Sweet Little Details: Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls

image via Jen Campbell 

With the cold weather still hanging around, cinnamon rolls sound amazing to make for a brunch on the weekend. Our good friend Jen, from Sweet Little Details, posted about these delicious, winter treats and we couldn’t resist from sharing. Homemade might seem a little daunting, but they are well worth it when your guests are gushing over them! This quick and easy recipe can guide you to make some amazing breakfast treats.

Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls

Dough:

1 C milk (whole would be awesome)
1/4 C butter
3 1/2 C all-purpose flour, divided
1/4 C sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 envelope instant yeast, or 2 1/4 tsp
1 egg

Filling:

1/2 C sugar
1/2 C brown sugar
3 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 C butter complete softened (not melted)

Cream Cheese Icing:

1/2 butter, softened
1/4 cream cheese
1 1/2 C powdered sugar
1-2 Tbsp milk (if needed)

Combine milk and butter in a small sauce pan. Heat over medium low heat,  stirring until the butter is melted and the milk is warm to the touch but not hot.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add 3 cups flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Stir by hand to combine. Add the egg and milk mixture, and beat on medium-low speed until combined. Add the remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, beating after each addition until incorporated. When the dough begins to form a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, you have added enough flour (I used all 3 1/2 cups). Continue beating for 5 minutes on medium-low speed (speed 2 on the KitchenAid). Remove the dough hook and cover the dough with a damp towel and let rest for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make your filling by mixing together sugars and cinnamon in a bowl until combined.

When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a floured work surface. Then use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough out into a large rectangle, about 14 x 9 inches in size. Use a knife or pastry spatula to spread the softened 1/2 cup of butter out evenly over the entire surface of the dough. Then sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon and sugar mixture.

Beginning at the 14-inch edge, tightly roll up the dough. And then give the final seam a little pinch so that it seals. Use a serrated knife to cut the remaining dough into 11 or 12 equal pieces. (11 rolls seem to fit in a pie plate, while 12 rolls fit in a rectangular pan.

Place each of the cut cinnamon rolls into a greased pie plate or 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Then cover again with a damp towel, and leave the dish in a warm place to rise for 1 hour (dough always takes longer to rise in my house, so I let the rolls rise for two hours, they were perfect).

While the dough is rising, make the icing (instructions below).
When the rolls have risen, uncover the dish. Then place on the center rack of the oven and bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, or until the rolls are golden and cooked through. Remove and let cool on a wire rack for at least 5 minutes. Drizzle with your desired icing and serve.

Icing Directions:

Either in the bowl of an electric stand mixer, or a mixing bowl, beat softened butter and cream cheese together until combined. Then beat in powdered sugar until combined. If the icing is too thick, add a tablespoon or two of milk to thin.

Super Bowl Appetizers

Super Bowl Sunday is coming up this weekend and you know what that means: appetizers!! If you’re having a party or going to one, we’ve found a couple recipes to represent either team and they put a twist on the traditional party snacks.  Which team are you rooting for?

spinach dip

 

Image by Isabelle Boucher

If you’re rooting for the Seattle Seahawks you could make a Spinach Artichoke Dip with Bacon! The green spinach is a fun way to represent the Seahawks. Adding bacon makes this dip even better!

Hot Spinach Artichoke and Bacon Dip

Serves: 8

Ingredients

2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 green onions, roughly chopped
⅔ cup mayonnaise
½ cup cream cheese
2 tbsp lemon juice
Dash hot sauce
1 can (12 oz) artichoke hearts, drained
1 package (10 oz) frozen spinach, thawed and drained
4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled into bits
½ cup shredded marble cheddar cheese
Instructions
Using a food processor, pulse together garlic and green onions until very finely minced. Add mayonnaise, cream cheese, lemon juice and hot sauce, and process until nearly smooth. Add the artichoke hearts and spinach, and process again until artichokes and spinach are roughly chopped.
Add crumbled bacon and shredded cheese and stir, using a wooden spoon, until mixture is evenly blended. (I prefer not to use the processor for this step because the bacon and cheese are already chopped up and I don’t want to pulverize them, but if you’d like a smoother texture, use a few pulses of the processor to combine instead).
Spoon the mixture into a 6-cup gratin dish. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until bubbling hot and melted. Serve immediately with tortilla chips or toasted pita wedges for dipping.

For the Denver Broncos you could make Baked Orange Chicken Wings. No Super Bowl party is complete without wings! You can also substitute the chicken for shrimp or boneless wings.

Crispy Baked Orange Chicken Wings

Image via Just a Taste

Crispy Baked Orange Chicken Wings

yield: 4 servings

prep time: 10 minutescook time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:

For the chicken:

2½ pounds chicken wings, tips removed, drumettes and flats separated

1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

For the sauce:
1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
2 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste
3/4 cup orange marmalade
1/4 cup hoisin sauce

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400ºF.

Rinse wings and drumettes and pat dry. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with vegetable oil, salt and pepper. Position wings on baking racks in a single layer ensuring that wings aren’t touching.

Bake, rotating pan half-way through, until fully cooked, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove wings from oven and transfer to a large bowl.

Add the sesame oil and olive oil to a small saucepot over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes until golden brown.

Add the red pepper flakes, orange marmalade and hoisin sauce, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

Pour the orange sauce over the wings, tossing to thoroughly coat, and serve immediately.

Have a great Super Bowl and enjoy these delicious appetizers!

Cheers! The Perfect Sangria

IMG_5816I was a little hesitant to make this recipe.  I hosted a wine and cheese party and NEEDED a good Sangria.  However, the number of recipes out there are endless.  This one caught my eye because it has a “secret” ingredient and so, of course, I was intrigued.  I took the risk, and was very please with the outcome.  This drink is AMAZING!  A little too good to be true.

