Friday, May 20, 2011

My love language: food

Growing up, a big aspect of our family was food. My mom is a fabulous cook- think along the lines of Martha Stewart. She made us breakfast every morning before school, packed us lunches, and we had dinner as a family every night. And on Sunday after church we had a feast- Sunday dinner. As a child, this was definitely not something I appreciated; it was just normal for our family. I remember my younger brother complaining about having to come home and eat Sunday dinner (which was probably something along the lines of roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy, vegetables, salad, homemade rolls, and dessert- so nothing shabby!). He wanted to know why we couldn't be like other families and just go to Taco Bell after church. Ha! We laugh about it now because we all love my mom's cooking and realize that we were lucky to have a mom that loved to cook- because we all love to eat! We are what you might call "a food based family." When we plan a trip somewhere, the first thing we start planning is which restaurants we want to eat at and when that will happen... For instance, if we go back to back to Minnesota we have to eat at Cafe Latte, Byerly's, Leeann Chin, Old Chicago, Betty's Pies ... You get the idea. It's essential that we visit all of our favorite restaurants- some of them multiple times. And we often take pictures of our food and send it to members of our family who aren't there just to rub it in! Sick, I know. And you will be happy to know that I have corrupted Luke- and he now this way too.

So knowing that I come from a family where food is very important, it is probably no huge surprise that one of my love languages is food. Specifically, bread and pastries.  (And I am fully aware that "Food" is not an actual love language according to Gary Chapman. But it is to me!) This week was our last MOPS meeting for the year and I signed up to bring pastries. It seems like every MOPS meeting the pastries are lacking (in my opinion). In all fairness I will say that if I showed up on time to MOPS, maybe the selection would be better. So yesterday morning, I was determined to be on time and bring some sort of yummy breakfast pastries. I decided to try some new recipes- a new monkey bread recipe and cinnamon scones (the recipe is supposedly Starbuck's recipe). To me, pastries are best when they are fresh and warm. This meant that I would need to get up early. I set my alarm for 6:45AM, which in my world is still the middle of the night. I was so worried that I was going to oversleep that I woke up multiple times in a panic thinking that I had overslept. Well I got up on time and the baking began. Both recipes turned out great- they're keepers! There are a million recipes for monkey bread out there. I was looking for one that didn't use pudding, because I didn't have any on hand and didn't want to go to the store the night before to buy it. The scone recipe was pretty easy and super good. Here are the recipes- enjoy!

Monkey Bread
2 loaves frozen bread dough, thawed
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar
1 stick melted butter

~Tear bread dough into quarter size pieces and roll into balls. Shake in bag with cinnamon and sugar mixture. Arrange in ungreased bundt pan or angel food pan. Melt butter in saucepan with brown sugar. Mix well and pour over dough. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. Turn over onto plate immediately after baking.

My notes: I checked out the Rhodes Bread website to see how long the bread took to thaw. According to their website it took 2-3 hours to thaw. I allowed it to thaw for 3 hours (meaning I woke up at 4AM to take it out of the freezer)- and it was still partially frozen at 7AM. So I would allow 4 hours for it to thaw in the future. Traditionally monkey bread is baked in a bundt pan and I don't have one. I used a 9 by 13 glass dish and it worked great. I am guessing that you could cut this recipe in half and use an 8 by 8 pan for a smaller batch.

Monkey bread- minus a few pieces... :)

Cinnamon Scones
I found this recipe here.
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter
1 egg, separated
3 T. honey
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

~Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Cut in the butter and mix until crumbly. In another bowl, mix the egg yolk (save the white for later) with honey and buttermilk until blended. Then, add to the dry mixture. Stir until just combined. Form the dough into a ball on a floured surface. Roll or pat it out until it’s roughly a half an inch thick and 8 inches in diameter. Cut pizza style into 8-12 equally sized pieces. Put onto a greased baking sheet. Wisk the egg white until frothy and coat the tops of the scones. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle on top. Bake for about 10-12 minutes.

My notes: I kind of skimmed the directions for this recipe and as a result, did a few things differently. For instance, the sugar and cinnamon listed at the end of the recipe was supposed to be sprinkled on top. I mixed it in with the dry ingredients, but still sprinkled more cinnamon and sugar on top. I also did not wisk the egg white. I found that the dough was a little too dry and added a little more buttermilk- maybe 2 T. more then what the recipe called for. Because I was taking these to MOPS, I cut the dough into 8 pieces and then cut each of those pieces into 3 more pieces- ending up with a total of 24 small scones. (Sort of like the petite scones that Starbuck's sells). I cooked them about 9-10 minutes. I also made a simple glaze to drizzle over the top of the scones. My glaze consisted of powdered sugar, a little vanilla, and enough warm water to get the thickness of glaze that I wanted. Honestly, these scones were simple to make and so delicious. I will definitely be making these again.

Ready to go in the oven...

Finished product- YUM !


Derika said...

Yeah! Way to up the bar on the MOPS food!! Definitely a priority as coordinator next year!

Cristina said...

Those looks so yummy! Your post is so funny. I always plan around my favorite restaurants when we go back to OK or TX.