COOKING CLASS: How to make light, fluffy homemade hamburger rolls

How to make homemade sandwich rolls
( – Let’s face it! You will never buy hamburger rolls again after learning this amazing recipe.

Every mom knows, kids will eat just about anything on a hamburger roll from sloppy joes to chicken salad to even a turkey or veggie burger. But with all the gook that they put in bread these days, it is hard to feel good about serving up all that bread. Making your own is a tasty way to feel good about it. And if your kids think you’re a superhero in the kitchen, that’s just a bonus.

Let’s get started.


Wet ingredents for sandwich rollsGATHER YOUR INGREDIENTS

Ingredients for 8 large hamburger buns:

1 package (2 1/2 tsp) dry active yeast (I used Fleischmann’s “RapidRise” Yeast)

1 cup very warm water

1 large egg

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons sugar

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

1 pound all-purpose flour (about 3 1/2 cups)
Note: add a 1/2 cup of the flour to the yeast and water, and then the remainder before kneading.

Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.

Place yeast into bowl of a large stand mixer; whisk in 1/2 cup flour and warm water until smooth. Let stand until mixture is foamy, 10 to 15 minutes.

Whisk 1 egg, melted butter, sugar, and salt thoroughly into yeast mixture. Add remaining flour (about 3 cups).

Fit a dough hook onto stand mixer and knead the dough on low speed until soft and sticky, 5 to 6 minutes. Scrape sides if needed. Poke and prod the dough with a silicone spatula; if large amounts of dough stick to the spatula, add a little more flour.

Transfer dough onto a floured work surface; dough will be sticky and elastic but not stick to your fingers. Form the dough lightly into a smooth, round shape, gently tucking loose ends underneath.

Wipe out stand mixer bowl, drizzle olive oil into the bowl, and turn dough over in the bowl several times to coat surface thinly with oil. Cover bowl with aluminum foil. Let dough rise in a warm place until doubled, about 2 hours.

Transfer dough to a floured work surface and pat to flatten bubbles and form into a slightly rounded rectangle of dough about 5×10 inches and about 1/2 inch thick. Dust dough lightly with flour if needed. Cut dough into 8 equal pieces. Form each piece into a round shape, gently tucking ends underneath as before.

Use your hands to gently pat and stretch the dough rounds into flat disc shapes about 1/2 inch thick. Arrange buns about 1/2 inch apart on prepared baking sheet. Dust buns very lightly with flour. Drape a piece of plastic wrap over the baking sheet (do not seal tightly). Let buns rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

After the dough has doubled in size using a visual test, it’s time to bake these delicious treats. Hopefully, you’ll only need six buns because when that butter melts on these heavenly pillows, you’re going to snarf down at least two as soon as they come out of the oven because they’re just that good. Make sure you have some olive oil or butter handy for the hot fresh bread effect.

Combine the following ingredients to lightly brush on top of the rolls just before putting them into the oven. It will make the tops golden brown and taste yummy. It also helps the sesame seeds stick to the tops of the bread. If you’re not a fan of sesame, you can always substitute spices like rosemary, garlic powder and shredded cheese or leave out the spice tops all together. I sometimes place diced black olives on top or grated cheese and pepperoni. The possibilities are endless thanks to this awesome recipe.

1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp milk

sesame seeds

Beat 1 egg with milk in a small bowl, using a fork, until mixture is thoroughly combined. Very gently and lightly brush tops of buns with egg wash without deflating the risen dough. Sprinkle each bun with sesame seeds.

How to male home made sandwich rolls  BAKING:

Bake in the preheated oven set to 375 degrees F until lightly browned on top, 15 to 17 minutes. Buns will stick together slightly where they touch. Let cool completely, tear the buns apart, and slice in half through the middle from right to left to serve.


COOKING CLASS: How to make meatless sloppy joes

Sloppy joes no meat


Sloppy joes without meat lentil


RECIPE #2: Vegetarian Sloppy Joes Vegetarian sloppy joes What You Need 1 yellow onion 1 green onion or celery stalk (optional, but not essential) 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 15-ounce can kidney beans 1 15-ounce can pinto beans 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce 1/3 to 1/2 cup ketchup 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar 2 teaspoons chili powder 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon oregano 1/2 teaspoon salt Fresh ground pepper Dash hot sauce What To Do 1 Finely chop the onion (and celery, if using). In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the onion (and/or celery) and saute until soft, about 4 to 5 minutes. 2 If using canned beans, drain the beans. Add the remainder of the ingredients above (starting with kidney beans) to the skillet, and simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes. Taste, and adjust seasoning as desired.

