A Day with Jack

A few weeks ago, I had the chance to go somewhere I’ve wanted to go for a long time…

10599394_675104239230_5491022199593862750_nI’d been in Nashville for the week for work, and by Friday, we were ready to do something fun. So, we made the hour and 20 minute drive from Nashville to rural Lynchburg, Tennessee.

10665214_675104164380_140049337717422419_nThe tour of the distillery is free and absolutely amazing! They do such a good job and our tour guide was wonderful…funny, entertaining and very knowledgeable about all things Jack Daniels.

10666029_675104144420_1370307470759172609_nSpeaking of…here is Mr. Daniels himself!
10702170_675104184340_1743966644122942735_n10624855_675103914880_1402763937583815499_nAfter the tour, we walked from the distillery to downtown Lynchburg. It’s a small town with a town square lined with shopping, restaurants, etc.

10303957_675103845020_6249836320075670500_n 10429381_675103800110_4999982445715981003_nMany of the shops have  Jack Daniels memorabilia, and while I didn’t spring for a guitar, I did find a lovely magnet for my collection!

That’s all for now, but I will be back soon with more…

Cinnamon Pecan Sticky Buns

A new post!
CinnamonRollsImagine that!

CinnamonRollI’m so glad to be back (about time!) with a new post…especially one that includes food.

Since my trip to Maine, I got a new job and am in the process of moving (an exciting thing despite the stress of packing, etc!) It’s been a whirlwind but I’m finally starting to settle into a routine which is nice. As a bonus, I love my new job! It’s in the interior design industry which has been a great fit for me. It’s funny I’ve never thought of doing something like this before…because I really enjoy being creative here on Midwestern Belle. Now I get to be creative in my 9-5 job too. (And yes, I’ll still be doing lots of traveling for work so the travel pictures won’t stop! In fact, hopefully there will be more!)

Right before I started my new job, my mom and I made these sticky buns together. As you may have noticed, over the past few years, I’ve started cooking more with my mom. It’s a fun way to spend time together while making something everyone will enjoy. Anyways, it’s always been kind of a challenge because there is so much stopping and starting when you’re trying to get good pictures while also being the cook. So, for this post, she cooked and I photographed! It was great!

IMG_8928 CuttingCinnamonRollDough CinnamonRollDoughCutHere’s the recipe in case you’d like to make it too…


Cinnamon Rolls
4-5 cups all purpose flour for dough, PLUS up to 1 cup more for flouring surface
2/3 cup warm milk
1 cup granulated sugar (plus an additional 2 tablespoons sugar)
1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
2 packets dry Red Star Quick Rise yeast
2/3 cup warm water (110 degrees Fahrenheit)
2-3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
3 beaten eggs
1 stick soft butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 cups chopped pecans, toasted in a warm skillet with 2 tablespoons of butter

2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon milk

Stir 1 cup sugar, butter and salt into warm milk until sugar is dissolved and butter is melted. Set aside to cool.

Stir yeast into warm water then add 2 tablespoons sugar. Set aside until a foamy layer forms on top of the liquid.

Place 3 cups flour and cinnamon in mixer bowel with dough hook attachment. Add milk and yeast mixture along with eggs. Beat on low until smooth. Add flour, half a cup at a time, until soft dough forms into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and set the mixer bowl into a larger bowl containing very warm water. Cover with a clean towel and set aside to rise, about 1 hour. Dough will double in size during this time.

After rising is completed, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and turn dough out onto a large floured surface and roll out to form a rectangle approximately 15″ x 20″. Spread on the soft butter the top with brown sugar and pecans.

Roll up dough into a log from the long side. Seal the edge with fingers to keep filling inside.

Slice into sections 2-3″ long and place in a deep buttered cake pan at least 9″ x 14″.  Set cake pan aside to rise again, about 20 minutes.

After rising, set pan on a foil sheet to catch drips while baking. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

While rolls bake, prepare the glaze. Combine the powdered sugar, butter and vanilla, then add milk a splash at a time until the right consistency is achieved.

Glaze the rolls immediately after baking and enjoy!


IMG_8886MWBHello long lost friend! How’s your summer been going? There’s been quite a lot going on in my world…
IMG_8876MWBFirst, my laptop went out after over four years of dedicated service! The screen started going grey randomly, which as you can imagine isn’t great for photo editing OR writing blog posts. So, I got a new laptop AND…
CoastalMaineA new job!

As you can tell from looking at my past posts, my previous job took me all around the US and Canada, and I had the chance to see things I wouldn’t have seen otherwise. I’ve been from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine and just about everywhere in between. As much fun as it’s been, I was ready to have a more “regular” schedule and not spend so much time in airports, which I hate!

One of my last trips took me to coastal Maine, where I took all the pictures in this post.


My first order of business upon arrival in Maine was to head to the coast to see the ocean and eat a lobster roll.


So, I headed to Cape Elizabeth, outside Portland, where I found beautiful views and this great little place on the water called The Lobster Shack.

TheLobsterShackCapeElizabethAfter ordering a lobster roll and cup of clam chowder, I decided to eat outside at a picnic table.


Sadly, as I set my food tray down, a seagull swooped in, hit me in the face with it’s flapping wings, and flew off with my entire lobster roll!!!

: (


So, back inside I went, where the staff was nice enough to replace my whole meal for free. (The clam chowder and drink had gotten doused in ocean water from the seagull, so I really had to start at square one.)


This time, I ate inside!