BUTTERMILK ROLLS

A batch of homemade bread is a necessary evil for any holiday feast. These rolls are buttery and golden  and just plain delicious!

BUTTERMILK ROLLS makes 24 rolls
1/2 cup warm water
2 envelopes active dry yeast 1/4 ounce each)
6 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
2 LARGE eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup buttermilk (NOT low-fat)
1 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
4 + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided and melted
3 1/2 + 4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
Flaky Sea Salt

  • Combine warm water, heat and 1 teaspoon of sugar, set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes or so.
  • In a medium bowl stir together eggs, buttermilk, kosher salt, 4 tablespoons butter, and remaining sugar until well blended.
  • Add yeast mixture and 3 1/2 cups of the flour, stirring until dough forms.
  • Sprinkle for surface with remaining flour.
  • Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead until slightly elastic. Add addictional flour as necessary.
  • Place dough in greased bowl, turning to coat dough.
  • Cover with saran and chill at least 8 hours or overnight.
  • Grease 2 – 12 cups muffin tins.
  • Punch chilled dough down and turn out onto a floured surface.
  • Divide dough in half.
  • Roll one half of the dough to a 12×16 rectangle 1/4 inch thick.
  • Brush with melted butter.
  • Cut into 12 equal pieces.
  • Gently roll each piece into a round and place in muffin tins.
  • Repeat with the other half of the dough until all rolls are ready for baking.
  • Brush again with any remaining melted butter.
  • Cover with a cheesecloth towel and let rise in a warm place 1-1 1/2 hours until double in size.
  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Bake rolls 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
  • Brush again with butter and transfer to cooling rack for 15-20 minutes

DAY 7 ~ BLOGMAS 2017 ~ FAVORITE STORIES

This story originally came across my email and I was reminded that it is a beautiful way to celebrate Christmas Holiday spirit so I thought I’d share. This is such a beautiful story that makes you understand that things truly do happen for a reason. Don’t forget to grab the tissue box.

The brand new pastor and his wife, newly assigned to their first ministry, to reopen a church in suburban Brooklyn, arrived in early October excited about their opportunities. When they saw their church, it was very run down and needed much work. They set a goal to have everything done in time to have their first service on Christmas Eve.

They worked hard, repairing pews, plastering walls, painting, etc… and on December 18th they were ahead of schedule and just about finished.

On December 19th a terrible tempest – a driving rainstorm hit the area and lasted for two days.

On the 21st, the pastor went over to the church. His heart sank when he saw that the roof had leaked, causing a large area of plaster about 20 feet by 8 feet to fall off the front wall of the sanctuary just behind the pulpit, beginning about head high.

The pastor cleaned up the mess on the floor, and not knowing what else to do but postpone the Christmas Eve service, headed home. On the way he noticed that a local business was having a flea market type sale for charity so he stopped in. One of the items was a beautiful, handmade, ivory colored, crocheted tablecloth with exquisite work, fine colors and a Cross embroidered right in the center. It was just the right size to cover up the hole in the front wall. He bought it and headed back to the church.

By this time it had started to snow. An older woman running from the opposite direction was trying to catch the bus. She missed it. The pastor invited her to wait in the warm church for the next bus 45 minutes later. She sat in a pew and paid no attention to the pastor while he got a ladder, hangers, etc… to put up the tablecloth as a wall tapestry. The pastor could hardly believe how beautiful it looked and it covered up the entire problem area.

Then he noticed the woman walking down the center aisle. Her face was like a sheet.. ‘Pastor,’ she asked, ‘where did you get that tablecloth?’ The pastor explained. The woman asked him to check the lower right corner to see if the initials, EBG were crocheted into it there. They were. These were the initials of the woman, and she had made this tablecloth 35 years before, in Austria.

The woman could hardly believe it as the pastor told how he had just gotten the Tablecloth. The woman explained that before the war she and her husband were well-to-do people in Austria. When the Nazis came, she was forced to leave. Her husband was going to follow her the next week. He was captured, sent to prison and she never saw her husband or her home again.

The pastor wanted to give her the tablecloth, but she made the pastor keep it for the church. The pastor insisted on driving her home, that was the least he could do. She lived on the other side of Staten Island and was only in Brooklyn for the day for a house cleaning job.

What a wonderful service they had on Christmas Eve The church was almost full. The music and the spirit were great. At the end of the service, the pastor and his wife greeted everyone at the door and many said that they would return. One older man, whom the pastor recognized from the neighborhood continued to sit in one of the pews and stare, and the pastor wondered why he wasn’t leaving.

The man asked him where he got the Tablecloth on the front wall because it was identical to one that his wife had made years ago when they lived in Austria before the war and how could there be two tablecloths so much alike.

He told the pastor how the Nazis came, how he forced his wife to flee for her safety and he was supposed to follow her, but he was arrested and put in a prison. He never saw his wife or his home again all the 35 years in between.

The pastor asked him if he would allow him to take him for a little ride. They drove to Staten Island and to the same house where the pastor had taken the woman three days earlier.