COOKING CLASS: How to make classic, white, moist cake from scratch and enjoy it

How to make a classic white cake from scratch -

( –  Every mom should have one recipe that knocks her family’s socks off. If you do not have one yet, let this classic white cake become your signature dish. With just 130 days until Thanksgiving, now is the time to start planning the meal, especially the desserts.

While attending a mommy blog conference in Chicago, I was able to get some baking tips from a major cake company. About six months ago in New York City, I was invited to a private event sponsored by Crumbs bakery where I learned to decorate a cake. We laughed, drank wine and had a sweet time.

White cakeWithout realizing it, so much of my mom life has been about food. What I like. Food traditions that I wanted to share with my children. Managing my expectations of myself as a mom and what others think of me. I decided that the old saying was right because as I prepared each meal I always whispered: “Made with love” before serving it.

That’s when I decided, I wanted my children to know important family recipes but I also wanted to leave my children with my own so I decided to start creating recipes and leaving them in a written format.

First, searched the Internet for great recipes. Second, we tried every one of the finalists and here’s one of the cakes we decided were the easiest, tastiest and sure to make your family swoon when you even whisper the word: CAKE! Finally, we narrowed things down by things like food allergies (best glutten-free or eggless) but for this recipe we chose one that assumes the baker will be throwing caution to the wind for the sake of an amazingly great cake.

recipe scrapbook from mom to her childrenIf your food allergies dominate, please stay tuned for updates on various versions. Be sure to mention the allergy or what’s left out of the recipe in the title of your goodies so that future generations can make decisions about whether to add or subtract ingredients.

There is only one area that we think you as the cake baker should have some serious thought: How moist do you want the cake? Some prefer shortening or buttermilk while others swear by using sour cream or the traditional butter. To help you decide what you might prefer, refer to this photo of a white cake from a food blogger.

Once you decide on the various thickness and moistness of your cake, you’re to begin.

Let’s get started.


  • 6 cups cake flour sifted
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups butter or margarine, softened
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups milk
  •  1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Easy-Add pure vanilla extract
  • 12egg whites


12 cups of cake batter.


Step 1

Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease bottom of pans and line with waxed paper or parchment paper.

Step 2

Sift together flour and baking powder. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Set aside. Beat egg whites until stiff, but not dry. Set aside. With mixer at slow speed, add flour mixture to butter mixture, alternately with milk. Beat well after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract. Gently fold egg whites into batter. Pour into prepared pans. Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

BACK 2 SCHOOL: $4 or less fashion finds for preschool and beyond

Back 2 school clothes for single moms( – It is time to get ready to go back to school. Some school districts start on July 31, 2014 with Orientation on July 26, 2014, which barely leaves time to get used to summer, let alone time to get ready for school. If you are like most single moms, cash for school clothes and supplies is particularly tight this year so here are some fashion finds for the budget-minded mom. Check out these awesome clothes that are $4 a piece or less. Single mothers comprise more than just teen moms and those women whose children’s fathers chose not to be involved. Single mothers can also be widows, divorcees, single women by choice, and single women whose children’s fathers are unable to contribute or unknown. Single women face exceptional challenges, especially when we aren’t receiving support financially or emotionally from the father of our children. These cuties were found on, and in the clearance section of Children’s Place. Back to school clothes for single moms $4 or less   Back to school clothes for single moms $4 or less Back to school fashion

WANNA SPEND A LITTLE MORE? Take a look at the Top Five Picks in the following categories: jackets, sweaters, long-sleeved shirts, jeans, dresses, and shoes.


Gap Kids


Lands End

Hanna Andersson

Mini Boden


Hanna Anderson


Janie and Jack

Ralph Lauren

Mini Boden

Long-sleeved shirts:

H & M

Tea Collection


Zara kids

Hanna Anderson


Fashion finds for kindergarten back to school clothesLevi’s Osh Kosh

Gap Kids

Janie and Jack

Children’s Place Dresses: Janie and Jack (see link above) Ralph Lauren (see link above) Tea Collection (see link above) Hanna Anderson (see link above) Burberry (expensive but worth it) Kids’ Shoes: Zappos Nordstrom Stride Rite DSW (online only) Piperlime Looking for some unique pencils for your kids? We love these natural pencils from Stubby Pencils that are all natural and smell terrific.

RECIPE: Homemade, fluffy pancakes without eggs

Homemade pancake recipes for single moms


1 1⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1 cup non-fat or 1% milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons water
Mix together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in medium bowl.
Combine milk, oil and water. Add to dry ingredients.
Stir just until moistened.
Bake on a hot, lightly greased griddle.
Pancakes are ready to turn when tops are bubbly all over, a few bubbles have burst, and the edges begin to appear dry. Use a quick flip with a broad spatula to turn pancakes. Turn only once.
Continue to bake until bottoms are brown and dry.
Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.
Top with applesauce, fresh fruit or yogurt.
Try adding fresh bananas or blueberries to the batter before cooking.
Try using ¾ cup whole wheat flour and ½ cup all-purpose flour for more whole grains! Add 1-2 TB of water if batter is too thick.

