Saturday, April 18, 2015

A Belated Happy 6TH Birthday To THE SAVVY SHOPPER

Photo courtesy of

On March 3, THE SAVVY SHOPPER turned six years old. Where does the time go? March was very busy, so I am only now getting around to reflecting on the anniversary. 

On occasion someone asks, what got me to start blogging. Well, I started THE SAVVY SHOPPER because six years ago, a lifestyle magazine where I worked was in the process of creating its online presence. So I knew at the time that blogging and social media were going to be important in the future; and I had better learn how to do it.

Intuitively, I knew I had the voice, ideas and skills to pull it off. You have to be motivated and care about the work, but neither journalism nor writing a blog is rocket science, and I didn't want to be left behind.

Today I still have plenty of ideas; and after six years of blogging here's my advice to anyone thinking of starting out. Just start blogging. You don't have to know all the mechanics, you just have to do it. Have something to say and say it. Like everything else in life, the more you blog the better you get. Just start blogging.

Write about topics you ... and readers want to know more about. Offer something of value, and people will come and return to your blog.

THE SAVVY SHOPPER now gets about 500 readers a day from around the world. You have expanded me. We are a global community; and I appreciate each and every one of you. YOU are awesome! Thank YOU for stopping by.

Here's to another engaging year of learning, writing and sharing new stuff!

Party smileGift with a bowRed rose

You may also enjoy:
Penny Dreadful: A Review
TIME's Person Of The Year
Summer Songs Of Yesteryear
Happy 5th Birthday To THE SAVVY SHOPPER

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Heathy Cabbage-Tofu Soup

Iphone photo is grainy. The soup, actually, looks fresh and colorful. Can you find the bay leaf?
Recently, I started making batches of the old Cabbage Diet Soup to keep in my refrigerator. Unfortunately, I'm not losing any weight (like my winter gain of ten pounds), but I'm not following the strict diet either. It's just convenient to have a pot of prepared vitamin rich soup I can microwave and eat with a sandwich (or whole grains; or even cheese and crackers) when I arrive home.

The original recipe calls for a package of Lipton's onion soup, which I replace with fresh onions and seasonings. I add a few more vegetables and a vegetarian protein also. (You can use leftover ham, beef, or chicken, if you wish.) I make mine vegetarian so that it keeps for 7-8 days in the refrigerator (and it freezes well for a longer period of time).

The healthy 7 vegetable soup is delicious the first night you make it and tasty later. I'm writing my recipe down here, so we can return anytime to make it:

Cabbage-Tofu Soup


1/2 head cabbage, cut up (or pick a small head.)
2 large onions, diced
3 stalks celery, sliced
1 red pepper, diced
3 large carrots, sliced
1 cup frozen green beans (or fresh if you have it.)
15 ounce can whole tomatoes (I buy a 28 ounce can of tomatoes flavored with basil and garlic and use half. Refrigerate the rest for another dish.)
5 cups water
16 ounces, firm tofu, diced
2 double (or 4 small) bouillon cubes (If you substitute chicken or beef stock, than salt the soup to taste.)
1 tablespoon of cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
A sprinkle of soy sauce
1 teaspoon of Better Than Bouillon (beef) for extra flavor (It is unsalted, super concentrated stock. I cook with some salted bouillon because salt adds flavor to the soup. I buy the flavor that goes on sale. Beef, chicken, ham or vegetable are all tasty.)

1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons dried garlic powder (or fresh)
1 teaspoon dried celery, if you have it.
1 teaspoon dried onion powder
a sprinkle of nutmeg
1 teaspoon parsley
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon basil
12 turns of the black pepper mill
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes


1) Cut up your vegetables (the hardest part of making soup).
2) Throw all the ingredients into a big pot, one by one.
3) Cover, bring to a boil and simmer until tender.

The soup is naturally low in calories. If you follow the diet for a week, the weight will drop off, but I like to add a (side) whole grain and additional protein. I have a huge appetite and always eat a variety of food and textures for a meal. No starving in my house. Bon app├ętit!

