Breads and Muffins

This past week Cathy and I hosted another one of our Start Simply Cooking Classes. It was an event to honor Lifegiving women!

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For this event we hosted a brunch. I LOVE brunch. I get hungry right around 10:30 in the morning so brunch is the perfect meal of choice for me.

Have you considered hosted a brunch for your friends?

Not only do people love brunch but it is generally a lot more affordable then hosting a dinner.

I have always loved Cinnamon Rolls with good coffee and fresh cream. I am confident it’s because growing up my amazing Mama made them for us every Saturday night for Sunday morning. Talk about love and memory lane!

We took this semi homemade recipe and made three different presentations of cinnamon rolls.

One being the original way I make them, another the way my Mama made them and then the last an idea I got off of Pinterest. (LOVE Pinterest almost as much as Cinnamon Rolls! You too?)

Pair this with Fresh fruit and Lemon Whip (soon to post) and a great egg bake and you have a wonderful brunch.

Old Fashioned Cinnamon Rolls Three Ways

Ingredients: 

1 loaf Rhodes™ Bread Dough, thawed and risen
6 tablespoons butter melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins or can raisins for chopped apple

Icing:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract

 Directions:

 Roll dough into a 10×12-inch rectangle. Brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon and raisins. Add fruit. Starting on short side, roll dough up. Cut crosswise into 4 slices. Place slices in an 8-inch square sprayed baking pan. Cover rolls with sprayed plastic wrap. Let rise until double in size. Remove wrap and bake at 350°F 15-20 minutes. Remove from pan and ice while still warm. Icing: Combine powdered sugar, milk, butter and vanilla.

 

 My presentation!

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My Mama’s presentation!

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And the easiest of all was a discovery on Pinterest!! (Visual directions below)

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I also loved this idea! Gifts for the women. Isn’t this simple but amazing? Lifegiving women.
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Find these and 80 other amazing recipes in our new Cookbook: Start Simply Cooking! Hospitality is not about perfection and impressing but rather comfort and care. It is a message we give others about their value.

Now available for only $15.00

A perfect gift for the Foodie in your life!

ORDER HERE :  http://tammymaltby.com/start-simply-cooking/

Simply Cooking Cookbook-page-001

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When I speak on hospitality I always joke with women that I put a Costco Lasagna in my own pan and called it “home baked”! This is another one of my delicious “Homemade”recipes.

“Homemade ” Christmas Morning Cinnamon Rolls!

 

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PERFECT for Christmas Morning. I make them Christmas Eve day and put them in the refrigerator and forget about them until Christmas morning. They rise beautifully overnight and the fragrance of fresh baked cinnamon rolls Christmas morning is unmatched! I serve it with my hot fruit compote (which I will post) and the best seriously, breakfast egg dish (which I will also post this week).

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Here we are starting the process with soft dough.

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My dear cooking pal Cathy Gries adding the sugar and cinnamon. I like to add nutmeg to mine as well. Then add the fruit and we are now starting the rolling of the bread!

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Starting to cut the rolls to make into a beautiful wreath.

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Turning the segments carefully. And adding the frosting and green and red candies.

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And need I say DIVINE!

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Photography byhttp://www.aetherialphotography.com/gallery/index.php?do=photocart&viewGallery=10299

In a very busy season of so many demands remember WHY you do WHAT you do.

Hospitality is giving others a message about their value. We have a very hospitable God. Look what He gave us!

Merry Christmas friends!

“Homemade” Christmas Morning Cinnamon Rolls

from frozen bread dough, makes 6 large rolls

2 loaves of frozen bread dough, thawed (it comes 3 to a bag)
1 stick  butter, softened
1 cup of brown sugar
4 tablespoons of cinnamon
1 chopped apple or cranraisin
1/3 cup of sugar
butter icing glaze (recipe below)

Thaw two loaves of frozen bread dough in the refrigerator or on the counter (there are directions for thawing on the bag).  Allow the thaw dough to rise for 1-2 hours in a warm area covered with a damp cloth.  Roll the dough out into a rectangle onto a floured surface.  Spread softened butter on the rolled out dough.  Sprinkle sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon over the dough.  Add apples and cranraisins. Roll up the dough into a log. Place into a buttered pan.  Attach log at each end to look like a circle. Cut slits in bread 2 inches apart Be careful not to cut all the way though. Twist the segments on their sides. Shape again to look like a round circle. Use your hands to get the right look.   Cover with a warm damp towel and allow to rise 2-4 hours (or overnight) in a warm area.  When the rolls have doubled in size, bake them at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes until they begin to brown.  Top with Butter Icing Glaze and green and red candies.

