I’m not sure why I tried to cook today. I was exhausted and inattentive. I walked away for just a minute. I tweeted a few tweets. I Facebooked a few comments. I repinned a few Pinterest pins.
And then this happened. I shall try again tomorrow after I have had a good rest. But for now, let us celebrate learning experiences and some giggles together.
Leave a comment by 7:30pm tomorrow night sharing your last cooking mistake. A random winner will be chosen via random.org and announced Friday night, June 1st at 8pm PST. Winner will receive a Trophy Cupcakes gift card for a dozen cupcakes valued at about $42!
Memorial Day. The day we remember and honor those who died while serving while in the United States Armed Forces.
This is my grandma and grandpa on their wedding day. Grandpa served in World War II.
Fortunately, grandpa made it back from war to raise five children with grandma. He lived a long and happy life until he passed away a few days before his 90th birthday. He was one of the most beautiful souls I have ever known.
This makes me appreciate the meaning behind Memorial Day even more. To those who have served our country and their families who supported them while they were away – thank you. And to the families of those who were lost while serving – thank you.
These cinnamon rolls are being brought to you after lots of practice. Practice at making the dough. Practice at making the filling. Practice at making the frosting. And, well, you know. Practice of eating them warm out of the oven.
I don’t mean to brag, but I’ve always been good at the latter. It’s just the other three that have taken me years to figure out. And here they are all together for your enjoyment. Breakfast perfection.
This is what I mean by perfecting the filling. Chewy and sugary on the bottom and, well, you just simply must make these to understand completely.
CINNAMON ROLL INGREDIENTS:
5 teaspoons yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water (110F or lower)
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup instant mashed potatoes stirred together with 3/4 cup lukewarm water
1 1/2 cups warm milk
1/2 cup shortening
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
7 cups white flour
1/2 cup (or one stick) melted butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons cinnamon
Place yeast into a large mixing bowl. Add warm water and sugar. Give a little swirl and let sit for about 10 minutes to create the sponge for your dough. When it looks bubbly & frothy, it is ready.
Whisk mashed potatoes, milk, shortening, eggs and salt into yeast mixture.
Add flour about a cup at a time. At about 5-6 cups, you will need to start kneeding the last cup or two in with your hands. continue to kneed for about 5 minutes. Dough should be able to be formed into a smooth ball. Let sit in a warm place to rise for one hour.
After dough has risen, roll out into a long strip that is about 5 inches high all the way down the counter. Smoother with melted butter.
Combine brown sugar, sugar and cinnamony goodness into medium bowl.
Spread cinnamon mixture onto butter. Rub it all together as much as possible. Latex gloves work fabulously for this kind of project.
Roll dough upward and cut into about 1 1/2 to 2 inch pieces.
Spray baking pan/pans with non-stick baking spray. Place rolls on their sides into two 9X13 baking pans or one half sheet pan. Leave space in between each roll as they will double in size again.
Spray plastic wrap with non-stick spray and cover cinnamon rolls. Place in fridge overnight to rise slowly. Or, you can let them rise in a warm place for about an hour.
After they have risen overnight in the fridge or an hour in a warm place, preheat oven to 350F. When oven is ready, bake until light golden brown. This is the point when I sneak a little extra butter on top to melt. Today my butter was from Denmark. It made everything more special. It also made me want to wear wooden shoes but my grandma slipper socks would have to do.
Allow to cool for about 10 minutes – just enough time to make the frosting.
MAPLE FROSTING INGREDIENTS:
4 cups powdered sugar
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons of (salted) butter, softened
4 tablespoons of water
4 teaspoons of Mapleine (imitation flavoring sold in seasoning aisle at grocery stores)
1/8 teaspoon of salt (or to taste)
Mix frosting ingredients together until smooth. Seriously. I can’t even speak right now.
Smear frosting upon cinnamon rolls generously. Again, latex gloves work wonders for this kind of “work”.
Serve to guests as soon as possible to make up for setting your car alarm off at 7am right under their suite windows.
Eat with a fork or, you know, latex gloves could work too. Add coffee and sunshine and call it a peaceful weekend. Well, if you minus the car alarm.
Sometimes my posts are healthy and sometimes they are not. Today’s cookies are a balance of both fiber and bunches of brown sugar – as a cookie should be.
Oats and seeds and raisins. And a completely unnecessary, pretty doily.
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
2 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 1/2 cups oatmeal
1 cup coconut
1 cup millet (found in the natural or bulk section of your local grocery store)
1 cup raisins
Cream together butter, sugar and eggs. Add applesauce, vanilla, flour, wheat flour, flax seeds, baking soda and salt until well mixed. Turn mixer on low speed and add in oatmeal, coconut, millet and raisins.
