Homemade Crescent Rolls




Crescent Roll Main

Homemade Crescent Rolls 

I grew up eating these Homemade Crescent Rolls every year on the Holidays. My mom would make them for our Christmas eve party. I remember going to bed excited for all the Christmas festivities to begin while the smell of yeast lingered in the air. Oh how they left such a lovely scent. Even now, to this day, when I smell them baking it takes me back to my childhood slopping every last bit of my mash potatoes and gravy up with one of these delicious homemade crescent rolls.

Forming the Crescents: 

I am going to show you how to shape these Homemade Crescent Rolls. I tend to be more of a visual person myself, sometimes it is just easier to see whats going on no matter how clear the directions are.

Step One: Once the dough is formed and has rose to double its size, cut the dough in half. Use your hands to form each half into a circle then use your rolling pin to continue forming the circle. You should have to circles of dough that looks like this:


Crescent - 1

Step Two: Next use a pizza cutter to make 8 wedges. You will end up with 16 wedges all together, 8 on each circle of dough. It should look like this:

Crescent - 2

Step Three: To form the crescents you want to start with the fat side and gently roll towards the thin side. Once you have rolled all your crescents place them on a slightly greased air bake pan (they work the best so the bottoms don’t burn) and give them a little bend. Cover and allow to rise for 15 minutes. They should look like this:

Crescent - 3





Aunt Marry’s Apple Dumplings




Aunt Mary's Apple Dumplings

Aunt Mary’s Apple Dumplings 

Everyone says Aunt Mary’s Apple Dumplings are the best. I would have to agree but I have a confession to make, I don’t really like apples. Or any fruit for that matter. No, I am the girl who peels off the delicious warm outer layer of the apple dumpling and devours it with a nice big scoop of vanilla ice cream. Some lucky soul next to me will get the “guts” or as you would probably call it, the apple, of my dumpling. If this were a perfect world I’d sit next to someone who didn’t like the warm flaky crust that has been drenched with a sticky butter and brown sugar sauce. They could have my apple and I could have  another serving of that warm flaky crust with sticky sauce. But this world is far from perfect and until then I will just have to deal…

In order for your apple dumpling making experience to be more enjoyable there are two things you are going to need.




  1. You are going to want a good apple corer. I didn’t have one and tried coring the apples with a knife and it was a mess, I don’t recommend doing it this way. Not to mention this was very dangerous, I cut myself twice while doing it this way. so learn from my mistake and buy an apple corer. I would actually recommend buying an all in one apple corer & peelers but I will leave a link to both.

Apple Corer & Peeler                                                    Apple Corer Only

                                                          

2. You are going to need some good baking apples. If you use a different type of apple they will not bake properly. Personally, I like using granny smith apples. They seem to bake very nice and everyone loves them.

Aunt Mary's Apple Dumplings - 2

 

Italian Salad

No Dressing needed salad




Italian Salad

Once in a blue moon, when I decide to torture myself, by cutting carbs out of my diet for a week or two this salad is a life saver. It gives me all the flavors I enjoy in a big meaty hoagie without all the carbs. I know the cheese and salami are fattening but I somehow justify it to myself since I am not layering it all in a carb infested hoagie roll. Also, the fact that this Italian Salad is seasoned to perfection so there really is no need for a fatty dressing is another one of my justifications. Of course, if you feel the need for dressing, a little oil works well. If I were left at home alone with this salad I am confident it would not see the dawn of a new day. But don’t think you have to be on a diet to make this salad. My husband enjoys this salad just as mush as I do and he has never dieted a day in his life! Every time I make this salad I have to leave a fork on the counter. If I didn’t I would have a sink full of forks from me returning to the fridge every 20 minutes to steal a bite. This recipe is also a great way to use up some of those garden tomatoes. I do not care for tomatoes but my husband loves them so I add them anyway. I was raised in a home where if you didn’t like something you picked it out. =p

If you decide to make this Italian Salad I would love to hear back from ya!

Baked Italian Hoagie Sandwiches




Italian Sub

Baked Italian Hoagie Sandwiches

Make these Baked Italian Hoagie Sandwiches for your next family game night or party. Not only are they quick and easy to make but they are also delicious. I have been making these for awhile and they are always a huge hit!

Ingredients:

1  Loaf of Italian Bread

6-7 slices of Deli ham ( Thinly sliced)

8 slices of Hard Salami ( Thinly Sliced)

8 slices of provolone cheese

3-4 Tablespoons of butter

Mayo

Shredded lettuce ( 1 small bag)

1 tomato ( sliced)

1/2 onion ( sliced)

banana peppers ( optional)

Italian Dressing or Oil

Salt & Pepper

Garlic Powder

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Slice loaf of Italian bread in half but do not slice completely through. Spread the insides of the bread with butter and put on a cookie sheet buttered sides down. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until buttered sides are slightly toasted. Leaving the bread on the cookie sheet, flip the bread so buttered sides are facing up and add as much or as little mayo as you like. Then begin to evenly load the hoagie with ham, salami, and cheese ( in that order). Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Take it out of the oven and load it up with lettuce, tomato, onion, and banana peppers. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder and drizzle with Italian dressing or oil. Cut into sandwich size pieces and serve.





