Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Matt and I have been on many wonderful adventures together--his job as an Air Traffic Controller in the military, living in beautiful Savannah Georgia, vacation/study in Italy, hiking the Franconia Notch in New Hampshire, taking a trip aboard the Amtrak just to name a few. I look forward to more adventures I haven't even thought of that will continue to open my mind, cause me to be flexible, inspired, spontaneous and mobile! Stay tuned for many more fabulous years with us! In the meantime you could find us celebrating our 5th anniversary dinner at a little local Italian restaurant, Ragazzi that promised to serve real Italian food and accommodate my allergy to garlic. Fantastaco!
Now what about those cinnamon rolls?! Since our anniversary was on a Friday and I was headed to work & Matt was headed to class and work I thought homemade cinnamon rolls would be a scrumptious way to begin the day! I have made cinnamon rolls before and they were not the soft, warm & gooey rolls I had hoped for. Enter my new favorite recipe. If you are visiting my house these will be served!
The beauty of this recipe is there’s no kneading. You simply mix the ingredients in the order they’re listed and then let it rise. The “no-knead” part is what makes these rolls so soft and delicious. This recipe says it makes 30-36 rolls, but mine probably made about 20-25 rolls. Either way, it makes a large batch of deliciousness! Mmmmmmm....
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup oil
11/2 teaspoon salt
11/2 cup hot water (too hot to hold your hand in)
1/2 cup warm water (able to hold your hand in comfortably)
2 packages yeast (2 tablespoons)
2 eggs (large)
6-7 cups all-purpose flour (This will be added gradually. Do NOT pour it in all at once.)
8 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons cinnamon
1 stick butter or margarine
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
For the dough: In a large bowl, mix ingredients in the order listed. Whisk mixture after each ingredient is added. When you begin adding flour, the whisk will work. However, after about 3 cups of flour, it will be too stiff to use the whisk. Switch to a wooden spoon. Do not BEAT the dough. This will cause you to need more flour than called for and will make the dough stiff and the rolls dry. Simply blend in flour until it disappears in the dough. When all the flour has been added, switch dough to another large, well-oiled bowl It will be very sticky, but should look “wet.” Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow dough to rise until doubled in size. In the fridge, this will take several hours. If allowed to stand in a warm place (by a heating register, on top of a stove while the oven is on, by a window where the sun comes in), the dough will rise in about an hour. Sometimes the dough rises so much it will actually split the plastic wrap on the bowl.
For the rolls: When dough has doubled, divide into two equal halves. Use 9-by-13-inch pans for baking the rolls. Prepare pans for baking by greasing them with shortening or cooking spray. Cover bottom of pan with waxed paper, then grease the waxed paper with shortening or cooking spray. On a lightly floured work surface, roll one half of dough out into a 12-by-17-inch rectangle. Brush rectangle with half the melted butter (4 tablespoons). Mix brown sugar and cinnamon in a plastic bag. Sprinkle half of sugar/cinnamon mixture over melted butter on dough Beginning with a short end of the rectangle, gently roll dough up into a “log.”
Using a serrated knife (one with “teeth” in it), cut rolls about 1 inch thick. Place rolls, evenly spaced, in prepared pans. Repeat this process with the other half of the dough. Cover pans loosely with plastic wrap and allow rolls to rise until doubled in size. (They may also rise overnight in the refrigerator, which is what I do)
When rolls have risen to the desired height (or have come to room temperature out of the fridge in the morning!), heat oven to 375 degrees. Bake rolls for about 20 minutes or until barely golden brown. Do NOT overbake as they will be dry. While rolls are baking, make icing as follows.
Icing: In a medium saucepan, melt butter or margarine over medium heat. Remove from heat when butter is melted. Using a whisk, stir in powdered sugar until mixture looks “pasty” and “crumbly” in pan. Gradually add milk while stirring until icing becomes smooth and of a pourable consistency. Don’t be afraid to add more or less milk or sugar in order to get icing the way YOU like it. Use a whisk to smooth out any lumps. Stir in vanilla. As mixture cools, it will thicken. You may want to add more milk to thin icing before pouring it over your rolls.
When rolls are done, immediately flip them onto a baking sheet and peel off the waxed paper. Flip them right-side up onto a serving platter and pour over the icing before the rolls cool. Allow icing to seep into the rolls and down the sides. Makes 30-36 rolls.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Some of my girlfiends have been asking me to post this recipe--it is always a winner & great to have the ingredients on hand for a quick comforting weeknight meal! It only takes about 20 minutes start to finish.
Tortellini Tomato Spinach Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup minced onion (about 1/2 small onion)
4 to 6 cups broth, chicken or vegetable
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (9-ounce) package fresh tortellini or 4 servings dried tortellini
Coarse grained salt and cracked black pepper
10 ounces fresh baby spinach
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
In a 3-quart soup pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Saute the onion, stirring often until onions are translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add broth and tomatoes, turn heat up to high, and bring to a boil. Add the tortellini and cook according to package instructions. When tortellini is almost done, add spinach and taste, adjusting seasonings with salt and pepper. Serve immediately. Garnish each serving with a sprinkling of Parmesan.
ALTERNATE INGREDIENTS: We also love to add cooked ground sausage to this recipe. and if you have a couple carrots on hand, slice them thin (or grate) and add when you cook the onions.