mixed fruit anytime crisp

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I’ve been working nights recently – leaving for work around 5pm, getting home around 7am, sometimes sleeping, mostly up all night.  Sometimes I have time to eat, sometimes I don’t.  I’ve been eating “dinner” at 7am and “breakfast” at 2pm.  It’s weird.

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What’s not weird is this fruit crisp.  Deb calls it a breakfast crisp and makes it with all apricots.  I call it an anytime crisp and made it with a mix of apricots, cherries & plums.  Sometimes I eat it in the middle of the night, sometimes first thing when I wake up.  It’s good anytime.

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It’s great cold from the fridge, with a large scoop of greek yogurt and I imagine it would be excellent with ice cream, if you want to make it a dessert crisp.  It would be a fantastic potluck contribution and a super easy make ahead brunch item.  Or, if you’re me, an excellent anytime snack for whenever you have a moment to enjoy it.

Mixed Fruit Breakfast Crisp
Recipe Type: breakfast
Author: Deb Perelman, The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 45 mins
Serves: 4-6
recipe notes: The recipe, as featured in Deb’s cookbook, is all apricots. I only had a few left, so used cherries and a plum to get to a pound of mixed fruit. Any combination you use, I’m sure, will be delicious. Deb mentions that in the fall, apples and pears could be used, but to increase the cooking time close to 40-45 minutes. Turbinado sugar is often sold as Sugar in the Raw and can be found at most grocery stores.
Ingredients
  • 1 pound (455 grams) mixed stone fruit
  • 2 tablespoons (25 grams) sugar (granulated or natural turbinado)
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose GF flour blend
  • Pinch of grated nutmeg
  • 4 tablespoons (55 grams or 1/2 stick) of butter
  • 1/3 cup (65 grams) sugar (granulated or natural turbinado)
  • 1/2 cup (40 grams) GF rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup (65 grams) all-purpse GF flour blend
  • Good pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons sliced or chopped almonds
  • Yogurt of your choice, to serve
Instructions
  1. Prepare fruit: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. If using apricots, pull them apart at their seam, remove the pits, and tear them one more time, into quarters. If using cherries, pit and halve them. For other stone fruits, cute them up accordingly. Place fruit in a small baking dish (a 1-quart gratin dish is perfect, a pie plate works well, too). Stir in the sugar, flour, and a pinch of nutmeg.
  2. Make topping: Melt the butter in a small saucepan, and stir in first the sugar, then the aots, then the flour, and finally the salt & almonds, until large clumps form. Sprinkle the mixture over the fruit. Bake for about 30 minutes. Eat warm or chilled, with a scoop of your favorite yogurt.

 

buckwheat crêpes

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There is something about gluten-free baking that just seems like so much work.  I realize this may sound a little weird coming from me, as I typically tend to gravitate toward things that require more work.  However, the long lists of various flours, the weird-sounding ingredients (what is xanthan gum?) and the fear that whatever I bake won’t taste anything like what I used to bake has prevented me from baking much at all since being diagnosed with Celiac Disease.

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But, as with most things, the challenge of gluten-free baking has become a motivation of its own.  When I was first diagnosed, I simply avoided baking altogether.  Then, when a friend offered to bake something together, we made lemon bars.  And when my brother came to visit, I made brownies.  At some point (and we’re still in the beginning stages of this), I decided that instead of avoided flour all together, I should start learning about all the other options out there.   Reading Shauna’s Guide to Gluten Free Baking was inspiring and I felt like she had written it just for me.

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Don’t be fooled.  I didn’t run off and buy teff flour and guar gum and millet flour and arrowroot to make a three tiered celebration cake.  I bought some buckwheat flour and made some crêpes.  And they were great, really.  The texture was spot-on.  The flavor, different, but good different.  They were a little nutty and so delicious slathered in peanut butter or nutella or covered in syrupy berries.  It might be awhile before I plunge into gluten-free cakes, but I’m happy for now, with these crepes and a few other gluten-free goodies tucked in my back pocket for when the itch to bake creeps up.

buckwheat crêpes
yield: about 8 crêpes

recipe notes:  A note that Shauna made, and that I would second, is to weigh the flour.  8 oz of milk is 1 cup of milk and most liquid measuring cups will have the 8 oz level marked.  Also, as Shauna notes, the only really important thing here is the 2:1:1 ratio of liquid:egg:flour.  I have not tried any other options besides the one listed below, but in theory you could use any liquid (almond milk, soy milk, heavy cream).

