Saturday, February 23, 2013

Grain-Free Cinnamon Rolls

Two posts in two days? What is this? I have two more lined up for the next two days as well, so hold onto your seats!

I usually wouldn't be in such a hurry but these seem to be some popular recipes with my friends, so here you are! The following recipe from a Paleo website endured some minor tweaking from yours truly. But I must say, although not quite like the real thing, to someone who isn't eating many grains, this is quite a treat for weekend brunch and is also quite easy to throw together with little hassle and mess!

For the Rolls 
makes 8

1 and 3/4 c almond meal, fine
1/4 coconut flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 tbs honey
1tbs cinnamon

For the Glaze

4 tbs melted butter
2 tbs honey
dash of vanilla

- If making right away, preheat oven to 325. If making next day, ignore that step. Combine the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl then add in the 2 eggs. The dough should form a large, wet ball. It should be manageable and not gloopy!
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly brush with oil. Lightly brush oil onto another piece of parchment and place the dough in between. Squish into a rectangle shape about 1/4 inch thick overall. Drizzle with the honey and coat with cinnamon. With the assistance of the parchment, roll into a log carefully, piecing together inevitable cracks in the dough as you go!

- After a tight log is formed, take a fresh piece of parchment and gently wrap around the log, place in a ziplog bag and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until the next morning. Remove the log from the fridge, cut into eight pieces with a greased knife. Place all pieces on a parchment or silpat-lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes at 325 or until golden brown.
- Mix the Glaze ingredients together and allow to sit and make a paste. Place dollops onto each roll and serve while warm!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Taking Stock

Oh hello there. It's been too long! Lack of inspiration has been a free flowing river around here the last few weeks. I hate to admit that, but when you feel less than grand, it's hard to be excited about even the greatest joys in your life.

But I'm trying to change that. I'm trying to turn my crazy hodge podge life into something meaningful. I'm attempting to gather up all sense of purpose in every scattered area.

I've been hoping and praying for motivation, to journey through circumstances instead of just wishing to be lifted out of them. That kind of endurance is pretty special, I'll tell ya.

But exciting and unexpected things are happening amidst the insanity. Living in the moment. That's what they call it. And it's quite an art!

When you're reworking your life, fundamentals become painfully obvious. In health, in lifestyle, in work, in food. What's more fundamental than stock, I ask you?

Nothing. It's the base for most culinarily satisfying savory dishes. And I have been pretty ignorant to the ease and cost effectiveness of making my own. I have a new habit now of baking a chicken per week for G and I. I get a big bird, usually on sale, fire it up, and have enough protein for a few dinners and lunches. And now? NOW I have finally started  boiling down that cooked bird carcass (ew!) into a delicious, cheap stock. 

You know what my Mother is saying right now? Anna, I could have told you that forty years ago! This is nothing new! Well, as I've learned with many things in life : My Mom is always right and knows way more than me and I am just now beginning to discover and use all of her secrets. Note to self : ask Mom more questions about life to make things easier. 

Bake a bird. Boil a bird. Done.

Homemade Chicken Stock
depending on your pot, you should end up with about 6 quarts of stock

Large stock pot with lid
1 chicken carcass, meat removed for eating
2 cups various saved vegetable peels and parts
(Onion, carrot, celery, leek) 
(Or chopped fresh of the above, but the sustainable route is best of course!)
1 tbs salt

- Place all ingredients in your large pot. Pour running water over everything until the bird is covered, leaving 4 inches of space or so between the water level and the rim of the pot. You really can't can't can't mess this recipe up. Bring the pot to a boil for about three minutes or so, reduce to a calm simmer and cover with a lid. Allow to simmer for at least 1.5 hours, 2 if you have the time. Remember you don't want it boiling, just barely simmering. Allow to cool a bit before ladling into jars or containers. I froze all but one quart of the stock and have been using it the last month!