Thursday, February 10, 2011

Valentine's Love gone Cheesy!

Sit back relax and enjoy for today is my first attempt at a Tutorial.. not sure how this will end up but hey it's all a big experiment for me anyways.... It may be a long one so make sure you're comfy!

I have been very tight on cash lately so when Valentine's popped up I really had to think about what I wanted to do. And decided I could lovingly make my amazing valentine a wonderful gift. But what.....

enter Cheese buns stage left..... mmmm delicious cheese buns. Both Kelly and I LOVE cheese buns and if we buy a bag they are gone before we even realize it. So how about I make my love some cheese buns all his very own I won't even taste them! (Promise ... as I am on a crazy bit of a health kick right now committing myself to lose some weight and get in shape before the wedding only 6 months away!!)

But of course I can't just make him cheese buns .. No I have to make them special somehow so that all will know they are made with love and for valentines! Enter heart shaped buns stage right...... but how is the best way to make them heart shaped and for them to keep their shape as they rise and bake... google it!!! I came across this blog with a lovely tutorial for making heart shaped apple buns... check it out I bet they are delicious.

So here goes... gathered the ingredients 
but as it always must happen .... I am out of eggs... quick trip to the store and we are back in business...
Oh and by the way I am just using a delicious bun recipe so use your own tried tested and true bun recipe ... mine is actually a secret... it really is, not my secret the amazing lady who gave me the recipe told me she would hunt me down if I ever gave it out to anyone (even my mom and she loves my mom) so I assume she means business ... so don't even try it ... back off and get your own bun recipe :)
Buns all mixed up ... My recipe calls for white and whole wheat flour but what ever yours is I'm sure it'll be great! Now time to let it rise, punch it down and let it rise again (again just follow your recipe's instructions for how long to rise and such) Now comes the fun part ..... making the buns.
I like to cut my bowl of dough into quarters with a sharp knife and handle a quarter of it at a time.. that's just the way I do it... and then I squeeze about enough dough for a typical dinner roll size (I'm not very good at guessing my bun size but I'm getting better and better.... like they say practice makes perfect). For me it was easiest to work with about 6 buns at a time ....
roll the buns out into circle-ish shapes .... as you can see mine aren't perfectly round. This doesn't matter as much as long as they are somewhat round we are in business.
Brush those puppies with some melted butter (I melted maybe 3 Tbsp and my recipe made 3 dozen).
then sprinkle with shredded cheese.... OK so I shredded WAY too much cheese I'm talking I must have been crazy.... I probably would have been fine with about 4 cups of shredded cheese ... making sure you save some for the end as you want to sprinkle them with cheese as soon as they come out of the oven...
Now roll those puppies up, and fold them in half... I'll put another picture so you can see them folded in half.
Now this time I rolled and folded all 6 before the next step but I actually found it easier to just roll fold and then cut and open each bun then move on to the next bun... (the cut and open photo's coming right up)
So using a sharp knife cut down the middle slicing the folded end open but don't cut the whole thing in half... hopefully looking at the picture will help you understand what I just said, kind of hard to explain.
and next you flip open what you just cut (see how the bottom part wasn't cut) and there you have a lovely heart that will still rise and bake heart shaped... yay! One down only 35 more to go ;)
put them on the greased sheet spaced apart and let rise ... my recipe has me letting the buns rise for an hour before baking....
ready to pop in the oven.... they look delicious already!!

sprinkle cheese on just a moment before pulling them out of the oven and voila .... delicious cheesy valentine!!

Don't they look cute and delicious!! Man I'm going to have to make these again next year but next year I'll make them for the both of us so I can have one :)
Takes a bit of a time commitment but that's how you make sure the extra love goes in. Enjoy baking and if you try these out let me know. I'd love to see how yours turn out!

Happy Early Valentine's everyone!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Ever seen felt dreadlocks?

Some people have a whole head of them and others just add a few accent pieces here and there.
 My dear friend Emily asked me if I could make felt dreads. She wanted a few accent pieces. Well I had never really thought about it but I thought it could be fun so we took a go at it! I didn't think to take any photo's of the making process but we chose some beautiful colors and mixed them as we felted the dread. We made two dreads ... this is what one looked like....
The lighting is pretty bad so it's hard to see how lovely it actually is. The colors are a lovely sage green, rust orange, earthy teal and deep purple. So there we have it .. the dreads look perfect and are complete, now how do we put them in? .... time to experiment...

A bit of braiding and wrapping and knotting should do the trick. .... until it came out not sure how so next time MORE braiding before wrapping and knotting!

and look at that lovely dread adding color, texture and interest to Emily's gorgeous locks.

too bad I didn't get a picture of the both of them in, but oh well ... that lovely head of hair with darling dreads is as we speak on it's way to NZ!