Friday, March 7, 2014


I for one, completely believe in the notion of creativity being a thing that ebbs and flows, a tank that can fill up and run empty. If you are tapped out, putting your butt in the chair is a waste of time.Yep, I said it. Sometimes writing every day, no matter what, is not the best thing to do. In fact, I think it can be counterproductive. Attempting to force yourself, just putting down words for the sake of putting down words, even if it’s crap and will be edited later, can not only be a waste of time, but have a negative impact. When the mindset isn’t there, you’re better off doing things that will help refill that well of creativity.
- J.N. Duncan
Sometimes when your genius has been hijacked by artist’s block, your brain is drained, your passion for creating has deserted you and you are desperately struggling to find inspiration, taking a break and letting things go is highly recommended. In such circumstances, forcing your burned-out self to be productive leads to a dead end and will only worsen your case as proficiency is volatile like fire and as imprevisible as a wild horse. It cannot be tamed, controlled or commanded.

Creativity is not a bottomless pit and our resources are not endless. Hence, from time to time, we have to step away from it all in order to get our juices back and replenish our batteries; trying to start a car that has run out of gas is senseless and your efforts will be to no avail as long as you haven’t refuelled your vehicle. This is the reason why doing something completely unrelated areates our minds, offers us a different perspective, stimulates our imagination and helps us refill our creative tank.

One reason that people have artist’s block is that they do not respect the law of dormancy in nature. Trees don’t produce fruit all year long, constantly. They have a point where they go dormant. And when you are in a dormant period creatively, if you can arrange your life to do the technical tasks that don’t take creativity, you are essentially preparing for the spring when it will all blossom again.
- Marshall Vandruff
You are NOT a failure, so there’s no need to panic, beat yourself up over your lack of brilliantness, let your current state depress you and feel guilty about procrastinating. Each of us has been there more than once and it’s perfectly normal to go though periods of fruitlessness now and again.

Chalet Facade
Brain overload?

In nature, there is a seasonality to everything and the same applies to you; one day, your enthusiasm is at its peak and the next it is dead. Consequently, it is primordial to banish stress as well as negative thought patterns since they are extremely nocive and destructive. Instead of ruminating and focusing on your inability to accomplish your tasks, you’d better relax, breath in and out, savour each moment of your time-out, treat yourself lovingly and accept that you are functioning at a slower pace. Letting your creativity go dormant for a while can only have a positive effect on your intellect and ameliorate your morose mood.

Of course, aside from unwinding and escaping your stiffly studio/workroom, caring for your health is important too as emotional, spiritual and physical unwellness can be a hindrance to fecund ingenuity. Thus never neglect your heart, soul and body and don’t forget that all three also need to be nurtured and “fed”, otherwise they’ll continue cramping your creativity.

So, eat wholesome food and prepare energy boosting meals, exercise daily (work-out at the gym or go out for walks) and try to regain your interior balance/peace by sleeping enough, meditating, being optimistic, elevating your self-esteem, eleminating your crippling fears, steering clear from toxic people, surrounding yourself only with individuals who respect and appreciate/love you and solving your existential crisis(es). 

Autumn In Veyrier
Coming out of the tunnel...

Personally, I find that introspective and frivolous activities (contemplation, outdoor sports, reading, listening to music, visiting museums, travelling, socializing, partying, etc…) are the perfect remedy for my blockage as they stabilize me and break my routine, but there is no doubt that researching on the subject of your project, enrolling in workshops or finding a muse can also improve your situation drastically…

This is my two cents worth of advice, and you can take it or leave it. The thoughts and tips I have shared here with you are based on my latest experience with artist’s block, a crippling “illness” from which it is often difficult to recover as speedily as one desires.

Anyway, be reassured, I haven’t thrown the towel yet. The healing process has been activated and I’m fighting my demons with force and determination!

Meanwhile, here’s a recipe for the absolute best “Cinnamon Rolls” I have ever eaten. I hope you’ll enjoy these extremely soft, exquisitely lush and divinely boozy doughy treats as much as I did.

Cinnamon Rolls
Cinnamon Rolls With Baileys Icing
Recipe taken from Peter Reinhart's "The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering The Art Of Extraordinary Bread" and adapted by myself.

Yields 8 to 12 servings.

