Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls in 20 Minutes


These rolls went so fast I didn’t even have time to snap a picture!  Aw man!  But here’s a pic of some yummy rolls…just imagine this came out of my oven tonight.

This is my very beautiful Aunt Shelly (with her hubby who I used to think was Clark Kent. haha).

She is amazing in many ways, not the least of which she birthed eight children.  Eight!  And also her people come from miles around to sample her cooking.  It’s pretty tasty stuff. I’ve had lots of hilarious memories with these guys when our families got together, and I miss her.  But there’s a light at the end of the tunnel because I feel we’re almost hanging out when I am making her dinner rolls.  She has the best rolls recipe ever and it literally takes 25 minutes to make before you put it in the oven.  Including rising time!  Truly a dream come true, especially if you are really last minute, like me, and realize as you cooking a big pot of soup that rolls would be a nice addition.  Boom. Done and done.

Here it is:

Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls

  • 3 TBS Yeast
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1 3/4 Cup Warm Water
  • 5 1/2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Butter
  • 3/4 Tbs Salt
  • 2 Eggs


Mix yeast, sugar, and water.  Let sit for 10 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients.  Knead for a minute or two.  Form into rolls.  Let sit for 5-10 minutes.

Bake 10 minutes.  They will rise a lot when they are cooking.

Voila!  Enjoy!


Recipe: Green Goddess Grilled Cheese

My sis-in-law showed me this recipe from Pinterest and I had to have it in my stomach ASAP.  And I made it twice in a week. haha!  It’s really yummy, fast, and easy.  We had some homemade bread to use up, so it was extra tasty!  Plus, the pesto makes a lot, so leftovers are easy to do in a few days.  If you are in a time crunch, but still want something yummy and healthy, give this a try.

Green Goddess Grilled Cheese (original recipe from tastespotting.com)


Ingredients for 1 Sandwich

  • 2 slices bread (we used a white bread, but one filled with lots of different whole grains and seeds would be *awesome*)
  • 2-3 tablespoons Green Goddess Herb Pesto (recipe below)
  • 2 slices mild white melty cheese like mozzarella
  • handful fresh baby spinach
  • ¼ avocado, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons goat cheese, crumbled
  • olive oil (and butter if you’re so inclined)


Spread about 1 tablespoon of Green Goddess Herb Pesto onto each slice of bread (2 tablespoons total, but if you’re sensitive, go light, the pesto is STRONG).

On one slice of bread, add 1 slice of cheese, sliced avocado, crumbled goat cheese, spinach, second slice of cheese, then top it with second slice of bread. Press together gently.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a frying pan over medium low heat. (If you want to use butter, add it to the oil and let it melt). Add the sandwich to the oil and cook until bread is golden brown. Press down on the sandwich lightly, then flip the sandwich over and cook until second side is golden brown.

Green Goddess Herb Pesto


  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 (or 2 if you’re ballsy) anchovy fillet (in oil) – I actually left these out and it was still very tasty.
  • ½ small shallot, chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • handful chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • handful chopped kale
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


Pulse garlic, anchovy, and shallot in food processor until chopped. With the food processor running, add lemon juice, parsley, kale, tarragon and chives. Very slowly drizzle in olive oil until kale and herbs get sufficiently chopped and everything is the consistency of a pesto. You may need more or less of the olive oil depending on how big a “handful” of herbs is to you. You can also turn off the food processor and push herbs down the side of the bowl with a spatula every once in a while.

Season to taste with salt and pepper (You probably won’t need too much salt if you used 2 anchovies).


SOOOOO Delicious!  The flavor combination is unreal.  It was definitely very tasty, and the boys ate it!  I mean, The Wild One peeled some spinach off, but he ate the rest so I was happy!


What’s For Snacktime Wednesday: Whole Wheat Banana Bread – No Sugar!

Hello folks,

We are back from New York City!  It was a very long day of frantic cleaning/packing and then a long red-eye flight across the country, but the kids were champs and were so excited to see their toys that we had a big party at 2 am.  It’s been a whirlwind couple of days, and it’s about to get crazier!  We are heading to a wedding tomorrow, so more time on the road!  In the meantime, here’s a delicious snack I’ve been making with all my quickly ripening bananas.

