Soft, fluffy, and tender sweet orange rolls with warm cinnamon, melty dark chocolate, crunchy pistachios, and cardamom. Serve these sweet babies warm, and smothered in generous dollop of icing seeping between all of the layers and down the sides. That is how you should enjoy a roll. 

The yeasty smell of homemade cinnamon rolls sends me back to 4th grade, the year my mom started making various versions of cinnamon rolls; just about every weekend. She experimented with every recipe she could get her hands on. One recipe in particular was labeled "Cinnabon Copy Cat," to which I protested her ever making those. I found the whole signature middle of a Cinnabon to always be a unbaked disgusting glob of yeast. Why would someone like my mom want to mimic that, did she want me to die from salmonella? Because I would happily eat a bowl of cake batter, or raw cookie dough in exchange for an unbaked pretend Cinnabon! I'll take my salmonella chances that way any day. So many friends growing up loved the center, they craved that unbaked middle, but not me, no way Jose! Thankfully, my mom was brilliant and heard my pleas, she baked the rolls all the way through, and I ate a good portion of these fluffy cinnamon-laced bons dripping of sweet cream cheese glaze fresh from the pan and over the kitchen sink. No napkins or plates needed when you have a faucet of running water and a dish towel. And, although I still prefer to eat over the kitchen sink when I don't want to dirty up a plate, or waste a paper towel, I do think these regal rolls deserve a nice sit down with a freshly-made hot cup of coffee or tea.

Leave the fork and knife in the drawer. These rolls deserve every digit and thumb. I should warn you. You will have the urge to unroll and break off layers, and I whole-heartily encourage that. These rolls are jam-packed with and beg to be cracked open like a geode.

Pick a hot roll up straight from the pan, unravel, and dunk a broken layer into more orange glaze. I know. I love to get fancy. 

Please tell me: am I the only one that prefers a cooked-through roll or was the unbaked center the best part of a Cinnabon?





1 pkg. active dry yeast ( 2 and 1/4 tsp.)

2 c. whole milk

1/2 c. vegetable or canola oil

1/2 c. granulated sugar

4 1/2 c. flour, divided. plus extra

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

scant 2 tsp salt


1/2 c. unsalted butter, melted

1 c. leveled brown sugar

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 c. orange marmalade

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

4 oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped

1 tsp ground cardamom

1/2 c. unleveled  shelled and chopped pistachios

*Orange Glaze:

2 pounds powdered sugar

6 tbsp. melted butter

1/2 c. milk

1/2 c. orange juice

1 dash of salt







*recipe adapted and inspired from multiple sources:

Dough and filling adaption from Joy the Baker's Bonkers Awesome Pistachio Orange and Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls.  Orange Glaze and additional filling adaption from Pioneer Woman's Orange Marmalade Rolls.

For the dough, heat the milk, oil, and sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat to just below a boil. about 105 degrees F. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit on the milk for 1 minute.

Add 4 cups of the flour directly to the saucepan. Stir until just combined, then cover with the lid to the pan, set aside in a warm spot for 1 hour. I will leave on or near the stove if it's in a sunny spot and still warm, or if your home has come equipped with a bathroom warm bulb, that will do the trick. Or, if it is a warm day, I have been known to leave the dough to rise in my car parked in the street. Check the dough after 30 minutes to ensure it is rising well.  After 1 hour, remove the lid an add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and remaining 1/2 cup of flour. Stir thoroughly to combine. At this point, you may use the dough right away or cover and refrigerate to use the next morning. 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit with the racked placed in the upper third and center of the oven. Grease 2 pie tins or 2 8x8-inch square baking pans. set aside.

To assemble the rolls, remove half of the dough from the pan/bowl onto a floured surface. Roll the dough into a rectangle, about 12 x 8-inches. The dough should be rolled fairly thin. 

-since we are using half of the dough, remember to halve the toppings-.

 Spread half of the orange marmalade over the surface of the dough. Pour half of the melted butter over that and sprinkle generously with half of the sugar, half of the cinnamon, half of the cardamom, and half of the chocolate and pistachios. last, sprinkle with salt.

