Monday, December 18, 2017

Cinnamon Rolls

I've been making (and selling) these cinnamon rolls. It's a revised version of The Pioneer Woman's recipe. I like the simplicity of the method of this particular yeast dough. The flavor is incredible, and the rolls stay moist and tender for a long time.

Cinnamon Rolls
8 cups flour
2/3 cup dry milk
3/4 cup sugar
4 1/2 tsp. yeast
4 cups warm water
1 cup oil
additional 1 cup of flour
1 T. salt
1 scant tsp. baking soda
1 heaping tsp. baking powder

Cinnamon/Sugar & Spread:
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 T. cinnamon
1/2 cup softened butter

1 package (2 lbs.) powdered sugar
1/2 cup softened butter
2 tsp. vanilla
milk or cream (add slowly; enough to achieve a fairly thick but spreadable consistency)

In large mixing bowl, whisk together 8 cups flour, dry milk, sugar, and yeast. Add warm water and oil to mixing bowl and beat mixture with cookie-dough paddle until well combined. Remove paddle and cover mixing bowl with a cloth. Let dough rise for approximately 1 hour. Remove the towel and add remaining cup of flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Knead with dough hook or stir thoroughly until combined. You can use the dough right away, or place it in a mixing bowl and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Be sure to punch down the dough if it rises to the top of the bowl.

Make cinnamon-sugar mixture by mixing granulated sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon.

To make cinnamon rolls, divide dough in half. Roll out half the dough in a rectangle (a long, narrow rectangle of about 30" x 8" to make 24 small rolls, or about 18" x 10" to make 12 large rolls). Spread 1/4 cup softened butter over rolled out dough. Sprinkle with half the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Roll dough up and cut apart into rolls using a bench knife. Place cut rolls on parchment-lined baking sheet (4x6 for small rolls; 3x4 for large rolls). Repeat with other half of dough. Let rolls rise for at least 20 minutes. Bake rolls in a preheated 375 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes until golden brown. Let rolls cool slightly before adding icing. If you're going to freeze the baked rolls, don't add icing at all. Instead, add icing when serving the rolls so they taste fresh.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Mexican Style Meat

Cross-rib roasts were on sale, so here's what I made with the meat I purchased. It is SO good! And I love that I have meat in my freezer already cooked for a really quick meal. We made burritos today, and they were delish!

Mexican Style Meat
8 lbs beef roast, pork roast, or chicken
salt & pepper
2 T. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cans (7 oz each) diced green chilies, undrained
2 T. chili powder
2 T. ground cumin
2 T. garlic powder
1 bottle (5 oz.) Cholula hot sauce
1/4 cup water

Trim meat of any excess fat. Season meat liberally with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Sear meat on all sides. Place seared meat and remaining ingredients in a 6 qt crockpot. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours or until meat is tender and falling apart. Transfer the meat to a platter or bowl and shred it with two forks. Let juice cool in refrigerator until you can skim off the layer of fat. Add meat back to juice. Freeze portions in quart freezer bags. Use meat for quesadillas, burritos, enchiladas, taquitos, nachos, etc. We like to serve these meals with Spanish or Lime Rice and refried beans or pinto or black beans.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Amazing Pizza Sauce

We love this homemade pizza sauce!

1 (6oz) can tomato paste 3/4 cup water 1 tsp onion powder 1 tsp dried basil 1/2 tsp garlic powder 1/2 tsp dried oregano 1/2 tsp salt 1 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients except the cheese. Stirring constantly, heat over medium heat until bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in cheese until melted. Set aside to cool before using. Will make TWO 16" pizzas.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Creamy Coconut Pie

Erica celebrated another birthday and requested this for her birthday treat.  Logan was very happy with her selection.  I actually forgot to put in the almond extract this time.  It still tastes fine, but we like it better with the extract.  I've also doubled the recipe and put it in a 13 x 9" pan with crumbs just on the bottom.  (You don't need a full double recipe of the crust for this.)

1 package (3 oz) cream cheese
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 1/3 cups coconut
3 1/2 cups whipped topping, thawed (I use one 8 oz container)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 Graham Cracker Crust

Homemade Graham Cracker Crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 Tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted

To make the crust:  Mix together the graham cracker crumbs and sugar.  Add the melted butter and stir until all the crumbs are moist with the butter.  Press onto bottom and sides of the pie plate.  If desired, bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  (I don't usually bake my crust.) This makes enough for a 9: or 10" pie crust.  For this coconut pie, I use a 10" pie plate.

