Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Precious Possessions: Mom's Stuffed Bell Peppers

I’ve got a short list of things that I would grab should my house catch on fire. I have heard that we should keep the things we hold dear together in a box so if this should ever happen we can grab our box quickly and get out. I choose not to do this; I chose to run around rummaging through drawers and closets looking for things while the fire department calls my name through a bullhorn from the curb outside. Well, not really, but that’s what is probably going to happen if I don’t get it together.

Assembling my "fire box" should actually be pretty easy because I won’t need a very big one. Over the years I’ve learned some pretty good lessons the hard way about material possessions and their importance.

When my mother died unexpectedly when I was 21, her sister and mother packed all of her things and moved her out of her apartment without anyone knowing it. My sister and I were totally blindsided by this and devastated when they kept everything of hers, giving us nothing, no photos, no jewelry, no mementoes, nothing. My mother didn’t really have anything very valuable which made their actions all the more hurtful and curious. I never spoke to either of them again and as you can probably tell, it is no great loss.

Several years later when I was packing up my home to move, a miracle happened. Somehow along the road of life, one of my mother’s bowls from her favorite set of dishes appeared in my cabinet out of nowhere. This dish took me back to the Christmas many years earlier, before she and my dad divorced, when he gave them to her. She had admired these dishes for months, and not being able to justify buying a new set, thought that they would never be hers. I’ll never forget how happy she was that morning when she opened them.

It struck me as I held this bowl that day, that I knew how my mother must have felt when she first held it in her hand. The bowl isn’t really my taste, it has a chip on the side and it is a bit worn, but it is a connection to her. It is also one of my most prized possessions that would definitely go in my fire box along with my children’s scrapbooks and my dad’s cowboy boots.

Over the years my sister and I have been able to reconstruct our childhood through photos and things that sympathetic relatives have given us. I can honestly say that we have moved on and haven’t looked back in years. Oh sure, if I let myself think about it too much I can still get angry but what good would that do? I really should thank my aunt and my grandmother for helping me learn very early in life that while possessions are nice, life's greatest treasures are things that cannot be taken from you. I know it sounds hokey but it’s true, love and memories are the most precious possessions of all.

Fortunately I have great memories of cooking with my mother. She passed on many delicious recipes to my sister and me before she died. She made great cabbage rolls, coconut cream pie and her meatloaf was the best ever. One of my personal favorites of hers was her stuffed peppers. They were simple, fresh and delicious. I just love making these this time of year with fresh peppers from the farmers' market.

Mom's Stuffed Bell Peppers

1 slice sandwich bread, crumbled
3 tablespoons milk
2 large bell peppers (your favorite color)
1 – 1/4 pound ground beef (chicken, turkey or pork work well too)
1 small onion, finely minced
1 cup cooked rice (some people like to use uncooked instant rice, but Mom and I like the results of cooked rice)
1 teaspoon beef bouillon granules
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
Freshly ground black pepper
1 – 28 ounce can chopped tomatoes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine breadcrumbs and milk in a small bowl; set aside.

Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise and clean the seeds and membranes out of the middle. With the tines of a fork, poke several holes in the middle of each pepper half so meat juices can drain; set aside.

In a large bowl combine the ground meat, onion, bouillon granules, garlic, black pepper, rice and breadcrumb mixture. Mix until just combined. Divide the meat into 4 even portions and stuff into each bell pepper half, mounding if necessary. Nestle peppers in a bowl that isn’t too big, so peppers support each other during cooking.

Place peppers in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 45 - 60 minutes or until they are firm and cooked through. Pour the tomatoes over the top of the peppers. Return to the oven and continue baking for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and rest for 5 minutes before serving with tomatoes and juice spooned over the top.

Serves 4

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Grocery Shopping and Freezer Foraging: Slow Cooker Philly Style French Dip Sandwiches

I’ve been a wife and mother for some years now and have learned a thing or two along the way. Some of my biggest lessons in the domestic arts have been learned in the aisles of my local grocery store. I would hate to even try to estimate the amount of money I have spent and all too often wasted on groceries over the years, so I have now decided that the madness has to stop.

