Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

I hate to do this to you. I really have no intention of torturing my fellow readers. So unless you are a masochist (Rihanna anyone?) you should probably discontinue reading this post.

If you are one who tends to torture yourself with things that are so unbelievably good that they can't possibly be good for you then read on my friend.

This might be the best breakfast I have ever had.

I literally took 45 minutes to eat it because I didn't want the experience to end...Seriously, it's that good.

Shawn said it was like eating dessert for breakfast. Aka my ideal breakfast.

Make this tomorrow morning. Sorry I had to do this to you...but you're welcome.

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes
Adaped from bakedbree.com


1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1.5 tablespoons splenda/sugar blend (found in baking aisle)
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup skim milk
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup melted butter
1 Tablespoon vanilla

1 cup confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons margarine, melted
1 tablespoon skim milk
1 tablespoon maple syrup


In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together. In a small bowl, beat the wet ingredients together. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

Preheat a pan on the stovetop on medium heat. Spray with cooking spray and pour desired amount of batter onto the pan. Cook on both sides until golden brown.

Whisk all the ingredients together until smooth and all lumps are gone and it reaches desired consistency. If it is too runny add more sugar, if it is too thick add milk.

Drizzle icing on pancakes and serve warm.


Monday, April 25, 2011

Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry

Did everyone have a good Easter?! I sure did. Growing up, my family did not always do too much for Easter. I do remember some egg hunts and egg decorating growing up...but other than that Easter was never a big production...

Because it was never a big deal, it was never on my list of favorite holidays. But this year, I went with Shawn to visit his family and it was a good time. We ate lamb and yummy veggies and had key lime pie for dessert. We also brought Kirby along who had a blast...thinking that the whole celebration was all about him...

Of course.

The main event of the day? I played with the Xbox Kinect...not only did I play with it but I did the Michael Jackson dance game. So much fun, great workout, highly recommend it...

I want one!

Maybe some day...maybe. But by the time I could afford it the Kinect will be old news...sigh...

I was really hoping to make some carrot cake cookies or whoopie pies for easter this year but time flew by and I couldn't find any to spare...boo! Maybe next year...

This stir-fry here is something I made for Shawn and I a few weeks back. I actually really enjoyed it. The ginger added something really special. If you're looking for something to deviate from the stir-fry you always make, try this. For real.

Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry
From foodnetwork.com


1 pound chicken breast (about 2 breasts), cubed
3 scallions, whites only, thinly sliced on an angle
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece peeled fresh ginger, minced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
About 1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 to 6 cups broccoli, trimmed sliced stalks and medium florets (keep the 2 cuts separate)
3/4 to 1 teaspoon red chili flakes, optional
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
toasted sesame seeds, optional


(Marinate the chicken while you prepare the rest of the ingredients)

In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with the scallion whites, about half the garlic and ginger, the soy sauce, sugar, 1 teaspoon of the cornstarch, 1 teaspoon of the salt, the sherry, and the sesame oil. Marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes. Mix the remaining cornstarch with 1/3 cup water.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and heat. Add the broccoli stems, and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the florets and the remaining garlic, ginger, 2 tablespoons of water, and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Stir-fry until the broccoli is bright green but still crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Get the skillet hot again, and then heat 2 more tablespoons oil. Add the chicken and chili flakes if using. Stir-fry until the chicken loses its raw color and gets a little brown, about 3 minutes. Add the hoisin sauce, return the broccoli to the pan and toss to heat through. Stir in the reserved cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil to thicken. Add more water if need to thin the sauce, if necessary. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if you like. Mound the stir-fry on a serving platter or divide among 4 plates and garnish with sesame seeds; serve with rice.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Cinnamon Roll Granola

I don't know what it is lately but I have been all about the cinnamon roll. I have always loved them...but lately I have been going a little cinnamon crazy.

I've made cinnamon roll bread...cinnamon coffee cake and this cinnamon roll granola that I came up with.

I saw these cinnabon nuts at the store that I had origionally bought for Shawn. Then I had an intriguing thought...I could totally use these nuts in a granola...

I tried it out and loved it...its delish. Not the most healthy way to start your morning but when it comes to cinnamon rolls...screw healthy (though I do have a lighter version I plant to try soon...only so I can eat 5 and only feel half as guilty).

You should make this...


You're gonna love the way your house smells. Trust me.

