Sunday, December 27, 2009

What we've been eating

These cinnamon rolls were an instant family fave...

Unfortunately, I have been following others' recipes most of this month. December doesn't bring out the most creativity in me. In part because I am responsible for feeding family members who, unlike George, tend to complain loudly if they don't like something. Takes away one's daring nature. So, aside from a few new cookie recipes I tried, I stuck mainly to tried and true menu items: mashed potatoes, baked sweet potatoes a la Rosette, mom's lefse, stuffing (can't go wrong with this no matter what), veggie meatballs, etc. I crammed handfuls of stuffing into chicken breasts to pacify the meat eaters and otherwise purchased cold cuts to keep complaints to a minimum. End of my holiday food worries. Begin handing out warmed plates of steaming leftovers with mugs of hot chocolate, apple tea and cider.

My inspired leftover squash and fennel spaghetti dish. Yum.

Leftovers, on the other hand, were a weird mix. I made this broken spaghetti bowl by mixing roasted squash and fennel chunks with vinaigrette and leftover pasta, garnished with parsley. No complaints here, though it seems too complicated to set up as a routine recipe.

Probably the standout treat we ate this year was the cinnamon rolls from The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond, which makes about 50 rolls. I started the dough in advance and froze them in pie tins of 8, thawing them one or two at a time as needed for breakfasts. They're pill0w-soft and delicious. I added orange zest to the recipe (because I like a hint of citrus to cut the butter) and then glazed half with the coffee icing she makes and half with a simple vanilla version (my parents and one sister are anti-coffee). I'm hesitant to write out the book's recipe, since I can't find it previously posted online and don't wish to be the first to steal it. Instead, I'm repeating her post here, with a direct link to the original, because Ree's step-by-step also has a gorgeous photo alongside it. Very easy to follow. I'm telling you, this may make a whole lot of rolls, but you WILL eat them. Or give them away so that you won't. Either way, you won't be sorry.

Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls


  • 1 quart Whole Milk
  • 1 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 packages Active Dry Yeast
  • 8 cups (Plus 1 Cup Extra, Separated) All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon (heaping) Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon (scant) Baking Soda
  • 1 Tablespoon (heaping) Salt
  • Plenty Of Melted Butter
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • Generous Sprinkling Of Cinnamon
  • To the filling, VTD adds: zest of two oranges

  • 1 bag Powdered Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Maple Flavoring
  • ½ cups Milk
  • ¼ cups Melted Butter
  • ¼ cups Brewed Coffee
  • ⅛ teaspoons Salt
This recipe makes about 50 cinnamon rolls. Or six lovely pie plates worth for all of your visiting relations. For preparation instructions with step-by-step photos, visit this Pioneer Woman Cooks original post from June 1, 2007.

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