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White Chocolate Gingerbread Crescent Rolls

I can’t believe Christmas is only a week away. It never ceases to amaze me how fast a year goes by the older I get. And while I may have perfected my Masters in Procrastination over the years, gift buying is always an exception. I’m usually done with everything, except stocking stuffers, before the school year starts. And while I may *have* all the gifts hidden in sneaky little spots, that I can only hope I remember all of, it’s still the week before Christmas and I haven’t wrapped a single thing. Ya know what? It’s all going to work itself out, and every darn thing will get wrapped and placed perfectly under the tree, even if it’s not until 3am Christmas morning.

 White Chocolate Gingerbread Crescent Rolls

One thing I do enjoy wrapping up? Surprises, in the middle of snacks for the kids. And whether I’m serving them for brunch, for snack, or even dessert, there’s nothing quite as perfect for this as the crescent roll. Just picture it: the flaky outer pastry of a perfectly cooked crescent roll, with crumbled spicy ginger snaps, a dash of Christmas colored sprinkles, and a white chocolate drizzle are a perfect outer shell, hiding the perfect complimentary flavors inside, rich cream cheese and sweet white chocolate.

White Chocolate Gingerbread Crescent Rolls 3

Think of it as a present for your mouth, one that’s just waiting to tickle those tastebuds.

White Chocolate Gingerbread Crescent Rolls

White Chocolate Gingerbread Crescent Rolls 2

1 8 oz, 8 count, tube of crescent roll dough
4 oz cream cheese, softened and cut into 8 equal cubes
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
8 gingersnap cookies, crushed
red, green, and/or white candy sprinkles

Directions

1. Roll out the crescent dough onto a lightly greased baking sheet.
2. Fill each crescent roll with 1 cube of the cream cheese, 1 tbsp of the white chocolate chips, and a pinch of the crushed gingersnaps.

3. Start at the fat end and gently roll up the triangle to form crescent shape, repeating for the remaining crescents.

4. Bake the prepared rolls at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.
5. In a double boiler, or in the microwave, melt the rest of the white chocolate chips. Drizzle the chocolate over the crescent rolls and then sprinkle the rest of the crushed ginger snaps over top. Finish off with a handful of candy sprinkles. Serve warm.

recipe adapted from Lemon Tree Dwelling

Like what you see? There’s more …

4 Sons 'R' Us: Nutella Crescents

Nutella Crescents

4 Sons 'R' Us: Snickerdoodle Crescents

Snickerdoodle Crescent Rolls

4 Sons 'R' Us: Sugar Crumb Crisps

Sugar Crumb Crispies

Eggnog Monkey Bread

Monkey Bread is one of the sons’ favorite things to eat, and it’s little wonder why. It’s sticky, it’s sweet, and it’s basically dessert that they have permission to eat for breakfast and they get to wash it all down with a tall glass of cold milk.

Think you don’t have time to make such a yummy dish from scratch? We’ve made this super simple to make, so simple you’d have to try hard to actually mess it up.

Eggnog Monkey Bread 2

Even better? This isn’t any ordinary monkey bread recipe, this one is dressed specifically for the holidays, with its typically sugary sweet, pull apart pastry and a liberal buttered eggnog cream poured overtop.

Eggnog Monkey Bread

Eggnog Monkey Bread

1 can (16.3 oz) regular refrigerated biscuits, no flaky layers or butter flavored

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp nutmeg

6 tbsp butter, melted

Directions

1. Mix 1/4 cup of the sugar and the nutmeg, stirring to combine.

2. Separate the biscuits and use a pair of kitchen shears to cut each one into 4-6 pieces and put the cut pieces in a large zip locking bag, or a large tupperware.

3. Add the sugar mixture to biscuits, seal, and shake well to evenly coat the biscuit pieces.

4. Transfer the sugared biscuits to a greased 6 cup bundt pan.

5. Mix melted butter and the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and pour it all over the biscuits in pan.

6. Bake at 350 degrees for 28 minutes, or until golden brown.

7. Let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing. To remove, tip the bundt pan upside down onto a serving plate, give it a pat or two if needed to release the bread, and top it with the eggnog glaze.

