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» Journal

Sometimes words are not enough.  To capture the essence, the feel, the why and the how.  These images on the following pages are a visual look into the how, the why.  What makes LVR. 

GUACAMOLE GUACAMOLE

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I remember the first time I had homemade guacamole.  Maybe it wasn't really the first time but it is the first time I can remember.  It was at a friend's house in Kentucky.  Way back in 2008.  I was visiting them for the weekend with my then boyfriend who was visiting his brother who just so happened to live in the same town.  My friend made dinner and her husband proudly made the guacamole.  It was his deal.  I can still see his face and how proud he was of his guacamole skills.  It kind of blew my mind when I tried my hand at it.  How easy and simple yet so yummy.  Never would I buy store bought again. 

Over the years I have experimented adding new and different ingredients but in the end I come back to the basics.  Just avocado, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and if I have it buttermilk.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 avocados
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • juice from 1/2 lemon (more to taste)
  • dash of salt (or to taste)
  • dash of buttermilk (maybe more like a tablespoon) but this is optional...I wouldn't buy it.  Only if you have some in the fridge

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mash until combined.  And that is it!  Enjoy!

QUICK PICKLED CARROTS

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 bunch carrots, peeled
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbs honey
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper pods
  • 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt (I prefer to use kosher)

Begin by bringing the water, apple cider vinegar and honey to a boil on the stove.  While the liquid is cooking, cut your carrots.  You can shred them, chop them, slice them.  However you like them.  I like to slice them on the diagonal for thin, long pieces.  But it is just personal preference. Put them into a tempered glass jar or leave in a heat safe bowl.  Once the liquid has come to a boil, let it cook for a minute or so longer and then remove from heat. Add the spices and pour over the carrots.  Allow to cool to room temperature.  Cover and store in the fridge.  Enjoy!

 

 

Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve

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I don't know what could have been more of a perfect Easter. Heading out to the dry rugged barren hills outside of Los Angeles with my sister.  We went in search of poppies, and we found them.  Maybe not the fields that seemed a blaze with the golden flowers.  But we found them still, sweet and soft, gently scattered among the hills and trails of Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve.

GRAPEFRUIT ROSEMARY CINNAMON ROLLS

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Cinnamon rolls.  They are breakfast, not dessert, so somehow they seem perfectly acceptable.  Especially when made with coconut sugar and maple syrup.  A bit healthier right? 

Last month was my birthday and the perfect excuse to make a batch.  They are my weakness (well, one of my weaknesses).  I started them in the morning so didn't actually have them until an afternoon snack with tea, which ended up being just as delightful.  And I didn't even worry about an icing.  No need really.

INGREDIENTS

Cinnamon Rolls (which technically they don't have cinnamon so maybe should be called spice rolls?):

  • 1/4 c warm water
  • 1 pack yeast
  • 1/3 + 1tsp maple syrup
  • 4 1/2 c flour
  • 1 1/2 c coconut pulp (from making coconut milk)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbs grapefruit zest
  • 1 Tbs rosemary, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 4 Tbs coconut oil
  • 1/2 c + 2 Tbs coconut milk (made fresh, reserving the coconut pulp)

Filling:

  • 2 Tbs coconut oil
  • 3/4 c coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

Begin by combining the yeast and 1 tsp maple syrup in the warm water to proof.  Set aside for roughly 10 minutes until foamy.  Meanwhile, combine the flour, coconut pulp, grapefruit zest, rosemary, spices, and salt in a large mixing bowl, whisking to combine.  Set aside

In a small saucepan melt the coconut oil over low heat.  Add the coconut milk and warm gently.  Add the 1/3 cup maple syrup and whisk to combine.  Remove from heat and add the yeast to the wet ingredients and again whisk to combine.  Stir into the flour mixture with a wooden spoon.  Work the dough together, kneading in the flour as needed until you have a manageable, soft dough that is no longer sticking.  Cover with a moist towel and let rise in a warm place for two hours.

Once the dough has had time to rise, sprinkle flour on your clean work surface and form into a rectangle, about a 1/2″ thick.

