Peppermint Cinnamon Rolls

Do you have a Christmas Morning Breakfast tradition? We do!  We always have some HOT and FRESH Cinnamon Rolls.  The kids love how tasty they are.  I love how easy they are.  Seriously.


This year I decided to add a tiny bit of Peppermint Oil into the frosting and sprinkle the frosted Cinnamon Rolls with crushed candy canes…and they were a hit.  (I had to test them out before the actual morning)!  You can make them a day or two before and keep the dough in the fridge until you are ready to make them.


If you don’t like Peppermint…no worries…just omit the peppermint oil and the crushed candy canes.  This is my very favorite Cinnamon Roll Recipe, and one of our favorite Christmas family traditions.

Cinnamon Roll Recipe


2 Tbsp. dry active yeast

1/2 cup of lukewarm water (add pinch of sugar and set aside)

In a large bowl:

2/3 cup shortening

2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 cup mashed potato

1/2 cup water potato was cooked in

4 to 6 cups of flour (the less flour the better, but you must be able to handle the dough)


4 Tbsp. butter, melted

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 Tbsp. cinnamon

3/4 cinnamon chips (optional)


4 Tbsp. butter, soft

2 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

milk (enough to get desired consistency)


Mix the first three ingredients: shortening, salt and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time and beat them in.  Add mashed potatoes, yeast, milk, potato water, and mix together.

Add flour: 3-4 cups, mixing well then add more flour until the dough can be handled.  Knead well on a floured surface.  Place in a large greased bowl, cover and let rise until it has doubled in size.  Lightly knead then then roll out.  Add filling.  Then roll and cut into cinnamon rolls.  Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes.


*To ensure my dough rises well, I like to pre-heat oven to about 200 degrees (no higher) and then turn the oven off.  Then I place a pan of water that has been boiling on the bottom rack.  I place the dough in a large, greased mixing bowl on the top rack and cover it with a damp clean dish towel.  (I get the dish towel wet and then ring out all of the excess water).  This will allow your dough to rise in a warm and moist environment and does so pretty quickly.

**After the dough has risen and doubled in size, you can make the rolls right away OR you can cover the bowl of dough and store it in the fridge for later use.  After removing from the fridge, let the dough sit out and warm up for about 20-30 minutes so that it is room temperature.

To make the cinnamon rolls:

1.  Knead the dough, on a flour coated surface, just a bit to incorporate the air bubbles from rising.

2.  Roll out the dough in a long rectangle about 1/2 inch thick.

3.  Sprinkle the filling (melted butter, cinnamon, brown sugar, and cinnamon chips if using).

cinnamon-roll-frosting    cinnamon-rolls-3_edited-1.jpg

4.  Then roll the dough from the long side and make one long roll.

5.  The easiest way to cut them, in my opinion, is to use a thread.  I learned this from my Grandmother and Mom years ago.  Cut a long piece of sewing thread.  Slide it underneath the roll and then pull up both sides and cross the ends of the thread.  Pull until the thread pinches all the way through the roll.  Be sure to cross the threads so it cuts nicely.

cinnamon-rolls    peppermint

6.  Take the section of roll and place it onto a greased 9×13 pan (you might need two pans depending on how thick you make them).  Be sure to leave some space around them because they will increase in size when you bake them.

7.  Bake them at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes till they are a nice golden brown.

8.  Let them cool before adding the frosting.

To make the frosting, I use an electric beater.  I add the butter, powdered sugar and vanilla and pour in a little bit of milk.

*If you want Peppermint Cinnamon Rolls add 2 drops of Peppermint Oil and mix in the frosting.  Just a little bit so it is not too overpowering.  Some peppermint oil is stronger than others so a taste test might be a good idea.  Sprinkle candy canes after the icing is on the rolls if desired.

Then while mixing, I pour just a little bit of milk until the frosting reaches my desired consistency.  Then spread generously over your cooled cinnamon rolls.

cinnamon-rolls-8_edited-1.jpg    cinnamon-rolls

The entire family looks forward to eating them on Christmas Morning.  What is your favorite Christmas Morning Breakfast?


