Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Quick Rolls

With Thanksgiving coming up tomorrow, I thought it would be good to post a fun roll recipe! These rolls are great- fluffy, tasty, and bake up fast!

For Thanksgiving with our family, I'm making my Perfect Pumpkin Pie, and something else sweet. I haven't decided yet, but knowing me--it will probably be something with chocolate. ;) Mama already has everything else taken care of. (Thanksgiving with my mom is always awesome!)

Remember, comments are loved! What's your usual food duty for Thanksgiving?

Printable Recipe
(This picture shows them more dense than they are--I initially tried them with a shorter rise time, but they are much better with the longer time! I just keep forgetting to take another picture...)
Quick Rolls

  • 1 ¼ cup warm water
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 ½ cups bread flour 

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Grease a 9”x13” pan; set aside.
  2. In large mixing bowl, combine the water, oil, yeast, and sugar. Allow it to rest for 15 minutes. Using dough hook, mix in the salt, egg, and flour.
  3. Knead with hook for a few minutes until well incorporated and dough is soft and smooth.
  4. Form dough into 12 balls, place in prepared pan, and allow to rest for 20 minutes. 
  5. Bake for 10-20 minutes or until golden brown.

12 rolls
30-45 minutes
Nutrition Facts

Source (for original): Your Home Based Mom

Monday, November 21, 2016

Gingerbread Cookies

I am, in general, not a fan of gingerbread cookies. I can have one or two, but they are not my thing. Nate is usually a fan though, and I like to try to do the "typical" seasonal things. I have a recipe that I've made before, but these are slightly different. Also, those are the ones I made for my mom to use on her advent calendar.... and there's something about the fact that they can last for years that throws me off. Time for a new, different recipe! :)

These, as advertised on the blog I got them from, don't spread. I like that about them. I was iffy to use butter, in my experience it tends to cause more issues than using Crisco, especially with spreading. (I know I've talked about my love for Crisco before.)  However, I am pretty fond of these. I think the lack of baking powder/baking soda helps, too. 

They are fairly crunchy, but soften a lot if you add frosting. Frosting is totally optional, though!

Remember, comments are loved! Tell me about your favorite gingerbread recipes & ideas!

Printable Recipe

Gingerbread Cookies

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Do not overmix. Add the egg, and mix until incorporated.
  3. Add the molasses, and vanilla; mix just until incorporated.
  4. Whisk the flour, salt, and spices together in a separate bowl. Slowly mix in the flour mixture.
  5. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface, to ¼" thickness. Place on prepared baking sheet, and bake for 8-9 minutes.

Approximately 27 cookies
45 minutes
Nutrition Facts

Source (for original): The Kitchen Paper

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk

  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and milk to desired consistency. 
  2. Spread over cookies. 

5 minutes
Nutrition Facts

Source (for original): Love Grows Wild

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Cheesecake Crescent Bars

Most of my dessert recipes, my husband doesn't really care about. I bake desserts at least once or twice a week, so I guess he gets tired of them. (I don't understand that, but hey. I try not to judge.)

However, there are a few recipes in my book that he LOVES. Traditional cheesecake (no picture, so no blog post on that yet), Irresistible Peanut Butter Cookies, and this! Nate always approves when I make these! I would make them more often, but the main problem is that I don't keep crescents in the house unless I have a particular recipe I am going to use them for. I am not a big fan (of the crescents, not this! I love this!), so I don't buy them that often. I think I need to work on that... Nate puts up with all my crazy baking, I should try to make his favorites more often. ;)

On to the actual bars... these are perfect, cream cheese gooeyness right out of the oven, or perfect once they are cool & have been put in the fridge! I honestly don't have a favorite... I take them either way! Once they are cool they are slightly more irresistible, though... Warm and gooey it's easy to just eat a few. Cool.... not so easy. ;)

Remember, comments are loved! What's your favorite cream cheese style dessert?

Cheesecake Crescent Bars

  • 2 cans crescent rolls
  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • ¼ cup cinnamon & sugar (approximate)

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease a 9”x13” baking dish.
  2. Unroll and spread one can of crescents on the bottom the prepared baking dish. In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Spread over crescents in baking dish. 
  3. Unroll and layer remaining crescents over cream cheese layer. Spread butter on top of crescents; sprinkle generously with cinnamon & sugar.
  4. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until browned & bubbly.

