New Pinterest Recipe of the Week: Beef-Stuffed Crescents (Rattlesnake Bites)

I tend to be a very social person. I love having people over and I love feeding them while they’re here. This past Sunday we had a group of guys from my husband’s work come over to watch the football games, so I had the perfect excuse to make some party food. I’ve had these pinned for months so I was really excited to finally get to make them. The recipe originally comes from Taste of Home magazine (the March/April 2008 issue, in case anyone wants to find the hardcopy) and can be found online here. The website says this was one of their contest winners and I can see why.

Ingredients

  • 1lb. ground beef (I used 88% lean, but I wouldn’t recommend anything leaner than that.)
  • 1 4oz. can of chopped chiles
  • 1 8oz. package of cream cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. chile powder
  • 3 tubes of crescent rolls (standard size)

Cook the ground beef and chiles together in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the meat is no longer cooked, remove from heat and drain off any fat. Stir in cream cheese and spices. Allow the mixture to cool.

Preheat your oven to 375°F and start preparing your crescents. Spoon a rounded teaspoon’s worth of the beef mixture at the short end of the triangle and then roll it up as normal. Check to see if there are any openings in the dough and pinch them shut.

With the point side pointing down, place your rolled-up crescents on ungreased baking sheets and bake for about 11-14 minutes or until golden.

Rattlesnake Bites

Tweaks and Overall Review

I didn’t tweak a lot about the ingredients themselves, except for using a bit more spice than the original recipe calls for. I like a little kick and 1/4 teaspoon each of cumin and chile powder just sounded like too little. The main tweaks I made were in the method of preparation. I added my spices while my ground beef was cooking and since I didn’t have a ton of fat left in my pan, I didn’t bother to drain it after. I also tweaked the oven temperature down to 350°F since my oven tends to run a little hot. It only added another minute or so to the total cook time. Finally, I ended up with extra beef mixture after stuffing all of the standard size crescents (the three tubes give you 24 total), so I broke out a tube of my Grands! crescents and used those to take care of the extra. I upped the amount of beef mixture in each crescent to two rounded teaspoons and then baked them for about 16 minutes. Depending on whether or not you want to make these as a snack/party food or as part of a meal, using the larger crescents may be preferable.

The verdict: These were gone as fast as I could make them! Big Bit didn’t care for hers, but she’s been going through a picky phase lately. Everyone else, including Little Bit, loved theirs. These were declared to be good “man food” and I get the feeling will now be expected fare when we host parties for games or fights. They were easy to make, and like I said earlier, I can see why these won a contest. Easy and man-approved is a winner in my book.

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New Pinterest Recipe of the Week: Cream Cheese Banana Nut Bread

A few weeks ago I was complaining that having my girls has made it almost impossible for me to make any sort of baked good with bananas. The issue isn’t that they don’t like bananas. Quite the opposite, they LOVE bananas. And therein lies the problem. Bananas never seem to last long enough around here to get to that overripe state that’s perfect for baking all manner of delicious banana flavored treats.

As if an answer to prayer, the other day a friend mentioned she had some bananas on their way to overripe perfection and asked if I wanted them. OF COURSE! I was so excited! It’s been so long since I’ve had bananas ready for baking, I knew this called for trying a new recipe. The answer was staring at me from the fridge. A big Costco size tub of cream cheese sitting in my fridge just screamed, “Make the Cream Cheese Banana Nut Bread! You’ve had that recipe pinned for almost a year!” And so I did.

I found this particular recipe at Sugar & Spice by Celeste. The recipe makes two loaves, so plan accordingly.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup of butter, softened (I used unsalted)
  • 1 8oz. package of cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup chopped nuts, toasted
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed banana (About 4 medium sized bananas)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 350°F and grease and flour two loaf pans (8×4 size, or close to). (Once your oven is at temperature, you can use the time between the oven being ready and finishing the recipe to toast your nuts. Just spread them on a baking sheet and let them toast in the oven for about 10 minutes.)

Beat butter and cream cheese together with an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Gradually add your sugar, beating until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just blended after each addition.

In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add your dry ingredients to the butter mixture, beating on low speed until just blended. Stir in your mashed bananas, toasted nuts, and vanilla extract. Divide your batter between your two loaf pans.

Bake for one hour or until a tester stick comes out clean and the sides are pulling away from the pan. Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove to wire racks. Cool at least 30 minutes before slicing.

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Tweaks and Overall Review:

The original recipe called for using pecans, but I didn’t have any on hand so I used walnuts (which I did have on hand) instead. I don’t think it made much of a difference either way. I also didn’t have two 8×4 loaf pans, so I used one 8×4 and one 9×5. The loaf in the 8×4 pan was done after one hour 10 minutes, while the loaf in the 9×5 pan needed to stay in the oven for about one hour 20 minutes.

The recipe produces a very moist banana bread, but at the same time I felt there was something missing. There was a nice, even banana flavor, but it seemed a little flat to my taste. I think next time I will add a teaspoon or so of cinnamon to the butter/sugar mixture and see if that doesn’t give the bread the little kick my palate thought it needed.

New Pinterest Recipe of the Week: Strawberry Cream Cheese Cobbler

We had friends over for dinner and I figured it was the perfect excuse to test out a new dessert recipe. Since we have been getting such lovely strawberries the past month or so, I knew it had to include strawberries in some form or fashion. Off I went to my Pinterest boards to find something to try. I came up with three potential contenders, and ended up settling on Strawberry Cream Cheese Cobbler. (Don’t worry, the other two contenders will be made in due time, probably as their own “New Pinterest Recipe of the Week” over the next month or so.)

Now, since this is a Pinterest recipe, this obviously isn’t something of my own creation. This particular recipe came from Berks County News Reading Eagle Newspaper. You can find the original article and recipe here.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick, I used unsalted)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup milk (I used whole milk)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsps. baking powder (Make sure it hasn’t expired, since this is what makes the crust rise.)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 qts. strawberries (For me this equalled about 2.5 lbs., but you may use a little more or a little less. The original recipe called for removing the caps of the strawberries, but otherwise leaving them whole. Since I had some rather large strawberries I ended up quartering or halving them, and I think that worked out fine.)
  • 4 oz. cream cheese (I used 4 oz. as a starting point, and sort of eyeballed it, putting teaspoon size dollops at semi-regular intervals over the strawberries.)

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Melt your butter and pour into a 9×13 baking dish. While the butter is melting, mix your egg, milk, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Pour the batter directly into the baking dish with the melted butter, but do not mix them together.

Add your strawberries, as much as possible keeping them in an even, single layer (but don’t worry about a little overlap). Add chunks/spoonfuls of cream cheese on top of the strawberries.

Place the cobbler in your preheated oven and bake for approx. 45-50 minutes or until the top is golden and the edges are bubbling.

Image

Tweaks and Overall Review:

Aside from what I mentioned above regarding the strawberries and the cream cheese, the only other tweak I had to make from the original recipe was an increase in the baking time. Since I am at a high altitude, I had to add about 15 minutes in order to get the golden crust, bringing my total bake time to about an hour.

In the end, though, the extra 15 minutes was well worth it. This was a delicious dessert for late spring/early summer. The crust is more cake-like, but gives a nice base to the cobbler. The flavor of the strawberries is really given a chance to shine, since the crust is not overly sweet and the cream cheese is a nice compliment, but not overpowering. Also, with such easy prep, this is definitely something I would consider making as a contribution to a potluck or similar event.