Homemade Instant Maple Oatmeal with Chia Seed

Some like it hot, some like it cold, some like it in the pot, nine days old. And so goes the ditty about porridge.

Our family happens to like our oatmeal hot, especially when we’ve just crawled out of a tent in the middle of the forest. Sometimes I like to go all out with my campfire breakfast, but most days we’re looking for something quick and comforting.

Instant maple oatmeal is a simple breakfast my children beg for both at home and at the campsite – and I’m not talking about the packaged variety. This homemade version of a grocery staple is a recipe to keep in your back pocket year round. It yields a tasty breakfast that is easy to prepare and replaces a popular supermarket item with something much more nourishing.

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How to Cook Apple Pie Steel-Cut Oats in a Slow-Cooker

This week I wholeheartedly embraced the slow-cooker challenge along with dozens of other bloggers. I stewed beans all day, simmered a vegetable stock, and combined ginger, coconut and chicken into a fragrant dinner.

I even used my slow-cooker for breakfast, something I’m going to be doing a whole lot more of, thanks to an ingenious technique discovered via Food 52 for overnight steel-cut oats.

As you’ve read, oatmeal in all its forms is one of my pantry essentials. We use rolled oats in our Overnight Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal, stir steel-cut oats for Brown Butter-Toasted Oatmeal with Roasted Pears, and often cook a pot of quick oats on those hurried Monday mornings.

Of all the varieties of oatmeal, my affections lie with steel-cut oats. However, I am less fond of the 30 or so minutes of cooking time that they require in the morning to reach the perfect creamy, yet toothsome texture. I had tried a few overnight versions, but found that, although convenient, they left the oats with a gummy consistency.

Fortunately, I have come across a completely new method that has – yes, I dare to say it – revolutionized our breakfasts. [Read more…]

A Thanksgiving Dessert Twist: Black-Bottom Maple Pumpkin Pie

Written by Shaina of Food for my Family.

Sheets covered the couches to protect them from the greasy little hands that would scoot away from the table and be wiping their hands on them faster than you could spread butter on your roll. The kitchen was always bustling, but it was full with only one body, that of my grandmother.

She would hurriedly but with great precision move pots and pans from stove top and oven to serving dishes, all lined up with serving utensils and ready to be whisked away as if by angels out to the dinner table.

Still, if you stood silently and perhaps offered to take a dish to the table for her, you could observe the magic from the corner of the room. If you happened to do so, you’d notice first that the encore to the meal was nowhere to be found.

A plate with carved turkey, homemade gravy in a decorative boat, the dressing in its bowl, a gelatin mold, cranberry sauce, vegetables and baskets upon baskets of rolls to be slathered in bright yellow butter, but the room was void of any sweet eats.
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Two Simple Salads for Winter

When I was growing up, having a winter salad required a trip out in the snow to fetch the kale. From just looking at the twinkling expanse of our snow-covered garden, with its gentle lumps here and there, no one would ever guess there was life underneath. I would kick away the snow with my boots and dig with my woolen mittens until the bright green stalks came into view. There, hiding under the snow, was our daily salad and much-needed vitamin C boost during the long Yukon winters.

Over the winter months, do you find yourself craving the crunch of a Greek salad, full of cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers? What about the tender leaves of baby spinach or arugula? When we strive to eat seasonally, and thus sustainably, these are but just a few of the vegetables we give up, even though they are readily available in supermarkets.

Fortunately there are other fruits and vegetables to include in our diets to help satisfy the need for fresh produce on a cold January day. Apples, kale, pomegranate, grapefruit, cabbage, celery root, and brussels sprouts are just a few ingredients that lend themselves beautifully to the salad bar.

Here are two recipes I’ve been making forever. When the cucumbers and sweet cherry tomatoes of July are but a memory, they both offer that much-needed crunch. [Read more…]

Variations on Yeast Doughnuts


What would you say if I told you I made doughnuts twice in one week?
Well, I did, and there aren’t any left.

The coffee-glazed were the highlight of a recent Easter brunch, but not super kid-friendly.


These maple-glazed, sprinkles-topped were much more popular with the three-year-old’s at a weekend birthday party.


And perhaps the best of all (Danny’s favorite, anyway) were the very grown-up Bacon-Topped Maple Glazed Yeast Doughnuts.
(I know, right?!)


All doughnuts were variations on a superb basic yeast doughnut recipe from the fabu-tastic Gourmet Today cookbook, a.k.a. my new best friend.

I’ve tried the recipe twice–just to be double sure I can recommend it to my readers, you know. I taste-tested many of the results and well, as promised, here is the recipe.

You must try these doughnuts! Mix up the dough the evening before, let it rise over night in the refrigerator, then roll and fry in the morning. It’s very little work and believe me, your hubby’s going to love you.


Coffee-Glazed Doughnuts

slightly adapted from Gourmet Today which has this to say:

“For these doughnuts, an ethereal yeast dough is fried and then coated with a bracing coffee glaze. The result is a bit like having your morning cup of joe and a pastry in one incredible bite. Let the dough rise overnight in the refrigerator, and you’ll wake up to something truly special.”

Makes about 12 doughnuts


1 (1/4-ounce) package (2-1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
2 tablespoons warm water
3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for sprinkling
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, salted
3 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

About 6 cups vegetable oil for deep-frying

Coffee or Maple glaze (Recipes below)

Special equipment:
Stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment
a 3-inch round cookie cutter
a 1-inch round cookie cutter
a deep-fat thermometer

Stir together yeast and warm water in a small bowl until yeast is dissolved. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes (If yeast doesn’t foam, discard and start over with new yeast.)

Combine flour, milk, butter, yolks, sugar, salt and cinnamon in mixer bowl, add yeast mixture, and mix at low speed until a soft dough forms. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 3 minutes.

Scrape dough from sides of bowl into centre and sprinkle lightly with flour, to keep a crust from forming. Cover bowl with a kitchen towel and let dough rise in a warm draft-free place until doubled in bulk, 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
Alternatively, let dough rise in refrigerator for 8 to 12 hours.


Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 12-inch round. Cut out as many rounds as possible with 3-inch cutter, cut a hole in centre of each round with 1-inch cutter, and transfer doughnuts to a lightly floured large baking sheet (or use a doughnut cutter to shape them, as I did)

Cover doughnuts with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm draft-free place until slightly puffed, about 30 minutes (45 minutes if dough was refrigerated).

Heat 2-1/2 inches oil in a 4-quart deep heavy pot until it registers 350F on thermometer. Fry doughnuts 2 at a time, turning occasionally with a wire skimmer or a slotted spoon, until puffed and golden brown, about 2 minutes per batch. Transfer to paper towels to drain. (Return oil to 350F between batches.)
Allow to cool completely before glazing.

Coffee Glaze:
1/4 cup boiling water
5 teaspoons instant espresso powder, such as Medaglia d’Oro or instant coffee granules
1-1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

Stir together boiling water and espresso powder in a medium bowl until espresso powder is dissolved. Stir in confectioners’ sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, and salt until smooth.
Set a rack on a baking sheet. Dip doughnuts into glaze, turning to coat well, and put on rack.

Maple Glaze:
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 Tablespoons corn syrup
1 Tablespoon water
(optional: few drops maple flavoring)

Whisk everything together in a small bowl until smooth. Set a rack on a baking sheet. Dip doughnuts into glaze, turning to coat well, and put on rack.

I love Gourmet’s suggestions for how the doughnuts are to be enjoyed; basically, consume them as fast as possible.
“The doughnuts are best eaten right after they are fried, but they are still great several hours later and very good for the rest of the day.

I seriously doubt you’ll have any left after brunch.