Drop by large spoonfuls onto a baking sheet, leaving space for cookies to spread while baking. Bake about 18 minutes.
For the perfect housewarming gift, fill an oatmeal container with beautiful but completely unnecessary tissue paper and fresh, oatsy cookies.
Since dark chocolate is good for your health, you can add a cup of dark chocolate chips. But to balance things out, perhaps add a cup of butterscotch chips as well. Chopped nuts and roasted sunflower seeds are also a sunny addition.
Makes a couple dozen cookies – one dozen to share and one dozen to place in an unnecessary but adorable cookie jar for unnecessary but delicious, chewy, nutty, sweet snack.
Summer is only one month away and if there’s something we all need to know to prepare, it is how to make an awesome milkshake. A great milkshake is all about texture & flavor.
And maybe a little extra butterscotch sauce at the bottom. INGREDIENTS:
2 cups loosely packed ice
About 2 cups lukewarm water
One 1.5 quart container Dreyer’s Slow Churned Vanilla Ice Cream
1/2 to 1 cup milk
One 12 ounce jar butterscotch ice cream topping
It is best to set your ingredients out since this process goes quickly and this will also help the ice cream to warm up just a bit, making it easier to scoop out.
Start with about two cups of ice lightly stacked in blender.
Add enough water to cover the ice.
Blend until slushy and there are no big chunks of ice left. A tamper, which comes with better blenders, will help with this greatly but if you don’t have one, you can just stop blender often to shift ingredients around with a long spoon.
Drain as much excess water as you can.
Place about 1/2 cup of milk and half of the ice cream into blender. Don’t pack ice cream too firmly.
Pour in one container of butterscotch sauce. Oh momma. Blend ingredients on lowest setting that works and use tamper to help keep ingredients moving. Turn up blender speed as needed but remember that dairy doesn’t like to be churned quickly or it will get frothy – thus, slow-churned ice cream. Add the rest of the ice cream. Continue to blend. Add a little more milk but only as needed (up to one cup).
The fast food industry has nothing on a homemade or an old-fashioned diner milkshake. Serve proudly. Your milkshake is now better than theirs.
In a medium saucepan, off heat, whisk together powdered sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
Add milk, vanilla and egg yolks.
Whisk well to dissolve cornstarch and beat eggs. Whisking constantly, cook over medium heat until the first large bubble forms and sputters.
Break chocolate bars into small pieces.
That’s about right.
It won’t be pretty at first, but the outcome will be delicious. I promise. Reduce heat to low; still whisking, cook about 1 minute or until chocolate is melted.
Stir butter into hot pudding.
Place plastic wrap directly on surface of pudding (to prevent skin from forming); chill a few hours. Before serving, whisk pudding until smooth.
To make pudding parfaits, process 1 package (about 9 whole graham crackers) until crumbly. Add 6 ounces of melted butter and process until butter is well combined.
Press graham cracker crumbs in the bottom of a serving dish and then add pudding.
To make whipped cream, whip 2 cups of heavy whipped cream in a mixer until soft peaks form. After soft peaks form, add 4 tablespoons of Irish cream (or for non-alcoholic version, add 1 teaspoon of almond or vanilla extract) and about 1/4 cup of powdered sugar. Continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Using a large decorating tip, swirl whipped cream on top of pudding. For extra pretties, dust with cocoa powder.
Best when served in tiny cups with extra skinny, long silver spoons. As soon as possible.
Simply double graham cracker crust to make this recipe into a chocolate pie.
And then one day it dawned on her that she owned a bed & breakfast yet there was not a basic pancake or maple syrup recipe anywhere on her blog. And so she had pancakes to solve the problem.
But, you know, she only had one.
1 cup milk or buttermilk (+ 2 tablespoons milk for thinner pancakes)
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Whisk pancake ingredients together until well combined and smooth.
Place your very best non-stick pan on a burner and preheat to low. It will be tempting to pour the batter upon the pan before it is hot, but do not give in to the temptation. When the time is right, pour 1/4 cup of better into the pan and spread in a circular motion just a wee bit to make about a four-inch pancake.
Wait until a few of the bubbles burst, then flip.
Yes. Yes, indeed, you can have a perfect first pancake.
In fact, you can have 11 perfect pancakes all in a row.
The outside is too dark and the inside is raw:
Burner is too high – Turn down & allow to cool to new temperature. Trying to cook them faster will only result in pancakes that are raw in the middle.
