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Friday, September 9, 2011

Spoon Rolls, YUMMY!

Over the years I have amassed quite a collection of cookbooks which I weed through about once a year, one in particular that always makes the cut is my Southern Living Christmas Cookbook, billed as your ultimate holiday entertaining guide.

So far it really has lived up to the label. I have yet to make anything in it that hasn't turned out beautifully and we all know how I am when it comes to recipes. As a great bonus it also includes sections such as Table Top Settings, Buffet Arrangement, Holiday Gift Mixes & Ideas & No Recipe Recipes. It's a few steps up from your basic Better Homes Cook Book, although I still cherish the copy Mrs. H. Mercy gave me as wedding gift 15 short years ago. This week I was responsible for bringing rolls and a side dish to our Wednesday night potluck dinner at church for which I decided to make my yummy Parker House Rolls & Carrot Souffle (which I didn't take a pic of so I'll have to post that amazing creation next time I make it). Because I think everything through, I went out & helped the hubby rake leaves in the back yard Tuesday evening & created huge blisters all over my hands which made kneading dough a hazard, especially when they started bursting, ICK! So I went in search of a real bread recipe that wouldn't need kneading (hehehehe) and I decided to hit my cook book shelf instead of the internet this time around which is how I stumbled upon a great recipe for Spoon Rolls. Now one of the things Miss Doodlebop misses the most being GF is bread, I couldn't do without it either! We make lots of sweets which I store on our GF shelf in the freezer so we always have something on hand but bread is a different story. I had a good chunk of the day open so I decided to experiment with this recipe & see how it would do with GF ingredients. Thus I ended up making 2 batches & they both turned out great! I love that these are done in muffin tins, which gives you options as to size, I did the regular recipe in standard tins & Miss D's in a mini pan so we could tell the difference, also there is no kneading of course & multiple risings. It's a fantastic make ahead recipe as it can stay in the fridge anywhere from 4 hrs to 4 days, so you can scoop some out each day & have fresh rolls with dinner for a week if you like!

Spoon Rolls

Homemade rolls have never been so simple; just spoon the dough into muffin cups. The rolls don'e even need to rise. They bake up with slightly pebbly tops that resemble muffins.

make ahead
prep:9min     cook:25min     other:4hrs.,5min
1 (1/4-oz)envelope active dry yeast
2TBSP warm water 
1/2 c vegetable oil
1/4 c sugar (I use organic raw sugar)
1 egg, slightly beaten
4 c self rising flour (or add 3 1/3 tsp soda & 1 tsp salt to flour)
2 c warm water or milk (I use water)

*GF* Version
I used Hodgson Mill GF Baking Mix in place of the flour & GF Baking Powder

Combine yeast & 2 Tbsp warm water in a bowl: let stand 5 minutes.
Combine yeast mixture, oil & remaining ingredients in a large bowl; stir until smooth. (If you are making your own self rising flour you need to combine those ingredients seperately before you add the wet ingredients)
Cover tightly, and refridgerate at least 4 hours or up to 4 days.
Stir batter; spoon into greased muffin pans, (I used my lg Pampered Chef scoop & it was perfect) filling 3/4 full. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until golden brown. I got 24 rolls out of this although the recipe says 20.

Side Note: If you make these with the GF ingredients it's a different consistancy, lighter, thinner & puffs up much more so you need to make sure that you put this dough into large bowls as it does rise in the fridge, the GF more than the original.

I know these are going to be a staple in our home from now on & I was also excited to find that it bakes up well in a bread pan so we can also use it to make sandwich bread for Miss D. I'm so excited to be back in the kitchen after so many months of recuperating & I can't wait to share my creations!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Miss Doodlebops 1st Gluten Free Birthday

