Blueberry Sweet Rolls

I adore bread — whether it’s a honey wheat loaf, garlic breadsticks or doughnuts. But even in the bread category, I have my favorites – and sweet rolls definitely top the list. These blueberry rolls are mildly sweet without being overpowering. Soft and delicious, they satisfy my need for comfort food every time! –Mellyn

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Vanilla Cookies with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

I love sugar cookies, but I don’t always have the time to make them or the inclination to clean up the kitchen afterwards. These pretty, little cookies solve both problems — they’re fast to make and since they’re scooped, not rolled, they make less mess! –Mellyn Continue reading

Nutty Granola

Adapted from a recipe by Julia L.

Oatmeal is so nutritious and good for you at breakfast time, but some days I just crave cold cereal –that’s when it’s granola to the rescue! Over the last few years, we’ve dramatically cut back on cold cereal, replacing it in large part with…drum roll, please…granola. We have 2 favorite flavors. This first one is similar to what my mom used to make when I was a kid and has a nutty, coconut-y flavor.–Mellyn

Topped with dried blueberries, this granola is tasty and nutritious!

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Bran Muffins

From Julie L.

These are some of my all-time favorite muffins! I like to double or even triple the batter. It’ll keep for several days in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Don’t stir it after storing –just pour and use. We like them for breakfast with butter and jam or as a side with corn chowder for dinner. The kids also eat them for snacks. Good eats! –Mellyn  Continue reading

My Favorite Muffins

Jams, jellies and preserves — I like them all! I especially like their versatility. This week I’ll share with you some of our favorite main dishes that sport jam as a main ingredient, along with some of our comfort-food favorites! –Mellyn

From Grace B.

When I was engaged, some friends threw a “Kitchen” Shower for me. Each person who came, brought an item to use in the kitchen, along with a favorite recipe. These recipes have been among my favorites over the years. Tried and true, they helped make my first attempts in the kitchen successful. My family loves Grace’s favorite muffins, and they’re just as good for dinner as they are for breakfast! Grace says you can make these muffins plain or hide jam in the middle for a sweet surprise. I often leave the jam on top because it looks so pretty…and because I’m lazy! Thanks for sharing your favorite muffins, Grace! –Mellyn

Yield: 12 muffins

  • 2 tablespoons egg powder or 1 fresh egg
  • 3 tablespoons water — omit if using fresh eggs
  • 1/2 cup water — If using fresh milk, omit and use 1/2 cup milk instead
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons nonfat dry milk powder –omit if using fresh milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6-12 teaspoons jelly or jam
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Prepare 12 medium muffin cups.
  3. Whisk egg powder into water or beat egg; stir in remaining liquid ingredients.
  4. Mix in dry ingredients just until flour is moistened. Batter should be lumpy.
  5. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full.
  6. Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from pan.
  7. For surprise muffins, drop 1 teaspoon of jelly or jam into each one before baking! (I use about 1/2 teaspoon.)

 

 

Pizza Pockets

For years I used a different dough for my pizza pockets. It called for shortening, eggs and a double rise. When my oldest daughter began cooking, she started substituting this french bread for our usual pizza dough. Not only is it more food storage friendly, but it also takes less time to prepare!

When this was one of my 19 meals, I stored the pepperoni for it in my freezer, along with as much mozzarella cheese as I could manage. Aside from filling my food storage requirement, it meant we were ready for a party at any given moment! Recently, however, I’ve been simplifying my 19. I realized that the pepperoni and cheese don’t add a lot of nutrition, but they sure did add cost and take up a lot of freezer space. Now for my 19, I store breadsticks and sauce –which I’ll post tomorrow! But we still LOVE these pizza pockets!–Mellyn

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Dad’s Oatmeal Cake

From Julie L.

Oatmeal cake was my dad’s favorite — and after sampling it a few times in preparation for this post, my whole family understands why. You just can’t get a much richer dessert than this one!  Try the frosting as an ice cream topping or just eat it by the spoonful. It’s pretty hard to resist. Talk about decadent! –Mellyn

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Lightning Bread

 One of my college roommates made a tasty bread that didn’t contain yeast. I decided to try and replicate her recipe, using a combination of baking soda and baking powder in place of the yeast in one of my favorite white bread recipes. We proclaimed it a success — especially if you need bread fast. From mixing bowl to table, this recipe takes less than an hour! –Mellyn


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Fried Green Beans

 

 

Reminiscent of the fried green bean appetizer at T.G.I.Fridays, this recipe gives a glimpse of a non-traditional way you can use those canned green beans in your food storage! –Mellyn

 

  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 15-ounce can green beans — drained
  • 2/3 cup oil
  1. Put flour in a bowl and add green beans.
  2. Stir gently until beans are coated (you could also do this in a ziplock bag!)
  3. Heat oil over high heat until very hot.
  4. Dump spoonfuls of green beans into oil. (I actually cooked the whole can at once in a medium-sized skillet)
  5. Turn beans occasionally, cooking until they turn golden brown (about 5 minutes).
  6. Serve with ranch-flavored sour cream or dip in ranch dressing.

