Ways To Warm Your House Cooking Style

Since it’s been so cold outside lately, I’ve found myself really craving carbs, is that weird?  I crave carbs a lot, so maybe it has nothing to do with the temperature outside.  I’ve not had great success with yeast in the past but over the last year I’ve mastered my pizza dough, which is wonderful considering I now make pizza once a week, Eric’s obsessed!  I figured since I got one dough under my belt I could try other yeast recipes.  I’ll admit, it has not been full of great outcomes, until recently.  Obviously when working with yeast you have to be careful not to “kill” it with too hot water and even worry about not activating it with too cold water.  I also read that if you feed the yeast with sugar wait until it blooms before adding salt, because adding salt too early will stop the yeast activation process.  Crazy fascinating stuff yeast is.

A few weeks ago while on Pinterest I came across a pretty simple dinner roll recipe.  Of course I was hesitant about making it because I always end up with hockey pucks.  I forgot what we had for dinner that night, but I thought we needed rolls.  The end result of these rolls was absolutely amazing, I probably ate like 5 and could have finished the whole lot of them if I didn’t have anything else to eat.  I’d even go as far as to say these are pretty much the best rolls ever, and basically foolproof.   How perfect these would be on Thanksgiving…I’m just sayin’

Yeast Rolls (tasteofhome.com)

Ingredients

2 to 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 package (1/4 ounce) quick-rise yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup warm water (120° to 130°)
2 tablespoons plus 4 teaspoons butter, melted, divided
3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 teaspoons honey
1/8 teaspoon garlic salt

Directions

In a large bowl, combine 1-1/2 cups flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Add water and 2 tablespoons butter; beat on medium speed for 3 minutes or until smooth. Stir in cheese and enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.

Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 4-6 minutes. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Divide into 13 pieces. Shape each into a ball. Place in a greased 9-in. round baking pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°. Bake 11-14 minutes or until lightly browned. Combine honey, garlic salt and remaining butter; brush over rolls. Remove from pan to wire rack. Yield: 13 rolls.

photo 1 (2)

Verdict: Perfect, fluffy, not hockey puck like at all.  Granted I need to work on my ball rolling skills, but I think they look more rustic.  My mom won’t let me make these for Thanksgiving, I’d be in her way too much (which is true) but one day soon these will be part of our dinner spread.  If you make them, I hope they come out as delicious as they did for me 🙂

Ok, so we’ve covered savory bread, now lets talk about the sweet stuff.  I don’t know about you, but I love sweet, sugary breakfast items.  My top two favorite breakfast items are chocolate chip pancakes and cinnamon rolls.  I used to cheat when I made cinnamon rolls and by pre-make dough loaves, thaw them out, roll them out, fill them, slice and bake them. They were always good, but I get more satisfaction in making everything myself.   Yesterday I tackled a new recipe from my trusty Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook (you probably have it, it’s the red and white plaid one).

Cinnamon Rolls (for a crowd, or really hungry people) – Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook

Ingredients

4 – 4 1/3 cups  all-purpose flour
1 package  active dry yeast
1 cup  milk
1/3 cup  sugar
1/3 cup  butter
1/2 teaspoon  salt
2 eggs
3 tablespoons  butter, melted
1/2 cup  sugar
2 teaspoons  ground cinnamon (I actually used Pumpkin Pie Spice)
1 recipe Powdered Sugar Icing (I used a basic cream cheese frosting, I’d use it again, it was amazing)

*I also added walnuts, I probably wouldn’t do that again, I realized I don’t like nuts in my cinnamon rolls

Directions

 In a large mixing bowl combine 2 cups of the flour and yeast; set aside. In a medium saucepan heat and stir milk, the 1/3 cup sugar, the 1/3 cup butter, and salt just until warm (120 to 130 degrees F.) and butter almost melts. Add milk mixture to dry mixture along with eggs. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl. Beat on high speed 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.

Turn dough onto a floured surface. Knead in enough remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic (3 to 5 minutes total). Shape dough into a ball. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl; turn once to grease dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size (about 1 hour).

Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half. Cover and let rest 10 minutes. Lightly grease two 9×1-1/2-inch round baking pans.

