Sweet Rolls (Lemon Blueberry, and Orange-Marmalade)

A little over a week ago, I conquered my Everest.. or maybe it was my Kilimanjaro, and I’m totally elated. I made not one…. but TWO different flavor combinations. Yay me! You see, I have been deathly scared of making cinnamon rolls, or any other roll for that matter. There is something about using yeast that intimidates me. I have watched a few shows where they are making cinnamon rolls, and as envious as I was of the outcome, it just looked WAAAYY to intimidating to me. Whenever I use yeast, I am always so nervous that the dough will not rise!

If you are wondering what changed, I blame it on Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman. In the last few months, I have been following the pioneer woman blog a lot, and I’m convinced it is her calling in life to assault me with beautiful sweet roll pictures that make me drool on my keyboard. It seems like every time I turn around, she has a new flavor combination rolling out. Well… she finally got me a few weeks ago when she posted her blueberry and lemon sweet rolls. I HAD to make them. It was as if my mind would not rest until this task was accomplished. However, I had another little hurdle to overcome. The fact that her recipe makes 48… and I repeat 48 sweet rolls. Yikes…. In a house with 2 grown ups and 2 kids, there is no chance we could make a dent in those rolls. The perfect opportunity presented itself as we were thinking of “random acts of kindness” ideas to do as a family for the holidays, and the thought came up to bake for our neighbors. My oldest daughter had the best time ever delivering warm rolls on that Saturday morning. And the good news was that the rolls were not as hard to make as I had feared. I made the dough the night before and refrigerated it, so that the work the next morning was a breeze.
I decided against the traditional cinnamon roll for no other reason, except that I love citrus flavors, and wanted something different from the usual. If you want to do cinnamon rolls, just substitute a cinnamon and sugar topping for the other flavors that I used. Here are a few things I learned in the process. Definitely generously flour your rolling surface. I had a few issues with the dough sticking to my surface on the first batch. It was easy enough to fix by pinching the dough together, but I will for sure use more flour the next time. I also figured out to keep the roll as tight as possible. I had a little trouble with the marmalade roll since I didn’t roll tight enough, but once they rose and baked off, they were fine. Oh yeah.. and feel free to half the recipe if you do not have an army to feed. I ended up with 6 trays (the 9inch round disposable trays) with 8 rolls each. I guess you could freeze left overs. I haven’t tried, but I assume it’s a viable option for what to do with the left overs.
If you have time, I would recommend making the dough the night before. That way, you will be able to finish the other steps and bake them in less than an hour. Just in time for breakfast! Nothing beats a sweet roll fresh out the oven and a cup of coffee! Both flavors were really good, but the lemon blueberry was by far my favorite.

Lemon Blueberry Rolls

Ingredients

FOR THE DOUGH:
  • 4 cups Whole Milk
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 cup Canola Oil
  • 2 packages Active Dry Yeast, 0.25 Ounce Packets
  • 8 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 cup (additional) All-purpose Four
  • 1 Tablespoon (heaping) Salt
  • 1 teaspoon (scant) Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon (heaping) Baking Powder
  • FOR THE FILLING:
  • 1 stick Butter
  • 3/4 cups Sugar
  • 2 whole Lemons, Zested
  • 2 cups (Heaping) Fresh Blueberries
  • FOR THE GLAZE:
  • 1 whole Lemon, Juiced
  • 2 whole Lemons, Zested
  • 3 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 2 cups Whole Milk, Or As Needed
  • 1 dash Salt
  • 3 Tablespoons Melted Butter

Preparation Instructions

Makes 24 rolls.

For the dough:
Mix milk, 1 cup sugar, and canola oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Heat over medium heat until very warm but not boiling. Remove from heat and allow to cool until warmer than lukewarm but not hot.

Sprinkle yeast over the surface of the liquid, then add in 8 cups flour. Stir gently until totally combined. Mixture will be very wet and sticky. Cover with a tea towel, keep in a draft-free place, and allow to sit for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, add in an additional cup of flour, as well as the salt, baking soda and baking powder. Mix until combined. Refrigerate dough, covered, until you need it. (Refrigerating the dough helps make it easier to handle.) I put my in fridge overnight

Preheat oven to 375 F. Butter a large baking dish (or a couple of smaller dishes) generously. you could use a 9×13 or two 9-inch pie pans which is what I did.

