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Orange Chocolate Chip Muffins

I’ve been a bit quiet on the internet front as I’ve been enjoying time with family over the holidays. It was nice to have a break from grad school classes and a chance to spend time with people who are dear to me.

One week during the holidays was particularly notable. I got a chance to meet both my new nephews born during that week. It was an incredible honor to be present at one of their births. There is nothing else in the world like the experience or witnessing of childbirth.

Overall the week we went to Minnesota was family filled as I got to visit with my parents, my sister and her family, and my brother visiting from out of the country military service. Since we’ve been back home, the boys have been making pretend road trips to see family. It’s been adorable, but also means all my reusable shopping bags are constantly filled with books and toys.

Speaking of family, this recipe is an adaptation of a family recipe I grew up with. These muffins are like a winter hope. Oranges get so tasty by Christmas. The tang of prime citrus is like rays of sun promising summer warmth. While nature bides her time in the quiet rest of winter, I’ll stay here wrapped up a blanket with fresh baked goodies and a hot cup of tea.

Consider the baking and enjoyment of these muffins part of your winter therapy. The aromatic of orange zest will melt your stress and help you feel energized. Additionally, the studs of chocolate chips throughout these tender wheat muffins will give you an extra mood boost.

 

 

Orange Chocolate Chip Muffins

Yields 12 muffins

Tender wheat muffins with zesty orange and tasty surprises of semi-sweet chocolate chips throughout. These muffins are reminiscent of winter-y days of childhood.

10 minPrep Time

20 minCook Time

30 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ½ cup wheat flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup milk
  • ⅓ cup honey/maple syrup or ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup cooking oil
  • ¾ cup chocolate chips, semisweet
  • 1 ½ - 2 tsp. orange zest (peel from one orange)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a muffin tin with liners or silicone muffin cups.
  2. Mix everything together except the chocolate chips and orange zest. Fold in the chocolate and zest. Fill muffin cups to ⅔ full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
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http://mamasparrow.com/2017/01/19/orange-chocolate-chip-muffins/

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Vegan Peanut Butter Thumbprint Cookies

Happy Winter Solstice! We are feeling the excitement in our home as Christmas is just a few days away. My preschooler checks the tree every morning to see if Santa has visited. The boys have been busy creating holiday gifts and being kitchen helpers. The youngest loves to taste everything from a mixing bowl; even the french bread dough is tasted with enthusiasm. He then declares, “Mmm, good Mama!” If only that same zest was for the finished meals on the table.

I enjoy making the cookies I had as a child every Christmas. Breaking from tradition, it was my goal to bring you all something that was vegan and more allergen friendly for your holiday cookie plates. This recipe is just that. Peanut butter blossom cookies were the inspiration for this recipe. Tender, crumbly shortbread cookies are the perfect vehicle for combining peanut butter and chocolate. Flecks of sea salt flakes add a little bit of sparkle and bring out the chocolate taste. They are easily nut free if you use sunflower seed butter and refined sugar free.

Here’s to hoping you have a chance to add this to your baking plans this season. Snap a picture of your recipe result and tag Mama Sparrow on social media so we can see it too.

Vegan Peanut Butter Thumbprint Cookies

Yields 12-15 Cookies

Tender, crumbly shortbread cookies filled with peanut butter and drizzled with chocolate. These tasty treats are vegan, easily nut free and refined sugar free.

