Posted: May 27th, 2010 | Filed under: Bread, Breakfast | Tags: cinnamon rolls, cinnamon rolls from scratch, homemade cinnamon rolls | No Comments »
I have spent many a morning wishing for a delicious cinnamon-y, soft, buttery cinnamon roll. Warm and gooey and covered in something I will have to work extra hard to spin off later. And I have been searching high and low all over the Dallas/Denton/Lewisville area for this cinnamon roll, but everything is just too bread-y, or too hard, or too sweet or flavorless. But I saw these sweet little babies somewhere… and it was only a small matter of time until I could come up with an excuse to make these sweet morsels of deliciousness. And man… what a way to wake up! If you follow my twitter feed and happened to be up on Sunday morning around 8 am you probably saw my ecstatic tweets about how amazing my apartment smelled when these guys were baking away. It didn’t help that I also had a little mug of coffee in my hands… (I don’t normally drink coffee in the morning).
So I give you… Cinnamon Rolls via The Pioneer Woman. And I’m just do us all a favor and link straight to the page. Trust me.. her step by step instructions are amazing and I could not do a better job.
So don’t wait.. here you go… http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2007/06/cinammon_rolls_/ — and don’t wait too long to try them.. okay?!
Posted: May 23rd, 2010 | Filed under: Entree | Tags: asparagus, asparagus entree, Asparagus tart, bacon and asparagus | 3 Comments »
Recently my sweet little sister and her best friend finished their finals and came and visited me! Very fun! Before they headed down sweet little sister had one request… that I cook dinner. Thats cool, I can handle that. I had been wanting to adapt a recipe… so this would be the perfect opportunity to demonstrate a really fun recipe for the girls that they could cook together in their new apartment together… Nice. Not to mention that the asparagus have been really pretty lately.
I love love asparagus. In fact, I have always liked asparagus, even since I was little. And my sweet husband has not always felt this way, until I converted him with fresh green delicious asparagus. (Not from a can.) And now he too loves it. Ariel is similar… (except for the can part) she just needed to grow into the idea of asparagus I think. And I’ll tell you this… she called me shortly after for the recipe so she could make this with friends. Yea! I personally wish I had known this recipe in college… it feels so grown up… “Asparagus tart”… yeah, tell your friends that you’re bringing that to the party, and they will be surprised. But what they don’t know is how easy it is.
I hope you try it out… and enjoy the flavors of spring/summer. And maybe brag a little to your friends that you can make an “asparagus tart.”
Adapted from delicious days.
1 bunch of organic green asparagus (I used about18 pieces)
2-3 slices of thick cup apple wood bacon
1 large red potato, sliced into 1/4 in slices
3-4 tbsp olive oil
Store bought pie crust (from the refrigerated section, I like Pilsbury)
1 – 2 c Sharp white cheddar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 c heavy whipping cream
Sea salt & freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. On a baking pan with a wire cooling rack on top, place your slices of bacon. Bake your bacon until crispy and delicious, about 20-30 min. Remove from the wire rack, drain the bacon and pat dry with paper towel.
Thinly slice potatoes and toss in a few spoons of olive oil. Bake potatoes in a layer on a baking sheet at 400 degrees F until soft in the middle, about 15 min.
Grease a tart pan (I used 9 inch rectangular form) with butter, arrange pie crust and form a small rim. Using a fork, stab little holes all over the arranged puff pastry. On top, add a layer of potato slices and sprinkle with grated cheese. Crumble the bacon on top of the cheese.
Combine eggs and cream in a bowl, season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper and pour over the potato/cheese/bacon layer. Arrange asparagus spears equally across the tart. You may want to brush the tart edges with egg yolk to let it gain a nice golden color while baking.Bake at (350°F) in the preheated oven for about 30min or until edges are golden.
This pairs really well with a nice fresh lemon dressed mixed green salad and a big glass of iced tea.
