Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Banana Pudding ! A Best of the Best Recipe !

Who would think that a recipe for Banana Pudding would be on a food blog!

I've had the fortunate opportunity to travel the world extensively and I've enjoyed trying new foods in every place I've visited. I've even visited a banana plantation on the island of St. Lucia.

In 1987, I had a friend that shared a family recipe for Banana Pudding.
It was the best Banana Pudding I had ever eaten in my life!

This is a Best of the Best recipe.

I've never shared this one with anyone, until I started my blog, so I hope you try it.

Cream Cheese Filling:
1 can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 8oz. package of cream cheese, softened.
1/3 C fresh lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla

3 eggs
3/4 C sugar
1 TBS flour
1 C whole milk
1 tsp vanilla

1 box of Vanilla Wafers
6 Bananas (sliced)

Beat cream cheese until creamy
Add condensed milk, lemon juice and vanilla, continue beating until well combined.
Refrigerate this mixture

Beat eggs, sift dry ingredients and add milk and vanilla.
Place in a double boiler and cook until thick, whisking constantly. This may take as long as 45 minutes on medium high heat.

In a plain glass bowl or a fancy trifle dish:

Begin with a layer of sliced bananas
A layer of Vanilla Wafers
A layer of Custard
All of the cream cheese mixture
A layer of sliced bananas
A layer of Vanilla Wafers
A final layer of Custard
Refrigerate and serve chilled!

Peace in the Kitchen!

Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup

In 1996 a French friend of ours, Jean - Michel, had a restaurant in Dallas. It was called Tramontana.
We loved this soup that he served.
He gave me the recipe.

Merci Beaucoup Jean Michel. Tu nous manques!

1 medium onion
7 large carrots,peeled, diced
3 medium sweet potatoes or yams, peeled, diced
dice them the same size

Vegetable or Chicken stock, enough to cover all ingredients.

to taste:
brown sugar or honey
ground ginger
ground clove
ground cinnamon
( I recommend 1 1/2 tsp of each to start) adjust according to personal taste.
1 TBS butter
1 C half and half
Chopped fresh chive for garnish

Saute the onion in the butter until clear.
Add carrots and sweet potatoes.
Cover with stock and simmer until soft.
When all is cooked to perfection, puree in the liquid with an immersion blender or in a blender.
Be careful when blending hot liquids in a blender. Blend in small portions.
Remove from heat .
Add half and half and spices, blend well.

Serve garnished with fresh chive.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Pumpkin Muffcakes!

Here's a vintage recipe for a cross between a Muffin and a Cupcake.
I call it a Muffcake!
It's a frosted Muffin...... anyway, you get the idea.

I consider this to be a Best of the Best recipe

1 C Pecans, roasted. ( preheat the oven to 350 degrees and roast the nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet for 8 minutes, or until golden brown.
 Cool completely and roughly chop.

1/2 stick butter, room temperature
1 C firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 15oz. can pure pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
2 C all purpose f;our
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 C chopped dates ( I know, you say you don't like dates, but this is a necessary ingredient and once you taste these, you'll agree)

1 3oz. package of cream cheese room temperature
Zest of 1 orange
1 tsp of the orange juice
2 C powdered sugar

Spray a 12 cup muffin pan with a vegetable spray or grease with your preference. I use my pan release recipe posted earlier on the Blog.

In a Mixer with a paddle attachment:
Medium Speed
Cream the butter and  brown sugar until well combined, about a minute.
Add the egg and continue for 1 minute more.
Add pumpkin and Vanilla and beat until combined.
Mix in the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
By hand, stir in the dates and Pecans until well combined and the batter is moist.
The batter will be thick.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filled just to the top.
Bake 20 minutes
Cool them in the pan for 10 minutes and then invert onto a cooling rack and cool completely( at least 30 minutes before frosting them)

In a mixer on medium speed, with a paddle attachment
Beat cream cheese and orange juice about 30 seconds.
Gradually add powdered sugar 1/2 C at a time until incorporated well each time.
By hand, stir in the orange zest

Frost the muffins.
The icing will set after 45 minutes and you can wrap them individually in plastic wrap to store in the refrigerator, if you have any left!

Peace in the Kitchen!

Mustard / Homemade / Hot

We love mustard:


......... and this homemade mustard from the Mennonites in Kansas!
This recipe makes about 2 1/2 cups.

4 TBS flour
8 TBS dry mustard
1 C boiling water
1 C sugar
1/2 C vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp or more.... mustard seed to taste  (some of the seeds can be crushed)

Mix flour and mustard
Stir in the boiling water
Add sugar,vinegar and salt
Add Mustard Seed

Mix well
Allow to cool completely and refrigerate before using.
Keep refrigerated in a jar!

Peace in the Kitchen!

Pineapple Upside Down Biscuits

Pineapple Upside Down Biscuits

This is an interesting recipe.
We love this individual sized version of Pineapple Upside Down Cake.

1 10 oz. can of crushed pineapple
1/2 C packed light brown sugar
1/4 C butter, room temperature (1/2 stick)
10 maraschino cherries
1 12oz. package of refrigerated buttermilk biscuits ( 10 count) ( too bad they don't make a 12 count since most muffin tins have 12 cups.) Or.... buy more, fill the tins, adjust the recipe and save the rest to make more. Maybe I should have adjusted the recipe for you.... Oh well!

Grease 10 cups of a muffin tin.

Or the 7 cup Cast Iron Biscuit pan.
You can also use a cast iron muffin pan.

Strain the pineapple and reserve the juice
Combine pineapple sugar and softened butter, mix well
Divide the mixture among the cups
Place a cherry in the center of each cup making sure it touches the bottom of the cup
Place 1 biscuit in each cup on top of the mixture
Spoon 1 tsp of pineapple juice over each biscuit

Bake 12 - 15 minutes at 400 degrees
Cool and invert the pan to release the biscuits.

This is one of those crazy American recipes that sounds odd, but interesting and tastes amazing.
You know the ones I'm talking about.

There's always someone in the family that volunteers to make a strange recipe for a family gathering and everyone ends up loving it and wanting the recipe......!

Well here's one of those "I gotta have the recipe", recipes!

