July 25, 2011

A little Bit of color in your life.

i work with the .net framework, all day, and when using predefined colors, it can be a little bit confusing and a lot irritating. however, i have recently found a chart that makes things a whole lot more simple.

C# Developer Resources has a a great chart that is auto generated from the Named colors in System.Drawing.Color here is a link and a preview:

i have also found another more Clinical Table of the named Colors. here is the Link and the preview.

i have found these two to be very useful when trying to mock-up a screen, or site.

for those of you who may not be working with .Net, but want a simple way to set color schemes, i recommend Kuler by Adobe. it helps you select color schemes based on many of the common design practices( analogous, complimentry, Triad, etc...)  and you can even share them.

one of the nicest features is the plugin for the CS2( and Above) adobe products, that allows you to use this tool inside popular adobe products.

July 16, 2011

My Cinnamon rolls. (best ever made)

i have received several request for my cinnamon rolls, and i figured i would put it up so, you can all enjoy it.

1 1/2 cup warm water.
1/2 cup sugar.
2 tsp. yeast.
5 cups flour.
1 egg.
1/3 cup butter.
1 tsp. salt.

Filling x2 :
1 cube(1/2 cup) butter.
1/2 cup brown sugar.
3 Tbsp. Cinnamon.

Glaze x2 :
1 Tbsp butter.
1 cup powdered sugar.
3 tsp. milk.
1/2 tsp. vanilla.
1/2 tsp. lemon juice.
1/2 tsp. lime juice.

first and foremost, it is more about the process than the recipe. i use a biga preferment method.

so, start by adding the sugar to the warm water. then sprinkle yeast on top, let bloom for 3-5minutes. them stir in. add 1 1/2 cup flour to wet mix. stir thoroughly.

let rise until doubled. stir down, and let rise again.
this may take hours, patients is key.

melt butter, let cool, till under 100 degrees.
stir in egg, and and still liquid butter.

rest 10minutes.

slowly add about half the flour, mix only a 1/2 - 3/4 cup at a time.

add salt.
let rest(autolyze) for 10 minutes.

slowly mix in remaining flour. again mix only a 1/2 - 3/4 cup at a time.
do not add too much flour, dough should be soft, and just a little sticky.

let rise until doubled.

 empty on to lightly flour surface, and divide in two, and form into balls. set aside.

let rest 10 minutes.

for each ball:
place on lightly floured surface.
with the palm of your hand gently flatten the ball.
working in a spiral, from center, flatten ball until it is uniform thickness.

with a rolling pin, roll the dough, into an oblong, about 1/2inch or so
let rest 5-10minutes. do not let a skin form.
while the dough is resting, place cube of butter, in a microwave safe bowl, include brown sugar and cinnamon.
melt filling until liquid.
stir, until well mixed. place in fridge.

roll dough again, the target is less than a quarter inch, the thinner the better.
rest another, 5 minutes.

by now the filling should be a paste-like consistency.
spread thinly and evenly across dough, leaving a 1/2inch border filling-free around edge of dough.
roll up dough.
using a double thickness of strong thread, cut 1-1 1/2inch pieces.

place on baking sheet. leave plenty of room on the sheet.

there are two options as far as proofing.
   -option1( recommended ): Take a flat low pan, place it in oven(or other fully enclosed box).
    place 2-3 cups of water on stove, bring to boil. remove from heat.
    let cool slightly. pour water into pan. fill the pan 2/3rds of the way up.

   -option2: place in warm area, cover losely with a moist tea towel.

proof for 20-30minutes, until doubled.

if you placed the sheet, into oven, remove it and the pan(carefully) from the oven.

heat the oven, 350 degrees (335F if you you use convection, which is recommended)
bake 10-20minutes. just until the start to brown.

remove from oven, let cool for a few minutes, while you make the glaze.

place powdered sugar in a mixing bowl. add juices, and vanilla, mix.
add butter and mix.
add milk, slowly. mixing.

glaze while warm, not hot.

remove from sheet place on wire rack.

all told this process takes me about 3hrs. but it is worth the effort.