You may also enjoy:
German Rice Pudding
9 Ways To Save At The Supermarket
Egg Thread Soup With Asparagus, Plus
Greenmarkets, Community Gardens And CSA's

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Best Lip Color Brands Under $10

Lipstick is a makeup item that lipstick wearers should splurge and save on. Splurge when rich pigments matter. The color will stay on your lips all day long; and save on a few trendy colors you won't mind reapplying.

Lip color comes in a variety of textures, including lipstick, lacquer, gloss and lip stain. Luckily, today's corner drugstore sells lip color with real lasting power at a reasonable price. Here is a roundup.

The Best Lip Color Brands Under $10:

1. Revlon's Utra HD Lipstick - The secret ingredient is a clear gel base (instead of wax) that provides a light, smooth, even application of rich color. There are 20 vivid hues in nudes, pinks, reds, plums and browns.

2. Revlon's ColorBurst Balm Stain - Revlon has sooo many different lip formulas, it gets another entry. Throw one of these ten shades in your purse to reapply throughout the day. Moisterize your lips with a pop of color.

3. NYX Matte Lipstick and Soft Matte Lip Cream - Don't let the cheap price fool you. This brand's lipsticks and lip creams are highly pigmented, moist and durable. Truly, the whole line of makeup for face, eyes and lips gets top ratings from customers and makeup artists alike.

4. Neutrogena MoistureSmooth Color Stick - It's a step up from chapstick in eight ultra flattering shades in peaches, roses, plums and browns. 

5. Maybelline Color Sensational Lipcolor - Formulated with pure pigments for crisp color. Lips feel creamy, not dry. There are 52 shades. In the past, women turned to Chanel, or NARS to get unique or subtle hues. Not anymore! Maybelline is another makeup giant with colors and textures galore. Browse their website to select a lip color to fit the benefit you're after. I like watching this fun, lip-color tutorial. Learn how to create different looks with  nudes, pinks, plums and reds. The brief video has me convinced I will look exactly like the gorgeous model by wearing the lush Maybelline shades. :) What? ... I can hearrr you!

So on a visit to the neighborhood drugstore, you can pick up a new lip color without breaking the bank.

You may also enjoy:
When The Price Is Right
A Guide To Makeup Brushes
Boots No. 7 Is Coming To Walgreens
Shopping Online For Savings Is Easy

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Rosweeta: A Fairy Tale

Neuschwanstein Castle, The Black Forest, Bavaria
Fairy tales have been popular for centuries. Authors and scholars, Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm, took German folklore and retold it as the fairy tales we hear as children. Their stories are timeless.

In college, I had to write either a Brothers Grimm-style fairy tale, or an Aesop-like fable. Fortunately, I was weaned on the Brothers Grimm. 

[Not only did I have books, but my poor parents had to listen to records of the stories over and over again. Be careful what you buy your kids. Always ask, can I tolerate the sound of this toy, or recording for hours at a time. If not ... and you don't have a separate wing to put the little children in, leave it on the shelf :). But, I digress.]

My fairy tale, while staying true to tradition (Hey, I wanted a good grade!), mentions my heroine's bearing, as well as, her beauty. The story is about overcoming limits ... with a little help from her friends. Rarely in life can a person achieve anything alone. It usually takes teamwork, or at least a few good ideas and the support of others.

Here is my old, freshman English assignment, a Brothers Grimm-que fairy tale. Mr. Jerry Rogers made me write it:

by  Debra Turner

Once upon a time there lived a beautiful young Princess named Rosweeta, who had long chestnut brown hair and lovely green eyes. The Princess was sensitive, kind and loved by everyone.

One summer day Rosweeta wandered into the forest, not far from the palace. As she walked, her eyes beheld a striking sight -- flowers of all different colors. 

“Oh, what beautiful blossoms,” Rosweeta thought!

