Rosette Rolls

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My dear friend Taylor bought me a wonderful little cook book when I was a sophomore in college. It is the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. The more that I use it the more I like it. The best part, besides the wide range of recipes entailed, the book is not bound but it is in a binder type book. This is so nice because I can take one page out and use it, then put it back when I am done.

I have a long and detailed history with bread making. Bread making and I, we have gone though phases when we were hot and heavy. I was making bread a few time a week using my grandma’s sour dough starter. We have since cooled our relationship to a casual friendship, I am still good at making bread but I do it maybe once a month.  I have made a “butter horn”bread type of recipe before but it was more involved than this recipe and I am very happy with the result of these.

Ingredients
  • 1      cup whole milk
  • 6     tablespoons butter (room temperature)
  • 1      package active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (105 degrees F to 115 degrees F)
  • 2     eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3     tablespoons sugar
  • 4     cups all-purpose flour (not unbleached)
  • 1      tablespoon kosher salt
  • Melted butter
  • Softened butter
Directions1.Heat the milk to 120 degrees F to 130 degrees F; add the butter and set aside to cool to room temperature. Meanwhile, in a large bowl dissolve yeast in warm water. Add cooled milk, eggs, and sugar to dissolved yeast and stir to blend. With a wooden spoon stir in 2 cups of the flour and the salt; stir until smooth. Add 2 cups of remaining flour, 1 cup at a time, stirring vigorously for 3 to 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic and only slightly sticky. (Only if needed, after 3 minutes of stirring and dough is overly wet, stir in 1 tablespoon flour at a time.

2.Cover the surface of the dough with lightly oiled plastic wrap. Cover the top of the bowl with a second piece of plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled (1 to 2 hours).*

3.Lightly butter 24 muffin cups. Gently press the dough to deflate. With lightly buttered hands pinch off generous 1-inch pieces of dough. Fold the dough over, turning and tucking the edges to form a ball. Pinch the seam together to seal. Dip in melted butter and arrange three dough balls in each muffin cup. Let rise until fully doubled (about 1 hour).

4.Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake rolls for 20 to 25 minutes or until well-browned. If needed, to prevent overbrowning, cover rolls with foil during last few minutes of baking. Remove from oven. Brush with softened butter. Return to oven for 1 to 2 minutes.

5.Remove rolls immediately from cups to a wire cooling rack. Let cool about 5 minutes before serving. Makes 24 dinner rolls.

 

I took a less work intensive method in making my rolls. I used my bread machine do to the kneading and initial rise. I rolled out my dough and formed the rosettes using the method described in the cook book. I did find a good tutorial at Redhead Recipes blog though here is the link.

For some reason, I only want to make bread on a cold day and in the old house that I live in, there is not a warm snuggly spot to rise dough. I am terrible at using the oven to rise my rolls, I always end up with half cooked little steamed dumplings so  I engineered a little hot box for my rolls in my hall way above my floor heater. I put the pan on a chair above the floor heater after turning the heater on and up to 80. I aimed the humidifier on the rolls so there was a nice and warm, moist place for my yeasts to get happy.

My little engineered yeast incubator worked great. I ended up with some beautiful rolls and a very happy husband. I had to make a second batch the next day because we ate so many of them.

 

 


Christmas Crafts

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I did not go over board for Christmas this year. I did a few fun smaller projects for a select few (mostly the people who didn’t get hand made gifts last year).

We got a new pup back in May and he is smaller than Joe and gets pretty cold so I knitted him a little sweater. He is just so cute about his sweater and loves it. He likes for it to be on, that is a welcome change from Joe who chewed (literally) off a sweater that I knit him two years ago.

 

I intend to make this sweater a design project in the near future because I had a really hard time finding patterns that do not involve seaming and are just a “casual” sweater for a little dude.

Do you notice those beautiful gifts in the background of that picture? Why, Yes, I did go a little over board on the gift wrapping this year. I am not sure why I get so wrapped up (he he) in wrapping paper but I sure did this year. We purchased most of our gifts in Jamaica this year (blog post to come) so it was a lot of fun to wrap everything up and remember our trip with each package. I bought my paper on sale from Target on December 26th last year so that made the whole experience more enjoyable. I hate spending an arm and a leg needlessly.

Speaking of spending an arm and a leg needlessly. Sometimes I shoot myself in the foot trying to be frugal.

This summer, we put up a bunch of peach butter, peach jam, and salsa to give as gifts. Each jar was beautiful and full of goodies that taste delicious (I don’t care if I did make it, they were good). I thought that a good way to finish them would be to cut a little square of fabric to put between the ring and the flat. I thought it would be cute to make is Christmas fabric but I didn’t want to buy fabric when I just needed a few scraps. I looked though my fabric stash and didn’t find anything satisfactory.

I had been thinking about making a tree skirt using a pattern by Citrus Holiday. It is simple and they made it look to cute and easy. I decided to just buy the fabric for the tree skirt and then use the scraps for my jar tops.

The pattern called for:

  • ¾ yard of 45″ wide fabric for EACH triangle (eight total)
  • 1 yard of 45″ wide fabric for binding around all tree skirt edges and for tree skirt opening ties
  • 1½ yards of 54″ wide cotton muslin for tree skirt back
  • 1½ yards of 54″ wide lightweight quilt batting

I joyously went to the fabric store and purchased the prescribed amounts of the different fabric and came home to get to cutting out my pattern. I measured out the first wedge and realized that I had purchased WAY too much fabric for just one tree skirt. I am not fond of having huge pieces of extra fabric laying around so I did a little measuring and decided that I could make two tree skirts with the fabric I purchased and give one as a gift. I proceeded to measure and cut out two tree skirts so that I could use the scraps for the jar tops.

I continued in my bliss with the cutting and I was kind of into the project so I went ahead and pieced together the first tree skirt. I enjoyed this process so much I went ahead and pieced the second one the next night and then tried to make bias tape. This turned out to be quite the process so I felt the need to buy this handy tool off of amazon.com to help the process along.

The tool worked great and I was happily finishing just in time to take the tree skirt up to give to my mother in law. Here is how it finished up. I was pretty happy with the end product.

 

 

I sat back and enjoyed my craftiness, so proud of myself to not be a wasteful spender and buy fabric for something so silly as to put on the tops of jars.

Then I realized, I spent almost 10 times more by buying fabric to make these tree skirts and all the tools that I “needed” to make them as I would have just buying the fabric for the jars. I was suddenly less proud of myself.

I learned that next time I need to keep my project scope a little less fluid and maybe to a cost benefit analysis before just diving head first into another “inspired” idea.

On the upside, I do have a beautiful tree skirt (mine is almost done, I just need to do the binding) and my Mother In Law just loves hers.

On the downside, I was cutting squares out and applying them on my way out the door on my way to Christmas.

Christmas was lovely and it was wonderful to see all of our family again. I will end this post with this little “gift” I think he is just the cutest little thing and he was so tired he didn’t mind being “wrapped” at all.

 


Solstice Stars Series- Ribbon Star Block

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I am doing this Solstice Star Series Quilt A Long from Fresh Lemons. I have completed block 1 in the series which is a Ribbon Star. This will be my first quilt along and my first quilt using an actual pattern. Until now, my quilts have been just squares sewn together or a similar construction. I will blog about my three sisters quilts in the next few days.  Here is my block. I am pretty happy with it given that I am using abnormally thick fabric to use up my fabric samples that I have been toting around since high school.

 

The ribbon star quilt is a basic half square design composed of sewing different triangles together. The tutorial was very helpful and easy to follow. Here is the link to the blog and the tutorial.