The Secret: ARUGULA! (no joke)

Ingredients:

  • 2 (750 mL) bottles dry red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot
  • 1 cup brandy
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange liqueur
  • 1 pound DOLE strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 3 oranges, thinly sliced
  • 3 limes, thinly sliced
  • 2 lemons, thinly sliced
  • 4 cups DOLE fresh arugula
  • (optional) 1 can lemon-lime soda

To find the rest of the directions go to gimme some oven.

Don’t turn your nose…your might love it as much as I did.  Come on…just try it.

Enjoy!

Cheers: Pineapple Mango Salsa

Hello everyone!

Mangos are everywhere this season! I personally love any kind of dip, especially healthy ones. So, we thought it would be fun to try a mango salsa recipe.  We found this healthy snack on The Pioneer Woman. This delicious appetizer would perfectly compliment any dinner party!

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole Pineapple, Peeled And Diced
  • 1 whole Mango, Diced
  • 1/2 whole Medium Red Onion, Finely Diced
  • 1 whole Jalapeno, Seeded And Diced
  •  Fresh Cilantro, Chopped
  • 1 whole Lime, Juiced
  •  Dash Kosher Salt
  •  Dash Granulated Sugar (optional)

For complete directions, check out The Pioneer Woman. Enjoy this guilt free summer snack!

Images via The Pioneer Woman

Party: Zeda’s 4th Birthday Part 2

edits195

Miss Z’s 4th Birthday was a hit!  We had such a fun day celebrating the wonderful girl she is and I had such a fun week after cleaning up the many many tiny sprinkles that were dropped. 😉  I am so happy with how everything turned out. However,  I’m not sure if I should call this a sprinkle party or a polka dot party, what do you think?  Either way, the outcome was great and my baby girl turned 4.  This was her third and final party of the weekend. By the end we were wiped and playing with a thousand Merida bow and arrows (from the movie Brave).  If you don’t know my little one, she would tell you her name is Merida.  There are many people in our neighborhood who don’t know Zeda’s actual name.  One of these days I’ll correct them. 🙂  Until then, we will call her Merida and party on like she has her mama’s crazy red hair (click here if you want to see what I’m talking about).

If you don’t remember her first party click here to check it out.IMG_5483 edits196IMG_5490 IMG_5494 edits197IMG_5498 edits198IMG_5536 edits199IMG_5540edits200IMG_5563IMG_5514

Look how excited she is about all those sweets!

Images by Becca Murdaugh

Menu:

Sprinkle No Bake Cheesecake

Cupcake Puppy Chow

Balloon Bunch Cupcakes

Funfetti Granola Bites

Orangesicle and Cotton Candy Fudge – Adapted from here 

Sprinkle and White Chocolate covered Oreos, Pretzels and Vanilla Wafers

Store bought – Sprinkle Ice Cream Cones and Chocolate Dough-nut Holes.

Cheers! Cake Batter & Sprinkles No Bake Cheesecake

IMG_5484For Zeda’s family party, I did a Sprinkle themed birthday.  She loved it because the amount of sweets that were provided and I loved it because of the plethora of options I had with sprinkles.  One of my favorite recipes of the day was this lovely cake batter & sprinkles no bake cheesecake I found on I’m Topsy Turvy (you can do this recipe without the sprinkles).

People loved it!

Cake Batter & Sprinkles No Bake Cheesecake
Crust
3/4 C Nilla wafers, crushed
1/4 C Ginger snaps, crushed
4 oz. butter, melted

Stir together nilla wafers and ginger snaps and melted butter in a bowl until well combined. Pour a few tablespoons into the bottom of your containers (I used Small Mason Jars) to make the crust. (You do not need to bake this.)

Cheesecake Filling
1 (8 oz.) block cream cheese, softened
4 Tbsp. butter, softened
3/4 C cake mix
1/4 C milk
1 (8 oz.) tub frozen whipped cream topping, thawed
sprinkles

Beat the cream cheese and butter together in your mixer, with your whisks or cookie paddles, on medium speed until smooth and well blended. Add in dry cake mix and milk and continue mixing until well blended.

Then gently fold in the whipped cream topping with a spatula. I keep the filling in a gallon sized bag, and pipped it on top of the “crust” just before serving! Sprinkle on the Sprinkles!

* The cups are from Target and the spoons were leftover from a wedding we had recently done. (I only had five so they were mere decoration.)

Cheers: French Macaroons

IMG_5420I realize I’ve recently blogged a recipe and another one might be a little over kill but I am beyond excited about these little babies that we made for my daughter’s birthday party.  I will post the whole party soon AND share my experience making the Petits Fours I talked about here.  They didn’t go as smooth as the recipe makes you believe, but I’ll explain later.

Today, I bring you…Basic French Macaroons.IMG_5429

I threw Zeda a little afternoon tea party with her closest girl friends.  In attendance were 8 sweet little 3-4 year olds and I realized they couldn’t come to tea without Macaroons.

I knew Macaroons could be tricky and I didn’t really have the time (or patience) to make the recipe over and over until it was right so I searched for a simple, well directed recipe and found this one on POPSUGAR Food.  Then I handed over the iPad and sent my hubby to the kitchen.  You see, my husband is a science guy and he follows directions to a T, never skipping steps or guessing amounts.  Since he actually likes to cook and he’d do anything for his little girl, he happily obliged.

Guess what?  They turned out fantastic!  The girls were happy, the mamas were happy and Jarrod was proud of his work.

Perfect.

Here is what you need:

2/3 cup almond meal or ground almonds
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 large egg whites at room temperature and preferably aged up to 3 days
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Click here to see the whole recipe and directions.