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Tuesday
Dec172013

Pumpkin pie pull-apart bread

I am writing from Orlando, where my family and I are enjoying the tail end of a very cherished vacation. Our 6-year-old son was granted a wish from the Make-a-Wish Foundation and we have been spoiled beyond words since we arrived last Friday. We are in awe about the treatment we have received the past few days. It has been a magical dream come true that I could never explain to anyone in words. We are grateful and blessed and thankful and happy! It will be so sad to go home to snow-covered Minnesota on Thursday. Tomorrow is our last full day here, and we are hoping to hit two of the Disney parks for a few hours each before crashing into our Villa beds for the last time. 

I made a few loaves of this bread way back, oh, a few weeks ago (time outside this place seems impossible to gauge). It was an alternate option for pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. Or a dessert-izer, for some (me). I hope you enjoy it. It is incredible and VERY hard to stop eating. 

(recipe inspired by this recipe from Pillsbury!) 

 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Coat two 9x5(ish) loaf pans with cooking spray and set aside.

Remove the refrigerated buttermilk biscuits from two 16.3-oz. containers (8 count each - I used Grands! biscuits). Slice each biscuit lengthwise to create 32 total rounds (16 for each loaf pan) and place them on a flat work surface.

In a large bowl, combine:

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup canned pumpkin pie mix

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

4 tablespoons butter, melted

Stir until combined.

Using a spoon, divide the mixture between the biscuits.

Carefully stack 8 of the biscuits on top of one another. Turn them sideways and add to one of the prepared pans (you will be adding more, so leave room). Warning: THIS IS MESSY. That's ok. Messy = tasty.

Stack 8 more biscuits, making sure the top biscuit is filling-side down (the filling should not touch the pan). Turn sideways and add to the same loaf pan. Spread the pieces out to fit. They should look something like this..

Repeat process with the remaining loaf pan and biscuits. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until the dough is cooked through. My loaves were done at 40 minutes on the nose.

Make the frosting just before the loaves are pulled from the oven! In a medium bowl, combine:

1 cup confectioners' sugar

1/8 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Stir until the mixture is smooth. Drizzle over the bread, dividing between the two loaves. Serve warm!

Back to my last morsels of vacation! Enjoy your week, everyone. Thank you so much for reading.

Pumpkin Pie Pull-Apart Bread

Enjoy pumpkin pie in a loaf of bread! Knives not needed.

Serves: 16 (2 loaves)

Total time: 55 min

Pumpkin Pie Pull-Apart Bread



Ingredients:

  • Two 16.3-oz. containers refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (8 count), each biscuit cut in half length-wise
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin pie mix
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/8 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat two 9x5(ish) loaf pans with cooking spray and set aside. Place biscuit halves on a flat work surface.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, pumpkin pie mix, pumpkin pie spice and butter. Stir until combined. Using a spoon, divide the mixture between the biscuits. Carefully stack 8 of the biscuits on top of each other, turn sideways and add to one of the prepared pans (you will be adding more, so leave room). Stack 8 more biscuits, making sure the top biscuit is filling-side down (filling should not touch pan). Turn sideways and add to the same loaf pan. Spread the pieces out to fit. Repeat process with remaining loaf pan and biscuits. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until dough is cooked through.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine confectioners’ sugar, milk and vanilla. Stir until smooth. Divide the frosting between the loaves, pouring over the top. Serve warm!




Monday
Dec092013

Candy bar fruit salad

Today was a doozy. Dan is out of town for a few days, so I got one boy off to daycare and the other onto the school bus. The super-duper-ridiculously-freezing-cold temps formed black ice upon the roads on which I drove to get to work, giving me over 1.5 hours in Dan's old-man Buick. We have some big deadlines at work this week, but I was only able to stay for a few hours in order to get back in time to get Elijah off the bus. On my drive home, I got not one but TWO phone calls from E's school principal. He had a rough day. To say the least. The rest of the evening was a blur. Let's just say that I was not Elijah's favorite person. Tomorrow is a new day.

Here's some great news before I dive into the recipe! This coming Friday, as in...FOUR DAYS FROM NOW...my little family and I are leaving for Florida! Elijah got a Make-a-Wish granted and he chose to go to a super cool waterpark in Florida. While we're there, we'll hit Disney, Sea World and all of the other Orlando pit-stops. We are excited, but it doesn't quite yet seem real yet. As crazy as that boy made me today, Elijah is so deserving of this trip.

