Cinnamon Rolls…


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The first time I came in the USA was in 1993, It was just a few months shy of my 21st birthday. It was an eye-opening experience I will tell you… If at first I was not really impressed with the environment I had landed in ( Mid June, 100 degree weather, high humidity, lone house amid large acreage, in the rural environment of South Carolina…), I soon learned to like it, and appreciate it. Today it will be exactly 21 years since I first put my foot on this strange land, and I am happy to have stayed and to have chosen it as my home. One of the thing that really took me by surprise, at first, was the size of everything: big houses, huge plated dinners, large interstates, gigantic cars…But what surprised me the most was what people ate. I could go on and on for hours about the food I was not accustomed to see, but today I will talk about cinnamon.

I never liked cinnamon growing up. I despised it so much, in fact, that it would me make me sick. I could not smell it, much  less eat it.

Cinnamon is pretty inexistant in France. You will see it, at times, in recipes of homemade ginger bread, but you will never see it mixed with apples.  So I really was astonishing to me to see the amount of cinannon that was used here in everything: Apple pies, pies, sweet potatoes casserole, gum, candies. The family,  I stayed with that first year,  would prepare cinnamon toasts which was a piece of bread slathered with butter, sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, and then toasted. The odor was so strong, it would make me want to exit the room. As time went by, though, my sensitivity to cinnamon disappeared. I really think it is because I got used to smell it in everything, especially at Christmas and Thanksgiving.

Today after 20 years, I cook with it occasionally, and it will not bother me. I actually like it. How funny how your senses change and adapt over time;-)

How ironic that after 20 years, I am sharing with you a recipe of Cinnamon rolls. Why did I cook them?? For whatever reason, I craved to eat them. And I was not about to buy the Pillsbury kind;-)))

The recipe I used is from Paula Deen. I adjusted a few things though.

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This recipe is good to make about 14 cinnamon buns:

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of yeast
  • 1 cup of warm milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6 tbsp of butter melted
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour

Filling:

  • 1 stick of butter melted 
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons ground cinnamon (in the recipe, it suggests using 2, but I used one and it was plenty!!)

Glaze:

  • 6 tbsp of butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, or vanilla bean extract ( much better)
  • 6 oz. of cream cheese at room temperature.IMG_1796
  1. Turn the oven to 2oo, or turn your warming oven if you have one.
  2. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in about 2 tbsp of warm milk,  and set aside.IMG_1779
  3. In a very large bowl mix milk, sugar, melted butter, salt and egg.IMG_1780
  4. Add 2 cups of flour and mix well until the dough is homogeneous.IMG_1781
  5. Then add the yeast.
  6. Finally add the rest of the flour ( it may another 1 1/2 to 2 more cups).
  7. Knead dough inside the bowl.IMG_1782
  8. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and place the bowl in the oven that you would have turned off and propped the door open. Let the dough rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  9. When time is up, take the dough and place it on the roulpat ( non-stick silicone map) that you would have spread over you counter.
  10. With the rolling-pin, roll out the dough  into a 11 by 20-inch rectangle. You will not need flour is your dough is the right consistency and is not sticky. I did not need any.IMG_1783
  11. Place the butter in a small bowl, melt it in the microwave for 30 seconds or until it is melted and with a brush, brush the butter all over the dough.
  12. Mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the buttered dough.IMG_1784
  13. Roll the dough up from the top so that you will end up with a 20 inch long roll.IMG_1785
  14. Cut the rolls into 12 to 15 slices.IMG_1786
  15. I placed mine into the large round mold, but it was not enough room for the dough to expand, so you will use the grande mold. Place cinnamon roll slices close together in the pan. If you have any melted butter, drizzle it over the dough. IMG_1787
  16. Place the pan back either into the oven to the warming drawer,  and let rise until dough has doubled, about 45 minutes.
  17. Bake for about 20 minutes or until it is a nice golden brown color.IMG_1788
  18. While the rolls are baking, prepare the glaze. Place the butter and cream cheese in the microwave and warm them up for 20 seconds so that they are soft. Place the cream cheese, butter, sugar and vanilla into a kitchen mixer, and beat the mixture on high.
  19. Spoon and spread the glaze over the rolls as soon as you are removing them from the oven.IMG_1790
  20. And try not to eat them all at once. Yummy!! And yes, I have been eating them. Such a yummy easy treats for my weekend breakfast;-)) You TRY!!!!IMG_1793

