So I’m back, hopefully for good this time. In my defense, I have been kind of busy lately. But I feel it’s time for me to turn my attention back to food, at least the food I like, I cook, I eat, rather than the (albeit delicious) stuff we serve to people every day. The restaurant is more than I expected in every single way, but as any small business owner will tell you, it does tend to completely consume all aspects of your existence. I breathe, eat, drink, live that place. As it stands I usually have one day a week that I get to slow down and cook dinner, or go out and taste other people’s food, and I’d like to concentrate on that in my spare time rather than go over and over and over in my head with accounts and MYOB and payroll and dish ideas and staff and plates and all the other maddeningly neverending aspects of restaurant management. Not a day goes by that I don’t lament the lack of real, actual cooking in my life. You know, standing at the stove for hours, slowly stirring, and tasting, and smelling and generally just being totally absorbed in the creation of something delicious. I need that. I crave that. So to try to extend that feeling, it’s back on the internets to spread the love.
So of the many, many dishes that I’ve cooked in the last year I thought I’d start with something simple. To be honest most weeks find me cooking a simple piece of crispy skin fish with as many different vegetable dishes as I can for dinner. Boring recipes, but good for the yums. But in the spirit of beginnings, I’m going to start with how I begin my days. I got so excited the other night because I finally had the time and energy to prepare my breakfast for the next day. I love breakfast, I value breakfast, I really, really need breakfast every day or I get, in manfriend’s words, “punchy”. Yeah, when my blood sugar gets low I am not a pleasant person to be around. So breakfast is in my and everyone around me’s best interest.
I’ve always loved all breakfast foods (just wait until I get to talk about the eggs that are currently sitting in a jar with a sexy, sexy Tasmanian black truffle) but for everyday, I need something healthy, something light and something that is going to keep me in that all-important non-punchy frame of mind.
My Toasted Muesli
No set amounts for this one – it all depends on what you like. This isn’t so much a recipe, but a rough guide. I’ve seen recipes for toasted muesli that use oils and sugars etc but I try to limit my intake of ‘unhealthy’ foods to post-midday, when it’s a hedonistic free-for-all. I usually pair this with some chia porridge (crazy hippy food my mum has put me onto), fresh or poached seasonal fruit (at the moment rhubarb poached with orange zest and coconut sugar), good organic yoghurt and milk. For something so ostensibly healthy, I find this terribly addictive. Even manfriend who is breakfast adverse, has found himself munching on a handful fresh out of the oven, it’s that good. It’s the cinnamon and honey I tells you.
Orange zest, optional
Dried organic apricots
Organic pepitas (they’re way tastier, trust me)
Combine the oats, cinnamon, shredded coconut and zest in a bowl.
Heat equal parts honey and water in a small saucepan until warmed through, combined and thinned, then pour over oats and mix to combine – I use about ¼ cup total for about 3 cups of oats, just enough to coat the oats lightly. The honey will caramelise to a glorious golden brown in the oven, and the water is just there to thin it down enough to stir through the oats; it will evaporate.
Bake in a slow to moderate oven for about 20 minutes or until the mixture is golden. Once cooled, stir through the dried fruit, nuts, seeds and puffed rice.