What does your breakfast look like? My breakfast looks like that picture up above. I have been eating a lot of quinoa lately because I have changed the way I start my mornings. A month ago I stopped drinking coffee. I was rather surprised that I was able to stop drinking it so easily this time because the last time I attempted to rid myself of it I suffered. I had terrible withdrawal symptoms severe headaches and body aches and pains. It was really uncomfortable so like most times when things get uncomfortable I simply continue on doing what I am doing because it is easier. I was quite fortunate to have a relatively easy time eliminating it from my diet and morning routine this time around. I did experience a slight headache on the first morning but then I remembered that I had read somewhere where that headaches in the morning are sometimes caused by a lack of hydration and protein. Luckily I had quinoa in the cupboard. I prepared my breakfast waiting patiently as I sipped on some water. After eating the quinoa and hydrating myself my headache was gone and I was over my first morning sans caffeine! Incredible 🙂 I have to tell you that since eliminating the caffeine from my diet I feel great. It is nice to wake up in the morning and not have to depend on a cup of liquid to decide what sort of day it is going to be. Now I decide, it is always a beautiful day with limitless possibilities that lie ahead!
This Honied Blueberry Breakfast Quinoa is so nourishing. I have yet to find a breakfast that leaves me feeling so well balanced and satisfied. We all know how important the first meal of the day is but do we all know that it is equally important to incorporate protein into each of our meals? It is very important. Our bodies require protein for the majority of our metabolic functions and if we can add protein to our breakfasts we are setting ourselves up for a very well balanced day that will allow you to keep a steady pace throughout the day. Quinoa is a very versatile grain and a complete protein. Quinoa is also a good source of dietary fibre, phosphorus and is high in magnesium as well as iron. It may also be used as a source of calcium, and therefore is useful for vegans and those who are lactose intolerant. Quinoa is gluten-free and easy to digest. If you have not yet introduced yourself to quinoa you really should get on it! It is amazing and so very nourishing.
Honied Blueberry Breakfast Quinoa
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
1/2 cup unsweetened almond or hemp milk (regular milk also works)
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons honey
Handful chopped or sliced hazelnuts
Handful of fresh blueberries
In a large saucepan, stir together the quinoa, milk, and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, cover and turn heat down to low. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until quinoa softens and absorbs all of the liquid.
Transfer to a bowl sprinkle a handful of blueberries squeeze some honey on the blueberries and top with sliced hazelnuts. Serve hot.
Makes 1-2 servings depending on your hunger
If you are looking for a well balanced breakfast that leaves you satisfied look no further this will do the trick!
From our kitchen to yours,
I have always been a sucker for a little hard work. It’s gratifying. It’s good for the soul. After a difficult task has been completed you feel as though you have accomplished something. Perhaps it is something that not everyone could have accomplished. Hard work gives you a sense of self worth. It is allows us an opportunity to challenge ourselves. To really see what is lying beneath the surface waiting to burst through. Like those beautiful flowers that have to work so hard trying to break through that layer of dirt in order to fully blossom. I believe that when we challenge ourselves with hard or difficult tasks it allows us to really see what we are really made of just like those beautiful flowers. It allows us to see what we are really truly capable of doing and in turn capable of becoming. It is an opportunity for us to change and grow.
These Blueberry Danishes with Cream Cheese Glaze are just that a little hard work but the results that you are able to achieve are incredible. This pastry is a cheat puff pastry recipe that uses yeast. I know what you must be thinking, puff pastry does not require yeast. Maybe this isn’t really a puff pastry recipe, let’s call it a danish pastry. Regardless of what you would like to call it this pastry is absolutely amazing. It is a little time consuming and there is a wee bit of manual labour that is involved but trust me when I say it is worth every second of work that is required. I made these danishes into spirals or snails and they turned out quite wonderfully. The pastry is so tender and flaky you will not be able to eat just one, please be prepared for this 🙂 I used a homemade blueberry jam as the filling but you can use what ever your heart desires you may even use a variety of jams if that is something you might be interested in!
Blueberry Danishes with Cream Cheese Glaze
2 cups butter, softened
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
8 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
To Prepare the Danish Pastry
In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and 2/3 cup of flour. Divide into 2 equal parts, and roll each half between 2 pieces of waxed paper into a 6 x12 inch sheet. Refrigerate.
In a large bowl, mix together the dry yeast and 3 cups of the remaining flour. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk, sugar and salt. Heat to 115 degrees F, or just warm, but not hot to the touch. Mix the warm milk mixture into the flour and yeast along with the eggs, and lemon and almond extracts. Stir for 3 minutes. Knead in the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time until the dough is firm and pliable. Set aside to rest until double in size.
