Sunday, May 5, 2013

Jana's Cinnamon Rolls

When we lived in Arizona I went to a great Relief Society meeting that taught us about making breads.  We learned how to make dinner rolls, cinnamon rolls, sticky buns, and more!!!  I took notes on my handouts and was so excited to learn some tricks from some great women!  Our bishop's wife, who was also my visiting teacher taught the session on cinnamon rolls.  This recipe is for quick and easy cinnamon rolls and I'd like to share it with you sisters!

Jana starts with a recipe for Relief Society Rolls and then the fun starts!

Relief Society Rolls

1 3/4 C warm water
1/2 C oil
3T. Yeast
3/4 C sugar (you can do less, I usually do 1/2 C)

Mix the above ingredients and let sit for 15 minutes.  It will get all bubbly, which is what you want so you know your yeast is active and working well!

Add:
3 C flour
then:
2 Eggs
then:
2 C flour and 1 tsp salt

Mix these, you don't need to do a lot of kneading.  Just mix it until the dough is smooth. Cover and let dough rise for 10 minutes.  If you just want to make dinner rolls, you can roll them out or shape as you would like for rolls.

to make Cinnamon Rolls....

Filling
Combine:
1 C brown sugar
2 T cinnamon
1/2 C melted butter

Divide the dough in half.  Roll out half of the dough on a floured surface to form a rectangle (dough should be about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick).  It doesn't have to be perfect.  Try to use as little flour as you can just to keep the dough from sticking to the counter.  You still want the dough to be slightly tacky so it will seal well. Brush the dough with more melted butter then top with the filling.  Roll up on the long edge of the dough to form a long log.  Pinch the dough to seal the edges.  Cut in 1 1/2 inch pieces.  Our favorite way to do this is with unflavored dental floss!  Slip the floss under the log cross and pull to slice the roll.  Place rolls on greased cookie sheets for big single cinnamon rolls, if you want pull-apart cinnamon rolls, put them in a greased 9X13 pan.  Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 15-20 minutes.  Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.

Take the rolls out of the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes, while you put together the glaze for the top!

Glaze
Mix together: 
2 T softened butter
2 T milk
1 t vanilla
2-3 cups powdered sugar to desired consistency. 

Once the rolls have cooled for about 5 minutes (or more - but you still want the rolls to be nice and warm), top them with the glaze.  I put about a teaspoon full on each roll and then add more if needed. 

This is a fun and easy recipe that goes from start to eat in under 1 1/2 hours.  Most of the time is waiting for baking and raising, but it makes for a great Sunday afternoon activity!



Thursday, May 2, 2013

Strawberry Freezer Jam

Ok, girls!  If you have never made Freezer Jam...you need to try this out!  Strawberry Freezer Jam is seriously so good!  I love making cooked jams at the end of the summer, but for some reason, I really don't like cooked Strawberry Jam but I do love freezer jam!  The first time I tried this was when we lived in Arizona.  I thought I could have died and gone to heaven!  Now it is an annual tradition.  Here are a couple things I love about making freezer jam.  It always seems that we are on just about our last jar of cooked jam when beautiful strawberries come to the grocery store, so I can still have homemade jam through the summer.  Freezer jam is fast and very easy to do as well.  I can start and finish within an hour!  This jam is delicious on pancakes, sandwiches, toast, crepes...you name it!!!

Here's your list for the grocery store:

Strawberries - 2 pints
Sugar - you are going to need 5 cups (I didn't say this was healthy, I just said it was good!)
Pectin - 1 box
Freezer containers - about 5-1 Cup containers


So...let's talk pectin.  There are a few brands out there.  In general, I have used MCP or SureJell for all of my jam making.  They are reliable brands that are easy to find here in Idaho!  For freezer jam, I personally prefer Sure Jell... (sorry the picture is turned...I can't figure out how to change that.  Anyway...here's your picture for reference. 


Inside your box of pectin you will find directions on how to use that brand to make freezer jam, I will follow the sure-jell directions for this post.  I have tried freezer jam with MCP, but I just prefer the way this one turns out.

So...take out your instructions and the packet of pectin.  Open up the instructions and just follow along to make the jam.  Next you need to wash your strawberries.  I just set the package on top of a folded towel and put them right next to my cutting board.


Take the stems off your strawberries and cut in half.  Use the best looking strawberries and avoid using berries that are over-ripe. 
Next you need to mash your berries.  You can do it with a potato masher, but I use my food processor.  Here I differ just slightly from the instructions.  They instruct you to make sure not to puree your strawberries if you are using a food processor, but I pretty much do just that.  I do not like stringy bits of strawberry in my jam (using ripe berries really helps this). I pulse them in the food processor until they are chopped quite fine, like I said...almost purred.  I usually just use the first pint of strawberries in the processor first.  Then measure the amount of chopped berries.  You want to get exactly 2 cups of chopped berries.  This usually does not take the full 2 pints (which is nice because you can be picky about what berries you use).  When you have 2 cups of berries,  measure 5 cups of sugar into a separate bowl.  Then mix the two together and stir the sugar into the berries.  I try to do this until there are no clumps of sugar.  Let the berries and sugar sit for about 10 minutes.  Stir every once in a while. 


