Friday, August 31, 2012

Homemade Sandwich Rolls



When I was a young mom my days were filled with raising five children under the age of thirteen. My children have brought me great joy over the years and along the way, many moments of hair pulling and consternation.

As a way to release the pressures of young motherhood, once or twice a year I would make plans to visit the local spa for a few hours of respite. 


Raising a large family always meant that I was operating within a budget so to get the spa experience that made the most of my funds, I generally opted for a spa pedicure. There is nothing more relaxing for me than to have my feet rubbed.

I frequented the same spa knowing they offered a delicious yet inexpensive lunch to round out my day of relaxation. I'm sure it's no surprise that my favorite moments always come back to the food!

Arriving fifteen minutes early allowed me enough time to slip into a comfy robe, fluffy slippers and sit quietly in the waiting area listening to the sounds of the water feature and calming music. 


As I sipped on a cold glass of cucumber water my technician sat quietly beside me with a small tray of infused oils. After a sniff of each oil I choose the fragrance that most suites my mood for the services provided that day.

By the time I reach the pedicure room, my mind begins to move from thoughts of domestic everyday life to the place of tranquility that I so desperately need.

My feet find comfort in a tub of hot bubbling water, spewing the aromas of eucalyptus and sandalwood, filling my nostrils with their scents. Off I float into peaceful bliss.

Sadly, the worst moment of a pedicure is when the technician pulls her hands away from your lower limbs and whispers, "all done". The end of a pedicure leaves me wanting more but I know that lunch from the neighboring French bakery is on its way. Reluctantly, I pull myself from the humming,
heated chair to the outer room, and find my way to a small table. The table is set with light linens, a small bouquet of fresh flowers, and a glass of fruity white wine. I settle back into an over sized rattan chair as my lunch arrives.

Fresh made rosemary sandwich bread sits atop a white china plate, the bun slathered with homemade mayonnaise and piled high with thinly cut fresh veggies. Accompanied by a small mixed green salad dressed in a light lemon dressing, my eyes take in the cleaver plating while my mouth prepares to sup!

The bread is tender and flavorful balanced by the crisp vegetables. The creamy mayonnaise is the glue that holds it all together creating the perfect bite!

Allow me to share my recreation of the French Bakery's Rosemary Sandwich Rolls.

Homemade Rosemary Sandwich Rolls

Recipe 

1 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter
4 1/4 cup pre sifted flour
1 package Rapid Rise yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 tablespoon fresh chopped fresh rosemary

1 teaspoon sea salt
1 egg yolk beaten

Method

  • in a heavy bottom saucepan heat milk, butter, water, 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary and sugar until butter is melted.
  • using a cooking thermometer, cool until mixture reaches 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • in a separate mixing bowl blend 2 cups flour with yeast, 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • pour milk mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer, add flour mixture
  • blend using the paddle attachment on medium low until mixture comes together
  • gradually add remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, beating well between each addition until dough forms a ball
  • remove dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes or until dough becomes smooth and elastic, add more flour if the dough is too sticky
  • roll dough into log shape (see photo)
  • separate dough into two equal portions
  • using a sharp knife cut 1 1/2 inch pieces (a kitchen scale may be used to measure exact size)
  • shape rolls into balls
  • place rolls on a baking sheet or pizza stone about 1/2 inch apart and press tops down slightly
  • cover with plastic wrap or clean dry towel and let rise until double in size
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  • beat egg yolk and brush evenly over risen rolls, sprinkle each roll with remaining rosemary and teaspoon sea salt
  • bake rolls for 10-12 minutes


I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. They the flavor and texture is quite like the French Bakery version.  
I use the rolls for burgers as well as vegetable and meat sandwiches. optional: sprinkle with sesame seeds for a delicious hamburger bun





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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Melynda Fleury, Book Fair Giveaway during the week of Labor Day




In honor of Melynda Fleury's close call to losing her eyesight because of diabetes, Wayman Publishing is throwing a Blogfest and Book Fair Giveaway during the week of Labor Day.

1.)  ALL ENTRANTS will have unlimited access to download any of Wayman Publishing's Top 10 Books during the following dates:  Sept 2 through Sept 4 (direct link will be provided to all entrants on Sept 1st). 

2.)  In addition, Mommy Blog Designs, the blog designer with an AWESOME reputation for her service and blog designs throughout the blogosphere, has also agreed to contribute one of her Premade Designs with full package ($269 Value) for FREE to one lucky winner!

3.)  PLUS, one winner will recieve $200 paypal cash!

Each person will be given a chance to enter as many points as they wish. But remember, the more entry points you gain, the higher your likelihood is of winning. Only 10 minutes of your time will get you closer to winning a really awesome prize!



The actual dates of the giveaway will be: 8/28 - 9/5.

Wayman Publishing and our other hosts who've helped organize this giveaway (voiceBoks, Linkie's Contest Linkies, Mommy Blog Designs, and Terri's Little Haven) thanks you for all your help and participation!


a Rafflecopter giveaway




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Monday, August 27, 2012

Summer Blooms and Bees

 
 
 
I haven't had the opportunity to share any wildlife or Flora and Fauna photos with my readers lately so I decided to snap a few shots and share them with you today.  Hope you enjoy!
 
