Category Archives: Breakfast

Wednesday Wake Up: Fruit and Yogurt Parfait

fruit and yogurt parfait Kate from Scratch

As I lay quietly in the darkness, I hear echoed yelling in the distance.  I search my mind to find something. What I’m looking for, exactly, I’m not sure, but in my restless wandering I only know that I need to find it.  I am cheerfully summoned from my epic quest with a small hand gently poking the soft skin of my eyelid.   This has been my regular alarm clock for several years, now.

I open my eyes and smile as they land upon Max’s adorably mussed mop and flushed cheeks.  He says with a grin, “Hi Mom! It’s a new day!”   His eyes sparkle.  Surely such optimism is deliciously contagious.  I wonder how much longer that will last as he approaches the age of four in only a couple of weeks.  I want to box up his outlook and preserve it like a perfect sauce that I stumbled upon and might need in the future.  But, of course, some things are strictly for enjoying in the moment.

I can see the gray light of dawn peeking behind the curtains and for the first time in many months, I hear the chirping of birds outside our window.  It merges with my sleep induced hypnagogic reality.  My eyes strain to see the clock.  I really need to get my eyes checked.  I’m pretty sure I’ve squinted for the better part of my life.

It’s six o’ nine in the morning and I am now aware that I did not, in fact, save the world from evil marshmallow people; which may sound like a bunch of fluff, but in the moment was sincerely frightening and notorious.

fruit and yogurt parfait Kate from Scratch

I snap into action.

Hello Wednesday, let’s do this.

I adjust the heat and stifle the redundant arguments between Trey and Max. The battle of who has more strawberries, who ate more strawberries and who will receive more strawberries in the future are all prevalent points of their intense debate, naturally.

I need coffee.

I should wake Mike up soon.  He’s still pleasantly enjoying his slumber.  He’s always been blessed with the ability to tune out any amount of noise in the name of a few extra moments of sleep.  Initially I thought this was some sort of defense mechanism against the morning rush (or when they were little, 3 am feedings).  But when considering it’s been ten years without variation in his pattern, I suppose this has become a believably necessary portion of his morning routine.

Let’s make breakfast.

fruit and yogurt parfait with granola

We have things to do.

This is quick and easy and can be made in advance for a grab and go breakfast if stored in an appropriate grab and go container, of course.

Some fat-free greek yogurt (I prefer raspberry, but any flavor will do) cloaked over sliced berries and pineapple with a layer of low-fat granola both in the middle and sprinkled over the top for a bit of crunch. It’s a sweet and tangy breakfast treat that’s simple to make in minutes and provides more than ten grams of protein, with a bit of an immunity boost too.

 

Fruit and Yogurt Parfait

  • 5.3-6.0 ounces fat-free raspberry Greek yogurt (or any flavor that you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup sliced strawberries (any berry will work)
  • 1/3 cup sliced pineapple pieces
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons low-fat granola

1. Stir yogurt thoroughly.

2.  Layer ingredients: Fill cup with half the fruit and scoop yogurt over fruit.  Sprinkle 1/4 cup granola over the yogurt.  Top yogurt with remaining fruit and sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons of granola over the top.

 

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Wake Up Wrap

breakfast burrito bake eggs and veggies Kate-from-scratch-4This wake up wrap has over fifteen grams of protein and no limit on flavor.   The whole grain wrap is packed with baked sunny side up eggs (or egg whites if you prefer), roasted red and green bell peppers, sweet roasted red onions sliced to perfection and cauliflower florets doused in salt, pepper and olive oil with crisped roasted potatoes sprinkled with rich savory Parmigiano Reggiano for a nutty twist.

Just warm the tortillas, brush with tangy ketchup or spicy sriracha and spoon in the easy baked goodness.

breakfast burrito bake eggs and veggies Kate-from-scratch breakfast burrito bake eggs and veggies Kate-from-scratch-6It’s a one dish, easy to make, little to clean wonder yet feeds as many or as few as you’d like to feed.

Well done, anonymous reader with your amazing wake up wrap.  Well done, indeed.

