Thursday, September 22, 2011

Easy Sourdough Rolls

We have had trouble in the past with yeast - our temperamental baking friend - so we've been distant lately. We are by no means bread masters however with leftover sourdough starter in the fridge, it was hard to resist this recipe!

  For the sourdough starter, Caitlin followed these instructions.

Making a starter can be daunting. I know we were pretty nervous but everything went really smoothly. Caitlin did the tough stuff and I helped at the start of the starter (hehehe).

These rolls were really a snap to make and just like the starter everything went smoothly! I guess it helps to actually test the temperature of the water before adding the yeast - sometimes it is better to be technical. I look for about (not too technical, see?) 110 degrees Fahrenheit but since I haven't been at this bread making art too long use whatever temperature feels right for you.

Okay now those rolls!

When the rolls were hot out of the oven I simply could not resist digging into one. Seriously. I tried only eating half, seeing as we were having pizza for dinner and I didn't want to overdo it on starch, but i finished the whole roll anyway.

They're fluffy, subtle, delicious, and nutritious...well maybe not exactly nutritious but they've gotta be better than just plain white stuff, right?

AND they've got just the right amount of tang from the sourdough starter. Not overpowering at all, so if you aren't exactly a fan of sourdough I think you'll still enjoy these rolls.

Sourdough Dinner Rolls
Adapted from Phoo-d
Makes 12-16 Rolls
1 cup sourdough starter
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon yeast
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons white sugar or 2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
5-6 cups flour (do not use bread flour, the rolls will be too tough)
butter, melted
Make Dough
In a large bowl, stir together sourdough starter, warm water, yeast, salt, sugar, and oil. Add flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring after each addition, until the dough is dry enough to knead (it should still be slightly sticky). Turn out the dough onto a heavily floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes, until the dough is tacky but not sticky and reaches a temperature of 78-80 degrees. Place the dough in a clean large bowl sprayed with non-stick cooking oil, cover the bowl with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let the dough double in size.
Bake the Rolls
When the dough has doubled, punch it down with lightly floured hands. Divide the dough into rolls, each approximately the size of a tennis ball. Lightly oil a 9×13 pan. Set the rolls into the pan and let them rise until doubled. Once the rolls have doubled place them in the oven and bake for 20 minutes at 375F. During the last 5 minutes of baking, brush the tops with melted butter and return them to the oven. The rolls are done when they are lightly brown on top.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wonderful Wednesday

Why is the weather always so beautiful before a storm? It's something I've always wondered and never understood. I'm not complaining - just wondering.

The weather this morning was just gorgeous! Not too hot and definitely not cold; an extraordinarily soft, warm breeze. I was walking by our patio door and this breeze was coming through so I just stood there and soaked it in until it was that nice!

And now, now it's raining.

I hope you're having nice weather today!

Here are a few things to peruse:

So, this is who I had breakfast with this morning. We both were enjoying the weather and consequently both having something to eat... I won't show that picture, it doesn't seem appropriate on a HUMAN food offense praying mantis.

From Community...sorry I just love the show, what can I say? other than I really wish this shirt wasn't sold out 'cause I think it's pretty funny.

This is the fall arrangement my mom and I put together...we're pretty proud of it :)
We both agree that autumn is our favourite time for decorations!

What our freezer is stocked with as of late: THE BEST Ben and Jerry's flavour, in my humble opinion. Make sure to get frozen yogurt it just gets so much more gooey with the marshmallow and caramel swirl. Ohhhhh swoon!


Friday, September 16, 2011

Fantastic Fridays

Welcome to the second installment of Fantastic Fridays with Caitlin. Last Friday I was writing from my office desk at work while sitting on my bouncy ball. This week I'm taking a break from the ball, mostly because my dress is tight! Speaking of fashion... I've got some super cute items on my list this week.


Pumpkin pie earrings! Genius. 

I could eat so many of these but I have to ration myself since they aren't available in Canada.
I can only get these on trips to the States! I'm coming for ya soon, America!!

Hot Beans Vegan Burritos! Heaven!


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wonderful Wednesday

Well hello there!

Here I am a week from the first Wonderful Wednesday post, writing the second installment, and finishing off the last of the Sourdough Rolls mentioned in last week's post (a little on the stale side now but no mold) and still I have not put the recipe up! Seriously people, I will get this recipe to you!

Alrighty, it's a beautiful sunny day and I've already been to school and back! Other than missing my stop on the bus and the considerably large amount of work I have to do, everything's GREAT!

Here are a few things to get your mind off whatever worries/stresses/anxieties you're experiencing lately or...
 just to tickle your fancy!

Excuse the slight narcissistic indulgence, but here are my nails! I've never really tried to do anything other than a single colour so I was really excited to try something  new - a jazzed up french manicure.
The base is Pinking of You -OPI
and the tip is The One That Got Away - OPI
Arrr, this here's a true pirate ring with some character, matey!

