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: Yummy with a Capital Y!

This dish has SHRIMP.

It has BUTTER …..

It has HEAVY CREAM (ahhhhhhh…. The angels are singing).

Need I say more?

Oh wait, it was also easy and was a nice, cheaper alternative to going out to eat.

I’ve been somewhat in a mealtime rut. I’m bored with what I have been preparing so heading to the kitchen after working all day has been no fun!! I’m constantly sharing recipes that look good on my Facebook Page (please, please, please go like me) and pinning yummy finds on Pinterest, but never doing anything with them.

So, as a New Year’s “Promise” to myself, I have decided to stop only admiring my plethora of recipes and actually try them out.

(Please note: I do not use the word “resolution.” I would automatically fail at that. I do have a list of promises and projects I’d like to do and will share those at some point.)

This week’s A‘Tempt’ was Crispy Cajun Shrimp Fettuccine and it was yummy with a capital Y. Both my husband and son loved it, which is an accomplishment in itself AND with the exception of shrimp, I had all the ingredients in my pantry.

Crispy Cajun Shrimp Fettuccine

4 oz. fettuccine
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. butter
16 large shrimp
1 tbsp. Cajun spice (recipe below, or use a your favorite packaged blend)
2 tbsp. flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Cook fettuccine according to package directions.

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Clean the shrimp and season with 1 tbsp. of Cajun spice (recipe below).

Drizzle the flour over the shrimp and toss in a bowl to make sure each shrimp is covered in flour.

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In a deep skillet, add butter and olive oil and heat over high heat. Add shrimp and cook on each side about 2 minutes until crisp.

Remove shrimp from skillet and set aside.

In the same skillet, add chicken broth and heavy cream.

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Season with additional Cajun spice if preferred. Cook until sauce thickens a bit from the heavy cream, then add Parmesan cheese and whisk. Add fettuccine and shrimp to the sauce and toss.  Serve warm.

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Cajun Spice

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2 ½ tbsp. salt
1 tbsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. paprika
1 tbsp. red chili powder
1 tbsp. ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients together in a small container with a lid.

Oh so easy!!

Cook’s Talk

  • This recipe is very forgiving; you can be flexible with the amounts. I used smaller shrimp, so wound up with probably more like 30-35 shrimp. I also used more than 4 ounces of pasta as my husband is a big eater. In turn, I increased the amount of broth and cream to accommodate the added pasta.
  • I was lazy and splurged on already peeled and cleaned shrimp!
  • I had all the ingredients for the Cajun Spice in my pantry so I didn’t use an already prepared one. We like spicy, so I added extra when I tossed in the shrimp and pasta. In fact, my hubby and son were sprinkling more on their plates.
  • If you wanted to use a prepared spice blend, I think Tony’s (which is a staple in my pantry) would work well. Just be careful, it’s salty. In fact, I think they make a salt-free version.
  • Use fresh grated Parmesan, not the powdered stuff out of the can.
  • It sounds silly with all the butter and cream here, but out of habit I used whole wheat pasta.
  • The only drawback was getting the dang melted Parmesan off my whisk! (I like to cook, not do dishes!)

This dish will be making a return to our table. My daughter has been trying her hand at more cooking and I think the ease of this would be a great one for her to try in her college apartment and impress her roommates.

Until next time, y’all enjoy….

Next Week: I’m going old school and actually using a cookbook.

A’Tempting’ Tuesday – Red Velvet Cheesecake Ball

It’s A’Tempting’ Tuesday!

I am always trying out new recipes and searching for something new to make, so each Tuesday I will share a new recipe. I will share the good, the bad and the ugly, being honest about my successes and failures (there are many of those).

I love to make desserts and bake, so it’s fitting I share a dessert today. (I also sometimes need quick and easy and this recipe fits that bill too.) This is the time of the year we are constantly invited to get-togethers, so I use these opportunities to try new recipes and share a few old favorites. It works out well for me. I get to “feed” my joy of making desserts and baking. I don’t do it often unless I have somewhere to take my efforts, as hubby is a diabetic (a diabetic with a sweet tooth so I try not to have too many temptations around the house) and I really don’t need the calories.

Today, I am sharing a recipe that was new to me. I prepared this Red Velvet Cheesecake Ball for a little get-together with several friends I had not seen in a while. It was a hit, so I know I will definitely prepare this one again! In fact, I’ve already promised my daughter one when she is home from school in a couple of weeks.  Red Velvet cupcakes are her fave, so I know she will like this.

I also acquired a new dip recipe that night that I will share with you soon. It was quite yummy. It was a great night of good food, friends and wine.

I found this recipe on a Facebook page – $5-10 Meals – Cheap Eats. This site fills another need – CHEAP – and I have found several good recipes here.  Check it out.

I will tell you, I often “tweak” recipes and am not known for always following a recipe to the tee, so I will make note of any changes I’ve made. Added ingredients will be marked in bold.

Sorry about the quality of this picture.

Sorry about the quality of this picture.

Red Velvet Cheesecake Ball
Makes about 16 servings

Ingredients:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1-1/2 cups red velvet cake mix, dry
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla (I used pure vanilla)
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (I am sure I used more as I didn’t measure these)
Assorted cookies (I used vanilla wafers)

Directions:

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese, vanilla and butter until smooth.
Add in the red velvet cake mix, brown sugar and powdered sugar. Beat until smooth and combined.
Turn the mixture out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Wrap up into a ball and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Put the chocolate chips on a plate or in a shallow dish. Remove the cheese ball from the refrigerator and unwrap.
Roll in the chocolate chips.
Place on a serving plate and serve with cookies.

Cook’s Notes:

  • I added the vanilla because this recipe made me think of an icebox cheesecake recipe my mom always loved. That recipe used vanilla. I love vanilla paired with cream cheese, so I thought it would be a good addition here. I was right. In turn, I added a couple of extra tablespoons of powdered sugar to make up for the added liquid of the vanilla.
  • To aid in the shaping of the “ball,” I place the wrapped mixture in a small bowl with a very rounded bottom.
  • Here’s where I failed slightly.  It was a busy week and I was running behind as usual.  I didn’t allow enough chilling time for the mixture.  It was a little soft and hard to “roll” in the chocolate chips.  I wound up just patting them onto the surface of the ball.  Despite it’s softness, it still tasted great and everyone loved it.  Next time, I will make sure I allow at least two hours or more for chilling.

All and all, this will definitely be a dish I repeat in the future.  It was super easy, inexpensive and tasty.  As a bonus, I already had all the ingredients in my pantry.

If you try it out, I hope you enjoy.

Until next time ….

NEXT WEEK:  A Pampered Chef favorite.