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!
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Layered Taco Bake

Layered Taco Bake

We are almost half way through the week. yay!!!!!

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I am really trying to turn my attitude around and think positively when things are spinning around me. I am trying to live my life with a ‘half full’ attitude. I think it has been helping me lately.

I feel that you can’t beat a good attitude. At least it beats screaming at people or punching them. Ha! I still road rage at people, but I blast my music and sing/yell along to it instead of flipping people off. So progress, no?

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So I am thinking positively about extra overtime money, compared to having to work late. Or that I am getting extra rest and sleep instead of feeling down about being sick.Or when something goes wrong I put on some inappropriate music (don’t click that link if you can’t handle swearing) to amp myself up to. I think that helps. At least I enjoy dancing around to it.

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But the biggest most awesome thing going on right now… Gilmore Girls will be coming to Netlfix starting on July 1st. So if I stop blogging, it means I have fallen down the Gilrmore Girls rabbit hole. oh, I can’t wait. ( I apologize in advance to my husband. ha!!!)

My husband says I talk ‘Gilmore Girls’ fast. I take that as a compliment. It doesn’t matter that sometimes he can’t understand the fact that words come out of my mouth at the speed of light.

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Anyway, I made this Layered Taco Bake recently and it was a HUGE hit at home. Like ‘don’t judge me, I’m taking seconds’ hit.

I just feel that you can’t beat a casserole, especially one that is loaded up with yummy taco ingredients.

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Besides all the goodies I incorporated into the casserole, I would suggest that you add in things like diced red onion that you would cook along with the ground beef. Or layer in sliced black olives. I despise them but go for it if you like it!

Be sure to dance around your kitchen while you make this. It will help lift up your mood and I’m sure will help make this taste extra delicious. #science

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Layered Taco Bake

Makes 6-8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef ( I used 85%/15%)
  • 1 Tablespoon Taco Seasoning
  • 1 Cup water
  • 2 Cups corn kernels (2-3 ears)
  • 19.75 ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed (15 ounce can would be fine too)
  • 1 Cup sour cream
  • 16 ounce jar of salsa
  • 7 ounce can of diced green chilies
  • 3 Cups Mexican blend of shredded cheese
  • 12 flour tortillas, halved

Process

  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Over medium heat, brown the ground beef in a large skillet. Break up the meat while it browns. Add the seasoning and water, mix well. Mix in the corn and the beans. Turn off the heat.
  3. While the meat is browning, combine the sour cream and salsa. Set aside.
  4. In an 9×13 pan layer the tortilla pieces to cover the bottom of the pan. ( I used 9 pieces)
  5. Then spread 1/2 of the sour cream and salsa mixture on the tortillas, then evenly add 1/3 of the beef mixture,  1/3 of the chilies, and then 1/3 of the cheese.
  6. Add more tortillas on, I only used 7 pieces for this layer) then repeat with the sour cream and salsa mixture, beef, chilies, and cheese. Then finish with the remaining tortillas, sour cream and salsa mixture, beef, chilies, and cheese.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
  8. Let sit for 10 minutes prior to cutting and serving.

 

New Potato & Radish Salad in a Creamy Truffle Oil Dressing- SRC

New Potato & Radish Salad w Truffle Oil Dressing

Holy smokes guys, I bought a new bathing suit!!

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I am so freaking ready for summer. It hurts me so much that it’s not yet warm. I’m not complaining that it’s not warm enough for wearing a bathing suit in April in New England, I’m not delusional! I’m complaining that it’s barely out of the 50’s during the days. There were flurries coming down just the other morning. Insanity.

I’m happiest in the summer in flip flops soaking up the sun. So when I was out shopping this weekend and saw that bathing suits were on sale at Old Navy. Sign me up!! I grabbed this floral, ruched one-piece for just under $20. Such a win. Such a goof!

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Anyway, I have a great summer time recipe for you guys… a kick ass potato salad.

Now, normally I am a macaroni salad person. Between the two, I will pretty much always pick macaroni salad, and I could eat my favorite classic macaroni salad for B.L.D in the summer. But this recipe will now be a constant BBQ favorite in our house.

