Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I stink at cinnamon rolls...

"I stink at cinnamon rolls!" I declared as my husband nearly choked on his third, no possibly sixth cinnamon roll....

This was a good batch, from my heart!

I have mastered the cream cheese frosting, but cinnamon roll perfection has eluded me! I somehow manage to make them flat as pancakes and they are always... Crunchy? I have more than once thrown my hands in the air! "I give up!" Yet I am always eager to try again. Giving it another shot, learning from previous attempts...

I have been thinking about cinnamon rolls a lot lately, well at least since Saturday, when my family attended a funeral for the mother of my husbands aunt.

Trying to get four girls out the door and in the car to be anywhere on time is indeed a chore! One that left little time for breakfast. As we listened to tearful memories, the subject of cinnamon rolls kept coming up. Late into her nineties this loving lady could apparently make a mean batch of cinnamon rolls! In the seats next to me I could hear little tummies growling. Images of hot buttery rolls nagging our minds!

As I pushed aside my own hunger and resigned to letting the baby gnaw on the A&D, I started to wish that I had known the woman who we had gathered to celebrate. I listened to story after story about an amazing woman with a wonderful heart! I began to wonder what I would be remembered for? I pondered on my own legacy. The choices that we make today have an impact on our future. Would my children be able to look past the some times tense and anguishing parts of life to remember the laughter? Will they forget when out of frustration I raised my voice and instead giggle whilst throwing themselves into a glistening pile of fresh snow, arms and legs in harmony creating the perfect snow mom would

Too often we forget

Each day is the day that could be our last. God granted, I hope to live a long and full life. Relishing in weddings and grandchildren! Triumphing alongside the accomplishments that are ahead! A source of comfort when there is heartbreak....And when I am ninety and the two rocking chairs on the front porch have worn thin, I want to be remembered for enriching the lives of my husband and children. If the tears fall when they remember the strength we shared as a family facing our challenges, I want them then to smile when they recall upon the absolutely grand moments! I hope they remember how everyday I put them first. I want them to be proud. I want them to remember that even though I more often than not made flat, chewy cinnamon rolls I never stopped trying!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

no truffle at all... A tasty post from the archives!

Get your chocolate on!

     I am so behind! Sweet baby K has been so sick this week and I have been busy keeping her happy. My Valentines prep is suffering! I have finally begun! I am going to share the easiest chocolate truffle recipe with you!  

 For easy peasy chocolate truffles you will need:

16 oz bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup whipping cream
2 tsp almond extract
truffle toppings of your choice!

 In a saucepan bring your cream and almond extract to a simmer. Stir occasionally. Like my spatula?

 Have your chocolate chips ready in a separate bowl.

 Pour cream over chips and let sit for a few minutes then mix.

Oh my ganache!

     You just created ganache! Refrigerate for three to four hours. Once chilled roll into teaspoon size balls and top! This step gets kind of messy so move fast!

Peanut Butter?

 Feeling encouraged? My husband loves peanut butter! Try this awesome recipe! Peanut butter truffles

     While your mixtures cool get to work on your presentation! I love books so I always feel bad when I destroy one! However...creating a book box is always a fun and unique gift! I found a few old books at the D.I. for under a dollar! Start by gluing the pages and back cover together. Once dried trace a square onto the front inside cover, and using a razor blade carefully begin cutting out your box.

Too cute!

    Once I get close to the back cover I start peeking carefully at the pages remaining until I find a neat picture to stop on. This will serve as your box backdrop.


    Truffles rolled and topped! I used two coffee filters to line my box and place my truffles in. It turned out darling! I might have to keep one for myself! Keep refrigerated until ready to share! Happy dipping! 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The first official project of 2013!

 Because I do not have enough to do....

    In between taxiing kids around and everyday life in general I decided to indulge my curiosity in a little project I had had my mind on for some time! We have never had a backsplash in our kitchen and I have pondered on this..... I did my research and then some! I have watched every tutorial and read every bloggy experience, even the horror stories! I finally found the courage to experiment! I found this to be a very tedious yet enjoyable experience! One that ended in victory! We all sit at the counter to "oooooh and awww!" our beautiful new space! We absolutely love it! 

sponge brushes in various sizes
grout line stencil tape
painters tape
various colors of paint 
water based polyurethane
deep breathing
small paintbrush for touch ups

 Start by painting the background the color you wish your "grout" to be. For best results allow to dry for at least 24 hrs. Then you can begin the design process one of two ways.... build your design by sketching it out on paper and then transfer the design to your intended space. Do this in sections. If you have a good eyeball and imagination you can begin by building your design directly onto the wall, also by section. Whatever is easier for you!

    Once you have your design sketched out and in place...take a deep breath, stand back and let the admiration begin! Before you begin anything, make sure you have grout line stencil tape in your possession! I looked high and low for this tape! It is hard to find! Use the stencil grout tape to tape over your pencil lines. Be sure to press the tape firmly into place. Yes, this is a pain in the rear! Think happy thoughts! It will be so worth it! Use scissors to cut your tape for sharp precise lines. Use the painters tape to protect the outer borders and cabinets.

     Many tutorials include adding dimension to your tiles by using drywall compound after this step. If you choose to do this, work by section to apply the compound and remove the tape promptly! Do not let it dry under the compound! Once it is all dry, re apply tape and follow the next few steps... DIY Network has a wonderful tutorial for using drywall compound Faux tile backsplash We obviously chose to not use the dry wall compound....

