I could never be a world class poker player. Not just because I don't know the rules of the game, but also because even if I would know them my face would give me away at any moment. You see, I am not in the possession of a poker face. I am an open book. I am a bad liar (which is actually not such a bad quality) and I am not so good at keeping secrets or surprising people. When I buy a present for someone, there's a huge part of me that wants to give it to that person immediately. I want to see the look on their face, and hopefully it'll match my own feeling.
What I am trying to say is, because I am so much a person of emotion, my rationale is sometimes lagging behind. I am a big believer of following ones heart, but not when it turns out you aren't all that you can be capable of. And when that happens, it's time to use your brains a little more often.
My feelings sometimes get in the way of seeing things clearly. Often, choosing by heart turns out to be the right choice as I know I can trust my gut on most things in life, but there are times I have to be tough and convince myself to stay put, to shut my mouth and to take a moment. I know I know, without a topic to present as an example this all seems very vague. Though I am sure some of you can relate to this. Point is, I am trying to use my brains a little more often than I normally do, because it's not only my gut I can rely on, but also my head. I am very content with his set of brains my parents gave me you see. ;) And I am sure that I can grow into a better person when both my heart and my heart work together more often.
Sooooo how does this relate to this weeks recipe? Not at all. Sorry, it was just something I had to share as I am going through a phase. I've been doing some thinking about this blog. You know, with my head. I'd like to change some things, but it takes a little time. For instance I am planning on getting a logo designed, which will also be on my business card and on social media. I already changed the template and removed the sidebar, because I thought it was too chaotic.
When I started this blog I didn't really know how I wanted it to look exactly: I just wanted to share yummy and healthy recipes with you guys. For the Love of Pie is almost a year old and I begin to see more clearly how I would like it to be one day. A part of that is also that I'd like you guys to get to know me a little better. That's why I included some photos of me in the Kraków travel post. And this week there's more: a blog hop!
What in the bleep is a blog hop? Well, lovely Suzanne from one of my favorite blogs Food Bandits asked me to participate in this little interview about why I blog. She got the blog hop from the women behind one of my other favorite blogs: Our Food Stories. It's basically four questions about blogging which I have to pass forward to two other bloggers. So here we go!
Why do I write?
Well, I've been a journalist for three years now and writing is what I am doing on a daily basis. About everyday news, about politics, about disasters, wars. Most of it is very negative. As bad news makes it to our news bulletin more often than good news unfortunately. I missed writing about things that make me happy, like food, health and cooking/baking. I love being in the kitchen and being as creative as I can be with food, also trying new things. My colleagues started asking me what kind of things were standing on my desk (think green smoothies, or porridge in a jar, home made bounties), and I couldn't resist sharing them with the world anymore. That's why I started For the Love of Pie. To show everyone that preparing pure food isn't something that is as complicated as many people think it is. I also have to give credit to my best friend Susan. She's been blogging for many years know about her Paleo lifestyle and she's been a huge inspiration and helped me so much when I started my own blog.
What am I working on?
Blog wise not so much at this moment. There are some collaborations in the making, but I decided to take some time to figure out what's a good fit and what I maybe have to let go. In journalism we have this saying: kill your darlings. It's a phrase that I have to put into use more often I'm afraid, as I want so much but only have 24 hours in a day, just like everybody else.
How does it differ from others in its genre?
That's difficult to say for me. I am drawn to blogs that are written by people who put just as much effort into it as I do. Mostly aesthetically wise, to be honest. I am a perfectionist and I love it when a blogpost looks well-thought-out, the spelling is correct, photos are beautifully styled and the recipe is unique enough. Maybe it sounds unfair, but when a blog doesn't look professional, I won't read it. I do understand perfectly though that it might appeal to more people when a blog does have that everyday vibe, where not everything is picture perfect. It just isn't my style. I started Ftlop also because I missed blogs like GKS or MNR here in The Netherlands. Not that there aren't any, but those kinds of blog appeal to me.
What is your writing process?
I have a list with recipes for the blog. It's based on inspiration, Instagram, Pinterest other blogs, or just whatever comes to my mind when I go to the supermarket. I think about how I want to make it, buy everything I need, make a plan about how I want to photograph it, cook, arrange or bake it and take the actual photos. Then I transfer them to my Macbook, edit them in Adobe Lightroom, and upload the photos onto my blog. The writing process doesn't start until then. I don't think about what I write, that's one of the few things about my blog that's completely unplanned. I write about what comes to me at that moment. It can be about last weeks events, about how I feel, about the recipe or a seasonal product. It doesn't really matter.
Well those were the four questions. I hope you liked reading them. I'd love to pass this blog hop forward to:
1. Susan from Paleo Made Simple. Like I said, she's my best friend and is the author of an amazing blog about Paleo lifestyle. Very interesting for people who'd like to find out more about Paleo, food wise but also relating to exercise for instance. Both for beginners or Paleo die-hards.
2. Jessie from Faring Well. Jessie shares the most beautiful and original vegan recipes with the world and she lives in Denver Colorado. I've come to know her as a very genuine person that's never too busy to help me with blogger questions or just asking how things are. I am happy that she's entered into my blog life and hope to visit here one day when I am back in the US.
And now on to today's recipe: Bircher muesli (aka overnight oats)! I have to admit, it took me a looong time to jump on the overnight oats-bandwagon.
Silly me, I thought overnight oats is just some foodie hype, turns out Bircher muesli is something people are already eating since the 1900s. Not so strange since it's just soaked oats and fruit.
Normally, I love to eat my porridge warm. Even when it's 30 degrees outside (yes celsius Americans, like 90 fahrenheit, I think). I just like warmth. It makes me feel comfortable. But I can see know why people love overnight oats so much. It actually is perfect for these seasons. And ready in a few minutes. Yay!
Good to know:
1. You can replace the flaxseeds for whatever seeds you like: sesame, chia, hemp.
2. Same goes for the toppings. I thought rhubarb and peach where a nice way to say: Hi Summer, I know you're almost there! I am ready for you! But if you like to eat your Bircher muesli with say banana and figs, blackberries, plums, strawberries, grapes, bee pollen. Just adjust to your liking. Isn't this recipe great or what?!
3. Variate by replacing the grated apple for a tablespoon of desiccated coconut or a tablespoon of almond butter.
4. You could, if you want to, replace the milk by a combination of yoghurt and water to make it a little bit thicker.
Bircher Muesli with Peach and Baked Rhubarb
For the muesli:
175 ml nut milk
70 grams (2/3 cup) rolled oats
2 tbsp of flaxseeds
a pinch of cinnamon
a pinch of ground cardamom
a pinch of salt
a tbsp of grated apple (unpeeled)
a tsp of lemon juice
a tsp of (raw) honey or palm sugar
For the fruit:
3 stalks of rhubarb, organic
1 orange, unwaxed, juice and zest
2 tbsp of cane sugar
1 tbsp of water
How to make it:
The night before, combine all the ingredients for the muesli in a jar. Give it a good stir and close the jar with a lid. Leave it in the fridge.
The next morning, preheat the oven to 200 C or 400 F. Wash the rhubarb and cut the stalks into 1.5 cm (approx 1/2 inch) chances. Place in a glass baking dish.
Sprinkle the fresh orange juice and zest, the sugar, and the water. Make sure the rhubarb is coated in the mixture. Bake for 18 minutes until soft, but still holding its shape.
Transfer the oats from the jar to a bowl. Add the rhubarb and slice the peach. Place on top of or next to the rhubarb. Enjoy!