Archive for the 'breakfast' Category

17
Apr
12

Waffles. They’re not just for breakfast.

I love waffles.  I never realized how much I love them until I received the ultimate waffle maker.  Katie gifted me with this fabulous beauty for my birthday this year.

The Kitchen Aid Pro Line

I always coveted the fancy flippy Belgian waffle makers in restaurants and hotels.  Now I have one of my very own and use it weekly.  I thought people were kidding when I read reviews online saying that they make waffles everyday.  Really?  Well, Katie eats a waffle almost every day.  A quarter of one, at least.  They make a great snack.  Just heat them on a low setting in your toaster to re-crisp.  I make a batch on the weekend and freeze them.  Individually wrapped and placed in a freezer bag, they stay fresh for at least a month or two.  Although, we go through them pretty quickly.  I made a big batch to send to Katie’s work for a breakfast function her department was hosting.  All she had to do to re-heat them was place them directly on the oven racks of a pre-heated oven for five minutes and they were good to go.  I heard a lot of the food was left over, but all of the waffles disappeared!

Best waffles I've ever tasted

I’ve made whole grain waffles and chocolate chip waffles.  On Valentine’s Day I made chocolate waffles and served them with a scoop of Hagen Daz Vanilla ice cream and warm cherry sauce on top. But our favorite waffles are the spicy savory kind.  They don’t need topping at all!  I’ve added a few extras to the recipe that came with my waffle maker and they are soooo good.  Try it and you be the judge.

Spicy Cornmeal Cheddar Waffles

 1 ½ cups flour

½ cup cornmeal

1 1/3 cups shredded cheddar cheese (or cheese of your choice

1 tablespoon baking powder

2 teaspoons sugar

½ teaspoon salt

½ -1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

 

1 2/3 cup milk or non-dairy milk (I use soy)

2 eggs

1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil

 

1 serrano pepper, chopped

1 jalapeño pepper, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 – 3 tablespoons soyrizo

In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, cheese, baking powder, sugar salt and cayenne pepper.  In another bowl combine milk, eggs and oil.  Add liquid to dry ingredients; mix gently unitl moistened.  Gently fold in the remaining savory ingredients.

Cook in a preheated waffle maker according to instructions.  They are usually done in about 3 ½ to 4 minutes.

Light, crispy, spicy goodness

 

06
Nov
11

On Board the Crazy Train of Inspiration

Inspiration. I love that word. I love the idea of inspired thoughts and action. As human beings we are inspired by our world around us, every day, every moment. We just have to be aware of it.

For example, a few weeks ago as I was quickly breezing through the produce department on my way to the time clock, I overheard a snatch of a conversation between two co-workers. They were talking about Ozzy Osbourne. Bam! It hit me. I knew what I was going to be for Halloween this year. It was that simple and inspired.

Vampire Gran as Ozzy

Ozzy as Ozzy

A little scary

I’m not the only one lookin’ a little old

This was everyone’s favorite shot

Looking at some over ripe bananas in the fruit bowl this morning, I knew some baking had to occur today. Would it be muffins or waffles? I’ve fallen in love with two recipes lately and have been making them weekly. The muffins won the mental coin toss, so I commenced to prepare the pan, mash bananas, and gather my ingredients. The last time I made these muffins I added some sweetened flaked coconut. Everyone raved. I always put chopped nuts in the muffins, usually walnuts or pecans. Inspiration reared up and the bright light came streaming in. I heard the faint angelic voices in my head sing out in unearthly splendor. What if I add cocoa powder today? Chocolate, coconut and pecans = German chocolate goodness. German Chocolate Banana Muffins!

 

Holy breakfast break though, Batman! These are some fantastic treats. But are they really muffins? Or are they naked cupcakes? Cuppins? Muffcakes? (oh, that sounds kinda naughty). Breakfast cupcakes? Whatever we call them, they are inspired goodness. You be the judge.

German Chocolate Banana Muffins

1 ¾ cups spelt flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt (Kosher or sea salt)

¼ cup cocoa powder, sifted

1 ½ cups ripe mashed bananas (about 3 large or 4 medium bananas)

2/3 cups pure maple syrup

1/3 cup canola, sunflower or extra virgin coconut oil, melted

½ cup chocolate chips (use dairy free if making vegan muffins)

½ cup chopped pecans

1 cup flaked coconut

Turbinado sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 375° Prepare 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners or light coating of oil

Whisk together flour, baking powder, soda, salt and cocoa powder in large mixing bowl.

In a smaller bowl mash bananas, oil, and maple syrup together.

Stir wet into dry ingredients until just mixed. Add chocolate chips, pecans and coconut.

Divide evenly into the prepared muffin pan. Sprinkle tops with turbinado sugar.  Bake for about 25 minutes until toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.

