Saturday, May 30, 2009

Cinnamon Rolls

This cinnamon roll recipe uses the bread machine to make the dough, and makes just the very best cinnamon rolls. It takes just under 3 hours, start to finish, but each step is quite simple. The recipe below is straight from, which a few notes added from me in purple.

Super Fantastic Cinnamon Rolls, recipe 203785 from RecipeZaar.




  1. Place all ingredients in bread machine in order recommended by manufacturer. Select DOUGH cycle press Start.
  2. In separate bowl combine cinnamon and sugar.
  3. After dough has finished, turn it out onto lightly floured surface and roll into a 16x24 rectangle. Spread dough with butter and sprinkle evenly with cinnamon and sugar mixture. Roll up dough (start on the long side) and cut into 12 rolls. (Sometimes I make 18 rolls, and put into two 9x9 pans, and freeze one after cutting.) Place rolls in lightly greased 9x13 pan. Cover and let rise until almost doubled (about 30 min). Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  4. Bake rolls for 14-16 minutes. While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, confectioners sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Spread frosting on warm rolls.
I used half whole wheat dough, to make them a bit healthier. I know, I know.... But that is why they look a bit darker than regular dough.

After cutting, before rising:
After the rise:
Fresh out of the oven:

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Strawberry Freezer Jam

Break out the Australian Toaster Biscuits, it is jam season!

The directions are from the pectin box, so it isn't exactly a secret recipe. But it is very simple and yummy!
  • Wash and stem strawberries. Mash up enough for 2 cups of fruit. I used the food processor and made it rather smooth, lest my kids realize that there is fruit in jam.
  • Measure exactly 4 cups of sugar into a large bowl. Add strawberries and mix well. Let stand 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir pectin (I had liquid, but I'm sure the powder has a similar recipe) and 2 tbl lemon juice together in another bowl.
  • Stir pectin mixture into fruit mixture. Stir constantly until sugar is completely dissolved, about 3 minutes.
  • Pour into freezable containers.
  • Let stand at room temperature 24 hours, or until set.
  • Refrigerate up to 3 weeks, or freeze up to 1 year.
  • Yields 4 cups. (Picture is 2 batches.)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Billy Joel Meatloaf

This is the best meatloaf ever, even if you don't like meatloaf!
Billy Joel's wife was on Oprah making it, and yes, it's delicious!

Ingredients: Serves 6
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium yellow onion , diced (about 3/4 cup)
1 clove garlic , minced
1 medium red pepper , finely diced (about 1 cup)
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
2 pounds lean ground beef
2 large eggs , lightly beaten
3/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
1 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray lightly with oil.Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onions, garlic and bay leaf until the onions are tender, about 3 minutes. Add the red pepper and cook until the red pepper is tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley and thyme and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove pan from the heat and let the onion mixture cool. Discard the bay leaf.In a large bowl, combine the beef, eggs, bread crumbs, 1/2 cup of ketchup, the Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and the cooled vegetables. Use your hands to mix everything together.Transfer the mixture to the center of the baking sheet and form into a loaf. Coat the meat loaf with the remaining 1/2 cup ketchup.Bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours (depending on the shape of your loaf), until the meat loaf is firm. Let set for about 5 minutes before slicing.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Meatball Soup

This recipe is from our friend Daryl Dykema. He said it came from his mom Adeline, who got it from Jane Koetje. From that like of cooks I knew it would be good, and I wasn't disappointed!

Below is the recipe, the notes are from Daryl. The only thing I did differently was use ground turkey, because it is what I had on hand, although I think it would have been better with the ground beef.


1 64oz can of tomato juice
1 (same) can of water
1 cup rice
1 yellow onion (I sauté the onion and garlic lightly before I add it to the soup)
Couple cloves of garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
Bay leaves (2)
A few leaves of fresh basil chopped
Add all ingredients in stock pot and bring to boil, then add meatballs.

1lb hamburger
1 egg
10 (or so) saltine crackers

Mix meat, egg and crackers together and roll into small meatballs and add to soup when it reaches a slow boil.

I let it simmer on low for an hour or so.
That's about of. Really easy! Enjoy!


Zachary was my little helper again. Nathanael was mowing the lawn, which Zachary really doesn't like. So first he helped me by crushing the crackers. And then he even helped to roll the meatballs!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Russian Chicken

This recipe has about 30 seconds of prep work. In a crock pot put 3-4 frozen chicken breasts. Add a bottle of Russian salad dressing. Sprinkle a box of onion soup mix on top. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. Serve with rice.

I think it is meant to be served as the entire breast, but mine were so fall apart tender I decided to cube them and stir them back into the sauce, which also made it easy to have kid sized servings. (Like one cube of chicken they each choked down before heading out with Nathanael to Target. (Nathanael joked that my Mother's Day gift was a quiet evening to myself! (Which I appreciate! (I like parenthesis.))))

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Elephant Ears

Don't get too excited, these aren't state fair quality elephant ears. They are more like tasty cinnamon biscuits. But they are from the Alpha-Bakery cookbook, and they needed something for "E." It was a very hands on project for the kids, to say the least.

1/4 cup of margarine or butter - melted
1 cup flour
2 tbl sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup milk
3 tbl sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
more sugar

1. Heat the oven to 425.
2. Grease a cookie sheet.
3. Stir flour, 2 tbl sugar, baking powder and salt together. Add milk and 3 tbl of the melted butter.
4. Knead dough 10 times on a lightly floured surface.
5. Pat out dough into a 9x5 rectangle.
6. Brush remaining butter onto dough with a pastry brush.
7. Sprinkle with mixture of 3 tbl sugar and the cinnamon.
8. Roll up tightly, starting with narrow end. Pinch edge of dough to seal.
9. Cut into 4 equal pieces with a sharp knife and place on the cookie sheet.
10. Pat into 6 inch circles, and sprinkle with more sugar.
11. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet and let cool on a wire rack.