Candy Cane Popcorn & a Giveaway

One of our favorite family traditions each year around Christmas time is to sit down together and watch one of our favorite Christmas Movies.  Because Christmas time is special, its fun to add a little extra pizzazz to our popcorn.  This year I decided to make some White Chocolate Candy Cane Popcorn and throw in these fun, festive-colored Sixlets from SweetWorks.


I just love Sixlets…don’t you?  Sixlets always remind me of growing up.  My 4 siblings and I used to walk (almost 2 miles one way) down to the Old Fashioned Drug Store on the occasional Saturday and buy candy (for a penny or 5 cents—Did I just date myself?).  My sisters and I would always buy a little sleeve of Sixlets.


I was recently contacted by Sweet Works about doing a giveaway and was excited to see one of my favorite childhood candies in all sorts of fun colors.  And you know how much little things like this make me happy!  And, colorful chocolate candy additions make this Candy Cane Peppermint Popcorn that much more perfect!


Want the recipe for your family?

Candy Cane Popcorn

12 oz. of white chocolate, melted (I prefer the chocolate blocks but chocolate chips or white candy melts will work too)

1/4 cup of un-popped popcorn (measure it un-popped and then pop it)

1/2 cup of crushed candy canes

2-3 drops peppermint oil

1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

dash of salt (optional)

Red and White Sixlets (or candy of your choice)



1. Pop your popcorn and make sure to remove all the un-popped popcorn kernels.  Place in a large mixing bowl with ample room to mix. 

2. Melt white chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave.  White chocolate melts better and more smoothly for me when I do it in a double boiler.  (Or in a pan over a pan of water on the stove…you can google it if needed).

3. Add crushed candy canes and peppermint oil to melted white chocolate and stir quickly.  Pour over popcorn and mix it so that all the popcorn is covered.  It is helpful to have another set of hands for this part if possible. 

4. Spread out in a jelly roll pan and then while still sticky,  the candy over the top of the popcorn.  Add a dash of salt over the popcorn.

5. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave and drizzle over the popcorn.  Set aside and let the chocolate harden.

6. Break up into bite size pieces and serve up in a bowl or a gift bag.


Want to win your own set of candy from SweetWorks?  SweetWorks is giving one Idea Room reader the following:

  • 14oz. bag of Celebration by SweetWorks Christmas Mix Sixlets
  • 8oz. bag of Celebration by SweetWorks Christmas Mix Gumballs
  • 5oz jar of Celebration by SweetWorks Red/White Shimmer Pearls
  • 5oz jar of Celebration by SweetWorks Christmas Mix Pearls
  • Sixlets Christmas Cane
  • Niagara Chocolate Santa
  • Niagara Chocolate Rocking Horse
  • Ovation Dark Mint Filled Break-A-Part
  • 3.5oz box of Mint Ovation Sticks
  • Milk Chocolate Orange Balls


If you would like to be entered for a chance to win this gift package, please follow the directions in the Rafflecopter Box below.

*If you are on a mobile device, you may need to enter on a computer for the widget to work properly.  Depending on your internet speed or the busy-ness of the widget, you may need to wait a few seconds for it to load properly.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



This is going to be a quick one so be sure to enter ASAP.  The winner will be contacted and have only 24 hours to respond before a new winner will be chosen!!  Giveaway will end on December 16th at Midnight (MST).


Want to make this Candy Cane Peppermint Popcorn and give it away this year?  Here is a FREE Printable Gift Tag for you to download if you would like.

{Candy Cane Peppermint Popcorn}

*If you are not a fan of The Idea Room on Facebook, you will need to click like first and become a fan. After you become a fan you will need to click on “Get your free gift” in the upper right hand corner of the Idea Room FB page and then click on “Previous Downloads”.



*Fine Print: Giveaway ends at 11:59pm (MST) on December 16, 2013 . One winner will receive the candy items specified above.  Must be 18 years of age or older and a resident of the U.S.A. to enter. This giveaway is in no way affiliated with Facebook or Pinterest. Facebook and Pinterest will be completely released by each entrant. One entry per person. Entry includes filling out the Rafflecopter form above. Winner will be chosen using and will be notified via email within a few hours of the giveaway closing time. Winners will be announced on the post, not on Facebook. The winners must respond within 24 hours of receiving the email or a new winner will be chosen. No purchase necessary. **This is a sponsored post on behalf of Sweet Works.  However, all statements and opinions are mine and mine alone.

