Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Muffins

One of the number one things that I was told to prep before Bernie’s arrival was oatmeal muffins! Oatmeal to help with lactation and muffins because they’re quick and easy to thaw from frozen and you can eat them with one hand. I do love oatmeal in the morning, and I usually have it with peanut butter or almond butter, cinnamon, berries, a little dark chocolate, and Trader Joe’s crunchy super seed mix for some Omega-3s, so I made a muffin version of this! They’re super good and filling, they’ve got pockets of melty chocolate, and they’re topped with just a few sprinkles that I thought would add a little humor to times that were destined to be insane, filled with Bernie wails, and true muffin emergencies. This is a pretty versatile recipe— you can add different spices, use butter or coconut oil, and change up the nut butters and mix-ins (don’t skimp on the chocolate though!). I would definitely recommend topping them with something, whether it’s sprinkles or turbinado sugar and/or seed mix, the added crunch on top is the loveliest.

Side note: I can’t really eat these muffins without thinking about the Bojack muffin episode when Neal McBeal the Navy Seal calls dibs on muffins at the store and Bojack eats them all. I wonder how Bojack is doing these days. I’m afraid to watch it with Bernie in ear shot and all. 


Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Muffins

Makes 8 Jumbo Muffins

Ingredients

1 1/2 c (120g) rolled oats

1 c (240g) milk (2%, whole, or almond)

1/2 c (65g) all-purpose flour

1/2 c (65g) whole wheat flour or more all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon 

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 c (113g) unsalted butter or coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled

1/2 c (128g) creamy unsweetened peanut butter (almond butter works too!)

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 large eggs

1/2 c (150g) maple syrup

3/4 c (90g) dried cherries, blueberries, or raisins

3/4 c (4 oz) chopped dark chocolate

3/4 c (45g) unsweetened coconut flakes

Super seed mix, optional, for topping

Coarse sanding sugar or sprinkles, for topping

Clues

Preheat the oven to 400ºf. Line 8 jumbo muffin tins with liners and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the oats and milk and let soak for 20 minutes.

In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.

In a large bowl, whisk together the butter or coconut oil, peanut butter, vanilla, eggs, and maple syrup until smooth. Add the oats and flour mixture and stir to combine and then fold in the dried fruit, chocolate, and coconut. Scoop into muffin tins and sprinkle with seeds, if using, and sanding sugar or sprinkles. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean; begin checking for doneness at 22 minutes. Let cool in the pans for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely or enjoy warm! 

Cooled muffins can be stored in a ziploc bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. Reheat in the microwave for about a minute.


-yeh!

pancakes and sausage on a stick

Back in March when I was doing all of my meal prep, I realized that Mother’s Day would happen soon after I gave birth! It was a wild realization that I’d suddenly be an honoree of the day and I obviously immediately got the urge to cry and be emotional. I imagined my perfect Mother’s Day with a newborn (which is different than my perfect Mother’s Day with, say, a 6-year-old because by that time I can expect some super cute breakfast in bed, right?!) and what I imagined was holding a little nugget in one hand and eating my special brunch in another. A brunch on a stick. And one of my favorite brunches ever, pancakes and sausage! I mean, a bouquet of flowers would be nice but a bouquet of pancakes and sausage on a stick would be nice and tasty. So here we are, I made my own Mother’s Day brunch and it’s in the freezer now waiting to be microwaved. Lol. Pressure’s off, Eggboy! 

Pancakes and sausage on a stick were one of my faaaavorite breakfasts growing up. We’d get them in bulk from Market Day at school (does Market Day still exist?! Omg, it does!) and I’d have them before early morning ice skating practices. These days I can’t walk by them in the freezer section of the Super Target without seriously considering buying them every single time but then I look at the ingredients and have to put them down. So with this homemade version, even though they’re a totally fried breakfast version of a corn dog, I feel a little better about eating them because I can use my fave sausages (I like Applegate’s natural chicken sausages) and then also add some oat flour to the batter. More oats = more boob milk! Yeah! And the oats add a nice nuttiness to the pancake.