In a bowl, combine the coconut sugar and spices for the filling.  Spread the 2 Tbs coconut oil evenly across the dough.  Sprinkle the filling mixture evenly over the dough, leaving a slight border around the edges (1/2″ to 1″).  Now, here comes the really only slightly difficult part.  Gently, yet tightly, roll the dough into a log (rolling in from one of the long sides).  The dough will be soft so try to make sure to get as tight a roll as possible.  Now, seal the dough and place the seam side down.  Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1″-1 1/2″ pieces. 

Carefully place the rolls into a 9″ x 13″ baking dish.  Some of the sugar mixture is sure to escape.  Don’t worry.  You can scatter any lost sugar along the bottom of the baking dish before placing the cinnamon rolls in if you want or just don't worry.  Try to fit the cinnamon rolls as tightly together as possible so to help them maintain their shape while cooking. 

Now, cover with the towel and allow to rise for another hour.  Heat oven while the rolls are rising to 350 degrees.  Once the rolls have finished their second rise, place in the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes (checking after 20 minutes).  Bake until they are beginning to color and become golden brown.  To test, tap them and make sure they feel set and cooked through.  But be mindful, they will still have some give and be soft.  Remove from oven and let cool completely.

Enjoy!

 

 

JUNE PLAYLIST

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June.  Can't believe it has been nine months.  Nine months since I left my home in Tennessee.  Still not sure where I will settle.  Or how to settle.  How do you settle without a proper home or family?  Is there a version of settling just for now?  I feel settled but then not at all.  Knowing that I don't know what tomorrow is going to look like.  Or the next month.  Is that it?  Knowing your place in the world.  Does that make you feel settled?  Lots of unsorted thoughts in my mind of late.  Always that way right?  Well, while I get to sorting them, here is the latest playlist.  Lots of oldies and a bit random of an assortment.  But it is what I am feeling right now.  What I have on repeat.

  1. Strangers // The Kinks
  2. I'm Waiting for the Day // The Beach Boys
  3. Baby Blue // Tor Miller
  4. Azora // Tamu Massif
  5. Everything is Free (feat. Flock of Dimes) // Sylvan Esso, Flock of Dimes
  6. National // James Vincent McMorrow
  7. Bend Your Knees // James Vincent McMorrow
  8. The Pugilist // Keaton Henson
  9. Wicked Game // James Vincent McMorrow
  10. Surprise Yourself // Jack Garratt
  11. Closer // Jordan Max
  12. All Day and All of the Night // The Kinks
  13. Sunny Afternoon // The Kinks
  14. Lola // The Kinks
  15. Sign of the Times // Harry Styles
  16. Take the Wheel // Fort Frances
  17. Brooklyn // Glass Vaults
  18. Kill Our Way to Heaven // Michl
  19. A Prince // Jorja Smith
  20. Night Swim // Josef Salvat
  21. In Cold Blood // alt-J
  22. Embers // Max Richter
  23. A Postcard to Henry Purcell // Dario Marianelli
  24. IV. Mrs Dalloway: Meeting Again // Max Richter
  25. XVI. The Waves: Tuesday // Max Richter
  26. Sinking (feat. Nori) // Feverkin
  27. Simple Man // Lynyrd Skynyrd
  28. Sound // Sylvan Esso
  29. Epilogue // Keaton Henson
  30. Kiwi // Harry Styles
  31. Something in the Way // Jorja Smith
  32. Imperfect Circle // Jorja Smith
  33. Beautiful Little Fools //Jorja Smith
  34. Mercy // Jacob Banks
  35. House of the Rising Sun // alt-J
  36. Hunger of the Pine // alt-J

Listen on Spotify {here}

SESAME HONEY CHEESECAKE RECIPE

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Preface:  This recipe really has nothing to do with cheesecake.  And in no way really resembles a cheesecake except for the fact I would recommend using a circular container for slicing and presentation.  Fudge would be a better comparison.  I should have called it fudge. I am tired and couldn't for the life of me think of an alternative name for a dessert.  Not in the mood to be creative with titles.  But I never am, so not even going to try tonight. 

