Jeanne Ambrose and Lindsey Ambrose are a mother-daughter seasoned food-writing team who, between 'em, have done a lot of eating around.
     Jeanne creates, edits, and writes food, nutrition, and health features. Lindsey is a small-space gardener extraordinaire with a penchant for cooking fresh and local. She goes for full-flavored, somewhat-spicy cuisine with a flair for ethnic-fusion feasts. Read More >>

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Hawaiian Sweet Rolls

It’s that time of year. Homemade for the holidays. These easy golden brown fluffs beg for a slathering of butter and immediate consumption. Make an extra batch if you want to allow pre-dinner sampling.

This version is based on a batch of sweet bread recipes I’ve tweaked slightly. My mom used a similar recipe, but made the dough a day ahead and let it take its first rise in the refrigerator overnight. She used it to make cinnamon rolls and coffee cakes for holidays.

Hawaiian Sweet Rolls    

The finished rolls are great for Thanksgiving dinner, but also are perfect for leftover turkey sandwiches. Or use a knife to cut a deep “X” in the top of each roll. Stuff each with a squished roasted garlic clove, some shredded cheese and a little splash of broth. Cover with foil and reheat. 

Make 15 rolls

 1  (1/4-oz.) package instant yeast
3/4 cup lukewarm water (or a combo of milk and water)
1/4 cup melted butter
3 to 3 1/4 cups bread flour (all-purpose flour works too)
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
Melted butter (optional)

1. Combine all ingredients except for the optional melted butter. I like the feel of dough, so I stir as much as I can together with a wooden spoon, then knead with my hands until it becomes a soft, smooth dough. A mixer with a dough hook works, too. Put dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let rise until double. I like to put the bowl on the bottom shelf of my oven with the oven light on. (Do not heat the oven.) The oven light provides just enough warmth to hasten rising.







2. Punch down dough and divide it into 15 pieces. Shape into balls and place in a greased 9×13-inch pan.

Cover pan and let rise until almost double, about 45 minutes. Bake in a preheated 325° oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.





Pancakes for Two


Pancakes for Two


While practicing social-distancing, all by myself, I can’t invite anyone over to help eat everything I love to cook and bake. And we all know that most bloggers, cookbooks, food magazines, and recipe developers discriminate against small—or solo—households. Well, this “family of one” is tired of eating leftovers.

Today, I was hungry for pancakes but didn’t want to make a giant batch. I know, I know, pancakes freeze well. But I have a craving for pancakes once or twice a year, so I don’t need a freezer full of them.

So, I created this recipe that could easily serve two people, but I may have eaten a little bit more than my allotted three 3-inch pancakes. Come on! It’s Sunday brunch. Don’t judge.

First I made a teeny, tiny test pancake to make sure the skillet was at the right temperature!

Teeny tiny test pancake

Alas, I was out of milk for the pancakes (because my local grocery store can’t fill my order for another week!!!). But there’s only a splash of milk in my favorite fluffy ricotta pancakes, so I was pretty sure water would be fine. Didn’t have ricotta, either, so I gave Greek yogurt a try. It all worked! The pancakes have a teensy hint of yogurt tang, but by the time you syrup ’em up, you don’t even notice.

Of course I didn’t have syrup, maple or otherwise. Made some with two ingredients: brown sugar and butter (plus water).  OK…Plus rum! I added a splash of rum at the end because, well, it’s Sunday brunch, people. And I had one lonely banana so I was thinking bananas foster pancakes. Had some blueberries, too (one of those Costco packages of blueberries lasts me forever…same with toilet paper, which is why I didn’t join the hoarding crowd! I bought a monsterous package of Costco T.P. in the fall which will last me another year or two. The best benefit of being single!)

And because this pancake batter is thick, it’s easy to spread it into any shape that makes you happy. I picked hearts today!

Et voila!

A splash of rum in homemade Brown Sugar Syrup and a pile of sliced bananas turn these pancakes into a bananas Foster kind of breakfast!

Yogurt Pancakes with Brown Sugar Syrup

Serves 2 (about six 3-inch pancakes)

1/4 cup flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
Sprinkle of salt (1/8 tsp. if you really want to measure)
1/2 cup Greek yogurt (ricotta cheese, if you’ve got it)
1 egg, beaten
2 Tbsp. water (milk, if you have it)
1/2 tsp. vanilla (or not)
Sliced bananas and/or blueberries
Brown Sugar Syrup, below

1. Combine all the ingredients, except for the syrup. This batter should be more thick than thin.

2. For each pancake, pour, ladle—whatever—a little less than 1/4 cup batter onto a hot, lightly oiled skillet. Gently spread into a 3-inch circle, or heart, or Mickey Mouse shape. (Plan to ruin the first one. Or make a teensy-tiny one as a tester.) Cook over medium heat until top starts to bubble and bottom is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip; cook another 1 to 2 minutes. Serve with bananas and/or blueberries and Brown Sugar Syrup.

Brown Sugar Syrup: In a small skillet over medium-high heat combine 1 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, and 1/4 cup water; bring to boiling. Cook and stir until sugar is dissolved and butter is melted, about 2 to 3 minutes. If desired, add 1 tablespoon rum or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or maple extract.