Homemade Cinnamon Roll under an hour

With Mother’s Day coming up next week I wanted to give you a breakfast or brunch option that tasted as good as it looked. It also needed to tick off a few of my important boxes; mainly using ingredients that most everyone has on hand; be pretty simple and not take you all morning to make.
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This is only the third homemade cinnamon roll I have ever made. My daughter reminded me that a few years ago while she was living in Japan we made maple bacon cinnamon rolls on Mother’s day. But my go-to; up until now; was my very old, very large white box bread maker. I’m sure some of you can envision the one I am talking about. That was what I used to make the dough for my cinnamon rolls. They always came out excellent but if I wanted to eat them in the morning for breakfast I had to get up around 5am so the machine could work it’s magic; as it took a couple of hours before I could roll out the dough; and then they had to rise for an hour or so. Needless to say I only made them on very special occasions.
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When my daughter came down in the morning and saw the cinnamon rolls fresh out of the oven; which is truly the only way to eat them. Her first comment was ‘they look beautiful’ she proceeded to eat two of them. So they definitely passed the test. This recipe is really very easy that I think if you have little ones around they could definitely help you make them.
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IMG_5111Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients
2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 ¼ teaspoon instant yeast – or 1 packet
½ cup water
¼ cup milk
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Filing
½ stick unsalted butter softened/room temperature
2 tablespoons cinnamon
¼ cup brown sugar

Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoon milk

Pre-heat your oven to 200’ and just before you place the rolls in the oven; turn it off.

I used my stand mixer but you can do this by hand

Making the dough: in a large bowl add the flour, sugar, salt and yeast; mix well. In a microwave safe bowl heat the milk, water and butter till the butter melts 30-40 seconds. Once melted stir into the flour mixture and the egg and knead until the the dough is no longer sticky roughly 3-4 minutes. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl to rest for 5 or 6 minutes.
IMG_5113Mix together the cinnamon and sugar for the filing. Roll out the dough after it is done resting; into a 15″x 9″ rectangle. Spread the softened butter on top and then sprinkle the sugar cinnamon mixture over the butter. Roll the dough on the 15” side tightly and cut into 9 large even pieces. Place them in a 9″x 9″ slightly greased pan. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the; turned off oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes remove the plastic wrap and turn the oven up to 375’F. Bake for 15-20 minutes until they are lightly browned.
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I lined my pan with parchment paper so I could lift the rolls out after baking

Make the glaze while the rolls are in the oven. Mix the powdered sugar, vanilla and use enough milk to make the glaze light enough for you to drizzle over the hot rolls when they come out of the oven.


Best served right out of the oven. They are OK re-heated but they do lose a little of their deliciousness. But I have never had any re-heated cinnamon roll that I truly loved.
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recipe adapted from: the recipe critic

Healthy Yummy Oatmeal Muffins

A couple of weeks ago we were staying with some friends up North. The guys went skiing and us girls stayed back at the house. We got some things done, went shopping and then for a very nice walk. The inspiration for this weeks recipe came from my girlfriend making a healthy muffin as something to grab on the way out the door in the morning when in a rush. I can appreciate that; most mornings are pretty hectic around here.  We have also been eating a lot more healthy oatmeal for breakfast.
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My daughter purchased a really cool rice cooker that we try to put steel cut oats in the night before and set the timer for them to be ready when we wake up. It also keeps them warm until we shut it off; which is cool since my daughter wakes up several hours after us; bonus is they taste great and pretty healthy for us.


Back to the healthy muffin. I looked around online for a recipe that I might want to try. I will admit I wasn’t sure how well they would be perceived. I have tried to “health” up things before and haven’t been too successful; or at least well enough to make them a regular thing.
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The first thought about the recipe I found when I read No Flour No Sugar No Oil – I thought NO WAY!
IMG_5047I was very hesitant since I didn’t have any eggs or milk on hand that the recipe asked for and I didn’t have enough bananas so I also grated an apple and made them anyway. I ended up using egg beaters and some Kefir that I bought that no one liked drinking straight; but in a recipe how terrible could it be.  
IMG_5048They smelled good, looked good and believe it or not my husband LOVED them; seriously he immediately ate 2 of them and has done nothing but praise them since . Luckily my daughter and I both really liked them and I was totally amazed that even with my changes they were a hit so much so I have made 4 batches in total; mostly because I wanted to use up the Kefir before it went bad I plan on packaging them up and putting them in the freezer.
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Ingredients
2 ½ cups old fashioned oats (1 ½ cup ground, 1 cup whole) (keep some aside  and press on top of muffins before baking – optional)
2-3 large overripe bananas – I used banana & grated apple – applesauce would work too
2 large eggs – egg beaters also work
⅓ cup honey
¾ cup milk – I used kefir
2 teaspoon real vanilla
2 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
⅓ cup currants – optional
⅓ cup chopped nuts – optional – I used pecans

