Recipes from Getting Lucky - Orange Marmalade Rolls

Last but not least, the Orange Marmalade Rolls from Getting Lucky. This recipe is a little more complicated than the others, and unfortunately does require following the directions rather more carefully than the Caprese Pasta Salad or the Potato Leek Soup. I also didn't come up with this one--I had a lot of influence from The Pioneer Woman's recipe. Go check it out and make sure you use it for reference! Here's just one of the snippets that feature Maggie's Orange Marmalade Rolls--it was really hard to pick just one!


First, we're going to make the cinnamon roll dough. Here is the Pioneer Woman's recipe for her dough.

I actually halved this recipe and still ended up with three very full pie pans full of orange marmalade rolls. If you are making these as gifts (which is a great idea), you could easily make the whole recipe. I've never tried freezing at any point in this recipe, but I'm sure you could. My freezer is way too full to even contemplate this idea :(

Start with a large pot. Definitely make sure it's big enough if you are making the full recipe.


We start with milk. Pioneer Woman recommends whole milk.


Add in vegetable oil and sugar and bring to just below a simmer. Don't be like me and accidentally let it boil for like five minutes. Though the good news is if you're a total dumbass like me and do do that, your rolls won't taste any worse for the wear. Mine were perfectly fine!

Let the temperature of the milk mixture come down until it's just warm--not hot. Then add your yeast.


Make sure you use the right kind. So many of my baking experiments have been derailed by the wrong kind of yeast. Basically, what I'm saying again is don't be like me.

Add the entire packet of yeast to the milk mixture--or two packets, if you're making a whole recipe instead of a half.


Let the yeast sit for a few minutes and get all happy.

Then add the flour.


Mix together.


Cover with a clean towel and put in a warm place. Let it sit for an hour and let the dough rise.

Next you're going to add a bit more flour as well as salt, baking powder and baking soda.


Mix everything together well.

Now it's time to roll the dough out.


Flour your surface well. If you're going to use your kitchen counter (like moi), please make sure it's clean AND dry.

The idea is to get a large rectangle out of your dough. Ignore my rather strange shape. I was somewhat constrained by space and also by my lack of dough-rolling ability. Also make sure you don't get your dough too thin (or thick).  You want a nice even layer.

Time to add the orange marmalade. Don't be like me and put the melted butter on first. It turns out that orange marmalade doesn't spread well over butter. But the good news is that I learned my lesson and can pass that onto you.

Spread the orange marmalade over the dough. With my half-recipe I used a whole jar. I also selected the lower sugar type, which worked out well. I don't like things too sweet and we're going to be adding more sugar anyway so I thought it wasn't necessary.

Next add your melted butter.

Finally, sprinkle brown sugar generously over the marmalade and the butter.


Looks lovely, eh?

Next, a twist that I added to the Pioneer Woman's original recipe. I also sprinkled cinnamon and nutmeg over the brown sugar for a little extra and it was delicious. I highly recommend adding this step in.


Time to roll this baby up!

Starting on one side, carefully roll up the dough tightly. If it's too loose it won't cut into rolls well.


You're going to end up with one long tube of dough and deliciousness.


Your tube will probably look better than  my tube. But however your tube looks is okay! It'll still taste amazing.

Now we're going to cut the tube into one inch rounds and stick them in pie pans. You can use regular pie pans OR do what I like to do and buy disposable pie pans for super cheap. Then if you do give the rolls as gifts, you don't ever have to get them back. And even better, you don't have to clean them! I'm a huge fan of not cleaning sticky things.

You will want to add a little melted butter in the bottom of each pan.


Then, cut the tube into your one inch slices. I've found the best method is using a serrated knife.


You want to make sure to pack the rolls tightly into the pans, too.


Next, place a clean towel over the pans of rolls and let them rise for another 20 to 30 minutes. You'll get much better results if you can place them in a warm location (but not too warm--you don't want to bake them just yet!).


After the rolls have risen one last time, bake them at 400 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes until they're a light golden brown.

The Pioneer Woman also creates a yummy glaze for the rolls, which she pours on right after they're done baking, but I felt they were sweet enough as it was and so I skipped it. But you can definitely add it if sugar is your jam.



And so unbelievably tasty. A nice change from the typical cinnamon roll, I think.


Remember that Getting Lucky is coming out soon--December 1!

I'll be doing a bunch of guest blogs AND I'll be hosting an awesome giveaway to celebrate the release!

Recipes from Getting Lucky - Potato Leek Soup

Another week and another recipe from Getting Lucky! I know I promised I'd make Maggie's infamous orange marmalade buns this week, but when you see the recipe, you'll understand. The recipe is a bit more complicated and I couldn't find the time this week, so soup it is! But soup is amazing, guys, especially in the fall, and this is a great recipe.

But first, a snippet from Getting Lucky:


Here's how you make Potato Leek Soup:

Start with a pot and some butter. So many great recipes start exactly this same way. I'd say this is about three tablespoons.


The absolute best part of this recipe is how adaptable it is. It's pretty much impossible to mess up.

Next, you're going to cut up your leeks.

Leeks. I know, right? Who uses leeks? They're kind of scary looking.


