Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Cinnamon Rolls

First make:

Traditional Sweet Roll Dough

2 packages (or 2 Tablespoons) active dry yeast (less at higher altitudes)
½ cup warm water (105-115F)
½ cup lukewarm milk (scalded, then cooled)
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
½ cup shortening, or butter, or margarine
4 ½ to 5 cups flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening, and 2 ½ cups of the flour. Beat until smooth. Mix in enough remaining dough to make dough easy to handle.

Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place dough in a greased bowl. Turn greased side up. (At this point dough can be refrigerated 3 to 4 days.) Cover; let rise in a warm place until double, about 1 ½ hours. (Dough is ready if impression remains when touched.)

Punch dough down. Shape into desired rolls. Cover; let rise until double, about 30 minutes.

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Break dough into 2 halves. Roll each half into a rectangle 15x9 inches: spread with softened butter. Mix ¼ cup sugar and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon. Sprinkled over butter rectangle. Roll up, beginning at wide side. Pinch edge of dough into roll to seal well. Cut into 15 slices. Place slices slightly apart on greased baking pan on into greased muffin cups.  Bake 25 to 30 minutes. While warm, frost rolls with icing.

Sweet icing: Mix 1 ½ cups of confectioner’s sugar, 1 Tablespoon milk, and ½ teaspoon vanilla until smooth. (I sometimes add a few drops of hot water to melt it all together and make it easier to drizzle over rolls.)

Variation: Frosted Orange Rolls

3 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 Tablespoon grated orange peel
2 Tablespoons orange juice
1 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar

Combine above ingredients and beat until smooth and creamy.

Roll ½ of dough into 12x7” rectangle; spread with half of orange filling. Roll up beginning at wide side. Pinch to seal. Cut into 12 slices. Place slightly apart in a greased round layer pan or a square baking dish. If making both half into orange rolls, use a 13x9” baking dish or a cookie sheet. Bake 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven. Frost with remaining filling while warm.

Family Memories: This use to be our favorite breakfast for Christmas or other holidays. I remember getting up while everyone else was sleeping to make the dough so it would rise and be ready to turn into rolls. Often at Christmas the kids would be up before me, and they would open their stockings and see what Santa brought them before we ate breakfast. Then I would make the dough and let it rise while we opened the rest of our presents before baking them fresh and hot and sweet from the oven. it was a great way to start our day, and my kids still ask me for this recipe at this time of year. As the kids got older, they would join me in the kitchen and participate in making these rolls. I know they will remember the cinnamon rolls the most, but there were times when I made the orange rolls instead. It has been years since I've made them,but they sure are yummy!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Gingerbread Cookies

½ cup shortening
½ cup sugar
½ cup dark molasses
¼ cup water
2 ½ cups flour
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon soda
¾ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon allspice or cinnamon

Red Hot Cinnamon Candies
Slivered almonds
Decorator’s icing (below)

Cream shortening and sugar. Blend in molasses, water, flour, salt, soda, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice. Cover and chill 2-3 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll dough ¼ inch thick on lightly floured surface. Cut with gingerbread boy or girl cookie cutter; place on ungreased cookie sheet. Press cinnamon candies, raisins, or almond slivers into dough for eyes, nose and mouth or buttons. Bake 10-12 minutes. Immediately remove from baking sheets. Cool and finish decorating with icing if desired.

(For crisper cookies roll dough thinner and bake 8 minutes. This recipe can be doubled.)

Decorator’s Icing: Mix 2 cups of confectioner’s sugar and 1 Tablespoon water or milk. Add more water 1 teaspoon at a time until of desired consistency to be used in a decorator’s tube, or thinner to be spread. 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Peanut Butter Cookies

¼ cup shortening (or coconut oil)
¼ cup butter (softened)
½ cup peanut butter
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 ¼ cups flour
¾ teaspoon soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon of salt

Mix thoroughly shortening, butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and egg. Blend in flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Cover and chill in refrigerator.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Place 3 inches apart on lightly greased cookie sheet. With fork dipped in sugar, flatten into a crisscross pattern to 2 inches.  Bake 10-12 minutes until set but not hard. Removed from cookies sheets to cool.

Notes: Who doesn't love peanut butter cookies! This is another family favorite and they don’t last long in this house! This recipe can also be doubled.

Saturday, December 20, 2014


½ cup butter, softened
½ cup shortening
1 ½ cups sugar
2 eggs
2 ¼ cups flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix thoroughly butter, shortening, 1 ½ cups sugar, and the eggs. Blend in flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt. Shape dough by rounded teaspoons into balls.

Mix:       2 Tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Roll balls in cinnamon and sugar mixture. Place 2” apart on ungreased baking sheet.  Bake 8-10 minutes or until set. Immediately remove from baking sheets. This recipe can be doubled.

Family Notes: This is a family favorite, especially at Christmastime, but any time of years. It makes an easy cookie to bake and ship to family members that are far away and I can remember sending care packages with these cookies in them to my children as they spread their wings and flew the nest to start lives of their own! I usually double this recipe to make sure there are enough cookies to go around. They tend to fly off the plate as soon as they are baked!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Crescent Rolls

1 package dried yeast (or 1 Tablespoon)
¼ cup warm water
¾ cup lukewarm milk (scalded, then cooled)
¼ cup sugar (or honey)
1 tsp salt
1 egg
¼ cup shortening or butter, softened
3 ½ to 3 ¾ cups all purpose flour (organic if possible)

(This recipe can be doubled)

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in milk, sugar, salt, egg, shortening, and 2 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth. Mix in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle.  

