A’Tempting’ Tuesday: King Cake Cupcakes, Homemade Crescent Rolls and a Change in My Journey

Well hello y’all.  I’ve been really lax lately in my posts.  My plan is not going as I had hoped, but oh well.  What do you do? .. let’s just roll with it.

It’s Fat Tuesday, so Laissez les bons temps rouler!

The dynamic at our home has changed slightly. My hubby has a new job three hours away, which means during the week we live separately.  My son and I are getting used to a new schedule with one less parent during the week, which makes my Cooking, Crafting and Chaos journey a little more challenging as I look for ways to tackle all the projects I’d like to.  But you know what? Bring it!  I’m determined.  I need my creative time.

Today’s recipe should really have posted last week.  We were recently invited to a Mardi Gras themed party.  I needed a dish to take.  I was looking for something quick and easy to prepare as we had several things going on.   I ran across a recipe for King Cake Cupcakes that fit bill.  First, I love, love, love to make anything in cupcake liners.  These were super easy and they certainly fit the theme.

I found them in a blog, Crave. Indulge. Satisfy., which was certainly fitting.

I won’t reprint the recipe as it’s not mine and believe it or not, I made no changes to it, other than omitting the raisins and adding a little vanilla to the glaze. They were a hit at the party.

You can find the recipe here.  It’s basically crescent roll dough filled with a mixture of brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans.  You wrap them up and bake them in cupcake liners, then top them with a yummy, sugary glaze.  I topped them with purple, green and gold sprinkles, placed them on a purple tray and accented with Mardi Gras beads.  Shhhhhh! don’t tell anyone how easy it was.  It looked like I had really worked hard.

Of course, I can’t leave well enough alone.  As I was making these and pondering the cost of buying six, yes six, cans of crescent rolls (at roughly $2.10 a can) I decided I needed to try my hand at making homemade crescent rolls.  This led to another baking adventure.  Wearing my tiara and armed with my KitchenAid, I think I can do anything.  Turns out I can!   They really weren’t that difficult.

I researched a few recipes.  Based on what I had in my kitchen, I took several recipes and came up with one that worked for me.  This was my final recipe. I haven’t actually figured out the final cost, but I know it was less expensive than the cans.

**As I finalized this post, of course something went wrong.  I’ve lost some photos on my SD card.  Included was some of the photos for this blog.  I was able to recover most of them, but not the photo of my King Cake Cupcakes.  Even my tiara didn’t save me from this failure. Like I said, BRING IT!! I do however have a photo of my crescent roll dough creation, below.

Homemade Crescent Rolls

2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup warm milk
1 T sugar (I used Splenda)
2 cups flour (you can use cake flour, but I never have it)
1/2 tsp salt
4 T butter, room temperature

In the bowl of a stand mixer  combine yeast, water, milk and sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes, until foamy. Add in bread flour and salt and mix well with a dough hook. Cut the softened butter into three or flour pieces and drop them into the dough blending them in.

Mix for about 2 minutes. Cover the bowl and let rise for 45 minutes in a warm place.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Turn risen dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Press it out into a circle with your hands, then use a rolling pin to roll it out into an even, 10-inch circle.

Use a pizza cutter or a sharp knife to divide the circle into 12 triangles.

Starting with the outside edge of one of the triangles, roll the edge towards the center (just like you do with the canned rolls). Once rolled, curve the roll slightly into a crescent shape and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with all rolls. Cover rolls with a clean dish towel and let rise for 20 minutes.

Melt additional 1 T butter in a small bowl. Brush tops of rolls with butter.

Bake for 14-18 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Cook’s Talk: I stopped after the first 45 minutes of rising and just rolled out the dough to make a taco “loaf.”  I just filled it with taco meat and cheese.  I didn’t start out to make that, but  that is what I had in the kitchen on this night. I plan to complete the process to actually make rolls soon.

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It tasted much better than it looks in this photo.

Crescent rolls have really always been a go-to for a quick, easy meal or  party snack. They are great when my kitchen is low on groceries or we are in a big hurry. And, as a bonus, I can wrap anything in crescent roll dough or a tortilla and get my picky 11-year-old to eat it.   The dough turned out beautifully and both hubby and child loved it.  The moral of the story, I see many possibilities.  And, as this was so easy, I don’t think I’ll be buying any more canned rolls.

Coming soon, I think I’ll share some more of my favorite “crescent” recipes and even the cost of making them homemade.

Until next time…

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A’Tempting’ Tuesday: Life Happens (Even While Wearing Your Tiara)!

You know, I wish I was one of those superwomen who always have everything done on time and to a T. I want my house to be clean. I want dinner to always be yummy and on the table before my smiling family gets home.

I also want to get all this done with perfect makeup, perfect hair, beautiful well-fitting clothes and maybe even some “June Clearverish” pearls (I’m not aging myself that much. I watched that show in reruns.) — and yes, all while wearing a TIARA! I deserve that much, right?

