Monday, June 19, 2017

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

If you want cinnamon rolls for breakfast, you have a few options: 1) Wake up at the crack of dawn, 2) Eat breakfast at 10 in the morning after all your children have completely melted down and have been condemned to spend the rest of eternity in time out, or 3) figure out how to do the bulk of the work the night before.

Option 3 is clearly preferable, but it's also tricky. What if your rolls rise to the sun in your refrigerator and you open it to find yeasty bread bursting out of ever seam and crevice? Or what if they don't rise at all and you wind up serving tiny rocks of sweet calorie bombs to your loved ones (I won't say it's never happened before...)? What if what if what if?

On Father's Day I had the chance to experiment.

And the truth is that I don't know if there's exactly a one-size-fix-all solution. Yeasts act differently depending on how old or fresh they are, and also how the yeasting gods are feeling today. Every batch of dough has a slightly different amount of flour. Even changes in weather and humidity are going to affect your bread. So should you just give up? Um, no. We're talking about morning of cinnamon rolls here.

Below you'll find a how-to with a little bit of trouble shooting advice. May it make your mornings glorious.

How to Make Cinnamon Rolls Overnight:

1. Make your dough.
2. Roll out your rolls and add all the yummy stuff
3. Cut them and put them in a greased baking vessel
4. Cover that baking vessel with plastic wrap and possibly a lid and put it in your refrigerator.
5. Remove it the next morning and let it warm up a bit as your oven heats.
6. Cook your cinnamon rolls.
7. Enjoy bliss.

Trouble Shooting:

Scenario A: Your rolls don't rise at all. This happened to me. In this case, you'll need a few extra minutes, but only about fifteen.

Put the sad, un-risen rolls in an oven heated to a very low temperature--about 175 or 200 degrees. Leave it there for 3-5 minutes. Turn OFF the heat. Then leave it for another 10 minutes.

Take the rolls out, cover with a towel, preheat the oven, and cook. By the time the oven is heated, those rolls will have risen and you'll be good to go.

Total time: 15 minutes to get jump started, 10-15 minutes for your oven to heat, 15 minutes to cook (45, which is a lot, but way less than the 2 1/2 hours you're looking at if this is a from-scratch thing)

Scenario B: Your rolls rise to the heavens, leaving us mere earthlings behind to mourn their air-bubbled loss.

The most important way to stop this is just to get that dough cold ASAP. Put it into the refrigerator immediately. If your house is particularly warm and/or your yeast is particularly sassy (in other words, did your dough rise like a boss on its first rise?), put it in the freezer for about 20 minutes and then put it in the refrigerator (don't forget or your dough will freeze and when that happens, no amount of trouble shooting will save you).

And of course, if you want a fantastic recipe, HERE you go.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Vegan Coconut Lime Rice Pudding

I'm not a vegan and I won't even post a vegan recipe just for its veganiness That said, I often post a delicious recipe that also happens to be vegan. Truth be told, I didn't even realize this recipe was vegan at first. I was just experimenting with a coconut lime rice, and there it was. (I should also note that it is also completely gluten-free, so I'm pretty sure I'm not assured a spot in heaven.)

This recipe is also really really easy. In fact, you can make the base rice for this recipe to eat with any Thai or Asian meal, and then re-purpose it for dessert (should you choose; or you can just start with dessert; no one's judging here).

And while we're talking about re-purposing, you can absolutely eat this for breakfast. Make it with brown or black rice and you don't even have to feel the tiniest little bit guilty eating it for breakfast. Guys--it will be vegan, gluten-free, and whole grain. Not to mention that powerhouse in trendy nutrition: coconut milk. I'm just saying that you're probably a bad person if you don't do it. But, you know, no judgment.

Also, since this is rice based, it is so absurdly cheap for a dessert, well, I just can't help but love it. It comes in at about $.25/serving.

And did I mention that the hands-on preparation for this is less than five minutes...

Vegan Coconut Lime Rice Pudding
serves 8
coconut rice from Ahead of Thyme
Prep and cook time: 25 minutes
Cost: $2.10 (that's about $.25/serving)
rice: .25, coconut milk: 1.50, lime: .25, sugar: .10

2 C jasmine rice (any other type of rice works as well, but jasmine is my favorite)
1 can coconut milk
1 1/2 C water
1 lime
1/2 C sugar (regular will do, but if you're a real vegan, raw or natural sugars work too)
raisins (optional and I know they sound weird, but I liked them)

To prepare rice, put rice, coconut milk, and water into a saucepan. Stir it a bit to get rid of any large lumps in the coconut milk (alternately, if you have some foresight about lumps as opposed to myself, you can put the coconut milk and water in the pot and stir first, then add it to the rice). COVER with a lid and set to medium heat. Bring to boiling, reduce to LOW heat. Let cook until rice has absorbed all of the liquids, about 20 minutes. (If you don't cook this on low heat, you risk having the coconut milk burn/brown on the bottom of the pot.)

Remove from heat and let cool (you can leave a bit warm depending on whether you like your rice pudding warm or cold).

Add the juice from the lime. Add the sugar. Add a bit of lime zest if desired. Note: The truth is that the measurements for the lime and the sugar are COMPLETELY arbitrary (you heard me). You can make this as sweet or as tart as you like. I made it with several different levels of lime and sugar and found I pretty much liked it all ways. So start with a little of each, keep tasting and add more if you want.

Mix sugar and lime together with the rice.



Friday, May 26, 2017

Lime Cilantro Chicken

New addiction. Ad-dic-tion.

This is sooo good. And it's good in everything. It's good alone, or with rice, or with burritos, or in a salad (oh, in a salad--makes summer worth having). It's good however on earth you want to eat it. So I'm going to tell you from sad sad experience that you should quadramilla-duple it and then eat it with everything all the time (except maybe oatmeal; you might want to skip it with that, but then, who knows...).

It also takes less than 20 minutes to throw together (though if you have time to marinate it, it's even better). You can make it on the stove; you can make it on the grill.

Also, if you have cilantro haters, don't despair. I have a hard-core cilantro hater, but he was totally fine with this. Because it gets cooked, it's not an in-your-face cilantro flavor.

Lime Cilantro Chicken
adapted from Gimme Delicious
serves 4
Prep and cook time: 20 minutes (though an hour-1 day of marination is preferred)
Cost: $3.80
chicken: 3.00, lime: .25, olive oil: .20, other stuff: .35

Note: I did use fresh lime juice because I had limes. I'd recommend it, and you need the zest anyway. That said, don't not make this because you don't have limes. It might not be quite as punchy or amazing, but my guess is that it'll still be pretty darn fabulous.

4 chicken breasts
1/4 C fresh lime juice
zest of one lime
2 Tbsp olive oil
1-2 Tbsp fresh cilantro (I used 1-ish)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp brown sugar (or honey)
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
1/2 tsp ground cumin

Combine everything except the chicken breasts, and whisk it together. Add the chicken breasts and marinate (even 15 minutes of marination will give it a little extra flavor, but it's still good if you don't have time to marinate).

Drizzle a little olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken breasts (reserve the extra marinade). Cook till one side is golden brown, then flip and do the same on the other side.

When they are nearly cooked, pour the rest of the marinade into the pan, coat the breasts, and cook.

When the chicken is done, serve on tacos, with rice, or shredded into a salad. (I hope you quadramilla-dupled it, cause you're going to be sad if you didn't.)



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