Saturday, December 24, 2011

cinnamon swirl bread

Have you heard? Our collective kitchens just got a little more crowded, and just in time for Christmas!

I think my favorite day of the year might just be Christmas Eve. I have a lot of fond memories of the day growing up- all centered around being with family. I remember the wonderful smells of the kitchen vividly, probably because we've got the same scent conjured up in here now- from the cinnamon swirl loaves that recently came out of the oven. They smell amazing. They smell like Christmas. And the recipe I used (from couldn't be simpler (especially if you have a bread machine to do most of the work for you, as we do).

From 12/24/2011 (by Eye-Fi)

  • 1 cup warm milk (70 to 80 degrees F)
  • 1/4 cup water (70 to 80 degrees F)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 5 cups bread flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • GLAZE:
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 4 teaspoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. In bread machine pan, place the first eight ingredients in order suggested by manufacturer. Select dough setting (check dough after 5 minutes of mixing; add 1 to 2 tablespoons water or flour if needed).
  2. When cycle is completed, turn dough onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Roll each portion into a 10-in. x 8-in. rectangle. Brush with butter. Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over dough. Roll up tightly jelly-roll style, starting with a short side. Pinch seams and ends to seal. Place seam side down in two greased 9-in. x 5-in. x 3-in. loaf pans. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes. Cover with foil; bake 5-10 minutes longer or until golden brown. Remove form pans to wire racks to cool completely. Combine glaze ingredients; spoon over loaves.

Mexican orzo salad

From 12/23/2011 (by Eye-Fi)
I didn't have any chickpeas on hand- or any peppers other than orange (red would have made it even more festive), but it was still deelish- and a good combination of textures.

  • 1 (16 ounce) package orzo pasta
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (8.75 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 5 limes, juiced
  • 6 tablespoons canola oil


  1. Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in the orzo, and return to a boil. Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through, but is still firm to the bite, about 10 minutes. Drain.
  2. Place the drained orzo in a large salad bowl, and fold in the red pepper, yellow pepper, green onions, red onion, chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans, corn, cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour the lime juice and oil over the salad, toss to coat, and refrigerate at least 2 hours to chill before serving.

Monday, December 19, 2011

homemade pizza dough

From 12/19/2011 (by Eye-Fi)

We've made this recipe (Jay's Signature Pizza Crust) the past couple of times we've made homemade pizza, and the dough has been loved by all.

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  1. In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and brown sugar in the water, and let sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Stir the salt and oil into the yeast solution. Mix in 2 1/2 cups of the flour.
  3. Turn dough out onto a clean, well floured surface, and knead in more flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Place the dough into a well oiled bowl, and cover with a cloth. Let the dough rise until double; this should take about 1 hour. Punch down the dough, and form a tight ball. Allow the dough to relax for a minute before rolling out. Use for your favorite pizza recipe.
  4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). If you are baking the dough on a pizza stone, you may place your toppings on the dough, and bake immediately. If you are baking your pizza in a pan, lightly oil the pan, and let the dough rise for 15 or 20 minutes before topping and baking it.
  5. Bake pizza in preheated oven, until the cheese and crust are golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes.
From 11/09/2011 (by Eye-Fi)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas sugar cookies

From 12/16/2011 (by Eye-Fi)

We made these sugar cookies with the kids. I prefer them without icing, so we kept most of them plain or with a few sprinkles, Then today I set the kids loose with this icing (I used a bit of Agave nectar instead of corn syrup). If you can tell, I did quite a few myself, as our kids aren't known for doing anything in a reasonable amount of time. The cookies, however, are going fast.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

tuna salad (with curry powder and Parmesan)

A easy on-the-go dinner (especially for a Friday)- we packed these tuna salad sandwiches to eat at the Children's Museum before their Member's Holiday Event yesterday. And I'd have to say it was some of the best tuna salad I've had. I doubled the recipe and added some celery to, too. And less mayo than called for, which, to me always seems like a good plan.

  • 1 (7 ounce) can white tuna, drained and flaked
  • 6 tablespoons mayonnaise or salad dressing
  • 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried minced onion flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 1 pinch garlic powder
  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the tuna, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, and onion flakes. Season with curry powder, parsley, dill and garlic powder. Mix well and serve with crackers or on a sandwich.

Here is the original recipe/source.