Tag Archives: breakfast

Vanilla Infused Overnight Oats

February 23, 2019

It’s the dead of winter days here in New England – long and dark. Night still seeps into morning, and that blue black void is hardly conducive to an early start. Beguiled by the warmth of our beds, its often hard to rouse ourselves up and out into the day. But the promise of a warm kitchen and fulfilling breakfast, even on those multi-directional weekday mornings, gives us much needed motivation. We have come to look forward to our darkened mornings, and have become something we each look forward to when the alarm goes off. This winter we have successfully won back breakfast with an incredibly simple but satisfying breakfast ritual. At its core is an age old combination – whole milk and oats. These two stalwarts of breakfast certainly become more than the sum of their parts with the addition of made in Maine Oakhurst Dairy whole milk and a sweetly modern twist on the bowl of porridge.

The frigid tempratures make hearty breakfasts a New England necessity but these overnight oats have made it something much more acheivable and enjoyable this winter. They easily lend themselves to the hurried mornings (even more hurried with Ruairí now in the mix), a simple stir and toss on of toppings (my favorites suggested below) and these vanilla overnight oats, creamy with whole milk from Oakhurst Dairy and elevated from the heady scent and exotic flavors of cinnamon and vanilla. These last months we have nurtured our new ritual of breakfast together, just us three in the kitchen, a steaming kettle on the table and bowls of these overnight oats at hand. And with just a bit of practice (most of the work comes the night before, infusing the milk and combining it with the oats) we have easily gotten the hang of weekday breakfasts together. Starting the day with a little goodness has made all the difference this winter. And getting to watch the sun come up, cresting the stone wall and flooding through the house as been an added bonus

ingredients

  • 3 cups Oakhurst whole milk
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats, rinsed
  • 2 whole vanilla beans
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, about 3″ each
  • 2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup raw buckwheat
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • salt

instructions

Run the tip of a very sharp knife length wise down each vanilla bean, scoring the skin on one side and opening up gently to reveal the seeds. In a medium sauce pan place the Oakhurst whole milk, vanilla beans, cinnamon sticks and dark brown sugar

infuse the milk over low heat for about 30 minutes, you should see a little steam rising off the top of the milk but do not let it simmer or boil. While the milk is infusing, place oats in a strainer and rinse under cool water using your finger tips to scrub the oats. Let them drain well then place them in a large bowl with a pinch of salt. Toss to combine

Once infused, remove milk from the heat and let stand a few minutes to cool. Then transfer two cups of the milk to the oats along with the cinnamon sticks and vanilla beans. Stir well to combine, cover and store in the refrigerator overnight until breakfast the next morning.

Reserve remaining cup of milk for a before bed treat or to top the oats when serving.

For the toasted buckwheat. Place butter and a pinch of salt in a pan over medium low heat. When the butter begins to bubble, add the buckwheat to the pan and toss well with the butter. Cook, stirring continuously about 5 minutes or until the buckwheat is browned and nutty smelling. Remove from the pan and let cool. Once cool, buckwheat can be stored in an air tight container on the counter for up to one week.

To serve: Remove overnight oats from the refrigerator and stir well. If desired, they can be heated in a sauce pan over medium or simply served straight from the refrigerator. Top with a splash of the remaining reserved milk (also heated if desired) and a sprinkling of the toasted kasha. Fruit, fruit compote (im loving blood orange right now), a swirl of your favorite jam, toasted nuts or seeds can also be an nice addition

This post is sponsored in part by Oakhurst Dairy. all thoughts and opinions are my own

rhubarb skillet cake

May 3, 2018

This recipe is the result of one of those happy accident moments. The kind where you set out with one intention and are left with an entirely different (read not bad, just not expected) result. What started as a batch of scones, somewhere along the way lost its true scone-ness and became instead this equally good but different skillet cake. The very first round wasn’t good exactly but it held the promise of possibility and to my mind that warrants, if nothing else, at least another try. You see, I’m a big believer in happy accidents, in leaving room for magic and the promise of possibility, both in life and in the kitchen. It is precisely the potential in these between spaces that keep the everyday interesting, exciting and fresh. If I don’t leave space for the unexpected or what I more fondly prefer to think of as an everyday sort of magic I find that is when a staleness creeps in and a rigidity of routine and shortsightedness creeps in. This quickly becomes stifling and a vicious cycle which leads to nowhere except feeling uninspired and not being able to see the elegance in the everyday. And so back to our skillet cake. No, it did not turn out to be a batch of scones and yes the first incarnation of the batter was, quite frankly a runny, gummy disaster, but I baked it anyway and tasted and what I found was that I loved the flavors and the hearty delicateness of the cake. There was spark of something there, a hit that something more was possible, and so a few tweaks and few more tests and this lovely rhubarb skillet cake became something all its own. 

