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 ~

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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.

Spicy Carrot Ginger Soup

It’s still not to late for soup.

Spicy Carrot Ginger Soup

Spring is around the corner, you can smell it in the air. I find myself daydreaming at work of beach towels and lemonade.

Unfortunately, at least here in New York, the weather has not completely caught up with my mind yet. So pull out that soup pot and take advantage of our last few chilly weeks. This soup is simple and warms you from the inside out, the ginger gives it a spicy kick and when topped with chopped pear the combo of chilled/sweet with spicy is quite pleasant.

This recipe was scribbled down on a piece of scrap paper at work, I cannot remember where I found the inspiration for this wonder, but will update if I come across it again.

Spicy Carrot Ginger Soup

Olive oil

4 large carrots, peeled and chopped

1 small onion, chopped

1 minced garlic clove, or 1 to 2 tsp of already minced garlic

3 tbsp diced and peeled fresh ginger (use less if you don’s want your soup to have a kick)

1 cup cubed peeled butternut squash

1 peeled and diced apple (I used pink lady)

4 1/2 cups vegetable broth

1 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)

12 ounces coconut milk

diced pear

In a large soup pot heat about 2 tsp of oil (I used olive oil) over medium heat. Saute carrots and onion until soft, then add the garlic, ginger, butternut squash, and apple. And continue to saute for another couple minutes. Add broth, and salt if desired, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer covered for around 45 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Blend, then stir in coconut milk and add any additional spices to taste. Serve hot topped with fresh cut pear.

Have a lovely Sunday ~

Long Day

I woke up this morning and made a kale green monster as planned.  Excited for the refreshing burst of energy I usually get after breakfast I found myself crawling back into bed until ten minutes before I had to leave for work.  Smoooooth.  The GM still turned out well though 🙂

Today was a long day at the internship, I’m getting a lot of insight into this career field to say the least.  I just don’t know how people sit in a chair all day!  I’ve read the bad effects sitting in a chair all day 5 days a week can have and am kinda freaked out.  Maybe I’ll invest in bicycle pedals for under my desk, so I’ll always be moving while working 😀  . . . . . do these even exist?   hmmmm.

For lunch I went to this restaurant called Metro Fresh .  This place is SO good, and really fresh.  Their menu changes daily, always a good sign.  Today I had a cup of chilled mint cucumber soup [AMAZING], asian chicken salad, and a multi-grain role.  So this was a first for taking photos of my food at work and it was a little awkward.  Has anyone else ever had that problem?  So I took a quick snap shot and put my camera away. :-O

Before leaving I had an amazing pear.  I left it in the fridge all morning so it was cold and amazing, something about chilled fruit is godly.

Finally back and it was a peanut butter chocolate chip larabar.  Have you tried one yet??? DOOOO IT.  Then 45 mins at the gym.  Dinner was another lovely bowl of soup.  I mixed it up tonight with carrot black bean.  SPICY 😉  A few cushed rice crackers on top and I was set to go.

Tonight I am fully immersed in the 3rd book of the Outlander series, despite the other projects piling up.

Have you ever not taken pictures of something in a nontraditional setting for fear what people would think of you?