The Classics: Cinnamon Rolls

I want to start this off by thanking everyone who participated in the giveaway last week! The response was overwhelming and totally humbling. Thank you for taking time out of your day to leave a comment! What’s more, you guys didn’t just leave one worded messages, but instead gave me all of the details. I loved that! I enjoyed reading them all, because I definitely did take the time to read every single comment, from beginning to end. In fact, it was the highlight of my week, so thank you. It was also the highlight of my mom’s week, because she read them all too. I’d get a call from her every hour with, “Jon did you read that one comment?! Awwww, this one comment is great you should pick this one! These comments are so sweet! Jon can I pick the winner, huh huh huh can I? Can I?” It was a great experience over all, so thank you for making the first Candid Appetite giveaway such a success. You guys rock! There will definitely be more giveaways in the very near future, now that I know you guys like free stuff. I mean who doesn’t?!?! So in the end there could only be one winner (bummer I know), and my mamma ended up pulling out of a hat, Emily S. from Durham New Hampshire with her favorite dessert being the classic brownie! Let’s all give her a round of applause. Your book is on it’s way! 

Anyhow, enough about that. It’s time for another installment of my favorite new series called, The Classics. This time around it’s brought to you by the biggest cinnamon rolls you ever did see. They’re as big as my head and I can’t get enough of them. I’ve recently decided to declare today National Eat As Many Cinnamon Rolls As You Can Day, and I think we should ALL celebrate by eating as many cinnamon rolls as we can possibly fit into our faces. I know for sure I can eat six giant rolls without a problem. Don’t ask me how I know this….I may or may not have eaten all of these myself. And I regret nothing. 

I think I’ve mentioned once or twice before (maybe a million times) of how much I love cinnamon. It’s my favorite spice in the world, especially in the fall. There’s just something so great about it this time of year. Sure, it’s still a million degrees outside here in Los Angeles, and sure it still feels like a never ending summer, but in my mind it’s totally autumn and I’m spending my nights in front of a fire drinking lots of hot cocoa topped with a mountain of whipped cream and dusted with lots of cinnamon, eating a giant cinnamon roll. In my mind that’s how it’s happening. In real life, it’s so hot, I’m eating them in front of the air conditioning vent. Someone save me. 

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Blueberry Cobbler Biscuits

The thing about biscuits is that you don’t know whether to eat them in the morning for breakfast or devour them at dinner as a roll to sop up all of the yummy sauce left behind. I’m getting off track…what was I saying? Oh, do you lean them towards something sweet or something savory? I don’t really care because just as long as biscuits are involved I’m not complaining. Whoever invented biscuits should get a huge monument built in their honor. Like a big statue or something, at least. I know that in different parts of the world, biscuits are completely different. It’s more of a cookie or a cracker of some kind. But here in the states, for the most part, we’re talking about buttery fluffy quick breads that I just want to stuff my face with. 

These are a cross between a few different desserts. It’s like blueberry crumble meets blueberry cobbler—because cobblers are usually topped with biscuits—meets blueberry streusel muffins meets buttermilk biscuits. I chose blueberries because they’re currently in season and are on sale everywhere I turn. Literally, everywhere. They’re practically giving them away. So I thought it would be a good idea to come up with something sweet to use up all those free blueberries. Here we are now, knee deep in blueberry cobbler biscuits. Not really knee deep, but how cool (and delicious) would that be?! I’m making a mental note right now, as I type this, to make that fantasy a reality. Jonathan Melendez: Making dreams come true since August 2014. 

True fact: My mamma’s favorite berry is a blueberry. She also shares my love (and passion) for biscuits so this recipe actually goes out to her as a BTW, FYI, and P.S. It’s the least I could do after she gave birth to me and fed me and clothed me and provided a roof over my head for all those years. I mean, biscuits pretty much makes us even. Right mom? You don’t have to answer because I know they do. That’s how magical biscuits are. Get in on all this magic. 

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Mini Challah Rolls

I have to confess something to you. I actually made these mini challah rolls, not only because they’re cute—because they are pret-ty darn adorable—but also because I had an ulterior motive when making them. I didn’t bake these buns so that I can serve them as dinner rolls, no not at all. Although, that would’ve been a delicious idea all the same. In reality, I made them as a bun for a delicious slider recipe that is coming to the blog really soon. Like coming next week soon. A new slider to the site?! Get excited, it’s kind of a big deal. I didn’t want to just bring you some sliders without giving you a bun recipe to go with it, first. So here we are. 

