Cinnamon Rolls

Yield: 8-12 large or 12-16 smaller cinnamon rolls

6 ½ tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. salt
5 ½ tbsp. unsalted butter or margarine
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp. lemon extract or 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
3 ½ cups unbleached bread or all-purpose flour
2 tsp. instant (rapid rise) yeast
1 1/8 to 1 ¼ cups whole milk or buttermilk, at room temperature

For the filling:
6 ½ tbsp. granulated sugar
1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
other spices to taste (ginger, cardamom, allspice, etc.)

For the white fondant glaze:
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. lemon or orange extract
6 tbsp. to ½ cup warm milk

Cream together the sugar, salt, and butter on medium-high speed in an electric mixer with the paddle attachment. Whip in the egg and lemon zest/extract until smooth. Then add the flour, yeast and milk. Mix on low speed until the dough forms a ball. Switch to the dough hook and increase the speed to medium, mixing for approximately 10 minutes, or until the dough is silky and supple, tacky but not sticky. (You may have to add a little flour or water while kneading to achieve this texture.) Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

Ferment at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.

Mist the counter with spray oil and transfer the dough to the counter. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin, lightly dusting the top with flour to keep it from sticking to the pin. Roll it into a rectangle about 2/3 inch thick and 14 inches wide by 12 inches long for larger buns, or 18 inches wide by 9 inches long for smaller buns. Don’t roll out the dough too thin, or the finished buns will be tough and chewy rather than soft and plump. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar filling over the surface of the dough and roll the dough up into a cigar-shaped log creating a cinnamon-sugar spiral as you roll. With the seam side down, cut the dough into 8 to 12 pieces about 1 ¾ inches thick for larger rolls or 12 to 16 pieces about 1 ¼ inches thick for smaller rolls.

Line one or more sheet pans with baking parchment. Place the buns approximately ½ inch apart so they aren’t touching but are close to one another.

Proof at room temperature for 75-90 minutes, or until the pieces have grown into one another and have nearly doubled in size. You may also retard the shaped buns in refrigerator for up to 2 days, pulling the pan out of the refrigerator 3-4 hours before baking to allow the dough to proof.

Preheat the oven to 350° with the oven rack on the middle shelf.

Bake the cinnamon rolls for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool the rollss in the pan for about 10 minutes and then streak white fondant glaze across the tops, while the rolls are warm but not too hot (see instructions below). Remove the buns from the pan and place them on a cooling rack. Wait for at least 20 minutes before serving.

White fondant glaze for cinnamon rolls:
Sift powdered sugar into a bowl. Add lemon or orange extract and 6 tbsp. to ½ cup warm milk, briskly whisking until all the sugar is dissolved. Add the milk slowly and only as much as needed to make a thick, smooth paste.

When the rolls have cooled but are still warm, streak the glaze over them by dipping the tines of a fork or a whisk into the glaze and waving the fork or whisk over the tops.

Source: The Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart

Stuffed Zucchini Boats

1 zucchini, about 12 inches long (or 2 6-inch)
2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
½ cup onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup mushrooms, chopped
1 lb. ground beef, sausage or ground turkey
2 tbsp. dry white wine
2-3 tomatoes, seeded and diced
3 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten


Cut zucchini in half lengthwise. Scoop out insides, leaving a shell about ¼-inch thick. Reserve about half of the insides.

In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Sauté the onion and garlic until tender, about 4-5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and reserved zucchini insides to the skillet and sauté another 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Crumble in the ground beef, sausage or ground turkey and cook until lightly browned on all sides, stirring occasionally. Stir in the cooked onion and mushroom mixture. Add the wine to the pan along with the tomatoes, basil and rosemary. Cook for 1 more minute. Drain of any excess fat, remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 375° F. Once the meat mixture has cooled a bit, mix in the Parmesan, egg, salt and pepper. Fill the zucchini shells with the mixture. Fill a baking dish with ¼-inch of water. Place the filled zucchini shells in the pan and bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, until golden brown. Remove the zucchini from the pan and serve immediately.

Recipe and photo adapted from Annie's Eats

Beef Brocolli over Pan Fried Noodles

One of my most favorite things to make is my mom's version of Beef Oyster Sauce over Pan Fried Noodles. It is soooo yummy. I don't have a recipe because I just make it the way my mom used to make it, so please bear with my instructions here!

Here's the ingredients list:

1 lb. Flank Steak, cut into thin one inch strips
Soy Sauce
Chicken Broth (Not sure exactly how much I use, but I'd say it's about(2) 15 oz. cans
Olive Oil
Oyster Sauce
*Baby Corn
*Water Chestnuts

Here's the Soy Sauce and Oyster Sauce I used:

So, the first thing you do is..... soak (marinate) the beef with about 1/2 cup of Soy Sauce, 1 can of chicken broth and 2 tbls. of Cornstarch. Let it sit for about 15 minutes.

In a separate bowl, mix approximately 3 tbls. of Cornstarch with 1/2 can of chicken broth. Set aside.

Meanwhile, cut brocolli into bite size pieces. Boil it for approximately 15 minutes, drain.

Heat the Oil in a Wok (or in my case, I use an electric skillet. YES, I KNOW... I'm Asian, and I don't even have a Wok). Heat it so it gets really hot!!! Then add the beef mixture. Be sure to mix it quickly as if stir frying.

Once you have the beef to your desired doneness, ( I prefer more on the Medium side) add the Cornstarch mixture and mix in good.

