Coconut Almond Hot Chocolate

A cup of hot chocolate can be perfect for a cold day like today! For this hot chocolate recipe, I use coconut milk and almond extract to make it taste like my favorite candy bar :) My sister and I made this together recently and it was really tasty!

Coconut Almond Hot Chocolate

However, we also noticed that the coconut milk makes the drink very thick and rich, sort of like Italian-style hot chocolate. Cioccolato caldo is almost like chocolate pudding, and recipes for it sometimes use cornstarch to create a very thick texture.

In this recipe, the coconut milk thickens the drink a lot but you can decrease the amount of coconut milk and increase the amount of milk or water if you don’t like your hot chocolate quite as pudding-like.

Before we started making the hot chocolate, we made coconut almond meringues to float on top of the finished drink. You can skip this if you just want to use whipped cream instead.

Coconut Almond Hot Chocolate

Beat an egg white with a little sugar until it makes stiff, glossy peaks

Coconut Almond Hot Chocolate

Then fold in finely shredded coconut and place spoonfuls on a lined baking sheet. I topped each meringue with a few almonds.

Coconut Almond Hot Chocolate

While they baked, we made the hot chocolate by heating the coconut milk, regular milk, and vanilla and almond extracts in a saucepan and then adding a few squares of chocolate.

Coconut Almond Hot Chocolate

After the chocolate has melted, just stir in a pinch of salt and a little sugar and simmer till you are ready to serve it!

Coconut Almond Hot Chocolate

We floated the meringues in our mugs and dipped them as we drank the hot chocolate.

Coconut Almond Hot Chocolate

The recipe below makes 4 (smaller) or 2 (very large) mugs. It’s also easily lactose-free and vegan (just the hot chocolate part, not the meringues). Enjoy, and stay warm!

Coconut Almond Hot Chocolate

Ingredients:

    1 egg white

    2 Tablespoons sugar

    about 20 almonds

    ¼ cup finely shredded coconut

    1 can light coconut milk

    ¾ cup milk (or water)

    2 oz semisweet chocolate

    ½ teaspoon almond extract

    ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

    pinch of salt

Directions:

    Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Make the meringue by beating an egg white with a Tablespoon of sugar until glossy stiff peaks form, then folding in the coconut. Place spoonfuls of the meringue mixture on a lined baking sheet and top each with three almonds, then bake until hardened.

    Heat the coconut milk, milk, and extracts with the chocolate pieces in a saucepan, stirring until the chocolate is melted.

    Add the salt and one Tablespoon of the sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Simmer until ready to serve.

    Serve the hot chocolate in mugs each topped with a floating meringue. Enjoy!

Christmas Cranberry Tea Cakes

These little cranberry tea cakes are perfect to enjoy with a cup of tea, or as a dessert, or even for a holiday breakfast or brunch since they’re very much like muffins.

Christmas Cranberry Tea Cakes

Because cranberries are very tart, I balanced them with some sweetness by first boiling them until the skins started to pop

Christmas Cranberry Tea Cakes

Then draining the water and adding sugar and more whole cranberries to make the filling.

Christmas Cranberry Tea Cakes

The dough for the cakes is made by mixing sugar and eggs, then stirring in milk, flour, baking soda, salt, and a little cinnamon to make a smooth batter.

Christmas Cranberry Tea Cakes

I greased muffin tins and filled them each half full with batter, then swirled into each a spoonful of the cranberry filling mixture.

Christmas Cranberry Tea Cakes

They are best eaten warm out of the oven, though you can store them in the fridge or freezer and microwave them to soften them and heat them up when you want to serve them. They’re nice served with powdered sugar and fresh cranberries on top

Christmas Cranberry Tea Cakes

Or with white chocolate shavings.

Christmas Cranberry Tea Cakes

I love the pairing of cranberries with white chocolate, so I might even melt more white chocolate to drizzle over the top or stir white chocolate chips into the batter next time :) The cakes have a soft texture and really are great with tea or coffee

Christmas Cranberry Tea Cakes

The cranberries and little bit of cinnamon in the batter add a very Christmas-y flavor. I hope everyone has a merry Christmas and a wonderful holiday season!

My recipe below makes 15 tea cakes.

