Cinnamon Rolls


Cinnamon Rolls
Originally uploaded by dumin.

Last weekend I made these “Shortcut Cinnamon Buns”.

My boyfriend politely ate them, but I didn’t finish mine. They were way too dry to enjoy. Very little flavor and not a great experience.

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John - They were delicious.

Jean - Hello. Try this recipe from the Food Network (Calling All Cooks). I’ve made this once before and they turned out really good.
Cinnamon Rolls
Recipe courtesy Laura Jeffries
Recipe Summary
Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 30 rolls
User Rating: 5 Stars
2 packages yeast, (1/2-ounce or 2 scant talespoons)
1/2 cup hot water
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup milk (warmed)
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
4 1/2 cups flour
Dough topping:
1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup granular sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
Frosting:
1 pound powdered sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons milk
2 drops butter flavor extract
Dissolve 2 packages of yeast in 1/2 cup of hot water (test on wrist to make sure water is not too hot) and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Let sit.
Melt the 1/2 cup of butter and combine with 3/4 cups of warm milk (can be warmed on stove or in microwave, test on wrist to make sure milk is not too hot). Using an electric mixer with a dough hook or a food processor with dough blade, mix dissolved yeast and butter/milk mixture on low. Slowly add 1/2 cup of sugar, then 1 egg. Add salt and 2 cups of flour on low, blend until smooth. Slowly add 1/2 cup at a time, the other 2 to 2 1/2 cups of flour.
Put dough onto floured counter top. Knead dough until it doesn’t stick to your hands (don’t over kneed or add too much flour).
Place in a greased bowl. Cover with damp cloth and let rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until it doubles in size. (Tip, let it rise in oven where the air and temperature is consistent).
Remove from bowl and place on a floured counter. Roll out in a 12 by 24-inch (approximately) rectangle, not too thin. Spread 1/2 cup butter over dough, sprinkle with 1 1/4 cups of brown sugar (evenly), sprinkle with 1/4 cup of granular sugar (evenly), and sprinkle 2 tablespoons (or as much as you desire) of cinnamon (evenly).
Roll dough into a log. Cut into thumb-width slices or 1 1/2-inch widths.
Place in round cake pan or foil pan. Put back in oven to rise to desired height. Remove from oven after they have risen.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Only bake on one rack, center of oven (4 pans fit nicely). Set timer for 15 minutes, then watch for desired brown-ness. Remove from oven – let cool.
FROSTING: Combine 1 pound of powdered sugar, 2 to 3 tablespoons of milk (this may vary, add or subtract to your desired consistency), and 2 drops of butter flavor extract. Stir with spoon until very smooth and drizzles easily.
Drizzle onto completely cooled cinnamon rolls. Let frosting harden. Serve.
A viewer, who may not be a professional cook, provided this recipe. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe and therefore, we cannot make representation as to the results.
Episode#: CA1A01
Copyright © 2003 Television Food Network, G.P., All Rights Reserved

gemma - Hi Jean,
Thanks for the recipe suggestion. I will have to try theses some weekend soon. I think the biggest problem with the recipe I used (besides the recipe itself) is that I was being lazy and wanted something quick yet tasty. I need to continually remind myself that taking short cuts rarely works to create a product to be proud of.

Baked Eggs


Baked Eggs
Originally uploaded by dumin.

I made baked eggs last weekend for John and I somewhat following this recipe.

I substituted mushrooms for the onions.

I then sliced some light rye bread into strips and toasted them. They worked well for dipping into the soft egg yolks. I also made some Morningstar veggie sausage to go along with the meal. It was very creamy and delicious.

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Devon


Devon
Originally uploaded by dumin.

Tonight John met me after work and we went up to Becky and Peter’s and then we all went up to Devon.

We went to dinner at Udupi Palace, an amazing vegetarian Indian restaurant. I have been there a few times and it is always amazing.

We also went to a nearby grocery store and John and I came away with all of the goodies you see here and more. I am super excited about using these things. Some highlights: thin sheets of dried apricot, fig marmalade, pistacchio halva, rice flour, fenugreek, assorted olives, and tahini.

We are going to need to seriously re-organize our kitchen to fit it all.

Udupi Palace
2543 W. Devon
Chicago, IL 60618

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Anonymous - At 2/2/2005 11:46:16 AM, js said…
We forgot to eat our mint chutney last night with the Indian food we made.

Green Zebra

Last night Harold invited me to go to the Green Zebra (which I have learned is a type of heirloom tomato).  It was out of both of our normal price ranges, but his grandmother had told him to take a friend out to dinner on her for his birthday and he sweetly invited me.  Harold had been there before and gave it rave reviews, so I was thrilled to hear I would be able to go as well.  The Chicago Tribune describes the restaurant as an “inventive, almost entirely vegetarian small-plate menu (a few chicken and fish dishes are thrown into the mix) is among the city’s most sophisticated. Its globally inspired menu, which changes frequently, may include options like avocado panna cotta and chilled organic beets with a creamy mascarpone foam; poached organic chicken breast; and Alaskan halibut with shaved artichoke, pearl couscous and tandoori spices.”

