Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Cinnamon Rolls (pizza crust recipe)

photo courtesy of Delores Bailey
The other night I needed a dessert and since I was out of eggs and I only had a little cocoa and powdered sugar, my options were limited.  I decided to give this a try.  Forgive my lack of clear instructions…it was one of those things I just did without measuring much.  I don’t think you could mess these up too much.  I was also lazy and just sprinkled the sugars and cinnamon on instead of combining them first.

Overall I was pleased with how these turned out.  They didn’t take long to throw together and there is only one time needed for rising the dough (after you make the rolls).  So it’s not a time-consuming recipe.  The taste and texture were great!  And this dough is just so easy to work with!

I first made my pizza crust dough recipe:
1 ¾ - 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 envelope Fleischmann’s Pizza Crust Yeast
1 ½ teaspoon sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup very warm water (120 – 130 degrees)
3 tablespoons oil

Combine 1 cup flour, yeast, sugar, and salt.  Stir in water and oil.  Mix together until well blended (about 1 minute).

Gradually add ½ cup flour until soft dough ball is formed.  Add more flour if needed. 

Knead on a floured surface, adding more flour as needed until smooth & elastic (about 4 minutes). Honestly, I just knead enough flour into it until it’s not so sticky.  It’s probably more like 2 or 3 minutes.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface.  Roll into a rectangle (as thin as you can easily do—not thin like pie crust but you want it thin enough to be able to roll it up a few times). 

Butter, softened (about 2 tablespoons)
Cinnamon (about 1 teaspoon—I just sprinkled it from the jar)
White sugar (about 3 tablespoons)
Brown sugar (about 3 tablespoons)

Spread butter over the dough.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugars (you can combine the three first).  Carefully roll the dough up from the long edge, as tightly as you can (which won’t be that tight).  Slice the log into pieces (I did about 1 ½ inch pieces and then flattened them because my log was pretty long and narrow…you can do it however you want).  Place into buttered baking pan (I used a Pampered Chef stone round baking pan—I think it’s 10 inches), about 1 inch apart.  A glass baking dish would work, a cake pan, or even an iron skillet.

Cover the pan with clear wrap and place in warm spot until the rolls are doubled and almost touching.  A cold oven with the light on is a perfect place for this!  The top of the refrigerator works well too.

Bake at 400 until done (about 15 minutes, but watch it closely after 10).  Depending on the pan, it might take more like 20-30 minutes.  The center should be set.

2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
Milk (enough to make a drizzling consistency)

Whisk together.  Glaze the warm cinnamon rolls.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Owl Craft Project

We made these easy and cute owls the other day.  They were made with the things we had on hand...toilet paper tubes (I even cut a paper towel tube down to size when we ran out!), construction paper, muffin cups (we used two per owl), tape, and glue.  Even my 2 1/2 year old could do most of it herself!  I admit they would have been a bit cuter with some brighter muffin cups.  This is where we got the idea from:  http://www.parents.com/fun/arts-crafts/kid/give-a-hoot-owl-craft/

To make the "vase and sticks," I took a half-pint jar, some sticks, some crumpled paper (stuffed inside the jar to keep the sticks standing up), and a piece of construction paper taped to the outside.

We shared the arrangement with Grannie & Mimi's office.  The girls kept a few owls to play with.  They've been begging to make more!  Looks like we'll be buying some more muffin cups and continuing to collect some tubes so we can make another arrangement!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Cinnamon Honey Butter

I used to make this with ¼ cup powdered sugar.  I honestly prefer the honey version. 

1 stick salted butter, softened
1 tablespoon honey
1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon

Stir together until smooth.  Serve at room temperature.

Pumpkin Muffins

This is my adaptation of a recipe that came in my Tea Time Magazine.  These muffins are SO yummy!  They are very moist and full of flavor.  I haven't had luck with making homemade muffins and them being cake-like or moist after they've cooled.  These are!  They're great hot or room temperature! 

I have two versions in case you have 1 cup of pumpkin or a whole can to use.  I suggest you make more so you can share or freeze some.   You may also want to decrease the amount of honey…these are more like cake!

Get creative…add walnuts, raisins, dried cranberries, crystallized ginger (as suggested in Tea Time Magazine), etc.

2 ¼ cups white whole wheat flour
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
¾ teaspoon ginger
¼-½ teaspoon cloves
¾ teaspoon salt
1-15 oz. can pumpkin
¾ cup honey
3 eggs
1 cup whole buttermilk (or 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice plus enough whole milk to make 1 cup; let set for 10 minutes)
6 tablespoons oil

Spray muffin pan or use muffin paper liners.  Stir together dry ingredients.  In a separate bowl, combine pumpkin, honey, eggs, buttermilk, and oil.  Whisk until combined.  Pour into dry ingredients and stir until combined.  Fill muffin cups two-thirds full.  Bake at 400 for 18-20 minutes or until done. 

1 ½ cups white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger
¼teaspoon cloves
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup canned pumpkin
½  cup honey
2 eggs
2/3 cup whole buttermilk (or 2 teaspoons vinegar or lemon juice plus enough whole milk to make 2/3 cup; let set for 10 minutes)
¼ cup oil

Friday, September 7, 2012

Easy Chicken Fajitas

This recipe came out of desperation when I was pregnant and craved the Mexican restaurant fajitas that we get at our favorite local place.  It’s quick and easy!  The best part is, you can cater it to your preferences and tastes.  Cook the veggies as long (or not-so-long in my case!) as you like!  Have fun!  It’s healthy and delicious!  You can even do quesadillas with the mixture if you prefer that over fajitas.

1-2 onions, cut in half and sliced
1-2 bell peppers (any color)
1 pound of chicken breasts (I use tenders)
chili powder
olive oil

You can either use two skillets and cook the veggies and chicken simultaneously or you can cook them in the same skillet at different times.  I usually cook my veggies first, put them on a serving platter, then cook the chicken. 

Basically you cook the veggies and chicken in a little oil and sprinkle with salt and chili powder.  I usually cook the chicken strips and then slice in smaller pieces; you can slice the raw meat first if you prefer (it’s easier and quicker for me to slice the cooked meat than to cut raw meat). 

Serve veggies and meat on flour tortillas.  Add yogurt, sour cream, ranch, whatever you want!  Add cheese and salsa if you like.  Be creative.  Cook some tomatoes with the veggies…or any other veggies!
This is great fixed ahead of time and heated up when needed.