Cheesy Potato Bread Rolls

I love potatoes. When people say “bread is life” I think: “right after potatoes.” When combining the two I feel as if I am creating pure joy. In this blog post I’m sharing one of my versions of potato bread but I’m making it into rolls then adding a bit of cheese to the mix. Because cheese too is life. Unless you’re lactose intolerant and also gluten intolerant. Then maybe not.

I was very surprised I had not posted a blog about potato bread yet as I make it fairly often. Growing up one of my favorite sandwich breads from the regular grocery store was (is) potato. Homemade potato bread isn’t quite the same unless perhaps you are using potato flakes (instant mashed potatoes) or spend time breaking down potatoes into a thin liquidy purée. Even then the texture is different. I like my potato bread with some small clumps because I am a fan of the feeling. 

You can easily double this recipe but I use this as is generally due to my husband being gone frequently. So my toddler and I gobble these up over a few days span (sometimes). 

You will need:

*4 1/2-5 cups flour (1/2 cup for kneading)

*1 1/2 cups shredded cheese 

*1 cup warm milk (I used cashew in these pictures as it’s what I had)

*1/2 cup mashed up potatoes (I use red for the sweetness)

*1 stick melted butter (1/2 cup)

*2 tablespoons sugar

*2 teaspoons salt

*1 tablespoon dry active yeast

*1 egg 

I like to boil or bake potatoes for meals but generally make extra for other meals or bread. Here I had three small boiled red potatoes in my fridge. Mashed up they made half a cup. The picture shows more but I just had not smashed them into the cup fully. I mash what I have first to see if I should double the recipe or not. It depends on the amount of potatoes I have made generally. You can also use leftover prepared mashed potatoes. 

Add the yeast, sugar and milk together. Stir well and then let sit for 5 minutes. 

Add the butter, egg, half a cup (at least but hey…go crazy) of shredded cheese of your choice and salt. I also added a pinch of dill, a pinch of turmeric and a teaspoon of nutritional yeast. You definitely don’t need to add these but I like it. You could add other herbs and spices for a more complex flavor to the bread if you would like however! Rosemary is also great.

Mix by hand with a wooden spoon or with the paddle attachment of a mixer.

When fully mixed add half a cup of flour at a time up to 4 cups. 

Remove the paddle attachment (use a spoon to pull any dough off) and add the dough hook if you are using a mixer. Add another half cup regardless of hand mixing or using a mechanical mixer. 

After mixing if the dough still looks sticky you can add up to another half cup. 

When fully mixed by the mixer I still like to knead by hand. It gives me a better idea of the texture of the bread and what it may need. Use up to half a cup of flour for this. The weather, temperature in your kitchen, etc can all effect the dough. 

Place into a greased bowl and cover. Let sit 1-2 hours. Some recipes suggest placing it in the fridge for 24 hours then letting it come to room temperature and rise. I’m too impatient for this. Though I have tried it before and it doesn’t seem to make a huge difference. Do what feels right to you! Experiment! 

When the dough has risen pull apart into desired sizes. I generally don’t pay attention to numbers and just pull apart to size. Be aware they will puff up so make them a bit smaller than you would like. 

Use both hands to pinch and tuck the dough into itself to form the rolls. You can alternately just roll them into balls.

I stuffed some with extra cheese because why not?

The best way to make these rolls is to put them in a glass dish like this. Grease and add rolls with room to spare.

I also put some on our ugly old cookie sheet to show the difference in baking coming up…

Let rise 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Brush with oil or butter if desired then bake for 30 minutes. 

Remove and add cheese! Then bake for an additional 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted. 

With the glass dish you are able to add much more cheese. The pieces are closer together and the sides keep cheese in.

With a cookie sheet a lot of cheese falls off so you both need to add less and also watch for burning. You can stick the rolls closer together but some may still miss out.

This is what happens with the cookie sheet. Some bits were too cooked and I had to crumble them off. The upside is you’re not pulling rolls apart and leaving softness exposed.

Here they are with the glass. They are much more moist!

Let cool for 5-10 minutes or so before serving. You don’t want to burn your mouth with hot cheese! With the glass you let let the rolls sit in the container before removing. With the cookie sheet use a spatula to remove right away and set on a cooling rack. 


