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Good afternoon!

Okay, so that loud whooshing sound is me letting out my breath.  I was so worried I might offend somebody with last night’s post that I actually forwarded it to my sister for a “sensitivity check” and still fretted I might hurt somebody with it.

I know.  I’m the sensitive one, so worried about upsetting everyone else.  Yep.

I appreciate you guys sharing with me the charities that are close to your heart.  I realize that you shared something with me that was very personal and intimate, and I’m touched that you comfortable enough to share that with me.  Thank you!

Anyway, thanks for the suggestions on haircare!  Surprisingly, that circa-2003 Suave is the best stuff I’ve used before, but another type of Suave made my hair fall out.  You win some, you lose some.

Perhaps I should just look at recipes for making my own shampoo?

Speaking of recipes, while I don’t have an official one for you here today — it’s stuff you’re all familiar with — I had a total win with my breakfast today.

It was so good that I actually didn’t eat it.

Peach Cobbler Breakfast MIM

I threw together a simple MIM — 3 tbs peanut flour, 1/4 tsp baking powder, cinnamon and vanilla, 1/3 cup (estimated) applesauce, and a whole egg — and microwaved it for a couple minutes.

There was a peach on the counter beckoning to me, and I couldn’t resist.  I chopped it into bite-sized pieces (it was an epic Costco peach, by the way) then threw it into the nuker for about two and a half minutes, until it was simmering in its own juices.  I added a sprinkle of cinnamon and vanilla to the peaches, then added a splash of almond milk to round out the flavor.

I layered the MIM into the bottom of my bowl, added the peach, then topped it with an almond butter sauce (almond butter + almond milk, nuked) and a handful of sliced almonds.

It tasted like dessert, seriously.

Omigosh.

Holy yum, but this stuff was good.

I ate a few bites of it, until I realized that there was no way my conscience would let me keep this to myself.  I had to let Amor try it.

He’s generally very receptive to trying new things, but mostly, he tastes my food to be polite.  So, when I offered him a bite, I acknowledged that he accepted it not because my breakfast looked good, but he wanted to spare my feelings.

It even looks delicious! Or not.

He took the bite, and that’s when a curious expression crossed his face.

“Did you like it?”

“It tastes like a cobbler!”

Great.  My breakfast tastes like shoes.  Or rather, a shoemaker.

I'll definitely be making this again.

I ate a few more bites, then asked Amor if he wanted another taste, and was completely floored when he said yes.

What?  He’s actually wanting to eat something that is Kaz-Food?

I was so thrilled that he enjoyed it, that I offered him the rest.  He demurred for a moment, but after confirming that I didn’t mind giving up my breakfast to him, he actually happily accepted it!  Say what?

Then the questions started. “There has to be sugar in this, right?”

Nope.  It was sweetened with applesauce and peach juice.  Really? Really.

“What flour did you use?  That’s peanut flour?”  Yep.  Did I use peanut butter?  Nope, that’s almond butter.

You know it’s a victory when your meat-and-potatoes guy finishes off the entire breakfast and loves it.

Have you ever made something healthful and was surprised when somebody else actually liked it?  What’s your favorite “healthy” recipe? See!  Eating well doesn’t have to be boring!

Thanks for reading!

❤ Kaz

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Good morning, guys!

Everyone doin’ fine?

Well, I have to start my morning with a confession.  Hopefully, you all shall absolve me, and I can move on to greater things.

However, last night — with no fault of my own! — somebody (but I’m not naming names!) put the idea of a Boot Rear Float in my mind. And this occurred.

Happiness comes in a glass with a foamy top.

Yes, I call it Boot Rear.  Blame Piers Anthony for that one.

Anyone out there even ever heard of Piers Anthony?

Show of hands?

Sweet.

Speaking of sweet, I had a particularly enjoyable breakfast this morning.

Everything good and right in the world was in my cereal bowl this morning.

It would appear that I’m on a mission to undo the hideous awfulness known as “last night’s dinner.”

It’s almost like I’m trying to placate my desperate tastebuds.  I can hear them now, begging me, “Please Kaz!  No more chewy smoothies or sodden veggies!”

I hear you, mouth.  I hear you loud and clear.

Chocolate rice cakes, chocolate peanut butter, Peanut Butter Pandas, and a banana. Yum!

I took two chocolate rice cakes and smeared one with regular peanut butter, and the other with my yummy chocolate peanut butter.

