Friday, March 28, 2008

Impromptu Cinnamon Rolls

Still situating ourselves in the new house. It always takes time to adjust to a new space, and my kitchen still has a long way to go to be as I'd like it. We are lacking storage and serious prep space for the moment; in the meantime things are a little makeshift.

A traffic jam of kitchen appliances

My baking tools on the floor!

Beautiful stove and counters, but not enough space to work!

I'm not complaining, it works for now. Plans for a kitchen island and more work area are on the agenda.

Since the move, meals in the evening have been simple and involving a microwave. The exception is a visit from our friends and family, Katie and her husband Andrew. That night we got ourselves together and had some delicious pasta, salad, and bread.

The major reason for this lack of cooking is the awful stomach virus I contracted on Sunday afternoon. Until Thursday, I'd been relegated to either no food or some simple chicken broth with pastina. It reflects well on my scale, but it really isn't worth the trade without the joy of food.
I love the chicken soup I've been preparing for myself (chicken and vegetable broth, a little chopped carrot and leek, accini di pepe pastina; simmer in a saucier until tender and hot), but now that it's Friday I am looking forward to a proper dinner.

So tonight, I am making pizza! I haven't made any for a little while. How am I making this dough since my bread maker is still packed away on the floor (see kitchen pic #2)? I have some extra dough in the freezer from my last pizza. I had too much dough for the one pizza I want to make, and I didn't want to refreeze it. So this morning, I decided to take a shot at some cinnamon rolls with the pizza dough.

Cinnamon rolls are usually made with a yeasted dough. But what do I have to lose? I've never tried to make cinnamon rolls before so I'm started off with a rather unorthodox method.

I cut the extra dough and rolled it out to a rectangle. I didn't measure it out at all; I came up with 6 rolls. I found the rolls a little difficult to slice. They didn't rise too much but I didn't expect them to without the yeast. The smell was lovely, like the pizza dough aroma I expect with a cinnamon-sugar-butter addition. We'll see how they taste tomorrow morning. They may harden when reheated, but nothing a little butter won't fix. And knowing NH, there is always extra butter involved.

Pizza Dough Cinnamon Rolls

1 portion of Whole Wheat Pizza Dough, whatever you have on hand.
2 Tablespoons melted butter
1/2-3/4 cups light brown sugar
1 1/2 Teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a round baking dish.

Roll out the dough to a rectangle, and brush with melted butter. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle liberally. From the short side, roll the dough up and firmly pinch the seam together. Cut the rolls about 1/2 inch wide and place in the center of the baking dish. Build around the first roll in a circle; you probably won't fill the dish. If you like, brush a little extra melted butter on top and sprinkle a little cinnamon sugar.

Bake for 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before eating, and all the way before placing in a storage container.

Pizza tonight? Assorted mushrooms with four Italian cheeses. Yum! With a little red wine, just the thing for my first meal returning to regular life.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Long Absence

Oh no! It's been more than a month! More than a month since I've baked! I've hardly cooked anything either. I promised myself such a gap wouldn't happen again and look what's happened.

My excuse? We moved! Friends, I write to you in the family room of our new house. Not apartment, but house. Since February 20th we were approved for a loan, closed, and moved this past weekend. Evenings were filled with paperwork and working out budgeting, followed by packing and packing and a little more packing. Evening meals have been salads or prepared foods, or the best quality frozen food we can find.

But it has all been worth it. We are in the new house and it's more beautiful than we could have though. My new kitchen is beautiful, with new appliances including a lovely gas stove. It will take a little while to get everything organized, and I'm a little lacking in storage space. Plans for a free standing kitchen island and a bookshelf for more storage, which I intend to devote to 'Baking Central.' Very exciting.

This is the season for Easter candy and Girl Scout cookies too, so NH has been partaking of those very happily and hasn't required any sweets, and he's been sweetly eating prepared foods during our move. I did bake some whole wheat dinner rolls right before the big packing began, those have been yummy.

I foresee some cupcakes on the horizon very soon...
Please stay tuned, I shall be back. :-)