Ingredients For The Dough:
6 1/2 Tbs (98g) Granulated/castor sugar
1 Tsp Fine sea salt
5 1/2 Tbs (83g) Unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 Large egg, slightly beaten
1 Tsp Pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 Cups (480g) All-purpose flour
2 Tsp Instant yeast
1 1/8-1 1/4 Cups (270-300g) Whole milk, at room temperature

Ingredients For The Filling: 
1/2 Cup Cinnamon sugar (6 1/2 tbs/98g light brown sugar plus 2 tsp ground cinnamon)

Ingredients For The Icing:
2 Cups (240g) Confectioner's sugar, sifted
4 Tbs (60g) Unsalted or salted butter, at room temperature
3-6 Tbs Baileys
1 Tsp Vanilla extract


1. In an electric mixer (paddle attachment) and on medium-high speed, cream together the sugar, salt and butter. Whip in the egg and vanilla extract until smooth. Then add the flour, yeast and milk. Mix on low speed until the dough forms a ball. Switch to the dough hook and increase the speed to medium, mixing for approximately 10 minutes, until the dough is silky and supple, tacky but not sticky (you may have to add a little flour or water while mixing to achieve this texture).

2. Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.

3. Mist your working surface with spray oil and transfer the dough to the working surface.

Cinnamon Rolls
4. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin, lightly dusting the top with flour to keep it from sticking to the pin. Roll it into a rectangle about 1.6cm (2/3 inch) thick and 35cm (14 inches) wide by 30cm (12 inches) long (don´t roll out the dough too thin, otherwise the finished rolls will be tough and chewy rather than soft and plump).

5. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the surface of the dough and beginning at the 35cm (14 inches) end, roll the dough up into a cigar-shaped log, creating a cinnamon-sugar spiral as you roll. With the seam side down, cut the dough into 8 to 12 pieces, each about 3.8cm (3/4 inches) thick.

6. Line one sheet pan with baking parchment and place the rolls approximately 1.5cm (1/2 inch) apart so that they aren´t touching, but are close enough to one another.

7. Let the rolls proof at room temperature for 75 to 90 minutes, or until the pieces have grown into one another and have nearly doubled in size (you may also retard the proofing by putting the cinnamon rolls in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, pulling the pan out of the refrigerator 3 to 4 hours before baking, thus allowing the dough to proof).

8. Preheat the oven to 180° C (350° F) and
position a baking rack in the middle of the oven.

9. Bake the cinnamon rolls for 20 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

10. Cool the rolls in the pan for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile mix the butter, confectioner's sugar and vanilla extract together, then add the Baileys 1 tablespoon at a time until the glaze reaches the desired consistency. Streak the icing across the tops, while the rolls are warm but not too hot. Remove the rolls from the pans and place them on a cooling rack (wait for at least 20 minutes before serving).

If Baileys is not your cup of tea, you can substitute it with any other alcohol and if you dislike vanilla extract, you can also replace it with the flavoring of your choice (lemon extract, orange extract, coffee powder, etc...). And in case you prefer plain icing, then
make the glaze without any flavorings (use milk instead of Baileys).

Serving suggestions:
Serve with milk, tea or coffee.

Cinnamon Rolls Glacés Au Baileys
Recette tirée de "The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering The Art Of Extraordinary Bread" par Peter Reinhart et adaptée par moi-même.

Pour 8 à 12 portions.

Ingrédients Pour La Pâte: 
98g de Sucre cristal 
1 CC de Sel de mer fin 
83g de Beurre non-salé, à température ambiante
1 Gros œuf, légèrement battu 
1 CC d'Extrait de vanille pure
480g de Farine blanche 
2 CC de Levure en sèche instantanée
270-300g ml de Lait entier, à la température ambiante
Ingrédients Pour La Garniture: 
1/2 Tasse de Sucre à la cannelle (98g de sucre brun clair/cassonnade + 2 CC de cannelle en poudre) 
Ingrédients Pour Le Glaçage:
240g de Sucre en poudre, tamisé
4 CS de Beurre non-salé ou salé, à température ambiante
3-6 CS de Baileys 
1 CC d'Extrait de vanille pure

Dans un robot de cusine (batteur plat) et à vitesse moyennement élevée, battre le sucre, le sel et le beurre
en crème. Ajouter l'oeuf ainsi que l'extrait de vanille et battre jusqu'à consistance lisse. Puis ajouter la farine, la levure et le lait. Mélanger le tout à vitesse basse, jusqu'à ce que la pâte forme une boule. Remplacer le batteur plat par un crochet pétrisseur et pétrir la pâte à vitesse moyenne, pendant environ 10 minutes, ou jusqu'à ce que la pâte soit souple, soyeuse, humide, mais pas collante (afin d'obtenir cette texture, ajouter un peu de farine - si trop sèche - ou d'eau - si trop mouillée). 

