Normally I would not dare touch the recipe for my favourite cinnamon buns but this year, I did! In two ways but I will talk about the second way later. The first way was to use buttermilk instead of skim. I was trying to ration the skim milk and had extra buttermilk so I figured, why not?
What surprised me was how much it changed the texture of the bread and it did not seem as sweet. They were still unbelievably delicious but I will not be making them that way again. Fascinating though!
The last time I went to get cheesecloth from my grocery store, it took a woman working there 20 minutes to find it. My store has had a complete facelift since, there was no way I was going to bother going through that again so I decided to snuggle my spices inside a coffee filter instead: two cinnamon sticks, two cloves and a few allspice seeds.
I wrapped them tightly inside the filter with butcher’s twine and put it in the crockpot for a few hours on low. Reg was my foodie hero that day and went to the store on Christmas Eve so I could make our cranberry apple cider over the holidays like we used to when we lived in Ottawa.
This year’s cider was the best I have ever made but I did change a few other components as well ,which I will get to soon.
Marshmallow Fluff-Topped Sweet Potato Casserole
Every year I spend a ton of time looking for the two recipes I use to come up with a fantastic sweet potato casserole and then decide to change it in some way. This year instead of the streusel pecan topping I smeared (not easy to do!) the top with the marshmallow fluff I had from Halloween. Some people top this kind of casserole with marshmallows so I thought, why not?
Egads, too sweet! Ugh! I did like the roasted flavour and how it souffled but overall, this is just not my kind of food at all. If I ever get that stuff again I will make sure to use it in my pumpkin fudge instead.
When your roast is too big for your tiny crockpot
On Christmas I looked at my roast and then at my crockpot. Crap, it was not going to fit. I love crockpot roast beef, it is always so much more tender than when I roast it so Reg suggested I cut off the ends that would not fit and then try and get them inside the crockpot.
It worked! Reg saved the day. Unfortunately the day that I made this (December 25th) I woke up really late and the roast beef wasn’t done until after we got home from going to see Sherlock Holmes near midnight!
As a result, we had our Christmas dinner last night and dang, it was unbelievably good. Had it with mashed potatoes, homemade mushroom gravy, steamed broccoli and some peas. Followed by crockpot apple cider with a cinnamon bun for dessert. Perfect, just a day late.
I can’t help it. No matter what day of the year, I have to experiment with food. I also always come up with foodie challenges. That is just life in the kitchen and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Did your holiday cooking and baking go smoothly this year? Did you stick with tradition or think out of the foodie box?