Eggnog Drizzle

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tbsp butter, softened

1/2 tsp rum extract

3 tbsp eggnog

1/8 tsp nutmeg

Directions

1. Stir together all the ingredients until evenly combined, add more eggnog if you’d prefer a thinner consistency. Drizzle the eggnog glaze over the monkey bread.

Healthy Pumpkin Pie Protein Overnight Oats

One night, my defenses had been systematically whittled down enough that, I let the youngest son have the dregs of my Mountain Dew Voltage. It was in a glass and he didn’t know exactly what it was other than some kind of soda, which he’s rarely allowed to have.
Handing me the empty glass to put in the sink: “Mom, that tasted like it gave me powers, super powers. I know it didn’t, but it tasted like super powers.”

Aaaaaaaaand, that is why you my son are not allowed to do The Dew. Like, ever.

Protein & oats however, make much sturdier fare (and a better breakfast option) for any real-life Super Heroes in-training. And pumpkin pie is such an obvious Fall flavor. Combining the two was a no-brainer.

And overnight oats? They’re quick and easy enough for Super Heroes of any age to whip up, or just to lend a helping hand. Throw everything in a mason jar (or pretty much any seal-able container your heart desires), give it a good stir, and let it sit overnight while you sleep. When you wake up? A protein packed, breakfast that tastes like dessert will be waiting to greet you.

Healthy Pumpkin Pie Protein Overnight Oats

 Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats

1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions

  1.  Add all of the ingredients to a mason jar or other plastic container with a tight-fitting lid, and stir everything until evenly incorporated. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. Serve cold.

*To fit in with dietary restrictions or requirements, you can use a sugar alternative such as Splenda or Truvia in place of the sugar, and you can also sub Gluten-free oats if necessary.

Skinny Chocolate Cherry Muffins

Sweet, dark cherries stirred into a deceptively ‘skinny’ chocolate batter that’s then baked into healthy muffins that are sinfully delicious.

 Skinny Chocolate Cherry Muffins

With these you can have your cake and eat it too, AND still feel good about it.

Skinny Chocolate Cherry Muffins 3

Pair these with a glass of milk for an indulgent start to any morning. Or enjoy them with a glass of milk (or wine, just sayin’!) for a sweet treat that’s a great ending to any day whether it’s for dessert, or a not-so naughty midnight snack.

Skinny Chocolate Cherry Muffins

Skinny Chocolate Cherry Muffins 2

3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 large egg whites, or one large egg
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (or regular yogurt, plain or vanilla)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp  baking powder
1 cup chopped dark sweet cherries (fresh or frozen)
chocolate chips for sprinkling on top, optional

Directions

  1. Prepare a cupcake/muffin tin by spraying the cups generously with non-stick cooking spray, or you can use cupcake liners (but they won’t pull away clean from the baked muffins).
    2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the applesauce, sugar, honey, egg whites, greek yogurt, and vanilla extract, mixing them until the batter is evenly combined without any lumps left.
    3. Sift together the flours, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and baking powder together. Slowly stir in the wet ingredients, just until everything’s evenly incorporated, but also making sure not to leave any flour pockets lurking behind. Gently fold in the cherries using a spatula.
    4. Divide the batter evenly between the 12 muffin cups, filling them as close to the top as possible. Bake the muffins at 425 degrees for 5 minutes then, keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the heat to 350 degrees and continue baking for another 15 minutes. Insert a toothpick into the center of one muffin. If it comes out clean, they are done. If not, bake for about 2 more minutes.
    5. Remove the pan from the oven and allow It to rest, cooling for about 3 minutes, then carefully remove the muffins from the pan and transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Muffins stay fresh in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
    * These muffins also freeze well, making a great grab and go breakfast or snack option. Just put them in the refrigerator the night before to thaw, and pop them in the microwave in the morning to reheat.

Ham, Egg, & Cheese Toast Cups

Breakfast and Brunch menus usually have a lot to offer, and the range of options for those meals is pretty varied. But when your a busy parent with hungry children to feed in the am hours, the early morning menu is usually pretty basic. And after a while, even when you have the time.to whips up some eggs, and butter a few slices of toast, even that can get a bit boring for everybody over time.

So here’s one of my favorite ways to shake things up when we’re in a rut.

