Wednesday, February 29, 2012


It's the 29th of February and I am sick.
Sick as in, "Every muscle in my ding-dang body hurts."
And no, I didn't get the flu shot.
I never do, do you?
Well, you were the smart one this year.
The only thing that seems to make me feel better today is ice cream.
I happen to have Schwan's Sweet and Salty, and I am happily partaking. Over and over and over again.
I've been working on putting together photo books and found this picture.
Where did these little bodies go?
Okay, I need to crawl back into bed now.

Like Kathleen Kelly when Joe Fox comes to bring her the daisies, I'm feeling a little "fuzzy".

Monday, February 27, 2012

Cinnamon Rolls

A few years ago, I decided I needed to learn how to make cinnamon rolls. I had no idea how to do it, but because they are one of Ella's and Bruce's favorites, I messed around with several recipes to come up with what my family likes.
We like our rolls with a lot of height.
We like our rolls with a lot of cinnamon.
We like our rolls with a lot of frosting.

The girls at Craft Weekend sure like them a lot, too. ;)

Because I've received so many requests to blog the recipe, I jotted down my steps, but I also referred to several cookbooks to make sure I was on track.
I usually just feel it, and they kind of turn out different every time.  

Yeh, I'm one of those people. 

One thing you need to know off the bat, is that I own a Bosch food processor with a dough mixer attachment, which means I don't knead this dough whatsoever. If you are working with a another type of mixer, you're going to need to add a 5-7 minutes of kneading by hand at the end of the mixing process.

1. Warm 3 cups milk in the microwave for 5-6 minutes in the microwave and place in the mixer. You want it to bubble a little bit like this.
2. Melt 2 sticks of butter and pour it over the milk.
3. Add 3/4 cup of white sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt.
4. Add 4 cups of flour to the top of the butter, milk, sugar, salt mixture. You are creating a barrier so that when you add the eggs, you won't cook them.
5. Then add 2 packages of yeast to the top of the flour.
6. Place 4 large eggs in a small bowl and mix those by hand breaking the yolks. Add them to the top of the yeast and flour mix.
7. Turn on mixer and let it mix for 1 minute.
8. Add 4 more cups of flour and mix another 3-4 minutes.
9. Give your dough a finger check. When it's still sticky like this, add an additional cup of flour and mix another minute.

10. I give my dough a finger check again.

11. When it sticks to you, but snaps back. It's ready. If it's not doing this, add a 1/4 c. of flour at a time and keep mixing until it does this.

12. Spray a very large bowl with a cooking spray, and shape dough into a round loaf and place in bowl.
13. Cover and place in a warm spot. I always put mine in my oven just after turning it on for a minute or two and then shutting it right off.
14. Let rise for 60 minutes. (I forgot to take a picture for this. So sorry. Your dough should be puffy and nearly peaking out of the bowl.)

15. Punch down, cover and let rise again for 50 minutes.

16. Spread enough flour over your countertop so that the dough will not stick. Divide dough in half and roll out. I like a fat roll, so I don't make it too long or too skinny.
17. Melt 2 more sticks of butter.
18. Pour enough of the melted butter to generously cover the bottom of your pan. I used a 9x13 this time, but I've also made these in pie plates to give away.

19. Next pour 1/4 cup butter over the rolled out dough.

20. Spread 1/4 c. of white sugar in the middle of the roll.

21. Next spread as much cinnamon as you like over the top. We love cinnamon, so I get kind of cinnamon happy.

22. Next grab the edge furthest from yourself and begin to roll towards you. 

23. Don't worry about the butter oozing out all over the place. Just try to roll it the best you can.

24. Once you have rolled it tight. Pinch the seam closed.

25. Once I have the ends tucked in and closed up, I flip the seam over to the bottom. Then, I like to stretch my dough just a bit. Don't pull it apart. Just give it a little stretch to give you a little more for your money.
 26. I cut my rolls 1.5 to 2 inches thick.
 27. Place them in the 9x13 buttered pan.
 28. Cover with a tea towel and let rise 20 minutes. I usually get two 9x13's out of this recipe.

29. Move the racks inside of your oven to where your cinnamon rolls will sit approximately in the middle, and preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

30. Place rolls in the oven, and bake 17-20 minutes. I tend to lean towards less time because we like ours a little doughy.

31. Remove from oven, and because no one in your house will be able to wait, frost and eat.

32. If you're serving guests, load up the frosting for them. They'll mind their manners too well, and miss out on what living in the moment is if you let them do their own.

Cinnamon Rolls
For the dough
3 c. milk, warmed in microwave 5-6 minutes, I used 2% or whole milk.
4 large eggs, beaten
3/4 white sugar
2 sticks butter
2 packages Traditional Yeast
1 teaspoon salt
9-10 cups of flour

Mix the ingredients above, and knead 5-7 minutes, as needed if you don't have a Bosch mixer. Place in very large bowl, and cover with tea towel. Let rise 60 minutes, then punch down. Let rise again for 50 minutes. Roll out, and add butter, cinnamon, and sugar as displayed above. (Measurements below.)