Whole Wheat Banana Bread (Original Recipe from 100 days of Real Food)

  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt or sour cream
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup oil (or applesauce)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease pan.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger.
  3. In a separate bowl mix mashed bananas with yogurt, honey, eggs, oil, and vanilla.
  4. Fold the banana mixture into the flour mixture until blended. Do not overmix.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  6. Bake large loaf for 40 – 50 minutes or until it comes clean with a toothpick.

Happy Snacking!  Back from sunny San Diego next week!

Homemade Hamburger Buns

A great perk of a BBQ (and maybe the motivation to having one) is that you really don’t have to “cook” right?  So some people might think it is silly to make your own buns.  However, the other night I made veggie burgers and I didn’t have any buns so I just whipped some up from scratch.  It was really pretty easy and simple, so I didn’t feel like I was stuck in the kitchen forever.  Plus if you make extra, you can freeze them until you next time you need them.

Homemade Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns (Original recipe from Stacy Makes Cents)

  • ¾ cup warm water
  • 3 teaspoons yeast
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ½ – 3 cups white wheat flour (hard white wheat, ground)

Combine the warm water and yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes. Add the honey, melted butter, and egg. Beat until smooth. Add 2 cups of flour. Beat until smooth. Add salt and remaining flour until you get a kneadable dough. Knead for 6 minutes. Cover dough and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Divide dough into 8 pieces and shape into buns. Place buns on a greased/parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Flatten.

Let buns rise until doubled, usually about an hour. If desired, brush with beaten egg white and sprinkle with Italian seasoning, poppy seeds, or sesame seeds.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Slice with a serrated knife.

Homemade Crutons

Do you ever have about a thousand heels from bread loaves lying around your house?  I always do, and I know no one was going to eat them.  I have really missed crutons since I decided to try to limit the processed stuff around here, so I tried to make some.  It turns out to be the easiest thing I’ve ever made.  So fast and so simple.  It literally took 10 minutes start to finish.  I’m pretty sure you can’t mess this one up.  My boys’ naps miraculously overlapped this afternoon, so I had an entire hour to myself to savor these crunchy morsels on a yummy salad for lunch.  I may or may not have watched some junk tv while I ate.  Don’t mind if I do (did!).  I love it when the stars align!

Homemade Crutons

  • 1 cup bread, cubed
  • 1 Tbs olive oil or butter
  • 2 Tbs parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder


  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Toss bread with oil
  • Combine cheese, garlic powder, and onion powder, and then mix with bread
  • Spread on a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until bread is golden brown

I was too greedy to share these with anyone, and I savored every bite.  Man, I love a crunch in my salad.  It adds so much.  I put the leftovers in a plastic bag to use the rest of the week.  I’ve seen many recipes call for an entire loaf of bread, and you make a big batch, but for me this was just a simple way of using some leftovers for a few single servings.

Okay, now for the No Processed Foods Challenge Update.  Original rules can be found here, but this time around I am being a little bit more lax.  Instead of absolutely no sugar, I am allowing sugar in small amounts as long as it is in something I made from scratch.  Like the spinach muffins from earlier this week, or even oatmeal cookies.  I know sugar itself is processed, but I need to have a little bit of wiggle room, and it makes me feel better than having Chips Ahoy or ingredients I can’t pronounce.  Having said that, I am not planning on having that stuff every day.  It’s just for a special treat every now and then.  That’s basically the only modification.  Everything else is the same.





Well…it’s only semi-true.  This recipe makes 3 loaves and one out of three turned out perfect.  The other two…a little substandard.  BUT, one of them was beautiful!  So the question is – What did I do differently?  Absolutely no idea.  I’m going to try again this week and see if I really am getting better, or if that was just a fluke.  Ha!  As it turns out, it was the Rose Bowl and we had to cheer on our Oregon Ducks so we had a few friends over.  They all sampled the bread, and it was a success.  I have mixed feelings, because I’ve had so many failures that I don’t want to get my hopes up, but on the other hand, I am thrilled I actually made a loaf that worked out!!  It IS possible!  We were so caught up in the excitement that I failed to take a picture of the beauteous loaf, so we’re stuck with a few slices.

Here’s the recipe from whole food kids (her kids are cute, huh?  all TEN of them!).

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Bread (makes 6 loaves)


  • 7-½ cups warm water
  • 2 tablespoons and 1-½ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • ¾ cup honey
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons and 1-½ teaspoons salt
  • ¾ cup nonfat dry milk powder
  • 15½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 2 cups quick-cooking oats


1. Preheat over to 350 degrees F. In very large bowl, combine warm water, yeast and honey. Let yeast dissolve for about 5 minutes.

