Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Make it easier: Fleischmann’s Cinnamon Rolls

If there’s one thing that I love as much as lemon, it’s cinnamon…well, there’s that and cheese, chocolate, pasta, bread, peanut butter…Anyway, I love cinnamon – snickerdoodles, coffee cake, cinnamon rolls, cinnamon swirl bread, Mom’s applesauce loaded with cinnamon – it’s easily my favorite spice. I have an awesome coffee cake recipe that is my “go-to” cinnamon favorite, but I’m always willing to experiment with new recipes – that’s what I did with this.
credit: paulathompsonfreelance.com
Fleischmann’s recently introduced “Simple Homemade” No Knead Bread Dough Mix. As someone who enjoys making “5 Minute” bread, I had to give it a try, and I was very pleased with the Italian Herb bread. But the website for the product had plenty of other recipes to try, from mix-ins to modifications. I had to give the cinnamon rolls a try – they were both easy and delicious, and they froze well, too.
Cinnamon Rolls (adapted from Fleischmann’s Simple Homemade website)
Dough:
1 package Fleischmann's Simply Homemade Country White No Knead Bread Mix
2/3 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees F)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1 egg, beaten
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Filling:
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Frosting:
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons water or milk
(or use your favorite frosting/glaze recipe)

Combine water with yeast and sugar packets (from bread mix) in a large mixing bowl. Let sit for 3 minutes, then add 2 tablespoons melted butter, egg, vanilla and bread mix; mix to combine. Dampen the countertop by wiping with slightly damp dish cloth or sponge; cover with a piece of plastic wrap about 16 inches long. Form dough into a ball, then roll dough on plastic wrap into a 14” x 8” rectangle using a rolling pin.
Spread 3 tablespoons softened butter evenly over dough, leaving the top 1” edge unbuttered. Combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over butter. Using the plastic wrap, roll the dough from the long side to form a log, then slice the log into nine equal pieces. Place each roll cut-side up in a greased 8” x 8” pan. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for 25 minutes. Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
After rising, bake for 27 to 33 minutes; remove from oven and let cool five minutes in pan. Combine frosting ingredients in a small bowl and drizzle frosting over rolls; serve warm.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Barilla Pasta shares some tasty, healthy dishes

Looking for a healthy way to enjoy pasta in the new year? The folks at Barilla Pasta have a few ideas, using their Barilla PLUS and Barillla Whole Grain Pastas. I’ve already posted one of their recipes on Examiner (check out Thin Spaghetti with Garlic, Red Pepper Flakes and Olive Oil here), and saved another recipe for the blog.
credit: Barilla Pasta

Whole Grain Spaghetti with Zucchini and Yellow Squash (adapted from Barilla Pasta)
1 box Barilla Whole Grain Spaghetti
4 tablespoons Extra Virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 zucchinis, sliced with peeler
2 yellow squash, sliced with peeler
14 ounce can of tomatoes
1/2-cup water
4 fresh basil leaves, cut into strips
1/2-cup grated Parmesan cheese
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook spaghetti for 1 minute less than the recommended cook time on package. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, adding garlic and sautéing until slightly yellow in color; add zucchini and yellow squash to the skillet and sauté for 3-4 minutes.
Add tomatoes and 1/2-cup water to skillet and season with salt and pepper. Drain spaghetti and add to the skillet, tossing with sauce mixture. Let pasta cook in the skillet for 1 minute, then turn off heat and toss with basil; top with cheese before serving.
Thanks to the folks at Barilla for the recipes and photos!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

For the love of Wegmans

I recently discovered the Smart Cookie Cook blog, and I crack up when I read her Wegmans posts. It always amazes me how much people gush over Wegmans, especially when it’s not nearby. I feel a little spoiled – not only do I have two within minutes of my home, but I worked for the company for 11 years.
Maybe all that time I spent doing payroll and loading the lottery ticket machine (I worked behind the scenes for most of my time there) leads me to not shop there that often…of course, it could also be that there are too many cool things there, and not going there helps my grocery budget! There are two things that Wegmans does REALLY well though (well, more than two, but these are the ones that I gush over!) – pretzel rolls and cheese rolls! I’ve been on a mad search to find a cheese roll recipe as good as Wegmans, but I have yet to find one…the pretzel rolls I haven’t tried to make at home yet, but I have some recipes set aside to try.
Then again, how can I top perfection? I might as well just go buy a few this weekend!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

