Rolo Monkey Bread

“If you can lean, you can clean”

Back when I was a college freshman, working retail, I had a boss who would say that. If he caught anyone leaning against a wall or the column next to the register zoning out he would say that so that they got back to work. And if he caught you, he usually made you clean.

I feel that is my life now.

But I am catching myself and I then mentally freak the fuck out and then try to do 10 things to make up for that ‘clacking off’. I never feel like I can just sit and relax. Even if I am on FB, it’s generally to do something related to the blog account, some side hustle stuff, or the account for the dogs I am trying to figure out how I am going to build.

Or if I am on instagram, I am scrolling through and engaging with people that are niche related and I am

The trifecta of getting ‘ish done is when I am pumping, while sitting at the computer so I can write a blog post and search using a specific platform, earning me extra spending money. Extra points if I am listening to a pod cast and I remembered to plug my phone into the fast charger at the desk.

Life just never feels like it ever slows down.

And, in someways, we aren’t doing that much either. Autumn goes to gymnastics 1x a week and that’s it, but the general life maintenance makes things chaotic. From prepping clothes and bottles for the next day, laundry, walking dogs, cooking dinner and dishes, the week night quickly speeds by and before we know it, it’s time for bed and another day of madness until the weekend comes when we try to tackle bigger projects, hang with friends and family, and maybe even get in a nap.

It just feels that I need a month of no distractions and crap to get really caught up on life, with the things I need to do and just want to do.

But that’s why I am always looking for short cuts for things.

I certainly like to make monkey bread or pies or pizza by scratch, but there are times when it’s just easier to grab some biscuits or a pre-made crust or order take out.

And when you add some chocolate candy to the dough… dessert perfection!!!

I love that the Rolo candy, hidden inside the dough ball, gets all melty and gooey. The cinnamon glaze that envelopes each dough ball is perfect with that sweet caramel and chocolate filling too.

Serve this with some ice cream and you are in for a great dessert treat.

Some people might just think that monkey bread is for breakfast,but I think that you will convince them pretty quickly that it’s great for dessert as well when you serve up this sticky sweet caramel and chocolate treat!!

Rolo Monkey Bread

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 rolls of biscuit dough, 16.3 ounces each (8 biscuits per roll)
  • 32 Rolos
  • 2/3 Cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 Cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 Cup butter, melted

Process

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray a bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Cut each biscuit into 2 equal pieces.Stretch each biscuit out
  3. Combine the sugars and cinnamon in a bowl.
  4. Dip each dough ball into the melted butter, then into the sugar mixture.
  5. Place each coated dough ball into the bundt pan. Pour any remaining butter over the dough balls.
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown and the top pieces are firm.
  7. Let cool for 5 minute before inverting on a serving plate.

 

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Homemade Monkey Bread

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Happy New Year!!!!

I have some exciting news, besides my pregnancy (more on that for another day!), I have picked out the theme for my weekly foodie posts… Monkey Bread Mondays!

I am going to be focusing this year’s challenge theme on sweet and savory monkey breads, cinnamon rolls, and pull apart breads. All that deliciousness right here, every Monday.

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There is just something so irresistible about taking fresh bread out of the oven. It’s totally all about that yeasty goodness smell. And when that fresh bread is loaded up with cinnamon, sugar, butter, chocolate, and nuts or cheese, herbs, and bacon things get pretty epic quickly.

So while I am making more than just monkey bread, I am calling it Monkey Bread Mondays. You’ll just have to deal. It’s like my Taco Tuesday series, I didn’t just make tacos, I filled you up with tacos, enchiladas, sauces, rice, beans, soup, drinks, and desserts.

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To kick things off, I made a classic Monkey Bread from scratch.

I have made plenty of Monkey Breads from the rolls you get from the can, and they are dang good, but I wanted to share with you a yeasty one. Things just need to get off on the right foot to kick off the year.

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The bread takes just takes about 15 minutes to prep before the dough gets to hang out for an hour (or even over night). Then it’s a quick roll out, cutting, coating in cinnamon and sugar, then then dumping a bunch of butter all over all of that. Butter is the best.

My tips and tricks for a delicious Monkey Bread:

Get the milk at the right temperature- this is what activates the yeast so you want to wake it up gently. Not too hot, not too cold.

Plenty of bench flour (flour on your work surface) makes rolling out the dough nice and easy. Using a pizza cutter or a bench scrapper to cut the pieces out makes the process quick too.

A nice large bundt pan or tube pan is key. But an angel food cake pan will allow the melted butter you pour over the mix just seep out.

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Serve the monkey bread warm from the oven and you will have everyone will be pulling piece after piece right out of it. It will disappear in no time.

