Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tasty Thursday (aka Foodie Friday a day early): Cinnamon Rolls

Christmas is definitely upon us. I have presents wrapped and under the tree. The stockings have been stuffed. Cookies are baked. Since we will be celebrating Christmas as a family today I also got up early to make cinnamon rolls. Right now they are rising, but soon the house will be filled with the delicious aroma of bread, sugar, and cinnamon. Mmm, what a great way to start the day!! My current favorite recipe is from allrecipes.com called Clone of a Cinnabon. To me it is the perfect ooey, gooey numminess that a cinnamon roll should be. And just when you think that it can't get any better, mix up a batch of the cream cheese frosting to top it all off. 

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup margarine, melted
  • 4 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast
  •  
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  •  
  • 1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

  • Directions:
    1. Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select dough cycle; press Start.
    2. After the dough has doubled in size turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.
    3. Roll dough into a 16x21 inch rectangle. Spread dough with 1/3 cup butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Roll up dough and cut into 12 rolls. Place rolls in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
    4. Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving.
  • Since our bread machine is currently out of commission, I made the rolls today with my mixer the old fashioned way. :o) Just combine the warm milk and yeast, add in your sugar, margarine, salt and eggs. Mix in flour. Knead the dough into a ball. Place dough into a bowl, cover and let rise for about one hour. Then continue with the rolling out of the dough.

  • Have a merry and delicious Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tutorial Tuesday: Felt Flowers

I spy with my little eye a Peachy finger!



I am totally addicted to these little lovelies! I started making them as soon as I saw them on the Tatertots and Jello site and haven't been able to stop myself from making more and more and more. I think that the count is up to 20 or more at this point.


And be warned, the addiction doesn't stop at making them. I have been adding them to everything from outfits, to bags, to my hair, presents, and trees. I have even started adding them to my friends. They are just so fun!
Lovely assistant, Lisa!
Beautiful Tara!

And the shy, but oh so gorgeous, Lori!
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Monday, December 20, 2010

Dare to DIY: Dare to Have Traditions!

Dare to DIY
It is the last week of Kim's Dare to DIY Christmas series. It is always so much fun learning how other families celebrate Christmas. Since our family is relatively young, we don't have many set in stone traditions at this point. However, this year I actually gave some thought as to what kinds of traditions we may want to start since Peachy is now old enough to start appreciating some of them. We will still be celebrating with all of Mr. Cherry's family and all of my family, but I figured it was time to start some traditions in our home. Mr. Cherry was able to get the day before we start traveling off of work to celebrate Christmas with the three of us. So far I plan on driving around to look at lights before or after opening presents. I also plan on incorporating one of my family's Christmas traditions of a chili dinner that night.
This weekend we got to enjoy a tradition that both Mr. Cherry's family and I grew up with, the Children's Christmas Service at our church. Both Mr. Cherry and I participated in our church's service growing up and since then I have had the opportunity to help out with many other services. Last year was the first year that I didn't have a Christmas service to prepare for in some way. The Sunday School children did a wonderful job last night. At the end I turned to Mr. Cherry with tears in my eyes and told him how proud I was of all those kids. I know I am going to be a mess the first year Peachy gets to participate! There is something so special about seeing those kids so proudly share the message of the Savior's birth.

I am not planning too much this year, but I am so excited to see what traditions develop over the coming years with our family.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Foodie Friday: Christmas Bark Three Ways


This is all of the Christmas baking I have gotten done so far--and I don't think it technically counts as baking, either. My sister-in-law will be coming Monday and Christmas baking is on the agenda. She came last year around this time and we got all of the cookies knocked out in a day. We make a good team!

Peppermint Christmas Bark
Ingredients:
-one bag milk chocolate candy melts
-one bag white chocolate candy melts
-crushed candy canes
**You can also add peppermint extract to the chocolate. I decided to keep it simple and use what I had on hand. Yup, even the candy canes were ones I had gotten this year. Nice and easy.**

Directions:
1. Melt milk chocolate melts according to directions.
2. Once melted, spread in a parchment paper lined baking sheet. (To me, bark is meant to be a little rough and not so perfect. I just spread mine around with an offset spatula until I liked how it looked. No measurements, no fuss.)
3. Melt white melts.
4. Spread on top of first layer. (You can swirl the chocolates together at this point. I tried it with the first one and found it really didn't make all that big of a difference.)
5. Top with crushed candy canes.
6. Allow to harden. (I put mine out on the deck in sub-zero weather. After five minutes we had hard!!)
7. Break apart into pieces. (After scoring with a knife, I used the knife to break it into chunks. Once again, we are not aiming for perfection, just manageable pieces.)

Oreo Christmas Bark
Ingredients:

-one bag milk chocolate candy melts
-one bag white chocolate candy melts
-crushed Oreos (I used the smaller ones. I was hoping to use the Christmas ones, but couldn't find any at Target.)

Directions:
1. Melt milk chocolate melts according to directions.
2. Once melted, spread in a parchment paper lined baking sheet. (To me, bark is meant to be a little rough and not so perfect. I just spread mine around with an offset spatula until I liked how it looked. No measurements, no fuss.)
3. Melt white melts.
4. Spread on top of first layer. (You can swirl the chocolates together at this point. I tried it with the first one and found it really didn't make all that big of a difference.)
5. Top with crushed Oreos.
6. Allow to harden. (I put mine out on the deck in sub-zero weather. After five minutes we had hard!!)
7. Break apart into pieces. (After scoring with a knife, I used the knife to break it into chunks. Once again, we are not aiming for perfection, just manageable pieces.)

