She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. Proverbs 31

Thursday, April 9, 2009

What could be sweeter ...

... than a basket of kitties?

These little cuties are the newest additions to our homeplace. Aren't they precious?

Postscript: For those of you that expressed your concern, though we can't spray and neuter every stray cat that visits us for a while, this Mama Cat does have an appointment with the vet to be spayed after these little kitties are weaned. Looks like she is a keeper for sure! :)


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

From My Kitchen ~ Homemade Cloverleaf Rolls

I just love to make homemade bread. I love the way it fills our home with a delicious scent. I love kneading it by hand ~ it just plain ole' feels good! LOL And I really love the way my husband and boys make over me when I bake. I get lots of extra lovin' on bread baking day. :)

But most of all, I take great satisfaction in knowing that I am making something for my family that doesn't contain all the chemicals and preservatives that store bought breads contain.

It is one of my goals this year to create a routine for myself to bake enough bread each week to eliminate our reliance on store bought. And a secondary goal would be to replace some of my store bought ingredients with freshly, ground whole wheat.

Some time back, I purchased a very nice hand powered grain mill from Lehman's Non-Electric. Little did I realize that you must have an extremely solid surface in order to use it. I still giggle a little thinking of the first time I set it up and began to grind. Wheat nuts were flying all over the room and the table was slowly vibrating across the floor. Colton thought it was hilarious while I wanted to cry.

I've debated purchasing an electric mill, but I think I would prefer to keep my non-electric and invest in a solid oak table instead. Still thinking about that ....

Well I'm telling you that whole, long story just to tell you this ... I made some wonderful homemade cloverleaf rolls tonight!

I used a recipe from my dear friend, Mary of And Even If ... And they were wonderful! Mine don't look nearly as good as Mary's but they were so tasty. My family just raved about them. So I wanted to share Mary's recipe with you.

Mary's Homemade Texas Ranch Rolls
(Mary is a Texas girl and I couldn't resist embellishing the name just a bit.)

First, dissolve 2 packages of yeast in 2 cups of warm water.

Then in a large mixing bowl, place the following:
1 beaten egg
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp salt

Mix egg mixture into the yeast water and stir well.

One cup at a time, add 5-6 cups of flour to the mixture. Knead by hand or use your mixer if you have a kneading attachment until the flour takes on a nice elastic feel.

Place large roll into a greased bowl - I prefer to use butter. Then cover and allow to rise in a warm place until it almost doubles in bulk. Depending on the temperature this may take about 30 minutes or more.

Get your muffin tin already by rubbing the cups with ... you guessed it ... more butter! (You can see why these rolls are so very tasty, can't you?)

Then pinch off walnut-sized pieces and roll them into balls. Place three dough balls into each cupcake cup. Allow these to rise in a nice warm spot until they rise just above the cup. Then they're ready to bake.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and .... brush with more butter!

This recipe makes about 30 absolutely beautiful rolls. I split the dough and made 18 rolls and one small loaf of bread for sandwiches for tomorrow's lunch.

Hope you enjoy Mary's recipe as much as we have!