Every spring we make cinnamon rolls for your family.  It's been a tradition for 30+ years with the scent of sweet dough and cinnamon that brings you home.  This year with the a new sourdough journey, we made a smaller sourdough batch of rolls with many of the tricks we've learned over the years, and they were the best we've ever made!  So I though with Easter coming this week, it may be nice for you to try them as well.  

Sweet & Light Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

140 grams milk
28 g melted butter
1 egg
100 grams active sourdough starter
300 grams flour
5 grams grey salt

Cinnamon Filling
2 tbs soft butter
1/2 c sugar
2 teas cinnamon
1/2 c brown sugar

1/4 c soft butter
1/4 c soft cream cheese
1 teas vanilla
3 c powdered sugar
1 to 2 tbs of milk

First, let's make the dough.  Pour the milk and butter into a small bowl, whisk and set aside.  In your stand mixer bowl, add egg, active sourdough starter and with the paddle attachment mix together.  Add the butter/milk mixture until incorporated.  Add flour and salt.  Mix into a sticky mixture, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes in 68 to 75 degree temps.  I like to turn on the light in my oven and proof my dough in the oven with the door closed.  This is especially helpful in the winter. 

Change the mixing attachment to the dough hook and knead the dough for 5 minutes on a low speed.  If the dough is too sticky while kneading, add a little more flour until the dough forms a soft ball.  Butter the sides of a large bowl and place the dough in it, cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm (68 to 75 degree) place to proof for 12 hours or overnight.

When the dough has proofed and it should be doubled in size.  Oil and flour your counter surface and lightly pull the dough from the bowl onto the prepared counter space.  Let rest 20 minutes.  This is a good time to make the Cinnamon filling.  

In a small bowl add white sugar and cinnamon and whisk together with a fork.  get your brown sugar and soft butter ready.  Prepare a 9" springform pan by placing a piece of parchment paper in the bottom and up the sides of the pan.  Set aside. 

Lightly roll out the dough into a 16" x 12" rectangle om the oiled and flour counter.  I like to make a few soft rolls with my rolling pin and then use my fingers to stretch it into shape lifting and lightly pulling it into shape.  Once you have the shape, spread the softened butter over the dough.  Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture onto the butter and then sprinkle the brown sugar over it all.  

Now it's time to make your rolls.  Take the long side of the dough and roll it from one side to the other to make a long tube of dough.  Using a piece of baker's string, slice 2" rolls by sliding the string under the roll, and then crossing the two ends of the string to cut off each section.  

Place each roll into the parchment lined pan.  Make sure to give them some space.  
When all of them are in the pan, use your fingers to lightly press each roll down a little to make them more round than upright.  Cover the pan and let rise for 2 hours in a warm place.  

When the 2 hours are up, preheat oven to 350 degrees and place in middle rack of the oven.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the tops are slightly brown. Remove from oven and let sit in pan for 10 minutes before lifting the parchment paper out of the pan to cool on a rack.  

While they are cooling, it is a good time to make the glaze.  In your mixer and with the whisk attachment, add the butter and cream cheese and whip on high for a few  minutes.  Add vanilla and mix.  Add the powdered sugar and whisk.  It will look dry,  add the milk a little at a time until you get the consistency of a light whipped frosting.  

You can either frost while warm and have the glaze sink in or frost cold and pile that yumminess up.  We love to serve these slightly warm.

We hope you enjoy these Sweet & Light Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls.  They turned out so sweet and good.  The slight tang of sourdough set off the sweetness and made for a perfect bite of cinnamon goodness.  To watch the video you can go to our Unstagram @tweetledeedesignco or our TikTok channel @tweetledee.

Strawberry Vanilla Bean Jam

There are few things that taste more like spring than fresh strawberry jam.  I've made my own jams since I was a young momma because they were so easy to make, and always tasted amazing on fresh bread.  The two things I would make when I needed a lift, bread and jam!  Well, if you have followed me long, you know I've been on a Sourdough bread journey since January and when the last batch was proofing, I opened my fridge and took out two baskets of strawberries, and go to washing. 

