Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Raisin Baked French Toast

Hello my lovelies

I’ve been testing recipes again because I’ve been scouting around Pioneer Woman‘s website.  Oh my word, if you have not been to her website, you must run at turbo speed, do not walk!  There is sooooooooooooooo much to read and drool over!  Be prepared to linger…for quite some time.

Best take a cuppa.

And some cake.

While I was perusing the loveliness, I found a recipe for Cinnamon Raisin Baked French Toast.

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I couldn’t resist!  Especially since I had everything I needed to make it without making a special trip to the shops.  Hooray!

Honestly, this was sooooooooo incredibly good.  We had it for breakfast but it was so heavenly, it could easily be served with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for dessert.

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We had ours for a lazy Sunday morning breakfast before more renovations started and it was scrumptious galumptious!

It was so incredibly easy because you make it all up the night before and pop it into the fridge to chuck in the oven for an hour the next morning.

Perfect, for if you’re like me and wake up like a grumpy badger until you’ve had your second cup of coffee.

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I would recommend tasting it before adding syrup though because I found it really quite sweet

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And there are leftovers to have with ice cream tonight for dessert.

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Does it get any better?

Bright blessings,

Mrs R

x

Super easy Lemonade

Hello my lovelies,

I’ve had a hankering recently for some sweet yet sharp and icy cold homemade lemonade. You know, the kind that makes you sigh in satisfaction as you lazily watch the roses in your garden bob their heads in the breeze?

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That’s what we made today and it is delicious.

First you need 6 unwaxed lemons chopped into quarters.  Then add 280g of sugar to your food processor along with with 500ml of cold water.  Toss in the lemons gently.

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Blend for about 5 minutes.  Next lay a large bowl into your sink with a fine sieve over it and pour over the lemon mix.

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Now, push all the lemon pulpy mix with a wooden spoon to squeeze out as much juice as possible.

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Throw the lemon pulp in the bin and remove the sieve.  Then add 1.5 litres of cold water to the bowl of lemonade and mix.

Pour into a jug with slices of lemon and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.  Of course, you could just pour it over ice but I didn’t have any.

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We’re having ours tonight with dough balls, homemade pizza and salad.

I can’t wait.

Bright blessings,

Mrs R

x

Best EVER cinnamon rolls

Hello my lovelies,

Did I ever tell you about my celebrity crush on The Pioneer Woman?

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Oh, not in an icky way but in the, 0h-my-god-i-want-to-live-on-her-ranch-and-cook-with-her kind of way. I’m working on a way to get her to adopt me but I digress.   I started watching her tv series a couple of years ago and loved her then and of course, Sky decided to end the series half way though and only started at series 4 instead of series 1 but I was hooked.  I watched the episode when she made cinnamon rolls and I’ve wanted to make them ever since.

Today, after watching Ree make a pumpkin version of her cinnamon rolls last night, I decided the time had come for me to make her famous cinnamon rolls.

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You can totally tell those aren’t mine, can’t you? LOL!

You see, I’ve had a love affair with the South African kind of cinnamon rolls my whole life.  We call them Chelsea buns and while they are very similar (with raisins), just one look at Pioneer Woman’s cinnamon rolls and I can tell these are gonna be my old favourites on CRACK!

Before I start to tell you about my cinnamon roll journey today, I must give you a few words of advice on the outset.

  1. DO NOT CLEAN YOUR KITCHEN FROM TOP TO BOTTOM LIKE A DEMON WOMAN and then decide to make these. Bad, bad idea.
  2. Make sure you have everything set up before you start. I mean take out the cinnamon, sugar and every utensil you will need and have it next to you. If at all possible, work close to the sink.  This dough can be sticky and I now have sticky dough finger marks all over my kitchen cabinet doors and drawers.  Did I mention I cleaned my kitchen like a demon woman this morning?
  3. Also, make sure you have the disposable foil pans like the one above.  It really helps and as you will see mine didn’t smush together nicely like Ree’s did because I thought I knew better.
  4. Always trust The Pioneer Woman.
  5. A bag of powdered sugar (icing sugar) is supposedly 4 cups when I checked it online.
  6. Start the diet tomorrow.  There’s no point today when you’re going to be eating these.

I am not going to try to recreate the recipe here when there’s a perfectly good link to cinnamon roll perfection right here on The Pioneer Woman website.

I was quite surprised at how easy this recipe was.  It takes a little time, of course because there are a few stages but it’s not hugely labour intensive.