Mini Brownie S’mores Bites

S'more

Mini Brownie S’mores Bites


It’s almost 80 degrees here in central Pennsylvania, this means it is perfectly acceptable to talk  S’mores or, in this case, Mini Brownie S’mores Bites. And with S’mores, comes two types of people, those who like their marshmallows burnt, and those who like them perfectly golden brown. I happen to be one of those who like my marshmallows burnt.. to a crisp.. but for the sake of this recipe, the majority rules. Which means nice little golden brown marshmallows to keep everyone happy. =)

These Mini Brownie S’more Bites are unbelievably easy to make and equally delicious. They have a soft chewy brownie crust and are topped with marshmallows that taste as if they were fresh from the campfire. And let’s not forget the slight crunch from the graham cracker and the rich burst of chocolate from the candy bar. Take these to your next picnic or get together, they will surely be a hit! I do have to set out a warning, these are highly addictive. I dare you to just eat one. I couldn’t, I had to stop myself at 6! =0

*At the bottom of this page, under the recipe, I have left a few helpful notes on making these Mini S’mores Brownie Bites. Please make sure to spray the top of your mini muffin pans with cooking spray! If you don’t do this the marshmallow may stick to the top of your pan and that would be a mess! I also want to add that I bought my mini muffin liners at Walmart and found a cuter selection over by the cake decorating supplies than by the actual cake mixes. If you try this recipe I would LOVE to hear back from you!

Click here for more mouth-watering  summer foods!15 Delicious Grill Recipes


Strawberry Crunch Pound Cake

Strawberry Pound Cake

I know I have been making a lot of cakes lately but this strawberry pound cake really takes the cake (pun intended). Due to the upcoming Easter holiday, my sister has come home from New York for the week. I am beyond thrilled! Because when my sister comes home it’s a free for all.. a free to stuff your face with all the food you want with no judgements and no talk of diets kinda all. So far we have been to the long horn for steaks and, of course, she had to one up me and get a steak AND lobster meal. Then the very next day we decided we needed to make a trip to Buffalo wild wings for a sandwich the size of our hands! And as if that meal wasn’t enough, we then decided we needed a slice of pie.. oh, and a coffee from Starbucks. I mean you can’t have pie without coffee, can you? Today she picked my son and I up for lunch at one of our favorite dinners, we did get a salad.. but I am not going to tell you everything else we got =p I am afraid that, unlike my sister, you will judge me. I mean I would probably judge me if I were you too, that’s a lot of food! But it doesn’t happen often, only a few times a year, so we take full advantage. And I am always sad to see her go. But I don’t want to think about that right now. Right now I want to focus on this lovely cake we will be indulging in for the next day or two, three if we’re lucky!

This Strawberry Crunch Cake reminds me of a strawberry scooter crunch.  It is so good! It is a moist strawberry pound cake with a cream cheese frosting and then is topped with “crunch” that is made from vanilla pudding and strawberry jello. This is the perfect summertime cake, your guests will love it!

This recipe was adapted from one of the recipes I inherited from my Nana.

Maple Pudding Pie + A Homemade Maple Pudding Recipe

 Maple Pudding Pie

Maple Pudding Pie plus + Homemade Maple Pudding Recipe 

This Maple Pudding Pie + A Homemade Maple Pudding Recipe will make the perfect addition to your easter dinner. This recipe for homemade Maple pudding was one of the handwritten recipes I inherited when my Nana passed away a few months ago. I made this pudding a few times and, although, delicious I thought it needed to be in a pie. So that’s what I did, of course. Although I did cheat a little. Since I was making a homemade pudding I decided to buy a store bought pie crust. And since I never made meringue, I had to search for a recipe for it. Here is the recipe I used MERINGUE RECIPE except I used 6 Tablespoons of sugar and 3 egg whites and I baked it at 325 for 25 minutes. If it does not get as brown as you would like it on the top then put it under the broiler for a few seconds.

Since I like to keep my writing short and sweet I am going to quickly give you a few pointers on making this homemade Maple Pudding ( Pie).

# 1 – If you are like me and do not have a double boiler, that is not a problem. You can easily make your own double boiler by placing a metal bowl on top of a dutch oven. When filling your dutch oven with water make sure that the metal bowl is not in the water but slightly above it.

