>> Saturday, November 13, 2010
I'm a "have a few close friends" kind of girl.
I think it's just my personality.
My husband is the type of guy who jokes about going into a group of people and yelling out "who wants to be my friend", said with a jovial tone of voice, as in almost mocking anyone who wouldn't want to befriend him.
I've somewhat tried this approach, but it ends up in me inviting multiple girlfriends over to my house in order to get to know a bunch of people, and then no one showing up, equaling me feeling like a complete loser!
So, it turns out, that I'm better at meeting people one on one, and getting to know them, and having a few close friends rather than a bunch of acquaintances. It takes away my awkwardness - or at the very least reduces it! :)
Over the years, I have developed a handful of these type of relationships - girls who I would consider "Soul Sisters". The types who I could call at any time of day or night and share just about anything with. Friends who we can call at 4pm on a weekday afternoon, and invite to the movies at 7, full well knowing we all have to work the next day. You know, the ones you stand in the parking lot with for an hour after you just spent two hours having coffee, and laugh so hard you have to go back into the coffee shop to go to the bathroom.
When we went to Charleston a few weeks ago, I was able to spend some MUCH needed time with 3 of these "Soul Sisters". Christi invited us up (or we invited ourselves up) to their gorgeous home, and we were able to spend the weekend with them. It's so good for the soul to see friends who accept you for you who are, love you despite your many flaws, and know you well enough that you can catch up like it was yesterday the last time you saw them.
Christi is one of these friends! She is also an amazing cook!!! I keep trying to get her to do a guest post for me! She also has a catering business that she does on the side of her very busy life with her mom. So, seeing how she loves to cook, and I love to cook, and we frequently swap recipes and such, it was only appropriate that we go ahead and spend some time in the kitchen together when I was there.
Isn't she beautiful!!! :)
Having some fun in the corn maze!
She frequently makes these cinnamon rolls, so I got to jump in and learn how to make them, and let me tell you.... they are the creme de la creme of cinnamon rolls. Perfect for the fall weather with the hint of maple in the icing. The bread of the cinnamon roll is the best I've ever had. Crispy on the outside and soft and gooey on the inside! These are definitely a labor of love, but SOO worth the effort. I seriously have never had a cinnamon roll that tasted better in my entire life.
So, here's a little glimpse into my vacation for my soul! :)
CINNAMON ROLLS: (By: Christi Brownlow, Adapted from: The Pioneer Woman)
Ingredients: (WARNING!!! This recipe makes seven pans of 8 rolls each!)
For Rolls -
1 quart whole milk
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
2 packages Active Dry Yeast
8 cups (plus 1 cup extra, separated) All-purpose flour
1 teaspoon (heaping) Baking Powder
1 teaspoon (scant) Baking Soda
1 Tbs. (heaping) Salt
Plenty of melted butter
2 cups sugar
Generous Sprinkling of cinnamon
For Maple Frosting:
1 bag powdered sugar
2 teaspoons maple flavoring
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup brewed coffee
1/8 tsp. salt
DIRECTIONS: (I don't have pictures of the first steps - because Christi woke up before the crack of dawn to prep for us! :) )
Mix the milk, vegetable oil and sugar in a pan. Scald the mixture (heat until just before the boiling point). Turn off the heat and leave to cool 45 min to 1 hour. When the mixture is lukewarm to warm, but NOT hot, sprinkle in both packages of Active Dry Yeast. Let this sit for a minute. Then add 8 cups of all-purpose flour. Stir mixture together. Cover and let rise for at least an hour.
After rising for at least one hour, add one more cup of flour, the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir mixture together. You can cover and refrigerate the dough if making in advance for a day or two at this point, just punch down the dough as needed so it doesn't overflow over the pan.
When ready to prepare rolls: Sprinkle rolling surface with a generous amount of flour. Take half the dough and form a rough rectangle.
Then roll the dough thin, maintaining a general rectangle shape, about 30 inches.
This is my dough
This is Christi's much prettier dough!
Drizzle 1/2 to 1 cup melted butter over the dough.
Don't be afraid to get your hands messy!
Now sprinkle 1 cup of sugar over the butter followed by a generous sprinkling of cinnamon.
It's best to run a spatula under all edges of the rectangle at this point to make sure they aren't stuck to the surface.
Now, starting at the opposite end, begin rolling the dough in a neat line toward you, keeping it nice and tight. Pinch the seam of the roll at the top to seal it in. Push the ends together just a touch to keep contents in a little.
Spread 1 tablespoon of melted butter in a seven inch round foil cake or pie pan. Then begin cutting the rolls approximately 3/4 - 1 inch thick and lay them in the buttered pans. Christi used the technique of starting in the middle, then halving that, and again quartering that. This worked out well so you know you got enough of the rolls out of the log.
Repeat the process with the other half of the dough. Let the rolls rise for 20-30 minutes in pan, and then bake at 400 degrees until light golden brown, about 15-18 minutes.
Our Super Lu who saved the day! He's too cute I just had to add him!
While the rolls are rising and baking, mix together all the ingredients listed and stir until smooth.
Frosting should be very thick, but pourable. Taste and adjust as needed. Generously drizzle over the warm rolls! YUMMMM!!!