Cast Iron Caramel Rolls

I decided not to do a January Whole 30 when my stove died its glorious death. I mean why make it harder than it has to be when you can’t cook 90 % of what you want because you can’t use your stove. I did, however, decide to clean up my diet so my next Whole 30 wouldn’t be quite so hard on me. That means limiting caffeine and added sugar.

I have been doing pretty well with that until yesterday. I took my beautiful cockatiel, Riley, to the vet for the second surgery on her wing. I was so nervous about the surgery but so happy Riley wasn’t going to have to deal with this horrible thing on her wing anymore. Unfortunately, I got the call no one wants to get from their vet, Riley had made it through the surgery but had a cardiac arrest while she was coming out of the anesthetic. They couldn’t revive her.

My heart hurts so much right now all I want to do is fall into a vat of comfort food. So I am making a small batch of caramel rolls in the 6 inch cast iron skillet I bought a few weeks ago.

Tiny Caramel Rolls

Dough recipe adapted from Mollie Katzen’s Still Life With Menu Cookbook Filling recipe adapted from

¼ cup lukewarm water
½ tsp yeast
1/8 tsp salt
1 ½ tsp canola oil
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour


1 TBS plus 1 ½ teaspoons brown sugar

1 TBS butter

¾ tsp butter

2¼ tsp brown sugar

½ tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, combine water and yeast; stir to dissolve. Let sit for 5 minutes. Add salt, oil and flour. Stir until a soft dough forms. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. Set aside while making filling ingredients. Spread the 1 TBS plus 1 ½ teaspoons brown sugar, in the bottom of a 6 inch cast iron or cake pan, dot the 1 tablespoon butter over the top of the brown sugar. Spread dough into a rectangle on a very lightly floured surface. In a small bowl, combine ¾ teaspoon butter, 2 ¼ teaspoons brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly over the dough. Starting with the shorter side roll up the dough and pinch edges to seal. Cut into 6 – 9 even slices and place cut side down on the brown sugar mixture in the pan. Cover with a damp towel and let rise 30 minutes. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the rolls are golden brown. Cool the rolls in the pan for 1 minute then carefully invert on a serving platter. 2 servings


Tahini Garlic Salad Dressing (Whole 30)

Working in retail during the Holiday season can be a challenge. Lines are long, tempers are short, and, depending how long a person puts off their shopping, things can be hard to find. It can be very stressful time of year. So in interests of keeping an open and loving heart this Christmas season, I am going to post 5 things I am grateful for right now.

  1. My baby brother and his family are coming home for Christmas for the first time in over 15 years.
  2. Because of the way my days off and Christmas fall I will get to spend actual time with them.
  3. Maggie, Mary, Auggie and Charlie.
  4. My wonderful co-workers.
  5. My friends, Audrey and Steph, for taking me out this weekend and helping me find my Christmas spirit.

Tahini Garlic Dressing

From Well Fed Fresh And Hearty Salads magazine

1 clove garlic

1/4 cup fresh parsley

1/4 cup water

3 TBS Tahini

2 TBS lemon juice

1 TBS coconut aminos

1 TBS minced chives

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

1/3 cup light tasting olive oil

Smash the garlic and place it in a small bowl. Add the reaming ingredients except the olive oil. Use an immersion blender and blend until smooth. With the blender running, slowly add the oil and blend until combined.

Crofton’s Mini Cast Iron Bakeware

If you are still trying to find a Christmas gift for the small batch cook or baker in your life check out Crofton’s mini cast iron bake ware. It’s at Aldi’s grocery store for a limited time.

There are 4 pieces available, a 6″ skillet, a 6″ griddle, an 8 oz mini casserole and an 11 oz loaf pan. Each piece is reasonably priced at $3.99 and they are pre seasoned.

If you are interested in what you can do with this mini cast iron bake ware, check out this post for skillet ginger bread cookies at Dessert For Two.

I am not being compensated for this post in any way. I am just excited to share some new stuff I have in my kitchen and am looking forward to using.

Pressure Cooker Indian Basmati Pilau

My friend, P, is proud of the fact she has never had her knives sharpened in all the years she has been cooking. This probably explains why she doesn’t cook much anymore. It takes forever to do the simplest chore, not to mention, the chances of getting hurt increase because you have to push so hard on whatever you are attempting to cut when your knives are dull.

I have taken to carrying one of my knives with me when go to her house because I usually end up cooking for us. I am okay with that as long as I don’t have to use her awful knives.

Just random thoughts from my random brain today.

Indian Basmati Pilau

Adapted From Two Sleevers

1 1/2 tsp ghee

1/4 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced

1/2 tsp salt


1-2 green cardamom pods

3-4 peppercorns

2 whole cloves

1 inch cinnamon sticks

1/2 cup Basmati rice. rinsed

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water

Rinse your rice and let it sit until you get ready for it. Put the whole spices in an muslin bag or tea infuser and crush slightly. Set your pot to saute, when it is hot add the ghee and let it melt. Add the cumin seeds and lightly toast. Add the sliced onions and salt. Cook until the edges are brown and crisp, but not burned. Add the rice and stir until the rice is coated with ghee. Add the water. Lock the lid and cook, for 6 minutes. Let natural release for 10 minutes then quick release the rest of the pressure.

Taking A Break

Last week was a very bad week for reasons I won’t go into here.  I will just say it broke my heart and I need some time to mend.  So this will be my last post for the month of November.  I will be back December 1 st with the start of my traditional small batch Christmas treats.  Have a very Happy Thanksgiving. Julie