Kickstart Smoothie

Santa was especially generous this year and got us the amazing 3-piece Ninja set. It comes with a few single serving cup attachments which frankly, is genius. The only blender I ever had was $12 from Walmart and don’t get me wrong, it usually got the job done but it sure wasn’t anything fancy. The Ninja = fancy blender. Life made.

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This recipe is takes all of 5 minutes from start to finish which is why I love it.

KICKSTART SMOOTHIE

1 handful of spinach

4-5 hulled strawberries

1/2 c blueberries (fresh or frozen)

1 c milk

1/2 c yogurt

Put the contents into a single-serving blender in the above order and blend for 30 seconds. Voila! Your breakfast is ready to go with you anywhere!

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I love this recipe because it can be hard for me to eat as many vegetables as I should so throwing in a handful of spinach makes my day 🙂 You can also add chia seeds, ground flaxseed, or protein powder for an extra kick!

That’s life with Mr. Layland & Me!

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Quick ‘n Easy Cinnamon Rolls

These rolls are faster than any recipe I’ve seen. I saw one that took THREE HOURS!?!? My first thought was, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” This recipe is as fast as you are…plus 25 minutes.

Growing up, my Mom would make cinnamon rolls randomly here and there throughout the year. I’m just learning that other Moms only make cinnamon rolls for Christmas or when requested on birthdays. So glad I have the Mom I do – no way was I about to get jipped on my cinnamon rolls in life!

Here’s the printable recipe so you can have easy access to delicious cinnamon rolls whenever you need them!

I haven’t made cinnamon rolls since I got married (9 months ago) and when I realized that I decided to do something about it. The basis of this recipe is my mother’s but I added a few things so now it’s mine 🙂

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Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 C butter
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 1 C brown sugar
  • 1/2 C oil
  • 3 T yeast
  • 1 C warm milk
  • 5 C flour

Here we go. Dissolve the yeast in warm milk and sugar. Cover and let sit for 15 minutes.

When you come back here’s what you’ll have.

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Mix in the eggs, oil, salt, 3 T butter and 1 C of flour at a time. Knead dough on a floured surface and form into a ball. Using a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough into a rectangle. Or as much of a rectangle as you can manage.

I love this next part. Melt the rest of the butter or just leave it out on your Arizona counter for a while and it’ll soften up real nice. Cover the rolled out dough with the butter then sprinkle (or dump) the dough with a mixture of 1 C brown sugar and 3 T cinnamon. Feel free to add nuts or raisins at this time.

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Don’t forget those edges! It’s the worst when you get a cinnamon roll that’s mostly just roll — so load it on there! Next, starting with one LONG end, roll the dough over on itself and make a long tube.

Now this is a family secret I’m sharing here so pay attention.

Dental floss.

Yes, I’m serious. If you’ve never seen this method then I honestly have no idea how you’ve been making cinnamon rolls your entire life. It’s so easy and makes for beautiful rolls! If you have always used another method that works just as well please let me know in the comments – I’m so curious.

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Slide the floss under the rolls (about 2 inches), lift up the floss into a cross and pull! There you have it – a perfectly cut, non-squished cinnamon roll. Arrange on a greased cookie sheet. Cover & let rise 10 min.

If you’re like me then this is the part where you realize you’ll need to leave the house right as soon as the rolls come out the oven – so you dash off to take a quick shower!

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bake for 10-12 min.

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While the rolls were in the oven I did my makeup and threw my hair up in a bun. I felt like Kim McAfee in “Bye Bye Birdie” when she decides she’s grown up — except I had cinnamon rolls 🙂

I still had a few minutes so I made the icing while the rolls were finishing up. Are you ready for another secret to this recipe?

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Cream cheese. If you hate cream cheese you might still like this because you mix it with sugar, milk, butter and vanilla. All good things, right?

If anyone has another icing recipe – please comment below! I’d love to try a new one!

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Using a hand mixer, combine 3 C powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, 4 T softened butter and 3 oz cream cheese. Mix it on low-medium for 30 seconds to combine and then on high for 1 minute.

If it’s too stiff add just a splash of milk at a time until it’s at the desired consistency.

As soon as the rolls are done dollop the icing on top so that it melts all over the rolls. This is cinnamon roll making law – you have to cover the entire roll.

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You could wait for them to cool but honestly, who likes cold cinnamon rolls over warm ones? These lasted 24 hours in our house. I am happy to tell you it was not just the two of us who ate them all. We had seven other people helping us eat them!

That’s life with Mr. Layland & Me!

Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake

Need I say more?

This recipe comes from The Good Eatery in Washington D.C. If you’re ever in D.C. you absolutely must eat there. Tell them I sent you 🙂 They won’t have a clue who I am but at least you’re honest.

Here’s what you’ll need to create this magic:

ingredients

– 2 cups milk
– 1 Tbsp sour cream
– 2 cups vanilla ice cream
– 1 bag jumbo marshmallows

As you can see in the pictures I used mini marshmallows & it turned out fine. I think it would be a little easier with the jumbo marshmallows so be more patient than me & buy yourself some jumbo marshmallows.

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Broil the marshmallows until charred, about 3 minutes. It really enhances the flavor to have them burn just a little.

Let cool. Like I said, I’m impatient so I threw mine in the fridge for a few minutes.

Combine everything in a blender & mix for 5 minutes.

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I thought the mixing for five minutes sounded a little excessive but turns out it gives you a nice frothy marshmallow-y layer on top!

