Homemade fruit and nut crisps made with just a few pantry staples + the most delicious whipped feta with za’atar + lemon!Continue reading “Homemade Fruit and Nut Crisps + Za’atar Whipped Feta”
Rose cardamom buns filled with spiced brown sugar and finished with a pink rose glaze. Perfect with black coffee for
Continue reading “Rose Cardamom Buns”
fika or Sunday brunch.
I originally posted a recipe for lefse in 2015, but I decided to update my post this year with my great-grandma’s recipe! It’s 100% the best lefse I have ever had. Also, you may notice some older pictures mixed in with the new ones. On one hand, I really wanted some new, pretty pictures of my lefse. but on the other hand, I love the old photos of my brother and I making it together. Enjoy the rare blonde-college-era Sara pics 😉
If you’ve been on Instagram any time recently, and you have some American friends, you’ve probably noticed a couple of trends within our posts:
- Women are really stepping up in our political climate (woo!!), and
- We’re obsessed with rainbow foods
While the first trend makes my heart soar, the second one is a big “meh” from me. Although rainbow food is probably the happiest food ever, and it look really nice on Insta posts with a NYC cityscape in the background, I don’t know if I could handle eating something with those colors. Does anyone know if those dyes do something funky to your insides? Do all those foods taste like chemicals? The amount of food coloring added to get those vibrant colors just has to be astonishing…
However, my opinion has insufficient impact on the subject, because people are rainbow-ing literally everything they can get their slippery food coloring into. U.S. restaurants and bakeries are a unicorn’s freaking dream – try as I might, I can’t get away from it. And what do you do when you can’t beat them? Join them! And what do you do when you refuse to add entire bottles of dye in your food?
– which is a totally acceptable and subtle form of rainbow-ing food. (I would know. I have an expansive sprinkle collection).
Once the rainbow-food-trend got exponentially out of hand, and we Americans claimed it as our own, Australians were kind of like, “yo, wtf?”, because it turns out they’ve been eating a colorful treat called fairy bread basically this whole damn time. In case you missed it, fairy bread is strictly just white bread + butter + sprinkles, and oh, it also has the cutest name everrrrr. Anyway, I decided to do some extensive research on the subject, because these are the things that I care about, and I’ve learned a few tips from multiple articles that I have read – basically, Americans have a few things wrong:
- It’s never been called fairy toast, it’s fairy bread – a very important aspect.
- It’s not eaten as a snack or breakfast – it’s used as a birthday cake replacement at children’s parties.
- When making this treat, artisan breads, hand-rolled butter, and organic sprinkles are unwelcome. Seriously, it’s just white bread, a pat of butter, and nonpareils.
However, many Australians are really being good sports about it all, even complimenting some of the quirks we’ve added to our fairy bread in America – fancy sprinkles, thicker toast, and one article even mentioned that they think eating fairy bread for breakfast is GENIUS. So, I guess it’s not all bad.
After hearing about fairy bread, I felt the sudden urge to write a blog post about it before realizing that, hey, you guys are probably smart enough to figure out how to slather butter on some Wonder bread followed by a handful of sprinklies. And then I realized that muffins are a totally acceptable form of breakfast food and thought “Why not merge the two?”
Basically, I made a dense, slightly sweet muffin, filled it with sprinkles, and added a buttery glaze with extra sprinkles on top. Is it fairy bread? No. Is it inspired by fairy bread? Absolutely. Is it just an excuse for me to eat funfetti for breakfast in a socially acceptable manner? You bet your sweet ass it is.
Do you know any fun foods that are not well-known? Comment below, I’d love to hear!
XO Sara Lynn
*Song of the Day: Favorite Song by Kaiser Cartel
IT’S FINALLY HERE. Even after countless pies and months of promising you all the best pie dough recipe in the whole damn world, I had not delivered. That is, until now. I really should stop making promises like these considering I’m a full-time student, I have 2 jobs, plus I try to volunteer a few hours a month on top of all the normal things I have to do on a day-to-day basis a.k.a. I’m freaking busy and don’t always have time on the weekends to do a pie dough tutorial. Honestly, I don’t know how I have free time sometimes, but bless my marketing internship for giving me college credit to work only a couple hours a week from home is all I have to say. Aside from that major tangent, my point is that I know the wait was worth it, and I would like you to agree with me, because it would make me feel much better about my slacking.
Let’s have a conversation about pie dough, my friends. I’ll try to keep an open mind here, but let’s just face it, I’m biased and totally Team Make Your Own Pie Dough. Most people refuse to even try to make their own dough, settling for either freezer-aisle roll-out pie dough (boo) or worse, store-bought pies from the grocery store (double boo). We’ll call this side Team Wrong. No offense if you’re on that team, I understand why you are, but hear me out. I have a major theory that pie dough is one of the most misunderstood forms of pastry, and I can attest to this, because I was a frozen pie dough fan for many years. After making pie dough once, I was a forever changed woman. It’s so. damn. easy. Surprisingly so, but it makes all the difference in the world. If you care about pie, make your own dough! I’m not kidding, you will not be able to go back to the store-bought stuff. It’s really life-changing, especially this recipe, which yields the flakiest, buttery-est crust I ever did eat. Thanks to Bon Appetit magazine for inspiring me to give it a try and also for giving me the recipe. I appreciate for real ♥
So, after a long guilt trip from Team Make Your Own Dough, do you feel inspired to make your own pie dough for (please, at least one of) your Thanksgiving pies?! Yes you do!
