Friday, December 22, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! I can't believe that Christmas is here. I am so excited yet not ready at the same time. I love this season and it always goes too fast! I do think we have made the most of the season and done all the things so for that I am happy! I am not sure if I will be posting next week if I do it will be very little. We are heading to Charlotte to celebrate Christmas with my family on Wednesday! 

My favorites lately...

O N E | On Wednesday we went to a surprise 70th birthday party for Patricks dad. It was so fun to see him so surprised and Graham ran right up to him as he walked in the door and it made the entire surprise and video!

T W O | Yesterday Jack and I went to a fun little cookie decorating party. I just love doing all the holiday things right now!

T H R E E | I spent Monday making cinnamon rolls and recapped the recipe and step by step instructions here! I highly recommend you make a batch before Christmas morning.

F O U R | These little friends are a favorite of mine. I am so grateful for the friendships my boys have made and for the mamas that go along with them!

F I V E | I ordered these hand painted angel ornaments from DL Designs Birmingham and I love them. I gave them to some friends as gifts and kept one on my tree. She does amazing hand painted things. I have a door hanger with interchangeable tabs that I love. Be sure to check her out! (this is not sponsored, she has no clue who I am haha)

I hope that you have a very Merry Christmas!  I know our day will be somewhat different this year as we miss the presence of Patricks mom but it will be a wonderful day filled with lots of family time!

*Linking up with April and Andrea

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Cinnamon Rolls

If you follow me on IG stories you saw that on Monday I spent the day baking cinnamon rolls. I had several requests for the recipe so I am sharing a post from last year where I wrote everything out! They are so yummy and everyone loves receiving them!

I love giving treats to our neighbors and friends for Christmas. This year I decided I wanted to attempt homemade cinnamon rolls. I love watching the pioneer woman. I've seen her bake these cinnamon rolls before and knew I wanted to make them. I decided to attempt the recipe over Thanksgiving before making a big batch to give away, in case they turned our awful!

Thankfully my sweet neighbor happily tested them as did our family. They were approved by all! I made a half batch to start with which made 3 pans full. When I made them for Christmas gifts I made a full batch (well I did two half batches for ease). I was able to get 6 pans full of rolls. I probably could have gotten 7 had I combined the two batches but since I did it in two installments I just squeezed rolls into 3 pans..not that anyone is complaining about more rolls!

The whole process is very easy, although it definitely is time consuming. A few notes that I have made after doing this 3 times now.. it is much easier to work with the dough if you have chilled it. The first batch I made I did it straight through, they came out just fine but the dough was a bit hard to work with since it was warm. The next two batches I did I chilled the dough and found that it was overall easier to work with and roll up. Either way they will turn out great! The chilled dough makes the presentation prettier but who really cares what they look like because they will be eaten faster than anyone can notice!

Also, PW makes a maple frosting. I didn't want to use this so I created my own frosting and it turned our great!

Here is the recipe for a half batch and if you want the full recipe check out The Pioneer Woman's recipe! 

* 2 Cups Whole Milk
* 1/2 Cup vegetable oil
* 1/2 Cup sugar
* 1 package active dry yeast
* 4.5 Cups Flour
* 1/2 heaping teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 scant teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 tablespoon salt

* 1 cup butter melted, plus more as needed
* 1 cup Sugar
* Cinnamon for sprinkling

* 1 pound powdered sugar
* 1/4 cup whole milk
* teaspoon vanilla

For the dough:
Heat the milk, vegetable oil, and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat to just below a boil. Set aside and cool to warm (45 min-1 hour). Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit on the milk for 1 minute.

Add 4 cups of the flour. Stir until just combined and cover with a clean kitchen towel and set in a relatively warm place. {top of the stove worked for me} for 1 hour. After 1 hour remove the towel and add in the baking powder, baking soda, salt and the remaining 1/2 cup of flour. Stir to combine.

At this point you can use the dough right away and roll it out. However this is when I covered it with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge. You can store it this way for up to 3 days. If it starts to puff up to high just punch it back down and recover.

Preheat oven to 375.

For the filling:
On a floured surface roll the dough out into a rectangle about 30x10 inches.
Melt your butter either on the stove or in the microwave. Pour the butter over the rolled dough...this is where it gets messy! Don't worry if butter spills out everywhere, the more butter the tastier it is! Next sprinkle the cup of sugar onto the dough. Then take the cinnamon and sprinkle it overtop the sugar.  Now it's time to roll the dough. Starting with the edge furthest away from you start rolling the dough tightly. Use both hands and go back and fourth being careful not to rip the dough...I may or may not have done this the first time I made them!

Next try and slide a cutting board under the log and begin to cut rolls about 1/2 to 1 inch thick. Pour a coupe tsp. of melted butter into each tin and arrange the rolls, do not over crowd. Each pan will hold 7-9 rolls in my experience.

Cover all the pans with a clean kitchen towel and set aside to rise for 20-25 minutes. Next remove the towel and place them in the oven for about 15 minutes. They will be a golden brown color.

While the rolls are baking I mixed up my frosting. I combined the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla and mixed until smooth. If you think its too thin you can add more powdered sugar if too thick add some milk. Once the rolls have come out of the oven divide the icing up among the pans. I like to make sure it is coating every roll. It will run down into the cracks and at this point if yo can resist eating them all you have good willpower {which I did do when I made them the second time!}

At this point you can either wait for them to cool completely and cover with foil and deliver to friends and family or if you desire to freeze them you can top with plastic wrap and then foil and pop them in the freezer. If you don't want to eat them right away you can reheat in a 300 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, longer if frozen!

I had the cutest little tags printed up that I stuck on them for the friends I delivered to. Add a pretty christmas bow and you've got yourself a great treat for neighbors and friends! I haven't delivered to a single person that wasn't so excited to dig into them..most are saving for Christmas morning! (I had already delivered mine that had pretty bows and forgot to take a picture)

It may seem like a lot of steps but I promise it's very easy to follow as long as you have the time!

*Linking up with  Annie

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Christmas Card 2017

Im finally sharing with ya'll our Christmas card from this year! I love sending and receiving cards and this year was no different.

We had some family photos taken and I also had some Christmas themed ones taken of the boys. I love the ones of them on the back but I usually like to do a family picture on the front, although I'm not sure how much longer that will last. Its impossible to get one of us all looking and smiling!

Here are a few of the photos we had taken.