Posts Tagged ‘cinnamon’

puff pastry men & pillows

I am such an advocate for homemade gifts, whether it’s homemade earrings, mittens, a painting or something from the kitchen. I don’t know how to make jewelry – except for friendship bracelets from string – or knit, so gifts from the kitchen is my jive! These puff pastry men make great gifts. Stick ’em in a box with tissue paper or an adorable holiday bag.

I stumbled on the idea to make puff pastry men in an online UK magazine, Delicious Magazine. This online magazine so cute! I think I’ll frequent it more often.

Puff pastry men is my spin on the iconic gingerbread men. I’m getting flirty with it! I had extra puff pastry and used a biscuit cutter to make additional square shapes. I call them pillows. Pillows for those cute and crispy puff pastry men…why not, right?

Dipping Ideas:
Melted dark chocolate
Melted white chocolate
Dolce de Leche
Creme Fraiche
Whipped cream

Is your mouth watering yet?

Puff Pastry Men and Pillows
Inspired from this recipe

Print Recipe

– Puff pastry, thawed
– Granulated sugar
– Cinnamon glaze for dipping or drizzling on top

To make the cinnamon glaze
– 1 cup confectioners sugar
– 2 Tbls 1% milk
– 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Combine all three ingredients in a bowl and stir until well combined and thick. If the glaze is too thin, add more confectioners sugar. If the glaze is too thick, add more milk.

To make the puff pastry men
Preheat oven to 430 degrees.

Roll out puff pastry on a floured surface. Cut out shapes with a cookie cutter in your chosen shape(s). Place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle the shapes with the granulated sugar.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven, cool slightly and drizzle on the cinnamon glaze, sprinkle with confectioners sugar or both! Enjoy with a cup of hot cocoa!


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Friends. I ached this past weekend. Sore throat, head and nose congestion all accompanied with a headache. Not fun! As I write this post, I am still feeling under the weather…

…not for long! I’ve made it a priority to drink this vitamin C-packed “cold buster” smoothie once a day! I used a food processor because my blender is broken. 🙂

I call it “easy” because it only contains three ingredients! Not including the dash of cinnamon on top. (1) frozen peaches, (2) orange and (3) non-fat Greek yogurt. The peaches are a great source of Vitamin C and especially oranges!! I know that Vitamin C won’t cure my cold but it will prevent it from getting worse. Thank you Vitamin C! Not only does the Greek yogurt thicken the smoothie but it gives me protein and energy I need to fight off this cold.

Is there a specific meal or beverage you make when you’re not feeling well?

Easy “Cold Buster” Smoothie
Serves 1

Print Recipe

– 1/2 cup frozen no-sugar-added peaches. Using frozen fruit helps thicken the smoothie without needing to add ice cream or ice.
– half an orange
– 1/4 cup nonfat or low fat Greek yogurt
– a dash of cinnamon

Place first three ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Pour into your favorite glass and add a dash of cinnamon on top. Enjoy and goodbye cold!

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sweet porridge

It’s true. This post is about porridge. You may be thinking…”Ok, earth to Allison, this is 2010 not 1824. Who’s eating porridge these days?!” Porridge is actually another term for oatmeal or warm breakfast cereal, and it’s a traditional food in Northern Europe.

When you think of porridge, do you think of the childrens’ story Goldilocks and the Three Bears? I do! If Goldilocks likes cinnamon, walnuts and dates, she’ll find this bowl of porridge jussst right.

I found a recipe for wild rice porridge and I decided to make a lighter version by using 1% milk rather than heavy cream, and swap out the wild rice for pearl barley. I love pearl barley, just love it! I also used chopped dates and walnuts rather than pistachios and dried apricots.

Nutritional benefits of pearl barley, ground cinnamon and walnuts!

What’s great about this recipe is that it’s more of a method because you can use other grains or oats, dried fruits, nuts or preserves!