In an attempt to curtail my over spending, I’ve clipped many a coupon from the Sunday paper. I’ve even watched those boring ass television shows on extreme couponing, but must admit that I just don’t get it. I mean do these families really enjoy dining on Vitamin Water and Colgate toothpaste, because it seems to me that's mostly all they buy. If they can get away with this more power to them. My family demands real food for our meals.

Now to top it all off, the manufacturers have decreased their product coupons in retaliation. The Sunday papers which used to be chockfull of colorful slick coupon pages now mostly contain ads for miracle magnets and orthopedic shoes. Thanks TLC, I am now an unarmed warrior in the inflation battle. To be quite honest I do think they are overreacting a bit, as I’ve never found a grocery store that would triple a $1.00 off coupon and pay me to take home an economy size box of Oreos.

Since extreme couponing doesn’t do me any good, I’ve decided to try a different tactic. Instead of going to the grocery store three to four times a week like I used to, I now make a list and strictly limit my grocery shopping to once a week. No more running to the store to pick up gallon of ice cream which would usually land up costing me $40 by the time I grab a bunch of other things I think I need and check out. No siree, now I don’t even walk in the place but once a week no matter what we need.

I think you'll agree that by the looks of this pantry no one's going hungry around here.

This has on occasion caused me to have to really think out of the box. Towards the end of my week I’ll admit that a couple of times I’ve had to secretly add a little water to my son’s milk and some extra breadcrumbs to my meatloaf to stretch them a bit, but we always manage to make it. We’ve also had some strange side dish creations but you’ll be glad to know that I have stopped short of penne in peanut butter and jelly sauce . . . well, so far.

After giving this new method a try for a couple of months, I now proclaim it a great success. I’ve not only cut my grocery bill in half, I’ve also discovered what’s at the back of my pantry and bottom of the freezer. I’ve also managed to free up untold hours of my precious time that I now devote to important stuff like talking on the phone and blog writing. So if you can’t find a grocery store that will pay you to shop there try a little discipline, it really is a miracle.

Normally I wouldn't show the inside of my freezer to my best friend, but I know you can keep a secret. As you can tell, eating our way through this mess is long overdue.

Since I choose to go to the store on Wednesday, Tuesday is usually a real challenge. A week ago I did some digging around and finally found out what the big dark blob was that’s been blocking the back of my freezer, a beef chuck roast. After pawing through my vegetable crisper I threw everything in my slow cooker and made a memorable meal for my family.

Philly Style French Dip Sandwiches

1 – 1-1/2 to 2 pound chuck roast or any other hunk of meat you find in the back of your freezer
Enough of your favorite seasonings to spice things up a bit
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons or so vegetable oil
2 cups water, divided
3 teaspoon beef bouillon granules, divided
1 bay leaf
1 large red, yellow or orange bell pepper, sliced into fairly thick julienne slices
1 medium size sweet yellow onion, sliced from end to end into julienne slices the same size as the pepper
1 French baguette
2 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature (optional)
4 slices Swiss or Provolone cheese

Sprinkle both sides chuck roast with seasonings, thyme and flour; set aside.

My beautifully marbled two pound chuck roast.

Pour oil into a medium size frying pan over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, brown the roast on both sides; transfer to a baking pan or slow cooker set on low. If baking in the oven, set at 300 degrees.

Add water to the frying pan and deglaze. After stirring for a moment or two add 1 teaspoon of the bouillon and stir to dissolve. Pour over the roast. Add the bay leaf, cover and cook until tender. Add the vegetables to the meat about 30 minutes before serving.

Sliced bell pepper and onion. Add this to the roast about 30 minutes before eating to keep them from getting mushy.

When the meat is fork tender, remove it from the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Shred meat by pulling apart with two forks. Remove the bay leaf before returning the shredded meat to the pan; keep warm.

Boil the remaining cup of water. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of bouillon granules to the water and stir to dissolve; set aside and keep warm until ready to use.

Preheat broiler to low.

Slice bread lengthwise and open up to lay flat leaving a “hinge” if possible. Spread the bottom half of the baguette with the softened butter (optional). Lay cheese slices end to end on the top half of the bread to cover; transfer to a baking sheet. Place into the preheated oven and watching carefully toast the bread until it is brown and the cheese is melted.

