Whoa! It feels like so long since our last FND post! We’ve had a crazy couple of weeks with life kind of taking over with vacations, Timbers games, Thorns games, work, and pretty much any thing else you can think of. We all had a great time with our various activities, but it was nice to get back to our good ol’ Friday Night Dinners.
The title of this post is probably a little misleading. We didn’t actually sit around eating sticks of cinnamon all night. Don’t get me wrong, I love cinnamon, but that would just be too much of a good thing. The idea behind this theme (Mary’s superstar idea) was that every dish we made had to include cinnamon in it whether it was 1/4 tsp. or multiple sticks of this delicious spice.
Dinner was a hit. Mary made a wonderful vinaigrette to go along with her home-grown vegetables, Annie made a fragrant cinnamon applesauce, Taylor made a rice dish with a sprinkling of cinnamon and some other colourful spices and I made some cinnamon sugar pull-apart bread that had my kitchen smelling amazing.
We had such a fun night. I was struggling after the PRP treatment I had for my knee and the medicine my doctor gave me for the pain (he was right, this has been a rough weekend), but these ladies (& Antonio) were so great making me laugh and getting my mind off my knee for a couple of hours. I can’t thank them enough. Best friends ever. We chatted about all of the exciting things coming up for all of us this month and started planning Annie & Antonio’s wedding (no, they aren’t engaged yet, but don’t judge us. We’re girls. And Antonio was more than willing to answer all of our questions :))
Now, check out the recipes we used. Everything was delicious so I highly recommend running to your kitchen after you read these (and drool over the photos) and make something cinnamon-y! Enjoy!
Salad with Honey-Cinnamon Vinaigrette:
- Dried cranberries
- Tomatoes, chopped
- Slivered almonds
- 1/3 cup cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. dry mustard
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- (Vinaigrette): Whisk together first 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Add oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until smooth. Serve immediately, or cover and chill until ready to serve.
- Toss lettuce, tomatoes, cranberries and almonds together with the vinaigrette and serve.
- 7 Golden Delicious or Gala apples, peeled and chopped
- 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 cup water
- 3 slices lemon peel
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- In 6-quart stockpot or Dutch oven, place all ingredients. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low; cook uncovered 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until apples are tender.
- Remove from heat; discard lemon peel and cinnamon sticks. Let apple mixture cool slightly, about 10 minutes; puree in a food processor, blender, or mash with a potato masher. Serve warm or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Via Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi, Sami Tamimi
- 1 1/4 cups green or brown lentils
- 4 medium onions
- 1 cup sunflower oil
- 2 tsp. cumin seeds
- 1 1/2 tbsp. coriander seeds
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric
- 1 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
- 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1 1/2 cups water
- Salt and black pepper
- Place the lentils in a small saucepan, cover with plenty of water, bring to a boil, and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until the lentils have softened but still have a little bite. Drain and set aside.
- Peel the onions and slice thinly. Place on a large flat plate, sprinkle with the flour and 1 teaspoon salt, and mix well with your hands. Heat the sunflower oil in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan placed over high heat. Make sure the oil is hot by throwing in a small piece of onion; it should sizzle vigorously. Reduce the heat to medium-high and carefully (it may spit!) add one-third of the sliced onion. Fry for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally with a slotted spoon, until the onion takes on a nice golden brown color and turns crispy (adjust the temperature so the onion doesn’t fry too quickly and burn). Use the spoon to transfer the onion to a colander lined with paper towels and sprinkle with a little more salt. Do the same with the other two batches of onion; add a little extra oil if needed.
- Wipe the saucepan in which you fried the onion clean and put in the cumin and coriander seeds. Place over medium heat and toast the seeds for a minute or two. Add the rice, olive oil, turmeric, allspice, cinnamon, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and plenty of black pepper. Stir to coat the rice with the oil and then add the cooked lentils and the water. Bring to a boil, cover with a lid, and simmer over very low heat for 15 minutes.
- Remove from the heat, lift off the lid, and quickly cover the pan with a clean tea towel. Seal tightly with the lid and set aside for 10 minutes.
- Finally, add half the fried onion to the rice and lentils and stir gently with a fork. Pile the mixture in a shallow serving bowl and top with the rest of the onion.
Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 1/4 tsp. (1 envelope) active dry yeast
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 ounces (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 2 ounces (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted until browned
- In a large mixing bowl whisk together 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Set aside.
- Whisk together eggs and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, melt together milk and butter until butter has just melted. Remove from the heat and add water and vanilla extract. Let mixture stand for a minute or two, or until the mixture registers 115 to 125°F.
- Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula. Add the eggs and stir the mixture until the eggs are incorporated into the batter. The eggs will feel soupy and it’ll seem like the dough and the eggs are never going to come together. Keep stirring. Add the remaining 3/4 cup of flour and stir with the spatula for about 2 minutes. The mixture will be sticky. That’s just right.
- Place the dough is a large, greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel. Place in a warm space and allow to rest until doubled in size, about 1 hour. *The dough can be risen until doubled in size, then refrigerated overnight for use in the morning. If you’re using this method, just let the dough rest on the counter for 30 minutes before following the roll-out directions below.
- While the dough rises, whisk together the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg for the filling. Set aside. Melt 2 ounces of butter until browned. Set aside. Grease and flour a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. Set that aside too.
- Deflate the risen dough and knead about 2 tablespoons of flour into the dough. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rest for 5 minutes. On a lightly floured work surface, use a rolling pin to roll the dough out. The dough should be 12-inches tall and about 20-inches long. If you can’t get the dough to 20-inches long… that’s okay. Just roll it as large as the dough will go. Use a pastry brush to spread melted butter across all of the dough. Sprinkle with all of the sugar and cinnamon mixture.
- Slice the dough vertically, into six equal-sized strips. Stack the strips on top of one another and slice the stack into six equal slices once again. You’ll have six stacks of six squares. Layer the dough squares in the loaf pan like a flip-book. Place a kitchen towel over the loaf pan and allow in a warm place for 30 to 45 minutes or until almost doubled in size.
- Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Place loaf in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is very golden brown. The top may be lightly browned, but the center may still be raw. A nice, dark, golden brown will ensure that the center is cooked as well.
- Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 20 to 30 minutes. Run a butter knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the bread and invert onto a clean board. Place a cake stand or cake plate on top of the upside down loaf, and carefully invert so it’s right side up. Serve warm with coffee or tea.
Happy eating, everyone!