Countdown to Thanksgiving: Bread Recipes

To say that Miss Bee loves bread is an understatement.  She has been known to ask my Sister Bee to bring several pans of rolls for Thanksgivings — one pan for her, and one for everyone else.

She’s been helping put together our menu for next week and we have a few recipes to consider.  We have had good luck with this recipe Easy Garlic Butter Hawaiian Rolls.  I like them because they are also perfect for making turkey sandwiches later that evening or the next day.

Twist:  For recipes where butter is the star, I only bake with European-style butter. Plugra is one brand and Land O Lakes also has a great product. European-style butter has higher milk fat and a richer taste and creamier texture than regular butter.

Ingredients

1  package of King’s Original Hawaiian Sweet Rolls

1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, divided in half.

1 TBL garlic, minced

Sea salt flakes, coarse sea salt or Kosher salt

Instructions

Preheat over to 350.

Heat 1/4 cup of butter (4 TBL) in small skillet over medium-low heat until it bubbles.  Add garlic and reduce heat to low.  Cook 30 seconds.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Place the remaining 1/4 cup butter in the bottom of 8×11 baking sheet.

Place baking sheet in the oven until butter is melted.  Remove baking sheet from the oven and place rolls in the pan.

Using kitchen shears or a sharp knife, cut a deep “X” into the top middle of each roll.

Brush the rolls with garlic butter and sprinkle with sea salt flakes.

Bake 12-15 minutes or until rolls are golden brown.

Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Rolls can be cooled and reheated.

Garlic Parmesan Rolls

A recipe we want to try is for Garlic Parmesan Butterflake Rolls.

4 Rhodes Dinner Rolls, thawed but still cold,
    or 12 Texas-Size Rolls
2 Tbl. unsalted butter, melted
2 Tbl. Mayonnaise
1/2 – 3/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp. dried parsley
3 Tbl. grated Parmesan cheese  

Place 24 frozen rolls in a 9×13-inch baking dish, cover with plastic wrap and thaw in the refrigerator overnight.  In the morning, combine two thawed rolls and roll into a ball.  Using clean kitchen scissors, cut four or five deep cuts, almost to the bottom of the roll.  Place in a greased muffin tin.  Repeat with remaining rolls.

Combine melted butter, Mayonnaise, garlic powder, dried parsley and grated Parmesan cheese.  Generously brush all over the rolls, covering every last bit and getting into all the slits.  Spray plastic wrap with cooking spray and cover rolls.  Allow to rise until doubled.

When rolls have risen, remove plastic wrap and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.  Serve.  Makes 12 rolls.

One Hour Dinner Rolls

And click on this link for One Hour Dinner Rolls using yeast.  They sound delicious.

I’ve got lots more recipes on my Breads and Muffins Pinterest Board.

Mrs. Twist’s Guide to Thanksgiving: Make Pies Your Centerpiece!

I came across an inspiration on Pinterest in my quest to share ideas with you to prepare for Thanksgiving.  The article is “Last Minute Thanksgiving Centerpiece Ideas” and immediately a light bulb went off!  Why do the pies always get put on a side table or the counter when they are the best part of the meal?  Flowers, gourds and pumpkins are nice and the Pilgrims did them justice but, this is 2017, let’s put a twist on it!  Use your pies, some clippings from the yard and create a beautiful, eye-catching, conversation piece.  I guarantee your guests have never seen dessert as the centerpiece.

For this challenge, I enlisted the help of Sweet Lucy’s Pies.  Lindsey, the owner, has been my go-to pie gal for a while now.  Her recipes are delicious and inventive using the freshest ingredients she can source and her crust is buttery and flaky.  Hands down, she makes the best peach fried pies you will ever eat in your life!  You’ve probably seen her at the Clearfork Farmer’s Market with her spunky adorable daughter.

The stars in this parade are:  Salted Honey Pie, Pumpkin Meringue, and Cranberry Buttermilk.

