Oatmeal and Molasses Dinner Rolls

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There’s something special about making bread at home.  The process is really meditative and so simple, even throughout your day, and when these are baking the delicious smell is something you can never forget.  I was drawn to this recipe because they looked exactly like the type of amazing roll my mother-in-law makes ” Grandma Cisco’s Dinner Rolls”for the holidays.  I tried making the family recipe- even after helping and closely watching her make them, to “learn”, but mine ended up terrible, dense, with a hard crust and nothing like her perfect light rolls.  Making these exactly as directed by this recipe resulted in perfect flavorful beautiful rolls, so this must be easier, and they have added healthy ingredients which makes me super happy.  Jason’s even requested that these make regular appearances around here.  The oats on top make a gorgeous presentation and photo, but they made it messy to eat, so you can omit them if you’d like.  

Oatmeal and Molasses Dinner Rolls 

Adapted from Food52.com

 

Serves 8-12

  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 3/4 cups milk
  • 3/4 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup butter cut into cubes
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2-3 cups flour (unbleached all-purpose or bread flour)
  • 2-3 tablespoons melted butter for brushing tops of rolls
  1. Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup lukewarm water with a pinch of sugar. Let stand until bubbly. If it doesn’t get bubbly, throw it out and get some new yeast.
  2. Scald milk then add it to the butter in your mixing bowl. When butter has melted, add brown sugar, rolled oats, molasses, and salt. Blend thoroughly and cool to lukewarm.
  3. Add egg and mix well. Add the yeast and mix to incorporate it. Then mix in 2 ½ cups of the flour. Add what you need to of the remaining ½ cup of flour until the dough loses its sheen. Let rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Scrape the dough out of the mixing bowl and put it in a greased bowl. Turn to coat and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of two hours. It can sit overnight as well. It doesn’t rise a lot.
  5. Turn out the chilled dough on a floured work surface and knead or fold and turn the dough slightly. Cut dough into 12 balls. Press each ball into a flat rectangle with your fingers, then roll up and tuck ends under. Place seam-side down in a well-buttered 9 inch round pan. Brush all over with ½ of melted butter and sprinkle with a little of the rolled oats. Let rise until doubled in size in a warm place, about two hours.
  6. Preheat oven to 350° F. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until rolls are nicely browned and sound hollow when you tap their tops. The internal temperature should be 190 degrees. Remove from the pans and brush generously with remaining melted butter. Let cool on a rack for 5-10 minutes.
  7. Serve warm…with salted butter!
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Christmas Morning: Cranberry, Orange Cinnamon Breakfast Rolls

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MerryChristmas_2013Christmas is a special time of year where making memories, celebrating traditions, spending time with friends and family , and enjoying delicious meals all come together.  Every year we take the time to celebrate together, just us ( our little growing family) in our own way.  It’s our way to take the time to make our own traditions, and making food is a big part of it.  We pick recipes that include our favorite things, that you wouldn’t ( or couldn’t) make regularly.  Mostly, we enjoy the precious time together and reminisce on all the years past and look forward to the next ahead.  These rolls are the perfect way to start your Christmas morning, and are part of the tradition to bake something decadent for breakfast to eat while opening gifts with coffee, and this year a little snow falling and a few baby kicks made it that much more perfect.

Cranberry-Orange Breakfast Buns, adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Dough adapted (mostly in technique) from Alton Brown

Tart cranberries muddle with just enough brown sugar that they sweeten, but are miles from toothache-level sweetness. Orange zest blooms inside a buttery, tender, rich dough. And there’s just enough orange icing to cap the buns, not drench them in candy. I’d call them grown-up cinnamon buns.

This is an overnight recipe; the dough will rise for the first time when you make it, and the second time in the fridge overnight. I thought this would be annoying, but it’s actually perfect. You don’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn to make breakfast buns, and the slow rise in the fridge overnight makes for a very well developed flavor.

Yield: 12 buns. This recipe could be halved and baked in a 9-inch round or 8×8-inch baking pan.

