Milkmaid's Recipe Box

FOOD, FOOD, FOOD! I'm such a FARMER at heart-- even a CALF knows that so much in life is about the FOOD! (A bit of a "bio" about me can be found way down near the bottom.)

You can find a recipe index entitled "Labels" down along the right side, starting below the picture of the farm. Then, below the "Label" list are pictures of some of my old "standbys"-- click on their picture and it should take you to the recipe.

You will see no advertising on my blog; this means there is no monetary benefit for me having "visitors" or "joiners"-- having said that, if you do wish to JOIN my blog, you can do so by scrolling w-a-y down to near the bottom of the page...

My Visitors

Locations of Site Visitors

Friday, December 23, 2016

Gingerbread House Recipe



Fun with Sam...
SO MANY YEARS AGO (late 60's?), we assembled and decorated these cute little houses as part of an R.S. activity-- back when we always had an R.S. meeting on a week night. It was my first introduction to this sort of thing. I don't know if my memory is right, or if my imagination is over-active, but it seems that hubby's sister Diane had something to do with introducing these to our group at church. (?)  Through the years, I have made SO many of these-- and, so has Cheryl.

They don't have to be all "fancy/perfect"-- just have fun with them. In the end, the taste is the same--  M-m-m-m-m-m-m-m.  When given the "green light", children like "dismantling" them!!!

Scroll down to see the recipes I used for the dough and for the icing 'glue'...
Fun with Emma and Sam...
Below:  Five gingerbread houses made by Cheryl for the high school band's bake sale:
                                                                                             Houses and Photo by Cheryl

Here are two houses that were made this week-- my little foster boy chose and placed the candies for the house on the right and he will give it to his mother when we see her in week--  he loved being able to choose the candy he wanted and he put them on.


Below:  Here is their back view...  
They are on a 9x13" pan 
from the Dollar Tree Store.


The steps that will have to be completed:

1.  Make the dough, chill over night.
2.  Bake the dough and let the cut-out pieces 'dry out/harden' for at least one whole day before attempting to assemble!
3.  Assemble house with ROYAL ICING-- let the icing on this 'assembled house' dry/harden for a whole day before 'loading it down' with its candy decorations.  If you don't do this, you may see a beautifully decorated house COLLAPSE-- as I have.  Not good.
4.  Decorate as you wish with more ROYAL ICING and candies of your choice.

Before you decide on a pan to use, it's a good idea to lay the 'pattern pieces' out in your pans and pick one that will suit you best.  I've found that my large jelly-roll pan gives me enough room to make 1 and 1/2 houses in the size I make.  Therefore, with a separate batch in each pan, I can make three houses.  If you want a larger house, you just have to make more gingerbread.

To prepare the pan for baking:  Take a jelly-roll pan and line it with aluminum foil (into the corners, also).  Lightly coat the surface of foil with vegetable oil (into the corners, too!).

Mix all of these ingredients together thoroughly:

  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cups molasses (dark)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour


Dough will be stiff
Above:  COVER and CHILL OVER NIGHT.  

Patiently pat this evenly into your 
prepared/lightly oiled pan. 
As seen below, I like to make "dimples" 
in the dough to give it "texture" before baking...

 Bake at 300-degrees for about 25 minutes.  Bread must be thoroughly cooked or the roof will not hold up under its 'decorated' weight.

IMMEDIATELY UPON REMOVING FROM THE OVEN, place patterns on the HOT BREAD and cut out the 'building patterns'.  Carefully, lift out the cut pieces and set aside on waxed or parchment paper until cold.  (Eat and enjoy the tasty scraps!)  Here are the pieces to make ONE little house.  But, I can get enough shapes out of each pan to make 1.5 houses (that way, two pans = three houses).



Again, you must bake this at least 4 hours or even full day ahead of trying to assemble it, otherwise it will be 'too soft' and doesn't hold up.