You like where this is going?

Me too.

A sliced banana topped it, then I sprinkled it with a generous handful of Peanut Butter Pandas.

Pure bliss. I could eat this all day long.

A splash of almond milk completed the ensemble.

Then, something foolish happened.

I underestimated how much almond milk I needed, and I was already settled at my desk.  My fifteen-pound behemoth was in my lap, and I knew I wouldn’t be going anywhere for awhile.

So, I splashed some coffee onto it.

Wow.

Yes.

Chocolate, peanut butter, bananas…and coffee?

My mouth is still singing.

What weird, random food combinations make your mouth happy? Before I was veggie, I used to combine minute rice with a tin of tuna, ranch dressing, and a large pour of salsa.  It was one of my favorite meals, actually.

Thanks for reading!

❤ Kaz

I sense a theme here.  XYZ vs. Chocolate — who will win?

Good morning!  Sleep well?  Good, good.

But seriously, that was an epic duel this morning.  I was faced with a quandary: which gets the honor of gracing my quinoa porridge this morning, maple syrup or chocolate peanut butter?

!!Spoiler Alert!! I couldn't choose, so I added both.

Just FYI, I can’t mix flavors.  Skeeves me out.  Yes, I’m weird.

If I went with the chocolate peanut butter, my mouth would be thrilled.  I’m craving it like whoa.  I made this huge batch last night, and the flavor is nothing short of perfect.

I want it.  I want chocolate peanut butter on toast, on porridge, on rice cakes, in my coffee, off a spoon, in my mouth, whatever!  Just feed me the chocolate peanut butter.

I think my peanut-butter-to-porridge ratios are off.

But then…

Then there’s maple syrup.

Maple syrup is one of my favorite flavors, ever.  And peanut butter with maple?  I just may die of sheer bliss.

Plus, if I went the maple syrup route, I’d also be able to enjoy peanut butter…just not, y’know, chocolate peanut butter.

For some reason, gloopey rivulets of brown don't make for lovely pictures. My apologies.

In the end, it was a draw, but only barely.

However, I think the maple merely conceded, and it actually just permitted the chocolate peanut butter to chill with him and his best mate, creamy peanut butter.

Still.  For some reason, mixing chocolate peanut butter with maple syrup is nothing short of anxiety-inducing, which is odd, since I added a generous pour of maple to the chocolate peanut butter when I was creating it.

I’m just odd like that, I guess.

Do you have any weird food quirks? I also have issues about mixing nut butters, but I’ve been challenging myself on that one.  I have no idea why it bugs me.

And yes, by the way, I totally attacked the chocolate peanut butter first thing, then slowly savored the rest.  Can’t let those flavors co-mingle for long, you dig?

Oh, one more question.  Does anybody know if it’s possible to move my blogroll to the right-hand side of the page?  Having it on the left feels cluttered to me.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks for reading!

❤ Kaz

Yes, that’s a lousy pun.  You’ll forgive me, I’m sure.

Afternoon, guys!  How are you?  Alles gute?  Sehr gut!

By the way, what’s the difference in spelling?  Why does one have an ‘e’ on it, and the other not?

Random.

And yes, my cat kept trying to hop onto the table and steal my breakfast, so I yelled at him in German.  Some word that has a ß on the end of it and the word “katze” but I won’t repeat it here.

My sister took German in high school, and all I learned was how to say good morning and how to cuss out my cat.  Go me!

This bottle stole. the. show. Oh my yes!

After successfully shooing away the cat, I whipped up some of my amazing light and fluffy pancakes.

Okay, I lied.

I messed around with the recipe today (I blame the fact that I had barely any hot tea in my system at the moment) and utterly and completely screwed them up.

Em's breakfast. Um...that's not a pancake?

Em’s awesome.

I told her my predicament, and she smiled and said something along the lines of, “Yay, crepes!”

Crepes it was!

Peanut butter sauce, bananas, almond butter sauce, and maple syrup. Yum!

Messing up the pancakes wasn’t my only fail this morning.

I also…ahem.  Accidentally cooked the peanut butter glaze.

I was so excited to have Em over, and we were chatting a mile a minute, that I failed to take it out of the microwave after ten seconds.

Messy or not, it still tasted fantastic.

It almost boiled over.

And who knew you could actually successfully cook peanut butter?

Now you know.

