intentionality


Bowl of oatmeal with berry syrup, coconut chips, chia seeds & pistachios
Shown here with raspberry-blackberry syrup, coconut chips, chia seeds & pistachios

With the changing of the seasons, an internet hiatus seemed to befall me somewhat naturally this year. With a combination of a lack of inspiration, social media fatigue (anyone else watch The Social Dilemma on Netlfix?), and cooling temperatures, my blogging motivation turned as quick as the changing leaves. It’s not just blogging that’s taken a back-seat, either. All cooking altogether slowed at our household to almost zero in recent weeks, proving that no matter how passionate you are about food, you simply cannot always muster up the energy to plan, shop, cook, and clean. You are not superwoman (or man!). *Repeat this to yourself as necessary.* I’ve had to give myself grace as I’ve ordered pizza, bought crappy airport food, and abandoned my workout regimen. Covid has reshaped my daily routines, making what would be, by normal standards, a low-key summer feel jam-packed and downright exhausting. It seemed only natural to let this new passion project fall to the wayside. 

There is no denying how much I needed that time to rest and pause. But here’s the thing about a pause: it implies that you will, once again, resume. In creating this space on the Internet, I made a commitment to myself to share my ideas, feelings, and of course, food. And what little do we have left to offer if we can’t honor our commitments? Even if they are just no-consequence-commitments to yourself. Are we not the sum of our revelations and intentions being carried around in the matter that we call a body? Friendship, families, even society would all be nothing without intentioned ideas. In these intentional spaces, there is growth: we create friendship, overcome challenges, and go beyond unforeseen heights. Little by little, it is the catalyst that makes us become better versions of ourselves, training us to value consistency, rhythm, and ultimately integrity. 

So in a year that intentionality is at the forefront of my mind, I come back to you this week humble and grateful to be able to make something that could be easily forgotten somehow meaningful. To be able to challenge my creativity and think about food in new ways. To nourish my heart and mind while I nourish my body. To let my worries fade into the background as I create words on a page that express the joy and solace the kitchen offers me, smiling as I watch ideas turn into reality. I press “play” again on my blog, maybe with a less demanding self-imposed schedule, but with regularity and consistency. 

And so I resume.

Cozy Fall Oatmeal with Maple-Pear Syrup adapted from Anna Jones’ creamy porridge

Bowl of oatmeal with almond butter, pistachios & pear syrup.

A bowl of steaming oatmeal is the perfect way to usher in fall mornings, starting my day with comfort and warmth. Feel free to swap the pear in the syrup for any variety of apple if you prefer; you can also use any frozen fruit you have on hand. Swap the almond milk & butter for the milk & nut butter of your choosing. Matt doesn’t usually eat breakfast, so this recipe only serves 1 but can be easily doubled for 2.

Ingredients:

For the syrup

  • 1 sliced pear, any variety
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp water

For the oatmeal

  • ½ cup quick cook oatmeal (can be soaked overnight in water, milk or alt milk if you happen to think about it)
  • ½-1 cup almond milk
  • ¼-½ cup water
  • zest of ½ a lemon
  • ½ tea vanilla extract
  • dash of cinnamon
  • dash of ground cardamom
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp mixed seeds (chia, pumpkin, flax, etc)
  • generous spoonful of almond butter
  • pistachios or any nut  for topping

Put the pear slices. maple syrup, and tablespoon of water in a small saucepan and heat over low heat while you prepare the oatmeal.

Stir the oatmeal, almond milk, water, zest and spices together in and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat, add whatever seeds you’re using, and continue to cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it reaches your desired thickness and consistency. Add more water or milk as needed to make it thicker/creamier.

Transfer oatmeal to a bowl and top with pear syrup, nuts and almond butter. Garnish with more cinnamon and enjoy with a cup of hot coffee/tea.

Serves 1.

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