10 minPrep Time

10 minCook Time

20 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

    Cookies
  • 1 ¼ cup flour
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 3 Tbs. maple syrup
  • 1 ½ tsp. applesauce, unsweetened
  • Caramel Sauce
  • 3 Tbs. peanut butter
  • 2 Tbs. maple syrup
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 Tbs. non dairy milk
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla
  • Topping
  • 1 oz. chocolate chips or chocolate
  • Coarse sea salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Mix all cookie ingredients together in a medium bowl until dough forms. Form form into ¾ in. - 1 inch balls - approximately 12-15 cookies. (Chill the dough briefly in plastic wrap if it is too sticky to work with.) Place on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. Flatten the dough balls into slight discs and press thumb in the center to create a little crater. Bake cookies for 10 minutes until lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and repress the centers with a spoon. Then allow the cookies to cool.
  2. In a small saucepan, mix the peanut butter, maple syrup, and salt. Slowly add the milk, stirring all the while. The mix should get a nice smooth caramel consistency that has a bit of drizzle to it. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Set aside
  3. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave. Place the melted chocolate into a piping bag or simply use a ziploc with the corner snipped off. Set aside
  4. To assemble to cookies, spoon about 1 teaspoon of the peanut butter confection into each cookie’s thumbprint. Drizzle chocolate over the filled cookies and lightly sprinkle with coarse salt.
  5. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days for up to 3 months in the freezer.

Notes

Nut free option: Use Sun Butter. Really you could use any preferred nut or seed butter. I did try pumpkin seed butter and it was not quite as tasty.

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http://mamasparrow.com/2016/12/21/vegan-peanut-butter-thumbprint-cookies/

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Melt-in-Your-Mouth Sugar Cookies

This is a recipe that has been handed down from my great grandmother. It is not Christmas in our family until these cookies are baking in the oven. My best memories of these cookies are their required presence the day our family decorated the Christmas tree. The Christmas album would be queued up, cups of hot chocolate prepared, and a plate of these cookies.

This tradition I have carried on with my own family. The copy of the recipe I have in my recipe box calls for margarine sticks. We use unsalted butter. Feel free to make which ever way you prefer. The results are much the same. The butter version requires re-chilling before going in the oven to maintain shape and reduce the spreading from the oven.

The recipe yield is entirely approximated. Much dough sampling and cookie sampling happens before I have the chance to determine how many cookies are made each time. Grab yourself a cup of hot chocolate to enjoy with these. Just try to save a few for Santa.

Hope you get a chance to make these soon. We would love to see the results. Share on social media and tag Mama Sparrow so we can see.

Melt-in-Your-Mouth Sugar Cookies

Yields 7-8 dozen

Melt in your mouth cookies

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup cooking oil
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 ½ cups flour

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream the first 5 ingredients together. Then add the baking soda, cream of tartar, salt, and vanilla. Finally, mix in the flour 1 cup at a time.
  2. Chill in refrigerator and then roll into ball and roll in sugar and then press out with a fancy glass bottom. Refrigerate 5 minutes before baking so cookies keep their shape.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8-12 minutes.

Notes

Crisp sugar cookie with a slightly tender inside. Each bite melts in the mouth. Grab a cup of hot chocolate, tea, or coffee. Just be sure to save a few for Santa.

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http://mamasparrow.com/2016/12/15/melt-in-your-mouth-sugar-cookies/

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Cauliflower “Bolognese”

We had our first snowfall of the season earlier this week. A brief glance out the back window of the apartment and I caught an old longing. It was that penchant for winter night photographs. The soft light from surrounding houses and general urban aura accentuate the starring features of winter photography – contrast and texture. It is moments like these, passions remembered and fascinations reacquainted, that illuminate with reasoned existence.

This recipe harkens memories of my mother’s famous meat spaghetti. She never made less than a crowd’s worth when cooking her spaghetti. The sauce simmered and noodles boiled. Meanwhile, loaves of crusty, french bread were buttered, seasoned and broiled open-face, till toasty and fragrant. The real secret to this vegetarian version is the spices and the texture achieved from the pan cooked cauliflower.

This pasta dish is about as cozy as they come and a sure crowd pleaser. We fully recommend an accompaniment of crusty bread. We hope you try this recipe soon. Be sure to take a picture and tag Mama Sparrow on social media so we can see the results.

 

Cauliflower "Bolognese"

Yields 3-4 servings

A traditionally meaty sauce converted to a vegetarian delight. Grab a loaf of crusty bread. This is your next cozy pasta meal.

