Dill and Onion Buns

These buns have a very mild dill flavor with a hint of onion.  I wanted something a little different, so I changed up my basic bun recipe.  The flavor wasn’t as strong as I expected, so I’ll try increasing the dill seed next time for a stronger flavor.  It can be difficult to get to that ‘just right’ point – lots of flavor, but not over powering.

1 package active dry yeast, (2 ¼ teaspoons) room temperature

1 ¼ cup warm milk (110° F to 115° F) [Check the temperature with an insta-read thermometer. I combine the milk and honey and warm in the microwave.]

1 teaspoon white sugar

¼ cup honey [Use a liquid measuring cup.]

3 tablespoons butter, melted [Olive oil can be substituted.]

1 or 2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 large [or extra large] egg, room temperature

½ tablespoon Kosher salt [Do not use table salt. it measures differently due to size of granules.]

1 tablespoon minced onion, dried

½ teaspoon dill seed

1 teaspoon dill weed

½ cup whole wheat flour*

3 to 4 cups all-purpose flour

Dough doubled in size
Dough has doubled in size.

Combine yeast, milk, sugar and honey.  Mix well to dissolve yeast.  Let sit about 5 minutes to allow yeast to bloom.  Add 3 tablespoons melted butter, egg and 2 cups of flour.  Mix on low with dough hook until smooth. Add remaining flour as needed until dough comes together.  [For me, I always use all the flour.]

Add salt.  Knead 7 – 9 minutes with hook until dough is tacky – not sticky.

Place in greased bowl.  [Bowl should be at least a 2-qt.]  Cover with light-weight dish towel.  Let rise until doubled about 1 hour.  Check after 45 minutes.

Buns shaped into varying sizes.
Buns shaped into varying sizes.

Grease a 11” x 15” cookie sheet with Crisco for rolls or a 11″ x 17″ size for hamburger buns.  Roll or press dough on floured board, into rectangle about 1” to 1½” thick.  Shape into 24 pieces for rolls or 15 pieces for medium sized hamburger buns [or a combo of sizes, depending on what type of buns you want.]  Put on greased cookie sheet.  Cover again with the dish towel and let rise until doubled 45 to 60 minutes.

Buns ready to bake.
Buns ready to bake.

Bake 12 – 15 minutes until golden brown in 350° oven.  Remove from oven.  Brush with 2 tablespoons melted butter.





*Don’t fret if you don’t have any whole wheat flour on hand, you can use 4 ½ cups of all-purpose flour.


©2016, My Granny Rocks | Janette Thornton. All rights reserved.

How to Make Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

Eggs covered with water
Eggs covered with water.

Online I’ve been noticing a way of baking your eggs in a muffin tin.  I haven’t tried that method yet.  I seldom need that many hard boiled eggs at once, so I think I’ll stick to the old fashioned way of boiling on the stove top.

Place 4 to 6 eggs in a 2-quart saucepan.  Fill pan with cool water to about a ½” from the top of the pan.  There should be 1″ to 2″ of water on top of the eggs.  Bring water to a boil over medium high heat.  Once the pan is boiling, remove from heat and cover.


Cover pan and let sit.
Cover pan and let sit.

Let eggs sit for 25 minutes.

Drain water and fill pan with cold water.  Gently break the eggshells and peel under running cold water.  Store eggs tightly covered in refrigerator.

That’s it folks, bring to a boil and let them sit.  Can’t get any easier than that.

Slicing and dicing eggs is a breeze with a slicer.  Follow the pictures below:

Place egg on slicer.
Place egg on slicer.


Closer slicer for a perfectly sliced egg.
Closer slicer for a perfectly sliced egg.


Rotate egg 90 degrees.
Rotate egg 90 degrees.


Close slicer for chopped egg.
Close slicer for chopped egg.



©2016, My Granny Rocks | Janette Thornton. All rights reserved.



In the Garden, Day 15

Another week of waiting has passed.  The above photo of lettuce shows the most successful plants thus far.  When the lettuce is a little bit taller, I’ll need to thin it out.  Radishes, spinach, onions and one lonely green bean have poked through.  Still nothing has sprouted in the carrot patch so far. We’ve had some strong winds with advisories this week.  Not surprisingly, the winds beat it up the tomato plant, so it’s hanging on.

Tomato Plant , Day 15
Tomato Plant , Day 15, after high winds.

The photos were taken around noon before watering.  Yes, it is extremely dry here.

Spinach, Day 15
Spinach, Day 15





Although hard to see through the cages, but the spinach and radishes are doing well.  They broke through the soil last Tuesday.

