Monday, February 27, 2012

Cinnamon Honey Butter

Cinnamon Honey Butter
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp ground cinnamon

I did all this in my Kitchen-Aid and it was super easy. This is from the same site that I got the copycat recipe from for the Texas Roadhouse Sweet Rolls.

Just whisk the butter for 30 seconds. 

Then add the powdered sugar, honey and cinnamon. Beat until mixed well and smooth. Scrape around the bowl and whisk again on high until light and fluffy (about another minute or two).

Texas Roadhouse Sweet Rolls (Copycat recipe)

Okay, so if you're on Pinterest, I'm sure you've seen this pin floating around. I am a bread lover... I'm sure if I gave bread up, I'd lose 30 lbs in a week. But I just can't do it! There is nothing that can make me drool like fresh, home-made bread. Even the aroma is bliss. So I pinned this and decided to give it a go and copy a copycat recipe! After these were done, I had to have my husband hide them from me call on my strong will power to not eat the whole batch....(20 rolls and a loaf!)

Texas Roadhouse Sweet Rolls

4 tsp active dry yeast (about 2 1/2 packets)
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups milk (*scalded and cooled to lukewarm)
3 Tablespoons of melted butter, slightly cooled
1/2 cup sugar
6-7 cups all purpose flour
2 whole eggs
2 teaspoons salt

*to scald milk, place in a sauce pan on heat until it FIRST starts to bubble and then remove.

1) Dissolve the yeast in the 1/2 cup of warm water with a teaspoon of sugar. Then add yeast, milk, & sugar. The recipe also says to add in enough flour to make a medium batter. So I added in about 2 cups of flour. Then whisk together and let stand until light and foamy (I let mine stand for 5 minutes).

2) Add eggs, melted butter, & salt. Beat well.

3) Here the recipe said to "add enough flour to form a soft dough". So I guessed and added in 3-4 cups. Sprinkle a small amount of flour on the counter to set the dough on and let rest.

4) While resting, grease a large bowl (I used Crisco). Then knead the dough until smooth. I put mine in the Kitchen-Aid and used the dough hook to knead the bread for 4-5 minutes.

5) Put in the greased bowl. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place. (I set mine on the window sill.) Let sit until it has doubled in size.


6) Punch down. Put on a floured mat/board. I divided mine into 3 sections and then let rest for 10 minutes.

7) I took one portion at a time and rolled out to about an inch thick.

8) Then I cut several vertical strips and then made one horizontal cut down the center.

9) I then folded each rectangle in half and then pressed the sides together to "seal".

10) Put on greased cookie sheet and let rise for several minutes.

I did the above with two of the sections. The last section I just put in a greased loaf pan. (No rolling or forming required for the loaf pan!)

11) Bake at 350° for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown for the rolls on the cookie sheets and 20 minutes or golden brown for the bread loaf. Baste immediately with butter.

These turned out GREAT! So yummy and I got the approval from both my boys!

And OMG - they are to die for accompanied with the cinnamon honey butter!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Ships Ahoy! It's a Boy!

Over the weekend, we threw a baby shower for a dear friend! We had a great time visiting, playing silly games, and honoring her and her soon-to-come baby boy! The theme was nautical/water as her husband is a ship captain! We had a blast planning and bringing it all together.

The super cute cake

Here is the nautical themed diaper cake I made for a centerpiece. Her nursery colors are navy and lime green, so I tried to match accordingly in case she wanted to display it in the baby's room before the diapers were needed...which won't be too much longer! ;)

Some fishing net for the backdrop for opening gifts

The food set up

"Sand"wiches along with goldfish pretzels.

Had to have some "LifeSavers" to go with our theme!

Here is the yogurt bar. We had individual cups already set up with yogurt and the guests chose their own toppings. We had blueberry, strawberry, kiwi, mango, and granola. The colors looked beautiful!

The Ducky Shower punch which we just called "Bath Time" punch 

One of the games we played was a nursery rhyme quiz

Another was the Chocolate Diaper game which guests had to identify the type of melted candy in each diaper by looking and smelling (tasting optional!!!)

- WARNING! "Poopy" diapers :)

The other game we played was the classic "Toilet Paper Belly" where guests tear off the amount of toilet paper they thought would wrap around her belly. Closest that fit her belly won!

Here are the hostesses with the Mommy-to-be!

Congratulations again! We all send the best of luck and well wishes!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A favorite thing...

Okay, so I found these "Window crayons" and they are so much fun for a rainy day! Living with a busy toddler, the both of you can get a little stir crazy being cooped up inside during yucky weather. C loved going and scribbling over all the windows and with every mark he made, he accompanied it with an "oooooooo!"
This is a great way to encourage pre-writing skills if your toddler can't stay on a single "page" and it works with all glass surfaces, including mirrors!
And the best part is, the clean up is a cinch! Just take some Windex, and it comes right off and you have a clean slate to work with all over again! :)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Easy Garlic Knots

Okay, I've died and gone to heaven. As this was an experiment for me, these turned out delicious! I needed something easy and moderately fast to make to bring as a side dish. The dinner theme was Italian so I figured garlic knots would make a great addition! The weather was nasty so I wasn't about to go out to the store either, so I needed to only use ingredients I had on hand.

After some googling, I found Emeril's recipe. Well, I didn't have 3 hours to spare (or longer...let's face it. If it takes Emeril 3 hours, I'm thinking I'd have to at least double that time for me) I took his as an inspiration and just changed it up a little bit.

Garlic Knots:

1 can of Pillsbury pizza dough
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or 1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea Salt

1) Spray 2 cookie sheets with cooking oil. Preheat the oven to 400° F. (If you are NOT using dark or nonstick pan, preheat to 425° F)

2)Next, grate the Romano cheese into a large mixing bowl and then mix in the parsley.

3) Roll out the pizza dough onto a cookie sheet til it's the size of the pan. Brush the dough with olive oil.

4) Cut the dough in half so you have two long strips.

5) Cut crosswise into 1 1/4 inch strips.

6) Take each strip and tie loosely into a knot. (Literally tie it like you are tying a shoestring - stretch it a little if you have to!) Place 2 inches apart. Take some sea salt and sparingly sprinkle over each knot. Pop in the oven for 10-13 minutes. I did the full 13 so mine would be nice and crispy!

7) While knots are baking, combine the whole stick of butter (YUM YUM) and minced garlic in a saucepan over low heat until melted.

8) After your knots are done in the oven, transfer them to the large mixing bowl with the cheese and parsley. Then pour the garlic butter mix over the knots and toss.

These turned out really good and there were none left over to take home to my poor husband. I will definitely be making these again as I could gobble these up with spaghetti, pizza, or.... let's be real....I'd gobble these up with anything!