Pumpkin Spice Coffee Syrup Recipe 

While waiting impatiently for my pumpkin seeds to dry today I decided to make some pumpkin spice coffee syrup. I considered buying some but realized I had everything to make my own! Other than a nice pump container to keep it in. Which I worked around. This type may not last as long as commercial syrup but at least I know exactly what is in it and it tastes great! You can also use this thin syrup in place of regular syrup, to replace honey in Fall baking, etc. It isn’t limited to just coffee! 

Read all the instructions to make sure you have all the tools and ingredients you need before beginning!

You will need: 

*1 1/2 cup water

*1 cup brown sugar 

*1 cup granulated sugar. You can switch out sugars to suit your needs, tastes, etc. I used white sugar as I ran out of Tamarind. 

*1/3 cup pumpkin purée 

*1 tablespoon vanilla extract

*2 teaspoons cinnamon

*2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice 

Add sugars and water to a pot. Turn onto medium heat and whisk for a few minutes until the sugars fully dissolve. 

Add spices! You can use more or less than listed to suit your tastes. Whisk a bit before adding the pumpkin.

Add in pumpkin and whisk for a minute. I used homemade purée so it never really got creamy like canned purees can. 

Reduce heat to low so the concoction will not boil and then continue whisking to prevent burning. Simmer 8-10 minutes. I did ten minutes due to my homemade purée not breaking down as easily as store bought. 

Once finished immediately strain using a fine strainer or cheesecloth. This worked for me. 

It helps to do it in sections as it can clog. 

Use a spoon to scrape the bottom and help flow. 

Add vanilla extract to syrup and stir well when finished straining. You can add it before straining but I prefer this method. You can save the chunky leftover bits of purée and spices to bake with.

Place in containers! I didn’t have anything with a pump so I used this bottle. It’s actually kind of fun and makes me feel all witchy! 

The rest I added to jars. 

This should stay for about a month based on your home temperatures, etc. Adding a spoonful of honey to the mix while cooking can help preservation as well. Alternatively, you can refrigerate the mix for 3-4 months but it may come out thicker and in larger portions so be careful when pouring. Enjoy! 

Homemade Pumpkin Purée 

Making pumpkin purée is one of my favorite things to do as a family in the Fall. Even though my husband isn’t here and it isn’t technically Fall it was still a family affair! My toddler helped pick out the pumpkin and was intensely curious and observant during most of the process. Pumpkin purée is fairly easy to make. Just time consuming! We use pumpkin pie/sugar pumpkins for ours. It tastes so much better than the canned purees…but I admit I love those as well. This purée will last about 3 days refrigerated and about 3 months frozen. Deep freezing should allow it to keep longer…but honestly…it never lasts long because there are always yummy recipes you’ll want to make with it! 

You will need: 

*Sugar pumpkin (ours said “Pumpkin Pie Pumpkin” on the sign at the farm stand when we bought it)

*Kosher salt 

Wash and dry your pumpkin! 

Cut a little bit of skin off of each side to create a flat surface to help the pieces stay upright when baking. You’ll be cutting it in half so you just need two. One of each opposite ends. 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cut your pumpkin in half! Careful…they can get super slippery! I cut it in sections then pry it apart. 

Scoop out the guts! Use a spoon or ice cream scooper. Save the insides to make pumpkin seeds later!

Place pumpkin halves on container of choice. I prefer glass and this one has sides if they end up slipping around when I remove them from the oven. If you use a cookie sheet or other metal pan I would cover it in parchment or aluminum foil. 

Sprinkle with Kosher salt. You don’t actually need this much in my hand. I just poured a lot to toss in with the guts to prep them for baking tomorrow. 

Bake for 30-50 minutes. It really depends on your oven, size of pumpkin, amount of pumpkins you’re baking, etc. I would start testing the meat by poking it with a butter knife after 30 minutes. When it goes through easily and smoothly it’s done! 

Remove from oven and cool completely. About an hour. 

Use a spoon to help peel all the skin off. Toss or compost skin. 

Add meat to blender to purée. You may need to do it in sections depending on your blender. Ours has a little tool to shove things down but I still had to turn it on high and push down hard to get it all puréed as I added it all at once. You do not need to add water. The meat will release moisture as you go. 

Put in a container with a lid to save or use immediately! Enjoy! 

