Thursday, December 29, 2011

Cinnamon Roll Knock Off

God was thinking of me {and my fam} when he came up with cinnamon rolls. I've had several over the years and I'm very picky...which is unfortunate because the ones I LOVE take forever to make....but Pioneer Woman got it 100% right!!! You can see my post of them here.

One day {or night, or while at work, or while at a stop light, or while at the store, basically every moment of my life} As I was cruising through the bountiful pages of pinterest, I stumbled upon "Cinnamon Roll Cake". WHAT?!?! Had to pin it!! Well, I tried it and it is the bomb{dot com}! I still love PW cinnamon rolls, and they can't be beat. BUT this is a lovely "cakey" alternative that is super easy!! 

Here is the Link: Cinnamon Roll Cake 

Another thing I loved was that I didn't have to buy anything! It was all in my cabinet!! LOVE!! 

Try this. You'll love it. Make sure you have some extra milk, this is very rich!!! 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Cinnamon & Sugar Pumpkin Bread

If you are anything like me you are a rusher...don't look both ways before crossing the street, don't always adequately prepare yourself for the bumps ahead... OK, I definitely look both ways but I NEVER read recipes all the way through before starting them. It has kicked me in the butt several times. Whether I have to marinate that chicken for 24 hours {24 hours?!? Who thinks that far ahead?? NOT ME!!} or dough raising and raising for hours at a time. Also, room temp things like butter, milk or eggs. I'm slowly learning and getting better at it. In time I suppose. :)

So, let me begin this wonderful and delicious recipe off by saying/warning the following:

1. Milk will need to be room temp
2. Dough will need to rise at two separate times: first for 60-90 minutes and again for 30-45 minutes
3. Cook time is about 35 minutes 
4. Have your kitchen clean. I have a pretty small kitchen, and with several recipes I have needed to use my counter tops to roll the dough, etc. Besides the obvious of just working in a clean kitchen, before this recipe I did some major scrubbing to my counter tops. 

The Goods:

Bread Ingredients:
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup milk
1 pkg active dry yeast
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups of bread flour

1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp of cinnamon
1/2 tsp of nutmeg
2 tbsp butter

Icing Ingredients:
2 tbsp butter
1/8 cup of brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp milk
3/4 cup of powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Let's Get Started!!!
Brown 2 tbsp of butter over med-high heat in a saucepan {let it bubble and make sure it doesn't turn black}
Once browned, remove from heat and carefully add the {room temp} milk, the milk will curdle if is too cold vs the heat of the butter. Then, return to the stove and heat through. 

Pour that into your mixing bowl {a dough hook would be VERY helpful here, or get ready for an arm workout!!} Allowing it to cool to about 100-110 degrees.

Once cooled add your active dry yeast and 1/4 cup of sugar and allow to proof for about 8 minutes. {It will be foamy and the liquid will be cloudy}.

Now we are going to add the pumpkin, salt and 1 cup of flour. Stir until combined and then add the rest of your flour 1/2 a cup at a time. 

Knead the dough for 6 minutes until the dough is smooth, elastic and slightly sticky. If the dough is really moist, add extra flour 1 tbsp at a time. 

Move dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 60-90 minutes, or until doubled in size. 

While dough is rising, you will need to brown 2 more tbsp of butter. 

In a small bowl add your sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and mix well. 

Once your dough is finished rising, take it out and punch it down a little bit and knead for about a minute. On your nice and clean counters {sprinkled with flour} roll our your dough to a 12x20 inch rectangle. Take you butter and pour over the dough and spread over all the dough.

Take your cinnamon and sugar mixture and sprinkle evenly onto the dough, then with your fingers, press the mixture into the dough. Now take a knife or a pizza cutter and cut the dough into 6 strips horizontally and vertically.

Stack the strips into a greased loaf pan. {See all that sugar and cinnamon on your counter top? I just swiped mine on top, the more the merrier!!} 

Cover with a clean towel and let rise for 30-45 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. After rising, let it bake for about 35-40 minutes, or until the top is a deep golden brown. 

While baking, prepare your icing. 

Heat the milk, butter and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and then immediately remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and powdered sugar. 

Pour icing over the loaf once it is finish and ENJOY!!!

It is such a scrumptious dessert & the pumpkin is not that strong of a flavor. {You could actually add more if you want more of a pumpkin presence}

It's ooey and gooey and great! Its a perfect dessert for the upcoming holidays!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Wedding Invite Turned Christmas Ornament!

Shocker...Another Pinterest inspired project. I may never have another original thought again... Oh well, this is the one that I've seen on Pinterest: 
Really cute, but I really wanted to see more of the wording on through the ornament.

First you get you invite. 
Super fun wedding by the way :) Aren't their invites cute? I love the flowers!

