Dinner Rolls & Cloverleaf Rolls

It’s Thanksgiving week and I’ve been cooking and baking. (Ok, I know it was last week, but I’m just now finally getting this done!) It feels so refreshing to do these jobs in my new kitchen and I’m continually amazed at how quickly I’m able to get things cleaned up when I’m done.

One of the items I contributed to our Thanksgiving dinner was dinner rolls.

Earlier this week, my friend Eva posted a picture on FB of her cloverleaf dinner rolls and I immediately decided I would make them for our Thanksgiving as well.

I began looking for a white bread recipe since the only bread recipe I had ever really made was whole wheat, and I wanted the rolls to be nice and light. After finding recipes with milk and eggs (and knowing most people at our gathering were mostly vegan), I decided to just use my tried and true recipe with some simple adjustments.

In no time at all, I had things mixing up. It always amazes me how the “thought” of making bread takes so much more energy than just actually doing it!

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There were lots of willing hands to help.

Ok, mostly willing hands.

You’ll see in future posts that two sets of these hands went on to do other things that they found to be much more entertaining. More on that later.

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It wasn’t long before everything was ready for the oven.

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We made regular rolls in the round pans, a couple small loaves with what was left, and Kendrick made a little shape thingy there in the middle pan (more on that later too).

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And these are the Cloverleaf Rolls. They were fun to make!

Everything came out of the oven a beautiful toasty brown. I brushed olive oil over everything when it came out of the oven. Mmmmmm, the house always smells so good when bread is baking!

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This was how they were actually served, with my vegetable platter in the background. They were a huge hit, and I’m definitely going to make them again sometime!

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A special Thank You to all my helpers! I couldn’t have done it without you all!

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BREAD RECIPE

1/2 c. Oil
1/2 c. Honey
5-6 c. Warm Water (I always use 6 cups)
1/8 c. Dough Enhancer
1/4 c. Gluten Flour
1 1/2 T Salt
3 T Yeast
Enough flour so the dough doesn’t stick to the sides of the mixer

I have a Bosch mixer, which does all the kneading for me. Place the water, oil, and honey in the mixer. Add the Dough Enhancer, Gluten Flour, and Salt. Then add a couple cups of flour. Add the Yeast next. Mix slowly to get everything combined. Keep adding flour (I’m sorry, but I have no idea how many cups it takes). The dough will begin to pull away from the sides of the mixer. When the sides wipe clean, it’s enough flour. This takes some practice, and maybe in a future post, I’ll take a picture of what “clean sides” looks like!

I usually use mostly hard white wheat flour (that I grind myself). I mix in some white flour to give it a lightness, but the white wheat keeps whole wheat bread nice and light. I used to use Hard Red wheat, but never with these nice light results.

For these rolls, I used a few cups of the whole wheat, a couple cups of Bread Flour (yellow bag at the grocery stores), and the rest was white flour. I wanted them nice and light and “store-bought”ish! I love that there is freedom to add whatever type of flour you want. Sometimes I throw in some oats. But for this recipe, I used Hard White Wheat flour, White Flour, and Bread Flour.

Once there is enough flour, I let it mix (knead) for 15 minutes. After that, I turn it off and let it sit for about 10 minutes to rise a little bit. I then grease my hands and pull it out of the mixer onto my mat on the counter. Then comes the fun of forming the loaves, or rolls, or whatever you want to make out of your dough.

I let things rise again until about double in size and then put into the 350 degree oven and bake till nice and toasty brown. I don’t know how helpful this recipe will really be because I’m realizing that I just kind of wing it each time and don’t have any specific measurements or times for baking, but just kind of “know” what I’m looking for. I guess that would make me an experienced bread maker. Since I don’t consider myself to be a great cook, I’m happy to say that I DO know how to make bread.

Feel free to leave any questions in the comments section. It’s entirely possible that my recipe and directions could have something missing.

This is the actual recipe card that I use. It is bare bones basic!

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Happy Bread Baking!

Forgotten Post

I found this draft of a post and have no idea where I was going with it. I think the pictures were to show a bit of the…

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New changes, no more carpet and a hard surface floor instead…

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Temporary horse containment, until The Woodman builds a nice fence for them to have space to run!…

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Kids helping keep the orphan litter alive during and after our move in August…

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And a quick Happy Birthday to The Woodman back in September.

Things were a whirlwind three months ago. I’m thankful things have settled into a basic routine and my days are generally happy!

