Easy Yeast Rolls!

My mother's yeast rolls are nearly least around these  She has made literally thousands of these wonderful rolls through the years and has the art down to perfection.  I use her recipe when I make them and they are pretty good, but nobody makes these rolls like my mother.  Yesterday, I watched her make them from step one, which I had never done before, and I think I might have picked up a few of her secrets.   I can now pass those tips on to you. 

Don't let the steps in this put you off.  There are several steps, but it is not really that complicated and well worth the effort and this is what you will get.

Here is what you will need:

All purpose flour (we prefer White Lily if you can get it in your area), vegetable or canola oil, sugar, yeast, salt, milk (not pictured) and water.

You will need to sift 5 of the 6 cups of flour into a large mixing bowl.  The bowl needs to have plenty of room for these to double in size when they rise.  Warm 2 cups of milk in the microwave for 5 minutes and let it cool to where it is just warm to the touch. 

Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water.  Make sure the water is not too hot or it will kill your yeast.  To the warm milk add 3/4 cup oil, 3/4 cup sugar, and 1 tsp salt.  Mix together and add to the flour.  Now add the yeast to this mixture and stir to blend.  This mixture will be very loose. Pour about 2 Tbs. oil over the top the dough and spread it around to coat it. Cover with a kitchen towel and let this rise for 2 hours. 

The mixture should almost double and look like this.  If your kitchen is cold or drafty, this will take much longer.  Sit the bowl near the oven if you are cooking and have it on to speed the rising.  Now take the other cup of flour, sifted and sprinkle 1/2 of it on the dough and 1/2 of it on a pastry sheet or wax paper.   Work the dough into a ball, but do not overwork it, unless you like a denser roll. 

It should look like this.  Now you are ready to flour your rolling pin and roll the dough out into a large circle about 1/4 inch thick.

Using a medium size biscuit cutter or a glass with a similar size, cut your rolls.  Melt about a 1/4 stick of butter in 4 round cake pans or 1/2 stick in 2  9"x13" pans.  Place your rolls in the melted butter turning them over to coat.  You should get 36-40 rolls.  They are best if allowed to rise again for 30 minutes to an hour.  They will double in size in the pan.  Don't let anything touch the tops of them or it will make them fall.  If it's warm in the kitchen, they will rise back up fast.  If it's cool it takes much longer.

Place in a 425 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes until they are brown on top to your liking. Some folks like them really brown, we like them just browned slightly. 

This will be your finished product!  You can brush some melted butter on top when out of the oven or just leave them as is.  These are great for dinner, breakfast or to use for parties with sliced ham or turkey on them.  The dough is very versatile also.  Tomorrow we will use it for Ooey Gooey Cinnamon Rolls!

6 cups all purpose flour
1 pk. yeast (1/4 oz. packet)
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups milk
3/4  cup oil
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt

2 - Minute Tropical Pie!

This is a fun little dessert that is so quick and easy a child could make it!  As a matter of fact, it's a perfect recipe to turn over to the children.  With a little help in chopping a few of the ingredients, and a little adult supervision, the kids can prepare the dessert for dinner!  They will be so proud of their creation!  

I adapted this recipe from an original recipe published by Mr. Food!  I always loved watching Mr. Food and his quick and easy recipes.  I have a lot of his cookbooks and his way of delivering a recipe on TV was always soothing to me.  I think his appeal was that he made anyone believe they could prepare his dishes.  He wasn't afraid of some convenience items and he limited the amount of ingredients in a recipe.  Mr. Food knew that some folks needed something simpler and he delivered it.   It' s a good lesson to take a note from and one I sometimes forget.  RIP Mr. Food, I miss you, but your wonderful recipes live on!

It's called 2 - minute pie, because it literally takes about 2 minutes to prepare.  Now that is not exact and depends on how fast you move in the kitchen, so please don't time yourself and write me comments that it actually took 2 minutes and 47 seconds or some other such   I know most of you think I am kidding, but you would not believe some of the comments I  

Any who, here is what you will need:

1 prepared graham cracker pie crust or shortbread pie crust
1 (20 oz.) can of crushed pineapple, undrained
1 (3.5 oz.) box of instant vanilla pudding
1 (3.5 oz.) box of instant lemon pudding (can use another vanilla or white chocolate is good also if you like a less tart flavor)
8 oz. sour cream
1 cup flaked coconut, divided
1/2 cup nuts, chopped  pecans or walnuts  (optional)
1/2 cup maraschino cherries, drained and chopped (optional)
whole maraschino cherries for garnish
whipped cream for garnish

Mix the crushed pineapple  with is juices and pudding mixes together until the puddings have dissolved and then add the sour cream in and stir until smooth. Be sure you buy the INSTANT PUDDING, not the cook and serve, it will not work in this.   Stir in 1/2 cup of the coconut, nuts and chopped cherries. 

Pour into prepared crust.

Top with the other 1/2 cup of coconut and a few whole maraschino cherries.  Chill for at least 2 - 3 hours before serving!  

Mama's Pecan Chicken Salad!

 My mother makes the best "Pecan Chicken Salad"!  She and one of her sisters used to own a restaurant and this was always one of their biggest sellers at lunch.  They usually sold this as a salad plated with fresh fruit around it.  I love it like that, but it's also really good on a fresh croissant as a sandwich.  This is so much better than any you can buy already prepared, unless you do get it at a deli or restaurant where they make it fresh daily and it's so easy, why not make it yourself for half the cost!  Here is what you will need:

4 cups cooked chicken breast meat, chopped or 2 (15oz). cans all white chicken  (SAM's sells some that is really good)
1 1/2 cups sliced seedless grapes (red or white)
3/4 cup chopped celery
1 Tbs. sugar
1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs. lemon juice
3/4 cup pecans
1 cup mayonnaise

Mix all ingredients and stir together. This chicken salad is so good with fresh fruit or on croissants as a sandwich.


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