Best EVER cinnamon rolls

Hello my lovelies,

Did I ever tell you about my celebrity crush on The Pioneer Woman?

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Oh, not in an icky way but in the, 0h-my-god-i-want-to-live-on-her-ranch-and-cook-with-her kind of way. I’m working on a way to get her to adopt me but I digress.   I started watching her tv series a couple of years ago and loved her then and of course, Sky decided to end the series half way though and only started at series 4 instead of series 1 but I was hooked.  I watched the episode when she made cinnamon rolls and I’ve wanted to make them ever since.

Today, after watching Ree make a pumpkin version of her cinnamon rolls last night, I decided the time had come for me to make her famous cinnamon rolls.

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You can totally tell those aren’t mine, can’t you? LOL!

You see, I’ve had a love affair with the South African kind of cinnamon rolls my whole life.  We call them Chelsea buns and while they are very similar (with raisins), just one look at Pioneer Woman’s cinnamon rolls and I can tell these are gonna be my old favourites on CRACK!

Before I start to tell you about my cinnamon roll journey today, I must give you a few words of advice on the outset.

  1. DO NOT CLEAN YOUR KITCHEN FROM TOP TO BOTTOM LIKE A DEMON WOMAN and then decide to make these. Bad, bad idea.
  2. Make sure you have everything set up before you start. I mean take out the cinnamon, sugar and every utensil you will need and have it next to you. If at all possible, work close to the sink.  This dough can be sticky and I now have sticky dough finger marks all over my kitchen cabinet doors and drawers.  Did I mention I cleaned my kitchen like a demon woman this morning?
  3. Also, make sure you have the disposable foil pans like the one above.  It really helps and as you will see mine didn’t smush together nicely like Ree’s did because I thought I knew better.
  4. Always trust The Pioneer Woman.
  5. A bag of powdered sugar (icing sugar) is supposedly 4 cups when I checked it online.
  6. Start the diet tomorrow.  There’s no point today when you’re going to be eating these.

I am not going to try to recreate the recipe here when there’s a perfectly good link to cinnamon roll perfection right here on The Pioneer Woman website.

I was quite surprised at how easy this recipe was.  It takes a little time, of course because there are a few stages but it’s not hugely labour intensive.

So, once I’d made the dough and allowed it to rise for 1 hour, I opted not to let it sit in the fridge for an hour.  This made it INCREDIBLY sticky.  I had to use at least a cup of flour on my counters and all over the dough to get it to a decent rolling consistency.

Once I’d poured on the butter sprinkled on the sugar and cinnamon and rolled it up, I had what looked like a giant earth worm.

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Seriously, this sucker was trying to slide off the counter.

Of course, since I thought I knew better than Pioneer Woman I used whatever pans I had instead of the round foil ones. 13871707_10154165047835659_1163353809_n

Since today is the coldest day we’ve had all summer there’s no warm sun coming in my kitchen windows like normal so I preheated the oven and opened the door to allow some of the warm air to help these babies rise for 20-30 minutes.

Then I got them in the oven while I made the frosting/icing.  When I made it up, it was too watery so I added another cup of icing sugar and it came out perfect.  Like the picture on Pioneer Woman’s post.

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Yeah, I had to switch to the iPad because my laptop battery died.

When they came out of the oven they were all golden and risen and smelled amazing!  I quickly go the icing on.

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I moved the folds of the cinnamon rolls a little to make sure that the icing really got into all the cracks and crevices.

Then I realised that that the icing had coffee in it and my 6 year old wouldn’t be able to have any. I don’t allow her coffee because she’s enough of a live wire all by herself.

So I made up a batch of icing sugar with water to pour over hers.

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And as you can see here’s yet another reason you should always trust The Pioneer Woman.  In those round foil dishes I wouldn’t have all the icing dropping off the sides!

I left the icing to set for a few minutes and then between my daughter and I, we couldn’t wait a second longer.

Don’t they look amazing!?

They taste like  a homemade miracle, trust me.

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I love how the ones made in the muffin tin look like a cinnamon roll muffin.

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All is right with my world.   I’m in a cinnamon roll induced coma and I’m perfectly okay with that.

Now if you’ll excuse me I gotta go clean my kitchen *sigh* again.

Bright blessings,

Mrs R

x

Foolproof home baked bread in minutes!

Hello my lovelies,

It’s the school holidays here in England and that means 6 weeks of scrambling to find activities for my child that won’t break the bank. Thank goodness for Pinterest and Facebook viral video’s! I found a really cool video for bread in a bag and just had to make it.

Yesterday we baked bread in a bag and it was a-mazing! Light, tasty and super duper easy to make.  In fact, my 5 year old daughter did 95% of the work!

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I measured out all the ingredients in 3 stages so that it was easy for my daughter to add them into the zip lock bag.  She had so much fun!  All you’ll need besides the ingredients, is a large zip lock bag and a few plastic tumblers.  The recipe is in cups which, surprise, surprise I couldn’t find yesterday so I used one of my daughter’s ikea plastic cups which worked perfectly.

So, here’s the recipe and method:

Foolproof bread in a bag

Into a large ziplock bag, add  1 cup of flour, 3 tablespoons white sugar (next time I’ll use 1/2 this mount as it seemed a little sweet to me), 1 pkg rapid rise yeast and 1 cup of warm water.

Seal the bag letting out the air as you go and then comes the fun part.  Play with the ziplock bag and massage it in your hands so that all the ingredients combine.  My daughter LOVED this part!

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When it’s combined, set the bag aside for 10 minutes.

Now open the bag and add 1 cup of flour, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt. Once again, seal the bag letting out the air as you go and play with the ingredients in the ziplock bag and manipulate it in your hands so that all the ingredients combine.

Open the bag and add a cup of flour.

