Recipe – Bubble Bread

The Princess came downstairs for dinner tonight, took a deep, sniffing breath, and said, “BUBBLE BREAD! I smell it!!” She then proceeded to eat at least four pieces and only stopped because…well, because this mean mommy thought she’d had ENOUGH!

Bubble bread is a family tradition. Some many years back, my mother got the recipe from my Aunt Hazel, who is really my mom’s cousin-in-law, or something like that. Anyway, I call her Aunt Hazel – HI AUNT HAZEL!!! My mom picked up this recipe at some family function up there in Pennsylvania and it came down south to Georgia. It is a required side at any large family gathering, and she makes at least four large pans of it at Thanksgiving as seen here…

The cousins getting ready to make bubble bread. Thanksgiving 2008

The Princess and Grandma making bubble bread. Thanksgiving 2009

I avoided making bubble bread for years. I think I had tried once way back and over-cooked it. That made me skittish. However, this year, I conquered my fear. I have made bubble bread successfully at least three times in the last month. It’s really quite easy!! So, I thought I’d share it with you.

What you need:

A bag of frozen parker house rolls. I use these and use half a bag at a time.

1 stick butter

1 egg

2 tsp parsley

1 tsp garlic powder

1tsp salt

1. Decide how many rolls you want to make. I typically use a 9×13 pan and make 24 rolls. Remove half that number (’cause you’re gonna cut them in half) of rolls from bag of frozen rolls. Put the rest back in the freezer for another time. Let them sit on the counter for a few minutes while you get out the pan and spray it with cooking spray.

2. Cut each roll in half and place them in rows in your pan. Spread them out as much as you can and let them sit. They can sit for hours. If I’m ahead of the game, I get them out in the AM for the evening meal. Today, I remembered around 1:30 and got them out. They didn’t get as poofy as I like them to be, but they were good enough to make the Princess happy. Here they are about two hours into sitting.

3. When you’re ready to bake them, turn the oven to 350 so it can preheat.

4. Melt the butter in an bowl or glass measuring cup. Add the egg, parsley, garlic powder, and salt, and mix it up. (The measurements given are for 24 rolls. If making more, increase these ingredients.) I use a fork for mixing. You get this nasty goopy, yummy mess. Pour that evenly over all the rolls. The rolls are gonna sink a bit – don’t worry about it. They get poofy again in the oven. Here they are all gooped up.

5. Place them in the oven for 20 minutes. The tops will be a nice light brown. You don’t want a dark brown because then you’ve got really crispy bottoms and your daughter accuses you of burning the bubble bread, which is a major offense apparently.

There ya go – bubble bread. You know you want to make some. You know you do.

I would also like to state that this was made completely from my pantry. As in, everything was already in my house, and I didn’t have to shop. I’m loving cleaning out the pantry and freezer!

Linked up to Ultimate Recipe Swap.

Menu Plan Monday: 1.04.10

Time to post the weekly menu plan. I’m not sure how many folks out there in Internet land actually read my menu, but it SO helps me to write it out each week. And, by putting it out there for all eyes to see, it makes me a little more accountable to stick to it. I do like accountability – most of the time – as long as it doesn’t have to do with me not having chocolate… I digress.

Some people have asked me why I menu plan. Three main reasons – it saves me time, money, and my sanity. There is NOTHING worse than walking in the door at 5 and not knowing what I’m going to feed my family for dinner at 5:30. Well, maybe there are worse things, but that really makes my heart race. For a great article on meal planning visit my friend LeighAnn on her new blog. She nailed meal planning and its benefits.

This is the plan for this week at the House of Hills

Sunday: Pork Roast, Roasted Vegetables

Monday: SMALL GROUP NIGHT – MY TURN to cook – Chicken and Rice Casserole, Salad, Whole Wheat Rolls from the bread machine, cake

Tuesday: Hot Dogs, Pasta or Chips, veggies w/dip

Wednesday: Lightly fried chicken thighs, pasta, green beans

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Leftovers (or grab something using dine-out money  – depends on activities)

Saturday: Turkey (got one on sale this week – it’s thawing), Stove Top Stuffing, Gravy, Roasted Veggies

What’s exciting is that the majority of the items on my menu came from my pantry. I’m participating in the Eat From the Pantry Challenge with many other bloggers out there. We’re trying to reduce our January grocery spending significantly and use up what’s in our pantry and freezer. To read more about the challenge and my goals, you can go here.

