Christmas Cinnamon Roll Reindeer Breakfast {Or, The Illusion of Being Busy}

Reindeer Christmas Cinnamon Rolls

Well, it’s that time of year again . . . when it’s actually NEXT year (January) and I still have yet to post any of my Christmas projects or recipes. Never mind Halloween or Thanksgiving . . .

And when I took a close, sobering look at my blog, I see that I haven’t updated it in over six months.

Six MONTHS, people.  And not just that, but I haven’t been updating my Facebook page either, let alone Twitter or Pinterest.

I seem to be a tad behind.

So here I am:  feeling the need to make arguments for how busy I am.  And of course I’m busy – but aren’t we all?  I could make a very long list mentioning my full-time job and my two young kids, and how I moved recently and adopted a new kitten and how my schedule and stress levels were completely thrown off when Hurricane Irma rolled through . . .

But those are all just excuses.  We find time for the things that are important to us.  And this blog is important to me.  Sharing crafts and books and recipes that connect me to my children is important to me.

So here I am.  I also realized that this past holiday season I remade a lot of old recipes (already posted here) with my kids and don’t have a lot of new things to post, but there ARE still things to share.  And I’m going to make the time for it.

Starting with these Cinnamon Roll Reindeer, because, I mean, aren’t these just the most adorable cinnamon rolls EVER?

Reindeer Christmas Cinnamon Rolls 2

This past holiday season I spent a lot of time striving for recipes and crafts that embraced simplicity.

These yummy treats are a representation of that.  In the picture below you can see the 3 things I used to make them:  Grands cinnamon rolls, miniature candy canes, and M&Ms.

I made sure to unwrap the candy canes ahead of time, so I wouldn’t have to deal with the plastic wrappers before my coffee kicked in, but other than that task, these were thrown together in no time.

I used the Grands because they have little pockets, so to speak, to slip the candy canes into.  They’re made in a roll shape instead of the little cake-like cinnamon rolls that are one solid piece.  This way the candy canes just slid right in and were supported with no problem.

After baking the rolls according to the package directions, apply the icing.  Before the icing hardens, add two M&Ms for the eyes and a red M&M for a Rudolph-like nose.  Put two candy canes on each side of the “head” to represent the antlers.

You’ll need 4 candy canes per roll.  So if you have a package of 5 rolls like I did, then you’ll need 20 miniature candy canes.

Reindeer Christmas Cinnamon Rolls 3

I served these with some sausage and fruit.  They were a lot of fun and certainly enjoyed by the kids.  I plan to make these a regular tradition.

Happy Baking ;)

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4 Ingredient Chili

4 Ingredient Chili Recipe

I really do try to incorporate more organic foods into our diet.  I try to avoid things that have preservatives and artificial ingredients.

But, just like how there are some days that I’ll finish off half a box of Cheez-Its in one sitting, there are days when I need something super simple to cook.

This recipe qualifies as “super simple” for a few reasons:

It takes 5 minutes to make.

There are only 4 ingredients (plus a few spices – but these are optional)

It only uses one pan.

All of the ingredients are waiting for me in the pantry, except for the meat, which I usually keep on hand in the freezer.

4 Ingredient Chili Recipe

See?  Four ingredients.

Beans (with sauce), tomato sauce, seasoning mix, and meat.

And like I said, the first 3 things are easy to stock up on and have sitting in the pantry.

I usually have either ground turkey or beef on hand, either in the fridge or freezer, so I find that I often have everything to make this dish.

I do like to add a few extra spices, but those are also always in the pantry.

And I like to add some shredded cheese and sour cream to the top, but those are usually in my fridge too, and if not, well, they’re also optional.  Just tasty.  I like the contrast of the sour cream against the spicy chili.

4 Ingredient Chili Recipe

I like spicy food.

My kids have been eating spicy food forever, so they like it, too.

BUT, if you’re not into spice, feel free to cut out the cayenne, or even all of the extra spices, if you prefer.

4 Ingredient Chili Recipe

I mix the spices into the raw meat just as it’s starting to cook because it helps infuse the meat with a nice flavor.

4 Ingredient Chili Recipe

Here it is all mixed together.

Essentially, after browning the meat, you’re just dumping everything into one pan.  How cool is that?

4 Ingredient Chili Recipe

Doesn’t that look delicious?

4 Ingredient Chili

Ingredients:

1 (16 oz.) can Chili beans in sauce
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (1.25 oz.) package chili seasoning mix
16 oz. ground turkey or beef

Optional Extra Spices:

1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. Ancho Chile pepper
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Optional Toppings:

Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Sour cream

In a large, deep saucepan, heat a small amount of olive oil. Add ground turkey. If using the optional extra spices, sprinkle them evenly over the meat while still raw and mix them in. Cook the meat until browned. Drain the fat from the pan and return it to the stovetop.

Sprinkle the chili seasoning mix over the meat and mix it in. Stir in the chili beans in sauce and tomato sauce until fully combined.

Bring to a simmer over medium heat and allow to simmer for a few minutes to heat through. You can serve it now, or turn the stove to low and let the chili cook for an hour, covered, to allow the flavors to develop. Stir occasionally.

Serve with shredded cheese and cream cheese, if desired.

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And to get the free printable PDF, click here:  4 Ingredient Chili

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15 Minutes to Chocolate Pudding

Chocolate Pudding

It was late.  I found myself in the mood for chocolate, but not wanting candy or ice cream or, even, (heaven forbid) cookies.

But I needed chocolate.

What could I make?  What would satisfy my craving?  What could be done quickly since it was already nine at night?

I couldn’t decide, so I explored Pinterest.  There were so many, many amazing foods, but nothing quite what I needed… until I came across The Best Chocolate Pudding You’ll Ever Have (in 15 minutes!).

Fifteen minutes?  That’s worth a try for silky smooth dark chocolatey goodness.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have any dark chocolate cocoa on hand, so mine was more semi-sweet.  Still awesome, tho.

Chocolate Pudding

It was definitely simple.  Whisk together a few ingredients.

Chocolate Pudding

Boil some milk.  Whisk the rest of the ingredients.  Eat.

Chocolate Pudding

I was pleasantly surprised by how simple and quick the whole process was.  The thing that took the longest was stirring in the chocolate chips (above) and waiting for them to melt.  If I’d had chocolate shavings instead, it would have been even faster.

And there were a few chips that didn’t melt completely, but that didn’t really bother me.

Chocolate Pudding

The problem with taking photos was that I was in a rush to eat it, and my powdered sugar kept melting as soon as I sprinkled it on.  The thick, gooey chocolate was calling my name.

It’s awesome when it’s well-chilled, too.  Of course.  Which I know because I couldn’t eat it all in one sitting.  Which was lucky for my girls.  They got to enjoy it the next day.  :)

So be sure to check out the recipe at A Cup of Jo – and the photos, too, they’re much better than mine!

And then be sure to enjoy some homemade chocolate pudding.  :)

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