Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Traditional Cinnamon Rolls from the family Farm in Kansas

My wife makes the best Cinnamon Rolls. Her mother made the same ones. Our kids make them. It has ended up being a family tradition recipe. She grew up on a Mennonite Farm in Kansas, maybe that has something to do with it. Her family ate a lot of Cinnamon Rolls. Make them fresh, eat them hot. It's not easy to write down a recipe that's been made by someone for decades. My mother in law never used a measuring cup, teaspoons or tablespoons. She simply knew!

This is 1 recipe and it makes 2 pans of Rolls. (about 30 Cinnamon Rolls)

Traditional Cinnamon Rolls

You'll need 2 - 9" X 13 " glass casserole pans.

2 packages of Active Dry Yeast
1/2 C Warm Water (105 t0 115 degrees), use a candy thermometer. My wife heats it in a microwave with a microwave thermometer.
1/2 C Lukewarm Whole Milk, scalded then cooled.
1/2 C Sugar
1 tsp Salt
2 Eggs
1/2 C Butter (8 TBS), softened + additional for greasing.
4 1/2 C - 5 C Flour, divided.

Dissolve Yeast in Warm Water in the bowl of a Stand Mixer, with a Paddle Attachment.
2 1/2 C Flour
Beat until smooth.
Switch to a Dough Hook.
Add enough remaining Flour to make the dough easy to handle.

Turn the Dough onto a lightly floured surface.
Knead for about 5 minutes.
Put it in a  Big Yellow Tupperware Bowl to rise. (Hey, that's what she does) The dough never sticks so that's what they have used....... for decades!)
Cover with a Kitchen Towel ( she uses the cover for the bowl. When the dough rises, the top pops. Let it rise in a warm place  for about 1 1/2 hours. It's ready when you poke the dough, the imoression remains.
Punch it down.

At this point, cut the Dough into two equal pieces.
From this point you'll do this step twice (for each half of the Dough)

You'll also need the following for each 1/2 of the dough:
2 TBS Butter, softened.
1/4 C Brown Sugar
2 tsp Cinnamon

Icing Recipe to follow.

Roll each 1/2 of the Dough into a 15" X 9" rectangle.
Spread with Butter (she uses a bit more)
Mix the Sugar and Cinnamon together. (you can also make more of this).
Roll the Dough  into a log,from the widest side, as tight as you can.

Cut each half into 15 equal slices.
Grease the pans with additional Butter.
Set aside to rise until doubled in size.
Bake 25 - 30 minutes.
Immediately Ice the Rolls.

In a small mixing bowl:
Double this recipe if you're making the entire recipe of Dough.

1 1/2 C Confectioner's Sugar
1 TBS Whole Milk
1/2 tsp Vanilla.
Whisk well until smooth.
Smear the Rolls with the icing. (she uses her fingers)

Peace in the Kitchen!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake

I loved the look of this cake and the iconic Lemon/Blueberry combination.
I simply posted a link to the recipe so you could see the cake.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Monday, June 6, 2016

Coffee Drinks

We happen to love coffee, great coffee. We have many, many coffee makers, everything from Espresso Bialetti Stovetop to Campfire Percolators, French Press Pots and French Press individual Mugs......... we have 2 Nepresso Makers and we have Coffee Makers that can make anything from 4 cups to 40 cups. We have a Chemex Glass Carafe for a Pour Over. I could continue but I think you get the point of how much we love coffee.
I've posted my favorite recipe for Chai Tea Latte, Dirty Chai Tea and Filthy Chai Tea Latte. I added it at the end of this recipe. It's a great mixture to make great Chai Tea Latte. It's my favorite coffee order at Starbucks or our favorite Coffee Shops in Town.
Here's a delicious Coffee Drink you can make at home.