These keep well, on a plate in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap for a few days.  I ate one cold for breakfast for the three days after I made them (I’m sure you could toss them in a heated pan or zap in them in the microwave for a short time to heat them up, if you wish).  Some of the fillings I liked were cream cheese + jam (mix them together first, then spread) & peanut butter + sliced bananas.  I have yet to use them in savory way for lunch or dinner, but I’ve got a few ideas I’d like to try (see links below).

Finally, the cooking can be tricky.  Don’t be discouraged.  It takes awhile to get the hang of it and get the temperature of the pan just right.  The video on gluten-free girl and the chef may help.

8 ounces milk
4 large eggs
4 ounces buckwheat flour
good pinch kosher salt
2 tablespoons coconut oil (I used butter, you could also use olive oil)

1.  make the crêpes:  Whisk together milk & eggs.  Add the buckwheat flour, pinch in the salt.  Whisk everything together fully.  Make immediately, if you wish, or let it sit in the fridge a few hours (or overnight).  Make sure to whisk again before cooking as the starches in the buckwheat flour tend to sink to the bottom.

2.  cook the crêpes:  Set a large cast-iron skillet (I used a non-stick) over low heat and slowly bring it up to medium-high heat.  Put some of the butter (or oil) in the hot skillet.  When the oil has melted, swirl in some of the batter (I used a 1/4 cup measuring cup to measure it out).  Tilt the skillet back and forth until the batter covers the entire surface.  When the edges are set and starting to curl up from the pan, about 30 – 60 seconds, run a spatula (use rubber if it’s a non-stick pan!) under all the edges of the crêpe.  Flip and cook for another 30 seconds then turn onto a cutting board or plate.

source: gluten-free girl and the chef

crêpes, elsewhere:
- sweet crepes recipe (not gf) with lots of ideas for fillings by 101cookbooks
- sugar plum crepes with ricotta and honey by smitten kitchen
- 11 Best Sweet & Savory Crepe Recipes at Foodista

 

 

 

oatmeal with yogurt & berries

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It seems as though I find a new favorite breakfast every other week.  For the past two weeks, alternating with other oldies but goodies (and the occasional leftover dinner for breakfast – is that weird?), has been this oatmeal with yogurt & berries.

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The creamy, hearty oats, topped with tangy greek yogurt, deliciously ripe blackberries and a drizzle of maple syrup is an absolutely winning combination.  And, not to mention, nutritious and full of fiber.  Win.

oatmeal with yogurt & berries
serves 2

recipe notes:  I like to cook my oats over the stove, the old-fashioned way.  It takes about 10-20 minutes, but it’s an easy 10-20 minutes during which you can make some coffee and pack your lunch while it cooks.  I’ve also made the oatmeal the night before, kept it in the fridge then just re-heated in the morning.  Alternatively, you can make the oatmeal in the microwave.  For you gluten-free folks out there, I like Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Rolled Oats.  For the yogurt, I like plain greek yogurt, but I’ve also had this with plain regular yogurt and it’s also delicious.

2 cups water
1 cup oats
1/4 cup yogurt
handful of blackberries
drizzle of pure maple syrup

1.  cook the oatmeal:  Bring 2 cups of water to a boil.  Stir in oats.  Reduce to a simmer.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until it is the consistency you like.

2.  top the oatmeal:  One it’s done, place half the oatmeal in a serving bowl, top with yogurt, berries and maple syrup.

source: anna maria original

oatmeal, elsewhere: 
- with strawberries & chocolatesuper simple roasted apples or bananas, walnuts & brown sugar
- I also like to top with: a dollop of crunchy peanut butter + a dollop of raspberry jelly + a splash of milk

hosting easter brunch

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A few weekends ago, I was lucky enough to host brunch for a few of my family members on Easter Sunday.  I love the idea of a dinner party, but hosting brunch has to be one of my very favorite things to do.  Usually when we host brunch, it’s a last minute thing.  But this time, since it was a holiday and there were out of town guests, I made it a little more special.

