Breakfast Series: Morning Muesli

Breakfast became my favorite meal early on in my lifetime. Maybe it was the countless Saturday mornings spent eating giant pancakes and playing with the coffee creamers at Alex’s with my dad and siblings; and just maybe, although I have to admit this is kind of sad looking back considering how vegetarian I am now, early morning Hardees egg, bacon and cheese biscuit runs before school were even included in my diet back then 😉 I also have a feeling that the famous buttery, crispy popovers that were almost always apart of our spend the night weekends at my grandparents house have something to do with my breakfast obsession.

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What can I say, theres just something wonderful about waking up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee and breakfast cooking in the morning. So in honor of the new breakfast series I will be doing on this blog, I wanted to make something a little different from the usual breakfast dish. I decided to go with muesli after discovering this recipe in Sarah Copeland’s Newlywed Cookbook that I had purchased as a wedding gift for my friend.

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I am familiar with muesli as I had eaten it on many occasions while I was studying abroad in Italy. It certainly kept me energized for all the walking we were doing, and I found that I felt fuller longer after eating it for breakfast. After making muesli from scratch I realized that it’s a lot like granola but with less work . You can pretty much use what grains you like whether that be rolled oats, barley, you name it and then same goes for the nuts and seeds. After that you just add in the rest of the toppings when you are ready to serve it.

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The best part about this recipe is that it makes a lot, so you can make a big batch over the weekend and have it throughout the week.

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So without further a due, here is the recipe! Remember that you can use the recipe as a guideline as well so by all means include what you like!

Muesli

(recipe adapted from Sarah Copeland’s Newlywed Cookbook)

makes about 4 cups

  • 3 cups rolled oats (or any other grains you might like)
  • 1.5 cups of nuts (walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, etc.)
  • 3/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 3/4 tablespoon EVOO
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • cinnamon to taste

Suggestions for toppings to serve with:

  • raisins
  • banana slices
  • berries
  • chopped apple
  • honey or agave nector
  • any kind of milk (regular, almond, coconut, etc.)
  • greek yogurt

Set oven to 350 degrees

Combine oats, nuts, seeds, EVOO, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Then pour and spread evenly out over a baking sheet aligned with parchment paper. Bake until the mixture is slightly golden on the edges for approximately 15 minutes.

Fill a bowl with 2/3 cup of muesli and top with various dried fruits and fresh fruits such as raisins, banana slices etc. Pour desired amount of milk or add in yogurt to complete your morning muesli.

Remember to always start your day off with a good breakfast!

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How am I? Just peachy thank you

Have you ever noticed if the colors of your clothes reflect your mood? Recently I have discovered that for me, this is actually the case much of the time, to my surprise.

Ever since purchasing a wonderful pale rose exercise top a few months ago, I have become absolutely entranced by this gentle quiet hue. So much so that I now have a tiny section in my closet that is dedicated to this soft, subtle peach tone.

Whole Living: Just Peachy

I find myself wearing these garments often lately because they make me feel calm and put me at ease, although I will also admit that I might just have a slight color obsession. 😉 Optimally, I picture myself in this soft spoken blush pigment as I am taking a nap in a hammock with the breeze blowing just enough to rock me back and forth, or cuddling up with a good book on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

The peculiar thing is that while I am dressed in this color, it seems to pop up throughout my day such as in my morning breakfast smoothie, the water bottle I choose for the day etc. Therefore I wanted to dedicate this post to feeling pretty in pink and just peachy literally and figuratively 😉

Whole Living: Just Peachy

I hope this smoothie recipe leaves you feeling just as peachy as me! Shout out to my yoga instructor Shelly for convincing me to go with my instinct and get that first wonderful top from Mission Yoga!

