recipes

Old Fashioned Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon rolls. My goodness, you can make them so many ways. Regular, raspberry, blackberry, peach….help  me, Jesus.

These are my go to cinnamon rolls. I’ve tried so many other recipes (even the Pioneer Woman’s, *gasp*), but this one, this one takes the trophy every.single.time.

I never measure things, and neither do the old-fashioned Mennonites. This recipe was actually adapted from an old recipe that a beautiful Mennonite woman gave to me. I had to learn, quite often, how to adapt recipes that I tried at home when trying to replicate Mennonite recipes from the cute little Mennonite store I used to work at. But, it has made me a better cook and baker because of it!

Old Fashioned Cinnamon Rolls

Dough Ingredients:

1/2 cup warm water
2 Tbs of yeast
  • Stir together in small bowl (or your stand mixer) and let sit while mixing the rest of the ingredients.
1/2 cup salted butter
2 cups milk
1/3 cup sugar
6-7 cups flour
  1. Heat butter, milk, and sugar in a saucepan until butter is melted and sugar and salt are dissolved. Let rest until lukewarm. I actually just let it set for about 5 mins and then go ahead and use it.
  2. In a stand mixer, combine butter/milk mixture and yeast mixture.
  3. Add 6 cups of all purpose flour, slowly. Your dough should be a little sticky, but still firm. You can also knead by hand. If dough is still too sticky, then add up to another cup of flour in half cup increments. Knead until smooth and elastic
  4. Put dough in a greased bowl and lightly grease top of dough. Let rise for about 45 mins or until doubled. I like to use a heating pad to speed up the process, or I put the bowl on top of a towel over the burner that I was using to melt the butter mixture. Makes it rise quicker.
While the dough is rising….

FILLING:
1 stick butter
sugar
cinnamon

  1. Set out 1/2 to 1 stick of butter to soften while dough rises.
Once dough has risen….
  1. Once dough is risen, divide dough in half and roll each half out into a ½” to 1″ thick rectangle. If you’ve done it right, you’ll notice that your dough is very light and airy feeling as you roll it out.
  2. Spread 1/2 of the stick of butter onto the dough.
  3. Sprinkle a thin layer of sugar and cinnamon across the butter layer.
  4. Starting from a long side, begin rolling your dough tightly into a long cinnamon roll log.
  5. Once rolled, take a piece of thread (or use a sharp knife) and cut ¾” to 1” cinnamon rolls, depending on what size you’d like. Place in a buttered pan (I use 4+ round cake or pie pans, but you could use a rectangle baking dish). Let rise for approx. 15 minutes and then bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes OR until tops are start to color around edges. You do not want your cinnamon rolls brown on top. As soon as they start to turn, take them out. This keeps them extra moist. Allow to cool until warm to the touch, then add frosting while still warm.
  6. You can use the other half of the dough to make more cinnamon rolls, or you can use them as dinner rolls.Now comes the best part…the frosting!

Frosting. It’s the best part of cinnamon rolls, isn’t it? This frosting is super simple and easy.

FROSTING:
3 Tbs soft butter
4-6 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2-3 tbsp milk

  1. Stir together all ingredients, starting with just 4 cups of p. sugar.
  2. Add sugar gradually until frosting is “spreadable”.
  3. Frost rolls when they are still warm but not too hot. This allows the frosting to start melting, but still keeps frosting on top of rolls.

I hope that you and your family enjoy this recipe as much as my little family has!!

 

Homestead Cooking | Homemade Yeast Rolls

 

I started my very first job when I was a teenager in high school. It wasn’t some elaborate thing that I wanted. I had big plans in my head of what I wanted to be, and baking wasn’t it. But never-the-less, it was an income for me to spend frivolously. And later in life I’d come to find that I would enjoy it more than I realized. My very first job was working in a little Mennonite specialty store and bakery in my hometown — it was called The Farmer’s Wife.
I could sit here and tell you that everything I learned when it comes to cooking came from my mom and grandma, but I’d be lying. You see, most of what I learned came directly from that little country store and the wonderful women that worked within it. But this particular recipe came from a beautiful Mennonite woman who I cherish deeply. She loves her family more than you could imagine. She truly is a Proverbs 31 woman, and she is inspiring even when she doesn’t realize it.


