Tag Archive for 'Breakfast'

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Dark Mission Fig Streusel Bars

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I have a love of figs. There is something romantic about this biblical fruit; it is sensual. Maybe it is its the shape or perhaps it is the texture. Whatever it is that draws me in, it is simply an amazing and delicate fruit.

They were said to be Cleopatra’s favorite food, there is no denying that these buxom purple and greenish yellow fruits are sexy in both appearance and texture. For obvious reasons, Continue reading ‘Dark Mission Fig Streusel Bars’

Peachy Keen Granola

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Single tasking. What a brilliant idea to have a name to go with my state of mind and being. I was attempting to multi-task nine weeks ago when I injured myself and now I am a new convert to the mindset of single tasking. It goes perfectly with my ‘keep things simple’ concept. What better way to slow down this crazy pace of life than to just focus on one thing and to do it as best as you possibly can. What I’ve learned during this unexpected journey is how much more I grasp Continue reading ‘Peachy Keen Granola’

Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits and Gravy 2 Ways

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I am trying to find comfort these days. Trying really, really hard to self-soothe and heal. When sick, or tired, or far from home, everyone seems to yearn for the gastronomic equivalent of a warm sweater, a kiss on the forehead, a favorite blanket. Cutting-edge cuisine has its place, but sometimes you just want a hearty meal with your favorite comfort foods.

Don’t judge. We all have them – “comfort” foods that feel like more than just food. Far beyond the random edibles of our day, these are instilled with the likes of positive memories, celebratory identities, nurturing associations. Continue reading ‘Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits and Gravy 2 Ways’

S’More Stuffed Caffe Latte Raspberry French Toast

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This recipe is over the top, but doesn’t your mom deserve the most decadent brunch treat imaginable? Mother’s Day. A universal day of appreciation dedicated to the woman that has gone to all extremes to put a smile on your face, even during the most challenging of situations. This day is to honor her. Continue reading ‘S’More Stuffed Caffe Latte Raspberry French Toast’

Mardis Gras King Cake

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This post is really all about seeing an item on my bucket list to fruition. NOLA. The entire town of New Orleans pulsates with a rhythm of delicious happiness — the people, the music, the food. Oh and the food. The food is truly divine. As you might imagine, Continue reading ‘Mardis Gras King Cake’

Chocolate Twist Easter Bread — Mardi Gras King Cake Gets A Chocolatey Makeover

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There is something about Easter that makes me think of bread. My maternal grandmother always used to serve what she called Easter breads. And while this recipe is not anything she would have envisioned I do think if you are searching for that perfect Easter Brunch dessert then this recipe could be one you tuck away for safe keeping. The recipe is Continue reading ‘Chocolate Twist Easter Bread — Mardi Gras King Cake Gets A Chocolatey Makeover’

Cinnamon Rolls

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I’ve always had a deep love of all things bread. It’s not a serious revelation, but rather a public acknowledgement that I have a vice that has a name and I am not ashamed of it. While I no longer eat bread on a daily basis I will ALWAYS devour homemade bread or desserts. It is definitely a form of kryptonite for me. Now that the white elephant is out of the closet, I can tell you that my love of breads further deepened when Siri lived with us. She had a way of making the most delicious bread with seemingly little effort; probably an inherent Norwegian gift.

As a child I often baked breads and desserts even more often then I cooked. After all, my mother was a great cook, but she would be the first to admit that she can only bake one thing — pumpkin cake. Like most things in life, when you sense an available slot that needs to be filled, opportunity knocks. I assumed the part time job of household baker. Most of my baking adventures were well received, but for me this type of baking was far different from the light delicate bread baking that Siri was famous for in our home. While it has been a number of years now since she has returned to visit us, we remain close via social media — Facebook and Instagram, the occasional Skype conversation — and she continues to see the fruits of her efforts unfold as I bake her cardamom rolls, cinnamon rolls, custard breads, and pizza.

I know for the first timer, breads and yeast can be a bit daunting, but I’ve kept this recipe simple and hope it will encourage you to experiment with it. Below are both the full and half version dough recipes. To test it out, try to the half recipe to garner your confidence and then make the full batch.

This recipe is one that I’ve dusted off from my archives to share. After all recipes like memories can only REALLY live when enjoyed and shared with others. Today, I want to share this recipe with you as I remain amazed at all the lovely readers I have that quietly follow my progress and restless fooding through the seasons.

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Special equipment: While I am certain you can hand mix this bread dough, it would change the weight of the bread because the dough is very sticky and additional flour would need to be added to counter the stickiness.

Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients

3 1/2 cups warm water (110° F)

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup oil

6 TBS yeast

1 TBS salt

3 eggs

10 1/2 cups flour

Cinnamon-Sugar Filling

1/2 cup butter (1 cube), melted

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar (light or dark)

1 TBS cinnamon

1 cup raisins (optional)

pecans or walnuts (optional), chopped

Icing

1/2 cup butter (1 cube)

2 dashes salt

2 tsps vanilla

3 cups powdered sugar

milk to desired consistency

Directions

In a stand mixer, mix together warm water, sugar, oil and then yeast. Allow to stand for 15 minutes.

