My Morning Bread

Okay, it's not my morning bread, I do believe I found the recipe while stumbling through StumbleUpon. It has been one of our favorites ever since. I've found over the past few years that baking is one of my happy places. I will never say mine is the best, and I will often tell you of things I've done wrong or substituted due to inaccurate ingredients in my pantry, but as imperfect as it may often be, baking brings me such joy. Keeping homemade things in our home, trying to perfect my favorite cookie recipe, being elbow deep in bread dough with sore palms and wrists... these are the heavenly things. Where my heart feels warm and fuzzy and you will often find a smile across my face (and possibly some remnants of multiple taste tests). I've baked a few times since arriving in Minnesota, and it didn't take long for me to break out this recipe. It's very basic and very delicious and can be altered to fit your families preferences. Often I like to enjoy a slice of something with my eggs or omelette and this is definitely a step up from toasted sandwich bread. For me, slightly warmed up with a little spread of butter or coconut oil is just right. Hopefully you'll enjoy it as much as we do!

Good For You Breakfast Loaf

1 Cup Rolled Oats 1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour 2 tsp Baking Powder 1/2 tsp Sea Salt 1 1/2 tbsp Honey, Maple Syrup or Agave 1 tbsp Canola Oil (I use coconut oil) 1 Cup Milk (They say 1% or Skim, but I'm currently of the belief that milk fat is good fat. We all need some fat sometimes. If you're going to consume it, consume the good kind.)

Preheat oven to 450°

Grind oatmeal in a food processor (or do like me and use a Magic Bullet because that's all you have). In a large bowl combine oatmeal, flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl mix honey with canola oil, dissolve. Then stir in the milk. (If using coconut oil, be sure to warm up the milk to room temperature so as to keep the coconut oil from hardening and therefore separating). Combine both mixtures and stir until a soft dough is formed. Pour into a loaf pan (I usually line mine with parchment). Sprinkle some oats on top and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

This bread is at it's absolute best right after it's cooled. It would also work well to use mini-loaf pans so you could just pull one out of the freezer when you want to enjoy it. As I said, butter or coconut oil are my go-to spreads but a nice honey spread (Trader Joe's is our favorite) or some conserves would be great too.

Laura's Phone 200

My favorite favorite favorite jam is Strawberry Orange Freezer Jam. There's not necessarily a recipe, which makes for a slightly different jam each time, but boy is it good. I know recipes usually call for freezer pectine when making freezer jam but I leave it out.

I take a small container of berries and cut them into smaller chunks. Then I blend them up really well in the bullet and pour them into a medium sauce pan. Turning the heat on medium, I let them boil for probably about 15 minutes, allowing them to thicken a little bit. In the mean time I take an orange and zest a bit of the peel into the boiling berries. For me, I usually zest a little less than half of the peel. You could do as much or little as you'd like. Keep in mind that the zest really gives a punch so be careful not to overdo it. To sweeten the pot you could use cane sugar, however I tend to use Truvia's baking blend. I try to keep the sugar as low as possible and let the fruit do the talking. So I'd say for that size batch you'd want to add about 3 tablespoons of Truvia's baking blend, or else 3/4 cup of cane sugar. But really you could add whatever sweetener you preferred. I've done it with honey, which tasted great but did make for a bit runnier of a jam. Once it's boiled for 15-20 minutes I then just pour it into smaller jars that I hang on to (my favorite is an old baking yeast jar) and let them cool, putting them in the freezer once they're no longer hot. This jam is wonderfully delicious added to plain greek yogurt too. Adds the flavor without all the sugar. Added bonus, your house will smell ridiculously delicious for the better part of the day.

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Let me know if you try either of these two out. I always like to know if others share our love of the Breakfast Loaf, especially because I generally make this for people who are in need of food (i.e. had babies, are sick, are too pregnant to cook, etc).

This weekend I'm making a carrot cake with browned butter cream cheese frosting. I'll let you know how that one goes. I can tell you right now, it's going to go well.