Cinnamon Roll Waffles

Thank you PINTEREST! Found this fabulous recipe when I was looking for a SPECIAL occasion-type breakfast.  I wanted CINNAMON rolls, but these waffles were much less WORK!

Cinnamon Roll Waffles
(Recipe from Chef In Training)

1 3/4 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Cinnamon Roll Topping
1/2 cup butter melted
3/4 cup brown sugar packed
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon

Cream Cheese Glaze
4 tablespoons butter, softened
2 ounces cream cheese
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Make a well in the center of the mixture; set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Pour into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Stir just until moistened; batter will be slightly lumpy. Preheat a waffle iron and spray with nonstick spray. Pour batter into waffle iron grid and close the lid. Bake until waffles are completely done.

CINNAMON TOPPING: In a medium bowl, mix butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Scoop the filling into a small zip baggie and set aside

CREAM CHEESE TOPPING: In a medium, microwave-safe bowl- heat butter and cream cheese for 30 to 60 seconds; just until melted. Stir together until smooth; whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla extract.

When ready to serve, place waffle on plate, drizzle cinnamon topping, then drizzle cream cheese topping. Use as much or as little as you'd like. Serve immediately.


Pumpkin Harvest Brownies

Another SIMPLE pumpkin recipe for all the lovers out there. Brownies. Good. Pumpkin. Good. Brownies + Pumpkin = GOOD! Top it off with loads of extra CHOCOLATE and we are totally there! (P.S. So sorry for the terrible pic, my camera is awful and I'm in DESPERATE need of a new one!)

Pumpkin Harvest Brownies
1 box brownie mix (for a 9 x 13-inch pan)
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/3 cup butterscotch chips

In a bowl, thoroughly combine the brownie mix and pumpkin. Spread in to a greased 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 pan. Sprinkle all the chips over top. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until done. (These are somewhat fudge-y in texture, just so you are aware!)

TIP: You can also sprinkle toffee pieces over top (I did! I had some in my pantry). If you aren't into all the chocolatey goodness that my family prefers, just top the brownies with powdered sugar once they are cooled instead of the all the chips.


Pumpkin Coconut Cheesecake Bread

Lovin' all the PUMPKIN that comes with this fabulous time of year! I've got a slight obsession with COCONUT and cream cheese, so I figured those would be DELICIOUS combined with a bit of pumpkin. What could be better then sweet, super moist, YUM-FOR-MY-TUM bread? Nothing!

Pumpkin Coconut Cheesecake Bread
2/3 cup oil
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 small box cheesecake instant pudding mix
1 cup toasted coconut

Cream Cheese Glaze
4 tablespoons butter
2 ounces cream cheese
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Whisk together the oil, eggs, and pumpkin. Stir in the flour, sugar, salt, spices, soda, and dry pudding mix. Fold in the coconut and pour into a loaf pan prepared with nonstick spray. Bake at 350 degrees for  about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. When done and slightly cooled, drizzle the cream cheese glaze over top.

To make the glaze, heat together the butter and cream cheese for 30 seconds in the microwave and stir until smooth. Stir in the sugar and vanilla until smooth.

TIP: You can leave the coconut out if you prefer and use coconut pudding mix instead of cheesecake to get the coconut flavor. You can also add chocolate chips or chopped nuts! And, instead of 1/2 teaspoon vanilla in the glaze, I did 1/4 teaspoon vanilla and 1/4 teaspoon coconut extract just for that little extra shot of coconut flavor.


Creepy Crawly Spider Cake

Need a dessert for your HALLOWEEN party this year? Try making this CUTE little cake from my book, Easy Cut-Up Cakes for Kids (meaning it's so easy, your KIDS can make it for you!).

                                                                                            Photo by Zac Williams

Creepy Crawly Spider Cake
1 cake mix, any flavor
Black frosting
Purple frosting
8 pieces black licorice
1 large marshmallow

Bake cake in two 8- or 9-inch pans according to package directions. When cool, place one cake layer in the center of a plate or foil-wrapped board. Frost the top with black or purple frosting, and then place second layer on top. Frost entire cake with a thin layer of black or purple frosting.

Using a decorator's bag with a star tip, make black spider hair by slightly squeezing the bag to create each piece of hair. Squeeze pieces of hair close together all over the entire spider body, but don't worry about making them touch, as the spaces will be filled in.

Using another decorator's bag with the same star tip, fill in any open spaces with the purple frosting to give the spider some "highlights."

On each side of the spider, use a round frosting tip to create four rounded mounds of purple frosting. These will be the spider's feet. Gently press 4 pieces of black licorice into each side of the cake and place the loose ends in the frosting mounds to make his legs.

Finally, cut the marshmallow in half and place as the spiders eyes. You may need to use toothpicks to secure. Use a dot of black frosting to make the pupils.

TIP: If you don't like purple and black, try your own color combinations! Either way, just make sure you use a good homemade buttercream frosting recipe. Also, I've found that the only way for me to get a good black frosting is to use Wilton frosting coloring. It's totally awesome! You could make a gray spider instead though. :)


Zucchini Chip Snack Cake

I LOVE zucchini and all the fun and YUMMY things you can do with it. This recipe is similar to a ZUCCHINI brownie, but not quite so DENSE. And the chocolate chips on top are super TASTY!

Zucchini Chip Snack Cake
1/2 cup butter
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
3 heaping tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups shredded zucchini
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (or do a mixture with half milk, half semi)

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in oil, eggs, and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk. Stir in zucchini. Pour into a sprayed 9 x 13-inch pan and sprinkle chocolate chips over top. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

TIP: If you don't have any buttermilk on hand, just make your own! Just measure 1/2 cup milk and remove about 1/2 tablespoon. Stir in 1/2 tablespoon vinegar and let sit for about 5 minutes. Voila! You will have buttermilk to use in your recipe when the time is up! If you need 1 cup of buttermilk for something, do the same trick but remove and add 1 tablespoon instead.


Creamy Veggie Tortellini

This is a tasty recipe I threw together to use up some of the VEGGIES in our fridge. It went together so quickly and was super YUMMY. The kiddos loved it to, so I'm going to make it again very SOON!

Creamy Veggie Tortellini
1/2 zucchini, quartered and sliced
1/3 cup corn
1/3 cup matchstick carrots, chopped
1/3 cup peas
1/4 cup chopped red onion (optional)
1 to 2 cups chicken broth, divided
2 heaping cups cheese tortellini
1/3 to 1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Black pepper

In a large frying pan, saute the veggies in a splash or two of olive oil until tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from pan and then pour in 1 cup broth and the tortellini. Bring to a medium boil and stir occasionally, adding more broth if necessary. (You need enough liquid to cook the tortellini, so don't let the pan dry out. Depending on how high your heat is, you may need more than 2 cups broth.) When the tortellini are tender, stir in the veggies, cream, and cheese until well blended. Season with pepper. Serve with more cheese sprinkled over top if desired.

TIP: Add whatever veggies you think would be good. Another great combination would be broccoli, sliced onion, and sliced mushrooms. Adding chicken is also delicious—I've always got some cut-up rotisserie chicken in my freezer that I can grab and throw in things like this.