Christmas Tea Cakes

Ingredients:

    1 ½ cups fresh cranberries

    1 cup sugar

    2 eggs

    1 cup milk

    1 teaspoon baking soda

    2 cups flour

    a pinch of each cinnamon, ginger, and salt

    powdered sugar or white chocolate for garnish

Directions:

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

    In a small saucepan, combine ½ cup of the cranberries with ½ cup water. Bring to a boil and cook until you hear little popping noises (this is the skin of each cranberry bursting).

    Remove from heat and drain the water. Stir in ½ cup of sugar. The cranberries will smoosh very easily and become sort of a paste. Stir in the remaining whole cranberries and set aside.

    In a mixing bowl, beat together the remaining cup of sugar with 2 eggs. Stir in the milk, then stir in the baking soda, flour, spices, and salt.

    Grease cupcake tins and/or ramekins with butter or cooking spray. Fill each one halfway with the batter, then place a spoonful of the cranberry mixture on each one and use a butter knife to swirl it into the batter.

    Bake the cakes for around fifteen minutes or until they are firm on the tops and not gooey when you check them by poking in a toothpick or sharp knife.

    Let them cool a little, then serve with powdered sugar sprinkled on top, or garnished with shaved white chocolate.

Gingerbread Biscotti

I hope everyone is having a great holiday season! I think that one of the best things about Christmas time is all of the different kinds of cookies :)

Gingerbread Biscotti

These biscotti taste just like gingerbread men and are drizzled with cookie icing.

Gingerbread Biscotti

They have the classic biscotti crunch though, and they’re wonderful dipped in tea (or coffee if you want)!

Gingerbread Biscotti

To make them, stir flour together with sugar, nutmeg, salt, and ground ginger and cinnamon.

Gingerbread Biscotti

Then mix in melted butter, eggs, and molasses. Press it together with your hands to make a ball of dough.

Gingerbread Biscotti

Make the dough into a few rectangles about the size of your hand or a little larger, and brush each with beaten egg or melted butter, then sprinkle with a little extra sugar.

Gingerbread Biscotti

Bake the cakes for half an hour, then cut them into long biscotti and let them cool overnight.

Gingerbread Biscotti

Toasting the cookies the next morning in the oven is what gives them the traditional crispy biscotti “crunch” though these cookies are pretty chewy on the inside.

Gingerbread Biscotti

Enjoy! I hope everyone is having a great holiday season and not too busy with finals or Christmas shopping to take a little time and enjoy baking (and sharing) your favorite kind of cookies with friends or family :)

Gingerbread Biscotti

This recipe makes about 20 biscotti.

Gingerbread Biscotti

Ingredients:

    3 ¾ cups flour

    1 cup sugar

    ¼ teaspoon each nutmeg and salt

    1 Tablespoon powdered ginger

    2 teaspoons cinnamon

    3 Tablespoons melted butter

    4 eggs

    ½ cup of molasses

Directions:

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

    In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, spices, and salt.

    Stir in the melted butter, eggs, and molasses and form into a ball.

    Shape the ball into rectangles about an inch or two thick, and bake on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet for 30 minutes or until cooked and hard on the outside.

    Cut each cake into long biscotti shapes, and let them cool overnight.

    The next day, place the cookies back onto a baking sheet and toast in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. They should seem hard when you tap them with your finger.

    Let the cookies cool, then drizzle icing over them (to make the icing, just mix a cup of powdered sugar with a teaspoon of milk or water, adding more liquid ½ teaspoon at a time until the icing is thin enough to drizzle).

Parmesan-Thyme Cheese Crackers

I didn’t know whether to title this post “cheese crackers” or “cheese puffs” or “cheese straws” (the recipe I adapted this from is one for cheese straws). These appetizers aren’t so much like cheese “puffs” or “straws” since I flattened these out before I baked them, however, they aren’t crispy like crackers either. They are buttery and cheesy and very delicious, though :)

Parmesan-Thyme Cheese Crackers

Thyme always reminds me of the holiday season. The cheese flavor in these little bites isn’t so intense as to overwhelm the thyme, so they make a perfect recipe for fresh herbs that you want to showcase.

