These warm, soft, pillowy, sweet little bundles of happiness will be on your dinner table in 45 minutes. No lie. I made them twice this week and everyone in our house loved them. Ben had 3 with dinner last night, and I had 2…and one a little later in the evening with some butter and honey. Heaven. No longer will I be buying rolls in the bakery or pulling a frozen bag of Sister Shubert’s out. I still love you, Sister Shubert. Your sausage rolls are amazing. I’ll still be eating those.
I had a sudden urge to make dinner rolls earlier this week at 4 o’clock in the afternoon. My kids eat dinner at 5, so I knew I needed to find something fast. I googled “fast dinner rolls” and found this recipe from Your Homebased Mom. I made them as written the first time and loved them. But as I poured the sugar into the bowl I thought, “Maybe you could use honey in these…” and so that is what I did the next time. I also brushed the rolls before and after baking with melted butter. I loved them more.
These are delicious right after they’re baked, but reheat wonderfully. So they would make a great addition to your Thanksgiving table that you could easily make the morning of or even the night before. So go make a batch. You’ll thank me.
Honey Dinner Rolls
From Your Homebased Mom
1 cup + 2 tablespoons warm water
2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup oil
1 egg, slightly beaten
3 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
4 tablespoons butter, melted
Preheat oven to 400°F and grease a 9×13 pan.
Combine water, yeast, honey and oil in the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir a couple times then let rest for 10 minutes to bloom.
With a dough hook mix in the flour, salt, baking powder and egg. Continue to mix for 2-3 minutes until dough comes together. If it seems especially sticky add a tablespoon or two of flour.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface and divide into 12 equal sized pieces. Shape into balls that are smooth on top (in doesn’t matter what the bottoms look like) and place in prepared pan.
Cover with a clean dish cloth and let rise for 15 minutes.
Brush the tops of the rolls with melted butter (about half of what you have) and bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.
Brush with remaining melted butter and let cool slightly before serving.
During Top Chef season 5, I absolutely loved Carla Hall. I thought she was the sweetest chef to ever grace the show, and her quirkiness was so endearing. She seemed like someone I’d like to cook with, unlike some of the people on the show. She’s now on The Chew, a daytime foodie talk show that I almost never watch, mostly because if my television is on when my kids are awake we are watching Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Peppa Pig or Umi Zoomi. I happened to catch a part of an episode recently where she made gingerbread sandwiches, a gingerbread loaf with a couple of different fillings, lemon cream cheese and a cranberry compote. The next day I bought the necessary ingredients. But it took me a while to actually make the gingerbread. I finally got around to it this week.
This gingerbread isn’t sweet. There’s no sugar other than what’s in the ginger beer and the molasses. It’s very spicy and dense, so it pairs well with the light and sweet cream cheese glaze. The candied ginger provides texture and makes the mini muffins especially lovely. While this wasn’t what I was expecting when I made this bread, it is a nice cold weather treat and would be perfect paired with hot chocolate and eaten in front of the fire. Have I mentioned that it’s 76 here with 80% humidity? I won’t be sitting in front of a fire anytime soon, but if your weather permits it, please sit in front of a fire and drink hot chocolate for me.
I ran into some issues when I made this bread, so be warned. If you go to The Chew’s website and follow the instructions for this bread without reading the comments you will be a sad and sorry baker. And possibly an angry baker, if you’re anything like me. Shouldn’t they have people whose job it is to read and test the recipes they post on their site? After mixing up the batter I thought that it looked like an awful lot for one 9 inch loaf pan (which is what the original recipe calls for). So I filled my pan about 3/4 full and still had a ridiculous amount of batter left. I could have easily filled another loaf pan, but instead opted to make some mini muffins. Then I looked at the comments and realized that almost every person complained about the same thing, way too much batter for 1 loaf. I still had some batter left over, but had made such a mess of my kitchen by this point that I didn’t want to get another thing dirty. Remember to ALWAYS read comments on a recipe before you make it. I’m glad I read them before pouring all the batter into one pan. It would’ve been a disaster.
