November 17, 2016

Roll Dough Creation

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Pumpkin-Shaped-Rolls | Margaret's Morsels

I recently sorted through months -- if not years -- worth of recipes, discarding the ones that didn't sound as good as they originally did and filing the ones I wanted to cook for my family.  One, however, was kept out because I knew it would be perfect for Thanksgiving.

The recipe was from a flyer I'd received from Bridgford, a company that makes frozen bread dough.  I was familiar with Bridgford because I use their Parkerhouse rolls to make better than garlic bread pull apart rolls. This time, though, with just a few easy additions, the rolls are transformed into pumpkins.




The visual design of the rolls was inspired by Holly, food blogger behind Beyond Kimchee, using a homemade roll recipe.  I substituted the roll recipe my family has come to expect for the holidays, but you can use your favorite roll recipe, or save time and start with a package of frozen rolls from the grocery.

Shape the homemade bread dough or thawed rolls into balls.  I normally get 18 cloverleaf rolls from one batch of dough.  I made the balls a little bigger so I only ended up with 15.


Pumpkin-Shaped-Rolls | Margaret's Morsels

Try to keep the balls close to the same size to ensure they bake evenly. Don't fret, though, if the balls aren't the same exact size because pumpkins aren't all the same size either! 

Put the dough balls on a greased cookie sheet, spacing them about 2-inches apart.


Pumpkin-Shaped-Rolls | Margaret's Morsels

Flatten each ball slightly using the palm of your hand.


Pumpkin-Shaped-Rolls | Margaret's Morsels

Using a pair of kitchen shears or a knife, make six cuts around the edge of the dough.


Pumpkin-Shaped-Rolls | Margaret's Morsels

Make a hole in the center of the dough using your pinkie.

Pumpkin-Shaped-Rolls | Margaret's Morsels

Cover the dough and let rise until double in size.  Insert a pecan piece in the hole in the center for the stem.

Pumpkin-Shaped-Rolls | Margaret's Morsels

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.


Pumpkin-Shaped-Rolls | Margaret's Morsels


Whether you make the rolls from scratch or use a package of frozen rolls, these pumpkin shaped rolls are a whimsical and delicious addition to a Thanksgiving meal.


© Margaret's Morsels



November 8, 2016

Fall Fruit

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Apple-Salad | Margaret's Morsels

The leaves may not have changed color and the temperature doesn't feel very fall like, but I know fall is here and it's not because of all the pumpkin flavored beverages and baked goods showing up on menus and in the grocery.  I know it's fall because freshly picked, straight from the orchard apples are appearing in the produce department.  These apples are so much prettier and flavorful than the ones I've bought all year that have been in cold storage since they were harvested.

Apples are a staple at our house.  They make a quick and healthy snack and are easy to pack in a lunch box or take on the go.  They're delicious baked, poached  and in a pie.  Apples are wonderful combined with other fruit in a fruit salad and they're the star of the recipe I'm sharing today.

A few years ago on a trip out of town, we ate at a restaurant that had apple salad on the menu.  I'd never eaten it before and was hesitant to order it.  I couldn't fathom how apples could taste good covered with mayonnaise and sour cream.  I ended up ordering the dish and was hooked after one bite.  When our very friendly server found out how much I liked the salad, she was more than happy to share the recipe with me.

The dressing -- which I didn't think I would like -- was actually quite tasty. The sour cream contributes to the creaminess, but also adds a subtle tanginess that keeps the salad from being bland.  I use light sour cream, but regular sour cream will add a richer flavor to the dressing.  Depending on the sweetness of the apples you use, you may need to add some sugar, but don't add too much.  You don't want the salad to be too sweet.



I make the salad the way the restaurant did using only apples, craisins -- dried cranberries -- and celery.




Additions can include nuts, raisins  coconut, grapes, mandarin oranges and even pineapple chunks.  Depending on the size of the addition, you may need to cut the ingredients into smaller pieces.  You're pretty much limited by your imagination, the ingredients you have on hand and what your family likes to eat.

For a fancy presentation, serve the salad on a bed of lettuce leaves.  A nice touch for a party is to combine the dressing and apples and put all the additional ingredients in bowls.  That way, people can create and fall for their own one of a kind salad creation.
  
Apple Salad
4 to 6 Servings

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
sugar to taste
2 apples, diced (unpeeled)
1/2 cup craisins
1 stalk celery, sliced diagonally

Combine the first three ingredients until the sugar is dissolved.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to blend.

© Margaret's Morsels