Grating butter

I recently read somewhere that the easiest way to make pastry that involves cutting butter into the flour was to grate it with a grater.

The inner Michelle ears perked up. Grating butter. Why haven’t I thought of that.

The whole reason why I fave been leary about pastry and making my own pie dough was the butter part. It seems frustrating and tedious. I could see myself screaming, cut damn you, cut.

That and using knives seemed pointless.

A week ago, I found a recipe that only used rice flour to make a gluten free pie crust.

I was leary.

And then I remembered to grate the butter.

So I tried it.

It WORKS!!!!!!!!

And you use less butter by grating it.

1/2 cup butter becomes 1/2 a stick. Cutting fat is always a plus.

Now no pastry is too hard to make and I can make homemade pie crusts.

Amazing. Absolutely amazing.

Grating butter, a life hack every Susie homemaker baker needs in her arsenal.

Pie Crust Cinnamon Rolls

Happy Christmas Eve!

So you’ve made all these pies for Christmas and there’s some crust dough left over. What do you do? Do you throw it out? Do you put it in the freeze for later use?

Or you could make cinnamon rolls out of it for Christmas breakfast.

Genius!

You only need four (4!) ingredients and I bet you have it already in your pantry just waiting to be used.

They are very simple and easy to make and will go in a flash.

I tried it out on Bryan a few weeks ago, but learned from my first mistake – melting the butter and brushing it on to the pie crust. So DON’T MELT THE BUTTER.

They came out okay, but could have been better.

Second time around, they came out way better.

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Pie Crust Cinnamon Rolls

pie crust
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons sugar

Directions

Roll pie crust out into a square that is 1/4 inch tall.

Spread butter all over pie crust.

Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on butter.

Roll the pie crust tightly.

Cut into 12 slices.

Place on parchment paper on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 12 minutes.

Makes 12.

So the second thing I did wrong was not tightly roll the pie crust the first time. The tighter the roll, the more the cinnamon and sugar can bind to the layers.

To reiterate: DO NOTMELT THE BUTTER and ROLL TIGHT.

But most importantly enjoy.

You drizzle a wee bit of icing on them, but I thought they tasted perfectly without. The cinnamon definitely comes out and kicks you in the face.

An easy breakfast for the family on a crazy day of cooking. O you could snack on them as you go.

Pecan Pie Bark

Much to my surprise, no one brought a dessert with them. Someone always brings a dessert. Good think I had dessert covered.

I actually did a test batch at my house before making it at my mother in laws. I wanted to see if I could reduce the amount of sugar and butter without ruining the consistency of it. That and I wanted to know if I could use parchment paper. I ended up ruining the batch and having to take all the pecans and stirring it into extra butter so that it would adhere to the graham crackers. Even with the extra butter, the sugar didn’t melt down and cause the pecans to solidify. I was absolutely livid. And it only made half a batch.

So I figured I would do everything based on the directions. The full cup of sugar, the two sticks of butter. And guess what?!?!?! Still didn’t work. There is something inherently wrong with this recipe that has not been brought up in the dozens of recipe sites I found this on. Also, there isn’t enough pecans to cover the 12 sheets of graham cracker. I ended up using 2 cups of pecans. Maybe I used too many pecans the second time, who knows? I would have done a third batch but pecans are too expensive to be used on a fucked up recipe.

You have been warned.

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Pecan Pie Bark

2 cups pecans
1 cup sugar
2 sticks butter
12 sheets of graham crackers

Directions

Place graham crackers on a lightly sprayed cookie sheet.

Melt butter slightly in a saucepan.

Add sugar and pecans, stirring as the sugar and butter melt.

Keep stirring until the mixture starts boiling.

Pour pecan mixture slowly onto the graham crackers.

Spread the sugar and pecans evenly on the graham crackers.

Pop the bark in the oven at 325 for 8 minutes.

Let bark cool down before breaking it apart.

Makes 24 squares. Per square.

Even though I cheated on the pecan pie bark, it actually tasted like pecan pie.