Disney Couture really knows how to design attractive and unique jewelry honoring Disney films. 
I just think this necklace is SO clever!

How about a little more Disney? Why not? Since the beginning of fall is just around the corner and after recently viewing a video showcasing the Magic Kingdom park in all its festive autumn glory, I thought I'd share this picture (this is apparently the set up from last year so its a little different from the current design)!

Have a wonderful Wednesday!


Monday, September 12, 2011

Kitchen Sink Veggie Quinoa

We often make up a batch of veggie quinoa just to have around. We will usually make it on a Sunday night to have for the rest of the week as a side dish, lunch, or wrapped in a tortilla with hummus. 

There really isn't much of a recipe. We just cook the quinoa according to the package with chicken stock or veggie stock.

Then we sautee some veggies (any kind really), season according to your taste.

Add black beans or chickpeas...

...and mix with cooked and fluffed quinoa. 

So easy and really delicious. Not to mention pretty.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Fantastic Fridays with Caitlin

As you may or may not have noticed Riley's new "weekly series" entitled Wonderful Wednesdays. Well, I want in on that so I've made my own weekly series and I'm calling it Fantastic Fridays.

It's Friday... and as a working girl, Fridays now mean a lot more to me than they used to in my years as a student (which, by the way, are hopefully not over as I have lovely aspiration of graduate school!). So, in order to make Friday a little more special I have decided to share all the things that I find fantastic on this Friday.

Here we go!

American Pickers - I have become addicted to this show.

I'm totally jumping the gun on Halloween but these are so cute!

Are you noticing a pattern? I just bought this and it's an instant favorite.

There's still time for ice cream! Ice cream pins.

Bike riding! I can't wait to go for a ride tonight. Definitely a daily highlight.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Homemade Roma Tomato Marinara Sauce

Fresh, beautiful, local Roma Tomatoes! They're just begging you to make tomato sauce.

Roasted Tomato Sauce
From A Sweet Pea Chef

2 lbs. Roma tomatoes, cut in half
5 cloves garlic, smashed
1 medium yellow onion, quartered
1 carrot, unpeeled and chopped into large pieces
2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 tsp. ground black pepper, plus more to taste
2 tbsp. olive oil
3-4 basil leaves
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a baking sheet (with sides at least 1-inch deep) with parchment paper. Lay out the tomato halves (skin-side down), onion, garlic and carrot and sprinkle with salt, pepper and thyme. Try to make this only one layer to allow for maximum roasting. Drizzle olive oil all over.
Bake for 60 – 75 minutes, or until the edges of the tomatoes and onions begin to turn black. Carefully transfer the roasted contents to a food processor or blender (or a large mixing bowl, if using a stick blender), add the basil leaves and pulse until smooth.
Transfer the pureed contents to a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add thyme, sugar and more salt or pepper, to taste.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wonderful Wednesday with Riley

On this Wonderful Wednesday, its feeling very much like fall with a cool wind and big grey clouds in the sky.

The cooler weather has allowed me to keep busy indoors making some healthy vegan treats for the impending school year and baking sourdough rolls (posts to come) to use up leftover sourdough starter hanging out in the fridge.

Here are a few things that have piqued my interest lately...

these are just so DARLING.

THIS is awesome!! i would design a room solely around this piece i love it so much!
the water splash is fantastic.

for a girl who LOVES Florida and Disney this is perfect!!! and the colour is GREAT.

VICTORY ROLLS! this is one of my FAVOURITE hairstyles. i am trying to perfect my technique a bit more and am also waiting for my hair to grow longer so i can amp up my victory roll look.

SO FUNNY! if you have yet to catch an episode i suggest that you do! season 2 just came out yesterday and the third season begins sept. 22! INGENIOUS!


Monday, September 5, 2011

Rainbow Cake

I bet you can't guess what kind of cake this is!


Since we don't like cakes loaded with butter, I used a vanilla cake recipe that uses oil (see below) but followed the tutorial from Martha Stewart. The cake was really light with a nice sweetness - not too sweet.

It took almost 6 hours with baking to make this cake. It was a labour of love from one Kitchen Grrrl to the other (it was for Riley's birthday). It was totally worth it to see her smile and excitement as she cut into this ridiculously tall - so tall it was leaning over - cake!

Simple Vanilla Cake
From Kaboose


  • 2 cups (500 mL) sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2-1/2 cups (625 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (250 mL) milk
  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) vegetable oil
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons (11 mL) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) vanilla

Cooking Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Line two 9-inch (23-cm) round cake pans or one 9x13-inch (23 x 33 cm) rectangular baking pan with parchment paper. Grease the paper and the sides of the pan well.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, beat sugar and eggs together until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Add flour, milk, oil, baking powder, and vanilla and beat for another minute, just until the batter is smooth and creamy. Don't overbeat. Pour batter into the prepared baking pan(s).
  3. Each layer for the rainbow cake only take about 15 mins.

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