Archive | December, 2011

Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes

I have been on a mission to find the “perfect” homemade cinnamon roll recipe.  I have tried 3 for sure, and none of them would rise.  I saw this recipe on Pinterest.  That led me to pink-parsley.com.  On her blog, it said it was adapted from Beantown Baker, originally from La Fuji Mama.  Wherever it came from, it is delicious.  My dough actually rose and they taste great!  The only thing I did differently was that I placed the rolls in a square baking dish, because they were too big to fit into my cupcake holders.  I got two cupcakes to fit and the rest went into the dish.  I love the cupcake idea, so next time I will just cut them a little skinnier.  And the cream cheese frosting is to die for!  Completely awesome!

Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes:

1 pkt dry active yeast

1/2 cup white sugar, divided

1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F)

2 eggs, room temperature

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 tsp salt

4 1/2 cups flour

1 cup brown sugar

2 1/2 T cinnamon

1/3 cup butter, melted

8 oz cream cheese, soft

2/3 cup butter, soft

1 – 2 cups powdered sugar

Dissolve yeast and 1/4 cup of the sugar in the warm milk.  Let stand for about 10 minutes.  Mix in the eggs, butter, salt and other 1/4 cup of sugar.  Add flour and mix well until the dough forms a ball.  Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead about 5-10 times.  Place in an oiled bowl, cover and let rise for at least 1 hour in a warm spot.  After the dough has doubled in size, turn out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes.  In a small bowl, mix brown sugar and cinnamon.  Melt 1/3 cup of butter.  Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners and lightly spray over the top of them with cooking spray.  Roll dough into a 12×22 inch rectangle.  Pour 2/3 cup of melted butter over.  Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mix.  Roll up dough and cut into 24 (or so) rolls.  Try to fit the rolls into the cupcake liners.  Cover and let rise again for about 30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Bake rolls in oven until golden brown, about 10-15 minutes.  Let cool completely before frosting.  To make frosting, mix cream cheese and butter using a blender until mixed.  Slowly add the powdered sugar until desired consistency has been reached.  YUMMY!

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Elf on a Shelf – Our Version

I’ve seen this Elf on a Shelf idea many years now, but have never felt the need to do it.  This year I found a knock-off version of the elf at the local store for $2.50.  My twins are 4 years old and sadly need all the help they can get when it comes to making sure Santa doesn’t put them on the naughty list.  I know the official Elf comes with a book and a whole story, but our version goes like this:  Elffi shows up every morning in a new place, doing something funny and the boys have to find him.  Elffi then calls Santa every night to tell him if they are being naughty or nice.  I don’t think it has made much of a difference, but they boys are having fun none the less looking for him every morning and laughing at how funny he is.  And my oldest son, who doesn’t believe in Santa anymore, still has fun helping me come up with Elffi ideas and setting him up.  Here are a few days worth of what Elffi has been up to:

Goodie Plate Fun

I had a great time yesterday putting together my Christmas goodie plates.  This is my second year doing this, and I’m learning something new every year.  I had a great friend help me this year, we kind of both brought our ingredients together and worked from my house.  This years plates included:  buckeyes, spiced rum balls, cookies and cream chocolate truffles, pretzel kisses, cinnamon sugar palmiers and caramel and chocolate covered pretzel rods.  We used 10 lbs of chocolate, 300 hershey kisses, 6 lbs of pretzels, 3 lbs of caramel and maybe a few shots of Captain Morgan.  The spiced rum balls were by far my favorite.  Next year, we are going to start with those (if for no other reason than to start the afternoon of cooking off with a few shots).  What I thought would be the easiest and best, the pretzel rods, turned out to be the bane of my existence.  Took the longest, was the most work and the ones I did looked terrible.  They tasted fine, but were definitely not pretty to look at.  My good friend Kristin’s looked great, she had much more patience than I did 🙂  I’m already looking forward to next year!  Let me know in the comments section, do you do goodie plates and if so, what do you put on them?

Balloons and Snow

I had so much fun taking my twin boys out today for an impromptu photo shoot in the woods.  I threw on the boys new Christmas outfits, went to the dollar store and bought matching balloons and we headed to a friends house that still had snow on the ground.  The boys were so well behaved and they had lots of fun.  Winter fun on a sunny day!

Pear, Blue Cheese, Pecan Pizza

Hello all!  It’s been a crazy busy holiday season, but I’m finally getting around to a new post.  I was in the mood for another “different” pizza for lunch today so I threw this together.  I had seen a recipe for pear pizza in an issue of Cooking Light, but when I went to look for it today I couldn’t find it.  So I made this from memory, or as much as I could remember.  It is very similar to the Apple Gorgonzola Pizza post I did a couple months ago and I also stole the sauce drizzle from that recipe to drizzle over this pizza again today.  It just really gives it a great tangy taste.  And once again, I ate half the pizza myself in one sitting, licking the plate clean at the end.  Yummmmyyyyyy!!!

1 Boboli thin pizza crust

1 T olive oil

1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese

1 can artichoke hearts

1 can mushroom pieces

1/4 cup pecan bits

1 pear, pealed and sliced

1 c blue cheese crumbles

1 lime, juiced

2 T Dijon mustard

3 T honey

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Brush olive oil on crust.  Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over crust.  Arrange artichoke hearts and mushrooms over pizza.  Arrange pear slices around pizza.  Sprinkle with blue cheese crumbles.  Sprinkle with pecan bits.  Bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through.  While baking, mix the juice of one lime, the mustard and honey, whisking until well mixed.  When pizza is done, slice and plate.  Once plated, drizzle the honey mustard sauce over pizza.  ENJOY!  This is a great, easy, quick dinner!

Baby Owen {3 Month Session}

Baby Owen is 3 months old already!  I was blessed to be able to work with this family again this year and take some 3 month pictures of this precious little guy and also a few family pics for a Christmas card.  It feels like we just did newborn shots of this little man, and here we are at 3 months old already!