Add 2 tbls. Oyster Sauce and mix well. Bring to a boil stirring frequently, add the Brocolli, Water Chestnuts and Baby Corn, cover and simmer for approximately 20 minutes.
(The picture below doesn't have the Water Chestnuts & Baby Corn)
There you have it! Yummy Beef Brocolli!! You can serve it over Pan Fried Noodles, or Steamed Rice. I love making extra gravy and have leftovers the next day. Gravy and rice. So yummy!!
You can finish it up with dessert! Like an AWESOME Malted Milk Chocolate CuppyCake!!


Here's the list of ingredients:
1 Onion, chopped
3 Cloves of Garlic
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
2 teaspoons Chili Powder
1 (28 oz.) can Crushed Tomatoes ** I use Diced Tomatoes
1 (10.5 oz) can Condensed Chicken Broth
1 1/4 cup Water
1 cup Whole Corn Kernels, cooked ** I use an entire 15 1/4 oz. can, drained
1 cup White Hominy ** I use an entire 15.5 oz. can, drained
1 (4 oz.) can Chopped Green Chilie Peppers
1 (15 oz.) can Black Beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup chopped Fresh Cilantro
2 boneless Chicken Breast Halves, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces
Crushed Tortilla Chips
Sliced Avacado
Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
Chopped Green Onion

(Recipe Courtesy of All Recipes)



In a medium stock pot, heat Olive Oil over medium heat. Saute chopped onion and minced garlic until soft.
Stir in Chili Powder, Oregano, Tomatoes, Chicken Broth and Water. Bring to a boil then simmer for 10 minutes.
Stir in Corn, Hominy, Green Chilies, Black Beans, Cilantro and Chicken.

Simmer for 15 minutes.

Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls
Yield: 8-12 large cinnamon rolls or 12-16 smaller rolls


For the cinnamon rolls:
6½ tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
5½ tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp. lemon zest
3½ cups bread flour
2 tsp. instant (rapid rise) yeast
1 cup plus 2-4 tbsp. whole milk or buttermilk, at room temperature

For the filling:
3 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. sugar
¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
1½ cups fresh blueberries

For the glaze:
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
6-7 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. lemon zest

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the sugar, salt and butter on medium-high speed until smooth. Mix in the egg and lemon zest until incorporated. Mix in the flour, yeast and milk until a dough forms. Switch to the dough hook and knead on low speed, about 8 minutes until the dough is silky and supple, tacky but not sticky. (You may need to add a little extra flour or liquid to achieve this texture.) Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, turning once to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for about 2 hours, or until doubled in size.

Mist a work surface with spray oil. Roll it out into a rectangle with a rolling pin, lightly dusting the dough with flour if needed to keep it from sticking (about 12 x 14 inches for larger rolls or 9 x 18 inches for smaller rolls). Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and mix to blend. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the surface of the dough. Sprinkle the berries over the top evenly of the dough. Starting with the wide edge, roll up the dough into a cigar-shaped log, creating a cinnamon sugar spiral as you roll. Pinch the seam shut, and with the seam side down, slice the log into your desired number of rolls. Transfer them to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, placing the rolls about ½-1 inch apart.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature 75-90 minutes, until the rolls have grown into each other and have nearly doubled in size. At this point, the rolls can also be covered and retarded in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Pull the pan out of the refrigerator 3-4 hours before baking to let the dough proof.

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool in the baking about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Whisk together the glaze ingredients in a medium bowl until smooth and then swirl over the top of the cinnamon rolls. Let cool at least 15-20 minutes before serving.

Adapted from:  Annie Eats

Cappuccino Torte


1-1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted

2-1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup butter, cubed
2 tablespoons corn syrup

6 egg yolks
2-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1-1/2 cups cold butter
1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
1 tablespoon hot water
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled

1-1/4 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chocolate curls, optional


  • In a large bowl, combine the crumbs, sugar and butter; press onto the bottom of an ungreased 9-in. springform pan. Chill.
  • For ganache, place chocolate chips in a large bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream just to a boil. Pour over chocolate; whisk until smooth. Add butter and corn syrup; stir until smooth. Cool slightly, stirring occasionally. Pour over crust. Chill until firm, about 2 hours.
  • For buttercream, place egg yolks in the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer; let stand for 30 minutes.
  • In a large saucepan, combine brown sugar and water; cook and stir over medium-high heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring mixture to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Beat egg yolks on high speed until thickened and lemon-colored. Reduce to low; with motor running, carefully and gradually add boiling brown sugar syrup. Gradually increase mixer speed to medium; beat until thickened, about 15 minutes. Add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until well mixed.
  • Dissolve coffee granules in hot water; add to yolk mixture. Beat in cooled chocolate. Spread over ganache layer. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • Several hours before serving, prepare coffee whipped cream. In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon cream and coffee; stir until coffee is dissolved. Beat in remaining cream until it begins to thicken. Gradually add confectioners' sugar and vanilla; beat until stiff peaks form.
  • Carefully run a knife around edge of springform pan to loosen; remove sides. Frost top of torte with whipped cream; garnish with chocolate curls if desired. Refrigerate until serving. Yield: 14 servings.
Nutrition Facts: 1 piece equals 876 calories, 67 g fat (40 g saturated fat), 249 mg cholesterol, 401 mg sodium, 74 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 5 g protein.
Cappuccino Torte published in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2005, p89
Ladle Soup into individual serving bowls; top with crushed Tortilla Chips, Cheese, Green Onion and Avacado Slices.(Here's two chicken breast halves boiled and chopped into bite sized pieces)