Daily Tidbits

Be Kind. Do Good. Love is a Verb.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Top 10 Recipes from 2010

It's interesting to see what recipes garner the most attention.  These are the Top 10 recipes that consistently receive hits here at 2 Kids and Tired Cooks.

Raspberry Pretzel Jello Salad
Can't really blame people.  It's fantastic.

Sausage Plait
Now, this one surprises me because it's not a traditional recipe, or so I thought.  It is, however, very popular.

Gingerbread Bundt Cake
This was good, I didn't think it was fantastic, but it certainly is a popular landing place for visitors and search engines.

Fake Champagne Punch
So yummy.  So easy.  And there's not even a photo!

Meatballs and Gravy
Comfort food at its best.  I love this meal.  I could eat it every day.

Waffle Iron Cookies

Pie Crust
Best pie crust ever.  Seriously.

Chicken with Wild Rice Soup
One of our favorite soup recipes.  It's really good in bread bowls.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies
I know, such an original name.  But, oh so good!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownie Muffins
Even a more original name!  But, even better than the brownies.

Apple Streusel Cheesecake Bars
Evil.  Absolutely evil.

Thanks for stopping by and visiting this year.  I've loved your comments.  I'd love more, especially if you try a recipe!  Happy New Year and Best Wishes for a Wonderful 2011!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Pioneer Woman's Perfect Pie Crust

(Photo is not mine, it's from the Pioneer Woman Cooks)

1-½ cup shortening
3 cups flour
1 egg
5 T. cold water
1 T. white vinegar
1 t. salt

In a large bowl cut the shortening into the flour until it resembles coarse meal or oatmeal. I always start with the pastry cutter, but end up using my hands. In a small bowl, beat an egg with a fork and then pour it into the flour/shortening mixture. Add 5 tablespoons of cold water, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir together gently until all of the ingredients are incorporated. You don't want it mixed well.  You want to see streaks of shortening in your dough which makes it flakier.

Separate the dough into thirds. Form 3 evenly sized balls of dough and place each ball of dough into a large ziploc bag. Using a rolling pin, slightly flatten each ball of dough (about ½ inch thick) to make rolling easier later. Seal the bags and place them in the freezer until you need them. (If you will be using it immediately it’s still a good idea to put in the freezer for about 15 to 20 minutes to chill.)

When you are ready to use the dough to make a crust, remove from the freezer and allow it to thaw for about 15 minutes. On a floured surface, roll it out like you would any pie crust.

Holly's Note:
I have the Pioneer Woman Cooks cookbook and, for the most part, I enjoy it. I really like just looking through it and reading Ree's hysterical commentary.  

I have my own tried-and-tested-absolutely-fantastic-pie -crust-recipe that I use for everything needing a pie crust.  I have found nothing, nothing that is better than my pie crusts.

Now, my recipe makes ~15 pie crusts at one time and I just freeze them.  Making that many crusts and freezing them really takes very little time and it's so convenient to have them already on hand.  And, I absolutely agree with Ree when she says that it's the freezing that makes the crust flakier. 

I was out of pie crusts (something that rarely ever happens) when I decided to make this recipe instead, just to see if it was as good as PW says.  It came together quickly, which was nice, and it made three crusts, which was nice.  Now, I love eating pieces of pie dough as I make pies and this dough didn't taste good, probably because it contains vinegar, I don't know.   The crusts, when they baked up were nice and flaky, but my family noticed immediately that the crust tasted different and they all said that my crusts tasted better.

Ree states in the book that this Perfect Pie Crust recipe has replaced all her others.   It won't replace mine, but it is a convenient recipe when you need a quick crust.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Bread Bowls

Printable Recipe

2 T. yeast
2-1/2 c. warm water
2 t. salt
2 T. vegetable oil
7 c. flour
1 T. cornmeal

Combine water, salt, oil and 2-3 cups flour in the mixer. Mix together. Add yeast and more flour. With the mixer running, continue adding flour until the dough pulls away from the sides and bottom and is not too sticky. I used all 7 cups of flour. Let the mixer knead the dough until it's smooth and elastic, about 3-5 minutes.

Place dough in a greased bowl, cover and let it rise in a warm oven until it's doubled, which was about 45 minutes for me. Punch it down and then form it into 8 round loaves. Place the loaves on a cookie sheet that has been lightly greased and sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover and let rise in a warm place, until doubled again. I let mine go about 45 minutes and I think I should have let it rise longer.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks. To use as bowls, carefully slice the top off and pull out the center leaving at least 3/4 inch sides of bread in bowls. Fill with hot soup and serve immediately.