Porridge with Cinnamon, Walnuts and Dates
Inspired by this recipe

Print Recipe

– 2 cups cooked pearl barley
– 1/2 cup 1% milk
– 1 Tbls agave nectar
– 1 Tbls organic maple sugar
– 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
– 1/2 cup dates, roughly chopped
– 2 Tbls chopped raw walnuts

In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, combine pearl barley, milk, agave nectar, maple syrup and cinnamon. Stir frequently until the mixture becomes thick and heated through. Stir-in the dates and walnuts. Continue warming the mixture for another minute or two.

Pour into your favorite bowl and why not drizzle a tad bit more maple syrup with a dash of cinnamon on top! Goldilocks would approve!

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…is it ever too early for pumpkin-anything?

Pumpkin chocolate-chip cookies…
Pumpkin bread…
Pumpkin risotto…

Well, maybe so, but many of you know that I L-O-V-E the spherical orange squash. I’m strange. It’s fine.

Last Fall I added pumpkin puree to my oatmeal nearly every morning…with cinnamon, a dash of nutmeg…a dash of this and that. All of a sudden Spring arrived and where was the canned pumpkin puree?! No where! I wanted to cry.

Friends. I was at the market last week and I saw it. Organic Canned Pumpkin. The skies opened and it was like a beacon of light.

I am getting carried away, right?

I want to share with you one of my favorite and simple breakfasts. Not only is it simple, but it’s flavorful and full of good things for your body. I love that part!

Nutritional perks of pumpkin and oatmeal.

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

Print Recipe

– 3/4 cup old fashioned oats
– 1 cup water or 1% milk
– 1 to 2 Tbls pumpkin puree. I use canned pumpkin puree.
– 1 tsp ground cinnamon
– a pinch of nutmeg
– a pinch of cloves
– a dash of sea salt. optional.

Cook oatmeal according to package. Stove-top is the best but microwave works just fine.

When the oatmeal is fully cooked, pour into a bowl and stir-in the remaining ingredients. Enjoy with coffee or tea!

Now you know one of my all-time favorite foods: Pumpkin! What are some of your all-time favorite foods?!

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pear tart, oui oui!

Yesterday was Bastille Day!

History lesson!! Ah hem…Bastille Day is a French national holiday and it commemorates the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789. The Bastille was a prison that symbolized King Louis XVI’s absolute and arbitrary power. The people of Paris did not like their King and did not like him sending his army to destabilize newly proclaimed parliament. End of history lesson!

The fact that yesterday was Bastille Day just gives me another reason to make something to be enjoyed…so, meet my pear tart! Bonjour!

It’s light, sweet and perfect a la mode, warmed or room temperature. I chose to use pears because pears are used in many French dishes, from savory to sweet.

Did I mention this pear tart is super easy to make?! Well, it is…ah oui!

Nutritional perks of pears!

Pear Tart
Adapted and inspired from this recipe

Print Recipe

– 1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed
– 1 or 2 Bartlett pears, cored and thinly sliced. I only needed 1 pear in this recipe.
– 2 Tbls unsalted butter, melted
– ground cinnamon
– evaporated cane sugar
– agave syrup or honey for drizzling
– confectioners sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

On a lightly floured surface, lay the puff pastry flat and gently roll out with a rolling pin. Only roll the pastry a small bit, you don’t want to make it translucent.

With a pastry brush, brush some melted butter on the top of the rolled puff pastry.

Begin laying down the sliced pear in an overlapping shingle style. One pear filled the whole sheet for me.

Drizzle melted butter over the pears, or use the pastry brush and brush it on. Sprinkle the pears with sugar and cinnamon. Use lots of cinnamon or a little cinnamon; the choice is yours!

Bake for 25 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and your kitchen smells like sweet nirvana. Cool on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes. Enjoy with a drizzle of agave syrup or honey, and a sprinkling of confectioners sugar!

Bon Appetit!

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Plums are so good! In fact, I think they’re a bit underrated. Did you know they’re related to peaches and nectarines?! So, how can it compete with the “alpha” produce available at the market? It’s like the 2nd cousin twice removed. Poor plum. Plums are just as juicy, just as sweet and just as nutritious for you. A completely portable snack too!

