30 December 2007

making santars at grandma's

making santars

Making santars with my mom on Christmas morning. I made the dough and she shaped them. It's one recipe I will never blog about ;)

29 December 2007

Christmas in New Mexico means food & family

For the last 7 days, Jason and I have been in New Mexico for Christmas. To me, New Mexico means two things: food and family. Christmas morning, my auntie, her husband and 4 daughters, all of my cousin's kids, and everyone's husbands, boyfriends, and fiancés come to see my grandma, mom, me, and Jason (the newest to join the family). During Christmas in New Mexico, every house has posole, tamales, and of course, red chili. Jason's family couldn't understand why we serve this instead of a "traditional" Christmas meal... this is our tradition!

The posole and tamales can't be made without meat, but when I first became vegetarian, my mom worked to make a vegetarian version of New Mexican red chili. The chili is different than what most people outside of New Mexico think of as chili. It's more like a sauce instead of a soupy tomato-based mixture of vegetables and meat.

The chili powder is the key to making this dish; it's made from New Mexican chilis which are dried then ground to a powder. The more seeds that are left in, the hotter the chili powder. This is used instead of fresh or canned whole chilis. When making the chili, traditionally, you start with either chunks of pork or a pound of ground beef, cooked in a cast-iron pan. You make a roux by adding flour and New Mexican chili powder which combines with the fat from the meat, then add water and let simmer until thickened.

To make my vegetarian version, I start with butter or oil in a sauce pan, then add the flour, chili powder, and garlic (fresh or powdered). The recipe is rough because it's one I learned from sight, and I doubt any measurement I could write down would be accurate. If you're trying this, just use your senses and add more or less of what you think for it to come out how you want it.

Vegetarian New Mexican Red Chili

4 tbsp butter or oil (I use a mixture of both)
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp New Mexican chili powder (or more for a stronger flavor and more heat)
3/4 -1 tsp garlic powder
4 cups vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste

1 cup Morningstar Meal Starters Recipe Crumbles
1 can beans (pinto or black), drained and rinsed
1 potato, peeled, diced, and pan fried

Combine the butter or oil, flour, chili powder, and garlic powder in a saucepan and whisk until the flour is cooked, 1-2 minutes. If you've added more chili powder, add more butter so that the consistency is smooth, not lumping. Add the vegetable broth, salt, and pepper, and whisk constantly, scraping the edges of the pan to combine all of the roux. Continue stirring until the sauce begins to thicken. It wont thicken much, but if you like your chili thicker, like a sauce, add up to 1 tbsp. corn starch dissolved in water. Don't add the cornstarch directly to the chili or it'll lump.

making vegetarian chili, new mexico stylemaking vegetarian chili, new mexico style

When the chili is thickened and done, you can add extra ingredients which make up for the lack of meat. If adding the recipe crumbles, add them first because they have to warm from being frozen, then add the remaining ingredients. I usually use only recipe crumbles and pinto beans, but you can add the potatoes or any other combination you can think of. Just, please - no cilantro!

vegetarian chili, new mexico style

Serve with shredded cheddar (mild or medium), and corn chips, or on its own with Spanish rice on the side. It can also be used as an accent to other dishes like burritos or served with breakfast on top of fried eggs and fried potatoes.

18 December 2007

Seasoned Eatings - Brown Cakes


Though I'm new to reading their blogs, Thyme For Cooking and Country Girl City Living were kind and let me join Seasoned Eatings, a Secret Santa-esque inter-continental spice exchange. You send a spice unique to where you live (or unique to you cooking style), along with a recipe, and you receive a package with a new spice.

I got in the mail spices and flours from Ulrike in Germany. The recipe included is for Brown Cakes, or Braune Kuchen. Ulrike sent me cinnamon

ground cinnamon

cloves and pottash (which I've never worked with before)


and two bags of flour (rye and cake flour). Making something new was exciting but also left me feeling very unsure of what I was doing. Not knowing how things should look and feel at certain stages made me uncertain that things were going well. The moment I was least sure of what I was doing was when I mixed the butter, brown sugar, and molasses - "Is it supposed to look like that?" I even had to call Jason over to get his input but he had no idea (only adding "photoshop could never save this picture"). But the cookies came out well (I think!) and it was fun to roll them out. They smell wonderful in the oven and though I'm not sure of proper brown cake etiquette, I think they'd be wonderful with a glass of milk, or maybe coffee.