It was just two baskets of store bought berries, and it took less than 10 minutes to wash and lop off the green leaves, quarter and place in a medium stockpot.  I added a cup of water and two cups of sugar, turned on the heat to medium high and gave them a stir. 

Just look how bright they are.  After they were cooking for a few minutes, I thought about the Vanilla Sugar I made a in January and wondered how adding fresh vanilla sugar and a bean or two would make the strawberries taste.  Curiosity always wins, right?  

I opened the jar of Vanilla Sugar and felt like I was floating, it was so fragrant and light.  I added a cup of the vanilla sugar to the pot and pulled out two vanilla beans.   To make your own Vanilla Sugar take some real vanilla beans and press down the down into the center of a jar of granulated sugar, top with a lid and store for 6 to 8 weeks.  It's the perfect way to have a little extra vanilla in anything you use sugar with.  

The pot of strawberries kept at a low boil for about 20 minutes.  Meanwhile I stirred it a few times and watched it thicken slightly.  After 20 minutes, I took it off the heat and poured it into a jar and placed it in the refrigerator to cool.  

As it cools, it thickened to jam consistency and I got my sourdough out to slice and toast.  I couldn't wait, and called Mike in from the shop to enjoy a yum moment with me.  He loves warm, fresh sourdough as much as I do and even more, homemade jam.  I didn't tell him that the it was infused with real vanilla.  

We both were shocked at how amazing this jam was with that little hint of vanilla.  It was the best we have ever had.  In the past few weeks we have been enjoying it on sourdough toast with a shear of ricotta cheese and a spoonful of the Strawberry Vanilla Bean Jam.  We've shared it with friends for late night desert and one of them, said it tastes like a cheese cake.  I agree!  It is amazing.  

To recap this simple recipe...

Strawberry Vanilla Bean Jam

2 Quarts of Fresh Strawberries
2 Cups Granulated Sugar
1 Cup of Water
1 Cup of Vanilla Sugar
2 Whole Vanilla Beans

Place cleaned, hulled and sliced strawberries in a medium sauce pan on medium heat.  Add water, sugar, vanilla sugar and vanilla beans and heat, stirring occasionally for 20 to 30 minutes.  Take off heat and let cool.  Pour into jars and place in refrigerator with lid to cool completely.  Jam will thicken more as it cools.  

Jam will keep for 2 weeks in fridge or 3 months in freezer.

I hope you enjoy this little change up in your Strawberry Jam experience.  Add the vanilla and turn every bite in spring heaven on toast.  xo

Cheddar Bacon Egg Bites

On a lazy Sunday morning we decided to make a weeks worth of breakfasts using our eggs collected from our hens that week.  One of my favorite on the go breakfasts is Starbuck's egg bites.  They are packed with protein and low on carbs.  The perfect warm bite to get me going for the day.  

These eggs bites are so simple to make.  There were a few things to gather in preparation.  We purchased a silicone mini-muffin pan from Amazon.  (See our affiliate link.) We also purchased a high quality Avocado spray oil.  Some good bacon and fresh eggs.  We used a combination of Gruyere & Cheddar Cheese, and cottage cheese Yes, cottage cheese!

Bacon Cheddar Egg Bite 

6 Eggs at room temp
2 Cups of low-fat Cottage Cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
1 Cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated
1 Cup Gruyere Cheese, grated
6 Strips of Bacon, baked and chopped

The cottage cheese is what gives the egg bites a creamy, light texture.  That and the water bath in the oven, but we will talk about that in a minute.  Gather your ingredients, getting your 6 eggs to room temperature.  Pre-bake your bacon on a parchment lined baking pan at 385 for about 15 minutes or until crunchy.  You want you bacon extra crispy.  Once baked and removed from the pan, let cool and rough chop with a knife and set aside.

Lower the temp on your oven to 320 after baking your bacon.  In a blender add your eggs, cottage cheese, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, cheddar and Gruyere cheese.  Blend until smooth.  Spray your silicone muffin pan and lay on a metal baking pan for strength.  Pour mixture into muffin pan spot 3/4 full.  

