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Monday, October 28, 2013

Pumpkin Pecan GIGANTIC cinnamon rolls

Fall just might be my favorite cooking season for the mere fact that I can make PUMPKIN EVERYTHING!!! Sweet, savory....pumpkin is excellent both ways. My first recipe of this season is a first for me. I basically took the classic recipe for cinnamon rolls and added pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice to the dough. And if you though Cinnabon was your jam...wait till you try these!


1/2 c. warmed whole milk
1 envelope of active dry yeast or 2 1/4 tsp
4 Tbs. melted but cooled unsalted butter
3 1/2 c. plain flour
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. white sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 1/4 tsp. pumpkin spice
3/4 c. pumpkin puree
1 egg

3 Tbs melted butter
3/4 c. chopped pecans
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. white sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. pumpkin spice
pinch of salt

1/3 c. cream cheese
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
2 Tbs. whole milk
1 tsp vanilla

Start with the dough first as it takes the longest. Warm the milk but not too hot to touch then pour into a bowl and add the yeast. Let yeast and milk sit for about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, mix flour, white sugar, spices and salt in a large bowl till well mixed. In a separate bowl, mix the milk/yeast mix, brown sugar, melted butter, pumpkin puree, egg till well combined. Now, combine both wet and dry mixtures in one big bowl and knead by hand or use dough hook attachment for about 5 minutes. Place dough ball into a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for an hour. 
On a well floured surface, roll out the risen dough into a large rectangle.
For the filling, first spread the melted butter evenly over the entire top of the dough. Then in a small bowl, combine the pecans, brown and white sugars, spices, and salt. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the buttered dough and pat down lightly once finished.
Now here's the fun/tricky part....take the short edge of the rectangle and begin to roll(like in the photo). Go very slowly to make sure the dough doesn't rip underneath. 
Once completely rolled, use a sharp knife to cut about 1 inch slices. Place slices into a buttered baking dish. It's ok if they are touching.
Once rolls are all cut and placed into the baking dish, let rise again for about 30 minutes more before putting into the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or till golden brown on top. While they're baking you'll want to make the icing. Just mix the cream cheese and powdered sugar by hand for a few minutes then add the milk and vanilla and beat till smooth and creamy.

Once you remove the rolls from the oven, use a butter knife or spatula to spread the icing over the tops while the rolls are still hot. Let cool slightly before shoving them into your mouth! 

"Feel Better" Turkey Noodle Soup

Cold? Flu? General yuckiness feeling? Try this!

1 1/2 lbs turkey thigh and breast meat chunks
1 can chicken stock
3 medium brown onions chopped
2 celery stalks chopped
3 carrots chopped
3 parsnips chopped
4 c. water
1/3 c. fresh parsley chopped
1 Tbs. dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1 packet turkey or chicken gravy mix
3 c. egg noodles
salt and pepper to taste

Add all ingredients to slow cooker except for the gravy packet and noodles. Cook on low for 8 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add gravy packet and noodles and mix well. Turn to high setting and cook for 1 more hour before serving. Enjoy and feel better :)

Underground Mash

Something for anyone who's bored with the usual mashed potatoes. I call it Underground Mash because everything in it grows, well, underground!  I used swede, carrots and baby potatoes but if you can't find swede, you can use sweet potato or turnip as a substitute.

1 medium swede peeled and cubed
3 large carrots chopped into large chunks
10 baby potatoes cubed skin on
5 whole cloves garlic
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. whole milk
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. dried thyme
salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste

Boil swede on high in lightly salted water for about 30 minutes or until fork tender. In a separated pot, boil potatoes, carrots and garlic cloves for about 15 minutes or until fork tender. Strain all vegetables together and whilst still hot, add all other ingredients and mash or blend to desired smoothness. 

Slow Cooker Comfy Cozy Beef Stew

So the weather is changing and I know a lot of you are lamenting the slow fade of sunshine and beach days. But lets look on the bright side...layers, hot cocoa, cozy nights in and of course, busting out that Crock Pot! I hope everyone is ready for all the slow cooker recipe posts that will be coming your way like a flash flood. Now that I'm living in London and will actually be experiencing a REAL winter, my slow cooker is in use at least once or twice a week!

I'm a huge fan of the all-in-at-once recipes where you pretty much throw all the ingredients in and come back a few hours later to a finished product so thats what most of these posts will be. Nice and easy prep with huge rewards for you.

This first one is a classic beef stew thats pretty heavy on the veg. I'm telling you, I made a huge vat of this in hopes to freeze half of it to store for later but it was SOOOO GOOD that we ended up eating all of it in one day. We couldn't help it!


1 1/2 lbs beef chuck roast or rump roast cubed (fat trimmed)
8 baby potatoes quartered
1 medium butternut squash peeled seeded and cubed
3 small onions
4 cloves garlic minced
2 stalks celery sliced thick
1 8oz can tomato sauce
1 8oz can of whole tomatoes (juice discarded) 
3 c. beef broth
3 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs Old Bay spice
1 Tbs. grainy mustard
1 c. snap peas
1/2 c. frozen peas
1/2 c. frozen corn

Optional to thicken stew* 
3 Tbs. Cornstarch dissolved in 3 Tbs. cold water  

Add all ingredients to slow cooker except for frozen peas and corn, snap peas and cornstarch. Cook on low setting for 10 1/2 hours stirring occasionally. Stir in remaining ingredients and cook for another 1 1/2 hours. Stew should thicken but add more cornstarch dissolved in cold water if needed. Enjoy with sourdough and a nice red :)