Tuesday, October 9, 2012

AUTUMN BREAKFAST PORRIDGE

For me, fall feels official after we've had our first fire in the fireplace. I love long summer days, but sitting around with friends, chatting by the warmth of a fire on a dark evening makes saying goodbye to summer okay by me.

Autumn mornings are another story. There's something painful about dragging ourselves from bed before the sun rises. We all need a little extra help to wake our sleepy bellies and eating something warm and cozy like this oatmeal does help to put all of us in a good mood for the day. (I must confess that I also need a few cups of really strong coffee to get myself going!)

What's your morning routine these days?

My Baba was big into a warm bowl of Cream of Wheat in the morning. Even though wheat is no longer part of my life, I still like a hearty bowl of warm grains. Baba always chopped up dates and tossed them into the bowl - this tradition I happily continue. The carmely dates add a nice chewy, sweet bite and I like to add a few other of my favorite goodies to the mix. Slices of ripe juicy pears, toasted hazelnuts, along with cream and maple syrup, transform a simple bowl of oats into a full meal packed with complex flavor, texture, nourishment, and comfort - a very good was to start the day.

Pears are ridiculously good this time of year and I'm eating them every which way I can. How about you?


INGREDIENTS {for 4 breakfasts}
printable recipe
  • 2 cups Whole Grain Rolled Oats (GF folks: I always use Bob's Red Mill GF oats)
  • 4 cups water
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 pear, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and skins removed
  • 4 Medjool Dates, pits removed and chopped
  • heavy cream to taste
  • pure maple syrup to taste

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium heavy bottomed sauce pan. When water is boiling, whisk in the oats and a pinch of salt. Reduce heat until you have a nice simmer. Continue cooking and stirring occasionally until oats are tender and cooked, this can take anywhere from 10-20 minutes.

Divide the hot cooked oats into 4 bowls. Top each bowl with: 1/4 pear, sliced; 1/4 cup hazelnuts; 1 chopped Medjool date.

Pass the syrup and cream around the table and let everyone add a splash or two of each so that every porridge is just right.


91 comments:

  1. Deliciously healthy! Porridge is so versatile and tastes wonderful.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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    1. Rosa, it's really true. I guess that's why there is such a long-standing porridge tradition. I know I'm a fan:)
      xo
      E

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  2. Oatmeal, dates and hazelnuts are a match made in heaven. I think I 'll make some now :)

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  3. This looks like a perfect fall breakfast, delicious!

    Mal @ The Chic Geek

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    1. Mal, when the new season comes, isn't it fun to play will all of the flavors that we haven't had since last year? I love that!

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  4. Ooh, I love those toppings for oatmeal. What a great idea. I've been stuck in a brown sugar & cinnamon & almond rut for a long time. :)
    -Sarah @ two tarts

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  5. Hey there Sarah,
    It's so easy to fall into our own ruts, and I'm glad to be of help;) I'm going to hop on over to see what you're up to. Something inspiring, I'm sure:)
    xo
    E

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  6. Autumn mornings are another story indeed. I can't get out of bed, that's my problem. I'm sure your breakfast suggestion could help.
    Beautiful dish, Erin.

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    1. Magda, aren't dark morning brutal? All I want to do is hibernate until the sun comes up. Thank god for coffee;)
      xo
      E

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  7. Oats for breakfast are absolutely a favorite at our house! I like mine with chopped dried apricots and toasted sesame seeds. :)

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    1. Eileen, dried apricots and toasted sesame seeds sound wonderful on oatmeal. I'm trying that combo next!

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  8. A bowl of pears, dates and hazelnuts totally says autumn to me. What a comforting way to greet a new day and a new season. ;)

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    1. Happy Fall to you Carolyn:)

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  9. Porridge has never seemed more appealing, Erin. Truly. This looks amazing.

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    1. Oh my Kathryne, thank you. That's so nice of you to say!
      xo
      E

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  10. I can't stand getting up in the morning, it's ridiculous. But it's also cute, because our cat climbs under the comforter with us - - and how can you say no to that? :) The answer is, I can't.

    I eat pretty bland malt o meal and instant ralston in the mornings, but I love it just the same. Sometimes I spice it up with goodies, but not always. Pears! Must make a note to pick up a few, I always forget about them.

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    1. Emma, warm kitties in the morning - that must make waking up easier.

      I'm not sure I've ever had Malt o Meal. But any quick warm breakfast is good to me.