Here's what you'll need to make 1 Texas Cappuccino:

1 - Shot of Espresso, prepare ahead.
1 TBS Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 tsp Cocoa Powder
1/4 C Whole Milk, heated either on the stove or in a Microwave, divided.
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Hershey's Caramel Syrup
1 tsp of Heavy Cream
1 Stick of Cinnamon

In your favorite Coffee Mug:
Condensed Milk
1 TBS Hot, Whole Milk
Whisk well.

Remaining Hot Milk
Stir well.
Hot Espresso Shot

Top of with Heavy Cream.
Drizzle with Caramel Syrup.
Add Cinnamon Stick to stir.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Here's a great dinner coffee to serve with Mexican Wedding Cookies
after our Tamale Christmas Dinner.

Mexican Coffee

3/4 C Coffee Grounds for a Drip Coffee Maker
2 tsp Cinnamon
6 C Water
1 C Half and Half
1/3 C Chocolate Syrup
2 TBS Brown Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla

Put the Coffee Grounds and Cinnamon in the basket of a Coffee Maker.
Add the 6 C of Water and brew.

In a medium saucepan on low heat:
Half and Half
Chocolate Syrup
Brown Sugar
Whisk well.
Heat until the Sugar is completely dissolved.
Add Brewed Coffee.
Remove from heat.
Whisk well.

Serve in individual coffee cups.
Yields about 6 servings.

Peace in the Kitchen!

We spent 6 weeks this summer in Europe. I've been traveling there for over 45 years. We love Paris and we have friends throughout France. I'm fortunate to speak the language so it makes our travels easier. The newest discovery in France was the Nespresso Coffee Machine. It was everywhere we visited. All of our friends have them and many small Bakeries are using them. It was quite a surprise! I always compare any coffee in America with coffee in Paris. The first cup of coffee I ever drank was in Europe in the early 70's.
I forgot to mention that we have at least 10 coffee makers. But, the first purchase I made when we returned, was a Nespresso Machine. I must admit, it was a great decision!
In researching coffee recipes, I found this one made with Nespresso Coffee. You can certainly make it with regular Espresso.

This is the Nespresso Machine I have.

Nespresso Pumpkin Spice Latte:

Here's what you'll need:
1 - coffee mug to hold a 10 oz. drink.

This recipe makes 1 mug of coffee.

1 - 2 shots of Nespresso Espresso Coffee, depending on your preference. You can use any Espresso Coffee if you don't have a Nespresso Coffee Maker.
1 TBS Pure Pumpkin
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Ground Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
1/4 C Hot Milk mixed with 1/4 C Half and Half.
1 tsp Sugar (optional)

In a saucepan , heat Milk and Half and Half.
Warm it for 5 minutes.
Add Espresso and Milk mixture to a Mug.
Stir in the Spices and stir to combine well.

Top with Whipped Cream and a sprinkle of Nutmeg.

Peace in the Kitchen!

If you're a coffee lover, you might look forward to all of the holiday coffee flavors that come out once a year........ Gingerbread, Pumpkin, Peppermint Mocha and Egg Nog.
Here's a different twist to a tasty holiday coffee created by Kraft Foods. This recipe is made in a Drip Coffee Maker.
I have recipes for other flavored coffees, on the blog.

Holiday Orange Spiced Flavored Coffee:

1/3 C of your favorite Coffee Grounds. (we like French Roast)
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/8 tsp Ground Cloves
1/4 C of a good English Orange Marmalade
3 C Water

This is prepared the same as if preparing a pot of coffee in you Drip Coffee Maker:

In the filter basket:
Coffee Grounds
You don't have to mix it.

Add the Orange Marmalade to the empty Coffee Pot.
Fill the reservoir with the Water and brew as usual.
Stir to mix well when it's done brewing.
Serve hot with cream
It definitely needs cream to mellow out the spices.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Instant Cappuccino Mix

This makes a hot, instant, homemade Cappuccino drink.