Don't let the weirdness of leeks scare you off. They give great flavor. You just need to know how to deal with them.

First, you're going to want to cut off the dark green leaves, until just the white/light green stem remains.

Like so!


You're also going to want to cut off the other end too. I just didn't snap a pic of that because I'm an utter failure as a food photographer.

Next you're going to cut your leek in half.


Here's the thing about leeks. They're tricky. They also seem to grow with a lot of dirt in-between all those layers. Gross, right? So we need to chop up the leek and then wash the chopped up pieces thoroughly. Dirt is not the seasoning we'd like in our soup.


I don't care if it doesn't look like there's any visible dirt. Wash the pieces anyway.

I usually put all my cut up leeks into a big bowl, then fill with water and swish the pieces around thoroughly.


Then you're obviously going to want to drain all that dirty water out.

Just imagine I have a picture of draining the leeks + dirty water into a colander.

Make sure to shake out as much water out of the leeks as you can. You don't want extra dirty water in your soup.

Your butter has probably melted by now and is now sizzling away nicely. Drop the leeks into the pan and let them cook on medium heat for a few minutes, until they're nicely wilted but not brown.


Basically, don't be like me and get distracted and forget your sauteing leeks.

Next, we're going to add the garlic.  A few cloves minced. You can always add more or less, depending on your preference for garlic. Also, if you find the leek mixture has gotten a bit dry you can definitely add more butter (or olive oil, if you're trying to be more health conscious).


Obviously I was not trying to be more health conscious.

Let the leek and garlic mixture saute a few minutes longer but this time be very careful not to let the garlic over-brown. When garlic burns it gets really nasty and bitter. Not good for soup.

Now we're going to add the stock. You can use chicken or vegetable stock here. I used a combination of both because I had some extra sitting in the fridge. I don't think beef stock would work very well here, though.


I'd suggest adding approximately two quarts of stock. I also added salt and pepper at this stage. About a teaspoon of salt and half a teaspoon of pepper. We'll be seasoning the soup later on in the cooking process, but it's always a good idea to season as you go. Plus this is the liquid we're going to be cooking the potatoes in and we want it to be well-seasoned.

Next the potatoes!


I swear by Yukon Gold potatoes. I love them. I love them just about any way you can prepare a potato. But you can use really any kind of potato you'd like--regular baking potatoes, red potatoes, etc. But really, Yukon Gold are the best. And most grocery stores are carrying them as a regularly stocked item these days. In my humble opinion, their flavor just can't be beat.

You're going to peel the potatoes, then chop them into smaller pieces.


Once the broth, leek and garlic mixture has come to a boil, it's time to add the potatoes.


You want to cook the potatoes at a simmer for 15-20 minutes. The time is going to depend on how large your potato chunks are. I always start checking at fifteen minutes. You want the potato to be fully cooked through but not too mushy. Mushy potatoes = BAD.

Now it's time for one of my favorite kitchen implements. The potato masher!


Now the extent to which you "mash" your soup is up to you. I still like mine quite chunky but you if you want a really smooth texture that's fine too. You could theoretically even cut your potato pieces a little smaller and not do any mashing at all! That's the greatest thing about this soup--you can modify it so much to your personal preference and it always tastes great.

Well, it always tastes great unless you don't wash your leeks properly :(

It appears that I forgot to take a picture of the mashed soup. Whoops. I fail. Just pretend. Or make it yourself and then you can see exactly what it looks like!

Next, we're going to prepare the cheese. You can put so many kinds of cheese into this soup. I like a combination, and used cheddar, both medium and extra sharp white, and some monterey jack for a little kick. You could use mozzarella or fontina or swiss or any other type of cheese. I wouldn't recommend blue cheese or feta or goat cheese, probably, but if you try it and it works, let me know! Also, if you're against cheese (and really, what's wrong with you?), you could potentially even skip it.


Don't bother with the cheese grater. Just cut it up into small chunks.


Now we add it to the soup. Make sure you've turned the burner down to a very low simmer. You don't want your soup boiling away this whole time. Your potatoes will most definitely be mush by this point if you do that.


I wanted my soup a little creamier, so I added a few splashes of half and half. It also helped to thicken it a little. You could use milk, heavy cream or theoretically nothing. Sour cream might even be an interesting addition. I also added some dried parsley, which you could skip or add fresh, if you have it. This is also the perfect opportunity to re-season the soup.

You definitely want to taste it after you add the cheese. Cheese can be really salty, depending on the kind you use and you don't want to over-salt the soup. So add your cheese, and then taste it, seasoning it until it tastes just right.

I apparently also failed to take a pic of the final product, but really, you're going to make this soup anyway. Right? Yes?


Recipes from Getting Lucky - Caprese Pasta Salad

When I'm not writing or watching the Red Sox play, cooking is one of my biggest go-to hobbies. I love scouring the web for interesting recipes, and even more, I love attempting those recipes. Some of my favorite food bloggers are great personalities like The Pioneer Woman and Smitten Kitchen. Make sure to check them out, they were so inspirational as I wrote Getting Lucky. Maggie May King, one of the main characters in Getting Lucky, is a professionally-trained chef and she owns her own little Cafe in Sand Point, California, the setting for the story. The Sand Point Cafe only serves breakfast and lunch, and the food they serve is to die for--at least I imagine it is. Maggie is obviously way more proficient than I am in the kitchen, though I think I do pretty well. I thought it might be fun to talk about some of the food Maggie makes (and Noah eats!) as we count down to the release of Getting Lucky.

