Friday, April 16, 2010


I am so sorry, I feel like I have been neglecting my pretty pink mixer.  Here's the boyfriend and I decided to do a 30-day challenge of no desserts and no alcohol for 30 days (obviously).  I felt like I had been making entirely too many sweets lately so it was just kind of a spur of the moment, let's break the habit type of thing (and stop adding on the pounds).  As you can tell from the blog, the majority of things I make are desserts...bars and cookies, basically. So in the meantime, I started another blog, which I hope you will check out, called Food for Fuel.  Basically, it's days in the life of me. I take pictures of meals, talk about my exercising, life, all that good stuff.  I read blogs all the time---both baking and food blogs and health blogs and this blog is more along the lines of a "healthy" blog.  Still love my sweets and dessert, but I also love eating healthy and wanted to share that with everyone.

So because I couldn't make desserts and enjoy them, I was taking a break from my pretty pink mixer.  However, my red-headed friend, Ellie, was in town the past few weeks and we made a bunch of Challah!  Yummy, yummy traditional Jewish bread that we make not so traditional by adding all sorts of different flavorings to. Like rosemary-garlic, whole wheat, cinnamon-chip, chocolate chip, etc.  I LOVE making sandwiches out of just plain challah. My favorite is a grilled cheese sandwich on challah with pickles and spicy mustard. Delish!  Unfortunately, I never took pictures of all the challah we made, so I decided to make some by myself today.

Ellie started the organization Challah for Hunger that now has chapters at multiple university locations in the U.S. AND Australia. Be sure to check out her page and efforts. In any case, the recipe I made for Challah is hers that she uses for all of her chapters.  It's by far the BEST challah recipe ever.  At least, I think so. 

It's pretty easy to make, especially her new and improved method of using instant active yeast.  Just takes time to rise.  Another thing about this Challah is that it's completely vegan, as Ellie is herself.  

Here's the problem I ran into. For the life of me, I can never remember how to braid the challah. So I did a "makeshift" braid and stuck it in a loaf pan because I wanted to slice it for sandwiches anyways.  

The other half of the dough I got creative with. I wanted to do a cinnamon breakfast type bread like the cinnamon chip bread from Great Harvest Bread Co.  So, I made balls of dough (golf ball size) and stuffed them with cinnamon chips, then put them in a round aluminum cake and sprinkled the top with cinnamon. We'll see how it turns out. And since I'm calling it a breakfast bread and would probably eat it for breakfast, I'm not considering it a dessert. :)

Things I would change....maybe dust cinnamon sugar around the pan or roll the dough in cinnamon sugar rather than just sprinkle on top. I guess it depends on how sweet you want it.

Unfortunately, I cannot give out the recipe to just anyone but if you feel inspired and would like to e-mail Ellie for the recipe, visit her website at :)

Until next time!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Rolls for every occasion

For every big holiday (Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas), my mom and I make our traditional whole wheat rolls.  These rolls are slightly deceiving because they sound super healthy (whole wheat) when in reality they only contain 1 cup whole wheat flour to 3 cups white flour.  We've played with the recipe by adding a higher ratio of wheat to white flour, but they just don't taste as good as the originals. Whatever name you want to give them, these rolls are absolutely amazing!  They are shaped like crescent rolls but not necessarily the texture and flakiness of a tubed crescent roll.  They are buttery and slightly sweet and ADDICTING.  For each holiday we have to double triple the recipe so we make enough rolls for the holiday lunch/dinner, and enough for us to snack on until said lunch/dinner. 
Warning: these rolls are very time consuming!  First you make the dough, then let them rise for 1 1/2-2 hours, then roll them out and shape them, then let rise another hour, then bake.  So expect to spend the entire day with these little guys.

I neglected to take pictures of all the steps to making these, which I really should have, so my apologies.  Next time I'll be more on top of it! Here is a picture of the rolls rising the second time around and the finished product. I wasn't able to get pictures of all of the best rolls because once I was taking pictures, my siblings had already eaten all of the really good looking ones. Oh well. You get the idea.

Here's the recipe and I highly recommend you try these. I actually already doubled the recipe for the one I have written down, so if you don't want lots of rolls, cut this recipe in half:

Whole Wheat Rolls

1 c butter
1 c milk
4 eggs
3/4 c warm water
6 c white flour
2 c whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c sugar
4 1/2 tsp or 2 pkgs yeast
Softened butter to spread on rolls before they rise 2nd time

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix warm water and yeast to proof.
Melt butter and let cool. Beat in eggs. Add milk and set aside.
Combine flours, salt, and sugar.
Pour in liquids and knead until smooth. (I would use the dough hook on the Kitchenaid mixer to mix ingredients, then knead until shiny...but that's just me :) )
Set in greased bowl (I use PAM) and allow to rise until double (1 1/1 hours)
Divide dough into three parts and roll out in large circle.  Thin but not too thin or too thick. Spread softened butter onto entire circle of dough. Cut into wedges with a pizza cutter (like making a pie chart) and roll up like crescent rolls. Place on grease baking sheets.
Allow to double 1 more hour.
Bake at 350 until light brown. (10-12 minutes)

I really wish I had taken pictures of these steps because now that I'm re-reading over the recipe, it's kind of confusing. Let me know if you have any questions! This is a picture of them rising the second time.

We made these rolls on Friday before Easter and just kept them in an airtight container until we served them. Reheated them in the oven and they were just as good as the first day. They are yummy by themselves, with butter, with nutella (my favorite), with PB, with anything! Rolls are not very photogenic.
On Easter we served them with a nice honey glazed ham, fresh carrots and green beans, cheesy scalloped potatoes, and deviled eggs.
And for DESSERT......Easter M&M brown sugar blondies. I love these things! Yum, yum!
And just because I love my siblings. Here is a picture of my little brother and sister digging in.
And look at these bluebonnets in my mom's front yard! Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter and fabulous Sunday!