Resurrection Rolls: An Easter Recipe

While I was working on next week’s meal plan, I came across a video I made 5 years ago that was never published.  Brandon who is now 9, was just 4 years old and while I was watching the video today, Grant (5) walked over and said, “Hey, is that me?”   I’m a little envious over my hair and smaller waistline (which is coming back thanks to Fit Mama.)  This video was taken a few months after we moved into our fixer upper and about a year before the illness that would leave me bed bound for months and never quite the same physically or emotionally. It’s a little nostalgic and surreal to watch it.   I’m excited to get back to that healthy place again and each day is closer than the last.

Traditionally this recipe is made with canned crescent dough, and if you are a busy mama and the thought of making homemade dough puts you over the edge, just buy it.  Really….it’s ok.   Making your own isn’t too hard though and the dough can be made in a stand mixer or bread machine on the dough cycle.

In my meal plans, I automatically break the recipes into 4 different sizes.  It’s not that my subscribers couldn’t do the math. but I don’t want them to have to think about that.  Then they can use their energy interacting with family around a table full of good food.

Crescent Rolls



2 4 8 12
Butter or coconut oil, melted 2 Tbs 4 Tbs 1/2 cup 3/4 cup
Yogurt or applesauce 2 Tbs 4 Tbs 1/2 cup 3/4 cup
Eggs 1 1 2 3
Milk or water 4 Tbs 1/2 cup 1 cup 1 1/2 cups
Sugar 2 Tbs 1/4 cup 1/2 cup 3/4 cup
Salt pinch 1/2 tsp 1 tsp 1 1/2 tsp
Yeast 1 tsp 2 tsp 1 Tbs 4 tsp
Hard White Whole Wheat Flour 1 cup 2 cups 4-5 cups 7-8 cups

Cinnamon Sugar



2 4 8 12
Cinnamon 1/2 tsp 1 tsp 2 tsp 3 tsp
Sugar or Stevia 2 Tbs ¼ cup 1/2 cup 3/4 cup

If you are gluten free, you can try an all-purpose gluten free flour with xanthan gum in place of the wheat.  I haven’t tried it personally but the butter and egg content will help this dough stick together and it should work well.

  1. Place the ingredients for your crescent rolls in the bread machine overnight (in the order listed, except add the flour before the yeast.) Set a time delay dough cycle so that they will be ready in the morning about 1 hour before breakfast.

2. Turn your oven on to warm (between 100 and 120 degrees)

3.  Roll the dough ¼ inch thick and cut with a 3 inch biscuit cutter. OR break off a ping pong ball sized piece and flatten it into a circle with your fingers. Place a marshmallow in the middle of the dough and wrap it completely sealing the edges. The marshmallows are perfectly white, showing Christ’s purity as he was placed in the tomb. Some recipes I’ve seen have the children roll the marshmallow in butter and cinnamon-sugar showing the embalming of Christ and his anointing with spices.  We skip this step–but you can do it if you like.

4. Spritz the rolls with cooking spray or brush with butter. Roll the balls of dough in cinnamon sugar and place on a greased baking sheet. Sit the rolls in the slightly warm oven for 20-30 minutes or until they have risen slightly.

5. Remove the rising dough and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for about 15 minutes or until they are golden brown.

Before eating, instruct the children to break open their rolls. They will find tomb is empty!

Our Grocery Shrink Plus meal plans empower you to efficiently cook nutritious and cost affective food for your family. Become a member and download your first plan today.

Homemade Wheat Thins

wheat thins 1

(This recipe was originally published in June 2009) I love Wheat Thin crackers. I’ve tried lots of recipes on the web, but never found one quite like the store bought kind.  Last night, in the wee moments before falling asleep, I realized the box has the recipe practically on it!  I took the ingredients off the box, which are in order of amount, and then typed them into the nutrition calculator at  By multiplying the nutrition amount by 10, I was able to build a recipe for serving 10 people.

wheat thins 2

I made a few changes in the recipe, substituting sugar for high fructose corn syrup and malt syrup.  I also decreased the amount of all purpose flour and increased the amount of whole wheat flour.  I left out the corn starch and increased the amount of wheat germ, using raw wheat germ for the defatted germ on the label.  We baked them today and they tasted very close to the original, only healthier.  Next time I’ll roll the dough thinner and they’ll be perfect!

