Thursday, December 8, 2016

Sancho's Christmas Monkey Bread Recipe~ It's all about the candied cherries this year!

What can I say, this recipe just makes me happy and we all know Xanaland's monkey is always looking for monkey-related items, so I've been waiting all year to post this recipe! 
Here is the recipe!

Prep time
2 mins
Cook time
25 mins
Total time
27 mins
Serves: 8
  • Sweet Dough
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 cup of milk, warmed to 115 degrees
  • ⅓ cup water, warmed to 115 degrees
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 2¼ teaspoons of bread machine yeast or rapid rise
  • 3¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for your work surface
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • ½ cup of toasted pecans
  • ½ cup of chopped red and green Christmas candied cherries
  • Brown Sugar Coating
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup of melted butter
  1. Preheat your oven for rising, turn it on to 175 degrees then turn it off when it’s heated, this is as warm as it should get.
  2. In large measuring cup, mix together milk, water, melted butter, sugar, and yeast.
  3. This recipe is as easy to do by hand as it is by mixer, so pick your poison.
  4. If you would like to use a stand mixer, mix flour and salt into the mixer bowl that is fitted with a oiled dough hook. Oiling the hook makes sure the dough doesn’t climb the hook and go all crazy on you.
  5. Using the lowest setting, start the dough hook going and slowly add the milk mixture. After dough comes together, increase speed to medium and let your dough hook do the work until the dough is shiny and smooth, about 6 to 7 minutes. The dough should be slightly sticky but if it is too wet to come together into a ball, add an additional 2 tablespoons flour. It should just barely stick to your hands, nothing more. Turn dough onto lightly floured counter and knead briefly to form a smooth, round ball.
  6. If you want to do this by hand, mix flour and salt in large bowl. Make a well in the flour, then add the milk mixture, pouring into the well. Using a wooden spoon, stir until the dough is difficult to stir and it’s almost a ball in the middle of the bowl. Turn out onto lightly floured work surface and begin to knead, incorporating any loose scraps back into the dough. Knead until dough is smooth and satiny, about 10 minutes, giving those arms a workout and a half! Shape into a round ball.
  7. Take the ball of dough and place in a well oiled bowl, covering it up. Put it the oven and let the dough rise until doubled in size, anywhere from 45-60 minutes.
  8. When that is done, grease your bundt pan, place a few cherries and pecans in the bottom and set aside.
  9. Take out the dough and on a lightly floured work surface roll it into a 8 inch by 8 inch square.
  10. Once you have that 8×8 square, mark off 8 sections, each way, so you are ending up with 64 lovely little squares.
  11. Cut the squares apart,making sure to separate them as you cut, they love to stick back together which defeats the purpose entirely.
  12. Melt the ½ cup of butter in a bowl.
  13. In a larger bowl combine the brown sugar and 2½ tsp of cinnamon.
  14. Rolls a dough square into a ball, dip it in the butter, dip it in the sugar mix then place it in the bundt pan.
  15. Stagger the layers.Build like you would build a brick wall, staggering the “bricks” so that the seams are not in the same place ever, building a lovely wall of dough. Sprinkle a few cherries and pecans between each of the layers, however you want.
  16. In about 45-50 minutes the dough will rise almost to the top of the pan.
  17. Time to bake! After you remove the pan from the oven preheat it to 350 then get those babies back in there to bake.
  18. This took about 22-25 minutes in my oven.
  19. The bread will look slightly dark – watch out, you can overcook this!- and crisp on the outside.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Northwest Chocolate Festival This Weekend in Seattle! November 12th & 13th 2016-Chocolate Lovers Unite!

Along with reviewing wonderful local restaurants, bars, baristas and other local hang outs in The Northwest, we love love love food
festivals! Here is a really special one that you can not only sink your teeth into but possibly use as art or even wear! 

These days so much creative stuff is done with food and chocolate art is just up our alley! What a great way to kick in the holidays and get in the mood to bake, shop, and most of all, pig out on sweets! Sorry dieters and diabetics, you may want to visit our Vegan blog for some also sweet but less deadly to your body treats.

This weekend Seattle hosts The Northwest Chocolate Festival, in a fantastic spot-right on the waterfront at Pier 91
 at Smith Cove. Cooks and pastry chefs from all over the world, chocolate historians and workshops on anything and everything to do with chocolate! 

Read more about it here!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

60 Second Cole Slaw!

Seriously, thus is the easiest and best cole slaw I have ever had/made! I can't believe it's taken me all of my life to decide to make my own! We were picking up some teriyaki and were talking about how small and dry the portions were of cole slaw that came with it, and decided to make our own. We bought cole slaw dry from the produce section, a can of crushed pineapple, some Crasins (sun-dried cranberries) and some cole slaw dressing by Maria's, which cost $2.50. I think it all cost about $8.00 and made enough slaw for 15 HUGE servings. I only made less than half of it to start with, so I'm guessing we had about six large portions to begin with, and plenty of fixings to make more. Especially the Crasins and the dry cole slaw, which comes in a bag in any produce dept., will go a long way. The dressing will make about five more batches of the same size. It took me literally under a minute to mix it all together and whala! I had the best cole slaw I've ever had! My family agrees! Enjoy! 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Seattle's 1st Annual Ice Cream Festival! Sunday May 21st 2016

Hip hip horray! They have plenty of beer festivals in Seattle, but what about us non drinkers who LOVE ice cream?! Our day is finally here! 

Only once in your life will you likely be in Seattle and have the day free to go to this, so let it be today! participating restaurants are 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Most Romantic Restaurants in Seattle~The Pink Door-

Valentine's Day is only a few days away, where are you taking your special monkey?! The Pink Door has so many special memories for me, on any day of the year it can be a great escape for a drink or for a meal cooked by some of the best chefs in Seattle. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Kill Me Softly ~ Red Velvet Fudge ~The Recipe

  • 3 cups sugar
  • ¾ cup butter
  • ⅔ cup half & half
  • 12-ounce bag milk chocolate chips
  • 7-ounce jar marshmallow creme
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 ounce liquid red food coloring
  1. Prepare an 8 or 9 inch square pan by lining it with two layers or foil and then gently spraying the foil with cooking spray. You can just lightly grease the pan with cooking spray, but trust me the foil trick is so nice when lifting it from the pan.
  2. In a small microwave safe bowl add semi-sweet chocolate chips and food coloring, mix together and set aside.
  3. In a separate large microwave safe bowl add butter and heat for 1 ½ minutes or until butter is completely melted.
  4. Next, add sugar and half & half; stir until combined. Place in microwave and heat for 3 minutes. Then vigorously stir to combine, then cook another 2 minutes. Stir well while scraping down sides of bowl. Return to microwave and cook for another 3 minutes. Stir once more and then heat another 2 ½ minutes.
  5. *TIP* you may want to set the large bowl on a plate in case it boils over while heating. This happens every time and the plate makes less of a mess for me to pick up.
  6. Immediately remove from microwave, then add marshmallow creme and stir.
  7. Stir in milk chocolate ships, vanilla, and semi-sweet chocolate chips with red food coloring. Stir until smooth and well combined, no chunks.
  8. Immediately pour into prepared pan and lift pan and tap on the counter to work out the air bubbles. Cool completely until set. Use foil handles to lift fudge from pan before cutting into squares. I let mine set for 2-3 hours. Once cut into squares store in an airtight container and set in fridge until ready to eat, serve or package up for friends and family.

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