Saturday, January 06, 2007

Enjoying the warmth while it lasts...

Can you believe this weather? It surpassed the 70 degree mark today... we are in January right? We are warmer today that they will be in Phoenix - that's not right! But... since I'm always cold, I'm not complaining! We have the windows open to let the fresh breeze clean out the stuffy air and the pups are thoroughly enjoying romping around outside in the grass - well... more like just sunning themselves as they are kind of lazy.

PS - A note to the grass outside... just because it is warm and the trees are starting to bud does not mean you can start growing - I will not be mowing in January!

I have not made anything with yeast lately and I'm getting the bread baking bug again. Since we still have some bread in the freezer, I opted to go for a sweet treat and made some Cherry-Orange Twists this morning. To make the kneading process a little easier, we played around with beating the dough while it was still quite loose with a mixer for a few minutes. It only took about 3 minutes worth of kneading by hand for the dough to become smooth and elastic. With the inclusion of butter and milk, the dough is soft and quite easy to work with. Flavoring the dough is fresh orange juice, zest and dried tart cherries.

Once risen, this wonderful dough was easily rolled out - we then slathered half of it with a sweet filling made from softened butter, sugar, flour and a bit more zest. The naked side is then folded over the filling and the dough is cut into long strips. These are then twisted and placed on a baking sheet to rise one more time. The twists turn a light golden and open up just slightly as they bake - when they are done and still warm, a simple orange-y glaze made from confectioners' sugar, orange zest and fresh juice is drizzled on top for a finishing touch. Exploding with layers of orange flavor, Jeff has officially proclaimed these "worthy of a spot in a fancy bakery." While I don't know about that, these twists landed a spot on my short "must make again" list.


  1. Funny what you said about the grass! It was 70 around here too today and I was talking to my husband that the grass would better not grow with the warm weather because we would definitely not be mowing the law in January!
    The orange twists look delicious Joe!!

  2. Ana - the grass just keeps getting greener over here... grrr!

  3. Joe - Too funny, I was thinking of posting a picture to my blog of my DH mowing the grass yesterday. ;) He was just mowing some high grass in the lower part of our yard mostly just to burn off the gas in the tank. More warm weather, though, and we really may need to mow!

    We too aired out the house and I tidied up the garage - something I don't do in winter which means quite a mess come springtime.

    We ended the day by grilling.

    Definitely not sounding like January around here either. Love it! :)

  4. Joe, those orange twists look perfect. I've got a lot of oranges here so I think I'll give them a try. I love this weather and the grass can grow all it wants, its not going to get mowed!

  5. We did the same as you yesterday...opened up all the windows and enjoyed the fresh air. Jim even took his kayak out for a spin.

    Those orange twists look amazing!

  6. The orange twists look sinful! Is the black and white pup a cattle dog?


  7. Alysha - They keep saying it is suppose to get cold... it just never comes!

    Vanessa - Thanks!

    Yum - they were quite delicious!

    Barbara - Out with the kayak! Geez - way to early for me!

    Chris - Spike is actually a pound puppy - mixed with a few breeds but mainly Jack Russel Terrier.