Parmesan-Thyme Cheese Crackers

Rosemary would be really nice too in place of thyme. And while these are in the oven baking, they will also fill up your entire house with a delicious holiday-ish smell!

To make them, I stirred together flour, grated parmesan cheese, a pinch of salt, a little cayenne pepper, and some fresh ground black pepper.

Parmesan-Thyme Cheese Crackers

Then I used a spoon to mix in softened butter till it was in little clumps

Parmesan-Thyme Cheese Crackers

then used my hands to rub the butter into the flour mixture until it looked like crumbly sand

Parmesan-Thyme Cheese Crackers

I stirred in an egg yolk and kneaded the dough just until it came together, but it’s important to not over-knead it. This is because the crumbly-ness of the butter-flour mixture creates that flaky texture that will be lost in the final product if those tiny pieces of butter are all melted/smushed together by over-mixing.

Parmesan-Thyme Cheese Crackers

I pinched small pieces of dough from the ball and rolled them into finger-sized ropes, then flattened each rope and pressed a sprig of fresh thyme onto it.

Parmesan-Thyme Cheese Crackers

The woody kind of stem is okay to leave there and to eat, as long as you use the tops of each thyme sprig rather than the woodier bottom ends. Some of the thyme sprigs may also fall off in transport if you choose to give these as gifts or bring them somewhere, but the herb flavor will have sort of infused into the cracker so it’s okay.

Parmesan-Thyme Cheese Crackers

They bake for ten to fifteen minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, until crisp but not browned at all.

Parmesan-Thyme Cheese Crackers

These are perfect for a Thanksgiving appetizer, especially if you are already buying fresh thyme! I know my family uses fresh thyme in making our stuffing and turkey and as garnishes for number of Thanksgiving dishes, and fresh thyme is so nice that I hate to let it go to waste or go bad in the fridge.

My recipe makes about 30.

Enjoy, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving season! :)

Parmesan-Thyme Cheese Crackers

Ingredients:

    scant 1 cup flour (about 2 Tablespoons less than a cup)

    2 ounces grated parmesan or Romano cheese (about 2 cups)

    a pinch of salt

    a pinch of cayenne pepper

    ¼ teaspoon black pepper

    4 Tablespoons softened butter

    1 egg yolk

    fresh thyme (or rosemary, or other fresh herbs)

Directions:

    Stir together the first five ingredients in a mixing bowl.

    Mix in the butter, using your hands to crumble it into the flour mixture until the texture looks like coarse sand.

    Stir in the egg yolk, mixing until the dough comes together. Add a teaspoon of water if you are having trouble getting it to stick together.

    Pinch small pieces of dough and roll them into finger-sized ropes, then flatten each and press a sprig of thyme into the top.

    Bake the crackers on a parchment-lined baking sheet (or grease the baking sheet with butter or cooking spray) for 10 to 15 minutes, until crisp but not browning.

    Let them cool and serve as appetizers or snacks.

Chinese Tea Eggs

Chinese tea eggs are tasty and really fun to make because they’re so beautiful! The marbled design is created by hard-boiling eggs, cracking the shells, and then simmering them or soaking them overnight in a mixture of black tea, soy sauce, salt, and sugar.

Chinese Tea Eggs

My basic recipe for tea eggs can be made more flavorful by adding a cinnamon stick, piece of star anise, or slice of tangerine or orange peel to the soaking mixture. You can also use this tea egg recipe to make deviled eggs, using spicy Chinese mustard rather than yellow mustard in the filling recipe, and garnishing the eggs with SiChuan peppercorns.

Chinese Tea Eggs

To make the tea eggs, first hard-boil as many eggs as you want or as many as you can fit in the pot (probably up to six). Crack the shells with the back of a butter knife, and don’t worry that the you are cracking it too hard! The most common problem is cracking too lightly, because even when you think you are definitely cracking very hard, the pattern often comes out too light.

Chinese Tea Eggs

Boil the water with the tea bag, soy sauce, salt, and brown sugar until the sugar is totally dissolved, then add the eggs.

Chinese Tea Eggs

I used Chinese rock sugar, which you can buy at an Asian grocery store, but regular brown sugar is fine too. Chinese rock sugar is good for boiling with fresh ginger to make a sweet and spicy tea which will soothe a cold or sore throat.

