Cinnamon Tea Ring


937036Had it not been for the invention of the breadmaker, I am not sure I would have had the patience to carry on this lovely and delicious holiday tradition. But with this tool, it is fast and fairly easy. True confession: I have 5 breadmakers (most passed on to me by friends), and I typically use them in groups of at least 3 to make the most of my mess and efforts. Here is one of my most requested recipes.





2 ¼ tsp. yeast

4 ¼ c. bread flour

¼ c. sugar

heaping tsp. salt

2 eggs

1/3 c. oil

1 c. milk

½ c. water

You wil also need: cinnamon, sugar, powdered sugar, and milk. Pecans are optional.


Add the 8 ingredients into your breadmaker in the order listed. Set on “manual” or “dough” mode and press “start”.

When dough is ready (about 1.5 hours later), divide the dough into 3 parts. Roll each into an oblong rectangle about 15”x9”. Melt 3+ Tablespoons of butter and spread. Mix 1 c. sugar and 1 heaping Tablespoon cinnamon, and sprinkle some on the rectangles. (We save leftover cinnamon sugar for cinnamon toast.) Optional: Chop ½ c. pecans and sprinkle on. Roll beginning at the wide side. Pinch together to hold in roll. Form into ring and pinch, then cut 2/3 way through at 1 inch intervals. Turn each on its side to fan pieces out. Let rise 15-30 minutes (optional), and bake 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees or until golden. After cooling, drizzle with thick icing mixture made of powdered sugar and milk.

This will make 3 tea rings that fit on 10-inch plates. You may also make one jumbo ring instead of dividing the dough into thirds to make 3 rings.

*To make large cinnamon rolls instead of rings, simply roll, pinch, and cut into 1 inch slices. I like to use fishing line for easy slicing. (Place line under the roll one inch from the end and wrap around and cross, to slice.)


You might also like

Slow Cooker Spicy Marinara Chicken and Vegetables


This is a family favorite and staple meal at the Stull house. In the morning, throw all the ingredients for this easy recipe in the slow cooker. A hearty and healthy dinner will be waiting for you when you get home. Whenever we make this for company, they almost always ask for the recipe.

Preparation: 7 minutes
Time to Cook: 6 hours
Number of Servings: 8

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2 cans Rotel diced tomatoes
4 medium ribs celery, diced (1 cup)
2 small zucchini, diced (2 cups)
1 bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
2 jalepenos, seeded and diced (optional for more spice)
1 24-ounce jar marinara sauce
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried thyme

1. Place the chicken in the slow cooker; add the
garlic, Rotel tomatoes, celery, zucchini, and peppers.
Pour the marinara sauce over all, and sprinkle
the basil and thyme on top. Also sprinkle salt and pepper.
2. Set the slow cooker on low and cook for 6
to 7 hours. Before serving, shred the chicken
with a fork.

Serve over cooked rice.

You might also like

Three Cheese Ziti with Turkey


Three-Cheese-Ziti-with-Turkey2Photo & recipe credits:


Because it has become such a big hit with my family, I have to share this great recipe. My friend Amy brought it to us the week before our move last summer when we were in the midst of crazy packing, and we fell in love with it. The cayenne pepper gives a spicy taste to the ground turkey without the fat of sausage. We have eaten it with both gluten-free pasta and whole wheat pasta and loved it both ways. So, with fond thoughts of a friend who showed TLC to our family in our time of need, I post this great recipe:

Three Cheese Ziti with Turkey

Servings: 8 | Calories: 289 | Total Fat: 7 g | Previous Points: 5 | Points Plus: 6 | Saturated Fat: 3 g | Trans Fat: 0 | Cholesterol: 20 mg | Sodium: 228 mg | Carbohydrates: 43 g | Sugars 3 g | Dietary Fiber: 5 g | Protein: 15 g


  • 1 pound lean ground turkey, (optional, if you prefer meatless)
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 (24 ounce) jar marinara, no sugar added
  • 4 cups cooked ziti or penne shells (cook according to package, about 2-1/2 cups dry shells)
  • 1/2 cup fat free cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup low fat ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded, low fat
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano


In a large skillet over medium-high heat cook ground turkey, diced onion, minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and cayenne pepper. Break up the meat as you go, cooking until turkey has lost its pink color. Drain any fat from turkey and add the entire jar of marinara sauce, stir.

Cook ziti or penne shells according the package instructions. Al dente is preferred (firm but not hard). Drain and add to cooked turkey and marinara.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl combine cottage cheese, mozzarella, ricotta and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and oregano.

