Power Oatmeal & 2 Minute Berry Mousse

Power Oatmeal & 2 Minute Berry Mousse | memo2munch

You guys, I’m doing real summer school for the first time ever. By real I mean, like, meets-in-a-classroom-on-campus summer school thing, so that’s excitingish? New experiences ‘n all that stuff?

I took a class last summer, but it doesn’t count. It was anatomy, and it was mostly online except for Tuesdays, when I would drive 1.5 hours to Terre Haute at like 7AM for “lab,” during which we would do something like 20 jumping jacks and then plunge our hands into ice water while someone else measures our heart rates. You know, crucial research like that.

Oh #TerreHauteTuesdays… I do not miss you.

This summer I’m taking public speaking and human resource management wooooooo!

Power Oatmeal & 2 Minute Berry Mousse | memo2munch

HR gets pretty lively (no sarcasm! Honest!) Our teacher worked in HR for a while before starting to teach, and also happens to be a G R E A T storyteller. Some part of class is always devoted to her real-life examples, riddled with appropriately dramatic transitions such as, “and I said, “oh, no you don’t!’” or “Uh uh. Not happening here,” and always neatly tied up with a satisfying, the-bad-guy-gets-it-in-the-end finish. Super entertaining.

I think she’s kind of a badass. HR! *fistpump*

Public speaking though…. Ehhhhhh….

Power Oatmeal & 2 Minute Berry Mousse | memo2munch

One issue might be the classroom. We’re set up in this dinky, little, window-less classroom in the basement of an old classroom building. The lights *sorta* do their job, but if you told me I was back in middle school the panic would be real.

Anyway, I’m almost positive my teacher for that class is at 203% energy alllll the time. So that in combination with the micro-classroom = Molly must have coffee before class or she will. not. survive.

I’m halfway done already though!!

Power Oatmeal & 2 Minute Berry Mousse | memo2munch

Bloomington in the summer is pretty nice, too. It’s very different than it is during the school year. I’ve picked out a few specifics:

– fewer people are here, so coffee lines are shorter and bathrooms are cleaner. I am about this arrangement. It can feel free to continue
– conferences always??! I figured my job as a server would be super low-key this summer, but multiple times now I have had groups of conference people stroll into the restaurant forty minutes before close & amiably inform me they will be a party of 15. I’ve become pro at hiding distress and throwing together salads at turbo speed. Does this happen to all servers at some point?
– the library may close earlier bUT THE ICE CREAM SHOP IS OPEN LATER
– my favorite study spot in the union is never taken mwahaha
– my go-to parking lot downtown that’s free after 5PM is never full mwahaha
– the slightly balding man I used to see taking pictures of campus in the same spot every day is still here!!! I wonder if he’s doing a time-lapse?? One day I’ll ask him.
– cicadas…. so many… I know that’s just special for this summer, but seriously they’re everywhere! I’ve taken to wearing my hair up when I walk outside for fear of them trying to hitch a ride.
– something on this one part of campus just makes me sneeze and sneeze, but I don’t know what it is!! Pollen: 1 Molly: 0
– there is a kind of unspoken camaraderie between students during the summer. It’s like, “oh, you’re also doing the academia instead of the vacation. We understand each other.”

Well, that’s my summer so far. Wanna talk about oatmeal for a sec??

Power Oatmeal & 2 Minute Berry Mousse | memo2munch

I’m a breakfast gal. Always have been, always will be. If vegetables weren’t a thing you needed in life, I’d be content to eat breakfast for everrrry meal of the day. (#brinner) And I loooove oatmeal, but I was getting tired of my usual blueberry/banana/walnut combo.

I lovelovelove this version! The berry mousse is actually a super simple blend of blackberries, dates, avocado, and a little lemon juice. Naturally sweet and full of healthy fats, this power breakfast is sure to keep you full of energy! Possibly even 203% energy?? Maybe I’ll do a speech about it.

Ok byeeee<3

Power Oatmeal & 2 Minute Berry Mousse
Serves 2-3

Ingredients
For the oatmeal:
1 cup rolled oats
2 cups milk (any kind) or water
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
pinch salt
honey, to taste

For the berry mousse:
1/2 avocado
1/2 lb. berries (about a cup)
2 dates, pitted
1 tsp. lemon juice

Coconut whip* or yogurt, fresh berries, pumpkin seeds or nuts, to top

Directions
1. In a medium saucepan, combine the oats, milk, cinnamon, honey, and salt. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until desired thickness is reached. I cooked mine for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
2. In a blender or food processor, combine the mousse ingredients. Blend until smooth and creamy. Add a little water if mousse is too thick. Add more berries if mousse is not thick enough.
3. Spoon oatmeal into bowls. Top with mousse, coconut whip or yogurt, fresh berries, and seeds or nuts. Enjoy!

*coconut whip adds a delicious creaminess to oatmeal, as well as more healthy fats! Put a can of full-fat coconut milk in the fridge the night before. In the morning, scoop the creamy portion of the milk into a bowl. Reserve the water for another use (maybe to cook your oatmeal?). Whip the creamy part briefly until it is thick and light. Store in the fridge until ready to use.

100th post & bagels!!!!!

Happy New Year!! I know it’s already almost the end of January, but I haven’t come up with my New Year’s resolutions yet which means the year hasn’t reallllly started. Because everything revolves around me. *hair toss*)

Real, Good Bagels | memo2munch

While we’re on the subject of me, (Yes I’m aware that I began that subject) I have some super exciting news and it is in fact soooooooo exciting that even bagels will have to wait and that is no small matter.

Today is my 100th blog post on memo2munch!!!!

Talk about starting the new year off right! Yup, I’ve yakked away on memo2munch 100 times, which is pretty c r a z y.

