baking · Uncategorized

Cinnamon Rolls

When I was thirteen years old I started working in a coffee shop/bakery. During the summer I used to go in early on Tuesday mornings because that was cinnamon roll day. We would pre-make pans of cinnamon buns to freeze and they would be pulled out every night to rise and baked fresh every morning. It was heavenly. I haven’t worked there since I was seventeen, and probably haven’t made a batch since, but I craved the process of making them. Not eating them, just making. It’s really relaxing and makes me feel like a good little home-maker.

I did run into a couple issues. 1. My one package of yeast was old, not expired, just not as fresh. I ended up making a new dough because after a couple hours it still wasn’t rising and I was getting impatient. 2. My cinnamon was probably from when I first moved in so it took a lot of spice to really taste that flavour.

This a really easy recipe and is so easy to put a different twist on it and make different fillings and toppings. For this batch I just used the standard cinnamon and brown sugar with cream cheese frosting. But there are so many options! Orange and cranberry filling with white sugar instead of brown with lemon zest in the cream cheese frosting, to die for! Another favorite of mine is adding chopped, toasted pecans in the middle. Yummy!

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INGREDIENTS
Dough
  • 2½ tsp. active dry yeast
  • ½ cup warm water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup warm  milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 7 Tbsp. butter, divided
  • 5½ – 6 cups flour
Filling
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1½ cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2½ Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1½ tsp. cornstarch
Icing
  • 4 oz. light cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup icing (confectioners) sugar
  • ½ Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  1. In a bowl of a standup mixer, fitted with a dough hook pour water and sugar in, sprinkle yeast over top and stir. Let stand for 5-10 min. until the mixture becomes foamy. If it doesn’t get really foamy in that time, your yeast is too old.
  2. Meanwhile melt 6 Tbsp. of butter in a microwave safe bowl, set aside to cool.
  3. When the yeast mixture is ready add the milk, eggs and 6 Tbsp. melted butter. Mix on low adding in 4 cups of flour, one cup at a time. Now add in remaining flour slowly until the dough becomes a ball. Knead on medium high for 5 min. The dough should be tacky but not sticky.
  4. Lightly dust a work surface and take dough out and knead a few times by hand.
  5. Add the last Tbsp. of butter to a large bowl and microwave. Place dough into bowl and then turn over to coat with the butter. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and drape over a towel. Set bowl in a warm spot in the kitchen and let dough rise until doubled, about 60-90 min.
  6. While the dough is rising mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon and cornstarch for the filling and set aside.
  7. When the dough is ready turn it onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough a few times and then roll it out into an 18″x24″ wide rectangle. Spread on the ½ cup softened butter. Leave a 1″ border around the edge.
  8. Sprinkle the dough with the brown sugar mixture and press in with a rolling pin. Now take the top long end and roll towards yourself. Run a bead of water on the last 1″ of dough to seal. Cut the dough in half and then each half in halves, you will now have 4 pieces. Cut each of the four pieces into thirds. You will have 12 rolls now.
  9. Grease two 8×11″ pans and 6 place rolls swirl side up into each pan. Place end pieces upside down. Again, loosely cover with plastic wrap and drape with a kitchen towel. Let stand in a warm spot in the kitchen and let rise until doubled aobut 60-90 min.
  10. Preheat oven to 350F. Bake for 20 min. or until golden brown and cooked through. Rotate pans halfway.
  11. While the rolls are baking make the icing. In a clean bowl of a standup mixer add in the butter and cream cheese and beat until light and fluffy. Add the rest of the ingredients and continue to beat for another 3-5 min. Set aside.
  12. When the rolls are baked let cool for 5 min. then spread on ½ the icing. Let cool further and spread on the additional icing.
baking · Cake Decorating · Uncategorized

HapBEE Birthday

Just a quick little post here. Starting to get back into custom cakes and whipped this sweet treat up. I used my regular white cake recipe but substituted the white sugar with honey and added lemon zest and extract to the buttercream. It made for a harmonious blend of flavour.

These cute little bumble bees are just rolled fondant, black pearls and florists wire.

The honeycomb wrap is melted chocolate spread onto bubble wrap! I had to do it twice because I let it harden too much and couldn’t wrap it around the cake! And the second time I did it, my measuring was way off and I made it too short. A few buttercream roses covered up my mistake with no one the wiser! ….until now of course.

