Breakfasts, Snacks

Crumbly Ginger Date Breakfast Cookies

The existence of ‘self’ is what keeps everybody from confronting their fears about the ground they happen to be standing on.
‚ÄĒRobert Smithson

I’ve never been a part of any organized worship, but I’ve been thinking about it lately. About one thing having enough power for someone to¬†actually single it out as an exalted entity. My parents came from Conservative Jewish and Sunday Protestant¬†families respectively, so my sister and I¬†weren’t raised “religious” in the truest sense of the word. We¬†know why there’s a three-day gap between Good Friday and Easter (it’s actually not this) and we can recite the Hanukkah blessings in Hebrew (which probably¬†has more to do with liking to sing and less to do with studying religious text), but that’s pretty much the extent of it. When I was younger I sometimes felt like I missed out, as never got to complain about Sunday School¬†nor did I have a Bat Mitzvah. Looking back, I understand I was‚ÄĒalbeit unconsciously‚ÄĒgiven¬†a fairly unique¬†opportunity to explore my own relationship with worship. And while I’m attracted to certain aspects of religion, particularly to the sense of community involved in belonging to a¬†house of worship, and to theological storytelling, I didn’t, and still don’t really, have a yearning to practice. Religion aside, I’ve never felt as though¬†I regard anything with enough devotion to throw around the term “worship”. At least, not for something that doesn’t seem cliche or obvious.¬†It means too much.

I prefer¬†when people are honest. I like when it’s cloudy outside. I enjoy¬†85% dark chocolate. But I don’t worship “Truth” or “Nature” or “Theobroma cacao”. Someone asked me last year¬†if I worshiped anything, likely as a test, because this person already had their semi-pseduo-intellectual answer ready to go. I vaguely recall saying¬†something pretentious, like “food and the actions that come with it”, but that was¬†a cop out. I have yet to find something so powerful that I feel the need to¬†proclaim its control over how live my life, because honestly, that feels like it can get tricky. Am I¬†doing things because I like them, or because I made the sweeping declaration to hold myself to a certain set of standards? Maybe it’s good¬†to have dogma, but only if¬†one can admit it may not stay the same forever. This has less to do with religion and more to do with worship in the ritualistic sense.

I can say with certainty that food is a powerful element of my life. I use¬†it to ensure that I feel good. I try not to let it become something that controls every choice I make, but I can often fall into that pattern. I’d like to involve food in my future¬†career, difficult as that may be. It’s personal and important, but it is not Everything (with a capital E).¬†My favorite part about having to feed myself at school last year was that when I went grocery shopping, I controlled every element of my purchases. If I wanted to buy 25 cans of coconut milk¬†I could. If I wanted to eat stir fry (or kale salad or Cocoa Puffs)¬†for dinner five nights in a row, I could. There was no one telling me they’re bored of that meal, or they don’t like this particular vegetable, etc. It’s all extremely selfish, but sometimes it’s good to think about yourself.

Since I moved back home, breakfast seems to be the one meal where I can consistently eat whatever I want. I miss being able to make simply what pleases me, and I know I’ll have that again someday. But that day is not today. So in the meantime I will break up a ginger date breakfast cookie over yogurt and be okay with it.

****

Speaking of worship, horrific events like those that occurred at the University of Missouri on Wednesday, and in Paris¬†(and Beirut¬†and in¬†Baghdad) on Friday¬†only cause¬†me –and many others, I imagine– to question further whether there is any sort of higher power controlling this world. Hundreds of people¬†lost their lives, and hundreds of thousands lost their sense of security this week. No one can give a reason why, except for the chillingly open-ended term that seems to encapsulate so many recent acts of violence. If, like me, you’re another person in the States feeling helpless, it looks like the very least we can do is stay aware, alert, and supportive. I’m trying to read as much as I can about the events, I hope if you can spare the time you do the same.

