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  • April 2018
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Cinnamon Rolls

PW’s Cinnamon Rolls

January 1, The Winter Classic, Pittsburgh Penquins (best hockey team in the world!!!) vs. a red team (I forget). We had plans to meet another couple for dinner so I decided to nap a bit later in the afternoon. WHAT?!? Gestating is tiring business, naps are required. Anyway, after I woke up and got ready our plans changed.

CRAP! Now I’m wide awake during a hockey game, something I try never to be. Now I’m cranky because I need to find something to do and quickly. Then I realized that after Monday I might have to give up carbs and sugar and everything else amazingly good so I figure I’ll go out with a bang and make the Pioneer Womans (PW) Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Coffee Icing. Best. Decision. Ever.

Of course I didn’t start them until 8pm and they required 2 hrs of rise time and the recipe makes 6 pans so I didn’t finish until after midnight. Still the best decision ever.

PW always has the most AMAZING pictures of her rolls and everyone who tries them raves about them but I held off on making them because it makes 6 trays! WTF would I do with all those rolls! Then I learned they FREEEZE! At any point in the process, which was all I needed to hear!

Oh and clearly, loosing weight was not one of my New Years Resolutions, it never is so just smile over the amount of butter used. Butter makes the world go ’round.



  • 1 Quart Milk
  • 1 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Packages Active Dry Yeast
  • 8 Cups (Plus 1 Cup separated for a total of 9) All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • Plenty of Melted Butter (like 5 sticks, for real, it’s 6 pans of rolls, shush and just do it)
  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • Tons of Cinnamon


  • 1 Bag Powdered Sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons Maple Flavoring (I couldn’t find so I used 3 tablespoons maple syrup)
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1/4 Cup Melted Butter
  • 1/4 Cup Brewed Coffee
  • 1/8 tsp Salt


  • Mix the milk, oil and sugar in a pan, heat until just before boiling
  • Cool for an hour, until warm, not hot. I needed to speed this process up so I lidded up the pan and moved it outside for 20 minutes.
  • Once warm, sprinkle in both packages yeast, let sit for one minute
  • Mix in 8 cups flour, it’s really gooey. I gave my wooden spoon a spritz of PAM to help with sticking
  • Cover and let rise for 1 hour
  • After rising, add additional cup of flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, mix well. It will still be really gooey and sticky.
  • GENEROUSLY, seriously GENEROUSLY flour your rolling surface and take half the dough and roll into a rectangle.
  • Drizzle with 1/2-1 cup melted butter (just go for the cup at this point)
  • Sprinkle with 1 cup sugar and cinnamon to taste
  • Beginning with the long edge furthest from you begin to roll tightly. Pinch to seal
  • Slice into 1 inch pieces
  • Drizzle a tablespoon of melted butter in the bottom of 6 foil pans and arrange rolls in each tin
  • Repeat w/ second half of dough
  • Allow to rise for 20-30 minutes
  • Bake at 375 for 18 minutes


  • Mix all ingredients until smooth.
  • Pour over warm rolls, don’t be stingy

Cover iced rolls with plastic & foil and freeze until needed.

I have two big meanie head dogs and an alarm system don’t come near my freezer!

Stop by The Growing Gibsons



What is it?

Besides being fun to say. It’s a sandwich that originated in Louisianna.

It’s an Italian loaf of bread split and then loaded with olive salad (Muffuletta Spread), capicola, salami, provolone and swiss. If you ask The Man it’s amazing. If you ask me it’s a sandwich.

I thought I would treat him one night and make them so I bought jarred Muffuletta spread. I never got to the sandwich but I have made my way through half the jar of olive salad. This stuff is amazing. It’s a new staple and absolute must have in my kitchen.

You have to like olives. It’s a combination of green & kalamatta olives, celery, garlic, carrots, capers and pepperoncinis. All chopped up into perfect dices and perfect proportions. It has just a very slight touch of spicy to it. I wouldn’t make it myself. I neither have the knife skills or the patience. You can usually find it in the jarred olive & pepper aisle at the grocery store.

