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I hope you are having a great December. We're changing gears with this issue and doing something completely different.

But before we do that, I need to mention something important.

Limited Spaces Available During Tax Season

I'm accepting a limited number of new bookkeeping and QuickBooks clients over tax season. If you need help with these, shoot me an email and I will schedule you.

Don't wait too long - at some point I will be too busy to accept new clients.

Guaranteed: I WILL be turning clients away, good clients, honest clients, clients in need.... it happens every tax season.

Use this link to reach me:

http://www.jenniferthieme.com/quickbooks-help-contact.html

...and fill in the form. You will receive, almost immediately, an automatic reply, with a pdf describing all of the bookkeeping and QuickBooks help options I offer.

IMPORTANT: I work best with people who are highly focused and motivated about their financial data in QuickBooks. If you are one of them, contact me:

http://www.jenniferthieme.com/quickbooks-help-contact.html

You can outsource for just a few tasks for a short time period, or many tasks over a long time period. The choice is yours - whatever you need.

Here's My Gift to You!

PhotobucketI wanted to spend a few minutes to encourage those of you who are having difficulties this holiday due to the ecomony (or for any other reason for that matter). I know that you can still have a great holiday on an extremely limited budget. All it takes is some creativity and motivation.

One of the inexpensive things I do each year is to make homemade cinnamon rolls. I make them from scratch and start them on Christmas Eve. It's a family tradition that I started ten years ago (or so) when things were tight financially. The kids love them! I'm going to share my recipe in just a minute.

Another idea to save money is to make your presents rather than buy them. One year I made pot holders. All my friends loved them. I started over the summer by going to garage sales and buying inexensive denim.

Then during the fall I washed the denim, made a pattern, and sewed the potholders together. I was able to make a set for all my family and friends for under $20 dollars.

I also made a special tag, so the finished product ended up looking like something I bought at a specialty store.

Some of my friends NEVER even used the pot holders and instead hung them as decorations in their kitchens - and are still hanging there to this day.

Obviously it's too late to do something like pot holders, but it's NOT too late to make cinnamon rolls.

Important: this recipe is not for beginning cooks. True cinnamon rolls are a bread product, which means that you need to know how to make bread dough.

If you've never baked bread but want to do these anyway, enlist the help of a family member or friend who understands the basic process for making bread. Then you'll be fine.

I'm calling these, "Jennifer's Cinnamon Rolls," even though the recipe is not mine. I found it online years ago, and I can't remember where.

Suggestion: read through the entire recipe before shopping.

Jennifer's Cinnamon Rolls

If you wish to have hot, fresh cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning, begin these the night before. Once the rolls have been created and placed in the baking pan, allow them to rise in the refrigerator overnight. Remove from the fridge in the morning, and allow to come to room temperature before baking. This recipe makes about 20 large rolls.

Dough
1/2 C. warm water
2 pkg. dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 package vanilla pudding mix, 3.5 ounce
Milk for the pudding mix
1/2 C. butter, melted
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
6 C. flour (but have more than this handy)

In a small bowl, combine water, yeast, & sugar. Stir until dissolved. In a large bowl, prepare pudding mix as directed on the package. Add the butter, eggs, and salt. Mix well. Add the yeast mixture. Blend. Gradually add flour. Knead until smooth. You may need to add more than six cups to make a good dough (see what I mean about being an advanced recipe? You really need to get this step right). Place dough in a large bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled. Punch down and let rise again.

The Filling
1 C. soft butter

Combine these together:
2 C. brown sugar
4 teaspoons cinnamon

Roll out the dough onto a large floured surface to 34" x 21" rectangle. Spread the butter over the entire surface, even to the very edges. Combing the brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle this over the butter to the very edges.

Roll the dough lengthwise into a log. Try to get it tight. Do not worry about the ends - they won't be perfect but it doesn't matter.

Once the dough is rolled, score it lightly at 2 inch increments. Cut at the increments and place the rolls into a greased baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Do not crowd them in the pans as they need room to expand. Take your clean hand and press down on them LIGHTLY to create uniform tops. Cover and place in the fridge (or if baking same day, let rise until doubled again).

If baking next day, take out of fridge for about 45 minutes or so before baking. Meanwhile, heat oven to 350 degrees. When ready, bake for 20 minutes. Do not overbake! All rolls should be lightly golden before removing from oven.

Make the Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 C. butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 C. powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk

Combine all and frost your cinnamon rolls. YUM!

Please write to me and let me know what you think of this recipe! I'd love to hear from you.

Take care and I hope your holidays are full of meaning and joy.

We'll talk again soon,

Jennifer Thieme

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USA