****

Crumbly Ginger Date Breakfast Cookies (very loosely adapted from The Vibrant Table)

1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
3/4 cup garbanzo bean flour
1/4 cup corn flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup almond milk
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup cocoa nibs
2 large pieces crystalized ginger
4 pitted deglet noor dates

1 tablespoon coconut sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Combine the flours, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl. In a small bowl whisk together the almond milk, coconut sugar, and vanilla. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry and fold together.

Finely chop the ginger and dates, and add to the batter along with the cocoa nibs. Using a teaspoon cookie scoop, drop cookies onto the prepared tray.

Bake for 15 minutes, until the tops of the cookies are golden brown. In the meantime, combine the extra¬†coconut sugar,¬†cocoa powder, and¬†cinnamon in a small bowl. Take the cookies out of the oven and while they’re warm place the sugar mixture in a fine mesh sieve and dust over the tops of the cookies.

 

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Book Review, Breakfasts

182

Written by Carla Bartolucci¬†in an effort to create a solid collection of recipes for her daughter, who is sensitive to gluten,¬†Einkorn: Recipes for Nature’s Original Wheat¬†is a refreshing alternative to fully phasing out wheat for health reasons. Einkorn acts similarly to regular¬†wheat in recipes, but has been proven not to bother the digestive systems of those who are sensitive.¬†Since it is not 100% gluten free, this is not a book for those living with celiac. While all wheat is a descendant of wild einkorn, the einkorn available to consumers today is the same that was available hundreds of years ago, as it’s the only wheat that hasn’t been hybridized. Essentially, hybridization is¬†the crossing of two different species of wheat form a new variety. These new hybridized strains of gluten can be rougher on the stomach, while others do offer comfort to those with gluten aversions. We’ve all heard of spelt at least in passing, right? It’s one of those “miracle” grains for those with gluten sensitivity. Well, spelt emerged as a result of the hybridization of emmer and wild goat grass. Since emmer was already a hybridized wheat, spelt contains six sets of chromosomes. Since einkorn only has two, it’s often been ignored by farmers in favor of higher-yielding varieties. Science aside, einkorn is also a great new ingredient for cooks who are simply interested in making foods using alternative grains (hi.)

The book opens with a comprehensive history of grain (did you think I just knew stuff about wheat hybridization?) There’s a charting of the levels of protein the grain contains as opposed to its contemporaries, like quinoa, oats, spelt, and so on. An extremely¬†intriguing¬†passage was the discussion of why einkorn’s gluten is different. The grain is not lower in gluten; in fact it has comparable or even higher levels than modern wheat. However, einkorn’s gluten is lacking in the –to use Carla’s excellent phrase– “extreme stickiness” of normal wheats used in baking, particularly of bread. Basically, the gluten-forming proteins in einkorn don’t act in the same manner as they do in standard wheat, and as a result, those with gluten sensitivity can often handle the levels of gluten in einkorn. There are other sections that explain the basics of bread-baking, the correct way to begin sourdough starter, and how to properly sprout and flake wheat berries.

The recipe chapters of Carla’s book¬†are full of a great variety of sweet and savory recipes that essentially swap standard wheat for einkorn. But this is not a book of simply altered standards. The recipes are original and innovative (olive oil & wine cookies, spiced wheat berry custard tart, tomato rosemary focaccia) with a few classics thrown in for good measure (sticky buns, pizza.) I’m particularly fond of the “Street Food” sections, which boasts wheat berry arancini, Korean dumplings,¬†and¬†cr√™pes. A few of the recipes involve sprouting/soaking einkorn wheat berries for several hours, so make sure you read the recipe closely (basically, don’t be me and get extremely pumped for einkorn veggie burgers TODAY and then realize the recipe takes well over 24 hours to come to life. Sadness. I am v impatient sometimes.)

Even though there is a shop section of Carla’s website where one can purchase einkorn products, I will say that the book could have benefitted from a sourcing section. I couldn’t find einkorn products at my local Whole Foods, A&P, or Kings. I didn’t try Shop Rite, Trader Joes, or the larger Whole Foods in a neighboring town (but I bet the latter would have it,) so I ended up purchasing the wheat berries on Amazon. It didn’t really change my life, other than the fact that I had to wait for the two-day shipping.