Thank you to Ulrike for sending me this wonderful package and to Lindsay & Katie for organizing this.

You can view the recipe for Brown Cakes at Küchenlatein.

17 December 2007

roasted butternut squash with sage

i've never had butternut squash before, in fact i don't think i've ever cooked any other squash besides zucchini and yellow squash, but when our plans to make butternut squash risotto with sage and parmesan didn't work out, i was left with a butternut squash i didn't want to waste.

i cut the squash into quarters then scooped out the seeds and insides with a spoon. spray or brush the quarters with olive oil then sprinkle with salt, pepper, and rubbed sage. before baking, place 1/2 tbsp butter in each of the hollowed holes. bake for 40-45 minutes (or until tender) at 400 degrees.

while the squash bakes, the butter and sage infuse and begins to soak into the squash leaving the center tender and extremely flavorful. there should still be a small puddle of butter in the center, use this as a dipping cup while you eat the squash - just a tiny dab of butter is enough! when you get to the center, the squash just melts in your mouth.

04 December 2007

lemon chickpea soup

4 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
6-7 cups vegetable broth
zest and juice of 1 large lemon (or 2 small)
1 potato, peeled and diced
1 tsp dried rosemary
salt to taste

combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. let simmer for 50 minutes to 1 hour. blend the soup in a blender, and serve with a bit of olive oil and shredded parmesan.

this is practically hummus soup!

14 November 2007

oaffie's special mashed potatoes

these mashed potatoes are especially good in fall. a sprinkle of nutmeg balances the cream cheese and sour cream perfectly.

9 large baking potatoes
1 stick unsalted butter, soft
12 oz cream cheese
3/4 c. sour cream
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Boil the potatoes and place them in a mixing bowl. Cut the cream cheese and butter into pieces and add to the potatoes. Beat with an electric mixer. Add the sour cream and continue beating until mixed and free of lumps. Serve with nutmeg sprinkled on top.

13 November 2007

meatless meatballs

this is one of my favorite recipes that i've been making for years. a friend i used to know, sarah, gave it to me and can be used for so many things. meatballs, veggie burgers, or even meatloaf. the original recipe is wonderful on its own. something about it reminds me of fall, but normally i substitute a few things, making this completely different. the original recipe goes:

+ 1 lb. cheddar cheese, grated
+ 4 cups ground cracker crumbs (like saltine crackers)
+ 1 large chopped onion
+ 6 eggs, beaten
+ 1 cup chopped walnuts

mix together and season with sage (or thyme, or cumin, or oregano). make into small balls the size of walnuts. roll in flour. brown in oil (sarah uses a pan and fries them, turning them so they get even).


when i make this recipe, i usually half the cheese and crackers. i use one pack of saltines and that's always enough. instead of walnuts, i use one portobello mushroom, chopped finely in a food processor. sometimes i add some chopped walnuts to give my dish extra protein. because of the extra moisture in the mushrooms, i find i only need to use 1-3 eggs. add 1 egg at a time until the mixture sticks together and can be formed into balls, patties, or loaves.

i also find it helps to refrigerate the mixture a little while. the cheese will melt slower and you have less chance of cheese escaping the wall of browned flour coating and burning on your pan. the meatloaf of this recipe also goes very well with sarah's special mashed potatoes (recipe coming soon!)

jin's scarf

thick grey and white sripes.
5'' x 69.5''
100% merino wool

07 November 2007

scarf season is here!

my favorite season of all. i love making and wearing them, and this year i'm going to try selling them again to make a little bit of money while i'm still between-employment. here's the first of the season, a green checkered scarf made of acrylic and wool. it's Light green & dark green checker crochet scarf. Measures 53 in. (134.5 cm) x 5.5 in. (14 cm). i'll be selling them on etsy. this scarf is listed here.