 Butter Icing Glaze

for cinnamon rolls

2 tablespoons of butter

2 tablespoons of milk

powdered sugar

Melt butter with milk in the microwave for 30 seconds.  Add powdered sugar until the glaze is the right consistency – it should pour, but not be runny.  The heat from the cinnamon rolls will help the glaze to melt over them easily.  

 

This recipe and more are from my cookbook  The Christmas Kitchen! Order yours today or for the foodie in your life here on my web

 I will personally sign your books. Also join me on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/startsimplycooking to find out more about my upcoming cooking classes.

The Heart of the Home 

Even in today’s busy times, the kitchen is the heart of the home. Author Tammy Maltby believes the true meaning of Christmas is realized when families gather to share activities that make Christmas “the most wonderful time of the year.” More than any other holiday, Christmas is when family and friends gather for a cup of hot chocolate, fresh-baked cookies, and lots of laughter.

Look inside this holiday treasure for:

– Easy-to-do holiday recipes

– Hints for new traditions

– Personal gift ideas

– Kid-friendly activities

– Simple decorating tips

The Christmas Kitchen is more than a recipe book, it’s a book designed to help you enjoy the holiday season, not be burdened by it. Take a few minutes each day to browse these pages for the help you’ve been looking for.

Merry Christmas and may your kitchen be filled, first, with the sweet aroma of love, and then with the spices of the season.

 

Photography by Beverly Bender http://www.beverlybenderphotography.com

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“To be a good host don’t pretend to be other than what you are.” Emily Post 1922

I would say that would be true of being a guest as well.

I think one of the most important parts of hospitality is learning to find your own style and feeling good in your own skin both as a host and as a guest. Learning to walk out lifegiving with comfort and care. Making room for yourself and others to just be.

No pretending. No performing.

Isn’t that what we all want anyway? A place we can go and just be our true authentic selves? No matter what the season.

I was talking to a friend this week who shared how difficult Christmas was for her last year. Her family has experienced a tragic loss and there was only energy to get though each day. She was feeling stress thinking she needed to get her act together but truthfully didn’t have any desire to put up a tree or wrap one gift. She said, “I still just need time. I feel like a foreigner to this season and what I really crave is comfort and quiet. A few close friends who get it and can handle my pain. A few friends that I can share a meal with and feel okay about both laughing…and crying. I just need to be.”

Lifegiving Hospitality is just that. “Lifegiving”…giving true life. For yourself or someone that sits at your table.

This season I encourage you to make room for yourself and others to be their true authentic selves.

In my opinion it is the best gift of all.

A Christmas Tea for Friends

 

Start simply.  But simply start. Remember hospitality is giving others a message about their value. So sometimes just a great sandwich filling for an afternoon tea is just about the most comforting thing around.  Finger sandwiches are classic fare—and these fillings are to die for! You will love the hot tea recipe. And your home will smell simply divine!

Salmon and Lemon-Caper Cream Sandwiches

½ cup mayonnaise

1 Tbsp. drained capers

½ tsp. finely shredded lemon

½ tsp. Dijon mustard

1/8 tsp. white pepper

Butter or mayonnaise

32 slices bread (your choice)

Curly endive or lettuce leaves

8 ounces thinly sliced smoked salmon (lox) or smoked turkey

In a small mixing bowl, stir together first 5 ingredients. Spread 32 slices of bread with butter or mayonnaise. Top 16 slices with greens and divide salmon or turkey on lettuce. Top with 1 tsp. mayonnaise mixture per sandwich and finish sandwich with remaining bread slices. If desired, garnish with fresh dill. Serve at once. Makes 1/3 cup dressing, or 16 servings.

Curried Chicken-Cashew Sandwiches

 

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Here’s another amazing tea sandwich that’s great for luncheon as well.

