Tag Archive for 'Breakfast'

Seedy Chocolate Ginger Slice Bars & Other Musings

As I post this long overdue note, I am reminded how quickly life can change – and it has. Week One of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in my part of the world saw the initial lockdown expanded from local pockets in the Bay Area to all of California. It has us all looking for ways to stay connected. Virtual is the new every day- and respectful in-home space is a necessity for the new work and study from home evolving culture. I’ll be sharing more recipes and thoughts but for now, let’s get back to a day, not oh, so long ago when this Black Swan event wasn’t even a blip in our consciousness.

Written on January 2, 2020.

Heading into a new decade- the roaring ’20s carries with it a lot of Gatsby-esque lore. But things have changed. A lot. Not just on a personal level but as a nation. In the ’20s a nation was separated by their limited transportation or financial options. Now we are isolated by choice. By the option to do things in our own desired timeframe, creating our own moments. I am feeling a definite nostalgia for the monoculture of yore. The last decade was riddled with one word across multiple experiences- overload. Practically a sanity-endangering overload that took hold in 2000 and by 2020 manifests in a liquidity of information in excess – original content, streaming music, algorithms of your preferences served like a dessert buffet, less thinking involved and less time for shared group experiences. It’s no wonder that I now cling to things that foster a shared sense of unity in our small circles like watching The Godfather on TV at Thanksgiving, complete with annoying commercials, or trying to find a movie that we all like to watch together vs all sitting in one room, on our devices doing different things. In the last decade, it has become easier to be alone, and simultaneously feel stretched. Even despite all of the things we lost, in the rubble and ashes of our collectiveness is the interest to work together as a team. And from the ashes rise the phoenix. New things we never thought or dreamt of like mimes, podcasts and binge-watching are now creating their own communities. AI themes are becoming a reality, yet somehow shared temporality continues to exist. The world is full of change and possibility.

This last decade was not to be taken lightly on the personal front either. In it all, thanks to modern technology, I cheated death. Well, technically, I did it twice. I’ve discovered my ability to find humor, treat myself with less seriousness and that when I am stressed, I find myself in the kitchen. Simplification is my talisman. #GetWhatYouWant is my 2020 motto and the more I say it, the more it becomes true. And that is exactly what I’ve set my sights. From cars to getaways to special moments to spending time with those I adore to rediscovering fun again in my art of words and strategy. For the first time, it feels as if the sky is the limit. The culmination of life and love and dedication and persistence.

One of my constants is people. Good people make the special moments memorable, the important professional milestones less difficult / more rewarding and are IMO the true testament to who you are – your sense of humor, ability to handle stress and find your happiness. Lately, I’ve found a lot of incredible moments. This one leads to a recipe. The reader’s digest version is that in January some good things happened, and I found myself in London at a meeting in a drop-dead gorgeous spot, way too early to be having breakfast and then this unassuming ‘bar’ turned my head. I ate one and followed it with another, then sheepishly asked for the recipe. ACCESS DENIED. They did offer to let me take a few of these bars home. Then the real fun began as I attempted to deconstruct and reconstruct this magic.

These bars, filled will nuts and seeds, make a tasty snack. Toasted seeds and oatmeal give this bar extra flavor, and the addition of gingery/chocolatey goodness makes for a great blend of textures and flavors. This super easy granola bar is what says it is. Super easy, seedy and amazing! Other flaked grains like quinoa or rice flakes can be used. Substitute nuts with more seeds to make them nut-free. So many possibilities! Added bonus, these bars are both vegan and gluten-free.

Seedy Chocolate Ginger Slice Bars

Ingredients

1 cup old fashioned oats, certified gluten-free if necessary

1/4 cup toasted/roasted pumpkin seeds pepitas or sunflower seeds

2 TBS sesame seeds or hemp seeds

2 TBS chia seeds

3 TBS raw cashews

1/4 cup walnuts or pecans

3 TBS chopped candied ginger

pinch of salt (optional)

protein powder (optional)

1 TBS sugar (optional)

3/4 cup vegan semi-sweet chocolate

2 tsp coconut oil

Directions

Toast the oats on a skillet over medium heat until fragrant and the color changes slightly which is approximately 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the oats and set aside. Add the pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds to the skillet and toast until they start to change color; approximately 4- 5 minutes. Then add in the chia seeds and continue to toast for a minute longer; add it to the bowl with the oats.

Chop up cashews, walnuts, and candied ginger into small pieces and combine. Mix in a pinch of salt. If using protein powder, you can add it in now and mix until well combined.

In a double boiler or the same skillet over medium-low heat, add chocolate and coconut oil and continue mixing until most of the chocolate is melted. Add 1 TBS sugar if you tend to like sweeter bars. Remove from heat and continue to whisk until smooth. Allow the mixture to sit for a minute. Next add the toasted oats, seeds, nuts, candied ginger to the skillet.

Transfer the mixture to parchment-lined 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. Using another piece of parchment on top, press the mixture down evenly.

Chillfor 15 minutes. Slice and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

The Pops Special Sunday Breakfast Sandwich

It was just a simple sandwich. He was a simple man. He was kind-hearted and quiet, he is what many would call ‘the salt of the earth’. That was my paternal Grandfather, Nunzio Alioto. He was always there with a smile and a helping hand for family or someone in need. He to me was the embodiment of Continue reading ‘The Pops Special Sunday Breakfast Sandwich’

Hawaiian Haupia Pudding & Purple Potatoes & Superpowers

So, based on my last blog, you may be wondering about that Super Hero Podcast I was telling you about. The funny thing is, I was a bit underwhelmed by it overall. Yet, it must have left its mark on me because here I am thinking about it again. Odd!