05 November 2007

lemon & broccoli pasta

i never exactly introduced this blog. mostly because no one reads it, also because not even i'm sure what i'm doing with it. i'm not exactly a blog person, but i decided to make one for myself... to write anything going on in my life. well it turns out, most of what's going on in my life is what i'm cooking.

right now i'm trying to save up for culinary school (very unsuccessfully), but in the meantime i'm experimenting in the kitchen for myself. i hope to be a baker one day, so most of my interest is in baking, especially breads, but i also try a lot of other foods. it's fun to experiment in a kitchen without meat. i try to make my dishes creative yet simple... delicious though inexpensive.

this lemon broccoli pasta is what we made last night. it's very simple to make but the flavors blend so perfectly. it's the first time we've made it but it will not be the last. i love making a type of pasta on sunday night so that there'll be leftovers for lunch the next day.

the sauce is simple. melt about 2 tbsp butter with 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat in a large sauce pan, then saute 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced, in it. add the zest of 1 large (or 2 small) lemons, then the juice. combine with your pasta and steamed broccoli then top with fresh grated parmesan.

whole wheat pita

i love it when i make a bread that's new to me and it comes out even better than i expected! i don't think we'll ever be needing to buy pitas from the grocery anymore. fresh out of the oven, we topped them with a layer of hummus then a mixture of sauteed spinach and mushrooms with mozzarella (also so good with feta) then baked a few minutes to melt the cheese).

this recipe is from the king arthur whole wheat bread book.

1 1/4 cups warm water
1 1/2 tsp yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups bread flour or all purpose flour

dissolve the yeast in the water. combine with all remaining ingredients and knead until soft - about 8 minutes. let rise about 1 1/2 hours, covered. divide dough into 8 balls. let rise 10 minutes covered while oven preheats to 450 degrees.

roll into 6 inch circles (1/4 inch thick). bake 3-4 minutes each. if your oven is uneven, turn once mid-way.

01 November 2007

garlic knots

i thought i'd make some breadsticks tonight to go along with our pizza, but breadsticks turned into garlic knots, and of course, now these are one of my favorite things ever.

i used the recipe i made for breadstsicks except i used 1/4 tsp yeast and let it sit longer (about 3-4 hours). mainly, i let it sit so long because i was concerned it wasn't rising, but it turns out it doesn't need to rise up very much. you want it to feel soft when you poke it, but not much else. they rise more while in the oven.

after letting it rise, i cut the dough into 8 pieces then rolled them out and tied them into knots. don't work the dough too much or it'll absorb the oil from when it was sitting in the bowl rising. toss the garlic knots with garlic powder, fresh ground sea salt, basil, and whatever other spice or seasoning you would like to add.

here are the breadsticks before:

and after:

black bean soup

this has become a staple in our house because it's so easy to make and take for lunch. we usually make it the night before and store it in the fridge or freezer.

2 cups vegetable broth
2 cans black beans
1 tbsp red chili powder
shredded cheese
sour cream

mash or grind in a food processor 1 can of black beans (with the water). combine with the broth and other can of black beans (with the water). add the seasonings (i use salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and garlic powder. you could use salsa instead of red pepper flakes or fresh minced garlic if you prefer) and red chili powder. if you know anything about how i cook mexican food, you know i use only new mexican chili powder. it has a unique flavor and i can't imagine using anything else, but you can use whichever kind you'd like.

let the soup simmer over low to medium-low heat for at least one hour or until it's the consistency you like it to be. if you're keeping it in the fridge overnight, leave it a little less thick than you want it because it'll thicken more overnight. top with cheese and sour cream.

30 October 2007

puppy piadinis

ok, this is obsessive, i know. but i had the idea and i had to try it. it's way easy, especially compared to the real piadinis, which take a long time and has dough that's hard to handle.

1/4 c. wheat flour
a pinch of baking powder
2 tbsp water
2 small slices of cheese
dog treats, crumbled

in a small bowl, mix the flour and baking powder. stir in the water until all the flour is wet and the dough comes together. cut in half and make 2 small, flat rounds of dough. place on a skillet over medium heat, add a slice of cheese to each round, and press the piadinis down with the back of a spatula to help flatten them. i used cheddar because i thought it would be more flavorful for the pup than mozzarella. feel the top of the dough to determine when it's fully cooked. it should be soft but not squishy.

when the piadinis are ready, remove them from the skillet and add the crumbled dog treats. i used these mini steak-shaped training treats we got from petsmart that feta loves. but i might try crumbled milk bones next time.

