Category Archives: Breakfast Recipes

Scones

One of the things I miss about cable television is folding the laundry and tuning into The Food Network.  Often their recipes have ingredients that I cannot easily obtain  but I always enjoy watching someone who is enthusiastic about food and cooking.  I  emailed my mother this scone recipe by  Giada de Laurentis because Giada makes everything look easy and delicious.  This recipe also has common ingredients.

My mother is the official baker in the family.  She made these for me when I visited and holy cow!  Words don’t do justice for describing how good these scones taste.  I give this 5 forks even though I pretty much inhaled a few by hand without pausing for breath.  I have more of a salt & fat tooth than a sweet tooth but this recipe makes me realize I have lots of teeth.  Thank you mother!  This recipe is a keeper.  Hope you are able to share it with friends or loved ones.

You can find the recipe here

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Baked Falafel

With Egypt in the news so much these past weeks, it had my brain thinking about some of my favorite Egyptian foods.  Falafel fritters are one of my favorite foods especially when they are fried up by someone else.  However, given that I live in an area where I can’t run down to a street vendor or a restaurant, I was left to my own devices.   I decided to try out a non-traditional and healthier preparation method by baking rather than frying.   These delicious little burger balls were much lighter but I will say that fried falafel still holds a special place in my heart.  With the condiments I added to my wrap such as sprouts, tomatoes, pickles and tahini sauce, I will say they contributed to the tastiness of the dish and it would be difficult for me to dislike anything with all of those goodies in it.  Here is how I created my heart healthy falafel:

1 can of chickpeas rinsed well

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 onion finely minced

2 cloves of garlic

1 handful of fresh parsley chopped

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon cumin

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

About 2-3 tablespoons of all purpose flour (you may need a little more/less to get your mixture to combine)

1. Preheat oven to 425

2. Pulse chickpeas in a food processor until they are in coarse pieces.  Pulse to combine the other ingredients.  You may need to add a bit of water or adjust the flour to get the mixture to come together.

3.  Place patties on a baking sheet lined with parchment and bake for 20 minutes flipping halfway through.  They should be lightly golden.

4.  Assemble in a wrap or pita with your favorite additions.  Some of my favorites are sprouts or lettuce, pickles, tahini sauce, hot sauce and tomatoes. The tahini-yogurt sauce I made is definitely a keeper and it really adds to the deliciousness of the falafel.

Combine 1 cup plain yogurt, 1/2 cup tahini, 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, 1 clove garlic, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon salt and hot sauce to taste.

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Simple Breakfast

On my morning mile walk with the dogs, the snow was squeaky due to the cold twelve degree temperature.  I stopped in my tracks at one point because it sounded like someone was chopping wood close to my trail.  It turned out to be a woodpecker.  As I stood there listening, I could hear at least three woodpeckers in various directions.  The sharp cracking sound led to thoughts of eggs being included for my breakfast.  We currently are loaded up on eggs thanks to my parents and I had some leftover pasta from a night or two ago lingering in the refrigerator.  From those ingredients and inspiration, my breakfast was born.

Pasta omelets are a great way to fuel up quickly and have energy for hours.  If  you have leftover veggies, you can lightly cook/saute them and throw them in as well.  They are great with any leftover sauce or just on their own.  I did a 50-50 combo, sauce & plain this morning and enjoyed every bite.

The ingredients are simple:  You need eggs and pasta.  I find that about 1 cup of pasta and 2 eggs provides about the proper balance of egg to pasta.

1.  Put your pasta in a bowl and crack the eggs

2.  Mix it together with some salt and pepper if you desire.

3.  Place in a pan with a little butter or oil and cook for about 2-3 minutes per side.

4.  Serve plain or with sauce and enjoy!

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Pancakes with Blueberries and Bananas

Pancake batter is one of the easiest things to whip up and makes an inexpensive meal.   It is almost amazing they are able to stay in business producing mixes.  Once in a while I like to change things up and have breakfast for dinner.  Pancakes and a side of scrambled eggs make for a fast, nourishing and special weeknight treat.

Since I store an amazing amount of blueberries in our freezer from the summer, I like to use them as toppings with bananas for my pancakes.  This also stretches maple syrup which has gone up in price due to crazy weather this past spring.  I had become accustomed to always putting berries in with my batter, but now I find that cleaning the pan is so much easier if there aren’t those little blue spots of skin or juice that often would stick.  This makes dinner even more of a breeze when clean-up is minimized!