 



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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Citrus Mint Sherbet - no ice cream maker necessary and my 204th blog post

 



I can't believe I totally missed my 200th blog post.  After checking my post count today, I'm at 203 and counting.  I'd say that 203 blog posts is a big milestone for me given the fact this "blog thing", was just a whim when I started.  What began as a fanciful hobby became a true passion and labor of love.   I suppose this 204th blog post is as good as any to celebrate the continuing chronicle of my life in food.

Citrus Mint Sherbet -no ice cream maker necessary






Temperatures are still topping out in the nineties here in Colorado so I'm choosing to take advantage of the weather and capture the last vestiges of summer with my sweet and creamy Citrus Mint Sherbet!

Tangy and refreshing, my sherbet recipe has just a hint of dairy.  Only a 1/4 cup of heavy cream is added to create a velvety texture without losing all the crisp refreshing flavors.  In addition, the mixture of the three different citrus juices give the recipe an unusually rich and smooth flavor. 

One of the citrus juices I used for the recipe is the delightful grapefruit flavored Yuzu juice.  Originating in East Asia, Yuzu is tart and has a hint of Mandarin orange flavor.  Check out the two links above to see two more of my recipes utilizing Yuzu juice and it's cousins  Sudachi and Kabosu juices.


I've chosen the freezer method for this recipe for those of us who don't have an electric or hand crank ice cream maker at our disposal.  Unfortunately, my previous hand crank ice cream maker finally broke down after years of loyal service.  I've found that preparing the recipe in the freezer doesn't change the flavor or deplete the consistency of the sherbet, it just takes a lot longer to prepare.  

Optional: This recipe can be adjusted by omitting the heavy cream turning it into a delightful sorbet. 

Recipe

1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup Yuzu juice
1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream (optional: buttermilk)
zest from one lemon





Method
  • in a medium heavy bottom sauce pan blend water, sugar, citrus juices and fresh mint leaves, stir to combine
  • bring to a boil
  • remove from heat and steep mixture for 10 minutes
  • strain mixture into a non conductive metal bowl or pan, shallow bowls will freeze much faster
  • add lemon zest and whipping cream and whisk to combine
  • place in freezer for 6-12 hours
  • every two hours or so, stir the mixture to bring all the frozen particles into the mixture for more even texture
The sherbet melts quickly so I generally freeze my serving bowls or glasses prior to serving my guests.




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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Picnic Pork Roast






Pork Shoulder or Picnic Roast is cut from the upper portion of the pigs shoulder and one of my favorite parts of the pig!  The flavor is mild and very tender with a good layer of fat that turns into crunchy pork goodness after a long day of slow cooking.

Recipe

1-10 pound picnic pork roast
1/2 cup yellow mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Lawry's garlic salt
1/2 cup wine white or red
1/2 cup water
6 sprigs fresh thyme

  • rinse pork with cold water and pat dry
  • place in a large roasting pan
  • make a paste with mustard, salt, pepper and garlic salt
  • rub roast with paste, messaging the paste into the skin
  • cover and cook at 350 degrees for 4 hours, reduce heat to 300 and cook additional 2-4 hours. 
  • Note:  be sure to add more water if the bottom of the pan becomes dry
The roast will done after about 5 hours but the continued cooking time only makes the roast more tender and reduces the fat to a crisp layer. 

Enjoy this fall off the bone roast with baked or mashed potatoes and don't forget to make some pan gravy from the drippings. 

A big roast like this never goes to waste in my kitchen.  I'll make a delicious pork green chili with what's leftover.  YUM!









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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Salt and Sugar Body Scrub!





This summer has taken a toll on my ever aging skin leading me in hot pursuit of body butters, skin toners, deep moisturizers and rendering me poorer with every purchase.  It's so disappointing to purchase an over priced product and find myself pushing it under the sink with the rest of the partially used bottles and tubes of less than stellar lotions and creams.

I've always known that eating the right foods aids in not only our inner health but our outward appearance as well.  This luscious home made remedy has bathed my dry chapped skin at a fraction of the cost!  My skin feels well fed and has taken on a supple glow. 

All of the ingredients were easily found in my pantry and it took only minutes to whip up a batch. 

Recipe

2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups sea salt
2 cups grape seed oil
4 lemons
5 sprigs fresh rosemary

Method
  • Blend salt, sugar and oil together in a large mason jar or other resealable container.
  • Slice lemons in half, add juice to mixture as well as the sprigs of rosemary, stir to combine.
  • Reserve the spent lemon halves to use as your exfoliating tool
  • Stand in tub or shower and fill one half of spent lemon with mixture, begin scrubbing skin from head to toe, add more scrub when necessary
  • turn water on to a comfortable temperature and rinse body thoroughly, pat skin dry with a towel
  • repeat treatment twice to three times a week
  • optional: use grape seed oil as moisturizer in between treatments to keep skin supple
My skin was glowing after my first treatment and increasingly healthier with each subsequent application. 


