Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christmas Eve 2015

 This Christmas Eve, we started a new tradition. We started out at Crown Burger--a family favorite--and because we have only gone there on rare occasions, it was a yummy treat.

 We then visited Temple Square to see the lights. Surprisingly, it was much less busy than at other times of the month, which is just what I was hoping for.

 We definitely weren't the only ones there, but it was still much less crowded! It was really cold, but worth it.

We discovered the nativities from around the world that are set up east of the temple on the church administration building plaza. These were a couple of my favorites.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Cinnamon Roll Bread with Buttery Cinnamon Sugar Crust

Today is the perfect day for baking. After a couple of snow-deficient years, we seem to be trying to make a comeback. It's looking like our New Year's snowman will be an epic one!

This bread uses my bread dough recipe as the base and is easy to put together. It's also family-approved!

Cinnamon Roll Bread with Buttery Cinnamon Sugar Crust
makes 8 4-inch loaves

1 recipe basic dough, risen once

Remove the risen dough from the bread machine to an oiled counter. Let it rest 10 minutes. 
Roll the dough into a large rectangle. You want the dough to be about 1/4" thick. Cut the rectangle in half the long way. Butter each half liberally. Don't be shy! Sprinkle a thin layer of brown sugar over the buttered dough, then sprinkle liberally with cinnamon. Once again, don't be shy. Roll up each dough half into a log, starting with a long side. Pinch the long edge closed. 

Using a sharp serrated knife, cut each dough log into 4 equal sections. You can pinch the ends closed if desired, but it's not necessary. Place each section in a 4" pan that has been lightly sprayed on the bottom. Melt 1/4 c. butter, then divide by pouring over each loaf. Sprinkle each loaf with granulated sugar and cinnamon. 

Let the dough rise for 30 minutes, then bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 25 minutes. Cool slightly on wire racks, then remove bread from pans to cool thoroughly.

If desired, drizzle a powdered sugar, butter & vanilla glaze over each loaf.   

Friday, December 18, 2015

Don't mess with the ornament of honor.

This is known as "Dad's Utah ornament" in our house. Every year, it goes front and center on the Christmas tree. Even if the rest of tree is blue & silver.

Sarah came in from work one night and pulled the ornament off the tree while saying, "This is red! It doesn't match!"

She found out, you don't mess with Dad's Utah ornament. ;)

Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowls

This meal is an easy, yummy way to have a good dinner ready for your family, even during the crazy Christmas rush!

You can serve it in a variety of ways: as is, or piled on a bed of tortilla chips, or wrapped up in a tortilla and baked in a 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes. 

We lined our bowls with tortillas, then topped the whole shebang with grated cheese, chopped tomato, avocado and sour cream. Delicious!

Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowls
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 14-15 oz. can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
1 4 oz. can diced green chilies
1 c. chicken broth (or 1 c. water and 1 tsp. chicken bouillon)
2 t. salt
1 t. cumin
1/2 t. chili powder (or more to suit your taste)
1 t. garlic powder
1 T. dry minced onion
1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can sweet corn, drained
1 c. regular long-grain rice
Put the chicken breasts in the bottom of the slow cooker. Top with the tomatoes, chilies, broth, beans, corn and spices. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours.  Remove the lid and shred the chicken with two forks. Stir in uncooked rice. Cover and cook for one hour. Serve topped with your choice of shredded cheese, diced tomato, avocado, sour cream and/or salsa. Enjoy!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Easy Taco Braid

Hello, yummy taco braid!

This is a twist on traditional tacos that's easy to make and fun to eat. I saw the recipe over at 365 Days of Baking & More, and then more adapted it for our family.

Step 1: Brown 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of ground beef and then add your favorite taco seasoning. Get out a canister of ready-made pizza dough, or make your own ahead of time. My version is here. 

Step 2: roll out the dough into a large rectangle. Using scissors or a pizza cutter, snip both long sides of the dough about 1-inch apart and 3 inches deep, like so:

Step 3: Take the prepared taco meat and pile it in the center of the dough between the snipped edges.

Step 4: Cover the meat with your favorite taco cheese. I used shredded cheddar-jack cheese. Top that with some diced tomato if you like. A little salsa would also be good.

Step 5: Simply fold all the snipped pieces of dough over each other to cover the filling. It is helpful to fold up the bottom ends first, then cover with the edge pieces. Then sprinkle more shredded cheese over the top. We like a lot of cheese around here. 

Step 6: Bake the taco braid in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 22 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Let it cool for about 5 minutes, and then top it with your favorite taco toppings: shredded lettuce, more tomato, sour cream and avocado are our favorites.

This will definitely take your taco night up a notch! Our family loved it.