Cabbage Roll Soup

to post graphic

I’ve been digging around the junk drawer that is my draft folder.  In a concerted effort to clear out the mental clutter, I’m posting this drafts ‘as is’….

Cabbage Roll Soup

Adapted from Smith Bites

BAH Note:  This recipe reminds me of the soup that my grandmother would make with whatever was left at the bottom of the pot after she made stuffed cabbage rolls.  Thank you Deb and Rod for helping me keep this food memory alive in my kitchen.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 28 ounces chopped tomatoes
  • 1 head green cabbage, chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup cooked rice

Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook about 10 minutes until soft.  Add the ground beef and salt and cook, breaking the beef up with your spatula, until the beef is no longer pink.

Stir in the tomatoes, water, broth, and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, partially covered, for 45 minutes or until the cabbage is cooked and tender.  Stir in the rice before serving.

{printable recipe}

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Food Memories – Grandmother’s Dinner Rolls

I met Jen Schall last year at Big Summer Potluck.  And then we both found ourselves attending the IFBC conference a month or so later.  One thing led to another and before I knew it we were tweeting back and forth and leaving comments on each other’s blogs.  Let me tell you something about Jen, she creates amazing things in the kitchen. Go.  Look.  Here’s the link.  Her talent isn’t limited to the sweets and savories.  That’s only half the story.  Her pictures are sublime.  Knowing that she’s only about 90 minutes away from B’more, I’m tempted to show up on her doorstep one day and request a private tutorial in how she sets up these shots.

I had asked Jen after IFBC if she had a recipe that I could include in my Food Memories Project.  She said she thought she did and then life got busy in the way it often does.  Later we were chatting about my challenges making bread and she mentioned that she had this great dinner roll recipe that she was going to post in her bread baking series.  So imagine my surprise when I read her post about her grandmother’s dinner rolls.  It was as though I had hit the trifecta….grandmother story (and I’m a big sucker for those), food memory, and a flawless roll all in one.

Thanks to Jen and her generosity, I now have perfect dinner rolls in my freezer and a food memory to share with you.

The following appeared on My Kitchen Addiction on 3 May 2011.

Light and Soft Dinner Rolls

If you ask anyone in my family, they will tell you that these are the ultimate dinner rolls. But, I can’t really take credit for them.

These are my grandmother’s famous rolls…  Whenever we would have get togethers with the whole family, she would make a big batch of these rolls. They were a holiday staple for years. My brother and cousins would fight over them, and I’m pretty sure that there were times where they each had more than 10 rolls in one meal. They really are that good.

My grandmother was a great cook and baker. Though she passed away a few years ago, I often think of her when I am in my kitchen. I am fortunate enough to have many of her recipes, and though I can’t prepare them quite the way she did, they always remind me of her.

Until recently, the recipe for her rolls was one of the few recipes that I didn’t have. In December, my mom and I were putting together a book of family recipes for my brother and his new wife.  When we asked around for recipes, one of my cousins happened to have the recipe for the rolls. We put it in the book (especially since my brother was one of the biggest fans of the rolls), and I set out to learn to make them myself.

Perhaps my grandmother is looking down on me, because there’s just something about these rolls that always amazes me.  They really are quite simple to make, and they always turn out beautifully.  They are the lightest, softest dinner rolls I have ever made. They’re also pretty adaptable. I have swapped out the all purpose flour for whole wheat, added flax, used oil in place of the butter, and even made them with herbs and cheese. The rolls also make fantastic buns for hot dogs and hamburgers… You’ll want to keep the recipe on hand this summer!

Light and Soft Dinner Rolls
(Makes 18 dinner rolls or 12 sandwich rolls)

Adapted from Jen Schall

BAH Note: I’ve made these as cloverleaf rolls with success.  After the second rise, portion the dough into 18 rolls. Divide each roll into three equal pieces and roll them into three small balls.  Place the group of three dough balls in the buttered cavity of a muffin tin so that it looks like a pyramid.  Brush the tops with melted butter,  cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let the dough rise just until it reaches the top of the muffin tin.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes.  I’ve also frozen the cooked rolls and let them thaw at room temperature or warmed them in a 350 degree oven.

  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
    (or cut it into small chunks and microwave for about 15 seconds)
  • 3 – 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour

Begin by combining the milk, sugar, yeast, and salt in a large mixing bowl.  Whisk together until the yeast and sugar are mostly dissolved.

Add the butter and egg.  Stir to incorporate and break up the egg.  Add 1 cup of flour and beat vigorously to fully incorporate the flour and any lumps of butter that may have been remaining.

