Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Perfect Dinner Rolls

If you haven't noticed, I love bread.  I can eat half a tray of rolls by myself. My number 1 rule though don't over cook your rolls.  I hate dry dinner rolls..  They need to be a light golden brown on top. Anything darker you better be dipping that in soup cause no amount of butter is bringing those back.

Now, I love my bread machine... it is my best buddy when it comes to these rolls.  It makes them perfectly.  I only use the dough setting on my machine.  If you don't have a bread machine I know what you need for Christmas. THIS!!! My husband bought me this machine back in 2011 and it is still going strong.  I LOVE it.  I use it all the time.  It is up there with my Kitchenaid and my griddle.

Ok, here is the break down for these rolls..  Warm up 1/2 cup of milk and 1/2 of water.  Then add 1 egg and 1/3 cup of melted butter, make sure your butter isn't too hot.
Next add 1/3 cup of white sugar, and 3 1/2 cups of flour, 2 1/4 tsp of yeast, and 1 tsp. of salt make sure yeast and salt are NOT touching!! No touchy, touchy!!!
It will look like this in the machine. I set my machine to quick dough and let it go for about 20 minutes, mine will start beeping and I will check on it.  It should be nice and elastic.  Like this

Form your rolls I like to do a nice circle. I pinch the top down on either side and it gives me a perfect little ball.
Cover them with a bag, not a towel!! You will get a perfect rise about 45 minutes later.
Bake those bad boys!! Carefully!! DON'T OVERCOOK ROLLS!!!  400 degrees for 9 minutes checking them often at the end.  Coat them in melted butter and try not to eat all of them by yourself!!

You can do this without a bread machine. Milk, water, and sugar.. add yeast wait till bubbly. Slowly add butter, egg, flour, and salt.   Then mix in a kitchen aid for 4 minutes, let the dough rest for 5, then mix again until the mixture is beautiful and elastic.  For some reason though mine always turn out better from the machine.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Easy Pomagranet Orange Cranberry Sauce

If there is one thing that you shouldn't be scared of making this season is homemade cranberry sauce! I'm serious my 5 year old helped me make this. It is fun for kids too because they get to watch and listen to the cranberries POP! It is one of those recipes that you throw it all in a pot and stir it up!

Lets get started shall we?

Just dump 12 oz bag of cranberries into a medium sauce pan and turn it on to medium heat. Then I poured in about a cup of POM. Then dump in about 1 cup of sugar. Stir, stir, stir some more.

Next pull out your orange zest a full orange into the cranberries, then I cut mine in half and squeezed all the juice into the mixture.
Cranberries have this beautiful natural pectin, so all you have to do it stir it and all of those amazing little berries will start popping.  I went ahead and turned my stove up to hot and just kept those berries moving so they don't burn. After a few minutes you will start to get a jelly, if it is getting really thick and you still have a bunch of berries add more POM juice, if you haven't drank it all yet.... wink, wink. 

I don't mind having a few berries left in mine but you can pulse it with a submersion blender if you want it completely smooth. let it cool when you are done and put it in the fridge till that beautiful bird is ready!!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Killer Smoked Turkey

Ok guys... I'm going to be honest.  I didn't especially like turkey until I tried a smoked turkey. I mean it was OK, but I wasn't ever drooling thinking about Turkey.  Now I do.  I am going to be honest this is a recipe that isn't hard, it just takes time.  I did it a whole week early so that I had this recipe done in time for you to do it!! 

Another bonus about smoking your turkey, it opens up your oven for all the other delicious food. I didn't have to worry about Turkey being cold while I cook stuffing or sweet potatoes. It is amazing. If you need a smoker.. I like this one.

The first thing I learned I learned this year... BRINING IS A BIG DEAL.  I have tried dried brine before and meh.  It helped with flavor a bit but doing a true salt water brine is the way to go in my personal opinion.