2. Huiler légèrement un grand bol et y transférer la pâte (bien l'enduire d'huile en la faisant tourner dans le bol). Couvrir le bol d'un film plastique et laisser lever à température ambiante pendant environ 2 heures, ou jusqu'à ce que la pâte ait doublé de volume. 

3 . Brumiser votre surface de travail avec de l'huile et y déposer la pâte.

4. Etaler la pâte en un rectangle d'environ 1,6 cm d'épaisseur et de 35cm x 30cm, tout en saupoudrant légèrement le dessus de celle-ci avec de la farine pour l'empêcher de coller au rouleau (ne pas étaler la pâte trop finement autrement les petits pains seront durs et secs au lieu d'être moelleux et humides). 

5. Saupoudrer le sucre à la cannelle sur la surface de la pâte et enrouler la pâte en commençant par replier le bord le plus long pour obtenir un long rouleau. Couper la pâte en 8 à 12 morceaux chacun d'environ 3,8 cm d'épaisseur. 

6. Tapisser une plaque à pâtisserie avec du papier sulfurisé et placer les petits pains sur la plaque en laissant un espace d'environ 1,5 cm entre eux, de sorte à ce qu'ils ne se touchent pas mais qu'ils soient tout de même assez proches les uns des autres. 

7. Laisser vos cinnamon rolls lever à température ambiante pendant 75 à 90 minutes, ou jusqu'à ce qu'ils aient presque doublé de volume (vous pouvez également retarder le processus en les mettant au réfrigérateur - pendant 2 jours au maximum/retirer la plaque du réfrigérateur 3 à 4 heures avant la cuisson afin de permettre aux cinnamon rolls de lever). 

8. Placer une grille au milieu du four et préchauffer le four à 180° C (350 ° F). 

9. Faire cuire les cinnamon rolls pendant 20 à 30 minutes, ou jusqu'à ce qu'ils soient légèrement dorés.

10. Les laisser refroidir dans la plaque pendant environ 10 minutes. pendant ce temps, mélanger ensemble le sucre en poudre, le beurre et l'extrait de vanille, puis ajouter le Baileys une CS à la fois, jusqu'à obtention de la consistance désirée. Etaler le glaçage sur les petits pains encore chauds (mais pas trop). Retirer les cinnamon rolls de la plaque et les mettre sur une grille de refroidissement (attendre au moins 20 minutes avant de les manger).

Si le Baileys n'est pas votre tasse de thé, vous pouvez le remplacer par tout autre alcool de votre choix (liqueur de café, whisky, liqueur d'orange, etc...). Il en va de même avec l'extrait de vanille (extrait de citron, extrait d'orange, café en poudre, etc .. ). Et au cas où vous préféreriez les glaçages simples, utiliser du lait à la place du Baileys et de la vanille.

Idées de présentation:
Servir avec un verre de lait, du thé ou du café.

Cinnamon Rolls


  1. Hummmmmm... je t'en prendrais bien un bout...

  2. These look just fabulous! Truly excellent recipe. And thought provoking thoughts on creativity. Excellent post -- thanks.

  3. Gorgeous cinnamon rolls and bookmarked for as soon as I return from the USA. I have been suffering from writer's block, been in a creative and emotional funk lately and I totally agree with you.... even though I find it extremely difficult to walk away and do something else. Baking, going for a walk or a drive with JP and reading all help.

  4. Beautiful post, Rosa, both your sentiments and recipe! Photos are gorgeous and ironically, I've been dying for a good cinnamon roll! ;)

  5. These photos are really making me drool big time and I am craving for some cinnamon rolls right now!!!

  6. Lovely refreshing ready Rosa. Sometimes I don't feel "funny" and I get down on myself if my posts don't make people's tough sometimes!

  7. Now, that's what I am talking about-))) So scrumptious and mouthwatering! I did not have cinnamon roll for ages!



  8. Love this post Rosa! Agree with you. When you find yourself at a block, it is better to step back and do something else rather than attempt to plough on. It either leads to frustration or disaster or both ;). Glad to see you writing again! And those rolls are something to be inspired about :)

  9. These cinnamon buns look simply amazing, Rosa.
    Have to bake a batch soon too.

  10. Superbes photos et ce glaçage est intéressant ! J'ai hâte de le tester.

  11. Ça doit avoir un succès fou!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Lovely words..:)

    You are certainly one to never offer less than your best:)

    There are seasons in ecah and ever one of us you are so right....
    The quote you added is spot on..
    I must pin these Rosa..haven't made in a decade I think..

