Archives for category: Brunch

I love waffles.

For my last birthday I received a Cuisinart Waffle Maker from my mom, making waffles a breeze!

I’ve been experimenting with different waffle recipes I found across the web – mostly from Pinterest – such as egg nog or pumpkin waffles. These are more autumnal and christmas seasonal recipes, so I have been on the look out for something to tide me over until spring arrives. Enter the blueberry waffles.

Blueberry waffle recipe

I found a recipe on Pinterest from Pass The Sushi blog that piqued my interest. However, I altered her recipe slightly using buckwheat flour instead of wholewheat pastry flour and plain yogurt instead of sour cream giving them a slightly savoury quality, which acts as a nice foil to the sweet/tart blueberries.

This recipe yields 14 regular sized square waffles.  Since I’m the only one who eats waffles in my household, I bag them up in twos and pop them in the freezer, keeping in breakfasts for a whole week! When I’m ready to eat, I just stick them in the toaster and serve with plain yogurt.


Et voila! Waffles for any morning.

I’ve done well to maintain eating healthy over the past year, but the holiday indulgences took over a bit throughout December. Now that the holidays are over, temptation has been put away and I am back to exploring new, inventive and healthy recipes to tempt the taste buds.

Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day, and weekend breakfast is the time where I can spend time preparing tasty delights.

This weekend I spied some ricotta leftover in the fridge, some eggs and jalapeño peppers… Perfect for a healthy omelette.




The combination of spicy jalapeños and creamy ricotta is fantastic. I used two eggs, heaped tablespoon of ricotta and half of a jalapeño pepper finely chopped. Fast, easy and tasty!

I love banana bread. It is a versatile bread that’s more like a cake. You can have it for breakfast – toasted with a bit of cream cheese spread over it or as a tasty snack.

Recently, I received the latest Leon cookbook – Baking and Puddings as a gift and came across their version.  I had to give it a go!

In the past, I have generally gone for a straight up banana bread, no additions like nuts or chocolate, but I was intrigued with the inclusion of pecans in this recipe.



You should always use ripe bananas in a banana bread. Under-ripe ones just wouldn’t taste right.


This recipe uses spelt flour, which gives the bread a really nice hearty texture.

Banana bread batter

This recipe recommends slicing a banana in half, lengthwise, and placing it on top of the batter just before it goes in the oven. As the bread bakes, the banana sinks to the middle.

fresh out of the oven

sliced banana bread

I have to say, this is the best banana bread recipe I have come across. The whole banana running through the middle of the bread added more banana flavour and texture and the addition of pecan nuts gave the bread a slight maple-y flavour.

This recipe will definitely be in heavy rotation in our house. YUM!

Ever since @jojogifford tweeted about the Leon cookbook, I was intrigued.  Luckily, I received the Leon Ingredients & Recipes Cookbook shortly after and my intrigue had turned into joy. This cookbook is fantastic.  In fact, every time I am in London and anywhere near a Leon restaurant, I go there and take a new friend with me. (Try the meatball hotbox!!) So, wanting test out my new cookbook, I decided to incorporate one of its recipes into my Easter brunch menu.  Granola won the draw.

The history of my Easter brunch is a long standing tradition. It was the cornerstone of Easter in the Bals household.  Early memories of brunch go back to when I was about nine or ten years old, first going to a golf club in Rocklin (The cherry pie was full of cornstarch… yuck… but why was I eating cherry pie at brunch in the first place. My mistake!) to Charlie Browns.  Ok, this place was the brunch place of all brunch places- enough to rival the morning buffet spread at a high end Vegas hotel (I think, I’m only speculating).  Omelette bars, crepe bars, carvery, salad bars and the ultimate ice cream bar. Yes, you heard me: ICE-CREAM-BAR, like hot fudge sundaes, banana splits, you name it.  When you are 12 years old this is heaven, mecca, valhalla or whatever afterlife you believe. Ice cream bar. We’d go there every year whether it was just the immediate family or with Papa Joe, Aunt Sharon and my cousin, Lauren.  You saved up for brunch – like didn’t eat for a week to prepare for this.  Unfortunately, or fortunately for my waistline, Charlie Brown’s shut up shop in Sacramento. So these extravagant brunches ceased for our family tradition.  But brunch did not.  In fact, even when we lived in Seattle Lauren and I made sure to meet for brunch on easter (14 Carrots… mmm).

Where was I, oh yes… brunch. Many years later, I find myself living in England. A country that has not quite grasped the beauty of brunch (no, all day breakfasts do not count).  I decided this year I would host brunch on Easter Monday. And I did. And it was awesome.

I made lemon ricotta pancakes, recipe courtesy of one of my heroes Mireille Guiliano, served with smoked salmon, greek yogurt, homemade damson compote and the Leon granola.  I cannot recommend this recipe enough.  It makes a kilo and the only downside is that it’s not enough.  Between brunch and subsequent breakfasts for my husband and I, it didn’t last long.  (I really do need to make some more).

So, if you are still reading after my waxing lyrical about brunch and you are a granola fan, definitely try the Leon granola recipe.

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