Thursday, November 29, 2018

Humbly House G/F Cinnamon Spice Rolls

Humbly House G/F Cinnamon Spice Rolls

1 cup water
1 cup almond milk (or whatever milk you want to use) mixed with 1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
3 tablespoons yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
5 1/2 cups gluten-free flour blend (we use Namaste, but feel free to use your favorite)

1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon cardamon

2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon butter extract
2-3 tablespoons almond milk (again, use whatever milk you want)

-Mix together water, milk/vinegar mixture, sugar and butter in small saucepan. Warm over low heat until butter just starts to melt (about 110 degrees). Pout into large mixing bowl (I use my Kitchenaid bowl) and sprinkle with yeast. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes to let everything start to bubble a bit. 
-After the 15 minutes, add 4 1/2 cups flour, eggs and salt. Mix on low with flat beater attachment if using a mixer or with a wooden spoon if doing it by hand. Add rest of flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until all the flour is blended in well. Be careful not to over mix as this can result in a tough dough.
-Rest dough for 15 minutes at room temperature.
-Prepare filling by mixing together butter, sugars and spices.
-Also during this time, prepare the cake tin for the rolls. Cut a circle out of parchment paper to fit the bottom of a 9 inch cake tin. Butter the bottom and sides of the tin; place the parchment on the bottom of the tin, and butter the top of the parchment. 
-After the 15 minutes is up, roll out your dough on a lightly gluten-free floured surface into a 12 x 16 inch rectangle. You want the dough to be about 1/4 inch high when it is rolled out.
-Sprinkle dough with filling. Be sure to spread the filling out to the edges, so each roll will have a good amount in it. 
-Roll up dough into a spiral starting at long edge. Cut into 12 equal pieces with sharp knife. 
-Place rolls into tin, cut side up. 
-Cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, and let sit in a warm place for 30 minutes or until rolls have doubled in size.
-Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. 
-Remove plastic wrap and discard. Place tin into oven and bake for 12-15 minutes or until light golden brown.
-Place tin on cooling rack for 15 minutes to cool slightly.
-While rolls are cooling, make icing. Mix all ingredients together in small bowl until the consistency of heavy cream. 
-Remove rolls from tin and place on plate. Drizzle icing over the rolls. Eat right away or let completely cool and then store, covered in plastic wrap, for up to three days. These are still delicious at the three day mark, especially when heated in the microwave. They can also be frozen after baked and then thawed to room temperature to eat at a later date.

I've tried a lot of gluten free cinnamon roll recipes before, and these were by far the most delicious. Adding the blend of spices just gives them a little something extra. Feel free to experiment with flavors you like and let me know what you used.


Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Romanesco Sauce- Humbly House Style

Romanesco Sauce

1/4 cup olive oil
12 oz. jar roasted red bell peppers
1/2 cup parsley
3 cloves garlic
4-5 dashes Tabasco hot sauce
1 cup honey roasted mixed nuts
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Place ingredients into blender in order listed. Blend until smooth sauce-like consistency. Add a bit more olive oil if it's too thick. Pour into small pitcher to serve.

This is terrific over roasted vegetables and meat. It is also good with eggs and over a grain like polenta. Normally, it's made with just almonds, but I didn't have any plain ones, so I tried the honey roasted nuts. Everyone thought it was delicious. Give it a try and tell me what you like to put it on!!


Saturday, October 27, 2018

Greek Spice Mix & More

Grandpa Aziz' Greek Spice Mix

Use whatever measurements you want, from teaspoons to 1/4 cup being the "2 part" of the ingredients. All of the ingredients are dry and most can be found in bulk sections of most grocery stores. I bought mine at Winco, except for Marjoram which I found in packages at Cost Plus World Market.

2 Salt
2 Basil
2 Oregano
1/2 Thyme
2 Garlic (I use granulated for this)
1 Dill
1 Marjoram
1 Corn Starch (you can use tapioca starch if you can't have corn)
1 Black Pepper
1 Parsley
1 Rosemary
1/2 Cinnamon
1/2 Nutmeg

Mix together and keep in covered container. Mix or shake a bit before using. It's delicious when mixed with boneless chicken pieces and a little olive oil before sauteing or baking at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. The chicken can be used for a simple soup:

Greek Chicken Rice Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 cups leftover chicken
2 cups cooked rice (I used Basmati)
2 cups chicken stock or vegetable broth
1/2 cup baby spinach, washed and rough cut
2 tablespoons Greek Spice Mix
additional salt, to taste

Heat olive oil in soup pot over medium heat until it glistens. Add onion and celery; cook until onion is translucent, stirring occasionally. Add remaining ingredients (except additional salt) and stir. Heat until it comes to a boil. Turn down and heat through for 15 minutes. Taste to see if it needs more salt; add salt if necessary. Serve hot in bowls with Greek Pita Bread and green salad. 