To make the filling:  I like to put the coconut in the food processor and chop it up a little finer than how it comes in the package.  Set the coconut aside for a later step.  Beat cream cheese in a mixer bowl until softened; beat in sugar.  Gradually add milk and beat until smooth.  (With my lovely beaters this loves to splatter everywhere.  I often cover up my bowl and beaters with a dish towel to contain the splatters.)  Fold in coconut, whipped topping and extract.  Spoon into crust.  Freeze until firm.  Let stand a room temperature to soften before serving.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Slow Cooker Shredded Italian Beef

from Mom:  "When Sharon Johnson came to visit a few weeks ago, she mentioned a shredded beef dish that was served at a funeral she had gone to.  I looked and looked for one and could not find one without a tomato sauce base, like BBQ.  Then I did a search for "shredded beef + Italian Salad dressing."  It showed up as "Shredded Italian Beef."  I called her and told her what was in it and she said it sounded just like the one she had tasted.  We tried it tonight, June 14, 2017, and it was really delicious.  She said the people had also added sour cream to it, but we just used provolone cheese as we didn't have sour cream."

3 cups beef broth (I used water and low sodium “better than bouillon”-- 3 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon onion salt (I used thin sliced onions instead of the onion salt)
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 bay leaf
1 (.7 oz) package dry Italian-style salad dressing mix
1 (2 ½ to 3 pound) boneless chuck roast or boneless cross rib roast
Provolone cheese (or you could use sour cream or other cheeses)
Dinner rolls (I like the whole wheat dinner rolls at Winco)

     Combine broth and seasonings and dressing mix in a saucepan. Stir well, and bring to a boil. 
Place roast in slow cooker, pour salad dressing mixture over the meat.  Cover and cook on LOW for 10 to 12 hours, or on High for 4-5 hours (until the meat is really tender and falls apart).
     When very tender, remove the bay leaf.  Remove from the slow cooker and shred meat with a fork and place back into the broth.  Serve on buns.
TIP:  I prepare this the day before I want it.  I cook and shred and beef and place into a bowl and cover and put in the refrigerator.  I pour the broth into a bowl and cover and refrigerate.  The next day, I remove the fat from the broth.  Place the broth in a 2 to 3 quart saucepan.  Heat to boiling.  Make a “slurry” of a few tablespoons of cornstarch and cold water, and gradually add to the broth until it is slightly thickened.  Add the shredded beef into the broth and simmer on low for an hour to blend all the flavors.
     To serve:  Cut the dinner rolls in half, place them on a broiler pan.  Place the shredded beef on one half and place slice of cheese on the top.  Place under the broiler until the cheese is melted and the other half of the bun is browned.  Serve with a tossed salad or coleslaw.

This is delicious!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

I haven't made this in years but it was definitely time for a comeback! It's from my Betty Crocker's Cookbook, New and Revised Edition (1982).

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 can (8 1/4 ounces) sliced pineapple, drained
7 maraschino cherries, if desired
6 pecan halves, if desired
Dinette Cake Batter (see recipe below)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Heat butter in round layer pan or square pan (9") in oven until the butter is melted.  Sprinkle brown sugar over the butter.  Fill the bottom of the pan with pineapple slices in any decorative way you want.  Place cherries in center of pineapple slices; arrange pecans around the pineapple.

Prepare Dinette Cake Batter and pour over fruit in pan.

Bake until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.  Invert onto heatproof plate.  Let pan remain a few minutes.  Lift pan.  Your pineapple cake is now upside-down and a thing of beauty!  Serve cake warm.  Makes 9 servings.

Dinette Cake Batter

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour or 1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup shortening
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat all ingredients in large mixer bowl on low speed, scraping bowl constantly, for 30 seconds.  Beat on high speed, scraping bowl occasionally as needed, for 3 minutes.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Creamy White Chili

I found this recipe on  It was simple to make and really tasty! It really hit the spot on a cold wintry day.

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon canola oil (I used olive oil)
2 cans (15-1/2 ounce each) great northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14-1/2 ounce) chicken broth
2 cans (4 ounces each) chopped green chilies
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Optional Toppings:
Tortilla chips
Corn tortillas, torn up
Grated cheese
Green onions, chopped
Jalapeno pepper, sliced and seeded

In a large saucepan or dutch oven, saute the chicken, onion and garlic powder in oil until chicken is no longer pink.  Add the beans, broth, chilies and seasonings.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

Remove from the heat; stir in sour cream and heavy cream.  Spoon into bowls.  If desired, top with any of the optional toppings.

YIELD: 7 servings