So, once I’d made the dough and allowed it to rise for 1 hour, I opted not to let it sit in the fridge for an hour.  This made it INCREDIBLY sticky.  I had to use at least a cup of flour on my counters and all over the dough to get it to a decent rolling consistency.

Once I’d poured on the butter sprinkled on the sugar and cinnamon and rolled it up, I had what looked like a giant earth worm.

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Seriously, this sucker was trying to slide off the counter.

Of course, since I thought I knew better than Pioneer Woman I used whatever pans I had instead of the round foil ones. 13871707_10154165047835659_1163353809_n

Since today is the coldest day we’ve had all summer there’s no warm sun coming in my kitchen windows like normal so I preheated the oven and opened the door to allow some of the warm air to help these babies rise for 20-30 minutes.

Then I got them in the oven while I made the frosting/icing.  When I made it up, it was too watery so I added another cup of icing sugar and it came out perfect.  Like the picture on Pioneer Woman’s post.

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Yeah, I had to switch to the iPad because my laptop battery died.

When they came out of the oven they were all golden and risen and smelled amazing!  I quickly go the icing on.

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I moved the folds of the cinnamon rolls a little to make sure that the icing really got into all the cracks and crevices.

Then I realised that that the icing had coffee in it and my 6 year old wouldn’t be able to have any. I don’t allow her coffee because she’s enough of a live wire all by herself.

So I made up a batch of icing sugar with water to pour over hers.

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And as you can see here’s yet another reason you should always trust The Pioneer Woman.  In those round foil dishes I wouldn’t have all the icing dropping off the sides!

I left the icing to set for a few minutes and then between my daughter and I, we couldn’t wait a second longer.

Don’t they look amazing!?

They taste like  a homemade miracle, trust me.

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I love how the ones made in the muffin tin look like a cinnamon roll muffin.

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All is right with my world.   I’m in a cinnamon roll induced coma and I’m perfectly okay with that.

Now if you’ll excuse me I gotta go clean my kitchen *sigh* again.

Bright blessings,

Mrs R

x

The ultimate southern sweet ice tea

Hello my lovelies,

I’ve been reading Nora Roberts’ The Liar and I cannot tell you how much I looooooooooooooooove this book!  It’s pretty much one of the best books I’ve ever read not because it has the most scintillating plot but because of the characters.  I want to know these people.  I want to meet them and be accepted into their family or when I get reincarnated I want to be born into their family.   Anyhoo!

The characters in the book have been drinking sweet ice tea and being a bit of a geek I just had to try to make some myself.

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I made it up early this morning and left it to get icy cold in the fridge.  My gosh, it’s deliciously refreshing!

This recipe will make approximately 1 litre of base sweet tea.   To make up a jug of iced tea, you will need to add 750ml of icy cold water to 250ml of the cold base sweet tea.  If the base has just been made and is still warm but you’d like to make up a batch of iced tea for later, add 750ml of cold water to 250ml of the warm base sweet tea and refrigerate for about 4 hours.  Overnight is better, I’m told.

To make the sweet tea base you will need:

  • 1 litre cold water (more for topping up)
  • 6 English breakfast tea bags (I used Twinings)
  • 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar

Place 1 litre of water on to boil. Once it’s boiling, turn off the heat and dump in your tea bags and let them steep for 5 minutes. You can steep for longer than this if you prefer a stronger tea but it might turn a little bitter.

After 5 minutes, remove the tea bags and discard.  Pour in the granulated sugar and stir to completely dissolve.

Pour into a bottle and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before placing in the fridge. Don’t ever put hot stuff straight into your fridge.

To serve your ice tea:

Fill a nice tall glass with ice and lemon slices. Or you could use orange slices, whichever you prefer. Next pour in your refrigerated ice tea. Top with a few bruised mint leaves and serve right away.

Enjoy!

Bright blessings,

Mrs R

x

 

Foolproof home baked bread in minutes!

Hello my lovelies,

It’s the school holidays here in England and that means 6 weeks of scrambling to find activities for my child that won’t break the bank. Thank goodness for Pinterest and Facebook viral video’s! I found a really cool video for bread in a bag and just had to make it.

Yesterday we baked bread in a bag and it was a-mazing! Light, tasty and super duper easy to make.  In fact, my 5 year old daughter did 95% of the work!

