Rollene’s Sweet Rolls

This month’s skirt! magazine is focused on memorable meals & recipes.  You can find my original post on their blog here.

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The majority of my favorite childhood memories include food in some way – BBQ on Christmas Eve, a specific restaurant on Hilton Head each family vacation, magic muffins at volleyball tournaments, the same meal on my birthday for years, etc..

Isn’t it funny how later in life those meals are no longer a dish, but have a memory associated to them? Making spaghetti reminds me of my Grandmom and all our meals in their kitchen over the years, boiled peanuts make me think of Hunter’s North Carolina family, and so on.

I love sharing some of our family recipes and this is definitely a favorite! My grandma, Rollene, makes these delicious sweet rolls that we just devour.  It makes me think about being at home in my pajamas eating breakfast with my mom and sister.  They will fill you with warmth (or maybe that’s the sugar high) and are a sweet start to your day!

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Rollene’s Sweet Rolls

Ingredients:

  • 1 package Fleishman original yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water, separated into 2 fourths
  • 1 t and 1/4 C sugar, separated
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 C vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 C King Arthur bread flour
  • 1/3 stick of butter, melted
  • 1/3 C brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 C powdered sugar, sifted
  • Milk

Mix 1 package of yeast with 1/4 cup warm water in a liquid measuring cup.  Add 1 teaspoon sugar and let stand while it rises.

In a big bowl, beat 2 eggs.  Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 c vegetable oil, and 1/4 cup warm water to the eggs.  Add your yeast mixture and 2 1/2 cups flour to the big bowl and mix well.  Let it sit and rise to double in size, ~ 1 hour.

Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Roll out the dough (not too thin!) and spread with melted butter, then sprinkle the brown sugar / cinnamon mixture on top.  Roll into a long log, and slice into 18-20 individual rolls, using a bread knife for ease.

Place the rolls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and let the dough rise another hour.  Bake at 400 degrees for ~10-20 minutes, depending on the thickness of your rolls.  Watch the oven to make sure you don’t overcook them!

After rolls have baked are are still warm, mix ~1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar and just enough milk to make it pourable.  Brush the tops of the rolls with leftover melted butter, then spoon the powdered sugar icing over rolls, and enjoy!

sweet-rolls-10 Tip: You can wrap up the rolls individually and freeze them in a large bag, so it’s easy to just reheat one (or more) for breakfast each morning.  It might not be healthy, but it sure is delicious!

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I’m so happy I have these recipes from my Grandma, and family, to cherish for years to come and eventually pass down to another generation.  I hope you enjoy these as much as our family does!

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My plan was to make these rolls to use for my November post on skirt! magazine’s blog, but naturally I gave myself barely enough time to get it done before the post was due.  The first time I made the rolls I rolled them too thin, and baked them too long and ultimately had to throw them all out.  I was bummed.

Rollene sent me the pan she uses to bake hers (complete with a piece of parchment already in it) and on my second attempt, I succeeded!  I left them a lil thicker, watched the time as they baked, but I think it was the pan that made the difference 😉

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S’mores Dip

Sometimes you see something delicious and just have to share it.  My Aunt Beth sent this to our family the other day, and I have been dying to have a reason to make it ever since.  Who wouldn’t want to eat s’mores without the hassle of a fire?

S’mores Dipsmores dip

Ingredients:

  • Bag of chocolate chips
  • Bag of marshmallows
  • Box of graham crackers

Pull out a pie dish, or something similar.  Spread enough chocolate chips to cover the bottom of the pan.  Top with marshmallows.

Bake at 425 for 5-7 minutes.  Serve with graham crackers for dipping.

Edits : Add a layer of Reese cups above the  chocolate chips for a peanut butter twist.

I bet a few girls could finish this off in a matter of minutes.  Looks like I’ll have to see if my friends are up for the challenge 🙂  Also, this would also be great for Valentine’s Day tomorrow!  Just sayin’….

Family Recipe Tea Towels

Now that Christmas is over, I can share one of my favorite gifts I made for my mom and grandma!  My sister and I saw an idea to put a family recipe on a flour sack towel as a gift, and loved that.  We have lots of family recipes that are special to our family, so this seemed like a great, thoughtful gift.  The only problem was the price… I still had some leftover tea towels from the other two projects I did this year, so we went with the homemade method!

Family Recipe Tea Towel

What you’ll need:

  • Tea towel
  • Fabric paint
  • Family recipe

This is very straight forward, and requires few supplies, that you might even have on hand.  I got my tea towel out and ironed it to make sure all of the creases were out.  Then I grabbed my fabric paint, which has a thin tip, and started writing out the recipe.

I mimicked the bombshell pro font for the title, spaced out the ingredients in 2 columns, and wrote the directions below.  It’s not too difficult to do, but I have bad handwriting, so this was tedious for me.  It probably took about 30 minutes to write everything out, and make sure it was straight.

