Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Make - Mini Cinnabuns

Heyo! I have a new recipe to add to my cookbook!

Introducing... Mini CinnaMonis!

How do you pronounce that? (mihn-ee  sin-uh  maw-nees)
Why is it called that? Mini = Small. Cinna = Short for "cinnamon". Moni = My name. Capisce? ;)
Sweet! Yes, they can be. :P
One of my newer "nicknames" at work is "CinnaMoni" because I am constantly "playing" (get covered-in) in the cinnamon when I make the cinnamon-raisin walnut bread at work.



Cinnamon Roll Dough

Cinnamon Filling

1/2 c.

Milk, warm

1 ¼ T.

Makara Cinnamon (Can get @ Cinnabun)


Egg, large, room-temp.

½ c.

Light Brown Sugar, packed

1/4 c.

Butter, melted

Cream Cheese Frosting

2 ¼ c.

Bread Flour

4 oz.

Cream Cheese, softened

½ tsp.


¼ c.

Butter, softened

2 ¼ c.

Sugar, granulated

¾ c.

Powdered Sugar, measured then sifted

1 tsp.

Yeast, dry active

½ tsp.



1) Sprinkle yeast onto the warm milk in the mixing bowl.
2) Add butter, salt and sugar.
3) Add egg.
4) Sift-in bread flour and mix well with dough hook.
5) Knead dough into a large ball. Cover bowl with loose plastic wrap and let rise (I put mine on the back of the stove by the wall between the back burners with the oven turned on). Allow to proof/rise for about an hour - or until double in size.

*While bread proofs, combine cinnamon and brown sugar to create filling.*
*Also while bread proofs, blend cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth to make the frosting. Scoop into a piping bag.*

6) I used kitchen shears, but any way you do it, separate the ball into two pieces. Re-wrap the bowl with one half in it (to keep it moist), and roll out the other half into a horizontal rectangle until very thin (1 or 2 millimeters?).
7) Spread some softened butter (not melted) all over the top of the dough, covering ever little bit - keep it a thin layer, just enough to moisten it/make it shine.
8) Sprinkle cinnamon-sugar filling all over the top except for the about half an inch (horizontally) across the top. (This will allow the dough to be pinched shut.)

(Optional: Mist cinnamon-sugar with water lightly to add a little extra moisture.)

9) Roll the rectangle up tightly, then pinch along the edge to connect the end of the dough to the roll - making a seam.
10) Using a sharp knife (I used a tomato knife), SLOWLY cut quarter-inch pieces of roll.

(Optional: Stick a lollipop/cake-pop stick into the side on the pinched bottom seam.

11) Place mini buns onto a greased cookie sheet and wrap lightly with plastic. Let proof until nearly double in size again.
12) Bake at 400 degrees F for 6 minutes.
13) Transfer buns to a cooling rack immediately and let cool. Pipe cream cheese icing on buns as desired.

*If you want the mini buns to be softer, instead of transferring the buns to a cooling rack, pick them up when manageable and place into an airtight container.
You can also cook them for a little less in the oven for a slight under-baked/chewier texture.*

That's it! Hope you like them!

I know my Steven did. :)


Monday, May 12, 2014

Visit - County Donuts

(Schaumburg, IL)

Yay! My first post on donuts! I love donuts. :D

This. Place. Is. Awesome.

24 hours of deliciousness just north of the Roselle exit off Thorndale.

They make their glaze themselves with a bit of honey included in the mix. Delicious.

I'm not sure, but I think their best seller may be the "Honey Dip," which is a glazed, raised-ring donut. It is a bite of bliss. A puffy, slightly crunchy cloud of heaven, the Honey Dip is.

Another donut worth noting would be the glazed chocolate donut. A-maz-ing. :) I personally ask for the "glaziest" of them when I get them because they are just delicious.

Some of my other favorites are the "Old-Fashioned Sour Cream" (with powered sugar dusting on top). - A crunchy, beautifully made donut that just the right amount of sweetness to it; their black-raspberry filled donut is wonderful, too - as well as their sugared raised ring donut.

Pictured below are three of the above mentioned. I will take a picture of the glazed raised soon (clockwise from top sugar raised, chocolate glazed and black raspberry filled).

They even get customers that come from out-of-state at all hours just for these little scrumptious cakes.

Bonus? They have coupons online you can print out and save a buck or so.

County Donuts - Click here for their website. :)

Mmmmmm, donuts...


Visit - Café la Cave

(Des Plaines, IL)

To celebrate my 21st birthday, my fiance (at the time boyfriend) treated me to a delicious meal at Café la Cave. I have been hooked ever since.

Café la Cave is a more formal place to eat with a cave-like dining atmosphere. It is a family-owned business right next to O'Hare. They have an extremely attentive and friendly staff - and their food is amazing.

We will start off with the starters/appetizers. Now, personally, I have had escargot and oysters and I don't like them just because of the texture. I do try everything anyway so I can appreciate the flavor, but I simply do not care for their textures and refrain from eating them (but I do try them first). The escargot and oysters are delicious. Save the escargot plate and enjoy the butter sauce with some table bread! :) The "Oysters on the Half Shell" are also quite delicous - and even though I couldn't stomach the actual oyster, my fiance ate that as I tried a crunchier bit with some of the sauce. *amazing*

Next up is the soup and salad. I have never had a better French Onion soup than the one they serve here. The bread at the bottom, the crunchy cheese on top, the soup brothy while still being the perfect amount of chunky. Delicious.
The Caesar Salad served there is the best I have ever had. The wedge is pretty dang good, too. :)

If you like steak, the first thing you have to try -and get spoiled with- is their "Steak Diane." Steak Diane is made with tenderloin medallions - gently sauteed with garlic, shallots and mushrooms - finished off with cognac. Get the garlic mashed potatoes to go with. Just trust me - the sauce and the potatoes is heavenly. (Picture below is of the Steak Diane.)

If you are more of a seafood lover, and it just so happens to be on the specials menu, get the "Seafood Bake." It is the most amazing seafood dish I have ever had. I don't remember how they described it, but it had mashed potatoes along the outside of the circular dish, shrimp and scallops and more with a cream sauce inside - all baked so the mashed potatoes had some golden brown tips.... oh, man, I was in heaven when I had this dish.

If the Seafood Bake is not on the specials - get the Atlantic Salmon off their menu. It is pan-seared and served with braised spinach and a champagne-tarragon sauce that is so smooth and delicious you will want to savor every bite. (Picture below is of the Atlantic Salmon.)

Save room for dessert!
Their Bananas Foster is served tableside and is astounding. The Créme Brulee, if you like Créme Brulee, is the best I have had. Silky yet firm texture and the perfect amount of crunchy sugar on top. Raspberries too, to top it all off. Delicious. (Top picture is the Créme Brulee, the bottom is the Bananas Foster.)

Café la Cave is also the place I learned I love cognac. My favorite one at the moment is the Belle de Brillet Pear Cognac, which I like to enjoy -at least one- with each visit. :) They also make a very delicious White Russian.

The best part is that if you haven't yet gotten to try this wonderful restaurant, they do a lot of Groupon supporting and that is an excellent way to try it out!

Cafe la Cave - For their website, click here! :)

Signing off for now!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

The First Post!

This is officially my first post on my new food blog.

*much cheering ensues*

For now I have a place where I may post my own recipes, favorite places to eat at and the best foods there. I plan on having many pictures; I promise I will have at least one picture per post!

How exciting is that?!

Here is the first picture!

Hello! My name is Moni, and this is my food blog.