Crestview, Fl
brandycakes2@gmail.com
 
Does anyone else see the name of something and wonder how it got it's name? I can't be the only one that goes to Google for the tough answers. haha. I have always wanted to know why Monkey Bread it called monkey bread. That is when I found out, it is also called Monkey Puzzle Bread. The puzzle part I understand. The rest, not so much. Google unfortunately had no real answers. Alas, this question will go unanswered. Either way, the product is still deliciously ooey gooey goodness. 
I am a big fan of cinnamon rolls. Most people know this. I once spent hours making the Pioneer Woman's made from scratch cinnamon rolls. These are easy but with a big pay off! The pull apart version of a cinnamon roll!

Ingredients:
12 uncooked biscuits (I used Grand's but you can use any kind, even dinner rolls)
6 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons corn syrup
½ cup brown sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon

Directions:
Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray
Preheat the oven to 350
Cut each biscuit roll into 4 equal pieces. 
Roll them into balls.
In a bowl, combine the butter and the corn syrup. 
Stir it until well mixed. 
In another bowl, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon and mix together well. 
Dip the biscuit pieces in the butter mixture and then in the brown sugar mixture. 
Place the pieces in one cup of the muffin tin. 
Repeat with remaining roll pieces. 
Note: If you are using yeast rolls, cover them with sprayed plastic wrap and let them double in size. Remove the wrap before baking) 
Bake at 350°F 15-20 minutes. 
Let them cool 3-4 minutes before removing from pan. 

Icing:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1-2 tablespoons milk
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 tsp orange zest (optional)

Combine icing ingredients and mix well. 
Drizzle it over your monkey bread puzzle rolls if desired. Enjoy!


 
 
I don't know about you, but I LOVE Chinese food. Sushi, egg rolls, and fried rice! Unfortunately, it isn't really all that good for you. So the other day I decided to come up with an un-fried rice. This recipe, I give two thumbs up. Most importantly, my husband's bowl was completely clean when we finished. No butter, no sugar, and no oil. It comes out under 400 calories a serving. 

Ingredients:
1 cup Mahatma rice
water
1 cup frozen broccoli
1/2 cup frozen green beans
1 lb pork, cubed
2 tbs chili powder
2 tbs kosher salt
4 tsp granulated garlic
2 tsp black pepper
3 tbs soy sauce

Note: I made the pork and rice a day ahead of time.

Directions:
Pork:
1. Mix the chili powder, salt, garlic, and pepper together
2. Place the pork in a slow cooker
3. Shake the mix into the slow cooker and coat all the pork
4. Pour enough water in the cooker to coat the bottom of the pot
5.Add 1 tbs of soy and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until done

Rice:
1. Rinse the cup of rice in cold water until the water runs clear
2. Place the rice in the rice cooker
3. Add the water according to your cooker and a pinch of salt

**Note:This can also be done on the stove top according to the directions on the bag. I like the rice cooker because it makes a great sticky rice.**

Put it all together:
1. If you made yours ahead of time, take the pork and rice out of the refrigerator to come to room temp. Otherwise, skip to #2
2. Heat the wok or pan to medium-high heat 
3. Put the green beans and broccoli into the pan
4. Add the juice (drippings) from the crock pot to the pan
5. Heat the vegetables until heated through
6. Add the pork and the rice and toss it together
7. Add the other 2 tbs soy 
8. The dish is ready when the rice and pork have warmed

I hope you guys enjoy this as much as we did. 

 
 
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I am always looking for healthy recipes that the DH (dear husband) and I can eat while doing P90x. This one is one of my favs. No sugar at all. I highly recommend the fresh fruit on top. Blueberry and Strawberry are my favorite, but it can be done without fruit. 

