Food is important to our marriage. Not in a you-need-food-to-survive kind of way, but in a this-I-how-I-show-my-husband-I-love-him kind of way. It’s a good trip to the grocery store when I can get something that probably wasn’t on the list but I know he’ll be excited about. Like a box of Capri Suns or those chocolate-dipped granola bars (it doesn’t take a lot!). And it’s a good meal when “The Ultimate” grilled cheese is on the table (see? it really doesn’t take much – nothing gourmet here!).
Our anniversary was last week, so, of course, I had to make him some food. When special occasions roll around, he surprises me with flowers or gifts or weekends away. He does a really great job of it, too. He planned a trip to Williamsburg for our fifth, which was wonderful and was all I was expecting. But then I came home one day to discover roses, too! Although I shouldn’t have been surprised – even when we’ve decided not to do gifts, he always manages to make flowers appear.
Anyway, I got to surprise him a little bit this time around. I wasn’t really trying to, since I wrote “cinnamon rolls” on my to-do list and on my menu plan for the week. I also left the dishes in the sink and the pan of cinnamon rolls and the bowl of frosting in the fridge for the next morning. But when his alarm went off the next morning, and I told him if he got up he’d have fresh cinnamon rolls, he was surprised. And pretty excited.
I also made him chicken bacon ranch pizza for lunch, just to make the day a little more special. It turned out even better than usual, too, since the crust had extra time to rise while I waited for my bread to finish baking. The bread was for his dinner – nothing fabulous, but it did feature PB&J on homemade bread with homemade blackberry jam, another of his favorites.
Then we went up to Williamsburg and he treated me to a romantic dinner at The Trellis, which we finished off with Death by Chocolate. Amazing.
Overall, it was a good way to celebrate another year together and look forward to a new one – one that will be full of changes, some that we know of and are excitedly planning for, and others that will most likely hit us when we least expect them. Either way, we know that we have a loving God who is in control and whom we can trust in both the exciting and the difficult days. And, we can eat good food.
The BEST Cinnamon Rolls!! (adapted for the bread machine)
1 1/4 ounce active dry yeast (2 1/2 tsp.)
1 C. warm milk
1/2 C. white sugar
1/3 C. butter, melted
1 tsp. salt
4 C. all-purpose flour
1 C. packed brown sugar
2 1/2 T. cinnamon
1/3 C. butter, softened
1 stick butter, softened
1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
2 ounces cream cheese
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. salt
- Add roll ingredients to the bread machine, putting dry ingredients first. Run “dough” cycle.
- Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface – measuring approx. 21 inches long and 16 inches wide. It should be about 1/4 inch thick.
- For the filling, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon. Spread the softened butter evenly over the surface of the dough and sprinkle the cinnamon mixture evenly over the surface.
- Working from the top (21 in. side), roll the dough down to the bottom edge.
- Cut the rolled dough into 2 inch slices and place them, evenly spaced, into a lightly greased baking pan. Let the rolls rise again until double in size (about 30 min.).
- While the rolls rise (or while they are baking), combine the icing ingredients. Beat well with an electric mixer until fluffy.
*Note: At this point, I usually put my rolls and frosting in the refrigerator overnight. Get the rolls out when you turn the oven on to preheat and they’ll be ready to bake when the oven is ready.
Bake for 10-15 minutes at 400 degrees, or until light brown on top. Coat generously with icing when they come out of the oven. Enjoy!