As the Princess picked a handful of bright, red roses, deep blue irises and white, delicate baby’s breath, a wicked, old troll came up from behind and forced the frightened Princess away deep into the woods.

The wicked, old troll locked the beautiful, shocked Rosweeta in a hollow tree trunk high off the ground. The hollow tree trunk had no door nor staircase, but only a round window.

The troll came to see Rosweeta daily. Often the wrinkled, old troll was accompanied by his nephew, who was as ugly and wicked as he. To get inside of the quarters where the Princess was imprisoned, the troll and nephew walked sideways up the trunk with their magic shoes.

After visiting Rosweeta, the two went off into the forest to await and plunder weary travelers.

One day the troll announced to Rosweeta that she was to wed the nephew soon!  

The thought of marrying that horrible nephew made Rosweeta very unhappy. When the troll left later in the day, the poor Princess leaned her arms on the round window and stared at the distance that separated her from the ground. Rosweeta could think of nothing to prevent the dreadful event. As the hours passed, the Princess grew more frightened, until at last she burst into tears.

The sparrows in the forest heard Rosweeta crying and took pity on her. A group of black sparrows devised a plan to help the young Princess. Knowing the greed of the old troll and nephew, the sparrows planted what appeared to be a lost satchel filled with shining stones of every hue in a rainbow.  The crafty sparrows laid the leather satchel on a wooden raft just off the shore in the deepest part of the river, where the evil pair were sure to pass. The sparrows then hid in the trees, which surrounded the river.

One late afternoon as the troll and nephew were out looking for loot, the nephew spotted the heavy purse.

“Look Uncle,” he cried, “a raft and on it a satchel filled with jewels!”

The wicked, old troll snarled with delight, “Some clumsy fool must have fallen into the water and drowned. How lucky for us that he has left his gems to be retrieved!”

The wicked, old troll and nephew carefully removed their magic shoes and laid them on the riverbank.  The evil pair then stood at the edge of the river and frantically tried to recover the raft with the use of a long, thick branch. As the troll  and nephew bent over, the sparrows flew out from hiding and pecked at the evil twosome. The troll and nephew were so startled, they fell into the water and drowned. 

The sparrows then took both pairs of magic shoes to Rosweeta. To the Princess’ distress, she soon discovered the shoes were several sizes too small.

Many lonely days passed. Not even the faithful sparrows could cheer her with their daily visits and fresh food.

One sunny afternoon, a tall, dark-haired, blue-eyed Prince was riding through the forest. The Prince saw the Princess gazing out of the round window of the hollow tree. The Prince was so enchanted by the Princess' demeanor, he knew he had to meet her.

He rode close to the hollow tree, but could find no entrance. The Prince introduced himself and asked the Princess to come down out of the hollow tree. And so, Rosweeta sadly revealed her misfortunes to the Prince and explained how she was unable to free herself with the magic shoes.

The tall, dark-haired Prince asked Rosweeta to throw the two pairs of magic shoes down to the ground. The Princess did so and the Prince, taking his knife, cut the tips off the magic shoes and placed a pair on his feet. Then he boldly climbed up the hollow tree trunk, gave Rosweeta the second pair of magic shoes to put on her feet and walked, hand in hand, with her down to the ground.

Rosweeta smiled. What a joy to be free!

The Prince returned with Rosweeta back to the palace. A year later, they married and lived happily ever after.

Red roseRed roseRed rose
The End.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Does Sleeping On Your Face Cause Wrinkles?

If you Google the question, it leads to tons of beauty advice, telling you to sleep on your back in order to prevent wrinkles. And, special "wrinkle preventing" pillows are sold to stop you from flipping on your side and stomach, so sleep lines aren't permanently etched on your face. But should it even be a worry?

No, says a 2013 study called "The Effect of Sleep Position on Perceived Facial Aging." It was conducted by plastic surgeon, Dr. Brett Kotlus. He asked 100 women about their favorite sleep positions, then independent researchers digitally examined the women's faces to see if more wrinkles developed on the side they reported as their preferred sleep position. The results? There was no cause and effect between sleep position and wrinkles. Women who sleep on their left side didn't have more wrinkles or sagging on the left than women who sleep in other positions.

