Spanish Rolls


Although called Spanish Rolls, they’re not really from Spain; in fact, I really don’t know why they’re called this since they’re a Filipino type of bread.  Either way, they are yummy cylinders of bread dough, which are baked up with a sweet buttery flavored center.  Usually eaten at breakfast or as an afternoon snack, they will be great any time of the day!

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ROLLS:
1/4 cup WARM water
1 envelope pkg. Active dry yeast, REGULAR
1 tsp. Sugar
3 – 3 1/4 cups All-purpose Flour
1/2 cup granulated Sugar
1 tsp. Salt
1/2 cup warm milk
1/2 stick unsalted Butter, softened (4 Tablespoons)
1 large Egg, lightly beaten

FILLING:
1/2 cup unsalted Butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated Sugar
1/4 cup dry Bread crumbs
1/4 tsp. Vanilla extract

TOPPING:
1/2 cup dry Bread crumbs
2 Tbsp. Brown sugar

 

Let’s begin by blooming the yeast.  In a small container or bowl, combine the first 3 ingredients.  Stir, cover, and allow to rise until the yeast has doubled or “bloomed”.

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While the yeast is rising, combine the butter and milk in a microwave safe dish.  Allow the milk to heat up to WARM and the butter to melt.

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Beat the egg.

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Sift 3 cups of flour, the sugar, and salt into a large mixing bowl. I usually use my stand mixer for this.

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Make a well in the center of the flour; pour in the milk/butter mixture, as well as the beaten egg.

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By this time, the yeast should have bloomed.  Pour this mixture into the center of the well.

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Attach your stand mixer’s dough hook and allow it to combine the ingredients to form a dough.  Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

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After the ingredients have thoroughly combined, and you notice that the dough is still a bit sticky, add  more flour, up to 1/4 cup ONLY!  Do not add anymore than that or the dough may become tough.  Allow the mixer to “knead” the dough until it’s soft and smooth.  This usually takes about 5 – 8 minutes.

NOTE:  The dough will be “slightly” sticky but still manageable!

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Remove the dough and place it into a lightly greased bowl.  Turn the dough around in the bowl and allow it to coat all sides.  Cover with a plastic wrap and allow to rise and double.

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While the dough is rising, start making the filling.  Combine all of the filling ingredients together and stir to combine well.  Add the vanilla extract and combine well, set aside.

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Combine the topping ingredients together as well and set aside.

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Once the dough has doubled, lightly flour your counter top or board and place the dough over top.  Do not knead anymore flour into the dough.  The flour is used for preventing the dough from sticking to the counter.

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Using your fingers, flatten the dough slightly.  Divide it into 4 equal sections.  I just used my pizza cutter to do this.  Now take a section and roll out into about a 10-inch log.

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Now divide this log into 3 equal sections.

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Roll each section into a 3-inch x 8-inch rectangle or as best as you can get it.

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Now take your filling mixture and microwave it for about 15-20 seconds.  This is just to allow it to become an easier consistency to spread onto the dough.

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Spread about 1 tablespoon pf filling onto each piece of dough using an offset spatula or butter knife.  Leave about 1/2 inch clearance from the edges.

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Now taking a corner, start rolling towards the opposite corner of the dough, making sure that the seam is on the bottom.  Take your roll and dredge it into the bread crumb and brown sugar mixture, making sure to coat all sides.  Continue this until all pieces of dough are done.  You should make 1 dozen rolls with this recipe.

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Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan and place your rolls about 1/2 inch apart.

NOTE:  I used up the excess butter left on the wrapper to grease my baking pan.

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Cover the rolls with a pieces of plastic wrap and place in a warm draft free area to rise until slightly doubled; about 1 hour.

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When rising time is almost over, preheat your oven to 350°.  Bake the rolls for about 20 – 25 minutes or until golden brown in color.  Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.  Store leftovers in a plastic ziploc bag.

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Easy Sushi Bake


SUSHI BAKE…..definitely a real crowd pleaser  This is an easier way to serve up a favorite; eliminating the tedious and time consuming process of rolling up individual Sushi.  Bake up a batch and serve it up with seasoned toasted seaweed sheets and prepare to watch it disappear!

