DIY: Yellow Cake Mix

yellow-cake-mix-instant-recipe

I am weird…then again, living in this world and with this big of a family, who wouldn’t be? Anyways, I have this thing for doing everything homemade. I rarely use cake mixes, although I am always impressed with the flavor when I do. Somehow I still feel a twang of guilt or something when I use them. Another real problem is that our family usually shops at Sam’s Club or Gordon Food Services, which only sell huge boxes. Finally, to top off my problems, all over the internet there are these amazing recipes, but they all require cake mixes! Then it hit me. Why not make it yourself, Kloe? So that is exactly what I did! I found this lovely little recipe off of the Brown Eyed Baker. She has an amazing site, so go check it out!

The hardest part of this recipe is getting the cold butter to form a mix, but juts keep at it and it will come out beautifully!

yellow-cake-recipe-mix

Homemade Yellow Cake Mix:

Ingredients:

2 cups granulated sugar
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ cups cake flour
½ cup nonfat dry milk powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, cut in ½-inch cubes and cold
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions:

1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the sugar, both flours, milk powder, baking powder and salt. Process for 15 seconds. Add the pieces of butter and lightly toss with a fork so they are coated with the flour mixture. Sprinkle the vanilla over the top. Pulse until the mixture is fine and crumbly, about 10 one-second pulses. Use immediately or store in an airtight bag or container in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Note: For instructions on how to make an actual cake with this mix, please visit Mel’s Kitchen Café.

 

Enjoy! Make some of those goodies with this mix!

~Kloe ♥♪

 

 

 

 

Fiesta Friday: Homemade Pizza

pepporoni-pizza-homemade

Hello everyone! This is my first Fiesta Friday, and I am so excited! Thanks to our lovely host at the Novice Gardener. She has hosted so many parties and I am happy to join Party #12!

I am going to share a very important part of my life: Family Night. Ever since I was very little we have always set aside Friday to do something fun as a family. Granted, it gets very loud with all twelve of us. The age range and excitement always makes for a very fun evening. :) Anyways, we watch movies, play games, and for the past two years, we’ve added homemade pizza to the menu. I am convinced this is the best recipe for pizza out there. I make it with my sister, Kasey, and it is always so much fun! Another recipe I enjoy a lot, for a more rushed evening, is homemade frozen pizza. We have done this, and it works really well. Here is the link to the recipe we used.

ranch-chicken-pizza-homemade

The amazing thing about this pizza is you can have what ever toppings you feel like having! We have done taco, barbeque, meat-lovers, Alfredo, Hawaiian, and more recently, ranch chicken. Trust me, this was a total hit! I will share more on that one later….

pepporoni-pizza-uncooked

homemade-pepporoni-pizza

Here is the basic recipe for the pizza crust!

Sheet Pan Pizza Crust

1-3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (divided)
5-1/4 cups warm water
3 tablespoons sugar
15 cups flour
4 tablespoons + 1-1/2 teaspoons yeast
2 tablespoons salt

Adjust oven rack to lowest position at preheat to 200 degrees.  When oven
reaches 200 degrees, turn off oven.
Grease large bowl.  Evenly coat four 18×13 rimmed baking sheets with 1/4 cup
oil (that would use a total of 1 cup oil).

In large mixer, combine 3/4 cup olive oil, warm
water, sugar, yeast, and salt.
Cover and let stand for 10 minutes so yeast has a chance to work.
While the mixer is running, add flour until dough pulls away and dough is
sticky and not dry.
Transfer to greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap which has been sprayed
also.  Place in warm oven to rise for 30 minutes.

On lightly floured surface, divide dough into 4 pieces, and roll to a size
just a bit larger than the sheet pan.
Transfer to sheet pan, pressing dough into corners (dough is very elastic).
Let sit for about 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Using fingers, make indentation all over
dough.  Sprinkle each
crust with 1 cup parmesan cheese and bake for 7-10 minutes.
Remove from oven, put on sauce and toppings.  Bake 12-15 minutes (with our oven: we put two pizzas in for 9 minutes then swap and cook for another 9)  or until golden.

homemade-ranch-chicken

Now, on this lovely ranch-chicken one you see above.

Ranch-Chicken Pizza:

Ingredients:

1 cup of Ranch Dressing

1/2 cup of Parmesan Cheese

2 large  Diced  Tomatoes

Cheddar/Mozzarella Cheese for topping

Chicken for topping

Directions:

Top pizza with ranch and parmesan cheese. Mix them together on the pizza to make a clumpy sauce. Now, top with mozzarella and cheddar cheese. Add the tomatoes and cooked chicken.

*Note: You could easily make this vegetarian by omitting the chicken and using peppers.

