Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Cinnamon Roll Pull Apart Bread

Some times my bread isn't eaten right away, so I typically make it into croutons. Today was not so. Instead, I whipped up this little culinary magic! It lasted about ten minutes. That's how much my family loved it! 
I can't wait to experiment with different flavor combinations! I'm making an orange glaze next time. Tossing in some chopped apples. Or how about something savory? Hmmm.... ;-) 

Cinnamon Roll Pull Apart Bread

Loaf of bread, not cut 
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon 

~Cinnamon-Sugar mix~
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Powdered sugar, thinned with milk until glaze consistency 

Melt butter and stir in honey, vanilla, and cinnamon.
Cut bread halfway down , both ways.
Gently pull apart and drizzle with honey/butter mix.
Sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar mix.
Wrap in foil.
Bake on 350 for 20 minutes.
Drizzle with glaze.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Grilled Sandwiches

I went to the Farmer's Market last Friday and found a favorite local bakery booth. When I'm not in the mood to make more bread (so far, made 12 loaves this past week) I like to get theirs. Mostly because they do all these specialty round breads. Vegetable Feta, Garlic Onion, Parmesan Basil, on and on. Fabulous bread! 

I figured I'd post this recipe because it's another family favorite and super easy to whip up on those days where cooking doesn't exactly sound fun! 

Once again, as with many of my posts, it isn't an actual recipe..just an idea to get you started. :) 

This week, I chose the Vegetable Feta which isn't as scary as it might sound to some! 

It had just the right amount of garlic, a few little artichoke hearts, some chopped onion, and a smattering of feta throughout...So, cut in half so you have two rounds...or two half rounds 

I forgot to take a photo of what I layered so here it is : homemade mayo mixed with avocado and tiny bit of pressed garlic, sliced turkey breast, thinly sliced tomato, some bacon, and fresh whole milk mozzarella slices. Wrap entire sandwich in foil.

Then comes the "squashing" part. Put a cutting board and about 5lbs weight on top of sandwich to press it down for about ten minutes or so. If you are using a hard bread, you will need to add about 15 more minutes to the time. This makes it almost panini style. 

Once that is done, you can either bake it on 350 for about 15-20 minutes OR grill for around ten. Either way, what you end up with is totally amazing! Crispy on the outside, gooey and everything else good on the inside. A perfect summer meal! 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Vanilla Extract

My incredible cousin Glenda who live in Malaysia came to the states recently and she came bearing gifts. Vanilla beans directly from Bali! I knew they were good beans when I could smell them through the double wrapped-sealed in a ziploc bag packaging. 

Of course the first thing I made was vanilla extract. It's a pretty basic ratio. 15-20 beans per 750mL of 80 proof alcohol (bourbon or vodka). The more pricey the alcohol, the better quality the extract. In other words, Monarch just isn't going to cut it, sorry! 

Directions are simple. Slice beans down the center, put into bottle, seal, shake around daily for a week, and then weekly for a month or so. I let mine sit for about 6 months before using though some people say they use it as soon as six weeks. It takes some time, but it is SO worth it! 

The rest of the beans are going to make my yogurt taste amaaazziinnggg! Thanks, Glenda! 

Broccoli Salad

So, I posted this recipe right when I first started the blog but the whole post annoyed me whenever I went back to it for the recipe. The photo was unappetizing and it was just a bad post. So, now, I revamped the recipe making it healthier...That's what I'm all about, you know? 

I prep the actual salad separate of the dressing and just put dressing on right when we eat. That way, it doesn't get soggy after a day! I LOVE this served in salad boats or wraps. Perfect as a side for BBQ!

Broccoli Salad

5 cups chopped broccoli
3/4 cup golden raisins
10 strips bacon
1/2 cup sunflower seeds, not roasted
1/2 red onion, chopped small 

1/2 cup plain yogurt (the yog adds a kind of tang to the dressing..if you don't like that, use mayo)
3 tbsp honey
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Combine salad ingredients. Make dressing. Toss well. 
Hard, huh? :) 

All the pretty ingredients!!

All mixed up and ready to eat...super yummy! 

Breadless Lunch

So, I know people are all into going grain-free, gluten-free, carb-free, sugar-free, food-free, eating-free, etc.. (humor on the last few, folks) but I believe in all things in moderation. I won't stop eating grains or breads, I may limit the consumption, but I am not an extremest one way or the other! Phew. That being said.....

I actually LIKE not eating bread all the time! I mean, who wouldn't when you can whip up these little bite size pieces of divine?? 

First off. I HIGHLY recommend everyone in the world getting a Marttiini knife. I mean, sure, I'm proud of being a Finn and all, but even if I wasn't, I'd rave on this knife. You want to talk about literally paper thin tomato and cucumber?! My mom just brought it back from the Motherland and gifted it to me. I may never stop cutting up veg again! I sliced two cucumbers and 3 tomatoes..for no real reason. Just because it was FUN! 

So, on to my favorite breadless lunches. They aren't really recipes, per se, but just awesome combinations.

First off, this beauty. 
butter lettuce, soft swiss cheese wedge, cucumber, and tomato

Then, I made these little darlings fairly bursting with flavor! 
cucumber, roasted garlic and red pepper hummus, tomato, and feta cheese

The final one was this..
greek yog chicken salad topped with mozzarella

And, well, with so many little dudes made up, I couldn't help but eat them all. In one sitting. With a very large bottle of sparkling VOSS water..because that's how I roll!