Daily Prompt: The Zone

Daily prompt (from a few days ago):  Tell us about your favorite way to get lost in a simple activity — running, chopping vegetables, folding laundry, whatever. What’s it like when you’re in “the zone”? Photographers, artists, poets: show us LOST.

Today’s been a tough day.  TGIF never felt as crappy as ever.  I just wish I had that reset button to hit and all the bad stuff would just go away and never happen.

Looking through the past week of daily prompts, they’ve all been bookmarked because they are all great topics.  However, nothing seemed as fitting as talking about THE ZONE.  Its what gets me through these types of days, to look forward to something that I can wipe away all my worries and especially wipe the slate clean when even my salary and job stability isn’t enough to make me want to stay at my current position.  We all know thinking about the consequences of not having a job and all the problems that occur aren’t particularly a motivator either, just more stress and more pressure.

Back on track!

For me, that zone is baking.  Once I open that recipe book, my mind starts flying to my candyland, my sweet kingdom (queen-dom?).


I start looking through the ingredients and taking it out of the cupboards and shelves around the kitchen. I start preheating the oven and oiling the pans and trays needed. I reach into my little shelf under the counter where I keep my electric mixer.  Then I set out my measuring cups and pull out my spatula.  On very rare occasions, I’ll have to climb onto a chair and look on a very high shelf and get my rolling pin.


That may sound like a lot of work for others but for me, the moment that recipe appears in front of me, my stress vanishes.  I no longer have a frown, my eyebrows aren’t scrunched together making me get wrinkles and age faster, but all this is slowly replaced by a smile.  A calm and relaxed person starts alertly doing what has to be done efficiently and happily.



I can be impatient with anything and grumpy for anyone or anything wasting my time but I’d sit and wait happily while reading a book or watching the tv while checking the clock as these cinnamon rolls (for example) rise for 30 minutes and then willingly wait another 25 minutes for it to bake in the oven.  Go over to the oven and turn on the lights to see inside and see how its baking and then slowly my smile gets bigger as I smell the deliciousness surrounding me and joyfully anticipating how it would taste.

Thats what being in my zone is.  Baking makes me forget all my problems and stress and I just chill out and relax. 🙂

I used my last baking as an example.  If you are interested in how to make these delicious Cinnamon Rolls, click right HERE!

Even the thought of it makes me happy! Now, baking session tonight and I already have a recommendation from a fellow blogger 🙂

Click HERE to see other responses how others get lost in simple activities 🙂

Double Baking: Cherry Coffee Cake & Cinnamon Rolls

This weekend was absolutely awesome.  Yesterday, I had promised to post up the recipe for the dessert I made for the BBQ with friends.  You can read that post HERE.  However, I felt like baking again and I ended up making something I’ve been planning all month, Cinnamon Rolls.

The Cherry Coffee Cake was actually a slight modification of a dessert I posted a few weeks ago called the Blueberry Streusel Coffee Cake.

Cherry Coffee Cake fresh out of the oven!

Cherry Coffee Cake fresh out of the oven!

Check it out HERE to get the original recipe.

The modifications I made were the following:

  • 1 cup of Bisquick mix (ran out)
  • no yogurt or grated lemon-zest
  • replace milk with unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • replace fresh blueberries with fresh cherries. Remember to remove pits
  • No streusel topping but sprinkled with brown sugar before putting in the oven

Its straight forward and delicious! The change in fruits made for a refreshing taste.  Some  of my friends ate it with ice cream and found it was a good match. Still a very worthy recipe!

Next up, my first attempt at making CINNAMON ROLLS! There were super successful! 🙂

Cinnamon Rolls! Fresh out of the oven!

Cinnamon Rolls! Fresh out of the oven!

This is a long and time consuming recipe.  Its two times of waiting 30 minutes to wait for the dough and the rolls to rise, but then the actual baking time is only 25 minutes.  However, if you want your house to smell sweet and delicious with cinnamon aromas, this is the perfect choice 🙂

I found the recipe in my Looneyspoons cookbook called Rolls Royce!

Makes 12



2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup ground flaxseed

2 1/4 tsp quick-rising yeast

1 tsp salt

1 cup 1% milk

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 tbsp butter

1 tsp vanilla

1 egg, lightly beaten


3/4 cup brown sugar

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

2 tbsp butter, at room temperature


2 tbsp light cream cheese, at room temperature

1 tbsp butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup icing sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

Goes great with Maple Soy Ice Cream :)

Goes great with Maple Soy Ice Cream 🙂

How to make it:

1. To make dough, combine both flours, flaxseed, yeast, and salt in a medium bowl.  Mix well and set aside.

2. Add milk, sugar, butter and vanilla to a small pot.  Heat over medium heat, stirring often, just until milk is warmed, butter is melted and sugar is dissolved.  Do not simmer or boil.  Remove from heat and carefully pour into a large mixing bowl.  Add half of the flour mixture and egg.  Stir using a wooden spoon until well blended.  Add remaining flour mixture and stir until soft ball forms.  Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface.  Add a bit more flour if dough is too sticky.  Knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 1 minute.  Place dough in a clean bowl that has been lightly oiled.  Cover with a tea towel and let rise in warm place for 30 minutes or until double in size.

3. Meanwhile, make the filling.  Mix brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.

4. Line a 9×13 inch baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.

5. When dough has risen, turn out onto a lightly floured surface.  Roll out dough to a 12×14 inch rectangle. Using a butter knife, spread 2 tbsp butter evenly over dough.  Sprinkle with brown sugar-cinnamon mixture and spread evenly to edges.  Roll up dough jelly-roll style.  This should be 12 inch long.  Using a very sharp knife, slice roll into 12 equal pieces.  Arrange rolls in a single layer in prepared pan.  Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.

6. Preheat oven to 350F.  Bake rolls for 25 minutes, puffed and light golden brown.  Remove from oven and let cool slightly while you prepare the glaze.  Using an electric mixer, beat together all glaze ingredients in a small bowl until smooth.  Spread evenly over warm rolls.

Close up texture

Close up texture

Of course, I made some modifications and here they are:

  • Omit flaxseed (didn’t have any)
  • Replace 1% milk with unsweetened almond vanilla milk
  • No glaze

Not so many changes but that dough is extra hard to roll into a rectangle.  Mine was slightly lopsided.  That made for two of the rolls to be a bit funky looking. However, I’d say that it was a successful first time trial and I’d definitely try it again.  This recipe was delicious.  I removed the glaze because even without, it was sweet enough.  Plus, the glaze has cream cheese and I can’t eat that.

If you want to make your house into a delicious smelling place (if you like the smell of cinnamon), then this one is a sure fire.  It may be time consuming but its a really fun experience (even when I was cursing the dough for not turning into a rectangle 😉

Happy Monday Morning! Cinnamon rolls anyone?