3/4 cup all purpose flour

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup wheat germ

1/4 cup sugar

3/4 plus 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 tablespoon soy lecithin (optional)

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup water

Combine the first & ingredients (saving 1/4 teaspoon of salt).  In a separate bowl, combine the oil and water.  Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the oil mixture.  Lightly mix until a dough forms.  Divide into 2 balls, wrap each ball in plastic wrap and chill for an hour.

Roll one ball 1/8″ thick.  Cut with cracker cutters or a knife.  Poke holes with a toothpick or kabob skewer. Sprinkle with the reserved salt. Bake on a silicone baking sheet (or greased cookie sheet) at 375 for 12 minutes.  Cool completely. Bake again at 375 for 7 minutes or until crackers are crisp.

Chicken Alfredo Pizza

chicken spinach alfredo pizza 4

I like a lot of variety in our meal planning and won’t fix the same thing twice for months and months, until it comes to pizza.  I never get tired of pizza. Ever.  This could be the single most dangerous thing to my fitness goals.  I’ve tried cauliflower crust pizza; it’s gross.   If I’m serious about fitness and have to have a pizza, I’ll put sauce, turkey pepperoni, veggies, and cheese on a Joseph’s pita.  That’s the only thing that is close enough for me.

chicken alfredo pizza 3

There’s nothing as good as a soft homemade pizza crust.  I have the best recipe and I’m wiling to share.  Read more

Homemade Pumpkin Bagels Video Tutorial

Homemade Pumpkin Bagels

Tee hee.  This video makes me giggle.  My family doesn’t quite get why it’s so funny, but they enjoy that I enjoy it.  When I watch the replay and Grant (4) dumps the pumpkin on the counter, I roll on the floor laughing and then back it up and watch it again.  Maybe because I was there for the original moment, trying to balance a camera and helping Grant with the cooking at the same time.  How the pumpkin on the counter shocked us both and I got the giggles, which I tried to hold in making weird background noise.  Grant, relieved that I wasn’t upset said, “We better clean that up.”   Which made me giggle all the more.

After we made quite a mess but got most of the stuff in the bowl, I said “What should we do now?”  I thought Grant would say, “Let’s clean up!”  but he said “SMILE.”  Which made me giggle all over again.

This boy is the joy of my days.  The sleepless nights, messes, tantrums, and battles are all worth it.  I had the option to spend this year in a classroom blessing other people’s children, while I earned money that my family needed.  I would have had to let someone else be with Grant during the day, and I just couldn’t.  It’s his last full year at home and I fought for my chance to be the one to clean up his messes and talk him down from the ledge of toddler insanity. It was selfish and selfless at the same time.  He needs me as much as I need him and there’s something priceless about that.

For those who prefer a written recipe here you go:

pumpkin bagels 009

Pumpkin Bagels

  • 2/3 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tablespoon active dry yeast

Put all ingredients in the order listed in your bread machine.  Set for the dough cycle.  When the cycle is ended, divide the dough into 10 balls.  Poke your finger through the center and make a large hole.  Let the bagels rise for an hour or until doubled. Pour 8 cups of water into a stock pot, boil bagels for 1 1/2 minutes, turning once.  Remove to a dish towel to drain.  Place bagels on a greased baking sheet.  Brush with egg white and sprinkle with a little sugar.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden on the top.  Cool on a wire rack.

When it’s Time to Bake Bread

Crescent Rolls Homemade Bread

There are  just a few days left in the month. I used the last of our grocery money on Monday and discovered this morning that we are out of bread. It matters because all the kids pack their own lunches in a half asleep state at 6:30 am and when there’s no bread they get confused, and require my help.  I’m not good help at 6:30 am.

Danish Dough Wisk

I haven’t baked bread in a long time.  I just needed a little motivation to get back to it. Thankfully none of us are gluten sensitive.  Here’s why we still eat wheat: “Wheat ranks first among the grains for its nutritional value.  Wheat is an excellent source of fiber and many critical B-vitamins when used in its entirety, including the bran, germ, and endosperm.  Wheat germ is one of the richest sources of vitamin E if used when freshly milled, before oxidation takes place.” Source Plus it tastes good and it’s affordable.