Recipe for ROYAL ICING that is used as 'glue' to build and hold the house together and to 'glue' the candy on: 

Beat the following three ingredients for EXACTLY 8 minutes on high speed (you'll love a Kitchen Aid stand mixer for this!):

3 large egg whites (room temperature)
1 pound powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

When this mixture is ready, put into pastry tubes or cake decorating tools/tips and 'have fun'-- but, keep any extra amounts of mixture covered so that it doesn't 'dry out' before it's time for you to 'refill'.

To figure out how to assemble the house, play with the pieces you've drawn-- then, you'll know where you want the strips of icing to go (for example, on the back side or on the outside edges, etc.).   

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Cranberry Orange Muffins


This muffin speaks for itself!  
It says, "I am moist, and 
I am flavorful with my 
blend of cranberries, oranges, 
and nuts!"


INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (OR 1 cup?) of granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole cranberries, chopped.
  • 1/4 cup finely grated carrots (totally optional)
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup orange juice 
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil (I used "Smart Balance" oil.)
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange rind
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Combine dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt).
  2. Stir in chopped cranberries.
  3. Beat egg, orange juice, oil and orange rind.
  4. Add to dry ingredients all at once.
  5. Stir JUST LONG ENOUGH to moisten.
  6. Spoon into greased (or lightly sprayed) muffin cups.  Fill muffin cups 3/4 full.
  7. Sprinkle tops with a tiny bit of sugar (Turbinado sugar looks best, but "regular" will do.)
  8. Bake at 400-degrees for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned and a bit firm to the touch.


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Coleslaw (Or, as some write it, "Cole Slaw")

"Skinny" the above combination 
of goodness and get this:


This is now my favorite Coleslaw recipe.


I found this recipe for Coleslaw, and it is now a favorite of ours.  

Backing up a bit, a lot of Wisconsinites consider Friday to be "Fish Fry Day/Night" (it's sort of like our own special weekly HOLIDAY)!  Yes, for many, it is THAT special!  And,... one of the main "options" (sides) often  offered with the fish fry meal is Coleslaw.  I can eat almost any Cole Slaw, but that isn't true for my husband.  He doesn't like Coleslaw to have a strong "BITE" to it.

This recipe is different.  It is "mellow", yet flavorful.  Some say this is the recipe most similar to the Coleslaw that was or is (?) served at Chick-fil-A®---  I do not know about that because I do not live close to one of their restaurants.  For all I know, this could be a recipe from some cook who knew how to put just the right ingredients together (that wouldn't be me!). 

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 Bags (10 oz. each) of finely shredded cabbage and chopped to about 1/4" pieces.  (Instead of buying the bags, I used one small head of cabbage, removed and discarded the core, and "grated" chunks of cabbage in my food processor.  Doing it this way, I ended up with an extra 4 oz., but that didn't matter.)
  • 1/2 cup of finely chopped carrots (I first grated these, too, with my food processor and then, using the swirly blade in the food processor, I made the grated pieces a little bit smaller.)
  • 4 teaspoons red apple cider vinegar (plain white vinegar will work, too)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mayonnaise  (I used the Hellmann's® brand.)
DIRECTIONS:
  1.  Whisk vinegar, sugar, mustard and salt together until sugar is dissolved. 
  2. Add mayonnaise and whisk to mix. 
  3. Add cabbage and carrots. Mix to combine.
  4. Chill until serving time. 
  5. Refrigerate any left-over slaw.


Friday, November 25, 2016

Fudge Stripe Cookies - Fruit Salad (AKA Mandarin Orange Salad)

   
My only assignment for our family's 
Thanksgiving Day dinner was to find 
and make a "fluffy salad".  (EASY!)
  
Remembering a salad my oldest daughter 
made in the past, I asked her
about it.  

Its name is 
Fudge Stripe Cookie Salad.

This was made so quickly. 
For sure, it wasn't hard to EAT!!!!


INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups buttermilk.
  • 2 of 3.5 oz. boxes of Instant Vanilla Pudding mix.
  • 1 of 16 oz. size container of frozen whipped topping, thawed. (I used the Cool Whip brand.)
  • 2 of 15 oz. cans Mandarin Oranges, well drained.  
  • 1 of 15 oz. can of Fruit Cocktail, well drained.
  • 1 of 20 oz. can of Pineapple Tidbits, well drained.
  • 1 of 11-12 oz. pkg. of Fudge Stripes Cookies, crack each (except one) into about 5-6 pieces. Mine were Keebler brand cookies.


