December24

My Very, Very Favorite Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls

I've been searching for the perfect cinnamon roll recipe, and this is it. The rolls are light and fluffy and rise beautifully.

Ingredients

Rolls:

  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, warmed to just above body temperature. (you can substitute regular milk by measuring just below the 3/4 line and then adding white vinegar to make 3/4 cup. Wait 5 minutes and you have buttermilk)
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled.
  • 3 large eggs, beaten.
  • 4 1/4 cups (21 1/4 ounces) flour.
  • 1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) sugar.
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast.
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt.

Filling:

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened.
  • 1 cup brown sugar.
  • 2 tbs to 1/4 cup, sprinkle on liberally.

Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter softened.
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar.
  • 1/4 cup milk.
  • 1 tsp vanilla.

Directions

  1. For the dough, whisk the warmed buttermilk and butter together in a large liquid measuring cup. Combine 4 cups of flour, sugar, yeast and salt together in a standing mixer fitted with dough hook (or you can use a large bowl and mix with a wooden spoon or electric handheld mixer). With the mixer on low speed, add the buttermilk mixture and eggs and mix until the dough comes together, about 2 minutes. Increase the mixer to medium speed and knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes (knead for 15-18 minutes by hand). If after 5 minutes of kneading, the dough is still overly sticky, add 1/4 cup flour 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough clears the sides of the bowl but has a slight tacky feel when pressed between your fingertips
  2. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled, around 2 to 2 1/2 hours, depending on the warmth of your kitchen. If your kitchen is cool, I've had luck placing the bowl in my oven and turning the oven light on.
  3. Meanwhile, lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking dish (if doubling the recipe, I’ve found using a large rimmed baking sheet, 11X17-inches, works great).
  4. When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a lightly floured counter and press it into a 16 by 12-inch rectangle (if you have doubled the recipe, split the dough in half and roll out one half at a time). Gently brush the softened butter over the rectangle, using the back of a spoon. Sprinkle on the cinnamon (as much as you'd like, you're the one eating it) and then the brown sugar (if you put on too much sugar, it can melt and drip out of the pan, so be careful), leaving a 1/2-inch border along the top and bottom edges.
  5. Lift the longest edge closest to you and begin rolling the dough into a tight log. Pinch the seam closed and roll the log so it is seam side down. Gently stretch the log to be 18 inches in length with an even diameter all the way throughout and pat the ends to even them up. Here's a secret: if you don't roll it out evenly, no one will know and it will still be delicious.
  6. Using a serrated knife, slice the log into 12 evenly sized rolls (or more if you like your rolls thinner). I mark my log in half and the mark the halves in half. Then I just have 4 parts to cut into thirds. It's easier to make the pieces even this way. Arrange the rolls cut side down on the prepared baking pan and cover with lightly greased plastic wrap. Let the rolls rise in a warm place until doubled, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 22-25 minutes, until the rolls are lightly golden on top and cooked through but not overly browned.
  8. While the rolls are baking, mix the glaze. I never believe anyone when they say this, but I don't really have a recipe for this part. It's just the icing/glaze we always made growing up. My very favorite in the world. Any of my sister remember making this and eating it with chocolate cake? One of my favorite desserts ever. Anyway, back to the recipe. Put the stick of softened butter in a bowl and use a fork to stir it smooth. Then add about a half cup of powdered sugar and stir it in. Then add some milk and the vanilla and stir again. You can use a mixer for stirring, just be careful to not get powdered sugar everywhere. Keep alternating adding the sugar and the milk until the icing is the consistency and flavor you want. I prefer a thicker consistency to ice the warm rolls with a knife, but you can keep it thinner to pour it on.

December21

White Chili

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White Chili

Deliciously different from the traditional red bean chili, this simple to prepare recipe will please all chili lovers. Although classifying this recipe as chili is a bit of a stretch since it uses cumin instead of chili, it does requires green chilies and tastes great on a chilly fall day!

Ingredients

  • 3 boneless chicken breasts.
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped.
  • 1 cup chopped onion.
  • 2 1/2 tsp ground cumin.
  • 1/2 tsp coriander.
  • 2 (8 ounce) cans white shoepeg corn, drained.
  • 1 (4 ounce) cans chopped green chilies, with liquid.
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans great northern beans, with liquid.
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans white kidney beans, with liquid.
  • Juice from 1 lime, about 2-3 tablespoons.
  • 1/2 tsp salt.
  • Dash of white pepper.

