Running with kitchen shears.

breakfast, lunch, dinner, cupcakes, tastiness.

The moment you’ve all been waiting for: I’m baring my buns on the internets. June 9, 2008

I know you’ve been waiting for it, and it’s the least I could do for all my faithful reader (thanks Mom). Really, it was my mother’s idea. She gave me the recipe, after all.

Classic Cinnamon Buns

Classic Cinnamon Buns

– 1 c milk (original recipe called for whole, I used Vanilla Soymilk)
-1 envelope (1/4 oz) active dry yeast
-1/4 c warm water (100-110 degrees F)
-3 Tbs granulated sugar
-2 eggs
-1/4 c (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
-4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
-1/2 tsp salt

-1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
-1/4 c granulated sugar
-1 c packed light brown sugar
-1 Tbs cinnamon
*optional*-1/2 c coarsely chopped pecans (I think slivered or sliced almonds would be spectacular)

-2 c confectioners’ sugar
-1 to 3 Tbs milk
-1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1. Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until it just begins to boil. Remove from heat and let stand until cooled to room temperature.

2. While the milk cools, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water in a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of the sugar and let stand until foamy, around 5 minutes. Beat in the remaining 2 Tbs sugar, eggs and butter. Beat in cooled milk.

3. Gradually add the flour and salt, scraping down side of the bowl after each addition, until a soft dough forms. Turn the dough onto a well-floured work surface and knead the remaining flour into the dough, adding more flour if too sticky. Knead for about 10 minutes until smooth. The dough will be soft.

4. Grease a large bowl. Place the dough in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

5. Coat two 9″ round baking pans with nonstick cooking spray. Line bottoms with waxed paper; coat paper with spray. Prepare filling: Mix butter, both kids of sugar and cinnamon together in a medium-size bowl with a fork.

6. Punch down dough. Roll out dough onto a lightly floured surface to an 18 x 12″ rectangle. Spread the butter-sugar mixture over the dough. Sprinkle with nuts, if desired. Starting on one long side, roll up jelly roll-fashion and pinch seam to close.

7. Cut crosswise into 14 generous 1″ pieces (feel free to do so using unflavored dental floss, as doing this with a knife is a major pain in the ass). Arrange 7 pieces, cut-side down, in each prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm spot (like the top of the fridge) until buns double in size, about 30 to 45 minutes. Or cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the following morning.

8. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Uncover pans and bake buns until they are golden-brown and bubbly, 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool 10 minutes.

9. While the buns are cooling, prepare Glaze: Mix confectioners sugar, 1 Tbs of the milk, and vanilla extract, adding more milk as necessary, to make a smooth glaze. Invert buns to a serving platter. Drizzle glaze on top of buns (feel free to make off-color jokes while drizzling over your buns). Serve warm.
This recipe is adapted from a Family Circle recipe.


I can’t believe this is the first time I’ve made my own cinnamon rolls (sorry, I don’t call them buns and I feel silly saying buns so many times in one post. BUNS.) I am a member of the Church of Pillbury Orange Rolls. These were good, J looooved them, but I don’t like mine to taste as much like a yeast-y bread (yes, I know that’s what they are). I’m all about sweet sweet sweet when it comes to my cinnamon rolls. Next time I make these, I think I’m going to add orange zest and make an orange glaze instead of vanilla to see if I can outdo the squishy little chef-hatted one. 

Make sure to make time for this recipe (get up at the butt crack of dawn)if you’re making it all in one go, for breakfast for instance, as I originally intended to. Because of the waiting time, it ended up being more like lunch-next time I’ll refrigerate like the recipe gave the option to.

Barely into beating in the flour, my crappy $6 hand mixer (honestly, it’s held up pretty well for what it is) began to fail me, as the batter climbed up the beaters to within a hair of getting sucked into the motor. I put another bug in J’s ear about a stand mixer (poor guy, they must be running around like weevils in there by now). Instead of forcing it to commit seppoku for shaming its family, I set it aside and continued stirring in flour with my super-sturdy handy-dandy wooden-handled silicone birthday spatula (again, thanks Mom!).


Oh Eggplant, I judged you far too soon.

Filed under: food,recipes — Mox. @ 6:28 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

I …am a bit ashamed of myself. I made my first eggplant dish almost a year ago and swore it off after that odd bitter experience. I was so disappointed-I expected so much better out of such an interesting purple alien vegetable but I just didn’t get it. A couple weeks ago, when I was deciding on meals for the upcoming week, however, I decided to give it a chance to prove its worthiness on my plate. Honestly, if it wasn’t for J begging me to give it one more last chance, I wouldn’t have batted an eyelash while dropping the recipe for Rigatoni with Sauteed Eggplant and Tomatoes into the recycle bin. I do not regret my decision in keeping this-Eggplant, you’re welcome back on the table any time.

