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Breakfast

Egg Bake

April 4, 2017

 

Spring has sprung and Easter is just around the corner. With the in-laws and house guests on their way, you’re wondering how you are going to feed everyone yet not live in the kitchen… My Egg Bake is the perfect answer to your breakfast woes!! You can prepare the casserole the day before, refrigerate overnight, and then pop it in oven in the morning. Now you won’t miss the Easter egg hunt because you’re stuck in the kitchen all morning!

Begin by preparing your vegetables: in a large skillet add olive oil, chopped peppers and chopped onions. Saute for 5-10 minutes, or until the peppers and onions begin to soften. Next, add the mushrooms and garlic and cook another 5 minutes, stirring often. Set the vegetables aside. In a large mixing bowl, add the eggs, the milk, the shredded cheese, and your spices. Whisk to blend well. Set aside.

Now it’s time to assemble your dish: begin with coating the bottom of a 9×13 Pyrex dish with cooking spray. Add the frozen hash browns covering the entire bottom of the dish (optional step: I add various spices to the potatoes for added flavor, such as garlic powder, basil, salt and pepper). Next, evenly spread your cooked vegetable mixture over the potatoes. Lastly, pour the egg and cheese mixture evenly over the entire dish. Cover the dish with tin foil. At this point, you can either refrigerate or bake your casserole. When you are ready, bake the dish for 60 minutes (30 minutes covered in foil, last 30 uncovered) in a preheated 375º oven (until the eggs are cooked through). Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

This casserole makes great leftovers and freezes well for a future breakfast (or lunch…or dinner for that matter!). To reheat, thaw, if frozen, and either microwave for 3-4 minutes or heat in a 350º oven for 10-15 minutes.

Ingredients:

2 tbsp olive oil
1 red pepper, diced
½ yellow onion, diced
5 button mushrooms, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
12 eggs
⅓ cup milk
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp dried basil
2-3 tsp sea salt
2 tsp fresh black pepper
1 bag frozen shredded hash browns
Optional: spices for hash browns, such as basil, garlic powder, salt, pepper, etc.
Cooking spray, vegetable or coconut oil

Makes 10-12 servings.

Perfectly Plump Pumpkin Muffins

October 18, 2013

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It’s getting cold out there so I think it’s time to bust out some muffin tops (baked ones of course! Keep your shirts on!). And because everyone loves pumpkin spice, from lattes, to candles, to pies, I thought I would share with you my favorite fall standby, The Perfectly Plump Pumpkin Muffin.  Once these little lovelies start cooking, you can say goodbye to pumpkin scented candles — the aroma wafting from your house will bring your family running home with hungry bellies. A perfect treat on a crisp Fall day.

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Try adding walnuts pieces or perhaps chocolate chips to the batter before baking. Or maybe walnuts and chocolate chips!! Who says you can’t combine both!! Hmmmm, I’ll have to try that next time.

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Or, for a festive wintery look, sprinkle with powdered sugar.

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Ingredients:

1½ cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 cup white sugar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground cloves
15 ounces pumpkin puree
⅓ cup vegetable oil
2 eggs

Instructions:
Sift all the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients and blend well. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until creamy. Fill greased muffins cups ¾ of the way with pumpkin mixture. Bake in a preheated 350º oven for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Makes 12 muffins

Homemade Granola

June 15, 2013

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Granola is one of those staples that should always be in the pantry — it’s healthy, very versatile and most importantly tasty! It’s great as a snack if you’re on the go, it’s an awesome topping on yogurt, it tastes great in a bowl with cold milk and it can be used as the basis for homemade trail mix. See how useful granola can be! It’s easy to simply buy granola at the grocery store, but trust me, it’s just as easy to make your own. You probably already have all the ingredients in your pantry too. The recipe here does not include dried fruit as not everyone in my household is keen on it…however, it’s super easy to add if you so desire. Simply let the granola cool, stir in whatever fruit (dried cranberries, raisins, coconut flakes etc.) and it’s ready to eat!

To begin, lightly blend the oats, almonds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, wheat germ and cinnamon in a medium size mixing bowl. Next, in a small pot, mix the coconut oil, honey, brown sugar, vanilla and salt and cook over low heat until the brown sugar has dissolved (roughly 3-5 minutes). Remove from heat and, pouring a little at a time, mix the liquid ingredients with the dry ingredients stirring to coat as you go.

