Brioche Cinnamon Buns and Loaf

Stew and I were wanting cinnamon buns for so long! The weekends would go by and we just didn’t plan on making any. Finally, I was watching Food Network one day and The Barefoot Contessa was on. Ina made these little brioche dinner rolls that looked fluffy and delicious. So I thought, I can turn THOSE into cinnamon buns! Turns out the recipe is HUGE so I actually had to turn it into 2 separate breads. I made one cinnamon loaf and one batch of cinnamon buns. That was perfect because I actually sliced and froze the bread. The bread is great for toasting with a little coconut butter or jam on top! It’s the perfect afternoon snack! The buns actually didn’t last that long. Since it was only two of us, we couldn’t eat the whole batch. So in the future I would actually make those for a brunch where there were more than 2 people! We made a good dent though. They are definitely a lot of work but worth it. It was a labor of love, but there’s nothing like a warm homemade cinnamon bun for breakfast!

Brioche Cinnamon Buns and Loaf

Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa’s Mini Brioche Rolls

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup warm water (110 to 120 degrees F)
  • 1 package dried yeast
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 4 1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar (divided)
  • 2 Tbsp cinnamon (divided)
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon milk, for egg wash

Directions

Combine the water, yeast, and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. (If the bowl is cold, start with warmer water so it’s at least 110 degrees when you add the yeast.) Mix with your hands and allow to stand for 5 minutes until the yeast and sugar dissolve. Add the eggs and beat on medium speed for 1 minute, until well mixed. With the mixer on low speed, add 2 cups of the flour and the salt and mix for 5 minutes. With the mixer still on low, add 2 1/4 more cups of flour and mix for 5 more minutes. Scrape the dough into a large buttered bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

The next day, allow the dough to sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Meanwhile, grease 20 mini brioche tins. Set aside.

Place the dough in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, add the softened butter in chunks, and mix for 2 minutes, adding additional flour (about 1 cup) as needed to make a ball. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board and divide the dough in half.

For the Cinnamon Buns:

Working with one half, roll out to about 11×15 inch rectangle and about 1/4 inch thick. Spread 1 Tbsp softened butter over the surface of the rectangle. Sprinkle 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1 Tbsp cinnamon evenly across the surface. Sprinkle raisins on top. Starting with the long end, roll into a log, seam side down. Cut the ends off (add them to the other half of dough). Then cut into 8 even buns (starting at the halfway point). Place in a buttered round cake pan and cover with a damp towel. Set aside to rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.

For the Cinnamon Loaf:

Working with the other half, roll out to about a 9×9 inch square. Spread 1 Tbsp softened butter over the surface of the square. Sprinkle 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1 Tbsp cinnamon evenly across the surface. Starting with one end, roll into a log, seam side down. Tuck the ends under and place into a buttered loaf pan. Cover with a damp towel. Set aside to rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. When the dough has risen, brush the top of each with the egg wash and bake cinnamon buns and loaf for 35-40 minutes, or until the tops spring back and it sounds slightly hollow when tapped. Let them stand for 10 minutes and turn the buns and loaf out onto a wire rack to cool.

36 Weeks

How far along? 36 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: 
26 pounds gained.
Maternity clothes? 
Mostly maternity jeans and leggings. 
Sleep: 
I love sleeping. I’m so thankful that I’m still sleeping like a rock!
Best moment this week: 
This weekend Stew and I organized the nursery, put together Turner’s swing, and installed his car seat! That was so exciting. 
Miss Anything?
Same old, moving around easily, sweaty workouts, etc. 
Movement: 
Yes. He’s definitely moving around a lot in there! Sometimes I’ll stand in front of the mirror and watch his foot appear, slide around, and disappear! It’s pretty awesome. 
Food cravings: 
I’m not really craving anything. I just enjoy eating! 
Anything making you queasy or sick: 
Nope!
Have you started to show yet: 
Oh yea!
Gender: 
Boy
Labor Signs:
No. Although I had 10 Braxton Hicks this past hour…good thing I have my visit with the midwife tomorrow!
Belly Button in or out? 
Out!
Wedding rings on or off? 
Off.
Happy or Moody most of the time: 
So so happy!
Looking forward to:
 Halloween and meeting Turner! It’s getting so close :o)

