poppy seed pancakes + blood orange topping

blood orange pancakes poppy seeds mindful eating
blood oarnge poppy pancakes
blood orange poppy seed pancakes mindful eating
blood orange poppy seed pancakes mindful eating

Your search for a jaw dropping, original, beautiful brunch is over. Drum roll please: blood orange poppy seed pancakes. These cakes are sweet with a delightful poppy seed crunch and a tart citrus punch. They are super simple and quick to make so perfect if you are having people over.

Things that will happen if you make these pancakes: 1) your guests will wonder how you came up with such a great idea 2) taste buds will be amazed by the flavor combination, 3) you might be featured in the next Portlandia Episode. (In my house we call this the Portland documentary because it is so accurate) 

I don't want to brag but I have been called the pancake queen. Like many of my proudest moments, this title was bestowed upon me around a campfire. Turns out that flipping pancakes is a little harder when you are in the woods and really just have a fork and knife, but rest assured it can be done and your camping companions will love you for it.  

Fast forward to my Portland kitchen on a Saturday in January and things get a little fancier. I have to be honest that I spent an amazing amount of time photographing these blood oranges, they are just so freaking beautiful, so be careful that might happen to you. Enjoy! (mindfully) 

poppy seed pancakes + blood orange topping

Cooking note: These are a little thicker and fluffier than your normal pancakes so if you prefer a thinner variety you can half the baking powder. 

Time: 20 mins total
Servings: 4

Ingredients
3/4 cup milk (both almond & regular work great)
1 lemon - (2 tbsp lemon juice and as much lemon zest as you can get!)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp melted butter
1 cup flour
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
4 teaspoons poppy seeds

Topping
2 blood oranges
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 teaspoon honey
*optional: syrup/jam/more honey

Directions
1. In a small bowl stir together the milk and lemon juice and let sit for 5-10mins. Then whisk in the egg, vanilla and finally the melted butter. 
2. While the lemon juice is doing its thing (making your pancakes fluffier), in a different larger bowl, combine all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt baking powder, baking soda, and poppy seeds). Add the milk mix to the flour bowl and combine thoroughly. Then add in your lemon zest. 
3. Get a frying pan or griddle nice and hot,  add 1/2 teaspoon of butter or coconut oil to the pan, then pour about 1/4 cup of your pancake mixture into the pan at a time. Keep the pan on medium heat, flip the pancakes when small bubbles appear. (about 2-3mins on each side)   My pro tip is make sure that your pan has a hefty amount of butter or coconut oil while frying, so keep adding in small pieces of butter in between batches! 
4. For the topping simply peel and slice the oranges and toss with the sliced almonds, and your honey or sugar.  


wild chanterelle breakfast tart

I went mushroom hunting. If I allowed myself to use exclamation points on this site, there would be a lot in this post. After two years of living in Portland, I am officially a Pacific Northwesterner. I left the trail, got dirty and freaking foraged for my dinner. Here is my gorgeous creation to prove it: A chanterelle breakfast tart. To be perfectly honest, I was going for a galette but ended up with the flat, open-faced tart (almost pizza-like) configuration. My official taste tester gave this a very strong rating.   

 
wild chanterelle breakfast tart
 

what the outdoors can teach you about mindfulness

What surprised and completely delighted me about mushroom hunting was that I experienced the forest in a totally different way than when I’ve been on typical hikes. You are literally forced to pay much closer attention to the details, colors and textures all around you if you want to have any chance at spotting a mushroom.  My life motto is now: “you won’t find any mushrooms unless you pay attention”. If you aren’t really paying attention to the present moment you won’t get the full pleasure out of any activity you are engaged in weather that is a stroll,  chatting with a friend, rocking out to Drake, or eating lunch on a Tuesday.

When you apply this lesson in attention to eating you, can see very quickly how it can enhance your experience. I really don’t want to say ‘look deeply’ at your food, because it sounds pretty cheesy, but that is exactly what I want you to do. Next time you sit down for a meal notice the textures, the details, the colors, and the smell. 

mushroom hunting oregon chanterelle
mushroom hunting oregon
mushroom hunting oregon
mushroom hunting oregon
mushroom hunting chanterelle
wild chanterelle breakfast tart mushrooms

wild chanterelle breakfast tart

ingredients
7-10 small and medium chanterelle mushrooms* 
1/2 medium red onion chopped into slivers
1 garlic clove minced
1 teaspoon of olive oil
3-5 ounces of spinach
1 cup whole ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 egg
*(swap in your favorite mushrooms if you don't have an afternoon to hike around the pacific northwest scouring the forest for mushrooms)

tart crust
2 cups all-purpose flour
3⁄4 teaspoon salt
6 ounces butter, very cold
1⁄2 cup ice cold water

instructions
1. Make the galette crust by first combining the flour and salt. (Pro-tip: keeping the flour and bowl very cold can help with the crust end-result). Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter, until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal - work as quickly as you can so that the butter does not warm up. Add the ice water and form the dough gently until it comes together - DON'T OVERMIX (#1 pasty rule) Wrap the dough ball in plastic and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes (or you can be like me and make multiple batches to freeze up to three months)

2. Sautee the garlic and onions in olive oil for about 5 min until soft. Then add in the spinach and mushrooms, add a pinch of salt. The goal here is to heat the veggies just enough so they lose most of their water, about 3-4mins

3. Roll out the crust, mix cheeses together with a little salt and pepper. Add the cheese mixture to the pastry crust. Then add on the mushroom mixture.