So in celebration, I’m sharing a recipe for one of my favorite foods and one that I think we can all agree is deliciously worthy of the 100th recipe spotlight.

Real, Good Bagels | memo2munch

I have a very strong love for bagels. I think it must be in every Jew’s DNA somewhere. Like we hear any of the bagel trigger words (“schmear,” “lox”) and then wheels of dough start rolling through our brains down to our mouths & out pops the phrase, “Bagels?! I love bagels!”

Which, of course, is quickly followed by, “But, you know, only Good, Real Bagels™.”

What’s a real bagel? Well, everyone has an opinion, but many say they’ve got to be boiled before they’re baked. I’m all for a good boiled bagel, so today’s recipe includes an easy boiling step! Hey, it’s the 100th post. We gotta go all out.

Real, Good Bagels | memo2munch

During the winter holidays a lot of my family gets together. We plan the whole week around food (not even kidding), and one of the days always includes a FISH FEAST! It really feels like a feast. My cousin has a bunch of cured and smoked fish flown in from this famous place in New York called Russ & Daughter’s. We’re talking lox, kippered salmon, sturgeon, even a whole smoked white fish! Then one of my other cousins snags a variety of chewy bagels from downtown Chicago. We all gather at my grandparents’ house one afternoon and eat so much yummy food, with bagels at the foundation. (My grandpa makes a lox too, which holds its own against anything from Russ & Daughters.)

Real, Good Bagels | memo2munch

I couldn’t have made it to my 100th post without the support I’ve received from all of you who take the time to read my blog & encourage me. Thank you so much! You are a very important part of this blog, so I’ve collected some of your bagel memories to share today too. <3

“When I was little I use to call them ‘not-donuts’ and for a while I use to feel cheated by them cuz they weren’t donuts but now I love them way more than their sugary counterparts.” – Kriss

“My grandma used to make “birdies in the nest” for my brothers when my brothers slept over at my grandparents house. By the time I was old enough to sleep over, my grandpa had ripped off my grandma’s idea and made “birdies in the bagel”. It’s a piece of bread (nest) with a hole cut in the middle for the egg, or in the hole of a bagel if making the bagel version. All my cousins and I went more bananas over birdies in the bagel than birdies in the nest, so grandpa always got a lot of credit and grandma was kind of resentful of that. I have a lot of memories of watching my grandpa make both birdies in the bagel and soldiers (cinnamon sugar toast cut into long strips) for me when I slept over at their house. I never made them myself at home until he passed away in November. The first birdies in the bagel I made, I cracked the egg and it was a double yolk. Grandpa always loved yolk, and double ones especially so. Anyway, I guess what I’m trying to say is because of birdies in the bagel, I will always associate bagels with my grandpa.” – Hannah

“My dad owned a bagel shop for awhile! We grew up running around eating fresh bagel bites (mini bagels with a dollop of cream cheese icing)!” – Alyssa

“While in NY over break I visited a friend in New Jersey for a day and told her I needed the “NJ experience” incorporated into my visit. When we were considering breakfast options, she mentioned bagels. I said sure, but I wondered if that would fill us up (we were both really hungry). She said bagels in NJ are different than ones I’d find in Carmel, so just one bagel would do the trick. I had a whole wheat bagel with veggie cream cheese and lo and behold, it kept me full through the 4 different trains/subways it took to get me back to where I was staying with my dad in NY!” – Jacob

“SWEET BAGEL! We have it in israel its the best thing ever! Its basically bagel brushed with sugar syrup” – Miriam

“I was around 17 (thinking back it seems like that can’t be right–so old for such an epiphany?) when my brother moved to New York and I had my first everyseed with lox. There are a few holy trinities in food: one is basil/tomato/mozzarella, another lox/caper/onion. And enormous amounts of schmear. There is no delicate way to eat this sandwich.” – Steven

“Tommy [my fiance] and I go almost every Sunday to Einstein’s Bagels and pick some up for breakfast. It’s become a ritual!” – Cindy

“I heard once that if you eat a Montreal bagel and a New York City bagel on the same day, the bagels will know you’re a traitor and work together to kill you from the inside. I was pretty skeptical until I saw it with my own two eyes.” – Throsby (details, we need details, Throsby!)

“When I was a kid, there was this bagel place near my mom’s work and she would pick up chocolate chip bagels with chocolate chip cream cheese. One day, she got some for me and they were gone overnight. My dad came right out and admitted to eating them, complaining about how sickly sweet they were and he said they made him sick, but apparently that didn’t stop him from eating every last one and all of the chocolate chip cream cheese. Those things were so good.” – Sara

“[Your aunt’s] Bat Mitzvah was held the weekend of March 17. Because we had several relatives coming in from out of town, Grandma and Poppy hosted a brunch on that Sunday and served bagels, lox, and other brunch-type foods. A week or so before then, Grandma went to the little bakery in Whiting and ordered bagels for the weekend. When she went to the bakery that Saturday to pick up the bagels, she noticed that they had green bagels in the case. She thought it would be fun to also get a few green bagels for the brunch on Sunday, so she asked the woman behind the counter for a couple of green bagels. The woman looked at her and said, “It’s St. Patrick’s Day. All the bagels are green!” It was quite the sight — the bright orange lox and white cream cheese on the green bagels.” -My momma!

