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Counting Down to Thanksgiving With SavorSA


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Last Updated: Tuesday, November 24th @ 1:44am

Thanksgiving is a week away. Don’t panic. If you are hosting this year there is still plenty of time to get it all done. A few general tips start things off. Then, our time line, below, is a general guide.  We suggest things to remember, day by day, before Thursday and on the day of  Thanksgiving.

The Tips

  • Do as much as you can ahead of time.
  • Enlist help from your family and any guests who are coming. If they don’t cook, they could pick up a bag of ice, bring an ice chest or bring a bottle of sparkling wine for a toast.
  • Remember that anything and everything, including the entire meal, can be purchased ready made. If, the day before Thanksgiving you just can’t make the rolls and the pies, purchase them store bought. We rely on Sister Schubert dinner rolls. And, if I didn’t have friends who could be counted on to make pie, I’d probably pick one up at Costco.
  • SavorSA is just an e-mail away. We’ll be working on our Thanksgiving meals on Wednesday, but don’t hesitate to shoot us a question. Also, check SavorSA early next week for a list of helpful telephone  “turkey hotlines.”
  • Finally, here’s some advice from chef Jason Dady: Thanksgiving is his favorite meal, but his  advice to beginners is to “keep it simple.” Your grandmother did not start out making Thanksgiving dinners as elaborate as they were by the time you showed up, he said.

The Timeline

TurkeydayCountdown3Friday: If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to organize. Write things down, make lists — these help. Devise the menu. Figure out what dishes you can ask others to bring and let them know now — or ask them to make suggestions. Decide what you can make and what you don’t have time for.

Make a shopping list and plan a couple of trips, if possible. Pick up bulky items (paper towels, napkins, candles, disposable baking sheets, aluminum foil and plastic wrap), canned goods and other non-perishables on the first trip; leaving perishables closer to the day before Thanksgiving.

Pull out the items you are going to use that you’ve stored for a year. Does the silver, or even the good stainless, need polishing; do the tablecloths and napkins need stain removal, washing or  ironing? Do you have all the dishes you need for complete place settings? Get help doing these — or decide that a pretty table runner and large, soft paper napkins will do this year. Get them ready, then set them aside and check them off your list.

SavorSA can help: If you need  ideas for dressing up your Thanksgiving table, visit SavorSA on Sunday for some beautiful examples from around San Antonio.

Saturday: If you want to shop today, go early or late. The stores will be crowded.  Clean the refrigerator out to make room for the large bird and extra food. If you’re buying a frozen turkey, you might want to purchase it today and put it in the refrigerator to thaw out slowly. If you are making any foods that can be prepared ahead and frozen, that might also be on the agenda today.  Also, gather together essential pots, pans and utensils to be sure you have what you need. If  not, add to the shopping list.

SavorSA can help: Are there people in your family who are diabetic? Look for John Griffin’s article on Monday about the complete Thanksgiving dinner he made recently that was diabetic friendly.

Sunday: Take it easy. Talk to your family about what they need to do to help you as the week progresses. Give them specific tasks: emptying garbage, removing tableware from the table, loading the dishwasher or entertaining the smaller children.

Monday: If you have some heavy housecleaning to do, why not get those big chores done today? We don’t suggest you go whole hog and clean all the windows and re-varnish the wood floors. In fact, we’d suggest that someone hosting a large Thanksgiving could use some hired help. But you will still need to do the supervision.  Also, if you’re purchasing a frozen turkey, you might get it into the fridge to start thawing today.

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Holiday Cran-Raspberry Sauce

Tuesday: Check your list and think about shopping for the perishables today – early or late. Again, it will be busy. Consider getting store-made foods, from frozen pizzas to ready-to-heat beef fajitas or stews.  Take it easy on the everyday cooking.  However, if there is time today, you could make the cranberry sauce (so much better made fresh), start preparing a few things for relishes, such as trimming radishes, green onions, carrots or celery, the latter of which should be stored in water to stay fresh. Make salad dressings or dips.

SavorSA can help: Today might also be the day you want to pick up some wines. Check out the wine tips and touts we’re offering on SavorSA on Tuesday.  Also, check out where to get your knives sharpened and how to carve that turkey, if you’ve never done it before.

Also, if you’re going to take the plunge and deep-fry a turkey this year, check out our articles from Saturday about the Barrios-Treviño Family Thanksgiving. Roland Treviño shows his tried and true method of frying a turkey.