#2 – As soon as you turn your water on to boil begin to prepare the rest of your ingredients. In the metal bowl that is sitting on top of your dutch oven ( Make shift double boiler) OR double boiler, add the milk and maple syrup. Then in a second bowl (smaller) add cornstarch, salt, egg yolks and 1/4 cup of milk. In a third bowl add your egg whites. I normally use 2 whisks and a fork when I do this. I use a whisk for the maple syrup and milk, a whisk for the cornstarch and egg yolk mixture, and a fork to mix the egg whites.

#3 – And this is the last thing I want to tell you but is also the MOST important. When adding the eggs to the hot milk and maple syrup mixture it is VERY important that you add them slowly and whisk briskly without stopping! If you fail to do this you will end up with bits of cooked egg in your pudding, and trust me, you don’t want that.

This is really an easy recipe if you follow my pointers. I hope you will give it a try and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. =)


Nana’s Chocolate Pound Cake

chocolate bundt cake

December was a difficult month for me to say the least. I lost a grandparent to cancer, which I talked about in my previous blog post, Orange Chiffon cake from 1948, but I also lost a job. I only had the job for a few months. I started out as part time and somehow ended up assistant manager… whoa! Although I liked the job, it wasn’t where my heart was. My heart belongs here, at home, with my baby boy ( he is now 4 =) ) and my blog. So when things started to get rough at work I saw it as a way out and took it.

It’s funny how sometimes God puts you in a situation to teach you more about yourself, isn’t it? Although I quit my job and was feeling guilty and worthless, I learned 3 very important things about myself:

#1 People are going to let you down sometimes – People are going to hurt you, it’s part of life. Sometimes people choose to hurt you on purpose and sometimes it’s just an accident. In the end, we are all people, we all make mistakes, and we all have our own struggles. So I’m slowly learning that I need to forgive and forget, let go and let God.

#2 Stick up for yourself, you’re worth it! –  I have learned that I need to stick up for myself, I’m worth it. This is something that I have struggled with my entire life. I feel like God has big plans for me and learning to stick up for myself is a must for the next door to open. I will tell you this much if that job was a test from God, to see if I would stick up for myself, I failed. I got a big F for failure on that one. But the good news is that we serve a God of second chances, a forgiving God. So I guess if God can forgive me then I need to forgive myself  and make sure I am prepared to pass the next text.

#3 Do what makes YOU happy – After losing my job, I had a long talk with my mom about everything. I told her how I felt like a failure and that my blog was not near as good as other ones I have seen. She said to me ” Emily, do you like to blog?” I said “Yes! I love it!” “so do it!” she said. Then she said to me ” Do what makes you happy! You don’t have to be good at it as long as it makes YOU happy. You will become good over time.” That kinda stuck with me. And it is so true. I have seen a huge improvement in my blog from when I first started till now. So I guess that means I am slowly starting to get good at it?? 😉

well, you know what they say. You live, you learn, and you eat cake… lots of cake. So enough with the life lessons and lets get to this cake recipe. This is another recipe of Nana’s. Last week was Orange Chiffon Cake from 1948 and this week is Chocolate Pound cake. This was one of my Nana’s specialties and also my sister and I’s favorite.

Chocolate Pound Cake

3 sticks butter (softened)

3 cups of sugar

3 Cups of Flour ( sifted)

5 heaping Tablespoons of cocoa (sifted twice)

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 Cup Milk

2 teaspoons vanilla

5 eggs

10X sugar to dust cake with ( optional)

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees In a mixing bowl

In a mixing bowl, add sifted flour and cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Whisk together and set aside. Using a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar. While stand mixer is still running add one egg at a time. Once eggs are mixed in slowly add mixing bowl of dry ingredients alternately with milk; add vanilla. Bake in a greased and lined bundt cake pan or angel food cake pan at 325 for 1 hour and 15 minutes. When cake is finished baking it will look slightly moist on the top, like it should continue baking for another 5-10 minutes, you want it to look like this. Allow cake to cool. Go around the edges of the cake with a butter knife and turn cake out on a plate, top side up if using an angel food cake pan. Dust cake with 10X sugar

* Instead of lining the pan you could grease the pan and dust it with cocoa, that’s how I did it.


Orange Chiffon Cake ~ Recipe from 1948

orange chiffon final

Orange Chiffon Cake ~ Recipe from 1948

I lost my Nana 3 weeks ago. After a 4 year battle with cancer, cancer finally won. When you know where you are going, death doesn’t have to be a sad or scary thing but rather a celebration. I use the word celebration because I know my Nana is no longer suffering. In fact, I bet she is up in heaven horseback riding this very moment… she loved horses. Cancer may have taken her flesh  but it couldn’t take her soul. No. that belonged to Jesus. I fully believe that she took her last breath here on earth and her very next breath in heaven, in the presence of our Saviour.