Let’s get started!
First, you’re going to start off with 2 sticks + 2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter. Cut the butter into cubes, trying to work quickly to avoid melting the butter with your warm hands. I like to use a bench scraper for this so I don’t have to touch the butter, but a regular knife works well too! Put that butter in a bowl and pop it in the fridge while you gather your dry ingredients.
Now we’re going to prep for the next few steps. Whisk together 2 1/4 cups of all purpose flour, 2 Tablespoons of sugar (1 Tablespoon for a savory-pie crust), and a scant teaspoon of kosher salt. Also prepare a glass of ice water and set the glass aside. Toss the butter in the flour mixture.
Now, working quickly, use your fingers to rub the butter into the flour, creating shaggy pieces of butter. Some of the pieces should be thin and long while others are chunkier. Be careful not to let the butter melt in your hands.
Mix together 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with 3 Tablespoons of iced water. Swirl to combine.
Drizzle the vinegar-water over the butter mixture, running your fingers through the flour mixture to incorporate all the ingredients. Quickly knead the dough until it starts to come together. It will be a little crumbly and dry, but resist adding more water or your crust will turn out tough.
Turn your dough onto a floured surface and knead it a few more times, incorporating the drier areas.
Cut the dough in half and press into 1 inch thick discs.
Wrap your dough in plastic and set it in the fridge for at least an hour and up to 5 days. You can also freeze the dough for up to 2 months! I like to make dough in advance and save it in the fridge for big events like holidays. When you’re ready to use it, roll it on a floured surface and fill with whatever makes you happy.
Here’s a few pie ideas, if you needed any (;
And here’s a handy-dandy recipe card:
I hope this recipe makes the pie dough of your dreams as it did mine ♥
XO Sara Lynn
*Song of the Day: Where is my Mind? by Pixies
Sweet poppy bread flavored with almond and drizzled with a light vanilla glaze.
As we speak, I am sitting in one of my favorite coffee shops writing a blog post. I swore I would never be this person, but considering my absolute love for coffee shops I have expressed countless times in the past, it was bound to happen at some point. I’m even wearing a cardigan and my Warby Parker Buddy Holly-esque glasses. The National’s older albums are playing in the background. It’s almost too cliche to handle, yet I didn’t drag in a typewriter, and I have never claimed that I identify with Hemingway on a spiritual level, so I’m still passable.
However, I am knee-deep in caffeine right now, which is making me remarkably honest, so it’s confession time. This is not my first visit to a coffee shop today…but it might be my second. Now, before you judge, first let me tell you that my finals today range(d) from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. And I only got a few hours of sleep last night. In my personal opinion, my multiple coffee shop stops are a little more excusable now. I’m glad I got that off my chest.
If I was a good little student (which I am I swear), I would be studying right now, but I have coffee-drank myself into some full blown anxiety, so I’ve decided studying would only create harm. However, an hour before a final exam, you either know your stuff or you don’t, and I have decided that I know business law. I understand contracts! I understand corporate liability! And the Commerce Clause! It’s all going to be okay….!!!
And while I have drank enough coffee for the caffeine to suppress my appetite and make me feel full, I still can only think about food. Specifically, this poppy bread.
My aunt made this recipe a few years ago, and in that instant, I fell in love with poppy bread. It was like eating cake without the frosting, which is actually how I prefer my cake, but it was deemed more socially acceptable. The recipe only has ten basic ingredients. And the batter can be whisked up in literally five minutes if you believe hard enough like I do. Plus, if you have a mini loaf pan (not kidding, mine weighs like, 8 pounds), it makes the cutest tiny loaves of bread to distribute to friends and family. Which is obviously more fun than muffins.
A few notes: 1. Please use 1 c. + 2 Tbs. of oil in the recipe. Last time I made it, I accidentally only used 2 Tbs. and it led to a rather disappointing product. 2. I prefer to make a simple syrup (1/4 c. sugar + 1/4 c. water heated until boiling) and brush it on the bread hot out of the oven. It keeps the bread tasting fresh. However, this is not necessary, especially if you’re drizzling it with vanilla glaze! 3. This needs to be served with plenty of softened butter. Hot poppy bread + melty butter = <3 <3 <3
(And on a completely different note, a guy at the next table just told his friend that he met a girl that “didn’t have the best face, but he couldn’t get past her midriff”. PSA: If you’re going to be a caveman, please be one in your head or in private but not in a room full of intelligent, beautiful women shooting you death glares. Oh the joys of living in coffee shops! You hear some interesting stuff for sure).
