I know I promised I would post the recipes here every time I post a new recipe on my blog’s new home … but it’s getting away from me … so much to do with the transfer of domains and all the other things going on in my life … I did export and import all of the email subscribers from here over to there … are you getting emails from my new blog? If not, please go add your email address on my new blog: www.SumptuousSpoonfuls.com … seriously, please, go now! I don’t want to lose you.
Okay, now let’s talk new recipes … here’s what’s new on my blog: click on the pic or the title to see the recipe … I hope you’ll visit me at my new site!
I’ve been dreaming of this granola for weeks it seems … dying to make it … looking for pumpkin seeds at the store. I thought about toasting up some out of one of these little pumpkins I have here, but I really wanted those lovely little crunchy green ones that you can get, not the big seeds you pull out of your pumpkin and roast.
I knew I saw some at the grocery store, but every time I went back, they were gone … FINALLY, this morning, I found some! Granola time, baby!
So I made this lovely granola with maple syrup and pumpkin puree, pumpkin spices, honey, dried cranberries and lots of fun seeds and nuts.
But I’m sorry to say, you’re not going to find the recipe for this delicious holiday granola here …
I’ve decided it’s time for my blog to have its own space … I think we’ve outgrown the capabilities of Free WordPress and we need to move on … sooo I moved everything over to www.SumptuousSpoonfuls.com … yes, all of it, all the recipes, all your comments, everything! Tada! Isn’t that magic?
Please go over there to find the recipe for this granola (and ALL of my others!) and while you are there, I would really love it if you would click the link to follow me there. If I am can figure out a way to redirect all of you lovely people who already follow my blog, I will … and for a little while, I will post little ticklers here to remind you I’m hanging out over there now.
So what are you waiting for? Come hang out with me in my new home and get the recipe for this lovely Maple Spice Pumpkin Cranberry Granola!
If you bake it in a pie pan, it’s a pie, right?
I am naming this a Pumpkin Apricot Oatmeal Pie to distinguish it from the mushy stuff you usually think of as oatmeal. Don’t get me wrong: I love a hot steamy bowl of oatmeal, but this definitely doesn’t have that soft mushy texture of stove top oatmeal. But then again, it’s not totally soft, moist and dense like a pumpkin pie either, and it has no crust. It’s not cakey either. I think most people would call it baked oatmeal, but really, it’s a cross between baked oatmeal and pumpkin pie. It is packed with dried fruit and has a slightly chewy texture to it. You could eat it for breakfast (because it’s totally healthy and packed full of fiber and protein and vitamins and other good things), or you could add ice cream and a little drizzle of caramel and call it dessert.
This lovely “pie” was inspired by my sweet friend Ann at The Fountain Avenue Kitchen, who made Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal the other day. She always soaks her oatmeal for several hours before she bakes it. I keep meaning to try that method, wondering if it would change the texture, but I never seem to think ahead enough to do it. Maybe next time?
Pumpkin Apricot Oatmeal Pie
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 2 Tablespoons rum (optional)
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
- 3 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 Tablespoons Stevia in the Raw or brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
- 1 cup lowfat milk
- 2 Tablespoons Amaretto (optional)
- 1 egg + 1 egg white
- 1 ripe banana, smashed (or grated apple would be wonderful too … )
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons melted butter
- 1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped into bits
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- For the top: 1/3 cup pecans + a Tablespoon or two of raw turbinado sugar
- Soak the raisins in the rum for at least 15 minutes to get them nice and plump. If you don’t want to include the alcohol, you can use water with a little vanilla and/or rum extract to plump the raisins.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Mix all the other ingredients (except for the topping) in a mixing bowl until everything is well mixed. Add the rum-soaked raisins (with any residual rum).
- Spray a large pie pan with cooking spray and pour the pumpkin oatmeal mixture into it, spreading it evenly with a rubber spatula.
- Sprinkle the top of the pie with pecans and raw sugar. Bake at 375 for about 40 minutes or until the pie is set and golden brown on top.
To serve, you can cut in wedges and eat it warm, with no topping, or for a fancier dessert oatmeal pie, you can top it with light vanilla ice cream (or vanilla yogurt for an even healthier option!) and drizzle with a little warm caramel sauce. The warm oatmeal pie with the toasted pecans on top and cold ice cream melting into it is really a wonderful contrast, but most of the time I ate it just plain, no topping, because it’s quite nice just like that, with a cup of hot chai.
This recipe was shared at Fit & Fabulous Friday, Share it Saturday, Scrumptious Sunday, Weekend Potluck, Melt in your Mouth Monday, Totally Tasty Tuesday, Tuesday Talent Show, Thursday’s Treasures and Everyday Mom’s Meals.
on Toasted Ciabatta with Melted Gouda Cheese
Today I was HUNGRY and needed something substantial. Something with protein. I briefly considered making up a BLT, but I decided I didn’t want to mess with making bacon. I needed something quick so I could get back to work.
So an egg sandwich sounded about right … But I wanted something really tasty that would satisfy my hunger AND my taste buds. Pesto rosso to the rescue! If you haven’t heard of Pesto Rosso, it’s a magical tomato pesto made with sundried tomatoes and almonds. The Foodie Physician introduced me to it. I have had this lovely red pesto several times spread on toast for a snack and reveled in the taste of it each time, but today I thought I would put it to the test in a sandwich.
A few minutes later I was munching on one of the BEST breakfast sandwiches I have ever had. The lovely ciabatta and fresh garden tomato are wonderful, of course, and the sweet pepper and onion certainly pitch in along with the melted gouda cheese, but the Pesto Rosso is what really turns this sandwich from a ho-hum regular run-of-the-mill sandwich … into a sandwich to remember.
Sweet Pepper Pesto Rosso Breakfast Sandwich
Makes 2 normal-sized breakfast sandwiches or 1 extra large one. I used Gouda cheese from Dofino, since they were so kind as to send me samples.
- 1 egg
- About 1 tablespoon of chopped sweet bell pepper (I used yellow … red or green would work too)
- About 1 tablespoon of chopped sweet onion
- Several slices of Gouda cheese
- Ciabatta bread, sliced horizontally (I used my homemade ciabatta)
- Pesto Rosso (recipe here)
- Sliced fresh garden tomato
- In a small bowl, whisk the egg with a small spoonful of cold water till smooth (the water will help keep your egg moist and perfect). Season with Red Robin Seasoning (or your favorite seasoned salt) and fresh ground black pepper, then stir in the chopped sweet onion and bell pepper.
- Heat your frying pan to medium heat, pour in the egg mixture, reduce heat immediately to medium low. Cover the egg with gouda cheese slices, then set the cover on the pan and let cook, checking frequently, until the egg is cooked through and the cheese is melted. I pushed in some of the edges of the egg to make it into a more manageable size for the sandwich.
- While the egg is cooking, cut 2 pieces of ciabatta about the size for half of your egg (or a large piece of ciabatta if you are making a ginormous sandwich), slice them horizontally and toast the bread, then spread the bottom half of the ciabatta with a generous amount of Pesto Rosso. Slide the egg on top of the Pesto Rosso and then add fresh tomato slices and the top half of the ciabatta bread.
This recipe was shared at Thursday’s Treasures, Full Plate Thursday, Friday Favorites, Fit & Fabulous Fridays, Weekend Potluck, Melt in your Mouth Monday, Totally Tasty Tuesday and Kitchen Fun Friday.
My sister gave me this pretty parfait glass … isn’t it gorgeous? This is a simple idea to dress up a Lemon Poppy Seed cupcake (muffin? What IS the difference between muffins and cupcakes anyway?) and change things up if you are tiring of the same old cupcake. I used an unfrosted Zucchini Lemon Poppy Seed cupcake for my trifle, but if you have another on hand, feel free to use that! You could change out the flavors, add fruit, whatever you like. If you use healthy cupcakes like my Zucchini Lemon Poppy Seed ones, it can make for a very healthy breakfast, snack or dessert. You could do this on a larger scale in a glass bowl using several cupcakes and a big tub of lemon yogurt for a party too.
