Easy Sticky Buns – Barefoot Bloggers

31 01 2009


So I’m kind of cheating by backdating this, but I actually did make these Easy Sticky Buns in January I just didn’t have time to post before going out of town this weekend!

imgp2641As you’ll see from the pictures, these were a disaster for me because I did not buy Puff Pastry.  This is my first time with any kind of pastry from scratch and I didn’t realize that Phyllo Dough and Puff Pastry are not the same.


When I rolled it flat to add the filling I realized it was wrong.  But I had already made the rest of the recipe so I just decided to give it a try.  Not good.  At least I had halved the recipe in the first place.  Next time I’ll be sure to buy the right thing!  Oh & I omitted the pecans.


Thanks to Melissa of Made by Melissa for choosing this recipe.  It can be found in Ina’s new cookbook, Back to Basics.  Recipe is below:

Easy Sticky Buns

Makes 12
We used to make really delicious sticky buns at Barefoot Contessa, but they took two days to make because the yeast dough needed to rise overnight in the refrigerator. I was dying to find a way to make them easier, so I decided to try baking them with Pepperidge Farm puff pastry dough, instead. OMG are they good … and they’re really easy to make! Light, flaky dough filled with brown sugar, toasted pecans, and sweet raisins — my friends go crazy when I make these.

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup pecans, chopped in very large pieces
1 package (17.3 ounces/2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, defrosted for the filling
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup raisins

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place a 12-cup standard muffin tin on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the 12 tablespoons butter and 1/3 cup brown sugar. Place 1 rounded tablespoon of the mixture in each of the 12 muffin cups. Distribute the pecans evenly among the 12 muffin cups on top of the butter and sugar mixture.

Lightly flour a wooden board or stone surface. Unfold one sheet of puff pastry with the folds going left to right. Brush the whole sheet with half of the melted butter. Leaving a 1-inch border on the puff pastry, sprinkle each sheet with 1/3 cup of the brown sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the cinnamon, and 1/2 cup of the raisins. Starting with the end nearest you, roll the pastry up snugly like a jelly roll around the filling, finishing the roll with the seam side down.

Trim the ends of the roll about 1/2 inch and discard. Slice the roll in 6 equal pieces, each about 1 1/2 inches wide. Place each piece, spiral side up, in 6 of the muffin cups. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry to make 12 sticky buns.

Bake for 30 minutes, until the sticky buns are golden to dark brown on top and firm to the touch. Allow to cool for 5 minutes only, invert the buns onto the parchment paper (ease the filling and pecans out onto the buns with a spoon), and cool completely.


January Tour Stop: Recipe #2

28 01 2009


Bananas seem to be a popular ingredient recently, wouldn’t you say?  Maybe I just feel that way because bananas are not my very favorite thing in the world to eat 🙂  I don’t mind a regular banana every now and then, but banana flavor is not something I get excited about.  Like I said in my post about Barefoot Contessa’s Banana Pancakes, they were okay.  However, WH said he really enjoyed the pancakes and banana flavor.


So when Karen of Loves to Eat listed a Banana Bread as one of her favorites, I decided to give it a try.  I’ve never made a banana bread, but I have enjoyed making other types of breads (Blueberry Zucchini and an Apple I haven’t posted yet).  This recipe was simple and worked out great as far as my grocery list goes.  I could buy a bag of walnuts and guarantee I’d use them up just by making two of Karen’s recipes (see the Cheeseball).  I was pretty happy about that since I don’t normally buy walnuts.


This bread turned out pretty tasty.  Again, I’m not the hugest fan of banana flavor, but the added chocolate chips gave a nice twist.  WH really likes this bread and I think he will take it to his lecture class this week to share.  I love being able to provide his classmates/work colleagues with some breakfast!

Here’s what Karen had to say about her Banana Bread:

“This is a recipe from my husband’s mom. He always enjoyed this bread growing up and I wanted to bake him something that reminds him of home even miles away. The recipe creates a very moist, deep flavored bread and I added the chocolate chips for an extra treat. This bread never lasts long in our house!”

