Monday, February 9, 2015

Cinnamon Buns

Quick Cinnamon Buns with Buttermilk Icing
(Americas Test Kitchen Recipe)

**Melted butter is used in the filling and the dough and to grease the pan. Melt 8 Tbsp of butter ahead of time to make it easier.
Just measure out of the full amount.**

1 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 C granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter melted and cooled

  • 2 1/2cups unbleached all-purpose flour (plus more for dusting work surface)
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/4 cups low fat buttermilk
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

2 tablespoons cream cheese
2 tablespoons low fat buttermilk
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar

Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 425 degrees. Brush a 9-inch square cake pan with one tablespoon butter.
  1. Filling: Combine the brown sugar,  granulated sugar, cinnamon, cloves and salt in a small bowl. Add one tablespoon melted butter and stir with a fork or fingers until the mixture resembles wet sand. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add 3 tablespoons of the melted butter and buttermilk to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until the liquid is absorbed (the dough will be sticky and look shaggy), about 30 seconds. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Knead, lightly dusting more flour as necessary, until just smooth and no longer shaggy, about 30 seconds.
  3. Lightly dust the surface again. Pat the dough into a small rectangle, then roll into a 12-inch x 9-inch rectangle, dusting more flour sparingly if necessary so the dough doesn't stick to the rolling pin. Brush the dough with 1 tablespoon of melted butter. Sprinkle the dough evenly with the brown sugar filling, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Using your hand, press the filling firmly into the dough. Starting at the long side, roll the dough, pressing lightly, to form a tight log. (If the dough sticks to the surface, use a sharp knife or dough scraper to release it.) Pinch the seam to seal. Roll the log seam-side down and, using a serrated knife, cut it evenly into 9 pieces. Turn the pieces over on their flat sides, and slightly flatten each piece with your hand to seal the open edges and keep the filling in place. Place the rolls in prepared pan and brush with remaining tablespoon of butter. Bake until the edges are golden brown, 20-25 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, make the glaze. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cream cheese and buttermilk until thick and smooth (the mixture will look like cottage cheese at first). Sift in confectioners' sugar and whisk until smooth glaze forms.
  5. Let cool 5 minutes, slide buns onto a plate.
  6. Drizzle the glaze evenly over the buns. 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Turkey Sliders with Curried Guacamole

Turkey Sliders
(Spilling the Beans Cookbook)

1 C cooked chickpeas, 19 oz can, rinsed and drained
1/8 tsp rosemary
1/8 tsp thyme
pinch fennel
1/2-1 lb ground turkey
1 large egg
1/4 C dried bread crumbs or panko
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
1 green onion, minced
pinch cayenne
1/4 tsp salt

Tomato, slider buns, curried guacamole (recipe below)

Coarsely mash the chickpeas, not to a paste.
Crush the herbs between your fingers or with a mortar pestle.
Combine all ingredients in a bowl with your hands.

Make into patties, 2 1/2 inches by 3/4 inches.

Fry in some olive oil in batches in a frying pan.

Serve on buns with tomato slices and curried guacamole, ketchup, mustard or lettuce.

Curried Guacamole
(Super Natural Everyday Cookbook)

2 ripe avocados
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
scant 1/2 tsp fine salt
1/2 C coarsely chopped cilantro, optional
1 Tbsp butter or EV coconut oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 small yellow onion, minced
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp curry powder
1 pinch chili flakes

Mash peeled avocados in a bowl, add lemon juice, salt and most of the cilantro, if using.
Set aside.
Heat butter or coconut oil in a skillet over med-high heat. When hot, add mustard seeds.  Keep a lid handy if for when the seeds start to pop.  After a minute, add onion and saute about 3 minutes or until onions are translucent.  Stir in garlic, curry powder and chili.
Count to 10 and remove from heat.

Stir into avocado mixture and top with remaining cilantro.
Serve warm on top of burgers or with chips or pitas.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Spicy Avocado Toasts

Mom and I had this for lunch the other day and loved it.

Its very simple but filling.

Spicy Avocado Toast 
(Martha Stewart)

1 ripe avocado
2 slices of toast
butter or coconut butter
a few pinches salt and pepper (I used flaky sea salt)
a few pinches red pepper flakes
lemon wedges

Peel and slice the avocado.
Toast and butter the bread.
Place sliced avocado on the bread and mash (or leave whole).
Top with salt, red pepper flakes and lemon juice.

BBQ Pulled Pork and Beans

This is a really easy recipe that my kids just love.