Lemon Poppy Seed Yogurt Trifle
For each trifle you will need:
- 1 lemon poppy seed cupcake (a normal sized one … if yours is a large-size “muffin”, half of one will do!)
- 1 small container of lemon lowfat yogurt (or use plain yogurt and mix in lemon juice/lemon zest & some sweetener)
- Garnish: Poppy seeds and fresh lemon slices
Cut the cupcake into small squares (about 1/2 inch wide/deep/tall). In a pretty parfait glass, carefully spoon in some of the yogurt, then add some of the cupcake squares. Top with another layer of yogurt (reserving a dollop for the top), more cupcake squares, then a nice dollop of yogurt on top. Sprinkle the top with poppy seeds and garnish with fresh lemon slices. Serve immediately with long, fancy ice cream parlor-style spoons if you have them.
with a sweet rosewater glaze
I have been planning/dreaming of making these scones since June, when my friend Melissa posted her Rose Butter Tea Sandwiches. I saw the rose petal sugar she used on her pretty little tea sandwiches and thought: hey I could use that in SCONES!
So, when my most fragrant rose bush was covered with roses, I gathered some and made some rose sugar and set it in my cupboard to wait for a week. A week went by, and then a month, and then another. I told my daughter I was planning to make her rose scones and her face lit up. But life got crazy and the summer got SO hot and there never seemed to be a good time to bake rose petal scones.
Now it’s fall, the temperatures are dropping and my thoughts are turning to baking again. I woke up this morning, looked at the clock and decided today is the day I’m going to make those rose petal scones.
These scones have a soft, gentle rose flavor. It’s just a light hint of rose, like a passing floral scent on a breeze.
White Chocolate Rose Petal Scones
Inspired by Melissa at ChinDeep, who makes the most beautiful things with edible flowers. Plan ahead if you want to make these because it takes a week to make the rose petal sugar.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup unbleached white whole wheat flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1/2 cup rose petal sugar (recipe below)
- 6 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into little pieces
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup vanilla low fat yogurt
- 1/2 cup plain low fat yogurt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon culinary rosewater (my recipe for rosewater is here)
- about 3/4 cup good quality white chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli)
- Rosewater glaze (recipe below) and fresh clean organic rose petals (if desired, for garnish)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a large cookie sheet with cooking spray.
In a bowl combine flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in the rose petal sugar, crushing any lumps with your fingers.
Add the little pieces of butter and work it into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or your fingers until the butter chunks are all broken down and the mixture resembles a coarse meal. (I use my fingers–it’s messy, but fun!)
- Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the egg, yogurt and extracts. Mix until just blended (dough will be soft and wet).
Turn onto a floured surface and knead lightly 3-4 times. Pat or roll the dough into a circle about 1/2 inch thick. Cut into wedges and place on your prepared cookie sheet.
- Bake scones for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. Drizzle with rosewater glaze and let the glaze set. At serving time, garnish with fresh organic roses or rose petals (if you like).
Sweet Rosewater Glaze
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 3 teaspoons culinary rosewater
In a small mixing bowl, stir together the powdered sugar with the rosewater till smooth.
Rose Petal Sugar
Recipe from ChinDeep
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 cups very fragrant, unsprayed rose petals, washed and dryed completely
In a food processor or handi chopper, pulse the sugar and rose petals until the rose petals are tiny little confetti-like pieces. Put the sugar in a covered jar and wait for a week before you use it.
This post is an Eating the Alphabet post.
This month we’re cooking things that begin with the letters P, Q or R. R is for ROSES!
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and some blue cheese crumbles and a few sunflower seeds too …
Ann from Fountain Avenue Kitchen posted this beautiful recipe this morning. She started out her morning with this lovely breakfast … only to have it fall and land on the floor, breaking the plate. Oh how I can relate! I have mornings like that. Days when everything seems to tumble and break. She didn’t seem too upset about it … she was just glad that there was another serving left … I was mourning the loss of that beautiful square plate! And it wasn’t even mine.
But her breakfast quinoa sounded really good and it just so happens I had a bit of cooked quinoa in the fridge and an over-abundance of fresh vegetables in the house. So I made this for myself, and served it on a square plate … in honor of my friend Ann who gave her plate to bring me this recipe.
Savory Breakfast Quinoa with Harvest Vegetables & Blue Cheese
Adapted from Fountain Avenue Kitchen. I didn’t have the same ingredients on hand so I switched out the vegies and the cheese. Feel free to mix up the vegies and cheese to what you like/what you have on hand.
For each serving:
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped fine
- 3/4 cup cooked quinoa (hot!)
- about 2/3 cup fresh chopped summer squash and/or zucchini (or other vegetables)
- About 10 cherry tomatoes (or 1 small garden fresh tomato, chopped)
- a sprig of tarragon
- a few basil leaves
- 1 egg
- a tablespoon or so of blue cheese crumbles & a few roasted sunflower seeds
Mix the olive oil and the garlic in a small bowl and let it sit for a few minutes to infuse the olive oil with the garlic flavors while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
Once you have everything together, toss the summer squash with the cherry tomatoes in the garlic and olive oil. Toss in the basil and tarragon as well. Set them on a small baking sheet and roast for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees or until the squash is crisp tender.
While the squash and tomatoes are roasting, heat a frying pan on medium heat and fry up an egg to your liking. I prefer them over easy, but do what makes you happy.
Now, when the squash and tomatoes are roasted, mix them with the hot cooked quinoa. Put a bed of the quinoa mixture on your plate, top with a few blue cheese crumbles and sunflower seeds, then when the egg is cooked properly, slide it on top of the quinoa.
I dreamed of this tart for days but I was too busy to make it … I could picture it in my mind: a lovely summer tart filled with garlic and herb-infused Ricotta and Asiago cheeses, topped with rows of beautifully overlapping garden fresh tomato and tender little purple eggplant slices. Finally I could not stand it any longer. I had to make it. It was nearing twilight, so I rushed to finish it in time to have enough light to photograph it. I was using these lovely little purple eggplant from mom’s garden and some of those little tomatoes that pretty perfectly matched the diameter of the eggplant.
It turned out beautiful … but the cornmeal crust I had thought would be so good was just awful (re-confirming my irrational fear of pie crust). It looked perfectly lovely … I tried eating it, but ended up eating the topping and leaving the crust … I stuck the tart in the fridge overnight while I considered what to do … the next night I went and bought some puff pastry at the store, scraped the topping off the old crust, roasted some more eggplant and re-made the tart, again rushing to beat the impending darkness. This time, it turned out MUCH better, taste-wise, but not quite as pretty. I had used up all the tomatoes that matched the size of the eggplant so I couldn’t get that perfect layered effect. I used one of the darker Japanese eggplant in hopes that it would match the size of the larger tomatoes, but it didn’t at all. And this tart was square, not round. I don’t think I allowed the puff pastry enough time to thaw because the crust really wasn’t as puffy as it should have been. But despite all that, it tasted oh so wonderful. Almost as good as my dream tart.
Tomato Eggplant Ricotta Tart
- 1 sheet of puff pastry (or a pie crust would work if you are not afraid of such things like me)
- About 2 small, tender eggplant
- Several small tomatoes (with a diameter that roughly matches the eggplant)
- 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded asiago cheese + a few extra tablespoons for the top
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- Several sprigs of fresh tarragon and basil, chopped
- Thaw your puff pastry or prepare the pie crust.
