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Breakfast – Mother’s Day

Breakfast - Mother's Day

My favourite childhood memories are of my mom making us breakfast; fermented corn-dough porridge (koko), thick creamy oatmeal, fried egg sandwiches with hot cocoa and crepe-like pancakes on special occasions.

Food has always been an integral part of our family; from when we struggled to grow enough to when we ate in abundance – we’ve always come together around food and my mom is continually the tie that binds us.

So it’s no surprise that our Mother’s Day usually involves food…

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My mom doesn’t cook much anymore, we still share curious conversations around food; rare plants and spices from her childhood and new-to-her fruits, vegetables, pastries etc. she wants to try

We love surprising mom with brunch on Mother’s Day; sometimes we manage catch her for a quick breakfast before she sets off to church, then there was the fabulous frittata and gari, she still talks about it to this day.


We made her matcha waffles today, the smell of matcha, she says reminds her of a farm under the hot sun after the rain.

This was last year’s spread; we cheated a little, with scones from a local bakery and those Italian shortbread cookies she loves, with coffee and fruit – modest and easy to put together yet she loved it just as if we’d spent the morning baking the scones and cookies ourselves.

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Mother’s Day is low-key around here, as it should be, filled with love and thoughtful gestures, with a slight hopefulness that everyday would be like this.

Hope your Mother’s Day was special too.


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!


Lemon Cornmeal Waffles

Lemon Cornmeal Waffles

So this summer I bought a little waffle maker intent on making a ton of waffles.
You see, I owned a waffle maker previously; it just sat there taking up space, and produced not a single waffle until I gave it away one day.

I went into my second waffle maker purchase determined to do things differently this time; I tried not to get too excited, but I couldn’t help myself…

I envisioned stealing into the kitchen on dusky weekend-mornings, and the cathartic process of mixing floor, and milk and other wholesome ingredients, pouring batter onto the hot griddle as sweet heady smell of waffles cooking fill the tiny apartment. And the waffles… oh the waffles would be fluffy, crisp on the outside, light and melt-in-your-mouth delicious.

Lemon Cornmeal Waffles

I’m pleased to say my dreams won over, I’ve put the waffle maker to work, we’ve made some good waffles since; not as much as I’d like, and not usually in the earliest of mornings – but I’ve loved the scent of waffles wafting through the kitchen, and I’ve had a few tasty fluffy ones.

We had waffle bread with whipped coconut cream and raspberries when they were in season.
There was the salad of arugula and summer fresh fruit with mustard vinaigrette and waffles for lunch

I made a big batch and froze them for breakfast in a hurry, which was a big hit with my little houseguest over the summer.

Lemon Cornmeal Waffles Lemon Cornmeal Waffles
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The lemon cornmeal waffles recipe was one of the very first I came across when scouring the internet for dairy-free and egg-free waffle recipes – and I had all the ingredients at home, it was almost too perfect.
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know how much I love cornmeal/polenta.

And these waffles are exceptional, the cornmeal make these waffles shine; it retains its crisp texture and impacts a unique mildly sweet nutty flavour, and a nice lemony kick.
These waffles taste a little like cornbread but airier, it’s big flavour for just a few ingredients and not too much work and I sometimes double the recipe and freeze the leftovers, I pop them in the toaster on those busy or lazy mornings and breakfast’s a go.

I love mine with my sweet and tart blueberry maple sauce.

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Crunchy Speculoos Toast

Crunchy Speculoos Toast

I have a sweet tooth; I think it’s primarily why I’m so enamoured with breakfast foods – as they tend to be on the sweeter side. It’s the only meal of the day with this many sweet choices; muffins, pastries, pancakes, cereal, porridges, jams, syrups and chocolate spreads, etc., any other time of the day, these would be dessert.

I have a sweet tooth and that’s my weakness, so please indulge me and let’s agree that crunchy speculoos butter can be ‘part of a nutritious breakfast’ – because my mother on the other hand doesn’t think so.

Crunchy Speculoos Toast Crunchy Speculoos Toast
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I brought a jar of crunchy speculoos from vacation last year and kept it for months after I discovered that Trader Joe’s had started making them too. I was going to do a taste test but never got around to it, soon I noticed it was fast approaching its expiration date…

And that is how this crunchy speculoos toast came about; crunchy speculoos is just like the regular cookie butter, but with specks of cookie, cinnamon-ey with a bit of crunch.

We made baked oatmeal a few mornings, but on most days until it ran out, we spread it on our toasts – like sweet creamy gingerbread cookies on toast.

An exciting change from plain buttered toast, throw in some fruits, nuts and orange juice and it’s a complete breakfast.


French Toast with Blueberry Sauce and Roasted Apple and Pear

French Toast with Blueberry Sauce

There’s something about sunny days that makes me want to travel, or just go for long walks. The rain on the other hand, makes me want to stay in bed and eat breakfast all day long.
There’s been a break in our dry lovely weather, temperatures have cooled and the rain is back!

The rain when it returns is comforting at first, perhaps because it rains so much here, and that’s familiar or maybe it’s the gentle cool morning air. Mornings that has me longing for a big breakfast, the kind so filling, it makes you skip lunch.

This little French toast number is one of those breakfasts; and I love it on cool spring mornings.
Decadent French toast with blueberry sauce and apples and pears lightly caramelized by roasting them.

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This French toast recipe is one that I use often, because it’s simple, doesn’t have dairy or eggs and yet tastes scrumptious, I use very thick cut bread and let the bread soak up the mixture thoroughly before ‘frying’ it.

Another great tip I learned for making French toast is to get the skillet hot before you add the bread, here are six more tips for not screwing up your French toast.

I discovered roasted apples over the winter months, and it’s been my go-to breakfast side, it makes apples fun again, I love the sweet caramelized texture and how they still retain their crunch.

The blueberry sauce is sweet and tart, the perfect condiment for a host of breakfast foods, I’ve used it in yoghurts, porridge and granola.

Technically, this is three recipes in one, but do not despair, the blueberry sauce and the roasted apples can be made in advance. The toasts are good on their own too, with a sprinkle of powdered sugar or maple syrup and fruit.

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(And because the recipe is so long, it’s after the jump)
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