Warm ups

Have had about a million things going on at once here in Kansas City and all of them seem to involve me making a mess. And then cleaning it up.

Not one scenario involves someone else cleaning up after me.

Last year for Christmas I got the Pioneer Woman Cooks from my aunt and reader of my blog and I've been making all kinds of things out of it lately: Cinnamon rolls, migas, chicken enchiladas and, just a minute ago, brownies! I'll say the brownies are for a work luncheon so I don't sound like I've totally been indulging my whims here, but mostly I've been just indulging my whims.

So my aunt who gave me the cookbook always makes cinnamon rolls and then tells us how easy they are to make, which I never believed. I always thought she was exaggerating because they're so delicious ergo they can't be that easy. And really, they are kind of a pain (and a mess) to make. I made the pioneer woman's and they're good and everything, but can't hold a candle to my aunt's. The recipe I have makes a ton of rolls, so every last square inch of my freezer is now full of these things. Made a cream cheese frosting to go on top and it is probably the yummiest part!

I ran out of pan space and cooked this little cinnamon roll in its own ramekin. Turned out pretty cute, sorry it's a bit blurry.

In the building where I live I've got some pretty cool neighbors. A couple of weekends ago (since I haven't been blogging I should justify my absence, right?) I invited a few of them over for homemade corndogs. I know you're saying, how can you make homemade hotdogs, did you get a pig? And the answer is no, of course I bought the hotdogs already made, but I poked sticks in them, coated them in batter and deep fried them!

My neighbors were quite impressed and my apartment smelled like a grease trap for the next 24 hrs. Totally worth it, I say. And now we're planning a chicken wing party. I'll post pics when that happens, too!

Fresh out of the grease

Making them transported me to state fairs when I was little. I added a pinch of sugar to the batter to sweeten them a bit, but they're just fine as is. Here's the recipe:

Homemade Corn Dogs
Added by A Cozy Kitchen on June 9, 2010 in Beef, Main Courses

IngredientsOil, For Frying
2\3 cups All-purpose Flour
½ cups Yellow Cornmeal
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
¼ teaspoons Baking Soda
¼ teaspoons Cayenne
1 whole Egg
¾ cups Whole Milk
4 Tablespoons Cornstarch
4 whole Hot Dogs Or Veggie Dogs
4 whole Skewers (cut To 6" Length)

Preparation Instructions
Grab a pair of tongs and line a baking sheet with paper towels (for the corn dogs after frying).

Pour your oil in a cast iron skillet, Dutch oven, or deep fryer. Heat over medium-high heat until your thermometer reads 375F. (Note: My thermometer broke—long story—so I eyeballed this. Obviously, this isn’t the way to go, but I just tested the oil by putting a drop of the batter in. When it rose to the top, I knew it was ready.)

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, yellow corn meal, baking powder, salt, baking soda and cayenne. In a large bowl whisk the one egg and whole milk. Then add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients all at once, mixing until just combined. The mixture will look a lot like pancake mix. Don’t over-mix and let it rest for 10 minutes. (I found it easiest to transfer the mixture to a skinnier cup. It made it much easier to dip in the batter.)

While your batter is resting, lay your cornstarch on a baking sheet or big plate. Place each hot dog on a skewer and roll in the cornstarch, being sure to pat off any excess. Then quickly dip the hot dog in and out of the batter. Immediately place the corn dog in the hot oil. Be careful! The oil will be hot and may splash back at you. Cook until the coating is golden brown, 4-5 minutes. Remove with tongs and place on paper towels for draining. Serve with ketchup and mustard.

If I don't get a cease and desist letter for posting the last recipe without a link, I may for posting the pics of Pioneer Woman's enchiladas. I made them chicken though, instead of beef. I'm just not feeling beef in enchiladas.

Faithful readers will recall the jungle quilt I made recently. The family I gave it to is expecting a little baby in late December and I made this recipe with the thought to share some with them. The recipe made so many enchiladas, so I could have some for a dinner date and still give some to my friends to put in their freezer for when they have their hands full being new parents.

Chicken meat and green chiles

This is the plate with enchilada sauce on it for dipping. Looks Mexican doesn't it? But it's really Spanish, from the pottery town of Manises outside of Valencia.


And on to other things warming but not fattening! I have some wonderful wool in my casa that previously belonged to my grandma. Another great surprise from my aunt! It's so beautiful and really wonderful, but I was hesitant to cut it or do anything that wouldn't endure. I wish I knew what my grandma had in mind when she bought it. But I'll never know. So I've been trying out some different ways to finish it, to best display how wonderful it is.

For this wonderful blue with robin's egg blue and a red stripe, I simply bought a silky ribbon in navy and sewed it folded over to the edges with some great shiny red thread I found at, where else, JoAnn Fabric. I've been using it as a throw and it is so warm and I just love the plaid.

For this beautiful hunter green, cream and red piece, I wanted to step it up a bit so I made a quilt backing for it, using organic quilting in the middle. I am still quilting the back, as you can see the geometry of the lines (I love the interplay with the geometry of the wool design). The edges haven't been finished yet, but I plan to use a red ribbon on the edges here. This is going to be super warm when it's finished.

This is how it looks folded up. The quilting gives it a nice heft and I think it's already a favorite!