10 October 2020

Zachary's Favorite Rolls

These rolls are well loved by the whole family, but I needed a title for the post, so I named these rolls after Zachary, whose love of them first impressed me to try to make more.

You need: white flour (about 6 cups), sugar (1/4 cup), yeast, oil, water, and salt. 

This arose from a sourdough process, but I haven't been loyal to my sourdough starters, so this first step simulates the starter which I haven't been making. If you have starter already, this first step would simply be to feed the starter, take some of your starter, and add the sugar to it.

Step One: Proofing/Starting the yeast: 

1/2 C flour

1/2 C warm water

1/4 C sugar

1/2 t yeast

Mix and let rest (covered with a plate or lid) between 15 min and 3 hours.  (Whatever time you want.)

Step Two: Making the dough

Add to the "starter": 

4 2/3 C flour (have about 1/2 C more on hand)

1 1/2 C water

1/8 C oil  (Any oil should be fine. I use olive oil.)

Mix/knead by hand.  Knead more if you prefer a firmer roll or less if you prefer a softer roll. Add more flour if needed. In first photo, it's just a little too wet and won't form a single ball.  That was at the 4 2/3 C stage.  I added about 1/3 C more flour until it changed texture slightly and naturally made a ball.

Once it makes a ball, spray oil all over the inside of the bowl and on the surface of your ball of dough.  Cover with lid/plate, and if needed, add a towel on top of that.
Then, set that whole thing aside, ignoring it for a long time, probably at least 3 hours or more.  You can let it sit overnight if you want fresh rolls in the morning. It's possible to leave it too long, but unlikely. 

Step Three: Forming the rolls

 (Preheat oven to 400 F when you start this step.)

When you retrieve your dough, it should have expanded quite a bit. Subdivide the dough into 24-26 single rolls on two cookie sheets.  At first, just make them fairly equal.  Then, we'll shape them a bit.  Take each ball, one at a time, and shape with your two hands, as if you are blowing a bubble with bubble gum.  Make a circle with one hand (simulating your lips/teeth), and with your other hand, push the dough through gently (simulating your tongue). With the first hand, pinch the "bubble"  to seal the bottom.

Spray each ball of dough generously with oil, and salt them.  Remember, there is no other salt in these, so be generous.  Think of these rolls as a bit of a cross between a doughnut and a pretzel.

Step Four: Baking!

Place rolls in oven at 400F for 10 minutes, then switch top/bottom and
bake another 10 minutes.  Then you should see and smell them!  If you want them darker, leave them in longer.  Just don't leave them in for too long!

17 November 2019

Mole Enchiladas

I don't even know if these are enchiladas, and this isn't quite a recipe but...

The filling was: Hard tofu (from that Philly company), one onion, fried, some peas, some spinach, and some corn.  That was fried together in olive oil (really the veggies were dumped in near the end) with salt and pepper.  I added some white fake cheese shreds from Follow Your Heart. I think it was the pizza blend?

Those were rolled into tortillas and placed in the bake pans after oil-spraying the glass bake pans.

Then, I took 2 jars of Costco tomato sauce with half a jar of Mole sauce (Donya Maria brand, glass jar with yellow lid) and mixed them. I first warmed up the Mole so it would mix. I used my hands to mush it together.  I put that over the "enchiladas".  Then I realized there was not enough liquid, so I opened 2 (or maybe 3?) cans of coconut milk and poured it in along the sides of the glass pans until the liquid was at least halfway up the enchiladas. I sprinkled the yellow fake cheese (the brand from Greece I think) on top of that, just a little bit.

I baked that until it was bubbly.  Probably 350F or 375F?

10 March 2019

Buttercream Frosting

Zachary wants me to blog this as well from Betty Crocker, but this one we did adjust it.  Zachary used Country Crock instead of butter and once used almond extract instead of vanilla. It takes color well!


3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup Country Crock- just from the fridge is fine.
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla or other flavoring
optional: coloring


1 In medium bowl, mix powdered sugar and butter with spoon or electric mixer on low speed. Stir in vanilla and 1 tablespoon of the milk.

2 Gradually beat in just enough remaining milk to make frosting smooth and spreadable. If frosting is too thick, beat in more milk, a few drops at a time. If frosting becomes too thin, beat in a small amount of powdered sugar. Frosts 13x9-inch cake generously, or fills and frosts an 8- or 9-inch two-layer cake.

Zachary's Vegan Chocolate Cookies

This is actually from Loving It Vegan but if it disappeared from her site, we'd be devastated, so we are recopying it here for safe-keeping.

Vegan Chocolate Cookies:
  • 1/2 cup (112g) Vegan Butter
  • 1/2 cup (100g) White Sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup (125g) All Purpose Flour
  • 2/3 cup (56g) Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Soy Milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 3.5 oz (100g) Vegan Dark Chocolate + more for topping (chopped into small chunks)*

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Add the vegan butter and brown and white sugar to an electric mixing bowl and cream together. Add the vanilla and mix in.
  3. Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a mixing bowl and mix in the baking soda and salt.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing in by hand until crumbly.
  5. Add the 1 Tbsp soy milk or other non-dairy milk and mix into a thick cookie dough.
  6. Add the chocolate chunks and mix in. Your cookie dough will be very thick, but sticky enough to easily roll into balls.
  7. Roll into small balls and space evenly on a parchment lined baking tray.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes. The edges will be firm but the cookies will still be soft in the middle. This is fine, they will firm up as they cool.
  9. Press in a few more chocolate chunks to the top of the cookies as they come out of the oven if you like (optional).

11 December 2018

Festive Noodles

This is to remind me as best I can - what I made for the Holiday Party yesterday in the Math/Stat department.  Jun Lu liked it so I wanted to write this down.

I roasted the walnuts in the oven and roasted some Hemp Hearts on the stovetop. (Hemp Hearts is a legal safe food product and has nutritional value and has no THC in it! They taste and look a lot like sesame seeds.) I used all the Golden Curry pack and most of a large "Thin Spaghetti" pack.  I used way more oil than probably I should have.  At that point, it was acceptable but it seemed to be missing something.  I added the cranberries for a little extra color and flavor, but the base flavor needed something. So, I added this soy sauce, some of this "Grandma Spice" (chili oil) and also some "Bakon" yeast, which I got at Amazon. The curry and "Grandma Spice" are from H Mart.  I think the Hemp Hearts are from the co-op. That's about as much as I can recall. I don't think I added salt or pepper.  (Accidentally, there is pepper in the photo as well as a lemon which was on my counter, but they were not in the noodles.)

27 May 2018

Mint Lemon-Limeade

1/8 cup of chopped fresh mint
6 cups of water (less if you want ice)
1/2 cup of lemon juice
1/2 cup of lime juice
1 to 1 1/2 cups of sugar

1.   Put all ingredients into big jug
2.   Stir
3.   Refrigerate


18 February 2018

Vegan French Toast

The new neighbors brought over some "country bread" that just looked like it ought to be made into French Toast.  So here is my try:

1c oats
1c flour
1T baking powder
3T sugar

Then I added several cups of cashew milk and water.
There was slightly more milk than water. By the time I added
the liquid, the blender was 3/4 full or fuller.

I added cinnamon and some oil and a little salt to the mix.

This seems to be working.  It covers more bread than I expected. Probably 1 1/2 to 2 loaves easily. The bread soaks up the liquid faster, so you may need to add a little liquid to the batter as you go, maybe halfway through.