Cinnamon Roll Granola
Dame Good


4 oz Cinnabon almonds, chopped (found in the nut/snack aisle)
3 oz Cinnabon cashews, chopped (found in the nut/snack aisle)
1 tablespoon skim milk
1/2 tablespoon margarine, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar
3 cups oats
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons canola oil


Preheat oven to 350F. In a small bowl combine milk, margarine, vanilla and powdered sugar to make icing. Stir until mixed. In a large bowl mix the oats, oil, cinnamon and 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of the icing mixture (reserve 2 tablespoons to drizzle over granola later).

Spread granola evenly on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray or lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring once after 10 minutes. After 20 minutes, stir granola again, then sprinkle with nuts and brown sugar. Bake for an additional 10 minutes or until golden brown.

After 30 total minutes, remove granola and drizzle with the reserved icing mixture. Allow to cool 15 minutes. Store in airtight containters.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mexican Chicken Tenders

I've been on this scary movie kick lately. Last Friday me and the girls went and saw "Scream 4". It was ridiculously cheesy...

Meaning I loved it! It was like the typical horror movie from the 90's...I miss those...

Nowadays scary movies are just bad...not the kind of bad I like...just the kind of bad that makes you miss the other kind of bad movies? Not following?

It's not important.

Point being, it's a rainy day and I just want to make a comforting meal, light some candles and watch a scary movie. That is my exact plan for tonight. Of course, I am not one who can bare watching scary movies alone...I'll have Shawn and Kirby to cuddle with...unfortunately for them they must endure my shrieking...but hey, I make the food so they just have to deal.

What scary movie should we watch?

I should probably say something about this recipe huh? The coleslaw that goes with it=awesome. I loved it! Also, I would advise eating the chicken with a chipotle or southwest ranch...and hot sauce...mmm hot sauce.

Mexican Chicken Tenders
Adapted from foodnetwork.com


1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 medium red onions, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
1/2 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
1/2 cup non-fat greek yogurt
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 small head cabbage, shredded (about 4 cups)
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 9-ounce bag multi-grain tortilla chips, finely crushed
Cooking spray
1 1/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch strips


Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F. Whisk 1/4 cup vinegar, 1 tablespoon sugar and the chili powder in a shallow microwave-safe dish. Add the onions, separating them into rings. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave until crisp-tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Toss to coat the onions with the liquid, then let cool.

Meanwhile, whisk 1/3 cup mayonnaise, the cilantro and the remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar and 1 tablespoon sugar in a large bowl. Add the cabbage, jalapenos, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste and toss. Refrigerate the slaw until ready to serve.

Whisk the remaining 2/3 cup mayonnaise and 1 tablespoon liquid from the pickled onions in a shallow dish. Put the crushed chips in another dish. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Dip the chicken in the mayonnaise mixture and then in the chips; place on the baking sheet. Mist the chicken with cooking spray. Bake until crisp and cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve with the slaw and onions.


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Stromboli

Sunday is my new favorite day of the week. It is my one and only day to relax and bake and take Kirby to the park. For the longest time I was working and having class everyday of the week with no days off. It finally got to me and I was able to get Sunday's off. I am now absolutely in love with this day. It also happens to be the only full day Shawn is in town...so win-win!

I just now got back from the "Book Loft" which is an amazing old book store in my neighborhood. It is surrounded with cobblestone and brick sidewalks and gardens. It has 32 rooms of books all arranged by genre. I spend hours in there. I was there searching for a children's book. For my American Sign Language class we have to choose a childrens story to sign. I cannot for the life of me think of one.

This makes me sad because I always loved to read. I remember having butterflies in my stomach as a kid on book fair days. Nerd? Yes. I chose "If you Give a Mouse a Cookie" but I am not sure if this is the right choice...any suggestions?

On another note, I have been making up recipes like crazy. I have had so many ideas running around in my head I am kind of going crazy. Many are successful...at least according to my standards. Although my palate is not hard to please. Meaning, if anyone tries these....let me know what you think! :)

We all know I love buffalo chicken. I'm all about making it in less traditional ways. So I came up with this buffalo chicken stromboli made with a whole wheat crust. I loved this. It's a little spicy but I'm all about it.