Remove from the oven and cover the bottom half with the shredded meat mixture shaking off any excess juice from the pan. Cut baguette into the desired amount of pieces. Serve with equal amounts of the beef bouillon on the side for dipping.

This meaty sandwich will easily serve four hungry people. If you would like, you can stretch the meat a bit by adding another half baguette and serving 2 more people.

Serves 4 - 6

A really great meal anytime of year.

Monday, July 11, 2011

On the Road Again: Memphis Dry Rub Ribs

Since I am on the subject of road trips I think this is a good time to share the happenings of our latest trip to Memphis. My husband has a relative who lives there that the rest of us have never met, so we thought this was the year to make a pilgrimage to meet her. We don’t often drive east so after we passed through Oklahoma we were discovering new territory.

We discovered that Arkansas is a beautiful forest covered state filled with drivers who all obey the speed limit (creepy huh?). Being Texas/Colorado lead foot speeders we found this to be unsettling knowing that there must be lots of highway patrol. Thank goodness we brought my husband’s super-duper radar detector with us so we were able to get a bit of advance warning when there were any troopers hiding in wait. This is a great device but it did let me down a couple of years ago on the Kansas border when I was snagged and given a $130 speeding ticket, so I still was a bit anxious.

Throwing caution to the wind, we were still able to average 68 mph (with stops) making our trip from Denver to Memphis in 16 hours. 16 hours of panting old dog breath, 16 hours of my son’s comedic Spanglish, and 16 hours of asking Dad to please put his shoes back on.

We didn’t manage to make any big roadside culinary discoveries on this trip and that was ok by me because I had my eye on the big prize . . . Memphis barbeque.

You can’t grow up in Texas and not love barbeque, and especially barbequed pork ribs. I mean really if you can’t tell, we Texans are pretty snobbish about it, and to make things even worse I grew up in south central Texas where you find the best barbeque in the state.

Lockhart, Texas

In this part of Texas you don’t have to drive far to find delicious establishments like Kreuz Market, Smitty’s, Black’s and Luling City Market which are all famous in their own right for the meat they take off of their pits, and don’t think you need a bunch of side dishes either. Around these parts you are most often given your barbeque wrapped up in a piece of butcher paper with a Shiner beer or a Dr. Pepper to wash it down. The closest thing you’ll find to side dishes at these places are pickles, onions, a slice of soft white bread and maybe a hunk of Longhorn cheddar if you’re lucky. You just don’t need anything else. Now that’s great barbeque.

I digress. Being the food lover that I am I was open and ready to try the best that Memphis had to offer so when I asked my husband’s relative where she thought we should go, we took her at her word and headed over to the Rendezvous. She told us that it was located downtown right across the street from the front doors of the Peabody Hotel, and since we were headed over there to see their famous lobby ducks anyway, it was a perfect suggestion.

The next day Mr. H and son made plans to take a tour of the Gibson Custom Factory so my daughter and I went on an advance scouting expedition downtown with a minor detour for a Bloody Mary at the TGI Fridays down the street from the Peabody. I must tell you this is the only time we were ripped off during our trip when the bartender automatically up sold our innocent order into a top shelf $9 tomato juice extravaganza on her own accord. I hate this and a high spirited discussion ensued resulting in a call out to an uncaring manager, a new drink and a bill adjustment. I don't need any help spending my money thank you very much. I do enough damage on my own.

Charlie Vergo's Rendezvous Restaurant

After our drinks we meandered around the block looking for the address we were given by Google. We twisted around downtown Memphis until a nice man hosing down the sidewalk motioned for us to turn into the alley either obviously knowing what we were looking for or directing us down the alley for a mugging. We very tentatively made our way until we started smelling ribs and dumpsters and knew we were at the right place.

Charlie Vergo’s Rendezvous as it is also known has been in its alley basement location since 1948. The walls are covered in years of bric-a-brac and no doubt lots of dust. We were pointed to our table by a hostess with a deadpan expression who almost warned us that during lunch all they sell are the ribs. Since this was what we came for we were undaunted and took a seat and waited for quite a while before being served our neighbor’s order in error. Thinking this was just how they served you at lunch the kids dug in before they had a chance to discover their mistake.

