Tag Archives: breakfast

sticky (rhubarb) buns

Oh, rhubarb. Often the first sign of spring, rhubarb emerges with fat, ruby-pink stalks and huge leaves. Over the past few weeks, any baking that I have done has included rhubarb. These sticky buns were a favorite among our group of Tuesday workers. Use this sweet dough recipe or your favorite sticky bun dough. I happened to use 3/4 whole wheat pastry flour and 1/4 white flour with good results, but if you want ultimate fluffiness, use all white flour. A bonus: the dough rises overnight so all you have to do is roll it out, fill it, and let it have its second rise and bake before you have a tasty breakfast, second breakfast, or morning snack.

Rhubarb should be in season now at markets in the northwest; I’m not sure how the season is going in the unseasonably mild northeast at this time. If not, you can swap out the rhubarb for whatever fruit suits your fancy. In the summer, blackberries would be super delicious!

Rhubarb Sticky Buns


1.5 tsp instant yeast

1.25 cup warm milk (I used almond milk)

about 3 cups flour (I used a mix of whole wheat pastry and all purpose)

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup room temp butter

2 eggs


1 lb rhubarb, sliced in 1/2 inch coins

1/3 cup sugar (or more to taste)

2 tsp vanilla or the pulp of 1 vanilla bean

1-2 tbsp soft butter

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted

honey for drizzling on top

To assemble the dough:

In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk the yeast, milk, and sugar together. Whisk in the eggs. In a separate bowl, combine the flour(s) and salt. Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture and stir until it comes together. Gradually, add small pieces of soft butter until it is all incorporated. Turn dough out on to a floured board and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, but not really sticky. Place in an oiled bowl and cover with a towel. Place in a fridge or a cool-ish place for an overnight rise OR let dough rise in a warm area for about 2 hours (or until doubled).


In a medium saucepan, cook the rhubarb and sugar together until soft and thickened. You may need to add a slash of water to get everything started. Stir in the vanilla bean, if using. Or, turn off the heat and add the vanilla extract. Cool.


Punch down the dough and turn out onto a floured board. Roll dough out to a rectangle, roughly 12″x16″. Spread the dough with the softened butter and spread on the rhubarb filling, leaving a 1″ border. Sprinkle on the chopped walnuts. Roll the rectangle up and try to get the seam side down. Slice the roll with a sharp knife into 9 or 10 even rolls. Place the rolls in a well butter dish and sprinkle with a bit more sugar. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes. At some point, preheat your oven to 350. When the buns have risen, bake for 30-40 minutes or until cooked through.  Remove and immediately drizzle with honey to taste. Serve warm!

Photos by Taylor, the other farm intern.


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blueberry thyme muffins

Everyday I crack open the freezer and see stacks and stacks of frozen fruits and vegetables that I harvested or purchases in bulk from last summer. Part of me wants to horde this stash of produce for special occasions or when we don’t have anything fresh in the house. However, we are at the start of a new season of a new growing year and now is the time to use everything up! Here in the Northwest, we are at the time where most of the winter crop is out (leeks, carrots, potatoes, etc.) and before any of the new crops are ready for harvest (asparagus! tender greens!). Each week at the market, we peruse through piles of cold storage roots, dwindling mounds of kale, and the last of fall’s apples and pears. It is great to be able to supplement these reliable winter vegetables with tastes of the bountiful days of summer, by cracking open jars of all types of pickles, jams, and salsa and defrosting frozen green beans, corn, and berries.

Muffins are a quick and easy way to use up your own stash of Summer 2011 berries! These muffins make an easy breakfast or a substantial snack and are full of whole grains, while still being light and fluffy. The addition of thyme is gives these muffins a interesting hint of herbal flavor, but does not overpower.  The crumble topping is optional, but very much recommended.

Blueberry Thyme Muffins

Inspired by Bon Appetit


2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup coconut oil, melted

1/2 cup brown sugar or sucanat

2 flax eggs (2 tbsp ground flax + 6 tbsp warm water, mix and let thicken) or 2 chicken eggs (lrg)

1 cup yogurt+ 2 tbsp milk to thin out a bit

1 tsp vanilla

2 sprigs of fresh thyme leaves

zest of one lemon

1 generous cup blueberries. If frozen, do not thaw!


