Eight months into motherhood and what have I learned? Be okay with unfinished. Nothing is going to be perfect. Ride the wave. And if I am still wiped? My mom taught me to quietly whisper to myself “this too shall pass”. And it’s so true. The weeks and months swim by and old challenges become new triumphs. It’s still dark in the mornings when we wake here in Toronto. Neil is running out the door after an early morning play session with Oscar and I am still nursing in the night so knowing that breakfast is made makes the day feel great. This recipe has been saving us of late. Steel cut oats are a commitment, as they take much longer to cook than oats but they are packed with protein and keep you feeling full longer. I put a batch in the slow cooker Sunday afternoon. It’s foolproof and ready in 2 hours with minimal effort. I store in a container in the fridge and we have breakfast for a few days.
Slow cooker steel cut oats
1 cup steel cut oats
pinch sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
4 cups water
1 tbsp coconut oil
Coat inside of the slow cooker generously with coconut oil. Leaving any leftover chunks in there. Combine remaining ingredients and cook on high for 2 hours, stirring once, or on low for 6 hours. Top and enjoy with more cinnamon, milk, banana slices, almond butter, raisins, dates, walnuts, maple syrup, goji berries, anything you have on hand. Recipe makes four servings and keeps well in the fridge for about a week. Wishing you happy mornings!
It’s almost Christmas! The house abounds with cookies, chocolate, wine and treats. Time for a mini detox and lots of salads and greens leading up to Christmas Day and New Year’s. Whipped up this salad today and the chicken and roasted peppers are really the stars. The recipe for the roasted peppers can be found on my blog here. The balsamic glaze at the end really makes the dish. You can find it at any grocery store or specialty food shop. I add it to salads or over cheese on a cheese board. If you have time on your hands here is a great recipe for how to make it at home from the Pioneer Woman. I have also added toasted pine nuts and asiago or parmesean cheese to this salad to fancy it up for guests too. Recipe below serves two.
balsamic chicken salad
2 big handfuls salad greens
2 roasted peppers (hint: recipe here)
2 chicken breasts
salt and pepper to taste
herbamare (can be found here)
half of a lemon
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
balsamic glaze for drizzling on plate
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Coat chicken breasts with a little olive oil and season each side with salt, pepper and herbamare. Roast in oven (I use my cast iron pan) 10 to 15 minutes a side until browned. Pour the balsamic vinegar over the chicken when you flip it halfway during cooking. Remove chicken from oven to cutting board and let cool. Divide greens onto two plates. Dress the greens with a tiny drizzle of olive oil and the juice of half a lemon. Top with roasted pepper pieces. Slice the chicken and add to salad plates. Drizzle balsamic glaze over the chicken and dig in!
Almost ten years ago I backpacked through Morocco with my best, Laura and this week I was craving something warming and exotic. This crispy chicken takes only 45 minutes to roast in the oven, thanks to being flattened. The spice rub is sweet and savory and reminds me of all the tagine meals we devoured with our twenty-something-wonder in North Africa. As I get ready to start feeding our baby boy something other than milk this winter, I get excited at the journey I will get to show him through food in the years to come. Um, perhaps I will start with some sweet potato or mashed avocado first! Enjoy this chicken dish, one of the best parts is the crispy skin. I love to pair it with a simple green salad or cous cous or quinoa with lots of tomatoes and cucumbers and mint. Preserved lemons on the side are lovely too, but not at all necessary.
crispy flattened chicken + moroccan spices
1 whole chicken
1 heaping tsp each of the following:
In addition to:
pinch red pepper flakes
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
generous drizzle olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine spices in a small bowl. Using kitchen scissors or a pointed serrated knife slice top of chicken (breasts) in half and flatten the chicken. This saves so much cooking time. Pat the chicken dry with paper towel. Using your hands rub the spices over both sides of the chicken and even under the skin if you can manage. Drizzle with olive oil and roast in a cast iron pan for 45 minutes or until crispy and brown. Let rest a few minutes before diving in. The skin is amazing and so crispy and chicken always moist from the quick cooking time. Enjoy!
Oatmeal, cinnamon, bananas and berries. Humble, and so satisfying. I’ve been devouring these oatmeal bars after being up in the night with our four month old son Oscar. (Oats are great for nursing!) These bars are simple to make and I’ve even served them as a make-ahead breakfast for overnight guests. Recipe makes 10 servings, but you can easily half it. I’ve also packaged and frozen these individually and they still taste delicious.
baked oatmeal bars
4 ripe bananas cut into slices
2 cups thawed and drained frozen blueberries or mixed berries (can also use fresh)
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 cups large flake oats
1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups milk
1 tbsp vanilla
coconut oil for greasing baking dish
Heat oven to 350 degrees and generously grease a 9 x 13 (or similar size) baking dish with coconut oil. Layer the bananas, then half of the berries. Bake for 20 minutes. In a separate bowl mix the oats, salt, cinnamon and baking powder. Pour over the bananas, gently pressing down with your hands. Then combine the milk, maple syrup, eggs and vanilla and pour over the oats and bananas. Sprinkle remaining berries and walnuts on top and bake for 35-40 minutes until top is golden brown. Let cool, slice into desired slices and enjoy!
Two pints of fresh blueberries plus lemon zest go into this cake. It’s so delicious it got half eaten by Neil and my Dad before I could shoot it! Truth be told, I had a big slice too. The recipe was a childhood favourite of Neil’s that his stepmother Liz used to make every summer when local blueberries were in season. So I give you photos of a half eaten cake that was so good it couldn’t sit on the counter untouched any longer. The recipe feeds at least 8. And it’s wonderful with a side of ice cream or whipped cream.
Ingredients for the cake:
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup soft butter
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup milk (I use almond milk)
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla
2 pints fresh blueberries (or 2 and 1/2 cups)
Ingredients for the crumble topping:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup soft butter
1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Mix flour, baking powder, salt and spices. Then using a spatula whip the butter with the wet ingredients and then combine with the blueberries. Mix the crumble topping ingredients with a fork until it looks like small pebbles. Grease a large deep pie plate or 8 inch spring form pan. Pour into greased dish and top with crumble. Bake 350 degrees about 40 minutes until a knife inserted comes out clean. Be sure to place a cookie sheet under the dish when baking. Sometimes those sneaky blueberries can really expand. Enjoy as dessert or in the morning with coffee.