Happy St. Patty’s Day!

The corn beef is on the stove boiling and I am in the process of baking a loaf of Soda Bread. Don’t have any pictures from this year’s St. Patrick’s day feast yet but here’s a glimpse from last year:

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I’m sure it will taste just as amazing.

Here’s this year’s soda bread and corn beef ingredients:

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Have a great St. Patrick’s Day everyone!

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?

Cabin Fever

Every year during the dead of winter the Gaffer District hosts Cabin Fever: a wine/beer tasting event hosted  in the storefronts along Main Street.

This year Cabin Fever was postponed because of a snow storm, leaving us stuck inside for the month of February (ironic ? yes). So we anxiously waited for the chance to get out this past Friday. We arrived around 6:30pm to the information center, when we showed our IDs we received our purple wrist-bands and souvenir miniature beer/wine  glasses. Taking the program list, we briskly walked in the cold passing parties of college students, old friends, and couples laughed as they strolled down the street.

Some of the wineries at this event were also at the Corning Glass event we attended in January (2300 degrees). Thinking ahead, we brought along our list from the previous wine tasting so we knew which wineries to try something new from, give a second chance, or skip all together.

Going with a Mardi Gras theme, each location gave a string of beads to guest so that by the end of the night people were decorated in green, yellow, and purple. Many of local businesses also provided food/chocolate samples, live entertainment, or coupons/ give-aways for their stores.

Still this will probably not be an annual event for us. We knew that rescheduling would changed a few elements such as which wineries/breweries would participate. Yet there was no effort to make changes based on the new date. For example, it was a little odd to celebrate with a Mardi Gras theme so close to St. Patty’s day. As well as, the brochures were not updated; so which stores were open or which wineries/breweries were present at the event was inaccurate.

The tickets were 15 bucks a person but the number of winiers/breweries participating was substantially less than the free event we went to in January. A downside to using local storefronts was the line out the door; you felt rushed at the one-at-a-time-line for each tasting. This is why I didn’t take a single picture! The samples were also communion-size, far less than the free samples at 2300 degrees. Because Luke works late we didn’t arrive at 5pm when the event started, so by the time we had arrived to some stores the brewery/winery they hosted had already left (apparently out of samples).

Cabin Fever gave us an excuse to step into some of the local businesses we haven’t  visited yet.  It also gave us the opportunity to try samples from several new wineries and confirm what we liked/did not like from before. In addition, Luke was able to sample local beers and check out some of Corning’s pubs/bars.

Our souvenir wine and beer glasses, wrist bands, and Mardi Gras beads
Our souvenir wine and beer glasses, wrist bands, and Mardi Gras beads

Still, there is no limit to the year-round wine/beer tasting events in our area and next year we will check out a different February/March event.  

How about you? Are you out of the winter slump yet?

What post/Christmas winter activities are in your town?