Cut the dough in half, and roll each half out to a 14 inch square. Place one sheet of the cold butter onto each piece of dough, and fold the dough over it like the cover of a book. Seal edges by pressing with fingers. Roll each piece out to a 20x 12 inch rectangle, then fold into thirds by folding the long sides in over the center. Repeat rolling into a large rectangle, and folding into thirds. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Remove from the refrigerator one at a time, and roll and fold each piece two more times. Return to the refrigerator to chill again before shaping. If the butter gets too warm, the dough will become difficult to manage.
To make danishes, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. The dough can be cut into squares, with a filling placed in the center. Fold 2 of the corners over the center to form a filled diamond shape. Or, fold the piece in half, cut into 1 inch strips, stretch, twist and roll into a spiral. Place a dollop of preserves or other filling in the center. Place danishes on an ungreased baking sheet, and let rise until doubled. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Danishes can be brushed with egg white for a shiny finish.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the bottoms are golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
Cream Cheese Glaze
2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 teaspoons of milk
To Prepare the Glaze
Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, milk and vanilla in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat until smooth and drizzling consistency, you may have to add more milk. Drizzle the glaze over the danishes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Makes 3 Dozen Danishes
*Note: This recipe makes a large quantity of pastry. This pastry does freeze well if wrapped in plastic wrap and then placed in a ziplock bag for up to one month.
If you are seeking a challenge to expand your baking skills you really should try your hand at this wonderful recipe. The results you will achieve are outstanding. The compliments you receive on these danishes will make you feel utterly gifted 🙂
From our kitchen to yours,
I have been neglecting you. I have been going through an after vacation withdrawal. Do you ever have those? I apologize. Its not you, it’s me.
This Honey & Oat Stone Ground Wheat Bread is probably one of the best bread recipes I have tried in a while! One of the things that I have discovered while I was on my extended hiatus was that I am an emotional baker. You know how you can be an emotional eater, well same thing except I bake when my emotions begin to flare. It is a therapy for me a type of meditation that calms and soothes my mind. This bread was the result of some emotional baking I did the other day 🙂 I seem to do my best work when I am driven by emotion 😉 This bread is absolute heaven! It has a tender crumb and is so light you’ll hardly believe that you are eating anything at all. It is slightly dulcet and will not disappoint even the most seasoned bread eater! I highly suggest this bread for breakfasts and sandwiches as it is absolutely divine.
Honey & Oat Stone Ground Wheat Bread
3 cups warm water (110 degrees F)
2 packages active dry yeast (4 1/2 teaspoons)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup honey
4 cups bread flour
1 cup rolled oats
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup honey
1/2 tablespoon salt
3 1/2 cups stone ground whole wheat bread flour
2 tablespoons butter, melted
In the bowl of your electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the warm water, yeast, sugar and 1/3 cup honey. Add 4 cups white bread flour and oats; stir to combine. Allow to sit for 30 minutes, or until big and bubbly.
Remove the paddle attachment and replace it with the dough hook. Mix in 3 tablespoons melted butter, the additional 1/3 cup honey, and salt. Stir in 2 cups stone ground whole wheat flour. With the mixer on stir add the additional flour 1/2 cup at a time and allow the dough to knead for about 6-10 minutes or until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and the bowl looks “clean” the dough should be one complete mass. Alternately, flour a flat surface and knead with whole wheat flour until not real sticky – just pulling away from the counter, but still sticky to touch. This may take an additional 2 to 4 cups of stone ground whole wheat bread flour. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the surface of the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and a dishtowel. Allow to rise in a warm place free from drafts until doubled in size.
Punch down, and divide into 3 loaves. Place in greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans, and allow to rise until dough has topped the pans by one inch. As an option you can brush the tops of the loaves with honey and then sprinkle with oats. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes; do not overbake. To test the loaves you may insert a thermometer in the corner of the loaf on an angle and when it reads 210-215 F it is done! Lightly brush the tops of loaves with 2 tablespoons melted butter when done to prevent crust from getting hard. Cool on a wire rack completely.
Makes 3~9×5 inch loaves
Source Adaptation Allrecipes
If you have any upcoming picnics planned this bread would make the most scrumptious sandwiches for your affair!
From our kitchen to yours,
One of the most wonderful things about being home is being in the kitchen. Ever since I was a wee girl the kitchen has been my favorite spot. It doesn’t matter if I am cleaning, doing dishes, chopping, cooking or baking as long as it’s in the kitchen I am in a good sound state of affairs!