Here are just a few of the things I’ve tried with the spread:

  • Rack of Lamb: Sear the rounded side, spread thin layer of Dijon mustard, layer olive spread, roll in seasoned bread crumbs, bake until desired temp is reached
  • Grilled Chicken Sandwich: grill chicken breast, butter and grill one side of two slices of bread (like a grilled cheese), melt provolone (or american) cheese on one and layer the other with olive spread. Even better if you have a Panini grill and can just put the sandwich together before grilling.
  • Cheese Burger: Burger, cheddar cheese, toasted buns
  • Grilled Cheese: I’m sure you can figure it out
  • Crostinis: cut a baguette on the bias, paint on some EVOO & toast under the broiler both sides until lightly browned. Top with olive spread and a bit of feta and melt slightly under the broiler
  • By The Spoon

I’m joking on the last one. Maybe.

I love olives. Everything about them. The possibilities are really endless. Since I have none of the ingredients for any of the above items, I’m off to find something else to try.

Then again I’m also 28 and harboring a rekindled love of Kool-Aid and Fruit By The Foot so what do I know!

The 11week update is posted over on thegrowinggibsons.blogspot.com

Amish Friendship Bread

I received a starter bag of this goo on Sunday May 30th. My thoughts were, “ohhh friends”.

So the directions say to squish this bag of batter for 5 days & let any air out. On day 6 you add flour, sugar and milk and squish. Days 7-9 squish and release air. On day 10 you add more flour, sugar & milk. You then add one cup to each of 4 freezer bags to give to your “friends”. With the remaining batter you add a boat load of goodness + instant pudding package. Then bake it for an hour (in non-metal, it never ever touches metal).

On day 10 of mushing this bag my thoughts were, “ohh maybe she doesn’t actually like me. This is intense”

On day 11, I knew I could not put it off. This stuff has milk in it and it had already been out for 10 days. So at 8:30PM I was scouring the Walgreens (they know I’m nuts) looking for instant pudding and frantically texting this “friend” because I only had metal loaf pans and the directions clearly state NO METAL. “She hates me, it was all a ploy”

At 11:10, forty minutes past my bedtime, I pulled this square pan of love out of my oven. After 10 (11) days of intense mushing I couldn’t wait for it to cool and took a nibble from the top. It’s good. It’s really really good.

It’s sweet and decadent and cinnaminny.

I’ve heard many say that they received a starter bag and then never done anything with it. I highly recommend doing it. I currently have 4 starter bags in my freezer waiting to be claimed. If you want one let me know. It was well worth all the trouble.

Much, much better than a muffin for a breakfast treat. In all my internet scouring I also learned that one slice has an average of 215 calories, which isn’t all that bad

I made mine with no extras and am super happy with it. There are a ton of different things you can try though. Add blueberries, bananas, apples, chocolate chips, zucchini, cranberry, the options are endless!

Whats really nice is you can freeze the starter bags so you aren’t making the bread every 10 days. Day 1 is the day you take it out of the freezer. You know, if I ever know that I want it 10 days prior to actually wanting it!

Mothers Day Brunch

The Little, The Middle and I decided to cook The Mom brunch on Mothers day! 

Our lack of patience with someone is shining through!

Ohh looksie loo! There we are! We aren’t impressed with someone. I don’t know who but I can guarantee whoever it is regrets what they did to deserve the three of us turning on them. 

Here’s my pretty momma too! 

My beautiful Momma

I’m using wedding photos because pro hair, makeup & photos are the most flattering. There is no reason to think I look any different from I did on my wedding day and that’s the way it shall be. 

So anyway the girls, their lovies and mom came over to our house on Sunday for brunch. 

Mimosa’s, Juice & Coffee
Creme Brulee French Toast with Drunken Strawberries
Home Fries
Apple Dumplin’s & Ice Cream 

I have faith that you all can handle sausage and bacon without instruction. I apparently cannot. I most certainly did NOT set the bacon plastic aflame then freak out and panic. No siree I most certainly did not do this. Nor did I discover that when grease is burning water doesn’t work that quickly. Whatev! 

