Archive for the ‘breakfast’ Category

This is a delicious smoothie and It really tastes like carrot cake! In fact, it reminds me, slightly, of the best frozen yogurt mix-in from Angora that we used to order in Boston to be delivered to our front door. Yes, free delivery of frozen yogurt of which I very rarely strayed from the carrot cake mix-in, although cinnamon and blueberries was a close second choice. Oh, those were the days of late nights and delivery service!

Anyway, back to this healthy carrot cake smoothie. I can’t wait for you to try it and tell me what you think! One note, if your banana isn’t frozen, add a handful of ice.

Makes 3 Good-Size Smoothies
2 large frozen or non- frozen bananas

2 cups vanilla unsweetened almond milk

1 cup organic carrot juice

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup raw almonds

4 pitted medjool dates

Combine all ingredients in a blender and purée until smooth.

Recipe adapted from Goop

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When you give your toddler the choice between a locally baked ooey-gooey cinnamon apple breakfast bread or baking your own biscuits, and he chooses baking your own biscuits despite how appealing you made the ooey-gooey bread sound…then, you march straight to the kitchen, roll up your sleeves, and start searching for ingredients for your baking project. After sighing and thinking it would have been so much easier to buy that loaf of bread, you smile and cherish the thought that you have a little food lover on your hands!


I’m so glad that he chose the biscuits. These were fun to make together and very easy (bonus!). I love how rustic looking they turned out and how scrumptious they tasted slathered with butter and topped with raspberry jam. They were the perfect accompaniment to our sautéed greens topped with fried eggs dinner.

And, just as soon as he finished the last biscuit, he said “We can make these again soon. Right, mama?”

Blueberry Biscuits
minimally adapted from Pink Pistachio

2 cups white whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup blueberries

2 cups organic whipping cream

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and nutmeg. Add blueberries and toss gently in the flour mixture until coated. Gently fold in the whipping cream (it should look lumpy- the key to light and fluffy biscuits, like pancakes, is not overworking the dough).

Lightly flour your countertop and knead you dough (about four turns) into an 8×8 inch square, about 1 inch thick. With a pizza cutter, carefully cut the dough into 12 biscuits making sure not to cut all the way through (leave the dough as one large piece).

Transfer the dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and cake tester comes out clean. Serve warm with butter and jam.

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A date night wasn’t part of tonight’s plan. But it’s been part of our weekly plan since the beginning of January and it hasn’t ever really happened…work excuses, colds to heal, late bedtimes for Jack, and on and on…so, tonight seemed as good as any to make it happen. It actually seemed a bit more than necessary after seeing Jack kick and scream in David’s arms when being hauled off for bedtime and then hearing him loudly protest to David about not wanting him to read bedtime books.

As I was making dinner, I kept hearing our beloved three year old scream from upstairs, “I don’t want you to come home anymore”…”I only want to see Mama”…”I don’t like you”. That’s when I knew that we needed a little respite. The night called for a proper dinner…with candles and wine and even a bite of chocolate. With linen napkins and matching silverware…with our places set at the table. So, our easy dinner of egg and arugula sandwiches turned into what I think we would claim as our first official casual at-home date night of the year. And, it was good. We sipped our white wine, talked about David’s day of snowboarding, of our plans for the year…we enjoyed our food and our berries and our dark chocolate peanut butter caramel truffle. We enjoyed the peace the meal brought to the end of our day and realized that it’s not exactly all about what’s eaten, but how it is served that might matter most of all…

Egg, Cheddar, Maple Turkey, and Arugula Sandwiches

Lightly toast bread of your choice. Then, cover with slices of a good, sharp cheddar cheese and broil until bubbly and browned.
Add a few slices of maple roasted turkey to the cheese toast and warm.
Cover turkey with a large handful of arugula.
Place fried egg on top and serve immediately.


