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Peach Streusel Tart

9 Aug

Peach season is upon us.

This makes me feel shame; shame because the summer of 2012 was not the summer of Fab. Fab went through some rough patches, a move, a severely drastic lifestyle change, and several other super fun events that I like to categorize as “real life.”

Baking hasn’t really happened. I frequent the local farmer’s market (which, golly gee, is a mere hop skip and a jump from my new humble abode) every week and I do purchase many things that lead to yummy goodness for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Baked yummy goodness, on the other hand, has not made an appearance. Shame.

These peaches were sitting at the farmer’s market last Thursday. I said hello; they blushed and smiled back. It made me realize that summer is almost over and I have barely taken advantage…and I have let you down. I purchased said peaches, and took them home with baking on the brain.

I have a smaller sized oven and a smaller kitchen in general. It was a slight adjustment to my last apartment. Counter space has been challenging…pantry space: an improvement (thank the kitchen gods). It shall take me some time to get accustomed to this new kitchen dance but I feel that this tart was a good place to start.

The tart just kinda happened. I just happened to make a simple pie crust and just happened to slice up those beautiful niagara peaches and throw in some sugar and spices for good measure.

This tart can happen to you too. The streusel topping is optional….but encouraged. Ice cream is a requirement. Sharing…..permitted.

Peach Streusel Tart

Crust:

adapted from Joy the Baker

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes

5 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons ice cold water

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Combine all the dry ingredients and butter into a food processor. Pulse until butter has been incorporated. Slowly drizzle the water and cider vinegar just until dough comes together.

Chill.

When chilled, roll out dough and press into a tart shell. You can also use a pie plate if you so desire.

Filling:

3-4 large peaches, sliced

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup minute tapioca

Combine all ingredients together. Boom.

Streusel:

1/2 cup butter, cold

1 cup sugar

2/3 cup flour

Combine in a food processor.

Pour the peaches into the tart shell, top with streusel and bake at 375F until streusel is just starting to get colour, and filling is bubbling slightly.

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Blueberry Maple Flax Muffins

15 Apr

Sometimes, all I really want to do is make some good muffins. Is that asking too much? A muffin can be a glorious creation, depending on how you go about it. I feel like there is a muffin for every occasion, every taste, every ailment.

Muffins make a good snack as long as you don’t douse them with too many add-ins from the muffin bar. But then…muffins can make a pretty decadent treat if you handle them the right way. You can even turn muffins into a fibre-fest and make them “feel good” muffins….literally. Savoury muffins? Hello, best ever for brunch or a partner in crime at dinner.

I like making anytime muffins. Anytime muffins are the perfect balance between a healthy snack and a yummy goodness treat.

When I’m making muffins I like to incorporate fruit, some healthy nuts or seeds, a natural sweetener like honey or maple syrup,  and a good fat like coconut oil or avocado oil. Sometimes I even forego the fat and replace it with greek yogurt or applesauce. See where I’m going with all of this? Good for you ingredients for a good for you muffin.

These muffins are great, and they’re vegan to boot! Just make em. Babycakes bakery was my inspiration once again.

Do the right thing. Make these muffins. It’s not like it’s hard.

Blueberry Maple Flax Muffins

2 1/4 cup whole spelt flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup coconut oil

2/3 cup maple syrup

2/3 cup almond milk

2 tsp vanilla

1 tsp maple extract (optional)

2/3 cup blueberries

Whisk together flour, baking powder, soda and salt. Add the oil, maple syrup, almond milk and extracts and stir until batter is smooth. Gently fold in the blueberries until well distributed into the batter.

Pour 1/3 cup scoops of batter into a 12 cup muffin tin. Bake at 325F for approximately 22-25 minutes until  they bounce back slightly when pressed and a toothpick comes out clean.

They will keep in an airtight container for 3 days but they will taste best if eaten fresh. Freeze them if you like!

Happy snacking!

Kamut Marshmallow Squares

1 Apr

There are certain things that are beyond my control:

The weather, for one…especially lately (mother earth stop messing with us, I shouldn’t have to wonder whether or not to wear my parka or shorts in March) To note, I don’t wear parkas or shorts….I don’t know why I said that.

Traffic…although gosh darn it I wish I could. Heavy traffic makes me want to hurt anything and everything. Even kittens.