Ham, Egg, & Cheese Toast Cups 3

This is basically just your classic scrambled eggs with a side of toast. But all mashed together; and with cheese and some ham for extra flavor and protein. Ya know, basic. But ( again ) with cheese, because cheese makes everything better. I see it as an easy and convenient way to serve breakfast on the weekends (or on busy morning with a quick reheat) and the kids see it as impressive, and oh-so fancy. They love it, and I always love the giggles I get over them considering us high-falutin folk with our own cuisine.

Ham, Egg, & Cheese Toast Cups 2

Don’t stop here though. Ham and cheese may seem like an obvious choice to fortify your eggs with, but the options are endless. Play around with different cheeses or add any toppings that you would normally add to an omelette or frittata  – peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, green onion, tomatoes – there is no right or wrong way!

One thing’s for sure, these are sure to cure any case of breakfast boredom.

Ham, Egg, & Cheese Toast Cups

Ham, Egg, & Cheese Toast Cups

12 slices of bread
7 eggs
¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup ham, cubed
½ tsp garlic powder
½ onion chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Cut crusts off of the bread and roll bread flat.
2. Butter each side of the bread and place one piece  in each muffin tin to form a toast ‘cup’, gently pressing the bread against the sides of the tin and the centers down. Patch any holes you see with another small piece of buttered bread.
3. Combine eggs, garlic powder, onion, salt, and pepper and beat with a whisk until frothy.
4. Pour some into each muffin tin, filling the bread cup approximately 3/4 of the way full. Add a few cubes of ham to each toast cup and top with shredded cheese.

5. Bake the at 375 degrees for approximately 15 minutes, or until the eggs are set.

These are freezer friendly, so if you’re trying to get a jump start on weekday breakfasts make a batch, let them cool completely, remove them from the tins and freeze in a zip locking storage bag until ready to use. A quick re-heat in the microwave on a busy morning, and you’re good to go. Literally.

Healthy Peanut Butter Cookie Overnight Oats

Ive made no secret of the fact that I’m not a morning person. Like, at all. And nobody else around here is either. If we’re lucky, were rushing out of the house headed to who knows where for the day, hopefully with enough time leftover to grab a hot cup of coffee. And if I ( or any of my progeny ) are lucky there might be some grab and go yogurts I remembered to buy on my last grocery store run, or there’s a freezer breakfast sandwich, or a breakfast burrito that we can take to heat and eat later.

 Healthy Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Overnight Oats 2

And here’s where I tell you all about the beauty of overnight oats.

There is no cooking required! None. Nada. Simply stir together your ingredients the night before, store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container, go to bed, and wake up with not only a tasty treat waiting for you, but one that’s healthy too. Does it get any better than that?

Healthy Peanut Butter Cookie Overnight Oats

It does actually. Overnight oats are so easy to throw together even a child can do it. And the sons do 🙂

And they’re a great change of pace from hastily grabbed yogurts or cold bowls of cereal.

Healthy Peanut Butter Cookie Overnight Oats

3/4 cup Skim or 1 % milk
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tbsp creamy peanut butter
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbs sugar
1 cup Old fashioned steel-cut oats
1/4 cup Protein powder

Directions

1. Mix all the ingredients together until evenly combined.
2. Divide between 2 small bowls, mugs, or mason jars. Cover and refrigerate overnight (or for at least an hour (or more) so the oats soften and absorb the liquid).
3. Enjoy cold, or microwave for 30-60 seconds to enjoy warm. Top each prepared bowl with a sprinkle of chocolate chips and/or a small scoop of peanut butter (totally optional).

Banana Pancakes with Peanut Butter Syrup

Oh my word. You guys! This right here. These pancakes right here. These are breakfast pancake heaven. Even better? They’re breakfast pancake heaven topped with peanut butter sauce.

peanut. butter. sauce.

Banana Pancakes with Peanut Butter Syrup 3

Have you heard of Jack Johnson? Have you heard his song ‘Banana Pancakes’?

“But, baby, you hardly even notice
When I try to show you this
Song is meant to keep ya
From doing what you’re supposed to
Waking up too early
Maybe we can sleep in
Make you banana pancakes
Pretend like it’s the weekend now”

Banana Pancakes with Peanut Butter Syrup 2

Everybody plays hooky once in a while, right??