Peachy Breakfast Smoothie

Peachy Keen Breakfast Smoothie

Serves 1

  • 2/3 cup almond milk (homemade or store bought)
  • 1 fresh peach
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • pinch of cinnamon to taste

Blackberry Apple Streusel Muffins

Blackberry Apple Streusel Muffins
Blackberry Apple Streusel Muffins

Time sure does fly when you don’t want it to, especially during berry season in summer. One of my absolute favorite fruits is blackberries as well as any kind of berry… you name it: blueberries, raspberries, strawberries they are all so good. I discovered this recipe, however, during the dead of winter in Charleston, SC, which was actually quite brutal this year from ice storms. As brutal as winter can get in the south 😉

I was craving some warm berry muffins to go with my hot earl grey tea, which seems to always be in my hand during the colder months of the year. Thankfully I stumbled upon a rather healthy recipe, to my figure’s delight, so I just had to give them a try. I mean how could you go wrong with a healthy muffin recipe on an icy cold, blustery morning right? Keep in mind these go just as well if not better with fresh summer blackberries with some nice iced tea for a scrumptious morning breakfast or a tea time in the afternoon.

Blackberry Apple Streusel Muffins

This is a great recipe to make using the last of the season’s fresh blackberries and you will not regret making them once you take a bite of the finished product!

Blackberry Apple Streusel Muffins
Blackberry Apple Streusel Muffins

 

Blackberry Apple Streusel Muffins
Blackberry Apple Streusel Muffins

 

Blackberry Apple Streusel Muffins
Blackberry Apple Streusel Muffins

Enjoy! Feel free to post your comments about your experience making these! Check out the recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction right here!

 

 

Baking Staples: Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cookie dough

Coming home after graduating college was definitely not on my to do list. Unfortunately what I want is not always what ends up happening, since job opportunities were not coming out of the woodwork. Therefore after I had my first interview three days after graduation, I decided to bake to calm my nerves about job hunting.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

There are some recipes that are staples of the world of baking, varying by culture of course, and so I decided to take on some chocolate chip cookies. Generally I consider cookies a baking staple because growing up that was always my mom’s go-to sweet that she would make for us whether that be oatmeal, chocolate chip, or peanut butter, she made all kinds.

Fresh Chocolate Chip Cookies

As a growing and learning cook and baker, I decided to go with Martha Stewart’s Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe, as I trust her knowledge of baking and recipes a lot. These indeed ended up being very soft and chewy just as the title suggested, and not only did I love them, but my siblings did as well!

The next time you want to bake some simple chocolate chip cookies for your family and friends, check out her recipe!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes about 3 dozen

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (about 12 ounces) semisweet and/or milk chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter with both sugars; beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; add the salt, vanilla, and eggs. Beat until well mixed, about 1 minute. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  2. Drop heaping tablespoon-size balls of dough about 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
  3. Bake until cookies are golden around the edges, but still soft in the center, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool on baking sheet 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.

Local People, Local Food: Photo Dinner Party

I recently planned and organized a photo dinner party at the Abernathy Park Pavilion in Clemson, South Carolina which was held on the evening of Wednesday, March 13.  This small gathering of people was inspired by Kinfolk Magazine and the series of dinners that they held around the world last year celebrating relationships, each other’s passions, and good wholesome food. There were so many people that were involved in making this dinner happen and that was honestly the best part because I got to showcase other people’s passions while also showcasing my own by planning this dinner about local food and people that are involved with it. I began by planning a menu and was able to get several people and businesses to donate what was needed including the Village Baker in Pendleton and the Student Organic Farm as well as the cooking talents of my friend Jena Heaton. I also had one of my best friends who is a printmaker, Natalie Rainer, design the menus as well, which were beautiful. I was extremely grateful to everyone that came too because that was one of the more stressful parts of the planning, trying to make sure people would actually show up. Last but not least I need to give a big shout out to my fellow photo classmates Jena Heaton, Lindsey Harris, Nick Baldwin, Joshua Kelly and my professor Anderson Wrangle because without their encouragement, support, and help I definitely would not have been able to call this photo dinner party a complete success! Hope you enjoy these photographs that came from it!