March 27, 2004

IT'S WHAT'S FOR BREAKFAST

we have for years started all special days with cinnabons. they used to be soooo much better than they are now. trust me. now you have to pay extra for the fresh rolls and the not-so-fresh are way overpriced as far as im concerned. but when they were good, wed pick them up the night before a birthday, christmas, any holiday, really. and they were breakfast.

those days are officially over. bill and i have tried over and over again to perfect a perfect cinnamon roll. denied. too many times to count. wtf? its NOT brain surgery. we would not give up. last night we decided to try yet again. and this time we were going to try the easy route. bill looked in our bread maker cook book and followed the recipe for sticky buns dough. by 9 a.m., we had a batch of sweet dough. ready to roll out and finish up. the cookbook hd a nice sauce recipe that i prepared while bill was rolling out the dough, spreading with butter, and sprinkling with a mixture of brown sugar and cinnamon. we rarely follow recipes exactly. they came out great. heres a picture.

pecan rolls.jpg

and heres how well make them NEXT time. as you can see from the picture, there was TOO MUCH SAUCE. and. i want bigger, fatter buns. so ill make the bigger batch of dough. and ill leave off the pecans. just for the next time.

the dough (breadmaker recipe):

1 c water
3 c white bread flour
2T dry milk
3T sugar
1t salt
3T butter
2t fast rise yeast

follow your breadmaker instructions to create the dough do not bake!

roll out the dough (on a floured surface) to about 20 x 8.

filling:

1 c brown sugar
2 t cinnamon
c softened butter

spread the butter onto the dough. sprinkle the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture evenly on top. roll up the dough, rolling the short side across. cut the roll into 8 even pieces.

sauce:

2 T butter
cup brown sugar
3 T corn syrup

heat the ingredients in a sauce pan until the butter melts and sugar dissolves. pour the syrup into an 8 inch cake pan. place the cinnamon rolls in the cake pan on top of the syrup. one right in the middle. the other 7 evenly spaced round the pan. place a towel over the pan and let the buns rise for an hour until doubled in size. bake the rolls in a 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. let cool only a couple minutes. invert onto plate, letting the plate set on top for a couple minutes.

if i wanted cinnabon-like rolls, id leave out the sauce and frost the rolls with a cream cheese frosting.

Posted by Stacey at 06:19 PM | Comments (5)

March 26, 2004

HELLOOOOO

we anticipate that this page will undergo a lot of changes i dont know when or even what kind of changes but we thought wed get it up and let it grow as we worked on it and in it.

Posted by Bill at 09:34 AM | Comments (6)

March 25, 2004

RO·TEL & Jambalaya

I took a trip a while back to Louisiana to investigate a plane crash at the Iberia Parish airport. I flew into Lafayette and drove to New Iberia, home of Tabasco® sauce. I met up with the manager of the airport and did all the things I had to do about gathering info. He suggested lunch. I had never eaten in Louisiana, which is to say that outside of Louisiana, I would come to find out, the food just didn't seem to taste the same as it did in Louisiana. And yes, I have to laugh when I look at the menu and see Cajun Chicken Pasta with Creole sauce. I learned from the airport manager about Louisiana cooking, about the differences in Cajun and Creole, about spices and heat, when he told the cook at this little ol' restaurant to make a little bit of everything. I never heard of crawfish etouffee or half the other stuff we were served that long, lazy, filling afternoon of Deep Southern hospitality.

Here's a quick and easy Jambalaya. Go out and get a box of Zatarain's New Orleans Style Jambalaya Mix and follow the instructions on the box.

Although Stacey is a wimp about the flavor of certain peppers, the boys and I have acquired a taste for that sort of thing. The miracle that Teflon is, it cannot stand up to the combinations of ingredients that Jackson uses on chicken breasts or steaks that he sears on the George Foreman grill, including homemade Cajun seasoning mix ripped off with some modifications from Paul Prudhomme, Tabasco sauce, scotch bonnet peppers, and habanero peppers. The Teflon flakes off after a while -- we got him his own grill.

Anyway, I substitute a can of RO·TEL Diced Tomatoes & Chile Peppers for about half the water required by the recipe on the Zatarain's Jambalaya box. Now, depending on your level of tolerance, there are four grades of RO·TEL, those being Milder, Original, Hot, and EXTRA HOT. I need to caution you about the Hot, which is exquisitely painfully hot. It is not for beginners.

And use the Extra Hot, which is excruciatingly, painfully, lastingly, unsparingly hot, with extreme caution (and if you are Catholic, with extreme unction).

If some wise-ass claims to be able to tolerate heat, use tasso ham for the meat of choice and the Extra Hot RO·TEL. Save the last glass of whole milk for you and serve your guest good, old-fashioned, 10-ounce glass bottle of Coca-Cola.

Consider yourself warned. And enjoy the adventure!

Posted by Bill at 10:54 PM | Comments (0)

March 24, 2004

Chocolate Cookies

This is the first post on the Kitchen blog. Just don't think that we are too interested in the carbs, the fats, the calories, or whether you are allergic to anything. You can read the ingredients. If you're allergic to some ingredient, don't make the thing -- or take a risk and substitute for the ingredient.

Here's a recipe for chocolate cookies.

9 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate, in chips or chunks
3/8 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
5 eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat an oven to 400 degrees. Melt 5 1/2 cups of the chocolate over a double-boiler, or nuke it in short intervals, stirring periodically.

2. Cream the butter and sugar in a mixer until light and fluffy and add the eggs one at a time, blending until mixed.

3. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt to the butter mixture and mix just until combined.

4. Add the melted chocolate and mix until combined, then stir in the remaining chocolate pieces. Pour the mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet or tray. Put the mixture into a refrigerator for 5 - 10 minutes until slightly hard.

5. Reverse the sheet or tray onto another piece of parchment paper on a hard surface. Use a knife to divide the mixture into squares. With your hands, roll each of the squares into a ball and evenly space them on one or two parchment-lined baking sheets. The balls are going to spread out when baking.

6. Bake the cookies for 15 to 25 minutes, until crusty on the outside (they should be gooey on the inside). Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before eating.

Posted by Bill at 10:07 PM | Comments (0)