Waiting on Monkey, Monkey Bread

What’s there to do while waiting for our monkey to arrive?  Make monkey bread of course!  Every time I see a picture of monkey bread I start drooling, so I decided to take a whack at it.  If I’d known how easy monkey bread was to make, I would’ve been making them for years.  This monkey bread may become the birthday morning breakfast tradition for the baby.  Sounds like a good idea to me!

Monkey Bread - The Not So Desperate Chef Wife



Ingredients
2 tubes of 8 Grand Buttermilk Biscuits
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 stick of butter
1/4-1/2 cup of honey
1/2 cup of chopped pecans (optional)

Directions
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-Lightly spray a pound cake pan with baking spray
-Add the brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, and pecans to a large ziplock bag (the freezer bag size).  Seal the bag and shake to combine.
-Separate all of the biscuits and slice each biscuit into 6 pieces (like you’re slicing a pizza), and add to the ziplock bag.
-Seal the bag and shake to coat each of the biscuit triangles with the sugar mixture.
-Pour the dough mixture into an even layer in the pound cake pan.
-Melt the butter and honey in a small microwave-safe bowl and spoon evenly over the top of the dough.
-Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown.
-Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes
-Give the pan a little shake and flip onto serving plate.  Let sit for another 5-10 minutes before devouring…just as a cruel joke 🙂 

King’s Hawaiian Ham and Swiss Sliders

Adapted from:  King’s Hawaiian Rolls

King's Hawaiian Ham and Swiss Sliders - The Not So Desperate Chef Wife

King's Hawaiian Ham and Swiss Sliders - The Not So Desperate Chef Wife

King's Hawaiian Ham and Swiss Sliders - The Not So Desperate Chef Wife

King's Hawaiian Ham and Swiss Sliders - The Not So Desperate Chef Wife



At my work baby shower, I had one of the most delicious ham and cheese sliders I have ever had!  My co-worker told me the secret was King’s Hawaiian Original Sweet Rolls.  So once I got home, I got googling and found a recipe on their website that matched what I had just eaten that day.  These are nothing short of amazing and are so addicting…I challenge you to eat just one (it’s impossible).  The response I got from Nate when he tried these was a mouthful-mumble of  “These are good!”  They even reheat well in the toaster oven or wrapped in foil and placed in the oven.

And extra touch was using Organic Valley’s Baby Swiss Cheese and  Cultured Unsalted Butter.  While I’ve cooked with plenty of organic fruits and vegetables, I’ve never used organic cheese and butter before.  Honestly, the flavor of the cheese and butter alone, is stronger and fresher tasting.  And you could immediately taste the lack of chemicals being used in these organic products, which is a very good thing!  The only way to get better quality cheese and butter is to get it from the farmer themselves!  Stay-tuned, there will be an Organic Vally giveaway starting on Friday!


Ingredients
1 pack of King’s Hawaiian Original Sweet Dinner Rolls (12 pack)
1 lb deli ham, shaved/sliced (I just went to the lunch meat section!)
8 oz. block of swiss cheese, shredded
1 1/2 sticks butter
3 tablespoons dijon honey mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons poppy seeds (optional)

Directions
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-Melt butter over medium heat and saute the onions in the butter for 1-2 minutes.
-Then add the mustard, worcestershire, and poppy seeds. Simmer for for about 5 minutes, until the onions are soft.
-Cut the entire pack of rolls in half, horizontally…keeping all the top and bottom halves separately in tact.
-Spray a 9×13 casserole dish with non-stick spray, place bottom half of rolls, and spoon 1/2 of the onion mixture over the rolls.
-Add a slice of ham and sprinkle swiss cheese over each roll. 
-Cover with the top half of rolls.
-Spread the remaining onion mixture and any extra cheese over the top.
-Bake covered for 15-20 minutes, and once finished, separate for serving.

Flatout Craving Pizza

Most cravings are random so some sound terrible, but every once in a while a random craving works out for everyone!  That was the case with this one (thank goodness).  We use flatout bread for lunch wraps because they are much more durable compared to other wrappers.  We’ve been using them for over a year and I finally noticed on the packaging, you can make pizza out of them!  So I gave it a whack.

