HAWAIIAN SWEET ROLLS

Bread is a tricky little minx. Most of the time in the kitchen, I throw around ingredients like the Swedish Chef, "Herdy der Mur Flerpty Floopin!"  and somehow it all works out fine. I measure nothing. If something says a tablespoon of salt, I pour a little mountain into my hand, put half in the bowl, and toss the rest at my dog. But the bread game is not like that. The bread game is precise. The bread game is cunning. There are active cultures that can be killed with liquid that's just a bit too hot. It's high stakes. Normally I give the bread game the hand and tell it that driving to the bakery is not that hard. That is, until I made these sweet soft squishy Hawaiian sweet rolls. You win, bread game. You win. 

These little pillows of glutenous delight are everything. Fluffy, white, and full of sugar. Put vanilla ice cream in one and you win at life. Eat with a few tablespoons of butter, or pile high with some sweet and tangy pulled pork. Best served warm, these delicate little maple-colored buns do go stale easily so wrap them individually in ziploc bags and squeeze out all the air to store. 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup pineapple juice

1/2 cup warm milk (just above body temp!)

4 tbsp butter, melted and cooled to body temp

2 whole eggs, lightly beaten

6 tbsp sugar

1 1/2 tsp sea salt

2 1/4 tsp (1 packet) yeast

4 1/2 cups bread flour (get outta here with your all purpose) 

Directions:

·      Combine pineapple juice, milk, sugar and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer and let sit for a few minutes until yeast starts to bubble and foam.

·      Add melted butter, eggs, and salt

·      Add 2 cups of the flour and combine roughly with a spoon until dough just starts to come together

·      Using the dough hook attachment on low speed, gradually add in the rest of the flour.

·      Continue kneading the dough with the hook on medium speed for 5 minutes or until dough looks soft and smooth.

·      Lightly oil a large clean bowl and place the dough inside. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1.5-2 hours or until doubled in size.

Hawaiian Sweet Rolls

·      Lightly oil a 13x9’’ baking pan.

·      Deflate dough with fingertips and divide into 16 equal pieces

·      Roll each piece into a ball and place in pan.

·      Brush each roll with an egg wash (1 egg plus a few tbps of water mixed up)

·      Cover with plastic wrap and let rolls rise again for about half hour or until doubled in size.

·      Bake at 375°F for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with lots of butter! 

FOUND MY ANIMAL

Found My Animal

Happy Earth Day! In celebration of this lovely planet we call home I wanted to showcase Found My Animal, an amazing brand that does incredible work for our four legged friends.

I first came across Found My Animal at Lawson Fenning in Silver Lake.  It was pricey, no doubt.  And yes, I had been pining for a swankier feel for my oh-so-fancy pup.  But Petco collars weren't doing the trick.  Aside from getting dirty and icky quickly, the buckles were prone to breaking which made this dog mama especially nervous.

I came to learn that Found My Animal does more than make gorgeous accessories for dogs.  They support animal welfare by donating to rescue centers and also promote adoption by listing pups on their website.  Solid design, handmade goods, and a mission I can get on board with?  That is a product I can get behind. 

Found My Animal

I opted to stick with a solid black rope collar for Ope.  It fits his long turtle neck just right.  The only negative is that these collars never wear out - there is no way to rationalize purchasing "options," even though I love love love that hunter green color.

Sending out happy thoughts and well wishes today to all of you, to our planet, and to these three goofballs that make my world go round.

Teddy, Opie, and Hatchi heading off to the pond!

Teddy, Opie, and Hatchi heading off to the pond!

SILENCE OF THE LAMBS

Silence of the Lambs

OK...I'm about to get on a really personal level, readers.  Because it isn't just any regular day I decide to share the most impressive blog photos I have ever shot.