Chocolate Chip Banana Walnut Bread


  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. oil (or shortening)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 c. flour
  • 3 medium bananas mashed
  • 3/4 tsp. vanilla**
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2  c. chopped walnuts (or 1 c. if you really like walnuts)
  • 1 c. chocolate chips

** When I was baking, I realized that there was no amount of vanilla listed in the recipe and I didn’t have time to ask Karen, so I just put some in, somewhere between 3/4 and 1 tsp.


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease loaf pan.
  2. Cream sugar and oil (or shortening).
  3. Beat in eggs.
  4. Add bananas and beat until well mixed.
  5. Blend in vanilla.
  6. Add all dry ingredients and blend until well mixed.
  7. Fold in nuts and chocolate chips and pour in loaf pan.
  8. Bake for 1 hour & fifteen minutes or until middle is cooked. Check with tooth pick.
  9. Cool in loaf pan for one minute.
  10. Remove from pan and cool completely on rack.

See Karen’s original recipe here!

Broccoli Chicken Potato Parmesan

26 01 2009


This past week’s dinners have been very successful.  Everything has turned out wonderfully and I tackled some new recipes and techniques that I’ll share in posts to come.  This recipe is one I have made several times, but always felt it could be better if I just had the right kind of skillet.  I used to cook this meal with a skillet/pan that had straight sides.  The pan was circular, but instead of gently sloping sides, it just became a larger pot.  I guess a kind of saucier, but not as cool as an actual saucier.  I always felt like it wasn’t shaped right and wasn’t big enough for this recipe, but it was all I had.  Now that we have our new Calphalon cookware, this recipe turned out fabulously!


It’s from a cute little cookbook I got a few years back when I moved into my first apartment and really started cooking.  I think my mom or grandmother gave it to and I have found some really simple recipes.  It is a book of recipes that use Campbell’s soups and usually have right around 5 main ingredients.  This recipe I really enjoy because I love potatoes, I love broccoli, and I love chicken.  It’s perfect!


Broccoli Chicken Potato Parmesan

Serves 4


  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 lb. red potatoes; sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 10 oz. cooked chicken (or 1 pkg. refrigerated cooked chicken strips)
  • 2 c. fresh or frozen broccoli florets
  • 1 can Campbell’s Broccoli Cheese soup
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 c. grated Paremsan cheese


  1. Heat oil in skillet.  Add potatoes.
  2. Cover and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in chicken and broccoli.
  4. Mix soup, milk, and garlic in small bowl.
  5. Add to skillet.
  6. Sprinkle with cheese.
  7. Heat to a boil.
  8. Cover and cook over low heat for 5 minutes or until potatoes and broccoli are tender.

Source [7]

January Tour Stop: Recipe #1

25 01 2009


I’m excited to share this recipe with you.  Karen of Loves To Eat chose it as one of her 6 favorite recipes for the Tour de Food Blogs.  Here’s what Karen had to say about her Cheeseball with Blue Cheese recipe:

“This is a very old recipe that my mom always made us on U of M football Saturdays. We couldn’t watch the game without it. Everytime I eat it I feel like I should be hearing the fight song in the back ground and hear my dad yelling at the TV!! The use of blue cheese in this recipe rather than cheddars gives it an amazing taste. Added with the onions and cream cheese this takes it from just a regular cheeseball to one that is excellent at a wine party. It is a weekend must for us!”

I have never made a cheeseball, though my mom has made her fair share.  It’s actually incredibly easy and I whipped it up in about 10 minutes.  WH enjoyed it as an “appetizer” on those nights that I was running late with dinner.  The cheeseball was very tasty and I enjoyed the different flavor of the blue cheese.  If you give this recipe a try, be sure to let Karen and me both know how it turns out!

Cheeseball with Blue Cheese


2 packages cream cheese

1/2 package blue cheese (I used about half of a 4 oz. container)

1 package onion soup mix

Chopped walnuts


Mix cream cheese, blue cheese, and onion soup. Form into ball.

Roll into chopped walnuts.

Chill overnight.

Check out Karen’s original recipe here!

Corn Bread Taco Bake

22 01 2009


This Christmas I asked for a lot of cookbooks.  I got 2 Barefoot Contessa books and a book called “Incredibly Easy, One Dish”.   That’s where I found this wonderful dish.