Buffalo Chicken Stromboli
Dame Good

Makes 2  (8-12 in) strombolis


1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon honey
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon dry ranch dressing mix

1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
1 cup hot sauce (Franks Buffalo)
1 cup celery, chopped
3/4 cup white onion, chopped
2 cups reduced fat cheese (provalone or mozzarella), shredded
4 ounces reduced-fat blue cheese crumbles
1 tablespoon dry ranch dressing mix
1/2 cup fat-free ranch dressing
1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)
salt and pepper to taste


In a large bowl, dissolve sugar in warm water. Sprinkle yeast over the top and let stand 5-10 minutes, or until foamy.

Stir the olive oil, honey and salt into the yeast mixture. Start to mix in all of the flour. When mostly mixed, transfer the dough to a mixer with a dough hook. Once mixed, sprinkle in the dry ranch mix.

Tip dough onto a floured surface and knead  until the ball is smooth and the seasoning is mixed in. Put the dough in a large oiled bowl. Spray the dough with cooking spray or roll around in oil so it is completely covered. Cover with a towel or saran wrap and let stand in a warm place for about an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.

When the dough is doubled, tip it out onto a lightly floured surface and divide the dough into two even pieces. Form into a tight ball and let rise an additional 45 min-1 hour.

While waiting for the dough to rise, season both sides of the chicken breast with salt and pepper. Spray an indoor or outdoor grill with cooking spray and set to medium heat. Once the grill is preheated, add the chicken breast and grill for 3-5 minutes on each side (it is okay if it is a little underdone as the chicken will cook more when being baked in the oven). Once the chicken is grilled, remove from grill and let cool on a plate for about 10 minutes.

Once the chicken has cooled, take two forks and shred the chicken to desired size. Add chicken to a large bowl. Add the hot sauce, celery, onions, blue cheese, and 1 tablespoon ranch seasoning to the bowl. Stir the mixture until everything is combined.

When the dough is done rising, preheat the oven to 375F. Roll out one dough ball into a large rectangle (approximately 10-in by 14-in). You want it to be pretty thin, but not too thin that the filling will leak. Sprinkle the shredded cheese along the middle of the dough leaving a 1-in border along the edges. Layer 1/4 cup of ranch dressing along the shredded cheese. Take half of the chicken mixture and spread it atop of the cheese and ranch.

Taking a brush, apply the egg wash along the 1-inch border. Fold in the shorter ends over the filling. Take one of the long ends and fold it over to the other end. Use the egg was to seal al of the edges. and press each edge firmly together (for help rolling, google what a stromboli looks like). Put the stromboli, seam side down on a greased baking sheet. Take a fork and puncture the top of the stromboli a few times all over to allow steam to escape. Finish by brushing over the surface of the stromboli with the egg wash to give it a shine.

Repeat process with second dough ball.

Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until goldn brown. You will want to keep your eye on it and check every 10 minutes or so to make sure there is no leakage. If so, reseal and continue to bake.

Once removed from oven, allow to cool for 10-15 minutes. Cut into desired size and serve with ranch or blue cheese dressing.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Birthday Cake Batter Pocket Pies (My version of the McDonalds holiday custard pie)

I am not a big McDonalds fan (more of a Burger King gal). Sure I may randomly have a Big Mac craving (disgusting I know...apalling in fact), but in general I feel pretty "meh" about McDonalds.

Except for come Winter....

During winter, the mere mention of McDonalds has me salivating instantly. It's like the Pavlov's dog thing, I am not kidding you. I don't have a lot of nice things to say about "Old Man Winter", we're always fighting.

But, McDonalds Holiday Custard Pies...oh...my...Gosh.

There is something about them that has me craving...and craving hard. But something heartbreaking happened to me this past winter. Something that had me calling each and every McDonalds in the 20-mile radius of Columbus (I wish I was joking, I really do).

I pulled up to the McDonalds near my house, still panting from the hard workout I had, preparing myself for the glory to come. I placed my order for 8 Holiday pies smiling as I assured myself I was definitely a genius for realizing I should buy a bunch and freeze them so I can enjoy these delectable pocket versions of happiness year-round....

My smile didn't last long...my heart dropped as I processed that they were out of them...for good. It wasn't even January yet! I raced home and found no luck with any of the other McDonald's I called. Then I realized how ridiculous I was...which in turn made me want to eat something sinful...with sprinkles...its a vicious cycle I am telling you!

I was agonizing over this at work when a co-worker exclaimed to me that she thought the pies of my dreams tasted like funfetti to her...Dear God that's why I love them so much. Maybe if I tried playing around with cake batter I could make something work...I decided then and there I would attempt to remake them...I just had to.