Wednesday: Look at your list: This is the day to pick up flowers, ice, and any other last-minute items. We like to get the table set the afternoon before Thanksgiving. Set up any sideboards with water pitchers, ice buckets, serving utensils, iced tea or wine glasses, extra napkins. The more you do today, the more time you have to work on dinner tomorrow.

Make some of your dishes ahead: Do anything from oven-ready dressing to sweet potato casseroles, getting potatoes peeled for mashed potatoes. Pies and other desserts can keep well overnight, too.

SavorSA can help: Check out our webcasts on Saturday and Sunday featuring the Barrios-Treviño family Thanksgiving. Diana Barrios- Treviño shares her favorite Sweet Potato Soufflé and Cheesecake, both of which are must-haves at the family dinner. Also, think about breakfast tomorrow, or the day after Thanksgiving — and make ahead these really good Rasberry-Lemon-Pecan Muffins for breakfast and coffee.  For other desserts, check out the SavorSA article on desserts for Thanksgiving.

Thursday: TurkeydayCountdown1This is the day. What time is dinner? Check the poundage of your turkey; the package will tell you how long to cook the bird. Then, figure on letting it stand at least 10-15 minutes after you take it out of the oven or at least 20 minutes after the fryer. Then figure some time for carving. When the bird has gone in the oven, it’s time to do last-minute preparations. Get the appetizers together, put in wine to chill.  Your table is set, the turkey’s in the oven, the dressing is ready to go in and the potatoes are peeled and on the stove, ready to be turned on. Have the rolls ready to shoot into the oven to warm once the turkey’s out. And, have your gravy broth warm and the thickener mixed and ready.

SavorSA can help: Check out these helpful links for making gravy and how to carve a turkey. Also, check out our list of Thanksgiving hotlines, if you’re unsure about cooking the bird, or look at our article Monday on cooking for diabetics, which tells you how to roast the turkey.

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Fish Tacos With Creamy Chipotle Sauce


FishTacos2Fish tacos have earned a great reputation during the past decade or more in San Antonio. We like variety, though, so we’ve seen variations – with chipotle dressing or green chile dressing, with or without avocado and single- or double-wrapped in steamy, warm corn tortillas.

Double wrapped is traditional. The filling, which contains shredded cabbage, fried (or grilled, if you prefer) fish, dressing, cheese and more, can overwhelm just the single tortilla.

To fry up fish with a crunchy but not heavy coating, I always use corn flour, which is the main ingredient in Zatarain’s fish fry coating. You can get it seasoned or season it yourself with salt and pepper. Also,  if you like this option, sliced radishes add flavor, crunch and color.

Fish Tacos With Creamy Chipotle Sauce

Creamy Chipotle Sauce:
1/2 cup light sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 small chipotle peppers, soaked in hot water, seeded and cut into small dice
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely minced onion
Garlic salt, to taste
Freshly ground white pepper, to taste

Garnishes:
1 cup finely shredded cabbage
1 medium tomato, sliced
1/2 cup shredded Longhorn cheese
1/4 cup sliced red radishes
1 small avocado, pitted and sliced
1 small lemon, cut in 4 wedges

Fish for filling:
Canola oil for frying
2 (6-ounce) tilapia fillets, thawed if frozen
3/4 cup corn flour (Zatarain’s plain fish fry coating)
Salt, to taste
White pepper, to taste

8 corn tortillas

For Chipotle Sauce: Whisk together sour cream, mayonnaise, chipotle peppers, lemon juice, garlich salt and white pepper in a small bowl, covered, in the refrigerator while you prepare tacos.

For Garnishes: Put all of the garnishes into bowls and have ready for dressing the tacos.

For Fish: Heat canola oil to about a depth of 1 inch in a large, nonstick skillet. While heating the oil, put corn flour on a plate and mix in the salt and pepper, to taste. Dredge each piece of fish in corn flour, patting gently so that the corn flour coats the surface well. When oil is hot enough to sizzle when a drop of water is flicked in, gently lay the fillets in the oil. Keep the temperature even and fry fish, turning once with tongs, until it is firm and golden on each side. Place the fish on a clean plate or on a draining rack.