If you love cornbread, you have to try this recipe.  It was delicious.  Absolutely delicious.  WH ate so fast and so much I couldn’t believe me eyes.  He loves cornbread just like I do. As the title implies, this is a one dish meal.  I dirtied one skillet and one baking dish, that’s all.  Another easy clean up.  And there was cornbread!  YUM.


Again, I halved the recipe but I made the full package of cornbread.  So my version may not look like the intended product, but it was good.   I really really really recommend this recipe.  It was so tasty.  Definitely getting added to the rotation.


Corn Bread Taco Bake

Serves 3


  • 3/4 lb. ground beef
  • 1 ear corn, cooked and kernels cut off
  • 4 oz. tomato sauce
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1/4 c. chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 pkg taco seasoning
  • 1 pkg. (8 & 1/2 oz.) corn muffin mix plus ingredients to prepare mix
  • 3/4 c. French’s French Fried Onions, divided (I omitted this)
  • 1/4 c. shredded Cheddar cheese (I used a Mexican blend)


  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. In large skillet, brown ground beef then drain fat.
  3. Stir in corn, tomoato sauce, water, bell pepper and taco seasoning.
  4. Pour mixture into baking dish.
  5. In small bowl, prepare corn muffin mix according to package directions (stir in 1/3 c. onions).
  6. Spoon corn muffin batter around edge of beef mixture.
  7. Bake, uncovered for 20 minutes or until corn bread is done.
  8. Top corn bread with cheese (and remaining onions).
  9. Bake uncovered 1 to 3 minutes (or until onions are golden brown).

Source: [16]

Steak & Potatoes for WH

21 01 2009


I found a recipe for potatoes on Karen’s blog, Loves To Eat (our January Tour Stop!) and had to make them.  While this is not one of the recipes Karen suggested, I knew WH would love them.  On Friday I will be posting my experiences with one of Karen’s favorite recipes for the Tour.  Consider this an extra treat from Love’s To Eat.


When I saw this recipe I immediately decided to make steak and green beans with them (a variation on this).  WH has been asking for “steak and taters” for a while and since he took me to The Eagles Concert!!!


I decided to say thank you with a delicious meal.  He enjoyed it too, saying: “I’d pay $20 for that at a restaurant”.  Why, thank you.

These potatoes are so yummy — we ate the entire dish!  The easiest recipe ever, just some garlic, butter, salt & pepper.  My cook times were a little different than the recipe and since I sprayed the dish with non-stick spray, it didn’t come together like I think was intended (you’re supposed to be able to invert onto a platter but we just ate out of the dish).  It was flipping good.


The steaks were seasoned with some Mrs. Dash grill seasoning and cooked on a grill pan.  I used some of Pioneer Woman’s suggestions for grilling steak, like putting butter on the grill pan.  Check out more of her tips.  Green beans were tossed with olive oil & grill seasoning and tossed on the grill pan as well.  This was one of those meals where I got every thing right.  It was really awesome and so so easy!


Easy Potato Bake

Serves 2


  • 4 to 5 small red potatoes, sliced thin
  • 2 Tbsp. melted butter
  • 1 medium clove garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Coat  small casserole dish with non-stick spray.
  3. Layer potatoes in casserole dish and top with melted butter and garlic.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Toss to coat.
  6. Cover with foil and cook for 20 – 30 minutes (depending on thickness of layers and slices)
  7. Increase oven heat to 400F; cook uncovered for a few minutes until potatoes begin to turn brown.
  8. Let cool & serve.

[Adapted from Anna Potatoes] — Thanks Karen!!

Return of Tuesdays with Reggie

20 01 2009

Yay!  I finally have collected some Reggie pics to share.  He has been so sweet to us since we had to leave him in the kennel for 2 weeks over Christmas and our honeymoon.  The other day I wasn’t feeling well and I was laid out on the couch.  He stretched out and snuggled between my legs and the couch cushions — SO CUTE!

Here he is joining me at my work station to make sure I stay on task with the blog.  Either that or he was just rubbing it in my face that he can nap anytime, anywhere…


The box he’s in holds printer paper… so it’s 8 & 1/2 x 11.  And he is a big cat.  He’s always been big, not fat, just a big cat.  So it’s hilarious to see him struggling to fit in this box!


In true feline form, he makes it work.