My need for a good yeast roll recipe came about eight years ago when my husband, aka Mountain Man, asked if I could make homemade rolls for dinner one evening. I tried, and I failed…drastically. Mountain Man isn’t one to hide his true feelings when it comes to things, which can be a good thing and a bad thing. This time, it was a bad thing, as his response went something like, “why can’t you make rolls like those Mennonite women do.” You have got to be kidding me….

So I humbly asked a friend for her favorite yeast roll recipe, and she gracefully mailed it to me on a sheet of paper through snail mail. Snail mail….how official it was back then. It was nice getting something in the mail rather than having to print it off on the computer or stare at the iPad while making the recipe.
I made the recipe, and it was awful. I made it again, and again, the same outcome. By the tenth try they finally started to resemble normal yeast rolls. And what I quickly realized is that it wasn’t the recipe that made them good, it was the technique. I often watch food network, where they talk about people’s techniques in the kitchen. For years I scoffed because I truly didn’t think it made a difference….boy, was I wrong.
So with that said, below you will find the recipe, slightly tweaked, for these sinfully tasty yeast rolls. The recipe is extremely easy, however, I tried to convey the technique as much as possible in the recipe so that you can hopefully avoid having to make these ten times before you get them right!
——————————————
Homemade Yeast Dinner Rolls
 
1/2 cup warm water
2 Tbs of yeast
 
Stir together in small bowl and let sit while mixing the rest of the ingredients.
 
1/2 cup butter
2 cups milk
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
 
  1. Heat in a saucepan until butter is melted and sugar and salt are dissolved. Let rest until lukewarm. I actually just let it set for about 5 mins and then go ahead and use it.
  2. In a stand mixer, combine butter/milk mixture and yeast mixture. 
  3. Add 6 cups of all purpose flour slowly. Your dough should be a little sticky, but still firm. You can also knead by hand. If dough is still too sticky, then add up to another cup of flour in half cup increments. Knead until smooth and elastic, but still sticky.
  4. Put dough in a greased bowl and lightly grease top of dough. Let rise for about 45 mins or until doubled. I like to use a heating pad to speed up the process, or I put the bowl on top of a towel over the burner that I was using to melt the butter mixture. Makes it rise quicker.
  5. Punch down dough, grease three 9″ round pans (you won’t fill the third one completely). Grease your hands with oil if necessary for the next step. Pull off large walnut size balls and knead until smooth. Basically, if you’ve ever made loaf bread, this is the point where you knead and roll it to fit the loaf pan. I just knead it and tuck the ends up into the bottom center to make a smooth top.
  6. Put 8 to 12 rolls per pan — I prefer 8-9 for larger rolls. If you want smaller rolls, you can adjust size etc.
  7. Let rise for about 15 mins. Bake at 350 for 18 mins.
 
You’re done!


Watch me make them here —

White Pumpkin Pie

Every year we go to a local pumpkin patch up the road from our house. Each year, this sweet old man tells us about his pumpkins. Tells us about how the deer ate half of them again this year. He tells about the little pumpkins, the big pumpkins, the giant pumpkins, the gourds, the weather….but the best part? He tells us the secret to his favorite pumpkin pie. 
He’s used all the pumpkin varieties he has on his property to make pumpkin pie. But he leaned down this year and whispered, you know what makes the BEST pumpkin pie? The white pumpkins.

Ahh, and there it was. The secret of all secrets. I chuckled and thought, yeah right, white pumpkins. But deep down inside, I wanted to know if this fella really knew what he was talking about. 

