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Archive for January 2011

I love to bake, there is very little I’d rather do.  Sadly I don’t get to often because baked things aren’t usually on diets, and I think we’ve both been on a diet for the last 3 years.  Jeremy was having a bad day Friday and both of us were off so I decided to do a little baking….that turned out to be quite a bit of baking.  I had just found a recipe for cinnamon buns from the Joy of Baking, and thought I’d give it a try.  I’m not saying these are the end all be all of cinnamon buns, but they are amazingly tasty.  They do take a large amount time, mostly to let the dough rise…and rise again.  There is a total of 2 hours and 45 minutes of waiting time, on top of about 45 minutes of prep time, depending on how quick you are on the prep.

You start out combining flour and yeast with a mixture of milk butter, sugar and salt.  Then you add in the eggs, and beat for 3 minutes, and it will look something like this:

Then with a dough hook attachment, or kneading by hand, you add more flour until you get a nice firm non-sticky dough.  Put in a greased bowl and allow to rise until doubled:

Allow it to double in size, about an hour to an hour and a half’s time.  Punch it down, turn out on floured surface, cover with clean towel and let rest for another 10 minutes.  During this time mix together the filling.  Spread it over the rolled out dough and roll into a spiral.  The recipe says this makes 8, it makes 8 very large rolls or in my case only 7, but they were HUGE.

I am making them again today to take to campus for all of Jeremy’s coworkers and I will be making about 16 of smaller rolls.  Cut them and place them in a greased pan and let them rest for another hour.  During this time they will grow even bigger.  Bake for 23-35 minutes.  They smell amazing!

After they are finished baking you can make the glaze.  The half cup of powdered sugar and tablespoon of half and half is not nearly enough for all these rolls.  On my first attempt I made double, this next time I will make either triple or quadruple, I’m not sure yet.  The glaze is very simple and really adds a great flavor to them!  This is a great sweet dough recipe, not too sweet, just right, could be great for another recipe you have in mind!  I did not brush my rolls with half and half, either time, I might try with just regular 2% milk this next time and see how that goes.  Yum, my mouth is watering already!


4 1/2 – 5 cups (630 – 700 grams) all-purpose flour

1 package (1/4 ounce) (7 grams) active dry yeast

1 cup (240 ml) milk

1/3 cup (75 grams) unsalted butter

1/3 cup (66 grams) granulated white sugar

1/2 teaspoon (2.5 grams) salt

3 large eggs


3/4 cup (160 grams) packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup (35 grams) all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, cold (cut into pieces)

1/2 cup light raisins (optional)

1 tablespoon half-and-half (light cream)

Powdered (Confectioners or Icing) Sugar Glaze:

1/2 cup (58 grams) powdered (confectioners or icing) sugar

1 tablespoons half-and-half (light cream)

Make the glaze thin enough to drizzle over cinnamon rolls.

Cinnamon Rolls: In the bowl of your electric mixer, with the paddle attachment, combine 2 1/4 cups (315 grams) of the flour and the yeast.

In a small saucepan, stirring constantly, heat the milk, butter, sugar, and salt just till warm (120 -130 degrees F) (49 – 54 degrees C) and the butter is almost melted.

Gradually pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture, with the mixer on low speed. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Beat this mixture on high speed for 3 minutes. Replace the paddle attachment with the dough hook (or do the kneading by hand), and knead in as much of the remaining 2 1/4 to 2 3/4 cups (315 – 385 grams) flour until you make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic (3 to 5 minutes).  (Dough will no longer be sticky to the touch.)

Shape into a ball. Place the dough into a greased bowl, turning once.  Cover and let rise in a warm place till double (approximately 1 – 1 1/2 hours).

When the dough has doubled in size punch it down. Place onto a lightly floured surface, cover with a clean towel, and let rest for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the ingredients for the filling. In a medium-sized bowl place the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Stir to combine. Cut in the cold butter with a pastry blender, or two knives, until the mixture is crumbly. Set aside.