Dough:
4 large egg yolks
1 large whole egg
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
6 tablespoons (85 grams) butter, melted, plus additional to grease pan
3/4 cup (175 ml) buttermilk
Zest of 1 orange, finely grated (to be used in dough and filling, below)
3 3/4 cups (470 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting counter
1 packet (7 grams or 2 1/4 teaspoons) instant dry yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons coarse or kosher salt, or more to taste
1 teaspoon oil for bowl

Filling:
1 1/2 tablespoons (20 grams) butter

1 cup (190 grams) packed light brown sugar

1 cup (115 grams) fresh cranberries

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Orange zest leftover from above

Icing:
3 1/2 tablespoons (55 ml) orange juice

2 cups (240 grams) powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 tablespoons vanilla greek yogurt

Make the dough: In the bottom of the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the yolks, whole egg, sugar, butter, buttermilk and 3/4 of the orange zest together (saving the rest for the filling). Add 2 cups of the flour along with the yeast and salt; stir until evenly moistened. Switch to the dough hook and add the remaining 1 3/4 cups flour and let the dough hook knead the mixture on low speed for 5 to 7 minutes. The dough should be soft and moist, but not overly sticky. Scrape the dough into a large, lightly oiled bowl (I usually scrape my dough briefly onto the counter, oil the mixing bowl, and scrape the dough back into it) and cover it with plastic wrap. Let dough rise at room temperature until doubled, which will take between 2 and 2 1/2 hours.

[Don’t have a stand mixer? Stir the mixture together with a wooden spoon, then continue stirring and beating it about in a large bowl for several minutes, until it comes together. Turn the dough out onto a floured counter and knead it for another 5 minutes. It will stick; don’t sweat it. Just scrape everything up and into the oiled bowl when it’s time to let it rise. Try to resist adding extra flour when it sticks; it will only toughen the dough. That would be sad.]

Prepare the filling: Melt the butter and set it aside. In a food processor, pulse the whole cranberries until they’re ground to a coarse rubble, but not fully pureed. You’ll need to scrape the machine down once or twice. Set them aside.

[Don’t have a food processor? Just hand chop them very well, as if to coarsely mince them.]

Assemble the buns: Butter a 9×13-inch baking dish, a heavier ceramic or glass dish is ideal here. Turn the risen dough out onto a floured work surface and roll it into a rectangle that is 18 inches wide (the side nearest to you) and 12 or so inches long. (It’s okay if it goes longer/thinner.) Brush the dough with the melted butter. Sprinkle it with the brown sugar. Scatter the ground cranberries over it, then the remaining orange zest.

Roll the dough into a tight, 18-inch long spiral. Using a sharp serrated knife, very, very gently saw the log into 1 1/2-inch sections; you should get 12. Arrange the buns evenly spread out in your baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or up to 16 hours.

The next morning, bake the buns: Take your buns out of the fridge 30 minutes before you’d like to bake them, to allow them to warm up slightly. Heat your oven to 350 degrees F. Bake your buns until they’re puffed and golden (the internal temperature should read 190 degrees F), approximately 30 minutes.

Transfer pan to a cooling rack and let cool slightly. Make the icing by whisking the orange juice and powdered sugar together. Spread a little on each bun, or drizzle it over the whole pan. Serve immediately.

Mexican Style Mussels

20130506-092611.jpgHappy Cinco de Mayo!  We should’ve grilled out buuuuuut instead we spent the afternoon planting our raised garden beds and wanted to keep it simple for dinner- enter Mexican Mussels!  Perfect fast easy dinner, delicious served with very good sliced bread.  Mussels were $4.99/ lb ( at WHOLE FOODS!) so these are also budget friendly.  Here is a great link on how to clean your mussels and also make sure that you aren’t eating bad ones.  This recipe is an original so let us know what you think- we loved every last slurped soaked bead bite.

1.25 lbs mussels, cleaned and sorted

1/2 cup chopped shallots

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 sup chopped red pepper

4 tablespoons butter

1.5 cups dry white wine

1/4 cup cream

2 tablespoons lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste

4 ounces chorizo

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

1 baguette, sliced

Avocado for the side

In a large dutch oven style pan, heat your butter over medium high heat.  Saute the shallots, garlic and red pepper for about 5 minutes.  Add in the wine and let cook for about 6 minutes.  While that cooks, in another pan cook your chorizo through breaking it up in to bits.  Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and set aside.  Once the wine is cooked out, add in the mussels, chorizo, 1/4 cup of the cilantro and salt and pepper.  Place the lid on your pan and cook mussels gently shaking the pan to coat with the sauce.  They are cooked fully when they pop open; about 4-5 minutes total.  Remove from heat, squeeze lemon juice on top, the cream ( if desired) and the rest of the cilantro, season with more salt to taste.  Serve hot with sliced baguette and avocado.

