Category Archives: Breakfast

Busy Busy!

I have a slight obsession with soup, any time of year, any time of day, all day, every day I can and would eat soup! Just ask my husband, whenever he asks what I want or where I want to go to eat, he always has to say ‘besides soup!’ I frequently make my own so I have them for dinner a few nights a week while Josh is away at hockey…with a big hunk of crusty bread, it’s the perfect meal! So the other night I decided to make some cheesy broccoli cheddar soup with my cheesy beer bread to accompany it! And since I had quite a few bananas that were going bad, I decided to follow that up with some coconut rum banana bread! (Side note, I have noticed that the past few things I have baked recently have all contained booze in some form or another…not quite sure why, but they’ve all turned out deliciously)?!

Broccoli Cheddar Soup:

  • 5 T butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups whole milk or cream
  • 2 cups chicken broth, room temperature (just not cold)!
  • 2 heads broccoli, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, shredded
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bag sharp cheddar cheese

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium-high heat. In separate saucepan, heat milk over medium-low heat, keep warm. Add onion, saute until soft. Whisk in flour, cook for one minute. Slowly add in warm milk. Slowly add in chicken broth, whisking constantly. Bring to a boil, then simmer, whisking occasionally until thickened (about 20 minutes). Once thickened a little, add broccoli, carrots, salt and pepper to taste. Cook until vegetables are soft, about 20-25 more minutes. If desired, transfer 3/4 of the mixture to blender or food processor (or do as I did and use an immersion blender) to puree mixture. Pour back into saucepan and add cheese.

Cheesy Beer Bread:

  • 2 cups flour

    Moist, buttery, cheesy!!

  • 2 T sugar
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1 t salt, divided
  • 10 ounces or 1 1/4 cups beer (guess you’ll just have to drink those last two ounces)!
  • 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 t garlic powder, plus more for top
  • 1 t onion powder, plus more for top
  • 1 t mustard powder, plus more for top
  • 2 T butter, melted

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, garlic powder, onion powder and mustard powder. Slowly mix in beer with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until just combined. Do not over-mix. Add in cheese, until just combined. Pour (I use this word lightly as the batter is very thick and will not ‘pour’) into a 9X5 loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm area for 30 minutes. The dough will puff lightly and grow a little in the pan. Brush the top with the melted butter and sprinkle more seasonings over top. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.

View from the top of the buttery, salty, crust!

Coconut Rum Banana Bread:

  • 2 cups flour

    Look at all that coconutty goodness!

  • 1 t baking soda
  • dash of salt
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temp
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 t vanilla
  • 4 T Captain Morgan (or other rum you like/have on hand)!
  • 3 mashed bananas
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease 9X5 loaf pan. Combine flour, soda, salt and cinnamon in bowl, whisk together and set aside. Cream butter and sugar until smooth. Add in eggs one at a time, blending after each addition. Add in vanilla, then rum. Fold in bananas and coconut then gently fold in flour mixture until just incorporated. Pour batter into loaf pan, top with cinnamon sugar mixture (or crumb topping, etc). Bake about 45 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

Advertisements

Cravings…

So lately, as if this is anything new, I’ve been seriously craving peanut butter and chocolate….waaaay more than usual! But surprisingly I was craving them separately, not necessarily together…which is somewhat odd! So I decided to make some peanut butter bars for breakfast and then some rocky road brownies for dessert! The bars turned out to be pretty good, however could have used more crunch, as they were super soft and chewy. Soft and chewy is not necessarily a bad thing, but these were almost crumbly they were so soft…they were better after I put them in the fridge. And the rocky road brownies were fairly good, but the marshmallows on top ended up kind of crunchy and chewy as they cooled. All in all, I would make both again but making some minor changes!

Peanut Butter Breakfast Bars:

  • 1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 1/2 t ground cinnamon
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vanilla silk soy milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1/4 cup crunchy peanut or almond butter
  • Dash of salt, to taste

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Mix together all ingredients. Pour into a greased 8X8 inch pan. Bake 18 -20 minutes. Let cool and top with Nutella or more peanut butter if desired! (At one point, I even covered a few slices with melted chocolate…I couldn’t resist! And it was quite tastier that way!

2012-04-20 16.12.14.jpg

Rocky Road Brownies (Brownie recipe adapted from my sister-in-law Mandy)!