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Ingredients

  • 2 Tb olive oil; separated
  • 1 small head of cauliflower
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp fennel seed, ground
  • 1 tsp sage, ground
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp marjarom, ground
  • Pinch of white pepper
  • 12 oz of tomato pasta sauce
  • 10-12 oz spaghetti noodles

Instructions

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together spices and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the cauliflower and toss till the cauliflower is covered in the oil and spice mix. Set aside to marinate for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the seasoned cauliflower and reduce heat to low. Cook the cauliflower until tender on the outside with a slight crunch on the inside. May take 10-15 minutes. Splash in water to speed up the cooking and keep the cauliflower from drying.
  3. Once the cauliflower is cooked, add in the pasta sauce until warmed through. Serve over spaghetti noodles.
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http://mamasparrow.com/2016/12/09/cauliflower-bolognese/

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Vegan Pumpkin Cake

A few weeks ago, I began the recipe testing and planning for Thanksgiving. My preschooler came home from class singing a song about pumpkins on a gate. A witch flies by and says. “I’m going to make you a pumpkin pie.” My son requested a pumpkin pie making session inspired by this song.

Agreeably, the pie making was a blast, but he did not enjoy the taste of it. I’ve been adjusting the recipe and he’s been liking it better, but asked for this pumpkin cake for Thanksgiving dessert.

This cake is a great replacement for anyone not into pie or who had been “pied out.” Use of your leftover pumpkin gourds or puree for a tasty bite of sweet and spice. Enjoy this cake with your choice of cold weather beverage. The ingredients are vegan and icing is naturally colored from carrot juice.

If you want the complete pumpkin cake look, bake a single cupcake with part of the batter. Use spinach cooked and pureed to achieve a green colored icing. Spinach is the mildest tasting leafy green for creating a natural food hue that does not interfere with taste.

Hope your Thanksgiving and harvest celebrations have been filled with joy. Please be sure to share your results from this recipe and tag Mama Sparrow so we can see it.

Enjoy!

Vegan Pumpkin Cake Vegan Pumpkin CakeVegan Pumpkin Cake

Vegan Pumpkin Cake

Tender, moist vegan pumpkin cake. Pleasantly spiced with a little extra kick of black pepper. This makes it really stand out from the usual pumpkin spiced products of the season.

10 minPrep Time

50 minCook Time

1 hrTotal Time

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Ingredients

    Cake
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • ⅔ cup coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 14oz. can pumpkin puree (plain puree, not pie filling)
  • ½ cup non-dairy milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ tsp ground all-spice
  • ⅛ tsp ground clove
  • Icing
  • 1 ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 ½ Tb. carrot juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a standard size bundt pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir to combine and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mix the sugar and oil together. Add the pumpkin puree, non-dairy, vinegar, and vanilla extract. Fully combine.
  4. Sift the dry flour mix into the wet ingredients in 2 stages. Stir in between each addition. Careful not to overmix.
  5. Pour the cake batter into the prepared bundt pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes.
  6. Allow cake to cool slightly, remove from pan and finish cooling before icing. Mix ingredients together for icing. Adjust the wet to dry ratio based on preference. Drizzle over cake and allow to set a few minutes before cutting and serving.
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http://mamasparrow.com/2016/11/26/vegan-pumpkin-cake/

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Lemon Asparagus Ricotta Galette

We had the first light snow flurries yesterday morning. Immediately our preschooler began scheming up all the activities he was going to do in the snow. Much to his chagrin there was not enough snowfall for his plans, yet.

The holidays bring out the child in me. In much the same way, I get giddy for the cookie baking, putting up the Christmas tree and decorating. I would be the person putting up a tree around Halloween if I didn’t have family with strict after Thanksgiving practices for such decorating.

The great news…this is Thanksgiving week so almost Christmas decorating time! That also means most of us are in the midst of harvest celebration meals. Today’s dish makes a nice light entree or great side for your harvest table.

The recipe for this asparagus tart has my wheat olive oil crust. Its a fairly simple crust recipe that is rustic and hardy. You could always use your own favorite pie crust or puff pastry recipe. Also, no shame in saving time with a store bought crust either.

