Category Archives: breakfast

Indian Coffee

I stumbled across a recipe for Indian Coffee quite accidentally today (you’ll understand when you see my next blog entry) and – considering I’ve almost never met a cup of coffee I didn’t love – I knew that I needed to try it… pronto.

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Luckily for me, this recipe requires just three ingredients and maybe 10 minutes of your time. And, I promise you, it’s worth every minute! You can adjust the strength of the coffee flavor as well as the sweetness to your liking – I’ve decided that I prefer a ratio of 2 tbs sugar to 1 heaping tbs coffee to 10 oz of whole milk – but tweak it as you see fit!

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My “froth” left a little something to be desired… I admit I might not have been as patient as I should have been with the prep on these. BUT! I’ll be practicing! Check out the beautiful foam on the coffees over at eCurry – this is my goal!

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Indian Coffee
(recipe courtesy of Amy @ Dish on Design)
1 tablespoon instant coffee or coffee powder (the finer the ground the better)
8 – 10 ounces milk (preferably whole milk)
2 tablespoons sugar (or one tablespoon of sugar + a packet of sweetener)

Heat the milk until just under boiling and then simmer to keep warm.

In a mug, add the instant coffee and sugar. Add a teaspoon or less of the milk and vigorously mix with a spoon It will be dark, wet and crumbly at first, but keep mixing until the mixture turns lighter in color and resembles a thick mousse.

Stir in the heated milk and then pour the coffee back and forth between to containers (I used measuring cups) 6-8 times until your coffee is nice and frothy. Pour into a mug and enjoy the goodness!

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Sleep Deprived Omelettes

I’m just gonna go ahead and say it… I want my hour back. That’s right… Daylight Savings Time is here and I’m going to spend the next two weeks trying to find my groove again. I appreciate the longer days – particularly as it relates to food photography (though I admit that I’m never a fan of it being light outside at 9pm) – but I’m always amazed at how losing one little hour and a shift in daylight can wreak such havoc on my life.

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How do I cope? I decided to start with food – an omelette, as a matter of fact. I figured there was no better way to combat the sleepies than with eggy goodness filled with cheese, a little sausage, fresh veggies, and a healthy dose of yummy basil. This hit the spot perfectly and, along with three (that’s two more than usual) cups of coffee, gave us the kick-start we needed to enjoy the day. (But I’d be lying if I said I weren’t wishing for a nap right now.)

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Gouda, Sausage, Mushroom, Tomato and Fresh Basil Omelettes
(aka Sleep Deprived Omelettes) 
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
8 0unces sliced mushrooms (use what you like)
6 eggs
2 tablespoons half & half (or milk)
4 ounces gouda cheese, shredded or thinly sliced
1/2 cup breakfast sausage, crumbled, fully-cooked, drained
5 ounces grape tomatoes, halved (use what you like – I used half red/half yellow)
5 tablespoons basil, julienned

Melt butter in a small pan over medium heat and sauté mushrooms until they release their water and water evaporates. Set aside until ready to use.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, half & half, and salt and pepper. Spray a medium non-stick pan with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Pour in 1/2 of the egg mixture and allow to cook until almost cooked through (no need to flip).

Layer half of the cheese, sausage, cooked mushrooms, tomatoes and basil onto 1/2 of the cooked egg “disk.” Loosen edges and carefully fold the other half of the egg over onto the toppings to create a half-moon and press gently.

Allow omelette to cook for another minute or two and then slide carefully onto a plate. Wipe out skillet and repeat steps for the second omelette.

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culinary capers – cream (part 1)

Chosen Capers ingredient of the week? Cream. The good stuff just keeps on coming… I seriously love this little group!

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Once again… so many possibilities, so little time. I ended up with four ideas incorporating cream and once again… I couldn’t pick just one. Now you, dear readers, benefit. Stay tuned for more!

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Friday nights at our house are breakfast-for-dinner nights. Eggs and hashbrowns usually. Sometimes a side of smoked sausage or bacon. Sometimes made the classic way and others made into a big, messy scramble. No matter how we do it, it’s one of my favorite things.

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Yesterday, on my way home from the office (and after a particularly “fun” week), I decided to give one of my chosen recipes (which just happened to be biscuits) a try since they’d be the perfect accompaniment to this week’s breakfast-for-dinner offering.

