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Posts Tagged ‘breakfast’

In peak harvest season I’m always inspired to make granola, although I’m not sure why. In a blur, the kitchen becomes transformed as I bring in bags and bags in of nuts, fruits and seeds and then begin mixing in my largest bowl, which is never large enough. Then, after the first batch, I make another, and then another, and then another, until we have a supply of granola to last until Christmas.  Then it happens over again! This year, so far I have gone through 25 cups of rolled oats!

The great thing about making granola, aside from the fact that it is really easy and delicious, is that I know exactly what I put into it, and that means it’s all things I like and things that are healthy.

My recipe here is a tiny version of what happens in the kitchen at our place, so feel free to multiply it several times over if you want to make granola for a few weeks or even a month at a time. That, and also feel free to adapt the recipe with ingredients of your preference: if you don’t like the crunch of Kamut as much, substitute more oats or barley, for example. If you’re a big fan of pecans, then substitute those for almonds!

Ingredients – about 12 cups (feel free to multiply to make it even more worthwhile)

-2/3 cup honey
-1/2 cup water
-1 tsp maple extract (optional)
-1 cup canola oil

-2 cups rolled oats
-1 cups rolled Kamut Flakes
-1 cups rolled Barley Flakes
-1/2 cup sesame seeds
-1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
-1 cups wheat germ
-1 cup wheat bran
-1 cups chopped raw almonds
-1 cup chopped hazelnuts
-1 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
-2 tsp cinnamon

-1 cup dried blueberries
-1 cup chopped dried peaches
– other dried fruit if desired

Directions

Preheat oven to 275F.

In a small saucepan, bring water and honey to a simmer. Remove from heat, and once it has cooled a bit, add the extract (optional) and the oil. Let stand while mixing the next ingredients.

In your largest bowl, combine the next 11 ingredients. Using a wooden spoon (or your hands), mix it thoroughly. Then pour half of the honey/sugar mixture over the oat mixture. Mix well so everything is as coated as possible, then add the remaining honey mixture. Mix again.

In a separate bowl, mix the dried fruit. Set aside.

I like to use fruit I dehydrate in the granola – it makes it possible to have dried blueberries, peaches, and anything I like!

Pour half the granola onto two baking dishes or cookie sheets. Place in oven for 15 minutes, then stir. Return to oven for another 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and stir in the dried fruit. Let cool to room temperature then store in an airtight container.

Serve with milk or your favourite yogurt for breakfast or a delicious snack!

-Sitelle

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It was a complete co-incidence that I woke up craving egg bread french toast. I went to the store in my neighbourhood, surprised that there was only one loaf left, until I realized it’s easter. Right. Isn’t it strange my cravings coincide with special occasions?

While cooking the french toast, I realized we had used up the last of our maple syrup in the ice cream a few weeks ago. Instead, I decided to make a simple vanilla-infused syrup, which was very different, and absolutely delicious.

Ingredients – to make a breakfast for two

French toast

-1 cup milk
-2 eggs
-1 tsp sugar
-1 pinch salt
-4 thick slices of egg bread
-butter, for frying

Vanilla syrup

-1/2 cup sugar
-1/2 cup water-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1 vanilla bean, scraped

Directions

French toast

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, sugar and salt. Heat a frying pan over medium-low heat and melt a knob of butter. Soak 2 slices of bread in the egg mixture, and then fry one side until golden, around 4 minutes. Flip it over, and repeat the process. You may need to include a bit more butter.

Repeat with the next two slices, and more slices if any liquid remains.

Vanilla syrup

In a small saucepan, combine the water and sugar, and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the vanilla extract and all the scrapings from the vanilla bean as well as the vanilla pod. Simmer it down 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Whisk it all together at the end before serving to dissipate the vanilla granules evenly.

Just make sure you let it thicken enough to be syrupy – so don’t hesitate to let it boil down a little longer than I recommended because it depends on the stove!

Pour it over the french toast, and you can dress it up even more with fruit.

-Sitelle

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This morning, we woke up to the sound of high winds and rain lashing at our windows reminiscent of the village my family comes from in Normandy. Perhaps surprisingly, I quite enjoy a good storm. And the cold and wet outdoors will be less appetizing as a distractor from my current challenge of studying for my very last two exams of undergrad.

With the weather reminding me of Normandy (and France, in general), I got out of bed with the idea of making madeleines au citron, one of my grandfather’s very favourite things to dip into his café au lait. They make a great substitute for sunshine on a day like today.

Instead of a café au lait, we ate them with soft-boiled eggs and a lemongrass-hibiscus flower tea.  To complete it all, our forsythia bush has burst into bloom, and so its sunny flowers accompanied our lovely breakfast. It was one of those mornings you wish could never end!

This recipe is another I have very slightly modified from Dorie Greenspan’s Around my French Table (p 409). Just a quick warning – they are best when the batter rests for over 3 hours before being baked. My solution to this problem, being a spur-of-the-moment type of person, is to double the recipe.  I can then have a delicious treat right away (by baking the first dozen) while the remaining batter can sit in the fridge until the following morning when they become even more delicious. It works every time!

