Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Best Dinner Rolls

As I said in my previous post I am staying with my in-laws until Feb.(We were sick of Suite Living!) We left my husband to fend for his own in sunny Florida. He is actually preparing for a big move to Gainesville, FL on Jan. 11! Finally!! I am in MI, far far away from my fantastic husband and I am planning our daughters 2nd Birthday. It will be our first family birthday party since 06! I am pretty excited!! (Don't worry, I will be posting all about it.)My hubs may even be flying in to take part of celebrating Bailey's birth. (Fingers crossed)
Now, back to my point. My father-in-law loves bread. This works out for me...I love to make bread!! Last night my mother-in-law made dinner (we take turns). I had to make something!!! (I start getting squirmy if I can't cook.) I made rolls. These rolls are fantastic...They are Peter Reinharts recipe. I adore him. :)

Dinner Rolls
Peter Reinhart, Artisan Bread Every Day

1 Tb instant yeast
1 3/4 cp. hot milk + 2 TB
6 1/4 cp. of unbleached bread flour
2 tsp. salt
5 1/2 TB sugar
6 TB of melted butter
1 egg

1. Add the yeast and hot milk. Let sit for 5 minutes.
2. Add the yeast milk and the rest of the ingredients.
3. With a paddle attachment let mix for 2 minutes.
4. Switch to the bread hook and let mix for additional 4 minutes.
5. Put the dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit for 2 hours...Double in size.
6. When the dough is ready roll it out. Until it about 1/2 an inch think. Melt butter and wipe it on the top of the dough. Evenly. Fold the dough like a fan and then cut in squares. Put the squares in a greased muffin tin.
7 Bake on 400 for 8-15 minutes.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I am back!!!

I am back!!!!
Are you excited?!
I am!!!
I am so sorry it has been so long, but we have been very busy in my family.
We drove 20 hours to Ohio and Michigan to celebrate the holidays with family. We did have a wonderful and a very eventful Christmas. It was magical! I love being with my family during the holidays!My husband drove back to FL yesterday. The kiddos and I are staying with my Mother-in-Law and Father-in-Law in Michigan while my husband is moving us to Gainesville. We will be here until Feb. I already miss my husband and it will be hard, but it has been too chaotic with the hotel situation. I am going to cook from my mother in law's HUGE kitchen every other day. I will be posting all about it!!!

Here is what I made all my family:

I made three types:
Butterscotch Coconut Cookies
White Chocolate Cranberry
Hot Cocoa

On Christmas Eve my mother made:

Crab Legs
Prime Rib
Shrimp Cocktail
Rosemary Roasted Potatoes
Cheese Ball
Cheese and Meat Tray

It was so so fantastic. I would have pictures to post, but my camera did not work!!!!

Take my word for it! It was so so so good!!!
I take after my mom! I am very proud to say!! She also made a huge Christmas breakfast:

Potato and Ham Casserole
Egg Casserole
Fresh Fruit Salad
Smoked Pork Canadian Bacon

THEN she made a huge dinner:

Homemade Meatballs
Capressa Sausage
Stuffed Hot Peppers

She so rocks! I helped, but she made most of the food by herself! She is my hero! The food was amazing. The company was amazing! I LOVE THE HOLIDAYS!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. I know I did!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

News! News! News!

I am so sorry that I have MIA. I have been sick and after finally going to the Urgent Care yesterday I was diagnosed with WALKING PHENOMENA. It felt like a elephant was sitting on my chest! After loading me on meds I am finally starting to feel a little like myself! Finally! I can breath and talk. Wow. I forgot how that felt.

Anyway, I also have other big news. We are leaving for Ohio on Thursday for the holidays. Well, My mother-in-law asked my husband if we could stay with her until Feb. 1! They in-laws would then drive us back home once the hubs gets settled in Gainesville. (The reason with have been in limbo and staying at the EXTENDED STAY)

At first, the hubs and I were thinking, "HELL NO. THAT IS TO LONG AWAY FROM EACH OTHER!" Then, the hubs and I went back and forth with the pros and cons. Bailey's second Birthday is on Jan. 9 which means the hubs would miss it, BUT the entire family could be there! We have not had a family party since our move in 06!! (PRO)
The kids have been in rare form, but they are locked in a 400 sq. ft hotel room and my in-laws have a huge house with lots of toys and room. (Pro) My girls have a new set of twin girl cousins that turned one and a new lil boy cousin that will be one in January that they have not met.(Pro) If we stay up there they could see them on a regular basis. Not to mention be at there and celebrate their cousins FIRST BIRTHDAY! Full of family and fun. (Pro) The kids will get to see snow!!!!!! (Pro) Snowmen. (Pro) Sledding. (Pro)They will be with their Nana and Papa who ADORE them. (PRO PRO)
They Pro's were adding up quick.

There was only 2 REALLY BIG con's that I could think of:

1. The girls and I will be without their father for an entire month! (CON CON CON)I will miss my husband so much. My girls will miss their dad so much. How will he eat? Will he be bored? What will he do? Then, I remembered he is a big boy and 4 weeks will go by fast. He survived without me before.

2. I am deathly afraid of my father-in-laws driving. LOL! He will be driving us home.(Con) But I figured I could talk to my mother-in-law and have him drive slow and cautious. (He is a Ford guy. He loves fast cars. He owns a Mustang Cobra. Need I say more?)

So...It looks like the Pro's won! I am leaving the 18th for my mothers. We are staying at my mothers (I can't wait to spend Christmas with my mom and family. It is the only time it feels like Christmas to me.) until the 26 and then drive to Avon Lake, OH which is right on Lake Erie where my husbands family lives. We will stay there for a few days, then my hubs will drive to FL all alone. My kids and I will drive to Canton, Michigan and stay for the month of January. We will be back on the first wk. of February.