Second, you are going to shred the invite. I worked around the wording, so that it would show through the ornament.
Your stack will look like this:
Then you are going to start "strategically" putting different pieces of the invite in...I waited last for their names, the date and a few good pieces of the flowers and put them in last, so that they would be the most visible. 

I kinda just worked them around with a utensil from my cricut tools. Once I got them arranged I decided to add a little something to it...any excuse to bust the 'ol ball n chain out :)

 I decided to cut a "B" out for Boston and then on the opposite side put the date.
I also added the pearls to go in between the numbers. I adhered the paper with mod podge. It worked well, you kind of had to hold it in place because it was such a slick surface, but they stayed eventually. The only downfall was that the mod podge left "gluey" marks all over the ornament. In the back of my mind I knew it would happen, but I did it way around it that I could think of. {I also considered writing on the ornament, but decided against it because I kept messing up on my "practice" bulb".} Well, with no way around the gluey residue, I just painted the glue all around it. It kind of gave it a frosty look. It turned out pretty cute in the end. I was happy with it! 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

P.W.'s Chocolate Cake

Welp, I've done it again!! I have made the most wonderful and amazing chocolate cake ever. I can't be beat. Ok, Ok, Pioneer Woman has done it again. Tomato, tomaato, right? It has been almost a year since my "unofficial" new year's rez {you can read about it here} and it has been so much fun! I have learned a lot about my taste/preference for certain flavors and this cake has really just pinned it! Now, Don't hit me when you hear this, but I'm not a huge chocolate cake fan....craziness, I know. I'm also really picky on the moistness of cake. Yadda Yadda, I could go on forever.... Well, this sheet cake is moist and the icing is perfection {shockingly another thing I'm super picky about!}.

For you Odessan's it is similar to Rosa's chocolate cake {but thinner} or Mexican Hot Cake.

You can find Ree's recipe tutorial here.

I had to bring dessert to a dinner with Jake's fam and mom was in town. I was making it and mom kept saying "I'll be in to help in a minute". Before she knew it I was mixing the icing. :) To her defense....this cake took NO TIME at all.... you can't go wrong with a 20 minute bake time!!

Cake was a huge hit and it was so easy....a huge recommendation if you are planning to feed a lot of people!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Father :)

Today was a wonderfully awesome Sunday. Full of church, friends, family & watching Hil Pil play flag football for the OU OT/PT School {the cute boys who played after her were pretty fun to watch also!}. Well, rewind to the friends part. Mom and I hung out with some family friends of ours: The Kimbroughs! They are my parents friends, dating back to their wedding 25+ years ago.
ANYWAYS, we were talking & catching up...chatting about life and most importantly: divulging all the funny things FATHER has said recently.
We have the best father {just a little insight...we call him FATHER because when he first started using a cell phone/texting he would always call and say "Mallory, this is FATHER" or text "Send me the mail....FATHER", like caller ID doesn't exist and as if we had NO IDEA who was calling...} anyone could ask for. He is probably one of the craziest people I know.....and he always, ALWAYS is making people laugh. Well, this post is going to be about some of the funny things he has done lately....Enjoy :)

With all 3 of us girls living in OK, my parents are having to fend for themselves when it comes to all the new savvy technology that is out there. Well in to the WIFI generation, my parents have continued to cruise with rubbish things such as DSL or Dial up. My mom's friend Sandie usually needing to be called often to help them figure out how to upload pics, or open an email...
Well, for work my dad got a brand new lap top that he was going to have to take to meetings. With this brand new lap top came the wonderful world of WIFI. Mom shows dad the gist of everything, turning it on, pulling up the Internet, etc and THEN my FATHER says this "Polly, I will need a bag for my lap top and then a bag to carry around my WIFI {referring to the router box}". Absolutely classic. When mom was telling us {and while we were laughing through tears} she said it took all of her not to let him take it with him. Could you imagine walking in to a meeting and seeing a man pull out a lap top and then trying to figure out how to plug the router in and figure out how to plug in his "WIFI"? Hilarious :)

I'm not really sure how this one got by him for as long as it did. One night at the house we were needing our dad to pull something up from his e-mail that he uses at work. He kept saying that he couldn't and then later revealed that "It's my work e-mail, I can only get it from my computer at work". For several years he thought he could only pull up his Internet from it's original computer. :) He just makes me laugh so hard

There are so many more, and some that are just not appropriate to put up here, but I just thought I'd share a couple of these doozies with ya! His new thing to say to me is "Well, why don't you just put it on Facebook". Anytime he says anything ridiculous, or if we are complaining about something, that is always his response.

He is just a crazy guy and I'm so thankful that not only do we have a loving and giving dad, we have one who is willing to be the butt of our jokes sometimes :)

And as he would say "LLOOOOVVVEEE YYOOOOUUU"

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Lamp ReVamp!!

