A walk in the neighborhood

We have had so much rain lately. So. Much. Rain. So when the sun comes out, you have to take advantage, and it did this morning.

I took the dogs for a walk around the neighborhood. Even though it was sunny here, it was foggy over the city, so I still couldn’t get you a decent photo of the bridge. It’s funny, sometimes you can see it best on a cloudy day, but with no fog.

Some of my neighbors are in the Christmas spirit. The decorations look a bit out of place, but I still appreciate them.

Bumper stickers are pretty entertaining around here.

Alrighty then.

I’ve decided we need to get a hummingbird feeder.

I’ve already seen a few different varieties twitting around, and I want to see them in our yard.

Also, I kept seeing these darling birdhouses in people’s yards and wondering where I could get one. They look just like miniature versions of real houses.

Then last weekend I saw a truck full of them while I was out shopping. It turns out there’s a Web site called BerkeleyRusticBirdhouses.com that sells them!

We also checked out this very full and popular diner called Bette’s that is known for giant puff pancakes. We opted for eggs instead, which are cooked extra soft with gourmet (at least for diner food) toppings. I loved it. I thought it was a rare place that was totally worth the hype and the 45-minute wait.

Bubble bread!

Remember when I said we had our bubble bread over Thanksgiving since we wouldn’t be home for Christmas? Well, I decided I couldn’t live without it on Christmas day, so I asked my mom for the recipe and we’re going to make it.

Tradition calls for making it in a bundt pan so you can turn it over and have a perfectly shaped round of goodness. I don’t think we’ve ever even used our bundt pan, so we’re going to try it this time. Add veggie sausage and mimosas — perfect Christmas morning!

Christmas Morning Bubble Bread

from the depths of the Mason family recipe box

1 package frozen dinner rolls (24 Parker House style rolls)
2 sticks butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 t. cinnamon
1 cup pecan pieces

Melt 1 stick of butter and mix it with the brown sugar. Pour into an ungreased bundt pan (or 2 smaller baking pans). Sprinkle nuts over the brown sugar mixture.

Melt the other stick of butter. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl. Dip each frozen roll in butter, then roll in sugar mixture and arrange in pan.

Mix leftover butter and sugar mixture and drizzle over top.

Cover and let rise overnight (we usually just set it inside the oven so it’s ready to go). It will probably get huge. Don’t worry, it’s supposed to.

For this one we added some extra rolls and baked them in a huge rectangular pan.

In the morning, bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes, then invert rolls onto a serving plate.

*Edited to add some new photos, using the bundt pan.

Rolls, after they have risen overnight.

Bundt pan, fresh out of the oven after baking.

Inverting the pan onto a plate. It takes a few shakes to get it loose.

Mmmmm, the finished product.