- Slice the eggplant thinly (about 1/8 inch thick) and place on a baking sheet, spray with cooking spray and dust with Red Robin Seasoning or your favorite seasoned salt. Bake eggplant at 350 for about 10 minutes or until the eggplant slices are tender. (These little tender eggplant don’t require any peeling or salting.)
- While the eggplant is cooking, slice the tomatoes thinly and set them aside.
- Mix the ricotta, asiago, garlic and about half of the chopped herbs.
- Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and lay out the puff pastry (or place the pie crust in your tart pan). Spread the ricotta filling almost to the edge of the crust, then arrange alternating layers of the eggplant and tomato slices on top. If you are using puff pastry, roll up the edge of the pastry just a bit and pinch the corners. Sprinkle with a little asiago cheese and bake at 400 for 20 minutes or so or until the pastry has browned on the edges and the cheese is all melted.
- Sprinkle with the rest of the fresh herbs. Slice and serve immediately.
Do you want to hear the story of the refrigerator and the caramel rolls, how I gained a great appreciation for towels, teflon tape and good neighbors … and how this bread pudding came to be?
It all started when my sister and her husband came to visit. The ice machine in my refrigerator has been broken for some time. We’ve been making do with ice cube trays, which was a little frustrating at times because we’d be spilling water on the floor and sometimes it was kinda hard to get the ice cubes out of the tray, but it wasn’t a terribly big deal to us. However, ice is important to my sister. She mentioned to her husband that perhaps he ought to fix the ice maker in my refrigerator. So he set out to do that. We pulled the refrigerator out of his spot, he started cleaning and investigating and finding all sorts of strange things in the grate and around the back of the fridge, some from the previous owner of the house even. He figured out what was wrong, but then he needed a part to fix it. He started calling all the local repair shops and nobody had the right part.
So we ordered the part online, he put the fridge back together and we pushed it back into place. No big deal, right? Except now the water dispenser in the door (which didn’t work before he started) was leaking. We put a cup under it and went about our business. A few days later after my sis and her husband were gone, it started leaking faster. Like the cup would be full in an hour! You can’t really fit a bucket under there, and the part wasn’t here yet, so my kids and I rigged up a system with a piece of an old hose, some duck tape and a bucket. Then you could actually go to sleep at night and let the thing drip. It was ugly and awkward, but it worked. Then the part finally arrived, but it was days before I could get to fixing it.
Now, I’m not a fix-it kind of person. Anytime I have to do a fix-it project I get terribly nervous, but I got my son to help me move the fridge, we shut the water off, and we set to work to put this new part in. It was going pretty good, I got the part in, tightened it up, but left the fridge out so I could observe it for a while after we turned the water on. It was dripping. Oh dear. I tried tightening it. It dripped faster. I got more towels and turned the water off. My son tried tightening it. No luck. He went downstairs all frustrated and I sat down and cried. Then I started looking for the phone number for the plumber. But then it dawned on me that my neighbor might be able to help. He was outside working on his van when I ventured over there … sure, he would look at it. He told his son to grab the teflon tape and the two of them came over to look at my fridge. It wasn’t even 15 minutes before they’d fixed it. No leak! YAY! And the ice maker works! No water will come out of the dispenser that was leaking like crazy before, but I’m okay with that.
I felt a moment of great gratitude for good neighbors, towels, and teflon tape.
The next morning I woke up determined to do something nice for my neighbor. I set about making some freshly baked peach caramel rolls, sure that that would be the perfect treat for him and his family on a Sunday morning. But when I finished the rolls, my neighbors were nowhere to be found. They weren’t around all day, in fact, and by the next morning, the peach caramel rolls that had looked so delicious the day before didn’t look so appetizing. They still tasted good if you warmed them up first, but they weren’t very pretty and I was NOT going to give my neighbor an ugly treat.
So I made the caramel rolls into bread pudding. I dare say, this bread pudding was even better than the rolls and it made for lovely breakfasts for me for several days … and even served as breakfast over the weekend at my parents’ place. This is the view from the dock at my parents’ place …
Caramel Peach Bread Pudding
Maybe you don’t have a big plate of caramel rolls sitting around, so I’ll give you two variations of the recipe here: one made with old caramel rolls, and another similar bread pudding made with bread and peaches.
- 6 cups of old caramel rolls, cut into 1-inch chunks (it’s ok if they are a little stale or dry)
- 2 cups milk
- 5 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped (if you’re using my peach caramel rolls, cut the amount of added fruit to 2 1/2 cups)
- Sliced almonds & raw sugar, for the top
- Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray. Put the chopped caramel rolls in the casserole dish. Pour the milk over the rolls and let the cubes bask in their milk bath for about 15 minutes, tossing gently every once in a while to give all the rolls a chance to soak.
- In a bowl, whisk the eggs till they are a little fluffy, then add the vanilla, nutmeg and salt and whisk till everything is well blended. Mix the peaches into the egg mixture.
- Fold the fruit into the soaked caramel rolls. Top with almonds and sprinkle with a tablespoon or two of raw (turbinado) sugar.
- Bake at 350 degrees F. for about an hour or until the pudding is set.
Variation using bread: Substitute 6 cups of bread cubes for the caramel rolls. You can use any kind of bread … I think whole wheat adds a nice texture. Add 1 cup of brown sugar + 2 Tablespoons melted butter to the egg mixture.
Last weekend it finally RAINED here … and with the rain came a refreshing chill in the air that to me meant one thing … time to BAKE! I thought it would be fun to bake up something special for the kids for breakfast … I started the dough for cinnamon rolls and then the peaches in my big wooden bowl in my kitchen started calling to me. How could I ignore them? I started peeling and chopping peaches, made up some caramel sauce and created this wonderful new thing.
My picky kids didn’t like the idea of peaches in their caramel rolls, so I did one pan with peaches, one without. They don’t know what they’re missing! These peachy little wonders take a while to make, but they are the perfect treat for brunch on a cool rainy day.
Peachy Perfect Caramel Rolls
In addition to the caramel sauce and the dough, you’ll need about 10 medium ripe peaches.
Sweet Roll Dough
- 1 1/3 cups cold water
- 4 t. yeast (or about 2 packets)
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 T. canola oil
- 1 egg
- 2 cups bread flour
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 t. cinnamon
- 1 t. vanilla
Put all the ingredients in the bread machine and start it up on the dough setting. Now get to work on the peaches and prepare the caramel.
Peel, pit and chop about 10 medium peaches into small pieces (or just 5 if you have picky kids like me and you’re doing one pan with peaches, one without).
Simple Caramel Sauce
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 6 T. butter
- 1 t. cinnamon
- 1-2 T. water
- 1 t. vanilla
Put the brown sugar, cinnamon and butter into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on 50% power until the butter is melted. Stir together to mix, then add 1 T. water and vanilla. If the caramel sauce looks too thick, add a bit more water.
Preparing the Peachy Perfect Caramel Rolls
To see step-by-step photos for making rolls like this (along with some cute little helper hands!), see my Caramel Apple Sweet Rolls recipe.
(This is a really fun project for kids, by the way. If you have little ones, they can help sprinkle and cut the rolls. If you have teenagers like me, they’ll probably sleep in till mid-afternoon and roll out of bed long after the rolls are done.)
- When the dough is ready, dust a large clean surface with flour and roll it out into a long rectangular shape. The dough will resist getting any bigger after a while and will want to spring back into a smaller shape.
- Now spray the dough with cooking spray, then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar so you get it all covered with the cinnamon sugary goodness.
- Now sprinkle on a layer of chopped peaches all over the dough.
- Prepare your pan(s). I had to use two pans to hold all the rolls: one was a glass pie pan and the other was a round inch baking dish. Spray them with cooking spray, then pour in the caramel sauce and sprinkle with peaches. I sprinkled some pecans on one, and left the other one without nuts.