And attempt I did. Did I find 100% success...no, not really. Did I find something pretty tasty and fun? Why yes, yes I did. I could keep trying (and may in the future) but these Cake Batter Pocket Pies I came up with were my third attempt. The first attempt was terrible, the second was okay and this one was pretty good when not comparing them to the origional.

I went a healthier route, perhaps that's my problem...but I know if I made one as terrible for you as McDonalds that I would have to go jean shopping and I just don't have that kind of money, or patience.

If you have never had a McDonald's custard pie, then you may love these. Hell, you might still love these even if you have. In fact, they are kind of awesome anyway...The pudding itself is dangerous, as I ate 1/2 of it before any of it made it into some pie crust.

Anyways, this for now is my version of the remake until I come back to it. It is by no means a failure...but perhaps my fellow bloggers can help me out here...anyone? No?

Birthday Cake Batter Pocket Pies
Dame Good

Makes about 6-10 pocket pies, depending on thickness and size.


1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup cold water
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 (1 oz) package sugar-free and fat-free instant vanilla pudding
2 cups skim milk
1/4 cup yellow cake mix (dry)
1/3 cup jimmies (sprinkles)

1 egg , beaten (for egg wash)
2 tablespoons jimmies (to garnish pies)


Stir the flours, salt and sugar together in a medium bowl and freeze for about an hour. Put the oil in a small bowl and freeze separately from the flour for about an hour. Remove both from the freezer when an hour passes.

Stir the oil into the flour and mix until crumbly. Slowly add the water to the dough a little at a time until it reaches the right consistency.

In a medium-sized bowl mix the pudding mix and milk. Stir constantly until mixture thickens. Add the cake mix and stir until combined. Add the sprinkles, stir just until incorporated.

Preheat oven to 375F.

Roll out the pie dough to desired thickness. I recommend going as thin as you can without being able to see through it. Cut into desired shape and size and use the piece to cut as a guideline for the rest. (I cut mine into roughyl 2-in x 4-in rectangles).

Spoon filling in the center of one rectangle leaving about a 1/2-in border along the edges. Brush egg wash along all of the edges. Layer an equal-size rectangle over top of the filling and press to seal along the edges. Using a fork, further press the edges using the end of the fork to ensure that the edges are sealed (this is very important, as your filling will leak if you don't).

After you have used up all of the pie crust and sealed each pocket pie tightly, take a knife and cut a feww horizontal slits (about 1/2 in in size) on the top of each pie to allow steam to escape. Brush each pie with an egg wash and sprinkle with jimmies.

Align pies on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown (be sure to keep your eye on the pies to make sure they are not leaking).

Monday, April 11, 2011

Birthday Cake Batter Pudding

I hope that nobody feels I am trying to insult anyone's intelligence by posting this "recipe".

Just bare with me.

This is actually a small component of another recipe I have been working on...but by the time the 18th spoonfull of this stuff reached my mouth I realized it needed to be shared. Sure, even my dog could make this...but one may not naturally think to pair cake mix with pudding...

Other than these cake mix pudding cookies I made...total success (if I may add).

This pudding concoction is something I actually used (on my 3rd attempt) as a filling for another recipe (coming soon), but I was pleasantly surprised to learn this stuff was good on its own.

I'll admit it, I have gone cake batter crazy like the rest of the blog world...I need help.

Then again, with this stuff, I'm not so sure I want help.

Birthday Cake Batter Pudding
Dame Good

Makes close to 3 cups


1 (1 oz) package fat-free sugar-free instant vanilla pudding
2 cups skim milk
1/4 cup yellow cake mix (dry)
1/3 cup jimmies (sprinkles)


In a medium-sized bowl mix the pudding mix and milk. Stir constantly until mixture thickens. Add the cake mix and stir until combined. Add the sprinkles, stir just until incorporated. Enjoy!

Hope that wasn't too complicated for anybody :)


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Lighter Layered Taco Dip

I love dips. I mean really love dips. Sweet, savory you name it, I love it. My only problem with them is how much trouble they get me in. For example, yesterday, after work, I plopped on the couch with a bag of whole grain tortilla chips and some all-natural guacamole. It was only maybe 10 minutes before I realized I had absent-mindedly gone through half of it...darn it.

I have read in the magazines and all that how you are supposed to portion that stuff out, and only sit down with what you intend to eat...but I am always too anxious to begin the "eating process" to think about that.

We have a problem...

