Posts Tagged ‘breakfast’

Orange Poppy Seed Muffins

Orange Poppy Seed Muffins

I love autumn mornings; especially at dawn when it’s foggy and quiet with daylight just filtering in.
It feels familiar, like the cold dry harmattan mornings from my childhood.

This is also my favourite time to bake, the world is perfect in that still solitary moment when I get to do what I absolutely love.

Orange Poppy Seed Muffins

I rarely plan ahead for breakfast, I reckon a lot of people don’t, not in the way we plan dinner.
For breakfast, I usually go with whatever I can whip up quickly, dry cereal and nut milk most of the time, or coffee and pastries when running errands or traveling.

But on those special weekend mornings, I do plan ahead for breakfast.

I take a few days and decide what to make, sifting through cookbooks and collected recipes for that perfect something… a cake perhaps or waffles, socca or these delightful orange poppy seed muffins.

I knew I’d love these muffins for a lazy weekend breakfast, they are those kind of muffins… the kind that doesn’t require a lot of effort, smell heavenly while they bake and taste divine.

Orange Poppy Seed Muffins Orange Poppy Seed Muffins
Orange Poppy Seed Muffins

They’re subtly tangy from an infusion of orange juice and zest, moist from mashed bananas and flecked with toasted poppy seeds for added crunch and texture, with hints of warming spices.

It’s the kind of muffin that makes breakfast special, I love it when the house awakens to the smell of these muffins baking.

They’re a treat with freshly brewed coffee… homemade lattes are the best!

And on those lazy, lazy Saturdays of rain and gloom… I curl up under the covers and read a good magazine from cover to cover and while away the morning.

Orange Poppy Seed Muffins

Orange Poppy Seed Muffins Orange Poppy Seed Muffins
Orange Poppy Seed Muffins

Buckwheat with Mango and Coconut Cream

Buckwheat with Mango and Coconut Cream

We had a scorcher of a heat wave last week, with soaring temperatures bothering on uncomfortable.

I walked around in a wide brimmed hat and tried to do as little as possible, eating mostly salads, fruits and ice cream for dinner. We spent time at the beach and stayed out on the balcony for as long as we could.

I kind of loved those hazy sultry days; the super long hot days, humid nights under the fan with the windows open and even those mysterious bug bites – it was almost as if we were living on some tropical island.

Temperatures cooled slightly over the weekend to almost fall-like weather, with grey clouds and light rain.

The change felt nice; it seemed the perfect opportunity to make porridge – it’s my go to comfort food for breakfast, and I don’t get to make it enough during the warmer months.

Buckwheat with Mango and Coconut Cream

This buckwheat with mango and coconut cream is my take on the humble buckwheat porridge (kasha), and because it’s summer there are mangoes and coconut for a tropical twist.

I love the nutty chewy taste of buckwheat, and all its good-for-you properties, it’s easily digestible and doesn’t feel too heavy.

I like mine with an extra splash of almond milk, it makes it deliciously creamy!

I started making this porridge back in the spring when we’d just gotten out of the dark wintery days. They had Kent mangoes at my local grocery store; juicy, rich and sweet.

Chopped mangoes folded into whipped coconut cream are the ideal luscious warm weather topping for this kind of porridge – it’s bright and summery.

*To make whipped coconut cream, refrigerate a can of coconut milk overnight, or freeze for the few hours. This is so that the cream (coconut fat) would rise to the top and harden. Open the chilled can of coconut and scoop out the fat leaving behind the watery liquid. Combine the coconut with 1/3 cup of icing sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla, whip until light and fluffy.

Buckwheat with Mango and Coconut Cream


Buckwheat with Mango and Coconut Cream

Apple and Pesto Croissant Sandwich

Apple and Pesto Croissant Sandwich

If you follow me on Instagram (If you don’t, go take a peek, I’ll wait), you’ve probably seen a few photos of our balcony.

It’s a darling little balcony, dotted with colourful blooming flowers; hydrangeas, begonias, azaleas, lilies and a few other plants I can’t identify.

For years, come every summer, the balcony would lay bare save for the one plant that grew back, which always made me hopeful. I didn’t mind that the balcony was bare when we lived next door to one of the best parks in the world. We didn’t need plants on the balcony, we have a whole forest for our backyard, I used to think to myself.

However, we felt a little differently this summer, longing for a cozy spot just our own, a little refuge of an urban garden from the rest of the world.

Apple and Pesto Croissant Sandwich Apple and Pesto Croissant Sandwich
Apple and Pesto Croissant Sandwich

From our local garden centre we got advice on the best suitable plants for our shaded north-facing balcony; we came home with flowers and outdoor furniture… and our serene urban retreat was born.

I think I’m more enamoured with how quick and easy it was to create a green oasis in our little city apartment, seamlessly extending our living space; but I do love the balcony too, so much that it’s where we start and end our day.

We spend most of our time home on the balcony now; we have meals, take naps and fill long sunny evenings chatting and watching the daylight fade away.

