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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

"Experimenting." And the tasty results.

If you know anything about my cooking habits, you know that I love trying new things. I especially love making up new recipes! "Experimenting" is what I call it, and more often than not it ends up working out deliciously.

I made a few new things yesterday and today. Yesterday I made a version of sticky buns. I was making bread, and ended up with enough dough for three loaves. I finally got my bread loaves to rise as high as I wanted them to by simply putting more dough in the pans. I made a recipe for "four loaves," divided it in three, and used two portions to make the bread and one to make the sticky buns.

This is the "recipe" I developed:

Homemade Sticky Buns
Cut one loaf's worth of freshly-made bread dough in 12 portions. Form into rough balls, and place in a well-buttered pie plate. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat 1/2 cup brown sugar (or you could use rapadura) and 1/2 cup water until bubbling. Remove syrup from heat and add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 2 tablespoons butter, and 1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon. Whisk thoroughly to combine.

Pour cinnamon syrup over dough in the pan (it will run between the balls and end up on the bottom of the pan). Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

To serve, place a large plate upside-down over the pie plate and (using hot mitts) flip the pie plate and serving plate upside down, transferring the rolls to the plate with the syrup ending up on top. Let cool for about 10 minutes; serve warm.

This is from a date night over a year ago, but I love it. Hubby looks a LOT different since he's lost weight! FYI, that's sparkling grape juice in our glasses... that was before my 21st birthday. ;)

Recreate our at-home date night meal!
Tonight my hubby brought steaks for a special date-night supper at home, so I decided to dress up the usual sides a bit. I had ten pints of fresh sweet corn in the freezer (now there are nine), and I basically used this recipe from the Pioneer Woman to make the corn. I used milk, though, because I didn't have cream. It would be better with cream, of course!

I followed these instructions to make the steaks and they turned out quite delicious. Then I made a salad, using fresh peaches and Romaine lettuce we got from Trader Joe's last weekend. Here's that recipe:

Summery Romaine and Peach Salad with Peach Vinaigrette
To make the vinaigrette, combine the following:
1/4 cup peach white balsamic vinegar (or you could use white wine vinegar) Check out this source of peach balsamic. (Not an affiliate link.)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp dry basil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon honey

Mix in a pint jar, cover tightly, and shake until dressing appears creamy. Shake again just before serving.

To make the salad, roughly chop 6-8 leaves of romaine, rinsed. Cut a ripe peach in half, remove the pit, and slice thinly (slices should be about 1/8 inch thick). Finely shred 2-4 tablespoons of your favorite white cheese (I used Monterey Jack). In a medium bowl, toss lettuce, peach slices, and shredded cheese. Drizzle individual servings with vinaigrette.

This meal would be great served with sweet tea or your favorite variety of white wine. I'm plotting a pie for the rest of the peaches--they're all perfectly ripe right now, and I want to use them before they're over-ripe.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm too passionate about good food. Then I realize that being passionate about what we eat is a good thing! Everything in moderation, I promise. I do think about other things!

What have you been eating lately? Tried any new recipes? Created your own? Tell me about it!

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