Friday, December 30, 2011

Cinnamon Rolls

Ciiinnnammoonn Rolllsss. Oh for the stars, they are so good.

It was Christmas Eve. The time was 11:00 PM. The family and I were sitting around the table playing Scrabble (I was kicking their trash, of course). Suddenly I got an urge to make cinnamon rolls. I needed an overnight cinnamon roll recipe. Whatever was I to do?
When in doubt, turn to Our Best Bites. This cooking blog is so awesome. Two moms taking over the world with delicious recipes. Thank goodness for moms.
I found an overnight cinnamon roll recipe on their website and seriously, it is the BEST cinnamon roll recipe of all time. So good. Too good actually.

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

For the dough...
  • 1 T active dry yeast
  • 1/2 C warm water 
  • 4 1/2 C all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 C (1 stick) butter, at room temperature

For the filling...
  • 1/2 C (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 C packed brown sugar
  • 1 T cinnamon

For the cream cheese frosting...
  • 1/2 C (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 8 oz (1 package) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2-3 C powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, sprinkle the yeast over the water, allow to bloom for a few minutes, then whisk until smooth.  Whisk in 1/2 C of the flour.  Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm spot for about 30 minutes.  
  2. Add the eggs, sugar, butter, and remaining 4 cups flour to the yeast mixture.  Fit the mixer with the dough hook and knead on medium speed until smooth 10-12 minutes. Add a bit more flour to reduce stickiness if needed.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap, set in a warm spot and let rise until doubled, about 2 hours.  
  4. While dough is rising, prepare filling.  Take 2 T of the stick of butter and set aside.  Beat  remaining butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon together until combined and slightly fluffy, about 1 minute.
  5. Butter a 9x13 baking dish.  Transfer the dough to a floured work surface.  Roll  out into a rectangle about 15x10 in.  Spread filling onto dough and roll up length-wise.  
  6. Use string or dental floss to score and cut the dough into rolls.  You can make 12 small rolls, 10 medium ones, or 8 large.   Place cut side up in baking dish.  Melt the reserved 2 T butter and brush on top of rolls.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight. 
  7. The next morning remove from refrigerator and let rise until half again as high, about 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 350.  Bake until golden brown, about 15-30 minutes.  Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, make the frosting. With an electric mixer, mix the butter and cream cheese together (about 2 minutes on medium speed) until smooth. Add in the vanilla and mix. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a scraper. Slowly add in the powdered sugar. Add more or less depending on how sweet you want the frosting. 
  9. Spread the frosting over warm rolls and serve.

Cut with floss and never squish those cinnamon rolls again.

See? The perfect cut. It's amazing!

Look into the swirls...and become mesmerized.

Slather with butter. Oh yes.

After refrigerating overnight, remove plastic wrap and rise for an hour.

While those puppies are baking, make the cream cheese frosting.

Holy sweetness.

I laughed so hard when these came out of the oven. Apparently I crammed them too close together. Cinnamon roll explosion. Ha :)


We had to have a balance of sweet and tangy, and what's better than grapefruit?

The brothers on Christmas morning.

These are delicious plain...

...and even more delicious with frosting.

Savor every bite.

I am craving these so bad. Drool.

Oh, and here is my Christmas gift to you...

Merry (late) Christmas!
Love, the Hinckley siblings.

P.S. I adore my brothers :)

 <3 Sarah 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Eggnog Ice Cream

Have you ever had one of those days where you feel really lazy?
So lazy that you stop caring and then feel so completely unmotivated to do anything?
That's exactly how I felt when I decided to make eggnog ice cream.
I wanted ice cream.
I wanted eggnog.
And I most definitely wanted them together.
Eggnog ice cream. It just sounded so good.
But then again, I was feeling LAZY.
So what did I do?
I cheated.
I didn't make eggnog ice cream from scratch.
In fact, I scratched the whole scratch idea.
And this is the result.

Come can't deny that it looks delicious! :)

Lazy Day Eggnog Ice Cream

For a semi-icy consistency:
  • 1 quart eggnog
  • 1/4-1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Spices to taste (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves--even pumpkin pie spice)

  1. Stir all ingredients together and place into a chilled ice cream maker bowl.
  2. Follow manufacturer's instructions.

For a creamier version:
  • 3/4 quart eggnog
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4-1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Spices to taste (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves)

  1. Stir all ingredients together and place into a chilled ice cream maker bowl.
  2. Follow manufacturer's instructions.
  3. This will yield soft serve ice cream right out of the machine. Transfer to tupperware and freeze for a few hours to get "regular" consistency ice cream. 
  4. You can even sprinkle the ice cream with some spices before serving.

