Baked Blackberry Oatmeal

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Greetings! I hope you are having a merry holiday. This time is one of my favorites, the in-between time right before New Years Eve. There may be some work involved but it is a time filled with laughter, parties, loved ones and food. This hearty breakfast bake fits in perfectly and brings a smile to your face on these chilly mornings. Resembling a fruit crumble more than oatmeal it is quite a treat! The blackberries are warm and syrupy, bursting with flavor. With a cake like oatmeal mixture in the middle and topped off with sweet crunchy sunflower and pumpkin seeds. YUM, I will start my mornings like this, please.

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Blackberry Oatmeal Bake ~ adapted from Vegetarian Everyday

14 oz fresh or frozen blackberries (thaw if frozen)

2 cups rolled oats

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp ground ginger

a pinch of sea salt

2 large eggs

2 1/4 cups milk of choice

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup pure unsweetened honey, agave, or maple syrup

1 tbsp coconut oil + extra for greasing the pan

3/4 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds (original recipe uses toasted hazelnuts)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8 x 10 baking dish and spread the berries in an even layer on the bottom of the dish and set aside. In a mixing bowl combine the oats, baking powder, ginger and salt. In another bowl add the eggs, milk, and vanilla and whisk until combined. In a smaller bowl mix the honey/maple/agave syrup, 1 tbsp coconut oil and the nuts/seeds (use your fingers to make sure all of the seeds/nuts are well coated). Pour the dry oat mixture evenly over the berries then pour the egg mixture over evenly. Sprinkle the seed mixture on top and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the oatmeal is set (no liquid) and the seeds are lightly browned and crunchy. Cool slightly before serving.

Creamy Eggs + Leeks with Baby Hasselback Potatoes

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This yummy breakfast was made on a whim and serves one. For when you just need some solo-brunch time.

Feel free to make as much as you like, however! I didn’t use exact measurements and ended up throwing a bunch of things together as I went along. The plump sweet white corn combined with soft cheese, eggs, basil, and sautéed leeks is one hell of a tasty combination. All topped off with the slight saltiness of kalamata olives.

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Creamy Eggs + Leeks with Baby Hasselback Potatoes

5-10 small potatoes (I used a combination of red, yellow and purple)

Olive oil

Sea salt

Basil, dried or fresh

Coconut oil

1 colve of garlic, minced

1 leek, chopped

milk

2 eggs

basil, dried or fresh (I used dried)

chopped kalamata olives

Spinach + white corn (fresh or frozen, I used frozen)

freshly grated parmesan cheese

soft cheese (cream cheese, goat, I used laughing cow garlic and herb)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Scrub your potatoes, then slice thinly with a sharp knife just until you reach the bottom (so that all the slices are still connected). Place in a glass baking dish, drizzle with olive oil, sea salt, and basil. Toss lightly to coat and place in the oven while you prepare your eggs. Cook until potatoes are cooked through and the edges begin to brown.

In a small saute pan heat a small spoonful of coconut oil and add the minced garlic. Cook for a minute until brown and fragrant then add the chopped leek. Saute until leek pieces are soft and tender. In a small bowl whisk eggs with the chopped kalamata olives, basil, a pinch of sea salt, a large tbsp of grated parmesan cheese, and a few generous splashes of milk. Add egg mixture to the pan with the garlic and leeks, heat on med-low. Add spinach, white corn, and soft cheese to the pan and slowly scramble until eggs are cooked. Top with extra parmesan cheese and fresh basil. Serve warm with potatoes, preferably with a large glass of orange juice and enjoy the spring sunshine.

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Molten Raspberry Dark Chocolate Mug Cake

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Raspberries & dark chocolate = A match made in heaven by the almighty food gods. Is it possible to make this combo any better…? How about hot and bubbly and in the center of your own personal single-serving breakfast mug cake?

I think my AM just got a whole lot sweeter:

Molten. Raspberry. Dark. Chocolate. Mug. Cake.  

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Yes, yes… Cake for breakfast. I feel the morning is the best time of day to partake in a meal with a sweet twist. It gives you something to look forward to at night and jump out of bed for in the morning. The greatest thing about this breakfast cake is that you can throw all the ingredients in own large mug {or bowl}, microwave, and shazam! CAKE. You can get creative with the mix-ins and toppings, the possibilities are endless!

