Category: Breakfast

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Lemon Glaze

Whenever my friends or family went out to breakfast I was never one to choose the pancakes or even waffles. I always preferred to get some eggs, and bacon and of course hash browns.  Which is weird because growing up I’m pretty sure I had pancakes every weekend, thanks dad.  My sweet dad would wake up and make pancakes for my sister and I who of course never agreed on what type of pancake we wanted.  So he would make some chocolate chip for her and usually some type of peach pancake for me.

Well life changed promptly when I went out to brunch with my mom in LA one morning and had their blueberry ricotta pancakes.  After that morning my mom and I were both admitting to have had the best pancakes we had ever had! Something about the ricotta in the batter I think makes the pancake super light and fluffy and perfect.  So naturally I had to attempt to make them myself, which worked out marvelously so please go buy some ricotta and please go make yourself some pancakes…you won’t regret it.

I found THIS RECIPE on well known style/food/entertaining blog Cupcakes and Cashmere (which links to Bobby Flay’s recipe on the foodnetwork.com, but the pictures on C&C are much prettier, sorry Mr. Flay) and warmed up some lemon curd to drizzle over the pancakes to add the perfect touch.

{Lemon curd is good warm, cold, and on nearly anything!}

{The finished plate, with obligatory Bacon and Eggs to accompany the pancakes}

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Sunny Side Up Breakfast Pizza

As most of you know or could tell from the dishes I post about, I don’t normally take the time to make an elaborate breakfast.  If I do it is on the weekend when I am cooking for more than just myself.  (Well y’all are in for a treat with some of the posts to come, the breakfast wave hit me).

Of the many blogs I follow (99% food blogs…shocker I know) Cupcakes and Cashmere is one that is not only in my bookmark folder but resides on my browser.  If you have never seen this blog, sorry guys but its really a female fashion/ food/ entertaining type of site, go right now!! But make sure to come back and continue reading this.  Alright, now that you have seen it you can see why I am obsessed… and why she has become a top blogger and spokeswoman for so many fabulous brands.  Well, I’m pretty sure the first time I saw the idea for a breakfast pizza was when she posted about making one.  Having every single element of yumminess, I knew I would make it before too long.  So a couple weeks ago (ok maybe a little over a month) I made it!! And having totally slacked on posting here I am finally getting around to sharing all my pictures and the recipe.

My sister came to visit this past weekend so round two of making this breakfast came and it was just as delicious, and to be honest it just looks quite impressive and innovative.  Feel free to adjust any of the ingredients to your breakfast needs and enjoy! I will say that the second time I made the pizza I used the whole wheat pizza dough from trader joes and just sat a little better in my foodie mind than the pop and bake pillsbury dough I used the first time.  Having found the recipe through the Cupcakes and Cashmere site, she led me to THIS recipe which I followed loosely.  But the cooking/ prep order is worth looking at.  If you are ambitious, go ahead and made your dough, but if thats too much use store bought dough. ENJOY!

{My apologies to all vegetarians looking at this}

{Depending on how runny you like your eggs you can shorten or lengthen the cooking time.  Just keep an eye on it}

{The finished product, devoured in minutes}

Challah French Toast

I’ll start this entry by stating the obvious for those who are close to me, I am not religious.  I won’t go into details because that is not what is important here.  For those who are not familiar with Challah… check out some information here. What is important is the deliciousness of challah french toast and the need for everybody to make it.  I couldn’t tell you the first time I tried challah but the first time it became a part of my vocabulary was in high school with the school’s jewish club called Jiffy (don’t ask me what it stands for because I couldn’t tell you).  My freshman year, those beautiful years of high school where you are so young and small, it was a “thing” to join the club and to support them through their t-shirt sales. And since it was unheard of not to follow a trend ,I gladly joined the crowd.  I still have, and wear to this day, that very first shirt which very proudly sports “challah at a playa” on the back.  Regardless of what your first encounter with challah, or even just the word, was turning this wonderfully sweet, dense bread into french toast takes it to a whole new level.