That

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Hope you stay tuned for all the fun, loaded up, over the top, delicious breads coming to ya every Monday.

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Homemade Monkey Bread

Makes 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 package (2 and 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 1 and 1/2 Cups warm milk (110F-115F, 2% or whole milk, no lower)
  • 1/3 Cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 Cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 Cup butter, melted

Process

  1. Proof the yeast in the milk until the yeast is fragrant and bubbly, this takes a few minutes.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the melted butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and eggs together. Add the milk to the bowl and mix again.
  3. Add 4 Cups of flour to the bowl and mix well. Scrape down the bowl, and add the remaining flour. Mix well to combine all the ingredients, about 4-5 minutes
  4. Remove the dough to a well greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let raise for at least 1 hour.
  5. When ready to assemble the monkey bread, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Butter a large Bundt pan or tube pan.
  7. Combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl.
  8. Roll out the dough on a well-floured, clean, level work surface. The dough should be 1/2″ thick. Cut into 1″ x 1″ pieces.
  9. Roll the pieces into the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Place a layer of pieces into the buttered pan. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Repeat with another layer of pieces, then sprinkle with more sugar. Repeat until the pieces and sugar are gone.
  10. Pour the melted butter over the pieces. Run a knife around the sides and central tube of the pan to help the butter get around the pieces.
  11. Bake for 33-37 minutes, until the top the golden brown.
  12. Run a knife around the sides and center tube. Flip out onto a large serving dish. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Arroz Con Leche (Mexican Rice Pudding)

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Can someone get addicted to Jimmy John’s?

I’m asking for a friend…

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Their #12 Beach Club is sooo soo sooo good. And their pickles are awesome too. Grab an unsweetened ice tea and I have my current favorite lunch. 

It’s becoming board line problematic.

Anyone else with this Jimmy John’s problem? What is you #?

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I can’t believe that my year of Taco Tuesday series is coming to a close. Just 2 more recipes to make! I am excited about my next venture as well as bummed as I only just scratched the surface on all the taco, burrito, enchiladas, cookies, drinks, desserts, etc I wanted to make. I had such a long list at the start of the year and had to narrow things down more and more to pick my favorites for the year to make. Just means I will need to continue to make all these goodies in the next year as well.

I did realize that I didn’t share soo many desserts so that is why this awesome Arroz Con Leche is gracing the blog today. Can’t resist a good rice pudding, esp one made with condensed milk. Bliss.

I was so excited about making this rice pudding since every recipe that I have ever tried from Marcela Valladolid has been a smashing success. I can’t wait for her next cookbook to come out this spring. In the mean time, I’ll made and remake my favorite of her recipes- her Chocolate Margarita… oh you’ve been warned!

The main thing that I changed up from the original recipe is that it called out for golden raisins, and I left them out. One… my rabbit has recently eaten the last of them so I was fresh out. Two… I like my rice pudding creamy so I don’t like the texture of raisins in it. If you like raisins in your rice pudding, and you actually have some, then add them in.

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Be sure to save some room after your taco dinner for some of this rich, creamy and delcious Arroz Con Leche. Happy Taco Tuesday!

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Arroz Con Leche (Mexican Rice Pudding)

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 7 cups water
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 (4-inch) cinnamon stick
  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1 (14-ounce) can condensed milk
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, or the caviar of 1 vanilla bean
  • 3/4 cup golden raisins (optional)
  • Ground cinnamon, for dusting

Process

  1. In a medium-size heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the water, rice, and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil, uncovered, and cook until the rice is tender, about 18-20 minutes. Strain out rice and discard the cinnamon.
  2. Return the rice to the saucepan. Stir in the evaporated milk, condensed milk, and whole milk.
  3. Continue cooking over medium-high heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook, uncovered, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick, about 20 minutes.
  4. Add the vanilla extract and golden raisins, and stir well.
  5. Serve warm or chilled. Dust the top of the pudding with ground cinnamon prior to serving.

Slightly adapted from Marcela Valladolid, via Food Network

Mexican Chocolate Cake

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We got a big update on our house and its schedule today! So exciting!

I’ve been meaning to do a big house update but it keeps getting pushed aside in the busy holiday hustle and bustle. Plus, we had some drama related to some framing in our house and I didn’t think it was appropriate to write about it we figured it out.

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That being said, the drywall is up in our house and the stucco will be getting applied this week. Ultimately all of this will work out that our house will be move in ready for the end of January/ start of February. I just can’t wait to move in!

We have already purchased our fridge, washer, dryer, our bed frame, and dining room set. Other things have been picked out like Autumn’s bed and some artwork for some walls but we have lots of shopping to do! I’m currently obsessed with curtains so I’m trying to figure them out in all the different rooms. So far, we only have the curtains for the bonus room and I am in love with them. Plus, I got them for a steal as they were sale and I have a designer discount too!