I’m thinking I’ll give the carrots, zuchinni, yellow squash and green beans another week to see if anything will sprout.  There’s always the possibility that I planted too deep.  All new seed this year, so I’ll have to blame it on my planting depth.


Radish, Day 15
Radish, Day 15

Granpa has been working on another bed that’s about 36″ wide by 10′ long.  It’s leveled and ready to start mixing compost, dirt, sand, peat moss and vermiculite.  He used cinder blocks for the raised bed and is laying out other beds that will be watered by the landscape watering system.  We’ll probably leave the beds unplanted until the fall planting season.

Spring is a great time to repot indoor houseplants, too.  I’ve repotted a fern and bamboo plant so far.



©2016, My Granny Rocks | Janette Thornton. All rights reserved.

Porcupine Meatballs – Microwave

You know, the later in the week it gets, the less I feel like cooking after work.  These meatballs are quick and easy.  We like them with slices of cheddar cheese, crackers and corn-on-the-cob for a quick supper.

1 lb. lean hamburger or ground chuck
1 cup Minute Rice, uncooked (white or brown)
1 can (10 oz.) condensed tomato soup
1 egg, slightly beaten
½ cup water
1 teaspoon onion or garlic salt
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons catsup or ketchup
1 teaspoon yellow mustard

Combine ground beef, about ½ can of soup [I spoon it right out of the can.], egg, water, salt, and Worcestershire sauce.  Add rice.  Mix well.  Let mixture set for 5 – 10 minutes.  [This lets the rice absorb the water.  At this point, you can cover and refrigerate several hours until ready to cook.] Shape into small balls (about a tablespoon each).  [I use a small scoop for this.]  Arrange in a circle on a microwave meat platter or a large glass pie pan.  Cover with wax paper.

Meatballs Ready for Topping
Meatballs Ready for Topping

Microwave at full power for 4 minutes; rotate meatballs on platter so what was facing in towards the center is now facing out towards the perimeter.  Cover waxed paper.  [You can re-use the piece you already used.]

Return to microwave for 3 minutes.  Using tongs, move meatballs to a serving platter.  Form the remaining meat into balls, cook as above and transfer to serving platter.  The meatballs brown up as they sit.  The meatballs on the right are the ones that were sitting while the ones on the left just came out of the microwave.

Stir catsup and mustard into the remaining soup mixture, still in the can. Use a soup spoon to pit a dollop of sauce over each meatball.  Return to microwave for 2 minutes.  [No waxed paper this time.]


Spoon sauce on and return to microwave.
Spoon sauce on and return to microwave for a couple minutes.




©2016, My Granny Rocks | Janette Thornton. All rights reserved.


Granny’s Potato Salad

This is one of those salads that I just throw together.  I’d never written down the recipe before.  I like lots of eggs in a creamy potato salad, so this one is heavy on the mayo.  In case you hadn’t noticed, I seldom add salt to anything (except in baking.)  When I serve this, I make sure the salt shaker is on the table and everyone’s happy.

Drain Potatoes and Rinse
Drain potatoes and rinse.  Yes Ladies, if you recognize the colander, it is that old.

4     eggs, hard boiled
5     potatoes, medium
3/4  cup celery chopped, (1 stalk)
¼    cup onion, finely chopped
3/4  cup sweet pickles, chopped
1      cup mayonnaise
1/3  cup sour cream
2    tablespoons prepared mustard
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons sweet pickle juice


Start the eggs cooking.  Peel potatoes and cut into ½” cubes.  Cover with water and boil until just done, about 15-20 minutes.  [Fork should go into the potato easily.  Don’t overcook or your potato salad will be mushy.]  Drain in colander and rinse with cool water.

Chopping Celery
Chopping Celery

While the eggs and potatoes are cooking, chop celery, onion and sweet pickle.  [I always cut everything into strips, then chop.]  Put in large mixing bowl.

Chopping Sweet Pickles
Chopping Sweet Pickles

Eggs should be done by now.  Pour off water.  Fill pan with cool water and peel eggs under running cold water.

Chopped Egg
Chopped Egg

Chop eggs.

Add eggs and potatoes to other ingredients in mixing bowl.  Mix well.

Mix potatoes with celery, pickle and onion.
Mix potatoes with celery, pickle and onion.


Add mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, pepper and pickle juice.  Stir until mixed well.  You can add more mustard for your particular tastes.

Level salad in bowl.  My mom always sprinkled hers  with paprika for color.

Salad - ready to refrigerate.
Salad – ready to refrigerate.

Cover and refrigerate several hours until thoroughly chilled.






©2016, My Granny Rocks | Janette Thornton. All rights reserved.

