Yeah, I admit it. This became trendy and I immediately wanted on the boat. I don’t do that very often! I’ve avoided goji berries and cauliflower pizza crusts and many other things simply because I find it annoying that there’s such a craze around them. But when I saw how popular açai bowls were becoming I couldn’t help it! They just look too enticing, so I had to try it myself.
For those who might be wondering what the deal is with açai, it’s a fruit that is full of antioxidants and omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids. It’s similar in nutritional profile to other popular berries, but has recently caught on like wildfire in the US (and I’m guessing other places in the West). It’s also delicious and a beautiful color!
I’m not sure if most people are like this, but I am really into breakfast. On the weekends it’s the meal I look forward to the most. I feel like in the South we’re pretty big on breakfast and brunch foods in general, and pancakes and waffles hold a special place in my heart. You need to add these recipes to your breakfast repertoire!
I give in, I’m finally doing a pumpkin recipe! I struggle every year with not wanting to let summer go, but after we went apple picking it feels like the season has officially changed. I’ve had a hankering for cinnamon rolls lately and hadn’t made my Old Fashioned Cinnamon Rolls (pictured below) in forever (that’s one of my all-time favorite recipes by the way) (I really like putting things in parentheses) (sorry).
But then I figured it might be fun to do a pumpkin version! Pumpkin adds moisture, color, and a subtle flavor to baked goods so I’m a fan of adding it in during the fall. As I anticipated, they are the booooomb.
Quick Healthifying Tip: These cinnamon rolls work great with whole wheat pastry flour in place of some of the white flour and coconut oil instead of the butter. You could also sub in your favorite non-dairy milk instead of cow’s!
In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, milk, pumpkin, and egg.
In an electric mixer or food processor fitted with a dough blade, combine the flour, sugar, salt, pudding mix and yeast. Add the wet ingredients and mix on low speed. Once the ingredients are incorporated, increase the speed to medium and mix until a soft, stretchy dough is formed (about a few minutes with an electric mixer, a minute in a food processor). The dough will be sticky but that’s what you want.
Transfer the dough to a greased bowl. Cover with a towel and let rest in a warm place until the dough doubles in bulk (about 1½- 2 hours). While the dough is rising, let the butter for the filling soften on the counter.
Gently punch down the dough and roll out into a rectangle about ⅓″ thick. Spread the softened butter for the filling over the rectangle.
Stir together the other filling ingredients in a small bowl, then sprinkle it over the entire surface of the dough.
Roll the dough up lengthwise. Slice into 8 even slices with a sharp knife.
Place the dough slices flat into a greased baking dish, arranging them to touch each other slightly. Cover with a towel and let rest in a warm place for another hour.
Bake the rolls in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes, or until they are completely golden brown.
While the rolls cool slightly, beat the glaze ingredients together with an electric mixer until it’s smooth and has no lumps.
Drizzle the glaze over the warm rolls. Enjoy!
As if you couldn’t tell from my recipes lately, I have definitely been indulging a bit. And by a bit I mean a lot. And by a lot I mean I need a bigger pair of pants.
These guys are definitely company-worthy. I think that the pumpkin gives them an amazing warm color that makes them even more enticing that regular cinnamon rolls, don’t you think?
Please let me know how you like them if you try them! There’s nothing I love more than when a reader reports back saying they loved a recipe! And in case you happen to be in a pumpkin mood (which it seems like everyone is), here’s some more eye candy for you:
There’s a lot of items that I’ve been really into lately that I’ve been wanting to share with you guys. I know a lot of bloggers do a “Friday Favorites” type of thing so I thought I would jump on the bandwagon for this week. I don’t buy or use nearly enough stuff to do these frequently, but doing one every once in a while sounds fun!
1. Comfort Pal Travel Neck Pillow- Jason and I have been flying quite a bit lately so we both decided to get ourselves a travel pillow. We got different colors of this Comfort Pal pillow and I LOVE mine. How did it take me so many years to buy one of these?? It squishes down into a tiny travel bag and is soft as a cloud to sleep on.
3. Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spice Granola- I have to be honest and say that I’m actually not a fan of most TJ’s granolas. But I decided to give the Pumpkin Spice flavor a shot and it’s SOOOO good. Perfect amount of sweetness and a delicious fall flavor. I’ve been eating it for breakfast every morning with a little soy milk.
4. Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap- This is an item that I’ve had around for years and I still love it. I dilute it and use it as the cleaning solution for pretty much everything in my entire house. It’s super concentrated and lasts forever so the price is definitely worth it! It’s totally natural and safe for when your curious dog licks whatever you just cleaned.
5. Solid Gold Small Breed Dog Food- Speaking of dogs, we just started Cynewulf on this new food about a month ago. He was getting bored of the food we were feeding so I went on the search for another brand of natural food. We are SO impressed with the positive results this food has had on his coat and digestion. He also loves the way it tastes, which of course is great.
6. Mayim’s Vegan Table- Someone suggested this cookbook to me so I went ahead and got it since the kindle version is so cheap. I’m really glad I did, I’m really enjoying it so far! I love the approach to veganism that they discuss (a lifestyle that isn’t realistic for everyone 24/7 but that everyone can and should incorporate into their lives in some way). I made the red cabbage salad last night with dinner and thought it was delicious.
7. Lush’s Sympathy for the Skin- Lush items can be a bit pricy but I took the plunge and bought this lotion from them a couple months ago. It’s made with all-natural ingredients like almond oil and organic bananas and it is officially my holy grail lotion. I need to get another container!
9. OXO Silicone Spatula Set- Jason got me this set for Christmas and OXO has also sent me a couple of the individual ones. I love them so much that I wonder exactly what I was using before? They are heat resistant which means I can easily go from combining ingredients together in a bowl to stirring them in the pot using the same great spatula. Jason will attest to the fact that at least one of these gets used in our kitchen every day.
I hope you guys enjoyed that! I always like reading other people’s reviews to get ideas so I’m hoping you do too. Have a fantastic weekend and I’ll see you for Soul Food Sunday!
For those of you who are newer readers, I used to do a weekly post where I would share my version or twist on a favorite comfort food dish. Since I was raised here in Georgia, I love to be inspired by Southern recipes and ingredients. I’ve decided to go back to doing these posts! They give me an excuse to eat biscuits.
These are inspired by the famous Cheddar Bay biscuits that they serve at Red Lobster (which, being a vegetarian, I haven’t been to in years), but I decided to keep the biscuit a more traditionally Southern one. The only thing better than biting into a biscuit is biting into a biscuit full of melty cheddar cheese!
WOAH buddy, long time no see! Things are definitely changing over here and I’ve been running around like a crazy person! I’ll save the story for later, BUT I can tell you that I’m doing more volunteering and I’m also in the middle of a cool course for new attorneys. That plus traveling has meant not as much free time! But we did have a lot of fun last month and I wanted to do a little recap of what’s happened!
I can’t wait to start doing fall themed recipes now! Since it’s kind of hard for me to incorporate a recipe post into the week, I’ve decided that I’m going to get back to the heart of how I started blogging and bring SOUL FOOD SUNDAY back into the picture! So get ready for a fun new recipe on Sunday.
WELL, let’s see! This month I’ve been involved in a lot of great volunteer work and also had a couple great job interviews. I’ll update you again soon!
Earlier in the month I got a chance hang out with two of my favorite ladies, my friends Emma and Ansley. We have known each other since we were 12 and I’m still so excited every time I can see them! They are amazing, accomplished, and down to earth young women and I adore them. This is lovely Ansley with Emma photobombing (you would) in the back.
Emma cooked paella for us, Ansley made a salad, and I made mocktails! Everything was SO yummy!
We also took another trip up to Jersey for a special wedding. It was so fun to see my in-laws again and they spoiled us soooo much with good food. As soon as we got to their house we enjoyed a delicious spread of cheese, fruit, and champagne!
And for dinner that night we had some amazing fresh ravioli and more delicious wine.
I also got to go the the farmer’s market with my mother-in-law. Somehow their very small town in New Jersey has a way better and bigger outdoor farmers market than ANY I’ve seen in the city of Atlanta. Now that I know how awesome it is I can take a trip whenever we’re up there! I bought some local honey and a bunch of delicious apples that were varieties I can’t get here in Georgia. All the produce was stunning though, wish I had this to pick from every week!
