Monday, April 29, 2013

Homemade Pizza and Carrot Cake

This week was a doozy.  Emotionally draining and it took it's toll on myself and BP.  So what did we have in store for the weekend - nothing.  And it was perfect.  We slept in and just went with the flow of things.  Saturday turned out to be my baking day - we had decided that we would have homemade pizza for dinner Saturday night and BP asked for some Carrot Cake - and I had the best recipe from my aunt. I couldn't wait to get baking. 

Big Red got taken out and away I got on making the cake and pizza dough.  Soon the smell of carrot cake baking away filled the house, and it smelled fantastic - even if I'm not a fan of Carrot Cake.  I love to bake, especially for BP, and even if it's something that I don't like it wont stop me from making it.  This wasn't the first time I made something for BP that I don't like, so when this happens I make sure to get something for myself treat wise.  There's a 7 Eleven right next to BP's house, so we went to get me some ice cream.  They had a bin in the middle of the store full of ice cream bars and cones.  I open the side and reach my hand in, and the whole cart starts wheeling across the floor - with my arm still in it.  Needless to say, BP and I were laughing so hard.....and I wont be going into that 7 Eleven any time soon. 

Now that I had myself a treat for later, back to making dinner and cake.  Cake was cooled and now time to frost it. 

3 layers of deliciousness
Then time to make our pizzas.  I say this every time I post about pizza - if you haven't made your own dough you are missing out.  It's so easy and delicious.  You just need a little time, but if you plan ahead you can actually make the dough and freeze it so you have some ready and waiting for when you want some.

nom nom nom
Pizza was delicious.  Excellent dinner.  Then after a little break, time for dessert.  I had my ice cream cone waiting for me and BP had cake that was calling his name. 

Cake was a hit - and sorry, this recipe wont be posted on here.  But if seeing it puts you in the mood for Carrot Cake then bake away my friends! 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Bacon Bombs

What a week - the news itself was full of awful things.  A city I loved and have spent a lot of time in had been attacked.  And knowing that many of my friends live in and around Boston it was a very worrisome and stressful time.  The weekend couldn't come fast enough - I was very much looking forward to seeing BP and spending some time with him.  I had Friday off, and spent most of the day at BP's house watching the news and waiting for him to get home from work, and when he got home he had a surprise for me.

sweetest man ever
BP found a great treat both of us were dying to make - Bacon Bombs.  It's the perfect snack for when he has poker night and the guys over.  And of course we had to make them before the guys come over so it was time to test them out - you know, to see if they are good or not.  :)  Well that's what we kept saying.  So off I went to get what we needed.  I couldn't wait for these little nuggets of yumminess.  I mean it has things I love all rolled into one - cheese, biscuits and bacon.  You can't go wrong with these bad boys. 

why hello there!!

Let me warn you - it makes a lot.  This is a great treat for when you have a lot of people over.  I made it through a half a batch and BP and I called it quits.  There are some currently waiting in his freezer and fridge ready to go. 

Gooey goodness
These are fantastic.  If you don't feel like using Mozzarella Cheese, switch it out for your favorite kind then.  You can always bake these in the oven if you don't want to fry them as well.  350 degrees for 8-10 minutes until edges are golden brown and bacon is crispy (you may have to broil to crisp up bacon fully).

Bacon Bombs
1 can (8 count) Pillsbury Grands Flaky Layers Biscuits
1 1/2 pounds cubed Mozzarella Cheese (one 1" cube per bomb)
2 pounds sliced bacon
Oil for frying
  1. Cube up cheese into 1" cubes.  Cut each biscuit into fourths.  Place one cube of cheese inside a biscuit quarter and shape biscuit dough around cheese so no cheese is showing.  Make sure it's sealed up nice and tight.  Wrap a piece of bacon around it and secure with a toothpick.  Repeat until all bombs are made. 
  2. Heat approximately 2" of oil in large pan to 350 degrees.  Fry Bombs in small batches - don't go far while frying, the oil expands so make sure to stay close. 
  3. Once golden in color, remove from oil and place on paper towels to drain.  Serve while warm. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls......again

I was on baking mode over the weekend, maybe a little too much.  I made Cinnamon Struesel Coffeecake, Chocolate Cake, and then on top of that threw in some Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls because I was dying to make them for BP.  I had to work Saturday morning, but had the rest of the afternoon to myself while BP was out on a guys day.  Perfect time for me to bake away, especially since the rolls take a couple hours from start to finish.  These are definitely a labor of love, but the wait and all the effort is totally worth it, especially if you love pumpkin. 

all frosted and waiting to be eaten
Once baked and cooled, time to ice them and let it set.  I went to bed and BP came back shortly after - and loved what was waiting for him in his kitchen.  He was so excited to try one.  Sunday rolled around and we finally each had one.  I knew BP's love for anything pumpkin was going to make this a good choice on my part, and I was right. 