3 tbsp oatmeal

3/4 cup almonds

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 tbsp brown sugar

pinch of salt

2-3 tbsp oil


Preheat oven to 375. Line or grease a muffin tin. If you don’t have any muffin liners and want them, use squares of parchment paper cut into squares.

In a small food processor or blender, make the crumble. Pulse the oatmeal, almonds, cinnamon, brown sugar, and salt until the almonds are finely chopped. Slowly drizzle the oil while pulsing the mixture until it comes together and is, well, crumbly. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and thyme. In a separate bowl, rub the lemon zest into the sugar (to release the lemon’s oils). Then whisk in the coconut oil, flax eggs, yogurt/milk mixture, and vanilla. Toss the blueberries with a bit of the flour mixture (this prevents the berries from sinking to bottom). Fold the wet mixture into the flour mixture, just until everything comes together; do not overmix! Fold the blueberries into the batter and spoon into the prepared muffin tin. Top each muffin with a spoonful of the crumble mixture. Dust everything with a bit of sugar and bake in the center of the oven for 18-20 minutes, or until a tooth pick comes out of the center cleanly. Cool and enjoy!


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pumpkin gingerbread

Less than two weeks until Thanksgiving! I am excited to cook the big meal, maybe run a turkey trot, and turn my mind towards holiday baking. I love all of the warm spices often associated with the season, especially ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom. So it is no surprise that I gravitate towards gingerbread and ginger cookies. I am only slightly embarrassed to say that this is only one of several gingery recipes that I have made so far this season and there will most likely be many more.

This pumpkin gingerbread has a good punch of spice and rich molasses flavor and still manages to be light and delicate. A square warm from the oven makes a great dessert (ginger is good for digestion, right?) and any leftovers make a pretty delicious and slightly indulgent breakfast the next day. The original recipe includes an additional suggestion for a cinnamon infused buttercream on top, but I really liked this just by itself.

On a side note, I recently purchased several plates from the new West Elm in Seattle, such as the one above, from the Organic Shaped Dinnerware collection. I love them and they are pretty cheap to boot!

Pumpkin Gingerbread

slightly adapted from Oh She Glows, one of my favorite vegan food blogs.

1 cup pumpkin puree (canned or homemade)

3 tbsp maple syrup

1/2 cup sugar or sucanat (if you like things sweeter, go up to 3/4 cup)

1/3 cup melted coconut oil

1/4 cup molasses

1 flax egg, 1 tbsp ground flax plus 3 tbsp water, mixed and set aside until thickened. Or, 1 egg

1 2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 1/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground cardamom

1/8 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

generous handful of chopped, toasted walnuts, optional, but highly recommended

Preheat oven to 350. Grease or line a 9″x3″ loaf pan or an 8″x8″ pan. A square pan bakes a bit fast, allowing me to eat this gingerbread a bit quicker.

Combine the pumpkin puree, maple syrup, sugar, oil, molasses, and flax or real egg in a mixing bowl. Sift together the flour, baking soda and powder, spices, and salt in another bowl. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and fold until just incorporated. Fold in the toasted nuts, if using.

Pour into prepared pan and bake for about 50-60 minutes (loaf pan) or 25-30 minutes (square pan) or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan on a rack, stealing small slices every few minutes, and hope that no one notices.

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Filed under breakfast, ginger, holiday, sweets

sweet potato doughnut muffins

Seattle is a good doughnut town. In most coffee shops, you can find Top Pot doughnuts or Mighty-O doughnuts. However tasty, those doughnuts are usually an occasional treat. Doughnut muffins. on the other hand, I could eat every week. I have been seeing more and more recipes using doughnut pans lately. No hot oil or frying? Sounds like a much more pleasant Sunday morning to me. However, living in a small studio really make storage difficult and I was reluctant to make room for another pan. Then I remembered about the delicious doughnut muffins from the Downtown Bakery and Creamery in Healdsburg, California. Light, fluffy, and coated in cinnamon sugar, these doughnut muffins were almost as delicious as regular cake doughnuts and definitely better than your average muffin.

