Monday, October 31, 2016

Easy, No Knead Vegan Cinnamon Roll Crescents

Easy, No Knead Vegan Cinnamon Roll Crescents
Who doesn't love Cinnamon Rolls? And, who doesn't love easy?

These Cinnamon Crescents are quick and easy. I keep the No Knead Vegan Brioche type dough in my refrigerator - it takes less than 10 minutes to make the dough - and I can have a batch of these in the oven in a matter of minutes. They're tender, moist, and pull apart in layers.

The use of Tapioca Starch, Potato, and Sugar tenderizes & moisturizes the dough, and make a moist, tender, fluffy roll without the use of oil or eggs.  


It is SOOO easy to make - and produces such spectacular results! This recipe produces about 3 dozen Crescent Rolls (if you'd like a smaller batch, scroll down)

This is the same dough I use for several other breads on this site, so you can make a big batch and keep it on hand to use for lots of different breads.

Easy, No Knead, Vegan Cinnamon Roll Crescents


Easy, No Knead, Vegan Crescent Roll Dough **** (Scroll Down for Smaller Batch)
This recipe makes about 3 dozen rolls, or 18 rolls & 1 large Challah.
Measure into a 6 quart container*, in this order
3 Cups Warm Water (baby bath water temperature. If in doubt, make it too cool rather than too warm)
5 1/4 Cups Unbleached, All Purpose Flour
1/4 Cup Tapioca Starch (you can substitute Cornstarch, if you like)
1 Cup Potato Flakes (yes, that's right, the stuff people use to make Instant Mashed Potatoes)
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Tablespoon Yeast
1 Tablespoon Salt
Stir well with a spoon till no patches of dry Flour remain.

The dough should look like this right after you stir it.

Cover loosely with lid (don't fasten so securely that it cannot "breathe")
Leave it on the counter for 2 to 5 hours.
Now, put it in the fridge till you're ready to use it **

The dough should look like this after it has sat out on the counter for 2 to 5 hours.


Note - do not "Punch Down" this kind of dough. 

When you're ready to bake the bread, remove it from the refrigerator and dust it VERY WELL with Flour. This is a moist, sticky dough, so don't be afraid to use lots of Flour!

Oil your pan (I use a Perforated, Non-stick Pizza Pan, like this one for baking)

Take one pound of dough (1/4 of the large batch or 1/2 of the small batch) and roll out in a rectangle that is approximately 8"x12".

Roll Dough out into Rectangle.

Spread the Dough with your choice of either Apple Sauce (for oil free) or Buttery Spread, and sprinkle VERY generously with a mixture of Cinnamon & Sugar (I use 1 Part Cinnamon to 4 Parts Sugar). I have tried both Apple Sauce (about 1/4 cup for a batch) & Buttery Spread variations - and they taste the same to me - so don't hesitate to use the Apple Sauce if you're avoiding oil : )



Cut in long, thin triangles. A pizza cutter works great for this job, or just a large Chef's knife that you can press down and cut the dough without pulling.




Roll each triangle up and place it on the pan.



Leave to rise for 30 to 60 minutes (the last time I made these, I only let them rise about 15 minutes - they were still great : )

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and bake in the middle of the oven, without steam for 35-40 minutes.

Upon removing from the oven, you may brush with a buttery spread (or Tapioca Wash for oil free variation) , if you desire.

Then, Drizzle with a Simple Glaze:
Use about a cup of Powdered Sugar and an optional spoonful of Buttery Spread. Add several drops of Vanilla & a dash of Salt - add just enough Non-Dairy Milk to make spreadable. Microwave about 10 seconds to and stir again for optimal smoothness. Then Drizzle over the rolls. If you want to make it pretty, put it in a Zippered Bag and cut a tiny hole in the corner to squeeze the Drizzle onto the Rolls. If you're more casual, just use a fork dripped in drizzle to make little decorations on the rolls.The glaze will melt if applied to hot rolls - if you want to make them pretty, wait for them to cool. But they're tasty either way!





Small Batch Easy, No Knead Vegan Crescent Rolls
 (Makes about 18 rolls)
Follow above directions, but use these amounts
I prepare a batch this size in an 8 Cup Container - the one in the above pictures.
Be sure to add in this order:

1 1/2 Cups Warm Water
2 1/2 Cups + 2 Tablespoons Unbleached, All Purpose Flour
2 Tablespoons Tapioca Starch (you can substitute Cornstarch, if you like)
1/2 Cup Potato Flakes
1/4 Cup Sugar
1/2 Tablespoon Yeast
1/2 Tablespoon Salt

Stir well, then follow above directions - the same as for a large batch.