I mulled over it for a few days. But wishing, more so than not, that I would have gotten one of those glorious white pumpkins while we were there, I trekked back up the road and arrived at the pumpkin patch once again, several days later. 
Because this sweet old man doesn’t remember half the people that come to his pumpkin patch (because there are so many!), the conversation went something like this…
Pumpkin Man: “Hello! Welcome to the pumpkin patch! Are you getting a pumpkin today?”
Woman Wanting White Pumpkin: “Yes sir! We came last week but I wanted to get one of those beautiful white pumpkins from you.”
Pumpkin Man: “Oh yes, let me let you in on a secret…they make the best pies!”
Woman Wanting White Pumpkin: clearly this isn’t as much of a secret as I had thought.

Pumpkin Man: “I think we only have a couple left! Better get some now. I was just telling some cute little girl last week with a chicken shirt on, that they make the best pies, and that she should come back and get some for her chickens on November 1st.”

Woman Wanting White Pumpkin…who wore the chicken shirt last week: “Oh yeah? That’s awesome! Well we will be back again!”

After checking out and walking back to the truck….

Husband of Woman Wanting White Pumpkin: “Yeah, I remember that girl in the chicken shirt. She was sexy….”
It was a cute conversation, and we chuckle every year. But ultimately, while this fella may not remember half the people that come through his gates, he certainly knows how to make a mean pumpkin pie. 
He was right about the white pumpkin. I couldn’t believe it. 
As I scooped out the seeds and mesh from the white flesh inside, I couldn’t help but be a little skeptical of what this pie was going to look like. Imagine my surprise when the pumpkin flesh turned to a deep yellow, custardy color after being roasted. And the pie itself, from the outside, didn’t look much different either. It was gorgeous. 

How To Roast and Puree A Pumpkin

The process was simple, and this large pumpkin yielded a lot of pureed white pumpkin. 
After cutting the pumpkin in half and taking out the innards, I put the pumpkin on a large baking pan (skin side up), and roasted it in the oven at 375 for about an hour and fifteen minutes, or until fork tender through out. I scooped out the flesh from the skin, and placed it in a food processor to puree. Once pureed, allow to cool before placing it in freezer bags to freeze if you aren’t using it up right away. 
This pureed pumpkin will keep in the freezer for at least one year.
Next came the pie….
The glorious, delectable, amazingly awesome pie. 
This skeptic was no longer a skeptic, but a believer. It was that “hallelujah” moment where the good Lord just hits you and you sing praises. Oh yes, this was a hallelujah moment for me, friends. 
The white pumpkin pie is not nearly as sweet and smooth as a regular pumpkin pie. In fact, it’s more like a custard. However, this is a more traditional pumpkin pie recipe. 
Settlers and pilgrims, when making pumpkin pie, would actually use white pumpkins and sorghum. Orange pumpkins weren’t used until later in time, when their sweetness became widely popular. 
I’d say those pilgrims really did have a Thanksgiving feast. If nothing more than with just the pie!
Here is a very simple, yet delicious, White Pumpkin Pie recipe for you to enjoy this season.

White Pumpkin Pie

Yields 2 pies
FILLING

4 Farm Fresh Eggs, beaten

3.5 cups pureed white pumpkin
1 cup sugar (optional for more sweetness)
1 tsp. pink Himalayan salt
3 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp all spice
1 (14 ounce can) sweetened condensed milk
1 can (5 ounce) evaporated milk

PIE CRUST

4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1.5 tsp salt
1 tbs sugar
1.5 cups butter

1 egg, beaten
1 tbs white vinegar
1/2 cup water

PIE CRUST METHOD —
1. Combine flour and salt, set aside
2. Combine sugar and butter until smooth. Add egg, vinegar, and water.
3. Pour wet ingredients in with dry and mix/knead until it forms a ball.
4. Pat out pie crust in pans, or freeze for 1 hour before rolling.
Pie Crust can be stored in the freezer until ready to use again.
FILLING METHOD —
1. Combine all ingredients well, pour into pie crusts.
2. Preheat oven to 425. Cook for 15 mins and then lower heat to 350 and bake for 45-60 minutes, depending on altitude.
3. Very lightly cover the tops of the pies with foil if they begin to brown.
4. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Enjoy with homemade whipped topping or vanilla ice cream!

