“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.
Glimpses of Spring
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).
It turns out shopping for wedding dresses is nothing like they make it appear in the movies. Or at least it hasn't been for me. Angels don't sing. Stars don't explode. Relatives don't cry. There isn't a sudden heart-stopping moment that this is, in fact, "the one." To be honest, I always knew that I wasn't the kind of gal for whom angels would sing or stars would explode but I did think I'd have some kind of moment where I could tell I'd found the best dress. Instead, my mom flew into town and we spent three (yes, three!!) days shopping for dresses, and since then I've been back to the stores we visited -- and I'm more undecided than ever. Tomorrow morning I'll return with my friend Keena to try and tie this business up once and for all. Cross your fingers.
When I was single and living alone in the Bay Area, I made virtually the same thing for dinner each night. I ate meals quickly while in front of the computer. Or even worse: the television. This most often included what I call "Mexican Pizzas" which were basically glorified quesadillas baked in the oven until crispy. Sometimes, if I was really feeling like cooking, I'd whip up a quick stir-fry with frozen vegetables from Trader Joe's or a mushroom frittata using pre-sliced mushrooms. Mostly, though, it was Mexican Pizzas -- a good four or five nights a week. Today, thankfully, dinner looks a lot different. Meals in general look a lot different. How would I explain that difference? I think that ultimately how we feel about our life colors how we choose to feed ourselves and the importance that we place on preparing our own meals.
Today was 75 degrees in Seattle and it seemed the whole city was out and about drinking iced coffee in tank tops and perhaps not working all that hard. When we have a hit of sunshine like this in April (or, really, any time of the year), we're all really good at making excuses to leave the office early -- or, simply, to "work from home." I just got back from LA last night, unpacked in a whirlwind this morning, and took Oliver to meet up with three friends from our parents group at the zoo. The only other time I'd been to the Seattle zoo was once with Sam a few years ago when we arrived thirty minutes before closing and ended up doing a whirlwind tour -- sprinting from the giraffes to the massive brown bear to the meerkat. The visit today was much different: we strolled slowly trying to avoid the spring break crowds and beating sun. I managed to only get one of Oliver's cheeks sunburned, and he even got in a decent nap. A success of an afternoon, I'd say. Coming home I realized we didn't have much in the fridge for lunch -- but thankfully there was a respectable stash of Le Croix (Le Croix season is back!) and a small bowl of this whole grain salad I made right before I left town. It's the kind of salad that's meant for this time of year: it pulls off colorful and fresh despite the fact that much of the true spring and summer produce isn't yet available. And for that reason, I make a few versions of it in early spring, often doubling the recipe so there's always the possibility of having a small bowl at 1 p.m. while the baby naps in the car seat, one cheek sunburned, windows and back door open -- a warm breeze creeping into the kitchen.
On Monday our little family of three is headed to the airport at 6 am to board our first with-baby cross-country trip. We'll be visiting Sam's family in New Jersey for a few days, then renting a car and driving over to meet up with my family at my mom's lake house in the Adirondacks. Sam's younger sister and her kids have yet to meet Oliver; my grandpa has yet to meet him, and Oliver has yet to take a dunk in a lake, see a firefly, or spend quality time with energetic dogs -- of which there will be three. A lot of firsts. This week my family has been madly texting, volunteering to make certain meals or sweets on assigned days while we're at the cabin and it got me thinking about really simple, effortless summer desserts -- in particular, ones that you can make while staying in a house with an unfamiliar kitchen and unfamiliar equipment and still do a pretty bang-up job. I think fruit crisp is just that thing.