Flash forward to college where my adventures in the kitchen begin and you will find my next encounter with challah.  As I became familiar with recipes and techniques it became a goal of mine to make challah, but because that braided loaf looks so complicated, and having never made it before, the idea remained on the backburner for a couple years.  Then amazingly enough, thanks to a few friends, the summer after I graduated I was finally able to fulfill the desire to make challah, and not only that but turn it into french toast.  As it happened to be my very last meal in Santa Barbara I have to say it was a wonderful sendoff and I cannot wait to make it again.

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/2 c. vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 c. plus 1 T. sugar
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 5 c. flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp. yeast
  • 1 beaten egg to brush on the braided loafs (do not include in the dough)

Recipe

(This is a quick recipe that allows the dough to rise while also partially baking, I will also post a link for a longer version at the end)

  1. If you have a bread machine you can start it in a bread machine on the “Dough” cycle after adding all the ingredients.  Take it out when the “Dough” cycle is finished and separate the dough in half.  If you don’t have a bread machine you can use a regular mixing bowl and combine all ingredients until the dough is spongy but does not stick to your hands, then break into two even pieces.
  2. With each piece create 3 equal pieces and stretch each of the 3 pieces into long ropes (about a foot in length).  This is where you would add chocolate chips or cinnamon sugar if you would like to braid it in.
  3. Braid the ropes and make sure to connect each end so there are not any loose pieces.  Do the same with the other half of the dough.
  4. put it in the oven at 100 degrees for a maximum of 15 minutes.
  5. Take it out of the oven and it should be fully risen.  Brush a beaten egg on the challah and sprinkle sesame seeds on top if you like.
  6. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 18 minutes. Dough should be medium brown when done.

HERE is a recipe for challah that takes a little longer and allows for a full rising time.

Follow THIS recipe to turn your challah (or any bread) into french toast.

Morning Sunshine!

There is nothing better than a good morning.  Not every morning allows for the perfect wake-up, but when it does the rest of the day is bound to be good.  Here are a few snapshots from good mornings that brought nothing but a smile to my face.

[ breakfast sandwich with tomato, egg, and goat cheese with apple wedges]

[fresh coffee always fills the air at my apartment]

[simple, everlasting perfection of peanut butter and banana drizzled with honey]

[Although she is not always with me, seeing my pup brings me nothing but joy]

Waffles with Warm Apple Cranberry Compote

Like I have mentioned before I am not one that regularly cooks elaborate breakfasts.  I stick to my coffee and an english muffin or yogurt or the best combination ever (aka cheerios and sliced bananas).  However, occasionally I wake up or am in a setting where nothing but a big warm, homemade breakfast will do.  In this case if was an occasion for waffles.  Now, everyone has their preferences for breakfast carbs and will stick to their favorite in a battle any day.  Growing up i happen to be a pancake kind of girl, and not just any kind of pancakes either, they had to be peach.  God bless my father who, every weekend would cater to that craving while my twin sister would insist upon chocolate chip.  In the end…he made both. Who really knows why some people attach strongly to waffles or pancakes and what kind of each they live by, but for some reason it sometimes seems as if people rep their breakfast carbs as much as their favorite football team.

My mother on the other hand was a huge fan of homemade waffles.  I think I never became a huge fan of the waffles because it was hard to get fun ingredients like peaches or chocolate chips actually inside the waffle.  And simply putting a sugary (natural or not) topping was not sufficient for my childhood sweet tooth.  But over the years my mom slowly worked us until we caved in and agreed to waffles and taught us the beauty of a good topping.

And so it was that this particular winter morning, we all got talked into waffles with warm apple compote.  And since I had some leftover cranberries from the previous meal (spinach salad with goat cheese and cranberries), I added them to the warm apples to add the perfect tartness to the sweet apples.