For this month’s Secret Recipe Club I had Karen’s blog, Lavender and Lovage. Karen lives across the pond. Yep, she lives in England. Oh, and also France. I am so envious. I have only been to Amsterdam and Greece, I am just dying to get to England and France. Such beautiful places. No wonder Karen is so inspired to create such wonderful recipes.

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Going through Karen’s recipe archive was so much fun. And it was quite tough to pick out a recipe to make. So tough! I picked out so many recipes to review with Price, like her Steamed Asian Fish ParcelsStrawberry Clafoutis, Fresh Blueberry Scones. I was really close to making her Whole Roasted Cauliflower in a Spicy Mexican Sauce, but we had just had a lot of cauliflower just before I planned on making my recipe. Ultimately, I decided to make Karen’s New Potato & Radish Salad in a Creamy Truffle Oil Dressing. It just sounded so good with the truffle oil. I am a sucker for truffle oil. It’s just so luscious to me.

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As we are currently doing Whole30 I had to make an alteration to the original recipe, but it was a simple one. I just swapped out the crème fraiche with my homemade Whole30 complaint mayonnaise. I thought the end result was awesome considering the change up, but I am looking forward to trying it with crème fraiche next time.

I am always so thankful for participating in Secret Recipe Club because it gets me to check out other great blogs and their awesome recipes. I’ve been doing SRC for over 3 years and I can say that this is one of my top 5 recipes! That’s saying a lot!!

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Next time you whip up some potato salad skip the pickles and hard boiled eggs and go for the radishes and truffle oil. Step up your game. Your taste buds will thank you.

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New Potato & Radish Salad in a Creamy Truffle Oil Dressing

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound new potatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 4 ounce radishes
  • small bunch of chives, about 15 to 20 stems
  • 1 tablespoon white truffle oil
  • 2 tablespoons crème fraiche
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Process

  1. In a large pot, cover the new potatoes with water. Add the salt and bring to a boil. Boil until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Cut the potatoes into bites sized pieces. Set aside in a mixing bowl.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking, thinly slice the radishes. Finely chop the chives. Combine and set aside.
  3. Mix together the truffle oil, crème fraiche, and the white wine vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. While the potatoes are still warm, gently mix the dressing into the potatoes.
  5. Once combined, add the sliced radishes and chives.
  6. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish a a bit more chives.

Adapted from Lavender and Lovage

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Check out all the other great Secret Recipe Club posts this month!

And be sure to check out my 3 years of Secret Recipe Club posts!!!!

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Cranberry Apple Pie

Cranberry Apple Pie

I’m having a bit of a #FlashbackFriday post.

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I’ve never participated in that or #ThrowbackThursday on Instagram or Facebook but I was trying to think of a pie to do and I thought back to a pie I had done before but felt could use a bit of attention. It needed some new pictures. It could use some tweaking to take it to the next level. It just needed some cuddling and love… actually that was the dog last night. aww

Anyway, I picked my Cranberry Apple Pie to make again since it was so good when I made it years ago and I’ve learned so much about making pies this past year that I could take that baby to the next level.

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And I did!!!! I really did!

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I made a homemade crust. A crust with butter and shortening. All butter crusts are good but this was extra tender and flaky. I’m gonna say it was the shortening. Get it. It’s good.

I increased the amount of the filling. I believe in really full pies.

Then I adjusted the cooking temperature and time to get the thicker, home-made crust just right. Plus, the extra filling.

To finish it off I did an egg wash over the whole top and generously coated it with sugar. That has been my favorite way of finishing off pies lately. It makes it sweet, crunchy, and extra pretty.

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So ta-da! Here is the new pie in all it’s pie glory.

It’s sweet and tart. It’s apple-y and cranberry-y. It’s tender and flake. It’s just such a dang good pie.

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I hope that everyone has a super wonderful weekend. I think that this pie will help you out so be sure to make it since you are guaranteed to have a super wonderful weekend then.