2. Add remaining ingredients. Stir to combine, then knead on floured counter for about ten minutes, adding more flour if needed to form a soft ball that sticks to itself.

3. Place in a greased bowl, cover with moist towel and let rise until doubled in bulk, about an hour.

4. Punch down and knead for one minute, then form into six loaves and place in well-greased bread pans. Cover with a moist towel and let rise until doubled in bulk, 30 to 45 minutes.

5. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until bread is golden brown.

6. Take out of pans and let cook on racks.

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.  Slap some yummy jam and or butter and honey on that baby and you will swear off Atkins forever!!

ps – Today marks day one for the No Processed Foods Challenge.  More on that later this week.

Processed Foods Defined

I’ve been writing a good deal about this stuff since my 30-day challenge, and I’ve gotten some questions about what my definition of a processed food is.  It’s a complicated question, but here is the process I go through and my philosophy on it all:

1.  Eat food as close to its natural form as possible

The less steps from natural form to your house, the better.  Like if you buy whole wheat flour, it has gone through two steps when the wheat germ was removed and the wheat kernels were ground into flour.  Would I like to buy my own wheat kernels (or better yet grow it in the backyard) and harvest and grind it?  Yes, but it isn’t possible at the moment.  I have to take second best.  More thoughts on the matter:

  • Example:  Corn Chex – What is the natural form?  Corn.  It’s had to go through many many stages to get made into that waffled square, even though it is considered a “healthy” cereal.  Many things were added, many things taken away, many things altered.
  • Example:  Produce –  This is a seemingly easy one.  Obviously an apple’s original form is an apple.  But then think about this…Was it an apple picked from an orchard just a few miles from the store, or was it an apple genetically-engineered to grow larger/faster, sprayed with toxic chemicals, picked green, and ripened on a truck?  Kinda frustrating isn’t it?   This is why I love farmers markets and backyard gardens.
  • Dairy products:  This kind of falls in the same boat as produce.  What is the natural form of cheese?  milk.  Pretty good in my book.  But now I am starting to think about what KIND of cow it came from and what that cow ate, and how it was raised.
  • I don’t have a farm so i am forced to buy some packaged things.  Even buying something very close to its natural form, like peanut butter has to be processed and packaged at a plant.  Which brings me to my next point.  When you have to buy a processed food (meaning bought in a package of some sort) make sure that…

2.  The ingredients on the label are real foods.  No additives or preservatives or things you cannot pronounce.

  • Example:  Bread – Do you know the ingredients of homemade bread?  Flour, Yeast, Salt, Oil, and Honey or Sugar.  Compare that with Sara Lee’s 100% whole wheat bread.  Water, Stone Ground Whole Wheat Flour, Wheat Gluten, Cottonseed Fiber, Yeast, Brown Sugar, Salt, Vegetable Oil (Soybean Oil, and/or Cottonseed Oil), Yeast Nutrients (Monocalcium Phosphate, Calcium Sulfate, Ammonium Sulfate), Dough Conditioners (May Contain One or More of the Following Mono and Diglycerides, Ethoxylated Mono and Diglycerides, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Calcium Peroxide), Honey, Wheat Bran, Wheat Protein Isolate, Sulfiting Agents, Vinegar, Natural Flavor, Soy Lecithin, Guar Gum, Sucralose, Cornstarch, L-Cysteine, Sorbic Acid, and Calcium Propionate (Preservatives).  Wow.  This would be considered a “healthy” food by most people.  But what exactly are we consuming?  To be honest, I am not really sure…
  • I think you get the idea here.  Packaged, boxed items that are considered “food”  but that contain mostly manufactured ingredients.

During this challenge, I’ve been trying to make from scratch a lot of things I would normally buy like bread or crackers.  We have all felt wonderful during these last several days.

I’ve made an executive decision, however.  The challenge will now be shortened due to the holidays.  I love the challenge, and I am going to do it again, several times (join in!), but there are just too many traditions that I want the kiddos to be able to participate in, i.e. gingerbread houses, hot chocolate, and candy canes.  It’s the holidays!!  No, we won’t go crazy, and we will continue to limit the processed foods, but a little indulgence this time of year is okay in my book.  You understand.  SO having said that, our last day will be this Friday.  It will have been a 2 week challenge (a very AWESOME two weeks).  Looking forward to the next one.