I did go to Aldi for the first time this week and got some of their things to round out my menus and to try and see if we like the quality. There is no sense deciding to shop there for the deals if my family won’t eat it. In addition, I did what was going to be a small run to Publix but ended up buying a turkey (since it was .68 a pound) and a pork roast (which was also on sale). By making those two things this week, my hubby will have meat for lunches this week and next. I succumbed to the after Christmas sales at Publix and bought several things in their .50 baskets. However, I do know they will be used so don’t feel so guilty about that. Spices for .50 – seriously!

Want some other great meal ideas? Head on over to to see what everyone else is cooking.

Want to know more about the Eat from the Pantry Challenge and see how everyone is doing? Click here.

Have a great week!

Christmas Bake 09 Round 2

So today was another round of Christmas baking. Well, I guess it wasn’t baking as I didn’t actually turn the oven on. SO, can you call it baking then? Hmmmm….

I wanted to make something to give to the folks that volunteer in my rooms in the preschool at church. I’m their coach. It’s a lengthy explanation – good for another post. I also had promised my sweet hubby that I’d make sure he had goodies in the store at church for his volunteers. And, I wanted to share some goodies with the gals that also coach with me on Sunday mornings. So, it was all about baking for those who serve with us. My favorite kind  of cooking – cooking for others.

At one point, my counter looked like this. And, the kitchen smelled heavenly.

I made my Grandma’s scotcheroos, which for years I thought were rather original, but lately I’ve heard people talk about them more and more. These are an absolute family favorite. My brother and I can eat them in mass, and I usually bring them to the family Christmas celebration so we can munch on them all day long. I found the recipe online here.



I made some Cocoa Krispies treats at the request of my husband. Someone brought them to a Christmas party we were at on Thursday, and we inhaled them. They are SO good. It’s crazy how good they are – better than the original Rice Krispies treats. Something about that hint of cocoa. And, they’re a light treat, so you can eat more – gotta love my logic. The recipe is on the Cocoa Krispies box and I also found it here.

Cocoa Krispies Treats

I also made another batch of my Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge that I talked about here. It’s always a favorite, and I know it will go quick tomorrow.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge

Finally, I made some White Chocolate Candy Mix. I needed to give something small to twenty people. I wanted it to be easy to package and distribute so I landed on that. I got this recipe about fifteen years ago when I was teaching an economics lesson to my second graders. They had to bring in something to sell, and one little boy brought in this candy mix. At the time, I’d never had it before. Now, I’ve had it in many variations. It’s sometimes called White Trash Candy too. Here’s my recipe…

White Chocolate Candy Mix

2 12 oz white chocolate chips

1/2 box wheat chex

1/2 box rice chex

1 12 oz bag M&Ms

1 12 oz jar of peanuts

Slowly melt chocolate over low heat. Mix other ingredients in a large bowl. Slowly pour melted chocolate over mix while gently stirring to coat mixture well. Spread the mixture out on waxed paper to cool and harden. Store in an airtight container.

I didn’t have any white chocolate chips. Well, that’s not true. I had some, but I’d had them so long that when I tried to melt them, it was not a good thing. So, into the trash they went. Note to self – you can’t keep white chocolate chips for five years and expect them to still be good. I did have a package of white chocolate coating that I had bought last year, so I melted that in the microwave and used it. Turned out great. In fact, I think I liked it better. Not sure yet though. I also used a 19 oz bag of M&Ms. They were BOGO at Publix, and I feel you can never have enough chocolate – never.

I had enough mix that I was able to do all the little baggies I wanted and send a container with my husband for his store. It always makes more than I think it’s going to.

White Chocolate Candy Mix - Individual

Another round of “baking” done. I have now baked for most of the folks who get treats for gifts. Now, it’s determining which pies I’m taking to the big family gathering and what I’m going to make when my sister-in-law’s family comes over. I’m feeling a little adventurous lately. So who knows what’s going to happen in the House of Hills kitchen next!