– 1 lb dried rigatoni
-3 Tbs olive oil
-1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/2″ cubes
-1/2 tsp kosher salt
-1/2 tsp black pepper (freshly ground if at all possible, there’s just no comparing)
-3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced (but I won’t tell the recipe nazis if you put in 4! Yum)
-1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
-1/2 c grated Parmesan (please not the powder schtuff-if that’s all you have, skip it)

1. Cook the rigatoni according to the package directions. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat (my skillet isn’t anywhere near large enough for these types of dishes, so I use a dutch oven-tee hee dutch oven). Add the eggplant, season with the salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 8 minutes.

2. Add the garlic and tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to soften, 3 to 4 minutes (in my case it took closer to 5). Add the drained rigatoni and toss. Divide among individual bowls and top with the Parmesan.

(this recipe is adapted from one in Real Simple magazine-I love it. Oh how I miss my subscription so.)

I realize I post far too many pasta recipes and really, I’m trying to cut down. I’m considering joining Pasta Eaters Anonymous. I just love pasta, and so does J. Maybe I should remind myself that it’s not so pretty to photograph…maybe that’ll help me forget the delicious wonderful starchiness…mmmmm…


Thanksgiving 2007 Menu and Recipes January 31, 2008

This year’s menu consisted of:

-Seared Turkey Breast with Roasted Root Vegetables and Chardonnay Gravy

-Cornbread Stuffing-Green Bean Casserole*

-Sweet Potato Casserole+

-My Mom’s Fruit Salad +

-Fearing’s Sweet Corn and Queso Mashed Potatoes (recipe by Dean Fearing of…Fearing’s)* -Cranberry Sauce

-premade Sara Lee rolls

-Candy Bar Pie*

Marbled Pumpkin Cheesecake that ended up being Traditional Pumpkin Pie* due to a lack of graham cracker crumbs that I didn’t notice until it was too late

*=Items that I tried for the first time that will stay in my recipe file for future usage
+=Items that are staples and have been made eleventy billion times before

 I did  just a turkey breast this year because it was going to be just the two of us and I didn’t want the hassle or cost of an entire turkey. I should have just gone with a small turkey. The breast was just as much, if not more, work than a small turkey.

I didn’t like the gravy-Chardonnay seems a bit too sweet to me for a gravy.The stuffing was alright, but I’ve made better.


Recipes for the staples and new things this year that we liked:

Green Bean Casserole: (Campbell’s recipe)
– 1 can (10 3/4 oz) Cream of Mushroom soup (can be fat free or low sodium), doesn’t have to be Campbell’s brand
-1/2 cup milk ( I use whole milk solely for cooking)
-1 tsp. soy sauce (didn’t realize we were out until I started making it-I used an equal amount of oyster-flavored sauce)
-Dash of pepper
-4 cups cooked cut green beans (2 cans well drained)
-1 1/3 cups French’s French Fried Onions

MIX: soup, milk, soy sauce (in our case oyster-flavored sauce), pepper, green beans and 2/3 cup onions in 1 1/2-qt. casserole (an 8″ pie pan will also work).
BAKE: at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes or until hot (I’m not sure how you’re supposed to determine if it’s hot or not…)
STIR: Sprinkle with remaining onions. Bake 5 minutes.

Sweet Potato Casserole:
– 3 medium sweet potatoes
– 1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
– 1/2 t. cinnamon
– 1/2 stick of butter, softened
– 1/3 c. granulated sugar
– Shake of nutmeg
– Large Marshmallows (Jet Puft of course!)
1. Prick and boil sweet potatoes for around 40-50 minutes and check for doneness; usually a knife can be stuck through easily. Cool and peel. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Put potatoes in a 2 quart buttered casserole dish (again, an 8 or 9″ pie pan will work), and add all ingredients except marshmallows.
2. Mash potatoes and ingredients REALLY well (if you don’t mash the sweet potatoes well enough, they’re stringy and that’s gross) – you may use an electric mixer or mash by hand. Heat through (about 20 minutes). Raise the oven temperature to 400 degrees F and add marshmallows on top. Heat for 5-10 minutes.