For the first recipe I made from Carla’s book, I went for a basic breakfast porridge, because I love¬†bowl food and I love breakfast. The porridge is very mild, a cross between cream of wheat and very soft oatmeal. While I realize the rest of the world doesn’t care for baby food-textured things as much as I do, I really think the rest of the world ought to reconsider. Ease into the mushy food. Don’t think too hard about it. Focus on the flavor. Maybe add some toasted almonds and maple syrup. I think you’ll change your mind.

Einkorn Porridge (from Einkorn: Recipes for Nature’s Original Wheat; serves many by the bowlful)

1 1/2 cups einkorn wheat berries
1/2 teaspoon salt
desired fixins: milk, syrup, jam. nutella, honey, shredded coconut, chia seeds, toasted nuts, dried fruit, sliced avocado + olive oil (sounds weird, but was definitely my favorite)

Soak the wheat berries in 3 cups water overnight. In the morning, drain the wheat berries in a fine mesh seive and rinse thoroughly under cold water for 5 minutes. Place the rinsed berries in a food processor. Pulse until the wheat has cracked (resembling steel cut oats) and then add 1 cup water. Process until the mixture is coarse and creamy, about 30 seconds.

In a medium-large saucepan, bring 5 cups of water to a boil. Add salt and ground wheat berries/ return to a boil, stirring constantly, then lower heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and let the mixture stand for 10 minutes. Serve warm with desired fixins. This recipe makes a lot, so luckily it keeps in the fridge for up to three days and is easily reheated with a bit of water or milk. If you’re planning on being the only one eating this, I’d recommend halving the recipe. If you’re feeding a group of 3+ you’ll be good to go.

NOTE: I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for this review. Check out this review on their website too!

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Breakfasts

145

Pumpkin Pancakes (V)

A few days ago was¬†Mountain Day! A pretty rad¬†Smith tradition wherein our president cancels all classes on a beautiful fall day and we’re free to do whatever we like! Technically. This year’s mountain day happened on a¬†fairly¬†overcast Monday, so I enjoyed the¬†outside air for a bit¬†(read: I sipped on¬†a mug of coffee while standing on my patio) but mostly hung¬†with friends in my apartment¬†and then went to¬†my night class¬†BECAUSE NIGHT CLASSES DON’T APPLY TO MOUNTAIN DAY GOD DAMMIT. So, yeah, not the greatest way to end my Smith-Mountain-Day-Journey. But I started out the day the right way- with pancakes!

Want to know the secret to frying vegan pancakes? Coconut oil. Lots. And a REALLY GOOD nonstick pan at the perfect temperature. If you do not have these things¬†you should probably just make waffles. Otherwise you will be in a pickle. For the¬†first three pancakes I didn’t use enough oil and the heat was up too high (the latter is what happens when you grow up using a gas stove with a temperature range 1-6 and then move into an apartment with an electric stove and temperature range 1-10). I stood over three different pans with three different kinds of oil -olive, coconut, and vegan butter- all smoking and sizzling like crazy and none coming out right. At one point I was scraping up a half uncooked half almost burnt lumpy pancake and my spatula broke. Literally fell into two pieces in the skillet. So I threw the entire contents of the pan into the trash and then tried again.¬†That time the pancake cooked well enough but the batter seemed too thick (my original recipe included less liquid) and it was basically a hockey puck. A tasty hockey puck, but not what I was looking for in a pancake.¬†My roommates tasted said hockey puck pancake and tried to assure me it was fine- good, even. But this did not make me feel better. I pride myself on making food that tastes and looks good. I could tell what they were thinking, “why all the vegan recipes, girl? They seem to cause you a lot of anguish” Answer: even though I am not a vegan, I really like vegan food and am truly interested in the science behind alternative and special diet-oriented cooking. I’ve made many a normal pancake and now is the time to experiment.¬†So I went back into the kitchen, determined this endeavor would not be a flop. It would not become ‘that time Becca tried to make everyone pancakes and failed even though she has a cooking blog and clearly thinks she knows how to make food’.

