I’m super excited to be contributing regularly to Sugar & Charm and this is one of my first recipes! I love going out for brunch on the weekends but sometimes staying home enjoying food with your closest friends or family often feels a bit more indulgent. Eggs en Cocotte are so easy to make and perfect to serve for a weekend brunch. Head on over to Sugar & Charm to see more pictures and get the recipe!
Somehow I’ve found myself back in the freezing cold of America’s Midwest. Originally I came to join my husband on his business trip, but that all went a bit wrong and now I find myself here for two weeks without him. This is less than ideal, but sometimes you can plan all you want but things won’t always turn out how you wish. There is however, an upside. I was able to well and truly surprise my mother for her birthday and now have two weeks to spend with my family and friends. I suppose everything happens for a reason.
The only thing is that is ridiculously freezing here. This morning we kicked off the day with a frigid -9°F (that’s -22°C for you metric readers). That’s not even including the wind chill which is brutal! At this point I’m thankful I have a warm house to snuggle in all day!
When it’s cold, nothing beats a warming hearty porridge. It keeps you warm from the inside out and gives you energy to brave the cold! This porridge is a take on an Indian dessert that I love, but I’ve decided it tastes even better for breakfast! It’s made with toasted semolina which is lovely and nutty and filled with lovely warming spices like cardamom and ginger. It’s a perfect change from the usual oatmeal and goes perfect with the wintery wonderland just out the window.
Cardamom & Coconut Semolina Porridge
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2 cup coarse semolina
- 1/2 tsp ginger powder
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom (about 6 pods)
- 2 tbsp ground almonds
- 2 – 3 tbsp coconut palm sugar
- 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 2 1/2 cups almond milk
- 1/2 cup water
- sliced almonds to garnish
In a large saute pan, heat the coconut oil over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the dry semolina and stir frequently until the semolina is golden brown and fragrant. Add in the ginger powder, cardamom, ground almonds, coconut palm sugar and coconut and stir to combine. Turn the heat to medium and slowly add half of the almond milk. Stir until all of the milk has been absorbed and continue to add the milk and water alternating until all of the liquid is absorbed, cooking for about 5-7 minutes total. The semolina should be completely soft and fluffy. At this point, you can thin the mixture to your liking with milk or with water. I like my porridge quite runny and rich, so I added about another 3/4 – 1 cup more. Top with sliced almonds and eat while hot!
A lot of times the only thing that convinces me to leave my cosy and comfy bed is breakfast. Often, I lay in bed thinking of the options and only manage to jump up when I’ve decided on something that tickles my fancy. Though french toast or even this brussel sprout hash would be ideal most of the time, it’s not exactly ideal on a weekday. I’m looking for minimal output and maximum taste options that are quick to whip up and are easy to change on a day to day basis. Did I mention that I hate eating the same thing two days in a row? I know, I’m difficult, but breakfast is an important subject and happens to be one of my favorite meals, so I do take it very seriously!
Granola is usually one of my go tos. I can eat it with yogurt and fruits or with some almond milk or even on top of a smoothie. I love that I can change the fruit and the accompaniments based on the season and have a completely different breakfast year round.
There are millions of granola recipes online and lots of different variations, but over time I’ve come to love this particular one. It’s light on the oil and sugar and has a mellow taste which makes it a great pair for what you can think up. I really like to add hemp hearts and chia seeds to the mixture as I’m incredibly forgetful (usually just way too eager to eat) and always miss these nutritional goodies out. It makes life easier and I’m all for that!
Date, Coconut & Almond Oat Granola
Makes about 5 cups
- 3 cups Old Fashioned Oats
- 1/3 cup Maple Syrup, grade B
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup medjool dates, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup almonds, sliced
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut, flaked
- 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1/8 cup chia seeds
- 1/8 cup hemp hearts
Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C. In a large bowl combine the oats, oil and syrup. Using your hands or a large spoon, make sure all the oats are evenly covered. Tip out and spread into a thin layer on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You want to be sure to have a thin layer or the oats will end up steaming rather than getting lovely and crunchy. Bake for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure even browning. Take out from the oven when all the oats are a light brown color and leave to cool for 5 minutes.
Then add all of the remaining ingredients and mix it all together so everything is evenly distributed. Let it cool completely before storing in a airtight container. It should keep for about a month – if it even lasts that long!
I’m so done with winter. After about 10cm of snow yesterday, I’ve just about reached my limit. Unfortunately, I can’t just escape to a sunny island and whether I like it or not, I’m going to have to ride out winter with the rest of this side of the world. I suppose if I have to look at the bright side of things, brussel sprouts can still be found at the supermarket. One of the best things about this season for me is the abundance of these little parcels of goodness. Not only are they very good for you, they’re supremely tasty (as I’ve discovered in recent years).
This dish is very fresh and bright making it perfect to eat in anticipation of Spring. The slow pan roasting of the brussel sprouts bring out their delicate sweetness. The pesto lightens things up. The peas add a little pop while the wilted rocket adds just a touch of pepperyness to round out the flavour. Topped with a poached egg, this dish is the perfect mixture of comforting and fresh.