Just a little bun in the oven update, Nate got to feel the baby kick last night!  It was just a thump, but he felt it!  We tried to poke, jiggle, and wake it up to do it again, but it was done showing off for the night. 

Flatout Craving Pizza - The Not So Desperate Chef Wife

Flatout Craving Pizza - The Not So Desperate Chef Wife



Ingredients
nonstick cooking spray
2 flatouts (used healthy grain, but choose whichever!)
1 16 oz can of pizza sauce
1 4-6 oz tub of goat cheese
1 peach, diced
1 package cappicola, sliced into strips
1 bunch baby bok choy, washed, sliced, sauted with EVOO, salt and pepper
1 bottle of balsamic glaze (or reduce your own balsamic glaze)
1-2 teaspoons dried oregano

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Lightly spray each side of the flatout bread with nonstick spray. Place the flatouts side by side on a cookie sheet.  Bake in oven for 7-10 minutes. (Directions said 7, I did 10)

Remove from oven and spoon pizza sauce on to eat flatout.  Use preferred amount of sauce and spread evenly over the bread/crust.

Add all the toppings, sprinkle dried oregano over the top, drizzle with balsamic glaze.  Put back in the oven for about 12 minutes.  (The cappicola should sizzle a bit and start to crisp up.)

Remove, slice, and enjoy!

Zucchini Bread with Blueberries

  • Holy moly mother of meatballs does my house smell good.  Zucchini bread is in the oven as I’m typing this post.  When I think of zucchini bread I think of warm fuzzies in the winter time.  It is supposed to be 66 degrees here on Saturday, so think of this as my 
  • version of a “snow dance.”  An added bonus are the blueberries I added this go-around.

Don’t forget to enter the $50 Bed Bath & Beyond Gift Card Giveaway!


Servings: 16
WW Points Per Serving: 10 (9 points with out the butter)
I know, not low in points, but at least you know what you are getting yourself into! 🙂  Maybe I’ll lighten it up this weekend.

  • Ingredients
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspooon vanilla
  • 2 cups coarsely grated zucchini (loosely packed)
  • 1 pint of blueberries
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter (more depending on your love for butter!)



Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a large bowl, beat 3 eggs until frothy (with a stand or hand mixer). Gradually add 2 cups sugar and beat until combined. 

Add the vegetable oil and vanilla to the mix, but stir together so oil doesn’t fly everywhere…ignored this tip the first time I made this bread! Then beat until thick and lemon colored. Stir in zucchini and blueberries.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir dry mixture into wet mixture to combine (this is not a thick dough recipe, so don’t expect to end up with a ball of dough at the end).

Spray two bread loaf pans with non-stick spray and flour the sides. Pour equal amounts of batter into each pan.

Bake for 1 hour or until done.

Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then run a knife along the sides to loosen bread and remove from pans. Cool on wire rack. 

Pour melted butter over the top while the bread is still warm.

Red Raspberry Brie Crescent Rolls

Before my husband and I got married, I had to clue him in on one of my guilty pleasures.  I liked to lay in bed watching tv while eating brie and raspberry jelly on club crackers.  It is divine, and you should try it.  So, naturally baked brie is a favorite.  However, slicing into the perfectly presented in puff pastry or fillo dough always seems to ruin the attractiveness from the start.  Crumbles of pastry always seems to get all over your hands and mouth.  Not to mention the guilt you feel for being the one who made the baked brie look like a hot mess.  So for being such a sophisticated appetizer, it is a messy one!  


So last week I experimented with fillo dough.  My goal was to make individual, bite-sized bake brie’s in a mini-muffin pan.  Google “FAIL” and this idea will be on the top page of results!  While I was perusing the grocery store aisles a light bulb went off…in my head not the store 🙂  Crescent Rolls!


