Friday, November 29, 2013

Cost of Take-Out Lunch, Week Ending 112913

Monday: Teddy's Deli on a coworker
Tuesday: Bravo Burgers for two: $20.12
Wednesday: McDonald's? Whatever it was, it was $4.53
Thursday: Thanksgiving!
Friday: holiday

Total: $24.65
Total for the year: $1489.63

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Pumpkin Rice Pudding



Pumpkin rice pudding? It sounds kind of good and kind of sick at the same time. I like rice pudding quite a bit so it's good enough reason as any to try it.

Pumpkin Rice Pudding
adapted from Cooking Club
click to print

15-oz. pumpkin puree
1 c sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 (12-oz.) can evaporated milk
2 eggs, beaten
2 c cooked medium-grain rice
1/2 c raisins
1/2 c chopped pecans

Heat oven to 350°F.

Whisk pumpkin, 1 cup sugar, cinnamon, ginger, salt and cloves in large bowl.


Stir in evaporated milk and eggs.


Stir in rice, raisins and 1/2 cup pecans.


Pour into 11x7-inch glass baking dish. Place in shallow roasting or broiler pan. Add enough water to come about 1 inch up sides of baking dish.


Bake 15 minutes; stir well. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

The back portion of the pudding is not really that dark - it's an artifact of lighting. The stab wounds in the pudding is indicative of how many times I checked it for done-ness.

Cool 20 minutes. Store in refrigerator.



Originally planning to bring this to work, the licks taken from the knives used to check for done-ness convinced me to keep it at home to I could continue taste-testing the entire dish. There is a whipped topping that was part of the original recipe, but I chose to skip it. I didn't think this rice pudding needed whipped cream and additional nuts.

Cost:
  • sugar: $0.96
  • evaporated milk: $0.88
  • eggs: $0.95
  • rice: $0.80
  • raisins: $0.82
  • pecans: free from Mom
Total: $4.41 or about $0.37 for each of 12 servings

Monday, November 25, 2013

Pumpkin-Pecan Sticky Buns



Once upon a time, I worked at a place that sold caramel-pecan sticky buns and they sold like hot cakes, as did the ooey-gooey cinnamon rolls. This recipe looked like similar to those sticky buns of long-ago days but pumpkin-ized, so I went with it even though I don't have a stand mixer.

There's no way I'm going to bake twelve rolls and eat them all myself. The gluten-free coworker more inclined to eat treats is going to be out of the office so it's a fine time to bake some sticky buns without having to fool around with some gluten-free flour. I've been meaning to do this recipe for a while but the idea of baking rolls twice, back-to-back, or only doing them gluten-free with potentially poor results was a turn-off. What she doesn't know won't hurt her. ;)

Pumpkin-Pecan Sticky Buns
from Cooking Club
click to print

ROLLS
5 1/2 to 6 c all-purpose flour, divided
2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 c warm water (110ºF. to 115ºF.)
1 tsp plus 1/2 cup sugar, divided
1(1/4-oz.) pkg. active dry yeast
2 eggs
15-oz pumpkin puree
1/3 c unsalted butter, melted

FILLING
1/2 c unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 c coarsely chopped pecans, toasted

GLAZE
1 c packed light brown sugar
1/4 c unsalted butter
1/2 c pure maple syrup

Whisk 4 cups of the flour, salt, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ginger and 1/2 teaspoon cloves in large bowl.


Combine warm water and 1 teaspoon sugar in another large bowl. Sprinkle with yeast; let stand 5 minutes or until foamy.


Beat remaining 1/2 cup sugar into yeast mixture at medium speed until combined.


Beat in eggs until blended.


Beat in pumpkin and melted butter until combined.


At low speed, beat in flour mixture until well-blended.


With dough hook attachment if available, beat in remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time until dough forms. Increase speed to medium; beat 5 minutes or until dough is smooth but slightly sticky.

Without a stand mixer, I just did the best I could with a spatula.

On lightly floured surface, knead dough by hand 2 to 3 minutes or until smooth and elastic.

I dumped another 1/2 cup of flour onto my dough, kneaded it in, then added about 1/4 cup more.


Smooth and elastic ball of dough.

Place in large buttered bowl; cover.

I smeared what was left on the butter wrapper on my bowl. It worked great.

Let rise in a warm place 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size.

Meanwhile, toast pecans if you haven't already by baking at 350°F for 6 to 8 minutes or until slightly darker in color. Cool.


Beat all filling ingredients except pecans in large bowl at medium speed until combined.


Spray 13x9-inch baking pan with cooking spray.

Bring all glaze ingredients to a boil in medium saucepan over medium heat.


Boil 2 to 3 minutes or until slightly thickened. Pour into pan.


Gently punch down dough.

It took three hours and 20 minutes for my dough to double.

On lightly floured surface, roll dough into 20x14-inch rectangle.


Spread filling over dough; sprinkle with pecans.


Starting with short end, tightly roll into log; press edges to seal. With sharp knife, cut into 12 rolls; place, cut-side up, in dish.

I guess I started with the long end?

Cover; let rise in warm place 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size.


Meanwhile, heat oven to 350ºF.

Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes. Run small knife around edges to loosen.


Place parchment paper-lined large rimmed baking sheet over rolls; invert onto baking sheet. Cool on wire rack 15 minutes to serve warm, or cool completely.



Even though I used only about 4.75, maybe 5 cups of flour total, the rolls were giant and puffy. They were puffed enough that some of the caramel was oozing over the sides of the dish by the time they were done baking. The center-most rolls turned out much more soft and tender than the outer rolls, though I'm not sure why except that they were insulated by the outer rolls. If that's the case, would I be better off baking enough rolls to use a half-sheet so there's more insulated rolls! Maybe baking them for 32 minutes was too long.

I took them to work and didn't have one left to bring home. Overall, time-consuming (particularly since my rolls took an extra hour to rise after punching down) but not difficult, worth doing again.

Cost:
  • flour: $0.40
  • sugar: $1.02
  • active dry yeast: $0.90
  • 2 eggs: $0.95
  • unsalted butter: $0.95
  • pecans: free from Mom
  • light brown sugar: $0.28
  • pure maple syrup: $2
Total: $6.50 or about $0.54 for each of 12 rolls.