Sprinkle chopped bacon over the tops of the egg mixture and with a fork tap the bacon down into the egg mixture.  You can leave a few pieces of bacon sticking up, but the majority of that salty bacon goodness should be in the egg mixture.  Boil a couple cups of water and place in a baking pan in the oven on the lowest rack.  move the top rack to the middle position in your oven.  This water bath will help the eggs to remain fluffy and light as they bake.  Place egg bite pan on the middle rack and bake for 20 minutes.   

You will know the little egg bites are done when you can lift them out of the muffin cup with a knife or just pop them out by reaching under the silicone pan and giving the bottom of each muffin cup a tap.  You can serve them hot, or you can save them for the week's breakfasts. 

To save the egg bites for a future breakfast, let them cool and place them in serving size amounts into a air tight plastic bag.  Squeeze the air out and seal.  Make sure to write the date on the package.  These Bacon Cheddar Egg Bites will be good in your freezer for two months.

I can not even explain how yummy these little bites of bacon, egg and cheddar are.  My son ate a couple packages on Monday and is excited for us to try and make a spinach and swiss version.  I'll experiment and let you know how it goes.  For now though, get a those eggs out to room temp, bake your bacon, grate the cheese and make yourself the best little egg bites ever!

With the extra meals being prepared at home now, we have brought out our family's favorite recipes to bring a little extra comfort.  For me there is just about nothing more comforting that a hot slice of homemade bread slathered with butter.  My hubs loves to slather his in honey, but that is another story!  

I learned how to make bread on our farm as a little girl.  It's funny how many skills you lean on when you can't go to a grocery store or restaurant for your meals.   My grandma had this huge, deep, metal, hand-crank bread maker.  I loved turning the handle to knead the bread.  The best type of bread was a mixture of wheat and white.  I love to call it my 80/20 bread.  

I love the texture of this bread with 80% enriched baking 20% fresh ground wheat.  If you don't have the ability to grind your own wheat, you can find 100% ground whole wheat in most baking sections of stores.  The other ingredients are so easy and simple.  I do want to add a link for my favorite flour.  I absolutely love Big J Milling , Golden Loaf Baking Flour.  It is so good!  Everything I make with it is light and perfect in texture.  
Homestead 80/20 Bread

3 cups of warm water
3 Tbs Olive Oil
2 Tbs Honey
1 Teas. Flaky Salt
2 1/2 Fast Rising Yeast

Mix together is a mixer or large bowl.

Slowly add 2 cups of Whole Wheat Flour mix together.  Add 3 cups of flour one cup at a time.  Mix together and switch to your kneading attachment if using a mixer.  Add the last two cups of flour if needed.  Up to 7 cups total.  Add a little Olive Oil if you thing the dough is too dry.  The dough should be soft and slightly sticky.  Preheat over to 375 degrees.

Let the dough rise for a half hour, divide into two halves.  Spray a loaf baking pan and form the dough halves into loaf shape and carefully lift into pan.  Tap the pan on the bottom to remove any air bubbles.  Let rise 15 minutes.  

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and brush with butter or olive oil.  Enjoy with a slather of butter!

A little of this a little of that and you have a honey of a bundt cake!  This is one of my most asked for recipes.  It is a cake that can be made in advance and refrigerated until the party begins.  It takes a few ingredients from your pantry and an orange.  You will love this comfort cake especially this spring, with resources limited and we are all craving a bite or two of something sweet.

It had a hint of honey and orange, and the fragrance made my kitchen smell like my favorite Tea & Honey candle.  Oh my gosh I was in heaven.  It only took about an hour to make and because it isn't too sweet, it would be a perfect cake for a brunch too.  Again the secret to this cake is the pudding in the mix and the Honey Orange Glaze that is brushed over the cake. This extra hint of flavor sends it over the edge.

To make this cake you will need....

