Monday, March 2, 2009

In Like a Lion.....

March has come in with the beginning blooms of forsythias and 5 to 6 inches of wet snow covering the ground.

Many dreams have come true even without the lure of Disneyworld for these southern girls. All the rain turned into a lovely snowfall late yesterday, and Rose actually set her alarm in order to get up play in the 25 degree snowy weather.

Charlotte and her friend, Eli, ventured inside wet and shaking from the cold requesting popsicles. They then settled down at the kitchen table and a 100 piece puzzle was undertaken. In the past I would have a desirable jigsaw puzzle on the sidelines ready and waiting for the first snow to fall. I do so love to do puzzles! I can still recall the days when I had toddlers and the challenge of keeping them from reaching up and grabbing the pieces. Now I am enjoying any assistance I can give to two five year old puzzle lovers.

Oh, the dilemma of finding another pair of mittens or gloves multiplied by all the constant visits of going out and coming in with wet mittens to search high and low for another dry pair...they do not have to match, however....that's my solitary way of thinking anyway.

I thought I would knit Charlotte a new pair....teal with red stripes. This pattern is very easy and can be worked up rather quickly to keep little hands toasty. Little can beat the merits of 100% natural wool.

Snow and Bake. If I had my own cooking show, maybe that could be the theme....I get so fired up to be in the kitchen on snowy days. My kitchen should be warm, inviting and have the wafting smells of spicy cinnamon rolls baking, fresh bread rising, strong coffee brewing, and beef stew simmering. And at least for today..... it did.

This recipe for cinnamon rolls is one I have been making since 1991. It was taken from a small publication originally and I have adjusted it for my own use through the years.

Cinnamon Rolls

2 cups milk
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar(you may use honey)
2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dry yeast
3 eggs
5-7 cups flour( I use 2 cups of whole wheat and 4 cups of white, unbleached)

In large bowl combine 2 cups of whole wheat flour and yeast. Heat the milk, butter, sugar and salt until butter is melted.Cool (115-120 degrees). Add eggs.
After mixture is cooled, pour into the flour mixture and stir in 3-4 cups of white flour with a wooden spoon( you may prefer to use all wheat).

Knead until smooth and elastic. Place in large oiled bowl, turn once, cover and let rise in a warm place.( about 60-90 minutes).
Punch the dough down, divide in two, and allow to rest about ten minutes.
Melt 3 tablespoons of butter.
In separate bowl mix 1/2 cup brown sugar and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon.
Roll dough into 12-18 inch rectangle, brush with melted butter. Coat the dough with the cinnamon and sugar mixture.
Now the true fun begins, starting at the long edge begin rolling, lightly pulling the dough as you go and sealing the seam.Slice the rolls with dental floss about 1/2-1 inch. Spray pans with cooking spray. I have used round cake pans, which makes a lovely gift, or brownie and sheet cake pans. Cover and let rise until double.
Bake 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Mix 1-2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 - 2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pour over cooled rolls. You may do this while the rolls are warm, but I like the icing to stick firmly...we like the icing!

at the shore cum amica mea

So it was that on Thursday afternoon we headed out to the beach, two young girls (Charlotte and her friend), me and my friend, and Rancher, ...