January 22, 2012

30 Minute Rolls

I'm sure I've mentioned my obsession with Pinterest.  Its' so addicting!  I love the inspiration I find, the awesome styles, designs, the great craft tutorials, hilarious cartoons and quips, and of course the RECIPES!
I have 4 Boards relating to foods, FABULOUS FOODS with 155 items, CROCK POT CRAZY with 109 recipes, DESSERTS, SWEETS, & TREATS with 156 items, and I even have a board that contains recipes via AUNT PEGS RECIPE BLOG that have been chosen and pinned by others (57 items)!
I am so excited to try all the fun new things I find, that sometimes I'm not sure where to start! 
A couple of days ago the weather here in Salt Lake City was dreary, with rain, & snow, and generally yucky.  Perfect day for soup and home made bread, right? RIGHT!
I have a favorite soup recipe that I always turn to, my Creamy Tomato Soup, but making wonderful bread is beyond me (have you seen my posts on making bread (Post #1 and Post #2)? Gaaaahhhhhh!
So, I jumped onto Pinterest, and found a recipe for 30 MINUTE ROLLS. Yep 30 minutes...
What the hay,  I will give those a try...


1 c. plus 2 Tbsp. warm water
1/3 c. vegetable oil
2 Tbsp. active dry yeast 
1/4 c. sugar 
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
3 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine warm water, oil, yeast and sugar; let rest for 5-10 minutes or until frothy and bubbly. 
With a dough hook, mix in salt, egg and 2 cups of flour until combined. Add remaining remaining flour a 1/2 cup at a time.  If the dough is sticky, that's OK. Spray your hands with cooking spray (this was a great tip), and shape the dough into 12 balls.
Place the balls on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper or lightly coated with non-stick spray, and let rest for 10 minutes.
Bake for about 10 minutes or until tops are lightly golden. Brush the tops with butter.

What do you think? 

I doubled this recipe because 12 rolls are just not enough for us, we love bread too much. 
This was an easy recipe to follow, but I will make a couple of changes the next time I make them...When doubling this recipe, I will use less flour than the 7 cups it should take, and use maybe 6 1/4 c. and then see how the consistency is.  My dough was not as sticky as I think it should have been.
I will place the rolls much closer together on my pans, I like them to rise and grow together. As you can see I have 20 on the pan, but I will increase it to 24. 
I used Canola oil, but I think the next time I will use Vegetable oil.  I got a slight taste of the Canola in the roll.
Here are the things I did change as I worked...
I allowed my rolls to sit for 20 minutes before placing them in the oven, and I think that was a good plan. They rose a little higher, and I think gave the rolls a little more air.  The baking time for my rolls was 15 minutes. And my rolls took 45 minutes-LOL!
These rolls are dense and a little sweet, but I really liked that about them.  My family said the same thing. We liked these rolls, but I need to work on perfecting them for us...and hey, there edible, which for me was a big accomplishment!


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January 19, 2012

Soft and Chewy Popcorn Balls

A friend of mine (Katie Larsen-you need to check out her adorable blog, and the awesome stuff she sells) pointed out that today (January 19th), is National Popcorn Day!  I am a huge fan of popcorn.  I mean a serious fan.  It's often what I eat for dinner.  Love it.
So, in celebration of this very important day (and I can't believe I didn't already know about this), I immediately went to my kitchen and made my favorite popcorn ball recipe!
I have been making these popcorn balls for YEARS. I don't even know where I got the original recipe, I just know that they are a big hit everywhere I take them, and my own family will devour the entire recipe in a day.

Try these! They're simple and fast, but you will be become addicted, I promise!

Sweet, Salty, & Chewy Popcorn Balls

1 c. sugar
1 c. butter (no substitutions)
1/2 c. corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract

5-6 quarts popped corn
2 c. miniature marshmallows
1 c. cocktail peanuts (optional)

Pop your corn with whatever type of popper you use (I swear by my Stir Crazy Popper-I can't live without it-best popper ever), and place the popped corn in a large mixing bowl, and I do mean large.  I use the giant 32 cup Tupperware serving bowl...
Pour the 2 cups mini marshmallows and the 1 cup peanuts over the top of the popcorn.

In a large sauce pan, mix together the sugar, butter, and corn syrup.  Heat until the butter is melted and then bring to a full boil.  Continue boiling for 3 minutes. If your syrup cools for longer it will become tough to chew as it cools.  Less time will cause the syrup to not hold the balls together well. 
Remove the syrup from the heat and stir in the vanilla.  Pour the syrup over the popcorn mix and stir everything together very well, until all of the popcorn is coated.
Note:  the marshmallows will melt and add to the gooey goodness of the mix.

Lightly wet your hands with cool water and form the popcorn into balls, like you would a snowball, you may want to re-wet your hands a few times to keep the popcorn from sticking to them. 
Place the balls on waxed paper and allow to cool for around 30 mins.  That's it!

I place each ball into a fold top sandwich baggie to keep fresh longer.

~These can easily be colored by adding a liquid food color at the same time as the vanilla extract.
~Don't substitute the butter for any other spread.  Margarine and other subs have a higher water content and that will cause the popcorn to become soggy and the balls won't hold together.  Believe me, I know from experience-lol.
~The peanuts are totally optional and I love them, but my family doesn't, so I only get to have them once in a while (as you can see by my pictures, I left the nuts out).

I hope you love these as much as I do, and happy popping!

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January 9, 2012

INDIANA-Easy No-Bake Cookies

Well with the start of the New Year 2012, I have to acknowledge that I really blew my 2011 goal of making, and posting all of the cookies from my series OUR COOKIE NATION  (courtesy of Readers Digest & Allrecipes.com)!
So I have double vowed to complete that goal this year, and I'm hoping you will  keep me motivated with reminders when I forget! LOL

Everyone has a recipe for No-Bake cookies. You know the one with oats, chocolate, peanut butter and a few other ingredients?  Well this recipe is different, and I liked it. A lot. One of the things I really like is its adaptability to different flavors.  Plus its extremely easy and delish.

Easy No Bake Cookies

2 c. sugar
3/4 c. butter 
2/3 c. milk
1 (3.9 oz.) box instant chocolate pudding mix
3 1/2 c. quick cooking oats
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

In a large pan, mix together the sugar, butter and the milk.  Bring to a boil.  Boil 2 minutes.  Turn off the heat, add in the pudding mix, oats and vanilla.  Let stand 5 minutes.

 Drop by teaspoon onto waxed paper, allow to cool completely and enjoy!  Store in airtight container.
What makes this recipe so flexible is just changing up the flavor of pudding you use!  Think about all the possible combinations!  In fact I have a second post coming up that is related to this cookie, where I used a different flavor mix. 
(and as one final note, this cookie is less expensive to make than the recipe using peanut butter...)

Check out our other no-bake cookie recipes...
Coconut Oatmeal No Bake Cookies
Oatmeal Oreo No Bake Cookies
Vanilla Oatmeal No Bake Cookies
Recipe Source: Allrecipes.com

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