A friend asked me today if I had any food intolerances or rather if I couldn't eat dairy.  My response.  I LOVE milk, cheese, butter.  Love milk.  Love cheese.  Love butter. I mean in my family one of the most repeated childhood stories of me was when we lived here in San Francisco.  I met my sisters at the bus stop after school licking a stick of butter like it was a popsicle or a lollipop or whatever you want to compare a little girl licking away at something as if it is the best thing ever.  My love for butter started early. My favorite sandwich and what I would ask my mom to make me for lunch when I was in school was butter and peperoni.  And my mom would actually make it.  My favorite food in the world might just be a good croissant.  And when I say good, I won't eat it unless it is good.  Which means fresh, flaky where there are crumbs all over the table and your hands, yet soft and doughy inside.  And that means it was made with pretty much just butter.  But that is a total aside, so back to today's story.  She then replied confusedly that I always bake desserts with coconut milk and the like.  Me.  Well.  For some reason I don't feel as guilty.  It doesn't seem quit as bad.  Like it is a healthier dessert.  And also really because so many other people seem to avoid certain foods, it just seems easier to try and make things gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, the list goes on and on. 

Back in the day when I ate raw for a short stint, I would make this for myself when my sweet tooth hit.  It ALWAYS hit the spot.  So much so, that I kept making it even when I quit eating raw.  Partly because it is seriously one of the easiest things ever and partly because I just liked it.

So...here is the recipe...

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2c tahini
  • 1 c sesame seeds (I prefer black but use whatever you have on hand)
  • 1/3c honey
  • optional: 1/4c shaved coconut, unsweetened, or more to taste

So, ready for this.  Put all the ingredients in a bowl.  Mix.  Put in a freezer safe container and allow to harden.  Cut and serve.  I recommend some yummy fresh berries like raspberries or strawberries.  Mangos sound yummy too.  But I have not yet personally experienced that.  So, maybe too sweet. 

Store in the freezer to keep the firm texture.

COCONUT MAPLE BREAD RECIPE

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So, I lived in San Fran when I was a little girl.  My parents always would take us to this little diner/café for breakfast by the beach.  I can barely remember it.  But I remember the feel of the ocean in the morning air.  And sitting at the counter and always getting English muffins with cinnamon sugar.  Always. 

San Francisco is a toast town.  Who knew?  I certainly didn't before moving to the area.  But I got a quick introduction to all things toast.  One of the first weekends here I went to Trouble, upon the recommendation of someone I had met the week before.  On a slow lazy Sunday, I drove toward the Outer Sunset, with no real idea of where I was going.  I just drove and that is when it hit me.  Feeling the soft wet air carried up from the ocean.  Being roughly in the same neighborhood we would head as little girls.  Eating cinnamon sugar toast.  It wasn't that Trouble blew my mind but more for the sweetness and simplicity of it.  And the beach.  The slow vibes.  And better having listened to the background story of the history of toast + San Fran and Trouble's role in it (from Act Three of This American Life).  It was a great way to appreciate the city and get depth and a different perspective hearing its story and history.

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So, here I am, seven months later addicted to experimenting with bread.  It is my go to these days.  Maybe because it seems perfectly acceptable to eat toast here.  And on a daily basis.  My latest and probably favorite started with adapting Beth Kirby's Buttermilk and Honey Bread Recipe.  I kept adding and taking away until it felt just right. 

The beauty of this recipe is it is using a by product.  Using every last bit.  I use coconut pulp* left over from making coconut milk.  However, if you don't want to make coconut milk first, just use unsweetened shredded coconut.  The coconut pulp will be a bit more fine and lighter in flavor though.

Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 c warm water
  • 2 1/4 tsp yeast (or one package)
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 3 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 1/2 c whole milk yogurt (I never use greek yogurt while baking...just regular whole milk plain yogurt)
  • 1/2 c buttermilk (again, the higher the fat content the better)
  • 1/3 c maple syrup
  • 1 c coconut pulp*
  • 3 1/2 c all-purpose flour (start with 2 1/2 c and add the last cup as needed)
  • 1 t salt

Begin by combining the warm water, yeast, and honey in a cup and let proof.  Around 10 minutes.  You can tell when it is ready.  It will have filled the cup and will appear light and fluffy.  While the yeast is proofing, begin to melt the butter gently on low.  Once melted, add the yogurt and buttermilk and mix to combine and let warm.  Once warm, remove from the stove top and add the maple syrup and then the yeast mixture.  Combine the flour, coconut pulp, and salt in a large bowl and mix together.  Then pour in the wet ingredients and combine.  Begin to knead the bread in the bowl until all the flour is incorporated in and the dough is no longer sticky, but still soft.  Gently turn on to a floured surface and continue to knead until the dough bounces back when poked. 