Then I decided to get all ambitious and post recipes and snippets from the book and I even photographed my cooking efforts for your viewing pleasure. Note: I am by no means either a professional photographer or a professional chef. That much is going to be abundantly clear.

Here's a small snippet from the book that references Maggie's Caprese Pasta Salad--this week's recipe.

Sounds tasty, yeah? It really is, I've been making it all summer and I've had zero complaints from the man in my house.

Here's how you make it:

First, you've got to start the pasta onto boil.

Here's me, filling a pot with water. PURE CRAZINESS.

I'm using rotini because it's what I had on hand, but any small dried pasta shape would work well. Bowties, especially, would be adorable, and Maggie would approve of anything that's adorable.

The pasta is now boiling! Make sure you follow the instructions on your package to get your pasta to the perfect al dente doneness. Crunchy pasta is a no go, guys. Also, soggy pasta isn't very good either.

While our pasta is boiling, let's chop up the tomatoes for the salad. Because duh, there have to be tomatoes. Caprese Salad consists of mainly three ingredients: tomatoes, basil and mozzarella. So tomatoes are kind of a given in this situation.

I love these cute little grape/cherry tomatoes, especially when you combine the yellow and the red. The yellow ones are called Sunburst and my grocery store started carrying them about a year ago. I LOVE THEM. They're a little bit sweeter than a traditional cherry tomato, and they're fabulous in this recipe. Plus, the colors look so beautiful together!

I typically slice my baby tomatoes in half. If you want to keep them whole, by all means. Whatever floats your boat. If you don't have/don't want cherry tomatoes and want to dice regular tomatoes, that works beautifully too. Basically, what I'm telling you is that this recipe is mighty hard to fuck up.

See, beautiful!

Next up is our mozzarella. There's a few ways you could do this, but I like using boccaccini, which are little balls of fresh mozzarella, usually stored in water. They sell boccaccini in the specialty cheese section of my grocery store, but don't be frightened of how pricey some of the gourmet garlic kale cheddar is--boccaccini is not insanely expensive. This time, though, I didn't get boccaccini (ok, I do like saying it, sue me), I got these even cuter little mozzarella balls called "Pearls." You can see the packaging in the upper photo showing the other ingredients. These are even smaller and don't need to even be cut in half. You can just dump them right into the bowl. BUT please remember DO NOT put the water/liquid in. You want to drain them first. You could also cube up a block of mozzarella if you can't find boccaccini.

Look how precious those are! Also, I'm a fan of less chopping. This is a good opportunity to salt and pepper your tomatoes/mozzarella. Both of those items need quite a bit of seasoning, so don't skimp. I'd approximate I used about a teaspoon of salt and half a teaspoon of pepper. We'll add more later, but PLEASE REMEMBER--you can only add seasoning, you can't take it away. So it's best to be cautious and add in small amounts as you go.

Next, we're going to chop the basil. Obviously, it's better if you use fresh basil (fresh herbs are almost always better). But you can buy some decent freeze-dried and dried basil these days, and if you're in a pinch, it's not the end of the world. Some days my grocery store basil looks nasty. I'd grow my own, but that's a disaster waiting to happen.

If you're using fresh basil, roll up the leaves and cut them into narrow strips. Also make sure that you don't chop up the stems. They're gross.

Those go into the trash can, not your beautiful bowl of Caprese Salad.

Next, we're going to drain our pasta, after it's been cooked the perfect amount of time.

Before we put all our ingredients together, it's time to make the dressing.

Start with about half a cup of mayonnaise. Alternatively if you don't like mayo, feel free to use greek yogurt or sour cream or a combo of any of the above. Add in a few tablespoons of olive oil. This gives it a really nice smooth texture and also adds flavor, especially if you use good olive oil. Yes, in a former life I was Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa.

Next we add in the balsamic vinegar, which is the secret ingredient (ok, not so secret maybe) that makes this entire dish sing.

I'd also add that using decent balsamic vinegar is important. No need to go out and spend a fortune on vinegar, but please don't buy the $2.99 bottle from the corner 7-11. I get mine at Costco and it's perfectly good. Plus it's enormous so it lasts forever.

Whisk the dressing together. Make sure to taste it to make sure your flavor is good. Don't hesitate to add more balsamic vinegar, you really want to be able to taste it. I think I probably added at least a tablespoon if not two.

Lastly, we're going to mix everything together. Now is a perfect time to taste for salt and pepper and also if you need more balsamic vinegar. I had to add another teaspoon or so of salt and maybe 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.

You can eat it just like this, or it's actually way better if you refrigerate it for a few hours or even better, overnight. That way the flavors meld together--BUT remember before you serve, check it again for seasonings.

Bon Appetit! And don't forget to check in next week for our next recipe, Orange Marmalade Rolls!