We recently realized that our soon to be 7 year old most likely has a gluten intolerance & I was immediately intimidated by the lack of access to healthy & different foods in our present location. One night last week Miss D was sitting on the floor of the tub crying when she was supposed to be washing her hair & I asked her what was going on. She tearfully replies that she is tired of her tummy hurting every time she eats & just wants it to stop. As most mothers will understand my 1st decision after comforting a soaking wet child, was to do some online research. I really believe that God has been trying to key me into this for a while now but as usual I tend to put things off because no one wants to be the crazy, paranoid parent that drives the medical community crazy but everytime she complained of a tummy ache I would hear a soft voice say "she needs to be on a gluten free diet". I couldn't even tell you what gluten is! After I put the kiddos down that night I got online & started researching this allergy & was actually amazed at what I found. After looking at many of the symptoms Miss D fit at least half of them one of which was being labeled Failure To Thrive as an infant which she was & although we were sent to a GI at Children's Hospital, she was never actually got to the point of diagnoses with anything, she turned a corner health wise & we let it go. Of course I felt like the big fat loser mom after realizing that she has been most likely suffering for years & is just now being able to really vocalize the minute things that make her daily life miserable.
     So after all this we made the decision to try the gluten free diet & see if there was any improvement, I checked with our ENT who also does allergy testing & after we were informed that testing would include a colon biopsy & the only change would be diet we decided to skip that invasive step & go straight to the fix. I am actually very impressed with the options that I have found in our small hamlet, expensive yes but when you're talking about the health & comfort of your child who cares! We started our gluten free diet on Sunday & by Wednesday her hard little distended belly that she's had forever was suddenly flat & soft, success! Now we are almost one week out & other than a slip up at G-Maws where she enjoyed a can of Chef Boyardee, we have been very strict with this thing & so far not one stomach ache! There are many other intestinal symptoms that are improving & I am so thankful for each one.
     We will be making adjustments for a while but it is getting easier each day. The 1st grade went to the part this week on Miss D's Bday & the teacher's provided pizza which she couldn't have so I used a GF Bisquick mix & made my own crusts & we took fresh GF pizza to the park, for her bday dinner we made rice pasta w/ marinara sauce, cauliflower, watermelon & GF Devil's Food Cupcakes w/ Mocha Cream Icing. It was all delicious! I can't believe how normal most of these foods taste, impressive. And thank goodness she loves CHEX! My sis also found a GF bread from UDI'S that she really likes & I understand that is one of the major obstacles in feeding a GF child.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Our Newest Recipe (We're On A Kick This Week!)

Dr. Oz has invaded my life & if he's done the same to yours you know all the changes that ensue. I have really been trying the last few years to eat healthier & feed my family in a more health conscience way which has led me to search out all types of information. So while Dr. Oz has emptied my fridge & pantry so to speak we have been trying new recipes that don't have too many processed ingredients, ect. My family (minus me) are HUGE breakfast eaters & I fix them breakfast for dinner at least once a week, what's cheaper than eggs & pancakes right? So I found a new waffle recipe that surprise, surprise I modified ;) It turned out so well that I didn't even get a pic of them as we all wolfed them down as if we hadn't eaten in days. Even my non-waffle lover, A, said they were pretty good which is saying something. So I wanted to share this new recipe with you, on the off chance that Dr. Oz has also invaded your life ;) Next time I'll make them when the kiddos aren't home & take a bee-u-tee-ful picture!

Oat Waffles:

1 cup all-purpose flour (you can sub whole wheat flour here)

1 cup oat flour*

1/4 c flax meal (I just do mine in my coffee grinder & I add this to almost all my baked items)

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 tablespoon sugar (I don't add this & it's fine)

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 3/4 cups fat-free milk ( I used regular coconut milk & no one knew, crafty mom) *I also had the thought that I could use my dark chocolate almond milk & serve these w/ some fresh whipped cream & strawberries as a nice dessert!

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

*To make the oat flour just put 1 1/4 c oatmeal in your blender & pulse until it's a flour consistency.
To be more efficient I use a blender to do my waffles/pancakes. Blend all your wet ingredients & then add the dry, pulse till smooth & pour into your waffle iron, these make 8 full waffles & are so hearty! Some people who are serious about their waffles will beat the egg whites to a stiff peak seperately & then fold them into the rest of the batter, I don't think these people have 3 hungry wolves, ahem, children nipping at their ankles but feel free to be gourmet. These sort of remind me of the Kashi waffles I love but won't buy because they're too pricey for my budget. I hope your family loves these as much as mine who asked to have them every day ;)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunday Cupcakes

Little Miss loves to bake, a girl after my own heart! We were watching Cupcake Wars today & who can watch something like that & not get a craving for cupcakes. I of course am trying to feed my family in a more health conscience way so I haven't bought many baking supplies lately & my larder is a bit bare so I went in search of some simple recipes that would only use ingredients I had on hand. A did 99% of these all on her own & she was so excited & I was so proud. We wanted to share these simple recipes so that the next time you're in a pantry pinch but yearning for a sweet treat you can take advantage of our finds! Both recipes are so versatile, a must for me, and quick to whip up even when you add in the intense beating session for the cake mix.

Simple White Cake:

(This recipe made 15 cupcakes for us)

1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup butter

2 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 cup milk

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x9 inch pan or line a muffin pan with paper liners.

2.In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter, you need to beat this for at least 8 min till it's light & fluffy for the best texture. Beat in the eggs, one at a time beating for at least 2 minutes after each, then stir in the vanilla. Combine flour and baking powder, add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Finally stir in the milk until batter is smooth. Pour or spoon batter into the prepared pan.
(We added mini chocolate chips of course!!)
3.Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven. For cupcakes, bake 20 to 25 minutes. Cake is done when it springs back to the touch.