½ cup plain yogurt

2 Tbsp. soft-style cream cheese (from a tub)

2 Tbsp. snipped chives or thinly sliced green onion

1 tsp. curry powder

¼ tsp. salt

1½ cups (8 ounces) cooked chicken or turkey, finely chopped

¼ cup cashews (or almonds), finely chopped

Butter or mayonnaise

24 slices bread (your choice)

Curly endive or lettuce

In a bowl, stir together first 5 ingredients, then add chicken and cashews and blend thoroughly. Spread 24 slices of bread with butter or mayonnaise. Top 12 slices with greens and 2 Tbsp. chicken mixture. Top with snipped chives or thinly sliced green onion and cover with remaining bread slices. Makes 1½ cups filling, or 12 servings.

Simple Tip

Use the bread of your choice to make tea sandwiches—regular white or wheat, pumpernickel or rye party slices, tiny croissants, or miniature bagels. If your bread has crusts, cut them off before filling. (You can stack 6 slices of bread at a time to cut off crusts.) Always spread bread slices thinly with butter or mayonnaise to keep the bread from becoming soggy.

Simple Tip

The best tea sandwiches are practically bite-sized. Use a serrated knife to cut large sandwiches into triangles or small squares. Or try cutting out simple shapes with a Christmas cookie cutter! If you do this after the sandwiches are filled, the cutter will seal the edges and help keep the filling from leaking out.

Simply Beautiful Tip

Hold sandwiches together with toothpicks stuck through a sprig of herbs or a slice of green stuffed olive—or sprinkle top of sandwich with chopped basil or dill. Arrange on a pretty platter topped with a paper doily.

Simple Tip

For a very simple, delicious, and beautiful tea sandwich, spread thin slices of your favorite fruit-nut bread with flavored cream-cheese spread from a bagel shop.

Christmas Tea

 

Sweet with a hint of spice – Great for parties, easy to make in large batches

  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 to 12 whole allspice
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 12 cups water
  • 12 individual tea bags
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup cranberry juice
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

Directions

  • Place cinnamon sticks, allspice and cloves on a double thickness of cheesecloth. Bring up corners of cloth; tie with a string to form a bag.
  • Place water and spice bag in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from the heat. Add tea bags; cover and steep for 5 minutes. Discard tea bags and spice bag. Stir in brown sugar until dissolved. Add juices; heat through. Serve warm. Yield: 3 quarts.

Russian Tea

 

I triple the recipe and add a 9.5 oz bag EACH of red hot candies and lemonheads into the mix-after mixing the rest of the ingredients. Then using a canning funnel, I pack the mix into 1/2 pint, pint and quart jars.  Try layering it is beautiful and makes a wonderful Christmas gift!

  • 3 cups instant tea with lemon-flavoring dry mix
  • 3 cups orange-flavored drink mix (e.g. Tang)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves

The Christmas Kitchen Pinery 2

From The Christmas Kitchen a gathering place for making memories:

by Tammy Maltby with Anne Christian Buchanan. All rights reserved.

Purchase The Christmas Kitchen at http://tammymaltby.com/the-christmas-kitchen for more wonderful holiday favorites!

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What are you giving your close friends this Christmas?

You could spend many hours—and a lot of money—shopping for just the right item for each friend and wrapping it with care.

But if you’re like me, your holidays are usually so crammed that it’s not going to happen. You’re busy. Your friends are busy. Funds are tight, and time is even tighter. And despite your best intentions, despite your love for each other, there simply aren’t enough hours to do justice to each special relationship.

But here’s another possibility: why not invite all your special friends to a lovely, intimate Christmas gathering . . . and make this time together your gift to them? For years that’s been one of my favorite things to do during the holidays.

Usually ours is a daytime gathering—a sumptuous morning brunch, a delectable afternoon tea, a light lunch, even a simple coffee klatch. Many of my friends work outside the home, so I try to schedule our get-together for a Saturday or Sunday. I do everything I can to make it a warm, relaxed, affirming, and delicious time. . . an oasis of loveliness in the midst of all the Christmas chaos.

My friends love it!

I always take time to go around the circle and intentionally affirm each woman, telling the whole group what she means to me, what I appreciate about her, why I’m grateful to have her in my life.

You should see my friends’ faces when I do that . . . even when they’ve been to one of my gatherings before. No material gift could be more personal, more appreciated. Every woman I know longs to be told—from the heart—that she is loved.

And then, after a few delicious hours together, it’s time to go. As each friend leaves, I’ll give her another hug and a little gift—perhaps an ornament, a small potted herb, or a Christmas CD. Then we return to our hectic holiday lives.

