The Eternal Breakfast — Autumnal Oatmeal Bake

I call this the eternal breakfast because I don’t see myself getting tired of it anytime soon, and that is mostly because the recipe is flexible enough to change as the seasons and the cravings and palates do.  Yes, it’s the same breakfast oatmeal bake idea I shared not too long ago when we first arrived in Oregon, but this one has been vamped and altered to fit the changing mentality that happens when it gets cold all of the sudden outside.

Now, here’s where I greatly hesitated to share this recipe. It has a bit of pumpkin puree in it. Let me explain. I have a thing, it’s called “anti-sheep-mentality.” That’s the official name I’ve given it. In short (and NOT because I’m better smarter or cooler than anyone out there–because that’s obviously not the case) I can’t bring myself to do anything that seems to be the group mentality movement of the moment. I don’t like to do something just because it’s expected, everyone else loves it, or it’s all the craze. For example: I was obsessed with the idea of putting a feather in my hair two years ago because secretly inside I think I’m a Native American, and then it became the trend and the idea died for me; I used to do my nails all one color except for my thumbs a contrasting one, now it’s the craze and I can no longer bring myself to do it; being fantastically “intimate” on V-day or Birthdays makes me barf because it’s expected; I don’t even like following sidewalks or paths, I usually look for an alternate route that cuts across some obscure different way.  Whatever is selling like hot-cakes and making people go ga-ga at the time, I’ll look the opposite way to make sure I don’t get trapped. My husband tells me I’d be a terrible businesswoman.

Every recipe that has ever existed is being transmogrified into a “pumpkin pie version” of that recipe across blogs and pinterest like the plague, and even though they all sound heavenly to me and I’m as much a fan of pumpkin as the next squash lover, I’ve made a conscious vow to NOT pumpkin-ize this blog so that it blends with the movement.  I ain’t no hater, and it’s not pride — I don’t think — it’s that feeling of being one of crowd that is hard for me to jive with. I wouldn’t feel like it was genuinely my idea.

But the human body senses the seasons changing, and the ground gives us larges gourd-like squash in order to thrive during the winter, and try as I may I will surrender and give in to this one pumpkin spiked meal. It’s not overpowering and it doesn’t taste like pie, but it’s thick and moist, deep and rich the way a pumpkin recipe should be.    And it’ still healthy.

Pears are the other quintessential fruit of the changing seasons, even their variety in color seems to resemble those exactly of the falling leaves. Pairing them together was a no-brainer. As by now I’ve done enough typing for one day, I give you the altered-ego of my “Basic Oatmeal Bake Brekkie” in the form of Pumpkin & Pear Oatmeal Bake.

The Eternal Breakfast — Autumnal Oatmeal Bake
Recipe type: Breakfast
Notes: * Remember you can add anything you typically like adding to your oatmeal. Your options are practically endless. Fresh fruit of course is best added later on the day of. *The good news: this is very difficult to over-bake. I stepped out of the house for the last batch and the man forgot to remove it from the oven for an extra 20 minutes! It was FINE and tasted all the same. * Try and pour a bit of milk and maple syrup on top of your square the day of.
  • 2 cups oats (best NOT to use instant, old fashioned gives better body)
  • 1 apple, grated
  • 1 pear, grated
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cups milk of choice (I used the coconut/almond combo)
  • 1-2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • ⅓ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ⅓ cup sliced almonds
  • ⅓ shredded coconut (unsweetened)
  • 2-3 Tablespoons chia seeds
  • extra water as needed
  1. Heat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease an 8×8 pan — I use coconut oil, smear it around the bottom and edges, it lends to the flavor and keeps it healthy.
  3. In a bowl, grate the apple and pear down to the core. Add the pumpkin puree and mix together. Then in the same bowl add the the oats, vanilla, spices, and all the additions. Hold off on the milk for another step…
  4. Mix together and pour into the 8×8 pan. Level out evenly.
  5. Pour in the milk last once it’s ready in the pan. Watch the level of liquid, add water if needed to bring the liquid just even to the top of the oats mixture. With the thickness of the pumpkin, you may need to help coax the milk into the dish by gently sliding around a butter knife
  6. Pop it in the oven for 30 minutes.
  7. Done is done! Enjoy hot and cold, day after day.




Posted on by Tawny in Breakfast, Dairy Free, Gluten-Free Meals We truly love to hear from you, Please Leave Us a Comment.

Marche des Quais: A Must Stop Market When In Bordeaux

Marche des Quais

Before I get into talking speficially about this market (Marche des Quais), know that there are a ton of really awesome markets every day of the week in Bordeaux, which usually feature something like local cuisine or fresh produce. The one that I buy all my fruits and veggies from is held on Saturday’s and is the best discovery ever, because I can get a weeks worth of fresh produce for 10-13 Euros! Its super cheap but super good! Thanks to a neighbor who introduced me to this, it  has saved us tons of money and its a great way for me to practice my French and get Tama involved with food a fun way! I will feature it one of these days.

