I’ve never been a breakfast person. Occasionally after a night after one-too-many cocktails, I’ll crave a good and greasy breakfast sandwich…but for the most part, I’ll go for some yogurt and fruit after my morning coffee in my day-to-day routine.

My favorite way to kick it up to the next level, and make it a little more substantial is granola. Sweet, crunchy, nutty granola. Good granola is kind of ridiculously expensive to buy from the store – and I find that it’s usually sub-par to begin with. What can I say? I like a high oat to nut ratio.

Luckily, homemade granola is super easy. And this version highlighting the flavors of almond, vanilla, and honey delivers the sweet crunch that I crave when it comes to granola. I like to use top quality extracts (Rodelle is my favorite go-to brand) for a true natural flavor. Also, I really bump up the nut factor with the addition of whole almonds, sliced almonds, walnuts, and pecans for tons of crunch! And nothing beats local honey, of course. We have an apiary here on Chincoteague now, so delightful to use honey harvested here on my little seaside island!

A brief stint in the oven, and some cooling time – and you have a ton of granola that is good for weeks in the pantry. I love to use it on everything – from crunchy streusel toppings, to yogurt parfaits, to ice cream…

If you’ve not made granola at home yet, definitely give this a try. A great recipe to make with the little ones, too. They’ll love having it for breakfast in the morning throughout the week!

Source: adapted from King Arthur Flour

Roasted Vegetable Quiche

This summer was insanely hectic. I feel like it passed it a blur of beaching, boating, and warm summer nights. I wasn’t in the kitchen making new things to share with you as much as I’d like, but now that the days are becoming cooler – it’s my favorite time of year to be in the kitchen. Not to mention it’s the best time of year to work with the bounty that your garden, or local farmers in your area have produced.

I’ve always been passionate about gardening, and particularly varietal history and seed saving. So when the good folks at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello reached out and asked me to share the details on their 10th Annual Heritage Harvest Festival happening this weekend, I was delighted to do so!

Thomas Jefferson championed vegetable cuisine, plant experimentation, and sustainable agriculture. In today’s modern world,  they are continuing that tradition at Monticello – and have been doing so, for many years. They were kind enough to send me a beautiful box of garden goodness fresh from the fields.

monticello

I mean – what an honor. Talk about tasting history! Eggplants (Listadia di Gandia and Black Beauty), Peppers (Marconi and Fish Hots – a variety that was used in seafood houses in my region for hundreds of years), a Green Nutmeg Melon, fresh sesame, and some of their locally made Hickory Syrup and Peach Butter available from their online shop. I can’t thank them enough for sending that box of loveliness my way, it was a real treat!

I ended up tossing the eggplants Marconi peppers with a little olive oil and salt, and added a tomato and some garlic from my dad’s garden for good measure – then roasted. That’s a great way to get out excess moisture, that can lead to soggy situations in whatever dish you’re preparing. Plus, it really intensifies all of the flavor.

Used my favorite pie crust recipe to line my tart pan, and blind bake. Then piled in the roasted vegetable goodness and a rich egg-custard to fill in all the nooks & crannies. And a little goat cheese for good measure. A local farmer has been selling his goat cheese at the farmer’s market here on Chincoteague, and it’s insanely wonderful. Have been enjoying it every chance I can get!

A quick bake for about half an hour, and you’re good to go. Paired with a simple green salad, it’s the perfect meal for this time of year. Could also be made in a pie plate without the crust!

And, if you’re in the vicinity and looking for something to do tomorrow – make sure you check out the Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello. The’ve got a great lineup of speakers, activities for kids, gardening info, seed saving, good eats….they’ll have it all! A great day to get outside and live, breathe, and taste history.

 

Fruit, Cereal, and Yogurt Parfait

With three little boys, I’ve got a rowdy bunch in the morning that is always hungry. We do eggs and toast alot – but bowls of cereal and yogurt and fruit are our main staples for breakfast during the summertime.

This super-easy and tasty parfait combines the best of both worlds. I used Honeycomb cereal, as it’s always been one of our favorites. I love the sweet crunch, and it’s a refreshing twist to granola that the little ones really enjoy.

Layered with honey-flavored yogurt, and fresh seasonal fruit – it’s a quick and easy breakfast that can’t be beat!

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Post Honeycomb Cereal. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Blueberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Have you guys been taking advantage of all the glorious blueberries that are in season right now? I need to make some time for a trip up to our local pick-your-own-blueberry place soon. We’ve also got our Chincoteague Blueberry Festival coming up in the next couple weeks. We always make a “girls trip” of it with my best friend and her daughter.

It’s not very big in terms of most folks idea of a festival, but there’s always lots of unique vendors and great blueberry-centric things to try. Not to mention a blueberry vendor from New Jersey that sells them by the box. I usually buy one and freeze half of the berries, and then we brew a blueberry beer with the other half. Good stuff!

So, this coffee cake. Tender, moist cake is studded with juicy fresh blueberries and chunks of cream cheese throughout, then topped with a delicious crumble topping that is the signature of any good coffee cake. I’d imagine it would also be wonderful with raspberries or strawberries as well. Perfect for any breakfast or brunch get together – as well as a sweet treat for after dinner. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Source: adapted from Taste of Home