Monday, October 31, 2011

SRC - Sausage Pizza Rolls

I'm so excited to be hosting a group for the Secret Recipe Club!

I'm the hostess for Group D, the newest group of the club and today is our reveal day!!
I want to thank Amanda @ Amanda's Cookin for this wonderful opportunity to become
a hostess for this great club!

Even before I was assigned the wonderful blog, The Fantastical Sharing of Recipes, I knew that I would be searching for "snacking" foods instead of a main dish or dessert recipe because my whole family has been down with the flu this month. Yes, unfortunately, we share everything.

The recipe I chose to make was sausage pizza rolls. They were delicious and fit our needs for something hearty enough to fill us up but not weigh us down like a heavy meal. I apologize for the plain Jane pictures but I could barely see straight when we tried this recipe, let alone fancy things up for the picture. Don't judge by the pictures...whip up a batch that contains your favorite pizza toppings! Then you'll see what I'm taking about! YUM! Perfect for eating while lounging on the couch, covered in blankets, while watching Steelers football! (side note: Did ya happen to see that game yesterday?!?)

Ok, back to the sausage pizza rolls.....   This is one of those recipes where I thought "Why didn't I think of that?" Very easy to put together and great for using up bits and pieces of leftovers that's stuck in the frig. Sarah's family prefers pepperoni in their rolls but my family prefers sausage, peppers and onions with the sauce and cheese, so that's what I ran with. Definitely a keeper! Just think of the many pizza combos out there that you could stuff into an egg roll wrapper. :)

Sausage Pizza Rolls

3/4 lb loose hot sausage - if using sause that's
in the casing, remove casings before frying and
crumble into small pieces
1 green pepper, diced into very small pieces
1/3 c. onion, diced into very small pieces
1/3 mushrooms, diced small
mozzarella cheese, finely shredded
pizza or spaghetti sauce
1 pkg. egg roll wrappers
oil for frying
1/4 c. water for wetting egg roll wrappers

Fry sausage until brown and cooked completely through. Drain on paper towel.

Saute green peppers, onions and mushrooms until soft. Drain on paper towel, if necessary.

Into one bowl, stir together the hot sausage, peppers, onions, mushrooms and 1 - 2 cups of sauce - enough to make the mixture wet but not sloppy and soggy.

To assemble:

Lay one egg roll wrapper onto the table. To the middle of each wrapper add approx. 1 tbsp. cheese, then top with 1 - 1 1/2 tbsp sausage and veggie mixture.

If you're not sure how to wrap the egg rolls for frying, there are directions inside the egg roll wrapper package.

Fry in hot oil until browned all over. Drain on paper towels.

Here's another version of egg rolls that I've chicken egg rolls.  This one includes step by step pictures.

I've had another wonderful month of cooking and blogging with the Secret Recipe Club! If you would like to learn how you join in on the fun, click here for more info.!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Spiced Apple Crumb Bars

By this time of the year I'm ready for fall. I love the colors, the scents, picking apples and pumpkins, Halloween...every part of it. Still, even after 6 years of living in NC (borderline SC), I still can't get used to the fact that fall pretty much doesn't exist around us. The temps. during daylight are still in the 80s and the lows at night dip down into the 40s and 30s. It's nuts, I tell ya!

To keep from missing out on all of the fun of fall, I've filled my house with leaves (fake of course, I'm not that nuts!), cinnamon and pumpkin candle melts and I'm making time to head back into the kitchen ('bout time, huh?) to start baking some scrumptious desserts! I apologize ahead of time if I get carried away and bombard my blog for a little while with apple and pumpkin desserts. I can't help it, we love them!

Happy Fall Yinz! 
(no disrespect to all of my southern friends and bloggers, but I can't say ya'll because I'm from Pittsburgh and that word just won't come out of my mouth.)  ;)

Spiced Apple Crumb Bars

To make the bar part of the recipe:
1 box white or yellow cake mix
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (can use apple pie spice)
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves, opitonal
6 tbsp. cold butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 old fashioned oats 1 egg + 2 egg whites
1 tbsp. water

5 - 6 Granny Smith apples
2 tbsp. butter
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (can use apple pie spice)

Extra for Crumb Topping: 
1/8 c. brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350*

Stir together cake mix and spices.

Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter into the cake mix until it resembles course crumbs.

Stir in oats. Reserve 1 c. of the mixture for the crumb topping on the bars.

Pat the remaining mixture into an ungreased 9 x 13 dish and set aside.

To make the filling: core, peel and thinly slice the Granny Smith apples. Add the apples and butter into a frying pan. Saute over medium heat until the apples are fork tender. Before removing the apples from the stove, stir in the cinnamon and pumpkin pie spices.

Layer the cooked apples over the crumb crust in the pan.

Stir the brown sugar into the reserved crumb mixture and sprinkle it over the top of the apples.

Bake for 28 - 30 minutes, until the edges start to turn light brown.

Cool for 5 minutes in the pan before cutting into bars.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Itty Bitty Cinnamon Rolls

My kids are not breakfast eaters first thing in the morning but I've found that if I make bite-sized versions of some breakfast treats, they will eat them. As a result, these itty bitty cinnamon rolls were born.

I took a short cut and used frozen bread dough so it really didn't take long at all to be able to serve hot, fresh cinnamon rolls instead of another cold breakfast. I'll be honest and tell you that I made these rolls on a weekend morning --I did not get up before the birds on a school day to roll out bread dough. I know that there are plenty of you out there who do get up in the wee morning hours to prepare breakfasts every morning and I commend you for doing so but that's not me. I'm NOT a morning person, no matter how hard I try to be. Had I been making these for a school morning, I would've prepared the rolls ahead of time the night before, stopping right before cutting them into pieces, and then I would've wrapped the long roll up tightly in plastic wrap and stuck it in the refrigerator. Then all that would have to been done the next morning would be to cut and bake the little rolls. Even the glaze could be made ahead of time but it really doesn't take much effort to whip it up while the rolls are baking.