Well, my mom is in town for 2 whole weeks! Craft projects galore! She is also teaching me how to sew, score :)
We started off the week by brain storming all the different projects we wanted to take on. 5 pillows, a baby's bedding set and a lamp shade later we were ready to hit the stores. I decided to just work on the lamp shade project and one pillow. No need to out do ourselves. I mean, I am SO NOT THE TYPE OF PERSON TO TAKE ON MORE THAN I COULD HANDLE!!! :)

First up is the LAMP SHADE OF AWESOMENESS!! About 2 months ago I bought my first "not-just-for-reading-no-bendy-neck-lamp" from Target on clearance!! Good lookin & kind of find!

Here is the BEFORE pic....not horrible, I obviously love the base, but it needed a little extra {VA-VA-voom}!!

I found the idea on Pinterest. Shocker. On my "Craft*Bliss" board I have about 10 different ideas for giving a lamp shade an extra little touch of greatness. So many to choose from... and I finally chose This One, from Pinterest, which lead me to U-Create {the site I used for my wreath} , which lead me to the burlap lamp shade tutorial from Mama Says Sew.....oh the wonderfully small world of DIY blogging!! 

Here is the picture from the tutorial....

Isn't that one of the coolest pictures of a lamp EVER?? 

Let me start off with I LOVE LOVE LOVE how my lamp turned out. BUT my lack of camera skills just doesn't give it justice! One day....right? 

Well....HERE WE GO :)

3 yards of burlap
hot glue gun/sticks
iron & ironing board
measuring tape

This is a VERY cheap $5 dollars cheap!! 

First you are going to wrap your burlap around the lamp shade and secure it with hot glue. Just around the top and bottom, and pull it pretty taught.
You can see I wasn't very precise and just kind of cut where I thought it would fit....I didn't take in to account that my barrel lamp shade was slightly larger at the bottom...and it didn't quite fit. As Rick Perry would say "OOPS" :)
I just cut a little piece that covered my imperfection. At first I was worried that it would show through, but as I  was adding the ruffles, it hid it all very well!
Once you get it covered you will need to take the excess and and glue it to the inside of the shade

At this point I was burning myself more that I was being productive, so I started using a butter knife, and it worked like a charm
When it came to the metal form, I just cut the burlap and glued around it
So, once you have the lamp shade covered, folded, glued and tucked you are going to want to start cutting strips.

First, you need to take some measurements: 
When cutting the strips you will want to do the length 1.5 the length of your lamp. So in my case I cut mine 15 inches mom helped me cut all of my strips. Although this is a very cheap & easy project, it was pretty time consuming.... so THANKS MOM!!!!

The next measurement is for the width of the ruffle. The tutorial I used said to do 3 inches {which would leave you a 1.5 inch ruffle off the lamp}. So basically you can have the ruffle however big you want....just double it because we will later fold it in half.
Now for all the cutting! The easiest way to cut burlap is to find the string at you measurement and pull it out...
Doing this gives you.....

and you just cut down those lines!! It makes cutting burlap in a straight line possible!!

Once you cut your strip you will want to fray the ends a little bit.
So, once you have your strips cut you are going to fold & iron them in half, burrito style.

and there are your strips! 

Now for the fun part!! I started by just gluing a ruffle in a swirl down the shade. I made sure that the ends were glued down very well. 
I did this about every 3 inches...
Sometimes my ruffles got a little crazy, and didn't quite make it to the end of the shade...
When this happened, I just made sure that when I was filling the gaps, I started my next ruffle in the empty space

From here on out it was just about filling in the empty spaces. A few things I made sure to do was to make sure the ruffles whet in different directions. The arrow below shows an empty space, and then filling it!

When starting out, I would put the glue on the strip and then make the swirl, but as the space got tighter I would burn myself a lot more...:/ Boo. So I just started putting the glue directly on the shade, both ways are fine...just letting you know what my issues were :)
So, after several hours of doing this it was starting to look amazing!! Woo HOO!!!
Towards the end I was finding a few spaces that only needed small strips, which was good because I used ALL my 3 yards of burlap and towards the end my strips were not long enough to make 15 inches. So I would just cut a lot of short strips to fill in the smaller gaps.
Then just give it a few twirls and check for any missed spots and then FINI!!! 
Here is my wonderfully awesome addition to our living room!! It even got the Hil & Mo approval {Hil's being sometimes difficult to get ;) haha}

Here is its actual location. A wonderful accent to our purple wall :)
Definitely my favorite project I've taken on & super easy!! Thanks for checking it out :) Can't wait to see all of ya'lls wonderful Lamp ReVamps!! 

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