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My S.S. is traveling for some very important business across the country, and I wanted him to have a piece of home to fuel him throughout the mornings.

The challenge?
1. Make it healthy
2. Use only the ingredients available in my pantry.
3. Finally use up the blueberries that I forgot about.

Blueberry carrot muffins filled these requirements. I used this recipe and made a few changes. Here we go:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch salt
2 large eggs
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup agave
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
4 medium carrots, grated (about 2 cups)
1 pint blueberries

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the bottom of muffin tins with canola oil.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together both flours, ground flax seeds, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, agave and vanilla.
4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. Do not overmix–a few lumps are fine.
5. Fold in the carrots and blueberries until just incorporated.
6. Divide among a 12-cup muffin tin (for some reason I only have a 6-cup tin, which worked beautifully).
7. Bake for 25 minutes, rotating halfway through, until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean.

So basically, if he has a good trip, it’ll mostly be because of me 😉

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1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 3/4 cup flour
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup preserves of your choice
Powdered sugar, for garnish

1. In large mixer bowl beat cream cheese, sugar, and margarine or butter with electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy.
2. Add half the flour, all of the eggs, milk, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla and salt; beat for about 2 minutes or until well blended.
3. Beat in the remaining flour on low speed until well mixed.
4. Spread evenly in a greased and lightly floured 13x9x2″ pan.
5. Spoon preserves in 8-10 dollops on top of batter. With a knife, swirl preserves into batter to form a marbled effect.
6. Bake in 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. (or until you see the sides start to pull away from the pan).
7. Cool on a wire rack.
8. Before serving, sift powdered sugar on top.
9. Cut into squares and serve warm (ideally) or at room temperature.

Tip from my mother: DON’T FORGET THE MILK!!!

#1, in a large pan, with raspberry preserves:
photo (3)

#2, half batch, in 4 mini loaf pans, with strawberry rhubarb preserves:

photo (22)

2 tomatoes
3 Tbsp olive oil
kosher salt and black pepper
Baguette, sliced (traditional or whole wheat)
1/2 clove garlic

1. Cut tomatoes in half.
2. Gently squeeze the tomatoes to remove most of the seeds.
3. Using the large holes of a box grater, grate the cut side of the tomato into a bowl. You will be left with most of the skin in your hand (discard).
4. Add olive oil to the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
5. Toast baguette slices and, while warm, rub with the cut side of the garlic.
6. Top each slice with the grated tomato mixture.

pan con tomate

One of my favorite breakfast spreads that my mom puts out when we visit: bagels with cream cheese, chopped tomatoes, thinly sliced scallions and crumbled bacon. It’s a delicious start to the (weekend) day and lets you play with your food.

photo(10)

We decided soon after this meal that no, we were not going to go for that run. No we were not. This is my warning to you, that when you eat something like this, you’ll likely be ready to stay inside and drink coffee all day until it is appropriate to then transition to beer.

photo(4)Adapted from this recipe, doctored to make it my own. It still needs some work (more seasoning, mainly) but I think it’s a good start.

1/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 cayenne pepper
3/4 tsp dried rosemary
1 large egg, separated
3/4 cup corn (I had frozen, which I thawed)
1 cup peanut oil, for pan-frying
Powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)
Maple syrup (optional)

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, paprika, cayenne, and rosemary.
2. Combine the egg yolk with corn kernels and add to the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined. (The mixture will be very dry.)
3. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottom pan over medium-high heat.
4. Beat the egg white until soft peaks form. Fold into the corn mixture.
5. Add large spoonfuls of the corn batter to oil (it should bubble and sizzle immediately when added to the pan).
6. Once the fritters are golden brown on the bottom, carefully flip and continue cooking until golden brown on that side.
7. When done, remove from the pan and drain on paper towels. Dust with powdered sugar and serve with maple syrup (optional).