The Morning After the Night Before

Are you planning a cozy dinner at home for your sweetie and you this Valentine’s Day?  Skip the crowded restaurant this year and make a romantic dinner for two.   I’m not here today to help you plan your date-night menu, but instead to remind you of the morning after, when you may want to keep that special “glow” going.

Cheesy Potato and Sausage Breakfast Casserole

Cheesy Potato and Sausage Breakfast Casserole

Here’s the plan:  the next morning when you wake up, quietly go down to the kitchen, and prepare that first cup of coffee, and while you’re there surreptitiously slip this Cheesey Egg, Sausage, and Potato casserole into the oven.  While it’s baking you and your honey can enjoy your coffee(s) snuggled under the covers.  In about 30 minutes or so you will notice a wonderful aroma coming from the kitchen.  That’s when you say ” let’s go see what we can find for breakfast”, and surprise!! you find this enticing breakfast casserole already to serve, hot out of the oven.

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He will be amazed at your  talent for coming up with such a wonderful breakfast.  The first slice of it will reveal a bottom layer of potatoes, made from frozen hash browns, then an eggy layer, on top of that a layer of spicy breakfast sausage and onions, all topped off with melted cheese.  How did you accomplish this so fast?  Only you will know that it was all prepared the evening before while you were making dinner, then hidden away in the refrigerator over night, ready to pop into the oven in the morning.  Oh, you clever girl, you!

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CHEESY POTATO AND SAUSAGE BREAKFAST CASSEROLE

YIELD:  6 servings

Ingredients:IMG_6404

  • 1  pound bulk pork sausage
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2-3 cups hash brown potatoes, thawed
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • dash or two of hot sauce, optional
  • 1 cup grated cheese of choice, cheddar, Colby, Jack, swiss

Directions:

1.  Lightly grease a baking dish.  This may be a round deep dish 9″ pie dish, or an 8 or 9-inch square pan.

2.  In a large skillet over medium heat, crumble the sausage, and cook to brown and render the fat.  Add the chopped onion and cook until onion is translucent.  Set aside.

Cooking up the sausage and onion.

Cooking up the sausage and onion.

3.  In the same skillet, leave any drippings in place, and add the hash browns.  Cook just briefly, to remove any iciness and brown then up a little.   Transfer potatoes to the prepared baking dish, spreading them out in an even layer to form a crust.

Spread the potatoes out to form a crust.

Spread the potatoes out to form a crust.

4.  In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and hot sauce if using.  Pour over the potatoes in the baking dish.

Pour the egg mixture over the potatoes.

Pour the egg mixture over the potatoes.

5.  Layer the sausage-onion mixture over the eggs, and sprinkle with grated cheese.  Cover with foil.

Layer on the sausage and onions.

Layer on the sausage and onions.

Top with grated cheese.  Cover with foil.

Top with grated cheese. Cover with foil.

6.  Bake for about 35 minutes.  Remove the foil and leave in the oven another 5-6 minutes to brown up the top and crisp the edges.

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Cut into wedges or squares and serve hot with a side of fruit or fruit salad, and toast or biscuits.

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When I served this to my husband all he could say was “Mmmm-mmmm.  Wow!”

SOURCE:    Allrecipes.com

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Fruited Baked French Toast

Fruited Baked French Toast

Fruited Baked French Toast

Even though I already have several recipes  for  baked french toast here on the blog, I just had to include this one too. It is a little out of the ordinary because it includes fruit(s), and I had never encountered a recipe like it before.  Thanks to my daughter, who we visited over the Christmas holidays, we had this for breakfast on Christmas morning.  Everyone agreed it was just delicious.  Some of us liked it with a little (read, a lot of) maple syrup on it, others thought it was just right without any added sweetener on it.  What I particularly liked was the “tang” from the berries that you get in every bite.  And the cinnamon crumb topping on it is an added bonus.  This is definitely a recipe you will want to save and make again and again whether it be for guests or a special weekend breakfast.