This is definitely a fall recipe. And it includes sweet potato! A vegetable! So go ahead and eat another one.

Sweet Potato Doughnut Muffins

adapted from Oh She Glows

To make this completely vegan, use vegan butter, aka Earth Balance. If you are not concerned about that, feel free to use buttermilk instead of the nondairy milk.

6 Tbsp milk (i used almond) + 1/2 tsp vinegar, mix and let rest for a couple of minutes. Or you can also use 5 Tbsp milk + 1 Tbsp yogurt.

1/2 cup mashed sweet potato (about 1 small sweet potato. I microwaved it until tender, peeled, and mashed it with a fork)

1/4 c sugar

2 tbsp brown sugar

3 tbsp applesauce

2 tbsp butter, melted

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 cup ap flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp nutmeg

dash ground cloves

1/2 tsp salt

Cinnamon sugar to coat (start with about 1/3 cup sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon)

melted butter (start with a couple of tablespoons)

Preheat oven to 350. Grease your muffin tin well. Note, this recipe made 8 muffins in a standard tin for me.

In a bowl, combine the milk+vinegar, sweet potato, sugars, applesauce, vanilla, and butter. In another bowl, combine the flours. baking powder and soda, spices, and salt. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold to combine. Be sure not to overmix! Portion out in the prepared muffin tin. Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out dry. These bake up pretty quickly, start checking in around 13-15 minutes. As soon as the muffins are cool enough to handle, remove from the pan and brush lightly with melted butter and roll in the cinnamon sugar. Serve right away, but these are pretty tasty cold too.

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apricot fig bread

Oh no! It has started to rain here. And from what I have been told, will not stop until sometime next June. In defense, may I suggest some fresh apricot fig bread and a mug of hot tea? I have made this bread a few times and, as with most quick breads, it is best the first day. This bread is easy to throw together with whatever dried fruit you have on hand, but I really liked the combination of dried figs and apricots. It is whole grain, potentially vegan, and not too sweet.

Apricot Fig Bread

adapted from fannetastic food

2 cup whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour or spelt flour

1/3-1/2 cup cane sugar, evaporated cane juice, or sucanant

2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp cardamom

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 cup applesauce (I have used a combination of applesauce and yogurt before and it has turned out fine)

1 large mashed banana (or 1/2 cup yogurt)

1 egg or flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax mixed with three tbsp water, set aside to thicken)

1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped

1/2 cup dried mission figs, chopped (I have used prunes instead and it is also delicious)

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, baking powder and soda, and salt. In another bowl, mix together the applesauce, mashed banana, and flax egg or real egg. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold until everything is just combined. Fold in the dried fruit, and pour into a greased and floured pan. I used a 8″x 8″ pan, but you can also use a loaf pan or make muffins. Sprinkle on a bit of coarse sugar and rolled oats to make it look pretty. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the bread comes out clean. For the 8″x 8″ pan, it was about 30 minutes; a loaf pan will take 45-50 minutes.

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Filed under breakfast, from the pantry, fruit, quick, sweets

my morning oats

if you come over for breakfast, most days (like 5/7) i will be stirring a pot of oatmeal.  i would much rather have a huge breakfast and smaller lunches and dinners and i find that oatmeal really holds me over until lunch.  for breakfasts i will usually be craving something hot, sweet, and creamy which is just the way these oats turn out.  obviously there are infinite ways to top, mix, and swirl into a plain bowl of oatmeal, the bowl here is something that i make typically every morning.  i can’t think of anything more delicious or nutritious!  if i go more than 3 days without my morning oats, i have a serious craving.

in regards to the type of oatmeal, i typically use rolled oats (not quick or instant) on most days, steel cut oats on long weekends, and ground steel cut oats (also known as scottish oats) when i remember to grind them.

for some delicious variations, look here.

some easy ways to mix it up:

stir in a big spoonful of pureed pumpkin for festive fall oats

vary the fruit topping (i really like berries in the summer, pear slices in the fall, and bananas year round)

adding crunch with granola or crispy cereal of your choice

crumbling part of a scone or muffin on top

pouring the hot (but cooled slightly) oats into a nearly finished nut butter jar for oats in a jar!  very portable and easy for travel.