Oh and by the way, Happy Christmas Eve :)

Question of the Day:
What is your favorite kind of ice cream?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

would you like some pie with that?

Is Christmas truly one week away? I can't hardly believe how fast this past year has gone. It's carazy!

Well, first things first...I must apologize for being away for so long. Last week was finals week. And right after that I got surgery. Yep, the doctor cut out my tonsils and adenoids, and these past few days have been excruciating. Today is the first day that I have felt good enough to do anything. Last night I decorated the Christmas Tree and it was exhausting...who knew stringing up decorations could be such a workout?

Me--right before my Tonsillectomy. They put a hot-air blanket on me. It was so WARM and TOASTY. I loved it.
P.S.  This was my first experience with anesthesia. I felt like a zombie. I also remember feeling like I was floating up from my bed. That was pretty cool.
P.P.S.  I was going to post a picture of my throat after the surgery, but I don't want to make any of you sick. (Yeah, it's that nasty.) But if you are really curious, just check out my's there in all its glory.

Confession: My little brother went running last night in the snow, and I so badly wanted to go running as well. It's been about 3 days since my last run and I am starting to have running withdrawals. Pretty pathetic, I know. I miss these:

But for now I am have to stick with these: 

And this:

Ugh. I absolutely HATE Percocet. It makes me nauseous and dizzy. After throwing up and fainting for the first few days, I decided to stop taking it. Sure, I have more pain now, but I would take pain over nausea and fainting spells any day! Good riddance!

On the bright side, I decided to post something delicious today. (Haha, and NOW I post the recipes after-the-fact.)

Nonetheless, I am so hungry from not being able to eat to my heart's content (darn this stupid surgery). Plus I have wanted to post these pie recipes for a while now, so here ya go.

Maple Pumpkin Pie

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Pie

Banana Cream Pie

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Sugar and Spice Apple Pie

Oh for the stars, so many pies!

Okay, well I just have to start with my absolute favorite pie in the WORLD!
Banana Cream Pie.
Nothing beats it. Nothing, I tell you.

Banana Creamy Dreamy Pie
adapted from

  • 1 (9-inch) graham cracker pie shell
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 bananas
  1. In a large saucepan, scald the milk.
  2. In another saucepan, combine the sugar, flour and salt; gradually stir in the scalded milk.
  3. Over medium heat, stirring constantly, cook until thickened.
  4. Cover and, stirring occasionally, cook for two minutes longer.
  5. In a small bowl, have the 3 egg yolks, slightly beaten, ready; stir a small amount of the hot mixture into beaten yolks; when thoroughly combined, stir yolks into hot mixture.
  6. Cook for one minute longer, stirring constantly.
  7. Remove from heat and blend in the butter and vanilla.
  8. Let sit until lukewarm.
  9. When ready to pour, slice 2 bananas and scatter in pie shell; pour warm mixture over bananas.
  10. Let the pie cool until serving.
  11. Top with homemade whipped cream and remaining banana (sliced).

Eat and die happy :)

Oh and now our next contender...the Peanut Butter Cookie Chocolate Cream Pie.
Such a mouthful.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Pie

For the Peanut Butter Cookie Crust (adapted from Leite's Culinaria)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/16 teaspoon salt (about a pinch)
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 large egg (beat the egg lightly before measuring out half of it)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  2. If using a food processor: In a food processor with the metal blade, process the sugars for several minutes or until very fine. With the motor running, add the butter cubes. Add the peanut butter and process until smooth and creamy, about 10 seconds. With the motor running, add the egg and vanilla and process until incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl. Add the flour mixture and pulse just until incorporated.
  3. If using an electric mixer: In a mixing bowl, beat the sugars until well mixed. Add the butter (you’ll need to softened it slightly) and peanut butter and beat for several minutes on medium-high speed until very smooth and creamy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl. Reduce sped to low and gradually beat in the flour mixture just until incorporated.
  4. Scrape the dough into a bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
  5. Press the dough evenly into a tart pan (or a pie pan--that's what I did). (It is a little more challenging, but faster and neater to roll the dough out between sheets of plastic wrap to about 1/16 to 1/8 inch thickness and 11 1/2 inches in diameter. Remove one piece of plastic, invert the dough into the tart pan, and gently ease the edge of the dough inside the pan so that the sharp top surface does not cut it off.) Use a piece of plastic wrap to gently and evenly press the dough into the pan, pressing it against the sides. If the dough softens and sticks, refrigerate it until the plastic wrap doesn’t stick. If the dough tears, simply press it together or use the scraps to press into any empty areas. Cover the tart pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 1 week. (You can wrap the unbaked crust well and freeze it for up to 3 months.)
  6. Bake the tart shell in a preheated 375°F oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden. It will puff at first and then settle down toward the end of baking. The sides will be soft but spring back when touched gently with a finger. Cool on a wire rack.