Gingerbread with Cream Cheese Glaze and Candied Ginger
Sometimes I see recipes on Pinterest that look amazing, and I pin them, but with no real intention of ever actually making them. But this one I found, pinned and made in the same day. It was pretty wonderful and easily adapts to what you have, what you like and what you need. The original recipe, found here at Lady Behind the Curtain, makes 6 servings. I made 3 servings, enough for a couple for dinner and leftovers for me for lunch the next 2 days. You can easily make this meal to serve 1 or a dozen. And whoever you serve will be pleased.
I hate taking pictures of food in my kitchen when it’s already dark out. I’ve probably lamented about this before, but it really is discouraging. Natural light is a photographer’s best friend, especially when food is involved. I’m not a photographer, by the way. I’d imagine a real photographer would’ve made this look less…strange…and much more appetizing. But please believe me when I tell you that this is a really tasty and satisfying meal, despite my not so amazing photograph.
Pounded chicken breasts are wrapped around jalapeno jack cheese, green chile and cilantro, dredged in seasoned corn meal and baked, topped with more cheese, then drizzled (or drenched if that’s more your style) in enchilada sauce, and if you’re feeling fancy, sprinkled with some crumbled queso fresco and chopped cilantro. The chicken turns out moist, the green chile and cheese in the center is really delicious and the corn meal crust is crunchy and delicious. I used this taco seasoning recipe from Alton Brown. It will likely become the only taco seasoning I use from now on. Not because I dislike packaged seasoning and all the unknowns it carries, but because it is just really good. More flavor from spices and less from the salt when you make it yourself I think. I highly recommend giving it a try. You likely have all the ingredients in your pantry. Here is the link.
If you’ve already gone over to the original recipe and looked at the ingredients you might notice that I’m using more cheese, but making half the amount of food. It’s not a mistake. I like cheese and using half an ounce of cheese in one chicken breast made me sad. I want to cut into the chicken and have melting cheese ooze out. That is not going to happen with such a small amount of cheese. Although a smaller amount of cheese is definitely the healthier way to go! Go ahead and be smart and portion conscious if you want to be, but you might regret it just a little. I made the original amount of cornmeal crust because I am of the mind that it’s better to have more than you need than not enough. I did have some left over, but the chicken breasts I had were large and I’m glad I didn’t cut the amount in half, I wouldn’t have had enough.
To change this to suit your taste use a different type of cheese, whatever you like or have, white cheddar, colby jack, etc. You could also use a different type of enchilada sauce, green, mild, hot, etc. And again, this is easily adapted to suit the number of people you need to serve. Eat up and enjoy!
Cornmeal Crusted Chicken with Green Chiles and Jalapeno Jack Cheese
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 ounces of jalapeno jack cheese, cut into 1 ounce slices + 1-2 extra ounces shredded cheese for topping
2 whole green chiles, sliced in half lengthwise (I used whole canned green chiles and froze what I did not use in a zip top bag.)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons taco seasoning (again, this one is amazing!)
1/3 cup cornmeal
red enchilada sauce (store bought or homemade)
crumbled queso fresco (optional)
Preheat oven to 375°F
Whisk egg in a wide shallow bowl, set aside.
Whisk cornmeal and taco seasoning together in a wide shallow bowl, set aside.
Pound each chicken breast to 1/8 inch thickness (pound between layers of plastic wrap or wax paper) and lay each out on your work surface.
Lay one slice of green chile in the center of each chicken breast. (You’ll have a slice leftover if you’re making 3, so either add it to one of the breasts, or cut it into 3 pieces and add one to each breast.)
Place a slice of cheese on top of the chile, followed by a sprinkle of cilantro.
Roll up the chicken. Dip into the egg to coat, then into the cornmeal to coat. Place into the baking dish, seam side down.
Repeat with all of the chicken breasts, then bake for 25-30 minutes. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, sprinkle with the extra shredded cheese.
Warm the enchilada sauce in a small saucepan. Drizzle sauce over the chicken after is comes out of the oven and sprinkle with more cilantro and queso fresco if desired.