Nothing But Honey Bundt Cake

One Yellow Cake Mix
One Small Package of Vanilla Pudding
3 Eggs
1/3 Cup of Vegetable Oil
1 Cup of Water
1 Teaspoon of Real Vanilla Extract
1/2 Cup Sour Cream
1 Orange
3 Tablespoons Honey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a mixer add the cake mix and pudding packet.  
Add eggs, oil, water, vanilla, and sour cream.  Mix together.
Zest the rind of the orange and add to the batter.  Squeeze the juice of the orange into the batter and mix together.  Add honey.

Pour batter into a greased and floured bundt pan and bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes.  Tip over and tap the bottom to release the cake.   Let cool while you make the glaze.

Honey Orange Glaze

1 Cup of Sugar
3/4 Cup of Water
3 Tablespoons of Honey
Juice of one Orange

Add ingredients and bring to a boil for 3 minutes. 
 Brush onto cake with a pastry brush.  Let soak in while you make the frosting.

Cream Cheese Orange Frosting

4 oz. of Softened Cream Cheese
3 Cups of Powdered Sugar
Juice and Zest of One Orange
1 Teaspoon of Vanilla
3-4 Tablespoons of Milk

Add all ingredients in a mixer and whip on high. 
 Add milk a little at a time until you get a smooth consistency.  
With a large spoon drizzle the frosting over the cake in a back and forth motion to cover the cake.  Sprinkle with a little orange zest.  

Are you the one who loves to eat peanut butter right out of the spoon?  I know no one admits it is their secret craving saving, but I'm here to bust that craving our into the open with the bestest peanut butter cookie recipe ever!  One bite of these sugar crusted, peanut saturated and honey touched cookies will satisfy any craving you have.  These Honey Peanut Butter Cookies are an old family recipe that you will want's that good!

Honey Peanut Butter Cookies

1/4 C. Room Temp Butter
1/2 C. Sugar
1/2 Cup Fresh Peanut Butter (Adam's Chunky is our Favorite)
1/2 C. Honey
1 Room Temperature Egg

 Mix in a mixer until smooth.  Sift together and add into the mixture slowly...

1 1/4 C Flour
1/4 Tsp. Salt
1 Tbs Baking Powder

Mix together and chill for an hour.   Line your baking sheets with baking parchment paper and preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Roll into Ping Pong size balls and roll in Raw Amber Sugar.  Place on cookie sheet about 1 1/2" apart.  Use a slotted spatula to make the lines (or a wide fork).  Press one direction and then the opposite direction to make a criss-cross pattern.  Bake for 6 to 8 minutes.  Let cool on a baking rack.  

Be prepared to eat them all...well, just sayin' these are soooo good with the crust of the raw sugar and the light, soft texture with a hint oh honey and a burst of yummy peanut better.  You can thank me later!  

Recipes get passed down through generations for many different reasons.  Some for traditions, or remembrance of the maker, and some because they are just too good to forget.  I found my Great Great Grandmother Rose's Sugar Cookie recipe in a stash of loose paper recipes my mother gave to me.  For years I have used my Grandma's Sour Cream Sugar Cookie Recipe and that is the one my children have loved forever.  

This Valentine's weekend I decided to try my Grandma Rose's cookies to see what the difference is and why my mother, who is a fabulous maker saved this one with stars and hearts.  My mom wrote a little note that these cookies were made when she would visit Grandma Rose as a little girl and that the scent of them baking always reminded her of her favorite grandma.  So, there you know why I had to try them.

We had our kiddos over and made them with them after church on Sunday and indeed the house smelled of sugar and nutmeg.  What I discovered when I made them was their texture is that of a macaroon.  They are so soft on the inside, it was like biting into a soft pillow with a puff of sweetness in the layers.  Goodness, even my husband said they were the best sugar cookies I've ever made.   I had to tell him it was a different recipe!  I'm sure Grandma Rose Helena Fay was looking down with a smile on her angelic face and we know why they were passed down through at least four generations of baker-makers.  You will love these cookies!  If you are not a fan of nutmeg, you can omit the amber spice...but I promise you, they are so good with it.
Grandma Rose's Sugar Cookie Recipe
1 Cup of Soft Butter
1 1/2 Cup White Sugar
3/4 Cup Evaporated Milk
2 Teas. Real Vanilla
3 Eggs Room Temp.