As I’ve said before, this type of breakfast casserole is perfect for a late breakfast or brunch when you are entertaining, because you can make as much or as little as you need.  Slice up the bread the evening before and soak it overnight in the egg/milk mixture.  Then in the morning, make up the crumb mixture, sprinkle on the berries and the crumb topping and bake until golden brown.  Pretty simple to make really, and awesomely good.  This one just became my new favorite recipe for baked french toast.

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FRUITED BAKED FRENCH TOAST

Yield:    8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 small loaf day-old French bread (8-9 oz.)
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2  1/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries ( We used mixed berries, and cut the larger pieces in half.)

Directions:

1.  Grease 13″ x 9″ baking dish.  Slice the bread diagonally into 1/2-inch thick slices. Pack them tightly into the baking dish.

Cut up bread and fit tightly into the baking dish.

Cut up bread and fit tightly into the baking dish.

2.  In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla.  Whisk in the milk until well blended.  Pour this mixture over the bread in the baking dish, turning over the slices to saturate well.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

3.  Heat oven to 375*F.  In a small bowl combine flour, brown sugar and cinnamon.

Measure out topping ingredients.

Measure out topping ingredients.

Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs….

Cutting in the butter.

Cutting in the butter.

4.  Turn bread slices over in the baking dish.  Scatter berries over the bread and sprinkle with the crumb mixture.  Bake about 40 minutes or until golden brown.

Sprinkle fruit, then crumbs over the bread/egg mixture.

Sprinkle fruit, then crumbs over the bread/egg mixture.

Browning up in the oven.

Browning up in the oven.

5.  Before serving, cut into squares and serve with syrup.

This is so delicious.  :D

This is so delicious. 😀

SOURCE:   Unknown.

Cranberry-Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

Cranberry-Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

Cranberry-Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

In case you are still frantically searching for something to serve on Christmas morning, or for a holiday brunch,  these breakfast rolls are just the ticket.  Easy to make at the last minute, a beautiful cheery color, and divine flavor.  They are a cinch to put together.  No yeast dough, no kneading, no rolling of dough.   They get baked in muffin tins with all the good cranberry filling on the bottom, and a tender dough that’s a lot like scones on top.  After they are baked, turn them upside down on a serving platter, and there you are.  A gorgeous color for the holidays, not too sweet, just right with coffee or tea.

My food processor was out and I was chopping cranberries for cranberry relish, and also to make a batch of my Cranberry Liqueur.  So while I was on a roll, (pun intended) I continued chopping enough cranberries to quickly make up these cranberry rolls.   Because I was also chopping up orange to put in the cranberry relish,  I put about 1/4  cup chopped orange in the topping of my rolls too.  WOW!  Spur-of-the-moment decisions are often the best.   Deeelish!

CRANBERRY-PECAN CINNAMON ROLLS

Yield:  Makes 12 rolls

This is what makes the topping.

This is what makes the topping.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup brown rice syrup or light corn syrup
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cranberries
  • OR,  3/4 cup cranberries and 1/4 cup chopped orange, optional
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda

    Ingredients for dough.

    Ingredients for dough.

  • 2 Tbsp. cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup cold buttermilk
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 375*F.  Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray.

2.  Combine melted butter, brown sugar, brown rice syrup ( or corn syrup), cranberries, pecans and 1 teaspoon cinnamon in a small bowl.  Divide among the muffin cups, spreading about 1 tablespoon in the bottom of each.

Put in the bottom of muffin cups.

Put in the bottom of muffin cups.

3.  Whisk the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and remaining 1/2 tsp. cinnamon in a large bowl.  Add cold butter and, using two knives or a pastry cutter, cut in the butter until it’s the size of small peas.  Pour in buttermilk and oil, stir just until combined.  Spoon the batter on top of the cranberry mixture, using about 2 Tablespoons for each.

Spoon dough over cranberry topping.

Spoon dough over cranberry topping.

4.  Bake rolls until lightly brown around the edges, 18 to 20 minutes.

Bake till lightly browned around the edges.

Bake till lightly browned around the edges.

Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edges of each to loosen. Place a large serving tray over the pan and invert the rolls onto it.  Spoon any topping left in the pan onto the rolls.  Serve warm.

These are so pretty,

These are so pretty,

If all the rolls are not eaten when served, they rewarm very well in the microwave.

SOURCE:   Slightly adapted from Eating Well

Omelette with Bacon, Ham and Beans

Omelette with Bacon, Ham and Beans

Omelette with Bacon, Ham and Beans

Today was one of those days when I didn’t have a minute to myself—ever have days like that?   I didn’t think I would have time to make dinner, before I needed to turn around and go back out again.  Whew!  Somehow I managed to cook up something that turned out quite good, so I thought I would tell you about it, so when you have “one of those days”, you can do what I did, and still feel that you’ve put something healthy and hearty on the table for dinner.

This is an adaptation of a recipe from Food Network Magazine that was called Grits with Bacon and Beans.  Instead of making grits which can take some time, I made an omelette, thereby saving on time, reducing the carbohydrates and increasing the proteins. To work this into my time crunch, after lunch when I had about an hour, I made the mixture of bacon and beans adding in some diced ham, again to increase the protein content.  With this mixture made in advance, I only needed to reheat it while I made an omelette.  Then I made some rye bread toast to go with it.  Mr. D. raved about this meal.

This was really good!!

This was really good!!

Besides being a quick meal for dinner this could be served for a brunch.  I think eggs cooked just about any way would be good with this mixture of vegetables and ham.  I love a recipe like this that can be adapted several different ways.  Try it!  Next time I make this, I’ll make cheese grits to spoon the ham-bean mixture over.  I’m looking forward to that meal 😀

OMELETTE, WITH BACON, HAM AND BEANS

Yield;  Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 3 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 pkg. frozen chopped collard greens, kale, or spinach, thawed and drained

    Beans, tomatoes, and frozen "greens".

    Beans, tomatoes, and frozen “greens”.

  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1  (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1  (15 oz.) can black-eyed peas (do not drain)
  • 1 cup diced ham
  • 4 eggs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • small amount of milk
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

1.  Cook the bacon in a large skillet or shallow sauce pan over medium heat until almost crisp, about 8 minutes.  Add the vegetable oil and increase the heat to medium high;  add the peppers, onion, collard greens, cayenne and 1/2 tsp. salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are slightly soft, about 8 minutes.

Cooking up the vegetables.

Cooking up the vegetables.

2.  Add the tomatoes, black-eyed peas (with their liquid) and ham and bring to a simmer, cook 15 minutes.

Dice up some ham to add in.

Dice up some ham to add in.

Season with salt if needed.    Note:  all of this mixture can be made in advance and reheated when needed.

3.  Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, about 2-3 Tablespoons milk, and salt and pepper.  Melt butter in an omelette pan or skillet.  When hot, but not browned, add the egg mixture and cook over medium heat, lifting the edges as they become set, and let uncooked egg run underneath.  When all the egg mixture has been cooked, except for the “wet” top, sprinkle with half the shredded cheddar,  fold the omelette in half, and sprinkle the top with remaining cheese.  Cover and turn off the heat.  Allow cheese to melt.

Cheese omelette, ready to serve with the vegetable-ham mixture.

Cheese omelette, ready to serve with the vegetable-ham mixture.

4.  Serve omelette with the ham and bean mixture on the side.

Cook eggs in your favorite style and serve with this vegetable mixture.

Cook eggs in your favorite style and serve with this vegetable mixture.

SOURCE:   adapted from Food Network Magazine

Harvest Pumpkin Scones

Harvest Pumpkin Scones

Harvest Pumpkin Scones

I do love pumpkin!!!  So I’m wondering why it is that I seem to bake with it only in the fall.  I know fall, October and pumpkins just go together, but pumpkin is available- the canned variety–all year long.  Are you like that, too? I think it might be that pumpkin’s bright splash of color matches the vivid colors of autumn around the country.  And as the landscape turns drab, pumpkin is still there giving us a lift.