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Cranberry Apple Pie

Makes 1 9″ pie

Ingredients

For the pie crust

  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) very cold unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup very cold vegetable shortening
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons (about 1/2 cup) ice water

For the pie

  • 7-8 apples, to yield about 5 cups when sliced
  • 8 oz (approximately 3/4 a bag) of fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 Cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • zest 1 orange
  • 2 Tablespoons of fresh orange juice
  • 1 Tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 3-4 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar

Process

  1. To make the crust, cut the butter and shortening into small pieces. Return it to the refrigerator while you prepare the flour mixture.
  2. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a dough blade and pulse a few times to mix.
  3. Add the butter and shortening. Pulse until the butter is the size of peas and the mixture is crumbly While the machine is running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse the machine until the dough begins to pull away from the sides. Dump out on a floured surface. Quickly kneed together, divide into equal sized balls. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. To make the pie, preheat oven to 425. Place your pie plate on a rimmed cookie sheet.
  5. Peel, core, and slice the apples. Rinse the cranberries, pick through them discarding the stems and any bruised berries. You should yield about 8 oz when you are done.
  6. In a large bowl combine the apples, cranberries, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, orange zest and juice, and vanilla extract. Mix well. Add enough cornstarch to thicken any juices at the bottom of the bowl.
  7. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Roll each ball on the floured surface again. Form a circular disk that is large enough to fit into the 9″ pie plate with some overhanging crust. While you are rolling it out, roll from the center to the edge, turning and flouring the dough to make sure it doesn’t stick to the board. Repeat with the top crust. Set aside.
  8. Add the filling and cover with the top crust. Fold over the edge of the top crust under the edge of the bottom crust and pinch together. Cut 4 slits into the top of the crust.
  9. Beat together the egg and water. Brush the top with the egg wash and generously sprinkle sugar on top.
  10. Bake for 75-85 minutes If the crust starts to darken add tinfoil around crust or slip on a crust shield.
  11. Let pie cool 15 minutes before serving.

Pie Crust from Ina Garten, Pie from I am a Honey Bee

Fusilli with Fresh Corn and Chicken in a Garlic Cream Sauce- SRC

Fusilli with Fresh Corn and Chicken in a Garlic Cream Sauce

Holy cow.

You guys this recipe knocked my socks off.

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And then the dog ate them. Just kidding! He only eats the baby’s socks. And thankfully it’s summer so we’re going barefoot now. woohoo!

This recipe is simple but it hits all the right notes.

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Since getting this month’s Secret Recipe Club assignment I’ve made this twice. Making a recipe again when I don’t have to is big. Especially in such a short period of time! But when you find something you love you go with it. And I loved Mary Kay’s blog called Homemade Cravings. Seriously, I had some cravings after I checked out her blog.

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Check these out…  Mini Layer Nacho BitesPanera Autumn Squash SoupCream Cheese and Caramel Frost Apple Cupcakes.  See, she has great taste! Check out her Pinterest account too. She pins some great dishes as well. yum!

Since I made this twice I made some alterations the second time around. Nothing too drastic but just a few things to make it my own. I increased the amount of chicken to the recipe to add more protein and increase the amount of servings this pasta dish made. (hello leftovers!) As well, I increased the amount of sauce that is made since I loved it the first time I made it so I had to have more!

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It’s quick to get all of this together but my tip to you is how to get the kernels off the corn cobs easily and neatly. Take a big pan and put an upside down bowl in the middle of it. That is going to be your pedestal where you hold up your corn, bottom side down. Then you run your knife down the side of the corn, allowing the kernels to fall off into the pan.

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Be sure to use all the great fresh corn you have at your finger tips this summer when you are making this great pasta dish. Yum! I bet this would also be great with some fresh zucchini as well.

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Fusilli with Fresh Corn and Chicken in a Garlic Cream Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Fusilli (Rontini works well too)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2  pounds chicken, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 ears of fresh corn on the cob, kernels cut off
  • 3/4 Cup half and half
  • 1/2 Cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon parsley, minced
  • Salt and Pepper

Process

  1. Cook the fusilli according to instructions on package. Reserve 1 Cup of the pasta water.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat, add the chicken pieces. Brown the chicken and then move to the outer edges of the skillet.
  3. Add the garlic to the center of the skillet and saute for a minute.
  4.  Add the corn kernels to the skillet. Mix everything together and cook for another 4-5 minutes until tender, stirring every 30 seconds or so.
  5. Add the cup of pasta water, half and half, and the cheese. Allow to come to a low boil.
  6. Remove from heat and toss with the drained fusilli until all pasta is evenly coated. Toss with the minced parsley.

Adapted from Homemade Cravings

 

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Secret Recipe Club

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As well, check out my 2 years of Secret Recipe Club posts!!!!

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