Once I got the pies home, I went shopping around my house and yard pulling together the parts of my tablescape — Mother’s green glassware and her Friendly Village dishes, vintage thermos containers you could fill with iced tea, napkins, silverware, glassware from the cabinet,  pumpkin plates I picked up at Target in the $1 section last season, Thanksgiving poppers from Williams-Sonoma, and a vintage tablecloth I turned on the diagonal.

Anatomy of a Tablescape

Once I got the table set, I put three cake pedestals down the center of the table and placed a pie on top of each one.  Then my favorite part — clipping pretty things from the garden like holly, fig leaves and mums.  On either end I put three fig leaves under each pie and filled in with mums and for the center pie, I surrounded the pie with holly clippings.

Look how beautiful Lindsey’s pies are!  By keeping the tablescape simple, your pies can shine!

For each place setting I went old-school and tucked the linen napkins inside the water goblets.  I remember when I was little and my parents took me out to dinner, I always thought it was so fancy to sit down and have the waiter pull the napkin out of the glass and place it on my lap!

Don’t be afraid to layer different dishes.  I mixed in pumpkin plates and little bowls that say “Give Thanks” and used two completely different styles and colors of glassware.

What is the takeaway from this tablescape?  The only investment was the cost of the pies.  Everything else I used was from my own collection of vintage and modern serving pieces and clippings from my own yard.  The best part, the centerpiece is edible! The clippings can be enjoyed for a while and them composted.  I think it’s perfect.

If you are interested in placing orders for Sweet Lucy’s Pies, be sure to check her out on Facebook and Instagram.   She is very responsive with messages.  These are her pie offerings for Thanksgiving…

If you want more inspiring tips from my Mrs. Twist’s Guide to Thanksgiving, check out this post here.

 

Want to stay in the loop?  Sign up to receive my posts and they will be delivered right to your email inbox every morning.  You have the option to select a weekly digest or every time I post a new story.  I appreciate you following me and sharing my blog with others!

Mrs. Twist’s Guide to Thanksgiving: Breakfast Recipes

Since we eat later in the day on Thanksgiving, I like to prepare a breakfast we can enjoy while finishing up the last minute cooking and watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade on television.  Today I am sharing four tasty, Twist-Lab tested recipes that are wonderful!

20161115_195101
Cranberry Christmas Cake

The taste-testers in the Twist Laboratory love this recipe for Cranberry Christmas Cake which you can find here on my Pinterest board.

16-1-5

It’s starts with a 12 oz bag of these ruby jewels.  During the fall and winter season I stock up on fresh cranberries because they freeze really well.  Tip:  If you freeze them don’t wash them first or they will get soggy.  Just keep the bag intact and tuck inside a ziplock bag and throw into the freezer.   You can add a handful of cranberries to your muffin recipes and throw a palm full into your oatmeal while it cooks on the stove.

Cranberry Christmas Cake

3 eggs
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour *
12 oz fresh cranberries

* Gluten Free Substitution:
1 1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1 teaspoon xanthan gum

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With a mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar until slightly thickened and light in color, about 5-7 minutes. The mixture should almost double in size. The eggs work as your leavening agent in this recipe, so do not skip this step. This mixture should form a ribbon when you lift the beaters out of the bowl. Add the butter and vanilla; mix two more minutes. Stir in the flour until just combined. Add the cranberries and stir to mix throughout.

Spread in a buttered 9×13 pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until very lightly browned and a toothpick inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean. (I baked mine for 43 minutes.) Let cool completely before cutting.

20161115_194712

It wasn’t even cooled when the Twist Lab assistants converged onto the cake.  They both ate two slices and said this was a winner!  And, for a twist, I made a smidge of powdered sugar and cream icing and drizzled a little on a slice.

20161115_195908

This cake is a MUST for your holidays.  I could easily see this cake divided into two 8×8 square disposable pans, tied with ribbon — perfect as homemade gifts!

