Saturday, November 22, 2014

Thanksgiving Faves- Grandma's Rolls

Growing up all family gatherings meant great food.  You knew to come hungry and plan on eating lots!  There was always a abundance of delicious food. Thanksgiving was usually an extended family gathering, it brings back lots of great memories and traditions that I still carry on with my family to this day.  Over the next week my plan is to share with you some of the Thanksgiving faves of my family.  The must have dishes for our Thanksgiving dinner.  
      First I want to start out with the most popular item I am always asked to prepare: Grandma's Rolls.   This recipe is not actually my grandma's, but I am pretty sure it is close to it.  One memory of Thanksgiving was the amazing smell of the rolls as they were baking.  The smell to this day still reminds me of my Grandma's home and brings back great memories.  You can half this recipe, but trust me they will get eaten so fast you will want the whole batch.

Grandma's Rolls
In a saucepan, combine:
2 cups milk
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
Bring to a boil and let cool. (important to let cool)
In a small bowl combine
1 cup lukewarm water
2 Tbs yeast
2 tsp sugar
Set aside and let dissolve.
Add:
2 1/2 tsp. salt
3 beaten eggs
8-10 cups flour

When the milk mixture has cooled to lukewarm (or cooler), pour into mixer. Add 4 cups flour, the yeast mixture(I let this dissolve right in my mixing bowl), salt and beaten eggs. Beat until smooth. Add flour a little at a time while mixing until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl but is not stiff. (It usually takes 9-10 cups for me).

Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with cooking spray, and let rise in a warm place until dough has doubled in size. Punch down, cover and let rise again until doubled in size.


After dough has risen a second time, divide in half. Each half will make a cookie sheet. Form your rolls and place on a greased cookie sheet a little ways apart. Let rise 30 minutes.

Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.
I always butter the tops of my rolls right after they come out of the oven.


Makes approx. 40 rolls depending on the size of your rolls.
I usually let my dough raise in a sunny window. When there is not any sun which regularly happens in our neck of the woods, I preheat my oven on the lowest temperature possible (mine is 170 degrees) for just a few minutes (Literally like no more than 5 minutes). Then I turn it off and let my dough raise in the oven.

Happy Thanksgiving!!
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Saturday, November 8, 2014

K&T's 'Rockin' Barbecue Meatloaf

A couple months ago in the midst of my move I received an email from my cousin Kara about this meatloaf she had made this was her note:
"So my BCE (best cousin ever) I made award winning meat loaf tonight. Was so rocking exciting about I brought samples to Cathi, my Mom, James, Kim and Hunter. First... Hunter ate it... An 11 year old liked meat loaf... Back in the day you couldn't get us to eat much of anything. It's heavenly!"
 I was totally intrigued at that point to actually have taken the time to share it with that many people when her life is so busy..It must be delicious!
Then came the disclosure...
"Well, no recipe..."
The good news is she explained to me her process and with some trial I think between the two of us (we do make a good team) we have come up with a fabulous recipe!   I was so excited  for this that  is was the first real meal I cooked in my new kitchen.  She was right it was incredible!!  Then the bad news....
hubby threw away my recipe notes.
Disappointment set in, but also gave me the opportunity to try it again to see if it truly was as good as I remembered just not the fact that the family had been eating total processed foods during the move.
No surprises...
It was just as delicious as I remembered, so thankfully I had the recipe correct in my head. Most definitely a keeper!!  Picture does not do it justice!  
K&T's 'Rockin' Barbecue Meatloaf
(A Kara & Tiff Creation)

1 medium onion diced
1/2 teaspoon garlic
1 Tablespoon butter
1 1/2 pounds hamburger
1 egg
2 pieces of bread toasted (and made into crumbs)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup barbecue sauce plus more for the topping.*

Melt butter over medium heat and saute the onions and garlic until they tender and caramelized a bit. Remove from heat.  Place in a large bowl.  Mix in the remaining ingredients.  Form in to a loaf.  Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes then remove and drain off the fat.  Brush it with additional barbecue sauce and return to the oven.  Bake for an addition 15-20 minutes or until meat is cooked through.

The first time I made this I used muffin tins for individual sized portions.  Cook those for about 30-40 minutes.  Draining the fat after the first 20 minutes.

*Kara recommends Sweet Baby Rays Barbecue Sauce, used gluten free bread and added diced red pepper to her onion mixture.

She's right it is heavenly!  Thanks Kara.
Enjoy!

Monday, November 3, 2014

No More Scrubbing Cookie Sheets!!

In the mist of my move I received a fabulous gift in the mail.  It was a Non Sitck Silicon Baking Mat, which I was so excited to try out.  Well some how it got lost in the shuffle of the move.  The other day I was moving things around and guess what I found!!


