My 30 (or more!) days challenges

Breakfast – Day 52

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I know, I know, this is already my third breakfast post featuring English afternoon tea elements: scones, clotted cream and jam. But this time I’ve progressed even further – I made all of them myself from scratch!

I’ve already mentioned how to make the strawberry jam here – and I’m sticking to the same recipe, it always turns out good: fresh and a little bit tart, just as I like it.

The clotted cream takes the longest to make, so I’ll put it before the scones. In fact I had to start the day before yesterday! So what I basically did was take some high-fat cream (mine was 33% and pasteurised, although unpasteurised would have been preferable – but it’s too hard to find, so pasturised is ok too, just make sure it is not ultra-pasteurised), pour it in a shallow baking dish, making sure that the cream layer is between 1 and 3 inches high and put it into the oven at 80 degrees Celsius for the whole night (it usually takes 8-12 hours to clot, check for the lumpy yellow crust which has to form on top of the cream). Once it was ready, I took it out, careful not to break the yellow crust, cooled it down for 15 minutes and put it away in the fridge for another 8 hours – this is a must, as that’s when the clotting process finishes. And finally I just skimmed the thick layer of clotted cream from the surface, leaving some liquid buttermilk behind.

No need to throw away the buttermilk as it is to be used for the scones! It is now finally their turn, and I am making them right this morning, as they are best fresh and warm. So to make about 10 scones, I mix 250 g sieved plain flour with 45 g sugar and 12 g baking powder, then I rub in 75 g cold diced butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Next I add an egg, 70 ml buttermilk (or plain milk would do too) and 30 g sultanas and make soft sticky dough (I’m not working it too much, otherwise the scones would turn too dense and hard), which I then roll flat until it’s one inch thick and cut out circles using a standard water glass, as I don’t have a cutter (the key here is not to twist the glass or the cutter, but rather just press it). And finally I put my scones on a baking tray lined with baking parchment, brush them on the top with a mixture of egg beaten with a tablespoon of milk (make sure it’s only the top and not the sides, otherwise the egg mixture would prevent the scones from rising) and bake them in the preheated oven at 220 degrees Celsius for 12-14 minutes.

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Breakfast – Day 48

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I quite like porridges, especially topped with nice stuff of all kinds, but the problem I have with them is that they don’t keep me full for long. In fact, I get extremely hungry in just about 1.5-2 hours after having them.

Today I decided to make oatbran porridge, as oatbran is said to be very filling, compared to rolled oats or oatmeal. So I just cook 1/4 cup oatbran in a cup of water, adding some cinnamon and vanilla extract and then top the porridge with fresh raspberries, a knob of butter and a drizzle of honey.

My drink this morning is green tea latte, to make which I mix 1.5 teaspoons of matcha powder with 3 tablespoons of boiling hot water until smooth, add some hot milk and top with frothed milk and a sprinkle of matcha powder. I am taking my latte unsweetened.

UPD: I had my breakfast at about 7:15 this morning, it is now almost 10am, and I am already feeling quite hungry, even though not completely starving yet, like I would after having regular oats.

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Smoothies – Day 14 – Mint Chocolate

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I think I might have dreamt about After Eight chocolates, because I literally woke up craving them this morning. Clearly, I didn’t have them at home, that is why I decided to fix up a smoothie that would taste similar. Which it did! Here’s what I used:

  • Half cup mint infusion
  • Half cup almond milk
  • One banana
  • One scoop chocolate-flavoured whey protein powder
  • Two teaspons Bioglan Superfoods Supergreens Cacao Boost powder (optional)
  • 1.5 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • One teaspoon peppermint extract

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Breakfast – Day 32

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I still have to consume my pot of clotted cream, and the most traditional English way of doing so is having cream tea, or basically tea and scones with cream and berry jam. All normal people do it in the afternoon, but I am going to have my scones for breakfast.

I am not going to lie saying that I’m baking the scones myself – I am not, just got some all butter sultana scones at the supermarket.

