orange french toast

February 23, 2013 § Leave a comment

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Breakfast is one of my favorite meals. Not only do I love to eat it but I love to cook it. I have made my fare share of Sunday breakfasts along side fresh coffee and the morning paper. Plain pancakes and waffles are fine and good, but I love adding a new element to the mix. My go to is usually adding berries. I love blueberries, blackberries, all berries really. But it’s not the season for berries, so I decided to grab an orange and see what I could came up with.

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I really love trying to use whatever I have on hand in my kitchen. It’s a puzzle of ingredients that I have to put together. I went back and forth with this recipe whether I should combine the orange and syrup? Whether the orange would be good warm? And luckily, the risk was worth it. The orange was so powerful and flavorful, I just loved it with the sweet toast. It was a seasonal and fresh take on french toast, and it was eaten quite quickly.

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Serves 2
1 teaspoon of butter
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 orange, zested, peeled and sliced
4 slices of crusty bread (any will do, I used ciabatta)
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/3 cup maple syrup

Warm a griddle pan over medium heat. Once heated, swirl butter over the entire surface. In a wide, shallow bowl combine the egg, milk and orange zest with a fork. Slice bread and dunk each side into the milk mixture and place immediately on the griddle.

Sprinkle cinnamon on the top side of bread and cook for 3-4 minutes until it’s browned on the bottom side. Flip over and sprinkle with more cinnamon. Cook until the bread is toasty brown and crisp on each side.

While the bread is cooking, in a small sauce pan over medium high heat, add the orange slices and maple syrup. Heat until the maple syrup just starts to boil. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

Place the cooked bread on two plates and cover with the orange maple syrup. Serve hot with a fresh cup of joe.

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chocolate nut granola bars

February 20, 2013 § Leave a comment

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On Sunday, still on our Vermont Getaway, we escaped from our no-internet-house and snuck into a Starbucks for a couple of hours. I wanted to write this post about the granola bars I had just made and it was a good excuse to get out of the house for a bit. Oh, and the warm vanilla latte didn’t hurt either.

I try to be good each weekend in preparing food for the coming week. Lately, I have been on a granola bar kick. It’s a nice pick me up in the afternoon and its a step up from a cookie that I might grab otherwise. I was so happy when I made this recipe . The bars were the perfect combination between crunch and moistness and they still have that kick of sweetness and chocolate that I enjoy in the afternoon.

You’ll notice that I made a half portion of this recipe and baked it in a bread loaf pan. This yielded me 7 bars. I have doubled the portions below to fit in a regular 9×9 pan.

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Makes about 14 bars
1 1/2 cups old fashion oats
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup shredded coconut
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts, lightly chopped
1/3 cup peanut butter
6 tablespoons margarine, melted
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×9 pan.

Combine all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl — oats, sugar, flour, coconut, cinnamon, salt, chocolate chips and walnuts.

Then add all the wet ingredients — peanut butter, margarine, honey, maple syrup and vanilla. Stir until combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and press down with a rubber spatula until it’s even and flat in the pan.

Bake for 30 minutes until lightly browned on the top. Allow the bars to cool before cutting and eating.

I like to keep my granola bars in the fridge. I find they last longer and keep a better crunch without drying out. Just pull one out a little bit before you’re ready to eat it and allow it to get back to room temperature.

broccoli soup

February 17, 2013 § 1 Comment

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I’ve never been a person who really cared for celebrating Valentine’s Day. February 14th is usually no different from any other day; except it’s an excuse to eat a chocolate or two. This year was no different. I was at the office late and spent almost none of the day with my boyfriend, unless you count sleeping. So our Valentine’s Day celebration turned into a “weekend away”. We had always planned a little weekend in Vermont for this weekend, but it also became an excuse to celebrate a belated Valentine’s Day together.

With the whole house to ourselves, and it a bit too cold outside, what better to do then curl up with a great soup. I have always loved broccoli, but have never actually made a broccoli soup. Our first attempt was quite successful. This soup is great as a meal with a nice crusty bread. It’s rich without adding any cream or cheese and has a nice brightness with the addition of lemon.

Happy belated Valentine’s Day everyone.
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Serves 2
1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large head of broccoli, chopped
1 1/2 cups of vegetable broth
1/2 cup milk
Juice and zest from 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Saute the onion until translucent and then add the garlic and broccoli. Continue to saute until the onion is slightly brown and the broccoli becomes bright green. Remove 1/3 cup of the broccoli from the pan and set aside.

Add the broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover and turn the heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender. Stir in the milk, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Use an immersion blender or a food processor and blend until smooth. To server, place soup in two bowls and top with the leftover broccoli and lemon zest. I like to add a touch of cracked pepper on top for an extra kick as well.

oat and honey scones

February 8, 2013 § Leave a comment

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I live in Boston. The blizzard warnings have been coming in all week and the snow and wind have just started at my house this morning. We are expecting more than two feet of snow over night. Boston has officially shut down, (still not sure how you “shut down” a city), but I’ll take it. It’s the best excuse to linger over a nice breakfast. What better way to enjoy the storm then with a breakfast scone.

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In years past, I never much cared for scones. It was my last choice, a blueberry muffin or chocolate croissant, always got the best of me. However, recently I discovered Stonewall Kitchen’s Wild Maine Blueberry Jam. It is single-handedly the best jam I have ever had. With this jam discovery, I found myself wanting to make things I could use it on. Once I exhausted my toast and english muffin jam kick, I turned to scones. With much practice, I have made a few that I really like. This oat and honey recipe is especially good for winter when fruit like peaches and blackberries aren’t the best. To that end, the fruit scones will wait for summer, for now I will enjoy my jam with oats and honey.

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This recipe is loosely adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s Maple Scones.
Makes 4 scones, perfect for two people.

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup oats
3/4 tablespoons of baking powder
1/2 tablespoons sugar
pinch of sea salt
3 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of honey
2 tablespoons of milk
1/4 cup plain greek yogurt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the flour, oats, baking powder, sugar and salt together and mix well. Since I don’t have a pastry cutter, I like to chop up my butter into tiny pieces before adding it to the flour mixture. Add the butter a little at a time and continually keep mixing, to coat the butter with the flour mixture.

Once combined add the honey, milk and yogurt. I find at this point, it’s best to just use your hands to combine all the ingredients together and then shape the dough into small triangle shapes. This recipe should make 4 small scones.

Grease a baking sheet before placing the scones on it and baking for 20 minutes. Once the scones have a light golden brown top, remove from the oven and let sit on the baking sheet for at least 5 minutes.

Enjoy with blueberry jam, more honey or on their own, with a big latte.

a blog

February 7, 2013 § Leave a comment

I just recently had my twenty-seventh birthday, a turning point into my late-twenties. It was a wonderful day, week for that matter, but something stuck out. I had a conversation with my sister which went a little something like this…
We’re in our late twenties.
People in their late-twenties should know what they are doing with their lives.
I don’t know what I’m doing with my life.

We didn’t get much further than that. So when my boyfriend gifted me with a photography light and a food blog book, it just seemed appropriate to finally say yes and try it. So here’s to blogging! I’m not sure where all this will end up but I know there will be lots of food, recipes, photos and family stories, hopefully some traveling in there as well.

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