Archive for the ‘Thoughts from The Sage’ Category

Quick and Easy Dinner Rolls

Thursday, March 27th, 2014
I love rolls. They are a welcome sight whether it is spring, summer, winter or fall. Rolls are also great at making the house smell cozy and inviting. I wanted to share my favorite recipe. This recipe can make a nice sized pan of rolls. I love how fast and easy they are! When it comes to any Thanksgiving sized feast, this recipe is my secret weapon for great tasting, soft dinner rolls.

 

 

Ingredients
Lukewarm Water
Warm Milk (100º to 110º F)
Butter
Sugar
Instant Yeast
Salt
All Purpose Flour
Equipment
Scale
2 Large Bowls
Plastic Wrap
Baking Pan

Recipe:

Recipe in Grams
113 grams Lukewarm Water
454 grams Warm Milk (100º to 110º F)
43 grams Butter
21 grams Sugar
28 grams Instant Yeast
34 grams Salt
723 grams to 843 grams All Purpose Flour
Recipe in Ounces
4 oz Lukewarm Water
16 oz Warm Milk (100º to 110º F)
1 1/2 oz Butter
3/4 oz Sugar
1 oz Instant Yeast
1 1/4 oz Salt
25 1/2 oz to 29 3/4 oz All Purpose Flour
Recipe in Volume
1/2 cup Lukewarm Water
2 cups Warm Milk (100º to 110º F)
3 tablespoons Butter
2 tablespoons Sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons Instant Yeast
1 tablespoon Salt
6 to 7 cups All Purpose Flour

1) Add water, milk, butter, sugar, salt and yeast to a large bowl. Stir well and let sit for 6-8 minutes or until you see the mixture begin to foam.

2) Add 5 cups of flour and mix until you have a shaggy mess. The dough will not have formed a ball yet. It will be just shy of coming together.

3) Add the remaining flour a 1/2 at a time, blending until smooth. Knead by hand for 10 minutes or by machine for 4 to 5 minutes until the dough of ball is soft and smooth. It should be elastic and slightly tacky to the touch.

4) Spray a bowl with cooking spray. Place the dough inside and spritz the top with cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap and allow the dough to sit for 1 hour or until the dough is full and puffy.

5) Gently deflate the dough and pat out to a rough rectangle about 8 inches by 12 inches. Cut the dough into 4 long strips, then cut each strip into 6 portions for a total of 24 dough balls. With one hand, put your index finger and thumb together forming an O. Push the dough through that O forming a smooth top and a small seam that will become the bottom of the roll. You may need to spritz your hands with cooking spray so the dough doesn’t stick.

6) Place the rolls in a lightly greased or parchment lined pan. (I used a 9X13 inch pan.) After the rolls are in the pans, cover again with your plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for another hour, or until well rounded and full looking. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

7) Bake the rolls for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and an internal thermometer reads 190°F. You can brush the baked rolls with melted butter if desired. Serve warm, store leftovers in a plastic bag for up to 3 days.

Taylor

Baked Rolls

Baked Rolls

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Adding Warm Milk

Adding Warm Milk

Adding Yeast

Adding Yeast

Mixture after being allowed to sit

Mixture after being allowed to sit

Adding Flour

Adding Flour

Mixing Dough

Mixing Dough

Dough ready to roll out

Dough ready to roll out

Dough rolled out

Dough rolled out

Greased pan ready for rolls

Greased pan ready for rolls

Pushing Dough through fingers to shape the roll

Pushing Dough through fingers to shape the roll

Pushing Dough through fingers to shape the roll

Pushing Dough through fingers to shape the roll

Shaped roll

Shaped roll

Rolls ready to rise then be put into oven

Rolls ready to rise then be put into oven

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It’s the Count Down to the 2014 Central Soapers Workshop!

Saturday, March 8th, 2014

Are you going?

Are you going?

I’m so excited for the Central Soapers Workshop that is happening later this month! This year we are sponsoring the Soap Lab so all attendees can make some soap using the new techniques they have learned while at the workshop. We are even going to be there to help run the Soap Lab!

Tina had so much fun last year at the Central Soapers Workshop, that she is going back and bringing Taylor and myself so we can join the party!

What are we providing?
Fixed Oils
Fragrances
Colors
Botanical Additives
Equipment and other soapy supplies!