We rolled with it, though, and happily smeared our crepes with the cooked glaze.

My mouth was watering. It was torture to hold off and take this picture.

It worked out.

Oh, another thing I messed up?

I forgot to oil the pan on the third crepe.  FAIL.

We got a crepe each, and I’ll admit, I was still hungry after eating it.

So good! Real maple syrup makes the difference.

I had a banana before my friend arrived, but my stomach was roaring at me after I finished the last bite.

Yes, I’m a bottomless pit.  I licked the almond butter sauce bowl clean.

Then, I took my spoon and dipped it directly into the peanut butter jar.

Much better.

I licked my plate clean. For real.

I’m off to get my shower, and my friend’s coming back and we’re going off on a wander together.

A wander.  Not a walk, not a stroll, but a wander.

They’re ever-so much more fun.

Thank you for your kind words on last night’s post.  You guys are all so wonderful! I truly appreciate each and every one of you.

(PS: If I fail to comment on your blog, please pummel me with a frozen carp.  I love to read your blogs so if I overlook ANY of you, I’ll be epically sad.  I mean it.)

I’ll have my camera with me, so I hope to have some lovely pictures for you this afternoon.

Thanks for reading!

❤ Kaz

Mornin’!

I’m gonna have to make this snappy, since I have to be at work in a little bit.  Just bear with me these next couple days, hey?

Yep, I made my light box last night.

Except, I didn’t affix a light.

Funny how that happens, right?

Bedtime chocolate fix.

However, these next few pictures were taken last night, sometime around 11 p.m. with my new light box.

I think they turned out rather well, don’t you?

Dates stuffed with peanut butter. Try this; it's so good!

And yes, I did consume snacks right before bedtime, in order to, ahem, test out the light box.

Hey, I had to see if it worked, didn’t I?

Oh, the sacrifices I make for you guys!

All natural fruit spread and a brown rice cake. Crunch-a-riffic!

I’m pretty pleased with it.

Yes, all I did was slap a couple coats of paint into a box.  We can’t all be geniuses here, guys.

Tonight, I plan on a run to the Tahr-zhay (Target, of course, for us non-elite) and I think I’ll pick up a reading light to affix in there.

Taken in the light-box this morning.

I’m debating on making a parabolic disk with some aluminum foil, to help disperse the light better.

Any suggestions?

This morning, I made and ate the world’s fastest bowl of quinoa porridge.

Versus perched-next-to-the-window light.

As a matter of fact, I’m still eating it.

Yikes.

I need to start shoveling that stuff down, stat!

Oohey-gooey blops of melty peanut butter.

It’s hard to rationalize in my brain that part of me that says, “Mmm!  Must savor!” versus, “If you don’t finish this soon, you’re gonna be late for work!”

I hate rushing breakfast, but sometimes I must. C'est la vie!

And on that lovely note, I’m going to beg off, finish eating this, and go make myself presentable.

Wait, one more photograph, since, ya know, I already took it and all.

Even in a rush, I made time to make this breakfast. It is that good!

I’m terrible at budgeting my time, and I feel as though I’m always running late.

Are you always running late, or are you the one who tends to show up fifteen minutes early just to be safe? I wish I were the early one, but it seems that I’m always just a few minutes behind!

Oh, guys.

Ohhhh, guys.

I have failed you.  I have failed you seriously wrong awful bad.

You know how I’ve been all like, “Omg, try my quinoa porridge, it’s teh awesome!”

All this time, I’ve been doing it wrong.

I’m so ashamed.  Mortified.  Penitent.

How can I ever redeem myself?

Fluffy, melty drifts of yumminess.

I know.  I’ll tell you how to make it, and make it right.

Another quick apology: my pictures are rubbish today.  I don’t know what I did wrong.  Maybe in my appalled haze at my misdeeds, I forgot to turn on my  macro lens.

Or, maybe it’s just hard to take pretty pictures of amorphous beige blobs.  Who knows?

I love how the peanut butter melts over the porridge.

I only made on slight change to my recipe, but it made a world of difference.

Please heed my warning, and avoid the shame that I now suffer.

Do not cook this in the microwave!

Yes, it’s that simple.  Do not nuke, pass go, or collect two hundred dollars.

However, if you make this right, you’ll melt into a little pile of happy, not unlike the peanut butter dripping down and pooling in this warm, fluffy, delicious banana porridge.