Holly's Note:
I found this at
Safely Gathered In, a terrific food storage site.  I don't use all 8 bowls, but I freeze the remaining ones and just thaw them in the microwave.  These were terrific.  I've used it with Chicken and Wild Rice Soup as well as Ham and Potato Chowder.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Christmas Apron...Review

About the book:
It’s nearly Christmas, and the seven children in Millie’s family can’t wait for Grandma to arrive with her special Christmas apron, newly pressed and filled with generations of holiday memories. According to tradition, each grandchild will carefully write down the gift he or she wants most in the world, and then slip that wish into the apron’s frilled pocket. Then, on Christmas morning, those wished-for gifts will be waiting under the tree — like magic. Little Will wants Lincoln Logs; nine-year-old Grace wants a horse of her very own. Even eleven-year-old Millie, who’s too old to believe in magic, has a precious wish in mind — a pair of silky pink toe shoes.

But one dark evening, Millie overhears a worrisome conversation between her parents: due to wartime shortages, the family can’t afford gifts for all the little ones. She pictures the terrible disappointment on her siblings’ faces: no toys or games or art supplies to open on Christmas morning (and certainly no horse for Grace!) From that point on, she wrestles with a terrible question: Is she willing to sacrifice her own whole-soul wish so that someone else’s can come true? Full of tender emotion and delightful surprise, this story reminds us of the miracles that unfold when we think of others before ourselves.

Millie is an eleven year old girl living during the bleak days of World War II.  Money is scarce, but love abounds.  All Milllie wants for Christmas is ballet pointe shoes.  All her sister wants is a horse.  When her grandmother arrives with her magic apron, Millie wonders if her family's wishes really will come true this year. 

A beautiful story about families.  One that calls to mind The Gift of the Magi.  I wear an apron nearly every day, all day.  I love that they protect my clothes as I work around my home and care for my family. I absolutely love the sentiments expressed in this lovely little story that, "Aprons help us do the most important work there is--family work.  The work that says, 'I love you'."  This speaks to my heart! 

I love these short, pamphlet-sized  Christmas stories.  This is one that is easily read in a sitting.  I think it would make a fantastic gift and if it was accompanied by an apron, an even better one!

I read my own, personal copy, but you can purchase your own here and here.

Read 12/10

* * * * *
5/5 Stars

Friday, December 17, 2010

Ham & Potato Chowder

Printable Recipe

3/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
2-3 T butter
6 cups cubed peeled potatoes
4 cups water
3 cups milk
4 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules or 4 bouillon cubes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 T cornstarch
1/4 cup water
3-4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 pound cooked ham, diced
1 can corn, drained

In a large sauce pot, saute onion and celery in butter for 5 minutes. Add potatoes and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Stir in 3 cups milk, bouillon, salt and pepper. Add ham.  Combine cornstarch and water until smooth; gradually stir into soup. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Reduce heat. Add cheese, stir until melted.

Serves 6-8

Holly's Notes:
I found the original recipe at Taste of Home and modified it like I do all my recipes!  It's delicious and even better in bread bowls.  It also keeps well in a crock pot.

This post was shared at Carole's Chatter.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Reading when it's time for dinner...

I found a funny that I'd posted last year on my reading blog.  I thought I'd share it here, since it's relevant!
Do you want to know why I like my crock pot so much? Even though the Sunday roast/potatoes had been cooking for about 9 hours; and even though I'd planned to get dinner on the table by 6:00; and even though I picked up my latest book and forgot about dinner and the crock pot, it doesn't matter. The roast was just a little more done than it might have been, but it wasn't burned. Everyone ate well and enjoyed it.

And I got to read my book! Yay me!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

English Trifle...Review

About the book:
High Crimes at High Tea 
Things to Do in England: Visit Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, and the London Zoo. Take the Jack the Ripper tour. Creepy! Sample authentic English scones and crumpets. Discover a dead body.

What begins as a holiday trip for amateur sleuth and cooking aficionado Sadie Hoffmiller and her daughter, Breanna, turns into a bizarre mystery when they discover a dead body in the sitting room of an English manor. Breanna's boyfriend, Liam, is heir to both the family title and the family estate of Southgate, where everyone seems to have a secret . . . or two. 

