Friday, February 27, 2009

Mardi Gras

My girlfriend threw a Mardis Gras party, this past Tuesday. It was a kid friendly party, so nothing crazy to report, LOL. As soon as I got the invitation, I knew I had to ask Michelle for recipes. I know Michelle from the cooking board on Baby Center. She is originally from Louisiana, and has recently moved back. She also has a food blog, which I think is wonderful, since she goes into history of food, etc. So I asked her for recipes and decided to go with Mississippi Mud Pie. You know me and desserts, LOL. After hearing what others were bringing, I also decided to make Maque Chou, to give us more savory choices.

The Maque Chou was great. Think of it as spicy cream corn. Hubby also enjoyed it, so that was a plus. Mr.B and Queenie thought it was too spicy, even though I cut down on the Cajun seasoning. This is such a simple dish, but full of flavor.


Corn Maque Chou

12 ears fresh corn, or sub. 2 cans whole kernel and 1 can cream style corn
1 large onion chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 ripe tomato, diced small
1 clove garlic, minced1 cup milk
1 stick butter or margarine
Cajun seasoning or salt, pepper and cayenne, to taste

Cut corn off cob and scrape cobs to get all the juice. Heat butter in a dutch oven, add onion, bell pepper and garlic and saute until tender. Add corn and juices, tomato, and seasonings. Cook mixture over medium heat for 1 ½ hours. Stir frequently, adding a little milk throughout the process to keep the mixture moist and soft.
Cindy's notes: I used a bag of frozen corn and 1 can of cream corn, instead of fresh or canned.

The Mississippi Mud Pie was also delicious. There is still several pieces in the fridge ( insert devil smiley here). I thought the crust could be more sweet, so if I make this again, I'll add more sugar. The directions were a bit off and I had to ask Hubby for his opinion. He straightened them out for me and it turned out great. Chocolaty and creamy, YUM!


Mississippi Mud Pie


1 cup flour
dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar
1 block butter not margarine (8 tblsp)
1 cup nuts your choice I use pecans, finely chopped


1 block cream cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
4 tbsp whipped cream
2 packages 6 oz instant chocolate pudding
3 cups milk

In a bowl, combine butter, flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg until crumbly. Add finely chopped pecans and press into a 9X13 pan. Bake crust for 30 minutes or lightly brown, remove from oven and cool completely. Blend the cream cheese, powder sugar and whipped cream. On the side mix the pudding and milk till thickened. Add pudding to crust and top with cream cheese/whipped cream mixture. Add nuts (and chocolate curls) to top. Keep refrigerated. You can double the recipe for larger crowds. Enjoy!! Could be served with other holiday desserts or prepared in smaller pie tins for individual servings at kids parties or church fundraisers.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I've been slacking lately.......

Not with the cooking, just the blogging, LOL. So this will be a multi dish entry ( if Queenie let's me). I'll start with Salmon Patties. My Mom made these atleast once every other week, while growing up. It's one of the first recipes I learned from her and one of my favorites. Simple, yet tasty. For some reason the only salmon I like is from the can, so this is perfect for me, LOL.


Salmon Patties

2-3 cans salmon, juiced reserved and picked clean
1 egg
1 sleeve saltine crackers, crushed
salt and pepper
oil for shallow frying

In a bowl, combine salmon and it's juices. Flake up the salmon really well, so there are no big hunks. Add in the egg and salt and pepper. Mix well. Add in cracker crumbs, mix well and let sit 5 minutes. In a large skillet, heat enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Form salmon mixture into 8 patties and fry until dark golden brown on each side, 3-5 mins. Remove to paper towels, to drain.


I've been in the chocolate mood, since Valentine's day, so I figured I'd make Toll House Chocolate Chip Pie. This is one of Hubby's favorite pies, since it's chocolate chip cookies, meets pie, LOL. This is a super easy recipe and it looks and tastes so impressive. You want to knock someone's socks off, make this for dessert. I can not make pie dough to save my life, so I always use store bought, LOL. The chocolate chips sink to the bottom and make a chocolaty bed for the nutty cookie- ish top. This recipe is a find from Baby Center's Cooking board.