DON"T WORRY!!! I will be cooking at my Mother-In-Law's!!! My mother-in-law is not to big of a fan of cooking. Her idea of cooking is Stouffers Lasagna. I will be posting from her beautiful huge kitchen (Pro) and not my lil hotel kitchen. She already told me I could bake and cook until my little heart is content....(I guess, she does not know who she is talking to. LOL)



I have been cooking up a storm, even while being sick this wk. I will be posting (Probably today the beautiful "Christmas Cookie's in a Jar" I made for the family and friends. Come back and check it out....

Sunday, December 6, 2009

12 Days of Cookies: Nutella Buckeye Suprise

Today, I have been in the kitchen trying to create my very own holiday cookie. I wanted to honor my home state of Ohio. In Ohio at Christmas time the most popular cookie is the Buckeye. Most people from out of Ohio have not heard of this spectacular cookie!

Let me tell you a few positives about the Buckeye and this recipe:

1. It is only a few ingredients that I can almost guarantee you have in your pantry!
2. No baking!!
3. Very Simple. (Kids can even help! They love being a helper!)
4. It is the most amazing time of year and is a great gift!


Why did I choose the Buckeye? It is my most memorable holiday cookie. All throughout my childhood I remember my mother and my aunts getting together to make holiday cookies! This was the one we could not wait to gobble up. The normal Buckeye includes peanut butter rolled in a ball and dipped into chocolate. They look like a buckeye. I wanted this to be a little more special! I created this cookie for In Jennie's Kitchen and the 12 Days of Cookies! I want to support Childhood Hunger in anyway I can....

I am submitting this recipe to another amazing site: Tongue-n-Cheeky!
She has an incredible cookie bake off. I love this site and the wonderful recipes she shares. Check it out. Vote for me too!

Make sure you stop by her site and see the wonderful cookies!

MY First Christmas Cookie Recipe NUTELLA BUCKEYE SUPRISE:

3/4 cp. peanut butter
3/4 cp. nutella
1 Stick of butter, melted
4 cps. powdered sugar

6 oz. Chocolate
2 TB Shortening

Hershey Kisses ( I used a variety. The pic is Caramel Hershey Kiss.)This is optional I put them is some, but not all. I also used white chocolate to cover the Buckeyes, but not only did they not look like Buckeyes. They did not taste as good.

1. In a mixer add the peanut butter, nutella, butter and powdered sugar. It will look crumbly, but when you form when you roll it.(Kinda like Meatballs.)If you are using Hershey Kisses then roll the dough around the kiss.

2. Put in the freezer for ten minutes.
3. Use a toothpick and put it in each buckeye then roll it in the melted chocolate. (I usually just add the chocolate and shortening to the Microwave for 30 seconds then stir.)

4. After you coat each Buckeye put them in the fridge of freezer to harden.

Beware! These are addictive!

NOW! EVERYONE go over to Tongue and Cheeky and leave a comment voting for me! It will only take a minute. Love you all. Cross your fingers for me!! :)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Suite Meal 9: Peter Reinharts Coffee Cake

Of course, this bread is divine. Since, I have started cooking recipes from Peter Reinharts Artisan Bread Every Day I have been super satisfied and amazed at how incredible each recipe turns out. I have made his pizza dough atleast once a week! It makes a good bit and I like to try to keep it in case the kiddos want pizza that week.

His sweet dough is SO SO AWESOME! The sweet dough is used to make cinnamon rolls, sticky rolls, coffee cake and some very yummy fruit filled thumbprint Rolls.

I have made his Cinnamon Rolls and it makes 24!!! But, trust me the 24 where gone in a heart beat! Friends, kids, and husband....GONE!

Peter Reinharts Sweet Dough:

6 1/4 cp. unbleached bread flour
2 tsp. salt
6 TB. sugar
5 tsp. yeast
2 cps + 2 TB warm milk
1/2 cp. butter or oil
zest of lemon

1. Add the yeast to milk.
2. Add the sugar, salt, flour together into a mixing bowl.
3. When the yeast dissolves into the milk add it to the dry ingredients. Add the butter or oil. Then the lemon zest. Using a paddle attachment mix for 1 minute. Switch to dough hook and let it mix for 4 minutes. Increase speed for two more minutes.
4. Knead for 2 minutes on a floured counter top.
5. Place in an oiled pan and put in the fridge over night.

Crumb Topping:

1 cp. flour
1 cp. brown sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon (I used a little more. I love cinnamon.)
1/8 tsp. nutmeg (I used pumpkin pie mix.)
1/2 cp. melted butter

1. Remove the dough from the fridge 2 hours before hand. I only used half the dough and put it in a loaf pan and used the other half of the dough to make 12 cinnamon rolls. The recipe calls to use a greased 12 by 16 in pan. Add the dough to the greased pan. Dip your fingers in melted butter. Press the fingers into the dough. (Almost like focaccia bread.)If it springs back then give it 20 minutes and try it again. Cover it with plastic wrap and cover for 2 hours.
It should double in size...
2. To make the crumb topping: whisk the first 5 ingredients then add the melted butter. Sprinkle the topping over the top of the bread....
3 Bake on 350 for 12 minutes and turn the pan and bake for another 12 minutes.

I just wanted to include some pictures from the zoo with the family this past weekend. It was so much fun to take them to the zoo in the cooler weather of FL. It is very seldom cold. I like to take advantage of the cold weather. Here they are! Enjoy