Tag Archives: breakfast

Lemon Cherry Muffins

Forbidden Rice Blog| Lemon Cherry Muffins (5 of 9)

I once went to a birthday party where there was no cake. Not even cupcakes. In their place were muffins. Fruit-filled muffins. While most kids would be terrified or genuinely pissed off about such a thing, I was quite pleased. I remember one of the choices being a cherry muffin that was laden with dried cherries… they were delicious.

One morning recently I recalled those muffins and my genuine appreciation of them. Not knowing what else to make for breakfast one day, the idea of baking  something that was quick and filling sounded necessary.

The following muffins came out of that experiment. They’re lemony without being overly tart, the cherries provide a beautiful sweetness, and the dusting of coarse sugar creates a lovely slightly-crisp topping once baked.

Forbidden Rice Blog| Lemon Cherry Muffins (2 of 9)

Lemon Cherry Muffins

Yields about 12 standard sized muffins.


1 cup dried cherries, chopped
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
5 tablespoons butter, melted
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 2 large lemons)
zest from 1 lemon
coarse sugar (optional)

Forbidden Rice Blog| Lemon Cherry Muffins (1 of 9)


Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F and line a cupcake pan with liners or generously grease the well of each spot.

Sprinkle dried cherries with 2 tablespoons of the flour, then mix until the cherries are coated.

In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar and nutmeg.

In another bowl, lightly beat the egg then add the vanilla, buttermilk, butter, lemon juice and zest and combine well. Add the chopped cherries.

Stir the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture, just until the dry ingredients are moist.

Divide the batter equally between the greased/lined muffin tins, filling each well about 2/3-full. Sprinkle a generous amount of the coarse sugar over the batter. Bake for 20 minutes, or until muffins are golden brown.

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Forbidden Rice Blog| Lemon Cherry Muffins (6 of 9)

Forbidden Rice Blog| Lemon Cherry Muffins (3 of 9)

Vanilla Banana Smoothie

Forbidden Rice Blog | Vanilla Banana Smoothie (3 of 5)

At least once a day either for a meal in itself or a snack between meals, my husband will say, “Babe…can I have one of those smoothies?” I know what this means: this chocolate soy milk, bananas, peanut butter (preferably this one), and lately also powdered chocolate peanut butter. He has deemed the concoction “God’s Nectar,” (bwahaha! I shit you not!) and says that one day he will certainly live off of the stuff. Happily.

The truth is, when you combine frozen bananas (this part is essential), milk, and chocolate, vanilla, and/or peanut butter, the end product is very milkshake-like. Without the guilt… Not that I feel guilty about drinking milkshakes; I am a firm believer in moderation…and could drink a vanilla or chocolate milkshake every day guilt-free.

Milkshake diet aside, I decided to try a little spin on my husband’s chocolatey-peanut-buttery-smoothie. I wanted something a little lighter tasting, which would still be filling and refreshing. The oats and frozen bananas make this smoothie milkshake-thick and will keep you full. You can add unsweetened cocoa and peanut butter if you wish, as well!

Forbidden Rice Blog | Vanilla Banana Smoothie (1 of 5)

Vanilla Banana Smoothie

Serves 2.

2 teaspoons old fashioned oats
2 cups whole milk (vanilla soy, almond, or your preferred nondairy milk would be okay!)
3 medium bananas, frozen
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of fresh nutmeg

Forbidden Rice Blog | Vanilla Banana Smoothie (4 of 5)

In a spice grinder, pulverize the oats into a fine powder. (My “spice grinder” is actually just our coffee grinder, cleaned out really well.)

In a blender, combine the ground oats, milk, bananas, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Blend on high until smooth. Divide between two glasses and enjoy immediately.

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The Perfect Steel Cut Oats

Forbidden Rice Blog | Perfect Steel Cut Oats (5 of 6)

There is something perfectly simple, hearty and delicious when it comes to a bowl of steel cut oatmeal. This time of year, especially, a warm bowl of oats is gratifying and the perfect way to celebrate cold winter mornings. As a kid, my mom would regularly make a pot of oatmeal for before-school-breakfasts. Usually plain oats that had been perfectly cooked, and on the counter would sit little dishes of brown sugar, raisins, milk and butter to add to our individual bowls.

I didn’t care for oatmeal then, although that probably had more to do with my lack of interest in breakfast, in general… Or perhaps it was the time crunch of struggling to stay in bed as long as possible, followed by a shower that took nearly too long, then the mad dash to the bus stop, sometimes literally racing the bus up our street, hoping to get there in time. Who has time for breakfast in that madness (which, lets be honest – was probably served up with some teenage sass as well)?

As an adult, my tastes have changed. While I still don’t typically eat breakfast before noon, I find myself thoroughly enjoying a bowl of oats. Plus I’m old enough to appreciate the health benefits, too! They’re relatively low in calories, contain lovely amounts of fiber and they are a good source of protein providing, 7 grams per 1/4 cup serving.

Besides, oatmeal is super customizable. You can let the following recipe merely act as a base and add toppings or other ingredients to your liking. Feel free to make this bowl your own and enjoy it often, throughout this winter!

