Fannie Farmer's Oatmeal Bread

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Dear reader, it has been a long week. I know it's only Wednesday. And Monday was a holiday here. Yes, somehow, I have been bested by a Tuesday and half a Wednesday. I am counting the minutes until the weekend.

Hugo is home with pink eye and a runny nose. The mucus, it is oppressive. The whining even more so. Bruno has decided that daytime napping will be done only while being bounced in a bouncy chair, or wrapped in a baby sling, or pushed in a stroller. None of these will allow me to distance myself from him by more than 10 inches. I am still wearing the workout clothes I donned this morning. Nota bene: I have not worked out. I have not showered. Both of my shoulders are damp with regurgitated breast milk. Last night, I slept a cumulative total of three hours. Things are not pretty.

But let's talk about more pleasant things. Bread. Homemade bread. It happened because I recently accidentally bought "instant" oats. I do not like "instant" oats. Somehow I was not paying attention in the grocery store (I blame the baby and his nighttime shenanigans) and I grabbed the wrong bag. At home, whilst decanting the oats into their glass container, I realized my mistake. My disappointment was disproportionate, but what can I say? Sleep deprivation and the perpetual scent of sour milk on one's person will mess with your sense of perspective. Then, last weekend, while paging to the only recipe in the Fannie Farmer cookbook that I use (the pancake recipe), I came across a recipe for something called "Oatmeal Bread" that uses, wait for it, instant oats. A whole cup of them.

And there it was, a long-missed sense of triumph, albeit tiny. A solution to my oat problem. It may be pathetic, what passes for triumph in these trying days. But I will take any victory, no matter how small. And it was a victory indeed, this bread discovery.

The recipe produces a nice, sturdy loaf of sandwich bread that is agreeably chewy and has a nice, even crumb. It doesn't taste like oatmeal, really, but it has a damp wholesomeness that is just lovely. And did I mention how nicely chewy it is? I like it a lot. It toasts well, stands up well to a variety of toppings, both sweet and savory, makes a very good grilled cheese, and is as comforting to make as it is to eat. The right recipe for me, right now. 

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Now, the recipe is simple as can be, and yet I managed to simplify it further. As you may know, if you have read Classic German Baking, I loathe active dry yeast and its finicky nature. Moreover, you can't buy it here in Germany. So I use instant yeast instead, which means you can also skip the irritating "proofing" step when making yeasted dough and just mix all the ingredients together at once. I urge you to do the same. (I used 1/2 tablespoon of instant yeast for 5 1/2 cups of flour - next time, I will try the recipe with 1 teaspoon of instant yeast to see just how little yeast I can get away with.) The recipe calls for 1/2 cup of molasses, but I didn't want a sweet loaf, so I reduced the molasses to 1 tablespoon. You can use honey instead of molasses if you prefer, but at just a single tablespoon, the molasses flavor is nonexistent. It is just the right amount of sweetener for a loaf that is meant to be eaten with lots of different things. I won't make it any other way. But you should of course do as you see fit.

The recipe makes two loaves. I have one in our bread box that we are working through right now; the other one I have sliced evenly and put into the freezer. Having sliced bread in the freezer for bleary-eyed mornings makes them slightly more bearable. Slightly. Working through that jar of instant oats will take some time, but pulling gorgeous loaves out of the oven on a regular basis is hardly a hardship. One takes what one can get.

Note: This post includes affiliate links and I may earn a commission if you purchase through these links, at no cost to you. I use affiliate links only for products I love and companies I trust. Thank you.

Fannie Farmer's Oatmeal Bread
Adapted from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook
Makes 2 loaves

1 cup instant oats
1 tablespoon molasses or honey
2 teaspoons salt
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
1/2 tablespoon instant yeast
1 tablespoon butter or oil, plus more for the pan

1. Place the oats in a large bowl. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and pour over the oats. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in the sweetener, salt, flour, yeast and butter. Stir until a shaggy dough comes together, then pull out onto a floured work surface and knead, adding more flour as needed, until the dough is no longer sticky and relatively smooth (the oats won't make it completely smooth). about 7 minutes.