Gradually, add the remaining flour, stirring until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Knead the dough with your hands, adding just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to your hands.  Knead for about 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth, but still light and soft.

Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until the dough has doubled in volume (about 1 1/2 hours).  Punch the dough down, reshape into a ball, and let rise a second time until the dough has doubled in volume again (an additional hour).

Preheat the oven to 425°F.  Shape the rolls and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon liner. Let the rolls rise while the oven preheats, until they are a bit puffy.  If desired, brush the tops of the rolls with some egg wash (to make them shiny) and sprinkle with sesame seeds (I usually do this for the hot dog and hamburger buns).  Bake for about 12 – 14 minutes, until the rolls are golden on top.

Let the rolls cool for about 10 minutes on the baking sheet, and then transfer to a wire rack. The rolls are best served warm, but they will keep for a few days in an airtight container, or wrapped in plastic.

{printable recipe}

Food Memories – Snickerdoodles

I met Colleen last year at the Big Summer Potluck.  I have to tell you, that one day brought so many talented people into my world.  Colleen not only runs Souffle Bombay, she also has a second site, Picture Me Cooking, geared towards cooking with kids.  And it all started with a Food Memory.  Here’s how she describes it:

My friends and family often joke that no one turns down an invitation to our house because they want to come and eat the food, lol!! Cooking is amazing to me, combine a bit of this with a bit of that and look what you get…a party in your mouth! I enjoy cooking for my family, cooking for others, planning party menu’s and I LOVE cooking with my children. From an early age, the kitchen became my happy place.

One day, I had a flash of a memory…it was about first time I remember cooking as a kid, I could see myself walking toward my family, who were all sitting at the table looking at what I had made with anticipation and excitement. I can remember exactly how I felt carrying that cake as I walked toward them.

I though well…THAT one moment was certainly a defining moment for me…and you know what I don’t even have a picture of it…WHY I thought don’t kids cookbooks have a way to capture some photos of what they cook up in the kitchen, who the cook with…after all to many of us some of our most precious memories happened in a kitchen at the knee of someone we love/loved.

So, I sat down and outlined the book and began to write it, then formed a group about a year later with 3 other mom’s and produced the book. I have even been on QVC with it – all that from a memory.

See what I mean about the talented people I had the fortune to meet that day?  Colleen took a memory and turned it into a book.  She’s been on QVC y’all.  I knew about the book but not the QVC…she must have nerves of steel.  I’m going to have to ask her all about that experience when I see her this summer at Big Summer Potluck II.  Until then, we can all enjoy her Snickerdoodles Food Memory.

Snickerdoodles

For me, eating certain foods and hearing certain songs are the most powerful drivers of my memories.

The food memories, for whatever reason are all warm and happy…the music ones take me back to so many different events, some crazy happy some achingly painful and some “what was I thinking”! Anyone with me on this?

Case in point…Snickerdoodles.
I can see in my minds eye my Grammy often making Snickerdoodles, I can see me helping her, sometimes alone, sometimes surrounded by my cousins and siblings.

I can’t recall a Christmas at her house without having eaten as many of them as I possibly could without any adults saying a word! Man, holidays are best!!

But do I have HER recipe…nope. I do make Snicherdoodles often as my children love both baking them up and of course eating them up.

I was intrigued when I saw this recipe for Snickerdoodles from Miss in the Kitchen (a really nice gal who cooks up quick family style dishes). One of the ingredients in her recipe is cream cheese….yes…cream cheese. Never heard of such a thing in a Snickerdoodle, so I wanted to find out how that would change things.

These were good…they were softer than what I am accustomed to and did not last long in my house lol! We even made 1 HUGE cookie that could have fed 4 kids easily, however my two knuckleheads decided to split it to see if they could eat it! My 9 year old son polished off his half…while my 6 year old daughter made a valiant effort!

Cream Cheese Snickerdoodles
Souffle Bombay’s adaptation from Miss in the Kitchen (Blog)

BAH Note:  The only thing I will add is that the cookie dough is very soft.  I refrigerated mine for about 30 minutes before I tried to scoop it.  And then I returned the bowl of dough to the fridge after I had scooped enough for a sheet pan.

  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In your mixing bowl, add cream cheese and butter. Beat with an electric mixer until well combined. Beat in sugar, eggs and vanilla . Add flour and baking soda mixing until all combined. Scoop into 1 1/2 inch balls and roll in sugar and cinnamon mixture. Place 2 inches apart on a greased or lined baking sheet and press gently with tines of a fork in a crisscross pattern. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

 {printable recipe}