If you haven't taken the time to get your containers ready, this is the time!!!  After 10 minutes are up, you will combine the pectin packet and 3/4 cup of water in a small sauce pan.  It will look something like this...



Turn the heat on high and bring the pectin and water to a boil, stir as you are getting to the boil and get a timer set for 1 minute that you can start as soon as you reach a boil.  When it is boiling turn your timer on and stir continuously for 1 minute.  Your pectin will look something like this when you are boiling...


Take the pectin off the stove and add it to your berries and sugar.  Then stir for about 3 minutes until the sugar is completely dissolved and there is no graininess left.  Your jam will start to look smooth and shiny!!!  Now all that is left is putting your yummy jam into those containers. Make sure to leave about 1/2 inch of space between the jam and the top of the container so that when it freezes and expands it won't leak out of your container.  The container with the yellow lid will be going right into the fridge for us to enjoy now!

Let your jam get all set by leaving it out on the counter for 24 hours.  Then put it in the freezer to enjoy another day! 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Sugar Cookie Bars

Ok Sisters!  I keep wanting to post recipes here that are in cookbooks or on the internet and I feel funny doing it because (especially in the case of a cookbook), I am worried about copyright laws, so what I have decided to do is...if I make something from one of these places that is great, I will take a picture and link you to the recipe so you can get it right from the horse's mouth! :)  Does that sound fair, right and legal??

Today, being Valentine's Day, I got to make a fun treat for little Mr. D's first grade class.  I wanted to make something that was fun, but not fussy!  So, I checked my pinterest board and found something that I had pinned probably last year.  Sugar Cookie Bars!


You can find the recipe over at High Heels & Grills.  I followed her instructions and then added decorations to my hearts content.  I sprinkled red sugar, sugar hearts, conversation hearts, jelly beans, valentines candy corns, and red hots over the top.  It was so fun because it was the joy of sugar cookies - the decorating and deliciousness - without the pain of rolling out and cutting cookies.  And, yes, they taste quite yummy if I do say so myself!

Happy V-Day girls!  Love ya!!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Caramel Apple Cider


Have you ever had the Caramel Apple Cider from Starbucks? Since Starbucks is on every corner in Seattle, we'd stop in once in a while and this is what I'd always order. It's yummy.

I've been wanting to try a copycat recipe for a while and Halloween night presented the perfect opportunity.

I used this recipe from Our Best Bites. It didn't disappoint. Brad (and others) called it "heaven in a cup".

Here is their recipe with what I did in parenthesis:
64 oz. apple cider not apple juice (but I used Simply Apple juice since it's nice and thick)
1/2 cup orange juice
2 cinnamon sticks
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 orange
8 cloves
1/3 cup caramel sauce

Pour apple cider, orange juice, cinnamon sticks and allspice into pot. (Do not use ground cinnamon or ground cloves - it makes the cider grainy. )Thoroughly wash your orange and gently poke the 8 cloves into the skin. Gently drop the orange into the cider mixture and simmer for 60 minutes. Watch the orange: if it starts to split, immediately remove it from the pot. After 60 minutes, stir in caramel until dissolved.

Our Best Bites did the cider on the stovetop. Since we were transporting ours I used the crockpot and let it simmer for a few hours. My house smelled amazing!

To serve: ladle into cups, top with whipped cream, a drizzle of caramel, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Makes about 8 servings.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Molasses Cookies

Super Delicious anytime, but these cookies always make me feel like it is fall.  They are some of the first cookies I ever learned to make.  These remind me of cool fall days and family parties.  Hope you enjoy....


Molasses Cookies

 Ingredients:

1 1/2 C oil
1 C white sugar
1 C brown sugar
1/2 C molasses
2 eggs
1 t ground cloves
1 t ground ginger
2 t salt
4 t baking soda
4 C flour
Extra sugar for dough balls

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine all ingredients except for flour and extra sugar.  Beat well!  Add the flour!  Roll dough into balls.  I use a 1 Tablespoon measuring spoon and scoop out a little more than 1 Tablespoon on dough.  Then roll it into a ball.  Roll dough balls in the extra sugar and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.  If you can, use parchment paper!  Bake cookies for 5 - 7 minutes.  They are done when the tops start to crack.  I pull them out of the oven and place the cookie rack on a cooling rack for 7-10 minutes and then remove the cookies to cooling racks to finish off.

Enjoy warm or cold with a nice tall glass of milk!!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Crock Pot Corn Chowder


This is a pinterest recipe I found traced back to Crockin Girls.  We had it tonight and loved it!! This colder weather gets me in the mood for yummy soups and comfort food.  I made quite a few adjustments being dairy free and all, but I'll put the original recipe and my tweaks.

