Blueberry Banana Broiler Brûlée for Breakfast

[[More oatmeal ideas at the end!]]


I’m cold.


When I’m cold I cocoon. No blanket or sweatshirt of dear Daniel’s is safe from my icy grasp.  I drink gallons (seriously…)  of hot tea of various types, plus the occasional cup of coffee…for variety.


For nourishment I rely almost entirely on bowls of mushy warm things.

Sounds appealing, right?  Are you beginning to understand my long silence?

Enter:  Blueberry Banana Broiler Brûlée.


With this alliterative adventure I haven’t strayed from my warm, mushy winter comfort, I’ve only given it eye appeal.

Plus, it couldn’t be more simple.

Healthful and satisfying steel cut oats,


sweetened with banana,


cinnamon spiced and speckled with blueberries.

(Thank goodness for frozen fruit).


This effortless breakfast brought to you by tall, dark and handsome.


Now, luckily, this works a lot of ways.  You could wake up to freshly cooked oats in your slow cooker, immediately scoop them into a broiler-safe container and just







3 minutes later…


The same process works just as well with leftover oats recovered from the fridge.  I have even made the whole thing including the broiled topping, put that in the fridge and microwaved for 2 minutes the next day.  It was still amazing.


Perfect for my weekly Mommy & Me oatmeal breakfast.

(She loooved it, by the way.  She said it was like a blueberry muffin!)

One day I’ll stop being such a baby about the cold but until then…I’ll broil bananas and call it brûlée.  It brightens my day =)



❤ Ellen

Pssst..Shake up your oatmeal!

It’s easy to get in an oatmeal rut.  I, personally, could eat peanut butter and banana oatmeal every single day, but sometimes it’s fun to get a little creative.  Options (outside the typical, though hard to beat, pumpkin, cinnamon apple, blueberry or PBJ route) include:

  • Coconut banana cream pie:

Cook oats as instructed below, substitute coconut milk for some (or all!) of the water, to taste.  Top with toasted coconut flakes

  • Mocha Morning

Cook oats as instructed below, substitute substitute brewed coffee for some of the water, to taste.  (Try it with the cinnamon…I love coffee with cinnamon).  Top with toasted pecans or chocolate covered coffee beans for an extra kick!

  • Chocoholics Anonymous

Cook oats as instructed below, minus the cinnamon.  Stir in 1-2 tablespoons cocoa powder and top with mini chocolate chips.  Stir in a spoonful of peanut butter for a peanut butter cup experience!

  • Raspberry Pistachio

Simple but I love this combination of flavors.  Cook oats as instructed below.  Stir in  a spoonful of raspberry preserved and/or fresh raspberries.  Top with chopped salted pistachios.  Delicious.

  • Chai Tea and Spice

Cook oats as instructed below, substituting brewed Chai tea for the water (or some of the water).  Leave the cinnamon and add nutmeg, cloves to taste.  Add a dash of milk for a creamy Chai tea latte in a bowl.

  • Go savory!  I’m not really into this but add any combination of savory spices and delicious add ins like cheese, bacon, green onions and more!


  • Polenta (most delicious to me with simple cinnamon and honey but this looks amazing, too)
  • Quinoa
  • Barley
  • Bulgar
  • Buckwheat
  • Wheat berries
  • Rice (think rice pudding!)
  • Cream of wheat
  • Etc…this list goes on and on

For my overnight crock pot oats:

1 cups steel cut oats4 cups water2 ripe bananas, chopped (Just so you know…this doesn’t make it taste like banana.  It just makes it sweet..without sugar!)


