Monday, November 24, 2014

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins
Recipe from Kitchen Confit

2/3 c. sugar
juice and zest from 1 lemon
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. sour cream
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. melted butter
2 Tbsp. poppy seeds

1/2 c. confectioners sugar, sifted
1-2 Tbsp. lemon juice

Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt to a bowl and mix to combine.
In a seperate bowl, combine sour cream, eggs, vanilla and butter, and whisk to combine.
Make a well in dry ingredients and add wet ingredients.
Mix until just blended.
Stir in poppy seeds.
Divide among muffin cups.

Bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes, or until tops are golden.
When cool enough to handle, transfer muffins to wire rack.

Whisk confectioners sugar and lemon juice to make the glaze.
Drizzle over muffins.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Green Chili Chicken

I'm a big fan of any meal that incorporates salsa.  This is fantastically easy and incredibly delicious.  We served ours with black beans and corn, as well as some white rice with pico stirred in.  I also used freeze dried green chilies, because those are the only ones I have on hand, and everything turned out delicious!

Green Chili Chicken
Recipe from Pioneer Woman

1/2 c. olive oil
3 Tbsp. lime juice
2 whole chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
4-6 chicken breasts
4-6 chilies (see note above)
1 c. pepperjack cheese, grated
pico or salsa, for serving
beans, for serving
rice, for serving

Combine oil, lime juice, chipotle peppers, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper in a blender and puree.
Pout over chicken in a ziplock bag, seal, and evenly distribute.
Marinate for at least 4 hours.

If using fresh chilies, roast over an open flame, seal in a bag, and remove skins.
Grill or pan fry chicken until cooked through.
On each breast, cover with chilies and top with cheese.

Serve with rice and beans, with salsa on the side.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Mint Fudge Popcorn

My love affair with popcorn will hopefully be a lifetime endeavor.  This is my latest favorite.
Mint Fudge Popcorn
Recipe modified from Bru Crew

12 c. popped corn, kernels removed
1 package fudge mint cookies, chopped
1 lb. bag mini marshmallows
12 oz. bag white chocolate chips
1/2 c. white chocolate chips
green food coloring

Combine popcorn, cookies and marshmallows in a large bowl.
Melt bag of chips and pour over mixture, stirring to coat evenly.
Spread over waxed paper to cool and harden.
Melt remaining 1/2 c. chips and add green food coloring.
Drizzle over everything.
Once hardened, break into pieces.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Kale and Pepper Frittata

Kale and Pepper Frittata
Recipe modified from Pioneer Woman

12 eggs
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 c. shredded pepperjack cheese
2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 large baked potato, diced
2 c. chopped kale leaves (or other green)
2 whole jarred roasted red bell peppers, chopped
1/4 c. green chilies, chopped
1/4 c. pepperoncini peppers, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Beat eggs until just mixed, and add salt and pepper.
Stir in cheeses and set aside.
In a large non-stick skillet, melt butter.
Add onions and cook until golden brown.
Add diced potato and season with salt and pepper.
Once heated through, add kale leaves, stir and cook for 1 minute.
Add peppers and stir to evenly distribute.

Pour egg mixture over veggies in skillet so that it evenly coats everything.
Let it sit on the burner for 30-45 seconds to set the edges, then move skillet to the oven.

Cook for 10-12 minutes, checking frequently - eggs should be set but not browned on top.
Slide frittata out of skillet and cut into wedges.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Cornbread Taco Bake

We love tacos.  We love cornbread.  This one pot wonder was a no brainer for us.  Hearty, satisfying and easily put together, this is a great go to all through the fall and winter months.
The original recipe called for a ranch dressing drizzled over the top (no thank you), so we opt for fresh pico or restaurant style salsa instead.  Delicious.
We also switched out the rotisserie chicken with ground beef, and added a home made cornbread crust, rather than the store bought kind.  
Cornbread Taco Bake
Recipe modified from Barbara Bakes

1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
1/4 c. chopped cilantro leaves
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. black pepper
14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes with green chilies

1 c. flour
1 c. corn meal
4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 c. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1/4 c. olive oil
1 c. milk

1 1/2 c. cheddar and pepperjack cheese blend
3 c. shredded romaine lettuce
1 c. chopped tomatoes
sour cream

Brown beef and onion in large skillet over medium heat.
Add jalapeno, cumin, salt and pepper, and continue cooking until beef is done.
Stir in cilantro and tomatoes and heat through.

