Friday, January 22, 2010

Molly's Rolls

Hi all! I'm so glad to be back in "foodblog land," and with about five different yummies to show for it, too! My computer has some *ahem* virus issues so for the last couple of days I haven't been able to upload anything from my camera, and while I could have just posted recipes, well, I figured that there is no fun in that, so I just waited until I could "illustrate" as well.

Okay, so this recipe is for "Molly's Rolls" from Laura at Real Mom Kitchen, who got it from Amy at The Sisters Dish, who got the recipe from her friend Molly. Phew!

Molly's Rolls (makes about 2 dozen)

1 cup warm water
1 cup warm milk (I just heat it in the microwave for 30 seconds and let it sit while the yeast bubbled)
1/3 cup sugar
1 package yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/3 cup oil
1/2 Tablespoon salt
1 egg
flour ( I used 4 1/2 cups plus the floor on the counter for rolling the dough out)

In mixer combine yeast, sugar and warm water; let it grow until bubbly (about 5 minutes). Add milk and mix. Mix in oil and egg. Slowly add 2 cups flour, mix and then add salt. Add 1/2 cup flour at a time until it comes away from the side of the bowl. Let rise in mixing bowl for about 30 minutes. Form rolls as desire and place on greased cookie sheet. Let rise an additional 30 minutes. Bake at 400 degrees 10-12 minutes. Brush hot rolls with melted butter. I made 2 dozen with this recipe.

On shaping rolls: I wanted to make crescents out of these but I was at a lack for a pizza cutter, and the will to improvise for a pizza cutter, so I shaped my rolls like the Lion House Rolls here. I also didn't have a rolling pin, but for the record, a full wine bottle is a wonderful substitution! Laura's tutorial on muffin shaping can be found here.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Peanut Butter Bacon Cookies

One of the food blogs I follow, Joy the Baker, posted a recipe for Peanut Butter bacon Cookies back in September and given my love of both peanut butter and bacon, I just HAD to try them! In the spirit of adventure, and spreading my "baking wings," I figured it was something new and different, and worst case scenario, icky and at least I could say I tried! I also used to make bacon cheeseburgers spread with peanut butter on the buns years ago for a friend of mine and I, and we LOVED those, so it was worth a shot. But peanut butter and bacon, Desi?! (I know, I can just hear you saying it now...sounds crazy, weird or disgusting, right?)

1 cup all-natural chunky or smooth peanut butter (I used Laura Scudder's Smooth Peanut Butter)
1 cup sugar (1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
about 6 slices of bacon, cooked, cooled and diced

In a skillet over medium high heat, fry up bacon until cooked through and let cool on paper towels until cool enough to dice. Dice up and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Grease a baking sheet with butter (I used Pam) and set aside. In a mixer combine peanut butter and sugars until well combined, about two minutes. Add egg and baking soda and mix for another two minutes. Fold in cooked bacon. Roll into large walnut sized balls and create a cris-cross pattern with fork. If you's like, roll the dough balls in granulated sugar before making the cris-cross pattern. Bake for ten minutes, until lghtly browned. (mine took twelve minutes here in Tucson) Cool on a baking sheet for five minutes then transfer to...your mouth.

Final verdict: next time I think I will be using better quality bacon that crisps up better (I used Bar-S this time, VETO!) Also I am going to try crunchy peanut butter and not rolling the balls of dough in sugar before I "fork" them to death *laughs*

Monday, January 11, 2010

Top Secret Restaurant Recipes - Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits

I don't think I know anyone who doesn't just love these biscuits, which I thought until recently were some kind of major-seafood-restaurant-chain-well-kept-secret, or something. I had heard whisperings about recipes for them on the Internet that were amazing, so I hopped on Google the other night and found Top Secret Restaurant Recipes: Red Lobster's Cheddar Biscuits shared by Todd Wilbur, "Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2," Plume Books. They were just as good, if not better, than Red Lobster, and will be one of my go-to bread recipes!

Red Lobster's Cheddar Bay Biscuits

2 1/2 cups Bisquick Baking Mix
3/4 cup cold whole milk (I used 2%)
4 tablespoons cold butter, 1/2 stick (I cut mine up by tablespoons for easier mixing)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 heaping cup grated cheddar cheese

Brush on Top
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
pinch of salt

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Combine Bisquick with cold butter in a medium bowl using a pastry cutter or large fork. (I used a fork) You don't want to mix too thoroughly. There should be small chunks of butter in there that are about the size of peas. Add cheddar cheese, milk, and 1/4 teaspoon of garlic. Mix by hand until combined, but don't over mix.

Drop approximately 1/4 cup portions of the dough onto an ungreased (I sprayed mine down with Pam and it was Puh-fect!) cookie sheet using an ice cream scoop (I used my hands and made balls, eye-balling it, also Puh-fect!).

Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until the tops of the biscuits begin to turn light brown.

When you take the biscuits out of the oven, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a small bowl in your microwave. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon garlic and the dried parsley flakes. Use a brush to spread garlic butter over the tops of the biscuits. Use up all of the butter. After buttering, add *just a touch* of the pinch of salt to each biscuit. Makes one dozen biscuits.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Starting 2010 off with a bang!

Blogging seems to be the way to start off 2010, and I am making some new, incredible changes and starts in my life, so I figure there's no better way to start than to chronicle my journey starting now and into the future.

I am currently working at a convenience store, and after lots of soul-searching and many disappointments and being passed over for promotions along the way, I decided that it's time to make positive changes and create an exciting future for myself, one that I am DETERMINED to put my all into and create a fantastic life for myself!

Tonight when I got home from work I applied to and was accepted at Pima Community College! I am going for my Associate's Degree in Culinary School, and I am looking to start in the Spring. My first love is baking, but for Christmas this year from my family I received the beginning of my "core cooking tools" - salt and pepper grinders, wooden spoons, measuring cups and spoons and a cookie scoop - and I decided that I was going to give this whole cooking this a shot, too. Then when I decided on culinary school, I figured why not limit myself to just baking? I mean, if I'm spending the money to put myself through school I may as well get the most out of it, right?

Another goal that I have set this year is to lose more weight (I have lost about 80 pounds since the summer of 2007) and though that weight came off pretty easily, my body seems to have found a comfort zone and I've been hanging out at about the same weight, give or take 5 pounds, for months now, so I decided that the way to start to achieve this goal is to walk the 1.81 miles to work every day. I did it three days last week, taking my "Friday" off (man, was I sore by that point!) and also inadvertently today off (I did something gnarly to my sciatic nerve in the last three days) but tomorrow, even if it hurts, I'm back at it!

So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen, my 2010 manifesto! Work, school, baking and cooking - creating, hopefully, for the most part, fantastic things from my kitchen - exercising and doing everything I can to be a better daughter, friend and co-worker to those in my life every day! Happy 2010, may you live up to your full potential and have the most awesome-tastic year that you can and do deserve!