Monday, September 9, 2013

Baking / Foodstuff!

Well, I think it has been quite a while since I have posted anything about food or anything and I have been doing quite a bit!  Well, sort of.

Let's start with my go to hamburger buns!  We have finally perfected (I think) the perfect hamburger bun, including size and time baked and all that.  Here is the link to the 40 Minute Hamburger Buns recipe that we use!  They are soooo good!
The recipe says that it makes 12 buns.  If you do the 12 buns they are a little bit too small for a good hamburger!  So, I usually make 8 pretty decent size ones.  In the picture above, I believe I halved the recipe and only made 4, so we had very little leftover (that is not an 11" x 17" baking sheet, its half that size, so the rolls aren't THAT big!  haha!).  Oh!  And we usually let them rise for a half hour or so until we get the size we like, not the 10 minutes the recipe calls for.  You should definitely try them!

Well, I thought it would be fun to try my hand at cinnamon rolls.  This is the first attempt with a cinnamon roll recipe with cream cheese icing.  As you can see, making and cutting them was a GIANT mess.  (I love my table!)
That thing that looks like a really thick hair at the bottom of the pic is actually dental floss.  It is a really great way to cut the cinnamon rolls!  And yes, I put the goo from the table back onto the cinnamon rolls in the pan.  I couldn't just waste it!  Is that gross?  Oh...but it wasn't!  :)  here they are after baking...they look really messy and not pretty...
Here is the icing...still looking for just the right recipe.  I still haven't found an icing/frosting recipe I like that doesn't taste like powdered sugar.  What am I doing wrong?  But this one called for cream cheese, which I think helped the flavor a little.  I'll have to keep playing with it.
 And here are the cinnamon rolls after the icing is on...Mmmm...
 They were really really good!  Funnily enough, BETTER the next day!!
Here is another attempt at cinnamon rolls using the other half of my famous roll recipe.
While they are prettier, I don't think that the regular roll recipe should be used as cinnamon rolls, I think it needs to be a sweeter, better recipe instead.  I also shouldn't have made them so small, I didn't like how thin the dough was after it was baked, it needed more structure to it.  So I think I'll stick with cinnamon roll dough instead.

This post isn't all about cinnamon rolls and hamburger buns, even though they are the best part of ... well, anything!  It is also about salsa and spaghetti sauce.  I made my first attempt at salsa.  The recipe I received from a friend said to roast the veggies until almost burnt to add more flavor to it.
The salsa that I made that called for roasted veggies turned out okay, but it was still a little too tomatoey for hubby and way too garlicky.  He doesn't like fresh tomatoes, you see.  But, I also tried another batch with fresh tomatoes and things like that, this one turned out way better, but it tasted, pretty much like fresh tomatoes blended up.  The picture below is not the recipe that was made from the roasted veggies above, it was the fresh tomato one.  I didn't really care for the bright red color, it kind of weirded me out.
Final verdict: I think we will be sticking to buying our salsa.  Pace knows what they are doing, they make it so it doesn't taste too much like tomato and it's just right.  

I also tried my hand at spaghetti sauce, mostly because I just had so many tomatoes!!!  I wanted to can it at some point, but I figured I should try the recipes first before I'm committed to a bunch of jars of it.  I got this recipe from a book called "Healthy Meals for Less" by Jonni McCoy.  She says that it also doubles as a pizza sauce, which is really cool.
I purchased the ebook not too long ago, and it has been really fun to page through it and see what I would like to make.  This book is all about being frugal and providing realistic food that is cheap and they don't seem to use too crazy of ingredients.  The recipe for this spaghetti sauce called for homemade italian seasoning (recipe also included in the book).  It also only cooked for half an hour, but of course, the recipe took me an hour or so to make.  But it actually tasted really nice! And I could see how it would be a pretty decent pizza sauce too!  I have another recipe for pizza sauce that I got from a friend that I need to try with the last bunch of tomatoes that I picked yesterday before finishing up the garden.  But I think this one really is a contender for my spaghetti sauce that I could can.  I'd have to look into safety for canning and stuff like that, I think.  At least if I have a plan for all of the tomatoes I'll have a better justification for planting them, otherwise I might just do 1 or 2 cherry tomato plants...we will see how things go!

I also tried two recipes for blondies.  Butterscotch Blondies and Blondies.  I found both of them on Pinterest, which I am falling more in love with every day.  I actually made 2 separate batches of the Butterscotch Blondies, they were definitely the favorite and had the best flavor.  I think that maybe I didn't cook the Blondies as long as I should have, but we definitely liked the Butterscotch ones better. Speaking of which, I might go get some right now... :)  With the butterscotch ones,  the recipe calls for a 10" x 10" glass pan, but I tried an 11" x 7" instead.  I felt like it should have been in a larger pan.  And it also didn't cook all the way in the middle, but the parts that were cooked were really good.  For the second batch, I added half a teaspoon of salt.  Maybe to give it some more flavor/savory?  I dunno, but I felt like I should add it, so I did.  I also baked it in a 13" x 9" equivalent oval stoneware pan that I got from Ikea.  (LOVE IKEA!)  I ended up cooking it for about 46 minutes, I think, and it cooked pretty well and all the way through.  We were very pleased... :)  Wish I would have taken pictures of them for you, but I forgot to! Sorry! :(

Alrighty, well, I best get to eating those butterscotch brownies... :)


  1. So, wait, did you use her veggie spaghetti sauce or plain? And the hamburger buns look professional! Great job!

    1. Thanks Susie! :) It has taken us a while to get them perfected! I used her regular spaghetti sauce recipe, and I didn't even know there was a veggie one in there until you mentioned it! Cool! And, I found a kindle version of the Miserly Moms book on Amazon for $2.99, I had some gift card money on there so it only costed me $1.15! Sweet!!! Reading it now