Summer Vacation on the Farm – Recipe: Nonna’s Cinnamon Rolls

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As I have mentioned, we spent last week with my parents.

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While the Peach and Melon Festival Parade is always one of the highlights of the trip, there are so many other things that we enjoy, too.

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We always go back to school shopping while we are there.  When we got home, I had the littles all try on their clothes and perform a little fashion show.

Summer is all ready to shine in Kindergarten.

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Ethan seems very prepared to be the class clown.

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And, Gabriel is very relaxed about it all.  He is not necessarily ready for the routine just yet, but he will get there.

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The littles and my nieces all did a lot of swimming in the tank.  They put on diving shows, surfed on rafts, and played water games.

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They also discovered a new, ingenious way to fish.

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Throw in the food,

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watch the fish swim to the top,

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and use the net to catch them.

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They had the best time, and I loved watching them enjoy their new fishing experience.

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I loved the watermelon slicing.  I always enjoy taking pictures of it because the melons are so colorful, and the scenery is so lively and bright.

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This year, our sweet dog, Dakota, and the chickens got in on the action, too.

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In addition to all of the fun that we had while we were there, we were also quite spoiled.  My mother did all of our laundry and all of the cooking.  She knows that we work hard every day taking care of our homes, and she loves the opportunity to just take care of us for that week.  We are very blessed.

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One of the things that she made while we were there is her famous cinnamon rolls.  While I do bake, I do not make her cinnamon rolls.  They are reserved for our vacations on the farm because they are a huge treat.  When she makes them, they are beautiful, soft, delicious, and just perfect in every way.

Nonna’s Cinnamon Rolls

Nonna’s Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients

Cinnamon Rolls

2 packages active dry yeast

1/2 cup warm water

2 cups lukewarm milk

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup oil

3 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons salt

1 egg

5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour

Filling (per pan of cinnamon rolls)

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

Frosting (per pan of cinnamon rolls)

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

    Cinnamon Rolls
  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in milk, 1/3 cup sugar, oil, baking powder, salt, egg, and 2 to 3 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth. Mix in enough remaining flour to make the dough easy to handle.
  2. Turn dough onto well-floured board. Knead until smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. Place in greased bowl; turn greased side up. Cover and let rise in warm place until double, about 1 1/2 hours.
  3. Grease 2 oblong pans, 13x9x2 inches. Punch down dough and divide into halves. Roll 1 half into rectangle, 12x10 inches. Spread with 2 tablespoons butter, 1/4 cups sugar, and 2 teaspoons cinnamon. Roll up, beginning at wide side. Pinch edge of dough into roll to seal. Stretch roll to make even.
  4. Cut roll into 12 slices. Place rolls slightly apart in 1 pan. Wrap pan tightly with heavy foil. Repeat with remaining dough. Refrigerate at least 12 hours but no longer than 48 hours.
  5. *Note - to bake immediately, do not wrap. Let rise in warm place until double, about 30 minutes. Bake as directed below.
  6. Heave oven to 350 degrees. Remove foil from pans. Bake until golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Frost with powdered sugar frosting.
  7. Frosting
  8. Mix together the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla until smooth.
  9. Add the frosting to the cinnamon rolls while still warm.
http://cookingformykids.com/2012/08/15/summer-vacation-on-the-farm-recipe-nonnas-cinnamon-rolls/

Recipe by Gold Medal flour.

Thank you for a wonderful vacation, Nonna and Gran!  We loved every single minute of it.

Weekend Things – Recipe: Crescent Rolls

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We had a busy weekend, filled with family, volleyball, soccer, and movies.  It feels like it was over in the blink of any eye.

1.  After substitute teaching on Friday, I still managed to come home and make homemade pizza and amazing chocolate fudge brownies.

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2.  Saturday morning started early with my mom and I co-parenting my niece for her volleyball game.  It looks like she is going to be quite the little volleyball player.

3.  After volleyball, we had time for just a tiny bit of down time and lunch before we headed out to the soccer fields for a double header.  As always, I had so much fun watching my Gabriel play.  He is a defensive player all the way and has great instincts when it comes to how, when, where to defend.  We are so proud of him!

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4.  Nonna took us to one of our favorite hamburger places, Mighty Fine, for dinner.  After a busy day, we all felt as if we deserved the night off from cooking.

5.  My mom and I were the first ones to rise on Sunday, and it was so nice to spend some quiet time with her visiting over a cup of tea.

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6.  Sunday afternoon found us watching movies and relaxing.  We have discovered that a Saturday at the soccer fields has us all suffering from some allergy issues on Sunday.  But, it is usually nothing that a little rest, relaxation, and movie time will not cure.

7.  Sean made one of my favorite meals for dinner Sunday night.  Actually, he is making it as I sit here with a movie of our weekend playing in my mind.

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8.  I made these delicious No-Knead Crescent Rolls last week, and I loved them so much that I made them again on Sunday.  The boys love for me to make sandwiches out of them to pack in their school lunches.

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The last batch lasted less than three days.  I have mentioned before how much I adore Lauren’s blog, and I continue to stalk it every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, eagerly awaiting her new recipes.  She has mentioned that she wants to write a cookbook at some point, and I so hope that she fulfills that dream.  If she does, I know that I will have so much fun when it arrives on my doorstep.