Store in airtight container for up to 3 days. These freeze beautifully. Double wrap individually in plastic wrap and store in a freezer Zip Lock baggie.

Crazy full of chocolaty coco nutty Germany goodness

25
Oct
10

A few of my favorite things

 
 

When the dog bites,
 When the bee stings,
When I’m feeling sad,
I simply remember a few of my favorite things,
And then I don’t feel so bad

 

 And that is why we don’t have a dog or keep bees.  But I am prone to the occasional bout of sadness.  Thankfully those episodes do not last long and I do have a few favorite things to comfort me.  Wearing pajamas all weekend and watching silly movies helps.  Meditating with Katie and writing gratitude lists can lift my spirits.  Reverting to my girlhood and playing with my Barbies in my room is a therapy unto its own.  And I am sure it will come as no surprise to you that I have some special comfort foods that sooth me in my time of need. 

 
 

I know, right?

Next time you have the morning blues, I highly suggest these Blueberry Pancakes.  This has been a rough emotional week for Katie and me and I really wanted blueberry pancakes for breakfast this morning.  Alas, we had no blueberries, fresh nor frozen.  My brilliant spouse suggested I go next door and bribe Snowie with some butternut squash spice cake, a butternut squash from our garden and a bag of fabulous fresh dates.  It worked.  I returned with a quart of frozen blueberries  from our wonderful neighbors garden!

  

Blueberry Pancakes

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk or soy milk

1 egg

2 tablespoons canola oil

blueberries

Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl.  In another bowl or measuring cup, combine liquids.   Pour liquids into the center of the dry ingredients and stir well to combine.  Heat griddle until a few drops of water dances across the surface.  Oil the surface and ladle the batter onto the griddle.  At this point, sprinkle a few berries over the cakes. 

yeah, like that

When the edges are slightly dry and little bubbles are popping, flip ’em.

 

That's what I'm talkin' about

Ok, that takes care of the morning blahs.  But what if I’m just not feelin’ it later in the day?  Well, a big bowl of Katie’s spicy popcorn and that silly movie I mentioned is good for starters.  A good veggie BLT or Reuben sandwich also works wonders when the blues hit.  But what if you are a major sugar junkie, like me?  I love candy, cake and pie, but nothing makes me happier than a freshly baked cookie.  Or 3 or 4 cookies…….

 

Grab a cup of coffee, tea or a cold glass of (soy) milk!

When people discover that I bake for a living, the question that is put to me most often is “What’s your favorite thing to bake?”  That’s always a stumper.  But if they were to query  “what’s your favorite cookie?”; that’s a snap!  Ginger Molasses cookies are my absolute favorite.  Not as hard as a ginger snap, but certainly spicy and flavourful.  They also make a great gifts as they are easy to stack and hold up well to travel.

 

Ginger Molasses Cookies

adapted from “More of  Magnolia” 

by Allysa Torey

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup canola oil

1 cup sugar plus more for rolling

1 large egg

1/2 cup molasses

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt.   Set aside.

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat together the oil and sugar for 2 – 3 minutes.  Add the egg and molasses, and beat well.  Add the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Put a small amount of sugar in a small bowl. Using a small disher or teaspoon, scoop dough and drop into the sugar bowl.  Roll into a ball and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.  I always use a Silpat, but the instructions in the book call for an ungreased sheet. It’s your call.  Leave several inches between cookies to allow for expansion.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Once again, the recipe in the book says 12 minutes, but you know your own oven.  12 minutes will yield a crispier cookie.  I prefer crisp edges and chewy center.

 

True confession: I just ate two of these as I was writing this post

I don’t know about you, but I am feeling much better now.  That’s not to say that I won’t be stealing back to the kitchen later for a few more of those cookies, just to make sure I’m good and happy for the rest of the evening.  Life is good!

13
Mar
10

Practice Makes Perfect

Banana Walnut Pancakes with Fried Potatoes and Applewood Smoked Sausage

Thanks ,Christine, from Christine Can Cook blog.  I think you must have infected me with your pancake mania post a few weeks back.  Who’da thunk an innocent blog could be so contagious that just by reading and looking at cool pictures that you could catch an infectious bug like pancake making?The past three Saturdays I have been making pancakes for breakfast!  Not that this is a bad thing.  I love to cook and I love a big breakfast on Saturday especially since we juice fast on Sunday.  It’s a good thing Katie always eats what’s put in front of her, but I don’t want her getting bored.  So like Christine, I have been trying out different pancake recipes. 

Last weekend I pulled one of my favorite vegan books down from my shelf of 130 cookbooks and started a search for some yummy pancakes.  Vegan Planet by Robin Robertson is a great cookbook.  I have tried many of her recipes and they have all been pretty good.  Out of a book of 400 recipes, she had three for pancakes.  Since I had all of the required ingredients in my kitchen, I decided on the Spiced Banana Pancakes.