When the body in the sitting room disappears, Sadie and Breanna are stranded at the estate until the police can clear them to leave. With their departure delayed, they might as well solve the murder. Armed with a jogging whistle, her personal recipe collection, and an unfailing sense of American justice, Sadie begins her own investigation to find the killer. 

But as Sadie uncovers layer after layer of misdirection, secrets, and outright lies, she wonders if anyone is telling the truth or if the case is really as hopeless as it appears to be. Take a missing family history, toss in a secret romance, mix with a mysterious murder, and this is one vacation Sadie will never forget.

A sequel to Lemon Tart, this is the second in the Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery series. And, this novel is just as much fun! Sadie Hoffmiller returns and manages to find death and mayhem in upper crust England.

Sadie and her daughter Breanna are off to visit England with Breanna's boyfriend, Liam, who is heir to an English title and a fancy English estate, complete with servants and a dead body in the living room.

The body disappears, the staff have secrets and the British police are inept. In true Hoffmiller fashion, Sadie decides that she is better equipped to find the murderer than any British inspectors. And if she can learn how to make crumpets along the way, so much the better!

Like Lemon Tart, this one is laugh out loud funny in places. Sadie is funny and forthright and determined to find out the truth. Like an English Trifle dessert, she uncovers layer after layer of secrets as she works her way through the manor, the staff, Liam's family history and the kitchen!

A fun, easy read, Josi has also included lots of fun recipes, including some authentic English ones. While I had a hard time following all the details of how titles are passed on, and who was who, it didn't detract from the story at all. Definitely recommended!

Thanks to my local library for a copy I could borrow! You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 12/09

* * * *
4/5 Stars

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Lemon Tart...Review

About the book:
A recipe for murder!

* 5 families living on Peregrine Circle
* 1 flowered curtain tieback
* 1 missing child
* 1 body in the field

Mix with a long list of suspects and top with two very different detectives. Increase heat until only the truth remains.

Award-winning author Josi S. Kilpack introduces a new series of culinary "cozies" that is sure to tantalize mystery lovers. In this debut volume, cooking aficionado-turned-amateur detective, Sadie Hoffmiller, tries to solve the murder of Anne Lemmon, her beautiful young neighbor - a single mother who was mysteriously killed while a lemon tart was baking in her oven. At the heart of Sadie's search is Anne's missing two-year-old son, Trevor. Whoever took the child must be the murderer, but Sadie is certain that the police are looking at all the wrong suspects - including her!

Armed with a handful of her very best culinary masterpieces, Sadie is determined to bake her way to proving her innocence, rescuing Trevor, and finding out exactly who had a motive for murder.

A lot of fun. I'm not normally a big fan of mysteries, but I'm a big fan of Josi Kilpack. Lemon Tart is simply a fun book to read.

Sadie Hoffmiller is one of those neighbors you wish you had living next door. A widow whose children are raised, Sadie loves to cook and bake and look out for her neighbors. When Anne Lemmon, a young, single mother moves into the neighborhood, Sadie becomes her friend and mentor. When Anne is tragically murdered while a lemon tart bakes in her oven, Sadie decides to begin her own investigation. Anne's young son is missing and Sadie is convinced that the police detectives aren't able to solve the murder and find Trevor.

Josi has given us a cast of interesting characters and blended the story so well, that I didn't have the actual murderer figured out until the very end. Sadie is delightful and you just want to laugh out loud at her antics and thought processes as she trips up the detectives and forms her own opinions and conclusions.

A simply delightful read. Light, but not fluffy and packed full of delicious recipes that I'm determined to try. I'm excited that this is part of a series. Sadie is someone I want to visit again.

Thanks to my local library for having a copy I could borrow.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 4/09

* * * *
4/5 Stars

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Photo used with permission from Rosehaven Cottage.


1: the act of giving thanks
2: a prayer expressing gratitude
3: a public acknowledgment or celebration of divine goodness

"To express gratitude is gracious and honorable, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live with gratitude ever in our hearts is to touch heaven."  --Thomas S. Monson

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Simply From Scratch...Review

About the book:
A luminous, tender-hearted debut novel about a young widow, a nine-year-old girl, and a baking contest that will change both their lives.

Rose-Ellen “Zell” Carmichael Roy wears her late husband Nick’s camouflage apron even when she’s not in the kitchen. She can’t remember the last time she wore a bra, and she speaks to her dog in the voice of a pirate. That’s her widow style.