Peace in the Kitchen!

Texas Caviar

This is definitely a Best of the Best Recipes from my archived files.

I love this recipe. There isn't a single flavor that overpowers another.
I dice each ingredient so they are the same size

1 can Pinto Beans, drained
1 can Black Beans, drained
1 can Corn, drained
1 medium onion, diced
1 can of chopped Black Olives, drained
1 Jalapeno, diced
1 (4oz. can) Chopped Green Chiles, drained
1 Green Pepper, diced
1 Red Pepper, diced

1/2 C Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 C Olive Oil
1/3 C sugar
1/2 tsp Adobo Seasoning, or Garlic Powder if you can't find Adobo
 Mix dressing ingredients in a Mason Jar and shake until the sugar is dissolved

Mix all Caviar ingredients together with the dressing and refrigerate before serving.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Texas Cranberry Margarita #1

What a great cocktail for a Texas Christmas Party!

Texas Cranberry Margarita #1

1/4 C fresh lime juice
1/4 C Triple Sec
1/2 C of your favorite Tequila ( I recommend the good stuff, don't save money here)
1/2 C Cranberry Juice ( the real stuff, not that cocktail mix)
Lime wedges

You'll need a cocktail shaker and some ice to prepare these.
You know, shaken, not stirred, like a good James Bond Martini.

Put some ice in the cocktail shaker and fill with the first four ingredients.
Put the top on and shake like crazy!
Pour into 4 glasses, either on the rocks or straight up!
Squeeze a lime wedge and toss  one in each glass.

Happy Holidays Y'all!

Peace in the Kitchen

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Tex-Mex Rice Casserole

I've spent the morning playing around with a new recipe.
My Mother always made what she called Spanish Rice, remember we lived in Michigan. Maybe it was a food trend when I was young. It just seems out of place on the menu as I look back at my childhood. But then we also ate a lot of Chinese Food too, maybe because of the movie, A Christmas Story!
Food trends have always fascinated me. Julia Child created the French food trend in America. The 60's loved Fondue and Health Food. I don't think Tex-Mex is a trend in Texas. It seems to be a staple in every kitchen here. We love our Tex-Mex cuisine! I've lived in Texas for 35 years, I still refer to Michigan as home, I'm not sure why, but I'm glad I had the opportunity in my lifetime to get to know Tex-Mex! I hope some of you reading this outside of Texas will embrace some of my Texas recipes............!

I don't remember my mother's Spanish Rice to be as spicy as I have grown to love Tex-Mex food.
This recipe is quite spicy and very.......  Tex-Mex!

This recipe could easily be cut in half, it makes enough for a family gathering or a block party!

4 TBS vegetable oil ( I always say, cook with Vegetable oil, eat Olive Oil)
4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
2 stalks of celery, roughly chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 C long grain white rice
2 C long grain brown rice
2- 14.5 oz. cans of diced tomatoes with juice
1- 10 oz. can Rotel Tomatoes with Chiles, with juice
1- 4oz. can diced green chile peppers.
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp Adobo Seasoning
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
6 C vegetarian Chicken Broth ( the real stuff for the non Vegetarians) 2C water added just before covering with cheese and baking.
2C freshly grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
2C Shredded Mexican Blend Cheese
Fresh Cilantro, chopped, for garnish
Pickled Jalapenos for garnish

Heat oil in a large ( 6 or 7 quart Cast Iron Casserole or Cast Iron Dutch Oven)
Saute onion, celery and garlic about 5 minutes, stirring constantly

Reduce heat to simmer , add rice, stir constantly for 5 minutes
Add tomatoes, Rotel and green chiles
Add all spices and seasoning and stir to combine well

Add broth and bring to a boil

Reduce to low heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally
At this stage, I added an additional 2 C of water, stir well and then continue....

Top with Cheddar Cheese and bake at 375 for 15 minutes

After baking, remove from oven, top with Mexican Blend Cheese, cover
and allow the cheese to melt.

Serve in bowls topped with freshly chopped cilantro and pickled jalapenos.
I serve my Black Peppered Cheese Bread with it.

After tasting it, I think that it could easily be turned into a soup by adding water to individual servings, microwave it and serve topped with Tortilla Strips.

This is a large recipe. I just created a soup with the leftovers ( about 1/3 of it)
I added a 14.5 0z. can of diced tomatoes with the liquid, a 14.75 oz. can of creamed corn, water and milk.
I diced half of an onion and added that too.
It's very forgiving, you can make according to your own personal taste.

That's the way we do it in Texas!

Peace in the Kitchen!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Almond, Apricot Amaretto Bars

 Almond, Apricot Amaretto Bars.

This is an original recipe based on another one that I make into a Sliced Log Cookie.
This is a No Bake Recipe.

The Log recipe made the finals two years ago in the Dallas Morning News/Central Market Holiday Cookie Contest.

1 - 12 ounce box of Vanilla Wafer cookies
1 - pound of Almonds, Roasted with Skins On. ( I roast them on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 10 minutes)
1 - pound of Dried Turkish Apricots
8 TBS Butter, melted
1 - 14 ounce can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
6 oz. of Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips. (I use Ghirardelli.)
6 oz. of Dark Chocolate Chips. (I use Ghirardelli bittersweet.)
1/3 C Amaretto
1/4 tsp Vanilla

Vegetable cooking spray
1 - 9 x13" Casserole Dish
Aluminum foil

Finely chop the Wafers in a Food Processor
Roughly chop the Almond by hand.
Roughly chop the Apricots by hand.

In a large Stock Pot or 8 quart Bowl:
Mix the Wafers, Almonds and Apricots together by hand until well combined.
I use my hands for this step.

Whisk melted Butter and Condensed Milk together.
Stir in Amaretto and Vanilla.
Add this to the Cookie Mixture and combine well.
Press the mixture evenly into the Casserole Dish.
Cover with Foil and refrigerate 30 minutes.

Melt Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips in a Microwave and spread over the Cookie Mixture.
Refrigerate 15 minutes or until firm.

Melt Dark chocolate Chips in a Microwave and spread over the first layer of Chocolate.
Cover and refrigerate 15 minutes or until firm.