The basement location of this restaurant is dark yet cozy giving you the feeling that you are in on a real secret.

Without any further ado I must admit that I was disappointed in my $14 basket of ribs. If I hadn’t been so trusting in our relative’s recommendation I might have read some on-line reviews and discovered that these aren’t barbequed ribs at all. Rendezvous ribs are grilled over direct charcoal heat which makes them taste more like a grilled pork chop than the succulent tender smoky ribs I was longing for. Bummer! Don’t get me wrong, they are ok for what they are, they are just not worthy of all the accolades. In my opinion they are just mediocre.

Rendezvous ribs

After lunch we headed toward our car by way of Beale Street which even during the day has a party atmosphere with live music venues, walk up to-go cocktail windows and more restaurants than you can shake a rib at. I really would have loved to have returned at night but it was not meant to be on this trip.

We climbed in our car and went in search of the historic Lorraine Motel, site of the balcony where Reverend Martin Luther King was assassinated which now houses the Civil Rights Museum. The motel itself has been beautifully restored and work is presently being done to improve and expand it even more. Although the site resembles a 1960s bright and cheery motor hotel there is an obvious reverence in the air. The mood of the crowd brought to mind that of other sites of tragedies we have visited like The Anne Frank House and Ground Zero. I am so glad we made this most meaningful stop with our children.

The next morning we got up and headed over to Graceland. I was actually surprised that my son and daughter were willing to make this pilgrimage to Elvis’s home. I mean he died in 1977 and they weren’t born until the 90s so I was surprised that they even cared. Graceland is really everything you have heard, homey and just a little bit 1970's tacky.


Grilled peanut butter and banana sandwiches anyone?

The Jungle Room

Elvis' hot tubless pool

There were really no surprises here, just a rich guy’s home that he obviously loved and spent a great deal of time in. By today’s standards the house isn’t huge or very fancy. My children were surprised to see that his pool didn’t even have a hot tub. Elvis, his mother, father, grandmother and baby twin brother who died at birth are all buried in a garden area at the bottom of the pool. Their graves were actually moved here from another cemetary due to security concerns (i.e. there were nuts doing weird stuff to his grave). I think he'd rather spend eternity at his beloved Graceland anyway.

Presley family graves

After our tour we figured that there must be some good food around there somewhere so we played restaurant roulette and drove into Marlow’s parking lot which is just a short drive from Graceland. From looking at the outside my daughter was convinced that it was a strip joint that served barbeque. Since this idea didn’t scare Mr. H one bit, he scouted the place for us and came back (with almost a look of disappointment) reporting that not only were there no strippers, but Guy Fieri and his Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives crew had been here and had left a signed poster to prove it. Good enough, we’re going in.

Fried Pickles

Pulled Pork

Our barbeque was smoked and pretty good and there was lots of it, and the fried pickles weren't bad either. The atmosphere was eclectic and welcoming and the prices were decent. We left feeling that even though there’s probably better barbeque to be had in Memphis, we had at least experienced something akin to what we came looking for. It may not be Kreuz Market, but not everyone is lucky enough to live in south central Texas. That night I am almost ashamed to admit that we ate off the salad bar at Jason’s Deli. By this time we were so hungry for anything that wasn’t meat this really hit the spot.

We all agree that our stay wasn't quite long enough to discover all of the culinary wonders that Memphis has to offer. We hope to return to this lovely city someday soon.

The next day we packed up the crew and burned the highway up all the way home including the last two hours when my husband drove way too fast in a thunderstorm on rain slick country roads causing me to backseat drive with a vengence and seriously contemplate divorce. The good news is we made it home safely and we are still married.

For the 4th of July I decided to put my money where my mouth is and try to make some really spectacular barbequed ribs of my own. I searched the internet and combined some rub recipes (including Rendezvous') and came up with a dry rub that I am really pleased with. These aren't exactly Memphis or Texas ribs but a combination of the two that we really loved. I can see this rub being a great addition to any barbequed or grilled meat you prepare.

Dry Rub Ribs

1/3 cup water
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 nice size rack of pork spare ribs (*trimmed to St. Louis style if desired)
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seed
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon coriander seed
1/4 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon MSG (Accent flavor enhancer)

In a small bowl combine the water, vinegar, honey and seasoned salt. Place ribs in a shallow pan and brush both sides with the liquid; set aside.