Gas prices. Enough said.

Cravings. One cannot control cravings. If you can control your cravings, get over here and prove it.

So….I must confess I’ve been craving Rice Krispie squares. It was probably because I saw a character on television eating one….of gargantuan proportions. I was jealous.

I haven’t had a Rice Krispie square in years, I don’t know about you. They’re pretty stellar, regardless of how simple they might be.

I decided to reduce the shame in my craving satisfaction by upping the quality of said squares.

I used kamut puffs, brown butter, vanilla paste, toasted hazelnuts, dark chocolate drizzle and Maldon sea salt. Yep. I totally went there.

I’ll tell you….

Best damn craving I’ve ever satisfied. Truth.

Kamut Marshmallow Squares

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 package (about 40) regular marshmallows (or 10 oz of your own!)
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste (or extract)
  • 6 cups puffed kamut cereal
  • 1 cup toasted, chopped hazelnuts
  • Enough chocolate to drizzle on top (gosh I wish I’d measured…but…you got this…trust your gut)
  • Sea salt for sprinkling on top, if you so desire.

In large saucepan melt butter over low heat and let it reach a golden brown colour. Add marshmallows and vanilla and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.

Add kamut cereal and hazelnuts. Stir until well coated.

Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into greased or parchment lined 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan. Cool.

Drizzle melted chocolate over the pan of cooled squares. Sprinkle with salt.

Portion. Cut big squares. Cut small ones. Up to you.

Best if served the same day.

Loveless Buttermilk Biscuits

22 Mar

Don’t you hate when you get biscuits on the brain?

I’ve had biscuits on the brain.

This gal traveled to the south not so long ago. With a pretty special travel buddy to boot.

This gal may or may not have had a taste of southern cooking and swooned.

This gal may or may not have eaten fried chicken, barbecued pork, cornbread hoecakes, fried okra, blackberry cobbler, banana pudding, and BUTTERMILK BISCUITS in one sitting. Those biscuits were the best I’ve ever had….sorry mom, sorry Beth….they truly were.

Those savoury, flakey, soft, warm, tangy, melt in your mouth buttermilk biscuits at the Loveless Cafe in Nashville have been on my mind ever since I had my last taste of them at Nashville airport (we may or may not have taken some to go…)

They’ve been on my mind every time I see the jam sitting in my fridge all sweet and delicious with nowhere to go.

I think about them when I’m eating eggs for breakfast.

They appear in my head when I am eating sweet potato soup and use a lame piece of bread to soak up what’s left.

I bought the Loveless Cafe’s cookbook. Their recipe for buttermilk biscuits was easy as pie…..well….as biscuits in this case. I’ll be the first to admit they did not look or taste like the ones I ate on that fine sunny day in Nashville, but gosh darn it, they were pretty darned tootin’ good. They were flakey and soft and crisp on the outsides, tangy and perfectly flavoured, and that’s a win in my books.

So here you have it….

Near perfection buttermilk biscuits, compliments of the Loveless Cafe.

Buttermilk Biscuits

compliments of the Loveless Cafe Cookbook.

3 1/2 cups all purpose, unbleached flour

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted cold butter, cut into cubes

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Combine all the dry ingredients plus the butter together in a food processor. Pulse until the butter is cut into small pieces no larger than the size of peas.

Pour in the buttermilk and pulse just enough to make a smooth dough.

Pat into a 1/2 inch thick slab, cut out the biscuits to whatever size you prefer, I used a 2 inch round cutter. Rework the scraps only once to make more biscuits.

Bake at 425F for 12 to 14 minutes until they are golden brown.

Eat while piping hot. That’s what I did.

Vegan Banana Cherry Bread

15 Feb

Banana bread. It’s like the chocolate chip cookie of the quick bread world.

Banana bread is a staple. It’s one of those things that you just have to make every once in a while. No matter what the occasion.
Banana bread turns brown mushy bananas into something worth shedding tears of joy over.

Banana bread is such a beautiful thing, yet it’s such a simple thing. The way it looks, smells and tastes is the epitome of comfort.

Banana bread is something you give; you share it. You use it to nurture and to impress.

Banana bread is my favourite.