How to Make a Perfect Baked Potato

I know the “they sayers” say you’re not supposed to store potatoes in the refrigerator.  Well, I can guarantee you, they don’t live in Arizona.  If I don’t store my potatoes in the refrigerator, they sprout quickly.  Therefore, my microwave times are based on chilled potatoes.  We all know microwaving time depends on the wattage of your microwave.  Blah, blah, blah.  Back to the potato…once things heat up here, I don’t like to use my oven in the evenings.  It seems so wrong to listen to that air conditioner hum while the kitchen is heating up from the oven, but I love baked potatoes.  Here’s how I speed up the cooking process.

Start with a couple nice, medium to large-sized, russet potatoes.  Scrub well with cool water to remove surface dirt and clean the skin.  [I use a washcloth to scrub mine.]  Microwave two potatoes on high for 3 minutes.  Turn and poke with a fork.  Microwave another 3 minutes.  Check doneness with a fork.  Your fork should go in without much resistance.  If not, microwave another minute or two until fork pierces potato easily.

While the potatoes are nuking, tear off a square of aluminum foil for each potato.  Splash olive or vegetable oil on foil. [You want enough oil to coat the entire potato skin with it.]  Roll the hot potato in the oil.  Use your hands to finish coating the potato skin with oil.  Sprinkle liberally with Kosher or Sea Salt.  Roll potato tightly in foil.

Place on the rack in your barbeque grill while you’re grilling the meat or in 350°-400° oven for 20 to 30 minutes along with whatever else you’ve got in the oven.

In the summer, I fire up the grill.  While it’s heating up, I make the potatoes, put them on a rack in the grill, then start the meat once the grill’s good and hot.  Whether in the oven or the grill, don’t forget to turn the potatoes occasionally or they’ll be petrified on the bottom.

When you’re ready to eat, start slicing the center about a half inch from the end and leave about a half inch at the end of your cut.  Gently push the ends towards the center to open the potato. Add butter, sour cream, chives, cheese, bacon bits – whatever you like.  It’s all good.

So, now you know, finishing the potato in a grill or conventional oven is the secret to the perfect baked potato.


Potato with Butter
Perfect Potato, well-done, flakey and smothered in butter.



©2016, My Granny Rocks | Janette Thornton. All rights reserved.

In the Garden, Day 8

It’s been a week of daily watering.  The only thing green in the garden is the tomato plant.  I haven’t had good luck with tomatoes in the past.  I’m trying something different by putting a couple of water bottles in the ground to get the water down to the roots.  I’ll see how that works.  Weather has been warm in the upper 70’s, so it shouldn’t be too long before I see something sprout.

Nothing Yet.
Nothing Yet.  The seeds are in the wider black area.  I water in the furrow between the rows.
Garden addition
Garden addition.  Cantaloupe can trail out into the yard and squash will fill the rest of the bed.

I had some peat moss and various soil additives, bone meal, gypsum, etc. left over.  Instead of buying bags of “garden soil,” I thought I’d buy the stuff they sell as “top soil.”  As soon as I opened the bag, I knew exactly what they were calling “top soil.”  It’s nothing more than well-aged cow manure with a little wood mixed in.  Looks exactly like those big, black mountains surround the feed lots throughout Texas and Oklahoma.   Once the water hit it, there was no doubt.  On the bright side, it should grow beautiful plants.

Gorgeous weather here.  It’s the perfect temperature, day and night.  I don’t need to run the furnace or the air conditioner.  Makes for great sleeping weather.  I love having the house opened up with the breeze blowing through.  We’re lucky if Spring lasts more than a few weeks.  All too early, the air conditioner becomes a necessity.

Mulberry tree in full bloom.
Mulberry tree in full bloom.

The mulberry trees are in full bloom. I’ll have to wait and see how the garden does this next week.


Mulberry leaves opening up.
Mulberry leaves opening up.




©2016, My Granny Rocks | Janette Thornton. All rights reserved.

Maggie, the Dog

Maggie is my Maltipoo.  The photo above is her baby picture.  She’s a year old this month.  She’s got a great personality and a little stubborn streak.  Hmmm…she’s just like the rest of the family.  No wonder she’s such a good fit.  I hadn’t had a purebred dog in over thirty years since I moved from Iowa.  Throughout the years, our other dogs came from the pound or from people who couldn’t keep them any longer.  Originally, we headed to a pet store in Las Vegas to look for a Maltese.  We wanted a small, calm breed that could travel with us.  When we arrived at the store, their Maltese had been sold already.

Maggie was about 4 months old, so she’d been there a while.  She made eye contact and kept watching us as we looked at the various dogs.  She was the first pup we took to a playroom and she was adorable, friendly, and curious.  We played with a couple other breeds, but they weren’t as engaging as her.  After we’d played with her, she never took her eyes off me. Those deep brown eyes said, “Please, take me. I’ll be good.” (Her cell mate had left earlier in the day.  I’m sure she didn’t know what happened to it.) We played with her again and that was it. She stole our heart.

