Friday, July 3, 2020

Texas Roadhouse Rolls & Cinnamon Butter

These rolls were so fun to make.  My husband and I used to like TR about 20 years ago.  We took the kids back about 7 years ago and it was all too fried and salty for me anymore.  But the rolls are good!!  It was fun to make them at home, too.  You roll the dough out in a rough rectangle and trim the edges to make a perfect rectangle, then cut into squares.  I cut the cinnamon honey butter in half and it wasn't enough for my fam- lol.  I tried two recipes for these during lockdown, and this was the better one.  I cut the recipe in half to make just one pan of rolls- the original recipe makes quite a lot. 

Texas Roadhouse Rolls & Cinnamon Butter
adapted from Jo Cooks

2 tsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 tsp sugar (to activate the yeast)
1 cups milk scalded and cooled to lukewarm
1 1/2 tbsp butter unsalted, melted and slightly cooled
1/4 cup sugar
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour up to 4+ cups
1 egg
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp butter, for brushing over the finished rolls

Cinnamon Honey Butter:
1 stick butter, softened
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp cinnamon

1.  Add the yeast, warm water and sugar to the bowl of your mixer and lightly whisk. Let it sit for about 10 to 5-10 minutes until the yeast dissolves and starts to foam.  To the bowl of your mixer add the milk, butter, sugar, eggs and salt. Lightly mix everything together, using the dough hook of your mixer, for about 1 minute. Add the flour, 1 cup at a time, and mix. Add enough flour to form a soft dough. 

2.  Add additional flour as needed and mix until the dough comes clean from the sides of the bowl. You could use anywhere from 3 to 4 cups, depending on your environment. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with a clean damp kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm place until double in bulk.

3.  Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.  Punch down the dough and turn it onto a floured surface. Roll out the dough so that it’s about 1/2 inch in thickness, then cut off the ends to have a perfect rectangle.  Cut it out into squares or rectangles. Use the dough scraps and form into extra rolls (or roll).  You should get about 15-18. Place onto the prepared baking sheets. Let the rolls rise until doubled in size. (30-45 min.)

4.  Preheat your oven to 350 F degrees.  Bake the rolls for about 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Brush immediately with melted butter.

5.  While the rolls are baking, prepare the cinnamon honey butter by whisking all the ingredients together.
Serve the rolls with the cinnamon honey butter.
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Sunday, June 28, 2020

My Mom's Chocolate Ganache Cake

I made this for my son's birthday in May.  I've been wanting to make it for a long time and finally had the opportunity.  It wasn't hard to make; you just need to plan ahead for the cake and then two chocolate ganache mixtures to cool enough.  Make this the day before you need it.  Because of lockdown, I didn't want to go to the store, so I just made do with what I had on hand- semi-sweet chocolate chips instead of semi-sweet baking chocolate.  It turned out great! I'm not sure I'd bother with the baking chocolate next time.  I did need to use my kitchen scale to measure out the ounces, though. 

Chocolate Ganache Cake
from my Mom and TOH

3/4 cup butter, softened at room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup sour cream
2 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

4 (1 oz.) squares semi-sweet chocolate (OR 4 oz. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

8 (1 oz.) squares semi-sweet chocolate (OR 8 oz. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips)
1/4 cup butter, cubed
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease two 8-inch of 9-inch round cake pans.  Add a circle of waxed paper in the bottom of each pan, grease the paper, and then coat the inside of the pans with flour.  (Trace the bottom of pan on waxed paper and cut out, to get a matched circle to the pan.) 

2.  In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla; beat for 2 minutes.  Combine buttermilk and sour cream in a small bowl or liquid measuring cup.  In another bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk mixture, beating after each addition.  Do not overmix.

3.  Pour into the prepared cake pans.  Bake for 15-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  (My oven bakes super hot, so I always check early, hence the 15 minutes.  Yours might take longer.)  After removing from oven, cool for 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely. 

4.  In a heavy saucepan, melt chocolate with cream over low heat.  Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla.  Transfer to a small mixing bowl; chill until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.  Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Chill until mixture achieves spreading consistency.  (After chilling, I chose to beat the mixture in my stand mixture so it was light and fluffy- I loved it this way.)

5.  For glaze, in a heavy saucepan, melt chocolate and butter.  Gradually add cream; heat until just warmed.  Chill until slightly thickened. 