 

Wake Up Wrap

  • Whole wheat carb balance tortillas (1 per person)
  • ketchup or sriracha for brushing tortillas
  • 1/2 cup per person sliced and deseeded bell peppers
  • 1/4 cup per person sliced sweet red onions
  • 1/2 cup per person bite sized chopped potatoes
  • 1/2 cup per person bite sized cauliflower florets
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder per person
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder per person
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano per person
  • sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon per person freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
  • 1-2 farm fresh organic eggs per person

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.   Lightly warm tortillas and brush with sriracha or ketchup and set aside.

Place all other ingredients except for eggs on a nonstick or parchment lined baking pan of suitable size.   Sprinkle all vegetables with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.  Roast in preheated oven until potatoes are fork tender or about 25 minutes.  Remove baking tray from oven and crack eggs over the roasted vegetables.  Place baking tray with eggs back into preheated oven and cook until egg whites are opaque.

Remove tray from oven, sprinkle each egg with additional salt and pepper of desired.  Spoon into prepared tortillas.  Wrap up and enjoy.

 

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Ten Awesome Game Day Recipes

The Super Bowl is coming soon and it’s practically right next door to us too.  Get excited.  This means that not only is traffic going to be an absolute freaking nightmare in our area (Fun!), but also that it is time to start planning your big game menu.

We have it all covered.

The second you take one look at these Super Bowl recipes you will be completely sold and doing whatever it is that’s required to get them into your mouth menu plan as quickly as possible.

Make food, drink beer, get rowdy.  It’s the Super Bowl.

   Jalapeno Popper Dip

jalapenopopperdipThis dip is so insanely addictive that it has been coined “jalapeno crack dip” in our home.  One bite and you will be hooked.

Chili

black bean chiliThis easy peasy one pot wonder is a staple for any game gathering and will stay hot all day in a slow cooker while you enjoy the game.

Add some extra heat just for me.

Whiskey Steak

Whiskey-Steak Yes I said whiskey and steak in the same sentence.  Meat and booze lovers rejoice!

Egg Rolls

vegetarian-egg-rollsThese egg rolls are surprisingly light and packed with vegetables and protein.

Pair with some Thai style chili sauce or traditional duck sauce (found in the international aisle of your regular grocery store).

You won’t be sorry.

Meatballs

meatballs Make mini ones for an appetizer or buffet and be sure to make meatball pockets if there’s anything leftover the next day.

There probably won’t be.

 Hot Baked Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Hot Baked Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Hot Baked Spinach and Artichoke Dip is green so it’s obviously good for you.  Yep, I’m rolling with that.

Deep Dish Pizza

http://katefromscratch.com/2013/03/23/cake-pan-pizza/

Click the photo, get the recipe and then let your imagination run wild with toppings.   This crust is built for it.  Don’t be shy.

Overstuffed Potatoes

overstuffed-potatoes-broccoli-cheddar-twice-baked-game-dayOverstuffed twice baked potatoes are meant to be over the top.  These are brimming with cheese and broccoli, but for the non vegetarians out there, go ahead …add bacon.  You know you want to.

Eggplant Rollatini

eggplant rollatini

Make the most delicious eggplant rollatini in the world.   The superbowl in in New Jersey this year.  Gotta represent.

OR

Southwest Style Veggie Wraps

Southwest Grilled Veggie Wrap

This one also works well for those of you grilling or tailgating.

Looking for more recipe ideas?  Kraft’s Game Day Pinboard is highly drool-worthy.  Check out the other Kraft boards to see some of my stuff there.  Feel free to spread the love.

Happy Game Day!

Posted in All, Basics, Breakfast, Dinner, Entertaining, For Kids, Lunch, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Mini Monkey Bread Bubble Buns with Cream Cheese Icing

If there is one thing in this world that I am very good at, it is celebrating an occasion no matter how small.  In fact, I think I might celebrate more than I work, quite frankly.  Or, maybe I just don’t consider what I do work because I enjoy it.  Or maybe documenting life’s celebrations is the work.   Or, well, nevermind, you get the idea.  Moving on.

The other day happened.  And it was a reason to celebrate!