26 October 2007

veggie pot pie

this was sooo simple. much easier than buying little pot pie pans and doing the whole top crust bottom crust thing. i just thickened veggie broth with cornstarch (dissolved in a little water before adding to the broth) then added some frozen veggies (also supercheap... it's budgeting time) that i sauteed in 1 tbsp butter with 1 tbsp olive oil and a clove of garlic minced.

the crust recipe was from the Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa Parties! and was really incredibly good. sort of flaky like the pie crust i grew up with, but much easier to handle. though this recipe will never replace my trusty pie crust, i can see myself using this one especially when i'm lacking time or just don't feel like dealing with a finicky crust.

25 October 2007

puppy pup pup muffins

feta loves these muffins so much. when ever he sees me going to get one for him, he'll be perfectly obedient until it's his. and i love making them for him... they're healthy treats that give variety to his diet and they're vegetarian (i have no problems with feeding him dog food and treats with meat in them, but there's no way i'm buying meat and handling it to make homemade pup treats!). even our pup, who has a sensitive stomach, can handle these. but of course, watch out for any allergic reactions your dog might have to any of the ingredients. i did a step-by-step picture thing with this one... mostly out of boredom.

1 c oat flour or unbleached whole wheat flour
1/2 c. rolled oats
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 egg
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp oil (canola or sunflower)
1/4 c. + 2 tbsp. skim milk

Preheat your oven to 425. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, rolled oats, cinnamon, and baking soda.

In a smaller bowl, mix together the egg, honey, and oil. I find it helps to warm the honey a little first.

Mix the milk into the flour mixture, then add the egg mixture. Scoop the mixture into a mini muffin pan (or regular sized muffin pan... we use the mini muffin pan because they make for a good sized treat for a small dog).

Bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool completely before giving to your dog.

Makes 18 mini muffins. Store leftover muffins in the freezer for freshness, and microwave for 5-9 seconds each to thaw. Remember, when feeding these to your pup, adjust their diet so as not to overfeed (though, once feta has one of these, he has no interest at all in his puppy food!)

24 October 2007

oh, the pup has grown!

okay, so he's still little, but he's grown! not only that, but his face looks older... he's turning into a dog. so i started looking back at older pictures... how tiny he was! when we first got him, he was 1.7 pounds. here's a month-by-month memory lane...

june (day we took him home)




october (today)

at what point do we have to stop calling him "pup pup"?

23 October 2007

crusty on the outside, soft on the inside

it feels like months since i started my mission to alter my bread recipe to crusty & soft perfection, and now i finally have a success. All bread recipes i've tried before were either wonderfully crusty yet too dense inside, or incredibly soft inside.... but also soft outside :| I finally got a good balance, tweaked it a bit more, and voila! i can't imagine wanting to buy a loaf of bread from the grocery store ever again. This is for one loaf of bread, but you can easily double it.

what you'll need:
1 c. warm water
2 tbsp honey (or granulated sugar)
1 tsp active dry yeast
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2/3 c. whole wheat flour
2 - 2 1/3 cup all purpose flour
corn meal
1 eggwhite
1 tbsp water

Begin by dissolving the honey or sugar in 1/2 c warm water. Add the yeast and stir until mixed. Let the mixture sit to proof until the yeast becomes creamy and foamy.

After the yeast has proofed, mix in the salt and vegetable oil. Mix the wheat flour then 2 cups white flour 1/2 c. at a time. Knead in the last 1/2 cup of white flour on your work surface. If the dough is too soft to form, add up to 1/3 c. flour.

Place in a well oiled bowl and turn to coat. Cover and let rise 3 times (for 45 minutes to 1 hour each), each time, deflating the dough and turning over. The last rise is optional.

After the last rise, knead lightly to get rid of trapped gas bubbles and shape onto a pan sprinkled with corn meal. Cover and let rise another hour.

When your bread is ready to bake, make an egg glaze with the egg white and water and brush onto the top of your bread. Make a few slits along the top with a sharp knife. Bake the bread on the bottom rack of an oven pre-heated to 425 for 25-30 minutes. To give more moisture, and make the bread crustier, either place a pan filled with water in the oven while the bread bakes -or- spray the bread with a clean water bottle filled with water before placing it in the oven, then again halfway through baking.