After about 10 minutes, roll the dough into a 12 inch (30 cm) square. Sprinkle the filling evenly over the rolled out dough and top with raisins (if desired). Carefully roll the dough into a log and pinch the edges to seal. Slice the log (roll) into eight equal-sized pieces. Arrange dough pieces in a greased 13 x 9 x 2 inch (33 x 23 x 5 cm) baking pan.

Cover dough loosely with clear plastic wrap, leaving room for rolls to rise. At this point you can refrigerate the dough for anywhere from 2 to 24 hours. If overnight, the next morning remove the rolls from the refrigerator, take off the plastic wrap, and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. (If you are making the cinnamon rolls immediately, don?t chill dough. Instead, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let dough rise in a warm place till nearly double, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.)

Break any surface bubbles with a toothpick. Brush dough with half-and-half or light cream. Bake in a 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) oven for 25 to 30 minutes or till light brown. (Can tell if done by inserting a toothpick into one of the buns, and it should come out clean. Also, if you lightly tap on the top of the buns it should sound hollow.)

If necessary, to prevent over-browning, cover rolls loosely with foil the last 5 to 10 minutes of baking. Remove rolls from oven. Brush again with half-and-half or light cream. Cool 5 minutes and then invert onto a baking rack and re-invert onto a serving plate or platter.

Drizzle with the Powdered Sugar Glaze.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 8 rolls.

-The Joy of Baking

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Baby Shower Time!

I get to plan my best friend’s baby shower! We’ve been best friends since we were 7, which will be 19 years this year, wow, that’s crazy to think! We were always at the same school, not usually the same classes, but when we were, watch out, we were crazy! You could not find 2 people more opposite than we are, but we were kind of just thrown together, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Here we are at my wedding in Oct, she was 3 months pregnant there, luckily we got her a dress to accommodate, just in case!

Here we are at her wedding in June, 2008, I think….I was her Maid of Honor, you’d think I’d remember, huh?

She is very low maintenance, simple, and not at all girly, and if you’ve read my blog, by now know you should have an idea that I’m pretty girly, and I am high maintenance, but in a good way. I have very ornate taste, expensive and extravagant, I don’t get these things often, because we don’t have that kind of money, but once we do, Jeremy and I have very similar tastes.

So planning this shower is a bit of a struggle for me. One because I’ve never been to a baby shower, I’m assuming it’s basically the same as a bridal shower, which I’ve been to. I looked around online and found a really cute not terribly girly invitation from and recreated it in Photoshop, all info has been taken out to protect the knocked up:

I’m still stuck on décor, I think I’m going to go for something really bright and fun and girly, without being prissy girly, which I think she would hate. I’m using this as a jumping off point. The shower will have an animal type theme, and I’ll go from there.

I also really like this ball decor, really easy to do, and they would add a lot of color to an otherwise colorless room!

I know you all have some fantastic ideas, lay them on me!

I have another Vegetarian Bible entry, I just can’t find the pictures! It was Spinach Gnocci, and honestly it turned us off the Veg Bible for right now, but we’ll get back into it. We did turn the weirdness into a different veggie dish, but not from the book.


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My office redo update

It’s been months in the works, but my home office is finally on its way! If you’ll reminisce with me I talked about starting my office redo in this post, way back on October 26, 2010. Since then I bought a desk and painted the room, both in this post. It’s been very slow going and I’m still not done, and I may never be done, there is always some cute to add or change, but I’m very happy so far!

So here is my before

And after

The desk is a goodwill find, nice sturdy desk, for only $25! I sanded, primed, painted and sealed it. I thought there was too much white, so I broke it up a bit. The brown is the same color as the walls, and the pink, well the pink is the same color as the bottle sitting on my desk. The bottle was a gift from Jeremy for Christmas and the paint really closely matched the fabric I have planned for the chandelier, which you can see in the corner in the after picture, the window treatments, chairs, if it involves fabric it will be one of 6 designs I found at hobby lobby, it’s brown with pink, green, blue, and yellow, maybe some other colors, but they are all coordinating fabrics, which I love!

