Saturday, December 19, 2009

Incredible Cinnamon Buns

This is not my recipe and I do not remember who gave it to me years ago, but these turn out a lot like the rolls served at the malls... very good for breakfast during the decadant holiday season and they disappear fast if you have company :)

1/2 c warm water
2 packages dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 3-1/2 oz vanilla pudding mix
1/2 c margarine, melted
2 eggs
1 t salt
6 c flour

Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 c margarine
1 t vanilla
3 c confectioner's sugar
1 T milk

In a small bowl combine water, yeast and sugar. Stir until dissolved. Set aside. In large bowl, take pudding mix and prepare according to package directions. Add margarine, eggs, and salt. Mix well. Then add yeast mixture. Blend. Gradually add flour; knead until smooth.

Place in a large greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled. Punch down dough and let rise again.

Then roll out on floured board to 34 x 21-inch size. Take 1 cup soft butter and spread over surface. In small bowl, mix 2 cups brown sugar and 4 teaspoons cinnamon. Sprinkle over top. Roll up very tightly.

With knife, put a notch every 2”. Cut with thread or knife. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet 2” apart. Take hand and lightly press down on each roll. Cover and let rise until double again. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Take out when they start to turn golden. Don’t over bake.

Beat all frosting ingredients together. Frost warm rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes about 20 very large rolls.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Clean out the Kitchen Minestrone

This is SO flavorful and soul satisfying!

2 cans or 3 cups fresh cooked beans (any kind you like)
1 sweet vidalia or other onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 sweet italian sausages (can be skipped if you're going veggie, but find something with flavor)
2 carrots peeled and chopped
1 parsnip peeled and chopped
1 bunch kale, hard stems removed and chopped
1 large or 2 medium yellow or red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
2 zucchini choped
3 28-oz cans crushed tomatoes
2 14 1/2 oz cans broth - any kind

2 T pesto, or more to taste
2 T oregano, or more to taste
salt and pepper to taste
parmesan cheese

This makes a HUGE batch - get our your biggest pot and prepare to share!

Coat the bottom of the soup pan with olive oil over medium heat. Dump in sausage and brown, chopping up with a wooden spoon as you go. Add onions, garlic, carrots, peston, oregano, some salt, and parsnip, and stir around till they begin to get tender. Toss in kale, peppers, and zucchini and stir around till kale wilts and all veggies are tender. Dump in tomatoes and broth, maybe adding more broth if you need to cover it well, or water works fine too. Bring to a boil for a few minutes, then reduce to simmer. Add more seasonings if you like and serve with a few spoonfuls of pesto and or parmesan cheese and some crusty bread! Very soul satisfying in cool weather! 

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Leftover Turkey Tortilla Soup

1 large jalapeno pepper, chopped
1 large sweet (vidalia or walla walla) onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T cumin, ore more to taste
salt, pepper
2 cups leftover cooked turkey or chicken, or omit if you are vegetarian
1 32 oz box of broth, or a 2-3 cans
2 cans crushed tomatoes
i bag of frozen corn
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 14 1/2 oz cans of beans, I like the black beans
16 oz shredded cheddar cheese
olive oil

Optional garnish, crused tortilla chips, sour cream, chopped avocado

Pour olive oil to coat bottom of large soup pot. Add onions, garlic, jalapeno, a teaspoon of salt or so, and the cumin and stir till onion is cooked. Dump in chicken or turkey and warm up. Add tomatoes, broth, corn, beans, and chopped cilantro. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat, stir in cheese, and simmer for awhile till all the flavors blend. Add more salt, pepper, and cumin to taste. Cumin gives it all the flavor so I usually add a LOT more, but its up to you. Better to start with a little and adjust to your liking!

Serve with crushed chips, a dallop of sour cream, and some chopped avocadoes on top. YUM! Very spicy and warming.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Ann’s Adaptation of Ruth’s Chris Bread Pudding

One bite of this warm bread pudding sends me to heaven!

1 loaf of French bread cut into bite size cubes
2/3 c raisins
1 c of cherries (found near pie filling section of the store – you
don’t want the pie filling, you want cherries in juice)
2 c sugar
1 1/2 t cinnamon
9 eggs
1 1/2 t vanilla
4 c milk
1/2 c butter

Whiskey Sauce:

1 1/2 c milk
2 t melted butter
1 1/2 t cornstarch
1 1/2 t water
1/3 c sugar
2 eggs
1/4 c whiskey

Pudding: Dry out French bread cubes on a cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. Place in a greased 9 x 13” pan. Drain cherries really well. (The juice is great to drink with seltzer water so don’t waste it!) Sprinkle raisins & drained cherries over the top of the bread. In a large mixing bowl, mix sugar & cinnamon. Add eggs and vanilla, and mix again.

Bring milk and butter to a steam in a saucepan, but do not let boil. Add this to the sugar-egg mixture and beat well. Pour carefully over the bread, raisins, and cherries and carefully fold, using a spatula. Cover with foil and cook at 325 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove foil and carefully stir again, so as not to bread the bread. Bake an additional 40 minutes until golden brown, firm, yet bouncy. Remove from oven, run a knife around the edges and let cool to room temperature. When serving, top with whiskey sauce.

Whiskey Sauce: Pour milk and melted butter in a pan and heat until almost, but not boiling. Mix cornstarch and water. Put sugar and cornstarch mixture in a food processor and process briefly to prevent lumps. Whip eggs, and then fold into the sugar-cornstarch mixture. When milk is almost to a boil, slowly pour in the egg mixture, while constantly whipping. Place this on a low heat until desired thickness is maintained. Stir constantly. Take off heat and cool before adding whiskey. While sauce is cooling, continue to whip to reduce lumping. Add whiskey. If sauce is too thick, it can be thinned with milk.

Serves 8
Based on a recipe I found on the Internet and adapted to my tastes!