Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Cinnamon Rolls

Please accept my sincere apologies for not posting the last two recipes until now!  Things have been super busy around here.  You will find the Curried Lentils as well as the Oatmeal Crisps after this post about Cinnamon Rolls.  Keep scrolling down the page.

Now, getting back to our delicious cinnamon rolls.  This is a recipe we have done in previous sessions.  It is a simple, biscuit dough recipe.  Much less daunting than the yeast dough many people are more familiar with.  Try it; you will be pleasantly surprised!

For the original recipe, click here

For step-by-step photos of how to make this recipe, click here

Curried Lentils and Sweet Potatoes

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
This is another New York Times recipe.  
It is a dinner favorite in my house.  
And it makes the kitchen smell wonderful!  
Serve it with Jasmine or Basmati rice.
Serves 8 to 10 as a side dish, or 5 to 6 as a main course with rice.


1 medium onion, chopped
 4 garlic cloves, minced
 1-inch piece fresh ginger (peel & grate)
 2 teaspoons curry powder
 1 jalapeƱo pepper, seeded, then minced
 4 to 5 cups vegetable broth as needed
 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into
1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
 1+ 1/2 cups dried lentils 
 1 bay leaf
 1 pound spinach, chard or kale

1 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Finely grated zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/3 cup finely chopped almonds
1/4 cup chopped scallions, for garnish.

1. In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, curry powder and jalapeno. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

2. Stir in 4 cups broth, sweet potatoes, lentils and bay leaf. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium, partially cover, and simmer for 25 minutes. (If lentils seem dry, add up to 1 cup stock, as needed.) Stir in spinach and salt and pepper, and continue cooking until lentils are tender and spinach is cooked, about 30 to 45 minutes total.

3. Just before serving, stir in cilantro, lime zest and juice. Spoon into a large, shallow serving dish. Garnish with almonds if desired and scallions.

Oatmeal Crisp Cookies

This one is out of my beloved 
New York Times Cookbook. 
It is titled "Ruth's Oatmeal Crisps", and it is the recipe which won the cookie contest at the 1966 Kentucky State Fair. 
It is a great example of the power of shortening and salt in cookies.  Butter would be too heavy and the cookies wouldn't be quite as crisp and chewy.  And without the salt, they would be too sweet.

1 & 1/2 cups sifted AP flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
 1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups oats (not quick-cooking or instant)
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup raisins (optional)

-Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  
-Sift together flour, baking soda and salt.
-Beat shortening and sugars in a large bowl just enough to blend well.

-Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until thoroughly mixed.

-Add the oats and mix again.  
-Add to the flour mixture, mixing well.

-Stir in the nuts and raisins.

-Drop the dough by tablespoonfuls onto the parchment-lined baking sheets, 1 & 1/2 inches apart.

-Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.  Transfer to racks to cool.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Dutch Babies

Dutch Babies
aka: German Pancakes

Just in time for Mother's Day.
A quick, easy recipe that you can put together in the kitchen while Mom relaxes or sleeps in!

This recipe serves 4, and is cooked in a #8 cast iron skillet. However, you can easily multiply this recipe to make any size Dutch Baby you like. For 6 eggs I would use my largest cast iron skillet, but you can use a rectangular roasting pan or any oven-proof container with 3 to 4-inch sides.

If you want to make individually sized pancakes, divide the following recipe by four (but don't reduce the amount of butter--each individual pan will still need 1 Tablespoon of butter)

1 cup milk
4 eggs
1 cup flour
1 Tablespoon butter

Center oven rack in middle to lower position. Preheat the oven to 450-500 degrees for at least 15 minutes.

Mix the milk and eggs until completely combined. 
Add the flour and mix until a smooth batter forms.
No lumps.

Place a cast iron skillet(s), pie pan, or other suitable, oven-proof baking container in oven to heat. When pan is hot add butter to the pan(s).

As soon as butter sizzles; swirl pan to distribute butter evenly.

 Immediately pour batter into pan (or divide evenly between pans), and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, depending upon size of pan(s).
 The batter will bake, then puff up dramatically. 

Bake until it is as light and eggy, or browned and crispy as you like.

Top with powdered sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice, or cinnamon apples, fresh fruit, yogurt, syrup or honey.