Perhaps it is time to figure it out. What is my superhero power if not restricted to (a) invisibility or (b) flying since both of those are, well, not really possible in our current existence.

I started to think about a variety of things … cooking, being a devoted friend, keeping in touch with people (family/friends) maybe it was less about it being a superpower and more about it being a quality I am proud of or want to emulate. I think on many levels I like to see others comfortable and happy. That’s hardly a superpower. But I do think there is power in my actions and words that span the gamut. Continue reading ‘Hawaiian Haupia Pudding & Purple Potatoes & Superpowers’

Coconut Pistachio Bites – Mermaid and Cinderella Stories

Life gets tricky, relationships get complicated and the unknown can be terrifying. There are certainly a lot of ways to read or read-into that last sentence so I should explain. Continue reading ‘Coconut Pistachio Bites – Mermaid and Cinderella Stories’

Tea and Pineapple Infused Blood Oranges

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Lessons learned. Sometimes I feel that despite my age, I remain a student of life’s lessons. There is an inherent energy that comes with this type of continual adrenalin rush that toggles the line between invigorating and insurmountable.

Continue reading ‘Tea and Pineapple Infused Blood Oranges’

Merry Matcha Christmas Holiday Breakfast Bowl

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The holiday blur hit and was wonderfully relentless. It seemed as if the days melted by with to-do lists longer than one could imagine – I struggled to find time to share my new cooking/baking creations. And yet my thoughts continued to come back here, to find you.

Continue reading ‘Merry Matcha Christmas Holiday Breakfast Bowl’

Matcha Berry Breakfast Bowl

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Life just feels rushed. There is so little time to reflect and focus on the finer points of day to day life as I find myself rushing from place to place. Given that reality, I’ve gone into survival mode on the food front. I refuse to compromise quality and creativity, so I am modifying what I create given available pantry and refrigerator ingredients to satisfy my crazy savory palate. I realize that this concoction may not be for everyone, but I also know that many of you really enjoy diving into new flavors so I am going to take a gamble.

I cannot quite pinpoint when my palate took a turn towards the savory spectrum of flavors. I’ve thought about it over and over again and come up with a zilch. I can only suppose that when my mom was diagnosed with diabetes several years ago that my tastebud transformation began to take hold in its infancy. Despite the fact that she has never been a big sweets eater, knowing that she was suddenly not supposed to have her favorite desserts seemed to make her crave them all the more. I compare it to when I’ve “attempted” to diet in the past. The thought of the word diet makes me suddenly want to eat all of the caloric comfort foods I can find. I digress…back to this savory breakfast post.

What you can expect to taste with this bowl of yum? It’s an explosion of textures and flavors. The creamy yogurt is a blank slate for the rest of the flavors that are combined in this recipe. The matcha and nutritional yeast lend a slant of saltiness, which is counter acted by the sweet plump fresh berries and the tart dried berries. Nuts provide an added crunch, while the mango chutney is both sweet and spicy. For the finishing touches, the maple syrup drizzle seals the deal with a hint of sweetness.

This recipe, yet another one of my go-with-the flow recipes, takes all of six minutes to assemble.

blackberry match 3 up close

Matcha Berry Breakfast Bowl

Ingredients

1 cup Greek yogurt

1 handful blackberries or blueberries

1 TBS dried goji berries

1 TBS sliced almonds or salted marcona almonds

1/8 tsp nutritional yeast (optional)

1/4 tsp matcha powder

1 TBS hot mango chutney

1/2-1 tsp maple syrup

Directions

Place yogurt in a bowl and then sprinkle with matcha powder, nuts and berries. Next add nutritional yeast, if using. Top with mango chutney and drizzle with maple syrup.

blackberry matcha 2 top down

Sassy RED Spicy Granola

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Remember waking up early, sneaking downstairs to make your mom a special Mother’s Day Breakfast in bed? The quality of the breakfast was usually commensurate with the age. My specialty was drop biscuits with jam. Still one of my favorites go to breakfasts even today.

I remember my kids brining me flowers from the yard and burnt cheese on burnt toast. And I loved it! I loved hearing them scamper about the kitchen, trying desperately to be quite in their loudest ‘yell whispers’. Continue reading ‘Sassy RED Spicy Granola’

Anytime PBJ Toast – The Make-Over

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I know, I’ve been silent. It’s not that I haven’t had anything to share, but rather too much to share to know where to begin. I am at some sort of a beginning and I’ve yet to crystallize my thoughts, but time and distance are moving me closer to that bridge. Right now I am the most simple version of me that I can ever recall. There is time to observe what’s going on around me, and even time to think through a situation and examine if my life pre-Cancer was all that amazing and worth repeating. Continue reading ‘Anytime PBJ Toast – The Make-Over’

Matcha Ricotta Happiness Bowl

matcha ricotta happiess bowl

There are times in life when your go to move is the ‘no recipe move’. Some cooks, like my Guy, can simply open up the refrigerator and create amazing concoctions based upon inspiration from the available ingredients. I typically am not in this category. I love to follow a good recipe concept, and often times Continue reading ‘Matcha Ricotta Happiness Bowl’