Friday, July 29, 2011

A Favorite Breakfast

Growing up breakfast was usually cereal, malt-o-meal, pop tarts or toast. On occasion, we would have pancakes for dinner but not for breakfast (which my husband thinks is strange and I still love!). It wasn't until a few years ago that I discovered plain yogurt. Not flavored yoplait but unsweetened, thick, creamy yogurt. I fell in love. Drizzled with honey and topped with strawberries, banana and granola. I found a new favorite breakfast. Don't get me wrong, I still love malt-o-meal, pop tarts (plan to make my own, very soon) and of course pancakes, eggs, bacon, potatoes...the list goes on and on. But for a quick, satisfying breakfast I always turn to yogurt.
This past year has been about making (more) foods from scratch. Foods I never thought about making but now can't imagine buying from the store!
So I made Greek yogurt, granola and roasted strawberry jam. And put them all together for a delicious breakfast. The yogurt and jam have been on my "to do" list for awhile, I've been making granola for a few years.
I found a simple recipe for Greek yogurt and just made my second batch yesterday. And it was even easier the second time around! The great thing about making it from scratch is the price. I used organic milk for $3.79/half gallon and it made 1 quart + 2 cups of yogurt. Organic Greek-style yogurt is around $8 for 1 quart. And this tastes so much better. Oh and I also made frozen yogurt and strawberry jam pops, which are in the freezer, and will be consumed this evening!
Roasted Strawberry-Balsamic Jam. No boiling, no stirring, no canning. So simple and tasty. I'm going to try freezer jam and canning but I wanted something quick and this did the trick. While the strawberries are roasting, you will walk around the house exclaiming "This is the best smell in the world, I wish there was a candle that smelled just like this!", at least I did.
I've tried a lot of granola recipes. And this one is wonderful (and her pictures are amazing!). I love that it doesn't use too much butter but still tastes rich. So I don't feel guilty for piling it high on my yogurt.

I would say that breakfast is definitely my favorite meal of the day.

I'll save the most amazing pancake mix and caramel buttermilk syrup for another post. ;)

What do you eat for breakfast?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Coconut, Peanut Butter, Chocolate

Happy Monday! I'm enjoying this beautiful day and reflecting on a fun weekend. A birthday weekend. My husbands birthday was yesterday. On Friday we took M to the Long Beach Aquarium and had so much fun watching her get so excited about the fish. I love seeing things through a child's eyes. They just soak everything in and are so joyful! Saturday B went to a friend's bachelor party, at the beach, and was able to get lots of surfing in. While he was enjoying the beach, M and I celebrated a friend's birthday. Then on Sunday we relaxed and celebrated with a BBQ and these amazing desserts. I told him to pick any dessert and I would make it. He chose two ;) Stuffed peanut butter chocolate chip cookies and coconut cream cake.
These cookies are truly delicious. Sandwiched in between two peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, is a whole peanut butter cup. The original recipe can be found here. In addition to the chocolate chip cookies we added peanut butter and butterscotch chips. Next time I am going to make them a bit smaller and stuff them with the peanut butter cups from Trader Joe's. And yes, these were gone in a matter of minutes (as I knew they would be) so before the party I made sure to freeze a few so we could enjoy them later in the week!

Isn't this a pretty cake? I'm not really a fan of coconut. I don't mind the flavor, in fact I love coconut milk, but I just don't like the texture of coconut. My husband, however, loves coconut! This cake was a bit time consuming, and didn't come out perfect but was so tasty that even I liked it! Slightly sweet coconut cake, coconut cream filling, white chocolate frosting and topped with unsweetened coconut curls. The coconut pastry cream recipe can be found at Leite's Culinaria. The coconut cake and frosting recipes are taken from the Macrina cookbook. My sister-in-law lives in Seattle and she is able to eat all the wonderful treats from this bakery. She gave me the cookbook and I am able to bake them in my home. And everything I have tried is amazing! I highly recommend the book and if you are in Seattle, make a visit to the bakery!
Have a great week!


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