Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Mini Cini's


I'm always looking for fun things to make on the weekends for breakfast. If I don't make something, we usually end up going out to breakfast or picking up Dunkin Donuts, which definitely adds up after a while. This recipe is relatively cheap and easy to make. I made the rolls ahead of time the night before so they were ready to cook in the morning. I also made two batches of this and froze half of them to have some other time.

These little mini cinnamon buns were a big hit with the kids, especially Avery who is all about eating miniature foods. They are not healthy by any stretch, but they are not as bad as some of the pre-made cinnamon buns you can buy at the store. I serve them with a turkey sausage and egg scramble and everyone leaves the table ready for the day. I will definitely be making these cuties again.


1 (8-ounce) can refrigerated crescent rolls
4 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1/4 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt


1. Unroll crescent rolls, and separate each dough portion along center perforation to form 3 rectangles; press diagonal perforations to seal.

2. Stir together butter and next 4 ingredients; spread evenly over 1 side of each rectangle.

3. Roll up jellyroll fashion, starting at long end. Gently cut each log into 1-inch-thick slices, using a serrated knife. Place rolls, 1/4 inch apart, into 2 (8-inch) greased cakepans.

4. Bake at 375° for 11 to 15 minutes or until golden. Cool 5 to 10 minutes.

5. Stir together powdered sugar and remaining ingredients. Drizzle over warm rolls.

Note: To make slicing easier, place unbaked rolls on baking sheet, and freeze for 10 minutes.

Adapted from Cooking Light

Monday, August 1, 2011

Shredded Chipotle Beef Tacos


There are times when I decide that I want to try a cooking technique just for the sake of trying it. I don't NEED to have freshly made corn taco shells, but I was tempted to make some so I could say I can do it. The tacos came out great, they were crunchy on the outside but also had a chewy texture. Would I do this every time we have a taco night? No, probably not. maybe if we had company over but it does take some time and it's a bit of a splurge, so it's a once-in-a-while kind of treat.

I've made the beef recipe before and it's great in pretty much everything, I use it in burritos, enchiladas, tostadas, and even as a pizza topping. It's an easy recipe because it takes just a little prep and it cooks in the crock pot all day. I love the smokey flavors of the chipotle and smoked paprika and the texture of the beef is perfect after cooking all day.


2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
2 lb boneless chuck roast
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 cup beef broth
1 Tbsp tomato paste
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
1/2 large sweet onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Cup Canola Oil
Corn Tortillas
choice of toppings – lettuce, salsa, guacamole, sour cream, etc.


1. Combine the spices in a small bowl. Rub into the beef, covering all the nooks and crannies and each side evenly.

2. In a large skillet, heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil until shimmering. Sear the meat on each side, using tongs to flip it. Remove and place in the bottom of a large slow cooker.

3. With the skillet remaining over the heat, deglaze with the beef stock and scrape up any brown bits. Whisk in the tomato paste and chipotle peppers. Once sauce comes to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for a few minutes until slightly thickened and reduced.

4. Meanwhile, add the onion and garlic to the top of the beef in the slow cooker. Carefully pour the sauce over top. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

5. To make the taco shells, heat the oil in an 8-inch skillet over medium heat. Slide a tortilla into the oil; use tongs to fold the tortilla in half and hold it partially open. Flip after about 1 minute. Fry for an additional minute, until the tortilla is slightly crisp. Continue with the remaining tortillas, storing the fried tortillas in the warm oven.

6. Once the meat is fork tender, remove and shred with two forks. Pour a portion of the sauce, over top of the meat and let soak to enhance flavor.

Adapted from Pennies on a Platter and The Way the Cookie Crumbles