Meet The Cookbook: Whole-Grain Mornings

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It’s New Years Day and, in truth, I’m left a bit speechless. It’s time to formally introduce you to Whole-Grain Mornings (it’s now officially on sale and appearing in the world!), but I’ve been sitting here for what feels like hours trying to figure out exactly what to say. There’s a quote by Mozart (although some attribute it to an anonymous Zen master) that reads: “The music is not in the notes, but in the silence between.” That is how I feel after a busy whirlwind year with little real time for reflection. The year has been full of lots of work, traffic, a new lease for Marge, granola accounts, and conference calls. It’s been full of bringing a book to life, nourishing a relationship, and building a home. But it’s funny how those things don’t start to really settle in and the bigness of it all isn’t truly felt until all the traffic and email and noise just … stop. So today has been a wonderfully uneventful, quiet day. Sam and I went out for breakfast and made a list of our intentions and goals for the year while toasting my book over biscuit sandwiches and numerous cups of coffee. I can’t imagine a more fitting way to usher this lady into the world. So while, for me, the meaning has really come from the quiet — let’s talk about this very special recipe for a moment. And because we’re going to celebrate right, I’d  love to give away a copy of Whole-Grain Mornings to a reader (you?) this week, too. 

Out of all the recipes to share with you today, I chose what in the book is a Huckleberry Cornmeal Custard — but because of the season (and the lack of huckleberries at this very moment) is now a Blueberry Cornmeal Custard here today. In many ways, it’s highly representative of quite a few of the recipes you’ll find in the book — not shying away from a little butter and cream. While it features seasonal fruits and produce, natural sugars, and whole grains prominently, I didn’t want Whole-Grain Mornings to feel like a diet book — because it’s really not. It’s reflective of the way we eat in our household: good, real food that’s not too fussy to prepare and that you’ll find occasion to make over and over — morning or night, really.

I had a handful of recipes that I wanted to write about to introduce you to the book, but this one won out for a few reasons: it’s one of the very first things Sam made for me when we were just beginning to date, and it’s a great example of a recipe with a story and a past. If on first glance it looks familiar to you, that’s because our friend Molly wrote about a version of it a few years ago in her wonderful book, A Homemade Life. Following that, Jess and Tim both wrote about it on their blogs, and many other food writers made it in their own homes and shared it online.

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My first experience of this cornmeal custard, however, took place very far from the internet or any corner of the food writing world. When Sam and I were first dating, he lived in a little bungalow a stone’s throw from Greenlake — one of my now-favorite walking spots here in Seattle. While I would often drag him around San Francisco introducing him to the newest restaurants when he’d visit my city, Sam would often cook for me when I came to visit his. He had a small arsenal of favorites: the best lentils you’ve ever tasted, banana pancakes, and this velvetty cornmeal custard. It’s one part delicate cornbread, one part tender cake, and one part custard — and somehow comes out of the oven in delicious, distinct layers with the berries rising to the top and the layer of cream happily suspended in the center. I’ll always remember watching Sam make it for the first time, oh-so-carefully pouring the cream directly into the center of the pan while instructing me that you must move slowly and not jostle it to get it just right. That particular morning we had big slices with maple syrup and mugs of coffee in the living room, eating quietly while watching the steam rise off the roofs of the houses across the street.

Sam and I dated long distance for over a year, so when I’d return home to the Bay Area, I started to recreate the cornmeal custard in my own kitchen, adding a little lemon zest on one occasion to brighten it a notch, tossing in some berries and experimenting with whole-grain flour on another. Soon I had a version that still resembled the delicious cornmeal custard that Sam made for me on that first winter morning — but now decidedly my own. When I sat down to write this book I knew I wanted to include the recipe since it’s become such a classic in our house, so I began to ask Sam questions about its source so I could properly give credit where credit is due. I mentioned that I’d seen a similar recipe from Molly’s book: did you get it from Molly? Not exactly, Sam said.  So the research and emails began. It turns out that Sam used to work at a restaurant here in Seattle called Boat Street and they made a wonderful cornmeal custard at the time. I believe that’s where Sam got the recipe although it must’ve been based off of the recipe Molly ended up writing about  in her book– and that appears in Marion Cunningham’s classic book, The Breakfast Book. Suffice it to say: this recipe has legs, as do most things this special.

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Because I know that if you’re here reading this post, you’re going to love this book and because I’m so grateful for all of the support and enthusiasm you’ve all showed as I plugged away at it all last year, I’d love to give away a signed copy to one A Sweet Spoonful reader in the Continental US. To enter, simply leave a comment here about the breakfast you’ve been most excited about making in your own home lately. I’ll select a winner this upcoming Sunday 1/5 at 9 p.m. PST and will notify the winner via email.

**UPDATE: Kathleen Love is the lucky winner of Whole-Grain Mornings and has been contacted via email to claim her copy. Thank you so much for all of your great breakfast inspiration; you’ve inspired me to get into gear with some new recipes this season. xox**

Other Folks Writing About Whole-Grain Mornings:
Sprouted Kitchen – Pear Hazelnut Muffins
Food Loves Writing – Buckwheat Crepes with Honeyed Ricotta and Sauteed Apples
Delightful Crumb – Nutty Millet Breakfast Cookies (also featured on Good Things Grow
Eating From the Ground Up – Banana Walnut Baked Oatmeal (also featured on Shutterbean)
A Cozy Kitchen – Rye Granola with Sour Cherries and Pistachios
Three Many Cooks – Trail Guide Nut and Seed Bars
The Faux Martha – The Very, Very Best Oatmeal 
A Couple Cooks- The Best Toasted Oatmeal
Cookie + Kate – Morning Glory Oatmeal
101 Cookbooks – California Barley Bowl (also featured on Naturally Ella)

Come Out For The Book Tour! I’ll have Marge granola samples at many events and would love to sign your book! If you live in San Francisco, Portland, Vancouver or Seattle, I’d love to meet you in person (no really, please come!) For more information: Whole-Grain Mornings Book Tour.