Anyway, this has been a crazy week which I will probably share the details next week. In short, Shem had a surfing accident… was shipped to the hospital, scared himself and me to bits, has been in bed all week recovering, and I had my first doctors appointment for my pregnancy! There are a TON of differences on the ‘views’ of what to do and what not to do during pregnancy. It has been super interesting and some things, kind of shocking, and I am excited to share… that is… if you are interested?? Oh and BTW… Shem is doing good and getting better every day.. just sore.. nothing serious anymore- I secretly think he is loving getting breakfast and dinner in bed and being a complete bum! he he… just kidding… kind of…

But today I thought I would tell ya about a cool market that is a must if you are ever here…..

The Marche des Quais is a must if you are in Bordeaux on a Sunday; and come  hungry! Head down to the Quai des Chartrons along the river Garonne which is beautiful walk with the back drop of the cities 18 Century Buildings with gardens and many walking and bike paths throughout the walkway down the river. This is where everyone goes to take stroll, find a piece of grass and relax and do some people watching. It is absolutely beautiful and becoming one of my favorite places to visit daily!

The Marche des Quais is held every Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. You will find fresh produce of all kinds, fresh baked loafs of bread, gourmet cheeses, jams, pasteries, seafood, local cuisine such as massive crepes (savory or sweet), roasted chicken, seafood or beef shiskabobs, oven baked pizza, stuff tomatoes and mushrooms like you have never had before, morracon food, and I dare not forget the fresh oysters!! Which Shem says are absolutely amazing but I withheld due to being pregnant but don’t feel bad for me, there are so many great and interesting choices! We have gone a few times now and everything we have tried has been amazing!!

It really is a great place to spend an afternoon! The walk or bike ride is fun and relaxing, there are play grounds of different sorts along the way and a super impressive skate park for beginners to advanced split into sections.

Last time we went I took my camera so I will let the pictures do the talking! Just let me say, if you are into trying and seeing local cuisine this market will be your little haven!

marche des quais, bordeaux

marche des quais, bordeaux

marche des quais, bordeaux

A tout a l'heure

Posted on by Andrea in Living in France We truly love to hear from you, Please Leave Us a Comment.

Thai Dessert: Coconut Mango Sticky Rice

Yesterday I was all ready to be a big-fat-grump and share my pessimistic thoughts on the concept of perfection. Luckily I couldn’t finish this post in time, ironically I read some similar thoughts (but in nicer words) from a favorite food blogger of mine, and then I slept on it.

Well I woke up on the right side of the bed today. Fewf! Mind you I still feel the same way, I just don’t feel as inclined to spew all my blabbering thoughts onto this space Andrea and I share. Just in case you’re curious, I’ll still give you the cliff-notes and you can let me know if you’ve ever felt the same way:

I hail from a land where achieving perfection in all walks of life is greatly stressed. It’s a combo of religious pressure and micro-cultural social pressure. Confessional: I do try for perfection in the things I’m passionate about.     But I wish I didn’t.    It irritates me.  I almost hate letting other people see my paintings because to me, they’re never finished… there’s always something imperfect about it that “if I just spent more time on it” I could improve.     But in my point of view, imperfection is better, in a way, when I’m seeing other people and the fruits of their labors. Click here to Read More

Posted on by Tawny in Dairy Free, Desserts, Gluten-Free Meals, Travel Inspired We truly love to hear from you, Please Leave Us a Comment.

Living In The South of France

Alooooha my friends!! Or should I say, Bonjour mes amis!! That is right, my little family and I have relocated from Hawaii to the South of France and I have so so much to share already! This is Coconuts and Cardamom’s 100th Post and to kick off our next 100 we are opening a new section dedicated to the in’s and out’s of France living, based off of my personal experience here.

I am going to touch on topics like, being pregnant in France, giving birth here, French health care system, why French woman are so chic and slim and their secrets, the food of course, where to visit, the local markets, having a child go to an all French school, French school lunch programs, cultural methods on raising children and newborns, Tama’s experience moving abroad, cultural differences and a whole lot more! Ask whatever you are curious about and I will do my best to respond.

I am going to start with a short  journal entry of why we are here. Every week I will post something new. That is… unless I go into labor, then I may miss a weeks or so… Click here to Read More

Posted on by Andrea in Living in France We truly love to hear from you, Please Leave Us a Comment.

Samoan Cocoa Rice Drink

Samoan Cocoa Rice Drink

I know the word cocoa and chocolate are the most frequent flavors mentioned in my post titles… but hey, such is life. C’est la vie!

And you’ll thank me for this one.

Samoan Cocoa Rice Drink

Look at this Geode of cocoa-ness…

I am dedicating this post to my dear friend and neighbor from Hawaii, Ripeka Fruean. She is the one who taught me this treasure of a recipe… so I take that back, don’t thank me, thank Ripeka. Click here to Read More

Posted on by Tawny in Drinks, Travel Inspired We truly love to hear from you, Please Leave Us a Comment.