1/2-1 teaspoon cinnamon1 cup blueberries (I used frozen)

Throw all ingredients except the berries in the pot (oats through cinnamon), cook on low 7-8 hours.  Stir blueberries in when ready to serve

For banana “Brulee”:

Turn the broiler on to preheat.  Spoon cooked oats into a broiler-safe container.  Slice a banana as thin as you can, (no more than 1/4 inch thick but ideally much thinner).  Arrange the banana slices in a single layer on top of the oats.  Sprinkle with a thin layer of either white granulated or turbinado sugar.  Try to get the layer as even as possible so that it browns evenly.  Shake or brush off an excess.  Place the container as close to the broiler as possible.  Watch closely!  The sugar will start to bubble.  Rotate to get the browning as even as possible.  The only way to get perfect browning is with a torch but we’re not going there.  Take it out when it reaches your desired level of browning.



Filed under Breakfast, Slow Cooker, Uncategorized

Honey Sesame Almonds – Three Ways



Delicious and nutritious, yes, but hardly party food…

…until we add a little sparkle =)

(Ew I’m sorry.  I meant sesame seeds.)


No fuss, no nonsense.  Just quick and easy..ready?

Take this sad, lonely little guy..

HSAsingle2 1 1/2 cups of his closest raw-almond friends and spread them out in a single layer on a cookie sheet.


Don’t do anything to them!  They don’t need oil and they don’t need seasoning yet.  10 minutes later you have perfectly roasty toasty almonds that I could eat all day just like that.


It gets better.

Add whatever seasoning you want.  Get creative! Almost any combination works.  Honey is a real sweetie and gets along with most things. 😉

I tried cinnamon


and spice

(garlic, chile powder, cayenne and salt)


and coated both in honey/brown sugar delight.


I also left one batch unseasoned…just honey and sesame.  They are absolutely every bit as good as the spiced versions.

You can spend as little or as much time on this as you have/can/want. It’s all about that sesame seed coat.


You COULD just throw the sesame seeds on top, give it a stir and be done.  They’ll be unevenly coated, slightly sticky and absolutely delicious.


OR you could take your sweet time.


Tossed in small batches they get perfectly even sesame seed coats, they aren’t sticky at all and they’re absolutely delicious.


It works either way, pick your poison.

Spread them out and let them dry a bit.  It really only takes a minute.


That’s all!  In 15 minutes you can make a fun little treat to share.  Make them as a last minute appetizer.  Make them to munch on tonight to keep that champagne under control.  Make them because they’re tasty and crunchy and satisfying which is as good a reason as any.


Then, accidentally eat them all because they’re perfectly sweet and salty and you can’t stop.

It’s ok, tomorrow is a new year. =)

Here’s to you.


❤ Ellen

Honey Sesame Almonds

1 1/2 cup raw almonds1/2 cup honey2 tablespoons brown sugar1/4 teaspoon saltenough toasted sesame seeds to coat…it depends on your method and your preference 1/2 cup – 1 cup roughly

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Spread almonds in a single layer on a cookie sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes or until the almonds smell/taste toasty and have very slightly darkened in color.  Be careful!  They burn quickly.
  3. While the almonds toast,  put the honey, sugar and salt in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat and stir until the salt and sugar dissolve completely and the mixture is a little runnier than just plain honey
  4. ((If you’re adding spices…toss toasted, cooled almonds in spices before coating in honey.  See spice combos below.))  Spoon honey mixture over toasted almonds in a medium bowl and stir until evenly coated.  Add one spoonful at a time until the almonds have a thin coat of honey. If you just dump all the honey on top you might find yourself in a sticky situation…ha!
  5. Either shake some sesame seeds over the honey-coated almonds and stir (for a quick, uneven coat) or transfer just a few almonds at a time to a bowl of sesame seeds, toss to coat and transfer to a piece of parchment paper or wax paper to dry.