Posted: May 16th, 2010 | Filed under: Bread, Breakfast | Tags: banana bread, cream cheese, cream cheese and banana bread, cream cheese banana bread | 1 Comment »
You know, when I was a little girl… I remember my mom making banana bread. You know how the bananas are perfect for just a day or two, then they start to over ripen — (I like mine with just a tiny bit of green.)– and she would let them over ripen, and when I would ask about them – “Mommy, the bananas have spots, should we throw them away?” and she would simply reply… “No, no, we are saving them for banana bread.” Mmmm… I would think… I like banana bread. And I still do. And I let my bananas over ripen to the point of Ryan asking… “Alyssa, when can we toss these things?” And then I make banana bread. And while I have made some tremendous banana breads – using whole wheat, and half wheat, pecans, walnuts, and lots of butter and no butter and yogurt and I am still always ready for a new recipe… just to see. And I stumbled across this one. Full of cream cheese and banana and just tangy enough and perfectly soft and yummy. And do I even need to discuss how the house smells while it is baking away in the oven? Good. Really good.
Cream Cheese Banana Bread
adapted from Southern Living Cookbook
3/4 c butter, softened
1 8oz package cream cheese, softened
2 c sugar
2 large eggs
3 c all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
4 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 tbsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until blened. Stir in mashed banana and vanilla. Spoon batter into 2 greased and floured 8 x 4 inch loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean and sides pull away from pan, shielding with aluminum foil the last 15 minutes to prevent browning. Cool on wire racks for at least 10 minutes. Remove from pans and let cool 30 minutes.
Posted: May 5th, 2010 | Filed under: Entree | Tags: grown up peanut butter and jelly sandwich, peanut butter and jelly, sandwich | 2 Comments »
So sometimes you just want the great things that you ate as a kid. Elementary as they are, I often crave a pb&j sammy – and avoid making one because it is not full of healthy and good for you ingredients. (A real excuse right?) But the other night Ryan wasn’t home yet, and I was starving and there was the sliced sourdough… and the fresh strawberries… just sitting and staring at me… and so it was. My favorite kid sandwich sitting on a plate just a little warm from toasting the bread and gooey and fresh and dang delicious. Oh so delicious. So here it is, my more “grown up” version of PB&J. And so it is.
2 slices of soughdough bread toasted (with a little butter would be nice also)
A few sliced strawberries
A couple of spoonfuls of creamy peanut butter
A few spoonfuls of jam of choice (I prefer either red plum or strawberry)
On one piece of toasted bread spread the jam, on the other the peanut butter. On top of the peanut butter slice pile high those strawberries and put the jelly slice on top of the other slice sandwiching the strawberries in between. Cut in half and dig in friend. Enjoy every bite of goodness.
Posted: May 2nd, 2010 | Filed under: Cake | Tags: butter cream, chocolate buttercream, easy chocolate buttercream, lessons on buttercream, simple buttercream | 3 Comments »
I love getting to make a cake for a friend as a treat. It is fun for me – especially when I have planned it, and made time for it, and can enjoy the process. So this week for my friend Scherrie celebrated her birthday, I surprised her with a tasty golden yellow cake with chocolate buttercream.
Celebration cakes do not have to be super fancy. In fact, the birthday girl’s favorite cake is a yellow cake with chocolate icing. So that is what she got. Why does celebration have to mean fancy schmancy? It doesn’t. It should just mean super tasty. And not much is tastier than a simple tried and true cake recipe with a little extra pizzaz on top. Sweet, simple, celebration.
It was a tasty cake, especially since everyone in my office loves milk chocolate. But for my little dark chocolate loving tastebuds, it was a little lighter than I would have liked. I took a chance on trying a new buttercream recipe, but I’m not sure I made the right call. It was simple enough, but as far as depth and flavor go, it just wasn’t as dynamic as I would have liked. It was sweet and tasty, and smooth – but not deep enough to please me. It was definitely better than something out of a can though. However, the cake was beautiful, my layers were perfectly even – it was a hit! So happy birthday weekend dear Scherrie! And for the rest of you, enjoy a nice little celebration cake.
Easy Chocolate Buttercream
from Martha Steweart’s Cooking School
1 lb unsalted butter
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 c unsweetened dutch process cocoa powder
5 1/4 c sifted confectioners sugar
With an electric mixer, cream butter on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla. Reduce speed to medium; add cocoa. Mix until smooth. Add sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix on high speed until well blended, 10 to 20 seconds more. (If not using immediately, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 3 days.)