Glazed Lemon Zucchini Bread

The gardening gods have seen to it that this summer I have more zucchini than I knew what to do with. Fortunately for me, that’s led to finding all these awesome new recipes, and I’m constantly, and pleasantly, being surprised by all the wonderful ways I’m discovering this summer that zucchini can be used. And for someone who does not particularly like surprises, that’s saying something. Flecks of zucchini give a delicious third dimension to the popular lemon and quick bread combination in this moist, breakfast/dessert hybrid. Seriously, lemon and zucchini are a match made in flavor heaven. Who knew?!  This little loaf is easy to make. Quick breads are a perfect starting point for non/new bakers and an easy, old faithful recipe for those who’re already in the ‘fold’.

Glazed Lemon Zucchini Bread

4 Sons 'R' Us: Glazed Lemon Zucchini Bread 2

recipe adapted from Lil Luna

2 cups cake flour*
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup buttermilk
zest of 1 lemon
1 cup grated zucchini
 
For The Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp milk
 
*To make your own cake flour: for each cup of all purpose flour, remove one tablespoon of flour and replace by adding one tablespoon of cornstarch

4 Sons 'R' Us: Glazed Lemon Zucchini Bread

Directions

1. In a bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. Stir to equally incorporate and set aside.
2. Add eggs to the bowl of a mixer and beat well. Continue mixing and in the oil and sugar until evenly combined. Next add in the lemon juice, buttermilk, and zest to the batter and blend until combined completely.
3. Gently fold/blend in the zucchini until fully incorporated.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the batter and blend together until evenly combined.
5. Add the batter into a greased 9×5 loaf pan.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, or until done.
7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool some. While still warm, make glaze and spoon over the bread. Allow the bread to stand for a bit so that the glaze ‘sets’ before serving.

Sous Chef Sunday: Snickerdoodle Crescent Rolls

While I could go on and on about these perfect little pastries, I’ll get straight to the point for you guys. Today the sons and I are bringing you peanut butter, cinnamon, and sugar wrapped up in crescent rolls for an easy breakfast, snack, or even dessert. Be sure to sit down with a glass of milk, then pile up a gorgeous Snickerdoodle mountain of them. Eat your way to the top one crescent at a time!

Snickerdoodle Crescent Rolls

 4 Sons 'R' Us: Snickerdoodle Crescent Rolls 2

1 tube Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
4 teaspoons peanut butter (crunchy or creamy)
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon

4 Sons 'R' Us: Snickerdoodle Crescents

1. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
2. In a small bowl combine the cinnamon and sugar.
3. Unroll the crescent dough and carefully seperate into individual triangles along the perforated lines. Spread 1/2 teaspoon of peanut butter onto the top side of the crescents, starting at the wide end and leaving a little space along the edges. Sprinkle each with a pinch of cinnamon sugar. Roll into crescents.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes, until golden brown. While still hot carefully roll them in the cinnamon and sugar.  Roll again after they’ve cooled.
5. These can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Can also be frozen for up to one month. Then you’ve got a quick, on-the-go breakfast or snack for busy days!

Cinnamon Roll Dippers

Growing up I remember my Grandma always having a pie or two cooling. Boy, did she make good pies. Peach, cherry, apple, rhubarb…you name it. And it wasn’t just the fillings that were delicious. The buttery, flaky crusts were pastry perfection. The real treat for us grand-kids wasn’t the pie we had to wait on dessert for though, it was what we knew she would do with the leftover pie crust. She would sprinkle them with cinammon and sugar and bake them into sweet little sticks. These are so similar to what she did, but the dip blew my mind. Sorry Grandma, but the dip is where it’s at.

A sweet start to the morning? These can be for breakfast or dessert. The sticks are soft and buttery and then dipped in that cinnamon sweet sauce makes it just right. And yes, I know they’re on the sweet side for breakfast, but you’ve got to treat yourself every once in a while, right?