The rolls are best if eaten hot, right out of the oven. I had just a few left over from the batch that I made and even after storing them in a tightly sealed container, they turned sort of rubbery and hard.

So there you have it...a simple yet very satisfying breakfast treat for days when you think that you don't have time to eat anything.

Itty Bitty Cinnamon Rolls

1 loaf frozen bread dough, thawed
1/2 c. brown sugar
3 tbsp. cinnamon
1/4 c. butter, room temperature

The directions are pretty simple: 

Thaw frozen bread.

Preheat oven to 350*. Lightly coat a mini muffin pan with non stick cooking spray and set aside.

Roll out bread dough until flat and as close to a rectangle as possible - doesn't have to be perfect.

Spread butter over the entire area of the dough.

Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together and then sprinkle all of it over the buttered dough.

Starting on the long end, roll up the log, tucking in the short end edges as you go along.

To cut:

Slice the long log in half. Slice each half in half, giving you four mini logs. You should be able to cut 6-8 mini rolls from each of the 4 mini logs.

Lay each cinnamon roll into a mini muffin hole in the pan.

Bake for approx. 15 minutes or until the rolls are golden brown.

Remove the hot rolls to a cooling rack. Drizzle with glaze (recipe below), if desired. Aren't they just the cutest little things?!?

Glaze for Itty Bitty Cinnamon Rolls

1 c. powdered sugar
2 tbsp. milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla

Stir all ingredients together until smooth. Generously drizzle the glaze over the warm cinnamon rolls.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Cookie Carnival - Raspberry Filled Lemon Cream Cheese Bars

For my second Cookie Carnival submission this month, I choose another cake mix cookie recipe but this time, instead of a round cookie, I made bar cookies - Raspberry Filled Lemon Cream Cheese Bars. The original recipe is from Betty Crocker. Their recipe calls for strawberry preserves but since I already had raspberry preserves in the frig, I opted to use it instead. I loved the pairing of the slightly sweet raspberry preserves with the slightly sour lemon margarita filling.

Raspberry Filled Lemon Cream Cheese Bars
adapted from Betty

Bar Cookie Base:
1 box lemon cake mix
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c.p finely chopped almonds
1 c. low sugar raspberry preserves

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1  egg
1/4 c.bottled margarita mix
1/4 c. lemon juice

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 13x9-inch pan and set aside.

Place cake mix in large bowl. With pastry blender or fork, cut in butter until crumbly. Add almonds; mix well. Reserve 1 cup mixture for topping. Press remaining mixture in bottom of pan.

Stir preserves until smooth; carefully spread over base.

In same bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, flour, salt and egg with electric mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add margarita mix and lemon juice; beat at low speed until blended. Carefully pour filling over base.

Sprinkle reserved base mixture over filling.

Bake 35 - 40 minutes or until edges begin to brown and center is set.

Cool completely, about 1 hour. Cut into bars. Store covered in refrigerator.

My first Cookie Carnival cake mix cookie submission this month was: Chunky Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake Mix Cookies! 

Want to join in on the Cookie Carnival fun? It's easy! Click here to find out more info.

Cookie Carnival - Chunky Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake Mix Cookies

One of the recipes for September's Cookie Carnival was cake mix cookies - any recipe of your choice as long as it was a new recipe that you were trying. We were allowed to submit 3 cookies recipes of this type.

My family loves cake mix cookies so I knew that this would be any easy choice for me. What I didn't realize until I started searching for new ideas was there there are hundreds of recipes out there for cake mix cookies and not just your ordinary round cookie either...there's bars, biscotti, squares, many to choose from.

The great thing about cake mix cookies is that you can clean out the leftover bits of this and that from your cupboards by dumping the stuff into your cookie recipe. Sounds like some sort of mad scientist experiment, huh?

I had several boxes of chocolate cake mix in my cupboard so it was a no brainer that my recipe was going to be a chocolate cookie. In the back of the cupboard, I found a bag with about a cup of chocolate chunks and on the same shelf, there was an almost empty jar of peanut butter. Who doesn't like chocolate and peanut butter mixed together?

I started with a basic cake mix cookie with water, oil, and eggs but then I made a few adjustments to the recipe. The results were delicious! You could taste just a slight hint of peanut butter through all of the chocolate. My husband is not a peanut butter cookie fan so this was just enough for him. The gooey chocolate chunks were awesome and added to the fun of eating these cookies while they were still warm.

Chunky Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake Mix Cookies

1 (18.25 oz) devils food cake mix
1/3 c. water
1 egg
1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
1 c. semi sweet chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 350*

Using a large bowl and a wooden spoon, mix together cake mix, water, egg and peanut butter until all ingredients are combined. Stir in chocolate chunks. (I used my hands to mix the chips into the cookie dough.)

Roll the dough into walnut-sized balls. Place the cookies on a lightly greased cookie sheet in 4 rows of 3 cookies, leaving plenty of room for the cookies to spread out. Using a fork, flatten the cookies in a criss-cross pattern.

Bake for 10 -12 minutes. The cookies will still be slightly soft in the middle. Watch carefully and do not overbake.

Cool the cookies on the pan for 1-2 minutes before removing from the cookie sheet.

These cookies will freeze well, too.

Want to bake with us in the Cookie Carnival? Here's what you need to know!
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