And a fluffy stack of banana pancakes drizzled with homemade peanut butter syrup are a must for any day of serious R&R.

On another note, the kids call these the Elvis pancakes. I may or may not have mentioned a few thousand times that the pb & banana sandwich was his favorite. Along with various other random tidbits about ‘The King.’ I also may or may not have an entire library of books on the man, and my three year old self may or may not have been convinced that I was fated to marry him, regardless of the tiny hiccup of him being dead and all.

So, banana pancakes WITH peanut butter. They’re good grub fit for just about anybody, from the working man to The King.

Banana Pancakes with Peanut Butter Syrup

Banana Pancakes with Peanut Butter Syrup

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tbsp white sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 ripe banana, in this case those mushy black/brown spots are a plus
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp canola oil
pinch of cinnamon

Peanut Butter Sauce
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup white sugar
3/4 cup water

Directions

1. Combine all of the dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, add the banana and wet ingredients, mashing and mixing them together until all  are evenly combined.
3. Combine the dry and wet ingredient together in one bowl, stirring until evenly incorporated. It will be lumpy and somewhat thick.
4. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter into the pan/ griddle for each pancake.
5. Heat until bubbly on top, flip and cook until golden brown on each side.

Peanut Butter Sauce
1. Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan. Heat until boiling. Let cool slightly, and drizzle the sauce over the pancakes. Top with extra banana slices, if desired.

Sausage Breakfast Burritos

So if you’ve followed along with us for any amount of time, you know that this mama doesn’t do breakfast. Yes I make sure there are breakfast items available, but All self serve, a la carte style. Hot breakfast? Dad does giant brunches every Saturday and Sunday. Otherwise? It’s pretty much cold cereal ’round these parts.

 Sausage Breakfast Burritos

But I do occasionally take pity on my crew who put up with all my whims, and all my willfulness in the kitchen. What can I say? I run a tight ship, usually it goes my way or the highway, but every now and then I hear a request or two, or I just generally try to prevent a mutiny. And that’s where these handy, dandy breakfast burritos come in.

All cooked up and pre-packaged, all ready to heat and eat.

Sausage Breakfast Burritos

Sausage Breakfast Burritos 2

1 lb ground pork sausage
1-1/2 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
1/4 cup diced white onion
1/4 cup diced green and/or red pepper
4 eggs, lightly beaten
12 flour tortillas (8 inches), warmed
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Picante sauce and sour cream, optional

Directions

1. In a large skillet, cook the sausage over medium heat until no longer pink, breaking it up as it cooks. Drain and set aside. Add the potatoes, onion and pepper to the skillet and cook, stirring, for 6-8 minutes or until tender. Pour the eggs in and stir, cooking until they’re set. Return the sausage to the skillet and stir everything together to evenly incorporate.
2. Spoon the filling off center onto each of the tortillas. Sprinkle cheese evenly out over the filling. Fold sides and ends over filling and roll up. Serve with Picante sauce and/or sour cream, if desired.
3. To freeze and reheat the burritos: Wrap each burrito in waxed paper and then again in foil. Freeze for up to 1 month. To use, remove the foil and the waxed paper. Place one burrito on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave on high for 2 to 2-1/4 minutes, turning the burrito over once during re-heating. Let stand for 20 seconds before eating. These also re-heat just as well in a toaster oven if a microwave isn’t an option.

Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread

This recipe bakes up into an incredibly moist bread, that lives up to its  easily thrown together name, with a yummy swirl of cinnamon tucked inside. The crumb topping? Yes, sir!! A drizzle of glaze? Oh my!!

But still, even with all that, for me, it’s still none too sweet ( I know, I know some of you are wondering if there ever could be such a thing) and therefor goes hand in hand with my morning cup of coffee. Talk about the best part of waking up! Which I will will totally be pairing with my spiffy Nikon camera lens coffee mug that the hubs surprised me with 🙂

image

Ain’t she spiffy?!

Ok, back to today’s recipe… I love quick breads. They’re easily one of my favorite things, and ways, to bake. Why, you’re probably wondering? Because just like the name implies, they’re quick and easy, there’s no proofing or yeast of any kind involved, and no portioning batter out into cupcake liners and/ or special pans. All of which can get a bit messy. Plus, they’re easy to double so you can put the extra loaf in your freezer (if it makes it that far!).