But, Dr. Kotlus did find more wrinkles on the left side of faces in general. That is due to sun exposure while people are driving. There is an increase in cancer rates on the left side also.

What's more, Dr. Kotlus determined that sleeping on silk, as opposed to, cotton has no effect in preventing wrinkles either.

So instead of worrying about sleeping on your side, or on cotton, you can just apply sunscreen.

For the record, I'm a stomach sleeper, and sometimes I do wake up with indentions on my face, but they usually disappear before I leave the house. Good, I'll add my own experience to the research. 

 As my momma says, "I hate doing stupid stuff for nothing." Oh, like restricting the most comfortable way to sleep; buying expensive pillows to help you do it; and forcing yourself to sleep in one position. Feel free to toss and turn all you wish!

You may also enjoy:
The Tranquility Pod
Masters Of Sex: A Review
Sleep Is crucial To Good Health
A Blanket Designed For Outer Space

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Easter is ...

Colorful Easter eggs, which turn into snacks and deviled eggs.

Hope, optimism and human perseverance. A belief that good will overcome evil.

The beginning of a new cycle of life.

Chocolate candy ... there is always chocolate candy.

More Easter thoughts here.

Happy Easter, dear readers! 

You may also enjoy:

Monday, March 30, 2015

Lilly Pulitzer For Target

Target's popular designer collaboration continues with Lilly Pulitzer. Her collection consists of 250 articles of clothing, jewelry and accessories for women and little girls. Launching on April 19, prices will range from $2 to $250. The floral and patterned dresses, jumpers, beachwear and bags are like a breath of fresh air. So feminine, bright and cheery.

Initially, I wasn't going to write about Lilly Pulitzer's Target arrival ... that is, until I saw the charming lookbook. Her shifts, shorts and rompers are adorable! Every bit as pleasing as the famed Liberty of London collection of a few years ago! There's something very classic about the style of the Pulitzer for Target pieces. And practical too. The elegant and very wearable dresses, bathing suits and coverups will take you through the summer ... or several summers. (Hint: I keep mentioning dresses! See the lookbook.)

I want the 3-inch shorts and fit and flare dress at the top! The trims and attention to details in the clothing are impressive. I love how the colorful patterns are youthful, while the style is tasteful. Clothing for woman who aren't going the Kim Kardashian oversharing route, if you know what I mean.

A  cute, fltattering collection that won't soon go out of style.

You may also enjoy: 
Summer Songs Of Yesteryear 
Save On Summer Fashion Essentials
Brilliant Must-Have Summer Accessories
How to Pick Sunglasses: Form To Function

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Let's Talk: What's In Your Makeup Bag?

Photo: iStock
Wow, look at all the stuff in this cosmetic bag! Full size makeup brushes, creams (of some sort) and nail polish. Where does a woman do her fingernails on the road? I mean ... would she polish her nails at work? In a public bathroom? On the subway? Hopefully not while driving!

I use moisturizers too ... but at home. On the job, I keep chapstick and hand lotion in my desk.

Certainly, I carry far fewer items on a daily basis than the above image shows. Just for fun, let's share what we keep in our makeup bag, one that fits inside our purse. Short of an overnight trip, here's what's in mine:

1) a compact case of pressed powder
2) a lipstick (Need a little blush? Doubles as one.)
3) a tube of sheer lip gloss
4) Erase stick for under eye circles
5) a soft crayon eyeliner
6) A small hair comb with wide teeth

That's it. My makeup bag is small. I hate being weighed down with too much stuff. And yet, I have everything I need for touch ups. Forget oil blotting papers to wipe my t-zone. I just blot an oily complexion with Kleenex, or in a pinch, toilet paper. What? It works better, in my opinion, because it's bigger then blotting papers.