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~ Molten Raspberry Dark Chocolate Mug Cake ~

*1/4 cup flour (I use 1 tbsp ground flax seed, 2 tbsp almond meal, 1 tbsp brown rice flour)

1 egg

1 tsp melted coconut oil

1 tsp baking powder

1 heaping tsp cocoa powder

1 tsp maple syrup/honey

spoonful of greek yogurt (plain, vanilla, any flavor)

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

pinch of fine sea salt

1/2 heaping tsp ground cinnamon

large spoonful raspberry preserves

piece of good quality dark chocolate (chips will also work)

* I always alternate my flour on this recipe, many times I use a full 1/4 ground flax, sometimes just almond meal and brown rice flour. I tend to like the combination of all three the best.

In a large coffee mug or bowl mix together all the ingredients, except for the raspberry preserves and the chocolate, until well combined. I like to mix in a little of the raspberry preserves into the batter as well. Place the spoonful of raspberry preserves in the center of the cake batter. You can either stick the chocolate piece (or chips) in the center too, pushing them in a bit, or sprinkle around the top. Place in the microwave and cook for about one minute and thirty-seconds. If you don’t feel it is fully cooked put in for another thirty-seconds. The preserves should have sunken in and be bubbly. Top with multiple drizzles of maple syrup or honey and dig in!!!

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Coconut Black Sesame Seed Granola

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Spring. Spring. Spring. Spring. Spring.

Sun. Picnics. Granola sprinkled on creamy cold yogurt….

Though in my head I am chanting some sort of spring-song (you know, to supposedly bring on the warm weather) the guy on TV says snow on and off for the next week…My reaction? Bake something that gives off sunshine! This granola is a mix of winter spices like cinnamon and ground ginger but has an island-sweetness from the coconut, a satisfying crunch from the walnuts, and a hint of chocolate from the cocoa powder. And lets not forget about the lovely nuttiness from the black sesame seeds..I have a soft spot for these beauties and tend to sprinkle them on EVERYTHING. Basically this morning treat is a combination of many many things that equal one bright and satisfyingly tasty breakfast. When eaten with yogurt and fruit one has complete permission to pretend not to see the late march snowflakes outside the window.

If you have on hand, add in dried cranberries or any other favorite dried fruits.

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Coconut Black Sesame Seed Granola

4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1 cup chopped raw walnuts

1/2 cup raw black sesame seeds, add more if you like them as much as I do

1 1/2 tsp cocoa powder

1 tsp sea salt

1 heaping tsp cinnamon

1/2 heaping tsp ground ginger

1/2 cup melted coconut oil

1/3 cup maple syrup, or honey

If you want a sweeter granola you can add an additional 1/4 cup honey, maple syrup, or molasses

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup coconut flakes

desirable add-ins: dried fruits (cranberries) chocolate chips (after granola has cooled)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl mix all of the ingredients together until the contents are coated well. Scoop out onto the baking sheet and spread out with a large spoon or your hands. Make sure granola layer is not to thick or it will not bake to a proper crispness. Bake for about an hour stirring every 15-20 minutes. Let cool before transferring to an airtight container.

Eat on its own as a snack, with milk, yogurt, fruit, ice cream…

~ Enjoy! ~

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Pear, Speculoos, Oat & Lemon Zest Muffins

A Star Muffin.

A tasty combination of awesome in one compact muffin. Are you ready?

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This is a time for warmth and comfort. For flavors that and a little heat and zing to your average ho hum day. As January comes to a close Spring begins its slow creep forward from the shadows. Their is a smell of hope in the air..it may be slight..and disappear at times like tonight when the weather drops down below freezing again..but alas it exists. With the combination of cinnamon, pear, lemon and that magical concoction known as speculoos you are sure to jump right out of bed in the morning just to have a bite.

