Thursday, November 24, 2011

Ringing in the season with cinnamon...

Morning everyone and Happy Thanksgiving!!!  My plans of posting this blog last night just did NOT happen that's what happens when you pass out at 8pm.  So instead, I'll give you the run down of my little 'ladies who lunch' pre-Thanksgiving afternoon and a sneak peek of our breakfast for this morningJ

So lunch yesterday took place at a pretty cool restaurant in our area and one that had been on our list to try out for awhile:
Marsha Brown's is awesome and unique for 2 reasons:
  1. It serves up New Orleans style-Creole food in the middle of New Hope, Pennsylvania....
  2. It's housed in an old gothic church... 

How awesome is THAT? 

We even got a seat right next to one of these GORGEOUS stained glass windows that glimmer throughout the!  

And how absolutely BEAUTIFUL is the interior?? 

And this was just ONE of the rooms!  We didn't even get to see the MAIN dining room! 

And who doesn't love a little homage to Mardi Gras?J 

After we picked up our jaws off the floor from all of the red velvet & dripping crystal chandeliers, we got down to the business of ordering... 

And, as usual, neither my best friend or I could hone in on one thing.  So we did what any 2 indecisive folks who wanted to devour the entire menu do best:  We split our lunch like two little kids on the playground...albeit this was NOT your average peanut butter & jelly sandwichesJ

It was tough to even narrow down to THESE choices, but we just so happened to pass a sign out front that proclaimed Marsha's to have "The Best Burgers"...sooo armed with that knowledge, my friend ordered up the "Marsha Burger"...
Talk about a 'knife & fork' burger!  This thing was HUGE and SMOTHERED with sauteed onions, mushrooms (yes, I picked those offJ), cheddar cheese & 'Marsha's steak sauce.'  Oh was sooooooo good!  As my friend proclaimed: "that steak sauce just puts it over the top!!"  And the 'creole chips' they served it up with were crispy, spiced & delicious!

And for my lunch, I went with my first choice of the item I had spied on the online menu a few weeks ago:  the Crab Cake sandwich  (I have been OBSESSED with crab cakes!  Despite Scott's 'seafood aversion,' this baby must get his or her 'love of seafood' from meJ)
Much like the burger, this sandwich was an absolute mess to eat too...and ya know why that's good?  Because I don't think there was hardly an OUNCE of "filler" in this 'cake.  It seemed to be purely crab meat...which broke into a million pieces as you bit into it!  hehehehe...sign of good quality, I say!  And I lovvvveeeeddd the mustardy remoulade sauce.  Siggghhh...I could go for another one of these RIGHT NOW!  hahahhahahahah

And to round out our day of 'sharing'....we had to sample not one, but two desserts!  (hey!  Holidays call for such things!)  I went with the 'dessert special' of the day in the bread pudding... 
I actually LAUGHED when I tasted was soooo warm & cozyJ  It was served piping hot and the cinnamon cream just sent you into a flurry of carb-o-licious happiness.  H-e-a-v-e-n!

And our other dessert was one little beauty, wouldn't you say?? 
Tucked under all of that marvelous meringue was "Grandmere's Comfort Custard," a 'Brown's family tradition' of sweet & creamy vanilla custard...these desserts were just BEYOND blissful.... was our ENTIRE lunch AND experience at Marsha Brown's.  The spectacular decor matched it's unique and OUTSTANDING dishes.  I already can't wait to go back and sample the 3-4 other goodies I found on JUST their lunch menu alone!!

After lunch, we took in our equally wonderful showing of "Breaking Dawn"...
After being moderately disappointed by "Eclipse," I was sooooooooooo happy to see "Breaking Dawn" redeem itself in the series!  Like the original movie, I loved that BD stood up as it's OWN movie...NOT just a book adaptation.  And let's not kid ourselves...that Edward is just so damn dreamyJ hehehehe...

Which brings us to TODAY!  And since it's Thanksgiving morning, I thought I'd give you a quick peek into what our morning is going to revolve around...and maybe give you a last minute idea if you have a loungy morning with no breakfast plans on your handsJ
Sooooo...while we LOVE our tradition of pumpkin pancakes for pre-turkey dinner breakfast, when I found I had a little extra time on my hands this year, I thought I'd try out something a little more special.  And after planning to make Pumpkin Streusel Rolls that I had made a few years ago to much success, once I spied the recipe for Spiced SQUASH Cinnamon Rolls in Cooking Light this month, I was HOOKED on combining BOTH of these recipes!

Into my bread machine (yes, I took the lazy way out instead of spending time kneading...J) I added: 
  • 3 3/4 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • dash of cloves
  • dash of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of canola oil
  • 1/2 cup EACH of pumpkin puree AND mashed butternut squash
You can use any squash you have.  I just happened to have leftover roasted butternut squash lying around and found it too tempting to toss into the dough.

While gathering up the dry ingredients, I had let the yeast mixture sit on my stove for 10 minutes to keep warm.  To a measuring cup I added:
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 packet of dry yeast
Give a quick stir to combine everything and cover.  Yeast is SUPER finicky to work with and if it doesn't 'poof' properly, you might as well just throw it out and start over....or you'll soon be finding yourself throwing out your entire DOUGH (MUCH WORSE...BELIEVE ME!)  But after 10 minutes, if the yeast 'grows' like this: can pretty much know that you'll be A-OK.

After kneading the dough (or having 'someone else' kneadJ) for 10 minutes (making sure to add enough flour to the dough so that it's gathered, tacky, but NOT overly sticky), you place the dough in a non-stick coated pan & cover to let rise for about 45 minutes.  The key here is to make sure it stays WARM & in a non-drafty with my makeshift contraption:

The dough should be almost doubled in size and poofy when it's ready to roll out... 

Punch the dough down and let it sit for 5 more minutes before rolling it out on a floured surface... 

The yeast actually OVERWORKED, and I ended up with enough dough hanging off the edges of my cutting board to be able to trim and freeze to make a quick batch of rolls another time.  Feast or famine that yeast, I tell ya!J

And then it was time for the GOOD STUFF:  The cinnamon center! 
  • 3 tablespoons of melted butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons of water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
Mmmm....combine everything and spread evenly across the dough.

Next, it's time to roll up your dough... can roll it lengthwise & cut the dough into 16 rolls OR you can roll it from end-to-end and make 8 larger rolls, like we didJ     

After the rolls are cut, I covered them and let them rise for another half can barely see the pan peeking out from under there! 
I've had them in the fridge since their final rise on Wednesday and plan on popping them in the 375 oven for 35 minutes this morning and whipping up the quick maple glaze to coat on top:
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup maple sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon half & half
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Combine the water & sugar and bring it to a boil.  Simmer for 5 minutes before removing from heat and stirring in the rest of the ingredients.

Even though I can't vouch for them at the moment...I'm guessing it's going to be a sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeet morning!!!  I'll show you the final results & the rest of our Thanksgiving goodies the next time!  Hope you guys have a WONDERFUL day filled with family, friends and food!  We ALL have too much to be thankful for.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...