Ok ok, onto the recipe!

If you have a craving for some sinful fruit salad loaded with candy bars and marshmallows and even cream cheese, you have come to the right place! 

In a large bowl, combine:

8-oz. container frozen whipped cream topping, thawed according to package directions

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

Mix until smooth. 

In a medium bowl, combine:

15-oz. can fruit cocktail, drained

2 Granny Smith apples, cored and chopped

Five 1.86-oz. Snickers candy bars, coarsely chopped

1 cup miniature marshmallows

Stir until combined and add to the whipped cream-cream cheese mixture.

Stir gently until combined. Cover and refrigerate for one hour before serving.

Here's to making memories and having a fresh start every day. Enjoy the rest of your week, and the recipe, too!

Candy Bar Fruit Salad

You can't beat a salad with Snickers!

Serves: 8

Total time: 20 min, plus 1 hr chilling time

Candy Bar Fruit Salad



Ingredients:

  • 8-oz. container frozen whipped cream topping, thawed according to package directions
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 15-oz. can fruit cocktail, drained
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, cored and chopped
  • Five 1.86-oz. Snickers candy bars, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup miniature marshmallows
Instructions:
  1. In a large bowl, combine the whipped cream topping and cream cheese and mix until smooth. In a medium bowl, combine the fruit cocktail, apples, candy bar pieces and marshmallows. Stir until combined and add to the whipped cream-cream cheese mixture.
  2. Stir gently until combined. Cover and refrigerate for one hour before serving.



Monday
Dec022013

Cookies and cream fudge

You will have three reasons to love me after reading this post.

Reason #1 -- ONE OF YOU IS GOING TO RECEIVE A $100 VISA GIFT CARD! Read on..

Reason #2 -- The following PAM Holiday Tip is going to help make your life easier this holiday season! The time of year is upon us when we become stretched and stressed. Gifts, parties, entertaining, cooking, baking, wrapping, spending money and on and on. It gets to be so much, doesn't it?! Well I am here to help! I can offer one little tidbit that will help you immensely in the kitchen. Next time you run to the store to stock up on holiday ingredients, throw a can of PAM Cooking Spray into your cart! It will make your clean-up easier, leaving 99% LESS residue than bargain sprays/margarine on your pans (I do NOT like that gross residue that can build up from other brands) and the improved formula contains ZERO calories. The "99% less residue" product line (it comes in Original, Baking and Butter) will almost completely eliminate residue from your life this holiday season. As you will see in the instructions for the below recipe, aluminum foil can be effortlessly peeled away from a block of fudge with the help of PAM Cooking Spray, which means one less dish to clean!  

Reason #3 -- The most obvious reason of all, which is that you will now know the recipe for the BEST FUDGE EVER. Can sinful and heavenly be used in the same sentence? You absolutely must put this recipe on your holiday baking list. Except, please don't bake it and leave me a nasty comment because it turned into an inedible brick of sugar.

ONTO THE RECIPE! (Keep reading for giveaway info!)

Line an 8x8-inch pan with aluminum foil, making sure there is overhang on at least two sides. Smooth out the wrinkles on the bottoms and sides with your hands. Coat the foil generously with PAM Cooking Spray. Set the pan aside.

 

One of the most enjoyable parts of making this recipe was choosing a festive package of Oreo cookies (15.25 oz.). Have you seen the plethora of filling options that are available these days? I chose the Birthday Cake variety and it was a solid choice. Any of them will work well, I am confident. Coarsely chop the entire package and set the irresistable pieces of cookie aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine:

1 stick salted butter

2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup heavy whipping cream

Place the pan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring so the mixture is smooth and does not burn. Boil for 4 minutes, stirring constantly, and remove the pan from the heat.

Add:

7-oz. container marshmallow creme

11-oz. bag white chocolate chips

1 teaspoon almond extract 

Stir until the mixture is smooth.

Fold in 2/3 of the chopped cookies (you will need the other 1/3 in a bit, so don't eat them!).

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and top with the remaining cookie pieces.

Place the pan in the refrigerator and chill for 4 to 6 hours, or until the fudge is completely set.  

Holding onto the foil, remove the block of fudge from the pan and place it onto a flat surface. The foil will easily peel off the fudge on the sides and bottom, thanks to PAM Cooking Spray! I was able to immediately place the pan back into my cupboard, as there was not a bit of food on it! 

