The Calm After The Storm

November 23, 2009 at 9:52 am 25 comments

I am currently settled into our big leather chair. It’s Sunday night and I have a large glass of Dr. Pepper next to me and The Next Iron Chef finale on the television. My feet are cozy in slippers and I’ve got a pillow and a laptop on my lap. I am happy. I am relaxed. I am accomplished.

This weekend was one of my rare weekends when I look back and wonder, “Who the heck is this chick? Is she on drugs?” I didn’t stop moving. I have the pains in my back and stains on my tile floor to prove it. For real.

After work on Friday I headed home to hang out with Rookie and Molly for an hour or so before going to a dinner. Molly was staying with us for the weekend while my parents were out of town. It’s always fun to have Molly around. I specifically enjoy watching her and Rookie chase each other around the house while barking. There’s really nothing more entertaining than a 6 pound fluff ball and 45 pound wolf dog play. Try it sometime. And when said wolf dog needs to go outside to potty, this is what said fluff does:

Saturday morning I slept. And slept. It was glorious. When I finally dragged myself out of bed, I took inventory on my kitchen and made my grocery list. Incase anyone ever thinks it’s a good idea to go to the grocery store around noon on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, I beg you to rethink. Unless you’re the type that gets a high from maneuvering around hoards of grocery carts and fighting for the dwindling supply of canned pumpkin. I am not. I get a high from stocking my freezer or from finding something on sale. Although I did buy two cans of pumpkin even though I already had two in my pantry and only needed 1 for my recipe. You want pumpkin? You need pumpkin? I suppose I need more pumpkin. You know, just incase.

I came home and unloaded the car. I put the ingredients for chicken chili in the Crock and asked God to make this the best soup in the world so my husband would decide that soup doesn’t suck. Without looking back or thinking about what was in my near future, I started making the dough for Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls. I’ve been wanting to taste these for a long time now and I don’t think I know many people bold enough to take these on… and then share them with me. To be honest with you, I didn’t completely read the recipe before I started it. I didn’t really want to know what I was getting into.  So I started the dough. I put it in the laundry room to rise for an hour and decided to make some mini-meatloafs (meatloaves?) to restock my freezer. An hour later I checked on my dough. I told Stephen that if it didn’t rise I would cry. I didn’t rise much. I didn’t cry. I recovered it and turned on the dryer to heat up the room.

Once the dough was “good enough” I started rolling them out. According to PW’s cookbook, you should roll the dough into a 30 x 10 inch rectangles in two batches. Thirty by ten. Thirty inches by ten inches. Imagine your kitchen. Do you have a space that can accomodate a 30 x 10 inch rectangle of dough, plus some space around it for oozing mess, work space, and butter, sugar and cinnamon? That’s a lot of space. Thankfully I had the space but I was cutting it close.

So lets just say that these were a lot of work. Not difficult, just time-consuming. I learned after the first half of dough that there is such thing as a Wrong Way to Roll Cinnamon Rolls. I did better on my second go. By the end of the rolling, cutting, icing whisking, packing, etc. I was exhausted. I nursed my wounds by eating 3 delicious cinnamon rolls and a bowl of mediocre chicken chili.

But I pressed on. I made some King Ranch Chicken with some turkey I had in the freezer from many moons ago when I made my first turkey. So King Ranch Turkey, really. I have no idea if it’ll be good, it’s in 4 9×9 pans in my freezer now. This is what I ended up with.

Ignore my dated kitchen. Dated kitchens work the same as fancy new ones. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

I should have taken a photo of the counter after I rolled the cinnamon rolls. It was bad.  Bad in an ooey gooey cinnamony delicious way. But it’s all okay because I ended up with 8 trays of Heaven.

Then I went to sleep. And slept like a freaking bear in hibernation. Sunday after church we went to a surprise party for my uncle. We got home around 4:30 and I got back in the kitchen. Why? Because I’m a crazy lady. I threw some stuff in the Crock to make tortilla soup and accidentally turned it to warm instead of high. Warm doesn’t cook chicken. In case you were wondering.

Then I whipped this baby up.