Chinese Tea Eggs

Simmer the eggs for two hours and/or leave the pot covered in the fridge overnight. When you peel the shells off of them, a pretty design will be there on the white of the egg!

I cut each tea egg in half and combined the yolks in a small mixing bowl with equal amounts of spicy Chinese mustard and plain Greek yogurt (you could use mayonnaise instead). Then I used this mixture to fill each egg, and garnished the tops with a few SiChuan peppercorns to make an elegant-looking appetizer.

Chinese Tea Eggs

Eggs have a lot of protein so they are very healthy, and besides making tea eggs another fun way I like to use hard-boiled eggs is in ramen soup or bento lunch, decorated with a cute face.

ramen cute egg

I made this face using a punch tool from Cute Z Cute brand. The tool punches out little face shapes from nori paper or laver.

Tea eggs can be eaten as a breakfast, snack, or with rice as a main meal. Here is my recipe, which will work for anywhere from one to about six hard-boiled eggs.

Chinese Tea Eggs

    Ingredients:

    up to 6 hard-boiled eggs

    1 to 2 Tablespoons brown sugar

    a pinch of salt

    ¼ cup soy sauce

    1 teabag (black tea)

    a piece of orange peel, cinnamon stick, star anise (optional)

Directions:

    To hard-boil eggs, place them in a pot full of water and bring it to a boil. When it starts boiling, turn the heat off and place the lid on the pot. Then leave it for ten minutes, rinse the eggs, and let them sit in cold water to cool down. Hard-boil all the eggs you want to use and then let them cool before you start making this recipe.

    Using the side of a butter knife, make cracks in the shell of the egg all around. To make sure that the tea mixture gets inside the egg shell to color it, you can use the point of a sharp knife to poke a little bit into some of the cracks you made.

    Choose a saucepan small enough that the depth will be okay to cover the eggs in the tea mixture. If the pot is too wide, the liquid will be too shallow to cover the eggs evenly.

    In the saucepan, add the sugar, salt, soy sauce, tea bag, and four cups of water. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer until the sugar is melted. You can also add the orange peel, cinnamon stick, and star anise if you have any of those extra flavorings that you want to add.

    Turn the heat to the lowest setting on the stove, and add the cracked eggs to the liquid. Let them simmer for one to two hours, then let it rest overnight in the fridge if you want to make sure the color is dark and the flavor is deeper.

    Rinse the eggs and peel the shell off, and serve as a snack. Enjoy!

Vintage Recipe: Williamsburg Buns

I received two vintage cookbooks for my birthday recently (because my family knows I love reading and recreating old recipes) and had a fun time making this recipe for dinner rolls from The Williamsburg Art of Cookery which was published in 1938 but is a reprinting of the first American cookbook (recipes from 1742).

Vintage Recipe: Williamsburg Buns

I’ve included the original recipe for “Williamfburg Buns” as it appears in the book, along with my own easier-to-read version, at the end of this post. The letter S is typed as F and the recipe uses measures like “wine-glass” and an oven temperature of “moderately hot”. Luckily, these terms have modern equivalents (a wine-glass is usually half a cup, and a “moderately hot” oven is about 400 degrees Fahrenheit). The recipe also randomly capitalized about half of the words in the recipe and I couldn’t find any sort of pattern to it, which was a little weird.

To make these, I first scalded milk in a saucepan. Scalding milk just means cooking it until it bubbles and starts to stick to the bottom of the saucepan.

Vintage Recipe: Williamsburg Buns

Then I stirred in melted butter, salt, and sugar, and yeast that I had mixed with a little warm water.

Vintage Recipe: Williamsburg Buns

To make a dough, I mixed in flour, nutmeg, and sherry. The recipe says that nutmeg, mace, and sherry are optional flavorings that you can add if you have them, and I didn’t add mace but I did use nutmeg and sherry. The taste was really interesting in the final product! It added depth of flavor and a kind of sweetness (but not so much that the bread didn’t go well with savory foods).

Vintage Recipe: Williamsburg Buns

Once the dough came together, I put it into a larger bowl, covered it with a kitchen towel, and let it rise for about three hours.