It’s perfect to use up the glut of rhubarb this time of year and a lovely fluffy breakfast or brunch dish (of course you could serve it with fresh berried and a dollop of cream for dessert too) sort of thing. It comes together incredibly quickly with rather little effort, especially if using a food processor. But, you don’t need one to make it. And as it bakes the smell fills the kitchen and permeates the rooms beyond adding only to the magic of these brightly light spring mornings 

Breakfast Rhubarb Skillet Cake

  • 2C | 250g flour
  • 1/4C | 65g sugar
  • 1 TBSP baking powder
  • 5 TBSP | 74g butter
  • 1 C |150g Rhubarb – sugared with scant 3 Tbsp / 35g
  • 1/2 C + 1T buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla
  • demerara sugar or other course grained sugar for sprinkling over the top plus a Tbsp or so extra buttermilk (optional)
  1. preheat your oven to 425F/ 220C
  2. grease a 9″ pie dish or round baking pan, line the bottom with a circle of parchment.
  3. Slice rhubarb stock into 1/4″ or so discs and toss with the 3 T | 35g sugar
  4. in a food processor or large bowl combine the flour, 1/4C|65g sugar, baking powder, butter. Pulse together until the texture of peas and turn out into a large bowl. Do not over work, some chunks of butter is ok. If doing it by hand, rub butter into the flour mixture with the tip of your fingers.
  5. toss the rhubarb with the flour and mix to coat well. make a well at the center of the dry mixture and add in the buttermilk. Stir to combine, then add the egg lightly beaten and vanilla. stir until everything is just combined and turn out the mixture into the baking pan
  6. with the back of a spoon spread mixture evenly in the pan and score crosswise about 6 times
  7. Brush the top with a little extra buttermilk and sprinkle with demerara sugar
  8. Bake 30-35 mins

poached rhubarb and two superfood sprinkles

April 5, 2018

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“Well thats a sure sign of spring” the woman uttered as, unloading my basket, I handed her a fistful of slender bright pink rhubarb stalks. And its true, rhubarb is perhaps the one thing that emphatically signals the transition into the spring growing season. That, and possibly fiddlehead ferns, the elusive (once wild grown only, now cultivated) foretellers of spring’s arrival in New England. So in fact, my clutch of rhubarb really did warrant the elated, if not somewhat surprised response from the woman at the market.

Rhubarb, I have found, is also one of those items a bit like cilantro, either loved or hated. I fall unequivocally into the yes, can’t get enough rhubarb camp. In sweet or savory (see my rye berry salad with pickled rhubarb here) its equally austere and unique with a  flavor that can’t really be nailed down but you know it when you taste it. Eyes closed, I would always know its was rhubarb.  continue reading

kuri squash pancakes: a breakfast at home

November 10, 2016

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jmclaughlin-krissyosheaphotography-2016jmclaughlin-krissyosheaphotography-2016-4jmclaughlin-krissyosheaphotography-2016-6jmclaughlin-krissyosheaphotography-2016-8Things are truly winding down at the farm. The last vestiges of summer, a few unripened green tomatoes clinging to the vine, have been picked. The garden has surrendered and will lay dormant now until next season. The hens are laying less. The dark mornings, chilly wet days and early evenings give them no motivation and they seem preoccupied with foraging in the field anyway. The shorter days mean less time spent outside and with the daylight growing more scarcse, I am looking forward to bright mornings and seeking out the warmth of the indoors.  continue reading

Pistachio Granola with Poached Pears

May 3, 2016

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I noticed this morning that the dogwood has flowered. Tiny dark, muddy pink flowers, more hull than petal. And in another week or so the tree will be a swath of most delicate light pink across a greening background. The lilac is starting too. A few more warm afternoons and they should be ready for cutting. I cant wait to fill the house with vessels full. I am caught up in the tactile world of spring. Each day the landscape shifts perceptibly before me as leaves burst forth and flowers spring open. One day seems to bleed into the next with no clear end or beginning. Just a continuous unfurling the days vacillating between blissfully warmth and raw wetness and nights which are still decidedly cool, cold even.cottagefarm.krissyosheaphotography2016-11cottagefarm.krissyosheaphotography2016-7cottagefarm.krissyosheaphotography2016-9But, gone is the fierceness of winter. The tempestuous winds have died away and the acuminous cold no longer strikes you when you step outside. On morning walks over the fields and through city streets alike, it is still chilly. The dark coldness of night having settled in the wee hours and continuing to lingers into the mornings. Admittedly thought this hasn’t stopped me from opening the windows before going to bed. There is something peaceful about drifting off to sleep wrapped up in heavy layers of blankets with the cold on my cheeks and a symphony of peepers call out over the night. It is something I relish with childlike delight.