      Don't get me started on pears;) I'm a fiend!

      xo
      E

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    2. You've inspired me to better my morning porridge! While still eating the same malt o meal and ralston, I've been jazzing it up recently with almonds, frozen blueberries, and dried cherries and raisins. A step in the right (yummy) direction:)

      xo

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    3. Yay! It doesn't take much to jazz it up, but it feels so much more satisfying doesn't it? Dried cherries are great and you can't go wrong with blueberries.
      Take care Emma:)
      xo
      E

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  11. DAMN!! that looks deli-ish and your pictures are making my mouth water. xoxox, Renee

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    1. Renee, Yay! A watering mouth is my goal;)
      xxoo to you guys,
      E

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  12. I love the idea of roasted hazelnuts and pears with porridge.

    I haven't done it in ages but I love the Nourishing Traditions approach of soaking the oatmeal overnight in a bit of warm water with a tablespoon of yogurt or lemon juice. It cooks quickly and gives it a richness that is amazing.

    I've also got a bag of too many overripe pears that I think I'm going to bake tonight. My mom always did it with brown sugar and butter, nestled into the hollows of the half-pears, but I've found that just a little butter is enough. Of course they require cream over the top to serve while still warm.

    Thanks for the inspirations.

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    1. Jenna Avery,

      I was just saying to my husband this morning that I need to soak my oats before bed so I can make an even quicker porridge in the morning! I'm a fan of soaking grains - they cook so nicely and super quick.

      Roasted pears with cream.... Yes please!

      Thank you for the inspiration too.

      xo
      E

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  13. I have soaked the oatmeal overnight and was very surprised to find how it changed the taste a bit. So much smoother and richer. I used to put EVERYTHING in my oatmeal...and I mean everything, including fluffy marshmallow creme....even peanut butter. But now, I use coconut milk, fresh fruit, Stevia, and all kinds of nuts and berries. I love Oatmeal, it stays with me a lot longer than regular breakfast foods. Great picture.

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    1. Oli, I'm smiling over here at marshmallow cream and peanut butter. Don't tell my kids or they will never eat fruit in their oatmeal again;)
      I add coconut cream my black rice pudding, but never have put it in oatmeal. Yum!
      I hope you're well!
      xxoo
      E

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  14. It can be so hard to get out of bed when the house is cold in the morning. I love porridge, and we enjoy cream of wheat or Irish oats often during fall and winter. Your breakfast porridge looks like it would really warm a person all the way through.

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    1. Jess, I never do get used to waking up before dark. I'm amazed that some people like it. I guess most of us do need a little extra help. That's probably how porridge has stayed so popular;)
      xo
      E

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  15. I understand you..it´s so hard to get out bed when it´s dark and cold :s
    I have to go to college at 7.30 am and there is one day that i leave home at 7.30 a.m and return at 8.00 p.m! it´s so exhaustive...i spend the whole day in a laboratory :x
    I like your breakfast suggestion :)
    I´m going to make it with cinnamon&ginger on top heheh

    xo

    Andreia

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    1. Andreia, that is so rough. I remember working in NY years ago and getting to the office before the sun was really up and leaving the office after dark. It's pretty demoralizing not to get just a little sunshine.

      Hope the porridge helps with your days. Good luck in the lab.
      -E

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    2. Thank you so much for your sweet comment :)
      Yes, it´s really bad but in my college, they like to start the day really early lool
      It´s hard to get used to this routine..NY might be a chaotic city with crazy routines :s
      Now you have more time for yourself :)
      I felt in love with your porridge! It´s really tasty and the toasted hazelnuts are amazing!
      In this days (it rains almost every day but it´s warm) all i want is something with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamon, pumpkin and QUINCE jam (in my country we call it marmelada :p ) :D

      xo,
      Andreia

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    3. Andreia, I bet the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and either sweetened pumkin puree or marmelada would be delicious swirled in to a big bowl of oatmeal. Yum! You are making me hungry this morning.

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    4. I never tried oats with pumpkin...thanks for the idea :D
      hehe that´s funny! maybe i´ve inspired you to make something really yummy that you could share with us :)
      It´s almost night here and thanks to you, i´m going to make a pumpkin soup loool

      xo

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    5. I hope your pumpkin soup was good. I need to go and buy my first pumpkin of the season. Yes, oats and pumpkin... I'll ponder that one:)

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    6. Maybe oats and pumpkin jam or butter and lots of spices on top! I found a pumpkin butter recipe at dinners and dreams (http://www.dinnersanddreams.net/2012/10/pumpkin-butter-recipe.html).

      Have a nice weekend :)

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  16. This looks like a gorgeously indulgent autumnal breakfast with that silky cream and beautiful pears. Absolutely love this kind of food.

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    1. I just can't help adding cream to the mix. It's so darned good!
      xxoo to you,
      E

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  17. Healthy and definitely delicious! I'm eating pears and apples like crazy too, they are just so good :) xo

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    1. Yes the apples are so good too! I am always so excited when the new seasonal treats come to market.
      xxoo to you,
      E

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  18. UstabahippieOctober 10, 2012

    This may be my favorite breakfast. I've been eating pears like crazy too, and the idea of adding toasted hazelnuts is brilliant. Steel cut oats are big here too.

