Thursday, August 28, 2014

Perfect Dinner Rolls


I am a little embarrassed at how many bread/roll recipes I have on here!  But lets be honest, I have a love affair with bread and LOVE trying new recipes.  Every couple of weeks I get an urge to try a new recipe and when I find a good one I just have to share!  These beauties are the perfect dinner roll, not too sweet, puff up perfectly and have a light, fluffy, buttery texture.  Pure heaven! I got the recipe here.

Perfect Dinner Rolls
(15 rolls)

1/4 cup lukewarm water
1 cup warm milk
1 T melted butter, plus one more T for brushing on the tops of the rolls
2 eggs
2 T sugar
1 1/2 t salt
 2 1/4 t yeast
4 1/2 cups flour

Combine the water, milk, butter, eggs, sugar, salt and yeast in the bowl of a mixer.  Add 2 cups of the flour and mix until smooth.  Add the remaining flour 1 cup at a time.  Mix until the dough forms a smooth ball.  You may not need all the flour.  Continue mixing the dough for 4-5 minutes.  The dough should feel elastic and slightly sticky.

Place the dough in a clean bowl sprayed with cooking spray.  Cover and let it rise until it has doubled about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Spray a 9x13 inch pan with cooking spray.  Gently deflate the dough and divide into 15 equal parts.  Shape the dough and place into the prepared pan.  Brush the tops with melted butter.  Cover the rolls and let them rise for about 30 minutes or until they are double in size.

Preheat oven to 375.  Bake the rolls for 15 to 20 minutes or until they are golden brown.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Herbed Sliced Potatoes


We harvested about 60 pounds of potatoes from our garden this year!  So I am always looking for new ways to cook up these beauties!  I found this recipe here and LOVED that I got to use fresh herbs from my garden to season them! They were so easy, beautiful and delicious!  They will be gracing our table time and again!

Herbed Sliced Potatoes

4 large potatoes or 6 smaller ones
4 T butter (about 1 T per potato)
1 t course sea salt
2-3 T chopped, fresh herbs (I used thyme, basil, rosemary, and flat leaf parsley)
1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan, I used asiago, romano and parmesan mix

Preheat the oven to 400.  Wash potatoes and peel if desired (I used Yukon Gold, very thin skin, and left the skin on). Place each potato between two wooden spoons and slice until you hit the spoons.  This will cause the potato to be sliced but still hold together on the bottom.  Mix the herbs into the melted butter and brush onto the sliced potatoes making sure to get the butter and herbs between the slices.  Sprinkle with the sea salt.  Bake for 45 minutes.  Once or twice while cooking, spoon the butter that has dripped off back onto the potatoes. Sprinkle the potatoes with the grated cheese and put back in the oven for about 10 minutes or until the potatoes are soft and the cheese is melted.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Peach Cobbler Muffins with Vanilla Bean Glaze


Peach season is one of my favorite times of year! Late summer, not quite fall, last Saturday before school starts time of year.  I used this muffin base with chocolate chips and kept thinking to myself, this is all wrong!  It needs peaches, not chocolate chips!  So a couple of days later I added fresh diced peaches and vanilla bean glaze.  And like magic, these muffins were born!  They will made as many times as possible during this most delicious season!  Happy going back to school!

Peach Cobbler Muffins with Vanilla Bean Glaze
(12 muffins)

2 cups flour
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 eggs
2 t vanilla
1 large peach (or two small ones) peeled and diced small

Vanilla Bean Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar
2 T milk
1/2 t vanilla bean paste (you can use vanilla extract too)

For the muffins:

Preheat the oven to 400.  Grease muffin pan or use liners.
In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugars, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.
In a smaller bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, melted butter, coconut oil and vanilla bean paste.  I add the coconut oil to the warm butter and stir them together to melt the coconut oil.  
Add wet ingredients to the dry and mix until almost all the flour is absorbed.  Add the diced peaches and gently fold them in until they are incorporated and the flour is all absorbed.  Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and the edges are golden brown.  While the muffins are cooking make the glaze.  

For the Glaze:

Place all the glaze ingredients into a bowl and whisk until smooth.  While the muffins are still hot, drizzle glaze over the muffins.  Let them cool for 5-10 minutes.  Serve warm!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Amazing Chocolate Chip Cookies


It seems like every family has something that they are "known" for.  Well, growing up, my family was "known" for our chocolate chip cookies.  Some of my first memories are of making cookies.  This is how we learned fractions, how we learned the basics of cooking, how we celebrated and how we mourned.  We always used the same recipe, it was one of the first things I knew by heart.  So you could imagine my utter sadness when I moved out of state and our tried and true cookie recipe did NOT work!  I have spent the last 17 years looking for another recipe that would replace my lost recipe.  Now, I have come across and shared some great cookie recipes on here but this recipe takes the cake,  at least when it comes to a good old simple, straight up chocolate chip cookie! These remind me of my family's recipe that stopped working the minute I left California behind.  They are chewy, slightly crunchy around the edges, wonderfully flavored, and perfect straight out of the oven!  I found the recipe here.  I adapted it slightly.