 

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Photography · Uncategorized

Julie Graduation Photo Session

She is the most precious being on Earth. Ok, I might be a little biased as she is my baby sister. Juliana is all grown up and graduated from high school, ready to start her new life adventure. Wherever she ends up I know that she will light up the world around her with that sweet smile of hers. I was fortunate enough to be her hair/makeup/photographer for the day….and it was a long one. Her hair is so luscious and long we had to be curling hair at 7a.m. Try getting a teenager out of bed that early on a Saturday, it was not easy. With a coffee in one hand and fresh croissants in the other I flipped the lights on and said, “It’s time.”

Julie graced us with her beautiful presence on September 25th, 1998. I was beyond ecstatic! I was terrified that I would get stuck with a lame little brother and I fell asleep praying for a sister. Finally there was someone to play dolls and pick flowers with. Little did I know that babies cried, a lot. And they don’t really become any fun until they are much older. But we have an amazing relationship and I am so lucky to have her in my life. She is always the hardest person to say goodbye to when I come home to visit (sorry everyone.)

Fast forward to me trying not to cry through the whole ceremony. I had never been so proud and in awe of such sweet beauty in my whole life.

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I hope all your wildest dreams come true.

Blog · Soaps · Uncategorized

Watermelon Mojito Soap

Hello friends!

Today I am debuting our newest product member, Watermelon Mojito bar soap. Oh my gosh it smells so good! Like summer time. Sipping mojitos on the porch. Hand crafted with so much love it’s barely appropriate.

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It is all handmade with love for your skin

{ENRICHED WITH NATURAL SHEA BUTTER}
{HIGH IN VITAMIN E, D & PROVITAMIN A}
{HELPS EASE ACNE, ECZEMA, ROSACEA AND RASHES}

Leaves your skin feeling clean and fresh. If you are a hygienic hand washer, and I hope that you are, this isn’t going to dry out your skin from constant washing.

This soap is processed in individual batches to ensure richness of ingredients throughout each bar. It is developed in small town Saskatchewan. Not only are you giving your skin  a delightful treat, you are helping support homegrown, homemade and natural and that’s awesome!

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2017 has brought us some new packaging. All bar soap is now shrink-wrapped with a cigar band label.

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Where can you get yours? Right here in this convenient link.

 

Blog · Uncategorized

Hello 2017, I’ve been waiting for you

We kiss 2016 good-bye at the stroke of midnight, a lost love that will never be again. It is on to bigger and better things. The beginning of anything, the year, the month, the week and every morning is a clean slate, a chance to better yourself, and to move on from the past. Big things are happening for Hudson and Blake in 2017. My line of skincare products are being sold in 3 different retail locations as well as online which is very exciting and not something that I ever dreamed of happening. I could not have done it without the support and encouragement from all of you. I really appreciate every comment, email, inquiry and purchase.

During these cold winter evenings I find myself sitting at my sewing machine more often than not. I have had a few orders flood in for custom baby sets. The basic set includes a 30×35″ stroller blanket that has a soft minky back, and a set of 3 burp clothes of coordinating fabric. There is also baby slippers, teething rings, car seat covers and more. I love being able to create all these baby items. I have been so busy with these different custom orders that I haven’t had a chance to get anything available to the rest of you! Fear not, there will be some product shortly.

The etsy store is slowly coming together, I am slow at getting things up online. So if there is something that you want that you don’t see there, you can always email me your order.

With all these new products and orders and just trying to keep my regular life together, I have decided that it is time to follow through with planning out my weeks and to set those little goals.

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I shopped around and read reviews for a plethora of different planners, bullet, happy planner, erin condren life planner, plum paper planner, ibloom life and business planner, and the organized life planner. There are so many options out there! It really comes down to personal preference. I chose the Me and my Big Ideas Happy Planner because it is customizable in every which way.

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It basically makes a bullet journal into a bigger, remove and add pages at will without wrecking the book, all in one planner.

You can either draw out your spreads or if you purchase the special hole punch, there are many blank templates that are ready to be printed out and inserted for easy use!

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This is my first week layout. I am a visual person, I need to be able to see things laid out so I can see my progress.

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Habit trackers are popular in bullet journaling and really is a great idea. My goal is to create healthy habits for myself and to keep track of when I last performed a task to easily see where I need to pull up my socks.

I am excited to spend this year with you all!

 

Blog · Reviews · Uncategorized

THE GERMAN GIRL – ARMANDO LUCAS CORREA

 

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Where Do You Go When Home No Longer Wants You?

