Cinnamon Buns (of Oblivion)

Cinnamon buns really piss me off. You see, I am extremely intolerant of sugar. I can never remember if its hypo or hyperglycemia. I just know that two Cosmopolitans had enough sugar in them to knock me out cold sitting in rock hard seats in the nose bleed section outside at a White Zombie/Ozzie Osborne concert on a blustery November night. Oh yeah, that happened.

So you can imagine how much I have to avoid sugar. An interesting problem, since I love to bake. I can enjoy the wonderful smells at least, and the smiles my cookies and cakes give to others. Not so with the smell of freshly baked cinnamon buns. I always break down and eat a half of one. Then I sink into black oblivion, the gooey evidence of my trespass clutched in my sticky hand. If you want to join me there, friends, just follow the cinnamon and cream cheese frosted road…

Cinnamon Rolls.JPG

Cinnamon Buns with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients (Serves 6, assuming you have self-control.)

  • 2 oz Cream Cheese
  • 3 oz Butter
  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • 8 oz Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Salt


  • Place butter in a small bowl and microwave for 30-60 seconds, or place in a small pot and melt over low flame. Once its mostly melted, set aside. It will be fully melted by the time you need it.
  • Add self-rising flour to a medium mixing bowl along with 2 Tbsp of melted butter. Add in the yogurt, 1/4 cup of powdered sugar, and 1 Tbsp of water.
  • Mix with clean hands until you have a shaggy dough.
  • On a flat work surface, like a large wooden cutting board or marble counter top, sprinkle liberally with bench flour. Coat your hands liberally, too. Add some more flour to a bowl and keep it handy. You’ll need it.
  • Turn out the dough onto your work surface and knead into a smooth and slightly sticky ball. You may need to sprinkle the dough with flour or coat your hands a few times during this process. Let the dough rest (being kneaded is hard work, after all) for 5 minutes while you make the cinnamon mixture.
  • In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, remaining butter, cinnamon, and salt.
  • Using a rolling pin coated in flour, roll out your dough into an 8 X 11 oval. Cover almost the entire surface with the mixture. I leave a very thin edge all the way around.
  • Starting on the short side, roll your dough into a cylinder. Cut into 6 equal slices.


  • In a round baking pan or cast iron skillet, coat with a little oil or non-stick spray, and then assemble your slices into a tight ring with one slice in the center and the rest surrounding. They need to be snuggly pressed together to ensure the rolls don’t fall open during baking and the dough puffs upwards.
  • Bake the rolls at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes. The tops should be lightly brown when done.
  • While the buns are baking, stir together the cream cheese, remaining powdered sugar, and 1 Tbsp of water. Stir the mixture until smooth.
  • Once the buns are done, I like to spread the frosting while they are still pretty warm so you get the drippy and gooey effect. If you like your frosting firm, let the buns cool first before you spread.

~Nom On to the land of oblivion

Sangria: Spanish Red Wine Punch

Red wine drinkers are always faced with a conundrum during the summer: switch to white wine or sweat through their usual glass of chianti. But wait! The Spanish have found the answer to drinking red wine in the heat; make it into a punch and add more booze! Hooray! If you haven’t tried this lovely and refreshing beverage, stop everything and go whip up a batch. The refrigerator does most of the work.


Red Wine Sangria


  • 1 bottle of red wine
  • 1/4 cup of brandy
  • 1/4 cup of triple sec
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 large naval orange
  • 1/2 large lime
  • 1 sweet apple, like gala or fuji
  • 1 750 mil bottle sparkling water


  • In a large pitcher, add the wine, brandy, triple sec, and sugar.
  • Squeeze the juice of both the lime and the orange into the pitcher. Watch for seeds.
  • Slice up the orange, lime, and apple into thin slices. Add them to the pitcher.
  • Stir the pitcher to blend all the ingredients and move the fruit all through the solution.
  • Refrigerate for about 2 hours.
  • When you are ready to serve, add the sparkling water and stir.

I like to ask guests if they want fruit in their sangria or not. Some really love chunks of fruit in their glass that they can nibble on and some feel like they are eating a booze-y fruit salad.

Now all you need to do is fetch some sort of pool floaty, a bathing suit, and one of those silly sun hats so you can float around and sip away, enjoying the good life.

~Salut, and of course, nom on

Mushroom-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

I have shared a recipe for pork tenderloin before, but I really like this cut so I decided to up my game a little and stuff it with caramelized mushrooms and onions. After all that butterflying and spreading eagle and stuffing and tying with string, it started to feel a little 50-shades-of-grey…for the pork I mean. Get your mind out of the gutter! Anyway, the end result was super tasty, and of course, made great left overs.

Mushroom Stuffed Tenderloin

Mushroom-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin


  • 1 1/2 pound package of pork tenderloin
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Grapeseed Oil (*Don’t be cheap alert)
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 large, yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp dry oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dry rosemary
  • Salt and pepper


For the filling…

  • Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a medium pan. Add the chopped onion and sauté until translucent.
  • Add the mushrooms and sauté for about 3 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir in seasonings. Set aside.


  • Pre-heat the oven to 400 Degrees.
  • Trim any silver skin and excess fat from roast, wash it off thoroughly, and pat dry with a paper towel.
  • Rub the roast all over with the oil and place in a roasting pan.
  • Sprinkle the roast with salt and then freshly ground black pepper.
    Make sure you roll the roast around so it gets coated everywhere with the seasoning.
  • Butterfly the tenderloin by cutting it straight down the center to about 3/4 of the roast’s depth. Spread open and spoon the mushroom sauté into the middle.
  • Using butcher string, close the roast up and wrap the string around in about 1 inch intervals. Tie it off. This part is messy; don’t over think it. Just close the roast up and secure as best you can.
  • Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes. Now is a good time to make stuffing or whatever sides you’ll be serving is this is a fancy, Sunday dinner.
  • After the timer goes off, grab your digital thermometer and check the temp in the thickest part of the roast. If it’s between 158 and 160 degrees, pull the roast out and cover it with foil. Let it rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

If you want gravy….

  • Grab a baster and suck out the drippings. Add a 1/4 cup of the drippings into a small sauce pot and turn the flame on low. Stir 1/4 cup of flour into a measuring cup filled with 2 cups of COLD water and mix well.
  • Now comes the tricky part. While stirring the drippings constantly, slowly add the flour/water mixture to the drippings. Keep stirring! Keep stirring and stirring until you start to see the gravy get thick and smooth. If it’s thin, don’t stress. The cold air will thicken it when you are done cooking.
  • Taste it. If it’s bland, add in more drippings a 1/4 cup at a time until you reach gravy nirvana. You can add in salt and pepper to season. You can add in a splash of white wine or sherry if its handy, or a dash of cayenne if you want a little zippy-do-dah thing happenin’.

It was funny because the high heat scalded my drippings as the roast cooked so I was freaking out about my gravy. I wanted to serve it sliced over french bread, open-faced sandwich style with stuffing on the side. I spent so much time making the roast that I ran out of energy and patience to make stuffing and now I would have no gravy?? I ended up doing some weird gravy hack using cream of chicken soup, just to have something to soak the bread. It turns out, we didn’t need gravy at all. The mushroom mixture was so delicious and savory and the roast turned out so perfectly tender, it didn’t need a date to this disco. Live and learn.

~Nom On