Italian Bread and Cabbage Soup

Last night was a little celebration here at the Richardson home, we hit our 2 month wedding anniversary!  Silly, we know, but it was a great night to reflect on our wedding, being happy and an excuse to cook something amazing and serve it on our wedding china= bonus!!  Jason has a little obsession with Jamie Oliver’s cookbook photography so we have a few of them.  This recipe was found in his “Jamie’s Kitchen” book, where he breaks down recipes by season, which we love. When you can cook in season, your groceries are cheaper and your food is fresher, better.  This soup packs a huge vitamin punch with swiss chard and cabbage… even though we’ve added bacon, bread and cheese ( YUM)  Jamie tends to cook very humbly, he says ” handful of this, a glob of that” it’s hard to navigate and some ingredients are just not available in most stores in the US.  Here we navigate this recipe adding in how we made it, the broth was so rich and hearty and just amazing- the flavors Jamie imparts with herbs is a serious talent.  We used the cheese we had on hand and the bread we had also… you can opt to look to the original!  This makes 8 servings, and it is filling, it could be called a casserole almost, but it has enough broth to bring it home.

 

 

Adapted from Jamie at Home

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 quarts, 96 oz, chicken stock ( not broth)
  • 1 green cabbage, outer leaves separated, washed and roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard ( or Kale), center hard stalk removed, leaves washed
  • and roughly chopped
  • About 12 slices stale bread, we used Sara Lee Honey Wheat
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed, cut in 1/2
  • Olive oil
  • 8 slices bacon, chopped on 1″ lengths
  • 1 (4-ounce) can anchovy fillets, in oil
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves picked
  • 4 ounces romano cheese, grated
  • 3 ounces freshly grated Parmesan, plus a little for serving
  • 2 ounces white cheddar, grated
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Small bunch fresh sage, leaves picked

Directions

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Bring the stock to the boil in a large saucepan and add the cabbage, cavolo nero and/or kale. Cook for a few minutes until softened (you may have to do this in 2 batches). Remove the cabbage to a large bowl, leaving the stock in the pan.

Toast all but 4 of the bread slices in a toaster, then rub them on 1 side with the garlic halves right away while warm, and set aside.

Next, heat a large 4-inch-deep ovenproof casserole-type pan on the stove top, add 1 tablespoon olive oil, bacon and anchovies. When the bacon is golden brown and sizzling, add the rosemary sprigs and cooked cabbage and toss to coat the greens. Put the mixture and all the juices back into the large bowl.

Place 4 of the toasted slices in the casserole-type pan, in 1 layer. Spread over 1/2 of the cabbage leaves, sprinkle over a 1/3 of the grated cheeses and add a drizzle of olive oil. Repeat with another layer of toasted bread, cabbage mixture( pour in all the juices remaining in the bowl) and cheese.  End with a layer of the untoasted bread on top. Push down on the layers with your hands.

Pour the stock gently over the top until it just comes up to the top layer. Push down again and sprinkle over the remaining 1/3 of cheese. Add a teaspoon of pepper and drizzle over some good-quality olive oil. Bake in the preheated oven for around 35 minutes, or until crispy and golden on top.

When the soup is ready, divide it between your bowls. Melt the butter in a frying pan and quickly fry the sage leaves until they’re just crisp and the butter is lightly golden (not burned!). Spoon a bit of the flavored butter and sage leaves over the soup and add another grating of Parmesan if desired.

Blueberry Muffins in progress

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Blueberry muffins are a delicious way to share breakfast with your family- I have been spending a lot of time helping my sister and her husband out at their house while they get the hang of a new baby schedule!  I made these from the King Arthur “Baker’s Companion” bible that we bought Chris ( the pizza/ bread making enthusiast) for Christmas last year.  A few notes from my learnings, I would absolutely use buttermilk if you have it in place of the milk, and zest of one whole lemon.  I think lemon and blueberries are an incredible flavor combo, but that may have been since I used 1/2 whole wheat flour that these needed a kick in the muffin top!  Also, because of the enormous and wonderful amount of blueberries that went into this- heavily Pam, or grease you muffin pans.  Otherwise, enjoy these tender, cake like muffins loaded with fresh blueberries.  The tops get a fabulous crunch from the sugary cinnamon, mmmm mmm good,

Classic Blueberry Muffins
pg 68 of The King Arthur Baker’s Companion

1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups flour ( I used 1 c. whole wheat and 1 c. all purpose)
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
cinnamon + sugar for the top

Preheat oven to 375. Cream together butter, sugar, and salt. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the baking powder. Then add the flour alternately with the milk, beating well after each addition. Mash 1/2 cup of blueberries and add them to the batter. Stir in the vanilla at the end, along with the whole blueberries.