To make a single serving pancake you will need:
1 large egg and 1 egg white
1/4 cup of warmed milk
1/4 cup of all purpose flour 
1 pinch of salt
2 teaspoons of honey
1 dash of vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of butter
Soft fruits (I used frozen blueberries)
Honey

Heat the oven to 400
Heat a small oven safe pan on medium heat (I used a cast iron)
Whisk the egg white until it is in the soft peak stage
Mix the egg yolk, flour, honey, and vanilla
Whisk the warm milk into the flour mix
Fold in the egg white
Melt butter in the pan
Pour the batter into the pan and heat until it starts to set.
Put it in the oven and bake for 8 minutes
Drizzle some more honey on top and serve

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! Mmm Mmm good. The honey on top with the saltiness from the melted butter on the bottom made a 

 
 
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This dolphin turned out pretty darn cute for my first dolphin ever. It will be jumping out of a cake, which is why it does not have a bottom on it. I used this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rU3CwE2wmQ) video to figure out how to make one. It was much easier than I thought it would be.

 
 
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This are one of my all time favorite cupcakes. Gran Jane's banana pudding inside of a vanilla bean cupcake with banana buttercream frosting and a vanilla wafer topping it all off. The creamy pudding makes these fluffy cupcakes even more moist and delicious. I used a wilton tip to fill the cupcakes and to frost them. 

 
 
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This is sinfully good. So good that it is only made in our house every once in a while. My all time favorite bread is sourdough. For sandwiches, for french toast, and now even for a decadent breakfast like this. 

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*Preheat the oven to 350
*Start out with a good piece of crusty bread. Mmmmmm. 
*Then make some honey butter. Mix together 1/2c butter, 1/4c powdered sugar, and 1/4c honey. Whip it up and set it aside.
*Mix 1c sugar with 1.5 tsp cinnamon sugar in a bowl and set it aside

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*Cut the bread lengthwise into 1in slices. Be careful NOT to cut it through the bottom. 
*Rotate the bread 90 degrees and cut it in 1 in slices again. Again, do NOT cut it all the way through.
*Spread the honey butter in between all of the cuts.
*Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar in between the cuts. Bake it 20-30 minutes, until bread is warm. 
*Mix 1c powdered sugar with 1-2 tsp water/milk. 
*Drizzle the icing over the warm bread and serve immediately. This is warm, buttery, sweet goodness.

 
 
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These carrot souffles were a complete hit at our party last weekend. Absolutely everyone loved them. That is really saying something when it comes to my meat and potatoes family. I put them in little plastic cups from Party City and garnished them with some parsley. Plus these cute place cards really set it all off. (I bought these at Oriental Trading but they are no longer available.) They were so simple to make too. This is where I got the recipe.  http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Carrot-Souffle-2/Detail.aspx?scale=6&ismetric=0
They have a very convenient servings changer which really came in handy since I was making the recipe for 60. 

Original recipe makes 6 servings
1 pound carrots, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup white sugar


Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 2 quart casserole dish.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add carrots and cook until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and mash. Stir in butter, vanilla extract and eggs; mix well. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into carrot mixture and blend until smooth. (I pureed this in batches.) Add in the sugar little by little. I only ended up using about 1/2 cup until it wa Transfer to prepared casserole dish.
  3. Bake for 45 minutes.

 
 
Yesterday was a very special day for the Turmans. We FINALLY got to have our big wedding reception. We got married in quite a frenzy since we found out he would be leaving in a few months. The plan was always to have a big party when he got back, the Army had other plans. Don't they always? :) He finally got some time off and we decided it was time to celebrate. We invited all of our close family and friends and did it up big in the back yard of my mother in laws house. The food was amazing, the company was incredible, but the real star was the cucpakes. We got them from Carolina Cupcakery (carolinacupcakery.com). Dawn Eskins is the owner. She has been featured in Modern Bride magazine, participated in Cupcake Wars twice, and makes some of the most delicious cupcakes I have ever tasted. We had 4 flavors: Key Lime, Banana Pudding, We Promise (Chocolate chip Cheesecake), and Chocolate Happiness. If you really want an amazingly moist but not overly sweet cupcake, the We Promise is my absolute favorite cupcake in the whole world. Hands down. No contest whatsoever. I will be posting some of the recipes of some of the other food I made in other posts this week. Stay  tuned to hear about the carrot souffles that people raved over!
 
 
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Mother's Day is always a special day. My mother happens to be one of the best people I know. We have been through quite a bit together and it has made us incredibly close. Since I moved to Florida I don't get to see her very much anymore. So, I decided to make the 16 hour trek up to see her. For once, she was genuinely surprised! (This is quite a feat as she is all knowing!) A happy get together calls for a dessert that celebrates the occasion and my sister, Cindi, had just the thing.

