Homemade Burger Buns – Soft and Easy!

September 30, 2015

Homemade Burger Buns

    Homemade burger buns came to mind as I drove home yesterday in the pouring rain.  As I approached the grocery, I decided to make my own buns and intentionally drove right by the store.  Getting out of the car in the rain one more time, just to buy buns,  was not appealing.  

   It is kind of crazy that in all of the years I have been making bread, I have never made burger buns!  We have made cinnamon rolls, soft pretzels, sausage bread, and all kinds of bread, but never burger buns.


   As soon as I reached the house, I googled recipes for hamburger buns and found the recipe from King Arthur Flour.  You know we have a Zojirushi bread machine.  Jon-Michael and I were just talking about how long I have had it.  We have lived here eighteen years and I had it a few years before that.  I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I have used it!  If you don’t have one, you need one!


   Using the bread machine is so incredibly easy.  You put the ingredients in the bucket, lock it in place,  and turn it on.  The work is done for you.  The dough cycle takes two hours. You can time it so the dough is ready about a half hour to an hour before dinner depending on the time needed for rising.   I will say that I have not baked the bread inside the machine very often.  The bread takes on the shape of the bucket and that is not usually the shape I want.  Taking the dough out and shaping it into loaves or buns is my preference.


    On this day, the burger buns were made earlier in the afternoon.  Timing them to be warm for dinner was not an issue.  


  This is what the dough looks like straight out of the bread maker canister at the end of the dough cycle.

   This is what the buns looked like fresh out of the oven.  After the dough had risen for an hour, a little butter was brushed on the top of each one.  They went into a preheated 375° oven.  When the buns were taken from the oven more butter was brushed on top, leaving a soft golden crust.  Don’t they just look delicious?

    Well, they were soft and delicious!  Dave said they were better than the store bought!  Will and I just looked at each other and raised our eyebrows.  Dave’s compliments are few and far between!  This will definitely be a recipe used often.  


   Obviously, these burger buns can be made by hand the old fashioned way and I am sure they are just as good.  For instructions for mixing by hand click here►King Arthur Flour burger buns.


   If you have a bread maker, the recipe is hereHomemade Burger Buns.


   Twelve average sized buns can be made or eight larger buns.  Even if you only try this to avoid the rain, like yours truly, this recipe for homemade burger buns is definitely one you will be glad you tried.  Who knew?  Homemade Hamburger Buns – Soft and Easy!


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DIY Halloween Luminaries

DIY Halloween Luminaries

September 26, 2015

    Aren’t these DIY Halloween luminaries great?  Well, they are made using recycled jars, cheap, and easy, too!  Before Halloween, I plan to make enough of these to line the serpentine sidewalk to our front door but they would look neat inside the house, too!  Tealight candles can be used inside the jars, but I use the battery operated tealight candles, which I found at the dollar store.

DIY Halloween Luminaries on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com


   If you remember, I made some of these luminaries with a patriotic theme, earlier this year.  I have been saving emptied jelly and condiment jars for this purpose.  At the end of the Halloween season each year, I buy some marked down Halloween napkins.  These are made with those napkins!


   The only supplies you need for this are napkins, empty glass jars, scissors, Mod Podge, and a paintbrush.  If you wish to make a bow around the top of the jar like I did, you will also need some twine or jute string.  I like the added touch of the bow.  (If you purchase Mod Podge from this link at Amazon, we will get a small percentage of the sale at no cost to you.)


   The instructions are simple.  Choose a clean glass jar and the napkin you would like to use for the project.  Napkins usually have layers of thin paper.  Peel off the layer with the graphic printed on it.  Throw away the other layers unless you can think of something else to do with them!

   Decide how you want the napkin to fit on the jar.  A quarter of the napkin with the skeleton fit nicely on the large jar.  After painting on the Mod Podge and adhering that section to the jar, I cut around the skeleton arm and hand bones of another, so when those elements overlapped the skeleton already on the jar, it would not completely cover it.  

DIY Halloween Luminaries on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

   You can see where I cut into the design, indicated by the arrows, in the picture.  The broken arrow on the right side of the jar indicates where the backgrounds overlapped.

    You can redesign the images and lettering by cutting out elements, flipping, or repositioning and gluing to the jar with the Mod Podge.  The design on this napkin was extended onto the rim by cutting out the black border, turning it sideways and adhering to the rim of the jar.  I like the rims covered, too.  