In the mornings  I make my way to the kitchen wrapped in woolen jumper, toes tucked warmly into slippers. I fill the kettle and place it on the stove, light the burner, watching as its great blue flame leaps up against the shivery morning. I often wrap myself in an additional shawl while waiting for the kettle, knowing these layers will be shed before afternoons arrival. But still, the added layers and warmth of hot tea are a necessity. So to is a warming breakfast. But, it feels to late in the season for hearty bowls of squash porridge and to early for light sweet fruit. Not that any is readily available just yet anyway.

I often eat a bowl of miso soup for breakfast this time of year. I love its earthy salty broth and the addition of a few cubes are tofu make for a wholesome beginning. But there are days I crave something  equally as satisfying with a bit less broth and a little hint of sweet. For those days, I have been making up big batches of pistachio granola and topping it with spicy poached pears.cottagefarm.krissyosheaphotography2016-2cottagefarm.krissyosheaphotography2016-3Alone, or with a dollop of thick natural yogurt beneath, this breakfast seems to straddle the gap of cold mornings and warmer days just perfectly. The granola gets a richness from the olive oil and the most delightful crunchy clusters form around the pistachios as it bakes. The baking of the oats and honey have a magic of their own. They perfume the mornings wrapping the house in a kind of warm spell and chasing away the last of the nights chill.

Pistachio Granola with Honey Poached Pears

for the granola

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/2 cups oat bran
  • 1/3 raw shelled pistachios
  • 1/4 hemp seeds
  • 1/4 sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp sweet extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp garam marsala
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  1. preheat oven to 410 degrees
  2. spread all the dry ingredients on a large parchment lined baking sheet.
  3. Drizzled with the honey and olive oil and toss well to combine
  4. spread in a thin even covering on the baking sheet and bake for 10/12 minutes or until golden – being carefull not to burn.
  5. remove from the oven and let it cool so the granola becomes crunchy

for the pears

  • 1 bosc pear- pealed, cored and cut in half
  • 2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp whole cloves
  • 1/4 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1.5 tbs honey
  1. add spices, honey and water to a small sauce pan
  2. bring liquid to a boil
  3. drop in pear halves, reduce to rapid simmer, cover & cook about 15 min or until pears are tender.
  4. at this point remove the pears –  continue to reduce the poaching liquid until it becomes a syrup like consistency if desired or simply discard. this may take up to 30 mins. The syrup is lovely drizzled over the granola and pear but not necessary

spoon a small amount of natural yogurt into a bowl and place warm pear on top. Then sprinkle generously with granola

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Apple Oat Bran Muffins

October 2, 2015

 The moon these past few nights has truly been something; bright gentle light which seems to ignite the air itself 

I have repeatedly, happily, been stirred from sleep by its glow. I awake bathed in its peaceful still light as it pushes its way over the wall of the back garden and into the room. 
It is truly something to awake to moonlight, none of the sleepiness of dawn, it feels filled with both strenght and fragility. I am conscious that these very magical few moments are a gift and a fleeting one at that.  But oh the energy. When I awake, I feel as if I’m being propelled by Selene herself, having hitched a ride on the back of her chariot. 

Magic seems possible in these few strange hours between sleep and waking. 
Throwing on robe and slippers I make my way through the deep blue darkness to the kitchen. I do not stumble as I know my kitchen  by the feel of things, each in their place. I go, moving through this in-between darkness, as if existing in two worlds ~


And so I start the day with making – 

What I have been making also feels a bit of a departure; breakfast foods. Not something I am normally that interested in. Typically I have a bowl of yogurt with a few berries and maybe a sprinkle of some sort of muesli I’ve made up during the week. 
Nothing fancy, nothing elaborate but filling and it feels like a good start to the day. 

