Blackberry Cinnamon Rolls

September 1, 2012 at 10:08 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

I’ll make this narrative short and sweet, folks, because the most important thing you need to do right now is try this recipe. I am in the middle of birthday week right now. Today’s portion of the week-long celebration of my 27 years on this earth consisted of a brunch with some very dear friends. I made these cinnamon rolls. They were adapted from a recipe I found on Beantown Baker’s blog and intended to follow to the letter…until I made the classic mistake of not checking to make sure we had all ingredients before baking. That sent me into a spiral of adjustments which then became a new recipe that I’m going to share with you and officially declare as the second original recipe towards meeting my goal. And they’re dairy free. Perfect.

Blackberry Cinnamon Rolls- makes 12


1 c almond milk

1 t apple cider vinegar

1/4 c vegetable oil

1/4 c agave

1 packet active dry yeast

2 1/4 c all purpose flour

1/4 heaping t baking powder

1/4 t baking soda

1/2 t salt

2 c blackberries

1 T berry jam (I used loganberry. Yum.)

1 t cornstarch

1/8 c water

1 T cinnamon


3 oz dairy free cream cheese (I used Tofutti brand.)

2 T Earth Balance vegan butter

1 t vanilla

1/2 c powdered sugar

To make dough: Stir vinegar into almond milk. Let sit 10 minutes. Combine milk mixture, oil, and agave in a small saucepan and heat until warm, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and let cool until just slightly warmer than lukewarm, add yeast and stir gently just until combined. Let sit for a few minutes to activate. Add 2 cups of flour and stir to combine. Cover loosely with towel and let rise approximately one hour. (I like to place bowl in oven with the oven light on for a bit of warmth.)  While the dough is rising for this hour, make the filling. After the dough has risen, stir in remaining flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until completely combined.
To make filling: Combine 1 c berries, jam, cornstarch, and water in small saucepan. Heat on medium stove, stirring constantly until mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat and let cool.


To assemble rolls: Roll dough out on floured surface in a rectangle until approximately 1/3 inch thick. Sprinkle cinnamon over top of the dough and then rub to evenly coat. Spread blackberry filling over the dough and sprinkle remaining berries evenly across. Starting with end farthest from you, roll the dough up towards you, pinching last part together to seal. Slice roll into 1 inch pieces and place in a greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Let sit for 1/2 hour. Bake 18-20 minutes at 375 degrees.


To make frosting: Beat cream cheese and butter together with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and continue to beat. Add powdered sugar in small amounts, beating in between additions, until frosting is desired consistency. After the rolls come out of the oven, dab a small amount of frosting on each roll and let melt. Feel free to swirl the frosting on top of each roll as it melts to insure adequate coverage.




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A Career Path?

October 27, 2011 at 5:48 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Prepare to be a sounding board. And another disclaimer: This is not a business plan, but more like a stream of consciousness. There, you’ve been warned.

Last night I was reading the latest issue of Better Homes & Gardens that my boss gave me. There is an article about Karen Mordechai and her Sunday Suppers endeavor. The title alone got me, because as everyone in the MVS house knows, cooking Sunday dinner is my favorite. Everyone is present, not in a rush, and usually completely relaxed and ready for good conversation. But anyway, she has my dream job. She’s a photographer/stylist/hostess/mother and loves good food. She began inviting people into her home to learn from chefs and then enjoy the food they made during a sit down dinner where you could have good conversation.

Anyone who has ever asked me what I want to do with my life has gotten the same vague response: “I don’t know. I don’t want to teach, but being in a creative field is important. I’m not aspiring to climb any sort of corporate ladder, no matter how creative the field is. Using creative strengths and organizational skills are appealing. Graduate school is a goal, but not until I know what I want to do, and only really for the sake of learning. I want to feel like I’m doing some good, be able to pay the bills, and have time to spend with loved ones and pursue other hobbies. I like to be at home, but have the time to go out and explore. I want a family and the time to spend with them. To recap, I don’t know.”

It’s exhausting to float from short term plan to short term plan. God has been very, very good and has always provided. I have complete faith that God will continue to do so. But at some point it would be nice to rest in some sort of long term commitment, whatever that commitment looks like. Upon reading this article I got really excited that this is something I could do for the rest of my life and not get burnt out. A few very gracious housemates listened to me ramble on about this for far too long last night. (Sorry Laura and Kelsey!) But I realized I would love to host people in my home, teach them how to prepare a healthy and delicious meal, and then give them a beautiful space to eat in while enjoying time with their family and friends that they bring along or the new friends they meet at the event. There could be different menus, themed spaces, formality levels. Ticket prices could include the cost of materials. Taking from the Mazon example, guests could pay a surcharge that is then donated to a charity. I could invite low-income families to learn how to cook and eat healthfully and inexpensively! AH- so MANY options!!!

Then the reality check kicks in. It looks a lot like dollar signs and I realize I don’t have any of those right now. How do I make this happen? Is this even something people would be interested in?

Whew…thanks for listening if you made it this far. Feedback would be appreciated.

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September 25, 2011 at 9:35 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Through reading this, if you didn’t already know, you’ll discover that doing domestic activities relax me. I’m pretty relaxed after today’s lunch creation:

Pasta with yellow beans, spinach and tomatoes

Cook pasta according to package directions. In the meantime, saute 1/4 c. onion in 1 tsp. olive oil. Add in a clove of chopped garlic. Stir in washed beans and add a splash of water or vegetable broth to steam. At this point I also added salt, pepper, and some dried basil. Once the beans are crisp tender, add another splash of liquid if necessary and lay spinach on top to steam. After beans and spinach are cooked to your liking and most of the liquid has evaporated, turn off heat and stir in the halved cherry tomatoes. Toss in cooked and drained pasta, add a tablespoon or so of olive oil, and throw in a little vegan parmesan cheese. Stir to coat and enjoy!

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