Peppermint Bark Brownies

I LOVE brownies…and I LOVE me some Peppermint…so…it makes total sense to me to combine the two with these delicious…

Peppermint Bark Brownies!

Peppermint-Bark-Brownies 3

If you love peppermint and brownies like I do…you may want to check out some of these past Idea Room Recipes:

Peppermint Candy Cane Donuts

Candy Cane Pancakes

Candy Cane Swirl Bundt Cake

Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

Peppermint Chocolate Cookies

Mississippi Mud Brownies

Oreo Brownies

Peppermint Cake

Peppermint-Bark-Brownies 4

These are unbelievably easy to make.  You don’t need any fancy recipe and you can even throw them together with a boxed brownie mix….which comes in handy when you are busy due to the holiday rush.

Peppermint-Bark-Brownies 1

Peppermint Bark Brownies

Peppermint Bark Brownies


  • 1/3 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
  • ½ cup plus 2 Tablespoons boiling water
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup plus 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2½ cups sugar
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • Peppermint Bark Topping
  • 1 cup of white chocolate chips
  • 2-3 crushed Peppermint candy canes


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with foil (let it hang over top of pan) and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Whisk cocoa and boiling water together in large bowl until smooth. Add unsweetened chocolate and whisk until chocolate is melted. Whisk in melted butter and oil. (Mixture may look curdled.) Add eggs, yolks, and vanilla and continue to whisk until smooth and fully incorporated. Whisk in sugar until fully incorporated. Add flour and salt and mix with rubber spatula until combined. Fold in bittersweet chocolate pieces.
  3. Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake until toothpick inserted halfway between edge and center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack and let cool for 20-30 minutes.
  4. Melt chocolate chips in the microwave in 20 second intervals, stirring between each. Stir till smooth and spread on the top of the lukewarm brownies. Sprinkle the still warm chocolate with the crushed peppermint candy canes. Let cool till the chocolate has hardened into a nice Peppermint Bark.
  5. Using foil overhang, lift brownies from pan. Cut into 2-inch squares and serve. Brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Peppermint-Bark-Brownies 2Serve with LOTS of ice cold milk and a stripe-y straw…cause really…it tastes so much better when it is served up cute!  You can even serve it up in a Christmas-y milk bottle.  Don’t you just love this tiny little milk bottle wreath?  So cute right?

Peppermint-Bark-Brownies 5I am obsessed with wreaths right now!  I made this by stealing a small stalk right off of the back of my box wood wreath that is in my family room.  Then I simply shaped it into a round wreath and wrapped a small piece of wire around it to hold it into a wreath shape.

Peppermint-Bark-Brownies 6I am thinking of taking everything now and “putting a wreath on it”!  haha!  I for sure want to add some wreaths to the tops of my gifts now!

Peppermint-Bark-Brownies 7So go ahead and make these for your next holiday party.  For one…everyone loves a good Brownie.  And two…Peppermint!  Who doesn’t love how tasty and festive Peppermint is this time of year!

  Peppermint-Bark-Brownies 9And when you run out of milk…and still have some Peppermint Bark Brownies left…you can always get a refill!

Peppermint-Bark-Brownies 12_edited-1  Peppermint and Chocolate…are you a fan?

Myrrh Bath Salts Recipe–Christmas Gift

Looking for a great Christmas gift?  Make these Myrrh Bath Salts!



Myrrh Bath Salts Recipe

1/2 cup Rock Salt or Epsom Salts (or a mixture of both)

1/2 cup of Kosher Salt

drizzle of Olive Oil

5 drops of Myrrh DoTerra Essential Oil

*optional—3 drops of Lavender DoTerra Essential Oil (highly recommended because it smells amazing)

Mix the salts together in a bowl and then slowly drizzle a very small amount of Olive Oil on the salt.  This will be great for your skin in the bath.  Add your essential oils and mix together again.  Last up to 3 months in an air tight container.  Use 1/8 to 1/4 cup in a warm water for soothing, detoxifying and relaxing bath.  Makes about 1 cup.


