Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Octopus Cinnamon Buns

Cutest cinnamon buns ever, am I right? 
I had seen a post on Twitter and decided to try and recreate them myself. I was impressed with how easy they were to make. The great thing is; you can use any cinnamon bun recipe that you like! I used our favorite recipe - Jumbo Cinnamon Rolls (CLICK HERE)
These would be fabulous for an under the sea party, Halloween, or - if you're like me - all the time! 
You could use store bought cinnamon rolls BUT you would still need a little extra dough for the body/head. 

Octopus Cinnamon Buns

Or your favorite cinnamon bun recipe that makes 12 regular sized buns

8 oz cream cheese, room temp
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla

black fondant OR dark chocolate chips

Prepare dough for cinnamon buns as per instructions. Let complete first rise.
Preheat oven to 350. 
After the first rise is complete, Cut dough in half. (This recipe will make 2 octopi)
Working with half the dough - pinch off a fist sized amount of dough and roll into a ball, set aside.

Roll out the rest of the dough as you would when making cinnamon buns. Top with butter, cinnamon, brown sugar. 

Roll up, jelly roll style. 
Cut into 8 equal slices. They will be quite thin. 

Place on parchment paper lined cook sheet in a circle. Unwind the rolls a little - this will be the legs. The more you unroll the longer the legs will be. (See photo for clarification) 

Place the ball of dough you had set aside in the center of the rolls. Be sure that it is covering the ends of the rolls. 
Repeat with the other half of the dough. 

Cover and let rise for about an hour, or until doubled in size. 
Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes: until golden brown and cooked through. 

Let cool completely. 
Once cool, cut the body of the octopus approximately in half. Scoop out the bread from the center of the ball. Repeat with the second octopus. 

Beat together the cream cheese, icing sugar, and vanilla. Divide in half and place into cavity of the bread. Replace the top of the octopus and then attach eyes with a teeny bit of the cream cheese mixture. 

Serve room temperature. To eat - tear off a leg and dip in the cream cheese center. 

Note - wait until ready to serve to fill with the cream cheese mixture or else it will need to be refrigerated. 

I love how the little bit of cream cheese oozing out looks like his tongue sticking out. 
It would be easy enough to make him more kraken-like by adding some spikey cuts to the bread in the center before baking. 
The legs will seem pretty thin when you cut them but they need to be thinner than usual so they don't puff up too much. Don't worry - they will still be delicious! 
It's a bit finicky to make but soo worth it! 
Let us know if you give it a try! 

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Pineapple upside down cake is a classic that has been around a very long time. We have a couple of versions already on the blog (a single serving one you can find HERE, and a layered one you can find HERE). This version is a little different and fits just nicely into a 9 X 13 pan. 
It's been a while since I've made an upside down cake and I always forget how beautiful they look. No icing is required, just serve with a little whipped cream for a perfect dessert!

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Bottom Layer
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cans sliced pineapple rings
1 jar maraschino cherries

2 2/3 cup flour
2 cups sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
pinch salt
2/3 cup oil
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. 
Line 9 x 13 pan with parchment paper. Pour the melted butter into the pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle with the brown sugar and stir to roughly combine. Place rings of pineapple on top of the brown sugar to fit the pan. Some will need to be cut along the edges. Place a maraschino cherry into each pineapple ring center and a few to fill in other spots in the cake. (see photo below) Set aside. 

Prepare cake batter - whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl whisk together oil, buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla. 
Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined. Pour gently over the pineapple in the pan. 
Bake at 350 for approximately 50 minutes - until cake is a deep golden brown. Toothpick inserted near center should come out clean. (NOTE - place a cookie sheet on the rack under the cake as the caramel often bubbles out of the pan!) 
Remove from heat and let cool for about 5 - 10 minutes. 

Carefully invert cake onto serving tray. Be careful - some of the caramel from the pan may drip and it is very hot. Let cool to room temperature. 