Homemade waffles with Warm Apple Cranberry Compote

Ingredients: (makes about 12 waffles)

  • 2 cups bisquick pancake/ waffle mix
  • 1 1/3 c milk
  • 2 tbl vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • cooking spray to coat the waffle iron
  • 4 apples, washed, peeled, and cut into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 c white sugar
  • 2 tbl ground cinnamon
  • leftover fresh cranberries (see previous post)

Recipe:

  1. heat up the waffle iron
  2. mix the first 4 ingredients together until blended.
  3. when waffle iron is hot spray with nonstick cooking spray and add about a half cup of the batter to the center of the iron
  4. cook according to waffle iron directions
  5. while the wafles are cooking, place the apple pieces in a microwave safe bowl (you can also do this on the stove), add the sugar, cinnamon, and cranberries to the apples and mix until coated.
  6. Place bowl in microwave and cook on 2 minute increments, stirring after each, until the apples are soft
  7. when all the waffles are done (make sure you are checking them so they dont burn!), place on a place and top with the apple compote.  (we decided to make some eggs too to round out the meal but that up to you!) ENJOY!


Almond and Orange Biscotti

I will be the first to admit that I am not a baker.  I thoroughly enjoy cooking and having the ability to add seasonings and ingredients that I want to add to make it my own while at the same time sticking to the basic recipe.  Baking on the other hand usually requires precise measurements and ingredients and I tend to keep less of the particular baking ingredients around than I do an interesting ingredient that I stumbled upon at the grocery store.  It is much easier for me to see leeks, or a potato and come up with a recipe that I wish to make that particular item into than having to stick to a strict recipe for cookies or baked goods.  I guess you could say that I am just more of a savory kind of girl.

With that being said, I woke up one morning with a craving for biscotti.  I couldn’t tell you the last time I ate biscotti although I do love the idea of sitting by a window with coffee in the morning and dipping a biscotti into it.  Biscotti is generally not the kind of craving I get, but I figured why not make something that I have never attempted before so long as I am breaking into the baking field of the kitchen.  I found this recipe on another blog that I read and was immediately intrigued and couldn’t wait to make it.  With my mother’s blessings for attempting to bake, along with the reassurance that if I didn’t like them it is the holiday season and with some cute packaging I could easily give them away, I tackled biscotti.

Now, most people are familiar with biscotti but as I was making them it became clear to my and everyone around that we did not really know what to deem them as…cake? cookie? bread?  Traditionally, and what gives them the awesome durability in coffee along with the distinct crunch is that they are twice baked and can be considered a sweet bread.  They are first baked as logs with a cake like structure until they are sturdy, then sliced into the all too familiar biscotti shape, and then baked again to give them the crunch.

Let’s just say that that after making a huge ziplock bag full of them and going out of town for 4 days, they were completely demolished by my family.  So, this recipe is not just for bakers it is simple and completely satisfying.  A great holiday gift or something to keep around to munch on.  The next time I make these I think I will dip the ends in melted chocolate…because who doesn’t love a little chocolate?

Almond Biscotti
Adapted from Bon Appetit, December 1999, and taken this time from http://smittenkitchen.com/

They’re supposed to make 3 dozen

3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/3 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange liqueur
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 cup whole almonds, toasted, coarsely chopped or sliced almonds

1 large egg white

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into medium bowl. Mix sugar, melted butter, 3 eggs, vanilla extract, orange liquer and zest in large bowl. Add flour mixture to egg mixture and stir with wooden spoon until well blended. Mix in almonds.

Divide dough in half. Using floured hands, shape each dough half into 13 1/2-inch-long, 2 1/2-inch-wide log. Transfer both logs to prepared baking sheet, spacing apart. Whisk egg white in small bowl until foamy; brush over top and sides of each dough log.

Bake logs until golden brown (logs will spread), about 30 minutes. Cool logs completely on sheet on rack, about 25 minutes. Maintain oven temperature.

Transfer logs to work surface; discard parchment paper. Using serrated knife, cut logs on diagonal into 1/2-inch-wide slices. Arrange slices, cut side down, on same baking sheet. Bake 12 minutes. Turn biscotti over; bake until just beginning to color, about 8 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool.

Enjoy!