Thursday, July 29, 2010

Busy Day Cake...

Goodness-gracious this cake is easy and yummy! It has a sweet old-fashioned-take you back to simpler days-don't blame me if you take a bite and get transported to a rocking chair somewhere with a peaceful view of a sunflower field- flavor. Not to mention the topping is to die for, I'm thinking it would be a super extra for any cake, brownie or the like.
1 1/3 c. flour
2/3 c. sugar
2t. baking powder
1/4 c. butter softened
1 egg
1t. vanilla
Broiled Coconut Topping:
Mix tog. 1/4 cup brown sugar
2T. softened butter
1T milk
1/2c. coconut

Grease a round baking pan and set it aside.
In a bowl combine flour, baking powder, and sugar. Add milk, butter, egg, and vanilla.
Beat on low speed until combined. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Spread the Broiled Coconut Topping over the warm cake. Broil about 4 inches from heat for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden.
Cool slightly in pan on a wire rack and serve warm.

(Busy Day Cake, Better Homes and Gardens)

Morning Glory Muffins...


1 cup of flour
1 cup of whole wheat
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 cups finely grated carrots ( I used 1c. grated zucc. 1c. carrot)
1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut
1/2 cups of dates or raisins
1/2 cup chopped nuts ( I didn't have any nuts this time around)
1 apple, peeled and grated
1/2 cup of oil
3 eggs beaten
2 tsp. vanilla

Mix all the dry ingredients.
Stir in the carrots, raisins, apple, nuts, coconut.
Add the oil, eggs and vanilla.
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
Makes 12 very large muffins.

My son Jonah loves baking! Especially when he gets to make muffins. Because to him muffins look like cupcakes and cupcakes means party...birthday song and lighting a candle included. These muffins are hearty somewhat healthy and delicious (and have a really cozy aroma). So good in fact when eating the last one, my husband requested that I make these again, and soon!
A lovely addition to breakfast, brunch or a last minute birthday party! Love, Amy.
(recipe adapted from Mennonite Girls Can Cook, Charlette)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls- Amazingly Good!

My mother-in-law has been known far and wide for her famous cinnamon rolls and after 30+ years of making the same, wonderful recipe... she found this one, and she hasn't looked back once. They are amazing, really and truly. Everyone that I've ever made them for has universally pronounced them the best cinnamon rolls ever... and I agree!

The Recipe
Place in bread machine in this order:

In pyrex cup measure:
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 butter (in a pinch crisco works... but butter is always better)
Microwave these for 1 1/2 minutes and then pour in the breadmachine.

Then add:
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 4 T. instant vanilla pudding
  • 4 T. instant butterscotch pudding
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4 1/2 to 5 cups bread flour
  • 2 1/4 T. yeast
Set your bread machine on it's dough setting, and let it do it's magic. I find with my machine I usually need to take a spatula and scrape down the sides several times during the first few minutes that it's mixing, or some of the ingredients don't incorporate fully.

After the dough cycle has completed... remove dough to a floured surface and roll out into a large rectangle.

Warm oven for rising... I set mine to 200 degrees and then turn it off after it heats up.

Melt 1 cube of butter (I never said these were good for you) and spread evenly over the rolled out dough.

Mix about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar with 2 to 4 tablespoons of cinnamon depending on how cinnamon-ey you like your rolls. Then sprinkle evenly over the buttered dough. starting at one of the long ends, roll up your dough.

Cut into about 2 inch slices and place in your greased pan. I have found that these cinnamon rolls do better in a bundt pan or in muffin tins as the dough doesn't fully cook on the inside rolls in a 9x13 pan.

Cover and allow rolls to rise until doubled in the warm oven.

Remove rolls from oven and then preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Bake for 15 to 25 minutes. This dough is really sweet, so it browns really quickly... I've found I need to cover the rolls for most of the baking time with some tinfoil... remove it for the last few minutes... like 3 or 4 minutes, to allow the rolls to turn golden brown.

Frost with cream cheese frosting.

I make mine by softening one box of cream cheese and beating in my mixer until smooth. Then I add 1 cup of sifted powdered sugar and about 2 to 4 T of milk or until it gets to a nice spreading consistency... or more if you want to drizzle it. I also add about 1/2 tsp. almond extract. In my humble opinion a cinnamon roll just isn't a cinnamon roll without cream cheese frosting :)

Love, Jocelyn

Oriental Cabbage Salad

This is a summer staple recipe around my home.
It's delicious, easy, beautiful to serve to guests, versatile, and packed full of veggis!
This salad can be a side dish or a main dish by adding grilled chicken
(or whatever sounds good to you).
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!


From the crisper:
  • 1 head green cabbage, chopped really fine (or the same amount of coleslaw mix)
  • 6 green onions sliced fine
I also like to add:
  • Add 1 head of romaine lettuce (reduce cabbage to half of the above amount)
  • 1 red sweet bell pepper, sliced in long thin strips
  • around 1 cup of sugar snap peas
  • 2-3 stalks of celery sliced on the diagonal
  • 1 cucumber sliced in long thin strips
  • and sometimes... a can of drained mandarin oranges
From the pantry:
  • 1 package of ramen noodles (the original recipe calls for chicken flavor, but I like to use the oriental flavor... I think any flavor will work)
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup toasted almonds
  • 1/4 cup toasted whole flax seeds (my addition)
For the dressing: Sometimes I double this... just to keep some in the fridge for other salads because it's so yummy.
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar (you can use white vinegar, but it has a stronger vinegar-ey bite to it than the rice vinegar... which is pretty mellow)
  • 3/4 cup salad oil... like canola (I only use 1/2 c. to 2/3 c. or it gets too oily for me)
  • 1 T. sesame oil (this makes the dressing... I usually double this amount)
  • 1 T. Accent (this is msg... you can use table salt but decrease to 1/2 T. and then adjust to your own preference)
  • 1 t. black pepper
  • 1 seasoning packet from the above mentioned Ramen Noodle package.
Pour it all together in a jar with a lid and shake well.