And we had SUCH a great time at the wedding. I got to meet some new family members and reconnect with others who I hadn’t seen in years. And of course it’s so fun to get all dressed up for something special!
Then this past weekend Jason and I drove up to the North Georgia mountains for our annual apple picking trip! Ashley and the rest of my family couldn’t make it this time but Jason and I still wanted to go before it gets too late in the season. The drive up there is very relaxing and the scenery is beautiful.
The two of us have gone apple picking together every year since we’ve been married! You can even read the posts from our trips in 2011, 2012, and 2013. This year was fun as always!
The orchard we went to this year takes you up to the apples in a tractor. So fun!
They also let you eat as many apples as you want while you’re picking, which is pretty nice.
We went pretty easy on the apples this time because I wasn’t planning to do any canning or make apple butter like I did in the past. I don’t have time for that stuff anymore! So we just got enough for eating and maybe making a pie. Mostly I love to go because I’m obsessed with being in the mountains.
I just feel so relaxed and at peace there. I’ll take a vacation in the mountains over one on the beach or some resort any day!
The next day I wanted to bake something with the apples we got so I made some apple cinnamon biscuits to share with you guys.
They were good, but not amazing, so I’m not going to post the recipe. I might do some tweaking and try again but I never want to post anything that I don’t believe is truly an awesome recipe. Just so you know.
I’m off to finish dinner and make an apple pie! I hope you’re enjoying the beginning of fall!
I hate to say it but the time has arrived! Summer is officially coming to a close and people are getting excited about pumpkin flavored everything. Before I start talking pumpkin, I had to recap the awesome Summer of Pies series!
For those of you who missed it, my mom (who’s a baker) and I got together and made a bunch of delicious pies throughout the summer. While a few of the pies feature summer fruits, others can definitely be enjoyed all year round. Thanks so much for hanging out with us during the series and I certainly hope you all enjoyed it! Be sure to pin your favorite pie and share it with your friends!
*Thanks for your patience and support during the series. Doing so many collaborative posts proved to be quite the challenge! Because I’ve been so busy with job searching and my mom is back in school full-time, we weren’t able to extend the series as long as we originally intended. But we’re really proud of the five pies that we shared with you and hope you try them and love them! Also I WILL still be doing an “Ask the Baker” Q&A at some point so keep your eyes open for that!
Chocolate chip cookies are my go-to treat for pretty much any occasion. Cold outside? Bake some cookies. Nervous about something the next day? Bake some cookies. Headache? Bake some cookies. Bored? Craving chocolate? Have a heartbeat? Bake those cookies, man.
The base for these is my favorite Secret Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, but this time I added peanut butter to the batter and used milk chocolate chips instead of semisweet. Milk chocolate and peanut butter are such an incredible combo and it takes the classic cookie to a whole other level of awesome. Jason said, and I quote “Wow! These are much better than usual!”, which I’m going to interpret as his gentlemanly way of saying they are EVEN BETTER than the original recipe. And I happen to agree.
1⅓ c. all-purpose flour (whole wheat pastry flour works too)
1 t. baking soda
½ c. creamy peanut butter
1 c. milk chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream the brown sugar and butter together in the bowl of a mixer.
Add the egg and vanilla extract and continue to beat until it’s fluffy and smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
Add the flour, baking soda, and peanut butter and mix on low just until the ingredients are incorporated.
Fold in the chocolate chips.
Drop the dough onto a lined cookie sheet by the tablespoon a couple inches apart.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes, or until the cookies are golden and start to brown around the edges.
Remove from the oven and LET COOL for 5 minutes on the pan before removing them to a cooling rack with a spatula (these are soft cookies so they will break if you try to move them straight out of the oven).
Like every good chocolate chip recipe, these are super easy and you can have them in your mouth 20 minutes after you decide to make them. I cannot promise how long they will last though! I am personally responsible for the disappearance of 10 4 cookies so far today…
I’m off to start cooking dinner! I’m so excited because I picked up some delicata squash at the farmers market and I’m using it to make this amazing salad that Heidi Swanson says is one of her favorite recipes! I can’t waaaiiiiiit! And then cookies for dessert. Duh.