Cool Whipped Frosting :
(this is the same as a quick mousse so you could dish it up & serve in dessert bowls w/o too much trouble)
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed (x-tra creamy!)

1 (3.5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix (we used chocolate!)

1 cup milk (we used dark chocolate almond milk, YUM!)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, combine pudding mix with milk and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Gently fold in whipped topping until no streaks remain. Spread evenly over cake

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

V-Day Scavenger Hunt

I am not a Valentine's Day person, I know that may seem unbelievable in a women but I actually have no desire to celebrate this particular holiday. I know it had to be different when I was of a dating age as I remember being excited when my then boyfriend/now hubby bought me a gift but it just hasn't translated into married life for me. BUT, I realized about 4 years ago that my kids were really my valentines & I wanted to do something for them, without breaking the bank that would be tons of fun, SO, here the idea for a scavenger hunt was born.
I picked up several things that I knew my kids loved but I don't always provide on a regular basis & I made homemade cards from me to my kiddos. I cut hearts out of construction paper & wrote clues that would send them to each room of the house. For example, this year I hid the gifts in my son's room & he has Yoda sitting on his bedside table so the last clue said "Very Close You Are To Your Reward My Padawan Learner" & they knew exactly where to go. They have so much fun with this each year & I watched my older 2 go from bored acceptance to giddy exitement after the 1st clue (they like to think they're too old for some things). I have them stand still while they read the clue so they don't leave little sis out & then give her a chance to figure it out.
This year J got a 6 pack of IBC (his fave & I don't buy sodas so this is a standard stocking stuffer, V-Day, Easter treat for him) & a giant box of Nutty Bars, he was in heaven! A recieved a Lego storage box (which I found half off @ WM in the clearance section & a giant bag of dark chocolate. L found a Fancy Nancy book & puzzle & a special diamond ring pop. All in all I spent less than $25 & they had a BLAST!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Snow Day Craftiness

These last couple of crazy snow weeks have actually been such a blessing to me as they have given me tons of time to spend at home with my kiddos which we never get to do during the school year & they have provided me with lots of time to invest in my sewing. I love being stuck at home like this with nowhere to go & no way to get there w/ my 3 favorite people (yep, my babies!). It's amazing how the creativity can hit & just keep on coming, I'm so excited to be whipping out so many items & it will be great to have some new inventory in the store. It amazes me to hear so many parents complaining about having to be home with thier kids & how they are going crazy, seems more than a little sad. I can't help but see these random days during out week that we get to just be a family together with no obligations as a gift from God, like the unexpected rose sticking out the snow, unexpected but beautiful! So, I hope everyone here is relishing thier time being snowed in like I am!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ice Day Baking Adventures With My Girls

I don't know about you but I absolutely LOVE weather days with my kiddos! We don't exactly sleep late but we don't have to get up & rush out the door either which is one of my favorite parts. This is the kids 2nd day in a row and we decided it was about time to bake something. My girls love to bake but there's not too much room or counter space in my kitchen so we don't do it too often but today I found a recipe that was so simple that the girls could do it all on their own which they were SO excited about. For those of you who don't know me, I can't follow a recipe to save my life & even this recipe with only 4 ingredients was no different. I made an amazing turkey loaf this week & I told my husband at the dinner table that I had followed a new recipe & he stopped eating & cocked his head to the side with a very scepticle look, so of course I had to confess that I had added a few extra ingredients to spice it up which is when he burst into laughter & said "of course you did, you wouldn't be you if you didn't!" See why we're still married!
     So the girls set out to make something called A Wasp Nest Cake, which elicited very strange looks from all 3 of my kiddos but once I read the ingredients they were game.


1 (3oz) box cook & serve vanilla pudding (we used Instant Pumpkin Spice Pudding Mix, worked fine)
2 c milk ( we used original Silk Coconut Milk)
1 yellow cake mix (HA, we used this!!)
12oz butterscotch morsels (AND it didn't last, we used dark chocolate!)

On the stovetop mix pudding with milk & bring to a boil. Dump in box of cake mix. Stir & pour into a greased 9*13 inch pan. Sprinkle on morsels. Bake in a 350 oven for 30 min. Let cool & serve.

Of course we didn't let it cool but cut pieces to taste while the chocolate was still hot enough to scald our tongues but it was a home run! I love recipes like this that are so versatile, you can change the flavor by just changing which cake mix or pudding you use, I think this one will be a keeper! The girls had so much fun & were so excited to do it on their own, maybe it's  a lesson to mom to move over in the kitchen & let the next generation of foodies learn somthing. Hurray for weather days!