Saturday, June 28, 2008

Saturday Morning Treat-Cinnamon Rolls in a Skillet

ETA: Disclaimer...this recipe is a work in progress; I am not happy with the progress...stay tuned!

ETA Again: They're not pretty, but they're tasty. That they're not pretty is my own fault, but some adjustments definitely are in order. My tips are added in red below, along with some pics.

My son called last evening to say that he was bringing the boys over this morning around ten. Yippee! I am up early to get busy with this day. Right after I toddler proof the downstairs and get dressed, I'll be slapping these Cinnamon Rolls together.

I often search The Cake Mix Doctor for recipes, but I don't know where I got this recipe. It's not my own; it's not from another blog; that's all I know. Later, I should have a pic or two to add, but how bad can it be presented in a skillet and created from a cake mix?!

Cinnamon Rolls in an Iron Skillet


* 1 box yellow cake mix pudding
* 5 cups all purpose flour (I prefer King Arthur unbleached, unbromated)
* 1 package dry yeast
* 2 1/2 cups warm (not hot) water
* 3 sticks of butter at room temperature (No, no, no! Two sticks will do!)
* 1 1/2 cups brown sugar firmly packed (What?! I followed directions below and never found where the additional cup of brown sugar should go. So that's 1/2 cup white sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar period.)
* 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans or nut of choice
* cinnamon


* Dissolve yeast in warm water.
* Add dissolved yeast to cake mix/flour mixture.
* Mix with wooden spoon or just use hands.
* Allow to rise in warm place for an hour.

* Divide dough into two equal pieces before rolling out

* On a well-floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/2 inch thickness. Butter the dough with 1 entire stick of butter or each half with a half stick of butter.

* Combine 1/2 cup of white sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and cinnamon to taste. Sprinkle over the buttered dough.

* Roll lengthwise and cut into about 24 rolls.

* Butter bottom and sides of two 10-inch skillets using a stick of butter per pan. (No, no, no! A half stick per pan will be more than enough. I only used half a stick per pan and you can see below that it was MORE than enough.)

* Sprinkle buttered skillets with the remaining brown sugar and nuts.

* Put the rolls in skillets and allow to rise an additional hour.

* Bake at 350° for 15–20 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and turn rolls out of skillets onto plates. Use any remaining caramel in the skillets to spread on the rolls.

As you can see, a half stick of butter per pan is more than plenty.

This should have been divided for ease of handling, but the recipe did not say that. Don't make my mistake because there is no way to create beautiful cinnamon rolls this way.

I made some of Lovella's Paska frosting to go with the cinnamon rolls. You can find that recipe right here on March 13.

Here are two of my eager guests. In the end, I had five eager guests. You bake it, they will come.

Have a happy Saturday and a great weekend!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Prickly Communication

Sometimes when we're under life's stresses we just don't realize how prickly we can become. I have, apparently, been quite prickly. No one in my usual sphere told me this, but I realized it all the same while talking with Verizon HELP yesterday.

You see, it seems that MSN and Verizon (recently purchased by Fairpoint in my area), aren't getting along as far as technical matters specifically email and MSN messenger. A friend has been telling me for days, weeks, to call MSN and get it worked out. Her philosophy is that I'm paying good money for the service and it ought to be top notch. Yup. I agree.

Many calls have been made this week. I've spoken with a very nice young lady named Vijay from India, I've spoken with Michael, and Whoever-It-Was yesterday. All were eager to help. All didn't help much at all. It was causing my patience to experience a blow out.

The final straw came yesterday when I realized that Michael from MSN had removed my Verizon account from my MSN page. What?! Simply outrageous! My accounts had been combined on the same page for six years.

Ooookaaay, I braved calling again (I really hate calling and sitting on the phone for an hour while someone goofs around not even listening to me and then decides on his own what needs to be done without telling me.) After finally getting through on the second try, I reach a pleasant enough (albeit an idiot) young man — Whoever-It-Was — who made precious little attempt to hear me out. On the fourth or fifth try to "fix" the problem, he asks me, "So what exactly is the problem?" I sigh in my most exaggerated way and say, "You appear to be quite slow. The MSN email account no longer has my Verizon account on the same page and I want it baaaaaaaccccccccckkkkkkkk." At which point, he began to laugh. This almost made me laugh and that would've been no good. No, I didn't want to appear all soft and wishy-washy that late in the game.

So Whoever-It-Was called MSN again and relayed this information: MSN is having big troubles with POP3 servers and they are doing a major upgrade sometime in July and all should be well after that. Until then, I shall just have to visit Verizon email on their site and visit MSN email at the usual site and everything will be cool. As for MSN messenger, well, who cares if one is bounced off gazillion times while attempting a pleasant cyber chat. It's a free service, after all. Sigh. Deep Sigh. Deep Deep Sigh.

I'm going to revert to some truly old-fashioned means of communication here very soon...a tin can and some string...sometimes the old ways are the best ways.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

My Friend Vanilla

Yippee! It's Thursday at last!

