Home-made “Little Debbie” Oatmeal Cream Pies, 2 Minute Cookies, Home-Made Cinnamon Rolls, Cheese Rolls, Pagachi, Croque Monsieur, and Croque Madame…made with l♥ve by the Cookie Mama

Happy June!  Wow the last few weeks have been SUPER busy!  The kids are done with school for the summer…YEAH!!  Actually they have been out of school for exactly one week, and so far so good.  We have been enjoying a lot of really yummy recipes, and I can’t wait to share them.  Here we go…

The first recipe I experimented with was a copycat recipe for “Little  Debbie Oatmeal DSCN9248Cream Pies.”  There are very few store bought treats that I actually like and purchase, but this is definitely one of them.  I’ve wanted to try this recipe for a long time, and I am so glad that I finally did…YUM!  So this isn’t exactly a “figure friendly” recipe as it includes both one cup of butter and one cup of shortening, BUT I used vegan shortening so it wasn’t too bad.  Besides, it’s a treat so no fair counting calories.  Anyway, my family really liked the cream pies, and I did too. They don’t taste exactly like “Little Debbie,” but that said, they are pretty darn good. I got awesome feedback on this recipe too.  I bake treats every week for the elementary school office staff, and they LOVED them.  Here is the link to the recipe that I used: http://www.justapinch.com/recipes/dessert/cookies/homemade-little-debbie-oatmeal-cream-pies.html

The next recipe was for 2 minute cookies.  I tried this recipe when Ryan and I were “home alone” for the weekend.  Dan and Victoria went on the middle school’s orchestra trip to Cedar Point, so Ryan and I got to spend the weekend as a party of 2. Whilst we were watching a movie, we both were craving cookies. DSCN9175 I didn’t feel like making a whole batch as we were in the middle of a movie, so I decided to try these speedy versions.  I had seen the recipe on “Pinterest,” and saved the recipe, so I decided to  give it a try.  The cool thing about this recipe is that you only need to microwave the dough for about 2 minutes, and VOILA, you get a freshly baked cookie! Well that was exactly what Ryan and I wanted,  so we tried it out.  The result?  Meh…unfortunately it was only so so.    Ryan and I gave the recipe a “B.”  Going forward, I am not sure I’d make these again.  I am glad I tried them as it satisfied my curiosity, but it wasn’t the best chocolate chip cookie I have ever made.  In a pinch if you were totally going crazy and craving a cookie, it might suffice. For me, I’d rather take the time to bake a regular batch of cookies.  Here is a link to the recipe: http://heartmindandseoul.com/microwave-2-minute-chocolate-chip-cookie-for-one/

The next few recipes were sort of chosen for me…let me explain.  We had a few thunderstorms roll through the area, and during one of them, we lost power. It wasn’t a big deal, we lost power about 8 times during the course of an hour, but were only “dark” for a DSCN9315total of about 10 minutes.   Apparently, during one of the outages, the storm tripped the outlet in the garage.  Ya know, the outlet that our deep freezer was plugged in to.  Well I didn’t know that it happened until the next morning.  I opened the freezer to get something for dinner, and noticed that everything was defrosted!  I was able to salvage some things, but we lost a lot.  A lot of expensive stuff too.  We are vegetarians, so we buy a lot of “Morningstar Farms, Boca, and Quorn” products.  Those meat free food items are pretty expensive, and unfortunately we lost most of them.  I was able to salvage all of my bread and pizza dough, since I usually defrost it overnight in the fridge anyway.  What I usually do not do, however, is defrost it all at the same time.  I had 4 pounds of pizza dough and 3 pounds of bread dough to use…NOW.  So I decided to make cinnamon rolls, cheese rolls, and “pagachi.”  By the way I also made veggie sausage pizza and veggie stromboli with the dough, but they were not new recipes for me, so I didn’t include them.  First, I made cinnamon rolls.  This is a recipe I have made multiple times before, but it had been a couple years since I’d made them. I saw this recipe on the Food Network years ago, and my family loved it.  They remind me of “Cinnabons.”  As a side note, “Cinnabons” were my only food craving when I was pregnant with Victoria.  I woke up early on a Saturday morning thinking about “Cinnabons,” and when Dan got up, I asked him to go to the mall and get me one.  He did. ☺  Anyway, these remind me of those delicious cinnamon rolls.  These also got rave reviews from the office staff at Ryan’s school.  In fact Ryan’s Principal stopped me in the hallway to tell me how good they were.  I believe he used the word “outstanding,” to describe them. ☺  Here is a link to that yummy recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/sandra-lee/cinnamon-rolls-recipe/index.html

