In my world breakfast doesn’t begin until coffee is present and accounted for. More often than not it’s thick, black espresso, lovingly nicknamed “jet fuel” made on the stove top in an old fashioned percolator. If I’m not at home, it’s a coffee shop Americano, but either way I want it to be strong, dark and bold. I don’t add cream or sugar to my coffee, but I do enjoy coffee in sweets like my Coffee and Cream Cake or warm coffee over vanilla bean ice cream for a classic affogato. Bittersweet is a flavor profile I really love. Coffee and cinnamon both fall into this category and I find them quite remarkable together, so these Cinnamon Espresso Oats were a somewhat obvious breakfast hybrid for me. They are simple to prepare – this is barely a recipe – but they make up for it in the complexity of their nuanced flavor. I’ve dressed them up here with some creamy slices of banana and crunchy green pumpkin seeds because I find oats to be at their best when they are part of a textural landscape with a variety of things going on. All alone they can be a bit, well, stodgy, but add a crunchy crisp something or a soft fruit and they get infinitely more exciting.
Category: Breakfast and Brunch Recipes
Some foods are classics for a reason, because everytime you reach for them you get just what you’re needing and expecting from the experience. Blueberry pancakes on a slow weekend morning are pretty much my definition of the perfect indulgent breakfast. Through the week it’s spinach and frozen fruit wazzed up into smoothies that get the day started but sometimes on a Saturday or Sunday I like to slow things down, get a bit more nostalgic and bring some smiles to the table with these old school treats. And if it happens to be blueberry season, like it is right now, then all the better! Unless I have to pick them myself, you know how I feel about picking fruit! (more…)
I’ll be honest, with the exception of one recipe I haven’t had great success with banana bread over the years. It’s always stodgy and damp, not enough lift, and often not banana-y enough in flavor. Recently, there were 3 brown bananas on the counter and I debated tossing them into the freezer to keep browning for a banana bread or smoothie in the future but then I thought, screw it! And I made this recipe up as I went along. The result? The best damn banana bread I’ve ever made! Fast! No mixer! Easy to do with minimal ingredients! Honestly, it’s a winner.
Quick and Easy Banana Bread
3 very ripe bananas
1/3 C vegetable oil
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp hazelnut extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Mix all the wet ingredients together until well combined. Add the dry ingredients in two parts, mixing just until combined with each addition. Scrape the batter into a greased loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees until a toothpick or skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pan then cool completely, out of the pan, on a wire rack.
Summer is by far my favorite season to cook in. Everything is fresh and vibrant and in turn it makes us feel fresh and vibrant too. We just moved house to a beautiful riverside condo and it’s making it easy to get up in the morning and hit the day running. Our views are blue and green and there’s lots to explore and discover. In the early mornings I’ve been watching herons cruising above the river and wading at its edges in the reeds. They are magnificently prehistoric and look almost out of place in these northern climes as if they should be living a lush, tropical lifestyle like an ancient pterodactyl. Don’t we all want a lush tropical lifestyle? Well, the sun is shining and this Tropical Green Smoothie will help get your tastebuds a bit closer to the equator. Happy sipping!
Tropical Green Smoothie
1/4 C frozen pineapple
1/4 C frozen mango
2 handfuls fresh spinach
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 cup coconut milk (I use Silk Coconut)
Blend well in blender until smooth. Serves 2
*tip – leftover smoothie freezes well in an ice cube tray for next time. Just add a few cubes to the blender, top with cold liquid of your choosing and blend.
It can be hard to find balance, can’t it? Between work and a social life and “me” time and “we” time with the ones we love most, it can be so easy to let things slide, get off track and find yourself blinking into the mirror, over tired, underwhelmed and just plain blah. I know for me, protein is key to success. If my morning is full of protein (and caffeine) I am good to go. This hash is hearty and flavorful and will keep you cruising well into the afternoon. A good dose of greens doesn’t hurt either!
Pork and Potato Hash
serves 4 hungry people
1 lb ground pork
2 Tbsp cumin
pinch of nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 large white onion, halved and sliced thinly
3 cloves of garlic, minced or grated
2 cups potato cut in 1 inch cubes (about 12 baby potatoes, quartered)
1 Tbsp of flour
1/2 Cup cherry tomatoes, halved (or one large tomato, diced)
4 (packed) Cups chopped spinach or kale leaves
green onion for garnish
poached egg(s) – optional
In a heavy bottomed pan, brown the ground pork well in a splash of olive oil over medium heat. Depending on the width of your pan you may want to brown it in two batches to ensure you do not crowd the pan and steam the meat as it cooks – your aim here is deep, dark browning with lots of crispy bits. Once the pork is browned, add the cumin, nutmeg, salt and pepper, onions and garlic and stir frequently until they are fragrant and softened. Sprinkle on flour as you stir. This will make the mixture dry and somewhat sandy, add a 1/2 C of water, add potatoes and cover. Cook, covered, about 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Uncover and add the tomatoes and spinach, toss until the spinach wilts and the tomatoes are heated through and oozing their juice. Top with a poached egg and thinly sliced green onions.