Here is my go-to recipe I learned from Grandma:

2 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

dash of salt

1 tablespoon sugar

2 eggs

1 3/4 cup of milk (this can vary a bit – you want the batter to be pourable from your ladle)

2 tablespoons butter melted and cooled

extra butter for your skillet or neutral oil for your skillet

fruit toppings and/or maple syrup

1.  Mix your dry ingredients (You can do this days or weeks ahead of time and store it just like “Bisquick”).

2.  Beat eggs, add milk and your butter that has cooled (but still pourable)

3.  Stir liquid into dry and add more milk if necessary.  A few lumps in the batter are fine.

4.  Heat skillet over medium heat and add a little butter/oil.  When water droplets skip on the surface of the skillet, the batter is ready to ladle.  Flip pancakes after about 3 minutes when the surface has bubbles and the bottoms are golden.  The second side only needs a minute or two to finish.  The heat may require a bit of adjustment.  Usually my first few pancakes need a little higher heat and then I can turn it down slightly.

5.  Put your oven on warm and store pancakes in there until you’ve used your batter.  This way everyone can sit down and enjoy warm yumminess together 🙂

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Blizzard Breakfast

We have had blizzard conditions for the past couple of days.  We woke up yesterday to no power and a very cold house.  About 5 minutes after waking up, I started to worry about things more important than a hot cup of coffee.  Issues like pipes freezing began to fill the mind.  After many hours, the power kicked back on but the telephone and internet services remained off.  Then last night I made some veggie burritos and was about to put them in the oven to bake and all went silent and black again – Argh!!  Luckily we have a camp stove so we pulled that out, lit some candles and heated up some leftover chowder.  This morning things were off to a better start.  It began with hot coffee and hot cobbler.  Here is Boucci’s recipe for making one up.  It is a nice way to enjoy a taste of summer when the weather is white.

1.  Thaw 1 quart of peaches. I usually place them in a bowl on the counter the night before making. Ours are frozen in a very light syrup.  If you use plain peaches, you may want to add a few tablespoons of sugar or maple syrup.  I also toss in about a cup of thawed blueberries for an antioxidant boost.

2.  Put the fruit in a pyrex casserole dish about 11×8.

3.  Make up a batch of the biscuits from this recipe.  Place the unbaked biscuits on top of the fruit.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and about 1 tablespoon of sugar.

4.  Bake for 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven until the biscuits have a nice golden hue.

Cool a bit so you don’t burn the roof of your mouth.  This also makes a nice dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

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Veggie Quiche

There are some recipes I always avoid or just plain refuse to do.  This is because they appear to be too  difficult or have ingredients I wouldn’t be able to obtain in our rural region/grocery store.  However, I took on one of my fears last week and made a pie!  Pie crust falls into one of those areas that has always freaked me out.  I think it has something to do with all the tiny precise measurements.  I consider myself to be more along the lines of  a sloppy/lazy rustic cook and I usually bypass recipes with lots of measurements or complicated presentations.   Additionally,  my avoidance of pie recipes could be due to the fact that my mother is an extraordinary pie maker and I can be a slacker and just enjoy her desserts.  She usually makes an extra one for us to take home 🙂    Since I really like to eat pumpkin pie, I decided it was high time I learned how to make one.  I took a step by step approach to challenge my fears/irrational issues and did a trial run at a pumpkin pie.  I’m pleased to say I made it through the recipe without failure.  One morning I did the filling, the next afternoon I mixed up the crust and in the evening I assembled and baked.  The filling was delicious but I thought the pie crust was bland and sort of like waxy cardboard. (It did disappear rather rapidly).    All in all, not a bad trial and there will be more pies in my future!

This weekend I decided to continue on my roll of crushing my avoidance behavior and gave a pie crust recipe another go.  I embarked on a quiche crust.  Doing half-crusts like for my pumpkin pie or this quiche was a more manageable way to start my foray into the world of pie crust.  Two crusts – well, that is still a bit intimidating but I’m working on my issue.  My quiche turned out to be delicious – both the filling and the crust and it was simple to make.  I still haven’t mastered the crimping of the crust but I didn’t really put my heart into it.  Plus, there is something nice about a homemade look to food (or at least that is what I’ll keep telling myself.)