Crescent Rolls

Crescent Rolls

Ingredients

1/2 cup warm water

2 1/4 teaspoons (1 package) yeast

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 cup cold milk

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 3/4 cups all purpose flour {give or take 1/4 cup} - I used about 3 1/4 cups

+3 extra tablespoons melted butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Prepare cookie sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
  3. In a liquid measuring cup, stir warm water, yeast and honey together. Set aside to proof.
  4. Melt butter in a larger mixing bowl and stir in cold milk to make mixture. If the butter starts to harden into little clumps, put the mixture in the microwave for about 20 seconds.
  5. Add the yeast mixture to the butter mixture, and mix in egg, sugar, and salt.
  6. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, stir flour into mixture in 1/2 cup increments. I used about 3 1/4 cups flour.
  7. After it is incorporated, the dough should be sticky but still able to hold a ball shape. You do not want to over-mix or add too much flour because the crescent rolls will not be light and fluffy.
  8. Spray the bowl and dough with a light coating of cooking spray or oil, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a dish towel. Set aside to rise 1-2 hours.
  9. Punch down dough, and divide into two equal pieces.
  10. Flour a clean work surface and one of the halves. Roll out to be a 12-14 inch circle.
  11. Brush with 1 tablespoon of melted butter. Using a pizza cutter, cut the circle into 8 triangles, just as you would a pizza or a pie.
  12. Roll into crescents.
  13. Place onto parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  14. Repeat with other half of the dough.
  15. Brush tops of rolls with remaining tablespoon of melted butter.
  16. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and rise 30 minutes or until almost double in size.
  17. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until tops have browned.
  18. Remove from oven to cool and immediately brush with more butter.
  19. Serve warm with butter, or make into a delicious sandwich for lunch.
http://cookingformykids.com/2012/04/23/weekend-things-recipe-crescent-rolls/

Enjoy your week!

I linked up at the following:

I Should Be Mopping the Floor for Mop It Up Mondays

Delightfully Dowling for Mangia Mondays

Mrs. Happy Homemaker for Making You Crave Mondays

Add a Pinch for Mingle Mondays

Keeping It Simple – Recipe: Peanut Butter Banana Bread

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As much as my blog has given me a place to journal, write, capture sweet pictures of my littles, and enjoy new recipes, it has also awakened other things.  It has allowed me to see how much I love the simple, everyday pleasures, and, through that, it has taught me even more about how much I value every single moment with my family.  As I look back through some recent pictures, I can see just how much I enjoy the small things that become such a bigger thing when captured through journals and pictures.

I enjoy cheering my oldest boy on as he plays soccer.  While it sometimes makes for a crazy morning, I truly love the hour that we spend at the field watching my boy do something that he loves.

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I love a lazy morning with a good cup of tea.  While most of our mornings are not lazy because everyone has to get out the door way too early, it just makes me appreciate the lazy, weekend mornings even more.

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I love how a simple tea party can put a smile on even the most unsuspecting members of the family.  The love that surrounded my girl as we all gave her a very simple, easy tea party could be felt everywhere.  I am not sure what I liked more – seeing the boys get in on the fun or watching my girl’s eyes light up with pure joy.

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I truly appreciate, and never take for granted, the fact that we have an extended family who is so much a part of our lives.  When we all get to be together to celebrate events, such as a special birthday, it makes my heart so incredibly happy.

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While I declare every season my favorite for one reason or another, I truly do enjoy all of the big and little things that the different seasons represent.  Spring – rebirth, flowers, warmer days; Summer – school is out, swimming, slower (or no) schedules, family reunions; Fall – football, cooler weather, Thanksgiving; Winter – Christmas, New Year, snow. For now, of course, I am all about Spring and simply cannot get enough of beautiful flowers.

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I love all of the support that I have received from family, friends, and strangers as a result of this blog.  I love that I know that there are people praying for my family, my Ethan, as we make this journey together.  And, I love knowing in my heart that, while he has had a rough year with some serious illnesses, it has been made better because of the people who continue to care enough to read about him, follow his story, and pray for him to continue to improve each day.

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I love Pinterest.  I know that I have declared my love for it on multiple occasions, but it is true.  It has simplified my life in many ways.  I have boards for gifts, meals, crafts, breakfast, and many sweets.  Whenever I know that I want to make something new, that is where I turn.  Yes, I read several blogs and often find many ideas and recipes on my own.  But, having a place to store it all has just taken things to a whole new level.  When I found this Peanut Butter Banana Bread by the amazing Joy the Baker, I immediately pinned it because I knew that it would make an easy breakfast or after-school snack.  While Ethan and Summer were watching a movie on Tuesday, I got to work in the kitchen, managing to put the bread in the oven just in time to take it out right before we went to pick up Gabriel and Emma.  When we returned home, the aroma in the house was amazing, and everyone was excited about their snack…so excited that this bread lasted less than 24-hours.  It is a winner.  If you like peanut butter and bananas, you need to try this bread very, very soon.

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas

1/3 cup plain yogurt

1/3 cup creamy all-natural peanut butter

3 tablespoons butter, melted

2 large eggs

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Preheat to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare a 9×5-inch loaf pan by spraying it with cooking spray.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, flaxseed meal, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together mashed bananas, yogurt, peanut butter, and melted butter.
  5. Whisk in eggs and sugars, blending mixture until sugar is completely incorporated.
  6. Pour the wet mixture into the larger bowl with the dry ingredients.
  7. Fold together with a spatula until no more flour bits remain.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and cook for 45-55 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 20 minutes before removing from the pan and placing on a wire rack to cool completely.
http://cookingformykids.com/2012/04/19/keeping-it-simple-recipe-peanut-butter-banana-bread/

Very slightly adapted from Joy the Baker’s Peanut Butter Banana Bread.

Enjoy the simple things today!

I have linked up at the following:

Fireflies and Jellybeans for Show Off Your Stuff

A Glimpse Inside for Catch a Glimpse

Something Swanky for Sweet Treats Thursday

The 36th Avenue for Show Me Extraordinary

Somewhat Simple for Strut Your Stuff

Eat at Home for Ingredient Spotlight