Artisan Sourdough Bread and Starter

One of my favorite things to indulge in is bread. Though I can’t indulge often—because large amounts of gluten simply don’t agree with me—I have found that Sourdough bread is less harsh on my body.
Because of the fermented yeasty goodness, sourdough can be a great bread alternative for those with gluten sensitive digestive systems. Not only that, it’s simply delicious. The process of sourdough is incredible, and a science in and of itself. The bacteria and yeast break down the sugars and gluten in the bread, allowing your body to digest it better than regular bread.
Here is a great recipe that I enjoy making. Please keep in mind, this is a true sourdough recipe, therefore requiring a long amount of rising time to ensure the breaking down of gluten and sugars. This also creates that nice crusty outside, and large air bubbles on the inside of the loaf. I’ve also included my sourdough starter recipe.

Good sourdough bread must start with a good sourdough starter. If your starter isn’t active enough, your bread won’t rise properly. Here is my tried and true starter, and the one I always use!

Sourdough Starter

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 – 1 cup cold water
1 quart size mason jar

Day 1: Combine flour and water into quart size mason jar, or large crock, until consistency is a thick pancake batter like consistency. Cover top tightly with a cloth or paper towel, secured with a rubber band. Set in warm place on counter out of direct sunlight. Consistency is the key in this recipe, not the amount of flour and water.

Day 2 and 3: Stir mixture daily. Add 3/4 cup all purpose flour and 1/2 cup cold water every 12 hours (or twice a day). Make sure that your starter is less than halfway full in the jar. If it is more than half full, it could spill over during fermentation. Simply pour off excess. In fact, I always take a cup of starter out before adding the flour and water. Again, consistency (thick pancake batter) is more important than amount of flour and water.

Day 4 through 5: Stir mixture daily. Add 3/4 cup all purpose flour and 1/2 cup cold water once a day. Again, pouring off any excess. You will continue doing this every single day from this point on. Transfer your starter to a permanent home such as a sourdough crock or larger jar. Do not use plastic or metal. Again, consistency (thick pancake batter) is more important than amount of flour and water.

Your starter will begin smelling very fragrant after day 5. Before day 5 it might smell very sour and musty. Don’t fret yet. As long as there’s no mold and you’re keeping up with feeding it properly,  you’ll be fine.

After it has successfully fermented, it will have a very lovely yeast smell to it, almost vinegary, and it will be full of bubbles. It can take up to 7 days of feeding your starter before it is ready to use. It will become very bubbly and active. Once it is ready to use, you’ll take out what you need and add flour and water back into the mixture every single day. If you are not going to make bread every week, then you can refrigerate the mixture and feed it once a week. However, it does much better just staying on the counter and feeding it daily.

Artisan Sourdough Bread

1/2 cup to 1 cup sourdough starter1/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp. oil
2 cups warm water
1 tbsp. salt
6 cups flour

1. Add all ingredients, holding back two cups of flour, into a mixer or large bowl. Knead until smooth, adding remaining 2 cups of flour, or enough flour until the bread forms into a soft ball.

