Sunday, October 3, 2010
Mosaic Monday ~Early Fall & The Gift that will Keep on Giving
It was kind of a dreary gray weekend, so I wasn't really motivated to do much more than stroll around the yard a few times. I snapped a few shots during one of those strolls. The garden flowers are winding down but there are definitely some things still blooming like this clematis that's having a second wind.
This dahlia is blooming pretty..so bright its almost neon
In the front...the aster ball as I call it is doing its thing! It is such a reliable bloomer and has such a great shape. I tie a piece of twine around it when the branches get tall so they don't flop when it rains, but it really does grow naturally round like that.
Feverfew reseeds itself throughout my garden, but its mostly a welcome reseeder. Very reliable deep into fall. This one is a double variety.
Tiny little rose Magic Carousel is reblooming too
I planted this nasturtium on a little obelisk at Randy's suggestion. Its taken all summer but it is finally climbing all over it and blooming its little heart out.
A volunteer made sure I had cosmos this year! I love these little dainty pretties.
My favorite pink hardy geranium is putting out a few blooms here and there.
The tall sedum is still looking nice
The veggie garden is winding down, so Lemon Queen perennial sunflower is moving in!
My favorite Japanese Anemone, Honorine Jobert
This persicaria Red Dragon is mostly a foliage plant, but in the fall it has cute little white flowers
I can't tell you how many times I've dug this aster up from the spot its blooming :-) Its a hardy little sucker!
And the hydrangeas are hanging in there...most fading, but with new blooms mixed in too.
Since the weather wasn't very inspiring, I spent the weekend enjoying my new Cuisinart food processor that Randy got me for our anniversary. I truly think this is one appliance I will get plenty of use from.
One feature that I love is the dough blade which makes kneading by hand unnecessary and its way quicker and quieter than kneading with my Kitchenaid (which I still love). Randy loves his Mom's cinnamon rolls and I've had mixed success duplicating her recipe, so I thought I would give another dough recipe a try, but still try to come close in flavor to hers.
I think I came pretty close because all I heard during his first cinnamon roll was MMMMM MMMMM MMMM. He is silly and doesn't like icing on his, so I did half and half. Its true though that the filling is sweet enough to enjoy it without. Brown sugar is the secret!
Suzy's Cinnamon Rolls
inspired by my mother in law's recipe, Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove Cookbook and the recipe booklet that came with the Cuisinart
1/2 cup whole milk
4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter cut in chunks
1 pkg (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp salt
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
1/4 cup melted butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoons cinnamon
1 cup powdered sugar
3 Tablespoons cream (or 2 tablespoons milk)
1/2 tsp vanilla
Microwave milk and butter until butter melts - about 1 minute. In a bowl or mixing cup combine 1 pkg yeast and warm water. I also added a teaspoon of the called for sugar to speed up the yeast. Let sit for about 5 minutes..it will be bubbly. Place in food processor bowl, along with sugar and eggs. Process for a few seconds until sugar and eggs well blended. Add salt, warm milk mixture and 2 cups of flour. Process until well blended. Then add 1 1/4 flour and process to knead for about 45 seconds (WOW..thats all!) You may need to scrape the sides at some point, but the dough should pull away and clean the sides of the bowl. You will end up with a soft elastic dough. Transfer to a large lightly oiled bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or one of those shower cap thingies. Let dough rise until double in size, about 2 1/2 hours. Punch down center of dough then turn dough onto a lightly floured countertop and let rest for 10 minutes. In the meantime butter a 13x9 cake pan. In a small bowl combine brown sugar & cinnamon for the filling. Using a floured rolling pin roll dough into a 12 x 16 inch rectangle. Brush with melted butter and then sprinkle with brown sugar/cinnamon mixture, leaving a 1/2 inch border on one long side. Roll, beginning with the long side that has sugar/cinnamon to the edge. Use fingertips to seal edges. Using a serrated knife, cut dough log into 12 even rolls and arrange in prepared pan. Cover and let rise until double in size, about 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350° and bake 25 minutes or until golden brown. For icing, whisk powdered sugar, cream and vanilla until smooth. Add more cream a little at a time if necessary to achieve a drizzling consistency. Using a spoon drizzle over slightly cooled rolls.
Besides the cinnamon rolls, I decided to make another recipe in the recipe booklet that came with the processor. It caught my eye and looked simple enough. And boy are they yummy! They are perfect on their own, but I made some sandwich cookies out of them using the blackberry curd that I have one hand. Definitely takes it up a notch!!
Hazelnut Butter Cookies
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cups (4 oz) lightly toasted hazelnuts
1/4 tsp salt
12 oz butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla ( I actually forgot this and they were just fine)
In a food processor insert the metal blade. Process flour, hazelnuts and salt using the pulse, 15-20 times until ground and combined. Remove from bowl and reserve. Process butter, powdered sugar and vanilla if using until smooth and creamy. Add flour mixture and process just until dry ingredients are incorporated. Turn out this dough onto a lightly floured surface. Shape into 2 equal balls, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for about 30 mins until stiff enough to shape into logs. Shape into logs 10 inches long. Wrap well in plastic and refrigerate til firm or freeze until ready to use. When ready to bake preheat oven to 350°. Slice 1/4 in thick and place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake ofr 10-14 mins until edges begin to brown. Let cool on baking sheet for 1 minute than transfer to rack to cool.
Besides my processor fun, I also put some end of the season tomatoes to excellent use! Slow roasting them all day was painless...I used olive oil, basil, marjoram, garlic, chili flakes and salt. They cooked at 200 for 8 hours. Now to decide how to use the amazingly tasty morsels!
I'm joining in over at Big Red House for Mosaic Monday...go check out all of the other cool posts HERE and have a great Monday!