Pecan Bars Two Ways – With and Without A Heath Toffee Topping

I have been wanting to bake for weeks now but felt held back by the part of me that had 100 pumpkin recipes on their mind but no pumpkin and the part of me that has been too tired with a husband at sea, a toddler to keep up with, pregnancy and most recently a stomach bug. So much fun right? The combo left me in bed unsure what to do except for watching Netflix, crocheting Yule presents and reading when I wasn’t Mommy-ing. Today, I finally got the push to make these pecan bars! You can make them two ways! One with Heath bar bits like I added here or alternatively with an extra half a cup of pecans and no Heath toffee. Up to you! It’s a very easy recipe to alter. I just happened to have Heath bar pieces my mother in law sent last week so I thought I would put them to use. 

For the CRUST you will need:

*3 cups flour

*1 cup brown sugar 

*1 cup/ 2 sticks melted butter (or butter substitute)

*1/2 teaspoon salt 
For the FILLING you will need:

*1 cup brown sugar 

*1 stick or half a cup of butter (or butter substitute)

*2 cups of pecans if not using Heath bar OR alternatively 1.5 cups pecans and half a cup to a cup of Heath bar bits. Crushed or whole are fine. I already had these crushed from a previous recipe. You can also simply use chocolate bits.

*1/3 cup honey (you can try maple syrup if looking for a vegan alternative but the flavor may be strong)

*2 tsp sweetened condensed milk (heavy cream was in the original recipe or you can use a nut milk)

*1 tsp vanilla (optional)

*1/2 tsp cinnamon or pumpkin spice (optional)

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then cover your chosen pan (I used glass) with non-stick aluminum foil. Or grease regular aluminum foil before use. I would suggest a deeper pan around two inches deep as the contents will bubble. 

To make the crust mix all the ingredients well. 

Dump into prepared dish and press down evenly from corner to corner. 

Bake for 20 minutes. 

About 5 minutes or so before the crust is done baking start the filling! Mix the butter, brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk and honey together in a pot. Stir on medium low for 2 minutes. 

Mix in vanilla and spices if so desired. They are optional. 

Add in pecans. Stir. Turn heat off and set aside until the crust is done. 

When the crust is ready remove from the oven and immediately pour in pecan mixture. Use a spoon or other tool to even it out. 

Bake 10 minutes before adding the Heath topping. Bake an additional 10 minutes after you have evenly added the topping. If you do not plan on adding a topping let bake untampered with for 20 minutes until done. 

Once finished let cool completely before removing from pan using the foil and slicing into bars. Enjoy! 

Crepes! Crepes! Crepes! Recipe 

The first crepe I can remember eating was in San Francisco as a young teenager. Since then the only food labeled crepes I had were those I made myself. I had been blessed with having German pancakes my Opa and Mom made me during my lifetime that were basically the same thing but I had never learned their recipes. Looking for German pancakes online led me to what we always called: “Dutch baby.” Another family favorite. I decided to stay with this crepe recipe. I love how versatile they are. They can be made sweet, sour, salty or savory or some kind of blend of all. Filled with anything from jam to bacon bits to fresh fruit or custard or whipped cream. They are even delicious just with a little butter. My toddler loves them plain and ran off with pieces as soon as I finished cooking them! 

You will need: 

*2 tbsp sugar (white or raw have both worked for me)

*2 eggs 

*2 cups of milk (I used one cup plain kefir with one cup cashew so alternatives things work well) 

*1 cup flour

*1 tbsp melted butter

*1 tsp vanilla extract

*1/3 tsp salt

*oil or butter for cooking

*fillings and toppings of choice

Add all ingredients together in a bowl! 

Mix or whisk until smooth! 

Lightly coat frying pan with oil or butter. 

Depending on the size of your pan and ladle use 3/4 to 1 full scoop of mixture. I used 3/4 at first but moved up to 1 full scoop as my first one was so thin it broke easily. I put my pan on the side then swish the mixture in a circle around the pan until it was even. 

Cook on each side for 1-5 minutes. I cook mine on low to avoid burning and encourage even cooking. So mine take longer. I keep mine warm in the oven while I cook the others as it can take some time to make a batch. 

Use one of these dodads that I can never remember the name of to loosen up the sides as it’s frying. It helps them from crisping up too much and makes it also easier to get a spatula under to flip it. 

Once done you can fill them and roll them up then add toppings! Serve immediately! 
I put homemade nectarine jam in my husbands crepes. Use as little or as much as you please! 

