Friday, May 29, 2009

Daring Bakers May 2009: Apple Strudel

This month has been one crazy one, it's taken me up until the last minute to complete this challenge. I've been condo-shopping with my parents for the last 15days and we have finally settled on a place! It's sooo crazy!!! So, between talking with lawyers, notaries, mortgage brokers, real-estate agents and condo-owners I found it a bit difficult to complete this months challenge... but thankfully I did it! I modified the recipe to include strawberries, because I had tons of strawberries lying around the house (in my fridge to be exact). All I did was place 2 cups of sliced strawberries in a small sauce-pan and cooked them over medium heat with 3 tbsp of granulated sugar. I waited for the strawberries to excrete their juices, creating a beautiful, thick and syrupy strawberry compote. I simply mixed the strawberries with the apple-raisin-rum filling and voila! Strawberry-Apple Strudel

Apple Strudel

The May Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Linda of make life sweeter! and Courtney of Coco Cooks. They chose Apple Strudel from the recipe book
Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague by Rick Rodgers.

Preparation time
Total: 2 hours 15 minutes – 3 hours 30 minutes

15-20 min to make dough
30-90 min to let dough rest/to prepare the filling
20-30 min to roll out and stretch dough
10 min to fill and roll dough
30 min to bake
30 min to cool

The beautifully flaky, pastry layers

Close-up of the layers within the score-marks

Apple strudel
from “Kaffeehaus – Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague” by Rick Rodgers

2 tablespoons (30 ml) golden rum
3 tablespoons (45 ml) raisins
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (80 g) sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick / 115 g) unsalted butter, melted, divided
1 1/2 cups (350 ml) fresh bread crumbs
strudel dough (recipe below)
1/2 cup (120 ml, about 60 g) coarsely chopped walnuts
2 pounds (900 g) tart cooking apples, peeled, cored and cut into ¼ inch-thick slices (use apples that hold their shape during baking)

1. Mix the rum and raisins in a bowl. Mix the cinnamon and sugar in another bowl.

2. Heat 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high. Add the breadcrumbs and cook whilst stirring until golden and toasted. This will take about 3 minutes. Let it cool completely.

3. Put the rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a large baking sheet with baking paper (parchment paper). Make the strudel dough as described below. Spread about 3 tablespoons of the remaining melted butter over the dough using your hands (a bristle brush could tear the dough, you could use a special feather pastry brush instead of your hands). Sprinkle the buttered dough with the bread crumbs. Spread the walnuts about 3 inches (8 cm) from the short edge of the dough in a 6-inch-(15cm)-wide strip. Mix the apples with the raisins (including the rum), and the cinnamon sugar. Spread the mixture over the walnuts.

4. Fold the short end of the dough onto the filling. Lift the tablecloth at the short end of the dough so that the strudel rolls onto itself. Transfer the strudel to the prepared baking sheet by lifting it. Curve it into a horseshoe to fit. Tuck the ends under the strudel. Brush the top with the remaining melted butter.

5. Bake the strudel for about 30 minutes or until it is deep golden brown. Cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Use a serrated knife and serve either warm or at room temperature. It is best on the day it is baked.

Mmmm, the luscious filling of apples, strawberries, raisins and rum.

Strudel dough
from “Kaffeehaus – Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague” by Rick Rodgers

1 1/3 cups (200 g) unbleached flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons (105 ml) water, plus more if needed
2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil, plus additional for coating the dough
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar

1. Combine the flour and salt in a stand-mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix the water, oil and vinegar in a measuring cup. Add the water/oil mixture to the flour with the mixer on low speed. You will get a soft dough. Make sure it is not too dry, add a little more water if necessary.
Take the dough out of the mixer. Change to the dough hook. Put the dough ball back in the mixer. Let the dough knead on medium until you get a soft dough ball with a somewhat rough surface.

2. Take the dough out of the mixer and continue kneading by hand on an unfloured work surface. Knead for about 2 minutes. Pick up the dough and throw it down hard onto your working surface occasionally.
Shape the dough into a ball and transfer it to a plate. Oil the top of the dough ball lightly. Cover the ball tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to stand for 30-90 minutes (longer is better).