Next add in salt, eggs and flour. Mix together for 10 minutes. Allow dough to then sit for 10 minutes.

Oil flat work surface, remove dough from mixing bowl and divide in half. Press out one half of dough into a rectangle of equal thickness. Spread with 1/4 cup of melted butter and then with cinnamon-sugar filling mixture, nuts and raisins if using. Roll up tight, but not too tight. Divide into 12 rolls and place on greased baking sheet with 1/2-inch sides. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Repeat with remaining dough. Allow rolls to rise until dough fills up most of the baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Prepare icing while rolls bake.Remove rolls from oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Generously frost with icing while rolls are still warm.

Modifications

Chocolate Rolls: Add baking cocoa and a few drops of water to regular frosting

Cream Cheese Rolls: Add cream cheese to regular frosting

***Reduced Dough Recipe***

Ingredients

1 3/4 cup warm water (110° F)

1/8 cup + 1 TBS white sugar

1/8 cup + 1 TBS brown sugar

1/4 cup canola oil

3 TBS instant yeast

1 1/2 tsps salt

2 eggs

5 1/4 cup flour

Cinnamon-Sugar Filling

1/4 cup butter (1/2 cube), melted

1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 tsps ground cinnamon

1/2 cup raisins (optional)

pecans or walnuts (optional), chopped

Icing

1/4 cup butter

dash of salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

milk to desired consistency

In a stand mixer, mix together warm water, sugar, oil and then yeast. Allow to stand for 15 minutes.

Next add in salt, eggs and flour. Mix together for 10 minutes. Allow dough to then sit for 10 minutes.

Oil flat work surface, remove dough from mixing bowl and divide in half. Press out one half of dough into a rectangle of equal thickness. Spread with 1/8 cup of melted butter and then with cinnamon-sugar filling mixture, nuts and raisins if using. Roll up tight, but not too tight. Divide into 12 rolls and place on greased baking sheet with 1/2-inch sides. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Repeat with remaining dough. Allow rolls to rise until dough fills up most of the baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Prepare icing while rolls bake. Remove rolls from oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Generously frost with icing while rolls are still warm.

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Tuscan Egg Stew

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In honor of Mother’s Day I am sharing one of my newest creations, Tuscan Egg Stew. It is not a recipe inspired by anything my mother ever made for me but rather it is inspired by her love of breakfast for dinner. She loved to find those little unconventional ways that she could make meals extra fun — like having a BBQ in the rain, dessert before dinner, and breakfast for dinner.

There is something so satisfying about egg dishes, whether for brunch or for dinner. Tuscan Egg Stew makes its mark and scales well for small groups. The combination of flavors reminds me of so many of my days in Florence that it’s easy to close my eyes and be transported back in time.

Three Generations Andy Warhol Style: Since my mother typically hates all pictures of herself, I have made this one a bit more artistic. She is pictured at her baby shower along with my paternal grandmother 'Ginny'.

Three Generations Andy Warhol Style: Since my mother typically hates all pictures of herself, I have made this one a bit more artistic. She is pictured at her baby shower along with my paternal grandmother ‘Ginny’.

Tuscan Egg Stew

Ingredients

3 TBS olive oil

1 clove garlic, pressed

3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

8 cups swiss chard, coarsely chopped (if using frozen, substitute 1.5 lbs, defrosted and drained)

1 yellow onion, sliced

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp paprika

1 15oz can chickpeas, rinsed

1 14.5oz can Fire Roasted diced tomatoes (Muir Glen Organic)

1 15oz can white beans

3 cups vegetable broth

6 large eggs

Romano cheese, grated

Directions

Heat 1 TBS of olive oil in cast iron skillet, or heavy bottomed pot, over medium heat. When oil is hot add pressed garlic. Stir quickly until fragrant and lightly brown. Add swiss chard to pot, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Cook until wilted but still bright in color; approximately 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside. Wipe out skillet.

In same skillet, over medium heat, add 2 TBS of oil. When oil is warm, turn heat up to medium high, adding onion and sliced garlic; stir 3-4 minutes until onion is softened. Add cumin, paprika and stir another 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Lastly, add chickpeas, white beans and tomatoes; cooking until tomatoes start to caramelize and chickpeas begin to brown; approximately 8-10 minutes.

Add broth and bring to a simmer scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat to medium; simmer, occasionally mashing some of the chickpeas with the back of a spoon or a potato masher. Cook stew 15-20 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Fold in swiss chard, adding in more broth slowly, 1/4 cup at a time, if sauce seems too thick. A small amount of liquid is necessary to properly cook the eggs.

