A spicy bite for the holidays

Creamy goat cheese topped with sweet hot pepper jellyContributor Terry Milk is an accomplished cook and hostess. She and her daughters love to cook and entertain together. She whipped this up with her daughter, Kathleen who made the tomato salad. This easy appetizer is perfect for the holidays when you are short of time, but want something elegant, but easy. Terry uses her own homemade hot habanero pepper jelly. If prefer you prefer things milder, use a sweet red pepper jelly instead – it will be just as tasty. Terry makes that too! 

1 fresh sliced baguette
4 ounces or 110 grams ( ½ pkg.) of soft goat cheese to spread on the baguette 
½ cup of hot pepper jelly — any kind
½ pound or 250 grams of good-quality thinly-sliced prosciutto
Terry Milk1cup yellow cherry tomatoes, washed and sliced
2 cup of red cherry tomatoes, washed and sliced
Lightly salt the tomatoes
Dress with
1/3 cup of good balsamic vinegar mixed with
2/3 cups good olive oil
Whisk together
Dress the tomatoes lightly and reserve the extra dressing for salads
Sprinkle with fresh chiffonaded (shredded) of basil
Terry's spicy homemade golden habanero jellySpread the baguette slices with the cheese and mound one or two slices of prosciutto on top. Drizzle hot pepper jelly on top. Dress the platter with the tomato salad. This is perfect with drinks or as light first course.

Taking the “sin” out cinnamon buns

Sweetly scented cinnamon bunsOur contributor Terry Milk has been tempting her friends and family with tasty aromatic cinnamon buns for years. She insists it isn’t really all that hard to make a yeast dough. These buns are sinfully delicious, but being homemade — and a decent serving size — they are not as waist-line damaging as commercial varieties. So try your hand at Terry’s tasty breakfast treat on a cool fall morning. Your family and friends will think you are heaven-sent!

Terry MilkDough:
2 Packages Active Dry Yeast
1/2 cup Warm Water (105 to 115 degrees)
1/2 cup Milk
1/2 cup Sugar
1 tsp Salt
2 Eggs
1/2 cup Butter
5 cup Flour
2 Tbsp Cinnamon
½ cup Sugar
½ cup Butter (softened)
In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm water, adding one tsp flour and one tsp sugar. Let this mixture rise until doubled, about five minutes. Heat butter in saucepan until almost melted. Stir in milk, sugar and salt. Put half of the flour in a large bowl. Add eggs, yeast mixture and milk/butter mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until very smooth. Gradually stir in the rest of the flour, just until the dough is firm enough to knead on a counter. Knead for ten minutes until it feels silky and elastic. It will still be a little sticky.
Form into a ball. Rub a little oil over the surface. In a large bowl, cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm draft-free place until it doubles in volume, about two hours. I usually leave it in an unheated oven.
Divide dough in half. Knead each dough ball for 3-4 minutes. Roll each dough ball into a rectangle, approximately ½ inch thick. Spread the surface with half of the softened butter. Mix together the cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle over the dough. Starting on the long edge, roll up the dough. Using a sharp knife, or scissors, cut the roll into one-inch slices. Place them on a heavy gauge cookie sheet, which has been generously buttered. Leaving about ½ inch of space between the cinnamon rolls. If a heavy baking sheet is not available, use two sheets.
Let them rise for at least a half-hour. Bake them in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until they just begin to turn golden brown. Take care not to let the bottoms burn. After they cool for 15 minutes, frost them with your favorite icing. I use cream cheese frosting with real maple syrup:
2 (8 ounce) Packages Cream Cheese
½ c Butter
2 ½ c Powdered Sugar
1 tspVanilla extract
½ c Real Maple Syrup
In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla and maple syrup. Gradually stir in the confectioners’ sugar.