35 Weeks

How far along? 35 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: 
25 pounds gained.
Maternity clothes? 
Mixing and matching. Lots of leggings these days. Having a good pair of maternity jeans is key! I can just throw them on with anything which is great.
Sleep: 
Still good! I wake up for my usual bathroom breaks but fall right back to sleep.
Best moment this week: 
Definitely being in NJ with all my family and friends. My baby shower (#2) was amazing! The best part of the trip was seeing my brother in law, Luke, and his fiance, Suzy, tie the knot. I’m so glad I was able to make the trip and be a part of it! 
Miss Anything? 
Being able to bend over to put socks and shoes on, working out, laying on my stomach…I’m sure there’s more!
Movement: 
Poor guy is so cramped in there. I don’t know how it’s humanly possible for a little person to be in there. So, yes, I’m feeling LOTS of movement. 
Food cravings: 
I’ve actually been getting more of an appetite! The whole pregnancy I hadn’t really been that hungry. I had to really force myself to eat enough calories and protein each day. Now I’m actually hungry! I think it’s the rapid pace at which he’s growing! I’d say I’m loving fall foods these days. Nothing is really turning me off, so I’m just eating whatever I want at the time. 
Anything making you queasy or sick: 
Nope!
Have you started to show yet: 
Oh yea!
Gender: 
Boy
Labor Signs: 
Not yet! I’m just glad we’re back from NJ so if I do have any signs I’m home! It’s so crazy that it could be any week now!
Belly Button in or out? 
Apparently the whole thing doesn’t need to be out for it to be considered an “outie”?? So I’d say I’m an outie!
Wedding rings on or off? 
Off! My midwife said that finger pain is most likely something pressing on a nerve so it’s best to keep them off…sad.
Happy or Moody most of the time: 
So so happy!
Looking forward to:
 Getting Turner’s nursery set up (again)!! We have so many new things from the NJ shower. We have to assemble all his swings, seats, bouncy things, etc. I just washed all his new clothes. This kid has more clothes than Stew and I have combined! I had to go out and get a truckload of hangers! I’m so excited to meet him!!!

Sea Salt and Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

AKA Heaven! So there is nothing healthy about this recipe. However, sometimes you just have to give in to a craving for a GOOD chocolate chip cookie. And I mean, these are GOOOOOD. The best part is that by the time I realize I feel like making chocolate chip cookies, I haven’t let any butter come to room temp. But with this recipe, I don’t have to! I adapted this recipe from a Nutella Stuffed Sea Salt Cookie. Don’t get me wrong, those look delicious. However, I was just wanting a plain chocolate chip cookie. So this is it…officially the best chocolate chip cookie recipe EVER!

Now, you might be thinking, but can’t I just sprinkle some sea salt on top of my own chocolate chip cookie recipe? And I’m sure you can! But there is something to the brown butter. It’s nuttier tasting. And the yogurt adds a bit of fluffiness to the batter too! When you mix the dough, it will feel really soft (because of the brown butter) so make sure you chill it for AT LEAST two hours. And if you chill it longer than that, just take it out and let it sit at room temp until you’re able to scoop the dough. You might not be able to wait, but trust me, it’s worth it!

Ingredients

2¼ cup all-purpose flour

1¼ teaspoons baking soda

¼ teaspoon of salt

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter

1¼ cup packed dark brown sugar

¼ cup granulated sugar

1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk

1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

1 tablespoon plain greek yogurt

1 cup dark chocolate chips

Coarse sea salt for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. The butter will begin to foam. Make sure you whisk consistently during this process. After a couple of minutes, the butter will begin to brown on the bottom of the saucepan; continue to whisk and remove from heat as soon as the butter begins to brown and give off a nutty aroma. Immediately transfer the butter to a bowl to prevent burning. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
  2. With an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Beat in the egg, yolk, vanilla, and yogurt until combined. Add the dry ingredients slowly and beat on low-speed just until combined. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
  3. Chill your dough for 2 hours in the refrigerator.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Once dough is chilled use a small ice cream scoop (or spoon out about 1½ tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball) to scoop dough onto the cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart.