Amazing Chocolate Chip Cookies
(2 1/2 - 3 dozen)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 t cornstarch
1/2 t salt
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 cup butter, softened to room-temp
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 large egg plus 2 egg yolks
1 T vanilla extract (yes 1 Tablespoon!)
2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together butter, brown sugar and white sugar and cream until fluffy. Next add the eggs one at a time, mixing to incorporate each. Then add the vanilla and beat until smooth.

Add the flour in 3 intervals, mixing slowly and well.  Lastly, stir in the chocolate chips.

Place the dough in the fridge for at least 1 hour or up to 24.  If longer than 1 hour, make sure it is in an airtight container so it won't dry out.

Scoop the dough into Tablespoon sized balls and place on a cookie sheet about 1 1/2 inches apart.

Bake for 10-12 minutes.  They are done when the edges are golden. Cookies may seem slightly undone but remove from oven, they will continue to cook for a minute.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Orange Dream Machine (Our Version)


Our boys wake up almost every Saturday and ask to go to Jamba Juice. Their preferred flavor choice?  Orange Dream Machine. Everytime!! SO I finally decided I could probably make it cheaper and maybe even healthier.  Here is what I came up with and it has passed the taste test by every boy, including my husband!

Orange Dream Machine (Our Version)
(about 6 cups)

2 cups Orange Juice
1/2 cup Greek Yogurt (I used Honey flavored, if using plain you will need to add more sweetener)
1 scoop (2 oz) vanilla protein powder
1/2 t vanilla extract
2 T agave, or more to desired sweetness
3 cups of ice, or until desired consistency
2 Calamondin oranges (optional, I happen to have a tree.  They are really small about the size of a large grape) You could add 1/2 of a mandarin or a couple slices of a regular orange.

Place all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Adjust ice for consistency and agave for sweetness.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Lemon Zucchini Bread

I don't know about you, but when our zucchini plant starts producing we have a couple of frantic weeks that we have way more zucchini than we possibly know what to do with.  I have to get creative quick! So when I saw this lemon zucchini bread pop up on Pinterest I knew I had found a winner!  I mean lemon?! Zucchini?! Sweet bread?! Yes, Yes, YES! It did not disappoint! Although I have to say, the lemon dominates! The zucchini was just there as my justification that I was eating healthy! Add in the bonus of using one more of these fast growing, fast producing veggies and this bread is a keeper! Original recipe found here.

Lemon Zucchini Bread
(1 loaf)

2 cups flour
3/4 t salt
2 t baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup avocado oil (or canola)
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 T lemon juice
zest of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 c grated zucchini

Glaze:

1 1/3 cups powdered sugar
2 T lemon juice
1 T milk

Preheat oven to 350. Mix together flour, salt and baking powder and set aside.  In a large bowl beat the eggs.  Add the oil and sugar and mix until blended.  Add the lemon juice, buttermilk, and lemon zest to this mixture and mix well.  Stir in the shredded zucchini.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until well combined.  Grease a loaf pan and pour the batter into it.  Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.   While the bread is cooling, mix up the glaze.  Pour the glaze over the warm bread.  Let the glaze set before slicing.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Disappearing Marshmallow Bars



My friend brought these to a play date at the park and I think I may have moaned when I bit into one, I know, embarrassing! But they are that good!  The name of these definitely has a double meaning.  The first is that the marshmallows really do disappear when you cook them and the second is that the bars, themselves, disappear quickly because no one can keep their hands off! It is truly a sacrifice to wait for them to cool!  I never seem to be able to make it until they are completely cool before eating my first 1 or 4!

Disappearing Marshmallow Bars

1 cup butterscotch chips
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 t vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups mini marshmallows
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350.  Grease a 9x13 pan with cooking spray.  In a sauce pan, over medium heat melt the butter and butterscotch chips together.  Stir constantly until smooth.  Be careful not to over heat these or  ooh them too long, they will separate. (I had this happen, I used an immersion blender to bring them back together).

Cool butterscotch and butter to room temperature.  In a large bowl mix together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, vanilla, eggs and butterscotch mixture, until smooth.  The batter will be thick.  Now stir in the marshmallows and chocolate chips.  Spread the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 25-30 minutes.  The center will feel a little soft, but will firm while cooling.  Let cool for 2-3 hours before cutting, if you can!

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