Tuesday, February 20, 2018


It snowed two nights ago and it also got very cold.  After running errands on Sunday I didn't venture too far today.

In fact I feel very tired and quite cold.  I've got  the heat turned up high and am just taking things easy.
I even cancelled a hair appointment for tomorrow but hope to run a few errands later this week and possibly  take in a workshop on Friday. It really depends on  how much snow we get because more snow is forecast for a few more times this week.  It's highly unusual for us at this time of the year.

 In the meantime, I'm cocooning by reading cosy books, making slow dinners, watching small apartment decor videos and organizing videos, watching movies and once again making some bread.  I seldom really learn anything from the You Tube videos where everyone seems to want to show how they have decorated and show you ever single thing they own and where they put it. I do love to see how others live in their spaces but I do not like hearing the word "random" over and over again in the same video or hearing about every single area or item in one's home.  A nice overview will do and then perhaps draw audience attention to a few specific highlights or design ideas. 
But that's just me. I'm sure others like all the detail and additional information


Have any of you see the old movie called "Black Narcissus" with Deborah Kerr?
It's a psychological drama about the emotional tensions of jealousy and longing within a convent of nuns in an isolated valley in the Himalayas.
I saw it once or twice before and I enjoyed watching it again on the weekend. 
Somehow the ill wind in the Himalayas seemed apropos for the weather and feelings it brought over the past few days. I'm talking literal weather now, not psychological.  Thank heavens.
Speaking of movies, my brother and I went to see the Black Panther movie on Friday which was opening night.  We went early to avoid dealing with the sell out crowds.
It was a terrific movie and I highly recommend it if you haven't seen it yet. It will be an especially important movie for young black (not just North Americans but also in other countries) kids and youth.  It enables them to see a good movie with their own kind playing the leading roles.  The plot was decent for a movie based on comic book characters and  the special effects were great.
I always like to see a good, clean movie with no gratuitous sex scenes.  In fact, there were no sex scenes at all in this movie though it wasn't devoid of romantic relationships which are a normal part of life.
On the home making front, the cushions I am remaking are not all done.  New stuffing has been added to the 3 cushions I remade (and the outer liners taken apart and washed 3 times).  Then they've been stuffed into the newly purchased, newly washed store bought cushion covers.  All except for the very large cushion (in ivory muslin) for which I'll probably have to sew up a cover.  I think I need to make 2 more cushions from scratch so I can use all my new cushion covers.
I'm sharing a hurriedly shot photo of one decor option featuring one of the recently made afghans and some of the new cushions.  My apologies for the poor lighting but it is difficult to get enough light at this time of year.
I also can't take a full on photo so it is a bit of a weird angle to view things but it will have to do.
I've moved one of my large photos from above the sofa and replaced it with the floral one to coordinate with the gold cushions. The floral photo used to be above my fire place so I've simply switched out photos for now rather than buy completely new wall art.
If I had to buy a new piece I'd have to store all my other ones because they won't coordinate.
I don't want to spend the additional money. Nor do I want to add things to my dusty storage area.

Here is one decor option with my new cushions and one of the afghans.

This is my cosy read of the moment. It's lovely to see all the cottages.

In the bread making department I'm sharing the recipe I used I've made this one several times.  It always turns out good.  It's from the Robin Hood  website and I doubled the recipe so I could make some buns and some cinnamon rolls. I'm all out of raisins so this time it will just be cinnamon and brown sugar in the buns. 

The cinnamon buns are super small after forming and shaping a dozen medium sized buns.  I didn't put any cream cheese frosting on them. I usually prefer them without frosting.


1 tsp (5 mL) sugar
1/2 cup (125 mL) water, warm
1 envelope (8 g) active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp/11 mL)
1 cup (250 mL) milk
2 tbsp (30 mL) butter or margarine
2 tbsp (30 mL) sugar
1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) salt
1/2 cup (125 mL) water, warm
5 1/2 cups (1375 mL) white flour