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Melynda's Labor Day Blogfest & Book Fair - FREE Blogger Opportunity

Melynda's Labor Day Blogfest & Book Fair - FREE Blogger Opportunity
My friends at voiceBoks - The Voice of Parenthood are hosting this awesome blog builder and giveaway.  Please take a moment to join our community and build your blog traffic, earn free links, and cash prizes while aiding a fellow blogger in the fight against diabetes.

If you haven't already heard...
Wayman Publishing is honoring a dear friend of theirs who's fought against diabetes by offering an awesome giveaway together with voiceBoks, Mommy Blog Designs, Linkie's Contest Linkies, and Terri's Little Haven.

For all the details, please visit Melynda's Labor Day Blogfest & Book Fair - Blogger Opportunity.

For those who aren't familiar with how this works... you sign up for the giveaway, promise to promote it, and in return we enter your links as part of the entries so that those entering the giveaway can follow your networks. Please sign up as soon as possible as it usually gets busy immediately! Remember, whoever enters first gets their link up at the very top!


Wayman Publishing reaches out to so many people. This September, they are honoring Melynda Fleury for her brave fight against diabetes by offering a 3 part giveaway to get everyone involved in reading and this giveaway! What are we giving away?

1) Unlimited free downloads of their TOP TEN Bestselling Books to all entrants of this giveaway.

2)
Mommy Blog Designs, YES! Many of you know this woman already because she has an AWESOME reputation for her service and blog designs throughout the blogosphere, has also agreed to contribute one of her Premade Designs with full package ($269 Value) for FREE to one lucky winner!

3) We are also offering a CASH POT PRIZE! Wayman Publishing is also contributing $100 towards whatever our pot prize is for the giveaway. So, yes, we begin at $100!



How to participate:
Everyone who enters and agrees to participate as a blogger in this giveaway will be able to enter one link free (no Google+ please). If you refer a friend, you can enter two links free (no Google+ please).

You can enter more than one link, but each social link will be $3 and $5 for each Email/RSS subscriptions.

1) Please fill out this form

2) Please send any payments through Paypal to:
amokbus@hotmail.com

3) Grab the button link above and post it on your site

4) Tweet about this giveaway:



Please schedule August 26th on your calendar to make it the last day to post about the giveaway. You will receive info to be posted on your site on August 24th.


Giveaway's Actual Date:

The actual dates of the giveaway will be: 8/28 - 9/5.

Wayman Publishing and our other hosts who've helped organize this giveaway (
voiceBoks, Linkie's Contest Linkies, Mommy Blog Designs, and Terri's Little Haven) thanks you for all your help and participation!
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Friday, August 10, 2012

Frozen Yogurt Disks



I recently saw a beautiful photo of  Frozen Yogurt Disks on Pinterest. I immediately thought to myself, "what a great idea"!

Easy to prepare as a healthy snack and the perfect finger food for our grand daughter's tiny hands.  Filled with loads of protein and live cultures to aid digestion, Amber loved them!  She spent thirty minutes marching back and forth to the freezer to gather another handful until they were gone. 


Amber Bug!!


Recipe

2-3 small containers of your favorite flavor yogurt


Method

  • spoon yogurt into a sandwich bag, cut a small hole into one end of bag and pipe small dots onto parchment lined cookie sheet (after preparing the dots, I found that the parchment is not necessary)
  • freeze for 1 hour, transfer to a zip top sandwich bag and store in the freezer


ENJOY!

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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Sauteed Red Tomatoes, Summer Squash and Poached Eggs


This time of the year my kitchen is overflowing with produce either locally grown, gathered from my back yard or  Palisades Colorado

Palisade is located on the Western Slope of Colorado and is known for the finest produce around. Palisade is also home to over 20 area wineries and the most succulent peaches I've ever tasted.  Sweet and juicy, they are always gobbled up before I can make a cobbler,  pie or my famous Peach Salsa.




Putting my produce into action I often find myself creating the simplest of dishes, allowing the vegetables or fruit to shine all on their own. Not much fuss to cook but filled with luscious flavor.

Fresh red tomatoes, summer squash and a soft poached egg bring me back to earth on those mornings nothing else will do. Add a cup of pipping hot coffee or espresso and I'm relaxed in no time, ready to take on the day. 

Recipe



Sauteed Red Tomatoes, Summer Squash and Poached Eggs

1 medium red or green firm tomato
2-3 summer squash
2 tablespoons butter
poached eggs
flour for dusting tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste

  • Using a heavy bottom skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter on medium heat 
  • slice fresh red or green tomatoes cut about 1/4 thickness, dust with all purpose flour and sauteed in butter until browned
  • Remove from pan to a paper towel to drain any excess butter and season with salt and pepper. 
  • Note: Red tomatoes can get really mushy when cooked this way so try to find some that are fresh picked, nice and firm.  If I have the option, I use green tomatoes. 
  • slice squash and saute in remaining butter until brown, salt and pepper to taste

Serve with poached eggs, coffee or tea and enjoy the simple pleasure of this meal. 








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