22 October 2007

chai milkshake

best viewed large!

omgosh, this was so good! and so simple too... i got the idea off of the craftster.org dessert forum, and it was so so wonderful. also too easy. just mix about 1/2 cup chai tea with 3 scoops vanilla ice cream (more chai for creamier milkshake, less for thicker) in a blender. Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a sprinkle of nutmeg.

The person who posted this used liquid concentrate Oregon Chai, but because I didn't have that, I just made the chai with half the amount of water then chilled it.

eggplant & spinach lasagne

i've never made lasagne before and i have no idea why! this was insanely easy (though slightly time consuming). I made a quick marinara sauce (cheating and using a can of tomato sauce), and added some frozen spinach and leftover broiled eggplant cut into chunks. I start by sauteeing the yellow onion (diced finely) in vegetable oil over medium heat until they turn clear and start to carmelize. In the last minute or so of cooking the oinons, add minced garlic. Add the tomato sauce and tomatoes and let simmer. Add the eggplant and spinach (sauteed to remove moisture).

For the eggplant, I cut them into circles about 1/2 inch thick or thinner. Sprinkle with kosher salt and let them sit for at least 20 minutes. The salt pulls out some of the moisture in the eggplant which is bitter. Mine were broiled (coat in olive oil, broil 10 minutes, flip and broil on the other side for 15 minutes) which i think gives it a deeper flavor, but they should do fine if you just sautee them on each side for a few minutes.

The cheese mixture is simple. Mix the ricotta and half of the mozzarella with 1 egg. For the lasagne noodles, because the sauce is a tiny bit watery, i only cooked the noodles a little more than halfway (if the package says cook for 9 minutes, cook for abotu 5 or 6).

First, put a tiny bit of sauce in the bottom of the caserole dish to coat the bottom. Then place 3-4 noodles in the pan, overlapping a little bit. Spread a thick layer of cheese on top of the noodles, then another layer of sauce. Add more noddles, and repeat until the dish is full. The last layer should be tomato sauce followed by the other half of the mozzarella, and a little parmesan.

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 425, then another 10 with the foil off. You should probably let the lasagne cool a little before cutting, but if you can't wait, i understand! this stuff is yummm!

the sauce ingredients
1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 - 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
2-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 large can of tomato sauce
2 medium sized tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 tsp sugar
red pepper flakes
1 eggplant, salted, rinsed, broiled, and cut
cut spinach, sauteed over medium heat to reduce moisture

the cheese mixture ingredients
15 oz ricotta cheese
1/4 lb mozzarella, shredded
1 egg

the topping:
1/4 lb mozzarella, shredded
parmesan cheese

24 September 2007


mmmm! this was so good, and pretty simple. to prepare, we steamed broccoli (halfway, leaving it slightly undercooked because it'll cook more in the oven), seeded and chopped tomatoes), pitted and diced black olives, made my marinara sauce, and sliced mozzarella cheese. after baking the crust on its own, i let it cool a bit then added the sauce, cheese, and toppings. along the crust, i brushed olive oil then sprinkled some dried spices. after adding the spices, i baked it ad 375 for about 14-17 minutes straight on the rack. ok ok, here's the pizza dough recipe. i used wheat flour, which took about 2 1/2 c. flour but if we weren't on this no white flour thing, i would use about 1 c. wheat flour and the rest white (though you'll have to use a little more than 1 1/2 c.... i haven't worked out the measurements).

Pizza Crust

2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast (1 packet)
1 tbsp white sugar
1 c. warm water
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 1/2 c. wheat flour

Stir sugar and yeast with warm water to dissolve. Stir in salt and olive oil. Add flour about 1/2 c. at a time. Turn onto floured surface to knead for about 8-10 minutes. Let rise in an oiled bowl, covered with a damp cloth, until doubled (30 minutes to an hour). Shape onto pan and poke a few holes into crust with a fork. Bake at 400 for 7-10 minutes.

23 September 2007

asparagus quiche

with a wheat crust. yum!