He helped the man climb the three flights of stairs to the woman’s apartment, knocked on the door and he saw the greatest Christmas reunion he could ever imagine.

This true Story was submitted by Pastor Rob Reid.

 TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS

DAY 6 ~ BLOGMAS 2017 ~ WISH LIST

Participating in BLOGMAS helps get me in and keep me in the Christmas spirit. There is a new prompt for each day.  It is a lot of fun to read about each other’s traditions and family recipes and pictures.

This year we are forgoing BIG gifts again and doing stockings only since this house has eaten up all our disposable cash so fast!  We are planning trips after the first of the year to decide 100% where we are going though and calling it our Christmas present to each other.

DOUBLE APPLE BUNDT CAKE ala Dorie Greenspan

Here is another Dorie Greenspan cake that topped my list from when I did the meme several years back.

DOUBLE APPLE BUNDT CAKE

2 cups ALL PURPOSE flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon QUALITY ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup apple butter
2 eggs
2 medium apples, peeled, cored and grated
1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
½ cup plump golden raisins

  • Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Butter a 12 cup Bundt pan.
  • Dust the interior of the pan with flour, then tap out the excess.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. Set aside.
  • Working with a stand mixer beat the butter and sugar on medium speed, scarping the bowl as needed for 3 minutes or until the mixture is smooth, thick and pale.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating for about 1 minute after each addition; until you have a light, fluffy batter. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the apple butter. It may appear to curdle the batter, don’t worry it will be okay.
  • With the mixer still on low speed add the grated apples and mix to completely blend.
  • Add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they disappear into the batter.
  • Using a rubber spatula, fold in the nuts and raisins.
  • Turn the batter into the Bundt pan and smooth the top of the batter with the rubber spatula.
  • Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a think knife inserted deep into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Transfer the pan to a cooling rack to cool for 5 minutes before inverting and cooling the cake to room temperature.
  • If possible, once the cake is completely cool, wrap well in plastic and let it stand overnight at room temperature to ripen the flavors.
  • If you’re not going to ice the cake, you can dust it with confectioners’ sugar just before serving.

OPTIONAL GLAZE:
1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons fresh orange or lemon juice

  • Put the sugar in a small bowl and stir in a squirt or two of either orange or lemon juice. Keep adding the juice a little at a time until you have a glaze that falls easily from the tip of a spoon.
  • Drizzle the glaze over the top of the cake letting it slide down the curves of the cake in whatever pattern it makes.
  • Let the cake stand until the glaze dries before slicing.

DAY 5 ~ BLOGMAS 2017 ~ MUST HAVES

What I CANNOT live without in winter is many many things, but these are my top items! The one thing I am absolutely sure of is that if I have a sore throat, dry skin, cold feet or hands, cold food or catch a cold I am NOT happy.

I drink a cup of green tea every night and try to make very balanced comfort food meals to warm up my family from the inside out.  Here are a few of our favorite soups and stews links for you.

Split Pea Soup  

Red Chicken Chili

Black Eyed Pea Chili

Tomato Spinach Soup  

Navy Bean & Ham Soup

Chicken & Sausage Gumbo  

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 49 of 2017

I hope everyone had an awesome week. Mine was busy with surgery prep and trying to get things done in advance so hubby has very little to do while I’m in recovery mode.

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE

We had a thunderstorm yesterday that rivaled Hurricane Harvey and has knocked out my TV and internet so I’m using the neighbors to finish this post.  At&T after a heated discussion did promise a technician between 4 and 8 this afternoon.  Unfortunately the 2 dozen Christmas movies I had taped on the DVR to watch during recovery are now toast as well as  so we will be calling the customer loyalty number and having a chat about reliability since this is the 4th time in 12 months we have been without service or lost all our shows already recorded.

The weather itself is gray, rainy and still quite WARM. 80° in December is unbearable as far as I’m concerned.  It is supposed to storm today and tomorrow and then drop down into the 60’s on Wednesday.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE

Protein drink and green tea

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE / WEEKLY TO DO LIST & HOUSE PROJECTS

  • LAUNDRY… quite a few loads today, towels, bedding and clothing
  • LIVING AREAS & KITCHEN… plan on doing a deep clean today and tomorrow in preparation of not being able to do anything for 60 days and not wanting hubby to have to do it.
  • STUDIO… is mainly storage these days so nothing going on there
  • YARD… nothing
  • BLOG… some recipe updating, future post planning and holiday post planning

CURRENTLY READING & TELEVISION / DVR

I’m reading book #9 Calendar of New Beginnings.

