Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pumpkin Rolls

These were really, really good!! Well worth the effort of making them. I mean seriously, they were really good! They were of course amazing hot, but the pumpkin flavor developed more after they cooled. Don't be intimidated by the directions. I included them all for anyone who hasn't made a cinnamon-type roll before, but if you have, then you'll know what to do without reading every word of the directions.

No-Knead Pumpkin Rolls with Brown Sugar Glaze

Makes 16-18 rolls

For the dough:
1/4 cup water
1 scant tablespoon yeast (1 package)

1 cup milk

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup sugar

One 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I recommend using ONLY King Arthur Bread Flour)

For the filling:

1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups pecans - toasted, chopped, and divided in half (optional)

For the glaze:
1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup milk
1 cup brown sugar
pinch salt

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let it sit a few minutes until the yeast is dissolved.
Meanwhile, warm the milk and butter in a small saucepan on the stove top until the butter is melted. Combine this with the sugar in a large heat-proof mixing bowl and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.

Let the milk mixture cool until it is just warm to the touch - NOT HOT. Then stir in the yeast and the pumpkin. Add the salt and five cups of the flour all at once, stirring until all the flour has been absorbed. Squish it between your hands if you’re having trouble incorporating the last of the flour. The dough will be sticky, but should come together in a shaggy ball. If it's still more the consistency of cookie batter, work in an additional 1/2 cup of flower.

Cover the dough and let it rise for 1-3 hours. During this time, it should double in bulk. At this point, you can punch the dough down and refrigerate it overnight or continue shaping the rolls.

To shape the rolls (either immediately or with the refrigerated dough), sprinkle your work surface with a little flour and dump the dough on top. Pat it down into a rough rectangle and then use a floured rolling pin to roll it into a rectangular shape about a half an inch thick, longer than it is wide. If the dough gets sticky, sprinkle a little more flour on the dough’s surface and on your hands.

Melt the butter in the microwave and stir in the brown sugar and the spices. Spread this over the rectangle of dough, leaving an inch of bare dough at the top. Sprinkle one cup of the toasted pecans over the dough, if using. Starting at the edge closest to you, roll the dough into a cylinder and pinch it closed at the top.

Rub a tablespoon of soft butter into the bottom of two 9x13 baking dishes, two 9-inch cake pans, or a combination. Using a bench cutter or a sharp knife, cut the cylinder into individual rolls 1 - 1 1/2 inches thick. Place them into your baking dishes so they have a little wiggle room on all sides to rise. Cover them with a clean kitchen towel and let them rise until they fill the pan and look puffy, 30 minutes for already-warm dough and 1 hour for dough that’s been refrigerated.
About 20 minutes before baking, begin heating the oven to 375°. When the rolls are ready, bake them for 20-25 minutes, until the tops are golden and starting to look toasted around the edges. Rotate the pans halfway through cooking.

While they are baking, prepare the glaze. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk and butter. When the butter has melted, add the brown sugar and salt. Stir until the brown sugar has melted. Remove from heat and strain into a mixing bowl to remove any sugar clumps. Stir in the powdered sugar. This should form a thick but pourable glaze.

Let the baked rolls cool for about five minutes and then pour the glaze on top. Sprinkle the remaining cup of pecans over the top, if more nuttiness is desired. Eat them immediately. Leftovers will keep for several days and are best reheated for a minute in the microwave.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I found this recipe a while ago and we've make it once or twice a week ever since. It is really good dry, in milk, with yogurt, with fruit, with cream and even uncooked! You can make it pretty healthy, which is great because my kids love it too!


4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour (King Arthur brand)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup light brown sugar
 1/2 teaspoon salt
 Large pinch of ground cinnamon (sometimes I use a lot more)
 Large pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
 2 Cups thick-cut oats
 1/2 cup pure maple syrup OR agave OR honey
 1 cup sliced almonds or pecans
    1.    Preheat the oven to 375°. Grease or butter a roasting pan or large cookie sheet. In a large bowl, mix the butter, flour, baking soda, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg until crumbly. Stir in remaining ingredients until it's a sticky sort of mixture; transfer to the prepared pan. Bake for 15-18 minutes, stirring occasionally, until crisp. Let cool.