For the rest of the day, I can’t help smiling.

Try it. You’ll smile too!

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If your gathering takes the form of an afternoon tea, finger sandwiches are classic fare—and this filling is to die for!

Salmon and Lemon-Caper Cream Sandwiches

½ cup mayonnaise

1 Tbsp. drained capers

½ tsp. finely shredded lemon peel

½ tsp. Dijon mustard

1/8 tsp. white pepper

Butter or mayonnaise

32 slices bread (your choice)

Curly endive or lettuce leaves

8 ounces thinly sliced smoked salmon (lox) or smoked turkey

In a small mixing bowl, stir together first 5 ingredients. Spread 32 slices of bread with butter or mayonnaise. Top 16 slices with greens and divide salmon or turkey on lettuce. Top with 1 tsp. mayonnaise mixture per sandwich and finish sandwich with remaining bread slices. If desired, garnish with fresh dill. Serve at once. Makes 1/3 cup dressing, or 16 servings.

Curried Chicken-Cashew Sandwiches

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-EV8n21reBEQ/TZwaksVM69I/AAAAAAAACbE/TA_eDx48i5w/s1600/Curried-Chicken-Tea-Sandwiches.jpg

Here’s another amazing tea sandwich that’s great for luncheon as well.

½ cup plain yogurt

2 Tbsp. soft-style cream cheese (from a tub)

2 Tbsp. snipped chives or thinly sliced green onion

1 tsp. curry powder

¼ tsp. salt

1½ cups (8 ounces) cooked chicken or turkey, finely chopped

¼ cup cashews (or almonds), finely chopped

Butter or mayonnaise

24 slices bread (your choice)

Curly endive or lettuce

In a bowl, stir together first 5 ingredients, then add chicken and cashews and blend thoroughly. Spread 24 slices of bread with butter or mayonnaise. Top 12 slices with greens and 2 Tbsp. chicken mixture. Top with snipped chives or thinly sliced green onion and cover with remaining bread slices. Makes 1½ cups filling, or 12 servings.

Simple Tip

Use the bread of your choice to make tea sandwiches—regular white or wheat, pumpernickel or rye party slices, tiny croissants, or miniature bagels. If your bread has crusts, cut them off before filling. (You can stack 6 slices of bread at a time to cut off crusts.) Always spread bread slices thinly with butter or mayonnaise to keep the bread from becoming soggy.

Simple Tip

The best tea sandwiches are practically bite-sized. Use a serrated knife to cut large sandwiches into triangles or small squares. Or try cutting out simple shapes with a Christmas cookie cutter! If you do this after the sandwiches are filled, the cutter will seal the edges and help keep the filling from leaking out.

Simply Beautiful Tip

Hold sandwiches together with toothpicks stuck through a sprig of herbs or a slice of green stuffed olive—or sprinkle top of sandwich with chopped basil or dill. Arrange on a pretty platter topped with a paper doily.

Simple Tip

For a very simple, delicious, and beautiful tea sandwich, spread thin slices of your favorite fruit-nut bread with flavored cream-cheese spread from a bagel shop.

The Christmas Kitchen Pinery 2

From The Christmas Kitchen a gathering place for making memories:

by Tammy Maltby with Anne Christian Buchanan. All rights reserved. This holiday season contact Tammy at Tammymaltby@gmail.com or facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tammy-Maltby/183239621709608 to order personally signed copies of The Christmas Kitchen for yourself and those you love.

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A Holiday House-Raising

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Gingerbread Houses and

Gingerbread on the Side!

This is a beloved activity in our house. Every Thanksgiving evening, we gather to make these fun gingerbread houses. Because I typically have a large crowd over for Thanksgiving, we like to divide into family teams (one family per house), but you could do this any way you want. If you’re a small group, why not build a large house together? For each house you’ll need the following:

A ready-baked gingerbread house kit (from a hobby or cooking store, or order online)

A base—I usually use a piece of heavy cardboard covered with foil

Hot glue gun and glue sticks

Icing “cement” to attach decorations (recipe below)

An assortment of candy, cookies, and other items for decoration (suggestions below)

Friends and family to make the house!

Icing Cement for Gingerbread Houses

This kind of icing, also called royal icing, dries hard and is perfect for attaching decorations to gingerbread houses. Use this recipe, or purchase a can of dried egg whites and follow the recipe on the label for royal icing. (If you plan to eat the icing, definitely use the powdered egg whites.)  Either way, plan to make extra batches. Keep the icing covered with a moist towel when not in use. And keep extra ingredients on hand to make more—we always run out!

