Starting my day right

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I used to hate breakfasts. I know, I know, my mom had to nag on me every morning and she has “the look” that forced me (or any one of my siblings for that matter) to dump some food on my plate. To clarify, Indonesians eat rice for breakfast, especially fried rice, and funnily enough, that was my least favorite breakfast food. Ugh. So I would get the smallest amount of fried rice, possibly mounting up to three tablespoons tops, and call it a day. In my defense, school starts freakishly early at 6.30am in the morning that I had to wake up at least at 5.30am and had 15 minutes to eat breakfast.

Nowadays, whenever I go home from college during winter breaks, breakfast is a big thing at home. We would sit around the table after having the regular, hour-long morning walks and chat while having a slow, hearty breakfast. This past winter break, I invented the “daily special,” where I would make something special for breakfast that day. Whenever I don’t have enough time, I would make this granola. It’s a basic template recipe that I got from Faith Durand at thekitchn.com and you can try out other variations. I incorporate fewer nuts because nuts are expensive, specifically in Indonesia, which is why I scale back on the salt. You can try out adding more nuts and salt but always better to err on the less salty side. You can also try substituting some of the oil for other nut butter by 1:1 ratio. Ah, thinking back to those mornings makes me miss home and being able to have a talk with my parents every single morning.

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Basic granola

Adapted from thekitchn.com

3 cups oats

1 cup nuts and seeds, chopped

100 ml honey (a bit less than half a cup)

100 ml oil (a bit less than half a cup)

¾ tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp cinnamon

pinch of both nutmeg and allspice

Preheat oven to 330 F. Toast the oats for 10 minutes, stirring once.

Combine all the dry ingredients. Mix dry ingredients with the rest of the ingredients.

Decrease the temperature to 300 F. Pat the mixture down on the baking sheet. Toast the mixture for 20-30 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes (the more you stir, the less clumps you have) until brown and toasty. Let the oats out to dry, the oats mixture would be wet when it first comes out of the oven.

Serve with milk, yogurt, or even just the plain granola.

      

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Starting point…

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I finally got around writing my first post, which is sadly an attempt to procrastinate even further on starting my essay for a certain scholarship. I guess food has always been a method of procrastination in college. When I am supposed to write a paper, I look at food pictures every 30 minutes. When I’m at work, I always have another window in my computer opened just for food recipes and pictures. Over the summer, my roommate and I had a running joke about how we spend every single night looking through cookbooks that we borrowed from the library earlier in the day. 

At one point, I once could not sleep and spent the entire night just reading techniques and science behind the baking ratio from different food blogs. I am pretty sure if I tried harder to get to sleep, I probably would have been able to sleep. By the time the clock showed 3AM, I was dead-tired, my arms hurt from holding my laptop on my stomach so I could lie down in bed (my mom does not like this habit of mine), and my tummy was asking for food. What was even worse was that I could not go to class the next day because I was way too exhausted and my head was pounding from lack of sleep. I told this professor that I was “sick”. Weeeeell, technically I was NOT well, which equals sick. Right, riiiight?

Anyways, let’s look at what I have for you today. Coconut is one of the ingredients that I saw at my college’s food shop and, without knowing what to make with it, I just bought it. I stumbled upon this recipe, originally by Bill Granger, through Deb’s beautiful blog, the Smitten Kitchen. This absolutely for the coconut lovers. The smell wafting through my entire apartment was a very subtle yet appetizing fragrant. The bread itself has coarse crumbs; it’s definitely less on the moist side. I think the next time I try this cake, I’m going to try drenching the cake with a coconut milk glaze to make it more moist and even more coconut-y.

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Coconut Bread

From Bill Granger, via Smitten Kitchen

2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt 
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup granulated sugar
5 ounces sweetened flaked coconut (about 1 1/2 cups)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted or melted and browned, if desired
Vegetable oil or nonstick cooking spray for baking pan

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine all in eggs, vanilla, and milk and beat until combined. Set aside.

Whisk together the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl. Create a well in the middle of the large bowl and pour in the egg mixture. Fold in egg mixture into the flour mixture until just combined (I found that I hardly ever over mix with folding in).

Spray the baking pan that you are using (I used a 9×5 loaf pan) and pour in the batter into the pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. It took me an hour so start checking around the 45 minute mark.

Enjoy with butter or powdered sugar or even a smear of your favorite nut butter (I know I’m weird with nut butter).