That’s a chocolate pumpkin cheesecake, thank you very much. And since my Crock Pot was on warm instead of high for an hour, we were without dinner. So I hopped back up and fried up some bacon, chopped some potatoes and made some hashbrowns, and scrambles some eggs. And that Lord said, “it was good.”

And now I’m relaxing. I’m about 14 seconds away from going to bed where I will pass out and sleep like a baby. Or like a shih-tzu.

(Ten on Tuesday questions have been posted on in the archives – click the button in the right sidebar. Tomorrow marks the first day that YOU come up with questions.)

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Entry filed under: Chelsea, Family, Holidays, Rookie. Tags: , , , , .

Seven Quick Takes (vol.16) Ten on Tuesday (7)

25 Comments Add your own

  • 1. jenferlouise  |  November 23, 2009 at 10:31 am

    I have a 4-pound chihuahua and a 120-pound great dane who love each other! The size difference is just too cute …. and a little annoying when we walk in the park because everyone needs to tell me “look how little! look how big!”

    I love hearing your cooking stories. I wish I had more time to cook and bake. One day.

  • 2. jill  |  November 23, 2009 at 10:33 am

    Would you like to come spend some time in my kitchen? I would be happy to let you work in and dirty up my kitchen if it meant you’d fill up my freezer 🙂

  • 3. Caroline  |  November 23, 2009 at 10:37 am

    I need to be more motivated to cook (especially on the weekend).

  • 4. Sarah  |  November 23, 2009 at 10:39 am

    Your weekend makes me tired.

    Also, if you ever need someone to taste what you cook and give you an honest assessment, I am always here.

  • 5. Lauren From Texas  |  November 23, 2009 at 10:48 am

    Good Lord woman. Did you not know your friend Lauren is invalid? And cannot move? You are making me look bad. And feel tired.

  • 6. Lindsay  |  November 23, 2009 at 10:53 am

    We are not related. I would be convinced that I was adopted, but since I look just like Dad….and Mom….and you, I don’t think I am.

    Also? I want to try a cinnamon roll!

    AND…Molly is so adorable! AH I GET TO SEE HER TOMORROW!

  • 7. Taryn E  |  November 23, 2009 at 10:58 am

    Don’t worry about dated kitchens…. mine has the most gaudy countertops you’ve ever seen… teeny-tiny tile in PINK. yes, pink. ugh. 🙂 But the food we make is still fantastic! 🙂

  • 8. Samantha  |  November 23, 2009 at 10:58 am

    One word. YUM!

    Even though I’m still pretty new to baking and cooking, I’d love to try making those cinnamon rolls. But it’s Thanksgiving week, and I think cooking that whole meal for the first time is enough of a challenge for now! Eeek.

  • 9. Kyla Roma  |  November 23, 2009 at 10:59 am

    That looks amazing! This weekend I made an early thanksgiving dinner for us that turned out really well- sometimes things just working like they should is exhilarating.

  • 10. Southern Gal  |  November 23, 2009 at 11:01 am

    Wow. You are a machine, aren’t you?

    I made PW’s Cinnamon Rolls last year about this time. I happened to have an old desk in my kitchen that was waiting for a new home. I ended up using it to roll out those babies. I’m thinking this year I’m just going to use my dining table in the breakfast nook.

    Share your recipes! You’ve got me craving Taco Soup now. I don’t know why. I don’t think you listed Taco Soup in the things you cooked this weekend.

    By the way, who won Iron Chef? I’m kicking myself for forgetting it was on.

  • 11. mom  |  November 23, 2009 at 11:15 am

    First of all, that is the CUTEST puppy in the WHOLE world! (Yes, I am biased) Second of all, I am SOOOOO grateful I get to spend thanksgiving with you since you are bringing the cinnamon rolls! (well, that’s not the ONLY reason) 🙂 You are one crazy cooking woman….are you SURE you are my child? I mean really…I like to cook but you are CRAZY! I think I am too busy thinking about all the other things that need to take place and am afraid to dedicate that much time in the kitchen. Might have to re-think that plan after reading about your day! WHEWWW

  • 12. Jimbo  |  November 23, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    Way to go Chelsea! I played five (5!) tennis matches on Saturday and I think I was probably less tired on Sunday than you were. So, were PW cinnamon rolls worth the effort?