But we don’t stop there. This dense, delicious loaf is perfect for sharing. Sharing is caring, right? So make a loaf, and make another to spare. You’re sure to bring an unexpected bit of ‘sweet’ to someone’s day.

Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread

 Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread

 2 cups flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 cup sour cream
3 eggs, beaten
2 tsp vanilla extract

For the Cinnamon Swirl:
2/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon

For  Crumble Topping:
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tsp cinnamon

For Glaze:
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tbsp water

Directions

1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, and baking soda.
2. Add the oil and mix until small lumps begin to form. Add the sour cream, eggs, and vanilla. Mix JUST UNTIL batter forms (do not over mix). The batter will be lumpy, and that’s okay.
3. Mix together the 2/3 cup sugar and 1 tbsp cinnamon.
4. Pour and spread 1/3 of the batter into the prepared loaf pan (Line a 9x5x3 loaf pan with foil and lightly grease) . Sprinkle 1/2 of the cinnamon sugar mixture over top.
5. Pour and spread 1/3 of the batter over the cinnamon sugar layer. Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon sugar over top.
6. Pour and spread the remaining batter over the layer of cinnamon sugar. Set aside to prepare crumble topping.

For crumble topping:
1. Mix together the flour and sugar in a medium mixing bowl. Cut in the butter until a crumble forms (I like to use my fingers about halfway through the “cutting”).
2. Sprinkle the crumble over top of the bread batter.

Bake:
Bake at 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

For the glaze:
Use a fork to whisk together the water and the powdered sugar until thick glaze forms. Drizzle over the freshly baked bread

recipe adapted from Something Swanky

Sous Chef Sunday: Cake Batter Monkey Muffins

After almost 5 years, we’ll probably only two where he’s paid attention, the youngest son has finally grasped the concept of birthdays. Yes, you have one once a year. He’s also gotten down not just the names of the  months of the year, but there order and that there’s not a random sequence to them. Yes, your birthday is in August. Yes that’s after June and July. So naturally for the past, oh 3/4’s of a year or so, ha know since the day after his birthday last year there’s been a count down to his next big day this August. He introduces himself to people with his name, quickly followed by the fact that he’s now 5 & 3/4.

Cake Batter Monkey Muffins

Our everyday birthday cake banter has really had us all craving just that. But that’s a ways away. So I figured who needs to wait and wait and wait all the way until their special day just for a taste of birthday cake? Not us, not anymore. Not when we can have cake batter monkey muffins anytime of the year. Not to mention, what morning isn’t just a wee bit brighter with a naughty little bit of cake for breakfast? Some days the sons can have their cake, and eat it too! We’ll just save the homemade butter cream frosting for the party part.

Cake Batter Monkey Muffins

Cake Batter Monkey Muffins 2 

1 can jumbo refrigerator biscuits, NOT flaky
1 cup funfetti cake mix dry, or yellow/vanilla cake mix with some sprinkles mixed in
3 tbsp brown sugar
4 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla
Vanilla Frosting

Directions

1. Spray a muffin tin/cupcake pan generously with cooking spray.
2.  In a small pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Transfer the melted butter to a small bowl and add the vanilla. Stir them together, and set it aside.
3. Add the cake mix and brown sugar to another small bowl, and stir them together until evenly incorporated.
4. Using a pair of kitchen shears, cut each biscuit into four pieces.
5. Working with four pieces of dough at a time, dip them into the butter mixture, coating them completely. Using a fork or slotted spoon, remove them from the butter mixture (allowing any excess to drip off) and transfer them to the cake mix bowl. Coat each piece completely in the cake mixture. Place four coated pieces into each muffin tin, repeat the process until all eight tins are full.
6. Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden, and the centers appear set being careful NOT to overbake them!! Allow the cooked muffins to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before running a butter knife carefully around the edges and removing them from the pan.
7. Place a dollop of frosting on the tops of the still-warm muffins and top with sprinkles.
8. These are best served warm, but can be reheated in the microwave for about 10-20 seconds and served within one day.

recipe adapted from Chef In Training

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