Friday, January 7, 2011

One small step for man, one giant leap for me...

(I spent all afternoon thinking of titles for this post. Others that didn't make the cut: "Cinnamon Roll Love: My Journey to Conquer Yeast" or "Yeast-a-phobia no more!")

I made a huge step in my range of baking today. Krista, you will pleased to know that I did it. I used yeast for the first time ever. That's right. Yeast. The five letter word that has never been a part of my baking.

Don't get me wrong, I love yeast. There is nothing more beautiful than freshly baked cinnamon rolls, homemade bread, or rolls. I have fully appreciated these yeast based items from others who have chosen to make them. But there has always been something about yeast that has intimidated me. I always felt like there was a part of me missing, but I wasn't adventurous enough to find out if yeast could fill that part of me. I was resigned to use refrigerated cinnamon rolls in a can and Rhodes frozen rolls. Until Krista introduced me to this recipe for cinnamon rolls, from my favorite food blog Our Best Bites.

Now if you know me at all, you know that the quickest way to my heart is through a gooey, warm, homemade cinnamon roll. It is one of life's little pleasures that makes me smile and cannot be found just anywhere. So imagine my curiosity when Krista called me JUST to recommend this cinnamon roll recipe. She said it would be a really easy, fool proof recipe to try using yeast. I must admit I resisted at first. In fact, I tried this other cinnamon roll recipe first from Our Best Bites that doesn't use yeast. But it just didn't cut it for me. So I took the plunge today.

Everything seemed to be going well until I peeked at them after 30 minutes of rising time. According to the recipe it was only supposed to take 30 minutes for the rolls to rise. But at 30 minutes they didn't look much bigger than when I had placed them in the pan. My heart sank and I was immediately disappointed. How could I mess this up? I followed the recipe exactly. I decided I would give them a little more time to rise before calling it a complete failure. One hour later my rolls had risen beautifully (yay!) and I was smiling as I put them in the oven. 20 minutes later I couldn't contain my smile as I pulled these amazing rolls from the oven - that I had made! Here is the finished product: (after they have been glazed)

Wouldn't those make you smile too?

It was pure love. They were everything I had hoped for. I will definitely be making them again.

Would I say that I am completely cured of my yeast-a-phobia? No. But I am definitely on the mend. I need to work with yeast a little more in a variety of recipes before I can say we will be besties. But there is nothing like a homemade cinnamon roll to provide a good dose of medicine for my illness... :) Thanks Krista! You can find this recipe for Everyday Cinnamon Rolls HERE on Our Best Bites.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Hi, my name is Nicole and I like STUFF.

It's true. I like STUFF. STUFF makes me happy. Sometimes. Not just any STUFF. Decorating STUFF. Entertaining STUFF. STUFF that has the potential to make life more beautiful. The whole process of acquiring STUFF can provide quite the thrill. I am a bargain hunter. The thrill of the hunt gives me a nice dose of adrenaline. I have become quite the impulse buyer. When you garage sale you have to be impulsive or someone else will buy it right out from under you.

However, when you are dealing with the kind of space issues that I am, it is difficult to continue acquiring STUFF and not start feeling overwhelmed. The past week I have felt this overwhelming need to PURGE. Get rid of. Donate. Throw away. I have also read a lot of blogs in the last few weeks that have strengthened my desire to simplify my life. Sarah at Thrifty Decor Chick tells about her journey with stuff HERE. I love that Jen is sharing her desire and journey to create a House of Order. She has a lot of good tips.

I hope that my desire to conquer my STUFF can have an impact on you too. What STUFF do you need to get rid of? Take a look around. Are there things in your home that are keeping you from living the kind of life you want? Let's help each other out. Maybe we could start a support group for "Lovers of STUFF." Would you come to our meetings :) ?