Would you believe that there are home remedies that work quite well for toothache? I did a little Googling and I discovered two very promising things: oil of cloves and vanilla. I didn't have any oil of cloves, but vanilla...well, I have tons of that.

And it is working! No fuzzy head, no whacky side effects...nothing but vanilla breath.

I hope to visit everyone at some point today. By the way, if I've visited your blog and sat there stupefied for hours or if I slipped in and out without commenting, I hope that you'll forgive me. Just had to know what everyone was up to and thanks to my little friend Vanilla, I'll be good to go today. And no, I have not been drinking the vanilla...just dabbing it on that tooth.

No more reports after this...a simple thumb's up will suffice. Catch you later...

ETA: The deed is done; the tooth is gone; the vanilla really worked. Thank you for all your support, everyone!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Red Roof

Ever drive by a scene where a home sits high in the hills and looks so charming that you must take the photo? This happens to me all the time. I'm going to start calling it the "Safe Drive-by." Now, thanks to cropping and zoom features, we can actually hope to see what the home really looks like.

Thank you so much for all the comments, concern, and prayers. I had a further setback yesterday afternoon when the dentist's office called to say that my appointment had to be rescheduled for Thursday instead of today. The tylenol with codeine isn't quite cutting it, needless to say, so I have spent as much time as I can sleeping. It's not good sleep, but it is a sort of sleep. Catch you all as soon as I'm back on my feet!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

If I Had a Hammer

I may be looking for advice, but first I'll whine a bit. You don't mind, I hope.

Over the weekend — naturally — I got a toothache from the pits of hell. It started in one spot and, by Monday morning, I couldn't tell where the pain originated as my entire left jaw, both up and down, was involved.

So I called my dentist right after posting yesterday morning and, praise be to God, there had been a cancellation and I was told to get right over there. Fine. Then several x-rays later, I am told that there is no cavity in the suspect tooth, but the nerve is dying and this will require either a root canal or an extraction. Not so fine. Really not so fine at all. A root canal will cost $2200 and the cap an additional $2500. So for the grand total of $4700, I can have my tooth back if the root canal doesn't fail, which they have always done in the past.

Okay, so I decide to have them make an appointment for an extraction and perhaps I'll go the implant route or perhaps I'll have a partial plate made. Partial plate?! Me?! Ackkkkk!!! The partial plate will be the least expensive and also the least satisfactory, I think.

So the question is this: what would you do? Have you had to deal with any of this stuff yet? What was your approach? (I am dental insurance.)

Oh, by the way, the extraction is not scheduled until tomorrow. TOMORROW. Does anyone have a ball-pene hammer?

Monday, June 23, 2008

I Remember Laura Week 4

Week four will be about sharing books and music. Laura had a great love of books and music. Books were a rare treat in Laura's young life and she devoured them when she could get them. Music was a part of her every day life be it Ma humming as she worked, Pa's fiddle playing in the evenings, the family singing together, or Mary's organ music. What songs and books are special to you. Do you have a favorite memory that you associate with a book or song? Link up this week and share it. Also, tell why you love the Little House books and any memories you have associated with them.

First of all, I can not believe that this is the final week of "I Remember Laura." This has been so much fun and I have learned so much and I don't want it to end! I may have to get out my tissues and bon-bons after this posting and have myself a moment.

Like most folks, I have collections of books. You may be surprised to see what they are. I have all of my mother's Nancy Drew and Bobbsey Twins books, but I also have my grandmother's collection of Ruth Fielding. Ruth was the Nancy of my grandmother's day. It isn't a complete collection, but these were wonderful fun for me to read when I was a girl partly because the language was a bit more challenging and I enjoyed that aspect and all the adventures.

You can see that by the time Ruth was headed for college and living at Cameron Hall, the book covers had been updated.

Here are a few illustrations...

The series began in 1913...

The last book in my collection is dated 1928, which means that my grandmother was reading them until she was at least 19 years old. Interesting...

I also collect basal readers. When I was learning to read, I loved them. Of course, they have fallen way out of favor now, but there was nothing more charming to me than Tuffy, Boots, oh Dick and Jane, too. Perfect homes, perfect families, perfect pets, perfect clothes, perfect, perfect, perfect. :D

I've saved the best for last. This Laura Ingalls Wilder book was given to the school library by a former teacher who was especially fond of the series. I rescued it when it was about to be culled. (I'll have more to say about this in a few weeks. ;>)

Music? Miss Sandy included music in this week's assignment? I am certain that I've discussed this before somewhere...

Some of my earliest and fondest memories were of falling asleep listening to my grandparents play all the old music. My grandmother is a skilled, trained, pianist having studied for 12 years and my grandfather was a self-taught fiddler. She learned how to chord so that she could accompany his many tunes from "Turkey in the Straw" to "Down in the Valley." It was always magical to drift off that way. I am certain that Laura and her sisters found it so when Pa played his fiddle so long ago.

Thanks for reading today...please join the tour at Quill Cottage!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Beauty for Ashes

He gave me beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that we might be trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He might be glorified. ~Isaiah 61:3