Jalapeno Cheese Rolls

Jalapeno Cheese Rolls

By D. S. Mitchell 


Life Lesson #2

Recently I posted a recipe for Apple Quake (Cake). That recipe and the “life lesson” shared with that recipe is part of a cookbook-biography I have played around with. I didn’t really have a formalized plan for what I was going to do with the material when I started writing down my mom’s recipes and accompanying life lessons. Not atypical for many writers. The working title; “41 Life Lessons From My Mother’s Kitchen”. Now that I am close to my target 41 Life Lessons I decided I would begin sharing these fabulous recipes and common sense life lessons with Calamity News and Politics readers. Here is recipe 2 from my cookbook project.

Book Excerpt:

While I was growing up my Mom owned a busy café style restaurant in NW Portland, Oregon. The “Fifth Wheel” was located on St. Helen’s Rd.  A lunch time favorite were hot deli style sandwiches served, not on bread, but on mouth-watering, scrumptious, homemade Jalapeno Cheese Rolls. The rolls are actually more like hamburger buns when baked. Her’s were famous. Mom’s original version is Top Secret, but a good option is the one I am sharing here. Once you’ve made a sandwich with one of these rolls you will never want a plain bread sandwich again.



1 bag of Self-Rising Hot Roll Mix (use the 48 rolls recipe)

5 Jalapeno peppers (unseeded)

1 Medium Sweet Onion

5 Cloves Garlic

½ Stick Butter

Salt and Pepper to Taste

24 Slices American Cheese

48 oz, Shredded Mexican Cheese


*FYI: Handling Jalapeno peppers can be irritating. I suggest wearing gloves. Be sure to keep hands away for eyes, nose and mouth after handling the peppers. Dispose of gloves and immediately wash your hands thoroughly.

1.) Prepare hot roll mix and allow to rise. (Proof at 120 degrees)

2.) Chop jalapeno, onion and garlic in food processor until smooth but slightly chunky.

3.) Sauté processed veggies in butter until soft and season with salt and pepper.

4.) Combine cooked veggies with hot roll mix.

5.) Divide dough into 2 equal portions, setting one aside.

6.) Roll out one of the divided portions of dough on a clean lightly flour dusted counter top. (A large island is perfect.) Be sure to roll dough out until you have got 12 individual 4” wide x 12” long strips. Repeat with the second half of dough. You will have 24 strips of dough.

7.) Warning! DON’T MIX CHEESE INTO DOUGH, LAY IT ON TOP of the dough!! Cheese prohibits dough from rising.

8.) Visualize each strip of dough as 3 sections. Place ½ slice American Cheese in middle of the strip, fold right section of dough over cheese piece. This will make a section of dough on top of the American Cheese.  On this section place another ½ slice American Cheese and top with 1 oz. Shredded Mexican Cheese. Fold remaining dough over the cheese.  Sprinkle remaining Mexican Cheese on top of dough.

9.) Allow dough to rise a second time in the proofer.

10.) Bake using directions on dinner roll package, but allow an extra 5 minutes to compensate for larger roll size.

Life Lesson:

Short cuts.  Shortcuts can be a great thing. They can get you where you want to go more quickly, or they can get you lost.

Simple Life Lessons From My Mom’s Kitchen

Life Lessons From My Mom’s Kitchen 

By D. S. Mitchell

Life Lessons and Distant Memories

At the time of this writing, my mother has been dead for 32 years. But, every time I go into the kitchen she is there waiting for me, or more truthfully, she comes with me. She is not there in a bodily form of course, but from my heart and distant memories she emerges and pats me on the shoulder, and kiss’ my cheek.

The Chemistry of Memories

I don’t understand the chemistry of memories, but I am sure that every time I bring out her hand-typed recipe book, she hums her little work song and reminds me that she is always with me. As I remember the times I spent cooking with her; whether it was making dinners, prepping picnics, devising scrumptious desserts, or savory breads, I learned a great deal more than cooking tips. I now realize it was in my mother’s kitchen that I grew into the woman I am, where I learned the things that are most important in life.

Apples Everywhere

The Apple Quake is my all-time favorite cake, topped with my most favorite frosting. In the 1950’s everybody knew somebody that had fruit trees. It seems most people in today’s busy world forego fruit trees when they plan their landscaping. Without the fruit trees busy people don’t need to feel guilty because they have left the fruit rotting on the ground unwanted and unused.

Buy Local

I am so glad to see a slow but growing movement in this country to bring fresh unprocessed foods back to the American table. God bless each person that rises up and demands safe, local food sources. Read about it. Get concerned. Get involved. Demand, Fresh & Local.


  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 to 3 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 to 2 Tb. vanilla
  • 5 green apples, washed but unpeeled
  • 1/2 cup walnuts


In a large bowl combine eggs, sugar, olive oil and vanilla with a mixer.

In a separate bowl combine flour, cinnamon, soda, and salt; when well blended add to the egg mixture. Lastly, add walnuts to the cake mix and blend together gently. Spread the thinly sliced apples over the bottom of the greased glass baking dish.  Pour batter over the apples.  Batter will be very thick. Place the batter into the sides and corners first, and then into the center. Let the batter sit for about five minutes to make sure that the batter is evenly distributed before placing it in the pre-heated oven. Bake: in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour. Remove from oven and cool thoroughly. Frost: generously with cream cheese frosting. Refrigerate: left overs.


  • 8 oz. softened cream cheese
  • 2 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup softened salted butter
  • 1 to 2 Tbs. (or more) lemon juice to taste

In a medium bowl cream together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Mix in lemon juice, gradually stir in powdered sugar, beat until smooth. Frost cake.

Somewhat Vague

The measurements for cinnamon, vanilla, and even the lemon juice for the frosting are somewhat vague, I admit, but there is a lesson here. LIFE LESSON: As my mother would say, “be generous”,  especially if you like a particular flavor.  I think that is wise.  If you like something-always be generous in its use.  When you believe in a cause, give generously of your time. If you love someone, give generously of your kindness and respect. If you are dedicated to a project then generously donate your money. What you love and believe in deserves your generous contribution of time, energy, and yes, even money.

**The name Apple Quake came from my young pronunciation of cake. Cake, quake–get it?