2. Turn out onto floured surface and knead for ten minutes (or do so in your stand mixer), until dough is elastic and smooth. Flour loaf as necessary. Dough should be sticky by not extremely wet.
3. Put dough into greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and leave in a warm place to rise for 12-14  hours.
4. Punch down dough and turn out on a floured surface. Knead again for 2-3 minutes, lightly flouring if necessary.
5. Form a round loaf, pulling the top of the bread tightly. Very lightly dust outside of loaf with flour. Let rise on the counter or in a floured proofing basket for 2-3 hours.
6. Preheat oven to 375. Place a dutch oven (with lid) into the oven to pre-heat.
7.  After dough has risen, remove dutch oven from the oven. Remove lid and carefully place sourdough loaf in the dutch oven. You can rearrange the loaf into more of a ball if necessary, but do not knead. Place top back on dutch oven and bake covered for 30 minutes.
8. Remove lid after 30 minutes and cook bread uncovered until golden crispy or desired darkness/doneness. When tapped on, loaf will sound hollow when done.
9. Turn loaf onto a cooling rack and allow to cool before slicing.
10. Use a very sharp bread knife to cut into your loaf and enjoy!

Sourdough Biscuits

Sourdough starter is a God send. Whoever looked at some flour and water and said, “man, if I ferment this for a week and then add it to everything, it’s going to taste amazing”…..that person needs a big hug and a paid vacation. Seeing as they probably didn’t get those a few centuries ago.

I have always had a love for sourdough bread, but when I started making sourdough I realized I needed more than just bread for all of this starter I had left over every week.

Enter left stage…. “The Amy Who Makes Everything With Sourdough Starter”.

From chocolate cake and English muffins, to good old sourdough bread and starter. But my recent discovery? Biscuits….

Biscuits…

Biscuits…

Just saying it, you automatically want to follow the word with “gravy”.

Biscuits (and gravy) are a staple in the South. You should have them in your life no matter where you hail from.

So why no sourdough biscuits? I thought to myself. Ahhh, yes, sourdough biscuits.

So I made them.

And I love them.

And I shall never make any other biscuit as long as I live.  Well, that might be an exaggeration.

These biscuits are light and fluffy, and quite sourdoughy. You can reduce the amount of sourdough starter if they are too sour for you. In fact, you might start with a half cup instead of a whole cup in the recipe below. But we like to take our sourdough, so the whole cup is perfect.

This recipe pairs well as a dinner biscuit with butter and jam, but it’s even better underneath a steamy hot ladle full of sausage or chipped beef gravy. This recipe is basically a regular biscuit recipe, but with the sourdough starter instead of milk or water.

Enjoy!

Sourdough Biscuits

1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup butter, cold and cut into pieces
1 cup sourdough starter

 

  1. Combine flour, salt, baking soda and back powder in a large bowl.
  2. Cut cold butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbles.
  3. Add sourdough starter and knead until all of the flour is absorbed.
  4. Turn out onto a very lightly floured surface, pat into 3/4″ to 1″ thickness and cut out biscuits.
  5. Place in a buttered cast iron skillet, biscuit sides touching one another, and cook at 425 for 12-15 minutes.

 

Sourdough Chocolate Cake

Sweet Jesus. Right in the middle of my weightloss journey, this recipe found me. I mean, all out-up in my face-train wreck at 100 mph-found me. It’s good, it’s real good, folks.

I don’t have any fancy pictures of it.

I didn’t even waste my time pulling my camera out, pulling the backdrop inside to set up a photo, and then editing and posting them on here. Heck no…

This cake is photo worthy, but I’m not stupid enough to let a warm, chocolately cake just sit there without being eaten. How rude of me. Nor am I stupid enough to cut a piece of cake days later, taking the risk of it drying out in those 10 minutes of photo time. Pfff, are you out of your mind!?


As much as I’d like to, I can’t take credit for this recipe. I came across it while strolling the internet. Seeing as we’ve restarted our sourdough journey, this was right up my alley. I must try it, and I did. And I succeeded….maybe a little too much!

Breakfast the next morning — don’t judge. Stop it.

This cake recipe came from King Arthur Flour. They have a lot of amazing recipes on their website — highly recommend them.

This recipe calls for sourdough starter. If you don’t have sourdough starter, you can create your own. We have it on hand every day because I make sourdough bread. It’s very easy and worth it. You can click here for my recipe. 