So I stood there, staring at the sticky counter covered in pumpkin, baking soda, and crushed dreams, feeling very sorry for myself. It was getting dangerously close to The Falafel Incident (in which I attempted a scary new falafel recipe in an attempt to wow my parents and boyfriend. Long story short, I ended up sitting on the floor, stained in oil and crying. They’re serious¬†troopers for putting up with me, let me tell you). Fast forward to me on Mountain Day. Another kitchen, another frustrating frying encounter. Press play.¬†What am I doing if I can’t even make a pancake? I should just throw this all out the window and have a bowl of yogurt.¬†And then I realized I was being fucking ridiculous. I’m supposed to be an adult. Adults don’t let less-than-perfect pancakes ruin their mornings, let alone destroy their self confidence. I pulled myself together. I added more almond milk. I added water, one tablespoon at a time. I made another pot of coffee. I reheated a pan and spooned out batter. And, lo and behold, successful pancakes were¬†put on a plate. Pancakes of which I was actually quite proud!

I will not find all the solutions to my problems in a stack of pancakes, but sometimes determination pays off. And if one can feel vindicated by a tower of fried cakes, life is really not bad. Not bad at all.

Pancakes (loosely adapted from The First Mess and For Love and Lemons)

1 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened almond)

1/4 c water

3/4 cup pumpkin puree

1 ripe banana

1 1/2 c whole wheat flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2  tsp baking soda

2 pinches sea salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

¬Ĺ tsp ground ginger (or 1 tsp fresh grated ginger)

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp vanilla extract

dash maple syrup (optional)

coconut oil (for frying)

In a small bowl, whisk together the water, non-dairy milk, and pumpkin until smooth. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.¬†Whisk well. Fold in¬†the pumpkin mixture, maple syrup, vanilla extract. Combine completely, but don’t overmix!

Heat a large nonstick skillet (vegan pancakes are notoriously stubborn, don’t use a regular pan)¬†over medium heat . Brush the pan with additional melted coconut oil. ¬†Cook until¬†bubbles appear on the¬†surface and the edges look¬†cooked. Flip the pancakes over and cook for another minute. Remove pancakes and keep warm. Repeat with remaining batter and stud with maple syrup, date syrup, melted coconut oil, or jam¬†until you’ve fed all your roommates and yourself in the most festively autumnal manner!

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Breakfasts, Snacks

141

Morning Glory Muffins (V)

I love breakfast. I don’t love rushing out the door because I’ve actually taken time to eat breakfast. This usually points to muffins, as they are both breakfast and portable. I’ve had morning glory muffins many times before (except for the raisins) and always wanted to make them for myself, but I never have until now! These muffins are particularly great because there’s no added sugar happening here. And¬†as Emily mentioned, most muffins are literally just unfrosted cupcakes. And in my opinion, if you want a cupcake you should just eat a damn cupcake! You don’t have to pretend it’s a muffin in order to enjoy it. It’s okay, no one’s judging you! At least, I’m not. Regardless of which meal you want to consist entirely of cupcakes I’m going to talk to you about why actual breakfast muffins matter for a sec. As I’ve mentioned many times, I’m not living in the school dorms this year. So, when I want breakfast I have to MAKE breakfast. Which might seem like a big “duh” moment to most adults living normal lives, but let me tell you, waking up at 7:30 and making it to class by 9 is something of a challenge. I don’t know how or why it takes me so long to get ready in the morning, but it does. And since there’s no dining hall where I can¬†grab oatmeal¬†that’s already been cooked or eggs that have already been boiled or coffee that’s already been brewed this concept of breakfast becomes a faint memory. Again, I’m sure many people out there reading that are like “boo freaking hoo I get up at 5 and then walk uphill both ways to work every morning”, and to you I say congratulations, I’m really looking forward to joining you upon my impending graduation but until then just let me complain from my place of privilege, this is my blog after all!