Cut into squares to serve.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Skillet Cookies

Another vintage recipe that Aunt Faye made.
I use a cast iron skillet.

The next time I make them I will add photos.

Skillet Cookies

2 TBS butter
1 C chopped dates
2 eggs
1 C sugar
3 C Rice Krispies
1/2 C chopped nuts ( I'm in Texas now, so that means Pecans)!

Melt butter in the skillet on low heat.
Add dates,sugar & eggs.
Stir constantly for 5 minutes.
Cool slightly.
Stir in cereal & nuts.
Sprinkle a sheet of waxed paper with
confectioner's sugar.
Make a roll of the cookie mixture & roll in the paper.
Chill & slice.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Black Peppered Cheese Bread

I bought a new cast iron loaf pan this weekend and I decided that the first thing I would make in it is Black Peppered Cheese Bread.

I love bread, I love cheese and ......... I love freshly ground black pepper!

So....... Black Peppered Cheese Bread it is!

It tastes great.
 I've decided to add jalapeno to the next batter.
We even toast it !

Another hint: If you have leftovers, cube the bread, bake it at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until
golden brown and use the croutons for soup.
I have a recipe on the blog for Texas Onion Soup and these croutons are perfect for that soup.

2 C flour
1 tsp sugar
1 C shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 C buttermilk
1/2 C butter, melted
2 eggs

In a bowl combine:
baking powder
baking soda

In a small bowl whisk together:
eggs, melted butter

Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients with a spoon,
just enough to wet all of the ingredients.
Pour the batter into a well buttered or vegetable oiled loaf pan.
Bake at 350 for 35 - 40 minutes.

Cool about 15 minutes before releasing the bread from the pan.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Saturday, November 17, 2012


Gourmet S'mores, who knew they could be so delicious?
Once a month we get together with our neighbors for a dinner club.
Each month a different family hosts the event.
They pick a restaurant, we all meet for dinner and return to their house for cocktails, coffee and dessert.

Tonight we returned to enjoy Gourmet S'mores around the fire pit.
It was a chilly evening and the fire felt really comfortable.

And then the dessert began.

We had chocolate cake topped with a graham cracker, hot fudge and marshmallows we each toasted over the fire pit. What a great evening with a fun dessert.

Thank you to our hospitable neighbors for a very enjoyable evening!

Hobo Beans

This one is for the meat eaters, however, I make it vegetarian and will note that in the recipe.

This is a true Texas recipe.
There used to be a restaurant in Ft. Worth, Texas called, Larry's Crossing. The restaurant is no longer in business.
I met Larry many years ago and one day I asked for his secret recipe for Hobo Beans. ( true story, not a tall Texas tale). The recipe was eventually posted in the Fort Worth Star Telegram.

The restaurant was actually a train car, hence the name.......
It had an outdoor patio, live entertainment and plenty of Shiner Bock beer! ( you know, an imported beer from Shiner, Texas...... it's a local thing!) There are actually places here in Texas that make us pay an import price for Shiner....... Oh well, another time, another story!

Anyway, this is a great recipe!

Larry's Crossing Hobo Beans:

1 C Brown sugar. ( if it starts with brown sugar it has to be good)
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C of your favorite Barbeque Sauce
1/2 C catsup
1/4 C mustard
1/2 C Bacon, cooked and finely chopped
1/2 TBS salt
1 TBS Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 TBS Tabasco Sauce
1/2 TBS Louisiana Hot Sauce or additional Tabasco Sauce
1/2 C water
64 ounces of commercial Pork and Beans
1/2 lb. chopped Barbeque Beef

Combine all ingredients in a Cast Iron Dutch Oven and simmer 30 minutes
Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Now for the Vegetarian version:
I use Bush's Vegetarian Baked Beans
Morning Star Farms Hickory BBQ Riblets.
Gardein Beefless Strips , shredded.
I also use a vegetarian bacon ( Morning Star Bacon Strips) fried crisp in a bit of vegetable oil or Microwave several strips for 1 minute. Use as many as you like in this recipe.

I have served this to my meat eating friends without telling them they're eating a vegetarian dish and they love it!

I sent the original clipping from the Fort Worth Star Telegram to my sister in Denver. It was in Aunt Faye's recipe book that my sister sent to me when I was researching recipes for the blog.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Adirondack Cranberry Conserve

I found this recipe in my collection and when I read, to combine in a jelly pot, I researched it.
We actually have one of these and I never new what it was for.
They are antique brass pots with handles. Mine holds pine cones!

Combine in a jelly pot:
2 finely chopped whole seedless oranges (peel included), 3 cups of Cranberry juice.
Fast Boil 20 minutes until the peel is tender.
Add 1.5 quarts ( 2- 12 ounce packages) of Cranberries.
1/2 C raisins
1/4 C sugar
Stir until the sugar dissolves.

Cook fast until volume reduces and fruit is almost jelly, about 8 minutes, stirring down boiling bubbles.

Add 1 C chopped Walnuts during the last 5 minutes of cooking, ( in Texas we add Pecans, Pecans to everything!)

Pour into hot sterilized 8 oz. jars leaving 1/4" space.
Makes about 9 cups.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Cranberry Relish

This comes from my collection of the Best of the Best recipes. 2008

The note I have at the bottom of the page in the book says, "don't even make another kind, this is incredible."

I know that everyone has their favorite cranberry relish recipe and I would have to say, this is mine.
I make it a week ahead.

Cranberry Relish:

1- 12 oz. bag of fresh Cranberries
1 large Apple, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
1C Golden Raisins
3/4 C Sugar
1/2 C Orange Juice
1/2 TBS Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 C chopped Pecans (added when cooled)

Place all ingredients except vinegar and pecans in a saucepan and stir to combine well.
Bring to a boil over medium heat.
Lower heat and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes
Remove from heat, add vinegar.
Place in a heatproof container, cover and cool to room temperature.
Add Pecans when completely cooled.
Refrigerate covered.
It will keep up to 2 weeks refrigerated.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Xmas Date Loaf

I love these old recipes hand written on index cards.
This one was originally my Grandmother's and then my Mother's

1 lb, dates ( whole) or prunes
1 lb. walnuts ( whole)

Sift together:

1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
2 tsp. Baking Powder
4 eggs beaten light ( note the reference to egg beaters) I think my Mother  added that, I can't imagine that my Grandmother ever had egg beaters.
1 tsp vanilla, salt

Mix dates, nuts & sugar & flour
then eggs last.

