If breakfast is supposed to be the most important meal of the day, we believe that where and how you eat it are just as crucial. A quick muffin on the run might be fine for a harried workday morning, but when you do have the time, we’re all for indulging – if you’re so inclined – in what can be considered an almost sinful luxury. Fluffy throw pillows, sumptuous linens, warm sunshine (although raindrops and grey skies are welcome, too!), your favourite magazine (Style at Home, perhaps?) and cozy pyjamas are the setting. No alarm clocks, deadlines or intrusions allowed – just pure, unadulterated personal time. Are you tempted yet? What if we threw in some scrumptious breakfast recipes for buttery scones and cheesy French toast or, for the more health conscious, muesli with nuts and fresh fruit, or ricotta and eggs? The final touches are a blue and white palette for dishes and serveware that inspires visions of a Mediterranean seashore. The result? Pure bliss.
Recipe: Muesli with nuts and seeds
- 3 cups thick-cut, old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup raw whole almonds
- 1 cup pecan halves
- 1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts, skins removed
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup roasted sesame seeds
- 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup flaked coconut
- 1/4 cup hulled millet
- 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp Maldon sea salt
- 1 cup dried cranberries
1 Preheat the oven to 325ºF. In a large bowl, stir together the rolled oats, the nuts and the seeds, the coconut and the millet.
2 Pour the coconut oil and the maple syrup into the bowl and stir with a large wooden spoon until everything is well coated and combined.
3 Pour the mixture out onto a large parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt.
4 Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to brown evenly. Let cool on the baking sheet for 20 minutes and then add the dried cranberries.
5 When the muesli is completely cooled, store in an airtight container. Serve as a snack eaten on its own or as a cereal with almond milk, or serve layered with Greek yogurt, fresh berries and a drizzle of honey.
Makes 6 cups.
Recipe: Date and pecan scones with cinnamon-honey butter
- 1 cup toasted pecans
- 1 cup pitted dates
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 1 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp coarse brown sugar, divided
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup 18% cream
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tbsp creamed wildflower honey
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Place the pecans and the dates in the bowl of a food processor and pulse with 2 cups of the flour until they’re roughly chopped.
2 Add the cold cubed butter to the processor and pulse briefly, until the mix is just crumbly and evenly chopped.
3 Pour the mixture into a large bowl and add the remaining flour and dry baking ingredients (3/4 cup brown sugar through cinnamon), stirring to combine evenly.
4 Stir in the vanilla and all but 1 tsp of the cream, mixing with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together to form a ball.
5 Turn out the dough onto a clean surface and knead once or twice to bring together. Flatten the dough with your palms to form a 9" circle
about 1-1/4" thick. With a sharp knife, cut across the dough to form four quarters and then cut each quarter into three wedges to make 12 scones.
6 Place the scones on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet about 2" apart. Brush the tops with the remaining teaspoon of cream and sprinkle with the extra 2 tbsp of coarse brown sugar.
7 Bake for 25 to 28 minutes until lightly browned. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.
8 For the cinnamon-honey butter: In a small bowl, beat the butter, honey and cinnamon until light and fluffy. Slather warm scones with the cinnamon-honey butter.
Makes 12 scones.
Recipe: Ham and cheesy french toast
- 4 slices soft-crust Italian bread, cut 1-1/2" thick
- 8 slices ham
- 4 free-range organic eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tsp dry mustard
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp Maldon sea salt
- 2 tbsp butter, divided
- 1-1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 Preheat the oven to 375ºF. With a small, serrated knife, carefully cut a slit into one side of each slice of bread to form a little pocket.
2 Stuff 2 slices of the ham into each pocket, being careful not to break the edges of the bread.
3 Place the eggs, milk, mustard, paprika and salt in a large bowl. Soak the stuffed bread in the egg mixture for 5 minutes, turning the slices to coat evenly.
4 Melt 1 tbsp of the butter in a large non-stick pan over medium heat and, when sizzling, take two of the stuffed breads out of the egg mixture and place in the pan. Cook on one side until golden brown, then turn over and cook the other side, about 2 minutes per side.
5 Place the slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with the other bread slices.
6 Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top of the stuffed bread slices and place in the oven. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the toasts are cooked through and puffy and the cheese is melted and gooey.
Makes 4 servings.
Recipe: Sunny baked egg cups
- 2 slices very thinly sliced prosciutto
- 1/2 tsp unsalted butter
- 2 free-range organic eggs
- 1 tbsp 35% cream
- 1 tbsp green onions, chopped
- 4 small basil leaves, torn
- 3 tbsp ricotta cheese
- 2 slices toasted focaccia
1 Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Place the prosciutto on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake in the oven for 4 or 5 minutes, until just beginning to crisp. (This step is important to ensure the prosciutto will be chewy in the finished egg cups.)
2 Lightly butter a 1-1/2-cup baking dish or large muffin tin. Press the slices of crispy prosciutto into the bottom of the dish and up the sides.
3 Separate the egg whites and yolks into two dishes. Whisk the egg whites with the cream, green onions and basil. Season lightly with a little salt and pepper.
4 Pour the egg white mixture into the baking dish. Drop in the ricotta in 3 small spoonfuls and gently nestle the egg yolks into the mixture, being careful to keep them whole.
5 Place the dish in the oven on a baking sheet and bake for 17 to 22 minutes, depending on how firm you like the yolks cooked. Serve right away with slices of toasted focaccia or baguette.
Makes 1 serving.