everyday, anyday banana oatmeal

adapted from kath eats

this serves one hungry girl, increase or decrease if needed

1/2 c rolled oats (i do find that quaker oats make a creamier bowl but i usually use what is in the whole foods bulk bin)

1/2-3/4 c water (depending on if you like oats more liquid-y or not)

1/2 c milk (soy, almond, cow all work fine)

1/2 a banana sliced thinly (or sometimes i use a whole small banana)

1/2- 1 tbsp of ground flax or chia seeds (optional but add some extra protein, fiber, omega 3’s and make for a fluffier bowl)

pinch salt

spinkle of cinnamon, splash of vanilla

toppings and mix ins of your choice (in this case, the rest of the banana, shredded coconut, dried blueberries, sunflower seeds, and almond butter)

in a small sauce pan over medium high heat, bring the liquids up to a boil and add the oats, banana, salt, flax or chia, and cinnamon.  when it starts bubbling, stir very vigorously and sort of smush up the banana.  lower the heat a bit and keep stirring regularly until the liquid is all absorbed.  if the oats look a bit raw still, add some more liquid until the mixture is creamy and at your desired consistency.  the active cooking time is something like 8 minutes, from the moment you turn on the stove. stir in the vanilla (if using) at the end.  transfer to your favorite bowl and top with whatever you desire.



Filed under breakfast, grains

blueberry cornmeal muffins

i generally avoid muffins at most bakeries.  they are often too cake like and much too sweet for breakfast.  muffins were also one of the first things that i started the bake in high school and after all this time, this is the muffin that i always want to bake.  if i am eating a pastry for breakfast, i generally want it to be on the healthy side.  so this muffin is whole grain, and could potentially be free of refined sugar.  this is a blueberry muffin with a banana base so it is very moist without too much added fat.  i also think a strusel topping makes any sort of baked good so i wanted to include one here. this strusel used walnuts as the base so even though it is definitly not low fat, it is full of healthy fats.  each batch also usually make 10 or 11 muffins and not the usual 12 so act fast or they will be gone soon.

another image is here.

blueberry cornmeal muffins with walnut strusel

adapted from feeding the healthy vegetarian family by ken haedrich

this was one of my first and truly beloved cookbooks.  it has been about 8 years (!) since i bought it and i still refer to about once a month.  even though i was only cooking for myself most of time, haedrich uses easy to find ingredients and familiar flavors that please most people.  if you are just starting out vegetarianism or just want more plant- based meals, i highly recommend this book.

1 1/2 large very ripe bananas

1 egg

1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil

1/3 cup honey or maple syrup or packed brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

about 1/2 cup milk of your choice

1 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 cup yellow cornmeal

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup, maybe a little bit more fresh or frozen blueberries

preheat oven to 400 degrees and line or butter a muffin tin.

mash the banana in a bowl until smooth.  i find that heating the banana up in the microwave a bit helps.  mix in the sweetner of your choice, oil, and egg, vanilla, and milk.  in another bowl, whisk together the whole wheat pastry flour, cornmeal, baking powder and soda, and salt.  remove about a tablespoon or two of the flour mixture and toss the blueberries with it.  this prevents blueberry sinkage.  make a well in the dry ingredient bowl and stir in the wet ingredients just until combined.  do not overmix!  gently fold in the blueberries.  divide the batter into the muffin tin and top with streusel of your choice.  bake about 20-25 minutes.  test with a toothpick.  cool the muffins in the tin for a couple of minutes and then transfer to a rack.

walnut streusel

1/4 cup packed brown sugar.  i bet maple sugar would be super tasty in this, although it is super expensive.

1/4 cup oats

1 tsp cinnamon

pinch of salt

about 1 1/2 cups walnuts

1 1/2 to 2 tbsp vegetable oil

in the blender or food processor, pulse the brown sugar, oats, cinnamon, and salt together until the oats are chopped pretty fine.  add the walnuts and pulse about another 4 to 10 seconds to chop the nuts roughly.  drizzle in the oil while pulsing a bit more until the mixture comes together.  this is very good on muffins and coffee cakes and also very very good on oatmeal.  you can also make this with pecans if you do not care for walnuts.

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