18 April, 2009

Some snow, some sugar, and a crockpot

Yes, once again, snow has hit us! We've had literally no snow all winter, and once spring came, so did the snow. Here is a view out my front door. So I thought...

Why not make some Monkey bread? Yummy!

How can you resist all that brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon?
I've seen this recipe floating around for years, but never paid much attention until last Christmas, I was getting bored with quick store bought cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning. I made these, and boy were they good. Good and fast, with that Islavedoverthisandtheyare definatelyhomemadetaste!
I took this recipe, and tweeked it to make it my own. Will I share? Of course!
Homemade Monkey bread
1/2 Cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cans Grands Homestyle refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 stick of butter, no substitutes

Heat oven to 350F, lightly spray a fluted bunt pan with cooking oil.
In a large ziplock bag, mix white sugar and the cinnamon. Open biscuits, and cut each one into 4 pieces, then a few at a time, shake in sugar mixture, until all are coated.
Mix melted butter and brown sugar together.
Place half of the coated biscuit pieces in the bunt pan, and pour half of the brown sugar mix over the pieces, then repeat with the second layer of biscuits, pouring the second half of the brown sugar mix to finish the top. If you want the walnuts and raisins in there, just sprinkle them among the two layers evenly.
Bake 30 minutes, uncovered, then pull out to see if the layers are cooked all the way through. I always have to cover it with foil, then bake it an additional 10-12 minutes, to finish it off.
Pull from the oven and eat while still hot. Yumm-o!
My daughter loves the snow, so we bundled her up, to go out and help Dad shovel. That lasted about 10 minutes, then she was off to the backyard to play by herself!

Then, she came in and was treated to some hot chocolate, her favorite.

After that, I assembled everything to put in the crockpot for some hot split pea soup for dinner tonight. If I'm feeling really energetic (which I doubt), I may make some homemade biscuits.

I have to tell you about my crockpot. Last night for dinner, I decided to do some BBQ chicken in the crockpot. I put the stuff in, and turned it on, and forgot about it, like you're supposed to do. I was so busy sewing the poodle skirt, and doing other things, I didn't really notice there was no yummy smells filling the house.
At 5:30, I go up to check dinner, and the crockpot had apparently decided to give up the ghost, AKA die!
I fiddled with the knobs, plugged and unplugged it, and nothing! Stupid thing!
I can say that, because I've always hated my newer crockpot.
About 3 years ago, I bought a bigger, fancy stainless steel looking one, to replace my smaller, totally 90's looking one.
The only thing I liked about it was that it was bigger, so you could cook more food. But it really was weird, because even on low, it vigorously boiled everything to death! The lid rattled to no end the whole time, and you couldn't leave it for the day to cook stuff, or it was burned to a crisp when you came home!
I'm glad it died, because now I can go buy a new one, how cool is that?
Here's my old trusty one, below, that is happy to come out of the cupboard, and tirelessly serve our family, once again.
I actually think the pattern on it is rather cute!

The soup is a really easy recipe, which I'll also share with you. I used leftover ham from Easter dinner last week.

"No Hassle" Split pea soup
1 lb. dry green split peas (soak overnight)
4 C. water
3/4 lb. ham, cubed
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 Tb chicken bouillion
1/2 C. celery, chopped
1 C. carrots, sliced
1/4 C. onions
1 bay leaf
Drain peas after soaking overnight, and add all ingredients to your crockpot. Cover and cook on low 7-8 hours, or high 4-5 hours.
This fit in my smaller crockpot fine, and was plenty with leftovers. Double and put into the bigger size if you have a large family.
With the cold temperatures, I will not be able to do my silverware project, due to spray painting in a cold garage gives me the shivers, so stay tuned. Instead I'll be working on something indoors.


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