Food

Hawaiian Roadhouse Rolls

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Hawaiian Roadhouse Cover

So, the other night, I had a serious craving for those rolls from Texas Roadhouse. But, then I thought of those a-MAY-zing Hawaiian rolls and I was pulled between the two. Even though Texas Roadhouse serves theirs with honey butter, I prefer them with regular butter. But I thought a little sweet with them would be yummy some other way. So, after some Pinning, Googling, and thinking a little independently from social media, I came up with these rolls. They are a bit of both rolls combined, and I’m pretty sure Heaven will want the recipe. Is that bragging? Hmmmm…. I mean, I don’t want to be conceited or snobby, but they are seriously good rolls. What’s more,

These are the very first rolls I’ve ever made… EVER!!!

And if I do say so myself, they were good. Like… really really good. I know I already said that, so now I AM probably bragging. Just trust me and try them. Then you can say the same thing about your rolls! These rolls were also really easy to make. If you know anything at all about baking, you can do this recipe. If you know nothing about baking, you still can do this recipe. Don’t be afraid, just try it!

Rolls Upclose

Hawaiian Roadhouse Yeast Rolls

Ingredients~

4 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast (2 packets)
1 cup warm half and half
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey (I used creamy)
8-9 tablespoons butter, melted
Coconut Oil is optional (spray form is what I used)
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon kosher salt
8 cups all-purpose flour
Flour for rolling surface and rolling pin

In a mixing bowl (the stand mixer kind is the best, but you really can do this with a handheld mixer, or even by hand if you don’t have a mixer), add yeast, milk, sugar, and honey. Stir or (on low) mix just enough to dissolve the yeast. Wait for the yeast to bloom. It will start to bubble and become aromatic (or as I call it, “smell like rotten beer”), in about 5 minutes.

Add 6 tablespoons melted butter, eggs, salt, and 4 cups of flour, mix on low using dough hook, until smooth. Add enough remaining flour for the dough to come together (mine takes the whole 4 additional cups) add salt. Let it sit for about 8 minutes until dough is tacky, but not sticky.

Turn onto a floured board.

Rolls 2

Knead a few turns. Do NOT over knead the dough. That is what makes bread tough (My friend Kimberly taught me that. She was an excellent baker. Like, the best!) Place the dough in a bowl with 1 tablespoon melted butter. Toss the dough to cover entirely with butter.

Rolls 1

Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. If your house is fa-REEZ-ing cold like mine (thank you menopause), use your oven. Preheat it to the lowest setting. Turn oven off and place bowl of dough on the top rack.

When the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and turn out onto a floured board. It’s going to seem a bit gooey. That’s ok.

Rolls 5

Dump some flour on it and roll it into a rectangle (or what ever random size you end up with 🙂 ) about 1” tall. Make sure it’s not less than an inch or you’ll have thin rolls. Cut the dough into about 2.5×2.5 inch squares. I used a pizza cutter and it worked perfectly.

Rolls 3

Spray cookie sheets with coconut oil (or rub it on if yours isn’t in spray form. I LOVE the spray and use it all the time. On like, everything!) If you don’t have coconut oil, 2T butter will work. The coconut oil spray I use is not aerosol and it’s totally worth the little extra it costs. It’s available in several different brands.

Rolls 4

Place rolls on prepared cookie sheets about ½ – 1” apart. Cover and let rise until almost doubled in size, about 45-60 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350° and bake for about 17-19 minutes. They will be just turning a golden brown. We like our rolls and biscuits just baked enough to be edible and fluffy, but not so long they are all the way brown. Bake yours according to your own taste.

The rolls in the first picture were baked for 17 minutes. The second picture shows the rolls I baked for 19 minutes. I may have a wonky oven because the baking time I use is never ever the suggested time. So there’s that…. sorry?

Rolls on Pan

Rolls on Pan 2

As soon as you take the rolls out of the oven, brush them with melted butter. I covered the entire surface.