The final product turned out better than I imagined, and Rollene loved it!  Mama was my great-grandmother, and made these tea cakes all the time, in all sorts of shapes.  We still eat them now, and I always think of her when I do 🙂

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I also made one for my mom, with my Grandmom’s spaghetti recipe on it that we both love so much.  This was extra special because it was our first Christmas without her, so I wanted to give mom something that would remind her of Grandmom.  Of course, I forgot to take a picture of hers in the Christmas packing rush…

I can’t wait to see how this looks in Rollene’s kitchen, and where mom puts hers!  And now here’s the cookie recipe, because I can’t leave you hanging…

Mama’s Tea Cakes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 C shortening
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t vinegar
  • Dash of salt
  • 2 c flour
  • 1/2 t vanilla
Cream shortening and sugar until creamy.  Add egg and beat well.  Add baking soda dissolved in vinegar, salt and vanilla.  Gradually add flour to make a stiff batter.  Chill in refrigerator then roll thin and cut out with cookie cutter.  Place on greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes until brown around the edges.

Minestrone Soup

Since Hunter and I headed to Georgia for Christmas, we wanted to celebrate with his sister in Charleston before we left.  We thought about grilling out, but it was raining off and on, so I decided on some soup and cornbread.  After a search through my inbox, I found this minestrone recipe that fit the bill.  Note: I’ve never made minestrone (or probably eaten it) before, so who knows why it sounded great, but I’m glad it did.

Minestrone Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 t olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 t fresh oregano, chopped
  • 2 t minced garlic
  • 2 medium yellow squash, chopped
  • 2 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 15.25 oz. can whole kernel sweet white corn, drained
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  •  1 box chicken broth (~4 cups)
  • 1 c uncooked ditalini pasta
  • 15.5 oz. can Great Northern beans, rinsed & drained
  • 1 package Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing
  • 2 t Tabasco
  • 6 oz. bag of fresh baby spinach
  • Shredded gruyere cheese

Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the onion to the pan and sauté about 3 minutes, until softened, stirring frequently.  Add oregano and garlic and sauté another minute, continuing to stir frequently.  Stir in the squash, zucchini, carrot, and corn.  Sauté 5 more minutes until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.

Add chicken broth and crushed tomatoes to your pot.  Add in the ranch packet and hot sauce and stir.  Next add the pasta and beans to pot.  Cook 10 minutes until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and stir in spinach, and salt and pepper to taste.  Ladle soup into bowls and top with cheese!

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Edits : There were a few… for starters, I didn’t have fresh oregano, so just used the dry kind in a bottle.  I also had baby carrots on hand, so cut those up instead of buying the big guys to cut up.  I used 1/2 c more pasta than the recipe called for, because I love pasta.  I had never heard of great northern beans, but apparently they’re common enough to be with all the other beans on the aisle.  I used a little more hot sauce, and a little less spinach, plus subbed parmesan cheese for gruyere. Phew, I think that’s it!

Results : I admit, I was kinda skeptical since I’d never had minestrone soup before, and wasn’t sure if this would actually fill me up.  It totally did.  I couldn’t even finish my bowl (which was overflowing).  Samantha and Hunter ate all of theirs too, and the recipe got a raving review!  It’s a keeper 🙂

PS – This is great with cornbread!

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Apple Pie Bites

Last night we had a big family dinner with some of our friends to get together before the weekend ended, and see Lauren & Tj’s new house (and of course give Little Jack some love)!  All of us brought something for the meal, and I ended up with dessert.  I really wanted to make an apple pie, but had been busy painting the corn hole boards all day, and didn’t have the time to make one from scratch.  Thanks to Pinterest, I found a recipe for apple pie bites that were easy to put together, and had the apple pie flavor I was craving!

Apple Pie Bites

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  • ¼ C Brown sugar
  • 1 t Pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 t Cinnamon
  • 4 T Butter, melted
  • 2 Granny smith apples
  • 2 (8-ounce) cans Crescent rolls

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon.  Set it aside.

Cut up your apples into ~1/2″ thick slices, and making sure to remove the core.  You can either keep the skin on, or peel them — your preference!  Melt 3 T of butter in a bowl, then toss your apples in the melted butter.

Time to assemble!  Roll out the crescent dough triangles, and sprinkle the brown sugar mixture on top.  Put an apple slice at the wide side of the triangle, and roll it up.  Make sure the dough covers the apple around the edges.

Arrange your crescents on the parchment paper covered baking sheet.  Melt the last tablespoon of butter, and brush some of the tops of the crescents.  Sprinkle a little more pumpkin pie spice on top of the crescents.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool for a few minutes before serving.  Makes 16 bites.  Use 1 apple, 1 can of crescent rolls, and 3 T of butter for just 8 bites.

Edits : The original recipe calls for apple pie spice, but I didn’t have any so I opted for the pumpkin pie spice that I did have on hand.  I also didn’t add any nuts thanks to my allergy, but you could sprinkle some in on top of the brown sugar.  Lastly, I added cinnamon in the mix because I love cinnamon with apples in the fall!

Results : These were delicious and tasted like fall!  I made a few beforehand since they wouldn’t all fit on one baking sheet and ate 3 of them… I will definitely be keeping this recipe around for times I need a quick, and finger friendly dessert!

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