Self-isolation, if you let it, can suck the joy out of your day. And being that we will remain in a state of emergency until May 4th (at the earliest). That can potentially mean a whole lot of joyless days if you don’t pull your brain out of that negative cycle.
I’m single and living in a different country than my family and friends, so that means I’m completely isolated. The places I used to go and the faces I used to see are no longer in my daily routine and haven’t been for the past four weeks. Toronto, Canada (where I live) has just declared another month of lockdown. And to be honest, I’m trying to keep my brain from going to negative places.
I understand the need for the lockdown, of course, but as someone who left her home to start a new life, so far, it hasn’t been all that productive. Sometimes it feels as if I’m just biding the hours until the day ends, basically wishing my life away.
But what I think needs to happen is a change in mindset. I am not wasting my time, I just have more “free” time on my hands than I did before. And that’s kind of exhilarating. Of course the areas for change (in terms of career and routine) have shrunken, but then again, maybe they have opened up in other places (like self-improvement).
I don’t want to just get through each day, I want to live it and enjoy it. I am, right now, in need of major healing (aren’t we all?). And food can be incredibly healing. As a baker and long-time foodie, my life has always been centered around food in one form or another. But I find myself 1. Not baking and 2. Not making meals special. So I’m completely out of my routine, something that brought me joy. So why not introduce a little joy back into my life through delicious food and special moments?
I’ve always made sure to maintain balance between “junk” foods, healthy meals, and exercise, and I now believe I’ve gotten to a point where I am happy with what I eat and don’t feel that heavy guilt that I used to when indulging. This breakfast is more on the indulgent side, so maybe save it for a Sunday morning brunch.
I’m a baker, and first and foremost a creator, by trade. I like to experiment with new ingredients and see what happens. I’ll be honest here, sometimes disasters happen. But this decadent breakfast left me feeling happy, satisfied and grateful. Yes, I believe food does have that power.
Time: 5 minutes
The internet sensation of the month. This is not my recipe but it is a must-try if you’re missing your morning foamy latte. If you haven’t tried this yet, then I’m begging you, please, please try it now. This has changed my mornings in quarantine completely.
2 tbsp instant coffee granules
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp boiling water
1 cup plant milk of choice
1. Whisk first 3 ingredients vigorously for 2-3 minutes. They will thicken and foam, almost resembling mousse.
2. Heat 1 cup milk.
3. Pour the milk into your favorite cup and top with the coffee mixture.
4. After a quick photo shoot to show your friends what a gourmand you are, stir the coffee mixture in with the milk for the best tasting experience.
5. Optional: I like to sweeten it all with a little stevia.
Pancake Batter Donuts
Time: 1 hour
This recipe was born out of the store’s empty flour shelf. I use this pancake mix which already has some sugar, baking powder and baking soda in it. You can omit the yeast in this recipe to make it simpler, but the result may be less doughy.
1 1/4 cup Pancake Mix
1 tbsp Rapid Rise Yeast
2 tbsp Sugar
2 tbsp Warm water
2 tbsp Vegan butter
1/4 cup Soy milk (or plant milk of choice)
1/4 tsp Salt
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Coconut oil (for pan frying)
Dairy-free Chocolate (optional)
- Mix 1/4 cup pancake mix, yeast, sugar, and warm water in a small bowl. Set aside. You have just made the sponge. Let the sponge rest for 10 minutes. It should double in size.
- Mix the soy milk and vegan butter together. Add to the sponge.
- Add remaining pancake mix and salt. Stir until dough ball forms. If too dry add hot water 1 tsp at a time. If too wet, add pancake mix 1 tsp at a time.
- Let dough sit for 30 mins in a warm place. It should grow in size, but if it doesn’t, don’t stress. It will still fry up nicely.
- Add 1/2 cup coconut oil to a pan, turn onto med-high heat until a drop of water makes the oil sizzle.
- Divide dough into 12 circles, flatten down with your hand.
- Mix cinnamon and sugar together in small bowl. Set aside.
- Arrange doughnuts in pan, turning over onto all sides until they are all golden brown.
- Immediately coat in the cinnamon sugar mixture.
- Optional: Melt chocolate and dip.
Also by Nea: Vegan Swedish Cardamom Chocolate Rolls
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Photo: Nea Pantry