2 large egg whites

1/8 tsp. cream of tartar

2 tsp. water

3 cups sifted powdered sugar

With a mixer, beat egg whites, cream of tartar, and water until frothy. Blend in sugar on high speed until stiff, 5 to 10 minutes. Use immediately or cover and use within 8 hours. Makes about 1½ cups.

Decoration Ideas for Gingerbread Houses

This is the fun part. Use your imagination and set out a variety of goodies to decorate the houses. The list below is just a start!

•         Candy: gumdrops; chocolate bars and kisses; peppermint sticks, canes, and rounds; licorice; cinnamon candies, candy wafers; caramel squares and rolls (such as Tootsie Rolls); jelly beans; hard candies; breath mints, Gummi candies

•         Marshmallows: white and colored, marshmallow snowmen and Santas

•         Chewing gum: small squares, colored and striped strips

•         Fruit leather and candied fruits

•         Cookies and crackers: vanilla and chocolate wafers, graham crackers, cookie shapes

•         Cereal: miniature shredded-wheat biscuits, plain and frosted; square checkerboard cereal (such as Chex); round oat cereal (such as Cheerios)

•         Pretzels

•         Ice-cream cones

•         Raisins, cranberries, nuts (especially sliced almonds)

•         Spices: cinnamon sticks, allspice, whole cloves, whole nutmeg

•         Cake decorations: gel icing in tubes, sprinkles, nonpareils, powdered sugar

Gingerbread on the Side

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This is the best gingerbread—a variation on a recipe given to me by a dear friend in Dallas named Susan Lovvorn. It practically melts in your mouth, and it makes a wonderful gift. You can make it as muffins, mini loaves, or big loaves. But any way you bake it, it won’t last long.

1½ cups light brown sugar

1–1½ cups white sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

4 large eggs

2/3 cup water or apple cider

1 16-ounce can pumpkin or 2 cups fresh pumpkin puree

3½ cups flour

2 tsp. baking soda

1½ tsp salt

½ tsp. baking powder

3 tsp. ground ginger

1½ tsp. allspice

1½ tsp. cinnamon 

1½ tsp. cloves

½ tsp. nutmeg

Preheat oven to 325º. Grease well 2 5×9-inch bread pans, 2 muffin tins, or 6 miniature loaf pans. In a medium bowl, beat sugar, oil, and eggs until smooth. Add cider and beat until well blended. Beat in pumpkin. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and spices. Add pumpkin mixture and stir just until incorporated. Pour batter into pans and bake 70 minutes for loaves, 25 minutes for muffins, or 45 minutes for mini-loaves. (The gingerbread is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.) Serve warm with whipped cream, top with cream-cheese frosting (recipe below), or simply sprinkle with a little powdered sugar. Serves 12.

Simple Variation

Add golden raisins, dried cranberries, chopped pecans, chocolate chips, or cinnamon chips.

Simple, Healthier Variation

Replace oil with unsweetened applesauce and sweeten with “bake-able” artificial sweetener (such as Splenda). Still tastes great!

Easy Cream-Cheese Frosting

This recipe will frost 24 muffins, 2 loaves, or a 13x9x2-inch cake. Double the recipe to frost an 8- or 9-inch layer cake.

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

½ cup butter (no substitutes!), softened

2–3 tsp. vanilla or almond extract

6–6¼ cups powdered sugar, sifted

Optional: 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (delicious for gingerbread frosting) or ½ cup unsweetened cocoa (for chocolate cream-cheese frosting)

Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add 1 cup of the powdered sugar, beating well. Continue to beat in powdered sugar to reach spreading consistency. To make chocolate cream-cheese frosting, prepare as above, but beat cocoa powder into cream-cheese mixture and reduce powdered sugar to 5¼–6 cups. Makes about 2 cups of frosting.

Simple Hint

I freeze this frosting if I have extra. It keeps its texture and spreads beautifully when thawed.

From The Christmas Kitchen a gathering place for making memories by Tammy Maltby and Anne Christian Buchanan. All rights reserved. This holiday season contact Tammy at Tammymaltby@gmail.com or facebook to order personally signed copies of The Christmas Kitchen for yourself and those you love.

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