Let’s roooollllllll

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This is how I roooolllllllllll.

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Or something like that! I roll with rolls for dessert and for breakfast, because I am all about the treats that do double duty. These are appropriately autumnal with pumpkin and warming spices and such, and glazed pecans just sort of scream HOLIDAY TIME!!!! to me. Do you hear that, or is it just me? … don’t answer that.

Anyway, moving on. Cinnamon rolls! A winner all around, especially when there is some kind of glaze or frosting involved (which is absolutely necessary…there is no question).

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These happen to be paleo, grain free, gluten free, dairy free, and refined sugar free (everything EXCEPT taste free), so if that’s how you roll (ha. pun intended), these are for you!

Let’s see, what else is new…

More drawing!

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More photography fun:

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Succulents! Why not.

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I don’t have much anecdotal humor for you today, so you’ll just have to content yourself with some cinnamon rolls. I highly recommend making them to be eaten for dessert… and then for breakfast! You won’t be sorry, promise.

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Grain Free Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Coconut Glaze and Maple Pecans

These aren’t overwhelmingly pumpkin-y, more towards the cinnamon side, but are delicious regardless. Grain free, paleo, refined sugar free, and dairy free. Roll dough adapted from Eat Something Delicious, here! Yield: 1 8″ skillet-worth of rolls; I got about 8 large rolls.

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For the dough:

  • 2 c tapioca starch
  • 1 c almond flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 3 eggs*
  • 2 tbsp coconut milk*
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar

*the eggs I used were small, so I needed a few tbsp of coconut milk to bring it together — you may not need this if your eggs are larger

For the filling (This makes extra; use it to top the rolls or eat separately!)

  • 1/2 c pumpkin puree
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/6 c coconut sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1 heaping tbsp almond butter

For the glaze:

  • 1/4 c coconut butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 runneth-over tsp vanilla
  • pinch of sea salt

For the pecans (these are great to make ahead and store for when you need them):

  • 1 c pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 c maple syrup
  • pinch of sea salt

If making the pecans ahead, do that now!

Heat a large sauce pan over medium heat. Once hot, add maple — it will foam a bit when it hits the pan. Add in pecans and sea salt, stirring to combine. Keep stirring and cooking for about 3-5 more minutes, until the maple has caramelized. Line a baking sheet with parchment for easy clean up and pour the pecans out, breaking up any large chunks. Let cool completely before storing in an airtight jar.

Preheat the oven to 350, and grease an 8″ cast iron skillet, or other pan of choice. I sprinkled the bottom with a little extra coconut sugar, just for fun.

For the dough: stir together tapioca starch, almond flour, baking powder, salt, and coconut sugar. Make a well in the center and add the eggs and vanilla. Use a fork to combine until you get lots of little pieces, then get in there with your hands and knead until the dough comes together (add coconut milk here if needed; by the tsp and just until the dough comes together to avoid sticky dough). The dough should come together nicely and be stiff enough to roll out; if it’s too sticky, add a bit more starch. Flour a clean work surface and a rolling pin (or do like I did and roll out between parchment paper), and roll the dough out into a rectangle, about 1/4″ thick.

In a small bowl, make the filling: stir together pumpkin, maple, coconut sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and almond butter until smooth. Spread the filling onto the rolled out dough, leaving about a 1/2″ clear on the edge furthest from you (there will be leftover filling!). Roll up the dough starting on the long side (I always try to cram as much filling in there as possible and end up with it going everywhere, so you do you!). Once the log is rolled up neatly-ish, slice it into rolls. I like to start in the middle and slice outwards to get the most even slices. Place the rolls into the skillet, so that their sides are just touching. Bake for 20-30 minutes — sorry for the range; mine stayed in much closer to 30 so that the centers of the rolls that were touching would be done all the way through — the rolls should be firm to the touch and not goopy in the spaces between them.