To assemble:  Heat the tortillas in the microwave, a nonstick skillet or comal on top of the stove. When they are warm and tender (not getting crisp), put four tortillas on two plates, in pairs, one atop the other. On each pair of tortillas place half of a fillet of fried fish, then garnish with the cabbage, tomato, cheese, radishes and a slice or 2 of avocado. Dress each with some of the Chipotle Cream Sauce, and serve the rest of the sauce on the side, along with the wedges of fresh lemon.

Makes 2 servings of 2 tacos each.

From Bonnie Walker

Recipe part of:  WalkerSpeak: Casual or Fancy, Keep Tilapia Around

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WalkerSpeak: Casual or Fancy, Keep Tilapia Around for Great Tastes


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Fish Tacos With Creamy Chipotle Sauce

Looking to pick up a deliciously healthy habit as the holiday season gets underway?

Stop at the freezer section of the store and pick up a bag of flash-frozen tilapia fillets. I always keep a couple of pounds of these in my freezer for those what-should-I make-for-dinner evenings.

While the name “tilapia”  just doesn’t really summon up the excitement of,  say, fresh Alaskan halibut or wild-caught salmon, it is good.  The mild flavor and firm, flaky texture make it adaptable for many preparations.

I don’t like catfish, so I use tilapia instead. Tilapia in gumbo? Sure. Tilapia smothered in a good Creole sauce? Excellent.

The two preparations I’m sharing here today are two of my favorites. Fish Tacos, for casual or company fare; Sautéed Tilapia With Butter-Toasted Almonds to fancy things up.

Fish Tacos With Creamy Chipotle Sauce

Some time back, when I first heard about fish tacos, I thought they sounded  a little odd. Then, they started to turn up on San Antonio menus. We especially fell in love with the Sea Island version, where they know how to fry fish to perfection.

After just one taste, I was hooked on that the combination of sweet, crunchy white fish, wrapped in two warm corn tortillas and dressed with the chile pepper-spiked tartar sauce. While you can grill fish or prepare it any other way for a fish taco, I particularly like the contrast in textures you get with  crisp fried fish, crunchy slivers of cabbage and radishes and the lively flavors of a chile tartar sauce or salsa.

In this recipe for Fish Tacos, I added sliced avocado. (Why not?) The tartar sauce is actually just a simple blend of sour cream and mayonnaise, soaked and seeded chipotle chiles and a little minced onion and garlic salt. Char-roasted jalapeños or serranos served on the side are just about the perfect garnish.

Serve fish tacos with tender charro beans, seasoned sweet potato fries, your favorite coleslaw or a vegetable, such as green beans tossed in lemon butter with toasted almonds.

Sauteed Tilapia With Butter-Toasted Almonds

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Sauteed Tilapia With Butter-Toasted Almonds

This dish can be for everyday or you can pretend it’s gourmet. If you consider the browned butter and toasted almonds, the succulent fish and the sparkling flavor of fresh lemon,  it all just adds up to good food. And, it takes little time to prepare.

I sometimes just want the simple flavors of fish, lemon and butter. But if you need another flavor in the dish to add interest, go for some minced fresh herbs, such as dill or thyme, and fresh parsley. The fresh lemon is a must, though.

One more tip: If you keep almonds or other nuts in the freezer, they keep very well this way. But, they can also get stale if they’ve been in there awhile, or if the container wasn’t properly sealed. Taste them to be sure they’ll highlight the dish as they should, not add an off flavor.

Recipes:

Fish Tacos With Creamy Chipotle Sauce

Sautéed Tilapia With Butter-Toasted Almonds

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Scenic Loop Hosts Holiday Wine Tasting


Ring in the festive season at Scenic Loop Cafe’s Sip & Swirl Holiday Wine Tasting event. This is an opportunity to sample wines and make decisions early about those you might choose for holiday events, dinners or gifts.

The casual event, at 7 p.m. Dec. 1,  will spotlight Mandolina wines from the Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards in Santa Ynez Valley, CA. Also, a malbec and a riesling from Scenic Loop’s wine list will be poured. All wines are paired with gourmet appetizers from the Scenic Loop kitchen.

The cost per person is $22. RSVPs are suggested, as there is limited seating. Scenic Loop Cafe is at
25615 Boerne Stage Road. The phone number is (210) 687-1818.

