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cinnamonroll7_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

It’s not often that I find myself with extra cinnamon rolls, they’re something of a hot commodity in these parts. However, I overbaked just a wee bit for the open house and well, there they were. Dried out a bit, but perfect for this brunch dish. It’s quick, easy and you can mix it up the night before.

Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding, About 8 generous servings

  • 2-1/2 c. milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 t. vanilla
  • 8-10 cinnamon rolls (at least a day old, the drier the better)

Slice the rolls in half horizontally and layer them in a buttered 8″ baking pan.

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Combine the rest of the ingredients and beat well.

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Pour the custard over the sliced rolls and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least overnight and up to one day.

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Preheat the oven to 375. Remove the plastic wrap and bake for about 35 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the center is set.

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Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.

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I served it with fresh berries and the sugar, but it would be a really nice grownup dessert with a whiskey sauce.

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Wishing you the sweetest of holidays!

ptbetsie

by Heather Harris Brady

There’s quite a bit of traffic on the blog today so I’m hoping you’re all busy in the kitchen like we are here at the little house! My kids have had always had a fascination with gingerbread houses, and while we’ve used kits in the past this year we’re doing it from scratch. And not just any house, because we are nothing if not overly ambitious, we’re doing a replica of Point Betsie Lighthouse (pictured above). Point Betsie is a short drive from away, and one of the most photographed lighthouses in Michigan.

Since there’s nothing less festive than a collapsed gingerbread house I went with a structually sound dough recipe I found on the Food network. This recipe makes exactly enough for our pattern, but it doubles easily. Feel free to add some cinnamon, ground ginger and cardamon if you want the nice scent. I’m blogging as we go, so by the final post you’ll see our finished lighthouse!

Gingerbreadhouse Dough

  • 1 c. light corn syrup
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 3/4 c. packed brown sugar
  • 4-1/2 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 t. salt

Heat the sugars and the butter together over medium, stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.

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Combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl, and stir in the sugar mixture until you have a stiff dough. Put it in a plastic bag to rest for 30 minutes.

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Preheat the oven to 350 and roll out part of the dough 1/4″ thick. I found it easier to work with if I microwaved it for a few seconds before rolling it out.

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Lay out your pieces (you can use a pattern online or I will be posting the lighthouse pattern in a subsequent post).

Bake them for 12-15 minutes, cool them on the sheet and set them aside. Once all your pieces are baked you’re ready for assembly! We’ll cover that in part II.

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asparagus5_little_house_dunes

by Heather Harris-Brady

Given the fact I’m still looking at a ridiculous amount of snow on the ground for mid-April it must be spring somewhere because asparagus has turned up in the market. Asparagus is big around here. So big in fact, that we have an entire festival dedicated to it. Which, I might add, made the USA Today list of top 10 weirdest festivals in the US. I was so proud.

Anyway, there are a few things to know about asparagus. It is very easy to clean and keep snapping fresh if you follow a few simple steps.

1) Only buy asparagus that has moist, cut ends. If the ends are really dried out, it’s been mishandled.
2) Grasp each end of each stalk and bend it. It will snap where the tough part starts. Alternatively, you can peel the tough part. But if you do snap them you can wash the cut ends and simmer them in stock for asparagus soup, so you can still use the whole stalk.
3) Once you’ve snapped the stalks stand them upright in a jar of water, to which you’ve added a pinch of sugar. Put the entire thing in the fridge. The stalks will keep fresh for a week or more this way as long as you make sure there is water in the jar.

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When you are ready to cook the asparagus roasting is a safe way to go. The stalks are tender and a beautiful bright green.

Roast Asparagus, Basic Recipe

1 lb. asparagus, cleaned as noted above
2 T. olive oil
Seasoning to taste
Aluminum foil

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Preheat the oven to 375. After you’ve washed the asparagus stalks lay them out on a sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle them with the olive oil and roll them around so they are entirely coated. Add any spices you like at this point.

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Close the package up, first folding the long edges together and down; then folding the ends together and down. Put the sealed package in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove the package from the oven and check the stalks to see if they are aldente. If your stalks are on the thick side it may take a bit longer. Serve hot. You may use them for any dish calling for cooked asparagus.

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The next time you make oatmeal you might consider making a double batch so you can try these pancakes. They are light yet they have a nice tooth because of the oatmeal. I like to top them with my grandma’s sauteed apples, which she made all the time.

