Category Archives: Breakfast

When life gives you mangoes

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It’s not snowing and none of our family is around. Still, it’s the holiday season. Something in my internal wiring must know so. It’s baking season. I had the urge to make a cake.

Here in Mozambique, it’s also mango season. I think I have been looking forward to mango season since long before we even arrived here. I had an offer of free mangoes for the taking. And I had a recipe from the Peace Corps Tanzania cookbook given to us by our bff.

So I made a cake. A mango cake.

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I mixed the following:

3 and 1/2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

Approx 5 tablespoons baking powder. Use 3 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp baking soda if you have both…we only have baking powder here and mae advised me on how much a cake usually needs 🙂

2 eggs

1/3 cup (ish) oil

2 cups water. You can use milk, coconut milk, or juice too

3 cups cubed mangoes, or however much you please

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*optional add-ins include cashews, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, toasted coconut topper, or icing. I might just try all varieties throughout this mango season!

Now, I poured this fluffy batter into a bundt pan and cooked in maes electric oven for…until mae said it was done. Perhaps an hour. But if you have a regular oven, you can cook this beauty at 350 for 50 minutes.

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We are hosting Christmas in Mapinhane for other volunteers in our area, and I can’t wait to make this for Christmas morning. The only thing making our lack of snow okay is our abundance of mangoes 🙂

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A green mango is still a ripe mango.

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Winnie hangin’ around outside the house.

 

Photo creds to Alex Romanyshyn

 

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Mixed Berry ‘Health’ Scones

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As Alex left for an early-morning walk on Sunday, I climbed out of bed to mix up some scones and surprise him with breakfast when he returned! Something about the rainy, foggy morning put me in the baking mood, and a French cafe mood…whatever that means 🙂

I don’t think I’ve ever made scones before, and I’ve always thought of them as being difficult, but they really weren’t. I put on some French cafe Pandora, and had finished mixing and forming the scones within 15 minutes.

I based my recipe off of this one, from my favorite food blog, Begin Within Nutrition.

I  made a couple of changes: I used real butter (we didn’t have coconut oil or vegan ‘butter’ on hand), I used berries, omitted lemon, and used almond milk in my glaze instead of lemon juice.

When Alex returned, I opened the door and welcomed him to ‘France.’ Clearly, being cooped up during mud season causes me to loose my mind just a little bit!

He peered into the oven to see what was bakin’.

“Those look like health scones,” he said, warily.

“They’re gonna be good!,” I assured him. “I used real butter.”

Having just rearranged some furniture, I took advantage of some new space in front of our tall front windows and set up a little table and chairs for our cafe.

Alex made delish lattes, and we enjoyed these hot fresh scones while we watched the rain fall. It was a pretty idyllic Spring morning if you ask me 🙂

Mixed berry scones are perfect quick and easy weekend treat!

Mixed berry scones are perfect quick and easy weekend treat!

Ingredients:

For the dough:

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup oat flour (made by grinding old-fashioned oats to a flour in the blender or coffee grinder)

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 cup sugar

1 TBsp chia seeds

3 TBsp butter, cold

1/3 cup vanilla almond milk

1 cup mixed berries, fresh or frozen

For the Glaze:

3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar

1 and 1/2 TBsp vanilla almond milk

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix all dry ingredients together.

Step 2: Cut in the butter until the dough is flaky.

Step 3: Add the almond milk and mix thoroughly. Knead until smooth.

Step 4: On a floured surface, press dough into a circle, about 1 inch thick. Cut into 8-10 triangles.

Step 5: Bake for 18-20 minutes. While the scones bake, mix the ingredients for the glaze. Glaze and serve hot!

Enjoy 🙂

So glad I live with a homemade latte master!

So glad I live with a homemade latte master!

Welcome to cafe Romanyshyn :)

Welcome to cafe Romanyshyn 🙂

Apple and Oat Crumble with Maple Streusel

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For some strange reason, I was awake at 4a.m. on Sunday (as in, I had long ago gone to sleep and re-awoken…not that I was still awake 🙂 ) I lay in bed, tossing and turning and thinking. What was I thinking about?

Food.

In my delirious state, I thought up what I wanted to make for breakfast, and almost got up to make it at 4a.m. Luckily, I eventually fell back to sleep for a few hours, and got to work on my dreamt-up breakfast once I got up.

Although it’s Spring, I enjoyed the Fall flavors of this recipe: apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, and maple. I have quite a sweet tooth when it comes to breakfast food, and this treat satisfied that without being too heavy or too sweet.

