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cook it … sticky buns

Sticky Buns Round TwoWell dear friends I am now 100% sure that white whole wheat flour has no place here on earth. Or at least not in my kitchen. Yesterday I re-made the sticky buns that were such a failure on Sunday and they are ah-mazing! For real, amazing! It was all I could do not to eat half the pan for dinner last night.

Sticky BunSeriously, these are so good, and fairly easy to make, they just take a little forward thought. Admittedly something I am not good at when it comes to cooking. When I want something I want it. How am I supposed to know that I want something 24 hours ahead of time?

Fortunately these only take a few hours to prepare so sometimes that is doable. The recipe is originally from Donna Hay but I have adapted it a bit to suit my taste.

ridiculously ah-mazing sticky buns

dough

1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

2/3 cup lukewarm milk

2 teaspoons vanilla

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 tsp salt

2 eggs

1 stick unsalted butter, melted

sticky glaze

1/3 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup brown sugar

6 tablespoons butter

filling

1 stick unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

For the dough…

1. place the milk, yeast, and vanilla in a bowl, mix to combine and set aside for about 5 minutes while the yeast does its thing.

2. add flour, sugar, salt, eggs, melted butter and yeast mixture to a stand mixture fitted with a dough hook.

3. mixing the ingredients slowly at first. as they incorporate increase speed to high and beat for 8 minutes. the dough should form a ball like shape, and begin to pull away from the sides of the bowl. be sure to hold onto your mixer or it will shimmy right off the counter as the dough becomes more solid.

4. place the dough into a lightly greased bowl and cover with a damp tea towel. set in a warm place for an hour or until the dough has doubled in size. our microwave is mounted above our stove and has a work light option that warms up the inside of the microwave. i have found this to be the best place in my kitchen for things to rise.

5. to make the sticky glaze place the maple syrup, brown sugar, and butter in a small saucepan over low heat. stirring as the sugars and butter all melt together. boil for 2-3 minutes.

6. grease a 10 x 14 baking dish and pour in the sticky glaze to coat the bottom. set aside.

7. for the filling cream the butter, sugar and cinnamon on high scraping down the sides as needed. beat for about 5 minutes, or until mixture is pale.

8. tear two pieces of parchment paper about 25-26 inches long.

9. place one down on the counter and turn the dough onto it. place the second sheet of parchment paper on top of the dough and begin to roll it out. i use my hands a bit to flatten it out before the rolling-pin was helpful. roll dough until it is about 24″ by 9″.

10. remove the top sheet of parchment and spread the filling over the dough leaving a 1/2″ border.

11. preheat the oven to 350°F

12. begin rolling up the dough using the 24″ length. you should end up with a nice long snake like piece of rolled dough. using a knife, cut the length in half. you will want to get 6 buns out of each section.

13. cut your buns and one by one place them in the baking dish. you should end up with 4 rows of 3 buns each. but if you don’t that is fine too, they will still taste great.

14. bake for 20 minutes then cover with a piece of aluminum foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes. i like to rotate the baking dish at this point to ensure even cooking.

15. once removed from the oven let sit for 5-10 minutes and then turn out onto parchment paper, a cutting board, or whatever you like.

16. dive in and enjoy! these are SO good right out of the oven. you will need a cold glass of milk, or coffee to accompany these sweet sticky buns.

I hope that some of you are able to try these this weekend, if so let me know how it went. Also, if anyone is interested in 5 pounds of white whole wheat flour I have some for you!

These did not get sent to work with the husband.

Have a great weekend!

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cook it … sticky buns

Yesterday I set about making sticky buns for the first time. I was really excited, the husband was really excited, our dinner guest were really excited, possibly even neighbors were excited. We did some errands in the morning and stopped at the grocery on the way home to pick up some flour. We were almost out, and needed a few other items for dinner. We popped into the baking aisle, I pointed at the bag of flour that I wanted and asked the husband to get it. Seriously, why does the flour and sugar have to be on the bottom shelf? It is not awesome when you are 9 months pregnant. We check out, get home, unpack the groceries and we have a lovely bag of white whole wheat flour, shucks. The husband mentions that he grew up eating baked goods with this flour and it would be fine. So I think, why not, it will be healthier, how bad can it be?

