Friday, May 27, 2011

Ice Cream Sticky Cinnamon Rolls

ice cream sticky cinnamon rolls

I had never made these before, and had a couple of people talk about them when I was planning my brunch menu last weekend.  I couldn't decide on one recipe. I, most often, have a problem sticking to a recipe anyway, and end up making up my own. (what fun is coloring in between the lines all of the time?)  So, after combining a couple of ideas, this is what I came up with.

Ice Cream Sticky Cinnamon Rolls


1 Cup Vanilla Ice Cream

1 Stick of Butter

1 Cup of Brown Sugar

1 1/2 Cups White Sugar

Rhode's (tm) Self Rising Cinnamon Rolls (or other brand)

Chopped Pecans (optional)

Non-Stick Cooking Spray


1.  Spray a 9x13 or a 10x15 pan with cooking spray. (I like to use the buttered flavor)and place the frozen cinnamon rolls in the pan.

2.  In a saucepan over low heat combine sugars, butter and ice cream until melted and sugars are dissolved. pour mixture evenly over the rolls. At this point if you would like to add the chopped pecans, do so. Cover tightly with plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray. Let rise in a warm place over night.

3.  In the morning, remove plastic wrap and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. After they cool just a little while, invert the rolls into another pan the same size or on a platter, then the sticky part will be on the top.

Yummy and SO EASY!

Prep Time:10-15 minutes
Cook Time:20-25 minutes
Ready In:overnight

Yield 9x13 or 10x15 Pan

Bacon and Swiss Quiche

bacon and swiss quiche

This is one of my brunch favorites.  A long time ago, I had a friend who would have these big elaborate teas at her house.  She shared this recipe with me, it has become one of my family's favorites. 
Today, I am sharing that recipe with you. Enjoy!

Bacon and Swiss Quiche


12 slices of bacon cooked and crumbled

1 cup shredded swiss cheese

1/2 c onion minced

4 eggs

2 cups half & half

3/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp sugar


1.Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2.Line a pie pan or quiche pan with your own or a store bought pie crust. Whisk eggs, half & half, salt and sugar together. Place bacon, onion and cheese into the crust. Pour egg mixture over the top.

3.Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, then turn your oven down to 300 degrees and bake for 30 minutes longer.

I actually make everything the night before. I put the onions into the egg mixture, line the pans with the crusts, add the bacon and the cheese, then wrap the pan in plastic wrap and refrigerate over night. Then in the morning all you have to do is pour the egg mixture over the bacon and bake!

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Servings: 8

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Confirmation and Graduation Family Brunch

In celebration of our daughter's 8th grade graduation and her upcoming Confirmation, we hosted a brunch for all of our family this past weekend.

When I was planning the brunch, I couldn't decide what sort of "theme' to use.  I just did crosses for our twins' First Holy Communion, and wasn't crazy about using her school color, St. Patrick's green.  I decided to run with red, for the gowns they will wear on Confirmation.  ( kitchen is painted "arresting red" so I LOVE decorating when I can match my back drop!)

We had seating for twenty-four people.  Three tables that each held eight.

the round black table

I used red, white and black on all of the tables, mixing the table cloth linens, napkins and centerpieces.

red oval table

The white table turned out a little wider than I wanted, but it worked out very well in the end.

the white table

I folded all of the napkins with the "Bishops Hat Fold," They were a hit with the kids, of course, having to try them on first!

I have done so many fresh cut flower centerpieces lately that I wanted to do something different.  I decided to head to my local green house for inspiration.  I found porcelain pots in my three colors.  I then potted them monochromatically.  I think it's so cool that they have a breed of petunias this year called "black velvet." They are gorgeous!

white centerpiece

red centerpiece

black centerpiece

Of course, what would a brunch be without a little morning cheer? We had bloody marys and mimosas for all.  Even the kids had an option instead of regualr OJ.... virgin mimosas, made with sparking cider instead of champagne. Each mimosa glass was garnished with fresh raspberries.  The bloody marys had all of the fixin's available!

bloody marys


The highlight of any good meal, of course, is the FOOD!! Here is what our menu included:
Coffee, Mimosas, Bloody Marys, Brunch Enchiladas, Bacon and Swiss Quiche, Cracker Barrel's own Hash Brown Casserole, Bayou Brunch Casserole, Fresh Fruit Kabobs, Baked Apple French Toast, Chocolate Covered Strawberries, Lemon Blueberry Crunch Bars and Frosted Sugar Cookies.

at my daughter's request

dark chocolate with white chocolate drizzle strawberries

bacon and swiss quiche

Bacon and Swiss Quiche Recipe

ice cream sticky cinnamon rolls

Ice cream Sticky Roll Recipe

lemon blueberry crumb bars

bayou brunch casserole with spicy italian sausage

Cracker Barrel's own hashbrown casserole

brunch enchiladas made with ham


fresh fruit kabobs

Last, but most certainly, not least, each place had a cookie "favor" for dessert. These cookies were made by my friend, Tari, who runs Sunshine Cookies out of her home in Chandler, Arizona.  She made white doves, that had a glitter glaze to them.  If they weren't cute enough to begin with, she packaged them up so cute, tieing them with red and white ribbon and adhereing a silver cross to each bag.  As pretty as they were, they tasted even better!

sunshine cookies white confirmation dove

Find Sunshine Cookies on facebook

The celebration was fun for all.  God blessed us with beautiful weather that Sunday, and after brunch we all headed out to our patio to enjoy it!