Buy a Copy TodayWhole-Grain Mornings

Blueberry Cornmeal Custard

Blueberry Cornmeal Custard

  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Prep time: 10 mins
  • Cook time: 1 hr
  • Inactive time: 15 mins
  • Total time: 1 hr 25 mins

In the cookbook, this recipe actually calls for huckleberries — those sweet, small cousins of blueberries that I so love to snatch up here in the fall months. If you can find huckleberries, great. If not, blueberries (or any berry, really) work beautifully. Use fresh or frozen; if you opt for frozen, use them straight out of the freezer, unthawed. If oat flour isn’t something you have at home, I’ve made this recipe with many different kinds of flours (barley, white-whole wheat, spelt) and they’ve all turned out great. We like to serve generous slices of the cornmeal custard warmed with a quick glug of maple syrup on top. Sam likes his with a little flaky salt, too.

Ingredients

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan
3/4 cup (75g) oat flour
1 cup (160g) medium-grind cornmeal (I use Bob's Red Mill)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup (45g) natural cane sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups (360 ml) whole milk
1/2 cup (120 ml) buttermilk
1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups (300g) fresh or frozen huckleberries or blueberries
3/4 cup (180ml) heavy cream
Grade B maple syrup, for serving

Instructions

In a small dish, melt the butter in the microwave on medium-high heat, careful not to let it splatter (about 45 seconds). Pour into a large bowl and set aside to cool for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, in medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.

Add the eggs to the butter and wish to combine. Add the sugar, salt, milk, buttermilk, vinegar, lemon zest and vanilla and stir well. Whisking constantly, add the flour mixture slowly and stir until the batter is smooth.

Remove the heated pan from the oven and set on a baking sheet for easy transport to and from the oven. Spoon the berries into the bottom of the pan in an even layer. Pour the batter on top of the berries. Then ever so slowly, pour the cream right into the center of the batter. Don’t stir. Carefully slide the pan into the oven, taking care not to jostle.

Bake until golden brown on top, 50-65 minutes*. Cool for at least 15 minutes to allow the custard to firm up before slicing. Serve warm with a generous drizzle of maple syrup. Cover and refrigerate leftovers for up to 4 days (but do rewarm them before serving!)

*Note on bake time: This recipe, more than many, seems subject to temperature and humidity. When I recently baked it on a very wet, damp day in Seattle, it took all of 65 minutes — you’re looking for the top to be golden brown and the center to be dry to the touch but still ever so jiggly if you lightly jostle the pan — it will continue to firm up as it cools. 

Comments

  1. Sarah

    I am so excited for your book! I have been craving fried egg sandwiches with homemade biscuits lately. I need to make them soon.

  2. Rebecca

    This looks lovely. I'm the only real breakfast-lover in our house, and my partner is up for work by 4am on weekdays, so anything we happen to slow down and share is special. Recently that has been handmade ceramic bowls of steaming oatmeal.

  3. Shanna Mallon

    As someone else who long-distance dated for a year, I know just how special those home-cooked foods, made by the guy you love and are visiting and learning more and more about, can be. The stories sold me on this one. Looks lovely.

    ps all the congratulations to you, M. so happy for your book to be making its way around the world!

  4. Itzia

    I've been making blueberry pancakes. So good!

  5. marcella

    Congratulations on your book! Every peek I’ve seen of it online has been beautiful. We made a favorite for us a few days ago - blender cranberry oatmeal pancakes - whole grain and so delicious. Now though, I’m craving this custard of yours. I’m pretty new to whole grain baking and it’s been fun (but a little tricky at times) so far.

  6. Kathleen

    My favorite breakfast to make is buttermilk pancakes topped with maple syrup & berries (this time of year I just warm frozen berries stovetop) because my boys go absolutely bonkers. I'm leaning more towards savory dishes these days, but my boys aren't, and I'm letting them win the breakfast lottery. I always win at dinner. :)

    Congrats on your book! I can't imagine how exciting that must be. All the recipes look very approachable but even more importantly, quite delicious.

  7. Tonya

    I really want to try homemade breakfast sausage, but haven't gotten around to it yet. Had plans for New Year's Day, but then my husband got other ideas.... I can't wait to look through your book! Happy New Year.

  8. Holly

    Happy New Year & congrats on the release of your book! Molly's recipe for Dutch Baby Pancakes happens approximately every Saturday at my house, and I look forward to incorporating some of your recipes in our routine as well!

  9. Nancy

    My New Year day started with a few cups of coffee as I read your beautiful book. Written as a love story of the personal journey that inspired the recipes. This book will not be shelved with the other many cookbooks that gather dust. No, this one will be used often. I like all the great information you included.

  10. Leah

    My husband had to work on Christmas day, so Santa was nice enough to come while our little ones were taking their afternoon so we could all open presents together when he got home. We dressed in our pjs and had breakfast for dinner: my Grandma's sausage gravy, homemade buttermilk biscuits, and homemade cinnamon rolls.

    Now I'm excited to make this blueberry cornmeal custard! My 2 1/2 year old told me today that blueberry pancakes are his favorite food, so I know he'll love it!

  11. Corey

    I am excited to make porridge since it is so cold in the midwest.

  12. shila

    My fantasy breakfast is decaf black coffee and eggs scrambled with greens, mushrooms and quinoa. If we're getting fancy, sweet potato homefries would be welcome too

    Congrats on the book release Megan! How exciting and surreal and wonderful. I hope you get a few more moments of quiet savoring this winter.

  13. Bridget

    Definitely a quinoa porridge with some jam. Easy to make, that's certain!

    Congrats on the book!! :)

  14. Lily

    Congratulations, Megan! The book looks beautiful. I've been most excited lately about making granola following your recipe shared on The Kitchn. It makes a great start to the day.

  15. Nicole

    Congratulations Megan! What an exciting time for you. I'm hoping to have a copy in my hands tomorrow. Can't wait to see it and I may just have to make this custard first as I have so many blueberries in my freezer from our abundant wild blueberry harvest this past summer.

  16. Magdalen

    That looks lovely, and so is the story behind it! My favorite thing to make for breakfast right now is oat flour pancakes with toasted pecans, topped with yogurt, honey, and banana slices or stewed blueberries. Yum!

  17. Celeste

    I'm so excited! Whole Grain Mornings was on my Xmas list so I'm just waiting...congratulations Megan...enjoy this season.

  18. Leslie

    The book looks fabulous! I look forward to cooking any type of warm grain cereals for breakfast.

  19. Tanya

    I've been eating lots of eggs, often scrambled with spinach and cheese. I'm having pregnancy related blood sugar issues, so can't do a lot of carbs or treats right now. But looking forward to getting back to baking once the baby comes.... Your cookbook looks beautiful and this recipe sounds delicious! Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

  20. Kathy

    I recently made cinnamon buns - so yummy!!

