Saturday, October 31, 2015

Guest Post with Giveaway!


There is much to share, and some fun news coming this week, but in the meantime, my friend and fabulous fellow foodie fiction girl Dana Bate wanted to share some thoughts with you, and I thought you would really enjoy that while you are waiting!  Her new book, Too Many Cooks is just a delight, she was kind enough to share an advanced copy with me and I absolutely devoured it!  I know you are going to love it too.  Dana is giving away one signed copy to a lucky reader, so be sure to comment as per her instructions in the section below to be entered by 11:59 CST Tuesday Nov. 3 to win!  I'll have the winner randomly chosen and announced on Nov. 4!

Yours in Good Taste, 
The Polymath

Take it away, Dana....

Thank you, Stacey, for letting me hijack your blog for the day! *virtual hug*

So, if it’s okay with you and your lovely readers, I’d like to talk about breakfast. Why? Because it’s my favorite meal of the day. And most nights as I fall asleep, I get excited about what I might eat the next morning when I wake up.

Basically, sleep is a time machine that transports me to pancakes.

Granted, pancakes are a special treat. On your average Tuesday, I’m more likely to be eating a bowl of oatmeal or a piece of toast. But even those seemingly mundane options fire me up because I know they don’t have to be boring.

Want to make killer oatmeal? Try swirling it with pumpkin puree and maple syrup and topping it with toasted pecans and a hefty splash of milk. And toast? How about slathering it with fresh ricotta and drizzling it with honey? These are the kinds of things I think about as I drift off to the land of nod. (Which probably makes me sound like a huge weirdo…but, well, if it walks like a duck…)

As much as I love breakfast, some mornings I don’t have the time or the energy to get fancy. And that’s why I love making a big batch of something delicious on a lazy Sunday afternoon, so that I can enjoy it all week without having to put in much effort in the AM.

Case in point: this granola recipe, which has become my favorite. I can whip up a batch, store it in a canister, and then sprinkle it over yogurt and berries without having to turn on my brain (because if you’re anything like me, there is a distinct and somewhat lengthy period of time between “opening eyes” and actually “waking up”).

But I’m always on the lookout for new weekday breakfast ideas, so tell me: what is YOUR favorite weekday breakfast? I’d love to know! Share your thoughts in the comments, and you could also win a *signed copy* of my latest novel, TOO MANY COOKS! I think it’s my favorite book so far – Food! London! Hollywood! Romance! -- and I’d love to share it with you.

Dana Bate's Favorite Granola
Makes ~10 cups

3 cups rolled oats
2/3 cup sliced almonds
2/3 cup pepitas (aka pumpkin seeds)
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
6 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup chopped dried figs
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup chopped prunes

(Note: You can use any combination of dried fruit that you want. Just use 1.5 cups total.)

Preheat oven to 325F. In a large bowl, mix together the first seven ingredients (oats through nutmeg). In another bowl, whisk together the olive oil and honey. Pour the oil mixture over the dry ingredients and mix until everything is coated. Spread evenly onto a sheet pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, stirring halfway through, until everything is lightly golden. Remove from the oven and transfer the baked granola onto a long sheet of wax paper and let it cool for 10 minutes. Sprinkle the dried fruit on top and toss to combine. Let the granola cool completely before storing it in an airtight container.


  1. I love breakfast! That granola looks amazing. Love granola in my yogurt. If I'm feeling really ambitious on a weekday I'll make French toast. But I'm more likely to have oatmeal. I also like scrambled eggs with cheese and red pepper flakes on grainy oat toast.

    1. Oooooh, love the sound of those eggs!! I am also an oatmeal gal. Just made a pot this morning! xo

  2. I bake a big batch of muffins at some point on the weekend and then wrap them by 2's and freeze them. 1 minute in the micro and breakfast! I usually keep 2-3 kinds on hand, rotating which kind I make each weekend. I just added pumpkin back into the rotation!

  3. I'll have to try your granola recipe. I like it in my yogurt! I'll usually have oatmeal or cereal during the week. Love to add berries or bananas to both. Sometimes on the weekends I'll make muffins or coffee cake so that I can have that sometime during the week as well!

    1. I'm an oatmeal/cereal fan, too. Fresh fruit is always a great addition!

  4. Cheesy Egg Muffins are my go to: You can freeze them and they eare easy to grab on the "run" to work. INGREDIENTS

    1 dozen eggs
    1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    Ghee or nonstick cooking spray, to coat pans
    1 cup frozen or fresh spinach
    1 heaping cup thinly sliced mushrooms
    1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
    1 1/2 to 2 cups shredded cheese (either cheddar or parmesan)


    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Crack eggs into a liquid measuring cup. Whisk the eggs and salt.
    Grease a 12-cup muffin pan with ghee. Divide spinach, mushrooms, green onion, and cheese between each muffin cup, then carefully pour eggs over tops until muffin tins are almost full (leave 1/4-inch space).
    Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. The egg muffins will look like soufflé when they come out of the oven, but they will sink after a few minutes. Let them rest in the muffin tin for a few minutes before using a rubber spatula to carefully remove each muffin.
    Consume immediately or let cool and transfer to a resealable plastic bag. Refrigerate for up to a week or freeze for a month.

    1. These sound delicious -- and convenient!

    2. I made those a couple weeks ago and didn't whisk the eggs all that well. When I was pouring them into the cups one of the edge ones was getting almost full when a large glob of whites blurped out and overfilled the cup....out onto the counter and immediately into the tiny little crack between the stove and the counter. One of those things that happens in slow motion but you're frozen and incapable of preventing it! oy. :-)

  5. I love pumpkin pancakes for breakfast this time of year. They are really firm and thick. So, you make multiple pancakes and can easily heat them up in the microwave for breakfast like I did this morning. However, try not to burn them like I did in the initial cooking process. oops.

    1. Great idea! And love pumpkin pancakes. Mmmm.

  6. My favorite weekday breakfast is a dirty chai latte and a banana.

  7. I like scrambled eggs with bell pepper and onion and topped with cheese. I usually make enough for a few days and warm them up and then add the cheese. Your granola sounds wonderful.

    Heather Faulk

  8. Three egg whites (the liquid kind) and a wedge of Laughing Cow cheese. 2:20 in the microwave, stirring a couple of times with salt and pepper. Easy to make at work, keeps me full to lunchtime and is only three Weight Watchers Points.

    When I'm done with diet I'd love to try the granola. Sounds really good.

    1. Anything that keeps me full until lunchtime is a winner. I'm usually hungry again by 10:30, at which point I often have "second breakfast"... sigh

  9. I love freshly baked cinnamon rolls for breakfast. I will bake a batch (with the help of my breadmaker) and then wrap them x 2. A few moments in the microwave, and presto - delicious breakfast!! I usually have a piece of fruit, and a freshly brewed cup of coffee along with my bun.

    I am definitely going to whip up a batch of your granola. Yogurt and granola is my second favorite breakfast!!!

  10. Im sadly a sucker for a breakfast potato. I'm serious, give me all the hash browns. If I can get them during the week, super bonus!!!

    1. Not sadly! Proudly! Hash browns are sooooo good.

  11. Oatmeal is my go-to breakfast and I love mixing it up with seasonal fruit and toppings!

  12. Thank you for sharing your Granola recipe. Although I usually eat cereal during the week, I love baking 2 loaves of banana bread on the weekend so that I can have a slice with my coffee

  13. Scrambled eggs with a little sharp cheddar mixed in, topped with pico de gallo and avocado. I make the pico in advance on the weekend.