Tag Archives: breakfast

Bursting Blueberry-Peach Coffee Cake

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Hey Lauren,

First of all HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I’m sure you got a delectable birthday cake, but I made this one in your honor :).. and because I’ve been craving coffee cake, but didn’t want one of those ones that has a one-inch layer of sugar at the top. So I tweaked a recipe I found on the food network website and made a healthier, lighter version bursting with tons of blueberries and summer peaches! You can’t even tell there’s only 2 tbsp of butter, some added ground flax seed for fiber, chopped walnuts, and one cup of whole wheat pastry flour. Result… great treat for morning breakfast or with ice cream for dessert. Plus its not that hard to make and a great way to use up the last of the season’s best fruit!

Bursting Blueberry-Peach Coffee Cake

Cooking spray or butter for greasing cake pan
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour or regular whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

A pinch nutmeg

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup plain yogurt or plain keifer
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup fresh peaches, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 8 or 9 inch cake pan.

Whisk together the all-purpose and whole-wheat flours, the baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, stir together the granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and walnuts. In a large bowl, beat the brown sugar, butter and oil until fluffy. If necessary, use the back of a spoon to press out any lumps in the brown sugar. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until fully combined. Beat in the vanilla and yogurt. Add the flour mixture in 2 batches, stirring until just combined.

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Spread half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle half of the nut mixture over the batter and top with the blueberries, gently pressing them into the batter. Add peaches to the batter and spoon the rest of the batter into the pan, smoothing the top. Sprinkle the remaining nut mixture over the cake, pressing gently. Bake until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 40 to 45 minutes.

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Easter Hand Pies

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Happy (belated) Easter!

Bill was sick yesterday so we mainly just stayed home, but I couldn’t resist making some Easter brunch-like treats to celebrate the occasion.

(What I really wanted to do was dye eggs a la naturale, but I didn’t have the ingredients, and really, dying eggs should be more than a one-person activity.)

I had seen this post on spoonforkbacon.com a couple days ago, and I was pretty psyched to get going on some awesome hand pies. As Karla has mentioned, I’m way into baking pies, so I was excited to try my hand at some little hand pies. Now, Spoon Fork Bacon calls these “Quiche Pockets” which sounds great, but I thought I would expand this title, because you could fill these with ANYTHING. I added some kale to their cheese, eggs, and ham, but you could also skip the ham and make them vegetarian, or just skip the egg entirely and make them more like spinach or meat empanadas.

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I used my handy-dandy food processor to make this process a whole lot better. I always use it for making flaky pie crust and similar kinds of dough. Karla and I once tried to make pie dough just using two knives (the old fashioned way…) which was a SUPER pain. If you don’t have one of these, I seriously recommend pushing it to the top of your kitchen wish list. I literally use mine at least once a week for something or other. Even though I have a semi-broken, incredibly heavy and hard to move, aged version, it’s still one of my favorite kitchen “toys,” along with the cast iron skillet and dutch oven, and my mandoline (thanks K!)

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Speaking of kitchen toys, I just wanted to reiterate that I really really need some round cookie cutters.

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These guys were a cinch to put together. I was worried about how crimping the edges would work, but it was very intuitive and came out looking beautiful! You might notice I used a mix of white and wheat flours. I almost always do this when I’m working with doughs. I use about 1/3 wheat flour at most. This way it doesn’t affect the dough rising too much, and it’s not too overpowering a flavor, if I don’t want it. Of course, if I’m making something totally foreign to me, I use the recommended dough, just to make sure I get it right the first time.

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So Happy Easter, Happy Spring, and enjoy these hand pies!

Quiche Pockets by Spoon Fork Bacon
Makes 14 to 16

Ingredients:
flaky pie crust (dough):
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
3 to 4 tablespoons ice water

filling:
1 cup smoked ham, diced
1 yellow onion, lightly caramelized
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon whole milk
2 ounces gruyere cheese, coarsely grated
2 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

black pepper-mornay sauce:
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
4 to 5 ounces gruyere cheese, coarsely grated
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. For pie dough: Place flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl and whisk together. Add butter and cut into the dry ingredients using your fingers or a pastry knife until a fine mealy texture forms. Add water, one
tablespoon at a time, mixing, until the dough just comes together. Form dough into a flat disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 30 minutes before using.

2. For filling: Place ham and onions into a small mixing bowl and toss together. Add eggs and milk and mix together. Fold in cheeses until fully incorporated. (you should have more of a loose paste texture, instead of a runny filling).
Season with salt and pepper and set aside until ready to use.

