“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.
Winter Soups and Stews
If your house is anything like ours, last week wasn't our most inspired in terms of cooking. We're all suffering from the post-election blues -- the sole upside being Oliver's decision to sleep-in until 7 am for the first time in many, many months; I think he's trying to tell us that pulling the covers over our heads and hibernating for awhile is ok. It's half-convincing. For much of the week, instead of cooking, there'd been takeout pizza and canned soup before, at week's end, I decided it was time to pour a glass of wine and get back into the kitchen. I was craving something hearty and comforting that we could eat for a few days. Something that wouldn't remind me too much of Thanksgiving because, frankly, I can't quite gather the steam to start planning for that yet. It was time for a big bowl of chili.
Last weekend it was so windy – apocalyptically stormy, you could say – that our tent at the farmers market was uprooted by gusts of wind that were not messing around. I wasn't there, but apparently despite being heavily weighted down and with four customers holding onto each corner, it quite literally blew down the block. Sam, from across town, was reporting trees falling on every block and traffic lights out across the city. The next morning on a walk with Oliver around Green Lake, we were met with that same biting wind and ended up retreating for a hot chocolate instead. 'Tis the season in Seattle: we all get a little giddy and ahead of ourselves when we spot the cherry blossoms and daffodils, and I always trick myself into thinking that with the start of daylight savings time, summer must be right around the corner. In truth, before we had Oliver, we'd often travel somewhere sunny for a little mood boost around this time of year. When I moved from California, many friends – other (empathetic) 'expats' now living in the Pacific Northwest – recommended this: if you know what's good for you, they'd all say, go find the sun in February or March, and we would follow that advice faaaaaithfully. But with a baby, this just isn't where our priorities are this year, and I've found myself relying on other antics like buying out of season strawberries, drinking white wine with dinner, buying a new pair of sandals that likely will not see the light of day for the next two months, and making big, colorful pots of feel good, springy soup. Let's not kid ourselves: Cherry blossoms or not, Seattle's no Palm Springs when it gets down to bathing in the sunlight. But if you step outside onto your little porch, smell the honeysuckle blooming, take notice of the longer, lighter days and think about how you simply can't wait to see your baby crawling around on the sand when it's warm enough to stroll down to the beach, it starts looking better in its own light.
We returned home from San Francisco on New Years Eve just in time for dinner, and craving greens -- or anything other than baked goods and pizza (ohhhh San Francisco, how I love your bakeries. And citrus. And winter sunshine). Instead of driving straight home, we stopped at our co-op where I ran in for some arugula, an avocado, a bottle of Prosecco, and for the checkout guys to not-so-subtly mock the outlook of our New Years Eve: rousing party, eh? They looked to be in their mid-twenties and I figured I probably looked ancient to them, sad even. But really, there wasn't much sad (or rousing, to be fair) about our evening: putting Oliver to bed, opening up holiday cards and hanging them in the kitchen, and toasting the New Year with arugula, half a quesadilla and sparkling wine. It wasn't lavish. But it's what we both needed. (Or at least what we had to work with.) Since then, I've been more inspired to cook lots of "real" food versus all of the treats and appetizers and snacks the holidays always bring on. I made Julia Turshen's curried red lentils for the millionth time, a wintry whole grain salad with tuna and fennel, roasted potatoes, and this simple green minestrone that I've taken for lunch this week. Determined to fit as many seasonal vegetables into a bowl as humanly possible, I spooned a colorful pesto on top, as much for the reminder of warmer days to come as for the accent in the soup (and for the enjoyment later of slathering the leftover pesto on crusty bread).
One of the things I wanted to accomplish before really returning to work in earnest was to print some of our honeymoon photos and get them into an album. This project has taken far longer than expected as I find myself daydreaming about the craggy streets of Naples and meeting up with our friends Mataio and Jessica for a late night slice of pizza which we ate sitting on the sidewalk before embarking on an aimless but wonderful stroll of the city. There are photos of our balcony by the sea, most with tanned limbs, sandy sandals and a Campari and soda gracing the periphery of the frame. There was the little grocery store up the hill from our apartment on the Amalfi Coast that had the sweetest, tiniest strawberries and the best yogurt in little glass jars. Tomatoes drying in the sun, Aperol spritzes and salty peanuts before dinner at the bar across from the church square where all the neighborhood kids played kickball. As I sit here typing this now, photos remain scattered on my desk and it's likely they may not make it into the proper slots in the album anytime soon. Of course, they have me dreaming of sunshine and long days with little agenda, but they also have me thinking about the simplicity of our meals in Italy and how truly easy it was to eat well. Coincidentally, a few days ago Rachel Roddy's lusty new cookbook (can we call it lusty?!), My Kitchen in Rome, arrived at our doorstep. Clearly it was time to set the photos aside and get into the kitchen.
And suddenly, it's fall. I find that realization always comes not so much with the dates on the calendar as it does the leaves on the ground, the first crank of the heat in the morning, the dusky light on the way home from an evening run. Because we were gone on the train for nearly a week, I feel like fall happened here in Seattle during that very time. I left town eating tomatoes and corn and returned to find squashes and pumpkins in the market. It was that quick. And so, it only seemed fitting that I make this soup, one that has graced the fall table of each and every apartment (and now house) I've ever lived. In fact, I'm surprised that I hadn't yet made it for you here, and delighted to share it with you today.