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Soft Boiled Eggs

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Despite being stuck at home on a rainy Saturday by myself, I’m having one of the most indulgent of weekend mornings. The type where you find yourself still in your pajamas after 11, when you linger over a second or third cup of coffee- a coffee you even had the time to steam milk for- and read your favorite sections of the NY Times AND catch up on all of the blogs you follow, a morning that finds you hungry and with time to make something extra special for yourself.


My boys went away for the day to help my sister-in-law and her boyfriend move and, while I feel rotten that I could not help pack and carry boxes and furniture for them in an attempt to chip away at the huge debt we are in with them after they helped us move for a whole weekend with very little advanced warning, it is indulgently nice and unexpected to be in a quiet house with no set agenda in spite of my sore throat and pounding head and face ache and sniffles…


I was craving a savory breakfast and after reading yesterday about how to cook perfectly soft-boiled eggs, this is the breakfast I knew I wanted to eat. I brought 1/2 inch of water to a boil in a small sauce pan, turned the heat down to medium low, gently placed 2 eggs in the bubbling water, covered the pan, and waited 6 1/2 minutes for the hot water to warm and set the whites while leaving the bright yellow yolks perfectly runny.


While the eggs were cooking, I sautéed some spinach with sunflower seed oil and freshly minced garlic and toasted some whole grain bread. For one slice of the bread, I broiled some extra sharp cheddar cheese and for the second, I smeared it with unsalted butter. When the eggs were finished cooking, I cooled them with cold running water, then peeled away their shells, which come off quite easily because of the springiness of the whites. I placed the whole eggs on top of the spinach and then cut them open to let the yolks run freely across the plate.

It was perfectly indulgent and delicious without being fussy. A good start to my day of rest and healing.

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Last summer, we ate the most delicious cupcakes at Volunteer Park Cafe. I was faced with the dilemma that always plagues me when going out for brunch- do I choose savory or do I choose sweet? Do you also have the same problem? It seems to be the only meal when I crave both taste dimensions and have a hard time being satisfied by only one. To make both sets of taste buds happy, I picked a savory main course and opted for a little sweet treat to share with the table, yet, admittedly, I ended up eating most of it!

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The cake was not too sweet, almost more muffin-like than cake-like, and it was spiked with bacon crumbles! The frosting tasted like a creamy mixture of butter and syrup. Yum…it was really good! And, I’ve been craving it since, which is why it was the first thing to pop into my head when deciding on what to bring to a baby shower brunch ages weekends ago. I always love an excuse to be indulgent and, honestly, I will take any reason to eat bacon!


The version I made at home was not as good as the ones at Volunteer Park Cafe, but that’s not to say they were not absolutely tasty! Mine certainly tasted even more muffin-like as the batter was not sweet at all- I simply used a homemade pancake batter and poured it in a muffin tin. The buttercream frosting was spiked with maple syrup and vanilla and was really sweet, yet a perfect accompaniment to the pancake muffins and the salty bacon.

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Next time, I think I will crumble some bacon right into the pancake batter before filling the muffin cups. Yum!

Pancake Muffins with Maple Buttercream Frosting and Bacon
adapted from Brown Eyed Baker


For the Cupcakes:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1½ cups whole milk
2 eggs
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

For the Frosting and Topping:
8 ounces (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 slices of bacon, cooked, cooled and broken into 1-inch pieces

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray the cups of a muffin tin with non-stick spray or olive oil.

2. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl; set aside. In a separate medium bowl whisk together the milk and eggs, then stir in the melted and cooled butter. Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk together until just moistened and combined. Remember it’s like making pancakes, so lumps are okay! Divide the batter between the muffin cups and bake until puffed and firm to the touch, about 10 minutes. Let cool for about 5 minutes and then remove cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely. It’s important not to overcook the muffins or they will be too dense and lose the fluffy pancake quality.