“I had a bagel today. There was a high amount of cream cheese.” – Tyler (a bagel success story)

“Living in a predominantly jewish community in the suburbs of New York City has greatly elevated my standards for bagels! For one thing, a truly fresh bagel NEVER needs should be toasted. If you’re buying it fresh, it will already be warm and ready to be eaten immediately with a massive glob of cream cheese shmear. Also, its an unspoken rule that you never buy your bagels from multiple bagel joints- you obviously must commit to one family-run bagel place.” – Piper

“As you know I eat like 200 bagels a year at Einsteins. It’s like our second home. Although bagels should be boiled. And one of the reasons NYC bagels are so good is the water.” – Ken

“The first time I ever had a REAL bagel was in Seattle. Amazing. I didn’t know then that a real bagel is boiled before it’s baked. I made them myself a few times after that but, even though they tasted good, they were very ugly. Not smooth like a store bought one. Tell me how to fix that problem.” -Susan (I’ll do some more experimenting & let ya know! 😉 )

“When we go on overnight at camp (it’s the teen portion of camp walking out to a spot in the woods and camping out), the counselors make all of the food. In the mornings, I would always look forward to a blueberry bagel grilled so it had just started to brown and some cream cheese! It was always really welcome, especially because you had to stay close to the warm charcoal fire to make it perfect (so it didn’t burn) and then it was always so yummy! It was a really fun way to toast bagels and the campsite itself is quite pretty, in the middle of the woods.”Colleen

“We would get all kindds of assorted bagels quite often growing up because the Bagels Forever factory is in Madison and my dad would always get himself everything bagels with all the onion and garlic and seeds, so my mom would make him keep them in a separate bag. He’d eat them with lox and cream cheese—-I eat them with butter. My favorite bagel! And the pool I went to was across the street from the factory/shop and bagels were 25 cents each so when I was a kid on swim team we would hunt for quarters by the vending machines cuz if you found one you got a bagel!”Mari

Good, Real Bagels™ (aka boiled bagels)
Makes 8 bagels
Adapted from sophisticatedgourmet.com

Ingredients
2 tsp. active dry yeast
1.5 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 ¼ cups (300mL) warm water
3 ½ cups (500g) bread flour, plus more for kneading
1.5 tsp. salt

For optional toppings:
1 egg, beaten
Sesame seeds
Poppy seeds

Method
1. Warm ½ cup of the water so that it is the temperature of bath water, meaning it is quite warm but you can keep your finger comfortably submerged. Stir in the sugar and then sprinkle the yeast on top. Let sit 5-10 minutes until foamy.

2. In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt together. Make a well in the center and pour in the yeast and sugar mixture as well as about half of the remaining water.

3. Mix the dough together, adding the rest of the water bit by bit if needed. Then turn onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes until you have a stiff, smooth dough that is no longer sticky to the touch.

4. Wipe out the bowl from before, it doesn’t have to be spotless, just so all the loose crumbs are gone. Lightly brush bowl with oil and place the dough ball inside. Cover with plastic wrap also coated with some oil or a damp dish towel. Let the dough rise for 1 hour in a warm place until it has doubled in size. Gently punch dough down and let it rest for another 10 minutes.

5. Divide the dough into 8 pieces, as uniform as possible. Shape each piece into a tight ball. Coat a finger in flour and gently press your finger into the center of each dough ball to create the ring shape. Stretch the ring so the hole is about 1/3 the width of the bagel. Place on a lightly oiled cookie sheet.

6. After shaping the rings, cover the cookie sheet with plastic wrap coated in oil or a damp kitchen towel and let rest for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F/220 degrees C.

7. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then reduce the heat. Use a slotted spoon to lower the bagels gently into the water, being careful not to deflate them. Boil as many as can fit in one layer in the pot. Let the bagels float on one side for 1-2 minutes, then flip using the spoon and let float for another 1-2 minutes. Remove from water and return to cookie sheet, letting as much water drip off as possible.

8. At this point, add any toppings by brushing the bagels with egg wash and sprinkling the toppings on top.

9. Ready to bake! Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy.

On Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes & Alchemy

Cooking is alchemy, don’t you think?

Take pancakes, for example (don’t mind if I do).

You start with a mixture of things that you would never eat as is (read: flour, baking powder, oil, eggs), and things that are “eh” as is (sugar, milk), which you then turn into something that I would argue is better than gold. Chocolate chips, of course, are an exception to the whole “eh” rule, but they’re an add-in, so you get what I’m saying.

On Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes and Alchemy | memo2munch

Sometimes when I cook I feel like a mad scientist. And like any good mad scientist would, I start wondering if this way is the only way to do things. If I could get just as good a result using other ingredients or tweaking things here and there.

I got reaaaaal mad scientist-y when I found out about my dairy allergy. I grabbed a lab coat, some goggles, and experimented with baking using non-dairy milk and butter. I had some major successes, like dairy-free cinnamon rolls and vegan buttermilk biscuits. And they STILL made me take chemistry in college. Can you believe it?

The thing about this type of baking, though, is that you’re substituting an ingredient with something similar, something intended to be a substitute for that specific ingredient. Almond milk is made to replace cow’s milk.

On Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes and Alchemy | memo2munch

So the question becomes: can you substitute an ingredient with something completely different and unique?

YEAH YOU CAN, YOU ALCHEMIST, YOU.

I made these delish—and I do mean delish—pancakes vegan by using one mashed banana in place of an egg. It works because the properties of each result in the same function.

Why are there eggs in pancakes anyway? To bind things together. Eggs keep your pancakes from crumbling apart. But if you don’t want to use eggs to hold your pancakes together, you have to use something else that acts as a binder in its place. Mashed banana has the same binding effect as eggs, not to mention is vegan, and adds sweetness and a light banana flavor. And the fluffiness factor we all love about pancakes is entirely unaffected. Alchemy.