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I was a little worried that they’d be too time- or labor intensive for an it’s-already-6:30-and-I’m-starving kind of evening, but they were a cinch to throw together (THREE ingredients, people – just be sure not to over handle your dough), baked up quickly and were wonderfully tender and moist. I can’t believe I waited so long to try this recipe!! Try ‘em… you won’t be disappointed.

Cream Biscuits
(adapted from Paula Deen)
1 cup self-rising flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 tablespoon sugar
3/4 cups heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, and cream until the dough forms a ball. Turn the dough out onto a Roulpat or surface dusted with additional flour. Fold the dough in 1/2 and knead 5 to 7 times, adding just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to your hands.

Gently roll out dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Using a 3-inch biscuit cutter coated with flour, cut dough into biscuits (I used a slightly larger cutter and got eight biscuits from my dough). Place on baking sheet coated with cooking spray, leaving at least 1-inch between each biscuit. Bake for 7-10 minutes, or until golden brown.

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Banana Pecan Pancake Squares

Ever stumble upon something on the interwebs and wonder how it could possibly be that you missed such revolutionary goodness? I do it often. In fact, I did it a few days ago. I stumbled onto a recipe for something called pancake squares and – considering how much I love pancakes but how little I love standing over the stove for twenty minutes making and flipping them – I was immediately intrigued.

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This morning, we woke up to cold, grey skies and more rain (it’s been a very, very wet Spring) and I knew… today was pancake square day. I dug up the recipe, threw it all together, and retired to the living room to enjoy my coffee while our pancakes magically made themselves. Brilliant.

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Though these are no doubt fabulous made exactly as written, I might have gone just a bit overboard. Overboard in a good (GOOOOOD) way. No syrup or butter needed when they come out of the oven, just flip, slice and serve. I’m not sure it gets much easier than this and it’ll be one of the first recipes I’ll go to when we have overnight guests. I’m so excited to have another great recipe to add to my breakfast rotation!

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Banana Pecan Pancake Squares
(modified from Big Red Kitchen)
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup pecans, toasted
1 banana, sliced
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup milk
1 large egg
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease an 8×8 baking dish.

Pour 1/2 cup of the melted butter into the baking dish. Layer pecans and then banana slices and sprinkle brown sugar over the top.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together milk, butter and egg. Add sugar, then gradually beat the flour in. Carefully stir in the baking powder and salt.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully invert onto a serving platter. Serves 4-6.

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Liberate Yourself

Feel chained to your box of Bisquick or Aunt Jemimah for that Sunday morning pancake fix? I admit, I usually have a box of mix tucked into the back of the pantry… and when it comes time to make pancakes, I usually default to that rather than make my pancakes from scratch.

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Why? I mean, I’ve had successful scratch pancake ventures before… whole wheat oatmeal, even! Maybe it’s just laziness… pour mix, add water. But come on, making them from scratch requires maybe four more steps and yields a seriously awesome pancake. How do I know? Because this morning, with pancakes on the brain, I peered into the pantry only to discover we were… out. of. mix.

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Thankfully, I’d just read Susan’s post on Better-Than-IHOP Pancakes. So, not to be denied my Sunday pancakes, I pulled up the recipe and got to work. People… Susan is brilliant and this recipe is fabulous. Promise me you’ll try it. You won’t regret it.

Better-Than-IHOP-Pancakes
(from Susan Russo & Brett Cohen’s Recipes Every Man Should Know)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk or buttermilk (not the powdered variety)
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Maple syrup and melted butter for serving

In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, and vanilla extract. Add dry ingredients to wet, and whisk until just combined. It’s OK if batter is a little lumpy. Let it rest for 10 minutes.

Heat a large frying pan or griddle over medium-high heat. Splash it with a few drops of water: when they pop and jump, your’re good to go. Lightly grease pan with butter. Pour batter by the quarter-cupful on to pan, being careful not to overcrowd if cooking more than one at a time. Leave each pancake alone until edges start to turn golden and little bubbles form on top Then, using a spatula, give it a quick, steady flip. Cook 30-60 seconds more, or until puffed up and golden brown.

Repeat with remaining batter, adding butter to the pan as necessary. Serve pancakes right away, or keep in a warm oven (250 F) until you’re ready to eat. Top with warm maple syrup and melted butter.

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Daring Bakers go nuts for doughnuts!

Mmmm…. doughnuts. Is there anything better? Yes. Freshly made… homemade… doughnuts. Oh my. I love being a Daring Baker.

