Originally published June 19, 2014
As you’ve probably noticed from some of my posts, I recently started blogging for the fantastic Christian women’s blog, Satisfaction Through Christ. It has stretched me as a writer and opened an article door I’d never considered knocking on before: writing recipes. And I love it! I like to cook and experiment with different foods and techniques. I like to collect existing recipes and tweak them until the’re my own. And sharing that with others is just plain fun!
Not long ago, I posted a recipe for cinnamon rolls that got a great response, social media-wise. People shared it on Facebook and Pinterest, the article itself got several comments, and it was even the most viewed post of the week on another blog that linked to it. It was awesome, and I’m so grateful to everybody who shared it.
But it got me thinking.
That recipe got tons more attention from Christian women than anything else I’ve ever written about the Bible, salvation, or any other gospel-centered topic. In fact, recipes, memes and viral videos comprise a lot of what comes across my news feed. God’s word? Not so much. And, as a Christian woman, I had to stop and ask myself a question:
Reading and collecting (and, for me, writing) recipes is fun, and can help me serve my family, friends, and church better when I cook for them. There’s certainly nothing wrong with it, and I’m planning to continue doing so (watch for my next recipe coming out in late July on STC!).
But how much time am I investing in things like reading and sharing recipes or playing Facebook games or watching TV or reading novels or any of the thousands of things we do every day that take up time but have no eternal significance? None of those things draw me closer to the Lord or train my children in godliness or feed my marriage or evangelize and disciple others or build up the body of Christ.
Am I spending too much time on fluff and not enough on the things that really matter?
We all need some down time. God made that clear when He set aside the Sabbath as a day of rest and worship back in Exodus 20:8-11. He doesn’t prohibit relaxation, He commands it and calls it good. But God’s ratio of work to rest is six to one. One day of rest for every six days of work. And as with so many of God’s other good gifts–food, money, fun, fellowship–my sinful flesh will knock things completely out of proportion in order to gratify itself.
My cinnamon rolls are phenomenal (just sayin’!) but only as an occasional treat. If they constituted a major part of my regular diet, I’d be very unhealthy. It’s the same way with what I feed my spirit. If I’m constantly feeding on mental and spiritual junk food, I’ll be a very unhealthy Christian. I won’t have the time or the desire to exercise by serving God and those around me. Worse, I won’t have an appetite for what is supposed to be the staple of my diet: the Bread of Life– Christ. But if I keep Christ as my main dish and all of my side dishes, snacks, and desserts in healthy proportion to Him, I’ll be fit and ready to take up my cross daily and follow Him.
And that’s a recipe for success, in God’s eyes.
Saturday Morning Cinnamon Rolls:
Who doesn’t love a lazy Saturday morning? It’s a great day to lounge around in your jammies with the family and enjoy a relaxing breakfast together. These cinnamon rolls are a hit with my kids. They ask me to make them nearly every weekend. The great thing about them is that they don’t take very long to make and they also freeze well, so you can make them Saturday morning or in advance.
4 c. baking mix (eg: Bisquick)
1 1/4 c. milk
2 T. mayonnaise (Optional, but I’ve found that the rolls are much drier without it, especially when using skim, 1%, or 2% milk. If you leave it out, increase the milk to 1 1/3 cups.)
1/2 c. butter or margarine, softened
3/4 c. brown sugar
Icing (see below)
Yield: approximately 18 rolls
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Combine baking mix, milk, and mayonnaise to make a soft dough. Dust your counter top (don’t forget to clean it first!) or pastry mat with baking mix and knead the dough for about a minute. (If you don’t have a timer but do have more than one child, just time it from when Child A wanders into the kitchen and asks, “What’s for breakfast?” to when Child B walks in and asks the exact same question. That’ll be about a minute.) Roll the dough into a large rectangle, approximately 14″ x 18″.
With a rubber spatula, spread a generous layer (more than you’d use to butter toast, but less than you’d use to frost a cupcake) of softened butter over the dough, being sure to go all the way to the edges. Crumble the brown sugar over the butter spreading it as evenly as you can (it may take a little more or less than 3/4 cup), and sprinkle cinnamon over the brown sugar.
Starting with one of the longer sides, roll the dough up, jelly roll style.
(If you want to freeze the dough this is one good place to do it, especially if you don’t have much freezer space. Wrap the rolled up dough well in plastic wrap, or cut in half or thirds to put in gallon sized freezer bags.)
Slice the roll into pieces that are 3/4″ to 1″ wide.
These things will come out of the oven absolutely cemented to your baking sheet, so grease it up any which way you can. I’d recommend spraying a non-stick pan with cooking spray, putting about 72 layers of parchment paper on top of that, and then spraying the whole thing again. Seriously, they are VERY sticky, so spray your pan really well or use parchment paper. Lay each piece flat on the baking sheet and bake until the edges start turning brown (about 10-15 minutes).
(Here’s another spot where you can freeze the dough if you have room for a baking sheet to sit flat in your freezer. Instead of baking, just cover the unbaked rolls on the baking sheet with aluminum foil and freeze.)
While the rolls are cooling slightly on the pan, make the icing. (If you put the icing on as soon as they come out of the oven, it will melt and run all over the place.) Depending on how many rolls you ended up with and how much icing you like, you might need more than one batch.
1/4 c. butter or margarine, melted
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
Whisk all ingredients together except for the water. Add the hot water a few drops to a teaspoon at a time to bring the icing to a stiff but spreadable consistency. If you don’t mind the extra calories (Hey, we’re already at about a scrillion of them– will a few more really matter?), soften up about half a block of cream cheese and beat that in there, too. (You’ll probably need to add more sugar and a little more hot water if you do.)
Spread the icing over the top of the rolls. (If you have any left over, just spoon it into a freezer bag or container and freeze for next time.)
Chisel them off the pan, and enjoy!
THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED AT SATISFACTION THROUGH CHRIST.