2. Shape the dough into a ball, place back in the mixing bowl, cover with a dish cloth and place in a warm, draft-free spot (like a turned-off oven) to double in bulk (about an hour).

3. Butter two standard loaf pans. When the dough has doubled in bulk, gently pull it out of the bowl onto the work surface, knead it a couple times, then divide it in half and shape into loaves the length of the loaf pans. Place each piece of dough into a pan, cover anew with the dish cloth and let rise until doubled in bulk (about an hour).

4. Remove from the oven, if that is where you were letting the loaves rise, and preheat to 375 F/190 C. Remove the dish cloth and place the pans in the oven. Bake for 45 minutes, until the loaves sound hollow when tapped. Remove the pans from the oven and let cool on a rack for 10 minutes before turning the bread out of the pans and letting them cool completely. The sides of the bread will seem a little flabby at first, but firm up as they cool. The bread will keep in a bread box for 4 to 5 days or can be frozen in plastic freezer bags.

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Beth Hensperger's Sweet Potato Muffins

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Sometimes a lady just wants to make a batch of muffins without a pad of paper and a pen and a scale and a million bowls and all the other accouterments that have been necessary in the kitchen for the past year and a half. Sometimes, too, a lady just wants to make a batch of muffins without thinking about whole grains and alternative sugars and all the other buzz words of the contemporary food world. And sometimes, that same lady just feels like baking something that one is going to be able to eat within the hour.

A couple of sweet potatoes had been gathering dust on my counter for weeks. Last Friday, in a fit of kitchen activity (a pathetic attempt at the nirvana that is this), I roasted them but then didn't use them in any meal. They sat in the fridge over the weekend, while Hugo - who's at home with bronchitis - labored through the worst days of the fever. His appetite was nearly nonexistent, but I wanted to get some calories into him. Then it hit me. Muffins! Sweet potato muffins.

These ones, adapted from a recipe by Beth Hensperger, are about as straightforward as they get. You make a simple, lumpy batter out of mashed sweet potatoes, milk, oil and eggs, baking powder, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg, and a little sugar. Dollop this into the muffins tins and then you sprinkle the tops with cinnamon sugar. The muffins bake up into very tender, very moist specimens, with a lovely little crunch from the sugar on top. With just cinnamon and nutmeg flavoring the batter, you can really taste the sweet potatoes' earthy flavor. I folded walnuts into the butter, which I loved, but Hugo told me he didn't like them. For what that's worth.

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The whole thing, from making the batter to sitting down and eating them, took just under an hour. And unlike some muffins that deteriorate within a day, these ones keep well for the next day (I just left them on the counter, in fact), when they make an excellent breakfast. You know how some (most?) muffins are actually just cake? These ones are decidedly not cake. They aren't too rich or too sweet, despite the topping. Plus, they were so, so easy.

And that's all I want these days.

Beth Hensperger's Sweet Potato Muffins
Makes 12

Topping:
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Batter:
2 sweet potatoes, roasted until soft and cooled
1 3/4 cups/220 grams all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup/100 grams sugar
1/2 cup/120 ml vegetable oil
1/2 cup/120 ml milk
1/2 cup/65 grams chopped pecans or walnuts

1. To make the topping, in a small bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.

2. Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C. Spray 12 standard muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray, or butter them, or line them with baking papers.

3. In a bowl, stir together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder and salt.

4. In another bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, oil, and milk, and whisk until smooth and well-combined. Mash the cooled sweet potatoes until relatively smooth and add to the oil mixture. Continue whisking until completely blended. Add the flour mixture and stir until just evenly moistened. The batter will be slightly lumpy. Using a large rubber spatula, fold in the nuts until just evenly distributed, no more than a few strokes. Do not overmix.

5. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle the muffin tops evenly with the topping. Place the pan in the oven and bake until the muffins are golden, dry and springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Unmold the muffins and serve them warm or at room temperature. The muffins will keep for one additional day. Once fully cooled, they can also be frozen.