Right now I have about six recipes lined up that include pumpkin,  so if they turn out well, I think you’ll be seeing the results of my baking in the coming weeks.

This recipe is one of the first I tried.  Mainly for two reasons:  1) I haven’t made scones in quite a while and these sounded really good to me, and 2) the recipe needs only part of a can of pumpkin, so I can make something else with the remainder.  A sort of two-for-one deal.  I try to match up recipes that each use only part of a can, so no pumpkin goes to waste.  Otherwise I freeze the part I didn’t use for a later date.

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This recipe did not let me down in the least.  I knew that my expectations were met when they came out of the oven, a deep-gold color and with an aroma of all the spices they contain.  Besides the cinnamon, ginger, allspice and nutmeg, I included some crystallized ginger and cinnamon chips to take their flavor over the top.   These are way-good.  :D.  Make them soon and see if you don’t agree.

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HARVEST PUMPKIN SCONES

Yield:   12 scones

Ingredients:

Whole allspice

Whole allspice

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice**
  • 1/2 cup cold butter
  • 1 to 2 cups minced crystallized ginger, cinnamon chips, or chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 large eggs

    Ground fresh allspice

    Ground fresh allspice

  • coarse white sparkling sugar, for topping

**  I use whole allspice and grind it fresh as needed.  The flavor is so much stronger and better than when you purchase the already ground variety.

Directions:

1.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and spices.

Mix together all the dry ingredients.

Mix together all the dry ingredients.

2.  Work in the butter using a pastry cutter or your fingers, just until the mixture is unevenly crumbly;  it’s OK for some larger chunks of butter to remain unincorporated.

Some larger pieces of butter are ok.

Some larger pieces of butter are ok.

3.  Stir in the ginger and/or chips, if you’re using them.

Mix in crystallized ginger and cinnamon chips.

Mix in crystallized ginger and cinnamon chips.

4.  In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin and eggs till smooth.  Add to the dry ingredients and stir until all is moistened and holds together.

Mix together the eggs and pumpkin.

Mix together the eggs and pumpkin.

5.  Line a baking sheet with parchment;  or, if no parchment paper on hand, use the baking sheet without greasing it.  Sprinkle a bit of flour atop the parchment or pan.

6.  Scrape the cough onto the floured parchment or pan, and divide it in half.  Round each half into a 5 – 6 inch circle, about 3/4’s-inch thick.

Divide dough into two 6-inch circles.

Divide dough into two 6-inch circles.

7.  Brush each circle with a little milk, and sprinkle with coarse white sparkling sugar or cinnamon sugar, if desired.

Brush with a little milk or cream.

Brush with a little milk or cream.

Coarse sugar (left), cinnamon sugar (right).

Coarse sugar (left), cinnamon sugar (right).

8.  Using a knife or bench knife that you’ve run under cold water, slice each circle into 6 wedges.

Cut each circle into 6 wedges.

Cut each circle into 6 wedges.

9.  Carefully separate the wedges from each other just a little, with about 1/2″ space between them, at their outer edges.

10.  For best texture and highest rise place the pan of scones in the freezer for 30 minutes, uncovered.  While the scones are chilling, preheat the oven to 425*F

11.  Bake the scones for 22 to 25 minutes, or until they’re golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean.

Isn't that a beautiful rise?

Isn’t that a beautiful rise?

12.  Remove from the oven and serve warm.  Wrap any leftovers airtight, and store at room temperature.  Reheat briefly in the microwave, if desired.

A pretty golden color.

A beautiful golden color.

P. S.  If you’re making your own pumpkin puree from a fresh roasted pumpkin be aware that fresh pumpkin has a lot more liquid in it than canned, and should be drained throughly.  You may use a colander, lined with coffee filters, or several layers of cheesecloth.

SOURCE:   King Arthur Flour

Spirit-Lifting Cherry Coffee Cake

 Cherry Cream Coffee Cake


Cherry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

“Forget your troubles, come on, get happy,  you better chase all your cares away”

The words to that song come to mind when I think about this coffee cake.  It’s guaranteed to be a spirit-lifter for anyone who tastes it.  Just looking at it makes me happy.