Oatmeal Pancakes, Makes about 8 servings

1-1/2 c. cooked rolled oats (old-fashioned type)

2 eggs

1-1/2 c. milk

1/3 c. olive oil or melted butter

2 t. baking powder

1/3 c. brown sugar

1-3/4 c. unbleached all-purpose flour

1 t. vanilla

1 t. cinnamon

Cold or lukewarm oatmeal is fine for this recipe.

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Combine the wet ingredients in a bowl and whisk until well blended.

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Combine the dry ingredients in a second bowl and work in the cooked oatmeal.

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Stir the wet and dry ingredients together in a few quick strokes.

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Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a griddle. When it is hot, add the pancake batter in 1/4 c. portions.

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Cook until well-browned on each side.

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You can keep them warm in the oven while you make the apples.

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Add a few tablespoons of butter to the griddle when you are done cooking the pancakes and keep the heat on medium.

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Slice up three sweet apples (I used Galas.) Stir them as they cook. When the apples start to soften, sprinkle 3 T. of brown sugar over the top.

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Continue to cook and stir for another two-three minutes, until the apples glaze. You can sprinkle them with additional cinnamon if you like.

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Serve the apples warm as a topping for the pancakes, with butter and maple syrup.

pavlova1_little_house_dunes

by Heather Harris-Brady

This is what I typically make for Easter dessert. Again, the nest thing – besides, it’s nice and light so you get up from the table feeling decidedly more springy. The general rule for pavlova meringue is 1/2 c. sugar to 2 eggs, but I cut that down a little bit usually.

This dessert was created in honor of Anna Pavlova, the ballerina.

Pavlova, Makes 8 individual desserts or one large

4 egg whites

1/2 c.  granulated sugar (superfine if you have it)

1/3 c. powdered sugar

1 T. cornstarch

1 t. vinegar

1 t. white vanilla

3 c. whipped cream

4 c. clean, fresh fruit of your choice in bite-size pieces

Preheat the oven to 250. Beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Gradually add the granulated sugar. Continue beating until they are stiff and dry.

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Mix the cornstarch and powdered sugar together. Fold it into the meringue along with the vinegar and vanilla.

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Lightly grease two cookie sheets and form individual meringue nests. You can pipe them too if you like.

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Turn the oven down to 200 and add the meringues. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour until they are light and nearly dry. If you make them ahead you can shut the oven off and just leave them there overnight.

Just prior to serving, plate the pavlovas and top them with one scoop of cream. Add 1/2 c. of fruit to each and top with another spoon of cream. Serve immediately.

pavlova Easter Brunch

lowfat_chocolate_chip_cookies5_little_house_dunes

by Heather Harris-Brady

This recipe is a variation on one that appeared in Cooking Light some years ago. It has about half the fat of my regular chocolate chip cookie recipe and the applesauce keeps them nice and chewy in the cookie jar for nearly a week. (But you don’t taste it.)

Low-Fat Chocolate Chip Cookies, Makes about 40 cookies

1/2 c. butter
3/4 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. white sugar
2 eggs (or egg substitute)
2 t. vanilla
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
2-1/4 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 c. milled golden flax seed
1 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
1 package dark chocolate chips
1/3 c. unsweetened applesauce

Preheat the oven to 375. Cream the butter and the sugars together. Cream in the eggs and vanilla.

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Add the dry ingredients.

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Stir in the chips and applesauce.

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Drop by tablespoonfuls onto lightly greased cookie sheets. Bake about 15 minutes or until they begin to brown. Cool on racks and store in an airtight container.

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flowers1

Hi everyone,

I mentioned earlier that I will be moving to a self-hosted blog. It’s taking a little bit longer than I thought to get everything set up over there. I want to make sure it has all the functionality of this one – plus some! So until it’s ready I’m going to keep posting here. I’ll let you know when it’s time to make the switch.

Happy baking!

Heather

strawberries

Hi everyone,

Just a quick note to let you know that I am in the process of relocating this blog to a hosted service. It will let me do a lot of swanky things I can’t do now, and it give me a way to make the recipes a lot more user-friendly in format.

I’m hoping it will be seamless for you, but in case it’s not please check Wednesday March 20 at http://www.duneskitchen.com.

Posts will still be appearing here until that time. Talk to you soon! Heather

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