The savory of Italian spices and the subtle sweet of lemon zest create a seasoned ricotta bed for the asparagus spears. I tried topping the tart with fresh shredded Parmesan and it was the right thing to do. Hope you get to try this tart soon. We’d love to see pictures so be sure to tag Mama Sparrow on your social media posting.
Lemon Asparagus Galette Lemon Asparagus Galette

Lemon Asparagus Galette

Serves about 1/4 of the tart

Lemon Asparagus Ricotta Galette

Yields 4-5 servings

10 minPrep Time

30 minCook Time

40 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 1 olive oil pie crust* (recipe in notes)
  • 14-18 stalks of asparagus
  • 1 ½ Tb olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup fresh shredded Parmesan cheese, extra for topping
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. If making dough from scratch, make this first. It will need to chill 30 minutes before rolling out.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Prepare the asparagus by breaking off the tough ends. Set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil and garlic. Set aside.
  5. In a medium size bowl, combine the ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. Stir in the lemon zest, seasonings and 1 teaspoon of the olive oil garlic mix.
  6. Roll or press out the dough to a rectangle of 11 x 5 inches. Pinch the side up to form crust sides.
  7. Evenly spread the ricotta mix into the rolled out crust. Top the ricotta mix with the asparagus stalks. Optional: sprinkle a bit of shredded parmesan cheese over top the tart.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Allow tart to cool 3-5 minutes before cutting and serving.

Notes

*Olive Oil Crust

¾ cup all purpose flour

¾ cup wheat flour

½ tsp salt

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup milk

Mix together the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Put the olive oil and milk in a measuring pitcher; do not mix. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour the liquid contents from the pitcher into your mixing bowl of dry ingredients. Mix together until a ball of dough forms. The dough should be stick together well. If too dry, slowly add in more milk - 1 Tb at a time. If dough is shaggy, knead in more flour - 1 tsp at a time.

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http://mamasparrow.com/2016/11/20/lemon-asparagus-ricotta-galette/

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Maple Plum Crisp

Do you know why we perceived October to have a distinct smell? There are three reasons for this phenomenon. According to Pamela Dalton, an olfactory scientist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia. the first reason is that odor molecules move more slowly in colder temperatures. This is why the smell of dumpsters and garbage trucks are more offensive in the summer. The second reason is physiological. Dalton explains that our olfactory receptors “bury” themselves further in our nose when it’s cooler. While the olfactory receptors bury themselves in cold air, the trigeminal nerve is stimulated, says Alan Hirsch, a neurologist and psychiatrist in Chicago. A smell is perceived as more intense when it triggers both these nerves. Further, psychological expectations affect the smells we perceive. As we anticipate the smells of spices, wood burning, and dying leaves, those are the things we experience.

A week ago, we took a family trip to a local nature center. Living in a city, it is nice to have a nature area with trails and wildlife near by. The boys enjoyed running around the trails to explore. Changing autumn leaves made for a lovely scene. We got the chance to have a close encounter with the deer in the park again. This time I was prepared with at least a phone camera. She watched us from a few yards off the pathway.

North Park Village Nature Center North Park Village Nature Center

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The autumn has a distinct smell that I had forgotten until we were out on the trails. In the city, leaves are quickly cleaned up and discarded. Out in the woods, they are free to travel through their life cycle. The smell is crisp, rich and earthy. I now appreciate this sensory experience.

Spices are more prevalent in traditional colder weather baking. Today’s recipe combines late season plums with spices, maple and toasted oatmeal crumble topping. This recipe has a clean option as coconut oil can be subbed for the butter and there is no refined sugar or refined flour. The warmth of maple, spices and subtle floral sweetness of plums is a welcome treat on a crisp fall day.

This crisp would be perfect for a quick harvest party dessert or a weeknight treat. I’d love to see your pictures when you make this recipe. Share them on social media with MamaSparrow tagged. Happy baking!