Cinnamon Roll Dippers

4 Sons 'R' Us: Cinnamon Roll Dippers

recipe originally from Creme De La Crumb

1½ cups flour
4 tablespoons sugar (divided)
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, softened +1 tablespoon (divided)
3-6 tablespoons ice cold water
1 teaspoon cinnamon

for the glaze dip

2 ounces cream cheese, softened
1½ cups powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla
milk
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter
½ teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

1. Combine flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Cut in ½ cup butter with pastry cutter or two forks until crumbly. Add 3 tablespoons ice cold water and mix to combine. Add more water 1 tablespoon at a time as needed until mixture comes together. Flatten dough into a round disk, wrap with plastic wrap, and chill 15 minutes or overnight.
2. Preheat oven to 375 and grease a baking sheet with cooking spray.
3. When dough has chilled, unwrap it and use a pizza cutter to cut into 1-1/2 inch strips. Place wtrips on prepared baking sheet. Use a rubber spatula to spread 1 tablespoon butter over the tops of the strips. Combine cinnamon and 1 tablespoon sugar in a small bowl and sprinkle mixture on top of buttered strips. Bake uncovered 12-14 minutes, until lightly browned.
4. Prepare the glaze dip by combining softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a bowl. Use a hand mixer to mix well. Add milk 1 teaspoon at a time until a smooth consistency is reached. In a small sauce pan combine brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon and whisk until butter melts and mixture is smooth. Drizzle cinnamon mixture into prepared glaze dip. Serve

*These can be made ahead by making the dough and glaze up to two days beforehand and chilling until ready to eat. When ready, simply bake the sticks as the directions suggest (may need to increase time by 1-2 minutes) and warm the glaze in a microwave safe bowl before serving.

Cinnamon Roll lover? Try these recipes next…

4 Sons 'R' Us: Cinnamon Roll Popcorn

Cinnamon Roll Popcorn

4 Sons 'R' Us: Cinnamon Roll Waffles

Cinnamon Roll Waffles with Cream Cheese Glaze

Homemade French Vanilla Coffee Creamer

I like coffee. A lot. This is no secret if you follow me on Facebook, where I always feel compelled to share my love for the taste, smell, and (of course) effects of coffee.

I have kind of gone back and forth about my coffee addiction. I mean, adoration. In the past, I occasionally felt too dependent on caffeine and tried hard to whittle myself down to a few-times-a-week drinker v. an every day drinker. When I got pregnant, I pretty much gave up coffee completely. And then I had a newborn and – WHAM! – I was back to my old ways. Hello, caffeine. I love you so hard. I need you in my life.

Homemade coffee creamer had intrigued me for a while. The hubs & I can easily go through two bottles of the stuff in a week (don’t judge us). At $3 a pop, that’s $24 per month on coffee creamer. No bueno. So, it’s no wonder I took a stab at making my own.

If you’re hooked on store-bought creamer, just looking to save a few bucks, or (like me when I was forced to stop contemplating & actually take a stab at it) have run out of coffee creamer and are either unable or too lazy to run to the store…then today’s your day. Here are over 2 dozen recipes using regular ingredients so you can make your own rich and affordable creamer from home.

Homemade French Vanilla Coffee Creamer

4 Sons 'R' Us: Easy French Vanilla Coffee Creamer

recipe (s) originally from Mrs. Happy Homemaker

14 oz sweetened condensed milk
1 3/4 cup milk or cream (whole, lowfat, skim, almond, soy, heavy cream, half & half etc – whatever your preference, however the more fat, the more creaminess)
2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

1. Pour into a large mason jar and shake, shake, shake until combined.

It’s literally THAT easy! Looking for a different flavor? I’ve got you covered. Make the ‘base’ recipe which is the condensed milk with the addition of the regular milk or cream. Then add in any of the following flavor combinations.