Anyway, I’ve never been able to do¬†that¬†“complete breakfast” thing cereal commercials used to brag about -really, who eats THAT MUCH¬†at 8am??!- but this fact does not stop my stomach from growling before noon. That was a really long way of saying I’m glad these muffins are a thing. I studied a great many morning glory muffin recipes (many of which, surprise surprise, had a LOT of sugar) before making the final ingredient list. I swapped out the sugar for date paste, which sounds difficult but is not in the slightest, and used coconut oil instead of butter/canola oil because it’s just a more beneficial fat. I like to make about several batches at a time, which results in roughly 8300 muffins and then I freeze them all and defrost one anytime I need quick food! It’s so handy and there’s no dining hall (OR DIRTY DISHES!!!) involved whatsoever.

Muffins (loosely adapted from Food52)

1 1/3 c whole wheat flour

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp ground flaxseed

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 c pitted dates

1 banana, mashed

1 tsp vanilla

1/3 c coconut oil, melted

1 apple, peeled and diced

1/2 c raisins (or whatever dried fruit strikes your fancy)

3 carrots, grated

1/2 c walnuts (or any nuts you’re feelin’)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a muffin tin. Puree dates with 1/2-1 cup hot (not boiling) water in a food processor and set aside. ¬†Add dry ingredients to a large bowl and whisk together. Combine wet ingredients (including date paste) in another bowl, then add to dry ingredients and mix well. Use an ice cream scoop to fill muffin tin equally with batter and bake for about 30 minutes! If you’re saving them for an extended period of time, wrap in parchment paper and then foil and place in a freezer bag/tupperware and freeeeeze them! They’ll last for a good long while.

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Breakfasts, Desserts

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Brown Butter Blueberry Doughnuts w/ Bourbon Basil Glaze 

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I don’t know about you guys, but there are some days when I really just need to have a doughnut. Or two. Especially when they’re dunked in a bourbon glaze. You get it. My life changed last year when I got my first doughnut pan. I’d never fried my own doughnuts, so this pan was a great way to dip my toe into the doughnut game. I made these, insisting upon calling them “doughnuts”, as I felt they didn’t deserve the title¬†without sarcasm unless the dessert was deep fried until golden brown. But now I think I’m ready to take that back. Baked doughnuts are people too! They’re less messy, and less filling (so you can have five of these bad boys before hitting a wall, unlike their fried friends which always seem to leave me feeling stuffed three bites in. Not that I call it quits there, just saying.) Not to mention it’s a much easier clean-up, and in my opinion when one has doughnuts to glaze, the last thing one needs is to deal with wiping oil off every surface in the kitchen. This recipe came out very sweet, what with fresh¬†blueberries mixed right into the batter, so I’m really glad I picked a glaze that included basil. You may not think so, but basil works incredibly well with sweets. The herb¬†mellows¬†the sugar¬†in desserts (and cocktails)¬†perfectly, while also adding new flavor profiles to what might otherwise be a mundane sweet!

Doughnuts (makes 10-12; altered slightly from Joy the Baker)

2 c. flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

2 pinches ground cinnamon

2/3 c. granulated sugar

4 tbsp. butter

2 eggs

1 c. buttermilk

2 tsp. vanilla extract

blueberries (at least 1 cup)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a doughnut pan with cooking spray or butter and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and sugar. ¬†Place butter in¬†small saucepan over medium low heat. It will crackle as it browns- don’t be afraid, but keep your eye on the pan! As soon as it looks golden brown and smells nutty, remove pan from heat and transfer to a bowl (even the very brown bits).

In a small bowl whisk together eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla.  Add the browned butter and combine. Add the wet ingredients all at once to the dry. Combine well but try not to overmix the batter!

