Banana Chocolate Oatmeal Muffins

If I ever run out of stuff to put in muffins, or combinations of stuff to put in muffins, I will be very sad.

It’s officially “the holidays” now. We’re busy party-planning, present shopping and getting ready for travel. Basically it’s an entire month packed with my favorite things. And this year it will include our first trip to Dave’s parents’ new place in Florida, which will be mighty nice in the middle of winter. I’m also excited to go home to Kansas and watch my “little” brother graduate with his Masters degree.

It’s crazy to think that 2015 is so close. It’s going to be a really busy year – lots of family weddings, new babies and fun travel lie ahead – a big contrast to this year, where we didn’t do a lot of personal travel, but did a lot for work.

Banana Oat Chocolate Chip Muffins | PDXfoodlove

Even in the busiest, craziest of weeks, Dave and I always take a little time for ourselves over breakfast. On the weekdays, that means waking up early enough to enjoy a pot of French press, toast and listening to Marketplace. It’s so nice to have few quiet moments together before we rush off to work.

Banana Oat Chocolate Chip Muffins | PDXfoodlove

On the weekends, breakfast usually means muffins (or another form of baked good). Muffins are my zen place. I hope that never changes!

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Two fun Thanksgiving leftover ideas: Pie Milkshake and Cranberry Granola Breakfast

Happy Sunday, everyone. I don’t know about you but having a few days off has been fun, restful, full of adventure and fun projects. Not to mention spending time with close friends at our annual Friendsgiving.

I actually haven’t done a ton of shopping yet – but don’t worry, I will remedy that soon. Yesterday we went out to Hood River and tasted beer and wine with our friends Bee and Kevin. And the day after Thanksgiving was so gross outside – it poured on and off all day. We stayed in and decorated the house and played video games. I have no regrets.

At the end of the day Thursday, our fridge was full to the brim with leftovers. I made two pies for Thanksgiving, because it seemed like a crime to only have one. We also saved the bones from our two roasted chickens that we had and made them into stock. And of course, we had a few small servings of the chicken, green beans, potatoes and stuffing.

Some things we’ve just been reheating, but I wanted to share a couple of ways we’ve gotten creative. The first – and my favorite – making a pie milkshake!

Pie Milkshakes & Other Fun Ways to Use Thanksgiving Leftovers | PDXfoodlove

We tested this with apple and pumpkin pie, and we both preferred pumpkin, even though the apple was delicious. I think the custard filling blended up a little easier.

Pie Milkshakes & Other Fun Ways to Use Thanksgiving Leftovers | PDXfoodlove

The good news is, we still have half a pumpkin pie, so you had better believe this will be happening again soon. We used about 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup vanilla ice cream and about 1 cup of whole milk for each shake, plus one small slice of pie.

Then, for breakfast this morning, Dave made a batch of his specialty granola, which we paired with yogurt, as usual. But it was another great opportunity to use some leftovers…

Fun Ways to Use Thanksgiving Leftovers | PDXfoodlove

Cranberry sauce is the most versatile of the Thanksgiving leftovers, if you ask me. I love spreading it on top of a (leftover) turkey or chicken salad on a sandwich.

Fun Ways to Use Thanksgiving Leftovers | PDXfoodlove

But it also played really nicely with the yogurt and granola. It was nice to have a light breakfast after a weekend of decadence.

Cinnamon Pumpkin Muffins

So, forgive me, but I am one of the pumpkin people. I love pumpkin pie. I love pumpkin cookies. I love everything pumpkin. I even like the latte everybody loves to hate, though they are so sweet that I usually only get one per year. I could eat pumpkin every day in various forms.

Cinnamon Pumpkin Muffins | PDXfoodlove

It’s people like me that are probably the reason there are pumpkin Oreos, or whatever the newest abomination is. Sorry. Kind of. But I’ve been that way since I was a kid. Just ask my mama!

I don’t actually eat pumpkin every day, though. Even when awesome fall sales bring the cost down to $1.50 a can, I try to save it for every once in a while. This weekend, it was time.

Cinnamon Pumpkin Muffins | PDXfoodlove

The brilliant thing about these muffins is that they are very pumpkin-y, but they aren’t that sweet. I’m sure they could satisfy a craving for the sweet.

Cinnamon Pumpkin Muffins | PDXfoodlove
But I love slathering them with butter and sprinkling coarse salt on top. I am literally salivating as I type this – they’re so good! We might need to make another batch of these very soon. And maybe I’ll have another tonight for a savory “dessert.”

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Pink Apple Galette

I wrote this morning’s blog post from my hotel room in Los Angeles. Annnd just a few hours later, I’m back in Portland and ready to eat this delicious apple tart.

Pink Apple Galette | PDXfoodlove

It’s the last of the produce we have from the Montavilla Farmers Market, which I volunteer on the board for. It makes me sad to that the regular market season is over, but I’m really treasuring this tart. Of all of the things I made with things from the market this year, it’s one of my favorites.

Pink Apple Galette | PDXfoodlove

I wish I could eat it but not have it be gone. Hm, isn’t there some kind of a phrase about that? :)

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Cranberry Orange Muffins

What a restorative weekend it has been. Dave and I worked hard on a photoshoot for a client, but after we did our work (which turned out to be amazing!!) we unwound with a Mediterranean feast with our friends, a few beers and a day at home, cooking some of our favorite seasonal treats.

Cranberry Orange Muffins | PDXfoodlove

Starting with fresh cranberries.