But dips are so good! This equals a lot of extra gym time for me. But that's a sacrifice I am willing to make. 1 pound of yummy dip for 4 hours at the gym? I'll take that...I guess.

Fortunately for me, I made this dip a bit lighter. It's not the lightest thing you could be eating on earth...but it is not loaded with fat and calories like many of the origional versions of this dip...I advise you all to make this and dig in...literally.

Lighter Layered Taco Dip
Dame Good


1 cup refried black beans
8 ounces neufchatel cheese, softened
1 cup fat-free sour cream
1.25 oz dry taco seasoning
1/2 cup salsa
1 small avacado, chopped
1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
1 1/2 cups lettuce, shredded
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1/2 cup all-natural hot pepper cheese (pepperjack blend), shredded
1/2 cup reduced-fat cheddar, shredded
3.8 oz can black olives, drained


Start to layer your dip in an 8x8 casserole dish. Layer the refried black beans and spread evenly on the bottom of the pan. In a separate bowl, mix the neaufchatel, sour cream and taco seasoning. Stir until combined.

Layer the neufchatel mixture evenly over top of the refried beans. Next layer the salsa, then the lettuce, the avacado, the tomato,  the green onions, the cheeses and top with the black olives.

Its best to refrigerate the dip for an hour or so before serving, so that it sets. Serve with tortilla chips. Refrigerate leftovers.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Funfetti Treats

I am so delighted to see that the blog world has gone cake batter crazy! Batter has always been my favorite part of baking (yes, I have a chronic bowl-licking illness) and I love that everyone is coming up with fun recipes that incorporate cake batter. Google it, its everywhere.

These are from my blog idol. She has done quite a few interesting things with cake batter, all of which I love. I am excited to try more because I loved this. These lasted about 12 hours in my house. That's all I'm going to say...

Oh, and sprinkles belong in everything.

The end.

Funfetti Treats
Adapted from Howsweeteats.com


1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup funfetti cake mix (dry)
6 cups crisp rice cereal
1 10-oz bag miniature marshmallows
1/4 cup sprinkles (jimmies or non-pariels, or a combination like I did :))


Spray a large bowl with cooking spray (as well as the spatula or spoon you plan to use). Put the cereal and 3 tablespoons of the sprinkles in the bowl and mix up.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over low-medium heat. When the butter is melted add the marshmallows and stir constantly until the marshmallows are about 3/4 melted (I prefer not to melt mine all the way so there are chunks of marshmallows in the treats). Slowly add the cake mix and stir until combined.

Pour the marshmallow mixture over the cereal and sprinkles and stir until combined. Press into a greased 9x13 baking dish (or an 8x8 if you want thicker bars). Top the bars with remaining sprinkles.

Let cool for about an hour (to speed up the process, put them in the refrigerator). Cut into squares with a knife. Dig in!


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Coconut Macaroon Granola

This has been a fun week for me even though it was the first week back at class (grossss). Tuesday night was my best friends birthday and we went to a Dashboard Confessional concert. I am not ashamed in the least to say that they have been my absolute favorite since I was 16. They played all their older stuff and it really brought me back. It's amazing how time flies by. I can't believe I was getting my license, dating my first real boyfriend and listening to Dashboard 7 (almost 8, yikes) years ago.

I am really trying to live in the moment and not take life for granted. I feel I tend to worry about the past and future so much that I don't even get to savor the moment. So it's not New Years, but thats my resolution.

I had a bag of coconut in the freezer and was craving macaroons. I knew if I actually made macaroons it could end in a sugar coma so I decided to try something different. I am so glad I did because I absolutely love this granola! Its similar to the almond coconut granola I made a while back. Sure this isn't the healthiest of all granolas but mix it in with vanilla greek yogurt and you'll feel a little better. Try this, I promise it wont disappoint!

Coconut Macaroon Granola
Dame Good

Makes about 5 cups


3 cups oats
3 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened, your choice)
1/2 cup canola oil
7 oz (1/2 can) fat-free sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract (optional)
1/8 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 350F. Combine the oats, coconut and salt in a large bowl. Combine the oil, milk, and extracts in a small bowl and combine until mixed. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until combined.

Spray a baking sheet lightly with cooking spray. Spread the granola evenly on the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes and then remove pan from the oven to stir the granola, mixing up well so that it is baked evenly. Bake for another 10 minutes or until golden brown and the coconut is toasted.

Store in airtight containers.
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