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4 cups COOKED Sushi rice (use a stickier short grain type of rice)
1 lb. Imitation crab sticks, shredded
1 lb. baby scallops, thawed OR baby shrimp, optional
1 cup Japanese Mayonnaise, more if needed (Hellman’s REAL mayonnaise may be substituted)
1/2 cup Green onions, chopped
1 – 2 Tbsp. Sriracha hot sauce, add to your taste
1 jar Nori Furikake seaweed sprinkles
2 Tbsp. Tobiko fish roe, optional
Seaweed sheets, each cut into 4ths (I prefer the Korean sushi wraps)

 

Using an open fry pan, add about 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil.  On HIGH heat, brown the scallops until nicely golden and somewhat cooked.  Pour off into a colander and drain excess grease.  Set aside.

NOTE:  You can also substitute the scallops for shrimp.

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Into a mixing bowl, combine the shredded imitation crab meat, the scallops, mayonnaise, green onions, and Sriracha sauce.  Stir to combine well.  Add in the Tobiko fish roe.

NOTE: You can add some prepared Wasabi paste to the mixture OR add some Wasabi Mayonnaise for a bit of a kick.  Try a different variation by using:   1 cup Sour cream mixed with 1/2 cup Hellman’s mayonnaise in place of the Japanese mayonnaise.

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Now, into an 9×9-inch baking dish, (I like it a little thicker), place the cooked sushi rice into the bottom and spread throughout the pan.  Press down to compact the rice into the dish, making the first layer.

NOTE:  You can use a 9×13-inch baking dish for this recipe, just realize that the layers will be thinner.

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Generously sprinkle the seaweed Furikake over top of the layer of rice.  Save some for garnishing the top of the dish!

NOTE:  A variation to this recipe, you can add a layer of thinly sliced avocado to the dish as well.  Pretty much, anything that is in a regular rolled up sushi, you can add as a layer into this dish.  BE CREATIVE!  😉

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Now add the crab/mayonnaise mixture over the Furikake and spread out to cover completely.

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Top with more Furikake sprinkles.

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Place under the broiler and cook just to turn the top of the dish a golden color, turning the dish often to brown evenly. Keep a watchful eye on this as it will burn quickly….Serve topped on toasted Nori sushi sheets that have been cut into small rectangles.

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Easy Bibingka


Bibingka is a type of rice cake, that is made with rice flour and coconut milk and usually baked in banana leaves; that is usually quite buttery.  Here is an easy recipe that I’ve been making for a while.

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1 cup Rice flour, pictured below
2 1/2 tsp. Baking powder
1/4 tsp. Salt
3/4 cup Sugar
4 Tbsp. unsalted Butter, softened
3 large Eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. Vanilla paste or extract
1 cup Coconut milk
Banana leaf, optional

Let’s begin by preheating the oven to 350°.  Prepare an 8×8-inch baking dish, by spraying it with JOY baking spray OR grease lightly with shortening.  Set this aside.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the rice flour, baking powder, and salt. Set this aside.

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Now, in a larger mixing bowl, combine the butter and sugar.  Stir and cream together.

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Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.

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With the last egg, add in the Vanilla paste or extract.  Combine well and mix until smooth.

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Add the coconut milk to the egg mixture and blend to combine well.

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Add in the flour mixture and mix to combine well and smooth, about 2 minutes.  Pour the batter into your prepared baking dish.

NOTE:  Instead of spraying or greasing the baking dish, a clean piece of banana leaf is traditionally used to line the baking pan.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have any.  Pour batter over the banana leaf and bake as instructed.

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Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 – 40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.  Allow to cool slightly before removing to a cooling rack to cool off completely.

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Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls, version I


Cinnamon rolls couldn’t get any easier than this!  Give this recipe a try and taste for yourself…..

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ROLL:
2 1/4 cup WARM water
2 pkg. INSTANT Active dry yeast
1 Tsp. granulated Sugar
1 ( pkg.) dry yellow Cake mix, any brand
5 cups All-purpose flour OR 5 cups Bread flour, either works great!
2 tsp. Vanilla extract
1 tsp. Salt

FILLING:
1 cup Brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted Butter, softened
2 tsp. ground Cinnamon
1/2 cup Raisins, optional

FROSTING:
1/4 cup Butter, softened
4 oz. Cream cheese, softened (1/2 block)
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
1 cup Powdered sugar
Heavy cream, for drizzling consistency

Begin by combining the yeast with the sugar in a large mixing bowl.  Add the warm water and stir to combine to dissolve the yeast.  Cover with a plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draft free area to “bloom” the yeast.