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I’m looking forward to getting it all set up and feel like home. It is going to be so incredible!

In other news, I’m addicted to this cake.

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It’s the perfect balance of chocolate and spice. The spice being the cinnamon, so it’s not spicy, but it adds an extra perfect something that is killer in this cake. The way that salt brings out flavors, the cinnamon really amps up the flavors of the chocolate.

Plus, it has an incredible frosting on top that seals the deal. Bliss.

The cake and frosting are both really easy to make so I hope you’ll whip it up asap so you can enjoy a big slice, just like me!

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Mexican Chocolate Cake

Makes

Ingredients

For the Cake

  • 1 Cup water
  • 1/2 Cup butter
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa
  • 2 cups unsifted flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour milk (buttermilk)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the Frosting

  • 1/1 Cup butter
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 1 pound (1 package) confectioners’ powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Process

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9×13 metal pan.
  2. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, combine the butter, oil, cocoa, and water. Heat until the butter is melted and everything is combined. The mixture just needs to be warm enough to melt the butter, do not make it to hot or it will scramble your eggs
  3. Combine the flour, baking soda, sugar, buttermilk, eggs, cinnamon, and vanilla in a large bowl. Add in the melted butter mixture.
  4. Pour the batter into the greased pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes.
  5. Five minutes before the cake is done, prepare the icing. In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, cocoa, and milk. Heat on medium until bubbles form around edge. Remove from heat, the add the vanilla extract and the confectioners’ sugar. Then mix in the nuts.
  6. Let cake cool before you pour the icing over the whole cake.

Cake and frosting recipes adapted from Martha Stewart

Easy Pumpkin Crumble Cake

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My mom had Autumn this past weekend and it was awesome for everyone all around.

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My mom loves to get to spend time with Autumn and Autumn loves the special time with her too. She skips naps, gets tons of stickers, does extra fun things, and tricks my mom into buying Trix cereal. And when Autumn returns I hear how I don’t do things like GG, I am doing things wrong. It’s so dang funny actually.

For me and Price it gives us a chance to have a bit of a parenting break to tackle things on our to-do lists, sleep in a bit, and reconnect. This time we went out on Friday night and on Saturday night. I don’t think that we have done that in 5 years. We just had the chance so we went all in.

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We went to Bonefish Grill on Friday night since we had a coupon and I can never resist an opportunity for some Bang Bang Shrimp.

Price had originally decided that we would go to Bern’s, a steak house in Tampa, so that we could celebrate his b-day a bit early. (His birthday is next Thursday!) But the morning he spent fishing wore him out so we lollygagged around in the afternoon and decided to stay closer to home. We went to Sunset Grill, just a 10 minute drive away, to catch the sunset. We had an incredible meal, enjoyed live music, and watched the sun slink beneath the horizon while standing on the beach.

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Just so perfect. It was a wonderful time. I really value the time that we get together, especially solo. We have been together for over 11 years so it’s always so nice to get a chance to spend time together, other than sorting clothes and loading the dishwasher.

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Anyway, it’s time for something sweet!

And it has pumpkin… all you guys can go nuts now!! ha!

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I have succumbed to making another dump cake. What is wrong with me?!?! Don’t answer that…

It’s just that they are so good. Ugh. But it’s true. They are good, and so simple.

This is not as simple as other pumpkin dump cakes since I added a crumble on top, but I swear it’s barely anymore effort and it’s so good. The crumble gives the cake a wonderful texture, and adds a great nutty, cinnamon flavor.

You know you want to get a big slice of this cake!

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Easy Pumpkin Crumble Cake

Makes 16 servings

Ingredients

For the crumble Topping

  • 1 Cup quick cooking oats
  • 1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Cup pecans, chopped
  • 3/4 cup cold butter, melted

For the cake

  • 15 ounce can of pumpkin puree
  • 12 ounce can of  evaporated milk
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 Cups sugar
  • 15.25 ounce box yellow cake mix
  • 3/4 Cup butter, cut into very thin slices

Process

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 baking pan with non-stick cookig spray
  2. To make the crumble, combine all of the ingredients together. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin, evaporated milk, pumpkin pie spice, eggs and sugar; mix well.
  4. Pour the mixture into the 9×13 pan.
  5. Sprinkle with the dry cake mix on the pumpkin layer.
  6. Evenly place the pieces of butter on top of the dry cake mix
  7. Using your fingers, sprinkle the crumble topping evenly all over the top.
  8. Bake  for 40-45 minutes or until firm.