Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Years Resolutions

Happy New Years Eve!

GB and I are visiting some great friends in Morehead City, North Carolina and I can't help but stop to think about New Years Resolutions.

I thought I would share some of my thoughts on resolutions.

Every year I make a resolution to eat healthier, lose a few pounds, and work out more. Sometimes I stick to it and sometimes I don't.

I've been spending time considering what to focus on in 2012. I don't want to make the same resolution I make every year. But honestly - there isn't a lot that I'd like to change in my life.

I love my life.

So my new year's resolution is to keep doing the same thing.

I work really hard on maintaining a positive attitude no matter what is going on. I don't always succeed, but choosing my 'tude has been monumentous in my life.

So I resolve to continue choosing to be positive no matter what.

I love all of the people in my life. I'm so grateful for my sister, my family, my friends and GB. I try as often as I can to let them know how much I love them.

I resolve to spend as much time with loved ones as I can and tell them I love them everyday.

I love blogging. I love expressing my creative side, even when things don't turn out the way I hoped. I love being able to share my thoughts with you. I love hearing from my readers.

I resolve to continue to work on Kiss My Smash. I will try bigger and better projects and always push myself.

What is your new years resolution? I'd love to hear what your resolutions are.

I updated the comment section so anyone can comment without logging in. You can also tweet me @kissmysmash or email me at kissmysmash@gmail.com.

Thank you for reading KMS this year. It means more to me than you know.

I can't wait to spend the next year crafting, cooking, sewing and working on other projects with you!

Friday, December 30, 2011

A Little Slice of Heaven Part 2


Today I’m continuing our journey to nutroll heaven.  


To learn about the first few steps head over to Part 1
We parted ways last after we left our dough to rise. 
After it rises, punch the dough down again and divide into 6 portions. Cover with a dishcloth to allow the dough to rise some more. 



Make sure you cover with a dish towel. This plastic wrap was no good. The dough rises better under a towel. 

Now onto the nut mixture. 



Something you should know about me is I hate nuts. With all my heart - I hate nuts. It’s like chewing on wood. Nutroll is the only food I consume with nuts in it. It really is something special. 
The filling ingredients are:
2 lbs Walnuts (2lbs after grinding)
1 3/4 cup of Sugar (don’t tell the Boss Lady but we usually add more)
1 1/3 cup boiling milk
We typically make 3 or 4 batches so we need a lot of nuts. 


Using the stand mixer’s grinder attachment grind up all your nuts. (Ha.)




This takes a really long time as the grinder moves pretty slowly. If you push the nuts down too hard - it can jam the grinder. Be gentle with the nuts. (Ha.)



Next add the sugar to the nuts, and then add the boiling milk. This is always Leroy Coltrain’s job. 






We always taste the mixture to make sure it’s sweet enough. This is when we add more sugar when the Boss Lady’s not looking. 
Divide your mixture into 6 portions and set aside. 



We’re almost finished. On Monday we will roll and bake the nutroll! Make sure you come back for the finale. 





















Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Little Slice of Heaven


Today is an important day in internet history. I’m going to share with you my family Nutroll recipe. 

Nutroll

This is a recipe that has been handed down generation after generation. 

After some discussion, my family decided I could blog about it. 

I don’t want to lose your attention, so I’m going to divide this into a few posts. The entire recipe will be shared at the end of the final post - so make sure you read every day. 
What is nutroll?
I describe nutroll as sweet bread that tastes like heaven. It also includes some nuts. 
Every year between Thanksgiving and Christmas day together my family makes around 18-36 nutroll loaves. My includes my Grandma (boss lady), Grandpa (Leroy Coltrain), Dad (Shady), his wife (Knitmaster), My Aunt (Lola), her hubby (Money Matt), my cousins (B-Dogg and Banana), myself, GB (although he missed it this year), sister (Sly) and her husband (MEW). 


Boss Lady

Leroy Coltrain

 There are 3 parts to preparing nutroll to bake. You have to make the dough, prepare the filling, and roll the nutroll. Today, I’m focusing on the dough.
 Before you attempt to make nutroll for your self - make sure you have the complete recipe and read the entire thing. Many a nutroll has been ruined by not reading the recipe. Make sure you keep reading Kiss My Smash everyday to get the full recipe and guidelines. 
Although a distant relative believes we break the rules - we like to use a stand mixer for the dough and grinding the nuts. I’d recommend it. 
The first instruction within my family’s recipe: Grandma is always the boss. If you don’t follow this rule, you are destined to fail. 
The ingredients you will need for the dough:
6 Eggs - well beaten, room temperature
3 Sticks Butter
1 Cup Sugar
1 1/2 Tsp Salt
2 Cups Milk - whole
8 Tsp Instant Active Dry Yeast - (We’ve had the most success with King Arthur Flour brand) 
3 1/2 - 4 lbs bread flour

First you will combine the cups of Milk with the 3 sticks of butter in a saucepan. 