4. Bake the tart at 375F for 15 mins, then crack an egg on top, cook for another 10-15 min until the crust is brown and the egg has cooked all the way through! 

Other Recipes from Chew and Taste that might interest you: Brussel Sprout Mini Galettes or Two Potato Rosemary Tart 

two potato rosemary tart + multisensory eating

This tart is a perfect hearty fall meal. It combines sweet potatoes and purple potatoes and lots of fresh rosemary. Despite how freaking fancy it looks, it is surprisingly easy and quick to make. If you aren't comfortable making your own crust, you really should give it a try, a couple of attempts and you'll be a pro in no time at all. 

...drumroll I give you.... my two potato tart. A little reminder of the simple joy of cooking and creating something beautiful. 

the whole experience of eating   

What is going on around you when you eat plays a huge role in how you experience the taste and satisfaction of a meal. I've always been a little obsessive about setting the table for dinner, dimming the lights, putting on some music, lighting a candle. Wow, now that I write that down it's strangely similar to the steps one might take in say seduction ... interesting.... But seriously, paying a little attention to your surroundings and presentation honors the food, the work of many who've made your meal possible, and it shows respect for yourself to slow down and appreciate the beauty of mealtime. I'm going to give you a quote from an article I read this week that I'm about to recommend: 

"Alongside sex, eating is one of the most multisensory of our activities .....In most cases at least half of our experience of food and drink is determined by the forgotten flavor senses of vision, sound, and touch"

If you are trying to eat more mindfully I recommend taking a few steps to bring a little extra pizazz to your table.  Do this especially if you are eating alone, bring in a flower or greenery from outside, light a candle, these simple notions can remind you to savor the beauty around you.

what is she reading 

I have to recommend you read this article: Accounting For Taste from the New Yorker's Food Issue this last week.  The article profiles Charles Spence a researcher investigating what he calls multisensory integration in eating, which is basically the interplay between taste and your other senses, touch, sound, smell and sight. A couple of findings from his research: 

"a strawberry-flavored mousse tastes ten per cent sweeter when served from a white container rather than a black one...adding two and a half ounces to the weight of a plastic yogurt container makes the yogurt seem about twenty-five per cent more filling"

To my disappointment, so far this research has mostly been used by packaged goods companies to sell more processed foods. However, the applications are potentially broad and the research itself is a valuable appreciation for the multisensory experience of eating. Enjoy! Here is the link: Accounting For Taste

two potato tart sweet potato purple
rosemary
two potato tart
potatoes

two potato rosemary tart

This has been adapted from: smitten kitchen Thanks Deb, your rule.

ingredients
servings: 4
time:  1.5-2 hours (mostly waiting for the tart to bake)

2 medium sweet potatoes  
2 medium purple potatoes (red potatoes will do here if you can't find purple)
1/2 cup plain yogurt or heavy cream
1 large egg yolk
1/4 pound gruyere shredded (or cheddar or mozzarella will do)
1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary

Tart Crust
6 tablespoons cold butter, diced into small pieces
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg

directions

savory tart crust
Combine the flour and salt. Cut the butter in with a pastry blender in very tiny pieces. If you don't have this tool you can use two knives to cut the butter. Next, add the egg to your flour and mix everything with a fork until a dough forms. If you are having trouble mixing, a little kneading on your counter should do the trick.  

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to a 12-inch circle. Place the dough in a 9-inch pie plate or tart pan and press to remove any air bubbles. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Now you can add your filling

Preheat oven to 350°F. 

First you need to pre-cook the potatoes slightly before baking them in the tart. You can do this in one of two ways, the tastier way is to bring a pot of water to boil and simmer them whole for about 10 mins, and then pat dry. Or if you're in a pinch for time, you could microwave the potatoes for about 3-5mins per potato until just tender (but not mushy!)  After the potatoes are soft, slice them into thin (about 1/4-inch) rounds, I like to use my mandolin for this to get them nice and thin.

Arrange the potatoes in the tart shell into a fantastic design of your choosing, here you can see I alternated the purple/sweet potatoes into two big circles. Mix the yogurt or heavy cream with the egg and pour into tart shell. Sprinkle the cheese over the potatoes. Add the herbs about 30 mins into baking.  In total bake 45-50 minutes, until bubbly and brown.

 
 

banana ice cream w/ blackberry + coconut and cinnamon

If you've been living under a rock, let me catch you up: banana 'nice cream' is all the rage. This is a super simple recipe, ready for it: Blend. Frozen, Bananas. That is it! There are a lot of beautiful creations out there by nice cream masters. I have to admit when I first discovered this instagram black hole of beautiful 'nice cream' pictures, I was worried I might end up a pintrest fail. I am pleasantly surprised to report that it went really well, and I would highly recommend you try it in your kitchen. I put my special touch on this by mixing in a little cinnamon and blackberry to really make this creamy treat sing. Enjoy! 

blackberry nice cream

Other nice cream creators might say you have to own an amazing blender to pull this off, and while I do agree equipment is important here, but my nutribullet could handle it fairly easily. 

Ingredients
2 ripe bananas that have been frozen for 4+ hours
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup frozen blackberries

Instructions
Use very ripe bananas, this will make the treat sweeter. Peel and cut the bananas into small pieces and put into a tupperware, wrap in parchment paper or a ziplock bag. Freeze for at least four hours. After freezing, separate the pieces as much as you can before blending, if the blender stalls, add a little water or milk, or let the bananas thaw slightly. Then add your blackberries and cinnamon (or get creative). You can enjoy right away, or stick into the freezer for scoping an even firmer treat latter on.