In another small size bowl combine the remaining ingredients; set aside.
Prepare a charcoal or gas grill to medium high.

Baste the boney side of the ribs once again with the liquid before sprinkling with 1/2 of the rub. Place the ribs on the grill with the prepared side down. Cook the ribs, checking often to prevent burning (moving to the outside cooler part of the grill if necessary) for approximately 45 minutes or until golden brown and meat begins to shrink a bit. During this time, baste the topside of the ribs a couple of more times with the liquid. Just before turning, sprinkle the topside of the ribs with the remaining spice mixture, gently pushing in with the backside of a spoon. Turn and repeat the cooking process.

After about 45 minutes on the other side, move the ribs to the cooler outside edge of the fire and cook for another 60 minutes or so. If fire is too hot or too cool, place ribs in a shallow baking dish, loosely cover and place in a preheated 250 degree oven.

Remove from the oven and rest for 15 minutes before carving and serving.

*To trim ribs for St. Louis style: Place the ribs on a cutting board. Remove the flap of meat from the backside of the rack.

Identify the separation or joint at the top of the ribs. With a very sharp knife separate the two rib sections by cutting in between the joints.

If desired, before cooking remove the back papery membrane by wedging the tip of a knife underneath it and the bones loosening an edge.

Gently but firmly pull the membrane back with your fingers to remove it; discard. Trim any excess fat from the ribs.

Barbeque rack as desired being sure to grill the meaty trimmings as well.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

My Favorite Road Trip Discovery and What I Made With It: Tupelo Honey Buns

For anyone that has been reading my blog for a while now, you may know that my family loves us some summer road trip. My husband, son, daughter, our dog Scruffy and I have traveled north, south, east and west in search of summer fun. It never fails that no matter where we go, we usually have as big an adventure on the road as we do at our destination.

One particular summer several years ago, we decided to head east from our south Texas home and visit Disneyworld in Orlando. Usually, as soon as we finalize our destination plans, Mr. H pulls out his old-fangled road atlas plotting the trip with his special mathematical formulation of miles per hour minus wind speed, multiplied by miles to travel, divided by potty breaks squared, to come up with an approximate estimated time of arrival that we never seem to live up to no matter how hard he tries.

The day before we leave our fearless leader cleans our car like the Queen of England herself will be riding with us. He fills every available drink holder with water bottles, checks fluids and brakes and replaces wiper blades that show even a hint of wear. Helio Castroneves would be lucky to have him on his pit crew.

Soon after his “rules of the road” talk we’re off. By the time we reach our destination, my poor husband's ship shape vehicle is no more than a trashed out French fry on wheels, but always the optimist he repeats the process for the drive back home just knowing that we'll surely do better on the road back.

Even though we had some horrible weather on this particular trip through Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, I am really glad that we drove. Although flying is obviously faster, when you fly there are just so many wonders on the ground that you miss out on; sleepy little towns with local attractions like the world’s largest alligator farm, my husband and son’s dreaded factory outlet shops and roadside stands selling everything from vegetables and boiled peanuts to the greatest find of all, Tupelo honey.

When I mention Tupelo honey most people know the Van Morrison song or think it must come from Tupelo, Mississippi, and aren’t aware that this is an actual type of honey which comes from bees that collect pollen from the Tupelo trees which grow in abundance in the Apalachicola River Basin of Florida. Only honey which is produced in this area is certified Tupelo Honey.

The honey itself is a delicate golden nectar with subtle floral notes that comes from the white Tupelo flowers, which I can only describe as perfection. Since honey from the black Tupelo flower granulates, it is almost used exclusively for commercial bakery purposes. Not knowing how delicious and addictive this honey would be, we only bought a 16 ounce jar before heading home.

Once home back in Texas and discovering its delicious flavor, we were left wishing we had bought much more. Since then I have ordered honey online and purchased every bottle I am lucky enough to find on the odd store shelf. To say that I am frugal is quite an understatement, so when I tell you that I pay on average $15 for a 16 ounce bottle; you know this stuff has to be good.