DIRECTIONS:
  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and instant pudding mix until thickened.  (If it gets "lumpy", whip to smoothness with a handheld electric mixer before moving on.)
  2. Fold in the whipped topping.
  3. Fold in the well-drained Mandarin Oranges, Fruit Cocktail, and Pineapple Tidbits.  Cover and refrigerate until serving time.
  4. Just before serving, fold in the cracked cookie pieces; put into serving bowl
  5.  Decorate top with the one whole cookie, and some of the cracked cookie pieces.






Wednesday, September 7, 2016

BEST BLUEBERRY MUFFINS*


I am posting this recipe here because 
I do NOT want to lose track of it.



Servings:  12 muffins (This recipe makes 18 smaller muffins if you don't fill the cups as full)
Prep Time:  15 Minutes
Bake Time: 25-30 Minutes (or until toothpick comes out clean).
Total Time: 45 Minutes

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 cups flour, fluffed up and leveled off.
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened (right now, I only had salted butter here)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (I usually don't like almond flavoring very much, but I trusted the author of the recipe and followed directions--  ah-h-h-h-h, PERFECT!!!!!!)
  • 1/2 cup milk (I only had whole milk)
  • 2 and 1/4 cups fresh blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons Turbinado sugar (mine was sort of light golden brown, and coarse)
INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. Preheat oven to 375-degrees. (With my oven, I preheated to 360-degrees.)  
  2. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.  Spray the pan AND the liners lightly with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the softened butter and granulated sugar for about 2 minutes.  
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl and beating well after each addition.
  6. Beat in the vanilla extract and almond extract.  (It's okay if the batter looks a bit grainy.)
  7. Gradually add the set-aside flour mixture, alternating with the milk, beating on low speed ONLY long enough to just "combine".  
  8. By hand, and with a spatula, gently fold in the blueberries ONLY until evenly distributed.  Again, ... do NOT over mix!
  9. Scoop the batter into the sprayed muffin liners with a cookie scoop if you have one.  This amount of batter will make 12 muffin liners very full.
  10. Next, sprinkle a little Turbinado sugar evenly on the top of the muffin batter before baking.
  11. Bake for "about" 30 minutes OR just until lightly golden and a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean.
  12. Let the muffins cool in the pan for about 10 minutes.  Then, run a knife around the edge of each muffin to carefully loosen it from the pan if needed because, sometimes, the blueberries touching the edges want to stick.   
  13. Transfer the muffins to a rack.  Cool completely.  
  14. Eat ONE and then put the rest outta sight for a while OR they will just keeeeeeep disappearing (I say they're that good!).  
Below:  I use this kind of a container 
w/snap-on clear plastic cover to keep these 
fresh longer.  (This is a photo of "smaller" 
muffins because,when making this batch, 
I did not fill the cups as full.)


*Total credit for this main recipe belongs to: http://www.onceuponachef.com/2014/07/best-ever-blueberry-muffins.html  

Because this recipe was copyrighted, I wrote to get permission to share this recipe here. Yay!,-- this is  what I received back this morning:

On Fri, Aug 12, 2016 at 9:27 AM, JenniferSegal <jennifer@onceuponachef.com> wrote:
"Sure Doris- that would be fine.  Thanks for checking! Best, Jenn."   To that, I say "THANK YOU, Jenn!!!!"

Thursday, August 25, 2016

No-Cook Coconut Pie Recipe
(This is such a "quickly made" dessert!)

Warning!-- this "goes down" so smooooooothly--  
it is sooooo good!
(IF you like coconut, that is!)

*Jeanette Fuehring, Concordia, Missouri, in 
the Taste of Home magazine, says this:  
"This creamy No-Cook Coconut Pie 
proves that a quick meal doesn't have 
to go without dessert."