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Pear, Speculoos, Oat & Lemon Zest Muffins

makes 10 small muffins or 6 large muffins

1 pear, diced (roughly a cup)

1 large egg

1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp water)

1/2 cup light brown sugar

3.5 tbsp coconut oil

2 heaping tbsp speculoos spread

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup millet flour

1/4 cup brown rice flour/almond flour mix

1/2 cup oats, plus more for topping

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 heaping tsp ground cinnamon

pinch of sea salt

zest of 1/2 an organic lemon

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl mix the flax and water and set aside (for 5-10 minutes). In a Large bowl combine the millet, brown rice and almond flours, oats, the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl whisk the egg, flax egg, vanilla extract, coconut oil (make sure the coconut oil is not solid), light brown sugar, and speculoos spread until fully combined with no lumps. Stir the lemon zest into the wet ingredients last. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir, once combined gently stir in the diced pear. Lightly grease a muffin pan or line with parchment paper and fill with batter. Sprinkle muffin tops with extra oats before placing in oven. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean. If you decided to make 6 larger muffins they will need more baking time, at least 30-35 minutes.

~ Enjoy, and as always..stay warm ~

Apple Yogurt Upside-Down Cake

A Morning Worthy of Cake. Apple Cake.

apple_cake_1I am back! Shall I do a little dance? I think YES. It has been a busy busy past couple of months, the highlight being a romp through the Scottish highlands and Dublin in December. But it is a new year and I can’t wait to start putting more time in here.

This tasty treat is meant for fall, when the leaves are just starting to turn and the first cool breezes make themselves known…but when you have all the ingredients on hand and the exact number of crisp pink lady apples staring at you from the side of the counter…I say go for it. This is the coldest week I’ve experienced yet in New York (I actually NEED one of those face-sweaters..) and this cake is as delicious in the middle of Winter as it is in Fall. Full of warmth and comfort it is meant to be eaten at any time of day, while sitting on the couch, with thirty quilts, a thick pair of woolen socks and a cup of hot tea.

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Apple Yogurt Upside-Down Cake ~ adapted from Small Plates & Sweet Treats

3 pink lady apple

2 tbsp coconut oil

2 tbsp + more honey

2 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup brown rice flour + 1 tbsp

1/3 cup almond flour

1/4 cup millet flour + 1 tbsp

1/4 cup tapioca starch

1 tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 heaping tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 heaping tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp fine sea salt

3 eggs

1/2 cup packed dark muscovado sugar

1/2 cup whole-milk plain yogurt

1/2 cup olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 8 by 8-inch square cake pan (or an 8 by 3-inch round cake pan) and line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper. Core the apples, quarter them, then cut each piece in half once more. Heat the coconut oil, 2 tbsp of honey and vanilla extract in a large saute pan (any soup or sauce pot will work, you may just need to cook the apples for a bit longer) over medium heat. Add the sliced apples and cook for about 10 minutes or until apples are soft but not mushy. Let cool for a few minutes before handling. Arrange the apples on the bottom of the cake pan as tightly as possible and pour any remaining liquid in the pot over the apples.

In a large bowl, whisk together all the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. In a separate smaller bowl mix the eggs, dark muscovado sugar, honey (I did about 2 tbsp add more for a sweeter cake), olive oil, and yogurt. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until combined. Pour the batter into the cake pan making sure that it is evenly distributed over the apples. Bake for about 50min-1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let the cake cool for about 15 minutes before carefully flipping. Allow to cool before serving. Keep in the refrigerator for 3 or 4 days or freeze.

Serve warm by itself or with a speckled vanilla bean ice cream.

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~ Stay Warm! ~

Rustic Cardamom Cake with Pear and Honey

~ A cake with all the flavors of Fall ~

Simple and rustic, with a moist crumb. Pair it with black speckled vanilla bean ice cream and/or warm stewed pears.

The original recipe for this cake uses apples, so feel free to use any winter fruit you have on hand.

Rustic Cardamom Cake with Pear and Honey 

                                                                                                      inspired by Tartelette
at least 3 regular sized pears
1 cup plain yogurt (full fat)
1/2 cup sugar (I used maple sugar, muscavado would also work nicely)
2 eggs
1/2 cup coconut oil
zest and juice of one organic lemon
2 cups gluten free flour mix (I used a combination of brown rice, buckwheat, almond meal and arrow root)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a nine inch cake pan or line with parchment paper and set aside. In a large bowl mix the yogurt, sugar and eggs until combined and smooth, add the lemon juice and zest and the coconut oil and mix until well combined again. Add the rest of the ingredients and whisk until smooth once more. Pour batter into prepared cake pan and top with thinly sliced pears and an extra dash of cinnamon or brown sugar if desired. Bake for 30-40 minutes until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm and drizzled with honey.

