Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Buttered Rosemary Rolls

I love bread, and when I found these over at The Pioneer Woman Cooks!, I had to give them a shot. I absolutely loved these rolls! They were too salty for my roommate and her boyfriend, but I thought they were absolutely perfect and so easy! This was also my first introduction to sea salt - how have I been missing such a precious thing for all of these years?!

Frozen, Unbaked Dinner Rolls
Melted Butter, Regular, Salted
Fresh Rosemary, Coarsely Chopped
Coarse Sea Salt

Spray a small iron skillet with cooking spray (or coat with olive oil). Place frozen rolls in the skillet, leaving plenty of room for rising. Cover and allow to rise for several hours.

After rising, brush rolls with melted butter.

Sprinkle on chopped rosemary. Brush with additional butter. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt.

Bake according to roll package directions (usually 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes), until rolls are a deep golden brown on top.

Serve skillet on the table.

Perfect Pound Cake

This cake was amazing - I even forgot to add the eggs until towards the end (There was no mention of when to put them in, which is why I managed to miss it, until I looked at what I had in my mixing bowl and realized there was something very wrong and my mixture was far too dry. I modified the original recipe that I got from Pioneer Woman and put in when to add the eggs.) The only thing that made this superb cake better, for me, was getting a container of sliced strawberries in syrup from Safeway the next day to dump over a piece of cake - heaven!

3 sticks butter
3 cups sugar
5 whole eggs
1 teaspoon Butter Flavoring
2 teaspoons Lemon Flavoring (I found through a Google search that you can substitute 3 teaspoons lemon juice, but I ended up buying the lemon flavoring so I don't know how the substitution results would turn out)
3 cups All-purpose flour
1 cup Sprite

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Cream butter. Add sugar, one cup at a time, mixing after each addition. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add butter and lemon extracts and mix well. Add flour, one cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add soft drink, then mix together until combined. Scrape sides of bowl, then mix briefly.

Pour into greased Bundt pan and bake for one hour to one hour ten minutes, until the cake is no longer jiggly. (I cooked mine for one hour twenty-five minutes because it wasn't done before that.)

Remove cake from oven and invert pan until cake drops out. Slice and chow down.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Pastor Ryan's Monkey Bread

I can't say enough good things about this "cake" from Pioneer Woman. I brought Monkey Muffins, also from Pioneer Woman, to my family for Christmas Day Brunch and they were a HUGE hit, even with the traditionally "non-carb" folks. Both of these recipes are fantastic, but I normally make Pastor Ryan's Monkey Bread now.

3 cans buttermilk biscuits (the non flaky-ones) – I use the generic Safeway brand with the butter flakes in them and they work great
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons (to 3 teaspoons) cinnamon (I use 2 and it’s perfect for me)
2 sticks butter
½ cup brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. (Even though the butter will coat the Bundt pan I still spray it with cooking spray to start.)

Open up all three cans of biscuits and cut each biscuit into quarters.

Next, combine the white sugar with 2-3 teaspoons of cinnamon. (3 teaspoons of cinnamon gives it a fairly strong cinnamon flavor. If you’re not so hot on cinnamon, cut it back to 2 teaspoons.) Dump these into a 1-gallon zip bag and shake to mix evenly.

Drop all the biscuit quarters into the cinnamon-sugar mix. Once all the biscuit quarters are in the bag seal it and give it a vigorous shake. This will get all those pieces unstuck from one another and nicely coated with cinnamon-sugar. Spread these nuggets out evenly in the Bundt pan. (I take what’s left of the cinnamon sugar and dump it over the biscuit pieces after they have been coated.)

At this point, you’re going to want to melt the two sticks of butter together with ½ cup of brown sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat. This can be light or dark brown sugar. Cook butter/sugar mixture, stirring for a few minutes until the two become one. Once the brown sugar butter has become one color, you can pour it over the biscuits. (I just put two sticks of butter in the pan and dump the brown sugar over it; once it starts to melt I stir it.)

Bake for about 30-40 minutes until the crust is a deep dark brown on top. When its finished cooking, remove it from the oven. If you have the willpower, allow it to cool for about 15-30 minutes before turning it over onto a plate.

Streusel Coffee Cake

I found this recipe over at Real Mom Kitchen, and I made it with Country Crock margarine from the tub, that was what we had at the time, and it tasted funny to my roommate, her boyfriend and me. It probably didn’t help that I ran out of regular Bisquick and had to use the reduced fat stuff for the streusel topping, either. Based on that, though, I would highly suggest cubed margarine or butter, and let me know if it’s good after the correct ingredients? Only because…mine was an epic fail!!!

Cinnamon Streusel
1/3 cup original Bisquick mix
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons firm butter or margarine

Coffee Cake
2 cups original Bisquick mix
2/3 cup milk or water (I used milk)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg

Heat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit. Grease nine-inch round pan. In small bowl, stir streusel ingredients until crumbly, set aside.

In medium bowl, mix coffee cake ingredients until well blended. Spread in pan. Sprinkle with streusel.

Bake eighteen to twenty-two minutes or until golden brown.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

"Today is the first day of the rest of your life"

This post is copied from my journal, I wrote this entry Wednesday 5.5.10 on paper because I don't have Internet access at home at the moment

We hear this phrase so many times in our lives but I truly feel the journey that I've taken myself on over the last couple of weeks is going to bring about an incredible change for me and finally give me the direction that I've been searching for for years. It's incredible to me that I have just discovered my love of and my gift for baking in the past two years, and that I didn't really even begin to stretch my "culinary legs" really until the past seven months or so. I started a baking blog in January, and it wasn't until then that I formulated a plan, decided that I wanted to go to culinary school and applied for and was accepted to Pima. Then after I lost my job in February, the motorcycle accident, the month long recovery period and countless job applications turned in and a failed interview, I felt completely worthless and knew I had to do something with myself. So I went down to the college, completed my assessment tests, filled out the financial aid application for the summer and the fall and signed up for math, writing and human sexuality for the summer session.All I'm waiting on now is the financial aid to go through the school for the summer, then my classes start in three short weeks...un-be-freaking-lievable! I'm so very proud of myself because this is something that I'm doing for me, and I'm absolutely hell bent on this degree and acheiving it!