Archive for the 'breakfast' Category

Aimée’s Maple Walnut Granola

aimees granola 4 585x703 Aimées Maple Walnut Granola

I realize that one can only have so many formulas for granola, and at some point you settle into a regular combination you can mindlessly mix up and bake without much in the way of measuring.

aimees granola 1 585x390 Aimées Maple Walnut Granola

This is one such recipe. It comes from our friend Aimée, who has written her first cookbook, which focuses on seasonal eating from her urban homestead, and we’re celebrating with a virtual book launch of sorts, a bunch of us food writer friends choosing recipes to make and share this week as it makes its way into bookstores. (Also, I’m traveling a lot this week, and like to have a baggie of granola to take on the plane. I like to at least pretend to be that person as I devour as many packets of Biscoff cookies as I can coax out of the flight attendants.

aimees granola 2 585x390 Aimées Maple Walnut Granola

Since homemade granola is in constant rotation in our house, I chose hers to give a go; it’s very similar to my default granola, save for the applesauce and maple flakes (which, sadly, are not as readily available in Alberta). I had a jar of my sister’s crabapple sauce on my shelf, pink and sweet-tart, and so mixed some up, subbing sliced almonds for the sunflower seeds I had none of – that’s the great thing about granola, you can mix and match nuts and seeds and add whatever kind of dried fruit you like at the end.

aimees granola 3 585x405 Aimées Maple Walnut Granola

Cheers Aimée! Your book is beautiful. (And so is the granola!)

aimees granola 5 585x409 Aimées Maple Walnut Granola

Maple Walnut Granola

Homemade granola is a household staple that tastes better than anything you can buy and is much cheaper to make yourself. Ours is sweetened with maple syrup, while applesauce aids in forming those delicious clusters.

Noah and Mateo like their breakfast version plain, no raisins or other dried fruit, merci, although I shake in a few sunflower seeds and walnuts for texture. For an extra-special version of this granola, I add 1/4 cup (60 mL) organic maple flakes for a burst of sweetness. They’re available from online retailers and some Canadian grocers.

Makes 6 cups (1.5 L)

2/3 cup (150 mL) applesauce
1/2 cup (125 mL) pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons (45 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon (4 mL) salt
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) cinnamon
4 cups (1 L) old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup (250 mL) walnut pieces
1/2 cup (125 mL) unsalted sunflower seeds
1/4 cup (60 mL) organic maple flakes (optional)

1. Position oven racks in middle and top third of oven and preheat oven to 300°F (150°C). Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, stir together applesauce, maple syrup, oil, salt and cinnamon. Add oats, walnuts, sunflower seeds and maple flakes, if using. Stir well to combine everything, taking care that the oats are fully coated.

3. Divide the oat mixture between the baking sheets and spread to an even layer. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown, rotating the baking sheets and giving the granola a stir halfway through the baking time.

4. Turn off oven. Dry granola for 15 minutes in the oven with the door slightly ajar, then cool completely on the counter.

Excerpted from Brown Eggs and Jam Jars, by Aimée Wimbush-Bourque (Penguin)

button print gry20 Aimées Maple Walnut Granola

February 11 2015 | breakfast and grains | 6 Comments »

Empress Scones

Empress Collage Empress Scones

The Fairmont Empress on the inner harbour in downtown Victoria is always stunningly beautiful – but it’s even more so in the fall, when the ivy-covered walls begin to change colour.

Screen Shot 2014 10 16 at 7.38.07 AM 585x585 Empress Scones

The Empress hosted the launch of In the Dog Kitchen yesterday with a tea paw-tea for dogs and their owners; it was a blast, albeit a rainy one. We had dog treats (Elvis’ bacon & peanut butter cakes! Turkey dinner doggie biscotti! Grrrranola bars!) made by the chef, and a photo booth with a wee replica of the Empress and little dog-sized fascinators, pearls, mink stoles, bow ties and vests for them to dress up with. So much fun. (My new iPhone won’t let me send photos from my phone to my computer to post here, but you can see all the evidence and hilarity on my twitter feed.)

The Empress Lawn Empress Scones

I love the big Fraggle Rock-esque trees on the front lawn.

Empress Collage Empress Scones

And what else do you do at the Empress in the afternoon but have high tea?

Empress tea 4 Empress Scones

Tea with milk, egg salad on tiny croissants, scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream.

Empress tea 1 Empress Scones

If you can’t find your own clotted cream (it’s difficult to find, and expensive for those tiny jars) you can make your own – but I prefer defaulting to crème fraîche, which is far easier to make.

jam cream Empress Scones

You’ll need a starter – buttermilk or good quality plain yogurt. Stir a heaping tablespoonful of it into 2 cups of heavy (whipping) cream, stir well, pour into a glass jar, cover with a lid and let it sit in a warm spot on the countertop overnight. That’s it. After 12-24 hours, it will have thickened into this wonderful, slightly tangy crème fraîche which you can serve right away or refrigerate until you need it.

Empress tea 2 Empress Scones

And if you can’t make it to the Empress, here’s the recipe for their famous scones.

Fairmont Empress High Tea Scones

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter
3 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup raisins
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups heavy whipping cream

Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, rub together (they say “crumb”) the flour, butter, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the eggs, raisins and cream, and mix until you have a smooth dough.

Roll out to one-half inch thickness and cut to desired size, brush with an egg wash (an egg beaten with a little water – this is optional – and you could always brush the tops with cream instead) and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Makes lots.

pixel Empress Scones
button print gry20 Empress Scones

October 16 2014 | bread and breakfast | 11 Comments »

« Prev - Next »