April 07, 2013

hello again

I'm back in the kitchen...

...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 Blog! 

Hello Readers! 

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). 

Toasted Muesli
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! 


  1. I wondered where you were in the past few months. These are great news, I wish you and the baby all the best!
    Toasted muesli sounds good, I am not really a fan of the normal birchermuesli. It tastes okay I guess but I always have to force myself to get over the fact that it is just so mushy. Oh and if you do forget to make the muesli before the baby arrives, I could certainly offer to deliver some to your door from my kitchen. (Honestly)

  2. !!! Back with a bang. I like it.

    1. Thirded. Congratulation! And I am sooo glad to have you back. My best wishes.

  3. you know not at all how I understand your break! :-) You and your small family all the best!!

  4. oh talley, welcome back! and the happiest new for you :)

  5. Grinning from ear to ear all the way in SF xoxo

  6. OMG, I have started about 10 emails to you but never hit send because I didn't want to feel stalkerish. Hieeeeeeeeeeee. and Congrats!!!! So incredibly exciting. Sorry to hear about the wretched morning sickness. No bueno. This muesli sounds amazing. Have you made the baked oatmeal from 101Cookbooks — I just read about it on Orangette. It is SO good. Up next is your muesli. So happy to see you back.

    1. Hiiiiiiii. I think I would have liked having you as a stalker ;) I haven't tried the baked oatmeal yet, but it sounds and looks amazing. I've been having oatmeal every morning for breakfast and I'm in a bit of a rut, so perhaps the baked oatmeal will be a great way to mix things up while still saying healthy. How did you manage to cook/blog through your pregnancies, or did you take a little break too, I can't remember?

    2. ohhh I second Ali -- Heidi's baked oatmeal is perfection. As a fellow compulsive oatmeal eater (I eat the same version of it every morning), it's my favorite way to eat oats!

    3. Talley this is so unbelievably delicious!! Thank you thank you. One question, and don't worry if you don't have time to answer, but I am worried about adding the dried fruit because I don't want it to make the muesli soggy. I am only worried about this because i have had this experience in the past with granola, but maybe I am worrying for naught. What do you think? Add it? I hope you and the little dolly are well :)

  7. Tal!! Welcome back!! That picture is AMAZING! So happy to see your bump and not the loaf of bread anymore ;) <3 <3 <3

  8. So happy you're back!!!!! Just in time for spring (at least in the US, hope it warms up in zurich soon, too:)

  9. Talley! So happy to click over to your blog somewhat randomly this afternoon and see your good news! We have a little widglet due to arrive at the end of July, so it looks like you, me, and Kate Middleton are right in sync! I completely second your feelings about maternity jeans and belly thumps, and only slightly modify your peanut butter on toast to include sliced banana instead of jelly... oh the joys of pregnancy. So glad to see you're back to blogging and I would be curious to hear how the Swiss treat moms- and dads-to-be. I've been captivated lately by the differing approaches between Americans and Europeans on these things... Anyway, congratulations to you and Zach!

    1. Libby!!!!! Congratulations! So exciting, another little summer baby. Somehow it feels like everyone is due in July and August - if only we lived near each other so we could have a play group. I have to admit that I've been eating a lot of peanut butter on bananas, and also peanut butter and honey on toast, basically just a lot of peanut butter. I will definitely address the differences in Switzerland - great idea. I think it would be a bit easier if I had gone through a pregnancy in the states too, but either way there are some differences, nothing too crazy though. I hope you have been feeling well! xo

  10. Welcome back! I've been periodically checking in and have definitely missed your posts! And congratulations on the upcoming addition to your family :-)

  11. So excited you're back and SOOOO excited for a new cousin!!

  12. It's great to see you here again! I seriously was just thinking of you-- "where IS she?" I've been missing your presence in the blogosphere and I'm delighted to see you again. Congratulations on your bump- how wonderful! The toasted muesli looks like a real treat.

  13. Oh my goodness! So much love! And here I was worried that no one was checking in on the blog anymore, what a pleasant surprise. Thank you all so much for your well wishes. I must admit that it felt a little strange to announce something like this on the blog, but you're lovely comments make me so happy that I did. Thank you thank you!

  14. Welcome Back Talley,
    I wish you and the baby all the best.
    I've been reading your blog ever since I came across it by chance and I find it really interesting and inspiring, so I was disappointed not to find a new entry
    for quite a long time . SO good to have you back.
    As a mother of twins with no morning sickness at all !!! but with a huge belly I can really relate to your mood and your much needed break.


  15. I love, love the first picture. Congratulations and I am so glad to see you posting again!

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  17. YEAH! So excited to see that you are back, Tal, and that first photo is incredible. Such wonderful news and glad you are starting to feel more like you. xxoo

  18. Congratulations!! Let me echo everybody in saying how much you were missed. I'm looking forward to learning about the cultural differences you've noticed in being pregnant in Switzerland. As an American who was pregnant while living in Hong Kong, I was given all sorts of advice from my colleagues ("Don't eat pineapple or your child will have spots [acne]."

  19. oh my goodness SO SO exciting!!!!!!!!! so glad to have you back and so excited for you about this new family addition!!

  20. Welcome back!

    What wonderful news. I was thinking perhaps that you had to make a quick exit from Zurich and had transplanted yourselves back to the States.

    I am glad you are feeling better - I hope the rest of your time expecting will be comfortable and healthy. Congratulations and enjoy these special months.

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  22. oh, HOORAY!!! and congratulations to you both. thump and roll and smiles, indeed.


    ps: toasted wheat bread, spackled with salted peanut butter, thickly spread with jam, is my daily breakfast. comfortable and endlessly delicious.

  23. Talley!! It's splendid to have you back! Can't wait to hear more about what's been happening in your life. The muesli looks wonderful. Are you supposed to eat it with lots of yogurt like a more traditional muesli? (I ate a lot of bircher muesli while in Berlin and miss it occasionally.)

    And congratulations on the pregnancy! So exciting!

  24. Congratulations! (And isn't morning sickness the worst? I think I had nothing but lemonade for three months straight!)

    Enjoy the next few months. I'm so glad you are back.

  25. Talley, just had to let you know that I made this today and it is DELICIOUS. I can't wait for breakfast....

  26. I think I missed this post by a day or two. I've been stopping by every so often to see if a new post popped up. Was just about to email you and tell you I miss your voice on the www. So so excited for you! And glad you're feeling better. That's one pretty bump!

  27. Congratulations Talley and Zach!! Love the black & white bump picture! Wishing you warmth and love as you prepare for your expanding family! xoxoxo

  28. CONGRATS Talley and welcome back! We missed you! Glad you are up at it again!

  29. Congratulations!!! And I love how it was a bowl of muesli that brought you back to the kitchen. Welcome back!

  30. So late (as always) hurrah hurrah hooray congratulations. Did I say hurrah. I craved everything, especially gelato. Now if you don't mind I will dash, my baby is no longer a baby and seems to be waving my phone over the toilet. Love R