It’s like your favorite banana bread… in a pancake. With chocolate. *Bows*

On Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes and Alchemy | memo2munch

If you’re vegan or just curious about other egg replacements, each of the following will replace 1 egg:
– 1 tbsp. ground flax mixed with 3 tbsp. water, let sit for 30 min. to thicken
– 1 tbsp. chia seeds mixed with 3 tbsp. water, let sit for 30 min. to thicken
– ¼ c. pureed silken tofu
– ¼ c. dairy-free yogurt

On Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes and Alchemy | memo2munch

Easy Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes
(makes 10-12 5in. pancakes)

Ingredients
2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (or any flour, such as gf)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
2 medium bananas, mashed
2 cups (470 mL) dairy-free milk or mix with 2 tbsp. lemon juice (for vegan buttermilk)
3 tbsp. oil, plus more to grease pan
vegan chocolate chips (I like using mini)
Maple syrup, sliced banana, or melted white chocolate, for serving (optional)

Method
1. In a large bowl, mix the dairy-free milk with the lemon juice and let stand until thickened. In a separate, smaller bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar.

2. Mash the bananas with a fork until smooth and add to the bowl with the milk mixture. Add the oil as well and mix until evenly combined. Pour the flour mixture into the liquids and gently mix with a spatula just until no large lumps remain. (Small lumps are fine).

3. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Grease lightly with oil and ladle the pancakes into the pan in disks 4-5 inches in diameter. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the pancakes in the pan. At this point you can lower the heat to medium-low. Cook until bubbles appear in the center of the pancakes and the edges begin to look dry, then flip. Cook for 1 minute on the other side. Serve as is or with any of the topping choices listed in the ingredients. (If you want melted white chocolate—–it’s good!—–you can melt the chocolate in a glass bowl set atop a pot of boiling water, or by microwaving in 30 seconds increments and stirring after each.)

Lemon Basil Scones with 2 Ingredient Lemon Glaze

I once saw a Tumblr post that said something like, “I feel like Michael Cera never intended to act but was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and was too awkward to tell them he wasn’t an actor so filmed stuff anyway, and now he’s let it go too far and can’t back out,” and I lol’d for a good several minutes. (I don’t really think that, of course…)

Lemon Basil Scones with 2 Ingredient Lemon Glaze | memo2munch

Turns out, however, that karma remembered that I laughed about Michael Cera’s supposed acting backstory. And now I find that Tumblr post a lot more relatable. Let me explain.

~story time yaaaaaaay~

Once upon a time (If I begin it like a fairytale then maybe it will all just be a dream?) two days ago, I had an appointment at an elementary school in Bologna to interview a teacher about how school lunches work there.

I got to the school at 8am and walked in with a swarm of 7-year-old Italians, so that was adventure #1. When I got to [teacher]’s classroom, there was a substitute there who told me [teacher] wouldn’t arrive until 8:30. I figured I’d just hang out in the classroom and listen to adorable children speak Italian better than me.

Well. Was I ever wrong. (About the hanging out part, not the kids being better than me at Italian part)

Lemon Basil Scones with 2 Ingredient Lemon Glaze | memo2munch

The sub had me introduce myself to the class, which I thought was somewhat weird, but I went along with it anyway. I should tell you that it’s common for college students here in Bologna to volunteer at elementary schools as English teachers.

Can you see where this is going?

After the sub took attendance, she gestured toward me and said to the class, “This is going to be your teacher for the day! She’s going to help you learn the days of the week in English! Michele, start naming them and Molly will correct you.”

Um.
Wait.
Did I just get roped into teaching English?
I just got roped into teaching English.

Lemon Basil Scones with 2 Ingredient Lemon Glaze | memo2munch

“I’m not here to teach English!” -is what I should have said right away. But I just couldn’t. I became Tumblr Michael Cera.

Finally, at about the third kid naming the days of the week, I found my voice and explained to the sub that I was just there to interview [teacher]. As soon as I got the words out, the real English teacher showed up. She was from Georgia–—the country. She spoke no Italian, and only kind of spoke English. With a veeery thick accent.

I almost wish I had been supposed to teach them because now that Georgia was there I had to sit through her not realizing that some of the kids were saying that Saturday came after Wednesday. I mean, I know we all wish it did, but I also want those kids to actually learn English.

Lemon Basil Scones with 2 Ingredient Lemon Glaze | memo2munch

Anyway, that’s the story of how karma is on Michael Cera’s side. What a morning.

I like to think that I just wasn’t completely awake yet and would have spoken up earlier if I had had time for coffee… But who even knows.

I BLAME YOU, MICHAEL CERA. At least in the end I got some good lunch info. And a good story.

And here’s a recipe for the dangerously delicious scones that I should have been telling you about, but you’re happy you got a story instead, right? (Srsly though, lemon and basil is a winning combo. Please make these scones. And please don’t laugh at Michael Cera.)

Lemon Basil Scones with 2 Ingredient Lemon Glaze | memo2munch

Lemon Basil Scones with 2 Ingredient Lemon Glaze

For the scones:
3 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. salt
¼ c. granulated sugar
½ c. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter or earth balance, cut into small cubes
¾ c. nondairy milk mixed with ¾ tbsp. vinegar or lemon juice*
1 large egg
Zest from one lemon
2 tbsp. to ¼ c. chopped fresh basil
1 beaten egg, for brushing scone tops before baking

Lemon Glaze:
1.5 cups powdered sugar
3 tbsp. lemon juice (use the lemon you zested for the scones)

Method
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Use your fingers or a pastry cutter to incorporate the butter until the mixture feels like sand.

3. In a small bowl, whisk the egg with the milk and vinegar mixture. Add to flour mixture ¼ cup at a time and stir until the mixture comes together in a soft dough. You might not need all of the liquid. Fold in the zest and basil.

