Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

So, it seems there is a trend happening with my recipes these days…definitely not low-cal.  Sorry!  It’s that time of year.  When it’s rainy, gray  and cold, comfort food just sounds good.  I thought these delicious cinnamon rolls from Alton Brown might make a nice addition to Easter brunch or breakfast this year.  We had them on Christmas morning and they were most definitely a big hit.  Because you do most of the work the night before, they’re perfect when you’re having company.  Brew up a fresh pot of coffee and indulge!

Ingredients

Dough:

  • 4 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 large whole egg, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 6 ounces buttermilk, room temperature
  • Approx. 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting
  • 1 package instant dry yeast, approximately 2 1/4 teaspoons
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Vegetable oil or cooking spray

Filling:

  •  1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch salt
  •  1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Icing:

  •  1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Directions

For the dough: in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg yolks, whole egg, sugar, butter, and buttermilk. Add approximately 2 cups of the flour along with the yeast and salt; whisk until moistened and combined. Remove the whisk attachment and replace with a dough hook. Add all but 3/4 cup of the remaining flour and knead on low-speed for 5 minutes. Check the consistency of the dough, add more flour if necessary; the dough should feel soft and moist but not sticky. Knead on low-speed 5 minutes more or until the dough clears the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface; knead by hand about 30 seconds. Lightly oil a large bowl. Transfer the dough to the bowl, lightly oil the top of the dough, cover and let double in volume, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Mix until well incorporated. Set aside until ready to use.

Butter a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently shape the dough into a rectangle with the long side nearest you. Roll into an 18 by 12-inch rectangle. Brush the dough with the 3/4-ounce of melted butter, leaving 1/2-inch border along the top edge. Sprinkle the filling mixture over the dough, leaving a 3/4-inch border along the top edge; gently press the filling into the dough. Beginning with the long edge nearest you, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Firmly pinch the seam to seal and roll the cylinder seam side down. Very gently squeeze the cylinder to create even thickness. Using a serrated knife, slice the cylinder into 1 1/2-inch rolls; yielding 12 rolls. Arrange rolls cut side down in the baking dish; cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight or up to 16 hours.

Remove the rolls from the refrigerator and place in an oven that is turned off. Fill a shallow pan 2/3-full of boiling water and set on the rack below the rolls. Close the oven door and let the rolls rise until they look slightly puffy; approximately 30 minutes. Remove the rolls and the shallow pan of water from the oven.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

When the oven is ready, place the rolls on the middle rack and bake until golden brown, approximately 30 minutes.

While the rolls are cooling slightly, make the icing by whisking the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer until creamy. Add the milk and whisk until combined. Sift in the powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth. Spread over the rolls and serve immediately.

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Picnic Table Makeover

My son has a little pint-size picnic table.  It used to be a nice bright yellow but after a few summers in the sun and a few visits from the backsides of our chickens, it definitely wasn’t looking too bright (or sanitary) anymore.  With spring here and summer weather on its way (I hope) I decided it was finally time to give this little table a facelift.

Before:

The paint was chipped and cracked so I gave it a good sanding before I started to paint.

Next step was to use a spray primer for a solid base coat before the color went on.

I used a few coats of a bright glossy green spray paint (Valspar Gloss Lucious Green) until it was nicely covered.  I then used my Silhouette Cameo to cut out the stencils for the letters.  I  used a foam roller to apply a light gray/blue for the lettering.  After everything was dry I used a couple of coats of Valspar interior/exterior gloss clear protector to protect the finish.  Tada!  Here’s the new table… pretty darn cute I think.

After

Okay summer, we’re ready for you!  Chickens, you are not allowed anywhere near this table from now on!

 

Stenciled Furniture Inspiration

I love the look of stenciled furniture.  Stenciling can take something plain and ordinary and make it one-of-a-kind.  I’ve been wanting to try this technique out for a while and have been looking for inspiration.  Tons of great ideas out there!  I have my own piece in the works that I hope to post this week but for now here are some of the great things I’ve found while perusing cyberspace.