The next recipe I just tried when Sister Bee was here for a visit is this recipe for Egg, Potato and Sausage Skillet from Six Sisters’ Stuff.

It was easy and delicious and a nice change from the traditional breakfast casserole.  What I liked about it is you put everything into the skillet and let it cook while you finish up the rest of breakfast.  It makes alot, too.  There were six of us and we had a few servings left over.

You can’t go wrong with the Pioneer Woman’s recipe for cinnamon rolls.  I found this recipe several years ago and make them all the time.  Even if you have never made cinnamon rolls, you can duplicate this recipe with ease and be so proud of yourself! And, as you can see, it makes about 6 pans of rolls you can freeze for company or as gifts.

Pioneer Cinnamon Rolls

And last this retro dish that I just love — Hot Curried Fruit.  I mean what says retro more than pears and maraschino cherries!  This is a recipe similar to one Mother used to make for her famous brunches.  Look at the bubbly, buttery brown sugar sauce!

Hot Curried Fruit

Recipe:

1 29-oz can cling peaches

1 15-oz can pineapple slices (I used chunks)

1 29-oz can pear halves

5 maraschino cherries without stems, halved

1/3 cup butter

3/4 cup light brown sugar

4 tsp. curry powder (I only used 3 tsp.)

Preheat oven to 350.  Drain fruit.  Pat individual pieces of fruit, with paper towels, until thoroughly dry.  Arrange fruit in a 1 1/2 quart baking dish.  Melt butter.  Add brown sugar and curry.  Spoon over fruit and bake 25 minutes.

This can be made a day ahead, refrigerated and then baked.  It serves 10-12.

If you missed previous posts in my “Mrs. Twist’s Guide to Thanksgiving” click here for Part One and here for Part Two.  I’ve got more to share so be sure to sign up for my newsletter on the right-hand side of my webpage.  My posts will be delivered right to you email in box each morning!

Mrs. Twist’s Guide to Thanksgiving: Recipe Week

This week I will be sharing some of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes.  Sweet Potato Delight is a dish Mother and Sister Bee have served for many years at our Thanksgiving table.  I love it and the meal wouldn’t be the same without it.  In fact, Miss Bee always has it at the top of her “wish list” too.  It’s almost like dessert with the buttery, crumbly topping.

Sweet Potato Delight

1 large can of sweet potatoes (I usually double the recipe)

Heat potatoes and juice and mash thoroughly.  If you want to bake sweet potatoes ones you can, but this tastes just as good.

Mix together:

One stick of melted butter

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup of sugar

1/3 cup of evaporated milk

2 beaten eggs

Combine all of the ingredients and pour into a buttered 9×13 dish.

Top with the following mixture:

1 cup of brown sugar

1/3 cup of flour

1/3 stick of melted butter

1/2 cup of chopped pecans

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until set.

Apparently I don’t mind my food touching.

Mrs. Twist’s Guide to Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday. Period.  I love the food and the focus on family.  I’ve got lots of experience hosting Thanksgiving meals from watching Mother do it with ease, grace, and in heels, both at home and on our farm back in the day.

This guide includes several links to a series of posts I have written — including gathering your recipes, creating shopping lists, recipes, breakfast ideas and wine pairing.  Click on each link to find the topic.

Gather all your Recipes:

Prepare a recipe booklet with all the recipes you plan to prepare.  This idea, which is brilliant, came to me from bestie.  She has a packet with all the dishes she prepares every Thanksgiving and a timeline for prep.

Now, this might require more effort this year, but think how easy it will be to pull this out next year and take the guesswork out of wondering what you will make and where you stuck that recipe.  For today, just pull all the recipes together — stack cookbooks with sticky notes on the pages, find loose pages with all the recipes, whatever your filing method.  If you have a photocopier, copy every piece of paper or put everything into a tote bag and go to the office supply store.

Include:

Beverages — including non-alcoholic and cocktails

Appetizers — Do you need these — because the entree and sides speak for themselves?  But, if this is tradition for you, then by all means include them.