1. DISSOLVE 1 teaspoon (5 mL) sugar in 1/2 cup (125 mL) warm water in large bowl. Sprinkle in yeast. Let stand 10 minutes, then stir well.
2. HEAT milk to lukewarm. Stir in butter, 2 tablespoons (30 mL) sugar, salt and 1/2 cup (125 mL) warm water. Add milk mixture and 2 cups (500 mL) white flour to dissolved yeast mixture. Beat with wooden spoon or electric mixer until smooth and elastic.
3. STIR IN 2 1/2 cups (625 mL) of remaining flour gradually. If necessary, add more flour to make a soft dough which leaves sides of bowl. Turn out on floured board. Round up into a ball.
4. KNEAD dough, adding more flour as necessary, until dough is smooth, elastic and no longer sticky (about 10 minutes).
5. PLACE in lightly greased bowl. Turn dough to greased top. Cover with greased waxed paper and tea towel.
6. LET RISE in warm place (75°-85°F/24°-29°C) until doubled (45-60 minutes).
7. PUNCH DOWN. Turn out onto lightly floured board and divide into 2 equal portions. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
8. SHAPE each portion into a loaf. Place seam side down in 2 greased 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" x 2 3/4" (1.5 L) loaf pans. Cover with tea towel.
9. LET RISE in warm place until dough rises 1 1/2" (3 cm) above top of pan in centre and corners are filled (45 to 60 minutes).
10. BAKE at 400°F (200°C) on lower oven rack for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from pans immediately. Brush top crust with butter if a soft crust is desired. Cool on wire racks.
11. QUICK NOTE: This recipe makes 2 loaves.

I used my Kitchen Aid Mixer to mix up all the dough but once it is mixed I knead it by hand for a few minutes. 
I don't knead it for 10 minutes like recipes usually recommend due to arthritis.  
I've only really made bread in this fashion after trying a bread machine many years ago but not liking it much. 
There are many people who do use a bread machine and they like it just fine. 
Home made bread, whichever method you use to make it is a real treat.

Joining in with Our World Tuesday this week. 
Have an awesome week ahead.


David M. Gascoigne, said...

Making bread is therapeutic - and the results are well worth the effort.

Dianna said...

Penny, I like the new pillows and also the afghan. The floral picture is a very attractive compliment to the color of the pillows and afghan. You have accomplished the task of making me hungry with those yummy looking cinnamon rolls and your bread and rolls look perfect! I do use a bread machine but I only use it on the dough cycle. Neither of us care for the texture of the bread if the machine is allowed to go its full cycle, plus the hole that is made by the paddle. So I do the dough cycle and then shape, let rise once more and bake our bread. I need to do that today, as a matter of fact.

Red said...

I'd say you've been very busy and done some satisfying things. Good books and movies ? Yes!

Joanne Noragon said...

Love your cushions, love your bread. Stay warm.

Rhodesia said...

I make bread by hand and with a machine and I have to say both taste equally as good to me. Those cinnamon rolls look fabulous, yum yum. Love the pillows and the Afghan, particularly the colours of the Afghan are my sort of colours. Take care and have a good week Diane

Kenneth Cole Schneider said...

Love the decor and can almost taste the pastry, but my big takeaways are your movie suggestions!

Jeanie said...

You ARE baking and these all look just wonderful. You know I'm a very big sucker for breads of any kind and oh, you rocked it! Sounds like your cocooning is like my cocooning. Baking, good books, a movie or two, and putzing around the house. I love the afghan and the pillows. They look really terrific together. I'd say lay low and enjoy your "time off" from being a busy person. This looks really good to me!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Black Panther got great reviews! I'm glad you were able to see it on its first sell out weekend.

Your cinnamon rolls look so scrumptious--I have a definite weakness for anything with cinnamon in it!

Angie said...

There are few things that I love more than home-made bread ... the danger is that I will eat the whole loaf too quickly!!! Yours looks amazing with the buttery topping - yummy! Winter is made for cocooning, so enjoy it while you can!

Mari said...

Your cushions and the afghan look so nice and homey!
I'm impressed with the bread making!

diane b said...

Sorry to hear you were feeling a bit down. But you certainly came good with the cooking. Wish I lived next door.

shayndel said...

Its a good time of year for cocooning!! Soon it will be spring, but meanwhile I also find these last of winter to be cold even though where we are its not near as cold as Canada, somehow the last weeks of Feb. and early March I get so chilled and even though people say its warm, my body is sensitive I guess!! So the past few days I have not wanted to do much!!! Today its time to get out though and get some ingredients for Challah! I love seeing your bread, it looks wonderful and I can smell the delicious aroma!! Lately even in between making challah, I have been making bread in the week! Once you start you might want to make it all the time!! I also love kneading by hand, but wonder if I want to make larger quantites may need a kneading machine. Thanks for sharing your details and about yours. I also have joint problems in my hands, but find that the kneading helps. Maybe different for each person!! Well, this is a long comment from one cocoon to another! God Bless you Joyfull!!

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

I am not much of a fan of youtube videos, especially if they are over a minute or two long unless I am interested in a particular topic.

I am also tired of gratuitous sex scenes. When I was younger I was okay with them but now I am like, "How can you do that in front of a crowd of people during a shot." Now I am kind of embarrassed for the actors.

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