Amy Chaplin's Black Rice Breakfast Pudding with Coconut and Banana

Black rice pudding

Last fall, a publisher sent me a heavy package. Inside were two copies of Amy Chaplin's At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen, a vegan cookbook and whole foods manual of sorts. Amy used to be the executive chef at Angelica's Kitchen, the legendary vegan restaurant in New York City, and now works as a private chef, teacher and recipe developer. At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen is her magnum opus, if I may be so bold, a well-researched, deliciously crafted and carefully written guide to making the most of all the wide array of plants - from whole grains to beans to vegetables to seaweed, yes - available to us today. It feels like an instant classic, modern and interesting and definitive. (Also, the photography is jaw-droppingly beautiful.)

These days, it's tough to keep up with the onslaught of information blaring at you from every corner, and the cookbook market is no exception. The rate at which new cookbooks come down the pipeline is crazy, for lack of a better word, and the speed and haste in which they are thrown together is sometimes depressingly apparent. But in this case it's clear that Amy poured an enormous amount of work into getting the book just right. There is so much information here, so many thoughtful little tips and nice stories, not to mention the delicious recipes, that it really earns the adjective of encyclopedic. I'm so impressed.

Black rice pudding with bananas

I've cooked from the book for several months now, but I've also kept it by my bed for a soothing bedtime read and I'm happy to say that it works on both counts. For those of you who are interested in why soaking grains is so good for you, how to use seaweed to bolster the flavor of beans, for example, or how to make desserts out of things like ground toasted coconut, maple syrup and oat flour, you need this book. And if you're a vegan, this book will become your Joy of Cooking. I'm not a vegan, or even a vegetarian, but the recipes are so richly conceived and so well-developed that they don't read as "special diets" food, but rather as warming, soulful, wonderful food, the kind I'd like to eat all the time. (There are a few exceptions, mostly in the dessert chapter, but I imagine that for people who are gluten-free or vegan or lactose-intolerant or all of the the above, it's manna from heaven. I mean, toasted coconut crust for pies, chocolate pots de crème, Earl Grey fruit cake, helloooo?)

My latest discovery in the book is a black rice breakfast pudding made with coconut milk and lightly sweetened with maple syrup. You soak the rice overnight first, then cook it with coconut milk, water and nut milk (those of us who aren't vegan can use regular milk, like I did, which makes the pudding creamier than nut milk will) until it's soft and creamy and the "pudding" is a deep, beautiful purple. Spooned into a bowl and topped with cool slices of banana and some crisped-up toasted pieces of coconut (regretfully missing from the photos here), it's the nicest breakfast I've had in a long while. Warming, rib-sticking, tropical. Hugo loved it too, by the way!

Black rice pudding with banana and coconut

My husband is obsessed with Amy's turmeric lemonade that I doctored with blood oranges during a recent onset of the flu, and next up on our to-try list is her silky cauliflower-celery root soup made with two whole roasted heads of garlic and roasted shiitakes. There's cherry-coconut granola and a corn-tofu frittata, a hibiscus drink made with ginger and citrus and a black bean butternut stew, among so many other things I cannot wait to try.

And! The second copy is for one of you! Yippee! Just leave me a comment and tomorrow evening I'll pick a winner.

Have a wonderful Friday, everyone. March is almost here!

UPDATE: Anne is the winner! Thanks for participating, everyone! Comments are now closed.

Amy Chaplin's Black Rice Breakfast Pudding with Coconut and Banana
Adapted from At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen
Serves 4 to 6

1 cup black rice, washed and soaked in 4 cups of water for 12-24 hours
1 cup coconut milk
1 1/4 cups milk (cow or almond)
2 cups water
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup maple syrup or coconut nectar
Sliced banana, for serving
Toasted coconut flakes, for serving

1. Drain and rinse the rice. Place in a heavy-bottomed pot and add the coconut milk, almond or cow's milk, the water and the salt. Bring to a boil over high heat without the lid, then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes. (Some liquid may escape - as above.)

2. When the rice is tender and the pudding is creamy, remove from heat and stir in the sweetener. If desired, you can thin the pudding with a little extra nut or cow's milk. Serve topped with sliced banana and toasted coconut. Leftovers can be reheated the next day with a little water stirred in to loosen the pudding.