This was so very tasty. Please make it for breakfast soon!

I made this entirely on the stove top.  Remember the basic cooking process on these?

Want a refresher course?

Sure.

In a small saucepan, bring 2 tbs dry quinoa and 1/2 cup water to a boil.  Once boiling, cover, and reduce the heat to simmer and cook for thirteen minutes.

I used a scant amount of honey, but it made the natural sweetness of the porridge shine through.

Thirteen.

You don’t have triskaidekaphobia, do you?  Psh, there’s no room for scaredy cats in the culinary world.

However, if you must, let it simmer for twelve minutes and fifty-nine seconds.  Whatever sets your mind at ease.

Once your quinoa is cooked, add in your banana and increase the heat to medium-high.  Smoosh your banana until it has melted into the quinoa, maybe a minute or two.

Add in 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses.  Stir, then throw in 1/4 cup almond milk and 1 tbs milled flaxseed.

Despite being an ugly picture, this was my best bowl of porridge yet. Mmm!

Stir until creamy, a minute or so.

Reduce the heat back to low, and slowly stir in your eggs.  Just adding the eggs should take you the better part of a minute.  Stir another minute, until porridge resembles a delicious custard.

Increase the heat to high, stir for another thirty seconds.

Remove from heat, and pour into your bowl.  Top with 2 tbs peanut butter, honey, or toppings of your choice.

Ready for that in recipe form?

Sure ya are.

Peanut Butter Banana Quinoa Porridge:

2 tbs dry quinoa

1/2 cup water

1 whole banana

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp blackstrap molasses

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup almond milk

1 tbs milled flaxseed

1/4 cup egg whites

2 tbs peanut butter

1-2 tsp honey, to taste

Cook quinoa, add banana.  Let it return to a boil, and stir/mash the banana until fully incorporated into porridge.  Reduce heat, and add in cinnamon, blackstrap molasses, and vanilla.  Add almond milk and flax, and stir until creamy.  Slowly add in egg whites, and stir until fluffy.  Increase heat for a half minute, stir.  Remove from heat, top with peanut butter and honey.

Indulge.

Best.  Breakfast. Ever.  Plus, you go from hungry to sated in less than twenty minutes.  Can’t beat that, right?

Right!

You love me again, don’t you?  You forgive me for my transgressions?

I knew you would.

Thanks for reading!

❤ Kaz

Good morning, everyone!

Hey, by the way, if you’ve found my blog through some way or another, don’t be shy!  Leave a comment.  You don’t have to be a blogger.  I won’t judge.  Say hello and you will make my day.

Kid you not.  You say hi, and I’ll beam from ear to ear.

Try it.  It’s cool, like a magic trick.  Hey, guys, I figured out how to make Kaz grin.  Look!  Ohhh, dude…that’s so cool!

See?

Just like magic.

Today is off to a great start.  I may have figured out my insomnia issues: sunlight streaming in through my window.  Our black-out blinds aren’t perfect, so I may fashion an eye-shade or something to help with the issue.

Finally! Sweet potato pancakes, at your service.

My appetite was still a bit off this morning (I’m sure it had absolutely nothing to do with the apricot and handful of grapes I snarfed before crawling into bed), so while I waited for my hunger to kick in, I tackled some chores.

I loaded the dishwasher, scrubbed the sink (it desperately needed it…yuck!) and started a load of laundry.

Something about being elbow-deep in sink grime really made me famished.

Say what?

Sure, all the cool kids get hungry when scraping old rice off the side of their kitchen sink, didn’t you know that?

I covered them in an almond-butter-honey glaze. Delish!

The feeling of success and accomplishment (yay!  so many chores done before I’ve had my morning tea!) and the gnawing in my gut inspired me to attempt my sweet potato pancakes one more time.

You may remember when I hinted at my last failed attempt at making these.  I was a wee bit cross that morning.  However, in the effort, I realized my mistake.

When baking gluten free goods, you need a binder to hold the batter together.  Gluten tends to do that for you, but since my body seems to hate gluten, you need to use something else.

I was so excited about my success, I failed to take a picture before pouring my "syrup" onto them. Sorry!

This recipe is great because it calls for reasonably common ingredients.  I didn’t want to use any fancy gums (by which I mean guar or xanthan, not Trident or Bubble Yum) because most people do not have access to fancy-schmancy-pants ingredients.