Bake the cookies 10-12 minutes or until the edges of the cookies begin to turn golden brown. They will look a bit underdone in the middle, but will continue to cook once out of the oven. Sprinkle with a little sea salt. Cool the cookies on the sheets at least 2 minutes. Remove the cooled cookies from the baking sheets after a few minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

34 Weeks

 

How far along? 34 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: 
24 pounds gained.
Maternity clothes? 
I love my maternity jeans. They’re my go to pants now that it’s cooling down a bit. I can mix and max shirts depending on the weather. In this picture I’m wearing maternity jeans and regular tops. Still sporting the dresses now and then too!
Sleep:
It’s great. When I wake up to go to the bathroom, I’m thankful that I can crawl right back into bed and fall asleep! I’m definitely taking advantage of my nights of freedom. 
Best moment this week: 
This week was crazy. Stew was working out of town everyday so he was gone when I woke up and didn’t get home until 6:30 or 7.  So the best moment was getting to the weekend and spending time together. We made halloween pancakes, picked pumpkins, went to one of our favorite markets to get milkshakes, and had our supper club. There were many great moments! 
Miss Anything? 
Not really. Someone asked me if I’m ready to have this baby and I said, “not quite yet!”. I am enjoying how low maintenance Turner is right now! I know once he’s born I’ll be missing a lot more things (like sleep) than I am right now. Although, a good slab of bleu cheese wouldn’t hurt ;o)
Movement: 
I feel him constantly. He doesn’t even have to move. He must be packed in there because whatever spot I touch on my belly, I feel some body part…foot, head, leg, butt…I love it!
Food cravings: 
Still love my Fall foods. Apples, caramel, pumpkin…I don’t think that has to do with pregnancy though. I think it’s just that time of year! I love the Fall!! 
Anything making you queasy or sick: 
Nope!
Have you started to show yet: 
Absolutely!
Gender: 
Boy
Labor Signs: 
No. Definitely some Braxton Hicks now that I know what they feel like (who named those things!). I was at my last birth class and this girl was asking if any of us had them, and I said no. Then she described what they felt like, and I realized YES I have them all the time! I just thought it was his back or butt pressing against my belly! 
Belly Button in or out? 
The edges are working their way out!
Wedding rings on or off? 
Off at night. 
Happy or Moody most of the time: 
So so happy!
Looking forward to:
 Going to NJ on Tuesday! I can’t wait to see my friends and family and REALLY feel Fall. Apple orchard here I come!!!

33 Weeks

How far along? 33 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: 
23 pounds gained.
Maternity clothes? 
Busting out the leggings. It’s finally cooling down! I might even be able to wear boots soon! 
Sleep: 
Wonderful. I get up to go to the bathroom and fall right back to sleep! At night I usually fall asleep to my hypnobabies soundtrack or Stew reading one of the scrips that goes along with it. I’m out halfway through every time!
Best moment this week: 
Getting my maternity pictures!!! Juliet is an amazing photographer. I look at them over and over! I’ll be posting them soon!
Miss Anything? 
Loving coffee. I haven’t had it at all for the past week! I just have no desire…sad but true!
Movement: 
Yes…I can’t wait to meet him!
Food cravings: 
Loving apple cider, caramel apples, and pumpkin anything these days! 
Anything making you queasy or sick: 
Nope!
Have you started to show yet: 
Yes!
Gender: 
Boy
Labor Signs: 
No. But a girl in my Hypnobabies class had her baby at 36 weeks! It’s crazy to think that I could have him in just a few weeks!!! 
Belly Button in or out? 
The top is still trying to pop out.
Wedding rings on or off? 
Off at night. 
Happy or Moody most of the time: 
Beyond happy!
Looking forward to:
 Going to NJ next week. There’s so much to look forward to… seeing my dad and Stew’s family, shower # 2, and most exciting of all Stew’s brother is getting married!!! It will be a busy week!

Cloth Diapering 101 Video Tutorial

There is a series of 6 videos on cloth diapering that I’ve watched over and over! They are so helpful and really explain everything you would possibly want/need to know about cloth diapering. I’m sure I will watch them several more times before Turner’s born but thought I’d get them on one page so they’re quick and easy to find! I am planning on getting a few of each kind to see what works with Turner. Below the videos I put my plan for cloth diapers with links to each. It pretty much wraps up these videos and puts it onto paper. That helps with us visual learners!