Toll House Chocolate Chip Pie

1 cup white sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 (9 inch) pie shell

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
Combine cooled melted butter or margarine and sugar, eggs, pecans, flour and chocolate chips; mix well. Pour the mixture into the unbaked pastry shell and bake in the preheated oven for about 1 hour. Let cool and serve.
Christine's notes-I sub'd 1/2 brown sugar for white, and added 1/2 tsp vanilla extract.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Chicken Roll ups and Strawberry Shortcake

I think I'm entering a food rut. It could be because I'm tired of cooking only for myself and a 4 yr old that seems to make it his goal in life, to not eat the dinners I make. I feel unappreciated and just plain ole fed up with this whole cooking thing. Hubby is hardly home for dinner and lately when he is, we are both so exhausted, that we order in.

Tonight I wanted comfort food. I wanted creamy, ooey, gooey, cheesy stuff. I remembered a recipe I had copied from a Home Cook'n newsletter, so I dug it out and decided to try it. I really didn't care if Mr.B like it or not, I wanted it. Now I have a great liking for biscuits. Which would be the reason Hubby lovingly calls me biscuit butt. Ever since we moved to Houston, almost 7 yrs ago, I have never met a biscuit I didn't like, LOL. Anyway, you must see where this is going. The recipe uses biscuits. I don't roll mine out, I just use my fingers to flatten them out. Much faster and I don't dirty the rolling pin, or the counter. Mr.B ended up eating his serving of dinner, only because dessert was in his future if he did.......


Chicken Roll ups
DVO.com newsletter

2 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese
2 (10 3/4-ounce) cans cream of chicken soup
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
1 cup dry Italian bread crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 (12-ounce) tube refrigerated biscuits

Roll out each biscuit (about 5 inches). Place chicken and cheese on one side and roll up. Dip in butter and then roll in bread crumbs. Place in 9"x13" pan. Mix soup and milk in small sauce pan until hot and pour over roll-ups. Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes.
Cindy's notes: Ha, I just noticed that I only used 1 can of cream of chicken soup. The sauce was still yummy, I'd even say perfect. Don't crowd the rolls together, because the middle ones will not cook through, so please space them out and use 2 pans if needed.


Strawberries were on sale last week, so I bought a few containers. My most favorite thing to make with strawberries is shortcake. Usually I am lazy and make the recipe on the Bisquick box, but today I decided it would taste good with white cake. So I dug out my Simple White Cake recipe and went to town. The moist cake paired with the macerated berries and whipped cream, was heaven. Mr.B was in love, but then again what 4 yr old do you know, that doesn't love cake???


Simple White Cake

1 C sugar
1/2 C butter
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 C flour
1/2 C milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 or 8 inch round cake pan. In a medium bowl, cream sugar and butter. Beat the eggs in, 1 at a time, then add the vanilla. Combine the flour and baking soda and add to the creamed mixture. Mix well. Stir in the milk, until the batter is smooth. Pour into greased cake pan and bake for 30-40 minutes. The cake should spring back when slightly touched.
Cindy's notes: I also coat the pan with sugar, to keep the cake from sticking. It adds a nice crunchiness to the outside of the cake. To macerate berries, toss sliced berries with 2 Tbs orange juice and 1/4C sugar. Let sit for at least 30 mins, for the juices to develop. These berries are also good on waffles with vanilla yogurt.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Vegetable Lasagna and Honey of an Oatmeal Bread

I'm a huge carb eater. I love carbs!!! Bread, pasta, rice, you name it, I'll eat it. It could be a good thing and a bad thing, but I try to limit our pasta meals to 3 a week. That being said, I've been craving Stouffers Vegetable Lasagna. I can only find family sized ones, in the stores here, and refuse to pay $11 for something I can make at home for way less. So I fiddled around and came up with this recipe. It tasted pretty close to Stouffers. Mr.B is 4.... shall I say more? He ate the noodles and left the cheese veggie mixture on his plate. At this point I'm over trying to make him eat dinner and he knows he can either eat what is on his plate, or wait until breakfast the next morning.


