“This is a brilliant book filled with whole-grain breakfast inspiration, and so much more. Megan is an entrepreneur, a storyteller, a friend, and my kind of cook (and baker!). With this book, she delivers a range of enticing, seasonally minded recipes to start the day, wrapped with her warm, generous, personal narrative. Breakfast Fried Rice, Huckleberry Cornmeal Custard, California Barley Bowl? She does mornings right.”– HEIDI SWANSON, author of Super Natural Every Day
“Flip through Megan Gordon’s ‘Whole-Grain Mornings’ and you’ll want to eat breakfast from sunup to sunset – charm from cover to cover” – THE BOSTON GLOBE
“Whole-Grain Mornings is an honest story of a woman following her dreams, both in love and business… These recipes are smart, methodical and precise – they’re sure to inspire homemade mornings in your own home”– KIM BOYCE, author of Good to the Grain
Why This Book?
I’ve always wanted to write a breakfast book. It’s the meal we all start with, the meal that ushers us into the day. Even more, I wanted to write a book that reflects the way I do breakfast, acknowledging the fact that what we eat in the mornings looks different on a cold, gray morning in February than it does on a sunny morning in June. A busy Wednesday brings about different breakfast options than does a leisurely Sunday… It’s with this that I hope you continue to return back to the book as the months pass, the seasons change, and friends and family trickle in and out to join you at the breakfast table throughout the year.
What’s in the Book?
From busy weekdays to slow Sundays, I hope Whole Grain Mornings will inspire you to look beyond their average bowl of cereal towards healthy and delicious ways to incorporate whole grains into your morning meals. Featuring food and lifestyle photography along with a guide to the most commonly used whole grains and natural sweeteners – it’s my hope that this cookbook is as visually rich as it is refreshingly useful.
Highlights: Cheesy Chive Millet Grits, Smoked Salmon Crème Fraiche Tart with a Cornmeal-Millet Crust, Cherry Hazelnut Quinoa Bars.
Highlights: Peach Breakfast Cobbler with Cornmeal Thyme Biscuits, Zucchini Farro Cakes with Herbed Goat Cheese, Baked Eggs with Fresh Corn, Leek and Millet.
Highlights: Apple Farro Breakfast Bowl with Cranberries and Hazelnuts, Huckleberry Cornmeal Custard, Baked Pumpkin Risotto.
Highlights: Greens and Grains Scramble, Pear Hazelnut Oat Muffins, Banana Walnut Baked Oatmeal.
Writing this cookbook was a big undertaking, involving a dedicated team of editors, a great food stylist & photographer, lots of recipe testers, and many late nights in the kitchen. If you’re interested in learning more about writing cookbooks, I wrote a few blog posts about it (Not Quite What You’d Think, The Makings of a Cookbook Photoshoot, Meet the Cookbook). And if you’d like to learn more about Whole Grain Mornings in particular, we created a book website with a detailed peek into the book itself! There are many spots to purchase the book — at your favorite local book retailer or online (here, here, here, or here, for instance). If you like the approach to the recipes here on the blog and you’re looking for some new breakfast inspiration, I think you’re going to really like this cookbook.
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!
I always force myself to wait until after Halloween to start thinking much about holiday pies or, really, future holidays in general. But this year I cheated a bit, tempted heavily by the lure of a warmly-spiced sweet potato pie that I used to make back when I baked pies for a living in the Bay Area (way back when). We seem to always have sweet potatoes around as they're one of Oliver's favorite foods, and when I roast them for his lunch I've been wishing I could turn them into a silky pie instead. So the other day I reserved part of the sweet potatoes for me. For a pie that I've made hundreds of times in the past, this time reimagined with fragrant brown butter, sweetened solely with maple syrup, and baked into a flaky kamut crust. We haven't started talking about the Thanksgiving menu yet this year, but I know one thing for sure: this sweet potato pie will make an appearance.
This time last week I was up in the Skagit River Valley sitting in the early fall sun eating wood-fired bagels and chatting with farmers, millers and bakers at the Kneading Conference West. I made homemade soba noodles, learned the ins and outs of sourdough starters, and sat in on a session where we tasted crackers baked with single varietal wheats. It was like wine tasting, but with wheat and the whole time I kept pinching myself, thinking: THESE ARE MY PEOPLE! I don't get the opportunity to be a student much these days -- usually on the other side of things teaching cooking classes or educating people at the farmers markets about whole grains and natural sugars. So to just sit and listen with a fresh (red!) notebook and a new pen was surprisingly refreshing. I miss it already. Thankfully, this cookie recipe has come back as a memorable souvenir, and one that is sure to be in high rotation in our house in the coming months.
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.
I am writing this on Saturday afternoon on a day when we had big plans to conquer pre-baby chore lists, but Sam's not feeling great and my energy's a little low so it hasn't been quite what we'd envisioned. My goals for the morning were to repot a house plant and make some soup and I've done neither. I will say that the sweet potato and fennel are still sitting on the counter eagerly awaiting their Big Moment -- it just hasn't come about quite yet. Sam and I were both going to attempt to install the carseat, but it started to look really daunting so we abandoned ship; it's now sitting proudly in the basement, also eagerly awaiting its Big Moment. So it's been one of those weekends -- the kind you look back on and wonder what it is you actually accomplished. At the very least, I get the chance to tell you about this hearty cranberry cornbread. I know maybe it feels premature in the season for cranberry recipes, but hang with me here: slathered with a little soft butter and runny honey, there's nothing I'd rather eat right now on the cool, crisp Seattle mornings we've been having lately.