Posts Tagged ‘food’

Cheesy + Garlicky Dinner Rolls | happyandsimple.wordpress.com

I have been promising a bread recipe and here it finally is (we won’t talk about the slight anxiety attack encountered while the recipe was temporarily misplaced – the best things are worth the wait, right?).  The recipe I’m sharing today is about as basic as it gets, and it is delicious!  I usually try to stick to whole grains, but sometimes white bread just hits the spot – especially with cheese and garlic.  They are also a great roll when made plain (my favorite, slathered with sunflower butter).

Please note that this recipe is geared toward using a bread machine, but may also be made by hand.  Guidance can be found within the reviews section on the recipe page (link below).

Before you click the link for this recipe, make sure to read my tips below for recipe success and how to easily turn these plain rolls into cheesy garlicky goodness.

Click here for the ‘Soft Dinner Rolls’ recipe.

Basic tips:

  • The order in which you place ingredients into your bread machine matters.
    • Manufacturer suggestions may vary, but I always place all liquids in first, followed by dry ingredients.  In this case, I place the sugar as my first dry ingredient so that it can dissolve into the liquid more readily.  Finally, I proof my yeast in a minimal amount of water, then use my finger to dig a little well in the flour, pouring the yeast mixture into the well.
  • Margarine may be used instead of butter if you want a dairy-free option (note that not all margarine is dairy-free).  Make sure your butter or margarine is very soft (but not melted) so that it will mix well.
  • All-purpose flour may be used if you do not have bread flour.  I have always used Wheat Montana All-Purpose flour with great results (they make great non-GMO/unbleached flours).
  • Make sure your dough isn’t too dry or too wet.  Your ball of dough shouldn’t look like it’s melting and it shouldn’t look like it’s cracking.  I usually end up adding a little extra flour to this recipe, and my dough has just a tiny hint of tackiness let to it once it’s been kneaded together.
  • They will turn out okay with less yeast.  If you only have one packet of yeast, don’t worry – they’ll still turn out!
  • Eco-friendly tip: skip covering the rolls with plastic as they’re rising and use a damp dishtowel instead.

Cheesy + Garlicky Dinner Rolls | happyandsimple.wordpress.com

Cheese/garlic tips:

  • While forming your dough into rolls/balls, place the desired amount of shredded cheese (I use a couple tsp cheddar) into the center and stretch your dough into a ball around it, pinching it shut on the bottom.  I store my shredded cheese in the freezer and place it in the dough while still frozen.  It should work just fine at room temp, but note that I’ve not tried it that way before.
  • Brush rolls with butter ( or margarine) after they’ve baked but are still warm.  After brushing butter, immediately sprinkle with your favorite garlic salt.  If you prefer fresh garlic, try adding a little minced garlic mixed in with your cheese.

Cheesy + Garlicky Dinner Rolls | happyandsimple.wordpress.com

These freeze very well – loosely wrap in foil and stick in the oven to thaw for a few minutes.

Happy baking!


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Grandma's Ginger Crinkles Recipe! A family favorite, these perfectly spiced ginger crinkles are incredibly easy to make – great for the holiday season!  They also have molasses in them, but we’ve always called them ginger crinkles.  Years ago, after my mom inherited grandma’s recipe collection, I spent hours hunting for this one.  She had at least five ginger/molasses cookie recipes in her box.  I knew it was this one when I saw the recipe card, complete with molasses drippings and doughy finger smudges! This is a great recipe to try with the littles – my nearly 3-yo nephew rolled all the balls in sugar himself!  I wasn’t sure if he’d like the taste of a cookie with so many spices – but he loved them – great flavor that’s not overpowering. Soft and chewy, old-fashioned crinkles, and dusted with sugar – yum!  They can also be made thinner/crunchier if that’s your thing – simply flatten the dough balls a little with the palm of your hand and bake a few minutes longer.  Since they use shortening, they are also lactose-free (assuming you use Crisco, which qualified at last check).  Here we go!

Grandma Marie's Ginger/Molasses Crinkles Cookie Recipe | happyandsimple.wordpress.com

-click on above image to save or print recipe-

Grandma's Ginger Crinkles Recipe!

Thinking ahead tip:  freeze some dough balls after you’ve rolled them in sugar – then bake later!

Happy Weekend!

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Easy Raspberry Turnovers Recipe - this dough is magic!

