Monday, February 25, 2013

Dinner Rolls

Dear Sally, 

I have found Jesse's new favorite recipe. I was home sick last Monday and spent almost an entire afternoon on Pinterest and other blogs I stumbled upon in my travels. While I was mulling around I found an AMAZING recipe for dinner rolls at Nomemade . These are the fluffiest things I have ever made and Jesse tells me they are delicious. I served them two nights in a row when we were hosting guests and they were a big hit. Unfortunately (like most delicious things in this world) I can't eat them but I enjoy how much Jesse loves them so they are still wonderful to make. You need to set aside a morning or afternoon for these so that they have the right amount of time to rise. Trust me it is worth it!

Dinner Rolls

2 c warm water
2/3 c milk
2 Tbsp dry yeast
1/4 c sugar
2 tsp salt
1/2 c butter (melted)
1 egg
4 1/2- 5 c all purpose flour

In a Kitchenaid mixing bowl, stir in warm water and milk.
Add yeast, then sugar, salt, butter, egg, and 2 cups of flour.
Mix on low speed until ingredients are wet, then 2 minutes at medium speed.
Add 2 more cups of flour, mix on low speed until ingredients are wet, then 2 minutes at medium speed.
Add 1/2 cup flour more at a time.
Dough should be soft, not overly sticky, and not stiff.
Scrape the dough off the sides of the bowl and pour about 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil around the sides of the bowl so that the bowl is coated.  
Allow the dough to rise in a warm place until it doubles in size and rises to the top of the bowl.
 Once the dough has risen, place your dough on a flat floured surface, then divide the dough in half.

Roll out 1/2 the dough into a circle.
Using a knife, cut the dough into 16 even slices.

 Begin to roll the slice of dough in, starting from the wide end and tuck the small point underneath.  

Place rolls on parchment-lined baking sheet.  
Do the same for the other half of the dough and let them rise for 1- 1 1/2 hours, until double in size.

Bake at 375 F for 15-20 minutes or until golden-brown.

I had to substitute regular milk for milk powder and I used the dough hook on my mixer right from the begining of the mixing process and it all worked out. You may want to grease your hands when working with the dough on the counter as it is quite sticky when it first comes out of the bowl. 

My search for amazing and simple recipes continues. I hope you are keeping warm in this chilly winter weather



Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Gluten-Free Banana Carob Chip Muffins

Dear Sally,

It was wonderful to see you on the weekend. I had an amazing time making the laundry detergent and Jesse has already done some laundry for me with it. Things have settled back into their usual routine and I had some time to try a new recipe. My father makes me almond flour in his dehydrator. He uses the flesh of the almonds that are leftover from making almond milk. A little goes a long way and had a very unique flavor. I modified a recipe for gluten-free muffins from The Best of This Life adding almond flour and some other ingredients. They are not light and fluffy like the ones you make with coconut flour but they are delicious.

Gluten-Free Carob Chip Banana Muffins
Modified from The Best of This Life 
2 cups of almond flour
1 cup of gluten-free oats
1 tsp of baking powder 
1 tsp of cinnamon
1 tsp of natural vanilla
1/3 cup honey
1 cup of mashed bananas (approximately 3 very ripe bananas)
1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup of melted coconut oil
2 eggs
2/3 cup of semi-sweet carob chips
1.   Preheat oven to 350 F.
2.   Grease or line muffin pan for 12 muffins.
3.   In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly.
4.   In a smaller mixing bowl, whisk eggs, add oil and maple syrup.
5.   Combine wet ingredients into dry ingredients, adding the mashed bananas.
6.   Mix well and then add the chocolate chips.
7.   Pour the mixture into the muffin pan in equal parts.
8.   Bake for 22-25 minutes - tops will crack open when ready, always test the center to make sure it comes out clean on a knife.

  I hope you and Jason had a great Family Day. Jesse and I took the quad out on lake Simcoe and after a cold day on the ice it was nice to come home to a hot cup of tea and delicious muffin. 


Monday, February 11, 2013

Laundry Detergent Recipe

Dearest Readers,

We (Jess and Sally) find ourselves in the same city for a short period of time. Jess has been kind enough to visit me (post-snowstorm) in Peterborough for a day or two. We decided to share this 'recipe' with you as we are both excited about it.

Sally has been using this detergent for the last couple weeks, and Jess has made her batch today to take home!