Spoon¬†batter into the prepared pan. ¬†Smooth out and fill each doughnut three-quarters full with batter. Sprinkle blueberries over the top. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. ¬†Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely. Sample one doughnut to make sure they’re not poisonous.¬†While the doughnuts cool, make the glaze!

Glaze (from the Candid Appetite)

1 cup blueberries

1 tbsp fresh basil, torn

3 tbsp bourbon

3 cups powdered sugar

In a food processor blend the berries until smooth, then add the basil and bourbon and blend. Transfer mixture to a bowl and add powdered sugar. Whisk until combined. If it’s too thin, add more sugar; if too thick, add more bourbon or water (1 teaspoon at a time!) Dunk the doughnuts and then decorate with sprinkles or torn basil leaves!

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Breakfasts

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Vegan Breakfast Quinoa Porridge

I’m a big fan of oatmeal for breakfast, but it can get pretty boring after a long cold winter. That’s when I invite quinoa in to save the day! It takes a bit longer to prepare, but it’s unbelievably delicious, and can be enjoyed cold or hot. If I know I’m looking at a really busy day I like to start it with breakfast quinoa- nothing makes me lazier than not having enough for breakfast. This recipe will make a decent amount of porridge, easily enough for 3-4 portions. If you’re cooking for one it’ll keep in the fridge (almonds in a separate container to avoid sogginess!) for a few days, just warm it in a saucepan on low or enjoy it cold! In terms of the optional maple syrup, I really don’t think this recipe needs sweetener (especially if you’re using sweetened almond milk) but try exploring to see what suits you.

Porridge (adapted from Food52)

– 1/2 cup sliced almonds

– 1 c. quinoa

– 1 c. water

– 1 c. almond coconut milk (or any kind of milk that floats your boat)

– 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

– 1/2 tsp. ground cloves

– 1/4 tsp. salt

– 2 tbsp. maple syrup (optional)

– 3 tbsp. coconut cream¬†(or the creamy top skimmed off of full-fat coconut milk, or¬†half and half- YES I know that’s not vegan, but neither am I, so it was fine with me! Obviously make your own adjustments according to dietary preferences)

Heat a shallow pan over medium heat. Toast almonds until golden. Quickly remove from heat and transfer to a cool plate to avoid burning. Rinse quinoa using a sieve until the rinse water runs clear (some¬†packaged quinoa comes “pre-rinsed”, but I like to do it again for funzies, and sometimes I do buy it from bulk bins so it’s a good habit either way). Boil the¬†quinoa, salt, cinnamon, milk and water to boil (and maple syrup if using). Reduce heat to a simmer for about 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let stand for five minutes, fluff quinoa with a fork (the liquid should be mostly absorbed). Top each¬†serving with coconut cream or half and half and toasted almonds. Try also topping it with dried fruit, flaked coconut, an/or ground flaxseed. Such a fun alternative to oatmeal, I must say!

 

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Breakfasts, Desserts, Snacks

ninety

Blood Orange and Raspberry Muffins

Time to admit a secret: most of the stuff I’ll be posting for the¬†foreseeable¬†future were made in advance over the long break from school I just finished. Good thing, too, because the idea of cooking and writing here right now doesn’t make me as happy as it usually does. Luckily my usual amount of excitement regarding food/drink was captured in the posts I’ve already written. Readers, (that may or may not actually exist) I hope that the recipes and crafts I publish here brighten your life.¬†Sorry about the #feelings, I promise I don’t plan on sharing this much again (and honestly, I don’t really know why I’m doing it now) so don’t stop reading or anything…but give me a break, I don’t keep a diary.

I can honestly say these were the best muffins I’ve ever tasted. I’m assuming it’s the blood orange, because how could something this beautiful not taste amazing?! But, maybe it’s the raspberries, considering they are one of my favorite foods. Or maybe it’s because I made them with Emily (guest poster¬†extraordinaire) and her positive cooking vibes (yeah, I said cooking vibes) were absorbed in the batter. Who knows? Regardless of the reason, I knew we’d succeeded with these muffins when the I went to their container the following morning after we made them and my family had devoured all but a few crumbs.