In this case, the egg whites act as the binder and hold the ‘cakes together.

Clever, right?

I thought so.

The neat thing about this recipe, other than how it bears a striking resemblance to pie (Homer voice: Mmm, pie!), is how much it resembles real pancakes.

Are you drooling yet? 'Cuz, I am.

That is, if real pancakes tasted like pie.

My sister taught me how to make pancakes, believe it or not.  While most of my childhood revolved around me hovering in the kitchen with my mum and assisting her in her baking adventures (my family has an epic sweet tooth), it was my sister who gave me the best advice on how to make perfect pancakes.

I never forgot it.

You know how when you pour your batter into the pan, all those lovely little bubbles crop up around the perimeter of the pancake?

Amazing. Simply amazing.

Write this down, because you don’t want to forget it.

When that bubble in the middle of your pancake pops, your pancake is ready to be flipped.

That’s it.  That’s the secret to perfectly cooked pancakes.

Simple, right?

Good.

Ready for the recipe?

Rock on.

Best pancakes ever! I'm so glad I gave them another go.

Sweet Potato Pie Pancakes (Gluten-free):

1/2 medium sweet potato, peeled and mashed (100 grams or so, pre-cooked weight)

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp cloves

dash nutmeg

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 T brown rice flour (may sub in cornstarch)

1/2 cup egg whites

1 tsp coconut oil

Puree all ingredients in your blender (I used my immersion blender).  Preheat your skillet to medium-low heat.  When it’s ready, oil your pan.

Pour 1/3 cup batter onto your skillet.  When the bubble in the middle pops, flip the pancake.  Repeat.  Should make three medium-large pancakes.

Smear glaze all over pancakes, and smother in bananas.  Or pears.  Or apples.  Or berries.  It’s all good.

Almond-Butter Honey Glaze:

2 tbs almond butter

2 tbs almond milk (or non-dairy milk of your choosing)

1/2 tbs honey (to taste)

Place in microwave safe bowl (I used a ramekin) and nuke for 10 seconds.  Stir like mad, until fluffy and creamy.  Pour onto pancakes, take a bite, and if you die right then, you will die happy.

Healthful and delicious? Bring. It.

One small warning: these were moist and fluffy and amazing, but I accidentally added too much egg white to the mix.

Hey, I have a heavy hand.  I can’t help it.  It’s a genetic deformity.

Start with 2/5 of a cup of egg whites for a denser, more-pancake-esque consistency, though 1/2 cup should be fine.  Mine turned out a bit crepe-y (NOT crappy, c’mon, guys), but then again, I added about a tablespoon or two too much.

Oh, and a shout-out to the kid brother, who gently reminded me that pancakes do need a bit of fat for texture and taste.  He’s 100% right.  I’m glad I added it.

Thanks for reading!  I hope you enjoy this recipe!

❤ Kaz

Good morning!

Er…afternoon?

I almost got a good night’s sleep last night.  Almost.  I slept hard for the first half of the night, and vaguely recall a mental “Yay!” when I awoke the first time and the first hint of dawn was peeking through the curtains…but after that?  Not so much.  After that first wake-up, I had perhaps another five or six wake-ups after that.

Hey, at least I wasn’t up all night peeing.  Too much salt before bedtime does that to you, I suppose.

Me: 1

Bladder: 5 bajillion

That’s right, I’m evening out the odds.  I’m getting there.  Slow and steady and all that, it wins the race.

Quinoa porridge is arguably the best breakfast EVER.

I want to apologize for the rubbish photographs today.  While it’s another beautiful morning, full of sunshine and cool breezes, evidently none of that daylight could drag itself off its lazy bum and come in through my window and grace my breakfast with its glory.

Greedy sun.

I used my typical quinoa porridge base, but left out the fruit.  Instead,  I elected to pile the fruit on top of the porridge.

Yikes, bad lighting. Nevermind, it still tasted amazing.

Bold choice, right?

Good choice.

The blueberries sort of melted into the almond milk, and before long, the almond milk had taken on a murky, dishwater grey hue (or, for the optimists out there, it was a lovely slate blue, like the color of the sky over the ocean on a stormy day).  Nevertheless, it became this delicious blueberry-honey flavored milk, and you bet I slurped up every last sip.

The coconut added an extra hint of sweetness. So good!