  • 1¼ cups  flour
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 T cocoa powder
  • 11 oz. chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup butter, cut into chunks
  • 1½ cups g sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 5 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 t vanilla
  • mini chocolate chips
  • For the topping:
  • mini marshmallows
  • mini chocolate chips
  • hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans (any nut of your choice), coarsely ground or chopped

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees and butter/flour a baking pan, whatever size you prefer (I went with a 9X9 because I really like super thick brownies)…but the smaller the pan, the longer it takes for them to cook and cool! Melt the chocolate and butter together in a double boiler, stirring occasionally until smooth. Turn off the heat and add the sugars, whisk until smooth and  set aside, off of heat, to cool. Once cooled, add eggs one at a time, whisking just until incorporated each time. Sprinkle flour and a 1/2 cup or so of mini chocolate chips over chocolate mixture and fold with a spatula just until combined (some white specs of flour will still be visible), do not overmix! Pour into prepared pan and bake (the 9X9 took about 45 minutes so a 9X13 would probably take about 30-35 and an 8X8 closer to 50-55). During the last 10 minutes of baking, I covered the top with marshmallows, mini chocolate chips and a mixture of ground hazelnuts and almonds…push down slightly so the topping adheres to the brownies and put back in the oven until brownies are cooked through.

These were delicious right out of the oven…the marshmallows were super soft and melty, the nuts had a nice crunch and the chocolate chips melted in  your mouth. As they cooled, the marshmallows got hard and crunchy, the chocolate chips hardened and the nuts got kind of soggy! An easy fix was to throw them in the microwave for a few seconds to melt everything again but taking them with me for the day made that difficult! Didn’t stop Josh and I from finishing off the rest at lunch today though (yes, I made them last night), so I guess they couldn’t have been that bad!

To the Core

Still trying to use up as much stuff as possible before moving and came across some old apples in the fridge…it breaks my heart to throw food out so I decided to bake a little something with them! I’ve made apple muffins and breads before and they usually turn out tasty, but I don’t ever really get any apple flavor. Just tastes like an extra moist, somewhat chunky, cinnamon cake. So this time, I decided to change it up a smidge and chop the apples into chunks instead of dicing them into tiny pieces. I found an apple turnover yogurt in the back of the fridge and decided to use that as well hoping to impart even more apple flavor (and more sugar of course)! Next time, I think I will use apple butter in place of the yogurt but I didn’t realize I had some in the fridge in time! Here’s the recipe I concocted:

IMAG0336-1.jpg       Mini Apple Loaves:

1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 apple turnover yogurt by Yoplait
3 eggs
1 T vanilla
3 cups flour
2 t cinnamon
1 t baking soda
pinch of salt
4 apples, cored, peeled, chopped into bigger chunks
cinnamon sugar mix

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and spray 10 mini loaf pans. Beat together oil and sugar until smooth and dissolved. Add in yogurt and then eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Mix dry ingredients with wet, just until flour is incorporated, do not over mix. Pour until loaf pans are 2/3 or so full. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar (or you can make a crumb topping with flour, brown sugar, butter and cinnamon). Bake 23-25 minutes.

IMAG0337-1.jpg

A little bit of green!

My husband and I are going through the process of buying our first home…exciting yes, frustrating and overwhelming, definitely! We have had to jump through quite a few hoops to get where we are now, which sadly, isn’t even where we need to be! After quite the roller coaster ride of way too many ups and downs, I think we are finally coming to a stop at a high point! Yesterday morning seemed to be the last straw for me though, when my husband called me to tell me of another bunch of documents I would need to accumulate and send in….this was, without exaggeration, the eight time this has happened and the last three were ‘definitely the last things we need!’ Needless to say, the extra stress led to some baking this morning! Now, with the house looking like more of a reality and some time to cool off, I made a delicious pistachio cake (his favorite) as an apology to my hard-working, loving husband who has jumped through more hoops than I have but kept himself together way better than I have!!

IMAG0312-1.jpg

Pistachio Bread/Cake:

  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1 box pistachio pudding
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • Cinnamon sugar mixture
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • dash of cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. For the crumble topping, mix flour, oats, brown sugar and cinnamon together. Cut in the butter, with two knives, a fork or a pastry blender and set aside. In another bowl, mix all of the ingredients, except the cinnamon sugar mixture, together and blend well. Pour half of the batter into the pan of your choice, top with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Pour rest of batter over top and add cinnamon sugar crumble to top (or you can just add more cinnamon sugar). Bake for 40-60 minutes, depending on the pan you chose. For a loaf pan, about 55 minutes, a 9 inch cake pan, about 45 minutes, muffins or mini loaves about 20 minutes.

IMAG0311-1.jpg

I used a heart-shaped cake pan and had some batter left over so I made a few heart-shaped mini loaves, well 6 to be exact, but I ate three of them already, oops! These are great for breakfast or you can even use a cream cheese frosting instead of a crumble for more of a cake! Delicious any way you eat it!! We love this recipe so much that I actually made 150 mini loaves to put in the gift bags for out-of-town guests at our wedding…it’s that easy and that good!