Approximately 28 bars
30 minutes
Nutrition Facts

Source (for original): my mom, I have no idea where she got this!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Banana Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chip Muffins

These are fairly similar to my other banana muffin recipes (Banana Peanut Butter Oatmeal, Healthier Banana Muffins/Bread, & Nutella Oat Banana Muffins), but with some slight variances. Honestly, I could probably cut down to just 1 or 2 banana muffin recipes... but I truly can't decide which recipe I like the most. So, I just keep them all! This recipe I like because of the chips in it.... they aren't overly sweet, but the chips add just enough!

I originally made an extra large batch of these with the plan of sending some as a snack for Gabriel's preschool... until he woke up sick. Poor baby, this is the first day of preschool he's missed, and I think he's pretty disappointed. So....since he isn't going to school, I have about 30 muffins in my house right now. Adrian ate 2 for breakfast (scratch that, while I was typing this he decided he wanted another one... in addition to the 4 smoky links he ate. Growth spurt, anyone?), which makes up for the fact that Gabriel has no appetite... but I hope my coworkers like them, I need somebody to eat more! My family cannot go through that many! (Well, Adrian might, at this rate...)

Check out the recipe, and let me know what you think!
Comments are loved--what is your favorite banana muffin/bread recipe?

Banana Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chip Muffins

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 ½ cups mashed bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup peanut butter chips (or any other chips) This time I used a combination of peanut butter, mini chocolate chip, and semi-sweet, to empty some partial bags I had! They are great!

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Grease/line with paper 24 count muffin tins.
  2. In large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine the mashed bananas, eggs, vanilla and applesauce. Add the banana mixture to the flour mixture, stirring just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Carefully mix in peanut butter chips. 
  3. Spoon batter into prepared tins. Bake for 12 to 18 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center muffin comes out clean. Let cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove muffins from pan and let cool on wire rack.

22-24 muffins
30 minutes
Nutrition Facts
164 (based on 22 muffins)

Source (for original): Food

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Cherry Chocolate Chip Pie

This is the last of the pies that I made for my family Christmas in October. I was mainly thinking of my mama when I made it--she LOVES cherries, so I knew she'd like it!

Depending on if you are a bigger cherry fan or a bigger chocolate fan, it either didn't have enough cherries in it or it didn't have enough chocolate chips. ;) Add accordingly! 

Like most no-bake pies like this, it needs to be kept refrigerated or frozen. Personally, I've tried freezing them, and I really prefer that! Let a slice sit on the counter for a few minutes, and it's the PERFECT consistency! 

Comments are loved! Tell me about your favorite no-bake pie!

Cherry Chocolate Chip Pie


  • 1 8” graham cracker pie crust
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 21 ounces cherry pie filling
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 4 ounces Cool Whip
  • 1¼ cup mini semisweet chocolate chips


  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Fold in Cool Whip. Carefully fold in pie filling and 1 cup chocolate chips, only until combined.
  2. Spread into pie crust, then sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips.
  3. Refrigerate 4 hours before serving. Keep refrigerated. 
15 minutes + cooling
12 (small) pieces or 8 (regular) pieces
Nutrition Facts
369 (12 ct) or 553 (8 ct)

Source (for original): Passion for Savings

Monday, November 7, 2016

Nutella Lava Cookies

I've been trying to do posts 3x/week, but Friday fell through the cracks. Mainly because of this nasty cold that's hanging around my house-- the boys are finally feeling better (I hope), but I still am suffering. There's been very little cleaning or baking around my house this past week... and a lot of sitting on the couch wishing I could take naps. Oh well, life as a mama goes on no matter what. ;)

I did manage to get some baking done yesterday, mainly because Nate was kind enough to let me nap for awhile. In the evening, the boys helped me make these Nutella Lava Cookies (with lots and lots of handwashing). I've made them before, and they are always a hit, but never remembered to take pictures. This time I did!

These things are amazing. I'm going to try a variation with peanut butter soon, but I haven't decided exactly what I want to do. Gabriel & I were discussing it yesterday, so I think he's going to help! I love how willing he is to help in the kitchen, and how fascinated he is with the whole process1

These are, like most cookies, best fresh out of the oven. A great alternative is about 10 seconds in the microwave. (However, don't put them in, hit the 30 seconds button, then get distracted.... oops.) They are called lava cookies for a reason-- warm, the Nutella in the center just OOZES out. It's amazing. I could eat half a dozen in one sitting, if it weren't for the massive amount of calories.