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Cinnamon Rolls

  • Servings: 5-15 people
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print

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Ingredients:

  • 1 package of yeast
  • 1 cup of warm milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6 tbsp of butter melted
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour

Filling:

  • 1 stick of butter melted
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons ground cinnamon (in the recipe, it suggests using 2, but I used one and it was plenty!!)

Glaze:

  • 6 tbsp of butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, or vanilla bean extract ( much better)
  • 6 oz. of cream cheese at room temperature.
  1. Turn the oven to 2oo, or turn your warming oven if you have one.
  2. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in about 2 tbsp of of warm milk, and set aside.
  3. In a very large bowl mix milk, sugar, melted butter, salt and egg.
  4. Add 2 cups of flour and mix well until the dough is homogeneous.
  5. Then add the yeast.
  6. Finally add the rest of the flour ( it may another 1 1/2 to 2 more cups).
  7. Knead dough inside the bowl.
  8. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and place the bowl in the oven that you would have turned off and propped the door open. Let the dough rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  9. When time is up, take the dough and place it on the roulpat ( non-stick silicone map) that you would have spread over you counter.
  10. With the rolling-pin, roll out the dough into a 11 by 20-inch rectangle. You will not need flour is your dough is the right consistency and is not sticky. I did not need any.
  11. Place the butter in a small bowl, melt it in the microwave for 30 seconds or until it is melted and with a brush, brush the butter all over the dough.
  12. Mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the buttered dough.
  13. Roll the dough up from the top so that you will end up with a 20 inch long roll.
  14. Cut the rolls into 12 to 15 slices. I placed mine into the large round mold, but it was not enough room for the dough to expand, so you will use the grande mold. Place cinnamon roll slices close together in the pan. If you have any melted butter, drizzle it over the dough.
  15. Place the pan back either into the oven to the warming drawer, and let rise until dough has doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake for about 20 minutes or until it is a nice golden brown color.
  16. While the rolls are baking, prepare the glaze. Place the butter and cream cheese in the microwave and warm them up for 20 seconds so that they are soft. Place the cream cheese, butter, sugar and vanilla into a kitchen mixer, and beat the mixture on high.
  17. Spoon and spread the glaze over the rolls as soon as you are removing them from the oven. And try not to eat them all at once. Yummy!! And yes, I have been eating them. Such a yummy easy treat for my weekend breakfast;-)) Yuu TRY!!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Caramel Rice Pudding


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If you were to close your eyes and think of childhood dishes, what would it be? For me, it would have to be crepes and Caramel Rice or Polenta Pudding. I still see my mom boiling the rice, or the polenta in the vanilla flavored milk. I still see her stirring the caramel and pouring the polenta or the rice pudding in the caramel. It would bubble up and almost spill over the dish. It smelled so good and looked so yummy then, that it was hard to wait another 10 minutes for the dish to bake in the oven.

Though I dreamed of this dish for ever, I never prepared it because it was made with rice or polenta and because it is not exactly a light dessert. At my age, I tend to gravitate to lighter dessert. Those that are not so heavy on your stomach, and those that not do so much damage to your waste line;-)

This weekend, however, in light of stepping up my diet and including more starch in my diet ( i have been having problem of low blood pressure, and hypoglycemia),  I decided fix Caramel Rice Pudding.