Christmas Traditions – Fudge Recipe

Christmas is coming…and quick.

I’ve been trying to take some time each day to remember why we celebrate this season. And with these quiet times, comes memories. Lots and lots of memories of Christmases past.

While doing the Great Christmas Bake (Round 1) on Tuesday, I was having one of these reflective times while I was making fudge. Fudge = reflective? Well, yes when you consider the fact that I’ve been making this same fudge for at least 25 years. That’s a little freaky to say, but it’s true. Same fudge recipe for 25 years. I’m not even sure if it’s written down anymore. I just make it. And it’s SO easy.

You know it’s easy because I started making it in middle school. I’m not as old as you were thinking am I. 🙂 My grandma taught me this recipe, and I started making it every year for teachers’ gifts. I even made it as gifts for my teachers in high school, but by then I had started making it for my friends too. I seemed to have a lot of friends around the holidays….Hmmmm…

I made it this year for my co-workers. It was again a hit. I’m making another batch for my volunteers at church for Sunday. I figure, why mess with a good thing. I’ll just keep making my same old fudge.

And, I thought I’d share the recipe with you.

To make a single batch (I made a double batch when these pictures were taken.), you need:

1 bag of peanut butter chips, 1 6oz bag chocolate chips, 4 tbsp butter, and one can of sweetened condensed milk

Line and 8×8 pan with parchment paper and have a space cleared in your fridge before you begin.

Melt the peanut butter chips, 2 tbsp butter, and one CUP of the milk in a medium saucepan. Be sure to stir continuously to get it melted evenly.

Place the peanut butter chip mixture in the pan and spread out evenly. Stick the pan in the fridge to cool.

Melt the chocolate chips, 2 tbsp butter, and remaining milk in a small saucepan. Be sure to stir continuously to get it melted evenly. Be careful as the chocolate chips melt faster than the peanut butter ones.

Spread the chocolate chip mixture over the peanut butter mixture evenly. Place in the fridge and let cool for several hours.

Take pan out of the fridge and transfer the whole block to a cutting board. This is much easier to do if you’ve used parchment paper. Let it soften a little bit and then cut into desired size pieces. You want them to be relatively small as it’s sweet. I use a pizza cutter to cut my fudge. So easy.

Then place them in a fun Christmas container, and you’re ready to give it away. OR, you could take that container, sit on the couch with a Christmas classic on TV and just enjoy.

What’s one of your traditional recipes?

Linked to Eat at Home Ingredient Spotlight: Sweetened Condensed Milk.

My Little Helper

As a mom, you have “your little helper” – you know that adorable kid that “helps” you in the kitchen, especially during Christmas baking. She’s the one that accidently stirs half of the flour right out of the bowl or drops two eggs on the floor while she’s trying to “do it herself.” You know that helper. The one you take pictures of every year as she “helps” you make the Christmas treats. The pictures looks great in the scrapbook – much better than the kitchen counters did after the treats were done.

Something happened to “my little helper” this year. There was some sort of transformation. She actually became a HELPER! It makes me tear up a little. My sweet little pumpkin has become a fun loving young lady who is now old enough to be truly, well there’s no other word for it, a helper. I can honestly say that she took about an hour off my baking time Tuesday. Seriously, an hour.

We made Holiday Pretzel Treats together. You can find the actual recipe here.

We made an additional variation with Rolos and pecan halves.

Maggie did the hardest part which was unwrapping all the Hershey Kisses and the Rolos. She was great!!! She even lined them all up so they were easy to count and know how many we had. This is the part that saved me the most time.

Then Mags placed the pretzels on the pan (notice it’s lined with parchment paper for easy clean up). She did most of this herself too. I just came behind her and fit a few more on the tray. I like to use the butter snap pretzels because they add a little something to it. A plain pretzel is good too, but I prefer the butter snaps. Of course, they’re more expensive.

The last step before the oven was placing a Rolo or Hershey Kiss on each pretzel. Another time consuming task where Maggie was a huge help. She was getting a little tired by this point so I made it a race to see which one of us could do a row the fastest. We were done in no time.