Make holes in stew and crack eggs one a time into a small bowl and then transfer into one of the premade holes. Once all of the eggs are in place, cover pan with a lid to allow eggs to steam 5-7 minutes. Baste occasionally to ensure eggs are cooking properly. Eggs should be not be hard cooked but left with a small amount of yoke to make this dish take extra buttery when served.

Spoon Tuscan Stew into bowls and transfer egg on top. Lightly dust with Romano cheese, salt and pepper to taste.

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Disclosure: I received a Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Tomatoes to cook with; no monetary compensation was received for this post. All opinions are my own.

Hearty (Heart + Healthy) Oatmeal Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

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Thanks to my friend Illina, banana chocolate chip cakies have become a house hold favorite over the past few years. With the combo of banana and chocolate chips at the top of the ‘regulars’ chart this recipe is a new twist on a family favorite. One of the things I love most about this recipe is that it is diabetic friendly and dairy free.

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Hearty Oatmeal Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Muffin Ingredients

2 ripe bananas, mashed

1 cup Almond Coconut milk (or can substitute vanilla almond milk)

2 eggs** (vegan substitution below)

1 TBS baking powder

3 cups old fashioned oatmeal

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 TBS sugar, optional

3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (vegan variety are dairy free)

Muffin Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix together all ingredients except the chocolate chips. Allow to rest for 10 minutes, then mix in chocolate chips.

Coat muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray or use liners.

Fill 12 muffin cups to the brim.

Bake 20-30 minutes, until the edges start to brown. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. If using cooking spray, loosen the muffins from the pan by tracing around the edges with a blunt knife to release. Serve warm.

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Vegan Egg Substitute Adaptation:

Flax seeds contain properties that are ideal for replacing eggs in vegan baking. It is important to use GOLDEN flax seeds which are the light colored ones as the brown flax seeds will alter the color of baked goods. If you are just looking to mix it up a bit and are not necessarily vegan here are some flax seed 101 facts on this alternative goodness: the seeds contain protein, fiber and are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids which makes this binder a healthy alternative to other egg replacers. Below are the ingredients to make the equivalent of 1 egg. (Remember for THIS recipe you will need to double the amounts below.)

Flax Seed Meal Ingredients

3 TBS water

1 TBS golden flax meal (to make meal follow directions given)

Flax Seed Meal Directions

Using a blender, food processor or a spice grinder, grind the flax seeds into meal. If opting to grind a larger amount it can be stored in an air-tight container, in the freezer, for up to one year. Equivalents: 1 cup of flax seeds equals about 1 1/3 cups of flax meal.

Add the water to a small bowl, then add the flax meal combining with a whisk or fork. Let the mixture set-up for 5-10 minutes so it develops a raw egg-like consistency. If trying to expedite the process, warm water will speed things up.

Godfather Apple Turnovers

It’s nearly Father’s Day and while I am looking forward to planning a hearty menu for my Dad and husband, there are a few other fathers I will be missing…my Grandfather Elios, my Grandfather Nunzio, and my Godfather Joey. Every one of these men has played an important role in my life, and I could write volumes about everything that each one of these men has meant to me over the years. But this year I wanted to share a simple recipe, which was the last thing I made for my Godfather/Uncle Joey before he passed away. Sometimes it is the simple things that can put a smile on someone’s face, and knowing that he enjoyed the various textures and flavors of this dessert is something that I have often reflected upon over the last few months.

To all of the wonderful father’s out there- may you be surrounded by those that truly appreciate you and spoiled by the simple things that make you smile.

Godfather Apple Turnovers

* this dessert can easily double as a breakfast treat

Ingredients

4 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced small

1 tsp lemon juice

2 TBS butter

2 tsp lemon or orange peel

1/4- 1/3 cup sugar (depends on tartness of apple)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbs cornstarch

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 package phyllo sheets

4 TBS butter (1/2 cube)

powdered sugar; for dusting

Directions

Peel and dice apples, place in cold water with lemon juice to keep apples from turning brown. When ready to cook the apples, allow to drain for a few minutes in colander to remove excess water.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium saucepan, on medium-low heat, add apples, sugar, vanilla, orange/lemon peel, cinnamon and cornstarch. Cook approximately 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until the apple mixture thickens. Remove from heat and set aside.

Remove phyllo dough from package and have a damp towel ready so you can keep the phyllo sheets covered as you work. They tend to dry out quickly.

In a small pan on low heat, melt butter. Using a pastry brush, brush one phyllo sheet. Position dough so that the longer side faces you. Fold in half (vertical) and brush again. Fold again to form a long strip. Brush again with butter. On one edge, add about 1 1/2 TBS of the apple filling. Fold into the form of a triangle. Brush the outside of the triangle phyllo turnover with extra butter and sprinkle with sugar. Place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until nicely golden brown. Check after 10 minutes to ensure that the turnovers are not burning as oven temperatures do vary. Allow to cool and dust with powdered sugar.

Best Godparents a child could have!