Directions
Preheat oven to 325’F. Place oats on a baking sheet and make for 10-15 minutes to brown; stir once. Once cooled; in a food processor place 1 ⅕ cups of oats and blend, you are going for a flour like consistency. Turn oven to 350’F
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Mash the bananas and grate the apple add to the rest of the wet ingredients; eggs, honey, milk and vanilla.
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Add dry ingredients; including all the oats to the wet ingredients and mix till incorporated. Let sit for 10 minutes to allow the oats to soak.  Add fruit and nuts if using

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Approximately 163 calories each

Line 12 cup muffin tin with wrappers; scoop batter into cup filling to the top.

Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Recipe adapted by cookingatclarktowers: Brendid.com

Shirred Eggs

A few weeks ago I ripped out a page from a cooking magazine that looked like something we would eat. I do this ALL the time and have SO many pages that I don’t really know how to deal with them. Or at least I haven’t actually done anything with all of them other than place them in “like” piles such as seafood, sandwiches, salads, side dishes etc. you get the picture. Not the most efficient if you are looking for something in a hurry but until I find some miracle way of organizing them; it’ll have to do.
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I find that when I start looking through these papers, I want to make 4 or 5 different things and then I spend the day or weekend cooking and baking; once you do this someone has to eat it all. I do share my food with whoever is interested and thankfully I have a pretty good reputation of making  yummy food so I tend to have a lot of takers.
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I had planned to go to the store last night for the week’s groceries and never got there. It’s Sunday and I sometimes make a clean the fridge frittata but I only had 3 eggs left; there were 3 peeps for breakfast. I remembered the shirred egg picture/recipe and thought I could try making something similar with what I had on hand thinking it was meant to be.
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I did google what shirr meant so here is a quick wikipedia definition for you. While the 3 of us were eating them I also shared this info with my fam.  They both LOVED them and were both coming up with what they would put in theirs.
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Shirred eggs are eggs that have been baked in a gratin dish with a flat bottom. Traditionally they have been cooked in a dish called a shirrer, from which the dish gets its name, but the name now applies regardless of the type of dish in which they are baked
img_4993img_4995Shirred Eggs

Breakfast sausage, crumbled and browned
½ onion, diced
Roasted tomatoes
Asparagus, sliced
Cheddar cheese, shredded
Parmesan cheese, grated
Scallions, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
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In a small saute pan brown the sausage along with the onion, add the tomatoes and asparagus for 1 to 2 minutes. Spray your small dishes with nonstick cooking spray. Fill with sausage mixture, cover with cheddar cheese, crack an egg in each dish. Sprinkle with parmesan and scallions. Salt and pepper then bake at 375’F for 12 minutes or until the whites are set.  They look adorable and special plus super easy.

Must try Granola

I have NO idea why it has taken me SOOOOOO long to make a batch of granola. Seriously; we all love it; we or more like; I buy it; Over the years I’ve bought all different kinds/brands. I have even gone so far as to write down the ingredients listed on a local company’s bag of my favorite granola. I am only slightly embarrassed to say that that was YEARS ago; literally at least over 10 years ago.
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So I would like to thank you all for getting me off my butt and finally pulling the trigger on not only buying the ingredients; which has been in my pantry for a couple of weeks now. Today is the day I make it happen. If I didn’t write a weekly food blog I probably would still be holding onto a piece of paper that says rolled oats on top of it. I am always looking for something yummy and simples to share with you all. So I finally made one of the easiest recipes on the planet. While you might have to buy a few ingredients that you probably wouldn’t have on hand the reward is pretty fantastic.
img_4888img_4889img_4890I also finally now know why it isn’t exactly the cheapest snack on the shelf. This recipe makes a lot of yummy granola. Keep it in an airtight container and it should last a few weeks. If it lasts that long; in my house if it makes a week and a half I will be shocked!
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Granola – preheat oven to 325’F

Ingredients
8 cups rolled oats
1 ½ cups wheat germ
1 ½ cups oat bran
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup finely chopped almonds
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 cup shredded coconut
1 ½ teaspoon salt
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup maple syrup
¾ cup honey
1 cup coconut oil
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions
Line two large baking sheets with something – Parchment, tinfoil and if you are lucky Silpat mat

In a very large bowl combine oats, wheat germ, oat bran, sunflower seeds, coconut and the nuts.

