When watching all the football games on New Year's Day, it's nice to have some easy, snackable food on hand. Here are munchy ideas - some are easy to make, and some are a little more labor intensive. First up, the LaMaster go-to recipe for holiday brunches.
Our family likes homemade cinnamon rolls. No, I take that back, our family demands homemade cinnamon rolls for holiday mornings. Here's our tried and true recipe.
Cinnamon Roll Dough
1 1/3 c. Milk, warmed
2 1/2 Tbs. Butter
2 eggs (duck eggs are great)
2 2/3 Tbs. Sugar
2/3 tsp. Salt
4 c. Flour
2 1/2 tsp. Yeast
Heat milk in microwave 1 minute to warm it. Pour into mixer bowl, add sugar and yeast. Let sit about 5 minutes, or until the yeast is bubbly on top. Add in the eggs, butter and 1 cup of salt, begin to mix, using a dough hook. Add in a second cup of flour and the salt (I try not to get the salt next to the yeast before the flour starts to be mixed in.) Add in the rest of the flour slowly, mixing carefully until the flour is all incorporated, and the dough is not too tacky to the touch. If necessary, add in additional flour (sometimes it takes as much as 1/2 cup more.)
Let rise. If it is late at night, I'll let the dough rise in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Just spray the bag with Pam first to make it easy in the morning. If you do put it in the refrigerator, when you are ready, take it out and let it warm up and rise a bit more. You want it to rise until it's doubled in size from the original batch.
When it has risen enough, punch it down and let it rest about 5 minutes. Put flour on your rolling surface, and divide the dough in half. Roll out each half so it is about 18 x 8 inches in size.
1 cup butter
1 c. Raisins (optional) and or nuts
2 Tbs. Cinnamon (approximately)
1 c. Sugar
On one of the rolled out dough rectangles, spread 1/2 c. Softened butter. Sprinkle that with 1 Tbs. Of cinnamon, and 1/2 c. sugar. Add 1/2 c. Raisins if desired.
Starting at the wide end, roll it up like a jelly roll. Cut the roll in 1/2 first, then in 1/4's. Cut each 1/4 piece into 3 rolls. (You can use dental floss if you prefer.)
Place 6 rolls into a buttered pie tin. Repeat with the other 6 rolls.
Repeat the entire process with the second half of the dough.
Place the 4 pie tins in a warm spot, cover with a towel. Let rise until at least doubled in size.
When they look like this, they're about ready to put in the oven.
Bake at 350º until golden brown, about 12-15 minutes. Remove from pie tins and add glaze.
Start with 1 cup of powdered sugar, 1/2 tsp. vanilla, 3 Tbs of butter and about 3 Tbs. milk. Stir until it is of an even consistency, making sure that the butter is smoothly mixed in. If it's too watery, add more sugar. If it's too thick, add more butter - not milk, because milk will give it a powdery taste. Keep adjusting until it can be smoothed easily on the cinnamon rolls.
Glazed and delicious.
Ham and Cheese Rolls
This is a great variation, perfect for parties or brunches. It's also a terrific way to use leftover ham.
1 recipe of Cinnamon Roll Dough (see above).
2 cups of grated cheese
2 cups chopped ham (about 1/4 inch cubes)
2 Tbs. chopped onions (optional)
1 c. Butter
Roll out half of the dough on a floured cutting board. Spread with 1/2 c. softened butter. Scatter 1 c. grated cheese over the dough, and then top with 1 cup of ham. Add about 1 Tbs. onion if you like. Roll up, slice into 12 even pieces. Place 6 rolls in buttered pie tin, repeat with other 6 rolls.
Repeat with the second half of the dough.
Let rise until double in size, covered with a towel. Cook at 350º for about 12-15 minutes or until a light tan. Sprinkle a little more grated cheese on top, and let bake until cheese is melted and rolls are a golden brown. Remove from oven, serve warm.
Homemade Bread Sticks
1 1/3 c. Water
1 1/4 Tbs. Butter
1 1/3 Tbs. Sugar
1 1/3 tsp. Salt
4 c. Bread flour
1/4 c. Powdered milk
1 Tbs. Yeast
1/2 c. melted butter
Heat water in microwave for 1 minute, remove and pour into mixer bowl. Add sugar and yeast, let yeast bubble.
Add 1 1/4 Tbs butter, powdered milk, and one cup of flour. Mix. Add another cup of flour and salt. Add the rest of the flour slowly, let it mix well until it is smooth and not very tacky. If necessary, add additional flour.