It’s been over a year since Nick died tragically during a post-Katrina relief mission in New Orleans. Long enough, according to the grief pamphlets, to have begun moving on with her life. But Zell is still unable to enter her attic, which is full of Nick memories. She hasn’t even turned on her oven because cooking was Nick’s chore. That is, until she decides to enter celebrity chef Polly Pinch’s first annual Desserts that Warm the Soul baking contest, hoping to win the $20,000 grand prize to donate to Katrina survivors in Nick’s honor.

Meanwhile, in the adjacent apartment of Zell’s two-family house, nine-year-old Ingrid Knox is learning to cope with the loneliness of growing up without a mother. With an imagination as big as her heart, Ingrid treasures her doting father but begins to plot how she will meet her mother, whom she fiercely believes is Polly Pinch.

When an embarrassing baking mishap brings Zell and Ingrid together, they form an unlikely friendship that will alter both of their lives forever. Together, and with the help of a lively and loveable cast of friends and family, they embark on winning the Desserts that Warm the Soul contest – and learn that through the many sorrows and joys of life, with a little bit of flour and a pinch of love, anything is possible.

I loved the cover and it was about cooking.  How could I go wrong?  I couldn't.  Quirky characters and a cooking contest add a bit of lightness to what could be a heavy, depressing topic of grief and recovery.  Instead, it's a sweet story about friendship and recreating a life after a devastating loss.  I liked Zell.  I loved Ingrid.

The story wraps up neatly, but wasn't completely predictable.  It's first person for Zell and present tense for everyone else, which is so awkward.  When I started it, I kept wondering where it was going to do and what the purpose was.  Once I let myself simply enjoy the ride and gave up trying to figure things out, I appreciated the story.

The Katrina tragedy was a terrific backdrop, revealing that service and help are still ongoing and needed in New Orleans.  I think this is a terrific debut novel.  I loved that Alicia Bessette included the contest recipe at the end of the book! 

Thanks to my local library for having a copy I could borrow.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 10/10

* * * *
4/5 Stars

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Love Goddess' Cooking School...Review

About the book:
Camilla's Cucinotta: Italian Cooking Classes
Fresh take-home pastas and sauces daily
Benvenuti (Welcome!)

Holly Maguire's grandmother was the Love Goddess of Blue Crab Island, Maine–a Milanese fortune teller who could predict the right man for you, and whose Italian cooking was rumored to save marriages. Holly has been waiting years for her unlikely fortune: her true love will like sa cordula, an unappetizing old-world delicacy. But Holly can't make a decent marinara sauce, let alone sa cordula. Maybe that's why the man she hopes to marry breaks her heart. So when Holly inherits Camilla's Cucinotta, she's determined to forget about fortunes and love and become an Italian cooking teacher worthy of her grandmother's legacy.

But Holly's four students are seeking much more than how to make Camilla's chicken alla Milanese. Simon, a single father, hopes to cook his way back into his daughter's heart. Juliet, Holly's childhood friend, hides a painful secret. Tamara, a serial dater, can't find the love she longs for. And twelve-year-old Mia thinks learning to cook will stop her dad from marrying his phony lasagna-queen girlfriend.

As the class gathers each week, adding Camilla's essential ingredients of wishes and memories into every pot and pan, unexpected friendships and romances are formed–and tested. Especially when Holly falls hard for Liam . . . and learns a thing or two about finding her own recipe for happiness.

So many books that are filled with multiple women bonding over some hobby are cliched, predictable and shallow.  This one isn't.  It is, quite simply, delightful.  I love Holly. (She has such a great name!)  When she takes her broken heart back to Maine, her grandmother welcomes her home.  Just as she is becoming comfortable, her grandmother passes away and she's left to find herself on her own.  Armed with her grandmother's recipe book, kitchen and diaries, Holly leaps headlong into a new life.  

Camilla's essential ingredients were wishes and memories and it's when Holly begins choosing which wishes and memories to add to her recipes, that she discovers what she wants out of life.   

The narration evokes familiarity.  I think most people have memories which involve food and the preparation of food. So much of Holly's story takes place in the kitchen: her grandmother's kitchen and then hers.  My family isn't Italian (we're Scotch/English), but we love cooking and I have many fond memories of cooking with my mother and grandmother.  Most of the significant discussions of my youth happened in the kitchen while my mom and I were cooking.    