Well, that’s all I have, but I hope you enjoy it! Happy Fiesta Friday!

-Kloé ♥♪

 

 

Cinnamon Roll Quick Bread

cinnamon-roll-quick-bread

Ok, people, wouldn’t it be amazing if you could get homemade cinnamon rolls without a three hour wait? I mean seriously, there are times I want a cinnamon roll and I do not have the time, or in some cases, the patience or energy to make them. I will admit this is not the exact same as a real cinnamon roll right out of the oven, but it is really good and definitely has the same ooey-gooey, cinnamon-y, goodness of a cinnamon roll. I also was quite pleased with the quick bread itself. It was moist and delicious! The only not so great thing, is this is soooo addicting. So make sure you share it with your friends! Try it out and I am positive y’all will like it!

cinnamon-roll-quick-bread-recipe

You can find the original recipe here. Shannon’s site (Rumbly Tumbly) is amazing! She is also a huge cinnamon roll lover, so be sure to check out her site!

Cinnamon Roll Quick Bread

Ingredients:

For the bread:
2 cups of all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 1/4 cups heavy cream, half and half, or milk (the higher the fat content of whatever you use, the better.)
1/3 cup of plain or vanilla yogurt or sour cream
1 tsp vanilla

For the cinnamon swirl:
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

For the icing:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream, half and half, or milk.

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350°.  Grease a 9 inch loaf pan and line it with a parchment paper sling.

Add sugar, egg, yogurt, vanilla, and cream into a large bowl and mix well until smooth.  Add flour, baking powder, and salt to the wet mixture, and mix until just combined.  Pour about 1/3 of the batter into your prepared pan.

Mix your cinnamon/sugar/butter mixture together and dollop about half of it in different spots all over the top of the batter in your pan.  Add another 1/3 of your batter over the top of the cinnamon/sugar mixture and spread it out evenly (batter will be thick, so it doesn’t have to be perfect) and then dollop the remaining cinnamon/sugar mixture over the top of that.  Pour the remaining batter on top of that, spread it out evenly, and then use a knife to swirl the batter all around inside the pan.

Place the pan into the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.  Mix glaze ingredients together.  When bread has cooled out of the oven for about 15 minutes, drizzle with glaze, and then let it set.  (Although to be truthful I went ahead and ate a piece before it had cooled. :)) Enjoy warm or cold.

cinnamon-roll-quick-bread-

Enjoy! We sure did!

~Kloé ♥♪

 

Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

chocolate-chip-cookies

Don’t you agree that every single blog should have a chocolate chip cookie post? Well, I do! I found this recipe on Dorothy’s blog Crazy For Crust. She has the best blog, and I have been following it for a year or two! I actually used the same recipe as I did for the Kit-Kat Cookies I made a month ago, except I used milk chocolate chips instead. I think these are seriously the best cookies I have ever made! (Can you say something like that humbly???) Anyways, these cookies really do need to happen in your kitchen, because I know you will end up as geeked about them as I am.

chocolate-chip-cookies-recipe

 

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 24 cookies

 Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. Cream butter and both sugars until combined.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir and set aside.
  3. Turn mixer on low. Add egg, mixing completely.  Mix in vanilla extract. Add flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until combined. Add chocolate chips.
  4. Important: Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill dough for at least 2 hours. They taste best when baked from the refrigerator.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°. Line cookie sheets with parchment or silpat liners.
  6. Scoop out 2 tablespoon sized balls and place two inches apart on cookie sheet.
  7. Bake for about 10-12 minutes. 10 minutes will be slightly underdone (the way I love them) but if you like a more done cookie, let them bake an extra minute or two. Let cool for 5 minutes, and then remove from pans to cool completely.

For the XL sized cookies check out Dorothy’s post here.

chocolate-chip-cookies-pans

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cup Kit Kats, strips separated and broken into thirds (about 10 fun sized)
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips (or milk or semi-sweet)

Instructions

  1. Cream butter and both sugars until combined.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir and set aside.
  3. Turn mixer on low. Add egg, mixing completely. Mix in vanilla extract. Add flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until combined. Add Kit Kats and white chocolate chips. NOTE: if you’re not using a stand mixer, chop your Kit Kats smaller. If you are using a stand mixer, run it on medium-low speed for about 15 seconds. The Kit Kats will break up smaller during mixing.
  4. Important: Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill dough for at least 2 hours. They taste best when baked from the refrigerator.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°. Line cookie sheets with parchment or silpat liners.
  6. Scoop out 2 tablespoon sized balls and place two inches apart on cookie sheet.
  7. Bake for about 10-12 minutes. 10 minutes will be slightly underdone (the way I love them) but if you like a more done cookie, let them bake an extra minute or two. Let cool for 5 minutes, and then remove from pans to cool completely.

