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.  


hazelnut pumpkin cake + nutella frosting

This is a holiday cake built to impress. A spicy pumpkin cake with a creamy nutella buttercream frosting and roasted hazelnut topping. People will be so happy they invited you to their holiday party.  

hazelnut pumpkin cake + nutella frosting

double hazelnut pumpkin cake (with nutella) 

This has been adapted from cooking classy's pumpkin cake and a little inspiration from Sally's Baking Blog Nutella Frosting

ingredients
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
1 1/4 cups sugar ( I like to use sugar in the raw)
3/4 cup dark-brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, soft/room temp
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup (15 oz) pumpkin puree
1/2 cup milk

frosting
3/4 cup butter, soft/room temp
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 - 4 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons of cream or milk
1/2 cup nutella
1/2 cup hazelnuts (roasted for 5 mins while the cake is baking)

instructions
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. This recipe fills three, 9-inch cake pans. Or you can make a smaller 6 inch cake and cupcakes (that is what I did). Just make sure to not over fill your cake pans as the dough will rise! Butter your cake pans well. 
2. Mix together all your dry ingredients except the sugars.
3. In another large bowl, mix together the butter and sugars, then add your oil, eggs, and vanilla. Then add the pumpkin and milk to the sugar mix. (Note - it is freaking amazing if you use actual roasted pumpkin here, but for use mere mortals, the canned stuff will do fine :) 
4. Slowly, add the flour mix to the butter/sugar pumpkin bowl. 
5. Pour into the cake pans and bake for 30-35min until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool.
6. To make the frosting use room temp butter add the nutella, then add the powdered sugar, I use a Cuisinart Hand Mixer that I love. Frost your cake only when is is completely cold! Roughly chop half of your hazelnuts to add to the top.

 

pumpkin funfetti cake + treat yourself challenge

Please forgive me if every dessert on my blog from here on incorporates funfetti. The reason I like sprinkles is the same reason I like champagne, their mere presence calls for a celebration. That is what this cake is all about. Rich, spicy pumpkin cake with cool cream cheese frosting and crunchy candy sprinkles to top it off.  

pumpkin funfetti cake mindful eating
pumpkin funfetti cake mindful eating
funfetti pumpkin cake

you should eat cake 

This might come as a shock but mindful eating does not mean you can only eat local kale. In fact the philosophy is that nothing is off limits, instead, the focus is to joyfully take pleasure in a huge range of foods. Eat cake, please! Just pay attention while you are doing it, allow yourself to take pleasure in every bite. Focus on what makes your body feel good. Intuitively our bodies can tell us when they've had enough. One small piece of cake might give you a tiny sugar buzz, on the other hand, eating a whole tub of frosting may cause your stomach to freak out . When you are full, stop and take a moment to be grateful that someone made you a god dang gorgeous cake. My advice is to put away your distractions, eat slowly, and give the cake all the attention it deserves. 

mindful treat-yo-self challenge 

Try this as a fun treat-yo-self moment: take 10 mins just to eat a piece of cake and do nothing else. Set the timer on your phone, and really extend the experience. Try to do this when you are actually hungry, I don't know about you but in my experience being hungry usually makes things taste awesome. Pretend that you are a professional taste tester and have to submit a detailed taste review of this piece of cake (or an equivalently decadent treat) to a magazine. Compared to standing in the kitchen, texting, and scarfing it down in 2 minutes, my guess is the treat-yo-self way will be more satisfying. But don't take my word try it yourself!   

pumpkin funfetti cake

This has been adapted from Cooking Classy. I also have to give a general shout out to Molly from my name is yeh for just generally making funfetti cool again. Check out her gorgeous version of this here

ingredients
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
1 1/4 cups sugar ( I like to use sugar in the raw)
3/4 cup dark-brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, soft/room temp
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup (15 oz) pumpkin puree
1/2 cup milk

frosting
12 oz. cream cheese, soft/room temp
3/4 cup butter, soft/room temp
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 1/2 - 5 cups powdered sugar
rainbow sprinkles to taste (maybe 1/2 cup or more if you want to get crazy)

instructions
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. This fills three, 9-inch cake pans. Or you can make a smaller cake and cupcakes (that is what I did). Just make sure to not over fill your cake pans as the dough will rise! Butter your cake pans. 

2. Mix together all your dry ingredients except the sugars.
3. In another large bowl, mix together the butters and sugars, then add the oil, eggs, and vanilla. Then add the pumpkin and milk to the wet mix. (Note - it is freaking amazing if you use actual roasted pumpkin here, but for use mere mortals, the canned stuff will do fine :) 
4. Slowly, add the flour mix to the butter/sugar pumpkin bowl. 
5. Pour into the cake pans and bake for 30-35min until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool. Frost. Add Sprinkles.

decorating pro tips
1. The most important thing is to make sure your cake cools down. Cover in plastic wrap right away out of the oven and pop it in the fridge or freezer for 15 mins, this helps retain moisture if you do it right away. 
2. To learn how to get the cake frosted very evenly, there are A LOT of youtube videos out there for you. But the short summary is: you cut off the 'cake dome' a very thin layer off the top to make a flat surface. Next you frost a very thin 'crumb' layer around the outside, after that you put the cake back in the fridge for 15 mins and only then do you frost the outside of the cake. If you have a turntable and a frosting spatula, you can make this sucker real strait!  

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.