TOTAL TIME:  Prep/Total Time 15 minutes (Quick, huh!).

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 packages (304 ounces each) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 2-1/2 cups cold 2% milk (I used whole milk because that's all I have here)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1  of a"ready to use" graham cracker pie crust (9 inches).
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut
  • Toasted coconut-- this is a small amount of coconut that's been toasted to light brown over medium heat in a small skillet, or in a small pan in the oven (watch it carefully to keep it from burning.
DIRECTIONS:
  1. In a large bowl, whisk the pudding mixes, milk and coconut extract for at least two minutes. 
  2. Fold in the whipped topping and 1/2 cup flaked coconut.
  3. Pour into the crust.
  4. Sprinkle with toasted coconut.
  5. Chill until serving time.  (Refrigerate any extra.)
  6. Yield:  6-8 servings.

My extra notes: 
      I chose to make my own graham cracker crust for this pie because I didn't want to make this in one of those wobbly aluminum foil pans with the ready-made crusts in it.  The recipe I used for this crust in my white pie dish came from the website at  http://www.crazyforcrust.com/2014/06/perfect-graham-cracker-crust/    
     I baked this for 9 minutes at 325-degrees, and then let it thoroughly cool before putting the coconut mixture in it.  



An extra thought from curious me:  
    Next time, rather than using whipped topping such as Cool Whip in this recipe, I just might(?) try using stabilized whipping cream(?).  I've used Stabilized Whipped Cream for other recipes. and I'd like to see if it would work in this recipe.  If it doesn't work out, I'll know to not try it a second time, huh! The recipe I've previously used for topping off cakes with Stabilized Whipped Cream is here: http://www.wilton.com/stabilized-whipped-cream-icing/WLRECIP-218.html  (For goodies, I have liked making the whipped cream like this because it doesn't weep or sag, etc.) If any of you readers already know my idea wouldn't work, I'd appreciate you leaving me a comment to that effect. : )

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Zucchini Chocolate Cake** 
w/Toasted Pecans and 
Mini-Chocolate Chips

This recipe is for the cake on the left side...
  Below:  More of a close-up of this cake...

Before starting to make this cake, toast 
the pecans* (the directions are at the bottom).

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 and 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil (I use the Smart Balance brand of blended oils)
  • ---
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ---
  • 2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ---
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • ---
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • ---
  • 1 cup (or 6 oz.) miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted (directions below)*

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees.  Lightly coat a 9x13-inch baking pan with cooking spray (I used a glass dish)
  2. In a large bowl, beat sugar and oil on medium speed for 1 minutes.
  3. Add eggs, applesauce and vanilla; beat 1 minute longer.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa (sifted to eliminate lumps), baking soda and salt; add to the sugar mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating ONLY until blended.  
  5. Stir in the zucchini.
  6. Pour into prepared pan or dish.  Bake 20 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven long enough to sprinkle on chocolate chips and toasted pecans on top.
  8. Bake 10-15 minutes longer or until a toothpick inserted into a spot without chocolate chips comes out clean. To retain moistness, do not over-bake.
  9. Completely cool in pan on a wire rack before cutting.
 * TOASTING PECANS: Lightly spritz a baking sheet with non-stick spray. Spread the coarsely chopped pecans on the pan and toast them in a 350-degree oven just until they become aromatic, about 5 minutes.  Watch the time carefully so they don't end up being scorched. Set aside and let them cool while you prepare the cake batter.

(The specks showing in the ice cream 
are from the vanilla beans.)

** This recipe came from here:  
http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/yummy-zucchini-chocolate-cake

"Spiced" Zucchini Cake 

w/Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting**

(This posted recipe is for the cake shown in the middle!)
Because of having a lot of zucchini, I made
three cakes yesterday.  This is the third time
I've made the one in the middle (shown below).
In other words, this one is already a favorite of
those who have had a piece.


Because I took this cake to a picnic, I do not 
have a photo of it after it was cut.  