3. It would be best if you have a work area that you can walk around on all sides like a 36 inch (90 cm) round table or a work surface of 23 x 38 inches (60 x 100 cm). Cover your working area with table cloth, dust it with flour and rub it into the fabric. Put your dough ball in the middle and roll it out as much as you can.
Pick the dough up by holding it by an edge. This way the weight of the dough and gravity can help stretching it as it hangs. Using the back of your hands to gently stretch and pull the dough. You can use your forearms to support it.

4. The dough will become too large to hold. Put it on your work surface. Leave the thicker edge of the dough to hang over the edge of the table. Place your hands underneath the dough and stretch and pull the dough thinner using the backs of your hands. Stretch and pull the dough until it's about 2 feet (60 cm) wide and 3 feet (90 cm) long, it will be tissue-thin by this time. Cut away the thick dough around the edges with scissors. The dough is now ready to be filled.

The strudel is rolled-up, scored and placed on the baking tray

I had a lot of fun rolling and shaping the strudel dough. It was actually a lot of fun! The pasty was wonderfully light and tender, especially after letting the dough rest for quite some time. The filling was perfect! Not too sweet and not too tart... just right. My sisters are still at school right not, but when they come home I'm going to serve up a nice slice of strudel with a scoop of ice-cream on the side... mmmm, what a perfect summer-time snack.

Boy are my parents and siblings going to miss me when I move out. I mean, who's going to surprise them with tasty bakes on random occasions when I'm not around?? And who's going to eat all of my tasty bakes when I make them all on my lonesome?? Wait... I've got it! Thank you Daring Bakers... you'll give me an excuse to invite my family over at least once a month to enjoy a relaxing hang-out and treat-time with me in my new condo. Yay!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Using the bread machine to make PIZZA!

Lately I've been seriously craving pizza. I normally enjoy trying out new pizzerias in my area, in search of that perfect crust+topping combination (that reminds me, I'll have to post some reviews for my local pizza shops) but being kind of broke and too lazy to drive out in search for the perfect pizza I decided that I'd make it myself. Now, you may be saying to yourself... "if you're too lazy to drive and buy pizza, how are you possibly un-lazy enough to spend time making your own pizza". Well, my first response would be... I am so dangerously addicted to baking and cooking that I don't even see it as work, and it actually invigorates me... and gives me more energy to power on through the rest of the day. Weird eh? And my second response would be... I have a bread machine to do most of the hard work for me! Yeah!

After my bread machine pumped out some amazingly tasty sticky-buns, I was ready to try making something on the more savory side. I was ready to find out how the machine would fair in making a pizza crust... and it did not disappoint.

Homemade Bread Machine-Assisted Pizza
Yields 2 pizza crusts

- 1 1/2 cups water (warm at around 90F)
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 1/4 cup bread flour (I used 3 1/4 cups AP flour + 1 cup whole wheat flour)
- 2 tsp active dry yeast

1. Measure ingredients into bread pan, in order listed
2. Select DOUGH setting.
3. Press START
4. Wait for bread to finish and COMPLETE SIGNAL to sound
5. Remove dough from the pan, place in a large ceramic bowl that has been well greased. Cover bowl with cling-wrap and let dough sit for 10 minutes.
6. Divide dough in half, roll each half into a circle large enough for your 2 pizza pans. Grease the 2 pizza pans with olive oil and sprinkle with cornmeal.
7. Place one rolled-dough circle onto one pan, pinch edges to make a crust and then top with pizza sauce, cheese and your choice of toppings. Repeat for second rolled-dough circle.
8. Bake at 400F for about 20 minutes, or until edges are golden and cheese is bubbling.

This bread machine is a wonder! It made the most fluffy, beautiful smelling and delicious tasting crust I have ever made or tried!

This pizza was designed by my sisters; they enjoyed onions, Italian sausage, Ukrainian sausage, pizza sauce and lots of cheese.

My mom and I designed this pizza. It's an all-veggie one, topped with zucchini, mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, green olives, tomato sauce and cheese.

