Other food bloggers or food writers will get this: Thanksgiving is so over photographed, written about, schmoozed on, slobbered over, that we usually just don’t know what to do with it that hasn’t been done ad nauseum. (How about another post on SIDES??? Another torch-browned turkey on the front of a magazine?)
|Do we get any?|
Cinnamon Rolls (Old-Fashioned)
Cut-up Fruit or a Bowl of Cuties
Cranberry Punch (Leaded/Unleaded)
Coffee and/or Hot Cocoa with Peppermint Schnapps or Brandy
The Day Ahead:
After the dough’s risen, I punch it down, divide it in half and place each half in a gallon plasic bag.
It goes in the refrigerator until the next day. Leave a corner of the bag open to make sure the bag doesn’t burst. The dough will rise more in the bag (even in the refrigerator.)
Next morning, when you’re ready to bake the rolls, grease a 9x12x2 baking pan.
Take the dough out, punch it down to get the air out, and firmly pat or roll it out into a rectangular shape using a rolling pin or wine bottle or can of PAM if you’re really desperate.
It needn’t be perfect, but an approximate 11-inch by 15-inch rectangle is the goal.
Using your warm hands, spread about a tablespoon of soft butter over the dough.
Sprinkle on the cinnamon-sugar mixture. (1/4 cup white sugar to 2 teaspoon sugar)
Using your thumbs, begin to tightly roll up the dough at the long side. Your goal is a tight roll.
Once the entire rectangle is rolled, pinch the end of the roll into the rest of the dough so that the entire roll is sealed except for the ends.
Cut the roll in half, then in half again, repeating until you have 15-16 slices–
An end might be too small to cut again.
Places the rolls, cut side down as possible, in the prepared pan, spreading them out as evenly as possible as they’ll expand when they rise.
|These needn’t look perfect; they’ll all rise together and make a beautiful pan of rolls.|
Let the rolls rise to fill the pan–30-60 minutes, depending on how warm your room is. You can put them in a hot oven for a minute or two to “push” the rise, pull them out, and then cover them while they sit on the stove. That’ll save a bit of time. However you do it, you want the rolls to rise in a warm spot, not a cold one. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the rolls about 15 minutes until just beginning to brown nicely.
While the rolls bake, mix up a glaze (see icing recipe below)…and…….
Drizzle the rolls with a tiny bit of glaze while hot.
Serve with the Egg-Cheese-Sausage Casserole, of course.
Cinnamon Rolls–Courtesy early ’70’s Betty Crocker Sweet Roll Dough:
use half of this dough for 1 pan of cinnamon rolls … or all of it for two pans … or 1/2 for cinnamon rolls (15)
and 1/2 for 12-16 dinner rolls, depending on the style and size
1/2 cup water warm to the touch (test it on your wrist–you want it warm like a baby’s bottle–any
warmer and it’ll kill the yeast.)
2 packages dry yeast or 4 1/2 teaspoons
1/2 cup just barely warm milk
1/2 cup white, granulated sugar
1/2 cup or 8 tablespoons butter, soft
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 1/2-5 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour, divided
Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in milk, sugar, butter, and eggs. Mix well. Beat in 2 1/2 cups flour and beat until smooth. Mix in enough additional flour to make the dough easy to handle.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board; knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place in a greased bowl; turn greased side up. (At this point, dough can be refrigerated 3-4 days.) Cover; let rise in a warm place until double, about 1 1/2 hours. (Dough is ready if impression remains when touched.)
Punch down dough. Shape dough into desired rolls or coffee cakes. Cover and let rise until double, about 30 minutes. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake as directed.
This dough could the be made into cinnamon rolls, frosted orange rolls, chocolate cinnamon rolls, butterfly rolls, cheese diamonds, balloon buns, or various coffee cakes.
For cinnamon rolls:
- 1/2 recipe dough
- 2 tablespoons soft butter
- 1/4 cup (white granulated) sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
Mix 1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar, 1 tablespoon milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla together until smooth.
- Roll out dough into rectangle, 15×9 inches, spread with butter. Mix sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over rectangle. Roll up, beginning at wide side. Pinch edge of dough into roll to seal well. Stretch roll to make even.
- Cut roll into 15 slices. Place slightly apart in greased baking pan, 13x9x2 inches or in greased muffin cups. Let rise until double. Bake 25-30 minutes. (I find this is too long; I like my rolls less crispy.) While warm, frost rolls with icing.
For crescent dinner rolls, using the other half of the dough: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Take the other half of the dough and roll it into a large circle, about 12″ in diameter. Spread with soft butter. Cut into 16 wedges. Roll up, beginning at rounded edge. Place rolls, with point underneath (or pinch points into body of roll), on greased baking sheet. Brush with butter. Bake 15 minutes or until golden.
- 2 cups milk
- 6 eggs
- 2 teaspoons dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 slices bread, cubed
- 1 pound bulk pork breakfast sausage cooked and drained
- 2 cups grated cheddar (or other) cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Beat together milk, eggs, mustard, and salt. Stir in bread, sausage and cheese. Pour into 2 quart rectangular casserole. Cover and refrigerate overnight if possible. Remove from refrigerator. Bake 45 minutes or until firm, golden, and crispy at the edges. Remove and let sit 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
Variation: After preparing casserole and before baking, top with 1/4 cup each chopped onions, mushrooms, and red bell peppers. Sprinkle with fresh ground black pepper.
You can also use ham or cooked, chopped bacon instead of sausage. Other options are to stir in 2-3 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes and a clove or two of chopped garlic that you have lightly sauteed beforehand. I have also added chopped green chiles once or twice!