I can understand carrying mascara, but I rarely wear it to work to avoid raccoon eyes. Usually I don't wear eye shadow during the day either, but many women do, and it's all good.

Spring is the perfect time to clean out your cosmetic bag. Take out any items you never touch. Also, remove makeup if it would upset you to lose it. I never carry one of my Max Factor Pan-Stiks in my purse. Ever! Pan-Stiks have been discontinued in the USA. Heaven forbid, it falls out or melts!!!
Not my Pan-Stik, nooo!

It's better to travel light whenever possible. Simplify your life!

You may also enjoy:
Time To Tidy Up
Never Underestimate The Value Of A Sample
Kate Middleton Has Something I Want ... Sleeves
Celebrity Hair: How Much Do Celebrities Spend?

Monday, March 23, 2015

Puritan's Pride Favorites

Last year I gave a glowing review of Puritan's Pride, an e-company committed to selling high quality organic and natural products at super affordable prices. Their catalog includes: vitamins, health and beauty products, sports nutrition, aromatherapy and healthy snacks.

Over the year, I've placed orders and talked with customer reps many times and continue to highly recommend them. The retailer's goods, service and low prices are unbeatable. And, talk about convenience. Orders can be placed anytime, 7 days a week to arrive in your mailbox free of charge.

Here are 10 (+1) items I keep ordering:

1) Hyaluronic Acid Beauty Cream (4 ounces) - A greaseless, yet hydrating face cream.

2) Retinol Cream, 10,000 IU of Vitamin A per ounce (2 ounces) - It contains coconut oil. Applied nightly, it is also a fabulous face cream.

3) Herbal Authority Double C Vitamin Serum (2 ounces) - I use the serum every morning under sun protection SPF 15 or 30. Reportedly, Vitamin C helps your sunscreen work better, as well as, slows down aging by encouraging your skin to produce (the protein) collegan. Hey, it can't hurt!

4) Invigorating Tea Tree Oil Shampoo (12 ounces); and (here's the +1) Invigorating Tea Tree Oil Conditioner (12 ounces) - Tea tree oil is good for your scalp and hair -- it tingles and cleans gently.

5) Moroccan Argan Oil (2 ounces) -  I use it on my skin and the ends of my hair after a shower. It is 100% argan oil at a low price!

6) Puritan's Pride Premium Coconut Oil (7 ounces) - Heavier than the argon oil, it saves my skin over a brutal winter. I also dab it on the ends of my hair.

7) Alba Botanica Very Emollient Body Lotion (32 ounces) - A rich body and hand suave. Use it throughout the day to keep dryness at bay. Generous sizes of daily essentials are always the way to go!

8) Essential Oils (2 ounces) - Lavender, peppermint, rosemary and tea tree - I add lavender, rosemary and peppermint oils to lotion and shampoo at times. The tea tree oil I use to clean wounds and household germy surfaces. The company offers all the essential oils. 

9) Cooking spices - I got ground nutmeg, parsley and herbs de Provence and will consider others in the future. (8.5 grams)

10) Stevia (11 grams) - So far, this is the only safe sugar alternative. It comes from a natural plant. I use pure Stevia in ice tea and lemonade. We do not live on water alone!

Frequently, top organic ingredients are crazy expensive. These products are so budget friendly, you can use them everyday. Thank you, Puritan's Pride!

You may also enjoy:

Masters Of Sex, A Review
Penny Dreadful: A Review
Vegan Beauty Products To Try  
Shea Moisture Beauty For Everybody

Thursday, March 19, 2015

On The Fringe Trend

Photos: Nasty Gal - American Retro Ewin Suede Jacket

According to Refinery 29, fringes -- a  garnish that gave a 1920s flapper her devil-may-care-swagger -- are back. Fringes are trendy in jackets, dresses, sweathers, shoes and bags.
Left: Glamorous on Lyst, right: Belstaff

The look is striking and playful. It would be a hoot to wear a fringed party dress to a gathering, wouldn't it? Oh yes ... sashaying in and out of a room with your trims blowing every which way. Fun!