Vintage Recipe: Williamsburg Buns

The recipe says to fill muffin tins two-thirds of the way with the dough and bake it that way, so I did some like that and also made some on a baking sheet to create more of a circular dinner roll shape.

I brushed the tops with butter to make a nice crunchy crust too.

Vintage Recipe: Williamsburg Buns

The original recipe recommends serving them with tea, which I agree is a very good idea.

Vintage Recipe: Williamsburg Buns

The buns cooked in muffin tins look a bit like cornbread muffins

Vintage Recipe: Williamsburg Buns

Though they actually have a sourdough kind of taste

Vintage Recipe: Williamsburg Buns

I loved cooking this recipe and think that it would make a really nice choice for Thanksgiving dinner rolls. It makes a lot, and the rolls don’t get very hard if you eat them within a week. They are especially soft and delicious if you microwave them before serving. I also think it’s just so cool to be able to recreate something that the American colonists actually cooked and ate hundreds of years ago!

Vintage Recipe: Williamsburg Buns

Williamsburg Buns

Ingredients:

    1 cup milk

    ½ cup (one stick) melted butter

    2 teaspoons salt

    ½ cup sugar

    2 (1/4 oz) packages of yeast

    3 eggs

    4 ½ cups flour

    1 t nutmeg, 1 t mace, ½ cup sherry (optional)

Directions:

    Scald the milk in a saucepan and stir in the butter, salt, and sugar.

    Dissolve the yeast in a small bowl with ¼ cup warm water.

    When the yeast is bubbling and the milk mixture is lukewarm, add the yeast mixture.

    Beat 3 eggs very well in a separate bowl, then stir them into the milk mixture.

    Stir the flour in well, and add the sherry and spices if you have it. Cover the mixing bowl with a kitchen towel and let it rise until it doubles in size (about 3 hours).

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

    Form the dough into small balls and place them in buttered muffin tins or on a baking sheet that has been greased or lined with parchment paper. Cover the buns with a kitchen towel and let rise again for about 20 minutes.

    Bake until the rolls are golden, then serve with tea or as an accompaniment to a meal.

Original Recipe from 1938 cookbook The Williamsburg Art of Cookery (Helen Bullock):

Williamfburg Buns

Scald one Cup of Milk, add one half Cup of melted Butter, two Teafspoonfuls of Salt and one half Cup of Sugar. Cool to lukewarm. Add two Yeaftcakes which have been dissolved in one fourth cup of warm Water. Add three beaten Eggs to Liquids, then beat in well four and a half Cups of Flour. (One Teafpoonful each of nutmeg and mace and a Wine-glaff of Sherry may be added.) Let the Dough rife until double in Bulk, turn it out and knead lightly. Fill Muffin Pans two-thirds full and let rife until light (about twenty Minutes). Brufh with melted Butter and bake in a moderately hot Oven about twenty Minutes. Makes about three Dozen fmall Buns which are very nice for tea. (Mifs Bowdoin’s Recipe, c-1801.)

Pumpkin Risotto

I’ve been cooking with pumpkin so much lately (cause it’s October! yay!) and I wanted to share one last pumpkin recipe, another savory one. Pumpkin cookies and pumpkin spice cinnamon rolls are great during this season, but so are non-sweet pumpkin foods, like soup and this yummy pumpkin risotto!

Pumpkin Risotto

To make it, heat olive oil and cook onion, garlic, and celery in it, toasting the rice as well.

Pumpkin Risotto

Then add liquid (a mixture of broth, white wine, and pumpkin puree) little by little.

Pumpkin Risotto

Stir and cook until the rice has absorbed all of the liquid (and see my other risotto posts here and here for more detailed instructions and pictures)

I used celery in this recipe to add a brighter flavor to the risotto. Celery sticks make a great accompaniment to the dish, or you could even serve it with a salad that includes celery. I garnished my plate here with celery leaves (peel off the outer stalks on a bunch of celery and the inner ones will have edible, pale green leaves attached to the top).

Pumpkin Risotto

If risotto sits out for a while after it is finished cooking, it will get gummy and dry (it is normally creamier than mine looks in these pictures, because I waited a little while before I took them, whoops). So make sure to always serve risotto immediately!