  21. monica

    Living alone hasn't slowed down my cooking! I'm excited this year to always use organic local free range eggs, homemade bread with organic local non GMO flour and organic local potatoes. Best breakfastever!

  22. Katie

    This book looks awesome - congrats! I get most excited about scones of any kind - just took some orange and cranberry scones out of the oven!

  23. Mary

    As the cold weather lingers, I've been thriving on oatmeal with different fruit compotes, especially my apple quince compote. So so good.

    I'm really excited about this book, I'll be picking it up soon!

  24. Gayle

    I remember when Jess made this way back when. I love the idea of adding in frozen blueberries - great for the blizzard coming our way.

  25. Mary

    Over Thanksgiving we returned to a real favorite - Heidi Swanson's Baked Oatmeal from Super Natural Every Day. I love that dish and it was a great healthy way to ring in a holiday season of indulgence. Your book looks amazing!

  26. Alison

    Though I eat breakfast everyday, I have not been very adventurous, but I hope to change that. My first aim is to make a variety of oatmeal. This book sounds like it would help me on my way.

  27. Amber

    Congrats on the cookbook!! Been thinking about a nutritious and filling granola. Something that's tasty enough to eat on it's own, or to go ontop of yogurt or fruit.

  28. Allison

    Lately my favorite breakfast is baked oatmeal--warm and cinnamony, which is perfect for cold Chicago mornings. Congratulations on your book! I can't wait to get a copy. Breakfast is far and away my favorite meal of the day.

  29. Alison D.

    Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day!

  30. Gagan

    Our family loves pancake breakfasts - buckwheat, whole wheat, pumpkin. Looking forward to buying your book for all the beautiful reciples!

  31. betsy

    I made some scrambled eggs the other day with leftover rehydrated shiitakes and pecorino cheese that were quite tasty with toasted Breadfarm potato bread (the best bread ever).
    Happy New Year Megan!

  32. Anna

    Congratulations! Can't wait to see your book, it looks wonderful.

  33. Heather K

    I read your posts on The Kitchn and look forward to getting your book. Recent favorite breakfast: Lemon Crepes w/ Blueberry Compote

  34. Janine @ RusticKitchen

    Oh, Megan, congratulations. You've captured the deliciousness surrounding the most important meal of the day!

  35. Dhivya

    Congratulations on the new book. Have loved your blog and the book really resonates with me.Will be ordering mine soon.

    Just a quick clarification on the recipe above, the instruction calls for vinegar to be added, but it is not on your ingredient list.Should this be added?

    Congratulations again.
    Dhivya

  36. Hannah M.

    Congratulations! It looks like a beautiful book. With negative temperatures in the near future (-9F on Monday, I think?) I'm definitely looking forward to hot oatmeal breakfasts :)

  37. Stephanie K

    Congratulations on the book! I made cinnamon rolls for my family on Christmas morning. They were amazing and my family is already asking me to make them again.

  38. Kaitlin

    Congratulations, the book looks beautiful! I know it's not very exciting but most mornings at this time of year I look forward to a hot bowl of oatmeal. For our special new year breakfast yesterday I made my first ever batch of homemade cinnamon rolls, and now I can't wait to try that out again!

  39. Codie

    I love sitting in my kitchen and planning a big breakfast. Usually you'll see pancakes or buttermilk biscuits with sausage gravy, but lately I've been wanting to try making my own yogurt.

    Congrats on the book!

  40. GingerMae

    I have been wanting to make a homemade version of Biscuits and Gravy for a long time now.

  41. Susan D

    Congratulations on your book release!

    I've made several different foods for breakfast lately; quiche, waffles, and breakfast sandwiches on bagels.
    I am most excited about making your Blueberry Cornmeal Custard right now, it looks absolutely delicious!

  42. Christina

    I love a simple cinnamon coffee cake in the mornings. This blueberry cornmeal cake looks delicious!

  43. Emily

    Congrats on the book, it looks awesome! It's been awhile since I've made biscuits, and they are one of my favorites, so I hope to get on it soon!

  44. Christy

    I'm new to A Sweet Spoonful, only stumbling over after reading Sara's (Sprouted Kitchen) version of your pear-hazelnut muffins. I am very excited to have found your sweet blog, just my kind of goodies! Since I've only had a chance to thoroughly read through two of your recipes, I'll choose this blueberry cornmeal custard. However, give me some time and I'll most certainly try several others and report back ;) Favorites out of my kitchen: my spin on my mom's recipe for whole-wheat strawberry pecan muffins-yum!

  45. ileana

    Happy new year, Megan! Lately it's shakshuka we're into. I hope your book tour can eventually take you to Florida.

  46. melissa

    i recently made the maple oat waffles from good to the grain, and they were sooooooo good. can't wait to make them again!

  47. Jennifer

    Your book sounds lovely and inspirational. A breakfast dish that I have been waiting for the perfect occasion to make is a version of baked French toast. I love French toast.

  48. Emily

    The recipes from your book that I've seen previewed here and on the other blogs look amazing! Lately I've been making whole wheat waffles, sometimes plain and sometimes with additions. Congrats!

  49. Pam

    Congratulations Megan!! I'm so happy you chose this recipe - I got my book today and was so drawn to this but it had no photo. I love seeing how beautiful its supposed to look - and that I can use my pie plate! Before this excitement - I've been making scrambled egg and avocado breakfast sandwiches. I'm hoping your book tour comes East!

  50. Kendall

    Your spiced porridge with cranberry-ginger sauce - I pinned it to my "make this soon!" board the moment I saw it.

  51. Linda

    this looks delicious, cannot wait to try this weekend... and luckily there are wild blueberries in my freezer.

    New Years Morning I fixed Mexican pizza ( a purchased whole grain crust, refried beans, salsa, spinach and cheese with 4 eggs cracked into wells of the beans) Loved it - eggs were just lightly set so the warm yolk melted into the beans.

    Best of luck in the new year - and congratulations on the publication of your book!

  52. Joy

    I love Marge's granola so I'm sure I would love this book. Poached eggs on ww toast with a tomato sauce sounds pretty yummy to me right now.

