Blackberry and Basil Lavender Breakfast Bowl

by Kailey Kramer in

If 'seasonal' is the name of the game when it comes to the relevancy of any food blog, then I consider me a purist in the most literal way seeing that I have given you one single post this entire season.

Please accept my sincerest apologies on that account. Admittedly, I've been slacking, but only at the mercy of major transitional life changes: a new home, a new city and a new job, in brief. 

But if its any reassurance, I've been cooking more seasonally than ever and often.  As of recent, I've re-located to Brooklyn and am here to to stay until a very unforeseeable date.  I've made what I call something along the lines of 'Green Market Saturday Morning' a ritual part of my week and am very much looking forward to documenting those, or more so just the results of, those on the regular. 

So, if you're heading out to market anytime soon, you might add these to your shopping list before you go: blackberries and basil. 


Then, turn these things of summer into breakfast this week because sometimes it can be nice to enjoy a warm bowl of something in the morning while the temperature still sits below 70 degrees  -- moreover, the fresh flavors keep it feeling light.  Add some lavender to it for it's lovely, aromatic flavor and because...well, if we're  on a pretty, purple kick -- why not? Infusing the lavender into the milk with which you cook the oatmeal is as, well, adding a teaspoon of lavender buds to the milk.   Raspberries and rose petals might also be a combination to try if you're set on sticking to a pre-determined color palate.  If that's the case, I might hold off the basil though. 

In the likely case you might not have lavender on hand, it's one of those great instant "wow' additions you can buy at grocers with good bulk spices.  You can buy as little or as much as you need because, let's be honest, nobody needs to be stuck with a twenty dollar bottle of lavender in the pantry for bi-annual use.  A little goes a long way and it's one of those great things you can throw into a sweet treat like cookies or even summer lemonade to give it that little extra floral something. 

And speaking of floral, zucchini blossoms are also in season! So, add that to your list and stuff it with runny goat cheese.

On that note, I'm off to market!  

KK xx  


 Blackberry and Basil Lavender Scented Breakfast Bowl  

Serves One, easily doubled for two

A handful of fresh blackberries, a few for garnish

1 T. water

1/2 C. rolled oat or your favorite hot cereal, I like Bob's Redmill Creamy Buckwheat for a GF option

1 C. milk

1 T, chia seeds

1 tsp. dried lavender buds (available in spice section of natural grocers)

1 T. honey, extra for drizzle if you like

A few chopped pistachios  

1 T.  basil, chiffonaded

Add the blackberries to the bottom of a small sauce pan on medium-high heat with a tablespoon of water. Allow the berries to cook down and smoosh them a bit -- as if you were making a jam.  When the berries resemble a cobbler-like filling and have released lots of thier juices, add the milk, oats, lavender buds, honey and chia seeds.  Stir until the oats are cooked though. Feel free to add extra milk if the chia seeds thicken the mixture too much.  

Transfer to a bowl, top with berries, basil and pistachios. Rim the bowl with a bit of extra milk, if you desire. 


Grapefruit Brûlée

by Kailey Kramer in

They say your tastebuds change every seven years or so and I'm more than inclined to believe whoever 'they' are, are correct. Amidst a few other of my now favorite foods (olives, fennel, pickles) I used to despise grapefruit. But can you really blame me? It's a pretty counter-intutive food, if you think about it -- so let's: bitter, sour, alarmingly yellow skin. Decidedly, grapefruits rank high on the list of most difficult foods to eat. Scraping our their juicy insides is no easy task and literally, an incredibly sticky one. Not to mention, in what other circumstances would we ever stick a jagged edged spoon anywhere near our tongue?  Natural selection clearly favors these fruits but somehow, their efforts in protecting themselves from the voraciously hungry human go unrewarded and we dine on, armed with nothing short of intimidating cutlery in hand. 

Well, snack on, really. Here's a quick one I made the other day. The yogurt and honey take the edge off the grapefruit's acidity and the whole thing can be thrown together about all of 5 minutes. So, if you've a got a grapefruit lying around in your fruit bowl, now you've something to do with it on a lazy Sunday afternoon.  

Now go show that fruit who's boss. 

KK xx

Grapefruit Brûlèe

 Serves two

1 grapefruit, halved

1 C. plain greek yogurt or yogurt of your choice

4 T. good honey 

2 T. toasted buckwheat and granola (I love any á la Purely Elizabeth -- here, I used the Original blend but the Pumpkin + Fig is a personal favorite) 

If you don't have a mini-blowtorch handy, preheat the broiler. Slice the grapefruits in half and drizzle with honey, top with yogurt and drizzle with more honey. Sprinkle granola. Place grapefruits beneath the broiler until the honey begins to bubble and brown -- don't take your eyes off it though, broilers work quickly. 

If using a blow torch, brûlée the grapefruits until the honey is caramelized and brown to your heart's desire. Top with more granola or buckwheat. 

Serve and enjoy.

Lavender and Chamomile Almond Muffins

by Kailey Kramer in

The smells of coffee in the morning are often brutally laden with bitter animosity towards the long day ahead and the warm bed, freshly abandoned. A rude awakening, at best. But really, the punchy aromas escaping your brewing device of choice, pushing you around in the morning aren't to blame -- mornings, by nature, simply aren't fun. 