Next, put all of the rolls in a safe hiding place and hand them out as “people treats”. They are so good, you can probably get anything you want. Just ration them.
Sursly.

Or serve them with dinner. We had chicken fried steak and baked Yukon Golds with ours. Oh, and broccoli and salad. Honestly, that is what Mr. Matrimony had.
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I had rolls.

Only rolls.

#forgetabouttheentree

Forget the Entree

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(Note: I made this the traditional “Hawaiian Style” with pineapple juice in lieu of the water and sugar. They were good, and really not pineapple-y at all. BUT… the way I wrote the recipe above is better!)

My Pinterest Birthday Party ~ Part I , The Colors

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Pinterest Party Cover 1

My awesome son, Mr. Awesome, gave me the most awesome birthday present this year. He gave me a Pinterest themed birthday party! He actually wanted to do something even more extravagant for me, but Mr. Matrimony steered him in a less costly direction. My son seemed disappointed when he talked to me about what I wanted and I assured him, I wanted a party… a real BIG GIRL birthday party!

Boy did he come through!!!

First, he hired Singing Honey Bee Designs (her ETSY, blog, and Facebook links are listed at the end of this post) to plan the party. Her specialty is kid’s parties. This was her first real BIG GIRL party, so she was just about as excited as I was! I knew right away I wanted a Pinterest Party. Honestly though, when I thought of that idea, I was picturing a party where the guests would bring food they found via Pinning and then we would make something I found on Pinterest. Not a party centered around Pinterest. Then I realized she was thinking of a Pinterest themed party.
Wait.
WHAT???

THAT.
IS.
GENIUS!!!

Pinterest Part Title

This was the most fun party I’ve ever had! My friends sure seemed to think so too. I don’t think one single person didn’t tell me how much fun it was and about half (there were 20 total!) of them said they want to have a Pinterest Party as well. Because I love Pinterest, set-up was very entertaining. We used Pinterest ideas (and some originals) for all of the decorations. I’m really into using what I have to get what I want. That meant even my flowers were cost-effective… Mr. Matrimony went outside and picked me about a hundred, as he calls them, long-stemmed dandelions! For food, each guest was asked to bring a finger food they found on Pinterest. We also asked them to share the recipes and let everyone know what Pin they used. That made the food side a breeze! Plus, there was plenty for everyone, and everything was so different. We also made two Pinterest ideas I had previously made for myself. I had all of the supplies on hand. Giving the finished item to each friend was my party planner’s idea of  “Big Girl Party Favors”. How cute is that??? We made homemade laundry soap and Chalkboard Yardstick Crates. Is was a lot of fun to be working around 4 tables with so many of my friends! They made new friends, learned they have more creativity than they thought, and ate super yummy food. It was a GOOD day 🙂

There will be more posts on the party, but for today, let’s get started with…

My Color Scheme

When Melissa, from Singing Honey Bee Designs told me her color ideas, I was a tad disappointed. I originally pictured a bunch of pastels, like this…

Chair

We couldn’t have ended up further away from that color scheme unless we went with black and white! And guess what… I loved it.
I mean lovvvvvvvved it!!!

The colors were just so happy. I can’t take any credit for this short part one of the story. All I can say is, when a professional has been hired for planning a party, trust them! She really has a gift with colors, and how to put things together by using those colors. Red seemed obvious with a Pinterest Theme party, and turquoise is very complimentary to it. With hints of yellow intermingled, the main colors were really set off.

The colors are pretty complimentary to my skin tone in the picture display that greeted my guests at the front door…. Don’t you agree?

Heather's Pictures in Clothespin Frame 1

Ok, maybe it is more complimentary to that faded 70’s photo matte look and not my natural skin tone. Still…. I likey!

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We used quite a bit of spray paint. For the turquoise (or aqua, if you prefer) we used Rustoleum’s Painter’s Touch in Seaside (gloss). For the red, we used whatever I had around. Something around here always seems to be painted red, so I always have at least a few cans. Red spray paint can be picked up at hardware stores for .98 cents a can. Sometimes, even dollar stores have it!