Mound the batter into 12 lightly greased or paper lined muffin cups, filling each completely to the top (actually, over the top; the batter is thick enough that it’ll hold its shape). Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake for 30 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Remove muffins from the oven, and after 5 minutes remove them from the pan to cool completely on a rack, or gently flip them sideways in the pan.

 

*** A special thanks to our dear friend Heidi for keeping us posting through this busy time in our lives, and for keeping us real, much love **

Healthier Blueberry Muffins

Ellie Kreiger has been a kitchen staple for us these past couple years.  She has brought 3 cookbooks to our kitchen that have all become indispensable.  Each recipe is based on making healthier and most of the time- fresher more flavorful- versions of our favorites.  Cooking from her books makes us feel good about what we make and what we are eating.  In her latest cook book, Comfort Food Fix,  she shares a healthy spin on classic blueberry muffins and true to form, they are just as tender and delectable, our all time favorites still will always be the Fig Muffins, however!  Using half whole wheat flour, low fat buttermilk, applesauce and zest of lemon are all ways in which these muffins add a nutritional punch and flavor to a muffin!
Adapted from
Ellie Krieger Comfort Food Fix
makes 12 muffins
Nonstick cooking spray

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1 cup whole-wheat flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. table salt

1/4 tsp. baking soda

2 large eggs

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup canola oil

1 cup natural unsweetened applesauce

Zest of 1 whole lemon
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk

1-1/2 cups fresh blueberries

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Coat a 12-cup standard muffin pan with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk both flours, the baking powder, salt, and baking soda.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, and oil until the mixture is pale and slightly frothy. Whisk in the applesauce, lemon zest, and vanilla. With the whisk, stir in about half the flour mixture, then half the buttermilk. Repeat with the remaining flour and then the remaining buttermilk, stirring until well incorporated.

Gently fold in the blueberries.

Divide the batter among the muffin cups, filling them to the top. Tap the pan on the counter to remove any air bubbles. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of one of the muffins comes out clean, 20 to 30 minutes.

Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the muffins to loosen them and then unmold. Serve warm or let cool completely and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or wrap individually and freeze for up to 3 months.

http://www.jasonrobertscott.com

Potato and Leek Bisque

This is a gem of a recipe from our very new Eating Well Cookbook!  It’s a great velvety smooth, thick, rich creamy potato soup ( think delicious mashed potatoes!)- next time we’ll keep some potatoes chunky and add some peas and lean ham to give it more stew texture and mix this up a bit.

Potato-Leek Bisque
8 servings, about 1 cup each

adapted from Eating Well

Bisque
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 pounds leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced
3 cups nonfat milk
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground white pepper, or to taste
2 ounces grated Parmesan
Thinly sliced fresh chives for garnish

Croutons
1/4 cup minced pitted Kalamata olives
3 anchovies, minced
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
8 slices baguette, toasted

Preparation

1.To prepare bisque: Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add leeks and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until very tender but not brown, 20 to 30 minutes. Adjust heat as necessary and add a bit of water if needed to prevent sticking. Set aside 1/3 cup of the leeks in a small bowl.

2.Add garlic and red pepper flakes, stir for a minute then add potatoes, milk and broth to the pot. Bring to a simmer (do not boil) and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are very tender, 15 minutes.

3.To prepare croutons: Meanwhile, add olives, anchovies and black pepper to the reserved leeks; mix well. Divide evenly among the toasted baguette slices.

4.When the potatoes are tender, remove from the heat. Puree the soup with an immersion blender or in batches in a regular blender. (Use caution when pureeing hot liquids.) Season with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, lemon juice and white pepper. Divide among 8 soup bowls and float a crouton on top of each. Garnish with chives and Parmesan, if desired.