Put the dough back into the bowl and cover the bowl with a moist towel.  Set in draft free place for two hours to let rise. 

Once the bread has risen to at least double in its size.  Remove from bowl and knead and shape into a loaf.  Put into a bread pan and again cover with the moist towel.  Allow to rise in the pan for an hour while the oven preheats at 375.  After the second rise, bake for 30-40 minutes.  Until bread is golden and has a hollow sound when you knock on it. 

Allow to cool in pan.  Enjoy! 

(Best served toasted with some homemade almond butter, sliced bananas, coconut shavings, cinnamon, fennel seed, bee pollen, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, and whatever else you deem to add to your toast.)

MARCH PLAYLIST

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This month my sis', Stepheny, came up with a playlist.  Can't wait to give it a listen.  Click here to listen for yourself.

  1. Ophelia // The Lumineers
  2. Surrender // Natalie Taylor
  3. Earned It // Bootstraps
  4. Grave Digger // Matt Maeson
  5. Beneath The Surface // Demons of Ruby Mae
  6. Set Us Free // The Sea The Sea
  7. Black Dreaming // Kyson
  8. You're the Last Thing on My Mind // Aron Wright
  9. Mama Said // Cat Clyde
  10. Why Don't You Listen // James Cherry
  11. Lucy The Tease // Allan Rayman
  12. Where's My Love // Syml
  13. Lou Lou // Albin Lee Meldau
  14. Give It Up // George Taylor
  15. Rise Up // Andra DAy
  16. Milk & Honey // Jessarea
  17. Ruby Blue // Sleeping At Last
  18. Pray You Catch Me // Brooklyn Duo
  19. Fallen // Gert Taberner
  20. Neurosis // Oliver Riot
  21. The Wisp Sings // Winter Aid
  22. A closeness // Dermot Kennedy
  23. Skin // Rag'n'Bone Man

 

FEBRUARY PLAYLIST

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It is a short playlist.  It is a short month.

Music has power.  Power to transport oneself.  To a place of emotion.  Maybe of escape.  Or distraction.  Or to relive a feeling or memory.  The other day I found myself starring out a window.  Looking at the world passing by.  I realized I felt melancholy.  That the music had taken me out of myself.  To someplace it wanted to go.  I did not even realize it was happening until it was over.  The moment the song ended, so did the trance I was under.  It was if I had suddenly woken.  Woken from the moment.  Woken from the feelings the notes and the words had brought forth in myself. 

The songs on this playlist have had the opposite affect.  They have woken me up.  Made me more aware of the moment.  Brought me to attention.  Gently.  Softly.  Bringing me out of my head and into the moment. 

  1. Dream Journal // Feverkin
  2. Alone, Not Alone // Bannerman
  3. Shines Like Silver // Linus HAblot
  4. Fallen // Gert Taberner
  5. Killin' Floor // Kail Baxley
  6. Secrets // Tribe Society
  7. Black Wave // K.Flay
  8. Brother // Anna Pancaldi
  9. Bet She Looks Like You // Nick Hakim
  10. 13 // Allan Rayman
  11. I'm the Wrong Man // Bannerman
  12. Echoes // Bannerman
  13. In Need // Gert Taberner
  14. Mirrors of Paradise // Kail Baxley
  15. Better Feeln' Better Days // Kail Baxley
  16. The Ballad of Johnny Steel // Kail Baxley

{to listen on Spotify, click here}

JANUARY PLAYLIST

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With the new year comes a season of calm.  Slowing down.  Looking back while looking forward.  I have come to love January.  To value it.  It is always with renewed intention I find myself inspired and encouraged to start again.  Planning and dreaming always requires a good bit of music being played in the background.  Listen along to what we have playing on repeat this month.

