A year that promises a lot of change for me, and instead of shying away, I'm welcoming it with open arms. Sometimes I still sit dumbfounded that medical school is coming to an end. It was undoubtedly a bumpy road and I'll save most of my words for May. But I will say that it's led to a lot of thoughts about where Nommable will be. In the back of my mind, I've been reminding myself that the way I run the blog currently isn't sustainable for what intern life will bring. At first, I was sad, but as I sat on the thought even more, I grew excited.
Because, if I'm being completely honest with myself, I've been distancing myself from blogging. Less posts, no frequency whatsoever, pretty much everything that they say you're doing wrong if you want a "successful" blog. Baking has started to feel a little bit more like a chore and less like a hobby, perhaps not the actual eating but the photography, and the words, and the editing - I've been avoiding it all and passing on baking opportunities more and more these days. Don't get me wrong, I still love to bake every now and then. But the type of baking I've come to enjoy these days are the cakes that go to friends with the ugly tops or a slice missing here and there - no "professional" photography necessary.
And at the same time, I've realized the subjects, what I love to photograph, have changed. Shifted less to the food I eat and more to the scenes I take in. The people who laugh with me and give me joy. My favorite posts recently have reflected this - the tailgate with old college friends, the autumn hike, the interview trail. They are the ones that leave me with strong memories and happy feels after I write them. They are the posts that I go back and re-read every now and then for a good laugh or a smile. Food has lately taken a backseat as I navigate through life - still important to me (that will probably never change), but not nearly as center stage as it once was.
So what does this mean for the blog? I think I'm keeping it, at least for now. It's still something I love to do when I find the time and when the right inspiration strikes me - this post for instance is turning out to be much easier to write than I had anticipated. But I hope to shift the content around a little, focus on life beyond the food I create. More posts of real life, the messy parts, the beautiful parts, the joyful bits and pieces that make me grateful every day. Hopefully more faces, definitely more scenery (the world we live in is pretty damn beautiful, yo).
Maybe I'll lose some followers, and maybe it'll turn out that my only readers will be my sisters and Andrew at the end of the day. But I'm okay with it. Blogging has never been considered a moneymaker in my eyes. But it has been a hobby that made me discover the beautiful in the everyday life.
And for that, I look back on this year and feel content.
Happy New Year, friends. Wishing you all good health and happiness, no matter what life brings.
I made these holiday buns a while ago and they were gone within a day and a half. They are reminiscent of the cinnabons from the mall - fluffy, sweet, and humongous. I've filled the buns with raisins and pecans along with the classic cinnamon sugar mixture, and no one was angry about it. They're perfect for sharing in a warm kitchen on a cold day with your loved ones, and I can't think of a better time to share them with you - got to fight those January blues, don't we?
Happy New Year again, everyone!
Holiday buns, adapted from King Arthur Flour
For the dough
- 1 cup warm milk, about 100 F
- 2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup sugar, divided into 1/4 cups
- 4 - 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 3/4 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, cubed, room temperature
For the filling
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- Scant cup of raisins
- 1 cup chopped pecans
For the icing
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- Milk, as needed to thin out the icing
- Place the milk and 1/4 cup sugar in a bowl of a stand mixer, and add yeast and stir. Alternatively you can use just a very large bowl if you plan on kneading the dough by hand. Let sit for 10 minutes for the yeast to activate.
- During this time, whisk the flour, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
- Once the yeast-milk-sugar mixture is foamy, add the butter and eggs and mix on medium speed for 1 minute. Add the flour by the spoonful, mixing on low until the dough is combined. I would start with 4 cups and if the dough is still really wet after, go ahead and add 1/2 cup. Switch out the paddle attachment and add the dough hook, and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. If necessary you can add more flour, but add by tablespoons and try not to add too much flour. If doing this step by hand, add all the ingredients to the bowl of yeast mixture and mix with a wooden spoon until it comes together. Scoop dough out onto a floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, adding flour to the dough if necessary.
- Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for 2 hours or until it has about doubled in size. In the meantime, whisk the brown sugar and spices for the filling in a medium bowl and set aside.
- Once the dough has risen, gently deflate the dough and place onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out the dough to an approximately 16 by 24 inch rectangle, so that the longer side of the rectangle is facing you. Spread the butter for the filling all across the rectangle. Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture over the butter evenly, then top with raisins and pecans evenly.
- Starting from the side of the rectangle facing you, roll up the dough so that you finish with a long coiled tube, with the seam of the dough facing down. Using a knife or bench scraper, cut the coil into 12 even pieces. Place the pieces into a buttered 9 by 13 inch pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until the rolls have doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 450 F. Once ready, place rolls into oven and bake until golden brown. Begin checking at 15 minutes, mine were ready in 23 minutes. Remove from the oven when ready and let cool slightly before adding the glaze.
- For the glaze, combine all ingredients into a large bowl and whisk until well combined. Pour over the rolls.
- Enjoy with a ton of friends and family, with a fire crackling in the living room fireplace and lots of hot cocoa!