Sing a new song,
|Hot Spiced Cider with or without Rum (Pum Pum Pum)|
An afternoon open house is the perfect party … No main course. Everyone’s gone by dinner time… And folks show up because other commitments are for evening. Few dishes to wash. Food that’s easy to prepare ahead. Your goal: everything out and ready for guests to help themselves. Your reward: To be able to enter your own party!
|Ginger cookies, Chocolate Snowballs, Date bars–Made ahead and frozen|
A couple of perfect festive drinks (Sparkler and Hot Cider), as well as a pot of strong coffee and some thick cream (for those who must dunk cookies or are heading to a serious evening party), make set-up much easier than a cocktail or dinner party. People come dressed comfortably. Yes.
|A festive few dishes and a candle or two. Not much more needed.|
Your best cookies, a couple of great nibbles…Always vegetables…A bit of cheese-
|Lots of vegetables–some fresh, some grilled. Herb Garlic Cheese Dip with Pine Nuts|
Something they’ll remember later…like my taste-like-jelly-filled-donut shortbread sandwiches:
|Crowded is ok. They’ll come and go.|
All set up ahead leaves time for visiting and listening to the great Christmas playlist you put together for the party. Everything from Revels to Tony Bennett to Harry Connick, Jr. to Cambridge Singers.
Something filling for those who skipped lunch. Here, a great tapenade. Don’t skimp on the olives; buy the best you can find. Grill your sliced baguette on the stove if it’s too cold outside.
|Spicy Tapenade with Crostini|
Spanish Cava is a lovely, inexpensive sparkler. Whatever’s leftover can be used for New Year’s or for
mimosas for brunch. There’s usually a discount if you buy a case. Think ahead.
|Cava and Cranberries. Back-up bottles all chilled in the frig.|
|Leave flutes set up with cranberries and folks will pour the sparkler over them.|
|David Lebovitz famous Pretzel and Nut Mix. No Chex Mix needed.|
Something crunchy is a must. Nuts, pretzels, chips…for the salty people.
My take on Eli Zabar’s shortbread recipe..Bittersweet chocolate and sea salt.. I like Valrhona chocolate for dipping, but could only find Callebaut locally this year. Makes excellent hot chocolate, too, by the way if you’ve any leftover from dipping. Valrhona is French chocolate; Callebaut is made in many places, but is basically Belgian-French in origin.
*Hot Cider with or without Rum (I leave the rum plainly marked in a pitcher on counter.)
*Pot of strong coffee and Hot Water for tea. The best cream you can find. Lemon, sugar.
*Cava (or your favorite bubbly)–Add a couple of fresh cranberries to the $1. glasses
*Cookies–4 of your favorites. Homemade or beg from friends-even buy at great bakery.
*Garlicky Rosemary Cheese Dip with Pine Nuts and Lots of Veggies (Recipe below)
*Spicy Tapenade and Crostini (Grilled Bread) – Recipe Below
*Cranberry Almond Bars with Tangerine —You must have chocolate. Make it yourself.
*Alyce’s Go Nuts! Salty, hot, and sweet pecans. Great protein.
*David Lebovitz Pretzel and Nut Mix–gotta have something that crunches.
Herb Garlic Cheese Dip with Pine Nuts
12 oz goat’s cheese (chevre), softened
32 oz (4 c) ricotta cheese
Zest of one lemon
Hot sauce- a few drops
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced or grated
2T fresh dill, minced (Can choose just one herb if you like.)
2T fresh basil chiffonade
2T fresh chives, minced
1T fresh thyme, chopped (plus a few sprigs for garnish)
1T fresh Rosemary, finely minced
1/2 t coarsely ground black pepper (or more to taste)
Pinch of kosher salt
1/2 cup of pine nuts
1/4 cup sweet red pepper, diced
Place all ingredients except garnishes in the food processor and pulse until well-blended. Taste and readjust seasoning. If making the day before, the garlic will settle down a lot overnight in the frig. Store in a tightly-covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Spoon into serving bowl and garnish with pine nuts, peppers, and sprigs of rosemary Serve with fresh vegetables or crackers. If too thick, add a few drops of milk and stir well before serving.
Spicy Tapenade (Basic recipe courtesy Tyler Florence)
Generous pinch of crushed red pepper
Tiny pinch ea kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
Two-Dog Kitchen and Around the ‘Hood
This week, we’re buying a few small gifts, making a vat of barbequed brisket, going to a choir party, taking some friends out to dinner and to a Rose Ensemble concert, baking a manger scene (yes!) and stollen, watching every Christmas movie we can, and picking up my sister at the airport. Emily and I are getting our hair done together tomorrow, so we’ll be all cleaned up for the whole deal. Work is slowing down, though I still have a couple of pieces to rehearse and direct. Probably need to get that Rutter out and practice! Dave’s week will be intense and then crawl, alternately….as co-workers world-wide try to get ready for Dell’s week-long break, but still make time for Christmas parties.
We’ll be at church on Christmas Eve, of course…it’s my favorite service. If there’s time, we’ll stop by a couple of open houses, but we’ll come home to cookies and eggnog in the wee early hours of Christmas morning and fall into bed to listen for the sleigh bells.
Christmas Day is a different story:
|Last year’s Christmas Day rolled flank steak with roasted tomatoes.|
|Christmas Day. Toys, movies, the pups.|
|Gabby and Tuck have been good all year, but they’re still worried there’ll be nothing in their stockings.
Maybe there are others with the same fears….
|courtesy Share Our Strength|
Want to feed some kids before the end of 2011?
No Kid Hungry this Holiday Season
With your help this holiday season, we can connect hungry children with nutritious meals all year long! Every $1 you donate to Share Our Strength helps connect a child with up to 10 meals. Through December 31, our No Kid Hungry Partners are matching the first $500,000 donated during the holiday season. Click here to donate.
Merry Days to you! Do the fun things.