Of Butter and Turkish Prisons. [Half-Baked.]


On the subject of how on earth I’ve been occupying my time back home, there’s another adventure I ought to regale you with. Get comfortable-you might want to think about flipping your coffee pot on-because this one will put you in a food coma that will last a month of Sundays.

Never before have I seen so. much. butter. I’m still recovering.

It all started when I was a little girl. There aren’t very many things that I believe in in this world-but I believe in the Southern Living Cookbook. [Amen.] This, friends, is a must. It’s my go-to gift for newlywed friends that are struggling to keep their significant other alive. I have yet to find a bad recipe in the Southern Living Cookbook [Amen.], and given the fact that I’ve probably cooked my way from apple butter through zucchini muffins no fewer than twelve thousand times, I consider myself to be an authority on the matter.

Actually, I consider myself to be an authority on any number of things-hence the problem. I love to cook-this, we’ve already discussed at great length. And one of the more mouth-watering recipes in the Southern Living Cookbook [Amen.] that I’ve experimented with over the years, is their recipe for cinnamon rolls.

And a hush falls over the crowd.

It’s divine. The stuff legends are made of. It will make you forget your name and birthday and the Gettysburg address. I swear by them-and have maintained since the ripe old age of eight that the Southern Living Cookbook’s my cinnamon roll recipe is far and away the best out there.

Case closed.

Now, there’s a blogger you might be familiar with-Pioneer Woman-who maintains that HER cinnamon rolls are the

The finished product. My next blog will be about the life sized statue of Pioneer Woman that I'm currently carving out of butter.

 best. Which really, is just offensive. Honestly, the first time I read it, I wanted to grab my torch and pitchfork and send her to sleep with the fishes. But given that I have sort of a cyber-stalker crush on her [In my head, we are best friends. It’s humiliating.], the authority on baked goods herself I decided to see for myself.

And that, friends, is how at approximately 11:00 PM on Monday night, I found myself in my kitchen, covered from head to toe in powdered sugar and flour, lecturing The Pioneer Woman [out loud, to my mild embarrassment] about mortifyingly obscene amounts of sugar and butter she was asking me to pour into the bowl.

I kid you not-I’ve never seen a recipe like it. And in the greatest bout of denial the world has ever seen, I actually modified half of the recipe to make “healthy cinnamon rolls”.

After all, Michelle Obama says that we all have to do our part to fight childhood obesity. And I am very patriotic.

I’ll admit, I was cocky. I tossed those pans in the oven without the slightest concern that the Pioneer Woman would come out on top […not that she had the foggiest idea that she and I were locked in the throes of an intense competition that made the first ten minutes of Saving Private Ryan look like a cake walk.] But as the minutes slipped by, my kitchen started to smell like something that simply cannot be described in earthly terms. The smell wafting from my oven alone was enough to send me into insulin shock.

I’m not kidding.  I had to eat four bagel bites just to rebalance my blood sugar. [Michelle, if you’re reading-I’m sorry. I’m weak.]

Seventeen minutes later, I removed said pans from the oven. It was undeniably clear that I was in the presence of greatness.

I took a bite, and was positively discombobulated. Twitterpated, if you will. Suddenly, my old recipe started to sound more like something one might eat at a state fair…or in a Turkish prison. I proceeded to cry, eat eighteen more, rip that old recipe out of my Southern Living Cookbook [which by the way, you should still buy, AMEN], and write an ode to Pioneer Woman, who as it turns out, knows her stuff.

Shut your computer, run to your kitchen, and make this recipe. Though be warned:  you’ll end up waddling away…


  1. Hello Ashley! I’ll let you come over and use my oven if you want to make these cinnamon rolls when you come back to Senegal : )
    But seriously, feel better soon and enjoy the unexpected time home.

  2. I’m glad that you converted over to P.W.’s recipe. I’ve made them twice and each time I’ve used the exact amount of sugar and butter she calls for. And my husband actually is a diabetic.
    WHOOPS! Hope to see you again soon :)

  3. You are hilarious.

  4. Laura-you are so sweet! I may have to take you up on that. :)

    Jess-isn’t it divine?! You’re in danger of killing Colin though. ;) Kellan and I are going to try to get up to DC right before I go back to Senegal–I’d love to get to see you! [Which he’s already been informed of. ;)] I love following your recipes on your blog…though it’s bad for my heart when I’m in Senegal. ;)

    Kristin-Ahh, can’t do Thursday-we need to come up with another day. Love you. :)

  5. I’m not sweet. I’m selfish. I like cinnamon rolls!

  6. Your Roomie says:

    don’t worry, the boys have been well fed over here in Senegal.

    tonight’s dinner: one raw green pepper, a couscous tabbouleh salad, and beans (with ALOT of parsley)

    so it might be time for your butter-y meat-loving self to make it’s way back to Senegal. (and bring the cinnamon rolls while you’re at it.)

  7. Tricia King says:

    Whenever I need a smile, all I have to do is read one of your blog entries. Here’s me smiling. . . :) Sounds like now, instead of your dream of pumpkin bars and coffee at my table, MY dream will be cinnamon rolls and coffee – at YOUR table! Hope the “little legs that wouldn’t” are continuing to improve. And that you did NOT watch last night’s game with “the enemy”!!!!

  8. Michelle-keep those boys alive until I get home!! Bah, I miss y’all. :)

    Mrs. King-we absolutely have to have cinnamon rolls together! You are so sweet to keep up with my blog-I love that you read it. Though, you might not after I confess that I DID, indeed, watch that tragic Duke game with Kellan. I’m contemplating a blog titled “Fraternizing With The Enemy”. ;)


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