Chai Oatmeal with Spiced Pears

Chai Oatmeal with Spiced Pears www.thesoutherninstitute.com

There’s not much that I love more than a hot chai tea made with almond milk from our local coffee shop, Sam and Zoe’s. One look at my debit card statement would quickly give me away. I love a good chai, so when I saw a recipe for chai oatmeal made with almond milk I knew I had to give it a try. I found it on a blog called Healthy Aperture and I could not resist, especially when said oatmeal is also gluten free and is topped with warm, spicy, buttered pears. Oh my goodness, is your mouth watering imagining it?

I’m not one to spend a lot of time making breakfast because our mornings are pretty busy trying to get the boys out the door for school in the morning, but since Abby is home schooled, I decided to make this for our breakfast one morning after the boys had left for school. It was a bit time consuming but the end product was so worth it. It is wonderfully spiced, just like my favorite winter drink, and the pears add a sweet (but not too sweet) fruity flavor that completes the dish perfectly. Click over to Healthy Aperture for the recipe and try this one while we still have cold mornings that call for warm comforting breakfasts.

Christmas Cranberry French Toast Casserole

 

Hello everyone! It’s Tiffany from The Nesting Project here today to bring you a breakfast recipe idea for Christmas morning.

The holidays are perfect for make ahead casseroles, especially when you’re talking about Christmas morning. The last thing you want to do is slave away in the kitchen making breakfast while everyone is having fun unwrapping gifts. There are many great French Toast recipes out there but I was really wanting to come up with a festive seasonal dish that I could make the night before and just pop in the oven with maybe a  pan of bacon and in 30 minutes you have a great Christmas breakfast. The best thing about this is that you don’t have to waste any precious memories. You will be there for every smile and laugh.

Cranberries are an untapped resource for breakfast recipes in my opinion so I decided to create a recipe that used homemade cranberry sauce in a French Toast Casserole. The color is festive and the flavors echo the holiday perfectly. Just pour half into a 13×9 glass baking dish and then top with cubed Italian bread and the egg/mixture. Just remember to take the casserole out of the fridge the morning of and let it come to room temperature.

Merry Christmas to everyone and I wish you peace and blessings in the coming New Year.

Cranberry French Toast Casserole

1 12 oz bag of fresh cranberries

1 cup water

1 orange

1 lemon

1 1/2 cups of sugar

1 16 oz loaf Italian bread cubed

5 eggs

2 cups half and half

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine the first 4 ingredients in a saucepan on medium heat. Add the juice and the zest of the orange and lemon. Let it come to a simmer and when the skins of the cranberries split apart lower to a gentle simmer. Stir occasionally for about 20 minutes. When the sauce thickens take it off the heat and let it cool slightly. Butter a 9×13 glass baking dish. Pour half of the cranberry sauce into the bottom.  (reserve the other half to pour  over the top for when you serve the final casserole)

Add the cubed Italian bread on top of the cranberry sauce. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs, half and half, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla until combined. Pour on top of the bread evenly. If you are making this the night before then cover it with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. Make sure you let it come to room temperature the next morning.

Put in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes. You’ll start to see the cranberry sauce bubble and ooze up through the bread. When you cut and serve, invert the slices so the beautiful red cranberry sauce is the first thing your family sees. Enjoy!

 

Mashed Cauliflower and Kale for Thanksgiving.

I’m grateful for delicious local produce.

Hello everyone! It’s Tiffany from The Nesting Project back again to share a delicious side dish for your Thanksgiving table, mashed cauliflower and kale.  A month ago I was excited to write about Oxfam’s GROW method and how eating locally and seasonally can be an amazing adventure. I am privileged to be able to do a Thanksgiving post in honor of the GROW method thanks again to my neighbor’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) box. She has continued to hand off leftover produce from her box and I’ve been busy creating recipes to utilize them.  What better time to put this into practice than this week: one of the biggest eating holidays of the year.

So in this installment we have cauliflower and kale making an appearance for my Thanksgiving table. One of my favorite side dishes is mashed potatoes. It’s comforting and delicious. In the grand scheme of things it doesn’t have ton’s of nutrients though. So why not achieve the same comfort food equivalent with a few new ingredients. Cauliflower is a great substitution to achieve the velvety texture of a mashed potato. It’s also in season. Kale is another great seasonal green that you can add to it and it’s also packed with Vitamin A. It’s a great way to sneak greens into your diet. First you roast everything together with some olive oil and 4-5 cloves of garlic and then you blend them with a little warm milk and Parmesan cheese. I challenge you to tell me this dish isn’t as comforting and it’s straight from my CSA (well my wonderful neighbor’s CSA) box, grown from our local Tant Hill Farm. I hope you enjoy it and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Mashed Cauliflower & Kale

4-5 small heads or 1 large head of Cauliflower

1 large handful of roughly chopped Kale

4-5 cloves of garlic peeled

1/2 cup warm milk

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Olive Oil

Salt & pepper

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Break up Cauliflower (see pic 2)  and add Kale, and garlic cloves to a large bowl. Drizzle olive oil over them until everything is lightly coated. Spread onto sheet pan and lightly season with salt and pepper. Stick into oven for 30 minutes. Take out the sheet pan and put aluminum foil over it for about 10 minutes. Put entire mixture into blender or food processor with warm milk and Parmesan cheese and pulse until smooth. (If you want you can add another 1/4 of milk if you want it more smooth and less thick) Check to see if you need to add a bit more salt or pepper. Serves roughly 2 people as a side dish so make sure to double/triple it if you want to use it for a large crowd!