Wednesday, November 24, 2010

All-Around Wonderful Parker House Pull-Apart Rolls

This is my 100th post on here! Good thing I have a great recipe for this joyous occasion. :) In my great search to find a good roll recipe, I think I did it. I pre-made these for Thanksgiving (freezing is easy!) so I only cooked 3 just to see if they were good. Wow. It's dangerous that I found a roll recipe this good. Seriously. DANGEROUS. Plus, they'll be super cute when they're baked!

You wanna know what's also dangerous? Not following directions. I tend to ignore things like "room temperature" and "cooled"....well, those are very necessary directions or you'll end up with this...

Gross. I had to make an emergency trip to the grocery store last night to replace the butter and milk that I ruined. And the beans for last night's dinner because I forgot to soak some. So it was somewhat beneficial. ;) Plus, I learned that with bread recipes, just follow the directions use the correct ingredients, and do some preparation.

Parker House Pull-Apart Rolls
from Alex Guarnaschelli for Food Network Magazine
Makes 24 rolls
  • 1/4 oz package active yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water, warm - about 110°rees;
  • 7-8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 12 Tb. (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 cups whole milk, room temperature
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 Tb. kosher salt
  • Softened butter for spreading

About 1-2 hours before making the dough, set your milk and eggs on the counter to get to room temperature. If you're worried about bacteria, like me, the husband suggested this precaution: tightly cover the measuring cup of milk with plastic wrap to avoid contamination. This step cannot be skipped. From experience, people. About 30 minutes before making the dough, melt the butter and let it cool. 

Preheat the oven to 375°rees;F. If you are freezing the rolls, you can skip this step...unless your apartment is naturally freezing. Then, you may want to leave the oven on and put the finished dough on top of the stove to rise. Just a suggestion.

In a medium-small bowl, whisk the yeast and sugar together while adding the warm water. Let this foam for about a minute. 

Add 1/2 cup flour to the yeast mixture. This mixture will be very gummy and gluey. Just warning you not to use your already cracked favorite spatula. Because it may not be up for the job. RIP favorite spatula. :( Let the starter sit by the warm stove while you prepare the dough.

I do not own a stand mixer. This makes me sad. And makes it somewhat difficult when directions are geared directly toward stand mixer-ownin-people. So, either with your stand mixer dough attachment or your regular beaters on your hand mixer, combine the milk and butter - BOTH at room temperature. Add the eggs and mix until fully incorporated. That looks much better, dontcha think? :)

Add the starter and mix until fully incorporated.

This is one of my favorite things about the recipe. Adding all the flour at once instead of little by little. Affix the dough beaters on your hand mixer if you're using one. This step will be half done by mixer and half by hand if you're using a hand mixer and then all done by mixer if you're using a stand mixer. 

Add 6 1/2 cups flour and 1 Tb. salt. If using a stand mixer, mix 2-3 minutes or until the dough forms a ball on the hook.

If you're using the hand mixer, I brought my dough to this point before my little mixer started getting whiny and pretty hot. So I did the rest by hand. 

I incorporated the rest of the flour in the bowl and then did some kneading on a lightly floured surface. About 4-5 minutes worth or until the dough ball looked like this...

smooth and shiny! At this point, I was ridiculously excited because this was the best lookin roll dough I had ever made. 

Grease a large bowl (or stock pot in my case since all the dishes were with softened butter or spray. I used a combination of both. I don't like the spray touching the dough (weird flavor IMO) so I use butter for the bottom and spray for the top just to make sure it slides out easily.

Cover with a clean towel and let rise in a warm place (on top of a heated stove is my favorite because it provides heat without cooking or warming the dough) for 2-3 hours. Mine took about 2 hours and 45 minutes to reach this height...

Whoa! That's a lot of dough. I'm not a dough puncher. Too violent. What did flour ever do to you?! So lightly press down on the dough to release the air.

Slide the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.

Lightly spread the dough out into a large rectangle...Do not knead or press down hard on the dough!

I'm not very good at shapes. I ended up with pentagon. so I just cut off the edge to make a rectangle and used that dough for my trial rolls. 

Cut the rectangle down the middle. Then cut slices across. Be sure to do some math before cutting. Mine was easy because I needed 2 "loaves", one for each side of the family. I did 9 cuts across to get 18 rolls, 9 on each loaf. You can adjust this to your needs/wants.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Take each slice and fold 1/3 over. Then, take the folded part and fold it again over the rest of the strip. Then line up the rolls, touching, into rows. This way, when the rolls bake, they will join together into a "loaf" and have to be pulled apart. 

If baking right away, put in a preheated oven for 18-20 minutes. This what my three trial rolls looked like. And they were yummy too!! (Excuse the picture - my camera died at the end - AGAIN. This is like the 4th time the camera battery has died for the LAST pictures!)