My Mom’s Fruit Salad (as in my actual mom):
– 8 oz cream cheese, softened
– 1 pint heavy whipping cream
– 2-3 Tbs. powdered sugar (I use 3 because I like the whipped cream to be a little sweeter, but start with 2)
– I tsp. vanilla extract
– 2×15 oz cans of fruit cocktail (drained very well and patted dry with a paper towel)

In a medium mixing bowl, whip softened cream cheese.
In another medium mixing bowl, whip heavy whipping cream with the powdered sugar and vanilla extract until fluffy.
Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese, then fold in the fruit cocktail until evenly distributed.
Chill for at least 30 minutes.

Fearing’s Sweet Corn and Queso Mashed Potatoes:
-6 russet potatoes, peeled
-5 tablespoons butter (divided use)
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-1 shallot, minced
-2 ears yellow corn (kernels sliced from cob)
-3 oz queso fresco
-1 pint half-and-half (or less, to taste)
-Salt, to taste

   Place potatoes in large pot and cover with water. Bring water to boil. Reduce to simmer; cook potatoes for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork. Drain.
   Place potatoes in large bowl and mash by hand for homestyle (slightly lumpy) mashed potatoes, or with an electric mixer for smoothness.
   Bring medium saute pan to medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon butter. Add garlic and saute until very light brown, about one minute.
   Add shallot; saute for 1 minute. Add corn kernels and saute for 2 minutes.
   Remove pan from heat and add mixture to mashed potatoes. Fold in cheese. Stir to combine well; taste for seasoning.
   Melt remaining 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) butter. Add melted butter.
   Slowly add up to 1 pint half-and-half, stirring well so consistency is not too thin. Add salt to taste, and stir.
   Keep warm until served. Makes 4 servings.
*I used about 3/4 pint of half-and-half and it made the potatoes a little too thin for my liking. Also, I don’t know if I had gigantic potatoes or something, but when I made it, it made WAY more than 4 side-dish servings. This won’t be going into the holiday recipes, but I’m going to be keeping it with the regular recipes.

Cranberry Sauce :
-4 cups fresh cranberries
-2 cups apple juice
-3/4 cup sugar
-1/4 teaspoon orange zest


Place all the ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and cook until the liquid has slightly thickened, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool, cover, and refrigerate in a serving dish. 
Yield: Makes 8 to 10 servings (2 cups)

Candy Bar Pie
-5 Snickers candy bars (2.07 ounces each), cut into 1/4″ pieces
-1 pastry shell (9 inches), baked*
-12 oz. cream cheese, softened
-1/2 cup sugar
– 2 eggs
-1/3 cup sour cream
-1/3 cup peanut butter
– 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
– 2 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream


Place candy bar pieces in the pastry shell; set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs, sour cream and peanut butter; beat on low speed just until combined. Pour into pastry shell. Bake at 325 degrees F for 35-40 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack.
  In a small heavy saucepan, melt chocolate chips with cream over low heat until smooth. Spread over filling. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. Cut with a warm knife.
Yield: 8-10 servings.
*Note: I used a Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust. This pie is great if you love cheesecake, which J does. I don’t love it so much, so I wasn’t as much of a fan.

Traditional Pumpkin Pie
-1 recipe Pastry for Single-Crust Pie (see below)
-1 15 oz. can pumpkin
-2/3 cup sugar
-1 tsp. ground cinnamon
-1/2 tsp. ground ginger
-1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
-3 slightly beaten eggs
-1 5 oz can (2/3 cup) evaporated milk
-1/2 cup of milk


1. Prepare and roll out Pastry for Single-Crust Pie. Line a 9″ pie plate with the pastry. Trim to 1/2 inch beyond edge of pie plate. Fold under extra pastry; crimp edge as desired.
2. For filling, in a mixing b owl combine pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Add eggs. Beat lightly with a rotary beater or fork just until combined. Gradually stir in evaporated milk and milk; mix well.
3. Place the pastry-lined pie plate on the oven rack. Carefully pour filling into pastry shell.
4. To prevent overbrowning, cover edge of the pie with foil. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil. Bake about 25 minutes more or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate within 2 hours; cover for longer storage.

 Makes 8 servings.

Pastry for Single-Crust Pie:
Stir together 1 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour and 1/4 tsp. salt. Using a pastry blender cut in 1/3 cup shortening until pieces are pea-size. Using 4 to 5 tablespoons cold water, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the water over part of the mixture; gently toss with a fork. Push moistened dough to the side of the bowl. Repeat moistening dough, using 1 tablespoon of the water at a time, until all the dough is moistened. Form dough into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, use your hands to slightly flatten dough. Roll dough from center to edge into a circle about 12 inches in diameter.

**I used a Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crust that I had left over and followed the directions on the box instead of making it from scratch, as it was about 3 in the morning and I was frustrated over having to make a pie instead of a cheesecake.