The Creme Brulee French toast was to die for! There was no need for syrup, just a bit of powdered sugar & the strawberries did just fine. 

From Gourmetfood @ About.com


  • 1 Loaf Challah or Brioche bread, sliced 1 1/2 inch thick (I used regular italian bread)
  • 1/2 Cup Butter
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar, packed
  • 2 Tbls Corn Syrup
  • 3/4 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 5 Eggs
  • 3/4 Cup Milk
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt
  • 2 Tsp Grand Marnier (Which is apparently not pronounced MAR-IN-ER, who knew?)
  • Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Quart strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Grand Mariner


  • Butter a 9×13 baking pan
  • Melt butter, brown sugar & corn syrup
  • Pour in the bottom of your baking dish
  • Layer bread slices evenly one top. Give ’em a squeeze to make them fit. (I got 9 slices in my pan)
  • Whisk the cream, milk, eggs, vanilla, 2 tsp Grand Mariner, vanilla & salt until well mixed
  • Pour over the bread
  • Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hrs.
  • Mix the strawberries, sugar & 1/4 cup Grand Mariner cover and marinated overnight.
  • Let bread come to room temp for at least 20 mins before baking
  • Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes until golden and puffed


The brown sugar butter mixture got a bit sticky once the bread cooled so next time I will let the sugar melt longer before pouring in the pan. 

I love recipes like this because I can quickly through it all together in 30 minutes the night before and then just pop it in the oven that morning.

Blueberry Muffins with Almond Streusel

From Cooking Lights Ultimate Cookbook

Umm I have got to stop taking pictures with the iPhone. They are horrible and unappetizing. I probably shouldn’t even put a picture in but when I do and I post to Facebook I don’t have to have my picture there. So bad iPhone pics it is.

These have been breakfast this week. Some other websites call them Blueberry POWER muffins. I must disagree. I have received no power from these muffins. It’s 11:00 and I’m darn near asleep at my desk. I also fell asleep last night at 7, then again around 8:30, powerful I am not.

They are packed with B vitamins and antioxidants and heart-friendly fats.

They also only have 244 calories/serving; which is two muffins. (5 WW points)

Sorry dear, it’s two, not one. Probably why you seem to be constantly starving. I will figure this healthy serving thing out soon, I promise.

The are really easy to make. Easy enough that I made them at 9:30 on a Sunday night. 9:30pm on any night I am parked on a couch or if I’m really lucky getting ready to go to bed. I’m most certainly not in the kitchen making blueberry muffins.

Day three of eating healthy. Monday was a big ole FAIL for dinner. Tuesday was a FAIL at lunch. Maybe Wednesday I can keep it together. You know this would be a lot easier if the cafe downstairs wasn’t having the BEST specials this week! I know Lobster Bisque day is coming up,  I hope I can resist. Today is breaded chicken, hot sauce, bleu cheese on a kaiser. As of late I would pretty much offer one of my thumbs for buffalo sauce. I’ve debated stapling myself to my chair.

I have a nice healthy frittata for lunch. YUM egg casserole. I know you are all wondering why in the world I would pass up spinach frittata for a buffalo chicken sandwich. Me too, it’s crazy.

I think it’s an evil plot by the cafe ladies. They ask where I’ve been, I say I’m packing because I’m trying to lose weight, then they turn around and put all the best things on the menu. They are against me. I can hear them plotting and planning an attack on my hips. Secretly trying to get me to graduate from the muffin top to a baker’s dozen. I’ll show them!

What was this about??

Oh yeah, muffins!



