(Here is an old favorite I made again last night. Its been 7 years since the original post, so I thought I would dust it off and bring it out for a run around the internet world before retiring again.)
So, what was your first cookbook? The one you got for your wedding, or Christmas, maybe when you first moved out? Mine was a Christmas gift from my dear mother. The “Betty Crocker Cookbook” which is now missing it’s spine, is yellowed and stained with the ripply pages of a book that has had flour and egg wiped off with a wet towel. I still refer to it on occasion. Its the “new and revised” edition from 1978. (gosh, before lots of you were born!) Continue reading “Gingerbread Cake”→
(I am cleaning out my blog site and found one of my favorite recipes that needed a little updating. So here it is with enhanced sticky bun filling and extra gooeyness.)
Slurry. What a funny word. Slurry-slurry-slurry! Like a cross between hurry and sloppy. Or blurry and sloshy. But in this case it is a cross between ambrosia and delight.
I know I have posted about sticky buns before. But really, can we ever get enough of sweet and nutty sticky buns? It’s a Christmas tradition around here to have them for breakfast along with a savory dish. So needless to say, I have tried many a recipe and have lots of experience with these to speak from.
If you want homemade-from-scratch sticky buns you have 4 steps.
Make the dough.
Make the slurry and cinnamon sugar.
Form the buns.
If you want a large amount of sweet dough, I have the recipe here.
While I may not have any great pictures of this cake, it is an easy and satisfying coffee cake experience that I don’t want you to miss just because I forgot to shoot a picture until the next day.
It is a cheater recipe from an old Pillsbury book I have. An old dog-eared stained, somewhat falling apart book. Which means it’s the best, right?
You start with a can of flaky biscuits. Yep, one of those cans.
Then you just dice up some apples, add some chopped nuts…oh well, lets just give you the recipe.
Then someday, when this spring heat-wave-from-hell is over and you feel like baking again, you will remember this and make it for breakfast or a brunch or even a pot luck.
This one won a Grand Prize ribbon for Susan Porubcan back in 1984. Good ol’ Susan.
2 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 cups peeled, diced apples (use food chopper for best results)
1 can flaky biscuits
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup corn syrup (don’t freak out, this is not high fructose corn syrup)
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 1/2 tsp. whiskey, optional (no thanks)
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1-2 tsp. milk
Heat oven to 350°F. Using 1 tablespoon of the butter, generously grease 9-inch round cake pan or 8-inch square pan. Spread 1 cup of the apples in pan.
Separate dough into 10 biscuits. Cut each into quarters. Arrange biscuit pieces, points up, over apples. Top with remaining 1/2 cup apples.
In small bowl, mix remaining 1 tablespoon butter, the brown sugar, cinnamon, corn syrup, whiskey and egg; beat 2 to 3 minutes or until sugar is partially dissolved. Stir in pecans. Spoon over biscuit pieces and apples.
Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until deep golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. If desired, remove from pan.
In small bowl, mix glaze ingredients, adding enough milk for desired drizzling consistency. Drizzle over warm cake. Serve warm or cool. Cover and refrigerate any remaining coffee cake.
Wellll, I have to admit, these muffins did not turn out quite like I planned. But they are mighty good. Why write about muffins that did not turn out quite like I planned? So you can learn from my mistakes of course!
I should have called this post “Blueberry muffins before the big one hits”.
I rarely make muffins around here because I have a tendency to eat them. And eat them. And eat them. But after the exhilarating earthquake Friday night and about a hundred tiny tremors since then, I have had a change of thought. If I am going to go down, I’m going down full of muffins.
I imagined these muffins with lots of streusel topping actually on top. But once they started rising, the streusel shifted, like soil moving aside for a sprout to pop out of the ground. (Ahh yes, its spring, when a young persons mind becomes twitterpated and a middle-aged mind thinks about gardening. Or muffins.)
Where was I? Earthquakes. No, muffins, wait, sprouts.
Okay, lets talk earthquakes for a minute. I tell my kids, if you are in bed when an earthquake hits, just stay there and cover your head with a pillow, in case things go flying off the walls or dressers. I hear of more people getting hurt running through the house during a quake than holding still. Unless you are next to a large bookcase or china cabinet or plate-glass window, then dive under a table.
One time we had a quake when I was not home and I hear my older son, who was taking a geology class in college, and had heard a professor talk about quakes, went diving out his bedroom window. Just ‘boom’ kicked out the screen and jumped out. He claimed it was safer than staying inside. Wish I had seen it.
