Doesn't every family celebrate the holidays with a Western theme night? 🤠🤣Complete with rodeo games, Western movies and authentic cowboy meals - we fully embraced the theme.
So when we decided to make a giant Swiss Roll to round out our chuck wagon style feast, we renamed our epic dessert creation - A Rodeo Roll!
I have to give credit to my daughter in law for the inspiration for this dessert. It was her idea to make homemade Swiss rolls. I suggested turning it into one giant roll instead of tackling individual rolls and she suggested adding graham crackers and chocolate and to turn it into a s'mores roll. This is what we came up with...
Giant S'mores Swiss Roll
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/4 cup ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 Tablespoons vegetable shortening, room temperature
8 ounces marshmallow fluff
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted (more as needed)
1/4 cup crushed graham crackers
2 Tablespoons chopped chocolate
4 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon salted butter, cut into cubes
Pour over cake.
Sprinkle cake with extra graham crackers and chocolate.
You can call it a S'mores Swiss Roll, a Rodeo Roll or a Little Amy Roll - but you need to try this. It's amazing. And if you're feeling your creative juices flowing - change up the fillings to make this roll unique.
If your family is anything like mine - you have your fair share of holiday traditions. My family specializes in food-centered Christmas traditions - I think its our Italian genes. 🇮🇹😅I mean, is it really Christmas if we don't roast chestnuts or make homemade tiramisu or eat 7 fishes on Christmas eve? I also feel like every year we add to our list of special meals, festive drinks and stockpile of sweets that we need to consume in order to properly celebrate the season. 🤣🍝🌰
We always have biscotti on our Christmas menu and my way of shaking up our family traditions is to add a fun new biscotti flavor to our breakfast table. (Life on the wild side.😂) This year, I'm introducing my family to Nutella biscotti. 🤞🏻I feel like it's a safe bet though- who doesn't love a chocolatey hazelnut spread?
2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking cocoa
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
½ cup nutella
½ cup chocolate chips
½ cup hazelnuts, chopped
Place flat side down on baking sheet and bake 10 minutes. Flip and bake another 10 minutes.
These biscotti are safely tucked away in the freezer for an official unveiling on Christmas Eve. 🤫Now that the cats out of the bag - I'm kindly asking all family members to NOT look through the freezer in search of a sample the Nutella biscotti. 😂
Give me all the berries this season: raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and even cranberries. I want them scattered in my morning bowl of cornflakes and baked into my breakfast muffins. I want them made into delicious holiday treats and coated with sugar and sitting on top of my favorite cakes.
Berries make the best decorations for any holiday treats. Coating this particular red berry in sugar has a very interesting effect on peoples animosity toward the cranberry. If I were to guess, I'd say that there's only a very small percentage of the population that actually enjoys eating fresh cranberries. I'm happen to be one of that elite group and I know that I could increase the number of cranberry fans in the world if I could get people to taste just one of my sugared cranberries. 😋
I can get away with serving homemade cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving but given it's limited appeal, I tend to steer clear of cranberry desserts for any other occasion. When I make dinner for guests, I stick to berries that are more universally accepted like black, blue and rasp. (rasp?) 😅
This blackberry crisp is one of the easiest and most delicious way to enjoy fresh berries. I love this crisp so much that whenever I have extra berries on hand, I put this together, pop it in the freezer and save it for a rainy day. Did I mention that this recipe works with any fruit? Even cranberries. 🤣
1 1/2 cup quick oats
1 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces
8-10 cups fresh blackberries
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Bake 45 minutes at 350.
Serve with a scoop of ice cream.
If you don't have access to fresh berries - you can always substitute frozen berries. There are endless possibilities of fruit options and fruit combinations that you can create. Peach and cranberry crisp anyone?