Grandpa Aziz was an amazing man who finished his formal education at seventh grade yet was a Naval Hero of World War ll. He also received an honorary engineering degree from TRW as he was part of the team that designed and developed things for NASA and the space shuttle program. On top of all of this, he was an awesome computer guy and fantastic cook. I only mention all this as the recipe is in his own handwriting. It is definitely a treasure!


Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Evie's Chicken Rice Casserole

Evie's Chicken Rice Casserole

2 boneless chicken breasts, cut up bite size
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 small red onion, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup G/F flour mix or regular flour
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
few dashes Tabasco
1-32 oz. box chicken stock (or 4 cups homemade)
2 cups dry wild rice mix, cooked according to instructions (I use our rice cooker)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large frying pan, heat olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. When butter has melted, add carrots, celery and onion. Cook until soft, about 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chicken to pan and stir to combine with vegetables. Put lid on pan and let cook for 6 minutes. Remove lid and stir; place lid back on pan and continue to cook until chicken is cooked through.  This should take about 4-5 minutes more.
While chicken is cooking, melt 1/2 cup butter in medium saucepan over medium heat; when melted add the G/F flour mix or flour and whisk until combined. Let cook for 3-4 minutes, whisking occasionally- this cooks out the raw flour taste. Add all the herbs and spices; stir until combined. Whisk in the chicken stock, a bit at a time, until a gravy-like consistency is reached. Check for seasoning and adjust by adding more of whatever you think it needs (mine always seems to need a bit more garlic and salt).
In a large bowl, mix together chicken and vegetable mixture with the sauce; gently fold in the cooked rice.
Place mixture in 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake for about 15-20 minutes until nicely browned.

Evie was one of Grandma Pitalo's best friends for more years than I can remember. The original recipe was a bit more plain, so I kicked it up just a bit!


Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Almond Poppy Seed Cake

Almond Poppy Seed Cake 

1/2 cup poppy seeds, ground in blender 
1/3 cup honey
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs, separated
1 cup plain or honey yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon honey wine (also known as Mead)
2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup powdered sugar
1 to 1/2 tablespoons Mead (use a sweet white wine if you don't have any honey wine)
3/4 cups slivered almonds

For cake
Preheat oven to 350. 
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 
Add poppy seeds and honey to creamed mixture and mix. 
Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
Blend in yogurt and vanilla or honey wine. 
In another bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Gradually add the wet poppy seed mixture to the dry mixture, beating well.
In a small bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into batter.
Pour batter into a lightly greased and floured 9-inch tube (or bundt) pan.
(You can also use two loaf pans.)
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Cool in pan for 5 minutes. 
Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.
For topping: 
Mix powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon Mead. Add additional Mead, just a bit at a time, until it reaches the consistency of light cream. Pour over warm cake and sprinkle top with almonds.

Let cool and enjoy! 

This is called Makovy Dort in Czech. I made it in honor of our beautiful daughter-in-law and her family & to remember the wonderful time we had with them this summer. It also reminds me of my Nana, who was from Austria & an amazing baker/cook in her own right!

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Grandma Aziz' Apple Cake- Gluten Free Style

Grandma Aziz' Apple Cake- Gluten Free Style


Cake:2 cups granulated sugar1 cup oil1/4 Orangecello* (I use Drop Shop from Springfield, Oregon- it's so good!) 2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract4 eggs3 cups gluten free flour mix (I use Namaste GF Flour Blend)3 teaspoons baking powder1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

Filling:2 1/2 cups apples, cored, peeled and diced1 teaspoon apple pie spice

Icing:1 1/2 cups powdered sugar2 teaspoons Orangecello1-2 teaspoons milk

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray Bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Make icing by whisking together the powdered sugar and Orangecello. Add milk, 1/4 teaspoon at a time until it is the consistency of heavy cream. Let sit on counter until cake is finished baking.
  • Mix together apples and apple pie spice in small bowl; set aside.
  • Beat first five ingredients with wooden spoon in large mixing bowl. In medium size bowl, stir together flour mix, baking powder and salt. Add dry ingredients to large bowl and mix well. 
  • Place 1/3 of batter in Bundt pan. Pour 1/2 of apple mixture on top of batter. Repeat with 1/3 more batter, rest of apples and finally, finish with remaining batter. Spread batter to edge of pan.
  • Bake for 55-60 minutes. Let rest in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and pour glaze over warm cake.
  • Delicious served warm or at room temperature with soft whipped cream or poured custard.
*If you can't use the Orangecello, try using the same amount of orange juice.