Beginning at the long side farthest from you, roll the dough tightly towards you, finishing with the seam side down.  At this point, you may cover and refrigerate the rolls to bake tomorrow (they will slice easier once firmed from a long nap in the fridge). or you make bake directly, just remember to turn off the oven if hanging on for another day. Slice the dough into 8 equal slices and arrange in one of the prepared pans. set aside and repeat the process with the remaining half of the dough. 

Allow sliced rolls to rest for 15 minutes.

Place into heated oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the rolls are bubbling and golden brown. 

While the rolls are baking assemble the glaze. Whisk together the glaze ingredients being cautious with the addition of the liquids. I prefer a thick glaze so I add until I hit my preferred consistency. Mixture should still be pourable. Immediately drizzle orange glaze over the top of warm slightly-cooled rolls and enjoy!

And, always, always serve these babies warm with a generous dollop of icing, seeping down the sides and into all of the layers. That is how you should eat a roll. 




I've got some fun food events up on the horizon. AND. Loads of activities at OMSI!

Let's get straight to the point.

Thursday, January 11th + 18th


Ray Restaurant, formally known as Lincoln Restaurant on North Williams a restaurant from Portland cookbook author and previous Top Chef Master's competitor, Jenn Louis. Jenn's newest creation, Ray, celebrates the diverse cultures and culinary traditions of Israel. Part of that celebration is highlighting all of the many cultures that reside inside of Israel.

For the month of January Ray will feature two special dinners aside from the regular menu. 

  • 01/11 Lincoln old-school pasta dinner
  • 01/18 Israeli Russian dinner

The dinners will cost $40 for food courses with beverage pairings available separately. 503-288-6200 for reservations. Vegetarian or non-vegetarian options are available, please note at time of reservation. 

Sunday, January 21st


Rally Pizza is launching a quarterly "Sunday Dinner" series, each dinner with a different regional Italian-inspired theme. The first dinner of this series will take place on Sunday, January 21st 5-9pm, with the theme "Volcanic Wines of Italy"

The dinner is 5 courses at $40 for food and an additional $20 for a four-course wine pairing and optional dessert wine. The regions represented are Campania, Sardinia, and Sicily. Chefs Alan Maniscalco and Shan Wickham's menu is inspired by these regions, with wine from each region to pair.

Volcanic Wines of Italy Menu:

Amuse: Chickpea fritters with smoked chile aioli

Antipasti: Frito misto -or- house made burrata with artichokes, citrus, and avocado.

Pasta: Handmade saffron pasta with slow cooked chicken and tomato sauce -or- tomato, soffritto, and ricotta salata

Entree: Meat course (either lamb or porchetta) -or- choice of pizza: Margherita, Marinara, or Amatriciana (tomato sauce, red onions, guanciale, pecorino). Entree comes with contorni (veggie sides): rapini, roasted carrots, and cipollini agrodolce.

Dessert: Cannoli sundae

This menu will be served in place of Rally Pizza's usual dinner menu from 5-6 p.m. on Sunday, January 21st. Reservations are recommended: (360) 524 9000.

above photos courtesy of Little Green Pickle.

Thursdays starting January 11th


Every Thursday from 6-9 p.m., now through April 5th guests are invited to North 45 Pub to meet local brewers, enjoy free tastings, $4 pints, and delicious BBQ specials.

During the Brew Hog series, North 45 Pub will host a different local guest brewery each week to showcase their brews with free tasting. Chef Ashley Waechtner will prepare smoked ribs and pork specials to pair with that week's beer selection. 

North 45 "Brew Hog" Series Schedule:

P.s. the 4/5 Blowout party is benefiting Ronald McDonald House Charities of Oregon and Southwest Washington.

Also, while there, check out the North 45 Pub's newly renovated large year-round patio, complete with a new domed tent and high-efficiency duct tent heaters! Possibly your next destination for a pub crawl?!


