Archive for November, 2010

yeast rolls

November 24, 2010
okay, i know everyone already knows what they’re doing for tomorrow’s gluttony fest, and i know i need to rewrite this recipe, but for the sake of keeping track of recipes in case my computer ever dies (which would be very, very sad indeed), these are the rolls in my oven right now. i’m baking them until almost done and then browning them just before dinner tomorrow…
Scald(until it bubbles up around the pan edges) 2 Cups Milk
Remove from heat.
Add: 1/4 Cup sugar
1 tsp. Salt
3 Tablespoons cooking oil
Stir to dissolve.
Then place pan of milk in cold water and cool mixture to lukewarm.
Remove from water and add 2 packages dry yeast,  and stir ( I use Fleischmann’s Rapid Rise dry yeast)
Let stand 10 minutes.
In large bowl place 4 1/2 Cups flour
Make a well in the center of the flour—add the milk and yeast mixture.
Stir into the flour until dough has a shiny look and is elastic…but not too sticky…..if too sticky add
another half cup flour. Knead into a nice soft ball and grease the top of the dough with a little cooking oil
to keep from drying out as it rises. Cover with a warm damp towel.
Place in a warm place  and let rise 2 hours.
Punch down dough, turn out on a floured surface and knead several times.
Roll out and cut with a biscuit cutter and place on a cookie sheet.
Use a pastry brush to brush the top of each roll with melted butter.
Let rise for 20 minutes ..or longer. (I often wait 40 min.)
Bake in 375 to 400 degree oven until browned nicely.
***to make pull-apart rolls, roll three little balls (instead of using a biscuit cutter) into each portion of a greased muffin tin before allowing to rise. bake as directed.

potato salad

November 20, 2010

2 large russet potatoes, skin-on, 1/2″ chop

2 large celery stalks, diced

2 large eggs, hardboiled and diced

1/4 bottle of girard’s old world venice italian dressing

boil the potatoes until fork-tender. drain and place in large bowl. mix in everything else (carefully or you’ll end up with mashed potatoes). cover and chill for at least two hours, preferably longer. run your finger around the edges of the bowl every so often to check the temperature and clean up the mess you made mixing…not because you would actually eat potato salad out of a serving bowl with your fingers. no, no, i couldn’t possibly…

molasses rub

November 15, 2010

because i ran out of wrapping paper, it was taking up space in sophie’s room, and i kinda just wanted to see him really happy, i gave scott his first christmas present two days ago; the cuisinart countertop rotisserie from williams-sonoma. he immediately put me to work making a rub so he can roast some cornish game hens this week. i made a double batch of the rub; one is more than enough for four cornish game hens or a ham, and i’ve no doubt we will soon find more things to paste it all over. the rub is from grady spears’ ‘a cowboy in the kitchen’…he also has a fantastic ‘reata grill blend’ in that cookbook that i will get around to sharing once someone in my family gets me some venison backstrap.

roasted cornish game hens with molasses rub


for the rub:

1 cup packed light brown sugar

2 tablespoons molasses

1.5 teaspoons kosher salt

2 teaspoons paprika

1.5 teaspoons freshly ground pepper

2 teaspoons dried thyme

1 teaspoon garlic powder (i used more)

combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process until the mixture is well blended. Store in an airtight container.

for the hens:

2 cornish game hens

2 tablespoons softened butter

.5 cup molasses rub

preheat rotisserie (or your oven) to 350F. rub birds down all over with butter. bake for 50 minutes, basting with juices every ten-fifteen minutes. when hens are golden brown and you have tested for an internal temperature of 160F (i’m not going to lie, i have NEVER done this), remove them and set aside to rest.

preheat your broiler. pat molasses rub all over hens, packing well to form a coating. place the hens under the broiler until the rub caramelizes and darkens, about 5 minutes. remove and serve over cheddar grits or mashed potatoes.


November 13, 2010

my 25-page research paper for my entrepreneurship class is finished. my christmas gifts are bought, wrapped, and shipped. it’s time to try out cookie recipes for the second annual rebekah johnson cookie exchange. this will be my first practice batch…maybe with raspberry icing. they’re from martha stewart’s website. say what you want about the jailbird, she can make a cookie.

Makes 30

  • 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated, peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda, dissolved in 1 tablespoon boiling water
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar


  1. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, and spices into a medium bowl. Put butter, brown sugar, and grated ginger into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed until fluffy. Beat in molasses.
  2. Beat in flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the baking soda mixture. Shape dough into a disk, and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours (up to overnight).
  3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Shape dough into 1/2-inch balls, and space 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate 20 minutes.
  4. Roll balls in granulated sugar. Bake until surfaces crack slightly, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on sheets, 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks, and let cool completely. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container up to 3 days.


weeknight asian fusion

November 9, 2010

in order to be welcome to this alleged asian food island rebekah spoke of a few days ago, i suppose i should actually do more asian-food-wise than visit jeng chi (ooooooh, the dim sum goodness) every saturday after my bradley childbirth class. tonight i did salmon.

2 tbsp. sugar

2 large garlic cloves, diced

soy sauce

toasted sesame oil

rice noodles (enough for two people)

handful chopped bok choy

handful chopped shitake mushrooms

handful chopped asparagus

one leek, sliced into thin strips

1/2 lb wild salmon

first, soak rice noodles in very hot water. set aside.

in a small frying pan, heat vegetable oil on medium until water sprinkled in it pops. in very small batches, fry leeks until crispy. set aside on crumpled-up paper towels to drain.

in a large frying pan (or wok, but i don’t have one), sprinkle sugar evenly. cover with just enough water to absorb sugar and heat on low until bubbling. add garlic. when sugar just begins to turn yellow, add three big splashes of sesame oil, three big splashes of soy sauce, and turn up the heat to medium-high. drain rice noodles. add remaining veggies and rice noodles to pan, stir-frying for two minutes. remove from heat and divide onto two serving plates.

heat a skillet drizzled with sesame oil over medium. salt and pepper salmon filet and sear briefly on each side, two minutes or less. if you don’t have sushi quality salmon, for the love of god, cook it longer. just don’t leave it on the stove to dry up. cut filet in half, place on top of rice noodle stir-fry, and top with fried leeks. garnish with fresh lemon slices and cilantro.