Kate from Scratch

Not only was it the first snow day of the season, but I also finalized my first syndication contract!  I am officially somewhat fancy, so I made a fancy brunch for the boys.  I woke up early, set the table and even used the (not so expensive just in case) stemware.  Mini monkey bread bubble buns, baked bacon, Cheerios they could pour themselves, (which is always exciting for a three year old) and clementines.  To drink they had freshly squeezed orange juice, and hot cocoa with big marshmallows.

They woke up to snow, no school and this.

celebration brunch-4

There was bacon and marshmallows and snow.  Needless to say, it was a success.

 

celebration brunch-5

And now I’m posting this photo of Max just because I’m a super cheesy mom.

christmas2013

So, I wanted to thank you all, so much, for taking the time to pin my recipes and photos over and over (and over) again. I hope you all have a very merry weekend.  Don’t forget to celebrate the little things.

mini monkey bread bubble buns
Feel free to check out my photos on the Kraft pinboards and thank you to blogher for making that possible.

Mini Monkey Bread Bubble Buns

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 cans of (regular sized) refrigerator biscuits
  • 1/2 cup butter plus more for pan
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 4 ounces of Kraft Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • buttermilk or whole milk for thinning (a few tablespoons)

For the mini monkey bread bubble buns:

  1. Grease or spray 12 regular-size muffin cups.
  2. Mix butter and brown sugar; spoon 1 tablespoon mixture into each muffin cup.
  3. Mix granulated sugar and cinnamon in 1-gallon bag.
  4. Separate dough into 20 biscuits; cut each in 6 pieces. Shake pieces in bag to coat generously.
  5. Place 10 pieces in each muffin cup and sprinkle some additional mixture from bag over each cup if desired.
  6. Place muffin tin on a large baking sheet (in case of overflow).
  7. Bake at 350°F for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 1 minute Serve warm with cream cheese icing (below).

For the Icing:    In a medium mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, cinnamon and vanilla until whipped and soft.   Add a splash of milk or butter milk to thin the icing a bit and mix again.  Spoon icing over warm mini monkey bread bubble buns and serve.

 

 

Posted in All, Breakfast, Entertaining, For Kids | 4 Comments

Brunch: Potatoes, Peppers and Perfect Poached Eggs

potatoes peppers and eggs

Apparently my little rant has gotten quite a bit of attention on twitter from the food blog community who generally feels the same way (or has at one point) about things.

I like you too.

potatoes-peppers-poached egg

Thanks for dropping by!

Let’s eat brunch.  You can bring the bacon if you’d like.

This is my version of potatoes peppers and eggs.   Sweet red bell peppers and roasted golden potatoes topped with a perfect poached egg using a fairly fool-proof method (for them to keep their shape).  I use an egg shaped cookie cutter that I have from Easter, but you could use a ring or whatever you have on hand for the bottom of the pot.

It’s simple and one of my favorites.

Enjoy and Have a Happy Memorial Day!

 

Brunch: Potatoes, Peppers and Perfect Poached Eggs

  • 4 potatoes, diced
  • 1  large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • your favorite (high heat friendly) oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 eggs (as fresh as possible)
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • parsley and chives, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 ° F.
  2. Place potatoes, peppers, and onions into a roasting pan and drizzle with two tablespoons of oil (eyeball it, it’s fine) and lightly dust with salt and pepper.  Toss to coat.  Roast until fork tender, or about thirty to forty minutes. Top the roasted potatoes and peppers with thyme and oregano.

While potatoes and peppers are roasting:

  1. Place a large heavy bottomed saucepan with a well-fitting lid over high heat with about four inches of water in the bottom. Drop a round or oval cookie cutter in the bottom of the pot with the water (a mason jar ring will work just as well) to hold the perfect shape of the egg.  Crack one egg into a small glass bowl or cup.  Bring the water to a full boil and then turn off heat.
  2. Watch carefully now: The second the water stops boiling, roll the egg into the ring  in the water and cover the saucepan.  Wait three minutes for the egg whites to fully cook.  Remove lid and using tongs, gently remove the ring.  Use a slotted spoon to scoop up the egg, gently.  Season with salt and pepper.  Continue the same procedure with other eggs.  Using the same ring you used for the eggs, place on plate.  Scoop roasted potatoes and peppers into the ring, lightly packing them in.  Remove ring and top with a poached egg.  Garnish with parsley and chives, if desired.