  • 13. Cousin Kim  |  November 23, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    Mmmmmm…. so thankful this Thanksgiving to partake of these extremely well made and love-filled cinnamon rolls! Ok – I know I can only have like a bite…due to this crazy diet I am on for the REST OF MY LIFE! UGH! But I will cherish every last morsel of that bite!

  • 14. Stephany  |  November 23, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    Wow, what a weekend! I do not like cooking and can tolerate some baking but definitely not at your level! (And by baking, I mean cookies and brownies)

    That’s intense. Good for you!

  • 15. Jen Halligan  |  November 23, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    Please tell me where do you get all of your freezing recipes?? I’m just discovering this wonderful miracle!

    P.S. Molly is a stinking cute dog

  • 16. osarah  |  November 23, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    When I got to the line: Then I whipped this baby up. I exclaimed “Geez, Chelsea!” You were a bit of a crazy lady this weekend 🙂 Looks like you made lots of tasty treats. I’m sorry the chicken chili was only mediocre. I’m jealous of your King Ranch Chicken/Turkey – that’s one of my favorites! I keep thinking about writing my grandmother for her recipe, but I also keep forgetting to follow through on that thought.

  • 17. Lenae  |  November 23, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    Wow! Productivity, thy name is Chelsea!

    P.S. My kitchen beats your kitchen in datedness 😉

  • 18. Cio  |  November 23, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    wow. I envy you and your passion for the kitchen.
    I wish I could cook, or even have the desire to.
    Cereal and spaghetti O’s is about as good as it gets for me. Sad, I know…

    Mad props to you.

  • 19. thedailychelle  |  November 23, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    Hi! I am new to your blog, I found it through Sarah (Sojo)’s blog and I thought it would be fun to do the 10 on Tuesdays thing but didn’t want you to be creeped out when this random person you’ve never heard from suddenly does it too 🙂

    Sarah and I haven’t met yet “in real life” but we know each other through a mutual friend (who we both know in real life). Also, small world even smaller.. I clicked on your friend Lauren’s blog and it turns out she knows Cio (and Cio says she also knows you) who I know through a different Texas friend. I have never lived in Texas but I’ve been there several times and have many Texas connections 🙂

    Also, one of me and Sarah’s connections is that we are both tall (although I’m what some clothing lines might call ‘super extra tall’ = 6’4″) and I heard you’re tall too! Anyway, yay tall girls! I love your blog!

    -Michelle

  • 20. Ashley  |  November 23, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    Sounds like the peer pressure got to you on the pumpkin! And you’re like a cooking mad lady! Those buns looks yummy though — please enjoy some for me 🙂

  • 21. Lisa D  |  November 23, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    Holy smokes you were domestic this weekend! I am impressed w/ the cinnamon rolls. I know how much work they are as my mom used to make them when I was growing up. Well done you!

  • 22. Ashley  |  November 24, 2009 at 1:00 am

    I know I should be craving cheesecake after reading this post, but you had me at Dr. Pepper. That sounds really good.

  • 23. Sue  |  November 24, 2009 at 8:05 am

    Wow – a busy weekend indeed. Those scrolls look amazing, I remember reading them on PW’s website. Looks like you can cross a few more things off your 101 in 1001 after this last week.

  • 24. Gabby  |  November 24, 2009 at 8:41 am

    So much to say! Made the PW rolls myself a couple weeks ago, YUM, gained 4 pounds, I think.

    Did you meet her? I am so jealous! I love her blog! Show pics!

    I have a Vizsla and a dachshund (apparently I like dogs with names that are hard to spell), and they are now bestfriends, they lick each other in the mouth, and it is a little creepy. Okay, a lot creepy, but it is better than them fighting.

    Have a great Thanksgiving! Cheesecake looks yummy. My hubby HATES soup, too!

    Dr. P is only for refined, sophisticated people like us!

  • 25. Veronica  |  November 24, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    you are a cooking and baking machine. you inspire me chelsea. in so many ways! do you want to come live with us? i could use some of those delicious meals!

    and molly is so darn cute. i need to watch out for tempting cute pictures like these…they make me want a dog…which we NEED to wait for!

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