Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring Break

Ahhh -- spring break is finally here.  I plan on spending a good part of this week at a water park in a nearby town.  The weather outside might be windy, rainy, and cold; but that won't keep us away from the water slides, lazy river, jacuzzi, and of course the indoor wave for surfing.  I've brought along a good book, some knitting, and my daughter's laptop.  We have good food in the fridge, and we are all together.  This is going to be nice.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Cinnamon Rolls

Through the years, I have always allowed my kids to choose what they wanted for breakfast on their birthdays.  When they were younger, they typically always chose doughnuts.  Now that they are older, they sometimes choose cinnamon rolls.  I am always more than happy to oblige them because with a bread machine, making cinnamon rolls is really very simple.  The bread machine does all of the work.  Following is the dough recipe that I use:

1 cup water
1 large egg
3 1/4 cups bread flour
4 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. dry milk
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast (I use SAF yeast)

Just place all of these ingredients into your bread machine according to its recommendations, set it on the dough cycle, and then go read a book, watch a movie, or enjoy some other fun activity.

When the dough cycle is complete, I roll the dough out on a lightly floured board.  I then spread 1/4 cup soft (not melted) butter over the dough.  (Actually sometimes when I am trying to soften it in the microwave, I melt it by mistake, and it still works just fine).  Sprinkle with brown sugar (whatever looks good to you), and a generous sprinkle of cinnamon.  Raisins are also a good item to add if you like them.

Roll the dough up, and cut into 12 equal pieces.  Place the rolls on a lightly greased cookie sheet, and let them sit in a warm location to rise until doubled in size (at least an hour or so depending on the temperature of your kitchen).  Bake at 350 deg. for about 12 minutes. 

After they have cooled, I like to frost mine; however, that is not necessary.  It just depends on your personal preferences.  For my frosting recipe I melt 1/3 cup butter.  And then I add 2 cups powdered sugar, 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla, and anywhere from 1-3 tablespoons hot water, until you have just the right frosting consistency.  Enjoy!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day

With my grandfather being 100% Irish, I grew up celebrating St. Patrick's Day.  I still enjoy celebrating with my own family.  Everyone was greeted with a "Happy St. Patrick's Day" greeting when I first saw them this morning, and I placed my corned beef in the crockpot first thing.  It will be served with cabbage and potatoes, as well as a green colored dessert (I'm thinking grasshopper pie).  And lastly, but certainly not least, we could never forget our special socks:

Monday, March 15, 2010

Lunch at Grama's House

Growing up, I was blessed to have a Grama that lived nearby.  And because we lived so close, we often were invited to her house for a meal.  She was an amazing cook; and whenever we were invited over, the second that we walked in the door, we were greeted with a wonderful aroma coming from the kitchen and filling the entire house.  She was one of the best cooks that I have ever known.  She left this world ten years ago now, but I can still remember exactly how her culinary creations tasted.

Last week my daughters and I visited my mom.  I had told my mom that we would be happy to bring Subway over since I knew she hadn't been feeling well; and it would be easier for her since she didn't have to do any cooking.  She told me that actually she was feeling better, and she wanted to make us something.  When my youngest daughter heard that Grama was cooking, she let out a shout of joy.  So I'm really glad that my kids can also look forward to their Grama's cooking in a similar fashion that I did.  It is a memory that I wouldn't trade for anything.

And of course my mom didn't just make us sandwiches or something simple.  It was a pot roast, with all of the trimmings.  I love my mom :o)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Thoughtful Son

I have heard that one way to tell if a young man will make a good husband, is to observe how he treats his mother.  If this is the case, then my son will someday be a very thoughtful husband.  While shopping at the store the other day, he picked up this beautiful cyclamen plant for me.  He didn't buy it for any special occasion, he bought it just because.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Polka Dot Boots

At our house, we only have two pets.  A dog and a rabbit.  The dog belongs to everyone; however, the rabbit belongs to my youngest daughter.  So since she is typically the only one to tend to her rabbit each morning, she also somehow inherited the responsibility of taking care of the dog as well.  When she heads outside each morning to do her "chores", footwear can become an issue, especially this time of year when our ground tends to be damp and muddy in places.  Over the years we have kept our eyes out for some cute rubber boots that she could wear, but haven't really landed on anything ..... until recently.  We saw these in the store, and knew that they were the boots for her.  I mean, really, who wouldn't want to go outside and do chores wearing a pair of polka dot boots?

Monday, March 1, 2010

A Bike Ride and Ice Cream

Yesterday was such a lovely day, that we asked my husband if he would get the bikes down from the rafter of his shop so that we could go on a bike ride. He consented, and we were off, taking a ride on a nearby bike trail into a nearby town. The sun was shining, and the temperature must have been near 50 degrees. It felt so good to be outside getting some fresh air and exercise. When we reached our turn-around point, my husband bought us all an ice cream treat at Coldstone Creamery. Yes, I admit that having ice cream kind of defeats the whole purpose of the exercise part of the bike ride. But none of us refused, it just kind of seemed to go along with the whole grand adventure.