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Totally Tejas Event Wraps Up Totally Successful Festival


NWWFF-TotallyTejas10The day drew to a close at Rio Cibolo Ranch, where the final event of this year’s New World Wine & Food Festival took place on Sunday. Rain had been forecast but never materialized. A first-ever Texas Regional Barbeque Showdown was fun for the SavorSA judges who participated. But, it was a real treat for people who sampled the peppery pork ribs, succulent chicken and flavorful brisket outside at the smokers all afternoon.

This popular event was as well-attended as ever. And, in fact the  festival was a success — even in this year with an economy in the doldrums.

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Brandon Garza cutting ribs for the Beko 1 Team

“We had more people at the festival than we expected this year,” said festival president and CEO, Suzanne Taranto. “Everything has been so great.  Saturday night at the New World Grand Tasting the chefs really stepped up their game. On Friday, the Black Tie was sold out. The (new) Bubbles Event on Thursday was crazy;  people just about killed us to get tickets,” she said, joking. The event, at the top of the Watermark Hotel, marked the anniversary of the festival.

While barbecue, music from Texas Tide and hayrides were big attractions outdoors at Totally Tejas, inside, in the sprawling pavilion, there was more. The fare ranged from salami, cheese and prosciutto to sushi, wild mushroom tarts, from H-E-B,  Shypoke Eggs from Timbo’s, pulled pork and  crab cakes.  Wines poured were from Texas to New Zealand and all parts in between. Vodka with muddled berries was a big draw, as were icy bottles of St. Arnold beer and root beer.

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Best Ribs: Wack 'Em & Stack 'Em

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Best Chicken: Beko 1 (Ben E. Keith Foods)

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Best Brisket: Two Bros. BBQ

Late in the afternoon, the winners of the Texas Regional Barbeque Showdown were announced. This contest pitted San Antonio restaurants against amateur barbecue teams.  The winners were Wack ‘Em & Stack ‘Em, getting top prize for their ribs; Beko 1 (Ben E. Keith Foods) took first prize for barbecued chicken. San Antonio restaurateur Jason Dady (Two Bros. BBQ) took top honors for his team’s brisket.

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Calling All Chefs: Enter Austin Competition


Keeper Collection and Plate & Vine Interactive Cookbook are hosting an event to remember, Chefs Under Fire.

San Antonio chefs are invited to enter and compete in front of award-winning Iron Chef America Challengers David Bull (of Bolla at the Stoneleigh Hotel & Spa), Tyson Cole (of Uchi), and Kent Rathbun (of Jasper’s & Abacus).  Each chef has personally selected one of his Plate & Vine Interactive Cookbook recipes for you, if selected as a finalist, to prepare and present to the chefs in front of a live audience at the first Chefs Under Fire Competition.

The entry fee has been waived by the organization and there are prizes for winning, including media promotion and a stay at The Stoneleigh Hotel in Dallas, including dinner for two at Bolla.

Interested? The deadline is coming right up, on Thursday. The competition is on Nov. 30. For more information go to The Wine & Food Foundation of Texas,  at http://www.keepercollection.com/content/display/page/about.

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Smashburger No. 3 Opening at Bandera Pointe


Smashburger, a fast‐casual burger restaurant,  is opening its third San Antonio location at Bandera Road and Loop 1604 in the Bandera Pointe Shopping Center on Nov. 17.  The new location will introduce a Texas Smashburger to cater to bold Texas tastes.

Smashburger entered the San Antonio market in earlier this year at Stone Ridge, U.S. 281 at Evans Road, and at Park North, Loop 410 and Blanco Road.

This holiday season, Smashburger is partnering with the San Antonio Police Department’s Blue Santa program. From now until Nov. 30, all three Smashburger locations will be designated toy drop‐off points for the program. The donated toys go to needy San Antonio children during the holidays.

Also, on Dec. 5 and Dec. 12, for each Smashburger Texas Burger sold, $1 will go to SAPD’s Blue Santa program.

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Ditalini With Broccoli Raab (Ditalini con i Broccoli di Rape)


Lydia2 (1)Ditalini With Broccoli Raab (Ditalini con i Broccoli di Rape)

This recipe comes from Basilicata, located in the instep part of the boot toward the south of Italy. It is a homey dish. In this region pasta, fresh or dried, is made with durum wheat.  The recipe in Lidia Bastianich’s book doesn’t call for sausage, but she did have the chefs at the St. Anthony Hotel make it this way. The little bit of pork didn’t hurt the dish at all.