**I also add wheat germ and bran flakes (the tiny shredded ones that are the same texture & size as wheat germ) and coconut. You can really add them in any amounts as long as you end up with a semi-sticky mixture at the end. You can also cook it and then pack it down when you take it out of the oven and it will dry in bigger chunks. If you feel like it's browning too much or needs to be crispier, then cook it for the 15 min. and turn the oven off, open it and leave the granola in. One last thing--pecans seem to make it cook much faster than almonds so watch out!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Belgian Waffles

I'm told this is a true Belgian waffle recipe. It was pretty darn good. We ate them with blueberries and cream. You can make the batter the night before and put them in the fridge to rise. Yes, these have yeast so you do need to let the batter sit for about an hour after you make it. Although I haven't tried it, the comments from the original recipe said that they freeze well too.


  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 3/4 cups warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled to lukewarm
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 egg whites


  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm milk. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, 1/4 cup of the warm milk and the melted butter. Stir in the yeast mixture, sugar, salt and vanilla. Stir in the remaining 2 1/2 cups milk alternately with the flour, ending with the flour. Beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks; fold into the batter. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
  3. Preheat the waffle iron. Brush with oil and spoon about 1/2 cup (or as recommended by manufacturer) onto center of iron. Close the lid and bake until it stops steaming and the waffle is golden brown. Serve immediately or keep warm in 200 degree oven.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Guy Fieri's Cuban Pork Chops with Mojo

We are in love with this pork chop recipe. We usually make it with boneless pork chops, and I've never bothered with the watercress, but the tomato and avocado are strangely quite delicious with this. I also have cut back on the marinade quantities by about half and didn't really notice a difference. I've never been a huge pork chop fan, but I seriously have to force myself not to make these more often so I don't get tired of them. All credit goes to Guy Fieri from the Food Network.


1 cup plus 1/4 cup orange juice, divided
1/2 cup plus 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, divided
1/4 cup vinegar
4 (1-inch-thick) bone-in pork chops
1 tablespoon black pepper
2 tablespoons kosher salt (make sure to use kosher and not regular table salt or it will be WAY too salty)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
3 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup chopped red onion (or whatever kind of onions you have)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup white wine (I don't bother with this)
1 cup watercress, for garnish (I also don't bother with this)
1 Roma tomato, chopped, for garnish
1/2 avocado, sliced, for garnish


In a gallon-sized resealable plastic bag, combine 1 cup orange juice, 1/2 cup lime juice, and vinegar. Add pork and let it sit and marinate for about 1 hour in refrigerator.

In a small mixing bowl, combine all dried spices. Pat the pork chops dry with a paper towel and rub with the dry spice mixture.

Heat oil in a large saute pan over high heat. Place the pork chops in the pan and sear on 1 side until brown. Flip over and turn the heat down to medium-low. Add onion and saute for 2 minutes. Then add the garlic and continue to cook until garlic begins to brown. Pour in the remaining 1/4 cup orange juice, 1/4 cup lime juice, and white wine. Simmer until the liquid is slightly reduced and begins to thicken. The chops should be cooked through.

Remove the chops from pan and put on a warm plate. Continue to reduce juices in pan by half. Pour over the chops and serve immediately.

Garnish with watercress, tomatoes and avocado.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Kool-Aid Play Dough

Just in case anyone else is dreading the impending winter as much as I am. This was really fun for the kids to help make and it is the softest, best-smelling play dough ever!

1 cup flour
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 package unsweetened Kool-Aid
1/4 cup salt
2 tablespoons cream of tartar
1 cup water

Mix flour, salt, cream of tartar and Kool-Aid® in a medium pot. Add water and oil. Stir over
medium heat 3 to 5 minutes. It will get LUMPY. Just mix them out the best you can. When mixture forms a ball in pot, remove. Knead until smooth. PLAY! Put in a plastic bag and refrigerate.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Flour Tortillas

This recipe was found at (it looked like she had a number of awesome recipes on there). They were really quick to make and my kids loved them because they were really soft and different from the store bought kind. Just roll them out thinner than you might think because they puff up a bit when you cook them. They're good with white whole wheat flour too!