Vegetable Lasagna

9 no boil lasagna noodles
1- 8oz container part skim Ricotta
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 1/2 C shredded mozzarella, divided
1 C chopped fresh broccoli
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
1 roasted red pepper, finely chopped
1/2 C chopped frozen spinach, thawed and drained


2 Tbs butter
2 Tbs flour
2 C milk
1 C Parmesan

In a sauce pot, melt butter, until bubbling. Add in flour and stir to combine. Cook for 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk, ensuring there are no lumps. Bring to boil and simmer 5 mins, or until thickened. Whisk in Parmesan cheese and stir until well blended.

In a bowl, combine Ricotta, egg, salt, pepper, garlic powder and 1 C mozzarella cheese; until well blended. Add in vegetables. Coat the bottom of an 11X9 inch baking dish with a thin layer of sauce. Top with 3 noodles and half the veggie/ cheese mixture. Top with one more ladle full of sauce. Repeat with noodles, cheese and sauce. Top with final 3 noodles and press down slightly. Top with remaining sauce and 1/2 C mozzarella. Cover and bake in a 375 degree oven for 1 hr. Let cool 10 mins, before serving.


In my quest of making carbs acceptable I fell in love with a recipe for Honey Oatmeal Bread, that Sandy ( one of the great girls on Baby Center) shared with us. I make this almost once a month, or when we are low on bread and I don't feel like going to the store. It's not a light chewy bread, but it makes great toast.


Honey Of An Oatmeal Bread
Follow the amounts in the parentheses to make a larger loaf.

1 cup water (1 1/3 cups)
1 T vegetable oil (1 1/2 T)
1/4 cup honey (1/3 cup)
1 tsp salt (1 tsp)
1/2 cup rolled oats (3/4 cup)
2 1/3 cups bread flour (3 1/3 cups)(sub up to 1 cup whole wheat flour)
1/4 cup oat bran (optional)
1 tsp active dry yeast (1 1/2 tsp)


Place ingredients in bread machine pan in the order suggested by the manufacturer. Select Light Crust or Basic setting, and press Start.
Cindy's notes: I do sub the 1 C wheat flour and use Oat Bran. I also bake it in the oven, so I use the dough cycle on our bread machine, place the dough into a greased loaf pan and let it rise for 30 mins. Then I bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes. The top should be browned and the loaf should sound hollow when tapped.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Pan Fried Crab Cakes

So I got this little pamphlet type piece of junk mail, trying to entice me in trying a Southern Living Cookbook, free for 30 days. Inside were some free recipes and this was one of them. I had bought a few cans of crab meat for real cheep at Aldi's and had no clue what I was going to do with them. So when I saw this recipe I pounced on it. I had actually asked the ladies on my cooking board if they had recipes, but all their recipes required Old Bay seasoning and we don't have any. I wasn't going to buy some just for one recipe...... Anyway I was pleased to see that this recipe didn't require Old Bay. These were super simple to make and I skipped the whole refrigerate one hour part ( didn't read the whole recipe once again), which is probably why my cakes were so dark, after 3 minutes of frying, LOL. Regardless they were really delicious. I really love the tartness of the Dijon with the sweetness of the crab. I went a little lighter on the hot sauce, for Mr.B's sake. He really enjoyed them, as did DH. I served them with sauteed potatoes and corn.


Pan Fried Crab Cakes
Southern Living
1/2C mayonnaise
2 eggs yolks, beaten
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
1 Tbs white wine Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp hot sauce
1 lb fresh lump crab meat, drained
1 cup crushed saltines ( about 20 crackers)
3 Tbs butter

Stir together first 5 ingredients, fold in crab meat and saltines. Let sit 3 minutes. Shape mixture into 8 patties. Place on a wax paper lined cookie sheet and chill one hour. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat; cook crab cakes, in batches, 3-4 minutes on each side until golden. Drain on paper towels. Serve with tartar sauce or cocktail sauce.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Neopolitan Ziti

I fell in love with Rachael Ray, about 4 yrs ago, when I was on bed rest, pregnant with Mr.B. I've watched her 30 minute meals show since then and am now watching her talk show. This was a recipe, a few weeks ago, that looked yummy, easy to make and used ingredients I always have in the house. So I made this Saturday night, for dinner. It was a hit with the kids and tastes even better the next day. The white sauce adds an extra creaminess to an already soul pleasing dish. The only changes I made were: I used tomato sauce, instead of whole tomatoes, used good ole grated mozzarella and I forgot to add the bay leaf to the white sauce. This one is a keeper and would be great to bring to a covered dish party, or to a new Mom, etc.