Note: I find this to be the easiest way to explain how to poach an egg.  Technically speaking, you’re supposed to poach an egg in very lightly -barely- simmering water.  This temperature, however is often missed and is difficult to maintain resulting in separated egg soupiness.  Bringing the water to a full boil and then allowing it to cool is a means of avoiding egg drop soup.  Hope it helps!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cocoa Dinosaur Dunkers

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“Mommy, can we please make dinosaur cookies now and not tomorrow?” he asked with a big grin.

Looking at the grey sky and realizing I was out of distractions, I obliged.

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This is Max; our little ball of perpetual exuberance and wonder who turned three a few weeks ago and loves dinosaurs almost as much as he loves chocolate cookies.  He helped mix the dough, roll it out as well as shape the dinosaurs.  But the most fun part was “excavating” the dinosaurs from the powdered sugar; a wildly jovial experience for anyone, obviously.  dinosaur-breakfast-dunker-cookies

 

I dunked them into my coffee this morning, and with irresponsible genius it passed as my breakfast.  They are delicious.  A light cocoa taste, not too sweet and not too heavy.  They’re soft and almost biscuit like as they soak up your extra hot morning coffee or tea; resembling a cocoa version of a Stella D’oro breakfast treat.

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Cocoa Dinosaur Dunkers

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour + more for rolling dough
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven at 350°F. Whisk together dry ingredients: flour, salt and baking powder in bowl and set aside.
  2. Mix with an electric mixer on medium-high speed butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, cocoa and cinnamon.
  3. Add flour mixture in three additions; mixing after each for about ten seconds, or until smooth. Wrap in plastic and chill an hour or more.
  4. Roll out cookie dough on floured counter. Cut into desired shapes, brushing extra deposits of flour off the top, if desired. Bake on a parchment-lined or lightly greased baking sheet for 8 to 11 minutes (the time will vary depending on the thickness of your preferred cookie – I like thicker cookies).
  5. The cookies will puff slightly when they’re done baking.
  6. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.  Dust with confectioner’s sugar or decorate as desired.
Cocoa Dinosaur Dunkers
Recipe Type: Dessert, sweet, cookie
Cuisine: dessert, sweet, cookies,
Ingredients
  • Cocoa Dinosaur Dunkers
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour + more for rolling dough
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven at 350°F. Whisk together dry ingredients: flour, salt and baking powder in bowl and set aside.
  2. Mix with an electric mixer on medium-high speed butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, cocoa and cinnamon.
  3. Add flour mixture in three additions; mixing after each for about ten seconds, or until smooth. Wrap in plastic and chill an hour or more.
  4. Roll out cookie dough on floured counter. Cut into desired shapes, brushing extra deposits of flour off the top, if desired. Bake on a parchment-lined or lightly greased baking sheet for 8 to 11 minutes (the time will vary depending on the thickness of your preferred cookie – I like thicker cookies).
  5. The cookies will puff slightly when they’re done baking.
  6. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Dust with confectioner’s sugar or decorate as desired.

 

Adapted from: Smitten Kitchen

 

 

 

 

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Peperonata Potatoes

peperonata-potatoes
I had some peperonata rustica (recipe from Keller’s Ad Hoc) and some leftover potatoes sitting in the fridge from last night’s dinner and so I just put them together for a very simple brunch this morning.  I served it with poached eggs and sprinkle of Manchego and it was absolutely one of my most favorite brunch items I’ve ever made, and I’m not normally much of a fan of breakfast items.  This could easily be lunch or dinner with a twist or two.
IMG_0064
Peperonata Potatoes
  • 6 yellow bell peppers, deseeded roasted -cooled and peeled
  • 6 red bell peppers, deseeded, roasted -cooled and peeled
  • 8 ounces piquillo peppers (drained peeled and seeded)
  • 1/2 cup soffritto
  • 1 1/3 cups Vegetable (or chicken) Stock
  • 3/4 teaspoon piment d’Espelette (+2 teaspoons for seasoning potatoes)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives
  • 5 pounds Gold Waxy Potatoes, baked until tender and cooled to room temperature
  • your favorite oil for sautéing
  • lime juice and extra virgin olive oil