So here’s a big batch that you can make, freeze, and nuke for breakfast in a snap and Mother’s Day with a newborn and the like! 


Pancakes and Sausage on a Stick

Makes 18

Ingredients

1/2 c (65g) all-purpose flour

1/2 c (65g) oat flour, or more all-purpose flour

2 tb sugar

3/4 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 large egg

2 tb flavorless oil

1/2 c (120g) buttermilk

18 pre-cooked breakfast sausages (if frozen, heat them a little just until they’re soft enough to insert with lollipop sticks)

Flavorless oil, for frying

Maple syrup, optional, for serving

Clues

Fill a large heavy pot or high sided skillet fitted with a thermometer with 1” of oil and heat over medium high heat to 360º F.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. In a separate small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the egg, oil, and buttermilk. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Transfer the batter to a tall skinny glass or measuring cup (this step isn’t completely necessary, but it will make coating the sausages easier). Working in batches of 3 or 4 sausages at a time, insert popsicle sticks or lollipop sticks into the sausages, pat off any excess moisture with a paper towel, and dip them into the pancake batter to fully coat, scraping off excess. It doesn’t need to be a very thick coating as the batter will puff up when frying. Carefully lower the entire thing (stick included) into the hot oil and fry until golden, 1 1/2-2 minutes. Use tongs to transfer to a paper towel or wire rack. Repeat with the remaining sausages. Cool slightly before serving. 

To freeze, cool completely and then store in a ziploc bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, wrap loosely in a paper towel and microwave for about 40 seconds, or until heated through. Let cool slightly and enjoy!


apple and peanut butter green smoothie

We had the best weekend ever in Fargo!! We were there for the first annual Fargo Hotdish Festival which was the greatest thing in the world. We ate 11 different hotdishes that were all unique and amazing. There was a spätzle hotdish, a hotdish with gigantic homemade tater tots, a hotdish with lingonberries, a kugel (!!!!), and so many other incredible interpretations that filled me right up, physically and inspirationally. We also got to Fargo in time for the Unglued Craft Fest, where I fell in love with these gnome watercolors and mind-blowing cow-to-cone gelato from Duchessa. And somehow we also found the stomach space for ramen at Slurp, knoephla at the HoDo, thick squishy toast at Youngblood, and an Ube cupcake and some gummies from Yeobo. It was delicious in every way and felt like a mini babymoon! Now I’m back and continuing to chug along with meal prep, baby prep, and recipe testing for recipes that I’m planning to post during my maternity leave and recipes that will go in the remaining episodes of season 3 of Girl Meets Farm.

This week I have a freezer friendly version of my regular breakfast routine for you! For years now I have been the biggest fan of loading up on veggies at the start of my day. It makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something first thing in the morning and like I’m ahead of the game for the rest of the day. I feel like superwoman when the rest of my meals for the day are heavy on the vegetables, which is what I always strive for, but in the event that I have a big cake testing day and end up accidentally taking too many test bites and then barely have an appetite for dinner, I feel a little bit less bad knowing that I ate at least some type of plant in the morning. In the summers when our garden is bursting, I love making breakfast salads with tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, fresh herbs, lemon, and olive oil or tahini sauce, piling them over a plop of greek yogurt, and scooping them up with toast. But when it’s not the summer, I’ve been having this here green smoothie!

This is a beginner’s green smoothie, or a green smoothie for people who in their heart of hearts would really rather be eating scrambled eggs with ketchup and extra crispy hash browns and toast with butter at Darcy’s Diner every morning, but are looking to add some reasonable nutrition without going full on brain dust. It’s made with a simple set of ingredients that I stock up on at the beginning of every week (the gigantic bag of pre-washed kale, the bulk bag of honeycrisp apples, and Smucker’s all natural peanut butter or, if I’m splurging, unsweetened almond butter). In the beginning of my green smoothie journey, a little over a year ago, I’d also add some celery, a small piece of ginger, and a few shakes of turmeric, but when I was in my first trimester and suddenly needed to simplify a lot of the flavors entering my mouth, I scaled back to the bare basics and haven’t gotten around to reintroducing these other things. I like the straightforwardness of apple and peanut butter flavor in a blanket of green. It’s sweet, nutty, creamy, and fresh! And delicious.

