Monday, March 29, 2010

Whole Wheat Monkey Bread

A few weeks ago, my friend's facebook status about baking sparked a delicious memory about a whole-wheat, home-baked cinnamon roll I ate ONE TIME after a volleyball match, and have ever since been looking to re-create the taste of in my mouth. This Monkey Bread recipe, adapted from was the closest thing I could mimic. It's a slightly different presentation than the traditional cinnamon roll, but at the heart, it is cinnamon-cream cheese-doughy goodness that doesn't make you feel horrible about eating it because it is made with whole wheat. I highly recommend checking out smittenkitchen's tutorial before making this. For visual learners, like me, the pictures help a lot.


4 Tablespoons butter, divided (2 Tablespoons softened, 2 Tablespoons melted)
1 cup warm milk (about 110 degrees)
1/3 cup warm water (also about 110 degrees)
1/4 cup sugar
1 package rapid-rise yeast
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for work surface
1-1/4 cup WHOLE WHEAT flour
2 teaspoons table salt

Brown Sugar Coating
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
8 Tablespoons butter, melted

Cream Cheese Glaze
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 Tablespoons powdered sugar, plus extra if needed
2 Tablespoons milk, plus extra if needed
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


Get started
Adjust oven rack to medium-low position. Turn oven on to 200 degrees. When it reaches 200, turn it off. Butter bundt pan with 2 Tablespoons softened butter. Set aside.

Make dough
In large measuring cup, mix together milk, water, melted butter, sugar, and yeast. Mix flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well and add the milk mixture. Use a spoon or electric mixer with dough hook to mix until smooth. Knead until smooth and satiny and shape into a ball. Coat a bowl with non-stick cooking spray and place the dough ball into the bowl. Spray the top of the dough with non-stick cooking spray, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the warm, turned-off oven until dough doubles in size, about 50-60 minutes.

Make brown sugar coating
Make brown sugar coating by placing melted butter in one bowl and brown sugar and cinnamon in a second bowl.

Coat the Dough
Once dough has risen, flip dough onto a lightly floured surface and form into an 8-inch square. Use a pizza cutter or knife to divide the dough into 64 small squares. Roll each piece of dough into a ball and using a fork, dip first into the melted butter, then coat with brown sugar mixture and place into the buttered bundt pan. Repeat this with all 64 squares.

Rise Again
Cover bundt pan tightly with plastic wrap and place in turned-off oven until dough has risen to about 1-2 inches from the top of the pan, about 50-70 minutes. (Having a warm oven really helps with the rising.)

Remove pan from oven and turn oven to 350 degrees. Once oven is warm, place pan in oven and bake until top is deep brown, about 30-35 minutes.

Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then turn onto surface and allow to cool another 10 minutes before applying cream cheese glaze.

Make Glaze
To make glaze, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth and light. Add milk and vanilla. Drizzle glaze over warm monkey bread and ENJOY! Serve warm. :)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Blueberry Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

We are big fans of blueberries in this household. We've recently discovered dried blueberries, and they are the perfect pre-dinner snack. As Brad says, it's a party in your mouth. We also have a habit of stocking up on fresh blueberries when they're on special at the grocery store. So, I figured it would be a good idea to develop a cache of recipes that use this fine, fine fruit.

*adapted from


1 6 oz. package fresh blueberries
1/4 cup canola oil
3 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
Pinch of sea salt


Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Pour into a creamer or gravy boat and toss with fresh mixed greens, cucumber, feta cheese, red onion, and dried blueberries.*

*Some other good salad choices are: fresh spinach, pine nuts, pecans, walnuts, goat cheese, sliced grapes, celery, red pepper, and snap peas.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Simple Rice Pudding

3/4 cup uncooked white rice
2 cups milk, divided
1/3 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
2/3 cup raisins (optional -- I did not include)
1 Tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil. Add rice and stir. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.

In another saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups cooked rice, 1 1/2 cups milk, sugar, and salt. Cook over medium heat until thick and creamy, about 15-20 minutes. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup milk, beaten egg, and raisins (if using). Cook 2 minutes more, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and stir in butter and vanilla.

Serve warm.

*recipe from Erica G. via

Monday, March 1, 2010

Turkey Burgers with Homemade Buns

A few summers ago, I spent the Fourth of July in Hawaii, visiting my friend Leah. I remember eating these wonderful grilled burgers, at a family BBQ, that tasted like they were marinated in soy sauce. (Truth be told, I think these were frozen patties from Costco, but something about them was just so delicious. Oh yeah, it could have also been the fact that I was in Hawaii.)

It's hard for me to attempt to make a beef burger when In-n-out is just a short drive away, but what about a turkey burger?? And it's made with soy sauce! (The key ingredient.)

Turkey Burger Patties

1 to 1-1/2 lbs ground turkey
1 (1 oz.) package dry onion soup mix
1/2 teaspoon black ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (or garlic salt)
1 1/2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 egg, lightly beaten
6 hamburger buns split (see accompanying recipe)

In a large bowl, mix the ground turkey with the dry onion soup mix, ground pepper, garlic salt, soy sauce, and egg. Refrigerate the mixture about 10 minutes, and form into six patties.

Pre-heat the grill to medium-high heat.

Lightly oil the grill. Place the patties on the grill and cook for 20 minutes, turning once, or until well done. The middle of the burgers will look whitish in color when cooked through.

Serve on buns with dijon mustard, lettuce, tomato and a pinch of salt and pepper.

*recipe from Kym 22 via

Homemade Burger Buns

2 Tablespoons (or two packets) active-dry yeast
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons warm water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
3 to 3-1/2 cups flour

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in oil and sugar. Let stand for five minutes. Add the egg, salt, and enough flour to form a soft dough.

Turn onto a floured surface and knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 3-5 minutes. (Or use a kneading hook on an electric mixer.) Do not let rise. Divide dough in half and save one half for rolls or pizza dough later on. Take the remaining half and shape into six equal balls. Place three inches apart on a greased baking sheet.

Cover and let rest for 10-15 minutes. Bake at 425 degrees for 8-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan and cool.

*recipe via Taste of Home