6.  Place one cake layer on a serving plate; spread with filling.  Top with remaining cake layer.  Slowly pour glaze over top of cake.  (I refrigerated the glaze until I could spread it like a frosting, but you can also pour it over so it drips down. You can also beat it in a stand mixture to thicken if you want.)  Refrigerate until serving. 

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Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja

I've never had Ropa Vieja before- a well-known Cuban dish- so I don't know if this is authentic or not.  I really enjoyed the flavor of this though, and it was super easy to put together, cooking all day in the slow cooker.  We enjoyed this with rice and black beans. 
Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja
adapted from Carlsbad Cravings

3 lbs. chuck roast
2 Tablespoons oil
1 red onion sliced ¼-inch thick
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 cup low sodium beef broth
2 Tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 Tablespoon beef bouillon or better than bouillon
1 Tablespoon EACH dried oregano, ground cumin
1 tsp EACH smoked paprika, ground coriander, all spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2-1 teaspoon ground chipotle chili pepper
6 cloves garlic minced
1 bay leaf
1 red bell pepper sliced ¼-inch thick
1 green or orange/yellow bell pepper sliced ¼-inch thick
3/4 cup pimiento-stuffed Spanish olives drained and halved

1.  Heat oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Using tongs, sear meat on all sides until browned and transfer to a 6 qt. (or larger) slow cooker.  Add sliced onions to the skillet and sauté over medium-high heat for 5 m minutes; set aside (don’t add to crockpot yet).  Add crushed tomatoes through bay leaf to the crockpot and stir to combine, flipping the roast over to coat. Top beef with red onions and bell peppers.  Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-6 hours OR until roast is super tender and easily sheds with a fork.

2.  Once tender, shred roast and discard excess fat. Stir in the olives and let rest 15-30 minutes to absorb some of the juices. Taste and season with additional salt and/or ground chipotle chili pepper. Serve with rice and black beans.

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Saturday, June 20, 2020

Homemade Ice Cream- No Churn (No Machine)

Lately, I've been making lots of ice cream recipes without using an actual ice cream maker. I first posted about this method back in 2013 and posted some flavors one could make. This method is super easy. As long as you can make whipped cream, you can make this recipe. The formula is just 2 cups of whipping cream and one can of sweetened condensed milk, along with whatever add-ins you want to create different flavors of ice cream. I whip the cream in my stand mixer, fold in the sweetened condensed milk, and then add the extras. Stick it right in the freezer- no need to churn this in a machine. 

The first flavor I'll share is the chocolate, marshmallow and pretzel. You could add nuts instead of pretzels to make Rocky Road. This one was my favorite. I just added 1/3 cup sifted cocoa powder when I was whipping the cream. It turned out perfectly. The other flavor I'll share is Mint Oreo- pretty self-explanatory.
Chocolate, Marshmallow & Pretzel No-Churn Ice Cream
By What A Dish!

2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk (NOT evap. milk)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch salt
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup mini marshmallows
1 cup crushed pretzel pieces

1. Whip the heavy cream until it forms stiff peaks. I used my stand mixer and it's very quick and easy. Add the cocoa powder.  With mixer on low, slowly add the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and pinch salt. Fold in the marshmallows & pretzels with a rubber spatula. Transfer to a large freezer-safe container and freeze for 6-8 hours or overnight before serving.
Mint Oreo No-Churn Ice Cream
By What A Dish!

2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk (NOT evap. milk)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon mint or peppermint extract
pinch salt
15-20 Mint Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped (I used the Mint Oreo Thins and they were great)

1. Whip the heavy cream until it forms stiff peaks. I used my stand mixer and it's very quick and easy. With mixer on low, slowly add the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and salt. Fold in the chopped Oreos gently with a rubber spatula. Transfer to a large freezer-safe container and freeze for 6-8 hours or overnight before serving.
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Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Pull-Apart Asiago Bubble Bread

This bread was so good.  It's one of the first baking projects I did during the Covid lockdown, back in early March.  I couldn't believe how light and fluffy and flavorful this bread is.  Plus, it's fun- you get to pull it apart at the table to eat it.  I made it twice, once with Asiago, and once with Manchego I had grated and stuck in the freezer.  You could use Parmigiana, Grana, Parmesan, etc.  Make sure to use an aged cheese, not a young cheese.  But if you don't have the cheese called for, I'm sure it would be good with anything you choose to experiment with.  When I made this, I didn't have Italian seasoning, so I made my own.  I'll include that recipe below, too.