CAKE INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist yellow cake mix
  • 3/4 cup milk (I used whole milk)
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 3 eggs (I used large eggs)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (This amount is not overpowering.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups coarsely shredded zucchini (about 2 medium)
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts


FROSTING INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar (I first run it through a sifter, or screen strainer to get rid of any lumps.)


DIRECTIONS for the CAKE:
  1. Heat oven to 350-degrees.  Spray only the bottom of a 9x13" pan (I used glass) with cooking spray.  (Doing it this way and the regular way, I had equally good results with spraying the bottom and the sides of the glass dish.)
  2. In a large bowl, beat cake mix, milk, melted butter, eggs, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  3. By hand, stir in the zucchini and walnuts.
  4. Pour batter into pan.
  5. Bake 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  (Don't over-bake.)  Remove from the oven to cooling rack.  Cool cake completely-- at least for one hour.*
DIRECTIONS for the FROSTING:
  1. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and butter with electric mixer on medium-high speed until smooth.  Beat in the cinnamon and vanilla.  
  2. On low speed, beat in the "sifted" powdered sugar until frosting is smooth and creamy.  Spread frosting on cake.
  3. Cut into 4 rows by 3 rows. 
  4. Cover and refrigerate any remaining cake.
* Not following the instructions about letting the cake cool in the normal way, and because it was bedtime, I put a cover over the cake when it was still sitting on the cooling rack and barely out of the oven for 15 minutes.  As you can guess, condensation formed on the underside of the cover and that "rained" onto the cake.  What looked like a "mistake" ended up to be something we like-- I ended up with a very dense, very moist cake that goes so well with the cream cheese frosting!  I intend to make that same "mistake" each time I make this cake.


**I found the original recipe for this cake right here:  http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/zucchini-cake-with-cinnamon-cream-cheese-frosting/8e2f59f5-2766-47e7-80e1-b930cc559912?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=07_2016_standard



Zucchini Chocolate Cake *
w/Hershey Chocolate Frosting

Blame it on the ZUCCHINI!!-- because of the 
extra zucchini I had here, I got a bit 
carried away with baking 
cakes yesterday.  You think?  
I took two of these to a picnic last night.  
(All three are zucchini-laced cakes!)





Our new family favorite of the three is 
actually the one in the middle with the "whitish" 
frosting which starts with a yellow cake mix and 
spices, topped with a cinnamon'y 
cream cheese frosting (I will post that
recipe separately).

For this post,...

HERE is the recipe for the one 
on the right (shown below) which is also a 
"keeper/repeater" kind of cake recipe.
(OOPS!-- Because I took this cake to the picnic, 
I did not get a picture of a cut piece!)

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
----
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (I use an oil called Smart Balance)
  • 1 and 3/4 cups granulated sugar
---
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk OR 1/2 cup sour milk (I used buttermilk)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
---
  • 1/4 cup cocoa (I run through screen strainer to make it lump-free)
  • 2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
---
  • 2 cups zucchini, grated
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 coarsely chopped walnuts (optional).  I added these.


DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cream butter, then add oil and sugar-- beat together at least one minute.
  2. Add the Eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla (mix well)
  3. Whisk together and then add the cocoa, flour, baking soda, and salt.  Mix ONLY until blended in. 
  4. By hand, stir in the grated zucchini. 
  5. Also, by hand, fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts.
  6. Pour into greased/floured 9x13" pan (I used a glass dish).
  7. Bake at 325-degrees for "about" 1 hour, or until a "toothpick test" shows no cake batter on it.  (To retain moistness, be careful to not over-bake.)  
``````````````````````````````````````````````````````
FROSTING:  My favorite chocolate frosting recipe which I added is as follows--


 "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Frosting-- this is also found on the back of the Hershey cocoa container:

Ingredients:
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
2/3 cup sifted Hershey's cocoa
3 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Directions:
1.  Melt butter.  Stir in cocoa.
2.  Add powdered sugar, milk and vanilla, beating on med. speed until it is of spreading consistency Add more milk in very tiny quantities, if needed (I didn't need more milk.)  Makes about 2 cups of frosting.

This recipe was adapted from the following site:  http://www.food.com/recipe/zucchini-chocolate-cake-18693


Tuesday, May 31, 2016

My Blue Ribbon Cinnamon Rolls (w/pictures)

I'd already posted this recipe in 2011, but I am 
moving it to the front for... my "convenience".
                                                                                 (Photo by me, Doris)

   (Photo by me, Doris)

                                                                                      (Photo by me, Doris)



  (Above photo by me and posted to this blog page on September 5, 2014)

History:
Back in the late 70's, I found this recipe for cinnamon rolls in a Family Circle magazine.  It was included in an article about a lady named Emily who operated a very successful truck stop called Emily's Dairy King in Sharon Spring, Kansas-- I still have the complete article.  Truckers knew of a great place where they could find big 'n fresh cinnamon rolls-- it was at Emily's!   I made these cinnamon rolls in September of 1977 and took them to compete in the open class of the always 'bigger'n better' Shawano County Fair.  On the Saturday morning when they were to be judged, I went to watch.  As I stood there in silence without showing I was 'interested', I was shocked that after they examined and tasted each of the many entries they picked mine as being worthy of the only blue ribbon in that class. At the age of 33, and competing against the older more experienced bakers who were also watching intensely, I honestly did not expect I would have a chance at winning, but...... I did!

For the actual fair entry, and so that all entries would be 'comparable' in some way, these rolls had to be entered for judging like this:  Because they wanted 'a block of four', I baked twelve in a 9x13-inch pan, then took a corner block of four 'cozy rolls' as my entry.    Extra note:  Something sort of odd  happened the day I was making these for my official fair entry--I had them in the pan for their final rising before baking.  Friends Penny and Linda came for some apples (our county fair is late, always over Labor Day weekend).   While outside and showing them where to get the apples, I sort of forgot about hurrying back into the house to bake the rising rolls.  Darn!, I thought, they rose too much!-- too bad/so sad, I thought, and stuck them in the oven, anyway.   As it turned out, the judges obviously liked and commented on the fact that they liked the 'extra lightness' they had-- this was above and beyond how I would have usually let them rise.  WoooHoooooo!!!  (Sometimes, 'mistakes' are good, huh!)  I have to say I learned something from that... let 'em rise more!!!

INGREDIENTS NEEDED TO MAKE THE DOUGH:

1 cup of milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
~~~~~
2 tablespoons (or envelopes) dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup very warm water (NOT hot!)
~~~~
2 whole eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 stick butter, melted
~~~~~
6 cup sifted all-purpose flour

DIRECTIONS:

To make dough: 

1.  Heat milk, sugar and salt in a small saucepan until sugar melts and small bubbles appear around edge of pan.  Set aside. Cool to lukewarm.

2. Dissolve yeast and the 1 teaspoon sugar in very warm (not too hot) water in a large bowl.  ("Very warm" water should feel comfortably warm when dropped on wrist.)  Stir until well-blended and allow to stand undisturbed for 10 minutes, or until the yeast begins to bubble up.

3.  Stir slightly beaten eggs into yeast mixture; add the cooled milk mixture.  Add melted butter. Stir in just enough flour, a little at a time, until dough is starting to be 'elastic' (5 cups, for sure); let it rest for about 10 minutes before adding more and more of the flour after that 'rest period'.  Work in enough of the remaining flour to make a kneadable dough.  (Do not add so much flour that the dough totally stops sticking to your hands.  The dough would end up being too heavy.)

4.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Knead for about 8 minutes, or until it feels very smooth, satiny and 'elastic' (and alive!).  Place in a lightly oiled or buttered bowl; turn to bring the buttered side up.  Cover with 'non-stick sprayed' piece of plastic wrap.  Let rise in a warm, draft-free place for at least 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.  (While a hot/humid day isn't the best kind of day to have an oven on, it sure is great for rising dough!)