I bought my Myrrh and Frankincense Essential Oils here:  Frankincense and Myrrh DoTerra Essential Oils

For the directions of how to obtain the printable labels and how to make the crate and gift set you can go here:

{Gifts of Christmas Gift Set}

For the Frankincense Sugar Scrub Recipe go here:

{Frankincense Sugar Scrub Recipe}

Frankincense Sugar Scrub

As promised, here is the Frankincense Sugar Scrub Recipe.  Thank you so much for remembering to send others to my site for the recipe!


Frankincense Sugar Scrub Recipe 

3/4 cup Raw Sugar

1/4 Granulated White Sugar

up to 1/4 Olive Oil or Coconut Oil (I like them less oily and used about 1/8 cup)

      *I purposely chose to use Olive Oil in keeping authentic with the Christmas Story in the Middle East.

5 drops of Frankincense DoTerra Essential Oil

*optional—2 drops of Wild Orange DoTerra Essential Oil

Mix the sugars together in a bowl and then slowly add Olive Oil while mixing.  Add enough oil to get a good consistency…but not too oily.  Add your essential oil(s) drops and mix together again.  Scrub should last up to 3 months in an air tight container.  Use the scrub on skin as to exfoliate for smooth, soft skin.  Makes about 1 cup.


I bought my Myrrh and Frankincense Essential Oils here:  Frankincense and Myrrh DoTerra Essential Oils

For the directions for how to obtain the printable labels and how to make the crate and gift set you can go here:

{Gifts of Christmas Gift Set}

For the Myrrh Bath Salts Recipe go here:

{Myrrh Bath Salts Recipe}

Candy Cane Pancakes | Family Blog Hop

Today, I am joining a few friends for a gratitude blog hop because we thought it might be fun to share a little bit more about our families who are always behind the scenes at our house but not always seen here on our sites.


Today I will be sharing some yummy Candy Cane Pancakes, perfect for a festive Christmas Eve or Christmas Morning breakfast. We love to make something fun and memorable to enjoy eating together as a family.  Thanksgiving and Christmas are two of our favorite family holidays.  And if there is one thing we are grateful for and enjoy as a family…it is eating together.


After I share our recipe, I would love for you to see what the others have created and shared. There are recipes, printables and family traditions included in this blog hop.

Candy Cane Pancakes Recipe:

Candy Cane Pancakes

Candy Cane Pancakes


  • 2 cups all purpos flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • __________
  • 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies or 2-3 drops of peppermint oil
  • 2-3 drops red food coloring (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)


  1. Mix together sugar, baking powder, eggs, salt, milk and butter.
  2. Split batter in half and place into two separate bowls.
  3. Add the chocolate chips to one bowl of batter.
  4. Add the peppermint (crushed or oil or both) and the red food coloring if desired.
  5. Make up each bowl of pancake batter separately so you have peppermint pancakes and the white chocolate chip pancakes.
  6. Cook on greased griddle at about 350 degrees.
  7. Flip over when bubbles show up on the surface of the pancake.
  8. Cook on the other side for another couple of minutes.
  9. Serve with your favorite syrup and a dollop of whipped cream and crushed peppermint.



Hop on over to these fun projects based around the Gratitude theme:

A big, huge thank you to our families for their support and love. They are our guinea pigs, models, help us when we have last minute deadlines, love us even when we wear yoga pants for two days in a row and stick with us through the good, the bad and the ugly.

We are so grateful for you. Look at all these pretty faces! So much love (and kids) in this collage: Gratitude Blog Hop with several bloggers

Kari from U Create // Jodie from Eighteen25 // Cindy from Skip to My Lou // Amy from Positively Splendid Kelli from Lolly Jane // Mique from Thirty Handmade Days // Leigh Anne from Your Homebased Mom // Steph from Somewhat Simple Melissa from Polka Dot Chair // Kristen from Capturing Joy // Becky from Organizing Made Fun // Amy from the Idea Room Kristyn from Lil Luna // Desiree from the 36th Avenue
We thought you might have fun getting to know a little bit more about our families too. So we asked them some questions.
Here’s what they had to say.
For the kids:

What are your favorite holiday traditions as a family?

Building Gingerbread Houses with cousins, Sunday night walks and games, one-on-one date nights with Mom & Dad,

What is your favorite recipe or project that your mom has made?

J (15): My room.

C (13): Slime

L (11): My Bed

H (9): The Treats!

T (6): Play dough

Do you have any family favorite- games, movies, activities, hobbies?

