Easy Cinnamon Rolls

Easy Cinnamon Rolls

Dust off your bread machines. Don’t have one? I see them barely used at garage sales all the time for under $10 but usually around $5. This recipe can be dumped into the bread machine on the “DOUGH” cycle the night before and prepared the next morning.

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla
pudding mix
1 cup warm milk
1 egg, room temperature
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups bread flour
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 (8 ounce) package cream cheese,
softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons milk
DIRECTIONS:
1. In the pan of your bread machine, combine water, melted butter, vanilla pudding, warm milk, egg, 1 tablespoon sugar, salt, bread flour and yeast. Set machine to Dough cycle; press Start.
2. When Dough cycle has finished, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a 17×10 inch rectangle. Spread with softened butter. In a small bowl, stir together brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over dough.
3. Roll up dough, beginning with long side. Slice into 16 one inch slices and place in 9×13 buttered pan. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
4. Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes. While rolls bake, stir together cream cheese, softened butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and milk. Remove rolls from oven and top with frosting.
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Super Easy French Grilled Chicken

My love of summer foods is based on 2 things: garden fresh veggies and charcoal grilling.  One of my family’s all time favorite is French Grilled Chicken.  So easy and absolutely deliciius.

You CAN use the IQF boneless, skinless chicken breast, but I have found that the fresh boneless, skinless breast absorbs more of the marinade and flavor.

I horizontally split 3 pounds of fresh boneless, skinless chicken breasts. In a bag or covered dish add:
1 bottle of Wishbone Sweet & Spicy French Dressing
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 tablespoon worchestershire sauce

Mix marinade well, cover and let marinade overnight, shaking or stirring occasionally.  If you don’t have overnight, marinate at least 4 hours.

Lightly salt the chicken when you put it on the grill.  Don’t overcook or the chicken will be dry.

If you have leftovers, make sandwiches on hoagie rolls with fresh spinach and Thousand Island salad dressing.

Note: I’m not a brand name snob, but in this case the Wishbone brand and the Sweet & Spicy French formula is the best for this dish.

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“See Ya Later” Mama Ruth

A dear family friend passed away this morning.  The tears I shed are selfish ones, because the suffering for her is over.

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“Mama Ruth” Maahs is on the right, my own mama is on the left.

About 10 years ago, I accidentally wrote a song when I found out my brother had terminal cancer. The composition is courtesy of one of my dearest friends, Tony Baggett and is appropriate now for Mama Ruth.

The lyrics are below, and the MP3 file can be found here.

Our time together is soon to be no more
But you see, it’s only temporary.
Because Jesus is our Savior, of that we are sure
We’ll meet again, you and me
 
And we when again get together
The angels will hush their singing
Shouts of joy forever will have Heaven’s walls ringing
 
I can’t say goodbye because it won’t be forever.
Wait for me at Jesus’ feet until we are together.
Show me ’round that city, the paradise you’ve found
Tell me of the glory as we walk around.
No more tears where eternity begins
Your journey here is over
But your memory never, ever ends
And while our hearts are heavy
It’s not goodbye we say, but
We’ll see you later.
 
While together here we traveled a road
We laughed, we cried
We shared life’s loads.
Someday soon, we will hurt no more
In the presence of perfection
There’s glory in store
 
Sing with angels, we’ll worship together
Around His throne, forever and ever
The world behind us, then perfectly complete
Pain and sorrows gone, no more grief.
 
I can’t say goodbye because it won’t be forever.
Wait for me at Jesus’ feet until we are together.
Show me ’round that city, the paradise you’ve found
Tell me of the glory as we walk around.
No more tears where eternity begins
Your journey here is over
But your memory never, ever ends
And while our hearts are heavy
It’s not goodbye we say, but
We’ll see you later.
 
See you later…….
 
See you later.

Country Ranch Potato Salad

Country Ranch Potato Salad

This recipe is the easiest potato salad you’ll ever make! It can be served warm or cold, but we prefer it warm. I make it ahead of time and keep it warm in a slow cooker. It’s a crowd pleaser and you probably won’t have leftovers. When you guests ask for the recipe, you can point them to Kim’s Random Life where they can bookmark or print it for themselves.

