Coaching Kitchen #109 Lighten Up with Caramel Rolls

Some will tell you that life is about the struggle and hard work, and once you’ve put in your time and paid your dues, then you might be able to get some reward from it. Well, I am here to tell you that much greater reward can be summoned from a more joyful and easy approach, when you’re tuned into enjoying your life and focused on what is important to you.

In my last article, I mentioned my dad who tried to keep things light•for both himself and those around him. He knew that harboring the negative did not get him where he wanted to be. Dad would shift to the positive and think about what was next. Of course, sometimes he needed an outlet to let go, which could take many forms, but usually meant some shenanigans.

Fortunately, all of my six sibs appreciated this side of him, and developed that side, as well. We rely on each other for a wise crack, a good story, or some kind of monkey business whenever we talk on the phone or see each other. I always feel stronger, happier, and more alive sharing those laughs and joyful moments with them, our nieces and nephews, Mom, extended family, and friends.

My sister, Jane, a commercial pilot, is all business when she’s flying corporate execs around the world. But, when she’s with us, she is all about having a good time. After all, life is about balance.

Together with her twin, Jeanne, she is double trouble. Just ask my friend Jack about playing the game, Spoons, with them. The twins have faced some very hard times, and their dedication to each other and to their families is steadfast and unwavering. They break it down to their core values and live them.

Andy just calls to tell stories and laugh, and has been an easy going and forgiving soul since he was a little boy. He has exhibited a great deal of resiliency in the face of professional challenges, and is setting his sights on a new vision to do what is most appealing to him at this point in his life.

Phil has been entertaining and scaring us from a very early age. He is all about the adventure, and seems to have what must be a hoard of busy guardian angels at his side at all times. We never knew what he and his pal, John, were going to try next. Now he has two little boys, who are following in his ways, and he is the one being entertained.

Mary is inspiring–no matter how much she has on her plate, she always squeezes in some fun and “extracurricular” activities. Dad liked to tell me the story about how he went to her business to help her do some landscaping and she whisked him away to go mushroom hunting. So they rescheduled the landscaping, and when he showed up the second time, she tried to go mushroom hunting again.

That leaves, Peggy, the baby of our family•always on the go, never a dull moment. She is out to have a good time, and so are her three kids. I was quite proud when my husband and I wore them out on their visit to Columbus, last fall. That took some doing!

With a family like that, I never have to look far for a respite, a laugh, a chance to lighten up and not take life so seriously. And, what I find is that life becomes easier, and much, much more happy and rewarding.

When you are on the go like Peg, and you want to surprise the family or guests with a yummy breakfast, I have the answer–Peg’s caramel rolls. Couldn’t be easier or better•just throw them together the night before, and bake in the morning.

This recipe has become a standard when we host overnight guests. My husband, Mark, who is an early bird, pops them in the oven in the morning, and our guests awaken to the smell of freshly baked rolls. It’s great sharing a cup of coffee and warm rolls while sitting around the patio or kitchen together.

(Note of disclosure: this recipe does not meet the dietary guidelines that Bob TM has been teaching us for years, so I apologize for that. But, if you’re going to splurge, this is certainly a great recipe to use. The “splurginess” can be balanced with a plate of fresh fruit.)

Peg’s Caramel Rolls • you’ll love this recipe!

1 1/2 cups of pecans or more, whole or pieces•I like lots
18 frozen bread dough rolls (this is usually half a bag)
1 package (3 • ounce) butterscotch cook and serve (NOT instant) pudding mix
• cup of butter
• cup brown sugar
• teaspoon cinnamon (this is the ingredient that’s good for you•use as much as you want)

Spray Bundt pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle bottom of pan with nuts. Place rolls on top; these may be slightly stacked. Sprinkle dry pudding over the rolls. Melt the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon together, and pour over the rolls. Leave uncovered for 8 hours or overnight, so they can rise. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the pan immediately by putting a large plate over the top of the pan, and then flipping the pan over. The rolls should fall out of the pan, keeping their molded shape. You may need to scrape some pecans and caramel out of the pan and over the rolls. They’re ready to devour.

Coaching Inquiries: How do you lighten things up? Do you have friends, colleagues, or family members who help you keep things in perspective and who share in some fun? Are you aware of people around you who could use a laugh, and some cheering up? We all need some balance and levity.

If you have a recipe you want to share, please use our online Feedback Form. To learn more about our Wellness Coaching programs and to arrange for a complimentary wellness coaching session, use our Contact Form or Email Bob.


May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.

Kate Kriynovich (
LifeTrek Coaching International
Columbus, OH

Telephone: 614-488-4659
Fax: 240-465-5848

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