That’s right… the Daring Bakers are doing doughnuts! The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.

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It’s been just about two years since I made my first (and, until now, only) homemade doughnuts. Something I always wanted to do again, but somehow just never got around to it. So, when I saw the October challenge pop up, I was pretty excited!

Since October officially kicks off pumpkin season in our house (pumpkin granola, pumpkin spice coffee, pumpkin pie shakes, etc.), I opted to go with the pumpkin doughnut option given as part of the challenge.

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I prepped the dough the night before so that all I’d have to do the next morning would be to cut and fry. Sadly, the dough was uber soft and sticky, making it generally a big pain in the butt to work with. After adding lots (and lots) of flour, and uttering more than my fair share of expletives over goop-covered hands, oil that wouldn’t stay at temp, a lack of oil (always double check ensure you’ve got all of the ingredients you need!)… I gave up on the traditional doughnut shape and launched straight into doughnut hole production.

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After whipping up a big bowl of cute little doughnut holes (more than we could possibly eat), we enjoyed a nice Sunday breakfast of doughnut holes and coffee. And it was wonderful! Thanks, Lisa, for a great challenge!

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Whole-Wheat Oatmeal Pancakes

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Feel guilty about eating pancakes? Not anymore! Try these Whole-Wheat Oatmeal Pancakes!

Continue reading

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Kitchen Resolutions 2010: SCONES!

I mentioned over the weekend that my plan for 2010 includes conquering seven things on my list of ” things to make or master in the kitchen.” Annnnd I’d also mentioned that I’d already started. That’s right – the girl who waits until the last minute to do EVERYTHING has already knocked out one of the items on that list!

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I enjoyed my first scone probably twelve or so years ago and, since then, I’ve purchased them whenever I could. Unfortunately, most of the scones I’ve run across have been slightly-less-than-average at best and some have been downright pathetic (I’m looking at you, Eurest!). With all of those less than great scone experiences, you’d think I’d have given making them a try sooner rather than later.

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Today, I proudly take back control of my scones experience. I stumbled across a recipe over at Michelle’s blog, Brown Eyed Baker, and knew that this would be my first foray into scone making. Only seven ingredients? One bowl? Quick… tender… family favorite?? Say no more. I’m in.

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These scones were everything Michelle promised. Amazing, really (especially warm). We had to put most of them into the freezer just to get them out of the kitchen because the hubby and I found it impossible to stay away from them. If you’re living with mediocre scones in your life… stop the madness. Drop everything and go make these. It’ll be a half an hour well-spent and you’ll never go back. Trust me on this one.

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Dark Chocolate Chip Scones
(recipe courtesy of Michelle over at Brown Eyed Baker)

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar plus additional for sprinkling
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups (12-oz) package dark chocolate chips
2 cups chilled heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease two baking sheets.

Stir together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Stir in chocolate chips.

Stir whipping cream into flour mixture, stirring just until ingredients are moistened.

Turn mixture out onto lightly floured surface. Knead gently until soft dough forms (about 2 minutes). Divide dough into three equal balls. One ball at a time, flatten into 7-inch circle; cut into 8 triangles. Transfer triangles to prepared baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with additional sugar.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm.

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Homegrown Gourmet #6 (Breakfast) – The Roundup and The Winner!

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It’s Homegrown Gourmet
Roundup Time!

Since its inception, Homegrown Gourmet has covered sandwiches, soups, pies, stews, quick breads, and now… breakfast.

Our mothers always told us that breakfast is the most important meal of the day… and I’ve got some breakfast lovin’ readers! Sit back and enjoy… oh, and you might want to go ahead and grab a snack or you’re going to be starving by the time you reach the end of this roundup!

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Ben from What’s Cooking gave us not only a great recipe for traditional Mexican Breakfast Sopes, but also a comprehensive guide to making our own tortillas. I have fond memories of the homemade tortillas of my childhood, and I can’t wait to try these Sopes!

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Michelle at Greedy Gourmet, a self-proclaimed “potato monster,” shares the recipe her wonderful husband uses for their full English breakfast with Potato Hash Browns.

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I love me some pancakes, and Meghan at Joy Through Cooking put on her Pittsburgh pride and featured truly droolworthy BLACKberry and GOLDen Pineapple Pancakes. Yum!

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Kate from Paved with Good Intentions contributed an intriguing Californian Couscous Cake with Dates. Cake for breakfast that doesn’t make you feel guilty? What a concept!