This was one of our family favorite's from my Grandma Aziz. She didn't cook a lot of things, but her apple cake, oatmeal cookies and walnut twist rolls are classic. I've tweaked her recipe a bit as well as making it gluten free for my daughter with celiac- I think it's a great recipe whether regular or gluten free!


Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Just the Recipe, Ma'am

In order to help you all with what you hopefully come to this blog for, I have decided to simplify and give you the just a weekly recipe without a long story that you have to trudge through before you can see if you even want to make it. I will probably write a short background and maybe even some ideas of what the recipe would be good to serve with. With everyone's busy lives, my hope is to share some simple and delicious ideas!

Stay tuned for the first weekly recipe tomorrow!!



Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Tasty Tuesday- Thanksgiving Round Up & Best Cinnamon Rolls Ever

We're still giving thanks here!
Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We once again headed off to our friends at Fordyce Farm for dinner then over to another dear family for dessert. The conversation was lively, the wine and other beverages wonderful, and the company just right! Since we wanted to enjoy ourselves all day Thursday, we started off preparing a couple days before with the marinating of the beef brisket we would be taking. I found this recipe for Oven-Roasted Beef Brisket at Genius Kitchen. It was amazing! We were also taking mashed potatoes that we made the day before, thanks to a recipe from Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Lady. Smooth and creamy and totally simple to make, I would highly recommend these. I made a grits, bacon and cheese casserole too. It was delicious and a great accompaniment to the rest of the wonderful food everyone brought! My dessert contribution was from my Grandma Pitalo cookbook- Mrs. Sarkin's Spice Cake with a few Mangia Mamma twists like a spiced crumble and spiced liqueur/caramel icing. It was yummy!!
Brian getting into the spirit making
the crumble for the spice cake!

We started celebrating our Thanksgiving Day in the morning with my parents coming over for breakfast and the Macy's Parade. Since most of the kids are away at school, it was a great time to share our new home and some delicious food. I've been experimenting with cinnamon rolls from scratch since the kids were little, and found a recipe quite a while ago in a book called, We Didn't Know They Were Angels by Doris W. Greig. 

It's been much used and well loved!
The whole book is a lovely ideas on how to be hospitable without a ton of effort. It contains a number of recipes that I've used over the years, but the one I have used most of all is for the overnight cinnamon rolls that I like to call The Best Cinnamon Rolls Ever. I've made a few adjustments, but the recipe is terrific just as is. One batch makes about two dozen rolls, but the recipe can be easily doubled. As a matter of fact, I've made 5 times the amount for a few gatherings, and they've always turned out super! These are yummy anytime of year, but for holidays and special occasions you can add all sorts of goodies in the filling, from nuts to raisins or cranberries to fresh berries or even chocolate chips! Oh yeah, one more thing, these can be frozen before the second raising for up to two months. So get out that mixer and make a batch of these for Christmas morning. I know that's what I'll be doing soon!
David giving the thumbs up that the rolls
are ready to put in the oven!


6 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 tsp. salt
5 tsp. active dry yeast
1 cup milk
1 cup butter, divided
2 large eggs
2 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar, divided

1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. butter extract
1-2 tbsp. heavy cream

In bowl of heavy duty mixer, stir together 5 cups flour, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, salt and yeast using flat beater.  In a small pan, combine milk, water and 1/4 cup butter, cut into pieces. Place over low heat and warm until 120 degrees (butter doesn't have to melt). You can also do this in a microwave-safe bowl; heat for 1 1/2 minutes or until 120 degrees. Slowly add liquid mixture and eggs to dry ingredients, blending with flat beater until everything is combined. Change flat beater to dough hook, and knead with machine on stir, adding flour 1/4 cup at a time until dough is not sticky. Continue to knead for 5-7 minutes until dough is shiny and smooth. Place dough in greased bowl and cover top with plastic wrap; let rise for 30 minutes or until doubled in size. 
While dough is rising, spray 2 - 9 x 13 pans with nonstick cooking spray then line bottom of pans with parchment paper. Melt 1/2 cup butter; pour equal amounts into prepared pans. Sprinkle 1/2 brown sugar over each of the pans. Set aside.
Once dough is doubled, punch down and divide in half. On a floured board, roll each half in a 9 x 18 inch rectangle. Melt remaining butter; brush 2 tbsp. over each pice of dough. Mix together remaining sugar, brown sugar and spices in small bowl. Sprinkle evenly over each dough rectangle. If you are adding other filling goodies, now is the time to do it!! From the long side, roll each piece into a log. Cut each log crosswise into 12 equal pieces. Set rolls cut side up evenly in pans. You will have 12 in each pan. Cover each pan with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight or up to 24 hours. You can now freeze them for future use if you want!
For baking, take pans our of refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake at 375 for 24-28 minutes until golden brown. While the rolls are baking, make icing. Mix powdered sugar and butter extract together in small bowl; add 1 tbsp. heavy cream and mix well, adding more heavy cream until thick but pourable consistency is achieved. To serve: remove from pans by placing a serving tray on top of pan and flipping over. Be careful of the caramel on the bottom of the pan as it is super hot!! Remove parchment paper and drizzle with icing. 
Makes 24 rolls

