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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Hazelnut Cinnamon Rolls

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

I love cinnamon rolls, and hazelnuts and icing... but mostly, I love that this recipe starts with a loaf of frozen dough!! I love short cuts and things that make my life easier... in general. I'm submitting this to IHCC for Potluck week.


Ingredients

3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 (1-pound) loaf purchased frozen white bread dough, thawed 
3/4 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
1 tablespoon buttermilk

Directions
Brush 1 tablespoon of melted butter over the bottom and sides of an 8 by 8 by 2-inch baking dish. Mix the nuts, brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, and cloves in a small bowl. Roll out the thawed dough on a lightly floured surface to a 12 by 9-inch rectangle. Brush 1 tablespoon of butter over the dough. Sprinkle the nut mixture over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border along the top and bottom sides. Starting at 1 long side, roll up the dough jelly-roll style, forming a log. Pinch the seam to seal. Cut the log into 9 equal pieces. Arrange the rolls, cut side down, in the prepared baking dish, spacing evenly. Cover the dish with plastic wrap. Let the rolls rise in a warm draft-free area until puffed, about 45 minutes.

Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F.

Bake the cinnamon rolls uncovered until the tops are golden brown, about 25 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk the powdered sugar, mascarpone cheese, and buttermilk in a medium bowl until smooth and creamy.

Brush the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter over the baked cinnamon rolls and then drizzle the cheese mixture over top. Serve warm.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Graham Cracker Chocolate Chip Snacking Cake

with Marshmallow Frosting!!!
Recipe adapted from Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman

This was January's cake at the Cake Slice Bakers. My favorite part... the frosting!! I read another baker's review before I had a chance to bake mine and adjusted the ingredients to make it more marshmallowy :o). The frosting was oh so good... can I have s'more please!! (giggle) The cake itself was almost salty, If I were to make it again, I would probably decrease the salt and increase the sugar a little. Even the over sweetness of the frosting didn't balance it out. Did I mention that I wanted more frosting?

Ingredients
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 Tbsp butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Frosting
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup marshmallow fluff

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan and dust it with flour.
Combine the graham cracker crumbs, flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium mixing bowl.

Combine the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and cream with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs and vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then beat until smooth. With the mixer on low speed, add 1/3 of the flour mixture, then 1/2 of the milk, stirring until combined. Repeat with the remaining flour and milk, ending with the flour. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Invert it onto a wire rack, and then turn it right side up on a rack to cool completely.

Make the frosting: Place the butter in a medium mixing bowl and beat until creamy. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the sugar, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Stir in the vanilla and the Marshmallow Fluff and beat until smooth.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Spinach Salad in a Parmesan Frico Cup

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

Resolutions... My resolution is always to lose weight... Always! I find it very difficult because I am a self diagnosed Chocoholic with a huge sweet tooth and no self control! True diagnosis, I swear!! My favorite place is my kitchen, and I find cooking to be very calming, so while I can't resolve to stay out of the kichen I can chose healthier recipes to prepair... At least in January ;o)  The theme at IHCC this week is Resolutions so I decided to find a healthy recipe to make and I saw Giada make the parmesan crisps on a show once and it kind of stuck in my mind, so when I saw this recipe I knew I had to try it. Perfect!
Pretty, don'tcha think!!

Ingredients:

For the Parmesan Frico Cups:
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan

For the Citrus Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon orange juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the Spinach Salad:
6 ounces baby spinach leaves (about 6 cups)
1 orange, cut into segments
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

Special equipment: a silpat mat, a muffin tin, and a small drinking glass

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375 Degrees F.

Place a silpat mat on a baking sheet. Place 6 (1/4-cup mounds of Parmesan cheese on the mat and gently tap down until each mound is flat and 4 1/2-to-5 inches in diameter. Bake for 8-to-10 minutes, until golden and bubbly. Working quickly, use a thin spatula to transfer the Parmesan Frico to a muffin tin. Gently place a small drinking glass on top of the Parmesan Frico to mold it into the shape of the muffin cups. Let cool until firm, about 5 minutes. Continue with the remaining Parmesan cheese,

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Tropical Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce

I know it's the middle of winter but we had some leftover Hawiian Rolls and you know I'm all about the desserts. So this idea just came to mind... I've never made a bread pudding before but it sounded good.
My Husband asked me why I was making this because I don't like bread pudding. You see the problem is that I dont like wet bread. The thought of it makes me gag... so I am not sure why this sounded so good. I will say I was disapointed when I first tried it out of the oven, it was very much like I expected. Very Wet Bread. But, the next day, it was so magnificently wonderful! More like a very moist cake full of flavors of coconut and pineapple. Wonderfully delicious, and made even better topped with a Rum Sauce. SO GOOD! Wish I had some more right now! 
Ingredients:
10 - 12 Hawaiian Rolls
1 cup milk
1 cup cream of coconut
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 8oz can pineapple
1 cup sweetened coconut

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Break bread into small pieces into an 9 inch square baking pan. Sprinkle with coconut.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, cream of coconut, sugar, pineapple, and vanilla. Beat until well mixed. Pour over bread, and lightly push down with a fork until bread is covered and soaking up the egg mixture. Let sit for 10 minutes.
Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly tapped. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

My Favorite Pasta

Where do I begin??? My oh my…

This was so good! Rich and creamy full of flavors but nothing overpowering. Every flavor worked together beautifully, and the colors on the finished plate were magnificent!! I found the recipe over at Get Off Your Butt and Bake, one of my new favorite blogs!

