Today I am officially another year older, 28. Almost thirty. Sometimes I feel old, really. I wonder where life has gone as I look back on the years and all the things that have and have not happened. And I was pretty prepared to call 2017 a failure.
That’s not fair at all. It wasn’t a bad year. We tried new restaurants and went to concerts, a baseball game, a basketball game. I made a new friend and some writing connections that will hopefully lead to more than just a nice conversation or a few emails exchanged back and forth.
It was a year of laughing and talking, walking to get coffee and watching a lot of movies, even if a too high percentage of them weren’t very good at all. It was a year where I tried to live life to the fullest, setting aside anxieties and fear, as well as negativity and stress as much as possible.
I looked back on my birthday post last year (more sticky buns, maybe I am starting a trend!), in which I made 27 wishes. I would have guessed very few of them came true before I began reading. And while the big ones are rolling over to this year, a lot more happened than I realized.
We had lots of nice weather and sunshine. I got to see Lady Gaga and OneRepublic in concert. I found a friend, spent tons of time with Mom and Dad, found a lotion that has definitely kept my dry skin under control, and even finally showed Wii fencing who’s boss.
Perhaps most importantly I was myself, even through a lot of criticism that made me question just about everything about my life. I reconsidered every decision I made and everything I have stood for. I felt like a total failure and waste of space, but with a pep talk from Mom that gave me clarity, I battled those feelings and showed them and the haters who is boss.
That may be just about the best thing that happened last year. And while I still have good and bad days and have to land an agent this year no matter what, I can’t call my 27th year on this earth a failure. Here’s to 28 being even better.
And since it’s starting with these Sticky Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls how can it not be? I wanted to make them since seeing them but I wanted to put my spin on them with some goo, pecans, and a drizzle of glaze.
Look, I’m not going to tell you these taste just like carrots or carrot cake, they don’t. but we don’t really need decadent breakfasts to taste like vegetables. I will also definitely tell you these are crazy good.
It all starts with a bread base with carrots in it. Then the rolls are smeared with butter, cinnamon, sugar, and more carrots. Before resting, I heavily buttered the parchment lined pan, put in a heavy sprinkle of sugar, and a ton of pecans. When these came out of the oven, I drizzled over a vanilla bean glaze and dug in.
They are pure heaven and I am so glad it didn’t make a ton because they are hard to resist.
To celebrate my birthday, I am giving you all the chance to win some fun music prizes since I absolutely love music and concerts. There will even be two winners. One winner will receive a Lady Gaga pink cowboy hat, a Taylor Swift reputation CD, a Taylor Swift poster, and a P!nk Beautiful Trauma CD. The second place winner will receive a Taylor Swift reputation CD.
Hat image courtesy of Lady Gaga .com.
To enter the giveaway, answer the question who is your favorite musical artist?
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This giveaway is open to US residents only. The giveaway ends Wednesday, January 31st, 2018 at 11:59 pm ET. I will choose the winner via random.org and contact them via email. The winner has 24 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Good luck!
- Make the dough. Heat the milk and butter in the microwave in 30 second increments in a large microwave safe bowl until very warm to the touch. Sprinkle in the yeast and drizzle in the honey. Stir to combine. Allow to sit 5-10 minutes until very foamy.
- Stir in 2 ½ cups flour, egg, vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger until combined. Add the grated carrot and remaining cup of flour. Knead the dough for about 8 minutes until it comes together. Oil the bowl well and form the dough into a ball. Cover with plastic and place in a warm spot for about two hours until at least doubled in size.
- When the dough has rested, press it into a large rectangle, about 18 inches long and 10 inches high. I found a rolling pin unnecessary; my hands did the trick. It’s such a nice dough! Spread with the softened butter, sprinkle with the sugars, cinnamon, raisins, and carrot.
- Line an 8 or 9 inch square pan with parchment, use all two tablespoons of butter to grease mostly the bottom. Sprinkle with the sugar and pecans. Cut the rolls into uniform pieces and fit into the pan. They’ll all fit – squeeze them in. cover with plastic and refrigerate overnight.
- In the morning, pull the pan out about 1 ½ hours before you want to bake and place in a warm spot. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350. Bake the rolls for 25 minutes, raise the temperature to 375 and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes until fully baked.
- Immediately invert the rolls onto a serving plate, peel off the parchment, and whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, milk, and vanilla. Drizzle over the rolls and serve! Rolls may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the microwave about 1 minute.
Recipe adapted from How Sweet Eats