Silence of the Lambs

THIS is what happens when you decide to try something new and are left unaccompanied in Sephora.  When I spotted this quick, no-fuss mask I was intrigued.  The packaging felt really peaceful and relaxing and the lady on the back made it look kinda...cute.  She is playfully prepping the sheet, putting it on her face, peeling it away and voila!  Miracles!

Silence of the Lambs

Not so.  

Aside from the slippery texture and less than fantastic results, this mask just doesn't make any sense.  New sheet mask fad?  Really silly and so not worth it.  Go the extra mile and invest in a good old mask and brush.  Your friends, family, and face will thank you for it.

Unless you feel like scaring the life out of them.  Here are a few ideas:

  1. FaceTime:  Possibilities endless, potential social spread infinite.  Maybe consider creeping in and out of the frame with the lights off and a flashlight beneath your chin.
  2. Crazy Heliumbooth App:  Voice alteration and visual effects.  Plus, you can save the videos for later to distribute when you need/want to.
  3. Halloween:  $6 costume as Buffalo Bill.  Can only be worn for 20 minutes. My inspiration (for this post, hehe).

And here are my favorite masks for when I seriously decide to care for my skin (Epicuren all the way, baby!):

 

JUMP! JUMP! JUMP!

Jumper

As my fellow above-average-height, long-waisted lassies will tell you, finding a jumpsuit/romper with my body type can be a challenge for certain crotch-centric reasons. No one likes a jumpsuit riding up. No one. So when Celene snagged this cheap and cheerful little number from Bloomingdales, I immediately zero-ed in on the long-torso-friendly cut and snatched it from her hands with a cackle of delight. 

Jumper

The cute little tie in the back gives this simple, flouncy strapless number a little bit of extra oomph. A simple Wonder Woman brass cuff was all it needed. And hey, petite people: vertical stripes are your friends! I'm tall but I still appreciated the extra inches this seemed to add to my legs. I'm ready to steal this from Celene again, head to the disco, and get on down to boogie town. Ya dig? 

Jumper

P.S. If I look a little sad in all of these pictures it's because I was being eaten alive by mosquitoes that, judging solely by their size, had recently feasted on some type of radioactive human growth hormone. Someday Celene and I will release all the outtakes from these fashion posts and you will see, dear readers, that we are truly total spazzes. But you probably knew that. 

MACA BOOST!

Last year when I went to Peru, I was wandering around a local market with a tour guide when I spotted a funny-looking root. I asked my guide what it was and he blushed a bit. "That is maca. The people who live in the Andes love it." 

"Oh yeah, I know maca!" I said. "Hippies love it in the U.S.! It's really good for you, right?" 

He let out a gigantic laugh. "It is good for you, yes. The people here use it to help them be strong in bed." I muttered something awkward like "yay" or "cool" and diverted everyone's attention to an enormous cow tongue nearby. 

While the people of the Andes may love maca for some bow-chicka-bow-wow purposes, this South American root actually has a whole lot of other good-for-you properties. It's rich in vitamins and minerals like calcium and zinc, helps alleviate PMS mood swings, boosts energy, and can help increase muscle mass. 

I snagged these MacaBoost packets from Gaia herbs--my favorite herbal remedy company. They're mostly maca powder with a smattering of spices and a sprinkling of other herbs in them. I like both the vanilla-chai and cacao-ginger versions.  Be warned: vanilla-chai is my favorite but it has a healthy dose of Holy Basil in it. Holy Basil is a great herb that instantly transports you right on down to Chill Town, USA. While that's super awesome if you're having an anxiety moment, it can also make you feel too chill. I put that packet in my morning smoothie the other day and just totally zoned out for a few hours. It was blissful, but my achievement for the day was truly mediocre. The cacao-ginger version has Rhodiola in it which actually boosts energy so slip that one into your morning potion if you want to be productive. And psst...don't expect these lil guys to really give you that Afternoon Delight vibe. I didn't notice much difference in that part of my life at all. If you need a boost in the sexy time department, might I suggest chocolate and champagne? Way more romantic than a smoothie powder, methinks.