If you’ve been following this blog for a bit, you’ll know just how much I happen to love sliders, like these BLT Biscuit Sliders or these Pot Roast Sliders. I’m sort of obsessed, and not in a good way. I’m looking into support groups. I’m especially obsessed with the different types of bread you can use in each, or the different delicious sauces to pair them with. This is one of the reasons why I haven’t just used the same bun recipe over and over again. That sounds boring. I want to give you guys something new and exciting. The great thing, though, is that you can totally swap out the bread and sauces between each slider recipe on the site. It’s all about options, friends. Slider options. 

I decided to break this slider post into two parts. Part I being these awesome buns, and Part II being the actual slider recipe itself. I did it to brutally torture you, of course. To drag this delicious recipe on and on. And to keep you guys in suspense. (Insert evil laugh here). I won’t tell you what the sliders will be, because it’s a surprise, and I want you to be surprised, but I will give you a hint, because I’m nice like that. It involves grilled shrimp and green tomatoes and that’s all I’m saying. Let’s make some buns, yeah? 

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Brussels Sprouts and Pancetta Pizza

I’ve always had this fantasy in my head where I’d eat pizza everyday of my life and I’d never get bored of it. I don’t think you quite understand just how much I love pizza. How deep my admiration for pizza runs. It’s pretty deep. Deeper than any ocean and higher than any mountain, that’s for sure. In my fantasy, everyday would be an entirely new (and entirely delicious) type of pizza. New toppings, along with new crusts and various different cheeses. That’s 365 days of nothing but fun and exciting pizzas. Can you live with that? I can totally live with that. 

Pizza tends to be my go-to dinner whenever I don’t know what to make for supper because I’ve run out of ideas, and I can’t really come up with anything new because all I seem to do is develop recipes for the blog and various other projects I have going on. There’s only so much my imagination can take. So on those nights when I’m simply drawing a blank—and I’ve managed to do nothing but stare into space for about 20 minutes before coming to the conclusion that pizza is the right answer—I end up deciding to make pizza. And it’s not like a, “Fine, I guess we’ll have pizza tonight. Pull my arm why don’t you?” Maybe out loud that’s what it sounds like but in my mind it’s completely different. In my mind, there’s a party going on. Confetti is being thrown around and champagne bottles are being popped open. In my mind it’s like, “YAY!!! Pizza for dinner! This is the best night ever!!! Pizza pizza pizza PIZZA!” 

My pizza preference tends to fluctuate from day to day or week to week. Sometimes simple is the name of the game. My number one favorite topping will always be pepperoni. Just pepperoni. Nothing but pepperoni. I especially go nuts over those tiny pepperoni that curl up a bit while it bakes, causing the edges to get slightly burnt and slightly crisped. It’s the best. At the same time, I do go through these phases where I’m in an adventurous kick, and I can’t get enough of really fancy pizzas with interesting toppings. Like this Brussels sprouts and pancetta pizza for instance. A couple of eggs on top just takes it to a whole new sophisticated level. The moral of this story is that pizza is king. We all should dedicate a day of the week (I’ll even take one day a month) to be a pizza party day. We should be making different kinds of pizza and eating them all like we’re getting paid to do it. Let’s start now with this pizza!

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BLT Biscuit Sliders

Let’s discuss a few things, yeah? Let’s talk about how my love for biscuits knows no end. Biscuits are like the equivalent to what doughnuts are to me on the sweet end. If you didn’t know already I happen to love doughnuts (I’d kill for one), but that’s neither here nor there. We’re talking about biscuits. Biscuits is the name of the game. We can also chat it up all day long about the many things you’d have to do to get me to eat bacon. I’ll let you in on a secret though, it doesn’t take much for me to eat a few slices of crispy bacon. And by a few I of course me, a ton of. I’d do unspeakable things for bacon. It’s okay, you can judge me. I can tell you all about my undying obsession with avocado anything and I’ll share the story about the one time I ate nothing but avocados for dinner and it was awesome. I have no regrets. We can brush up on such topics as BLT’s, sandwiches and sliders. All of which are very near and dear to my heart. Mostly because I love the idea of little hamburgers and tiny sandwiches because it means you can eat a lot more of them without feeling guilty. What? They’re tiny! 