In a large casserole dish or 9″ x 13″ pan, add 1/2 turkey mixture (cooked turkey, marinara and cooked shells), top with half cheese mixture, then repeat.

Cook uncovered for approximately 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

You might also like

Easy Cinnamon Raisin Bread


cinnamonbreadMy family loves fresh bread.

And I love the ease and convenience of a breadmaker.

Here is one of my family’s favorite recipes. (You can’t go wrong when you put cinnamon and raisins together.)

It only takes about five minutes to put together. Three to four hours later your loaf will be ready to eat and your house will smell wonderful!

Try this fresh homemade bread toasted for breakfast or to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.



1 pkg yeast (2 1/4 tsp.)

3 cups bread flour

2 Tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 Tablespoon butter

1 1/4 cups warm milk

2/3 cup raisins (Use ingredients at room temperature. If you want raisins to be whole, wait and add them at the “beep.” Personally, I like how moist the bread is when the raisins are stirred into the bread and become bits.)


Add ingredients into the breadmaker pan in the order listed, select white bread and push “start.” Prepare yourself for yumminess.


You might also like

Tomato Basil Soup – quick, easy, healthy, and tasty


2011Nov18I have been on the search for a good tomato basil soup recipe. We love tomato basil soup, but many recipes are full of butter and heavy cream. The following recipe is quicker and healthier than most (yes, it does still have some cream). But it doesn’t compromise on taste. And it feeds a crowd. Everyone in my family loved it when I made it last weekend, and I am making it again for dinner tonight!

6 cloves of garlic, minced

4 T. of olive oil

3 – 28 cans of crushed tomatoes (or pureed)

4 cups of chicken stock

2 tsp sugar

2 tsp of salt

1 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1/2 c. of heavy cream

6 T. fresh basil, diced

In large pot, saute garlic in olive oil on medium heat for 1 minute, being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the crushed tomatoes. Add chicken stock, sugar, basil, salt and pepper. Cook the soup on medium at a simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in heavy cream. Puree’ it in the blender until smooth. Makes about a dozen servings. We served with grilled cheese sandwiches made from Panera Bread’s tomato basil bread, and it was incredible!

You might also like

Easy Overnight Oatmeal


Porridge with berries (1)Do you want the taste and goodness of oatmeal made from steel cut oats without the 30-40 minute cooking time? Have it waiting for you on the stove when you start your day by using this easy recipe.

I make this large recipe (serves 9), then use what’s left over for the rest of the week (it is good for up to a week).




2 1/4 c. steel-cut oats

9 c. water

Pure maple syrup

Pick any of these to top with:

1/3 c. toasted slivered almonds

1/3 c. dried cranberries

1/3 c. blueberries

1/3 c. strawberries

2 T. ground flaxseed per bowl


1. In a large pot, boil the oats in the water for 1 minute. Cover and let stand overnight at room temperature.

2. The next morning, uncover the oats, heat on medium high until the oats start to boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, sirring frequently, until the oatmeal is cooked and creamy but still chewy (5-7 minutes). Sweeten the oatmeal with pure maple syrup.

3. Top with slivered almonds and fruit if you would like. Also, 2 T. of ground flaxseed per bowl (and be sure to add some milk to keep it from getting too thick) gives even more of a nutritional boost to this already-healthy breakfast.

*Steel cut oats are getting easier to find on grocery shelves in the cereal aisle. I usually purchase mine from the bulk section at Sprouts.

You might also like

Fabulous Fruit Smoothie


2011Sep7This healthy and tasty treat carried us through the long, hot days of summer 2011. I don’t follow any recipes. I just try to stay stocked up on frozen fruits, yogurt, and 100% pineapple juice concentrate. Then I make it up as I go. A daily dose of this fends off those ice cream cravings!

To try one of our favorites, mix the following in a blender:

2 cups of frozen strawberries

2 cups of frozen blueberries

8 ounces of vanilla or plain yogurt

1/2 container of frozen 100% pineapple juice concentrate

2 cups of water

Blend this mixture, then add ice until it is the consistency you desire (about 2 cups).

Serve, and enjoy! What am I watching for on Craigslist? A Vitamix blender!

You might also like

Yummy Whole Wheat Bread


2011May3My family loves this healthy bread, especially toasted. With a breadmaker, it’s fast and simple to make.