  13. These are so gorgeous, Rosa. I love the Baileys icing!

  14. These are so gorgeous, Rosa. I love the Bailey's frosting!

  15. It's easy to believe are the best cinnamon roll ever, they look absolutely fantastic. I am glad to read you are fighting back your demons. I have to tell you I really enjoyed reading this post, there's a big part of me that struggles to be consistent and keep itself motivated. I am also too stubborn so I end up feel very uncomfortable about my blocks... you're so right: "we have to step away from it ", sometimes.

  16. Every word here reflects my innermost feelings. Thank you for saying them so beautifully Rosa. What a beautiful way to compare ourselves as truly being part of the nature. I think you spoke for all. LOVE.

    And cinnamon rolls are my weakness. These has to be the best.

  17. Wah, Baileys icing sounds very tempting right now. Thank you for your wonderful idea Roasa!

  18. Rien qu'en lisant le mot Bayley, ça me plaît. !!!
    Bon week end à toi aussi.

  19. This looks so yummy... I love cinnamon rolls! And your fotos are extremely good, Rosa!
    Have a nice weekend, Barbara

  20. Amazing! If only I could hop on a plane tonight and enjoy these with you over coffee in the morning. :)

  21. G'day and GORGEOUS!!! Pinned and tweeted the love today! Wish I could try some of these right now...GREAT photos as always! Cheers! Joanne

  22. Beautiful photos, words and recipe, Rosa! I want one of your rolls right now!

  23. I want these rolls for brunch over the weekend. Love :)

  24. Gorgeous pics Rosa! These rolls are perfectly made and only a professional baker, like you, can do this!
    Drooling right now!
    Bises xx

  25. What a tasty post! I'm yet to make cinnamon rolls. Yours are quite an inspiration! :) ela

  26. Good ideas for overcoming your writer's block, Rosa. And your rolls are gorgeous! I can just imagine how divine they smelled while cooking. Nothing better than a hot cinnamon roll!

  27. These are mind activating thoughts you have shared with us today Rosa. The depth of one's soul does not always seek to be free at the exact moment that we call upon it. It is necessary sometimes to let it ease out to the surface and capture its meaning. Your words are as exquisite as the images and offering you have shared today. Thank you so much, Rosa...

  28. Howdy Rosa ! gosh, your rolls look absolutely delish. Its one of my favourite.
    Hope you're going to have a fabulous weekend dear.
    Blessings, Kristy

  29. Schon soo lange keine Zimtschnecken mehr gegessen. Ach, sehen die gut aus. Und nun gehe ich: "replenish my batteries". Liebe Grüsse.

  30. cannot think of a better way to eat cinnamon rolls (which are becoming popular in Beirut) than to kick them up with Bailey's/ I admire your honesty online and totally agree with your sentiments. Bravo.

  31. I'm definitely in need of breaking up my routine and getting re-inspired. And, now I'm need of these cinnamon rolls. They look positively amazing!

  32. Wow Wow Wow! These leap off the the rolls!

  33. Ils sont tout simplement Parfaits…et donnent très envie d'en manger un de suite.
    Merci beaucoup et bon weekend.

  34. Je suis en amour avec tes photos... dire qu'il s'agit là de mon dessert préféré. Trop tentant!



  35. Rosa, these look like the most perfect cinnamon rolls ever. The addition of Bailey's is just brilliant! When I hit a block, I do goofy things, anything that involves laughter, which seems to clear my head. That said, it was good to see your comment. You don't have to give a cinnamon roll for me to know you're a true friend. I've enjoyed your blog and known you for almost 6 years now! Wow. xo

  36. these look amazing and wonderful advice so true about the seasons and having periods of dormancy hugs always love your blog

  37. They look like Cinnamon Roll perfection. So glad to see you baking again.

  38. Oh la la !!! Tu titilles ma gourmandise ma chère Rosa avec tes fabuleux cinnamon rolls... Je suis en train d'admirer tes photos et je me dis qu'une belle brioche au goûter de ce magnifique dimanche ensoleillé, serait une très très bonne idée !
    Je t'embrasse

  39. They are making me drool Rosa..:-) looks very delicious and those gorgeous photos are sure making me want for some now!

  40. These rolls are looking just PERFECT. Love the idea of using Baileys in your icing.

  41. Comme ils sont gourmands ces roulés !! Tes photos sont toujours aussi agréables à regarder. Bonne semaine,bises

  42. Oh my heaven! Fantastic looking. You're truly gifted. I'm printing the recipe for my husband. He loves to make cinnamon rolls for his co-workers.