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups of Cooked diced or shredded Chicken breast
1 cup of diced fried ham
1 cup of crumbled cooked bacon (for the top)
1 diced Roma Tomato ( for the top or can mix in)
5 to 6 stalks of cooked Tender Asparagus for the top
1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese and additional for the top
Pasta: Whatever your family likes.

SAUCE:
1 cup milk
1 cup chicken Broth
1 cup Whipping Cream
1 cup grated Cheddar Cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons flour
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
a few sprinkles of Red pepper flakes (opt)
1 Teaspoon white sugar
1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper

Directions:
Fry bacon until crispy, place on Paper towels and set aside. Fry ham in a small amount of the bacon grease. Sprinkle a tablespoon of Brown Sugar on top of the ham, and toss until the ham is golden and the Brown sugar has caramelized. Chop or shred the Chicken Breasts, chop tomato, and chop tender cooked Asparagus.

Over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add 2 tablespoons flour, seasonings, sugar and whisk together with the butter until bubbly. Continue whisking, and slowly add the milk, cream and the chicken broth. Whisk Constantly, so that you don’t get any lumps. You want your sauce to be nice and smooth. Keep whisking until the sauce has thickened. Turn heat to low, and add the grated cheddar and Parmesan cheese. Once melted and mixed thorougly, turn your heat to the lowest temperature and cover. Prepare your pasta until al dente. Drain well.

Plate the pasta, and serve the sauce over the top. Crumble your bacon on top of the sauce, and also top with Asparagus, tomatoes and more grated Parmesan Cheese.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Black Bean and Sweet Corn Quinoa Salad

Quinoa - Superfood! As well as an excellent choice for those new years resolutions of healthy eating. I found it over at Mel's Kitchen Cafe. (I love every recipe I've tried from her blog) 
I was so happy to have tried this recipe and have made it now several times. I love the texture of the quinoa and black beans, and the hint of heat from the cayenne is the perfect touch.

Ingredients: 
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup frozen sweet white corn
2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

Directions:
In a medium pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When shimmering and hot, add the onions and saute for 4-5 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic and stir for a minute or two until the garlic is fragrant, being careful not to burn the garlic.

Add the quinoa and cover with broth. Stir in cumin, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes (or until all the liquid is absorbed).

Stir in the frozen corn and black beans. Cover and let the pot sit off the heat until the corn and beans are heated through, about 5-6 minutes. Stir in the cilantro. Serve warm or chilled – it is delicious both ways!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Fried Cabbage

Happy New Year Y'all! It's a tradition to eat black eyed peas and cabbage on new years... for luck and prosperity.

 I did a little research this morning and this is what I found.

For New Years, pork represents health and wealth, and continued prosperity. Some say also that a pig also represents progress - since pigs pretty much can't just look backward without completely turning around, so a pig represents forward progress.

The tradition of black-eyed peas for southerners is believed to have originated back during Civil War times when Sherman's soldiers raided southern homes, taking virtually all of the food and burning the crops, but mostly ignoring the fields of black-eyed peas, because they thought them to be food for the livestock and of no value otherwise. As one of the few food sources left to sustain the people and the southern soldiers, those black-eyed peas came to represent good fortune.

The black-eyed peas represent coins, cabbage represents paper money and cornbread represents gold. I did not know that :o)

Don't worry, my recipe contains lots of pork. Oh, and and the meal will be rounded out with a batch of Dixie Cornbread! Yummy!! Now what should I make for dessert?? Maybe a chocolate sheet cake...
because in my mind, chocolate brings happiness!!

Ingredients:
1 head cabbage, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 Tbsp canola oil
6 slices bacon
1/2 cup ham, cubed
1/2 to 1 cup water
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Directions:
In a large skillet with a fitted lid, start by frying the bacon until done, then set it aside. (notice I didn't say drain it... you're gonna want all those drippings back in the pan!) Next, over medium heat, add the oil to the bacon fat, then add onion, garlic and about half of the cabbage. Continue stirring and adding cabbage until you get it all in the pan. Once it's in the pan add the water, cover and cook, stirring occationally, until the cabbage has softened (about 20 min). Remove the lid and add the bacon, ham, vinegar, salt and pepper, and cook until all of the water has evaporated. Add more seasoning if needed, I like a lot of pepper in mine!