Wheat Berry Breakfast Porridge

Wheat Berry Breakfast Porridge

October flew by so fast it feels as if I blinked one September morning and November rushed in.

This was supposed to be the lull between the haze of summer and the crazed holiday season, the past two weeks have been a blur of transitions, from coming home and being sick for a few days to settling into the damp grey autumn landscape.

I’m getting back into the swing of things, slowly, I haven’t cooked a proper meal yet – still imagining that black eyed pea stew with harissa, cumin and fried sage… maybe this weekend.

The good news is, I’m managing breakfasts just fine – I’m usually excited for breakfast this time of year because porridges and hot cereals, which I utterly love, are better suited for fall and winter.

Wheat Berry Breakfast Porridge

Porridges are warming, comforting and hearty; ideal for starting off a cold dreary day.

Although I’d heard of wheat berries, I didn’t really discover it until this summer when I had it in an amazingly good salad and it was pleasingly chewy and nutty. I knew I’d love it for breakfast, cooked in a thick, rich, sweet porridge.

This wheat berry breakfast porridge can also be made overnight in a slow cooker too. The ‘berries’ absorb the sweet creamy almond or coconut milk it’s cooked in, it tastes sumptuous.

I love the chewy texture of wheat berries, it has a nice crunch to it, it’s nourishing and keeps me energised throughout the morning.

I grate a little dark chocolate over mine with a little more milk, and it gets chocolaty and yummy

Wheat Berry Breakfast Porridge Wheat Berry Breakfast Porridge
Wheat Berry Breakfast Porridge

Wheat Berry Breakfast Porridge

Herbed Garlic Butter Pasta

Herbed Garlic Butter Pasta

One of the things I love about staying in an apartment while on vacation is having access to a kitchen.

It’s particularly wonderful if you love to cook, and are in a city like Paris where colourful markets are filled with stalls of tempting produce, cheeses, breads, specialty foods and other sundry goods.

We didn’t cook much on this trip; the few meals we prepared were fast and simple like this herbed garlic butter pasta.

From the market, we got garlic and fragrant dried herbs; I should mention here that a mix of freshly chopped spinach, basil and parsley would work superbly in this pasta, we just went with dried herbs for the sake of ease.

Herbed Garlic Butter Pasta

Herbed Garlic Butter Pasta Herbed Garlic Butter Pasta

I make little dietary exceptions when I’m on vacation… creamy delicate Échiré butter, smooth and luxurious Beurre Bordier, and pastries are some of my indulgences when I’m in Paris.

What we have with this pasta is the ultimate holiday comfort meal, pasta tossed in an aromatic herby garlic butter sauce, it’s rich and deeply satisfying, a simple indulgence.

It boasts a handful of ingredients only and it comes together quickly, this is particularly important when you’re on vacation, the last thing you want is to be standing over a stove.

Herbed Garlic Butter Pasta

Herbed Garlic Butter Pasta

On this particular day we spent the day exploring Jardin des Plantes and the Grande Mosquée where we drank mint tea, we roamed Rue Mouffetard and when it started raining we picked up fluffy angel cakes from Patisserie Ciel on Rue Monge for later.

We ate this pasta watching the rain fall down those iconic rooftops; rain is always a good reason to have pasta.

And now that I’m home and it’s raining… I want to make this pasta again on a soggy lazy evening; perhaps with fresh basil and Herbes de Provence with my favourite dairy-free butter and a ton of garlic.

Herbed Garlic Butter Pasta

Herbed Garlic Butter Pasta

Lemon Olive Oil Cake

Lemon Olive Oil Cake Lemon Olive Oil Cake
Lemon Olive Oil Cake

I’ve neglected this space for far too long; in that time I’ve had éclairs in Paris, coffee in Amsterdam and an amazing lunch in London.
It’s been an active couple of weeks; exhausting but in a good way, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’m back now, and just like last year I’m battling a cold again.
I have plans for soup this weekend, black-eyed peas stewed in a brothy sauce with lots of harissa and cumin and topped with fried sage – I can almost taste it!

But I’ll like to share this lemon olive oil cake with you before I move on to that – I’ve had this post prepped and ready for weeks, waiting for words to go with it. It feels surreal to be staring at it again after all this time.

Lemon Olive Oil Cake

Lemon Olive Oil Cake

This cake saved me this summer, not in that critical and dramatic way one usually gets saved, but I made it a few times over summer and it felt like a little victory every time it came out perfectly. It made life deliciously easy.

It’s one of those cakes that looks like a bit of work, but it really isn’t – it’s a breeze to make and it turns out spectacular every time!

I collected a few teas during my vacation, I stayed across the street from the oldest tea house in Paris.

I knew I’d need lots of tea to get me through the damp grey autumn and winter months ahead; I had these intoxicating images of cold rainy afternoons curled up with aromatic cups of tea with generous slices of this cake.