  43. I am drooling!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Want to lick the screen!

  44. Hi Rosa,
    I love cinnamon rolls and these ones, with the baileys flavour, might be a real delight!!

  45. Thank you for this timely post. I've been beating myself up for feeling 'blocked' and unsettled. I now understand that it's perfectly normal and will treat myself more kindly. These rolls look magnificent! x

  46. it looks scrumptious! Thanks for all the info

  47. Rosa, TRULY, THE BEST LOOKING CINNAMON ROLLS EVERRRRRR! I try not to think too much of these food right now (trying to lose some weights - I'm just hoping!), but with this in front of me, I'd give up my dieting RIGHT AWAY. Seriously best thing I've seen today or actually weeks!!

  48. What a precious text Rosa, something read, and read again, I absolutely agree with you.

    These rolls are fantastic, I can smell the inebriant aroma of cinnamon... simply irresistible.

  49. I love cinnamon rolls Rosa!!! and these look absolutely amazing and delicious!:)

  50. cinnamon rolls are just my favorite treat in the world. lovely.

  51. These look wonderful Rosa and a nice post that would encourage so many! :)

  52. Miammmmmmmmmmmmm ça donne trop envie. <3 bisous ma belle

  53. A beautiful and inspirational post, Rosa. Your words are ones of which I can't totally relate too. Thanks for writing it and reminding me of things. Love your recipe too!

  54. Bien contente que tu aies retrouve ta creativite. des cinnamon rolls comme ca, il m'en faut, vite...

  55. Tu parles d'une belle recette, ces brioches ont l'air délicieuses...surtout avec leur beau glaçage!

  56. Ah ! Les Cinnamon Rolls : Mon pêché mignon ! Et avec du Bailey's…comment dire… On atteint la perfection ! Merci pour cette belle recette (je me suis contentée jusqu'ici de préparer la version classique, mais ça ne va pas durer !)
    Tes mots sont toujours justes, te lire est toujours un grand plaisir. Merci Rosa.

  57. I am so drooling over the cinnamon buns.

  58. Oh my Rosa! Your photos are particularly stunning today. The icing was making me drool;)

  59. Your site is absolutely gorgeous, magical, whimsical and inspirational. And these cinnamon rolls are amazing!

  60. Such gorgeous pictures, love the Baileys topping yum!

  61. Tes cinnamon rolls atteignent la perfection et j'adore la petite touche de Bailey's c'est très sympa :)

  62. I love the lemony snicket quote and those look insanely delicious!

  63. Funny I have just started writing a post on creativity a few days ago with one of the quotes you've used :)
    p.s. I love the addition of Baileys to the rolls!

  64. Oh Rosa I love that second quote and the cinceott of seasonality in creativity - not to mention those sensational buns!!!

  65. I make cinnamon rolls for my grandkids, actually those are the first words out of their mouth when I talk with them on the phone-did you make us cinnamon rolls? I'll have to make yours with the boozy icing for the adults-they look divine! I hear you on the writer's block-maybe it's the winter doldrums. Looking forward to Spring!

  66. I enjoyed reading every word of your post. The cinnamon rolls look lovely and those close up shots make it so more tempting; almost giving the impression that that are at a hands's distance!!

  67. Holy moly, do these ever look good. I'd gladly even skip dinner to just enjoy one of these still warm from the oven. ;)

  68. Je raffole des cinnamon rolls!!
    Les tiens sont superbes avec ce glaçage gourmand au Baileys!!
    Un vrai régal!!!

  69. You had me at Bailey's no wait you had me a cinnamon... no wait... ok, you HAVE ME! Why must you torture so.

    Love that pic of coming out of the tunnel!

  70. voilà une recette à laquelle je résiste difficilement, j'en salive même devant l'écran :))

  71. It's very true that we should take care of our mental state as much as our physical state... people seem to forget that! I often suffer from writers block and get frustrated but it's best to let it go and focus on something else and the it will suddenly come back! These rolls look wonderful too... beautiful photos!

  72. Hi Rosa,

    This is a so original idea to use Bailey's. Those cinnamons rolls look amazing! Also very nice food blog.
    Recette à tester

  73. Mon dieu qu'il est difficile de résister à cette gourmandise. Ils sont superbement réussis.

  74. OMG! Your cinnamon rolls looks insanely good! I wish I can tear one out from the pan and put it in my mouth right now. Love your photos!

  75. What a completely beautiful and utterly inspiring article. The Cinnamon Rolls, which by the way are one of my favorite things, are simply perfect. Brava!

  76. Rosa, just on looks alone those cinnamon rolls could easily pass for best cinnamon roll anybody could possibly eat :) Also Thanks for the inspiration tip in this post regarding creativity blockage. I thought that was great and could apply it for myself personally.

  77. I made these for a friend and wanted to tell you that they were extraordinary! Thank you for sharing your many talents with us. ♡