Buns of Cinnamon…….

I have blogged about cinnamon pull apart rolls before. This is more of a bun…..made in a muffin tin. You don’t have to do it that way. You can roll up the dough and slice into rolls if you like. But I just felt like doing something different.  Using all purpose flour will give you more of a bready type bun. Bread flour will give you more of a chewy texture, which I prefer. Now, be adventurous and get a little crazy with these! Have some fun! You can add nuts, raisins, cranberries, any fruit jam…I mean, the possibilities are endless.

So, get off your buns and let’s make buns!

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Cinnamon Buns

1  pkg of rapid rise yeast (1/4 oz)
1 cup warm milk (not HOT…you will kill your yeast and that’s not nice)
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup softened butter
1/2 tsp salt
4 cups bread flour (you can use all purpose if you prefer)

In a mixing bowl of a stand mixer, pour the packet of yeast into the warm milk and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Add the sugar, eggs, soft butter, salt and flour. With a paddle attachment, mix  on medium low, until it all comes together. Switch to a dough hook and let it whirl around for 5 minutes. Or, if you like kneading with your hands, like I do, knead for 5 minutes. Shape into a ball and place it in a large buttered bowl. Cover with a damp towel and let it sit until it doubles in size. That will take about an hour. Once doubled in size, remove the dough, and place it on a floured surface. Roll the dough into a 15 x 24 inch rectangle. Now for the filling. (below)

Filling

1/3 cup very soft  butter
2  tablespoon cinnamon mixed together with 1 cup of brown sugar

Preheat oven to 370. Gently smear the dough surface with 1/3 cup butter. Cover with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Starting with the long edge, roll it up to the opposite edge. Your roll should measure to approx. 24 inches long. Cut into 12 slices. Place slices on lightly greased baking sheet, or into a muffin tin. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to sit out for 15 minutes. Drizzle with icing.

Icing

1  1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup cream cheese (softened)
2 tablespoons of butter (softened)
1  tablespoon of water or orange juice   (add enough liquid to get the consistency you want)

Mix everything together and spread onto warm rolls.

 

 

Fresh Cherry Milkshake……………..

 I made a fruit smoothie today. Well, ok…so maybe it’s not really a smoothie. But it does have fresh fruit and milk and it makes me feel better to call it a smoothie, rather than a milkshake. Don’t you agree? You have your fruit, which we all need. You have your dairy, which is good for us, sooooooo….. But truth be told, this is a MILKSHAKE. A very good milkshake.

Don’t you just love fresh cherries that are dark and sweet and have that bit of a crisp when you bite into them? The cherries this year, are amazing. My local grocery store has some that come from Washington. They are the best cherries I have had in a very long time. I bought way too many at one time, so I thought hmmm, what can I make with these? That’s when I thought about a fresh cherry milkshake! Ohhhhhh, wow. None of that artificial cherry flavoring. No added sugar…just the natural sweetness of the cherries.

Throw in a bit of chopped chocolate and it’s a wonderful cherry chip milkshake! Or you could just use chocolate ice cream. Think I will do that next time. 🙂

Hmmmm, now……what to do with the other 5 pounds of cherries!! Maybe a cherry upside down cake! Stay tuned for that.

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Fresh Cherry Milkshake

2 cups good vanilla ice cream (chocolate would be good too)
1/2 cup milk
approx. 1/2 cup fresh cherries, pitted
approx. 1/4 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Note: You can use low fat ice cream and low fat milk, if it makes you feel better.

Pour the milk into the blender. Add ice cream. Give it a whirl until the mixture is smooth and thick. THEN you add the pitted cherries and chocolate chips. YOU DONT WANT TO ADD THE CHERRIES TOO SOON, because you will want some good chunks and pieces.

 

Caramel Latte Pudding

I think we are all familiar with those popular coffee drinks out there. I love coffee. I love a good latte….steamed milk and good strong espresso. I love those caramel machiatto drinks too!!! Oh, yes I do! So, a friend of mine came over the other night and since she loves coffee too, I thought I would make her a nice little coffee treat…..coffee pudding. Not just coffee pudding, but coffee pudding with whip cream and crunchy little bits of caramel on top. Yes, crunchy caramel, like the kind you find on crème brulee. OMG, right? It’s creamy, not too sweet and it’s not a real heavy dessert. Now, I use espresso powder in this recipe, but you can use instant coffee. That works too. Mm-m-m-mmmm. This dessert is really pretty served in a nice little
coffee cup. Yep, sure is.

espressopwder      coffee custard   coffee custard2   Caramel Latte Pudding

2  cups of milk or half and half
1  tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons of cornstarch
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons of instant coffee or espresso powder

In a saucepan, mix together the sugar, cornstarch, espresso powder and yolks, till smooth. Place saucepan over low heat and slowly add the milk and whisk together. Continue whisking until mixture starts to boil. Cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat, pour into your cute little cups or bowls. Chill for several hours. Top with whipped cream and crunchy caramel pieces.
Crunchy Caramel
If you have a kitchen torch (don’t break out the welders torch please), place a thin layer of sugar on a piece of foil. Torch till sugar is amber colored and bubbly. Allow to set just till hard and remove from foil. Break into pretty little pieces.
If you don’t have a torch, you can place the sugar on some foil on a heat proof pan, and place under broiler. WATCH CAREFULLY, AS IT WILL BURN QUICKLY.

Not Your Normal Potato Salad……

Everyone has a favorite potato salad. I’m not a huge fan of it, but I did like my mom’s potato salad. It was really pretty basic, but it was good and the only one that I ever really liked. But then one day, several years ago, my ex boss brought a potato salad to a pot luck at the office. He said it was his mothers favorite recipe. It was gooooooooood. It was different. It had cucumbers!! The potatoes were also mostly smashed, which I really loved. It was so different. It didn’t have boiled eggs in it, but I do add it to mine. It also has no pickle relish. BLEKHHHH, I detest pickle relish. Ok, so one day my boss confessed that he had over cooked the potatoes and they really weren’t meant to be smashed. Hahahaha, but everyone loved the fact that they were, so he stopped telling folks that the mashing was an accident.

Now, you know me by now…..I love my spicy, so of course I add jalapenos to mine. But you don’t have to! So, if you’re bored with the same ol kind of tater salad, I hope you will try this one. I know the cucumbers sound weird, but really, it makes all the difference. Yum Yum.

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green onion, chive, cucumber and egg                                           Potatoes boiled, drained and chopped up

 

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Not your Normal Potato Salad

5   small red potatoes, washed and cut into chunks
1  1/4 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
3    green onions, sliced or minced chives (I use both)
1/2 cucumber, seeds removed and sliced
2 boiled eggs, sliced (optional)
1 jalapeno, minced (optional)   oh come on…..be adventurous. 🙂

Boil the potato chunks until tender. Drain and dump them onto a large cutting board. Using a large knife, just start chopping away. Scoop them up into a large bowl. Add the mayonnaise, sour cream, onions/chives, cucumber and eggs. Gently mix together. Salt and pepper to taste