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Monday, August 22, 2016

Icebox Dinner Rolls

I know we all love that loaf of bread that is light and fluffy and just melts in your mouth or that crusty chewy sourdough bread that becomes a meal by itself.   These Icebox Dinner Rolls are somewhere in between and are perfect when we need a  hearty bread that doesn't turn into mush but also doesn't overcome the main dish.    A bread that can accompany some Texas BBQ Brisket, goes great with a nice pot of Texas Pinto Beans or a Hearty Minestrone or Pasta Fagioli soup. 
These Icebox Dinner Rolls have a great texture, a great flavor and they are not that hard to make!   Trust me, making bread is really worth the little extra effort it takes.    So grab your flour and lets bake!  

*Tip--When you need a little extra time for the big meal tomorrow, mix the dough the night before and let it chill in the icebox. 

Icebox Dinner Rolls
  • 2-3 cups flour
  • 1- 1/4 oz package of yeast
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 3 Tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons of sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon of salt
1. In a large bowl combine 2 cups of the flour and the yeast
2. In a small saucepan, whisk together the milk, water, vegetable oil, sugar and salt over medium high heat until warm
3. Add the warm milk mixture to the flour mixture and beat with a mixer for 3 minutes
4. Gradually add additional flour until a stiff dough is formed
5. Using your dough hook or knead by hand for 5 minutes. Cover and let sit for 20 minutes
6. Lightly knead the dough a few times and divide to make 18-20 rolls
7. Roll each little roll in a smooth ball and place on a greased cookie sheet
8. Cover with plastic wrap coated with vegetable spray and place in fridge for 2 to 24 hours
9. When ready to bake, remove the bread from the fridge and let sit in a warm place for 20 minutes or until nearly room temperature.
10. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 400 degrees
11. Bake the rolls for 14-15 minutes until golden brown, brush with butter
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Other Bread Choices:

Crusty Sourdough Bread

Homemade White Bread

Great Dinner Rolls

Secret Biscuit Recipe

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Monday, August 15, 2016

Peppers in Vinegar

When I was a kid growing up, my mother always had a jar of little peppers in vinegar in the fridge.   Dad would add a liberal amount of the juice to so many dishes such as black eye peas, pinto beans and especially cooked greens.  I'm not really sure if Mother made new batches or if she just continued to add vinegar to the same little peppers.  I really didn't realize it was a Southern thing until I was well up in my 20's or is it?     And now these "pickled" pepper jars are showing up as kitchen decorations.   How funny, what started out as a  southern condiment is now high end decor!  Anyways they are easy to make and whether you use them as a condiment or decor, these little babies will be enjoyed! 
And I have to admit, they are simply gorgeous! 
 (but don't forget to try them or the juice) 

*Tips-  Always use a jar with a cork or glass stopper.  Do not use metal

Peppers in Vinegar

  • Fresh hot peppers such as cayenne, serrano, or Thai (quantity depends on the size of your jar)
  • 1 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Decorative jar(s) with a cork or glass stopper
1. Sterilize the jar(s) by immersing in boiling water for about 10-15 minutes
2. Place vinegar and salt in a small saucepan and heat to just boiling
3. Place clean peppers in the jar (a wooden chopstick can be used to push the peppers into the jar if the neck is small)
4. Pour the vinegar mix over peppers until all peppers are covered
5. Add the lid and let stand at room temperature for at least 3 weeks then it can be refrigerated or it does fine at room temperature for up to 6 months
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Don't forget to pin! 

Other Southern Comfort Food You might enjoy:

Corn Pone Pie

Creole Black Eye Peas and Rice

Southern Style Green Beans

Sweet Potato Pie

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Monday, August 8, 2016

Caprese Salad

This Caprese Salad  is a very simple little salad that will make any dinner a little more special!     Of course we are a lover of basil here on the ranch so any excuse we can use to have a little basil works for us!  

Caprese Salad

  • 12 oz Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, sliced
  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced
  • fresh basil leaves
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
1. Arrange sliced tomatoes and mozzarella cheese, alternating each slice
2. Place a basil leaf between each slice
3. Drizzle with olive oil
4. Sprinkle with black pepper and salt
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Other dishes you might like:  

Crisp Marinated Cucumbers

Balsamic Tomatoes with Feta Cheese

Antipasto Skewers

Mozzarella, Tomato, Cucumber and Black Olive Salad

read more "Caprese Salad"

Monday, August 1, 2016

Chive and Parsley Herb Butter

Herb Butter is probably one of the easiest ways to add a burst of flavor to your food.   Having a little roll of this magical food in your fridge can rock so many of your dishes!   It's easy to make and it can be keep handy to drop on your favorite steak, veggies, pasta or on a baked potato!    And if you are like us here on the ranch, we are doing loads of grilling this summer!   A pat of herb butter on your favorite cut of steak is just heavenly!    Herb butter can be kept in the fridge for up to a week or can be cut into pats and frozen for longer storage.  It can also be shaped into curls, hearts or squares.    
I make Herb Butter using a variety of herbs but I always use fresh garlic!   Garlic and Butter go together like salt and pepper or me and my sweetie!   A perfect combo! 

If I haven't talked you into making some of this Herb Butter before, I'm sure this lovely little steak will put you over the top!   Here is one of my favorite recipes for Herb Butter and it's a great place to start on this Herb Butter addiction that I have!