The substitute of beans for half of the meat makes this a cheap meal too.

Its simmers in the oven for several hours and gets served over rice or on a bun.

I usually make a coleslaw to go with it.

BBQ Pulled Pork and Beans 
(recipe from Spilling the Beans Cookbook)

olive oil, for cooking
1-2 lb pork tenderloin
2 C cooked red kidney beans (or a 19 oz can), rinsed and drained
2 C cooked navy beans or white kidney beans (19 oz can), rinsed and drained
1/2 C ketchup (I used 1/4C chili sauce, 1/4C ketchup)
1/4 C maple syrup
1/4C cider vinegar (red or balsamic works too)
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp dijon or yellow mustard
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
a few shots of hot sauce

1/4 cup a favourite BBQ sauce, optional

In a dutch oven, brown pork on all sides (in a little oil, if the meat is lean.)
Add all other ingredients except the BBQ sauce and mix it up in the pan.  (You may need to lift the pork up so all the sauce ingredients blend well.)
Cover and cook in a 300 degree F oven.  Cook for 3-4 hours.
You can also do this in a slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours.

Skim any fat off the surface and shred pork with two forks.
Stir in BBQ sauce, if using.
Serve over rice or on a bun, sloppy joe style.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Chickpea and Potato Curry

Friends of mine made and shared this recipe with me after I raved about it.

It's a simple, tasty curry that's easy to make, especially if you have kitchen help.

The kids loved it served over rice.

Chickpea and Potato Curry
(adapted from Lubbes' recipe)

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 onions, diced
2 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced or grated
2 Tbsp curry paste
1-2 tsp curry powder
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
1 lb ground chicken
1 lb potatoes, peeled and diced
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 C frozen peas

Mango Chutney, for serving (optional)

In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat and cook onions, 10 mins.
Add ginger, cook a minute or two.
Add ground chicken, cook until no longer pink.
Add curry paste, curry powder, RP Flakes (if using), potatoes, chickpeas and soy sauce.
Pour 1 Cup of water in and cover. 
Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are very soft, around 15 minutes.
Stir in peas and cook 5 more mins.

Serve over rice with mango chutney. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Five Banana Muffins

I like winter.

I love wearing my tuque.

I enjoy shoveling early in the morning before it's light out.

But, for some reason, I enjoy seeing the bright sun on our faces and warmth of this picture right now.

Also, in this picture, we are drinking great coffee which goes great with these muffins.

If you frequently have bananas that are overripe, this recipe a great way to use them up.

I cut it out of a newspaper at least ten years ago and it is still my go to banana muffin.

You, kind of, can't make a mistake with these.

I have morphed these in so many ways and they always turn out.  Try adding espresso powder, coconut, pecans, nutmeg or even substitute pumpkin puree for some of the banana.

The recipe calls for a small amount of sugar but I always leave it out because I think the bananas make them sweet enough.

Five Banana Muffins
(yields 24 muffins)

2 C AP flour (or a combo of 1 C whole wheat or spelt and 1 C AP)
1/4 C sugar (optional)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
pinch of salt
1/2-1 C chocolate chips (or nuts)
5 bananas, mashed
1/2 C butter, melted
1/4-1/2 C yogurt, buttermilk or sour cream
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350.
Line muffin tin with papers or grease.

In a large bowl (or stand mixer) combine bananas, butter, yogurt and eggs.  
Add chocolate.
In another bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Add to flour mixture to banana mixture.
Stir gently without over mixing.
Pour into muffin cups.  I fill them about half full and that usually makes 24 muffins.

Bake 18 mins
 or until toothpick insterted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean.

(You can also make this into a loaf but increase baking time to 50 mins.)

Monday, January 27, 2014

Cheesy Spaghetti and Peas

Cheesy Spaghetti and Peas
(adapted from Everyday Food magazine)

*To break up the spaghetti, wrap uncooked noodles in a tea towel 
and firmly break in several places on the edge of the counter.

1/2 lb spaghetti, broken in pieces*
1 can evaporated milk
3 large eggs
pinch nutmeg (optional)
dash cayenne (optional)
1 1/2 C cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 C mozzarella cheese, grated
1/2 C parmesan cheese, grated
3/4 C frozen peas

Heat oven to 400.
Cook pasta a couple minutes less than package directions.
In the mean time, whisk all other ingredients in a large bowl.
Add cooked pasta to cheese mixture.
Pour into a 2 Quart casserole dish.
Bake 12-15 mins.
Let stand 10 minutes before serving.