Strawberry and banana go together like Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake. At one point in everyone’s childhood, this was their favorite combination, but overtime, we have all slowly put it on the back burner and forgot about it while moving on to bigger and better things, such as banana and peanut butter (the Beyonce and Jay Z). But, hold the phone. Let’s rewind and revisit this childhood love affair. Because we all may have moved on and all, but it is still incredibly delicious and worth talking about again. Try this recipe out, sit back, and take a trip back to the 90s while enjoying your breakfast. (And if this is what it takes for Britney and JT to get back together than I will eat this breakfast every god damn day).
When I was growing up my family’s weekends were always jam packed with soccer and lacrosse tournaments. No matter the season, we were packing up Friday morning, jamming in 8 plus games over the span of two days, and returning home late Sunday night only to do it all over again the next weekend. Fortunately for me and my sisters, we had parents who never questioned or complained about this absurdity, but instead got behind the wheel with a smile and a cooler packed with Gatorades and road snacks. Within the blink of an eye my sisters and I would quickly demolish this cooler that probably should have lasted us over 3 days. With full bladders and somehow still hungry stomachs, we would insistently beg our parents to pull over to the nearest rest stop. You’re probably wondering, “why the hell are you telling me about your ever too frequent visits to rest stops?” Because, my friends, no matter how many Nature Valley bars or boxes of Goldfish I had just devoured in our Suburban, as soon as I walked in to any of those rest stops that smell of cinnamon maple glaze hit me like a brick. Immediately, my stomach began growling and I ran as fast as I could to the CinnaBon that was no doubt overpowering all of the nasty scents I would have otherwise smelled. To me, no road trip was complete without CinnaBon. My obsession began at an early age and over time transformed to loving anything cinnamon filled. Now more aware of the ingredients in these things, I’m a bit grossed out by my childhood consumption, but still nonetheless in love. So in an effort to make the meal that a CinnaBon is somehow meant to serve (breakfast) without sending you into a sugar coma, I created these Cinnamon Bun overnight oats. Long story short, enjoy a trip down memory lane.
Hello everyone! A bit of a different post today; mainly in the sense that it does not contain a recipe, but instead a reflection on my first catering experience. This past Saturday was truly one to remember. While I have always enjoyed cooking for others and prepping for large dinner parties (I find any excuse to feed my friends), I had never considered catering an event. About a month ago my mother was telling me about a brunch she was hosting and asked if I had any ideas to give the caterers. My immediate response? “I have a thousand ideas and would love to BE the caterer”. So, yes, my mom was my first client. But you have to start somewhere! After discussing the purpose and structure of the event, I knew this was going to be the perfect introduction to this new venture. The brunch was over Mothers Day weekend for 20 hardworking, loving, and welcoming females in order to bring awareness to a school that is near and dear to my heart: The Orkeeswa School in Tanzania, Africa. After a yoga session led by an incredible local instructor, Lara Heimann, we sat down for brunch filled with good eats and even better company. We had the opportunity to speak with three current Orkeeswa students about their positive experience at this school, the remarkable opportunities it has provided them with, and the struggles some females are currently facing in their home village, which was further exemplified through a short film they wrote, directed, and stared in. This entire experience was humbling in and of itself and to be able to cook for all of these inspiring women was truly the cherry on top. After a successful event, my mom told me she was surprised how “calm” I seemed throughout the process, but, to be honest, I was scared shitless. All I could think about was the thousand things that could possibly go wrong: not enough of one dish, ruining another, not having something done in time, or people just plain old not enjoying what I cooked. After all of the worry, stress, and hard work, what I felt was that rush of excitement and high that cooking provides me and continues to remind me why I love it so much. So while I may not know what this means for Freckled Foodie and potential next steps, I sure as hell know it was fun. Check out the menu and some pics from the brunch below! And if this is event sounds like something you are interested in hosting or planning, please email me. I would love to discuss potential work together.
Avocado toast with red pepper flakes
Toast with cream cheese, lox, and chives
Yogurt parfaits with yogurt (plain or coconut), chia seed jam, berries, and granola
Banana pancake skewers (gluten, grain, and dairy free)
Vegetable frittata two ways: both with spinach, tomato, pepper and one with the addition of sausage. Both were served 1/2 with cheese and 1/2 dairy free
Hummingbird cupcakes – banana bread / carrot cake hybrid – with cream cheese frosting (gluten free)
To me, no meal is cozier than banana pancakes. Growing up, pancakes encompassed all things “weekend”. Family brunch? Pancakes. Slumber party with an insanely large amount of chatty pre-teen girls? Pancakes. Rainy Sunday morning? You better believe that calls for pancakes. Now that I am grown, no longer living with my parents, and responsible for making my own breakfasts (sigh, why can’t we be kids forever), pancakes bring back all of those warm feelings of home. They exemplify one of the reasons I love food so much: one simple meal is able to spark so many memories and emotions and, even if for just one second, transport you back to a happy past time. So excuse me while I take my plate of banana pancakes back up to bed, get under the covers, and devour this stack way you are supposed to.
One of my goals during Whole 30 was to incorporate new dishes into my day instead of continuously rotating through the same ones like I usually do. Being unable to enjoy my usual kefir puddings, overnight oats, and fistfuls of granola (by the bag), breakfast has become seemingly difficult. Then I realized: who said vegetables can’t be the star of your breakfast. So with that mindset, and the success of finally finding Whole 30 compliant bacon, I created this new brunch superstar. Not only is this dish absolutely delicious, but it is aesthetically pleasing and will impress any brunch crowd you have invited to your kitchen. Plus, every once and awhile we all need to cut back on our morning overload of sugars, whether its natural or not, and include some more hearty vegetables.