My mom and dad really enjoyed the pizza! They were surprised at how much it tasted like an authentic pizza from a classy Italian pizzeria. It tasted much more fresh than those frozen Delissio pizza we usually eat. And since we made the crust ourselves, we were able to put whatever we wanted on the pizza which is always fun! By making our own pizzas, we can guarantee the freshness of ingredients, and also guarantee that no body will be picking topping pieces off of their slice! I'm glad I tried out this recipe, and I think my parents are starting to appreciate the money I put in to buying the bread machine... whew! When you're parents begin to accept that a pricey purchase is truly valuable, that's always a good thing :)

Friday, May 15, 2009

The BMO Vancouver 1/2 Marathon

I know that the race took place on May 3rd, but I just haven't gotten around to posting about it. Don't get me wrong, I'm super excited and all but it just totally slipped my mind with all the craziness of May that's going on. Mother's day, my dad's b-day, my b-day, working casual as a student nurse in hospital, doing some condo-shopping and trying to have a life :P

So anyways, this post is quite late but I'm still very proud of my accomplishment even though it happened 2 weeks ago. I did it! I ran my first 1/2 marathon ... a whole 21.1k done in under 2hours (1 hour and 49minutes to be exact)! My dad was amazing as well, he finished the 1/2 marathon in under 2 1/2 hours! I'm so proud of him, he's such a trouper.

Surprisingly, I wasn't psyched out the day of the run. The moment I woke up on May 3rd, I was ready to run. I scarfed down a hearty breakfast of low-fat yogurt, whole wheat toast and a banana and of course coffee. I fueled up with a butt-load of water and encouraged my dad to do the same. We had to wake up at 5:30am in order to get to the skytrain station by 6:00am and be at the race in downtown Vancouver by 7:00am. Thankfully the weather was amazing; not too hot and not too cold. I wore my gloves just because they always freeze when I run, and they look cool as well :P

When we arrived at the starting area of the race, we were quite surprised that one of the sponsors was McDonald's... I thought to myself, "probably not the most health motivating franchise" but whatever, they were giving out free coffee! The thing I love about races is not just the event, but it's the atmosphere. There were so many racers hustling and bustling along the busy street, all ready and all eager to show their enthusiasm for health and fitness. There were young and old, new runners and the seasoned professionals... and yet, all were equals on this field. Everyone was happy, chatting away with people they had never met before... but that was okay because runners all have one thing in common, a love for the sport.

Look at all the runners! Who knew that there were so many?? They must've all been hiding indoors on their treadmills (like moi) until race day.

During the run, there were many times when I felt like slowing down and walking parts of the course. But, my determined side pushed through and forced me to keep my speed, dig deep and even run up the toughest parts of the course (i.e. the giant hill at Prospect Point). I'd been training for this run for the past 6 months, and I think it went very well. I wasn't sore at all the next day and upon completing the race, I was actually very invigorated and energized.

My dad always enjoys the post-race freebies that accompany each race. After finishing, we were treated to gatorade, water, electrolyte water, Bear Paws, Dare cookies and crackers, fresh fruit, Cozy Shack pudding, yogurt, mini bagels, baby carrots and McDonald's iced coffee. I'm pretty sure my dad spent about one hour snacking and perusing the post-race arena after the race, and of course I had to join him :P By the time we left Vancouver, it was noon and we were ready to head home with our plastic bags full of free snacks.

My future goal is to possibly run a full marathon, although that is quite ambitious. I'm not sure how well I'd fare if I had to run 42k... although I love running, I think that 3+hours on the road might burn me out and make me go crazy. But anyways, back to the present... most of the craziness of May is over... oh and I probably should think about completing this month's Daring Baker's challenge before the month ends. TTFN

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Mother's Day Pancake Bar!

I actually spent a lot of time trying to decide what to treat my mother to for this Mother's Day, I thought that I'd pretty much done it all... french-toast, breakfast stratas, crepes, omelets, eggs Florentine, potato latkes, finger sandwiches. But then in discussing it with my younger sister, she mentioned that I never really made the traditional pancake breakfast. She's a genius!! So, with my menu pretty much figured out all I had to do wat figure out how I wanted to prepare my pancakes... and I thought what better way than to create the customize-your-own PANCAKE BAR!!

