Several years ago my not yet sister-in-law, Rachel brought the most fabulous rolls ever to a family dinner. I cannot tell you how amazing they were. Delightfully light, but with substance and just a hint of sweetness. I knew I needed the recipe. So, although I did not know Rachel very well yet and felt like a huge dork doing so, I asked her for the recipe. And to my utter delight and eternal happiness, she gave it to me. My life has never been the same. I’m telling you these are the best rolls in the world not only because they taste so darn delicious, but because someone like me who guesses her way through every bread making endeavor, can make a perfect batch of rolls every time. Oh and just in case you’re curious, this recipe came from a lady at Rachel’s church named Doreen. Thank you Doreen and thank you Rachel. You and your rolls are beautiful angels from heaven.
Yield: 24 Rolls
- 2 tablespoons yeast
- ¼ cup warm water
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 cups warm milk
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 7 ½ cups flour (approximate)
Combine yeast, water, and a little of the sugar in a small bowl.
Mix sugar, milk, eggs, butter, and salt in a large bowl.
After yeast has proofed a little, add to milk mixture.
Gradually add flour until a soft but not-too-sticky dough has formed. Knead 6-7 minutes. Let dough rise in buttered bowl until doubled in size.
Punch dough down and divide into three balls. Roll out each ball into a flat circle and cut into 8 triangles to make crescent-style rolls.
Let them rise again, about 40 minutes.
Bake at 400°F for approximately 12 minutes (or until golden brown), depending on the size of the rolls.
Although I’ve made some delicious apple pies in the past, I’ve never been 100% satisfied with them. Probably because in my mind I always compared them to my grandma’s pies. Grandmas’ pies are always the best, are they not? So, recently when I went to visit her, I asked my grandma for her recipe. I think she makes hers by memory and some super grandma-pie-making-instinct these days, but lucky for me she had the base recipe she initially started from. I was thrilled to find the results were just what I was looking for.
Now I chose to make hand pies instead of a regular full pie. I used a box of Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crust (there’s 2 crusts) and it made 7 hand pies using half the following recipe. You’ll want to let the filling cool before filling (I put mine in the fridge for a few minutes) otherwise it makes them really weak. A couple of mine split before I caught on. I used about 1/3 cup of filling in each pie, brushed some beaten egg on one edge, then crimped. Then I brushed the top of each pie with more egg, sprinkled a bit of sugar over the tops, and cut 2 vent holes. Baked on a parchment lined baking sheet for about 25 minutes at 400 degrees.
Grandma’s Apple Pie
- 7 tart apples
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 rounded Tablespoons Instant Clear Jel*
- 1 dash salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon ( I doubled this)
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 recipe for double pie crust
Wash, peel, and slice or dice apples. Put into medium-size saucepan with water. Bring to a boil and simmer 5 minutes. In a dry bowl, mix sugar, instant clear jel, salt, and cinnamon. Mix dry ingredients with apples. Add lemon juice. Pour into unbaked crust. Dot with butter or margarine. Cover with crust. Bake 375 degrees for 45 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.
In case you’re wondering what “Instant Clear Jel” is, it’s an instant powdered thickener. I use a brand called “Ultra Gel.”
While I have posted the fast version my chicken pot pie before, I have to say this America’s Test Kitchen one is even better. It’s very unfussy and the resulting pie is darn near perfect. I’d say this took about 45 minutes to make from start to finish and that included the time to shred my rotisserie chicken. Not bad. Not bad at all!
Total Time: 45 minutes
- 8 ounces white mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
- 3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
- 5 ounces cream cheese, cut into small cubes*
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Salt and pepper
- 1 ½ cups frozen peas and carrots, thawed
- 1 refrigerated Pillsbury pie crust
Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Microwave mushrooms on plate lined with 2 layers of coffee filters until softened, about 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine shredded chicken, cream cheese (or Boursin), broth, cream, cornstarch, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in large saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until cheese is melted and mixture is thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in microwaved mushrooms and peas and carrots. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a 9-inch deep dish pie plate.
Carefully lay pie crust over top. Tuck overhanging dough underneath itself to be flush with rim of pie plate. Cut three 1-inch steam vents into top of dough. Bake until filling is bubbling and crust is browned, about 25 minutes, rotating pie plate halfway through baking. Let cool slightly and serve.
*Original recipe calls for a 5.2 ounce package of Boursin cheese, crumbled. I’d never heard of Boursin and wasn’t surprised when my local grocery store didn’t carry it. The Internets told me cream cheese was an acceptable substitute and I whole-heartedly agree.
Recipe adapted from the America’s Test Kitchen Quick Family Cookbook
As my culinary skills improve over the years, I find myself becoming more and more picky about the recipes I consider successful. I went from posting everything I made, good and bad, to just posting those recipes that were good enough to be repeated. Even if the recipe produces satisfactory results, I don’t like to post it unless I know I would make it again. While this has resulted in less frequent posts, I think the quality of the items I do share has improved. I want my readers to be confident when they decide to make something I’ve suggested. I try a lot of recipes and know how frustrating it is to spend time and money on something that isn’t fabulous.
With all that said, I thought it would be fitting to go through all 70 of the new recipes I tried this year and repost those that were my favorites. It takes a special recipe to catch my attention and convince me to make it more than once and I figured if I love the recipe, you will too! So here you have it… my favorite recipes of 2012!
So there you have it! It was definitely tough to choose my very favorite recipes, but each one of these is definitely a winner. Have you tried any of the recipes I chose as my favorites for this year? What did you think? Anything you liked that didn’t make the list?
If you’re interested in seeing what makes my all-time favorite list, check out the “My Favorites” tag!
I needed some good old warm comfort food this last week with all the snow and crappy weather so I pulled out my favorite chicken noodle soup recipe! This is another gem from Rachael Ray as it allows me to have a delicious, fresh tasting bowl of soup in only a half hour. I love the extra little things that go into this soup, namely the dill and parsnips. If you’ve never used parsnips before, don’t be scared. They look just like white carrots and taste very similar. This is a very thick soup so if you like to have more broth like I do, use 8 cups or more of broth.
I was a little nervous using short ribs for this recipe because I’d never used them before. But my concern was all for naught because these tacos turned out freaking awesome. I took a few shortcuts such as using garlic and ginger from a jar and shredded both the carrot and cucumber in my food processor (and squeezed out the excess moisture afterwards). This one is definitely going into my keeper pile. Go make it right now!
I had been wanting to make a baked French toast for years and this weekend I finally did it! Part of the problem with baked French toast is that most recipes require the unbaked mixture to sit in the fridge overnight. This recipe is very flexible and allows you to either cook it right away, or put it in the fridge overnight. You don’t need to be a genius to figure out I took the first option. I’m not much good at planning ahead for meals, especially breakfast.
Now to the important part: taste. Holy crap this stuff was seriously so good! I was worried it would be dry from cooking it right away, but it was far from it! It had a delicious bread pudding texture and the outside was deliciously crunchy from the baked brown sugar topping. The recipe said to top this with syrup, but I thought it was perfect as is. I’m definitely going to be making this one again!