Posts Tagged ‘recipe’

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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Friendship Tea Recipe - without all the artificial junk!

You may have heard of friendship tea… the sweet orangey tea flavored hot drink made with Tang or orange breakfast drink mix of your choice.  Tastes great… until you read the ingredients on your jar of Tang!  Artificial flavors, colors, preservatives – blech!  Our bodies don’t need that stuff, so I set out to create a friendship tea recipe, minus the junk.

While you’ll likely need to tweak it to fit your own tastebuds, It’s full of orange, lemon and tea.  Be forewarned, it won’t taste as sugary sweet as the original version, so if it’s too bland for your taste, you might choose to sweeten it up with some honey or extra sugar.

Friendship Tea Recipe - without all the artificial junk!

Before you get started, you’ll need a few ingredients (which you may or may not need to order from the internet) – they’re available on Amazon.com, but check here first to see if you can buy them locally: truelemon.com

True Orange packages (I bought the smaller size with 32 little packets, runs about $5, and you’ll have extra!)

True Lemon Powder (runs about $4 for a little jar – you’ll also have leftovers for other uses!)

*Please note, I am not affiliated with the True Lemon / True Orange brand in any way.

Friendship Tea Recipe:

  • Nine packets (0.8g each) of True Orange

  • 1 1/4 tsp True Lemon powder

  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves

  • 1/4 C unsweetened instant tea (I use Lipton and like the taste of tea – try less if you want the predominantly fruity flavor.)

  • 1 1/4 C granulated sugar (this recipe isn’t overly sweet – you may choose to add honey or more sugar)

Place in small jar and whisk or shake ingredients until blended.  Store in an airtight container.
Boil/heat 1 Cup water and add 3 teaspoons of tea mix (more or less, to taste).  Stir well (it won’t completely dissolve due to the spices, so don’t worry if you see a bit sinking to the bottom).

Although I don’t ever plan to return to the old artificial-laden recipe, I’ll share it (or one of the variations, anyway) for those who may already have the ingredients on hand:

  • 2 1/2 C dry Tang mix
  • 1/2 C unsweetened instant tea
  • 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 1 package lemon flavored Koolaid (the little packets, without the sugar already mixed in)
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/8 tsp ground cloves

Did you try my recipe?  I’d love to hear suggestions or comments!

Happy 2015 – may we all find a happy and simple balance!

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Grandma's Carrot Cake Bars - made with baby food!  (Easily made lactose or dairy free). These cake bars are another family favorite from Grandma Marie’s recipe box!  These were the bars we always had at potlucks and holidays – loved by all.  Not your typical carrot cake, these get their flavor from jars of….. baby food!  In fact, we all call them baby food bars, but I renamed them so as not to scare off anyone.  Sounds strange, but don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it.  Soooo good, cuts down on prep time and jars of organic baby food are easy to find.  Best of all, they’re easily adapted to be lactose or dairy free  if you choose! A baking note:  Batter will be light in color – it’ll darken a lot by the time it’s finished baking so don’t worry! Grandma's Carrot Cake Bars - made with baby food!  (Easily made lactose or dairy free).

Click on the recipe image below if you want it to enlarge and open in a new tab to print!

Grandma's Carrot Cake Bars… made with baby food! (recipe easily made lactose or dairy free)

Grandma's Carrot Cake Bars - made with baby food!  (Easily made lactose or dairy free).

Merry Christmas, enjoy the holidays!

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gooe raspberry brownie recipe (whole grain!)

I promised my raspberry brownie recipe ages ago but didn’t have photos to go with it until now.  Just in time for Valentine’s Day –  these are gooey, fudgy and decadent – best eaten with a fork (and a scoop of milk chocolate ice cream?)!  The best part (aside from eating them) is that they contain whole wheat flour and are easily made lactose-free.

(By the way, I think I’ve finally gotten this dual blog thing down – so no more random photos popping up to email subscribers!  Yay – and thanks for your patience!)

First, the printable version:  click on the image below to enlarge, then print.  

gooey raspberry brownie recipe (whole grain!)


  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 1/2 C packed brown sugar (make sure there are no clumps)
  • 4 oz (8 Tbsp) unsalted melted margarine (as usual, I use Fleischmann’s unsalted because it’s lactose-free)
  • 2 tsp milk (I use oat milk, any type will suffice)
  • 1/2 C unsweetened cocoa powder (my favorite flavor-wise is Trader Joe’s brand)
  • 1/3 C white whole wheat flour (I’ve not tried it, but you could likely use regular whole wheat as well in these)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 C semi-sweet chocolate chips (if making lactose-free, double check ingredients on these!)