Did you know there is still time to register? Visit the Central Soapers site to sign up because you don’t want miss out on all the fun!

If you can’t make it, follow us on Twitter for workshop updates! We will be tagging our posts with #centralsoapers. I will try very hard to keep the Twitter feed rolling on our end, but I might be having so much fun that I forget to tweet!

If you are going, let us know and come say “hi”! We would love to talk to you! I’m looking forward to meeting more soapers in person and matching faces to names.

See you in Overland Park, Kansas!

Andee

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Basic Soap Making Class – Coming Soon!

Thursday, March 6th, 2014
We have had some interest in learning all about the cold process soap making, so we will be offering a beginner classes this March 29th. Beginner soap class is two hours filled with information, products and every student will receive their own Soap Makers Package. This is a beginners class intended for those who want to learn to make soap, it is appropriate for those who have less than 10 batches of soap under their belt. You will have the opportunity to make and take several batches of your own soap!Class is in Nibley! Saturday, March 29th, 2014 at 10:00AM!

Class size is limited so call today and reserve your seat!
Class fee: $85.00 each class, this will cover the cost of all materials and instruction.
Register by calling our office: 435.755.0863, pre-registration is required.
Business Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00AM – 4:00PM.

I wanted to let you know about the Soap Makers Package that is included in your registration fees. The soap makers package is put together for each student to make several batches of soap in class as well as giving you all the necessary supplies to make soap at home.

The Soap Makers Package includes the following supplies:
Soap Spoon
Goggles
Thermometer
Soap supplies for you to make your own batches of soap
Literature and “how to” of soap making

All of this is yours to keep after the class so you are completely ready to make your own soap at home. What a great value!

Clothing Requirements: Please wear comfortable clothing. A long sleeve shirt and pants are best to help protect your skin. An extra pair of clothes is never a bad idea. Closed toe shoes are a requirement for the classroom. If you have long hair, please pull it back before coming to class.

I can’t wait to see you there!
Tonya

Pouring Soap in Clamshell

Pouring Soap in Clamshell

Mixing Lye and Oils.

Mixing Lye and Oils.

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TheSage Special Project – Help Needed!

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

uncle-sam-we-want-you1I’m working on a special project for some things we are doing later this year. I want to have some cute labels for these items, but my skills as a graphic artist/designer are severely lacking. I’m much better at processing your orders than being artistic!

So, I’m opening this project up to get help from you! Many of you design your own labels, logos, and even websites. Right now, I have several labels I need to design and I’m drawing a blank! I would love to get your help!

If you are interested in helping me design some great labels for this special project, send me an e-mail through our Contact Us form (pick the Blog Team radio button) with the following information.

  1. Your name.
  2. Your e-mail.
  3. How you would like to be compensated for your work.

I will e-mail you back with the details about the labels needed and where we will be using this special project.

Andee

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Lemon Cranberry Rolls

Monday, February 24th, 2014
I absolutely adore cinnamon rolls. Pulling them apart bit by bit makes me feel like a kid again. Sometimes I need something lighter and not so intense. You have to admit, traditional cinnamon rolls are an intensely flavored and sweet confection. When I make cinnamon rolls some of the most common complaints are that people get a sugar rush, a carb coma and/or heartburn from the sweet treat. I wanted to make something light but just as delightful to pick apart with the fingers. Today I am going to share a simple recipe I created that has fresh flavor and a more mild sweetness for a light, delightful roll that can be enjoyed as dessert or even for breakfast!I am including this recipe in several forms for your convenience. You can make it using your scale with grams or ounces. You can even used a more traditional volume recipe!

 

Ingredients

Dough:
Lukewarm Water
Warm Milk (100º to 110º F)
Butter
Sugar
Instant Yeast
Salt
All Purpose Flour

Filling:
Sugar
All Purpose Flour
Apple, grated
Lemon juice
Chopped, dried Cranberries
Lemon Zest from two lemons

Equipment
Scale
Microwave Safe Container
Spoons
Pipettes

Recipe:

Recipe in Grams Dough:57 grams Lukewarm Water
227 grams Warm Milk (100º to 110º F)
22 grams Butter
22 grams Sugar
14 grams Instant Yeast
17 grams Salt
361 grams to 421 grams All Purpose Flour

Filling:
99 grams Sugar
21 grams All Purpose Flour
227 grams Apple, grated
14 grams Lemon juice
113 grams Chopped, dried Cranberries
Lemon Zest from two lemons