I added a homemade chocolate spread with hand crushed almonds inside two of mine. The third had local raw honey and almonds (it ended up being my favorite one!). 

I topped all of them with butter and powdered sugar! So decadent and delicious! You can use a whipped topping with fresh fruit or a multitude of other toppings and fillings. So many possibilities! Enjoy! 

Maple Cacao Banana Bread Recipe

Banana Bread is a favorite in our house! We even bake it as gifts as we love to experiment with different ingredients we add to our recipes. Share the love! Today, I started with a plan to make chocolate chip banana nut muffins but thought it might be easier to transport a pre-sliced loaf on a walk later today. I wanted something a little different so I looked at our ingredients and saw maple syrup and Droste cacao. Perfect! The maple syrup helps to sweeten the bread as cacao can be bitter. This recipe doesn’t need to include nuts but I added pecans as I love varying textures in my banana bread. This recipe makes two loafs. 

You will need:

*4-6 bananas (2-3 is recommended per loaf)

*3 cups flour

*2 eggs 

*3/4 cups sugar 

*3/4 cups brown sugar 

*1/2 cup melted butter

*1/3 cup maple syrup

*2 tbsp cacao of choice (I used Droste) 

*2 tsp baking soda 

*2 tsp vanilla extract

*1 tsp salt

*optional 1-2 cups of nuts of choice or chocolate chips. 

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. 

Smash up your bananas! I used half frozen bananas I had chopped up when very ripe (the riper the sweeter they will be) and half fresh. 

Start melting butter.

Add dry ingredients.

Add maple syrup!

Add melted butter! 

Mix lightly before continuing.

Add vanilla and then the eggs.

Dump in nuts if you decided to use then!

Mix mix mix! 

Greased two bread tins then pour your bread mixture in. Bake for 1 hour or until fully cooked. 

Let cool for 3-5 minutes then pop out of containers. 

Let cool then enjoy! 

Strawberry Cake Filling

I made this surprisingly quick and easy filling for my Midsummer cake! I had a few people ask for the recipe so here it is! 

You will need:

*2 1/2 cups cut up Strawberries 

*1 cup water

*3/4 cups sugar

*3 teaspoons cornstarch 

Mix cornstarch and water together on medium heat.

Once the mixture is fully blended add the strawberries.

Then add the sugar. I added a tablespoon of raw local honey to boost the sweetness and flavor but it isn’t needed unless you like a sweeter filling. 

Mix the ingredients well on medium heat. I took a masher lightly to the strawberries but it isn’t needed. 

Cook for about 10 minutes while stirring continuously. 

After it is done cooking allow to cool completely before using as a filling! Enjoy! 

Cherry Pie and Crust Recipe Using Canned/Jarred Cherries

Some time ago my husband purchased a jar of Hungarian sour cherries. I kept promising to make a pie with it but never got to it. Today, I finally did! I mixed it with two cans of Oregon tart cherries for a yummy blend. 

To make the crust you will need: 

*3 cups flour

*1.5 cups of butter OR 1 cup shortening and half a cup of butter. I used all butter. 

*5 tbs warm water 

*1 tbs vinegar

*1 tsp baking powder

*1 egg

Mix all the ingredients well! I used melted butter so I added everything together then added the butter. Slightly still chilled butter is ideal but you can use melted and chill the mixture while you prepare the filling. 

To make the pie filling you will need:

*48 oz of canned or jarred cherries (appx)

*3-5 tbs sugar (depends on how sweet you want your filling)

*3 tbs cornstarch

*1 tsp lemon juice

*1 tsp vanilla extract 

*1/2 tsp salt

Strain cherries and save 3/4 cup of juice. 

Mix all ingredients including saved juice together. 

Heat on low for approximately 5 minutes while stirring constantly. 

Let cool while preparing the crust. Preheat oven to 425 F.

Roll out dough into two round sheets. One will be used to fill the pie container and the other will be used for the lattice work. 

Place crust in container and trim off excess. Add pie filling. Ours was left to chill a little too long and was a bit hard to work with. My husband worked the crust so he had the idea that it didn’t matter what it looked like as it was still going to be delicious. 

Cut the remaining crust into strips. Use egg whites to bind the crusts together when layering if desired. We simply pressed them together. 

My husband literally gave no f*cks concerning the appearance of this pie as he was eager to get it baked and consumed. So the following photos might not be the prettiest. Haha! 

