Sticky Bun Monkey Bread

It’s Babymoon time!!!!

We are going away for a quick Babymoon this weekend. I am so excited!!

Last time, we took a trip to the Florida to visit The Keys for a long weekend but since we are here in Florida now, we are just staying local. I’d love to take another trip to The Keys but I didn’t feel like flying, err spending money on flights, really.

Price found a local resort and spa for us to visit. The idea of a prenatal massage and bumming it by the pool without a toddler asking you to go in and out and in and out again is pure bliss.

Generally, I feel good at 32 weeks but I am so blah and sore all over so I just need my slightly ever present charlie horses to be worked out. (Seriously, they are the worst things ever to wake up to in the middle of the night!!!) Thankfully, Price snagged the last one available for the day and I picked up the required doctor’s note so I am just counting down the minutes until the appointment.

The worst part is that I keep reading things included in our package and it just makes me want to stay forever. Well, more specifically, go back AFTER the baby is born for the unlimited drinks. Hello, unlimited mimosas at brunch!

If you aren’t going away this weekend, I insist you make this Sticky Bun Monkey Bread. It’s stupid good. And goes great with mimosas too. (Truth be told, everything goes with mimosas. It’s a fact!)

 

But seriously, this Sticky Bun Monkey Bread is a real crowd pleaser. It tastes just like a sticky bun with the sticky caramel syrup that you drizzle all over the cinnamon and sugar coated biscuit pieces.

I used refrigerated canned biscuits to make this process easier, but you can follow my recipe for Homemade Monkey Bread for the dough, and then add the nuts and caramel sauce to it.

The caramel is everything. Whatever you do, don’t just dip a finger in there to try it. Nor is it a good idea to immediately grab a piece of monkey bread right after you flip it out on to the serving platter. No, I def didn’t try that and burn the crap out of my fingers and then my mouth as the quickest thing I could think of was ‘ahh my fingers!’ so shoving it in my mouth was the next logical thing to do. Nope…

Let’s fast-forward to the weekend, shall we?

I’ll be ready for my prenatal massage and you will be ready to enjoy this Sticky Bun Monkey Bread. And a few mimosas in my honor.

Sticky Bun Monkey Bread

Makes 16 servings

Ingredients

  • 3/4 Cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3 cans refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (10 biscuits per can)
  • 4 ounces of chopped pecans
  • 3/4 Cup butter
  • 1 Cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 Cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Process

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Set aside.
  3. Spray a tube pan with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle 1/3 of the nuts in the bottom on the tub pan.
  4. Cut the biscuits in 4 equal pieces. Roll them in the cinnamon and sugar mixture
  5. Add half of the coated biscuit pieces into the tube pan. Sprinkle with 1/3 more nuts. Add the rest of the coated biscuit pieces and then the remaining chopped nuts.
  6. In a small saucepan, combine the butter and brown sugar. Melt together over medium- high heat. Mix in the cream and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Bring to a boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and mix in the vanilla extract.
  7. Evenly pour the caramel mixture over the coated biscuits.
  8. Bake for 35-45 minutes.
  9. Flip over onto a serving dish. Enjoy!
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Peanut Butter and Jelly Cinnamon Rolls

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This weekend was all sorts of perfect.

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My brother and his family came in on Friday night for vacation. It’s been a year+ since we have seen each other so it was great getting to hang out and catch up. Best of all was the girls playing really well together, like they had just seen each other the weekend before. And the age different (3 & 6) even worked out well.

On Saturday we went Strawberry picking. So fun with the girls. And delicious. I made biscuits for shortcake for dessert that night. It was great with the grilled veggies, burgers, and hot dogs that we enjoyed for dinner. So yummy.

Besides that they also had a blast putting on tons of make up from my big makeup kit. Shoot, as long as you are not fighting, yelling, or destroying something… do whatever. They were so proud of themselves as well. But, let’s be real, they need to work on their eye liner application skills. ha!

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And then Sunday was all about hanging by the pool. We had a leisurely morning enjoying breakfast before we headed out to the pool. The weather was great and the pool was warm so we had a blast lounging around and playing with the girls in the pool. Autumn was so worn out that she napped on me for 2.5 hours as we sat by the pool. I even napped. The best kind of day ever.

