Mother’s Day Cinnamon Rolls


I made these cinnamon rolls for Mother’s Day (May 10th). This recipe was inspired by 1) the fact that cinnamon rolls are one my my mom’s favourite things and 2) the fact that cinnamon roll recipes have been popping up all of the place recently! This particular recipe is inspired by Smitten Kitchen’s.


  • 1cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 package active dry yeast
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (+ extra for flouring surface)
  • 1/4 heaping tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 scant tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • 1/6 cup sugar
  • 1/6 cup light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • most of a small jar of jelly or jam of your choice (I used peach preserves)
  • 3 tbsp salted butter melted
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or any other nut)
  • 1/2 cup raisins


  • 1-1/2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1.5 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 cup milk

Mix the whole milk, vegetable oil and 1/4 cup sugar in a large pot, and heat it until just before it boils. Turn off the heat, remove the pot from the burner, and let it cool for 30 to 45 minutes. When the mixture is lukewarm, sprinkle in the yeast and let it sit for a minute or two before adding the two cups of flour. Stir the mixture together, cover the pot and let it sit for at least thirty minutes. After this time, the dough should be a giant, puffy but still pretty wet. Add another 1/4 cup of flour, the baking powder, baking soda and salt and stir the mixture together. Either use it right away, or cover the dough and put it in the fridge until you’re ready to use it — overnight or up to a day or two. If it starts to overflow in the pot, press it down.

Generously flour a large counter — the dough is very wet and sticky. Dump the dough onto it, flour your rolling pin well, and roll the dough into a large rectangle about 12 inches wide and as thin as you get it in the other direction. Generously spray a 12-cup muffin tin with a cooking spray, or butter them well.Stir together the 1/6 cup sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon and set it aside. Spread your jam evenly over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch margin at the wider ends. Drizzle three tablespoons melted butter over the jam layer. Sprinkle the jam and butter layer with most of the cinnamon-sugar mixture, the nuts, and raisins.

Starting with the wider side of the rectangle (the one that should be a foot), begin to tightly roll the dough, incorporating the filling. Once it is fully rolled up, cut it into two-inch segments with a sharp knife (a serrated knife works great here). Place one in each muffin cup. Sprinkle the tops of the rolls with the remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture and set the tin aside to puff some more, about 20 to 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 350°F.Bake your rolls for 15 to 20 minutes, until they’re golden at the edges and the filling looks bubbly. Let the rolls mostly cool on a rack.

For the glaze: Beat the milk, butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla together in a bowl with an electric mixture until fluffy. I added two drops of food coloring.

Note: You can easily add chocolate chips, other dried fruit, and other nuts. Feel free to omit the jam layer or any other parts as well. This seems like a difficult recipe, but its really quite easy!

This recipe has been deemed a "hit at home" and is one of the tastiest recipes on Hapa-tite!

Taste of Eleven


Yes, that is one delicious cup-ful of Gifford’s 72% Chocolate Chip ice cream. Even though it was slightly melted, It was still one-hundred-percent delicious-ness.

I went to the Taste of Eleven event yesterday, housed by the Verizon Center to benefit the Capital Food Bank. I didn’t go to help the Capital Food Bank, though I’m glad my proceeds went somewhere–I went to get 6 tastings of over 30 restaurants for only $11. That’s right: ELEVEN DOLLARS. That’s a whole whopping $1.83 per taste. You better believe I was willing to pay that to get free Dasani, free Nestea Pommegranate Passion Fruit Red Tea, Source pork potstickers, Cafe Atlantico ceviche, Zengo ceviche, a Matchbox slider, Zaytiniya Octopus, and ice cream. In fact, I would have paid upwards of four bucks for that ice cream, thats how good it was.

The event only lasted two hours (12-2), and I made sure to get there at around 12:15 so I would have enough time to scope out the competition and dol out my tickets to the six most deserving vendors. The only downside was that, unlike Taste of Georgetown, the dishes didn’t seem to have been planned ahead of time, so weren’t displayed. I felt bad gawking at the booth or asking people what was there, but I didn’t want to wait in line at a great sounding place like Oyamel and get guacamole! Nah, I’m better than that. The only other down-side to this was that it was only two hours! Other than that, it was cheap, great location, and great food. This makes it #2 in the past year’s 3 tasting events so far.

