Tag Archives: Breakfast

Top o’ the Muffin to Ya!

Happy Monday, friends! It is FINALLY cool enough to bake again. HALLELUJAH. To start your week off right (and more importantly, my week) I’m giving you the moistest, most insanely delicious zucchini muffin recipe I have ever encountered. If you eat one of these seconds after it comes out of the oven (please don’t judge me?) you’ll think it’s not cooked. But let it cool, loves. Take it slow. You will be so glad you did.

On the menu:
Zucchini chocolate chip muffins

3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup canola oil (you can also use vegetable oil)
1/2 cup milk
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups zucchini, coarsely grated
1 apple, coarsely grated
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, milk, lemon juice, and vanilla. Combine dry and liquid ingredients just until incorporated*. Fold in the zucchini, apple, and chocolate chips.

In a greased muffin tin (or use muffin liners), fill cups almost the top of the tin (7/8 full). Bake for 22 – 26 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

*Note: after you’ve combined the dry and liquid ingredients (before adding the zucchini, apple, and chips) the mixture will be very dry. Do not be discouraged, or tempted to add more oil! There’s enough moisture in the fruit you’re about to add to make it a recognizable batter.

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Baked

I had big plans to cook up a storm in my parents’ kitchen this weekend. Instead I picked on veggies and hummus and watched an obscene amount of terrible television. Trust me, it was as indulgent and glorious as it sounds.

Sunday morning I got ambitious and made a Paula-Deen inspired French toast casserole. I’ve always wondered how restaurants make perfect French toast: eggy all the way through, but never soggy. I have to believe this is the method.

On the menu:
Summer fruit French toast casserole

1 small loaf of Italian bread, cubed
6 eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 Tbsp maple syrup (REAL maple syrup! Step away from the Aunt Jemima)
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup ripe peach, sliced
2 Tbsp cinnamon sugar
2 Tbsp butter

Note: you can use any ripe summer fruit you have on hand, I just happened to have blueberries and peaches

Place cubed bread in a well-buttered baking dish. Whisk together eggs, milk, syrup, and salt together until well mixed. Pour egg mixture over the bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or for at least 6 hours.

The next morning: preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle fruit over the top of the soaked bread. Break cold butter into small pieces and add to the top of the casserole. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top of the fruit and butter. Bake for 40-45 minutes (until bread on top seems firm, not soggy).

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Hey Y’all!

This past weekend I flew down to Norfolk, Virginia for a little R&R. One of the reasons I love going down south is obviously, the food. I don’t know if you’ve noticed a recurring theme here in this blog, but I love comfort food. Love. It. So we always make a point to hit Waffle House when we go to Norfolk. If you don’t know Waffle House, then I don’t know you.

Let it be known that I have a couple rules when it comes to my baked goods, and that includes waffles. Rule #1: no nuts. I absolutely 100%, no exceptions, hate nuts in my baked goods. In my opinion, they ruin the whole cakey, doughy confection.

So um… I ordered the pecan waffle. It is literally the ONLY exception to my nut-less rule, and it is so very worth it. Crispy on the outside, fluffy in the middle, and it’s thin. You won’t find any three inch thick Belgian waffle here. Just a thin, delicious waffle like God intended: with pecans.

And to wrap it all up, hashbrowns, Waffle House style. It’s like a different language down there. Smothered, covered, scattered, filtered, muffled, crumpled, scuttled… Okay, those last four don’t count. But look at this perfection. Ignore the blatant slice of American cheese on there. Somehow it tastes fresh off the farm.

Going to Virginia always makes me realize one thing: if I lived down there all the time, I’d weigh 863 pounds. For sure.

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Butter Face

The title of this post was born out of this thought process: Dandelion greens, dandelions in my front yard, rubbing a dandelion on my chin, looking like I rubbed butter on my chin, butter face. A peek into my psyche, ladies and gentlemen. I know. Terrifying.

Anyway… I mentioned a few posts ago that my boss gave me a boat load of greens, including the now identified rainbow chard and dandelion greens. Should you come across dandelion greens at your local farmers’ market, do not let those little yellow petals deter you! This is a spicy, strong-tasting green and it is delicious. Below, a few suggestions on how to eat them:

With over-easy eggs on toast, with TONS of parmesan cheese and plenty of salt and pepper. [This is my take on Serious Pie’s Guanciale, Soft egg, and Arugula pizza: I swear it had dandelion greens in place of arugula when I ate it in January]

To liven up ANY sandwich. My boring ham and swiss on white bread was enlivened today with some crispy leaves of dandelion greens and a smear of spicy mustard.

In a salad with crisped up chunks of bacon (lardons, if you’re fancy… and I am) and vinaigrette.

Sauteed in a pan with a little garlic and some spicy sausage, and a pinch of red pepper flakes.

The key to dandelion greens is that they have a very strong, sometimes acrid, flavor and they need additionally strong (but contrasting) flavors to make them work, i.e. ham and swiss, garlic, spicy sausage, etc.

Bon chance, mes petits choux!

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The Incredible, Edible…

You get it. Once again, this weekend was a scorcher. It’s forcing the cook in me to be creative and devise recipes and meals that don’t require my oven but are also innovative and appetizing enough to keep me from calling up Delivery.com. You know the feeling.