3. To assemble: Preheat oven to 425°F. Roll chilled dough out onto a clean, lightly floured surface. Roll until slightly thinner than 1/8 inch thick . Cut out 4 inch circles, using a circle cutter, and fill the center of each circle with
1-2 tablespoons of filling. Continue until all of the dough and filling have been used. (For egg wash: In a small mixing bowl beat together 1 egg and 2 tablespoon water.) Brush egg wash around the edge of each circle and fold together. Egg wash the sealed seam and starting from one edge push the seam over and squeeze the dough slightly. Use the dough you have squeezed and fold it over the seam again. Continue squeezing and folding until you have crimped the entire seam of the quiche pocket. Place pockets onto a baking sheet, lined with parchment, and pierce the top of each to allow steam to escape, while baking. Place pockets in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Brush the tops with remaining egg wash and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown and the filling has set. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

4. For mornay sauce*: Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle flour over surface and whisk together for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the milk and whisk together until no lumps remain and the mixture is thick enough to coast the back of a spoon. Toss cheeses in lemon juice and whisk into the béchamel sauce. Continue to whisk until no lumps remain. Season with salt and pepper and stir. Serve as a dipping sauce for quiche pockets.

*A note on the Mornay: I didn’t think I was going to make this sauce, because it seemed oh-so-decadent, but I decided to try it after biting into one of the pies and deciding it could use some more cheese. It was totally worth it. Plus, you can refrigerate it for a few days, which is great if you realize that you made way too many (cough… like me) and decide you need to freeze them and eat them slowly over the next week. Yum!

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Karla’s Homemade Granola

I’ve finally perfected a granola with help from Alan and Amy. It’s crunchy, nutty, not-too-sweet, and I amped up the spices to give it tons of flavor! I put dried blueberries, almonds, cashews, and walnuts in… but you can really put anything you want or leave out nuts all-together for a more simple version. Try these other combinations with this same basic recipe (take out blueberries) for a bit of variety…

-Tropical Summer Granola with coconut, dried pineapple, dates, almonds, and walnuts

-Fall Pumpkin Granola with dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, pecans, and raisins

-Peanut Butter Honey Granola with peanuts, peanut butter, dates and honey

-Trail Mix Granola with walnuts, cranberries, chocolate chips,

-Dark Chocolate Raspberry granola with coconut, sunflower seeds, dark chocolate, sliced almonds, and freeze-dried raspberries

Other Add-ins: flaxseed meal, seeds, nuts, any dried fruit you can think of

Karla’s Granola

adapted from Alan’s Great Granola

[Preheat oven to 325 degrees]

1. Measure out…

1/4 cup canola oil

1/4 cup honey

2. Add oil first to small warming pot, and then honey. Warm on low until bubbling gently.

3. Meanwhile, measure and put into a larger mixing bowl….

3 1/2 cups organic oatmeal

1/2 cup pumpkin or pepitas seeds (if using)

1+ tsp cinnamon (“+” to taste for all 3 spices)

1/2+ tsp nutmeg

1/2+ tsp ground allspice (or 1/4 tsp cloves), ground cardamom is great too!

1/4 tsp coarse salt (kosher)

4. Thoroughly mix in the warmed oil/honey and add 1 tsp vanilla extract….

5. Put into large cookie sheets or baking pans (w/ 1/2” or higher edges), first lined w/ reusable parchment paper or tin foil

6. Cook for 20 min at 325F

7. Remove pans and mix contents gently to prevent localized overcooking. Spread your nuts lightly across the surface of the above pans. i.e. whole or lightly chopped unroasted walnuts, cashews, and/or sliced almonds.

8. Switch positions of pan or pans, if doubling, to ensure even cooking

9. Cook additional 15- 20 min at 325F until oats are a golden brown and nuts are toasted and fragrant. If using sesame seeds, add towards the end to lightly toast

10. Remove from oven, mix in your dried fruit or coconut

11. Let cool completely (then you can add chocolate)

12. Store in an airtight container!

Your home will never smell better. Spoon on top of yogurt, sprinkle on ice cream, pour milk on top, or mix into a smoothie (try it)! It’s also great as a healthy snack on-the-go! Happy munching.

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Spring Scramble

Last night was one of those breakfast-for-dinner nights because I was cooking for myself. I had a bunch of asparagus, eggs, and goat cheese in the ‘fridge. What would you do? I made a scramble. But, since it was dinner I put a little bit more care into it, using garlic, shallots and lots of fresh chive. Truly a scramble fit for a warm spring (or even summer) evening. And of course, I couldn’t resist a homemade blueberry muffin split and served up with jam on the side (it’s still breakfast after all…).