So, Amidst all the unmanageable New Years resolutions laid out, why not make a simple one, inevitably yielding a better year, albeit one day at a time. Namely, by starting your mornings right. Maybe that means waking up ten or thirty minutes earlier than your 2012 alarm or by simply better managing the hour prior to heading out the door. In any scenario, a solid routine allowing just enough time for enjoying the morning, rather than feverishly watching the minutes dissipate, undisputedly facilitates a more productive day. 
And as I've said before, a huge part of this routine is eating breakfast.

I always make these muffins for brunches, particularly for Christmas morning. Actually, this previous Christmas morning, they reminded me just how enjoyable they are and how easy they are to whip up. So, if you're looking for a kinder means of motivation for throwing off the covers, take a stab at making these. 

Chamomile, generally reserved for lullng one to under the covers, alternatively, here, offers nothing short of a leisurely wake up call. There's also something, perhaps a certain sense of accomplishment interlaced in using the oven before 6PM, moreover noon. If you pre-make the batter and store in the fridge, there's just enough time wash, brush, or make-up while they're cooking. Plus, the smell from baking will fill your kitchen with warmer scents than what I imagine the 'Secret Garden,' itself, boasts. 

And if the aromas of coffee feel like a slap in the face from the gods of AM, consider the lavender in combination with the chamomile, the sweetness of the honey and the nuttyness of the almond something resembling a warm and loving embrace. Made from almond flour, these muffins also happen to be gluten-free -- giving your stomach a comparatively relaxing digestive wake-up. I adapted the recipe for Chamomile and Honey Almond Meal Muffinsfrom one of my favorites, Caitlin of RoostBlog, who cooks entirely gluten-free, to include lavender because well, I dig botanicals. And as the almond flour already packs a good amount of healthy omega-3 fats, there's no need to add much extra oil (although the added almond oil really reinforces the flavor) to ensure moisture. The honey is also a great low-glycemic and healthy alternative to white sugar. Hence, all of the purposeful ingredients keep the finished product super lower in saturated fats and calories but big on flavor. Not your average take-away Starbucks muffin.

And when they're done, after you generously drizzle one with lusciously warm honey, sit down and take a few minutes for yourself. Mentally prep for the hours ahead. Grab your laptop, iPad or old fashioned paper and read-up on a few things that matter to you. And let's be honest, while that first cup of coffee is still brewed with that morning time spite, it's not going anywhere. If you're anything like me, caffeine, after all, is essentially fueling all of my daily routines at all hours of the day. But, one of these muffins alongside is surely guaranteed to soften the blow of that punchy morning joe.

So, resolve to slow down a bit while simultaneously always moving forward. 

Happy 2013 to you and yours, 

KK xx

Lavender and Chamomile Almond Muffins
Adapted from one of my favorites, RoostBlog

2 C finely ground almond flour
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
1 T finely chopped dried chamomile flowers + 1 T lavender buds, and extra for garnish (processed through a spice/coffee grinder or finely chopped with knife) 
2 eggs
1/4 C almond oil (ghee or your mild flavored oil of choice also work) 
1/4 C good honey, plus extra for serving
Greek yogurt for serving, I like Siggi's vanilla bean for these (optional) 

Preheat the oven to 350F. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix wet ingredients in a bowl. Combine wet and dry until well incorporated. Pour into lined muffin tins and garnish with whole buds and flowers Bake for 25-30 or until golden brown. Serve hot with butter or greek yogurt and drizzled honey.

Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Porridge

by Kailey Kramer in

Quinoa? For breakfast?! 

Hell yes, quinoa for breakfast. And fall is upon begrudgingly upon us so why not mix some apples and pumpkin seeds, too? Think about it it -- neutral flavor, power grain (a seed, actually) packing 8g of lean plant-protein, heart-healthy mono-saturated fats, anti-inflammatory benefits (for those bloaters out there, we all have our reasons), twice the calcium levels as whole wheat, and huge amounts of manganese, largely responsible for producing and stabilizing energy levels. Essentially, that long list renders quinoa the ultimate power breakfast. Rest assured that the days you swap out a whole grain cold cereal, energy bar or even eggs, you're still going into your day completely, if not better, prepared. 

And for those of you breakfast skippers -- well first of all, shame on you. Second, your metabolism hates you. 
It's been asleep and lethargic for hopefully something like 5-8 hours and your not going to pull it out of the lazy depths and awaken it? All it really wants to do is burn calories for you! Why not help it out and give it some fuel? Preferably in the form of a healthy carbohydrate and protein -- all of which will be gobbled and metabolized before the clock strikes lunch. Plus check out what you could be enjoying in the slides above instead of ....well, the nothing you're pretending to.

Not only is this one of my favorite breakfasts for all the goodies it packs nutritionally, but also because I have a wild passion and varying equation for crafting endless variations on low-sugar, uber-flavorful porridges. LIke say, this Mango-Almond Chia variation I made the next morning using more or less the same equation as the recipe below by simple swapping the apples for dried mangoes and dates. 