Meanwhile, add dry ingredients for crust and mix.
Add eggs, oil and milk and whisk to combine.

Remove beef mixture from skillet and wipe out with a paper towel.
Spray skillet with Pam, and pour cornbread mixture in.
Spoon beef mixture evenly over cornbread and sprinkle with cheese.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Cut into wedges.
Top with desired toppings.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Quick Caramelized Chard and Onions

This hearty side dish comes together quickly and balances perfectly with a light sauce of butter, vinegar and a touch of brown sugar.
This recipe works well with any green that can hold its shape, not just chard, and I've tried it without the onions as well if I'm really short on time.  
Quick Caramelized Chard and Onions
Recipe modified from My Recipes 

1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1-2 onions, sliced thin
16 c. chopped swiss chard
2 Tbsp. water
1-2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar, to taste
1-2 Tbsp. brown sugar, to taste

Melt butter and olive oil in a large skillet and add onions.
Lightly salt and pepper onions and let cook until starting to brown, 10 minutes.
Add water and chard, and stir to coat.
Cook until chard is just wilted, about 4 minutes.
Stir in vinegar and brown sugar, stirring until sugar is dissolved.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Soft Pretzel Rolls

Soft pretzels...  Use these to upgrade your everyday sandwich to something spectacular.  Bypass the roll idea all together and form actual pretzels.  Whatever you choose, this is a winner.  Soft and chewy on the inside with that classic salty, slightly crunchy exterior.  These are a must have for every baker.

Pretzel Rolls
Recipe and technique combined from The Kitchn and Our Best Bites 

1 1/2 c. warm water
1 Tbsp. instant yeast
1 Tbsp. sugar
4 3/4 - 5 c. flour
2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 c. melted butter
1 egg, separated
1/4 c. baking soda
8 c. water

In large measuring cup, combine warm water, sugar and yeast and let stand for 10 minutes until frothy.
In mixing bowl combine salt and 4 1/2 c. flour.
Add melted butter, egg yolk and yeast mixture to flour, and mix to combine.
Turn on mixer and slowly add additional flour, 1 Tbsp. at a time, until dough pulls away from sides.
Mix or knead dough for 6-8 minutes.
Knead dough to form a ball, return to bowl, and cover - let rise until double, about 1 hour.

Once risen, turn dough onto sprayed surface and divide into 12 pieces.
Shape into balls, and place on silicone lined baking sheet.
Cover, and allow to rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450.
Bring 8 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan.
When boiling, add baking soda and bring back to a rolling boil.
One at a time, place each roll, seam side down into the boiling water.
Boil for 30 seconds and flip to boil the other side for 30 seconds.
Use a slotted spoon to remove from water and place seam side down again on the baking sheet.
Use a sharp knife to score an 'x' on the top of each roll (optional).

Whisk egg white and 2 Tbsp. of water together.
Brush each roll with egg white mixture.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, until browned and glossy.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Zucchini Cobbler

I get emailed this recipe every year from Taste of Home.  And every year, I read through the 87+ 4 and 5 star reviews and think "those people are crazy".  Zucchini doesn't taste like apples.

Well I had 8 summer squash plants in my garden this year, about 30 people coming over for dinner, and thought "why not?"
And... I was right.  Zucchini doesn't taste like apples.  Everyone who reviewed this recipe saying so has pretty much lost their marbles.

That being said, it was really good.  Warm and gooey, the softened squash took on a fantastic cinnamon flavor, and paired with a little crunch from the topping... it was delicious. 

Zucchini Cobbler
Recipe modified from Taste of Home

8 c. chopped seeded peeled zucchini (I didn't peel mine)
2/3 c. lemon juice
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

3 c. flour
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. cold butter, cubed
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

In a large saucepan, cook and stir zucchini and lemon juice for 15 minutes, or until tender.
Add sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg, and cook an additional minute.
Remove from heat.

For the crust, combine the flour and sugar in a bowl.
Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Stir 1/2 c. mixture into zucchini.

Press half of remaining crust into the bottom of a 9x13" baking dish.
Pour zucchini over top.
Crumble remaining crust over zucchini.  
Top with additional cinnamon, if desired.