Also when I got pregnant and read about the increased importance of Omega-3s, I started sprinkling on Trader Joe’s super seed mix at the end which is a nice crunchy mix of flax, chia, quinoa, and a few other seeds. I’m going to call these sprinkles.

One important step that makes this smoothie (or any smoothie really) extra good is blending it into oblivion in a high powered blender. If you feel like your blender is going to launch into outer space, you’re doing it right. I use my Vitamix and blend it until it’s as smooth as possible, milky almost. Blending for too long could warm it up though, so I typically blend for the time it takes me to refill my ice tray, place it back in the freezer, and then retrieve my cups and straws. When I look in the top opening of the blender and see that it’s very smooth, I know it’s ready.

A few fun things that have made my morning routine cuter include: these pretty silicone straws, this sprinkle ice tray, my Marian cups, and the lid that I always use to cover up Eggboy’s half so I can stick it in the fridge for when he comes in for lunch. These aren’t necessary obviously but, like I said, they’re fun and cute.

I’m posting this now because I’m planning to prep a bunch of blender-ready packs for my freezer before Poppy Seed’s arrival! These are great for the freezer and make blending a breeze (assuming that baby isn’t sleeping…). Directions for freezing and blending from frozen are below.


Apple and Peanut Butter Green Smoothie

Makes 1 large or 2 small smoothies

Ingredients

1 honeycrisp apple, chopped

1 squeeze of lemon juice

2 heaping tb (40g-ish) unsweetened peanut butter or almond butter

1 oz (about 1/2 c firmly packed or a nice big handful) fresh spinach

3 oz (about 1 1/2 c firmly packed or 3 big handfuls) fresh chopped kale

6 large ice cubes

1/2 c cold water (I just stream water in from my tap for 2 seconds)

Optional additions: a few shakes of turmeric, a small chunk of ginger, 2 chopped celery stalks

Super seed mix, for topping, optional

Clues

In a high speed blender (and in this specific order), add the apple, lemon juice, peanut butter or almond butter, turmeric/ginger/celery (if using), spinach, kale, ice cubes, and water and blend on high for about the time it takes you to refill your ice cube tray and stick it back in the freezer, or until very smooth. Pour into glasses, sprinkle with super seed mix, if using, and enjoy.

To make these freezer friendly: in quart sized deli containers or quart ziploc bags, pack in the apple, lemon, peanut butter or almond butter, turmeric/ginger/celery (if using), spinach, and kale. Make a bunch at a time! Seal and freeze for up to three months. When ready to blend, add the contents to the blender along with 1 cup of water. No need to add ice. Let it sit for a few minutes so that it can defrost slightly and then use a butter knife to carefully break it up into slightly smaller chunks, just so it’s not one huge mass. Blend on high, using the tamper to help everything incorporate, until very smooth. Pour into glasses, sprinkle with super seed mix, if using, and enjoy.


overnight cinnamon rolls with tahini cream frosting and pistachio rose dukkah

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Helloooo, vest weather!!!!! It's here! It's here! I got off the plane yesterday from L.A. and there was a cool refreshing chill in the air, the kind that says cozier days are a comin'! I promptly put on my vest for our evening walk and did a happy dance because vest weather (and quarter zip fleece pullover weather) is the best weather. 

Now I'm just doing all of my laundry and packing right back up again to head to Unglued Camp for the weekend but before I leave I want to talk about these cinnamon rolls that I'm going to be making for all of the campers! (I also wanted to post these in time for Yom Kippur break fast menu planning purposes since the fact that these can be prepped a day in advance makes them perfect for that meal!)