Turn dough onto lightly floured board or counter top; knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place in greased bowl; turn greased side up. Cover; let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 ½ to 2 hours (Keep out of drafts, dough is ready if you poke it with your fingers and an impression remains).

Punch dough down. Divide in half. Roll half the dough into a 12” circle, about ¼ inch thick. Spread with butter and cut into 8- 16 wedges depending on what size rolls you want. Roll up beginning at the wide edge so point is on the outside. Place rolls with point underneath on baking sheets. Curve slightly. Brush with melted butter. Let rise for 20 minutes before baking. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Bake Rolls 15 to 20 minutes.

Notes: This recipe is a family favorite and all of my children have learned to make these for themselves. We usually make these for the major holidays, like Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Though my kids are spread across the country, making these rolls makes us feel connected no matter where we all are! For our family, I usually double this recipe.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sweet and Sour Delight

1 pound chicken or pork
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, pressed (or minced)
2 -7” carrots
1 medium green pepper, chunked
1 large can chunk pineapple (undrained)
¼ cup white vinegar
3 Tblsp. Brown sugar
3 Tblsp. Ketchup
3 Tblsp. Soy sauce
1 Tblsp. Cornstarch
1 tsp. ground ginger

Cut pork or chicken into ½” pieces, brown in oil in preheated skillet. Reduce heat to low. Add onion, garlic, and carrots. Cover and cook 10 minutes. Add green pepper. Combine remaining ingredients. Stir into skillet. Cover. Simmer 10 minutes. Serve with rice. 4 servings.

Note:  found this recipe in a newspaper somewhere years ago. It is a quick and easy meal and one of my daughter’s favorites!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Aunt Ruthie’s Spinach SoufflĂ© Salad

1-3 oz package Lemon Jell-o
1 cup hot water
½ cup cold water
1 ½ Tblsp vinegar
½ cup mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste

Dissolve Jell-o in hot water. Add ½ cup cold water , vinegar, mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Pour into refrigerator freezing tray. Quick chill in freezer until firm 1’ from edge but soft in the center. Whip until fluffy.

Fold in:

1 cup raw spinach, chopped
3/4th cup cottage cheese
¼ cup diced celery
1 Tablespoon finely chopped onion.

Pour into mold and set until firm. Release from old and serve.

Notes: This is a recipe I got from my Great Aunt Ruthie. She was my grandfather’s sister and has long since left this earth. Aunt Ruthie made this for one of my cousin’s wedding showers long ago and it was so delicious I asked her for the recipe. I have never seen anything like this anywhere else, though I have not researched it. It’s a nice change from all the sweet Jell-o recipes that are out there and loaded with protein and good fresh spinach. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Baked Omelet

8 eggs  
1 cup milk
½ tsp seasoning salt
3 ounces cooked ham, diced
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
½ shredded mozzarella cheese 
1 Tablespoon diced onion
½ tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste)
Salt and black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 F or 175 C  
Grease one 9” round or one 8x8” square casserole dish and set aside.
Beat together eggs and milk. Add seasonings, ham and cheeses and minced onion. Pour into prepared pan. Bake uncovered for 40-45 minutes. Serves  4-6 people.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Pizza Dough

1 package (or 1 tablespoon bulk) active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
3 1/2 to 4 cups flour
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add sugar and salt. Gradually add flour until dough is stiff enough to handle. turn onto floured board or counter top and knead until smooth and elastic; about 10 minutes. Place in olive oil coated bowl and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Punch down and knead again briefly, then divide in half and roll out each half to make pizza. Add sauce, cheese and toppings and bake at 450 F for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and slide off pan onto counter or cutting board. Cut into slices and enjoy!

Notes: My family and I have been making homemade pizza for over 20 years now. We first started making it on a regular basis when we moved to the middle of Idaho and the closest pizza place was an hour and a half drive across the desert. Also, being from the east coast, we were shocked to learn there were no good pizza places in Idaho Falls at the time. So, we started making our own and have been doing it ever since. Eventually we started making pizza on Christmas Day instead of a turkey. Now that my kids are grown they have carried on the tradition in their own homes! This recipe is easily doubled or triples to make enough pizzas for whatever size crowd you have. One year we even made about 20 pizzas for our church's youth group! That was quite the task! We do have our own secret family pizza sauce recipe. You will just have to figure out your own! Have fun! 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Shaker Oatmeal Bread

2 cups boiling water
2 cups rolled oats
1 Tblsp softened butter
1/2 cup molasses (or honey)
1/2 tsp salt
1 cake yeast (1 packet or 1 Tblsp loose yeast)
1/2 cup lukewarm water
5 cups sifted white flour (organic if possible)

Add boiling water to rolled oats and let stand for 1 hour. Then add butter, molasses or honey, and salt. Dissolve yeast in warm water and add to the oatmeal mixture with enough flour to make a stiff dough. Turn out onto floured board or counter-top. Knead 4-5 minutes. Place n a greased bowl, brush with melted butter. Cover and let rise overnight in a warm place. In the morning knead lightly and shape into two loaves. Let rise until double in bulk and bake in a 425F degree oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 375F and bake for an additional 40 minutes. Makes 2 loaves.

Notes: I discovered this recipe long ago in an old Shaker Cookbook. I've adapted some parts of it to my liking but it's mostly the original recipe. I like that I can start this the night before and finish it in the morning. The dough will seem very stiff at first but by morning it is all yeasty and soft and nice. I like to use honey myself and as you can see, it is low in fat! Just reading this makes me want to make some of this delicious bread again very soon!