Ingredients:

For the crust:

1 and 1/2 cups of Old Fashioned Oats

1/4 cup of chopped almonds

5 Tbsp. oil (I used olive oil)

1/2 tsp. of cinnamon

For the topping: 

2 apples,thinly sliced (I used Gala)

2 cups water

1/2 tsp nutmeg

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. pure maple syrup

For the Streusel:

2 Tbsp. butter, or vegan buttery sticks, like Earth Balance

2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup

1 Tbsp. brown sugar

1/4 cup sugar

Enough flour to make the mixture crumbly, about 5 Tbsp.

First: Preheat the oven to 325. While the oven preheats, mix the ingredients for the crust. Press firmly into a lightly greased 9 inch pie pan. The more firmly you press this mixture, the more it will resemble a pie crust in the end, instead of a crumble. Your choice! When the oven is ready, put the crust in and bake, checking at 15 minute increments until it is as crispy as you want it. A crispier crust will be more like a pie in the end. I baked mine for 25 minutes; I based this recipe off of a recipe found here, and she recommended 15 minutes of baking time. My crust was nowhere near crispy enough after 15 minutes, even for a crumble. This may also have been because she used butter and I used olive oil.

Second: While the crust bakes, slice the apples. Boil 1/2 cup water in a skillet, add apples, spices, and maple syrup. Cover and reduce to simmer. Keep a close watch as the water runs out, and add more as needed until the apples are soft.

Third: While the apples cook, mix the ingredients for the streusel. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, stirring after 5 minutes.

Fourth: Once the crust is done, top with apples and streusel. Serve warm and enjoy!

Totally Tropical Breakfast Pudding

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Here in Grand County, there is still plenty of snow on the ground. Despite a March that felt like August, winter returned with its usual April storms for us.

So, in  a place that is still in the throws of winteryness, the sight of a perfectly ripe, silky mango- reminding me of balmy places- was practically like discovering heaven on the grocery store shelf.

Even if it did set me back $2.50.

I found this treasure on Sunday, and spent all week waiting for just the right moment to truly savor it.

My mulling over this mango manifested in the form of totally tropical breakfast pudding, complete with almond milk, chia seeds, pineapple, kiwi, toasted coconut, and, of course, the coveted mango.

Chia seed “pudding” has become a favorite breakfast for me lately. Because of my tragic allergy to dairy I can’t eat yogurt (or pudding for that matter). But mix some chia seeds with almond milk, let them sit, and I’ve got a thick “creamy” treat. When you let chia seeds soak in liquid, they absorb the liquid and a gel forms around each seed, creating something like a tapioca pearl texture. You can mix anything with chia pudding that you would normally put with yogurt: granola, fruit, nuts, dried fruit, cereal. You can get creative with combos: chocolate banana chia pudding, berry chia pudding, maple chia pudding. You can pretty much do anything with it and it’s yummy. Among their many health benefits, chia seeds are packed with protein, and Alex and I have found these puddings to be a super filling breakfast that doesn’t bog down our bellies.

So, without further ado, our most recent chia pudding creation:

Enjoy and energizing and filling breakfast: totally tropical breakfast pudding.

Enjoy an energizing and filling breakfast: totally tropical breakfast pudding.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup milk of your choice (regular, almond, soy,etc.)

2 heaping tablespoons of chia seeds

1/2 of a mango, cut into chunks

1 kiwi, cut into chunks

1/4 cup pineapple chunks

Toasted coconut, however much you prefer

Makes 1 chia pudding bowl

Step 1: Mix the milk and chia seeds thoroughly in a bowl. Refrigerate overnight.

Step 2: In the morning, stir the your pudding to remix. Add fruit and coconut and enjoy!

Tropikale Smoothie

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Finally, finally it feels like winter in Grand County: there is snow in the forecast for the next week! As I watched the snow come down this morning, I decided to give us a little bit of tropical flava, plus some kale to keep us healthy. So, the tropikale smoothie was born!

There’s no picture to go along with this recipe, but I can tell you that this smoothie is a refreshing shade of green when it’s all said and done! It’s super easy peezy to make. Here’s what I used:

1 banana

2 kiwis

1 cup of pineapple

1/4 of an avocado

1 large leaf of kale

1/4 cup chia seeds

enough water to cover about 3/4 of the fruit

Blend and enjoy.

If winter gloom is gettin’ you down, give yourself a tropikale boost with this smoothie 🙂

Spiced Pumpkin Banana Smoothie

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Today is probably one of my favorite days of the year, and it falls on a different day every year. It is the day of the first autumn snow. That cozy, pretty day when a white dusting of snow mixes in front yards with fallen yellow leaves. When the distant yellow hillsides are made brighter by the white on the ground. When my morning bike ride to work brings smells of both decay and freshness all at once.

So, tis officially the season of pumpkin! This morning- as I realized our lack of groceries and packed cereal for lunch- I was eyeing the 2 ripe bananas on the counter and remembering the leftover pumpkin puree from when I made pumpkin chocolate chip cookies recently. “Hmmmm,” I thought, “How about a little something to look forward to on this cereal-lunch kind of day.”