Too much sugar – Start batter over & follow measurements carefully. More sugar in pancakes is not better.
Batter is too thick or too thin:
Check to see if you measured carefully.
Consider measuring out 8 ounces of flour in weight instead of measuring cups as it is better to measure flour by ounces rather than cups depending on the humidity in the air where you live.
Pancake sticking to pan:
Make sure you didn’t add to much sugar.
Make sure your pan doesn’t have scratches or worn spots on the non-stick surface.
Pancakes fall apart while cooking:
Make sure your burner is preheated.
Make sure that you measured the flour correctly. You might need a little bit more.
Only use large eggs. Smaller ones will not serve your purpose properly. If you only have small eggs on hand, use three instead of two large ones.
It is savory with a touch of sweetness. It is the Balsamic Red Onion and Sausage Tart… With Fresh Herbs and Le Gruyère Cheese Perfectly Melted On Top.
But, you know, I had to stop the name somewhere.
1 Pillsbury pie crust
One 14 oz. package smoked beef sausage
1/2 large red onion
8 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon each finely chopped, fresh rosemary or basil, oregano, and thyme
Salt & pepper
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1.5 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated
First spray a tart pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Preheat oven to 350F. Line pan with a pie crust. A Pillsbury pie crust rolled out a little bit will work just fine. (Pillsbury isn’t sweet like the off-brands). Bake pie crust for 15-20 minutes until done.
Cut beef sausage into large, bite-sized pieces.
Yeah. Like that.
Thinly slice red onion and then cut slices in half.
Finely chop fresh herbs.
Whisk eggs, milk, freshly chopped herbs and salt & pepper together.
Pour most of eggs into cooked pie crust.
Begin browning sausage pieces over medium high heat and then add onions.
Cook until onions are caramelized and then add balsamic vinegar. Allow to cook for a couple more minutes.
Place onions and sausage into tart pan with the eggs. Place tart pan into oven and then pour remaining eggs in. If pan is very full, place a half sheet baking pan underneath to prevent dripping. Grate cheese over the top.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until a knife poked into the center of the tart comes out clean. Serves 4-5 people.
Le tart. Le sigh.
This recipe can also be made in a pie pan. Just add a couple more eggs to the recipe.
Because I will be making milkshakes soon. Because it is spring and because I am a Northwest girl through and through, I introduce you to a Pike Place inspired salad.
This week I had a first. This might be a good place to admit it only took me four plus decades to visit Alki Point in Seattle. < hangs head in shame >. Yes, I really did grow up here. And I’ve been to Seattle close a million times but I purposefully wandered my way to Alki while doing an errand in Seattle this week. Nothing was going to stop me. It’s so beautiful that it will not take me four decades to visit again.
See the Space Needle in all her glory? She is 50 this year so the city painted her orange just like when she was first built for the World’s Fair in 1962. I love Seattle and could talk about Washington and it’s beauty for hours but I will now introduce you to our beautiful food.
The Northwest Autumn Salad… with Salmon Pear & Blackberry. She is fresh. She is lovely and she is perfectly delicious for a dinner party or brunch.
While walking through Pike Place recently, I was handed some smoked salmon. I took two steps further and was handed a piece of perfectly ripened pear by another merchant. I knew right away that there was something amazing happening. As I enjoyed them both, my taste buds were dancing.
A couple of big handfuls of spring lettuce mix
3/4 cup fresh blackberries
2 ounces smoked salmon (Think: Wild, Northwest and Copper River whenever possible) Never settle for “farm fed” salmon.
1/2 ripe pear, diced
1/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)
You could toss the salad together, but I prefer to create beautiful layers. Starting with the lettuce, sprinkle the other ingredients on top and enjoy the Northwest on a plate.
SALAD DRESSING INGREDIENTS:
Juice from 1/2 fresh lemon (about 1/4 cup)
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons sugar
Salt & pepper to taste
Simply shake the salad dressing ingredients together in a container with a lid & drizzle on your gorgeous salad. This recipe makes about a cup of dressing so you will have leftovers for another day. Just save in the fridge.
Due to the number of guests who are looking specifically for a get-away from their everyday life - although we adore children - we only accommodate guests 18 and older (with the exception of an all-suites rental). Thank you.
The Old Hen
Deanna’s love for baking and cooking began as she sat upon a baker’s stool as a little girl. Her love for people grew in the midst of church potlucks. She expresses her loves today creatively through speaking, writing for her foodie blog as well as hosting guests, including celebrities, at her award-winning B&B in Snoqualmie Valley, Washington.