The Chandelier will be another post, I have all the shade frames made, I’m too cheap to buy them, I might change my mind when I try to cover them, we shall see. Chandelier shades are CRAZY expensive. So far I’ve spent $46 on this office makeover, which includes the chandelier, shades and fabrics. Not bad, huh?

The lovely art you see on the wall was a Christmas gift from Jeremy. I love barbies, you can’t see my small collection of them, so Jeremy painted me some watercolor barbies. They are all the same silhouette, different /colors/ethnicity blond, auburn, black, Hispanic, and Asian. I also have a Barbie puzzle he gave me last Christmas that I am working on putting together and then I’ll get that put up.

Oh, I almost forgot! Back to my desk….I thought to make my desk a little more personal I would monogram it, and again break up some of the white. It’s not really on there yet, just a print out stuck on there. What do you think? Too much? Tacky? Let me know!

Until tomorrow, I have several projects and recipes to share that I just haven’t as of yet! I will get better with blogging, I promise, 2 in one week, that’s pretty good! With that I’ll leave you with some cute photos of my silly animals

Guinness and Roosevelt cuddling in a box, how adorable? A box is all the toy they need

Malcolm (on the bed) and Molly napping one minute

The next they are both grooming themselves

Dogs are so weird, but cute!

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If you haven’t heard of Pinterest by now you must be living under a rock! It’s awesome! It’s an online inspiration board, a place to keep all your potential projects, or ideas, in one convenient place where you can reach them at any time! I first caught wind of this fantastic site at WhipperBerry. If you all haven’t been there before, when you get a chance, take a gander. They have awesome recipes and ideas, this is one of my daily reads. But anyway, back to Pinterest!

You can have, seemingly, as many number of inspiration boards as you wish. Right now I have about 7 or 8 boards, I have lost count already! I’ve recently gotten into knitting, (I’m a horrible blogger, I know this, but that will be another post) and I have a Knitting Inspiration board, a Fun Frilly Things board, Baby Inspiration board (quite things I might find here or there that I would love to make for a baby), a baby shower board (my best friend is due in April, shower is in March). I’m also working on getting my office usable, posts on that should be coming soon, I have inspiration board for things I would love to have in there! There are so many things!
My bookmarks have been several pages long for a while now, and I had recently cleaned them out!

It’s just in its starting phase right now, Beta version, and it requires an invite to be included in the fun, all you have to do is send them a request and they will let you start, or at least that is what I assume, I got an invite and I ain’t nothing special!

When you get your invite you go through the whole sign-up process then they give you a button to put on your bookmark tabs. Anytime you see something you want to save just hit pin it. A separate window will open up and have all pictures from your current page, you click on it and another page will pop up, allowing you to input a description and board, you can use an already started board or start a new one right from this page.

It’s so easy and is absolutely amazing, it has made my life so much easier!
Every page I’ve been on has been nothing but pinterest buzz, and I’m proud to say that I’m part of the beta version! That makes me happy!
I’m finishing up my lovely desk I gushed about far too long ago, 1 more coat of poly and she’s finito, then the big task, getting into this house and through my office door, hoping the top pops off! Saturday is the 4th Annual Humane Society Fur Ball, we all get fancied up and go to a big party to benefit the helpless animals at the animal shelter here, been the highlight of my January since its inception, which marks mine and Jeremy’s second date, isn’t that fun?

Then my FINAL semester starts on Monday, I’m both crazy excited to start, but also dreading it. I’ve got just a few things, a research class that I will be doing in a high school biology classroom, I’m very excited about that. I’ve also got Practical Light Microscopy with my favorite professor, and I’m SOOOOO excited about this, I’m such a dork but microscopes fascinate me. I’ve had a class on electron microscopes so compared to that this should be a breeze.
Until next time, which I promise will be sooner than the last!

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