REAL TALK: Inside the budget of a single mom

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO SURVIVE AS A SINGLE MOM? One mom’s personal account.

Single mothers comprise more than just teen moms and those women whose children’s fathers chose not to be involved. Single mothers can also be widows, divorcees, single women by choice, and single women whose children’s fathers are unable to contribute or unknown. Single women face exceptional challenges, especially when we aren’t receiving support financially or emotionally from the father of our children.

Public assistance through the form of WIC, food stamps, Medicare and TANF, not only helps us make ends meet, but also give us added means to allow us to save a small amount of money, and provide ourselves a safety net should an emergency arise. There has been a lot of talk about entitlements lately. As a single mother, I have never felt “entitled” to the few benefits that I receive. I have only felt grateful.

But to help shed some light on exactly what it would take for a single mother with a single infant and an hourly job to make ends meet without entitlements, I have composed this sample budget. It accounts for the things that many people expect lower income families to maintain, and maintain without the benefit of public assistance. This budget doesn’t account for saving for college for our children, saving for retirement, or saving for much of anything at all. The list accounts for the bare minimum that all parents and children should or are expected to have access to.


The budget is as follows:

Rent for a one bedroom: $500 (Rent gets more expensive as the rooms go up in number, and more expensive depending on where you live.)

Child care: $400 a month. This is a bare minimum, for somebody who works a normal 9-5 job (I don’t; my hours are long and tend to run late into the evening) and often times it’s more expensive for an infant. Most licensed child care facilities cost upwards of $125 a week. I forwent licensing in favor of affordability.

Electric utilities for a one bedroom home: $85/mo. This is assuming you are a single mother with one young child and can share your room. Hopefully you are also fortunate enough to not have to pay a water bill, or trash bill. My electric bill for a one bedroom apartment last month was upwards of $150, and my thermostat was set at 68 degrees all month.

Cell phone: $75. Landlines are not a viable option in this day and age. You have emergencies away from home, especially with a child, and you need a cell phone. If you are job searching, it is helpful to be able to answer your phone when a prospective employer calls. People survive without these, but it’s difficult. At the absolute bare minimum, $25 a month for a landline.

Health insurance: $300 on the cheap end for one adult and a child. (I am fortunate enough to have my health insurance paid through my employer, and my daughter’s paid through the state, but many people aren’t so fortunate.)

Vehicle: $150 a month on the cheap end. If you’re lucky, you’ve bought a cheap one and paid cash, so you don’t have this monthly payment. Some people are also fortunate enough to live downtown and be able to rely on the bus route, but generally speaking, everybody should own a reliable form of transportation. Unless you live in a big city, buses often do not operate on holidays, or late at night, and in many cities are very limited as to where they travel. I knew one woman who had to leave at 6 a.m. to take the bus to drop her child off at daycare, then be at work by 9 a.m. That’s a three-hour commute, to a job 15 miles away.

Vehicle insurance: $60 a month, for a good driver.

Fuel: $200 a month (assuming $50 a week for a four-week month). I only work five miles from home, but none of my friends or family live nearby, nor are there any quality affordable grocery stores nearby, so there are times I go over this budget.

Basic groceries: Includes healthy meals, toilet paper, soap, medicines, basic odds and ends. I spend around $300 a month, and I’m pretty careful with what I buy (I shop at discount stores like Aldis), though I’m trying to be even more frugal by cutting back on treats like coffee and ice cream. Also included in this is clothing/toys, etc. for you and your child (bought at the Goodwill, because “basic necessities” dictates that these things don’t have to be new).

Infant’s groceries: Diapers run about $35 ($16 and some change every two weeks for a box of the store brand diapers. And that’s for the weeks the baby doesn’t have diarrhea or diaper rash and can go more than an hour without a diaper change.) Plus any diaper rash cream, jarred baby food, or other baby necessities you may need.

Formula: $120. Most low-income single women qualify for WIC, which provides formula. I wasn’t able to breast feed, and formula costs about $30 a week for two cans on the cheap end (one can a week for home, one can a week for daycare), and that’s only if your kid doesn’t eat like a hog like mine does.

Internet: $60. This isn’t technically a necessity, and it requires a computer to use, which is another thing that is often just beyond many parents’ budgets. Many women I know do without and go to the library or a friend’s home to utilize their computer and Internet. But I still feel it is something everybody should have access to in their home, especially for single mothers who likely don’t get out much, to feel connected to the world and their community. But if you don’t feel this is important, feel free to trim the $60 off this budget.

TOTAL: $2,285