NOTES : Most recipes that call for breading recommend dipping the dip-ee (be it chicken, okra or whatever) in egg before coating in flour. Out of curiosity, I skipped the egg and just doused my drained green beans in flour. A lot of the flour came off when I fried them, but enough remained that they were crispy and good…we liked them well enough that I’ll probably just skip the messy egg step next time, too.

 

Green Beans with “Meatballs” and Gravy

Canned green beans are a staple in my food storage pantry. They heat up quickly on the stove top or in the microwave and add some fiber, Vitamin A and variety to my storage. Our family chooses to use fresh veggies most of the time, but canned green beans are still easy to rotate. I just add a bowl to the table to be eaten alongside our steamed carrots or salad. I also really like them cold –straight from the can.

In my opinion, these tasty “meatballs” are nothing short of miraculous! I was astonished at the taste and actually prefer them to real meatballs. We tried them in several different sauces that we’ll share over the next few months, but this easy white “gravy” was an immediate hit! Picky Boy, who has texture issues, didn’t love them, but the rest of the kids gobbled them up! Give them a try on your family and let me know how it goes! –Mellyn Yield: 44 meatballs

  • 3 cups cooked pinto beans
  • 3 cups cooked white rice
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 5 teaspoons beef bouillon
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 10.5-ounce can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 15-ounce cans green beans (to serve on the side!)
  1. Mash pinto beans using a fork or potato masher.
  2. Add cooked rice, onion powder and beef bouillon.
  3. Mix well and shape into meatballs. I use a medium cookie scoop.
  4. Heat oil and add meatballs. Turn until all sides are golden brown.
  5. Remove from oil and place on a paper towel to soak up any excess.
  6. Combine cream of mushroom soup and milk, and bring to a simmer.
  7. Add meatballs, and let them simmer in the gravy for 5-10 minutes.
  8. Serve with green beans on the side.

 

 

 

Bow-tie Pasta with Blackened Chicken

After tasting a friend’s delicious blackened chicken pasta dish made with fresh ingredients, I had to find a way to make something similar with shelf stable ingredients! This is one of my all-time favorite food-storage recipes and definitely one of our family’s 19. –Mellyn

Yield: 10-12 servings

  • 12 ounces pasta (we like bowties)*
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 or 2 13-ounce can(s) chicken
  • 4 teaspoons blackening seasoning, divided** 
  • 1 4-ounce can mushrooms, drained
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 7.6-ounce can  table cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Toss chicken with 2 tsp blackening seasoning. Heat oil over high heat in a large skillet. Add chicken and sauté until it starts to brown a bit.
  3. Add mushrooms and tomatoes to chicken.
  4. Whisk garlic powder, salt and blackening seasoning into table cream. Add to chicken mixture.
  5. Heat until warm, but don’t boil or the cream will curdle.
  6. Drain pasta and add to skillet.
  7. At this point, you can bake pasta for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees and melt a little cheese over the top or just eat it from the skillet.
*I’ve made it several times using rice instead of pasta. If you’re doing this, you can reserve the liquid from your canned chicken, tomatoes and mushrooms and add about an extra 1/2 cup of water to cook the 1 1/2 cups rice. 
**You can buy this or if the high cost gives you heartburn, I use Tom’s recipe that I found at http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/toms-blackened-seasoning/detail.aspx It makes about 24 teaspoons. I mix up a batch and keep it with my other spices. 

 

French Bread

 

–From Julie L.

This is a fail- proof recipe that promises to delight with every bite! It’s soft, fluffy and melts in your mouth like only white bread can.Smothered in butter we could devour a loaf in just minutes! I use it for pizza crust and awesome sandwich rings –just make a long dough “snake” and wrap it around the edges of your pizza pan. The leftovers nearly always end up as French toast!

Yield: about 20 slices/loaf

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 2 1/2 cups water — very warm
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 Tablespoons yeast
  • 6 cups flour
  1. Combine sugar, salt, oil, water, flour and yeast in order.
  2. Slowly begin adding the remaining 6 cups of flour, you may need less.
  3. Dough should begin to form a ball and scrape the sides of the bowl, not stick to it.
  4. Let rise until double. (I’ve varied this from 20 minutes, to the recommended 1 hour with good results!)
  5. Form into 2 big loaves. Flatten dough into a rectangle, roll it up and lay it on the pan, seam side down. Cut slits in the top every 2-3 inches.
  6. Place loaves on a big cookie sheet.
  7. Cover and let rise for 20-30 minutes.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.
  9. Rub top with butter, if desired.