Vanilla Bean Coffee Creamer
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
Chocolate
2-3 tablespoons chocolate syrup
(1 tsp vanilla extract, optional)
Chocolate Almond
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon almond extract
Strudel 1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
Vanilla Caramel
2 tablespoons  caramel ice cream topping
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Chocolate Raspberry
2 teaspoons cocoa powder 2 tablespoons raspberry syrup
Irish Cream
2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
1 teaspoon instant coffee
1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
Coconut
2 teaspoons coconut extract

Haven’t found your flavor yet? Let’s keep going…

Samoa (like the Girl Scout Cookies)
2 teaspoons coconut extract (or sub coconut milk or cream of coconut, heated & strained, for the milk/cream)
2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
2 tablespoons caramel ice cream topping
Peppermint Patty
2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
Cinnamon Vanilla
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pumpkin Spice
3 tablespoons pureed pumpkin
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
4 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Honey Vanilla
1/4 cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

And there’s more!

Almond Joy
1-2 teaspoons coconut extract (or sub coconut milk or cream of coconut if you heat it first, strained, in place of the milk & extract)
1 teaspoon almond extract 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
Sweet Cream
Use 1 3/4 cups of heavy cream instead of the milk in the base recipe
2 teaspoons vanilla extract OR the inside of a vanilla bean, scraped
1 teaspoon almond extract
Chocolate Orange
2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
1-2 teaspoons orange extract
Hazelnut
2 teaspoons hazelnut extract
Chocolate Hazelnut
2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
2 teaspoons hazelnut extract
Cinnamon Cake
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Salted Caramel
2-3 tablespoons caramel ice cream topping
1/2 teaspoon salt
Eggnog replace milk in base recipe with equal amount of heavy cream
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons rum extract
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Toasted Almond
2 teaspoons almond extract

In all these recipes, anything that has a dry or thick ingredient (like cinnamon, honey, etc..) should be heated up with a small amount of your milk/cream from the base recipe so it can dissolve properly. You don’t want grainy creamer! Then, add the rest of the milk/cream along with the sweetened condensed milk.

Your creamer will be good up til the expiration date on the milk or cream you used in your base recipe.

Sous Chef Sunday: Cinnamon Roll Waffles with Cream Cheese Glaze

These a without a doubt the easiest waffles ever. They literally take 5 minutes to make/bake. So, break open a tube of cinnamon rolls!  That’s all you need for an amazing cinnamon roll waffle breakfast.  Well, that and a waffle maker. 

The sons loved these! And by loved, I mean asked for them for breakfast every morning for 7 days in a row. I loved that they’re so simple, they can make them themselves. (Of course, the younger ones would need supervision around a hot waffle iron.) Monday morning, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday… well, you get the idea. Mama does not cook breakfast. At least not in the morning. I value every last second of my sleep. Often I will have prepared something ahead of time that the older sons can pull out of the chest freezer and pop in the toaster oven. Sometimes not. And then your options are a) yogurt, b) a bowl of cereal or c) go hungry. So again, we all love simple, but yummy breakfast recipes! This is the sons favorite, BY FAR.

Cinnamon Roll Waffles with Cream Cheese Glaze

4 Sons 'R' Us: Cinnamon Roll Waffles

1 can refrigerated cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla

Directions

1. Heat waffle maker; spray with cooking spray. Remove cinnamon rolls from can; set icing aside.
2. For each waffle, place 1 cinnamon roll in center of waffle maker; close. Bake 3 to 4 minutes or until waffle is thoroughly cooked and golden brown. Make sure to spray the waffle iron in between each waffle since the sugars in the roll will make them more likely to stick.
3. Meanwhile, in small bowl, stir together reserved icing, powdered sugar, milk and vanilla until glaze is smooth.
4. Serve glaze over hot waffles. The sons love these with yogurt, and/or some fresh fruit.

For those of you early birds who actually like to cook breakfast, or if you’re a breakfast for dinner kind of person, check out our breakfast enchiladas. They don’t disappoint.

Nutella Crescents

Nutella, a dangerous friend indeed. Sometimes, though, sometimes … you just gotta give in to temptation. For better or for worse.

 These are so simple, they’re simply amazing! Prepare for them to disappear right before your eyes. Serve them immediately or (if you have will power) store them in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. While they’re to die for all by themselves, they go great with milk or coffee.