Seal the bag again and manipulate to mix the flour in.

Lay the bread dough on a floured surface and gently mould into the shape of a bread loaf. Place into a greased loaf tin.

Cover and allow to rise for at least 45 minutes in a warm place.

Bake at 190 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Once baked, turn out onto a cooling rack and wait five minutes before devouring with butter and jam!

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Bright blessings,

Mama R

x

 

 

 

 

DIY Hogwarts Gryffindor Robes

Hello my lovelies,

Here’s the next item that will be in the special delivery package from Hogwarts for our Hogwarts Holiday at Home program.

Every witchlett needs a school robe!  I’m still waiting for the patch to arrive from ebay but I couldn’t help posting a picture. I am a mature enough geek to say that I really want one of these myself!

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I was lucky enough find a sewing pattern for a kids robe at a car boot sale- you know the kind you wear over your pyjamas? I used that and lined it to make this robe. It’s not a difficult sewing project and requires intermediate sewing skills. Everything but the sleeves on this robe are lined.

Sadly, I didn’t take pictures of the sewing process but here’s a tutorial from DIY Fashion that is easy to follow and until I found my pattern I was going to use it.

When the Gryffindor patch arrives I’ll sew it on and it’s going to look really cool. I think she’s going to love it!

Bright blessings,

Mama R

x

Hogwarts Holiday at Home program series

Hello my lovelies,

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After reading some delightful articles on other blogs about parents preparing Hogwarts days at home for their kids, I decided to do something similar for DD.  Our school holidays this year are going to be very different from previous years because we’ll be going to Disneyland Paris and France for two weeks of them but I don’t want that to stop us from having fun!

DD has watched Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone a few times and has been thrilled with Hogwarts.  When we go to the supermarket, she pretends the shopping cart is the Hogwarts express and has great fun making train noises and pretending that the end of the aisles are the Platform 9 3/4  invisible entrance to get on the Hogwarts express.  She has quite the imagination as I’m sure you can tell.

So anyway, I decided to create my own Hogwarts Holiday Home Program where on about 3 days we’ll do Hogwarts classes such as Potions (simple science experiments), Herbology (creating a fairy garden, gardening and planting out flowers) and a walk in the Forbidden Forest (our local woods).   I’m not 100% sure of all the ‘classes’ and activities we’re going to do yet but the entire program is going to start off with an owl delivery/royal mail delivery.

It’s going to be a delivery from Hogwarts inside which will be a few things I’ve crafted for her. Everything will be the essential tools that a young witch or wizard will need for the Hogwarts Holiday Home Program.

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What’s in the box will only be revealed later on my blog and so will my specific ideas and activities for DD.  But here are some great articles for you to glean some inspiration.

Harry Potter Camp ideas

Harry Potter summer camp ideas

Harry Potter science experiments

Harry Potter classroom activities

Watch this space for more wizard worthy ideas and crafts for setting up your own Harry Potter Holiday at Home program.

Bright blessings,

Mama R

x

S’mores

Hello my lovelies,

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We’ve been meaning to take DD camping all Summer.  But, with one thing after the next, it’s just not happened.  On Saturday night, we decided it was our last chance to camp. Since the temperatures are dropping at night we set up the tent in our living room.

For dinner, I made an oxtail stew in the slow cooker and for dessert we had s’mores.   If you’ve never had s’mores then you have got to try them!  They are delicious and so easy!

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So, you toast your marshmallows on the fire.  Then sandwich them between two chocolate digestives.

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 The melted marshmallow melts the chocolate and sandwiches the biscuits together creating DH’s idea of heaven.
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DD wasn’t complaining either.
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Even our visitor, Meemaw (DD’s Nanny) enjoyed them.
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After all what’s not to like?
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Seriously, give them a go.

Bright blessings,

Mama R

x

Camp Funshine update and Christmas aprons

Hello my lovelies,

Today has been a difficult day.

My daughter is testing her limits at the moment and driving me pretty much insane.  Nevertheless we had a craft day today.  She was given all sorts of little crafty make and do things for her birthday and after our trip to the shops, and I figured since we couldn’t go play outside, crafting was a good idea.

 This is one of the spoon people she made…

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and this is her Christmas apron that I made!  And of course when you ask your kid who’s acting out to please smile…. she closes her eyes and makes a face!

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I made one for myself last night so now we Mommy and Me matching Christmas aprons all ready for our holiday baking.

I’m probably not going to get to do as many Camp Funshine posts as I wanted to because I’m just not getting a chance to post what with keeping DD occupied!

 Yes, I know I’m a mad person but I have been thinking of Christmas and have already bought all of my daughter’s gifts and am now working on DH and MIL’s gifts.  I’ve done my Christmas menues and just have to make up a grocery list.

 Yes I know, I’m crazy!

 Bright blessings,

 Mama R

x

Camp Funshine Day 7 & 8

This week seems to have been all about friends!

I had loads planned but we’ve had one impromptu visit after the next and it’s been lovely to see friends and catch up.   I’m so glad that DD is getting to play with her friends.  Yesterday we had a friend round in the morning with her son and in the afternoon we made a DIY Slip ‘n Slide!

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It was really easy and just involved a large piece of plastic sheeting, some water and a little washing up liquid.  You could just lay the plastic down an incline of grass or you could push the plastic under a slide like I’ve done here. Either way, it’s FUN!

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 Today, we had another friend and her two children here to play.  The kids enjoyed playing with the scented play dough we made a few days ago.   It keeps incredibly well in the fridge.   The kids played lego, paddled in the paddling pool and played on the swings.  Now they’ve gone home, DD and I are relaxing in anticipation of tonight’s barbecue.

 Ah, don’t you just love Summer?

 Bright blessings,

 Mama R

x