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Better After

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HGTV

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The Lovely Residence

BHG

Hawaii Dermatology

Elle Decor

 

Mural Maker and More

 

Cutting Edge Stencils

Anna, Nova Scotia, Canada

Cutting Edge Stencils

 

stenciled-table

Cutting Edge Stencils

 

 

10 Reasons to Make Your Bed

I’m one of those people who makes my bed every day (well almost every day, I’m only human).  It feels good to walk into my bedroom throughout the day and have it feel so neat and tidy(even if it’s not completely neat and tidy, a made bed helps it look that way).  I got to thinking of reasons why it’s a good thing to make your bed every day.  I hope this list will help convert those of you who are NOT bed makers.  Here’s my top 10 …

Martha Stewart

  1. A nicely made bed usually prevents you from crawling back into it and wasting valuable time!  You get a free pass if you’re having a sick day of course.
  2. It’s a great way to show off your bedding, which  you probably paid good money for.
  3. It instantly de-clutters your room — even if  there’s a bunch of clutter in the closet or under the bed.  But hopefully you are more likely to keep your entire room neat (and not throw your clothes on the floor) if the bed is made.
  4. A made bed provides a great surface for  folding laundry or other tasks.
  5. It’s a great habit to model for your children (who should also make their beds).
  6. It prevents dust and dirt from getting under the covers.
  7. Who doesn’t like to crawl into a freshly turned bed at the end of a long day?
  8. Because your mom said so.
  9. It brings a sense of accomplishment.  On the not so good days, when all I’m able to do is make my bed and have a shower, at least I feel like I have done something.
  10. It’s a lot more fun (and much safer) to bounce on a made bed….less rumpled covers to trip over!  Yes, I am one of those mommies who lets my son jump on the bed. 🙂

Not good…

  Ahhh, what a way to start the day!

 

Kids Art Displays

A little while ago I did a post about how I display my son’s artwork in our house.  Well, his preschool teacher commented the other day that she thought other parents might like to see it for inspiration.  It got me thinking… in what other creative ways are families displaying their kid’s artwork at home?  Wow, there are tons of great ideas out there.  Here are some of my favorites…

1.  Hang artwork from a curtain rod with clip rings.

Frills Fluff and Trucks

 

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Frills Fluff and Trucks

Put artwork in coordinating frames.  Group them together and hang on the wall or display on wall shelves.

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Favorite Paint Colors

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Apartment Therapy

Babble

Simple wood boards have been painted then metal clips were attached.  I think the “Masterpieces” header is a nice touch!

A little of this, a little of that

When you have just too many pieces to hang and can’t decide which ones to display, scan the images into your computer, shrink them and make a collage with the new mini-artwork.  Love this!

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Apartment Therapy

Hang a string or wire and attach decorative clips or clothes pins.

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Random Thoughts of a Supermom

You can use a service like Snapfish.com to create all kinds of terrific products with junior’s creations.  Scan in the images and create, calendars, coffee mugs, coasters, even t-shirts!

Zazzle

Snapfish

The possibilities are only limited by your imagination!  Some of these ideas are so simple you could install them in no time at all.  Just think how important your little artist will fill when his artwork is given a special place on the wall in your home.

Roast Chicken

It feels like I’m constantly taking boneless, skinless chicken breasts out of the freezer for dinner.  Yes, they’re versatile, healthy, easy to fix, blah, blah, blah, but I get bored cooking with the same part of the chicken all the time!  I was at New Seasons, my very favorite local grocery store the other day and decided to pick up a free-range roaster.  They were about half the price as the boneless skinless breasts and I knew this would make for a super-easy-to-prepare dinner.  If you’re having company, this is also just fancy enough to impress your guests!


Start with about a 5 pound roaster.  Wash it, dry it and remove the packaged goodies from the cavity.  Salt and pepper the inside of the cavity, then fill it with a couple of pieces of quartered lemon, a head of fresh garlic which has been cut in half crosswise and some fresh herbs.  I used rosemary but thyme also works nicely.

Tie up the legs with kitchen string then brush the outside of the chicken with melted butter and give it a good sprinkling of kosher salt and pepper.  I decided to get fancy and use black truffle salt this time.  I had it sitting around, so why not?

Put your bird on the rack of a roasting pan then pop it in a 425 degree oven for an hour and a half and viola!  Ain’t she purdy?  Let her rest for 10 or 15 minutes and enjoy.  Oh, and by the way, your kitchen smells soooo good while this bird is roasting in your oven.