If you want to make this salad a main dish, double or triple the dressing recipe and pour half of it over 4 to 6 chicken breasts and allow to marinate for several hours. Remove chicken from marinade and grill over low heat until no longer pink, and juices run clear. Slice in thin strips and set aside.

Mix all of the crisper ingredients together in a large bowl.

If your seeds and almonds didn't come toasted, you can toast them yourself in a skillet over med/low heat... watching them constantly (I can't tell you how often I have to throw a batch out because I walk away for 2 seconds and they burn :) just until they turn golden. Cool, and set aside.

Crush the ramen noodles and set aside.

Immediately before serving, toss all of the above ingredients (except the chicken, if your using it) with the dressing until it is all uniformly coated, and serve.

If your adding the chicken, plate each serving of salad and top with the sliced chicken along the center of the salad. You don't have to do this... you could toss the chicken with the rest of the salad, but it's so pretty to take this final step, that it's totally worth the extra time.

Love, Jocelyn

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Might Possibly Be the Best Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Ever...


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla

3 cups oats (not instant)
1 1/2 cups raisins

1 Preheat oven to 350°.
2 Whisk dry ingredients; set aside.
3 Combine wet ingredients with a hand mixer on low.
4 To cream, increase speed to high and beat until fluffy and the color lightens.
5 Stir the flour mixture into the creamed mixture until no flour is visible.
6 (Over mixing develops the gluten, making a tough cookie.) Now add the oats and raisins;
stir to incorporate. (I added a pinch of cinnamon and chopped walnuts)
7 Fill cookie scoop with dough.
8 Form an approximate 2 T ball of dough
9 Drop 2-inches apart onto baking sheet sprayed with nonstick spray.
10 Bake 11-13 minutes (on center rack), until golden, but still moist beneath cracks on top.
11 Remove from oven; let cookies sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to a
wire rack to cool.

Being Jon's favorite type of cookie...I typed in " Best Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Ever" into the
google search engine. It's been a very windy cold blustery rainy spring day and the winds
were whispering "bake cookies Amy, bake cookies"....and hey when the wind whispers my name, I listen. I came across this recipe that had 752 VERY postive reviews saying that this cookie just might possible change your life. Review 753: My life might very well be changed. Chewy and yummy, make that very very very yummy. Sincerely and with love for wind and cookies, Amy.

(recipe adapted from recipezaar #35813)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Healthy Oatmeal Cookies...

Jon came in the living room this evening and declared a need for a homemade cookie. Since I am such a loving wife (or something like that), I couldn't deny him of his declaration. Since we are working towards a healthier lifestyle I gave these cookies a whirl. Makes you feel better when your handing your littles ones treats too. And you know what...they were really good. The problem is they were a little too good...and we kept eating these "healthy cookies". One step at a time right ? Love, Amy

"The heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps." ~Proverbs 16:9

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup almond flour (throw some almonds in a food processor and away you go)
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt.
2 t. cinnamon or more to your liking
1/2 t. nutmeg

1/2 cup agave syrup or honey
1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
1/2 cup applesauce
2 t. vanilla
1 t. almond extract
1 egg ( I didn't have an egg and hey they turned out just fine!)

1/2 chopped walnuts
1/2 raisins

In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together.
In a medium bowl, mix all the wet ingredients together.
Mix the wet stuff with the dry stuff. Add the raisins and walnuts and mix.
Preheat the oven to 335 degrees
Drop by teaspoonfuls onto your baking sheet
Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden on the bottom of the cookie.
The cookies freeze very well and make a great snack!

(recipe adapted from

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Apple Walnut (Whole Grain) Bread Pudding...

Last week I had the total treat of visiting Jocelyn! And If her company alone wasn't just wonderful by itself, she took me out to breakfast at Bob's Red Mill ( A terrific bakery). I bought some Wholesome Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Bread....However the bread turned stale pretty quick. I was using it to make terrific toast, but decided to use the rest of it to make this lower fat, lower sugar bread pudding. Which did not taste low fat or low sugar. I was surprised this recipe didn't call for any eggs...which was perfect for me, since I didn't have any at the moment. This old-fashioned treat seems more like an autumn desert, but it was delicious in February.I mean don't appley-cinnamony things deserve the right to be enjoyed all year ? Love, Amy

"The Lord is my Shepherd, I have all that I need." ~Psalm 23:1


4-5 cups whole grain bread cubes
1 1/2 peeled and chopped apples (I used fugi )
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 raisins
1/2 old fashioned oats
2 T. ground flax seed meal
1-2 t. cinnamon (honestly I just shake it in)
1 shake of nutmeg (about a 1/2 t.)
a sprinkle of salt
2 cups milk (whatever you use for your cereal, or almond milk might do nicely)
1 t. vanilla
1 t. rum flavoring
1/4 -1/3 cup agave syrup (and a little to drizzle over the top if you choose)
3 T. butter melted (You can omit this all together if you want)

Mix all ingredients together and let sit for 10 minutes to soak up the moisture. Pour mixture into a prepared baking dish, I used a glass pie pan. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Serve warm.

(recipe adapted from weheartfood/apple breadpudding)