Late Summer Breakfast Crumble

late summer crumble
I like to think that at the end of every season, there comes one day where you feel a definite change in the air.
Wether it be the subtle blossom aroma in the arrival of spring or the slight chill in the breeze as autumn makes its presence known amongst the late summer merriment.

I for one definitely caught up in the action of the hot season, cooking… eating… aka working… on repeat. I ain’t complaining. And all of a sudden, Autumn has crept up…  a leaf fell right in front of me the other day, and a bit of me got very excited over all the impending pumpkin i’m going to eat.

With book work is wrapping up, and only a couple of months to go here in London, I’m beginning to mentally prepare myself for going back home, and right in time for Summer in Melbourne! Dare I say ‘where has the year gone?!’. For reals, I feel like I blinked in May and transported myself September.

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So amongst a day off spent freely lounging on my bed with the windows blowing in the warm and gentle wind, my mind said ‘fruity crumble’. So I did.
Making the most of the fruit that’s in season, I thought i’d keep it simple and celebrate their beautiful sweet and tart flavours… and then make it in breakfast form so i can eat it first thing in the morning… genius.
I served the crumble with greek yoghurt to echo that breakfast vibe, but of course ice-cream is 100% acceptable. Always.
Adapt the recipes to fruits in season so you can eat crumble all year round! (I can just hear the apples calling my from Autumn – I’m coming!)

Make the crumble in the morning after you stumble out of bed, and let the buttery sweet aroma fill your house and gently wake you up. Best served with a coffee and a good book.

Also: here’s also some behind the scene shots from the book shoot! woooo x 10000

(recipe for the crumble after the photos)

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LATE SUMMER BREAKFAST CRUMBLE
serves 4

Ingredients
3 nectarines, sliced into wedges
150g blackberries
150g raspberries
150g blueberries
2 tbsp corn flour
2 tbsp lemon juice
60g coconut sugar

Crumble:
4 heaped tbsp plain flour
100g oats
1 tsp cinnamon
60g brown sugar
120g butter, chilled, cut into cubes
30g pumpkin seeds
20g coconut chips
60g almonds, roughly chopped

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 200C. In a large baking dish gently stir together the the nectarines, berries, corn flour, lemon juice and sugar (adding more if the nectarines aren’t quite ripe yet).
2. To make the crumble, in a bowl mix together the flour, oats, cinnamon, and sugar. Add the butter, and rub into the mixture until it becomes crumbly and the butter is all distributed. Stir in the pumpkin seeds, coconut and almonds.
3. Sprinkle the crumble over the fruit, and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
4. To make a breakfast meal, serve with greek yoghurt and enjoy!

Summer Berry & Thyme Jam ~ Gifts from Afar

summer berry and thyme jam
Let’s all be honest.. one of the best things about birthdays and Christmas is the gifts
I know we all wish we were better people (well I do) that say we wake up on the mornings of these occasions and think of anything BUT gifts… but then I’d be lying…

BUT don’t worry! It ain’t all gifts for me… but also the fun and joy of giving gifts to others.
And oh the absolute satisfaction and excitement you get when you pick out the perfect present for someone that you just can’t wait to give. THAT’S the good gift feeling.
(and crossing every finger that they won’t have to put their actor hat on and pretend to love it when we all know, they’re just hoping the gift receipt is somewhere tucked in there so you can return it… oh the honesty hurts)

As a lover of gift giving (and gift receiving.. cause… duh.. i’m not a robot) I always try to make sure I add a personal touch to make sure the receiver really knows how much a value them. (man I could go all levels of deep here).
I love the large tangible sort of gifts, that aren’t necessarily too expensive, but speak a volume of words of memories and understanding of what the other likes.

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So you can understand my enthusiasm when a family members birthday pops up on the calendar! Ooo boy it’s time to impress.
This time, it was Dad’s birthday. An absolute crack-up and a foodie fiend with a sweet tooth just like me. (thanks for that dad by the way.) So when it came time to get a present, there’s nothing that seemed more obvious and special…

To back track a little, if I mayyyyy;
Ever since we were little tackers, eating croissants for lunch was a sunday tradition. ALWAYS accompanied with jam. Without a doubt. I mean the thought of a plain croissant was simply ludicrous! And as always, Dad (like myself) believed in the firm philosophy of having croissants WITH our jam. (just like he has his vegemite on toast… but that’s another story…).
About a year ago, I made a huge batch of jam (I’m talking a good gang of jars) which dad single handedly finished polished off himself. Not even breaking a sweat. Please, give the man a challenge.

So coming up to his birthday I thought, let’s replenish the jam supply and give him something he loves, and a little flashback to me cooking right beside him while we’re on opposite sides of the earth.
Something we both enjoy the simple pleasures of.

You guessed it…. JAM!
Jam for the man!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!

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Also, man, I love getting gifts in the post. The whole anticipation of receiving a parcel is also half the fun of the surprise! Oh the joy when I see something waiting at the door! It’s like unwrapping a present times 2! Gotta love a little mystery.

So, this was just like the joy I had when Kylee Newton’s book ‘The Modern Preserver’ arrived in the mail!
And how much more serendipitous does it get when I use one of her jam recipes as a gift to send back in the post!
Coincidence? I think not.

If you haven’t picked up a copy of Kylee’s beautiful cookbook then this is the perfect time! (after all it tis the gift giving season).  And nothing says homemade with love more than a lovingly made preserve wonderfully based around seasonal produce and the waste-not want-not mantra. With beautiful pictures and recipes for any level of preserver this is a little gift guide gold mine. Get round it yo. Kylee you’re a legend!