Pull-Apart Asiago Bubble Bread
adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

1 1/2 cups warm water
3/4 tablespoon instant yeast (or 1 tablespoon active dry yeast)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons oil (canola, olive, avocado, grapeseed, etc.)
1 teaspoon salt
3 ounces shredded Asiago cheese (about 3/4 cup)
4 cups all-purpose flour, give or take a little (see note)

Asiago Topping:
4 tablespoons butter, melted
4 tablespoons olive oil
6 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 tablespoon total)
2 ounces Asiago cheese, finely grated (about 1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (recipe below if needed, OR a blend of dried oregano/basil)

1.  For the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl by hand, combine the warm water, yeast, sugar, oil, salt, Asiago cheese, and 2 cups of the flour (if you are using active dry yeast instead of instant yeast, let the yeast proof in the warm water and sugar for about 3-5 minutes until it is foamy and bubbly before adding the oil, salt, cheese, and flour).

2.  Begin mixing; continue to add the rest of the flour gradually until the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl and the dough is soft and smooth but still slightly tacky to the touch.  Knead the dough for 2-3 minutes.

3.  Lightly spray a large bowl or container with cooking spray, and place the dough in the bowl. Cover the bowl with lightly greased plastic wrap. Let the dough rise until it has doubled (about an hour, depending on the temperature of your kitchen).

4.  Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly greased (or floured) countertop.  For the Asiago topping: in a shallow dish or bowl, whisk together the melted butter, olive oil, garlic, Asiago cheese, and Italian seasoning.  Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking pan.

5.  Divide the dough into 14-20 equal pieces and shape the dough into round balls.  Roll the top and sides of each ball in the Asiago mixture and place in the prepared pan.  Pour/scrape the remaining filling and cheese over the dough.  Cover the pan with lightly greased plastic wrap and let the dough rise for 30-45 minutes until doubled in size.

6.  About 20 minutes before dough is done rising, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Bake the bubble bread for 25-30 minutes, until golden and baked through to the center.  Let cool for 5-10 minutes before eating.
Homemade Italian Seasoning
adapted from Allrecipes

2 tablespoons dried basil
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons dried rosemary
2 tablespoons dried marjoram
2 tablespoons dried thyme
2 tablespoons dried savory

1. Mis ingredients together and store in a small glass jar or other airtight container.  

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Friday, June 12, 2020

Easy Caramel Sauce

Yum- I loved this caramel sauce.  I have a few caramel sauce recipes on here already, but they're all different and so, so good.  Lol.  This reminds me of this caramel sauce, in that it uses simple ingredients that you just cook together on the stove.  No candy thermometer, no cooking plain sugar alone first, no corn syrup.  It's not grainy, either.  It's perfect.
Easy Caramel Sauce 
adapted from Carlsbad Cravings

3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup evaporated milk plus more as needed depending on desired consistency
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1.  Add butter, brown sugar, water, and salt to medium saucepan and heat over medium-low heat, stirring until butter melts.

2.  Bring to a boil then reduce to a vigorous simmer, whisking constantly until thickened, approximately 5-7 minutes. The caramel sauce will thickens more as it cools. 

3.  Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup evaporated milk (it will bubble) and vanilla. Add additional evaporated milk to reach desired consistency, if needed.
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Monday, June 8, 2020

Easy Korean Beef Bowl

First, I want to say that I stand with those hurting in the US and all over the world about racial injustice.  I hope non-minorities are taking time to educate themselves right now.  Talk to others, read articles, watch documentaries or shows on the subject.  We can all do better! 

Ok, now onto the recipe.  This is a quick, easy and flavorful meal.  I used ginger paste for the ginger and had everything on hand to make this.  Make sure you use reduced-sodium soy sauce for this, otherwise it would be too salty.  If you don't like the taste of sesame oil, feel free to use any oil you have on hand.  Feel free to add extras to this, such as fresh or cooked veggies or sauces.
Easy Korean Beef Bowl
adapted from Allrecipes

1 pound lean ground beef
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1/3 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, optional
6 green onions, chopped, divided (or chives)
4 cups hot cooked rice
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

1.  Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef and cook, stirring and crumbling into small pieces until browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain excess grease.

2.  Add garlic, ginger, and sesame oil, stirring until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in soy sauce, brown sugar, and red pepper. Cook until some of the sauce absorbs into the beef, about 7 minutes. Add 1/2 of the chopped green onions or chives.
3.  Serve beef over hot cooked rice; garnished with sesame seeds and remaining green onions or chives.
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