After trying some of my friend’s Cinnamon Bread that was so yummy, I asked for the recipe. She told me there was a starter and she’d bring it over with the instructions. Anyway, the basic recipe involves eggs, oil, milk, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla pudding, etc. It’s called friendship bread because you’re supposed to give away the starter to 3 friends and continue baking a starter that you keep every 10 days.
Thinking that the bread might get a little time consuming, expensive, or boring, I went looking for variations. Here are some good ones . . .
Ways to Save Money
- Instead of 3 eggs, you can use 2.
- You can substitute applesauce for the vegetable oil.
- You can substitute water for the milk.
- And you don’t have to include the pudding.
The cinnamon bread is awesome! Love it, but I found these other ways to make the bread . . .
Other Flavors, instead of cinnamon and/or vanilla pudding
- add 1-2 cups of blueberries
- add box of instant chocolate pudding, 3 tsp. cocoa and 3/4 cup chocolate chips.
- 1 box of butterscotch pudding and 1 cup of butterscotch chips.
- lemon pudding and add 1/4 cup of poppy seeds.
- 3/4 cup white chocolate chips, 3/4 cup macadamia nuts and used cheesecake pudding
- 1 small box of strawberry jello, 1 c. thawed strawberries
- see more here
- you could also bake in a 9×13 pan for 35 minutes.
When You’re Tired of Baking
- You can freeze the starter for up to a year. Thaw it for 3 hours at room temperature when you’re ready to start baking again.
- It can be 1-2 days off schedule, early or late.
- If you wanna say goodbye to the starter but don’t want to throw it out, you could bake all the starter by dividing it equally into 4 bowls. Then, add the ingredients. Each bowl would make 1-2 loaves each. Then, you could give away some of the baked bread.
Soooo, who wants some of my starter?
I’ve never liked Fruit Salad because most of the ones I’ve had at potlucks have marshmallows, gelatin, whip cream, or nuts in them. But when I tried Diana’s, I loved it. Here’s the easy, yummy recipe below:
- Pour 1 Medium can crushed pineapple (in its own juice) into a bowl.
- Stir in 1 Small box vanilla instant pudding.
- Then add 3 – 4 Tablespoons of Tang (or you could save this step until the end**)
- Add any amount of diced fruit: apples (J said he liked the apples in the mixture, but I didn’t like the hard texture with everything else being softer), grapes, bananas, strawberries, kiwi, oranges, etc. Cutting up the fruit took awhile, but at least it’s easy and ready to serve right away.
**In hind sight, I think you should wait to mix the Tang until you’ve got your fruit in there. I think 3 TBS was too much Tang for the amount of fruit I used.
J wanted a different cake for his bday this year. I know he’s a fan of Mint Chocolate Chip, so I made him a Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cake.
He liked it so much, he had me make another one with Cookies n Cream Ice Cream. Here’s the recipe:
- 26 Oreo cookies, crushed
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1/2 gallon ice cream, any kind (Mint Chocolate Chip was what he liked best)
- 1 (15 ounce) jar chocolate fudge topping
- 10 ounces of cool whip, thawed
- Reserve about 1/3 cup of cookie crumbs for topping.
- Mix remaining crumbs with butter, and press into the bottom of a 9×13 inch dish.
- Freeze for 20 minutes.
- Put 1 layer of ice cream (1/2 of ice cream) on top of the crumbs.
- Put 1 layer of hot fudge (1/2 of hot fudge) on top of the ice cream.
- Put remaining 1/2 of ice cream.
- Put down remaining 1/2 of hot fudge.
- Freeze for 20 minutes.
- Spread the cool whip on top.
- Freeze until ready to serve.
- Sprinkle with the 1/3 cup of cookie crumbs on top just before serving.