If you're freezing for later, wrap tightly (but try to avoid pushing down the rolls!) with plastic wrap and stick in the freezer. When ready to bake, let the rolls sit on the counter for about 20 minutes (not to thaw, just to warm the tray up a bit so it doesn't crack in the oven. Bake 25 minutes at 325°F and 10 minutes at 375°F. 

And by the way, the test rolls...taste AHHHMAZING. They were a double the size of those so they were still a little doughy inside but at normal size and fully cooked, these babies will be addictive. I'll post more pictures of them after they're made. There are some gorgeous pictures here of the finished product and more of the folding process to make it easier. :)

Have a wonderful and delicious holiday everyone!! Until next time...♥

Finished pictures of these delicious rolls! I would prefer them to be less dark next time but that really is due to a crappy apartment oven. :)

With melted butter and sprinkled with salt = savory heaven!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Broccoli and Sun-Dried Tomato Pizza (plus free Christmas card offer for bloggers!)

Happy Friday everyone! This week has been looong and trying. But at least I made it through...and ate some great food in the process. I'm actually still craving this pizza from two days ago! :)

Broccoli and Sun-Dried Tomato Pizza
from The Vegetarian 5-Ingredient Gourmet
Serves 2-4
  • 1/4-1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, not oil-cured but moist
  • 12-14 inch good quality pizza dough, room temperature
  • 1 cup marinara or pizza sauce
  • 1 cup part-skim shredded mozzarella
  • 1 1/2-2 cups steamed broccoli florets

Preheat oven to 325°rees;F. After pizza dough has reached room temperature (about 20 minutes out of the fridge), lightly flour a clean working space. Using the palm of your hands, flatten the dough into a small round. Begin stretching the pizza dough until it reaches your desired size and thinness. I always make a "lip" around the edge to provide a nice crust but this can be stretched further for thinner crusts. (AB gives a great tutorial here. Watch Part 1 too if you want to make your dough from scratch.)

After dough has reached your desired size, prepare the pan with a sprinkling of cornmeal. Top the crust with the marinara or pizza sauce, spreading to . Top with the sundried tomatoes. 

Add the cheese. After making sure the broccoli is in bite-sized pieces, top evenly with broccoli. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until bubbly and crust is lightly browned. 

Yummm. This pizza was the bomb. It would've been fine even without the broccoli too. Just a cheese and sun-dried tomato pizza. But we all need our veggies. This serves 2-4 depending on how many slices you want  :) 

Nutritional Information (1/4 of the pizza, with WW crust): 268 calories, 6g fat (2.6g sat), 10 g fiber, 16 g protein

I'm really excited to try the "white" version of this pizza...using ricotta instead of pizza sauce. :)

Can't believe Thanksgiving is next week! I have a biiiig grocery shopping trip this weekend. I must be pretty lame to get excited for big grocery shopping trips :) Until next time...♥

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Creamy Corn Casserole

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It is such a pretty FALL day outside. I wish I didn't have to stay inside and work. Just look at this gorgeousness from our patio.

Creamy Corn Casserole
from Allrecipes database
Serves 10
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 Tb. honey (I added this because we like sweet corn bread)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 package corn bread mix (the recipe says 8.5 oz but all I had was 7.5 oz and they worked fine)
  • 1 can whole kernel corn, drained (15 oz)
  • 1 can creamed corn (14.75 oz)
  • 1 cup sour cream

I made a double recipe to be sure there was enough so that's why I have double ingredients. It was necessary too. There were only 2 servings left at the end of the night. It was gobbled up. And that may or may not be due to the fact that the guest list was poor college students. Let's go with the latter.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat the eggs and honey in a small bowl.

Add the melted butter and mix well.

Mix corn bread mix and cans of corn. 

Pour everything else in and stir very well. (Notice the bowl change? Do not underestimate the amount of these ingredients! Especially if you're making a double recipe!!)

Spread into a prepared casserole dish and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until golden brown. See how much it fills this pan? I was praying the whole time that it didn't rise. Very nervous. haha

"Hi Mommy! Whatcha cookin?" Explain to your adorable kitten that although he saw his big brother sit on the trashcan, it's really not the best place to be sitting. 

Let cool slightly and serve.

(Excuse the break room photos. I didn't take one at the party so these are the leftovers for lunch the next

Nutritional Information (for 1/10): 253 calories, 12.3g fat (6.9g sat), 3g fiber, 6g protein

I debated even including the nutritional information because it's not the healthiest dish in the world. However, it is FABULOUS. This definitely deserves a spot on the Thanksgiving table. I didn't notice it when it was fresh but when I reheated the leftovers for lunch, it was definitely too buttery. (Yes, Paula Deen, there is such a thing.) I would cut down the butter but at least a 1/4, if not 1/2 next time. Plus, that would really help bring down the saturated fat content in this dish.