- Now take the dough and roll it into a long log-shape. You can pinch the edges to “seal” if you like, but I usually don’t bother.
- Get some dental floss and pull out a long string. This is what you’re going to use to cut the dough. About 1 1/2 – 2 inches from the end of the roll, wrap the floss around the roll so it crosses on top, then pull on the strings to cut the dough.
- Take the roll and place it in the pan with the loose edge up against the side of the pan. Then cut the rest of the log into rolls about 1 1/2 – 2 inches long and place them in the prepared pan(s) leaving some space between them to allow them room to rise. Try to place the loose edges of each roll either up against the edge of the pan or next to another roll.
- Now spray the tops of the dough with cooking spray and set them somewhere to rise. Cover them with a towel and put them somewhere warm. If you have an over-the-oven microwave, you can put them the microwave with the stove light on. The stove light just under the microwave makes it a nice place for the dough to rise. (You don’t need to cover them if you rise them in the microwave.) … Another great place for rising dough is in the oven. Preheat the oven to the lowest setting (usually 170 degrees F.) and then turn the oven off. Place the rolls in the warm oven covered with a towel. … It takes a while for the dough to rise. At least an hour, sometimes two. Once the rolls are big and poofy and they have filled up all the empty spaces in the pan, they are ready to bake.
- Put the caramel rolls in an oven at 325 degrees F. for about 40- 50 minutes. I like to cover them with aluminum foil for about the first 20 minutes to keep them from getting too brown. You want the dough to be cooked through and the tops to be a lovely golden brown. If you press on one of the middle rolls lightly, it should be firm, not gooey.
- Immediately place another pan or serving tray on top of the rolls and turn them upside down to invert them. It’s important to invert them right away to allow the caramel sauce to drip down over the rolls and to keep them from getting stuck in the pan you baked them in. These rolls are best eaten fresh and hot from the oven, but they can be covered, saved and reheated briefly in the microwave.
This is a #peachlove post.
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Last night my facebook page zoomed past 10,000 “likes” when I wasn’t looking. I was out having a glass of wine with my friend, talking out all the things we needed to talk about, sharing things we probably wouldn’t ever tell anyone else.
How did it zoom by without me so quickly? I think it’s because I’ve been doing an A-Z health challenge on my facebook page. Every day there is a letter, you choose one thing that starts with that letter and share the health benefits of your chosen thing. A was Avocado, B was Basil, C was Cilantro, D was Dill. E was Eggs. F was Flax. Yesterday was G and I chose Garlic. Somewhere along the way I invited my foodie friends to join in and share facts or recipes on my page. That’s when things really got fun. Suddenly I wasn’t talking to myself anymore … everyone was joining in and we had such a spread of beautiful recipes and wonderful conversations going on everywhere.
Today is the letter H and because I’m so HAPPY, I’ve asked everyone to share what makes them happy. And I thought I better take a minute to share what makes me happy. Each and every one of you that comment, visit, or like me on facebook or Pinterest or twitter: you make me happy. You are what makes all of the time and effort I put into this blog worthwhile.
What makes me happy?
Snuggling, hugs, curling up with my cat, the many shades of green leaves on the trees, joking with my son, hearing my daughter sing, seeing her dance, visiting my parents, talking with my sisters, playing with my nieces and nephews, going for long walks and hikes in beautiful, natural spaces, a text or visit from a friend, yoga, a genuine smile. Art. Live music. Singing. Beautiful architecture. History and Books. Sunrise on the lake.
Thunderstorms and rain, rainbows, blue sky, clouds, flowers, sunshine, seeing a deer or beautiful bird or a bat flying in the sky. Dragonflies and butterflies. Mountains. Plants. ANYTHING purple. Looking at the stars somewhere away from the city where you can see so many more of them. Riding on a boat, canoeing, sailing. Swimming. Camping. Dancing. The sound of waves and the feel of water and sand on my toes. Opening the windows and feeling a slight breeze through my house. Travelling. Meeting new people and seeing new things, trying new foods and seeing the world from a different perspective. Coming home. Breathing freely. Being healthy and so grateful to be alive.
A hot cup of chai on a chilly morning, dinner on the patio, a really good smooth dark chocolate. Having a drawer full of different wonderful cheeses, a bottle of wine and several lovely dark beers in my refrigerator. Picking berries, vegetables, herbs or flowers and eating them fresh. Hot soup and the smell of fresh bread baking on a cool or rainy day. Thai food. Or Mexican or Greek or anything funky and ethnic. Baking cinnamon rolls with my daughter, making up new recipes with my son. A beautiful salad. Little toasts! Pizza. Cold sweet ice cream on a hot day. Cooking. Having a handsome man cook for me and rub my back or my feet. Growing herbs. Foraging. Writing and reading and sharing with all of the wonderful foodies that have graced my life with their presence.
Smoky Mushroom Tomato Skillet Frittata
Cheese is one of those things that send me into a happy oblivion. Dofino cheese noticed this and sent me a bunch of cheeses. One of the cheeses they sent me was this smoked havarti which is very creamy and has an intense smoky taste, which blends so well with mushroom, tomato and eggs and a bit of smoky bacon.
- 1 teaspoon of butter
- 2 cups mushrooms
- 1/4 - 1/3 cup chopped onion
- 1 medium tomato, chopped
- 1 cup fresh spinach or swiss chard
- A small handful of fresh herbs (basil, oregano, thyme)
- 2 – 4 eggs (depending on how fluffy you want your frittata … I used 2, but it was a little flat)
- 1 slice lean bacon, fried crisp, cooled and crumbled or chopped
- 1 cup shredded cheese (sharp cheddar, smoked havarti, & asiago, mixed)
- In a skillet pan, melt the butter, then add the mushrooms. Sautee for a few minutes, add the tomato & onion. Cover and cook for a few minutes, then uncover and sautee until the onions are soft. Add the spinach and sautee briefly until wilted.
- Put the vegies in a bowl, mix with the herbs, and set aside. Clean out the pan. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs with a spoonful of water for each egg. Sprinkle with Red Robin Seasoning (or just salt) and freshly ground pepper.
- Heat the skillet to medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Pour in the eggs and let them cook for just a moment to start setting up. Quickly spread the vegie mixture over the eggs, sprinkle with bacon and top with the shredded cheese. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover and let cook till the cheese is melted. Remove from heat and serve immediately in wedges.
What makes you happy? I would love to know!
If you haven’t noticed, I have an affection (obsession) for cheese. I have a drawer in my fridge dedicated to cheese. I buy little chunks of flavorful cheeses and use them frequently in my cooking. Some sweet soul at Arla (the maker of Dofino cheeses) noticed my affinity for cheese … and sent me several “samples” of Dofino cheeses. Ironically, these “samples” are the same size as the little chunks I normally buy at the store … and there are six different kinds … some of them I can’t even find at my local stores. I’m in cheese heaven! They did ask that I share my recipes that I make with their cheeses. Are you kidding? There’s no way you could shut me up!
On to the recipe: if you’ve never had a really good chorizo with eggs and potatoes, it’s a sublime experience. Those three ingredients together are simply magical. Add a little cheese and it’s heaven on a plate. My dad makes this wonderful chorizo (one of these days I’ll get the recipe for it!) and I found some in the freezer, so I cooked some chorizo with eggs, potatoes and cheese while my sis was here. I had about 3/4 cup of the cooked chorizo left after they left, so I decided to make it into a breakfast boat, using one of those gorgeous Italian zucchini that my sister brought me. It made such a beautiful boat I was tempted to add a mast with a little sail just for fun, but I didn’t want to mess up the perfection of the melty cheese …
Cheesy Zucchini Chorizo Breakfast Boats
This filling will stuff two medium (14-inch) zucchini if you cut the tops off lengthwise, or two halves if cut in half lengthwise and both halves are stuffed … or even more if your zucchini are small!
