Early Spring weekend

This year spring is coming early, very early compared to last year. So this past weekend we started to prepare the hill and garden.

Luke used the tiller to till up the ground and add a few more rows to our garden.

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We went to the store and bought on organic seeds for this spring/summer including: carrots, spinach, broccoli, zucchini, asparagus, and rhubarb. We also bought herbs: oregano, basil, and cilantro to add to the garden this year.

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I climbed up and down our hill collecting broken branches that fell of trees the winter wind and collected them into the burn pile. We also marked trees and branches that needed to be cut down and Luke cut them down with his chain saw.

More work still needs to be done but it is very exciting to have a Sunday Saturday in March to work outside.

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On Sunday we got sushi at our favorite place in Rochester to celebrate Luke’s birthday he also spent some bday money in the game and comic store next door.  When we got home we played our newly bought game: Dominion Seaside expansion.

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On his actually birthday we celebrated with his favorite birthday meal, beef stroganoff and my homemade Irish cinnamon rolls.

For more about these see: https://agreenesadventures.org/2014/03/15/bread-of-the-month-irish-cinnamon-rolls

It was a good weekend.

Bread of the Month: Irish Cinnamon Rolls

It has been a very long and full week. Luke left for a conference this past Tuesday (his birthday my first day teaching at a new job) and came home yesterday afternoon. Friday evening we celebrated with presents and a night of catching up at home (more on our busy week to come.)

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Because he spent his b-day out of state we are celebrating it this weekend and so yesterday I made him belated b-day goodies: cinnamon rolls. If you remember last year I madea Cinnamon Roll Bunt Cake with cream cheese icing and raspberries.  This year I decided to join celebrations of his birthday day and St. Patty’s day by making one amazing dessert (breakfast). As per the other bread of the months posts (so far) the original recipe for these cinnamon rolls comes from The Bread Bible . And also as per usual I have made my own version with tips and alterations. So here’s the Irish Cinnamon Rolls.

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Ingredients:

Dough:

1 medium-large russet potato

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon active dry yeast (1 pack)

½ Cup granulated sugar

¼ Cup warm water

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 large egg

1 teaspoon salt

5-51/2 C of flour

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Filling:

  • 8 ounces light brown sugar, approximately 1-1/4 cup packed
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼-1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • ½ tablespoon lemon juice

Irish Cream Glaze:

1 and 1/2  C powdered sugar

4-5 tablespoons Irish cream liquor

and/or milk or half and half

Instructions:

1. Peel the potato and cut it up into chunks. Put it in a small/medium pot and cover with water. Bring water to boil then let the potato cook uncovered for 15-20 minutes. With a slotted spoon scoop out the potato and place it in a large bowl/kitchen-aid mixer bowl. Add in the 2 tablespoons of butter and with a metal blade puree the butter and potato. (Keep the boiled potato water).

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2. Place the active dry yeast (1 pack) into a small bowl, add 1 tsp. sugar, then pour in the 1/4th Cup warm water. Let it bubble and foam for about 10 minutes.

3. Add to the large mixing bowl with the potato puree: the yeast, potato water, 1 egg, salt, ½ Cup granulated sugar, vegetable oil, and 2 cups of flour. Beat together until combined then slowly add in the rest of the flour (3-31/2 C worth).

4. When all dough is combined knead until it is smooth and springy.

5. Grease a deep container (I used butter) than place the dough in it turning it over one time to coat top and bottom. Then cover the container with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place for about 1 to 1.5 hours. ( I put mine on top of the stove with the oven on at 250-300F).

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6. Knead the dough letting out the air and then place it back in the container and cover again for another hour to raise in a warm place. Then knead the dough again and divide it into two pieces. Roll out each piece in into a rectangle of about 10 by 14 inches at about 1/4 inch thick.

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7. Melt the butter then brush the surface of the dough up to ½ inch on all side with the butter. Make the filling then sprinkle it over the buttered surface of the dough. Roll the towards you in a tight jelly roll, once rolled; pinch the seam.

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8. Take a bread knife or other sharp knife and cut the roll into 1 to ½ inch thick slices. (The thicker the slices the bigger your cinnamon rolls.) Place the slices on a baking sheet lined with either parchment paper or a slipat. Press each roll down a little onto the sheet (this prevents it from pulling apart in the oven).

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9.  Preheat the oven to 350F and place the uncooked rolls under plastic wrap and let it rise for 20 minutes at room temp on the baking sheet. While waiting on these rolls continue to do the same process with the other set of dough.

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10. Place the rolls in the oven for 20-25minutes at 350F.  When firm and lightly browned on top take them out and let them cool. While the rolls bake make the icing and it spread over the cinnamon rolls once they have cooled.

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Note on icing: I chose to make my icing out of cream cheese, milk, powdered sugar, and a little Bailey’s. If you like your icing thick and creamy (not runny) I would suggest using cream cheese. I you like a thinner icing then you can use half and half or milk combined with the powdered sugar. Either way if you want to use Irish Cream I would suggest adding it in slowly because you will probably want to balance it out with some milk.

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And there you have it! Our St. Patty’s/B-day treat. (More on Luke’s b-day to come).

So what is your favorite B-day dessert? Traditional cake? Ice Cream ? Cookies?