Embracing winter with Apple Pie Baked Oatmeal

During an interview, a podcast host once asked me if given the choice, would I prefer to stay in a cabin in the woods or a chic hotel in the city. You can probably guess my answer.

I find cities to be draining and nature is where I recharge. This is why I carved out an urban homestead for our family, even though we live in Greater Montreal suburbia. This is also why we jumped at the chance to hibernate for a few weeks in the deep woods when our extended family offered up their mountainside cabin to us last month.

I haven’t decided if I’m going to write about our trip to British Columbia yet (it would mostly be photos of mountains and the ski hill), but the decision to share this baked oatmeal recipe was inspired by those slow cabin mornings.

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The Best Ham and Egg Breakfast Sandwich (freezer-friendly)

Any hand-held breakfast-on-the-go that can sustain me for over eight hours deserves to be documented on this blog and passed along to you.

As I rushed out the door to the airport last Saturday morning, with a stash of warm ham and egg breakfast sandwiches tucked into my bag, I never imagined we’d be stuck in an airplane on the tarmac for nearly five hours before take-off. We had an 8:15AM departure, and the plan was to enjoy a leisurely lunch during a three-hour layover on our way to the small ski town of Smithers, BC.

But as it turned out, a winter storm had other plans for us, and that cheesy breakfast, eaten on the way to the airport at 6AM, was my last meal until about 4 in the afternoon.

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June camping and a Spring Green Campfire Frittata

The first camping trip of the year was somewhat of a revelation: my kids have finally grown up enough to stay out of trouble while we’re out in the woods.

At ages 5, 9 and 11 they are tearing around the trails, making new friends, climbing stuff, inventing games and working up a ferocious appetite. After a decade of keeping them from falling in the fire or falling off a cliff, I can actually relax and putter around camp – a complete novelty.

Cooking outdoors is how I hygge in summer. I love it all. The camp kitchen set up. The campfire foil dinners. Cooking an early breakfast on the camp stove. Yes, even washing the dishes. It’s a good thing I enjoy the food prep aspect of camping because every few hours my crew was famished.

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Beet Buckwheat Pancakes

The bright pink batter was a cause for alarm among my children at the start of a recent weekend pancake breakfast.

They expressed their concern as a stack of vibrantly coloured pancakes steadily grew next to my stove. “Don’t worry”, I assured them, “You love chocolate beet cake and you will love these too. I’m testing a new recipe for the blog.”

The first bite was hesitant; the second much more confident, and then: “Tell your readers they don’t taste like beets at all”Noah offered up, between enormous bites of fluffy pink pancakes.

Thanks for the tip, buddy. And so, readers? Today’s recipe is one hundred percent kid approved.

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Strawberry Cinnamon Dutch Baby Pancake

Sunday was Father’s Day, as you probably remember, and we spent what was easily the hottest day of the year so far poolside with family.

It was a slow morning before all that, though, and the kids coloured handmade cards for Danny while I whipped up one of his favourite breakfasts – a Dutch Baby. This quick treat also goes by a Bismark, puff pancake or a German pancake and can be likened to a sweet Yorkshire pudding.

It’s long been Danny’s ‘special’ breakfast request, accompanied by seasonal fruit like sautéed apples in fall and sliced peaches in August. Of course, it being strawberry season, I had a flat of berries sitting on the counter, ready for slicing.

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