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Entries in breakfast (9)

Sunday
May122013

Whole Wheat Almond Waffles with Blackberry Vanilla Syrup

Whole Wheat Almond Waffles with Blackberry Vanilla Syrup

Spring is here. It feels so wonderful to finally utter those words. After a winter that surpassed even Laura Ingalls Wilder's The Long Winter, I felt certain it would never arrive. Now that is has, it feels fantastic. The sun is rising higher in the sky, flooding me with warmth when it touches my skin. The trees may not yet have leaves, but the grass is starting to turn green and I feel like I can finally release a sigh of relief. Even though the nights have a sharp chill, the days are warm and for now that is all I need.

After a Midwest winter lasting six months, this weather feels like a gift.

Whole Wheat Almond Waffles with Blackberry Vanilla Syrup

When spring arrives, I am drawn to fresh fruits and berries. Even though the season for most of these fruits has not arrived, I cannot help but fill my red basket at the supermarket with them. After a long winter of apples and clementines, a burst of fresh flavor from a berry, however tart, is welcome to take up space on my counter top. After my last trip to the market, I found myself with a few cartons of blackberries. After playing around with a few desserts (and reminiscing over an old favorite), I settled on making a syrup.

Though I did not yet know what it would smother, the scent of blackberries bubbling and boiling on the stove was too much to resist.

Whole Wheat Almond Waffles with Blackberry Vanilla Syrup

I eventually settled on a plate of waffles. Waffles, just as pancakes, have the unique quality to fill a person up until dinner time rolls around. The heartiness of a good waffle, accompanied with a warm spring afternoon, make for a perfect combination. With these waffles, I added a few crushed almonds. While I found that they added a pleasant flavor and texture, you could certainly eliminate them if allergies are a concern.

Drenched in blackberry vanilla syrup, these waffles were taken to new heights and made for a lovely Sunday brunch shared with the ones I love.

Whole Wheat Almond Waffles with Blackberry Vanilla Syrup

These Whole Wheat Almond Waffles with Blackberry Vanilla Syrup are sweet and grounded. Crushed almonds are folded into a whole wheat waffle batter. The resulting waffles are fluffy and chewy. Drenched with a blackberry vanilla syrup, the waffles become fruity and bright. These are lovely for a weekend morning when you find a little time for yourself. Bonus: while cooking, the house fills with the scent of toasted almonds.

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Wednesday
Jan162013

Cranberry Flaxseed Muffins

Cranberry Flaxseed Muffins

The routine of everyday life is a necessary evil. As much as I'd like to believe I enjoy spontaneity and the thrill of the unknown, when it comes down to it, I'd rather have my day planned out by the hour than have it be a complete mystery. This isn't to say I don't love to give into the occasional impulse or act on a whim—I do—but my life needs strong framework in which to build off the quiet improvisations of life.

As much as I may object to the idea of a life of routine, I need the structure and control it provides me. I like to know when I am going to wake or eat breakfast, what television shows I can look forward to watching, or when I can plan on tucking into bed for the evening. It may not often be an exciting life, but it is all my own.

Cranberry Flaxseed Muffins Cranberry Flaxseed Muffins

I have been on a different routine the last two weeks and it has been a struggle to adjust. I mentioned it briefly before, but I never expected the transition to be this difficult. I've read that it can take a month or more to develop new habits, to adjust to a new schedule, and the thought makes me feel defeated. The good habits I kept up are dissolving before my eyes as bad ones are starting to take their place. I am fighting against it, struggling to stake my claim on a chaotic world, but some days I fear I am losing ground.

My body is used to waking up with the sun and eating a slow breakfast before heading off to the gym. My mornings are now rushed; I'm lucky to have five minutes to eat a makeshift breakfast. I only have time for the gym after a long day at work, when the last thing I want to do is climb onto an elliptical machine. It's a work in progress.

Cranberry Flaxseed Muffins

I am developing a new habit that makes me a bit worried, however. After suddenly gaining several more hours in the evening, I am not sure what to do with them. I can't resort to my traditional hobbies—it is often too late to bake and too dark to photograph—so I nibble on chocolate chips or munch on apple slices, snacking to make the time pass by quicker. As a previous non-snacker, this new pattern makes me nervous.

As I work to fit my routines around the new framework of my life, there are still a few constants (and baking is one of them). Last weekend I made a batch of muffins, trying to find a way to incorporate the ground flaxseed that has been taking up space in the cupboard. I didn't expect much from these muffins, but they took me by surprise and I found myself sincerely enjoying them. I made another batch and froze them to enjoy for a quick breakfast over the next week. As I work to find my footing in this new routine, these muffins have already redeemed many a rushed morning.

Cranberry Flaxseed Muffins

Cranberry Flaxseed Muffins are a simple, healthy breakfast muffin. Low in both fat and sugar, these morning treats really do deserve a stamp of approval. The nuttiness of ground flaxseed is wonderful against the sharp sweetness of dried cranberries and helps to keep you feeling full much longer. With a hot mug of black tea, this is a breakfast that is hard to beat on-the-go or savored slowly.

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Sunday
Jan062013

Raspberry White Chocolate Scones

Raspberry White Chocolate Scones

After a wonderful, relaxing holiday break, it is time to get back into the routine of everyday life. I have been resisting it, wanting to hang on to the languid afternoons and laughter-filled evenings with family and friends. It is hard to face the starkness of reality again. I find my feet tripping over themselves as I settle back into old habits and the mundane quality of everyday activities. I know I must cut ties from the holidays, so to speak, so I can face work and school with a clear mind, but it is proving harder than I anticipated.

My mind keeps drifting to warm fireplaces, hearty dinners, and silly games...

Raspberry White Chocolate Scones Raspberry White Chocolate Scones

I am used to having long, slow mornings where my body can wake up with the sun and I can eat a quiet breakfast as my eyes adjust to the morning light. Life as a graduate student afforded me this small luxury, filling the rest of my afternoon with classes and homework until my job took over and filled my evenings. Mornings became my time to unwind, the small moments to share alone as I mixed up dough in the kitchen or watched the repetitious nature of morning talk shows.

My schedule in the new year, however, is just the opposite. My alarm goes off well before the dawn and I stumble around trying to find my rhythm as my eyes burn under the yellow light of the apartment. I head out to work in the dark, arriving to a windowless room, wishing my tired brain had the capacity to remember to bring a cup of coffee. Most days I do not even see the light of the sun until mid-afternoon passes. My body is slow to adjust to the new routine, confused by the sudden lack of my natural alarm clock.

Oh, I miss my solitary mornings with the sun...

Raspberry White Chocolate Scones

Though my weekday mornings may have vanished, this only strengthens my desire to fully enjoy the slow pace of the weekend mornings. I usually like to make a special breakfast for myself, whether it be waffles, pancakes, or a modest bowl of oatmeal. Over the holidays, I made a batch of these Raspberry White Chocolate Scones. They may be a simple pastry, but they lent a luxurious quality to the morning I made them and the mornings that followed.

I think we all deserve to give ourselves a little morning luxury whenever we have the space. A good scone can start a quiet morning off just right.

Raspberry White Chocolate Scones

The sharp tones of ripe raspberries meet the sweetness of white chocolate in this delightful breakfast pastry. Raspberry White Chocolate Scones are carefully mixed together to keep the raspberries whole and sprinkled with a little extra sugar before baking. Perhaps what the photographs do not display well is just how incredibly moist and tender these scones truly are. These make for a lovely treat on a weekend morning with a cup of tea or mug of coffee.

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