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Cinnamon Rolls

Ever get that craving for a nice fluffy, soft, cinnamon-y, smothered with icing cinnamon roll? Did you just get that craving now?

Cinnamon Buns

Cinnamon Buns

 

Unfortunately, not many people in the UK know the real joys of a proper cinnamon roll! The closest I’ve found is a Chelsea Bun..which is good…but not Cinnamon Bun good!!

Now I’ve looked up a lot of recipes, but most of them had yeast in them, and I couldn’t be bothered to wait for them to rise. I’m sure they’re delicious, but sometimes you just want to eat it NOW, not 4 hours from now!

So I finally just put into pinterest (I do love pinterest!!) “QUICK homemade cinnamon rolls” and voila! Recipes! So I picked this one, tried it and yum yum yum!  The only thing I would change is I would make cream cheese icing – but I didn’t have any cream cheese at home, sad face. But cinnamon buns with cream cheese icing are miles better than regular icing!

So to all my Canadian (or American) followers, here is a lovely quick Cinnamon bun recipe – unless you’ve got the tubed pillsbury ones, those are good too!
To all my British or European followers….here is a Cinnamon Bun recipe you’ve got to try! Awaken your taste buds and show them what is the most delicious breakfast, or snack, or lunch, or whatever, they’ve ever had!!

Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients
Rolls
-2 1/2 cups of plain/all purpose flour
-3 Tbsp White Sugar
-1 1/4 cups Butter milk (make your own by using regular milk mixed with approx 3 Tbsp white vinegar, and sit for 5 minutes)
-6 Tbsp Melted Butter
-1 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
-1/2 tsp Baking Soda
-1/2 tsp Salt

Filling
-1/2 cup packed brown sugar
-2 tsp cinnamon
-1/8 tsp salt
-1/4 cup White Sugar

Icing
-1 Cup Powdered Sugar
-2 Tbsp Softened Butter
-1 tsp Vanilla
-1 Tbsp Milk (or orange juice)

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 425F and grease a 9 inch square pan

2. In a small bowl, mix together all the Filling ingredients. Then set the bowl aside to use in a few minute.

3. In a larger bowl, mix together (from the Roll Ingredients) flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Then whisk in the buttermilk and 2 Tbsp of the melted butter. The dough will be very stick at this point…don’t worry!

4. Put some flour down on the counter and place the dough on top. You will need to knead the dough for a minute or two until it becomes smooth. Once this is done, press out the dough into approximately a 9×12 rectangle. Doesn’t haven’t to be EXACT, just close and rectangle-ish shaped.

5. Once it’s laid out, spread about 2 Tbsp of the melted butter on top. You may need to use your hands, or a brush to try to cover the dough as best you can. Then top with the Filling Mix you made earlier. Spread it evening over the dough.

6.  Then start at one end of the dough and tightly roll it up. Once it’s in a log form, cut it into about 8-10 pieces (depending on which way you rolled it). Put these pieces into the prepared dish, and top with remaining 2 Tbsp of butter.

7. Put in oven and bake 20-25 minutes

8. To make the icing, just mix together the Icing Ingredients. Add a TOUCH more water/milk/juice to make it a bit thinner – whatever is your liking.

Notes
-It works to roll either direction, but I think I will try rolling it so that it’s only 9 inches long. This will make less buns, but they will be thicker.
-I didn’t have any cream cheese, but cream cheese icing is always better! Here is a link to a basic cream cheese icing recipe I use sometimes.

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Vegetable Garden – Seedling

Well it’s been 1 week since I planted my vegetable seeds…and some of them have started to pop through the soil! I’ve got a few pumpkin shoots, Kale, Lettuce and Broccoli so far! Just itty-bitty little baby plants! Now I realized I planted quite a few seeds into these tiny pots…and I’m also not trying to run a farm or anything, so I will have to narrow these down to the healthiest little guys and then go ahead a plant them outside once we build our little garden bed.

