Erica Lea on Mar 9th 2013
Hello everyone! Long time no see, eh?
This past month has been CRAZY. I gave birth. ‘Nuff said.
I don’t have the words to describe to you how horribly hard, frustrating, rewarding and sweet it has all been.
But this little girly is so worth it. Soon, I’m sure, the sleepless nights, slow recovery and endless feeding sessions will all fade into distant memory. Hopefully.
One of the hardest parts of recovery is not being able to do ANYTHING. I didn’t realize how much I took for granted the little things like combing my hair, fixing a cup of tea and doing the dishes. I have really missed being able to create in the kitchen.
This oatmeal was one of the last things I was able to concoct before little Helen arrived. I had just discovered how easy and delicious steel cut oats are. Yes, they do take a while longer to cook, but I believe it’s worth the wait.
Here’s a scrumptious way to spice up your morning oats. Hope you enjoy - and create something fun in kitchen! You never know when that privilege will be taken from you.
Banana Nut Bread Steel Cut Oats | Recipe by Erica Lea of Cooking for Seven |
Makes 4 servings | PRINTABLE PAGE
- 1 cup water
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 cup steel cut oats
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- Generous pinch each of: cardamom, nutmeg and cloves
- 2 large, ripe bananas, plus extra for serving
- 2 tablespoons natural sweetener of choice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup toasted pecans
- Butter, cream and maple syrup for serving
1) Bring the water and milk to a brisk boil. Stir in the oats, salt and spices. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the oats are tender, about 30 minutes.
2) Meanwhile, toast the pecans. Mash the bananas until fairly smooth. Once the oats are finished cooking, stir in the bananas, sweetener and vanilla.
3) Serve immediately with butter, cream and maple syrup, if desired. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.
Aaaand one more of this little dolly. Because I can’t help myself.
Erica Lea on Jan 7th 2013
Hello there! Hope you all had an awesome holiday season. I wish I could say ours was rockin’, but it seems like we’ve been battling one sickness after another.
I was going to make Nutella Stuffed Cookies for ya’ll, but after the indulgence pigging out from the holidays, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.
So I went a little healthier route and made granola instead.
For Christmas I received the lovely Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, from which I got this granola. I think I’m going to really enjoy cooking my way through that book.
This granola is bonkers good. The flavors are simply wonderful and it bakes up nice and crunchy. Plus, it super-customizable — always a good thing in my book. You can change up the type of nuts or fruit for a totally different result.
And now for a bit of a baby/pregnancy update. I’m at 34.5 weeks (the above photo was taken at 33 weeks), or 5.5 weeks from my due date! It kinda scares and excites me to think that we’ll be responsible for the life of a tiny, helpless baby in a little over a month.
For now I’m doing my best to eat right to keep this life inside of me healthy. Onward to this new adventure!
You can read more about my pregnancy on my personal blog.
- I think the use of egg white to help bind the granola is brilliant. It didn’t make the granola as “clumpy” as the recipe suggested it would, but it was still quite crunchy.
- The fruit made the granola get a tad softer. Next time I might leave it out altogether. After all I’m not a huge fan of fruit in my granola.
- Coarse sea salt makes this granola really lovely. Every once in a while you get a bite with a little salt crystal. Delightful!
- The original recipe called for olive oil, but I used butter since olive oil can break down with baking. You could also use coconut oil if you prefer.
- 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 cup pecans or nuts of choice
- 1/4 flax seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 large egg white
- 1 1/2 cups dried fruit of choice (I used figs and apricots), optional
1) Preheat your oven to 300° F (150° C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2) In a large bowl, mix together the oats, coconut, nuts, flax seeds, cinnamon and salt. In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Mix in the maple syrup.
3) Pour the butter/maple syrup mixture over the dry ingredients and toss to coat well. In a small bowl, whisk the egg white until frothy. Add to the dry ingredients and toss.
4) Spread the granola out onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 45-55 minutes, until the granola is nicely toasted, golden, and feels dry, rotating the pan halfway through baking.
5) Remove from oven and let cool completely in the pan on a cooling rack. When completely cool, break up the granola and stir in the fruit. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. You can also store in the refrigerator of freezer for longer periods of time.
Erica Lea on Oct 15th 2012
Alright, time for the promised pancakes!
Reuben loved them. “These are really good pancakes,” he told me with his mouth full.
Lovely Chai spices are mixed in with the dry ingredients. Fresh-ground espresso makes these “dirty” pancakes.
You should whip these up. Today. For breakfast, lunch or supper! They’re good any time.
The original recipe called for spelt flour, but I subbed whole wheat and AP flour with great success. It also called for non-dairy milk, but I just used regular whole.
I didn’t have any maple syrup on hand, so I just mixed up a spiced caramel sauce. You could also mix a few spices into warmed maple syrup if you prefer.
For the Spiced Caramel Sauce
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- pinch each of: ginger, cardamom, nutmeg and cloves
For the pancakes:
- 1 1/3 cup whole milk
- 2 tsp white wine vinegar
- ¾ cup white whole wheat flour
- ½ cup all-purpse flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- pinch of fine sea salt
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground espresso
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground cardamom
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- pinch of ground cloves
- 2 tbsp maple syrup or sweetener of choice
- 1 tbsp melted butter or coconut oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
To make the caramel sauce:
1) Place the sugar in a medium heavy saucepan over medium heat. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the sugar melts. This will take a few minutes.
2) Once the sugar has all melted start adding the butter one piece at a time. Whisk until the butter is completely melted. Wait about 3 seconds and then add the cream slowly. Whisk as you add until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Remove from heat.