I caramelized my almonds like I had done before, and with the natural sweetness of the blueberries, bananas, and coconut, each bite was a bit of euphoria in my mouth.

Who needs candy when this is on the menu?

In this topping mix, I used:

1/2 cup frozen blueberries

1 very small banana

3 heaping tbs sliced almonds

2 tsp honey (to coat almonds)

1 tbs sweetened coconut

1/2 cup almond milk (give or take)

Definitely try this combo!

Last weekend, I awoke to gloom and overcast skies.

Today, sunshine!

That means only one thing: it’s time to mow the lawn.

Wish me luck.  It’s seriously a jungle out there.  I wish I could snap a picture to show you, but, you guessed it, the camera’s battery is exhausted.

This time, it’s entirely my fault.

Yikes.

One of my favorite breakfasts, for sure!

Okay!  Headed out into the jungle.

Thanks for reading!

❤ Kaz

Good morning!

Wow.  Gorgeous day out.  The wind’s a bit fierce, but the sun is shining and I have a feeling it’s going to break 60 degrees today.

Unfortunately, I’ll be crammed inside my little fishbowl today — aka, the office — but I love my boss and don’t mind working.  However, that means I’m going to be a bit stingy with the recipes today.  I have an idea for a quick, healthy, tasty lunch that I can’t wait to share with you, though, but first: breakfast.

I wasn’t hungry when I woke up, so I pottered around, prepared my tea (a weak brew of Chai Spice) and unloaded the dishwasher.  I had conceded to making a quick blog post along the vein of, “Sorry, guys, not hungry.  I had rice cake and peanut butter today!” but out of nowhere my hunger punched me in the gut.  Oomph!

And so I became hungry.

This is a apple-cinnamon "diet" rice cake. Diet food or no, it still tasted good!

I decided to whip up a simple breakfast that I conjured up when I was visiting in Minnesota a little over a week ago.

My wonderful Amor understands my food intolerances, and as soon as we landed in the Twin Cities, he whisked me off to the nearest Cub Foods and told me to pick out whatever I liked so I’d be able to eat that weekend.  After stocking up on fresh fruits and veggies (Amor was great: “Hey, Kaz, did you see that they have blueberries?” and “Hey, look, pears!”) I made a beeline for the gluten-free foods.

Ouch.  Sticker shock times a thousand.

These are the thick, hearty rice cakes that I love. See how they're denser and not as fluffy as the apple-cinnamon ones?

After groping a loaf of gluten-free bread and trying to justify its $6 price tag (to myself, not Amor; he encouraged me to have whatever I wanted), I spotted an innocuous spool of brown rice cakes.  The ingredients were simple: Brown rice, salt.  Plus, they were less than half the price of the loaf of gluten-free bread.  I was sold!

A jar of peanut butter and a carton of almond milk found its way into our cart, and I went home, content in knowing that I wouldn’t starve to death on this trip.

Come the next morning, I realized I actually wanted a bowl of cereal and realized I had failed to pick up a box of gluten-free breakfast cereal.  Since I can no longer eat oats, that wasn’t an option.  Rice cakes to the rescue!

Be generous with the peanut butter -- you can't have too much!

You know how some food bloggers will add a blob of peanut butter to their Kashi or bran flakes, for “staying power”?  I always wondered about the schematics of that.  How does it work?  Does it melt into the milk?  Or, do they chase down little nut-butter globules with their spoon and try to score a bit with each bite?

Well, this breakfast ensures that each and every bite has a creamy, gooey layer of peanut butter in it.

Ready for this?

Of course you are.

You know how dogs seek out new smells and then roll in it? I want to roll in this peanut butter.

This is simple.  Simple, simple, simple.  I’m almost embarrassed to share it with you, but since I’ve readily shared my failures, it’s about time I share a win.

Take two rice cakes, and slather them with peanut butter.

Whoa, Kaz.  Back up there!  This is too complicated!  I can’t handle all of this.

Okay, okay.  Fine.

I used one of the thick, hearty Lundberg rice cakes and a sweet, yet flimsy Quaker Apple-Cinnamon rice cake.  You know how when you add your Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs to your bowl, then add milk, the milk gets all sugar-sweet and yummy when you slurp it up after you finish cereal? (C’mon, I can’t be the only one who does that.)

Smear that peanut butter onto the cakes, then lick the knife clean. Then, dip the knife in the peanut butter and do it again.

