Saturday, June 13, 2015


We are approaching "party fixin's" season and many of us will be making dips and other recipes that require an envelope of onion soup mix. This recipe tastes JUST LIKE LIPTON ONION SOUP MIX (well, actually it tastes even better because it's such a full flavor).

It's made of pantry staples and it has no soy; it's gluten free; no MSG; you can use low sodium bullion and you can pronounce ALL of the ingredients (not to mention it is very budget friendly).

I am NEVER buying boxed
Lipton Onion Soup mix again!!

This clone recipe is GREAT for dips, pot roast, meat loaf, or anything you would normally use the onion soup mix for.
4 tablespoons DRY instant minced onion (toasted)
2 tablespoons LOW SODIUM beef bullion granules
1/4 teaspoon onion powder (not onion salt)
1/4 teaspoon DRY parsley flakes
1/8 teaspoon celery seed CRUSHED (important ingredient)
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Equals a  single 1 1/4 oz.
envelope of soup mix.
NOTES: It is not necessary, but I toast the DRY instant minced onion in a hot DRY pan for a few minutes (watch it closely). When it turns golden, remove from the pan immediately or it will continue to get darker. Toast them until they are this color:
NOTES: Make sure you crush the celery seed (and don't leave it out). A mortar and pestle or spice grinder work well for this.
NOTES: If you use the GRANULAR TYPE beef bullion (and you are going to make a sour cream type dip) you'll have to mix everything together and let it sit in the fridge for 20 minutes or the bullion granules can dissolve. After 20 minutes, just stir and the granules will disappear.
NOTES: This sounds like a LOT of onion, but it is just right!!

Monday, June 8, 2015


If you have a sweet tooth, or if you want to really impress your breakfast guests (or potluck friends), this is the recipe for you. It is completely decadent and one of those recipes that you will find yourself going back to again and again.

3 1/2 to 4 cups bread flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 envelopes dry yeast (I use 2 scant tablespoons)
1 cup very warm milk (not hot)
1/4 cup butter (room temperature)
1 egg

In the bowl of your stand mixer, mix 2 cups flour, 1/2 cup sugar, salt and yeast.  Add warm milk, soft butter and egg. Beat with electric mixer on low for one minute, scraping the sides of the bowl frequently, then beat on medium speed for another minute.

Add the rest of the flour (1/2 cup at a time), beating well in between each addition. The recipe calls for 3 1/2 to 4 cups of flour. I got a beautiful dough, easy to handle at 3 1/2 cups. Knead the dough by hand (or machine) for five minutes.

Grease (I use cooking spray) the bowl and put the dough back in. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and set in a warm spot for 1 1/2 hours or until dough is double in size.

While your dough is rising, make the filling and caramel topping.

1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter (room temperature)
Mix the sugar and cinnamon and set aside the butter.

1 cup brown sugar (I use dark brown, but light brown is ok too)
1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 cup pecans roughly chopped (optional)

Put the brown sugar and butter in a saucepan and bring it to a boil (stirring constantly). Remove mixture from heat immediately and stir in light corn syrup, set aside.

After dough has risen, turn out onto counter and pat all the air out of it. Gently roll into a 10x15 rectangle and spread with the reserved 2 tablespoons butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar filling and roll up, starting with longest side. Pinch seam together and cut into 1" slices.

Pour the caramel topping into a 9 x 13 pan and sprinkle with pecans if you are using them. Top with sliced dough sections (not too close together). Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let it rise for 30 minutes. The dough will rise quite a bit, so don't crowd the slices. 

Bake in preheated 350° oven for 30 to 35 minutes (my electric oven took 28 minutes), or till golden.

Remove from oven and let sit in pan for 2 minutes. Turn over onto heat proof plate and DON'T REMOVE THE PAN FOR 3 MINUTES (this gives the caramel sauce time to drizzle back down over the buns).

Remove pan and serve warm.  Makes 15 rolls.

Sunday, May 31, 2015


A friend shared this recipe with me and I can guarantee you that I will be making this fudge over and over, it is REALLY fast and easy, and it is SUPER yummy!!

2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup (smooth) peanut butter

In a medium sized saucepan (with a heavy bottom), mix 2 cups sugar and 1/2 cup evaporated milk. The heavy bottomed saucepan will keep this mixture from scorching.

Cook on medium high heat, stirring, until bubbles start to form around the edge of the pan. Turn the heat down to medium low and cook until the mixture starts to boil (bubbles all across the surface that don't go away when you stir it). Boil for exactly 2 1/2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and peanut butter. Mix until very smooth (whisk works well here).

You can pour this cooked mixture into any size pan you like (larger pan gives you thinner fudge), but just make sure you have lined the pan with parchment paper or foil first. I had great luck using a loaf pan.

Sit this pan of hot fudge on a cooling rack. After about an hour or so, the fudge will be FIRM, but still very warm. This is the BEST time to cut the fudge cleanly.  Just grab onto the parchment paper or foil that you lined the pan with, and lift the whole thing out of the pan. Slice the fudge with a THIN, SHARP knife.

You can also wait and cut the fudge after its completely cool, but it cuts easier and more cleanly if you cut it while its still warm.

Store cooled fudge in airtight container.