That first morning we woke up giddy and excited for breakfast out on the balcony; we planned on this pesto croissant sandwich simply because it’s ideal for those lazy weekend mornings when you just want to linger.

Apple and Pesto Croissant Sandwich

Apple and Pesto Croissant Sandwich Apple and Pesto Croissant Sandwich

This is one of my favourite sandwiches; the combination of apple, pesto and croissant is a little unusual but so very good.
It’s fitting for a summer breakfast, light and satisfying and divine with a pot of good tea.

Continue Reading Apple and Pesto Croissant Sandwich + Recipe…!

Chocolate Pizza

Chocolate Pizza

There are a few interesting stories to this chocolate pizza; two involve children, sort of – fitting since I’m pretty sure kids would love this sweet pizza.

Both are cute stories, of how I came to own a box of colourful Dutch sprinkles and a gooey tub of chocolate spread made with cocoa from Ghana.

Months ago, when I was strolling the canals of Amsterdam, my friend N who was expecting a baby at the time, sent me a text asking if I could pick her up some sugar-coated aniseed sprinkles (Muisjes) – auspiciously, I was standing in front of an Albert Heijn and they were the first things I spotted upon entering the store.
I got a pink one and a blue one since I didn’t know the sex of N’s baby.

N’s baby came this January past, a sweet little boy with the most adorable smile. She borrowed the Dutch custom and served guests who came to see the baby, donuts sprinkled with blue and white Muisjes, and I came home to a box of pink and white sugar-coated aniseed sprinkles.

Chocolate Pizza
Chocolate Pizza

Then there’s my little friend E, a passionate nine-year old with a slight obsession with vampires and Goth.
Choco Delight, a chocolate peanut butter spread from Ghana is on her list of favourite things at the moment – it’s better than Nutella, she said and I was intrigued. Her dad graciously got us a tub to try.

I initially wanted to make this chocolate pizza for E; to share with her on one of the evenings she passes by my place on her way to Girls Guide, but our timing was always off and I was sure we’d run out of chocolate spread if I waited for that perfect opportunity.

Chocolate Pizza Chocolate Pizza

So one morning when we would have just had bread with chocolate spread with our tea, I made chocolate pizza instead.
It’s simple really; bread dough slathered in chocolate and baked to perfection with a sprinkle of aniseed.
The sprinkles were an afterthought, but I do love the combination, the chocolate and the subtle liquorice flavour do well together.

I love it with tea; it’s like bread with your favourite chocolate spread, but so much more – it’s soft warm chewy bread with gooey melted chocolate – so good!

I used ’00’ flour for the dough, I got a small bag from the Italian store months ago to try out. I put my bread machine to work using a very simple dough recipe, same one I used here.
The dough can be made by hand too; here is a great step-by-step direction on how to.

I’m hopeful, E and I have set a date this summer, to get together and make chocolate pizza, and I’ll even let her choose the toppings.

Chocolate Pizza Chocolate Pizza

Chocolate Pizza

Forbidden Rice Porridge

Forbidden Rice Porridge

I’m a ‘porridge girl’, I love all manner of porridges; give me grain or seed and I’ll figure out a way to turn it into breakfast come morning; it’s not like it’s a hard task – all I need is a pot and some water

Porridge is comforting, filling and oh so familiar; I can’t remember a time when it wasn’t a part of my life.

In recent years I’ve been looking beyond the traditional corn and oat cereals I grew up with, I’ve experimented with a handful of grains and seeds like buckwheat, amaranth, polenta, cracked wheat, wheat berries, millet, quinoa, bulgur…

I like simple foods that pack a flavour punch, the porridges I make are usually creamy and pudding-like, when topped with fruit, nuts and more nut-milk goodness, it’s almost like having dessert for breakfast.

Forbidden Rice Porridge

I’ve been itching to try this forbidden rice porridge ever since I saw it here, then I saw it again recently, and like fate, it was topped with passion fruit and mango – guess what I had languishing on my counter? Passion fruit and mangoes!

The porridge sounded lovely, like something I’d wake up early on a weekend morning for. I’ve always thought black rice would be wonderful in dessert or pudding-like recipes with it’s naturally sweet and nutty aromatic flavours.

Rice porridge isn’t new to me; there was ‘rice water’ when I was a kid, it’s white rice cooked in plenty of water until almost mushy and the water turns thick and glutinous, it’s a popular breakfast food in Ghana.

I love, love this porridge, it’s rich creamy texture, the sweet nutty flavour and it’s so fragrant – there’s a bit of nutmeg and vanilla in this recipe to compliment the natural aroma of the rice.

It does transport you to tropical locales; fields of rice and coconut trees on deserted beaches with the bluest waters.

This porridge can be made overnight in a slow-cooker, use your favourite fruits and/or nuts, I’d even try dollop of whipped coconut cream for more coconut-ey creamy goodness.

Forbidden Rice Porridge

Forbidden Rice Porridge


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