Monday, April 30, 2012

Bakers Dozen Rolls

If you haven't entered our birthday giveaway for a $30 Amazon gift card be sure to click HERE.  Its the last day to enter.  We only have 24 entries so your odds of winning are great.  Remember that amazon sells everything from diapers to TVs.   Now onto our yummy recipe from Andrea...

I can't remember where I came across this recipe so I can't really give credit where it is due. I was intrigued by this recipe because of the cheese. Who wouldn't love a roll with cheese cooked right into it, right? After making these many times, I would now have to say that my favorite thing about this recipe is how fast and easy they are to make. Want rolls for dinner but don't think you have time to pull it off? Try these babies! Fast and easy and really rather tasty!  Here is the recipe:

2 to 2 1/2 cups flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 pkg yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp if you don't have the packages)
1/2 tsp salt (I always double the salt because I am a NaCl junkie, but you don't have to if you feel salt is an issue)
3/4 cup warm water
2 tbsp butter, melted
3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (I never measure this and I'm sure I usually put gobs more than this amount in there - who's ever heard of too much cheese?)
2 tsp honey
4 tsp butter, melted (I usually use closer to 2 tbsp here - anything swaddled in butter is sure to taste good)
1/8 tsp garlic salt (I also double this - I mean garlic + salt, how can you go wrong here?)

In a large bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups flour, sugar, yeast and salt.  Add water and 2 tbsp butter; mix until smooth.  Stir in cheese and enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.  Knead until smooth and elastic.  Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.  Divide into 13 pieces.  Shape each into a ball.  Place in a greased 9-in. round baking pan.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes.  Bake at 375 F for 11-14 minutes or until lightly browned.  Combine the honey, garlic salt, and remaining melted butter; brush over the rolls and serve.

For those who are visual people, here are some pictures of the process.  First the ingredients for the dough:
Put all the above ingredients in your bowl, then add your water and butter and mix till smooth.  The actual recipe suggests beating this with an electric mixer on medium speed for 3 minutes.  Every time I have tried to do it this way, my mixer starts to smell like an ozone factory.  A wooden spoon and a few strokes works just fine without that end-of-the-world burning smell.  Add your cheese (as you can see from the picture, that is way more than 3/4 cup of cheese) and a bit more flour.  Some days I need to add the whole extra cup of flour and some days less is more.  My suggestion, add a bit at a time rather than just dumping in the whole extra cup all at once (yes, I have made that mistake, but it's not fatal, so no worries).
 After letting your dough rest for 10 minutes, the hardest part of the whole recipe is dividing it into 13 balls.  Some will be big and some will be smaller.  Hey, people come in different shapes and sizes too!
I threw this picture in here to show where I usually stick my covered rolls to raise.  That pot in the background was busy boiling some potatoes for dinner and I figured my contribution to the environment on this earth day weekend would be to utilize the heat coming off of the potatoes to coax these rolls along.  On top of the dishwasher or on a sunny counter will also work.  An oven heated to about 200 F and then turned off will also rise things nice and quick.
 Here these babies are raised and ready for baking:
 Here are the ingredients for your topping and the end result after mixing these three goodies together:

After your rolls come out of the oven, nice and browned, brush the above concoction over the top of each roll.  The original recipe suggests taking the rolls out at this point and cooling them on a cooling rack but my family prefers them right out of the pan, hot and delicious. 
 Use a fork to coax the first two or three out of there and enjoy!


Friday, April 27, 2012

DIY Super-CUTE Headband

So I was getting ready for Church and couldn't get past those annoying little hanger 'thingys' found in the shoulder of my dress!!  I mean, seriously--do people really use those things?  You know what 'thingys' I'm talking about right--
Yeah--those things!  They just flap around and get in the way and sometimes sneak their way out at the most inconvenient times!!  Anyway, back to this past Sunday--I was trying to get ready for church but knew I couldn't go the whole day with those things poking into my shoulder so I did what any reasonable girl would do--I CUT THEM OUT!! That's what most of us do anyway right??  But this time I looked at these thin, little, clear elastic 'thingys' and knew I could do something spectacular with them.  OK maybe 'spectacular' is a little over-zealous but anyhow--I decided to sew the two pieces together and make me a little, clear headband.  Once I sewed both edges together and put it on my head I realized that a flower would really make the whole ensemble!  What do you think?  Maybe you can come up with some other cool things to do with your dress 'thingys'.  If you do, let us know--I'm always interested in a new way to use something that is otherwise unwanted and unnecessary.  It makes me feel as though there might really be a purpose for these little 'thingys' after all!