Muffins (makes about 12; adapted from ‚ÄúBaking: From My Home to Yours‚ÄĚ)
– Grated zest and juice of 1 blood orange

– 3/4 cup buttermilk (I used dried, as per usual. Follow the instructions according to the container)

– 2 large eggs at room temperature

– 3 tbsp. honey

– 1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled

– 1/3 cup sugar

– 2 cups all-purpose flour

– 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder

– 1/4 tsp. baking soda

– 1/4 tsp. salt

– 1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen (I used frozen, as I often do, and lived to tell the tale- but don’t thaw them unless you want a soggy muffin!)

– Raw sugar, for topping (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter or spray 12 molds in a regular-size muffin tin. Place the muffin pan on a baking sheet (this will prevent the muffin bottoms from cooking too quickly and burning!)

Pour the blood orange juice into a large bowl and add enough buttermilk to make 1 cup. Whisk in the eggs, honey and melted butter.

In another large bowl, rub the sugar and orange zest together with your fingertips until the sugar begins to dampen. Whisk in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and gently fold together with a rubber spatula. The batter will be lumpy, but that’s okay. Fold in the raspberries. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.

Bake for 22 to 25 minutes. If using, sprinkle on the raw sugar after the muffins have baked for 10 minutes. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing muffins from the tin.

I absolutely LOVE the way these bad boys look in pictures!

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Breakfasts

eighty six

Breakfast Granola Bowl

As I’ve mentioned before, breakfast foods are my favorite foods. Regardless of the time of day, I will always want breakfast. It’s just a thing. One of my new favorite breakfasts is a big fruit and granola bowl! It’s crunchy and sweet and has just a little spicy bite from the ginger. I very much recommend this to the standard cereal/oatmeal breakfast. It can easily be made beforehand (minus the fruit, obviously) and stored in a mason jar, ready to be grabbed for all breakfast-on-the-go needs!

Granola (serves 1)

– 1 cup granola (use whatever floats your boat!)

– 1/4 cup oats

– 3 tbsp. ground flaxseed

– 3 tbsp. dried coconut

– 3 tbsp. almonds

–¬†3 tbsp. chopped pecans

– 3 tbsp. hazelnuts

– 1/4 cup dried cherries and cranberries

– 2 tsp. chopped candied ginger

– 1/2 green apple, chopped

– other chopped fruit like bananas, strawberries, grapes, etc!

Combine all ingredients, then add yogurt or milk. Enjoy!

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Breakfasts, Main Dishes, Snacks

eighty one

Waffle Fried Egg Sandwich

There’s something about wintry weather that makes me want to eat hot breakfast foods for every meal of the day. Maybe ’cause in my book they’re just the ultimate comfort food. And I don’t know about anyone else, but nothing says eat copious amounts of comfort food like being in the middle of the depths of hell finals week, which is where I currently am. It’s the worst, #srsly. Anyway, I guarantee that the moment you bite into this sandwich, which happens to involve at least two great breakfast comfort foods, you will forget about everything else you have to do today for a few brief moments. Trust me, I’m only here to help, guys! My favorite part of this sandwich is the fact that there are endless possibilities in terms of jazzing-it-up-ness (yes, real term. You’re welcome): you could add breakfast meats, several different kinds of cheese, hot sauce, pesto, avocado, tomato, sauteed onions, and more! Have fun with your sandwich!

Sandwich

– Waffles (scroll down for recipe)

– 2 eggs (or however many makes you happy, I don’t judge)

– sharp cheddar cheese

– salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to its lowest setting.¬†Make the waffles. Once the batter is prepared, make a waffle. If you’re planning to make several sandwiches, place the waffles on cookie trays and keep them in the oven, flipping them every 5 minutes so they stay warm and crisp throughout the cooking process. Fry your eggs (I like them fried over medium here, in case you were curious) and then assemble your sandwich using what I included in the recipe, or get fancy with some of the suggestions I included in the explanation! There are no wrong answers!