Do you think it's a problem that I went through 45 pounds of sugar and 28 pounds of butter in just under a week? 😬 So much baking and sooooo much sugar. 😅I've turned my kitchen into a regular cake, cupcake, tart, pie, brownie and cookie factory this week. Being able to bake in two ovens has been a game changer. Now all I need is an assistant who can decorate cookies between the hours of midnight and 6 am so I can get some sleep. 😂 😴
These are just a few of the fun treats that I've had the privilege of working on this week. Christmas, birthdays, graduations - so many things to celebrate in December. On the plus side, there's no need for scented candles in my house when I'm baking dozens of batches of cookies every day. On the down side, stretchy pants are becoming my new norm. 🤣
It's no exaggeration that I've eaten messed up sugar cookies scraps for at least 3 meals this week. 😬 Like, not in addition to a meal or as a dessert at the end of a meal - cookies AS my meal. 😅 Just to be clear - This isn't healthy and I in no way advocate for the consumption of cookies in place of nutritious meals. 🤣
In an attempt to reverse the nutritionally deficient meals that I've been consuming while standing at my kitchen island this week, I'm turning to grilled chicken. This grilled chicken adobo was the perfect recipe for me to make while in the middle of my holiday baking madness. For one thing, it forced me to step outside the walls of my kitchen and spend some time outside at the grill. Secondly, it was way healthier than cookies. Lastly, it was super delicious and this savory chicken was just what I was craving after breathing in the sweet smell of royal icing for 16 hours a day.
Grilled Chicken Adobo
4 teaspoons garlic powder
2 1/2 teaspoons sazon
2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon oregano
4 pounds chicken leg quarters
5 Tablespoons white vinegar
5 Tablespoons olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Transfer chicken to a platter. Pour juices from pan into a bowl and serve alongside chicken.
Now I'm kicking myself for only making enough of this delicious chicken for 1 meal. Why didn't I make extra so I could have some on hand for quick meals for the weekend? Next time. 🤦🏻♀️
December weekends for me, are anything but quiet or calm. Grocery shop, bake, decorate, clean the kitchen, repeat. Throw in a little online shopping and wrapping and you know exactly how I've been spending my days this month. Don't get me wrong - I'm not complaining, a hectic schedule = lots of catering orders, just giving you a life update.
The downside of my full calendar is very little "down" time for extra things like taking a shower and brushing my teeth. (Totally kidding - I'm a total fanatic about oral hygiene.🦷) 😁🤣I've figured out that scheduling a December night out - well in advance - is the best way for me to take a break during this busy season.
A couple of months about - I bought tickets to visit the Atlanta Zoo to see the Chinese Lantern festival and last night was the night. It was a balmy, humid 60 degrees but we still carried cups of hot chocolate as we strolled through the zoo lights in our festive t-shirts.
If you live in Atlanta - I highly recommend Illuminights at the Zoo. It's amazing.
When I have lots of catering orders, dinner prep gets pushed to the bottom of the priority list. I try and make extra meals on days when I don't have a full day of baking but those days are far and few between lately. My family's starting to get suspicious of my plan serve the 12 soups of Christmas. 🤣
Hello, Roasted Chili Rellenos with Black Beans. This meal is heathy, I can prepare it in advance and quickly and most importantly - it's super flavorful and delicious.
Roasted Chiles Rellenos with Black Beans
4–6 extra-large poblano peppers, leave whole with stems on
6 ripe, medium Roma tomatoes, cut in half
5 garlic cloves
1 large onion, sliced into ½ inch slices
2 small jalapeños, cut in half
2 Tablespoons olive oil
14 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
6 ounces grated jack cheese or Mexican queso fresco
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon tomato paste
¼ cup fresh cilantro plus more for garnish
1/4–1/2 cup chicken broth
Arrange tomatoes, garlic, onions, jalapenos and poblanos on a sheet pan.
Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast 30 minutes at 450. Cool.
Place remaining onions, tomatoes, jalapenos, garlic, cumin, coriander, chili powder, oregano, salt, tomato paste, cilantro, broth and pan juices in food processor. Blend until smooth.
Sprinkle with more cheese.
Cover with foil and bake 20-25 minutes at 425. Uncover and bake 5 more minutes.
I was a little hesitant about how these stuffed chilies would be received by my family members who are ultra-sensitive to spicy food. Surprisingly - they love it. I toned down the jalapeños to make it a little more mild and they gobbled it up.
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