Monday, March 20, 2017

Cranberry Cream Cheese Muffins/Bread

I've had a lot of cranberries in my freezer for awhile, just waiting to be made into something yummy. Problem is, I couldn't decide what. So, I was searching Pinterest yesterday, and I found a recipe I'd pinned but hadn't made yet. (Shocker.) I decided that these needed to be made into muffins!

And wow, was this a hit. They are not overly sweet, I did try to make them slightly healthier (thus the applesauce vs using butter), but the boys devoured them. Gabriel ate 3 or 4... after eating 2-3 servings of dinner. Adrian only ate 1, but again, that was right after dinner!

If you are looking for a fairly healthy snack/breakfast, this is it! 

Remember, comments are loved! What's your favorite use of cranberries?

Cranberry Cream Cheese Muffins/Bread

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ⅔ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups cranberries

  1. Preheat oven to 350° (for bread) or 375° (for muffins). Lightly grease 2 loaf pans or lightly grease/line with muffin liners 24 muffin tins. 
  2. Cream together cream cheese, sugars, and applesauce. Slowly add in eggs and vanilla; mix until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add to cream cheese mixture just until combined. Stir in cranberries.
  4. Spoon into prepared muffin liners or loaf pans. For muffins, bake for 18-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. For bread, bake for 60-70 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. 

24 muffins, 2 loaves of bread (12 slices each)
*Note: bread has not been tested, I've only made muffins!
45 minutes (muffins), 1 ½ hours (bread)
Nutrition Facts *I calculate nutrition facts for reference only, this is not done scientifically

Source (for original): 12 Tomatoes

Friday, March 17, 2017

Sausage Wontons

This recipe is amazing! It's great as a party appetizer, or to make a small batch as a snack/addition to dinner. Nate & I love these! While pregnant, I could probably eat the whole plate... ;) 

These are definitely a only-once-in-awhile thing, though... the calories may not be that high, but between the cheese, sausage, and ranch: these little wontons are NOT good for you! Delicious, but a little less than healthy!

Also, note: they do not reheat well, so try not to make more than you think you'll need! This recipe is easy to cut in half or quarters. 

Remember, comments are loved! What's your favorite appetizer recipe?

Printable Recipe
Sausage Wontons

  • 16 ounces wonton wrappers
  • 1 pound sausage
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup Ranch dressing

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. 
  2. Spray a miniature muffin pan with cooking spray. Insert wonton wrappers into the muffin pan so as to form small cups. Bake 5 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow the baked wrappers to cool. Remove from the pan.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix the sausage, Monterey Jack, Cheddar, and Ranch dressing. Fill the baked wonton wrapper cups with the mixture. 
  4. Bake the filled wonton wrappers 7 to 12 minutes, until the sausage mixture is bubbly and slightly brown. Watch closely so the wonton wrappers do not burn.

Servings: 48
Prep Time: 15 Minutes Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Nutrition Facts *I calculate nutrition facts for reference only, this is not done scientifically


Source (for original): All Recipes

Monday, March 13, 2017

Reese's Pieces Chocolate Cookies

Originally posted 11/16/13, updated 3/13/17

I would say that it's fairly obvious that I love sweet things, whether you actually know me in person or even if you just read the title of my blog. I am a big fan of peanut butter/chocolate combos in particular. (Surprisingly, I don't like regular Reese's much. Not a fan of their peanut butter. Reese's Pieces, however, are an entirely different story.)

So when I saw a recipe for Reese's Pieces Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies on one of my favorite blogs, I had to try it! 

I made a few changes (as you can see by the title alone), but we love this recipe! You could easily sub different things for the peanut butter chips/Reese's Pieces.... but I am really not sure why you would want to. ;) I also had to play with the baking time/ingredients, as the cookies were great on day one but get hard & dry quickly. Once I made some changes, that solved the problem! (I don't know what they are like past day 3 now.... they never make it that long!)

One tip I would like to stress: Be careful not to overbake these! They will get harder faster if you do. Ovens vary, but I would check them at 10-11 minutes. Since I made the change to the ingredients, I would recommend trying for 11 1/2 - 12 minutes; but again, ovens vary. 


These are my favorite cookies to bake--this is definitely my current go-to recipe!

Remember, comments are loved!