Store, covered, in fridge for up to 3 days. This is one of those cakes that really is best on the first day though. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream for a decadent treat. 
Note - If you don't have buttermilk you can add 1 Tbsp of vinegar to regular milk and let it sit for 5 minutes before adding to batter. 
Another note - parchment paper is note absolutely needed. I just find it waaaaaay easier to remove easily from the pan if I line it first. Whatever you do, don't let the cake cool completely still in the pan. The caramel and pineapples will stick to the bottom and not look nearly as nice once removed. 

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Small Batch Walnut Blondies

Well. It's been a while.
Almost a whole year, actually. Sue and I took a break over 2022 and stepped back from blogging. We are returning now and are going to do our best to share as many recipes as we can. 
I thought our first blog back should be a classic recipe. I went with blondies because, believe it or not, after 14 years of blogging we do NOT have a blondie recipe anywhere on the blog! I decided to make it a small batch as I mayhave overdone the sweets during the holidays so didn't need a full batch.
This recipe takes under half an hour to whip up and makes about 8 squares.

Small Batch Walnut Blondies

7 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp melted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9 X 5 loaf pan (or 6 inch square) with parchment paper, set aside. 
Whisk together sugars and butters until creamy. Whisk in vanilla and egg yolk. 
In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and walnuts. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just mixed. 
Spread into prepared pan - batter will be very thick. 

Bake at 350 for 15 - 20 minutes, until lightly browned and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. 
Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack. 

When room temp, remove from the pan using the parchment paper.

Cut into pieces and serve. 

These freeze very well and will also last for a few days, covered, on the counter. 
If the batter seems really dry - mine did because I used a medium egg by mistake - add in 1 Tbsp of milk. You can add in 1/2 cup of whatever add in you like. Don't like walnuts? Use chocolate chips or butterscotch chips instead. 
It's great to be back and we hope you will follow along with us. Anything you'd like to see? Comment below. Be sure to follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. We're @joandsue 

Friday, February 18, 2022

Raspberry Cheesecake Muffins

I love cheesecake. 
Love it.
So why not put it in the middle of muffins? 
Elevate your regular muffins to a work of art by making them cheesecake stuffed muffins. I made raspberry but you could definitely do pretty much any flavor. It makes them a little more moist and interesting. Can a muffin be interesting? Well... yes... if you add cheesecake. 

Raspberry Cheesecake Muffins

1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups sour cream
2 eggs
1/2 cup melted butter
2 tsp vanilla
4 cups flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
1 cup raspberries

8 oz cream cheese, room temp
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 375. Lightly grease a large muffin tin (6) or a regular sized one (12).
Beat together heavy cream, sour cream, eggs, butter, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just mixed. Scoop half of the batter evenly into the muffin cups. 
Prepare cheesecake - beat together cream cheese, egg, vanilla, and sugar. Distribute evenly on top of the batter in to muffin cups. Place 2 or 3 raspberries in each muffin tin on top of the cheesecake batter. 
Fill the muffin cups with the remaining batter and then top with an extra 2 or 3 raspeberries. 

Bake at 375 for 20 - 25 minutes (depending on the size of your muffin tins, keep an eye on them) or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean and tops are lightly browned.

Let cool in tins for about 8 - 10 minutes before removing. 

Serve warm or room temp. Be sure to store these muffins, covered, in the fridge. They also freeze very well. 

You could use any kind of fruit in this or switch it up and make a cinnamon sugar to sprinkle in the middle and on top.... I love the jumbo muffins but these also work for regular sized muffins. That ribbon of cheesecake in the middle is sooooo tasty. Add it to your favorite muffin recipe! You won't regret it! 

Monday, January 31, 2022

Keto Sushi Bowl


If you are cutting down on carbs or even doing strict keto, you'll want to try this recipe. Heck, even if you aren't doing those things, you'll want to try this recipe!
It's so tasty and very sushi-ish. I have tried to make roll sushi several times and am terrible at it. I blame my knife not being sharp enough but it could also be my technique.... When you make a sushi bowl you don't have to worry about that! It looks pretty even if you just throw it all in the bowl. Of course, you can get as fancy as you like by layering the toppings. Completely up to you!

