Monday, November 1, 2010

Oatmeal Flaxseed Rolls

These are the not-so-pretty rolls I brought to the Vaughan pig roast in September. And the rolls that I promised to post the recipe for THAT WEEK. It's been two months since then... but at least that's better than the time frame for my poor midwife. I told her I would e-mail the recipe to her about six months ago.

Anyway, these are worth the wait! These are great to have on hand for all occasions, but they are especially handy for car trips. My kids have gotten adept at catching rolls tossed by a driving parent!

Oatmeal Flaxseed Rolls
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 1 3/4 cups oatmeal (I use old-fashioned oats)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
Stir these ingredients together; cool to lukewarm temperature. Combine:
  • 1/4 cup very warm water
  • 1 pkg. (2 1/4 tsp.) yeast
Mix with lukewarm oatmeal mixture. Stir in:
  • 5 cups flour (all-purpose or bread)
Cover and let rise until doubled in size. Pinch into rolls and let double again-- or, if you're in a hurry, bake them right away. They are NOT temperamental. Cook at 375° for 10-20 minutes, depending on size. I usually do them for about 13 minutes, I make them about 4 inches in diameter? Just break one open, and if it's gooey in the middle, bake them a few more minutes! This recipe makes bread, too, I've never tried it that way so you would have to experiment with (definitely longer) cooking times.

While we're on the subject of rolls, here's a very handy roll recipe from my husband's side of the family.

60 Minute Rolls
  • 2 pkgs. (4 1/2 tsp.) yeast
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 T butter
Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water. Heat milk and butter 1-2 minutes in microwave. Butter won't be fully melted. Put milk/butter mixture in bowl and add
  • 3 T sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt

Mix in
  • 3 cups flour
Add yeast mixture and stir thoroughly. Let stand, covered, for 15 minutes. Roll out on a floured surface and cut into rolls with biscuit cutter. Put on a greased cookie sheet. Let stand 15 minutes more. Bake for 10 minutes at 400°.

These are very handy for hamburger buns, or to serve with dinner. As the title suggests, they're a pretty quick yeast roll! That said, I find they are MUCH easier to work with if the initial rise is 20 minutes instead of 15. You'll need a lot less flour to keep them from sticking, therefore making them more tender.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Retro Jello!

I discovered Jello salads the other day, when someone who grew up eating Marilyn's layered Jello salad wrote and asked me for the recipe. I got the recipe the same week my nieces were coming, so I decided to try to make it for the kids. I didn't have a Jello mold, so I used my Bundt pan. After about 17 boxes of Jello (okay, maybe 6), the kids were impatient, so we just ate it without finishing filling the pan.

Then Bethaney helped the cause of Jello by buying two Jello molds at the thrift store. The top picture is her mold-- sort of a snowflake. The bottom picture is mine-- polka-dotty! I finally, on the third try, learned how to unmold the Jello. As you can see in the top picture, half of the mold melted because I did it wrong.

Anyway, here is the recipe if you, too, want to make a dessert that would make you snicker if you saw it in the pages of an old magazine! :-)

Depending on the size of the Jello mold, you'll need 5 or 6 of the small boxes of Jello, whatever flavors you want to use. To the first package, add one cup of boiling water. Then, divide the Jello-water mixture in half. To one half, add 3 T sour cream. To the other half, add 3 T of water. (Marilyn said she put ice cubes or cold water in, but I found it set in the bowl before the layer in the mold was firm. I used warm water and that gave me more time.) Put the sour cream mixture on the bottom of the mold and refrigerate. (I might do the other layer first next time-- the bottom picture looks a little sickly with the light purple color.) When it is firm, add the other mixture on top. Then, when that layer is set, boil some more water and start over with another flavor!

This obviously is not a quick recipe, but it wasn't really that much work. Every couple of hours during my day, I would just mix up another box of Jello. When I was done with the whisk and measuring cup, I just rinsed it in water and left it out for the next batch-- I can't imagine washing everything thoroughly in between, and it's Jello, for Pete's sake. Practically indestructible.

One of the trickiest parts is unmolding the finished salad. What worked for me was running a knife around just the top layer to loosen that up a bit, then dipping the whole mold in a sink of hot water for 5-10 seconds. (I have pitifully lukewarm water, 5 seconds will probably do it with regular hot water.) Put a plate over the top, and invert!

I don't think I explained this recipe very well, but hopefully it becomes clearer as you do it. And beyond the showiness of it, it is yummy! The kids loved it, and so did I. I have to admit, the idea of sour cream with Jello was off-putting, but just think about cream and Jello, and it sounds better! :-)