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Once blended thoroughly, place the ingredients in a thin layer on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake at 400º for 20-25 minutes. Every 3 – 5 minutes or so stir the granola (it can burn very quickly so keep an eye on it). When the granola is done (just slightly turning crispy), remove from the oven but now do not stir  —  as it cools the sugars harden forming “clumps” of granola. Let cool at least 30 minutes. Once cooled, you can add dried fruit if so desired.

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Store granola in a sealed container (I like to use a large glass jar) and it will keep in the pantry for up to 2 weeks.

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Try your fresh from the oven homemade granola on your favorite yogurt….it makes for a delicious breakfast or a tasty afternoon snack!

Ingredients:

3 cups oats (old-fashioned rolled oats)
1 cup sliced almonds
⅓ cup raw pumpkin seeds
2 tsp chia seeds
¼ cup wheat germ (ground flax works great too)
2 tsp cinnamon
⅓ cup coconut oil
⅓ cup honey
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
¼ tsp salt

Makes roughly 5 cups 

Cinnamon Blueberry Muffins

April 14, 2013

“Little Sal picked three berries and dropped them in her little tin pail…
kuplink, kuplank, kuplunk!”
–Blueberries for Sal
by Robert McCloskey

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So let’s face it — blueberry muffin recipes are pretty similar. You can tweak it here and there but when it comes down to it, the basic ingredients are…well basic!. There’s not a lot of variations, one egg or two, butter or oil, a little or a lot of sugar…I believe the uniqueness of  your muffin comes more with how you “dress” it. Lemon icing? Streusel topping? Me? I went old school when I made my muffins this week. As kids, we always had a bowl of homemade cinnamon sugar sitting on the counter. When the Pepperidge Farm White Bread would pop up out of the toaster, we would slather on butter, top with the cinnamon sugar and watch it melt into the toast. It was incredible. In an attempt to revive my childhood memory, I created my version of Cinnamon Blueberry Muffins. I have to tell you, they were pretty darn incredible too!! Just like Little Sal’s blueberries, these muffins went kuplink, kuplank, kuplunk!! All gone…

Begin by making the sugary topping: mix the raw sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside. Generously grease your muffin tin with butter and preheat your oven to 350º.

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Next, sift the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside. Then, blend the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the eggs and blend again.

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Mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients and mix thoroughly. Blend in the milk and vanilla. Lastly, add the blueberries to the batter very carefully so as not to crush the berries. Spoon batter into greased muffin tins and generously sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on each muffin top.

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Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Look how those plump blueberries explode with flavor!

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Rest each muffin on a wire rack to cool (or, if you’re like me,  don’t let them cool–enjoy hot out of the oven!!).

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Brew up a pot of coffee or tea and enjoy a lovely morning breakfast.

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Ingredients:

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
½ cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
½ cup skim milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen*)

For the topping:
3 tbsp raw sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon

Makes 12 muffins

* I like using fresh blueberries much more than frozen. Frozen berries aren’t nearly as plump and juicy as fresh and they often turn your batter purple.

Sunday Morning Eggs

February 10, 2013

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Sunday mornings are such a treat. No one is rushing out the door –no school, no work, no ballet rehearsal. We get to enjoy each others company, maybe watch a little Sunday Morning on CBS, maybe listen to some quiet music while reading by the fire, maybe get mom off the couch and into the kitchen to make her oh so famous Sunday Morning Eggs!!

In a large skillet melt the butter. Add the diced potatoes, spices and garlic and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms and scallions and continue cooking. When the vegetables are done (pierce potatoes with knife to test for tenderness), add the spinach cooking until just wilted.

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Meanwhile, in another skillet, fry your eggs to your liking — is it sunny side up or perhaps sunny side down?? When done, place them directly on top of your potato/vegetable medley. Oh so yummy on any Sunday morning….

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Ingredients:

2 large russet potatoes, cubed in small pieces
1 tablespoon butter (more if needed)
1 teaspoon parsley
1 teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon ground rosemary
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ teaspoon black pepper
5 large button mushrooms, sliced
6 scallions, trimmed and sliced
¾ cup fresh spinach
eggs, one or two per person
salt and pepper to taste

The potato/vegetable medley serves roughly 4 people (depending on how hungry they are!).

You can add other vegetables to your potatoes too such as peppers, tomatoes, onions — pretty much whatever vegetable you like will taste delicious in this dish.