Pumpkin Risotto

And enjoy! My recipe below serves four people.

Pumpkin Risotto

Ingredients:

    1 Tablespoon olive oil

    3 cloves garlic, diced

    2 Tablespoons diced onion

    2 stalks celery, diced

    1 cup risotto (Arborio rice)

    ½ cup white wine

    2 ½ cups chicken broth

    ½ cup pumpkin puree

    ¼ cup grated parmesan or Romano cheese

Directions:

    In a saucepan, heat the oil and sauté the garlic, onion, celery, and uncooked rice over medium heat for a minute or two.

    Stir together the wine, broth, and pumpkin puree.

    Add a third of the liquid mixture to the rice, and cook until the rice has absorbed all of the liquid. Add half of the remaining liquid, and repeat until all of the liquid has been absorbed.

    Remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper, stir in the ¼ cup grated cheese, and serve immediately (garnished with more grated cheese and celery leaves if you like).

** easily made vegetarian by using vegetable broth in place of chicken broth

Pumpkin Soup with Thyme and Sherry

With all of the pumpkin spice goodies that become so popular during the fall, it’s easy to forget that pumpkin isn’t just for sweets! Pumpkin soup is great for warming up on a chilly October day, and my recipe is pretty healthy too.

Pumpkin Soup with Thyme and Sherry

I use sherry and dried thyme in this soup (though fresh herbs are usually preferable, dried is easier to keep on hand, but do use fresh if you can get it!)

Pumpkin Soup with Thyme and Sherry

To make it, I first heat olive oil and sauté garlic and onion in it, along with the thyme.

Pumpkin Soup with Thyme and Sherry

Then I add dry sherry and canned pumpkin.

Pumpkin Soup with Thyme and Sherry

I added four cups of chicken broth and then simmered it, but if you like thicker soup you can add three cups instead.

Pumpkin Soup with Thyme and Sherry

Depending on how salty the broth you use is, you will probably need to season it a bit with salt and pepper. I love using fresh ground black pepper in all of my recipes!

The leaves that were changing colors outside caught my eye and seemed like they would make really nice decorations for my table, so I collected a few of them and used them in these pictures (along with some acorns and twigs).

Pumpkin Soup with Thyme and Sherry

The recipe below serves 3-4 people. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Soup with Thyme and Sherry

Ingredients:

    2 Tablespoons olive oil

    ¼ cup diced onion

    2 cloves diced garlic

    2 teaspoons dried or fresh thyme

    1 can pumpkin

    1 cup dry sherry

    3-4 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth

    salt and pepper

Directions:

    Heat the olive oil in a pot and sauté the garlic, onion, and thyme until golden.

    Add the pumpkin and sherry and cook for a few minutes longer.

    Add the broth and simmer about ten minutes, then serve.

Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls

It’s been October for a whole week already! I hope everyone’s enjoying the fall season (and enjoying lots of pumpkin-spice-flavored food)!

My recipe for pumpkin spice cinnamon rolls is PERFECT for a fall morning breakfast or a festive weekend brunch.

Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls

The cinnamon roll dough has pumpkin puree (from a can), cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in it, and the glaze can be made with maple syrup instead of milk to add yet another fall flavor if you want to.

Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls

The first step to make the dough is to stir together yeast, warm milk, and some flour. Then let it rise for half an hour.

Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls

After it rises, mix in more flour, sugar, spices, and salt

Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls

As well as melted butter, pumpkin puree, and egg. Then stir until it comes together in a dough (you can use your hands if needed)

Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls

The dough should be pretty sticky

Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls

Let it rise

6

Then make the cinnamon-sugar mixture for the inside

Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls

I rolled out my dough on a baking sheet dusted with flour so I could avoid some of the floury counter cleanup hassle, then brushed it with melted butter.

Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls

I spread the cinnamon-sugar over it, and then rolled it up starting from the longer edge. I cut inch-thick cinnamon rolls

Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls

And arranged them in a buttered pie plate

Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls

To glaze them, I made an icing of powdered sugar and milk, and spread it over the cinnamon rolls while they were hot

Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls

These are so yummy! You can store leftovers (if there are any) in the fridge, but make sure to microwave them before you serve them again.

Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls

This recipe makes twelve cinnamon rolls. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients:

    1 ½ teaspoons yeast

    ¼ cup milk

    2 cups flour

    3 Tablespoons white sugar

    ¼ cup brown sugar

    ½ teaspoon salt

    2 teaspoons cinnamon

    1 teaspoon ginger

    ¾ teaspoon nutmeg

    3 Tablespoons butter

    1/3 cup pumpkin puree

    1 egg

    ½ teaspoon vanilla

    2 cups powdered sugar and a little milk or water for icing

Directions:

    Pour the milk into a small saucepan and heat it over medium-low heat until it gets warm but not bubbling or steaming hot. Combine it with the yeast in a mixing bowl and add ½ cup of the flour. Stir together to make a dough, cover with a kitchen towel, and leave for 30 minutes.

    To the yeast mixture, add the rest of the flour, 2 Tablespoons each brown and white sugar, ¼ teaspoon of the salt, 1 ½ teaspoons of the cinnamon, ½ teaspoon of the ginger, and ¼ teaspoon of the nutmeg.

    Melt the butter on the stovetop and add 2 Tablespoons of it to the mixing bowl, along with the other wet ingredients (pumpkin, egg, and vanilla).

    Mix until it comes together, and then use your hands to knead into a ball (it will be very sticky). Cover with a towel and let it rest again for an hour.

    In a small bowl, stir together the remaining sugars, spices, and salt.

    When the dough has risen to twice its size and a dent stays pressed down when you push your finger into it, take it out of the bowl and knead it a few times. Roll it out to a rectangle on a floured surface.

    Brush the entire surface with the remaining melted butter, and spread the sugar-spice mixture over it. Starting at the long edge, roll it up into a tight roll.

    Use a sharp knife to cut 1-inch-thick slices, and place them in a greased baking dish or pie plate.

    Cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel, and leave in the fridge overnight. When ready to bake them the next day, take them out an hour beforehand and then preheat the oven to 350. Bake them for 20 minutes or until they are golden.

    Put the powdered sugar in a mixing bowl, and gradually (one teaspoon at a time) stir in milk or water until you reach an icing consistency. Spread the icing over the cinnamon buns, and serve warm!

Lemon-Artichoke Pasta

Pasta is fun to cook because it can be really simple or really fancy. This recipe uses artichoke hearts and lemon zest, so it’s impressive but also super easy to make!

Lemon-Artichoke Pasta

To make it, I just cooked some onion and garlic in olive oil

Lemon-Artichoke Pasta

Then cooked some spaghetti and added the onion-garlic-oil along with peas, the zest of a lemon, and artichoke hearts (from a can) that I cut in half lengthwise.

Lemon-Artichoke Pasta

I seasoned it with salt and pepper and stirred everything together

Lemon-Artichoke Pasta

Then I served it with grated romano cheese

Lemon-Artichoke Pasta

The lemon zest adds a really nice tangy flavor, but if you don’t like it you can make it without. I used artichokes from a can and cooked some frozen peas to make this, so it’s a pretty low-budget meal as well!

And it’s especially quick and easy if you chop the onion and garlic, grate the lemon zest, and slice the artichoke hearts before you start cooking. That way it’s easy to just put everything together and serve it hot! My recipe below makes four servings.

Lemon-Artichoke Pasta

Ingredients:

    ½ pound spaghetti

    ¼ cup olive oil

    ½ cup chopped onion

    3 gloves garlic, chopped

    1 can artichoke hearts (drain them and cut each one half)

    ½ cup peas

    zest of one small lemon

    1 teaspoon salt

    black pepper

    parmesan or Romano cheese to serve

Directions:

    Boil water in a large pot and add the spaghetti. Cook according to the directions on the package.

    While the spaghetti is cooking, heat the olive oil in a small saucepan and add the garlic and onion. Cook until the onion pieces start to turn golden around the edges, then remove from the heat and set aside.

    Drain the pasta when it is finished cooking, and add the onion-garlic oil and the artichokes and peas.

    Stir in the lemon zest, salt, and pepper.

    Serve with grated parmesan or Romano cheese.