 

 

 

 

 

I painted a lot lot lot of stuff!

Wine Bottles and Squash

 

I spray painted wine bottles and Singing Honey Bee provided the letters. From her ETSY store, she does custom orders in different sizes with many fonts to choose from!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pinterest Party Mantle Decorations 2We displayed the wine bottles with my name on the fireplace mantle. I put them up days before the party and didn’t want to take them down until days after. That’s just how great they looked! The candle sticks on either side were topped with some of the painted (fake) squash. My “Happy Birthday” bunting banners were above and below the display.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was as if a Pin had stepped right off of Pinterest and into my living room!!!

Wine Bottle Vases

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red Double Pie Server

This is a two-tiered pie server, painted red. On the bottom, I placed a simple plate which served as a holding place for our cute little red and white checkered fry boats. The top is where the napkins were. The spray painted basket fit perfectly in the pie server. I painted a plate the also fit perfectly, in the basket. They are the same color, so the plate just looks like the bottom of the basket.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had cake pops instead of a traditional birthday cake. They were the first ones Melissa has ever made. She was not impressed with the process… or the outcome!

She was the only one who thought that.

According to the internet and every cake blog ever written, the first cake pops a person makes are going to flop. Not so with these! I wish I could share how delicious they were. I’m salivating right now. Seriously. I just got up from the computer and walked into the kitchen to find something sweet to eat. I fear no matter what I find, I’d be disappointed. They just wouldn’t be Melissa’s cake…
sigh….
Anyways, more on that later. I’m getting distracted. This is what made me tell you about the cake…

Cake Server 2

 

Cake Server

 

Since I didn’t have a “regular” cake, I didn’t need a “regular” cake server. So I made this! It’s actually 3 plate stands I had made previously. The only thing I changed was to paint the red one. The picture below has an extra plate stand on it. I just set it up there for the picture. One of the fun things Melissa did for the party was ask everyone to place the finger food they brought on a server that matched the party theme. I’m not sure how something so simple brought so much joy to me! I wasn’t the only one either. There were a lot of compliments on the look it created.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a tiny preview of how my “cake” turned out….

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I had some cute little decorative (fake) squash. The colors they were looked really good in my living room. I figured I can make them so again, and why not just go all out for the party. So I did 🙂

Painted Pumpkins 1

Of course, we made paper flowers of various shapes, sizes, and colors. We borrowed this one from the church. I thought it looked great with our chair swing (tutorial link below!) we made. Conveniently, the swing is painted with the same color of teal. We were outside, on the porch for most of the party doing Pinterest crafts (more on that in another post!). So, the swing came in handy. I think it was very loved ❤

Chair Swing and Flower 2

There was quite a bit of shipping paper left-over from our move. I offered it up to Singing Honey Bee designs, and she transformed the plain brown packing paper into these….

Shipping Paper Flowers 1

 

They are BIG and they are spectacular! When she does a post on this design, I’ll make sure to offer a link. She did this really neato twisty-thingie with the center. They became honest-to-goodness realistic! Painted with spray paint, they really tied in as a valance across my dining room windows.

 

 

 

 

Shipping Paper Flowers 3

 

Here’s a bit of a close up of my favorite one. Wouldn’t these be fun with a ombre style paint job? Say in orange and pink? Mmmhmmm…

 

 

 

 

I was going to cover the other flowers in a different chapter of this post. I decided though, that they were more suited here since I was talking about the colors and showing you the ones we spray painted.

Paper Flower Garland 3

One of the projects Melissa and I worked on together was this “garland”. The flowers are not connected, but were hung from a support beam in a way that made them seem so. Since I knew only one kind of flower to make with tissue paper, I was quite proud of myself when I came up with the idea to make sharp corners on one, rather than rounded.