Bake at 375 for 45-50 minutes, or until golden and bubbly.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Canned Apples

Apple season is in full swing, and this is a perfect, SIMPLE recipe to enjoy them all year long.  These are great chopped up and added to oatmeal, drained for an apple pie or crisp, eaten right out of the jar, mashed up for a quick chunky apple sauce, etc.

Canned Apples
mason jars, lids and rings
Apples of choice (I like Romans for canning and baking, but you could use just about any)

In each quart mason jar put 2 Tbsp. sugar (more if you want a sweeter taste)
Pour about 1 c. boiling water into each jar and shake to dissolve sugar.
Peel core and chop apples (I like to use an apple wedger and peel off the skin).
Pour additional boiling water into jars until full, leaving headspace.
Remove air bubbles with plastic knife or spatula.
Wipe rims, and top with lids and rings.
Steam quarts for 25 minutes, pints for 20, in a hot water bath.
Remember to adjust for altitude - 35 minutes for quarts for Utah elevation.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Breakfast Stuffed Squash

A few posts back I shared this recipe.  It has quickly become a favorite of mine, and with all of the garden produce coming in I've moved on to this. 
You can use any summer squash, but I particularly love the presentation of the patty pan.

Breakfast Stuffed Squash
6 medium patty pan squash
1/2 lb. sausage
1/2 red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 c. cooked cubed potatoes
1 1/2 c. swiss chard, chopped
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
2 Tbsp. montreal steak seasoning
6 eggs

Hollow out squash and discard seeds and pulp.
Lay in a large baking dish and sprinkle with 1 Tbsp. steak seasoning.
Place in 400 degree oven while you prepare remaining ingredients.

Brown sausage and onion in a large skillet and cook thoroughly.
Add garlic, bell pepper, potatoes, chard, and additional 1 Tbsp. steak seasoning.
Remove squash bowls from oven and divide mixture among them.
Top each with cheddar cheese.
Crack an egg into each cavity.
Lightly season with salt and pepper.
Bake in 400 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until egg whites have set.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Sizzlin' Steak Marinade

I've been using this marinade from Six Sisters Stuff for a while now - it is easy to throw together and packs great flavor.  I love to make the whole batch and divide it up among ziplock bags with fresh steaks and toss it in the freezer for a quick future meal prep.

Sizzlin' Steak Marinade
Recipe adapted from Six Sisters Stuff

1 1/2 c. olive oil
1/4 c. worchestershire sauce
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
3/4 c. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. dry mustard
1/3 c. lemon juice

Mix all ingredients together and pour over steak.  Store in fridge for 8-24 hours.
Grill and eat!
Marinade should cover about 4 lbs. of steak (or more).

Monday, July 14, 2014

Easy Baked Beans

This has been my regular go to baked beans recipe for a while.  It turns an everyday can of pork and beans into {almost} instant delicious baked beans.

Easy Baked Beans
Recipe modified from liluna

2 15oz. cans pork and beans
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
3/4 tsp. dry mustard
1 1/2 Tbsp. molasses
1 Tbsp. ketchup
1 tsp dry onion flakes

Mix all ingredients in a pan and heat through.

Monday, July 7, 2014

White Chocolate Strawberry Granola Bars

Granola bars have become on of our family favorite go to snacks.  These AMAZING ones were adapted from this recipe (another favorite).  These are not your typical crunchy granola bars.  These bake up almost more like a cookie; soft and chewy.
  You could use any combination of dried or freeze dried fruit, but I especially love this with the strawberries and/or raspberries.

White Chocolate Strawberry Granola Bars
Recipe modified from here

1/4 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. wheat germ
2 Tbsp. honey
2 c. regular rolled oats
1 c. wheat flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 c. white chocolate chips

Beat butter and brown sugar until crumbly.
Add egg and vanilla and beat well.
Add wheat germ and honey ad beat until smooth.

In a small bowl, combine the oats, flour, cinnamon, salt and baking soda.
Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients until just blended.
Fold in strawberries and chocolate chips.

Wet hands slightly and press into a greased 11x7" baking dish.
Bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes, or until set and edges are lightly browned.
Cool for 10 minutes in dish, and then cut into bars.
Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Cranberry Orange Almond Bites

This is one of those great recipes that you can mix with pretty much any combination of nuts and dried fruit to make a healthier 'fruit snack' of sorts.  I molded these into mini ice cube trays for bite sized pieces and we all loved them.
If you are new to essential oils, or simply don't want to use them, these would still be great without them.  I happen to love the added boost of citrus flavor.