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I have no doubt that the five of us could have easily found an appropriate place to sit, but because I’m me, these placecards needed to happen.  I simply cut small squares out of cardstock, folded them in half and wrote each person’s name on them in fancy cursive with a fancy pen.

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The menu was pretty simple – mostly low maintenance things I could either prepare ahead or took little preparation the day of.  Plus, I had some help from guests.  All together, it took about an hour to get everything to the table.  We enjoyed:

- Fruit Salad/Granola/Yogurt Parfaits
- Asparagus & Gruyère Frittata
Home Fries
Bacon
- Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Scones

All the fruit for the fruit salad was prepped the day before.  About an hour before everyone arrived, I mixed all the fruit together and sprinkled a little sugar/mint mixture over the top and left it.  The yogurt was simple plain vanilla yogurt.  The granola was made earlier in the week.  The frittata ingredients were prepped earlier in the morning. The potatoes were cut up by mom (thanks!).  They were the earliest thing I started actual cooking (about 45 minutes beforehand) but since there’s a lot of hands-off time, I was able to get do everything else at the same time.  The bacon was baked in the oven (see link, but be sure to line your pan with aluminum foil for much easier clean up!).  The scones were made the previous weekend, frozen and baked earlier in the morning before the bacon went in.

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But of course, while the food was all good, the company was the most enjoyable part.  Thanks to all for joining our little Easter brunch :)

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how to host brunch, elsewhere:
- how to host brunch (and still sleep in) by smitten kitchen
- A Book Club Brunch Party from thekitchn
- Easter Brunch Ideas on everyday occasions by Jenny Steffens Hobick

muesli

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This muesli is the very first recipe in Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day which I’ve been slowly cooking and eating my way through over the past couple months.  I love oatmeal (in all it’s variations) and have always enjoyed a good fruit/yogurt/granola parfait.  Muesli is a nice alternate – similar to each but refreshingly different.

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It is a perfect quick breakfast for a busy weekday morning, one that requires very little effort the night before (mix yogurt, water, dry muesli) and no effort the morning (grab & go).

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It’s got everything you need to stay full until lunch and the possibilities for different flavor combinations are endless.  Welcome to the breakfast rotation, muesli.  We’re happy to have you.

muesli
yield: about 4 servings

recipe notes: I halved Heidi’s recipe because I wasn’t sure exactly how much I was going to like this and I didn’t want to have a ton to use up.  I’ve already made a second batch.  The best part about it is that you can mix all the ingredients together and just store them in a glass jar in your pantry.  Then, just make the muesli per serving as you like.  On the various ingredients – you could substitute any dried fruit for the raisins – dried cranberries?  dried blueberries?  Yum.  Also – the nuts are definitely interchangeable – hazelnuts?  pecans?  Go for it.  Sometimes I like to add a little cinnamon into the dry mix when I make it – I can imagine a touch of nutmeg or cloves would be great, too.  Or espresso power?  As I said before, the possibilities are endless…

for the dry mix: 
1 1/2 cups oats (gluten-free if need be)
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/8 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup shredded coconut (sweetened, unsweetened or toasted, you pick)
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

for the muesli:
plain yogurt
water
maple syrup (optional)

1.  In a large bowl, toss together the oats, almonds, raisins, coconut and salt.  Transfer to a quart-size mason jar (or one like this) until you are ready to use.

2.  For each serving, spoon 1/2 cup yogurt into a bowl (or small mason jar), thin with 1/4 cup water, and sweeten with a splash of maple syrup.  Stir in 1/2 cup of the muesli and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour, or preferably overnight.  Top with a small handful of raisins, almonds, and/or some fresh fruit and serve.

source: Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson

muesli, elsewhere:
- Toasted Oat and Coconut Muesli via Joy the Baker