  1. Pour Another // Nick Hakim
  2. Time to Eat // Wangel
  3. Runner's High // Extended Version
  4. The Deep // Ross Henry
  5. My Love // Kisnou
  6. Buried by the Burden // Pacific Heights feat. Louis Baker
  7. Pens from Spain // Loch Lomond
  8. Waiting // Seramic
  9. Tear in My Heart // Twenty One Pilots
  10. Come Back For Me // Jaymes Young
  11. Seoul // Wangel
  12. Sorrowdrift // Wangel
  13. Money Store // XamVolo
  14. Rescue Me // XamVolo
  15. Foolish Kids // XamVolo
  16. The Forester's House // Ross Henry
  17. Blood in the Cut // K.Flay, Aire Atlantica
  18. Make Me Fade // K. Flay
  19. Dancing On My Own // Calum Scott
  20. Repeat // Allan Rayman, Jessie Reyez
  21. Koln // Brolin
  22. Red Sun // Twin Limb

{Listen on Spotify here}

 

THE WHY BECOMING THE HOW

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The first time I ever dyed something was in college.  And I swore never again.  Well maybe not swore, but I was determined.  All the cautions and warnings.  The instructions for disposing of the dye water, which was not simply allowed to be poured down the drain.  I was discouraged and disgusted.  Then, years later, for some reason which I cannot recall, I had the notion to try dyeing with turmeric and beets.  Because they both stain your hands dreadfully, why could they not dye fabric?  I had no idea what I was doing.  I almost ruined a pot in the process.  Fast forward some more years and I seriously began researching how to dye my own fabric.  I started with avocado and then moved to indigo and then kept going without looking back.  So here I am.  My journey down a path I would never have seen myself taking.  But the longer I am on this path, the more convinced of why I am dyeing naturally.

So much can be said about the toxic waste of the fashion industry and consumer consciousness.  However, that is a lot of responsibility to put on the consumer with each and ever purchase they make.  Ultimately it becomes a daunting and overwhelming task. And as the maker, ultimately, it is my responsibility to produce goods in the most careful, sustainable, conscious, and thoughtful way that I can.  For me that means trying to use resources at hand.  The waste (aka the stones and skins from avocados) from the food I consume, the plants I grow, the rain water collected (because why not...dyeing takes water), and the wild and free nature that abounds outside my doorsteps.  The dye vats when exhausted are used to water the plants around my home.  The dye materials are used in the garden as compost.  I line dry all the dyed goods (as I try to do with my own clothes weather pending) to conserve electricity and to take better care for the goods themselves.  From the start to the finish, I try to be responsible with that which is in my hands while it is. 

 

The goods I make are not just for a season but for a lifetime.  They are meant to be kept and loved and used for years to come.  But, should you tire of them, pass them off to someone else to keep and love and continue to use. 

I am always open to ideas and suggestions for continuing on a more sustainable and intentional path with LVR.  Thank you for your care and consideration in the goods you chose to buy.

love,

Virginia Ruth

December Playlist

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  1. Nocturnal Waltz // Johannes Bornlof
  2. Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi, The Four Seasons // Max Richter
  3. Hollow Heart // Silverbird
  4. Wager // Felix Riebl
  5. You're Not There // Lukas Graham
  6. LMT // BOOTS
  7. Hate to Love You // Octave Lissner
  8. Forever // BEn Heights
  9. Ford // Richard Skelton
  10. Human (I'm Only Human After All) // Tree House Fire
  11. What Did I Learn // Felix Riebl
  12. Tema Celeste // Roberto Cacciapaglia
  13. Retrograde // Feki & Glasshouse
  14. Be Your Love // Bishop Briggs
  15. Wrong Crowd - Piano Tapes // Tom Odell
  16. Daddy // Tom Odell

{Play on Spotify here}

Thanks...

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The other day found me in the woods, running up a mountain trail.  I can't make it to the top yet.  That is my goal.  (These woods pictured are not my running trail mind you.)

At the start of my morning run, I passed a couple with their dog.  We exchanged pleasantries as we moved along.  On my way back down, I again passed them.  The man commented on my running to the top, to which I said, "oh I walked some too".  He stopped, and with complete sincerity he said "thank you for being honest". 

Continuing on my way, I kept thinking how he thanked me for my honesty.  Honesty seems a given, a natural part of life.  Or what life should be.  What I expect life to be.  But the reality is it isn't.  May we all be men and women of integrity.  Known for honesty.  Characterized by truth.

*photos taken during a walk through Tennessee Valley

Home...

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I felt homesick for Tennessee the first time.  It was the first time I felt the urge to maybe move back...eventually.  Not yet.  I know it was a feeling for yesterday, and as I sit in my home and look out the window to my right, the sun is cascading through the trees as if a waterfall of golden light.  Glistening off of each and every leaf it touches.  There is a constant stream of cars and people passing by.  Not in the way you imagine traffic.  But instead with people going to and fro from Mt. Tamalpais.  Passer-byers only act as a call to abandon the indoors and go join in nature.  A constant call.  And one I love to hear.  One I need to hear.  One I never realized I was missing.