- 3/4 cup good quality lean chorizo, cooked
- 1 cup potato, cut in small cubes, cooked
- 1 cup diced zucchini
- 1/2 cup sweet onion, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, finely chopped
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup shredded cheese (I used about 2/3 cup shredded Dofino Gouda cheese, plus about 1/3 cup Mexican fiesta blend I had in my fridge that I needed to use up … I mixed the two to make my own amazing cheesy blend)
- Cut the zucchini lengthwise to make two boats and with a grapefruit spoon (or other scooping device), scoop out the insides to make boats. (Save the seedy inside part to make Zummus.)
- Cook up the chorizo in a frying pan over medium heat, chopping it up into little crumbles as it cooks. When the chorizo is done, remove it from the pan and drain off the excess fat from the pan. Fry up the potato till it’s cooked, then add the zucchini, sweet onion and jalapeno and sautee for a few minutes until the onion is translucent and the zucchini is tender.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the eggs with 3 tablespoons of water till smooth. Sprinkle with Red Robin Seasoning or your favorite seasoned salt.
- Add the chorizo back into the frying pan and stir to mix, then pour in the eggs, scrambling them just for a few minutes. Fold in about 1/2 of the cheese mixture as well. You want to leave the eggs very moist, not quite done, because they will finish cooking in the boats.
- Spoon this lovely mixture into your zucchini boats, sprinkle with the remaining cheese, and place them on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes (or broil briefly) until the cheese on top is melted and bubbly.
- Serve hot. Plates are optional. ;)
Let’s re-define the idea of egg salad, shall we? I mean, who decided that “egg salad” should be a bunch of chopped hardboiled eggs with mayonnaise on bread? Excuse me, but how is that a salad? I don’t mean to knock the traditional egg salad sandwich … there’s a comforting charm in a well-made egg salad sandwich, but I have to tell you, when I think salad, I think greens. To me, a salad really needs greens before it deserves to be called a salad.
Yesterday I redefined the whole concept of “egg salad” in my mind. I put a fried egg on my salad. Really, it’s nothing new, but it’s new to me … it’s been done before … I’ve seen it, but the idea of putting a fried egg on a salad sounded completely crazy to me. A fried egg? on a REAL salad? With greens? Seriously?
It sounded so completely weird to me until I made this sundried tomato ranch dressing. And my friend Melissa said to me: it would be great on eggs. Oh. my. gosh. YES! A fried egg, over easy, with that beautiful bright yellow messy, runny yolk … and toast … and crunchy green salad … oh let’s toss on some avocado too … oh yes! It’s brilliant! I could eat this forever … I made it again today. It’s like the quickest meal ever. And it’s SOooooo goood!
It is the sundried tomato ranch dressing that makes this brilliant. Without it, it’s just eggs oozing all over my greens and yeah not really that exciting at all … but add that dressing and some crunchy toast and I’m happy as a clam.
(Are clams really happy? I sure hope so, cuz otherwise it would make NO sense to say “happy as a clam” … then again, we don’t really know that they are happy, so why do we say that?)
Whatever. This egg salad made me happy. Like giggly from my toes to my nose kinda happy. I will never, ever, think of egg salad the same way again.
Egg on a Salad with Avocado, Sweet Onion & Sundried Tomato Ranch Dressing
I got so excited talking about the salad I forgot to tell you about the flowers! They are hosta flowers … the flowers of hostas, like hosta leaves, are edible. You probably have some growing in your yard. They taste like salad. And they are insanely beautiful, on or off a salad.
- Mixed spring greens with spinach (or whatever greens you’d like to use …)
- Green bell pepper, chopped
- Sweet onion, sliced and chopped
- Avocado, sliced and/or cut into chunks
- Organic hosta flowers (or other edible organic flowers … totally optional but they look pretty! make sure yours aren’t sprayed with nasty lawn chemicals before eating, though)
- Eggs, 1 for each salad
- Thin slices of french bread or baguette, toasted
- Sundried tomato ranch salad dressing (recipe here)
- First mix up the dressing and set it aside.
- Make a good bed of greens in your salad bowl and tuck in some onion, avocado, and bell pepper. Add a few flowers if you like, around the edge, leaving a good space in the center for the egg.
- Spray a frying pan with cooking spray and heat to medium heat. Crack a fresh egg into the pan and season with Red Robin Seasoning (or salt) and freshly ground pepper. Cook it sunny side up or over easy, whatever you prefer.
- Toast the bread while the egg is cooking, then spread the ranch dressing on the bread slices.
- When the egg is done to your liking, set it gently on top of the salad. Top with the ranch (or serve on the side), and serve with the toast.
My daughter was hungry for crepes the other day, but it was in the middle of my work day, so she decided to make them herself. I thought I would have to help her because she usually gets frustrated with the cooking of the crepes, but she cooked them all herself, with no help from me (except for a little whisking of the batter)! I was so totally proud of her.
There were several left after she had her own personal crepe fest which she stuffed with caramel apples (just chunks of apples that she stirred into in a caramel sauce), so I put the remaining crepes in a tortilla bag in the fridge for another day. And then yesterday I thought I might have one of her crepes. I offered to make my girl one, but she wasn’t in the mood for a crepe. I guess her crepe craving was done. Good thing, because mine has just begun.
Berry Cherry Cream Crepes with Toasted Pecans
- Crepes (recipe below)
- 1/4 cup berry basil sauce (the sauce left from making Italian Cream Sodas … or cook up some fresh berries with a bit of sugar and fresh basil, then blend to make a sauce)
- 3 oz. light cream cheese
- 1 – 2 tablespoons nonfat plain greek yogurt
- Sweet cherries, pitted and chopped
- Toasted pecans
- Whipped cream or sweetened yogurt (either fruity or vanilla), for the top
Mix the berry basil sauce with the light cream cheese and greek yogurt till it’s pretty well combined. I couldn’t get the cream cheese to completely blend with the fruity sauce, but I got it pretty well mixed. Heat the crepe a bit in the microwave if it’s been chilled (like mine was) … 15 – 30 seconds should do it, then spread a good thick layer of the creamy berry sauce down the middle, leaving a little space on the ends. Sprinkle with cherries and toasted pecans, then fold over the ends and roll up the crepe.
Add a dollop of whipped cream or yogurt on top and sprinkle with berries and cherries and a few nuts.
from the Betty Crocker Cookbook
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups milk
- 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 eggs
Mix all the ingredients together to form a thin batter. You may need to whisk it a bit to get the batter smooth.
Spray a 6 to 8 inch frying pan with cooking spray and pour in 1/4 cup of the batter. Roll the pan around to coat the bottom of the pan with a very thin layer of the crepe batter. Cook until the bottom side is light brown, carefully lifting the edge of the crepe to check for brown-ness. When it’s ready, gently lift the edge of the crepe and slide a spatula under it, then flip it over to brown the other side. Stack the completed crepes on a plate. Betty says to put waxed paper between them to keep them from sticking, but I’ve never had a problem with my crepes sticking together.
Don’t get discouraged if you break a few crepes in the process … they are delicate pancakes and they can be a little tricky to flip. Just munch on your ‘mistakes’ with a bit of powdered sugar (or just eat them plain, like my daughter did) … and try again.
