Cooking With Dough

Jumbo Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

Hey everyone!!  Sorry I have been MIA since April… but,  its for a great reason, we are expecting baby #2!! Now that I am a little more than half way through my pregnancy I am getting some energy back and finally feeling up to blogging again, yay!  So naturally for my first post back it had to be something worthy of a sinful pregnancy craving…Jumbo ooey-gooey Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting… are you drooling yet?!  

 I must admit these are a bit of a labor of love, but so so worth it if you have the time to make them.   There is something so rewarding about making baked goods from scratch… so many people are intimidated by baking recipes with yeast, but honestly as long as you have time it really is quite simple!  So if your feeling adventurous one weekend give these babies a whirl, you and your family wont be disappointed!!



2 ½ tsp. active dry yeast

½ cup granulated sugar

1 cup warm water

¼ cup whole milk

2 eggs

6 tbsp. butter, melted (plus more for greasing)

4 to 5 cups all purpose flour (plus more for rolling dough)

1 tsp. kosher salt


½ cup butter (1 stick) softened to room temperature

1 ½ cups dark brown sugar

2 ½ tbsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. corn starch


8 oz. cream cheese, softened

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup powdered sugar

½ tsp. kosher salt



Grease two 9 x 13 inch baking dishes with butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a small bowl mix together the warm water, granulated sugar, and yeast, set it aside for 5 minutes.

In a large bowl combine together the melted butter, milk, and eggs.

Once yeast mixture has sat for 5 minutes and is frothy, add it to the large bowl containing the egg mixture and stir until combine; add in salt. Then, add in the flour one cup at a time, stirring constantly with a spatula until it forms into a dough.

Once dough is formed transfer it to a lightly floured countertop or work surface. Knead the dough for 5 minutes until soft and is no longer sticky, form into a ball.

Transfer dough ball to a large bowl greased with butter, flip the dough ball over once in the bowl so the top gets coated as well. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth, place bowl in a warm place and let dough proof until it doubles in size, about 1- 1 ½ hours.

In a medium sized bowl combine together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and corn starch and set it aside.

Once dough has proofed, turn it out onto floured countertop and using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a 13” x 20” rectangle. Spread the ½ cup softened butter all over the dough. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture all over buttered dough except leave a one inch space at the bottom of the rectangle so when you roll it up it will seal.

Firmly press the brown sugar mixture into the dough. Start rolling the dough towards you until it becomes one large log. (Make sure the seam side is down.) Cut the log into 12 equal sized rolls.

Place six cinnamon rolls in each greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish making sure they are evenly spaced out. Cover baking dishes with damp cloths and let proof in a warm place again for another 1 – 1 ½ hours or until rolls have doubled in size and are touching each other.

Once proofed, bake at 350 degrees for 20 – 22 minutes turning half way through baking. Cinnamon rolls should be light golden brown when done.

While cinnamon rolls are baking, in a medium sized bowl using an electric mixer, beat together cream cheese and vanilla extract until fluffy. Add in powdered sugar and salt, and beat an additional minute or two.

Once cinnamon rolls are done baking, slather each roll with the cream cheese mixture, serve warm and enjoy!!

The Ultimate Bloody Mary

There is nothing like a Bloody Mary on a Sunday, hell, who am I kidding?  There’s nothing better than a Bloody Mary any day of the week!  I love how they always come with lots of yummy garnishes, almost like an appetizer and cocktail in one… after having my fair share of different style Bloody’s I came up with the ultimate recipe…hope you all enjoy these this Easter Sunday :) 


2 oz.  Vodka

8 oz. Campbell’s Tomato Juice

2 tbsp. Tomato Puree

Juice of half a lime

1 ½ tsp. Worcheshire Sauce

A few dashes of Frank’s hot sauce

2 Tbsp. Olive Juice (the juice is from the jar of Spanish Olives )

½ tsp. prepared Horseradish

Celery salt

1 jar of Spanish Olives

Cheddar cheese, cut into cubes

Celery stalks 


In a tall glass stir together the vodka, tomato juice, tomato puree, lime juice, worcheshire, hot sauce, olive juice, and horseradish, then set it aside.

Rub around the rim of another tall glass with a wedge of lime and dip the rim into a small bowl of celery salt and fill the glass half way with ice cubes.

Pour the Bloody Mary mixture over the ice and garnish with a celery stalk, lime wedge, and a skewer of spanish olives and cheddar cheese.


* This makes 1 serving, you can multiple the recipe by how many people you are serving.

Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes

Who doesn’t like pancakes… I mean really, how can you go wrong on a Sunday morning making a big fluffy stack of flapjacks?!  I must say it is easy to get into the habit of using Bisquick instead of making them from scratch, but I am telling you it is so worth the extra few minutes, especially if you make them a little gussied up like these Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes for instance ;-)



2 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. baking soda

1 ¾ cup milk

1 egg

2 tsp. vegetable oil

3 tbsp. butter, melted

2 tbsp. granulated sugar

1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract

Zest and juice of one lemon

1/3 cup poppy seeds


In a medium sized bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda and set it aside.