Congratulations, Kenzie!!

God Bless You Always, Sweetheart

Thursday, May 19, 2011

From the Heart... Mom's Taxi Fuel

The last week of school is coming! The "lazy days of summer" haven't quite reached us yet, so I have been frantically trying to get everything done before the kids get out for summer break, and running them to and fro like a maniac! I think I need to paint my SUV taxicab/school bus yellow!!

I have snuck in a couple impromptu lunches with some girlfriends this week, and had this idea pop into my head! My family loves when I make snack mix.  You just never know what the next handful might hold! I had just mixed up a big batch of it this week. I thought, what a great thing to have in your car while you are running your errands and the munchies hit.... all of the sudden the idea pooped into my brain... "Last Week of School, Mom's Taxi Fuel." So, I bagged it up and made some labels for the front and viola! treats for the mom's at lunch!

simply put, enjoyed immensely

Monday, May 16, 2011

50th Wedding Anniversary

This past weekend I had the honor and the pleasure of doing the decorations for my husband's parents Golden Wedding Anniversary. It needed to be special, 50 years of marriage for anyone is a great big deal...but for these two people, that I was lucky enough to be able to call family almost 20 years ago, I wanted to make it SUPER SPECIAL, just like them!!

My daughter thought they needed to have their car decorated, so she told the other girls of the plan, and that afternoon they all went and got supplies to "gussy up" their car while they were in church. 

the granddaughters handy work

When guests entered the parish hall, they were greeted by all of the granddaughters.  There was a guest book to sign, name tags for all and their wedding album to browse.

the guest book, their wedding photo, and a photo taken this year on the beach in Del Mar

their wedding album, and a basket that I lined and decorated for their cards

The tables were covered in white with a runner of sparkly gold tulle down the center of each. Votive candles in white were surrounded with a sprinkling of  golden "50" confetti and diamonds.  In the center of each table were 6" square glass vases, with golden and crystal glass stones, water and a floating oriental lilies. They smelled AMAZING!!

top view of centerpieces

side view...if only you could smell them!

In lieu of a traditional cake, we had cookies and cupcakes made by Mary Bissen, the county's favorite baker! There were five different flavors of cookies, and white cupcakes with raspberry filling and chocolate cupcakes with a cream filling.  There wasn't one left.

the cupcakes nestled in their gold foil liners

I covered a long white table with white linens, added cake pedestals in different heights, intertwined them with white lights,  and covered them with more white linens.  Then used more of the gold tulle, diamonds and confetti to decorate around the yummy goodies. Cookies were placed upon gold charger plates, and the cupcakes on glass platters. No need for a fork here, just grab a gold napkin!

a view of the dessert table

Like I mentioned, this party was not only fun to do, but a true honor for me.  These two people have made my life so much sweeter by just being in it... I hope they enjoyed their day, as much as I enjoyed planning it!

Love you Mom and Dad!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Homemade Blueberry Strata Recipe

This recipe has been requested by some of my friends that attended my Valentine Pajama Brunch
this year. 

So Here you go!! 

Blueberry Strata with Blueberry Syrup



cooking spray

1 loaf French bread, cubed

1 1/2 cups blueberries (if you use frozen blueberries make sure to drain them)

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

12 eggs

1/3 cup maple syrup

2 cups milk

Blueberry Syrup:

1 1/2 cups white sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 1/2 cups water

1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

1 1/2 tablespoons butter


1.Coat a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Place 1/2 of the bread cubes in dish; top with 1 1/2 cups blueberries. Scatter cream cheese over berries. Cover with remaining bread cubes. In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, maple syrup, and milk. Pour egg mixture over bread in pan. Cover, and chill overnight.

2.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

3.Bake strata, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove cover, and bake for an additional 30 minutes.

4.While the strata is baking, prepare the blueberry syrup. Combine sugar, cornstarch, and water in a saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat; cook for 5 minutes. Pour in remaining 1 1/2 cups blueberries; continue cooking for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in butter. Serve warm over slices of the strata.

Monday, May 2, 2011

First Holy Communion

This past weekend our twins made their First Holy Communion.  After the mass we had all of our family over for a casual dinner of ham, homemade salads and baked beans. After dinner they enjoyed opening their gifts and sharing their cake.  I thought I would share pictures of the centerpieces that I made for the cake table.

rectangle vases with gel water crystals, iris, carnations and roses

They we a great match to their cake.

mmmm. marble cake with butter cream frosting


 ~ adore them ~