That’s what the Quaker rice cake was for.

They’re not all bad, the Quaker cakes.  I can pronounce all the ingredients, and it’s mostly all-natural, and they were cheap at the grocery store.  Plus, they taste good.

Slather a thick layer of peanut butter onto your rice cakes.  Don’t be miserly with your peanut butter!  It’s your fat+protein for breakfast.  Besides, it tastes great.

Place your rice cakes into your cereal bowl, then grab a banana.

I am a peanut butter banana fiend, and I'm not afraid to admit it.

Slice your banana into medallions over your peanut-buttery rice cakes.

Yes, you can lick your knife again.  Mmm, banana mush.  Why does everything seem to taste better when eaten off a knife?

Use a butter knife, people.  I don’t want to hear any complaints about lost tongues from people licking peanut butter and bananas off santoku knives.

Oh, almost forgot.  If you use a light, fluffy rice cake and pair it up with a heartier one, place the heartier one on the bottom.  By the time you eat your way through the fluffier rice cake, the heartier one will have soaked up most of the (cinnamon sugary!) almond milk.  Besides, the airer rice cake would just get soggy if you placed it on the bottom.

This is one of the easiest, tastiest breakfasts ever.

Add your milk.

Voilà!  Done!

I can’t emphasize how awesome this is.  Each and every bite gets a bit of the peanut butter, so you don’t have to stalk floating nut-butter chunks (sorry!  I really out to eschew that word from my vocabulary) around your bowl.

Use your spoon to stab and break your rice cakes down into bite-sized pieces, and make sure each bite also has a piece of banana.  That way, your tummy will smile at you for the rest of the morning.

Yes, I'm obsessed with my blue bowls. You'd think I don't own any others, the way I feature them here.

This meal is easy, quick, and best of all, cheap.  You don’t need to buy any fancy-pants gluten free cereals (though I’m known to have a favorite or two) and you can rest assured that you’ve just enjoyed a healthy, well-balanced breakfast that’ll stick to your ribs.

I wonder where the phrase “stick to your ribs” came from?  I can picture sticky little clusters of peanut butter lining my lungs and rib cage.  It’s sort of disturbing, actually.

This picture made me laugh. Having the almond-milk carton in there was a fluke, but it looks so darn pretentious with its little USDA organic logo.

I’m not going to do a recap or a recipe here, since that would be just plain insulting.  We all know how to slather peanut butter onto rice cakes, dump them into a bowl, and add milk and bananas, don’t we?

Oops.  Was that a recipe?  My bad.

Sorry.

I’m hoping to have a thorough lunch post available to you, but if not, I hope to at least post pictures and follow up with a recipe.

Thanks for reading!

❤ Kaz

One of my favorite food philosophies is this: “Eat dessert first.”  Evidently this quote is attributed to a gent named Ernestine Ulmer, and I think I’ll have to agree with him wholeheartedly.

In learning how to IE (intuitively eat), I’ve had to shed the old “save the best for last” mentality and embrace my inner hunger beast.  I used to force myself to clean my plate, and as incentive, I’d save the best part for last.  I’d pick at my vegetables then dive head first into my peanut butter, or eat around the custard filling in my pie, then finally inhale it.

Mmm, custard.

I love custard.  You know what’s better than custard, though?  Custard for breakfast.

Life is uncertain.  Eat dessert first.

You can’t get any more “first” than breakfast.

So, I ate custard for breakfast.

But, not just any custard.  Chocolate peanut butter custard.  With bananas.  Mmm.  Drooling yet?

You want to know the hardest part about being a food blogger?  Waiting until you’ve snapped enough pictures before diving head first into a bowl of awesome.

And this bowl, my friends, was THE awesome.

Sorry, the lighting is a bit off here. Still. PUDDING.

Plus, it was super easy to make.  It took me all of five minutes.

You know how some people will healthify (yes, I’m making up words here) something, then slap the word “breakfast” on it to justify it tasting like rubbish?  For example, “Breakfast Cookies.”  They take all the yum out of it, reduce the flavor by 1000% percent, then say, “It’s okay.  They’re breakfast cookies.”

This, my friends, is NOT breakfast pudding*.

It’s pudding.  Plain and simple.  I’d eat it for dessert, rub my belly, and smile.  It’s THAT good.

I could bathe in this.

The only sneaky thing I did is up the nutritional profile, but that’s not a bad thing.  That only changed my phaser from “stunning” to “killer”.