  • 1 1/2 Cup All-Purpose flour
  • 1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 Cup Quick Cooking Oats
  • 1 Tbls Baking Powder
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 2 Cups Low-Fat Vanilla Yogurt
  • 1/2 Cup Reduced Fat Milk
  • 3 Tbls Canola Oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Lg Egg
  • 1 1/2 Cup Fresh Blueberries
  • Cooking Spray


  • 1/4 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 Cup Slivered Almonds, chopped (PChef Chopper to the rescue)
  • 1 Tbls Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbls Butter, melted


  • Pre-heat oven to 400
  • Spray muffin tins with cooking spray
  • Mix flours, oats, sugar, baking powder & soda, salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine
  • Mix yogurt, milk, oil, vanilla and egg, whisk to combine
  • Add yogurt mix with flour mix and stir until just combined. Use a spatula not a whisk.
  • Add blueberries and mix gently
  • Drop about 2Tbls of batter into each muffin cups
  • Combine all streusel ingredients with a fork and sprinkle over each muffin
  • Bake for 15 minutes
  • Allow to cool for 10
  • Seal in an airtight container. Can be frozen for up to a month

I got 24 muffins using just a bit less than 2 tbls. Just a reminder, QUICK COOKING oats! I do not believe this is negotiable. The muffins are light and fluffy, sweet and tart and make for a quick easy breakfast.

mmmmmmm buffalo sauce

Cinnamon Buns

I know they don’t look all that appetizing but it was the first go round.

This recipe was chock full of errors and mistakes. The picture alone shows the over crowded and slightly too done buns. Also do you see any icing on those babies? No, I didn’t think so.

Did any of this change the fact that they were ooey, gooey, sweet and delicious? NO!

I was going to make the Pioneer Womans buns that she featured on Fox and Friends until I realized she used 8 CUPS of flour and other massively large amounts of ingredients. I searched far and wide looking for an easy dough recipe that used normal quantities. I finally settled on Paula Deen and set to work.

This is where I learned that you cannot, no way absolutely cannot make a dough with a whisk. Epic fail doesn’t even begin to cover what was sitting in my mixing bowl. Every time I think about it I stop and bonk myself on the head and say duh, that was stupid.

Weeping, internet recipe searches via the iPhone and lots of whining later I remembered I had a bread machine. Certainly a bread machine would have a sweet dough recipe and according to the booklet that came along with it, I didn’t have to do anything but feed it ingredients.

Let me just say that this thing is amazing. I just put the ingredients in hit “mix and need” and left to get my nails done. When I returned the dough was mixed, kneaded, risen, soft and ready to be rolled. This is the day I truly fell in love with an appliance.

If you don’t have a bread machine, go get one. They are worth their weight in cinnamon rolls alone. Just kidding! You can easily make the dough in a mixer with a dough hook. Just set your mixing bowl in a pan filled with hot water to get it to rise properly, about 1-2 hrs should do.

My next issue was where in the world I was going to roll out 2lbs of dough. I didn’t have my schmancy new counter yet.

P.S. I’m only giving you the recipe for 1.5 lbs of dough because as you can see my pan was severely over crowded.

SHHH! That’s me in the dining room behind our nice, somewhat new dining room table.

That’s the Mans empty chair, he was at a Dude Fest far far away.

That’s my messy, floury dough rolled out on the dining room table

That’s still the messy dough although now it’s covered in a cup of melted butter, 2 cups of sugar and bucket of cinnamon. Still on the dining room table.

I’m going to leave the picture of me rolling and cutting the dough out. From where I am now the Man could get to me within 20 minutes or so. Thats just not long enough to finish everything I want to in this life.