Since I’ve never done this before..aside from my own personal “Googling” that I’ll be doing – any first hand tips on how to “thin the crop” without disturbing the other seedlings, or even choosing the right ones would be helpful!!

I’m quite excited about this little project! I really can’t wait to see how it turns out in a few weeks/months time. But seeing the first bit of greenery in the planter pots has made me quite happy!

 

Little Baby Vegetables!

Little Baby Vegetables!

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Vegetable Garden

Veggies in Pots

Veggies in Pots

So I think I may have been bitten by the gardening bug….let’s hope my gardening genetics don’t come from my mom though…or I’m about to kill a lot of plants!  I still don’t really like flowers..they’re nice in other people’s gardens…but I can’t be bothered with them, and I’m more for simplicity and practicality!  So veggies it is!

This is two-fold. I think it will be a fun little project, but the plan is that this substitutes buying veggies from other people (stores).  It seems to me a lot easy to walk out to a garden and pick what you need then going to a shop and buying it from who knows where.

So…this will be my attempt at planting a vegetable garden!  My handsome man is going to build me a little enclosed garden area (since we have a concrete courtyard…obviously we need to start with some dirt!).  But most of the seeds I purchased suggest planting indoors first, so I started that today (aside from a couple that say sow directly).

My garden will consist of
-Tomatoes (I hate tomatoes – so does James, but I can use them to make sauces)
-Peppers
-Carrots
-Kale
-Lettuce
-Green Beans
-Broccoli
-Cucumber
-Spinach

And of course the pumpkins I started last week (nothing new on them yet…apparently they are “germinating” according to the package).

I’ve also got a few herbs started that I’d like to grow on the trellises
-Dill
-Parsley
-Coriander
-Chives
-Basil
And I’ll decide on probably about 3 more in the next few days.

 

Can’t wait!! One day when we have our own place…or at least a place with a decent garden space I would LOVE to have a proper vegetable garden/greenhouse that could actually supply our fruit and veggie needs…but I guess we’ll see how this goes first!

Since I’ve never done this before…anybody who has planted their own veggie garden…your thoughts and input are very welcome! Especially with what plant can/do grow vertical, which ones take over gardens and need space and/or any other helpful tid-bits!

I’ll keep you posted!

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My Own Pumpkin Patch

Last year I discovered that it can be very difficult to get your hands on a pumpkin in the UK!  I have some lovely friends who went out of their way to find me some pumpkins so that I could make some delectable pumpkin pies, and roasted seeds, and pumpkin brownies and other lovely things you can do with pumpkins! It’s even hard to find pre-tinned pumpkin puree!  And forget a pumpkin patch – the closest option is about 45 minutes away, and definitely doesn’t compare to Howell’s!

So I have decided to take matters into my own hands! I’m making my own pumpkin patch!! Obviously, it’s not a farm…but HOPEFULLY it will satisfy all my pumpkin needs this fall!!

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin Seeds

Watch this space to see my little pumpkins grow!!

 

Have you ever grown pumpkins? Any tips or advice?

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Apple Maple Granola

Apple Maple Granola

Apple Maple Granola

I have discovered that I really like being a make your own food girl!  Sure it takes a bit more time than picking something up at the supermarket, but I know exactly what I’m eating, I get to tweak what I do and don’t like, AND it’s WAAAAAAY less expensive!!  Example – you can buy a 450g tub of organic yogurt at Tesco for £1.85 each week. OR you can buy a small tub of natural yoghurt for about 50p ONE TIME, and you can make 3-6 PINTS of yoghurt! Yes, you still have to buy the milk (£1.50)…but do you know how long even 3 pints of yoghurt lasts? Along time! And all you have to do is keep a bit for the next time you make it!

One food I am also really enjoying making is Granola! This is probably comparable price to what you could buy in a shop BUT you get to decide what you add into it. But you can still buy the ingredients cheap and make it for a cheaper cost! It all depends what you want to put in!

If you want the recipes for a basic honey raisin granola, or start making your own yoghurt, check out this post.

But here is a new one I found from Taste Love & Nourish – Apple Maple Granola, yum, yum!!