  53. Carole

    Pick me! Pick me! Oh where are my manners? Heartiest congratulations on your beautiful book. You must feel some of the same emotions one feels upon giving birth. All the waiting and anticipation and then it's just over and you hope "your baby" has a wonderful life.
    To that point may I say that taking your breakfast class last February at Delancy's has inspired many wonderful changes in our breakfasts and my baking. Lots of experimenting and lots of delicious surprises. This winter we have appreciated the whole wheat transformation of an old favorite--gingerbread pancakes topped with your maple baked apple chunks. It is pure comfort on a lazy,drizzly, chilly morning.

  54. Karen

    I just stumbled onto your website and I'm in love. My favorite thing to make for breakfast right now is an oatmeal pancake. I'm obsessed with them and I keep tweaking the recipe until I get it just right. I can't wait to try some of your recipes.

  55. Haley

    What a gorgeous book! I can't wait to get my hands on it (probably from the library because I'm broke but oh well).
    I love banana bread (i made of the sesame sort on monday), but always end up eating more than my fair share. Super excited about making some kick-ass vegan french toast this weekend with cinnamon swirl ezekiel bread, but it would be even better some HOMEMADE bread.

    The pear and hazelnut muffins Sara posted look delish btw: in my house they'd be gone in five seconds.

    Congrats!

  56. Sam

    Congratulations on your book! A breakfast I love to make it oatmeal with dried cranberrie, fresh apples, honey and a bit or cream.

  57. Ali

    I'm home on break from college so anything I can sit and savor at breakfast is comforting. Before I leave on Sunday I will certainly be making whole wheat blueberry pancakes with real maple syrup.

  58. Michelle

    Even though we're into January, I still have a pumpkin waffle recipe to try - with butternut squash and bacon syrup!

  59. jacquie

    I'm not much of a breakfast eater which is why I need to win this book so I can be inspired to do better.

  60. Allison

    I've been hungry for banana bread French toast. With a couple eggs over medium on the side. And a cup of pour over coffee. What a fab looking book!

  61. Mabel Chan

    I need to make a dutch apple pancake in my new cast iron pan soon!

  62. christine

    congratulations
    I am looking forward to meeting you and reading more from your book as I do so love your blog.
    New years morning we had wonderful home made banana and walnut pancakes made better by eating them with warm maple syrup and wonderful friends

  63. Adelle F.

    Mmmm, can't wait to add this to the lineup. Lately, my favorite breakfasts have been some combinations of eggs and greens. Sometimes potatoes, sometimes meat, always a little cheese of some kind. Your book looks gorgeous.

  64. michelle

    Happy New Year Megan! Congrats on the lovely book. Whenever I see your blog email in my inbox I plan a little " me" time to sit and read it by my window. Snowstorm right now in NYC, so this is particularly cozy timing. Our favorite breakfast is eggs benedict with lox instead of bacon, and chipotle mayo in place of the béchamel. If I'm feeling REALLY healthy I may swap out the multi grain English muffins for some large portobellos. Enjoy the nice beginning to a new year.

  65. Leslie

    So many breakfast feasts! Over and over, I return to oatmeal, often enhanced with yogurt, a bit of honey, almonds or walnuts, blueberries in season, other fruits in the Midwest winter. It sustains me. That cornbread will be a weekend treat real soon!

  66. Judith

    My daughter is home from grad school one more day. Yesterday we tried two variations of scones with currents (with varying flour/grain mixtures). I believe we'll make our favorite, whole grain wild yeast waffles tomorrow. The way I keep the home fires burning is to care for her starters. One she brought back from Portland,OR 6 years ago and another captured here in the desert-like valley area of Los Angeles. They need to be young and fresh for waffles so I will feed them heartily tonight. Love your blog!

  67. Erin Houlihan

    Congrats on the book and all your success!!

  68. mary

    Can't wait to buy mine @ Omnivore Books. BIG congrats, Megan! What a year. So thrilled for you + Sam!! X

  69. cheryl

    First..CONGRATULATIONS on the release of your delicious cookbook!
    Sooo excited to see it.

    I'm anxious to try the Cinnamon Sugar Popovers. We are in the middle of a snow storm and that sounds like a wonderful way to start the day while watching the snow fall:-)

  70. Athena

    I'm really excited to try your Pear Hazelnut Muffins! They look amazing. Best! Athena.

  71. Heather

    So so happy for you and super excited to try out everything in the book! I think I'm most looking forward to making whatever recipes I learn in your Whole Grain Mornings class next week :)

  72. Marion

    Congratulations on the "coming out" of Whole-Grain Mornings, I can't wait to peruse it and try some new and variations of old recipes. I love your blog and look forward to reading it as soon as it comes through. I first "met" you as I searched on line for a granola recipe and found Marge, I eat it with Greek yogurt nearly every morning and frequently gift it to friends as well. Thank you for so kindly sharing your recipes. Happy 2014 to you and Sam!

  73. cate

    Because it's been so cold lately we've been having hot, made with milk oatmeal, sprinkled with brown sugar.

  74. Mareike

    I love making scones stuffed with fruit. They are so comforting!

  75. Anne

    Oh, this sounds so delicious. It's going to be hard to choose between it and the buckwheat crepes for my first attempt. Can't wait to see you read in Portland!

  76. gail

    Well, now a berry cornmeal custard sounds about right for breakfast!

  77. Melissa

    For Christmas morning I made french toast for the first time in forever and topped it with fresh fruit… it was divine!

  78. Amanda

    Looks fantastic and can't wait to make stuff for the kids! I look forward to using pomegranates in things -- lately greek yogurt & honey parfaits for breakfast. Thanks for the recipe.

  79. Ann

    Love your blog and photos! Your book has a great title--great idea. Congratulations!

    Lately I've been making a whole grain, dense gingerbread and I lightly toast it and spread a flavored goat cheese mixture I make over it (mixed with lemon zest, lemon juice and a little powdered sugar.)

  80. Phyllis

    I found out about your book from the blog "A Couple Cooks". Lately I've been eating a lot of mushroom omelets. I think I need to eat more whole grains for breakfast

  81. Sharon

    Our fave breakfast out is a big Irish breakfast with strong hot tea, eggs, sausages, crisp toast and jam. Looking forward to your book!

  82. Jeanne

    I love breakfast, especially whole grain breakfasts so I'm looking forward to getting your book. My favorite breakfast is muesli made with Apple cider, cinnamon, apples, dried cranberries, pecans and a dollop of fresh cream.

