berries · breakfast · coffee · food · french toast · healthy · lemon · lemon zest · pancakes · with coffee

Berry Preserves Found Their Way to My Heart

img_5356One of my favorite mornings rituals on the weekend is to wake up, stumble to the kitchen with my eyes barely open and get the coffee machine going. Ahh, I love my coffee. It is the one thing I look forward to every morning and sometimes I even start to look forward to it before I go to bed the night before. The darker the better. The hotter the more enjoyable. Recently, I got into the (good) habit of making my own berries preserves to enjoy with my toast and of course coffee. I used to buy my preserves, but one day after scooping out the last bit of preserves left in the container I decided to try and make my own. Oh, heavenly was the day I realized how easy and delicious this was! Now, I make a small batch which lasts me about 2-3 weeks. Here’s how to make this magic happen:

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup of Blueberries/Raspberries (I’ve used both fresh and frozen)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of brown sugar (you can use regular sugar as well)
  • a splash of lemon juice and water and a bit of lemon zest

fullsizerender-20In a small pan cook down the berries with about 1 tablespoon of water over medium heat until they are soft and you can break them down. I use a wooden spoon to pop the blueberries as they soften. It will take a few minutes for the berries to break down. Add the sugar, lemon juice, zest and combine together. Let everything cook down until you see that jam consistency. Make sure you taste it. Sometimes I’m in the mood for more sweet while others I look for a more lemony taste. Total cooking time is about 5-8 minutes. Pour over a small container and place in the freezer for about a minute or two to cool.

In the mean time get that toast ready, by the time your freshly made berries preserves have cooled they will be ready to slather over your toast and to enjoy with that perfectly made cup of coffee. These also make a great topping for pancakes of french toast or even pie fillings! The possibilities are endless, all it takes is a little creative moment to completely change your life and a few berries to have a change of heart.

 

 

 

 

cookies · cranberry · dessert · easy to make · fall · foodithinkiloveyou · oatmeal cookies · walnut · white chocolate · with coffee

There was Magic Between these Cookies and I

 If you ever see me gawking at pastries behind a bakery display, I will usually be considering the almond croissants or some type of fruit scone or Danish. One day a few months ago however, standing in line waiting for my turn to order up all the dirty desires of the fat kid living inside my soul, I spotted a free cookie sample (of course I did!). It looked like an oatmeal which meant I absolutely had to try it because it’s the only kind of cookie that really speaks to my heart. This cookie was so confusing, but so good. It made me happy and sad all at the same time (it had to be love). I had never tried a cookie with so many exciting turns. It was like my taste buds were riding a flavor roller coaster hitting notes of nuttiness from walnuts and the luxurious sweetness of white chocolate chips at every turn and then when I least expected it but most craved it I got a slight tartness from the cranberry all while onboard the earthiness of the oatmeal train. Yum! *If you are not drooling right now something is terribly wrong.

Since then the thought of making these cookies at home has been on my mind. So, the other day while grocery shopping, I came across a packet of white chocolate chips and just like that, there was magic between us. Immediately I remembered the wonderful cookie sample at that bakery. Nobody could stop me from rushing up and down the aisles of the grocery store that day looking for all the ingredients to try and make these cookies at home. This week I did just that and today I’m going to share my experience because I am so happy with the results and even more excited from what is to come.

I adopted this awesome recipe from Meatloaf and Melodrama and will be using it as a good foundation recipe except for a couple of adjustments. Also, in the next few months I will be using it as inspiration while adding and/or replacing some ingredients (stay tuned for that delicious madness) like coconut, cherries and milk chocolate chips. I can’t wait!

Here is what I used:

·        2 eggs (at room temperature) *If you have an egg allergy, replace one egg with 1/4 cup of apple sauce and a mixture of 2 tablespoons of water, 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil and 2 teaspoons of baking powder.

·        1½ cups oats

·        1½ cups all-purpose flour

·        1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

·        1 teaspoon baking soda

·        ½ teaspoon sea salt

·        ⅔ cup butter, softened

·        ⅔ cup brown sugar

·        2 teaspoons vanilla extract

·        1 cup dried cranberries

·        ⅔  cup chopped walnuts

·        ⅔ cup white chocolate chips

The first thing you want to do soften the butter, vanilla extract and brown sugar together. I used a hand mixer to break up the butter, but eventually I used a fork to really mix us the ingredients together until it was one fluffy paste. Next I added the eggs and mixed with the hand mixer. I then added the oats and mixed those in with a spoon until it was evenly combined.

In a separate bowl I stirred together the flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon with a teaspoon then added to the oats mixture until the ingredients were evenly distributed. I added the cranberries, walnuts and chocolate chips one at a time until the mixture was heavy and thick. Now I was ready to make cookies!

I used a tablespoon drop of the dough to make my cookies. I placed on a large cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Remember to make sure you allow some room in between each drop so that cookie can expand in the oven.

Baking time: 10 minutes (no more than 12 minutes)

Oven temperature: 375 degrees

Important tip: These cookies are best had with some freshly brewed coffee. This statement has been tried and tested. (wink, wink) Enjoy!!