Chive and Parsley Herb Butter

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter (1/4 pound)
  • 1 Tablespoon of dried Parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon of fresh chives, sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
1. Place butter in a small bowl and allow to come to room temperature
2. Add parsley, chives and garlic
3. Mix with a fork, mashing all herbs into the butter
4. Place mixture on a piece of clear wrap, roll into a log shape, twist ends to seal. Or butter can be shaped into hearts, curls or squares.
5. Chill in fridge until firm
6. Can be stored in fridge for a week or in the freezer for a couple months
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Other great dishes:

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Best Baked Potato Ever

Knock you Naked Cake

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Monday, July 25, 2016

DIY Mini Fish Aquarium

My friend and I volunteered to be in charge of crafts at Vacation Bible School at our little Church.  The theme this year is under the sea so we racked our brains to come up with children's crafts that had to do with fish!   This is one little craft I have been seeing on Pinterest and I just loved the idea except most of the little aquariums were in mason jars.  I was concerned about handing children a glass jar, I didn't see a happy ending with that idea.   So I combed our little craft store and found a perfect little plastic bottle that little hands could hold and was unbreakable.    This DIY Mini Fish Aquarium is a easy little craft that children can make and love and the fish never needs feeding!  

Sweet little fishes!!  Except the shark, not sure about the shark!  But I bet he will be adopted and loved!  

Ingredients needed:

2 lb Fishing Line
Plastic bottles with screw-on lids
Colored gravel
Blue Food Coloring
Plastic plants
Plastic fishes


1. Use a funnel and pour gravel in jar
2. Add plastic plants
3. Tie the fish of your choice with enough of the fishing line to hold the fish at a desirable level.     (By using the 2 lb line, the line will almost completely disappear in the bowl)
4.  Add one drop of blue food coloring in 2 cups of water, fill jar with the blued water
5.  Place fish in bowl using the fishing line, screw on lid
6.  Tie remaining fishing line to the top of jar, hiding under the lid, cut off extra line.

Other fun projects:

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Friday, July 22, 2016

Antipasto Skewers

These Antipasto skewers take a little time to assemble, but the visual effect is so worth it!    And they are delicious!   I started assembling them in a specific order and then just went with it, each one is a little different.   My basil garden is really producing right now so this was a great way to enjoy all that lovely basil.    

Antipasto Skewers

  • 1 can of medium Black olives
  • 1 packages grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup of basil leaves
  • 1/4 lb of salami, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup pimento stuffed green olives
  • cheese tortellini (1/2 package)
  • 1- 8oz package of baby mozzarella balls
  • Italian salad dressing
  • 10 12-inch wooden skewers
1. Cook tortellini according to package directions, drain and rinse with cold water. Place the tortellini in a bowl, coat liberally with Italian dressing. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.
2. Place your ingredients in bowls, in the order you wish to assemble the skewers. (tomato, black olive,basil leaves, mozzarella balls, salami slice,green olives, basil leaf, and tortelini (or any order you like)
3. Remove the skewers from the water and begin to place ingredients on skewers, folding basil leaves in half and salami in fourths. Repeat order at least once more
4. After all skewers have been assembled, stack on a dish and liberally sprinkle with additional Italian salad dressing.
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Other great dishes using basil:

Basil Pesto

Three Cheese Bruschetta

Pesto Pasta

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Saturday, July 2, 2016

Texas Summer Salad with Grilled Chicken

During these long hot summers here on the ranch, we crave salads, fresh cool crisp salads loaded with flavors and color.   And if we can make a meal out of a salad we will, each and every time.     This Texas Summer Salad has Grilled Chicken and makes a great lunch or even a late dinner. The  jalapeños and tortilla chips with garden fresh tomatoes just add a little bit of Texas to it and that dash of cayenne pepper on the chicken breast gives the meat just a bite of spicy.   Add a ice cold glass of Ice Tea and you have a perfect little summer Texas lunch!  
**Remember to scroll to the bottom for some other summer dishes  

Texas Summer Salad with Grilled Chicken

  • 1 whole chicken breast
  • salt and pepper
  • cayenne pepper
  • 1 head of Romaine Lettuce
  • 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 2-3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or diced
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2-3 fresh jalapeños, sliced
  • 1 avocado, peeled, seeded and sliced
  • ranch dressing
  • 1 cup of tortilla chips, crumbled
1. Place chicken breast between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound to about 1/2 inch thick, remove from wrap
2. Heat grill and season chicken breast with salt, pepper and just a dash of cayenne pepper
3. Grill chicken breast until done about 10-15 minutes per side until temperature reaches 165 degrees, remove from heat and allow to rest
4. Chop romaine lettuce into bite size pieces and place in a large serving bowl
5. In a separate bowl, mix black beans, corn, tomatoes, garlic and green onions, add to lettuce, and toss gently
6. Slice chicken breasts into strips and lay on top of salad
7. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and jalapeño slices
8. Just prior to serving top with avocado slices, tortilla chips and ranch dressing
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Other Summer Dishes we know you will enjoy:

Crisp Marinated Cucumbers

Sliced Tomatoes with Balsamic Vinegar and Feta Cheese

Confetti Macaroni Salad

Fresh Pesto Pasta

read more "Texas Summer Salad with Grilled Chicken"