Archive for the ‘Breakfast’ Category

Buttermilk Waffles


Difficulty: Easy

Delightfully crisp, light and fluffy. I add orange zest and vanilla for a fresh taste. Easy to make from scratch and infinitely better than a trusty mix. This batter is thick. Top with fresh fruit and a drizzle of syrup for a wonderful meal. Serves 4. Double accordingly; when it is just my husband and I one batch is great, more than 4 then double and you should get around 8-9 waffles, thin with a bit more milk if necessary! It also depends on the size and depth of your waffle iron. Leftovers hold well in a zipper lock bag in the fridge and crisp up beautifully the next morning in your toaster.

2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 TBS sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs, separated
4 TBS butter, melted
1 TBS vanilla
Zest of one orange

Directions: Preheat waffle iron. Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. In a large measuring cup (4-cup Pyrex) or medium bowl combine buttermilk, milk, egg yolks, butter, vanilla and orange zest. Whip the gg whites with hand mixer in medium bowl until soft peaks form. Pour buttermilk mixture into flour mixture, gently combine until few streaks of flour remain. Do not over beat, batter will be lumpy. Gently fold in whipped egg whites. Cook according to your heart’s desire.


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Pumpkin Pancakes

Difficulty: Easy

Who doesn’t love pumpkin with yummy spices that cooks up into a moist, thick, fluffy cake. So good and festive for fall. If you don’t have buttermilk you may substitute whole milk but I would avoid the 1% and skim varieties. The buttermilk really makes for a tender pancake and should be a staple for your breakfast meals. These are easy to whip up and your family will love them! Serve with maple syrup and a dusting of powdered sugar. Adapted from Rookie Cookie.

2 cups flour
4 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground ginger
2 cups buttermilk (or whole milk)
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Directions: Preheat griddle over medium heat. In medium bowl combine dry ingredients. In a large bowl combine pumpkin, eggs, milk and oil. Combine wet and dry ingredients, stirring until a few flour streaks remain, mixture may have lumps.

Scoop about 1/4-1/3 cup batter onto lightly greased pan and cook until golden brown on each side. Makes 16 pancakes.

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Banana Muffins

Difficulty: Easy

Who doesn’t love banana bread? This recipe is pure banana, no yogurt, milk, or sour cream to dull the ripe flavor. For a ultra smooth batter I use my food processor to combine all of the ingredients. I don’t care for lumps of banana in my bread. For a twist try my sour cream glaze. Very yummy! It will moisten the tops of your muffins, so eat them fast and I wouldn’t recommend topping the bread with the glaze if you will store it for more than one day but a nice drizzle is just as nice. And this isn’t a healthy bread by any means!

Makes approximately 3 loaves (Or 2 loaves and 12 muffins)

4 large ripe bananas, pureed or mashed well
2 1/2 sticks butter
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
4 cups flour
2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
2 cups chopped walnuts, optional

Directions: Grease and flour bread pans, place cupcake liners in muffin pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in medium saucepan or large microwave safe bowl and add the sugar, mix for a few minutes. Stir in eggs, vanilla and pureed bananas. (If using food processor, combine melted butter and sugar and pulse for 1 minute. Add eggs, vanilla and bananas. Pulse another minute.)

In medium bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking soda. Stir into butter mixture or add to food processor bowl and pulse until combined. Stir in walnuts if using. Spoon batter into prepared pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes for loaf pans and 12-15 minutes for muffins. You may need to use a cookie sheet underneath pans to ensure the bottoms don’t get too dark while baking. Unmold breads as soon as possible and let cool on a cake rack.

Sour Cream Glaze
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 TBS milk
1/3 cup sour cream

Combine milk and powdered sugar, add sour cream and stir until smooth. Add more sour cream to taste if desired. (I don’t like to taste the powdered sugar, just the sweetness.) Spoon over cooled bread/muffins and serve. Refrigerate leftovers.

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The Best Oatmeal

Difficulty: Easy

Serves 4

Do you like oatmeal? Or feel like you should because it is so good for you? Remember gloppy, sticky, sit in the pit of your stomach oatmeal? No more! This is a fool proof way to cook your oatmeal for separate chewy grains every time. Try it and fall in love with oatmeal again. Trust me.

2 1/2 cups regular oatmeal, not instant!
1 cup water
Sugar, honey, milk, fruit, cinnamon, etc. Whatever you want!