The only time I’ll eat a BLT is when I can assure myself that I’ll get a sandwich loaded with bacon. More bacon than anything else. I’ve encountered a few sad BLT’s where there’s like one slice of bacon amidst a thousand slices of tomato and a million pieces of lettuce. What kind of sandwich is that?! That’s more like a salad, if you ask me. I don’t want a salad! I want a big stacked up bacon, bacon, bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. With super toasted bread, of course. That goes without saying. 

So I’m brainstorming recipe ideas one day and I, for some unknown reason, keep getting an incessant craving for a BLT sandwich. It’s weird, because like I said earlier, that never happens to me. I contemplated different ways I could make it for you (for me). I knew it had to be something awesome because you need an awesome recipe. I owe it to you. I also knew there needed to be a ridiculous amount of bacon involved. It all sort of avalanched together. I had a vision to make them into sliders because sliders are just so awesome. I was eating toast with jam that day and the biscuit idea sort of called out to me like a light from the sky. Okay, so it might not have been that dramatic and magical, but for the sake of the story let’s say that it was. Anyhow biscuit BLT sliders were born. Avocado wanted to be included so I invited it to the party and called it a day. So now here we are, making and eating and talking about BLT biscuit sliders. Who would have thought? Oh, I totally did my friends. I totally did. 

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Garlic Knots with Beer Cheddar Sauce

I always have food on my mind. It seems like it’s the only thing I can ever really think about. Even after I’ve just eaten, I start to brainstorm about what I’m going to eat next. And what I’ll eat after that. And after that. And after that. All that deep thinking makes me hungry. It’s just an endless cycle. One that I can’t seem to shake myself out of—not that I’m complaining because thinking about food twenty four hours a day isn’t so bad when you really think about it. What shall I have for dinner tomorrow? How long until breakfast? And would it be okay if I ate two lunches today because I’m really hungry? The answer to which is always yes, two lunches is definitely okay. In fact I highly recommend it because…um hello, two lunches. What’s there to complain about? Let’s get on this two lunches thing as soon as possible, people. Let’s make it happen. I want to live in a society where it’s perfectly acceptable to have two lunches without judgement or fear of being talked about. I’m not sure but I think I just invented two lunches. 

I’m constantly on the lookout for any possible situation that would allow me to eat bread, and lots of it too. I wouldn’t say I’m addicted to bread, but let’s just say I can’t get enough of it and I’d be dead if bread had never been invented. Dead, I tell you. Okay, so maybe in some parts of the world this is considered to be an addiction. I like to refer to it as a healthy appreciation for the really good things in life. Nothing wrong with that. Fresh baked bread right out of the oven is like a lethal weapon. Stand back. Homemade bread that you’ve taken a lot of time and effort to make is the best treat on earth. Soft pillows of bread drenched in a flavorful garlic butter sauce with fresh parsley, well that’s just sinful. 

I just recently got back from a trip to Asheville, NC, getting some work done with a friend. I remember the first night I got in, we went out to eat pizza and have some beer because I was starving and because I happen to love pizza and beer. We sat down and ordered our extra-large pizza (pepperoni with pineapple, it’s a thing, get used to it) and we got a pitcher of beer because we were thirsty. We were both super hungry so we thought about it for a split second, that’s all it really took to convince us, and decided upon ordering pretzels as well because we didn’t think there’d be enough bread in the pizza itself. SO we told the waitress we wanted the pretzels as well and she offered us a beer cheese sauce (magic) to go along with it. We didn’t even have to think about it twice. Well if I’m being honest, I actually said no but my friend said yes. Ultimately the cheese sauce and pretzels arrived at the table and I ended up eating ALL of the beer cheese sauce myself. I don’t even remember saying no to it, thank you very much. I always wanted it. I realized then and there in North Carolina that bread should always be dipped into a beer cheese sauce. So I got back home and knew that I needed to make a bread of some sort for the blog but only because I needed an excuse to make a beer cheese sauce for dipping. That’s when these garlic knots came into the picture. I regret nothing. As it turns out, garlic knots and beer cheddar cheese sauce are meant to be together. Like two lost souls, finally reunited. Let’s hear it for bread and cheese and garlic and butter and beer!

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