It’s been a while, AGAIN.  I have so many projects I want to share and so little time.  Today’s baking project turned out so well that I had to make time.  I baked these for a neighborhood get-together and there was so much food that I was left with a bunch of these (I may or may not have eaten three over the course of 10 minutes).  So, I spent my evening trying to convince people to take them – I think I need more sweet-toothed friends!  I almost volunteered some to a stranger walking down the street, but he already had this hands full.

This blitz puff dough is like magic and I am so excited to share it with you!  It’s seriously easy and seriously delicious.  Looks like it took 18 hours to make, but really only claimed about an hour.  Resist all future urges to buy frozen puff pastry dough and make this – you will be so glad you did!  I have an insane amount of raspberries on my bushes this year, so I made fresh filling – but, you could very easily substitute with a fruit jam, apples, a blob of chocolate, or even something savory like spinach and feta.

Easy Raspberry Turnovers Recipe - this dough is magic!

I have made croissants and turnovers from scratch many times before and these taste just as flaky and just as buttery, in only a tiny fraction of the time.  The recipe is from the King Arthur Flour website:  http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/raspberry-puff-turnovers-recipe

King Arthur also has a blog posting for this particular recipe – it walks through the whole thing picture-by-picture: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/blog/2009/07/02/love-flaky-turnovers-dont-love-fussing-blitz-puff-to-the-rescue/

Simple Raspberry Turnover Recipe - this dough is magic!

Rather than posting the recipe here, I’ll let you read through it at the above link – but, here is a list of tips that may make things even more simple when you make these:

-For the dough, use a food processor if you have one!  Speeds things up a lot.  A hand pastry blender or hand mixer will also work.

-The dough can get soft/sticky.  Once you’ve done the final roll-out and cut it with a pizza cutter – stick it back in the fridge for a couple minutes before adding your filling and brushing on the egg wash edging.  It will make it easier to seal your seams so that they look nice.

-If you are making the raspberry filling from the recipe and use cornstarch rather than ClearJel: keeping adding water, slowly, until the cornstarch dissolves – you might curse when it stirs like cement at first, and then, all of a sudden, when you add just the right amount of water it immediately dissolves!

-Whatever filling you choose:  make sure it is cold (or at least firm) – if it’s soft or runny, it is hard to cleanly seal the dough edges.

-You can freeze these!  Fill and seal them, then straight to the freezer instead of baking.  Just pop them in the oven from frozen and allow a few extra minutes of bake time.

Raspberry Turnover Recipe

Raspberry Turnover Recipe

-I brushed the tops with an egg wash and then sprinkled ‘Sugar in the Raw’ (a coarse sugar you can buy at your local grocery store – very inexpensive).

-I chose to squiggle some chocolate ganache on top of each after baking.  Ganache is very simple to make:  use heavy cream or a soy creamer and a chocolate of your choice.  In a microwave-safe bowl, heat your cream until the edges bubble (you want to ‘scald’ it, in other words, you’ll see a thin layer of’ skin on the surface).  Immediately place a nearly equal amount of chocolate into the hot cream (i.e. 6 oz. cream, 6 oz. chocolate), and let it sit a few minutes.  If you are in a hurry, using less cream will help it to thicken more quickly.  Stir until smooth.  Chill in the refrigerator until it’s thickened enough to pipe or spoon on top of your turnovers (don’t over stir it, or it may become too thick – if this happens, just reheat for a short time).

Easy Raspberry Turnover Recipe - this dough is magic!

Happy Eating!

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Whole wheat challah bread

I have never eaten challah bread before, but have heard it makes wonderful french toast, so I had to try making some.  I used a whole wheat (well, half whole wheat) recipe from King Arthur Flour and it is delicious!  It tastes a little like a mild sweet hawaiian bread.  Visit the King Arthur site for the recipe, but feel free to check out a few hints below (as the original recipe may leave you with dry bread).


-Add 1.5 Tbsp orange juice (to combat any bitterness from the whole wheat flour)

-The recipe calls for 2 C bread flour & 2 C whole wheat pastry flour – this is too much!  Start with 1.5 C of each, and sprinkle in additional if necessary (you want the dough to have just the slightest bit of tackiness).

-A bread machine works beautifully for combining/kneading and the first rise – just set on the dough cycle!

-Note, I accidentally diluted my egg wash a bit too much, so yours may turn out with a shinier finish.

Happy Sunday!

