Tuesday, January 17, 2017

One Hour Dinner Rolls

Homemade bread is one of my favorite things.   I love the taste, texture and freshness of the bread.  Making bread isn't all that difficult.  I used to shy away from baking bread because I thought it was difficult and very time consuming.  And at times, my loaves came out looking like bricks.   However, with some practice and a few failed attempts, I now love making bread.
I have a few Bread cookbooks, but I find most of my bread recipes on the Internet.  I like the variety and the baking tips from the different sites.  I found this recipe on  Our Best Bites website.  A very easy recipe with great tasting results.

One Hour Dinner Rolls
Our Best Bites

1 1/2 cups non-fat milk
3 tablespoons butter, cut into chunks
3 tablespoons sugar
4- 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour, divided
1 tablespoon rapid rise/quick rise yeast (or if you have packets, one packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) will work just fine))
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
1 egg at room temp (place in a bowl of warm water for at least 5 minutes)
additional melted butter (a few tablespoons) for brushing on at end
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Place milk, butter, and sugar in a microwavable container and heat for about 2 minutes. You want this mixture to be between 120-130 degrees, for best results use a digital instant read thermometer to gauge the temperature.
3. While the mixture is heating, combine 3 1/2 cups of the flour, yeast, and salt in a mixing bowl. When milk mixture is heated to about 125 degrees, add to the flour mixture and start to beat. Add egg and continue to beat until everything is combined. Scrape down sides of bowl and then add the remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time. I almost always add 4 1/4 cups total. The dough will be very soft and sticky.
4. Place remaining flour on a cutting board or silicone mat (or additional flour, if you used all of yours in the dough) and very gently scrape out the dough using a spatula. Dust the top of your dough with flour and then using your hands, lightly pat the dough into a rectangle.
5. Score the dough into sections (24 for dinner roll size) and gently form portions into balls. Place in a 9x13 pan that has been sprayed with non stick spray. Let dough rest for 20-30 minutes until puffed and almost double in size.
6. Bake rolls in preheated oven 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and immediately brush with melted butter.
Great tip
  • To accelerate rising, place dough in an oven or microwave that has been turned off, and place a pan of steaming water underneath.

Makes 24 rolls


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Vegetable Soup

During the cold months, my recipe focus is on soups.  Soups are great comfort food and they warm you up from head to toe.  Today's soup recipe is loaded with lots and lots of great tasting veggies with some pancetta and pasta. Mmmm... delicious.     Top with some Parmesan cheese and serve with crusty bread.   Perfect for a light dinner or a great tasting lunch.

Vegetable Soup
From Bon Appetit
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more
2 ounces pancetta, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 large Yukon Gold potato, peeled, cut into ½” pieces
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 28-oz. can whole tomatoes, drained
6 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 Parmesan rind
½ bunch Tuscan kale, bottom stems trimmed, sliced into ½” strips (about 4 cups)
1 cup cooked pasta, rice, and/or grains
Torn basil leaves and grated Parmesan (for serving)
Heat oil in a Dutch oven or small stockpot over medium heat. Add pancetta and cook, stirring often, until pancetta is lightly browned around the edges and fat is partially rendered, about 5 minutes. Add onion, carrot, celery, and potato and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are softened and onion is translucent, 10–12 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, lightly breaking them up with your hands as you add to the pot; add chicken broth, bay leaf, and Parmesan rind. Bring to a simmer, season with salt and pepper, and add kale. Simmer until potatoes and kale are tender, 10–15 minutes. Remove from heat and add pasta, rice, and/or grains. Serve with basil, grated Parmesan, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Serves 8 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Pressure Cooker Creamy Chicken And Wild Rice Soup

In several of my posts, I have raved about my Instant Pot.    Today's recipe is another great recipe made in my Instant Pot.  Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice soup is a hearty and delicious soup loaded with flavor.   The rice is cooked to perfection  with the chicken and veggies  cooked in a delicious creamy base with some cream cheese added for a nice velvety texture. Goodness in every bite. 

The family loved this soup.   Everyone went back for seconds. This recipe is a keeper.

Pressure Cooker Creamy Chicken And Wild Rice Soup
From Pressure Cooking Today
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
2 14 oz. cans chicken broth
2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, uncooked and diced
6 oz. package Uncle Bens Long Grain & wild Rice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
dash red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon dried parsley
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
4 oz. cream cheese, cut into cubes
1 cup milk
1 cup half and half


1. Select Saute and add butter to the pressure cooker pot. When butter is melted, add the onion, carrot, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
Add chicken broth, chicken, wild rice (discard seasoning packet) salt, pepper, and parsley to the pressure cooking pot.
2. Lock lid in place, select High Pressure and 5 minutes cook time and start. When timer beeps, turn off pressure cooker, wait 5 minutes, then do a quick pressure release.
3. In a small bowl, dissolve cornstarch in 2 tablespoons water. Select Simmer (Saute on low on the Instant Pot) and add cornstarch mixture to the pot stirring constantly. Add cubed cream cheese and stir until cheese is melted. Add milk and half and half and heat through but do not bring to a boil.  Serve.

Serves 6-8

Monday, January 9, 2017

Crock Pot Hearty Beef and Pasta Soup

I love this soup recipe.  Why you ask - because it is that perfect meal to prepare when you have a busy day ahead of you or you would just like a day to relax a bit.  Most of the ingredients are placed in a slow cooker except for a can of beans, pasta and cheese.  You add those ingredients about 30 minutes before you are going to serve the soup. 

Another reason to love this soup is the taste.  It is a very satisfying soup that is truly delicious.  All of the ingredients work well together with not having one overpower the other.  For example, having too many beans in soup.  With this soup - that is not the case. 