Cloth Diapering Part 1: Different brands/types/folding techniques and their pros and cons: Prefold Diaper, Bummies Super Whisper Wrap Cover, Bummies Super Bright Cover, Bummies Super Snap, Wool

Part 2:Kissaluvs Contour Diaper and Kissaluvs Fitted Diaper and how to wash

Part 3:Premium Diapers Pros/Cons-Bum Genius All-In-One, Fuzzibunz Pocket Diaper, Bum Genius One Size Diaper, GDiaper, Nature Baby Care Eco Diaper

Part 4:Quantities, Prices, and Sizes

Part 5:Accessories-Liners, Deo Disk, Mini Shower, Bac Out Enzyme Spray, Cloth Wipes, Wipe Solution, Doubler, Wet Bag

Part 6: Washing, Detergents

IMG_0774

Cloth Diaper Plan

Snappi Cloth Diaper Fasteners

      3-6 Baby Size $10

Prefold Cloth Diapers

  • Notes:
    • Double diapers overnight with extra prefold diaper by trifolding
    • Remove all inserts from pocket diapers and solid poops before washing
    • Wash wet bag with diapers
    • First run cold rinse spin
    • Next run hot wash with Charlie’s detergent (1 to 2 tbsp)
    • Run cold rinse spin (if there are suds, run another cold rinse)
    • Throw all into dryer. Take covers out after about 10 min. Sun drying is ok too!
    • Persistent stains, sprinkle with lemon juice and lay in sun. Wash again right after.

 

Maple Glazed Salmon

Let me start by saying I’m not a huge salmon fan. In fact, it’s my least favorite fish… until now that is! In an effort to add more fish to my diet, I put salmon on the menu for the week, even though I wasn’t thrilled about it. Holy moly this salmon is good! The main reason I didn’t love it is that I’ve had it when it seemed to be undercooked. So instead of cooking it on the stove or the oven, I broiled it! That was the secret weapon. Broiling it made the glaze sweet and caramelized on top. YUM. Stew and I took our first hesitant bite and both looked at each other in amazement and said, “WOW this is really good!”
Not only is it delicious, but it couldn’t be easier to make! I literally put all of the ingredients into a ziplock bag, mixed it up, and popped the salmon in there. I let it sit in the fridge for a couple hours and BAM… delicious salmon ready to broil! I paired it with a simple quinoa and some Haricot Vert (french green beans) on the side. This was one of the best meals we’ve had in a while. It will definitely be a “go-to” from now on! Hope you enjoy!

Maple Glazed
SalmonI
Serves 4
Ingredients
  • 4-4 oz pieces raw salmon
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/4 c maple syrup
  • 1 T sesame oil
  • 2 T rice vinegar
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/8 t crushed red pepper
Directions
  1. Combine all ingredients, except for the salmon, into a gallon sized ziplock bag. Mush all ingredients together with your hands.
  2. Add salmon to the  ziplock bag, then refrigerate and marinate for at least an hour (I marinated it for 4 hours).
  3. Preheat the broiler in your oven. Line the bottom of your broiler pan or a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and spray with cooking spray.
  4. Place salmon skin side down onto the foil. Pour some of the excess marinade over the salmon, sprinkle with a little bit of salt and pepper, then place directly under the broiler. Cook for 10-12 minutes, depending on the salmon’s thickness, until opaque and flakes easily with a fork.
  5. Remove and serve immediately.

32 Weeks

How far along? 32 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: 22 pounds gained.
Maternity clothes? Here and there.
Sleep: Still great! Every now and then I’ll get up to go to the bathroom and that’s the time Turner decides he wants to start his boxing session. Somehow, I fall asleep though!
Best moment this week: Having my shower and finishing the nursery! This was a big week. It made me SO excited to meet him!
Miss Anything? Drinking my favorite Fall coffee drinks and actually ENJOYING it. I’ve been choking down my half cup in the morning. I look forward to a time when I’ll want coffee again.
Movement: He’s nuts! I can feel him all the time!
Food cravings: It’s starting to cool down a little bit (and by that I mean it’s 85 during the day instead of 100) so I’ve been loving soups! I made Butternut Squash Soup last week for lunch and this week is Minestrone!
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope!
Have you started to show yet: I’d say so.
Gender: Boy
Labor Signs: No
Belly Button in or out? The top is starting to pop out
Wedding rings on or off? Off at night. My fingers still hurt at when I sleep. I have no clue what I did to my fingers, but when I put a ring on it hurts more!
Happy or Moody most of the time: Beyond happy!
Looking forward to: Seeing our maternity photos and going to NJ in 2 weeks to see the rest of our fam and have shower number 2!