Neapolitan Baked Ziti
adapted from Rachael Ray

1 pound ziti with lines
2 tablespoons EVOO - Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, grated or minced
1 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes (look for ones from San Marzano)
4 to 5 leaves basil, torn
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
1 fresh or dried bay leaf
Freshly grated nutmeg
1 large ball fresh mozzarella, diced
1/4 cup (a handful) grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Yields: 4-6 servings
Preheat oven 400°F. Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring up to boil to cook the ziti. Once boiling, add some salt and the pasta, and cook just shy of al dente. Drain thoroughly. While the water is coming up to a boil, start the red sauce: Place a medium-size saucepot over medium-high heat with 2 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons. Add the onion and garlic, and cook, stirring every now and then until the onions start to get tender, about 3-4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and smash them up into small pieces with a potato masher or with the back of a spoon. Add the basil and season with some salt and pepper. Bring up to a bubble and simmer for 15 minutes. Once you have the red sauce working, make the white sauce: Place a medium-size saucepot over medium heat and melt the butter. Add the flour, stir to combine and cook for about a minute. Whisk in the milk, add the bay leaf and season with some salt, pepper and a couple of grates of nutmeg. Bring up to a bubble, turn the heat down to low and gently simmer, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and discard. Combine the cooked ziti with the red sauce in the pot the pasta was cooked in and transfer everything to a baking dish. Top with the white sauce. Sprinkle the mozzarella and grated Parmigiano over the top, transfer to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Fish Tacos

I've been wanting to try fish tacos for a long time. Although we never eat at any restaurants who serve them, LOL. I decided to take the plunge and try to make some at home. I looked at some online recipes and basically winged it from there, using ingredients I thought would taste good. And boy did they taste good, LOL. Mr.B even ate his taco, which I had left deconstructed on his plate, since he takes his sandwiches apart anyway. I was surprised to see him put it together and eat it the way he was suppose to. Everyone thinks I'm so lucky to have a son who likes to eat fish, other than fish sticks, LOL. I used flounder, but any light tasting, white fish would do. Since my fillets were so thin, I left them whole, instead of cutting them to bite size pieces, like most recipes. I used a combination of flour and cornmeal, for a nice crunchy crust.


Fish Tacos

1 lb flounder or light tasting white fish (cod, sole etc)
1/4C cornmeal
1/4C flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper
small soft flour tortillas
chopped tomato
lettuce, shredded
salsa or taco sauce
tartar sauce

Combine cornmeal, flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Pat fish dry with paper towel. Dip fish into flour mixture, making sure all of fish is completely covered. Heat a large fry pan, over med heat, with enough oil to cover the bottom. (To make sure oil is hot enough, dip the handle of a wooden spoon into the oil. If the wood bubbles, while it touches the bottom of the pan, the oil is hot enough). Fry fillets until golden brown and crispy on each side. Remove to a paper towel lined plate.

Warm tortillas by wrapping in foil and placing in a hot oven, or by wrapping in paper towel and microwaving for 10 second. Spread tartar sauce on half the tortilla. Top with lettuce and tomato. Place fish on top of tomato, drizzle with a bit more tartar sauce and top with salsa. Fold the tortilla over and enjoy.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Extra Veggie Lasagna and Frosted Banana Bars

I always try and find ways to get more veggies into Hubby and Mr.B. So now when I make lasagna, I add an extra layer of veggies, between the 2 layers of meat. M.B sometimes manages to find my hidden little treasures, but more often than not, he eats his meal blissfully unaware of ingesting spinach, carrots and peppers, LOL.


