Cinnamon Roll Bread

Along my quest for the perfect cinnamon bread, I found some were too complicated, some used ingredients I didn’t have, some weren’t what I was going for, so, like usual, I made up my own. I was wonderfully surprised when I pulled it out of the oven, as “a little of this a little of that” recipes can go bad sometimes. But as long as you’re okay with that, then I suggest following your heart in the kitchen and enjoying the wonderful surprise of discovering your concoction turned out better than expected.

I wanted a sweet bread, sturdy and uniform so I could slice and put in the toaster, a recipe that didn’t make 5 loaves at a time, and something with the little cinnamon swirl on the inside. To achieve this, there are two parts: the dough, and the filling. The dough took about 10 minutes to make, and then it took about 20 mins to make the filling, roll it up and pop it in the oven. This is what I did:

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Cinnamon Roll Bread

  • 2 cups white flour
  • 1/2 cup wheat flour (optional, you can just use 2 1/2 cups white flour)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tbsp white sugar
  • YEAST: I let my dough rise over night, so I used 1/2 teaspoon of yeast. If you want your bread the same day, use 2 teaspoons and let rise for at least 1 hour
  • 1 cup warm water
  1. Mix dry ingredients and slowly add water. Stir your dough, you may have to add more water but you do not want an excess of water in the dough because then it will be hard to roll out and work with. Mix with your hands for a few minutes to work the yeast, and then cover and let rise in a warm place.

This bread can rise for up to 24 hours, it will develop a sour taste during this time which is not a bad thing. I let mine rise for about 26 hours and the sour dough taste actually worked well with the cinnamon. Remember the more yeast, the less rise time. Two teaspoons of yeast will rise the dough in about an hour, 1/2 teaspoon will take at least 12 hours to rise.

Filling: make this right before you’re ready to bake your bread

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  1. Reserve about 2 tsps of egg white into a small bowl
  2. Mix the rest of the egg white with the other ingredients in a bowl. It should be goopy and sticky.

Okay now you’re ready to assemble!

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
  2. Grease a 9×5 loaf pan
  3. On a greased or floured surface (I use my cutting board), roll out your dough to about 1/2 inch thick. It should be in a rectangle shape at least about 9-10 inches in width.
  4. Spread your goopy mixture onto the dough. Use all of it! Spread it evenly.
  5. Now it’s time to roll your bread up. This is the hard part so take it slow. Roll your bread longways, so its the 9-10 inches in length and will fit in your loaf pan. If you’re careful, most of the filling will stay in the roll. My first time this was not the case, it takes practice so don’t worry if some filling comes out. It will be extra-specially gooey with some filling at the bottom, don’t fret.
  6. Once it’s all rolled up, plop it in the loaf pan.
  7. Brush your reserved egg white over the top to give your bread a little bit of shine.
  8. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.Image

Let it cool for a little and then plop it onto a cutting board, remembering bread is better when you let it cool for a while, and then cut into it when you can’t wait any longer.

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This bread is awesome because its so versatile. You can eat it plain, toast it with butter, toast it with cream cheese, use it to make french toast. It reminds me of a less crunchy, more gooey version of Panera’s cinnamon crunch bagel. Enjoy and let me know your favorite way to eat it!

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Homemade applesauce

Slow cooking is ten millions times better than anything you could buy pre-made. And thankfully this mantra includes applesauce. If you’ve never tried homemade applesauce, prepare to be amazed. It’s wonderful hot, cold, with oatmeal, or even to use as your apples in apple crisp. So whether you already love the taste, are looking for something cheaper, healthier or just plain better than store bought applesauce, get out your crockpot and get ready.

Homemade Applesauce
3 pounds apples
1 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon
1 cup water or apple juice or apple cider

1. Wash, peel, core and dice your apples. Bigger chunks are okay, they might just take longer to cook.
2. Grease or butter your crockpot.
3. Add all your ingredients, stir well and cook on low for 7 hours or high for 3 hours, stirring every hour or so.

When everything is done you can much it all together if you like your applesauce really smooth, or keep it chunky.

The cinnamon is optional, so is the sugar. But I like mine sweet so I add sugar.

It will be a light-dark brown, almost the color of applebutter. Don’t be surprised, it tastes good and that’s just the natural process of the sugars cooking.

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Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese

I know I posted a recipe for homemade baked mac and cheese last week, but this one is a more creamier version and less of a casserole than the other one, as it doesn’t have any egg to bind it together. It’s just as delicious and hits the spot anytime you’re craving something cheesy, gooey and delicious.

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Creamy baked mac and cheese with penne pasta and mozzarella

 

Creamy Mac and Cheese

  • 1 box of pasta, you can use macaroni, penne, radiatore, whatever your preference is
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups cheese, cheddar or mozzarella
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard powder or 1 tsp yellow mustard
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • Salt, pepper, Nature’s seasoning
  1. Cook your pasta in salted water, drain
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a casserole dish or pan
  3. Add butter and cheese to dish, then the pasta and seasonings. Stir very well.
  4. Pour milk over pasta and stir again.
  5. Sprinkle with more cheese if you’d like
  6. Bake for 20 mins with the lid on, and 10 minutes with the lid off. The lid is actually optional but I like to use it so my pasta doesn’t burn
  7. Serve hot! Also keeps well in the fridge for a few days

 

Chicken and Dumplins

This is one of my favorite meals. My family always requests it when I make dinner. It is so filling and hearty and wonderful that it’s pretty much a staple in my house.