Lemon Olive Oil Cake

Lemon Olive Oil Cake

I try to use mild and fruity olive oils that taste smooth for this cake, and Meyer lemons if I can find them, although I’m beginning to love the bold flavours of regular lemons.

I love the sweet lemony flavours. It’s the perfect everyday cake for breakfast or afternoon tea, and light enough as a refreshing dessert (after a heavy meal) with whipped cream and fruit.

This is one of my favourite cakes just because it’s simple, rustic and delectable with wonderful crumb and texture.
We’ve been collecting a list of cakes for our would-be café for years and this definitely makes the cut.

Lemon Olive Oil Cake Lemon Olive Oil Cake
Lemon Olive Oil Cake


Lemon Olive Oil Cake

Rose Petal Granola with Dried Fruit

Rose Petal Granola with Dried Fruit
Rose Petal Granola with Dried Fruit

There’s a cute paradise of a nut shop in my neighbourhood that sells all manner of tasty nuts and dried fruits, they have these magical saffron and lime roasted cashews that are out-of-this-world delicious, and okra chips so addictive I’m slightly obsessed with them.

I noticed they had rose petals the other day so I got some, unsure of what I was going to make with them… I loved the delicate floral scent and the alluring petals.

Perhaps it’s because I bought them at the store where I’d gone to get nuts for granola, but the first thing they went into was this rose petal granola with dried fruit.

Rose Petal Granola with Dried Fruit Rose Petal Granola with Dried Fruit
Rose Petal Granola with Dried Fruit

The rose petals adds a tinge of sparkle to this otherwise modest granola, I love the essence it adds to it, the subtle notes of the rose enlivens the granola – it smells wonderful, the faint aroma of roses is quite lovely especially in the mornings.

This isn’t my first dalliance with floral flavours in granola; you’d recall this lavender granola, which to this day remains one of my favourite granola ever!

I know the title says ‘rose petals’ and I’ve gone on and on about roses… but omit the petals if you can’t find them, it’s still a very good granola without the roses or feel free to experiment with other flavours, that’s the beauty and flexibility in granola making.

Rose Petal Granola with Dried Fruit

It’s rounded off with rosewater, cardamom and a dash of nutmeg, which reminded me of a rosewater and cardamom cocktail I had a while back, I wanted to impact a little bit of that sweet, warm flavour into the granola.

I love experimenting with granola and discovering new recipes as evident by my expertly curated ‘granola board of inspiration

Another trick I’ve learned recently is that if you like your granola to clump up, don’t stir while it’s baking and when you take it out of the oven, add your dried fruit and other ingredient (if using) and press it down firmly into the baking pan, let the granola cool completely, then break into pieces before serving or storage.

Rose Petal Granola with Dried Fruit Rose Petal Granola with Dried Fruit
Rose Petal Granola with Dried Fruit Rose Petal Granola with Dried Fruit


Rose Petal Granola with Dried Fruit

Quinoa, Lentil, Carrot and Fennel Salad

Quinoa, Lentil, Carrot and Fennel Salad

I’d forgotten how much I love this time of the year. I love that stillness in the mornings that wasn’t there weeks before and the breezy cool sunny days.

It’s this time of year too that I start yearning for my favourite ‘comfort meals’ again; maybe it’s the cool evenings or the insight that we’re about be plunged into cold dark nights, but there’s something about this time that has me craving big hearty salads and soups.

Quinoa, Lentil, Carrot and Fennel Salad

I love lentils… sometimes to a point of silliness; I swear I could eat lentils for breakfast, lunch and dinner without complaint – it’s pretty evident from the amount of lentil recipes I have on this blog.

I love this time of year for salads like this wonderful quinoa and lentils with vegetables, it’s comforting, hearty and filling, and comes together quickly.

I’m all about easy to prepare meal; especially during this time when there’s still light out to bring dinner down to the beach or eat out on the balcony.

Quinoa, Lentil, Carrot and Fennel Salad Quinoa, Lentil, Carrot and Fennel Salad
Quinoa, Lentil, Carrot and Fennel Salad

This is a well-rounded salad that can be adapted to include your favourite vegetables and legumes; use peas instead, or carrots or roast your fennel first for caramelized sweetness – I did this a few weeks ago.

I usually precook the lentils and quinoa and store them in the fridge, and reheat them when I’m ready to make the salad.

I use whatever vegetables I have on hand; with this salad it’s shaved fennel, carrots, red onions and sundried tomatoes, finished off with a tangy mustard vinaigrette.

I make plenty so there’re leftovers for the rest of the week because I love this salad more after a day or two, it gets even more wonderful when the ingredients have had a chance to get to know each other better.

Quinoa, Lentil, Carrot and Fennel Salad

Quinoa, Lentil, Carrot and Fennel Salad


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