Posts tagged ‘Amateur alert’

April 18, 2011

No-Waiting Cinnamon Rolls

In my Quick Takes on Friday I noted that I had found a recipe for no proofing, no rising cinnamon rolls that I wanted to try.  Lo and behold, on Saturday morning my little bean woke up early giving me the perfect excuse to make them for breakfast.

Since I hadn’t planned on making them beforehand I didn’t shop for any ingredients or anything which is why when I pulled up the recipe, I realized there were some problems.  1) It called for ricotta cheese, of which I had none and 2) it called for a food processor which I also did not have.   The author mentioned she preferred this recipe to another she had tried that hadn’t worked for her, so I clicked on through to that site.  There I discovered that there was no ricotta/food processor requirement, so I went for it.   This is how it went.

Your players:

Pretty basic stuff.

The first thing you do is mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter until it resembles wet sand.

Next you whisk together the dry ingredients in a separate, larger bowl: flour, sugar, baking powder,  baking soda, and salt.

Check on your sous chef.

Looks like a party over there.  Moving on.

In another bowl (medium sized) whisk the buttermilk and melted butter together, then add to the dry ingredients.

Mix together thoroughly with a wooden spoon.  Note that right now my mixer looks like this:

and that pleases me.  No mixer dishes!   I don’t know why, but washing the mixer bowl and attachments always seems so daunting.

Anyway, once you mix the dough, it will be pretty soft, and look like this:

Turn that out onto a floured surface and knead for 1-2 minutes, until it looks like this:

The light wasn’t great… early morning.

Shape the dough into a 12×9″ rectangle and pour the remaining two tablespoons of butter over the top, spreading it evenly.

Pour the filling over the top, spreading it out evenly and leaving about an inch border on all sides.

Roll the back edge towards you, keeping a tight roll by moving back and forth at an even pace.  Bring the front up to the top, pinching the edges to seal.

Cut the roll into 8-12 equal pieces, depending on how large you like your cinnamon rolls (I did more like 12).  Place them in a greased cake pan.  Here is a picture of them in the oven, as I forgot to take one on the counter.

They took about 25 minutes to bake and I made the glaze in the meantime.

I have no pictures, but I whisked together 2 oz. mascarpone cheese, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla.  I liked the sweet glaze, but I think I’d prefer the tang cream cheese has to the milder flavor of the mascarpone for next time.

Once the rolls come out of the oven, pour the glaze over and let everything get all warm and cozy.  Here is the finished product.

Final verdict: the texture was a little different than normal rolls; a little denser and flakier, but they were good and took about as long to make as some cookies, which is a major bonus in my book.  Try them out on a Saturday morning when you’re up before everyone else with the baby.  People love yummy surprises.

No-Yeast Cinnamon Rolls

Recipe by Cooks Illustrated via Gastronomy Blog.  Click the link to get the full recipe!


April 9, 2011

Living Room Mini Makeover

Calling this a “makeover” is definitely an overstatement, but oh well.

Today we got our new custom DVD case from a friend of ours who does woodworking (so gorgeous!) so we changed out our cabinets and moved some things around.

Here is the new cabinet (on the right) and the old bookshelf (left).

Definitely needed to go.

Unfortunately we didn’t have a replacement in mind, but after wandering around my house for a while I remembered my sweet robins-egg blue/green antique table that was awkwardly hanging out in my kitchen holding cookbooks.  And what better to hold cookbooks than a stray bookcase?  I tell you.

Here is the table in its new spot:

 

I don’t have a picture of it, but I assure you the bookcase is now happily fulfilling its calling holding all my cookbooks in the kitchen.

One more view:

Is it really important for you to know why Scoobi Doo is on the TV?  Let’s blame my husband and leave it at that.

I like it!  I wasn’t sure at first as it’s much smaller than what was there before, but I love the table, so it’s growing on me.  Plus, I put my ceramic bird on it in the meantime, and bird statues make everything better!

April 6, 2011

Chicken “Carbonara,” or, How to Make Do With What is in the Pantry

The other night I went to make dinner and I was missing several key ingredients.  I didn’t have cream to make a creamy sauce, I didn’t have tomato sauce to make a red sauce, and I couldn’t figure out what to make with my thawed chicken thighs.  I visited Pioneer Woman for some ideas, and decided to try an extremely modified carbonara.  Using this as a starting point, I gathered together these guys:

Not shown: two eggs,  olive oil, spaghetti (or whatever long noodle pasta you like), and a couple of tablespoons of butter

 

First, season the chicken with salt and pepper.

Put the chicken into a deep skillet skin side down.  Let it brown really well and then flip to the other side.  Check out my new splatter shield!  Favorite kitchen gadget.  I am freakishly afraid of being splattered on.

While the chicken is cooking, dice up your onion and mince your garlic (or cheat, like me, and use the stuff in the jar).  Also, grate your parmesan cheese.  You’ll need about 3/4 of a cup. Once the chicken is done, transfer it to a plate and drain all but a tablespoon or two of the fat from the pan.

Saute the diced onion in the chicken fat and after a minute or two add the garlic as well.  Saute until translucent.

Thus endeth almost all of my useful pictures.

Go ahead and get your pasta going at this point.  I used spaghetti, cooked to the instructions on the box.

With a slotted spoon, remove the onion and garlic from the pan and add in your mushrooms.  Brown them up nicely and remove them from the pan as well.

Deglaze the pan with about a cup of wine and let it reduce til it’s almost gone, then add in a cup of stock (note: I think chicken stock would be preferable, but I was working out of the pantry and we didn’t have any).  At this point, add your garlic, onions and mushrooms back in and let simmer.

Now here’s where things get weird.  In a separate, large bowl (big enough to fit everything including your pasta) beat together your cheese and your two eggs.  As soon as your pasta is finished, drain it and dump it, piping hot, on top of the egg/cheese mixture.  Immediately add the onion/mushroom/stock sauce to the top to the bowl along with about 3 tablespoons of butter.  With tongs, briskly toss everything together for a few minutes until it all comes together and looks nice and creamy.

Top with pine nuts, more parmesan and some pepper and next to your crispy chicken and I promise, as bad as that last picture is, it was quite good!

And yes, it would have been nice to have a finished product photo here.  No, I don’t have one.  I think my camera died before I had a plate ready.  At least, that is the most likely explanation.

 

March 14, 2011

Buckwheat Pancakes

Okay listen. I’m perhaps the least qualified person on the planet to start doing cooking tutorials, but I was making buckwheat pancakes for the hubs yesterday morning, and I thought just in case anyone needed some pancake tips, I might help. Let’s begin.

Here’s what you’ll need (this picture is minus the buttermilk, which is being created on the opposite counter.  Did you know that if you mix together one cup of milk with one tablespoon of vinegar and let it sit a few minutes you make buttermilk?  Fun fact.):

The green egg isn’t required, but it is fun.  And never you mind what the wine is for.  That’s neither here nor there.

In a medium bowl whisk the dry ingredients together, then set those aside.

Beat together the egg and molasses, then add in the melted butter and buttermilk.  Now add the wet to the dry and whisk together.

More after the jump…

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