Keto Sushi Bowl

20 oz (2 1/2 cups or approx 1 medium head) cauliflower rice
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp sesame oil

4 Tbsp mayo
1 - 2 tsp sriracha

2 avocado, sliced
1 medium cucumber, sliced
1 cup prawns, chopped
2 - 3 packages of nori seaweed snacks (or 1 sheet nori)
1 tsp sesame seeds
2 diced green onions

Grate cauliflower and cook in microwave for about 2 - 3 minutes. (Does not have to be thoroughly cooked, just softened a little. If you prefer you can leave it raw) Mix in rice vinegar and sesame oil. Divide into 4 bowls and set aside to cool.

In a small bowl, stir together mayo and sriracha.

Set aside. (I put mine in a small plastic baggy so I can drizzle it over the finished bowls)

Assemble toppings and prep them.

Tip: I leave the avocados until I am ready to serve the bowls. You can make everything up to this point and refrigerate until ready to serve. Chop the avocados right before servings so they don't go brown. Similarly, chop the nori right before hand so it doesn't go soggy. 
Assemble the bowls:

Layer the toppings on the cauliflower rice however you like. I always end with the sesame seeds and green onions and the sriracha mayo.... no particular reason other than I think this looks nicest. 

Recipe, as written, makes 4 servings. Per serving (according to MyFitnessPal) is: 345 calories, 25.6 fat, 14 carbs, 7.7 fiber, and 16 protein. That means 6.3 net carbs per bowl. 
If you are tracking macros be sure to enter your own ingredients into a tracker for exact counts. 

You can change up the toppings however you like! Don't like prawns? Use crab, fake crab, or even tuna. Don't like avocados? Leave them out! Of course, changing toppinggs will change the nutritional counts but it will still be a tasty and healthier meal! 

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Keto Apple Crisp


We're not even one sentence into this post and I've already lied to you. 
See... the thing is... there's no apples in this apple crisp. Apples have a lot of natural sugars so aren't really keto friendly. 
I promise though, this is still an apple crisp. It's magic. It tastes just like an apple crisp even though you are not using apples. Want to know what the secret ingredient is that makes this magic? 
It's zucchini. No, really. It is. 
We already have a recipe on the blog called What Do You Mean Its Not Apple Apple Crisp (HERE) but I've takes it one step further and made it low carb \ keto friendly by switching up the topping and using sugar replacement. 
According to MyFitnessPal, this recipe per serving (makes 8) is: 274 calories, 27 fat, 6.1 carbs, 2.7 fiber, and 4.6 protein. That's 3.4 net carbs per serving. Throw on some keto ice cream (like KetoSkream and some sugar free syrup and it comes out at about 5 net carbs)

Keto Apple Crisp

2 Tbsp butter
4 cups zucchini, diced
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup brown sugar Swerve
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp xanthan gum

1/2 cup butter, room temp
3/4 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar Swerve 
1 cup almond flour
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly spray a 10 inch pan (or 2 - 8 inch pans) with cooking spray, set aside.
Melt butter in pan over medium heat. Add zucchini, lemon juice, Swerve, and cinnamon. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium-low and add in xanthan gum. Simmer for 15 - 20 minutes, stirring often, until thick. Spread into prepared pan (s).

Combine topping ingredients and then sprinkle evenly over the zucchini.

Bake in 350 oven until bubbly and browned, about 30 minutes.

Can serve hot or room temperature. 

If you peel the zucchini it looks even more like apples but you don't have to. I often leave the skin on.

You will be amazed at how much this smells, looks, and tastes like "real" apple crisp. 

Throw on some caramel and ice cream and you will fool even the pickiest of eaters. 

Don't skimp on the cinnamon and try to use fresh lemon juice. I've made it with bought lemon juice and it is still delicious but fresh is better! FYI - you can also use regular granulated Swerve if you don't have the brown sugar Swerve. 
Only 3.4 net carbs for a ridiculously tasty dessert (5 net with ice cream and syrup).
Even if you are not low carbing it, give this a try! It's magic. For real.
(Or try our original recipe HERE)