Cranberry Orange Almond Bites
Recipe idea from Chocolate Covered Katie

1/2 c. craisins
1/2 c. sliced or slivered almonds (or cashew pieces)
6 Tbsp. quick oats
1/8 tsp. salt
5-10 drops wild orange essential oils (or lemon)

Place all ingredients in a food process and process very well, until dough becomes sticky and clumps together.
Form into balls or press into mini molds or ice cube trays.
Store at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Brown Sugar Glazed Salmon

Under 5 ingredients with great flavor and little work, this simple salmon supper is perfect for any day of the week.
We served ours with rice and butter, along with steamed green beans.

Brown Sugar Glazed Salmon
Recipe from All Recipes

4 6oz. boneless salmon fillets
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp. dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Season salmon with salt and pepper and arrange in shallow baking dish.
Whisk together brown sugar and dijon and spoon evenly over salmon fillets.
Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
Serve with rice and steamed veggies.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Caprese Pasta Salad

This is everything a summer salad should be - light, flavorful and easy to make.  Even though this isn't your classic caprese cheese ingredient (I use parmesan instead of mozzarella), these flavors blend perfectly with the balsamic dressing.
The original recipe included chicken, which I omitted.  Feel free to add that if you are looking more for a full meal in itself.  I left it out because I happen to think this salad pairs perfectly with garlic balsamic crusted pork loin, and I wanted a meatless addition.

Caprese Pasta Salad
Recipe modified from Taste of Home

3 c. uncooked bowtie pasta
2 c. chopped tomatoes
1/2 c. chopped green onions
1/4 c. fresh minced basil
1/4 c. olive oil
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 c. parmesan cheese

Cook pasta al dente and drain.
Meanwhile, chop tomatoes, green onions and basil add to a large salad bowl.
Combine oil, vinegar, sugar, garlic and salt and pepper and whisk to combine.
Add cooked noodles to salad bowl.
Pour dressing over noodles and stir to coat.
Sprinkle cheese over everything and stir to combine.
Serve at room temperature.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Ham and Egg Salad Sammy

This is a great grown up version of egg salad and is filling enough for dinner, which I love.  If you are a mayo-free spirit, like my husband, thick sliced hard boiled eggs make an excellent substitution for the egg salad.

Ham and Egg Salad Sammy
Recipe from The Pioneer Woman

6 hard boiled eggs
1/4 c. mayo
1.5 Tbsp. dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
dash worchestershire sauce
6 thick slices baked ham
6 slices cheese (I used pepperjack)
sliced red onion
sliced avocado
slices tomato
spinach (or lettuce of choice)
6 sandwich buns or rolls

Prepare egg salad by chopping hard boiled eggs.
Add mayo, dijon, salt, pepper and worchestershire to taste.

Layer cheese, ham, tomato, egg salad, onions, spinach and avocado between each sandwich bun.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Fruit Fly Killer

If your house is anything like mine in the summertime it is swarming with fresh produce.  As a result, fruit flies are seemingly always present in my kitchen.  This simple recipe is a perfect attraction and trap for them.  Obviously not the prettiest, but I set a jar of this out of sight and dump it down the sink once it has served its purpose.

Fruit Fly Killer
Small glass jar
apple cider vinegar
2 drops liquid dish soap

Fill glass jar 1/4 - 1/2 full of apple cider vinegar.
Add 2 drops of liquid dish soap and mix thoroughly.
Sit out in an area where fruit flies are present.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Citrus Water {Punch}

This simple citrus drink is the perfect solution for pretty much any event.  Not overly sweet, but definitely stepping up a notch from your average water with lemon.  I view this as a somewhat mellow lemonade; perfect for kids and adults.

Citrus Water
Recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

2 Tbsp. citric acid
5 quarts water
2 c. sugar
2 Tbsp. pure lemon extract
3 sliced lemons
3 sliced limes
crushed ice

In a large punch bowl, stir water, sugar, citric acid and lemon extract together.
Add sliced citrus and ice.

**Leaving the lemon and lime slices in the punch will make an overly sour, acidic taste.  If you have leftovers, remove them from the punch before storing.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Breakfast Stuffed Peppers

Breakfast for dinner is one of my favorites, and these colorful stuffed peppers are no exception.

I modified this recipe; adding potatoes, onions and cheese, and subbing swiss chard for spinach.  Feel free to switch around ingredients to suit your tastes.