4. Turn dough onto a floured cutting board and gently flip it over itself about 10 times. Pat into a wide rectangle one inch thick and about 4-5 inches tall. Cut the dough vertically into 4 smaller rectangles, then cut each rectangle in half diagonally to create 8 triangles. Arrange triangles a few inches apart on lined baking sheet. Brush each scone with beaten egg. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until scones are lightly golden and a toothpick comes out clean.

5. Make the glaze: Combine the sugar and lemon juice in a bowl and whisk thoroughly. If glaze is too thin, add more powdered sugar. If glaze is too thick, add a little milk or water. Spoon glaze over scones and enjoy!

*If not dairy-free you can substitute buttermilk for the entire mixture, or make the mixture with dairy milk

Shakshuka!!

Right now I’m bundled up in my big, green, elf sweater (like, cool woodland elf, not north pole elf), listening to the Beatles and dreaming about shakshuka. And everything is perfect because it’s 2pm, and I haven’t left the house yet. ~FRIDAZE~

Unfortunately, there is lots of work to be done before the end of the semester, so I guess I shouldn’t spend allllll day doing what I’m doing. *Cue side-eye at anatomy*

shakshuka | memo2munch

How was your Thanksgiving?! Mine was great and oh-so yum. Hope yours was, too. I helped my grandpa make the turkey and stuffing, and since cooking is a serious matter, we wore serious outfits to boot:

IMG_9986

Our group of eleven sat around a huge dining room table, ate, talked, and had a grand old time, passing dishes toppling with delicious food back and forth until we were full of nutriment and gratitude. Those are nice things to be filled with. 🙂

shakshuka | memo2munch

When the air outside is uber chilly, and we have to wait another year to be filled with Thanksgiving food again (but not gratitude!), some comfort food is certainly in order. But you’ve been around, and you know there must be more to comfort food than mac n’ cheese and potatoes in any form. Enter: shakshuka!!! I just can’t type it without the exclamation points. It’s too exciting. We’re talking spices, aromatic tomato sauce, runny yolks –> warming you from the inside out! <3

Plus it’s fun to say. (And healthy—shhhh!)

shakshuka | memo2munch

shakshuka | memo2munch

Shakshuka is a North African dish in origin, and it’s often eaten in Isreal for breakfast. As a girl who believes breakfast food is anytime food, I’m planning to make this whenever the heck I want. So, basically, way too often. Give it a try the next time you’re looking for a meal you want to dive right into!

shakshuka | memo2munch

Shakshuka

(Adapted from the New York Times)

Ingredients
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. cayenne, or to taste
1 (28-ounce) can chopped plum tomatoes with juices
3/4 tsp. salt, more as needed
1/4 tsp. black pepper, more as needed
5-6 large eggs
Chopped cilantro, for serving
Pita or other bread, for serving

Method
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. On the stove in a large cast iron or other oven-proof skillet, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add onion and bell pepper. Cook gently until very soft, about 20 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 to 2 minutes until tender. Add cumin, paprika, and cayenne and stir. Pour in tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Let simmer about 10 minutes until tomatoes have thickened.
3. Gently crack the eggs into the skillet over tomatoes. Season each egg with salt and pepper. Using an oven mitt or pad, transfer skillet to oven and bake until eggs are just set, round 7 to 10 minutes. Toast bread while shakshuka is in the oven.
4. After the shakshuka has been removed from the oven, sprinkle with cilantro and serve with a slice of toasted bread.

Muesli

Here, let me introduce you to muesli.

Or as its friends like to call it, lazy granola.

Ooh yeah, I saw those ears perk up.

Muesli | memo2munch

Because sometimes (all the time) you don’t want to wait around forever for granola to toast in the oven, but you also don’t want to spend your life savings + an arm on little bags of overpriced granola consisting of ingredients you can buy IN BULK from Kroger for the same amount or less TOTAL. I know.

Muesli | memo2munch

muesli3'5

Muesli is the exact same thing as granola, only it’s not toasted or just slightly toasted. If you decide not to toast it, you literally just have to throw things in a bowl and stir them around. Done.

It’s the most college thing ever, but it makes you look hipster-foodie as all get out.

And saves you a lotta money.

And gives you a lotta fiber, which helps lower bad cholesterol (byeeee, LDL) and keeps you full.

Muesli | memo2munch

“What did I do today? Oh, well I woke up early, biked to my favorite coffee shop–you know, that one next to that old record store I love–made a batch of muesli, saved a kitten, detangled my flower crown from my hair, and watched all of Wes Anderson’s films and it’s only 2pm.” <—- YOU

Muesli | memo2munch

Just like granola, muesli is super customizable. You can sub in all different kinds of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit, or add some cinnamon for a little extra kick. As long as you stick with the basic formula, your ratios will turn out right.

I like to eat my muesli with coconut milk and so much fruit that you can’t even see the muesli underneath. Aka like this:

Muesli | memo2munch

You could also eat your muesli sprinkled over yogurt or in parfait form, mixed with water and heated up to make oatmeal, or however you so desire. It will be delicious, I promise.

Experiment with some muesli this week!!

Muesli | memo2munch

Muesli
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 4 cups rolled oats (certified GF if celiac)
  2. 1 cup nuts
  3. 1 cup seeds
  4. 1 cup dried fruit
  5. 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
Instructions
  1. If toasting muesli: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil. In a large bowl, combine oats, nuts, and seeds. Stir in honey or maple syrup. Spread evenly on pan and toast for 10-15 minutes. Let cool completely before mixing in fruit. Store in an airtight container.
  2. If not toasting muesli: Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Store in an airtight container.
Memo2munch http://memo2munch.com/

Honey & Sauteed Apple French Toast

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

New Year’s in September? Well, yes, if you’re Jewish. Which, for the record, I am. Bat Mitzvah’d and everything. (Mazel tov!)