I figured this would be les carbs than an actual pecan pie with the same taste. Maybe next time I’ll make pecan pie bars since this really didn’t work out the way I wanted it to.

But if your in a pinch and happen to have pecans, butter, sugar, and graham crackers on you, at least you know something yummy and tasty that can be whipped up in under 10 minutes.

Also, the first batch I made, I did it based on the instructions and felt that tossing the butter, sugar, and pecans together and melting everything at the same time could have also ruined the consistency I was supposed to have. When I made the second batch, I melted the butter slightly so that the sugar would not burn before the butter had melted. I had gotten lumps of sugar on the pecans the first time, and despite me redoing it by adding extra butter, there were still clumps of sugar. I don’t know if that has something to do with the molecular structure of sugar. But I didn’t have this issue in the second batch.

on the bright side, there was no use of corn syrup/

Sweet Potato Mashed Potatoes using Almond Milk

My sister in law is breastfeeding her son who happens to have a dairy and egg allergy. So after talking to her about what non-dairy products she knows she can get away with, I decided almond milk was the best way to go to substitute milk. I still used butter because honestly, there is no substitute for butter.

Because the family decided to do Thanksgiving on Saturday, I used today to start making my sides – the corn, the potatoes, and the green bean casserole. And I also made the pecan pie bark

It took me three hours to make everything….for 15 people.

As I was working on the sweet potato, a recipe I had used before because Bryan went through a stupid lets be healthy with our milk phase and hated everything, my mother in law tells me how my sister in law told her that she hoped I didn’t use sugar in my sweet potatoes.

You have to be bloody kidding me. You are scared that I am going to used sugar in my sweet potato mash?!?!?!? Do you not know who you are talking about?!?!?!? What do I have? I have diabetes! DIABETES!!!!!!! Do you know what that means? It means why the fuck am I going to add bloody extra sugar in a meal when if I do that I can’t fucking eat it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What. THE. FUCK!

I get it, I don’t see you that much, you don’t see me that much. Here I am cooking these amazing sides, replacing milk with a non dairy substitute to make sure you can eat within your dietary restrictions. Why would you even care about my dietary restrictions when you don’t have one person to worry about, but two people. You and your son. So of course when you think only about yourself and your needs, you fail to realize who is cooking this meal and why this meal is going to have everything made from scratch.

Why is it made from scratch, because your SISTER IN LAW HAS FUCKING TYPE 1 DIABETES that’s why. And because my life is nothing but a dietary restriction, I’m going to make bloody sure I can eat my awesomeness.

I ended up making a joke that I would add honey roasted pecans on top. When Bryan saw it, he’s all, “What no marshmallows?” And even though I glared because he knew better, I also smiled because I knew it was a joke. He also didn’t know the comment his sister had said to his mother. Then when my joke was brought to light by his mother, Bryan even looked at his sister weird and questioned her remark.

So what you need to know is that I used almond milk. Also, I’m posting the original not for 15 people recipe. If you triple it, there will probably be more than enough because not everyone will eat it. Unless you come from a sweet potato loving family.

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Sweet Potato Mashed Potatoes using Almond Milk

2 pounds, peeled and cut into huge chunks
1/2 cup almond milk
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

Boil water seasoned with salt.

Place sweet potatoes in boiled water and cook into fork tender.

Drain in a colander and return to pot.

Mash sweet potatoes until they are mashed where you want them to be. I like a little bit of lumps, but that’s just me.

Add milk, salt, and butter.

Stir or mash until well combined and butter has melted.

Transfer to glass dish and bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

Makes 6.

I really love this healthy recipe. The sweet potato mash comes out so well that no one notices the almond milk at all. They just assume you used regular milk or cream or something. No extra sugar, no brown sugar, or marshmallows or whatever. Just plain simple ingredients making yummy food.

So if you want a more healthy version, use this. It doesn’t get any healthier than this recipe. And everyone will love it. The almond milk really brings out the sweet potato.

