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oats

Seeded Oat Loaf {Redux}

Seeded Oat Loaf {Redux}

When the original β€œLife Changing Bread” made the headlines, I gladly jumped on the bandwagon and adopted it, as I was in the painful throes of bread withdrawal. Suddenly this wheat free version would bring the simple civility of toast back into my life and I no longer felt renegaded as a vestige of third world-ism. I jest of course. But, not really. To an avid bread enthusiast, the diagnosis of intolerance of refined carbs was a fatal blow. I reeled for years from it. I made do with weekend cheat treats and genuine substitutes such as this loaf. I suppose if it did not save my life, yet it did save my joy!

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Home and Homemade Granola

Home and Homemade Granola

After I came back from the latest trip, wretched and tired, last evening, all I wanted was to feel at home. The first thing I did, even before unpacking, this morning, is turn on the oven, toss a big bowl of oats with nuts and honey and let her bake while I pottered about cleaning and setting things in the right place. In 20 minutes, I had my world to myself as I sat happy on the kitchen table with the latest New Yorker, my bowl of fresh, warm granola, drenched in fresh almond milk that I also made ten minutes prior and a short espresso.

I am back on the road in three days, but until then, I will enjoy this feeling of being just where I am, safe and happy :)

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Jonas me a Crumble!

Jonas me a Crumble!

This weekend we were under blizzard warning. We got several feet of snow yes, but this was possibly the gentlest blizzard I have ever seen. The snow was not swirling and flurrying in anger; it was windy but not, I am going to blow you right off the road strong. It was an day's worth of elegant build up in fresh powdery white fluff. The stuff of fairy tales really.

Back home, I made savory waffles with more vegetables in them than flour. They turned out awesome, so you will be seeing them here soon! And, this berry crumble. It is a recipe inspired by of my work colleagues at the last project and I have made it a few times already and love it! It is so simple and so satisfying, and, can be made in any size. Plus, when it is cold out, it is the best feeling to switch on the oven, have sweet aromas wafting through the house, hold a warm plate and bite into the melting cool of ice cream. Isn't it?!

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Cherry Marzipan Tart With Cognac Cream

Cherry Marzipan Tart With Cognac Cream

Cherry tart is but a simple one yet an elegant one filled with the nuttiness of both the oat and almond crust as well as the marzipan creamed for the frangipane filling. To top it with fresh cream whipped with a pour of cognac was rather natural. Cherries and cognac have a relationship not exactly incestuous but yet very wicked and very very alluring. Then, I must needs macerate the fruit in cognac, after all. That was the final layer and it was decadent!

I don't think I need to elaborate how amazing this tart was. Light, fruity and indulgent all in a bite. It does happen to be gluten free, but I must insist that as incidental as it is, it is also essential; The crust made with simple ground oats and almonds enhances the flavor. It may not be quite as good if you replaced it with a rice and bean based gluten free blend as it would have no added flavor. You can certainly use a regular wheat crust if you are able to and it will be good. This crust, however, is perfect for this tart...

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Pristine..

Pristine..

Pristine. Nothing is. Yet, why do we try to box life into it? Homes are never spotless if they have been lived in. Yet, we see so many stunning photos of perfectly styled and photographed homes that set our hearts racing. Kitchens, are rarely clean if someone who loves to eat resides there. Yet, most photos that you see, styled rustic or contemporary, are so flawless. I ponder about it and wonder why. Is it a quest for something that is not really achievable in reality that makes us obsessed with it in smaller frames where we have more control? Like through the lens of a camera for a short period of exemplified purity? Like a mummified moment....

I have at times yearned for that carefree impeccability that has taken the styling world by a rage under the name of Scandinavian aesthetic that paints a sunny, pleasing picture of everything. I have tried to get it that look, live that life, be that person.

The truth is my kitchen always looks like a war zone, my fridge always has something that has been there too long, my pantry has jams and preserves that I forgot I had made, or packets of lentils and spices stashed in the recesses and completely forgotten until I go looking for something and find something else. The truth is this is my reality. I am not perfect. I am not pristine.

And, I am happy I am not. Phew!

I suppose this cake is kind of my way of acknowledging that. It is a strawberry cake of sorts with a cake using a borrowed recipe. My rhubarb strawberry compote was a tad overcooked because I left it on the stove and got immersed in a book I was reading. But, it tastes awesome and makes for an lovely sweet-tang note on this frosting. 

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