I dined on some INCREDIBLE Malaysian stew Sunday night for dinner, and will have that recipe for you tomorrow. In an effort to start your weekend off right (and drooling) this is a quick meal I whipped up sans oven and in two lovely little pans. It’s incredibly basic, and you’ll notice my fridge staples in there: tomatoes, goat cheese, and walnuts. If I have them on hand, I never go hungry.

On the menu:
Scrambled eggs with tomatoes, goat cheese, and walnuts over fried potatoes

There is no magic recipe here, folks. One tip I will share with you is my recipe for the PERFECT scrambled eggs. You start with a clean non-stick frying pan, and spray a little cooking spray in the pan. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs with a little milk and about 2 Tbsp cheddar cheese. Pour the egg mixture in the frying pan, and turn heat to LOW. This is important. Keep the heat at low the entire time, constantly moving the eggs in the pan with a spatula. Once the eggs start to firm up (when almost all the liquid is gone) turn off the heat. NOTE: eggs continue to cook even after you remove them from the heat, so if you want them delicious and creamy, kill the heat just before they’re done.

Et voila! I fried up some potatoes in an adjacent frying pan, plated them, poured the scrambled eggs over top, and added my toppings. It’s attractive, satisfying, and it took me literally 15 minutes to make.

Tomorrow: Malaysian stew! Get ready. It’s gonna be good.

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One Meal Becomes Another

I’m not gonna lie to you, folks. Sometimes I make dishes that suck. I’m still not incredibly skilled in seasoning, unless it’s a no-brainer like lemon and rosemary, or tomato and basil. So when I threw together the contents of my fridge in the form of pasta, cherry tomatoes, cooked spinach, and olive oil with a little salt and pepper, it was… bland. Real bland. And when I eyed the leftovers the following day, I wondered what to do. And then it hit me: frittata.

Seriously, mixing leftovers with eggs and cheese and baking it in the oven is the answer to all my leftovers. Random veg in the crisper? Eggs, cheese, bake. Bland pasta? Eggs, cheese, bake. Half a roasted chicken breast and some fried potatoes? Eggs, cheese, bake. Chocolate cupcakes with raspberry frosting? Eggs, cheese, bake. SIKE. Who has leftover cupcakes?

On the menu:
Macaroni frittata with tomatoes, spinach, and parmesan

What you’ll need:
Leftovers – really, anything that is already cooked or can be eaten raw (i.e. fruits and veg) will work in this dish. Don’t be throwing raw chicken in there.
Cheese – I used parmesan because to me, tomatoes and spinach says “salty Italian” but maybe you have some cheddar, some swiss, a little block of goat cheese. Throw it in.
Veg – as I mentioned, I had cherry tomatoes and cooked spinach already in the failed pasta dish so I just mixed it in with eggs and a little milk, but maybe you have a chunk of red onion or some slices of yellow pepper, a handful of raw broccoli or half a zucchini. Whatever you need to get rid of.

I also added a little oregano to my concoction, poured it in a skillet, baked it all up for 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven, and had a deeeelicious dinner. Try it. You’ll like it!

[In other news, this dish is PERFECT and so easy for a brunch: cut it pie-style into slices and serve with mimosas, donut muffins, and a fruit salad]

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I Love ’em All

Pancakes, that is. I. Love. Pancakes. Is it a simple batter? Can it be flipped using a spatula and a griddle? Is it flat and round? I will eat it, sir.

To celebrate the early acquisition of a highly coveted new cookbook, I picked a pancake recipe and hopped to. Amanda Hesser’s upcoming The Essential New York Times Cookbook is everything you could ever want from food in the New York Times. She has pulled recipes from literally every decade of the Times’ recipe section’s existence, tried the recipes out, and offered up her suggestions for making them delicious in the present day. I freaking love this cookbook. And I ESPECIALLY love the hilarious but still tempting recipes from the 1970s and 80s, most of which involve pickling and weird methods of serving eggs. This is the stuff, people. This. Is. The. Stuff.

On the menu:
Fresh corn griddle cakes with parmesan and chives
Serves 4-6
Adapted from Amanda Hesser’s version of Jack Bishop’s “If Corn’s Off the Cob, Use Your Imagination” from The Essential New York Times Cookbook, published by W. W. Norton, available in October 2010

4 medium ears corn, shucked
1 egg
1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 Tbsp chives, snipped
1/2 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 Tbsp unsalted butter

Working over a large bowl, grate the corn on the large holes of a box grater until the cobs are clean; discard the cobs. Add the egg, flour, cheese, chives, salt, and pepper to the corn. Stir until the batter is smooth. Taste and add more salt and/or pepper as needed.

Melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Scoop up 1/4 cup of the thick batter and scrape it into the skillet, smoothing the mound to a flat pancake for cooking. Cook each pancake for 6 minutes on each side for best results (you want each cake crispy on the outside and cooked all the way through, unlike a traditional pancake that is more delicate).

Et voila! Crispy corn cakes that you can serve with virtually any meal. They would be lovely in a bread basket on the table at dinner with roast chicken and mashed potatoes, or warmed in the toaster with a pat of butter and maybe a little mango salsa over top. I was also thinking these would be phenomenal in place of an English muffin in Eggs Benedict. But then again… I am literally always thinking of Eggs Benedict.

Please don’t judge me.

Bon weekend!

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