Cinnamon Rolls

My last recipe was sushi rolls. In the spirit of round recipes, I present my favorite thing to bake:

Cinnamon rolls.

I don’t usually enjoy baking. It is very exact and I prefer to play things by ear. And I get bored easily, so I do not normally make the same baked good twice.

But cinnamon rolls are totally worth it to me.

When I was in high school and college, I worked in my local mall at a popular specialty cinnamon roll shop.

I used to bring home “expired” day old rolls and my family was delighted.

The calories weren’t such a blessing but mmmm … they were a delicious breakfast dessert.

I usually worked customer service rather than actually rolling out the dough and preparing the product, but I did learn a few techniques and ingredients.

At home, cinnamon rolls are time consuming to bake from scratch.

They are a symbol of decadent luxury, with calories and time to spare.

The dough has to rise–twice. Just warning you.

But the aroma in my home when they are baking is a blast back to my past. And my children all flock to the kitchen because they know it is magical baked good time.

Some classic jazz in the background (Causebox has a fantastic playlist on Spotify) completes the experience.

I am also feeling smug because I misread the flour amount once, and was able to identify the dough had the wrong consistency, add more flour in, and save the recipe. My instinct was confirmed when I caught my mistake.

These were not perfectly round but thats okay. They are delicious.

The basic cinnamon roll recipe I use is from Paula Deen. Her frosting is good.

But I use this recipe for the Classic cream cheese frosting.

The secret is in the lemon juice.

Trust me.

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Interactive Dinner

When our oldest was a toddler, I learned how to make and roll sushi.

Its kind of labor intensive so we haven’t made it in eons.

But we were all home this week so my husband and I decided it would be a fun menu option.

I made the short grain rice in my Instant Pot. 2 cups of rice, 2 c of water, press “rice” and walk away. Add 1/4c. sushi vinegar with seasoning and voila! Rice is ready.

Everyone took a turn creating a special roll. We had cooked shrimp and ikrab, cream cheese, avocado, and cucumbers.

Note: I sometimes refer to ikrab as the “hotdogs of the sea” but my husband doesn’t appreciate that humor so I will refrain. Probably.

The plastic rolling mat was given to me by a Publix sushi chef 13 years ago when I asked him how his rolls were so tightly packed, because mine fell apart.

My youngest won’t eat seafood (you’re eating a body!!) so veggie cream cheese rolls were her choice. That is her favorite plate–with a picture of her, a birthday gift from when she was 3!

The girls both participated and enjoyed the meal. We dined on edamame as we took turns creating rolls to share.

Our son had a ham and cheese sandwich of course. We have decided not to force him to eat unpleasant (to him) options.

We all ate fortune cookies for dessert–a novelty for the kids.

The girls had kitchen patrol duties following. They are growing up and so helpful! I am more willing to do the messy or difficult projects when the kids can actually help. Funny how that works!

New Year and Resolutions

So, what’s new for 2019?

Well, my planner is brand spankin’ new–and getting it prepped with washi tape is kind of fun.

Besides looking at a beautiful brand new open slate of blank pages waiting to be filled, the truth is:

nothing else is new.

I am still flawed. I still have dreams and goals.

My family is still, at its core, the same.

Same habits exist, some good and some that need to go.

Same teachers and homework and projects when school resumes.

This quiet Christmas space of reflection and preparation is a chance to breathe and an opportunity to set a course for when chaos resumes.

I have learned this year what and who is most important. I have discovered that God never stops caring, never ceases delighting and surprising me.

I am enjoying this family time playing new board games, listening to classic jazz while baking homemade cinnamon rolls and reading Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone out loud with my youngest on her first reading of my favorite series.

People talk about setting a word of the year, about creating New Year Resolutions. For me, that feels confining. I have some ideas in how I want to grow and how God can use me this year. But I am open minded.

I am setting my priorities and goals for this new year, and confident that my family and I do not walk alone.

Happy New Year!

Side note:
Here’s a referral link for Erin Condren planners because i love them so much–and I hope you will love them too!)