Ingredients – 12 madeleines

-2/3 cups all-purpose flour-3/4 tsp baking powder
-pinch salt
-1/2 cup sugar
-2 eggs
-zest from 1 lemon
-2 tsp vanilla extract
-7 Tbsp cooled melted butter (browned butter
is the best)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400F, with a rack one notch below the middle.  If you have a mixer, this is the time to use it – and if not – then this is your time to build a lot of arm muscles!  In a large bowl, mix the sugar and lemon zest with your fingers, working the lemon zest into the sugar to infuse the flavour as much as possible. Then add the 2 eggs, and beat (with a mixer) for 2 minutes (takes more like 5-10 minutes of vigorous beating by hand, and it’s totally do-able), until the mixture is frothy and thickened.

Once the mixture is ready, beat in the 2 tsp vanilla.

In a separate bowl, blend the flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly and carefully incorporate the flour into the egg mixture with a rubber spatula, 1/4 at a time. Finally, add in the melted cooled butter while gently mixing with the rubber spatula.

Grease the madeleine mould (or muffin tin if you don’t have one) and sprinkle with flour.  Add enough batter to each to fill it but do not make them overflow. Bake in the oven for 9-13 minutes, until the tops are springy and golden.


Bon appétit!

-Sitelle

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It’s no secret that I’m a morning person.  And there’s nothing more I like to do (well, not much) than wake up early and bake something delicious to share for breakfast.  Today, it was these muffins, which we accompanied with mocha yogurt and bohemian raspberry (green tea with raspberry plant leaves) tea.  It was such a treat, and was helpful in getting my cooking bug/procrastination out of the way for a big day of essay writing.

It took a few tries to perfect this recipe – to make them fluffy and not too sweet or too tart, with a hint of lemon.  I think it’s now ready to share with you all!  I can also add this recipe to the cranberry compilation I posted right at the beginning. I love cranberries.

Ingredients – 12 beautiful muffins

-1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
-1 cup whole-wheat flour
-1 Tbsp baking powder
-1/4 tsp salt
-pinch (1/8 tsp) cinnamon

-1 large egg
-1 1/4 cup milk + juice from 1/2 lemon
-1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
-1 tsp vanilla
-1/2 cup granulated sugar
-zest from 2 washed lemons

-2 cups fresh or frozen (but try to avoid dried – you would need less sugar if you used those) cranberries

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400F.  Line a 12-muffin tin with muffin liners (the easy version) or grease and dust with flour.

In a large bowl, mix all wet ingredients, the sugar and the lemon zest.  In a separate bowl, combine all the first 5 dry ingredients, and stir well.  Quickly incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet ones, and add the cranberries.

Spoon mixture into the muffin tins evenly.  They should fill almost to the top. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a tooth pick comes out clean and the tops are golden.  Remove the muffins from the tin and let cool on a wire rack for a few minutes.  Enjoy for breakfast, a snack, or with tea!  These are definitely a treat anytime.

-Sitelle

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I like reading cookbooks for fun.  I’ve been doing this since I was little – I even looked at the pictures before I could read.  This has resulted in a huge repertoire of cooking information, including about 10 different ways of making omelettes.  Eventually, I’ll post them all.  For now though, I’m focusing on a recipe I learned from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. This is also the same style of omelettes they make at La Mère Poulard at the Mt. St. Michel in France where the cooks actually create rhythms while beating the eggs in large copper bowls.

I love that omelettes can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, depending on the mood, the time the craving strikes, and what I have to accompany them.  They are never boring because so many different varieties exist.

On the topic of omelettes, I figured I’d also weigh in with an interesting fact about eggs.  Eggs are truly the perfect protein for humans.  Different types of protein (lamb, chicken, beans, or lentils, for example) have different amounts of specific amino acids needed by humans.  Humans also need specific types of amino acids in specific ratios, and the egg happens to have the closest thing to the perfect ratio of amino acids to nourish a human at least for its protein requirement.  How cool is that?  Eggs were, until recently, used as the standard against which to measure the quality of other proteins relative to what humans need.  It has between 90 and 99% of the perfect match with human amino acid needs.  A “perfect artificial standard” has since been created, retiring the egg from its standard position, but its composition should nonetheless be remembered.

Ingredients – 2 servings

-3 large eggs
-1 Tbsp salted butter
-1/2 cup grated cheese of your choice – in this case cheddar

Directions

Whisk the eggs together, beating vigorously until they tripple in volume.  That is the key step, according to Julia Child.  I’d never done this before myself, and I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome.  This takes between 4-8 minutes, depending on your level of experience or use of an electric beater.  In an oven-proof frying pan, heat the butter.  Once it is bubbly, pour over the frothy egg mixture.  Let it cook over medium-low heat, until the edges are golden.  Preheat the broiler at maximum.  When the mixture is mostly solid, sprinkle the grated cheese over top, careful to spread it out and not to put too much in.  Place this under the broiler for 1-3 minutes, depending on the strength of the broiler, until it puffs up more, and is golden on top.  Serve over fresh toast, home-fries, or whatever you like to have omelettes on!  Just a note – hold the salt and pepper until you’ve tried it – I don’t even think this omelette needs anything, except perhaps a few snipped chives from the garden if it is that kind of day.

-Sitelle

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