In a large bowl whisk together the milk, egg, vegetable oil, melted butter, sugar, vanilla, lemon juice, lemon zest, and poppy seeds; once combined add in the bowl of the dry mixture and mix just until combined, do not over mix!

Heat a large pan over medium heat, add in some butter or cooking spray to grease the pan before cooking the pancakes. Once the pan is greased and hot pour in desired about of batter depending on the size of pancakes you would like; once you start to see bubbles form on the top of the batter(about 2-3 minutes) flip the pancake and continue to cook an additional 2-3 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Continue this process until all pancakes have been made.

Serve with fresh slices of lemon and a sprinkling of powdered sugar and top with your favorite syrup!



Avocado Crostini with a Strawberry Mango Bruschetta

I am a big fan of appetizers…  I love all the variety of a bunch of small bites when entertaining, its so fun to experiment with new recipes and this one was something I came up with when I had lots of extra fruit leftover and tried to do a spin on the classic bruschetta.

I know it may sound like a strange combination of flavors, but let me tell you…  avocado paired with fruit is a match made in heaven! 



1 French baguette, cut into even slices

2 ripe avocados

1 mango, finely diced

10 strawberries, finely diced

1 cup basil leaves, julienned

Juice of 1 lemon

½ tsp. sugar

1 tsp. red wine vinegar

2 cups plus 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar

3 tbsp. brown sugar

Olive oil, for drizzling

Coarse sea salt



Preheat oven to 400 degrees

In a medium sized bowl combine the mango, strawberries, basil, lemon juice, granulated sugar, red wine vinegar, and 2 tsp. of balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, give the mixture a final toss and set aside to marinate for 20 minutes.

In a medium sized pot over medium-high heat add in the 2 cups of balsamic vinegar and 3 tbsp. brown sugar, bring mixture to a moderate boil, (Continue stirring the entire time to prevent the mixture from burning) boil for 5 minutes until mixture starts to reduce and thicken. After 5 minutes turn heat to medium-low and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes. Once the mixture resembles a syrup like consistency it is done; set it aside to cool.

Place the slices of baguette on a baking sheet, drizzle olive oil over top and sprinkle with salt, bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes or until lightly golden brown.

Once baguette slices (also called crostini once baked) are baked top each one with a few slices of avocado, spoon the mango strawberry bruschetta mixture over top the avocado and drizzle each one with the balsamic reduction; sprinkle coarse sea salt over top and they are ready to serve!  

Sweet Potato Cakes with a Creamy Chimichurri Dipping Sauce

Looking for something a little different to serve as an appetizer at your next get together, or even just something to spice up lunchtime?  Make my Sweet Potato Cakes with a Chimichurri Dipping Sauce!  I promise you will not miss the meat, I combined melt in your mouth baked sweet potatoes with black beans, jack cheese, green onion, and crunchy Panko breadcrumbs… and to make it extra special I made a flavorful dipping sauce with homemade Chimichurri sauce and blended it all together with sour cream.  Dipping these sweet potato cakes into creamy spicy sauce is a match made in heaven…



For Sweet Potato Cakes:

2 large sweet potatoes

1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed

3 green onions white and light green part only, finely chopped

1 cup Monterey jack cheese, freshly grated

1 cup Panko bread crumbs

Salt and pepper


For Dipping Sauce:

1 bunch large bunch Cilantro (about 1 – 1 ½ cups packed)

½ fresh basil leaves

2 cloves of garlic

1 small pinch of cayenne pepper, optional

½ tsp. Cumin

Salt and Pepper

2 tsp. red wine vinegar

Juice of one lime

½ olive oil, plus more for cooking

2/3 cup sour cream



Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Once oven has reached 400 degrees, pierce the sweet potatoes with a knife a few times and place them directly on the rack in the oven, bake for 1 hour.

While sweet potatoes are baking, using a food processor blend together the cilantro, basil, garlic, cayenne pepper, cumin, salt, pepper, red wine vinegar, and lime juice. Blend them together until combined, once combined while processor is on slowly pour in the olive oil; once olive oil has been added turn off processor and add in the sour cream and blend one final time. Transfer to a bowl and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Once sweet potatoes have baked for 1 hour remove them from the oven and allow to rest until cool enough to handle. Once cooled, peel off the skins and scrape all insides into a medium sized bowl, add in the black beans, green onions, cheese, panko breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper; stir until combined and form into equal sized patties. (whatever size you prefer)

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and drizzle with olive oil, once olive oil starts to heat up place a few patties and lightly press down to flatten them a bit, cook 2-3 minutes per side or until they form a dark brown crust; continue this process until all patties have been cooked. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain any excess oil, serve warm with a dollop of dipping sauce.