Maple Plum Crisp Maple Plum Crisp

Maple Plum Crisp

Maple Plum Crisp

Maple Plum Crisp

Maple Plum Crisp

Serves 3/4 cup

Maple Plum Crisp – Clean

Yields 8-10 servings

The warmth of maple, spices and subtle floral sweetness of plums is a welcome treat on a crisp fall day.

10 minPrep Time

35 minCook Time

45 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 4 ripe, but still crisp medium/large plums (approx. 4 cups)
  • 1 1/2 Tb maple syrup
  • 1 Tb wheat flour
  • 1/8 tsp ginger, ground
  • 1/2 cup wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats, old fashioned
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes (or coconut oil)*
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Peel, core and thinly slice the plums.
  2. Place the prepared plums in a 2 quart baking dish or 9x9 inch metal pan.
  3. Add the 1 1/2 Tb of maple syrup and 1 Tb of flour, stir till fruit is evenly coated. Sprinkle the fruit with the ginger.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the 1/2 cup flour, rolled oats and salt. Cut the cold butter into the oat mix. Stir in the 1/4 cup maple syrup.
  5. With hands, crumble the oat mix evenly over the pan of fruit.
  6. Bake for 35 minutes.
  7. Let cool for 5 minutes. May serve warm or cold.
  8. If your crisp survives past dessert, it makes a great breakfast the next day.

Notes

*Clean or Vegan option: substitute coconut oil for the butter.

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http://mamasparrow.com/2016/10/26/maple-plum-crisp/

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Vegan Lemon Earl Grey Cake

This week we took the boys for the annual pumpkin farm trip. We arrive filled with excitement and took away some great pictures, a few pumpkins and endless family fall memories. C named his freshly carved jack-o-lantern Rooster. I’m not sure how this pet name came to be. He’s been telling us that one day when he gets a dog he wants to name it Rooster. Until then, a jack-o-lantern with the name will do.

Other than the lovely autumn festivities, fall usually means a brief mourning period for me. I know some folks enjoy this season. I love warm summer weather and don’t much care for the cold months of the year. This season only serves as a reminder of the impending winter. We have had some cold autumn rain that has sapped my energy. If you are like me this cake recipe is dedicated to you.

Cold rainy autumn weather makes me need a little bit of citrus-y sunshine treat. This lemon earl grey cake is the most tender, moist vegan cake thanks to the shredded coconut. Infusing the coconut oil with earl grey lets the richness of the bergamot shine through to compliment the lemon.

I hope you have the chance to enjoy the intoxicating aroma of this cake coming fresh from the oven. Please be sure to tag MamaSparrow on your social media pictures of this cake. I would love to see how your’s turns out.

Enjoy!

Vegan Lemon Earl Grey Cake Vegan Lemon Earl Grey Cake

Vegan Lemon Earl Grey Cake

Vegan Lemon Earl Grey Cake

The aroma of this cake coming out of the oven is intoxicating - bergamot, lemon and coconut. Hard to believe this treat is vegan. Tender, moist cake infused with earl grey.

20 minPrep Time

50 minCook Time

1 hr, 10 Total Time

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Ingredients

    Cake
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • ⅔ cup earl grey tea infused coconut oil, solid *
  • 3 lemons, zested and juiced, separated
  • 1 14oz. can full-fat coconut milk
  • ¼ cup non-dairy “buttermilk” (1 tsp vinegar and non-dairy milk)**
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
  • Icing
  • 1 ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 ½ Tb. lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a standard size bundt pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir to combine and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream the sugar and tea infused oil together. Stir in the lemon zest and ¼ cup lemon juice. Set the rest of the lemon juice aside for the glaze. Add the coconut milk, non-dairy “buttermilk”, and vanilla extract. Fully combine.
  4. Sift the dry flour mix into the wet ingredients in 2 stages. Stir in between each addition. Careful not to overmix. Once the mix is fully incorporated, fold in the shredded coconut.
  5. Pour the cake batter into the prepared bundt pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes.
  6. Allow cake to cool slightly, remove from pan and finish cooling before icing. Mix ingredients together for icing. Adjust the wet to dry ratio based on preference. Drizzle over cake and allow to set a few minutes before cutting and serving.
  7. Cake may be store at room temperature for a few days or in the freezer for 6 months.