I find bees to be fascinating little creatures. While some bees are solitary, honeybees are quite social living in colonies, communicating chemically through pheromones and physically through waggle dances. Through their communication they locate nourishment in the form of pollen which enables them to make honey to feed themselves and their young, sustain their queen and build architectural wonders in wax.

Not only is honey an important by-product of their pollen collection, but as bees buzz from plant to plant they also pollinate approximately 1/3 of the crops we depend on for food. It has been found that farmers who locate hives among their crops can see up to a 50% greater yield as opposed to those who depend on wild bees for crop pollination.

As I'm sure you may have heard, times are hard for honey bees as hives are dying in rapid numbers in what is now being coined Colony Collapse Disorder. Not only would the loss of bees mean no more honey, but their demise would also mean devastation to our food supplies. Viruses, mites, pesticides, miticides, hormone use, genetically modified crops, and migratory beekeeping are some of the suspects in the loss of hives around the world. Having said this I must also say that all is not necessarily lost as researchers are scrambling for answers and have been able to isolate some very promising leads. To read more about this research, please click here.

In the meantime concerned honey lovers can help by being frugal with their use of pesticides, especially during the midday hours when bees are most active. We can also add such bee friendly plants as foxglove, bee balm and red clover to our gardens and beds.

Even though this isn't a honeybee, this little guy loved pollinating my patio plants and terrorizing my dog.

At my house we most often use local honey because I have always heard that since it is made from local pollen it helps build immunities to local allergens, but I have just had a craving for Tupelo Honey lately so I placed my online order. Normally I don’t cook with it, preferring to save it for a starring role in honey mustard dressing or in my tea. While I still prefer it this way, I stepped out and added it to one of my favorite yeast roll recipes. No matter how hard I try to describe these rolls, my words fail to accurately portray how soft, chewy, sweet and sticky these delicious rolls came out with that distinctive Tupelo honey flavor.

Tupelo Honey Buns

Sweet Dough (Adapted from The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook)

3/4 cup buttermilk (regular milk and 3/4 teaspoon white vinegar that have been stirred together and allowed to sit for 5 minutes can be substituted)
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) melted butter
3 large eggs
4 cups flour, plus a little extra for dusting
1/4 cup sugar
1 envelope rapid-rise yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt

Mix together buttermilk, butter and eggs; set aside. In a large heavy duty stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix the flour, sugar, yeast and salt. With the speed set to low, slowly add the buttermilk and mix until the dough starts to pull away from the sides. Knead in the mixer on the low setting for about 5 minutes adding a little extra flour if necessary. Increase the mixer speed to medium low and continue kneading for an additional 5 minutes or so or until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Dust the counter with flour and knead by hand for another minute or so to form a smooth, round ball. Place the dough in a greased bowl, turn to coat, cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm draft free place to rise until doubled in size, approximately 1 –1/2 to 2-1/2 hours.

When the dough has doubled in size, lay it on a lightly floured surface. Press the dough into a 12” by 16” rectangle with the long side facing you.

Brush the dough with the two tablespoons melted butter from the filling ingredients (recipe follows).

Sprinkle the filling evenly over the dough, leaving a 3/4” border along the top edge. Press the filling lightly into the dough.

Starting at the long edge closest to you, roll the dough into a tight cylinder, pinching it closed at the clean border. Roll the cylinder over so it is seam side down.

Using a long piece of dental floss, cut the dough into 12 even size pieces. To do this, slip floss under the cylinder, stopping in the middle. Pull ends together over the top and crisscross. With an end in each hand, pull ends in the opposite direction very firmly and quickly to cut. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Arrange the dough cut sides down in a greased 9” x 13” baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and place in a warm spot and let the rolls rise until doubled in size, approximately 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place rolls in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 30 minutes or until they are golden brown.

Remove rolls from the oven and drizzle with Honey Glaze (recipe follows) before serving.


2 tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and stir well to combine.

Honey Glaze

3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons Tupelo honey (or any other favorite honey)
1/2 cup toasted pecans

Place butter in a small saucepan and over medium heat. When butter is melted and sizzling, add the brown sugar and cook until it has dissolved. Add the honey (spray measuring spoon with non-stick cooking spray before using for easy honey measuring) and pecans and stir until they are heated and well combined. Drizzle over warm rolls.