3) Add the salt and spices and whisk again a couple times just to incorporate.
To make the pancakes
1) Combine the milk and vinegar in a liquid measuring cup. Stir lightly and set aside to curdle for at least 5 minutes.
2) In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground coffee, cinnamon, ground ginger, cardamom, nutmeg and cloves. Add the curdled milk, maple syrup, melted butter and vanilla extract. Stir gently to combine, taking care not to over mix.
3) Heat a large cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium heat. Brush the pan with melted butter. Drop 1/3 cup measures of the pancake batter into the pan. Allow the first side to cook for 1 to 1-½ minutes, or until bubbles pop on the surface and the edges appear dry and lightly browned. Flip the pancakes over and cook for another minute. Remove pancakes and keep warm. Repeat with remaining batter.
4) Serve pancakes with lots of butter, spiced caramel sauce or maple syrup. Yum!
Now for the winner of the Mignon Kitchen Giveaway!
And the winner is…
Commenter #51, Carrie J.L. who said: “Fish sticks, homemade tartar sauce, and green beans! Simple, quick dinner =) Really enjoy your blog by the way! And can’t wait to check out this kitchen website! =)”
Congratulations, Carrie! I will be emailing you soon with further details.
Thank you all for participating in my giveaway.
Have a lovely day!
Erica Lea on Oct 21st 2011
Did you know that I have some of the best in-laws ever? When my husband and I were on our honeymoon, my husband’s mother and sister planted our garden for us. Even though the deer and rabbits attacked it with abandon, we were able to glean some organic produce this year. Without my in-laws, it would have been too late to start a garden this year.
Not stopping with that, they have showered us with their own amazing produce - fresh strawberries, raspberries, green beans, garlic, and more. Plus, they taught me how to can green beans so we can savor them all winter.
Which brings me to these raspberry muffins. I had a whole gallon bucket of lovely raspberries from Reuben’s family in the fridge, and I wanted to bake something delicious with them. We were having soup for supper and I thought these would be a nice addition to the meal. And they were a success! Reuben loved them.
“How to did you get them to be caramelized on top?” he asked.
My evening was made.
- Of course I substituted part whole wheat flour and natural sweetener. The original recipe called for lemon zest, but I didn’t have any on hand so I skipped it. It also called for pecans in the topping, but Reuben doesn’t care for nuts in baked goods so I left them out.
- I felt that the recipe did not call for enough buttermilk. I ended up adding 1/4 cup of cream or more to the batter to get it to the right consistency.
- It will seem like there’s way too much topping for the muffins, but that’s not the case. It’s just right. Trust me.
Printable Page | Makes 12 muffins
For the topping:
- 1/3 cup demereara sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
For the muffin batter:
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 demerara sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg, beaten slightly
- 5 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 to 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
1) Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease or line with muffin papers 12 standard muffin cups.
2) To make topping: In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and flour. Stir in the melted butter until the mixture is crumbly. Set aside.
3) To make the muffins: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate small bowl, combine the egg, butter, vanilla, and buttermilk. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir just to moisten. Add the raspberries and gently fold in with a rubber spatula. Do not overmix.
4) Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Evenly distribute the topping over the batter. Bake in preheated oven until golden and springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes. Place pan on a cooling rack and allow the muffins to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to the cooling rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature, with butter of course!
Now for the Winner!
The winner of my RiceSelect giveaway is:
Commenter #78: j.hodge who had yogurt for breakfast.
Thank you to everyone who entered my giveaway. I have several more giveaways lined up this fall, so stay tuned!
Keep eating and cooking what you love!
Erica Lea on Aug 1st 2011
Some days, you just need a recipe that doesn’t call for fancy ingredients. You don’t have any specialty items on hand, but you still want to bake something utterly scrumptious.
This cake definitely fits the bill. A soft, cinnamon-scented batter is filled with buttery, sugary swirls. Top it off with a drizzle of maple and cream cheese frosting, and you have one delicious treat.
The original recipe called for a powdered sugar glaze. I much prefer a less-sweet cream cheese based frosting. So I made up a recipe for drizzly maple-cream cheese frosting.
As per my usual substitutions, I used whole wheat flour in place of most of the AP flour, and maple sugar instead of brown sugar. I also added a bit of cinnamon to the cake batter to enhance the flavor. You can add pecans to the topping, but I didn’t have any on hand, so I left them out. Besides, my husband doesn’t like nuts in baked goods.
Cinnamon Roll Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
For the cake:
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup AP flour
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup maple sugar, demerara, sucanat, rapadura, or brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 cups whole milk
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
For the topping:
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 1/2 cup maple sugar or sweetener of choice
- 1 tablespoons AP flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 6 tablespoons chopped pecans, optional
For the maple cream cheese frosting:
- 4 oz. (1/4 lb.) cream cheese, softened
- 3-4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1-2 tablespoons whole milk
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a round cake pan.
2) In a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the whole wheat flour, AP flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder. In a small bowl, combine the milk, egg, and vanilla. Beat into the dry ingredients until well combined. Slowly stir in the melted butter. Pour batter into prepared pan.
3) In a large bowl, mix the softened butter, maple sugar, flour, cinnamon and pecans (if using) until well combined. Drop evenly over cake batter by the tablespoonsful and use a knife to marble/swirl through the cake.
4) Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out nearly clean from center. You want to make sure it’s done.
5) Beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer until smooth. Slowly add the maple syrup and vanilla. Add a few tablespoons of milk, if necessary, so the frosting can be drizzled. While the cake is still warm, drizzle the frosting on top. Serve warm or at room temperature.