I, on the other hand, had just finished an inspection of a vacant home south of here somewhere, like Lake Forest or some such place. It was a 2 story home, nice. I measured, took my pictures, wrote the notes and headed out the front door, making sure to lock it and replace the key. Suddenly I heard a rumble. Thats strange, it was coming from the ground. Everything, including me, starting shaking.
I heard a couple of screams from down the street and looked around quickly to assess my chances of survival, in case this turned out to be ‘the big one’. It was just me and a little sapling tree. So we hugged each other, to stay upright and rode out the rocking. Nothing really exciting happened though. No wires coming down, no cars jumping around, thankfully. No big cracks with magma appearing in the middle of the rode. Guess I watch too many movies. (Of course I do.)
That was several years ago. I haven’t felt a big quake since then, not that it was that big even then. This one we felt the other night wasn’t big either. But you can’t really tell when you are close to the epicenter. It feels big enough. You just kind of sit there, holding real still and alert, like a prairie dog, waiting to see if you should jump into action. Things rattled and rocked. Would they come crashing to the floor? Would we lose electricity? Would we, God forbid, have to turn off the gas?(That means knowing where the tool is to turn it off with.) Are we in fact, earthquake prepared?
Not so much.
We occasionally go through and make our plans. Put food and water in the trunks of the cars. Make sure there are flashlights under all the beds. The good kids get ones with batteries in them.
Umm, thats about it really. I guess we figure if ‘the big one’ hits, there’s not much we can do for it anyway. Either the house will crash down around our ears or it wont. Its been around for 60 odd years so far, so my bet is its going to hang around a bit longer.
Now, when I say we sit still and alert, I realize not everyone treats quakes this way. Loads of people go running outside, go running for doorways (which I am still not convinced will do any darn bit of good.) Or just go running.
Afterward its nice to either try to call our relatives to share in the excitement, or if that fails, actually go out and make human contact with the neighbors and rehash the experience.
Which brings me back to muffins. Finally.
Lets get this recipe rolling. Only do not use the dinky frozen wild blueberries I used. Use either fresh ones or frozen larger ones that will have a blueberry impact. The dinky ones just didn’t.
Other than that, I am not really complaining. I didn’t complain much through my first muffin. Only complained a bit through the second muffin. And tried to look inconspicuous while I picked at a third muffin. But that is only between you and me.
I didn’t use muffin cups, but just sprayed the muffin tins. You often loose part of the muffin with the paper cups. Besides, then people can count how many you have eaten. (People meaning myself)
I will also give you the streusel recipe. I just sprinkled some sliced almonds on top, almost as an afterthought, to make it prettier and give it a crunch.
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted, or vegetable oil or a combination of the two
1 cup sour cream, plain yogurt (or maybe blueberry?) or a combination of the two.Or half buttermilk and half yogurt…
1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries, rinsed and waiting in the strainer in the sink, turning your sink purple.
3 Tablespoons each brown and white sugar
5 Tablespoons melted butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup all purpose flour
First, mix the sugars and cinnamon for the streusel. Add the flour, whisk with a fork and then pour in the melted butter, stirring with the fork until it is crumbly. Too wet? Add a teaspoon more flour. Too dry? Add a bit of melted butter. Set aside
Preheat the oven to 375.
Oil a muffin pan or two. This recipe that should have made 12, actually for me made 15 muffins.
In one large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together. This means the flour, baking powder and soda and the cinnamon. (Not the sugar).
In another bowl, put the fats (oil and/or butter) the sugar (also considered a liquid) the egg and yogurt/sour cream/buttermilk. (Todays was a matter of finishing off the yogurt and topping it off with a little buttermilk. I had the sour cream on stand-by but didn’t need it.)
At this time, I, using frozen blueberries, mixed them in with the dry flour mixture.This way the flour helped absorb some of the wet from the thawing blueberries. I did not want to add them to the wet bowl because it would turn the batter grey.
Now mix the wet and dry together. Mix just until the dry does not show and the batter comes together. There will be lumps, thats okay. Of course the lumps could be blueberries. Either way, lumps are okay, while over mixing is not okay. Mixing too much toughens up the muffins.
I use a Pampered Chef scoop to dish them into the muffin cups. Fill the cups up.
