Monday, October 20, 2008


What? You’ve never had a kolache? Around here, most people have had a kolache. Most people actually have their own family recipe that is “the best”. The kids and I spent Sunday afternoon in Wahoo at my parents. My Dad thought it would be fun to make some homemade kolaches, but to knead and partially rise the dough in the bread machine. We were so excited to see our results! If the bread machine yielded delicious kolaches, we would have found a precious shortcut to a long and laborious recipe. So? How were they? Awesome!

We used the dough recipe from my Grandma Swanda. The dough can also be used to make clover leaf rolls, crescent rolls- just about anything. We did the fillings Grandma Hain style. Her secret for good poppy seed filling is a little grape jam mixed in. But, you can use an type of filling. It was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon and now that Dad has discovered a quick and easy way to make kolaches, I think we’ll be making them a lot more often!

Grandma Swanda’s Kolache dough

1 1/2 c. Milk (Evaporated or whole milk)

6 T. Margarine, softened

1 egg plus 1 egg yolk

3 T. sugar

1 1/2 t. salt

1T. plus 3/4 t. dry active yeast

4 1/2 c. flour

fillings of your choice

Warm milk in microwave or on stove top. Place warm milk, eggs, margarine, salt and sugar in bread machine. Cover completely with flour. Pour yeast on top of flour. Turn bread machine on dough setting.

When dough is done- roll into 2″ balls and place an inch apart on greased cookie sheet. Cover with tea towel and rise 30 minutes or until double in size. Place fingers in center of dough ball and pulling outward, create a well for the filling. Repeat on each ball. Fill each with filling. Cover and let rise another 30 minutes.

Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Chocolate-glazed Pumpkin Cookies

My husband is so cute. He took a bite of one of these cookies, sighed and said, "I love fall." These are soft and very tasty. I like that there is very little spice in these and you can really taste the pumpkin.

Chocolate-glazed Pumpkin Cookies
2 c. flour
1/2 t. soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1 c. pumpkin puree
4 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 375. Whisk dry ingredients together. Set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light. Add egg; beat, until smooth. With mixer on low alternately add flour in two parts and pumpkin in one. Beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Do not overmix. Bake until puffed and golden- about 15 minutes. When cookies have cooled, melt chocolate either in microwave at 30 second intervals or over double-boiler. Drizzle over cookies and cool in refrigerator until chocolate is set.
Reference: Martha Stewart's Everyday Food magazine.

Cheese Muffins

These were pretty darn good, and I must say they were even better at room temperature than piping hot. I think my 2 year old ate about 3 of these herself! If I make this recipe again- I will definitely add some garlic. The recipe is from the Pioneer Woman Cooks.

Cheese Muffins
1 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 T. sugar
1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
3 c. shredded colby-jack
1 egg
1 c. milk
1/4 c. melted butter

Combine dry ingredients. Combine wet ingredients. Mix together and bake in 12 greased muffin tins at 375 for about 15 minutes.

Garlic-crusted Pork loin

I don't usually care for pork. This recipe was great and a snap to pull together! The prep time is literally 10 minutes or less. I served this with cheese muffins and a raspberry balsamic salad.

Garlic-crusted Pork Loin
1.5 lb boneless pork loin
1 T. olive oil, plus more for baking sheet
4 garlic cloves
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 450. Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet. Mince garlic and sprinkle with salt. Use chef's knife to create a paste on cutting board.
Place pork on baking sheet and rub with oil and garlic paste. Season with additional salt (if desired) and pepper. Bake for approximately 45 minutes.
Reference: Martha Stewart's Everyday Food magazine.

Greta's Rating: Surprisingly, she really liked this!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Runza Casserole

I live in Nebraska. The home of the Runza. For those of you who have never had a are missing out. This is a great recipe for a Bierock (runza) casserole. I got the recipe from a friend.

Runza Casserole
1 lb. ground beef (I used ground turkey)
1 small onion, diced
3 c. shredded cabbage
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 c. shredded cheddar
1 pkg. crescent rolls

Preheat oven to 375. Brown meat. Drain. Add onion and cabbage. Simmer until very soft- this may take awhile. Add soup and stir well. Stretch 1/2 of one can of crescent rolls to cover 8x8 pan. Spread meat mixture on top. Sprinkle cheese. Stretch remaining crescent rolls to cover top. Bake as directed on roll package.
Greta's rating: She loved this! Actually, my 9 month old son loved this too!