Read more at http://www.crazyforcrust.com/2014/01/kit-kat-cookies/#fUB5G2yuZIIKEkqj.99chocolate-chip-cookies-recipe

Enjoy!

~Kloé ♥♪

Liebster and Sunshine Awards!

 

I am so happy to say that Nancy and Jhuls have graciously given me awards!  They both are wonderful people and have beautiful blogs, so please go visit them. I actually received these awards a while ago, but haven’t gotten around to posting about it, but today is the day!

The rules to participating are:

  1. Thank the person[s] who nominated you
  2. Answer questions given to be by the person[s] who nominated you
  3. Nominate 5-10 people for the award
  4. Ask about 10-11 questions the nominees have to answer
  5. Comment on the nominee’s blog to let them know they received the award.

 

Okay, the first award is the Liebster Award from Nancy at feastingwithfriends. Thanks Nancy!

award

The Questions:

Why did you start your blog? I started this blog to share recipes I had enjoyed with my family, friends and other crazy cooking/baking addicts like myself!

Sugar cookie or Chocolate chip cookie? Tough choice! I love almost all cookies! I guess I would have to say a soft cooked sugar cookie.  Yes, I am sure know! A sugar cookies is my preference. :)

What is your least favorite household chore? Emptying the dish washer! With ten kids it is always packed full!

What’s the one food you’re afraid of trying to make? I have actually tried to make all of the food I was scared of,  like bagels and deep fried donuts.  I will have to make another list.

Are there any foods that you hate? If so, what? I do not like sauerkraut! Yuck, it has a sour gross taste. I will never get used to it!

Pancakes or Waffles? Pancakes if they are Swedish (more commonly called crepes), but otherwise waffles.

Do you collect anything?  Yes, pictures of everything. Especially in the summer when we make so many memories. I am a huge scrapbook person. ;)

What’s your go-to “rainy-day” movie? Dick Van Dyke show, or Sue Thomas F.B.Eye. I love TV series, because they are never ending.

Extrovert or introvert? That’s tricky. I have aspects of both. I am a very social person, but I also need time to sort through things alone and think. I have decided along with my sisters that I am an intro-extra-vert!

How do you like your eggs? Hard boiled or scrambled.

Congratulations to the nominees for the Liebster Award:

Gab @ bakingwithgab

Chloe @ foodlikecake

Radhika @ sugarnspicebyradhika

Melissa @ whatshemakes

Anna @ annascuisine

Becky @ cloverandthyme

Sonia and Candice @ everybodylovespretty



Okay, now for award number two! Thank you so much, Jhuls from the notsocreativecook, who by the way is very creative!

sunshine-award-2

The Questions:

 

What food/ingredient(s) you always make sure you have? Flour, baking powder, and sugar for baking. And for snacking, I like to have cucumbers and granola bars in the kitchen.

What is your favorite dish to cook? Bread, you might have guessed my looking at my blog. ;)

What is you favorite breakfast food? Cinnamon rolls and granola bars! I posted my favorite recipe of both! Nothing better than cinnamon and sugar except oats, which is equally good.

What is/are your other interest/s aside from cooking and baking? Running, playing and listening to piano, volleyball and being with friends.

What is your favorite comfort food? Spaghetti, what can I say, I am part Italian! ( and a million other things!)

What is the first thing you’ve cooked or baked? The first thing I ever cooked was a casserole and the first thing I ever baked was probably cookies.

What is you favorite thing from your kitchen? The tea maker, since I cannot get through my day without tea!

What is the latest thing you bought for your kitchen? Well, we are about to get new counters, so it is not technically the latest, but it is exciting.

Who inspired you to make your blog? Whenever I cooked/baked lots of the recipes I used where from blogs….so I wanted to make one too. However, the blog I was most inspired by was probably Sweet Pea’s from sweet pea’s kitchen!

Any advice to other new bloggers? Update often, comment on others wonderful blogs and always take your photos with natural light if possible!

 

Congratulations to the nominees for the Sunshine Award:

hungry mum @ thehungrymum

Joanna @ foodgurly

Liz @ foodcommunicationservices

Butter Basil and Breadcrumbs @ butterbasilandbreadcrumbs

Judit @ juditbakes

Ashley @ musingsandoats

Indu @ indusinternationalkitchen

Nandini @ goanwiki

Susan @ watchhatchfly

Selma @ selmastable

 

Finally the questions for both award nominees:

What is your favorite thing to bake?

What is the hardest thing you have ever done?

What is your hobby besides baking/cooking?

What food has been the most challenging to make?