Goat Cheese & Asparagus Spring Scramble

(Serves 2)

Olive oil

1/2 lb (8oz) asparagus cut into 1 in. spears

1-2 cloves chopped garlic

1 tbsp chopped shallots

2 tsp chopped chives, and more for garnish

Salt and pepper

5 eggs lightly beaten

Touch of cream or milk

3 oz soft goat cheese, large crumbles

Heat some olive oil in a medium sized frying pan and toss in asparagus to coat. Add some water and salt and simmer, uncovered for 5 minutes or until asparagus is slightly tender. When water evaporates, add a bit more olive oil, the garlic, shallots, chive, and a sprinkle of salt and sautee for a few minutes. Separately, add a bit of cream (or milk) to eggs and beat lightly. Add eggs to pan over medium heat and use spatula to scramble eggs, turning continuously. Take off the heat when still very soft and a bit mushy (don’t worry they will continue to cook) and add goat cheese and ground pepper. Serve with fresh chives and a side of toast, biscuit, muffin, or potatoes. Enjoy!

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Not-Your-Average Blueberry Muffins

I’ve been in the baking mood this week, so I searched high and low for a good blueberry muffin recipe and landed on this one from Smitten Kitchen. I adapted the recipe a little to make it my own and to try to make it special, because let’s face it— how many blueberry muffins have you had in your life? At least for me, A LOT. I added all sorts of goodies, like lemon juice and cinnamon, and replaced boring sugar with orange-blossom honey. These are fluffy and moist and oh-so-delicious. Plus, you wont find these at your corner bakery— definitely a plus!

Lauren- your arroz con pollo looks awesome! I’m always trying to find new takes on the typical rice and chicken dish, so this is definitely a must try. Thanks!

Honey Blossom Blueberry Muffins

Makes 12 standard muffins

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup plus a little extra orange blossom honey
1 large egg
3/4 cup sour cream (could also use plain yogurt)
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt & 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (don’t defrost)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a muffin pan with paper cups or use non-stick cooking spray. Beat butter and honey with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat well, then beat in yogurt and lemon juice. Put flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a sifter and sift half of dry ingredients over batter. Mix until combined. Sift remaining dry ingredients into batter and mix just until the flour disappears. Very gently fold in your blueberries. The dough should be quite thick, closer to a cookie dough. Scoop batter to fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake for roughly 20-25 minutes, until tops are golden and a tester inserted into the center of muffins comes out clean.

Let cool on rack or gobble them up with some tea on the spot! Invite friends or you’ll end up eating these all by yourself… I mean it! These are also great a day later halved, toasted and served with your favorite infused honey or butter. 

With love, K

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Chilaquiles

If you have never heard of Chilaquiles (often Chilaquiles Verdes) then please go to your nearest (real) Mexican food restaurant and order them. 

Chilaquiles are tortillas (usually corn, usually quartered) cooked in salsa with onions. Usually they would say “fried in salsa,” but that makes them sound greasier than they are. You really don’t need much oil, or much of anything really, to make these and they are so delicious.

Last night two of our friends had their engagement party. It was super awesome. I made bacon wrapped dates (a staple party food around here. I’ll share the recipe sometime soon) and friends brought all sorts of amazing food. It was also held in the bar where they both work. Needless to say, we all stayed until closing. SO, I woke up very late today and wanted a big brunch. This was perfect.

You can top the chilaquiles with anything you want, but some usual toppings (and my favorite) are mexican cheese and fried eggs. 

Chilaquiles

Oil (corn or canola work best)
5-6 small tortillas (I use the ~4in. diameter ones) quartered
Salsa verde (Or whatever salsas you have on hand. Pureed salsas like salsa verde, salsa ranchera, or salsa taqueria work better than chopped ones. I like La Preferida.) 
1 small yellow onion, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
1-2 cloves of garlic, pressed and chopped

Put 1-2 tbs oil in a non-stick pan. Sauté the onions and garlic for 2-3 minutes, or until soft and slightly translucent. Add quartered tortillas and saute until they begin to brown. Add a little oil if the pan seems dry, but there should be plenty of liquid from the onions. Add ~1 cup of salsa. (Note: I actually used two salsas here. I added a little bit of very hot red salsa to the salsa verde to give it a kick.) Ass enough to coat the tortillas, but not so much that they are swimming in it. Carefully flip the tortillas and let the whole thing cook for a few minutes. Once everything is starting to brown, it’s ready!

As I said, I topped mine with some grated mexican quesadilla cheese and two fried eggs. I also love me some rice and beans, so I made that as well. 

Ta da!

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