A Cinnamon Roll in a Minute

I know I missed a week or so there, but I’ll blame finances and if this was a more political blog, I’d go into the details of being a struggling, underpaid, under-worked, over-educated millennial, but this isn’t…  It’s just that the past week, I was using up the minute dinners and cans of goods, so there wasn’t really anything worth posting.  I did attempt this delicious mug cake below, but the first picture was horrible, so I made it again… it was that good.

Cinnamon Roll Mug Cake...it was delicious.

Cinnamon Roll Mug Cake…it was delicious.

I’ll first start off by saying, I didn’t alter this one in any way.  I know that a lot of the times I will, substituting or adjusting for my own tastes, but with these mug cakes, I want to try and do that exact and find the best one.  Let me say that this one really does taste like what it claims to be: a cinnamon roll in a mug cake.  If the texture hadn’t given it away, I would have thought it was a cinnamon roll.  Obviously, this has a more cake texture to it than the bread-like roll but boy, the flavors are so very, very close.

This one is a definite try.  It actually cooks up in the time that the recipe says, is fluffy and full of flavor.  I’d even recommend this on Sunday mornings (it was a tradition in my house as a kid that my dad would get up before church and pop in the cinnamon rolls for us when we woke up…  it was the extent of my dad’s baking).

It has become clear to me that I need a better mug to do these in…  so the search will be on…

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Twofer: Dinner and dessert

Tonight was a pasta night.  It happens quite a bit, usually in the form of an easy microwave dinner or just some pre-made in a jar sauce with noddles.  Nothing fancy but nothing creative either.  I decided to forgo the stables and do something new.

The menu?  Pasta with an easy creamy garlic sauce that I found on this blog and a quick, microwave dessert that’s a bit of a stable for me when I want something sweet and fruity.  I will say this about the menu…  wait a bit before going from your garlic sauce to your apple dessert.  It doesn’t always go well together right away.

Let’s break it down.

The sauce wasn’t too difficult to make and I say this as being a person who cannot make a savory sauce or gravy right to save her life.  Desserts?  No problem.  Savory?  Apparently it doesn’t work in my brain.  That being said, I’ve watched enough cooking shows to believe I could handle this, and you know what?  I did.  What I will say, however, was that I did have to change things up a bit…as usual.

Pasta with a creamy garlic sauce topped with cherry tomatoes, shredded cheese and parsley

Pasta with a creamy garlic sauce topped with cherry tomatoes, shredded cheese and parsley

The recipe on the site calls for a tablespoon of butter, finely chopping garlic and three tablespoons flour (among other things, you’ll have to check the website out to see what).  I didn’t have fresh garlic (boo) so I used the minced stuff which is probably what changed things for me.  My mixture ended up too dry before I added the milk to the mix.  So I hurried and put in another tablespoon of butter, which seemed to help and worked the milk into the mix.  I do think I will cut back on the flour in the future and add more salt, otherwise, the quick save did the trick.

Now, to top it off, and because I’m a sucker for cheese (forget mold allergies, I love my cheese!), I sprinkled a bit of shredded cheese on top, a bit of dried (wish I had fresh) parsley (I’m on a parsley kick), and some cherry tomatoes.  I turned out rather tasty.  It wasn’t as strong a flavor as I would have liked and fresh garlic is probably what would have made this so I’ll give it ago another time when I have it in the house, but for a quick and easy pasta sauce?  It’s a keeper.

On to dessert.  I’m a fan of microwave desserts since I’m just one person.  It makes it easy to stop at one serving.  What I love even more are apples.  I can eat apples till I’m too stuffed to eat.  Just ask anyone who has worked with me at Greenfield Village at Firestone Farm during apple harvest.  Apples, love them!

My favorite thing to do is to add some sugar, both brown and white (I love the flavor mix of the two with an apple), cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg to a chopped apple.  Always taste your apple to check the sweetness, etc.  Every apple breed is different and that changes your ratio of sugar to spices.  I’ll admit, I had a sweet apple and might have added a bit too much sugar (ha!), but I got excited.

Spiced apples with ice cream

Spiced apples with ice cream

Microwave those apples with your spices and sugar for about 1 minute.  I always do spurts of 30 seconds just to be sure.  Then I crumble up some graham crackers or vanilla wafers (preferred) and top it off with just a small scoop or two of french vanilla bean ice cream.  It warms the belly and really isn’t as bad for you as a good slice of chocolate cake, which is a winner in my book.

All in all… not a bad meal.  A typical meal, but a pretty good one.

Coming Back: The Great Mug Cake Experiment

Yes, The Weekly 52 is going back to its roots this coming year and posting at least one new recipe a week.  It worked fabulously the week before, even if I ended up losing track of posts mid-summer.  I did keep baking/cooking a recipe a week.  I loved the experiment so much that I want to bring it back…especially with the continued rise of quality recipes on Pinterest.

To start it off…it’s another mug cake.  I love little mug cakes, to be honest.  I don’t have to bake a huge cake and still get a little dessert.  The downfall is that they can be tricky buggers.  Some are spongy, some are tough, etc.  So when I stumbled on this from Pinterest, I had to try one of them, even if it was based off Buzzfeed.

Two little mug cakes sitting nicely in a row

Two little mug cakes sitting nicely in a row

First things: it isn’t my usual ‘healthy’ dessert.  I say this by explaining that I sub in applesauce when I can to cut down on some of the sugar and egg ingredients.  I’ve had great success with it, but I really wanted to follow this one to the letter since it proclaims to ‘fix’ what’s wrong with most mug cakes.

The top recommendation is to use self-rising flour or at the very least, make your own and they tell you how (1c flour + 3/4 teaspoon baking powder, pinch of salt).  I’ll say this: it’s a key thing to making the consistency that of a regular, baked cake.  I get it…and I’ll stick to it.

Next is the egg and yes, I tend to sub this out a lot so that I can use eggs in other edible things but I stuck with it.  They warn that this is for two mug cakes and that’s the kicker: one egg in a mix is two mug cakes and yes, cutting an egg in half isn’t going to happen.  Another good tip.

The other recommendations are pretty common sense so I moved on to the few recipes they offered on the site.  It is a book afterall and so these were just samples of recipes inside.  I’ll take it and run with it.

I started off with the basic yellow cake recipe because you can do so much to it and yes, they recommend adding.  I stuck to the recipe and made an addition: I added a half spoonful of my homemade strawberry jam.  Next time, I’ll add more but I used up all that I had…

My two mugs baked at 2 minutes and I probably could have gone a smidge longer but they were fine.  They bounced back and cooked all the way through.  I threw on some homemade buttercream colored a dark pink, sprinkled on chocolate chips and called it good.

And it was good.  Was it the best mug cake I’ve ever had?  Honestly?  No.  But it was up there on the list and one that I’ll keep around and reuse.  I will say that it was good enough to think about trying to find the book and putting it on a birthday wish list.