My Pap has been going through some of Nana’s things and came across her cookbooks that she had gathered over the years. Along with the cookbooks came a manilla envelope filled with old, old, hand written recipes. He passed them all to me. I am so honored. So I will be cooking my way through them, one by one, for the next year and sharing them with you all.

The first recipe that really caught my eye was a recipe for orange chiffon cake. The index card that it was written on is so old and discoloured that I couldn’t help but to make this recipe first. Oh, and did I mention the date on the card? 1948!! It’s funny how a little slip of paper can have such huge history behind it. My sweet Aunt Kat (Nana’s sister) told me that this cake was a recipe that my great, great, grandma used to make. Aunt Kat also told me that Gladys ( My great, great grandma) made this cake for the actor Cliff Robertson and he ate 5 pieces!! I wasn’t sure who cliff Roberston was so I had to look him up, but I was sure that it wouldn’t be difficult to eat 5 pieces of this cake. It is seriously amazing! It is kind of a cross between an angel food cake and a bundt cake. It has a vibrant orange flavor and a light and fluffy texture. And to ice the cake, a thick glaze that is entangled with orange zest.

Orange Chiffon Final

I made this cake a few times already. I am going to explain to you what I have found to be the easiest way to make it. The first thing I did was split the ingredient list into 3 groups, they are as follows: Dry ingredients, wet ingredients, and egg whites.

1.) First I took the dry ingredient group and mixed them together in a bowl.

Group 1: Dry Ingredients 

2 1/4 Cup flour

1 1/2 Cup sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2.) Next, in a separate bowl, I added all the wet ingredients

Group 2: Wet Ingredients 

3 oranges ( zest and juice all 3. Make sure there are no seeds in the juice!)

1/2 Cup oil

7 egg yolks ( put the whites in a separate bowl, you will be using them)

3/4 cup of water or juice ( Now, let me explain this to you. What you want to do first is zest all 3 oranges and set the zest aside. Next juice the oranges. If you can get 3/4 of a cup from the oranges that’s great, use it! But if not and you fall just under 3/4 cup of juice then fill your measuring cup the rest of the way up with water. That’s how I usually have to do it.)

2 teaspoons vanilla

Now combine the wet and dry ingredients. Mix well with a whisk.

3.) In a third bowl ( I use my kitchen aid mixer) add the egg whites 

Group 3: egg whites 

7 egg whites

1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter

Beat egg whites and cream of tarter on high for 4 minutes, until stiff and fluffy.

gently fold in the zest from all three oranges, which is about 2 teaspoons of zest.

Gently fold the egg white mixture in with the batter.

How to bake it:

Pour into a greased angel food cake pan or chiffon pan. Take the middle oven rack out, and place the other oven rack 2 up from the bottom. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and bake for 55 minutes. Let cool for 10-15 minutes. Gently take a knife around the cake, then turn out onto a tea cloth. Let cake finish cooling. Once the cake is completely cool, ice the cake.


Peanut Butter & Hazelnut Cookies

peanut Butter Hazelnut cookies Final

Ingredients:

1- Cup butter

1/4- Cup shortening ( I use crisco)

3/4- Cup Peanut Butter

1/2- Cup Hazelnut spread ( Nutella)

3/4- Cup Brown Sugar

2- eggs

1- teaspoon vanilla

1- Cup sugar

1- teaspoon baking soda

1- teaspoon salt

3- Cups Flour

1- Cup of sugar for rolling

For the Icing :

1- bag of semi sweet chocolate chips ( 2 cups)

4- Tablespoons Hazelnut spread ( Nutella)

1/2- Cup hazelnuts ( Crushed)


Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

In a medium sized mixing bowl add the first 10 ingredients ( everything except the flour).  Mix well with a wooden spoon. Add in all 3 cups of flour and mix till it looks like cookie dough. ( I am not one to separate the wet and dry ingredients so, when making cookies, I always add the flour last.) Chill cookie dough for about 20 minutes. Roll cookie dough into balls using half tablespoons. Roll into sugar and place cookies on a GREASED cookie sheet. Make the cute little crisscross on the cookies with a fork. Bake for 7-10 minutes or until cookies are cooked all the way (Mine were perfect at 8 minutes). Let cookies cool completely.

Icing Directions:

Pour chocolate chips and 1 cap full of vegetable oil into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring the chocolate chips after every 30 seconds. When the chocolate chips are almost completely melted add 4 tablespoons of hazelnut spread ( Nutella) and heat for an additional 30 seconds. Stir well. Place about 1/2 teaspoon of chocolate onto each cookie and smooth with a spoon, top with crushed hazelnuts. Cool in the refrigerator until chocolate hardens. Store in a cool place.

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