I’ll split the recipe up into two parts because you can make the dumplings ahead of time if you want or need to, it’s also less confusing. This recipe takes some effort but not as much as you’d think, everyone will think you slaved all day over it. You can just let them think that, I won’t tell 🙂

Chicken and dumplin soup

Chicken and dumplin soup

 

Dumplins

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 cup milk
  1. Mix the dry ingredients together in at least a medium sized bowl.
  2. Cut in the butter, I usually just squish it with my hands
  3. Pour in the milk, depending on the humidity you might need a little less than a full cup or a little more, so go slow and stir as your pour it in. You want the dough to be sticky but not too wet.
  4. If you are saving the dough for later, form into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap, store in the fridge or freezer.
  5. Liberally flour a surface like a counter or baking sheet. Roll the dough out, making it pretty thin. The baking powder makes it rise when cooking, and the thicker they are the longer they’ll take to cook.
  6. Cut into squares using a pizza cutter. I make mine into about 1 inch squares.
  7. Drop into boiling water or chicken broth to cook. Stir often and they’ll float when they’re done. You can add the flour from where you rolled the dumplins to the soup to thicken it.

Soup

  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Salt, pepper, parsley, Nature’s seasoning
  • 2-3 cups cooked shredded or chopped chicken (you can use the meat off of a rotisserie chicken, bake your chicken, or boil frozen chicken with the dumplings and take it out to shred it, then return it to the pot)
  • 2 cups mixed vegetables (corn, carrots, celery, peas, whatever you have or prefer)
  • 1/3 cup diced onion
  1. Add your vegetables to the soup about 5 minutes after you add the dumplings. They take a while to cook. Then add the chicken and seasonings.
  2. Sometimes mine needs to be a little thicker. You should wait to thicken the soup until everything has already cooked, meaning the dumplings and vegetables. Make a roue and add it to your soup. Let simmer for at least 15 mins to let it thicken.
Old fashioned chicken and dumplins

Old fashioned chicken and dumplins

-The roue is optional and only if you want a thicker gravy-like sauce compared to a thinner soup.

-The veggies are optional! They add a nice flavor to the broth and make it more of a meal.

-Things I like to serve with this are corn, fried apples, biscuits and baked beans.

 

 

 

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

These are a twist on sweet potato casserole. These directions are for one large or two medium sized sweet potatoes, simply double or triple the recipe if you want to make more!

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

  • 1 large sweet potato or 2 medium sized
  • 1.5 tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 large marshmallows
  • 1/8 cup chopped pecans (optional)
  1. Wash your taters well and then pierce them with a fork one or twice. You can either microwave for approximately 10 minutes or bake for 45 minutes at 375 degrees. They need to be soft inside
  2. Cut each potato in half lengthwise and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  3. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
  4. Measure butter, brown sugar and pecans if using them into a bowl. Carefully scoop out the insides of the potato into the bowl and mush it all together.
Mashing sweet potatoes

Mashing the sweet potatoes for twice baked potatoes

5. Scoop the mixture back into the potato skins. Top with a marshmallow or two and back for 20 minutes or until marshmallows are light golden brown

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Sweet potatoes all ready to be put in the oven

Enjoy! Let me know if you like this recipe

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

 

Homemade Baked Mac and Cheese

Homemade mac and cheese is so easy and so good that your family will be begging for more. It heats up well in the microwave or oven so I like to make a big batch and keep some in the fridge to heat up when I’m hungry and don’t want to cook.

Yummy homemade baked macaroni and cheese

Baked Mac and Cheese

  • 1 box macaroni
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese
  • 1 tsp dry mustard powder (or 1 tsp yellow mustard)
  • Salt, pepper, Natures Seasoning
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup cheese
  1. Boil your macaroni until tender, drain.
  2. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and grease a loaf pan or casserole dish
  3. Crack your eggs into a large bowl and whisk together. Stir in the melted butter and spices then the cheese
  4. Add the macaroni to the bowl and stir until everything is incorporated
  5. Pour the macaroni mixture into your pan/dish
  6. Now pour the milk evenly into the pan, kinda poke and shake the pan so the milk can get into all the little spaces.
  7. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup (or more!) of cheese and cover before placing in the oven. I like to cover it for 45 minutes and take the lid off for the last 15 minutes or so to get everything nice and browned. Cook for 1 hour or until it looks done!

Enjoy!

Homemade Baked Mac and Cheese

Homemade Baked Mac and Cheese

 

Easy Two hour French Bread

Here is another bread recipe that I use quite often. It is a lot faster, you don’t have to plan ahead, but you do have to knead it. But that’s okay. Some people are afraid of kneading. It’s not that bad. It’s a stress reliever for me. You basically just push and prod and twist and turn the dough for 5-10 minutes. Good forearm exercise 🙂

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Easy French Bread

3 cups flour

2 tsp yeast

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp sugar

2 tsp olive oil (optional, I like to add it to dough when I’ll be kneading it)

1 1/4 cup warm, not hot, water

 

1. Mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

2. Pour in the olive oil and water. Stir in, reserving a little of the water. Even if it doesn’t look like the flour will be all incorporated, there’s moisture hiding in it.

3. Start mixing and kneading with your hands, adding more water if necessary. It shouldn’t be sticky and should be elastic by the time you’re done kneading.

4. Fold into a ball and place it into the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap so it doesn’t dry out and let it rise for 30-45 minutes.

5. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees, place a ceramic dish with a lid into the oven to preheat for 15 minutes.

6. You can either line your dish with parchment paper or a layer of cornmeal so the bread doesn’t stick. Then place your dough in the pot, put the lid back on and bake for 30 minutes.

 

7. Remove the lid and bake for 5 more minutes to brown the dough and remove from the oven.

Remember to wait for it to cool (at least a little) before you slice into it!

Easy two hour french bread

My tasty bread I made tonight!