Saturday, February 5, 2011

Elephant Ears?!-Kid Friendly Cinnamon Rolls

Elephant Ears for breakfast & Elephants at the Zoo 

While Braydon decided to stay cuddled and cozy in his bedroom this morning, Cole was eager to see what today's surprise was ...



video

Cole found his note tucked inside of his ABC cookbook, bookmarking Elephant Ears ... these are a favorite of Cole's so it seemed fitting to make them for breakfast on the day we would go to see the elephants at the zoo for the first time!   We have watched the elephant's home be built for the last two years and they finally re-opened their exhibit!


You might be wondering what exactly an elephant ear is and why you would ever make them, let alone eat them ... well, its just a cutesie name for kid friendly cinnamon rolls.  The prep takes no more than 20 minutes and it bakes for 10 minutes, with no rise time in between- perfect for hungry kiddos and breakfast in a hurry.

Considering we had a busy day ahead of us and Daddy was still feeling the sore throat, we decided to let him sleep in a bit and wake him once breakfast was ready ... so we began.

We preheated the oven to 425 degrees and prepared our cookie sheet for baking while we mixed together 2 c flour, 4 tbsp sugar and 1 tsp baking powder in a bowl.  Set this aside and in another bowl melt 1 stick of butter.


Cole unwrapped the butter to melt in a bowl


Braydon decided to come down and see what was for breakfast, and he decided to stick around when he saw chocolate chips on the counter!

Stir in 2/3 c milk to the flour mixture and then add in the melted butter until your dough forms.  Sprinkle a surface with flour to knead the dough.


After about 10x of kneading, roll the dough out into a rectangle.


The boys took turns with the rolling pin ...


and then Braydon decided it was more fun eating the dough, than rolling it out, so I finished up.


Once the dough has its rolled out shape, melt 2 tbsp butter to brush onto the dough with a pastry brush.  If you already have prepared cinnamon and sugar, sprinkle it over the butter.  If not, mix 3 tbsp sugar with 1 tsp cinnamon in a small dish to then sprinkle over the butter.  


I like to add some brown sugar and chocolate chips ... I am always looking for an excuse to add my favorites to my baking!!


Now roll the dough up, and cut into even pieces.


Because the dough didn't rise, it is much thinner and more fragile, so handle carefully!  Place onto your baking pan ...


and then take a spatula to flatten the cinnamon rolls just slightly to help them cook evenly and make sure the filling stays inside, rather than spilling out.

Bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes and then serve.



Once we had breakfast, we packed our family up for the day away from home and we drove to Burbank's IKEA for a bit.  I hardly ever go to shop at IKEA ... not because I don't like it, but because it is so hard to leave with what you went in for and NOTHING else!!  Needless to say, we had a successful shopping trip- the boys cooperated, and were great shoppers as the Leapster's Letter Factory entertained Braydon, and Cole loved on some of TJ's organic lollipops ... whatever does the trick right?!

Well, at this point it was lunch time, so we went across the street to California Pizza Kitchen and enjoyed  a FREE lunch!! Thanks to the Espinosa family for such a sweet gift!  With full tummies, we ventured down the freeway a few exits and found ourselves at the LA zoo ... what Cole had so patiently been waiting for!


As we pulled off of Western Ave, Jeremy and I looked at each other with dropped jaws as we couldn't believe the amount of people and cars.   We had been to the zoo countless times before on a Saturday, during all times of the year, but we had NEVER seen it to where the zoo parking lot and those surrounding the zoo were all full -what was even more surprising was the line of people waiting to get into the zoo.  Well, we managed to find a parking spot which seemed to be a miracle and went in to find that all of SoCal decided to see the elephant exhibit as well.





This weekend was Snow Day for the elephants too- Cole loved watching the elephants eat the snow with their trunks




Good ole Braydon wanted to ride the elephants ... this was the closest he got to the idea



It is always fascinating to watch bystanders sketch the animals ... the art is so beautiful!


Braydon skipped out on his nap today, so he was starting to shut down -he just stared at everything around him and took it all in




... he found a nice spot in the elephant exhibit to lay down for a bit, lovely isn't it!?


We were walking around the exhibit when I saw Harmony ... we had to photograph it!!



Checking out the interactive boards


Me and my sicky husband, what a trooper he was!


Our attempt at a family shot in front of Harmon ... we had Jeremy stand in front of the Y


Ta-da!


It was then Cole's turn to take a quick rest ...


Considering the crowds, Daddy still not feeling that great and Braydon's skipped nap, we thought it best to head home ... after seeing the elephants we visited the alligator, the flamingos, seals and ducks on the way out.  I had such a great day out with all three of my boys, but I have to say one of my favorite moments was walking to the car holding Cole's hand and hearing him say, Thank you Mommy, that was a lot of fun.  I liked all the animals and I had lots of fun with you and Daddy and Braydon.  At the end of the day, the memories are wonderful, but it is who you spend your memories with that makes the memory filled with LOVE!


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