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?
- Cake mix (I used one box of Betty Crocker Butter Pecan) and whatever it needs (eggs, oil)
- Food Coloring
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray the bottom of a 13×9 in dish with baking spray (the kind that says it has flour). Grease a 1 qt Pyrex bowl with shortening and then, coat with flour.
- Make the cake mix and pour 1.5 cups of the batter into the 1 qt bowl. Then, pour the remaining batter into the 13×9 dish. [If you want the sheet cake taller or the soccer ball higher, then, you could use two cake mixes, but I just preferred to use one box).
- Bake the 13x9 dish for 20-30 mins, depending on your oven. [You might be able to bake the soccer ball and sheet cake at the same time, but I was too nervous to try that, so I baked the sheet cake first, and then, I baked the soccer ball.] And then, bake the 1 qt bowl 25-35 mins. Cool each cake for 10 minutes.
- Then, turn an 8×8 dish upside down and spray the bottom/underside of it with flour baking spray. Flip it over, and push the coated side onto the sheet cake, in order to get rid of the “dome” shape. It really works! With the soccer ball cake, I used a Tupperware bowl (sprayed) to push that dome shape down. (Sorry I didn’t take a picture, but you can look here: http://www.ehow.com/how_4816098_soccer-ball-cake.html at step #3 for the idea).
- Flip the sheet cake over onto the serving tray (I put wax paper under mine, so I’d be able to tear the paper off, in case I messed up with the frosting). And flip the soccer ball onto a plate. Freeze cakes for 1 hour each.
- I frosted each cake with a thin layer of frosting as a skim/crumb coat (blue sky, green grass, and white for soccer ball). Then, I put them back in the freezer for almost an hour.
- Put the soccer ball on top of the sheet cake. [Frost the soccer ball again, if you think it needs another coat (I didn't).] Cut out a pentagon shape and a hexagon shape. The pentagon needs to be smaller than the hexagon. [I can't remember my measurements. I wanna say 1 3/4 in for the pentagon and 2 1/3 inch for the hexagon.] Use a toothpick to outline the shapes onto the ball.
- Then, fill in the pentagon with a star shaped tip (I used a decorator’s icing tube) and the lines with a straight tip with whatever color you choose; typically black, but Abs wanted purple.
- For the sheet cake: Re-frost most of the cake blue (for the sky). Re-frost the bottom part green for the grass. If you have fancy tips/bags, you can make it look more like grass. I don’t, so I frosted it, and then used a spatula to pull at the frosting from different angles. I used a decorator’s icing tube to make the soccer net, but I ran out and had to use a knife to do the soccer goal.
- Store loosely covered at room temperature.
The camera was in Abs’s room while she was napping, while I was making the cake. So, I didn’t get a chance to take pictures, until J got home, and we used his iPhone. Sorry.
I started making this cake about 11 am on Saturday and finished around 4 pm (maybe?). And the party was on Sunday, but the cake still tasted great on Sunday and the next day and the next day . . .
Store loosely covered at room temperature.
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.
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!