Baking

Biscuit dough mini monkey bread

I found an article by Babble via Pinterest. It was called 21 things you can make with a tube of biscuit dough. Oh, yummy! I was mostly interested in the recipe for Extreme Monkey Bread (also at Babble.com):

And here it is:

Extreme Monkey Bread
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup dark Karo syrup
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tubes of large Texas Layers biscuits
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamom

STEP 1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine brown sugar, Karo syrup, sweetened condensed milk, butter, and vanilla. Stir all ingredients together until smooth & allow to heat just until boiling.

STEP 2. Open the packages of biscuits, separate each biscuit and cut into four pieces.

STEP 3. Stir together cinnamon and sugar. Toss cut biscuit pieces into the cinnamon and sugar.

STEP 4. Pour half of the caramel sauce into the bottom of a bundt pan which has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

STEP 5. Place the cinnamon & sugar coated biscuit pieces on top of the caramel.  Pour most of the remaining caramel over the  top of the biscuits, setting about 1/4 cup aside for dipping, if desired. (The bundt pan will be verrry full.  If you don’t have a bundt pan, try splitting your monkey bread into two large loaf pans, the sort you’d use to bake loaved of bread).

STEP 6. Bake in an oven preheated to 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes, or until the bread at the top of the bundt pan is golden brown.  Allow to sit for 8-10 minutes before turning onto a plate.  Serve immediately.

Yeah, that does sound extreme. That lead me to a search of a simple recipe for Monkey Bread. I found one at Pioneerwoman.com

Monkey Bread at Pioneerwoman.com (click here for the full recipe):

The ingredients include:

1/2 cup of brown sugar
2 sticks of butter (1 cup)
2 to 3 teaspoons of cinnamon
Bundt pan
3 cans of Buttermilk Biscuits (the non-flaky ones)
1 cup of sugar

Yes! Much more simple. Let’s try it! Okay, but I only bought one can of biscuits, they are the flaky ones, not the non-flaky ones and that just seems like a whole lot of butter. Oh, also I don’t have a bundt pan. So I adjusted the recipe into a mini monkey bread. I used the toaster oven since it was a smaller batch and placed it on the baking tray that came with the toaster.

Here’s my take on this recipe.

Mini monkey bread:
1/3 cup of brown sugar
1/2 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 can of jumbo biscuits, flaky, butter flavored
1/2 cup of sugar

-Cut each of the buttermilk biscuits into 6 pieces (instead of quarters, since these are jumbo and 6 pieces seem more bite sized)

-Mix the sugar and cinnmon together in a gallon storage bag.

-Drop the biscuits in the bag. I gave it to my son to shake. Big helper! Make sure each piece has a coating of cinnamon sugar.

-Line the baking tray with aluminum foil and then I placed the biscuits on it. I pushed the dough down just a little bit so that there were no spaces in between the pieces.

-On medium heat, I melted the butter and brown sugar together. About 3 minutes.

-Once well combined, I poured the butter/brown sugar  mixture over the biscuits.

-Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

-Just like a bundt pan, turn the baking tray upside down onto a large plate. The butter and sugar will be nice and sticky and now on top!

Yum, yum, yum… mini monkey bread…

My Gratitude Journal

Chado Tea Room in Pasadena

My friend and I visited the Chado Tea Room in PasadenaWe have been to many tea rooms through the years. It’s one of our favorite things to do!

The Chado Tea Room in Pasadena is located at 79 N. Raymond. They are open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. We made reservations before hand, which is highly recommended as it  seems to be a popular spot and it gets very busy.

A Groupon for chocolate and tea tasting brought us in. But we were also hungry for lunch so we ordered food. They offer soups, sandwiches, salads and desserts. They also offer vegetarian choices. I chose the Punjab sandwich which consists of eggs marinated in their lapsang souchong smoked tea then combined with mayonnaise and green onions. The bread was toasted and the crusts were cut off. It was super delicious. I also ordered a tomato basil soup, which was also vegetarian. My friend ordered the afternoon tea. It came with four half sandwiches (four different kinds), one scone with homemade cream and fresh fruit, and a dessert. It was presented on a three tier rack. And of course, it also included a pot of tea.

We were told that they have about 400 teas. The tea menu was a book. I mean, really, it was a book. I chose a chai tea called Brendan’s Chai which is an Assam Black tea blended with ginger, cinnamon, lemon grass. It was creamy, rich and delicious.

The service was great! Our waiter was very knowledgable about the teas and attentive. Before our chocolates and teas came out, our waiter brought out a strawberry display tea. A display tea is just that…a display tea… although you can drink it too. You watch your tea flower bloom while it is steeping. A wonderful 5 minute show. Tea leaves that were bunched together in a little ball were placed in a glass tea kettle with hot water. The leaves unfurl to create a flower creation.

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Lovely unfurling…

Then our teas and chocolates came out. We were offered three more teas in addition to the display tea. The teas are meant to be paired with the chocolates. We tried a chai tea, a green tea and a pomegranate tea. The pomegranate tea was my favorite. It really brought out the taste of the chocolate.

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Chocolate? yes…..

They also have beautiful tea cups, tea pots and delicious tea leaves, including blooming teas in tins for sale. It’s a very relaxing environment. I suggest that if you make a visit there, that you plan two hours of your time so that you can relax and unwind. 

You can valet park, park in public parking with the first 90 minutes free or you can park at the meters. That’s what I did. 2 hours of metered parking cost a total of $2.50.

The Chado Tea Room was a great place to visit. We plan to go again. Sandwiches, chocolates and tea? Can’t go wrong with that combination.

Today I am grateful for traditions with friends and afternoon tea with my friend, Marylisa

DIY

30 minute project: Scrabble LOVE Tiles

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What a great way to upcycle those “extra” scrabble tiles. Make some Scrabble Love Tiles!

I had some extra scrabble tiles from a leftover project. I found some old thumbprints of photos. You know, the kind you get from Target, Walmart or Costco when you order photos. They fit perfectly on the scrabble tiles!

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For this project,  you will need:

-Scrabble tiles
-thumbprint photos
-modpodge
-acrylic sealer (optional)
-scissors or square paper cutter
-decorative stickers or paper
-nail file

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Since the thumbprint photos didn’t completely cover the scrabble tile,

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I used a sticker as the base. Luckily, I had a square hole puncher that was almost the same size as the scrabble tile. But if you don’t, scissors and a steady hand work just as well. I placed the sticker on the scrabble tile and used modpodge to glue the picture on top. Then I used a nail file to file the sides down since the sticker went a little over.

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I did the same for the scrabble tiles without photos.

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Then I used a brush to brush modpodge over the whole tile after I had placed the sticker and/or photo on it. I placed it on wax paper for easier removal after drying. It doesn’t stick onto the wax paper as much.

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I let it dry for about 20 minutes, then I sprayed acrylic sealer to give it a glossy finish. This is optional. Sometimes, the modpodge is good enough.

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I haven’t figured out what I want to do with these yet. Some people use it as a pendant. Or it can be displayed on a scrabble holder.

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These scrabble tiles are fun to make and make cute little gifts.

“There are all kinds of love in this world but never the same love twice.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald