Welcome! I'm happy and humbled you've stopped by.....Cozy up and follow along as I share my attempts at simple living with you.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

the Kitchen Shoppe and Sticky Buns!!

Recently, my water aerobic friends and I attended our 2nd annual Lunch and Learn, sponsored by our good friend and fellow swimmer, and owner of the Kitchen Shoppe, Sue Hoffman. It’s a delightful hour and a half when the cooking school’s chef, Amber Clay, prepares lunch and shares her cooking tips with us. It’s a day when we fellowship together outside the walls of the Y and see each other fixed up in street clothes, make up and coiffed hair! (Instead of swimming suits, pale faces and flat hair!)

At some point during every swimming class, I tell the girls a cute joke….usually a blonde joke. If I don’t have a joke, I’m in big trouble! They look forward to the jokes. So on this occasion, they honored me with a card and each enclosed a joke for in my joke arsenal. They are so sweet. We will be enjoying these jokes for weeks to come.

I took advantage of a shopping opportunity at the Kitchen Shoppe while I was there and purchased a new, much needed bread machine. My old Welbuilt was dying after nearly 10 years of hard use. I made many loaves of bread in that machine-it served me well. It also made many, many pizzas, as well as our favorite sticky buns. Mmm!

After a ton of research, I chose a Zojirushi. It was more costly than many other bread machines, but seemed to be a sturdy machine that would withstand whole wheat breads. I am planning to also add a grain grinder to my kitchen collection sometime soon which will take my bread baking to a new level.

You can visit the Kitchen Shoppe at http://www.kitchenshoppe.com/

Sticky Buns

Combine the following ingredients in bread machine:

1 1/4 c. water
3 c. white flour
2 T dry milk
3 T sugar
1 tsp salt
3 T butter
2 tsp yeast

Set machine on dough cycle

Roll out dough into a rectangle on a floured surface.
(Dough will be wet and sticky.)

1/3 c. soft butter
1 tsp cinnamon
Spread butter on dough and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Preheat the oven to 375* .

Sticky Sauce
¼ c. butter
½ c. brown sugar
¼ c. light corn syrup
½ c. pecans (optional)

Bring sticky sauce to a boil to dissolve ingredients.

Pour sticky sauce into a large baking pan.

Roll dough into a log and cut in equal pieces.

Place slices in sticky sauce.

Cover and allow to rise.
Bake at 375 * for 20-25 min .

Remove from the oven and immediately flip buns out on to serving platter.


Monday, May 4, 2009

Family Bonding

Over the weekend, our family took off to the cabin in the beautiful mountains of the northern part of Pennsylvania-about a 4 hour drive. Although our kids are grown, a trip to the cabin is a wonderful opportunity to bond together as a family. As soon as we breathe in that mountain air we become relaxed and at ease, leaving the troubles and challenges of life behind. The cabin is very rustic, nothing fancy. But we always have a great time, regardless of the weather. Some of us are busy finding activities to do like fishing or hunting, or perhaps mountain biking or dam building in the stream. But some of us just like to relax by the fire, perhaps read or craft. We eat, play games, eat, talk, and eat some more.

When we go to the cabin, we always take our black lab, Mac (short for McKenzie). She loves the water! It usually takes her a few days to recuperate when we get home. She can occupy herself for hours in the stream as you will see on the video below. The kids brought their little Boston terrier. She had a great time and went home exhausted as well!

This year, there was something just a bit different about our trip. Last October, our daughter was married and has since moved to the Pocono area, nearly 3 hours from our home. So when our weekend was over, we parted ways. We came to our home and they went to their home. How sad!
On the way home, I was thinking how we live in a time when we all hope for world peace, and yet families can't get along together. Some don't even speak to each other. It's sad. I was feeling sad, even sorry for myself, about the fact that my daughter and son-in-law are so far away. But at the same time, I was feeling grateful that we have a cabin where we can all gather together,a place to renew our relationships, a place where everyone enjoys being together, a place where we can go for some fun and family bonding, and a place where we can enjoy the great outdoors.

Feeling Blessed!


Sunday, May 3, 2009


New Baby Robins arrived while we were on a mini vacation this weekend.
What a sweet surprise!



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