Small, thrilling accomplishments.

For someone who admittedly doesn’t do a whole lot of anything in the winter (except for sleep, I do a LOT of that), any small task ticked off my “list” (which is in my head, because making a real daily list would set me up for failure) feels major and thrilling.  Including doctoring up a frozen cheese pizza to really delicious results, and making cinnamon rolls from (almost) scratch.

Thinking we didn’t really have any toppings at home, and resigned to plain cheese, I ended up sauteeing some onion awhile, then adding some shallots (the textures together were soft and melty mixed with slight crunch), then adding in a meager handful of black olives.  A few globs of goat cheese, topped with this hot mixture and a sprinkle of Italian Seasoning, salt, black pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil made a fantastic, and surprising, late-night dinner.

As for those rolls, the cheater bit was that I bought a box of Pillsbury Hot Roll mix. Which only saves you the step of mixing the dry ingredients.  It also comes with a packet of yeast.  Make sure you read the cinnamon roll directions on the side of the box.  I didn’t, until halfway through, when I realized the recipe on the back is for regular rolls.  All that changed was that I left sugar out of the dough, which I’d do again.  Also, I kinda mucked up the order of mixing things, used to as I am of adding yeast right into water first.  Turned out fine–great, really–anyway.  I highly recommend trying these!  Very satisfying.  Infinitely more satisfying and better tasting than the “pop tube” style.

Just to toot my own horn, while I’m at it, here’s the photo of my Christmas dessert.  Looks fancier than it tastes.  img_32421

It’s layers of a thin homemade cake, soaked in a berry syrup, with pistachio and strawberry ice creams, topped with loads of fresh whipped cream.  Glorified ice cream cake.  Stupidly difficult recipe.  Soaking the cake layers in the syrup made them instant mush, but the recipe suggested a soak of 20 or 30 seconds for each side of each slice of cake.  Impossible.  Luckily, I altered the method enough to salvage it.  The cake part was very good alone.  Samantha (my 5 year old niece) proudly “cleaned up” all the scraps.  The thrill here was in the duplication of the picture.  My recommendation for you:  Put some ice cream on a piece of good cake, add berries and whip cream.  Ta-da!

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