In a medium saucepan combine salt, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, oil, cinnamon, and vanilla and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for a minute and then pour over the dry ingredients; stir to combine. Spread the mixture evenly on the baking sheets.

Bake for 15 minutes take out and stir; bake for another 10-15 minutes just till toasted. Once cooled it will be a little crispy. You can break it up totally or leave some a little chunky.

you can add raisins and or craisins if you wish

Adapted from Megan’s Granola – all recipes

Lemon Zucchini Tea Cake

The garden is winding down a bit, and I’m OK with it. It looks like my zucchini and summer squash harvesting days are over but they were very good to us this year. I am going to go on record today and say that I am all set with making zucchini bread for the year. I even had enough very large zucchinis to make a few Christmas present loaves; I know I know I know it’s way too early to be bringing that up especially since it was like 90 degrees out yesterday. But timing is everything I have everything on hand and I am a get it done kind of person.

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So with being “all set” with zucchini bread and sharing my harvest with family and friends I started looking for something a little different. I came across this recipe while perusing my New Hampshire Magazine. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen a recipe and thought hey I have all or at least most of the ingredients on hand and decide right then to get everything out and make it or a resemblance of it.

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I have way too many lemons in the fridge, I asked my daughter to pick up a couple and she bought a bag UGH now what. Reading through the recipe I had everything except coconut oil. I have yet to get on the coconut “everything” bandwagon. I did have some applesauce in the fridge that I use in my zucchini bread recipe so why not use it in this one in replacement of the coconut oil.

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I tend to always break the rule of “no new recipe on guests” I seem to use that rule as more of a guideline and always try new things on people. This time was my co-workers; we were having a birthday graze day for one and I thought there would be other things to eat if this didn’t work out.

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This is my first one using their suggested amount of blueberries – we all felt every bite benefited from having a blueberry with it. Delish!!!

Well it worked out very nicely and everyone loved it, my family loved it so much and I had to use up some more of the lemons I’ve already made it again.

Lemon Zucchini Tea Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

¾ cup applesauce – or if you want coconut oil
1 ¾ cups shredded zucchini – drained
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
3 eggs
1 ¼ cups sugar
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
Handful of fresh blueberries

In a stand mixer or use your hand mixer; combine the eggs and sugar on medium-high speed until light in color 1-2 minutes. Add the applesauce, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla beat until well combined another 1-2 minutes. Add the zucchini, beat till combined; another minute. Sift the flour, soda, powder and salt. Add this mixture to create the batter and beat till combined; do not over mix.

Grease or spray your pan and add the batter, place in the oven for about 40-45 minutes. Bake until your wooden toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool, loosen the edges and invert the cake onto a wire rack to completely cool. Once cool, spread cream cheese frosting and top with some blueberries

I used 2-8” cake pans but could be made in one larger cake pan; it doesn’t rise like you would think as it is a denser kind of cake.

Cream cheese frosting
1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, softened
¼ cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 16-ounce bag of powdered sugar (roughly 4 cups – I buy mine in bulk)

Buttermilk Waffles

In keeping with my recent theme of using up what I have on hand I had some leftover buttermilk. I bought it for a specific use of making a Texas Sheet Cake to bring as a little something sweet for the group of us that were cleaning out my uncle in-laws house that he has lived in for 56 years which the last 24 were alone as his wife had passed. He is still with us but will be spending his final years with a little more assistance and a lot closer to us so we can keep a better eye on him.
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Last waffle before I ate it