In the Kitchen with David: Mimi’s Lemon Pound Cake

Hi, my name is Paula, and I’m a QVC addict…
I have purchased way too many things from “The Q,” and honestly, most of it is AWESOME! (I’ve returned a few foolish purchases, but most of it stays right here in B-lo!) One of my recent awesome purchases was show host David Venable’s “In the Kitchen with David: Comfort Foods That Take You Home” cookbook…because I needed another cookbook:


My cookbook collection...
I think there are a few more that Mom is borrowing…
Anyway, there are a number of awesome-looking recipes in there (I say awesome-looking because the pictures make everything look, in David-speak, “so good it’s stupid”). One that really attracted my attention was Mimi’s Lemon Pound Cake. I love all things lemon, and it made me think of my grandma – incidentally, this recipe was for David’s grandmother’s signature dessert.

It was yummy-looking enough that I made my own lemon curd, gathered up three sticks of butter (yep, that’s most of the “pound” in “pound cake”) and all sorts of other stuff that’s not very good for you (oh, well, it was holiday season!) and ventured into the land of David…and it is delicious!


Thursday, January 3, 2013

New adventures: Chocolate Chip Shortbread

I’ve been baking for many years (like, A LONG TIME!), and strangely, I’ve never made shortbread cookies. Well, I changed that while I was on vacation during the holidays – and was surprised at how simple it was to make…like, “why didn’t I try this sooner?” easy. This recipe – with all its simplicity and buttery goodness – comes from About.com Baking guide Carroll Pellegrinelli.

credit: paulathompsonfreelance.com

Chocolate Chip Shortbread (adapted from about.com)
2-1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup butter, cold and cut into cubes
1 cup mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine flour and sugar and mix with a wire whisk. Add cut butter and blend using a pastry blender, your fingers or a food processor. Hand stir in the mini chocolate chips, then dump ingredients into 9” x13” pan and press down with fingers to level-out. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until lightly brown on top. Remove from oven and cut into squares and then triangles while still warm; cool completely in pan.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Make-your-own: Lemon Curd

So, there was this recipe in (QVC host) David Venable’s cookbook I wanted to try – ‘cause it just sounded ridiculously delish! – and it called for lemon curd. I looked at the local stores, and it was more than $4 for a 10 oz. container! There HAD to be a way to make it cheaper, right?
Have I mentioned how much I love the King Arthur Flour website? I think I have.
KAF had a recipe for easy microwave lemon curd, and it was less expensive – I had the staples (butter, sugar, and eggs) and a bag of seven smallish lemons was less than $3. Best of all, it made a little more than two cups and can be frozen.

credit: paulathompsonfreelance.com

Easy Microwave Lemon Curd (adapted from King Arthur Flour)
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter, melted
2 large eggs
Combine all ingredients in a large microwave-safe bowl (approximately 8 cups to avoid bubble-overs). The contents should fill no more than 1/4 of the bowl. Microwave the ingredients in 1-minute increments, removing from the oven and stirring to combine after each minute. When the curd starts to thicken, coats the back of a spoon, and starts to mound a bit as you stir – it's done. This will take anywhere from 4 to 10 minutes, depending on your microwave.
Stir once more, spoon into a storage container, and refrigerate until firm.
Keep curd refrigerated for up to 3 weeks; freeze for longer storage.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

It’s beginning to look a lot like Chex Mix…

In 2011, I discovered Snickerdoodle Chex Mix – in one word: addictive!

Yummy cinnamon and sugar goodness!
Copyright Paula Thompson Freelance

In 2012, I delved further into the world of Chex Mix – because there are, like, not kidding, HUNDREDS of recipes for Chex Mix. Added to my arsenal in 2012: Pizza-Ria Chex Mix and Lemon Buddies.

Pizza by the handful
Copyright Paula Thompson Freelance



I did change up these three recipes a little bit – I used Rice Chex in addition to Cinnamon and Chocolate Chex for the Snickerdoodle Mix (Dad’s not a fan of the Chocolate ones…), I used Italian Herb and Parmesan Chex Mix instead of original Chex Mix (the pre-bagged stuff) for the Pizza Mix, and I used bottled lemon juice in place of fresh juice and rind for the Lemon Buddies (I was lazy :( ).

Citrusy treat
Copyright Paula Thompson Freelance
What will I find for 2013...