Soup, Salad, Rolls and Ice Cream (or, "Fine Dining on a Budget")

Gourmet bean blend
It's no secret -- I love beans!

Last Friday I made a dinner that was:

Healthy (mostly...)

What was on the menu?

Gourmet Bean Soup, which is a new recipe I recently tried, and it has met rave reviews from all family members, including the bean-cautious husband. ;) I'm just teasing there, as Joshua is not afraid of beans -- he just doesn't want to eat them as often as I do! Meaning... once a week, or even more often if added into a recipe... but not beans every day for lunch! (Like I have been doing.) :)

The soup recipe includes instructions for making your own bean blend (pictured at top)!

One Hour Dinner Rolls. Now, truly perfect rolls take a little more than an hour, in my opinion, so don't allow this recipe title to trick you into rushing around at the last minute. ;) I made the ones in these pictures in about an hour's time, and as you can see they are not as fluffy as they could be!

This dinner roll recipe is from a family cook book. The original recipe has 6 lines of instructions and is rather vague. It's fine for an experienced baker, but I always tend to err on the side of helping the novice learn new things in the kitchen... and the instructions for my recipe got just a little out of hand.

Rest assured, however, that if you have never made yeast bread or dinner rolls or rosette/Kaiser shaped rolls, my instructions will tell you just how to do everything -- from dividing the dough into equal pieces (really, I think everyone knows how to do that but I detailed it in Step 5 just in case...) to shaping the roll (which was inspired by Kristen, The Frugal Girl!).

I made a video for that part. I know. Information overload! I'll be lucky if anyone even makes the recipe after how difficult I've made it sound!

One Hour Dinner Rolls and a side salad

Salad. This was a simple salad of Romaine lettuce, green pepper slices, and Ranch dressing. It complemented the Gourmet Bean Soup very well!

Kefir ice cream

And for dessert, homemade Kefir Ice Cream. I don't have this recipe posted yet, but it WILL be featured here before too long! :) You can go here to see how I make my homemade kefir. :)

Visit Jessica's blog for frugal topics and posts!

More of my frugal tips and musings can be found here. :)


Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the instruction, I need it! Never fear that you are giving too much information! :)


Oh, good. :)

Ok, I don't know much about beans. Does the bean blend need soaking the night before making this soup? It sounds really good and the pictures are great!


Chantelle, you *can* soak the bean mixture overnight before using (shorten cooking time if you do) but it's not necessary. I didn't. :) It really is super easy! :)

Tammy your talkin' my language with your new bean soup recipe and dinner rolls! It looks delicious! I will look for a bean soup mix similar to what you have as we have no Costco. Also, thank you for the video of how to shape those beautiful rolls. I wondered how to do that. I appreciate all you do to help me save money, with time management, new ideas and of course the recipes. :)

DeDe, I know! Soup, salad, and rolls is like gourmet dining for me! :)

I haven't been to a "regular" store lately (aside from QFC, which is really pricey unless sales) but I do want to buy some individual bags of beans to make the bean blend, as I think it would be cheaper than getting the big container already blended.

I believe it was $1.27/lb for the bean blend at Costco, and I usually pay less than $0.50/lb for pinto beans... I'll have to price it out for the others though! It may not be much cheaper to make my own. :)

The ice cream looks just delicious. We're big fans here, and it's easy to make homemade when you have an ice cream maker. :0)

I agree! Joshua just got an ice cream maker a few weeks ago and we have enjoyed it a lot already! :)

Quite often when I am making beans, I like to make cornbread to go with it, in my big lovely iron skillet. Now that is something that would work with kefir, because I often use natural greek yoghurt in mine. I will have to try that some time.



The Lord bless thee and keep thee; the Lord make his face shine upon thee; and be gracious unto thee; the Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. (Numbers 6:22-26)

I am really loving having the videos.The rolls today are so pretty and I would have never attempted them with out the video.With the video I know I can do it :)

They look rather large.Do you think you could use them for sandwiches for company?I am going to make them to go with soup also.


Thank you, Mrs. Paradis! :) I was surprised at how easy the fancy rolls were! So glad I tried them... and that the video made it look easy. :)

I guess my rolls do look large in the photos, but I didn't think they were excessively large... maybe the size of a normal (small) hamburger bun. Definitely not as big as the fancy Kaiser buns I've seen in the store! But, mine didn't rise quite enough, so they could get bigger... :)

If you don't need a specific size of sandwich (i.e. you're not making a big burger patty or something) I think these rolls would work great for sandwiches! :)

I work at a bakery that makes 200 hamburger buns a day using the same method for forming that you use! It took me a long time to get the hang of it, but it really is something that you get fast at.


I just wanted to tell you that I think you're an absolute doll, and your family is beautiful. I recently made your recipe for pinto beans in my slow cooker, and they were fabulous. I have to admit that I was actually intimidated by dry beans before, but you made it look so easy that I just had to try. I'm so glad I did! Thank you for sharing all these recipes!


Kelli, your comment made my day!! Thank you! :) My mom never cooked with dried beans (and maybe still doesn't, as they don't eat a lot of beans) so it was intimidating to me at first, too... but a friend helped me get started and I LOVE them! So glad you took the plunge with pinto beans... yummy! :)

Sounds delicious! Will have to try this soon.

If you're ever further south, Champion Grocery Outlet in Issaquah often has good prices on beans. I tend to stock up there. Though I haven't been in a few months. They do have limited hours and it can be hit or miss.

Noah, what kinds of beans do they carry? We don't go that way often. :(

I can get pintos at our regular Costco, and just went to Business Costco and got black beans and lentils! They had split green peas too, but I wasn't ready to buy 25# of those since I have, ummm, never used them before. ;)

your little man is getting quite skilled with the camera!! Those rolls are beautiful!I'll be sure to try them! Thanks.

I've been wanting to make rolls like this but the couple of times I looked for directions, I lost hope!

You made it look so easy!

I made them with a wheat dough btw.

Thanks bunches!!! You've just gave me our "summer bun"! to look at that ice cream...hmmm....

Tammy, I am loving the videos too. I would never have guessed how easy a fold that is. I will be making these. I know my family will feel special with these rolls. I think brushing the tops with melted butter and sprinkling seasame seeds would be a fun thing.
Thanks so much.

The rolls are beautiful! I was making some bread the other day - a different recipe than yours - and had a lot of fun forming these rolls. So easy, and though mine didn't turn out as pretty as yours they did look quite nice. The video is especially helpful for learning things like this - thanks! :D

Tammy- What do you think about using a slow-cooker for this recipe? Thoughts on time to get the beans tender?

I definitely think it would work to just throw everything in the crock pot! I would cook on HIGH for probably 8 hours (unsoaked beans, as the recipe calls for). Let me know if you try it! Or maybe I will try it some time myself... :)

thanks for the recipes

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