Nutella Crescents

4 Sons 'R' Us: Nutella Crescents

Nutella
1 tube of crescent rolls
chocolate syrup, for drizzling (optional)
powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
2. Unroll the crescents and spread each triangle with a huge healthy amount of Nutella.
3. Starting withe the wide ends, roll each triangle into crescent rolls. Place filled, rolled crescents on your parchment line baking sheet. Make sure to leave room for expansion as they bake.
4. Bake 10-12 minutes. Let crescents cool completely after baking.
5. If desired, before devouring serving, lightly dust crescents with powdered sugar and then drizzle with chocolate syrup.
6. Serve with milk or coffee and enjoy!

4 Sons 'R' Us: Nutella Crescents

Nom Nom Nom

Breakfast Enchiladas

These Breakfast Enchiladas combine a much loved Tex Mex fav with classic AM flavors. Soft flour tortillas are stuffed with a savory meat mixture, and topped with a rich egg custard, crisp bacon bits, and shredded cheddar. Whether made ahead, or on the spot, it’s a breakfast made to fill you up and fuel your day.

Breakfast Enchiladas

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Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal Bars

Cinnamon Toast Crunch is one of our favorite cereals. I even remember how cool it was when I was a kid and they came in bar form for breakfast or snacks on the go. One weekday morning after pouring everyone’s bowls, I had an epiphany. Why not make my own cereal bars?! I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of it before. The boys LOVED these. This recipe alone probably won me the coveted ‘Mom of the Year’ award. Include them in lunches for an extra special treat, but be careful because you just might start a cafeteria riot as all the kids vie for a taste.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal Bars

4 Sons 'R' Us: Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal Bars

  • 4 1/2 cups cinnamon toast crunch cereal
  • 4 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

Directions

  1. Spray a 9×13 or 9×9 pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large pot melt better over low heat. Add marshmallows and cook over medium-low heat until marshmallows are completely melted.
  3. Once marshmallows are melted, remove pot from heat and add cereal to the pot, stirring to coat.
  4. Press into the prepared pan and let cool completely. When set, cut into bars and serve.

Honey Wheat Sandwich Bread

This recipe, from Budget Bytes, makes wonderfully fluffy, moist, and delicious sandwich bread. Serve it toasted for breakfast with some yummy cinnamon honey butter. Heck, just eat a slice when it’s still warm from baking in the oven. It’s addicting. It’s also cheaper, and tastier than it’s mass-produced counterparts. And the piece de resistance… it only costs about $1.34 per loaf, which breaks down to about 11 cents a slice! What better sandwich is there than the one that leaves both your stomach and wallet full?!

Honey Wheat Sandwich Bread

4 Sons 'R' Us: Honey Wheat Sandwich Bread

  •  1 1/4 cups water
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 whole wheat flour
  • 2-3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tbsp salt

Directions

  1.  Combine the water, yeast, and honey. Stir to combine and allow to sit until it becomes foamy. It may take up to ten minutes because of the honey.
  2. Stir in the olive oil and salt.
  3. Stir in the 1 1/2 cups of wheat flour. Once that’s mixed in add the all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until you can no longer stir it with a spoon.
  4. Turn the ball of dough out onto a floured surface and knead in the rest of the all purpose flour.
  5. Keep adding flour until you have a soft, elastic but not sticky ball. Knead for about 3 minutes.
  6. Loosely cover the ball of dough and let rise until it’s doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
  7. Shape the dough into the log about the length of your loaf pan.
  8. Coat the bread pan with non-stick spray or oil and place the dough inside.
  9. Allow the dough to rise again until doubled inside, about 45 minutes.
  10. Cut a long slit in the top of the dough to allow for expansion during cooking ( a serrated blade makes the smoothest cut).
  11. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bake the bread for 30 minutes, or until a deep golden brown on top.
  12. Remove the bread from the pan, transfer to a wire rack, and allow to cool before slicing*.

*To make slicing easier, and to create prettier, more uniform slices, turn the bread loaf upside down before cutting.

Baby Cereal Pancakes

A healthy breakfast or snack, these easy Baby Cereal Pancakes make use of common baby foods that often end up going to waste. They’re a perfect first food, or finger food, for hungry babies & toddlers. Something you can feel good about serving, and something they’ll love eating!

Baby Cereal Pancakes

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