  83. Cathy

    Breakfast is my favorite meal and it's not easy picking a favorite. But I'd probably go with buckwheat pancakes with maple syrup and hot tea. Adding blueberries or blackberries to anything is never a bad idea either.

    Have enjoyed your blog and now look forward to the book.

  84. cathy

    Since breakfast is my favorite meal, it's a challenge choosing a favorite but I think I'd go with buckwheat pancakes with maple syrup. Earl grey tea. You can't go wrong adding blueberries or berries of any kind, too.

    I've bookmarked so many of your recipes from your lovely blog. It will be wonderful to read your new book.

  85. seven quick takes | The Misadventures of Kelly and Kelly

    […] through each recipe, thinking about the ingredients and getting excited about eating something new. Blueberry Cornmeal Custard is a recipe from this new cookbook – Whoel Grain Mornings and it’s in my amazon cart, […]

  86. jill

    Happy 2014! I enjoy your blog, and look forward to getting my hands on a copy! I admire all those who have written about healthy breakfasts... I've had cinnamon rolls on the brain lately, and bread in general, which would be new baking territory for me. So, cinnamon rolls in 2014!
    Oh, and come to the midwest--specifically, Detroit! Great foodies here!

  87. Grace Ann

    Dhivya, I was wondering the same thing and found a link above to one of the bloggers she mentions who wrote about a similar recipe. In her recipe she used 1 1/2 Tbsp distilled vinegar. But I am wondering if it is necessary in this recipe since it calls for buttermilk. The recipe in the link below calls for milk and vinegar, which is a combo for making homemade buttermilk in a pinch. :-)

    http://www.sweetamandine.com/2011/05/your-attention-please.html

    1. megang

      Hi Grace! Thanks for the note. This recipe does use 1.5 tablespoons vinegar. I'd mentioned it in the instructions and accidentally omitted it in the ingredient list; so sorry for any confusion! I hope you enjoy the recipe! ~Megan

  88. Sarah

    Your book looks beautiful - congratulations! I love coming here, reading your thoughtful posts, looking at the lovely, real food you make. Thanks!

    I've been making a lot of waffles lately...and doing a lot of thinking about porridge.

  89. s

    We have lunch for breakfast so it can be anything but my particular favorite is one of my variations of cabbage salad. Lately cabbage has been wonderfully fresh and sweet - makes me feel good to put that in my mouth. Toasted sunflower seeds, avocado, green onions, cilantro, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and sometimes kidney beans or little bits of meat along with salt and pepper and maybe some frozen peas - variations are endless.

  90. sillygirl

    Whoops - that was supposed to be sillygirl - got in too much of a hurry!!!

  91. sillygirl

    Obviously I'm not very adept at this! We have lunch for breakfast - my favorite is a variation of cabbage salad - like starting my eating for the day with fresh vegetables!

  92. Abby

    Congratulations again on your book! There's a great mini-review of it in the latest issue of Cooking Light. Right now I'm most excited about Joy the Baker's giant cinnamon rolls, which we made last night in preparation for this morning's snow day. The perfect long-form breakfast for lazy mornings.

    1. megang

      Thanks for the heads up on Cooking Light, Abby. I haven't yet seen it so I'll keep my eyes peeled at the grocery store. Happy New Year! ~mg

  93. jenny

    Congrats on the birth of your book baby, Megan! Huge accomplishment. I'm so glad you carved out a few moments to revel in its arrival. May there be many more.

    My go-to breakfast of late has been simple steel-cut oats--cooked the night before, and then heated up with whole milk the next morning. I love them with brown sugar and bananas. Easy and delicious!

  94. Susan Roubal

    Love your posts and anything inspiring for breakfast is great!

    **Quick question**:

    How Much Vinegar do I use?

    I'm figuring a Tsp or two. Thanks for the recipe- can't wait to try it. I have bags of wild blueberries to use! Sue

    1. megang

      Susan! So sorry I didn't see this right away. The vinegar should be 1.5 tablespoons - so sorry for the omission in the ingredient list. We've got it updated now. I hope you enjoy the recipe! ~Megan

  95. Nora

    Lovely blog, lovely book! I make granola. Lots.

  96. Kate

    Congratulations - I'm really excited to cook from your book. I love whole grains and breakfast is my favorite meal of the day.

    On New Year's Day I cooked brunch for 10 people - I made baked ranchero eggs and cinnamon french toast (soaked overnight and then baked) from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook. It was a hit!

  97. Monica

    Well, I was excited to try a carrot cake oatmeal recipe that I found (I love trying different oatmeal flavors) but NOW I want to try your blueberry cornmeal custard! Looks delicious!

  98. Ashley M.

    I am so excited about trying more whole grain stuff! Like steel cut oatmeal.

  99. Sarah

    As it hasn't reached temps over 30 degrees in about two months in Minnesota, I have been making my own version of Hell's Kitchen (the local restaurant, not the TV show) Mahomian Porridge. Wild rice, toasted hazelnuts, dried blueberries and some heavy cream with a touch of maple syrup. Excellent.

  100. Ardala Evans

    Any kind of wholegrain pancakes! This cookbook looks great.

  101. lani

    Many congrats on your book! looks amazing! Maybe I will branch out from the usual oats now.

  102. Ann

    Sounds like a great book! I will try the cormeal custard--it sounds classic and delicious!

  103. Jill

    The breakfast I'm most into making at the moment is french toast. So easy and delicious! The book looks amazing, congratulations!

  104. Yvonne

    Congratulations! This looks so delicious. I wonder if it would work with half and half? Your book looks beautiful. I've recently been making a lot of baked oatmeal for breakfast. I'm going to try yours next!

  105. Katie

    Ever so excited about your book! Waffles are the smash hit in my household. Topped with banana slices and pecans, they don't last long!

  106. thelittleloaf

    SO excited for this book to hit the shelves in the UK - I love your recipes and this blueberry custard is so unusual and delicious looking. Yum and congratulations! x

  107. Lynn

    Congratulations on this great achievement! What a fun year it's been reading your posts and "seeing" this come to fruition. Lately I've been having a lot of smoothies for breakfast, but would love to master how to make a really good biscuit. Enjoy the book tour!

  108. Karin Anderson

    Posting a recipe for readers to try out is a great way to get them interested. I purchased Maria Specks's "Ancient Grains for Modern Meals" only after I saw some of her recipes online.
    The cornmeal custard sounds delicious (I also stumbled over the missing vinegar in the ingredient list), and I would never go without breakfast.
    So far, my breakfast favorite is Maria Speck's Creamy Farro with Roasted Grapes.

