Brrrrrr. I might have mentioned that I really like cold, snowy, blowy weather. And that’s true. But I’ll tell you, it was really tested this past weekend. (Not the snow – one can never have too much snow.) We spent a few days with our friends in Iowa, where they had just gotten a 13″ snowfall the night before. It was beautiful! But what really tested my “I love cold weather” mentality, was the freezing cold. On Sunday, the wind chills dropped to minus 30 degrees. (Minus. Thirty. Degrees. As in below zero. As in really really cold.) We all took that as a sign that we were meant to stay in and knit and play games and drink coffee and cozy up by the fire. There were five of us knitting (me, Knitting Daughter, Janice, her Knitting Daughter, and her Knitting Daughter-in-law). The guys joined in on the games and the hanging out, but none of them are knitters. Go figure. We didn’t actually sit around the table and knit, because it was far more comfortable to sit on the couches and enjoy the fire. But this photo will give you an idea of the projects we were working on. All scarves. We had a great weekend.
Another thing that we enjoyed – Janice’s Tea Rings. Notice that “Rings” is plural. That’s because there were 9 of us there and every time she pulled one out of the oven, it was instantly devoured. She, being the good sport that she is, made another one Saturday night, and a third one on Sunday. Does she spoil us, or what?? You’re definitely going to want to make one (or two or three) of these this week. That gooey cinnamon and the sticky frosting are just as wonderful as they look in the photo.
Janice’s Tea Ring
* Dissolve 2 pkgs. yeast in 1/2 cup warm water (add 1 Tbsp. sugar to feed the yeast)
Let sit 5-10 minutes.
In the meantime:
Put in Cusinart/Kitchen Aid bowl: (referred to as mixer in recipe)
4 1/2 cups flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
Mix in another bowl:
1 cup milk
1/4 cup melted shortening (not oil)
1. Add yeast mixture to milk mixture and stir.
2. With mixer on, slowly pour the liquid into the flour mixture.
3. Let the mixer knead the dough for 5 minutes or so. (Check the dough periodically and if too sticky add a Tbsp of flour at a time until you have a nice dough.)
4. Knead on counter a few minutes.
5. Place in a lightly greased bowl and let rise until double.
* Note – you can also make this in a bread machine, adding the ingredients in the order listed, and let it go through the first rise cycle. Then continue on with #6 in the instructions.
6. Roll dough out into a rectangle.
7. Spread with 1/4 cup melted butter and sprinkle generously with a cinnamon sugar mixture. (A little over 1/2 cup)
8. Roll up. Form a horseshoe and cut the dough every inch or so, but not quite all the way through. (I first cut off the ends and put in a separate pan for rolls)
9. Bring the dough together in a circle (on greased cookie sheet, or pie dripping pan) flipping each section on its side until it comes together.
10. Let rise again
11. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. (time varies a bit by oven…you don’t want it doughy)
12. Frost with powder sugar frosting.
POWDER SUGAR FROSTING
1 1/2 cups powder sugar
6 tsp. milk
1/4 tsp vanilla
Mix all together. Add additional milk tsp. at a time.
(Note – an even easier base recipe for this, when using a bread machine, is Janice’s White Roll Recipe, found here. Then just follow directions 6-10.)
Thank you for all of your comments on Friday’s Random Acts of Kindness report-in! The winner last week (by random number generator) is Lisa from Missouri. (Lisa, I emailed you!) Our last contest runs this week, with reporting in on Friday. I hope you all have a fun time finding something to do that will bless others again this week.
Since this week is a holiday week, we will be taking a couple of days off to enjoy time with our families. We’ll be off on Wednesday afternoon, all day Thursday and Friday. (That means there won’t be any in-person shopping hours here this week, or on New Year’s Day, but of course the online shopping goes on 24/7!) We’ll do our last Sneak Up of 2008 on Friday or Saturday, and we’ll be in on Monday of next week to start getting all of those orders out to you. I know that a LOT of you will have Loopy Ewe Gift Certificates burning a hole in your pocket by then!