I’ve gotta be honest: I struggle to make recipes that aren’t breakfast. We’ve talked about breakfast before. I love breakfast; I LIVE for breakfast; anything that isn’t breakfast is just a stepping stone on the way to my next breakfast. I’ve never understood people who go without eating breakfast. I’m like… aren’t you hungry and sad, though? Don’t you know what you’re missing?
Granola and I go way back. Our love affair began around 2014, when I was introduced to the concept of the granola bar. I’d chuck Nature Valley Fruit & Nut bars into every bag I owned, making sure I constantly had one on hand as a “just-in-case” snack. I probably ate one a day. Sometimes even two. What I didn’t realize at the time was that these bars were really just a whole lot of sugar poured over oats and more sugar.
I have a love/hate relationship with scones. On one hand, they’re great with coffee, tea, or even a glass of wine if you’ve got a late-night sweet tooth. On the other hand, they’re super dry and make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth in far too many cases. But when you’ve got a good scone—one that isn’t cloying and desert-level dry—you’ve got a damn good scone.
I am all about breakfast. I’m sure you’ve noticed. If I could make this a breakfast-only blog, I’d probably do that. Unfortunately, I think that might be too narrow a niche, so I’ll just have to limit myself to, like, 60% breakfast food, 40% everything else. I’m usually not big on indulgent breakfasts; platefuls of sugar and thick, creamy sausage gravy are fine on very rare occasions. Typically, I love a well-spiced, easy-to-make, savory breakfast that’s chock-full of plant protein. This Southwest Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash is one such breakfast.
If you were to ask me about my favorite breakfast foods on any given day, I would almost always skew savory over sweet. For someone who bakes at least once a week, I have almost no sweet tooth—when I bake, I usually eat one of whatever I make and give the rest away to friends and family. So when it comes to breakfast, I’d pick a frittata, a slice of quiche, or a good ol’ fashioned plate of (turkey) bacon and eggs over pancakes, waffles, or French toast. But sometimes… Sometimes I get an insatiable craving for those sweet breakfast standbys, and nothing else will do. Enter this Bananas Foster French Toast.
I want to talk about fall today. I don’t care if I’m branded as basic for saying this: I LOVE FALL. I love EVERY PART OF IT. I love brisk, crisp days made cozy by thick sweaters and warm-but-still-fashionable boots. I love candles with vague names like “Autumn” and “Leaves” and “Hayride.” I love going for walks and stepping on crunchy leaves. I love cider mill donuts and whiskey ciders sipped by crackling campfires. And I also love pumpkin. Unabashedly. Wholeheartedly. Truly, madly, deeply, all of that. I love it.
Oh, where to begin? I said I was taking a couple weeks off, and it ended up being more like a couple months. And those couple months have been quite the whirlwind, to say the least. I won’t take all day to belabor every detail here, but here’s the abbreviated version: Life got in the way.
This week, after two and a half years of eating mindfully, I finally reached my goal weight. That means that I’m 22 pounds down from where I was at my heaviest in 2014. Exciting, right? I felt like I should have been excited when I stepped on the scale, but then I came to the staggering realization that, even though I focused on getting there for so long, I just didn’t care about that number anymore. Why?
Being able to bake from scratch without a recipe is a beautiful, beautiful skill to have, and it’s one that I’m still honing. Cooking is an incredible art, but there’s something about baking that just feels like the ultimate form of creation. I’ve always had a deep appreciation for the beauty of baking. You take all these humble, seemingly unworkable ingredients, and with a little time, precision, and heat, you can create something that’s so much more than the sum of its parts.
You know those moments when you just have to take a step back and breathe so you don’t absolutely lose your MARBLES because you have so many things to worry about? That’s where I’m at right now. Growing up, I was always the type of person who thrived in chaos. My senior year of high school, I was taking 3 AP courses along with 2 other difficult courses (my only “blow-off” was choir—but I didn’t even treat that like a blow-off), playing two lead roles in musicals an hour away from each other, getting ready for college, and totally, 100% killin’ it.