I must admit I was a little skeptical on the "non stick" part so I decided to put it to the test.  I made some Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies.  The dough is quite sticky.  I placed the mat on my cookie sheet and put the cookie dough right on top.
I baked them as normal.
Used the spatula to get them off only because they were hot and it was so simple!!
They slid right off the mat.
The more incredible part...
Look how clean the mat stayed after I took the cookies off.
Totally passed the test and impressed me!!
No more scrubbing the residue off the cookie sheet or buying parchment paper.
So excited to try it out for other things like:
  • Rolling our dough.  I hate the flour mess .
  • Putting it under pies that might over flow and make a mess in the oven
  • Putting it in my casserole dishes to prevent that horrible clean up 
  • Using it for all my baking needs.
It comes with a 100% no hassle guarantee and is FDA approved.
A huge surprise was finding Love Your Kitchen had featured one of my recipes in the flyer that comes with the mat.  It was pretty awesome!!
I love this mat and I am sure you will too!!
Thanks YourCoolKitchen.com



Disclaimer:  I was not paid any money for this review.  I was given the mat as a gift to try out.  All opinions are my own.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Chicken Salad Sandwiches

My kids love chicken salad sandwiches.  My mom had given me this incredible recipe a few years ago and since my move I have searched and cannot find it anywhere!!  I'm actually in total shock I did not share it here with all of you it was THAT GOOD!  The other day when they were begging for these sandwiches I created a new version and it is pretty close to my mom's.  I splurged and bought croissants which made it feel a little more fancy.   It was a hit and tasted oh so delicious!
Chicken Salad Sandwiches
2 1/2 cups cooked chicken, diced or shredded
1 cup diced celery
1/4 cup diced onion
1 1/2 cup grapes, cut in half
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup Miracle Whip or Mayonnaise, whichever your preference
3 teaspoons Italian Dressing
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl adding more seasoning to taste if needed.  Place on your favorite bread.
*The nice thing about this recipe is you can change it up. Sometimes I like to use diced apples instead of grapes or cashews instead of almonds.  Find your favorite combination.
Sometimes I just like to eat it with out the bread too!
My daughter just peeked over my shoulder to see what I was doing and her reaction was, 
" I can't believe they weren't already on here. They are delicious!!"
MMMMMM...this may be dinner tonight, that is if I can wait than long!
Enjoy!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Honey Garlic Glazed Turkey Meatballs

I am so blessed to have such amazing cooks in my family and I LOVE when they share this talent with me. This incredible dish comes from my cousin Kara.  She is an amazing cook...well she's pretty amazing at everything!!  This recipe looks so yummy!  This was her note for this recipe:
"This is delicious and healthy so I wanted to share it with you"
 Honey Garlic Glazed Turkey Meatballs
from Kara inspired by Taste of Home
Meatballs:
2 Eggs
3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup diced onion
2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 lbs ground turkey

Sauce: (Kara suggests doubling the sauce mixture)
4 teaspoons minced garlic
1 Tablespoon butter
3/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup honey
3 Tablespoons soy sauce

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
In a large bowl whisk together the eggs and milk.   Add bread crumbs, onion and salt.  Add ground turkey and mix until well combined.  Shape turkey mixture into 1 inch balls and place on a greased cookie sheet.  Bake 12-15 minutes then broil for an additional 3+5 minutes watching carefully until they are golden brown and cooked through.   Remove from sheets and place meatballs in a baking dish. (to get them off the grease that has drained off).

While the meatballs are cooking. Combine garlic and butter in a saucepan over medium heat until garlic is tender. Whisk in ketchup, honey and soy sauce.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 minutes.  Spoon sauce over cooked meatballs and serve.
OH YUM!!!
Thanks Kara for an incredible recipe! 
Let's eat!



Saturday, October 11, 2014

Pizza Pasta Salad

I guess I have been on a real "Pizza" kick this past week and did not even realize it.  First I made Mexican Pizza, then Pizza Waffles, we had take out pizza and then I needed something for a work potluck.  Most of the time it is not a good idea to try new recipes out on your coworkers, but I do it all the time.  It's a great way to see if it is truly a good recipe or not! This was simple to put together, it satisfied my pizza craving and was a hit!!
Pizza Pasta Salad
Inspired by  Caramel Potatoes

Ingredients
1 lb bowtie pasta, cooked and cooled (you can use any pasta you want)
1/2 cup pepperoni slices, I cut mine in half
1 /2 cup ham or Canadian Bacon cubed
4 oz Mozzarella cheese, cubed
1 can black olives, sliced
1 medium tomato, diced
1/2 cup onion, diced small
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 - 2 cups Zesty Italian Dressing (Olive Garden's is very good!!)**

Directions
Toss together the pasta, pepperoni, ham, cheeses, tomatoes and onions.  Stir in 1 cup of the Italian Dressing.  Refrigerate at least 3 hours or over night.  Just before you are ready to serve toss with more dressing as needed.
*You can add green peppers if desired.  With the meats you could add 1 cup Pepperoni and leave out the ham.  This recipe can be matched to your tastes.
**I made a copycat Olive Garden dressing recipe.  It was delicious on this salad.

Nice change to my normal pizza fix!!
Enjoy!


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Hamburger Soup

My grandmother was an avid canner.  Her pantry was always full of bottles or yummy goodness.  After I was married and would come to visit she would send me down there to get whatever I wanted.  I was a beautiful sight,  Each fall one of the things she canned was soup.  It was awesome, because you just needed what ever meat you wanted to put in it and then you dumped the jar in a pan added the meat and heated and voila...a quick, easy and delicious meal.  I came home the other night really wishing I had one of those bottles of soup.   I had been craving it for a few days and I guess I just needed some comfort food.  So I made my own.  It actually did not take very long.  It  turned out delicious and hit the spot!!  Brought back some great memories too!!
Hamburger Soup
adapted from Taste of Home
1 pound hamburger, cooked and drained
4 cups of water
1 (14 1/2 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 cup carrots, sliced
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed into bite sized pieces
3/4 cup diced onions
1 cup diced celery
4 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

Directions:
Place all ingredient in a large saucepan.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes or until the carrots and potatoes are tender.
I sprinkled each serving with a little bit of shredded Parmesan cheese.
Pure comfort food for a chilly fall night!
Enjoy!


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