Category Archives: Breakfast

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins


My parents visited me and my boyfriend in Oakland a couple weeks ago and brought me a bag full of lemons from their tree in LA.  They gave me a couple days notice so I would have time to prepare mentally for the onslaught of lemons that was about to enter my kitchen.  First I made lemonade, and true to my grandmother I used her simple and easy ratio! It honestly makes the best lemonade with a perfect balance of sweetness and acidity.

Grandmother’s Gold Coast Lemonade

1 c sugar

1 c lemon juice

4 c water

Mix all ingredients together and then refrigerate.

I next went about creating candied lemon peels like I made at work before Chez Panisse caught on fire.  It is an interesting process of blanching and boiling in simple syrup which I will post as soon as I get the whole thing down to a science myself! But even after all these recipes and uses I still had tons of lemons in my house which were quickly going bad… and then I remembered a childhood favorite. Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins.  This recipe is adapted from the goddess herself, Isa Chandra.


Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

Time: 45 minutes



2 cups All Purpose Flour

2/3 cup sugar

1 Tablespoon Baking Powder

1 Tablespoon Poppy Seeds

1/2 tsp salt


3/4 cup soy milk (or almond)

1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

1/2 cup canola

1 vanilla bean or 2 tsp vanilla extract

2 Tablespoons lemon zest


1 cup powdered sugar

2 Tablespoons milk alternative

1/4 tsp lemon zest


1. Preheat the oven to 375.

2. Combine all dry ingredients, taking care to sift the flour for maximum fluffiness.

3. Combine all wet ingredients.

4. Create a well and pour the wet ingredients with a fork into the dry ingredients until well combined taking care not to over mix.

5. Once combined use a spoon or ice cream scoop to fill each lined muffin mold in your pan.

6. Place in oven and bake for 23-27 min or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

7. Place on a rack to cool and after they have cooled slightly spoon the glaze on top. Garnish as you like, I used chopped candied lemon peel but feel free to leave as is.

Wake and Bake Hemp Seed scones with orange zest


I must admit I am a wake and baker, though not of the pot smoking kind. I think scones are the best thing to wake up to in the morning, especially with a cuppa. My boyfriend is always thinking up new and crazy combinations to put together and last night he suggested hemp seeds in my coconut milk scones. WHY NOT? Hemp seeds are incredible, they have an equal balance of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids for humans. They are a complete protein having all essential amino acids, have tons of magnesium, zinc, iron, and potassium…aren’t convinced yet? Just try these scones!

Hempseed Sconed Scones :photo 1

2 1/2 c All Purpose flour

1 Tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 c sugar

1/4 cup hemp seed

1 generous cup of canned coconut milk (full fat and unsweetened)

1 tsp vanilla extract

zest of one orange

1. Preheat oven to gas mark 425 Fahrenheit. Sift flour and baking powder into a bowl and then add the rest of the dry ingredients including the help seed. Add in the rest of the ingredients pouring slowly until coconut milk is combined.

2. On a floured workspace take the dough out of the bowl and flatten into a 9 inch round. Cut the round into 8-12 pieces depending on the size you like. Place on a baking sheet and lightly coat with more coconut milk and a dash of raw cane sugar. Place in the oven for 15-20 min or until outside feels hard and the edges begin to brown!

3. Get Sconed!

photo 2photo 3

Vegg French Toast


Welcome to the modern world, where molecular gastronomy has its hold. For those of you who don’t know, molecular gastronomy focuses on the science behind food. The transformations food takes when it is subjected to various cooking techniques. This practice was coined in France by Herve This and was practiced and perfected by elBulli a restaurant in the south of Spain. Today as modern cooks, we aren’t using the tools Julia Child grew up with! We have such an array of kitchen electrics that it is hard to keep up with the pulse of the food movement.