More family came over later on and we made homemade pizza (of course the girls wanted boxed mac and cheese…). The night wrapped up with baths and girls cuddled up to me while I read to them.

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I am loving this year’s weekly recipe theme. I love working with dough and perfuming our house with cinnamon and sugar is just so fun. Plus, it’s fun as hell to come up with different flavors and combinations for the cinnamon rolls, monkey breads, and pull apart breads. And since we can’t possibly eat them all, I love getting to share with with our neighbors when they are fresh out of the oven.

Rock on Monkey Bread Mondays!

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If you love peanut butter then you will looooooove these cinnamon rolls. There is just the right amount of peanut butter in them where you can taste it, and smell it, but it’s balanced out so nicely with the typical cinnamon and sugar in cinnamon rolls. Plus, the jam glaze on top rocks.

I always make PBJ’s with strawberry jelly so it just felt right to use that for the glaze, but if you like grape or something else then just give that a try. I bet a blueberry jam would be awesome on it too. No matter what, you can’t go wrong.

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Peanut Butter and Jelly Cinnamon Rolls

Makes 12 large cinnamon rolls

Ingredients

For the Rolls

  • 1 Cup warm milk (100-110 degrees)
  • 1 packet yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted (but not hot!)
  • 4 Cups flour
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 Cup melted butter
  • 1/3 Cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 Cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon

For the glaze

  • 1/2 Cup strawberry preserves
  • 1 Tablespoons orange juice

Process

  1. Add the yeast to the warm milk. Let rest for 5 minutes to activate the yeast.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs, then slowly mix in the warm milk mixture. Add the butter and just mix to combine.
  3. Add in the flour, sugar, and salt. Using a hook attachment, work the dough until combined.
  4. On a well floured work surface, roll the dough into an even ball. Add the dough to a large oiled bowl. Rotate to cover the dough with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let double in size, at least 1 hour.
  5. While the dough is rising, cut the bacon into very small pieces and cook. Drain well and set aside.
  6. Once the dough is ready, preheat your oven to 350 F and grease 1 9x 13 baking pan.
  7. On a well floured work surface, roll the dough out so it is approximately 14″ x 24″.
  8. Mix the peanut butter into the melt butter and then evenly spread out on the dough.
  9. Then sprinkle with the cinnamon and brown sugar. Roll towards you and then cut into 12 evenly sized rolls. Arrange in the baking pan.
  10. Bake for 24-26 minutes or until golden brown.
  11. While the rolls are baking, warm the strawberry preserves and orange juice together; mix well. Drizzle all over the baked cinnamon rolls. Enjoy!

Browned Butter Buttermilk Banana Pancakes

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Did you ever watch Buffy The Vampire Slayer?

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I did when it was on the air and I am rewatching it now and I am still in love with it all. Plus, Angel too. It was great then and still great now. (And I watch Bones too since David Boreanaz ages like a fine wine…)

Not only am I rewatching them, I am watching them in chronological order, per “The Watcher’s Council“, of course. Why does that matter? Well, there was a lot of cross over between Buffy and its spin-off show Angel. So certain episodes should be watched in a certain order, for best enjoyment.

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I highly suggest that you rewatch the series or give it a start if you haven’t watched it before. At the very least the fashion and use of flip phones are highly amusing.

Maybe you can make a big stack of these Browned Butter Buttermilk Banana Pancakes and cozy up to Hulu to binge watch on some Buffy and Angel. I highly suggest it.

Move aside popcorn, pancakes are better!

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Brown butter, bananas, and pancakes… they solve all problems.

Just like David Boreanaz’s abs.

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Browned Butter Buttermilk Banana Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1/4 Cup butter, plus butter for cooking the pancakes
  • 1 large very ripe banana (if your bananas are small then use 2)
  • 1/4 Cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Cups buttermilk
  • 2 1/2 Cups flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Serve with slices of banana and maple syrup

Process

  1. Brown the butter following these instructions. Let cool, to prevent cooking the eggs.
  2. In a large bowl, or in a bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the banana, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla extract together.
  3. Add the butter and buttermilk and mix well.
  4. Gently fold in the remaining ingredients. The batter should be incorporated together well but still a bit lumpy.
  5. In a skillet over medium low heat, melt butter. Add a ladle (approx 1/4 Cup) of batter to the skillet. Cook gently until a generous amount of bubbles appear, then flip. Cook another few minutes until done. Serve with sliced bananas and maple syrup.