Mix together in an electric mixer until a golden yellow smooth mix.  

Sift together and add to mix...

1 Teas Baking Powder
1 Teas Baking Soda
1/2 Teas Ground Nutmeg
3/4 Teas Salt

Mix in electric mixer until all the powder is incorporated.  Add one cup of sifted flour at a will take 3 1/2 to 4 cups of flour for the dough to hold together with a slight stickiness.  Use a rubber spatula to push the dough into a ball and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.  

When chilled roll out on a floured mat or counter and cut to 1/4 inch thickness.  Cut into shapes and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until they are slightly tan of the bottom.  Remove from oven and let sit for a few minutes on the tray to cool before moving them to the cooling racks.  Once on the cooling rack, let the little sugar cookies get totally cool before you frost them!
Creamed Butter Cream Frosting

1/2 Cup Soft Butter
2 Teas Real Vanilla
2 Cups Powdered Sugar

Mix in an electric mixer until the powder is blended with the butter and vanilla.  With your whisk attachment on a slow speed drizzle 1/4 Cup of Whipping Cream in the mix.

Mix at a medium speed until the mixture starts to fluff a little.  Slowly add more powdered sugar a little at a time until you get the consistency of frosting you want to frost with.

This Creamed Butter Cream Frosting is like a soft buttery puff cloud in every bite.  I love a good butter cream...but adding Whipping Cream instead of milk and giving it that extra whipping to fluff it, gave it a lightness that you usually don't get in a frosting unless they have added shortening (which I do not like).  This frosting held up to all the swirling our kids gave it and stayed soft overnight.

These two recipes should go in your file to pass down as well.  Grandma Rose would be so happy to have shared it with you!  xoxo 

Happy New Year!  It is hard to believe that 2020 is here.  We hope your celebrations were everything you hoped for and that you are renewed and excited for this fresh new year.  When the producers of KUTV Fresh Living asked me to give them my favorite winter comfort food, there was no doubt which one I would pick.  Our family's most requested soup in Momma's Potato Leek Soup. 

For years this has been our kiddos taste of home.  It is so simple to make, and yet if you skimp on time by substituting anything on the can tell!  Trust me, I have tried and have heard the complaints.  Our family takes their potato soup very seriously!  

If you haven't cooked with Leeks before, you are in for a treat.  You can watch today's segment on KUTV Fresh Living to see how to wash and prepare leeks, but let me give you a quick review. 

Leeks are a part of the onion family.  They are sweeter and more mild than your regular onions and add a rich flavor to any dish.  My favorite way to eat them in saute in butter and olive oil with a little sea salt.  They are so good all by them selves, but when added this soup they are out of this world.  

You can find leeks in most grocery stores or if you are lucky and live on a beautiful farm in upstate NY...they grow in the woods.  I know first hand about that.  In the spring my cousins and aunts trek to the woods and gather the leeks from the dark rich soil.   The earthy smell of soil and sweet leeks is one of my favorite scent memories.  The family gathers for a ham and leek dinner cooked together in the farmhouse kitchen.   Yes, it is as magical as it sounds.  Because I live a thousand miles away from our family farm in the west, I go to my local produce store and can find them in the greens.

Leeks are not only delicious, but super good for you.  They are natures antibiotic, with powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.  They help support a healthy digestive tract by keeping good stuff growing and eliminating the bad stuff growing in our tubes.  They are the oldest recorded vegetable and it's easy to see why.... good for you and good to eat.

They grow in soil, so make sure you wash them well.  Choose stalks that have white ends, light green in the middle and dark green tops.  You want to avoid the brown or yellowish greens, as they are not so fresh.  When you get the stalk home, trim off the roots and the top dark green.   I trim about two inches above the white.  I love the greens, but the top of the stalks are tough, so just use the light to medium green parts above the white.  Cut them as you would an onion, slice, chop or roast whole.  A little Olive Oil and Sea Salt and you have a fabulous side.