 

   

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls If You Please

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Cinnamon rolls.  They are my weakness.  Take me to a bakery with them and I am sold.  Anytime anywhere.  Cinnamon rolls.  So, what to do with four pumpkins I roasted and pureed?  Of course, make cinnamon rolls.  These are dairy free and use brown rice syrup and sucanat as the sweetener (except for the icing which can be omitted).

Recipe:

Makes 12

Ingredients

  • 1/4 c warm water
  • 1 pack yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp)
  • 6 c all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/3c + 1 tsp brown rice syrup
  • 4 Tbs coconut oil
  • 1/2c coconut milk (from a can...not the drinking beverage)
  • 1 c pureed pumpkin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

Filling:

  • 3/4 c sucanat
  • 2 Tbs coconut oil
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

Begin by combining the yeast and 1 tsp brown rice syrup in the warm water to proof.  Set aside for roughly 10 minutes until foamy.  Meanwhile, combine the flour, spices, and salt in a large mixing bowl, whisking to combine.  Set aside

In a small saucepan melt the coconut oil over low heat.  Add the coconut milk and warm gently.  Add the brown rice syrup and pumpkin and whisk to combine.  Remove from heat and add the yeast to the wet ingredients and again whisk to combine.  Stir into the flour mixture with a wooden spoon.  Work the dough together, kneading in the flour as needed until you have a manageable, soft dough that is no longer sticking.  Cover with a moist towel and let rise in a warm place for two hours.

Once the dough has had time to rise, sprinkle flour on your clean work surface and form into a rectangle, about a 1/2″ thick.

In a bowl, combine the sucanat and spices for the filling.  Spread the coconut butter evenly across the dough.  Sprinkle the filling mixture evenly over the dough, leaving a slight border around the edges (1/2″ to 1″).  Now, here comes the really only slightly difficult part.  Gently, yet tightly, roll the dough into a log (rolling in from one of the long sides).  The dough will be soft so try to make sure to get as tight a roll as possible.  Now, seal the dough and place the seam side down.  Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1″-1 1/2″ pieces. 

Carefully place the rolls into a 9″ x 13″ baking dish.  Some of the sucanat is sure to escape.  Don’t worry.  As you transfer the pieces to the baking dish, scoop up any lost sucanat and scatter along the bottom of the baking dish before placing the cinnamon roll.  This only helps the end result. You know the best part of a cinnamon roll?  The cinnamon that gets trapped on the bottom and caramelizes?  Yep…this just makes the bottoms even more gooey and caramelized.  I like to save some of the filling to sprinkle on the bottom of the pan to caramelize while baking.  Try to fit the cinnamon rolls as tightly together as possible so to help them maintain their shape while cooking. 

Now, cover with the towel and allow to rise for another hour.  At this point, I say put them in the fridge and go to bed and patiently wait until the morning.  Or if you are ready to bake them, go ahead.  If you put them in the fridge, make sure you allow them to come to room temperature before baking.

Heat oven while the rolls are rising or returning to room temperature to 350 degrees.  Place in the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes (checking after 20 minutes).  Bake until they are beginning to brown and color.  To test, tap them and make sure they feel set and cooked through.  But be mindful, they will still have some give and be soft.  Remove from oven and let cool completely.

While the cinnamon rolls are cooling, make your icing.  I used some of the coconut milk left over from the opened can, coconut oil, and powdered sugar but not quite sure the measurements.  Just whip them together and frost the cinnamon rolls and enjoy!

November Playlist

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November's playlist before it is too late...

