Saturday, 24 December 2011

New Traditions

Well, Christmas is tomorrow and boy has it snuck up on me! Stephen's Christmas gift has yet to arrive, some of the gifts are still unwrapped, the house is upside down, and I have started two new traditions today.  If I just started them, does that make them traditions?  Hmmm, I'll have to let you be the judge of that.

Christmas Tradition I: Homemade Overnight Cinnamon Rolls.

What better way to wake up than to the smell of cinnamony goodness permeating the house? They really weren't that hard to make and I was able to tweak the recipe to suit our cinnamon hounds sweet teeth.  I also got to use my stand mixer which I LOVE..... No pictures of these as they all got et as some of my Gillette relatives are wont to say. Here is the recipe though:


  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoon ground cinnamon


  1. Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat. Add the butter and sugar and stir until melted; let cool until lukewarm.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water, let sit for 5 mins.  Then add the milk mixture. 5 cups of flour, salt and eggs; stir well to combine. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and supple, about 8 minutes.
  3. Lightly oil a large mixing bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
  4. Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a 10x 14 inch rectangle. Lightly brush the far edge with water. In a small bowl combine the cinnamon and 3/4 cup brown sugar and sprinkle over the rectangles. Then sprinkle the raisins and chopped nuts over the dough. Roll up the dough into a log and seal the seam.
  5. Cut the dough into 12 equal pieces; place the pieces in a greased 9x13 inch baking pan, or 12 inch deep dish pizza pan. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to rise overnight.
  6. The next morning, preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Take the rolls out of the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  7. Bake the rolls for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden. 

I did use my stand mixer, so you have to change this a bit for that piece of equipment.  Enjoy them - we did!

Christmas Tradition II: Sushi.

I know, I know..... Sushi does not sound very Christmasy, but the kids LOVE it, I love it, and it lets me do something creative in the kitchen.  I figure this is a nice light supper the day before you go hog wild at the Christmas dinner table, and it is a way to slow down and appreciate working with your hands.

Aislin and I are making loads of different types of sushi but my favorites are the spicy shrimp and the Unangi rolls that are made with smoked eel :) YUM!  I actually started this post earlier, but with rolling the sushi, playing with kids, and going to the Christmas Eve party this isn't getting posted until now.

Whatever your traditions might be, I wish you all a Merry Christmas!


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