There are only two of us in our household so I halved the recipe.  I was  a little disappointed in these pancakes.  They were a bit on the gummy side due to the amount of banana and a little too much soy milk.  Actually, I could only eat one as they were a bit on the heavy side.  They did have a nice flavor though.

Not being one to give up easily, especially where food is concerned, I decided to try these cakes again today.  I made some minor adjustments in the measurements and viola!  I made some really good vegan pancakes.

Vegan Banana Nut Pancakes

(Serves 2)

¾ cup flour

1 tablespoon sugar of choice

1 heaping teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon cardamom

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1 banana, cut in half, reserving half for garnishment

½ cup vanilla or plain soy milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

¼ cup chopped nuts

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and spices in medium bowl.  In a blender or food processor, blend ½ banana, soy milk and vanilla until smooth.  Stir liquid into the dry mix.  Mix in nuts.

Using a ladle or disher (my fave way), scoop batter onto hot, oiled griddle.  When the edges start to look a bit dry and the pancake has burst several bubbles, turn using a spatula.  Cook another minute or two until the bottom side is nice and brown. 

Place pancakes on plate, slice the remaining half of banana over the top, garnish with a few nuts and serve with warm maple syrup.

In keeping with the vegan breakfast theme, I served the pancakes paired with fried potatoes and Field Roast Applewood Smoked Vegan Sausage.  So good.  I love when the pure maple syrup mixes with the sausage and potato.

Even if you are not vegan (we’re vegetarian), you should give these pancakes a go.  I’m glad I did not dismiss this recipe the first time out.  Practice really does make perfect.

27
Feb
10

Copy Cat, Dirty Rat………….sort of

I was reading the latest post on the Christine Can Cook blog (look for it on my blog roll located right over there —–>) two days ago and it was all about pancakes.  She had oodles of pictures of all of the pancakes she had recently made.  I love her honest response to  the variety of recipes that she tried.  She graded them from A+ to an actual F (you know that had to be one crappy pancake to earn an F!)  I’ve had pancakes on the brain ever since.  All that melting butter and syrup probably can’t be good for my mind, but I just had to give in and make pancakes for breakfast this morning. 

Cornmeal Griddle Cakes with pure maple syrup and Fried Potatoes & Soyrizo

There’s a restaurant here  in Portland (Vita Cafe on Alberta) that serves these yummy cornmeal cakes and I have been craving them.  Since it is Saturday and I like to stay in my PJ’s pretty much all weekend, I decided to attempt to re-create these breakfast treats in my own kitchen.  I think mine turned out better than Vita’s! 

I found a recipe for Indian Griddle Cakes in “Prairie Home Cooking ” by Judith M. Fertig.  These cakes are feather light and have a slight crunch to them due to the cornmeal.  Although the book pairs these treats with creamed chicken (really?), they are fantastic with sweet butter and pure maple syrup.

The breakfast preparation began with making fried potatoes:

Fried potatoes with soyrizo

I steamed one small Yukon gold potato, fried it up until crispy, added chopped onion, kosher salt, fresh cracked pepper and a little soyrizo.  Soyrizo is vegetarian chorizo sold at Trader Joe’s and most upscale markets.  I love it in everything! 

Thin cornmeal batter ladled into hot, oiled skillet

I cooked the cakes until they bubbled a bit and were slightly dry on the edges, and when I flipped it over…………………………………….. 

Perfectly golden cornmeal griddle cake!

Wow!  The word “gorgeous” came to mind.  I think this was the most beautiful pancake I ever made. 

We sat down and proceeded to slather a bit of butter over the top and maple syrup was free poured like it was our birthday!  Oh, wait a minute, it still is our birth month, so I guess this was our final food celebration of the month as tomorrow is juice fast Sunday.  Way cool! 

Here is the adapted recipe from Judith M. Fertig’s  book: 

Cornmeal Griddle Cakes

Serves 2 – 3 people

 

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 

1/4 teaspoon baking soda 

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar 

1/4 teaspoon baking powder 

1/4 cup flour 

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon cornmeal 

1 egg, beaten 

1 tablespoon corn oil 

1/2 cup buttermilk 

2 tablespoons – 1/4 cup half n half 

Mix together all of the dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.  Combine egg, oil, and buttermilk in a separate bowl.  Combine liquid with dry and stir to make a smooth batter.  Add enough half n half to make a thin batter.  Heat a griddle or skillet until very hot, brush with oil.  Ladle about 1/4 – 1/3 cup batter and cook until top is bubbly and the bottom turns light brown.  Flip and cook until the bottom turns light brown.  Keep pancakes warm until ready to serve. 

 




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