  • BIG BANG THEORY and the new YOUNG SHELDON when it returns later this week
  • NCIS, NCIS NEW ORLEANS and NCIS LA, CRIMINAL MINDS, S.W.A.T. starts this week
  • MADAM SECRETARY, SCANDAL, DESIGNATED SURVIVOR
  • CHICAGO FIRE, CHICAGO PD, CHICAGO MED later this season
  • BRAVE, VALOR, SEAL TEAM
  • LAW & ORDER SVU, BLUE BLOODS, HAWAII 5-0
  • MACGYVER, SCORPION, BLINDSPOT, ORVILLE, WISDOM OF THE CROWD
  • Z NATION, WALKING DEAD, FLASH, DC LEGENDS, INHUMANS
  • THE GOOD PLACE, AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE, SPEECHLESS, GREAT NEWS
  • THIS IS US, ONCE UPON A TIME, THE GOOD DOCTOR
  • GUY’S GROCERY GAMES, BEAT BOBBY FLAY, BOBBY AND DAMARIS

CRAFTS / PROJECTS

Not this week, but maybe next week if I’m feeling up to it,  Ill be working on a series of door paintings (possibly mixed media) which I hope to show you soon as well as a mixed media tree of life.

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
BREAKFAST
FRUIT & COFFEE
SCRAMBLED EGGS
FRUIT SMOOTHIE
FRUIT & COFFEE
SCRAMBLED EGGS
GUY FOOD & LIQUID DIET
GUY FOOD & LIQUID DIET
LUNCH
FRUIT & CHEESE
SOUP
MEAT ROLL-UPS
SALAD
MEAT & CHEESE
GUY FOOD & LIQUID DIET
GUY FOOD & LIQUID DIET
DINNER
GUY FOOD & LIQUID DIET
GUY FOOD & LIQUID DIET
GUY FOOD & LIQUID DIET
GUY FOOD & LIQUID DIET
GUY FOOD & LIQUID DIET
GUY FOOD & LIQUID DIET
GUY FOOD & LIQUID DIET
DESSERT

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

I did A LOT of pre-prep during Thanksgiving week, but the refrigerator still only had so much space.  By staking and using the appropriate sized plates in between you can stack and stack and stack to fit it ALL in.

ON MY MIND / THINGS THAT ARE MAKING ME HAPPY

I’m looking forward to starting recovery later this week with surgery finally behind me.  Because of surgery I was on the war path to get things accomplished so hubby didn’t have to.  I’m happy to say all my Christmas packages are wrapped and packaged for shipping. YAY something good is coming from the rush to get ready for surgery.

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA

Saturday night’s FULL Moon was just GORGEOUS!

INSPIRATION

Be sure to link up with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy homemaker Monday, Terri at Darling Downs Diaries and with Laura at I’m an Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

DAY 4 ~ BLOGMAS 2017 ~ FAVORITE CHRISTMAS MOVIES

Today’s category is an easy one for me.  I start taping Christmas movies on Lifetime, Hallmark and INSP as soon as they air so I can watch all year long.  I’m a sucker for a happy ending and let’s face it, Christmas movies have happy endings.

So this list could be reallllllllllly long, but I will just keep it to the top 5 MUST watch each and every year movies.

It’s a toss up for me about whether White Christmas with Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Vera Ellen and Danny Kaye or It’s a Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart, Lionel Barrymore and Donna Reed is my absolute favorite, but I think I’m leaning towards It’s a Wonderful life!
Which Miracle on 34th street version (the original with Natalie Wood or the remake with Richard Attenborough) is the best?  BOTH versions of course!
The Santa Clause with Tim Allen quickly became a favorite – who could resist visiting the North Pole every year?
 Now Home Alone is just silly, but it never fails to make me laugh!

BUFFALO CHICKEN PULL APART BREAD

I found this recipe for Buffalo Chicken Pull-Apart Bread on Facebook, you know one of those that they show you in video form in 30 seconds or less AND looks really scrumptious?  I was thinking of making it as an appetizer when our son and family are here at Christmas time, but needed to test it first. Well, it was HUGE success and I now make it more regularly.

Well, this recipe did not disappoint.  I made some of my homemade Farmhouse Buttermilk Dressing to go with it and the combination was addicting! Instead of an appetizer we added a salad and made it a meal.

BUFFALO CHICKEN PULL-APART BREAD
2 packages Pillsbury pizza dough (I used 1 recipe of my homemade pizza dough)
2 cups chicken, cooked and shredded (I used original recipe Costco Rotisserie chicken)
1 cup Buffalo sauce (I used Frank’s Original Hot Sauce)
1/4 cup scallions, chopped (I used more, about double – we like onions)
2 1/2 cups grated pepper jack cheese (I used regular jack cheese)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 jalapeno, sliced (OPTIONAL – I didn’t use)
Ranch dressing for dipping (I used a batch of Farmhouse Buttermilk Dressing)

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • In a bowl toss together the chicken, buffalo sauce, green onions and half the cheese.
  • Roll out dough and cut into 3×3 inch squares (about 30 squares total). **SEE NOTE
  • Brush each square with the melted butter.
  • Top each square with a spoonful of chicken mixtures and then a sprinkling of the remaining cheese.
  • Brush loaf pan with butter.
  • Stack each square on top of each other in your loaf pan with the chicken side up.
  • Brush top of bread with remaining butter.
  • Top with remaining cheese.
  • Bake 40-50 minutes until golden and set.

NOTE:  The original recipe had you doing each square one at a time, but I found it much easier to do them all at once and then stack them in the loaf pan while it was standing on end for a more even and less messy build.

SHARING with FOODIE FRIDAY and TASTY THURSDAY.