The one deterrent with these cookies is that they are time consuming. Give yourself time to make these! The Nutella scoops have to freeze for an hour, then the formed cookies have to freeze also. You can cut the time down to half an hour each if needed, but they are a lot harder to work with--I really recommend going the full hour.

Nutella Lava Cookies

  • 12 tablespoons (24 ½-tablespoons) Nutella
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoonful cornstarch
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • ½ teaspoonful baking soda
  • 1 teaspoonful vanilla
  • ½ teaspoonful salt
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup butter, at room temperature *if you know me, I always substitute Crisco vs butter. Here, I am not sure how well it would work. If you try it, let me know!
  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips, plus more for topping

  1. Scoop out 24 ½-tablespoons of Nutella onto a sheet of parchment paper or silicon mat, then freeze them for 1 hour or until solid.
  2. Whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whip the butter until soft and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add both sugars and mix together until well incorporated. Mix in the egg and vanilla, then gradually add cocoa powder.
  4. Add the flour mixture and chocolate chips to the bowl slowly. Mix until everything is combined.
  5. Divide dough into 24 equal portions. Flatten into circles, then place on baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Place frozen Nutella scoops in the center of the dough, and wrap dough around Nutella. Cover completely by rolling and forming balls. (This step must be done quickly. Remove only one or two Nutella scoops at a time from the freezer.) 
  6. Sprinkle the tops with few additional chocolate chips and sea salt, if desired.
  7. Freeze the balls for at least 1 hour.
  8. Preheat the oven to 350° and space the balls 2” apart on baking sheet.
  9. Bake for 8-12 minutes. Cookies will flatten out and get crispy on the edges but the center will still feel soft. Let the cookies rest for 15 minutes before removing to cooling rack or serving.

24 (large) cookies
3 hours
Nutrition Facts

Source (for original): Gastro Senses
Remember, comments are loved! Have you ever tried a lava-style cookie before?

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Spinach Wraps

I know, I know. You're thinking, "It's getting close to the holidays, and Serena's posting about SPINACH WRAPS? What's wrong with her?"

Well, nothing really. I was just glancing through recipes I haven't posted and stumbled across this.

I used to love getting panini's from a place on campus with spinach wraps, but I'm too cheap to buy the wraps themselves in stores. I'd change up the things I put in them, but I always got the spinach wraps. Then, when I found this recipe, I decided it was worth a shot to do it myself.

Yeah, this is easy. Really guys. This is awesome. I had never made tortillas before this, so I was a bit intimidated the first time, but it's SO easy. Fairly time-consuming, to roll out all the tortillas, but definitely doable. We could just munch on them by themselves; forget making them into panini's or anything else. They don't have a strong spinach taste, so even if you aren't a big fan of spinach, it's worth trying.

Oh, and side note? These freeze fairly well. Slightly more brittle, and I haven't tried more than short-term freezing (a few weeks), but works out great still.

Spinach Wraps

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable or avocado oil
  • 4 ounces spinach (approximate 4 cups)
  • ¾ cups milk, warmed 

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt until evenly mixed. Add the oil; stir until dough is crumbly. Set aside.
  2. Place the spinach and warm milk in a blender or food processor, and mix on high until smooth. Pour the spinach mixture into the flour and stir to combine. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, until smooth. Add more flour as needed. 
  3. Form the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. Lightly flour a counter and a rolling pin. Break the chilled dough into 10 - 14 medium sized balls. Roll out each ball into a very thin circle, about 8”-10” in diameter. 
  5. Heat a large frying pan or griddle over medium heat. Cook the wraps one at a time for about 30 seconds -1 minute on each side or until wrap has stiffened slightly and is golden brown in spots. 
  6. Let cool, then place in gallon bags and store in the fridge until ready to use. *may also freeze until needed.

12 wraps
1 hour
Nutrition Facts *I calculate nutrition facts for reference only, this is not done scientifically

148 calories per wrap (12 ct)

Source (for original): Katie at the Kitchen Door
Remember, comments are loved! What are your favorite wrap ingredients?