Honey Sauteed Apple French Toast | memo2munch

The Jewish New Year is called Rosh Hashanah. It translates to literally, “head of the year,” and is celebrated on the first and second days of the Hebrew month Tishri. By the Gregorian calendar, Rosh Hashanah starts September 24 at sundown. Please look it up if you’d like to know more. It’s a really interesting holiday!

Honey Sauteed Apple French Toast | memo2munch

It’s definitely not much like your typical New Year’s celebration, but the idea of starting fresh and reflecting on self-improvement are still there! And boy, do I have a way to improve your breakfast plans.

Speaking of self-improvement, this new year marks some big improvements for the photography here on memo2munch. Brace yourselves for the utter awesomeness that is the pictures taken with my NEW CAMERA! New year, new camera. It’s fitting, right?

I’m now lucky enough to be shooting with a Canon Rebel t3i with a 50mm f/1.8 lens.

If that was total gibberish to you, than you’re like me a few months ago when I started researching cameras. It’s okay. All you need to know is that this baby is WONDERFUL, and I now spend A LOT of time taking pictures of food. Well, more than I did before. Alright so we’re probably, like, borderline paparazzi-stalking food these days.

Honey Sauteed Apple French Toast | memo2munch

Anyway, I’ve actually had the camera for a couple weeks now, but I wanted to post all of the recipes I had been saving up before I posted any of the new camera pictures. You see, I knew that once the new pictures went out into the world, there was no going back. And then you wouldn’t have gotten Cherry Chocolate Rye Muffins!!

Honey Sauteed Apple French Toast | memo2munch

Honey Sauteed Apple French Toast | memo2munch

BUT NOW I’m ready to post the new camera pictures, and it just so happens to be Rosh Hashanah. Ah, it’s the little things!

I mentioned earlier that I was going to improve your breakfast plans. I SO still am. I just got distracted by honey dripping off bites of French toast, and that sort of thing.

Honey Sauteed Apple French Toast | memo2munch

Say hello to quite possibly the most delicious French toast I have ever made/tasted/stuffed into my mouth. Not kidding.

We’ve got French toast made with the best bread ever, Challah, topped with tender, sautéed apples and drenched in warm, cinnamon honey. It doesn’t get better than that. And it’s a very proper way to celebrate Rosh Hashanah!

Challah (pronounced hah-luh, with some phlegm action at the beginning, if you can manage it), a sweet, Jewish, egg bread, is shaped in a straight, braided loaf most of the year. On Rosh Hashanah, however, it is round and will oftentimes be extra sweet and filled with plump raisins. The circular shape represents the circle of life and the beginning cycle of a new year. (Annnnd cue Lion King. Come on, you’re all thinking it.) So we’re making our French toast with challah—whether or not it has raisins is up to you.

Honey Sauteed Apple French Toast | memo2munch

Side note: even if it wasn’t Rosh Hashanah, we’d be making French toast with challah. It makes THE BEST French toast.

Another traditional treat enjoyed on Rosh Hashanah is apples dipped in honey, a symbol of a sweet new year. Hence the honey and apple-y goodness on top of our French toast here.

So use your leftover challah, or make a special trip to get some, and treat yourself to a lovely breakfast. Start the New Year right!

If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends and family. You can enter your email into the box in the sidebar to have new posts sent directly to your email. Thanks for reading!

Honey Sauteed Apple French Toast | memo2munch

 

Honey Sauteed Apple French Toast
Serves 2
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
15 min
For the honey sauteed apples
  1. 1 tbsp. coconut oil or earth balance
  2. 2 medium apples, sliced into thin wedges with the skin on (you can remove it if you want, but you lose some of the fiber!)
  3. 1/2 c. honey
  4. 1 tsp. cinnamon, more to taste
For the French toast
  1. coconut oil or earth balance for the pan
  2. 4 thick slices Challah bread
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 1/2 c. almond milk
  5. toasted walnuts to top (optional)
  6. cinnamon to top (optional)
Instructions
  1. Heat two medium skillets over medium-low heat. While they warm up, whisk the eggs and almond milk together in a bowl. Start the honey sauteed apples: Melt the coconut oil in one of the pans. Then add the apple slices in an even layer and sprinkle with the cinnamon. After 2-3 minutes, mix the apples around in the pan so that the cinnamon is distributed evenly.
  2. Start the French toast: Melt the earth balance in the other pan. Dip each slice of bread into the egg mixture so that it is thoroughly covered, and then transfer to the pan with the earth balance. Repeat with the remaining slices.
  3. Let the French toast cook on one side for 2-3 minutes. Stir the apples frequently during this time. Flip the French toast and cook for 1-2 minutes on the other side.
  4. While the French toast finishes cooking, pour the honey into the pan with the apples and remove from heat, stirring gently.
  5. Plate the finished French toast. Top with the warm honey and apple mixture. Sprinkle with cinnamon and toasted walnuts, if desired.
Memo2munch http://memo2munch.com/

Vegan Buttermilk Biscuits

There comes a point in every person’s life when he or she leaves the comfort of toast as the sole base for breakfast spreads and enters the world of tender, flaky, biscuits.

Butter melts into every last crumb, jam shines on one biscuit half, cream cheese smothers the other, and MOLLY’S MOUTH WATERS, OH EM GEE.