In my kitchen, tahini and cinnamon function together in a similar way that chocolate and espresso, broccolini and lemon, and melon and salt work. In each of these pairs there’s one true star and the other enhances. You add espresso to make chocolate more chocolatier, a squeeze of lemon over broccolini brightens it into its truest best self, and behind every great bite of melon there is some salt (or salty meat). When you add a little bit of cinnamon to anything with tahini, its warmth adds depth to the flavor that’s subtle but great. 

With these rolls though this relationship has been inverted and it works just as well: in their heart, they are cinnamon rolls. Buttery, soft, doughy, delicious classic cinnamon rolls. It’s cinnamon’s time to shine! The tahini plays the roll of support, offering its seedy richness to an otherwise very tangy cream cheese topping. That nuttiness bridges the gap between sweet, tangy, and cinnamony for a beautifully autumnal swirl of tastiness. And a pinch of cardamom also adds a very special something. On top, I like to finish these with a dukkah that's heavy on the crushed pistachios and rose petals, for color and crunch!

You can prep these a day in advance or--if you're up before the roosters--you can make them in a few hours. And if you don't have tahini (why don't you have tahini???) peanut butter or almond butter or pistachio butter would be dope in its place. 


Overnight Cinnamon Rolls with Tahini Cream Frosting

Serves 8

Ingredients

1 c (236ml) whole milk

1/2 c (113g) unsalted butter

4 1/2 c (585g) all-purpose flour

1/2 c (100g) sugar

1 tsp kosher salt

a pinch of cardamom

2 1/4 tsp instant yeast

2 large eggs, room temp

 

Filling

1/4 c (67g) unsalted butter, melted

1 c (200g) brown sugar

2 tb cinnamon

1/4 tsp kosher salt

 

Frosting

1/4 c (67g) unsalted butter, softened

4 oz (113g) cream cheese, softened

1/4 c (64g) tahini

2 c (240g) powdered sugar

A pinch of kosher salt

1/2 tsp vanilla

 

Sprinkles and/or pistachios, rose petals, sesame seeds, turbinado sugar, and flaky salt

Clues

Combine the milk and butter in a large saucepan and heat over medium, stirring gently, until the butter is just melted and then remove from heat. It won’t be very hot, just warm. Set it aside to cool slightly while you combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Once that’s combined, check on the milk/butter mixture to make sure it’s just lukewarm or slightly warmer than room temp- you don’t want it to be hot otherwise the eggs will cook. Add the eggs to the mixture and whisk to combine. Stir this mixture into the dry ingredients and then knead, either on a work surface or with the dough hook, adding more flour as needed, until the dough is smooth and slightly sticky, 7-10 minutes. Place in an oil bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for 1 1/2-2 hours, or until doubled in size. 

Turn the dough out onto a clean surface and roll it out into a large 16” x 14” rectangle. Brush it with the melted butter and sprinkle evenly with the brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Roll it up tightly the long way, and pinch the edges to seal. Cut into 8 rolls and place in an 8” x 11” baking dish. (Alternatively you can roll it out into an 18” x 12” rectangle, cut 12 rolls, and place them in a 9” x 13” baking dish.) Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or let rise at room temperature for another hour and then go directly to the baking step.

When ready to bake, remove the rolls from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours, until puffy. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Remove the plastic wrap and bake until the rolls are lightly browned; begin checking for doneness at 30 minutes. 

While the rolls are baking, make the frosting: beat the butter, cream cheese, and tahini together in a mixer fitted with a paddle. Add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth and creamy. Beat in the salt and vanilla. 

Spread the rolls with the frosting right when they come out of the oven. Sprinkle with sprinkles, pistachios, rose petals, sesame seeds, turbinado, flaky salt, and any other pretty toppings you’d like, and serve. Enjoy!


-yeh! 

photos by chantell and brett quernemoen

necklace by marian bull // dress by whowhatwear // glasses by warby parker