The restaurant is beautiful and simply designed.  It is small with room for about 50 guests.  As we sat down our server (who was a very animated, excited, and sweet woman) brought us four small bowls as our amuse-bouche.  The first was simple air-popped popcorn seasoned with garam marsala.  It was a simple idea with a superb result.  I was quite impressed.  Second, edamame which was pre shelled.  Third peanuts with a mix of exotic spices and fourth,  yellow beans with a citrus-vinegar seasoning.  All were fantastic and had distinctive and well-complimented tastes.

We ordered NV Pinot Noir, “H”, Hamacher, Willamette Valley, Oregon  and then proceeded to order our food.  The menu was split into three sections beginning with lighter flavors and moving towards the most heavy and rich.  Harold and I each ordered one item from each section and then shared the six dishes as each course arrived.  Here is what we ordered (all descriptions take from the Green Zebra website unless otherwise noted):

Gemma:
Avocado Panna Cotta, with tomato gelee, crème fraiche and sweet corn chips

        -this was incredible.  The avocado was so creamy and the other textures were a great contrast.  It melted in my mouth. Truly outstanding and unique.

Cave-Aged Gruyere Soufflé, endive, and heirloom apples

        -this was also quite good.  I am not well-versed in soufflés but the top seemed a little too thick and dry.  However, once I got to the center it was divine.  The endive and heirloom apple salad was superb.  It was garnished with watercress which was a fantastic touch.

Greengold Farms Chicken Egg, spinach puree, lentils & country sourdough

        -Amazing.  The presentation was superb.  And all the flavors were rich and velvety.  The egg was perfectly boiled with a warm liquid center.  You could definitely taste that they used fresh farm eggs.

Harold:

I could not find their description for his first course, so here it is from memory.  A warm and creamy celery soup with walnuts, a bit of black truffle and topped with black truffle oil.

        -This was also fantastic.  Harold and I were both surprised and pleased with how well the different flavors complimented one another.  It was very rich, but wonderful.  It went nicely with my first course, especially in texture and temperature.

Prospera Farms Baby Carrots, carrot cake, black truffles and aged balsamic vinegar

– I have to say that I think this was the winner of the night.  Amazing.  The baby carrots were julienned and cooked in a balsamic reduction and black truffle oil.  There were flakes of black truffle interspersed as well as some watercress. There was also a ‘carrot cake’ on the side.  Ultimately neither of us were too thrilled with this. It was interesting, but rather dry and without a whole lot of flavor.  Alone it would have been enjoyable, but it was overpowered and overshadowed when served next to the other carrot offering.

I also could not find their description for his third course.  (This memory is a little hazier, most likely due to the increased wine consumption at this point.) A tiny bowl made out of buttery, flaky pastry with a lid.  The bowl contained steamed red cabbage, black truffles, small walnut pieces, all topped with black truffle oil.

        -Yes, lots of black truffle and black truffle oil.  Absolutely wonderful.  Obviously Harold had a more consistent theme to his selections.  We both agreed that this dish went the best with the wine.  It was a perfect match.  The pastry was amazing, very buttery.  And the cabbage mixture was delicious.  I think the highlight was the texture combined with the warm temperature.

For dessert Harold and I split  the Tasting of Creme Brulees, jasmine green tea, Japanese yuzu and lavender
        – We were a bit stuffed, but I had to try these.  As I told Harold, I am fool for green tea flavored desserts.  They were superb.  The lavender was actually a lavender-ginger.  Creamy, rich, and full of flavor (not to mention the fantastic aromas.  The presentation was clever as well.  It was served in three small cuts on a long board which was vaguely reminiscent of Japanese serving ware.

To begin with, it was awesome to go to a restaurant where I could order off the whole menu (with two exceptions) and moreover this was one of the most delicious meals I have ever had.  Perhaps the best.

Afterwards, Harold and I went to Sonotheque.  It was a very nice lounge behind a misleading facade.  The crowd was small and chill.  The service was efficient and polite.  The drinks were normally priced and there was no cover (I hear there is on the weekends though).  It was dimly lit, stylishly designed, and it had fantastic music with an outstanding sound system.  The music was consuming but it was not an effort to speak over it.  This is my kind of upscale lounge.  Inexpensive, chill, relaxing, and no dancing.  Whew.

It was an amazing night and I owe Harold much gratitude for inviting me with him.

Green Zebra
1460 W. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

Sonotheque
1444 W. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

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Salt & Sugar


salt & sugar
Originally uploaded by dumin.

The other night I met my Mother and Grandmother for dinner and I had some time to kill. I did this by buying french sea salt and caster’s sugar from Williams & Sonoma

I have been running across a number of recipes lately calling for these things and I am excited to use them soon.

Williams & Sonoma
900 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL

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