Apparently, in Cornwall the jam is spread on the scone first, with a dollop of clotted cream on top of it. In Devon it is done the other way round. I am trying both ways, and I can’t tell which one I like better, both are great! And of course, I am taking my tea with milk!

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Breakfast – Day 31

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The 30 days of my breakfast challenge are already over, but I’m willing to continue, because I’ve got more ideas.

Today I am making an Azerbaijani village-style breakfast. Apparently, it’s a fascinating one, especially in the open air, with freshly baked bread and fresh home made dairy products. Not being a massive dairy fan, I never really appreciated it though. But now, while everyone in the world seems to be going dairy-free, I, on the other hand, am starting to reconcile with these products. That is why I’m making this today – with UK supermarket products obviously!

Pitta bread is not exactly similar to the Azeri tandir chorayi, but that’s the closest substitute I could find. Local butter, crème fraîche and honey are quite fit for the purpose, and, luckily enough, the traditional British clotted cream (also called Devon cream or Cornish cream) very closely resembles the Azeri qaymaq. Cheese-wise, I’m using Greek feta, it’s pretty ok as a substitute. And finally, there’s a glass of sweetened tea with lemon (I absolutely hate sugar in my tea, but for the sake of authenticity will have it this way!)

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Breakfast – Day 26

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Today I am making Russian-style oladi pancakes with crème fraîche/raspberry sauce. For the batter I use one egg, 2 tablespoons of plain drinking yogurt, 1 tablespoon sugar, half tablespoon olive oil, a pinch of salt, 1/4 teaspoon soda bicarbonate, 3 tablespoons plain flour (or maybe a bit more, but the batter has to be quite thin), a grated apple and a teaspoon of cinnamon. I heat a frying pan with some oil and pour a tablespoonful of batter into it for each pancake, then fry the pancakes on both sides. For the topping I mix 2 tablespoons of crème fraîche with 8-10 mashed raspberries. I’m now ready to enjoy my oladi with a cup of tea with lemon!

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Breakfast – Day 15

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Today I somehow woke up 20 minutes earlier than usual, which means I have time to make myself a proper breakfast in Mediterranean style.

That includes two hard-boiled eggs, sliced red bell pepper, tomatoes and a baby cucumber (the first time I managed to find decent cucumber in London!), a selection of olives and two slices of saucisson with herbes, feta cheese and halloumi cheese each (I found out that these two cheeses are among the healthiest ones only after I bought them!). And also some toasts, orange slices and a cup of tea to complete the picture.

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Breakfast – Day 12

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Today I’m having a late breakfast, it’s Saturday, and I can prepare something nice.

So I’m making Azerbaijani-style eggs with tomatoes. It’s relatively easy to make. First I cut up a small green chili pepper into a frying pan with a little bit of olive oil added, and sauté it slightly. Then I add three medium-sized ripe tomatoes, peeled and cut into chunks, and a pinch of salt. While the tomatoes are cooking, I whisk two eggs in a bowl. The tomatoes are ready, when you can no longer detect distinctive chunks. At this point I pour in the whisked eggs and let them cook only for a minute or so, basically till the egg white sets – that’s how I personally like it, some people prefer the eggs cooked through all the way though.

I’m having the eggs with greens (coriander and tarragon) and raddishes. Delicious, and tastes like home!

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Breakfast – Day 6

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It’s not that I’ve never made pancakes at home – I definitely have, lots of times, and it’s not rocket science anyway. But somehow I’ve become lazy lately and prefer buying ready-made ones. Here I’ve got some buttermilk pancakes with crème fraîche, berry compote and fresh strawberries; coconut & banana smoothie and Spice Imperial tea.

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Breakfast – Day 2

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This has been my most favourite breakfast lately – it is very simple to make, healthy and absolutely delicious!

To make the avocado spread I take a very ripe avocado, mash it up with a fork, add lemon juice, salt and pepper – and done! At the same time I also toast a couple of Warburton’s Seeded Batch bread and hard boil two eggs. Now I’m ready to enjoy my breakfast with a cup of green tea!

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