Ever since our move, I’ve been living the life of the unemployed. Well, OK, I’ve got a couple of little social media gigs, and I’m obviously still yammering at you guys once a week, so let’s call it “barely employed.” My days consist of obsessively checking my email, doing yoga, obsessively refreshing Boulder’s Craigslist job listings, cleaning my house, and obsessing over whether Blair and Nate will ever get back together. (A non-sequitur aside: Per usual, I’m several years behind on the latest trends, but can I just say that streaming Gossip Girl on Netflix is the most amazing and addictive thing ever?!?! Ever!)
But don’t worry about me, folks. I prepared myself for this jobless period way before we ever established ourselves on Colorado soil, and I know that it’s just a matter of time before 1) some amazing opportunity comes my way, 2) I have the epiphany that I can make a living off of writing, 3) I learn of a long lost fourth cousin once removed, who left me millions and I’m set for life, or 4) I start selling Papered Chef and Mary Kay because motivation gave way to desperation, in which case I want you to slap me upside the head and hand me a stiff drink.
It’s been over seven years since I’ve been without a job, so finding what to do with myself during the day can get quite interesting. Lucky for me, I’m an only child, which means I can entertain myself for hours with just about anything – or nothing, for that matter. I’m a staunch believer in the phrase (which I adopted from my mom, a fellow only child) “boredom is self-inflicted”; there’s always something to do, it’s just getting the motivation to do it. And when all else fails? TV turns on, butt lands on couch. No guilt, no judgment.
What I’m getting at is, I’ve got time during the day to focus on things that the employed me wouldn’t (when I’m not obsessing over email, Craigslist, or undiscovered typos on my resume, of course). For instance: homemade sticky buns. Flipping through my latest Everyday Food (Hi, Martha! Got any openings?!), there was a feature on tangerines and all of the fabulous things you can do with them, both sweet and savory. Of the several delicious-sounding recipes was one for tangerine and pistachio sticky buns. The recipe called for a batch of homemade tangerine marmalade, which, on a low motivation day, sounded just about as fun as poking myself in the eye with a sharp stick. I mean, I’ve got time, just not that much time. The solution? A jar of fancy French apricot preserves, of course.
What’s interesting about these little guys is their lack of cinnamon, which is usually prevalent in most sticky buns. Instead, toasty pistachios are whizzed together with brown sugar (or in my case, white sugar with maple syrup), to make a sweet, crumbly filling. Plenty of melted butter is added for increased gooeyness, and a pinch of salt is thrown in to heighten the flavors. Use whatever kind of preserves you like, here; anything goes. Less than an hour in the oven, and you’ve got yourself a pan of sweet, sticky goodness.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some email checking and Craigslist refreshing to do. Enjoy!
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Apricot Pistachio Buns
(adapted from Everyday Food)
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. shelled pistachios
5 Tbs. butter, melted
1 1/2 lb. dough (thawed, if frozen)
1/2 c. apricot preserves
1/4 tsp. salt
In a food processor, pulse the brown sugar and pistachios until coarsely ground. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of the sugar nut mixture into an 8 inch round baking pan and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of melted butter.
On a lightly floured surface, roll and stretch the dough into a 12×18 inch rectangle. Spread with preserves, leaving a 1 inch border. Top with remaining sugar /nut mixture, sprinkle with salt, and drizzle with the remaining butter. Starting at a long edge, roll up the dough like a jelly roll. Cut crosswise into 8 pieces, place in the baking pan, cover, and store in a warm, draft-free place until the buns have risen and are touching, about an hour.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Place the pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the buns are golden brown, about 35 minutes. Immediately run a knife around the edge of the pan and invert the buns onto a serving platter. Serve warm.
* If the above slideshow doesn’t load, you can view all the photos from this recipe on Flickr.
Laura is a regular contributor for the Fayetteville Flyer. She was born and raised in Fayetteville, but has recently moved to Boulder, Colorado. She is a self-proclaimed foodie and avid cook. For more from Laura, see her past stories, visit Flyer Foodie on Facebook or check out Prana & Pie.