Friday, April 17, 2009

Sweet Dinner Rolls

I discovered this recipe on Allrecipes and thought it was absolutely wonderful!! I have used this recipe several times. The dough is so very easy to shape and the results are scrumptious!!

Last night, I made half of the dough into crescent rolls (per the instructions) and the other half into cinnamon rolls (per the reviewers recommendations). YUMMM!

Sweet Dinner Rolls

1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
1/2 cup warm milk
1 egg
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast (or 2 1/2 tsp bread machine yeast)
1/4 cup butter, softened

Place water, milk, egg, 1/3 cup butter, sugar, salt, flour and yeast in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select Dough/Knead and First Rise Cycle; press Start.

When cycle finishes, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a 12 inch circle, spread 1/4 cup softened butter over entire round. Cut each circle into 8 wedges. Roll wedges starting at wide end; roll gently but tightly. Place point side down on ungreased cookie sheet. Cover with clean kitchen towel and put in a warm place, let rise 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden.


I found the easiest way to "roll" into a circle was to press the dough into a round pizza pan, ensuring uniform results.

Cut into wedges:

And, roll into the classic croissant shape (then cover and let rise until doubled...also, brushed with an egg wash just before baking):

Soo yummy while warm!

For cinnamon rolls, I pressed the dough onto a cookie sheet, spread with butter (or margarine) and sprinkled with brown sugar and cinnamon:

Rolled and cut into 12 pieces (then, covered and let rise until doubled):

Bake (400 degrees, 15-20 minutes)... and don't forget to spread a little cream cheese frosting on these warm-out-of-the-oven sweets! (You can make your own, or just use a tub of storebought! I didn't have any cream cheese frosting last night and used some vanilla frosting... the cinnamon rolls were still delectable!)

Recommend: YES

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Where do I find my books?

My grandma (mom's mom) was my book recommender and lender! I could rely on her to tell me about the newest authors and whether she thought they were any good or not.

When she died, her library was split among her daughters and granddaughters. However, I mostly miss her input...saved me a lot of money on "wasted" books!

Now, I base most of my book purchases on my already favorite authors or recommendations from my mom, aunt, or cousins. For those new authors or books that have settings that appeal to me, I now mostly guess! Can't know until you try, eh??

Almost as exciting as a new book itself is my CBD (Christian Book Distributors) fiction catalog. You can easily request your own by clicking here.

When my newest copy arrives in my mailbox, it is immediately circled up and dog-eared!

To save money, I like to use paperbackswap to build my personal library. Newest releases often have long waiting lines, but it can be worth waiting. For me, the greatest advantage of paperbackswap is being able to get rid of the books that didn't meet my expectations for only the cost of shipping (about $2-3)!

My mom has been finding several deals on books at a closeout store called Ollie's. She recently found 2 of Judith Miller's Pullman series and just bought Kim Vogel Sawyer's My Heart Remembers (the one circled on my wish list!!) Unfortunately, I don't have an Ollie's within 50 miles of me....

My grandma browsed flea markets and garage sales for hard to find copies of different books to complete some of her collections.

Your local library won't allow you to build your personal library, but it's the perfect way to try out a new author before you plunk down your money on a book you're not sure you'll like. Most libraries today have an interlibrary lending system which will allow you to find that book you're searching for from another library in their system.

You may think you won't find Christian fiction at your library... I think you'd be surprised at how many Christian fiction books you can find!! Even some of the newest releases!!

eBay is another way of finding books, especially full sets, at a fairly decent price. You need to watch out for that sneaky shipping cost, though!

You can also find free e-books on Project Gutenberg. This site is best for classics: Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and L.M. Montgomery. You won't find the newest titles here. E-books are also not as easy to read...I don't know about you, but I don't picture cozying up to my computer to read as very appealing. But, Project Gutenberg may be a good option if you don't want to buy or make a trip to the library!

Happy Reading!!

Recommend: YES

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Friday, April 10, 2009

Easy Alfredo Sauce

I saw this recipe for Easy Alfredo Sauce several months ago on Melissa's blog and immediately put it on my next month's menu to try.

I poured the finished sauce over some sauteed chicken cutlets that I'd sprinkled with garlic and herb Mrs. Dash and tossed them with some penne pasta and steamed broccoli. The finished dish tasted VERY close to the Olive Garden! :-)

The sauce was just a bit thick for me. I didn't think so at first, but after I ate it...I thought that the next time I make the sauce (and I will!!), I will probably thin it with a little chicken broth (or more milk).

Now, here's the recipe!

Easy Alfredo Sauce

1/2 cup butter
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 cups milk
6 oz grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add cream cheese and garlic powder, stirring until smooth. Add milk, whisking to smooth lumps. Stir in Parmesan and pepper. Remove from heat when sauce reaches desired consistency. If it is too thick, you can add a little milk. Toss with hot pasta to serve.

*I thought about cutting the recipe in half, per the original blogger's suggestion. But, the full recipe was perfect for my 1/2 pound box of pasta, 5 chicken cutlets, and 12 oz. bag broccoli. Of course, it made plenty of leftovers...and, although the leftovers were still delicious, alfredo sauce is always better fresh!*

Recommend: YES

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