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Happy Birthday Liesl...#7

31 years ago we were blessed with our sister Liesl...
 She came out bald and loved to scratch her face but we knew there was a beauty inside!  =)
 Age 5
 One thing about this girl was that she loved rocking her side pony tail year after year!  She would switch it up from left to right to keep you guessing though!
 And let's pay a special homage to these totally rad pink glasses she rocked!  I won't lie, I used to ask to borrow them because I thought they were that cool!
This is before she mastered the skill of the soft sexy waves but she still knew how to pull off the curls even at this young age!

What a beautiful bride!!
We are so thankful for our fun, beautiful, trendy, spacey, talented sis!!
To help celebrate her big day...we are hosting a fun GIVEAWAY!!
This girl loves to shop.
And since she is prego, and has a 2 year old AND lives in a small town...she does a lot of shopping at
Diapers, wipes, household goods, you name it!
So today we are giving away
1 Amazon gift card valued at $30
To enter:
1. Leave a comment on this post wishing our sister a Happy Birthday!
2. Spread the word about the, facebook, tweet, text or call your friends!
3. Like our facebook page or let us know you already do
4. Be a follower of Junk in their Trunk...make sure you are signed up thru google reader or another RSS feed!
Giveaway will end Monday night (April 30th)


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Link it up Wednesday #26

It's that time again.  Can't wait to see all the great things you guys have been up to.  Thanks again for being part of our party.  We truly appreciate it.   And we appreciate every single one of your comments...thanks so much!!  =)

The most viewed link from last week:
Summer Gift Idea by Simply Living found here

And a few of our favorites:

White Crispies by GRATEFUL BELLY found here

Aunt Val's Caramel by PRETTY PROVIDENCE found here

Teaching Kids Boundaries by INSPIRED BY FAMILY MAG found here

Infinity Scarf by J HOUSE TAWK found here

Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies by Life's Simple Measures found here


Pebbles to Sand: Part 4

Photo copyright by Tiffany Skelton
Today concludes the Turning Pebbles into Sand series with a discussion on CLEANING and ORGANIZING.

CLEANING:  My little sister is the housecleaner extraordinaire.  Her place is always immaculate.  Mine...not so much.  It’s clean, but please don’t look closely at tables (which my kids dust sporadically) or baseboards, or heaven forbid—my blinds.  Cleaning is another pebble that is easy to put off, until it becomes a big, menacing rock screaming for attention (DUST ME!  PLEASE, I’M BEGGING YOU!  AH-CHOO!).

To improve in this area, I made a list to keep me on task.  It’s important to set measurable goals.  So I decided to do 15 minutes of cleaning a day (that doesn’t include meal prep/kitchen cleanup or laundry). 

15 minutes is not very long...and I wondered initially if I might have to increase it.  But WA-LAH!  Magic!  That quarter of an hour was very productive.  I worked like a horse (not a lazy horse, but a mighty Clydesdale) and was amazed at all I accomplished. 

One day I organized my whole closet.  Another time, I got the laundry room looking immaculate and then tidied the kitchen.  After just a week, I had made a lot of progress.  Through small and simple things, great things were brought to pass! 

ORGANIZATION:  I'm the Queen of making big plans and never accomplishing them.  I print off recipes that look good on blogs and then stuff them in my cupboard and never make them.  My pile of recipes is about 3 inches thick, but I never feel like taking the time to copy those recipes onto cards to file away and actually use.  When I do remember a recipe in my pile, it takes me a few minutes to dig through my papers one at a time to find it.  Frustrating. 

I decided to break it into manageable chunks.  My goal each day is to copy ONE recipe onto a card and the ingredients needed on my grocery lists (that I posted about here).  It only takes a couple minutes to copy a recipe.  I can do that. 

