Monday, August 5, 2013

Cinnamon Roll Test #1

  Throughout my homemaker life, I've searched until I found the PERFECT recipe for a particular item. For example, the PERFECT homemade biscuits. The PERFECT pie crust. The perfect meatloaf. The perfect granola. The perfect dinner roll. You want your item to be the only item your child ever wants when they grow up. "My mom's apple pie is the BEST apple pie in the world.", etc.

I am now on the hunt for the perfect cinnamon roll. I haven't found it yet. granted, I don't make them often because they are a lot of work and for some reason they never turn out for me. Anyway, I've decided that I am now old enough to master the cinnamon roll. I have 3 recipes waiting for me that I will be attempting over the next little while.

Here is recipe #1 from my good friend L. A. from Texas. I am letting the dough rise as I type this.

2/3 C Oil 2 t salt 3/4 C sugar 2 C hot water 2 eggs Mix the above together. Then add: 3 C flour 2 T yeast Mix together and then add 3 1/2 to 3 3/4 C flour. Dough will be sticky. Let rise until double, punch down, let rise until double again. Roll dough out to large rectangle, about 16 X 24 inches.
Filling: 1/2 C butter 1 C brown sugar 1 1/2 T cinnamon Soften butter and spread onto dough. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Roll up the dough and pinch along the seam so that it stays together. Cut into slices about 1 or 1 1/2 inches thick. Place on greased cookie sheet or cake pan. Let rise until about double. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes.
Icing: 1/2 C butter 8 oz cream cheese 3 C powdered sugar 1 t vanilla 1/4 t salt Soften butter and cream cheese and beat together with sugar, vanilla and salt. Frost cinnamon rolls they're still hot.

Okay, after letting the dough rise and rolling it out and filling it and cutting it and putting it into pans to rise again (run on sentence, what?), I remembered why I hated making cinnamon rolls so much. Is it too much to ask to have a dough that is easy to work with AND tastes delicious? This dough is REALLY sticky and impossible to roll up and cut without it falling all over the place and sticking to everything. At least I know the frosting will taste good. I'm off to make that.

They didn't rise very well. Instead of rising UP, they just spread out a lot. bummer.

After cooking, they looked pretty good. The thick frosting held up against the heat but also melted just a tiny bit into the crevices.

Taste test: they were okay. the brown sugar in the middle never melted into stickiness, it just fell to the bottom and was crunchy brown sugar. The dough seemed a little spongy to me, and the frosting I wish had melted a little bit more into a glaze-type frosting.

I probably won't make these again.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Black Bean Soup

  Can you believe it? The last time I was here I was still pregnant and living in Texas!

I now have 4 children and live in North Carolina!

Which brings me to my recipe today. Getting your groceries in order in a new house is costly and takes some time, so after the first week of being here (and 20 minutes away from the store), I looked into the fridge and found a half a head of iceburg lettuce, some ham, mustard. some milk, and 1 egg. The freezer held juice to make jelly with, and 1 pound of ground beef. What would we have for dinner? I couldn't even make pancakes because I didn't have enough eggs!

I found this recipe and it was do die for!!!

Black Bean Soup

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans
  • 1 (14 ounce) can chicken broth
  • 2 cups cubed cooked ham
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream


  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion, bell pepper, carrot, and garlic, and cook 5 minutes, until tender. Mix in 1 can black beans and chicken broth.
  2. In a blender, puree remaining can of beans until smooth. Mix into the pot. Bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Mix in ham, cumin, salt, and pepper. Simmer 20 minutes. Garnish with Cheddar cheese and sour cream to serve.

Enjoy!! This one's a keeper.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

JoAnn's Black Friday!

I LOVE the Black Friday sales at JoAnn's. 


Really only because of the flannel. This year it was $1.49/yard so I got TONS of fabric for baby blankets to make. I made 2 for me and the rest will be for gifts.  Here are the ones I already finished for me the new baby.

Can I get a vote on the above blanket? Dave thinks the polka dots (which are black) make the top one a little girly. Is it girly or boyish?? Now I'm worried about it.