I hope you guys had a great weekend! We woke up at a relatively decent hour on Saturday to visit the farmers market. Typically I go on my own because Jason hates being out in the heat, but this time I managed to convince him that we should make it a family outing! We could easily bring Cynewulf because we were going to the market that’s inside of a huge park (the Piedmont Green Market).
I do like this market but I have to be honest…the markets in Atlanta are TINY! I don’t know why! I can’t imagine that there aren’t enough vendors, and I know the demand is there…so I really don’t get it. The ones I’ve been to in other parts of the country are easily double or triple the size, even in small towns! This one is right in the heart of the city and I think I counted 3 produce vendors? Crazy! But the ones that they do have are good so I can’t complain too much.
There were lots of apple varieties to choose from but I am not. ready. for. fall. And therefore I refuse to buy any apples. But I did cave and buy some apple cider, which was delicious. We also picked up some tomatoes, a baguette, some peppers (Jason’s purchase of course), and MUSCADINES! Easily my favorite fruit.
There were a few food vendors so we got breakfast while we were shopping. I got a croissant and a fruit smoothie and Jas got a breakfast bratwurst and iced coffee.
The walk to our car and back was probably a couple miles and it was TOASTY outside so we were pooped when we got home. After chilling in the AC for a while we headed out again for early dinner and a movie!
We went to a Fork & Screen, which is one of those dine-in movie theaters that are popping up a lot lately. The food was lackluster but the movie was good.
My personal opinion is that it was good but a little too hokey for my taste. I know the rest of the world thinks this is the best Marvel movie so far, but I’d still vote for Iron Man any day of the week! Jason, on the other hand, said it’s his new favorite movie ever (excluding LOTR of course, but that’s implied!).
The baguette I bought at the farmers market made for some delicious french toast the next morning! And yes, I burned that one in the back. Food bloggers are people too.
After breakfast on Sunday we made a Target run from some boring things and then went to a pet boutique for a special new item!
HAHA, I know. You don’t have to tell me. It looks ridiculous. I was laughing for like 10 straight minutes when we put it on him. Either neckties are just a bad idea for dogs or Cynewulf is too small to pull it off. But it’s pretty clear that he’s a bow tie man. So we’ll be returning this one and looking for a new bow tie! At the moment he’s going tie-less, which simply won’t do.
I’ve got a job interview tomorrow so send me good vibes!
I don’t know about you…but I blinked and then I guess September came? And then just when I started to get emotional about the end of summer, I visited the farmers market and realized that it’s still tomato season! Which immediately makes everything better. That means there’s still time for delicious summer pastas!
While I was at the farmers market relishing over tomatoes, a vegetable called sorrel caught my eye. It’s a leafy green that cooks down a lot like spinach and is a great source of vitamins A and C. This was my first time using it and we loved the lemony flavor it gave to this easy pasta dinner.
1 small eggplant, peeled and cut into small spears
½ lb. whole grain spaghetti
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 c. sorrel leaves, roughly chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes
½ t. crushed red pepper
2 T. fresh basil leaves, chopped
salt and pepper
parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast, optional
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat.
While the water comes to a boil, heat a large skillet over medium heat and coat the bottom with olive oil.
When the oil is hot, add the eggplant and sauté until the pieces soften and begin to brown (about 15 mins). Remove from the heat and set aside.
When the water comes to a boil, cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
In the large skillet you cooked the eggplant in, heat about a teaspoon of olive oil over medium heat.
Add the garlic to the hot oil and sauté for a minute to toast the garlic.
Add in the sorrel leaves and stir just until the leaves soften. Turn the heat down to low.
Add the drained pasta, cooked eggplant, cherry tomatoes, basil, and red pepper. Toss until everything is well heated through.
Salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.
Top with cheese or nutritional yeast if desired.
Things have been busy over here! Our trip to New Jersey last weekend was great, and we’re headed up again for another wedding in a couple weeks! Things have also been a little crazy with Jason’s job (he worked during most of the holiday weekend, poor guy) and my plate is more than full with volunteering, taking care of the house, and job searching (the search is amping up! fingers crossed!). That’s where fast weekday meals like this really come in handy!
This is a vegan meal aside from the parmesan cheese, which can easily be omitted or replaced with nutritional yeast or a vegan parmesan cheese. I can’t wait for leftovers of this as my lunch tomorrow!