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    1. Ustabahippie, you can't go wrong with a big bowl of warm oats right? And any excuse to eat some pears.
      Always nice to hear from you,
      E

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  19. I'm been eating pears everyday too! They are just so good this time of year :) Love oatmeal, definitely a comforting breakfast! I'll have to try putting dates in mine, that does sound divine!

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    1. Hey Jane, I think you'll like the dates - they really add a nice sweetness to the oats and they have good chewy bite too:)
      xo
      E

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  20. My family would LOVE this. With the pears and dates and warm oats. 99% of the time all I can handle in the morning are several large cups of coffee :), but I'll have to make this for them sometime soon. And I know I say this every time I comment here, but really Erin your photography is just out of this world. Cheers!

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    1. Kristen, Thanks so much. I actually blushed at your nice compliment - totally appreciated!

      I know what you mean about the coffee - that is a must for me. I can't get a warm breakfast on the table every morning, but when I do it does make a big difference:)

      xo
      e

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  21. lovely post - pears are divine right now. i absolutely love the combination of pears with almond butter - wonderful on toast or just as is. these days i've been getting out of bed slowly and waking up with south indian filter coffee and a slow pace (trying to stay unplugged- no computer or phone - until an hour after i'm up to savor the beauty of the morning).

    and whenever i eat oatmeal for breakfast i always feel so nourished! but for whatever reason it sometimes feels like more work - thanks for inspiring me to make it more regularly and pouring cream on top just sounds soooo delicious! YUM

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    1. Deepa, so good to hear from you! Pears and almond butter on toast... yum. In the summer I eat raw cashew butter with cut up strawberries on my toast. The pear/almond butter combo could be my new fall treat!

      That is so inspiring that you stay unplugged in the morning. I am terrible and start to check in with my emails before my coffee has even taken effect. I need to set more boundaries around tech so that I can enjoy the quiet of the morning. Thank you for the good reminder.

      xo
      E

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  22. I'm not sure if I've ever commented here or not, Erin, but I love your site. And this! I am really feeling autumn this year. I love cozy mornings with warm breakfast bowls. And I wanted to wish you a hearty congratulations on your book! I'm not sure how far along you are with yours, but it looks as though we're on similar paths, because I am also working on my first book! (Perhaps we can commiserate/celebrate together as we move through the process. :)

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    1. Hi Kimberley, congrats on your book as well! Woo Hoo! I love that you are focusing on color and food - a subject near and dear to me. I can't wait to buy it!
      And I'd love to talk books with you sometime. Maybe we could even meet up for coffee being that we are both Bay Area people.
      Warmly,
      E
      P.S. And I think we have a mutual friend in Samin.

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  23. I am so hooked on pears right now! Just picked up a large box from Trader Joe's and enjoying one every morning with my greek yogurt! So loving this morning treat you created. The mornings are certainly a bit more challenging to get up early but I do appreciate fall and all of the lovely treats it brings. Hope you have a great weekend!

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    1. Lisa, pears and Greek yogurt - you are speaking my language and making me hungry this morning:)
      I hope you have a good weekend as well. Knowing you, it will be filled with good food!
      xo
      E

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  24. I love that you used hazelnuts - they are my favorite :) Beautiful photos!

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    1. Thanks Kristi. I love hazelnuts too!

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  25. this looks fantastic!!!

    so perfect for foggy mornings!

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    1. I never thought I'd say this..... being such a sun-lover, but the gray today is SO beautiful, isn't it Monika? Great for photography:)

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  26. That bowl looks like the definition of comfort food... love the thought of hazelnuts and figs together

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    1. Figs and hazelnuts are an awesome combo. Yum!

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  27. I really miss summer mornings and one of the few things that keeps me happy these colder mornings is a nice bowl of porridge. Some caramelized banana in it, a strong cup of tea and newspaper to go with it... Love the look and sound of this comforting porridge, can almost smell the autumn flavors in this dish!