This recipe was shared at Everyday Mom’s Meals, Manic Mondays, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Trick or Treat Tuesdays, Tastetastic Thursday, Thursday’s Treasures, Foodie Friends Friday and Fit & Fabulous Fridays.
topped with Havarti and Gorgonzola cheese & a Balsamic Sundried Tomato “Ketchup”
It wasn’t very long ago I saw this great idea for baking eggs in a bread bowl … just hollow out some hard rolls, crack your egg in there, add some seasonings and voila! A beautiful breakfast. But you know me, I couldn’t stop there. I added some herbs and some cheeses and a gorgeous sundried tomato vinaigrette (a recipe I got from my friend Melissa at ChinDeep), which I had intended to drizzle over the baked egg, but I added some extra sundried tomatoes so the vinaigrette turned out kind of thick, more like the consistency of a ketchup. I’ve never liked ketchup on my eggs, but I loved this balsamic sundried tomato ketchup!
It took me a few tries to get this right. The first time I didn’t hollow out enough of the hard roll and then I overbaked it and the yolk was hard and dry. I wanted a runny, messy yolk that you could sop up with the bread. So I tried again, and this time I got the yolk just about right, but the hard roll got way too brown on top. I had cut just a tiny bit of the top off, and our toaster oven is too small; it over-toasted the top. It was delicious, but definitely not photo-worthy. The third time I finally got it right. Perfectly sized hole, perfectly brown crusty hard roll, perfectly cooked egg. The texture of the egg white was amazing, and when I tore into the yolk and it ran all over the plate, my heart just jumped with joy. A perfectly-cooked egg with toasted bread and avocado is pure pleasure in my book.
Herbed Baked Eggs in a Bread “Bowl” with Avocado
- Hard rolls
- Fresh basil & oregano
- Red Robin Seasoning (or your favorite seasoned salt)
- Freshly ground pepper
- Shredded Havarti cheese
- Crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
- Avocado slices
- Balsamic Sundried Tomato Ketchup (recipe below)
Cut tops off the hard rolls and hollow out the bottom half so there is enough room for an egg to fit in there. Set the hard rolls on a baking sheet sprayed lightly with cooking spray. Crack an egg into each roll.
Sprinkle with fresh basil, oregano leaves, the seasoning and fresh ground pepper. Top each egg with a Tablespoon or two of shredded Havarti cheese, then a sprinkle of Gorgonzola (maybe 1/2 Tablespoon per egg?). Bake at 350 F for about 15 minutes or until the white is set but the yolk is still soft. (If you want your yolk cooked through-not runny, let it cook another 5 minutes.)
In the last 5 minutes of cooking, put the tops of the hard rolls in the oven alongside to toast them.
Remove from oven. Set each egg on a plate, top with avocado slices, garnish with fresh basil or oregano leaves and serve immediately with plenty of the balsamic sundried tomato ketchup.
Balsamic Sundried Tomato “Ketchup”
Adapted from ChinDeep
- 1/4 cup good quality balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup minced sun-dried tomatoes
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon fresh chopped oregano
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons honey
- water, as needed
Soak the tomatoes in the vinegar and wine for 15 minutes or so to soften them up, then put all ingredients into a food processor or handi chopper and blend till mostly smooth. Add water as needed to get it to the desired consistency.
with Gorgonzola & Havarti cheeses and fresh Thyme
I was hungering for a savory breakfast with eggs and vegies and cheese yesterday, so I thought to try out some asparagus with my egg. It turned out so lovely. What’s more comforting in the morning than a baked egg?
Baked Egg in Asparagus Sweet Onion Nests
The beauty of this dish is you can make breakfast for 1 or 10. For each serving you’ll need:
- 5 – 7 large spears of fresh asparagus
- 1/4 of a sweet onion (I used Dolce Vita onion), sliced thin
- 1 egg
- Red Robin Seasoning (or Red Magic Seasoning if you’re watching your sodium … or your favorite seasoned salt) & freshly ground pepper
- 2 – 3 Tablespoons shredded Havarti cheese
- 1/2 Tablespoon or so of Gorgonzola cheese crumbles
- The leaves from a couple twigs of fresh thyme
Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and lay the asparagus and onion on the sheet. Spray with cooking spray, sprinkle with seasoning and bake at 400 for about 5 minutes or until the onion is tender and the asparagus is crisp tender.
Chop the asparagus and onion roughly. Spray oven-safe bowl(s) with cooking spray, then put the asparagus/onion mixture into the bowl, pressing them up against the sides of the bowl to make a well in the center for the egg.
Crack an egg into each bowl, sprinkle with seasoning and freshly ground pepper, cheeses and thyme.
Bake at 350 for about 10 – 15 minutes or until the white is set. If you want the yolk cooked through, cook it a bit longer (about 20 minutes). Serve immediately sprinkled with fresh thyme, and garnish with a sprig of fresh oregano if you have it. I made some little mini-garlic toasts to go alongside too.
Is this baked oatmeal breakfast or dessert? I styled it like a dessert, with a pouf of whipped cream on top because it TASTES like a decadent fruity dessert, a lovely warm fruity crumble with a crunchy topping and a fruity sauce on the bottom. But really (if you skip the whipped cream) it is a quite healthy breakfast full of fruit, fiber, and protein. I love breakfasts like that.
This is something I’ve been meaning to try ever since Ann at The Fountain Avenue Kitchen posted her Strawberries & Cream Baked Oatmeal. When I met mom and dad for lunch last Sunday, they brought me some rhubarb. To me, that seemed like the perfect opportunity to try out this “baked oatmeal thing”. After trying this delicacy, I may never go back to eating regular oatmeal again …
Mulberry Rhubarb Baked Oatmeal Crumble
Adapted from Nutmegs, seven
- 3 cups rhubarb, cut into 1-inch lengths
- 4 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (100g) old fashioned oats (not instant oats)
- 1/3 cup (30g) almonds, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup (60g) brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup (250ml) milk
- 1 large egg white
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons melted butter
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons flaked almonds
- 1/2 Tablespoon or so of raw (Turbinado) sugar
- 1/2 – 1 cup mulberries (or other berries)
- Pre-heat the oven to 375 F. Spray a small casserole dish or 8×8 inch square baking dish with cooking spray. Scatter the rhubarb over the bottom and toss with the sugar and vanilla.
- In a small mixing bowl, mix together the oats, chopped almonds, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter, milk, egg white and almond extract.
- Sprinkle your oat mixture over the rhubarb evenly, then pour the milk mixture over the oats as evenly as you can. Sprinkle with mulberries, raw sugar and 1 1/2 Tablespoons of flaked almonds.
- Bake for 40 minutes or until the dish has set and turned a lovely brown and crunchy on top. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
If you want to serve it for dessert, serve in wedges with a little dollop of whipped cream. Or just scoop it out in warm spoonfuls into a bowl for breakfast with your coffee or tea in the morning.
So I have these chia seeds that I won from Lauren at Nutri-Savvy and Ruth’s Foods and I’ve heard they make a nice pudding … tapioca-like. Well, of course I had to try a chocolate version. I added a little cinnamon because I love the taste of cinnamon and chocolate together: the taste combination reminds me of Mexican hot chocolate.
The chia pudding does have a tapioca-like texture, except there is a slight crunch from the seeds. And it’s much easier to make than tapioca. I think I still prefer the texture of tapioca, but this is a nice, simple, and very healthy pudding. I thought it was really interesting how the little chia seeds seemed to absorb most of the chocolate. It’s so healthy you could eat it for breakfast and even pat yourself on the back for taking good care of your health. The chia seeds give it fiber, protein, and healthy omega-3 fatty acids (which are very good for your heart).
Cinnamon Chocolate Chia Pudding
Adapted from Oh She Glows
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons chia seeds
- 1/2 cup fat free half & half + 3/4 cup milk (or use 1 1/4 cups milk of your choice)
- 1 Tablespoon honey (or more to taste)
- 2 Tablespoons dark cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 very ripe banana, mashed (optional, but hey if you have a ripe banana sitting there that needs to be used, toss it in. I always seem to have some over-ripe bananas about that need to be used up)
In a bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients until the clumps are gone. Place in fridge for 1-2 hours (or overnight), until it’s thick. Add milk if you want the pudding a little thinner, or more chia seeds if you want it thicker (then chill again for a while …).
