Healthy Oat Pancakes with Berry Sauce

healthy-stack-berry-pancakes

Pancakes for breakfast are certainly a morning treat which usually makes its appearance during those lazy weekends. To be honest, I always feel a little guilty because pancakes are undercover golden delicious desserts eaten in the morning, but they are so good! I wanted to create a recipe that would let me have a taste of those devilish cakes, but not have a carbohydrate overload leaving me wanting to crawl back into bed for a nap after breakfast. I decided to make a pancake batter that featured oats instead of flour for extra fiber, very little added sugar, and fit in as much protein as I could so that I would feel satisfied and energized after eating. These healthy oat pancakes with berry compote sauce is just what you need for a healthy and satisfying start to your day!… 

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Arugula Walnut Pesto Pasta w/ Shrimp

delicious plate of arugula walnut pesto pasta with shrimp | jessicagavin.com

Do you ever reminisce about what made you fall in love with your soul mate? Deep question huh? For my husband Jason and I, our common love for Italian food was just the beginning of our romance, haha. My husband grew up around a big Italian family who would get together and prepare huge homemade suppers (think the Godfather), so he is accustomed to traditions and quality of family meals. Jason may not be the head chef in our kitchen (that’s my job), but he sure has his expectations and opinions when it comes to making Italian food just right, and isn’t shy to tell me!

My first test came when Jason’s mom gave me the most amazing kitchen gift, a pasta maker! She must have been putting me to the ultimate test, to see if I could properly feed her son! It’s a good thing that I got rolling because I got mama’s stamp of approval and Jason and I have been married for 3 years now (and together for 10)! The pasta machine has sure come in handy over the years. I usually like to make a traditional egg pasta dough, however I wanted to create a healthier whole wheat noodle to make an arugula walnut pesto pasta with shrimp recipe…. 

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Mini Nectarine Almond Frangipane Tart

nectarine almond frangipane tart | jessicagavin.com #sweets

The best thing about dessert is when you don’t have to share! I know, that may sound a little greedy, but sometimes you just want your very own pie. With that in mind, I thought that making individually portioned mini nectarine almond frangipane tarts would be a great way to indulge without going over board. It’s nice not having to give others a nibble of the good stuff, since everyone will have their very own tart…. 

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Rustic Peach and Berry Crostata

yummy peach and berry crostata | jessicagavin.com

Do you love crust? I love it! Who knew that combining butter and flour could be so magical, giving you tender pieces of pastry that melts in your mouth with each bite of fruit filling. Being that it’s still summer why not celebrate the last few days by using ripe stone fruit and berries in a delicious dessert?  My local market has super sweet yellow and white peaches and plump blueberries and blackberries available, so I thought that the combination of sweet and tangy fruit would be perfect for a crostata.

I originally found this recipe in Hedy Goldsmith’s incredible dessert cookbook, Baking Out Loud: Fun Desserts with Big Flavors. Chef Goldsmith is the executive pastry chef at Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink in Miami Florida, where she creates whimsical and fun nostalgic desserts. I was lucky enough to meet her during her book release a few years back and I was so excited to try her recipes and now was the right time! I had brought this rustic peach and berry crostata to our friends fourth of July celebration, and it was a big hit!… 

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Bora Bora Coconut Custard Pie

delicious coconut custard pie recipe | jessicagavin.com Have you ever traveled to a destination and basically ate your way through the trip? When Jason and I traveled to Bora Bora this coconut custard pie recipe was our slice of heaven. We first had this irresistible dessert on our honeymoon to French Polynesia three years ago and we realized that it was a staple item on pretty much every menu around the island. Each restaurant had their own version, however we always found that the pie was served warm with a cool and creamy scoop of ice cream.

After out third visit to Bora Bora for our babymoon, I thought that I should try to recreate the flavors of French Polynesia by surprising Jason with this coconut custard pie recipe. And guess what, he said I nailed it! We actually ate a slice each night for dessert for almost a week until our craving was gone, haha!… 

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Skillet Cornbread with Blueberries

Skillet Cornbread with Blueberries | jessicagavin.com The best way to combine two of the tastiest summer ingredients, corn and blueberries, is into a baked treat! I am a sucker for freshly baked cornbread, so I decided to add some super ripe and sweet blueberries into the batter. To take it to the next level, I baked the cornbread in a steaming hot cast iron skillet with sizzling hot butter on the bottom to prevent sticking.

There is something so comforting and rustic about baking bread in a skillet versus glass pan or metal muffin tin. Don’t forget about those crunchy golden brown edges you get from preheating the cast iron pan in the oven before you add in the batter, yum! This cast iron skillet cornbread with blueberries recipe is guaranteed to be a hit with family and friends!… 

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All-American Potato Salad

all-american potato salad recipe | jessicagavin.com

When you think about summertime side dishes, potato salad is one essential item that almost always makes it on the table. There are so many recipes and types of varieties of this simple yet comforting dish. For me, I really like the classic All-American potato salad especially when I’m having barbecued food. The creaminess of the potatoes combined with your favorite seasonings is always a hit with a swarm of hungry summer guests…. 

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Luscious Raspberry Lemon Bars

amazing raspberry lemon bar recipe | jessicagavin.com

When given the choice of a decadent chocolate dessert versus a light refreshing lemon indulgence, I’m much more of a chocolate lover. I actually used to hate lemon flavored desserts! That’s until I finally made a tray of fresh raspberry lemon bars at home. My first encounter with lemon bars was when I was working at a European bakery in high school, getting the chance to be exposed to lots of different citrus infused treats.

Lemon bars were a staple at Boniere Bakery in Alameda, CA. Baked fresh each week, I used to be in charge of cutting the crisp and gooey bars into perfect squares then dusting them with generous mountains of powdered sugar. I would sneak bites of the browned corners that I cut off, licking off the sticky evidence from my fingers. I think that’s when I started to appreciate the citrus pucker effect of the lemon juice balanced with the sweetness of the sugar in those gooey lemon bars…. 

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Delicious Braided Challah Bread

braided challah bread loaf

Have you ever visited a bakery and seen those long beautiful braided breads and wondered, what are those lovely golden brown loaves? I used to work at a European bakery called Boniere in high school and the pastry chef used to bake these aromatic challah loaves each morning and place them on the bread rack in the front of the store for display. These rich milk, butter and egg based breads were especially popular with customers during the spring time for Easter and the winter for Hanukkah. These yeast-leavened breads are tender with a hint of sweetness and are simple to make!… 

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Strawberry French Toast Recipe

Strawberry French Toast Recipe | jessicagavin.com

Breakfast is one of my favorite eating occasions for one reason, I get to eat dessert first thing in the morning! As a kid, French toast was my go-to selection whenever dining out on the weekends with my family, or at home on Sunday mornings. French toast has evolved on restaurant menus to include versions using banana bread, baked like a custard in a cast iron pan, healthier whole wheat bread recipes, and even stuffed with rich fillings. I had made a fresh loaf of braided challah bread (a rich egg bread) and I did not want a single crumb to go to waste, so I decided to make an irresistible strawberry french toast recipe!… 

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