They may not look as sophisticated as the usual baked brie, but holy moly mother of meatballs are they easier to consume!  And what a world of difference there is in the preparation…I’m pretty sure a kindergartner could make these. They are perfect for breakfast, dessert, or a shower of some sort.  These little bites of heaven are easy to pick up and eat with out destroying the rest of the presentation.  You may have to lick your finger tips, but who cares.




Servings: 8
WW Points Per Serving: 5


Ingredients
1 tube of crescent roll dough (8 rolls)
2 oz brie cheese
4 tablespoons of red raspberry jelly or preserves
4 teaspoons of honey


Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.


Pop open a tube of crescent roll dough and unroll them onto a baking pan, spacing evenly.


Dollop 1/2 a tablespoon of raspberry jelly onto each triangle of dough.  Use a knife to spread out the jelly evenly (leave a border of dough around the spread of jelly to prevent spillage).


Slice the brie into pieces and place on the widest side of the dough.


Roll the dough like you would if you were making regular crescent rolls.


Bake in the oven for 11-13 minutes, until golden brown.


When you remove from oven, drizzle 1/2 teaspoon of honey over the top.


Enjoy!


(can be served warm or at room temp, but store in an air-tight container)

Baked Pizza Biscuits

For the longest time I always felt pressure to cook something wonderful or gourmet every time I fixed dinner for Nate and me.  I mean, he is a chef, he couldn’t possibly want to eat anything less than awesome!  Choosing the perfect meal to make for dinner sometimes felt impossible so I would insist on us going out to eat that night.  Thank goodness I finally realized, he doesn’t care what I make as long as it just tastes good.  If the meal meets that one requirement, then the ingredients and techniques used don’t really matter.  

You should have seen his face when I told him I was making biscuit pizzas.  He said “you mean, English muffin pizzas?”… Nope, biscuit pizzas!  I felt so accomplished that he had never heard or thought of making a biscuit pizza.  This recipe is so simple, satisfying, and fun to make.  I’m sure children would have fun making their own personal biscuit pizza!  Next time you want to defrost a frozen pizza, give this recipe a try instead. 
Ingredients
1 tube of 8 jumbo flaky buttermilk biscuits
1/2 – 1 cup of marinara sauce (depending on how much sauce you prefer)
1 pack of your favorite shredded cheese
Any of your favorite pizza toppings! Pepperonis, onions, peppers, italian seasoning, crushed red pepper, tomatoes, bacon, sausage, mushrooms, anchovies, etc.

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a baking pan with non-stick spray.
Pop open the tube of biscuits and as you take each of them out, use your thumbs to press out the dough (Like you would with normal pizza dough). You should make a shallow pocket to fill with sauce/cheese/toppings. 
Place each biscuit at least 1 inch apart on the baking pan.


Add a spoonful of marinara sauce, cheese, and toppings to each biscuit.  Then bake in the oven 15-18 minutes until the cheese is melted and the biscuits are done.

Zucchini Bread

Source: Cooks.com


So many people make zucchini bread, and claim to have the best recipe…well guess what, I do!  Any recipe that ends with you pouring melted butter over the top, should be a winner in your book.  You can also make a simple lemon juice, orange juice, and powdered sugar glaze to pour over instead, but come on, at least try the butter first!

Ingredients
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspooon vanilla
2 cups coarsely grated zucchini (loosely packed)
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

4 table spoons of butter… or more 😉
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat 3 eggs until frothy. Gradually add 2 cups sugar. Stir in 1 cup vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Beat until thick and lemon colored. Stir in zucchini.

In a medium bowl, whisk together to combine 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir dry mixture into wet mixture to combine. Optional – add chopped walnuts or pecans.

Spray two bread loaf pans (approximately 8″x4″x3″) with grease and flour to prevent sticking (I’ve also lined loaf pans with parchment paper…much easier to clean). Pour batter into pans and level off with the back of a spoon.

Bake for approximately 1 hour or until done. Use the ever faithful toothpick trick.

Allow loaves to cool in pan for 10 minutes, then run a knife along the sides to loosen bread and remove from pans (unless you used parchment paper, then your loaf should just come out). Cool on wire rack. Drizzle tops of loaf with melted butter while still warm.