Then put the streusel topping on top with a small spoon. Pat it a bit.
Top with a sprinkle of sliced almonds.
Pop into the oven and wait about 18-20 minutes. When you can poke a toothpick in and it comes out fairly clean, they are done.
Remove them from the oven and remove as soon as possible from the pan. Best served warm. Then great when cold. Wonderful the next day.
Now that I am thinking on it, why didn’t the dog bark or the chickens act weird? So much for animal intuition.
Someone, who shall remain nameless, says maybe we should go off bread for a while, to lose some weight. So I go out of my way to find breadless meals. And what does he do? Makes himself toast to go with it!
Guess he hasn’t figured out toast is bread. Or does toasting take the carbs out of it?
Anyhow, I wanted to share this easy and yummy little breakfast that can be adapted to whatever is in your fridge or what sounds good. I used my grill pan to heat it up. I happened to have breakfast sausage, but ham or smoked sausage would work too. How about peaches instead of pineapple? Or cantaloupe? We also had some pricy, fancy, sliced-so-thin-it-was-almost-invisible prosciutto. But I thought this a cute idea, whoever came up with it. I found a picture of it somewhere and used it. You don’t think I thought of this myself do you? HA, course not silly.
I just rummaged through our fridge and found zuchinni, onions, tomatoes, sausage and, in a bowl on the table, a big ol’ pineapple waiting to be (gulp) chopped up. Oh, and I added some of that almost invisible prosciutto. I precooked by sauteing, the zucchini and onion. Just a little. Too much and it would not hold up to being speared.
I just cooked the sausage, speared it all together and grilled it on the grill pan to warm it.
There, a gluten free breakfast. Made some home fries to go with it all, to fill him up. No toast this time around!
Well, yesterday, for those who missed it, was “Shrove Tuesday” otherwise known as “Fat Tuesday” otherwise known as “Mardi Gras”. A time to empty out the fridge, eat up all your meats, use up all you milk and butter and eggs before Lent starts, which is today.
After today all you eat is sticks and grass and dirt pretty much. At least in the old days.
I used to wonder why the boy scouts always had a fundraiser pancake dinner on Shrove Tuesday every darn year. Pancakes and eggs. Now I get it. Even I-HOP has a fundraising Fat Tuesday pancake special.
So I get pancakes. But lets throw in some steak, ham and eggs, bacon and sausage, etc. After all, this is supposed to be your last culinary fling!
And let’s have the pancakes look a lot like waffles.
NOW we’re talking Fat Tuesday!
Well, we didn’t have the steak, ham and eggs, but I made some pretty amazing waffles, covered in diced pecans, whip cream and blueberries and topped with organic maple syrup we are trying from Costco. Usually we are loyal Trader Joes maple syrup customers. We love their grade B maple syrup, even if it is $13.99 per 24 oz. bottle. We just ration it out, make it last and use it to the last drop. (I may have occasionally been caught licking the lid to the bottle to get out the very last drop before tossing it.)
And we did do the sausage and bacon. But you don’t need those recipes.
What you need is this amazing buttermilk waffle recipe! So here is is, the recipe I found in an old Taste of Home, issue and it got raves from the family. This will now be my go-to waffle recipe. Well, I will go to it the whole 1 or 2 times a year I make it. So we don’t mind it being very rich. (Oh, I have to mention, I didn’t have a whole 2 cups of buttermilk, so I substituted 1 cup buttermilk, added a large blob of sour cream, maybe 1/3 cup to it and filled it up to the 2 cup mark with milk.)
Wonderful Buttermilk Waffles
2 cups AP flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup melted butter (1 cube)
Whisk together the flour, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl. Set aside.
In another bowl, beat the eggs until light.Add buttermilk and mix well.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients (or visa versa, depending on which is in the biggest bowl) and mix until smooth.
Stir in the butter.
Now pour out into your waffle irons and bake away. You might want to add diced pecans to each waffle after it is poured into the iron to add some crunch. I added ours on top.
Is it because my face recently swelled up like a balloon for some strange reason? Maybe.
Or it could be because, when I tried one of these cute cinnamon rolls, I couldn’t stop myself from eating another and wanting to hide the rest.
It’s double good for S. Valentines day because they are shaped like hearts aaaand because you get two middles, which as we all know are the best parts, so two people can share a roll. Then they can share another.
Because you made plenty.
