Sunday, November 25, 2012

One hour buttermilk rolls

One hour buttermilk rolls 

  • 2 pkg dry yeast
  • ½ c warm water
  • ¼ c sugar
  • 1 ¼ c lukewarm buttermilk
  • ½ c melted butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 ½ c flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
Proof yeast in water if not instant, otherwise mix with flour.  Mix dry ingredients.  Mix wet ingredients, warm well,  and add (include ½ c warm water if you did not use it for the yeast) .  Mix well, cover and and let stand 10 min. Place in greased muffin pans or form rolls in a large greased pan.  Raise until doubled – about 20 min.  Bake 12 minutes at 425o.  The secret to these is having everything nice and warm - if the flour is cold you might even want to give it a couple of minutes of oven time before you start mixing .  Important to have good quality flour for these – King Arthur is by far the best all purpose.  You can also mix these with ½ whole wheat and/or add a cup or so of strong flavored grated cheese.  Brush tops gently with 1 egg white + 1t water and sprinkle with your choice of seeds or kosher salt before baking if desired.  About 2 dozen dinner roll size, less for muffin size.

Grandma D's Best Dinner Rolls - Thanksgiving tradition

Grandma D’s rich dinner rolls – Thanksgiving traditional

  • 3 c flour
  • 1 t salt
  • ½ c butter  in pieces
  • 1 T yeast
  • ¼ c water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 c evaporated milk or cream (I use evaporated skim)
  • Egg whites, water and salt or seeds as desired

Proof yeast in water if necessary, if yeast is instant mix yeast with flour & salt and use 1 ¼ cup evap  milk.  Warm milk and butter, add eggs and beat.  Add to flour.  Knead, raise, shape, raise,
Brush with egg white+1T water before baking for a shiny crust and add kosher salt or seeds as desired
Bake 20 minutes at 375.  Can be refrigerated up to 24 hours after kneading.  Let come to room temp before shaping.  About 2 dozen

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Mom's stuffing

With Thanksgiving rapidly approaching I thought I'd post the recipe for the BEST STUFFING IN THE WORLD courtesy of my mom:

Mom's stuffing

Thanksgiving is approaching.  Time for my Mom's stuffing soon.  This foolproof crock pot stuffing recipe is the best stuffing ever.  Thanks Barb Drake!


  2-3 1.5lb loaves of firm sandwich bread
  1.5 lb Yellow onions
  3/4 lb Butter
  2-4 tbsp sage (dried or fresh)
  2-4 tbsp thyme (dried or fresh)
  1 Tbsp Rosemary
  1 Tbsp Oregano
  1 Bunch Celery

  Salt to taste

  1/2 cup fresh parsley

For bread I like the firm sandwich bread – Pepperidge Farm or Arnold are both ok.  This year I used ½ that and ½ a firm whole wheat – I thought that turned out well, too.  You’ll need at least a couple of regular size 1½ pound loaves, maybe a bit more, to fill a crock pot.

You’ll need 1 bunch of celery, cleaned and chopped fine in the food processor - but not pureed!
About 1 ½ pounds of onions, ditto
¾ lb butter

Generous amounts of sage and thyme (start with 2 heaping tablespoons each and go up according to taste)
Lesser amounts of rosemary and oregano – start with 1T or so of each.
Pepper (but no salt yet) to taste

Dry or chopped fresh parsley as desired  (I used ½ c chopped fresh since it’s still in the garden)
Simmer all slowly in a heavy pot, covered, for at least a couple of hours or until the house smells heavenly.  The essence of the herbs is more oil soluble than water soluble, so much of the flavor goes into the “broth”.  Taste at the end and add salt if necessary (depends on how salty the butter was).  It will be over-seasoned at this point but remember it’ll be diluted by all that bread.  You can refrigerate up to a couple of days at this point.

Cube the bread.  Good if it can dry, cubed, for a day or so but not a deal breaker if it doesn’t.  Warm the veggies if refrigerated, until the butter melts and all is nice and warm.  Toss spoonfuls into the bread and fluff through with your hands.  (You get to lick them at the end, which is a bonus!)  Repeat until all veggies are used. Taste to see if you need more herbs or salt.   If necessary add a little more melted butter to get everything evenly moist.  This is a “by taste” call that depends on the absorbency of the bread.  The object here is to not mush the bread – keep everything fluffy but moist.  You’ll probably still lose volume in this process. 

Spray the crock pot with pan spray.  Spoon the mix lightly into the crock pot – don’t pack – so it stays light and fluffy.  Cook on low until heated, moist and fluffy.  (Mine usually sits 4 or more hours.)  Depending on the crock pot you may have to watch the edges for overbrowning and do some judicious gentle stirring. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Passive social marketing works

As you know I write about all sorts of things - technology, FIRST Robotics, cooking, computer security, entrepreneurship.  I have an extensive facebook presence with a large number of facebook, linked in and twitter followers (I'm not Kim Kardashian but I hold my own).  I'm what many would call a "passionate consumer".  If I like something I bought I'll tell you about it. If there's a book I read, a recipe I used, or a vendor I frequent and I feel it's somehow exceptional I'll talk about it.  If one of those products happens to be offered through Amazon I usually attach a link - and I have an Amazon Affliates account that lets people buy through that link.

I make no bones about this - and don't try to hide the link. It costs the consumer nothing, and I get a tiny (but not completely insignificant) dollar amount if the sale happens to convert.  Of course if they just stick it in their cart and buy it 3 months later I'm not likely to get anything, but hey - free money.

I never promote something just to get the commission - that's not why I like the book or recommend the recipe.  Whether something is on Amazon or not doesn't really influence whether I blog, write about it or mention it.

Most of the marketing I do is through facebook, where if someone asks about a product I'll drop a link on there with a recommendation that's for an amazon sourced item if one fits. 

So does it work?  Well I'm not exactly going to be able to run out and retire on the profits from my amateur marketing - I've made like $10/year for the last five years.  $50 on the other hand is nothing to sneeze at.  So why do I mention it?  Well the question is - what are YOU doing to get passionate consumers like me to help spread the word about your product?  Are you working on plans for an affiliate marketing program - even if it just has points or micropayments - that makes it fun and easy for people to promote your products and get credit for it?  If not you're missing out on a way to have your very best evangalists help sell your product. 

If you're a consumer - are you taking advantage of affiliate marketing?  If you're writing about a book, a product, or a vendor and you can get some free dough for writing what you would write anyway - then you should consider it. 

And with that - I'll leave you with a Google Affiliate ad - cool lego mindstorms kits and books for Christmas!