Accompaniments

  • Diced tomato
  • Diced avacoado.
  • Grated cheese.
  • Tortilla chips.

Directions

  1. In a 5-6 quart stockpot or crockpot, add chicken breasts.
  2. Combine all ingredients.
  3. Cook on High or bring to low boil 1 hour, stir every 15 minutes.
  4. Remove chicken and shred into bite-size pieces, then return back into the pot.
  5. Reduce the cooking heat to a low simmer and cook for another 1-2 hours.
  6. This chili improves with age, so a longer simmer time is ok you may need to add some water. And, re-heating it for the next days meal works great too.
  7. Serve with accompaniments.

December17

Chili

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Chili

A simple easy recipe with great flavor the whole family will like. Prep time is less than 15 minutes. Cook time, the longer it simmers the better.

  • 2 lbs lean ground beef (substitute ground turkey)
  • 2 15 oz cans tomato sauce.
  • 2 15 oz cans kidney beans, with liquid.
  • 2 15 oz cans pinto beans, with liquid.
  • 1 cup diced onion (1 medium onion).
  • 1 cup diced celery.
  • 1/2 cup diced green chili pepper (or, 4 oz can fancy green diced chiles will do)
  • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped (or 1 14 oz can petite diced tomatoes)
  • 2 tsp cumin powder.
  • 1 Tbs chili powder.
  • 1 tsp black pepper.
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups beef broth (1 14 oz can)

Directions

  1. Brown the ground beef in a 5-6 QT pot over medium heat, keeping chucks of meet. Drain if necessary.
  2. Combine all remaining ingredients, and bring to a simmer over low heat.
  3. Cook, stirring every 15 minutes for 2 to 3 hours.

Variations

Try adding any one or combination.
  • 1 tsp coriander.
  • Mexican chocolate (tiny bit at first, just a hint).
  • Smoked bacon (tiny amount, just for smokiness).
  • 1 Tbs brownsugar, 1 Tbs honey.
  • Tobasco sauce, no particular brand. Place it on the table for the hot chili lovers.

November27

Chicken and Asparagus

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Chicken and Asparagus

Chicken and aparagus stir fry. Serve with rice or quinoa. Servers a family of 6

  • 2 large chicken breast, sliced into 1/4 inch thin strips
  • 1 aspargus bunch, cut into 2 inch lenghts
  • 2 cups sliced celery
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 scallion sliced
  • 1 tsp chopped ginger
  • 1 Tbs chopped garlic
  • 1 Tbs oyster sauce
  • 1 Tbs sweet chilli sauce
  • 1 Tbs light soy sauce
  • 2 Tbs peanut oil
  • 1 Tbs sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds

Directions

  1. Prepare sauce, combine oyster sauce, sweet chilli sauce, and light soy sauce in a small bowl, then set aside.
  2. Heat 1 Tbs peanut oil, stir fry scallion, garlic, and ginger for 30 seconds.
  3. Stir in thinly sliced chicken. cook until opaque, about 2 minutes each side, remove from wok (set aside).
  4. Heat 1 Tbs peanut oil, stir fry asparagus, celery, and red onion for 2-3 minutes,remove from wok (set aside).
  5. Return chicken to the wok, add sauce, cook for 2 minutes, add asparagus, celery, and red onion back into the wok.
  6. Add sesame seeds and almonds, toss for 1 minute, serve while hot.

November26

Chocolate Banana Sherbet

Chocolate Banana Sherbet

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk.
  • 2 ripe bananas.
  • 2 heaping tablespoons chocolate cocoa.
  • 2 Tbsp sugar.

Directions

  1. In a microwaveable bowl or cup whisk 1/2 cup almond milk with the chocolate cocoa and sugar until fully incorporated. Microwave for 40 seconds and then stir.
  2. Place bananas plus the remainder of the almond milk into a blender along with the cocoa mixture and puree for about 10 seconds.
  3. Place mixture in the ice cream maker and process for 20 minutes or until thick.
  4. Serve right away or store in the freezer for later use or to firm up a bit more if desired.

September10

Gochuchang Paste

Gochuchang Paste

Seasoned red pepper paste. Sauce for bibimbap and fried eggs.

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbs gochuchang (found at most asian markets).
  • 1 Tbs honey
  • 1 Tbs sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp sesame oil

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients.

September10

Bibimbap

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Bibimbap

My family loves this, breakfast, lunch or dinner. The Gochuchang Paste adds a sweet and spicy flavor. Serve with steamed white rice or quinoa.