 

Note:  After rinsing and trimming the potatoes I bake them on a baking sheet in a hot oven until fork tender.   The soffritto can be store-bought or homemade.   I make the peperonata rustica often and keep it in the fridge and/or freezer just to have on hand because  it goes well over almost anything (toast, garlic bread, eggs, potatoes, pasta, chicken, fish, etc).  This recipe happened as a very happy refrigerator coincidence.  I had leftover peperonata rustica and leftover baked potatoes.   Add poached or fried eggs for a delicious and impressive brunch item, perhaps with some grilled vegetables or savory muffins on the side.

Serves: The full recipe makes up to 12 servings.

Directions: Tear the cooled bell peppers into long strips about 3/4 inch wide.  Tear the piquillo peppers into strips the same way.   Combine all peppers, soffritto, stock and Espelette in a medium saucepan over medium heat and season with salt and pepper.  Bring to a simmer and cook for thirty minutes.

Slice baked potatoes into 1/2 inch slices and season with kosher salt and two teaspoons espelette pepper.  In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add your favorite oil.  Add 1 cup sliced potatoes and 1 cup peperonata rustica.  Toss until the potatoes begin to blister and char, lightly.

Serve over spring greens doused in lime juice and a bit of olive oil with eggs and cheese of your choice, (I’d go with Manchego if asked).

 

“Peperonata Rustica” from Ad Hoc at Home, by Thomas Keller p.208-209.

 

 

 

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Baked Oatmeal Cinnamon Buns

baked-oat-cinnamon-bun

I have a new “thing” (shall we say), with oatmeal.  I get about two or three thousand emails every day, all of which relate to food, recipes and blogging.  One of these emails mentioned the word “oats” and I’ve been obsessed     hyper focused on the subject ever since.

Am I too easily inspired?  Maybe.  Am I weird?  Well, there’s no question about that, honestly.  But my weirdness often results in deliciousness.  It’s spring break, the kids are completely bonkers and I’ve procrastinated enough.  Here are some delicious cinnamon buns I made as a special treat for Easter morning:

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They’re gooey and sweet and delicious and adapted from the ever popular Pioneer Woman’s recipe.  I changed the flavor and filling, making them spiced with cinnamon and a touch of freshly grated nutmeg and a small amount of ground ginger.  They’re filled with oatmeal and brown sugar and they’re just about the most insanely decadent thing I’ve ever made that involves oats.  Oats are typically boring and healthy – these cinnamon rolls aren’t.

I made them the night before Easter so they were ready and waiting for baking by Easter morning.  They’re phenomenal.

Baked Oatmeal Cinnamon Buns with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2  cups milk, warmed
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 package active dry yeast, 0.25 ounce packet
  • 4 cups +1/2 cup flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/2  teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk (about 1/2 of a 14 oz. can to drizzle over prepared buns before baking)

Oatmeal Filling

  • 1  1/2 sticks melted butter (enough to cover dough)
  • ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup instant oats
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk (about 1/2 of a 14 oz. can to make “oatmeal” filling)

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 cups cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • powdered sugar (at most: two cups)

 

For the cinnamon bun dough:  Combine milk, vegetable oil, and sugar in a medium bowl.  Add yeast, whisk lightly and set aside for five minutes, or until bubbles are formed (verifying the yeast is “active”).

Add four cups of flour.  Stir.  Cover with a clean kitchen towel and set aside for an hour.

Once the hour has passed, remove towel and add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the remaining 1/2 cup flour.

Stir thoroughly to combine.

To assemble the rolls, remove dough from the bowl.  On a floured baking surface, roll the dough into a very thin, large rectangular shape.  If the dough is springing back too much, allow to rest for ten minutes.