3. To make the frosting, use the whisk attachment of a stand mixer to whip the butter on medium-high speed for about 5 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the powdered sugar a little at a time, waiting until it’s mostly incorporated before adding more. Once all of the powdered sugar has been added, scrape the sides of the bowl and increase the speed to medium-high and whip until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the maple syrup and the vanilla and whip for another minute or so to incorporate. Using an offset spatula, spread the frosting on the cupcakes. Top with the bacon pieces.

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I just polished off the last slice of my very first home baked bread. It’s not a pretty loaf of bread. In fact, it just might be the least interesting looking bread you’ve ever laid eyes on. But, let me assure you, it is tasty. Admittedly, I’m already making plans to bake my second loaf because I enjoyed it that much. There is just something really special about homemade bread….warm and fresh from the oven slathered in butter, sliced and spread thickly with natural peanut butter, or as an accompaniment to your lunch or dinner…it just screams love, nuture, real food, no?!

And, the best little bit? It’s quite simple to make! The recipe I adapted it from uses a white flour, wheat flour, rolled oat blend, but I stuck to wheat flour and rolled oats. I hope to be baking it a lot…I’m in love with the idea of Jack growing up with homemade bread always on the counter, of him growing older and thinking back fondly on his “mama’s whole wheat oat bread”. And, quite frankly, I’m completely into having it around for my daily peanut butter and bread breakfast. It’s quite the addition to a piping hot cup of strong, black coffee. I promise, it’s good, homemade eatin’….you should give it a try!


Whole Wheat Oat Bread
adapted from 101 Cookbooks


1 1/4 cups warm water (I just used hot water from a filtered tap)
1 packet active dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey
2 cups whole wheat flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill brand)
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats (not instant oats)
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
2 tablespoons butter, very soft or melted


In a measuring pitcher, sprinkle the yeast into the warm water and stir until the yeast dissolves. Stir in the honey and set aside for a few minutes, until the yeast blooms (about 10 minutes).

In the meantime, mix the flour, oats, and salt in a large bowl. Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir very well.

Spread or brush a loaf pan (or another small oblong or rectangular baking dish) generously with the butter. Turn the dough into the tin, cover with a clean, slightly damp cloth, and set in a warm place for 30 minutes, to rise.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the bread for 35-40 minutes, until golden and hardening with an outside crust. Then, turn the broiler on high and let the bread sit under it for just a minute- to give the top a bit of deeper color. Serve warm, slathered with butter. Or, at room temperature covered with natural peanut butter.

Makes 1 loaf.

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This is so amazing, I had to share it with you on this first official day of Autumn!

I found the image last year and, unfortunately, the link no longer works to give credit where credit is due…but, it was created by Nature’s Art and they state: “Natural leaf carving is actual manual cutting and removal of a leaf’s surface to produce an art work on a leaf. The process of carving is performed by artists using tools to carefully remove the surface without cutting or removing the veins.” Stunning, no?!


And, now for some more real goodness…a simple, healthy, homemade breakfast bar using few ingredients! It’s perfect for a weekday morning, a toddler breakfast, a picnic breakfast food, or an afternoon snack. We’ve used them this week for all of those things and they were met with high approval.


Banana Oat Breakfast Bars
adapted from thekitchn.com

2 large, very ripe bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups rolled oats (not instant)
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 cup pitted, chopped dried dates
1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
Generous sprinkle of cinnamon


Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×9-inch square baking dish with butter.

Peel the bananas and mash them in a medium mixing bowl. Mash very thoroughly until no large chunks remain; the bananas will turn liquidy. Stir in the vanilla. Add the oats and stir them in. Then, stir in the salt, dates, hazelnuts, and cinnamon.

Spoon and pat the mixture evenly into the baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes or unti the edges just begin to brown and crisp up.

Allow the bars to cool before enjoying with a glass of milk or an iced coffee…mmm!
Just cover the baking dish tightly with foil and store in the refrigerator. Will be good for at least 5 days, if they last that long!


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