Bake 350
1 hour
loaf pan

I think I'll make this one!

Peace in the Kitchen!

Who wants fruitcake ? I do, I do!

How often do you hear that?

Ok, so it's not the most well received food , but maybe you'll like this recipe. I do, I do!

Refrigerator Fruitcake

1 - 12 oz. box of Vanilla Wafers, finely crushed.
1 - 16 oz. jar of Maraschino Cherries, drained and chopped.
Reserve a few Cherries halved for decoration.
or: 2 C of mixed Candied Fruit
1 C Raisins
1.2 C chopped Dried Apricot.
1 C roughly chopped Pecans. Reserve some halves for decoration.
1 - 3.5 oz. can of Bakers Angel Flake Coconut.
1 - 14 oz. can of Sweetened Condensed Milk.
1/4 C Brandy

Soak Cherries, Raisins, Apricots and Pecans in the Brandy, in a small jar for at least 2 weeks prior to making the cake.

In a mixing bowl combine:
Cookie Crumbs

Stir in the Milk, until combined well and all Cookie Crumbs are moistened.

Press into a Loaf Pan and flatten the top.
Decorate the top with reserved Cherries and Pecans.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1-2 weeks.
Un mold and slice to serve.

Who knows, maybe this is the one!

Peace in the Kitchen!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Cherry Cream Freeze , My mother's recipe

My mother always made this for Thanksgiving and Christmas beginning in the 50's.
It was my favorite dessert as a child.

My mother made it in aluminum ice cube trays without the dividers.
I have a source for them, I should order some.

Here's my mother's recipe.
Cherry Cream Freeze:

1 1/3 C (15oz. can) sweetened condensed milk
1/4 C lemon juice
1- 12 oz. package of frozen sweet dark cherries.
3/4 C ( 1 9 oz. can) well drained crushed pineapple.
1/4 tsp almond extract.
2 C heavy cream, stiffly whipped.

In a large mixing bowl, combine:
lemon juice
almond extract
Mix well.

Gently fold in whipped cream.

Place mixture into a 9x5x3in loaf pan.
Cover tightly with aluminum foil.
Freeze for 24 hours.
Dip pan half way in a pan of warm water to release.
Un mold onto a serving platter.
Slice to serve.

Peace in the kitchen!

Torta Di Riso

This doesn't sound like a Hippy in the Kitchen kind of recipe, but I was a privileged hippy! Or so my parents thought ........

Anyway, this is a Best of the Best from my personal collection of recipes. (1984)
Serve this and your guests will think you're  a really fancy cook!

Torta Di Riso

Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees.

1 quart of milk (4 cups)
1/2 C Italian Arborio Rice
1 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 C raw whole almonds ( here's where the hippy part is)
1 TBS sugar & a few drops of water
6 eggs
3 TBS almond liqueur
1 tsp almond extract
Additional Almond Liqueur
Homemade Whipped Cream, recipe to follow.

Bring milk to a boil in a heavy saucepan.
Stir in the rice, mix well.
Blend in sugar and vanilla.
Reduce heat and simmer slowly, uncovered, stirring occasionally about 20 minutes.
Allow to cool.

Pre heat broiler.
Arrange Almonds in a single layer on a cookie sheet.
Sprinkle with 1 TBS sugar and a few drops of water.
Broil until they begin to caramelize.
Transfer to a food processor and coarsely chop.

Generously butter a 10" quiche pan ( this recipe fits perfectly)

Beat eggs together with 3 TBS Almond Liqueur and Almond Extract, in a large bowl.
Add Almonds and rice mixture and blend well.

Place the mixture in the quiche pan
Bake until the top is chestnut brown, about 1 hour.
Remove immediately. poke holes in the top with a toothpick and sprinkle generously with additional liqueur.
Cut into wedges and cool before serving.

Serve individual slices with Homemade Whipped Cream.

This is my favorite recipe for homemade Whipped Cream:

Homemade Whipped Cream:

1 C Heavy Cream
1 tsp Vanilla
1 TBS Confectioner's Sugar.
Whip the Cream in a Stand Mixer with a Whisk Attachment.
Beat to Soft Peak.
Confectioner's Sugar
Beat to Stiff Peak.
Transfer to a Serving Bowl to serve.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Cranberry Salsa

Another favorite Cranberry recipe!

This may seem unusual but it's really one of my Best of the Best recipes.
In my notes , I wrote that I doubled this recipe.
This can be served as a side dish or served with tortilla chips.( after all it is a Salsa and I live in Texas).

I'm always researching and testing new recipes. When I can't find exactly what I'm looking for, I begin taking from one and adding something from another until I create what I believe is the Best of the Best!

I created this one a few years ago and it was served at Thanksgiving, there were no leftovers!

I refer to blanching in this recipe. Blanching is simply bringing water to a boil and adding something to it and then remove the contents and plunge into ice water to stop the cooking.

2 C whole fresh or frozen cranberries. Blanch the berries. Boil enough water to cover the berries. Pour boiling water over the berries,  then plunge them into ice water to stop the cooking.
1 small jalapeno pepper,minced
2 TBS chopped red onion
2 TBS chopped green bell pepper
1 tsp minced garlic
2 TBS chopped cilantro

1/4 C Canned Cherry Pie Filling from 1 - 21oz. can.( remove the cherries, divide them in half and save until later)
1 tsp cider vinegar
1 TBS sugar
1/2 TBS corn starch

In a saucepan, mix the sauce ingredients together and cook just until heated and combined well.
Cool the mixture, add all of the other ingredients listed above and combine well.

Process the mixture by pulsing it in a food processor.

Remove half of the mixture from the processor to a bowl and stir in half of the cherries from the filling.

Add the remaining  half of the cherries to the processor and pulse again.

Combine both mixtures and gently stir them together.