Printable Recipe

Reese’s Pieces Chocolate Cookies

  • ½ cup butter-flavored Crisco
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cups all purpose Flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup peanut butter chips
  • ½ cup mini Reese’s Pieces *make sure you get Mini!!!*

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Place Crisco and sugars into a stand mixer, cream until well combined. Add eggs and vanilla, beating until well combined. 
  3. Slowly add flour, cocoa powder, salt, cornstarch & baking soda. Hand mix in peanut butter chips and Reese’s Pieces.
  4. Scoop dough (or form into balls) and place onto greased baking sheet. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until baked through. 
  5. Let cookies cool for 5-8 minutes before transferring to cooling rack. Serve and enjoy.

2 dozen
Prep/total time: ½ hour

Nutrition Facts *I calculate nutrition facts for reference only, this is not done scientifically
146 calories each

Source (for original): Picky Palate

Monday, March 6, 2017

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

So, first off, I have to apologize for the lack of posts lately... We found out we are having a girl (yay!), so I've been spending a lot of time in the evenings sorting boy clothes, getting it ready to sell, and then sorting the mountain of girl clothes I've bought. Between that, and being utterly exhausted... I haven't really been doing many new recipes. New ideas and taking photos requires energy that I just don't have! :) 

I did get some baking done this weekend, though...  I made this Sunday morning, before Nate & I had a fun date! Partly to 'pay' my mom for watching the boys... partly because I wanted chocolate. ;) 

I have a lot of variations on these cookies, and while these aren't always my go-to recipe, they are always a hit!

Remember, comments are loved! What's your favorite double-chocolate recipe?

Printable Recipe
Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 cup cold, unsalted butter, cubed *note: these were made with Crisco, but I've made them both ways. While I am a Crisco girl generally... this time, I decided that they are better with butter.
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips *This time, I only used 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips, the other half was Andes chips! They were great!

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar.  Beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.  Blend in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed.  Mix in the cocoa powder until well blended.
  2. Add the flour, salt, baking powder, and cornstarch to the bowl and mix on low speed just until incorporated.  Fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula. (The dough is very thick.)
  3. Roll into small balls, and place on baking sheets a few inches apart. Flatten slightly. 
  4. Bake 12-16 minutes.  Let cool on the baking sheets 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

3 ½ dozen cookies
1 hour
Nutrition Facts

Source (for original): Love from the Oven

Monday, February 6, 2017

Roasted Kielbasa & Veggies

This recipe is more of a... general instruction. I saw the idea on pinterest, and then just did what I wanted for it. ;) None of this is precise-- use whatever veggies you want, and whatever seasonings you want! I love the combo of cauliflower and broccoli. I'm not a big cauliflower fan (except deep fried!), but I loved it here. Roasted is great!

This dish was enough for both my 4yo & my 2yo to announce "cauliflower is my favorite veggie!" And really, that should be enough of a reason for everyone to try something similar. ;)

This is definitely something I'll be making fairly often, with varying veggies! I'll probably leave out the kielbasa a lot, and use it purely as a side dish.

Remember, comments are loved! What's your kiddos and/or your favorite way to cook veggies?

Roasted Veggies & Kielbasa

  • 1 pound kielbasa or other similar sausage, cut into 1” pieces
  • 2 cups broccoli, cut into florets
  • 2 cups cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 tablespoon Garlic Garlic
  • 2 teaspoons Seasoned Salt

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Prepare a large baking pan with a silicon mat, or cooking spray.
  2. In a large saute pan,  cook the kielbasa over medium-high heat, turning frequently. When at the desired brownness, remove from heat.
  3. Spread kielbasa, broccoli, and cauliflower evenly throughout the baking pan. Sprinkle with Garlic Garlic and Seasoned Salt.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Serve immediately.

6 servings
45 minutes
Nutrition Facts *I calculate nutrition facts for reference only, this is not done scientifically

Source (for original): unknown

Tastefully Simple info: If you are interested in making a purchase, you can purchase through my page, or just search and select "Serena Lee" as your consultant. Obviously, if you are not local and already have a consultant.... purchase through them online, or contact them! Shop local, as always! Disclaimer: I am paid a small amount with each purchase, based on sales, made through myself as a consultant. You are helping to support my baking addiction, thank you! ;)

Friday, February 3, 2017

Strawberry Swiss Cake Roll

Let me preface this post by saying I'm not really a fancy kinda girl. (And now I have "Fancy" by Reba going in my head!) I'm a hillbilly, and quite happy about it. Once in a while though, I have the desire to try something that's fairly fancy. 

I've never made any "roll" before. No pumpkin roll, etc. However, I got silicon mats recently (some just before Christmas, and more for Christmas) and I thought that would make it easier, so.... I jumped out of my box. 