What You Need:
- Pancake Recipe (see below)
- "Mix-in" ingredients
- Topping ingredients
- Super sweet sauces to cover all of the above :P
The "Mix-Ins" included: crushed pecans, chocolate chips, blueberries, butterscotch chips, toffee bits, cookie crumbs and flaked coconut.

The topping choices included: fresh strawberries, apple cinnamon compote, pineapple chunks, bananas and freshly made whipped cream.

I had a lot of sauces available to choose from... I made a strawberry compote, a chocolate fudge sauce, the classic maple syrup and some caramel sauce.

Super-easy Pancake Recipe
Yields 8 large pancakes

- 2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 egg
- 1 3/4 cup buttermilk (or 1 3/4 cup milk + 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar)
- 3 tbsp shortening, melted

1. Combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl.
2. Mix together the buttermilk, eggs and melted sugar.
3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, stirring until just moistened.
4. Let the mixture rest in the fridge for at least 5 minutes (this allows for the baking powder to react and produce nice bubbles, which create the fluffiness)
5. Heat a frying pan or griddle on medium heat. Grease the pan with margarine or butter, using a 1/4 cup sized ladle, spoon the batter onto the pan.
6. Scatter the "mix-in" (1/4 cup mix-in per 1/4 cup pancake batter) ingredients on top of the pancake batter, continue frying the pancake until he bottom is nicely golden. Flip the pancake and cook the other side.
7. Once the pancake is cooked, plate and serve with toppings and sauce!

Here's the batter in the pan with some mix-ins on top... mmmm blueberries, coconut flakes and crushed pecans.

Flipping the pancake over, the blueberries are still kind of visible!

So, the way I set up the bar was that I provided each family member with 2 small dishes (labeled with their names) that were approximately 1/4 cup. I let them know that each cup would be for one pancake, and that they could mix and match whatever "mix-ins" they wanted into one pancake. After selecting their "mix-ins", all they had to do was hand me their dish and I would make them their personalized pancakes right on the spot. With the frying pans already heated and ready to go, each pancake only took about 3 minutes.

Here's my mom's lovely looking pancake. It looks so delicate and elegant, just like my mom :P

This is my pancake, a bit of a mess... all hodge-podge with whipped cream, fudge, caramel and fruits on the side... hehehe, strange looking yet super tasty.

These pancakes were amazing, they were very fluffy... even more so than the ones made using a pre-mix. I don't think I'll ever use that pre-mix stuff again; besides, making pancakes from scratch isn't that difficult. The pancake bar was a success, my sisters really enjoyed it and my mom was excited that she didn't have to cook (or clean)... all-in-all it was a fantastic mother's day breakfast!


Friday, May 08, 2009

Celebrating 2 Birthdays Downtown at Mosaic Bar and Grill

Rated **** 1/2 out of *****
Well, another year's gone by and I am now a year older. Luckily, I'm not the only one feeling a little bit more mature... my dad's birthday is only 4 days before mine :P Being that our birthday's were so close together, and we always enjoy a good ol' 2-for-1 deal... we decided to celebrate 2 birthdays on one day, thus saving us from spending money on 2 trips to a fancy restaurant :P (yes, our Asian-ness shines through even when it comes to celebrations!). My mom said that she would treat the two of us to a meal at any restaurant we chose; my dad, being undecisive and unable to discern between a quality dining experience and a meal at a local Denny's, left the decision making up to me (thank goodness). But, with all of the fancy restaurants located in the Metro-Vancouver area, I wasn't sure of where to start my search.

Finally, after searching for a few hours on my favorite restaurant review site ( I stumbled upon the reveiw of Mosaic: Bar and Grill, located on the upper level of the Hyatt Regency Hotel. I had never heard of this restaurant before, but apparently from the reviews, it's a hidden gem that must be tried at least once (also, they give free dessert if it's your birthday :P). And to my mother's surprise, there was a buy-one-entree-get-one-free coupon in the 2008-2009 Entertainment book so we were gonna save big-time on this fancy meal :) YEAH!