Extra Veggie Lasagna

12 no boil lasagna noodles
3-4 C favorite meat sauce, jarred or homemade
10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained
2 large carrots, shredded
1/2 red pepper, minced
2 C mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese

Coat a 9X11 inch baking dish with a thin layer sauce. Place 3 noodles over sauce and cover with sauce and 1/2 C of cheese. Place 3 more noodles and top lightly with sauce. Evenly distribute spinach, carrots and peppers, over noodles. Sprinkle with 1/2 C mozzarella. Repeat first layer ( noodles, meat sauce and cheese) topping with remaining noodles, sauce, mozzarella and sprinkle of Parmesan. Bake at covered, at 375, for 1 hr. Let sit 10 mins, before serving.


This Frosted Banana Bar recipe was one of the recipes, in our Meal of the Week challenge, on Babycenter's Cooking for your Family board. I always have ripe bananas in the freezer, so of course I had to try the recipe. I baked mine in a 9X11 inch pan, so they were a tad thicker than they are suppose to be. I also had to bake them longer, for this same reason. Since I used a smaller pan, I halved the frosting recipe. These are really good. They have a subtle banana flavor. I shared a piece with Hubby last night, and he really enjoyed them. So much so, that he got up and grabbed his own piece. I never thought of pairing bananas with cream cheese frosting, but they go well together.


Lori~Taste of Home

These are the bomb, if anyone remembers Sara Lee used to have a banana cake, this is just like that, very very fattening though!


1/2 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 medium ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)


1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3-3/4 to 4 cups confectioners' sugar


In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add the eggs, sour cream and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Stir in bananas. Spread into a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool.

For frosting, in a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Gradually beat in enough confectioners' sugar to achieve desired consistency. Frost bars. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 3-4 dozen.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Pioneer Woman's Dinner Rolls and the Neely's Zucchini Gratin

I love to watch the Food Network, whenever I can. Hubby laughs at me, since I drive myself insane drooling over half of what I see. But every now and then I see a recipe that I just have to try. That's what happened when I was watching Down Home with the Neely's, last Saturday. I saw them make a Zucchini Gratin and thought, "well, I have zucchini in the fridge, that I'm avoiding, so why not". Now I'm not too fond of zucchini, but do not hate it. I just don't really know how to cook with it much, in a way that I really enjoy the texture and flavor. I figured anything covered in cheese is good, so let's give it a try. Queenie McBeenie was a little ornery that day, so needless to say she wasn't thrilled when Mommy put her in her walker, so she could make dinner. In my haste to hurry up and stop the whining at my heals, I left out the flour and thyme. The flavor was still delicious, but the dish was watery. Regardless, it was delicious. I had 2 servings, and Queenie had a healthy helping as well. Mr.B, is in his 'I'm not hungry, but want dessert' phase, so he only picked at his dinner once again. I will definitely try it again, adding the flour and thyme in next time, LOL.


Zucchini Gratin
Down Home with the Neely's

2 Tbs butter1 med onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic chopped
6 zucchini, sliced into half moons, 1/4-inch thick
2 plum tomatoes, chopped and seeded
1 Tbs freshly chopped thyme
2 Tbs flour
salt and pepper
1 Tbs brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 C half and half
1/4 C grated sharp white cheddar
1/4 C Parmesan

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter and 8X8 casserole dish. In a large heavy bottomed saute pan over med heat, melt butter. Saute onion and garlic until translucent. Add zucchini and tomatoes, cook about 7 mins. Add thyme, and flour. Season with salt and pepper. Add mixture to casserole dish. In a bowl, beat eggs. Combine with half and half, brown sugar and salt and pepper. Pour over zucchini. Top with cheddar and Parmesan cheese. Bake in oven for 30 minutes.
Cindy's notes: I used Mozzarella cheese instead of white Cheddar and 1% milk, for the half and half.


I'm really intrigued by these recipes for no knead bread. I was sent one in a cooking new letter before Thanksgiving. Though it was good, I wasn't in love with the rolls. So remembering that the Pioneer Woman had a no knead roll recipe, I ventured over to her site. I took note of a few other recipes I need to try and printed off her roll recipe. Off to the kitchen I went. Now I scaled her recipe to 1/4 the size of what it usually is, since it seemed we'd be eating rolls until spring, if I made the full batch. So I made the rolls, which was pretty easy. I'm not sure about the last step of adding flour, baking soda and powder though. I had a hard time knowing if all was mixed properly. It must not have been since some of the rolls had brown spots in them. Regardless, they tasted quite good. I will have to try this one again.


