Category: Breakfast Food

February 6 / Breakfast Food
February 1 / Breakfast Food

pressed juicery greens

I was in the deli meat section of Whole Foods when my husband asked if I’d be interested in joining him on a three-day juice cleanse. An answer came swiftly.  “No way,” I said. “Not interested.”

He tried again by the salad bar.

“Come on. It’s just for three days,” he said. “I’ll go to the Pressed Juicery tomorrow and get all the juices we need.”

He pushed the grocery cart past the display of pre-made soups and a barricade of kombucha.

“No, thanks. Not my jam,” I said.

I slipped four of my favorite chocolate bars into our cart. I could not encourage an idea that had me going without dark chocolate and coffee for three days. Hadn’t I given up enough already?

Hans was quiet through the frozen food section. He held his tongue as we waited in line behind two chatty Asian women with a small basket of food. They stopped talking long enough to eye our grocery items. They want what we have, I thought. They think a juice cleanse was a bad idea, too.

The cashier waved us over. I unloaded kale, red quinoa, sweet potatoes, and low-fat yogurt onto the conveyor belt. My healthy choices edged towards to the glass of the bar code reader. My ego welled up and banged against fear.  I live a rather healthy life. I don’t drink alcohol or smoke. So why on earth would I need a cleanse?

My husband gave one final pitch. “You have the week off. This is a perfect time.”

I pulled a five-pound turkey breast wrapped in butcher paper from the cart. “What about this turkey,” I said, running scenarios, dates, and health code statistics through my mind. There was a lot at stake here. I had plans and recipes. I couldn’t give up eating for THREE days!

“What about the turkey?” he said.  “We’ll freeze it. Come on. It’ll be good for us.”

It was in that moment that I heard the sound. It was the kind and gentle tone my husband can get sometimes when he knows something about me that I don’t. Deep in there between the consonants and vowels was something good and important. Patience. Wisdom. Insight.

Love conquers fear

This moment was familiar. Wasn’t it just a few years ago when my husband suggested an idea so outside of my comfort zone, I automatically said no to it then, too? Wasn’t it just a few years ago when my life was upside down and needing some direction and my husband asked if I was willing to give up drinking with him for just one day at a time? Hadn’t my life been transformed by uttering the word, Yes?

I smiled as I handed the butcher’s bundle to the cashier. “Would it be okay if we didn’t get this turkey breast? I changed my mind,” I said. “Looks like I’m going to be doing a juice cleanse after all.”

There were no applause or sudden dancing. Just a grin of knowing from the man I love.

“Yes. No problem,” the cashier said. No hesitation was offered with her response.

September 24 / Breakfast Food
May 26 / Breakfast Food

easy cranberry scone recipeSome rather grandiose dreams spring to life from the enjoyment of a single morsel. At least, that’s how it works in this odd little brain of mine. One really good bite and an aspiring career is launched, imaginary restaurants are born, and desired franchises are launched.

Maybe you experience magical thinking, too?

It starts with a recipe and technique.  You’ve worked on perfecting a particular food item for a long while and then, after much effort, art and science come together and make magic on the plate.

You regard what you created. You feel satisfied and proud. (And maybe a little bit hungry.)  You take a bite. Your senses sparkle with excitement. Your mouth enlivens with activity. Neurons fire with glee.

Then, maybe a few moments later, someone across from you–a loved one or a cherished friend who joins you in this special meal–remarks “wow, this is really good.” Your beloved might continue and say something that stokes the fires of imagination even more with something inflammatory like the words “this is restaurant quality,” or “I’d pay good money for this.”

And then that’s it. Your pride rallies. Your over-active imagination kicks into high gear.

You picture the scenarios: you’ll start your own business, open a little bakery or a restaurant, begin a little catering company, quit your job, and do this thing you love so much for a living. You’ll cook, inspire, and change lives with a perfect scone, a great sandwich, a mouth watering steak, the perfect poached egg or an extraordinary dessert.

May 17 / Breakfast Food
April 29 / Breakfast Food
getting over the fear of baking coffee cake
This is one of a series of essays dealing with my totally unrational fear of baking

Ever since Easter and Passover weekend I’ve been thinking a lot about the world ascension. The word has been looping dramatic arcs through my psyche ever since I took one of those deep, restorative, midday naps last weekend. For over an hour I took in the sleep of the dead. It was the kind of rest that soothes, calms, and heals the wounds of hard work.