And I say porridge not because I'm trying to own a British voice that I don't have, but because, as in this post, there are no oats in sight and I'd would just simply be lying to you if I called it oatmeal. And I would never lie to you. 

Final talking point: The Aztecs ate quinoa for nearly every meal. And they were a pretty productive people, wouldn't you say? Tenochtitlan was the place to be in 1325 and according to Wiki Answers, their list of achievements boats, "mathematics, the canoe, the highly specialized Aztec calendar, and remarkably helpful forms of medicine, hot chocolate, popcorn and mandatory education." 

So at the end of the day, quinoa basically invented math and subsequently your cubicle-centric accounting position. But arguably more importantly, hot chocolate.

Happy quinoa trails, 

KK xx 

Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Porridge

1 apple, sliced into 1cm slices, reserve some for garnish

1/4 C quinoa

2 T chia seeds

1 C almond milk 

1 T. cinnamon

1/4 t. nutmeg

small handful of chopped walnuts

Toppings: agave or honey drizzle, nut butter dollop, pepitas, chia seeds, shaved apples, cinnamon, walnuts, almonds. 

Add apples to a hot sauce pan. Allow to cook and draw sugar out. Splash with a bit of water to deglaze the pan and further draw sugar out of the fruit. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, quinoa, chia seeds, walnuts and and almond milk. Cover and cook quinoa until done. About 12-15 minutes. 

Add desired toppings and serve.

Eggs in a Nest

by Kailey Kramer in

...which I suppose ideally occurs at half past nine at a house covered in vines, with 11 other little kids in two straight lines sitting at a long table. Not to mention, saying a lot of “pooh, pooh,” to your exceptionally friendly dog beneath the table because she want some of your whimsical egg dish. Usually, such as eggs and soldiers but today we push the boundaries of whimsy with a slightly fluffier and puffier take the ubiquitous and universal egg. Incredible and most certainly edible, indeed. 

The reason I summon memories of Madeline for this dish is because I found the it in a rare French children’s cookbook at a little bookstore in London – a cookbook I will never forgive myself for not buying. Originally published in 1963, La Cuisine est un Jeu d’Enfants* by Michael Olivier is filled with simple French recipes for children and parents to enjoy together and fantastically stylized illustrations all upon lovely yellow-tinged pages. I like to think that there was a little bit of flour tucked somewhere in the binding or butter smudged on the page edge from good use -- but I think I’m mixing it up with the memories of the cookbooks my mom and I used to cook out of together. 

Being I sabroke Stupidly, I put it back on the shelf in that Notting Hill shop and have regretted it ever since. However, I did manage to retain this very basic recipe after I flipped through and parted ways with the book. It’s easy and an interesting way to enjoy something you would otherwise cook in a much more mundane fashion. Poaching is for grown-ups, anyway. 
And to that I say Pooh, pooh

Eggs in a Nest
When separating the eggs and reserving the yolks, I like to keep the yolk in its shell to minimize dirty dishes. Returning the eggs to the oven for only a short time at the ends keeps the yolks runny and mimics eggs and soldiers. I love it as it makes a good sauce for the white or for dipping if you still have soldiers on call.

2 eggs
A tbs or two of grated Gruyere, or any kind of hard cheese you prefer (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400F. 

Separate the egg whites and yolks, keeping yolks individually separated. I like to use the shells to minimize dirty dishes. You will need them in their unbroken and individual state of being shortly. 

Whisk the egg white to stiff peaks. For each egg used, divide whites into mounds on a lined baking sheet or non-stick baking surface. Don’t overlook the non-stick here. Egg whites are delicate creatures and sticking to the pan will surely lead to their deflated demise. 

With a spoon, create a crater within the center of each mound. Place in the oven for 3-5 minutes or just until egg white edges slightly begins to brown. Remove the white from the oven and carefully place each yolk into the pocket or ‘nest’ of each white. Return the eggs to the oven and allow the yolks to set for another 2-5 minutes, depending on how you like your yolk. 

Welcome to the B-Spot, by the way. Consider this the first of many a breakfast post as the 'B-Spot' to you from now on will be used to filter any and everything that can be consumed and enjoyed before the clock strikes lunch. Although for me, it generally refers to my bed which I crawl back into every morning to surf the web, much like a grown and learned person. Then, eat my breakfast, much like a small child again. It only seemed fitting for the tag. You can even refer to my bed also as "the B-spot" if you really insist, however, you may not put your feet on it. We live in New York City and that, my friend, is crossing the line. 

And you didn't think I just had one egg, did you? Accompanied by chocolate chia breakfast pudding that I consume religiously every morning with all the fixins (Gojis to pepitas, yada, yada) alongside whatever else I decide to concoct. Recipe obviously to come eventually as it is actually largely responsible for my livelihood. I should also let you know have an undying and hot burning love for chia seeds that cannot be sequestered. 

So on that note -- 
au revoir les enfants, 

KK xx 

*There’s not much information on the book circulating the interwebs, but I did find someone who wrote a short blog post on it. Click here for more photos.