Friday, June 30, 2017

Cinnamon Roll Heaven

I have been on a quest for great cinnamon rolls for years now. My mother in law makes the best rolls: orange rolls, cinnamon rolls, and dinner rolls. She makes them for Christmas gifts. They are a very worthy gift! 
I have never been able to get them just right. This recipe helped me achieve THE BEST cinnamon roll.

The recipe is originally from the Oregonian by Nicki Cross. I found the recipe in my 150 Best American Recipes cookbook that I have been using since 2006. I have loved everything I have made from this book. I have made changes to the original recipe.

1 cup warm water (105- 115 degrees)
2 Tb active dry yeast
1 tea honey
1/4 tea ground cardamon
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup milk, heated to 110 degrees
10 1/2 Tb butter, room temp
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tea salt
7-8 cups all purpose flour (sticky dough)
8 Tb butter, melted and cooled
1 1/4 cup sugar
3 Tb cinnamon (I like Penzey's)
1/4 tea cardamon
2/3 cup melted butter for pans
1/4 cup sugar for pans

To make dough, combine first 8 ingredients with 3 1/2 cups flour. Mix until smooth.  Add salt with the 4th cup flour. Stir in enough flour to make a slightly stiff but stick to your finger tips kind of dough. I let my Bosch knead the dough for 5-10 minutes.
Place in greased bowl and rise until doubled 1 1/4 hours.
Make filling while raising-mix 1 1/4 cup sugar, cardamon and cinnamon together.
Punch down and rest 5 minutes.
Roll out to 15X20 rectangle.
Spread 1 cube of butter (8 Tb) on the dough. Sprinkle with sugar mixture. Roll jelly roll style and pinch edges shut. Cut into 16 slices.
Use 2 13X9 pans. Pour 1/3 cup melted butter in each pan and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Place cinnamon rolls in pans-8 slices per pan. Cover and let raise 45 minutes or until doubled.
Bake 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until 190 degrees in the center. Cool before frosting.

I like my rolls without frosting. I think they are great as is..but my family loves the extra sugar. The recipe I love the best is from a friend, Amber. It is divine.

Frosting Recipe
1 stick margarine (no butter)
4 Tb cream cheese (room temp)
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tea lemon juice
1/2 tea vanilla

Beat butter, cream cheese, and sugar for 12 minutes. Add remaining ingredients. Yes, margarine and yes, 12 whole minutes! It is worthy it. So yummy.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Cheesy Mexican Pasta via The Weeknight Dinner Cookbook

I picked up a new cookbook at the library this weekend. When looking through cookbooks I sometimes find one or two recipes that I really want to try. I flipped through this one and almost every recipe was something I wanted to try! Easy and doable looking the title promotes Simple Family Friendly Recipes.

So I have made 2 of the recipes having the ingredients on hand. Everyone loved them. This one is a pasta dish that was easy and quick to whip up. This cookbook may be a birthday present to myself this year!

Cheesy Mexican Pasta

Ingredients (with my changes):
12 oz bite size pasta-cooked
1 lb ground beef- cooked then seasoned with spices
1TB chili powder
1 1/2 tea ground cumin
3/4 tea salt
3/4 tea pepper
1/2 tea paprika
1/4 tea oregano
1/4 tea garlic powder
1/4 tea onion powder
1/2 tea cornstarch

2 cups chopped zucchini
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes-not drained
1-2 cups fresh or frozen thawed, squeezed spinach

1 cup shredded cheese mix (colby jack)

Top with:
sour cream
green onions

While noodles cook. Brown meat. When almost done add all spices including corn starch. Add veggies (not spinach) and tomatoes and cook 6 minute with lid on. Stir and add frozen spinach,  replace lid to cook 6 more minutes until veggies are done to your liking. Add drained cooked noodles to pot. Sprinkle cheese on top and replace lid to melt cheese. Serve with toppings.