Category: Breakfast

French Toast Muffins

This muffin recipe promised to deliver ‘the best part of French toast rolled up in a muffin’.  With a promise like that, I got out my mixing bowl!  Of course, the recipe calls for Bisquick which I never keep in the house, so I used the trusty Bisquick substitute of 1 c. flour, 1 1/2 t baking powder, and 1/2 t salt.  The batter came together quickly, but the muffins took a bit longer in the oven than the recipe indicated.

When they came out of the oven, I brushed them with melted margarine and dusted them with cinnamon and sugar.  After all that, you’d think they’d be amazing, right?  Ehhh, I was disappointed.  None of them will go to waste, but they weren’t as good as I expected.  I think they need more cinnamon and sugar on the inside.  Don’t worry, I have another recipe on my list which I think will fix this problem!

 

 

 

Sweet Potato Hash

You know the other good thing about make-ahead brunch recipes?  You know in advance if the recipe is a flop!  My first attempt at sweet potato hash was a total mess – the crumbled sausage completely dried out and the chunks of sweet potatoes were mushy.  So I tried again the next morning with this recipe from Martha Stewart as a guide.  I didn’t have any more sausage in the house, so this ended up a vegetarian dish.

My second try at sweet potato hash was better, but the recipe is fairly time intensive and not make-ahead at all.  It didn’t have a lot of flavor, so I added the smoked paprika at the end which helped quite a bit.  So I am still on the market for a great sweet potato hash recipe, but in the meantime I’ve got plenty of leftovers to enjoy.

 

 

 

Sweet Potato Hash

4 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1″ pieces
3 T canola oil, divided
1 Vidalia onion, chopped
Smoked paprika, salt, and pepper

Boil sweet potatoes for 5-8 minutes, until just tender.  Drain and place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour to cool.

Heat 1 T oil in a large pan, and saute onions for 15-20 minutes until soft and lightly brown.  Remove from pan.  Add remaining 2 T oil to pan.  Saute potatoes for 10-15 minutes, until browned on all sides.  Return onions to pan and heat through.  Season with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika.

-Adapted lightly from Martha Stewart

Spinach Crustless Quiche

I posted a version of this recipe a long time ago, but over the years I’ve made some updates.  This is one of my favorite brunch recipes because you can prepare it in advance and then just pop it in the oven in the morning.  It’s become a Christmas morning tradition in my family, but it’s good anytime of year.

Even if you don’t normally eat cottage cheese, you’ll like it here because it makes the quiche rich and creamy.  You can vary the vegetables according to what’s in season, and make it colorful.  I served the quiche with salsa on the side, which was a hit.  I hope it becomes part of your brunch tradition.

 

 

Spinach Crustless Quiche

1 T olive oil
2 Vidalia onions, chopped
1 (16 oz.) package sliced mushrooms
1 (1o oz.) package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 (16 oz.) container fat free cottage cheese
6 eggs, beaten
1 c. reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese

Heat oil in a frying pan.  Saute onions for 10-15 minutes, until softened and just starting to turn brown.  Add mushrooms, and continue to cook until mushrooms are soft and most of the liquid has evaporated.  Stir in spinach.  Allow vegetable mixture to cool.

In a large bowl, mix cottage cheese, eggs, and shredded cheddar.  Season with salt and pepper.  Stir in vegetables.  Pour into a 13″x9″ dish coated with cooking spray.  Bake at 350F for 40-45 minutes, or until eggs are set.

Banana Peanut Butter Muffins

Let me say that I don’t like the idea of eating breakfast in the car.  I really don’t want to make it a habit.   I also don’t like the idea of being hungry in the morning, and I am fairly grouchy when I’m hungry so you wouldn’t like it either.  So on some days, I’ll be eating breakfast in the car.

These muffins aren’t nearly as healthy as the Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins I made last week, but they are really good.  The recipe is easy to follow, and you might even be able to find overripe bananas at a discount in your grocery store.  The bananas make the muffins moist and sweet.  The peanut butter flavor is subtle, but I used chunky peanut butter so you can still see some of the nuts.  In the original recipe, the muffins are garnished with a smear of peanut butter and a slice of banana which is very cute if you are going to enjoy these at home.  But for me, they’re perfect just as they are.

 

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins

So many muffins are like cupcakes disguised as breakfast, but this one from Green Lite Bites reminds me of a nice bowl of pumpkin oats.   Packed with whole grain oats, nutritious pumpkin, and limited added sugar, these are about as healthy as it gets in the category of muffins.

I followed the recipe as written, although I used skim milk and made an even dozen instead of 15.  They have a dense texture and are not overly sweet, which is what makes them more similar to a bowl of oats than a traditional muffin.  I am happy with a new ‘breakfast to go’ option this week!

 

 

 

Baked Eggs with Spinach

Sometimes when I sit down to write a blog post, I have a sense of deja vou.  Then I search my own archives.  Oh that’s right, I did make Baked Eggs with Spinach and Tomatoes this summer!  Well this one is different, OK?

I found this recipe for Baked Eggs with Spinach and decided to try a miniature version in a loaf pan.  Unless you’re feeding a crowd, a 13″x9″ pan is pretty big.  I had just picked up a new carton of Land O’Lakes eggs from the store (see disclosure) and there’s always a box of spinach in my freezer.  Really, the most difficult part of the recipe is determining when the eggs are done.  You can use the old fashioned method of shaking the pan, but the eggs are quite hidden under the breadcrumbs and cheese.  So you might try the more modern method of a food thermometer.  Based on the picture below, I need to improve my skills in this area.  This still ended up a rich and delicious lunch, and I’ll be sure to practice again soon.