Marinade

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup pear juice and 1 half pear
  • 1 Tbs finely chopped garlic
  • 2 Tbs chopped red onion
  • 1 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 2 Tbs brown sugar
  • 2 Tbs honey
  • 1 Tbs sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper or to taste
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  1. Combine marinade ingredients in a blender.
  2. Slice beef (petite sirloin or rib-eye) thinly 1/4 inch thick. Or simply ask the butcher at the grocery store to do this step for you.
  3. Marinate beef for 30 minutes at room temperature, then refrigerate for 2 hours and rotate once every hour. I like to use a zip-lock bag.
  4. Wok fry or grill each side 2 minutes. I prefer grilling, the sugar carmelizes and makes the meat even more flavorful.
  5. Sprinkle sesame seeds on beef while grilling.

Gochuchang Paste

Seasoned red pepper paste. Sauce for bibimbap and fried eggs.

  • 4 Tbs gochuchang (found at most asian markets).
  • 1 Tbs honey
  • 1 Tbs sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp sesame oil

Accompaniments

  • Fried egg, cooked over easy
  • Sauteed spinach, cabbage, squash, shitake mushrooms in a little peanut oil.
  • White rice or Quinoa.

Directions

  1. Build your bibimbap to your liking.
  2. Quinoa on the bottom.
  3. Sauteed spinach, cabbage, squash on top of Quinoa.
  4. Grilled meat and eggs next.
  5. Bean sprouts.
  6. Gochuchang Paste on the side or spread ontop.
  7. Enjoy!

May28

Strawberry Sherbet

Strawberry Sherbet

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk.
  • 2 cups frozen strawberries.
  • 1 Tbsp orange juice.
  • 2/3 cup sugar.
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla.
  • 2 tsp corn starch.

Directions

  1. Heat 1 1/2 cups strawberries in a small pot with the sugar and water or juice. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool and then puree in a blender. You can cool the strawberries in a bowl set on top of another bowl of ice water to speed things up.
  2. Place bananas plus the remainder of the almond milk into a blender along with the cocoa mixture and puree for about 10 seconds.
  3. Mix 1/2 cup almond milk with the corn starch and set aside.
  4. Heat the remainder of the almond milk plus the vanilla in a medium pot until simmering and then add in the corn starch infused almond milk. Stir on low heat while whisking for five minutes to thicken.
  5. Strain almond milk to remove lumps and then let mixture cool to room temperature. Mix into pureed strawberries and then set in the refrigerator until cold (about a half hour)
  6. Chop up the last 1/2 cup of strawberries and then add to the almond milk mixture. Place in your prepared ice-cream maker and let it run for 20 minutes. Place ice cream in a container until ready for use.

April03

Vietnamese Summer Rolls

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Vietnamese Summer Rolls

Light and fresh. The Lemongrass Pork tastes fantastic. Use chicken bits or shrimp as a pork substitute. Serves 6 as an appetizer or light meal.

Lemon Grass Pork

  • 1 lb pork
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, outer leaves peeled until you reach pale yellow leaves, bottom 3 inches of stalk grated.
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp honey

Accompaniments

  • One package rice paper wrappers
  • 1 head green lettuce
  • 1 cucumber, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 big handful fresh mint
  • 1 big handful fresh Thai basil or sweet basil
  • 1 portion of the Peanut or Vietnamese dipping sauce

Directions

  1. Prepare the lemongrass pork, use a pork roast sliced thin, or ask your butcher to slice for it for you, into less than 1/4 inch thick slices.
  2. Combine sliced pork with the lemongrass pork ingredients, and marinate for 15 minutes at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator.
  3. Prepare the vegetable accompaniments and herbs for the rolls.
  4. Have the cooked Lemongrass Pork, rice papper, vegetables and herbs ready on your work surface to roll.
  5. Dip the rice paper, only for 2-3 seconds in barely warm water. The paper should still feel stiff with the quick dip and will soften while you place the accompaniments on the paper.
  6. Wrap the accompaniaments like a diaper, folding the bottom half over the top, roll the right side over and roll to the left.
  7. Serve with Peanut or Vietnamese dipping sauce

April03

Grilled Lamb with Asian Pesto

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Grilled Lamb with Asian Pesto

My husband loves this.

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Marinate lamb chops in half of the Asian Pesto at room temperature for 15 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator. Reserve the other half of the Asian Pesto.
  2. Heat a large frying pan or grill on high heat. When very hot add the lamb chops. Grill 3 minutes per side for medium rare, don't over cook.
  3. Serve with a little of the reserved pesto spooned on top of each lamb chop.