Dinner Rolls - no kneading required
Pioneer Woman

The Cast of Characters:

Flour, Sugar, Milk, Vegetable Oil, Salt, and Active Dry Yeast. Everyone has this stuff!

Begin with 4 cups of milk.Pour the milk into a stock pot or dutch oven.To the milk, add 1 cup of sugar…And 1 cup of vegetable oil. Stir to combine.Now, turn the burner on medium to medium-low and “scald” the mixture, which means heat it up just until the point that it would boil. Before the mixture boils, turn off the heat. (Note: At this point in the game, I have walked away and forgotten about it more times than I care to count. If you come back to the stove and it’s boiling, don’t freak out. Just turn off the heat and it’ll be fine.)

NOW. Very important stuff here: walk away. Walk away and allow this mixture to cool to warm/lukewarm. The mixture will need to be warm enough to be a hospitable environment for the yeast, but not so hot that it kills the yeast and make it inactive. I don’t usually use a thermometer, but if you’d like to, a good temp is between 90 and 110 degrees. I usually feel the side of the pan with the palm of my hand. If it’s hot at all, I wait another 20 minutes or so. The pan should feel comfortably warm.

When you’re ready, throw in 4 cups of flour.Then sprinkle in 2 packages (or 4 1/2 teaspoons) Active Dry Yeast.Stir together to get the yeast into the warm moistness. (Warm moistness…for some reason that phrase makes me want to take a nap. I can’t explain why.)After the yeast and flour are nicely incorporated, add another 4 cups of flour. The reason I didn’t add the 8 cups all together is that I wanted to give the yeast a chance to mingle with the warmth a little more.Stir together and allow to sit, covered with a tea towel or lid, for an hour. The dough will seem overly sticky. Make sure you don’t set it next to a freezing cold window; it’s best if it’s in a relatively warm environment. Near the stove is fine.

After an hour (or so) the mixture will have poufed up quite a bit. If yours doesn’t look like it’s changed much, put it in a warm (but turned-off) oven for 45 minutes or so. Now, to finish it off, add 1 more cup of flour…1 heaping (more than level) teaspoon baking powder…1 scant (less than level) teaspoon baking soda…And 2 tablespoons salt. Now stir together until combined. It’ll be a little tough to stir, so sometimes I’ll knead it around on the countertop a few times just to get the ingredients combined. But remember…with this dough, there’s NO NEED TO KNEAD!

When it’s all mixed, you can put it in the fridge, covered, for up to two days before using the dough (which means you can go make the dough NOW if you’re using it tomorrow.) Or, if you make it the day of, you can just leave it on the counter until you need it. Keep in mind, though, that the dough will continue to rise (though more slowly in the fridge) so you’ll have to occasionally punch it down if it overflows. NOTE: If you do refrigerate the dough, be sure to remove it from the fridge an hour or two before you need it.

When you’re ready to make the rolls, here’s what to do:

Butter 1 or 2 muffin pans, depending on how many rolls you need. Don’t be shy, turkeys! Lay it on as thick as you want. To form the rolls, pinch off a walnut-sized piece of dough. Make like a six-year-old and roll it into a ball. Repeat, and tuck three balls of dough into each buttered muffin tin. Continue until the pan is full.

Now, it’s very important to give the rolls plenty of room to RISE, as that will make all the difference in the ultimate consistency of the rolls. How quickly they rise depends on many factors: how warm the room is, where the pan is, and whether or not the yeast is in a good mood that day. I always allow myself a good 2 to 3 hours before the meal to allow the rolls to rise, as there’s nothing worse than having to bake flat rolls.

Bake at 400 degrees until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Keep your eye on them, though. I’m the biggest roll burner there is and you shouldn’t listen to me. If you think of it ahead of time, you can brush melted butter on the tops of the unbaked rolls. Or, you can brush the tops with eggs whites and sprinkle them with poppyseeds. Or, you can just leave them plain.