A fringe is a fancy detail, yet it can look dressy or casual, depending on how you pair and wear it. Whether you dress up to look chic and sophisticated, or down to look western or boho, fringes are here to stay.

If only the examples I post on the blog, like this elegant Saint Laurent Trois Clous Tote bag, would magically appear in my closet!

You may also enjoy:

Monday, March 16, 2015

New Neutrogena Hydro Boost & Maybelline Master Prime

How I love when top-notch beauty products appear at the corner drugstore! 

Neutrogena is an excellent skin care line. The retailer is launching new treatments to keep your skin healthy and glowing from within. First up is Neutrogena Hydro Boost Eye Gel Cream, which is formulated with hyaluronic acid and olive extract to hydrate the delicate skin around your eyes for up to 48 hours. Hyaluronic acid is a key ingredient to help your skin attract and hold moisture. Who wants to dry up like a leathery old prune? Let's fight the signs of aging all the way! Cost: $15.
Also new is Neutogena's Hydro Boost Gel-Cream for Extra Dry Skin. Cost: $18. Apply it to your face. I only buy a single gel/cream to treat both areas -- eyes and face, since my skin can tolerate it. But if your eye area is sensitive, buy serums and moisterizers specifically formulated for your more delicate eye area, where the skin is thinner, i.e. both items. You will need to pay the piper. Sorry wallet!
Next to discuss, Maybelline has developed a master face primer. There are three lightweight formulas to fight three different skin concerns. Wear the primer under makeup to blur skin imperfections like zits, a red tone or fine lines. Without clogging pores, the primer gives your complexion a nice glow and youthful appearance. It also prevents aging: SPF 30 sunscreen guards against future wrinkles and skin cancer. Cost: $10.

How exciting! Skin care, once only sold behind a costly cosmetic counter, is now available at your local drugstore for less. Sometimes beauty is skin deep!

You may also enjoy:
Shea Moisture Beauty For Everybody
When The Price Is Right
Boots No. 7 Is Coming To Walgreens
FarmHouse Fresh: Bath And Body With A Touch Of Whimsy

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Dior Kingdom Colors Palette ... Because Who Doesn't Love A Pretty Palette?

Another stylish makeup palette joins the beauty market. Housed in a slender case is all the makeup a busy gal needs for touch ups. Carry it to the office, an evening out-on-the-town or overnight trips.

Dior's Kingdom Color Palette contains 10 makeup items:

For the eyes:
1) a dark cream eyeliner
2) & 3) two eye shadows
4) eye shine (goes over shadow)
5) skin perfecter (mattifies and blends eye shadow)

For the face:
6) a lovely natural blush
7) skin highlighter (for shimmer)

For the lips:
8) & 9) two sheer lip glosses
10) a lipstick (that matches the blush)

Dior has designed a color palette that is very French in spirit. French women are famous for their glamour without-trying-too-hard image. Think Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Adjani or Eva Green. Each actress appears effortlessly chic. Likewise, the Kingdom Colors in this palette look natural, with a touch of shimmer (for the eyes) and gloss (for the lips).

In the perfect makeup palette, I'd substitute under eye concealer and face powder for Dior's eye shine and skin highlighter. But not all women (or men) would agree with me. I live in New York City and have met men who wear more makeup than I do ... but that's another blog.

The colors in Dior's new palette, the purple eye shadow, rosy blush and matching lipstick are universally flattering. 

And, having your cosmetics in one sleek portable case is the great appeal of a makeup palette. Your beauty essentials stay neat, and nothing gets left behind.

You may also enjoy:
The Jouer Makeup Palette
Shiseido's Sparkling Party Palette
The Tarte Away Oui Go Palette
Makeup Tips For A Summer Scorcher

Monday, March 9, 2015

No Knead Cinnamon Rolls

Photo: whiskandwords(Exactly how mine looks.)
No, THE SAVVY SHOPPER hasn't become a baking blog. Food is only one of the subjects featured here. The reason I'm posting back-to-back recipes is because my cousin who lives out of town wants my recipe for cinnamon rolls.