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Here is the brand of cake mix that I used in this recipe.

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Once the yeast has bloomed, add in the package of “dry” cake mix, flour, Vanilla extract and salt.

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Stir to combine somewhat and then using the dough hook of your mixer, process the flour/yeast mixture until thoroughly combined.  Combine this until a soft smooth dough has formed.  This usually takes anywhere from 8 – 10 minutes, sometimes longer, depending on your mixer and the speed.

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Once your soft dough has formed, spray or grease a large glass bowl and place the ball of dough into it.  Roll the dough around in the bowl so that it too is lightly greased all over.  Place a plastic wrap over the top to cover.  Place into a warm area of the kitchen to rise and double in size for about 1 – 1 1/2 hours.

NOTE:  Before starting to prepare my dough, I usually turn my oven on to about 170 degrees for a few minutes, and then I turn it off.  The heat left in the oven is great to help proof the dough.

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While the dough is rising, prepare the filling.  Combine the softened butter with the brown sugar and cinnamon.  It should form a type of paste.  Set this aside.

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Once the dough has risen, lightly flour your board or counter surface.  Pour the dough out onto the floured surface and using your fingers, press the dough down.  Flip the dough to coat the other side with flour.  DO NOT KNEAD IN ANYMORE FLOUR!!  The purpose for the flour is to prevent it from sticking to the counter or rolling pin.

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Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a rectangle roughly about 10 x 18-inches.

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Now add the filling, dotting it throughout the top of the dough.  Using a butter knife or spatula, spread the filling, covering the top completely.  If you are opting to use the raisins, go ahead and pour them over the top of the filling.

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Now, starting at the LONGER end of the dough, start rolling tightly and evenly, smoothing the dough as you continue to roll.  I usually tuck my ends in to close it off.  Now roll the whole log to seal somewhat.

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Now, using a serrated knife, cut the log into half.  Cut those halves into half again.  Now, you can cut the rolls into either 1/2 inch to 1 inch pieces.  I cut mine into 1/2-inch pieces, to achieve more pieces.  Place them onto a silicone lined baking pan OR a generously greased or buttered baking pan.  I prefer to bake my rolls closer together, almost touching each other.

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Cover once again with plastic wrap.  Place the pan in a warm area to rise until doubled.

NOTE:  I usually spray the plastic wrap so that when the dough rises, it doesn’t stick to the plastic wrap.

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While the rolls are baking, start making the glaze by all of the glaze ingredient, except the heavy cream.  If you’d like a more drizzling-like consistency, add 1 tablespoon of heavy cream at a time and continue to mix, stirring to combine until the desired consistency is achieved.

NOTE:  I didn’t use the heavy cream in this recipe, because I wanted a more “frosting-like” consistency.

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Preheat the oven to 350°.  Carefully remove the plastic wrap and place the baking pan into the oven.

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Bake for about 20 – 30 minutes, depending on your oven.  Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.

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Spread the glaze over top of the rolls.  SERVE!

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CHEESY CHORIZO DIP


CHORIZO, which is a spicy Mexican pork sausage that is cured but still needs to be cooked; is what gives this dip it’s distinct flavor.  Creamy, somewhat spicy, with bits of sausage and chilies,  makes this dip oh so good!  Great kept warm in a crock pot and served up with corn tortilla chips.  Serve it up during game time and watch this crowd-pleasing dip disappear!

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1 lb. Mexican Chorizo sausages, casings removed
2 Tbsp. Vegetable oil
3 tbsp. Flour
2 1/2 – 3 cups whole Milk
1 (8 oz.) pkg. Cream cheese
1 cup Mozzarella or Mexican mozzarella, shredded
1 cup Mexican Cotija cheese, crumbled
1 cup Cheddar cheese
2 tsp. ground Cumin
1/4 – 1/2 tsp. Salt, to taste
1/4 tsp. Accent
2 (4 oz. cans) diced green Chiles

Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet. Remove the Chorizo from its casing, crumble and fry them until completely cooked. Remove the Chorizo onto a paper towel to drain. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon  of grease.

NOTE:  Ground breakfast sausage or seasoned ground beef can also be an alternative for the Chorizo.  Just adjust your seasonings accordingly by adding some chili powder, paprika, and some garlic, all to taste.