Vegan Buttermilk Biscuits | memo2munch

I’ve loved all things dough-y and delicious since I was just a wee girl, and biscuits definitely qualify. We have a tradition when we see my Grandpa Gene where he’ll make my sister and me biscuits one morning. It’s been going on for as long as I can remember, and those are for sure my favorite biscuits. This recipe would have to be my second favorite. Just being honest, here. I can’t lie to you guys! 🙂

I also love pancakes, muffins, bagels, cinnamon rolls, donuts, cookies, everything related to bread, yeah. However, when you’re vegan or just dairy-free like me, you can’t get a lot of these things at restaurants because they invariably have dairy in them. Buttermilk biscuits I don’t even have to ask about.

Vegan Buttermilk Biscuits | memo2munch

So I end up having to make a lot of that stuff myself if I want a dairy-free version. But I’ve neeeever attempted something that has ‘milk’ in its name. That just seemed like I would be breaking some sort of rule. Committing a cooking faux pas. Whatever you want to call it.

NOT ANYMORE, FRIENDS!

Buttermilk biscuits CAN and WILL be vegan in this household (unless Grandpa visits 😉 ), and they CAN and WILL taste delicious because this recipe is the bomb.com. Thank you, Minimalist Baker! You’d NEVER know they were vegan unless you saw the ingredients go in the bowl. And even then you might still deny it. They’re THAT good, friends.

Vegan Buttermilk Biscuits | memo2munch

You may have heard of this trick already, but if you need buttermilk in a pinch you can make your own by adding a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup of milk. Turns out you can also make vegan buttermilk by adding a teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar to your non-dairy milk. How cool is that?! I think dairy-free buttermilk pancakes are next on my list.

And even though these biscuits have zero buttermilk or butter in them, they still have the wonderful, buttery flavor and tender crumb of your favorite buttermilk biscuit. Only vegan-ified. Enjoy.

If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends and family. To have new posts delivered straight to your email, you can click the gray follow button on the left side of the screen or at the bottom of the page. Thanks for reading!

Vegan Buttermilk Biscuits | memo2munch

Minimalist Baker’s Vegan Buttermilk Biscuits
makes 7 or 8 biscuits

Click here to print recipe.

Ingredients
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp sea salt
4 Tbsp non-dairy, unsalted butter (I use Earth Balance)
1 cup unsweetened PLAIN almond milk + 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice or vinegar

Method
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
2. Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
3. Add cold butter and use fingers or a pastry cutter to combine the two until only small pieces remain and it looks like sand. Work quickly so the butter doesn’t get too warm.
4. Make a well in the dry ingredients and, using a wooden spoon, stir gently while pouring in the almond milk mixture 1/4 cup at a time. You may not need all of it. Stir until just slightly combined – it will be sticky.
5. Turn onto a lightly floured surface, dust the top with a bit of flour and then very gently turn the dough over on itself 5-6 times – hardly kneading.
6. Form into a 1-inch thick disc, handling as little as possible.
Use a 1-inch thick dough cutter or a similar-shape object with sharp edges and push straight down through the dough, then slightly twist. Repeat and place biscuits on a baking sheet in two rows, making sure they just touch – this will help them rise uniformly. Gently reform the dough and cut out one or two more biscuits – you should have 7-8.
7. Next brush the tops with a bit more of melted non-dairy butter and gently press a small divot in the center using two fingers. This will also help them rise evenly, so the middle won’t form a dome.
8. Bake in a 450 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until fluffy and slightly golden brown. Serve immediately. Let remaining biscuits cool completely before storing them in an airtight container or bag.

Basic Granola (Gluten Free)

I’ve never had a particularly good relationship with insects.

As in, a grasshopper puked on me when I was younger, I’ve found at least four bugs in beds I’ve slept in, my mosquito bites get humongous, and the first time I ever got stung was by a wasp and a bee on the same day. On my stomach.

I’ll admit it. These encounters have left me kind of paranoid. (Anyone else check under their pillows and blankets for bugs before they crawl into bed each night? That’s normal, right?) But now I KNOW the bugs are out to get me.

Basic GF Granola | memo2munch

You see, a giant spider has decided that our back door is a perfect place to set up spider shop. Its web extends about a third of the way down the doorway, so we have to duck if we want to grill or water the plants. SUCH CRUELTY.

During the day when the spider is off doing whatever spiders do (plotting world domination), we get rid of the web with a stick, but lo and behold, by the next day the web is back.

Basic GF Granola | memo2munch

As if this wasn’t bad enough, today a wasp decided that our front door was prime real estate for a nest. It literally built a nest ON our front door. Not on the frame, but on the front door. Yep, can’t even open that one now. (Update: my father has since taken a hose to our front door and washed the nest away—brave man. Fingers crossed it doesn’t reappear and/or the wasps don’t wage war on our household.)

Basic GF Granola | memo2munch

If it weren’t for the garage door, WE WOULD BE TRAPPED.

Watch, a praying mantis battalion will be waiting outside of the garage tomorrow.

At least in the event of an insect takeover, I have homemade granola to comfort me.

I am definitely a granola girl. I like it on yogurt, with some almond milk like cereal, sprinkled on a fruit crisp, and even just by itself. The sweet crunch of toasted oats and nuts mixed with the chewy tartness of dried fruit creates a texture adventure for your mouth, and it’s super filling and nutritious—I can’t get enough!

Basic GF Granola | memo2munch

I used to buy granola, but it’s super easy to make and will save you tons of money coming from your own kitchen. Plus it’s one of the most customizable foods out there. Any dried fruit will work, as well as any nuts and seeds. Throw in some pumpkin pie spice during the fall for a fun twist, or a splash of vanilla for extra flavor. You can even add some dairy-free chocolate chips after your granola has cooled completely if you’ve got a giant sweet tooth like me! The {HEALTHY} possibilities are endless! Unlike the number of ways I can exit my house currently…

Basic GF Granola | memo2munch

Today’s recipe is just an all-purpose, basic granola recipe to get you started. Feel free to tweak it to your liking. To make this recipe even more nutritious, add some chia or flax seeds. Yum!