I wanted to make the plum shine in a King Arthur Flour recipe that inspired me. The original recipe? A Nectarine Upside-Down Cake. My version? Well, you’ve seen the title of this entry…

This cake is the perfect balance of sweet, with almond and cinnamon essence. You’ll dream about it. If you make this, it’s definitely something to share with those you care about!

Nutritional perks –

    Plums – Increases the amount of iron absorption into the body, which helps make healthy tissue and boost the immune system.

Plum Upside-Down Cake
Inspired by this recipe

Print Recipe

– 1/4 cup unsalted butter
– 1/2 cup dark brown sugar. Original recipe suggested light brown sugar but I wanted a deeper flavor.
– 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
– 4 red plums, cut into thin wedges

– 1 cup all-purpose wheat flour
– 1/3 cup whole wheat flour. This was not in the original recipe but I wanted to add more fiber to this cake.
– 3/4 cup evaporated cane sugar
– 1 3/4 tsp baking powder
– 1/4 tsp sea salt
– 3 Tbls unsalted butter
– 1/2 cup 1% milk
– 1 tsp almond extract
– 1 large egg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Topping: Melt the butter and mix with brown sugar and ground cinnamon. Gently pour the mixture into a 9-inch cake pan. Arrange the plums on top in any design you like!

Cake: In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the milk, egg and almond extract.

In a separate bowl, combine the flours, baking powder and salt. Gently incorporate the dry mixture into the wet mixture. Slowly pour the batter over the plums in the cake pan.

Bake the cake for 45 minutes or until the cake pulls away from the side of the pan and springs back to the touch. Remove and cool on a wire rack for about 10 to 15 minutes. Invert the pan onto a serving platter and let it sit for 1 minute before removing the cake pan. If any fruit sticks to the cake pan, remove and replace on top of the cake.

Serve warm for breakfast, dessert or an afternoon snack!

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my cup runneth over

I was feeling a bit creative the other day and it all stemmed from my excess inventory of spring/egg roll wrappers. A few weeks ago I made a deconstructed eggplant parmesan with the delicate and multi-functional wrappers. Nevertheless, I had a large handful of wrappers left-over. I don’t like to be wasteful so I decided to repurpose them.

Baked cinnamon sugar dessert cups!

These are perfect if you want a healthier alternative to the iconic waffle dessert cups. These cups are so ideal for a serving of fruit salad, a scoop of ice cream, pudding, or custard. You can even pour a flavored gelatin and make jell-o in them!

If you’re concerned about the sharp corners, simply cut the corner points before baking.

Baked Cinnamon Sugar Dessert Cups

Print Recipe

– Spring/egg roll wrappers. 1 wrapper per cup.
– 2 Tbls unsalted butter, melted
– 1/2 cup evaporated cane juice sugar
– 1 Tbls ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Lay one wrapper on a cutting board and cut into four quadrants. In a medium bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar. Mix well.

Using a pastry brush, brush the top of one squared sheet with the melted butter and sprinkle with a bit of the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place the next sheet on top of the first sheet, BUT rotate so that the corners do not match-up (the end result should resemble a starburst). Repeat this with the next sheet. For the top (and last) sheet only brush the top with the melted butter. This will ensure a nice browned bottom when it bakes! Mmmm!

With the melted butter side facing down, gently place into the cupcake pan. Repeat this for as many dessert cups as you want/need!

Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until tips of the cups are lightly browned. You don’t want the tips to burn!

When the cups are finished baking, remove from cupcake pan and sprinkle them all over in the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Place on wire rack to cool.

Enjoy with anything and everything. For me? French vanilla ice cream and yes….an Oreo…for garnish 🙂

Notice to Southern California friends! Save the date for June 19th. I’ll be participating in Eat My Blog, a charity bake sale. I’m baking classic, buttery pound cake. Ya babe!

All proceeds will be donated to the Los Angeles Food Bank.

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