  109. Cathy Burns

    I've been excited to try making whole wheat sticky buns. I've made whole wheat cinnamon rolls, and white flour sticky buns, but haven't tried combining the recipes yet. Hopefully, soon! Thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win a copy of your beautiful book!

  110. TaraO

    Baked oatmeal is my favorite breakfast these days--would love to try different variations.
    cteeobrien[at]cox{dot}net

  111. Michelle S.

    I love to make cornmeal waffles, but would really like to try cinnamon rolls.

  112. Amélie

    This looks delicious! And that book looks right up my alley. I'm excited about making breakfasts again, period - I had a baby recently, so my mornings are different than they used to be, but I want to make it a habit to make something new every weekend at least. Lately it's been waffles, and baked oatmeal!

  113. Pascha

    I love to make (and eat!) a breakfast crisp--Apple or pear in the Winter and apricot or peach in the Summer. It has less sweetener than a dessert crisp but one gets fruit, granola/oats and then we top it with plain yogurt and a drizzle of maple syrup. Otherwise ANYTHING with oats is a great start around our place.
    And congratulations on the book and so much more throughout 2013!
    I hope that you 2014 exceeds it!

  114. Whole Grain Mornings | seeking beauty in the everyday

    […] I read through it tonight wanting to mark a few recipes to try in the next few days. I ended up marking 23. It’s the kind of simple, nourishing and delicious food I am always in the mood for. Definitely check it out and in the meantime, go to Megan’s blog and make her Blueberry Cornmeal Custard. […]

  115. Cassandra

    I would say that I love pancakes the best as far as breakfast foods go. Light and fluffy but yet creamy. They have to be buttermilk, with maple syrup and lightly melting butter. There is no other food that captures the essence of my childhood as well as pancakes. Well done on your book, hope to see more from you I the future.

  116. Daniela L.

    Read about your great sounding book in Cooking Light, and was intrigued, so I checked it out and found your blog… I will try the custard after the next shopping trip, other than that I am currently eating steel cut oatmeal middle-Eastern style with cardamom, cinnamon, splash of orange blossom water, pistachios and pomegranate seeds.

    Congratulations on the book!

  117. molly

    oh, Megan! I've been so, so pleased, seeing your name, and book, pop up all over the internet, in the best of places, these past weeks. I can't imagine a title more worthy of the praise. And I can't imagine a dish more worthy of featuring (we LOVE Marian's, a.k.a. Molly's, a.k.a. Jess's cornbread, a.k.a. spider cake. Oh heck, a rose by any other name...) Adding berries if flipping BRILLIANT. I can't believe I didn't think of it myself.

    Our favorite breakfasts of late are Dutch Babies, cooked in a screaming-hot cast iron skillet, dusted with powdered sugar and doused in lemon; and whole wheat banana chocolate chip muffins, which, despite the fact that a) no one around here likes banana bread (what???!!), and b) no one likes muffins, I can't keep in the house. They're a winner. I ought to write them up, soon.

    My heartiest congratulations to you (and Sam! and Marge!!) on making it through this year, on making a beautiful book, on adding so much tastiness to our future table.

    xo,
    Molly

    1. megang

      No one likes banana bread, molly?! What the heck? So glad you're excited about the recipe (the berries really do make it, I think) and I agree that the dutch babies should have their chance at fame ... they sound wonderful. Thank you, as always, for your sweet words and encouragement. It always means so much coming from you. Maybe if you make it out our way this summer we can meet?! ~Megan

  118. Clare

    Beautifully written. i especially love your posts that swirl food and falling for your partner together all in one. I think many of us in this food blogosphere understand the divine pairing of good meal and good love…

    Controversy over whether it's a "seed" or a "grain" aside, I've been making a chia pudding with whipped maple coconut cream as of late, usually topped with some of my homemade pecan granola… it's a great combo of cool and smooth with crunchy and spiced. Not much of a recipe, per sé, but a reliable meal for early mornings in Queens.

    Thanks for what you do. :)

  119. Jan P

    Just received the Whole Grain Mornings cookbook. Enjoying Morning Glory Oats as I type this. I don't think I've ever purchased a cookbook in which every recipe appealed to me, but I can't wait to use every single recipe this book has to offer. Congratulations on a superior cookbook.

  120. Victoria Bryant

    I've been working on incorporating more whole grains into our morning pancakes and waffles. My husband is super picky but slow and steady are winning the grain race! Waffles and pancakes have been our staples of late and I've been playing around with the flour composition. Along with fruit compotes.

  121. Erin Houlihan

    ack..i didn't leave a comment about the breakfast I'm most excited to make! I really want to try your baked banana oatmeal..looks lovely and perfect for PNW cold mornings

  122. Erin Houlihan

    ack..i left a comment, but didn't include the breakfast I'm most excited to make! I really want to try your baked banana oatmeal..looks lovely and perfect for PNW cold mornings

  123. Celeste

    Great book, a new classic in my house! I received on Friday and read from cover to cover over the weekend. Very proud to be a longtime blog follower...thank you.

  124. Hope Johnson

    Wooo! Just bought your book- opted for the online version because it takes so long for anything to get to Australia- but now sort of regretting it because I love hard copy books, and particularly with all that gorgeous photography. I've got two days off and am headed to Byron Bay, a beach town not too far, and so will be giving this a good read through at the beach and in cafes. Congratulations, Megan!

  125. Denise | Chez Danisse

    Yes! Welcome, Whole-Grain Mornings!

    Your description of Sam's cornmeal custard is absolutely dreamy. Yum. I need some, pronto.

  126. Susan Christy

    I would like to make oatmeal in the crockpot.

  127. kickpleat

    I've always wanted to try that custard & I'm also bummed that I'll be travelling when you'll be visiting Vancouver.

  128. Nancy Horn

    Hi there! I'd have to say I'm into soft boiled eggs and banana bread lately. Thanks for this post I'm a new reader. Way to GO!

  129. Valerie Day

    I will come meet you in Portland. Excited to cook from your book too!