Cinnamon Honey Sesame Almonds

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon (for 1 1/2 cups almonds)

  1. Toss the toasted almonds in 1 tablespoon cinnamon (for 1 1/2 cups almonds) before coating with honey.  Make sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl to evenly distribute the cinnamon with the honey.  You could also stir the cinnamon into the honey before coating to ensure even coverage.  (I didn’t do that because I was making a couple of different batches with my honey)
  2. Complete the process as described above

Savory Honey Sesame Almonds

1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder1 tablespoon chile powder1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  1. Whisk all spices together until well combined
  2. Toss the toasted almonds in the spice mixture before coating with honey.  Make sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl to evenly distribute the spices with the honey.  You could also stir the spices into the honey before coating to ensure even coverage.  (I didn’t do that because I was making a couple of difference batches with my honey)
  3. Complete the process as described above


Filed under Appetizer, Snacks, Uncategorized

Ginger Pumpkin Puddin’ Bread and Happy Mistakes

Whew.  How are you?  Still standing?  Me too…kinda.


I’m pretty sure I’m not supposed to post pumpkin recipes in almost-January.  It’s some kind of unwritten blog law.  This is more like gingerbread made with pumpkin, anyway, which is totally allowed…right?   Whatever.  I have a craving for ginger and spice.  Maybe I’ve actually reached chocolate overload.

Does that happen?


This baking adventure happened the day after Christmas.  Because I’m insane.  Let me explain…

((Run on sentence and…go.))

I did nothing but bake bake bake for two weeks straight but the holidays stressed me out to the max and my reaction to all things is to bake and then I got this Joy the Baker cookbook from that man of mine and I couldn’t wait to try it but I was fresh out of butter because I had dumped my entire kitchen into holiday baking but it’s like she was speaking directly to me because this bread is



Oops.  The ‘V’ word.  Generally associated with dry, unappealing baked goods.  Oh, but this is not that.  This is far from that.


A series of mishaps related to an understocked kitchen and my post-Christmas brain led to some very fortunate mistakes.

Like, oh, say…..double the pumpkin.


Oops…  but oops so good.

I was sure it was ruined and would never bake through but…it was ok! It was just…insanely moist.  Thus: puddin’ bread.  (Still sturdy, easily sliced, holds its shape just….insanely moist.)

Then I realized that don’t have maple syrup. I do have molasses (how the heck did that happen?).


I’m ok with it because now we’re making gingerbready pumpkin bread.

Get into it.

Then, I basically doubled all the spices called for (on purpose this time..swear).


I added no nuts, no chocolate, no cranberries…nothing.


I went pure and simple. This is NOT a cookie and NOT loaded with all kinds of chocolate chips double fudge amazing but exhausting nonsense.


It’s warm winter spicy.  It’s perfect with a cup of tea.


You don’t even have to put anything on top.  It’s delicious on it’s own.

I know…I tried.


This will be nice to have around for the first groggy day of the new year.  It still feels holiday special but it’ll ease the transition to inevitable January health food.  You can even make it a day or two ahead and just not worry about breakfast that morning.

That said…if you wanted to slice it nice and thick and make ginger pumpkin bread french toast for New Year’s Day brunch well…


I certainly wouldn’t stop you.

May all your mistakes be happy.


❤ Ellen

Ginger Pumpkin Puddin’ Bread

Recipe based on Joy’s vegan pumpkin bread recipe from her awesome cookbook…which you need

1 3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 HEAPING teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree (or homemade)
1/2 cup canola oil (I actually went a little light on the oil…just under 1/2 cup)
2 1/2 tablespoons molasses
2 1/2 tablespoons water
Optional: 1 cup any sort of add it (pecans, chocolate chips, cranberries, etc)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, grease and flour your loaf pan, set aside
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices ((adjust those spices to taste!)) until well combined
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the pumpkin, oil, molasses and water until well combined
  4. Add the wet ingredients all at once to the dry ingredients. Use a spatula to fold them together until just barely combined
  5. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean
  6. Let rest in pan for 20 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack until completely cooled.  Loaf will last on the counter for about 5 days.  They freeze well too!  Recipe easily doubled so you can freeze the spare =)


Filed under Breakfast, Dessert, Uncategorized