Orange Cinnamon Rolls with Eggnog Icing

Nostalgia time.

Did anyone else grow up eating those orange Pillsbury cinnamon rolls from a can?

Those orange cinnamon rolls pretty much defined special weekend breakfasts at my house. Well, that plus the frozen orange juice concentrate that my mom mixed with water in a green pitcher. 

Obviously, there's something about Christmas that stirs up childhood memories….

…and also brings a craving for a special breakfast.

I'm definitely an oatmeal-loving girl, but at Christmas time I want something baked, cinnamony and drenched in icing.


Like all yeast recipes, the rolls take a little time and preparation, but the end result is fluffy and flakey and oh-so worth it.

You're worth it too, friends.

The eggnog icing was a last minute addition to the recipe. We had just a little bit left in our fridge, and I thought it would pair well with the orange. (It did!)

If you're looking for other ways to use up eggnog, I also suggest eggnog french toast.

My family and I are so lucky to be celebrating Christmas in Florence, Italy this year. More photos to come next week!

Wishing you a wonderful Christmas, wherever you are.

Orange Cinnamon Rolls with Eggnog Icing

Orange Cinnamon Rolls:
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tablespoon grated orange rind (from one large orange)
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk, warmed
3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon butter, melted and slightly cooled 
~3 cups bread flour
Cinnamon Sugar Filling:
1 tablespoon butter, melted
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon 
Eggnog Icing:
3 tablespoons eggnog
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/8 tsp vanilla extract

Clean a section of your counter. Dust with flour and set out a rolling pin. Grease a large bowl and a 9 inch round pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine, sugar, orange rind, and salt. Add warm milk and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir in orange juice. Then add melted butter and 2 3/4-3 cups flour (enough flour to make a soft dough)

Turn dough onto the floured surface. Knead for 3 minutes. Place dough in the greased bowl and turn over so that the greased side of the dough is facing up. Cover with a  cloth and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

Punch dough down. Roll out on a floured surface into an 8 by 12 rectangle. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.

Starting from the 8 inch side, roll together. Pinch seams and tuck in the edges.

Use a sharp knife to cut into cut dough in half, then cut each half into 5 slices.

Place slices in a greased 9 inch round pan.  Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes or until doubled in size. Preheat oven to 350.

Bake rolls at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

To make icing, whisk together eggnog, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Drizzle over warm rolls.

Serve with milk or coffee!

Adapted from Bread Baking's Orange Cinnamon Swirl Bread.


Apple Cider Farro Salad with Arugula, Shaved Apple & Parsnip, and Goat Cheese

I'm back!

I've been sort of absent here, what with the two recipe round-ups and the guest post, but I am so happy to be back. 

No more 30 page research papers, no more exams, no more eating cookies at midnight…

Well, maybe not that last one.

Early on in the semester, I realized that this was going to be a semester of survival. I had taken on too much, and I could see the nights and weekends of work and stress panning out in front of me like a line of dominoes. "Just make it to December. You can do anything for 3 months," I told myself. 

Then in my legal ethics class we had a speaker come talk to us about the high incidence of depression, anxiety and substance abuse in the legal profession. It turns out that before law school, students have similar rates of those issues compared to the rest of the population, but by the time those students graduate law school, their rates have increased to the level of the legal profession.

The problem, according to the speaker, was that, like practicing lawyers, law students get into the mindset of survival. If I can just make it through this semester, everything will be ok. 

If I can just make it onto a good journal, I can relax. 

If I can just make it to partner, I can spend more time with my family. 

If I can just make it through this case, I'll have time to exercise.

I felt my stomach sink as he spoke. This was totally me. I was going to push away most of the enjoyable and healthy things in my life to hunker down and just survive the semester. The problem of this survivor mindset, he said, is that it's hard to let go of. We just keep setting new goals that we have to reach, or more work is put on us, and we subjugate the things that really matter to us until we are overworked, miserable, and depressed. 

Uh, no thanks. While his talk didn't make all my work and responsibilities disappear, it did give me a better outlook on things. I have no interest in graduating law school a miserable shell of a person, even if that person is at the top of the class. It's just not worth it for me.

So, while I did spend lots of Friday and Saturday nights working, I also made time for friends and time for Adam, and I refused to allow myself to feel guilty about that.

But now, I'm DONE. And so in need of some salad.

I've been really excited to share this recipe for a while now. As I've shared before (here and here), I LOVE farro. When I ran across a recipe for apple cider-cooked-farro in Bon Appetit, I was immediately intrigued. I knew the farro would soak up the sweet apple cider flavor perfectly.

I'm continually going on and on about my texture preferences in salad, and this one checks all the boxes. Something crunchy? sunflower seeds. Something sweet? apple slices. Something chewy? farro. Something healthy? arugula & parsnip. Something creamy? goat cheese.  Win.

The whole grains and healthy fats also make this salad nice and filling. This is a lunch salad, not a side salad friends. 

Try it! Then take some time to do something completely unproductive and unresponsible that makes you totally happy. :)

Apple Cider Farro Salad with Arugula, Shaved Apple & Parsnip, and Goat Cheese

For the salad:
1 cup farro
2 cups apple cider
1 bay leaf
3 cups arugula (or spinach if you're not a fan of arugula)
1 parsnip
1/2 apple (I used honey crisp)
handful of roasted sunflower seeds or pepitas
2 ounces crumbled goat cheese
For the shallot vinaigrette:
1 shallot, minced
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
1 tsp salt
black pepper
2/3 cup olive oil

For the salad: 
Cook the farro according to package directions, substituting the apple cider for the water. (Try to cook as long as possible to allow most of the apple cider to be absorbed, but you can still drain it at the end if necessary) Place aside to cool, or put in the fridge to cool while you assemble the other ingredients.