Melt 1 stick of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once melted remove from heat.

Divide dough in half. Store one half in the fridge for another use (another batch of these, a batch of cinnamon rolls, a batch of dinner rolls). Turn the other half of the dough onto a floured surface. Roll into a large rectangle, about 30 inches wide by 10 inches deep. (Clearly I have issues with shapes. My rectangle leaves a lot to be desired…)Roll as thin as possible! Drizzle melted butter over the dough, using your fingers to spread evenly.

Using your fingers, mix sugar and lemon zest so that it’s a nice, light yellow sugar. Sprinkle it all over the butter. Sprinkle the blueberries evenly over the surface.

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Beginning at the side furthest from you, roll dough toward you until it’s in the shape of a tight log. Tuck as you go so the roll stays tight. Pinch the edges to seal the seam shut. With a sharp knife, slice into 1/2 thick rolls and lay the slices, cut side down, into the buttered baking dishes.

Allow to rise for 20 minutes, then place in oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until deep golden brown on top.

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To make the glaze: Add lemon juice, lemon zest, powdered sugar, milk, and dash of salt in a bowl. Add melted butter and whisk together until smooth. Taste it and add more of whatever it needs.

Remove rolls from oven and drizzle the glaze all over the rolls. Be sure to get it all around the edges and covering the surface so they’ll be nice and moist!

Lemon Blueberry Rolls

Serve warm or at room temperature.
Orange-Marmalade Rolls:
Makes 24 rolls

Ingredients

FOR THE ROLLS:

  • The other 1/2 of the dough from above.
  • 8 Tablespoons Orange Marmalade
  • 1/2 cup Melted Butter
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • _____
  • ORANGE GLAZE:
  • 2 pounds Powdered Sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons Melted Butter
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 1/2 cup Orange Juice
  • 1 dash Salt

Preparation Instructions

Roll out dough into a long rectangle. Spread marmalade over the top. Pour on butter, and then sprinkle on the brown sugar evenly. Sprinkle with salt.

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Beginning at the long side farthest from you, roll the dough in a long roll toward you; begin careful to keep it tucked tightly. Pinch edge to seal.

Cut rolls into 1 to 1 1/2 inch rolls and place into buttered pans. Allow to rise for at least 20 minutes.

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Bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown (but not overly brown).

While baking, mix together the ingredients for the orange glaze, thinning with more milk or orange juice to make mixture thin enough to be pourable.

Immediately drizzle orange glaze over the top. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Orange-Marmalade Rolls

Devotion for the Day:

A friend of mine shared this chapter with me this week, and it’s been on my mind a lot. Especially with it being the holiday season, family strife sometimes seems to get the best of families. A time that should be filled with love and joy as we spend time with family is sometimes overshadowed by the pain of relationships. This is my prayer for my family as well as yours. That harmony will prevail.

Psalm 133

A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem. A psalm of David.

How wonderful and pleasant it is
when brothers live together in harmony!
For harmony is as precious as the anointing oil
that was poured over Aaron’s head,
that ran down his beard
and onto the border of his robe.
Harmony is as refreshing as the dew from Mount Hermon
that falls on the mountains of Zion.
And there the Lord has pronounced his blessing,
even life everlasting.

