Friday, December 16, 2011

Treats for Teachers

I have such a hard time know if we need to give something to CJ's teachers for Christmas. He has, like, seven teachers. And, that's not including the librarian (who should count according to CJ). The last couple of years I've done cinnamon rolls for them, but this year, I did not start in time for that project. However, we've really been enjoying this cinnamon bread I found on Pinterest.

So, with CJ's approval, that's what his teachers are getting. (He really liked when I sent cinnamon rolls...he basks in the compliments...hopefully, they like the bread.)

Also...only his four main teachers are receiving loaves. Maybe the other three + the librarian will get one at Valentine's or something.

Cinnamon Sugar Bread

1/3 c. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon

2 c. flour
1 TB baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 c. sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 c. milk
1/3 c. vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.

Combine 1/3 c. sugar and 2 tsp. cinnamon and set aside.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and 1 c. sugar. In a separate bowl (or measuring cup), mix together egg, milk and vegetable oil. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until just combined.

Put half of batter in loaf pan. Sprinkle reserved cinnamon sugar mixture on top (it will seem like a lot). Top with remaining batter. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Turn out onto cooling rack and let cool completely. Now, here's the hardest part...wrap the loaf in foil and let sit overnight. It will taste good if you eat it right away, but it will taste even better if you wait.

A couple tips -
-The recipe is easily doubled.
-It would be better to have a little more than half of the batter on the bottom as opposed to a little less. The last time (before today) that I made these, I didn't get quite enough on the bottom and the cinnamon layer leaked through and stuck to the pan. No problems with that today. Just be generous with the bottom layer.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

More Soup - Super Easy & Delicious

It is soup season at our house. We easily eat soup at least once a least for now. In about a month or two, I'll be tired of all our soup recipes. But, my husband claims this soup is one he would happily eat once a week. It's so easy...I should take him up on it.

Stuffed Pepper Soup
barely adapted from Chaos in the Kitchen

1 lb ground beef, I use 93/7 beef
1/2 onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 lb bell peppers (apprx. 3 large), diced - I use at least one green and one red. The third can be whatever you, yellow or another red/green
2 cloves garlic, minced
1(14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 can low sodium beef broth (you could use more than this if you want more broth)
1 tbsp beef base (I use 3 beef bullion cubes)
salt and pepper
hot, cooked rice

In a large stock pot, brown ground beef until no longer pink. Drain and then add the vegetables. Heat over medium heat until vegetables are softened, about 8-10 minutes.
Add tomatoes, beef broth, and beef base. Simmer 15 minutes or longer until ready to serve.
Taste and season generously with salt and fresh ground pepper.
Put a large scoop of rice in a bowl and ladle soup over the top. If you add the rice to the soup itself, it absorbs all the liquid.