Saturday, October 3, 2009


I remember that as a kid I had a hard time saying the word cinnamon.  I also didn't learn how to spell it for years, but that is because I am terrible at spelling!

My old roommate Jennie (that really is how you spell her name, it isn't my terrible spelling:) commented on my last blog post about what she could eat with cinnamon in it.  I thought I would do a blog post with some of my favorite recipes with cinnamon in them.  

  • Cinnamon and Sugar-  I have two of the Pampered Chef shakers.  I use one for my cinnamon and sugar mixture and the other one for my powdered sugar.  My husband likes his cinnamon and sugar mixture with a lot more cinnamon than I was used to, but now I like more cinnamon as well.  So my first recipe is to increase the cinnamon and decrease your sugar in your cinnamon and sugar shaker.  I use about 1 part cinnamon to 3 parts sugar (maybe more cinnamon than that).  I put cinnamon and sugar on toast, hot cereal, and a dash on top of my hot chocolate with fresh cream.  We also get out the shaker for crepes.

  • Eat more Indian and Morracan food.  They use a lot of cinnamon in Africa, and India.  Some of my favorite recipes include, Morracan CousCous, and Spiced up Basmatti Rice.  My sister Candee (I bring her up a lot, she must be opinionated :) doesn't think cinnamon belongs in a dish unless it is a sweet dish, but if you can convince your taste buds otherwise, you will be grateful later on.  Most Indian food also has curry in it.  Curry is a blend of spices.  Studies have found that the spices in curry, especially turmeric,  are very good for you.

Moroccan Chicken Stew RECIPE INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3 whole cloves
2 bay leaves
2 cups chicken broth
4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 3/4 to 1 pound)
1 (14.5-ounce) can whole tomatoes with juice
1 large carrot, sliced
1 1/2 cups green beans, snapped into smaller pieces
1 small summer squash, quartered and and cut into large chunks
1 (15.5-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup golden raisins

2 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
2 cups couscous

1. In a Dutch oven or large (8-quart) pot, heat the oil over medium heat for 1 or 2 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and saute them until the onion is translucent, about 2 minutes. Stir in the turmeric, cinnamon, cloves, and bay leaves and cook the mixture for 2 to 3 minutes. (I have also done it all in a crock pot)
2. Add the chicken broth, chicken thighs, and tomatoes and bring the stew to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer the stew with the pot covered for 25 minutes. 
3. Stir in the carrots, green beans, squash, chickpeas, and salt. Cook, covered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and using the edge of the spoon to break the chicken and tomato chunks into smaller pieces. 
4. Add the raisins. Turn the heat back up to medium and continue simmering the covered stew until the vegetables are tender (10 or so minutes more). Add more salt, if desired. Ladle the stew into shallow bowls around a mound of couscous. Serves 4 to 6. 
5. To make the couscous, combine the broth and water in a saucepan and bring them to a boil. Quickly stir in the couscous. Remove the pan from the heat and let it sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff the couscous with a fork before serving. 

Sultana & Cashew Basmati Pilau

I just bought a massive bag of basmati rice from costco that I’ve been dying to try out.  And this was totally experimental, because I made this dish in the rice maker.  Basically, I just followed the rice maker’s guidelines of 2 cups rice and 2.5 cups water:

2 cups basmati rice, rinsed and soaked for a bit, then drained of course

2.5 cups chicken broth

1 cinnamon stick

1 handful of cashews

1 handful of raisins (golden are best, but I just had regular and it was fine)

1 handful of slivered almonds (I chopped up some whole almonds)

a couple spoonfuls of garam masala (from the store or make it yourself.. mine had coriander, tumeric, cumin, fenugreek and chillies)

some more tumeric

a little oil for good measure (I did a couple teaspoons of canola oil.. butter works too)

That’s about it. I just threw it all in the rice maker and hit the white rice button, but you could accomplish this by throwing it all in a pot on the stove and cooking it like any old rice dish (although you may want to get fancy and saute the rice and some spices a little in oil or butter first)

  • You can always stick with the sweet stuff.  I am going to share with you my all time favorite cookie recipe.  I can't believe I am doing this, but oh well.  They are called cinnamon crackle cookies, and I am sure that with all the sugar and butter found in them, that the health benefits of cinnamon is canceled out.  

1/2 C butter
½ C shortening (I use butter)
1 C sugar
½ C packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 t vanilla extract
½ t almond extract
2 ½ C all-purpose flour
1 Tbs ground cinnamon
2 t baking soda
2 t cream of tartar
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
2 t grated orange peel
1 t grated lemon peel
½ t salt
additional sugar

In a mixing bowl, cream butter, shortening and sugars.
Add the egg and extracts; mix well. Combine the next eight
ingredients; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Shape
into 1” balls; roll in sugar. Place 2 in. apart on un-greased
baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-14 minutes or until
lightly browned. Yield: about 6 dozen. These cookies freeze
well. (I only cook about 8 minutes because I like them softer)

  • Anytime a recipe calls for cinnamon, add a little bit more.  As long as it isn't too much, I doubt you will notice.  
Hope this helps you out Jennie.