As i was fixing the various steps, I found it really difficult not to devour the rice pudding before it was completely finished….IMG_0015

Ingredients for a dish for 8-12 people:

  • 250 gr. or 1 cup of rice
  • 1 liter or  about 4 cup of whole milk
  • 100 gr. or about 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 2 tbsp. of vanilla extract
  • 5 yolks
  • 100 gr.  or about 1/2 cup of raisins
  • 100 gr. or about 1/2 cup of sugar
  1.  Place the rice, sugar, vanilla extract and milk in a large pot. Mix well and cook over a medium-high heat until it comes to boil.IMG_0009
  2. Then turn the oven to 400, and when the temperature has reached its temperature, place the pot in the oven and let the rice cook for 15 minutes.
  3. While the rice is cooking, place another pot over the stove, add 100 gr. of sugar,  and turn the heat to medium-high. DO NOT STIR!!!IMG_0010
  4. When the sugar is starting to melt and becoming golden amber color, start stirring. Let the sugar melt completely into a golden caramel.
  5. Either pour the caramel into a dish of your choice, or leave it into your pot if you don’t want to present your dessert. I used the scalloped Square mold from Demarle because the caramel does not stick in it and it makes a beautiful cake!!!IMG_0011
  6. Add 100 gr of sugar, the raisins and the 5 yolks to the rice pudding and stir well.IMG_0012
  7. Pour in the rice pudding a top the caramel. Do not stir.IMG_0013
  8. Place the pot, or the dish back into the oven, in a water bath of about 1/2 inch,  and cook the rice for another 10 minutes. IMG_0014YUM!!!! Try not to eat all at once when taking it out of the oven;-).
  9. Before eating, invert the cake to show off. IMG_0015

Caramel Rice Pudding

  • Servings: 6-8 persons
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print
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  • Ingredients for a dish for 8-12 people:
  • 250 gr.  or 2 cups of rice
  • 1 liter or 4 cups of whole milk
  • 100 gr. or about 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 2 tbsp. of vanilla extract
  • 5 yolks
  • 100 gr. or about 1/2 cup of raisins
  • 100 gr. or about 1/2 of sugar
  1. Place the rice, sugar, vanilla extract and milk in a large pot.
  2. Mix well and cook over a medium-high heat until it comes to boil.
  3. Then turn the oven to 400, and when the temperature has reached its temperature, place the pot in the oven and let the rice cook for 15 minutes.
  4. While the rice is cooking, place another pot over the stove, add 100 gr. of sugar and turn the heat to medium-high. DO NOT STIR!!!
  5. When the sugar is starting to melt and becoming golden amber color, start stirring. Let the sugar melt completely into a golden caramel.
  6. Either pour the caramel into a dish of your choice, or leave it into your pot if you don’t want to present your dessert.
  7. When the rice has cooked for 15 minutes, add the sugar, vanilla extract, raisins and yolks and mix well.
  8. Pour the rice pudding mixture atop the caramel. Do not stir. Place the pot, or the dish back into the oven and cook the rice for another 10 minutes. YUM!!!! and try not to eat all at once;-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

If you like what you see and read, please share;-) Merci Beaucoup!

Gluten and Dairy Free Almond Waffles


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My nephew spent the week here with us, so that it would be too far for him to get to the church where my son and him were to do an in-town mission trip. I hardly saw them. They would leave at 7 with my husband and would come back at 8 pm.

This morning though, since they were not going to church they decided to stay home and enjoy the company of themselves playing video games and playing in the pool.

But this morning, as they woke up I realize that there was nothing left in the fridge for breakfast. No milk, No baguette in the freezer, No more cereals, so i decided to make waffles.

And since I too wanted to eat waffles but did not want to eat wheat, I decided to make almond ones.