We found this recipe at We have discovered that this recipe will last almost 1000 (yes... one thousand) loads for between $20-$25. What's more... you can find all these ingredients at your grocery store!

Keep in mind: this is not suitable for front loaders that require liquid. If you are interested in making it into a liquid, please visit for instructions!

Homemade Laundry Detergent
from link above

4lb box of borax
4lb box of Arm and Hammer Baking Soda
3lb box of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
3 large bars of soap (of your choice), grated (food processor will help if you have one)
3lb oxiclean

1. Mix all ingredients in a 5 Gallon bucket.

2. Mix well.

3. Ladle into jar(s) of choice!

You will need 1-2 Tbsp per load (depending how large your load is.) If you are on a septic system, make sure your soap is grated finely, and that you allow the detergent to dissolve in the water before you add your clothing etc.

So excited about this! Enjoy!

There are lots of comments on the original link (provided above) if you have any questions. They were very educational for both of us!


Friday, February 8, 2013

Broccoli Mountain High


Dear Sally,

Snow snow SNOW! Jesse wold me a wonderful tale of how he had to take a million turns to get home because the plow hadn’t done both sides of the road. He is doing our driveway AGAIN as I write.

While I had the day off I decided to put some broccoli to good use. Jesse is picky about his vegetables but I won with this recipe. He loved it and kept asking for more.

Broccoli Mountain High
Adapted from Crazy Plates

1/3 cup plain yogurt
2 Tbsp. Miracle Whip
2 Tbsp. white vinegar
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 cloves garlic
½ pound white button mushrooms
½ chopped celery
6 cups broccoli florets (cut into small bite-size pieces)
1 large red apple chopped into small bite-sized chunks
1/3 cup raisins
8 slices bacon diced

1.     Cook the bacon on medium heat until cooked and let cool. Chop the broccoli, celery, mushrooms, bacon and apple into small pieces. Add the raisins and the rest of the ingredients into a bowl and stir.

Booo for the snow. It felt really strange being inside all day and I really felt bummed that I couldn't leave when I wanted. I will be up to see you as soon as the roads are clear. Peterborough here I come!

Love you!


Jamie Oliver's Farro Salad with Roasted Veg

Dear Jess,

Happy winter! What a bummer that you can't get here as soon as you had hoped. This storm is beautiful, and looks like it is to continue into tonight. The snowplows here keep going by though, so they're trying to keep up!

In preparation for your (possible) visit, I picked up ingredients for this salad. I have made this a couple times. Once for Kristy's bachelorette, and once for my wedding dinner! I have made it again today with great joy and excitement! My house smells like roasted veggies, garlic and fresh herbs!

I always make this with bulgar wheat, as it was suggested as a perfect Farro Substitute. 

Farro Salad with Roasted Veg
adapted from

1 3/4 cups bulgar wheat
3 yellow zucchini, halved lengthways and chopped
2 green zucchini, halved lengthways and chopped
1 red onion, peeled and cut into wedges
2 red peppers, halved, deseeded and cut into chunks
1 medium eggplant, peeled and cut into chunks
4 cloves of garlic
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
herb or white wine vinegar
1 good bunch fresh herbs (I used rosemary and chives... I have done it with many different combos though)
1 squeeze lemon juice

1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Cover Farrow or bulgar wheat in cold water and soak for 20 minutes. Slice the zucchinis, and put them into a large bowl. Add the remaining vegetables and the garlic cloves and toss together with a good splash of olive oil. Season with pepper and a tiny pinch of salt.

2. Spread veg mix onto a roasting tray (I used 2 foil-lined cookie sheet) in one layer, as they will roast better this way. Roast in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, removing the trays and carefully shaking them now and then, until the vegetables are cooked through and crisp around the edges. Sprinkle a little vinegar over the vegetables as soon as they come out of the oven and set aside to cool. (I usually forget to do this... it still tastes fine if you do too.)

3. Chop herbs and set aside. Place the Farrow or bulgar wheat in a large saucepan, cover with fresh cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until tender, and drain well. Dress with olive oil and the lemon juice, season with salt and pepper, and toss with the roasted vegetables and chopped herbs.

4. Serve warm or cool. It tastes good both ways!

The snow is still blowing outside. As I look out the window, snowmobiles are passing on the road, and the neighbours are frantically shovelling their driveways trying to keep up with the snowfall.

I love you and hope to see you soon!