Honey Wheat Rolls

When my babies are about the age of my little Micah (3 months), my dear hubby likes to start them in "training". He does things like pick them up by their feet, teaches them to sit on his one hand, and begins all the other rough and tumble stuff with them at much too young an age.
I'm not as terrified about it all with baby #6 as I was with baby #1, but I still don't like it. I understand Dads do things different than Moms, but does different have to equal danger???

The recipe section of the King Arthur Flour website is awesome. They have a ton of wonderful recipes, including my current favorite recipe I use for bread and rolls. These wheat rolls were nice and soft, yet hearty. My only mistake was making a single recipe because they were all gone after dinner, which means there weren't any to eat on my way up to bed that night.....

Honey Wheat Rolls
1 pkg yeast
1 1/4 C lukewarm water
1/4 C orange juice
1/4 C butter, room temperature
3 Tb honey
1 C flour
2 C whole wheat flour
1 1/4 tsp salt
2/3 C instant mashed potato flakes
1/4 C nonfat dry milk

1. Combine the yeast and water in the bowl of your mixer with the dough hook attachment. Add the remaining ingredients and allow the dough to knead for 5-7 minutes. Place dough into a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise for 1 1/2 - 2 hours until very puffy, but not necessarily doubled.
2. Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently deflate. Divide into 16 pieces and roll into rounds under the palm of your hand. Place the rolls into a lightly greased 9x13 pan and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise for 1 1/2 - 2 hours until they are really puffy and touch each other.
3. While rolls are rising, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 15 minutes, then tent them loosely with foil. Continue to bake an additional 10-13 minutes until they are brown on top.
4. After 2 minutes of cooling, remove from the pan and transfer gently to a wire rack so they don't get moist from condensation on the inside of the pan.

Chicken Barley and Cabbage Soup

In the 17 years I've been cooking for my family, there's only been one recipe banned from ever showing up on the dinner table again. Cabbage stew. Those two words are culinary profanity in our home.

So you should understand my hesitation when I saw a half a cabbage in the fridge and was tempted to throw it in this soup. I knew it would be a delicious addition, but was afraid of the reaction it would create. So I decided to chance it and just stay quiet about the cabbage.

"What is this in the soup? Noodles? Won tons?"

I just smiled and kept eating. Success!!!

I love this type of soup. It ends up being more of a stew due to the amount of stuff I pack in it. If you don't have homemade stock, feel free to use canned. Mine was actually homemade turkey broth I froze after Thanksgiving!

Chicken Barley Soup
by Carole Jones
1 C pearl barley (don't use quick barley!!!)
2 Tb canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks with leaves, chopped
1 C chopped mushrooms
1/2 head cabbage, chopped
2-3 C cooked chicken, chopped
6 C chicken stock (homemade if you can!)
2 whole bay leaves
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1-2 tsp salt (depends on how salty your stock is)
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 C chopped flat leaf Italian parsley
1-2 C water

1. Cook the barley according to package directions in a small saucepan, being sure to salt the water you cook the barley in.
2. Add the oil to a large soup pot heated over medium high heat. Add the onions, carrots and celery. Sprinkle with a little salt and saute for 3 minutes. Add garlic, mushrooms and cabbage with another bit of salt and saute until cabbage has wilted, about 3-4 minutes.
3. Add chicken stock and stir. Add cooked chicken, cooked barley, bay leaves, red pepper flakes, black pepper, Italian parsley and enough water to just barely cover the ingredients. Stir well, cover and simmer on low for 30 minutes. Taste the broth and add any additional salt that is needed.
**For freezer, cool the soup completely and freeze flat in bags on a cookie sheet.

Italian Sandwich Bread

Happy Birthday Luke!

I can't believe my baby #3 turns 10 today. I think having a newborn in the house has sure made me realize how fast the time with my children is flying by. There have been many times over the years I have wanted to hit the "Pause" button so they would stop growing up. (and also many times I wish there was a "fast forward" button, but I'll deny it if you ever repeat that!)
This bread is in honor of my birthday boy who is always so excited to come home and smell some form of bread cooking, but then disappointed if it isn't 100% white flour. He'll eat the whole grain breads, but never forgets to request "normal" bread the next time I make some.

This was my "normal" bread growing up as a kid and the seven of us could throw down a loaf in a single breath. My mom had an industrial sized mixer in her kitchen and I'm still kicking myself that I didn't take that mixer when she offered it to me a few years back. I only had a few kids then and no catering business. What was I going to do with that monsterous beast??? If only I knew then, I would have snatched it up in an instant!!!

Italian Sandwich Bread
makes 2 loaves
2 1/2 C warm water
1 pkg. yeast
1/4 C oil
2 Tb sugar
1 Tb salt
2 1/2 lbs flour

1. Dissolve the yeast and water in the bowl of your mixer with the dough hook. Add the sugar and oil and half the flour. Mix until smooth. Add the salt and remaining flour. Knead for 5 minutes until a smooth ball forms that pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
2. Allow dough to rise until double. Dump onto lightly floured surface and shape into two loaves. Allow to rise in lightly greased bread pans. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Cookies and Cream Crispie Treats

Thanks to everyone for the advice. I've been trying your many suggestions for keeping this little cutie pie safe from the "love" of her two year old brother. The past couple days have actually been significantly better and I am praying it is a pattern of good things to come.
I made the mistake this afternoon of going to the store hungry. Never a good thing for me because somehow a package of Oreos magically appeared in my cart. When I got home, I knew I better do something with them before I ate them all. I decided to give these cookies a whirl and now I have a whole new problem. The leftovers are on top of my fridge calling to me.
These are a very indulgent form of a rice crispie treat and I loved indulging in them after dinner tonight! I will definitely be making them again, but probably just drizzle on the white chocolate instead of dipping them. They were amazing as is and I love how they look, but I prefer my crispie treats not quite so rich. If you love Oreos and rice crispie treats, you have to give these a try!

Cookies and Cream Crispie Treats
1/2 C bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3 Tb butter
10 oz bag of mini marshmallows
1 tsp vanilla
6 C rice crispies cereal
20 Oreo cookies, roughly chopped
6 oz white chocolate, chopped
15 Oreo cookies, finely chopped

1. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the bittersweet chocolate on high for 1 minute. Stir and heat for another 30 seconds if not completely melted. Set aside.
2. In a large microwave safe bowl, melt the butter on high for 45 seconds. Add the marshmallows and stir to coat them in butter. Microwave for 1 1/2 minutes. Stir until smooth, then mix in the melted chocolate and vanilla.
3. Pour in the cereal and the 20 chopped Oreo cookies and mix until it is well coated with the marshmallow mixture. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan and press down with damp hands. Allow cookies to cool and firm up, then cut into 16 pieces.
4. In a small microwave safe bowl, melt the white chocolate for 1 minute, then stir. Continue to heat in 30 second intervals until completely melted. Dip each individual bar in the white chocolate then into the remaining finely chopped Oreo cookies.