...with a bump!
Both are miracles, one a bit more miraculous than the other. The stripped sweater is covering five months of belly and baby growth. I'm due the first week of August. A summer baby. Our baby! Half me, half Zach, but entirely a new and unique little person. It's amazing, mind boggling and completely awe inspiring, and I'm loving every minute of it.
I've learned a few things along the way: that peanut butter and jelly on toast really is the ultimate comfort food; that maternity jeans are right up there with yoga pants as the best creation ever; and that the thump thump roll thump of a baby kicking from the inside is one of the most incredible feelings there is (I smile every single time). We are overjoyed and excited and so very thankful.
It wasn't my intention to stop blogging, but as it turns out morning sickness (all day sickness really) is kryptonite to a food blog. I didn't want to eat anything, let alone read about, write about, or cook food. Nope. I just wanted to lie on the couch and watch The Bachelor. And that's pretty much what I did until the extreme exhaustion of creating a human began to wane and I made my way back into the kitchen. It wasn't so much that I wanted to cook, but that I had reached my scrambled eggs and buttered toast threshold. I was cooking, but without gusto or inspiration. But then Friday something wild happened - I spotted a recipe, I ran out to get the ingredients, and I made it, just because, just for fun. It was a turning point, the first time I've done that since December, and I didn't even realize what was happening until the oven was preheated and the ingredients mixed. Sitting down with my bowl of toasted muesli I knew it was time to get back to the blog, so...
Hello delicious bowl of toasted muesli!
This muesli is adapted from a recipe that was featured in the October 2012 issue of Whole Living. It's called toasted muesli, and it falls somewhere in between muesli and granola. True muesli, as I've become acquainted with it over the last two years (it's a Swiss invention), is typically composed of raw oats, grains, nuts and dried fruit, all unsweetened and eaten with yogurt. It can be pretty mushy. Granola, composed mainly of oats and nuts, is sweetened and toasted in the oven to yield that satisfying crunchy texture. The millet and puffed quinoa pull this recipe towards a muesli, while the slight sweetness and crunch bring it towards a granola. Call it what you will - to each their own - but since I'm in Switzerland and muesli reigns supreme here, I'm going to stick with calling it toasted muesli.
Muesli/Granola is really all about personal preference. Use this recipe as a guide and adjust however you want (more nuts, less nuts, more fruit, less fruit, no coconut, way more coconut, etc).
adapted from Whole Living October 2012
1/3 cup boiling water
1/2 cup whole millet
2 cups oats (gluten free if desired)
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
3/4 cup mixed chopped nuts (I used pecans, almonds and walnuts)
1/2 cup maple syrup
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
2/3 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup mixed assorted dried fruit chopped (apricots, apples, peaches, pear, etc)
1/2 cup puffed quiona
Preheat the oven to 325ºf / 160ºc
In a small bowl, pour boiling water over millet, cover with a plate and let sit for 30minutes.
In a large bowl mix the drained millet, oats, coconut flakes, sunflower seeds and the chopped nuts with the maple syrup, olive oil and salt. Stir to coat.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the muesli mixture out on it. Place it in the oven and bake, stirring every 10 minutes or so, until the mixture is lightly toasted, about 20-30 minutes.
Let the muesli cool and then add the cranberries, chopped assorted dried fruit and the puffed quinoa. Stir to mix. Store the muesli in an airtight glass container for up to 2 weeks.
I hope I'm smart enough to make a batch or two of this muesli and hide it away for after the baby's arrival.
Goodness, it's hard to start blogging again after such a long absence. I have so much I want to say and catch you up on, but it's overwhelming. I don't know where to begin. I think I'll leave it at this for today and save the rest for future posts. Sound good? Please also feel free to send me any questions or advice. I'd love to hear from you.
Which reminds me, I wanted to thank those of you who emailed me during my hiatus to let me know that you were thinking of me and that you missed me here in this space. That really meant a lot to me. I missed you too!