We like boating, camping, water-skiing, and snow skiing together. Going of family trips and playing soccer in the back yard. We like to play Wackee Six and Rummikub together and watch movies. We also like to go hiking.

Are you tired of taking pictures for Mom’s blog?

YES!! We (the boys) will not let her take any pictures of us. We always have to wait to eat something and ask mom if she took a picture of it yet. She makes yummy treats, but we can’t eat them until she doesn’t need them or she gives them away. The youngest is the only one who wants to get her picture taken now. She ALWAYS has to go and get her camera before we do ANYTHING!!!


Mr. Idea Room:

What do you do for a living?

I work an exciting day filled with counting…lots and lots of counting. I work in finance and accounting…enough said.

How did you two meet?

Well, which version do you want…mine or hers? She would insist hers was the correct version. We do agree on the fact that we DID meet in college where we were both living. Our apartments were directly across from one another. The rest of the storyline gets a bit sketchy as far as details go. Something about me being shirtless on an apartment balcony…I have no recollection of this. I do know that she someone that I was interested in getting to know better.

And what do you love most about your wife?

Amy is very devoted to her family, our little family and her extended family. Amy has a really funny sense of humor. She can surprise you with her funny one liners when you least expect it. I really value her opinion and feel like she is a great friend. I love how motivated she is to get things done…well…most of the time!

How much time do you think your wife spends on her blog per week?

Probably more than I realize or that she let’s me know. 25-30 hours a week?

What is your favorite project/recipe she’s made?

There are a lot that I have really enjoyed. The treats are always a nice bonus. But I think my absolute favorite project that Amy has made is the Tufted Headboard she made for our daughter.

What’s her favorite thing about blogging?

Interacting with other women and mothers who have similar interests. The challenge of creating projects for our family and home. And the real-life friendships she has made with other bloggers.

And least favorite thing about blogging?

Getting mean comments or emails from people.


I am so grateful for each and everyone in my family. I am grateful to be married to my best friend. We have been through some really good times and have had our fair share of struggles. Life can be hard at times, but I am grateful I get to share my life with my him.

He works so hard for our family and yet comes home and manages to be able to know right where the slack needs to be picked up. Whether it involves helping out with dinner or with a child who needs some extra attention. I also love that he is {usually} pretty excited about another project I have been scheming up in my head ;), and so willing to join in and working on it together.

I hope we will all take a little bit of time to reflect on the many blessings that we have to be thankful for.


Red Velvet Swirl Pancakes

Do you serve a special breakfast for Christmas morning? Or do you fill up on your stocking stuffers and candy canes? Honestly, we tend do do a little bit of both.  I usually try to get around to making a late breakfast for my family.  Something that is a “little” bit healthier than Christmas Candy.  This year I think I am going to be making these Red Velvet Pancakes with a “candy cane” swirl.


I decided to glam up the traditional Red Velvet Pancakes and add a festive Holiday swirl.  I know Red Velvet is not for everyone…but these tasted pretty amazing.  My kids LOVED them.  And I love how pretty they are!


And here is the thing, I love eating a hot breakfast in the morning…but don’t always love getting up extra early in the morning to make it.  So I have a little trick that works pretty well for us.  I will make up a big batch of pancakes and then pop them into the freezer.


I put them into a Freezer Ziploc Baggie and separate each pancake with a small square of parchment or wax paper.  Then in the morning we pull them out and pop them into the toaster.  Bingo!  A quick…no mess…hot breakfast for the kids.  They also make great on the go snacks to.

Red Velvet Swirl Pancakes-17

I whipped up a quick and easy Vanilla Cream Cheese Syrup that was the perfect touch of sweetness to the Red Velvet Pancakes.  Or…top it with some whipped cream and some frozen raspberries!  Yum!