Check out their website: decided to drive downtown rather than take the transit, and boy oh boy was this NOT the night to dine at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Apparently a whole bunch of grade twelve students had decided to celebrate their graduation dinner on my birthday... the nerve!!! :P The lobby of the hotel was packed, and for a minute I was worried that Mosaic would be packed full of noisy teens but luckily they were dining in one of the hotel's conference rooms. Once we arrived at the restaurant, my parents and I were blown away by the crisp, fresh atmosphere of the restaurant. Although it was a hotel restaurant, it had a very classy, west-coast feel to it. We were seated by a very nice host, who introduced us to our waiter and was very kind and courteous.

The set up of the menu was very unique, it came on a clip-board and was very simple. Although it only had a few appetizers and entrées to choose from, their was a great variety in the choices. There were vegetarian dishes, seafood, soups, salads, steak, lamb and poultry. They were also kind enough to suggest wine pairing for a number of the entrées, but since my mom, dad and I are not wine connoisseurs my dad got a Granville-Island Lager, my mom a Golden Margarita and I chose a Sour Apple Martini.

Before our entrées arrived, we were served some warm foccacia bread, olive bread and sesame-poppy seed flatbread. This was a nice change from the classic "french-bread and balsamic vinegar" that you normally recieve from pasta places. The foccacia was very fragrant, as was the olive bread, and the flatbread was crisp and light. The flatbread reminded my parents of the pappadams they use to eat in Malaysia and Singapore, although they said that these breads were much less greasy.

To my surprise, the freebies didn't end there. Our server came around with these little porridge spoons that were carrying the cutest little crab-cakes I had ever seen. One bite into the crab cake, and my first reaction was "woah, this is real crab!" and then "woah, this is sooo good!"

And now, on to the entrées...
My mom is a fairly picky eater, and didn't want to have any fish because she's cautious of the dangers that their little bones pose on her mouth/throat... so she decided to have the 8 oz. mesquite New York strip with shallot butter, haricots, mushrooms and the most amazing potato-leek gratin!! Yes, it cost $34 but it was a very delicious steak.

My dad ordered the chicken legs with tomato ragu, asparagus, creamy mashed potatos and au jus. This dish was $26, and my dad said that it was one of the best pieces of chicken he had ever eaten. (That's saying a lot, because he's eaten a lot of chicken in his life-time)

I of course ordered the lamb. Honestly, anytime there's lamb on the menu my eyes (and stomach) will gravitate towards it. I ordered my lamb rare, and it came out perfectly. The meat was delicious, and far more fresh than any other lamb I'd tried in the past. The lamb was paired with a compote of tomatoes, pearls of yellow squash and zucchini on a bed of arugala. This mixture was topped with a lovely anise-flavored spaetzle (a dish that my close-friend has often suggested I try... and now I see why) and the three medallions of lamb surrounded the beautiful garnish. This dish was truly a masterpiece. All of the flavors married each other so well; the meat was wonderfully tender, and the vegetables were cooked to perfection. Although it cost $34, I would definitely order this dish again.

My mom had heard that Mosaic Bar and Grill provided those celebrating their birthdays with a lovely chocolate cake, but when we asked our server if there was any chocolate cake tonight for our birthday dinner she regretfully informed us that they had sold out. I was a bit disappointed because I had heard so many great things about their giant chocolate ganache cake, and was really looking forward to sampling it. But, our server was so nice that she told us that we would be able to choose anything we wanted from the dessert menu to have for dessert on-the-house. She was so nice about it, and even brought out my dessert with a little candle on top!
My dad ordered the cheesecake, which we all had a sample of. It was divine! The cheesecake was not too dense, but nice and airy; and, the blueberry compote was delicious as well. This dish would have been $8, but for the b-day guy it was complimentary!

One look at the menu and I knew that I wanted the crème brulée. The dish came served with three miniature madelienes (you can only see one in the above picture), a small cup of caramel macchiato and a ramekin of crème brulée. The madelienes were not as flavorful as I would have liked, I was hoping for some citrus essence but I think it was just plain vanilla. However, when you dunk the madelienes in the caramel macchiato the flavors just explode in your mouth! The brulée itself was superb. The custard had a wonderfully smooth texture and the thick layer of caramelized sugar was perfectly crisp and crunchy. This dish would have been $8 but since it was my b-day it was free!!!