Notes

*Directions for tea infused coconut oil

14 Tbs. or ½ cup + 2 Tb. coconut oil

21 tsp loose leaf earl grey tea

In a saucepan, melt coconut oil just until it becomes liquid. Mix in the tea leaves. Keep on low heat for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve squeezing the tea leaves to release as much butter as possible. Set coconut oil aside till it comes to room temperature. If your kitchen is warm it may be helpful to put it in the refrigerator, briefly, till it is solid.

**I’ve been using Good Karma flax milk. It is a great allergen conscious milk - nut and soy free. Use your favorite nondairy that suits your needs. Make as buttermilk with vinegar to help cake fluff up.

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http://mamasparrow.com/2016/10/14/vegan-lemon-earl-grey-cake/

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Honey Fig Jam Rolls

There are three kinds of baked sweets I can recall from my packed lunches as a kid – my mom’s homemade muffins, strawberry newtons and fig newtons. When it came to the newtons, the strawberry ones made sense to me, but I thought fig was a made up flavor. I had never seen or eaten a fig before.

Last week I had my first taste of fig and played in the kitchen with them. They look so beautiful photographed. When figs started showing up at my local grocer this season, I took them home on a whim. Not sure what to make with them, they sat overnight and were spoiled by the next day. Fragile little things, they are.

Determined to try them, I sketched out a jam recipe adapted from Tasty Yummies. As I cut and prepped the figs, I nerd-ishly explored their flavor and scent profile. The resulting jam was tasty. After popping it in the fridge, I had dreams of cinnamon rolls and honey plum jam dance in my head all night.

Honey fig jam rolls are born of sophisticated, sweet dreams. They are a little like a mash-up of honey buns and fig newtons. Here you have honey fig jam tucked into blanket-y sweet roll dough and drizzled with velvety lemon frosting,

 

Honey Fig Jam Rolls Honey Fig Jam

Honey Fig Jam Rolls

Honey Fig Jam Rolls

Honey Fig Jam Rolls Honey Fig Jam Rolls

Honey Fig Rolls

Yields 9 rolls

Honey fig jam tucked into blanket-y sweet roll dough and drizzled with velvety lemon frosting.

25 minPrep Time

20 minCook Time

45 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

    Dough
  • 2 ¾ cup flour
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 package instant yeast
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 Tb butter, unsalted
  • 1 egg
  • Filling
  • 2 Tb butter, melted
  • 1 cup honey fig jam* (recipe in notes)
  • Drizzle
  • ½ - ¾ cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • warm water, if desired - a little to achieve consistency and tone done zestiness

Instructions

  1. Prepare the jam. The recipe makes 2 cups. Only one is needed for the rolls so make two batches of rolls, make a second batch of rolls soon or use your jam for other goodies.
  2. Mix all the dry dough ingredients together in a medium size bowl. In a microwave safe bowl, combine the water, milk and butter. Heat for 45 seconds, or until the butter is melted. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry mix. Stir the egg in. Knead the dough for 4 minutes. Dough should get smooth, have a bit of grip and bounce. Rest the dough in a lightly greased bowl for 5 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.
  4. After the dough has rested, roll it out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 9x15 inches. Spread the melted butter over the dough. Then spread about 1 cup of fig jam over top the butter on the dough. Leave 1 inch without jam on one of the long sides of the rectangle; this will be the seam. Starting at the long, not seam side, begin rolling the dough jelly roll style. End the log roll with the seam side down. Use a sharp, floured knife to cut the log into 9 sections to make rolls.
  5. Place rolls into a 9x9 inch pan lightly greased and covered with greased parchment paper. Cover the pan with aluminum foil. Turn off the oven and place the covered pan of rolls in the oven to rise for 20 minutes.
  6. After rising, remove the aluminum cover from the rolls and leave in oven while turning on to 375 degrees F. Bake 16-20 minutes until the rolls just start to get golden. Remove from oven and top rolls with drizzle.
  7. To make frosting, combine sugar and lemon juice in a bowl. Whisk together and add in warm water to adjust consistency and taste.