  1. Unbelieving Souls // SOULS
  2. Baby Please // HONNE
  3. Lucy the Tease // Allan Rayman
  4. Tennessee // Allan Rayman
  5. Alabama's Song // Allan Rayman
  6. Graceland // Allan Rayman
  7. Keep on Keeping On // Anna Pancaldi
  8. All That I Am // Anna Pancaldi
  9. Nightingale // Anna Pancaldi
  10. Rescue Me // Unions
  11. Minnesota, WI // Bon Iver
  12. Your Future is Not Mine // Daisy, Illangelo, Joseph of Mercury
  13. Life Worth Living // Laurel
  14. Scattered // Xavier Dunn
  15. Alone // Billy Lockett
  16. Temporary Love // The Brinks
  17. Knocked Around // Jordan Max
  18. Bad Girl // Souls
  19. All That We've Become // Society
  20. Five Minutes // Her
  21. 14 Hours // Society
  22. The Fear The Hate // Society
  23. Protocol // Society

listen on Spotify here

A Place to Call Home

lovevirginiaruth

A friend recently asked me to describe my home.  This* is what I wrote...

Walking into my home feels a bit like you would imagine Hansel and Gretel to feel.  Trees surround me on all sides - giant redwoods.  It is as if a canopy rests gently above with pockets for sunshine to float down.  The house is built on the side of a mountain so half is supported with stilts.  It is wild and woodsy.

My home is probably no more than 20' x 20' in space.  The center of which has a spiral staircase rising to a loft with just enough room for a mattress.  You cannot walk - you have to crawl into bed.  Sitting up in the middle allows you to extend fully the height of your seated body, but you must be aware at what angle you begin this so as not to bump your head in the progress.  

The kitchenette is to the left upon entering, with just enough space.  To the right is the only closet/storage and my little work table.  Where you can find me most evenings, sitting under the glow of the light from above, working.  The wall to the right is entirely flanked by windows framed with gorgeous redwood.  There are 6 panels of glass with 4 swinging open freely to let in the California air.  Both the kitchen and the back wall have little windows, made perfectly for the cultivating of plants.  The ceiling has quite a nice peak.  Allowing light to pour in from the sky light and dance off the white walls. Every surface is white except for the dark wood floors which add a needed warmth to the space against the cold northern California air. 

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A sliding door acts as partition to the bathroom, which is actually seemingly large considering the size of the home.   Like the living room, there is a sky light which adds a soft grey glow at all times.  The ceiling has original wood beams and white tile floors, seemingly opposite of the main room.  From the skylight you can catch a glimpse of the home above, of the deck, which sits towering above, also built into the side of the steep mountain side with stilts, tall and spindly supporting the entirety of the home. 

I feel like in these days, I need to slow down.  Focus my mind.  Not just look at images.  But allow my mind to process what I am taking in both visually and audibly. I appreciated the question and the chance to stop and take in my surroundings.  To really look at them and process them.  And enjoy them.

*Necessary edits made

My California Life

lovevirginiaruth

It has been almost two months.  Two months since I said goodbye to Tennessee and headed out west.  I cannot believe it.  Life here is flying by.  Settling in was easy it seems.  But how has so much time passed?  I don't know how long I will be here and where might be next.  For now though, I am here.  Loving and living.

So, here is the latest playlist, with all the songs that have been playing repeat in my little casa built perfectly just for one.

  1. Ride // Twenty One Pilots
  2. I Remember // Fictionian
  3. Painting Greys // Emmit Fenn
  4. Happiness // NEEDTOBREATHE
  5. No Excuses // NEEDTOBREATHE
  6. Money & Fame // NEEDTOBREATHE
  7. It Takes A Lot to Know a Man // Damien Rice
  8. Slip // Elliot Moss
  9. Stone Cold // Demi Lovato
  10. Wilderness // Jens Kuross
  11. The Crown // Twin Caverns
  12. Swell (Clayjay Remix) // Twin Caverns
  13. Spirits //Vitamin String Quartet
  14. Heathens // Twenty One Pilots
  15. Introduction Nothingness // Hayden Calnin
  16. Hound Dog // Hayden Calnin
  17. Silhouette // Aquilo
  18. Habit // Gabrielle Shonk
  19. Insomnia // IAMX
  20. Black Dreaming // Kyson
  21. Hell // Jordan Max
  22. All the Days // Club Kuru
  23. Years - Acoustic // Matthew Koma
  24. Free Fall // Connor Pearson
  25. Don't Wait // Jon Bryant
  26. Deep Dark Valley // Jon Bryant
  27. That Way // Connor Pearson
  28. Elastic Heart // Longfellow
  29. Spirits // The Strumbellas
  30. Choose // Longfellow
  31. Stranger // Covey

{To listen on Spotify click here}