How to Make Ciambellone

Ciambellone
Listen to this: My editor at Bazaar took me out to lunch before the holidays and congratulated me for eating the bread out of the bread basket that was placed on the table while we waited for our meal. (The chewy, delicious bread, I might add, though I would have eaten it even if it hadn't been good, because I am a human and it was lunchtime and I was hungry.)

She.

Congratulated.

Me.

She ate the bread, too, mind. It's just that she's the only person she knows - besides me now, I guess - who still actually eats bread. And pasta. And springs for two courses on a business lunch. Sigh.

You all know I like a good New Year's resolution as much as the next person. I'm all about fresh starts and good intentions, I really am. Why, just the other day I ordered a ginger-apple-carrot juice with breakfast myself! But when congratulations are offered on eating a piece of bread, for the love of Pete, I feel like this whole cleanse/no-carb/juice/detox mania has officially reached crazy-making levels. (Exhibit A: Elevating Adaptogenic Latte. What?) And while I'm at it: can we once and for all get rid of the term "clean eating"? It makes my head hurt.

So, in light of all of this, I've decided to post a second recipe for cake in one week. I feel like it's my civic duty or something.

Without further ado: Ciambellone! (chahm-bell-ohn-eh) Also known as the only cake my mother knows how to make. (More or less.)

Ciambellone is a sunny, simple tube cake made with yogurt and lemon peel. It's tender and fragrant, has a good, sensible crumb, lasts for a few days on the kitchen counter, is not-too-sweet, easy to make, and very nice for breakfast (with a glass of green juice or without). It's also good at teatime and as a snack for little children. In other words, it's a perfect everyday cake.

(Other perfect everyday cakes: Catherine Newman's Donut Cake, Deborah Madison's Poppyseed Cake and Alice Medrich's Kamut Pound Cake, all of which I adore passionately and do not make nearly enough. I blame that thing I'm working on. On my to-make-soon list, though, is Molly's whole-wheat riff on an Edna Lewis cake, which looks right up my alley. Consider it my New Year's resolution!)

I suspect you will be relieved to know that ciambellone does not require confectioners' sugar on top or an icing of any kind or new-fangled additions to the batter. It is simplicity itself, wholesomeness incarnate. But most of all, it's just a happy-making little thing. Which makes it just right for gray, old January. Or any other month out of the year.

Three cheers for cake!

POSTSCRIPT: In the most thrilling news ever (to me, obvs), precisely 9 years, 5 months and 1 week after I started this blog, I can finally offer you a printable recipe! I apologize deeply for it having taken  so long. Now, when you get to the bottom of the recipe, you'll see a little Print this recipe link. Click on that and you'll get the recipe in PDF form. Which means that when you print, all you'll get is the recipe itself. No post, no pictures and no pesky comments. Hooray! This feature is - for now - only available on recipes starting from today.

Ciambellone
Makes one 9-inch tube cake
Note: The original recipe calls for 1/2 packet of Pane degli Angeli, which is Italian vanilla-flavored baking powder. If you have access to that, use it - it's lovely - and leave out the vanilla extract and baking powder below. If you don't have access to Pane degli Angeli, follow the recipe below.

3/4 cup minus 1 tablespoon (150 grams) sugar
2 large eggs
3.5 ounces/7 tablespoons (100 grams) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup (125 grams) plain whole-milk yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Grated peel of 1/2 organic lemon
1 2/3 cup (200 grams) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

1. Heat the oven to 350 F/180 C. Butter a tube pan.

2. Place the sugar, eggs, melted butter, yogurt, vanilla extract, and grated lemon peel in a bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Then slowly beat in the flour. Finally, beat in the baking powder. Scrape the batter immediately into the prepared cake pan, even the top and bake for 30 minutes, until a rich golden-brown.

3. Let the cake cool on a rack for 15 minutes, then turn the pan upside-down and unmold the cake. Let cool completely before serving. Loosely covered with plastic wrap, the cake will keep at room temperature for 3 days.