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Next we had my own entry… my “good enough for now but still in search of the ultimate” Southern Buttermilk Biscuits. I wish these had lasted long enough to pair with some sausage gravy.

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The lovely founder of the Homegrown Gourmet Challenge, Bean, brought us a Maine Brown Egg Frittata, which also featured Maine potatoes and Cape Cod cranberries for garnish. Beautiful!

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Shandy from Pastry Heaven made a wonderful Smoked Salmon Puff Pastry in which she uses wonderful Pacific salmon. And, bonus! You can prep this one the night before!

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Mrs. W from Mrs. W’s Kitchen in Central NY brought a full-on Breakfast for Shoveling to the table. Eggs, bacon and home fries are the perfect fuel for shoveling yourself out from under 18 inches of snow (color me jealous… of the snow AND the breakfast!).

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Ruth from Just Add Eggs shares with us an Irish Ulster Fry that would make anyone weak in the knees. Bacon/sausage, eggs, homemade breads, and tomatoes? What’s not to love?

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Suzana over at Home Gourmets brings us a lovely Portuguese Pão de Deus. Pão de Deus translates to God’s Bread and, from her description and photos, I think it’s aptly named.

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Holly from Phe/MOM/enon went back to her roots and brought out some great looking Cornmeal Griddle Cakes in honor of her ancestors who pioneered their way from Europe and across the U.S. to settle in Utah.

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Tempered Woman went all out with a… ahem… “healthy” St. Louis classic – Gooey Butter Cupcakes (for breakfast!). Gooey butter cake is a St. Louis classic and one that you really must try if you haven’t already. Now, coming off my “bread so sweet it’s a dessert” win last month – TW is a woman after my own heart. Not only do I love the sinful goodness of having cupcakes for breakfast but, but having grown up in Missouri, she came in with an entry that really tugs at my heartstrings – and those two things make her my choice for the WINNER of Round Six of the Homegrown Gourmet Challenge! Congratulations!

Thanks to everyone for all of your wonderful and thoughtful entries! Be sure to keep an eye on Tempered Woman’s blog for her announcement on Homegrown Gourmet #7!

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t-minus 10 days and counting to Homegrown Gourmet #6 deadline!

That’s right. Time flies when you’re having fun, doesn’t it? As of today, we are a mere ten days out from the deadline for the sixth Homegrown Gourmet challenge… BREAKFAST! So, not only did I think it was time I posted my own entry, I thought it was also time to remind all of you that I’m depending on you to help me make this… my very first event hosting experience… a success. No pressure, people, but help a girl out, would ya? :) Send me your best “homegrown” breakfasts by March 13th. Details can be found back at the original post.

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I’ve talked before about how Southerners just do some things undeniably well. Buttermilk biscuits happen to be one of those things. In these parts, they’re often served with country ham. The dry, salty ham isn’t really my thing – I’m more interested in the biscuit itself (though I’ll happily take one drowning in country gravy).

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But, it’s true… buttermilk biscuits in these parts are truly an art. Moist, fluffy, and golden, I’ve mused for a while that I really want to find that “perfect” biscuit recipe. I’ve looked. I’ve experimented. And, though I can turn out a decent enough biscuit, they’re never that stop-you-dead-in-your-tracks, I-can-now-die-happy, perfect biscuit that I’ve been dreaming of.

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This is my current biscuit recipe. It’s just a little finicky… requiring that you don’t over-flour, overwork, or overcook the dough. But, if you can avoid doing those three small, but important, things, it turns out a pretty nice biscuit – moist on the inside, golden on the outside. Good, but… still not THE ONE.

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So, I’m putting this one out there and making a request at the same time. Have a phenomenal biscuit recipe? Share it with me! Help me put this search to rest so that I can move on to other things… like tiramisu.

Pretty Good for Now Buttermilk Biscuits
2 cups self-rising flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons confectioners sugar
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
3/4 to 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Stir together the flour, baking powder confectioners sugar. Cut in the shortening until pieces are about the size of grains of rice. Stir in the buttermilk – start with 3/4 cup and add more as needed until the dough pulls away from the bowl.

Knead a few times, roll out on a floured surface to 3/4-inch thickness. Be careful not to overwork the dough or add too much flour, or you’ll have dry biscuits. Cut with a floured biscuit cutter or glass.

Place on an ungreased cookie sheet, brush with butter, and bake about 12 minutes, until just golden brown.

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