And whoa, was it worth it. This swiss cake roll is heavenly. You can use any freeze-dried berries or fruit, so you can change the flavor as desired. (I found strawberries at Aldi's, so that's what I went with.) Personally, I think that it could use more strawberry flavor, but that's a preference thing. 

I do think the use of silicon mats made this process much easier than without. If you don't have any, sub parchment paper in the pan and a clean towel for after the cake is done. 

Comments are loved! What's your favorite "fancy" dessert?

Printable Recipe
Strawberry Swiss Cake Roll

For the batter:
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • ½ cup + ⅓ cup sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup flour
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup water
For the Filling:
  • ½ cup freeze dried strawberries, crushed finely
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, divided
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
For the Ganache:
  • 3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 6 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
For the Topping, optional:
  • Redi-whip or cool whip
  • fresh strawberries, chopped

For the cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 10”x15” jelly roll pan with a silicon baking mat and grease heavily.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Slowly add in ½ cup sugar and beat until stiff peaks. Beat for 3 minutes, then add remaining ⅓ cup sugar and vanilla. Beat for 2 more minutes.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Alternately add flour mix and the ⅓ cup water to a large bowl with the egg yolks. When thoroughly mixed, fold the batter into the egg whites a little at a time.
  4. Spread batter into the prepared pan and bake for 12-15 minutes until toothpick come back clean and cake springs back when lightly touched.
  5. Meanwhile, coat a silicone baking mat with powdered sugar.
  6. When the cake is done, immediately invert it onto the mat. Remove the first silicone mat, and then roll up the cake starting at the narrow end. Let it cool completely.
For the Filling:

  1. In a large mixing bowl using a whisk, beat heavy whipping cream and ¼ cup powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. Remove to a separate bowl.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add in ¾ cup powdered sugar, strawberry powder, vanilla, and salt.
  3. Fold in whipped cream until combined.
  4. Carefully unroll the cake. Spread the filling evenly over the entire surface and then roll the cake back up.
  5. Place cake roll on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
For the Ganache/Finishing:
  1. Heat the whipping cream in microwave for 45 seconds or until hot, then add the chocolate chips. Cover and let it sit for two minutes; stir until smooth. Let the ganache cool slightly before pouring and spreading over the cake.
  2. If desired, top with more redi-whip or cool whip and strawberries.
  3. Slice and serve. Store leftover cake in the fridge.

12 servings
5 ½ hours (start to finish)
Nutrition Facts

Source (for original): Spend With Pennies

Monday, January 30, 2017

Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread

So.... confession time. This loaf of bread did not even last one full day in my house. 

It's a quick bread, so smaller than a regular yeast bread, and that makes it okay... right? ;)

With things like this, it's hit or miss with my husband. He might love it, or he might not. He's not much of a sweet bread kinda guy. This, however, is clearly an exception. I think he and I did the most damage to it. The boys each had a few big pieces as their afternoon snack, so they definitely contributed too!

This is definitely a quick bread worth making. It was SO easy, and obviously a hit. (I had hoped to take some for a snack tomorrow to work.... that's clearly not happening.) 

I made some changes to the recipe to make it slightly healthier and more likely to be enjoyed by my family, but if you are looking to gain some pounds check out the original link at the bottom. This is not a low calorie food. ;) 

Remember, comments are loved! What's your favorite quick bread recipe?

Printable Recipe
Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread

  • ¼ cup applesauce
  • ¼ cup softened butter
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup cinnamon sugar mixture

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a loaf pan with non-stick spray; set aside.
  2. In large bowl, mix applesauce, butter, and sugar until well combined. Stir in eggs and vanilla until smooth. Gently stir in flour, baking powder, salt, and buttermilk. 
  3. Remove ½ cup prepared batter from bowl and place into a separate smaller bowl, then add cinnamon.
  4. Pour half of the prepared batter into the bottom of the loaf pan. Spoon half of the cinnamon batter on top of the batter, then swirl with a butter knife. Pour remaining batter on top, then remaining cinnamon batter. Swirl again with butter knife. 
  5. Bake 45-50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Cool 10 minutes, then loosen edges and remove from pan. Carefully place on a plate or cutting board, and sprinkle all sides with cinnamon sugar mixture. (This step must be done while the bread is still warm!!)
  7. Slice into pieces and serve warm.

16 servings
1 ½ hours
Nutrition Facts *I calculate nutrition facts for reference only, this is not done scientifically


Source (for original): Lauren’s Latest