Chill before serving.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cranberry Almond Holiday Trail Mix

I can never get enough recipes with Cranberries. I could write a book on Cranberry recipes.
Before the Holidays come and go, I should post all of my Cranberry recipes.

I've posted a couple already and here's another favorite of mine.

3/4 C Butter.
1/2 C Packed Brown Sugar.
1 TBS of the best Maple Syrup you can find.
1 tsp cinnamon
2 TBS Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 1/2 C Dried Cranberries
1 1/2 C Slivered Almonds
1/ 1/2 C of your Favorite Trail Mix
1 1/2 C Pretzel Nuggets

Melt butter , brown sugar and maple syrup in a large stockpot over medium heat
Stir in cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice
Add cranberries, almonds and trail mix and stir to combine well
Add pretzels and mix well
Spread on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes

Peace in the Kitchen!

Tex - Mex Corn Dip

I have 3 versions of this Best of the Best Dip!

The Original Recipe ( I entered this in the 2001 Hellman's Mayonnaise Picnic Recipe Contest)
The Creamy Version
Hatch Chile Version

Tex - Mex Corn Dip / Original Recipe:

350 degree oven
Bake in a 1.6 liter casserole, a 2 quart casserole or a 10" cast iron skillet.
Optional, add 1 - 10 oz. can of Ro-Tel tomatoes.

2 - 15.25 oz. cans of Mexi Corn, drained.
2 - 4 oz. cans of green chiles, drained.
2 C Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese.
1 C Grated Parmesan Cheese.
1 C Mayonnaise.

Mix all ingredients together .
Bake 1 hour, uncovered.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Tex - Mex Corn Dip / Creamy Version:

350 degree oven
Bake in a 1.6 liter casserole, a 2 quart casserole or a 10" cast iron skillet.

1- 15.25 oz can of creamed corn
2 - 11oz. cans of Mexi- Corn, drained.
1 - 4 oz. can of green chiles, not drained
1 C mayonnaise.
2 C Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 C grated Parmesan Cheese.

Mix all ingredients together.
Bake 1 hour, uncovered.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Tex - Mex Corn Dip Hatch Chile Version:

350 degree oven.
Bake in a 1.6 liter casserole , a 2 quart casserole or a 10" cast iron skillet.

1 - 15.25 oz. can of Creamed Corn.
2 - 11 oz. cans of White Shoe-peg Corn, drained.
3 Hatch Chiles, seeded,finely chopped. ( about 1 1/4C)
1 C Mayonnaise.
1 C Grated Parmesan Cheese.
2 C Grated Hatch Jack Cheese.

Mix all ingredients together.
Bake 1 hour, uncovered.

Peace in the Kitchen!

There's a Hippy in the Kitchen!

I  created this blog. I'm not sure why I did it.
I love to cook, I have an extensive collection of cookbooks and recipes.
It's time consuming.
But, I often wonder who reads them?

Is anyone looking, is anyone enjoying reading the recipes, is anyone cooking them?
So, I am passionate enough about what I do that I will continue.

I don't expect to write a book.
I don't expect to be discovered by a cooking show.
I simply love what I do here. 

I have so many recipes to share and so many categories to talk about.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Pecan Balls

It doesn't get much easier than this!

1/2 pound of butter
4 TBS sugar
2 C ground pecans
2 C flour
1 tsp vanilla
powdered sugar for dusting

Cream butter and sugar.
Add other ingredients.
Use a cookie scoop to make the balls.
Bake 375 for 25 minutes, they should be lightly browned.
Dust with powdered sugar.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

There's A Mennonite in the Kitchen!

For those who know me , they know that my wife was raised on a Mennonite farm in Kansas. Her mother is an amazing cook, my wife Anne is an amazing cook and my sister's in law are amazing cooks. It's part of their heritage, I suppose.

If this blog wasn't titled There's a Hippy in the Kitchen we may have titled it .... There's a Mennonite in the Kitchen. However, cooking is a daily task for the Mennonites and not something to boast about, brag about or create a blog about, it's  simply a way of life. But all that aside, the recipes and food  they prepare is really good.

I mention this on my blog because many of my Best of the Best recipes have come from my wife's family and I will certainly give them credit.

There are many fragrances in the house today. We are both cooking. I have posted photographs of my creations today and I will post photographs of Anne's creations too.
She made a Warm Apple Pudding Cake that smells like Fall  and an Heirloom and Tomato/Ricotta Tart.

I have an extensive collection of cookbooks and recipe books and just when I think I have all that I need, I find another one.
I have purchased many books that once belonged to the Mennonite and Amish families in the Kansas community where Anne was raised. I'll have a section on the blog dedicated to those books, with recipes and photographs.
Until then .......

Peace in the Kitchen!

Various stages of the Heirloom Tomato / Ricotta Tart and the Apple Pudding Cake.

Tips, Hints and More!

The following are my favorite Tips. I'll update them as needed.
These are my Best of the Best ideas that can simplify your cooking needs and provide you with shortcuts.
For example you'll learn how to cook the perfect hard boiled egg, the easiest and tastiest pastry cream, how to shuck the perfect ear of corn, thicken sauces , Pumpkin Pie Spice and Apple Pie Spice from scratch. and ....... More!

As I post recipes that are baked and require coating the pan.
Here's what I always use.
I believe this came from a Wilton Cake Decorating class that I took, sometime in the early 90's.

Pan Release:

Equal parts of:
Vegetable Oil

Mix together well and store in a Mason jar.
Make as much as you want. 1C of each, 2C of each, 3C of each, you get the idea!
It keeps "forever" in the refrigerator!
It never has enough time to last forever in our refrigerator!

Pastry Cream:
This is truly one of my Best of the Best Recipes.
This is the only Pastry Cream I ever use.
Here are a few of the ways that I use it:

Cream Puffs
Frost the center of a layered cake
Strawberry Shortcake
Strawberries and Pastry Cream
A filling for Aebleskivers

It's simple and decadent

Equal parts of Vanilla Ice Cream, softened and Heavy Cream
I usually start out with a pint of each (2 cups)
Whip the Ice Cream and the Heavy Cream together in a Stand Mixer with a whisk attachment
Add 1 TBS of Vanilla and 1TBS of Almond Extract
Add 1 1/2 boxes of French Vanilla Pudding and continue to mix well.
If you need a good Pastry Cream to fill something or layer something , I highly recommend my recipe.
It's simple and delicious!