Cranberry Orange Muffins | PDXfoodlove

Fall is really here for real – something I was fighting for a long time but now I’m fully on board. Bring on the boots, scarves and sweaters. And bring on the apples, pears, pumpkins and other seasonal produce. I mean, look at these beautiful berries. They’re grown in Oregon, you know. Just another reason it’s fun to use the fresh ones as often as possible.

Cranberry Orange Muffins | PDXfoodlove

In these muffins, the orange flavor is light and in the background, and the sweet batter is a great contrast to the tart pop of the berries, which is mellowed a little with the heat from the oven. They’re the perfect combination. I had them for breakfast this morning, and I’m excited to have them again tomorrow! That’s how you know they’re good.

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Whole Wheat Cinnamon Chocolate Chunk Scones

Hooray for the weekend. Everything feels so much less crazy than it did even a couple of days ago.

Dave and I worked cooking, styling and photographing on a shoot for a client this weekend, but we also saw Gone Girl (it’s an excellent adaptation of the book, but be forewarned that all of the characters are terrible people.) We met friends to watch the world series (go Royals!!) and we ran errands. I harvested several pounds of tomatoes from the garden, even though it’s almost November.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chunk & Cinnamon Scones | PDXfoodlove

And, of course, we cooked for ourselves a little, too.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chunk Scones | PDXfoodlove

You can make these cinnamon-y scones with chocolate chips, but now that I know you can get bulk hunks of dark chocolate at Winco for WAY cheap, I tend to use that instead!
Whole Wheat Chocolate Chunk & Cinnamon Scones | PDXfoodlove

It’s way more fun to have big old chocolate chunks in your pastries, don’t you think?

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Apple Coffee Cake

There is absolutely nothing better than lingering over breakfast.

Today (yesterday to you probably by know) was the last day Dave’s parents were with us in town. They have a very early flight back to Florida. After spending a very busy weekend having fun in Seattle and at Mount St. Helens, we needed a little time to relax.

We slept so well, then Dave and I were up early and decided to get started on breakfast. I made a full Chemex of Coava coffee and Dave and I made this cake.

Apple Coffee Cake | PDXfoodlove

His parents had taken a day trip to Hood River while staying with us, so we have all kinds of apples. What better way to kick off a fall late breakfast?

Apple Coffee Cake | PDXfoodlove
Later, when his parents were up, we shared a meandering (and delicious) meal. It was so nice to take it slow. We didn’t have a lot of plans for the day and it did not matter that we hadn’t showered yet. I know we’ll see them again in just a few short weeks for the holidays, but it still feels good to take some time and not be on our way anywhere for some very sweet hours-that-feel-like-minutes.

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Apple Cider Donuts

Cooked up on October 9, 2014 Filed under: baking, bread, breakfast, brunch, dessert, fall, oregon
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There was a time when I totally pooh-poohed non-booze apple cider.

“It’s just fresh apple juice, right?” AKA the least interesting choice of juices among what’s usually available at the store. Why would that be exciting?

Apple Cider Donuts | PDXfoodlove

Well, it turns out that the “apple juice” that is commercially produced bears little resemblance to the cider anymore. It’s been filtered until the flavor and nuance are gone – not to mention the freshness. The tiny particles of apple that make apple cider cloudy or even opaque bring you a bright, less sweet and fresh-out-of-the-orchard flavor. But that fresh-from-the-orchard flavor doesn’t last long, so now is the time to get it.

Apple Cider Donuts | PDXfoodlove

We used apple cider and applesauce that we made to create these donuts:

Apple Cider Donuts | PDXfoodlove

Of course, we were also sipping big cups of cold cider the entire time :)

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Homemade Fall Spice Granola

Well, it’s been a busy one! I’m just getting back from two days in Seattle. I love traveling for work, but this one was pretty busy! I literally sprinted through the streets of downtown Seattle until I found a cab that could take me to the train station. I made it with about five minutes to spare.

Fall Spice Granola | PDXfoodlove

I’m excited to get back home. It’s thisclose to the weekend and I’m looking forward to enjoying some of our homemade granola with Greek yogurt. Dave likes his with milk; I love the tang from the yogurt. And we both love homemade granola so much.

I tried to “fall spice” this one up a little bit. Granola is so good on its own, but this week we had our first real fall weather, and I think we were both feeling like it was finally time to bust out the non-summer food as well.

This weekend is supposed to be sunny, but I have a feeling full-on fall food is going to be happening soon. Stay tuned.

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Tomato and Goat Cheese Frittata

I love eggs. This will surprise no one who reads this blog with regularity. Is there a number of them per day/week that we aren’t supposed to eat? I’m sure there is a ceiling, but I hope I’m not close to it. Team healthy fat! Team protein!

Tomato and Goat Cheese Frittata | PDXfoodlove

Dave was out of town this past weekend, so I was on my own to make and eat this frittata. But I’ve really enjoyed having the leftovers as a healthy lunch this week.

Tomato and Goat Cheese Frittata | PDXfoodlove

Which has been a good thing, because while I’ve been solo at the house I’ve made a habit of staying up too late watching Star Trek and Sherlock and then not had a ton of time to make lunches. She says as she finishes a post at 12:40 a.m.

Tomato and Goat Cheese Frittata | PDXfoodlove

A couple of things I like about frittatas: 1) they are such an easy way to show off whatever vegetables are in season. and 2) They’re pretty easy to make and the only non-negotiable ingredient is eggs. You could make them anytime.

Especially if you are the type of person who always has eggs handy.

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