1939. Berlin is full of marching soldiers and red, white, and black flags. Eleven-year-old Hannah Rosenthal knows she and her family must escape, but how? And where can they go? Beautiful, Haunting and Gut-wrenching. Truly a story that will touch your heart. Just imagine living where you weren’t accepted because of your religion. A place where happiness disappeared in the blink of an eye and only terror and fear linger in the four corners of your house and your mind. Then to see hope and paradise in a ship named St.Louis that will bring you to a new Country that was suppose to be a place to keep them safe but turned to be terror and agony for many years. I promise you the very first line of this book will pull you in and you will not want to set it down. Tears flooded my eyes many times throughout, you just want to reach in and take all the pain away.

A stunningly ambitious and beautiful debut novel, perfect for fans of Sarah’s Key and All the Light We Cannot See, the story of a twelve-year-old girl’s harrowing experience fleeing Nazi-occupied Germany with her family and best friend, only to discover that the overseas asylum they had been promised is an illusion.

Before everything changed, Hannah Rosenthal lived a charmed life. But now, in 1939, the streets of Berlin are draped with red, white, and black flags; her family’s fine possessions are hauled away; and they are no longer welcome in the places that once felt like home. Hannah and her best friend, Leo Martin, make a pact: come what may, they promise to have a future together.

Nobody heard my cries anymore; nobody bothered about them. Papa told me I was strong. I would survive whatever happened. But not Mama. The pain was gnawing away at her. She was the child in a house where daylight was no longer allowed. For four months, she had been sobbing each night, ever since the city was covered in broken glass and filled with the constant stench of gunpowder, metal, and smoke. That was when they started planning our escape. They decided we’d abandon the house where I was born, and forbade me to go to school, where nobody liked me anymore.

A glimmer of hope appears in the form of the St. Louis, a transatlantic liner that can provide Jews safe passage to Cuba. After a frantic search to obtain visas, the Rosenthals and the Martins depart on the luxurious ship bound for Havana. Life on board the St. Louis is like a surreal holiday for these refugees, with masquerade balls, exquisite meals, and polite, respectful service. But soon ominous rumors from Cuba overshadow the celebratory atmosphere, and the ship that once was their salvation seems likely to become their death sentence. Hannah and Leo must make an impossible choice or risk losing everything that matters.

There are moments when it’s better to accept it’s all over, that there’s nothing more to be done. Give up and abandon hope :surrender.That’s how I felt by then. I didn’t believe in miracles.This had happened to us because we insisted on changing a destiny that was already written. We didn’t have any rights, we couldn’t reinvent history. We were condemned to be deceived from the moment we came into the world.

Seven decades later in New York City, on her twelfth birthday, Anna Rosen receives a package from Hannah, a great-aunt she has never met but who raised her deceased father. In an attempt to piece together her father’s mysterious past, Anna and her mother travel to Havana to meet this elderly relative. Hannah tells them of her astonishing journey on the St. Louis and, for the first time, reveals how she and Leo honored the solemn pact they had made. By connecting the pain of the past to the mysteries of the present, Hannah gives her young great-niece a sense of their shared histories, forever intertwining their lives, honoring those they loved and cruelly lost.

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Children on Board the S.S. St. Louis

 

Pick up your copy HERE

Blog · Soaps · Uncategorized

Coffee Scrub

New product announcement

Here’s to all my coffee lovers out there!

Why should coffee be a part of your skincare routine?

  • Caffeine works as a constrictor to reduce swelling and inflammation.
  • It minimizes the appearance of cellulite, temporarily.
  • It exfoliates the skin and makes it silky smooth.
  • Caffeine is loaded with antioxidants, which help to fight premature skin aging like wrinkles, sun spots and fine lines.

Some scrubs will use brewed coffee grounds, which means most of the caffeine content is depleted when the grounds are repurposed into a coffee scrub.

 

This scrub contains fresh ground Robusta coffee beans that contain 2X more caffeine than Arabica beans. This makes our coffee scrub twice as potent. It has great exfoliating properties using coffee grounds, Himalayan rock salt and sugar. It also contains glorious moisturizers such as sunflower seed oil, coconut oil and shea butter.

Apply to the skin in a gentle circular motion, coffee scrub exfoliates the skin, removing your dry, dead skin, to reveal new, healthy-looking skin underneath.

This is an all-natural coffee body scrub that exfoliates, moisturizes and hydrates your skin. Ditch all of your body scrubs that contain harsh chemicals and experience the Hudson Blake difference.

This is safe to use from head to toe! Just be gentle if applying to your face as is a coarse grind to create the ultimate exfoliator.

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Packaged in an amber 8oz jar with a black dome lid. This product is available for all you lovelies January 1, 2017. You can order through etsy at www.HudsonBlakeCo.etsy.com OR! Send me a message, leave a comment. If you want it, you will get it.

These are made in small batches to ensure that it is its freshest when you receive it, wait times may vary.