I've been adding onto the blog lately and you can now subscribe to this blog via readers or email! Just click on the "subscribe to in a reader" link and choose your reader or enter your e-mail for a daily e-mail subscription. I don't update daily so it won't actually be daily...but it'll send you an e-mail with each new post. Just locate the Subscribe! box on the sidebar...right under SITS and above the followers box :)

Until next time...♥

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mini "Meat"loaves

One of the hardest adjustments to vegetarianism has been the replacements of comfort foods. Sometimes, you just need some comfort food. And most of the time, they're filled with meat and calories. So I created these adorable little "meat"loaves that are full of everything but meat and calories. Not to mention how EASY they are :)

Mini "Meat"loaves
Serves 2
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 small onion
  • 4 oz mushrooms
  • 6 oz veggie protein crumbles (I use Lightlife's Smart Ground original....if using frozen crumbles, thaw first)
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 Tb. Parmesan (vegetarian is available at most Natural foods stores)
  • 1 Tb. Italian seasoning
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 Tb. ketchup
  • 1 Tb. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp dry mustard

Preheat oven to 350°F. Dice the green pepper, onion and mushrooms and add to a large bowl.

Add the crumbles, bread crumbs, Parmesan, and Italian seasoning. 

Mix well.

Add egg and mix thoroughly. In a separate, small bowl, mix together ketchup, brown sugar, and dry mustard until smooth. 

Spray 6 regular muffin cups with nonstick spray. Form 6 round "loaves" using your palm and a spoon. This part is a little difficult to keep the loaves together so be sure to be delicate. Spread ketchup glaze evenly on top of the loaves. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Try not to over-bake or they may be overly dry.

Nutritional Information (3 loaves with glaze): 303 calories, 5.5 g fat (1.8 g sat), 12.8 g fiber, 28.5 g protein

Seeeee? Nutritious!! I love these little "meat"loaves. But then again, is there anything itty bitty that I don't like?

...yup. PEAS.

The holidays are coming! The holidays are coming! How exciting. I just love all the cooking that the holidays bring. I sure hope I can still enjoy it with these two crazy classes I'm currently taking. I'm going to have to fight tooth and nail for just an A- in this stupid math class. 

I'm super excited about Thanksgiving in just over a week! I love Thanksgiving. It's like a virtual archway to Christmas. A big, giant meal with great food to ring in the holiday spirit. It is a little different from a vegetarian standpoint. But, there's no Tofurky for me! I'm just going to eat a bunch of sides, which (face it!) are the best parts anyway! I'm making green bean casserole, twice-baked sweet potatoes, mushroom gravy, dinner rolls...can you tell I'm excited?! :)

Until next time...♥

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Vegetarian 6-Layer dip

Hello all! I have another easy meal for y'all today. I don't know if I'll ever get ahead on this homework. These two classes combined are going to kill my GPA.  Bye bye, beautiful little 3.96. Which I was already upset about.

I've had 7-layer dip, 8-layer dip, etc. many times before. Most recipes call for beef though and well, that just doesn't work for us :)

Vegetarian 6-Layer Dip
Serves 4
  • 1 can vegetarian refried beans
  • 1 Tb. taco seasoning
  • 1/4 cup Mexican blend cheese
  • Guacamole (we used the husband's recipe which calls for 3 avocados. I would estimate 3/4 cup)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • I head romaine lettuce, shredded
  • Chopped tomatoes

Season beans with taco seasoning. I find this easier to do when they are warmed in the pan but then I let them cool to room temperature before putting in the dip. Using an small casserole dish, spread the beans on the bottom.

Top the beans with the cheese. (Can I say as an aside that the 365 Whole Food's brand Fiesta Blend cheese is the BOMB?! Seriously. Trumps all Mexican cheese blends I've ever had.) 

Carefully spread your favorite guacamole on top of the cheese. I treat this like a cake. Put a giant blob in the middle and spread out to avoid mixing with the other layers.

Do the same with the sour cream.

Top with the shredded lettuce and tomatoes. Normally there would be a ton more tomatoes. But I was lazy and this was all that was left from the can for the guacamole. If you want to get fancy, you can add sliced olives for 7 layers! :)

Nutritional Information (1/4 dip): 311 calories, 17 g fat (5 g sat), 12 g fiber, 11 g protein

Nutritional Information (as shown, 1/4 dip with 1.5 oz chips): 519 calories, 27 g fat (6 g sat), 14 g fiber, 14.5 protein 

There ya have it. One of the easiest meals in the world. There's a higher number of fat than my normal but it's mostly from the avocados which is almost all unsaturated fat. Plus, this is a real crowd pleaser if you're having to serve non-vegetarians. There's nothing scary about it and it's still filling. Not to mention it makes a great lunch the next day, even without the chips! :)

Hopefully I'll have more complex recipes for y'all very soon. Until next time...♥

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