* For my 6 Quart Container, I use a new plastic shoe box from the Dollar Store.
** This dough CAN be used the day it is made - but it is a tad easier to shape after it is refrigerated. It is lightest and fluffiest when used within a day or two of when you make it, but I have used it several days later  - a week or more - and still had very good results.
*** If you bake two large pans of rolls at the same time, put one loaf on the middle rack, and one on the bottom rack. Then, set a timer to switch their positions half-way through baking, so that they brown evenly both on the top and on the bottom.

I always make bread by the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day method  (and, I think EVERYONE should own their book!). But, they didn't have a Vegan Brioche-type dough, so I created my own recipe using their method : )

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Monday, October 24, 2016

12 Starchy Sides

Starchy Sides
For many people, many nights, dinner consists of a basic pattern of a protein, a veggie and a starch. And, if you're stuck in rut as far as starchy sides go, you might start feeling like you're having the same meal, night after night. One more night of seasoned-rice-from-a-box can just look discouraging after a while!

Not to mention, with Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other Feast Days coming up, you might want an additional option or two for that Holiday Table. 

Adding a little variety to your starchy sides selection can make all the difference.

Nearly all of these are Gluten Free, or can easily be made so by substituting GF ingredients like Pasta or Soy Sauce.

Here are 12 to choose from - many of these can also make great Vegan main dishes : )


Baked Potatoes in the Slow Cooker



Bulgur Pilaf ( Pourgouri )




Dijon Potatoes





Greek Inspired Oven Fries



Philippine Style Fried Rice




Rosemary Roast Potatoes in the Slow Cooker



Sweet Potato Fries



Sweet & Sour Sweet Potatoes



Indian Lemon Rice with Peas  



Orzo Pilaf



Savory One Pot Mushroom Noodles 



Confetti Spaghetti



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Monday, October 17, 2016

Divisibility Song - Easily Memorize Divisibility Rules!

Learn Divisibility Rules by Singing them!
It's great to have tricks for determining divisibility, but they're not much use if you can't remember them! This is a song I made up ("wrote" seems too strong a word!) for my little girl to help her remember all this stuff. I tried to avoid terms like "divisor" and "dividend" because they're hard to remember, too! (and a memory song is only useful if you can figure out what it means when you go to do the math!)

In our home school, we do one type of memory song per day: Religion on Monday, Math Songs on Tuesday, History & Geography on Wednesday, and Science on Friday (yes, we only schedule 4 days of structured school per week). Singing this song every Tuesday makes those math problems a snap when they arise.

I omitted the tips for 7 & 11, as they are rather ungainly and time-consuming; it seems easier to just "do the math" and figure those out the old-fashioned way!

If you like this post, also check out
Multiplication Quick Tricks Memory Song 

I got these tips from the internet, relying heavily on this chart from the Contented at Home blog, which I also encourage downloading as a great home school (or traditional school) resource.

Free Disivibility Chart

Here's a little video of the tune being played by an adorable little girl, in case you have trouble recalling it: 




Divisibility Song
To the Tune of "Frere Jaques"
or "Are You Sleeping, Brother John"
(if you need a reminder of the tune, click the video, above)

If a number
ends in zero
then you know
that you can
easily divide it
by 2, 5, or 10
It's a Snap!
It's a Snap!

You can divide
numbers by two
if they're even
that's the test
you can divide numbers
by two if they're even
that's the test! That's the test!

You can divide
numbers by three
if their sum+
divides by three
You can divide
numbers
by three if their sum
divides by three
Yes you can!

You can divide
numbers by four
if the last
two digits
can divide by four
can divide by four
then you know
it will work!

You can divide
numbers by five
if their last
digit is
either 5 or zero
either 5 or zero
then you can divide by 5

You can divide
numbers by six
if you can
divide them
by both 2 and 3
by both 2 and 3
then you can
divide by 6!

You can divide
numbers by 8
if their last
three digits
can divide by 8
can divide by 8
then you know
it will work

You can divide
numbers by 9
if the sum+
divides by 9
you can divide numbers
by 9 if the sum
divides by 9
Yes you can!

You can divide
numbers by 10
if they end
in zero
You can divide numbers
by 10 if they end
in zero, in zero!

