Tag Archives: breakfast

My mom’s pancakes

Listen, my mother can make the best pancakes in the world. I regularly order pancakes and I am telling you that only once (ONE time) did restaurant pancakes even come close to challenging mom’s. On a related note, if you find yourself in Fredericksburg, Tx, consider stopping at the famous Rather Sweet bakery and ordering the pancakes.

I’m including the basic recipe below, but you’ll notice that the pictures capture a slightly more accessorized version. As my dad quite correctly pointed out, my love of souped-up pancakes came from his hotcakes recipe, which was handed down from my grandmother, Bummy. The picture shows banana and toasted pecan pancakes- I made them for my hubby’s birthday breakfast. We did not divorce that morning. I love to add blueberries and lemon zest, or sauteed apple bits with cinnamon (my favorite version from Dad). You get the picture. My only bit of advice when it comes to toppings is to listen to Mae West- too much of a good thing can be wonderful. If you’re adding blueberries, add a damn bucket of them!

  • 1   Cup cake flour
  • 4   teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4  tsp. salt
  • 3/4  tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2  tsp. baking soda
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 2 Tablespoons sour cream (lowfat is fine)
  • 1 Cup buttermilk (don’t even think about using regular)
  • 2 Tablespoons corn/veggie/canola oil
  1. Stir (or even better sift) together dry ingredients.
  2. Beat wet ingredients, including egg yolk (but NOT egg whites) together.
  3. Whip egg whites until foamy and lightly stiff.
  4. Mix dry mixture with wet mixture, then gently fold in egg whites.
  5. Heat grill and coat with butter. You’ll need more butter with every batch, so just get over it. It’s pancakes. They involve butter.
  6. Drop ~1/4 cup per pancake on hot griddle. If using toppings, sprinkle on top of each pancake at this point. Once you see nice, big bubbles and the underside is golden, you can flip those suckers.
  7. Keep warm in a 200 degree oven while you attack the next batch.

Easy-peasy drop biscuits

I’m not going to tell you that I like drop biscuits better than regular roll and cut biscuits. Drop biscuits are less evenly shaped, making them more difficult to use with things like sausage biscuits or whatever, and they are a teeny bit less flaky. BUT, they are a whole lot easier to make. Like way easier. If that means that I occasionally get biscuits on a Sunday-morning whim, well then…I am game. They are also a great topping for a quick “pot pie” over some chicken stew.

They don’t exactly look gross, do they?

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 cup very cold buttermilk
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted and then cooled just slightly (plus 2 tablespoons melted for brushing the tops after baking)
  1. Heat oven to 475 with rack in middle. Spray a 1/4 cup measuring cup with oil and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk dry ingredients in large bowl. Stir 8 T melted butter into cold buttermilk. The liquid will clump up a bit…that is very good. It’s what makes these biscuits fluffy and yummy
  3. Add wet ingredients into dry and fold together with rubber spatula. Fill measuring cup with batter and tap onto sheet. Space evenly across sheet- you should have 10 – 12.
  4. Bake in oven for 12-14 minutes until golden brown. Brush cooked biscuits with melted butter and serve!!

The very best applesauce

It’s apple season, people. Please don’t let it pass without making some delicious apple dishes. This is one of my favorites to just have in the fridge. Great on it’s own, mixed with yogurt, served with potato pancakes or pork. You can also sub it for oil in a lot of baking recipes.

Served here with a dollop of Greek yogurt and local honey….

One thing about this recipe that’s really different from most apple recipes, is that I strongly prefer it with just one variety of apples, as opposed to a mix. I usually prefer mixes because you get more complex flavors. With this, it’s best to really let one variety shine. My fav is pink lady.

