Life Lately

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1. My blogging bestie-buddy Julia came to visit last month. It was our first time meeting in person and her first time in Chicago. We had to visit The Bean, of course. Boyfriend pretended not to know us. We also had dinner at Little Goat Diner with my other blogging bestie, Stef, and her husband. Boyfriend ate something called the “Goat Almighty”, which was essentially an excuse for him to eat a goat burger, braised beef, BBQ pork, pickled jalapeños and onion rings all on the same sandwich.

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2. While Julia was in town, we hopped down to Peoria to visit my parents, because Momma Swope and Julia are pretty much besties, too. We took that fine opportunity to go get tattoos – Momma and I got coordinating colon cancer awareness tattoos, because we are obviously badasses. Some of you may recognize the star as the symbol for colorectal cancer awareness. Momma’s also says “Jehovah Rapha”, which translates to “God Our Healer” or “God Who Heals”.

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3. This past Friday I was featured as the Friday Foodie over at Misadventures with Andi. Make sure you stop over and check out the interview – you can read all about my unhealthy obsession with love of pie, check out my advice for bloggers who are just starting out, and make a new blog friend in the process! Head on over, y’all. I’ll wait right here until you get back…. 

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Fluffy No-Knead Refrigerator Rolls


The fluffiest dinner rolls come from the easiest, no-knead dough. It’s a dream come true!

This post is sponsored by Red Star Yeast. All opinions are, as always, 100% my own.

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I can’t even beat around the bush with this post. I have to get right to business – because the business, today, is bread. I know I just shared my Texas Roadhouse Rolls recipe with you last week, but I think you’ll forgive me for the carb overload with this recipe.

This recipe for Fluffy No-Knead Refrigerator Rolls comes from my great-grandmother’s recipe box. This recipe was originally given to my Ma-Ma by a woman named Nancy Nanovski, who lived across the street from my mother’s family when she was growing up. Nancy is known in my family for two things: this roll recipe, and her “cleaning tip” that she would give to young women who were getting married: leave the vacuum cleaner out all of the time so that if someone stops by unexpectedly, they will think they interrupted your cleaning and automatically forgive your mess.

I think Nancy and I would have been friends.

And so, in the spirit of sharing – both this recipe and the delicious rolls that it makes – I am bringing you this recipe today in partnership with Red Star Yeast and Stop Hunger Now.

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Did you know that nearly one billion people worldwide suffer from chronic hunger, and that every 10 seconds a child dies because they are severely underweight or lack essential nutrients? Because of statistics like these, and so many more, Stop Hunger Now has made it their mission to end hunger through working together. Red Star Yeast is partnering with Stop Hunger Now to share this mission and to encourage people to start working in their own communities to end hunger by baking with Red Star Yeast and sharing in their community. A portion of proceeds from Red Star Yeast purchases will go towards Stop Hunger Now to provide meals and life-saving aid to children and families around the world. It is Red Star Yeast’s goal to provide 200,000 meals annually.

To help further this mission and support this partnership, I am joining 11 other amazing bloggers to each bring you a “double batch” baking recipe, with hopes that you will bake and share in your community this fall. One of the best thing about Nancy’s Refrigerator Rolls (as they’re known in my family) is that the recipes makes a ton of rolls. Bake the rolls, then share half with someone in your community. These rolls would be perfect alongside a roast chicken, a pan of pasta, or a pot of soup, and the easy no-knead dough makes it simple for you to share a full meal with a friend or a neighbor in need. Make sure to visit the Bake & Share Pinterest Board to scope out all of the fantastic recipes.

And because Red Star Yeast loves all of my readers as much as I do, they’re giving one reader a baking prize pack so that you can start on your own bake and share recipes! One lucky reader will win a bread basket with warming stone, a signed copy of Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day, and a Red Star Yeast mixing bowl, towel, dough whisk, apron, and yeast. In case you’re wondering, that’s $90 worth of baking goodies right to the door of the lucky winner! Just use the widget below to enter to win.

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Alright – Enough fooling around. Time to get to the recipe! Trust me, this one is so easy, you’ll want to make it all of the time.
5.0 from 3 reviews
Fluffy No-Knead Refrigerator Rolls
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Yield: 16 rolls
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 packages (4½ teaspoons) Red Star PLATINUM Yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 6 cups sifted flour
  1. Dissolve shortening, salt and sugar in 1 cup of boiling water in a large mixing bowl. Mix and let cool (shortening does not need to completely melt).
  2. Dissolve yeast in 1 cup of warm water. Add to the cooled shortening mixture along with the eggs. Whisk thoroughly to combine. Stir in the flour until well combined.
  3. Top the bowl with lightly greased foil and place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or up to 48 hours.
  4. When ready to bake, remove dough from the refrigerator. Gently turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 16 equal pieces. For each piece, tuck the edges under until the top of the dough is taught, like a bubble of bubble gum. Then place the roll on the floured surface, "bubble" side up, and roll it between your hands in a clockwise motion to tighten up the roll. Repeat with each dough piece.
  5. Place rolls in 2-3 greased cake pans or 1 greased 13x9-inch pan. Cover lightly and let rise for one hour.
  6. While rolls rise, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bake rolls for 20-25 minutes, until deeply golden on top.

PS – Red Star Yeast is hosting a friendly Pinterest contest between the 12 Bake & Share participating bloggers. Visit the Bake & Share Pinterest Board and repin your favorite recipe – the blogger with the most repins on November 7 will win some big prizes! And I know you all will pin your favorite Fluffy No-Knead Refrigerator Rolls…right? 