Recipe in Ounces Dough:2.01 oz Lukewarm Water
8.00 oz Warm Milk (100º to 110º F)
8.00 oz Butter
0.77 oz Sugar
0.49 oz Instant Yeast
0.59 oz Salt
12.73 oz to 14.85 oz All Purpose Flour

Filling:
3.49 oz Sugar
0.74 oz All Purpose Flour
8.00 oz Apple, grated
0.49 oz Lemon juice
3.98 oz Chopped, dried Cranberries
Lemon Zest from two lemons

Recipe in Volume Dough:1/4 cups Lukewarm Water
1 cup Warm Milk (100º to 110º F)
4 1/2 tsp Butter
1 Tbl Sugar
3 3/4 tsp Instant Yeast
1 1/2 tsp Salt
3 to 3 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour

Filling:
1/2 cup Sugar
3 Tbl All Purpose Flour
2 cups Apple, grated
2 tsp Lemon juice
1 cup Chopped, dried Cranberries
Lemon Zest from two lemons

1) Combine the water, milk, butter, sugar, salt and yeast in a large bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer. Stir well and let sit for 6 to 8 minutes, or until you see the yeast begin to foam.

2) Add 5 cups of flour and mix by hand or with the paddle attachment until the dough forms a rough, shaggy mass. The dough will not form a ball at this point, but will be just shy of coming together.

3) Add flour, 1/2 cup at a time and blend with the dough hook until a smooth ball begins to form. Knead by hand for about 10 minutes, or by machine for 4 to 5 minutes until a soft, smooth ball of dough is formed. The dough should feel elastic and slightly tacky to the touch.

4) Lightly spray your work bowl with cooking spray and place the dough in the bowl. Spritz the top of the dough with spray as well and cover lightly with plastic wrap or a shower cap. Let rise for 1 hour at room temperature or until the dough is full and puffy. You will know when the dough is ready because you can poke the dough with two fingers and the indentation will stay.

5) To make the filling: Combine the sugar, flour, and lemon peel. Toss the apples with the lemon juice; combine them with the sugar mixture. Add cranberries. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

6) Gently deflate the dough and pat out to a rough rectangle about 12 inches by 16 inches. Spread with the filling. Starting with a long side, roll the dough into a log and seal the edge.

7) Place the rolls in an 8×8 pan lined with parchment Allow to rise for an hour.

8) Bake the buns for 25 to 30 minutes, until lightly browned.

9) Remove the buns from the oven. Cool for 10 minutes and enjoy!
Taylor

Finished Rolls. Yummy!

Finished Rolls. Yummy!

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Adding Warm Milk

Adding Warm Milk

Mixture after being allowed to sit

Mixture after being allowed to sit

Adding Yeast

Adding Yeast

Adding Flour

Adding Flour

Mixing Dough

Mixing Dough

Collecting Ingredients for filling

Collecting Ingredients for filling

Mixed Filling

Mixed Filling

Dough ready to roll out

Dough ready to roll out

Dough rolled out

Dough rolled out

Spreading Filling on top

Spreading Filling on top

Rolling dough to form a log

Rolling dough to form a log

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Cigar Band Tutorial

Friday, February 21st, 2014
One of the hardest things about soap making is presentation.  How are you going to present your soap to family, friends and even customers? How are you going to label it? How are you going to identify what is it or even what is in it? One of the simplest labeling styles is a cigar band. Come join me to make cigar band labels for your soap!

 

For this project, you will need:
A bar of soap
paper
scissors
tape
flexible tape measure

I want to print on my cigar band label then cut it out so I can wrap my soap. To start, I grabbed a bar of soap, a standard size bar from my mold. I decided I wanted the band to go across my soap horizontally. I measured how wide the bar was. My bar was 9 inches around the bar horizontally. My cigar band will need to be longer than 9 inches so I can tape the paper together.

To determine how much space I have at the front of the bar for my design, I took a blank sheet of 8.5×11 printer. I wanted to determine how tall I wanted my cigar band. I played origami for a while until I found the size I wanted. I then cut that out and wrapped it around my bar. If I want text on the sides of my bar, now is the time for that to be determined.