(Edit: One of my brother in laws was amazed over the incorporation of the almond milk)

 

 

Apple Dumplings – the easy way

I know you’ve seen it, the facebook and pinterist posts of apple dumplings using an apple, a tube of refrigerated crescent dough, butter, sugar, cinnamon, and get this: sprite.

Does it work? Does it not work? Why on earth am I using sprite?

The whole sprite component through me for a loop. A complete loop. Most of these recipes use mountain dew, but I HATE mountain dew. Sprite it was.

This is also half the original recipe. Why? I was testing it out.

The only reason why I’m making apple dumplings this way was because it was my anniversary and I didn’t have the time to homemade apple dumplings. That and well, I spent the day with Mumika and we ended up spending the day getting alcapurria and empanadas and drinking coffee. You know, importante boriqua stuff.

Bryan had never had apple dumplings until his dad took us to a Chinese buffet that happened to have them. I couldn’t resist having one and as usual, because I did not make these, I had to give half of it to Bryan. We have rules. They keep me alive.

“Oh my god, this is amazing!”

This is the thing though – Bryan doesn’t like pies or anything where the fruit is baked. The fact that he loved the dumplings sort of opened a new universe to me.

So I tried the – I don’t have time for that easy way.
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Apple Dumplings

1 granny smith apple, cut into 8 wedges
1 tube of crescent dough
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cinnamon
6 oz Sprite

Directions

Spray 8X8 square cake pan with cooking spray.

Pop open dough tube and wrap 1 triangle around 1 apple wedge.

Place apple wrapped dough wedge in baking dish. There should be enough room.

Mix melted butter with sugar, vanilla, and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.

Gently pour the sugar buttery goodness over each dumpling.

Gently top each dumpling with cinnamon.

Pour the sprite into the cake pan. Be sure not to pour it on top of the dumplings. Pour it on the sides until each dumpling is surrounded by sprite.

Bake at 350 in the oven for 40 minutes.

Makes 8. Per dumpling.

OMG! OMG! Whoever thought of this was a genius!

The vanilla and the butter and the dough and the apple is phenomenal. It made my house smell like fall. Smelled so good I could taste it.

The sprite, holy fuck balls Batman, created a citrus caramelized syrup of awesomeness.

I loved how the apple wedge disintegrated into the dough.

This is perfect for Thanksgiving. Skip the pie. Make little individual apple doughy goodness instead. You could put some ice cream on top and spoon some of the left over citrus syrup on top to make the most gooey yummy happiness ever created.

I should of thought of that the second time I made it. Grrrr.

I wonder if I could make peach dumplings the same way…..hmmmm…..

 

Brown Sugar Cookie

It’s like a snickerdoodle but not.

Yeah.

Personally, when I saw this recipe, I liked the thought of it. It’s different. Instead of a white sugar cookie, why not make a brown sugar one.

But, this is the funny thing: I don’t actually like cookies. I’m more of a brownie, cupcake, and cake girl.

Yeah. That is all.
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Brown Sugar Cookies

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cups brown sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4cup (67g) white sugar for rolling

Direction

Mix the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl.

In a medium size bowl, whisk the melted butter and brown sugar together until there are no lumps.

Whisk in the egg.

Add the vanilla.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together until well combined. The dough will be very soft, yet thick.

Cover the dough and chill overnight. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!!!!

Take the dough out of the refrigerator and allow to slightly soften at room temperature for 10 minutes.

Pour the granulated sugar into a bowl.

Roll dough into 1 inch balls, then roll into the sugar.

Cook in batches of 12 on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.

Bake at 325 for precisely 9 minutes.

Remove from the oven and gently press the top of the cookie down with the back of a utensil. Don’t use your fingers they will get burned.

Place back into the oven for 2 more minutes.

Makes 32 cookies.

These are amazing. Soft and chewy and totally addictive.

I usually don’t do chilled dough recipes but it came out so amazing that I might just try other recipes. Maybe.

Although Bryan isn’t too keen on sugar cookies, he did say these were the best ones he has tasted.

[EDIT: the amazing ladies I work with at the spa loved them and were amazed they were homemade.]
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Balls of cookie dough just waiting to be rolled in sugar and baked.