Peanut Butter Christmas Bark
Ingredients:
-one bag milk chocolate candy melts
-one bag white chocolate candy melts
-crushed Reese's Pieces (I used the Christmas colored ones that I sound in the stocking stuffer candy cane tubes at Target.)
-3 Table spoons smooth peanut butter

Directions:
1. Melt milk chocolate melts according to directions. Once melted, stir in peanut butter. (If it still feels stiff, zap it a little longer in the microwave.)
2. Once melted, spread in a parchment paper lined baking sheet. (To me, bark is meant to be a little rough and not so perfect. I just spread mine around with an offset spatula until I liked how it looked. No measurements, no fuss.)
3. Melt white melts.
4. Spread on top of first layer. (You can swirl the chocolates together at this point. I tried it with the first one and found it really didn't make all that big of a difference.)
5. Top with crushed Reese's Pieces.
6. Allow to harden. (I put mine out on the deck in sub-zero weather. After five minutes we had hard!!)
7. Break apart into pieces. (After scoring with a knife, I used the knife to break it into chunks. Once again, we are not aiming for perfection, just manageable pieces.)


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Life In the Bowl

Our front porch tree after a night of freezing fog.
We have certainly been enjoying a busy December here. I can't believe Christmas is only a little over a week away!! People always ask whether I enjoy being a stay at home mom. They often wonder if I get bored. And truth be told, sometimes I feel busier now than when I worked outside of the home. I never seem to have a problem filling Peachy and my time together. This month alone I was able to participate in a Holiday Boutique, run a sale on my Etsy site, go to Mr. Cherry's work Holiday Party, and attend several other Christmas parties. This weekend we will be blessed to hear the Christmas story through the Sunday School students at our church and enjoy what is sure to be wonderful food and fellowship after. No boredom here!
And to add to the fun, our washing machine decided to up and quit on me right around Thanksgiving. Thankfully, Mr. Cherry bravely took on the role of Maytag man and completely took apart the washer, diagnosed the problem, found a used motor to replace our non-functioning one, reassembled the washer, and had it up and running for $50. A new washing machine will not need to be added to the Christmas list this year.
Ah, the joys of a broken washing machine.
That Mr. Cherry is a handy man to have around, I tell you. In addition to repairing various items around the house, he also single handedly solved the mystery of the stinking refrigerator. I really can't believe I am admitting this to you all, but our fridge has had an odd stench for the last several months. After numerous sniff tests, we tried cleaning the produce out. Still stinky. We took everything out of the main fridge area and wiped all of the shelves down. Still stinky. We took everything out of the freezer. Still stinky. I was ready to pull the fridge out and see what had died under it when Mr. Cherry deduced that the stink was coming from shelves on the door. There mixed in with the condiments was a partially used jar of Alfredo sauce. Let this be a lesson to you all, do not let half used jars of sauces sit in your fridge for unknown amounts of time. They will eventually alert you to their presence by emitting a strong odor.
Because we live n the Northern section of our great country, we have been experiencing the cold, ice, and snow of winter lately. Thankfully we have an attached garage and a neighbor with a snowblower who frequently helps us out. (Usually in the morning while we are still in bed. Got to love neighbors like that!!) Peachy has been showing us that she is a true, thick-blooded Northerner this winter. She loves to go 'side in the 'no. (That is outside in the snow.) I scored a full Columbia snowsuit at a garage sale this summer for $5. That investment has already paid for itself in the few times we have been able to bundle her up and head outside. Add to that her little plastic shovel and she is ready for action. She does have a little bit of trouble staying upright, but as long as mom or dad are around to rite the situation, she doesn't seem to mind too much.
Cheesy smile!
Well, I won't go on boring you much longer, just one more Peachy story and I will stop my blathering. I was not even go to think about potty training until she was at least 2 and a half. I know that there are kids out there that can be trained much earlier, but it just wasn't something that I was going to push. I was seriously thinking that at 2 and a half I would start to watch for cues form her that she is ready and go from there. All of a sudden she has developed this fascination with potty. (I will try not to gross you out here.) She will crouch or sit and say "potty." The other morning she even took off her pajamas to go "potty." (Thankfully she hasn't taken off her diaper, yet.) Still I was thinking that she is just imitating what goes on in that forbidden room known as the bathroom. Until this today. This morning she was doing her little potty routine and filled her diaper. I think a potty chair may be in our near future.
Stop taking pictures, mom, and get me up.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Shirt

This shirt was recently created for as a custom order. I just love how it turned out and can't wait to get it to the momma on Friday.

I used the same reverse appliqué technique as in my Fall Pear Shirt. Just search for a Rudolph silhouette in place of the pear. The reindeer fabric is a brown corduroy, so cute!! After stitching around the reindeer, I attached a little red button on his nose.


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Monday, December 13, 2010

Introducing: The Farm Caddy and The Dino Caddy

After creating two versions (here and here) of my matchbox car caddy, I decided it was time to branch out. Sure, lots of kids love to play with Matchbox cars, but they also like to play with animals. So I came up with the Farm Caddy:
And the Dino Caddy:


Each provide portable entertainment and containment! (Do you like that line? I just came up with it!!) The entertainment comes on the inside in the form of a play-scape. For the Farm Caddy I created a barn, pasture, and fence. For the Dino Caddy I did my best to create a scene that suggested prehistoric, but also let the child's imagination do a little work. The containment is found on the outside where there are four pockets to neatly and effectively hold the animals in place until it is time for play.

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