Well, unfortunately even when you wear your TIARA, life happens! Jobs get in the way, unexpected projects pop up and you occasionally get sick. All of this happened to me last week.

I had so planned to dig into a lovely cookbook I received as a gift, and share a recipe from it with you this week. My family would have loved that too … but take-out and sandwiches were pretty much on tap all last week. We can chalk this one up to the chaos I call life.

So, instead I thought I’d share an appetizer recipe with you. This might come in handy with the Super Bowl just around the corner.

I took this to a New Year’s Eve party and it was a hit! It’s made with bacon. That should sum it up.

This recipe came courtesy of one of my favorite Facebook pages — $5-10 Dollar Meals- Cheap Eats.

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Sweet Chicken Bacon Wraps

1 ½ lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 (1 lb) package sliced bacon
¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons chili powder

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut chicken breasts into 1-inch cubes.

Cut each bacon slice into thirds. Wrap each chicken cube with bacon and secure with wooden pick inserted on the diagonal, starting where bacon seam overlaps.

Stir together brown sugar and chili powder. Dredge wrapped chicken in mixture.

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Coat a rack and broiler pan with non-stick cooking spray. Place chicken on rack in broiler pan.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 to 35 minutes, or until bacon is crisp.

Cook’s Talk:

  • These were quite yummy, but I think next time I will play with the seasoning a little bit. I might add red pepper flakes to spice it up a bit or maybe marinate the chicken in Tabasco or another hot sauce prior to wrapping in the bacon.
  • I wound up baking closer to 45 minutes as I used thicker-cut bacon.
  • Next time, I will also make MORE. They were gone in about 5 minutes.

I hope you enjoy.

Until next time …. I’m going to wear my tiara and explore my new cookbook.

What is it About the Holidays?

Texas Tree and Mantle

Texas tree and mantle (Sorry for the quality. I used an iPhone photo)

It’s finally Friday, y’all.  (We won’t talk about it being Friday the 13th).

I am a failure.  It is December 13 and I have yet to turn my house into the holiday wonderland that I envision every year.  You think one of these days I’d either:

A.  Learn that it is impossible.  Or….

B.  Just breathe and relax.

What is it about the holidays that I find completely overwhelming?  I have the skills to do what I want.  I have the vision.  I try to plan ahead.  I have an attic full of holiday decorations and a craft room bursting at the seams with a plethora of every craft supply you can think of.  Yet, it never seems to happen.

Are my dreams of a Martha Stewart meets Norman Rockwellesque holidays too much?  I don’t know.  I always get part of the way there, but never reach the top.  As the queen of all things you’d think I would know the thrill of having sugar plums floating through every room of my home, of being the envy of elves everywhere, and of feeling the awe and admiration of all my friends as they enter my magic kingdom of all things Christmas.

Well….

Let’s mark this post down in the “chaos” and “life happens” category of Cooking, Crafting and Chaos.  I had a huge holiday “to-do” list for this past week.  There aren’t as many lines marking tasks done as I’d like on that list.  On the bright side, I am making some progress.   Let’s see if I can pick myself up out of the “Ho Ho Humdom” I am feeling at the moment,  review some positives and remember that I have lots to be thankful for:

  • My daughter is home for the holidays!  Both kids are under one roof for the next month.  Yay!
  • Three of the four planned Christmas trees are put together.
  • One of the above three trees is completely decorated.  (And looks quite nice if I do say so myself.)
  • It’s Friday and I have time tonight and tomorrow to finish the trees and maybe even get some wrapping done.
  • Sunday is set aside for a little shopping and some holiday baking.
  • It will be a great weekend.
  • I am very proud of my mantle decor.
  • My kitchen is decorated.  (And clean… an even bigger accomplishment)
  • I’ve stayed true to my promise to utilize what I have and buy very little in the way of holiday decorations this year.  (I spent less than $20 — $12 for new stocking hangers and $4 in supplies to make a small wreath.  Gotta love The Dollar Tree.)
  • Some of my Christmas shopping is done.
  • This past weekend I got to enjoy a Christmas party for work and another one with great friends.
  • I’ve done everything so far without taking a day off from work.

A partial shot a clean and decorated kitchen

A partial shot a clean and decorated kitchen

My $4 wreath made with supplies from The Dollar Tree.

My $4 wreath made with supplies from The Dollar Tree.

Wow.  I guess it’s not as bad as I thought. I may not be Super Woman or Mrs. Claus, but I have managed to put a little holidays in to my home.  I still have a way to go, but it will get done.  This week, I pledge to finish my projects, but I also plan to just breathe.  I want to sit on the couch with my children, enjoy our Texas tree and maybe even one of our favorite holiday movies (Most likely Elf).

Until next time ….