One of our favorite family treats has always been cinnamon rolls. For 20+ years, on special occasions, or sometimes just because, we would buy a can of Pillsbury cinnamon rolls and bake them up!!
A few years ago, I wondered how hard they were to make. I made them from scratch a few times, but in order to have them ready for breakfast I would have to make the dough the night before, put it in the refrigerator, and do the final rise and bake first thing in the morning.
For Christmas, I got a new bread machine and decided to try making the dough that way. If your family are early risers, you may still need to put the dough in the refrigerator the night before, but total time from putting the ingredients in the machine to pulling hot yummy rolls out of the oven was 2 1/4 hours as compared to almost 3 hours without the machine.
|3 1/2 to 4 cups flour||1/3 cup sugar|
|1 tsp. salt||1 egg|
|1 cup room temperature water||1/4 cup butter, softened|
|1 pkg. yeast||filing (see recipe below)|
|2 Tbsp. butter, softened||vanilla glaze (see recipe below)|
Combine first seven ingredients, in order into bread machine pan. Select Dough cycle. Once timer beeps, remove dough from pan immediately. Gently push fist into dough to deflate. Roll dough into a 15 x 10 inch rectangle on lightly floured surface (I recommend flouring the rolling pin also – this dough is sticky!!) Spread with the 2 tablespoons of butter. Sprinkle with filling.
Filling: Combine 1/4 cup brown sugar with 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon. I used a restaurant-style cheese shaker, which you can buy for around $2 online or at a restaurant supply store.
Roll rectangle up tightly, from the long end. Pinch dough under to seal. Cut into 1 inch slices, using dental floss.
Heat oven to 350F. Bake rolls for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Vanilla glaze: Melt 1/3 cup butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat and stir in 2 cups powdered sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla. Continue stirring and add hot water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until consistency of thick syrup.
About the Book:
Under the management and direction of Dima Gregorovich, the Russian rock’n’roll band REVOLVER has become the biggest international sensation since The BEATLES. But when people associated with the band start turning up dead during their first-ever US Tour, their extraordinary success may all come to an early end!
From the beautiful blue waters of the Cayman Islands to the dangerous Russian streets of Minusinsk, Siberia, Wes, A.J., and Aryana, risk their lives to unravel a web of deception, expose secret identities, and bring an end to a deadly subterfuge that threatens to turn the band into Terminal Rock!
When Will Dresser announced the release of the third book in his Wes Franklin series, Terminal Rock, I did something I rarely do anymore. I purchased the book outright!! I have fallen in love with the characters of Wes, A.J. and Rouzbeh, and just had to know what their next adventure would be.
Yet again, Will Dresser did not disappoint!! The intense description that has become his trademark in the Wes Franklin novels continues throughout this compelling story. I had to google some of the items Will describes, such as Clive Christian’s Imperial Majesty perfume (the most expensive perfume in the world) and Louis Moinet’s Astralis watch (made with real moonstone), just to make sure they were real!
The twists and turns in this story kept me constantly guessing. As the saying goes in this series, “The truth never happens in real time,” and so, of course, the resolution to the story took me completely by surprise, which is nice. I hate it when I figure out whodunnit in the first chapter, don’t you?
Wes and A.J.’s relationship is continuing to evolve. I loved this line in the book:
He stood watching her for a moment filled with too much emotion to express. He walked slowly over to her, and when she looked up at him and smiled, he bent down and kissed her tenderly on the lips, not with passion but with a deep feeling of love for who she was and what she had brought to his life.
Awwww, sniff sniff.
If I have any complaints about Terminal Rock, it is that in all his descriptions, Will Franklin only mentions wine from the Anderson Valley, instead of the Napa Valley, my hometown. Other than that, this book is flawless.
I give Terminal Rock, five microphones – a must read!!!
About the Author:
Will Dresser lives in Las Vegas, Nevada where he is currently working on his fourth and fifth Wes Franklin novels, The Billionaires Club and its companion piece, The Chronicles of Cain: The Epic Life of Jarred Kennan Cain As Told to Wes Franklin. You can follow him at willdresser.com.
Sara Michaels is single again. And she’s celebrating her thirtieth birthday with a complete spa makeover and a day of boutique shopping with her two best friends. After a ten-month battle for freedom, a long weekend in Nashville, Tennessee is just what she needs to erase the memories of a broken heart.
Jack Tanner is the soon-to-be new partner at Chester & Dorsey Development Firm. Jack’s love life has been on the back burner for years as he’s built a successful career. But the moment he meets Sara, he takes a hard look at his life and his priorities.
Sara steps out of her comfort zone and spends an unforgettable weekend with Jack. She’s never felt so carefree. Until she realizes too late that three days can change everything
On Sale May 15, 2013
Owner of La Bella Vita, a five-star day spa nestled in the affluent suburbs of Nashville, Tennessee, Beth Sergeant knows her elite clientele first hand. She attended their private schools. She was even engaged, although briefly, to one of their most recognized bachelors. But she never fit in to their social-elite world.