Raspberry Filling:

  • 1 1/2 C raspberries (if frozen, place in colander & run under lukewarm water until thawed a bit)
  • 1/4 C water
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1/4 C sugar

Prepare raspberry filling:

  • In medium sized microwave-safe bowl, combine flour & 1 Tbsp water (taken from your 1/4 C water). Stir until smooth.
  • Pour in remaining water (discard an additional 1 Tbsp if you used frozen berries as they’ll have more moisture).
  • Add sugar, stir until combined.
  • Last, add raspberries and stir/mash them up into your mixture.
  • Heat in microwave until boiling (you’ll need to watch – it may take a few minutes depending on your microwave).  Allow to bubble/boil for ~30 seconds.
  • Stir/mash your berries again and then return to microwave and heat them until bubbling/boiling for an additional 15-20 seconds.
  • Set aside to cool.
  • (if you do not want seeds in your filling, allow to cool 20-25 min. before straining mixture through a sieve or cheesecloth.)

simple microwave raspberry sauce

Prepare brownie batter:

  • Preheat oven to 325•F.
  • Lightly spray/grease (bottom ONLY), a pie plate with 8 inch or less diameter across the bottom; then, lightly flour and shake off excess.
  • In large bowl, beat eggs until fluffy.
  • Add both sugars and mix on low or stir by hand until well combined.
  • Add melted margarine, milk, cocoa, flour, salt and vanilla.  Stir by hand until all dry ingredients are combined into mixture.
  • Stir in chocolate chips.
  • Pour half of batter into pie plate.
  • Pour/spread raspberry filling on top of batter.
  • Top with remaining brownie batter (it’s okay if the raspberry filling doesn’t stay underneath the batter – see photo below).
  • Bake for 55-60 minutes.  Start checking with toothpick at 50 minutes – remove from oven as soon as a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool about 30 minutes.  At this point, you may choose to serve them warm & gooey (YUM!), but they won’t have fully solidifed yet.
  • If you’ve waited to eat them until cool, cut with a butter/table knife (makes a cleaner line than a sharper knife).
  • Optional: garnish with chocolate syrup and fresh raspberries.

brownie layers

brownies cut

brownies 2

Have a dessert recipe you want see next?  Let’s hear it!

Happy Tuesday :)

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Gluten-free Cider Donut Holes (easily made lactose-free)

I have been craving donuts since fall… but not just any donuts – the apple cider kind you find at farmer’s markets and orchards.  Last night I finally took the plunge and decided on a recipe to try.  I opted for a gluten-free version because I have been piling in the white flour this week and my body sure can feel it.  The only gluten-free donuts I’ve ever tried were some obscenely expensive frozen ones from the grocery store.  Yuck… I figured anything could be better than those.  I also wanted a recipe that could be easily made lactose-free.  Oh man, these are gooood!  I used Trader Joe’s Cinnamon Pear Cider because they didn’t have any of their spiced apple cider available, and it left the donuts with just a warm hint of pear flavor!  I am fairly new to gluten-free baking so can’t take any credit for this recipe (though feel free to read my hints and substitutions below) — visit gluten free on a shoestring for this and other gluten-free donut  recipes.  This has inspired me to work on a naturally sweetened (ie applesauce, molasses or honey) version next – fingers crossed!

My hints/substitutions:

  • I used a Babycakes Cake Pop Maker (I usually don’t bite on these gadgets, but found one on clearance and it really made the whole process super quick and simple!) Don’t worry if you don’t have one, oven-baking instructions are given on the recipe.
  • If you’re using the Babycakes machine, you’ll want to fill the bottom wells almost full (but not quite, or the first ones you fill will start to rise over the edge by the time you fill the last few).  4 minutes was the perfect length of time for baking (they will look fairly light on the top half even when they’re done).
  • If you prefer a heavy coating of cinnamon/sugar, you’ll want to roll them in it IMMEDIATELY after removing from the pan or it won’t stick.
  • Best enjoyed right after baking (they’re still great and tender once cooled, but the texture may seem just a bit more spongy like an airy muffin).
  • For a lactose-free version, simply replace the butter with unsalted Fleischmann’s margarine or Earth Balance buttery sticks (but be aware, the latter has a distinct flavor).
  • Rather than apple cider, I used Pear Cinnamon Cider from Trader Joe’s – worked beautifully.
  • I should but don’t have a kitchen scale, so rather than using the gram measurements for flour/corn starch, I lightly spooned the full amount of flour into the measuring cup and then added 3 Tbsp corn starch (or 1.5 if you cut the recipe in half).

Gluten-free Cider Donut Holes (easily made lactose-free)

What’s your favorite kind of donut?


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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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Dark Chocolate Mint Cake (recipe with lactose-free option)

Holiday baking is in full-gear and almost everybody in my family seems to enjoy mint and chocolate, so I’m making the best of my bottle of peppermint extract this year! (If you’re not a mint lover, simply exchange the mint extract for vanilla in the buttercream filling or just omit it from the mousse filling).  This recipe has two versions – the one shown, and one for super chocolate enthusiasts, that swaps the filling shown for a chocolate mint mousse filling (the latter being a bit more time consuming, as the mousse will need to chill for a bit).  These cakes are simple to make lactose-free if needed.  Both are well-suited to being frozen (and eaten straight from the freezer if desired, though keep in mind that the non-dairy ganache will be more desirable – less hard – when frozen).

The chocolate cake is very slightly modified from the ‘Celebrate with Chocolate’ cookbook and is also used in my Chocolate Raspberry Lemon Cake recipe.  The chocolate mousse recipe is delicious on its own (minus mint) can be found here.  I forgot to include this in the printable recipes – but if desired, use a vegetable peeler to shave chocolate mint candies on top of ganache before refrigerating (shaved dark chocolate mint Dove bites are shown in the photo).

Click photo below for printable image of recipe (buttercream mint filling version).

dark chocolate peppermint buttercream cake.

Click photo below for printable image of recipe (chocolate mint mousse version).

dark chocolate mint mousse cake.



Feel free to ask questions or let me know what you think if you try it!  Enjoy!

dark chocolate mint cake (lactose-free option)

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