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The Art of Cooking

Right now is a great time to take an inventory of what’s in your pantry. You might not have everything you need to make a recipe as written, but don’t be afraid to change it up.

The Art of Cooking

Giant Cinnamon Roll with Maple-Cream Cheese Glaze

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Serves 4
Giant Cinnamon Roll with Maple-Cream Cheese Glaze

Ingredients

3/4 cup warm water
1 packet active dry or instant yeast (or 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup buttermilk (or 1/4 cup milk and 1 teaspoon of white vinegar)
1 egg
1/3 cup oil
4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the filling:
1/2 cup room-temperature butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Maple cream-cheese icing:
2 tablespoons butter
4 ounces cream cheese
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
 

Directions

Stand mixer instructions:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the water, yeast and sugar; mix and allow to stand for 5 minutes, or until frothy. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg and oil. Add the milk mixture to the stand mixer and mix well. Place the dough hook on the mixer and turn on to low. Add the flour, 1 cup at a time. Continue mixing and adding flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl (only use as much flour as needed). Allow the mixer to knead the dough for at least 5 minutes. Form the dough into a ball using additional flour if needed. Grease the stand mixer bowl and place the dough back into the bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Mix-by-hand instructions:
In a large bowl, combine the water, yeast and sugar; mix and allow to stand for 5 minutes, or until frothy. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg and oil. Add the milk mixture to the yeast mixture and mix well. Stir in the flour 1 cup at a time. Continue to add flour, and mix, until the dough is soft but not sticky (only use as much flour as needed). Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. Place the dough into a greased bowl, cover with a damp towel and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Form the cinnamon roll:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch pie or cake pan; set aside. Combine the filing ingredients in a medium bowl and mix until smooth. Once the dough has risen, roll it out on a floured surface to form a rectangle shape that is about 1/4-inch-thick. Spread the filling over the dough with a spatula. Use a pizza cutter or knife to cut the rectangle lengthwise into 3-inch-wide strips. Roll the first strip up (like a cinnamon roll) and place it into the center of the greased pan. Pick up the second strip and, starting where the first roll ended, roll the strip up around it. Continue with the remaining dough strips to form one large cinnamon roll. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cinnamon roll comes out mostly clean. After about 25 minutes, check the cinnamon roll and, if needed, cover it with foil, to prevent it from browning too much.

For the glaze:
In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Stir in the cream cheese and maple syrup; mix until smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and powdered sugar. Once the cinnamon roll is cool, pour the glaze over it and serve. Tip: double the glaze recipe and reserve half of it for serving with the cinnamon roll; thin it with a tablespoon or two of milk if needed.




Southwest Chicken Skillet

Serves 6 to 8
Southwest Chicken Skillet

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb. chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-ounce package taco seasoning
1 1/2 uncooked cups rice (any kind)
15-ounce can black beans
15-ounce can corn kernels
15-ounce can diced tomatoes
10-ounce can enchilada sauce
2 cups water
Shredded cheese

Directions

 

To large skillet that has a lid, add the olive oil, chicken, onion, garlic and taco seasoning. Stir to coat chicken in spices and cook until the chicken is done. Ad the rice, black beans, corn and tomatoes. Stir in the enchilada sauce and water; mix well. Increase heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil. Place a lid on the skillet and reduce heat to low. Cook for approximately 20 minutes or until rice is done. Top with cheese and serve.

Substitutions:

Chicken-use any cut of chicken (breast, thigh, etc.), canned chicken or rotisserie chicken. If using pre-cooked chicken, add it to the skillet when the rice is added. Taco seasoning-substitute homemade: 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon dry oregano, 1/4 teaspoon onion powder, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt.  Black beans-substitute 1 1/2 cups cooked beans (about 1/4 pound dried beans, cooked). Corn-substitute 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels. Enchilada sauce-substitute an 8-ounce can of tomato sauce and season dish with additional salt to taste.

 




Chocolate Poke Cake with Peanut Butter Fudge Icing

Serves 1
Chocolate Poke Cake with Peanut Butter Fudge Icing

Ingredients

1 chocolate cake mix (plus eggs and oil)
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon butter
Chocolate, for garnish

Directions

 

Prepare cake mix according to package directions; bake in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish according to instructions. Place peanut butter in a medium, microwave safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds to soften. Stir in the condensed milk. Once the cake is cool, use a skewer to poke holes throughout the cake. Pour half of the peanut butter mixture over the cake. To a medium saucepan, add the butter. Heat over medium-low heat until melted. Transfer the remaining peanut butter mixture to the saucepan. Cook over medium, stirring constantly, until the peanut butter mixture boils and begins to thicken. Spread mixture over cake while it’s hot. Garnish with chocolate chunks, shreds or sprinkles from the pantry.

 

Substitutions:

Cake mix-substitute a vanilla cake mix, and add 3 tablespoons cocoa powder; make a chocolate cake from scratch; or use the same topping on a vanilla cake. Condensed milk-make homemade condensed milk with 4 cups dairy or nondairy milk, 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, and 4 tablespoons butter; bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and cook for 30 minutes or until the mixture reduces by half (should yield 2 1/2 cups, or the equivalent of 2 cans of condensed milk).

 

 




Tater Tot Casserole

Serves 6 to 8
Tater Tot Casserole

Ingredients

1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
12 ounces frozen mixed vegetables
2 10-ounce cans cream of mushroom soup
2 pounds frozen tater tots
2 cups shredded cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. To a large, deep skillet, add the ground beef and onion. Cook over medium heat, breaking the beef up into small piece with a spatula as it cooks. Drain excess grease. Stir in the vegetables and soup and mix well. Pour mixture into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Arrange tater tots over the meat mixture. Sprinkle cheese on top. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbly.

 

Substitutions:

Beef-substitute 1 pound of ground pork or pork sausage; or reduce the ground meat to 8 ounces and add 8 ounces of finely chopped mushrooms. Onion-substitute 2 tablespoons of dehydrated minced onion or 1/2 tablespoon onion powder. Vegetables-substitute canned or finely dice raw carrots, celery, green peppers, etc. and cook the vegetables along with the onion. Mushroom soup-substitute cream of celery soup, or make your own white sauce by heating 2 tablespoons of butter/oil in a small saucepan; add 2 tablespoons of flour and cook for 1 minute. Stir in 2 cups of milk, or 1 cup of milk and 1 cup broth; bring to a boil and simmer until it starts to thicken. Tater tots-substitute frozen hash browns, home fries, or French fries cut into smaller pieces; or make your own homemade roasted potatoes by cutting 2 pounds of peeled potatoes into 1-inch cubes; place on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast at 425°F for about 20 minutes.