Cinnamon Toast

I still remember the day I was introduced to cinnamon toast. I was 8 and over at a friend’s house.

“Hey, let’s have cinnamon toast!” She said.
“What’s that?” I asked.
“You don’t know what cinnamon toast is?”
“Um, no.”
“OMG! We have to make it then. It’s amazing!”
“O…k…”

Maybe it was the fact that I was young, but it changed my whole idea of what you could do with toast. It never occurred to me that adding something as simple as sugar and cinnamon to it could make it into the most amazing carmelized cinnamon sweetness. I thought bread was made for sandwiches and buttered toast.

It changed my 8 year old life.

But I rarely make it. I find that this treat, albeit more of a snack than a breakfast, is great on those bleak winter days or rainy afternoon paired with tea or coffee.

You could do it the easy way which is microwave it, but the flavor isn’t as intense as when baked. That and I hate rubbery bread. Hate it!
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Cinnamon Toast

1/4 tablespoon of soft butter
2 slices of toast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

Place to slices of bread on a baking sheet or foil.

In a small bowl, mix the cinnamon and sugar.

Divide the soft butter into half and slather each half onto a slice of bread.

Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over each slice of bread.

Bake at 350 for 5 minutes.

Makes 2 slices. Per slice.

This is definitely comfort food. And the whole house smells amazing while it’s being baked.

Churro Crescents

I love cinnamon. I love it on toast, I love it in oatmeal, I love it on ground beef to make it more Mediterranean. It does not help lower my blood sugar as many tend to believe. I can’t tell how many times people have offered cinnamon as an advice to lower my blood sugar. I try to be nice about it and say that it doesn’t work that way but as always there are people that question you on it. In the end I rather curtly tell them that it works with type 2 not type 1. What cinnamon does, however, is help stabilize the blood sugar giving me some control over it when I don’t eat protein at a meal. Hence the use of it on top of oatmeal.

If I combine it with a food that I know can lower my blood sugar then I dip rather quickly which can end badly. I figured this out a year ago to the day about 4 hours before my best friend’s wedding. Mumika and I had breakfast at the hotel where I ate a bagel (which Mumika tried to take a bite out of until I yelled at her that I had already took insulin for it. Do not try to take diabetics food away from them after they’ve taken insulin, it always ends badly. You would think she had learned her lesson from a previous time, but she didn’t) and oatmeal with cinnamon, brown sugar, almonds, and cranberries. About 2 hours later as I was getting orange juice at a local grocery store, I came across sweet potato chips and proceeded to eat these chips as Mumika was doing my hair when we got back to the hotel. 15 minutes in, I feel it, the dip. Then the anger came, then lots of profanity followed by shaking. I was down to 75 and I could tell the dip wasn’t over. And that’s when I realized my error.

The cinnamon had made sure my blood sugar didn’t go sky high as I ate breakfast. Because of this, the insulin hit it’s mark before it needed to. It didn’t help that the snack I picked out naturally lowered my blood sugar.

Luckily, there was coke at the beach house Pam was getting married at.

When I came across this recipe, I decided to change it. It’s pretty straight forward and simple, but I didn’t feel there enough flavor. Well, that and I really hate the taste of canned refrigerated crescent roll dough. The bitterness gets me every time. I also felt that the icing or glaze was pointless and created a teeth decaying sweetness. I hate sickening sweetness. It’s pointless. Completely unnecessary.
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Churro Crescents

1 tube refrigerated crescent rolls
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
1/8 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

Directions

Pop the tube and unroll the crescent dough.

In a small bag mix the sugar and cinnamon.

In small bowl mix melted butter with 3/4 of the bag of sugar and cinnamon. Spread mixture over crescent rolls and roll them up. Place tip side down on parchment paper covering a cookie sheet.

Sprinkle remaining cinnamon and sugar over the crescents

Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before eating

Makes 8. Per crescent.

Tastes just like a churro. The cinnamon sugary buttery goodness of awesomeness. Love it.

