cinnamon, crunchy leaves and ceramics


This morning I woke at 3:40, not quite used to the time change or the transition from Eastern Time to Mountain ~ a double whammy if you ask me! But, I am not complaining ~ just saying’ is all…

So much is going on ~ Tony is getting ready to leave again, I have now been working 6 months and have been TDY three times in the last three months, Mikaela is starting up a small business venture in Albuquerque with her friend Aubrey, Toren graduates high school, Andre graduates college, commissions AND marries sweet Alisha next year! Levi Gabriel turns 5 (what?!?), and Tony and I celebrate 25 years. Whew ~ no wonder I’ve not found the time to sit and reflect on my time in the kitchen, organize my recipes and blog! I won’t give up, I won’t give up, I won’t give up (if you see me, please remind me of this mantra!)

Today is a new day ~


Mikaela and Aubrey are both graduates from Eastern New Mexico University’s Fine Arts Program… if you are in Albuquerque, NM, please look them up: AM Ceramics (also on Facebook).

am ceramics
am ceramics
am ceramics
am ceramics
am ceramics
am ceramics
am ceramics
am ceramics
am ceramics
am ceramics

Toren is ready to pursue college and military after high school ~ following in big brother’s footsteps at UWF and ROTC.

Dre and Alisha are making plans for a new life together ~ so proud of these two amazing young people!

Tony will be singing, “Off we go, into the wild, blue yonder! Flying high, into the…” and I will keep plugging away at my wonderful job. I get paid for getting up and LOVING what I do, loving the people I work with and for ~ I am blessed!


Ok ~ for the kitchen thing: I HAVE NOT stopped cooking! I have about 30 recipes (tried and tried again with success) to post, but I will take it one week at a time ~

Today’s creation was born from the fact that I was awake at o’dark thirty, there was an insane need for something cinnamon, and since I got back from New Jersey Friday night, I have not been able to stay out of the kitchen (that’s what 2 weeks with a microwave and mini fridge will do to you!).

Cinnamon Roll French Toast

(yes, I could have just stopped at the cinnamon roll part, but, well, read the above paragraph)

  • 2 1/2 tsp yeast
  • 1 1/4 cup milk, warmed to 110 degrees
  • 2 T sugar

Combine in a small bowl, allow to proof about 10 minutes.

place 1 stick butter in a small bowl ~ allow to soften

whisk 2 eggs with 2 tsp vanilla, set aside

In a large bowl combine:

  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 T cinnamon
  • beans from 1/2 vanilla pod
  • 4 T butter, chilled and cut into small pieces

whisk dry ingredients, then add the butter, pressing into the flour until pebble size pieces remain. Stir in milky yeast mixture, the softened butter and eggs. With a wooden spoon, stir until combined. Add enough flour to create a workable dough (I added an additional 3/4 cup). Turn onto floured surface, knead until no longer sticky. Place in buttered bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise at least 1 1/2 hours.

Cinnamon-sugar mix: 1/2 c brown sugar, 1/2 c granulated raw sugar, 3 tsp cinnamon, beans from half of a vanilla pod

Turn risen dough out onto lightly floured surface; separate into 4 sections (make traditional cinnamon rolls with the other 3 sections); roll one portion at a time into a long rectangle; spread 2 T softened butter over dough; sprinkle with 2-3 T cinnamon-sugar mixture; from long end, roll tightly; place on parchment lined baking sheet, cover and allow to rise for 1 hour. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Let cool on wire rack. Slice into 1/2 inch – 1 inch slices; dip into French Toast mix (2 eggs, 2 T milk, 1 tsp vanilla extract, dash of cinnamon), place on hot griddle, cooking about 1 minute per side. Serve with vanilla bean cream cheese butter (scrape 1/2 vanilla bean, 1-8 oz pkg cream cheese, 4 T butter, 3/4 c confectioner’s sugar; combine in a medium bowl; whisk until combined) enjoy! V ~

french toast meets cinnamon bread
french toast meets cinnamon bread

One Comment Add yours

  1. Welcome back, Val! We missed your smiling face, and of course, all the goodies you feed us!

    See you tomorrow,



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