I went to my computer and created my cigar bands. I used Open Office but you will need to play around with the various programs your computer has. I filled in the blog title and what I wanted to call the soap. I decreased my margin size to 0.25 inches on all sides of the paper. I flipped the page to landscape. I then printed my paper. I checked to make sure my cigar band was longer than 9 inches.

I then wrapped the paper around the bar, centering the text in the front. I taped the paper in the back. Tada!  I now have a labeled soap. How easy was that?

 

What program do you use if you create cigar bands? I want to know!

 

 

Taylor

Soap and Measuring Tape

Soap and Measuring Tape

Measuring soap

Measuring soap

Trying to determine how tall I want my cigar band.

Trying to determine how tall I want my cigar band.

Still too tall!

Still too tall!

Just right!

Just right!

Measuring how tall I want my cigar band.

Measuring how tall I want my cigar band.

My cigar bands

My cigar bands

Cutting out my cigar bands

Cutting out my cigar bands

Placing cigar band on soap

Placing cigar band on soap

My ends are too long.

My ends are too long.

Trimming my ends

Trimming my ends

Applying tape

Applying tape

Finished Cigar Band!

Finished Cigar Band!

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The Lantern Festival

Friday, February 14th, 2014
Today is the Lantern Festival, the last day of the Chinese New Year. On this day you can see lanterns of all shapes, sizes and colors. You can even light a flying lantern and send it up into the night sky. I love this festival because the sky is full of lights which drift slowly through the air. I love to watch the river of lights high above me, slowly flowing around all of those impressive skyscrapers. It is an impressive and peaceful sight. 

 

During the Lantern Festival people also eat a special dessert, a sweet soup that has small, colorful balls. The balls are made of glutinous rice flour and have a variety of delicious fillings. These are eaten because their name sounds similar to reunion and the Chinese consider family and friends to be very important.

Today is also the last day for you to submit any products inspired by the Chinese New Year. Hurry! All participants will get a chance to receive a goodie box from the Blog Kitchen. Thanks for participating!
Taylor

Sending Off Lanterns for the Lantern Festival

Sending Off Lanterns for the Lantern Festival

Fireworks behind a display of various lanterns

Fireworks behind a display of various lanterns

Sweet Glutinous Rice Ball Soup

Sweet Glutinous Rice Ball Soup

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Sugar Cookies for Valentines!

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014
I love Valentines Day. You see couples doing something extra special to remind the other they love them. I see things like that and I become an ooey-gooey mess, much like a chocolate bar that has melted in a pocket. Because Valentines is almost here I wanted to share my absolute favorite sugar cookie recipe. 

If you like the big, soft, pink sugar cookies, then this is the recipe for you. This recipe creates soft, tender sugar cookies. I like this recipe a little better than convenience store cookies because I like to add a little extra vanilla. What can I say? I am a vanilla junkie. (Psst. Did you know you can get a bottle of Vanilla Extract for free in any qualifying order? Request one in your next order!)

I am also including my all-time favorite Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe but don’t feel limited. You can use any type of of frosting that you like! I think these cookies would be great with a lemon flavored frosting! Yum!

Ingredients
Granulated Sugar
Vegetable Shortening
Sour Cream
Eggs
Vanilla Extract
Salt
Baking Powder
Baking Soda
All-Purpose Flour

Cookie Recipe:

Recipe in Grams
397 grams Granulated Sugar
184 grams Vegetable Shortening
227 grams Sour Cream
4 Eggs
6.5 grams  Vanilla Extract
7.5 grams 1 tsp Salt
7 grams Baking Powder
13 grams Baking Soda
868 grams All-Purpose Flour
Recipe in Ounces
14 oz Granulated Sugar
6.5 oz Vegetable Shortening
8 oz Sour Cream
4 Eggs
0.23 oz Vanilla Extract
0.26 oz Salt
0.25 oz Baking Powder
0.46 oz Baking Soda
30.6 oz All-Purpose Flour
Recipe in Volume
2 cups Granulated Sugar
1 cup Vegetable Shortening
1 cup Sour Cream
4 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Powder
2 tsp Baking Soda
6 cups All-Purpose Flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream together sugar and shortening. Add sour cream and mix well. Add beaten eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl combine all dry ingredients. Stir dry mixture into creamed sugar mixture. Finished product will be like a big dough ball. The mixture should not stick to the sides of the bowl. If it does, add some more flour. You need to be able to pick it up and roll it with a rolling pin without the dough sticking to the pin. Lightly sprinkle flour onto a flat surface and separate the dough into thirds. Shape one piece of dough into a ball and place on floured surface. Flour your hands and flour dust the top of the dough so the rolling pin does not stick. Gently roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut with cookie cutters for a regular circle. I love to eat the dough so make enough for dough cookies and baked cookies!!