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  28. Denise, caramelized bananas sound like a great way to make colder mornings better! I'm thinking of you as I read the paper this morning and am happy to savor the cozy day.
    xo
    E

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  29. We've always added dates to our morning porridge too, yum :-)

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    1. Emma, that's good to hear:) Growing up with dates in hot cereal, it feels like just the right addition, doesn't it?
      Hope you and yours are well!
      xxoo
      E

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  30. Erin, this looks like the perfect way to begin a fall morning. I often make oatmeal with dates and almonds, but I'll have to try your Autumn Breakfast Porridge now! xo

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    1. Hey Laura, dates and almonds always make me happy together. Dates with almonds nestled into the centers are my favorite cool-weather snack.
      xxoo
      E

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  31. Erin, I have been having a pretty hard time waking up in the dark and when I saw the beautiful weather forecast for the week, I was actually a bit disappointed! I think my mind is definitely squarely focused on fall - those juicy pears, mashed potatoes, scarves...This porridge sounds like a fantastic start to the day. xo

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    1. Kasey, oh I remember being pregnant and wanting to stay in bed forever, until I got some leg cramp or back ache;)
      Funny, even with this weeks gorgeous weather, I too was a little disappointed to see fall take the back burner again. Just like you I'm thinking scarves, boots and cozy comfort food.
      xxxooo
      E

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  32. I like autumn, but you're right, sometimes it's difficult in the morning :) Porridge is a common breakfast on my table :) Fast and delicious.

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    1. Marta, any breakfast you make would make a happy start to my day!!!
      xxoo
      E

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  33. Two of my favorite things: autumn and breakfast. My morning routine is a little wonky these days - i am usually a rise and shine early, a little work out, some breakfast, then down to business. I am trying to do morning pages now (a writing exercise) - we were housesitting for 6 months so I was walking dogs, my boyfriend sleeps later than me so sometimes not waking up early... I am excited to get back to it now and try this!

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    1. Hey Skylor, Doing morning pages is a great idea! I love the thought of writing before our minds become cluttered with the busyness of the day.
      xo
      E

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  34. I am not very good with morning breakfast. Mostly cereals. Boring I know !
    I was loving the cold weather and today suddenly it feels like Summer again :) CA weather is so funny LOL

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    1. Kankana, this summer spell is crazy. It's going to be near 90 in Berkeley today. Not hot porridge for me this morning;)
      xxxooo
      E

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  35. I need a new morning routine, so this is just in time. The dates, hazelnuts, and pear sound so good with the porridge. This would definitely improve a dark, fall morning!

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    1. Lisa, hope this one helps a bit. Waking up in the dark just feels so unnatural. Hibernation is more like it.
      xxxooo
      E

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  36. I've been craving porridge ever since the weather started to turn, looks delicious! I love autumn food!

    Anna x

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    1. Hey Anna, I like autumn food too:) I always get so excited to see the markets change as the new season emerges.
      xxoo
      E

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  37. This is a delicious idea for breakfast. I have so many pears right now, that I'm pretty excited for finding a new great recipe to use them. Thanks!!

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    1. Laura, oh the pears are making me smile these days. Aren't they such a treat!

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  38. Erin, first of all, congratulations on your book! I can't wait to see, feel and smell the book. Secondly, Your post here grabbed my emotion toward my most favourite season. Beautiful photography!

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    1. Emi, I cannot tell you how touched I was by your comment. Just yesterday as I was working on the book I was writing about smell and color. I hope my book will appeal to all the senses, just as you so beautifully said.
      xxxooo
      E

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  39. This breakfast is so warm and yummy. I love using seasonal fruit like pears in my hot cereal.

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    1. Today is cold, wet and dark here in Berkeley. We made up another batch of oatmeal and it worked it's magic:) Pears and all.

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  40. This looks like it would definitely get me going in the morning. The hazelnuts look like a great addition.

    Since I'm in So Cal, it starts feeling like Fall after our first rain. Which happened last week! But then again.. it was 90 degrees the week later. Our Summers always fight again Fall. But I can't wait to get that fire roaring in the fire place, but I think it's going to have to wait a bit. :)

    xo,
    Christina

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  41. Christina, we are in that schizophrenic time of year too here in the Bay Area. One day it's 90, the next 50 and raining. Today it really feels like fall and I have to say I'm enjoying it.
    xxoo to you,
    E

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  42. This looks amazing! I love a warm breakfast. We've got a foot of snow here already!! I have to bundle up and then give myself a pep talk before heading to scrape the ice off the car. Stupid prairie winters.

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    1. Wow Stephanie! You already have snow and ice. You deserve a big bowl of cozy porridge in the morning;)
      xo
      E

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  43. this looks so yummy. i've been craving something similar to this. will have to make it.

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  44. Hello Erin,

    You are some beautiful person! Beautiful photography, beautiful recipes, a beautiful website and no doubt, a beautiful vegetarian tummy in there somewhere! Unfortunately, I live in the UK and all I can do is read my books, Google and watch Youtube videos to substitute the dream I had of spending at least one fall in New England I am a qualified patissiƩre of too many years and love using natural ingredients. My kids lov my maple and pecan porridge cookies! Love your recipes!
    I shall be returning here from now on!

    Lots of love and success for 2013

    Blessed Be

    Elodie

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So good to hear from you... I appreciate each and every note you leave for me!

Thanks,
E

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