But this moon – its making everything feel different. Even the weather in London has been amazing; beautiful and reliable. As if the moon’s coming so near earth has brought a new rhythm and something has shifted. This change feels like it should be acknowledged, celebrated in some small way.
And for whatever reason, that small celebration has taken the form of muffins, for breakfast! what next.. 
Admittedly these muffins are also partially inspired by the fact that I somehow ended up with two huge bags of oat bran in my pantry. Not an ingredient I am in the regular habit of using either. 

These muffins aren’t big extravagant things mind you. They are sweetened only with the fruit and nuts baked inside and are quite textural as they are made with oat bran only.  You could use seeds or other nuts instead of the hazelnuts and pear, raisins or dates wouldn’t seem amiss in them either. But the point is that they feel nourishing and subtly luxuriant for a week day breakfast. 

I have been enjoying them with big mugs of milky deeply steeped early grey tea (I know some of you likely just flinched when I said I put milk in my earl grey, not a regular habit but the flavor combination is really doing it for me at the moment) straight from the oven so they are still warm. The come together quickly and while they bake,  I have been sitting and enjoying the moon as it arches across the sky before giving way some pretty incredible sunrises. 

I’m enjoying this time to be a dreamer. 

Apple Oat Bran Muffins 


2.5 cups of oat bran
2 tsp baking powder
1.5 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger 
1tsp salt
1.5 tsp ground nutmeg 
60g (4 Tbsp) butter
2 eggs
280ml buttermilk 
1tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cups chopped hazelnuts
3 smallish medium apples peeled and diced (should equal about 2 cups of 1/4′ pieces) 


preheat oven to 200c/400f 


mix together the oat bran, baking powder, spices and salt. Then work butter through with your fingertips until it is the consistency of course sand. 


lightly beat the egg add to it the buttermilk and vanilla and combine. 


lightly flour apple pieces so they distribute more evenly, only if desired. 


quickly mix through the apples and nuts and immediately spoon the mixture into a generously greased and floured 12x muffin tin. Bake 25/30 minutes or until they are browned on top and bottom and a knife inserted comes out clean 


let cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack 




*my oven is a very poor one and it takes about 35 minutes for them to cook through so you may need to adjust your cooking time for your oven. 





Kuri & Quinoa Porridge

October 31, 2014

This month I worked on a recipe for the lovely ladies at The Pressery. If you aren’t familiar with them, they supply London with gorgeous, all natural almond milk. It make using almond milk accessible and easy in my daily routine since I don’t make it myself. Typically it goes into smoothies, but since fall and winter aren’t great for fresh fruit and berries, I wanted to find a way to keep using it in my morning routine. 


The recipe below has been the stand out favorite –  a lovely autumnal breakfast; warm, comforting and deeply flavorful. It is gluten & dairy free and uses only natural sugar from the sultanas. I start this the night before – when using kuri squash to top salads or accompany a risotto – reserve around 200 grams for the mornings breakfast. I really like the savory element that the salt, black pepper & olive oil lend the breakfast. 


The same is true for the quinoa – soak it over night (add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to the water) and in the morning drain and rinse before cooking. It makes nutty fluffy quinoa and cuts down cooking time. 

I have been experimenting with other grains for breakfast such as amaranth & millet but the quinoa has been my favorite
Serves 2 – 4 
You will need:
200g roasted Kuri squash cut into chunks. 
1 cup quinoa soaked over night (if not soaked in water, anticipate needing more almond milk during cooking. rinsed & drained)
2 cups almond milk (1/2 cup reserved for serving)
1/4 tsp fresh ground cinnamon 
1/4 tsp of vanilla paste 
1/4 cup sultanas 
1 small apple washed & chopped into small pieces.
handful each of shredded coconut, pumpkin seeds & chopped raw walnuts 
****
Place a medium sized sauce pan over moderate heat & toast the cinnamon until fragrant. Next, add chopped apple & stir to combine, about 2 minutes. Then add the rinsed quinoa and toast for another 2 minutes. Add the kuri squash & sultanas, stir to combine and quickly add 1 1/2 cups of almond milk  & 1/4 tsp vanilla – bring to a quick boil and reduce the heat to low. Cook until quinoa is the desired tenderness, stirring occasionally – approx 10 – 15 minutes. 
Keep an eye on the mixture while it cooks as you may need to add a bit more almond milk. 
Spoon porridge into individuals bowls and pour a bit of the remaining almond milk over each, making sure it is equally divided. Top with some of the shredded coconut, pumpkin sees & chopped walnuts. If desired, drizzle with a bit of maple syrup.