled up the crockpot. What did I make you ask? JAMBALAYA OF COURSE! Along with some sweet cheesy biscuits and king cake knots for dessert. Oh yeah, baby. That’s right.

The jambalaya was perfect. I wouldn’t change a single thing about it. I COULD have made this healthier (and may do so in the future) but it’s FAT Saturday. I also went grocery shopping at midnight the night before like a crazy housewife, so I was limited on my options. Anyway, back to the jambalaya. Spicy. Mouth-watering. Cajun-y. It made me feel all warm inside. And the biscuits? They were made to be eaten with this dish. With sugar in the recipe, they are the perfect sweet to the spicy jambalaya. Don’t forget to make the king cake knots. They don’t taste exactly like king cake, but they are a close match and much easier to make. My icing didn’t glaze the way it probably should have, but I’m going to blame that on my lack of beaters. I’m sure whipping the ingredients up would thicken it to make it more like frosting. Regardless of the outcome, they were still unbelievable. So much so that I don’t even have any left to eat tonight.

If you’re like me and want to celebrate Fat Tuesday the right way, here’s the perfect meal to do so! I hope you all enjoy and “let the good times roll”!

PS. What are you giving up for Lent? I should be working on that…

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Photo by Allyson Grillo

Jambalaya (Crockpot)

adapted from Three Yellow Lemons

Ingredients:

2 chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes

2 links smoked sausage, cut into 2 inch slices

2 14oz cans diced tomatoes

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup chicken broth

2 tsps oregano

1 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 1/2 cups un-cooked brown rice

1/2 lb shrimp, peeled, deveined and the tales off

Directions:

Combine all the ingredients except the shrimp and rice in the slow cooker and stir it all up. Cook on low for 5 hours.

Add rice and shrimp and cook on high for about 30-35 minutes longer, until the rice is tender.

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Photo by Allyson Grillo

Cheesy Biscuits

from Plain Kitchen

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups Bisquick
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 Tbps sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 425.  Stir together all ingredients just until combined.  Scoop into a muffin pan coated with cooking spray.  Bake 15-20 minutes, until golden. Yields 6 biscuits.
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King Cake Knots

from Plain Kitchen

Ingredients:

1 loaf refrigerated french bread dough
3 Tbsp butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 cup powdered sugar
4 tsp milk (may need more to get right consistency)
1/2 tsp vanilla
colored sugar – yellow, purple, green
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350. Unroll french bread dough into a large rectangle, about 16 by 12 inches. Brush the dough lightly with softened butter. Mix together sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over butter. Cut the dough in half lengthwise and then cut crosswise into strips about 1 1/4 inches wide. Twist two stips together. Tie each strip loosely into a knot, stretching gently if necessary, and place on baking sheet about 2-inches apart.
Bake for 25-28 minutes. Cool. Mix together powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. Dip each knot into icing and then sprinkle with colored sugar.