Ready to paint?

    Find a few shades that coordinate with your colors. These small color samples from valspar are perfect! For under three dollars they are just right for a project of this size! Dip your sponge into one of your colors. If you start in the middle of a taped off tile when your brush is wettest, then work out to the taped edge with a drier sponge it will cut down on paint bleed! To achieve the faux tile look apply a few different colors....

and blend!

 Work in sections...

 to apply your paint. As you finish a section, remove the tape from where you began. This will help you avoid removing more than tape! Don't be afraid to be creative! I really enjoyed shading random areas a little lighter here, a little darker there! Also different pressures on your sponge will create different effects! Experiment! Continue working by section until you have completed your backsplash!


After you have removed all of your tape it is time for touch ups! By using a drier sponge around the tape lines I was able to significantly cut down on bleed, however I did still need to correct a few areas. What do you think? Once your tiles are complete and have dried for 24 hours apply a water based polyurethane to seal and protect! This will also give the illusions of glossy tiles! Now to the repainting of the rest of the kitchen!

Ready to try this? Good luck!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Mozzarella focaccia bread

My family has lived on this tasty bread all weekend! Friday as I pondered the taste I was after..... Somewhere between the cheesy goodness of a local pizzeria and the classic crunch of a focaccia sandwich I decided to experiment a little! I ended up with a soft, fluffy bread that was thick enough to slather with mayo and stuff it full of ham and turkey! Give it a try! It also went well with our creamy pesto as breadsticks!

1 3/4 cup warm water
1/4 ounce package of yeast
1 T granulated sugar
5 1/2 cups of flour
2 cups shredded mozzarella
Italian seasoning
1 T salt
1 cup olive oil

Start by combining the sugar, warm water and yeast in a small bowl. Set aside for at least ten minutes until it is nice and bubbly.

In a separate bowl mix 5 cups of the flour and salt. Mix in the yeast mixture then use the remaining flour to dust the counter.

Begin kneading the dough incorporating the extra flour and knead until smooth. Use some of the olive oil to oil a bowl. Place dough ball in the oiled bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size.

Oil a baking pan and once the dough has risen divide into two equal balls. Press one of the dough balls into the pan and once flat brush with olive oil, sprinkle with rosemary and Italian seasoning. Be sure to poke finger holes into your dough!

Spread the mozzarella onto the top then take the second ball, press over the top of the cheese covering the bottom layer of dough. Pre heat oven to 425 degrees F and let rise again. Brush with oil and sprinkle with seasonings. Bake until golden brown! Let cool slice and enjoy!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Weekend plans.....

As my husband pulls out of the drive for a day ridin with the boys, me and my best girls wonder aloud what we will do with a beautiful Saturday ahead of us! Perhaps a treasure hunt or two at the local thrift store.... I am in desperate need of a cute DIY! Lunch at Apple spice and a tour of the mall.... This girls day will be a real free for all!

What does spaghetti pie have to do with this post? Probably not much......

Sunday dinner is one of my favorite meals of the week! As requested by my nine year old we will be having spaghetti pie! This recipe is a family favorite! I like to use rotini noodles instead of spaghetti because it makes a better "crust" and the cheese and butter really get into those nooks and crannies! Enjoy!

1 package cooked rotini noodles
2 tbs salted sweet cream butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup Parmesan

1 pound browned ground chicken
1/2 cup diced pepperoni slices
1 small onion diced
4 cups marinara

1 cup ricotta
3 cups cottage cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese
2 tbs Italian seasoning

Per heat oven to 350

Start by cooking noodles until they are soft but still slightly crunchy. This will keep your noodles from becoming too soft in the oven. Place noodles in a ungreased baking 9x13 baking pan. Add butter to noodles and allow them to cool. Once they have cooled beat the eggs and Parmesan cheese together and add to the noodles. Mix eggs into noodles thoroughly and press them into the pan forming your crust.

Set the noodle crust aside while you brown your ground meat and onion. Once browned and drained add the diced pepperoni and marinara. Simmer the sauce while you prepare the filling.

Combine the filling ingredients mixing well. Spoon the filling mix onto the prepared noodle crust making sure to cover the entire crust. Finally cover the filling with the prepared sauce. Top with additional cheese if desired! Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes!

Serve with a veggie side and garlic bread!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

To you my dear New Year.....

Yesterday as my daughter and I sat snuggled on the couch and reminisced the holidays our conversation wandered to resolutions. The allure of a fresh brand new year is enough to entice anyone to pledge thoughtful changes to oneself.

The scale will always taunt us. Personalities will clash and opinions will differ.....

This year I resolve to bring the focus back to my own home. My resolution is to face each day with bravery and commitment. Making decisions that are in the best interest of my family, concerning myself less with the opinions of others and listening to my heart. Many difficult challenges will no doubt find us this year. I resolve to find the strength in every situation.....

I resolve to Laugh when I want to cry. Love when I feel hate. Live each day as it is, a new opportunity. Kiss my sweet husband every chance I get! Hold hands! Listen to the imagination of a child. Dance with joy at every milestone.....

Live vicariously, run a half marathon.....

Bring it on 2013!
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