Saturday, September 29, 2012

caramel pecan rolls // recipe

These are Caramel Pecan Rolls.
My mom and I made them yesterday.
They are pretty amazingly delicious.

   We use the same dough recipe for making regular Cinnamon Rolls - but instead of icing, these have caramely-pecany-gooey deliciousness on top.

recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook 

for the dough:
4 cups flour
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter or shortening
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
(for the inside) 1/2 cup sugar & 1 teaspoon cinnamon
for the topping:
1/3 brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/4 cup pecans

 Mix 2 cups of the flour and the yeast together. Heat and stir milk, sugar, butter, and salt til warm (don't let it get to hot, it will kill the yeast! Been there).

 Add to flour mixture; add eggs. Beat with an electric mixture at low speed for 30 seconds, and 3 minutes at high speed. 

 Stir in as much as the remaining flour as you can with a spoon, then knead in the rest. Knead for 6-8 munutes til smooth.

 Cover, let rise till double for 45 to 60 minutes in a warm place. (It actually took way longer than an hour for me.) Then punch down, divide in half, and let rest for another 10 minutes.

 During those ten minutes, I began getting ready for the topping: Place two metal 9x11/2 inch baking pans each on a stove, medium heat. In each pan stir 1/3 cup packed brown sugar, 2 tablespoons butter, and 1 tablespoons light corn syrup. When the butter is melted, sprinkle 1/4 pecans over each, and set aside.

 Back to the dough: After the 10 minutes, roll each into a 12x8 rectangle. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter and brush over the top of the rectangles. Make a mixture of 1/2 cup sugar & 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and sprinkle over the two rectangles. Roll up, starting from longest end.

 Pinch dough together to seal. Use piece of thread (it works so well!) to cut each rolled-up-rectangle into twelve pieces by slipping the thread underneath and crossing above the roll. You can also use a sharp knife, but it's more apt to squash the rolls! Place the rolls on top of the pecan mixture - 12 in each. 
 Let rise for 30 minutes. Bake at 375F for 18-20 minutes.

listening to: You Are My Vision by Rend Collective Experiment
reading: The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens
thinking: "Yay, I finished my autumn-reading-list!"

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

the noble island

  A mix of photos from the Cliffs of Moher and Clonmacnoise from when we went there this past summer.

 reading: The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner (sooo good)
 listening to: Paper Tigers by Owl City <3
 loving: the new hobbit trailer ;)
 wishing: that I didn't have a cold, that I was a millionaire, and that algebra would disappear from the face of the earth. That's all ;)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

the summer reading list

 Warning: I'm completely book-crazy, and it's evident in this post.

 There were twenty-four books on my summer reading list when I first wrote it on the 25th of May. A lot of them ended up being crossed off - either because I ran out of time, or I just decided I didn't want to read the book after all. In the end, I read thirteen books from my list. Even though I would have loved to have read more, the terrible truth is that there's just not enough time in the world for all the good books there are to read.

These are the books I read (or mostly read...I'm counting the ones I didn't finish!). The numbers next to them are my rating :)

 North Child  (also called East) by Edith Pattou - 5/5

Pretties  by Scott Westerfeld - 3/5

Inkheart  by Cornelia Funke - 4.5/5

The Search for WondLa  by

The books that were crossed off from the list, like the Lord of the Rings and Emma, will simply have to moved to my Autumn Reading List.

 Also, any book suggestions for my next reading list would be most welcome :)

Friday, September 7, 2012

the name collector // part ii

  |Sailboats are boyish, right? I thought flowers and butterflies weren't the best option this time...|

 my current favorite names
part II - boy names

Celtic, meaning "strong as a bear" or "king".  This name makes me think of heroic quests, daring sword fights, and Camelot :)

 Irish, meaning "spear bearer".
Latin, meaning "sailor". And's from Les Mis :)

Hebrew, meaning "God's Gift".

Hebrew, meaning "beloved".
Hebrew, meaning "God has Given".

German, from "Charles", meaning "manly". Okay, so I used to not really like this name...but I changed my's so nice and British! "Charlie bit my finger!"
Greek, meaning "stone". Great fictional people - Peter Pevensie, Peter Pan, Peeta Mellark (kinda?).

Short for Samuel (or Samson, or....*cough* Samwise Gamgee). Hebrew, meaning "God's Word".

Irish, meaning  "little king".

Irish, meaning "strong-willed". 


So there we go!

Oh! And of course "Caleb" and "Brendan". My brothers would feel totally sad if their names weren't mentioned. Actually, they probably wouldn't. But I feel obligated!

What are some of your favorites??

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

musical madness // les mis

  Confession: over the summer I've become super obsessed with musicals. I listen to songs from musicals all the time - and when I'm not listening to them, I'm singing them. I believe I'm driving my poor brothers insane. Oh well, that's what siblings are supposed to do, right? :)

  My very favorite is Les Miserables - and it's really what got me started on this musical craze. I was listening to the radio theater of Les Miserables for the first time one day (and loved it to bits) and decided to see if the musical was just as good. I ended up watching the '25th Anniversary Concert' version of it on youtube. I just sat there in shock and amazement the whole time. It's pretty awesome.

 |the original Jean ValJean and my favorite Enjorlas|

|from the new Les Mis movie that's coming out this winter. Can. Not. Wait.|

 These are some of my favorite songs from it - some of the ones that I play over, and over, and over...



Saturday, September 1, 2012

the daily photograph // finishing up

  Happy September!
  I loved doing The Daily Photograph (despite missing a few days). My hope was that this would get me back into the habit of bringing my camera with me everywhere again, and it worked. But I can't imagine how hard it would be to do daily photographs for a year (that was my original plan) when a month was pretty hard!

listening: to Alfie Boe's "Bring Him Home" album. Amazing.
reading: The Fellowship of the Ring, J.R.R.Tolkien
wishing: for a cup of tea. I need to go get some...