While riding out the winter, I've been spending time indoors. Cinnamon rolls are a favorite treat, so I tried baking a batch using the new no knead method. A little more work than making bread, yes, but we have no trouble eating them! Here you are, Ms. Lizzie.  

Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients for the sweet dough*:

3 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon quick rising yeast

2 tablespoons sugar (or honey)
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon of vinegar (helps dough to rise better)
1 1/3 cups of warm milk (I used powder milk added to water.)
3 tablespoons olive oil (or butter)

2 teaspoons vanilla


1) Put all the dry ingredients in a large wok (or mixing bowl if you don't own a wok). Stir together uniformly. 

2) Beat the egg in a cup and add to the dry mixture. 
3) Add the rest of the wet ingredients. Mix into a dough (using your hands if you wish).
4) Cover (I use the glass lid of a wok) and let it rise in a warm place (I put it inside my oven with just the pilot light) overnight -- for about 12 hours.
5) After the dough has tripled in size, flour and oil your hands and the dough, so you can work with it. Turn it out on a floured cutting board. Roll it flat into a rectangle shape.

Ingredients for the filling:

1 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon cinnamon
Optional: nutmeg, ginger, allspice to taste.
nuts; melted butter to brush rolled dough

Directions - continued:

6) Combine the brown sugar and spices in a bowl.

7) You can either brush a little butter on the rolled out dough (or use water, if you don't want the calories. The butter will add flavor. Also, the filling will stay without moistening the dough, so you can skip this step, but a little butter on pastry will always improve the taste!).
8) Spread the filling evenly on the rolled out dough, avoiding the very edges.
9) I like to break up a few pecans (or walnuts) and scatter them as part of my filling.
10) Roll the dough and filling up like a cigar ... tight enough for it to hold together, but not too tight. If the dough sticks to the cutting board as you roll it up, simply scrape it gently with a spatula.
11) Next cut into 8 pieces with a sharp knife (or use dental floss). A trick is to cut the roll of dough in half, then cut the halves into halves until you get 8 even pieces.
12) Arrange them in an oiled cast iron skillet (or round baking pan).
13) Cover and let rise for 2 additional hours.
14) Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.
15) After the rolls are done, take them out of the oven and let them cool for at least 10 minutes. This is the time to make the frosting.

Ingredients for frosting:

1 cup powder sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon milk

Directions - continued:

16) Using a fork, mix into a smooth frosting and spread on top of the rolls.

My family doesn't like super sweet pastry. We have trained our palates to like less sugar. However, if the frosting isn't enough for your taste, you can aways double the recipe.

Cinnamon rolls are not as healthy as whole grain breads, but chances are, this homemade version is more wholesome than what's laying in a supermarket. At least they are not a heart attack waiting to happen since you control the ingredients. Enjoy the treat!

Extra Tips:

*In a pinch, you can use the Sullivan Street Bakery's basic bread recipe. A sweet dough is richer. Frankly, I don't find the taste between the bread dough and the richer sweet dough to be that different. I like both!

After I got the hang of making the rolls, I began using 1 cup of whole wheat flour to 2 cups of all purpose flour. The whole wheat substitution is light and flaky too. However, substituting one cup of oatmeal makes the rolls dense. To be sure, oatmeal dough rolls are editable, but heavier. Sometimes I just want the best tasting dessert even if white flour (not to mention sugar) is not as healthy. Everything in moderation.

Keep leftover cinnamon rolls fresh in your freezer to microwave (20 seconds) or warm in the oven (15 minutes) later. 

You may also enjoy:

Masters Of Sex, A Review 
Let's Have A Pillow Talk
Spring Forward In Style: Five Easy Pieces
Aboard The Underground Railroad: A Picture Book In Verse