Because this is such a loved recipe, I usually start with 5 pounds of potatoes. Use your favorites: Russet, Yukon Gold, Redskin, just whatever you like or have on hand.  Just remember if you leave the peeling on the potatoes, please scrub them well.

Boil 5 pounds of large (bite size) potatoes and drain.

To drained, still hot potatoes add:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup sour cream (depending on your preference for sour cream)
  • 1 package (3 ounce) of real bacon bits.  Not the ones in a jar, the ones in a bag
  • tops of 2 green onions or chopped chives
  • 8 oz shredded cheddar cheese (I prefer sharp cheddar, but have used mild cheddar often)
  • Black pepper to taste

Stir all ingredients together, but don’t over mix. Some of the potatoes will cream, but leave as many chunks as you can.

The next step is really a matter of personal liking and taste. Add 1/2 of a packet of your favorite Ranch dressing or dip mix. I use the Aldi store brand for $.59. Stir and taste. If you prefer more ranch flavoring, add as much as you want. Just be very careful because you can make it too salty. Notice that there is no salt in this recipe. That’s because the dressing powder mix offers plenty.

Happy Memorial Day grilling, my fellow foodies! Let me know how you like this recipe after you try it. Be safe!

 

Biscoff Cookie Trifle – Quick and Easy Dessert

My brother-in-law, Chuck introduced me to a FABULOUS cookie! It’s called Biscoff. I had never heard of them, nor had I tried one before. According to their website, “Biscoff is the name given to the traditional Speculoos biscuits in North America. It’s derived from the combination of words Biscuit and Coffee, simply because their caramel flavor and crisp texture make these cookies the perfect accompaniment to a cup of coffee or espresso drink.”

Biscoff Cookie Package

I found the cookies at Kroger, and Chuck told me that he found them at our local Wal-Mart too.  When I brought them home, my husband Mark and I were instantly fans of this cookie! The caramel flavor, the touch of cinnamon (barely perceptible yet there) made me think about making a dessert using the cookie. Of course, I thought of a trifle. Random thought: I don’t know why I’m so infatuated with trifles lately, but it’s part of my random process, so I’m embracing it until the next thing catches my attention.

Biscoff Trifle Step 1First, I lined a glass bowl (since this was an experimental recipe, I didn’t get out the big trifle bowl) with biscoff cookies. Next, in a medium mixing bowl, I combined 1 can of sweetened condensed milk (14 ounce can) and an 8 ounce package of softened cream cheese. Beat until it’s smooth. Then add 1 package (3.3 ounces) White Chocolate Pudding Mix. Beat until smooth, and let sit for 10 minutes.  Carefully fold in 8 ounces of whipped topping (like Cool Whip)

Trifle Filling

 

Spoon 1/3 of the filling mixture into the bowl that you lined the sides and bottom with the Biscoff cookies. Drizzle the filling with your favorite caramel ice cream topping.

 

Biscoff Trifle Step 2

 

Continue layering the filling, caramel topping and cookies until you get to the top. Spread with a thin layer of whipped topping. In a food processor or using a plastic food storage bag and rolling pin, crush about 8 cookies and sprinkle over the top layer of the topping/caramel layer.

Biscoff Trifle FinishedI apologize for the poor quality of the photo of the finished product. This was a first-time experiment that was highly dubbed as a “keeper” and a MUST repeat! From beginning to end, the prep time was about 10 minutes total. I chilled it for about an hour before we just HAD to try it. You’ll get rave reviews for this quick and easy dessert.

Recipe Recap:

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages Biscoff Cookies
  • 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 8 ounce package of softened (room temp) cream cheese
  • 1 3.3 ounce package of Jello White Chocolate Instant Pudding
  • 1 8 ounce tub whipped topping (defrosted)
  • Drizzles of Caramel Ice Cream topping

Directions:

  • Combine sweetened condensed milk and cream cheese. Beat until smooth. Beat in the pudding mix until smooth. Set aside for 10 minutes and fold in the whipped topping.
  • Line glass bowl on sides and bottom with Biscoff cookies
  • Layer filling and caramel drizzles with cookies in 3 even layers
  • On top layer, spread a thin layer of whipped topping and 8 crushed cookies.
  • Chill for at least 1 hour before serving.