The next “forced recipe” was for cheese rolls.  When I made these, I thought we could use them as little sandwich rolls throughout the week.  At first bite, they were yummy, but then it went downhill…and fast!  The recipe called for garlic salt…an ingredient I almost never use.  I bought a tiny bottle of it to use in a recipe a while ago, and I haven’t used it since.  I generally don’t use salt in recipes for savory dishes.  DSCN9319I just figure if the dish needs some salt, we can just use a little bit at the end right before we eat it.  Anyway, this recipe called for one teaspoon of garlic salt, so I used it.  That was a mistake.  The cheese rolls came out WAY TOO SALTY! So salty, in fact, that I had to throw them out!  In the future, I will use a teaspoon of garlic powder and call it good.  Here is the link to the recipe that I used: http://www.bhg.com/recipe/rolls/cheese-rolls/

The last “forced recipe” was for pagachi.  Let me start by saying that this is a recipe that I have loved since I was a kid.  My Grandma Ann used to make it all the time.  She taught my Mom to make it too.  It is absolutely delicious.  It is total comfort food to me.  It is super cheesy and delicious.  My Grandma and Mom used to mix mashed potatoes into the dough, and then top it with cheese and breadcrumbs.  When I searched the internet for a recipe, I had a hard  time locating one.  I think that I have been spelling it wrong.  In our family, my Grandma called it “pagachi,” pronounced like “pa-got-chi.”  I have a binder of family recipes, and I always spelled this phonetically as I didn’t DSCN9331have a written recipe to operate from.  My Mom just dictated the recipe to me once, and I wrote it down.  Anyway, when I decided to include it in this blog, I did a more exhaustive search and found a recipe that is very similar.  Apparently this recipe is popular in Eastern European cooking, as most of the recipes I found were Slovak, Hungarian, Polish, and Russian.  Many recipes I found included variations that included cabbage, but when my Grandma (who was Italian by the way) made this, the main ingredients were cheese and breadcrumbs.  I did have a bit of trouble as my notes weren’t great, and I haven’t ever made this recipe by myself.  The last time I made it, my Mom and Sister were here to help me.  I am actually going to try this again, after I purchase more dough.  I may even attempt one of the recipes I came across on the internet.  Here is a recipe that is very similar to the one I used:http://www.food.com/recipe/pagach-quick-and-easy-474980

Once our forced “carb fest” was over, I decided to switch gears and make something new. Mt. Laundry had taken over the house whilst I was busy cooking up a storm in the attempt to salvage the freezer food, and now I was playing catch up.  I  like to watch tv when folding the laundry, but nothing good was on, so I decided to pop in a movie.  I chose “It’s Complicated.”  Dan and the kids bought it for me a few years ago, and I still watch it pretty regularly.  I love love love that movie.  I love the food, the bakery, the garden…everything pretty much.  In fact, I have been known to rewind the food/kitchen/garden scenes to take inventory of all the items in the kitchen/garden.  Anyway, during the movie, Meryl Streep makes dinner for her architect, played by Steve Martin, whilst they are discussing the DSCN9298plans for her new kitchen, and she makes croque monsieur.  I have seen this movie dozens of times, and have always wanted to make this dish, so I did.  The result??  Two days of deliciousness.  I say two days meaning that I made croque monsieur the first day, and we loved it so much I made it again the next day…and made croque madame too.  Croque madame is the same sandwich just with a fried egg on top…YUM!    I did make a few substitutions to the recipes.  First, I used veggie friendly ham, made by “Lightlife.”  Also, I never have gruyere in the fridge, so I substituted Trader Joe’s “Unexpected Cheddar.”  These sandwiches were delicious, and I will definitely make them again.  Here are the links to the recipes that I used:

http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/croque_monsieur_ham_and_cheese_sandwich/ and              http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Croque-Madame-237589

I love this week in June.  It is the first full week of the kids’ summer vacation, so we literally have the whole summer in front of us.  I love the fact that the kids are home all day with me.  I love that sometimes we stay in our pj’s all day.  I love the slower pace that comes with summertime too.   Lazy afternoons in the pool, dinner on the deck, bonfires during the week, chasing lightning bugs,  reading in the hammock, and endless summer movie nights.  I am so looking forward to the new recipes I will try, especially those made with herbs, fruit, and veggies from my own garden/orchard.  Our trees are already full of fruit, so I am hopeful that later in the summer, I will be able to include recipes that call for peaches, pears, and apples that I have grown.   I am really looking forward to having a great summer right here at home with Dan and kids.  I hope you have a great summer too!  Enjoy the recipes! ♥♥


Ryan and Victoria working on their “container gardens.”

About THE cookie mama

I am not professionally trained in any way shape or form, BUT I come from a long line of really great cooks. I learned mostly by watching my parents and grandparents, and then replicating what they did. I love love love to cook and bake, and I love to share what I make with "my people."
This entry was posted in Bread / Muffins, Cookies, Italian, Pies, Savory and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Home-made “Little Debbie” Oatmeal Cream Pies, 2 Minute Cookies, Home-Made Cinnamon Rolls, Cheese Rolls, Pagachi, Croque Monsieur, and Croque Madame…made with l♥ve by the Cookie Mama

  1. Loved the blog and carb-fest! In fact, I would thoroughly enjoy a croque madame for Father’s Day…hint hint. 😉

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