 
 

ginger spice ice cream sandwiches

I can't believe such perfect cookies for ice cream sandwiches came out of my oven. These are super soft and chewy which makes them an ideal ice cream sandwich partner and the sugar coating gives them a nice crunch. I am a sucker for spiced treats in the fall, so I really went for it with the ginger and cinnamon here, but feel free to use at your own discretion. You can freeze these and whip them out at dinner parties for oohs and ahhs.  The cookies are very simple and the ice cream only has two ingredients: bananas and cinnamon. 

soft ginger ice cream cookie sandwiches

put down the phone

All I ask is that when you eat these, please put away all your distractions. Turn off the TV, computer, and phone. Just take the time to only concentrate on this amazing cookie sandwich when you eat it. No one is so busy that they can't take 5 minutes to enjoy a treat, and only do that. I promise it will taste better if you take this advice. Just try it.

This recipe in concept was very heavily inspired by the wonderful folks at the minimalist baker who did an all vegan/gluten free version, and my bible: the cookiepedia by stacy adimando.  

ginger spice ice cream sandwiches

Makes: 4 Dozen Cookies
(or more if you make them tiny like me) 

cookies:
2 1/3 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 sugar (I like the course in the raw!) plus extra for rolling (it will change your life)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup dark molasses

ice cream:
5 ripe frozen bananas
4 tablespoons of cinnamon

note: you can swap in store bought ice cream. I ensure you these will still taste good! But really, try making banana ice cream, it is good.

instructions:

ice cream
If you are going to make your own banana ice cream, start now. Use bananas that are very ripe because they will taste a whole lot sweeter. Peel and cut the bananas into small pieces and put into a tupperware or wrap in parchment paper, or put into a ziplock bag. Freeze for at least four hours or overnight. 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 cinnamon (or get creative). Next put the banana ice cream back into the freezer until hard (probably 2-3 hours depending on your freezer). 

fall spice cookies
Combine all the dry ingredients into a medium bowl and set aside. Cream the sugars and butter together, this works best with a mixer, but by hand will work as well. Add the vanilla and egg and mix well, then add the molasses and mix until combined.  Cover the dough for 15-20 mins in the fridge.  Preheat the oven to 325F. Pour some extra raw sugar into a small bowl, I also added a pinch of sea salt to this mix. Roll the dough into 1/2 inch -1 inch balls and then roll them around in the sugar/salt mix. Bake for 8-10mins at 325 (don't overcook so they stay soft). 

Assemble the cookies by freezing the cookies for about 15min-20min or until completely cold and hard. Let the ice cream soften just slightly. Then scoop and assemble! 
 

 

brussel sprout mini galettes w/balsamic caramelized leeks

These mini galettes are a flavor battleground between balsamic caramelized leeks, mushrooms, crunchy roasted beets, and tangy blue cheese.  Of course I added in an obscene amount of rosemary because its fresh, growing abundantly around Portland and smells so freaking good in my hands, kitchen, and galette.  

brussel mini galette

what kind of hungry are you?

In my own experience eating well is not about militantly avoiding certain foods. It is about respecting your true biological hunger. It's about taking the time for yourself, when you eat to really ask, how hungry am I? 

Getting in touch with your true physical hunger is probably both the hardest, and the most transformative part of mindful eating. Jan Chozen Bays argues there are actually seven different types of hunger. In her book “Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food”:  eye hunger, nose hunger, mouth hunger, stomach hunger, mind hunger, cellular hunger, and heart hunger.  

If you just read all seven of those types of hunger, and you are like me, you might be thinking:  wow I have not paid nearly enough attention, and what the heck is eye hunger. I encourage you to check out her book, she gives great advice about how to really listen to your body and your emotions to achieve a very nuanced awareness of what is motivating you to eat. But, in the meantime while you wait for your Amazon prime delivery, I'll explain the short version of why this is important.

 Most people have a desire to eat and therefore think, "I am hungry" which is not always true. You could be nervous, excited, bored, enticed by a smell or picture, but when you actually take a moment to become aware of your physical signs of hunger, you may discover that you are not hungry at all or even really full. In order to eat the types of food and quantity that your body truly needs, paying attention to your hunger before you eat is paramount.

You can start thinking more deeply about your hunger with this zinger of a mini brussell galette. I guarantee you that you'll enjoy it more if you bite in when you're body actually needs fuel!

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

Filling
3 small leeks
6-8 mushrooms
4 cups brussel sprouts (diced into 1/4 wedges)
1/2 cup of blue cheese
2 tablespoon coconut oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar  
1-2 springs fresh rosemary
salt
basil to garnish

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. Preheat the oven to 375. Bake the brussel sprouts w/a little coconut oil for about 15-20 mins until they brown on top.  In the meantime dice the leeks into small disks and the slice the mushrooms into similar sized pieces. Saute the leeks in coconut oil and balsamic on medium heat for about 5 mins until soft, then add in the mushrooms and a few pinches of salt.  Saute from about 10 min longer, drain excess liquid (you don't want your galette to get watery!) Then add in the blue cheese to your leek/mushroom mix. 

3. To make the pastry, cut the dough into 6-8 equal pieces and using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a circle about 1/8-inch thick. I have these fun pastry pans, but you can make a galette right on a baking sheet as well. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled baking surface or parchment paper. Add in the leeks mixture, then the brussel sprout and top with the fresh rosemary. Bake for about 20-30min until the crust is turning golden brown. 

Optional: Use a pizza stone, this helps the galette crust stay firm and crispy on the bottom.