All in all, the dining experience at Mosaic Bar and Grill was one that I will never forget. The atmosphere was wonderful, the staff were very friendly and accomodating. We did not feel rushed at all, and the food was spectacular. I think that the only reason we may not return to this restaurant is that the price-range is a little high. We normally don't spend over $100 on dinner for 3, and even with the coupon and free desserts our bill came to over $100. However, despite the pricey menu I must say that this was one of the most gourmet dining experiences I've ever had the pleasure of enjoying and I would do it again... if only we had another Entertainment book coupon :P

Monday, May 04, 2009

A Bread Machine and Sticky Buns

I have often wondered how some of my favorite bloggers manage to have such great success with baking with yeast... happyhomebaker, dowhatIlike and bakingfiend (see links on the right) always manage to create such beautifully creative, fluffy and perfect loaves of bread... chinese buns and mantou. Oh, how I have been envious of their success with yeast because it seems no matter how hard I try and how decent my breads/buns/pretzels turn out, they're never as fluffy, fragrant or tastey as I would like them to be.

But what's this!?!?

A bread machine!!?! Yes, yes it is... I finally sprung for a bread machine! Yay! I feel like I've been spending a lot of money on random things lately (online shopping, craigslist stuff, baking accessories) but thankfully this bread machine did not cost an arm-and-a-leg. It was actually on sale at Walmart for only $55. When I saw the price, I thought that I had to be dreaming... but once I realized that this amazing deal was calling out to me I decided that I had to buy it. I actually had a discussion with my conscience that went something like...

"You don't have $50 bucks to splurge on a bread machine" "But think about all of the money I'll save by not having to buy bread each week" "--- erm... okay"

(I know, my conscience isn't that great of an arguer :P)

Anyways, the second I brought my bread machine home I was already thinking about different recipes that I wanted to try. But before I could make anything, my conscience spoke to me again and said "read the manual! and don't try anything stupid!" luckily, my erratic mind decided to listen. After reading the manual and inspecting all of the parts for damage I was ready to make something... and I decided to bake STICKY BUNS!

Cranberry Sticky Buns
Yields 12 buns (fits in an 8-inch cake pan)

Ingredients for Dough:
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup water
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups flour
21/4 tsp active yeast

Ingredients for Filling:
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 tbsp cinnamon (or more if really like cinnamon)
1/3 cup dried cranberries (may substitute raisins)
2 tbsp brown sugar

Ingredients for Glaze:
2 tbsp butter, melted
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup pine nuts (or your favorite crushed nut)

1. Combine first 8 ingredients in bread machine, as per bread machine instructions. Set cycle to dough.

2. Once dough cycle is complete, remove mixture from the machine and roll to a 9x14inch rectangle.

3. Pour 2 tbsp melted butter on rectangle and spread over the dough evenly; sprinkle on the brown sugar, cinnamon and cranberries.

4. Roll like a Swiss-roll and slice into 1 inch pieces

5. Prepare an 8-inch cake pan with the sticky glaze by adding melted butter, brown sugar and pine nuts to the pan. Mix thoroughly and then arrange the bun slices into the pan. Cover pan with cling wrap and leave to rise for 30-45minutes

6. After rising, bake at 350degrees for 25-30minutes.

7. Remove from oven, invert onto a serving plate and dish out!

This bread machine was amazing! I just had to add all of the ingredients to the machine as it was instructed in the manual and voila! In 1 1/2 hours, I had a beautifully fluffy dough that was ready for me to play with. These buns were very tasty and even rivaled the cinnamon buns from Cinnzeo! I don't think I'll ever by cinnamon buns again :P The only thing I would change would be to not place the buns in such a small pan. Although the bread was sweet and full of flavor, the small pan didn't allow the rolls to expand to their fluffiest potential :( instead, they were forced to stay more dense.
Note: the above picture shows the lovely white rolls and their sad denseness :`(

Oh well, practice makes perfect... and that gives me an excuse to use the bread machine again! Oh... and I forgot to mention, the aroma of fresh dough wafting throughout the house is the most amazing smell in the world!! They should patent that fragrance and sell it as perfume :P