weekend and sticky buns

Another beautiful weekend that went by way too fast once again! All that gorgeous snow this morning really putted us all in a festive mood… while also catching us by surprise, as we didn’t have our winter tires installed yet… but thanks to my brothers-in-laws, it’s now done!

So it was a PD day on Friday and it turned out being my turn to be off work at school; called my Mom Thursday night, made some plans for the Friday morning, dropped off the boys at daycare and left on a little road trip to the States for the day. The drive was awesome and the shopping too! Of course the first stop was Target, and as expected, it was just awesome and I was able to cross off many things from my list. Got to see the new Joanna and Chip line, unfortunately, all I wanted was already gone… oh well, next time! One of my favorite lunch place is Panera’s. I know we have it here now, but it’s just not the same… I don’t know, I just love to go to Panera’s every time I’m in the States! So right after I had paid for my sandwich and soup, on my way to my table, after I had waited in line for a long time, I spotted some delicious looking Pecan Sticky Buns. I was so mad I hadn’t seen them before, and I didn’t wanted to do the line again, so I didn’t get it, but then they were on my mind all afternoon long!

So by Saturday morning, at about 7h30 am, I was on a mission as I had decided that I was finally going to have some Pecan Sticky Buns, once and for all.

I’ve used Chatelaine’s recipe and tweaked it a bit. It turned out to be quite easy to do, and oh my, sooo DELICIOUS. I will be making these on Christmas morning for sure. And you should too! Here it goes:

Pecan Sticky Buns

What you need:

Dough:

3 cups flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 pack quick-rise instant yeast

1 tsp salt

1/3 cup hot water

1/2 cup hot milk

2 tbsp melted butter

1 egg

Sauce:

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

2 tbsp honey

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup pecans

Filling:

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 tsp cinnamon

How to:

In a large bowl, mix1 cup of flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Add the milk, hot water, butter and egg. Using a wooden spoon, add 1 3/4 cup of flour to the bowl, all while stirring until the dough comes together. Knead the dough in the bowl for 4 minutes. Preheat your oven at 160 and insert the bowl with a damp cloth over it. Turn off oven and let rise for an hour.

Meanwhile, melt 1/4 cup of butter with 1/3 cup brown sugar, honey and vanilla in a saucepan for the sauce. Cook on medium heat until bubbly. Pour into a 9×13 baking dish. Sprinkle with chopped pecans. I only sprinkled half of the dish with the nuts, leaving half for regular buns. But definitely better with!

In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, butter and cinnamon to create a paste. Then leave aside.

Remove dough from oven. Preheat the oven at 350 for baking the buns. Sprinkle flour on a flat surface and place the dough. Using a rolling pin, spread the dough and try roll it into a square shape. It’s note easy because the dough will be stretchy, but try your best! Mine was roughly 12”x12”. Spread the brown sugar paste evenly everywhere on the dough. Then start from the bottom and roll tightly.

Using a sharp knife, cut the roll into 12 pieces of about one inch each and lay the pieces in the baking dish. Lightly brush a bit of vegetable oil on top of the buns.

Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes. Chatelaine recommend to cover with foil if they get golden too fast, but I didn’t have to do it. Remove from oven and let stand for a few minutes. The sauce will be extremely hot. Using a cookie sheet and parchment paper, cover the baking dish and flip the dish over. Be careful, this is very hot! But very good!!!

Honestly, I never had any Pecan Sticky Buns before, so I can’t really compare, but these tasted amazing. The dough was easy to make, and so soft. I will be using this recipe for donuts and bread. If you don’t bake often, this recipe is super easy. One big bowl does the trick, no need for super appliances or gadgets.

The caramel sauce with pecans is kind of addictive. I’m telling you, this recipe should definitely be part of your Holidays’ baking list; as it will not disappoint! Have a great week my friends!

  

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canada day and a quick getaway

So last weekend was Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations across the nation.  We were not planning on going downtown Ottawa for all the big festivities, but I was very excited and really looking forward to our own celebrations, and BBQ’s, and friends, and local fireworks and Canada Day cake… but by Saturday afternoon, most of our plans had fell through, mainly due the crappy weather, so I was just miserable, at home, with nothing to do on this long weekend.  So I decided to take a nap.  Even then, I was so bored I couldn’t even fall asleep.  So I sent a text message to Brian, who was playing Mario Kart with the boys downstairs, asking him if we could go somewhere; like anywhere!!!