I don't know about your mom, but mine LOVES chocolate and strawberries. So we adapted this recipe from Baby Gizmo. (Here is a link to the original...http://blog.babygizmo.com/2012/03/vanilla-cake-with-strawberry-cream-frosting-recipe/

Ingredients
Frosting -
Two 8-oz packages of cream cheese, room temperature (I used low-fat)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
¾ cup chilled heavy whipping cream


Glaze-
1 cup strawberry puree
4 tbs powdered sugar


Ganache-
9oz chocolate
1 cup heavy cream


Cake -
3 cups cake flour
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
3 cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
7 large eggs
2 TBSP vanilla extract\
1 cup sour cream (I used low fat)
6 TBSP plus ⅓ cup seedless strawberry jam
2¼ lbs strawberries, hulled, sliced (about 6 cups), divided

Instructions
FROSTING: 
Put a small/medium bowl in the freezer to chill. In a separate large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in sugar. Remove that chilled bowl from the freezer and beat cream in that chilled bowl until peaks form. Fold whipped cream into frosting. Cover; chill for a couple of hours until it’s firm enough to spread. (If you are in a hurry, you could put the frosting in the freezer to chill quickly.)


CAKE: 
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and flour two 9-inch cake pans with 2-inch high sides. (I used 10″ cheesecake pans – aka springform pans – because they were the only round pans I had with high enough sides and they worked great!) In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Add sour cream, and beat for 30 seconds. Add flour mixture in three additions, beating to blend after each addition. Divide batter into prepared pans.


Bake cake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 50-60 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the edges of the pans, then turn cakes out onto a rack to cool completely. I threw the two cake layers in the freezer for about an hour to make the cake assembly easier.
  1. Using a serrated knife, divide each layer in half horizontally. Place one half, cake side down, on a cake plate.
  2. Spread strawberry puree over the bottom layer of the cake. Spread the frosting over the puree. Layer the strawberries on top of the frosting. Repeat two more times with cake layer, puree, frosting, and strawberries.
  3. Top with remaining cake layer, cut side down. Spread two cups of frosting over the top and sides of the cake in a thin layer, then frost with remaining frosting. Stir remaining jam to loosen, then spoon teaspoonfuls onto the top and sides of the cake. Use the back of a spoon to swirl jam decoratively into the frosting. This recipe makes a very big 4-layer cake that will feed a lot of people. It says it has 12 servings but I definitely think it feeds even more!
  4. Ganache:
  5. Boil the heavy cream in a saucepan.
  6. Pour it over the chocolate chips and whisk until smooth
  7. Puddle it in the center of the cake
  8. Use a offset spatula to push the ganache out to the sides and let it drizzle down the sides
  9. Let the ganache set and then enjoy!

 
 
TO make the bouquet:
24 mini cups (I used plastic shot glasses from the dollar store)
Drill
Wooden skewers
Pot
Ribbon (any kind that you want)
Paper tissue
Strofoam ball or disc that fits into the pot
24 mini cupcakes
frosting

How to:
1. Bake the cupcakes (I did red velvet and strawberry, yum!)
2. Take them out of the oven and put them on a rack to cool
3.Fit the disc into the pot. You don't want it to sit on the bottom. Mine fit about halfway down
4. Drill holes into the cups. Use the skewer to decide how big the hole needs to be. If you can find soft plastic cups you can just poke the hole in the bottom of the cup. I could only find the hard plastic shot cups.
5. Stick the skewers into the cup hole. 
6. Place the  skewers in the styrofoam. Arrange them to look like a bouquet
7. Trim down the BOTTOM of the skewers until they sit close to the top of the pot (If you don't do this, it will be top heavy and well, lets just say my car had a lot of pink frosting everywhere)
8. Poke holes into the cupcakes with the point end of a skewer or something with a point
9. Cut the sheets of tissue paper in half and place them all around the pot to cover up the sticks
10. Place the cupcakes into the cups
11. Frost them however you'd like 
This is one of my favorites:
http://www.loraleelewis.com/blog/?p=15989
 

Brandy Cakes