Here’s why I don’t always soak it.  Well, that’s how I sleep at night.  The actual reason I don’t soak is it’s an extra step that stresses me out, and we prefer the taste without soaking.

Danish Dough Wisk

My all time favorite bread recipe is Vickilynn’s Absolute Best Challah. I usually bake her 2 loaf version, but today went with the whopper 6 loaf one.  It takes 15 cups of flour!  My kitchen aid can only handle about 6 before the dough starts climbing up into the motor shaft….so I mixed this by hand with a Danish Dough Wisk.  When it got too hard to do with the wisk, I dumped it out and kneaded it by hand for 15 minutes (while watching Brain Games on Netflix.)


I really wanted a lot of bread, but I only have 3 loaf pans.


No matter, the dough makes good rolls too.  I usually do clover leaf rolls with 3 small balls of dough in each muffin tin, but we had to leave for violin lessons in 5 minutes and I just plopped a big ball in each well.


And then I ran out of muffin tins….so I made crescents.


Before rising.

Bread DoughWhen we got back from violin, they were nice and big.  Time to proof the oven and let them rise a little more.

Muffin Tin Dinner Rolls

They went over well :).

Homemade Hamburger Buns


There was a time in my life when baking buns was not noteworthy.  I just did it, because that is how we survived.  I’ve gotten lazy since then.  It happened between the birth of my 5th and 6th babies.  Life just overwhelmed me and baking bread was “too hard.”  But today, I made hamburger buns and feel like shouting it from the rooftop.  After it was done, the thinking about it was the hardest part.  The doing didn’t take long. A Grocery Shrink Plus member did it last week and posted her beautiful pictures on our facebook group page. I said, those are awesome.  Thinking,  “I don’t have time for that anymore.”  Famous last words :).

Homemade Hamburger Buns

My daughter had a birthday party this month and I bought fancy foods from Aldi that used up my grocery budget quickly.  Our budget has no room for fluff–or very little of it.  It’s necessities only–or it won’t last.  And last it didn’t.


I went to the store with my last $20 on Monday and we bought a gallon of milk, a few fresh veggies and some yogurt.  I had to put food back before getting the checkout line after I estimated the total in my mind.  Brandon (age 5) was a little traumatized.  He’s never seen me make these hard decisions before, or was too young to understand.  He tried to give me money so we could buy whatever we wanted.  I explained to him that I have plenty of money, but we decided at the beginning of the month how much we would spend on food and I was determined to stick to that no matter what.  It’s like a game :).  He wasn’t sure it was a fun game…lol.  We have a full pantry, so it isn’t as big a deal to run out of grocery money.

I started the buns with the recipe from King Arthur Flour.  I have a different one in my Grocery Shrink Plus menus, but wanted to try something new.  I adapted it quite a bit–switched from butter to oil so the rolls would be soft, even cold.  And used 100% fresh ground whole wheat flour.  Hard white wheat makes my bread so much better than when I used hard red wheat.  And now I can buy 25 lb bags of wheat berries from Wal-mart!

I keep my wheat grinder on the counter all the time, cleaned, with the hopper full of berries and the lid on.  Then all I have to do is flip a switch for fresh ground flour.  It takes a lot of the dread out of baking for me.

Here’s my adapted recipe:

100% Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns

  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup stevia in the raw
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  1. Combine water, and sugar until sugar is dissolved.  Stir in yeast.  Wait a few minutes for it to soften and activate.
  2. Stir in 1 cup of flour, oil, egg, stevia and salt.
  3. Add remaining flour a little at a time until a soft dough forms that pulls away from the sides of the mixer.  Knead by hand 8 minutes or by mixer 3-4 minutes. Oil lightly and cover with a towel.  Let rise until double.
  4. Roll dough out 1/2 inch thick and cut with a wide glass. Set on greased pans and allow to rise until double.
  5. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown.