Over the last month, I’ve whittled my pile down by over 30 pieces of paper.  Yea!  The good thing about making sand-size goals is that many times doing the small act will lead to more.  One day I copied 5 recipes down; another day I decided to clean out my recipe file and threw away at least 50 old recipes I haven’t made in years (nor do I want to make ever again; I’ve found better meals to replace them).
There are lots of things to organize—photographs/scrapbooks, my writing files, genealogy, old letters and books.  Now I have a plan to conquer them...little by little.  The war is not always won by the mightiest...but the persistent (if that doesn’t make sense...forgive me.  I haven’t gotten around to organizing my thoughts yet—I have all the other stuff to do first).

TIME is our most precious commodity.  Our days are filled with lots of tiny spaces of 'waiting.'  You wait in the car for kids practices to get over, or at the doctor’s, or for school to get out, etc. Make use of these little snippets of TIME.  Fill them with sand.  Keep a book with you to read, or write a letter, make a list of things to do or ideas to write about...or to talk to with your teen when you get a chance.  Often, we waste precious moments complaining or doing nothing.  Make use of these filler moments and you will amaze yourself with all you squeeze into your daily jar.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Cinnamon Roll Waffles

I first saw this idea here and thought it sounded delicious!!
My family LOVES cinnamon rolls.
And my family LOVES waffles.
Combining the 2 just seemed genius to me!
So here ya go...

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup canola oil1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* I don't know about you, but I NEVER have buttermilk on hand.  The trick for this problem is to just use milk, a little bit less than you need, then fill the remainder with white vinegar.

1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon


4 Tablespoons butter
2 ounces cream cheese
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Prepare waffles: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Make a well in the center of the mixture; set aside.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Pour into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Stir just until moistened; batter will be slightly lumpy.
3. Preheat a waffle iron and spray with nonstick spray. Pour batter into waffle iron grid and close the lid. Bake until waffles are completely done- follow your waffle iron's instructions. Use a fork to remove finished waffles. Repeat with remaining batter. Keep waffles warm until ready to serve (a 200 degree oven is perfect).
4. Prepare cinnamon topping: In a medium bowl, mix butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Scoop the filling into a small zip baggie and set aside.
5. Prepare cream cheese topping: In a medium, microwave-safe bowl- heat butter and cream cheese for 30 to 60 seconds; just until melted. Stir together until smooth; whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla extract.
6. When ready to serve, place waffle on plate, drizzle cinnamon topping, then drizzle cream cheese topping. Use as much or as little as you'd like. Serve immediately.

Thank you Chef-n-Training for always having such delicious recipes!!


Friday, April 20, 2012

Presentation or Taste???

That is the million dollar question.  What do you care more about...the presentation of food or how the food tastes?   I remember having this debate with my younger brother who insisted that the presentation was the most important thing to worry about.  I strongly disagreed with him and insisted that how it tasted was the most important.  I probably feel this way because 1) I LOVE LOVE LOVE food and don't really care what it looks like and 2) I suck at presentation.  Nothing I make looks pretty.
In fact just recently I was somewhere where a certain dish looked amazing.  The presentation was an A+.  But upon eating it I was very disappointed and would of given the dish a big fat F for taste.  So coming from a LOVER of food, I would much rather have a dish taste good than have it look appealing. 

Anyways this post is really has nothing to do with that.  Today I am sharing a delicious homemade whip cream/frosting recipe.  For an Easter party I made the Chocolate Trifle that Charissa shared a few months ago on the blog.  I absolutely love this recipe.  I could eat it everyday.  Anyways instead of using store bought whip cream I decided to make my own.  I was really wanting to impress the IN-LAWS:)  And you know what...the dessert was a hit at the party.  And while the chocolate trifle is great on its is even better with the homemade whip cream. 

Now that I have made your mouths water just thinking about this yummy recipe I guess I will let you know how to make it. 


Whipping Cream (Pint)
Powered Sugar (1/4 cup- 1cup)
almond extract (1- 2 capfuls)

First you take your whipping cream and pour it into a bowl and I begin beating it for 2 minutes.  Do you have to do this step?   Probably not but I just do cause in my head it makes it better:)  Next I add my powered sugar and almond extract and then mix until it thickens up.  If you are wanting whip cream then I add less sugar.  I don't really measure it out.  I just pour a little in at a time, mix and see if its the consistency I want.  If you are wanting to make this into a frosting then I add more powered sugar to stiffen it up.  And of course depending on how much you like almond extract (I love the stuff) add accordingly.  But I would start with just a capful and try some and if you want it stronger add another one. 
Now the great thing about this recipe is you can mix and match ingredients.  If you don't like almond extract you could add vanilla or coconut extract or lemon...the possibilities are endless. 