The Perfect Hard Boiled and Peeled Eggs:

As many eggs as you want to hard boil, cover the entire bottom of a saucepan.
Add enough water to just cover the eggs.
Some recommend adding a tsp of Baking Soda. I have never done this.
Over medium hight heat, bring the water to a boil.
Cover the pan, remove it from the heat and let it sit for 10 -12 minutes.
Transfer the eggs to a colander and run cold water over them to stop the cooking.
Or, drain the water from the pan, cover with cold water and some ice cubes. ( this is what I do)

Here are my Personal Tips about Peeling:

This is  recommended for Commercial Eggs as well as Fresh Eggs, if you have your own Chickens.
Eggs are easier to peel if they have been around for at least a week and even two before hard boiling them. New eggs are virtually impossible to peel.
The longer the egg sits, the more the membrane beneath the shell separates from the shell, making peeling easier.
Think about Commercial Eggs that are labeled with a "use by" date that the use by date is 45 days from when the eggs were first packages.
Test the amount of time you let them rest (refrigerated)  It may take two weeks.
When the Eggs are Hard Boiled:
Tap the Egg on the Large end first to make some cracks in the shell, then the small end.
Continue making a million cracks in the entire shell before attempting to peel it.

Under cold running water:
Remove the large end first by peeling away from you with your thumb rather that toward you.
The large end tends to be where the membrane connects the closest.
Once you've gotten under that membrane, continue peeling under cold running water.
Sometimes the entire bottom half of the shell will release.
This is just my personal method after years of frustration.

Do you need to separate a lot of Egg Yolks and Whites?

Use a Plastic Water Bottle.
Crack all of the Eggs into a bowl. Remove the Cap on the Bottle. Hold it directly over an Egg Yolk.
Gently squeeze it and suck the Yolk into the Bottle. It will only remove the Yolk.  Release it into another Bowl.
Continue until you've removed all of the Yolks.
It works!

Keep your Guacamole from turning Brown.

Mix it in a bowl.
Smooth the top with the back of a spoon.
Drizzle the top with about 1/2" of Warm Water, to cover the entire surface.
Cover and Refrigerate until ready to serve.
It will keep up to 3 days.
Drain the water, stir the Guacamole and Serve.

Get Rid of Ants, Naturally!

When the Spring rain started, the ants came with it. They were by the kitchen window. I had read about many remedies to get rid of them without chemical spray or toxic powder. Cinnamon was one of the recommendations. We sprinkled it at the site where they were coming into the kitchen. It worked, no more ants!

Perfectly Shucked Corn on the Cob:

Begin with fresh ears of corn.
2 ears microwaved together 8 minutes
individual ears, 4 minutes
Microwave the corn
Remove from the microwave and cut about 2" from the bottom of the ear ( where it was connected to the stalk)
hold the ear at the top where the silk is and shake it until the ear falls out of the husk, perfectly clean!

Easiest way to peel Potatoes:

Score the skin of the potato around the center with a sharp paring knife.
Boil the potatoes as usual.
Hold the potato at one end and pull off the skin.
Do the same with the other half.

Homemade Creme Fraiche:

Heavy Cream and Sour Cream
Begin with any amount of Heavy Cream
Heat on low until warm
Add enough sour cream to make a thick and creamy consistency
Pour it into a jar and let it sit at room temperature for 12 hours
Refrigerate for another 12 hours before using.

Regular Popcorn in the Microwave:
No Butter
No Oil
No Microwave bags of Popcorn
Simply Popcorn Kernels
Place 1/4 C of kernels in a glass microwave safe bowl topped with a microwave safe plate to cover the entire top of the bowl.
microwave for 2 minutes and 45 seconds. Check often.
That's it.......... ! All of the kernels should pop.

Black Pepper Sauce:
This came from our friend in Provence.

1 tsp of butter
1 shot of Cognac
2 Beef or Vegetable Bouillon cubes
1 C Creme Fraiche ( recipe above)
Freshly Ground Black Pepper

In a saucepan:
mix Bouillon with a small amount of water and a good pinch of pepper.
Heat until incorporated.
Add Cognac and heat until it flambes.
Add the butter and continue to stir until fully incorporated.
Remove from heat and add the Creme Fraiche.

Pumpkin Pie Spice:

1/4 C Cinnamon
2 TBS Ground Ginger
1 TBS Ground Nutmeg
1 TBS Ground Clove
Mix all together and store in a jar.

Apple Pie Spice:
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/8 tsp All Spice
1/8 tsp Cardamom

Thicken Sauces and Gravy:

Equal parts of flour and butter cooked over medium heat, stirring constantly to blend well.
Types are White, Blond and Brown , depending on how long you cook it.

Cook a White Roux for a few minutes to cook out the raw flour taste, but not too long to change the color.
White is good for thickening Cream Sauces.

The darker the roux, the more it loses it's thickening properties.

A Blond Roux  thickens a Light Stock based sauce and a Brown Roux is better for Dark Sauces and Brown Gravies.

Beurre Manié:

Unlike a Roux, it's not cooked.
Start with 1 TBS Flour and 1 TBS Softened Butter.
Work well with your hands until a mass is formed.
Once incorporated it's ready to use.
Start with a small amount and add more as needed.
The more you use, the longer you need to cook the sauce to cook out the flour taste.

Classic Vinaigrette:

The classic proportion is 3 to 1, 3 parts Vegetable Oil to 1 part White Wine Vinegar.

3/4 C Vegetable Oil
1/4 C White Vinegar
1 TBS Dijon Mustard
Salt and Pepper to taste

Whisk Mustard and Vinegar together in a 2 cup glass measuring cup.
Slowly whisk in the Oil
Season to taste with Salt and Pepper

It can also be placed in a jar and shaken.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Mocha Frosting:

This is my favorite Mocha Frosting for Cakes, Tortes, Brownies, etc.