I just used a basic sweet dough recipe. This one is a favorite all-purpose sweet dough for making by hand or in the bread machine on dough only cycle. You could even add raisins (half way through the kneading cycle, or when your “time to add stuff” timer beeps, like some of bread machines have had). Or perhaps lemon zest or cinnamon to the dough with the yeast and other dry ingredients.
The only difference here is the shaping!
Roll your sweet dough out like for normal cinnamon rolls, into a large thin rectangle.
Spread with soft butter and sprinkle heavily with cinnamon sugar.
Now, instead of rolling from one end to make one large tube, you roll from two opposite sides into the middle. Once in the middle, kind of gently press together and start cutting them into buns, about 1″-11/2″ wide.
You then carefully pick each one up and lay it on your parchment lined baking sheet. If some cinnamon sugar comes out, no worries, this will happen. You then pinch the bottom a bit to form the bottom of the heart shape.
I like to lay them fairly close together, as they will rise and connect, making them to rise higher and keeping the sides of the dough softer. The sides having just air or the pan will be crisper. (Oh my gosh, I wish I had some left.)
Bake in a 350 degree oven until lightly golden brown. The edge rolls will brown first. I suggest after about 12 minutes, you turn the pan around 180, since the back of most ovens is hotter than the front. If you want soft rolls, do not over bake. When they are just starting to brown, that means the dough is set. You can take them out and gently press the roll. It should be fairly firm, but not squishy. I am afraid I do not time them, I just keep an eye on them, checking every few minutes. The smell in the house will be heavenly.
In the meantime, how about making some cream cheese icing? Even with this little amount I made, I had at least half left over. Shoot, guess I better make some more buns! I put mine in a disposable pastry bag with a frosting tip. You can use a baggie with one corner cut off to squeeze the frosting out with. Just put the frosting in the baggie, snip the corner, twist the top of the baggie and, if you are right-handed, use your right hand to hold the twist shut. This will be between your thumb and index finger. Cup the rest of the fingers over the bag and this is where you will apply gently pressure, to squeeze the frosting out. Your left hand just guides where you want it to go.
I could have put more frosting on it, but I wanted to maintain the heart shape. Actually I wanted to accentuate the heart shape, since some of the rolls did not hold the heart shape as well, and just looked like funny swirly eyed faces.
Here is what I did for the frosting/icing:
blob of soft cream cheese, about 3 oz.
blob of butter equal to cream cheese, about 3 Tbsp.
small drizzle of vanilla
small drizzle of milk, with more if needed. (I was actually out of milk and used water, so there you go, if you are out too)
powdered sugar, lots
Okay, I mixed the butter and cream cheese with a hand mixer, then added the vanilla and about a tsp. of milk.
(I might add here that my old faithful, much abused hand mixer is reluctantly giving up the ghost. After being smashed in drawers and finally dropped to the floor,it now has one speed, slow, and that starts as soon as you plug it in. The on/speed lever came out with some parts. I tried to push it all back in, but like a sloppy surgery, things didn’t work right after that.)
Then I poured in the powdered sugar, about a cup or more. I mixed it with the mixer, then added more sugar, a little more milk/water, more sugar, until it was the right consistency. Thickish, but not too thick. You want to be able to squeeze it through your bag. But not too runny. I would guesstimate I used between 3-4 cups of the powdered stuff.
Now it might be easier to put the baggie in a cup, with the top pulled down over the lid of the cup. This will hold it open while you spoon in the frosting. Now just decorate away!
Here is an old picture of a batch I made a few years back. They are partially whole wheat rolls with a thin drizzle of icing made just with powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. No butter. It did not go over as well. Sheesh, try to make things healthier for the ungrateful mob.
Here I was, sorting through old photos, planning to clean some out in my getting-ready-for-new-years cleaning fest, when I see all these pictures of Mexican food. Now I am really hungry and we are supposed to have Corned Beef for dinner. Hmm. That is not very Mexican.
So, to get you in the mood for Mexican food, here are some old photos along with what they are, I think, and how they are made…
So lets recap guacamole:
Avocados from grandmas tree, salsa made from our own tomatoes and peppers, cilantro from the store because it keeps dying when I try to grow it, sour cream, some lime juice (didn’t grow the limes either, but some friend or other usually has a tree), salt and pepper. The salsa will add the heat, if you like it that way. Mix this all up and there you are jefe!
