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Peach Blueberry Baked Oatmeal with Lentils #LMDconnector

baked oatmeal (with lentils!)

Now that we’re in the midst of winter, my mind has turned to hot, filling, comforting meals for every time of day. I’ve been up to my ears in soups and casseroles lately, and while that’s all well and done, this month I wanted to share with you one of my favourite breakfast recipes. Oatmeal is one of my go-to winter breakfasts, and I love it in all its forms (except instant, blech!). Usually at this time of year I gravitate towards apples and maple syrup, but I always keep a stash of frozen fruit from summer’s bounty, and decided that this would be the perfect use. This baked oatmeal is the perfect combination of a little summer freshness (to remind you that winter won’t last forever, even when it seems like it will!), and the hearty warmth that a winter morning requires.

baked oatmeal (with lentils!)

When my friend Julie first posted this recipe, I had to admit, I was skeptical. Lentils? With oatmeal? Is that girl crazy? I have to assure you, she most certainly is not. Truthfully, while the lentils are a nutritional boost, you don’t even notice them in there, which is perfect for picky eaters. They absorb the flavours of everything else around them, and blend in perfectly with the oats.

baked oatmeal (with lentils!)

The best part about this recipe is that it reheats beautifully. I just don’t have time to make myself a hot breakfast on mornings when I’m rushing out the door to get to work, so I toss a little container of this in my bag and take it with me. A minute or two in the microwave as soon as I get to work followed by a drizzle of milk, and I have the hot, delicious, comforting breakfast I so crave on cold winter mornings, especially after standing out in the cold waiting for the bus. Pair it with a cup of tea and that little bit of happy first thing can really start my day off right (and maybe even stave off a case of the Mondays).

baked oatmeal (with lentils!)

Peach Blueberry Baked Oatmeal with Lentils
(adapted from Dinner with Julie)

1 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup lentils
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup blueberries {fresh or frozen}
1 cup peach slices {fresh or frozen}
1 banana, sliced
2 cups milk
1/4 cup honey
1 egg
2 Tbsp butter, melted & cooled
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

All in an 8″ square baking dish, blend together the oats, lentils, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, and salt. Scatter with blueberries, peach slices and banana slices.

In a bowl, whisk together the milk, honey, egg, butter and vanilla. Pour this over the oats, and give it a bit of a stir to make sure it’s all combined.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown all over and the oats appear done. Scoop out a bowlful and drizzle with cream {or milk}, and enjoy your perfectly heavenly bowl of breakfast lentils.

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Disclosure: I am part of the Life Made Delicious blogger program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation. The opinions in this blog are my own.

Pear & Cranberry Scones #LMDConnector

Pear & Cranberry Scones

There is not much better on a cold fall day than curling up with a good book, a cup of tea, and a little treat. Let the storms rage – it’s easy to find a little slice of heaven right in your own home. And nothing pairs better with a good cup of tea than the humble scone! Scones remind me of good old-fashioned tea parties, of little old ladies in their Sunday best, catching up with friends over hot tea and little treats. I keep meaning to have some friends over for something like that, and I think this winter I will make it a priority. Everyone loves a tea party!

Pear & Cranberry Scones

With pears in season over the past month, they have been a staple in my fruit bowl. The juicy, sweet pear was my inspiration for this month’s Life Made Delicious recipe, a true fall flavour. I had a pear tree in my front yard growing up, and again in the yard of a suite I rented in university. I used to use pears for all kinds of things, especially in place of apples in pies, tarts and crisps. This recipe is a play on the traditional currant scone {with dried cranberries standing in for their smaller berry cousins} and an apple scone, with pears taking the center stage. These scones are buttery and flaky and a little bit juicy when you bite into a chunk of pear – perfect for any tea party.

Pear & Cranberry Scones

Pear & Cranberry Scones

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 Tbsp brown sugar
pinch cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
6 Tbsp cold butter, cubed
1 egg
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 large firm pear, cored & cubed
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 egg {for egg wash}
1 Tbsp water {for egg wash}
Brown sugar {for sprinkling}

Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Cut in cold butter with a pastry cutter.

In a another bowl, beat together one egg, maple syrup and buttermilk. Make a well in the dry ingredients and stir until almost mixed. Fold in pear cubes and dried cranberries. This should come together into a stiff dough.

Turn out onto a floured workspace and very quickly bring dough into a rough round, about 1″ thick. Cut into 6 wedges and arrange on the prepared baking sheet.

In a small bowl, whisk together egg and water for the egg wash. Brush over the tops of the scones, and sprinkle with brown sugar.

Bale at 375F for 20-25 minutes, until scones are a beautiful golden brown. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy – scones are always best the day they are baked!

Makes 6 scones.

For other ideas on how to make your life more delicious, visit the Life Made Delicious page for inspiration!

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Disclosure: I am part of the Life Made Delicious blogger program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation. The opinions in this blog are my own.

Baked Apple Donuts #LMDConnector

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Pumpkin, pumpkin everywhere. Pumpkin pies, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin puddings… that’s fall, right? Not for me. The essential fall flavour in my kitchen is none other than the trusty apple. We order apples by the bushel through a local co-op – in fact, just this past weekend, we took delivery of 80 pounds! Apples are yet another food with strong memories for me – I remember making apple pies by the dozen with my grandmother, with fruit picked fresh from the trees in her back yard.

This month’s recipe is inspired by perfectly ripe, crisp, juicy apples. I considered making a pie or stuffing and baking them, but my poor neglected donut pans have been calling to me. This recipe is a perfect cakey donut, just right to pair with a cup of coffee, or to pack in your child’s lunch. It’s reasonably healthy with whole wheat flour, maple syrup and yogurt, too.

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Baked Apple Donuts

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
2 Tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 small apples, grated
Melted butter, cinnamon & sugar, for dusting.

Preheat your oven to 375F. Prepare donut pans by spraying lightly with a non-stick spray.

In a large bowl, combine flours, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, whisk together yogurt, milk, vanilla, eggs, melted butter and maple syrup. Gently mix wet ingredients into dry, being careful not to over-mix. Fold in grated apples.

Spoon {or pipe} batter into prepared donut wells. Bake at 375F until lightly golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Remove from pan and let cool. Brush with additional melted butter, and dip in cinnamon sugar before serving.

Makes 12 donuts.

For other ideas on how to make your life more delicious, visit the Life Made Delicious page for inspiration!

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Disclosure: I am part of the Life Made Delicious blogger program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation. The opinions in this blog are my own.

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