Oatmeal Filling:  Pour melted butter over the dough.  The butter should completely cover the dough.  Sprinkle the buttered dough generously with cinnamon.  Combine remaining ingredients into a bowl and mash together with a fork or your fingers.   Sprinkle the filling mixture over the butter.

Roll the dough tightly but gently around itself in a long spiraled log.

Wrap the log in parchment or wax paper and place into freezer for one hour or longer, until ready to slice, rise and bake (this allows them to hold shape while being sliced).  Unwrap after at least one hour of being chilled and slice into 1/2 to 3/4 inch slices.   Butter 2 eight-inch round cake pans.  Place cinnamon rolls into pans  (about seven or eight rolls per pan) and drizzle the remaining sweetened condensed milk over the cinnamon rolls.  Sprinkle with additional cinnamon if desired.  (you may pause the recipe at this point by covering the pans and placing in refrigerator over night for the next morning).

Allow the rolls to come to room temperature and rise for one hour before baking.

Once ready to bake, preheat oven to 375° and bake for about eighteen minutes, or until tops are golden and outsides are puffed.

For the Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:

Whip cream cheese until soft and fluffy.  Add the cinnamon and salt and whip for one minute more.  Add powdered sugar in 1/4 cup increments to taste.  Top cinnamon buns with cream cheese frosting.

 

 

Adapted from the Pioneer Woman’s Recipe

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Banana Chocolate Chunk Peanut Butter Muffins

muffins-banana-chocolate-chunk-peanutbutter (3) 

 I decided early this morning that it must  be warm enough to go outside by now and so we dressed and headed out the door only to be sorely reminded that it is not, in fact, warm enough for the playground… at all.  The slide was still frozen, the ground was icy and wet and we were chilled to the bone within minutes.   Not prone to stubbornness, we returned to the warmth and comfort of the kitchen once again.  Hey, at least we tried.  Perhaps another week or so and old man winter will finally be evicted by spring’s annual coup d’état. 

One can hope.    

 A bit down, but certainly not out, we instead decided to bake some muffins, which are a bit of a catchall staple in our house.  We make a basic muffin batter and then add whatever we have on hand.  These particular muffins included some ripe bananas and once we decided on bananas, peanut butter was the obvious addition as bananas and peanut butter go together in my head like tomatoes and basil (naturally).  And, of course we added a bunch of chocolate chunks as per Max’s request, with which I could find little argument.   

Soon, we had warm and delicious, sweet and fresh banana muffins speckled heavily with dark chocolate chunks and a hint of rich peanut butter flavor in the background.  I sprinkled them with a finish of powdered sugar.  They were the perfect indoor distraction from winter’s unrelenting reign over spring.  

I suppose we’ll have to stick with indoor yoga for at least another week.

 

Banana Chocolate Chunk Peanut Butter Muffins

 
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6-10
The key to a good muffin is in what you don’t do. Do not over bake and do not over mix the dry and wet ingredients together. This will ensure a moist and tender crumb within the muffin.
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chunks
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Coat muffin pans with non-stick spray, or use paper liners.
  2. Whisk or sift together dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat bananas, peanut butter and both sugars in a large bowl.
  4. Continue mixing thoroughly with electric mixer until light and fluffy: add egg, vanilla and butter.
  5. Fold in gently, the flour mixture and the chocolate chips and mix until smooth.
  6. Scoop into muffin pans.
  7. Bake in preheated oven.
  8. Bake mini muffins for 10 to 15 minutes, and large muffins for 25 to 30 minutes. Muffins are done they spring back once lightly pressed with finger or the back of a wooden spoon.
 
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Crimson Crepes Fines Sucree

Cimsn Crepe Fine Sucree (1024x892)

 

 

I tend to hibernate during this time of year.  Not in the sleeping sense; But, rather in the “I don’t want to go anywhere because it’s cold and snowing and everyone’s sneezing and coughing all over the place” sense.   I prefer to take care of my sick kids and husband, (they’re always sick this time of year.  It sucks.) tell the fix-it man that the dishwasher will have to wait until next week and then make myself some crêpes in my sweatpants.  Is there anything wrong with that?  I think not.