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Perfect Steel Cut Oats

Serves 6 or so

2 tablespoons butter
2 cups steel cut oats
6 cups boiling water
2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
additional milk, brown sugar and cinnamon for serving

Forbidden Rice Blog | Perfect Steel Cut Oats (3 of 6)


In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the oats and sauté, stirring, for about 3 minutes until the oats smell toasty.

Add the boiling water, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Keep on a low simmer for 25-30 minutes.

Gently stir the milk into the oats. Cook for another 10 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Cook for 5 more minutes, then scoop into serving bowls.

Top with additional milk if you’d like, brown sugar and cinnamon to your liking.

  • You can easily add other toppings if you’d like. Some favorites around here:

— Mash a banana or two, then stir that in along with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter when you add the milk to the oats.

— Peel, then dice up an apple into bite size pieces. Add to the oats when you add the milk, along with 1 teaspoon cinnamon.

— Sliced pears are great on oats.

— Stir in cranberries, raisins, currants, chopped pecans, chopped walnuts, etc.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Perfect Steel Cut Oats (4 of 6)

Forbidden Rice Blog | Perfect Steel Cut Oats (6 of 6)

Peaches and Cream Oatmeal

Forbidden Rice Blog | Peaches and Cream Oatmeal (4 of 6)

At least once a week, I get a text from one of my girlfriends I’ve been friends with for over two decades. Having moved back to Kaua’i with her husband recently, expecting her first baby girl in a few short months, this morning message often includes a photo of the beach with words such as “enjoying my oatmeal at the beach!” I try to contain my jealousy and refrain from writing “thanks for the induced homesickness bi-yotch!” (Teehee!)

The other thing these messages often do is leave me a hankering for some good oatmeal. Since I don’t generally eat breakfast, this craving hits around 1:30 or 2 PM. While I do enjoy overnight oats very much in the summer, I also thoroughly like oats that have been cooked on the stove.

Around here we throw all sorts of things into our oatmeal — peanut butter, sunflower butter, honey, maple syrup, homemade jam, bananas, other chopped up fruit we happen to have on hand, cranberries, currants, walnuts, macadamia nuts, etc., etc. Since my favorite locally grown peaches happen to be available right now, I am a huge fan of peach-filled oatmeal… Like the following recipe!

Forbidden Rice Blog | Peaches and Cream Oatmeal (6 of 6)

Peaches and Cream Oatmeal

Serves about 6.


2 1⁄2 cups water
1⁄8 teaspoon salt
2 cups old fashioned oatmeal
2 tablespoons sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons heavy cream
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons brown sugar (or to your liking)
2 ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and diced

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Bring the water to a boil. Add the salt.

While stirring constantly, gradually add the oatmeal. Return to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Allow oats to thicken for a few minutes. Once they have thickened, stir in the milk, cream, butter, vanilla, and brown sugar. Gently fold in the diced peaches.

Serve with a little additional butter, cream, and brown sugar if you’d like.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Peaches and Cream Oatmeal (1 of 6)

Forbidden Rice Blog | Peaches and Cream Oatmeal (2 of 6)

Forbidden Rice Blog | Peaches and Cream Oatmeal (5 of 6)

Apricot and Pecan Scones

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It’s true that I am not much of a morning person.  Every now and then, however, I find myself wide awake at the ass-crack-of-dawn. As a long-term insomniac, it’s rare that I find myself asleep before 1 AM… but on some occasions, despite this, I am very awake at 4 or 5 AM.  What does a person do that early, having slept only for a couple hours?

I’d tell you the answer. Keep in mind, this likely isn’t the answer for sane, non-insomniacs… In the wee hours where sun hasn’t broken yet, when everything is quiet and you can’t fall back asleep, obviously you reach for your iPhone and google some shit. Preferably breakfast ideas, although you know you aren’t really going to get out of bed to do any cooking. Not for another 5 hours, minimum.

Alas, that is where the following recipe came from. A lot of google-idea-storming, based on knowing I had a bunch of fresh apricots nearing their expiration. These scones are soft, tender, moist enough to balance the crumb.

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Apricot and Pecan Scones

Yields 8-10 scones.

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 sticks cold butter, cut into bite-size cubes
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup cold buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6-7 fresh apricots, pits removed then cut into bite size pieces
1/2 cup toasted pecan pieces

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Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet or two with parchment paper and set it aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and brown sugar, mixing until well combined.

Cut in the cold butter, using your fingers or a pastry cutter, until mixture resembles a coarse meal. In another bowl, combine the egg, buttermilk and vanilla. Add the milk mixture to flour mixture all at once, stirring until you form a ball of soft dough. Fold in the apricots and pecans.

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Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead it 10-15 times. Work the dough into a round that is about 1-inch thick. Cut the dough into 8-10 pizza-style triangles. Place each triangle on the prepared baking sheet(s), keeping them about 2 inches apart. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the scones are golden brown on top. Cool for a few minutes, then eat while warm for best flavor.

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