Blueberry and Peach Baked Oatmeal

Blueberry and Peach Baked Oatmeal
Blueberry and Peach Baked Oatmeal


I cannot believe December is here. It has been a year with many changes for us, but a truly great year. I’m filled with gratitude this time of year when I look at where I was January 1st, and where I am now. My kids have grown so much! It’s amazing the things I have heard from them this year. That alone would be blog material to last me a lifetime. My youngest turns 2 in a few days, and she is a spit-ball of fire. Her newest phrase is “oh-my-nooness!” since we say “oh my goodness” a ton around here. My sweetie has had some major challenges in the business this year, and I’m so proud of the way he has taken to all the transitions. Our family has had to ask ourselves some pretty important questions. We took a family identity class this summer that really made us start charting out a path for who we are and what we want our legacy to be. I would encourage every family to do this. Truly life changing.
One of the more exciting things for me has been to finally be able to have this blog up and running, and to have you come and check it out. I have talked myself in and out of doing this many times this year, because I was so scared of the unknown. I’m terrible with pictures, and even worse when it comes to anything tech related, so this has been a challenge to say the least. I’m so glad I did it though! It has been fulfilling to challenge myself and grow a little every time. I look forward to seeing where this journey takes me.
Back to recipes though. (This time of year always makes me a little reminiscent). We are generally not big breakfast eaters. In fact, my sweetie and I will often skip breakfast, which I know is terrible! Now that we are trying to take better care of ourselves, we have become religious about our breakfast. It has been oatmeal on most days. I will admit though, that after a few days, it’s starting to get old. I think it’s mostly a texture thing for me. Over the last few years, I have seen a few baked oatmeal recipes flying around, but I had not really bothered to try them. It’s been on my mind for a few days now, so I figured I would try it out. I’m so glad I did! It was DELICIOUS! I love the crispy edges of the oatmeal mixed in with the smooth and creamy texture of the filling ( I added a little milk into my bowl). I really could eat this every morning. It was yummy and filling too! I will be trying different combinations here soon, and hopefully report back to you. This time I had some frozen peaches and blueberries, so that is what I thawed and used. I also lightened it up quite a bit by using fat free yogurt and milk, and mostly egg whites. You can use regular and I’m sure it would be really good too. I can’t wait to warm up a bowl tomorrow morning. I think next time I will make a double batch.
I also worked up the nutrition facts in a recipe calculator, and it came up to be 236 Calories, 42 Carbs, 4 g Fat, 11 g Protein. (It will be 276 Calories with 1/2 cup Fat Free Milk added). I was shooting for a 300 Calories for breakfast, and this is perfect.
Makes 6 servings.
Ingredients:
2 Cups Rolled Oats (Old Fashioned Oats)
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1/3 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
3/4 Cup Milk (I used Fat Free)
3/4 Cup Yogurt (I used Fat Free Vanilla)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
3 Eggs (I used 1 whole and 2 egg whites)
1 Cup Blueberries
1 Cup Peaches, diced
1. Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F. Spray a baking pan (I used an 8 by 8 Inch) with cooking spray, or lightly grease the pan.
2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, baking powder, salt, brown sugar (I reserved 1 tablespoon to sprinkle on top) and cinnamon. In another bowl, combine the milk, yogurt, vanilla and eggs. Add the wet ingredients into the oat mixture.
3. Add in the blueberries and peaches and combine. Pour into the prepared baking dish, Sprinkle the top with the remaining tablespoon of sugar and a little cinnamon. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown.
Serve warm.
-The oatmeal is great for make ahead breakfast. You can reheat the whole pan at 250 Degrees F for about 20 minutes, or individual portions in the microwave. I plan to add about a half a cup of milk to my bowl, since I like the creamy and crunchy contrast.
-If you use plain yogurt, you may want to add a little more sugar, or even try apple sauce. My yogurt was sweetened, so there was no need for more sugar.
Devotion For The Day:
Godly Wisdom.
Today’s devotion is from James 3. I love the book of James. It is a short book, but probably one of the most practical ones in the bible. James calls us to act, not merely say we are Christians, but truly live it out. It’s a powerful book. The beginning of Chapter 3 talks about taming the tongue, and the power of our tongue. The last part of the chapter though, is what I really want to talk about today. Maybe it sticks out more to me now, having just finished off with the US elections, and now following the Kenyan elections. Looking at the leaders running for office, I can’t help but wonder how each of them compare with these verses. Chapter 13: Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. It hit me that those words are so contrary to what we usually consider as worldly wisdom. Chapter 17 summed up the comparison perfectly: But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. I’m not trying to make a political statement here. These verses just made me ponder though, about what we consider as wisdom from a worldly sense, verses what Godly wisdom looks like.
1. Godly wisdom is willing to yield to others, while earthly wisdom is unyielding.
2. Godly wisdom is gentle and generous, while earthly wisdom is arrogant and self seeking.
3. Godly wisdom is full or mercy, while earthly wisdom is critical and dismissive.
4. Godly wisdom is peace loving, while earthly wisdom is confrontational.
It challenges me to keep my eyes on God, and seek what his wisdom is, not that of the world.