It’s spring in Toronto. Days are longer, nights are shorter and the tulips and birds are making their appearance. This time of year has me wanting a refreshing, but satisfying breakfast.
Tea and homemade granola (my mango coconut granola post here) are two of my favourite things. So when Alokozay Tea asked me to create a recipe with their loose leaf earl grey tea, breakfast granola was the first thing that came to mind. I sipped this classic tea as I made the granola and what’s not to love about a food product that’s delicious and can be delivered to your door after easily ordering online? Earl grey tea traditionally has great floral and citrus notes so adding dried wild blueberries and lemon juice to the granola keeps it light tasting and extremely addictive. This recipe made enough for six generous servings over yogurt at home, plus two portions I gifted away to friends. Keeps well once completely cooled in an air tight container for two weeks, or freezes well.
wild blueberry earl grey granola
5 tbsp brewed Alokozay Earl Grey Loose Leaf tea
1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 and 2/3 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1/2 cup chopped almonds or sunflower seeds
1 tsp cinnamon
juice of half a small lemon
1 cup dried wild blueberries
Brew 1 heaping tablespoon of loose leaf earl grey tea to 2/3 cup of water. Mix wet ingredients and add to dry. (Leave out the blueberries.) Pour into a glass baking dish and bake on the middle rack at 300 degrees for 35-40 minutes. (A dark metal pan can quickly burn granola, so use glass if you can, if all you have on hand is metal then reduce the heat to 250 degrees.) Stir every 10 minutes. Remove from oven and toss in the dried wild blueberries. Let cool before storing. Delicious with plain yogurt or as a breakfast cereal. Enjoy!
Ps. Want a coupon for Alokozay Tea, Friendly Food Snobs? Check out this link. Alokozay Tea is available for purchase at Metro, Bulk Barn and Food Basics and Adonis.
I love a good dessert, but like to savour them once, rather than have a pie hanging around all week calling my name. Enter the individual trifle.
You can serve in rock glasses, mason jars or whatever you have on hand. A couple weeks ago Bonne Maman asked me to play with one of their products. Their strawberry jam on toast is my Saturday morning indulgence combined with a coffee and no alarm clock, so I jumped at the chance.
I love their products with zero additives or preservatives. The dulce de leche caramel spread blew me away and this little trifle was born. The crispy cookie crumbs mimic a graham cracker crust and contrast so well with the cream, banana and dulce de leche.
You can assemble the day before you serve or a few hours ahead. Just store in the fridge and enjoy within 24 hours. I don’t think they will last that much longer without being devoured…oh recipe serves 4 and is best eaten straight from the fridge. Enjoy!
dulce de leche banana cream trifle
Ingredients: 20 Nila crackers smashed into small chunks and crumbs (try a plastic bag and a rolling pin) 3 tablespoons butter melted Pinch of salt 2 cups whipping cream 2 tablespoons of white sugar (or to taste) 1/4 tsp vanilla 2-3 bananas thinly sliced (depending on size) 1/3 of a jar Bonne Maman dulche de leche spread
Combine the cookies, salt and butter on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Use beaters to whip the cream for 5 minutes or until fluffy. Then fold in the vanilla and sugar.
Once the cookie bits have cooled, layer cookie, a few banana slices, dulce de leche, cream and repeat, ending with whipped cream on top and some reserves of the cookie crumbles. Hope you love it!
My favourite Christmastime baking recipe – chewy, sweet ginger cookies. Inspired by the cookie at Starbucks, these are even better with the addition of real ginger to help with digestion and fight colds. Although delicious as is, after making these a few times, I have been known to stir in chopped chunks of 70% dark chocolate – so amazing. But the recipe is a classic and if you’re making it for the first time I would stick with it as listed below. Something so cozy and warming about the ginger flavour when it is cold outside. Recipe makes 24 regular cookies.
chewy ginger cookies
2 + 1/4 cups flour 2 teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon ground ginger 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger 1 cup brown sugar 1 egg 1 + 1/4 sticks butter 1/4 cup molasses 1/4 cup granulated sugar (for coating dough)
Toss the ginger root in the freezer and preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine flour, dry spices, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Beat room temperature butter with egg, dark sugar and molasses. Reserve granulated sugar for rolling the cookies before baking.
Using a box grater or zester, grate 1 teaspoon of frozen ginger and add to the wet ingredients. Freezing it makes it easier to handle. Combine wet and dry and let batter set in fridge for 10 minutes. Scoop teaspoon size cookies and roll into balls. Dip balls thoroughly in sugar. Place on cookie sheet and using the bottom of a glass or your finger, gently press each cookie down. Note, don’t crowd the pan as these cookies will spread during baking. Bake for only 10 minutes. Cookies will firm up as they cool. Guests coming over? Batter can be wrapped in plastic and stored in freezer to be baked fresh the day of a party.
Flourless chocolate cake. Even the phrase makes me hungry. I took this over to Kate and Matt’s for Sunday supper. Served warm, fudge-like in the middle with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Bliss on a plate.
flourless chocolate cake
1 cup chopped dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 and 1/4 sticks soft unsalted butter
6 large eggs
1 and 1/4 cup white sugar
1 cup almond meal or gluten-free flour
5 teaspoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon vanilla
icing sugar for serving
coconut oil or extra butter to grease pan
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9 inch springform pan. Using a double boiler or microwave heat the butter and melt in the chocolate. Set aside. Beat sugar and eggs with hand mixer on high until doubled in volume. In a separate bowl combine salt, meal/flour and cocoa. Stir the vanilla into the cooled butter mixture and combine with the eggs. Mix dry and wet. Pour into pan. Place cake in oven and set timer for 30 minutes. After 5 minutes has passed, reduce heat to 350 degrees. Check at 30 minutes, the top should be forming a crust and the middle slightly wobbly, will set as cools. Let cool for 2-3 hours before releasing the sides of pan. Sift with icing sugar before slicing. Serve warm with vanilla or coconut ice cream.
Sundays often start around here with these high-protein pancakes. Full of oats, egg, cinnamon and fruit they keep us full long past lunch. My dream Sunday starts with these pancakes and ends with a clean house, full fridge and cup of peppermint tea sipped curled up on the couch. Between those two events, there’s a lot of room to slow down and feel joy. This recipe has actually been taped to the inside of my kitchen cupboard for years. It even moved into our new house with us. Tattered and taped and all. It’s a winner. Hope you enjoy them. Makes four pancakes. [Update from March 2019: I now have two young boys and to serve my family of four I double this recipe below. Growing family = more food!]
1/2 cup oats
1/2 flour or gluten-free all purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon each baking powder and baking soda
1 small banana mashed
2 tablespoons plain yogurt (balkan or greek full fat)
1/4 cup almond milk (or your fave milk, dairy works)
1 teaspoon vanilla
cinnamon to taste
toppings: maple syrup, butter, berries
butter or coconut oil for cooking
Combine all ingredients. You can use a whisk and bowl, or throw it all into the blender and blitz it (I usually do blender). Let sit for five minutes for optimal fluffiness. Heat a non stick pan and lightly coat with butter or coconut oil. Pour a fourth of the batter into pan. I make these one by one and keep the rest warmed in a 200 degree oven. Feel free to add any fruit or nuts you like, or a scoop of plant based protein powder or ground flax seed for more protein. Note: if I let the batter sit for more than five minutes in the blender I sometimes need to add a touch more almond milk to loosen it. Hope you enjoy!