Since I had baked like a mad woman, we were left with too many sweets.  BP brought a plate of the cinnamon rolls into work with him Monday morning.  Halfway through the day I get an email from BP, the cinnamon rolls were a hit with his coworkers.  They told him if I love to bake they will happily take some off his hands.  Music to my ears :) 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Chocolate Oatmeal Bars

I have to admit, I love making things for BP - and this includes making treats for the poker crew when he has the guys over to play.  So far they've gotten some Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies, Pizza Bread and Coffee Ring.  So as I was sitting there with BP the other night the talk of me making treats came up and I said that I loved to make treats for his poker nights.  Well his face lit up and out came the cookbooks.  It was so cute to see him flip through the books and pick things out for me to make later (a direct quote from him - Page 111, not for tomorrow night but for at some point).  He found something great online and all I needed to get was chocolate chips and some pecans.  Easy. 

Friday morning rolls around and BP heads off to work.  I sleep in a little longer and then got my butt in gear. Did a load of laundry and ran an errand and then it was time to make the bars.  This recipe is so easy.  It does call for a strange sized pan, so you can either go with a small 8x8" pan or a 9x13" pan - which is what I went with. I love quick and easy things to make - and it's even better when they end up being tasty. 

Once the bars were cooled and set I cut them up and put them on a plate for BP and wrapped them up.  It was all ready for him when he got home.  I had sent him a picture of the finished bars and he couldn't wait to try them.  The text I got from him was great - 'the bars are fn awesome'.  Always a great thing to hear and puts a smile on my face. 

I posted this pic on YCB's Facebook page and was floored by the response.  It's the most views I've had for a photo I've posted ever - over 150 at this point.  Amazing considering there are only 43 of you out there that follow my Facebook page. 

So the bars were a hit with the poker crew.  Everyone loved them, and one comment that was passed along to me was 'loved them, but it's no coffee ring'.  That made me laugh so hard - that coffee ring is one of my favorite things to make and am floored at the response it always gets from people. 

Chocolate Oatmeal Bars
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Lightly grease a 11x7" baking dish.  Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Beat in egg and vanilla extract.  Add flour and oats, mix until combined.  Stir in chocolate chips and mix until distributed evenly.  Pour into prepared baking dish.
  3. Bake 15-20 minutes, rotating halfway through, or until lightly browned.  Cool on a wire rack for 3-5 minutes.  Sprinkle top with remaining chocolate chips and let stand for a couple of minutes until chips are almost completely melted.  Gently take a spatula and spread chocolate evenly over the top.  Sprinkle with nuts and let stand until fully cooled.  Cut into bars.
**If you want the extra oomph - toast the nuts on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper in a 350 degree oven for 5-8 minutes or until you smell the nuts.  When you smell them, they are done**

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter Treat for BP

Easter was here over the weekend, and I can't have Easter without making a Coffee Ring.  Now, BP has never had it before, and my trying to explain it to him (or anyone for that matter) never does this any justice.  It's something that not a lot of people have had before so people usually picture something completely different when I mention it.  I've posted about this many times in the past, but I keep posting about it because it's one of the things I truly love to make the most.  Family recipes are the best things for me to make - so much love and history behind them. 

Friday rolled around, and after a long day of cleaning BP's house and multiple loads of laundry, I wanted to get my bake on.  BP had some guys over for poker and it was the perfect chance for me to get my bake on.  Big Red now has a new home at BP's house, and he got some good use making the dough.  By the time it was ready to roll out and form the ring, the guys were deep into playing.  Once I started baking away, the smell of the ring made their way downstairs.....and the guys kept telling BP how good it smelled.  I had no idea I was torturing them upstairs until one of them came up to get some coffee and made a comment.  Well at that point the second ring was in the oven and the first one was cooling....little did the guys know that I would offer them some when they were both ready to be frosted.  Finally it was time to frost them - and when they were done (complete with fun sprinkles) I texted BP the following picture......

......quickly I heard all the guys make comments about how good it looked.  I went downstairs and asked if they wanted some - I mean there was no way BP and I would eat 2 rings by ourselves.  They all quickly said yes so I went to cut it up and heat up the slices for the guys.  Before I knew it they were all upstairs ready to eat - and everyone loved it. 

Easter Sunday we had lunch with BP's dad - and of course he had to get some as well.  BP was in love with the coffee ring, and when he tried to explain it to his dad at lunch he had a hard time too. Bottom line, his dad was excited to try it out.  After some great laughs and an amazing lunch, we handed off the coffee ring to BP's dad and off we went.  Later we got a text saying how good it was official - BP and BP's dad approved (along with the guys from poker night).  Needless to say I look forward to making this when the holidays roll around, but now that BP and his dad have experienced it I'm really looking forward to making it again.