After losing his parents to a car accident at a young age, Nick Chester was raised by his grandfather, the wealthiest man in Nashville. When he chooses to socialize, he has a never-ending list of exclusive events and beautiful women vying for his attention. Yet he never lets himself forget that everyone has an agenda.
Beth can’t resist Nick’s charm and accepts an invitation to dinner, despite her deep-seated insecurities. She proves she’s nothing like other women he’s dated and learns to trust him in return. But just as the last of their resistance crumbles and true love is within reach, challenges from Nick’s past threaten to destroy everything and force Beth to reveal her most guarded secret.
Cynthia Gail is giving away a $25 Amazon Giftcard, a $10 Amazon Gift Card, and a $5 Starbucks’ Gift Card. Fill out the form below to Enter
As part of our quest for a healthier lifestyle, Art and I have been trying to eat more salads. When he got back from his trip to Oregon, Art complained that grocery store salad bars are way more expensive in California. We have very different tastes in veggies (Art is way more picky) so making a big tossed salad is out of the question.
After trying the salad “kits”, we realized we could put our own salads together for less money and that way we would both get exactly what we wanted.
By popular demand, here are some more photos of our crazy corgle, Kiff (The Unexpected Corgle, Corgle Update – He’s So Cute, Our Crazy Dogs – More Fun Facts About Katie and Kiff).
Just for reference, here’s what Kiff looked like when we first got him:
H. Beam Piper
About the Book:
One day Jack Holloway, prospector on the planet Zarathustra, finds what seems to be a small monkey with golden fur; these new introductions (for the first brings a family) are tiny hunters, and prove to be curious and capable tool users. Why is this so important to the new human settlers? – Because a planet inhabited by a sapient race cannot be monopolized by the Zarathustra Company.
Ratatouille is one of my favorite springtime “everything but the kitchen sink” type dishes. And for those of you who are not familiar with this dish, it has nothing to do with rats Ratatouille is a french vegetable dish, usually comprised of tomatoes, zucchini, garlic, onions, bell pepper and eggplant. It is usually served as a side dish, but I serve mine as a main dish, sometimes over pasta.
For me, the best thing about ratatouille is that as long as I have tomatoes, onions and zucchini I can wing it on the other ingredients. The other day I came upon some lovely early eggplants, so I knew what I had to make!! Here is the recipe for this month’s easy sauteed ratatouille, but keep in mind you can substitute or add your favorite vegetables along the way.
|2 Tbsp. olive oil||3 cloves garlic, minced||1 large onion, chopped|
|1 medium eggplant, cut into bite sized pieces||1 can (16 oz) diced tomatoes||1 can (16 oz.) sliced carrots|
|1 1/2 tsp. salt||2 tsp. Italian seasoning||1 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded|
With Mother’s Day fast approaching, I thought it would be nice to share the following infographic of Amazing Things Only Mothers Do.
But first, I’d like to thank:
- My mom – for her steadfast love and support
- My mother-in-law for her immense patience
- Grandma Hamilton – for her sense of humor
- Grandma Pence – for always being there for me
- My Nana – for my love of lavender and lilac
- My Gram – for my love of baking
Have you ever asked your mom what she wanted for her birthday, or Christmas or Mother’s Day? If she’s anything like my mom she probably said something like, “Knowing you love me is all the present I need.” Now while that’s a very sweet sentiment and I very much appreciate that my mom doesn’t expect a gift (and really, she can afford to buy herself whatever she needs), I would still like to show her just a small token of how much I love and admire her. What to do?
I have found that my mom is very moved by a donation to a charity on her behalf. I bet your mom would like that too!! Following is a list of just a few of the charities I’ve highlighted recently and how they are helping celebrate mom this Mother’s Day!!
- WaterAid America – for a donation as low as $25, you can pay for one person in one of the world’s poorest countries to gain access to safe, clean water and sanitation for life. In addition, you can print a Mother’s Day card that includes the details of your gift.
- Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation – in honor of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation’s 25th anniversary this year and Mother’s Day, they want to challenge everyone to help them raise the funds that would allow 2,500 women to get tested for HIV. Your $19 donation in honor of your loved one enables one new mother to get tested, and you can send your loved one an e-card!
Tanya J. Peterson
About the Book:
In this insightful and evocative novel, Tanya J. Peterson delves deeply into the world of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and schizophrenia. When Oliver Graham’s suicide attempt fails, he is admitted to Airhaven Behavioral Health Center. Unable to cope with the traumatic loss of his beloved wife and son, he finds a single thread of attachment to life in Penelope, a fellow patient wrestling with schizophrenia and its devastating impact on her once happy and successful life. They both struggle to discover a reason to live while Penelope’s fiancé William strives to convince her that she is worth loving. As Oliver and Penelope try to achieve emotional stability, face others who have been part of their lives, and function in the “real world,” they discover that human connection may be reason enough to go on. Written with extraordinary perception into the thought processes of those grappling with mental illness, Leave of Absence is perfect for readers seeking an empathic depiction of grief, loss, and schizophrenia, as well as anyone who has ever experienced human suffering and healing.