  130. Lisa M.

    I just got your book and love it! I haven't had a chance to make anything yet, but am reading all the extras. I had to say that you touched my heart on the very first page where you talked about your grandmother's coconut cake. My mom makes the same thing with that amazing 7 minute frosting---I have never known anyone else who used that frosting! My mom used to get a coconut, hammer a nail in it to get the milk out, then break the coconut and grate it--oh the labor of love. As a small child, I would get the little pieces that were too small to grate. Such wonderful memories and happy that you have a very similar one! Thank you for compiling such a wonderful book. I look forward to many great breakfasts. I hope 2014 is a great year for you and Sam!

  131. Jessica

    Congratulations! The book is really lovely and I can not wait to cook my way through it! Just wish your book tour was bring your to NYC...

    1. megang

      Thank you, Jessica! I wish it was coming to NYC, too. Maybe in the future! Hope you're doing well with your many projects, too! ~Megan

  132. holly

    ohh!! SO exciting! I will keep checking out the TBA dates for Portland!

  133. Molly

    I love this post. And welcome to the world, Whole-Grain Mornings! About the origins of the cornmeal custard: I first heard of it from Brandon, who, like Sam, learned of it when he worked at Boat Street. And I think the Boat Street recipe probably originally came from Marion Cunningham. In any case, yes, it all goes back to Boat Street, and to Marion!

  134. Caroline

    Congrats on the amazing book, I cannot wait to purchase and try every recipe! Will your tour bring you to NYC at all?

    1. megang

      Hi, Caroline!
      Not that I know of yet ... I have family in NYC though, so who knows? Maybe this summer I'll plan an event or two there. I will keep you posted here on the site. Thanks so much + happy Sunday! ~Megan

  135. Marta

    Hi Megan! Congratulations on you book. I just ordered it and look forward to trying your recipes. I've been reading and enjoying your blog for some time now. I hope to attend your book tour on Saturday.

    1. megang

      Hi Marta! I look forward to meeting you while touring for the book ... and I do hope you enjoy cooking from the book! All best, Megan

  136. Justina

    What a beautiful cookbook and wonderful story. Thanks for sharing it! I look forward to reading your cookbook.

    I found your Pear Hazelnut Muffins on Sprouted Kitchen and made them for friends. They were such a hit!

    I substituted unbleached AP flour for the pastry flour, coconut oil (heated) for the butter and used one can coconut milk in place of the buttermilk. Have you ever used coconut milk and oil in this recipe? The batter was very runny, so I added 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 tsp baking powder, & 3/4 cup flax seeds. The batter was like cake batter and the cupcakes turned out wonderful!

    1. megang

      Hi Justina!
      Wow, your version sounds amazing; I will have to give them a whirl with coconut milk. Thank you for the tip. I hope you enjoy the book! ~Megan

  137. Patricia R

    I just received your cookbook yesterday, and I am sitting with a cup of coffee truly enjoying the experience of reading every recipe.

    I am just beginning my foray into the world of whole grains and I feel like I did when I first started to cook. All that excitement to get into the kitchen is just overflowing.

    I am so happy to have found your blog and to have your cookbook as a wonderful guide for my new journey.

    A fellow blogger.
    Patricia R.

    1. megang

      Patricia! Thank you so very much. I'm so happy that you are enjoying the book so far -- and even more than that: that it's getting you excited about getting into the kitchen. That's really my # 1 hope and goal with the book ... and with the blog, really. Happy baking / cooking / breakfasting. ~Megan

  138. Amanda

    So excited for the book!! Looks lovely. I am most excited about getting creative with my usual oatmeal breakfast :) going to start adding new berries and nuts!

  139. Mandy @ lady and pups

    I HAVE A QUESTION (hope that you see it among this army of comments)! In the recipe, the blueberries are placed on the bottom of the pan, but they seem to be on the top layer in the pictures that are shown. The recipe didn't mention any flipping or anything, so I'm just wondering if they "float" to the top during baking?

    1. megang

      Hi Mandy! They rise! It's pure magic. I have no idea how it happens. Thank you for the question as I'll put a little note in the recipe to make it clear. Happy Friday, ~Megan

  140. Monica

    Congratulations! I've heard so many great things about this book and I'm eager to check it out. : )

  141. Ashley

    Hello!

    I just purchased your book today at a book signing event. I got home and devoured it. Your writing and recipes truly inspire. Thank you for writing this amazing cookbook!!

    And it was nice to meet you, too!

    Question: when a recipe calls for milk (such as The Very Best Oatmeal), can I easily use almond milk or soymilk instead?

    Thank you,

    Ashley

    1. megang

      Hi Ashley!
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment; it was nice to meet you, too. Yes for something like the oatmeal you can absolutely use almond or soy milk. For some of the baking recipes this will work, too. For something like the Quick Egg Souffles, I'd stick to the milk as written. Enjoy the book! ~Megan

    2. megang

      Ashley - I feel like I responded here but now I can't find it. YES swap in almond milk or soymilk unless it's one of the savory recipes or, for instance, the baked eggs or cornmeal custard (those really do need full fat dairy). Let me know if you have any other questions + enjoy! ~Megan

  142. Kris

    I have been eyeing this recipe since Smitten Kitchen wrote about your pear hazelnut muffins from the cookbook and I discovered your site! I finally got to make this custard for a brunch. It's great - healthy-tasting but delicious, and something different from the usual banana bread, muffins, etc. I used a 9-inch springform and am not sure if I baked it long enough, because the centre still had some wobbly white cream at the top when I cut into it. I really want your book now…..

  143. Kim

    Hi Megan,
    I, like most of your readers, am trying to incorporate more whole grains into my diet so thank you for this book. I just made this cornmeal custard today and I know the directions say to wait 10 minutes for the custard to set, but I couldn't wait and dug right in with a spoon. The top was golden and crusty, so I was amazed when I cut into it that all this liquid came out of the top half. It still tasted awesome, so no complaints, but wondering what that was all about. Just had my second helping, yum!

    1. megang

      Hi, Kim! Glad you're enjoying the book. You know, that really was probably the custard not having time to fully set. It would be a bit liquidy if you sliced right into it. As it is, it's kind of a creamy, custardy layer but if not given the chance to set I imagine it'd be pretty runny. Hope you still enjoyed it! ~Megan

  144. Janet S

    I'm very late to this party but I wanted to report in on my experience with this delicious blueberry cornbread - yes, I had no custard and so I'm back to compare this recipe to Cunningham's original. There does seem to be some confusion on how much vinegar is used, since the original uses no buttermilk, but essentially makes its own when adding 1 1/2 T vinegar to whole milk. So, when I had no buttermilk and used vinegar to make it with 2% milk, then added the 1 1/2 T vinegar to the recipe perhaps the chemistry was off. Mine also baked completely in 50 min, and the berries did not rise to the top, so, I have more than one reason to try, try again. First try wasn't bad as the two of us finished off half of it this morning and the rest will probably be gone by tonight!