So, with the introduction of Leeks and how to use them we are ready to make this Oh soooo good, over the moon, Momma's Potato Leek Soup...
Momma's Potato Leek Soup

10 to 12 Large Golden Potatoes (peeled and cut into 1/2" chunks)
1/2 Gallon Whole Milk
3 Cups Chicken Broth
1/2 Cup + 3 Tbs. Butter
Olive Oil
2 Large Leeks (washed, sliced, and chopped)
3 Cloves Garlic
2 Cups Chopped Bacon 
4 Cups Grated Cheddar Cheese
2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder
Flaky Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper

Place peeled and chopped potatoes into a large pan and cover with water.   Add salt and boil until the potatoes are fork tender.  While the potatoes are cooking wash, slice and chop your leeks into 1/4" slices.  Chop your fresh garlic.  Heat a 1/2 cup of butter and 2 Tbs of Olive Oil in a frying pan.  When the butter is melted, add the garlic and leeks.  Sprinkle with some Flaky Salt and saute until the greens are bright and the white is slightly translucent.  Set aside.

Once your potatoes are fork tender, drain potatoes into a colander until the water is removed.  Add potatoes back into the pan, saving 2 cups of potato chunks to the side. Add softened butter and let melt over hot potatoes for a few minutes. Using an immersion blender or a hand mixer, mash the potatoes until they are soft.  

Add the chicken broth, and milk and mix until you get the consistency that you prefer.  I like my soup thick, but my husband like his thin.  Which ever way you like it, add the milk to that consistency. Once this is blended, add the saute leeks and reserved potato chunks. Stir in and let simmer on low to medium heat until everything is warm.  Salt and pepper to taste.  

Serve garnished with cheddar cheese, bacon, chopped parsley or cilantro and green onion!

I promise you, this will be your new favorite go to comfort food forever!  It is the soup that all of our children request when they come home and it is so worth the added bit of love to peel your potatoes and saute those is a sure bit of heaven in a bowl.

Enjoy xo

One of the best aromas ever is a slow cooker full of apples and spice...there is nothing like it.  Even in the winter, the aroma of simmering Winter Apple Butter is such a crisp fragrance,  It brings back all the warmth of a sunny fall day, even if there is two feet of snow out your window.   My family loves to eat it on crisp toast, pancakes and even on ice cream.  

All you need to make this simple apple butter is a slow cooker and about 10 to 12 large apples.   My favorite kind to use are Jonathon's...they are perfect mixture of firm, sweet, tart and Granny Smiths are my second favorite.   Wash your apples and peel them.  I like to use my old fashioned apple does the job in a matter of seconds.  You can find the apple peeler I use on my Amazon shopping page.    

Once the apples are peeled, you can use an apple slicer to slice them into large wedges. Place them in a slow cooker and turn it on to the low setting.

Once the slow cooker is full, add three cups of sugar and four tablespoons of apple pie seasoning.  If you can not find apple pie seasoning, mix together cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves to a mixture you like. 

Put a lid on the slow cooker and cook for eight hours on the low setting.  Stir occasionally to mix the spices and sugars through the mixture.   You will have a delicious amount to apple juice that cooks out of the apples over cooking time.  When the time is skim off most of the juice and set aside.  Add two tablespoons of real vanilla extract and mix together.  I like to use an immersion blender to blend the chunks up into a half chunky sauce.  If your mixture is still too thin, cook a little longer in the pot.  (It will thicken ever more in the fridge.)

Once your apple butter is done, you can refrigerate it for up to six weeks or freeze it for up two months.  If you want it to last through the winter,  you can process them in a water bath for 20 minutes and they will keep for a year.  You can find the instructions for the water bath process at the Ball Fresh Preserving Site.

Just imagine a spice filled thick sweet and tart apple sauce in one bite...and you will know why we are crazy for this recipe!  I hope you enjoy this as much as we do.  It sure makes the winter mornings smell divine and taste even better!

1 comment:

  1. I am looking for your recipe for grandma pineapple carrot cake. I had a copy and I have lost it and can’t find it on your blog.