Bake uncovered for 15 minutes. Lower temperature to 375 F and bake until crust is golden and the filling is bubbling. Approximately 1 hour. If the crust is darkening too quickly you can cover it with tin foil. 

When finished put onto a cooling rack until cooled completely. Enjoy! 

Simple Sourdough Baguette Recipe

After weeks of feeling drained and unwell I have been finally bursting with food making energy! First up is a sourdough baguette! A really simple one at that! This recipe makes one baguette unless you want to rip the dough in half and make two smaller loaves for dips or small appetizers. I did both to show the difference. I also left the larger loaf to sour for about 18 hours compared to the 6 I left the two smaller loaves. This resulted in a loaf that had spread out and risen more in the case of the single loaf. Both were fairly dense but soft and delicious with thick chewy crusts. There are other recipes for an airy bread that I will share at another time. 

You will need: 

*2 cups flour

*1/2 cup sourdough starter

*1/2 warm (not hot) water

*1/2 tsp salt 

Mix all the ingredients together! No waiting to let the yeast rise. Super simple! 

Drop onto a floured surface to knead. The dough is slightly dry and cracks easily. Don’t worry about it. You only need to work it for a few minutes. 

Roll into a ball! Or two if you want smaller loaves. 

Roll ball into a log shape. If it’s cracking too much for you get a small bowl of warm water and dip your fingers in to help smooth cracks. 

Once you are satisfied with the shape you can cut indentations in if you would like for aesthetic appeal. 

Grease a baking sheet and sit your bread on it for 3-6 hours at least. The longer it sits the more it may rise but the more sour it will get as well. 

Preheat the oven to 425 F when ready to bake! I brushed my larger loaf with oil to help the crust darken better. The smaller loaves I brushed with salted butter about 10 minutes in. You don’t need to do either but it helps the color and in the case of the butter it adds flavor. 

Bake for 15 minutes or so. Without oil or butter it will be a very light tan but adding other things to the crust will result in a golden brown. 

You can serve immediately or let sit until the next day to rewarm and serve. Great for dipping into sauces, stews and soups or to cut into slices for appetizers! 

My daughter couldn’t wait for it too cool enough. Haha! She loves homemade bread so much.

Vegan Pizza Dough Recipe 

I posted first about my vegan tomato sauce recipe (most are vegan but the point was in making a vegan pizza to try). You can find the recipe here:

This is the second step in making my very first homemade vegan pizza. Making the dough! It takes roughly around the same time as the sauce so I began the sauce first. Normally, I would have added sourdough starter to my crust but I wanted a recipe that would be more easily replicated by most people. I rarely see sourdough starters at others houses so I chose the dry yeast route. This recipe supposedly makes two crusts but I decided any leftover after creating the crust I wanted could be used the next day to make breadsticks. I might have tossed that idea out of the window and accidental made the fluffier pizza! It’s huge! If you want a thinner pizza split the dough into two pizzas. 

You will need: 

*4 cups unbleached all purpose flour

*2 cups warm water (not hot. it’s for the yeast)

*2 tbs dry active yeast

*1/2 tsp salt  

Mix warm water and yeast for several minutes until fully dissolved. Let sit 5-10 to expand and froth up.

Mix flour and salt in large bowl. 

Make a well in the center of the flour and add yeast mixture. 

Mix well! The blend will be sticky but you will be kneading it with a bit more flour.

Flour a clean surface with a out 2 tablespoons of flour and knead dough well until it no longer sticks to your hands.

Form into a ball and add to a greased bowl. I tend to just flour or grease the same bowl I mixed in to avoid more dishes. Cover and let sit for 45 minutes. 

Uncover and punch down. 

Knead well on a floured surface again. About 2 tablespoons is a good amount. 

At this point you can rip the dough in two for two crusts or see how much dough you would want to use depending on the thickness of the crust you prefer. 

Roll into a ball before using a rolling pin to roll out into a pizza shape. This is my least favorite part as I tend to not roll circles very well. 

I wanted thick crust (it was thicker than expected in the end!) so I rolled out wider than my pan (be sure to grease it first) then used my fingers to roll the dough back in slightly to make a mound. 

I mixed salt, garlic, parsley and oil together and brushed the crust before baking. 

Bake at 375 degrees F for about 10-15 minutes or until golden brown before adding your sauce toppings!