Seared Shishito Peppers with Pink Sea Salt

Years ago when visiting New York  I had a plate of these light and mild peppers as an appetizer. They taste wonderful with a little sprinkling of sea salt and you can never just have one. On a trip to the Union Square Market a few weeks back I stumbled upon a huge basket of these and couldn’t wait to make that tasty dish of years past. So simple to make..they transform any ordinary meal to an extraordinary one. But let’s get back to New York just for a quick second. Have you ever dealt with moving in this city? What a hassle….hence my absence on here….I don’t want to move in Manhattan again for a good long long while…

Seared Shishito Peppers with Pink Sea Salt

A large bag of Shishito peppers

coconut oil (or oil of choice)

sea salt

In a large pan heat a tbsp or so of oil over medium-high heat. The amount of oil depends on the size of the pan, you want the bottom to be well coated. Once the oil is hot drop the peppers in and let them cook for a minute or two per side. Be careful of popping oil. Once they are cooked remove from the pot, pat dry with a paper towel and sprinkle with sea salt. Serve immediatley. Use these lovely peppers as an appetizer or serve with your meal, would pair well with meat and rice.

You could also cook these in the oven, tossed with a little oil before hand.

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Red Currant and Poppyseed Muffins

It is funny how fast the months slip by…for the first time I do not have access to the time I once did during these warm months. And time is everything. Especially when you want to make every flavor of popsicles under the sun, plan picnics, travel, and run around half-naked in a bathing suit. But trying to do said things as much as possible is all one can do.. even if not as frequently as desired. In this mindset, what better way to brighten a quick trip to the market then coming upon red currants. I have never tasted red currants before and am very excited to jump on this summer bandwagon.

Red currants are very tart. Only certain people can enjoy eating them plain (and not make crazy distorted faces…guilty) They pair beautifully with other berries such as raspberries and blackberries. Throw them in your morning cereal, oatmeal, in a jam or compote….or in MUFFINS. Or morning(cupcake)muffins. For anything containing oats is instantly thrown into the ‘meant for breakfast’ category.

Red Currant and Poppyseed Muffins
 
1 cup red currants, lightly rinsed
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup quinoa flour
1/4 cup almond flour
1 cup milk, regular or nut milk
1 cup rolled oats
1 egg
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp poppyseeds
dash of cinnamon (optional)
muscavado sugar (optional)
**You can also sub 1 cup of oat flour instead of the ones listed.
 
Preheat your oven too 400 degrees. Grease a muffin pan. In a large bowl combine flours, oats, baking powder, salt, and poppy seeds. In a smaller bowl add milk, egg, coconut oil, honey, and vanilla. Stir until combined then add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix. Stir in the red currants last. Fill your muffin cups around 3/4 of the way. You can stir a few dashes of ground cinnamon into the batter beforehand or sprinkle a bit on top of the muffins right before you put them in the oven. If you want a sweeter touch take a few pinches of muscavado sugar (or brown sugar) and sprinkle the tops of the muffins before putting them in the oven as well. Bake for around 20 minutes until the edges start to golden and a toothpick comes out clean.Cool before storing.

Enjoy ~

Honey & Coriander Roasted Eggplant Strips & Chopped Radishes

A lovely reason to buy more summer vegetables.

A quick and easy summer side dish that welcomes creative spice pairing.

Honey & Coriander Roasted Eggplant Strips & Chopped Radishes
 
1 medium eggplant, chopped into strips
8-12 radishes, washed and quartered
2-3 garlic cloves, sliced
coconut oil
honey
coriander
salt & pepper
 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a large baking sheet or line with parchment paper, and spread out the chopped eggplant, garlic and radishes evenly. Drizzle with coconut oil (you won’t need very much) then follow with a drizzle of honey. Season generously with coriander then salt and pepper. Toss to coat then arrange evenly on the baking sheet again. Roast in the oven for around 30 mins, times will vary. When the eggplant is cooked through with crispy edges everything is done, the radishes will remain a bit crunchy. Serve as a side dish with fish or roasted chicken and a small salad.  

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