Use a mandolin, or a blade on a boxed cheese grater to thinly slice the apple and parsnip. (You'll want to peel the parsnip first.)

In a large bowl, combine the arugula, parsnip, and apples. Toss in the cooled farro and stir to combine. Sprinkle on some toasted sunflower seeds and the crumbled goat cheese.

For the shallot vinaigrette:
Whisk together the shallot, vinegar, salt and pepper. While still whisking, gradually stream in the olive oil. Serve immediately or keep in the fridge for up to a week!

Apple Cider cooked Farro inspired by Bon Appetit


Kale Recipe Roundup


Do you love it or hate it? I feel like people have extreme feelings about this vegetable. Adam jokes that he shares Jim Gaffigan's views on kale, but the truth is he really does like it. I think loving kale is all about proper preparation. Let's be honest, most people who took a big bite out of a raw kale leaf would probably gag a little. But I would probably have the same reaction to a bite of raw brussel sprout, but I love brussel spouts!

Here are my tips for learning to love kale:

1. Chop it up into really small pieces. (this helps with the texture thing!)
2. Massage it with olive oil to soften and reduce bitterness
3. Serve it (finely chopped) in salads with a flavorful dressing and crunchy, sweet, and savory elements.
4. Combine it with other starchy foods like pasta, rice or potatoes.
5. Add it to soups. It holds its shape much better than spinach!

Today I'm sharing all the kale recipes from the blog, and at the bottom you'll find a long list of my favorite kale recipes from other bloggers. 

Go forth and eat kale!

Kale and Potato Soup with Spicy Turkey Meatballs

Kale Quinoa Apple Salad with Maple Almond Vinaigrette

Whipped Goat Cheese Crostini with Pancetta & Kale

Pasta e Fagioli with Kale

Lazy Girl's Spinach & Kale Strata

More Kale Recipes from My Favorite Bloggers: 


Italian Sausage Tortellini & Kale Soup

Homemade Vegetable Broth with Soba Noodles, Chili-Roasted Tofu & Kale



Kale and Quinoa Salad with Ricotta

Kale Salad with Peaches, Corn & Honey Basic Vinaigrette

Kale Cesar Salad

12 Favorite Kale Salads & Tips


Breakfast Tacos with Kale-Cilantro Chimichurri Sauce

Scrambled Eggs with Kale & Mozzarella

Kale & Potato Breakfast Hash


Kale Fried Rice

Bacon and Butternut Pasta with Caramelized Onions & Kale

Crispy Kale Grilled Cheese with Fried Eggs

Sweet Potato and Kale Tortilla Soup

Caramelized Butternut, Crispy Kale & Fontina Pizza

Cheesy Bacon & Kale Potato Skins

Kale, Apple, Ancho Chili Tamales

Fiesta Kale Slaw Wraps

Cauliflower, Kale & Chickpea Curry Pot

Zucchini & Kale Lasagna

Butternut Squash & Kale Quesadillas


Easy Crockpot Cranberry Sauce

Hey friends, I'm holed up studying for exams again. (Tis the season…ugh) My sweet friend Erin once more graciously agreed to guest post for me. I'm excited to share her easy take on homemade cranberry sauce. It's one of my favorite Thanksgiving foods. I especially enjoy leftovers for breakfast with some plain greek yogurt and a little honey. Cranberries are in season now, so you can enjoy them beyond the Thanksgiving table. If you're wondering for other ways to use this delicious cranberry sauce, try out some of these: cranberry cornmeal wafflescranberry gingerbread gelatocranberry sauce parfaits, and vegan cranberry crumble bars.  Enjoy!

Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday. The food, the family and the laughs all make the day what it is. 

My parents host Thanksgiving dinner every year. My brothers, aunts, uncles and cousins attend. This year, for the first time, I brought my boyfriend, Harry, to my family Thanksgiving. He is from New Jersey and with only 2 days off from work, the trip from NC was not feasible.

I was thrilled that he could join us, but I was also concerned that he would miss his own Mother’s house on this special holiday. I had to make sure we had his favorite dishes on the table so that he would feel as “at home” as possible. I asked him his favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal…homemade cranberry sauce.

OF COURSE cranberry sauce is the one thing that is not made from scratch at our Thanksgiving. In fact, I do not think anyone in my family had even tasted cranberry sauce that did not come straight out of a can.

I sprang into action researching recipes and figuring out how I would pull off making a recipe for the first time on Thanksgiving. I came across a few recipes, and nothing looked difficult. I COULD DO THIS! I decided upon a crockpot recipe, and modified it enough to make it 1) simple 2) delicious 3) not too messy (cranberries stain!)

Harry loved the sauce. Now we will have a new Thanksgiving dish on our table…goodbye canned cranberry sauce!

Easy Crockpot Cranberry sauce

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon orange or lemon zest
The juice of 1 large orange or lemon
40-50 ounces cranberries

Wash cranberries. Add everything to crockpot. Cook on high one hour. Stir vigorously smashing cranberries as you stir. Cook for one more hour on high. 

Remove lid and let cranberries continue cooking on low for 45 minutes.

Refrigerate until ready to serve. May be served at room temperature.

Happy Thanksgiving!
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