You can divide
numbers by twelve
if you can
divide them
by both 3 and 4
by both 3 and 4
then you can
divide by 12!

To check answers
in division
Multiply
your answer
by the left number *
(or the bottom number) **
then you'll know
that it's right!
                                                                               __3___
*When formatting Division questions like this: 5 ) 15      then it's the Left Number
** When formatting Division Questions as is common in Algebra  15 =3  then it's the bottom number.
                                                                                                             5

+A "sum" of a number means that you add up all the digits of a number till you get a single digit - that's the number's sum. For instance, the sum of 123 is 1+2+3= 6. And the sum of 12345 is 1+2+3+4+5=15  THEN 1+5 =6, So the sum of 12345 is also 6.

If you like this, you might want to check out my other Homeschooling Posts

Concord Cunningham, the Scripture Sleuth
Design Your Own Mini Unit Study 
Home School for Cheap or Free: Why Greek is Better than Latin!
Home School for Cheap or Free: Greek Reading
Home School for Cheap or Free: Greek Conversation
Teaching Math: Home School for Cheap or Free
Teaching Music: Homeschool for Cheap or Free
Teach Reading with Confidence: Homeschool for Chea...

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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Abortion and Politics



This is a thought-provoking, not-to-be-missed Sermon by a Catholic Priest. I am not Roman Catholic, but I am a Christian, and this is a message for us all. I'm not an "issues" blogger or a "political" blogger - most of my posts are on topics like recipes and menu planning. But, as human beings, this issue is vital and none of us can afford to ignore it.

If you look back at the tragic events of history, and say, "Why didn't anyone DO anything?!" - well, this is your chance to DO something for the tragic events of OUR time. 

Please take 20 minutes to listen to this Sermon.

OR

If like me, you prefer reading to watching & listening, here's a link to the text.


Please share it with your friends.

It is an urgent message, and lives depend on you taking action.

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Monday, October 10, 2016

Vegan Pot Roast Veggies

Vegan Pot Roast Veggies
A lot of people assume that going Vegetarian or Vegan is a big sacrifice that involves a lot of misery. For some people, I suppose that might be true. But, I was a person who was never crazy about meat to begin with - I didn't dislike it, but it was never my favorite food, either. So, I found it quite easy to just stop eating it.

But, that doesn't mean that I never miss some of the things that go with meat. Like those great roasted, seasoned Veggies that go with Pot Roast. Now, those were tasty. But, not Vegetarian.

Well, the last time I made Pot Roast for family & friends, I decided to make a second Slow Cooker of just seasoned Veggies for the Vegetarians in the crowd. And - they were GREAT!

Here's what I did:

Vegan Pot Roast Veggies


Use smaller Crock Pot (I believe it is a 4 quart model)
Layer Veggies into Slow Cooker till full within 1" of top
First Baby Carrots
Then, haphazardly
Quartered Red Potatoes (or, if tiny, use them whole)
Onion Wedges
Celery Sticks
Sprinkle with seasonings:
1/2 Envelope Onion Soup Mix (Use a Vegan Variety - last time I checked, the store brand & Lipton were Vegan)
1 T Garlic
1 T Olive Oil
Cover & Cook on high for about 5 to 6 hours

Tips for dining with Omnivores: Use this same recipe to make Omnivore Pot Roast - simply add an appropriate Cut of Beef at the bottom of a large slow cooker, top with the veggies, use a whole Envelope of Soup mix, but only 1 teaspoon Garlic. Cook 5-6 hours on high.

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Monday, October 3, 2016

30 Minute Soups for the Stove Top

30 Minute Stove Top Soups

So, you've got a hungry family, and you need a quick, hearty, healthy comforting meal that you can serve in a half hour or so. These soups seem like they took all day, but only take 30-40 minutes each. Add Bread & a Salad and you've got a substantial, satisfying, but quick and inexpensive meal. 

 These are perfect recipes to have on hand with Autumn approaching, and many busy evenings ahead! 

 If you're Gluten Free, be sure to choose Gluten Free ingredients like Gluten Free Soy Sauce when cooking. 



Mushroom Barley Soup
(For Gluten Free Option, Sub Rice for Barley)

Family Favorite Lentil Soup





Greek Bean Soup ( Fasolia Yachni )




Hot & Sour Soup





Minestrone


Red Lentil Soup - Moroccan or Sephardic Styles



Alphabet Soup ( Pasta e Fagioli )
(Use Gluten Free Pasta for Gluten Free Option)


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