1 ¼ pounds broccoli raab
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for the pasta pot
1 pound ditalini (small shaped pasta)
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 medium-large garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
½ teaspoon peperoncino flakes, or to taste
1 pound mild Italian sausage, crumbled, browned and drained (if desired)
1 cup freshly grated pecorino cheese or half pecorino and half Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for passing)

For the broccoli raab:  Separate the big stems of the bunch, breaking apart any that are attached and trim them one at a time. Slice off the bottom of the stem with a paring knife – just the dried part, where the stem was first cut. With the blade of the knife, lift the outer skin of the stem, starting at you fresh bottom cut, and peel it toward the top in one long strip. Pull off the large, tough leaves attached to the lower stem, too. Peel away more strips of skin (and lower leaves) until only the pale inner stem remains, with all the tender leaves and broccoli raab florets on top. Trim and peel the other stems this way, them chop them all crosswise in short lengths, about 2/3 of an inch or so.

Meanwhile, fill a large pot with salted water (at least 6 quarts water with 1 tablespoon salt), and heat it to a boil. When the broccoli raab is trimmed and chopped, begin cooking the pasta and sauce at the same time.

When the pasta water is at a rolling boil, stir in the ditalini, return to a boil and let it cook, stirring occasionally.

Pour 6 tablespoons of the olive oil into the big skillet, set it over medium heat, scatter in the garlic slices and cook for a couple of minutes, until sizzling and starting to color. Sprinkle the peperoncino onto the pan bottom, let it toast for a few seconds, then spill in all the broccoli raab. Raise the heat, spinkle the salt over it, spread and stir the broccoli in the pan and get it cooking. Ladle in about 3 cups of the boiling pasta water, stir with the vegetables and adjust the heat so the water is at a bubbling simmer. Add the cooked sausage to let it warm up in the sauce, if you are making the dish with the meat. Cover the skillet and cook for 4-5 minutes, until the broccoli is tender.

[amazon-product]0307267512[/amazon-product]Uncover the pan and immediately scoop the ditalini from the pasta pot with a spider or large strainer. The pasta should be undercooked slightly. Spill them into the simmering sauce. Stir the pasta with the broccoli and other ingredients until the ditalini have become perfectly al dente and the sauce has thickened. It should have a soupy, but not watery, consistency. (If the ditalini need more cooking, keep the skillet covered. If they are almost al dente when they go into the skillet, cook uncovered to reduce the sauce quickly.)

When pasta and sauce are done, turn off the heat, sprinkle the cup of grated cheese on top and stir it in. Serve immediately in warm bowls with more cheese for sprinkling on the side.

Makes 6 servings.

From “Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy: A Feast of 175 Regional Recipes”by Lidia Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali

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Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls


Great tasting cinnamon rolls are best with fresh ingredients and good cinnamon. Invest in another jar of fresh spice if you think your cinnamon has been sitting around in the cupboard for years.

After using this recipe, I made some changes it in it. I cut the sugar added to the dough to one quarter cup. I also cut down the amount of brown sugar in the filling from 2 cups to 1-1/2.  I thought even that was a little too much, so next time I will probably cut the packed light brown sugar to a cup.  (The recipe below reflects these changes.)

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls

2 (1/4-ounce) envelopes active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 teaspoon plus 1/2 cup sugar, divided
5 1/2 cups flour
1 cup mashed sweet potatoes
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
2 tablespoons  grated orange rind (try to not get any of the white, just zest)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
Non-stick cooking spray

Filling:
3/4 cup melted butter
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1 cup chopped toasted pecans
3/4 cup dried cranberries OR currants OR raisins
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Glaze:
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

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Boil peeled, diced sweet potatoes until tender. Drain and mash.

For Rolls: Pulse yeast, water and 1 teaspoon sugar in a food processor 4 times or just until combined, using the metal blade. Remove metal blade, scraping yeast mixture into food processor bowl. Let stand 5 minutes. (If making by hand, stir together these ingredients in a large bowl and let stand 5 minutes.)

 Stir cooled potatoes and 1/2 cup flour into the yeast mixture and blend well, then add the rest of the flour.

Stir cooled potatoes and 1/2 cup flour into the yeast mixture and blend well, then add the rest of the flour.

