Buttery Thanksgiving Dinner Rolls


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Happy Thanksgiving to everyone celebrating today! We will be having our own Thanksgiving celebration, but a bit delayed this year, on the first weekend in December. We’ll be celebrating with some friends that we have invited over and if all goes well we will have a turkey sourced from our local poultry farm, stuffing, potatoes, cranberry sauce, cranberry bread, pumpkin pie and these buttery dinner rolls that I made last week that were a big hit. Since our move at the beginning of the month to a new apartment we have been experiencing some issues with our telephone/internet provider and have been without phone and internet for about 2 of the 3 1/2 weeks that we’ve been living here. It’s been difficult not being able to rely on having a phone and the lack of an internet connection has greatly limited my ability to contact my family back home in the US. We have internet now but sadly still no phone. It has been interesting dealing with these issues for a better part of this month and has made me realize just how thankful I am to have at my disposal the technology, which usually allows me the ability to effortlessly communicate with my friends and family living abroad, to share with all of you my recipes and my story and to be able to look things up or acquire inspiration from the internet at just the touch of a button. I have enjoyed the quite times though, I’ve been sewing, knitting and baking more and oh yeah unpacking some of those moving boxes!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Buttery Dinner Rolls

Adapted from the Lion House Bakery’s Lion House Rolls
Makes about 12-18 rolls

  • 1 1/4 cups Milk
  • 1 Tbs Dry Active Yeast
  • 2 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 3 Tbs melted Butter
  • 1 Egg slightly beaten
  • 2 1/2 – 3 1/2 cups flour

Heat the milk in a small bowl in the microwave or in a saucepan until warm, not scalding but warm to the touch about 110° F. Stir in the sugar and the yeast. Let sit for at least 5 minutes to allow the yeast to activate and multiply. It should look frothy on top. Stir in the salt, melted butter, egg and about 2 – 3 cups of the flour. After the second cup add more flour gradually until the dough is coming together but is still rather sticky and wet. Turn the dough out onto a clean and well floured surface and flour your hands as well. Knead the dough, dusting the top or your hands with a scant amount of flour as needed if it becomes too sticky and you can’t knead it any more. Stop kneading when the dough becomes elastic, after about 5 minutes. This dough will easily take on a lot more flour the more you knead it but try to use as little as possible so it doesn’t become tough and dry. Place in a well oiled bowl and turn the dough over so that it’s covered in oil. Cover with a clean dish cloth or sheet of plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise ( I use my oven which I preheated only slightly and then turned off). If you use your oven make sure you turn it off while the dough is rising and make sure it’s not too hot in there otherwise the dough will cook and not rise! Let the dough double in size, this takes at least an hour. Roll the risen dough out on a clean floured surface to about 1/4 inch thickness, or thicker if you want fatter rolls. Cut rectangles of dough generally about the length of your thumb and the length of your pointer finger to the base of your thumb (Make and L shape with your thumb and pointer finger and this will be your guide for cutting each rectangle). Brush each rectangle with melted butter and roll into logs. Evenly place the rolls on a baking sheet lined with baking paper or one that has been buttered and floured. Let the rolls sit covered with a clean cloth while the oven preheats to 375° F. The rolls should rise during this time and almost if not double in size. Brush the tops with melted butter and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. When the rolls are done you can brush them again with melted butter and serve warm. Here is a link to how they cut and form these buttery rolls over at the Lion House Kitchens. These are best enjoyed straight from the oven but they are equally delicious served at room temperature and can even be served, if stored properly, up to 2 days later.


On the Move


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Last weekend was a busy one for us as we moved from our former apartment with only 2 bedrooms to a larger 3 bedroom apartment in anticipation of the twins that should be arriving sometime in January or early February. My due date is actually on February 14th, Valentine’s Day of next year, but twins often come early, so I’ve heard from many sources, as much as 4-6 weeks early so we’re getting prepared for them to arrive anytime at the beginning of next year. We’ll need a larger space to live in and an extra bedroom once they come so we decided to move now rather than after they’re born to reduce our stress. And boy was this move stressful! One week to the day after Anna’s birthday, on a Friday, and on Halloween no less!

Thomas moved our stuff to the new apartment all day long last Friday, with the help of two moving men and a large truck and it still took us over 10 hours to move everything out of our 78 sq. meter apartment! I mostly just packed light things into boxes and entertained Anna all day as I can’t lift heavy things right now but being in between homes for a day was stressful enough. We were finally in our new apartment, only a few miles away from our old one incidentally, by 8pm and were surrounded by piles of moving boxes and lots of semi-assembled furniture stacked up in all the wrong places. Slowly we’ve been putting everything back in its place but it’s still pretty unorganized here.

We had such lovely and unseasonably warm weather last weekend that we had to take a break from unpacking and go for a walk in the countryside on Sunday near Thomashof, a family run dairy farm where we like to buy their locally produced milk, yogurt and cheeses. It turned to cold and rainy weather here this past week though and I’ve been making lots of soups to compensate not just for the bad weather but also for a nasty cold that has had me out of sorts for most of the week. This soup is more of a stew but is filled with hearty beans and vegetables and can be made vegetarian if you omit the chicken. This is best made with dried beans that have been soaked the night before but can also successfully be made with canned beans. So stay warm this November and put a pot of this bean soup on the stove for a real “housewarming”.   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
*Anna took the first two distant pictures of me and the last picture shown here from our walk on Sunday.

White Bean and Escarole Soup (with chicken)

1 small package of dried white beans (about 1 1/2 cups before soaking)
or canned beans can be substituted
1 large Onion or 2-3 small/medium onions
1 large bunch of leafy Escarole
3 stalks of Celery
3 Carrots
3 Garlic Cloves
1 1/2 – 2 liters of Vegetable Broth, Chicken Broth or water plus bouillon can be used
1 pound of cut up Chicken Breast *optional
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Soak the beans overnight or use the quick soak method to soak the beans before making the soup. Chop the onions and garlic into small pieces. Clean and cut the carrots and celery into bite sized pieces. Saute the chopped onions in enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a large dutch oven or soup pot and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and saute briefly until fragrant. Add the carrots and celery and saute stirring often for another minute or two. Add the broth and beans to the pot and set to a low simmer with a cover on but tilted, stirring occasionally for at least an hour or until the beans are tender. In the meantime clean and chop the escarole into pieces then add the chopped chicken if using and the escarole to the soup and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and just until the escarole has wilted and is tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.



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