4 potatoes (I used 4 medium sized reds) peeled and diced
1 can creamed corn
1 can whole kernel corn (I used sweet corn)
2 cups chicken broth (or 1 14.5 oz can will do)
8 oz. diced ham ( I used bacon diced and cooked in the chowder)
1 cup diced onions (or dried onions to taste)
1/4 cup butter
2 cups half and half

Place potatoes, both cans of corn undrained, chicken broth, ham (or bacon), and onions in crock pot.  Cook on low 7 - 8 hours or high 4 - 5 hours.

Blend 2-3 cups of soup in blender and place bak into crock pot, stir.  If you want a thicker consistency blend another 2 cups and stir back into crock pot.  Add butter and half and half, season with salt and pepper to taste, then cook 30 minutes more on high.

I used bacon (uncooked and diced), and dried onions (about 1 tbl). Instead of adding half and half I added about 1/2 a cup of almond milk so I could keep the thicker consistency.  Then I totally left out the butter.  I'm sure the original recipe is much richer and creamier :), but it was fabulous even so!

Caramel Corn

This is my favorite recipe of carmel corn.  My mom makes this every fall and it is just a must when the weather turns cold for me! This makes a huge batch so I usually half it.

6 quarts air popped popcorn with all unpopped kernels removed.
2 cups or a little less packed brown sugar
1/2 cup light Karo Syrup
1 cup butter
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp butter
1 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 200.

In a large saucepan (if doing half batch use medium saucepan) bring brown sugar, karo syrup, butter and salt to a boil over medium heat.  Boil for 5 minutes stirring continuously.

Take caramel off heat and add butter and baking soda, stirring until completely combined.  The caramel should puff up a bit.
Poor over popcorn stirring to combine.

Poor into 2 shallow baking pans (jelly roll pans). Bake for 1 hour stirring every 15 minutes.

If you want sticky/chewy caramel corn boil caramel for 3 minutes and do not bake!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Puff Pastry Mini Chicken Pot Pies

We love this recipe at our house. My girls love that they are mini pot pies - just their size! Even my picky eaters have been known to eat at least two servings. It's incredibly easy, delicious, and makes a pretty plate. I like serving them when we have guests. I hope you like them as much as we do!

First you'll need these:
Bake the pastry shells according to the directions on the box. While they are in the oven, make the filling. FYI: There is a recipe for filling on the back of the box, but I've tried it and don't like it. Here is what I use for my filling:

1/3 cup butter/margarine

1/3 cup flour

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1 and 3/4 cups water

3/4 cup milk

2 chicken bouillon cubes

2 chicken breast, cooked and cubed

1 cup mixed vegetables (frozen)
 

Melt butter in saucepan. Stir in flour, garlic, salt, and pepper. Gradually stir in water, milk and bouillon. Bring to a boil and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add chicken and vegetables. Set aside. 

When the pastries are nice and puffed, pop off the lids. Fill them with the filling and take a moment to look at how cute they are. Then eat up! I usually serve them with white rice to soak up the leftover filling (also, Brad has been known to want at least three pastries and the rice helps fill in the gaps).

Serving size is about 2 mini pies per person.
(Photo at the top was taken from the Pepperidge Farm website)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Garlic Roast Chicken with Rosemary and Lemon

Hi again sisters! This blog has sat quietly for a while, so I decided to add a recipe we had last week. I love lemon-flavored chicken in the summer. It tastes so fresh and light! I found the recipe from Rachel Ray and tweaked it slightly to use the ingredients I had in the pantry. Here it is.

Ingredients:
2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut in large chunks
4 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 lemon, zested and juiced
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup chicken broth

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450. Arrange chicken in a baking dish. Toss and coat the chicken with garlic, rosemary, olive oil, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes. Take dish out and turn oven off. Add lemon juice and chicken broth and combine with pan juices. Spoon over chicken and return to oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven, spoon juices over chicken, and serve. (We had it with a big green salad, but I'm sure it would be delicious with rice, potatoes, or pasta too.)

Also, I'm sure this recipe would translate well to the stove-top if you don't want to turn on your oven and heat up your kitchen on a hot day.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Orange Creamsicle Cookies

Doesn't the title alone make you want to eat these? What a great summer cookie!! I found these from Pinterest which led me to the-girl-who-ate-everything.com So good!


Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 firmly packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons orange zest (for me that was the zest of 2 oranges)
2 cups white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and creamy. Beat in egg and vanilla until smooth. Gradually add flour mixture until combined. Stir in orange zest and white chocolate chips.

Drop rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Do not flatten cookies; it will make them dry. Bake 8 - 10 minutes or until golden brown around edges. Do not overcook! Cookies will be plump. Cool for several minutes on cookie sheets before transferring to rack to cool completely. Store in airtight container.