2 C non dairy coffee creamer
1 C instant dry milk
1 1/2 TBS Chocolate Nesquik
2/3 C instant coffee ( I use Medaglia D'Oro instant espresso) ( Folger's or Nescafe)
3/4 C sugar
3/4 C Confectioner's sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
a dash of vanilla

Mix all but the vanilla
Store in a sealed container

Use 3 rounded TBS of the mix per cup of hot water
Add a dash of Vanilla to each cup of Cappuccino.

Peace in the Kitchen!

I have to apologize for everything that's underlined from here to the end of the post. I'm not sure how that happened but I don't have time to correct it!

We have coffee every afternoon. It's a habit that we got into while staying with friends in France.  We go to a couple of our favorite coffee shops. Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Gingerbread Lattes are out now and they're really good. They're really expensive too.
This afternoon I made this recipe and it's delicious. So we can start saving money and make our own Fall Coffee drinks every afternoon. Tomorrow I'll make the Gingerbread Spice mixture.  Follow the instructions exactly and you'll have a delicious homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte!
I have other Latte recipes on the blot and one of them that we make every year during the Holidays is made in a Crock Pot. It makes 14 cups.
I double the recipe for two of us.

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte:

1 C Whole Milk
2 TBS Pumpkin Puree
1 TBS Granulated Sugar
1/4 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice + additional for garnish.
1/4 tsp Vanilla
1/4 C Hot Espresso Coffee ( I use instant Medaglia d'Oro Espresso Coffee if I'm too lazy to use the Espresso Machine)

In a glass bowl or measuring cup:
Pumpkin Pie Spice
Whisk well.
Heat in  a microwave safe bowl covered with plastic wrap and vent with a small hole.
Heat 1 - 2 minutes.
Whisk vigorously until the milk is foamy, 30 seconds.
Add Espresso Coffee to a Coffee Mug, add foamed milk, top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of Pumpkin Pie Spice.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Almond Mocha Latte:

1 C Silk Almond Milk
1/2 C Espresso Coffee (prepared)
1 TBS Chocolate Syrup
1/8 tsp almond extract

In a saucepan, on medium/low heat:
Simmer milk
Add coffee and syrup, continue to heat for 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and add almond extract.
Pour into a mug.
Serve hot!

Peace in the Kitchen!

We had some amazing Chai Tea while on vacation in L.A.
Our son Taylor introduced us to Dirty Chai Latte.
Here's a great recipe to make your own mix.
It reminded me of Christmas  and I'll make this mix and have it available to serve during the Holidays.

Homemade Chai Tea Mix.
This is my favorite mix.
I simply double the recipe for two of us.
When it's finished, I strain it into a 2 C Pyrex Measuring Cup. It' makes it easier to divide for two drinks.
I also use an espresso cup to measure the coffee for our individual Latte.

For each 8 oz. cup of Chai tea:
1/2 C whole milk
1/2 C water
2 tsp Sugar
1 tsp loose Black Tea Leaves. I buy my tea leaves at an Indian Market.
1/4 tsp Chai Massala Mix. (recipe to follow)

Place all ingredients in a saucepan on medium heat.
Heat until bubbles appear around the perimeter of the pan.
Stir often to avoid scalding the milk. Adjust the heat if necessary.
Once it comes to a boil, remove from heat and stir well.
Return to heat and bring to boil again, turn off the heat, remove the pan and stir again.
Set aside and allow to steep for 3 minutes.
Strain into a mug and serve hot.
Enjoy it by itself as a Chai Tea Latte.
For a Dirty Chai Tea Latte, add 1 shot of espresso.
For a Filthy Chai Tea Latte, add 2 shots of espresso.

Chai Masala Mix:
1 C + 3 TBS roughly ground black pepper
3/4 C + 1 TBS ground ginger
1/4 C +2 TBS ground cinnamon
1/4 C + 2 TBS ground Cardamom
2 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp ground nutmeg.