Poinky Red Paper Flower

Then The Singing Honey Bee started making all sorts of flowers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This one looks like a bow tie. Wouldn’t that be sweet for a baby boy shower?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red Double Paper Flower

Her “double” is wonderful! The oblong shape fits in neatly with the other flowers that are almost always round.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Broom Shipping Paper Flower

I don’t know what to call this  one, but it seems like the end of an antique broom.  This one may be my favorite design. As I was typing this, I realized how cute it might be with striped paper. This one is made out of shipping paper so was next to free to make!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Small Blue Paper Flower

 

And of course, we made regular tissue paper flowers. Don’t you just love the twine? Melissa left it long so it would hang down and naturally twist a bit. That little bit of detail really made a big difference!

 

 

 

 

 

Melissa had Pinned a tutorial on making tissue paper poppies. They were so different and unusual from the normal paper flowers you always see Pinned everywhere. They took more time and effort to make, but really turned out fabulous!
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Well, that’s all for this post. Tomorrow, I will start working on another one. I think this will be fun to follow. Melissa is going to do some posts on it as well, so you can get another person’s thoughts and ideas on having a Pinterest Themed Party right along with my ideas!

Links for Melissa at Singing Honey Bee Designs….

https://www.etsy.com/shop/thesinginghoneybee
http://singinghoneybee.blogspot.com/
https://www.facebook.com/singinghoneybeedesigns

 

 

Three Tiered Fruit Bowl diy

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My family eats a lot of veggies and fruit… forcibly, by MOM.

Actually, we are trying to eat more fruits and veggies. The problem is, if we don’t see it, we don’t eat it. I had a little metal fruit bowl with a banana hook. It worked great, for bananas. And maybe like 3 oranges. It just wasn’t big enough to hold anything else. Of course, I also read a Pin about how you are supposed to separate your bananas from the bunch to make them last longer. Or maybe that helps them ripen. No matter… that banana bowl contraption did not work. I looked around and just couldn’t find another basket, bowl, or crate I really liked. Then, the other day, I was organizing my china cabinet (check out this post for that… https://dumpsterdivingdarling.wordpress.com/2014/04/03/how-to-add-color-to-your-china-cabinet-without-spending-a-fortune/) and I needed to clear some space on the counter.

I had been working on this…
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As my pie-server-turned-plate-rack waited it’s turn for perfect pantry placement, I began stacking stuff on it. Some fruit was laying on the counter. To make more organization-in-waiting counter space for the china, I put the fruit on the plate rack, and I saw the obvious… my new fruit basket!

Here’s what I started with….

3 Tiered Fruit Bowl 4

I’ve seen these pie servers a lot in thrift shops. I can see why they were tossed, since ivy has lost it’s decorative appeal. They are usually cheap too. I paid only $1.95 for mine. Fortunately, the ivy and the wire it is attached to, is easily removed. Just be careful when doing so, because it can cut you! Pliers are my tool of choice for this job. Make sure there are no jagged edges and sand the stand. I didn’t sand mine of course, because I wanted it now, lol.

3 Tiered Fruit Bowl 2

 

I had already painted it, and the colors match my kitchen, so I began looking for baskets. Around the house, I couldn’t find enough baskets that fit, so for the time being, I just used plates. My friend Melissa used to work at, and has volunteered at several thrift shops. She has great tips on buying from them. On Thursdays, she is starting to blog about it! Here’s the link… http://singinghoneybee.blogspot.com/2014/04/thrifting-thursday-how-i-decorate-on.html

The next day I set out, determined to find thrift store baskets for my new fruit bowl, and The Singing Honey Bee was so right! I not only found three matching baskets, they were also brand new and were only .50 cents each! They really couldn’t be more perfect if they were made specifically for this project. Really, thrifting is amazing! Mr. Matrimony was evev enamored with these baskets. So much, that he asked me not to paint them. Egads… no spray painting??? What ever is a spray-paint addict to do?