Waffles (adapted from the Fannie Farmer Cookbook and Pancakes and Waffles, makes about 10 6-inch waffles)

–¬†1 1/2 cups flour

– 2 tsp. baking powder

– 1/2 tsp. salt

– 3 eggs, separated

– 1 cup milk

– 5 tbsp. butter, melted and cooled

– splash of very bubbly seltzer

Sift dry ingredients. Whisk egg yolks, milk, and melted butter (the best way to do this is to whisk the yolks while streaming in the butter, then slowing streaming in the milk. This helps you avoid any re-solidifying of the butter from the coldness of the milk). Add the dry to the wet ingredients and whisk until just mixed. Beat egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold into batter, but don’t overmix. Add the splash of seltzer and make those waffles!¬†(Also: if you’re looking for a sweeter waffle, add 1 tbsp. sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla extract along with the dry and wet ingredients respectively!)

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Breakfasts, Drinks

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French Press Café au Lait

In honor of my 50th post (cue the confetti!!) I thought I’d share with you my way to make the greatest substance on earth: Coffee. I wasn’t always a caffeine addict, a caffiend if you will, but I can assure you I am now. Coffee doesn’t wake me up, it makes me..alive. And if you’re interested in a less intense sounding sentence, I am absolutely a full-blown coffee lover. It’s bad, guys. BUT, before you freak out, I gotta say, did anyone read this article? I’m serious, read it! It’ll take five minutes. YEAH. I bet you feel a little silly now. I bet you went back to the kitchen and had a cup.

So as a college student, the greater portion of my coffee drinking days are spent choking down watery bitter excuses for the free dining hall coffee OR spending precious “dining dollars” on shall we say, mediocre coffee in the campus cafe OR spending equally precious and significantly more real dollars on the good coffee living in the Northampton cafes. That’s a pretty sad sentence isn’t it? I know. So a solution to this problem presented itself: French Press. It’s quick, relatively simple, and doesn’t require a coffeemaker the size of a dorm closet! You have to practice a bit to figure out your preferred ratio of water to coffee, but I assure you, it’s worth it. ¬†And just in case anyone’s still wondering, “caf√© au lait” is the correct way to spell coffee with milk in French. As much as I wish it is, it’s not caf√© ol√©, like “coffee! hooray!”

Also if you’ve ever been confused about what the difference between a latte and a cappuccino is, check this out:

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French Press au Lait

– Coffee, ground for a french press

– Boiling water

– about 4 oz. Milk

The first step here is to get a french press. I use this and it works great, but someday I hope to own this, because I firmly believe looks are everything.vsco_0-4

French press ground coffee needs to be thicker than normal coffee pot coffee, it should look something like this. The finer the grind, the harder it will be to press. You’ll also have many floating bits of grinds in your cup. Ew. Thick is the way to go.

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Boil water in a kettle, not the microwave. Measure 1 rounded tbsp. of coffee grinds per “cup” ¬†(4 oz. in the coffee world)¬†of water. Unless you’re me. Then you should do like a tablespoon and a half.

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Pour your preboiled water into the pot (you’re looking for 200 degrees F here, but I still don’t have a thermometer so I wing it and the sky hasn’t yet fallen), being sure to cover all the grounds.vsco_0-5

Since I was just making a small pot, you can’t see it that well, but the grinds will begin to puff up and “bloom”, that foamy looking substance in the picture.

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Next, using a chopstick, stir the slurry (grinds at the bottom) around to ensure more flavor and really release the bloom (shhh, I know I sound insane. Bear with me). But see how foamy it gets??!vsco_2-3

Let the coffee steep for 2-3 minutes. Evenly and gently press down the filter to the bottom of the cup. Now heat your milk on the stove in a small saucepan. When it’s hot, simultaneously pour it and the coffee into your mug, you’re going for as close to a half and half ratio between the two liquids as you can. You’ll end up with a beautiful caramel colored coffee.¬†vsco_0-6vsco_0-7

 

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