1 pkg. yeast

1/8 tsp. ginger

2 1/2 C. bread flour

1 1/4 C. whole wheat flour

1/2 C. wheat germ

1 tsp. salt

3 T. honey

*1 12 oz. can of evaporated milk

2 T. lightly flavored olive oil

1/2 C. cracked wheat

1/2 C. boiling water


Cover the 1/2 C. cracked wheat with the boiling water in a small bowl. Stir and let cool.2011May3b

Put the rest of the ingredients in your breadmaker in the order suggested by your manufacturer, then the cooled cracked wheat.

Select white bread and push “Start.” Slice bread after cooling.

*Do-it-yourself evaporated milk
No need to pay a premium for those little cans of evaporated milk. Evaporated milk is simply fresh milk that has had about 60% of its water content removed. You can make your own in two minutes or less.

Just mix these ingredients:

  • 1 cup non-fat dry milk
  • 1  cup plus 2 T. water

Yield: 1 1/2 cups (in place of 12 ounce can)

Note: Without a breadmaker, you can hand knead, let the bread rise in warm area until doubled, punch down, then let rise another 35 minutes. Bake in two buttered loaf pans at 375 degrees 25-30 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. Slice after cooling.

You might also like

Raisin Cranberry Cinnamon Bread


This is a healthy bread that I like to make for my family. We love to use it for cinnamon toast and peanut butter & jelly sandwiches! It also uses that last overly-ripe banana.

Takes 5-10 minutes to get the ingredients in the breadmaker, then let the machine work it’s magic.


1 tsp. yeast

1/2 tsp.salt

3/4 tsp. cinnamon

2 1/4 C. flour

1 T. non-fat dry milk powder

1/2 tsp. sugar

2 T. lite applesauce

3/4 banana

1 C. water

1/4 C. craisins

1/4 C. raisins


Put in the breadmaker in the order suggested by the manufacturer, press white bread, and “start”. Makes a 1 pound loaf.

You might also like

Loving Chipotle at Home


2011Feb18The homemade Chipotle night this week was a big hit with everyone in my family! I thought you might like to do the same.

Here’s how we did it: I bought the bake-your-own tortillas from the refrigerated section at WalMart. It’s a little more work, but they are so good fresh (like at Chipotle!) Also, I looked up the Chipotle meat recipes and they were way too involved for me. So I simply put 6 boneless chicken thighs in the slow cooker on low for 6 hours and added ½ jar salsa verde, and shook in some cayenne pepper and chili pepper to spice it up. Juicy, tender and tasty!

We filled our tortillas with rice, beans, chicken, shredded Monterey Jack cheese, corn, shredded lettuce, tomatoes and salsa (or pico de gallo if you have it!) I didn’t have the corn salsa recipe at the time (it’s listed below), but I will also spice that up next time with some onions, lime and cilantro. The key seems to be lots of LIME and CILANTRO in everything. I looked up how to make the lime tortilla chips and it was way too much work for me! BUT I recommend getting the Cactus Creek Margarita Lime Chips – they are delicious and only 99 cents a bag! I know Brookshire’s carries them.


Chipotle’s Basmati Rice Recipe
1 teaspoon vegetable oil or butter
2 tsp. fresh cilantro
2/3 cup white basmati rice
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Lime

In a 2-quart heavy saucepan, heat oil or butter over low heat, stirring occasionally until melted. Add rice and lime juice, stir for 1 minute. Add water and salt, bring to a full rolling boil. At boiling, cover, turn down to simmer over low heat until rice is tender and the water is absorbed, about 25 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork.

Basmati is a long-grained rice, with a fine texture. It can be found in Middle Eastern and India markets, as well as some supermarkets.

 Chipotle’s black bean recipe                    

You’ll love the versatility of this recipe. Match it with highly seasoned dishes such as beef or pork fajitas, or use it to add zip to a menu with broiled salmon, sautéed catfish, or a vegetarian roll-up. You can substitute regular salsa for the chipotle salsa if you prefer.

Yield: 2 servings (serving size: 3/4 cup) So, you will probably want to double this recipe!


  • 2  teaspoons  vegetable oil
  • 1/2  cup  chopped red bell pepper
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4  cup  bottled chipotle salsa (such as Jardine’s)
  • (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • tablespoons  chopped fresh cilantro


Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add bell pepper and garlic; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in salsa and beans; simmer 5 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro.


Chipotle’s Corn Salsa

Sweet, spicy, and delicious!

6 ears Sweet Yellow Corn
2 Poblano Chilies
1/2 Red Onion
2 Red Jalapenos
1/3 Cup Chopped Cilantro
1 Tablespoon Lime Juice
Salt and Black Pepper to Taste


You might also like

1 2