 

 

Baked Eggs with Spinach

1 T Smart Balance Light
1 (10 oz.) package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
2 Land O Lakes eggs
1/4 c. breadcrumbs
1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 350F.  Place margarine in loaf pan, and bake for 4-5 minutes to melt.  Remove pan from oven, and stir spinach in melted margarine to coat.  Create two indentations in spinach, and carefully crack an egg into each space.  Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and cheese.  Bake for 12-15 minutes, until eggs are set.

– Adapted from Serious Eats

Disclosure: As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received a coupon for 2 dozen free eggs from Land O’Lakes.  The opinions in this post are completely my own, and I was not compensated by any other method to write this review.

Whole Wheat Oat Bran Muffins

A few people mentioned that if I was going to take a break from blogging, then I should have made my last post something more exciting than Cranberry Tofu.  I see what they mean, it would have been more fun to look at chocolate cake or even a nice fall soup.  Sorry about that.  I am not entirely sure that Whole Wheat Oat Bran Muffins are exactly what you had in mind, but here they are.

I had oat bran on hand from the Dukan Pancake experiment, and thought it would be nice to make some muffins.  Because these days, sometimes I don’t even have the energy to make Overnight Oats for breakfast.  I used this Oat Bran Muffin recipe, and substituted whole wheat flour for the white flour.  I admit the muffins are fairly dense and not overly sweet, but I like them!  And I think they’ll be perfect with the Grande NonFat Misto that I seem to grab every day.  Next time I might add raisins to make them a bit sweeter, but since I now have a dozen 11 of these in my freezer, I’ll be set for breakfasts on the run for a while.  Thanks for sticking with me this month, I miss blogging regularly and can’t wait to get back to it.

 

 

Fall Pear Crisp

When life is busy and someone offers to cook for you, say “Yes”.  Always.  Last weekend, my Mom offered to make this amazing pear crisp because 1) she had all the ingredients in the house; 2) we were hungry; and 3) I could blog about it.  She even used Penzey’s Vietnamese Extra Fancy Cinnamon which filled the house with the scent of fall.

 

This recipe can be a dessert, side dish, or snack, but it could also be served for breakfast when paired with some plain yogurt.  It’s more decadent than a typical weekday breakfast, but perfectly acceptable for a Sunday morning treat.

 

 

This recipe makes the transition back into fall and student life a whole lot better.  That’s all for this week folks, see you Monday!

 

Blueberry Yogurt Multigrain Pancakes

Just in time for the long holiday weekend, Smitten Kitchen posted a new pancake recipe – Blueberry Yogurt Multigrain Pancakes. These pancakes use white, whole wheat, and barley or rye flour with plain yogurt to create a thick batter. (To be fair, we only had white and whole wheat flour in the house so our pancakes had one less grain.) We did, however, have plenty of blueberries. A large bowl of them disappeared quickly – some when into the pancakes, some went right into our mouths. These pancakes seemed to take longer to cook than I expected, but the end result was a nice pancake.

These were good, don’t get me wrong, but they weren’t our favorite pancake. Of course, I like the idea of making whole grain pancakes, but I used whole wheat flour when we made these Banana Sour Cream pancakes and they came out great. The banana adds some sweetness and body, and by all means you could throw some blueberries in as well. But sour cream isn’t something that you always have in the refrigerator, so maybe I need to try that recipe with Greek-style yogurt? I may still be on the hunt for the perfect pancake recipe, but we will sure enjoy breakfast along the way.

Adventures in Rhubarb

After Memorial Day weekend was over and the beaches were empty and the streets were clear, my Mom and I decided to take a stroll. It was a bright and sunny day, and the neighborhood was quiet and peaceful. We came upon this sign.

“Please pick some rhubarb.” And they say New Englanders aren’t friendly… But wait a minute, what does a rhubarb plant look like? We trekked across the lawn to the side of the house as directed and poked around. Oh look, there it is!

See the rhubarb on the inside of the plant?

Now that we found the rhubarb, we had to figure out how to harvest it. There were a few garden tools left in the wheelbarrow nearby. I got to work and my Mom took pictures.

Our modest rhubarb harvest consisted of 4 stalks. The plant was large, but we didn’t want to be greedy, and we actually had no idea what we were going to cook. I had used rhubarb just once before in a chutney.

One of the first places to go for unique recipes is Smitten Kitchen, and she had recently posted this recipe for rhubarb muffins. We had all the ingredients on hand, and immediately got to baking. The recipe is fairly straightforward, and includes a streusel topping. The sweet mixture of brown sugar and butter perfectly balances the tart flavor of the rhubarb. We made up a dish of muffins, and then went outside to sit on the deck and enjoy the fruits of our labor.

It was a great opportunity to pick produce practically in our backyard and then immediately use it to create something delicious. You can actually see the chunks of rhubarb in the muffins. This is the real definition of local food, and I hope to experience more of these opportunities soon.

Thanks to the neighbors who generously put up the sign offering the rhubarb! We used the remaining stalks for another project, but I’ll save the rest of the adventures in rhubarb for another post.