When I awoke from my unconscious state, I found my refreshed mind chewing on a single word: Ascension. “Ascension,” my internal voice said to me. “Look it up.”

Though I was happy to go about my day and avoid the quiet nudge, the word wasn’t giving up on me. My mind looped: ascension, ascension, ascension. What was it about this word that needed so much attention? Ascension, ascension, ascension. The sound of the word grew louder and louder until I couldn’t resist its call any longer.

Finally, I surrendered. I gave over to a word.

Well, I mostly surrendered. Rather than commit to a full-fledged literary investigation that included the involvement of a certain large and weighted Webster’s Dictionary that lives on my bookshelf, I instead turned to my computer’s succinct internal dictionary. According to Encarta’s World English dictionary, ascension is not a word that’s included in the basic software. So, as an alternative, I turned to ascend for clues.

I was reminded that ascend means to climb up something, to succeed, and also means to rise up to a higher level.  A mountain, a career, a situation, the physical life, or anything else that offers a good challenge can be ascended. A man named Jesus is said to have ascended from death on Easter day. Perhaps this is why the word came to me with such a force. It was just Easter weekend, after all.

But ascension isn’t a word that’s limited to mountain climbers and people of faith. Ascension can be used by all sorts of English speaking people who may or may not believe in the existence of God.  So what does ascension have to do with me right now?

April 6 / Breakfast Food
Cranberry and orange scone

Lots of people have odd, irrational fears. I’ve seen good, strong people transform into a buzzing bundle of nerves once something like a cockroach, rat, spider, bee, or other insect came close to their person. I’ve witnessed friends go ghost white around certain kinds of people–like clowns, midgets, IRS representatives, nuns, and cops.

For me, it’s not the little bugs or people in costumes that make me nervous. What really sets my teeth on edge are electric mixers and ice cream makers. Whenever I see a recipe for a cake, cookie, bread, ice cream, or pastry I am held frozen in a moment of panic—because deep down I fear that the process of making the dessert will overload my brain and kill me.

Yes, that’s right. I have an irrational fear of baking*.

cranberry orange scone

January 20 / Breakfast Food

Carrie Vitt Organic Granola
Deliciously Organic Pecan, Coconut, Cherry Granola

I’m an adventurous eater, but I’m also a creature of habit. I save my bold menu choices for dinner and rely on a handful of trusted culinary customs to ease into my day. I relish the repetition of a cup of coffee with a thick piece of toast with jelly, Greek yogurt with granola, a bowl of cereal, or a poached egg with kale. Sometimes, when I feel the need for easy indulgence, I eat breakfast for dinner.

Thanks to my friend Carrie Vitt and her brand new cookbook, Deliciously Organic (International Focus Press), I’m eating my favorite breakfast food all day long. I eat Carrie’s Granola with dried cherries and pecans when I wake up, as a between meal snack, for dinner, and—I’m loathe to admit–even sprinkled on top of a generous scoop of ice cream.

Carrie Vitt Deliciously Organic

Carrie’s granola recipe is the perfect example of what is so wonderful about her new cookbook. Deliciously Organic is approachable, full of terrific ideas that aren’t impossible to take on, and stocked with simple adjustments that can make a huge impact on your health and happiness.

Deliciously Organic’s Granola with Dried Cherries, Coconut and Pecans is—by far—the easiest and most satisfying granola recipe I’ve ever made (and I make a lot of granola). Thanks to the presence of a good amount of organic coconut, Carrie’s granola recipe doesn’t call for any oil or butter. Maple syrup and organic cane sugar binds the oats together and creates big ol’ clusters (my favorite part of store bought granola) without requiring unnecessary (and unhealthy) ingredients. Even better, the prep and baking time doesn’t take much more than 30 minutes, which is fast and super easy!

Carrie brings her open personality to the page with bright and happy colors, friendly (and sophisticated) design, helpful tips, and gorgeous, light-filled photos from Helene DuJardin of Tartlette. Deliciously Organic offers readers valuable insights and culinary adjustments that can make a significant contribution to your health without requiring huge sacrifices.

December 23 / Breakfast Food
January 29 / Breakfast Food
May 15 / Breakfast Food
February 28 / Breakfast Food