First Snow

We got our first snow last week. It made everything magical! Did I mention I love my new house and property? It all looks cute dressed in snow!

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I think my house smiles. It definitely makes me smile!

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I think my dog barn and chicken shed are adorable too!

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Even the machine shed and horses look good in their snow clothes!

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Picture edit to cut out the roof of the house that was visible when I snapped the photo of the barn and chicken house.

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The road to our house. I thought the lighting at that moment while I was driving was magical! The sky was so bright and fresh!

New Table

I’ve been looking sporadically for several years on Craig’s List for a formal dining room table. At the other house, we had a nice table but it had three glass panels on the top and was a royal pain to clean. When we moved, I refused to bring it with us. It was not my style and it fit perfectly in the other house, so it had to stay.

Thank goodness!

After we moved in August I began looking in earnest because our new home had a major void in the place waiting for a more formal dining room set. We had a nice little breakfast table, another Craig’s List find that I will blog about later, but with Thanksgiving looming around the corner, and family coming for the first time in over 5 years, I really wanted to have a table we could actually sit down at.

But I had very specific ideas about what I wanted, and of course it had to fit the space. My dream was to have a “farm table”, made of old barn wood, glossy and smooth and SOLID! I wanted 8 country chairs and I wanted some black in either the table legs or chair backs.

Easy to find, right?? Well…no!

I looked almost every day for almost 3 months. What I know about Craig’s List is that if you see what you’re looking for, you better be the first one to find it, look at it, and BUY it. There isn’t a lot of time to think about it once the item is out there and visible for all to see.

I found a few tables that were ok. They would have worked, but I knew that once I bought something, that would be IT for many, many years.

So I passed over the tables that would work, keeping my sights set on what I wanted, and not compromising on my dream or on quality.

Last weekend I missed a few days and forgot to look on Craig’s List, so when Sunday rolled around, I had several days worth of “dining room set” searches that I had to slog through. I’ve learned that being on my computer, and not on my phone is much easier for this job because the pictures are all viewable at once on the computer while you can see just one at a time on the phone.

And then I opened THE ad with MY table. It was almost exactly what I had imagined, except it wasn’t a classic old farm table, but it had a character of its own that made up for that little deficit.

I studied each photo in detail. I loved the chairs. I loved the pattern on the table top. I loved the color and it looked like substantial furniture. I made the call and talked to the gal. The table was at a lake house that the family was selling. It had been used twice. A death in the family was forcing the sale and it needed to be gone by Wednesday. There were actually 2 identical tables for sale, one that would have 6 chairs and one with 8 chairs (due to my suggestion since she originally was going to send 7 chairs with each table). I hung up and thought about it, a Craig’s List no-no.

The table was not cheap. It was not a “steal of a deal” (like my bedroom furniture which I will also share in another post), but it satisfied my entire want list, which of course covered my need list, and I never really look at the big price tag of an item, but instead let my mind calculate the price per use, as that is the best indicator of the worth of an item. I knew this table would probably be in my family for the rest of my life, so I called her back the next day.

She told me another lady had called and wanted a table with 8 chairs.

Gulp.

She then hesitated because she knew I had called her first and she let me know she had made no promises to anyone, and she guessed the first person to make the effort to look at the table and purchase it could take the 8 chairs if they wanted.

I needed no further motivation. The lake house was 2 hours away and it was beginning to snow, but I didn’t care. In an hour, I was in my Explorer and heading to Idaho. It was do or die time, and I’m a do-er!!

The last mile of the drive was a little scary. My snow tires are still not on the car and there were several inches of snow combined with dirt roads and hills. But thankfully the driveway to the lake house was flat and I pulled up to a magnificent home!

I will just say this about the home of my table. EVERYTHING was custom designed in that home…a bountiful feast for the eyes, a true work of art at every turn, and the petite little 65 year old woman, who had suddenly lost her husband, was responsible for all of this exquisite beauty.

It was a tragic story. The home was for family gatherings, a place for grandma and grandpa to live, and children and grandchildren to gather around the table and spend the holidays and summers together. The property was dreamy, matching the story book qualities of the home, but it had all been cut short, suddenly.

Even with objects bubble wrapped in every room, it was clear that the home was a master piece. I felt so terrible for their family and it seemed selfish to feel any happiness when at first glance, I knew the table was mine as the quality matched all the wonderfulness that surrounded me.