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chocolate oat banana pancakes

These are not your typical pancakes, but oh are they tasty just off the skillet.  They have a healthy dose whole grains (via oats and your choice of flour), a generous helping of banana, some nut or sunflower butter and CHOCOLATE!  Sounds strange for a pancake, right?  I kind of thought so, but I’ll try anything with chocolate chips.  I’m not even a fan of banana, and I like these.  For those who would rather skip the sweetness of chocolate, these would be great sprinkled with nuts or granola and a perhaps a bit of maple syrup.  Best eaten while still warm, but easily frozen and reheated in the oven.  Also readily made gluten-free, nut-free, lactose-free, etc.  Between eggs (if you choose to use them), oats, and sunflower butter, they also provide some decent protein.


I can’t take any credit for this recipe, so click here to see the original recipe.

My modifications/suggestions:

I’m not sure you can go wrong with these, but I did change a few things with good results.

  • I didn’t have flax on hand,so I omitted it; however, I added the extra water.  I’ve also swapped for real eggs with good results.
  • I used sunflower butter rather than almond butter, and used a heaping Tbsp.
  • I successfully used both whole wheat pastry flour and King Arthur gluten-free flour.
  • I increased the vanilla extract by 1/4 tsp, and added a few more chocolate chips.
  • If you’re not a huge banana fan (or even if you are), try adding a generous pinch or two of cinnamon.
  • I found they cook best on med-low heat (on my stove anyway).
  • It’s easiest to make the batter in a blender or food processor – and a double batch easily fits in a blender.

Bake, cool, wrap individually in foil (or just separate with parchment or wax paper), freeze, and reheat in the oven at 350F until hot.

Happy Monday!

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I miss the food I ate while living in Montana.  Don’t we always miss what we can’t have?  This sandwich is a version of one from a bistro I frequented.  Most people seem to love or hate eggplant.  I’m an in-between-er.  I love it if it’s breaded or in baba ganoush, not so much if it is on its own.  This sandwich should appeal to even those who hate eggplant (in other words, there’s breading and the other flavors are more dominant).

eggplantFind some bread.  I used whole wheat pita, but a nice ciabatta roll is even better if you don’t mind white flour.  Set aside.

Cook your eggplant: Trader Joe’s sells frozen boxes of pre-breaded eggplant (shown in photo), but I’ve also used fresh eggplant which I’m sure is far more healthy.

To use fresh eggplant – cut thin slices, dust them in flour, dip them in egg, and cover in seasoned breadcrumbs.  Fry until golden brown and tender when ‘forked’. 

spinachSpinach.  I cooked frozen spinach.  Fresh gently cooked spinach is preferable if you have it.  

I clearly wasn’t very generous – feel free to add extra eggplant and go crazy with greens if you like.

fetaTop with crumbled feta cheese.

italianSparingly drizzle Italian dressing on top of feta (I like Newman’s Organics).

You might choose to make a more hearty sandwich by also including other greens, tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, etc.

eggplantsandwichLightly toast your bread and enjoy while warm!

…and just for fun – a photo to summarize weather here over the last few weeks – and all foreseeable forecasts…

rain…and lovely reflections at dusk.

rain reflection

Happy almost weekend!

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Today is January’s Foodie Penpals reveal day!  If you’re not familiar with the program, it’s open to US, Canadian, and European residents.  Each participant sends and receives a box of surprise foods and/or sweets on a month-to-month basis – find out more by clicking HERE (or the purple icon on the right side of my blog).  This month I sent a box to Ashley and received a package from a fellow Minnesotan. Debbie sent me a box chock-full of goodies.

january foodie penpal

The box included:

3 bags of tasty homemade goods:  granola, granola bars, and toffee bars (Now THAT is motivation!)

Florentina from Albany Home Bakery (Gotta love a bit of chocolate, especially with a crunchy candy nut base.)

Peanuts in the shell (My dad was more than happy to share these.)

Garlic Sea Salt (Perfect timing, as I had just run out of garlic salt – love that this has no preservatives!!)

Watson’s Lemon Extract (I have a thing for lemon icing, so this is great!)

Bob’s Red Mill Scottish Oatmeal (Nice that is it finely milled – I’ve been happily adding it to cookies and muffins.)

Last, but not least, she included a handmade card for me to use later – how nice is that?!

Jan card

Everything in the box was great – thank you, Debbie!  

ps – The promised microwave-friendly corn heating pad/bag tutorial that I keep yammering about will be posted on Saturday!

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