Roll each portion of the dough into a 12×8-inch rectangle. Brush the 3 tablespoons melted butter over dough. Combine the 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over dough. Roll up into a spiral, starting from a long side. Seal seam. Slice each roll into 12 equal pieces. Place in prepared pans. Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly double (about 30 minutes).

Bake in 375 degree F oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden. Cool slightly; remove from pans. Drizzle with Powdered Sugar Icing or cream cheese frosting. serve warm. Makes 24 rolls.photo 2 (1)

Verdict: I realized pretty quick that I probably needed at least 3 more people in the house to eat these, the two of us can only eat so many, but they were so good. I was hesitant about refrigerating them overnight, I didn’t want them to dry out, so I just covered them and left the out.  Today I warmed them up in the microwave, they were just as good.  I’d make this again for company for sure!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Cooking Show and Indoor Fall BBQ

This past weekend a group of us went to the Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show at the DC Convention Center.   This was my 3rd year going and we actually made it through every aisle.  There were some pretty awesome vendors, some great new products and lots of samples to taste.  I told Eric he wasn’t allowed to buy more than three bottles of hot sauce this year as last year he came home with about 10 that are still in our fridge barely touched.  Surprisingly, he didn’t buy any hot sauce but some other delicious treats which included Sheila G’s Brownie Brittle , they had a three for whatever special so of course Eric bought all three flavors.  Let’s just say if  you’re going to buy Brownie Brittle, you will eat the whole bag in one day, probably by yourself, or mostly by yourself because it’s that delicious. I think you pick up a bag at Wegmans and Costco (Brownie Brittle in bulk?! Um, Yes!!!)

Another wonderful product we found was Mumbo BBQ Sauce  .  I didn’t get a chance to taste this until we got home, the line was super long when my girlfriends and I passed their booth (Eric went through the hall with his friend).  But I knew it must have been good since there were so many people gathered around.  I wasn’t disappointed either, its pretty amazing bbq sauce.

If you’re ever in DC the first weekend of November, be sure to check out the Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show, it’s so much fun and you may even run into your favorite celebrity chef!

I’ve probably mentioned this before, but I absolutely love BBQ ribs. If they were low-fat, low cholesterol, just low everything, I’d probably eat them every day. Ok, maybe not everyday, but at least every other day. I’m not very picky about my ribs either, as long as they’re moist and flavorful, I’ll eat them sauced or unsauced (sauced is my preference). In an attempt to clean our the fridge, I decided to make a rack of ribs for dinner last night.  I don’t have a grill, but I’ve come up with a way to make my mom’s famous ribs in the oven (you’ll need a broiler to make them extra yummy).

Momma Welch’s BBQ Ribs

Ingredients:

Racks of baby back ribs (I find that 1 slab is good for 2-3 people, depending on how hungry you are)

1 bottle bbq sauce ( I use a lot because I like it, but you can use as much as you want)

Directions:

Cut each rack of ribs in half.  Place ribs in a large stock pot and cover with water.  Boil the ribs for about 1 hour.  Drain ribs and return to pot.  Pour desired amount of bbq sauce on ribs and let them sit in the sauce for a few hours (you can put them in the fridge if you are freaked out about leaving them on the stove to marinade.  I haven’t gotten Trichinosis or food poisoning  from leaving them out so it’s all good.)  Once you’re ready to cook the ribs, you can slap them on the grill until they’re heated through or you can bake them in the oven for 30 mins, basting every 10 and flipping them over half way through.  To finish them off, since I don’t have a grill, I broil each side for about 5 mins until the sauce is sticky and carmelized.

Verdict: Delicious as per usual.
I was planning on making more sides, but got a little distracted by working out and cleaning off our balcony.  I did however make dinner rolls (pictured) that came out fantastic.  I found the recipe on Pinterest, the recipe isn’t typed out, so I’ll just give you the website, it’s from Roxana’s Home Baking    I’m glad I finally found a yummy dinner roll recipe.

Tonight I think we’re having Cavatelli and Broccoli, but I’m not sure, I forgot what I wrote down on the menu…