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I measured out all the ingredients in 3 stages so that it was easy for my daughter to add them into the zip lock bag.  She had so much fun!  All you’ll need besides the ingredients, is a large zip lock bag and a few plastic tumblers.  The recipe is in cups which, surprise, surprise I couldn’t find yesterday so I used one of my daughter’s ikea plastic cups which worked perfectly.

So, here’s the recipe and method:

Foolproof bread in a bag

Into a large ziplock bag, add  1 cup of flour, 3 tablespoons white sugar (next time I’ll use 1/2 this mount as it seemed a little sweet to me), 1 pkg rapid rise yeast and 1 cup of warm water.

Seal the bag letting out the air as you go and then comes the fun part.  Play with the ziplock bag and massage it in your hands so that all the ingredients combine.  My daughter LOVED this part!

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When it’s combined, set the bag aside for 10 minutes.

Now open the bag and add 1 cup of flour, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt. Once again, seal the bag letting out the air as you go and play with the ingredients in the ziplock bag and manipulate it in your hands so that all the ingredients combine.

Open the bag and add a cup of flour.

Seal the bag again and manipulate to mix the flour in.

Lay the bread dough on a floured surface and gently mould into the shape of a bread loaf. Place into a greased loaf tin.

Cover and allow to rise for at least 45 minutes in a warm place.

Bake at 190 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Once baked, turn out onto a cooling rack and wait five minutes before devouring with butter and jam!

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Bright blessings,

Mama R

x

 

 

 

 

Slimming world Oreo cheesecakes

Hello my lovelies,

I tried these last night and they were really delicious! Of course they aren’t exactly like a proper cheese cake but they’re good nonetheless.

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All you do is mix together:

250g fat free quark

1/2 vanilla a Choc sprinkles mullerlight

1 egg

1/4 cup of powdered sweetener

1 t good vanilla essence

11 Oreo biscuits

Place 9 silicone muffin cases in a muffin tin. Crush the other 2 Oreos up and add to the quark mixture. Mix well and divide between the 9 cases. Bake at 180 degrees  until firm to the touch around 25 minutes.

Cool overnigh. I served mine with some strawberries to add some speed food and thet were so tasty.

If you make them, let me know what you think.

Bright blessings,

Mrs R

xxx

Slimming World Slow cooker lasagne

Hello my lovelies,

I made this Slimming World Slow Cooker lasagne the other night and it was too delicious not to share with you.

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I originally saw the recipe at Twochubbycubs.com but adapted it to my liking which is so typical of me.

  • 500g extra lean beef mince
  • 5 spring onions, snipped up with scissors
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon mixed herbs
  • 2 beef stock cubes, crumbled
  • 1/2 a punnet of cherry tomatoes, chopped up
  • 1/2 pepper, diced
  • 1/2 punnet of mushrooms sliced
  • 1 courgette, cubed
  • 1 aubergine, cubed
  • 500ml passata
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • dry lasagne sheets (I used most of an already open box)
  • 300g fat-free cottage cheese
  • 250g quark
  • 50g fat free fromage frais
  • 1 egg
  •  90g reduced fat cheddar cheese, grated  – 45g is a HEA, and this recipe serves 4 so it’s half a HEA or 3 syns per portion.

In a large frying pan sprayed with Frylight, cook the extra lean beef mince with the spring onions, garlic, herbs and stock cubes until the mince is no longer pink.  Add the cherry tomatoes, peppers, courgette, aubergine and mushrooms and cook with the mince until softened. Add the passata and tomato puree and heat through.

In a bowl mix the cottage cheese, the quark and the fromage frais with the egg. Add a little salt and pepper if you like.

In your slow cooker, lay down about a 1/4 of the mince mixture on the bottom and then break up some lasagne sheets over the top until the mince is covered. Now layer with some of the quark mixture. Layer with lasagne sheets.  Repeat this process ending with the quark mixture. Sprinkle with grated cheese.

Cook on low for 5 hours.

Once it’s done, place your slow cooker ceramic pot, without the lid into the oven under the grill for about 5 minutes so the cheese can brown.

Serve with a large green salad.

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I’ll be honest, I did not think this would turn out great but I am delighted to say it was scrummy!  I fed myself, my daughter and my hubby and had two portions leftover to freeze.

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I know that theoretically you shouldn’t split your HEA but the way I figure it, most of the time I don’t finish my milk allowance for the day. I’m really busy at often only have 2 cups of tea when I know that my milk allowance covers 4 cups of tea. If this is the case, I know I can have about 20g of cheese on my dinner.

Anyway, enough rambling!

Bright blessings,

Mrs R

x