After about thirty minutes I gave her half of the money in cash as a deposit, and told her we would be back the next day to get the table and chairs. My heart went out to that tiny lady, so stylish, so tasteful, so talented, knowing that with each object that was removed from its space, a part of her died as the house was compartmentalized for the moving vans. Life can be so harsh and it reminded me that I’m not the only one with problems.

The next morning we got the kids to school then hooked up the Cougar Mountain trailer and made the 2 hour trek back up to Idaho. It took 2 strong men to move the table, built of solid oak, and The Wood Man successfully tucked everything into the trailer and we were soon on our way. At 1/2 mile away we realized we had forgotten the 2 leaves, so we turned around to fetch them. (The table will seat 10 comfortably with both leaves in, though I’m not sure if my space will actually accommodate it in its full glory.)

We made it home safely and I’m happy to present my amazing Craig’s List find to all of you fine people!

I’m a happy girl and can’t wait to use it for the first time on Thanksgiving!

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It was love at first sight! Do excuse the pile of books on the left that I’m still getting organized.

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I love the color and the distressed wood. The top is definitely not boring.

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I love how it looks like a barn door!

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It fits my space perfectly! I can’t wait to share many meals around this table with family and friends.

Ack! I guess that means I have to cook!

Fields of Gold

The landscape is golden right now! We have had the most glorious fall days this past week, but winter is beginning to take hold with icy fingers!

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This quaint cabin is just up the road from our home. The owner allows us to use this field for our horses which is especially nice in the summertime when it’s full of tall, green grass!

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The fall colors are spectacular right now, and the air is crisp, clean, and cold!

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The skies are a brilliant blue with scattered puffy white clouds, and the sunshine still feels warm on the skin!

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But winter is edging it’s way into our corner of life. We had our first snow last Thursday, and the pass still shows the evidence!

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We were dusted lightly with about an inch of snow, but it has all melted now.

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But there is still snow on the pass. It’s always coldest up there, and the snow always stays there longest. I really don’t want snow till AFTER Thanksgiving. Once Thanksgiving is past, bring it ON!!

Garden Supper

It’s that time of year around here when the garden produce is finally ready to eat!  We planted corn for the first time and it is delicious!!  I hope to get some of it in the freezer, but for now, we’ll just walk out to the garden, pluck a few ears off the stalks, shuck it, steam it, grab the butter and salt, and yummmmm, the kernals expode in our mouths with all the juicy, sweet taste that comes with home grown foods!  And not only does it taste so good, it looks purdy too!

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I”m so proud that we grew this corn!  I want to plant twice as much next year!

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Our supper was mostly all garden produce.  Not all of this came out of our garden.  Some of it came out of my friend’s garden.  This was our supper that we shared together.

Corn on the Cob
Green Beans
Tomato/Cucumber Salad
(Those were our garden items)

and yummy Rice that my friend made!  It was the perfect light, summer supper!

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Take another look at it!

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Now look at it in HD.  I’m not sure what the big deal is.  The HD picture seems to be more faded looking??  Maybe someone can educate me.  One of these days I’ll learn about photography.  Maybe after my kids are all married!  Maybe then, I’ll have time!

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Oh, and the green beans have home grown garlic – I noticed it on the HD picture – maybe that’s what the big deal is.  You can see stuff better!  Oh, and the tomato/cucumber salad also had olives, tofu, and all sorts of yummy herbs.  Don’t ask me for the recipe.  I have no idea!!

Peaches

It’s peach season!

Well, I better say it’s the bitter end of peach season and I squeaked into the local orchard, while picking up my kids from school, and bought their last 4 boxes of peaches! 

Then they sat in the cold storage for a bunch of days because I was too busy to deal with them. 

But then hubby came home and helped me make 2 boxes of them into Peach Pie Filling.  We got 9 quarts of canned Peach Pie Filling, and 6 3/4 quarts that we put into freezer bags.  Yumm!!!  I know it’s going to be delicious!  I keep imagining just eating it on vanilla ice cream!

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The peaches were kinda small because I got the last ones, but they were still very sweet and delicious!

 

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I still have 2 boxes of peaches left, so a couple days ago I made a batch of Peach Jam.  I think it turned out pretty nice and the recipe was very simple!  Just Peaches, Sugar, Orange Juice, and Lemon Juice.  It didn’t even call for Pectin, which is why I wanted to try the recipe!

 

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I got 7 tiny jars and 3 larger jars from the single batch.  I’m definitely going to make more of this and double the recipe!  Maybe I’ll have some time to do it tonight!