We couldn’t ask for a better indoor dog.  A quick trip to the vet for medicine to clear up her eyes and schedule the rest of her puppy shots and we were set.  She was easy to potty train and is quick to learn tricks.  You know, sometimes, I’m not sure who’s training who.




©2016, My Granny Rocks | Janette Thornton. All rights reserved.


Molasses Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I’m not a big fan of raisins in cookies. I don’t know why. I prefer chocolate chips over raisins every time. However, there’s something different about this recipe. I think the molasses and cinnamon compliment the raisins’ flavor nicely. This recipe tastes so much better than regular oatmeal cookies with raisins thrown in. Of course, I use Grandma’s Molasses. Actually, it’s the only kind local stores carry. I increased the flour and reduced the oven temperature from the original recipe published by Betty Crocker, General Mills (1963) Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book. New York: Golden Press. I’m thinking next time I make these, I’ll try a lower temperature and increase baking time as my oven seemed pretty hot this last go round.

These cookies bake up with crispy edges and remain moist and chewy in the center.

Grandmas Molasses
Grandmas Molasses

½ cup butter or butter-flavored Crisco
1¼ cup white sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup molasses
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups oatmeal, quick or old fashioned
1 cup raisins
½ cup chopped walnuts, optional


Lightly grease baking sheets. Preheat oven to 395°. Cream together shortening, sugar, and molasses. Add eggs and mix thoroughly.

Combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together. Add to creamed mixture. Mix well, then stir in oats, nuts and raisins.

Drop by rounded teaspoons about 2” apart on greased baking sheet. [I use a scoop that’s about one tablespoon. Don’t flatten these at all before baking. They spread on their own.]

Bake 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool on cookie sheet.

This makes approx. 5 dozen cookies.

Molasses Oatmeal Cookies
Molasses Oatmeal Cookies






©2016, My Granny Rocks | Janette Thornton. All rights reserved.

Money Saving Tips for Small Dog Owners

Okay, I admit it. I’m frugal.  Well, actually cheap.  I’ve discovered several ways to save on Maggie’s grooming and food.  Maggie is a Maltipoo, a small indoor dog.  The photo above is shaggy Maggie.  She definitely needs a bath and trim.

When Maggie was a pup, she wasn’t much larger than a bunny.  Since we often have red-tailed hawks flying around our place, she doesn’t go outside unless someone goes with her.  She’s just like having a kid around. Right behind you every step of the way, always wanting to see what you’re doing.

  1. Do the grooming yourself.  There’s no way I’m going to spend more on her grooming than I do on mine.  I dilute the pet shampoo 3 parts water to 1 part shampoo.  This makes the shampoo last longer and it doesn’t irritate her sensitive skin and make her itchy.  I put it in a recycled spray bottle and after getting her wet, spritz it on, then work into a lather.
  2. Buy a pair of good clippers.  It’s not that difficult to trim your dog.  Start with one of the longer guards because you can always go shorter if you mess up.  Make sure their hair is clean, dry and combed through – no matts or knots.  Cut in the direction of the hair.  For trimming around the face, grab their chin hair to hold their head still, then cut the hair with the scissors.  Use the shortest guard to trim the hair between the pads on the paws and to do the sanitary trimming.  There’s several dog grooming videos on You Tube.  Watch one applicable to your breed and after a couple times, you’ll have it down.
  3. Buy a pair of toenail clippers with the guard.  I recommend the clippers with the guard so you don’t accidentally cut too close.  Never cut into the pink part of the nail.  When in doubt, it’s better to leave them a little long. I haven’t tried any of those rotary nail trimmers.  They may work fine.  I just haven’t tried them yet.
  4. Don’t buy expensive treats.  Buy the smallest bag of large breed dog food you can find.  Give out one or two pieces at a time for a treat.  A small bag will last a long, long time.  I found a small bag that fit perfectly in a gallon pickle jar.  By keeping it in a jar, the semi-soft pieces stay moist.
  5. Don’t buy expensive stuffed chew toys.  For most stuffed animals, the expensive ones don’t last any longer than the cheap ones.  Maggie disembowels her stuffed toys regularly.  She has a knack for finding that weak seam and chews in that one spot until she can get the fiberfill out. I’ve got a few to re-sew right now.  I use heavy duty thread and beeswax to repair them by hand stitching the seam or hole. Using beeswax keeps the thread from tangling.




©2016, My Granny Rocks | Janette Thornton. All rights reserved.