Gluten Free English Muffins

I don’t normally eat gluten free, but I agreed to try an acceleration diet with Fit Yummy Mummy for 12 days. Part of the diet is gluten free and uncultured diary free, so I’m experimenting. These English Muffins turned out good, but next time I will roll them thinner (about 1/2 inch instead of 1 inch thick so they can cook all the way through.) I used what I had on hand, but you can make substitutions as you wish.

I get frustrated when searching for gluten free recipes because many of them contain ingredients such as tapioca starch, potato flour, and corn flour. These are non-nutritive starches that congeal well, but are basically garbage for your body. So you won’t find any of those things in my recipes.

Xanthan gum is the odd ingredient here.  It is an investment to start with (about $21 for a  1lb bag) but is essential to helping the dough hold together in the absence of gluten.

Gluten Free English Muffins

1 cup whey (leftover from Greek yogurt making–or substitute milk, or buttermilk)
1 cup warm water
3 Tablespoons butter (or coconut oil), melted
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons honey (or brown sugar)
1 Tablespoon yeast (or 1 packet which is slightly less)
2 cups brown rice flour (I ground long grain brown rice in my grain mill)
1 cup teff flour
1 cup quinoa flour
2 Tablespoons xanthan gum (I bought mine at

I didn’t want to heat my whey because it’s full of probiotics that will work for good on the flours while the dough rests.  It would be nice to bring it to room temperature naturally if yo have time for that.  Mix the whey, warm water, butter, salt and honey (or sugar) in a bowl.  In your mixer bowl combine the flours, xanthan gum, and yeast.  While the mixer runs slowly, pour the liquid ingredients in with the flours and stir until just combined.  Press into a ball and let rest covered with a towel for 1 hour or until doubled.

With moist hands, pat the dough 1/2 in thick (without punching dough down.)  Dough will feel more like biscuit dough than bread dough.  Cut with a 3 inch biscuit cutter and place on a cookie sheet sprinkled with cornmeal to rest. (About 18 rounds) Let the rounds rise for 30 minutes to an hour.  Place the rounds on a skillet or griddle preheated to 300 degrees.  Cook for 10 minutes on one side, then flip and cook for 10 minutes on the other side.  Split with a fork and eat with butter and jam.

Cream Cinnamon Rolls: Cooking With Brandon

cinnamon rolls 10

Cinnamon Roll Dough

1/2 cup warm milk

1 Tablespoon active dry yeast

1/4 cup melted butter

1/4 cup honey

1 egg

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups whole wheat flour (you may need another 1/2 cup)

In a mixer, combine milk and yeast. Stir until yeast is soft.  Add butter and honey, mix well.  Add egg and mix well.  Add salt with the flour and stir until a soft dough forms that is not to sticky.  Knead well.  Let rise for 1 hour or until doubled.

cinnamon rolls 7 

Punch down dough and roll into a rectangle.  (Our rectangle was the size of our silicone baking sheet.)

cinnamon rolls 11

Spread the dough with softened butter.  (We used 1/4 cup, but you could use more or less.)

cinnaomn rolls 8

Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon.  (We sprinkled until it looked good, but 1/2 cup sugar and a teaspoon of cinnamon should be about right.)

cinnamon rolls 5 Roll up the dough so that the dough ends up as long as possible.

cinnaomn rolls 4 Cut the log into 12 rolls.  Dental floss works great for this. 

cinnamon rolls 6Place the rolls in a greased 9 x 13 pan. cinnamon rolls 2 Let rise for 1 hour.

cinnamon rolls 9 Mix 1 cup of sour cream (This was raw cream skimmed off the top of farm fresh milk that soured after 7 days.  As a substitute, use buttermilk, cultured sour cream, or yogurt mixed with 2 Tablespoons of milk.)  1 teaspoon of baking soda, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon.  Mix well and pour over rolls.

cinnamon rolls 3

Bake uncovered at 350 for 30 minutes.  Check the rolls after 20 minutes by pulling 2 gently apart to see if they are still doughy.

Mix a thin frosting with 1 cup of powdered sugar and 2 Tablespoons of milk or cream.  Drizzle over the rolls.  Serve warm with milk–Yum!