My brine:

2 gallons of water
1 cup of kosher salt
7 cloves of garlic
1 onion
small palm full of whole peppercorns
As you can see I didn't even take the time to peel the onion. I just cut it into fourths and I smashed the garlic.  Throw it all in give it a stir and boil that bad boy!!! I let mine boil for a good 5 minutes with a stir every now and again.  I let mine sit on the stove, it was off,  for a good two hours after that so it was cooled all the way.   Then I doubled up two trash bags and dumped it in with a cleaned, fulled defrosted turkey. Seal that bag super well so nothing can escape.   My fridge was occupied so I put it in a cooler outside with a bag of ice. Make sure it stays cool around 40 degrees the whole time.  It needs to be in there for 24 hours. About half way through I flipped the Turkey over so that it was evenly brined.

After that, I took out the turkey and patted it dry with paper towels. I let it sit out for another 1/2 hour or so, so it was completely dry.  I then took some softened butter and mixed it with Sage, rosemary, garlic powder, and pepper. I did a rough chop on the fresh herbs.  Then I handed it over to my husband to smoosh it all together.
I wasn't being lazy I was just separating the skin from the bird.
To do this gently rub your hand back and forth and break all of the membranes, I did this even down the legs.  Once the butter is ready I took finger fulls of it and put it all around inside the skin and inside the cavity of the bird. then I placed it on top here and there and rubbed it all around.  I also put one more sprig of rosemary and sage inside the bird with a lemon halved.
Alright, We went and started up our Traeger (which is on sale right now!

My husband is always the one to pick out what flavor of pellets we use. He decided apple this time around but I think pecan would be yummy too. If you need pellets you can get them here.

We started it with the lid open on smoke for 5 minutes, then closed the lid and set it for 375.  Put it in when it is to heat.  We cooked it for 3.5 hours internal temp needs to be 165 degrees F.

I had to take out the roasting rack out to the pan to make it fit. when it comes out let it rest for 20 minutes then enjoy that goodness!! I used the pan drippings for yummy gravy too!!!

Don't worry homemade cranberry sauce recipe will be up soon!! 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Pumpkin rolls!!!

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and these are the perfect rolls to celebrate.  I found the recipe on  I made them for about 3 years as they directed but this year I noticed they were coming out drier than I liked so I revamped that recipe a little bit to make it more to my liking.

These do contain pumpkin puree.  However, they don't have a strong pumpkin taste at all. The pumpkin really just adds color and a hint of pumpkin.  What makes these rolls amazing is the butter that goes with them.  Try them out and let me know what you think!!!

To get started take 1 cup of milk and scald it.
Then I like to put the butter in it to melt while it is still hot. I like to do 4 tbsp of butter here and also put in your 1/4 cup of sugar.
Stir that up.  The cold butter helps cool the milk down. Once it is cooled a little bit, comfortable to dip your finger in but still warm add in your yeast, 2 1/4 tsp or one yeast packet, and let it get bubbly.

Now that the yeast is ready it is time for the good part.  Add in your  3/4 cup of pumpkin puree, I like to use the canned stuff but you can also make your own, 1 egg, and 1 tsp. of salt. After you have those things mixed I like to put in 3 1/2 cups of all purpose flour slowly.  Mix it in a kitchenaid for 2 minutes, then let the dough rest for 5.  Then turn it back on for 4 minutes.  I like my dough to look like this.  It is a little sticky and very smooth.  Notice that it is pulled away from the sides.

For the next step spray a bowl with non-stick spray and cover the dough.  I like to cover mine with a bag.  I find that it gets a better rise and doesn't get a skin on the surface of the dough.  I also like the bag over handy wrap because it gives the dough more space.
I left mine for an hour.  I keep my house a little chilly though, so if you have a warm house check to see if it is doubled in about 45 minutes.

Now that it is all double and poof lets make some pumpkins! I like to take about a palm full and I gently roll it around and around until it is smooth
I do this with all the dough and I made 12 perfect little balls. Right about now go to your fridge and take out 1 stick of butter to make the honey butter later.  We want it to be nice and soft.
Next you need to cut the pumpkin edges I go in about 3/4 of and inch and I usually try to do about 8 cuts per roll. Make sure you don't get too close to the middle or it will look really funky and you won't have a space to put in a stem.  Sorry about all the background noise on the video.... This is real life people!! Make sure you fluff your roll back up so you don't have stringy edges!