When I first returned home last week I was a little reluctant to get back into the kitchen and start scooping flour and measuring out other ingredients. I have been on a cleanse for the last week and that is why the reluctance was so overwhelming. It is difficult for me to refrain from sweets and other goodies when I am doing my spring cleaning so to speak. But I am a woman of my word and when I say I will be back writing posts the first week of June then by golly I am back writing posts the first week of June cleanse or no cleanse! Fortunately, I do have a couple of side kicks that are not doing any spring cleaning or cleansing for that matter that were and are more than happy to consume everything that I bake and concoct for you all 🙂
These Banana Espresso Muffins with Cacao Nibs underwent some vigorous testing here in our kitchen and I have to tell you they are incredible! Moist and tender these muffins are the perfect companion for your breakfast or brunch! They even come loaded with their own espresso back up just in case you didn’t get enough coffee to start your day off! The great thing about these muffins or any muffin for that matter is that they are a cinch to make. You simply add the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet in another and then combine, easy peasy! Banana muffins are really just a variation of banana bread so if you are a fan of banana bread you’ll most certainly love these muffins. These muffins are the perfect accompaniment to any breakfast table or brunch for that matter! I added cacao nibs because I am addicted to them and I also really enjoy the crunch they add to baked goods. Cacao nibs are a great alternative to nuts when you are looking for extra crunch without the extra calories 🙂
Banana Espresso Muffins with Cacao Nibs
2 cups flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup cacao nibs
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup strong espresso, chilled or cool
3/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 ripe bananas, mashed
Preheat oven to 350. Line 12 muffin tins with paper liners.
Combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, cacao nibs and cinnamon in a large bowl. Whisk together, and make a well in the center. Combine buttermilk, coffee, oil, vanilla, sugar, mashed bananas and eggs. Whisk wet ingredients together and pour over the dry ingredients. Mix wet ingredients together until almost combined. Continue to stir until the batter is evenly moistened, being careful not to over mix.
Scoop batter into prepared pans, filling the muffin cup to the top. Sprinkle with sugar, if you like. Bake until muffin edges are golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out with the tiniest bit of crumb, 16-20 minutes.
Makes 12 Muffins
Source Adaptation The Vanilla Bean Blog
If you are looking for some fresh morning fare these muffins will completely fill the bill! You will not go back to your plain ‘ol banana muffins are these, or maybe you will, either way enjoy 🙂
From our kitchen to yours,
I have some exciting news to share with you all! It’s exciting for me but I am warning you it may not be so exciting for you. Ready? I am going on a big adventure to Costa Rica! I will be flying out early tomorrow morning. I have not made any definite plans aside from two nights in Liberia. I am excited for a change of scenery! I am also I am also looking forward to some really warm weather along with an abundance of wildlife. I will be taking my camera with me so I can share with you some of my discoveries but I do not intend on writing any food related posts until the first week of June. I may go back on my word here if I am able to find suitable internet connections but as of this moment this will be my last post until June. I know, you are all so terribly sadden by this news but I promise there will be a lot of things to look forward to this summer here on Sydney’s Kitchen 🙂
That was another rather exciting tid bit of information that I wanted to share with you all. When I return in June I will be returning to a new job 🙂 I will be working at a dog spa!! I am completely overjoyed. I am excited to learn all sorts of new things when I start working there. I am really excited about the things that are happening and the things that are going to unfold throughout the rest of the year!
In celebration of all the things to come I thought it would be a great idea to share with you one of my favorite summer drinks. Watermelon slushies are a fabulous summer drink that are super easy to make! I love making blender drinks in the summer, they are so refreshing and require very little preparation. They are the perfect way to quench your thirst when the hot sun is beating down on you. The beauty of blender drinks is that they are healthy and you can add or omit any ingredients you like. If you like thicker more substantial slushies you can add a banana which will thicken and sweeten you slushie naturally. I added pure unsweetened cranberry juice to mine because I love the tartness of the cranberries as well as the health benefits that they offer! If you are looking for a great cranberry juice or dried cranberries, I suggest you try Terra Beata Cranberry Farm they are absolutely amazing 🙂
In a blender combine watermelon, raspberries, cranberry juice, sorbet, lime juice and ice; blend until smooth. Pour into chilled glasses, garnish with a wedge of watermelon and some fresh mint leaves. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings
If you are looking for refreshing summer drinks that quench your thirst and cool you off you need to add these slushies to your recipe box. I am really going to miss writing for you all in the next couple of weeks. I am really looking forward to returning and sharing with you my Costa Rican adventure 🙂
From our kitchen to yours,