Cinnamon Rolls + Blood Orange Glaze

Buns!  I never make these because I will eat about six the first day.  My willpower stands no chance around cinnamon buns.  None at all.  Luckily, I had a work meeting I knew these would be perfect for.   

The blood orange juice makes the prettiest pink glaze.  I love the color, so cheery and fun. 

Makes 16.

Cinnamon Rolls + Blood Orange Glaze

for the rolls

1 packet active dry yeast

1/2 cup warm water

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup butter

1/3 cup milk

1 egg

pinch salt

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour

for the filling

1 tablespoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons maple syrup

 1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon melted butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

for the blood orange glaze

2 cup powdered sugar 

2 tablespoon melted butter

pinch salt

splash vanilla extract

about 1/3 cup blood orange juice

In a bowl of a stand mixer, whisk yeast, warm water and sugar.  Let sit.  

In a small pot, melt butter.  Add milk.  When steaming hot, remove from heat.  When warm, whisk into yeast mixture.  Add egg, salt and flour.   Knead with dough hook attachment for a few minutes until dough is a smooth ball.  (More flour maybe added during kneading if dough seems too sticky.)   Place dough ball in an oiled bowl, turning to coat.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours. 

While dough is rising, whisk together melted butter, maple syrup, sugar and cinnamon.   

Punch dough down to deflate.  Roll out into a large rectangle, roughly 9" x 24".  

Spread filling evenly over rectangle.  Roll up dough, beginning with the long side.  Seal ends. Slice into 16 slices.  Arrange in 9"x 13" baking pan, leaving space between each roll.  Let rise about 40 minutes.  

Bake in preheated 375 degree oven, until golden brown, about 30 minutes. 

While cinnamon rolls are baking, whisk together powdered sugar, melted butter, pinch salt, vanilla and blood orange juice until smooth.   

Glaze rolls and serve warm.  

Blood Orange Upside Down Cake

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I love an upside down cake. The pineapple type is my mom's territory so I thought I would give this citrus version a try.  

I used only 3 blood oranges because I ate some of the ones I had.  While it looks pretty (notice the ombre?)  I  think it's better if the top is covered with blood orange slices.  Just a thought.  

If you like that dark sugary, caramelized cake top like you get on a traditional upside down cake, rub 1-2 tablespoon of butter on the bottom and sides of the baking dish and sprinkle with 1-2 tablespoon of brown sugar before arranging orange slices.  

Makes one 9.5 inch cake.   

Blood Orange Upside Down Cake

4-5 blood oranges

6 tablespoons butter, soft

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon angostura bitters

3/4 cup milk

1 teaspoon poppy seeds

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/4 cup flour

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 9.5 inch round baking dish.  Set aside.  

Cut tops and bottoms from oranges, slice off peels and slice into medallions. Remove seeds. (Save peels for candying or future zesting needs.)  Arrange slices on bottom of baking dish.  Set aside.  

Mix butter and sugar until smooth.  Add egg, bitters, milk, poppy seeds, salt, baking powder and flour.  Mix until combined and pour over fruit lined baking dish.   Bake 40 minutes or until done.  

Let cake cool 5 minutes in pan.  Run a knife along the edges to loosen and carefully invert onto flat surface.   

A Very Fruity Salad + Pomegranate Vinaigrette

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This past Christmas we served this salad with pasta and a hearty bolognese meat sauce.  So for me, it will always be called the 'Christmas Salad' but for everyone else this can be an anytime salad.  Or maybe a fruity salad to eat in winter?  

There's a good thing happening in this salad between the fruit and the bitter raddichio and the crunch from the pomegranate seeds and jicama.  

Jicama is an odd little root vegetable.  Super crunchy and similar to a very starchy apple or pear but only a hint of sweetness.  Peel of its thick skin with a knife and chop it up.  It's also a great snack drizzled with lime, sprinkled with salt and chili powder or a vehicle for dips and salsa.  

Christmas Salad

2 baby romaines or 1 head of romaine lettuce, rinsed, dried and chopped

1 raddichio, halved, cored and sliced

1 blood orange, peeled and cored and sliced into half moons

1 navel orange, peeled and cored and sliced into half moons

Seeds of 1/2 of a pomegranate

1 small jicama, peeled and sliced into sticks

Pomegranate Vinaigrette

1 tablespoon pomegranate juice

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar

4 tablespoons olive oil

s + p

1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon brown mustard

For Salad:  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Right before serving toss or drizzle with vinaigrette.  

For Vinaigrette:  Pomegranate juice can be freshly made by squeezing pomegranate seeds through a citrus press.  It will take about 1/4 of a fruit or slightly less.  (Or if out of season, bottled juice may be used but look for ones without added sugar.)  Set aside.  

In a small bowl, mix lemon juice and vinegar, add salt pinch by pinch until well balanced.  It shouldn't taste too salty or too sharp.  Add a couple turns or black pepper, olive oil and pomegranate juice.  Whisk vigorously.  If it doesn't come together add a bit of brown mustard.  Whisk more and make any final adjustments.  (more salt, more lemon, more pepper...)