Come along with me as I journal about my latest cooking and gardening adventures. Discover what grows in my zone five garden, and see what new recipes I try from my cookbook collection each week.

As I share recipes and information from my kitchen, I invite readers to comment and share ideas along with me in this blog. I am looking to increase followers to my blog, so that I may learn more about cooking and gardening.

Since moving to Midland, Michigan, I have been reading and researching many cooking journals, cookbooks and collected recipes from the past thirty years. Organizing pictures of gardens I enjoy has also been a joy for me, as I continue to learn about garden design and horticulture.

angel food cakes

angel food cakes
this kitchen is seasoned with love

Thursday, January 12, 2012

fresh herb spoon rolls

here is another great recipe for an herbal dinner roll that i have saved from a magazine.  these herb rolls are great when prepared with fresh herbs, but can also be used with dried herbs during the winter months.

these rolls are wonderful warm from the oven and served with margarine. this recipe makes 2 dozen rolls, so divide in half if you only need one dozen.

preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  combine 1 envelope active dry yeast with 2 cups of warm water, around 110 degrees.  allow the yeast to proof in the water about 5 minutes.

stir in 4 cups of self rising flour, 3/4 cup fresh chives, 1/2 cup fresh parsley, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 large egg.
spoon the batter into 24 lightly greased muffin tins, filling about three quarters full.  bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 22 minutes or until golden brown.

this stir and bake batter is very quick and easy.  in 45 minutes, fresh rolls are ready to serve hot from the oven.

christmas cookies

as i looked through my Christmas photographs today, i couldn't help but notice the delicious cookie plate that i shared with my family this year.  in the blog, i have already posted recipes for the candied citrus peels, the peppermint bark, and the iced snowflake cookies.  so, thought i would share two more cookie recipes as they were both delicious as well.

the first is for flourless peanut butterscotch cookies.  this is a Martha recipe, though i took out the chocolate chips and substituted the butterscotch chips.  these were excellent tasting and wonderful texture.

preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  in a large bowl, mix 1 cup creamy peanut butter, 3/4 sugar, 1 large egg, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. stir in 3/4 cup butterscotch chips. (or chocolate chips as Martha suggests)  then, mix in 1/2 cup roasted salted peanuts.

using a cookie scoop, place on baking sheet and bake for 12 to 14 minutes.  cool for 5 minutes and enjoy !

the second recipe is for slice and bake chocolate sugar cookies.  another one of Martha's excellent recipes that can be made with a variety of flavors.  i chose the chocolate variation for my cookie plate this year. 

with an electric mixer, beat 12 tablespoons of unsalted butter at room temperature with 3/4 cup granulated sugar.  next, add 1 egg yolk, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.  mix 1 and 2/3 cups of flour with 1/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa.  incorporate into the batter. 

transfer the dough to waxed paper and roll into a log.  wrap well and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.  when ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  roll the log in sugar crystals and slice into cookie rounds.  place on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes.

if you chill the dough overnight, the sugar will not stick unless the dough is warmed up.  this year, i used red sugar crystals.  the cookies tasted delicious.

italian dipping oil blends

one of the easiest appetizers to have on hand for drop in visitors would be Italian dipping oil seasonings. in a matter of minutes, a small amount of light olive oil can be mixed with a variety of seasonings, creating a wonderful taste for dipping crusty bread.  i have purchased a couple of different types of Italian seasonings and have used them a number of times with great success.

by choosing a nice Italian mixed blend, the work of creating just the right taste with the perfect combination of herbs and seasonings is minimized.  i often use a dipping oil plate which has a recessed area where the herbal mix is placed and then topped with the oil.

the choice of bread should be soft enough that the oil is absorbed, but sturdy enough for reliable dipping without sogginess. everyone likes to dip bread and just a few pieces makes a nice appetizer.

choose this presentation before a pasta dish or even a nice fish entree.