He really doesn’t ask for that much, and he takes such god care of me… so I obliged him. They are awfully pretty baskets…

 

3 Tiered Fruit Bowl 3

I’m very satisfied with how my 3-tiered fruit basket turned out. I’m also certain the family will eat more fresh fruits and veggies The only problem is, now I need to go out and find more of these pie servers because I keep stealing them from other projects!

3 Tiered Fruit Bowl 5

Now, we have copious amounts of fruits and veggies, staring us down at almost eye level! We have been eating more. And plus, is there even a better way to add color to your kitchen than by using real produce?
No. No, there is not.

3 Tiered Fruit Bowl 1

What do you use for a fruit bowl in your home? Do you eat more fresh produce when it is easily seen?

Recipes from a Former Barista

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My mama and I used to own a few coffee shops. Most, were drive through espresso stands. There are so many must-learn tricks of the trade that when you leave that field, you naturally take them along with you. The other day, I came across one of our laminated drink recipe cheat sheets. This was one of the cards we kept behind the counter for our baristas to use when they couldn’t remember a recipe. I realized, I’m sorta privy to these recipes and many other coffee drinkers, are not.

It didn’t seem fair.

So, I’m going to share. Don’t fret, it isn’t like a magician giving away magic secrets. These drinks are each commonly know by someone, someplace. The special thing about this list is the recipes are all together! So without further ado….

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First, you need flavored syrup. Some, you can make yourself. Recipes are all over Pinterest and internet search engines in general. I buy my syrups at Cash & Carry. Cash & Carry is a grocery store that specializes in selling to restaurants. It has many items in case lots (Check out their other areas while you’re there! It’s awesome!). My  favorite syrups vary, but Monin (emphasis on the “nin”) is usually made with natural flavors, giving it the advantage of most realistic taste. It also makes it more expensive! One other down-side, is it doesn’t have as many flavors (It does have unusual flavors though. One favorite is “Lavender”. It’s super yummy in lemonade!) Torani is ok for the most part. I find a lot of their flavors are too sweet. Sometimes, you can just adjust the amount. Often though, that removes some of the flavor you are wanting. I’d say the best all-around winner would be Davinci. Their flavors are pretty true-to-taste, and the price is good. A lot of shops in our area use Davinci. It is what we used the most of in our own shops. One more choice, as far as Cash & Carry is concerned, is Ambien. Ambien is Cash & Carry’s store generic brand. It is very similar to Davinci, and priced lower. It doesn’t have as many flavors, but it’s good.

Coffee Goat
Did you know an Ethiopian goat herder discovered coffee? He noticed how crazy his goats would act after they had eaten coffee beans!

Secondly, if you have a way to make espresso shots and froth milk, that is awesome… you’re on your way! If not, let me assure you there several ways to come up with semi-pro drinks at home without spending a fortune. You can buy a frother at IKEA for like 5 bucks. It’s battery operated and works ok, once you get the knack of it. There are other, fancier ways to froth the milk, but they are mostly all very expensive. For me, I sometimes use a Moka pot for the shots, heat my milk and froth it with the IKEA frother.  Often times though, and this may sound scary to you purists… I use instant (egads!!!) espresso (Starbucks Brand) and add it to my frothed milk, which in my case, is half & half because this girl likes a breve! It seems so crazy to me too. I promise though, it’s a must try! Starbucks brand espresso is more expensive but, 1) It’s the only instant espresso available at our little town’s only grocer, and 2) It really is close to the real thing, and 3) It costs much less than going to a drive through!