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Ingredients for about 14 waffles:

  • 3 1/2 cup of almond flour
  • 1 1/2 cup of milk ( i used coconut milk since i had nothing else on hand)
  • 4 tbsp of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of sea salt
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 tbsp of vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 box of fresh strawberry of about 16 oz. 
  1. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients.
  2. Turn the waffle iron on, and when the light turns off, open the waffle iron, spray a bit of olive oil, or brush a bit coconut oil on the waffle iron.
  3. Pour in about 1/4 cup of the batter and close the lid.
  4. Cook the waffle until the light turns off.
  5. Repeat the same process until you have used all the batter.
  6. While the waffles are cooking, slice the strawberries in cubes, mix in a bit of sugar and set aside until it is time to eat.
  7. When serving the waffles, spoon a bit of the fruit on top of the waffle, drizzle some honey and Breakfast is Ready. Easy and Healthy!!!

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Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

 

Crepes Flambees with Mango and Rhum


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This morning, I did not feel like croissant or baguette, or toasts. I felt like a fancy breakfast. Why not? It was Mother’s day after all so I had to right to splurge;-) So I made my strawberry parfait that I showed you yesterday and I also fixed me  a few Crepes Flambee with Mango and Rhum.

Crepes are not hard to make, but they require a hot pan, a non-stick frying pan and the right crepe batter.

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Ingredients for about 10-12 crepes: 

  • 3 oz of flour,
  • 1 egg,
  • 3 oz. of milk,
  • 1/4   or 3 oz. of any beer.
  • 2 tbsp of butter melted in a small bowl.
  • sugar

Ingredients to flambe 4 crepes at a time. (you will need to do this 4 times if you have 12 crepes and are serving 4 people.

  • 1/4 cup of mango juice
  • 2 tbsp of sugar
  • 2 tbsp of rhum.
  1. Take a large bowl and place the flour in the bowl.
  2. Curve a hole in the flour, and slowly pour the milk while mixing with a whisk. Be careful to whisk slowly so as to make the mixture smooth and free of lumps.
  3. Then add the egg and mix well.
  4. Add the beer and mix well also. The mixture should be smooth and liquid, but not too liquid.
  5. Turn the stove to medium high and place the frying pan on the stove. The frying pan should be hot before starting to fix the pancakes .
  6. With a paper towel or a brush, spread butter on the walls of the frying pan and pour a small ladle of crepe mixture. Move the frying pan in a circle motion so that the dough has spread to the entire surface of the pan. Cook for 1 minute. With a spatula, flip the crepe and cook for 1 minute.
  7. Place the crepes flat on a plate. Sprinkle some sugar. Continue the process until you have exhausted all the batter.
  8. When you have exhausted all the batter, place a large frying pan on the stove, melt 1 tbsp of butter.
  9. Add 1/4 cup of any fruit juice ( i used mango), and 2 tbsp of sugar. Bring the mixture to boil and reduce the mixture to half.
  10. Fold 3 to 4 crepes in triangles and place them into the frying pan. Cook the crepes for a minute or 2.photo 1
  11. Add 2 tbsp of rhum, or any alcohol of your choice to the pan. With a lighter, light the rhum and it will flame.photo 3
  12. Let the flame go out on its own and serve hot. Yum!!!

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What a wonderful breakfast I had. I hope yours was equally as good;-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

 

Strawberry Parfait: Easy and Yummy Dish for Mother’s Day


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No, no, I am still alive. Just busy with various projects here and there. And yes, i am still cooking, I can’t seem to find the time to edit all my posts;-(

How have you been???

Well, today at the eve of Mother’s Day I was not so busy so I thought i would post one of my favorite breakfast. It is easy, yummy and quite healthy for you. It is very very easy to make and your children could fix those for Mother’s Day tomorrow as a dessert or part of brunch. Today i used strawberries but you could have used any type of fruit.

photo 4 Ingredients for 4 Parfaits:

  • 1 box of strawberry ( about 8 oz)
  • plus 4 beautiful strawberries for decoration
  • 1/4 cup of granola ( I used
  • 2 cups of Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp of white sugar
  • 2 tbsp of good flavored vanilla extract ( i used Madagascar)
  • 2 tbsp of heavy cream
  1. Rinse the strawberries, and cut them in eighths. Place them in a bowl and set them aside.
  2. In another bowl, mix together the other ingredients ( Greek yogurt, sugar, cream, vanilla extract).
  3. Mix the yogurt mixture into the diced strawberries.
  4. Divide the strawberry parfait equally into four cute clear containers. You could even use stem water glasses. 
  5. Sprinkle some granola on top of the parfait and place the fresh strawberry that you would have cut in a fan as decoration.
  6. Enjoy!!!