It is why today I am able to say we have an excellent vegan egg yolk created by the company Vegg. Really! A vegan yolk, and what a saving grace to breakfast foods. The best part of this egg yolk, is that unlike other substitutes for dairy/egg products, it is only made of four ingredients. It’s so simple that it seems crazy no one had thought of it before! Not only through molecular gastronomy can this product have the look of an egg yolk, it made the best French toast I have ever had. My boyfriend is an occasional meat eater and he agreed that this was spot on to the original. And if there is a vegan equivalent that tastes the same, why should everyone not have it? No cholesterol, no egg hangover, and because the egg yolk has nutritional yeast in it, you will get B12- its the only plant based food that has this vitamin! So buckle up, buy a pack (it goes a long way) and make yourself some Vegan French Toast Damnit!

Here is a link to the picture and video on wired magazines website! Check it out, it is interesting to watch them make the membrane around the “yolk”. Don’t be discouraged if you are someone who didn’t do well in science class, you don’t need all the fancy equipment for this recipe. Thankfully for this recipe all you need is a bag of the vegan egg yolks. It makes about a liter of yolks per bag (30-40), and it kind of reminds me of being at space camp when I was ten eating the freeze dried food stuffs.

I originally followed the recipe on the label which makes amazing French Toast, but I found myself not knowing what to do with the excess vegg mixture which found a graveyard in the back of my fridge. Thus, I changed the recipe by halving it so I would not have any leftover wasted mixture. Make sure to use a cast iron skillet or something non stick, as I have had my share of tragedies making breakfast due to stainless steel…not to mention the clean up. Another trick I learned with breakfast foods is to make sure that the skillet has been heated up, you want the food to come in contact with a very hot pan. It is the same logic as cauterizing meat, if it is not hot enough the food will stick, leak everywhere, and create a big mess. Good luck and enjoy having your breakfast favorite back again!


Vegan French Toast using the Vegg:

Makes 2 servings

2 tsp Vegg powder

3/4 cup water

3/4 cup soy milk (or almond, I would avoid rice milk. This recipe is great with unsweetened soy)

2-3 tsp cinnamon and more to garnish

1 banana cut into slices

Vegan Margarine (Earth Balance) for frying

1. Blend the Vegg, water, and soy milk for 15 seconds in a blender. Do not mix by hand, the Vegg will not incorporate, again don’t mix by hand! Pour the mixture out into a baking dish for dipping the bread. Sprinkle the cinnamon into the mixture and whisk for 10 seconds, then dip one slice letting it soak for about 10 seconds on each side. Don’t dip them all at once, dip the bread once you have space in your skillet to do so.

2. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat with a Tbsp or so of Earth Balance. Fry in vegan margarine to give it a salty flavor that is most delicious as oil could give it an off flavor. Check your heat to make sure you aren’t burning your French Toast, but don’t continually check the underside as French Toast does better left alone. Flip once the bottom is golden brown adjusting your heat if the skillet is too hot/ too cold. Continue to dip and add French toast being careful not to over crowd the pan. I generally cook 1 or 2 pieces at a time. The first one of two may come out a little weird, but don’t get discouraged you will become a pro in no time.

3. Once all are cooked slice in half and drizzle maple syrup, sprinkle with cinnamon, and garnish with sliced bananas. ENJOY!

We All Know the Best Part of the Muffin is the Top


Plum restaurant in Oakland fired their whole staff, the general manager, head chef, sous chef, etc. This led to two other cooks leaving the restaurant as the regime change began. I worked one day under the new chef before I completed my internship with Katie, who was leaving the west coast in a couple weeks. Life moves on, the seasons change, and I bake muffins.

These muffins are adapted from a recipe in Dreena Burton’s Let Them Eat Vegan. Her recipes tend to be hit or miss, but this one knocked my socks off.

Chia Banana Muffins w/cinnamon and nutmeg


2 1/4 cups sifted spelt flour

1/3 cup ground white or black chia seeds

1/4 cup unrefined sugar (I used turbinado)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup pureed banana

1 cup vanilla or plain nondairy milk

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

3 tablespoons neutral oil like canola or grape seed


Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit

sift and combine dry ingredients in a large bowl, mix well

In another bowl combine wet ingredients.

Add wet to dry and combine gently until well mixed.

Scoop into 12 lined muffin pan cups and baked for 23-26 min.

If a toothpick comes out dry its ready!


Stay tuned for rockin vegan dishes to eat for Thanksgiving, even if the theme is meat centric!