Homemade Cinnamon Rolls with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

 

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“Mom, what are you making for breakfast tomorrow?”

”I made breakfast today. What are you making for breakfast tomorrow?”

“I want cinnamon rolls, but those take too long.”

Fast forward to this morning & I’m awake at 6:30am. That, my friends, is sleeping in. The forecast was set for drastically reduced temperatures from yesterday’s perfect 70 degrees, by about 50 degrees, starting with rain, quickly turning to sleet, snow, and lots of northerly winds. AKA: perfect baking weather.

For the record, I tried my hands at cinnamon rolls once a long, long time ago as a new wife so essentially I was starting from scratch. After perusing a few trusted blogs (Add a Pinch, Smitten Kitchen, & I Am Baker) I pulled ideas from each to create my own & I got a big thumbs up from the family. I may have even put my own thumbs up after taking the first bite.

Give yourself ample time to make these, about three hours. It’s a process, but well worth the wait.

Ingredients: 

for the rolls:

  • I cup warm milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 packet fast rising yeast
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup melted butter, cooled
  • 2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for handling

for the filling: 

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened

for the whipped cream cheese frosting: 

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup (or 2 oz. cream cheese)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • pinch of Kosher salt

Preparation:

for the rolls: 

Warm milk to 110 degrees (not more than 110 or it will kill the yeast) and whisk in the sugar and packet of yeast. Cover with plastic wrap & allow to proof, approximately 30 minutes.

Add egg yolks, one egg, cooled melted butter, kosher salt, & proofed milk, sugar, yeast mixture into the bowl of a stand up mixer & whisk together using the paddle attachment.  Add flour, one cup at a time, stirring to incorporate. Remove the paddle attachment with the dough hook, and knead for 5-7 minutes. The dough should be soft & moist, not overly sticky. Transfer the dough into a large, lightly oiled bowl & cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise at room temperature until doubled, approximately 2 – 2 1/2 hours.

Once the dough has doubled in size, transfer to a large, lightly floured surface and roll to to a rectangle that is 18 or so inches wide (the side closest to you) & 12 or so inches long with 1/4 inch thickness.

for the filling: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon. Spread the softened butter over the dough and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture all over the buttered dough. Beginning with the edge closest to you, roll the dough into a tight, 18 inch long spiral. Very gently, using floss and/ or a string (or even a serrated knife sawing gently) cut into 1 1/2 inch sections. (I got a bit wonky with my sizing so I had 15 cinnamon rolls of various sizes, but ideally you’ll want 12). Place in a lightly buttered 9×13 baking dish.

NOTE: if making the night before, stop here, cover with plastic wrap, and place in refrigerator for up to 16 hours. Allow to rest on counter for 30 minutes prior to baking.

Bake until puffed and golden, approximately for 28-30 minutes, or until thermometer inserted reads 190 degrees.

for the whipped cream cheese frosting: 

While rolls are baking, add the butter, sifted powdered sugar, cream cheese, vanilla extract, & salt into stand up mixer. Mix on low to just combine. Once ingredients are incorporated, turn mixer on high & beat for 4-5 minutes, scraping down the sides. Frosting will be light & fluffy.

When rolls are finished baking, allow them to cool for 5 minutes in pan before topping with frosting.

 

 

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Brisket Quesadillas

Recently, the hubby & I spent a weekend in Dallas. It’s not too far from home & our girls are now relatively old enough to fend for themselves & are more than happy to have their parents out of their hair for a bit. The extra cash we left them was the proverbial cherry on top. While there, we ate excellent Tex-Mex & barbecue. We were reminiscing about the brisket quesadillas we had & opted to recreate our own. They were super tasty, and to be honest, you can’t go wrong with brisket.