    The salsa jar I used needed a little bit of a different technique.          The top layer of the napkin was Mod Podged to the lower portion of the jar first.  Then slits were made in the middle section to fit the contour of the jar.  Turning the jar upside down, the brush with Mod Podge was slipped under the napkin, Mod Podge brushed on the jar, and the cut sections were gently brushed onto the jar from the topside of the napkin.  


   I love the way they look, especially when they are illuminated in the dark.   It’s a great way to recycle old jars and the design ideas are limitless!  I can’t wait to see them en masse along the walk!  Maybe this will give you the inspiration to make some of these DIY Halloween luminaries, too.


Halloween Luminaries - Easy DIY - on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com  


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Incredibly Delicious Fall Desserts

September 22, 2015

Apple Cake

   This unpretentious looking apple cake is one of my favorite incredibly delicious fall desserts.  When I was a young girl, my mother brought the recipe for this tasty dessert home from work.  Those ladies who worked with her really did have some good recipes to share with us!  The cake batter is simple enough but diced, sugared apples are allowed to sit until the sugar dissolves, before the egg and dry ingredients are added.  


As soon as the cake is removed from the oven, an easy hot caramel-like sauce is poured over the top of it.  


    Some of the warm sauce creates a delicious topping, but some of the sauce absorbs into the hot cake creating a very moist, incredibly delicious cake.   Obviously, the cake is very rich.  It is a small cake and is baked in an eight-inch square pan.  


   When the weather changes and fall seems to be on our doorstep, I always think of this apple cake.  ◄ Click for recipe.   Maybe it is because local apples are plentiful right now.  Isn’t it funny how the weather makes you think of certain foods?  


Sad Cake

   Another cake recipe from my mother’s co-workers is for ‘Sad Cake’.  I also think of that cake at this time of year.  My mother loved to make this cake and take it to social gatherings.  It is easily cut into bars.  The men especially seemed to like this one, at least that is what she claimed!

   Sad cake, I guess, gets its name because it rises nicely during baking and then falls and the surface cracks as it cools.  It doesn’t look that impressive, but it ends up being a rich, chewy, dense, delicious dessert.  It is easy to take along to picnics and potlucks just cut into bars, but can also be served with whipped cream or ice cream on a plate.  Once you have a piece, you will want another and another.  

Click here ► for the sad cake recipe.

 Persimmon Roll

   Another dessert I always think of in the fall is ‘persimmon roll’.  Growing up in the country in southern Indiana we had knowledge of where persimmon trees grew in the area.  We always gathered them and squeezed the pulp through a colander, using what we needed for the persimmon roll and freezing the leftover for another day.


   If you are familiar with persimmons, you know they can make your mouth pucker worse than anything if they are not ripe.  They need to have a good frost and be retrieved from the ground.


   Let me make this clear.  They need to have been through a frost, ripened, and fallen on the ground by themselves.  One of my daughter’s boyfriends decided to help me out with a bag of persimmons one year.  I was elated and set about pushing the pulp through the colander, which takes a lot of time.  


   As I was stirring up the recipe, I tasted for good measure and pucker!   Upon further investigation, I found that he had shaken the tree so the persimmons did indeed fall to the ground!  That does not a ripe persimmon make!  


   Anyway, the recipe from my great aunt Henrietta, you can find here.►persimmon roll.


Any of these desserts is a delicious way to end a meal anytime but especially when the air is crisp and fall is on us.

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Painting The Master Bedroom and Bath

September 19, 2015

   Painting The Master Bedroom and Bath was a daunting task, but it was sorely needed.

Painting The Master Bed and Bath
Painting The Master Bed and Bath

   This week, when I wasn’t watching grandkids or chauffeuring my mother, I was painting the master bedroom and bath.  Yes, I know I started that a few months ago but the bathroom makeover took precedence at the time.  The bedroom was put on the back burner.  Now that the second bathroom is finished, my bedroom and dressing area is the task at hand.  This week Dave was on a fishing trip to Lake Erie, so when I was not needed, I could work with no interruption.

