where sisters, sibling rivalry, and creativity collide.




Friday, January 20, 2012

High Rise Cinnamon Buns or I don't have time for cinnamon rolls!!

Don't you want to lick this picture? I do. Then I want to lick each of my fingers multiple times to make sure I get all of the glaze off.

My kids love my cinnamon rolls but the time that I have to make them can be limited to after school or weekends. For Tylor's school treat he wanted cinnamon rolls for his classmates. Ugh.

I found this recipe in Cook's Illustrated. Don't stray too much from the recipe because it is so good!

Cinnamon-sugar filling (Preheat oven to 425')

3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar (gives it a little more caramel flavor)
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp cloves
1 tablespoon melted butter

Combine all and set aside.

Biscuit Dough

2 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup buttermilk (you can use regular milk and add 1 1/4 tablespoon white vinegar)
6 tablespoons melted butter (divided into 2 tablespoon portions)

Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Add buttermilk and 2 tablespoons butter and stir with a wooden spoon (the dough will taste metallic if you use a metal spoon, trust me). The dough will look shaggy. Transfer to a floured surface and knead (adding small amounts of flour) until the dough is just smooth and no longer shaggy. (yes, I used shaggy twice in a paragraph) Pat dough into a 12"x9" rectangle. Brush dough with 2 tablespoons of butter leaving a 1/2" edge. Press filling into dough. Roll dough, starting on the long side, into a tight log. Pinch seams to seal. Cut into 8 equal slices. Butter a round cake pan with remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Place one roll in the middle and the rest around the outside. Bake for 20 to 23 minutes until lightly golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes before icing.

Icing

2 tablespoons cream cheese softened
2 tablespoons buttermilk (I used regular milk and it was fabulous!)
1 cup confectioners sugar

Whisk together until smooth.

These are best served within 30 minutes. Like biscuits they will get a little dry and hard the longer you leave them. As if you will be able to resist!!

Not a coffee table

This was damage inflicted on my not coffee table more than 10 yrs ago. I don't want to talk about it. No, really. I don't.
I listened to Debbie about taking my time. It took about 4 hours to strip and sand this to nice smooth finish. My arms are tired just looking a the picture again. I have Grandma Hanna stick arms. Genetics are conspiring against me being a wood finisher.

Closeted

Deb wasn't the only one working on her closet this past week. My hall closet has always been a lonely and ignored space. It's too small to dump too much in and it has had a faintly funky smell forever. I tried to get photos of the interior damage - 1/2" wide 12" long crack, too many small cracks to count, dents from shoes & vacuum and the most gosh awful beige. I was just going to refinish the door but once I got it cleaned out I could not stay. Not happening! The door took me two days to strip, more than 9 layers of paint - what were previous owner's thinking with the green with brown inset? The closet took another three because I had to strip it, patch, caulk, sand, texture and then it sucked up paint. And just when I thought I was done Jim mentions that the door has never closed well so maybe he should take a belt sander to my newly painted door. Curses! So, more painting - if you are keeping track we are now on day 7. Finally I got the door back in the house and hung. Not impressive for anyone other than me.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Favorites in Review.

What was your favorite 'home improvement' project of 2011? Here's a rundown of one of mine:

Office For Two

First, here's the 'before' picture:

Pretty horrific. This was before I agreed to give up
my office and move into this one with Steve.
Yes, I'm brave.
 
We purchased a new desk for Steve from Office Depot. Although it is much larger than his Dad's old roll top, the storage is much more useful. It came 'flat packed', so we spent a few hours assembling it.  We make a great assembly team. I was pretty ruthless in what I let him keep in the office. Only stuff that he actually used on a regular basis was allowed, the rest was relegated to a large closet in the basement. The knick-knacks are all family memorabilia.

Even though this room is only about 10'x11' (plus closet), we were able to
keep the loveseat - which is now more usable...
 
...and then I added a few of my embroidery pieces for a little bit of fun.

My office area is carved out of the closet. I love my drawers from IKEA - they were another assembly project that Steve and I did together.  I hung the lights with the help of Alex. On either side of the desktop I hung a metal pegboard - which holds hanging shelves (yes, IKEA shelves).  I ordered the pegboard from Amazon.

Now let's see yours...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Christmas Dress

 Here it is. The long-awaited photos of Miriam's fantastic Christmas dress. Yes, it's the right length. The hair bow on top? That was mine when I was a little girl.
Speaking of Christmas, here is S. with his self-made soft taco at the Hispanic themed ward Christmas party.

Walls, Walls, Walls...

Marcy sent me a belated birthday package (by way of Nathan and Rebekah).  In it, she included six metal stars.  It was only fitting, as she was the one to point out that my gallery wall needed a little something over the Boeing sign. After seeing the stars, I decided to  look for paint options before putting six more holes in my wall.  I spotted a color I liked at Fred Meyer (it may or may not have been Dutch Boy (or possibly Glidden??), the color name is 'spinnaker').  I prefer Behr brand paint, so I didn't buy the paint - I figured I'd get it color-matched at Home Depot after Christmas.

Steve and Rebekah took some initiative and bought the paint before Christmas. I might possibly have been the only woman in America to receive a gallon of paint for Christmas.  It was a Christmas miracle. 

This is the 'before'...greenish walls, no stars, no ceiling lights.

After...stars, lights, and fresh paint.
(the lights are from IKEA - Basisk $16.99 each)