  1. Taste of Georgetown 2008
  2. Second Annual Taste of Eleven
  3. Taste of Arlington 2009

Pictures of all the dishes and descriptions under the cut.

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City S’Mores


Since I bought some graham crackers, we decided to go to the store and buy a chocolate bar and marshmallows and try to make some “City S’Mores”. That’s what I’ll call them since we cooked them over our gas burner using bamboo wooden skewers! I thought they tasted delicious and brought back many childhood camping memories.

Dan then decided to try to make a double S’More.

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Three Alarm Tofu, Spinach, & Oyster Mushrooms


This recipe really made me happy! Everything seemed to turn out just right and tasted delicious. Best part was that it only took about half an hour to make! It was perfect portion sized and really healthy. Below is my exact recipe — feel free to substitute any protein of your choice. Also substitute-able: mirin for rice wine, potato starch for corn starch, sesame-soy dressing for sesame oil, chili powder for crushed red pepper, omit rooster sauce and/or flax. (P.S., I think I would like this without sausage, either full tofu, full seitan, or half tofu/half seitan)

  • 12 ounces firm tofu (we used half tofu and half sausage)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon potato starch
  • 2 teaspoons sesame-soy trader joe’s dressing
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 8 ounces oyster mushrooms, chopped
  • oil for cooking
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 6 ounces baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon flax seed
  • 1 squirt rooster sauce

Place the tofu on a paper towel and press down gently to try and soak up as much water as possible without breaking the tofu. Cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Whisk together the soy sauce, mirin, honey, cornstarch, sesame-soy, rooster sauce, flax, and chili powder. Add the tofu, and gently combine. Set aside for 30 minutes. Set a wok over high heat. Drizzle in oil (~2 tbsp) and swirl the pan around. Add the tofu from bowl using chopsticks (save marinade!). Stir occasionally and cook until the tofu is browned, about 2 minutes. Remove the tofu, add a little more oil and cook mushrooms, ginger, and garlic (and sausage in this case). Stir and cook for about two minutes. Add the spinach and the marinade. Cook until the spinach has wilted, and then add the tofu back in. Serve with white rice.


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Sausage, Mushroom, and Goat Cheese Flatbread


Note for next time: do not use pre-made pizza crust for the flat bread; use either included recipe, naan, or matzo.
This recipe really introduced me to goat cheese! I love the rich texture and flavor of goat cheese in this dish, and also like the spring onion bulbs that baked with the sausage. Mmmm!

Bread (optional, skip to third paragraph if not making)

  • 3/4 cup warm water (about 110°F)
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 packet instant dry yeast
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • 1-1/2 pounds mushrooms, shiitake and button (or your favorite variety or a mix), sliced or roughly chopped
  • 2 spring onion bulbs, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 or 3 sausages (~5-7 ounces)
  • 3-4 ounces crumbled soft goat cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Whisk together the warm water and honey in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the water and gently stir to combine. Let sit about 5 minutes.

Sprinkle 1 cup of flour into the water and stir to combine, forming a thick, sticky batter. Add the olive oil and salt, and then gradually add the remaining flour, stirring to incorporate as much of the flour as you can. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it for about 8 minutes. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and let it rise for 1 hour. Punch it down and let it rise 1 hour more.

While the pizza dough rises, prepare the topping. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Toss the mushrooms with the spring onion, olive oil and malt vinegar in a baking dish or a pie plate. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the sausage meat from the casing and distribute it in small pieces across the top of the mushrooms. Transfer the dish to the oven and roast until the mushrooms are tender and the sausage is cooked through, 30 to 40 minutes.

Heat the grill to medium-high (gas or charcoal). Divide the pizza dough into 4 pieces and roll each very thin. Brush both sides of each piece with olive oil and place directly on the hot grates of the grill. Grill each side about 3 minutes. Divide the mushrooms and sausage amongst the four pizzas. Sprinkle with goat cheese and chives. Leave the pizzas on the grates, turn off the grill and close the cover. Let the pizzas sit an additional 2 minutes, just until the cheese has softened, before serving.

May 19th, 2009