Ingredients:

  • 5 lb brisket
  • Carne Asada steak seasoning
  • 4 tbsps Olive oil
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • Flour tortillas
  • Colby jack cheese, shredded

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a large cast iron skillet, add the olive oil & bring to medium heat so that it sizzles when a drop of water is added. While the oil is heating, cut the brisket in half & season both sides liberally with carne asada steak seasoning. Once the oil is ready, sear each side of the brisket for 4 minutes. Add two cups of beef broth to a baking pan & add the seared brisket to the pan. Cover tightly with foil & bake for 3 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted in the middle reads between 200 & 205 degrees. Remove from heat & allow to rest for 20 minutes before slicing.

Bring a griddle to medium-high heat. Lightly butter the flour tortillas, add cheese, slices of brisket, & top with another lightly buttered tortilla. Toast each side until lightly golden and cheese has melted.

We had plenty left over so I’m envisioning brisket tacos or enchiladas in our future! For the leftovers, we poured the beef broth into the container to help keep it moist.

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Almond Poppy Seed Bread

This is not the picture I intended to use for this recipe, but I’ve had more issues with my brand new phone being sent off & repaired, that I didn’t back it up yet again before they decided to send me a brand new phone to replace the previous one. So far, a couple weeks in & it’s been issue free which is how a new phone should be in the first place. That being said, I managed to snap this one, but don’t let the crappy photo deter you from baking this yummy bread. I had to save myself from myself when it came to this bread. One day I had it for brunch & dinner with nothing else. Yeah, it’s that good.

INGREDIENTS:

for the bread:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsps almond extract
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups oil
  • 3 tbsps Poppy seeds
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp butter flavoring
  • 1 1/2 tsps baking powder
  • 3 eggs

 

for the topping:

  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp butter flavoring
  • 3/4 cup sugar

PREPARATIONS:

 

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray 2 bread pans with non-stick spray; set aside. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, sugar, & oil until smooth. Stir in the almond & vanilla extract & the butter flavoring. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, & Poppy seeds. Beginning and ending with the milk, alternate adding some of the milk, then flour, stir & repeat. Distribute evenly between the two pans & bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Once the bread is finished baking, remove from the pans & transfer to a cooling rack & place parchment paper underneath. I learned the hard way and added the topping while the loaves were still in the pan and then allowed them to cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Once I went to remove the bread, the bottom of the loaves stuck to the bottom of the pans. So trust me when I say, boil the topping ingredients on the stove & then pour topping over the loaves after you’ve removed them from the pans. Allow to cool before slicing.

 

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Pan Seared Garlic Butter Steak

When it comes to steak, 9/10 Chris fires up the grill & I busy myself making baked potatoes & salad or some other type of veggie, but tonight I changed things up & opted for seasoned & seared steak with garlic butter. That’s right, garlic butter, mmm hmm! When the family declares, “This is so good!” after every other bite, you know you’ve got a new favorite on your hands. This is truly excellent & nearly fail proof.

Ingredients:

  • 3 (9-10 oz) Ribeye steaks
  • S&P, freshly ground
  • Olive oil
  • 4 tbsp butter, at room temperature
  • 8 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Parsley

Preparation:

Allow steaks to come to room temperature, 30-60 minutes. In a small bowl, add the butter, minced garlic, Thyme, & Rosemary; stir together until well combined; set aside. Liberally apply freshly ground salt & pepper to both sides of the steaks. Heat a large cast-iron skillet to medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat pan evenly.

Add seasoned steaks to pan, cover, & cook 3 minutes on each each side. Reduce heat to medium-low; add half of the butter mixture; distributing evenly to tops of the steaks. Turn steaks over, spread remaining butter mixture evenly over steaks, remove from heat, sprinkle tops of steaks with parsley, & let rest for 5 minutes.

Note: I only had dried Thyme & Rosemary on hand, so I sprinkled some into the butter. If you happen to have fresh, use 2-3 sprigs of each.

Posted in Meat, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Breakfast Quiche

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Ingredients:

  • 1 unbaked pastry shell
  • 12 strips of bacon, cooked & crumbled (8 if using thick cut bacon)
  • 1 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese
  • 1/3 cup onion, chopped
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Preparation:

Preheats oven to 450 degrees. Line un-pricked pastry shell with double thickness of foil. Bake for 5 minutes; remove foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Reduce heat to 425 degrees. Sprinkle bacon, cheese, and onion over the crust. In a bowl, beat eggs, cream, salt, and cayenne; pour into crust. Bake for 15 minutes and then reduce heat to 300 degrees and for 30 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center of the quiche comes clean.