Inspired by Be Mindful, Be Human

 

Cheesy, Bacon, Tomato, and Spinach Strata

Cheesy, Bacon, Tomato, and Spinach Strata

I can’t wait for Halloween!!!!!

I picked up a mermaid costume at Target this past weekend for our trick-or-treating. I even grabbed a red wing so when I put it on Autumn called me “Mommy Ariel” over and over again. My life is complete now.

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Autumn is going to go as Doc McStuffins. She is super excited about it. We are all ready with her costume and her Stuffy.

She doesn’t really understand what Halloween is yet but she heard that candy is involved so she excited, even with the decorations in the neighbors’ yards that scare her a bit.

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And I’m excited to share with you this flavor packed strata.

Do you know what a strata is?

It’s a breakfast or brunch casserole that is made with bread, eggs, cheese, meat, and veggies. There are so many variations that the possibilities are nearly endless.

I put in cheddar, bacon, tomatoes, and fresh spinach. I just love the sharpness from the cheese, the sweetness from the burst tomatoes, and the fresh flavor from the spinach.

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Guess what guys, if you can remember the numbers 2 and 8 you can make this awesome breakfast! Yes!

Everything is in the quantity of 2 or 8… 2 Cups, 8 ounces, etc. It’s so simple!

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Yes, I know the spinach on top looks a bit meh, but it’s still delish. If you want to avoid that then mix together everything but the spinach, then layer half the moistened bread mixture to the dish, add the cooked spinach, and then top off with the rest of the bread mixtures. Problem solved.

 

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Get ready for a great breakfast!

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Cheesy, Bacon, Tomato, and Spinach Strata

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces of french bread
  • 8 ounces of thick cut bacon, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 Cups whole milk
  • 2 Cups grape tomatoes
  • 8 ounces fresh spinach
  • 2 Cups freshly grated cheddar cheese, I suggest Kerrygold’s Reserve Cheddar
  • 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper

Process

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of a casserole dish, set aside.
  2. Cut the bread into 1/2″ Cubes. Set aside in a very large bowl.
  3. Over medium heat, cook the bacon in a skillet. Stir occasionally until bacon is crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate. Leave 1 Tablespoon of fat in the skillet.
  4. Add the grape tomatoes to the skillet. Cook until just bursting.
  5. Add 1/2 the spinach, cook until wilted. Add the rest of the spinach and cook until wilted. Set aside to cool a bit.
  6. Beat together the eggs and milk. Add the salt and pepper.
  7. Add the bacon, tomato, and spinach to the bread, mix well. Add the cheese and egg mixture, mix well making sure all the bread is
  8. Transfer the mixture into the casserole dish. Cover and refrigerate for up to 12 hours. Remove from the refrigerator for at least 45 minutes prior to baking to come up to room temperature (this helps with even cooking).
  9. Bake uncovered until puffed, golden brown, and cooked through, about 45-50 minutes. Let stand at least 5 minutes before serving.

 

Butter Poached Lobster Eggs Benedict- State Street Provisions

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You’ve just taken a sip of your mimosa, when your plate arrives. It’s placed in front of you and you take it all in. The luscious yellow river of Hollandaise over the dome of poached eggs that are sitting on top of crisp Canadian Bacon and crunchy, buttery English Muffin halves. But the real beauty is when you take your fork, turn it on its side, and gently press it into one of those poached eggs, making the sunshine yellow yolk pour out. Then you cut a piece and take a bite.

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That is brunch for me. And that is pure bliss.

As someone who carefully ‘watches’ what she eats to maintain her weight, I make sure I live by the 80/20 rule so I still have some fun. I’m generally stricter with myself during the week so I can have fun on the weekends. I love brunch, and eggs benedict, more specifically, so I generally let myself really splurge while I am out.

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While recently visiting the brand spanking new State Street Provisions, located right along the Greenway by the aquarium, with a friend we let ourselves have a lot of delicious fun with their new menu.