For the dough's center 
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup cinnamon, or more if you love it
2 sticks butter, melted for center and for pans

Cut dough into 1.5 to 2 inch rolls. Place in (2) 9x13 pans.
Cover and rise 20 minutes.

Bake 375 degrees for 17-20 minutes. Then frost.

Cinnamon Roll Frosting
This should make enough for 6-8 rolls, I rarely frost the entire batch at once. I usually freeze them unfrosted and make fresh batches of frosting as we eat them.
1/3 bar of cream cheese, softened
2 Tablespoons butter, softened
3-4 cups powdered sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla

Whip the cream cheese and butter together, then add powdered sugar a cup at a time. Throw in a pinch of salt and vanilla. If it seems too thick, add milk to thin.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Happy Saturday.

Need a pick me up today?
Here's a little happiness for you.







  video platform

  video management

  video solutions

  video player

Ella's on her way to basketball practice this morning, and my day has been made by you, David.
You rock.
I can't wait to see what college team picks you up.

Friday, February 24, 2012


God's Word is better than a diamond,
better than a diamond set between emeralds.
You'll like it better than strawberries in spring, 
better than red, ripe strawberries.
Psalm 19:10
The Message

Linking up with Beautifully Rooted.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I Have Issues.

It should go without saying that I had a fabulous time at Craft Weekend.

I came home, didn't do anything for two days, and thought about sour cream more than anyone should. Sour cream is the number one ingredient in the Craft Weekend diet in case you're wondering.  I could tell you that it's fat free, but I'd be lying and lying really isn't my issue.
My current issue is that I have a slight obsession for hot coffee. At Megan's house, I fell in love with Keurig.

Have you met Keurig? Surely you have because I feel like I'm the last one to make his acquaintance.
He is:
Hot coffee.
Whenever you want it.
Instantly without being instant.
It's a big deal.
I was crushin'.
I never considered the fact that my habit of drinking day old coffee warmed up three times in the microwave was really that big of a deal...until the end of the first Craft Weekend.

And I had to go home.
Without Keurig.

I daydreamed about Keurig in the morning, at 3 pm, and after dinner.
And now since the second Craft Weekend at Meg's house, I missed Keurig something terrible.

I didn't even realize what kind of issues I was having until it literally was the writing on the wall.
My canvas from Craft Weekend. Inspired by this.
Today, while Bruce was out and about, Keurig moved into our house.
I texted "Mr. lovesmesomuch and would make me coffee anytime I asked him to" and he replied, "Easier than a puppy." Hmmm....he remembers.
It's a good thing we just looked at them today.
Like I said, I've got issues.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Right now...

Right now I'm...
listening to the Craft Weekend guests laugh and get to know each other
sitting in Meg's living room with my feet up.
drinking Fresca
thinking that I can't forget to get the cinnamon rolls out of the freezer for breakfast tomorrow
wanting to eat more cheesecake
needing some sleep
thankful for a husband who does laundry so that I have clothes to wear   this weekend
wearing a black hoodie and purple pajama bottoms with white polka dots
praying for family
feeling content
dreaming of just one more piece of cheesecake
wondering if I'll find anything antique shopping tomorrow
hoping I do!
loving the moments that I get to sit and take it all in.

How about you?
What are you doing this weekend...what are you doing right now?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


For the LORD your God is living among you. 
He is a mighty savior. 
   He will take delight in you with gladness. 
With his love, he will calm all your fears. 
      He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.

Zephaniah 3:17
New Living Translation

Happy Valentines Day!
I love you, and am praying this for you today.

Friday, February 10, 2012

This One's for the Grandparents

After several years of being scared to walk into any auditorium, let alone step on a stage, Ella rocked out with her second grade class last night!!!
We sat on the edge of our seats, our eyes watering. Truth: my eyes were spewing tears of joy.
 (Thank you to you locals who were sharing in them with me. I treasure your tears, too.)
She sang.
She danced.
She conquered, and declared it "fun".
Oh, my conquering Lady Ella!
Let's have some more fun this year, okay?
I love you so, and once again I praise your Creator.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Embracing Four

Talia is embracing a lovely, dreamy, passionate four year old existence these days.
She is breathless a half dozen times per day.
The other night during the middle of a wild Kansas thunderstorm, she said, "Mom, you know what? The lightening is a surprise for my eyes." Then, for effect, she closed those eyes, and promptly went to sleep.
On Saturday night we drove to the airport to pick up Bruce, she said, "Mom, when Daddy's gone my heart feels a little lost without him." She spoke exactly what I had felt all week.
In the bathroom at a friends' Super Bowl party last night, she declared, "I want to have a baby of my own." I told her that someday she could get married, and have her own baby she replied, "I wonder if I already know who I am going to marry?"
When we went to bed, I prayed for the man she might someday marry.
She interrupted my prayer and said, "Why are you praying for him?!"
I had to think quickly.
I said, "Because I love you."
What other reason could a mother to a lovely, dreamy, passionate four year old girl really have other than that?! 
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