Insert short plastic dough blade into food processor; add 1/2 cup flour to processor bowl and process 2 minutes. Add mashed sweet potatoes, eggs, buttermilk, the rest of the sugar, butter, orange rind, salt and and soda, along with 4 cups flour; process 2 minutes. Add remaining 1 cup flour, and process 2 minutes or until a dough forms, coming together to hold a shape. (If making by hand, mix in ingredients and stir in same order as above, then knead the dough on a flat, lightly floured surface, for at least 5 minutes.)

Place dough in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

If you're making by hand, turn dough out on a floured surface to mix and knead a few times before placing it into a clean, lightly oiled bowl, covered, to rise in a warm place.

If you're making by hand, turn dough out on a floured surface to mix and knead a few times before placing it into a clean, lightly oiled bowl, covered, to rise in a warm place.

Punch dough down. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and roll into a 10- by- 18-inch rectangle. Spread evenly with Filling. Roll up dough, jelly-roll fashion, starting at 1 long side. Cut into 12 (1 1/2-inch) slices, and arrange in a lightly greased 13- by 9-inch baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 30 minutes. (For me, this dough made closer to 18 cinnamon rolls.  These fit just fine into a buttered 9-by-9-inch baking pan.)

 Roll out dough in a large rectangle and spread on brown sugar and cinnamon filling. Start rolling the dough in from one of the long sides, as you would for a jelly roll. Then, start cutting rounds from one end.

Roll out dough in a large rectangle and spread on brown sugar and cinnamon filling. Start rolling the dough in from one of the long sides, as you would for a jelly roll. Then, start cutting rounds from one end.

Bake rolls at 400° for 10 minutes. Remove rolls from oven; drizzle Glaze slowly over rolls, starting at 1 edge of pan and drizzling in a circular pattern.

Bake rolls 7 to 10 more minutes or until lightly browned and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Remove rolls from oven, and invert onto a baking sheet. Invert again, glaze side up, onto a serving platter. Let cool 20 to 30 minutes. Serve warm.

When rolls are done, let them cool awhile before you put on the glaze or icing (while the rolls are still warm).

When rolls are done, let them cool awhile before you put on the glaze or icing (while the rolls are still warm).

For Filling: Stir together butter, sugar, pecans, raisins or dried cranberries, until blended.

For Glaze:  Stir together sugar, corn syrup, and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a light boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and stir in cream and vanilla.

Makes 12-15 rolls.

Adapted from Domino Sugar

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Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls a Sweet Breakfast Surprise


SweetPotCinRolls1If you’re looking for a special breakfast recipe to take you handily though Thanksgiving, Christmas or any holiday breakfast into the New Year, this one is not only good but gives you additional vitamin A. With all the sugar this is a treat to be enjoyed in moderation.  Serve fresh-squeezed orange juice, scrambled eggs, link sausages or fresh fruit along with these moist, fragrant rolls.

If you have wisely decided to break down that jack-o’-lantern, or just purchase a pie pumpkin to cook, substitute cooked, mashed pumpkin in this recipe —it will still taste great. Or, use the same amount canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling).

I am hardly a master baker, but here are a few tips I’ve picked throughout my years of trying to be, at least, a pretty good baker:

  • Remember to check the “best used by” date on the yeast. Fresh yeast yields best results.
  • Included are instructions in the recipe for making the dough in a food processor. That’s great if you want to do it that way. I have fun making a mess and working the dough with my hands. It might be sentiment, but I think the results taste better using the  by-hand method.
  • For the orange zest, use a microplane grater. Fast, easy, uncomplicated.
  • Use the biggest bowl you have for making bread or roll dough. It’s a luxury to have all that room to mess around in.
  • SweetPotCinRolls5If you don’t have buttermilk, you can use plain milk. I didn’t have milk OR buttermilk but I did have some 2 percent milk fat eggnog. That worked.
  • After cooking one big sweet potato and mashing it for the recipe, I had about a half cup of mashed sweet potato left. I saved it for Sunday morning buttermilk pancakes. I used a Pioneer Buttermilk Pancake mix from an l envelope, used eggnog in place of the water it called for, and just stirred in the mashed sweet potatoes. The pancakes were a hit at our house.
  • The original of this recipe didn’t call for raisins or currants. I didn’t have either, anyway. But, I did have dried cranberries so I used those.  Any of these will work if you want to include them.

Click below to link to recipe:

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls

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