Tuesday, January 16th and various events dates


OMSI science pub is a monthly event held in multiple locations throughout the state and is open to all ages. No scientific background is required. Just bring your curiosity, sense of humor, appetite for food, drinks, and knowledge!

Science Pub Portland: Building Grand

Location: Empirical Theater at OMSI

When: January 16, 7 p.m.

Cost: $5 advance purchase for guaranteed seats; $5 suggested donation at the door. 

With Raymond “Paul” Giroux, Dist. M. ASCE, Senior Estimating Manager at Kiewit Infrastructure West Co.

OMSI After Dark

Enjoy child-free, brain-building science fun featuring live demos, new exhibitions and old favorites! Guests can indulge in tasty snacks, sweets and beer and wine from regional food and beverage artisans. 21+ only, IDs required. OMSI After Dark is typically held on the last Wednesday of every month. Special tasting editions are presented by Entercom and may be held on different days of the week.

Bourbon and Bacon

January 13, 7-10pm

Experience the science of intoxicating flavors and smoky pairings as we enter the sphere of Bourbon and Bacon at OMSI After Dark.


Now You See It

January 31, 6-10 p.m.

Step into the mysterious realm that Houdini once called home and explore the science behind the curtain.

OMSI Contact Info

Phone: 503.797.4000

Website: www.omsi.edu


Museum General Admission: $14.50 (adults) | $9.75 (ages 3-13) | $11.25 (ages 63+)

Submarine: $6.75 (Tours are for ages 3 and above), $5.75 for members

Empirical Theater: $7-$8.50 (adults) | $6-$6.50 (ages 3-13) | $6-7 (ages 63+) | $1 off for members Planetarium/Laser Shows: $5.75-$7.50 non-members | $4.75-$7.50 members

OMSI Hours: Open Tuesday through Sunday (closed Mondays) 9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Special Open Mondays: Jan 15, Jan 29, Feb 19, Mar 26



We all have one or two insecurities. Some of us have more, and some may have none. My insecurities change through the years and even as frequently as daily; some range from physical appearances, to my abilities in some areas that often leave me feeling inept. But, one of the biggest and most recent insecurities comes from something I've worked on correcting years ago, my bottom teeth. I know this sounds crazy to some people, but it has bothered me as I have seen my bottom teeth shift, changing postition over the years. 

In my early teens, I had braces. I had braces to correct my top upper buck teeth and to move my bottom teeth into alignment. The overall process was years ago and I achieved great results, but over time I lost my bottom retainers, and I never updated my top retainer after it had cracked. Add in years of grinding, and general neglect with wearing my top retainers and my teeth have started to shift,  my bottom teeth are in such a way that I have a hard time admiring my smile the same way others do. I can't look at myself talking on video without staring at my bottom teeth, I focus in on them like a hypnotic spiral, it is without a doubt one of my top insecurities. 


I have consulted with my current dentist about doing a very well known clear aligner brand but the upfront cost, even with insurance, was a bit too steep to toss on my credit card or make payments on. After hearing about Smile Direct Club from multiple podcasts stations my curiosity peaked, I decided to research the company and see if, overall, I would be a good candidate -since I am only wanting to correct some minor alignment issues. 

After filling out a Smile Assessment form online about the current condition of my teeth, I received results saying that I  was a great candidate for Smile Direct Club. On November 13th, I decided to take the plunge and ordered my impression kit. Within days I received my kit right on my doorstep with everything inside to start my new smile journey!

One huge perk of Smile Direct Club is the cost, it's an all upfront one cost journey. And, way less than other leading brands on the market!

Smile Direct Club has two payment options, which I have listed below. I have personally chosen to go with the Single Pay option.


$80 a month for 24 months

$250 lab fee down payment


$1850 one-time payment

lab fee waived

One thing to note* the cost of the impression kit is separate from the total cost of the aligners. 

I have a code to share with you for 50% off of your impressions kit:


The impression kit is pretty straightforward. The very same box that arrived on my doorstep contains the entire kit to get started. It also happens to be the same box you will return your completed impressions in. Pre-paid mailing sticker applied and a sticker to seal it all up comes included in the kit. The only extra items you need to get started is: a timer, a towel, and possibly an extra set of hands to help you get your "before" photos!