I do recommend eating them while they are still warm. If they do co cold just warm it in the microwave.

This is perfect for teatime, brunch, breakfast or a snack.

If you do want to add the glaze on top and make it look all fancy (which I totally get) mix 2 tablespoons with 1/4 cup powdered sugar and 1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla. Drizzle over the crescents. Now you have bakery quality yumminess in half the time.

Strawberry Dump Cake

Late at night, infomercials come alive taking over every publicly broadcast channel known to man offering the most ludicrous products. The aero knife that boasts how it doesn’t have a serrated edge but upon closer look, it does. The my pillow, a pillow perfect for you. The collapsible hose. The veggie chopper. And so on and so on.

One night, the dump cake and dump meals infomercial was on and Bryan was all about it. He’s reasoning, which makes sense, is the nights that I have school and he has to cook would be perfect for using the cookbook. I was going to make it where we eat leftovers on those days, but if he actually wants to cook, who am I to stop him.

I also know that if I wait a few weeks, these seen on TV products will be in HEB, Walmart and pretty much every retail home good store in America. And what do you know? I found the dump cake book in a Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

It’s an interesting little book. Most of the recipes use cake mix boxes, butter, canned or frozen fruit, pie filling and maybe a nut of some kind. A few of them use gelatin. Then there’s a section of actual ingredients, but it’s quite short.

I decided I might do one dump cake a week just to see what if it’s too my liking. However, I’ll be making my own pie filling, use fresh fruit, and make my own cake mix. After all, this is a diabetic food blog and primarily about taking control over what you put in your mouth.
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Strawberry Dump Cake

3 cups strawberries, sliced
1 envelope of strawberry Jell-O (3 oz)
1 yellow cake mix
1/3 cup water
6 tablespoon butter, cut into thin slices

Directions

Spray a 9X9 square baking dish with cooking spray.

Spread strawberries at the bottom of the dish.

Sprinkle the Jell-O evenly on top of the strawberries.

Spread cake mix evenly over Jell-O and strawberries.

Place thinly slice butter over the mix, covering as much of the mix as possible with the butter.

Drizzle water over the whole thing.

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

Makes 12.

This was amazing. It tastes amazing. I wanted to eat the whole thing.

I have no clue how this bloody cake works though. I am assuming the fluid from the strawberries as they bake creates the Jell-O. The butter, water, and Jell-O creates the cake part of the it as it bakes.

Yeah.

It’s amazing.

And it’s one of those quick things you can put together if you’re in a pinch. Surprised dinner guess? No problem. Just put it together and pop it in the oven while everyone eats and you’ll have a nice and warm dessert when everyone is ready for the last course. Of course it isn’t that elegant, but hey, I’ll take this over nothing any day.

Peach Pie Filling

I’ve been on a pie kick lately. I want to learn how to make pie filling for pretty much every single fruit pie known to man in order to refrain from buying tin pie filling. Sure tin pie filling like lucky leaf is an easy shortcut, but I over what I put in my mouth. That and one of my dreams is to own my own bakery that specialize in homemade pies that use fresh ingredients. In order sort of make this a reality, I need to learn how to make pie filling.

In Lucky Leaf peach pie filling: Peach slices, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, water, food starch-modified (corn), citric acid, potassium sorbate and ascorbic acid (preservatives). Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 color added.

Why are there two different corn syrup in it?

Also, I like to taste my fruit in my pies. I like to physically be able to tell what fruit is being used. And trust me, you’ll know and see the peaches if you use my peach pie filling.

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Peach Pie Filling

1/2 cup sugar
4 Tablespoon cornstarch
2 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoon butter
5 peaches, peeled and sliced

Combine water, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and butter and cook until thickened.

Pour into a deep dish pie crust and cook according to pie package directions.

Makes enough for 1 pie. 10 servings. Per serving.

This pie filling is phenomenal. It will blow your socks off.

All you taste is succulent amazing peaches. And they aren’t cooking into oblivion. The butter caramelizes the peaches creating this buttery peach goodness that makes your taste buds dance in happiness.

Love love love it.

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