Saturday, July 20, 2013

Sourdough Surprises July: Mango & Strawberry Rolls with Rum Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

I tend not to repeat recipes. I like moving on to try one of the hundreds that I have saved. However, I have made this recipe for sourdough cinnamon rolls SEVERAL times. I love it that much. When I saw that cinnamon rolls were chosen for July's Sourdough Surprises, I was definitely excited. But what would I fill it with? I definitely was not going to do cinnamon. I tossed around a few fruits in my head before I settled on a strawberry mango curd filling.

But sourdough baking can be tricky and I, of course, had some mishaps. You see, it's been extremely hot and I have been busy and my a/c broke. Do you see where I am going here? I think I may have killed my starter or at least made it really sluggish.. I was running out of time to properly revive it and just decided to hope for the best.

My rolls aren't as "billowy" as they have been in the past but they are still unbelievably delicious. I also added whole wheat flour to my dough because I am currently on a traditional whole wheat kick. (I have been baking bread for over two years and two weeks ago was my first time purchasing traditional whole wheat. I have always bought white whole wheat.)

Typically, I don't use a lot of glaze or frosting on cinnamon rolls. I like to let the filling shine. However, I added rum and chopped strawberries to a cream cheese frosting  and it was either eat it with a spoon or pile it high on my rolls. I went with the latter.

I modified Smitten Kitchen's Mango Curd recipe - I used mango pulp instead of fresh mangoes and whole eggs.

I can't wait to see what other people made this month.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Making my way through Patricia Cornwell novels

I mentioned before that I love audiobooks. At this point, I have listened to more than I can count. Lately, I have been making my way through Patricia Cornwell's bibliography. I remember reading a Patricia Cornwell novel while in undergrad but I can't seem to remember which nor have any of the ones that I have listened to sound familiar. Odd. She has a few different series and I have been listening to the Kay Scarpetta series. At the beginning of the series, Dr. Scarpetta is the chief medical examiner in Virginia. We follow her, her niece, and a police officer, Pete Marino, as they investigate cases.

The novels for the most part are well written. I am fascinated with forensic science and it has been interesting following this series as real-life progress is made in forensic techniques and that is reflected in the novels. In the first novel, DNA was a new-comer. Now, it doesn't take a lifetime to get DNA results. I looked forward to my walks when I'd pick up on wherever I left off in a novel. Sometimes I'd keep listening once I got to my destination.

However, starting with The Last Precinct, I have not been very happy with the story. From time to time, there are references to characters and cases from previous novels. The Last Precinct was basically a sequel to the novel before it, Black Notice. And that's fine. But something else was different. I just read that the tense of the novel changed but that's not what bugged me. The story felt convoluted. They threw in twists that seemed too convenient to be plausible. The dialogue was overwhelming. It didn't seem that much happened. I was glad to be finished with that case and then I started Blow Fly a few days ago and it's the same case.

Set me free, Ms. Cornwell! Set me free!

I don't think I will be free from that case for a long, long time. When I finished it last night, there were still several lose ends and a new twist that would certainly change everything from that point onward. There was also a very contrived explanation of for that plot twist - quite the disappointment. I'll keep though. Maybe Trace won't concentrate solely on that case and bring me something thrilling. Honestly, I think it may be best for me to take a Scarpetta-break. Maybe the distance will make whatever happens next a little better. One can only hope.

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