Serve it cold or heat it up in the microwave for a warm pudding.
I’ve been intrigued with the idea of baking with quinoa for a while now, so when I stumbled across this pretty muffin recipe from Poor Girl Eats Well, I really wanted to try it. They turned out a little differently what I expected, though, which is why I’m not calling them muffins. When I think of muffins, I think of something light, moist and cakey. These are not light and cakey. They are more dense, with a little crunch from the walnuts. I had my friend try them and she said they tasted like those fruit bars that you buy.
Anyway, they do have a lovely sweet vanilla taste, with juicy berries … and the quinoa adds a lot of fiber and protein, so that makes these little bites a really good breakfast … or a great snack to keep you going … especially before or after a workout.
Baked Strawberry Walnut Quinoa Bites
Recipe from Poor Girl Eats Well. I made 6 larger “muffins” and about 20 mini-muffin-sized bites.
- 1/2 c firmly packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 Tablespoons melted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 medium overripe bananas, mashed
- 1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour (or quinoa flour, if you can find it)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1 cup chopped fresh strawberries (I actually used part strawberries, part blueberries)
- 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, loosely chopped
- several strawberries, thinly sliced (for the top)
1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Spray a muffin or mini-muffin tin with cooking spray or use muffin liners. In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, butter, eggs, bananas & vanilla. Mix in the dry ingredients, stirring together until everything is well blended.
2. Add the quinoa and mix well. Fold the chopped strawberries (and/or blueberries) into the batter. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups. Place one strawberry slice on top of each lil bite, and bake for about 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
3. Remove from oven and cool for a couple of minutes. Remove the bites from the pan and cool on a rack for about 10 minutes. Store any leftovers in the fridge.
I don’t know what it is with me and breakfasts lately … all my posts seem to be about breakfast. Oh well, breakfast is important. What you eat in the morning sets the tone for your day, so you should make it good.
Granola is the perfect breakfast on mornings when you’re in a rush. Have it with fresh berries and milk, or sprinkle some on your yogurt or ice cream. Or just munch on it for a snack throughout the day. Besides, oats are especially good breakfast food. I was just reading about that yesterday.
If you’ve never made your own granola, just trust me that it’s SO worth it. The house smells heavenly while it’s baking and the result is truly fantastic. Oh so much better than the store-bought stuff. I’m really excited for the mulberries to come in because I think they would be just wonderful with this granola. I see the little baby berries starting on my beloved mulberry tree and I’m almost shivering with excitement. It’s the little things in life …
Almond Berry Granola
- 4 cups old fashioned oats
- 1 1/2 cups sliced almonds (or other nuts … I was thinking perhaps 1 cup almonds, 1/2 cup pecans might work even better)
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 3/8 cup basil strawberry sauce (recipe below) or strawberry applesauce
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 – 4 Tablespoons maple syrup (or berry syrup), depending on how sweet you want your granola
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (optional … leave out the salt if you are watching your sodium)
- 6 oz. dried berries (I wanted to use strawberries, but couldn’t find any dried strawberries at the store. I dried a few strawberries myself, but it wasn’t enough fruit for my granola, so I added dried blueberries, cranberries, and cherries.)
- Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the oats and nuts. Set aside.
- In a separate small bowl, mix the strawberry sauce, honey, syrup and spices. Microwave on high for a minute, stir, and then microwave 30 seconds more until the mixture is good and hot. (Or heat the mixture in a saucepan. Either way will work.)
- Pour the hot sweet sticky mixture over the nutty oat mixture in the bowl. Stir it all up until it’s well mixed.
- Spread all this wonderful stuff out into a thin layer on a large jellyroll pan (or other big flat baking pan with an edge to it). Set it in the oven and bake for about an hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. It should be browned to a lovely brown color and smelling fantastic. You can taste a little sample to see if it’s crunchy enough. If it’s not, bake it a little longer.
- Let the granola cool for a bit before stirring in the dried fruit. Store in an airtight container. It will keep for about a month or so. There’s NO way mine is going to last that long …
Basil Strawberry Sauce
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 lb strawberries
In a saucepan, mix the sugar and water and heat to boiling. Add the basil leaves and cook about 5 minutes. Strain out the basil (or remove with a slotted spoon). Add the strawberries with the simple syrup in the pan, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the strawberries are soft. Remove all the strawberry chunks and put it in a blender or food processor, add some of the syrup and puree to make an applesauce-consistency of strawberry sauce. Reserve the rest of the pretty red syrup for using in mojitos or over pancakes.
with Goat Cheese & Havarti
I was wishing I had some hashbrowns this morning so I could make some hashbrown & asparagus egg cups with cheese … but I didn’t have any. No potatoes either. But I did have some cooked quinoa in my fridge … and quinoa is a very versatile ingredient. So I decided to try my little breakfast cups with quinoa in them instead of hashbrowns. Although I really really love hashbrowns, I have to say the quinoa was marvelous, and just one of these little ramekins filled me up for quite a while.
Quinoa is a super-healthy grain about the size of a small couscous that has a great texture and a lot of protein and fiber in it … so it’s the perfect breakfast food because it will help keep you going strong for a long time.
Herbed Asparagus Quinoa Egg Ramekins
with Goat Cheese and Havarti
Makes 2 small (3-inch diameter) ramekins, just perfect for two light eaters or one more hefty appetite. You will want to multiply the recipe if you have many mouths to feed!
- Several asparagus spears (I think I used 5 or 6 spears about 6 inches long each)
- 4 Tablespoons cooked quinoa
- A few crumbles of goat cheese
- A few tablespoons of shredded havarti cheese
- Red onion, chopped
- 1 egg
- 1/8 cup milk
- Mixed snipped fresh herbs: basil, terragon, dill, green onion, garlic scapes (or other fresh herbs! use what you’ve got!)
- Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray, then place the clean asparagus on the sheet. Spray the spears lightly with cooking spray, then sprinkle with Red Robin seasoning or your favorite seasoned salt. Bake at 350 for about 5 minutes or until the spears are crisp tender. Chop the spears into little chunks.
- Spray each ramekin with cooking spray, then put 2 tablespoons of cooked quinoa in each cup. Add a few goat cheese crumbles to each, then some red onion, a bunch of asparagus, and a bit of havarti on top.
- In a small bowl, whisk the egg and milk till smooth, and season with Red Robin Seasoning (or salt) and freshly ground pepper. Stir in a bunch of snipped fresh herbs.
- Pour half the egg mixture into each ramekin. Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes or until the egg is set and the cheese is melted.
My mom loves strawberries. I know this because I remember, as a child, she always wanted one of her kids to go to Dairy Queen with her on Mother’s Day to get her free sundae. And she ALWAYS got a strawberry sundae. So I always ALWAYS think of strawberries on Mother’s Day.
My mom doesn’t live anywhere near a DQ anymore. And my dad happened to mention to me last week that they really needed to stay home and plant the garden this weekend. So my daughter and I decided that we should go surprise them with a visit. After dance rehearsal on Saturday, we hopped in the car and drove up there. We arrived a little after 5:00, walked in the house, and it was empty. Heeeeeellloooo? Mom? Dad? Anybody home? No response …but their dog was there … and the front door was open … so I knew they couldn’t be toooo far!
Mom was down on the dock, checking the fishing lines. That’s my mom, always fishing. Or reading. Or gardening. And dad? He had gone off mushroom hunting. Mom tried to call his phone, but she was having trouble. So I called him.
