DIY Frozen Rhodes Rolls

Last month, I was psychotically busy preparing to be the camp cook for our church’s girls camp.  I was alone in my assignment to cook for 90 mouths so I really can’t put into words the amount of time, stress and craziness that was my life over those weeks.  To keep myself from going completely insane, I kept the week’s menu very simple and I hope no one was disappointed.  I’m sure everyone was thinking they would be eating a ton of homemade goodies and treats since a food blogger was doing all the food.  Oh well :)

DIY Frozen Rhodes RollsMy inner foodie couldn’t be completely ignored however so I decided to treat the campers and make 240 homemade rolls for dinner the first night.  Yes, it was ambitious with everything else I had to prepare so I knew the only way I could make it work was to break out my technique for DIY Frozen Rhodes Dinner Rolls.  It is a huge time saver!
DIY Frozen Rhodes RollsTo make frozen dinner rolls, first mix up a batch of your favorite dinner roll recipe.  (Don’t have one?  Click here for my rockstar dinner roll recipe that people just can’t get enough of!)  Allow your dough to raise until double while it is covered.  After it has risen once, shape your rolls as desired on a lightly greased cookie sheet then cover lightly.
DIY Frozen Rhodes RollsYou don’t want your rolls to raise completely at this stage.  In fact, you just want them to begin to puff up a little bit.  Compare my first picture to this second picture to see what I mean by just beginning to puff up.  Once they hit this stage, put the whole pan into the freezer, uncovered, until they are frozen solid.  This take between 8-12 hours.
DIY Frozen Rhodes RollsOnce your rolls are completely frozen, just toss them into a large freezer bag and put them back into the freezer until you need them.  They will stay good in the freezer for about a month.
DIY Frozen Rhodes RollsWhen it comes time to turn your frozen dough into amazingly delicious rolls like these ones here, just place them on a lightly greased cookie sheet and cover them lightly.  Let them rise until doubled in size.  Since they are frozen, this can take anywhere from 5-7 hours depending on how warm your home is.  If you need to speed up the process, you can always heat your oven to 150 degrees and let them rise in there, which will cut the rising time in half.  Once they are fully risen, bake them according to the original recipe’s instructions.
DIY Frozen Rhodes Rolls



Three Bean Taco Salad

As a momma to six kiddos, every Tuesday I am sharing my tips, recipes and anecdotes related to bringing out every kid’s culinary potential.

Click HERE to see all the posts in this series!

Kids in the Kitchen

These two handsome young men are my oldest two boys and their world is about to change significantly.  In a few weeks, these two best friends are going to be awfully lonely because the bigger of the two is leaving for college.  That college happens to be 1200 miles away so there won’t be any quick weekend visits home.  (please excuse me while I step away to sob for a minute….)

IMG_0107As the move out date quickly approaches, I’ve gotten a good chuckle from the significant list my son has made of all the things I need to teach him before he moves out.  Please note, I’ve taught him all the things on his list over the years, but he is in a bit of panic mode at the moment.  Growing up is terrifyingly exciting :)

three bean taco saladHe has chosen to live in a dorm that only has a kitchen.  No cafeteria!  Secretly, it makes me just a bit proud :)   This reality has also got him doing an inventory of what meals he knows how to make and which ones he must learn before he leaves.  This taco salad was on his list.  It is a menu staple in the Jones household because it is one that absolutely all 8 of us loves.  That is stating a lot because there aren’t many recipes that please all of us!  Taco Salad appears at least twice a month on our table.

I created this recipe years ago when my hubby and I were a very young couple in graduate school with lots of little kids and no money.  A pound of ground beef was a luxury and was certainly never served by itself in a taco!  Three types of beans were added to stretch that precious pound of beef and now my kids can’t stand having tacos or taco salad without the beans.

Three Bean Taco Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 15 ounce can refried beans
  • 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 15 ounce can chili beans
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • Corn chips, cheese, lettuce, tomato, sour cream, salsa and guacamole

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet, season the ground beef with some additional salt and pepper, then brown over high heat. Once completely cooked, add the three types of beans, seasonings and 1/2 can of water. Stir to combine completely and allow the mixture to come to a gentle simmer over medium heat.
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Breaking Bread Leadership Challenge

Over the past two weeks, My Kitchen Escapades hosted two Breaking Bread Leadership Challenges.   One was with the Land O’Lakes Executive Agribusiness Program and the other for the Land O’Lakes Co-op Leadership Program.  I always look forward to facilitating these events because it combines my two loves:  food and teaching.  Not to mention, they are just a blast!