This blanket I LOVE! And because I bought the last of the bolt of the monkeys, she gave me 75% off the sale price! I paid .50 for 1 1/2 yards of those little soccer monkeys! haha!!

More to come as I finish them!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Chicken Lo Mein

adapted from Ming Tsai

I'm not gonna lie - finding the ingredients for this was NOT fun. Smelling the individual ingredients before it was cooked was not a good idea. BUT, Once I tasted the final product to check for seasoning it was BAM in my mouth!!!! It is SOOOOO good!!!! It was so worth it and I WILL be making this again!

Here are the ingredients:

2 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 C rice wine vinegar
1/2 C oyster sauce (found mine at walmart)
2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 C sliced scallions
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp chile sauce

mix all that together in a bowl and add 1 pound boneless skinless chicken - thighs are traditional and hold up well in high heat cooking. let it marinate for 1-2 hours.

In a hot wok, add some canola oil and cook the chicken.  When the chicken is cooked, add:
1 C chicken stock
6 cloves sliced garlic
3/4 head cabbage, sliced thin (don't worry, it will cook down)

after the cabbage is cooked, add 8-10 ounces of blanched lo mein noodles. (you can use linguini, but I went and found real lo mein noodles).
toss until the noodles are warm and taste for salt and pepper seasoning. Mine didn't need anything extra.

This was awesome.
Even Dave said so.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Menu

As the feasting season is upon us my son asked me this morning what we were going to eat for Thanksgiving. aaahhhh!!!!! I haven't thought about it ONCE. My birthday is Saturday and I'm prepping for a pie crust class I'm teaching at church next week (read: making lots of pies).

Well, let's talk about the feast.

Since we will not be traveling and it will just be our family, I don't need to make a 10 course dinner for 2 adults and 3 kids, right?? So let's discuss the necessities.

Turkey. duh. I'm a HUGE fan of a brined turkey since it infuses the flavors into the meat and keeps it moist while cooking. My eyes are peeled for .39/lb sales!

Pies. double duh. I'm thinking I'll make an apple crisp to go alongside my pumpkin pie. I LOVE pumpkin pie. As well as apple crisp. That should tide us over for a little while.

Sweet potato casserole. I love this. Dave loves this. my kids don't love this. but I DON'T CARE!! Yes, I just yelled at you over the internet. Dave and I can finish this on our own, that's how delicious it is.

Salad. I'm thinking along the lines of a broccoli bacon salad. Something like this.

Rolls. Homemade? heat and serve? I've got to mull that one over.

another veggie side of some kind. What are your favorites??

cranberry sauce!

gotta get shopping.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Crock-Pot Creamy italian chicken

  I made this dish a couple weeks ago and our whole family LOVED it. It's a little like a stroganoff, but with chicken instead of steak or ground beef. plus, it's a good way to use up the extra egg noodles I have laying around!

Throw into a crockpot:

2 chicken breasts (they can be frozen)
8 oz. cream cheese
1 3/4 C milk
1/2 C cream
1 dry packet italian dressing
1 Tbsp chicken bullion
1 tbsp corn starch

cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4, then shred the chicken. If you just take a fork and stir it around the crockpot, it falls apart really easy! Cook a 12 oz. bag of egg noodles and dump in a huge bowl. Dump the chicken mixture on top of the noodles and stir it all around. YUM. YUM. YUM.

I really couldn't believe how yummy this was. Serve with some rolls and a salad and you're golden!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Red Lobster Biscuits

I got this recipe on the Red Lobster website when we were first married and it is a family favorite!! It really does come out the exact same as the ones they serve!! LOVE THEM...and SO EASY!!!

Red Lobster Biscuits

2 c. Bisquick
2/3 c. milk
1/2 c. cheddar cheese
1/4 c. margarine or butter-- melted
1/4 tsp. garlic powder

Mix bisquick, milk, and cheese---beat vigorouskly for 30 sec
Bake @ 450 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown on ungreased sheet
Brush butter/garlic powder mixture over warm biscuits

Serve & Enjoy!!!!!