Pie Crust

1 c. flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 c. crisco (or lard, if you prefer)
2 tbsp. water

you can use your own, or buy one, but i really think that this crust makes the dish as good as it is. it is so flaky, but because of this, it can be really hard to handle.

Mix the flour and salt. Cut the crisco in with a pastry blender (a fork will work fine if you don't have one). If you're using wheat flour like i did, add about 1-2 tbsp of vegetable oil too and mix in with a fork. Sprinkle with the water and mix with a fork until all flour is moistened. Gather the dough innto a ball and turn over onto your work surface. flour your rolling pin liberally and re-flour it often as you're rolling the dough. also, roll it out on parchment paper to make it easier to transfer to the pie tin. Roll out to about 1/8 inch thickness then place the pie tin upside down in the center. slide your hands under and holding it on top and bottom, flip it over. form the crust in the pan and cut the edges. with what's left at the top, use your finger and thumb to flute the edges. there will mostly likely be a few rips and holes in the crust, so take spare dough that was cut off the edges to patch it up before you bake it. bake at 475 degrees F for 8-10 minutes. check often to make sure the crust is not bubbling up with air pockets. Let cool before adding filling.

Asparagus Quiche

1 lb asparagus
2 tbsp butter
1 pie crust
4 eggs, beaten
3/4 c. cream
1 1/4 c. milk
1/4 tsp. dried dill weed
salt and pepper to taste

Clean asparagus and snap the hard ends off. Cut into inch-long pieces and saute in butter to remove some moisture. Asparagus should be tender and green, not soft. Place the asparagus in the bottom of the crust.

Mix the eggs, cream, milk, dill weed, salt, and pepper. Fill the crust and bake at 375 degrees F for 30-40 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before cutting and serving. Can also be served room temperature.

brown rice casserole

don't you think this photo came out good?
casseroles aren't known for their prettines

Last night, i was craving some kind of pinto bean salad, and while i didn't find quite what i wanted, this was still really amazing... besides the little bit of cornstarch i added, it's a perfectly diabetic friendly dish, too. i didn't add bread crumbs because i haven't made any wheat bread yet, but i'm adding it to the recipe because i know it'll make this even better.

3/4 c. quick cook brown rice
2 c. vegetable broth
1/2 c. broccoli, cut into small pieces
1/2 c. asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
about 1 tbsp cornstarch, mixed in cold water
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
salt, pepper, sage, and red pepper flakes (or add fresh peppers)
1 c. mozzarella
wheat bread crumbs

Combine rice, vegetable broth, broccoli, and asparagus in saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Add cornstarch a little at a time, stirring after adding some, until leftover vegetable broth thickens to become gravy-like.

Add tomatoes, pinto beans, and spices, and cook uncovered for 5-10 minutes. Pour into casserole pan and cover with cheese and bread crumbs. Bake at 400 F until cheese is starting to bubble and bread crumbs are toasted.

18 September 2007

bread sticks

yum yum yummmm... i'm so very proud of this recipe cause i made all myself. well, with some breadstick guidance from other recipes. but this dough is all mine. and it's wonderful. they are so soft and each piece pulls apart so delicately. you can do whatever you want with them also. here, i sprinkled garlic powder on top before baking, but i think next time i'll also add some parmesan cheese. maybe after they're done, put a light coat of olive oil and sprinkle with seasonings (basil? oregano? maybe even paprika?!). my main issue was with shaping them. ahem... the recipe (a work in progress):

the ingredients:
1 tsp active dry yeast
1/3 c. warm water
2 tsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/3 c. milk
3 tbsp. butter (melted) or olive oil
1 3/4 c. all purpose (or bread) flour

the method:
Dissolve the yeast in warm water. Add sugar, salt, milk, and butter or oil. Add flour 1/2 c. at a time. Turn the dough onto a well floured surface (dough should be very soft). Knead, then place into an oiled bowl; turn to coat. Cover with a damp cloth and let dough rise about 1 hour.

Shape the dough and place on a baking sheet sprayed lightly with oil. Cover again with damp cloth and let rise about 30 minutes. Add garlic powder or grated parmesan cheese if you want, and bake in oven (preheated to 375 degrees F) for 15-18 minutes.

voila! please try them and let me know what you think ;)