Remove from the oven and let cool. Make the glaze while the rolls are cooling: stir together warmed/melted coconut butter (it’s solid at room temp), maple, vanilla, and sea salt together until smooth. Alternatively, store it in a jar and dance around to mix it up. It’s way more fun, I guarantee.

If you want a true glaze and less of a frosting, pour the melted coconut butter mix over the rolls and eat immediately. Let cool to room temp or overnight if you’d rather have a consistency closer to frosting. Either is delicious!

Before serving, drizzle glaze over the rolls and top with a few pecans for decorative shenanigans. Serve with more glaze, more pecans, and vanilla ice cream because you’d be missing out otherwise, and we can’t have that!

Leftovers keep well covered on the counter overnight; in the fridge for longer storage.

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Now what?!

Nuts for coconut?

I can’t even believe I’m going to type these words…

Wait for it…

I FINISHED MY THESIS! For realzies. 92 pages? Check. Bound and printed? Check. Coherent (and relatively humorous) presentation? Check. Wait. NAILED. (Despite feeling I was going to go into cardiac arrest for the first few sentences, ha). I feel a thousand pounds lighter! [and mildly exhausted… this may be on account of running on adrenaline for the last 24 hours] Or maybe that’s just the removal of the pile of books that is now off my living room floor and back to the library…? It’s like my child. I sort of want to frame it, and keep it up on the wall forever and ever.

So…

I love the way citrus looks.

Now what?! So much free time, what to do, what to do?! Oh wait. That’s right. Bake more! And alternatively get more creative with dinner. Because I’m stuck in a dinner rut the size of the Grand Canyon. Except not tonight. Because tonight is a fancy-schmancy department dinner! YAY! Celebration time. And time to do all the fun senior-type things at the end of the semester (which is rapidly approaching, sheesh. Sloooowww for the cone zone, please). Which means that I have an excuse to bake a ton… in order to mitigate the amount of food to be carted back down to California when Kira and I move out, of course. You have to admit, this a is a perfectly valid excuse. Not that I really ever need an excuse to bake.

Except today. I was celebrating :)

mmm.

Coconut-Banana Bread with Lime Glaze

Mega thanks to Christine for showing me this (and for several ingredient donations)! It’s adapted from Cooking Light. I made 1/2 the batch and ended up with 2 mini-loaves, though putting it all in one loaf pan would be fine as well (just increase the bake time). I reduced the sugar quite a bit, as sweetened coconut is already pretty sweet. This bread comes together quickly and is DELICIOUS. Just sweet enough, with a pronounced coconut flavor… mmm. It’s also decently not so bad for you, considering it comes from Cooking Light. Win all around :)

look at all that toasty coconut

Acquire:

  • 1 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • very heaping 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 c Earth Balance (or butter)
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4ish cup mashed ripe bananas (the riper the better, obvs) (about 1.5 bananas)
  • 1/8 c plain, lowfat yogurt
  • 2 tbsp rum (don’t leave this out, it’s YUMMY!)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • heaping 1/4 c shredded sweetened coconut + 1 tbsp (mine was probably closer to 1/3 c… I loooove coconut)
  • optional: chocolate chipppies! (But really… why would you leave these out?!)
  • 1/4 c powdered sugar
  • juice of one lime
/

Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease your loaf pans of choice. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. In a larger bowl, combine Earth Balance and sugar with a hand mixer until fluffy. Beat in the egg until well combined. Add in banana, yogurt, rum, and vanilla, and beat to combine. With the mixer on low speed, add in flour until just combined. Stir in 1/3 c coconut and chocolate chippies, if using. Pour batter into the prepared pans, and top with remaining tbsp of coconut. Bake for about 30 minutes for the mini loaves, until a tester comes out clean. (Or about an hour for a larger loaf).

While the bread is cooling/baking, combine powdered sugar and lime juice, and whisk until smooth. When the bread is cool, drizzle the glaze over the top of individual slices, or poke holes in the bread and drizzle over the whole loaf… up to you!

Mmmm… post thesis and post workout zen :)

creative storage, heheh...