Red Velvet Swirl Pancakes-22

Here is the recipe:

Red Velvet Swirl Pancakes

Red Velvet Swirl Pancakes


  • 2 cups Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 ½ cups Buttermilk
  • 4 Tablespoon Butter, melted
  • red food coloring
  • Vanilla Cream Cheese Syrup
  • 3 Tablespoon Cream Cheese, softened
  • 3 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
  • ¼ to ½ cup milk


  1. Sift together dry ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Add eggs, Buttermilk, and butter.
  3. Stir together, but don't over-mix. There will be a few lumps in your batter.
  4. Pull out about 1/2 cup of the batter and set aside in a squeeze bottle. This will be your white swirl batter.
  5. Add food coloring to the rest of the pancake batter.
  6. Let sit for about 10 minutes so the batter can rise a bit.
  7. Pour batter onto griddle and then take your white batter and squeeze a thin swirl onto the top of your pancake.
  8. Cook on medium to medium high heat until bubbles form on the top of your pancake.
  9. Flip and cook on the other side.
  10. To prevent your pancakes from browning and hiding your white swirl, the key is to cooking them slower over a lower heat.
  11. Mix together your syrup and add just enough milk to get the desired consistency for your syrup by adding a couple of Tablespoons of milk at a time.


Grandma’s Fudge Recipe and {Kitchen Aid Giveaway}

I love the holidays for many reasons.  But I think the most compelling reason is the time we are able to spend with my family and friends making memories.  On a typical holiday, my family tends to gather together in the kitchen sharing our favorite memories and enjoying our favorite family recipes.

Mom 3

Christmas would not be the same without my Grandma’s Famous Fudge recipe.  My mom makes it every year and pulls it out for us to share on Christmas Eve.  It reminds me of my Grandmother and my childhood Christmases.  Do you have memories and recipes that have been in your family for generations?


Want to know how to make Grandma’s Fudge? You won’t regret it…but your hips may! {Isn’t my Grandma, holding my mother, the cutest?} Here is the recipe:

Grandma’s Fudge Recipe and {Kitchen Aid Giveaway}

Grandma’s Fudge Recipe and {Kitchen Aid Giveaway}


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 (12 oz.) can unsweetened evaporated milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 (7 oz.) bottles Marshmallow Creme
  • 2 1/2 (4.4 oz.) Hershey Bars (without nuts)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan.
  2. Stir in sugar, evaporated milk and salt.
  3. Boil on med. high heat for 5 minutes while stirring constantly.
  4. After 5 minutes, remove pan from heat..
  5. Immediately stir in the rest of the ingredients.
  6. Continue stirring until the fudge becomes really hard to stir and is beginning to set.
  7. This may take several minutes.
  8. Spread into greased 9x13 inch pan.
  9. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.
  10. Store in an air tight container.

Today, I am teaming up with Just Ask! and Today’s Momma and we are giving away:

1 Kitchen Aid 5-qt. Artisan Series Tilt-Head Stand Mixer

In addition, Just Ask! is getting the word out about Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer.  They are encouraging us women to just ask our family members about their health history as we are gathered together this year during the holidays.  This is actually something that hits close to home for me as I have a paternal grandmother and paternal aunt who are both Ovarian Cancer Survivors.  Just knowing this information gives me motivation to keep up on my annual health checks.  You can take this quick and simple quiz to see if you have an elevated hereditary risk for Breast and Ovarian Cancer.

There are several ways to enter and earn more entries for increasing your chances of winning this Kitchen Aid Mixer…

*You must enter the contest by completing the steps on The Idea Room Facebook Tab (liking our Facebook page, signing up with your email, sharing the giveaway on your Facebook page, liking Just Ask, and taking the quiz.)

**Giveaway ends 12/13/2012 at 11:59 MST. The winner will be chosen via and will be notified via email on 12/14/2012. The winner must respond by 12/15/2012  so the mixer can be shipped out before Christmas.

You might also want to check out Today’sMama for 10 more chances to win a KitchenAid (part of the blog tour) and to enter to win the Grand Prize!

The Grand Prize (enter over at Today’sMama):


1 KitchenAid 5-Qt Artisan Series Tilt-Head Stand mixer

4-pack of Kindle devices for the family – 2 Kindle Fire HD + 2 Kindle Paperwhites

$100 Amazon GIft Card

$50 Gift Card from Skip To My Lou’s “Sweet” Shop

17-piece KitchenAid Tool & Gadget Set

12-piece Wusthof Gourmet Knift Set with block

4 personalized aprons for family-time in the kitchen

Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post on behalf of Just Ask! and Today’s Momma.  However all statements and opinions are my own.  You must be 18 years of age to enter.  Giveaway ends December 13, 2012 at 11:59 MST. The winner will be chosen via and will be notified via email on December 14, 2012. The winner must respond by December 15, 2012 so the mixer can be shipped out before Christmas.