Tex - Mex Deviled Eggs

I can't ever remember a family gathering when we didn't have Deviled Eggs. We had them for every Holiday too. The tradition has continued and we can never make enough of them. They go quickly. So... I've never changed the recipe that my Mother and Grandmother made.
For some reason, these are appealing to me. Maybe it's the influence of Guacamole as a staple appetizer in Texas. We can never seem to make enough Guacamole either. So putting them together makes sense to me.

Tex - Mex Deviled Eggs

First, I have to admit that once we discovered that we can buy Hard Boiled Eggs that are already peeled, we have never boiled our own eggs. If you have them available, you make want to try them. It certainly makes the recipe easier and quicker. Otherwise, you'll have to Boil Eggs according to the method you've been doing for years. I could write an entire post on the perfect Hard Boiled Egg but, I won't.

6 Hard Boiled Eggs, Yolks scooped out and mashed.
2 Ripe Avocados, Scooped and mashed.
1 TBS Lime Juice
1/2 tsp Salt
1 TBS Sour Cream
1 TBS Finely Chopped Fresh Cilantro
1 finely diced Jalapeño Pepper
1 TBS Finely Chopped Chives
1 Finely chopped Green Onion set aside for Garnish.
Adobo All Purpose Seasoning for Garnish.

In a medium glass mixing bowl:
Mashed Avocado
Mashed Egg Yolks
Whisk well.

Lime Juice
Sour Cream
Whisk again.

Fold in:

At this stage, I spoon it into a Piping Bag to fill the Egg White Halves with a generous portion of the filling.
You can also fill them using a spoon.
Transfer to a Serving Platter.

Sprinkle with Green Onion.
Sprinkle with Adobo Seasoning.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Taste of Sicily from The Cowgirl Chef

I've known Ellise for a few years. I've taken Cooking Classes from her, that's how we met. I must say that we hit it off instantly. There's just something about her that I immediately connected with. We share many of the same passions in life.
She recently visited the Island of Sicily in the Mediterranean.
I spent time there in the early 70's with two friends from Germany. I fell in love with it. Taormina was my favorite village.
I was a carefree backpacking student and we ended up hanging out on the small Islands north of Sicily. It was a time when Hippies were discovering those Islands. We loved them too.
Granita was quite well known then as it is today. I love this recipe that Ellise brought back with her from her visit. I look forward to enjoying it.

Here's a link to her story and recipe from her recent visit to Sicily.

If you want to get to know Ellise, get a copy of her Cookbook!

Peace in the Kitchen!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Chocolate Ganache Tart with Pecans

I posted a recipe for Chocolate Ganache Pie with a Biscoff Crust and it's really nice. Here's a great Chocolate Tart with the addition of Chopped Pecans.

You'll need 3 Boxes of Baker's Chocolate.

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1 -  9" Tart Pan, with a removable bottom. Spray with a Vegetable Cooking Spray.

1 Package of Oreo Cookies, crushed finely in a Food Processor.
6 TBS Butter, melted

Transfer Crumbs to a mixing bowl.
Add Butter and mix well with a blending fork.
Press evenly into the bottom of the Tart Pan.
(I use the bottom of a stainless measuring cup)

Bake for 8 - 10 minutes.
Set aside.

12 oz. Semi Sweet Chocolate, chopped. (Baker's Semisweet Chocolate)
4 TBS Butter, cubed, set aside to room temperature.
1 C Heavy Cream
3 TBS Granulated Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
1 C Chopped Pecans

In a large Glass Bowl:
Mix and set aside.

In a Medium Saucepan on Medium Heat:
Heat just until it begins to simmer.
Pour over the Chocolate. Do not Mix.
Set aside for at least 5 minutes.
Whisk well until creamy smooth.
Fold in Pecans.

Spoon evenly over the Crust.
Smooth with an offset spatula.
Immediately refrigerate for 3 hours.

Remove the Tart from the Pan keeping it on the bottom.
Transfer to a Serving Platter and slice to serve.

Peace in the Kitchen.