He made it really easy for me NOT to tell him we were there at his house. He mentioned right away he was on his way home and told me about his mushroom hunt and how I would have to call mom on her phone … he asked what I was doing. “Oh, not much,” I said. We talked for a while … and I managed not to say anything about us visiting … So he was a little surprised when he drove in … hee hee.
Anyway, I made them some thai curry for dinner last night … and then I made this for mom for breakfast today. Because she loves strawberries … I think Mom really enjoyed it … And then we planted the garden together. It’s been a long time since I have helped with the planting of the garden.
I love you so much, Mom. There isn’t anything I can give you, let alone anything I can do for you to thank you for all that you’ve done for me. I feel like this is such a feeble attempt at saying thank you … but I just felt like the best thing I could do as a daughter on Mother’s Day was to just BE with you. That’s the best Mother’s Day gift I could think of. I can’t take you to Dairy Queen for your strawberry sundae anymore. But I CAN make you something wonderful with strawberries …
We ate breakfast on the patio in the sunshine, overlooking the lake. I think it was much better than Dairy Queen. I hope my Mom agrees …
Baked Strawberry Rhubarb French Toast
Adapted from “From Valerie’s Kitchen“
- About 4 1/2 cups of bread, cubed (I used my dad’s whole wheat yogurt bread)
- 4 oz. Mascarpone cheese
- 2 cups of chopped rhubarb
- 1 cup of chopped strawberries
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 3 Tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup chopped almonds
- Sliced fresh strawberries
- Spray a 13 x 9 x 2 inch glass or ceramic (non-metal) pan with cooking spray. (The acid in the rhubarb will react with metal, so I like to use glass pans when I’m baking with rhubarb.) Make a layer of bread cubes in the bottom of the pan. Top with the rhubarb and the chopped strawberries, and add dabs of the Mascarpone cheese. Add the rest of the bread cubes.
- Mix up the “goop” … in a bowl, whisk the eggs, then add milk, vanilla, almond extract, 3 tablespoons sugar and spices. Whisk till smooth. Pour over the bread cubes in the pan, then gently stir to make sure all the cubes get moist. At this point, you can cover the pan and refrigerate for an hour or several or even overnight. I just let it sit for about 15 minutes, and gently stirred around the cubes again to make sure all the bread cubes got a good soaking. It made a little bit of a mess with the mascarpone, but now we’re going to add the topping so that will make it all pretty again.
- About an hour before you’re ready to eat, make the topping by melting the butter. Then in a small bowl, mix the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and almonds. Sprinkle this all over your french toast bake, then add fresh sliced strawberries to your heart’s content.
- Bake at 350 for about 40 – 45 minutes or until the eggs are set. Let the dish set for about 5 minutes after you remove it from the oven, then serve.
with fresh tomato, dill, garlic scapes and red onion
I needed something hot, hearty and healthy for breakfast this morning … after the big fundraiser last night, I was so exhausted, all I had for “dinner” was snack mix and beer. So I remembered I still had a bit of asparagus in my vegie drawer … what could I make with that?
I scrounged around and found half a tomato, some red onion, smoked gouda cheese, and a bit of bacon. Sounds like great omelet, right? It was perfect: just what I needed. Delicious, comforting, hot, and it gave my body all the things it needed … the only problem was I loaded it so full of good stuff, I had a hard time sliding it out of the pan. (This is a common problem with my omelets … I tend to overload my eggs!) No matter, I thoroughly enjoyed this delectable mess.
Roasted Asparagus, Bacon & Smoked Gouda Omelet
with Fresh Tomato, Dill & Garlic Scapes
- 1 egg + 1 egg white
- Several spears of fresh asparagus
- 2 slices of bacon
- Chopped red onion
- Chopped tomato
- Snipped dill
- Garlic scapes (the green part of the garlic plant), snipped into small bits
- Shredded smoked gouda cheese + shredded Italian blend of cheeses
- Prepare your chopped vegetables and shred the cheese.
- Set the asparagus on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray and set in the toaster oven (or the oven) to roast at 400 for about 5 minutes or until it’s crisp tender.
- While the asparagus is cooking, in the same pan you would cook the omelet in,fry the bacon till it’s crisp, then remove the bacon to a clean towel and dab the top to soak up the extra fat. Pour the bacon fat out of the pan (save it for making things like bacon popcorn!) and wipe out the pan with a clean towel so there is just a very thin layer of bacon fat there. Crumble the bacon into bits
- In a small bowl, whisk the egg, egg white, and 1 tablespoon of water till fluffy. (Use water to keep the eggs moist without sticking to the pan.) Season with salt and freshly ground pepper (and/or my favorite: Red Robin seasoning). Add the snipped dill and garlic scapes and whisk briefly to combine.
- If you do this quickly enough, your skillet or omelet pan will still be hot. Turn the burner to medium-low heat, pour the egg into the pan and rotate it a little to spread the egg out over the bottom of the pan.
- Quickly sprinkle the herbed egg with the cheeses, chopped vegetables, and crumbled bacon. By the time I got done adding everything, the egg was cooked and the cheese was melted. Still I covered the omelet and cooked just briefly to make sure everything was cooked through. The omelet should be just lightly browned on the bottom.
- With a spatula, carefully fold over one side of the omelet onto the other, then slide it out of the pan onto a serving plate. Hopefully you’ll have better luck with that than I did … those tomatoes you see on top there? They were actually INSIDE the omelet when I started. Oh well! As long as it tastes good, right?
It’s a dreary, wet morning in South Dakota. Everything is very green and growing fast … I need to get out and pull weeds and tend my little garden. And I have some MORE grocery shopping to do … but first, I think we need a little color to brighten the day. Just looking at these little toasts makes me happy.
This is a little fruit crostini I whipped up last week for a snack. I was very pleased with it overall, but I have to be honest with you, I didn’t like the french bread as the base for this little toast. I think it would be much better on blueberry bagels or maybe some sugar cookies or snickerdoodles? Something that goes better with the juicy fruit. But I do have to say the maple, ginger, and basil in the cream cheese is oooh so good. The fruit mixture is just perfect with the sweet creamy cheese. You could toss on some toasted nuts as well. I think that would be nice. I’m not sure why I left off the nuts … ah well, you get the idea.
If you are serving this at a party or get together (they’d be marvelous for a brunch, don’t you think?), rather than making them all up like this, you could also serve the bagels with the cream cheese and bowl of fruit on the side and let the guests do the work of putting them together. But if you’re making them for a big crowd, you’ll need to double or triple the recipe …
Maple Ginger Fruit Crostini with Basil
- 3 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 3 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
- 1 Tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
- 3 oz. light cream cheese
- Blueberry bagels (or other fruity bagels), sliced & toasted (or sugar cookies or snickerdoodles … just please, don’t use French Bread like I did …)
- 3 cups mixed fruit, chopped into little pieces (I used honeydew melon, blueberries, pineapple, and strawberries)
- A few fresh basil leaves, for garnish
- Toasted nuts, if you like. I think walnuts or pecans would be nice on these …
Mix the maple syrup, ginger and basil together. Take 2 Tablespoons of the syrup mixture and mix it in with the cream cheese. Mix the rest in with the fruit.
Toast the bagels, spread with the sweet ginger basil cream cheese, and top with fruit. (If you’re using cookies, I suppose there’s no need for toasting …) Garnish with fresh basil leaves and a few toasted nuts (if you’ve decided you want nuts).
P.S. You might notice I added a watermark to my images … I will be doing that from now on, just because, well, they are my images and I work hard on them. I really love it when people share my pictures and recipes, but I don’t like it when people post my words and/or pictures as if they had taken / written them. If you like my photos or recipes, please share, but just mention that it’s from Sumptuous Spoonfuls and give me a link back to my blog, okay? Thanks for understanding …