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The last six weeks of 2012 came and went. Endings and beginnings hit with a bang all at the same time. Several life changing decisions presented themselves. Amongst the craziness, time was carved out on New Year’s day to start on a fresh, healthy and taste-so-good-you-can’t-eat-just-one note. That note was a high cord belting out outrageous cinnamon rolls.
You may be thinking how can these be healthy. They mostly defy the norm. The less healthy part will put a smile on your face.
There are cinnamon rolls with more of a croissant like dough and a sugary icing drizzle. Then there are whole grain health foodie kinds that omit icing, replacing it with lots of raisins and nuts. Then there are these with gooey goodness, thanks to a friend who raved about them and shared her handed down recipe. I hate to tell you they’re gluten free because that tends to turn up noses. But not these.
I’m thankful to not have problems with gluten, a good thing being the bread monger I am. But stepping back and changing things up is a good thing. You know that “anything in moderation” mantra?
The first bite came just ten minutes out of the oven. Soft, gooey on the bottom with walnuts followed by cinnamon and sweetness.
This recipe makes 12 to 16 rolls, depending on your size preference. They keep quite well wrapped in foil on your counter for a few days. Just takes popping them into a 350 degree F oven for ten minutes to make them taste like they were just baked. Or wrap any leftover in foil and freeze for a cold winter weekend morning.
Although this recipe is longer, it’s fairly easy. After making them once, you”ll get the hang of it then they’re a breeze!
|Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls|| |
The California Food Literacy Center, a Sacramento based non-profit that she started July 2011 is successfully teaching kids all about food. In a pilot program pre-test, when asked K-1st graders if healthy snacks taste good; 82% of kids said “no.” After 1 month of food literacy training, 92% of the kids said “yes.”
The Center is running an online campaign to help them raise $11,000 by Jan 1. You can read all about it here.
At first blush, Sacramento may seem to have its share of vegetarian restaurants. Asian and Indian inspired eateries catering to the non-meat crowd speckle the landscape. And you can usually find a few vegetarian items on most menus in the area. But what about taking things to the next level? Well it’s been done; a new type of higher end vegan dining experience has come to town.
The Plum Café and Bakery, formerly know as Sugar Plum Vegan Cafe and Catering was rescued by Ron Russell and Rey Ortega earlier this year. While Melissa Wilhelm continues to be wildly successful with her Sugar Plum Vegan bakery, running a restaurant on top of exploding popularity and increasing orders became overwhelming. Russell and Ortega decided to take it on.
Ortega is a veteran of two successful gluten-free baking companies. He now manages the second, Sun Flour Baking with distribution nationwide and throughout Canada. Sun Flour produces gluten-free, sugar-free, high protein cookies and more. You’d never know about Ortega’s hidden talent while savoring one of his desserts: writing.
Russell, a self-professed foodie is no stranger to the kitchen. “I remember coming home at 3 a.m. covered with grease and smelling of meat”, Russell said, sharing that he dove into kitchens cooking through school. Those experiences, not to mention his concern for the environment led him to change his food ways. “I became a vegetarian before salad bars existed. Eggs went first then as time passed, I became stricter moving towards veganism.”
Russell owns the Los Angeles restaurant SunCafe Organic. The Cafe received accolades from the likes of Serious Eats, the New York Times, and Bestofraw.com, who awarded them the 2011 #1 raw food restaurant in Los Angeles and #3 in the world. If you’re looking for a celeb sighting, you can find one almost daily: George Cluney, Megan Fox and Ed Begley Jr., most recently.
It’s interesting to note two-thirds of SunCafe’s patrons are meat eaters. “I can always tell when people didn’t want to come to the café but were dragged in by a friend. They’ve got this look on their face,” Russell said. “But in the end, meat eaters like it as much as Spago or their favorite steak house.”
One recent reluctant diner told Russell his meal was the best he’d had since feasting at a Michelin starred restaurant in Paris.
Similar to SunCafe Organic, which started as a cafe and transitioned to higher end dining, The Plum is rapidly moving in that direction. Wet your appetite with spinach artichoke dip atop house made crostini or the raw nachos with SunChorizo and nacho chez.
Did I mention they’ve started making their own cheese? Varieties are cashew, pecan garlic, nacho, feta and ricotta, for now.
Russell and Ortega added an espresso bar complete with hours of training on pulling a proper shot of espresso and foaming milk flawlessly (being a cappuccino snob I like this!) Sacramento based roaster Temple Coffee conducted the training and will supply the beans.
The Plum’s future includes an expanded dinner menu, wine and gluten-free beer, additional pastries, macrobiotic and raw food elements, and a heated candelabra patio open year around. Russell already taught several cooking classes there and will continue to do so with the next class scheduled for November 12 (Holiday Raw Food Favorites).
Don’t miss The Plum Café appetizer party complete with entertainment this Sunday, November 11th from 5 to 8:00 p.m. You can preview all the new dishes and sip off the new beer and wine menu.
RSVP Ron@PlumCafeBakery.com. You may just win a door prize too.
The Plum Cafe and Bakery is open 7 days a week.
Hours: Monday–Thursday 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Friday- Saturday 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sunday brunch 10 a.m.–2 p.m.2315 K Street Sacramento, CA (916) 706-3302
Sneak peak at what’s happening with a bag full of pears and last of the figs.
and pomegranates, a shopping bag full.
I used to think seeding pomegranates wasn’t worth the time and effort. I’ve since changes my mind.
Pomegranate possibilities are endless: molasses, liqueur, vinegar, ice cream or sorbet, pomegranate-cello, yogurt cream cheese pie with Tillamook I’ve recently discovered. Hum…
And a pile of late season peppers.
A break to admire my friend Julie’s culinary ceramics. A possible holiday gift?
Things are bubbling here just under the surface!
I’ve come into walnuts the last few weeks and lots of them. Perfect timing for the Twelve Loaves October challenge which is all about nuts, seeds and grains incorporated into home baked bread. There are just times you feel like a nut…or a seed…or a grain!
My quick bread is partly the result of visiting the gigantic fig tree in a friend’s garden. Some of its last fruit was hiding from the birds. The original plan was to make walnut molasses bread but I couldn’t help myself. I had to throw figs into the mix. They end up in many things. I adore them, it’s no secret.
But the real focus here is walnuts, abundant amounts just gathered. Last years remaining freezer bag full desperately needed to be used up. An elderly friend had sat, and walnut by walnut cracked them open judiciously. She carefully removed each piece of meat without breaking a single one. Kind of like removing the seeds from a pomegranate without getting one splat of juice on you- an accomplishment.
I earmarked those nuts, being whole and all, to candy them. But my walnut bread with molasses just exudes fall- a warmed slice for breakfast with piping hot coffee, lightly buttered for an afternoon tea break or dipped in a bowl of steamy lentil or pumpkin soup.
Anyway you consume it the soft texture and unobtrusive magic of walnuts, caramelly molasses and spice… need I say more? Well, yes! How could I forget the tawny port? There’s dessert for you: bread and wine.
So I did use up those cherished walnuts. Guess I’ll just have to have a walnut cracking party and a challenge; who can remove the most meat without breaking the nut. I’ll have my walnuts for candying and get to eat them too!
Twelve loaves is hosted by Lora of Cake Duchess, Jamie of Life’s a Feast and Barbara of Creative Culinary. Homemade bread- there’s just something about sharing and enjoy it with everyone. To see what other twelve loavers created this month, click here and scroll down.
|Walnut Fig Bread for Fall|| |