itty bitty cinnamon rolls

this is genius. really.
and i owe it all to a very, very old southern living cookbook that i thumbed through while staying at my dear friend, tanna’s house in okc.
this recipe has come in handy a lot this summer when we are not home very often and our kitchen food supply is hilariously low. i usually have crescent rolls in the fridge (due to the husband’s affinity for them), so this recipe gets made a lot on the rare mornings we are home.
and it gets eaten extremely fast.

itty bitty cinnamon rolls


1 8oz can refrigerated crescent rolls

1-2 tbsp melted butter

2 tbsp granulated sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

2/3 cup powdered sugar

2-3 tsp milk

1/4 tsp vanilla


1. preheat oven to 375. lightly grease a 9-inch round cake pan or pie dish.

2. unroll crescent roll dough and separate into 4 rectangles. pinch perforations within rectangles to seal. lightly brush dough with melted butter (this helps the sugar & cinnamon stick, but you can omit this if you’d like). in a small mug or tiny cup, stir together sugar and cinnamon and then sprinkle mixture evenly over rectangles.

3. roll dough up, jellyroll fashion, starting with a long side. pinch edges to seal. using a serrated knife, gently cut each log into 5 slices and place in cake pan.

4. bake for 15 minutes or until rolls begin to brown.

5. while the rolls are baking (or cooling), combine the powdered sugar, milk, & vanilla and stir until smooth. drizzle over the warm cinnamon rolls.



pear & blue cheese salad with champagne vinaigrette

this is such a refreshing summer salad and one that i crave often.
maybe it’s the crisp pears. maybe it’s the creamy blue cheese.
methinks it’s probably the sweet & tart champagne vinaigrette that marries so perfectly with everything.

if possible, don’t substitute anything else for the champagne vinegar – it is so worth it.

pear & blue cheese salad with champagne vinaigrette

ingredients for the vinaigrette:

1 shallot, quartered

1 clove garlic

1 tbsp dijon mustard

1 tbsp sugar

1/8 tsp salt

dash of ground white pepper

1/2 cup champagne vinegar

1 1/2 cups olive oil (or canola oil)

ingredients for salad:

1 head romaine lettuce, trimmed & torn into bite sized pieces

10 oz. mixed baby greens

2 ripe Bosc or Anjou pears, cored & cut into 3/4 inch dice

1 red bell pepper, seeded, de-ribbed & sliced thinly

2 cups (1/2 lb.) blue cheese (maytag is best), crumbled


1. to make the vinaigrette: in a food processor, blend the shallot and garlic until finely minced. add the mustard, sugar, salt, pepper, and vinegar. process to combine the ingredients thoroughly. with the machine running, gradually add the oil in a thin, steady stream to form an emulsion. taste and adjust seasoning to taste.

2. to assemble the salad: in a large bowl, combine the romaine, baby greens, pears, bell pepper, and blue cheese. add the vinaigrette (as much as you like/to taste) and toss gently to coat. add more dressing if needed.

: a chilled salad bowl or plate makes a big difference, keeping the salad cool & crisp. simply pop a few into the freezer or refrigerator before beginning to cook.

recipe courtesy nordstrom family & friends cookbook
photo via food network

homemade chewy granola bars

the little she loves them.
i have been craving them like crazy (pregnancy does that to you, apparently).
but store bought granola bars have so much unwanted junk in them, i wanted to make my own version. and when it comes down to it, it is WAY more cost effective to home-make your own.

so of all the versions i entertained, this one was my favorite. you can make this recipe super simple & basic or you can have a little bit of fun with it. the vanilla & the cinnamon are both optional and the nuts can be replaced with more dried fruit. the options really are endless!

this recipe is from king arthur flour, via the smitten kitchen. (it is a super flexible recipe and if you go to her site, you can find a few more ideas on making it lots of different ways.) 

homemade chewy granola bars

1 2/3 cups oats
1/4 to 1/2 cup granulated sugar (use more for a sweetness like store bought bars, less for a mildly sweet bar.)
1/3 cup oat flour (or 1/3 cup oats processed until finely ground in food processor)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 – 3 cups dried fruits and nuts (total of 10-15 ounces; also, i ground the nuts a bit in the food processor, since kids would be eating them)
1/3 cup peanut butter or other nut butter
1 tsp vanilla
6 tbsp melted butter
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
1 tbsp water

1. preheat the oven to 350. line  a pan (one 8x8x2 or 2 bread loaf pans; i actually used a 9×13 rimmed cookie sheet – depends on how thick you want your bars) in one direction with parchment paper, allowing it to go up the opposing sides. lightly grease the parchment paper and the exposed part of the pan with butter or cooking spray.
2. stir together all the dry ingredients, including the fruits & nuts. in a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla, melted butter, honey, and water. toss the wet ingredients with the dry (and peanut butter, if using) until the mixture is evenly crumbly (see this “mixing with your hands” cooking tip). spread into prepared pan, pressing mixture in firmly to ensure they mold to the shape of the pan.
3. bake the bars for 20-35 minutes – depending on the thickness of your bars (mine, being pretty thin, took about 25 minutes) – until they are brown around the edges. don’t be afraid to get a little color on the tops. they’ll still seem soft and almost underbaked when you press into the center of the pan, but don’t worry, they’ll set once completely cool.
4. cool the bars on a cooling rack for 20 minutes, then use your parchment “sling” to lift and remove the bars from the pan and cool another 10-15 minutes in the parchment on the rack. transfer back to the pan or cookie sheet and put in the fridge to cool further, about 30 minutes. this will help the bars set completely and not be as crumbly. once cool, use a serrated knife to cut the bars into squares or rectangles. to store, wrap the bars individually in plastic wrap and keep in the fridge (they do best in the fridge instead of out on the counter).

suggestions for fruit & nut mixture:
dried cranberries, blueberries, cherries, apricots, raisins, pecans, walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, coconut, pepitas, sesame seeds, flaxseeds, dried apples, rice krispies, wheat germ, chocolate or peanut butter chips.
(first photo via)