When heaven comes to earth breakfast

And i mean it.

Fluffy yogurt with roasted nuts mix

If you love nuts you are gonna go nuts for this:

heaven yogurt nuts mix for breakfast

honey nuts yogurt for breakfast

Look at this thing. Don’t you want to eat it? It taste so good, so light, so…give me more! I guarantee you’d want more.

Easy to prepare if you have all the ingredients handy. I always do simply because we are nuts about…nuts, so I stack. It’s a delicious breakfast, snack or dessert, or if you want to surprise your friends for an afternoon chat and they are coming over – this is it.

When I made this breakfast a couple of days ago I called my husband’s to taste it. He saw me coming with this pretty white porcelain dish filled with heaven, but told me to go because he was on the phone. I turned around, went upstairs to my office and got ready to gobble this thing, because the aroma simply drove me crazy.

picture of dry nuts for breakfast

A few seconds later I heard footsteps rushing to my office. He stood there starring at my bowl, “what is this? can I taste?” he didn’t even finish his sentence, he took my breakfast away and spoon by spoon…the noises he made, the joy I saw in his eyes, the surprised in his face. He was sold.

So let’s cook shall we?

Ingredients:
one half cup pecans
one half cup hazel nuts
one half cup pine nuts
one half cup honey (mine was flavored with ginger. If you can find – better).
5 crushed cardamon seed vessels
(it’s pods – just fooling with words here)
4 cloves (did I actually count them? no)
juice of one orange
 low-fat plain yogurt (Greek yogurt? I find it too rich for this dish).

cooking nuts with honey for breakfastpreparation: If you would like you may crush the nuts lightly before roasting. In a broiler 400º roast the nuts to light brown. Don’t let it burn. You can also roast them in the same pot on medium heat, where you are about to cook the sauce. Set roasted nuts aside. In a medium heavy pot place the honey, lemon juice, cardamom and cloves. When you see little bubbles forming add the nuts.

Let cook for about a min or two on a medium-low heat, making sure there is still liquid left. Turn off and set aside to cool down. I like to serve it while it’s still warm. The aroma is going to drive you’re nose crazy but be patient and don’t touch it. In the meantime, with a fork quick whip up the yogurt. Blender you’re asking? No, because it will make the yogurt too runny. You want the consistency a little more liquifyed than it is. Take a pretty small cereal bowl or a tea-cup (like I did if you want to impress even yourself), fill it up with yogurt and with a spoon, slowly, top it with a couple of spoons of the nuts mixture.

heaven yogurt for breakfastNow fill your spoon with heaven and get to business.

Eat. Bon Apetite.

tip: if you have company double the recipe and so on.

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Happy Banana Cream Cocktail

…creamy…frothy…wickedly delicious…

And I don’t mean getting intoxicated.

I am not a big drinker and I generally don’t drink alcohol unless on a special occasion when I’m offered a light fruity glass of wine (which most time gets shared with the Mr). The exception is my Kahlua coffee liquor that lives in my pantry and I like to use in food for its distinct aroma and flavor. Like this:

happy delicious banana cream cocktail

Growing up one of my favorite fruits to eat was bananas. I would mash it, add a touch of kosher salt (yes, salt), and eat it. Growing a little older I “discovered” banana shakes that I prepared myself using banana and ice. Never added yogurt or milk.  To this day while I do something in the kitchen like cooking,  I find myself sometimes mashing a banana, add salt and eat. Yes, some roll their eyes on me. But this is one of many childhood memories…and I love remembering them that way.

happy delicious banana cream cocktail

Lately I’ve found myself monkeying around with bananas possibly a new obsession, then come up with delightful drinks that the Mr would be proud to rate them as Award Winning banana cocktails.  Well, the Mr would rate anything I do as Award Winning. But that’s another post.

Banana drinks are nothing new, they date back to late 1800s, and now I personalized the recipe and made it an absolutely new favorite. This one is based on Banana-Kahlua mix, it’s delicious and satisfying enough to rock as the new DJ in my house.

Hanging out with friends any time soon? if they love bananas they will love this cocktail…

they will probably ask for more…

and you probably will run out of bananas.

happy delicious banana cream cocktail

Are you anything like my beloved first born and don’t like to share? be my guest then and have it all to yourself. You might want to add another banana. You deserve it. Something like this:

delicious banana cream cocktail

The best thing is that you can mix into the bananas any flavored liquor you like. I use Kahlua in a lot of my mix-a-drink recipes but never on its own, because for someone like moi who cannot tolerate alcohol (which is a good thing), this one when mixed does not make me talk in a language no one heard of.

So…shall we:

Banana Cream Cocktail

ingredients:

1/2 part kahlua coffee liquor**
1 medium firm banana
1 part whipping cream
pinch cinnamon powder and/or cardamom powder (optional)
crushed ice (start with 1/2 a cup, you can always add more).

In a blender combine all the ingredients. Blend.

Pour drink into chilled martini glass. Garnish with banana and spices.

** Turn this drink to kid friendly by substitute the liquor with low-fat or skim milk. Super for breakfast or a treat.

Note: Drink responsibly.

You may adjust measurements to your liking.

Midnight Roasted Red Grapes – a recipe

Ever wondered, like me, what’s the story behind Kahlúa liquor, I often use in my recipes?

For you I’ve gathered some facts from different websites:

“coffee-flavored rum-based liqueur from Mexico. The drink also has sugar, corn syrup and vanilla bean” source.

“First produced in 1936 by Veracruz, Mexico native Pedro Domeca” (source)

“It takes 7 years to create each bottle of Kalúa, from harvest of the coffee beans, vanilla, and sugar cane to bottle”.

“Coffee liquor with a cool twist” (now that’s my definition).

Now that we know what Kahlua is, let’s move on shall we.

In case you wonder, the name of this recipe – Midnight Roasted Red Grapes – is because I roasted the grapes around midnight, after I realized that taking pain-killer for my headache isn’t worth it, especially if contains chemicals. A bottle of water helped just a bit so I got up, went into my newly renovated kitchen (I love going into my new kitchen in the middle of the night. Hard to explain), I opened the fridge and found a bunch of fresh red grapes. Initially I wanted to bake cookies but didn’t want to make a mess when having a headache. I stared at the grapes, then at the oven, looked at the grapes again, then the oven – bam! bake them.

midnight roasted red grapes recipe

Herbal tea was well on its way while I gathered my simple almost every day ingredients – grapes and sugar. Roasting fruits is my latest FoodFashion. The flavor of the fruit enhanced so much more, the texture gets a beautiful rustic elegance, the color deepens and the recipe is not an everyday thing one would do in a kitchen, enhances the experience. And don’t make me start on the aroma…

midnight roasted red grapes

midnight roasted red grapes

Ingredients:

2-3 cups of red fresh grapes (want white? use it)

1 tbsp light brown sugar

pinch of kosher salt

1/4 c. Kahlua liquor

*  *  *

Preheat oven to 425°F. In a large bowl mix ingredients except for the salt, until well combined. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil and arrange marinated grapes. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Roast grapes between 15-20 minutes, when skin is lightly crisp and soft and grapes are dark and juicy. Carefully remove pan from oven. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serving suggestions:

Top it with my No bake cheese cake

Add to my low-fat yogurt breakfast

Delicious snack on its own

Addition to fresh fruit salad

Arranged on skewers for a pretty presentation and serve with goat cheese

Or do what I did: couldn’t keep my hands off of them and ate them right off the pan. Careful, it’s hot.

Ideas are endless.