For the Chocolate Cream Filling (adapted from Food Network)
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup natural cocoa powder
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream

  1. Put 1 1/2 cups of the milk, the sugar, and the cocoa in a nonreactive saucepan. Bring to a simmer, over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 1/2 cup of the milk, cornstarch, salt, egg yolks, and vanilla in a bowl. Gradually whisk the hot milk into the egg mixture. Return to the saucepan and cook over medium-high heat whisking constantly, until the pudding comes to a full boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, and continue whisking until thick, about 2 or 3 minutes more.
  3. Pour the pudding into 6 small cups. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or ideally overnight until set.
  4. Just before serving pour the cream into a chilled bowl. Whip the cream with a whisk or a hand held mixer, and continue beating until soft peaks form. Take care not to over-beat the cream or it will be grainy. Serve each pudding with a dollop of whipped cream on top.

For the rest of the pie...

  • In the peanut butter cookie pie shell, place about 1 cup chopped Reese's peanut butter cups.
  • Fill remainder of pie with chocolate filling.
  • Garnish with chocolate shavings or peanut butter cup pieces.
  • Cool until ready to serve.

This next pie is the BEST pumpkin pie, hands down. I made it last year for Thanksgiving and I couldn't resist making it again this year.
Pure maple. No added sugar.
A definite crowd-pleaser.

Pure Maple Pumpkin Pie

created by myself :)

  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup real maple syrup (feel free to add in more, sweeten to your liking)
  • 1 cup almond milk (you can use cow's milk, if you want)
  • 2 tablespoons flour (if making a gluten-free pie, sub-in cornstarch)
  • A pinch of cornstarch
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie shell

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and salt. Stir in maple syrup, milk, flour, and cornstarch. Mix in eggs one at a time. Pour filling into unbaked pie shell.
  3. Bake for 1 hour, or until center is set.

I made a "baby" pumpkin pie with the cute.

Have you ever had a strawberry-rhubarb pie? If not, you are missing out.
Unfortunately this time around, my classic strawberry-rhubarb pie didn't set. (I blame it on my lack of sleep...) But I am going to post the recipe anyway because it's delicious, I promise :)

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
adapted from Food Network
  • 2 (9-inch) unbaked pie crusts
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped red rhubarb, fresh
  • 2 1/2 cups de-stemmed, washed and cut strawberries (in larger pieces)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar (1 1/4 cups for high altitude)
  • 2 tablespoons minute tapioca
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons butter, cubed small
  • 1 egg white beaten with 1 teaspoon water
  • White granulated sugar
  1. Mix the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, tapioca, flour, zest and juice of lemon, dash of cinnamon, and vanilla. Mix well in a large bowl and pour out into bottom crust. 
  2. Dot the top of the filling with the butter. Brush edges of pie crust with egg white wash. 
  3. Roll out the other piece of dough and place over filling. Crimp to seal edges. Brush with egg white wash and sprinkle with white (granulated) sugar. 
  4. Collar with foil and bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes. Decrease temperature to 375 degrees F and bake for an additional 45 to 50 minutes, or until the filling starts bubbling.

Last and final pie: sugar and spice and everything nice...

Sugar and Spice Apple Pie
adapted from an assortment of recipes
  • 2 (9-inch) pie crusts
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 8 Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored and sliced
  • 2 egg whites
  • Cinnamon-sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add water, white sugar and brown sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer.
  2. Stir in spices and vanilla.
  3. Place the bottom crust in your pan. Fill with apples, mounded slightly. Pour the sugar mixture over the apples.
  4. Cover that with a lattice-style crust. Brush with egg whites and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar.
  5. Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F. Continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes, until apples are soft.

Golden, flaky crust...nom nom nom.

My cute little nieces had their birthdays: Emma and Addie.

Oh, and two of my brothers also had their birthdays: Isaac and Lon. Not to mention, two more of my brothers have November birthdays: Stuart and Nathan. 

My parents must have been really bored in the springtime.

Chao folks, I gotta go take some pain-killers!

Questions of the Day:

Have you ever had surgery? If so, on what?

What is your favorite kind of pie? (mine is banana cream, all the way...yummm.)

Monday, December 5, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge: GRATITUDE

It's done! The 30 Day Photo Challenge that I was participating in is finally over...not that I wanted it to be. This little challenge lasted for the entire month of November. If you remember, I posted about it at the beginning of the month of November. Basically how it works is this: for each day, you post a picture of something you are grateful for, with each day given a specific topic. For example, day one's topic is "Favorite Food" so I took a picture of my collection of nut butters. And the days continued on until the end of the month, with me posting each day on my Flickr. Well I can't hold off any longer and I just HAD to post all my challenge pictures. Enjoy!