Or if I have a particularly wonderful salsa, I may just dice up some avocados and dump them into it. Not exactly guac, but it razzle-dazzles up the salsa.
I have tried making my own refried beans many times and am almost always disappointed. Then one magic day I found a recipe wherein I made the beans in a pressure cooker and the recipe included part of a can of evaporated milk. It was fabulous! But that’s all I remember of it and now I cannot find where that recipe was. I never did copy it so it is out in the virtual void of the internet somewhere. I will try to make them again some day, I am sure. But since I am pretty much the only one in the family that really likes them, more than likely we will stick to canned for now. If you have a tried and true recipe, share the love!
Say what? What about fish tacos? Oh yes my friend, we have the feesh tacos too.
Fry up some favorite fish, then break it up with a fork. Have your salsa, guacamole, shredded cabbage or lettuce, lime and cheeses ready. I also make a cream sauce with a mix of mayo and sour cream seasoned with either taco seasoning or a mix of cumin and other flavorful seasoning. Warm the flour tortillas. On your mark, get set, go! Cream sauce-fish-guac-cabbage-lime-cheese-salsa and top with chopped cilantro. There you are carino!
So there. While I may not be eating Mexican food tonight, I at least got to talk about it with you and share pictures. By the time you read this though, I bet I will be chomping my way through some nachos and tacos. Come join me!
I hope this coming year finds you all even better than you are now. I am sure these cinnamon rolls will help you get there. (ahem).
My favorite way to celebrate New Years is to fall asleep in front of a good movie. Then I am refreshed and ready to go early in the morning to watch the rose parade.(and go to church). How about you?
We usually go out and bang pots and pans with wooden spoons at midnight and other neighbor come out too, to watch fireworks or laugh at us, I’m not sure which. I think someone here will still take Marabelle out and shoot her into the air. (Don’t worry, Marabelle is an old civil war reenactment rifle, not one of the chickens.)
By the way…halleluiah! Tiffany Bubbles is still alive! I was worried there for a bit. (Who you might be asking?)
I haven’t made sourdough bread in a long time. It suddenly dawned on my, at 3 in the morning of course, when most good ideas come to me, just when I can’t do anything about them, that I have not fed her (my sourdough starter) in a long, long time. Even dormant, sourdough starter needs some attention once in a while. So I got her out at a decent hour in the morning and she looked pretty slimy. Kind of grey and watery. I could almost hear the death knell.
But I had faith. I talked to her, fed her 1/4 cup of water and enough bread flour to make a pliable dough like silly putty. Then I covered her for the day (tucked her in). That night I fed her again, tossing out half the dough and adding water and flour. Then next morning, the bowl was full of bubbly dough! Whew! Close call. I fed her again and again and she is up to her perky self now. I am making some sourdough bread for dinner, maybe, if I can pull myself away from the computer. It might be for tomorrow at this rate though. After putting all the sourdough, about 1 1/2 cups I guess, eyeballing it, into the mixer I added a little water, some whole wheat flour, a measure of salt in the palm of my hand. I am really a fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants kind of sourdough baker. It’s mostly by feel. It usually works for me in the bread department. Not so much the food department. But I already put some of the starter back in the now clean canning jar and put her in the fridge, so all is good. I tell you, there is nothing stickier than sourdough starter. It took soaking and scrubbing for a good 24 hours to get the jar clean. If you ever need to cement anything together, I’m just saying… Continue reading “Main Street Cinnamon Rolls from The Magic Kingdom”→
While I am on the theme of Holiday morning foods, whether its Christmas, Christmas Eve or New Years or just because, I thought I would include a revised version of Monkey Bread, an all time favorite. I posted this 3 years ago and noticed things I have changed since then. So here it is updated and ready for your little monkeys.
I have um-teen baking books at my fingertips. Far more than any normal person needs. But I never realized that not one of them has a good monkey bread recipe! One has a savory monkey bread. One has an old-fashioned one with just butter. Pa-lease! This version should be in every baking book. So you will be getting my version, the one in my head that I got from who knows where.
What is it you may ask? Monkey bread is a pull apart sweet bread, like simplified cinnamon rolls! There are really just 3 parts. The bread, the coating, the baking. If you want you can make a simple caramel to pour over to make it even more gooey. Okay, that would be a 4th part. But such an easy part. Really just butter and brown sugar melted together. Ummm, butter… Continue reading “Monkey Bread”→