  • 4 lbs apples, unpeeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1/8 – 1/4 cup sugar (your call…I prefer less. You can always add honey later)
  • 3/4 C water
  • pinch salt
  • 1 T butter, cut into 4 pieces

Optional flavorings to stir in at end: Cinnamon,  candied ginger, lemon zest, nutmeg

  1. Place apples, sugar, salt and water in heavy-bottomed pot. Toss to combine, cover and cook until apples are tender and just beginning to break down (but not falling apart). About 20 min
  2. Transfer to food processor, add butter, optional seasoning and pulse until broken down. Do not over process! You want it smooth, but not liquid.

I also love it mixed with Greek yogurt and served with homemade granola and chopped apples

More good breakfasts

I just cannot make myself actually type up a recipe for this kind of thing. I want to keep track of the good breakfasts and maybe give some other folks a few ideas, but that just has to be good enough. What do you think? Am I lazy?

  1. Eggs scrambled with Mexican oregano on whole grain toast with 1/4 avocado sliced on top (squeezed lime and salted avocado) + golden honeydew and plums
  2. Fresh fruit salad ( peaches, plums, strawberries and raspberries) and mini banana muffins (from freezer after niece’s wedding)

Tomato Gratin

I heard about this recipe on Smitten Kitchen (shocker) and then saw it pop up in a few other places. I haven’t had the best tomato summer, so I was looking for something to do with less than oh-my-god-this-is-heaven tomatoes. This definitely did the job. The tomato flavor comes through like a punch to the jaw, it’s easy, can be made days in advance and is a generally excellent veggie entree.

We had it 3 times so far….

1. Tomato gratin + green beans with toasted garlic + an insanely delicious salad of arugula, fresh cherries, marcona almonds, shaved parrano and balsamic vinaigrette

2. The next morning with a fried egg on top

3. Tomato gratin + asparagus with bacon and parm + a great salad of chopped romaine, shredded havarti dill, shredded carrots, tomatoes, chopped egg and a green chile Caesar dressing

The second time I made it, I went too light on the croutons and it was too loose and lacked some substance. Learn from my mistakes.

  • 3  Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups diced bread, in a 1/2 inch dice with crusts removed (a good french bread works well, but just nothing sour)
  • 1 1/2 lb tomatoes, 1/2 inch dice
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh black pepper
  • 1/2 Cup fresh slivered basil
  • 1 Cup grated Parm
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Heat oil in large pan over medium high. Add croutons and toast thoroughly.
  2. Meanwhile, combine tomatoes, garlic, sugar, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Let sit at least 3 minutes to release some juices
  3. When croutons are toasted, add tomato mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in basil. Place in casserole dish (it won’t rise, so it can be pretty full) and top with cheese.
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes until lightly browned and bubbly. 

Good breakfasts

During the week, breakfasts are designed to be fast and healthy. It’s a bonus if they are also delicious, but that is not the primary objective.

During the weekends, I usually turn up the dial a few notches. It may still be fast and healthy, but you better believe it’s delicious. Plus, it’s always consumed at the big kids’ table. No sitting at the bar or using the tv trays on the weekend. No sir.

Anyway, here are a few breakfasts that I’ve really loved recently:

  1. Chipotle black beans with yogurt + a corn tortilla + quick tomato salad + pineapple, grapes and mint
  2. Eggs scrabbled with pesto + multigrain bread with cheddar and feta + gazpacho + watermelon
  3. Eggs scrabbled with salsa, with Monterrey jack cheese in a whole wheat pita + watermelon

Do I dare to eat a peach?

Caramelized peaches! YUM! I am always looking for good peach recipes. I can’t help myself when I see a peach stand by the side of the road or a big pile of pink, fuzzy goodness at the grocery store, but there is a difference between coming home with peaches and coming home with GOOD peaches. Sometimes they just aren’t good enough to eat all by their lonesome. It’s not their fault. They just need a teeny bit of help. I know for a fact that this is great with ice cream or yogurt.  I secretly (maybe not so “secretly” now) suspect that it would be a great topping with pavlova, pound cake, angel food cake, shortcake, etc.

