Tag Archives: breakfast

Blueberry Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

Ah-ye-ah! Local blueberry season — finally!

It’s been bright and sunny around here and I’ve been mostly trapped inside, running about for work, or interviews, or trial shifts, or chores, or other general nuttiness. Yeah — that last job didn’t really work out.

To put it nicely: it sucked. Big time — and that’s putting it nicely. Place has big problems, doesn’t give a damn about good pastry, and is hemorrhaging money like nobody’s business.

Oh, well. Not my problem anymore!

I had the sense to a least leave on good terms, though — no one needs enemies in a small industry (especially since word tends to get around) — and now I’ve been interviewing at some really professional places. Cross your fingers for me!

So, in the spirit of summer and having no time, I bring you a recipe that’s easy as loafing around at the beach and quick as a ravenous mosquito.

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Honey & Pink Peppercorn Brioche

Fact: writing recipes is hard. Perfecting them is even harder.

Not even the best of us kitchen people get it right the first time — I’ve read quotes from top chefs talking about how they’ve spent years developing and tweaking their signature dishes.

And recipes don’t happen in a vacuum, either — in the pastry industry, we walk a path that’s been largely paved for us, relying age-old techniques that allow us to experiment with new forms of presentation and flavours.

If you engross yourself in the work of others and you’re suddenly inspired, then that’s a gift meant to be shared and passed on, not horded and used to polish your own self image.

This issue is often on my mind, because I often see recipes online with no credit given to their original authors.

And it bothers me, because it’s ridiculously disrespectful.

I’m not going to finger-point, but I’m often disgusted by how some of the “big bloggers” out there fail to light the way for those ahead of them by dimming the lights on those behind.

You should never be ashamed to give credit or cite inspiration.

If a reader can flip through more than 5 recipes in a row on a pastry blog and not see a single “adapted from…”, then it’s likely you’ve been pilfering from somewhere (unless you’re David Lebovitz — but even he talks about his inspiration and the recipes picked up from colleagues).

In a nutshell: not giving credit — just don’t do it. Sheesh.

Anyways, with all that off my chest, I bring you an inspired recipe: honey and pink peppercorn brioche.

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Strawberry Cinnamon Coffee Cake

Cake isn’t the only thing I have on the brain these days.

I’ve been thinking about New York City, too!

Not that I’ve ever been, but, c’mon, I have to go — you’re not a real foodie if you haven’t eaten in NYC (and Daisy has been torturing me with her posts)! That said, I can’t tell you if New York style coffee cake is actually popular in New York or not.

Out here on the west coast it’s not all that common — just because people are too healthy!

They just want oatmeal and egg whites for breakfast before they drive off in their Jetta to go do yoga in their Lululemon and grab a latte from Starbucks.

Not my thing. Cake and an opportunity to sleep in for me, please!

Coffee cake ought to be crazy popular around here, though — I mean, just look at it.

Look at this cake: a sweet, crumby, melt-in-your-mouth topping, with light and fluffy layers of tangy, vanilla-scented cake, sandwiching soft strawberry and cinnamon filling.

Beat that, dry toaster bagels and mass-produced muffins! Ha!

In other news, I just recently finished a class project that tickled my serious cake-on-the-brain itch all over again: having to make a rolled fondant-covered wedding cake.

I gotta admit, at first I was really, really, really not pleased with having to do this project — I mean, there’s no cake inside that cake!

See, I’m what my chefs have been calling a “production” person — as in, I’m more interested in what goes inside the cake/pie/tart/cookie than I am about how it looks on the outside.

But doing a wedding cake was more fun than expected, and by the end I was surprisingly into it.

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Babka Muffins

Babka muffins — have you heard of ’em? I hadn’t!

They’re one of the many new tasty recipes I’ve been exposed to while at school.

Unlike “regular” muffins (the kind that Liz says are for “people who don’t have the nads to eat cake for breakfast”) these Babka buddies are leavened only slightly with baking powder and mostly with yeast.

That said, they’re still soft and cakey enough for you people would rather eat actual cake for breakfast. Ha!

Oh, but truly awesome thing about Babka muffins is that they’re seriously customizable, as-you-like-’em type muffins.

Do you wanna fill them with brown sugar, ginger, and diced apple? Do it!

How about melted butter with vanilla sugar and toasted almond slices? Ah-ye-ah.

Pumpkin puree with sweet cinnamon chips? That’s my Babka style!

Also (and this totally slipped my mind til now — I’ve been so busy lately!), the lovely Juanita recently nominated me for the “Versatile Blogger Award” — but, as flattered as I am, I just can’t fill the criteria to accept!

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Raspberry-Lavender Oat Scones

So, my last post was pretty brief and shallow.

It was just about bread. It had to be just about bread, because I couldn’t really think about anything else.

As I was writing on Sunday, I checked my voice mail and found out that my family’s dog, Twojay, had died. He was old and sick and I knew he was on his way out, but that doesn’t make his passing any easier.

He was a good dog — an adorably dumb, skinny yellow lab that never barked, never bit, would wag his tail so hard that he’d wiggle all over, and loved everyone.

So, I just wrote about bread, scheduled the post, had a good cry, and fell asleep.

It’s still hard to look at old photos of Twojay, but I’m sure that once the pain of losing him passes, I’ll be glad to have pictures to look back on in fondness.

Yeah.

There were things I wanted to write about, too — like, about how Laura over at Cake & Feminism has made an awesomely original blackberry brownie recipe (much less labour-intensive than my pull-apart bread if you need a quick blackberry fix) and how Alpaca-farmin’ Liz over at A Tablespoon of Liz has made vegan lavender shortbread (more lavender)!

Shout-outs make the blogosphere go ’round — not to mention that reading other baking blogs can keep me fairly distracted from real life.

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I’m sure we’ve been through times when a little distraction helps in a big way.

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Blackberry & Ginger Pull-Apart Bread

Today, I’m going to write about bread. Just bread with berry.

Sweet and tangy blackberry-ginger filling sandwiched between soft, warm-from-the-oven, pillowy, pull-apart squares of bread.

Did you just drool a little?

We’ve all been there.

To those of you who have ever made their own bread, I don’t need to go on. To those of you who have never made their own bread, you just don’t know what you’re missing.

Sometimes a little flicker of happiness is just fresh bread and a pat of salted butter.

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