That’s life with Mr.Layland & Me!

Sweet Tooth Snack

This post is short & sweet. Really sweet.

I have the worst sweet tooth known to man which usually means I make way too many treats. Around 2 or 3 every day I start craving either something really cold or something fresh & sweet. This snack does both!

Granted a swig of cold Gatorade would do the same thing but this snack so much better. Hands down. No competition.

Greek yogurt is delicious and contrary to what one woman tried to tell me in the dairy aisle (Hi, I’m just trying to shop, thanks) it doesn’t have a high fat content. One serving of Oikos vanilla yogurt is 1 cup. It has 0 fat and 17 grams of protein! I’m not suggesting you eat the entire container on your own because it does have 27 grams of sugar per serving. Yikes.

Whoever decided that a serving size is 1 cup was right on – I’ve tried just eating 1/2 cup. It’s like trying to eat one Oreo or one Pringle. It just doesn’t work.

I love adding fresh raspberries or blueberries or cutting up a few strawberries to throw on top. It’s beautiful and delicious!

That’s life with Mr. Layland &  Me!

4th of July Pie

There’s nothing quite like a good pie to celebrate a holiday.

It’s been a thousand degrees lately and it’s made me wish it was Thanksgiving already so I can wear sweaters and scarfs and not want to die. Sadly, it’s July and while it’s not typically a time for pies I found this recipe on Pinterest and decided to make the 4th of July a pie holiday!

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My older brother went through a phase where he would make a pie every Sunday. He was in his mid teens and he was surprisingly good at making a crust! When I started making my crust today I kept telling myself, “Jeffrey made a crust when he was 16. YOU can make a crust too! Just relax.”

And I did! It didn’t fall apart or crumble and my stars even look pretty good!

The idea comes from the blog Casey Leigh but I didn’t use her exact recipe. I didn’t have butter (what!?) so I used a basic shortening recipe instead. Sorry, Mom for not using yours – my computer was all the way downstairs 🙂

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Mix the salt and flour in a bowl and then cut in the shortening with a pastry blender until crumbly. Mix in the water 1 tablespoon at a time. Use a fork to toss the dough after each tablespoon. Divide the dough in 2 balls and roll the first out – just larger than the inverted pie tin. Gently fold the crust in fourths and place it in the tin. Unfold it and press it into the tin and crimp the edges.

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At this point I went back to the directions by Casey Leigh.  I folded up some aluminum foil to separate the blueberries and cherries. Once I had the filling in the crust I took the foil out to add the stars and stripes!

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I have never been happier that I own kitchen shears. I used them to cut the foil, trim the crust, and cut out the stars. I can’t freehand stars to save my life so I used my tablespoon to cut out a circle of dough then traced a 5-line star with my knife. I followed the outline with my kitchen shears and my stars turned out pretty well!

Bake for 35 min at 400 degrees. Cover the edge of the crust with tin foil. After 35 minutes uncover the crust and bake an additional 5-10 minutes. Cool before serving!

Happy 4th!!!

That’s life with Mr.Layland & Me!

 

Double Chocolate Fudge Brownies

If there is one thing that reminds me of home it’s ridiculously moist and gooey brownies. For whatever reason I haven’t made brownies since I got married so last night I decided to change that. To finish off our Walk Down Memory Lane date I made these double chocolate fudge brownies and thought about them all day.

What I love about this recipe is that it’s super easy & the results are heavenly. I picked up a Betty Crocker Fudge Brownie mix from Walgreens on my way home and luckily had chocolate chips on hand!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 C water
  • 2/3 C oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 12 oz chocolate chips

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the contents of the package with the water, oil and eggs. Fold in 12 oz chocolate chips. Spread the mixture into a greased 9×13 pan. Bake for 24-26 minutes. Let cool.

Growing up we always left the middle brownie for my mother because we’re a moist-centers-are-the-best kind of brownie family. Now that I’m the woman of the house I guess it’s just my right to take the center brownie! I’ll admit that the entire pan is delicious so it didn’t really matter to me.

The brownies only lasted 24 hours in our house. Good luck making them last in yours!

That’s life with Mr. Layland & Me!

Vanilla Blackberry Cupcakes

You know that sinking feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you click on an amazing looking recipe on Pinterest only to see that it is going to take 3 days and about a thousand ingredients you don’t have to make it? I hate that.

This recipe is not one of those recipes! It’s super easy and they are so yummy. Mind you it’s nothing fancy but I think of it as the difference between a white plastic straw and those colorful striped paper straws. They both do the same thing and neither is difficult but one is definitely cuter than the other.

Anyone can make vanilla cupcakes and slather on some store bought icing, right? This is were the colorful paper straws break away from the boring white plastic straws.

Make the cupcakes using a box of yellow cake mix. While they are cooling make this vanilla spin-off of my Mom’s frosting recipe.

Vanilla Butter Cream Frosting

3 C powdered sugar

1/3 C softened butter

1 tsp vanilla

1 T milk

Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating on medium speed with mixer to spreading consistency. Stir in vanilla. Add food coloring to desired shade.

If you have a frosting bag with attachments, good for you. If not, put the frosting in a gallon Ziploc bag and cut 1/4-1/2 inch off the corner. Now you can frost like a pro.

The secret to frosting a cupcake is to start in the middle with a swirl then jet out to the edge and swirl your way back to the center. This helps give the frosting a little lift. Once you have frosted all the cupcakes place a blackberry on top!

Easy – like I promised.

That’s life with Mr. Layland & Me!