Peppermint Candy Cane Donuts

Today I am excited to share with you a fun collection of some amazing Holiday Treats.  I joined in with a group of bloggers who are all sharing a Holiday treat on their sites today and we all joined them in one big Linky Party of Holiday Goodness.

Peppermint Donuts-07a

My contribution are these YUMMY Peppermint Candy Cane Donuts!  I LOVE Chocolate…and I love Peppermint!  Have I told you that before? ;)


These are pretty darn tasty!  But what if you aren’t a huge chocolate fan?  What?  I know…how could there be someone who doesn’t like chocolate.  I do actually know a few of you!


Don’t worry…I’ve got you covered too.  Vanilla Peppermint Candy Cane Striped Donuts!


And well, you can always have one of each if you are having a hard time deciding.  They ARE mini-donuts after all!


Perhaps the best part about these are how SIMPLE they are to make.  All you need to do is make up your favorite chocolate or vanilla cake batter.  Or…just whip up a store bought cake mix.   candy-cane-desserts

Throw a couple of drops of peppermint essential oil or extract into the batter and then bake them in a mini donut maker.  I found mine at Target and I absolutely LOVE it.  I even threw in some crushed candy canes in some of the precooked donuts.


To make the frosting simply take 2 cups of Confectioner’s Sugar (powdered sugar) and mix in 2-3 Tablespoons of milk till you get the desired consistency.  Sprinkle crushed candy canes over the newly frosted donuts.  Serve with friends, a TALL glass of milk and a stripey straw!

Peppermint Donuts-22

Going to a party or a Cookie Exchange?  These donuts would be perfect…or check out these other amazing treats.  Simply click on the link to see the other fun treats linked up here.



Cinnamon Chocolate Bread

‘Tis the season…the season for amazing and decadent baked goods.  I always LOVE baking this time of year and am always on the search for something good…and I think I am on to something. Have you ever tried Chocolate Cinnamon Bread? I love the Cinnamon Chocolate combination. Wow!  So delicious!



I found this Starbucks recipe while searching online for Chocolate Cinnamon Bread.  I have never been in a Starbucks store or had one of their drinks {gasp…except one time when my friend Beckie and I sat in the car while her husband ran in to get him a drink}.  But the recipe sounded so good and so I was compelled to make it.


And it was so good…dense and full of chocolately-cinnamony goodness.  This recipe was a big hit with the entire family.  And although it is referred to as a bread, it had a cakey feel and taste to it…who wouldn’t want to eat that?


I would definitely make this for company or bring it to a party, or keep it all for myself and eat if for breakfast.  I added a three of drops of Cinnamon Essential Oil in addition to the rest of the ingredients for a little extra kick of cinnamon.


Chocolate Cinnamon Bread

Chocolate Cinnamon Bread


  • Chocolate Batter –
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 ¼ cup dutch processed cocoa
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Cocoa Spice Topping –
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp dutch processed cocoa
  • Pinch of ground ginger
  • Pinch of ground cloves


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
  2. Line two 9 x 5 x 3 loaf pans with parchment paper.
  3. Mix the butter and sugar together in an electric mixer until light and creamy. Then add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until each is fully incorporated.
  4. Sift together flour, cocoa, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and baking soda. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, water and vanilla. With your mixer on a low speed, begin adding the contents of each bowl to the butter mixture, alternating between the two until your mixture is fully blended, but not overly whipped.
  5. Split your batter between the two pans. If your batter is slightly uneven, you can lightly shake the pan to even out the tops.
  6. Make your Cocoa Spice topping by combining the sugar, cinnamon, cocoa, ginger and cloves. Sprinkle over the tops of the loaves.
  7. Bake for 45-50 minutes.

I ended up having to bake it for a total of 55 minutes for it to be fully baked all the way through after testing with a toothpick inserted into the middle of the bread.  I threw a piece of tinfoil over the top of the bread and baked it for that extra 10 minutes so the inside would cook without burning the top of the bread.


I love how the top is a crispy layer with that additional crumb topping…

Yep…this one is going to be a keeper.  What about you?  Have you ever had this Chocolate Cinnamon Bread?  Are you a fan?  Will you be giving this recipe a try this holiday season?




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