Then they went into a 250 oven for about five minutes – just enough to get the candies melted. The final part has to be done QUICK!!  Place an M&M on the Hershey Kiss and push down. Place a pecan half on the Rolo and push down. We had Maggie get on a stool for this part so she wouldn’t burn her hand on the pan by leaning on it. We also called in Daddy to help us get the M&Ms on fast enough. The Hershey Kisses don’t stay melty as long as the Rolos.

Finally, we put the tray in the fridge and let them cool for awhile. The next morning I put them in a cute holiday box lined with waxed paper and took them to the office. They were a hit!

While I’m glad my co-workers and friends enjoyed eating these little treats, it really was the making them that was special. I know I’ll remember that time forever. My little baby is growing up and becoming more and more independent. She’s becoming more a little person. And now I actually have a helper during the Great Christmas Bake!

Oh! I almsot forgot! Maggie helped clean up too! She threw away all those little annoying wrappers and made sure to get every last one. Amazing!!!

Works For Me Wed: Parchment Paper

I was making cookies for a PTA function at school, but was super lazy and didn’t want to do actual cookies because then you have to cook each batch, there are more stones (I ONLY bake on Pampered Chef stoneware) to clean, etc. So, I decided to make bar cookies.
Then I remembered that if I put parchment paper in the pan, it would be easier to get out and of course easier to clean the stoneware (um, you just wipe it out). AWESOME!
So, the cookies cooled – I just pulled the whole chunk of cookie out of the pan and let it cool completely on a wire rack. Then, I thought, hmmm… I can just transfer this chunk, parchment paper and all, onto my cutting board and cut them right on the parchment paper. I used my handy-dandy Pampered Chef pizza cutter and sliced those cookies right up.
Guess what – no mess on the cutting board either. Then – my most brilliant thought – I can just lift this parchment paper chunk of cookies right into the container.

Look at that! It fit right in! Well, actually I had to do a tad of adjusting with one row, but it was so quick and easy. And guess what – minimal mess in the container!!
I have decided that parchment paper is my new best friend in baking!
So that’s what works for me. For more ideas go to We Are That Family.
What works for you?
Oh! I almost forgot. The cookies I made? One batch was regular chocolate chip – I just made bar instead of drop cookies. The other were Snickerdoodle Blondies. They were a new recipe and delish!!!

Menu Plan Monday Sept. 14th

So, last week’s meal plan was a TOTAL bust. My BFF is still in the hospital, so lots of time was spent in the actual building at the beginning of the week and later in the week on the computer communicating things about her health.
My father-in-law’s quadruple bypass got postponed to until Friday (from Tuesday) so my sweet hubby was gone ALL WEEK. With just me and the girl to cook for, it became a let’s eat what’s there and easy kind of week.
Then, a friend emailed that they had read the blog and would like to make my BBQ for me for Sunday (it was on my menu). How sweet was that!? It was super yummy and we have leftovers. I’ve had lots of good friends dropping notes, little gifts. It’s awesome to be surrounded by the Body of Christ. Thank you so much for loving me this week.
So, with things hopefully returning to somewhat normal, here’s the menu.
Monday: Small Group Night – not my night to cook. Wahoo….
Tuesday: Leftovers – the yummy BBQ mentioned above plus a few other things hanging out.
Wednesday: Chicken Quesadillas (from last week)
Thursday: Meatloaf (see below), Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans
Friday: Beef Stew
Saturday: Leftovers (did I mention there is only 3 of us – we never finish anything)
Sunday: Stufffed Shells (already in freezer from a “Big Cook” I did last week)
This if from a Kraft mini-cookbook I bought YEARS ago.
2 pounds ground beef/turkey
1 pkg (6 ounces) Stove Top Stuffing Mix (any variety)
1 cup water
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup ketchup/Barbecue Sauce (divided)
Preheat oven to 375
Mix all ingredients except 1/4 cup of ketchup.
Shape meat mixture into oval loaf in 13×9 inch baking dish; top with remaining ketchup.
Bake at 375 for 1 hour or until center is no longer pink.
For TONS more recipes and meal plans, go to