Sticky Buns with Fork

BAD… They looked so beautiful at every stage of the cooking process. The dough rise went well, the filling looked perfect, all the little individual buns were perfectly nestled in the baking dish. I was so excited. I pulled them out of the oven and knew right away this was a mistake. They cooled, I flipped them out of the dish, put one on a plate and took a bite. My fears realized, I brought the plate up to the husband in the nursery who was busy working on a project, more on that soon. He took a bite and agreed, no good.

I have this rule about food. Some foods are only good made the way they were intended. They cannot be made healthy, or made from substitute ingredients. Foods made with white flour say doughnuts, funnel cake, and sticky buns, should never be made healthy with whole wheat flour. Yes folks, once I had the sad experience of eating a whole wheat funnel cake, why I ask you, why? Obviously I make exceptions to this rule for allergies, and legitimate health reasons, I am not a monster.

I suggested that the husband could take the sticky buns into work with him. He immediately howled, “I can’t bring those into work.” Amazing, they were that bad. Our dinner guest were nice enough to try one. They decided that they were definitely not good, but they were edible, just rather earthy. So, today they went to work with the husband. By mid morning I was informed that all the sticky buns had indeed been eaten and that a few co-workers thought I was a GREAT cook. I fear for their taste buds, but thank them for their kindness.

So my friends, I went back to the grocery this morning and bought a new bag of unbleached white flour. I will re-attempt the sticky buns this week and give you an update.

Have a great day!

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cook it … bean salad

Bean salad is one of my favorite things to make as a simple lunch, or to bring to a pot luck. Simple, tasty, and healthy it is an overall hit. You can serve it as a side, or as a dip that you can use chips to scoop it up with.

bean salad ingredients

bean salad

1 can pinto beans

1 can black eyed peas

1/2 yellow pepper finely chopped

1/2 orange pepper finely chopped

1/2 medium white onion finely chopped

3 to 4 cloves garlic minced

italian dressing or homemade vinaigrette

optional ingredients…

1/2 jalapeño minced

small handful cilantro roughly chopped

bean salad extras

Drain and rinse the beans, place them in a bowl. Add the chopped peppers, onions, garlic, jalapeño and cilantro if using. Gently stir to mix. Add in italian dressing, or homemade vinaigrette to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours. Serve with your main dish as a side, or with a sturdy chip for scooping.

The recipe above is for a very small batch and is meant to be increased as needed. If I am making the bean salad to take to a pot luck I usually double it. Also, if I am not making anything else that calls for bell peppers or an onion I will chop the whole thing and toss it in. The above recipe is just a base, add and subtract as you like.

bean salad

Happy cooking!

 

 

 

 

 

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cook it … easter bread

Is Easter Bread a part of your families spring time tradition? Traditionally thought of as part of Italian or Greek Easter celebrations the sweetened bread can be traced back thousands of years. In Italy bread is symbolic of life. Pair it with an egg, which in most cultures symbolizes fertility and procreation, you have quite a statement. Both themes that Easter, and it’s earlier pagan roots center around.

easter bread Bon Appétit April 2012 – photo by Ditte Isager

I prefer to go the pagan route of celebrating the sweet joys of spring and the rebirth that each new season brings. Regardless of your religious affiliations I think that this bread makes a nice family tradition. I’m excited to give it a try sometime in the next few months. You can find this recipe and step by step instructions here. If eggs are not your thing, but you would like to try the sweet bread, you can find the recipe here.

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what’s cooking … thanksgiving

part two – menu

I am so excited that tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I woke up early this morning and started working on dishes for tomorrow. Toasting bread for stuffing, and cooking up our families favorite Horseradish Cranberry Sauce. This afternoon the Mister will make the brine for the turkey and deep fry it in the back yard tomorrow. There will be mashed potatoes, fennel salad, and side dishes provided by our lovely guests. I asked them to bring their favorite side from their childhood which I think is a nice way to incorporate everyone’s traditions into the holiday.