  145. A book and a breakfast (for dinner)

    […] recently purchased the book Whole-Grain Mornings by Megan Gordon of A Sweet Spoonful. Don’t be mistaken by the ‘whole grain’ title…this book isn’t a diet […]

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Holiday Baking

Dark and Spicy Pumpkin Loaf

Dark and Spicy Pumpkin Loaf

It turns out that returning from a sunny honeymoon to a rather rainy, dark stretch of Seattle fall hasn't been the easiest transition. Sam and I have been struggling a little to find our groove with work projects and even simple routines like cooking meals for one another and getting out of the easy daily ruts that can happen to us all. When we were traveling, we made some new vows to each other -- ways we can keep the fall and winter from feeling a bit gloomy, as tends to happen at a certain point living in the Pacific Northwest (for me, at least): from weekly wine tastings at our neighborhood wine shop to going on more lake walks. And I suppose that's one of the most energizing and invigorating parts about travel, isn't it? The opposite of the daily rut: the constant newness and discovery around every corner. One of my favorite small moments in Italy took place at a cafe in Naples when I accidentally ordered the wrong pastry and, instead, was brought this funny looking cousin of a croissant. We had a wonderfully sunny little table with strong cappuccino, and, disappointed by my lack of ordering prowess, I tried the ugly pastry only to discover my new favorite treat of all time (and the only one I can't pronounce): the sfogliatelle. I couldn't stop talking about this pastry, its thick flaky layers wrapped around a light, citrus-flecked sweet ricotta filling. It was like nothing I'd ever tried -- the perfect marriage of interesting textures and flavors. I became a woman obsessed. I began to see them displayed on every street corner; I researched their origin back at the hotel room, and started to look up recipes for how to recreate them at home. And the reason for the fascination was obviously that they were delicious. But even more: I'm so immersed in the food writing world that I rarely get a chance to discover a dish or a restaurant on my own without hearing tell of it first. And while a long way away from that Italian cafe, I had a similar feeling this week as I scanned the pages of Alice Medrich's new book, Flavor Flours, and baked up a loaf of her beautiful fall pumpkin loaf: Discovery, newness, delight!

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Nibby Chocolate Buckwheat Shortbread

Nibby Chocolate Buckwheat Shortbread

I had every intention of starting a new tradition this year and hosting a cookie swap with some of our local friends, but somehow the season really got the best of me and it just hasn't happened. But! That hasn't stopped me from getting a head start on holiday baking; I posted a photo on Instagram the other day of some of my very favorite holiday cookbooks, and asked if there was a way we could all just take the whole week off to bake instead of work. Judging from the responses, it seems I'm not the only one who thinks this would be a really great idea. But back here in reality, cookie baking is relegated to later evenings or, I hope, this weekend we'll find some time to eek in a few batches (the recipe for Sam's mom's Nutmeg Logs is up next, and I'm set on making gingerbread men to take with us down to the Bay Area). Right now on our countertop, we've got a batch of these crumbly, chocolatey, whole grain shortbread that have proven to be a big hit. The ingredient list is small and simple, the technique foolproof, and I think they're a real standout in a sea of holiday cookies.

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And Just Like That

And Just Like That

Hello from the other side! I realize we haven't been back here for a few weeks, and I'm sorry for dropping into a little black hole. My cookbook deadline was Monday, so I've been a writing and editing machine, stepping away from the computer to occasionally clean the house like a crazy person or throw together a most random lunch or dinner. But somehow it all came together although there was something strangely anti-climactic about sending it off: In the days when you'd print out your manuscript and have to walk to the post office and seal it up carefully to send to the publisher, I imagine it would feel much more ceremonial and important --you could stroll out of the building and do a cartwheel. Or high-five a fellow customer on your way out. Instead, I was sitting in our dining room on an incredibly rainy, dark Monday afternoon unable to hit "send."  My sister Zoe told me to just close my eyes and do it. Sam gave me the thumbs up. So around 3 p.m. that's what I did. With the click of a button, just like that: it was finished.

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Soft and Chewy Ginger Cookies (Plus a Treat for You)

Soft and Chewy Ginger Cookies (Plus a Treat for You)

Strolling New York City streets during the height of fall when all the leaves are changing and golden light glints off the brownstone windows. This is what I envisioned when I bought tickets to attend my cousin's September wedding earlier this month: Sam and I would extend the trip for a good day or two so we could experience a little bit of fall in the city. We'd finally eat at Prune and have scones and coffee at Buvette, as we always do. Sam wanted to take me to Russ and Daughters, and we'd try to sneak in a new bakery or ice cream shop for good measure. Well, as some of you likely know, my thinking on the weather was premature. New York City fall had yet to descend and, instead, we ambled around the city in a mix of humidity and rain. When we returned home I found myself excited about the crisp evening air, and the fact that the tree across the street had turned a rusty shade of amber. It was time to do a little baking. 

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Pear Gingerbread for Early Mornings

Pear Gingerbread for Early Mornings

We've been waking up early these days with baby Oliver. I've always been a morning person, so this isn't particularly challenging for me -- although the middle of the night feedings have proven to be really tough. There has been a lot of finessing of sleep schedules and figuring out how Sam and I can both get enough to function well the following day. And just when we think we have it down ("gosh, aren't we lucky we have a baby that sleeps?"), everything changes. When I was in the final weeks of pregnancy and would talk about how I couldn't wait for the baby to be here, all of my friends with kids would advise me to sleep as much as possible -- and now I get it. I should've napped more. I should've listened. In getting up at odd times throughout the night with Oliver, I've had the chance to occasionally see some really brilliant sunrises (although not this past week which has been a particularly dark one in Seattle); I've made up some wacky baby tunes that I'm happy no one else can hear; and I generally have a good hour in which I can put him in the sling and walk briskly around the house trying to soothe him back to sleep while also putting away a dish or two or making a quick cup of coffee. In that hour, I can usually get something productive done and this past weekend that something was pear gingerbread.

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