The one and only thing I would change about this recipe? I might have added a cup and a half of sourdough starter instead of just a cup. But it’s all in your taste! I also changed this recipe to reflect our preferences in sugar, flour, etc. This recipe also calls for icing, but it honestly doesn’t need it. It eats very much like a pound cake. We prefer it without icing, and with a nice cold glass of milk or some ice cream!

Sourdough Chocolate Cake

1 cup “fed” sourdough starter
1 cup milk (whole milk or 2% preferred) or evaporated milk
2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 cups organic granulated sugar or evaporated cane juice
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa (not Dutch process)
1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional (I did not use it)2 large eggs

1) Combine the “fed” starter, milk, and flour in a large mixing bowl. Cover and let rest at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours. It won’t necessarily bubble, but it may have expanded a bit.
2) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a 9″ x 13″ pan.
3) In a separate bowl, beat together the sugar, oil, vanilla, salt, baking soda, cocoa. and espresso powder (if using — I did not). The mixture will be grainy.
4) Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
5) Gently combine the chocolate mixture with the starter-flour-milk mixture, stirring till smooth. This will be a gloppy process at first, but the batter will smooth out as you continue to beat gently.
6) Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
7) Bake the cake for 30 to 40 minutes (mine was done in 20!!), until it springs back when lightly pressed in the center, and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
8) Remove the cake from the oven, and set it on a rack to cool while you make the icing (if making icing).

ENJOY!

Homestead Cooking | Homemade Strawberry Shortcake {Seasonal}

Let’s just take a moment to wallow in the pity together, shall we?

The horrible realization that strawberry season is quickly coming to an end…..oh, the horror!!

But with strawberry season ending, that means so many yummy veggies, peaches (one of my fave seasons!), and eventually apple’s (another fave, even better than strawberries and peaches) , are well on their way into our kitchens!

With that said, I thought it only fitting to have a strawberry recipe as strawberry season slowly begins to die out this year.

You’ll have to excuse me, I was a bit under the weather yesterday, so I didn’t take a lot of photos. But this recipe is so easy that you don’t need them.

I was also torn between the “southern style” shortcake or the “take me back to my childhood” shortcake. Clearly, I chose childhood. Plus, it was the easiest for a sick mama who just went strawberry picking that morning!

Homemade Strawberry Shortcake

 

(recipe altered from a Food Network recipe ages ago)
serves 4 people

 

You’ll Need:
Strawberry “filling”:
1 qt fresh strawberries
+ 1-2 tbs sugar

Shortcake:
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 tbs sugar OR 3 tbs honey
3/4 tsp salt
1.5 cups heavy cream

Whipped Cream:
2 cups heavy cream
sugar
vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 400*.
– Wash, top and quarter your strawberries. Place them in a bowl, toss with 1 tbs sugar. Add more if you’d like, but 1 tbsp is generally enough for fresh picked  strawberries.
– Set strawberries in fridge and allow to set for 30 mins (at least).

– Combine the remainder of your dry ingredients. Stir together.
– Add heavy cream to dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
– Place mixture into an ungreased 8-inch square pan and bake until just barely golden on top (15-20 mins).

– Place heavy cream, sugar (start with 1 tbsp) and vanilla (start with 1 tsp) extract into a bowl. Whisk or mix with a hand blender until fluffy. I prefer the whisk, as it only takes about 5 minutes. Add more sugar and vanilla to taste if necessary. We prefer a less sugary whipped cream.

– Cut shortcake into squares. Place strawberry mixture on top of shortcake, and top it all off with some whipped cream.

Ta-da! You’re done! How easy was that?

Happy Eating!

 

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*Disclaimer: While I am an herbalist, and herbalism is not regulated by the FDA, I am not a medical doctor. The recipes and tips on this website are geared towards those who want to live a more natural lifestyle.
Please use all herbal remedy recipes on this website only after doing thorough research in regard to your own health needs, and after seeking medical attention if necessary. 
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