Heat over medium heat until very warm. We use a candy thermometer to gauge. It’s ready when it’s anywhere between 120-130 degrees. The butter will not melt completely. 




Next warm the mixing bowl with warm water and dry completely. 


Place 3 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoon salt and 8 tsp in mixer. 



I was so happy when the most experienced cooks and bakers (the wonderful women in my family) still spill things in the kitchen. Maybe there is hope for me after all.)

Start mixer on low speed, slowly add milk mixture, then beaten eggs. 


Continue beating adding flour until dough starts coming up on beater. 
Boss Lady's dog Tess was a big helper that day. 


Change to dough hook and continue adding flour until dough comes up on top of dough hook. 
Place dough on counter top and knead in flour until no longer sticky. 


Place dough in Pam sprayed bowl, then cover with plastic wrap. 
Put in warm place until doubles in size, should take about 1 hour. 

Phew! That’s a lot and we’re just beginning. Trust me - you’re going to want to ride this out with me. This is some amazing bread. I brought 3 loaves home with me and GB ate 2 of those loaves within 5 days. I froze the last loaf to stop him and save some for myself. (Nutroll can be frozen and consumed months later.) 
Don’t forget to come back tomorrow to find out what happens next. 


Update: Here's Part 2 and Part 3

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Puppy Love

Yesterday when I told you that was my final Christmas craft - I lied.

This might be my final Christmas craft. I say might because I do not want to lie to you. I can't predict what tomorrow holds. There's a really good chance I'm forgetting to share another Christmas craft with you.

I struggled for a very long time coming up with an idea for a handmade gift for GB. I was whining to my sister, Sly, about my lack of creativity when she gave me a really awesome idea.

All I needed was a small canvas, some paint, a container, and some rags to clean up.

The unfortunate part about this craft is that I really should have had someone photograph every step. Obviously I could not ask GB, and I live pretty far away from Sly so I was on my own.

First thing I did was fill my container with paint.


Next I spread old, dirty rags on the floor, in case of emergency.


Then I coaxed Kane to sit on the rags.

I took one of his paws and dipped it in the paint.

Then gently pushed it on the canvas. I tried really hard to not smudge the footprint but it's really hard to control the paw of a 120 pound rottweiler.

Interestingly, it was harder to control Lonnie's paw. That chubby chihuahua hates having his feet touched.

I had to work fast to wipe their paws off before they walked away. But I was still left with blue paw prints on the kitchen floor. Good thing it's washable paint. (This picture also enlarges other specks of dust and dirt. That creeped me out so I immediately mopped the floor.)


The finished 'painting.'

                            



I was thrilled with it. I hope GB liked it as much as I do.

Monday, December 26, 2011

A New Kind of Christmas Tree


I made this craft ages ago - but I was waiting to share it with you because I was hoping I could finish it.

As a mediocre crafter - I sometimes don't finish my projects - which I'm sure some of you could relate to.

Since the Christmas season is winding down and this is a Christmas project - I thought - to hell with it - and I'm going to show you anyway.

I saw this cute picture on Pinterest and was inspired by what appeared to be an easy, fun project. Unfortunately it is a dead link and I can not credit the original creator.


I decided to alter a few things so it would match my style a bit better.

I loaded up on my supplies and got to work.




 First thing I did was spray paint two small pots. I was really proud of myself because I managed to wait until they were completely dry before moving on to the next step. That was a huge feat for me.


I then shoved a half-sphere of Floracraft wet foam into the pot.


Next I painted it white with tempera paint. If I could go back and do it again, I would spray paint it. The paintbrush kept pulling up small pieces of foam.


I also painted a long dowel rod and pushed that into the center of the pot.

Then I put a styrofoam ball on the towel rod. I had to make sure I pushed the ball far down on the dowel rod otherwise it was too top heavy and would topple over.



Now time for the ornaments. I pulled the top metal parts off the bulb and shoved it on the styrofoam ball. Unfortunately the bulbs that are made today are shatterproof (which means they are plastic) so the edges of the bulb aren't as sharp as I had hoped. I had to put hot glue around the tip of the bulb and then  pushed it into the styrofoam ball.






After there was no more room for a large ball I began filling the holes with baby ornaments.



But there were still gaps!!!

I made the other tree and spoke to a few crafty members of my family on what they would do to fill the gaps.

We decided I should take some ribbon and make cute little bows and attach them to toothpicks. I could slide the picks down into the ball to fill the gaps.


Unfortunately the holidays took over and I never did that. Now that Christmas is over and my to-do list has around 2,547 items. I have decided I will put this away until next year and redo them.

If you are interested in making a project like this I would recommend painting the styrofoam balls the color of your bulbs. It would make the gaps less noticeable.
Overall I really liked this project but definitely think I would have done better if I had the pretty ribbon on hand to fill the gaps. Guess that means I have to head to my favorite crafting store and stock up on ribbon so this never happens again.