Entree – Where are you going to order your turkey and/or ham

Sides – something new or tradition

Rolls – A holiday doesn’t exist for Miss Bee if there is no bread represented at the table.

Desserts — I have a few standards I like, but I also love chocolate cream pie and I order this from a local bakery.

In my family, Mr. Bee always makes the turkey, I enjoy trying to make a few sides and the desserts. If this is your method, make note who is bringing what.

And, I know there are people that prefer to cater their meals.  If this option makes the holidays less stressful, then go for it!  Start thinking about who you want to order from and place your order this weekend.

Time Saver:  Here’s another time saving trick inspired by bestie — chopped vegetables she needs for cooking!  This way she gets all the chopping and prep done, then can store the veggies in the freezer until they are ready to be used for the recipes.  Mr. Bee is my Ninja chopper which is good because this is my least favorite thing to do when cooking.

Prepare Your Shopping List:

Go through each recipe and start recording what you need.  Work on this list for a few days so you can add extra things you always forget.  If you do the bulk of your shopping now you will miss the crazy crowds. Here are a few resources I found to help prepare your shopping list:

From Southern Living – The Ultimate Thanksgiving Grocery Shopping List here.

From Martha Stewart — The Classic Thanksgiving Shopping List here.

From Parents Magazine — Grocery List for the Easiest Thanksgiving Dinner here

Bon Appetit magazine — The 36 Hour Thanksgiving Grocery List here with a downloadable printable you can use.

Want a great recipe for Sweet Potato Delight — then visit this post for the recipe.

Want breakfast ideas for Thanksgiving morning?  Then go here for part three of the Mrs. Twist’s Guide to Thanksgiving.

Want ideas for picking the perfect wine for your Thanksgiving meal?  Then click here.

Everything I have mentioned in this post can be found on Pinterest where I have started a Mrs. Twist’s Guide to Thanksgiving so you can save these ideas.

Want to stay in the loop?  Sign up to receive my posts and they will be delivered right to your email inbox every morning.  You have the option to select a weekly digest or every time I post a new story.  I appreciate you following me and sharing my blog with others!

It’s Finally Fall — Create Your Bucket List!

I love everything about fall — the cooler weather, decorating the house with autumnal colors, the smell of cinnamon, pumpkin spice lattes and the list goes on.  Which makes me think of Mother.  Every season, especially in the summer, she would have me write a “bucket” list of things I wanted to see, do, or accomplish.  It was a lot of fun for us to draw a line through the things we did.  What are your “musts” for the season?  Here’s my list for fall…

  • Buy a cart full of pumpkin spice foods at Trader Joe’s.
  • Wear boots.
  • Have a fire in the fireplace.
  • Watch TV outside by the fire.
  • Sleep under a pile of blankets.
  • Lounge in sweatpants.
  • Brew pumpkin spice coffee.
  • Bake and eat pumpkin bread (Trader Joe’s sells the best box mix).
  • Burn fall-scented candles.
  • Decorate the house and porch for fall.
  • Start putting together my Thanksgiving menu.
  • Shop for Halloween candy.
  • Open windows in the house to bring in the cool breeze (done a few weeks ago)
  • Change out bed linens to fall blankets and pillows.
  • Visit a pumpkin farm (did this last weekend in Granbury.  Picked fresh from the vine at Arison Farm)
  • Go on a hayride (ditto)
  • Carve a pumpkin.
  • Eat pumpkin seeds (Trader Joe’s is supposed to have whatelse — pumpkin spice pumpkin seeds).
  • Make pumpkin pie (or any kind of pie for that matter).
  • Watch countdown to Christmas on the Hallmark Channel.
  • Start listening to Christmas music on November 1.  Don’t be shocked.  I have done this for about 20 years and it makes me happy.
  • Use my crock pot more to make soups.
  • Bake cookies — of all kinds.  I am an equal opportunity cookie maker and eater.
  • Wear my houseshoes.
  • Make breakfast for dinner while the fireplace is going (reminds me of my childhood for some reason).
  • Watch the movie Halloween.
Lily and Val

That’s it for now.  But, we’re not done!  You have to comment what your “must” is for fall.  It’s not fair if I told you and you don’t share.  I love to read your comments!  And it might inspire me to try something new. Happy fall y’all!