 

Apple Maple Granola

Ingredients
-1 Apple
-2 Eggs Whites
-3 cups Old Fashioned Oats
-3 Tbsp Chia Seeds
-1/4cup Brown sugar
-1/2 cup Maple Syrup
-1 cup chopped walnuts
-1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
-1/4 cup dried Cranberries
-1/4 cup raisins

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 250C. While it’s heating up, slice your apple into thin circles. A mandolin slicer is the easiest way to do this if you have one. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the sliced apples on top. Then bake for 45 minutes.

2. When the apples have about 15 minutes left, start preparing the granola part. In a large bowl whisk the egg whites until they are nice and frothy. Add in all the other ingredients up to the cinnamon.  Mix together well, then place on the another baking sheeting lined with parchment paper.

3. Move the apples to a lower rack and place the granola on the middle rack. Continue to bake for another 45 minutes at 250C.

4. Remove the apple slices from the oven and let cool on the tray. Increase the oven temperature to about 300C.  Give the granola a stir (not too rough, you want it to still be kind of clumpy), then put it back in the over for another 15 minutes.

5. Once the granola has started to brown, remove from the oven and allow to cool. Break up the dried apples into bite sized pieces and add to the granola.  Also add in any other dried fruit you would like at this point.

6. Store in an airtight container.

Notes
1. The apples may need slightly more or less time depending on thickness and your oven. Just watch the first few times you make this until you know the right combination!

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Chicken Chorizo Paella

Chicken Paella

Chicken Paella

It was recommended to me a few weeks back to make a Paella dish. I’ve seen this on some of those cooking shows before – but they always seem to layer it up with fish…and I hate fish, so I’d never really considered making it.  Then a lady from church told me about a recipe that she used – and there was no fish in it – so I decided to give it a try. Now admitted, I can’t remember the recipe she actually said to me, but I just googled and looked around at a few other blogs until I found one that looked like it could be pretty tasty.

It was super quick, super easy, and I could see this becoming a regular dish! James liked it too…although he’s not much of a food critic for me – he basically eats anything I give him and I don’t remember hearing him say he hasn’t liked anything (even when I think it’s been awful!).

Here is the recipe I found on BBC Good Food, and below is my slightly altered version.

Chicken Chorizo Paella

Ingredients
500g chicken breasts (either chop them up small or get mini fillets)
1 cup rice
2 cups chicken broth
2 carrots (chopped)
1/2 medium sized broccoli (chopped)
1 red pepper (chopped)
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
Thyme
115g Chopped Chorizo

Directions

1. In a large frying pan, cook the chicken on medium high heat. Once it is browned add in a bit of onion powder, garlic powder and thyme. Let cook for a minute or so.

2. Add the rice, stock, and chorizo to the chicken. Bring to a boil then cover and let sit for about 10-15 minutes.

3. Add in the vegetables and cook uncovered for another 10ish minutes on medium to high until the liquid is absorbed by the rice.

 

Notes
I used garlic and onion powder as it’s what I had, but you could use an chopped onion and minced garlic if you prefer.

 

Then I made chocolate cheesecake for dessert…recipe to come later!

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Garden Project – Painting

The completed Trellises

The completed Trellises

The painting is complete! It took a little longer than expected, but that’s alright. It’s done and it looks a million times better!!

I decided to go for the “Antique White” colour. As chances are they will start to yellow anyway, so this way at least they are all the same colour of yellowed-white.  It worked out really well, as it sort of matches the wood of the planter boxes below.  By the way, excuse the darkness of the picture, the day I decide to take a picture is the slightly more cloudy day!

As the sun has been shining a lot more around here our small solar lights are starting to light up again. This looks really pretty and nice. Although, we are going to look into some better and brighter ones, as these don’t really light up the garden and the amount they do only lasts for a couple short hours! I’ve got a couple other ideas though to improve the lighting in this area!

Hopefully within the next couple weeks I plan on putting together a little herb garden – got a few cute ideas for those – so stay posted!!

Comparison

Comparison