I use parchment paper on top of my cookie pan. Place the shaped cookie dough onto cookie pan.

Place in oven and bake for 8 minutes!!! You do not want them to get brown at all. If they turn brown, the cookies will be hard and not soft and tender! When your timer goes off open the oven door and press gently on one of the cookies and if it feels somewhat firm, they are done. I have never had to bake them more than exactly 8 minutes. The thicker cookies might take more baking time though. Cool on wire racks or paper towels.

Ingredients
Cream Cheese
Butter, room temperature
Vanilla Extract
Powdered Sugar

Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe:

Recipe in Grams
113 grams Cream Cheese
28 grams Butter, room temperature
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
227-454 grams Powdered Sugar
Recipe in Ounces
4 oz Cream Cheese
1 oz Butter, room temperature
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
8-16 oz Powdered Sugar
Recipe in Volume
1/2 cup Cream Cheese
2 tbsp Butter, room temperature
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
2-4 cups Powdered Sugar

Beat together cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Add 1 cup of powdered sugar and beat until well blended. Gradually continue to add more powdered sugar until it has reached a consistency that you want. I usually only end up using 2 cups of powdered sugar, but feel free to add a whole bag if you like stiffer and sweeter frosting. If the mixture gets too thick, you can always add about 1 to 2 tbsp of milk. Then spread onto your cookies and you get to lick the bowl and the beaters clean.

Don’t forget to add colorful Valentine’s sprinkles to each cookie!
Taylor

Baked cookies, ready to frost.

Baked cookies, ready to frost.

Cookies - Ready to Decorate

Cookies – Ready to Decorate

Spreading the frosting.

Spreading the frosting.

Frosting is ready.

Frosting is ready.

Adding sprinkles

Adding sprinkles

Another kind of sprinkles.

Another kind of sprinkles.

Ready for your sweetheart!

Ready for your sweetheart!

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Happy Chinese New Year!

Friday, January 31st, 2014
I am thrilled to wish everyone a Happy Chinese New Year! Today is the start of a 15 day long celebration here in China. Isn’t that amazing? The Chinese New Year is a collection of several daily celebrations that accumulate into what we know as the Chinese New Year. Now before you ask,  people rarely get all 15 days off of work but they do get some of the bigger celebration days off. Most of the time people get the first seven days off. Today will be a day filled of jovial street dances, wonderful performances and knee-slapping theater.

 

This year is the Year of the Horse. Were any of you born in the Year of the Horse? If you were born in the Year of the Horse this next year is said to bring fortune and auspicious changes to your career. For those who were not born in the Year of the Horse, not to worry, this is a good year for prosperity as well as great travel experiences.

In the evening, we enjoy a feast, special desserts and fireworks! I am so excited! The fireworks in China are so incredibly loud. It is so fun! What will you do for the Chinese New Year? Does this festival inspire any products or colors? I want to know!

During the next 15 days, we will accept submissions of products inspired by the Chinese New Year. All submissions will be displayed on our blog and each submitter has a chance at a special goodie box from the Blog Kitchen. Good luck!

Taylor

Happy Chinese New Year!

Happy Chinese New Year!

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How do you stay happy?

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

As I was leaving Starbucks last night after meeting a friend, a woman stopped me in the parking lot and asked, “How do you stay happy?” At first, I was surprised and a little flattered that a stranger would stop me and ask such a question. I told her that I try to move on from the negative and bad and that I also try to laugh. We talked for a little longer before we parted ways, but the question stuck with me as I drove home.

How do I stay happy? I thought about this question and realized that even though sometimes I get frustrated or hurt by things that have been said or done, most days I am a happy person. Why? I get to work at a job that I love. When I go home, I play with my family and pets, read books that interest me and have hobbies that are fun. Since I fill my life with things I like, I am happy with my life.

Now, how do you stay happy? How do your soaps, lotions, lip balms and other products that you make (for personal use or sale) help either you stay happy? Tell us how you stay happy because we want to know!

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