Ingredients

1 5lb roasting chicken

Kosher salt (or other fancy salt)

Freshly ground black pepper

2 sprigs of fresh rosemary or 1 bunch fresh thyme

1 lemon, quartered

1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise

2-3 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out and pat dry. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the fresh herbs, 2 quarters of lemon, and all the garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken.

Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes.

Beautiful Blue

My love of jewel tones is over for the moment.  There’s a new love in town… blue!  No matter what you call it, sea-foam, turquoise, aqua, sky blue, periwinkle or cerulean, I’m just so drawn to this color.  It works in every room of the house and it’s just so darn inviting!  It’s such a soothing, clean, tranquil color. The rooms I’ve redone recently in my house have been done in a shade of blue and they are the spaces I want to hang out in.  You can make the walls blue but there are other great ways to incorporate the color too. Take a look!

Paint your furniture blue!  When I first started this blog, I redid this dresser in a turquoise blue for a friend.  Pretty huh?

Finicky Girl

Just look at this distressed cabinet from Better Homes and Gardens and this dresser with the stenciling on the front.  Gorgeous!

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BHG

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Tumblr.com

Blue causes the body to produce calming chemicals, so it is often used in  bedrooms.  Hey, maybe instead of taking Ambien, people could just paint their bedrooms blue?

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Real Simple

Blue tiles in the bathroom.  Love!

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Brandon Barre

Add in some touches of blue with furniture and accessories too!

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Centsational Girl

Love how soft and pretty this blue living room is.  In our gray, dreary Oregon weather, this would really be a great color choice for brightening up your mood!

House of Turquoise

If only I were lucky enough to have a porch like this!  You might not really care what color your pillows were if you had a view like this one, but why not match them to the ocean?

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Trendey Decor

A splash of blue in the kitchen looks so clean and bright.  You could add tile or paint the cabinets blue.  Oolala!

Southern Accents

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BHG

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BHG

So many beautiful ways to decorate with blue!  I hope some of these photos will help inspire you to incorporate some blue into your home.

Liebster Blog Award

Thank You to my dear friend and fellow blogger Debbie from amominspired for nominating me for the Liebster Award. The word “liebster” is of German origin and means “favorite, beloved, dearest”.  I’m still pretty new at this whole blogging thing, so this nomination means a lot to me!

The honor of accepting the award is traditionally done in the following way:

1. Show thanks to the blogger who awarded you by linking back to their blog.

2. Pick 5 blogs with less than 200 followers and let them know about your nomination by leaving a comment on their blog

3. Post the award on your blog!

Debbie, I send you my gratitude and am happy to be able to pass along the love to these fine bloggers:

The Schmitt House

Brightly Inspired

Lily & Rose

Wife and Style

Le Chic Elefant

Happy Birthday Noah!

My little man just turned 4.  Where oh where did the time go???  Since we were so lucky to be able to go to Disneyland this year for his big day, we kept the birthday party pretty low-key.  I still wanted it to be fund and special though.  He was turning the big four after all.  I wrote out a BIG chalk birthday message for our friends to see when they walked up the driveway.  Welcome, welcome everyone!

Our house isn’t layed out very well for parties so we decided to turn the garage into a super fun kid’s party game space.  To cover up all those garage things, you know, the tools, camping equipment, rakes and shovels, tools boxes and what not we hung up blue plastic table cloths from the Dollar Tree.  Such a cheap and easy solution.  These faux walls looked festive and stayed put with just a little duct tape.  We hung some colorful flag banners and filled the room with blue and yellow balloons.  The kids pulled the pinata strings and played pin the nose on the clown.  We set up a bowling game with the adorable Pottery Barn bowling set Noah got for Christmas and turned on the music for a kiddo dance party.  Fun was had by all!

Our blue and yellow theme came from these cute Paul Frank plates and napkins from Target.  Love Target!

I printed out Noah’s cute pic onto cardstock then cut them out and glued onto popsicle sticks for cupcake decorations.  I know, I know, too cute!  In keeping with our color theme, I used yellow cupcake papers and blue sprinkles on the icing.   I also made some cupcakes for our gluten-free friends using Pamela’s yellow cake mix… surprisingly delicious!  Just like pound cake.  Even out gluten eaters ate them up!

After a yummy kid-friendly dinner of home-made mac and cheese including one for the adults with andouille sausage, everyone was full and happy.  I think the birthday boy had a great day.