Place the fudge onto a cutting board and cut into 1-inch squares. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

See? BEST FUDGE EVER. You're welcome!

Printable recipe: Cookies and cream fudge

 

ONTO THE GIVEAWAY!

A $100 Visa gift card will be sent to one lucky commenter! To be eligible, leave a comment on this post answering the following question:

What is your favorite holiday kitchen/cooking/baking tip?

One commenter will be chosen to receive the gift card in their very own mailbox! Good luck! I can't wait to hear all of your tips!

 

Sweepstakes Rules:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winner  will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 12/2/13 – 12/29/13.

Be sure to visit the PAM Cooking Spray page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

Monday
Nov252013

BBQ chicken dip

One of the many things I love about my husband is that he knows when I am being stretched like a huge stretchy piece of taffy and he begins removing things from my plate in order to make my life easier. These days he takes care of dinner and he has the laundry under control. He also knows I make a recipe every weekend that I can post/write about here by Monday. So guess what he did yesterday! Yep, he made this yummy dip so I could scratch one thing off my list. Digging into this barbecue-y gooeyness was much-needed after a weekend spent with my amazing college friends. As wonderful as our time was together, I was exhausted and in dire need of comfort food. Screaming like an idiot at a piano bar for six straight hours will do that to you, apparently. 

On an exciting side note, a week from today I will be giving away a $100 Visa gift card! I'll see you back here for that! 

Click to read more ...

Monday
Nov182013

Salted chocolate caramel crunchers

Dan and I have an ongoing dispute regarding our chip-to-dip ratios, whether it be a plate of heaping nachos we are eating or chips & salsa or these delicious Crunchers. He prefers more crunch and less goo. I prefer tons of goo and minimal crunch. We both swooned upon tasting these deliciously crunchy morsels of sweet-and-salty yumminess. I loved them just as they were. Dan added an extra chip to each bite. 

These are perfect party appetizers or a quick and easy post-dinner/pre-bedtime snack. I love the contrast of the crunch-goo and also salt-sweet. Yum! Please don't judge, but I had a few for breakfast this morning. I couldn't help myself!

Line 2 large baking sheets with wax paper. Coat generously with cooking spray and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine:

11-oz. bag caramel bits or individually wrapped caramels (unwrapped)

2 tablespoons water

Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring after each, until smooth. Dip 70(ish) kettle chips (original; unflavored) halfway into the melted caramel.

Place them onto the prepared baking sheets.

Place the baking sheets in the refrigerator for a minimum of 10 minutes, or until the caramel is hardened.

Remove the caramel-covered chips from the refrigerator and transfer the wax papers to a flat surface. Place a clean sheet of wax paper over each baking sheet and coat with cooking spray.

Add a 10-oz. bag of chocolate chips (milk or dark) to a medium bowl.

Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring after each, until smooth. Dip the caramel-covered chips into the melted chocolate.

Place onto the newly prepared baking sheets.

Sprinkle with sea salt (approximately 2 tablespoons total).

Place the baking sheets back into the refrigerator for a minimum of 10 minutes, or until the chocolate is hardened. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

I was mildly worried about the chips getting soggy, but within the 24 hours that these lasted in my home...sogginess did not happen. Be sure to use crunchy kettle chips to avoid that issue. ENJOY!

Salted Chocolate Caramel Crunchers

Crunchy, gooey, sweet and salty all in a single bite!

Serves: 70

Total time: 30 min

Salted Chocolate Caramel Crunchers



Ingredients:

  • 11-oz. bag caramel bits or individually wrapped caramels (unwrapped)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 70 large original (unflavored) kettle chips
  • 10-oz. bag chocolate chips (milk or dark)
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
Instructions:
  1. Line 2 large baking sheets with wax paper. Coat generously with cooking spray and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the caramel bits and water. Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring after each, until smooth. Dip each kettle chip half-way into the melted caramel and place on prepared baking sheets. Place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 10 minutes.
  2. Remove the caramel-covered chips from the refrigerator and transfer the wax papers to a flat surface. Place clean wax paper over the baking sheets and coat with cooking spray.
  3. In a medium bowl, microwave the chocolate in 30-second intervals, stirring after each, until smooth. Dip the caramel-covered chips into the melted chocolate and place onto newly prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle with sea salt and place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 10 minutes. Serve chilled or at room temperature.