Whimsical Appetizers for Easter

My little Easter bunny niece is coming for the weekend and I’m picking out fun appetizers for the adults to enjoy during her egg hunt.  Now that Miss Bee is a teenager, I’m looking forward to pulling together ideas for a little one.

First are these cute, devilish chicks.  They are a twist on a deviled egg. The eyes are capers and the beaks are nibs of carrots.  How cute!  If you are needing to take a dish to an Easter gathering, you will long be remembered for these peeps.

Next, how delightful a platter of Tomato Tulips would be.  Just quarter grape tomatoes almost all the way through, then use a toothpick to attach each to a trimmed whole green onion. Fill a plastic bag with garlic-herb cheese; snip a corner and pipe into buds.

 

 

 

And, I think Miss Amelia would love to wake up on Saturday morning to a plate of Easter Bunny pancakes.  Only 3-ingredients go into these hotcakes — a banana, self-rising flour, and eggs.

All of these recipes were inspired from the latest issue of Good Houskeeping and are pinned to my Appetizer Pinterest board.

Just a Minute Centerpiece

I have an easy Valentine’s Day centerpiece to share.  You could do this for any occasion by changing up the colors of the flowers.

What you’ll need:

Carnations — I love Carnations and I think they get a bad rap.  They are fragrant, inexpensive and can go a long time without water which is perfect for this centerpiece project.  I bought three bunches at $3.99 each from Central Market.

Red Hots — I bought several scoops from the bulk bin at Central Market, or you could buy a large bag in the candy aisle.

Ice Cream Sugar Cones — I used nine cones which was one box.

Glass Cylinders or Vases – You can find these anywhere.  I just used ones I had in my vase stash.

I cut the carnation stems short enough to fit in the ice cream cone so the bottom petals of the carnation set just around the rim of the cone.  I put all one color in each cone.  As it worked out, I had enough to make three cones for each of the colors.  A rule of thumb, tablescapes always looks better in odd numbers — in this case three vases, three cones per vase.

I filled the bottom of each cylinder with red hots.  You don’t need to measure, just pour enough in each vase so it looks even.  Then, nestle the cones down into the vase.  That’s it!

The carnations went without water for 24 hours, and I put them into water the next day.  They are still fresh a week a later.

I styled the vases on top of cake pedestals I found last year in the dollar section of Target along with sweets we had.  My milk glass collection is always a perfect backdrop for the yummy treats from McKinley’s Bakery. The cute little chalkboard menus are from the Container Store.

These centerpieces would be so cute lined up on an ice cream sundae bar for July 4th, a baby “gender” reveal party or birthday!  If you put love into it, everything turns out amazing!

14 Gift Ideas for Valentine’s Day

Fellas, if you happen to read my blog (hopefully on your own or because your gal says “oh, this? Mrs. Twist told me about it.”) I am sharing some deliciousness to make you look like a King gifting the Queen on Valentine’s Day.  Fourteen ideas…

One:  Sur la Table Cooking Class. She can pick her own class — maybe for a GNO, or baking, or perhaps she will book a couple’s night out class with you!

 

Two:  A limited edition Le Creuset pink heart shaped Dutch oven.  A splurge, but what a way to show her you love her not only on Valentine’s Day, but also when she makes Aunt Helen’s pot roast!

Three:  This is an easy one — Trader Joe’s Chocolate heart-shaped cookies.  They are a shortbread cookie dipped in chocolate and covered in sprinkles.  I took one of my Ikea jars (from this post) and filled it with a box of these cookies.  Such a pretty, inexpensive gift.  Add a gift card to Starbucks and it will be a perfect girlfriend gift.