The Breaking Bread Leadership Challenge is a unique and memorable leadership development tool my husband and I created a few years ago.  We’ve worked with varied groups in different settings but the end result is always the same:  an entertaining and engaging evening that lays the groundwork for teams, leaders and co-workers to build relationships of trust in an intimate, but not intimidating, setting.

There are many different twists and turns that make the challenge successful but the key factor is the FOOD!  There is something powerful we tap into during the process of preparing, cooking and eating a meal together.  The powerful connections formed in this Breaking Bread environment are unique and the effect is enduring.

LEAP

Throughout the event, we create some difficult road blocks for each team to overcome but they continually amaze us with their ability to create rock star food despite their limited circumstances.  Each team is judged by a very elite panel of judges….well, maybe not quite elite but at least really hungry.  They are judged on taste, presentation and the creativity of their dish.  Sometimes there is a very clear winner and other times it is a heated and vigorous debate to pick just one.

LAThe winners from our latest two groups were both desserts:  S’mores Salad and Dessert Pizza.   You all know how obsessed I am with desserts but I want to promise you that  I was not the only one voting!

The S’mores Salad (as if the word salad makes it healthier) was created by one of our LEAP teams this past week.  They made it by layering buttered graham cracker crumbs on the bottom, then some milk chocolate bars, toasted marshmallows, more graham cracker crumbs, whip cream and then a garnish of chocolate and raspberries.  It was killer!

The Dessert Pizza (later titled Cajun Dessert Pizza because it was a bit “blackened” on the bottom…) was whipped up by one of our Land O’Lakes Co-Op Leadership Program teams last week.  It used prepackaged sugar cookie dough baked in a pizza pan, then topped with a mixture of cream cheese, sugar, and sour cream.  On top of that they made a beautiful design of fresh fruit and graham cracker crumbs.  As long as you stayed away from the extra done parts, it was really amazing :)

LEAP win       LA WinnerEach winning team was crowned with their coveted Whisky Award and promised a featured post on here on My Kitchen Escapades.  Cheers for all my hard working teams over the past two weeks and I am especially grateful because I didn’t have to make a single dish.  I just got to enjoy all the wonderful dishes!  Everything tastes better when someone else is cooking for you, right?



Grilled California Chicken Wraps

 As a momma to six kiddos, every Tuesday I am sharing my tips, recipes and anecdotes related to bringing out every kid’s culinary potential.

Click HERE to see all the posts in this series!

Kids in the KitchenAs I mentioned last week, I was the camp cook for a week long girls camp for our church and it was a wonderful experience.  It was an overwhelming amount of work, but now that it is over, I can honestly say it was fun :)

This experience had me pulling out all my best catering experiences and skills to menu plan the best I could, but we did end up with some leftover food at the end of the week.  In my opinion, it it is always better to have a bit more food than not enough….especially when we are talking about hungry teenage girls!
Grilled California Chicken WrapsThe majority of the leftover food was given to a few families who could use a little extra love and attention right now in their lives and they were all very grateful.  After all that food was given out, I was left a few small parts of camp meals still in my fridge.  Hmmmmm…..It was time to let my kids get creative with the panini press.  Hands down, it is their favorite small kitchen appliance.
DSC_0048

These California Chicken Wraps took some leftovers that were quite boring all on their own and turned them into something magical!  My 10 year old made a bunch of them for dinner and even got my pickiest eater (my 4 year old) to give them a taste.  Once that initial battle of “just taking a bite” was conquered, she willingly ate the rest of her dinner on her own.  Whew!DSC_0076Kids in the Kitchen Secret #10 – Teach your kids to be creative with leftovers!  They can be so much more than something to just stick in the microwave to reheat!

Grilled California Chicken Wraps

Ingredients

  • Flour tortillas
  • Leftover chicken, chopped
  • Shredded cheese
  • Real bacon bits (please no fake stuff!)
  • Avocado, sliced
  • Chopped green onion
  • Ranch dressing

Instructions

  1. Preheat your panini press or just a flat electric griddle. Spread 1 Tb of ranch dressing on one side of the tortilla and lay the chopped chicken evenly down the center. Top with the remaining ingredients and then tightly wrap up all the ingredients inside the tortilla. Grill until golden brown and slice in half to serve.
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