Summer Leaves

Dine out while you still can before summer leaves with her light. We still prone to dine al fresco in our nest when possible (I always favor the outdoors, less cleaning.) While breakfast would be preposterous outdoors these early-to-rise school days when darkness still lingers, almost as preposterous as putting baby bear to bed at a decent hour. Even when baby bear awakes well after older bears are invested into their first classes of the school day, our breakfast for two remains indoors.It’s quite simple for her, the usual warm porridge, however, older bears don’t like to hold up their heads over the counter for any nibbles, sometimes not even for a warm cup of cocoa. After weeks of vetting over my undernourished A.M. risers, I whipped up some nutella from scratch. Simply spread over warm toast and voila, breakfast on the go. No plate, no napkin necessary, since licking of digits is expected. I bet it’s gobbled up even before the bus arrives as the dappled-spot of sunlight finally makes the first appearance of the day.

I add a spoonful to packed lunches to eat with crisps apples handpicked from a nearby orchard and even added some into waffles that are preferred on weekends when they can be properly savored or for a quick after school snack before the obligatory dribbling and striking of a ball until darkness shrouds us again. It’s times like these I wish I were a bird or a butterfly to flutter away with the withering light that moves southward.So out we dine for lunch and an early dinner with some lingering overheated autumn days, until the inevitable. Hard and steady the leaves keep falling, carpeting the forest with bright tawny hues. At least we can enjoy the show from indoors when it turns cold and wet, whilst wildlife is working hard for the winter. I must remind myself to be more like a leaf this time of year, full of color and change. Happy dinning out all!


Nutella From Scratch

  • 1 cup hazelnuts
  • 12 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons preferred sweetener (I use coconut aminos, date syrup or maple syrup)
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cacao powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • a sprinkle of hemp seed

Soak hazelnuts overnight or two. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Spread the hazelnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven for about fifteen minutes, until they’ve browned a little and the skins are blistered a little. Let cool thoroughly. Melt dark chocolate and coconut oil in a saucepan over gently simmering water. Stir until smooth and let cool. Grind the hazelnuts in a high-speed blender. Add the melted chocolate and coconut oil, preferred sweetener, cacao powder, vanilla, and salt and continue blending until the mixture is as smooth as you like. Scrape nutella into a jar, it will thicken as it cools and when refrigerated. Our spread lasted five days (it should keep up to two weeks if you make a bigger batch.) All though it was refrigerated in the day, I would set it out the night before so that in the morning it would spread easily on toast. Don’t forget the hemp seeds packed with protein, vitamins and minerals needed for herculean feats in the orchards! Simply sprinkle the seeds on after spreading nutella on your warm toast.


28 thoughts on “Summer Leaves

    • Thank you. I was never a fan of the store bought one; it wasn’t authentic enough. Making it at home not only guarentees the quality of the ingredients, it also taste like hazelnut and chocolate. I keep the texture crunchy, but you could also strain the hazelnuts to make it creamy if prefered. Enjoy.


    • Yes, your right as long as it’s not too cold to move your fingers, a picnic in the Fall is precious since time is ticking quickly. Thank you for stopping by my space to enjoy our Autumn view, it’s definately with us now.


  1. First off your kids are such cuties!! Second, I had no idea how easy it was to make nutella! Since going vegan about 4 years ago, I haven’t had any and that was something I really missed! Going to try this out at home <3. Thanks for sharing!


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  2. Home made nutella! Now that’s something I wouldn’t have even considered, Cristina, yet how perfect! I think with crisp apples sounds heavenly! You’ve encouraged me to consider taking my meals al fresco more often than I do! You are so exceptional in your ability to make every meal an occasion! 🙂


    • Thank you so much Debra, it’s my pleasure to share my latest culinary adventure with you. I hadn’t thought to make it until recently and now it’s a staple for a quick and surprisingly nutritional breakfast or snack. I hope you do take advantage of your outdoor dining and join me in trying this home made spread.


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