THE LINGO (in layman’s terms)~

  • Espresso ~ Notice there is no “x”. Expresso is a car (You’re welcome). Espresso is simply a shot of pressed espresso roasted coffee that has crèma on the top. Crèma looks like cream, but it is just an effect on the coffee from the high pressure an espresso machine creates
  • Cappuccino ~ Shot of espresso with milk froth. If you have strictly froth, it is “dry“. When a bit of milk is added, the cappuccino is “wet
  • Americano ~ Hot water mixed with a shot  of espresso
  • Double, Triple, Quad ~ Extra shots in numerical order
  • Latte ~ Espresso and steamed milk
  • Breve ~ Steamed half and half with a shot of espresso added (my personal favorite)
  • Mocha ~ Latte made with chocolate milk (For this, I often add powdered hot chocolate to my latte)
  • White Mocha ~ Latte with white chocolate added (Ghirardelli powder is hands-down, the best!)
  • Café Aulait (pronounced Oh Lay) ~ Coffee with an added shot of espresso

Now that you have your latte (or mocha, or ???) figured out, let me help you decide which drink to make….

LATTE SPECIALTY RECIPES~

  • Apple Pie ~ 3/4 Apple 1/4 Spice Blend
  • Butter Brittle Caramello ~ 1/2 Hazelnut, 1/2 Butterscotch, and real caramel sauce and stir
  • Candy Cane ~ 1/2 Vanilla, 1/2 Peppermint
  • Caramello ~ 1/2 Toasted Marshmallow 1/2 Caramel
  • Caramel Macchiato ~ Vanilla Latte with Real Caramel
  • Coconut Cream Pie ~ 1/2 coconut, 1/4 Vanilla, 1/4 Caramel, topped with whipped cream
  • Frangelica ~ 1/2 Hazelnut, 1/2 Irish Cream
  • S’more’s ~ 1/2 Toasted Marshmallow, 1/2 Swiss Chocolate
  • Snickerdoodle ~ 1/2 Vanilla, 1/4 Hazelnut, 1/4 Caramel, sprinkle with real cinnamon
  • Toffee Cream Latte ~ 1/2 Toasted Marshmallow, 1/2 English Toffee
  • Twix ~ 2/3 Swiss Chocolate, 1/3 Caramel

SPECIALTY MOCHA RECIPES~

  • Almond Joy ~ 1/2 Coconut, 1/2 Almond
  • Almond Roca ~ 1/2 English Toffee, 1/2 Almond
  • Belgium Waffle ~ Hazelnut with a splash of Strawberry
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie ~ 1/2 Peanut Butter 1/2 Dark Chocolate
  • Elvis Presley ~ 1/2 Peanut Butter, 1/2 Banana
  • German Chocolate ~ 1/2 Coconut, 1/4 Macadamia Nut, 1/4 Hazelnut
  • Grasshopper ~ 2/3 Peppermint, 1/3 Crème de Menthe
  • Heath ~ English Toffee
  • Mexican Mocha ~ 1/4 Vanilla, 3/4 Red Hot Cinnamon, top with whipped cream and a dash of real cinnamon
  • Milky Way ~ Caramel
  • Mounds ~ Coconut
  • Rocky Road ~ 2/3 Toasted Marshmallow, 1/3 Almond
  • Snickers ~ 1/2 Caramel, 1/2 Peanut Butter
  • Turtle ~ 1/2 Caramel, 1/2 Butter Pecan

SPECIALTY WHITE MOCHA RECIPES~

  • Blues Brothers ~ Blueberry
  • Gingersnap ~ Spice Blend with a dash of real cinnamon

OTHER~

  • Copper Camel ~ Latte or Mocha with 1/2 Butterscotch, 1/2 Irish Cream

I realize that in different shops, and especially in different parts of the country, these recipes may vary. That is one of the joys of experimenting with coffee flavors… you can make exactly what you want, the way you want it!!!

My morning cup of Joe on a plate my mama painted in 1970.
My morning cup of Joe on a plate my mama painted in 1970.

Do you have a favorite coffee recipe you’d like to share? I’d love to see your twist, or a different favorite of yours. Please feel free to share your own coffee recipes in the comment area below 🙂

Photo Credit. I found the cute, caffeine crazed goat picture at http://justimagine-ddoc.com/food-and-drink/interesting-facts-about-coffee/

Seems like a great article too!