Texas Flour Tortillas (adapted from The Border Cookbook by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison)
Two cups of all-purpose flour (can make them whole wheat by substituting one cup of whole-wheat flour for white flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of vegetable oil
3/4 cups of warm milk

Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and oil.
Slowly add the warm milk.
Stir until a loose, sticky ball is formed.
Knead for two minutes on a floured surface. Dough should be firm and soft.
Place dough in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap for 20 minutes.
After the dough has rested, break off eight sections, roll them into balls in your hands, place on a plate (make sure they aren’t touching) and then cover balls with damp cloth or plastic wrap for 10 minutes. (It’s very important to let the dough rest, otherwise it will be like elastic and won’t roll out to a proper thickness and shape.)
After dough has rested, one at a time place a dough ball on a floured surface, pat it out into a four-inch circle, and then roll with a rolling pin from the center until it’s thin and about eight inches in diameter. (If you roll out pie crusts you’ll have no problem with this.) Don’t over work the dough, or it’ll be stiff. Keep rolled-out tortillas covered until ready to cook.
In a dry iron skillet or comal heated on high, cook the tortilla about thirty seconds on each side. It should start to puff a bit when it’s done.
Keep cooked tortillas covered wrapped in a napkin until ready to eat.
Can be reheated in a dry iron skillet, over your gas-burner flame or in the oven wrapped in foil.
While you probably won’t have any leftovers, you can store in the fridge tightly wrapped in foil or plastic for a day or so.
Makes eight tortillas.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Honey Oat Quick Bread

I made this and we really liked it. It's a lot more dense than a yeast based bread but it was kind of a nice change. It was great with homemade jam!


    • 2 tablespoons plus 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats or quick-cooking (not instant) oats divided (I pulsed mine in the blender to grind them up a bit)
    • 1 1/3 cups whole-wheat flour or white whole-wheat flour (see Tip)
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 2 1/4 teaspoons teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
    • 1 8-ounce container (scant 1 cup) nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt
    • 1 large egg
    • 1/4 cup canola oil
    • 1/4 cup clover honey or other mild honey
    • 3/4 cup nonfat or low-fat milk


1. Position rack in middle of oven; preheat to 375°F. Generously coat a 9-by-5-inch (or similar size) loaf pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon oats in the pan. Tip the pan back and forth to coat the sides and bottom with oats; set aside another 1 tablespoon oats for garnishing the loaf.

2. Thoroughly stir together whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Using a fork, beat together the remaining 1 cup oats, yogurt, egg, oil and honey in a medium bowl until well blended. Stir in milk. Gently stir the yogurt mixture into the flour mixture just until thoroughly incorporated but not overmixed (excess mixing can cause toughening). Immediately scrape the batter into the pan, spreading evenly to the edges. Sprinkle the reserved 1 tablespoon oats over the top.

3. Bake the loaf until well browned on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. (It's normal for the top to crack.) Let stand in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a table knife around and under the loaf to loosen it and turn it out onto the rack. Let cool until barely warm, about 45 minutes.

Tip: White whole-wheat flour, made from a special variety of white wheat, is light in color and flavor but has the same nutritional properties as regular whole-wheat flour. Two companies that distribute the flour nationally are King Arthur Flour ( and Bob's Red Mill (

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

This was a great recipe. Everyone loved it! It made really good thick-sliced french toast the next morning. The only thing I would do differently next time is add some cinnamon to the dough itself & maybe a little more into the swirl part. Enjoy!

  • 1 1/2 cups warm milk (110 to 115 degrees F)
  • 1 cup instant dry mashed potatoes
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F to 115 degrees F)
  • 4+ cups King Arthur Bread Flour (King Arthur brand is by far the best, if you haven't tried it, it is worth the money & will change your baking forever!)
  • 1 1/2 cups raisins
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted


  1. In a large bowl, combine the milk, potatoes, butter, sugar and salt. In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add potato mixture and 2 cups flour; beat until smooth. Fold in raisins. stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  2. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Roll each portion into a 16-in. x 8-in. rectangle. Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over rectangles to within 1/2 in. of edges. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a short side; pinch seam to seal and tuck ends under.
  3. Place seam side down in two greased 9-in. x 5-in. x 3-in. loaf pans. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes or until doubled. Brush with butter. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Most bread will measure 190 degrees when it's done. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.