Thanksgiving Menu | K. Flick Studio

turkey | K. Flick Studio

Thanksgiving Menu | K. Flick Studio

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 //  7  // 8 //  9

How good does all that look? Truth be told these are not the exact recipes that we will be using but I think that most of them will be fantastic. The recipe that I did want to share is our families cranberry sauce. Mom thinks that it might be from her mother, but she is not completely sure. It is one of my favorite things about the day and I would eat it year round, on everything if I could!

cranberry horseradish sauce

2 cups water

1 cup sugar

1 cup packed brown sugar

24 oz cranberries

6 tablespoons horseradish

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Put the first three ingredients in a pot. Slowly stir and bring to a boil. Add the cranberries. Return to a boil for 10 minutes. The cranberries will split, burst and break down. Spoon into a bowl and cool to room temperature. Stir in the horseradish and mustard. Cover and chill. Put this on everything, you will not be sorry!

I have no idea how many people this serves. It just depends on how much each person will eat and how much you want to have left over. I am also notorious for overestimating how much food we will need. We are having right people to dinner and I made the whole recipe. I am even a bit nervous that we might not have enough, but I am sure we will.

On a side note as someone who works in retail I implore you, not to go shopping on Thanksgiving. If you need something from the grocery store, fine they are open, but the retail chains that are open this year are disgusting. Stores should just be closed on Thanksgiving. Shop online if you are bored and having a shopping emergency. Remember that while you are off work and shopping at midnight there are people there working to make it possible. Trust me, no one wants to be working a midnight to 8am shift at a mega store. So just stay home. That’s all!

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

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cook it … picnic sandwich

Hello there!!! It has been a while and for that I am sorry. Time seems to be slipping by these days. We are working on some projects at home, and holiday preparation/installation is in full swing at work. Excuses, excuses I know.

At the beginning of September the Mister and I went to Pender Island in the Gulf Islands, BC with my parents. The trip provided some much-needed rest and time with the family. We shopped at the farmers market shortly after we arrived and picked up most of our food for the week. There were breads, cheeses, meats, vegetables, preserves, blackberries, and some really good french pastries. I picked up most of the items I needed for my picnic sandwich here.

The next day we decided to drive to a beach and have a picnic lunch followed by an exploration of the coast line. It was the perfect opportunity for me to try my twist on this Sweet Paul recipe. The sandwich is simple to make, easy to pack, handheld, and yummy! What more could you want on a picnic?

 Picnic Sandwich | K. Flick Studio

Picnic Sandwich | K. Flick Studio

Enjoying the Picnic Sandwich | K. Flick Studio

Picnic Sandwich Cut | K. Flick Studio

picnic sandwich

1 round of rustic bread

bacon

tomatoes

smoked mozzarella

pesto

arugula

You probably noticed that there are not any measurements with this recipe and that is intentional. This is a rustic sandwich so if you want more of one thing add it, less of something else that’s fine too.

1. Cut the top off the bread round off. About 1/3 of the way down the round.

2. Scoop out the crumb on the top and the bottom with your hands. Be sure not to go all the way to the crust, but take enough out to give yourself a good space to layer into. Set the crumb to the side. I like to dry mine and save it for bread crumbs.

3. Liberally apply the pesto to the bottom the round. Be sure to cover all of the surface, sides as well.

3. Lay in your tomatoes, arugula, cheese, and as much bacon as you like.

Once you have finished adding all of your fillings they will be domed over the top of the round and your lid should fit nicely down over them. Squish the sandwich down with your hands to meld all the fillings and compress the sandwich. Wrap tightly in cling wrap. You are now ready to head out on your picnic.

Be sure to bring a bread knife with you to cut your sandwich once you arrive at your location. You will also need napkins, this can get a bit messy. We had a smallish rustic round that made 4 perfect sandwiches.

Good Picnic Sandwich | K. Fick Studio

The picnic sandwich is not about exact ingredients. You should see what looks good at the market and adjust accordingly, the possibilities are endless. I hope that you take an afternoon to make the picnic sandwich and spend some time with friends and family.

Skipping Rocks | K. Flick Studio

Happy Eating!

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