Saturday, November 23, 2013

Onion Rolls

You must know by now, my love and adoration of bread. Any kind of bread. Yeast breads are still a challenge for me, but I love them. I love seeing beautiful pictures of bread and reading recipes about how easy they are. Once in a great while I stumble across one, that I just know, was made just for me!

Today, I want to introduce you to BeBetsy. I stumbled across BeBetsy's blog completely accidentally. They had commented on a recipe I was reading from one of my favorite Carolina bloggers, and something about their comment made me click back through to see their blog. And there it was. In all it's goodness waiting for me to discover it. BeBetsy's recipe for Onion Rolls. This recipe, is no-knead, so I was already loving it. A simple, manageable recipe, that was full of onions that are GBD (Golden Brown Delicious). I thank my friend Kristine, for making me love the term GBD. Plus, with so much buttery goodness, the recipe was destined for success.

I don't know if it just me, but I have noticed that I have more success with certain brands of yeast, and definite failures with other brands. Coincidence? I don't know yet. But, I will suggest, if you are new to working with yeast, and have problems... Try a different brand and see if it helps you, it sure helped me!

Onion Rolls (Source: BeBetsy)

4 Tablespoon olive oil, divided
3 medium onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, divided
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
2 cups luke warm water
2 packages active dry yeast
2 large eggs, room temperature
6 Tablespoon melted butter, divided (at room temp)
6 cups all-purpose flour

In large skillet, heat 3 tablespoon of olive oil, over medium-high heat.  Add onion, 1 teaspoon of sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown or caramel colored, About 20 minutes. Add more olive oil, if needed.

In a large bowl, add 2 cups of luke warm water (105-115 degrees F).  Sprinkle yeast over water, and let stand until it gets bubbly. Whisk eggs, then add to the yeast. Whisk in 4 tablespoons of butter, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt.

Reserve 1/4 of the cooked onions.  Add remaining onions and flour to the yeast mixture.  Mix until a sticky dough forms.  Make sure all ingredients have come together, and is fully mixed. Brush top of the dough with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Set bowl in a warm area to rise until doubled in size, about one hour.

Butter a large baking pan (I used my baking stone). Once the dough is doubled, punch it down. Butter your hands, and form 24-30 balls, and space evenly on baking sheet. (I find that washing my hands occasionally in COLD water helps keep the dough from sticking so much to my hands) Sprinkle rolls evenly with reserved onions. Cover rolls loosely with plastic wrap. Set in warm area to rise until almost doubled in size.

Preheat over to 400 degrees. Uncover pan, and lightly brush with one tablespoon of melted butter. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. 

Optional, but recommended: Let cool for five minutes, and then brush with another tablespoon of melted butter.


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Monday, November 11, 2013

Cake Cookie Bars

Remember all those recipe cards I showed you a week or two ago that my mom had passed along for me? I am still in the process of sorting.  I ended up making a category of "Need to try soon"! I didn't think there was anything wrong with that category.

First up, Cake Cookie Bars. The name had me curious, plus it had all ingredients I had on hand, except one optional one. Mom did have that you could use crushed toffee bars in the topping, which I think would be a great addition, but I used chocolate chips. These bars are great! They are a little bit cake, and a little bit cookie, and a whole lotta bar!  Easy to throw together. Fun, different, and they are definitely a tasty treat. I especially loved them since they aren't overly sweet.

Make a pan of these bars .... You won't be sorry!

Cake Cookie Bars

2 cups brown sugar, packed
2 cups flour
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 egg
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 cup chocolate chips (or substitute crushed toffee bars)
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9 x 13 pan, set aside.

In large bowl, mix together brown sugar, flour, and butter; mixing until thoroughly combined. Reserve one cup of mixture. In medium bowl, beat egg. To egg, add salt, soda, vanilla, and milk. Add egg mixture to large bowl. Mix until dry ingredients are completely incorporated into the egg mixture.

Pour batter into pan. Top with reserved cup of crumbs. Sprinkle nuts and chocolate chips over top.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Bars are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.


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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Swan Migration

We are lucky to live near the Upper Mississippi Wildlife & Fish Refuge that draw in the Tundra Swans that are migrating.  On our drive into "town" today, we found that the swans have arrived.

The view from Wisconsin, looking towards Minnesota. 
At this moment, I wished I had a higher powered lens!

 The dense patch of white is pelicans. The scatter white are swans.

 Binoculars are provided. If you are there early enough, no waiting line.

Later this week, or next week, I am planning to go to another site that is known for even better viewings. I am so excited and hope that the swans will be in close for our viewing pleasure!

Have a great week!

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Sunday, November 3, 2013

Around the Farm

I got to go with on a small road trip this week, but not in the 18-wheeler, only 4 wheels this week. 
We headed to western Iowa to pick up a new trailer.
I was hoping for a beautiful fall day, but we had more fog and clouds than anything.

Lots of wind farms along the way.

The beans are all harvested. Today, the guys are working on corn.

I went for a walk yesterday, and my baby girl Tippy came with. 
It was a beautiful day for a walk.

Have a great week!

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Friday, November 1, 2013

Fall Harvest Roast with Whiskey Peach Sauce

Crops are coming off the fields now. That means that Truckin' Man is busier than ever, and he is also around the farmstead more than ever. That in turn means lots more cookin' for me! When he is on the road truckin' I typically just have leftovers. Maybe some stir fried noodles, sometimes even just a bowl of cereal... Not meals in Truckin' Mans eyes! So, for now I have to keep the "Real" meals flowing on a regular basis.

This Fall Harvest Roast is absolutely the most warming and filling fall meal. Served with some mashed potatoes, you can't go wrong. This meal leaves everyone satisfied, warmed up and ready for whatever needs tending to next!

Fall Harvest Roast with Whiskey Peach Sauce 

3 lb pork roast
Salt and Pepper
1 TBSP Olive Oil
4 apples, peeled and sliced
3-4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1"-2" chunks
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup apple cider
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp ground thyme
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup Whiskey Peach Sauce (Can substitute peach butter or apple butter)

Trim any excess fat from roast. Season roast with salt and pepper.  In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Sear roast on all sides, until browned.

In bottom of crock pot add apples, carrots, garlic, and apple cider.  Place roast in crock pot, on top of apples. 

In small bowl, combine brown sugar, thyme dry mustard, cinnamon, and Peach Whiskey Sauce. Mix until combined. Spread mixture over roast.  Cook, covered, on low for 7-8 hours.


Adapted From: Our Little Coop

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