Happy Valentine’s Day

Even though it’s kind of a gloomy day here and I couldn’t get a great picture, I wanted to show you what Mike got instead of flowers for Valentine’s Day.

It’s an orange tree!

They’re mandarin oranges, so they’ll be pretty small, and I’m not sure if we’ll get any this spring or not. But there’s tons of buds on it, and it’s a great addition to our teeny yard, which needed a little something special.

I’ll also be enjoying this gloomy day with my new tea set.

I ordered it from Delight.com when I found out they were closing shop and offering a 40 percent discount. I just can’t believe they won’t exist anymore. I loved ordering gifts (especially for myself!) from their great selection.

Speaking of good places to order things online, have you ever ordered anything from Purl? I got some new knitting needles and they were sweet enough to include some extra yarn samples.

The more I looked at them the more I saw a little cup cozy in there. So I made one.

I spilled a little coffee on the one I’ve been carrying in my purse, so this is my trusty replacement.

I’ve been knitting (and crocheting) up a storm lately, so I’ll have more projects to share soon.

Hope you are enjoying this day with the sweethearts in your life!

Valentine’s Day garland

My friend Särah designed the cutest polka dot heart garland for Valentine’s Day, and she’s offering a free download so you can print them out, too.

I can’t wait to perk up my empty fireplace with this!

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.

Christmas cookies!

I took two kinds of cookies to Mike’s work holiday party in an attempt to make friends, and it totally worked.

If you haven’t started your holiday baking yet, might I make a few suggestions?

Chocolate Suzies
Because if love isn’t a Reese’s peanut butter cup nestled inside a chocolate chip cookie, I don’t know what is.

Glammed up peanut blossoms
A traditional cookie made special with dark chocolate kisses and raw sugar crystals.

• Candy stripe cookie sticks
Make Martha proud this year.

Sugar cookies
If you opt for frosting out of a can, I won’t tell.

• Pepparkakor
I saw these in the IKEA cookbook so they must be legit!

• Red velvet sandwiches
Everyone else is doing red velvet cupcakes. Be different.

Peanut butter ball cookies
I am thinking about making these “million dollar cookies” right now.

Chocolate crinkles
Yum, yum, yum, and yum. ‘Nuff said.

I could keep going, but if you want more recipes just head over to my recipe archive.

Also, I would love to see some of your holiday cookie recipes, so please share in the comments!