So on your next busy day or when you just want to have a day for yourself bring out the crock pot and enjoy a bowl of this soup.

Crock Pot Hearty Beef And Pasta Soup
From Slow Cooker Kitchen Adapted Slightly From My Southwest Kitchen

Special Equipment: Crock pot 6-quart

1 pound lean ground beef
2 whole carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 (14.5 - ounce ) cans beef broth
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
Salt and pepper
1 (15-ounce) can red kidney bean, drained and rinsed
1 cup  dry ditalini pasta  
Fresh Parmesan cheese

1. In a skillet brown ground beef and drain fat.  Add the ground beef to the crock pot.  Stir well.
2. Add the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, tomatoes, beef broth, oregano,  and basil to the crock pot. 
3. Cover the crock pot and cook soup on low for 7-8 hours or on high 3-4 hours. 
4. About 30 minutes before serving time taste and season the soup with salt and pepper.  Add the beans and pasta.  Stir well and cover the crock pot.  Cook  for 30 minutes.
5.  Check pasta for doneness after 30 minutes.  If needed, cook a few minutes more.  
6. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with grated Parmesan cheese on top.

Serves 6-8

Friday, January 6, 2017

Chile Cheese Souffle Squares

A delicious egg bake that is sure to please even the pickiest  of eaters.  I love this recipe because it has a wonderful slightly firm but yet light texture.  The flavors of the cheese, eggs, and green chile work nicely together to make this a very satisfying dish.    This dish is also very versatile as it can be served for breakfast, brunch or for a light dinner.  I served this souffle for dinner and it was perfect.   You  probably have most of the ingredients in your kitchen so it is great to fix if you are in a time crunch.

Chile Cheese Souffle Squares
From Our Best Bites

8 tablespoons real butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
dash of salt
10 eggs
7 oz can fire roasted green chiles, drained
1 pint (2 cups) cottage cheese
1 lb monterey jack cheese, shredded


Slice butter into large chunks and place in a 9×13 pan.  Place pan in oven and preheat to 400 degrees. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl.  Add 1-2 eggs and whisk mixture until there are no lumps.  Add in remaining eggs and whisk until smooth.  Stir in green chiles, cottage cheese, and jack cheese and stir until just combined.  Remove pan from oven and make sure butter coats bottom of pan.  Pour butter into egg mixture and stir to combine.  Pour mixture into warm pan.  When oven is preheated place pan in oven and cook for 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350 and cook for an additional 35-40 minutes, or until top is golden and slightly browned.  Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing into squares and serve.

Serves 6-8

Wednesday, January 4, 2017


Who doesn't like waffles?  Slightly crisp and delicious squares that ooze out syrup or jam when you bite into them. Perfect for breakfast or even dinner.  I sometimes make a double recipe so I can freeze some and save them for later.

My favorite recipe for great tasting waffles is the one I found on the Pioneer Woman website.  Perfect waffles every time.  The texture  has a slight crunch and is tender with a very slight vanilla flavor.  Add some butter, syrup, and some chopped nuts.  Tastes just as waffles should taste.

From Pioneer Woman

Special Equipment: Waffle Iron


2 cups All-purpose Flour
3 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 cup Sugar
1-1/2 cup Milk
2 whole Egg Yolks
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon (additional) Vanilla Extract
1 stick (1/2 Cup) Salted Butter, Melted
4 whole Egg Whites


Preheat the waffle iron to the regular setting.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, 2 egg yolks, and vanilla. Pour over the dry ingredients and very gently stir until halfway combined. Pour in the melted butter and continue mixing very gently until combined.

In a separate bowl (or using a mixer), beat the egg whites with a whisk until stiff. Slowly fold them into the batter, stopping short of mixing them all the way through.

Scoop the batter into your waffle iron in batches and cook according to its directions (lean toward being a little deep golden and crisp!) Remove and serve immediately with softened butter and warm syrup.

Serves 8

Monday, January 2, 2017

Teriyaki Beef And Mushrooms

I decided to start the New Year with a delicious stir fry dish.   I like to prepare stir fry dishes because they are quick, loaded with veggies, and satisfying.  In this recipe,  tender strips of beef cooked with some mushrooms, snap peas and bean sprouts.  All  of the ingredients are then tossed in a delicious teriyaki sauce.   Spoon over some rice and your dinner is made.

Teriyaki Beef and Mushrooms
 From Pillsbury


1 1/3 cups uncooked regular long-grain white rice 
2 2/3 cups water 
1/3 cup teriyaki sauce 
2 tablespoons dry sherry 
2 teaspoons cornstarch 
1 teaspoon grated ginger root 
1 tablespoon oil 
3/4 lb. boneless beef top sirloin steak, cut into thin bite-sized strips 
6 to 7 oz. fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
2 cups frozen sugar snap peas 
4 oz. (1 cup) fresh bean sprouts

  1. Cook rice in water as directed on package.
  2. Meanwhile, in small bowl, combine teriyaki sauce, sherry, cornstarch and ginger root; blend well. Set aside.
  3. Heat oil in large skillet or wok over medium-high heat until hot. Add beef strips; cook and stir 3 to 4 minutes or until beef is browned and of desired doneness. Remove beef from skillet; cover to keep warm.
  4. In same skillet, combine mushrooms and sugar snap peas. Cover; cook over medium-high heat for 4 to 5 minutes or until peas are crisp-tender, stirring once or twice.
  5. Stir cornstarch mixture until smooth. Add cornstarch mixture, beef and sprouts to skillet; cook and stir until sauce is bubbly and thickened. Serve over rice.
    Serves 4