Monday, April 16, 2012

Maw Maw’s Spaghetti (and a yummy cinnamon roll)

This weekend my Mom was in town.  She’s visited many times, so we’re past doing a lot of touristy stuff.  On Sunday, we decided to take it easy and stick with my tradition of testing recipes.  Our whole family has been trying to recreate my Maw Maw’s* spaghetti and it’s never quite right.  Over Christmas I had her walk me through the recipe, and I tried it, but with no luck.  So, I asked my Mom to try to make it while she was here since she used to help her Mom make it.  My first inkling that this was going to work was when we were buying the ingredients and my Mom was very discerning about the sausage.  It had to have a certain “look”.  I knew this was a good sign and I was right!  She made a remarkable close version of the dish.  I will need to add more water next time because the sauce was not quite “saucy” enough.  And I would like to try it with different smoke sausages.  But it was oh so yummy!  The flavor is very hard to describe, which is why it was hard to nail down.  It’s sort of a “country” spaghetti - not really Italian, but maybe a mix of Italian and German.  I definitely think the fact that the smoked sausage had paprika in it is significant, but I’m not sure about the other sausage ingredients.  I’m so excited to have a good hold on this recipe.  And it’s fairly decent calorically, so I could even eat it as a weekday lunch and not feel bad.

I have to admit, I feel a bit protective of the recipe, but I will share it here anyway :)

Grice Spaghetti
Yield: 8 servings

1 pound Pre-Cooked, Smoked Sausage,something with paprika, like a german sweet or kielbasa
½ Onion, chopped
2 ribs Celery, chopped
1 can Tomato Sauce
1 pound Spaghetti
A Little Pasta Water

Fry sausage until crispy, remove from pan

Sauté onions and celery until soft, about 8 mins.  Add tomato sauce and one can of water (or more).  Cook for another 10-15 mins.

Meantime, cook spaghetti until just shy of al dente (it should still have quite a bit of bite to it), drain and add pasta to sauce.  Add a little pasta water to sauce if sauce is too thick or there is not enough liquid - the sauce should be a bit soupy.

Bring to boil, turn off heat, cover and let pasta sit until sauce is absorbed - approx. 30-45 mins.

Serve with sliced pickles and cheddar cheese.


Cinnamon Roll Redo

I also wanted to try a traditional cinnamon roll (after the not so wonderful one I made last week).  I knew I would need to tackle using yeast, so I just went for it.  I found this recipe and it seemed pretty straightforward and easy.  And it was.  The only thing I altered was that I used almond milk instead of real milk.  Since I’ve never had the rolls with real milk, I had nothing to compare it to.  But we all loved the way they came out, so I’ll just keep using almond milk, since that’s what I always have in the fridge.  They were light and fluffy and had a great, true cinnamon roll flavor.  Maybe even with a hint of the almond, which is a good thing in my opinion.  I need to work on the icing though... I wanted it to be more like a frosting than a glaze, but it didn’t work out.  Need to try some different ideas - less milk or more butter maybe?  Also, using yeast was not as scary as I thought, so maybe I’ll actually try a bread recipe soon.
I’m rewriting the recipe here since the original website seems to be protected - I couldn’t copy it into my recipe program.

Cinnamon Rolls
Yield: 8 Rolls

For the dough:
3 ¼ cups All Purpose Flour
¾ Tbsp Rapid Rise Yeast
4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, melted
4 Tbsp Sugar
¾ tsp Salt
1 ¼ cup Milk, warmed

For the filling:
6 Tbsp light brown sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp melted butter

For the glaze:
1 cup Powdered sugar
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 tsp butter, at room temp
3-4 Tbsp Milk (I used half and half)

1) In a large mixing bowl, combine milk, sugar, and yeast.  Let stand for 2-3 minutes.  Then add in the melted butter and salt (I used my Kitchenaid mixer with the whisk attachment)
2) Mix in the flour slowly, stir everything together
3) Knead for about 3-4 minutes until the dough becomes smooth.  (I used the whisk attachment until dough came together and then I switched to the kneading attachment and kneaded the dough for about 3 minutes)
4) Knead by hand for about 1 minute on floured board.  Place in greased bowl and cover with wet towel.  Place in warm spot and let rise about 30-40 minutes
5) Gently deflate the dough and knead for a minute
6) Roll out the dough to a 10-12” rectangle on lightly floured surface. (This took awhile - several minutes).  Brush with the melted butter.  Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together and spreads mixture all over rectangle..  Roll into a log starting with the long side.  Pinch to close.  Once rolled, cut approx. 8-10 rolls (about 1 inch in width).  Place the slices flat on a greased baking dish.  Cover and let rise - about 45 mins to an hour.
7) Preheat oven to 350F and bake rolls for 22-25 minutes until golden brown.
8) Make the glaze: Whisk together sugar, butter, vanilla and milk until it reaches a thick, but still pourable consistency.
9) Once rolls are done, let cool for 10-15 mins and then cover with glaze.
10) Serve warm


  1. I will add that the spaghetti re-heats great, it made for a great dinner last night :) By the way, where did you get the nutrition info, is there some app or something where you can plug in all the food info and get the nutrition facts? Also, those cinnamon rolls were ridiculously good.

    1. glad you liked it! i brought some leftovers for lunch today. :)
      i use this site to determine the nutrition info:
      it's super easy to use, but you do have to make sure it captures the right ingredients (for example, if i put in almond milk, it always picks just almonds at first and i have to manually pick almond milk)

  2. The more frosting the better, imho!