I must admit that crêpes are one of the more difficult things to explain how to execute, which is why I decided that I’d use Julia Child’s master crêpe recipe and then tag on the filling.  She has a certain way about her that people enjoy.  I think it lies in the detailed explanation that seems to help a lot of home cooks, while others take one look at the sheer length of her recipes and want to cry and run away.   Try not to be overwhelmed.  If you think about it…it’s just a thin pancake. You know how to make pancakes.  Nobody’s scared of pancakes.  And, they make nonstick pans these days, which is a lovely invention that I recommend using for this task to make it really easy.

If you practice enough or just have the natural knack for it, they’re really quite simple to whip up.  It’s a skill and an art that is fairly easy to learn, in my opinion.  If you’re just cooking for yourself and they don’t come out perfectly, just eat them anyway and chalk it up to the learning curve.  Not everything has to look perfect to taste phenomenal.

Full disclosure: I filled the wrong side of this crepe, the inside was much more golden that the side showing.  Did it stop me from eating it?

Um…no.

This filling is creamy and rich utterly enjoyable.  The tart and sweetly tangy crimson berry syrup is intoxicating in aroma and taste.  It’s sweet with a subtle pucker that’s smoothed by the richness of the crêpe and berries.   Try it and enjoy it.

Crimson Crepes Fines Sucree

Recipe Type: Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert
Cuisine: French, American
Adapted from Julia Child’s Master Crepe Recipe
Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup cold milk
  • 3/4 cup cold water
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoon orange liqueur, rum, or brandy
  • 1 cup flour (scooped and leveled)
  • 5 tablespoon melted butter, plus more for brushing the pan
  • 1 cup fromage blanc
  • 1 cup marscarpone
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest (from 1 large orange)
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (from 1 large orange)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups frozen mixed berries
  • splash (1-2 tablespoons) of orange liqueur (optional)
  • confectioner’s sugar
  • unsweetened whipped cream or creme fraiche
Instructions
  1. Place milk, water, egg yolks, sugar, orange liqueur, flour and butter in the blender jar in said order. Cover and blend at top speed for 1 minute. If bits of flour adhere to sides of jar, dislodge with a rubber scraper and blend 3 seconds more. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hour or overnight.
  2. Brush the skillet lightly with butter. Set over moderately high heat until the pan is just beginning to smoke.
  3. Immediately remove from heat and, holding the handle of pan in your dominant hand, pour with your remaining hand a scant 1/4 cup of batter into the middle of the pan. Quickly tilt the pan in all directions to run the batter all over the bottom of the pan in a thin film. (Pour any batter that does not adhere back into your bowl; judge the amount of your next crêpe accordingly.) This whole operation takes but 2 or 3 seconds.
  4. Return the pan to heat for 60 to 80 seconds. Then jerk and toss the pan sharply back and forth and up and down to loosen the crêpe. Lift its edges with a spatula and if the under side is a nice light golden color, the crêpe is ready for turning.
  5. Turn the crêpe by using 2 spatulas; or grasp the edges nearest you in your fingers and sweep it up toward you and over again into the pan in a reverse circle; or toss it over by a flip of the pan.
  6. Brown lightly for about 1/2 minute on the other side. As they are done, slide the crêpes onto a rack and let cool several minutes before stacking on a plate (I add parchment between each layer to prevent sticking). Grease the skillet again, heat to just smoking, and proceed with the rest of the crêpes.
  7. In a medium mixing bowl, beat together fromage blanc, mascarpone, sugar and orange zest on medium speed with an electric mixer or to blend by hand, briskly using a fork. Add vanilla extract and berries to hot buttered pan to simmer and thicken. Once berries are hot and the crimson berry syrup coats the back of a spoon add orange liqueur and simmer for fifteen more seconds. Using a slotted spoon, scoop berries into creamy cheese filling, reserving the syrup in the pan. Mix the berries into the creamy cheese mixture. Fill crepes and tri fold with creamy cheese berry mixture. Drizzle the reserved syrup over folded crepes and top with confectioner’s sugar and/or unsweetened whipped cream or creme fraiche.
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