Texas Roadhouse Rolls


Fluffy and buttery homemade Texas Roadhouse Rolls with Cinnamon Honey Butter. Going out has just been replaced with staying in, and I think you’re gonna like it.

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I have a confession to make: it took me 4 tries to get these rolls right for you.

Let’s back up a bit – When I decided that I wanted to make a homemade version of Texas Roadhouse Rolls, I immediately knew that I wanted to adapt one of my great-grandmother’s yeast roll recipes for the project. Only, my dumb ass kept forgetting to add the water to the recipe. Emphasis on dumb.ass.

Spoiler alert: Don’t leave the water out of this recipe. It won’t work.

But, as it turned out, making the recipe 4 times was worth it in the long run. Boyfriend came home from work, popped a warm roll into his mouth, and said, “Are these Texas Roadhouse Rolls?”


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Pumpkin Sage Biscuits


Fluffy buttermilk biscuits loaded with pumpkin and sage make for the perfect fall carb. 

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Well guys, I done diddly did it. I cracked open my first can of pumpkin for the season.

I say my “first” can and not my “only” can (which has been known to be the case in previous years) because for some reason I was feeling festive and bought two cans of pumpkin at the store. Now that I’ve used up my yearly can and have another staring at me every time I open my pantry, I have to decide what else I will make with pumpkin this year. Maybe some Pumpkin Swirl Cake or Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Cookies. Maybe I’ll put it towards a new recipe. Maybe I’ll just eat Pumpkin Sage Biscuits until the cows come home.

Yeah, that sounds like a good plan.

I’m the Designated Biscuit Maker in my family. My sweet potato biscuit recipe is probably 97% to thank for snagging Boyfriend (although that’s another recipe and story for another time). So it seemed only fitting to adapt my favorite recipe and throw in some pumpkin for the season. I also added some dried sage and black pepper – I saw The Pioneer Woman do it once on her show (although I can’t for the life of me remember which episode), and while I couldn’t recall exactly how much she used, I just went with my gut and spiced up my biscuits as I saw fit. And I saw fit to have a good amount of dried sage and spicy black pepper. The herby sage and the mellow pumpkin balance nicely with the occasional zing when you bite into a bigger piece of black pepper.

I love it.

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Fresh Apple Cake


Fruity and moist apple cake studded with nuts and topped with a decadent sauce. This is the only apple cake recipe you could ever want.

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This apple cake. Holy cow, guys.

This recipe is actually one of the oldest ones on my site. Like, as in, I’m pretty sure it was my second recipe post. Ever. And while the recipe has stood the test of time, the photos…well, they did not.

It was high time this post got a makeover. So I took it upon myself to make my family’s favorite apple cake (such a burden, ohemgeeeeee) so that I could provide my precious readers with some new visual delights. <– I don’t know why I just felt the need to say that.

So here’s the skinny on this not-so-skinny recipe: We make this recipe every year. Every year it disappears in approximately 2.5 seconds. Everyone loves this cake. It makes a 13×9-inch cake, so you can certainly make it for a crowd, but don’t think your family of 4 can’t tackle this puppy. Trust me, they’ll be begging you to make it again and again. I took the cake in these new photos to Boyfriend’s family and they inhaled it. (I have to do something to remind them of why they love me every now and again, right?)

Visit the original (updated!) post for my Fresh Apple Cake recipe. You’re gonna love this one.

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{Friends First with Foodie with Family} One-Hour Swedish Limpa


A one-hour version of the traditional orange-scented Swedish rye bread – say it isn’t so!

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Hello, dear readers! We are back for another Friends First post on this lovely first day of October. As appropriate as a pumpkin recipe would be today, I’ll let every other blogger in the world handle that one for you – I think today’s recipe is even better. (Say it isn’t so! …It is.)

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Today I am thrilled to introduce you to Rebecca. Rebecca is the blogger over at Foodie with Family, and – in addition to being one of the most articulate, intelligent women I have ever had the pleasure of meeting – is a mother of 5 boys, wife to her best friend, fellow theatre and literary nerd, and all-around amazing cook and baker. Oh, and she thinks nothing of roasting an entire goat over a spit or smoking her own Canadian bacon. I mean…come on. How could we not love this girl? Today she is showing us how to make a traditional Swedish Limpa in one hour – Swedish Chef totally optional.


My dear friend Stephie asked me if I’d like to guest post for her. Well, hello. Of course I’d like to meet all of Stephie’s people! She left the door wide open for me to post about whatever I love best. The little voice in my head kept saying, “Bake bread!” As this is a pretty innocuous thing for a voice in one’s head to say, I decided to mind it and make something extra special for you kind folks: One-Hour Swedish Limpa Bread.

WHAT?!? No really. It’s a yeast bread that is done –start to finish- in a little under one hour. It’s not just any bread, though, oh no; it’s a lightning speed makeover of a classic Swedish rye bread that is lightly scented with orange zest and fennel seed. Please fire up your imagination and take a deep whiff of a piece of that bread lightly toasted in a frying pan with a little sweet butter. Maybe it’s just me, but my head gets all swimmy just pretend-smelling that. When I take it a step further and slather the bread with preserves or jam, I get borderline weepy. Maybe Stephie is rethinking asking me to post right now… “What the heck? Who knew she was so loopy?” In my defense, I have just two words to share: FRESH BREAD.


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