Cinnamon rolls and other yummy goodness

I’ve always had a bit of a sweet tooth, as evidenced by the 15 or so fillings in my mouth. Lucky for me I’ve also been pretty active, running and gym-ing it for much of my life. I’ve never been one for diets, because diets are for people with major self control, something which I apparently lack. I’m more of a eat a plate of buffalo wings and then run at 10 instead of 8 on the treadmill kind-of-girl. If I throw in an apple crumble or peanut butter sundae then I may put a little incline on there as well.

My simple little system has worked pretty well, as I’ve never really gained or lost more than a few pounds. The exception being when I studied abroad in South Africa during college and ate and drank lots of bad food and alcohol. I also gained a bit when I lived in Italy and fell victim to all the delicious pasta and delectable wine, with no gym in sight. Otherwise, food and I get along fetchingly.

The problem I face now is that with so much time on my hands I seem to be cooking and baking all the time. In the past I rarely used recipes and made more basic things like grilled fish or baked chicken, and I barely baked. Now that I’m so bored I’ve been making all kinds of cookies, pies, and cakes, and I stumbled upon the best cinnamon roll recipe ever. Throw in the fact that I’m pregnant and I’ve thrown all caution to the wind. My husband is lucky he works out 5 hours a day and my kids are lucky they’re kids.

These are some of my favorites from the last month or so, some old and basic and some new and delicious goodies I found online.

These cinnamon rolls are by far the best cinnamon rolls I’ve ever had in my whole life. So soft and rich with a delicious cream cheese frosting and lots of cinnamon-y goodness. I made two batches and my  husband and I devoured them. The kids are lucky we shared. I found the recipe here if anyone is interested. http://picky-palate.com/2012/06/11/perfect-cinnamon-rolls/
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These Spinach and mushroom calzones seemed so simple but took probably 5 hours to make. With the limited ingredients to work with I’ve had to make almost everything from scratch these days and it takes forever. I had to make the dough, the marinara sauce, and even the ricotta cheese, three things that would have definitely been store bought had I been home.
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I used to love frying chicken and fish and we usually have a nice big deep fryer for me to use, but it seems like such a waste to spend so much money on something that we have to leave behind each year. So this year we decided to forgo the fryer altogether and as a result I’ve been frying much less. A few months ago I came across a recipe for baked fried chicken that was so delicious and so close to the real thing. The key is to use butter which gives it that nice crispness necessary for a good fried chicken.
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My husband’s favorite is probably some simple jerk chicken wings, which are way too hot for the kids so they always get something tame. This time it was cilantro lime chicken. We usually have a nice big salad to go with our meals.
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My mom used to make delicious lemon meringue pies when I was younger and I finally decided to try my luck with the fairly complicated recipe. My first attempt was pretty good, but not quite the perfection of mom’s.

Another delicious dessert is this recipe for brown butter and sea salt chocolate chip cookies. I’ve made them several times and they are a big hit with the family. It’s the brown butter and the sea salt that really makes a difference and distinguishes it from your average chocolate chip cookie. Here’s the recipe http://www.ambitiouskitchen.com/2012/02/brown-butter-sea-salt-chocolate-chip-cookies/.

My other indulgence is my daily caramel macciato, made possible by my new Nespresso machine gifted by my husband. I had really been missing my Starbucks macciatos, but this has really eased much of that pain.

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My daughter celebrated her birthday this week and I told her she can have whatever she wants for dinner, whether I make it or we get take out. She’s the only 8 year old I know who would request baked macaroni and cheese, teriyaki salmon, and a chocolate cake. I was hoping her request wouldn’t be so labor intensive but the girl wants what she wants.
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So I’ve already gained 10 pounds at 16 weeks and all this food might have something to do with it, but at least I have a baby to blame.

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