The Crust

6 Tablespoons butter chopped into small pieces

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

4 Tbs milk

The Filling

a little oil or butter for you saute pan

med/large onion chopped

4 oz mushrooms sliced

1/2 red pepper minced

1 tsp salt

2 dashes of paprika plus a little for the top

2 dashes of thyme

1/2 tsp dry mustard

4 large eggs

1.5 cups of milk

2 Tbs flour

1/2 – 1 cup razor sharp cheddar

1.  Preheat oven to 375

2.  Use two forks or a food processor to cut butter and flour.  My food processor did this with a couple quick pulses.  The mixture should look like coarse cornmeal.  Add milk to hold dough together.  Roll out so it fits nicely in the bottom of your pie pan.

3.  Melt butter/oil in saute pan over medium heat.  Add onions for about 3 minutes and then add pepper, mushrooms and salt for a couple of minutes.  Once everything is softened,  add paprika, thyme and dry mustard for the last minute or two.  Turn off heat.

4.  Combine eggs, milk and flour and beat well.  (I did this in a blender – very easy!)

5.  Put the cheddar on the bottom of the unbaked crust.  Spread the veggie mix on top.  Pour the milk mixture over it and top with a couple more dashes of paprika or cayenne.

6.  Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the center is firm.  Dig in at your preferred temperature.  I like it warm.

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Biscuits and Gravy for Little Bro

Earlier this week I received a phone call from my little brother.  He had checked out my food blog and wanted me to post my biscuits and gravy recipe.  Living in Athens, Georgia for a year really turned me on to Southern cuisine.  The Grit is one of my favorite restaurants in the world.  I think the world would a way better place if every town had a comparable restaurant.  You can get a large, delicious meal for a great price and it also happens to be vegetarian.  I am so glad to have their down-home recipes to re-create for friends and family.  Biscuits are a staple food on Sunday mornings in my household.  These recipes are not “healthified”  but they satisfy your taste buds and soul.

To give credit where credit is due, I am not generally the biscuit maker in my household.  Many thanks go to Boucci for countless mornings of wonderful golden flaky biscuits.   My little brother used to visit us frequently on weekends when he lived in Michigan.  It is through those weekend mornings that he to became a fan of these gems.  Now living in sunny Florida, he made a kayak this summer and has been doing a lot of paddling and camping on islands with his buddies.  He also goes to a number of music festivals throughout the year where food is crazy expensive and not always that stellar.  He has plans to bake biscuits prior to his weekend adventures and whip them out in the mornings.  I’m sure his buddies will be highly impressed with his new skills!  Here’s to fueling the fun little bro! (Picture below is of my bro jumping out of a kayak).

Boucci’s Biscuits (Makes about 1 dozen)

2 cups all purpose flour plus a little extra for flouring surfaces (We prefer King Arthur Organic)

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

4 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

4 Tablespoons cold butter

1 cup of Buttermilk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

Mix all dry ingredients in a big bowl.  Wash your hands well and use your fingers to rub the butter into the dry ingredients.  It should look like crumbs.  Do this pretty quickly so the cold butter doesn’t warm up.  Make a well in the center of your crumbs and pour in buttermilk.  Stir with a spoon until combined and it looks very sticky.

Put flour on your hands and on a smooth surface.  Put dough onto the floured surface and sprinkle the top of it with flour.  Pat into an oval-ish shape.  Gently fold the dough in half until it comes together as a cohesive lump.   Don’t work with it more than necessary.   Press dough into about 1 inch of thickness.  Use a biscuit cutter (we use 2 inch) or a mason jar top works in a pinch.  Put biscuits on a baking sheet w/ edges touching.  Left over scrap dough can be reformed and cut.  These scrap biscuits won’t be as lovely or rise as well.

Bake about 15-20 minutes until nicely browned.

Grit’s White “Sausage” Gravy

1 stick plus 1 Tablespoon butter

8 veggie sausage links such as Morningstar Farms frozen

1/2 cup all purpose flour

4 cups whole milk

2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (if inclined, vegetarian sauces are available at health food stores)

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground sage

1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet and add frozen veggie links.  Fry until thawed.  Remove from skillet and chop into small pieces.  Return to skillet and fry until well done, set aside.

In a saucepan, melt stick of butter, stir in flour and heat until mixture bubbles.  BE CAREFUL not to burn the butter.  Maintain bubbling, stirring well and constantly for about 4 minutes.  Use no more heat than necessary.  Gradually add milk 1 cup at a time while stirring vigorously.  Allow mixture to thicken between additions.  Add Worcestershire sauce and spices with the last addition.  Adjust heat as necessary to thicken roux.  Add sausage crumbles stirring 2 minutes over heat until well blended.  Remove from heat and allow to sit for 5 -10 minutes before serving.  Milk may be added to thin the gravy.

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