Notes

Honey Fig Jam* - recipe makes 2 cups jam Adapted from Tasty-Yummies.com 15 figs, stems removed and quartered (1 Lb), ¾ cup honey, ⅛ cup water, ¼ cup lemon juice, 1 tsp lemon zest

Place figs, honey and water in a medium saucepan. Let sit and soften for 20 minutes. Then place over burner on medium-high heat. Bring to a boil for 3 minutes. Reduce to low and keep on a simmer for 45 minutes. Stir often. Mash figs with a spoon while they cook. After 45 minutes, keeping pan on the heat, stir in lemon juice and zest. Simmer an additional 3 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Place cooled jam in jars. Store in the refrigerator for 3 weeks or the freezer for 3 months.

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Tomato Basil Sauce

Today is the first day of preschool for my oldest. I just dropped him off. The flood of emotion hit me strongest as I walked away from the school pushing my littlest bub in a stroller. I’m excited for him to enjoy this milestone. I’m also anxious for him to be comfortable and confident in his new environment. Fear is another part of this complex of emotion. Having a child with a food allergy makes trusting him in someone else’s care unnerving. The last feeling has only been heightened by the rawness of an serious reaction he had at a family potluck a couple of weeks ago.

While sending him off to school, several questions are bouncing around my mind. Will he inadvertently be offered food he shouldn’t have? Will classroom staff recognize a serious allergic reaction? Will he always be with someone who knows how to use his EpiPen? I have worried of being perceived as neurotic and rude. Naturally, it feels like a hassle to insist on reading the label oneself, inquire about the ingredients, ask if someone has washed their hands, used a different knife, if toys have been cleaned etc.

I can only speak from the experience I have had and understand that my experience may not be the same as yours. Perhaps this all does sound crazy to you or perhaps you may be able to relate. I am fine with either reaction. Today I am sympathetic of all parents sending their children off to school. Extra hugs go out to parents of children with allergies.

All this talk of emotion needs a little comfort food, I think. I am sharing a tomato basil sauce that is versatile and capitalizes on the peak season of tomatoes. The sauce is nice and light if made by the recipe. For a “meatier” version, toss in a bit of fennel seed. This sauce can been made in bulk and stored in the freezer for later use in the coming months.

If you have the chance to this sauce, please photos and tag mama_sparrow on social media. I would love to see how you use the sauce in your home. Enjoy!

Tomato Basil Sauce Tomato Basil Sauce

Tomato Basil Sauce

Tomato Basil Sauce

Yields 2 - 2 1/2 cups or 8 servings

Fresh stove top roasted tomato sauce with fragrant basil, oregano and marjoram. Enjoy on your favorite noodles, vegetables or pizza. Preserve in the summer to freeze and enjoy through the winter.

5 minPrep Time

20 minCook Time

25 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 1 Tb olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced small
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper, ground
  • ¼ tsp fennel seed, optional for richer, darker sauce - best for “meat” or spaghetti use
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 5 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1 Tb fresh oregano, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Warm the olive oil in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add onion, garlic, marjoram, salt, pepper and optional fennel seed if using. Saute for 3 minutes.
  2. Add the tomato paste and stir to incorporate. Stir in the tomato, turn heat to high until it simmers. Reduce the temperature to medium and simmer uncovered for 10 - 15 minutes.
  3. Remove pan of sauce from heat. Pour into food processor and blend till desired consistency. Add in the herbs and pulse a couple of times until they are incorporated.
  4. Serve sauce immediate or store. May be kept in refrigerator for 4 days, 3 months in a standard freezer or 6 months in a deep freezer.
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http://mamasparrow.com/2016/09/06/tomato-basil-sauce/