The Impressions Kit comes with a super rudimentary guide outlining everything you need to know about achieving correct impressions, I recommend reading it entirely and having it close by while you make your impressions. Also, don't forget a towel, there will be lots of drool. No mouth is safe from this!

Watch the clock as the putty sets quickly and needs to remain in your mouth for and entire 3 minutes and 30 seconds while it sets. 

Once you've completed all four impressions (for of your uppers, and two of your lowers) you are all set! The only thing missing is actual teeth photos!

After I finished my impressions I had to take some fancy (read, not super photogenic photos) of my chompers from multiple angles. The kit includes a Smile Spreader, which is really just a fancy name for a contraption that spreads your lips apart so that you can capture your back molars and every cavity with an unsightly filling. 


Now that my impressions have been mailed off in the same box they arrived in (with an already applied shipping label), I get the hard task of waiting so impatiently for my 3D rendering of my smile-to-be!

Stay tuned as I will be updating with my progress!


Don't forget to use my CODE for half-off your impressions kit!


this post is not sponsored in any way, I just really want to share my journey with everyone


Wow! December is a busy enough month as it is and then throw in a few extra family fun events at OMSI, a beer and coffee collaboration, and a DIY event with Pigeon Toe Ceramics and California Olive Ranch and you've got a month of collaborations!


GroundWorks Coffee is teaming up with local Portland, Oregon brewers for a "brewers' series" to create unique coffee beers to feature a different Groundwork organic coffee roast chosen by the brewers and featured in a style of beer that's not typically combined with coffee. 

The series kicks off on December 6th with Stormbreaker Brewing. Stormbreaker has created a delicious Coffee and Cream Ale called " MOCABE LO SABE" featuring single origin coffee beans Groundwork sourced from the MOCABE Organic Farmer Co-Op in the Chiapas region of Mexico. This beer has a luxurious bouquet of bittersweet chocolate and organic coffee, with creamy, full bodied mouthfeel from flaked wheat, flaked oats, and lactose. Subtle brown sugar sweetness is imparted by the light roast of the organic Mexico coffee beans, combined with the malt backbone of American 2 row barley. It's balanced with NW Cascade and Willamette hops.

Event Details:

Facebook Event Page HERE!



California Olive Ranch has teamed up with a local favorite, Pigeon Toe Ceramics for a special workshop.

This collaboration is in celebration of California Olive Ranch’s “Made Right, Here” national campaign which aims to give a voice to other makers that are equally dedicated to artfully crafted, sustainable products. Together, the two makers have synced up to host a truly special workshop. On Thursday, December 14, California Olive Ranch and Pigeon Toe will offer olive oil tastings, Pigeon Toe tumbler customizations, and complimentary drinks and bites by Olympia Provisions at Tillamook Station. 

tickets can be found here:

California Olive Ranch and Pigeon Toe Ceramics!



This holiday season lands us at OMSI to see towering sculptures, sweet science demonstrations and build-it-yourself workshops at the second annual Gingerbread Adventures.

Five local architecture firms and bakeries have teamed up to design and build gingerbread sculptures focused on the theme “Illusions”:

  • Soderstrom Architects & Bon Appetit Management Company with “Keep Portland Meird”
  • SRG Partnership & Nothing Bundt Cakes with “Gingerbread City”
  • LRS Architects & Jaciva’s Bakery with “The Illusement Park”
  • ZGF Architects & Papa Haydn with “Once Upon an Elf”
  • Dangermond Keane Architecture & Sugar Street Portland with “Ev-illusion”

Gingerbread Adventures, sponsored by New Seasons, highlights the innovation and food science that goes into assembling elaborate gingerbread sculptures. Food science intertwines biology, technology, engineering, architecture and physics in the creation of these artistic creations showcasing Portland’s diverse cultural experience, innovative food scene, and architectural expertise.