1 pound of Confectioner's Sugar ( 4 2/3 C)
1 pound of Butter ( 4 Sticks)
1/4 C Cocoa Powder ( I use Van Houten Dutch)
1 TBS Chocolate Syrup
1 C Coffee Concentrate ( Medaglia D'Oro Instant Espresso is perfect)
3 TBS Vanilla
1/4 tsp salt

In a stand mixer or with an electric hand mixer, cream together until smooth and fluffy:

cocoa powder
chocolate syrup

Continue mixing until creamy smooth.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Cinnamon Roll Waffles?

Simply buy pre - packaged cinnamon rolls and bake them in your waffle iron.

Rock Hard Ice Cream?

Does your Ice Cream get so frozen that you can't scoop it?
Simply place the carton in a Zip Lock Bag when you freeze it.

Is that Avocado Ripe and ready to eat?

Pick off the little stem...... if it's brown underneath, it's not ready!
If it's yellow, it's ripe and ready to eat.
If someone has already done that.... just move on to another one.

Keep celery longer in the refrigerator, wrap it it foil!

Peel an entire head of Garlic in less than ten seconds:

Smash an entire head of Garlic with the palm of your hand to release the individual cloves.
Using two equal sized stainless steel bowls, toss all of the cloves in the bowl.
Top the bowl with the other one.
Shake vigorously.
Within a few shakes, the cloves will all be peeled!

You can also trim both ends of an entire head of Garlic. Put it in a jar, cover tightly with the lid and Shake, Shake Shake. All of the Cloves will separate and be peeled!

The Perfect Whipped Cream:
1 C heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 TBS confectioner's sugar.
Whip in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment or in a bowl with a hand mixer.

Revive a scorched steel pan:

This is after I used the method below to revive it.
What a difference. 

Put the pan on a burner with enough water to cover the scorched area.
Add 1 cup of vinegar and bring to a full boil.

Remove the pan from the heat.
Add 2 TBS of baking soda.
It will foam immediately ( If cleaning a skillet, I place it on a layer of tea towels because it will fizz and spill over.

Drain the pan, rinse with hot water, pat dry with a towel. Return to medium heat to dry completely. Remove from heat and using a paper towel, rub the interior with a small amount of vegetable oil. Never use olive oil. Never wash the pan with soap.

I did the same process that I did with the Steel Omelette Pan, with these vintage
 Lady Finger / Financiers pans that I bought at an Antique Market.
The final finish is non stick and ready to bake Financiers.

Don't use ice cubes with water to make iced coffee! It just dilutes your coffee.  Instead, put some crushed Oreos in an ice cube tray, cover with milk or cream, freeze and use in your coffee!

Homemade taco shells are easier than you think. Preheat oven to 375F and warm the tortillas until they’re pliable. Spray with  cooking spray then drape over the oven racks with a sheet pan underneath them.

Want your bananas to last as long as possible? Separate each banana individually. Wrap each stem tightly with foil.

Use a Drywall knife to cut sheet cakes and fudge. Get them at the hardware store. They're dishwasher safe too!

Need to clean a large quantity of potatoes? Put them on the top rack of your dishwasher and run it on the quick rinse cycle!
I also wrap vegetables tightly in foil and steam them in the dishwasher. Add a bit of lemon juice, salt and pepper before wrapping in foil!

Put 2 large marshmallows in your bag of brown sugar to keep it from hardening!

Use an egg shell to remove egg shells from the bowl when cracking eggs!

Use a paint can opener to break the seal on difficult to open jars. Just slip it under the lid in a few places and gently press down.  The lid will twist off with ease!

Use a nut cracker for those hard to open tops on 2 liter plastic bottles and water bottles that are difficult to twist off!

Butter large amounts of corn on the cob by melting butter in disposable aluminum pans. Fill with a single layer of ears of corn, use tongs to swirl them in the butter. Salt and Pepper them and serve! When grilling, keep the pan on the top rack of the grill !

Use a Muffin Tin Pan to create perfectly sized holes to plant seedlings in your garden. Simply press the bottom of the pan into the soil to make the indentations. Create multiple rows at one time!

Easy Peeled Potatoes for Mashed Potatoes or Potato Salad, when you have a lot of potatoes to peel:
Boil potatoes as usual, until tender. ( Russets are best for mashed potatoes and potato salad)
As soon as they're cooked, drop them into a bowl of Ice Water ( with ice cubes) let them sit a minute and when you take them out, you can easily rub off the skin. No potato peeler necessary!

Store your opened chunks of cheese in foil. Cheese will stay fresher , longer.

Add a tsp of water when frying ground beef. It will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking.

Expand Frosting:
When you buy canned frosting, whip it with a hand mixer. It will double in size. You will get more and you end up eating less sugar per serving.

Put a dryer sheet in your pocket.

Put a small pile of cornmeal wherever you see them.

Measuring Cups:
Before measuring a sticky substance such as peanut butter or molasses, fill the cup with warm water, discard the water, don't dry the cup. Or you can spray the cup with a vegetable cooking spray.

How to easily peel an entire head of Garlic:
Trim a bit off the top and the bottom of an entire head of Garlic.
Put it in a small jar.
Put the cover on and shake it rigorously.
All of the peeling will come off and the cloves will separate!

Mushrooms Burgundy

Another Best of the Best Recipes.
I've been making this side dish for at least 10 years.
We typically have it for Thanksgiving.
However, I will make it any time of the year.
If you just don't like Mushrooms, that's OK, move on to another recipe that's appealing to you. I'm never offended.
I make mine in an 11" X 4" Cast Iron Chicken Fryer.

Cook what you enjoy and enjoy what you cook!

2 TBS Dijon mustard
2 TBS vegetarian Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 C packed brown sugar
3/4 C Hearty Burgundy
1 onion, chopped
1/2 C butter (1stick)
2 pounds of sliced Fresh Button Mushrooms

Combine the first 6 ingredients in a bowl and whisk together.
Saute onion in butter
Add Mushrooms
Stir in the Wine Sauce
Simmer  for 45 minutes or until they thicken.
Stirring occasionally.

Peace in the kitchen!

Vegetarian Meatloaf

I don't usually use a recipe when I make this, I substitute ingredients based on what I have available.
However, here's a general recipe that can be used.

