What’s Springing Up in the Kitchen?

By DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Spring has a way of motivating us into creating something new and beautiful. For me it’s weed-free flowerbeds and new colorful flowers and plants, clean closets and cabinets, or ensuring every spot of dust has vanished from my house. But this week, spring has nudged me into the kitchen.

It’s the time of year when new recipes demand my attention, and I’m ready to pull out the measuring cups and examine my pantry. This year, I’ve found three delicious recipies to share with my friends.

Better Than Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls

Prep Time: 45 minutes | Cook Time: 20 minutes | Servings: Yield: 12 large rolls

I baked these for Easter for my family, and the recipe is a keeper. I baked them the day before, then reheated them one at a time in the microwave for 12 seconds using a tortilla warmer.


For the Dough:
1 cup scalded whole milk
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast
2 large eggs
4+ cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
For the Cinnamon Filling:
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the Creamy Glaze:
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar


Set the butter, eggs and cream cheese out to warm to room temperature. Place the milk in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. The moment it reaches a boil, remove from heat. (This process is called scalding, and it ensures the milk doesn’t affect the yeast’s ability to rise. Don’t skip!)

Pour the hot milk into the bowl of an electric mixer and add 1/2 cup butter, to bring the temperature down. Stir and allow the butter to melt completely. Then stir in the sugar. Touch the milk mixture to test the temperature. It should be close to lukewarm. If it is not, add 1/2 cup flour and test again. Once it is just above room temperature, stir in the yeast and let it foam for approximately 10 minutes. (Hot liquid can kill yeast.)

Place the bread hook on the mixer and turn on low. Add the eggs, salt, and remaining flour up to 4 cups. Allow the mixer to “knead” the dough until it pulls away from the sides. Run the mixer for approximately 10 minutes to allow the dough to stretch and develop the gluten. If the dough seems too sticky after the first 2-3 minutes add an additional 1/4 cup flour. After 10 minutes, turn the mixer off. Cover the top with plastic and allow the dough to rise until double in size, approximately 60-90 minutes in a warm kitchen.

For the Cinnamon Filling: Mix the brown sugar, softened butter, cinnamon, and nutmeg until smooth. Keep at room temperature until ready to use.

Dump the inflated dough out on a well-floured work surface. Fold into thirds and press flat. Then turn and fold into thirds again and press into a rectangle. Roll the rectangle out into a large 16 X 20-inch sheet.

Using a large flat spreader, spread the cinnamon filling over the sheet into a thin layer. Leave 1 1/2 inches bare (cinnamon-free) on one long edge. Be careful not to gouge holes in the dough. Starting at the cinnamon-covered long edge, roll the dough sheet tightly toward the uncovered edge to form a long tight log. Place a piece of parchment paper in a 9 X 13-inch baking dish. Then cut the log into 12 equal rolls. Tuck the loose end under each roll to secure it and place them in the baking dish to rise.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Allow the rolls to rise for at least 30 minutes while the oven heats. Then bake for 20-25 minutes, until the edges are barely golden, and the center of each roll is puffed up.

For the Creamy Glaze: While the rolls are in the oven, beat the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar together until completely smooth. The moment the rolls come out of the oven, gently spread half the glaze over the tops and allow it to seep down into the cracks. Five minutes later, add more glaze if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes: NOTES: To prep ahead, make the dough the day before serving. Follow the instructions through step 6. Then cover the baking dish with plastic and refrigerate until morning. Set them out on the counter while the oven warms. Bake for approximately 30 minutes and glaze!

Nutritional Info: Amount Per Serving: Calories: 566 Calories Total Fat: 28.4g Saturated Fat: 17.4g Cholesterol: 105mg Sodium: 605mg Carbohydrates: 72g Fiber: 2.1g Sugar: 38.3g Protein: 7.4g

Source: https://www.aspicyperspective.com/better-than-cinnabon-cinnamon-rolls-recipe/2/


Strawberry-Spinach Salad

Prep Time: 15 mins | Cook Time: 15 mins | Servings: 10 servings.

Add more sugar to the dressing if desired.


1 small Vidalia onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1/2 cup light olive oil
3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon plus 2 tsp. granulated sugar
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 (10-oz.) pkg. fresh spinach
1 pound fresh strawberries, stemmed and halved (2 1/2 cups)
4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)
1 cup chopped candied pecans


Process onion, oil, vinegar, sugar, mayonnaise, mustard, and salt in a blender until creamy and smooth, about 50 seconds.

Arrange spinach, strawberries, blue cheese, and pecans on a large platter. Drizzle with dressing.

Source: https://www.southernliving.com/recipes/strawberry-spinach-salad


Oven-Roasted Kale

Cook Time: 25 min | Servings: Serves 4 as a side dish.

This is incredibly good.


2 bunches kale
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

shaved Brussel sprouts
pine nuts

balsamic vinegar


Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Rinse kale and pat dry thoroughly.

Remove and discard thick ribs and roughly chop leaves. Pat leaves dry again.

Toss with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl.

Spread on a large-rimmed baking sheet. Kale does not need to be in a single layer, as it will shrink in volume as it cooks.

Bake, stirring every five minutes or so, until leaves are tender, crisp on edges and slightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes.

Sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving.

Nutritional Info: Per serving: 100 calories (80 from fat), 9g total fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 160mg sodium, 5g carbohydrates (2g dietary fiber, 0g sugar), 3g protein.

Source: https://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/oven-roasted-kale

What’s springing up in your kitchen? Can you share a recipe?

Comments 20

      1. DiAnn, you’re so kind. If I still lived in Texas, where I was born, I would try to visit you, and take you to lunch:)) I was born in Memphis, up near Amarillo and the Oklahoma border.

  1. Love the recipes, DiAnn. I want to share this quote with you. The great Spanish medieval mystic St. Teresa of Avila said that “God walks among the posts and pans.” This expressed her conviction that the kitchen is a place of holiness and grace. I tend to agree with her.

  2. Farmhouse style. My home has boho decor written all over it. My tastes are quirky. If I see a fallen birds nest, I will find room for it somewhere in my home. I love found items like interesting rocks, ceramics, and folk art. Lately I’ve come to appreciate farmhouse style I see in the housekeeping magazines. I’d like to embrace this style of decor to spring up in my kitchen as the first place to optimize renovation. Finding creative ways to bring my house into the present is an achievable goal. Having a farmhouse “God Bless This Home” plaque will encourage family, friends, and visitors to expect the gracious hospitality that is waiting for them.

    Simple recipe: Take a Bartlett pear, wash it, wrap in aluminum foil at 400° for an hour and thirty minutes. Cool on a nonstick tray until room temp. Unwrap and enjoy. Tastes ten times better than applesauce. There’s something about baking a pear that brings the natural sweetness to a syrupy delight. Optional: Light sprinkles of brown sugar and nutmeg, and a little granola will expand this treat, I’m sure.

  3. Your cinnamon rolls recipe brought back good memories. My husband loved to cook, and later in life, he started baking bread. We made cinnamon rolls together that were delicious. Sadly, he passed in June, 2023. With just one to cook for, and getting a free meal every day at the senior community where I now live, I don’t cook anymore. But if I did, I would definitely be making these recipes. Thanks for sharing!


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