What is your favorite breakfast food?

How has authoring a blog helped you?

What is the last thing you googled?

If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be?

What is your favorite color?

When did you start your blog?

 

Have a lovely day everyone!

~Kloe ♥♪

 

 

 

Homemade Pita Pockets and Chicken Salad

pita-bread-homemade

Spring has finally begun to spring here in Michigan! Yes! I can walk outside in a sweatshirt and enjoy the weather. I am also loving that those monster snow piles are retreating. (He-he, victory!) Now all we need are some buds and flowers!

I have always enjoyed the lighter meals that give a happy spin to the end of Spring days. This week I did pita pocket sandwiches.  They were perfect! I filled them with chicken salad, but you are welcome to fill them with whatever you want to for your meal.  Anyways, you all have to give this a go. Make some spring in your kitchen!

You can se the original recipe at Tammy’s Recipes.

101_3074

 

Homemade Pita Pockets

Yield:  8 whole pita pockets (or 16 halves)
Ingredients: 
1 cup warm water (110-115 degrees)
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast
Directions: 

1. In a large bowl, combine first 4 ingredients. Add 1 cup of the flour, along with the yeast, and stir to mix. Add remaining flour and knead to make a soft dough. (Add additional flour if necessary during kneading.)

Alternately, if you have a bread machine, you can put the ingredients in the pan in the order listed and use the dough cycle. When the dough cycle is complete, then skip to step 3!

2. Put your dough into a bowl, lightly oil the top, and cover. Set in a warm place to rise, until almost double (about an hour). I like to turn my oven on for a minute or two, then turn it off, and let the dough rise in there, since our house is cool.

3. Punch dough down and turn onto a lightly floured surface. Using a sharp knife, cut dough into 8 equal pieces. Form each piece into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, roll each ball into a 6- or 7-inch circle.

4. As you roll the rounds, set them aside on a lightly floured countertop or table, and cover loosely with a towel. Let rise for about 25-35 minutes, until slightly puffy. (The rounds will still be thin though!)

5. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Place 2 rounds, side-by-side, onto a wire rack, such as is used for cooling things. Place rack in the middle of the oven. Bake for 4-5 minutes, until puffy and just slightly browned. (If bread is too browned, it will be dry and not pliable.)

6. Remove rack from oven and immediately wrap/layer pita breads in a damp towel, to soften. Continue baking the remaining breads, layering them between damp towels as soon as they’re baked. Allow breads to completely cool.

7. Cut pita breads in half, or split the top edge, and fill as desired.

8. Store pitas in a plastic zipper bag in the fridge for a few days, or place in the freezer for longer storage. To re-warm pitas, wrap them in a damp towel and then wrap in foil. Place in a warm (200-250 degree) oven for about 20 minutes.

*Follow your favorite recipe for the chicken salad.  As a tip, adding ranch dressing mix always makes it better!*

homemade-pita-bread

Enjoy!

~Kloé ♥♫

 

Bakery Style Chocolate Chip Muffins

chocolate-chip-muffins

 

I saw these muffins on Sally’s Baking Addiction and I was sold! I knew I wanted to do a post on muffins since I have only done one so far.  It might surprise you to find out that even with ten kids we are not a big breakfast family. We usually do tea/orange juice and some sort of bread or granola. Anyways, that being said I knew these muffins were perfect! My family just loved the crunchy outside and the super soft inside. Also, the fact that it has chocolate in it seriously helps!

 

bakery-style-chocolate-chip-muffins

 

Bakery Style Chocolate Chip Muffins

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 eggs, room temperature preferred
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup milk* 
  • 1/2 cup canola oil (or vegetable oil/melted coconut oil)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (or chocolate chunks; or dark chocolate; or milk chocolate)
  • coarse sugar for sprinkling (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425F degrees. Spray your muffin tin of choice with non-stick spray or line with muffin liners. Set aside.

In a large bowl, gently toss together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix until all dry ingredients are combined – a 20 second toss to disburse everything together. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar until combined. Mix in milk, oil, and vanilla. Mixture will be pale and yellow. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix everything together by hand with a wooden spoon. Avoid overmixing. Gently mix until all the flour is off the bottom of the bowl and no big pockets of flour remain. The batter will be VERY thick and somewhat lumpy. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Pour batter into prepared muffin tins, filling all the way to the top. Top with a sprinkle coarse sugar, if preferred. Bake at 425F degrees for 5 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 and continue to bake for 25-26 minutes until tops are lightly golden and centers appear set.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes in pan before enjoying. Muffins taste best fresh the same day. Store muffins at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Muffins freeze well, up to 3 months.

Enjoy!

~Kloé ♥♫