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Bacon Squash Sauté

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The other day, I was chatting with a lady that runs a stand at her local farmer’s market every Saturday. We were making each other salivate as we talked about food, swapping recipes, & sharing ideas when she told me about this recipe. A few days later I tried it out for lunch, adding my own touches, & ate every last little bit. I will definitely be making it again.

Ingredients:

  • 1 small yellow squash
  • 1 small zucchini
  • onion, chopped, about 2-3 tbsps.
  • Lowry’s seasoning salt
  • garlic powder
  • fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2-3 slices bacon

Preparation:

Wash & pat dry the squash & zucchini, cut off the ends. Cut lengthwise in halves & with each half, depending on size of squash, cut lengthwise again, & then cut, dicing in 1/2 inch pieces. Add to a bowl & season, to your liking, with seasoning salt, garlic powder, & fresh cracked black pepper. Stir to coat; add more if needed. Dice up a bit of onion, again to your liking. I used red, but white or yellow would work fine, too.  Toss in bowl & stir. Allow to marinate while you cook the bacon.

In a skillet over medium heat, cut slices of bacon using kitchen shears, into smaller than bite sized pieces. Cook until done & crispy. Transfer bacon pieces to a plate lined with paper towels. Without draining the bacon grease in skillet, add the seasoned squash & onion mix to the skillet. Cook until squash begins to soften, but not squishy. You want it to still have a bit of crunch. Toss back in the bacon pieces, stir to incorporate in with squash, serve in a bowl, eat, & enjoy. You could also top with some fresh grated Parmesan cheese, if you want, but you certainly wouldn’t miss it if you opt not to.

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Another Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Another Choc Chip Cookie

Whenever I see a recipe labeled as “The Best Ever _____” I’m one part intrigued and other part eye roll because it’s touted entirely too much. Very seldom is something worthy of the title. I’m of the belief “Best Evers” typically only fall under the category of someone’s, “My Favorite” which, of course, they deem ‘Best Ever’. Right? We nurture our taste buds based on what we’re used to and quite likely, what we grew up with because food can certainly tease out a memory, a time, a place. Also, more often than not, recipes don’t vary enough to alter the taste of something to make a drastic enough difference.

When I came across this recipe and noted enough of a variation, I figured I’d give it a go. I opted out of using the maple extract because I’m not a fan of maple and have enough of a discernible palate to taste the difference, even at a half of teaspoon. Case in point: growing up during Christmas, my mom would make red, white, and green cookies using the cookie press and I could taste the difference – the only difference being the dye. My brothers refused to believe me and were somewhat awestruck after they blind folded me to the point I couldn’t even make out any light whatsoever and could; in fact, tell the difference between the cookies based exclusively on taste.

Is this a good cookie? Yes. Is it something I’d label Best Ever? No. What did I like best about it? Turbinado sugar, for sure. Try it for yourself to see what you think.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened (I used unsalted)
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup raw sugar (aka Turbinado), more to top on dough balls
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. maple extract (I omitted this)
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, spooned & leveled
  • 4 tsps. cornstarch
  • 2 tsps. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 10oz bag mini semisweet chocolate chips

Preparation: 

In a large bowl, beat the butter until light & fluffy, about two minutes; scraping the sides and bottom. Add the brown, white, and raw sugar; beat for 1 minute. Add the eggs, vanilla extract and maple extract; beat until combined. On top of this mixture, add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt & use a small spoon to stir it in. Beat on low speed just until flour is incorporated; scrape the sides and bottom. Stir in the mini chocolate chips.

At this point, you can tightly cover and chill the dough for several hours or a day, or not, do whatever floats your boat. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, sprinkle a little raw sugar on the top of each dough ball, and bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to rest on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Recipe from: https://thefoodcharlatan.com/best-chocolate-chip-cookies/

 

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