So here’s what you do…
Printable Version

  • 2 Eggs at Room Temperature (gently warm by placing whole eggs in a bowl w/ moderately hot tap water for 10 mins)
  • 6 Tbls Water
  • 4 1/2 Tbls Sour Cream
  • 4 1/2 Tbls Unsalted Butter, Room Temp. cut in 1/2 in pieces
  • 4 1/2 Tbls Sugar
  • 3 Cup + 1 Tbls Bread Flour (I used all-purpose, I have no idea the difference, wing it)
  • 2 1/4 tsp Yeast (active dry or instant)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 to 6 tablespoons hot water
  • 1 Cup Melted Butter
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • Cinnamon to taste
  • Walnuts or raisins (if you’re into that kind of thing) 
  • Pre-heat oven to 350
  • Follow your bread machines instructions if you’re using one for the dough. If not see below
  • Put all of the ingredients in the order listed into your mixing bowl
  • Use the dough hook to mix everything together. Walk away.
  • Once the dough is all combined remove the hook and put dough in a bowl spritzed with cooking spray.
  • Place the bowl in a pan filled with hot water
  • Cover with a towel and wait 1-2 hours until the dough doubles in size
  • Once risen punch the dough down and roll out into a 15×9 inch rectangle
  • Pour melted butter over surface
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
  • Sprinkle with raisins or walnuts, if your into that kind of thing)
  • Beginning on the 15in side roll the dough and pinch edges to seal
  • Slice into 12 to 15 slices
  • Coat the bottom of your pan with more melted butter and sprinkle with sugar
  • Place rolls close together in pan and let rise for another hour
  • Bake for about 30 mins (mine should have come out at 25)
  • Melt butter in a sauce pan
  • Add powdered sugar and vanilla
  • Add hot water 1tbls at a time until it reaches desired consistency
  • Pour over slightly cooled rolls

Seriously, when I said walk away, I meant it. Get out of your kitchen. Let me mixer do what it’s supposed to do. I almost lost a finger or two when I felt that I could do a better job and stuck my hand in the machine to help combine everything. It will eventually all come together into a nice little ball of dough.

You also can’t see my icing because I added to much water and poured over the flaming hot rolls. It all just seeps down into the dough. Really, do it tablespoon by tablespoon.

And a lifetime and a good work out later you have wonderful cinnamon rolls. For sure this will be a company only kind of task if I ever do it again. Even though it’s all waiting for the dough to rise it’s still felt like a major pain in the patoot for me.

I am currently on a mission to find an easier way to do this. One that doesn’t include a pressurized can and cute dough boy.

A Real Mans Sandwich

WOW! Another Pioneer Woman favorite! I’m going to have to take a bit of a hiatus from her site to go out and see what other items the world has to offer. I could not resist giving it a try though.

I don’t really like steak sandwiches but when I noticed it called for 2 sticks of butter my arteries seized in joy and I knew it was a snow day must have! No seriously, it’s worth it. It’s not really 2 sticks either. I did it easily with one. Even just once. Everyone needs a cheat day. Even if you just try it and then throw the recipe away and never look at it again, its worth it. I’ll keep quiet but I know you won’t be able to eat it just once.


  • 1 Large whole White Onion, halved and sliced
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 2 pounds Cube Steak.
  • Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
  • ½ cups Worcestershire Sauce
  • Tabasco Sauce, To Taste
  • 4 whole Deli Rolls


  • Cook sliced onion in 1/4 stick of butter until golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside
  • Melt 2 Tbls butter in same pan until it begins to brown. Add the meat and season with the seasoning salt.
  • Once meat is cooked add Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco to taste, 2 Tbls butter and onions. Stir to combine. Add more Worcestershire if you like more sauce.
  • Butter the inside of your rolls and brown on a skillet.
  • Pile rolls with meat & onions, top with sauce

I could not find cube steak, actually I’ve never seen this at any grocery store. Not even Wegmans! I know, I know it’s almost against the law to say Wegmans doesn’t have something but I think we may have found their one missing item. Cube steak is not steak that has been cubed, like beef stew cubes. It’s actually round steaks that have been super tenderized.

I knew I wouldn’t find this cube steak so I was resigned to getting a regular steak and pounding away on it for hours in my kitchen until it finally resembled what it was supposed to be.

Lucky for me and angry mob of crazy mothers who were faced with having to keep their children home for days on end due to pending blizzard saved me from buying steak of any kind and I was forced to the pits of Steak-Ums. Even if there was steak left I probably would have come to my senses before check out that there was no way my lazy tush was going to tenderize steak. I just would rather say I was forced into Steak-Ums.

The cube steak I’m sure would be more tender and flavorful but the Steak Ums were still extraordinary. My hunny isn’t eating grains (or something like that) this week but you can betcha bottom dollar that as soon as he does I’m going to make these again.