I was busy this weekend and knit up a neck warmer, using short rows and an elastic/stretchy bind off – both new techniques to me.  Though I did take a course on Craftsy a long time ago on short rows.  I discovered I couldn’t access my Craftsy courses, which is very discouraging.  I cannot only not remember my password, but I can’t remember which email I had my account under!  Sigh… I’m debating buying the year membership through my new email address…so I have access to everything all year.

In other news…Friday we went to a friend’s place for food and games.  Saturday we had company over all day and overnight.  I made low fat cinnamon buns in the afternoon.  We had a very tough stewing hen for supper, courtesy of me not reading the label.  Had I realized it was a stewing hen I would have cooked it longer and slower in the crockpot.  Ah well.  I cooked it for another four hours after supper, stored it in the fridge overnight, and made a lovely chicken noodle soup for supper Sunday.  Company also brought us some cooked farm fresh bacon.  Sunday morning we feasted on it, scrambled eggs, and toast/cinnamon buns.

Sunday, after company left, we went to a nearby mini multicultural festival in the city.  It’s called Community Connections and happens one afternoon every March.  They give away ethnic food and the kids perform (and some adults too).  Plus there are tables for different organizations and cultural groups to advertise themselves.  It’s all people from that one area of the city.  They also have a lot of really cool door prizes, including two kids bikes.  This year I won a gift basket of beauty products.

We had a slow evening last evening as Hubby is coming down with a cold.  I was plotting my next knitting adventure.  I have to measure my circular needles to make sure I have a 9″ one.  If I do, then it’s on to fingerless mitts to match my neck warmer.  I have lots of yarn left! 🙂

Have a great week everyone!

Jean’s Cinnamon Buns (modified from “The Best of Cooking Light 3”)
Serving Size : 18 large buns

5 teaspoons instant quick rise yeast
1/2 cup hot water
7 cups flour — divided
1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree, or fresh
1 cup skim milk, hot
1/2 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
6 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons flour
3 teaspoons cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter — chilled, cut in small pieces
1/2 c. raisins, soaked for 20 minutes

Mix yeast, 6 c. of flour, 2 tbsp. white sugar, and nutmeg.

In separate bowl mix 1/2 c. hot water, pumpkin puree, warm milk, oil, and salt. Mix well to dissolve salt.

Add wet ingredients to dry. Stir. Let sit 10 minutes. Knead approximately 10 minutes till smooth and elastic. Add flour as needed.

Divide dough in half. Roll out to 12″x10″ rectangle.

Combine streusel ingredients: 6 tbsp. white sugar, 6 tbsp. brown sugar, 4 tbsp. flour, 3 tsp. cinnamon and chilled butter pieces. Cut butter in with pastry blender. Sprinkle half of mixture on each rectangle. Sprinkle on the raisins.

Roll tightly, starting with long edge. Press firmly to eliminate air pockets. Cut roll in 1″ slices. Place on greased cooking pan. I line my pans with parchment paper or wax paper to make for easier removal of the buns after cooking.

Let rise till double in size (approximately 45 minutes). Preheat oven to 375 F. Bake 20 minutes until golden.

Cool in pan 15 minutes on wire rack.  Remove carefully and enjoy!

Opt.: Mix 1 ½ c. icing sugar, 2 tbsp. hot water and ½ tsp. vanilla extract to make a glaze to drizzle over buns.

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Pumpkin Puree

To cut the costs of this, I make my own pumpkin puree every fall at Halloween, when pumpkin is cheap.  I cut up the pumpkins – two large ones will give the equivalent of about 20 cans of pumpkin.  I cut them up, clean them out, and put them skin side up on a baking sheet with sides in the oven.  I bake them in a 325 F oven for up to an hour, maybe more.  I scrape the pulp into the food processor and puree it.  Then measure it out in can size amounts into ziploc freezer bags and freeze it till needed.  Instructions courtesy of “Joy of Cooking” (1980 edition).

Another way to make pumpkin puree is to simply poke the outside of an entire pumpkin with a sharp knife or fork, so that steam can escape, and bake in the oven for half an hour to an hour at 325 F.   Take out and let cool.  Cut and scrap strings away, saving seeds to make a pumpkin seed snack.   Then scrape the flesh off the pumpkin, puree, and freeze like above.

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