Of course, I knew he wouldn’t say no to that!

So I sent him the text at 3:30 pm… by 3:45 we had agreed on a destination, and by 4:00 we were out the door, and on our way to the USA on Canada Day!  Well, that doesn’t sound too much patriotic, but I got to say that we did look at some destination in Canada first; Brian wanted to go see his beloved Red Sox in Toronto, but it just didn’t work out.

I love Canada!  I truly love everything there is to love about our awesome and unique country, and I am so proud to be Canadian, but seriously, if there’s one thing the American got right is that they didn’t let Target go bankrupt!!!  So while Brian was booking the hotel online, I was figuring out the shortest route to get to my beloved Target!

We left at around 4pm and didn’t stopped until we made it to Watertown’s Target.  I promise Brian before the trip I’d be good and reasonable and wouldn’t spend too much as this was last minute and clearly not planned in our summer budget!  Well I kept that promise for about two hours.  Still can’t believe that store didn’t worked out in Canada.  Obviously not because of me, as I visited the Orleans store at least once a week while it was open!  Even the boys were excited to see the giant red balls outside.  So within one hour in the store I had already found so many things I didn’t even know I absolutely needed!  It felt so good, and I was so happy, with my Starbuck in one hand and a red shopping cart in the other.

We then got back on the road.  Brian had book a nice hotel in an awesome neighborhood of Syracuse, NY.  We stayed at the Marriott in Armory Square; surrounded by old buildings, beautiful flowers lining streets and string lights everywhere.  We loved it as soon as we saw the location of the hotel.  We arrived shortly before 9, check ourselves in, unpacked and then headed down to the lobby for some drinks and snacks while waiting for my mom and Frank.  They too, had decided to join us on our crazy last minute getaway.

I don’t know a lot about Syracuse, but I’m pretty sure we had the best location in town.  At 10 pm, we ventured out to find a place to eat.  Right by the hotel there was a great place, Pastabilities, only to find out that the kitchen had just closed minutes ago.  It’s definitely on the list for our next trip.  So Brian then walked into a cute little alley and found a place called Modern Malt.  He came back to get us, and as soon as I walked in, I was in love with the place.  Retro style Diner with a pretty glass dessert display, a colorful aqua and orange decor and some delicious looking chocolate milkshakes on the menu!  We shared a fig jam and caramelized onion burger on a brioche, and it was sooo good!!!   Wish we would have had more time in Syracuse in order to go back for breakfast.  They had some waffles-with-everything meal and it looked just delish!  I honestly would have tasted everything on the menu.

Sunday morning was slow and relax.  We enjoyed breakfast in the lobby while planning out our day.  We drove to a few stores my mom wanted to go to and then it was Destiny shopping!  Spent a few hours browsing the stores.  Found a few things.  Then the boys did a rope course that they loved.  Unfortunately, they were just a few inches shy of making it to the big course.  Next time.  We shared some awesome nachos at Margaritaville for lunch.  Then played arcade games where Liam won the roulette tickets jackpot and where Brian wanted to spend the rest of the day!  By late afternoon we were all tired and decided to head back to our rooms for a nap and swimming.  Swimming for Brian and the boys, and yep, a nap for me!  Not sure what it is about hotel pools, but they’re always the best according to my boys.  They ended up meeting some other kids, and their mom had floating balls that they were all throwing in the pool, and they raced, and it was just so much fun apparently… oh well, nothing beats a nap in a comfy hotel bed!!!

For diner, of course we had to go to The Cheesecake Factory.  It was, as usual, so good!!!  And bonus, I ate my cheesecake for breakfast the next morning!

Next day came by way too quickly and it was already the end of our short and unplanned but so much fun summer vacation.  So we packed our stuff, got in the car and started our journey back.  We made another stop at Target (upon my kids request, I swear), then Cracker Barrel and then home.

I love these last minute getaway road trips.  Luckily, I have people who love crazy ideas and always want to tag along.  We’re all sad that it went by so quick.  But we had a lot of fun spending time together, and I’m sure it won’t be too long before we go back!

For now, at least, it seems like we brought back the sun with us; so let’s enjoy our backyard pool a little and let’s hope summer is here for good!!!

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