Ready for this?

Of course you are.

Any time is a good time for pudding.  Especially breakfast.

In a small saucepan, add 2 tablespoons of honey, 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, 1.5 tablespoons of cornstarch, and 3/4 a cup of almond milk.  If you don’t have almond milk, you can use water, though I can’t guarantee it’ll taste as great.  Or, use real milk.  Use whatever you wish.  This is just what I had on hand.

Over low heat, stir until the cocoa is integrated into the liquid, and the mix is a homogeneous chocolate color.  Yes, chocolate color.  Chocolate has a color, and “brown” does not do it justice.  So, it’s chocolate colored.

Bananas only make things better.

Don’t come running to me, though, when you have wax stuck in your teeth from gnawing on a “burnt sepia” crayon, though.  That’s not my fault.  “Burnt sepia” is NOT chocolate colored.

Bring your heat up to medium, and stir.  Stir constantly.  Stir until your arm wants to fall off, and be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan regularly.  You don’t want  your pudding to lump.  Lumps in your pudding are never a good thing.

Lump is an icky word.  You want to know what’s worse?  Clot.  Ew.  Cornstarch clots.  Ugh.  Did I make you lose your appetite?  Please don’t.  This pudding will bring it back, I swear it.

Still.  Stir constantly or you’ll get cornstarch…clots. (I shuddered.  Sorry.  Forgive me.)

Peanut butter just makes it better, though.

There, does that help?

Back to the pudding.  Stir until the pudding is thick and when you run your spoon along the bottom, you can see the bottom of the pan.  Your spoon will also leave drag-marks in the pudding, and if you picked it up and plopped (another gross word!  sheesh, Kaz, what’s up with you today?) some pudding back into the pan, it’d hold its shape for a few seconds.

Once your pudding is thick and creamy, slowly slowly slowly add in your 1/4 cup egg whites.  You want to stir like you’ve never stirred before.  If not, your egg whites will curdle. (That makes four today?  Clot, curdle, lump, plop.)  If you do it right, though, your egg whites will thicken up the pudding amazingly and you’ll kick yourself for having not thought of it yourself.

Add your 1/2 tsp vanilla at this point, stir, and remove it from the heat.  See, told you.  Easy.  Look at your clock.  Took you less than five minutes, didn’t it?  I told you.

Pour into your bowl, and if you want it to cool, stick it in the freezer while you slice up a whole banana.  Layer your pudding with your banana, and add a generous dollop of peanut butter.

Money shot!

And, if that isn’t enough, add some crunchy peanut buttery cereal.  Yes.

I bought some Peanut Butter Pandas exactly for that reason.  I paid under three bucks for a box of them at the grocery store, and they’re amazing for those sweet/savory peanut buttery cravings.  Plus, if you eat them one at a time, you can enjoy them longer.  I particularly enjoy them because they’re organic, and before you sniff at me and call me a snob, I’m not.  But, I rather dislike Monsanto (that’s a post in and of itself), so buying organic corn is my way of stickin’ it to the man.

Hey, we all have our quirks.  That’s mine.

And peanut butter.  Mmm, peanut butter.

You know how some people add Nilla wafers to add crunch and interest to their pudding?  That’s what the Peanut Butter Panda Puffs (yay for alliteration!) provide for this.  And besides, this is breakfast.  What’s breakfast without breakfast cereal?

Exactly.

Wow. Just...wow.

Ready for a recap?  Of course you are.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding

2 tbs honey

2 tbs cocoa powder

1.5 tbs cornstarch

3/4 cup almond milk

1/4 cup egg whites

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Toppings: one ripe, whole banana; 1-2 tbs peanut butter; 1/4 cup peanut butter cereal

Add first four ingredients into your sauce pan and stir over low heat.  Increase heat to medium, keep stirring until thick.  Slowly add in egg white, stir like mad to avoid lumping.  When thick, add 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and remove from heat.

Add toppings as you wish, and dive in head first.

Enjoy!

So rich and creamy, I almost couldn't finish it all!

Thanks for reading!  I have an amazing guest recipe coming up for lunch, courtesy of my wonderful genius sister.

That is, if I don’t totally botch it up.

Knowing me, I will.  Gotta keep on truckin’.

❤ Kaz

*Yes, I know I called it custard before.  I’m loopy like that.