There’s nothing quite like homemade jam. And once you make it from scratch… I warn you, you’ll never stop. (But don’t worry, your neighbours and gift receivers will love you for it).

SUMMER BERRY & THYME JAM
recipe by Kylee Newton ‘The Modern Preserver’

Ingredients
1.5kg mixed berries (strawberries – halved , blackberries, raspberries)
20ml water
70ml lemon juice (around 1 large lemon)
900g jam/caster sugar
2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves (or the recipe calls for lemon thyme although this wasn’t available at the time)

You will need:
Plates in the freezer for wrinkle test
Sterilised jam jars

Method
1. Put the berries in a large pan with the water and soften for 10 minutes on a moderate heat.
2. Add the lemon juice and sugar, stirring to dissolve the sugar then bring it to the boil at around 104C, stirring intermittently, for a further 20 minutes. Use the wrinkle test*, as needed, to check when it has reached a soft setting point.
3. When it is ready, take off the heat, skim off any scum from the surface and stir through the thyme leaves.
4. Leave to sit for 5 minutes then ladle into warm, dry sterilised jars and seal.

Keep unopened for up to 6 months. Once opened, refrigerate and eat within 4-6 weeks.

*To do the wrinkle test, place a small plate in the freezer at the beginning of making the jam, then when ready to test, take the jam off the heat and place a small teaspoon of jam on the plate, leave to stand for a minute or so. Then push the blob of jam with your finger, and if it wrinkles the jam is done, if not leave on the heat for another 3-5 minutes until the jam wrinkles.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Breakfast Banana Loaf

Breakfast banana loaf
Not gonna lie to you… laziness is sorta a trait I aspire to perfect…
To hit the big time in achieving so much whilst doing the absolute bare minimum… yah, Laziness is Lifestyle.

I mean, I’m not a complete rookie in the game, you wouldn’t believe it, but I’ve actually been in training for quite sometime.
Note:
– the 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner in the shower, cause who seriously has the time, (and not to mention arm strength) to lather twice the hair product through my hair…. not this kid!
– the large water jug I have sitting next to me by the tv or at my desk, cause who can be bothered getting up for a refill when it’s in the jug right next to me!
– the pure act of sitting down in the most random places to brush my teeth… cause… well…. why bother standing up to do such a basic act of cleaning…. it just makes sense…

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And speaking of pure laziness, there is no better time then to optimise your well honed skills then in the morning, when you’re fresh out of bed and the last thing you want to do is be all ‘on the ball’… cause who has time for that? (certainly not this chronically late kid!)

So to save all that fiff-faffffffin in the morning going all milk then cereal in bowl or get the fry pan out, whisk eggs, cook eggs blah blah blah, stuff tired me would probably burn my hand doing cause i’m still half dreaming…. I’ve got a ‘one toast breakfast stop!’ (tots had the line buzzing round in my head for ages… sad, I know).
And this isn’t your everyday toasty business, this is a bit more… shall I say… lazy.. yet all in one breaky!
I’ve put in all the morning stuff into one loaf, so all you need to do in bang it in the toaster, lather it in butter, or top with yoghurt and berries and bang out the door or spend those extra few minutes actually waking up!

Think of all the usual breaky subjects and they’re in that loaf… coffee, yoghurt, honey, muesli and even your morning fruit – banana! Win win win win my friends!

I didn’t choose the lazy life, the lazy life chose me…

breakfast banana loaf
So, to back track us a wee little bit right now… the whole idea of all your breakfast needs being in one loaf sorta hit me one afternoon when I was in the deep process of making a coffee walnut cake, and amongst lovin’ those coffee fumes (and left over cake batter) I thought, YAH! There is a way I can have my coffee and have my cake too! (did I get that saying right… or did I just end up sounding like a fool wanting cake for breakfast…)
Put coffee IN breakfast bread and that saves making a coffee in the morning/convinces my brain i’ve had my morning coffee hit.

Plus with the beverages, you could also just replace the coffee with your favourite morning drink if coffee is just not your thang! e.g. hot chocolate, chai concentrate, even mocha!

breakfast banana loaf
P.S. So sorry for the delay in posting! The past week I’ve been sick and flemmmy (yep, you did not need the details) and curled up in a ball in bed sleeping the days away…
I have a real hard time telling myself to STOP and sit still, so this kinda forced me to just chill for a while and now I’m back in the game, and loaded on vitamins to face the Winter ahead! (damn.. I hope didn’t jinx my chances of getting sick again in winter…)

BREAKFAST BANANA LOAF

Ingredients
120g butter, room temperature
60g brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 eggs, room temperature
250g ripe bananas, mashed (approx 3 small bananas or 2 large bananas)
60g greek yoghurt
50g honey
3 tbsp instant coffee powder (good quality) combined with 3 tbsp boiling water
200g plain flour
1 tsp bi-carb soda

Topping:
3 tbsp brown sugar
1/3 cup muesli
1/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

Yoghurt, berries and honey to serve

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 170C and line a regular size loaf (900g capacity).
2. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the vanilla and the eggs one at a time, adding the next one when the mixture is well combined.
3. Add the banana, greek yoghurt, honey and coffee and beat until combined. Then fold through flour, soda and cinnamon until just combined (over stirring will make the cake tougher) and pour into the prepared loaf tin.
4. Top with the sugar, muesli and walnuts, and bake for 1 hr – 1 hr and 15 mins or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Serve with yoghurt, berries and honey and enjoy!

** can be made the day before and refrigerated overnight – toasting it in the morning with a slab of butter is another great way to enjoy this breaky loaf!

Thanks for stopping by!

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