You will also notice that I FINALLY have a link to print the recipe. That’s been a work in progress, but I’ve figured out how thanks to the vast interwebs. (Ugh, I just made myself think of spiders.) I’ll be working on making print pages for my previous recipes, promise! Okay, go make granola.

If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends and family. If you’d like to receive new posts directly in your email, you can click the gray follow button on the left side of the screen. Thanks for reading!

Basic GF Granola | memo2munch

Basic Granola (Gluten Free)
Print this recipe

Ingredients:
4 cups (360 g) old fashioned oats (look for certified gluten free oats to make this recipe GF)
Pinch salt
1 cup (128 g) mixed nuts and seeds (I used sliced almonds, chopped walnuts, pecans, and pumpkin seeds)
1 cup (120 g) dried fruit (I used raisins, cranberries, and cherries)
¼ c. (2 fl. oz.) melted coconut oil
¼ c. + 2 tbsp. (about 128 g) sweetener like honey, brown sugar, maple syrup, agave, or a combination

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line an edged baking pan with aluminum foil.
2. Mix oats, salt, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit in a large bowl.
3. In a separate small bowl, mix coconut oil and sweetener until combined. Pour into bowl with oats and mix until evenly incorporated.
4. Spread granola on pan in an even layer. Bake for 30 minutes, mixing every 8-10 minutes and again when the granola comes out of the oven. For chunky granola, don’t mix. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Store in a jar for easy snacking. Granola will last a few months.

Chocolate Strawberry Sweet Rolls

I’M LEAVING FOR ITALY TOMORROW AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH (We’ll just pause here while the excessive excited screaming continues for… a super long time)

I know. I’m so excited and grateful that functioning like a normal human being has become kind of impossible. And a bug just flew full-force into the window, and I may or may not have squeaked. That was frightening.

If anyone missed the story of why I will be going to Italy tomorrow, you can catch up by giving this post a read!

Chocolate Strawberry Sweet Rolls | memo2munch

I’m finally going!!!!! I promise I will take pictures of everything I eat (and everything I see) and give a full update when I get back, but for now this will be my last post for the next two weeks. If you really start to miss me I have a whole page dedicated to recipes I’ve posted called the recipe index! *coughcough*

Chocolate Strawberry Sweet Rolls | memo2munch Chocolate Strawberry Sweet Rolls | memo2munch Chocolate Strawberry Sweet Rolls | memo2munch

Anyway, since it’s a time of celebration, we’re ditching healthy for a split sec to make some chocolate strawberry sweet rolls. You gotta indulge from time to time, my friends! And what better reason than Italy. 🙂

Think of a melty, chocolate-covered, strawberry wrapped in warm, chewy, dough and drizzled with a sweet, vanilla glaze. And that’s how you use adjectives.

Chocolate Strawberry Sweet Rolls | memo2munch

I made this recipe on Mother’s Day, which is another great reason to celebrate I might add. Love you, Mommy!

It’s very similar to my blueberry sweet rolls, and you can find the low-down on how to use yeast in that post if you’re curious.

If you’re already a yeast expert, LET’S GET STARTED, HONEY!

If you enjoyed this post please share it with your friends and family. To receive posts directly in your email, you can press the gray follow button on the left side of the screen. Thanks for reading and buon appetito!

Chocolate Strawberry Sweet Rolls | memo2munch

Chocolate Strawberry Sweet Rolls
(Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction)

Ingredients:

Rolls

  • 2 and 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package active dry yeast (1 packet = 2 and 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (cow’s milk is fine)
  • 2 and 1/2 Tablespoons unsalted vegan butter (unsalted butter is fine)
  • 1 large egg 

Filling

  • 1 cups sliced strawberries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 c. mini chocolate chips

Vanilla Glaze  

  • 1 cup powdered sugar (or more)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons almond milk
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Make the filling first: Combine the strawberries, sugar, and cornstarch in a bowl. Gently toss around and let sit while you prepare the dough. Don’t add the chocolate chips yet!
  2. Make the dough: Heat the water, almond milk, and vegan butter together in the microwave until the butter is melted. When mixture is bathwater temperature, sprinkle yeast on top and let proof for 10 minutes.
  3.  Set aside 1/2 cup of flour. In a large bowl, toss the remaining flour, sugar, and salt together until evenly dispersed. Stir the butter mixture into the flour mixture. Add the egg and only enough of the reserved flour to make a soft dough. Dough will be ready when it gently pulls away from the side of the bowl and has an elastic consistency.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for about 5-6 minutes. Place in a lightly greased bowl (I used vegetable oil) and let rest for about 10 minutes. Mix the chocolate chips into the filling at this point.
  5. Fill the rolls: After 10 minutes, roll the dough out in a 14×8 inch rectangle. Pour the filling on top and gently spread them to cover the dough surface. Roll up the dough tightly. Cut into 11 even pieces and place in a lightly greased 9-inch round pan or square pan.  Loosely cover the rolls with aluminum foil and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1 hour. Here is what I do: heat the oven to 200F degrees. Turn oven off. Place rolls inside oven and allow to rise. Do not refrigerate the rolls at any point during or after rising.
  6. After the rolls have doubled in size, preheat the oven to 375F. Bake for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned. I covered the rolls with aluminum foil after 15 minutes      to avoid heavy browning.
  7. Make the glaze: Right before serving, top your blueberry rolls with glaze. Mix all of the glaze ingredients together. If you prefer a thicker glaze, add more      powdered sugar. If you’d like it thinner, add more milk. Pour over sweet rolls.