  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 5 large peaches
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  1. Peel (if fuzzy) and slice peaches. Toss with salt in bowl. Then pour peaches into a strainer, set over bowl and let sit for 30-6o minutes.
  2. Heat the butter in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. When it is hot but not smoking, add the peaches and sauté them until they sizzle and their juices reduce and begin to thicken, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle the sugar over them, increase heat to medium high and sauté until the juices further thicken and the sugar caramelizes slightly, about 1-3 minutes.
  4. Add the lemon juice and any juice in bowl and sauté until the juices thicken, shaking the pan so that all is well blended. Let the peaches cook, shaking or stirring occasionally, until the juices are very thick, about 1-2 minute.

By the way, the title of this post is from one of my  all-time favorite lines of poetry, from TS Elliot’s “The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock.” Here’s the last little bit…

I grow old … I grow old … I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach? I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves, combing the white hair of the waves blown back, when the wind blows the water white and black.

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea, by sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown

Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

Granola

This is a new kitchen staple and I thought it was time to share it with the world. Right? I’ve adapted and adaptation of (I think) and adaptation of an Ina G recipe. I like mine a little less sweet and with a LOT of nuts, but you can do whatever you like. That’s the beauty of these infinitely adaptable granola recipes (see also chewy granola bars). Here’s how I eat mine:

  • Mix a grated golden delicious apple with Greek yogurt and serve with ~1/4 C granola
  • Layer cut up nectarine with 1/4 C granola, top with keffir
  • Sprinkle a bit over vanilla ice cream

It is just so good. I keep it in a tupperware on the counter with a 1/4 C scoop in the container and we just work away at it. I’d estimate that a batch lasts us 2-3 weeks, so I often just half it. Including the FULL recipe below, so feel free to cut in half or tweak as you see fit. Try it!

  • 4 Cups old-fashioned oats
  • 2 Cups similar-sized nuts (I use chopped almonds and pecans)
  • 1/2 Cup veggie oil
  • 1/4 – 1/2 Cup honey (I use somewhere in between)
  • 2 Cups similar-sized fruit (I use dried cherries, yellow raisins and diced apricots)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 Cup toasted coconut (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees and adjust rack to lower middle position
  2. Toss oats, nuts, oil, honey, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. Setting bowl aside, pour into a sheet or jelly roll pan and back in oven, turning regularly (every 10 min or so) for 20-40 minutes. Note: I know that’s a big difference, but it just depends on your oven and how toasty you like. This is not the recipe that you can pop in and forget. Just keep an eye on it, ok?
  3. Let granola cool slightly and pour back into bowl. Add dried fruit and coconut and toss. At this point, if you want it sweeter or saltier or toastier, you can adjust as needed and just pop it back in the oven for 5 minutes
  4. Let cool and then store in an airtight container

Creamy, dreamy grits with andouille, gulf shrimp and Greeen Tabsco cream sauce

The other title of this dish is “Rabia’s Delight,” because one of my friends lost her sh*t over it. It’s super easy and really scrumptious. It is not the best dish for a “come by whenever you want” brunch because the grits really don’t hold for all that long. I’ve decided that it would be a delicious dinner too. Try it!

Green Tabasco cream sauce

  • 1/3 cup green Tabasco
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream

Creamy, Dreamy Grits

  • 5 cups water
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 cups corn grits (I like yellow better than white)
  • 1/2 C shredded white cheese (mild chedddar or havarti are great)

Gulf shrimp & Andouille topping

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 8 ounces smoked andouille sausage, sliced
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ~30 uncooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined and cut in half
  • 14oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

Ginger & Apple sesame bagels

I don’t even think this counts as a “recipe,” but it’s just too fantastically delicious to ignore.

  1. Bring a block of cream cheese to room temperature, or until it’s soft enough to really work
  2. Cut up candied ginger into small chunks, until you have about 4 Tablespoons. You can always add more, but you can’t take any out, so feel free to start small
  3. Fold ginger into cream cheese and add 1-2 Tablespoons of honey
  4. Peel and slice a green apple VERY thinly
  5. Serve with halved sesame bagels