I love lasagna when its made without ricotta or cottage cheese. Just give me the mozzarella, and I’m good. My Grandma makes the best lasagna, but she uses a tomato paste mixture, etc. I found it easier to just use spaghetti sauce, so, here’s my altered recipe for Lasagna from my Grandma:
- 1-1.5 lbs of Ground Beef, depending on how much meat you like
- 32 oz of Spaghetti Sauce
- 1/4 cup of Water
- 9 Lasagna Noodles
- 3 cups of Mozzarella Cheese (I also add some Parmesan blend)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine sauce, meat, and water.
- Spread 1 1/4 cup of sauce mixture on the bottom of a 9×13 dish.
- Top with half of the Uncooked lasagna noodles.
- Top with half of the mozzarella cheese
- Repeat all layers (sauce, noodles, cheese).
- Cover tightly with foil, and bake for 1 hour.
I was going to write a post about movie reviews, but that will wait until next week, I guess. I just got off the phone with my lovely cousin and friend Katie. We were talking about her sweet, new, GORGEOUS baby girl. She reminded me about some feeding charts that I had made to keep track of Abs’s eating/poops/wet diapers/sleeping times, etc.
In the hospital, they give you about 4 or 5 pages of charts. But, I had a c-section, so I was in the hospital for awhile and never got a chance to make a copy of an unused chart. Thus, I had to make my own.
So, remember to keep a clean chart from the hospital to make several copies. Or, you can use my charts that I made. This first one is the one I used for her first few weeks.
Once she was okay with weight gain, started eating less than 8 times a day, and didn’t need wet/dirty diapers counted, I started using this chart.
The charts will get bigger if you click on them. If you need the charts in Microsoft Word so you can customize them more, let me know, and I’ll email you copies.
This is one of those recipes that will last forever if you’ve got a small family (only two of us eating it), or it’s great for a family/friend get together.
It’s super simple: just throw the stuff in the crock pot, and you’ve got Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Tacos.
- 2 cups salsa, plus more for serving (We used Medium once and Mild once. I think I preferred the Medium)
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder. Yes, I said cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1 Two and a half pound boneless pork butt or shoulder, trimmed of excess fat. We buy a 6 lb size (not sure if you can find it for smaller) and use half right away and save the other half for later
- 15-20 tortillas (or tacos), depending on how much you put in each one
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro springs
- sour cream
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
- sliced avocado
- shredded cheese
- diced tomatoes
- In a 4-6 quart slow cooker, combine the salsa, chili powder, oregano, cocoa, and salt.
- After you trim the pork, add the pork, and turn to coat.
- Cover and cook until the meat is tender and pulls apart easily (on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 7-8 hours).
- Using 2 forks, shred the pork and stir.
- Serve with the tortillas or tacos, cilantro, sour cream, lime, salsa, avocado, cheese, and whatever else you want on your taco.
Before cooking, I added some fajita seasoning to give it more of a taco flavor. Also, there is a lot of sauce, so you might want to drain it to keep for a broth or to pour over rice or beans.
You hear of chocolate, strawberry, and lemon cakes, but have you heard tasted a peanut butter cake. Well, I hadn’t either, until I found this recipe over on Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures. I’ve already made the cake twice in one month.
If you love peanut butter, you will love this. We think the frosting is the best part, and J said I could use this frosting on his chocolate fudge cake.
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2/3 cups creamy peanut butter
- 6 tablespoons milk
- 2 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Combine sugar and flour and set aside.
- Mix eggs, baking soda, and sour cream well. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, boil peanut butter, butter, and water.
- Add the boiled mixture to the flour mixture. Stir.
- Add sour cream mixture. Pour into a 15×10 inch sheet/jellyroll type pan. Bake 20 minutes or until done. (I don’t have a 15×10 pan, so I poured most of the mix into a 9×13 pan and the rest of it into a 1.5 qt dish. Test by inserting toothpick in the center of the cake.)
- Boil butter, peanut butter, and milk in a saucepan, stirring constantly.
- Add the powdered sugar and the vanilla. Mix well (it will be thick).
- Pour frosting over the cake while both are still warm.
- Let cool, slice, and serve.
Let me know if you make it and what you think. You’ll love it!