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Tasty Tuesdays- Thanksgiving Happiness Cake

So it's that time of year again- Thanksgiving is just around the corner. There are so many delicious, and let's face some just weird, recipes out there. Instead of adding to what is already a headache inducing plethora of new stuffing (or dressing, depending on what you call it), turkey, or the innumerable dessert recipes, I thought I'd go back to my Grandma Pitalo cookbook for one of my favorite recipes. With all going on in the world these days, this is a recipe- even though she wrote in down so many years ago- that we need to read and produce. 

I hope you all enjoy your Thanksgiving remembering to give thanks to the One who makes it all possible. May God bless you and your family abundantly!

We all need to share some happiness especially during this time of year!
The flowers are ones I've been making for Mary's winter formal dress,
and they make me happy too!

P.S. I am actually excited about the dishes I'll be making for Thanksgiving, so expect a post next week for beef brisket as well as grits, bacon and cheese casserole along with photos of our weekend adventure!!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Saintly Women of the Week

“When one finds a worthy wife, her value is far beyond pearls. Her husband, entrusting his heart to her, has an unfailing prize. She brings him good, and not evil, 
all the days of her life” (Proverbs 31:10-12).

To be honest, this piece of scripture has always been hard for me to fathom. There are times that I might have felt that I've done it right, but that's usually when I totally blow it. Arguing, snarky comments, disrespectful attitude- I have done it all. 
That's the reason I am so grateful for my little posse of Saints. I can look at their lives as well as ask for their intercession when I am messing up. This week there are a number of saintly women we celebrate who are part of the "communion of saints". Some were wives and moms, one was a brave missionary, and one a martyr. Even with their different stories, they have all helped me to be able to work on being that "unfailing prize" as a wife and mom, but even more importantly, as the woman God is helping me to grow into!


St. Elizabeth of Hungary

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Tasty Tuesdays- From Garden to Table Fried Green Tomatoes

My Piccolo Di Luce Studio

We have been in our new house for a little over a week now. It is starting to feel a bit more like home even with a mountain of boxes still needing to be unpacked and so much stuff needing to be put away. I've started to set up my studio space, and I thought I'd share the view into our backyard. The little house on the right is our chicken coop which will be occupied in the spring. I can't wait to be able to watch our chickies enjoy themselves whilst I am sewing- not to mention being able to see the little birds and all the different plants we have!
What a view!

Tomatoes are still in the garden!!
Freshly picked!

Talking about plants, the previous owners were really nice and left a fantastic garden area for us. We've got everything from grapes to blueberries to an apple tree plus herbs and three raised beds. They even left an artichoke plant which I am super excited about!! There are also a good number of tomato plants in one of the raised beds. I've picked a bunch of the cherry tomatoes for salads, but yesterday thought I'd be a bit more adventurous. I picked green tomatoes to make some Fried Green Tomatoes for breakfast. Normally I have a small breakfast, but I thought it would be fun to use garden fresh produce~ the whole garden to table thing was like a siren's call to which I gladly succumbed. They were so delicious and easy to make that I wanted to share the recipe. I made a couple of poached eggs (can't wait to be able to have eggs from our own chickens) to serve them with although they would be yummy on a sandwich or as a side dish with dinner. Even if you have never eaten them before, give these a try. They are so good plus they're a great way to use up those unripe tomatoes you have in your garden!!

Fry 'em up!
Just a few ingredients needed!
Garden to Table
Fried Green Tomatoes

4 tbsp. olive oil, divided
2 green tomatoes, cut into 1/2" thick slices
1/4 cup half & half
1 egg
3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper, divided
1 tsp. Italian herbs
2 poached eggs

Heat 3 tbsp. olive oil in frying pan over medium heat. Whisk together half & half, egg, salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper in medium bowl. Mix together bread crumbs, remaining pepper and Italian herbs on plate. Dip tomato slice in egg mixture than bread crumbs, being sure to press bread crumbs onto tomato slice. Place on another plate; repeat with all tomato slices. When they are all coated, place a few gently into frying pan being sure not to crowd the pan. Cook on one side for 2-3 minutes then flip to other side, cooking for another 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Remove from pan with spatula and place on plate, covering with foil to keep warm. Repeat cooking process with all tomatoes. 
To serve with poached eggs, place tomatoes on plate, top with poached eggs; sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and drizzle with remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil. 
Garden to Table Breakfast