5.  "Punch" dough down in bowl and let it "rest" for 15 minutes; turn out onto a lightly floured surface; knead just a few times; divide dough into two equal-sized, mostly smooth balls; let each rest for another 10 minutes.  Roll each ball of dough into a 12x9-inch rectangle.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED TO MAKE THE FILLING: 

1/3  cup butter, melted
~~~~~~~~
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. 

Brush each rolled out dough rectangle with half the melted butter; sprinkle each with half of the sugar/cinnamon mix.

Starting at a short end of the rectangle, roll up jell-roll style; cut into 12 slices.  Place slices, not quite touching, in a parchment paper-lined 13x9x2-inch pan IF you like to bake them "cheek to cheek", OR put 12 of  them on a 15x10x1" type of parchment paper-lined cookie sheet if you want them to look like the ones in the pictures above..  Repeat with remaining dough rectangle.

Set these in a warm draft-free place and let rise for 30-45 minutes, or until almost double in bulk. (According to the temperature in the room, the time for the final rising can vary quite a bit.)

 Bake (at 350-degrees) for about 25-30 minutes OR a bit less if you like to have "lighter colored" rolls.  Also bake for a shorter time if you make "smaller-sized" rolls.  I leave the rolls right in the cookie sheet (on parchment paper) until they cool.  But!, you can move the rolls to a rack to cool after baking.

VARIATION:  This recipe is also good for making the "caramel-pecan type" of rolls.  To use just 1/2 the dough of the above recipe for this variation, you'd melt together (but not boil) 1/3 cup butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 Tbsp. light corn syrup; then add to that 2/3 to 1 cup pecan halves. Spread that sweet mixture on the bottom of a very lightly buttered 9x13 pan/dish.  Place "wheels" of cinnamon roll dough on top of the caramel/nut mixture, leaving a little space between each.  Let rise and bake after roll dough has about doubled in size. Then, after baking, turn the pan of goodness upside down as soon as they get out of the oven.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
FROSTING:  

Here's where I change the recipe a bit.  Instead using the traditional white icing on them, I prepare 'browned butter icing' for their tops.   This is how I make it:

Heat ½ stick butter in pan only until golden to medium brown in color (stirring the bottom of the pan all the while).  When the butter reaches the right color of "brownness", quickly add a couple tablespoons (2 or 3 Tbs.) of cold  milk to stop it from browning even more; now add about 3 cups SIFTED powdered sugar till you have the amount and consistency of frosting you need.  It may be necessary to add tiny amounts of more milk at a time to get a smooth/correct (pourable) texture-- OR a bit more powdered sugar to thicken it quickly before it starts to "stiffen up".  (Keep in mind that once the butter is browned, the next steps have to happen quite rapidly.)

Quick 'n easy:  Right from the pan/kettle, I pour "ribbons" of this frosting over the rows of rolls as the pans are lined up end-to-end.  

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Lemon Blueberry Bread

INGREDIENTS:

1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 eggs
1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional
1 cup fresh OR frozen blueberries

GLAZE:

2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 cup powdered (confectioners) sugar

DIRECTIONS:

In a mixing bowl, beat together butter, 1 cup sugar, juice and eggs.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt; stir into egg mixture alternately with milk.
Fold in lemon zest, nuts, and blueberries.
Pour batter into greased loaf pan.  Bake at 350-degrees for 60-70 minutes.

Glaze:  Combine all ingredients, mix well; drizzle over warm bread.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Cucumber Salad w/vinegar dressing

Years ago, I thought I would ALWAYS only like cucumber salad with the creamy kind of dressing on them.  As I aged, that changed--  I now like them this way, too.  Now, after this impending snow storm gets here today and "does its thing", we'll be that much closer to summer and..... closer to having cucumbers from the garden!!!


INGREDIENTS:

4 cucumbers, thinly sliced
1 small white onion, thinly sliced
1 cup white vinegar (maybe just a bit less, as desired)
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon dried dill, or to taste (if available, some fresh dill works well)

DIRECTIONS:

Toss together the cucumbers and onion in a large bowl.  Combine the vinegar, water and sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  Bring to a boil, cool until "room temperature" and pour over the cucumber and onions.  Stir in dried dill, cover, and refrigerate until cold.  This can also be eaten at room temperature, but be sure to allow the cucumbers to marinate for at least one hour.