Breakfast Stuffed Peppers
Recipe modified from Stupid Easy Paleo

6 bell peppers
1 large baking potato
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 lb. hot italian sausage links
2 c. chopped swiss chard (or kale)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c. chopped cheddar cheese
6 eggs

Cube potato and place in frying pan with 1/4 c. water.
Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to medium and cook while prepping other ingredients.

Slice tops off peppers.
Remove stems, and chop remaining top portions into pieces.
Place peppers in a casserole dish and put in oven while it preheats to 400 degrees.

Remove lid from pan and add sausage, onions and pepper pieces.
When sausage is cooked, add in swiss chard, salt and pepper, and heat through.
Remove peppers from oven, and stuff evenly with sausage mixture.
Top with cheese, and crack and egg into each pepper.
Return to the oven for 20 minutes, or until eggs are set.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Powdered Laundry Detergent

I've made my own laundry detergent for just about 6 years now.  For the first 4 1/2, I used this liquid laundry detergent recipe.  I decided last September to try this powdered version.  Most of the ingredients are the same, this recipe just seemed to be a bit easier.
I think the best part is that I am still going on the same batch I made 7 months ago.  I'm about half way through it.  This stuff lasts forever!  And it works great, obviously, since I am still using it.  If you don't want to make a years supply all at once, I've included the measurements, so you can half or quarter the recipe below.
I opted out of using the fabric softener, which the original recipe calls for.  I have quiet a few articles of clothing that aren't recommended to wash with liquid softeners.  I don't miss it.  I think it ups the price and I find it unnecessary.
As far as grating the soap goes; I've found it easiest to just put it in my blender with the other powdered ingredients.  It pulses everything better than grating could, which makes it dissolve easier and saves a load of time.  I have a blendtec... not sure how this would work in a regular blender.

Powdered Laundry Detergent
Recipe modified from How Does She?

4 lb 12oz box of Borax (9 c.)
3 lb 7oz box Super Washing Soda (6 c.)
3 lb container OxyClean (5 c.)
2 (14oz) bars Zote Soap
4 lb box Baking Soda (8 c.)

Cut soap bars into 4-6 pieces.
Put a few soap pieces in the blender and fill with powdered ingredients (to about 4 cups).
Blend until smooth.
Pour into large bucket.
Repeat with remaining soap chunks and powdered ingredients.
Stir everything together in bucket to incorporate all ingredients.
Use 2 Tbsp. per large load of laundry.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Pierogies with Sauteed Cabbage

I grew a lot of cabbage in my garden last fall and this ended up being one of my favorite dishes to use it in.  Quick, filling, and delicious, we served this up at least once a month over the winter months.  I've switched out the pierogies for egg rolls and stuffed ravioli and they were both great!

Pierogies with Sauteed Cabbage
Recipe modified from Delish

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 head green cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
salt and pepper to taste
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
16 oz. box pierogies (or substitute)

Prepare pierogies according to package directions (we always saute ours)
Cook bacon until crisp, transfer to paper towels and break into pieces.

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat.
Add onion and season with salt and pepper.
Cook until translucent and just starting to turn golden, about 5 minutes.
Add cabbage and season again with salt and pepper.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until warmed through and just tender, about 5 minutes.
Sprinkle bacon over cabbage and stir to incorporate.
Serve with prepared pierogies.

Monday, March 24, 2014

How to Peel Garlic

I started using this quick kitchen tip a while ago and I love it!
I will use this technique on one or two heads of garlic at a time, and leave them peeled in a jar in the fridge.  They will last at least 2 weeks, and are much more convenient that having to smash and peel each individual clove.

How to Peel Garlic
From Martha Stewart

Clove(s) of garlic
Heavy glass bowl with lid

Take garlic cloves, one at a time, and place them tip side up on the counter.
Position a heavy glass bowl over the top and press down firmly, scrunching the entire head of garlic.
Scoop up entire head of garlic and place in the bowl.
Put the lid on and shake vigorously for about 30 seconds.
Take off the lid and sift through to find your perfectly peeled cloves!
Refrigerate, covered, for up to 2 weeks.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Crusty European Hard Rolls

I'm just going to tell you right now that if you want rolls ready for dinner today, this recipe is not for you.  Although it is easy and doesn't require too much hands on time, this recipe needs to be started about 24 hours in advance.  It took me a while to make these because I NEVER plan that far ahead.
True to the name, however, they produce wonderfully crusty outsides, with that hard roll texture that I love.  This is not an everyday roll for me, but a good one to keep in the index.  We loved them!  