There is one unnecessary instance of the F word, and some pre-marital sex, but without all the details, thank goodness!    

With quirky characters and a charming heroine, this is a delicious story of friendship, love and discovery.

Thanks to Simon & Shuster for the opportunity to review this book.  You can learn more about Melissa Senate here. You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 10/10

* * * *
4/5 Stars

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Old Apron

A friend forwarded this email to me. I don't forward emails, but I loved this. Especially since I am an apron girl! I wear one every day and my boys often need to remind me to take it off when we get in the car to go someplace. I wish I knew to whom I should give the credit for writing this.  It consistently has high traffic and is a much visited post.  I think it resonates with many of us!

(Notice that a "Medium" is a size 14-16)

I don't think our kids know what an apron is.

The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath because she only had a few. It was also because it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and aprons used less material. But along with that, it served as a potholder removing hot pans from the oven.

It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.

From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.

When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids...

And when the weather was cold Grandma wrapped it around her arms.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.

Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.

From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.

In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.

When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men folk knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that 'old-time apron' that served so many purposes.

Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool. Her granddaughters now set theirs on the window sill to thaw.

They would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron!

I don't think I ever caught anything from an apron but love...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Freezing Apples

We love apple pie, but I don't love canned apple pie filling.  I prefer my apples tart and firm when I make apple pie.  Several years ago, I purchased some frozen apples which were overpriced, but fantastic.  It was so nice having them in my freezer and they cooked up just perfectly.  I decided that I could freeze my own, and I have done so, successfully.

Right now, apples are on sale.  My aunt brought me some local apples and I purchased some Granny Smith's which are my preferred apple of choice for pie. I just mixed these all up.

I spent a happy hour peeling and chopping apples to freeze.  My Dutch Apple Pie recipe takes about 8 cups of chopped apples, so I froze the apples in batches of 8 cups.  I sprinkled the cut apples with lemon juice and sealed them in my food saver.  Some started to turn brown by the time I was finished, but it won't matter once they're all cooked up.

When I make pie, I just take out the bag of apples and let it thaw for about half an hour and then prepare the pie as usual.

This post has been shared on Unprocessed Fridays, Real Food Wednesday

Friday, November 5, 2010


I am an apron girl.  I put on an apron almost as soon as I am dressed.  I wear it all day long and I often forget to take it off.  I can't tell you how many times I get into the car to go somewhere, only to have one of my boys remind me that I still have an apron on!

Some will call aprons old-fashioned.  That is just fine with me.  Aprons protect my clothes and I love the pocket that lets me put things into it as I go through the house and find stuff that needs to be tossed or put away.

I don't like half-aprons.  They're a waste.  I need full aprons that cover my front and protect me from stains.

Last Christmas, my mom made me an apron for every holiday. I have Valentines Day, St. Patrick's Day and Easter.  I have 4th of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I even have one for birthdays and back to school.  The back to school one has little owls and rulers and school supplies on it!  Mom even made me two kid-sized aprons that my boys wear when they help in the kitchen.

I have one for BSU and one that is grapes.  I grew up in an area of California where grapes and vineyards are plentiful and beautiful.  Grapes always remind me of my hometown.

I've collected other aprons over the years, including this one I purchased in a market in Florence, Italy and the chocolate one I got from The Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory store a gazillion years ago.

Many are stained, but all get used regularly whether I'm working in the kitchen or somewhere else around my home.  They hang in my pantry for easy accessibility!

What about you?  Do you use aprons?  Do you have a favorite one? Are they too old-fashioned for you? 

Friday, October 29, 2010

Homemade Brown Sugar

Printable Recipe

1 c. white granulated sugar
2 T. molasses

Mix together with a fork.  A food processor would work well, but I don't have one of those.  I actually just tossed it all in my mixer with a whisk attachment. 

Holly's Note:
Several recipes I saw said to use 1 Tablespoon of molasses for light brown sugar and 2 Tablespoons of molasses for dark.  I used 2 Tablespoons of molasses and about 1 1/2 cups white sugar to get a beautiful golden brown sugar.

