I like the idea of New Year’s Resolutions. A time of reflecting on our lives and how we can become better people. I, however, don’t like resolutions that are unattainable and simply wishful thinking.
Let’s, for example, take what happened Jan 1, 2012 in our household:
6:30am – I wake-up, feeling wide awake. If I were to make a resolution it would be that I would sleep past the sun on weekends. I’m almost 30 years old. This is not going to happen. Instead, I try to make the most out of the time when everything else is quiet.
6:34am – I preheat the oven, peel a sweet potato and got to making a breakfast I’ve been way too excited about.
6:59am- The kitchen is already a mess. If I were making resolutions it would involve not getting flour in the silverware drawer or my hair. Nope. I’m not even going to try changing this because I prefer not to set myself up for failure. Instead, I wash dishes, wipe down counters and continue baking.
7:13am – I close the bedroom door. Not only can I win a prize in making a mess, I can also sound like I’m trying out for a band by dropping measuring spoons, turning on the mixer and spilling flour (yes, you’d think that would be silent, but you clearly haven’t been with me in the kitchen). Resolution to be quieter in the morning? Not happening. I like to think I should get a prize for remembering to close the door to block out sound.
7:41am – I realize I forgot the pecans. I search for a suitable substitute but realize 3 month old capers (that’s where those where!) or a can of diced tomatoes probably won’t do. My resolution might be to finally get all the ingredients needed for a recipe in one trip, but instead I’m proud of myself for finally investing in that long winter coat. It covers most of my pajamas as I head out to the grocery store.
8:01am – I continue baking. I’m happy the sun is up with me so I can take pictures of the progress. I’m happy my husband is still sleeping so he can’t take mental pictures of the process
9:40am – My husband wakes-up. The house smells amazing. There’s only a trace of how many dishes I’ve already dirtied this morning.
9:47am – We eat delicious cinnamon rolls. I feel proud that I didn’t break any New Year’s Resolutions. We talk about how 2012 is going to be another good year.
10:22am – We scrape the plates from our second cinnamon roll. My husband is ready to start the day. I’m ready for a nap.
Sweet Potato and Pecan Cinnamon Rolls
Adapted from Vegetarian Times
1 1/4 tsp. (.25oz pkg.) active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 cups bread flour
1 tbs. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup mashed cooked sweet potato
1 tbs. honey
3 tbs. oil
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon (I used half cinnamon and half pumpkin pie spice)
3/4 tbs. butter, soft
1/2 – 3/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
3 tbs. light cream cheese
1 tsp. maple syrup
1 pinch salt
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
Before beginning recipe make sure sweet potato is cooked and soft enough to mash to mash it and that pecans are toasted.
1. Stir yeast into 1/3 cup warm water. Let sit 10 minutes.
2. In mixing bowl, mix together both types of flour, sugar and salt. In separate bowl combine mashed sweet potato, honey and oil. Stir in yeast mixture. If using stand mixer, mix at low speed about 2 minutes. If dough is crumbly, add 1/3 cup warm water. Let dough rest 5 minutes. Mix at medium-low speed additional 2 minutes, until dough is combined and smooth; add up to 1/3 cup additional warm water, if needed. If kneading by hand, knead dough up to 10 minutes, until dough is smooth and not sticking to your hands.
3. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and cover. Let sit 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
4. In small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Spray 13 x 9 inch baking pan with cooking spray.
5. Roll dough into 14 x 12 inch rectangle. Spread a thin layer of butter and sprinkle cinnamon-sugar mixture over entire dough. Top with half the amount of chopped pecans. Beginning at long end of dough, roll it up. Slice off each edge of dough and discard. Cut roll in 1 inch pieces and place in prepared baking dish. Cover and let rise in warm place 45 minutes.
6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake rolls 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. While rolls are baking, prepare maple glaze by mixing together ingredients and stirring until desired consistency. Spread over cooked, warm rolls and sprinkle with remaining chopped pecans. Serve and enjoy!
~Don’t forget to enter to win a Starbucks Gift Card! All you have to do is something kind and the entries are limitless!
~How’s 2012 starting off for you? Any highs or lows?