Sweet Poppy Bread with Almond
*Song of the Day: Baby, We’ll be Fine by The National
[Update 1/12/16: I made these rolls last weekend for the first time since I posted this recipe. I changed the recipe up a little bit for experimentation, and ended up liking the new recipe more. I added more butter (yikes, I know), tried traditional scalded milk instead of buttermilk, and used a different icing. The original recipe is in the body of the post, and the new recipe is on a recipe card at the bottom of the post. The new rolls are more fluffy, but if you prefer the old recipe, it’s still there, no worries! I also updated some new pictures, since my photography has gotten significantly better (but still left the old ones with instructions and whatnot). Hope you guys love! Xo.]
These are so good.
Have you ever had like, a really really really good cinnamon roll? Not like a Cinnabon one, but a really delicious, homemade cinnamon roll? It’s a special kind of experience everyone should get to have.
I’m happy to report that you may now make your own if you truly wish to experience the phenomenon of eating an out-of-this-world cinnamon roll.
I have truly done it. I have created the perfect cinnamon rolls.
They take pretty much all day to make, but they’re super easy. I promise, you can make these! Just make sure you have new yeast and everything is going to be okay. You can do anything.
Sara Lynn: motivator and cinnamon roll goddess.
Maybe that’s a little dramatic. Maybe it’s not. Maybe you should make these cinnamon rolls and let me know if you think that I’m a cinnamon roll goddess.
A disclaimer about the following pictures:
1. My nail color randomly changes from red to sparkly pink because I got my nails done while the dough was rising. I highly recommend you find something time consuming to do while you wait because cinnamon rolls take a long time to rise and a long time to make in general (but still so worth it).
2. The pictures change from good quality to bad quality because, again, they take a while to make and I ran out of daylight.
Shall we get started?
1/2 c. warm water
1 package instant yeast
1/2 c. + 1 Tbs. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. buttermilk
1/3 c. melted butter
4 1/2 c. flour
1/2 stick butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar
2 1/2 Tbs. cinnamon
4 oz. cream cheese
2 Tbs. butter
1 1/2-2 c. powdered sugar (depending on how sweet you like your icing!)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2-3 Tbs. milk, to thin
First, you’re going to want to mix together your warm water, yeast, and a tablespoon of sugar. Set it aside to double in size!
Mix 1/2 c. sugar, flour, and salt in a bowl.
Nice and doubled! Yay!
Mix together buttermilk, egg, and butter.
Add half of the flour mixture until it’s incorporated.
Add the yeast mixture and stir together.
It might not mix very well because it’s going to be very lumpy and thin like pancake batter.
Mix in the rest of the flour and knead a few times with your hands.
Knead until smooth and beautiful.
Set aside in a warm place covered with plastic wrap or a towel. Let rise for 1-2 hours.
*insert random photo and nail color change*
Roll until about 1/8 inch thick.
Brush with melted butter.
Mix together cinnamon, sugars, and salt for your filling.
And spread it all around!
Roll it up.
Brush it with more butter (sorry cholesterol).
Cut into rolls that are about 2 inches wide. You should have about 8 pretty ones.
And a few not so pretty ones 🙁 Oops!
Brush a parchment lined casserole dish with more butter.
Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon and sugar.
Line the cinnamon rolls in the casserole dish. Set them aside, covered, to rise for another hour or two.
Look how pretty!!! (That top left one is so sad. Poor little guy. Still delicious).
Bake at 350* F for about 14-16 minutes, or until a light golden brown.
Meanwhile, mix together the icing! Whip butter and cream cheese together until incorporated. Add sifted powdered sugar and vanilla. Thin with milk.
(Uhm, is this not just the worst picture you’ve ever seen? Did I even try? Just trust me, it’s a delicious icing).
Yay, they’re baked and beautiful!
Spread frosting over warm cinnamon rolls.
Do you see that cinnamon filling? Oh my gosh. I might go grab one of my extras from the freezer right now. They’re sooooo good.
Which reminds me, if you have too many because you made 11 cinnamon rolls and you live by yourself, just go ahead, wrap them in some plastic wrap individually and then place them in freezer bags. They’ll stay good for a few months and you can indulge in cinnamon bun goodness whenever you want!
Go make these. Right. Now.
* Notes*: 1. I use my mixer with dough hook, but these can also be made with a mixing bowl and wooden spoon! I’ve done tries both methods and either works! 2. If your dough won’t rise, try heating oven to 250* F, turning oven off, and placing covered bowl of dough in warm oven (make sure bowl is oven proof!). Leave alone for 2 hours. 3. If dough still won’t rise, your yeast is probably old. Buy new yeast and start again. 4. Rolls can be made one night, and baked in the morning! Just form the rolls and let them do their second rise in the fridge overnight (8-12 hours). In the morning, remove from fridge, and let warm up for about an hour. They will take longer to bake (upwards of about 30 or 40 minutes, so don’t worry if they don’t bake quickly! Cover with foil halfway through if they start to brown too much.)
*Song of the Day: Won’t You Come Over by Devendra Banhart