Day 1: Favorite Food
Nut Butters. I LOVE them all.

Day 2: Smile
My adorable little brother, Isaac. Just look at that face!

Day 3: Happiness
I found this tike bike as I was bicycling around my neighborhood.

Day 4: Leaves
This is out on my front lawn.

Day 5: Morning Sky
I took this picture when I went and hiked Mount Timpanogos. Me and some friends starting hiking when it was dark, around 6 AM. It was gorgeous.

Day 6: Books
Some of my books in my room.

Day 7: Something Funny
This summer at my family reunion. I was walking down to the fire pit and I felt something warm running down my leg. I immediately thought, Who is spitting soda pop at me? I looked down and saw my nephew, Tallin, peeing on me. Yes, PEEING on ME! I started screaming, "This kid is peeing on me!!" All my family members looked over and started cracking up. I was laughing so hard. Don't worry, I washed off myself in the shower. And afterward, I just had to get a picture with the culprit.

Day 8: Favorite Color
I don't have a favorite color because I like all colors. I am in love with my vintage flower sunglasses.

Day 9: Inspiring Person
My twin brother Seth. He is so kind, generous, giving, caring, talented, and genuine. 
I want to be more like him.

Day 10: Nature
Why are dandelions so hated? I know they are a weed, but I find them incredibly beautiful.
(I took this outside of my summer house)

Day 11: Something Old
Old ripped couch on my porch. Antique and charming. Vintage is the new black.

Day 12: Hands
Me and my boyfriend made a baby...heart :) hahaa...

Day 13: Written Words
Someone left me and my roommates a cute little note on our chalkboard wall. It's a bit illiterate and they forgot how to spell, but we love it nonetheless.

Day 14: Movement
The boyf Devin jumping off the porch. He is such a trooper. I love this picture. Nostalgia at its finest.

Day 15: Technology
My ipod and my little brother's Beats headphones.

Day 16: Animals
Okay, so I don't own any pets and this is the closet thing I could think of. My bestie Katie and I dressed up as jungle cats for Halloween. Rawr.

Day 17: Memories
Oh the good ol' days... These two jokesters were my BFFs from high school. We were making raspberry jam. "Why so serious?!"

Day 18: Something New
My first official wedding cake. My friend Lark asked me if I would make hers and of course I said YES!
Now I am hooked. All I want to do is make wedding cakes.
Check out my post for this wedding cake here.

Day 19: Best Friend
Katie (on right). She is my bestie and lover (ha).
We complete one another :)

Day 20: Seasonal
November in Wyoming. Gorgeous, isn't it? Gotta love my home-state.

Day 21: Where You Sleep
My bed. So comfy. I fall asleep so fast on this thing. I gotta brag a bit about the polka dot quilt I made in the left corner. It keeps me warm :)

Day 22: Clothing
A pretty normal outfit for me to wear. I felt SO AWKWARD posing for this picture.

Day 23: In Your Closet
As you can see, I have a lot of sweaters and shoes. My two weaknesses when it comes to shopping. You can never have too many...

Day 24: Gratitude
My boyfriend Devin. I am so grateful for him. Honestly, he is the most caring person I know. He goes out of his way to do anything for me. Devin is kind, loving, compassionate, endearing, giving, light-hearted, happy, hilarious, outgoing, affectionate (a definite lover), ambitious, calm, friendly, sociable, gentle, spunky, spiritual, trustworthy, understanding, dependable, witty, and just simply amazing. This guy is so completely wonderful to me, I don't deserve him. (Just look at the picture--he was helping me peel apples to make pie when he could have been watching TV with the guys!)

Day 25: Artwork
I sketched this ballerina after watching the Black Swan. Hate the movie. Love ballerinas. Every time I look at this it reminds me of my friend Kailee over at An Outfit a Day (her awesome fashion blog).

Day 26: Transportation
My Electra Amsterdam Sport. I can't live without this thing. It takes me everywhere.

Day 27: Daily Routine
I must have hot herbal tea EVERY DAY. This stuff calms and renews me.

Day 28: Nighttime
I took this picture at a friend's soccer game. Isn't nature just amazing?

Day 29: Light
Grove of trees in the forest. Mount Timpanogos.

Day 30: Self-Portrait
Once again, a little bit weird for me to take, but if the shoe fits where it, eh?

Thanks for following me on my journey of gratitude through pictures!
This challenge gave me the perspective of what I really am thankful for in life.
If you want to do one on your own, feel free. Click on this link to learn more.
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