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Now, I’m normally like Joey from Friends, and I don’t like to share food, but everything looked so good so my friend and I split everything since we couldn’t decide what to get. It actually worked out perfectly!!

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I typically order Eggs Benedict when getting breakfast or brunch, but when I read the brunch menu from State Street Provisions, I was really conflicted since I wanted the Apricot-Mascarpone Stuffed French Toast ($12). I loved french toast, but the stuffed french toast sounded extra incredible.

But the Butter Poached Lobster Benny ($19) sounded just as incredible. We both wanted to try it. I mean, how can you pass that up?!?! Buttery English Muffin topped with butter poached chunks of lobster, and poached eggs that are topped off with a Tarragon-Lemon Hollandaise.

 

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So we ‘settled’ on ordering both the french toast and the eggs benedict to share. Such a tough situation!

We also, decided on getting a side of sausage ($3) and giving the biscuit ($3) a try too.

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First our drinks arrived. My friend ordered the Dejeuener ($10), made with Aperol, Grapefruit, St. Germain, which she loved from the color to the taste. And my Aperol Spritz ($11) was so refreshing with its Aperol, Prosecco, and House-Made Soda.

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Both were so enjoyable and just so pretty! Such beautiful colors!

And then the real stars of the show arrived!

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The Apricot-Mascarpone Stuffed French Toast was a large plate of 4 thick stuffed french toast triangles. The pieces were arranged on the plate sitting in shallow pool of Maple-Molasses Syrup and topped off with Candied Pecans. Typically, the french toast is served with Candied Hazelnuts but substituted them for Candied Pecans when I visited, and I didn’t mind the substitution. I really enjoyed the pecan flavor and the texture of it.

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This is a very generous serving of French Toast. You would need some stretchy pants to take on this baby. But every bite would be worth it! We had some leftovers and I brought my doggie bag back to my husband and he liked it too (even cold! h.a!)

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One of the nicest things about the new State Street Provisions is the general ambiance of the space from leather banquets, rich woods, soft marbled stone, and the coolest lights.

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My oh my, this Eggs Benedict. If you like Eggs Benedict then you need to order this Butter Poached Lobster Eggs Benedict. I insist upon it.

The buttery English Muffin made for a perfect bed for the large chunks of butter poached lobster. The pieces were large but still bite sized. While the lobster was poached in butter, it was not overdone. It was not dripping in butter, which I honestly was afraid of, like it would be overdone to prove it was butter poached.

The home fries were cooked perfectly with a soft, get firm potato that had a nice, crisp exterior. They were seasoned well with a bit of a spicy kick to them. They did a great job of scooping up the creamy Hollandaise Sauce. The pale yellow sauce was buttery and rich without being overpowering. Every bite felt like a special occasion.

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My one comment about the dish was that the eggs were under-cooked, for my preference, with one egg being very undercooked. I am super picky about eggs, especially poached eggs. But don’t get me wrong, I completely understand how difficult it can be to make perfectly cooked poached eggs (no, I’ve never thrown a pot of water in the sink in disgust after my 4th failed poached egg. No, never…) But I am picky so it was my one comment about the otherwise perfect dish.

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Our ‘impulse buys’ were just as good. The biscuit was incredible. It wasn’t very flaky, but it has such a great soft texture with a nice chew. The accompanying butter and jam were paired perfectly. The butter was soft and easy to spread on the warm biscuit. And then the homemade raspberry jam was luscious and perfectly sweet.

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The brunch really made the weekend. It gave me the opportunity to relax, enjoy spending some quality time with a friend, drink some great drinks, and eat some amazing food.

Besides enjoying

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State Street Provisions recently opened and I think that with what fantastic brunches like this they will be really successful! I’m really hoping to make it back before I move for another brunch or to check out their lunch or dinner.

Rating

English Muffin– 20/20 pts

Butter Poached Lobster– 20/20 pts

Poached Egg– 20/25 pts

Hollandaise- 25/25 pts

Homefries– 10/10 pts

Total: 95/100 pts

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State Street Provisions

255 State Street

Boston, MA 02109

617.863.8363

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While I received this complimentary brunch in exchange for a review, all opinions expressed are my own.

Thanks for visiting. Please leave me a comment to provide some feedback. I appreciate all the comments I receive.