Savor the Moment!

Usually, I opt for the sweet breakfast choice over the savory, any day of the week…I’m talking 9 out of 10 times…give me a muffin or chocolate croissant please! Yesterday was an entirely different morning, for some reason I decided to make an uber rich and savory breakfast and it turned out fabulous! Josh and I went out to a steakhouse Friday night and ended up, through quite a mishap of giving our entrees away to another table, etc, with 3 large entrée steaks…so for once, we ended up having leftovers, a rare event in our lives! I was trying to think of something fun to do with the steak because re-heating a steak doesn’t sound too appetizing to me! I got the idea from a combination of  the ever popular dishes ‘chicken and waffles’ and ‘steak and eggs’ and came up with ‘steak and waffles!’ We both absolutely love anything mushroom or Marsala so I decided this would be the ‘syrup’ for the waffles. We made savory herb waffles and topped them with steak slices, Marsala sauce, and a fried egg. I just might swing towards the savory breakfast club if they could all be this good!

Waffles (makes 6):

  • 1 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1 cups buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
Marsala Mushroom Sauce:
  • 1 container Portobello mushrooms
  • 1 small onion or shallot, diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup Marsala
  • 3-4 T fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 t chopped thyme
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
Saute the onion and mushrooms in some olive oil and/or butter until softened, add in garlic. Cook a few more minutes, then add in Marsala, scrape up any browned bits on bottom of pan, add in herbs, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, cook a few more minutes. Uncover, add cream and cook, stirring until desired thickness (took me about 8 or so minutes). To assemble: top the waffles with the steak slices, then the Marsala sauce, followed by a fried egg!
IMAG0216-1.jpg
My favorite part about this was the fried egg, when you cut into it, the yolk from the egg oozed out all over the steak, mushrooms and waffle. I contemplated adding in a different cheese with the waffle batter or using blue cheese with the Marsala sauce but I think it would have been too rich, this was a very hearty and savory dish already. It was a great way to use leftovers instead of throw them out, that’s for sure!
On another note, I made the stuffed pumpkins again last night, however I substituted ground lamb for the ground beef, added in carrots and peas with the mushrooms and used fresh rosemary and thyme from our garden…they were even better than the first time! They had a Shepard’s Pie feel to them but were stuffed in a pumpkin! I am really loving this recipe, not only because of how amazingly delicious it is but because of how versatile it is and how you can play around with it! Had to get one last round of pumpkins in there before the season officially ends! My next task is going to be to make enough baked mostaccioli and meatballs for Josh’s family’s Thanksgiving of 75+ people! I am going to have to channel my inner Gram for help with this one!

Sweet Deal!

Another whirlwind of a weekend has come to a close and I am finally able to gather my thoughts! Lots of good times were had…rang in a friend’s 30th birthday and celebrated a beautiful wedding! A few important things I learned this weekend….oreos are much more delicious when covered in chocolate, a chocolate malt from Oberweis has around 7 scoops of ice cream in it and one person can eat an entire container of hummus and bag of pretzel thins in one sitting! Just a word of advice to be careful for any or all of these!

Spur of the moment decision Sunday morning, my brother and Josh decided to have a family gathering at my grandparents house. We swam, barbecued and played with my little niece/Godchild Ari (short for Arianna)! It ended up being the perfect ending to such a great weekend! Lucky for me, my mom had a few bananas that were getting quite ripe so I volunteered to take them of her hands for her, which leads me to my next project….baking a new banana bread, one I’ve never made before! This may sound like an easy task, but I have tried hundreds of banana bread recipes only to find a few that I really like!

The other day while making my famous ‘fried peanut butter and banana sandwich’ I realized that I love the combination of peanut butter with bananas. Actually, this is the only way I will ever even eat a banana; well that or if it is covered in chocolate and frozen! This is the easiest, most delicious sandwich you will ever eat! To make:  saute a cut up banana in butter, cinnamon and sugar until caramelized. Butter one side of two slices of bread, and slather peanut butter on the non-buttered side. In the same skillet that you sauteed the bananas, add one of the slices of bread, butter side down, add the sauteed bananas and cover with the other slice of bread, peanut butter side down (like you would make a grilled cheese). Grill until browned to your liking!

Getting back to the task at hand though, tonight I decided that I am going to try making a peanut butter, chocolate chip banana bread! Seeing as how I am completely obsessed with peanut butter, I cannot wait to get home and try this! Just a funny side note,  I once tried to give up peanut butter for Lent and didn’t even make it past the second day! Woops…never made that mistake again! I will let you all know how it turns out!