Let rise until doubled.
Punch down, let rest about 10 minutes. Divide into 16 pieces, shape each into a rope. Let rise in warm spot covered with towel. Brush with melted butter, sprinkle with garlic salt and parmesan cheese. Cook at 350º until golden brown. Remove from oven, brush immediately with rest of melted butter. Serve hot.
(Variation: Brush with pesto sauce instead of butter, garlic and parmesan cheese.)
Puffy Chili Rellenos
2 3-oz. Cans of whole green chilis
8 oz. Jack cheese
1 can Hungry Jack Flaky Biscuits (10 oz.)
3 eggs, separated
1/4 tsp salt
1 jar of chunky taco sauce
Grease cookie sheet and heat oven to 375. Cut chilis lengthwise to make 10 pieces. Cut cheese into 10 pieces, each 3 x1/2 x 1/2. Wrap each piece of cheese with a chili strip.
Roll each biscuit into 4 inch circle, and wrap around the chili/cheese. Bake about 10-12 minutes.
While that's baking, beat egg whites into stiff peaks. Beat yolks separately, fold into whites, add salt.
Spoon over each partially baked roll, covering completely. Bake an additioanl 12-15 minutes until golden brown.
Pour taco sauce over each one to serve. Makes 10 pieces.
Chocolate Chip Cheese Log
2 8-oz. Packages cream cheese, softened
1 c. Butter, softened
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
4 Tbs brown sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 1/2 c. Miniature chocolate chips
1 1/2 c. Finely chopped pecans or walnuts
In a mixing bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Mix in powdered sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Add chocolate chips.
Stretch out a large piece of plastic wrap. Place ingredients down the middle, and roll up in plastic wrap, shaping like a log. Chill at least 2 hours.
After chilling, remove from refrigerator, and unwrap. Roll the log in chopped pecans until entirely covered.
Chill until ready to serve; graham crackers accompany quite nicely.
(Recipe adapted from Allrecipes.com)
Making Common Food Special
Here are a few ideas for those nights when everything is good, but you want to jazz it up a little.
Soups: Have add-ins available. Chicken or turkey soup is delicious, but drop in a few cubes of cheddar cheese, and it's a whole new bowl of yummy goodness. Other add-ins that are delicious, depending on the soup: Tortilla chips, sour cream, chopped green onions, chopped tomatoes, even cashews.
Salads: Canned kidney, black or garbanzo beans, olives, mandarin orange pieces, beets all make excellent unexpected but delicious additions to a salad. Top with feta cheese.
Hamburgers: We all know about adding cheese to our burgers, but have you tried adding Gorgonzola or Bleu Cheese? Amazing. Also, try swiss cheese, sour cream and sauteed mushrooms for a burger stroganoff on a bun. Or, skip the bun if you're going carb-free. Sliced avocado and jack cheese are delicious as well.
Bean Dip: Stir in a mix of cheeses (Cheddar, Jack) to Rosarita Refried Beans (sorry, it's the best brand ever, in my opinion!), fresh salsa, chopped onions, garlic and heat. Want it to be creamy and awesome? Cream cheese is the secret ingredient. Good enough to eat without chips.
Spaghetti Sauce: Mushrooms, olives, chopped onions, minced garlic, fresh rosemary, fresh basil all added to a couple of cans of stewed/crushed tomatoes will make a better sauce than you can buy pre-made. Secret ingredient? About a tablespoon of sugar and a tablespoon of olive oil. Try using sausage with your ground beef, or heck, just use sausage. Top with grated mozzarella cheese instead of parmesan for something a little different.
Here are some more appetizer recipes:
Korean Beef Bites
Best Ever Party Appetizer
Here's the link to the written recipe.
Black Eyed Pea Salad Recipe
Are you one of those people that believes you must have black-eyed peas on New Years Day in order to have good luck in the coming year? If so, this looks like a lovely way to fulfill your black-eyed-pea fix.
True story: We had a friend that was so determined about this tradition, that when her young daughter said she didn't like black eyed peas and wouldn't eat them, she was horrified. So, my friend made her a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and snuck in a couple of black eyed peas to the peanut butter. Her daughter ate it all up, and my friend hopefully found the prosperity she was hoping for!
Here's the link to the written recipe.
Ok, we promised 25 recipes in December. Counting all the recipes we provided, tips and tricks, plus the YouTube video recipes, if they're all added up, I think we did it. But, boy, did we procrastinate!!! Hopefully, we'll be a bit better about these things in the coming New Year.
Have a wonderful 2014!