Posts Tagged ‘breakfast’

Breakfast – Yogurt and Cereal

Breakfast - Yogurt and Cereal

For me, spring begins with cherry blossoms, when streets and parks are awash in pink fluffiness – that is when I know spring has arrived.

I’ve seen a handful of cherry blossoms in my neighbourhood and we’ve been basking in some spring-like weather these past couple of days, all clear and exciting signs that we’re moving into wonderful weather.

A few nights ago a friend went down to the beach wrapped in a giant blanket to have dinner and catch the sunset.

I’ve promised myself I’d do more of that when it gets warmer – I want to watch the sunrise with breakfast and eat dinner in view of the setting sun.

Breakfast - Yogurt and Cereal Breakfast - Yogurt and Cereal
Breakfast - Yogurt and Cereal

Except the rain came back yesterday and it almost felt like spring had deserted us even before it begun, so we had a little bit of spring for breakfast – yogurt and cereal.

This simple breakfast of cereal and yogurt is convenient for lazy rainy days – a colourful cereal that looks decidedly spring-like, made with corn flour, coloured and flavoured with vegetable juice.

The cereal, some cheery oranges, almond milk and cultured coconut milk yogurt and it almost feels like spring again.

Breakfast - Yogurt and Cereal

Coffee and Doughnuts


Some things are better together; milk and cereal for instance, or a warm bowl of soup on a cold rain-soaked day, and perhaps coffee and doughnuts?

I’m not exactly a doughnut person but I’ve been meaning to check out 49th Parallel and their doughnut venture, Lucky’s Doughnuts ever since I heard about it – I finally did a few weeks back.

What makes this shop fascinating is that it isn’t just a doughnut shop that has coffee, or a coffee shop with a few doughnuts on the side.

No, it’s a doughnut and coffee shop; the doughnuts are made on site from scratch, and as coffee roasters, coffee is what 49th Parallel does.

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The Kitsilano location is cute and rustic with lots of light, charmingly done in pale blue walls and giant glass windows – stone countertops, marble tables with metal and wood seating complete the decor which goes with the adorable blue tableware used in the shop.

The aroma of coffee and sweet sugary doughnuts is intoxicating, definitely has that ‘doughnut shop smell’ and even a non-doughnut person like myself could not resist the tempting assortment of doughnuts so beautifully displayed.

It’s a busy spot, seating was a little hard to secure, but worth the relaxed vibes when we ultimately did.


Our coffees were well made and delicious, I had the almond milk mocha – the almond milk, I was gallantly told is also made in house.

The caramel topping on my old fashioned salted caramel doughnut was a little hard but the doughnut had a nice cakey texture.
More reason to go back and try other varieties, I thought.

I’ve always liked 49th Parallel coffee, they are renowned coffee roasters with a historied coffee past in Vancouver – this venture doesn’t take away from that, it just infuses a little variance into the coffee culture in the city.

Named for the circle of latitude 49 degrees north of the equator, part of which serves as an international boundary between Canada and the US, 49th Parallel supply beans to coffee shops and retailers all over North America, they’ve been roasting coffee since 2004.

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Speculoos Cookie Muffins

Speculoos Cookie Muffins

Long before the cookie butter craze, there were speculoos, the crunchy caramelized spiced cookies which is the main ingredient the cookie butter.

Speculoos are special in themselves, my local London Drugs used to carry the Belgian ones around Christmas time; crispy and thin with punchy flavours, they are so good with tea.

A while back, I discovered a package of speculoos lost underneath my stash of nuts, broken in pieces, looking forlorn and perfect for these muffins.

IMG_0060 Speculoos Cookie Muffins
Speculoos Cookie Muffins Speculoos Cookie Muffins

I can’t recall where I found this recipe, I really wish I could, because it takes the humble speculoos to new heights, I guess it’s similar to the cookie spread in that way

One idle grey morning, we watched the rain pour down the windows, and made these muffins, then we made coffee, sat down and relished the wonderful aroma of the muffins baking.

We ate them warm, right out of the oven with coffee and good company.

These speculoos cookie muffins aren’t the healthiest, but they have a delicious specialness and comfort that makes them perfectly suited for cold rainy days.

I really like how they turned out – wonderfully spiced, moist and cakey with a delightful crunchy streusel topping.

Speculoos Cookie Muffins
Speculoos Cookie Muffins by Elsa Brobbey

Speculoos Cookie Muffins

Breakfast: Millet Puffs


I love the stillness of weekend mornings, especially under winter’s calm grey skies when it’s so quiet and so peaceful, and the world is still for a moment.

I had quiet and tranquil mornings this weekend, a nice pace from the high of the holidays, and in keeping with the practice of daily breakfasts, I had puffed cereal both mornings.

I’ve accepted that breakfast doesn’t always have to be elaborate or made from scratch, and here’s where breakfast cereal comes in handy.

We do a lot of puffed grains, usually rice, millet, amaranth or quinoa, I like that it has one ingredient, wholesome and come with no added sugar or preservatives.

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Of course, I liven up my puffed cereal with nuts, fruits, sometimes candy, giving it that special quirky touch.

My favourite are the millet puffs, we buy them by the bag full and go through them pretty quick too, it has a crunchy nutty sweetness that I can’t get enough of.

I love it with peanuts and warm almond milk lightly sweetened with maple syrup, and sometimes I even throw in some gummies for good measure!


Spiced Banana Cake

Spiced Banana Cake

And so begins a gleaming New Year, inspiring and hopeful; when you think about it, the start of the New Year is a little like mornings, both bearing the optimism of a new beginning, except mornings come around daily.
My little end-of-year break sadly ended today, and this morning I got ready for work thinking about resolutions, and how I try not to make them on New Year’s.

I used to think I wasn’t really a resolutions maker, but the fact is, I’ve been making resolutions all my life, just not necessarily at the start of each year.

Spiced Banana Cake by Elsa Brobbey

One resolution I’ve had a hard time keeping is breakfast, for some reason eating in the morning has been a bit of a challenge. So my resolutions for mornings this year is to eat breakfast.

It seemed so easy during our relaxing Christmas holiday, breakfast just seemed to happen naturally; we had our granola on some mornings, mum made her special Hausa koko, then there were those endless pots of coffee and tea to go with panettone, pandoro and this delectable spiced banana cake I made for Christmas morning.

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This cake is truly simple, more like banana bread but fluffier, finely spiced and topped with crushed nuts and dried cranberries.

It gets its yellowish hue from turmeric, a mildly fragrant warm spice with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
I love the colour it lends to the cake, also, it boosts the flavour of the cake with earthy hints and and a faint peppery flavour.

I try to add turmeric to my cooking as often as I can since it’s such a powerful healing spice.


What I do is mix all the spices; cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom and turmeric together to make a rich warm mixture and then add it to my flour before the wet ingredients.

And when it’s baking, the smell of the bananas and the spices sweetly wafts through the kitchen and fills everywhere, that’s how you know something wonderful is baking.

It’s perfect with tea for wintry mornings, the spices aren’t overpowering, hints of ginger, cardamom and cinnamon comes thorough, balancing with the delicate aromas of bananas and vanilla.

This cake makes me hopeful, that maybe breakfasts wouldn’t be so hard after all.

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