Quick Cinnamon Swirl Bread

This quick bread is perfect when you don't have time (or simply can't wait) for cinnamon rolls. Tom said it best when he told me, "Mom, you should make this more often."

2 cups flour (I like half whole wheat and half white)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk*
6 Tbsp butter, melted
1 egg, room temp
1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

1/4 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tsp milk

*You can fake the buttermilk by mixing 1 cup milk + 1 Tbsp white vinegar and allowing the milk to "sour" for 5 minutes.

1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, soda and salt. Whisk butter and egg then buttermilk together; stir into dry ingredients just until combined. (Over mixing will result in a rubbery bread.) In a small bowl, combine cinnamon and 1/2 cup brown sugar.

2. Grease the bottom only of a 8"x4" loaf pan. Pour 1/3 of the batter into pan; sprinkle with almost half the cinnamon-sugar. Spoon another 1/3 of the batter and sprinkle with almost all the remaining cinnamon-sugar. Spoon last 1/3 of the batter, sprinkle with the last couple teaspoons of cinnamon-sugar; cut through batter with a knife to swirl.

3. Bake 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Combine powdered sugar and enough milk to reach desired consistency; drizzle over loaf and enjoy!


Healthier Beef Stroganoff

1 lb. ground beef (lean)
1/2 onion, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 head cauliflower, chopped
1 1/2 cups low-sodium beef broth
2/3 cup Greek yogurt
1 tsp garlic powder (or 1 clove garlic, diced)
3 tablespoons Worchestshire sauce
Salt to taste
12 oz. pasta

1. In a large pan, sauté onions in olive oil until tender. Add ground beef and brown.
2. In a sauce pan bring water to boil and cook noodles according to package instructions. 
3. Add chopped cauliflower to onions and beef and sauté for a few minutes. Add broth. Bring to a boil then simmer for 10 minutes, or until broth has thickened. 
4. Remove from heat. Add Worchestshire sauce and yogurt. Stir. Add salt as needed. 
5. Serve on top of prepared pasta. 


Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix

Is there anything better than a mug of hot cocoa after playing in the snow on a chilly day? Not really. And now you can make your own mix! I usually whisk up two batches of this per winter for our family. So easy and no funny ingredients. 

2 1/2 cups powdered milk*
2 cups bakers cocoa
2 cups brown sugar, lightly packed
1/4 tsp kosher salt (optional)
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

* I've found that the very fine powdered milk like Argason Farms (sold in a #10 can at Walmart) works better than the granulated powdered milk.

Whisk all ingredients together in a large bowl. Store in an airtight container. Makes about 5 1/2 cups of dry mix.

Mix 3-4 tablespoons hot cocoa mix with a cup of boiling water. Stir very well and enjoy! Cool with a little milk or half + half if desired.


Giant Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

ala Great Harvest... large, flat, chewy, buttery, addicting, etc.

2 to 2.5 cups whole wheat flour
1.5 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp molasses or honey
1 Tbsp milk
2 cups rolled oats
1 (12 ounce) pkg semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350. In a medium sized bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, beat butter and brown sugar together until well combined. Add eggs, vanilla, molasses, and milk and beat well. Add oats and mix until just incorporated. Add dry ingredients and mix until blended. Stir in chocolate chips.

3. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop dough and drop about 3 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.

4. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until just starting to brown around the edges. Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheets then remove and cool on racks.