I like to cover them after they are all cut with two bags this time! let them rise again for at least 1/2 hr. I think on this batch I did 45 minutes.  Then take another egg and brush the top of your rolls.  This will give them the beautiful browned look and so adorable!!!

Heat up your oven to 350 degrees F. and bake them for 15 minutes.  I really hate over cooked rolls so check them if your oven runs hot.

Grab out your hand mixer and get that soften butter whipped! After it is is whipped creamy add 1/4 cup of honey, 1/4 cup of powdered sugar, and 1/4 tsp of cinnamon.  Now it is all ready for when those lovely rolls come out!!

When the rolls are done let them sit for at least 2 minutes then you can add the stem.

 For my stems I used large pretzels.  I think they work great if you are going to serve them immediately... however, if you let them sit with the pretzel over night, the pretzel sucks all of the moisture out of the roll and makes them dry!!! So... I recommend a nut, pecans, instead if you are going to serve them the next day.  Or simply take the pretzel out of the uneaten ones for storage. Dry rolls are yucky to me!!!

I just cut the pretzels in half and gently pushed them in.  I like to break the surface of the roll so that they don't get smashed.
Then ta-dah!!! you have amazing rolls that everyone

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Creamy Dreamy Potato Soup

This is the easiest homemade soup you will ever make. My kids gobble this up! It is an amazing fall time soup that only takes 30 minutes or less to make. I love quick dinners on crazy school nights.

This is the best soup with bacon, cheese, and bread to garnish. I even cheat sometimes and throw the bacon in the oven while I cook the soup. Gotta love multi tasking.  To do that start with a cold oven and put the bacon on a broiler pan.  Put that in the oven on 400 degrees and let them cook for about 20 minutes I like it crispy so I can just crumble it over the soup.. yummy. Any who! Lets get down to the soup!
 First dice up those taters!!!! I like them to be kid bite sized pieces that way I am not going back through the soup after I cook it to cut it up more for my kids.
Then just dump your 32oz of broth into a large pot with the potatoes and garlic.  Boil all of that together until the potatoes are soft.  Then grab that submersion blender or you can VERY CAREFULLY!! Pour it in a blender.  If you are using the submersion blender I like to turn off the heat while I blend it. I like it with a few little chunks in it but you can blend it till it is perfectly smooth.  Then add in the seasoning salt, paprika, (cayenne pepper if you want it) salt, and pepper. Then I put in the cream cheese on a low heat.   Then just stir, and stir, then stir some more till the cream cheese is all the way melted. You might want to check on that bacon right now.

Really, it is that easy and it is ready to eat!!!  Add in your bacon, cheese, and more cayenne if you like to feel the burn.  Do you need a submersion blender check out this one!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Banana Bread Mini Loaves

These are my absolute favorite treat to eat on the run!  As an added bonus they are super simple.  lets get started shall we.  First, buy bananas expecting your husband and kids to eat and then forget about them for a few days. You will end up with these lovely gems!
Next, gather together softened butter (I throw mine in the microwave for 25 seconds), sugar, 2 eggs, and vanilla.  Then mix it! Mix it reeeallly good!

Then just add baking soda, flour, and salt. once again mix! Then I like to add the buttermilk, bananas, and nuts.  You can mash the bananas in a bowl beforehand but mine were soooo soft we just threw them in and let the mixer do the work! 
For the nuts I like to use pecans but walnut will work too.  You can toast them in the oven for a few minutes if you want to be an over-achiever but I like to use mine right out of the bag. 
Mix those nuts into the mixture last.

 Turn on your oven to 350 at this point and pull out the lovely mini muffin pan I like this one
I spray mine with cooking spray and they pop right out! I like to fill mine about 3/4 full I had a little helper this time so it is a little full...
Then throw this bad boy in the oven for about 20 minutes.  You will know when they are done by the top with start cracking just a bit. You can use a toothpick to check them but they have a tenancy to deflate if you do that too much so I like to just look at them and they should look like this!!!

Put some butter on them and enjoy! Kids LOVE these little loaves of bread! So do husbands, neighbors... everyone..
Here is a recipe card for you to enjoy!!!