Vanilla-Scented Oatmeal with Chia and Coconut

I know, it was the stuff of nightmares for some of us as children, but as adults, we can hardly overlook the benefits of a bowl of oatmeal.  Aside from being warm and comforting on a cold winters morn, it is also low calorie, and an excellent way to help keep our cholesterol in check.

If we can dress it up a bit, so much the better.

Vanilla-Scented Oatmeal with Chia and Coconut

-Serves 2-

1 cup old fashioned rolled oats

1 1/2 cups water

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 Tablespoon brown sugar

pinch of freshly grated nutmeg (optional)

4 teaspoons chia

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup flaked coconut

milk or coconut milk and extra brown sugar for serving.

Combine rolled oats, water, salt, cinnamon, brown sugar and nutmeg in pot.  Stir to combine and bring to boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to medium low and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat, cover and let stand 5 minutes.

Stir in chia seeds and vanilla.  Spoon into serving bowls and top with flaked coconut.  Serve with milk and additional brown sugar.




Oatmeal Breakfast Bowl

Oh, yes, this is a thing in our house.  We eat it a lot really, especially on days we know we are going to be busy, because it is a hearty meal that keeps us going most of the day.

I first discovered this way back when grain bowls began to be the next big thing.   But, it sounded so outlandish that I left on the shelf.   However, the concept kept nagging at me, and finally, I had to try it.

IMG_1644 2

Ever the supportive spouse, my better half looked skeptical but said nothing when I presented him with a lovely bowl of plain oatmeal topped with a perfectly fried egg.

After a few deep breaths, he finally managed a taste and  actually, quite liked it!  We both did.  And we still do.


Oatmeal Breakfast Bowl

serves 2

2 cups water

1 cup old fashioned rolled oats, uncooked

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon butter

1 teaspoon oil

2 eggs

freshly ground pepper

Sriracha or other hot sauce of your choice

Maggi or Soy Sauce

Add water, oatmeal and salt to medium pot.  Bring to boil over high heat.  Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and cook for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Heat butter and oil in your favourite egg pan add the eggs, pepper and a little salt and  cook the eggs to your liking.

Divide oatmeal between 2 bowls, top each with an egg.  Serve with Maggi and Sriracha.

egg & brown riceCOOKS NOTE:  You can sub the oatmeal for leftover cooked brown rice.  Reheat the rice in the frying pan and cook the egg with the rice as it re-heats.  Add some radishes and a few scallions.   Yeah, it sounds a bit strange, but give it a try before you write it off.


Breakfast · Uncategorized

Tropical Pancakes

Nothing puts me in a pancake frame of mind more than a long weekend.  So, inspired by last nights pineapple chutney, and the fact that we still have a few bananas leftover from our “crop” at Casa Madera, I came up with this for breakfast this morning.   Serves 2 – 4, depending on appetites, and can easily be doubled.



For the Topping

2 cups fresh (or canned) pineapple – If using canned, drain and discard liquid

1/2 cup water

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 Tablespoons Spiced Rum (optional)

1 Tablespoon Butter

1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

Fresh raspberries

Shredded coconut

Finely chopped mint leaves

Combine first 6 ingredients pot over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved.   Bring to boil, and reduce heat to low.  Let simmer 10 minutes, then remove from heat and stir in lime juice.   Set aside while you cook the pancakes.

For Pancakes

1 batch of your favourite pancake mix

1 banana, sliced

1 teaspoon vanilla

Mixed the pancake batter according to package directions for 2 – 4 people.  Gently stir in vanilla and sliced banana, taking care not to over mix your batter.

Cook pancakes as directed, keep finished ones warm.

To serve, stack 2 pancakes per plate & spoon pineapple syrup  over top.  Top each serving with raspberries, coconut , and fresh mint.







Breakfast · Uncategorized

Crazy Wives Breakfast

I grew up in Pigeon Lake, Alberta, where we knew this as the Lazy Wives Breakfast.   My Mom has been making it every Christmas morning since I was about 15,  when it first came into vogue with the local homemakers.

Happily for me, because I LOVE this dish,  my husbands family had the same tradition, with one exception.  His Mother insisted on calling it  The Crazy Wives Breakfast and that name has stuck with me.

Whatever you choose to call it, it really is quite brilliant; assemble the day before, pop it in the oven when you get up and after all the fun of opening the gifts Santa left under the tree, breakfast is ready to be served.


Crazy Wives Breakfast

12 slices white bread (yes, the unhealthy kind.  Some things should not be messed with.)

1/2 pound sliced bacon, cut into 1′ pieces

1 onion, diced

1 stalk celery, thinly sliced

3 cups milk

6 eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon  freshly ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon mustard powder

1 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 cup corn flakes, lightly crushed

1/2 cup butter, melted

Generously butter a 9×13 baking pan.  Lay 6 slices of bread in pan.  Set aside.

In medium saucepan saute bacon, onion and celery until onion is translucent and fat in bacon has started to render.   Spread evenly over bread in baking pan and top with remainig 6 slices of bread.

Whisk eggs, milk, salt, pepper, mustard powder and Worcestershire Sauce together until well blended.  Pour over bread slices.

Cover and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning – top with crumbled corn flakes and drizzle melted butter over all.  Place in cold oven, then set oven temp to 325F.  Bake 1 hour.

Let stand 10 minutes before serving.




Apple Oatmeal


In our middle aged quest to become healthier and reverse some of the effects of a misspent youth, we have re-discovered oatmeal.  Not the instant kind, (of which I, personally have always been suspicious), but actual old-fashioned rolled oats, just like Mom used to make, but with a couple of twists.   Filling and healthy, its a win win.


Apple Oatmeal

serves 2

3/4  cup old fashioned rolled oats

1 1/2 cups water

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground ginger

pinch ground allspice

salt to taste

1 apple

3 Tablespoons brown sugar

milk for serving

Combine the oatmeal, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, salt and water in a medium size saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to boil.  Reduce heat to low and allow to bubble away while you cut the apple into 1/2 inch dice.  Add the apple and brown sugar and continue cooking  until apples are slightly tender and oatmeal is fully cooked, about 5 minutes more.

Scoop into 2 bowls, sprinkle with additional cinnamon and sugar if you like and (what can I say some mornings extra sugar is needed to get me moving!).  Serve with milk.


Rosemary Grapefruit

Grapefruit for breakfast is certainly nothing new.   But add a pinch of rosemary and some hot pepper flakes and you have a whole new taste!

When I first saw this in the January 2014 edition of Bon Appetite magazine, I thought it was just plain weird.  So, naturally, I had to try it.

One bite, and I was hooked.  Kevin was skeptical, but after revealing my source, and showing him the article, (and a lot of cajoling), he did finally agree to try it.  Now, he is hooked too.    The recipe below serves 2, in our house.   Therefore,  smaller portions would, logically, serve 4.

So, before the autumn frost takes that beautiful rosemary plant you lovingly nurtured all summer long, buy a grapefruit  or 2 and give this a try.   I think you will be glad you did.


Rosemary Grapefruit


2 Red grapefruit

1 Tablespoon brown sugar

1/2 tsp minced fresh rosemary

pinch hot pepper flakes


Cut the peel from grapefruit.   Cut the grapefruit into quarters, removing the tough centre stem and any seeds.  Cut the quarters into cubes and place in medium bowl.


Toss with brown sugar, rosemary and red pepper flakes.

Divide into bowls and serve.

Cooks notes:  The original recipe calls for the  grapefruit to be halved and sectioned in the usual manner.   I prefer to remove the peel entirely.  Much less fussy to eat while sitting at my desk.