I attempted something risky last night. Stepped outside of my comfort zone, if you will.
Well, technically, I baked. But, still.
Many who know me are aware of the fact that cooking is not my forte. I frequently skip over steps in the simplest of recipes because I get too excited about the end product and don’t thoroughly read the directions. If I’m being honest, I actually missed a step in my first attempt at the recipe I’m about to share with you all. Luckily, I’m an expert problem-solver and found a way to improvise (and it still tasted AWESOME).
Because it’s Fat Tuesday, my inner Betty Crocker stepped out and decided to Pinterest fun, Mardis Gras related recipes. I became instantly intrigued by a recipe for “mini king cakes” – mostly because it involved the least amount of ingredients and steps. I then found ANOTHER recipe for mini king cakes that involved CINNAMON ROLLS. At that moment, I was hit by a stroke of genius.
I decided to the elements I liked best about each recipe and combine them into one, inspirational dessert. I took safety precautions during the taste-testing portion of my experiment…I had my boyfriend try one. He said it tasted “damn good”, and he wouldn’t lie to me. (Seriously, he would be the first to tell me if it sucked, I promise).
I like this dessert so much, I need to share it with all of you. The recipe is easy, inexpensive and took me all of 45 minutes to complete from start to finish, including pre-heating the oven! This is a great recipe for a fun breakfast or a tasty dessert.
Because this recipe is technically my own, I took the liberty of naming it. May this be the fattest Tuesday yet.
PURPLEY/GREEN/GOLD CINNAMON THINGS
(aka MINI KING CAKES)
– 1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
– 1 cup powdered sugar
– 1 tsp lemon juice (or 1/3 of a fresh lemon, squeezed)
– 2 packages cinnamon rolls
– Sprinkles (I chose yellow and green in honor of Mardis Gras)
– 1 container frosting (15.6 oz is the size I chose, and I had some leftover)
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray baking sheet/pan with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Blend (or mix well with a spoon) cream cheese, powdered sugar & lemon juice.
3. Remove cinnamon rolls from container. Use fingers to pinch and form a hole in the center of each cinnamon roll.
4. Put cream cheese/powdered sugar/lemon juice mixture in the center of each cinnamon roll.
5. Bake 13-15 minutes or until golden brown.
6. Take out of oven and let cinnamon rolls cool for 5 minutes.
7. Decorate with frosting & sprinkles of your choice.
You may be wondering how I could’ve possibly messed up the first batch I made. Here’s how: I forgot to put the cream cheese/powdered sugar/lemon blend into the center of the cinnamon rolls before baking them. However, it simply prompted me to find another way to put these little wonders together! After the cinnamon rolls finished baking, I cut a circular piece of dough out of the center, placed the cream cheese mixture inside, put back the piece of dough I cut out and frosted over it to secure. Voila! Fixed. However, since the cream cheese mixture wasn’t baked, I refrigerated this batch. If your dessert sits over night, I suggest heating your purpley/green/gold cinnamon things up in the microwave for 10 seconds to make them deliciously melty and warm. Yes, melty. MINI KING CAKES FOR THE WIN.
Disclaimer: I’ve never actually made a king cake before, so I couldn’t tell you how closely my recipe or the ingredients in it mirror one. But the colors I decorated with are Mardis Gras colors. So I decided that counts.
On my drive to work today, I was thinking about Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. I didn’t get the day off, you see, and internal disappointment rose with each mile I drove closer to work. To take my mind off my growing disappointment, I turned on the radio. During my morning commute, I frequently listen to the NPR program The Sound of Ideas, which airs from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. The Sound of Ideas is a fantastic program featuring interesting, knowledgeable individuals who speak about issues and ideas emerging from within the Cleveland community to world-wide topics.
Today’s episode immediately piqued my interest. Bryan Stevenson of the Equal Justice Initiative spoke on the important, extremely relevant topic of racial inequality. Stevenson discussed many reasons why he believes our country functions the way it does today. I will not get into the nitty gritty of his discussion, but I do want to highlight one important point Stevenson made about Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
Many of us, myself included, get excited about Martin Luther King, Jr. Day because we see it as a day of celebration. We see this holiday as a day free from work, free from responsibilities. As a recent college graduate, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day used to excite me because it meant no classes, which ultimately meant a day to catch up on my favorite Netflix series.
Stevenson brought up the point that today is a day off from our normal routines, but it should not be viewed as a day off from responsibility entirely: today is “a call to action.” Stevenson’s comment made me think hard about the selfish reasons I’d been disappointed to not get this day off from work. My own naivety made me wonder if others know what today is truly about. If you are unaware how to properly acknowledge and reflect on Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy, as I was, now’s the time to change the way you think about it.
Martin Luther King, Jr. dedicated his life to making our world a better place, and the best way we can honor him on this day is to see it not as a day off, but a day on. If you have today off, go out and do something important in your community. Volunteer, participate, lend a hand. You may be thinking to yourself, “there’s no opportunities to volunteer that I’m aware of”. Well, folks, thank goodness we live in the age of technology. It’s as easy as googling “volunteer opportunities in _____” whatever area is near or dear to you – you fill in the blank. The website http://www.nationalservice.gov/mlkday has a search bar, and all you have to do is type in your zip code to find volunteer service projects near you.
If you’re already planning on, or have already done some volunteer work in your community today, share your story on social media using #MLKDay. Let others know what you’ve done to help, and see what others have done for their “call to action” on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Don’t have time today to volunteer? Take some time this weekend! A few hours of volunteer work can mean a world of difference to an organization.
Now servicing the finest felines! Bring your furry friend in to get measured today!
APRIL FOOLS! KEEP THOSE CATS AT HOME!
On behalf of the Mar-Lou team we would like to wish you a Happy New year! May this new year bring you joy and good health and turn all of your dreams into reality!