1/2 package  (14oz. package) of vegetarian ground beef.
1- 12 ounce package of vegetarian burger crumbles

I sometimes add a cup of bulk vegetarian burger mix too.

1 onion, chopped
2 eggs, beaten
2 TBS vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
1/3 tsp pepper
1 tsp ground sage
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 TBS vegetable oil
3 1/2 slices of bread, cubed. ( I sometimes use 1 C of Italian flavored bread crumbs)
1/3 C whole milk or Soy or Almond milk if you prefer.
1- 8 oz. can of tomato sauce for a topping, or your favorite Ketchup and brown sugar topping! ( I know you all have a recipe for that) Here's my Mother's favorite Sauce and you might just as well make it.....
Mix together:
3 TBS Brown Sugar
1/4 C Ketchup
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp Dry Mustard
Pour over the loaf and bake.

350 degree pre heated oven.
Vegetable Spray for the Pan.

In a large bowl, combine the following, gently by hand:
Ground Beef
Worcestershire sauce
garlic powder
bread or bread crumbs

Spray a  4 3/4" X 8 1/4"  loaf pan with vegetable spray
Shape the mixture into a loaf and place it in the pan
Pour tomato sauce ( or you favorite  sauce) on top. (My Mother's Sauce)
Bake for 1 hour.

This recipe is my favorite!

Peace in the Kitchen!

Agar Agar ( vegetarian gelatin)

I mentioned Agar Agar in the Cranberry Mold recipe.

Agar Agar is derived from a plant source rather than an animal source.
It's suitable for Vegetarians and Vegans.
I has no color,odor or taste.
It sets more firmly than gelatin.
It's able to set at room temperature as well as when heated.
The same amount of Agar Agar can be substituted for powdered gelatin in a recipe.


Peace in the Kitchen!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Thanksgiving without Cranberries ? ....... I can't imagine!

I can't imagine a Thanksgiving dinner without some form of Cranberries.
Some people like the canned berries, some like the canned jellied sauce, sliced and served  out of the can and others make a simple Cranberry sauce in a bowl!
I was always the one looking for some creative, unusual sauce or mold. I've served so many variations over the years including a Texas version with jalapenos, ( I still like this one), but, most of the time no one ever touched any of them and all I ended up with was leftovers that I had to eat!

So, in search of something that everyone will enjoy, I'm trying a new Cranberry Sauce made in a vintage stoneware mold.  My Mold holds 3C of liquid to give you an idea of what size to use. Maybe the presentation alone will entice the family to try it. I'll post the results later. This may become a Best of the Best recipes!

The following is the recipe:

Cranberry Sauce in a Mold
prepared with a vegetable spray.

1 1/4 pounds of fresh Cranberries ( there's approximately 4 C to a pound, I use 5 C for this recipe)
1 1/3 C sugar
Zest of 2 oranges
3/4 C fresh orange juice
pinch of salt
3/4 C + 2 TBS ice cold water
2 1/2 tsp unflavored gelatin ( Vegetarians can use Agar Agar)

In a large saucepan over medium high heat, combine the following:
orange juice
3/4 C cold water
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and simmer until it thickens, stirring until the Cranberries burst, about 15 minutes.

Pour the 2 1/2 TBS of cold water into a small bowl and add the gelatin.
Let it stand until the gelatin softens and swells, about 5-10 minutes.

Spoon 3/4 C of the juices from the berries into the gelatin and stir until gelatin dissolves.
Return this mixture to the Cranberry mixture
Pour the mixture into the prepared mold and cool to room temperature.
Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.

To release:
Dip the mold up to, just below the rim, in a large bowl of very warm water.
Remove from the water and run a small paring knife around the rim.
Invert a serving platter onto the top of the mold, shake gently to release the sauce.
Lift off the mold.
This is a pretty common method of releasing any type of gelatin mold.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Curry Roasted Cauliflower

I'm a fan of Cauliflower, after all I am a Vegetarian. I use it it many ways. I have a great recipe for Cauliflower Parmesan Soup. I plan on dedicating a section to soup. I love making soup and I have some original recipes that I will share someday.

This is a way to have roasted Cauliflower with great flavor.

1 large head of Cauliflower broken into florets.
3 TBS olive oil
1 TBS curry powder
1/2 tsp salt
vegetable spray

Place florets in a large bowl.
Drizzle with olive oil.
Sprinkle with curry powder and salt.
Toss until well coated.

Place the Cauliflower ,in a single layer, and all of the liquid, into a roasting pan sprayed with vegetable oil.
Roast at 424 degrees for 30 minutes.
Stir occasionally.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Buttered Rosemary and Sea Salt Rolls

These rolls are from Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman.
She writes about them on her blog. She adapted the recipe after having them in a restaurant.
I've made them many times and I consider them to be a Best of the Best recipe!

Rhodes frozen dinner rolls, do not thaw!
Vegetable Oil for the Pans.
Fresh Rosemary, chopped ( I take it from my garden)
Some butter, melted , I did say some..... I just melt some butter!
Sea Salt, I use Sel de Mer.... we travel to France often and we buy it there ( I'm not trying to be snobby, but good Sel de Mer is ...... well.....  Good!
A 7", 8" , 9", 10"... anyway, a cast iron skillet , you never know how many of these you will make.

Several pans at once I would say!
Or, you can make them in a cast iron muffin pan or, I also use the Lodge 7 well biscuit pan.

For 7 rolls:
Generously coat a 7"- 8" cast iron skillet, muffin pan or biscuit pan with Vegetable Oil

Place frozen rolls in the pan.
Cover them with a kitchen towel.
Walk away for 3 hours  to let them rise ..... check them ..... walk away for another 20 minutes to rise!
Lightly brush them with melted butter.
Sprinkle the tops with rosemary.
Gently brush again with butter ( I drizzle it on so I don't disturb the Rosemary)
Sprinkle with Sea Salt!

Bake 400 degrees for 17 - 20 minutes, in the middle of your oven, not the top or the bottom, the middle!
They will be golden brown 
Remove them from the oven and...... Oh Yes! Butter them again!
That's it!

Peace in the Kitchen!