Print this recipe


Ina Garten's Blueberry Bran Muffins

Bran muffins

It's 6:50 am. Max has been gone for over half an hour already, off on his daily commute that lasts nearly two hours each way. Hugo's still sleeping, thank goodness; the hallway from our bedroom to the living room goes directly past his bedroom and for many months (let's call it a year?), the slightest noise from the floorboards at 5:30 am, when Max would try to creep down the hallway soundlessly, would wake him up. But for a few weeks now, Hugo's been sleeping until 6:30 or 7:00, every day. I'm almost afraid to put it down in writing.

I had another sleepless night; I've been struggling with a mean case of insomnia for the past several months. I've never been a good sleeper, but this is different - on most nights since early this summer I haven't slept more than a few hours, if that. It feels like most nights I just lie awake and wait for morning to come. I've had this before and I know it will pass and I also know that I'm not taking great care of myself at the moment and that I'm eaten up with stress and that it's all pretty normal, but still, you know, at 3:00 in the morning, after you've lain awake quietly since going to bed at 10:00, it's a little frustrating.

Anyway, I crept down the hallway myself just now and made myself a cup of tea and turned the oven on to defrost a couple of Ina Garten's blueberry bran muffins that I made a while ago (muffins made with wheat bran that I later abandoned in the cupboards and which turned out to have been the vector for a recent infestation of moths in our kitchen, shudder) and stashed in the freezer for mornings like this one, when I'm so tired that it hurts to have my eyes open.

A few minutes of quiet, a few moments to myself when I'm not the mother or the wife or the freelance writer/editor/whatever. Part of me just wants to sit in a chair with a cup of tea in my hands, close my eyes and breathe until I feel some calm, real peace, steal over me. The other part of me is already off to the races: Hugo's breakfast, folding the laundry, the manuscript I'm copy-editing, a blog post for this neglected, beloved place, the grocery list for later, for tomorrow, and next week, the doctors' bills, the raw chicken sitting in the fridge, the column for Bazaar, the shoot next week. And then there's everything else that's taken a back seat lately, a low hum of reproach running underneath all the to-do lists and anxiety: exercise, friends, answering emails, vacuuming, you know the drill.

But we got away by ourselves to Vienna last weekend. We left Hugo with three of his grandparents and flew to Vienna to see friends and eat incredible food (every single meal was good, can you believe it?) and just be together for a little while without our mommy-papa hats on. It was lovely, of course, and funny and nice and sometimes I really miss our old life and I think it's important to admit it without telling myself that I'm a terrible, no-good mother for thinking it, because even though I love that little boy so much, of course I do, sometimes I just want someone else to be in charge.

Thank you so much for all your interesting, thoughtful comments on my last post. I loved reading them. It was one of those times when I wished I could have gathered you all in my house and fed you deviled eggs and cheese puffs and just talked, late into the night, about all of this stuff. You are all lovely people, you really are.

The sky's turning light now and the muffins smell good and the tea in my cup has already lost its first curl of steam. I'm feeling better, too, a little more awake, a little more ready to face the day and my to-do lists and that useless, silly, stubborn undercurrent of anxiety about everything and nothing. It's going to be a long day and a busy weekend and a gnarly work week awaits me again next week, so I don't know when I'll be back here, but I hope it's soon, even if it's just for a little update like this one.

I hope you know that I'm not complaining, not about anything on my plate (well, except for maybe the insomnia and also my husband's commute) - it's just that putting it down in words sometimes helps it feel more manageable, less all-consuming and overwhelming. Things are good: there is work, after all, and a happy, healthy child and a nice husband, daycare that's a 5-minute walk away, grandparents who are there to help out, weekends away. I am counting my blessings. I am also very tired.

By the way, Hugo helped me make these muffins, whisking the batter, sneaking blueberries, asking a million questions, only half of of which I understood. And last night, he pushed his chair up against the counter and watched me make dinner: frozen cod slipped into a panful of tomato sauce, brown rice in the rice cooker, steamed zucchini. ("Kini, mama? Kini?" I dress them with olive oil, salt and snipped basil leaves and he gobbles them before even touching anything else.) It was one of those perfect moments when being a mother felt good and natural and full.