Please come back and comment after you try this recipe. It is FANTASTIC! I would love your feedback.

 

 

 

Triple Chocolate Brownie Trifle

Triple Chocolate Brownie Trifle

Decadence at it’s finest!

Bake brownies in a 9×9 pan from a recipe or box of your choice & cool completely. Cut into 1″ squares.

Mix 2 envelopes of Dream Whip (I use the Always Save dry whipped topping for a third of the price) and 1 cup of milk until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

Mix 3 cups of milk with 2 packages of White Chocolate Pudding Mix 

Fold in 1/2 of the whipped topping to the pudding mix.

In a double boiler, mix 1 package (12 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1/3 cup heavy cream, keeping the heat VERY low, stir until chips are melted & cream is mixed in.

Shave 1/2 cup white chocolate and set aside.

In a trifle bowl, layer brownies, chocolate sauce, pudding, whipped topping & white chocolate shavings. You can also add a sprinkle of Heath Toffee Bits to each layer if you like them.

I warn you now, this is VERY rich, but scrumptious!

Triple Chocolate Brownie Trifle

Heavenly Hamburger! (I’m revealing my secret ingredient)

In the St. Louis area visiting our daughter and future son-in-law, and I decided it’s a comfort food kind of long weekend. Tonight we had my Heavenly Hamburgers with oven-roasted steak fries and baked beans. (I cheated on those and opened a can. Yeah, ugh.) Tomorrow night we’re having my mom’s world’s best chicken pot pie. Saturday is a toss-up between Belly Bombers or another St. Louis specialty, Imo’s Pizza.

I’m about to divulge a secret for the delicious burgers that have become an envied staple among family and friends. It comes from a small bottle, it is extremely hard to find, and we went without this seasoning for about 10 years until we FINALLY found it online again about 3 years ago. It’s a little bottle of miracle flavoring called Grill In, Grill Out

grillin_grillout

Whether you’re broiling burgers in the oven, pan searing them on the stove top, cooking on an outdoor grill (we never use gas grills, only charcoal or hardwood) or firing up the Foreman indoor grill, this is your ticket to the best burger you’ll ever eat. It works with ground beef, ground turkey and even ground chicken. (More on the other meats in future posts). Tonight we had beef.

2013-03-21_18-54-33_817I made five HUGE burgers tonight, using 2.2 pounds of ground sirloin. I prefer chuck for flavor in the burger, but we are at our daughter’s house, and she prefers sirloin.  In a large mixing bowl I combined the following:

  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp Grill In Grill Out
  • 1 tsp Mrs. Dash – Original Blend
  • Large pinch black pepper

Mix well, and divide into about 8 servings (Trust me, 5 huge burgers were WAY too much out of this much meat!)  Pat the ground beef in to burgers, and liberally sprinkle both sides with Grill In Grill Out.  Tonight I cooked them on the stove top, so I preheated 2 large skillets, added about a tablespoon of olive oil to each pan and quickly seared both sides of the hamburger patties. Reduce the heat to low, and allow the burgers to cook slowly in the pan until desired level of doneness is achieved.

Tonight we topped the burgers with a slice of Provolone cheese, and another slice of Monterrey Jack cheese. Maple flavored bacon and the usual lettuce, tomato, dill pickle chips and thinly sliced onions made this burger delectable!

Note: I did not add salt to this recipe. Grill In Grill Out has salt in it, and I have made the mistake in the past of adding salt, only to have my burgers turn out not so tasty from over-salting.

You can forego the other ingredients and just add a little extra Grill In Grill Out. It’s that little something extra that has our guests at grilling parties asking, “What’s your secret?” Until now, very few knew. Order some today, and you’ll have it in your pantry inventory just in time for the beginning of the grilling season. Just wait until you get my bratwurst recipe & technique with this amazing seasoning! Stay tuned…..

DISCLAIMER: I am not paid to endorse Grill In Grill out. It is a product I believe in, and highly recommend.