I decided to experiment, and came up with a rich, simple, and seasonal smoothie. The pumpkin in this smoothie gives it a rich, creamy texture, while the bananas sweetens it and the spices offer that quintessential taste of fall!

Ingredients

2 ripe bananas

3/4 cup plain pumpkin puree

1/2 cup almond milk

1 spoonful of maple syrup

1 teaspoon of allspice

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

 

Step 1: Blend all ingredients in the blender.

Step 2: Give it a try, and add spices as needed for your liking!

Enjoy the wonderful season of pumpkin 🙂

Carrot Cake Oatmeal Brulee

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Carrot Cake Oatmeal Brulee

Carrot Cake Oatmeal Brulee

Yesterday I was home sick from work with the beginnings of a cold. When I first woke up to call in sick, my sinuses were so stuffed up I could hardly open my eyes, and there was plenty of chest congestion and coughing to go with it. Really, I thought we were done with the time of year when cold symptoms creep up every couple of weeks. I guess I was wrong! Well, after calling in sick I drifted off to 3 more glorious hours of deep sleep. And I was dreaming of what food I would make to soothe my symptoms when I woke up. For whatever reason, this carrot cake oatmeal brulee was one of them. So, when I woke up I got to work on making this hearty dish for my breakfast. I made it in an oven-safe single-serve bowl for myself, but it could also be done for a group in a casserole dish.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups cooked oatmeal (instant or not)

1/3 cup julienne-cut carrot (about half of a carrot)

1/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup walnuts

3 teaspoons cinnamon

1/8 cup brown sugar

Step 1: Mix the cooked oatmeal, julienne-cut carrot, raisins, walnuts, cinnamon, and 1 spoonful of the brown sugar together in a single-serve, oven-safe bowl.

Step 2: Use a spoon to flatten the mixture on top.

Step 3: Spread the rest of the brown sugar evenly over the top. If you want less sugar, don’t use it all.

Step 4: Put the dish in the oven or toaster oven and broil until the brown sugar topping is bubbling and turning darker brown. WATCH CLOSELY, as timing can vary depending on your oven and how much brown sugar you use. Once this happens, remove the dish and let cool for 1-2 minutes before eating.

My Everyday Kale Smoothie

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My Everyday Kale Smoothie

My Everyday Kale Smoothie

“What is that green stuff!?”

I’ve heard the question plenty of times when I break out my jar full of green smoothie at work. 

The answer: it’s a kale smoothie.

I’m a huge fan of kale because of its health benefits and its versatility. While it makes a great addition to many pasta dishes and soups, the easiest way to consume this superfood every day is in smoothie form. 

This smoothie definitely looks like it wouldn’t taste that good…but it’s actually super sweet and fruity. If it weren’t for its green-ness, you would never even know it’s loaded with kale. 

Ingredients

2 cups frozen fruit medley

1 large leaf of kale, or 2 small leaves

1 and 1/2 cups of orange juice

1 banana

Water as needed

Makes 32 ounces, 2 large servings for my husband and I

In the order they are listed, put all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. 

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Love at First Bite (or sip!) : Berry Chocolate Smoothie

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I just wanted to write a quick post to share this amazing treat smoothie! It’s healthy for the body and healthy for the soul, made with a mix of berries and chocolate almond milk. This is a great mid-morning pick-me-up on, say, a Monday…or any day!

Ingredients

1/4 cup strawberries

1/4 cup blueberries

1/4 cup blackberries

1/2 cup almond milk

Makes 1 serving

Mix all ingredients and blend until smooth! Yum Yum!

Crepe Buffet

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Whether this is breakfast for one, two, or a crowd, it’s sure to please. Make some coffee, cook up a batch of simple crepes, set out all the fillings you can imagine, and everyone gets what they want!

The night before your crepe buffet, make your crepe batter in the blender and store it in the refrigerator overnight. There are lots of simple crepe recipes online, and we use one from Martha Stewart.

In the morning, cook up the crepes and gather your toppings. Then you just fill ’em, roll ’em, and enjoy. Here are some of our favorite fillings:

  • Sugar and the juice of one lemon wedge. This was always Alex’s English grandfather’s favorite, and it’s mine too!
  • Yogurt. Alex loves strawberry banana.
  • Sausage links and maple syrup
  • Jam
  • Syrup
  • Fresh fruit or fresh fruit compote. This time, I put about ¼ cup of blueberries in a saucepan, added about 2 tablespoons of water and 2 tablespoons of sugar, and cooked it over medium heat, stirring often, until the fruit cooked down and created a juice.

Leftover crepes can be frozen for later, used as quick weekday breakfasts or tea time treats.