Directions: Heat 1 cup water in medium-large pot with steamer basket inside over high heat to boil. Add oatmeal. Let water boil over oats for 1-2 minutes, fluff with fork. Place lid on pan and drain half of water out, be careful! Reduce heat to medium and let oats steam for 2-3 more minutes. (Water should not be completely covering oats, but little bubbles are okay.) Remove from heat, fluff oats and dish into serving bowls. You should have separate distinct oats. Top with your favorites and never have gloppy oatmeal again.

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Difficulty: Easy

 Fruit is at it’s peak, especially stone fruits and yummy succulent pineapple. Why not throw some on the grill-doesn’t even have to be outdoors, use the Foreman or your grill pan. This was a satisfying and light dessert on a hot summer evening. I actually used my Foreman grill to caramelize the natural sugars in the fruit, layered plain yogurt with honey and sprinkled the whole shebang with some cinnamon and popped it in the fridge for a nice chill. Absolutely simple and delicious. Greek yogurt would be absolutely lovely since it is sooo thick and creamy. Try it and find it at Sprouts or Trader Joe’s or the like.

Pineapple, cut into thick rings
Nectarines or Peaches (or any stone fruit you like!), halved and pit removed
Good quality plain yogurt

Directions: Grill fruit for 3-4 minutes or until juices are just beginning to flow and flesh has grill marks. Set aside to cool and cut fruit into chunks. You may wish to remove the skin of the peaches, it can easily be scooped out with a spoon. Layer honey, yogurt and fruit in decorative glasses or bowls, repeat as desired, drizzle with more honey and sprinkle with cinnamon. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

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The Ultimate French Toast

Difficulty: Moderate due to a few extra steps that are soooo worth it!

Want to make the best french toast ever? My husband considers himself to turn out a mean toast, well, I kicked his trash with this recipe. As soon as he cut into it’s crispy outer crust and bit into the creamy center he declared it the best french toast ever. And it is. And you will never think of french toast the same way again. This requires a few more steps than the usual dip and griddle. A good weekend breakfast or special occasion meal.

It gets it crisp outer shell from sizzling in the oven with a bit of oil and has a caramelized, golden exterior thanks to a mixture of brown sugar, maple syrup and cinnamon sprinkled on top. Heaven! The cooking method is from Cooks Country and I adapted the ingredients to suit our fancy. We love sourdough bread and I find it cuts down the sweetness of this recipe so your teeth aren’t aching.

Serves 4 (2 slices each)

8 slices good quality, thick sour dough bread or white bread
2 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup milk
1 TBS vanilla
1/4 cup vegetable oil
6 TBS brown sugar
1 TBS maple syrup
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions: Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Bake bread on rimmed baking sheet until dry, about 8 minutes per side. Let cool 5 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 475 degrees.

Whisk eggs, buttermilk, milk, and vanilla until combined. Soak bread slices until just saturated but not soggy, about 30 seconds per side. Transfer to wire rack and let drop off excess and repeat with remaining bread.

Pour oil onto rimmed baking sheet, turning sheet to coat. Transfer to oven and heat for 4 minutes. Using fork, combine brown sugar, maple syrup and cinnamon in small bowl until it resembles wet sand.

Arrange soaked bread on hot baking sheet and bake until golden brown on first side, about 10 minutes. Flip bread and sprinkle evenly with sugar mixture. (Pinch off pea-sized bits) Cook until sugar is deep brown and bubbling, about 5 minutes. Cool toast on wire rack for 2 minutes and serve immediately.

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Difficulty: Easy

My friend Anissa posted a granola recipe that she and her family makes regularly, it sounded sooo good. I did not have all the ingredients on hand so I pared it down and made a simple crunchy and oh so satisfying granola. I am usually not a fan unless it is on my yogurt, this recipe has won me over though, it isn’t too sweet and has the perfect crunch and chew. Next time you have a hankering for some granola goodness, pass those nasty sugar-laden boxes at the grocery store and make this easy treat. Will keep for 2 weeks or so in an air-tight container, if it lasts that long! The skies the limit with granola, you can add any nut you like, any dried fruit, spice, etc. Go with what your family likes, this is just a basic recipe that is extremely flexible to individual tastes.

6 cups regular oats
3/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup flaked coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
1/4 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup honey
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 TBS water
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup raisins or dried cranberries

Directions: In large bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, coconut, nuts and nonfat dry milk. Stir until mixed well. In another small bowl, combine honey, oil, water and vanilla, whisk until well combined. Add to oat mixture and stir to coat ingredients well.

Divide oat mixture into two large jelly roll pans (rimmed cookie sheets). Heat in 300 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until LIGHTLY toasted. Stir twice during heating. Once cooled, crumble into pieces and add raisins/cranberries if desired. Store in air tight container and eat it up!

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