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Sunday
Feb132011

Heart Shaped Cinnamon Rolls

heart shaped cinnamon roll

Dear Computer,

I know you are on your last leg of life. We have entered the final days. It is hard to admit (to both you and myself) that you are past the point of repair. You are old. You've had a good life. It is time we begin our goodbyes.

You and I, we've been together for a long time. Four years, to be exact. We've traveled the world together. I protected you from the great rolling fogs when we lived in England. We struggled to learn French together while in Quebec. We've seen the Rocky Mountains, we've been from sea to shining sea. But now you are old; the 3 foot journey from the kitchen counter to the dining room table has become too much for you.

heart shaped cinnamon roll

When I was feeling down, you were there to cheer me up. You showed me pictures of baby animals and delighted me with beautiful pictures of food. We watched hours of television together. I was always surprised that we had the same taste in music. But now a 4 minute YouTube video completely shuts you down.

Then you broke your hip (or hinge, as it may be). It was sad, but we dealt with it. We worked around your new disability. But then you cracked the other, breaking yourself cleanly in half. I taped you together, but the tape wouldn't hold. I held you up with wine bottles, first full and then empty—it was a rough moment for the both of us. Your screen is dim, your track pad no longer recognizes my touch. Now you are held together with rubber bands and rulers.

We've had a good run, you and I. Soon you will go to a better place, where memory is unlimited and your battery never runs of juice. I will have to find a replacement, you know. But don't worry, no computer can replace the space you have made in my heart.

After you leave this earth, the next thing to go will be my bank account.

Love,
Kristin

PS: These heart shaped rolls are for you. Pay no attention to the fact that Valentine's Day is tomorrow.

heart shaped cinnamon roll

These cinnamon rolls are heart shaped! The dough is soft, full, and easy to work with—what more could you ask for? The filling is rich, buttery, and just oozes that gooey brown sugar. The filling isn't too sweet, which I enjoy; this is breakfast, not dessert. The glaze is made from cream cheese and has this lovely tang. Each flavor is distinct and independent—the yeasted dough, cinnamon, and cream cheese. This is a perfect Sunday morning pastry.

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Friday
Feb112011

Chocolate Blueberry Ice Cream

chocolate blueberry ice cream

I find the attitudes towards winter and summer interesting. 40 degrees in the middle of winter is equivalent to a summer heat wave, where people start wearing shorts and sandals and children want to eat ice cream and go swimming (I kid you not, just drive by a school and you will understand what I mean). 40 degrees in the middle of summer is equivalent to a bad case of frostbite. All I want to wear is my winter coat and snow pants and snuggle up to the fireplace and cry.

Today it was a whopping 35 degrees F. From the frigid, ice cold, people-start-hibernating-like-bears temperatures North Dakota has been experiencing all week, this was a very welcome change. It felt like the middle of spring.

chocolate blueberry ice cream

Scarves and mittens (even coats!) suddenly became scarce. I didn't wear pants. I drove around with my windows down because it was so warm. And I made ice cream. Because when it is the middle of winter and it suddenly feels like summer, this is what you should do.

Perspective is everything.

chocolate blueberry ice cream

This chocolate blueberry ice cream is soft and oh so creamy. When the rich chocolate base is combined with the blueberries something magical happens. These aren't just frozen blueberries added to chocolate ice cream; the blueberry juices penetrate the ice cream creating a blueberry infusion. The ice cream is littered with pieces of blueberry. If you are wary of this flavor combination, you will miss out. I guarantee it.

Also, if you are still in need of some last minute Valentine's Day ideas for Monday (or the weekend), I have selected a few ideas for you!

1. Quick Chocolate Cake
2. Vanilla Rum Soaked French Toast
3. Chocolate Truffles
4. 30 Second Sangria
5. Zuppa Toscana
6. Chocolate Espresso Pots de Creme

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Wednesday
Feb092011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pops

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pops

Valentine's Day was always one of the big holidays growing up. My elementary school would make a big fuss and go through a big production every year. We would choose the best valentines for our classmates and build boxes to keep them in. Most kids would decorate a shoe box or bring in a small mailbox, but I would always create elaborate valentine boxes.

My mom and I love crafts and we use any excuse to get covered in glue and paper scraps. Valentine's day is no exception. One year we built and decorated a giant house from cardboard, complete with chimney smoke, to drop my valentines in. Another year we constructed a lion from construction paper which ended up standing nearly two feet tall in all of its roaring glory. I kept that lion for many years after, not only as a reminder of how awesome it was, but of the entire weekend I spent with my mom creating it.

Chocolate Chip Cookie PopsChocolate Chip Cookie Pops

This is the perfect valentine for someone sweet. Simply wrap the cookie pop in plastic wrap, secure it with a red ribbon, and you have a delicious valentine to give someone special. The cookies are entirely customizable. You can leave them plain, decorate them with frosting, or pipe out your own valentine message directly onto the cookie.

Now answer me this—who wouldn't want a cookie valentine?

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pops

We all know chocolate chip cookies are delicious, but when you put them on a stick? Even better. I personally enjoy chocolate chip cookies more than just about any other cookie (sorry, sugar cookies), because they just taste good. These chocolate chip cookies are no exception. They are rich with brown sugar, chocolate, and are partially made with whole wheat flour which gives them a great texture. These cookies are light and soft; when you bite into them they will not crumble and fall off the stick. These are perfect for Valentine's day or anytime you just want to eat something on a stick.

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