I don't know that this would be cheaper than brown sugar, especially if it is on sale, but it was certainly a convenient recipe to have on hand the day I needed brown sugar and couldn't get to the store.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Ghirardelli Luxe Milk Chocolates...Review

New Ghirardelli LUXE MILK chocolates deliver the ultimate milk chocolate experience with rich and creamy Ghirardelli milk chocolate using simply delicious, all natural ingredients. As with all of our premium chocolate products, we hand select the world’s finest cocoa beans to create our proprietary bean blend and roast them to perfection. Then we slow-blend in the purest ingredients such as real cocoa butter and natural vanilla, to achieve our distinctively intense chocolate. 

New LUXE MILK chocolates are currently available at your local grocery story, Target, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, CVS, Borders and other specialty stores.

Thanks to Foodbuzz and Ghirardelli, I was able to review the new LUXE MILK chocolates from Ghirardelli.  Holy fantastic chocolate Batman!

I love Ghirardelli chocolate anyway, but these Luxe Milk chocolates are fantastic.  Smooth and creamy.  I tried the Milk, Almond and Hazelnut versions and I loved them all.  I think the Hazelnut is my favorite, but Milk Chocolate is a close second.  I love that you can buy the bags of squares because one square is a terrific chocolate fix.

The nice thing about these is that you can get them at your regular store.  I've found them at Wal-Mart, which means I don't have to make a special trip out to Cost Plus.  (Which isn't always a bad thing, it's just a bit of a drive!)

Find yourself some Ghirardelli today!

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Printable Recipe Here
Makes about 24 breadsticks

1 1/2 c. warm water
1 T. sugar
1 T. yeast
1/2 t. salt
3 - 4 1/2 c. flour

In a large bowl (I used my mixer), combine water, sugar, and yeast. Let stand for about 10 minutes or until yeast is bubbly.

Add salt and stir. Add 1 1/2 c. flour and mix well. Gradually add more flour (usually between 3-4 cups, I used about 4 1/2) until dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl and it barely sticks to your finger.

Grease a bowl with shortening and place dough in the bowl. Cover and allow to rise for ~45 minutes or until doubled in bulk. I couldn't let it go that long.

Remove from bowl and place on a lightly-floured surface. Roll into a rectangle and cut into strips with a pizza cutter.

You can then roll each piece of dough into a twist or just leave it as a stick, which is what I did. Place on a greased baking sheet.

Cover and let the dough to rise for about another 30 minutes. When there's about 15 minutes to go, preheat your oven to 425. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with the garlic seasoning of your choice or Parmesan Cheese and garlic salt. 

Holly's Note:
I made Stuffed Meat Shells the other night and wanted a bread roll recipe that was easy, inexpensive and didn't make oodles of rolls.  I adapted this recipe from Our Best Bites, which is an awesome cooking blog. It's one of my favorites.

It sounds like it takes a long time, but it really didn't. I started them about 4:00 (I hadn't planned to do bread ahead of time) and wanted dinner on the table by 6. It was perfect. I think they'd be very forgiving if you couldn't let them rise the whole time. I actually got almost 24 breadsticks.

I sprinkled some with cinnamon and sugar which my son absolutely loved. I sprinkled some with my Carrabba's Blend and they were good, but we actually preferred them plain.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Conversation at Our House

I had to run an errand in Boise today, so my boys went with me with the promise that we would stop at The Chocolat Bar afterwards.  I'm easily persuaded when it comes to chocolate so, of course I said, "Yes".

As we were walking down the street to the store the following conversation ensued:

M: "Ok gentlemen, how do we behave in the chocolate store?"
J: "Reverently."

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Canning Season

So far this month I have canned salsa, tomatoes and blackberry jam.

I plan to do more tomatoes, when I pick them at my aunt's house this week.

I really want to do raspberry jam as it's my husband's favorite, but I have no friends or neighbors with raspberries.  I plan to plant some next year. However, there were vendors with raspberries at the farmer's market this week, and hopefully they will be back with more next week.

Local farmers sell corn at roadside stands here and I froze 96 ears of corn last year.  It still tastes as fresh as the day I preserved it. So yummy. I still have some, but not enough to get us through this winter.  So, I will pick up more.

I also plan to do onions.  There are some onion fields nearby where the farmers allow people to come in and glean after the harvest.  I haven't purchased an onion in a couple of years.  I chop and freeze most of it, but also keep some whole and in a cool place.  They last all winter.

I also plan on freezing peppers again this year.  I might try roasting some red ones first and then freezing.  We'll see what happens.

What about you?  Do you can/preserve food?  What have you canned this summer?