 

Four:  Hurley House Cupid Corn. Katherine posted this beautiful pic on Instagram today and I knew it would be perfect for my list.  “Candy covered popcorn with sprinkles, packaged in a sweet single-served box.”  Call (817) 349-8934 to place an order for everyone in your office!

 

Five:  Mix Tape.  Kickin’ it old school.  If you have no clue what a “mix tape” is you are probably too young to be interested in Mrs. Twist.  Popular in the 80s and 90s before you could easily download music, you’d make a mix tape (i.e. the dinosaur cassette tape — or as Mother used to refer as Kay-sette) to give to someone you were crushing on.  But, now you could put it on a thumb drive.  Load it with classic love songs and you are good as gold.

Six:  Fizzing Bath Bombs from Whole Foods.  I love to go to their beauty aisle, it smells amazing. Lidded jars full of bath bombs and salts.  They come in six amazing scents — my favorites are Rose Petal and Muscle Soak. And you can package them in cute brown paper sacks.

Seven:  Microwave Popcorn Maker from Uncommon Goods. This little teapot shaped popcorn maker has a port in the top for a pat of butter to melt right onto your corn!  Combine with a good bottle of wine and a Redbox movie and you have a fun date night.

 

 

Eight:  Bird Feeder.  It’s that time of year when birds will need access to food because winter has arrived and soon springtime will mean nesting. This adorable birdfeeder how-to video would be a fun project to do with the kids.  Don’t want to make one, Wild Bird Center has a wide variety of feeders and seed to get her started with bird watching.

Nine:  Diffuser with Essential Oils.  I have practically one diffuser for every room in the house and I take one with me when I travel.  There are all sorts of oils available out there.   I prefer Young Living Essential Oils.  They are a bit more expensive, but they are pharmaceutical grade and the company really does set the highest standard possible with their Seed to Seal promise.

My favorite relaxing scents are lavender and jasmine.  I love Purification and Thieves, but that doesn’t really say “Happy Valentine’s Day” to me.

Ten: Sees Candy.  This “BigAss Elegant Heart.”  I mean I would fly to the moon if Mr. Bee gave me this.

Hello, lover.  I can do serious damage to my hips on this one, but I don’t care.

Eleven:  Professional Organizer Services.  I know this isn’t really romantic, but maybe after you present her with the BigASS Elegant Heart candy box you could say something heartfelt like “I thought it would be nice for you to have someone help you organize the pantry like you’ve been talking about doing.”  Men don’t get how organizing makes a woman’s heart sing.   My friend, Elizabeth, gets it done.  She’s helped me transform most every room in my nest.

Twelve:  Fun house slippers with a pedicure gift card tucked inside. If I could click around the house in these, I might never leave.  I mean one can never have too many mink, turquoise lucite slippers.

 

Thirteen:  Farmgirl Flowers.  They ship nationwide and only use locally sourced farms, not greenhouses, to create a unique bouquet.  Their signature burlap, hand-tied wrapped posies look hand-picked from the garden. Use code SWEETS for 10% off your order.

Fourteen:  Jesus Calling.  I saved the best for last.  Mother had a copy of this book in her room when I was going through her things after she died.  Mother attended church all her life, but I honestly didn’t know she was as faithful to God until after her death.  It’s something I regret not sharing with her.

This beautiful daily devotional lays out words and scripture that Jesus laid on Sarah Young’s heart. It’s no accident when you read your daily passage, that you will say to yourself, “How did He know I was feeling this way today?”  Ask someone who owns a copy of Jesus Calling and they will tell you the same thing.  Since Valentine’s Day is a day of love — why not give her a gift that she can use every single day from the person who loves her the most (behind you, of course).

So, there you are.  Now, go forth and get it done.  You have two weeks and no excuses.  Mrs. Twist saves the day.