Et voila!!! Simple, easy, yummy!!!

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Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

 

 

 

Healthy Hot Cocoa


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Today it snowed, and it is supposed to snow tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. As resident of South Carolina, it is not often that we see snow. And if we see, it is usually here for a day and then it vanishes. But today it seems that it is here to stay. I love snow, so I am happy. Moreover here in the South, the world shuts down when it snows so school is cancelled as well. Yeah;-) More me time.

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Anyway, with the cold temperature out there, there is nothing better than a hot cocoa to warm you up from the inside out. I love hot cocoa… but hot cocoa is one of those treats that is so so good, it is not really good for it.

So here is a substitute that tastes nearly as wonderful and is very good for you.

Ingredients for 1 cup:

  • 1 cup of expresso, or brewed coffee
  • 1 cup of light almond milk ( only 30 calories a cup)
  • 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder ( i used Muscle Milk)
  • 1/2 tbsp of dark cocoa from Hershey’s

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend it for a few minutes. It can be drank cold or warm. I like it both ways. YUM!!!

I love this treat because I do not feel guilty drinking this. the dark cocoa from Hershey really help masking the taste of the protein powder.

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Chocolate Cereal Bar


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This year I turned 41, yep, 41 and though I still feel like I am in my 20’s, there are days my body reminds me that i am no longer 20. You start feeling aches you never felt before, and you start gaining weight in places you never had problems before.

And it is a bit frustrating. I can do with aching, there is always that good tylenol or Aleve that will do its trick, but there is little to do with those pants that are getting tighter when you think that you are already doing the right thing.

Since i  already exercise everyday, eat balanced meals everyday, watch my carb intake, I decided that it was time again to work with a trainer. Maybe he would have the answers i did not have.  And so i have been working with him for a few weeks now.

I will tell you that it has been nice to have new routines for my work-out. At least it is not so boring!

Besides that I have not really learned anything new. He did reiterate that i eat small meals and that i eat every 2 to 3 hours, something that i had not been doing since it is not really in my nature to snack. But I have been following his advice.

If at first, i started buying those protein bars for snacks, i quickly decided that I was going to make some again because 1. they taste better, 2. I know what is in them and 3. it is less expensive to make them yourself.

I made this batch last week, and Lisa’s boyfriend took one and really enjoyed them. I hope that you will too!

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Ingredients for about 16 bars;

  • 1 cup of sunflower seed
  • 1 cup of pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup of almond
  • 1 cup of oats
  • 1 cup of hazelnut
  • 1/2 cup of bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup of honey
  • 1/2 cup of almond butter
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract

Depending how you like your protein/cereal bars, you will need to decide if you like them very fine or if you rather have big chunks of seeds or nuts.

  1. Turn the oven to 400.
  2. Place all the ingredients in a chopper and pulse a few times.
  3. In a small saucepan, warm up the honey and the almond butter until the mixture is becoming very liquid.
  4. Pour this hot mixture in the chopped nut mixture and stir well so as to coat the nuts with the almond honey mixture.
  5. Transfer this mixture into a deep flexipan that you would have placed on a perforated sheet.
  6. Cook the mixture for 10 minutes.
  7. remove from the oven and let it cool completly, before peeling the “big Bar” off the flexipan and cutting in 1 1/2 ” x 3 ” bars.
  8. Keep these bars in an airtight container so that they will stay fresh, and hard.
  9. Et voila!photo 5

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!