Crusty European Hard Rolls
Recipe from King Aurhur Flour

1 c. cool water
2 c. flour
1/4 tsp. instant yeast

all of starter
7 c. flour
2 c. lukewarm water
3 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. instant yeast

Egg wash:
1 large egg
1/4 c. cool water

Make the starter by mixing all ingredients together until smooth.
Cover, and let rest at room temperature overnight.

Combine all of the dough ingredients and knead together, 6 minutes for white flour, 10 for wheat.
Allow dough to rise, covered, for 1 hour.
Gently deflate dough and turn it over in bowl.
Allow dough to rise, covered, for 2 hours.

Turn dough out onto greased work surface.
Divide into 24 small pieces, or 16 large, depending on size preference.
Shape into balls, and firm them up by rolling them under lightly cupped fingers.

Place rolls on greased baking sheet.
Cover, and let rise for 1-2 hours, until puffy, though not doubled in size.

Keep covered, and refrigerate for 2-3 hours more.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Prepare egg wash by whisking egg and water in a shallow dish.
Remove rolls from refrigerator, and brush them with the egg wash.

Slash a 1/4" deep cut across the top of each roll.
Immediately put the rolls into the preheated oven.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until rolls are a deep golden brown.
For best crunch, open oven door and allow rolls to cool in the turned off, open-door oven.

Yields 16-24 rolls, depending on size.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Perfect Frosting

What makes this frosting so perfect, you ask?  Answer:  The lack of a sugar rush.
Most frostings are terribly sweet, which when paired with cake, makes things far too rich for our liking.  I love this frosting for several reasons:
it is thickened with flour
it uses granulated sugar, not powdered sugar
it has just the right amount of sweet
its light and fluffy and turns out great every time

This recipe comes from Our Best Bites, and though I love it, they say to use far more than what I actually do.  I find that it easily frosts 24 cupcakes (just like the one pictured below), or a 9x13" cake, usually with more to spare.  If you are one of those "mile high" frosters, you may want to double it.

Perfect Frosting
Recipe from Our Best Bites

3 Tbsp. flour
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract, or flavoring of choice

In a small saucepan, whisk together the flour and milk over medium heat.
Whisk continuously until it starts to thicken.
Continue cooking until mixture resembles THICK pudding or paste.

Put mixture in the fridge or freezer and let it cool completely.
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until well combined and fluffy, 1-2 minutes.
Add in the thickened milk mixture and vanilla.
Beat to combine, and then scrape down the sides.
Continue beating until mixture comes together and is light and fluffy, about 8 minutes.
Frosting is done when sugar granules are dissolved (rub between fingers to test).

Monday, March 3, 2014

Breakfast Banana Boats

I love breakfast.  I wish I had an hour everyday to make something wonderful before we were off to work or play or school.  But I love sleep a little more than breakfast, because I am always scrambling to put things together when I'm in charge in the morning.
These wonderfully delicious banana boats were just what I needed to cure myself of the breakfast blues.  So fast.  So easy.  Delicious.  And total eye candy, if you ask me.  Just by looking at it, I was most excited for the yogurt and berries version, but I actually preferred the peanut butter and apples.  I topped both with a sprinkling of granola, but really, whatever you have lying about is going to be great.  This also doubles as a wonderful mid afternoon snack.  Or late night... or mid morning... or whatever you're into.
No real recipe here - just grab some stuff and pile it on!

Breakfast Banana Boats
Idea from Prevention

vanilla yogurt
berries or fruit of choice


peanut butter (or nutella, or any nut butter)

Halve bananas, and then cut in half lengthwise.
Spread flat side with yogurt or nut butter
Top with fruit or berries of choice.
Top with granola.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Apple Slaw

I love a good coleslaw recipe, and this one adds just the right amount of sweet and savory.

Apple Slaw
Recipe from Ready Set Eat

4 c. coleslaw mix
1 c. chopped apple
2 Tbsp. sliced green onions
3 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. spicy brown mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. oil (I used olive)

Toss coleslaw mix, apples, and green onions together in a large serving bowl.

In separate dish, whisk together the honey, vinegar, mustard and salt.
Whisk in oil until well combined.
Pour over coleslaw and stir to coat.