Archive | April, 2010

Cinnamon Rolls

25 Apr

Hello!!

Today: cinnamon rolls. Very simple ones, I should add. I love these sweet little rolls, but I remember making a batch using this recipe, and it was quite… exhausting. I mean, they were okay, but it just seemed too much effort for an allright result.
Last Saturday, I tried again, going freestyle. And I loved the result (so did my husband; I think he ate five in a row). I kept it very simple: a sweet yeast dough, lots of butter and brown sugar, plenty of cinnamon, and a little anise. I’m not a huge fan of frosting, so I didn’t make any, but I’m sure a simple cream cheese frosting would totally work on these delicious buns.

Ingredients:
makes 8 in a round pan

for the dough
1 lb. flour (I used mostly all-purpose, and about a fifth whole wheat)
1 packet dry yeast (2 1/2 tsps.)
1 tsp. salt
approx. 1/2 cups warm (but not hot) milk
2 medium eggs
1/2 cup sugar

for the filling
1 1/2 sticks butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsps. ground cinnamon
a large pinch of ground anise spice
pinch of salt

Directions:

In a bowl, mix flour, yeast, salt, and sugar. Add the eggs, and knead a little. Add half of the milk; keep kneading and adding liquid until you have a more or less smooth, homogenous dough. Take the dough out of the bowl, and knead it on a very lightly floured surface for maybe 5 more mins., until it holds together well and is not too sticky. Shape it into a smooth ball, and put it back into the bowl. You might need a little more flour or liquid; it depends on the size of the eggs, the temperature and humidity in the kitchen and who knows what else. In any case, the goal is a nice, warm, smooth ball of dough. Cover the bowl with a dishcloth and let the dough sit and rise for approx. 2 hours. It should then have at least doubled and be really fluffy, but still hold together. Give it more time if need be (and you’re not in a hurry).

In a small sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add cinnamon, brown sugar, and anise, and a pinch of salt. Stir and taste (carefully), and remove from heat; adjust seasoning, depending on how sweet/ cinnamon-y/ buttery you like it. It should be a sticky, spreadable, yummy mess. (Wait, was that a dirty joke? That’s what she said! Or something.)

Preheat the oven to 400° F.

Remove the dough carefully from the bowl, and place it on a lightly floured surface. Roll it into a rectangle about the size of a baking sheet (I didn’t measure, sorry. That’s what she said! Okay, I’ll stop now.)
Spread the butter on the rectangle, and carefully roll it up. Cut the roll into eight pieces, and place them in a paper lined springform pan, not too close together. Mine looked like this before baking:

Bake for approx. 20 mins., until risen, lightly brown, and bubbly. Allow the rolls to cool 10 mins. or so before serving. Enjoy!

Aaaaah, baking… one of the best ways to spend a Saturday morning. And eating the results, of course.
xoxo, F.

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A Beautiful Plate

23 Apr

Hi there,

a beautiful plate of food! Isn’t bbq season the best? Except that we neither have a backyard, nor a patio, nor a balcony. But no matter; we use the grilling pan and the oven, and anyways, the most important thing is the good weather.
We had: baked potatoes with halloumi cheese, tabouleh, and grilled pork (but I didn’t care much for it…). It was very nice, a really lovely weekend dinner in the sunshine.
I’ve posted the potato/ cheese recipe before, and I wasn’t too much into the meat (I’m difficult with meat), so I’ll just give you the tabouleh recipe. I like making a huge bowl of it, in order to have plenty of leftovers which I can then have for lunch for the rest of the week.

Ingredients:
serves 4

1 1/2 cups bulgur wheat (the precooked kind)

2 spring onions, sliced thinly
1/2 cucumber, seeded, sliced
4 tomatoes, seeded, diced
a big handful of parsley leaves, chopped

4 tbsps. lemon juice
6 tbsps. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

In a bowl, cover the bulgur generously with boiling water, add a pinch of salt, and stir. Let sit for 90 mins. Then drain the bulgur well; if you feel like it, spread it on a clean surface or a dish towel, and let dry completely. The grains should have absorbed some water, but still be chewy.

In a large salad bowl, mix the bulgur grains with the prepared vegetables and the parsley. Make a dressing from the lemon juice and olive oil; season generously. Add to the bowl, and mix well. Let sit until serving; if you are able to give it a couple of hours, do so. Adjust the seasoning, and serve. Enjoy!

Enjoy the sunshine!! Eat well!
xoxo, F.

Lemon Rice

16 Apr

Hello again,

allright, so: despite going to the grocery store four times this week, I managed not to have any veggies to go with our fried fish fingers last night. Don’t ask. What to do? Thankfully, there was rice in the cupboard, which I seasoned with sauteéd onions, lemon juice, lemon zest, frozen herb mix, and lots of salt and pepper. It was pretty good!

Ingredients:
serves 2-3

1 1/2 cups rice

two small onions, diced
3 tbsps. lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest
3 tbsps. herb mix, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

In a pot, combine the rice with 3 cups of water and a huge pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let cook until the water has been absorbed and the rice is soft. It really depends on what kind you’re using, white Basmati or brown hippie stuff or whatever.

In the meantime, slowly sauteé the onions in olive oil. When they are soft, turn off the stove and add the lemon juice and zest and the herbs. Stir; season with salt and pepper to taste.

When the rice is done, combine it with the onion/lemon mix, stir well, and enjoy!

Have a fun weekend!! Do some good cooking! I have cinnamon rolls planned for Saturday, hooray!
xoxo, F.

Some spring flowers on our kitchen window sill:

Pear and Blue Cheese Crostata

9 Apr

Hello people,

today’s recipe is a) super easy, b) super delicious, hence c) super great and you should all make it this weekend. It is also d) not mine in any way. I found it at The Kitchn, and I didn’t change it one bit. So: I’ll just provide a link: pear and blue cheese crostata.

I made this for dessert when we had my family over for dinner, and it was a huge hit. There’s really not much more I can think of to say, except: PLEASE TRY THIS IT IS AMAZING I THOUGHT THAT PEAR AND GRUYERE WAS MY FAVORITE PEAR AND FRUIT COMBINATION BUT PEAR AND BLUE CHEESE IS EVEN BETTER AND IT COMES IN A SWEET AND CRUMBLY CROSTATA FORM SO WHAT ELSE COULD ANYONE WANT??????

Have a wonderful weekend!!
xoxo, F.

Pasta with Lemon Ricotta and Zucchini

5 Apr

Hello,

I know, I’m late! It’s not Friday, and it hasn’t been for almost three days! But: it’s the Easter weekend, we had my family over, the weather is super, etc. So: here comes a recipe for a dish from the ‘light spring cooking’ category, a little late, but nonetheless delicious.

This is what you do:
1) Cook the pasta. I usually cook roughly half a pound for two eaters.
2) In the meantime, wash and grate the zucchini. I used two small zucchinis (I find the smaller, the better the taste). Heat some olive oil in a pan and add a chopped onion; stir. Add the zucchini, reduce the heat, and let them sauteé for about 5 mins. Add 2 table spoons lemon juice. Stir. Season strongly with pepper and salt.
3) In a large bowl, combine the cooked pasta, the zucchini mix, about one cup of ricotta cheese, and 1 teaspoon lemon zest. Stir well. Season to taste. Serve with parmesan cheese.
4) Enjoy!

I’ll leave it at that for today. Eat well, and drink well, and be very, very merry!
xoxo, F.