I want banana bread. This isn’t a new thing. I love banana bread and would have it all day every day if I could.  Don’t kid yourself, you would too: nothing to be ashamed of!

Anything super tasty and delicious should be craved 24/7. I might just go have a slice of this guy…. I made it vegan, and I threw in some frozen cherries from my picking adventures in the summer. No biggie.

Vegan Banana Cherry Bread

3 medium or 2 large ripe bananas

1/4 cup coconut oil or vegetable oil

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup frozen cherries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease and flour a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas well. Add the sugar, oil, and vanilla extract, and whisk briskly to incorporate. Sift in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Use a wooden spoon to mix until the wet and dry ingredients are just combined.  Fold in cherries. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and sprinkle with extra sugar if you’d like.  Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. The top should be lightly browned and a knife inserted through the center should come out clean, or with just a few crumbs. Remove from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes before transferring out of a pan and onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Cranberry-Pistachio “Faux-nuts”

24 Jan

Who can say they’re a model law abiding. broccoli eating, regular oil changing, bathroom mildew cleaning, “i”dotting, “t”crossing, cat-in-tree rescuing, paper and plastic-separating citizen?

I can’t, that’s for sure. I’m far from perfect. I’m ok with this. I do try….I try to be the very best Fabi I can be.

I know you try too. We all do. We try to steer clear of the bad (most of the time) and keep striving for good.

That’s why things like doughnuts are a treat. We know that they’re not the ideal thing to give your body. We tend to avoid them. They’re a treat. Treats are good once in a while. But….not always.

That’s where these come in. They’re what fill the gaps between doughnuts and salad in our lives. They’re still a treat. But not too much. Just the right amount.

They’re not really doughnuts but I baked them in a doughnut pan and glazed them…so that must count for something.

Tart cranberries, and the buttery crunch of a pistachio here and there. It’s pretty magical.

With these and a cup of hot tea, I’m ok with knowing that it’s time to scrub my bathroom floor or pay my bills.

That’s my two cents anyway. Or 50 cents is more like it.

Make these. Be good. Be bad. It’s life.

Cranberry Pistachio “Faux-nuts”

adapted from joy the baker.

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup medium or fine ground cornmeal (I used white cornmeal)

1/4 cup sugar

3/4 teaspoons salt

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

1/4 cup honey (or pure maple syrup if you have it on hand)

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup chopped pistachios

1/2 heaping cup fresh cranberries

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking powder.

In a smaller bowl whisk together honey, eggs, buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla extract.

Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until blended.

Fold in the cranberries and pistachios.

Divide batter into 6 donuts if using a donut pan, or 6 muffins, or a small loaf pan….your choice.

Bake at 350F for about 15 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Invert onto a plate or board and let cool.

Cranberry Glaze

1 cup cranberries

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup icing sugar.

splash of vanilla extract.

Cook cranberries in sugar until they burst. Mash them, and strain through a sieve.

Add the icing sugar and stir until smooth. Add water if necessary to achieve the right consistency.

Drizzle on cooled donuts.

Jump for joy. Squeal with excitement. Shove one of these bad boys into your pie hole. Love life. Repeat if necessary.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Raspberry Scones

14 Dec

Carbohydrates are a funny thing.

People are scared of them for some reason. It’s true…most people eat too many of the wrong kind. Some people are carb junkies. Some like to cut them out of their diet completely. I realize this next statement will make me sound like the world’s biggest hypocrite since I am currently on a crazy 6 pack challenge diet involving unreasonably low amounts of carbohydrates and yummy foods…..but….

Carbs are GOOD! Embrace them!

It’s all about balance and making the right choices. I made the right choice in making these scones. They have spelt and whole wheat flour in them. They also have raspberry jam and grated chocolate. These are all the right choices. Aren’t they? Balanced choices. Well. In my books they are.

I made little scone sandwiches. Two rounds of dough, with the jam and chocolate in between.

Press the two rounds together, brush with butter and sprinkle with brown sugar.

Divide into triangles.

Bake those guys.

Eat those guys. In moderation. But enjoy the miracle that is a carb. The miracle of a balanced carb; halfway between a naughty carb and a healthy one.

Too many naughty carbs: a bad thing.

Too many healthy carbs: depression.

No carbs: suicide; don’t do it!!

Remember that.

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