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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Resolutions and Thai Hippie Bowls

June 29, 2012 at 7:20 pm (Uncategorized) (, )

I’m a recent convert to the Mennonite denomination, but as far as I can tell (and this is what sold me), potlucks are one of the core faith values. The church I usually attend in Seattle doesn’t regularly have them like most other Mennonite churches (you’re going to have to forgive my sweeping generalizations in this post, and apparently the overuse of parentheses), so the young adults have taken matters into their own hands and created a bi-monthly potluck group. Google doc organized and always deliciously themed…what’s not to love? But I digress. At a recent potluck, we were doing some ice-breaking and were sharing resolutions that we had made for 2012. If I haven’t mentioned it before, I despise New Year’s resolutions. The only good one that I have ever made and stuck to was when I only ate bread at home that I had made myself. Best. Year. Ever.

So, I made one up on the fly. But now I think I’m going to stick to it. And here’s where you come in…I resolved to write 10 of my own original recipes by the end of the year worth sharing. One has been in the works for quite some time and needs some tweaking, but as we approach the 7th month of the year, I figured I had better get a move on it. So until that one is ready (is the suspense killing you?), here’s my first recipe for the blog world. Drum roll…

Thai Hippie Bowls- serves 6

3 cups quinoa

4 1/2  cups water

1 T olive oil

2 t. salt

1 t. pepper

1 T dried basil

1/4 cup onion

1 crown of broccoli, broken into florets

2 red peppers, sliced thin

5-6 carrots, peeled and diced

2 cups snap peas

Peanut Sauce:

1 cup peanut butter

2 cups canned coconut milk, I used lite.

2 cloves of garlic, minced

Juice of 1 lime

1/2 t cayenne pepper, or more if you like things spicy

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup agave nectar


To make peanut sauce:

In a food processor, combine all ingredients until smooth. Pour into saucepan and heat over very low heat while you prepare the rest of the meal. Stir occasionally.

To make quinoa and veggies:

In a large soup pot, heat 1 T oil over medium-high heat. Saute onion with salt, pepper, and basil for about 2 minutes. Add quinoa and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until water is absorbed and you can see the white rings around the quinoa.

While quinoa is simmering, prep your veggies. Listed above are the veggies I used, but honestly you can use whatever you like and/or have on hand. Put a small amount of water in another large pot and turn to medium-high heat. Add your veggies, sprinkle with a tiny bit of salt, and steam until they’re a desired doneness. I like mine to still have a little bit of crunch, about 6-7 minutes of steaming.

When everything is finished cooking, serve the quinoa, veggies, and sauce separately so people can build their own bowl. You can also include some toppings for people to add on like diced cucumber, sprouts (for extra hippie-ness), or sesame seeds.

I forgot to take a photo of the final dish. I’ve also been studying food styling recently, but for now you’ll have to deal with this photo from my crappy cell phone camera. You’ll also have to trust that my housemates loved this dish based on their expressions in the photo.




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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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