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Add the flour and stir to combine with the grease, stirring often over MEDIUM heat.

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Slowly pour 2 cups of the milk in to the flour and whisk until combined. The mixture will start to thicken slightly. Add the cheeses, Cumin, salt, and Accent. Stir to combine and melt the cheese.

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If the mixture is still too thick for your liking, add more milk and stir to combine well, until you’ve reached your desired consistency.  Add the cans of diced green chilies and return the cooked Chorizo. Stir to combine well.  Give it a taste and adjust the seasonings, where needed.  Continue stirring until all the cheese has melted and the dip has come up to a slight boil.  SERVE immediately with your favorite or you can keep it in a small crock pot on the WARM setting.  Serve with tortilla chips.

NOTE: If you plan on serving this with tortilla chips, allow for the salt that is also on the chips, otherwise it could become too salty.

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Chamorro Bisteak, version 1


BISTEAK CHAMORRO! This is a version that I make often; it’s quick and easy and definitely makes the tummy happy! Another island favorite that is made in several different ways.  Give it a try, I’m sure it’s bound to be your favorite too! I’ll post my other variations soon.  ENJOY! 😉

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1 small Onion, thinly sliced
6 fresh Garlic, finely minced
2 Tbsp. Vegetable oil
1 1/4 lbs. Beef chuck roast, sliced thinly, against the grain
1/4 cup White vinegar
1/4 cup Kikkoman soy sauce
1 tsp. Black pepper
1/4 – 1/2 tsp. Salt, to taste
2 tsp. Onion powder
1 tsp. Garlic powder
1/2 tsp. Accent seasoning
3 stalks Green onions, sliced into 1-inch pieces
2 Tbsp. Cornstarch
3 Tbsp. Water

In a medium sized bowl, combine the thinly sliced meat with the soy sauce, vinegar, and seasonings.

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Toss the meat then set this aside, covered, and allow to marinate for about 30 minutes.

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Once you’re ready to cook the dish, heat up the oil in a large pan on MEDIUM HIGH heat.  Add the garlic and onions and stir to cook until somewhat translucent.

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Add the marinated meat and stir to combine well with the onions and garlic.    Cover the pan and reduce the heat to MEDIUM LOW.  Allow the meat to cook for about 20 minutes, stirring often between cooking time.

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After about 20 minutes, remove the lid and taste the broth.  You should have more meat juices at this point.  Adjust seasonings to your taste, if needed.

Make a slurry with the cornstarch and water, making sure to stir and dissolve the cornstarch.  Pour this into the meat mixture and stir to combine well.  The meat juices will thicken right away.

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Add the green onions and stir to combine. Allow the dish to cook for about 3 – 5 minutes or until green onions have cooked.  Stir often.  Remove from heat and serve alongside some steamed white rice.

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The Best French Toast


French toast, was a recipe created to use up stale bread. There is nothing better than French toast for breakfast, with thick slices of bread, soaked in a mixture of beaten eggs with milk and cinnamon, toasted in a frying pan, and served with butter and maple syrup; then topped with powdered sugar.  This has to be one of our favorite breakfast dishes. I prefer the thicker bread to make this recipe, because I can’t stand “soggy” French toast, eww!  Add this recipe to your next morning’s breakfast or brunch gathering and be prepared for the compliments.

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4 large Eggs
2/3 cup Whole Milk
1/3 cup All-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. ground Cinnamon
8 slices thick Texas toast bread
Butter, for frying

In a medium bowl, combine all the dry ingredients; the flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon.  Stir well to combine.

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Now in a larger bowl, combine the wet ingredients; the eggs, milk, and vanilla.  Using a whisk, beat until the eggs are well incorporated with the milk.

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Now add in the flour mixture into the egg mixture and using a whisk, once again; beat until well incorporated.  The batter will be thin and lumpy.  If you’d like, strain the mixture into a sieve to remove the lumps, but it’s not necessary.

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Now in a non-stick fry pan, on MEDIUM heat, add in a tablespoon of butter and allow it to melt.

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Place a slice of bread into the egg mixture and allow to soak on both sides for about 30 seconds.

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Place the bread into the fry pan and allow to cook for about 1 – 2 minutes on each side or until slightly browned and cooked.  Remove onto a serving plate and top with butter to allow to melt.  Continue cooking the rest of the bread slices.  SERVE immediately!

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