   The ceiling is completely painted and I have one wall left to paint in the dressing area.  We have a garden tub with a jacuzzi,  two separate vanities with sinks, and a walk-in closet.  We plan to install hardwood floors on the second floor but realized the bathrooms had to be completed first.  Now, I have decided that the vanities in wood and the floor in the wood will probably be too much wood.  Dave does not agree.

    So, I have decided to use chalk paint to paint the cabinets.  I watched a tutorial on chalk paint techniques.  It seems simple enough.  I have seen so many other people using this paint and making absolutely beautiful furniture.  Looking at the vanities and the tub, I felt the darker wood kind of chopped up the room.  Wouldn’t it be better if there was a nice flow from the vanity to the tub and on to the other vanity?  In my mind, I think it would make the room look bigger, too.  It is just paint!  If I don’t like it, I can try another color!

    I had a little piece of crown molding left over from the bathroom and tried the technique on it.  First, I painted the piece with Waverly ‘Plaster’ chalk paint, let it dry, and then applied Waverly ‘White Wax’ and buffed it.  The last step was applying the Waverly ‘Antique Wax’ and buffed it.  Oh, my gosh!  I love this!  It just looks so rich!  The picture clearly, does not do it justice.  It has a beautiful sheen to it.

    When I painted this little sample, I wasn’t worried about brushstrokes or much about technique but I kind of like the brushstrokes being pronounced with the antique wax.  I think the vanities will look great with this on them.  I am anxious to get started, but I have the wall to finish today.

      Before I start the chalk paint, I have decided to move the chair from my vanity.  I never ever use it.  I always stand to put on my makeup.  The chair takes up space and it seems to me this space is wasted.  I have decided to add a shelf there and I have purchased two big baskets to sit underneath the shelf for storage of extra towels and afghans or blankets. 

 Those mirrors need frames, too.  My plan is to add some trim around them and paint them with the chalk paint, too.  This next week, I will probably still be painting the master bedroom and bath!

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Easy Homemade Chili

Easy Homemade Chili

Easy Homemade Chili

September 14, 2015

    The temperature dropped this past week, fall is in the air, and Dave requested my easy homemade chili.   Growing up we always made chili, but my mother added elbow macaroni to it.  I am sure that was a way of making the pot of chili last longer and go farther with my four brothers and a sister.   I always hated leftovers the next day.  The macaroni expanded and was not appetizing to me at all!  Yuck! 

    So when I left home and began cooking for myself and my family, we completely eliminated the macaroni.  I love this chili.  I brown the meat, leaving sizeable pieces of hamburger, and it seems to me, like it is a little heartier chili, because of that.

    Kidney beans were in my mother’s original recipe, too.  I do not like the hard shells on kidney beans in chili.  I eliminated them and now use a can of spicy chili beans instead.  We always drained the kidney beans, but I now use the entire can of chili beans.  There is extra flavor in the sauce.

    When we moved to Kentucky, I found ‘Buena Vida Chili Powder’ and have been using it for many, many years.  It comes in a packet weighing .63 ounces and has chili pepper, paprika, salt, garlic powder, and red pepper in it.  It seems like a good combination of spices for the chili.  It’s a little more complex than the plain old chili powder we used when I was growing up at home.


   We live right across the river from Cincinnati and, of course, you have heard of Cincinnati chili.   It is world famous.   Sorry, but I am not so crazy about their chili.  I am definitely not a fan of cinnamon in my chili like Skyline offers.  I do, however, like my own recipe for chili served over thin spaghetti and topped with grated cheddar.  That is something we never did back in Indiana!   Of course, that is a take from Cincinnati’s Gold Star Chili and Skyline Chili.  ( Perhaps that is where my mother got the idea for the macaroni in her version of chili…)

    At the end of each summer, my mother would can vegetables from our rather sizeable vegetable garden.  She always canned tomato juice for use during the winter months.  That is what we used for chili.  I would like to say that I do the same thing, but that would be a lie!  I don’t have a large vegetable garden and one thing I have not taken up is canning.  The canned tomato juice from the grocery works just fine.

    With just six simple ingredients, this easy homemade chili can be whipped up on a busy night after work, in no time.  Each Halloween night, I make a pot of chili for the family.  They are in and out all night and can grab a bowl when they want.  We always try to make sure the grandchildren have a bowl of my easy homemade chili before they start their trick-or-treating.                     For the recipe click here. ▲


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