My husband, who isn't a sweets kind of guy (crazy I know) absolutely loves this whip cream.  Every bite he takes he will follow it with, "This is so amazing".  So I figure it must be pretty good if he likes it. 

The other day I made a batch of White cupcakes and then cut them in half (horizontally), added a little whipped cream and cut up strawberries in between the layers and then topped it with more whipped cream (I guess in this case it is more like frosting) and some more strawberries.  It was a delish treat for FHE and a hit with everyone.  In fact I caught my 4 year old using his fingers to eat just the frosting.  He didn't care about the cupcake or the strawberries.  He just wanted the frosting.  My kind of kid:)

And ending with my beginning point.  While my presentation isn't great, this treat is amazingly delicious and anywhere it lacks in presentation, it makes up for in TASTE.  And that really is what we are aiming for right?

So what are your thoughts.  Do you care more about the presentation or the taste?


Thursday, April 19, 2012

The New "it" Boy Band for this Decade

. . . or at least for the next year or so. 

In the 60's, it was the Beatles

The Osmonds ruled the 70's
along with the Puerto Rican boy band, Menudo (wow look at those outfits)

In the late 80's, the world was 'Hangin' Tough' with the New Kids on the Block
(I was SOO in love with this group).

The 90's and early 2000's brought us NSync and Backstreet Boys

So who's the new 'it' boy band for this decade?  Well if you have preteen or teenage daughters, you most likely already know (and probably know way more about them than you'd ever possibly want to). 

Introducing the new boyband for the 2010's! 
(imported straight from England + 1 Irish import)

My daughters have been talking about this band for months now and I had no idea who they were talking about.  They weren't being played on any radio stations, yet my daughters knew all their names, their songs, and all kinds of details about each one. ( I still don't know how that worked.)  I even got finagled into buying tickets to their upcoming concert months ago.  Finally, I saw them on the Today show a few months ago.  I lost all 'cool mom' points when all I could do is make fun of how stupid their hair was and how New Kids on the Block were better.  Man I must be getting old because I really sounded like my mom!  Long story short, I ordered my daughter a special edition CD for her birthday, and we listened to it at least 6 times during our long, Spring Break car trip.  Although I still think they have stupid hair, I have to admit their CD was pretty good, and I quickly found myself belting out the lyrics at the top of my lungs in harmony with my daughters.  <I'm pretty sure that earned me back some 'cool mom' points>.   They are even on the radio now.  So check them out if you haven't already heard of them.  You just might find them catchy too - especially this song.

**Beware:  If you become a fan, you'll have to pick a favorite like all true fans of a boy band do.   Amazingly in our family, nobody has the same favorite.  My 14 year old is in love with Harry (the one in the bottom left of the above picture); my almost 11 year old is OBSESSED with Liam (the bottom right); my 5 year old daughter loves Niall (the Irish blonde one); and I'm obviously too old to be picking favorites, but since my daughers insisted, I without hesitation picked Zayn (the dark haired one - mostly because his hair wasn't as stupid as the others).


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Link it up Wednesday #25

Thanks for another great week of link ups!!  I love browsing through and getting so many fun ideas from you all!!  And we appreciate each and every comment we get from you guys too!  Thanks for letting us know you're here!  =)

Now onto the PARTAY!!

Here is the most clicked link from last week:
No More Fitted Sheets For Me by A WORD FROM AUNT B found here

And here are a few of our favorites:

Walk Like an Egyptian Party by THE HIGH FLYING ADVENTURES OF GRAMMALUVLEE found here

Paper Owl Teacher Gift by INSPIRED BY FAMILY MAGAZINE found here

Mommy A Day Photo Challenge by INSPIRED BY FAMILY MAGAZINE found

Upside Down German Chocolate Cake by CONFESSIONS OF A SEMI-DOMESTICATED MAMA found here

Tile Pendant by LOOP LOOP CREATIONS found here

Mudroom Built-Ins by THE MONEY PIT found here

Gooey Chewy Pretzel Bars by BACK FOR SECONDS found here

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