Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Cinnamon Rolls, Cinnabon Style!

Cinnamon Rolls, Cinnabon Style!
 I'm really excited to share this recipe! I found it on a blog entitled "The Girl Who Ate Everything" and she found it at another website, anyway, I tried it today and it was really amazing! I've attempted to make cinnamon rolls before but the dough never turns out light enough, this recipe was really simple but it does take some time to make since you have to wait for the dough to rise but let me tell you, it is well worth it!


1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C) (I actually measured the temp and it definitely makes a difference because you dissolve the yeast in it)
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup margarine, melted ( use butter )
4 1/2 cups bread flour or regular flour (bread flour makes for a lighter cinnamon roll)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
1 pkg yeast (1/4 ounce)

1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, softened

3 oz cream cheese, softened (Use real cream cheese, I tried it with fat free the first time and it definitely did not taste the same)
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

Dissolve yeast in warm milk in a large bowl. Add sugar, butter, salt, eggs, and flour. Mix well. Knead dough into a large ball, using your hands dusted lightly with flour. Put in a bowl and let rise in a warm place about 1 hour or until dough has doubled in size. *I used my Kitchen-aid mixer with the dough hook attached to knead the dough and the dough still turned out very light :)

In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Spray surface with cooking spray or sprinkle flour on it. Roll dough into a 16x21 inch rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Spread dough with 1/3 cup butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Roll up dough and cut into 12 rolls (or more smaller rolls). Place rolls in a lightly greased 9x13 inch glass baking dish (make sure you use a glass dish so the rolls do not overcook at the bottom and remain moist). *I greased the dish with some butter to give them a lighter flavor, and sprinkled the bottom of the pan with a little bit of left over brownsugar and cinnamon mixture.  Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30-60 minutes. *At this point you can put them in the refrigerator for the next morning if you are doing them the night before.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 18-20 minutes. *It actually took my rolls longer to bake, about 25 mins, I would check by inserting a toothpick between the rolls (in the doughiest part), if it comes out clean then they are done.
While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Spread frosting on while they are still warm so that the frosting melts into the roll. *You can also use store bought cream cheese frosting if you want to save some time.
Time to make the dough!

That kinda looks like a rectangle right?

That's the dough after it grew for an hour, they were actually really small then they expanded!! Those are the finished rolls, I had to eat one! *note: I slightly over cooked mine, but they still tasted amazing :) I don't like my cinnamon roll too doughy, hehe
My favorite part, FROSTING!
Finally, time to eat!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Easy Minestrone Soup

This is one of my favorite minestrone soup recipes because it's very quick and easy.  I modified it from a recipe from the Martha Stewart cookbook,  Everyday Food: Fresh Flavor Fast: 250 Easy, Delicious Recipes for Any Time of Day (Everyday Food (Clarkson Potter)).


1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Rosemary (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced crosswise 1/2inch thick
1 large carrot
1/4 medium head cabbage, halved lengthwise and shredded
1 cup Spinach (optional)
2 cans (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes in juice
1 can (19 ounces) of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
4 ounces seashell macaroni
Freshly Grated Parmesan or Romano Cheese (optional)


  1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add onion, garlic and carrot; cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent, 3-4 minutes.
  2. Stir in zucchini, cabbage, and rosemary; cook, stirring until vegetables are coated, 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes with their juice and enough water (about 3-4 cups) to cover vegetables by 1 inch.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook until soup is thickened and vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.  
  4. Stir in pasta; cook until pasta is al dente, 10-15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Stir in red beans and spinach, cook 2-3 minutes. 
  6. Serve into bowls and if you like cheese, garnish with some freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese. 

    1. I am a BAD chopper and I hate chopping onions, I can never chop it finely enough and it makes me cry, so I chop it up in the food processor, this not only saves time but it leaves it very finely chopped.  For this recipe I chop the onion and garlic together in the food processor.  
    2. You can use any type of pasta you like, I really like seashell pasta but you can use elbow macaroni, seashell pasta, anything really.
    3. If you like more vegetables in your minestrone soup, feel free to add more, you will probably need to add more water to the soup and simmer it longer. 
    4. It's really important to season your soup with salt and pepper or else it will end up bland so don't be afraid to taste it!