Happy Friday, you all. xo

Ina Garten's Blueberry Bran Muffins
Makes 12 muffins
These are very nice, very simple yogurt-based muffins that freeze and defrost well. The original recipe uses twice as much honey and sugar, but I like the less-sweet version below. Tastes less like cake and more like breakfast. I also added half an apple, diced very finely, to the batter, but just because it was lying around and I didn't want to waste it. It adds a little more moisture and a few more pockets of sweet-sour flavor.

Vegetable oil
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
7 ounces Greek yogurt (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup sugar 
1/4 cup honey
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 ½ cups wheat bran
1½ cups fresh blueberries (8 ounces)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush the top of a muffin pan with vegetable oil and line it with 12 paper liners.

Stir together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon in a medium bowl.

In large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sugar, ½ cup vegetable oil, honey, eggs, and vanilla until combined. Add the dry ingredients, stirring with a wooden spoon, just until incorporated. Gently stir in the wheat bran until incorporated. Add the blueberries and stir until evenly distributed.

Scoop the batter into the muffin cups. Bake for 22 to 30 minutes, until the tops are a golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and serve warm or at room temperature. Fully cooled, they can be frozen for several months.


How to Roast Strawberries

Roasted strawberries

Fact #1: Strawberries are at the top of my list of favorite summer fruits.

Fact #2: Strawberry jam is at the bottom of my list of least favorite jams.

Fact #3: My favorite strawberry-monger was selling half-pound baskets of Saturday's strawberries yesterday, at the rock-bottom price of 1 euro per basket.

Fact #4: I am powerless in the face of cheap, delicious, local fruit.

Fact #5: I bought a pound of strawberries and though they were cheap, they were also at peak ripeness and needed to eaten or processed that same day.

Fact #6: While I probably could have eaten all the strawberries in the course of the day, I exercised exemplary restraint and ate only about a third. Standing up. With my fingers.

It didn't seem worth it to make jam out of the remaining strawberries. Especially since I don't particularly love strawberry jam. (Does anybody else think it tastes a little like Band-Aids? Just me?) Instead I took to the internet, which informed me that everyone and their mother has moved on to roasting their surplus strawberries, duh, and so I decided to follow suit.

I hulled the strawberries and cut them in half lengthwise, then dropped them in a large baking pan. I added about 1/4 cup of sugar (I'm guessing that I had about a 3/4 pound of strawberries) and one teaspoon of vanilla paste, something I acquired at a TJ Maxx in Newton Highlands on a recent trip to Boston and am still not entirely convinced by. Mixed up and then spread out evenly, the strawberries went into a 375 F oven (190 C) for an hour. I rotated the pan halfway through, but only sort of shook the strawberries a little instead of stirring them.

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At the end, the scent of roasting strawberries had filled the house. The fruits had given off a gorgeous claret syrup, but had stayed intact - shrunken, but intact. I let them cool, much to my son's chagrin, and this morning we ate them spooned over bowls of cool, creamy yogurt. The flavor of the strawberries had concentrated and deepened, of course, but gone darker too, into a richer, almost savory place. And the texture of the strawberries was wonderful - with just the barest heft, the seeds still crunching pleasantly in my teeth, the flesh silky and tender. They made our bowls of breakfast yogurt taste like dessert.

When you make this (not "if"), you will probably want to adjust the amount of sugar you use. The strawberries I had were incredibly sweet and delicious on their own and more than 1/4 cup of sugar would have been too much. But you don't want to use too little sugar, either, because that strawberry syrup that collects at the bottom of the pan is pretty great stuff.

Fact #7: We need more strawberries.


Cooking for Hugo: Healthy Muffins

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Our mornings go a little something like this: Either Max's alarm goes off first or Hugo wakes up chirping like the recently-returned bird who perches in the chestnut tree outside his window at the ungodly hour of 4:30 am and starts singing only to stop an hour later, the jerk, after our child has awoken and will not return to sleep come hell or high water.

Continue reading "Cooking for Hugo: Healthy Muffins" »