Of wonderful memories, the love of family, laughing until my stomach hurt and delicious food!  I have so much to be thankful for this year! 😀

Christmas morning started early – Joe had to work so he was at our house at 8:00 a.m.!  Luckily I made his favorite cinnamon rolls the night before, then finished the glaze after he arrived.  Hannah, who doesn’t even like cinnamon LOVED THESE!  Well, what’s not to love?  They are Paula Deen’s cinnamon roll recipe, and all told from the dough, the filling and glaze, has 17 tablespoons of butter!

Paula Deen’s Cinnamon Roll Recipe

For the dough:

  • 1/4 ounce package yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup scalded milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter (5 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3.5 to 4 cups flour (I used 3.5 for the right consistency)

For the Filling:

  • 1/2 cup melted butter (yep, that is 8 tablespoons of butter!)
  • 3.4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • no nuts, raisins or pecans, because Joe doesn’t like them

For the Glaze:

  • 4 tablespoons softened butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 – 6 tablespoons hot water (I ended up using 4 tablespoons)
  • FYI, I only used HALF of this glaze – it made a lot!

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and warm water, set aside.  In standing mixer, add milk, sugar, melted butter, salt and egg.  Add 2 cups of flour and mix until smooth (I used my dough hook).  Add yeast mixture, then mix in remaining flour until dough is easy to handle.  I kneaded the dough in the mixer for 10 minutes.  Then removed to an oiled bowl for 1 1/2 hours.

After that, punch dough down and roll to 15×9 rectangle.  Using a brush, I brushed on the 1 stick of melted butter.  I mixed the sugar and cinnamon together, then sprinkled over the top.  Role up dough and pinch edge together to seal.  Cut into 8 slices.

Coat the bottom of a pan with Pam.  Place cinnamon rolls close together and let rise for another hour.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.




Here’s how they look after the hour of rising:



Above picture is after they came out of the oven.  I let them cool, then wrapped the dish in plastic wrap and put it in my microwave so they wouldn’t dry out.  I popped each one in the microwave for 30 seconds the next morning, then added the glaze before serving.


I also made a egg/sausage casserole as my other dish.  The base of this recipe was actually croissants cut in half!  Sinfully delicious!


Then it was time to open presents, but not before a picture of the kids! 😀


It still amazes me how much they look like real brother and sister and not step-siblings! :D  I got a ton of great stuff: gift cards, two scarves, an antique pasta roller (thanks Mom!), a couple cookbooks, an electronic wine opener, (which is awesome), kitchen tools and Adobe’s Elements software!  Thanks for everyone’s gifts! 😀


I installed the software earlier today, but still need to figure out how it works!



Tony and I decided to do a different type of surf and turf for Christmas Eve dinner:  lobster tail claws and New York strip with homemade crunchy potato chips.  We have never seen just lobster claws before – and on sale for only $6.99 a pound!  Tony searched for cooking recipes, and while we concluded that we should use the same method as our Best Cocktail Shrimp Ever, these turned out great though!

Butter Poached Lobster Claws

  • 2 pounds of lobster claws
  • 8 cups hot water mixed with 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • enough butter to cover the lobster (while this was 6 tablespoons, we didn’t keep the butter)

Put thawed lobster claws in big stock pot.  Put water and vinegar in tea kettle to boil.  Pour over lobster claws and let sit, covered, for 7 minutes.  Put in an ice bath.  Have your husband crack the claws while you melt the butter.  Add to butter and poach for 4 minutes, put back in ice bath, then pat dry and put in a clean bowl and put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.




My plate:


While Hannah doesn’t like lobster OR steak, she opted for tempura shrimp and vegetables – so basically it was a fried feast for her – but she loved it!  It was actually a Zataran’s Seasoned mix, and it had a nice kick to it.


After watching the Hangover after Joe left for work yesterday, it was an hour drive to go back to my Mom’s house for Christmas dinner.  I was surprised how few pictures I took! 

Here is my Mom’s table before sitting down (I love how I forgot to close the bathroom door before taking the picture!):


Everyone about to sit down:


And then I have one dinner picture of my Italian Sunday Gravy.  Everyone loved it and it was a big hit!


My mom’s scalloped potatoes are always so good – Tony always makes fun of me when I try (over and over!) to make them! 😀

Today turned into a Winter Wonderland!  We got 8 inches of snow and may get up to 10 to 12 before its through.  Hannah had to work today, so Tony and I dropped her off in the Explorer since her car doesn’t drive all that well in the snow.  Tony and I went to Friday’s to hang out – we ate lunch at 3:30 this afternoon!  Not sure I’ll even make dinner tonight, maybe just throw a pizza together later. 

All I know is that I have indulged a bit too much this past week, and haven’t exercised AT ALL!  I plan on making a healthy grocery list and planning my exercises for the beginning of the work week.

I am glad I have one more day off before going back to work on Monday!  See you tomorrow night – don’t forget its BSI – Balsamic Vinegar!  One more day to get your entries in! 😀

Hope everyone had a great Christmas too!  See you tomorrow night!