So what to do with your extra buttermilk, because I have never seen it in a smaller than a quart container and I have yet to use the whole thing in any recipe. You can make buttermilk biscuits as I did with the last bottle I had on hand or marinate some chicken in it which is always yummy. This weekend I wanted something a little different; I could have gone with the buttermilk pancake stand by but we all worked super hard yesterday and I figured waffles could be our little reward; and it was! This is a super easy recipe that felt like a reward but so doable anytime.
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Plus it made the house smell so sweet like vanilla and cream. I am currently sitting here at the island and the sun is shining so bright out there and I can see the 2 loads of laundry that I hung out and are swaying in the breeze it makes me want to go outside until I notice it is a whopping 30′ F out there brrr for April. Still not the right time for me to get out in the gardens; guess I stay in the planning mode but soon I hope.
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Back to the buttermilk waffles – they were a huge hit and I can prove it since there wasn’t any left over. I also wanted to mention that I do try capture what I am making in pictures to share with you all but on occasion(s) I forget to take the after photo of the pictures just before serving. I think the smell and anticipation of eating what I made I tend to forget that I need to take a picture to share. So I took a picture of the first waffle and the last one just before I ate it.
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Chemical reaction happening

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First waffle

1 stick of butter melted and cooled; or left on the counter till soft
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt only if you used unsalted butter above
Room temperature ingredients work best so take all your cold ingredients out about a half an hour before you want to begin or longer if you have the time. You can melt the butter and let it set aside while the other ingredients are warming up.
In a large bowl place all your dry ingredients and whisk to blend. In another bowl whisk the eggs till frothy, add the other wet ingredients to the eggs and beat into well combined; pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and with a wooden spoon stir all ingredients together till combined. Batter should be a little lumpy and have air bubbles from the chemical reaction between the buttermilk and the leavening powder and soda.
make sure your waffle iron is hot and if needed spray with non stick to help it a little. Enjoy!!!
Recipe
© 2016 Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved. http://www.food.com/419258 submitted by The Swedish Chef

Apple Butter Bars

Woke this morning to the ground covered in beautiful snow! I know it’s April and I know it won’t be sticking around so that is why I can say it is beautiful.Snow April 3rd

For the last 3 weeks I have been buying less groceries and using up what I have and I swear I have barely made a dent; at least in the freezers. I am even going as far as trying to find uses for those jars of “specialty” items that end up in the back of the fridge. If you are reading this I can bet you also have some of these same types of jars! I haven’t made it yet but there is a kimchi fried rice meal in my future.

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This morning I focused on the largest of the fridge jars; apple butter while I have nothing against apple butter it just isn’t in my repertoire; yet.

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Looking around the internet this morning I came across a sweet and spicy apple butter chipotle chicken thighs recipe that sounds promising; Well actually it sounds more than just promising, it has 10 cloves of garlic um yeah I am all over this and I will use up the chicken thighs from the freezer and I have a small jar of Chipotle peppers in adobo in the back of the fridge – perfect!

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It is a thick batter – spread it out with a knife or whatever you are using

I did have to remind myself it was 7am and we would not be eating dinner this early. Then I found an apple butter bars recipe; now we are talking! It looked simple enough and I had almost everything except for the apple pie spice but I figured that was just a combination of other spices and I am sure I must have them or most of them in my cupboard.

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The bars were delicious according to my husband and myself; kids weren’t home. I wanted to share them with you all just in case you have some apple butter taking up real estate in your fridge.

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I actually took 2 pieces out before I took my finished photo!

Apple Pie Spice which I doubt I will ever buy can easily be made with 4 spices you might already have sitting in your pantry. ½ teaspoon Cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon Ginger, ⅛ teaspoon All Spice and ⅛ teaspoon Nutmeg. You will only need a ½ teaspoon but it makes such a small amount I didn’t mind chucking the rest of it; remember I am cleaning out not creating more containers of stuff I use occasionally.

Apple Butter Bar

1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup apple butter
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice
1 cup chopped apples peeled

Icing for drizzling over (optional)
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350’ F. Grease a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan. Cream butter and sugar then beat in egg and apple butter. Mix in half of the flour with the baking soda and apple pie spice. Beat in remaining flour, then stir in apples.  Spread into pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or till toothpick in center comes out clean. Cool in pan and cut into bars.

To Make Icing: Mix 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla and 1 – 2 tablespoons milk. Mix to drizzling consistency and drizzle over cooled bars – I didn’t use all of this, it’s pretty sweet so use your discretion.

 
recipe adapted from sidehill farm