This recipe was featured recently on the blog “Rantings of an Amateur Chef”.  The blog author has been using Greek yogurt in a variety of dishes as a substitute for higher fat and calorie laden foods such as sour cream and cream cheese.

That is a technique that I also use on many occasions, so when I saw this recipe for Cherry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake, I knew I had to make it, not so much because of the substitutions, but because it contains almond flavoring.  My all-time favorite flavor in the world!!   But since I, too, would be incorporating the substitutions, I purchased 0%-fat Greek yogurt in Black Cherry flavor as a match-up with the cherry pie filling that is part of the cake’s filling.

Looks luscious.

Looks luscious.

“Shout Alleluia,  come on, get happy,”

The aroma of this cake baking was so enticing I could hardly wait for it to cool sufficiently before sampling it. While still a very rich cake, the yogurt did its job in making a very creamy layer of filling below the cherry pie filling.  The over-all texture is mouth watering and tender with a little crunch provided by the sliced almonds.  And the combination of cherries and almond flavoring is a classic that I love.  This cake could be served as a dessert,  as a fancy coffee cake for a brunch, or just for breakfast.  I would not hesitate to make and take it as a gift for someone whose spirits need lifting.

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“The sun is shining, come on, get happy”.

CHERRY CREAM CHEESE COFFEE CAKE

YIELD:  8 – 10 servings

Ingredients:

For the Crust:

Crust ingredients.

Crust ingredients.

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour ( I substituted in 1 cup white whole wheat flour)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup sour cream ( or 0%fat Greek yogurt)
  • 1 tsp. almond extract

For the Filling:

  • 1 package ( 8-oz. ) cream cheese, softened ( I substituted 8-oz. Black Cherry flavor 0% fat Greek yogurt)

    Filling ingredients.

    Filling ingredients.

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 can ( 21-oz.) cherry pie filling
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds

Directions:

1.    Preheat oven to 350*F.  Pan needed:  9 – inch springform pan with removable bottom,  ungreased.

2.  In a large bowl, combine flour and sugar.  Cut in butter until crumbly.

Cutting in the butter.

Cutting in the butter.

Reserve 3/4 cup crumb mixture and set aside.

Reserve some crumbs for the topping.

Reserve some crumbs for the topping.

Add the baking powder, baking soda and salt to remaining crumb mixture.

3.  In a small bowl, whisk the egg, then add sour cream and almond extract.  Whisk to blend.  Stir into the crumb mixture to form a thick dough.

Mix together the egg, sour cream and almond extract

Mix together the egg, sour cream and almond extract

4.  Press onto the bottom and 1-inch up the sides of the springform pan.

Press crust into bottom of pan.

Press crust into bottom of pan.

5.  Make filling:  In a large bowl, beat cream cheese (yogurt), and sugar for 1 minute.  Add egg; beat just until combined.  Spread over crust.

Pour on cream filling.

Pour on cream filling.

Carefully spoon pie filling over the top.

Spoon on cherry filling.

Spoon on cherry filling.

Sprinkle with almonds, and the reserved crumbs.

Top with sliced almonds.

Top with sliced almonds.

Sprinkle on reserved crumbs.

Sprinkle on reserved crumbs.

6.  Bake at 350*F for 50 – 60 minutes or until center is set.  Cool on a wire rack.  Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen;  remove sides of pan.  Store in the refrigerator.

Out of the oven.  Isn't that beautiful?

Out of the oven. Isn’t that beautiful?

Looks luscious.

Looks luscious.

Tastes as good as it looks.

Tastes as good as it looks.

SOURCE:  Taste of Home via Rantings of an Amateur Chef

Zucchini-cheese Pancakes

Zucchini-Cheese Pancakes

Zucchini-Cheese Pancakes

For everyone who is a gardner growing zucchini, you are probably starting to say “gad zukes, what will I do with it all?”  If you are not inundated with zucchini now, you most likely will be very soon.  So I’m going to feature some recipes that utilize zucchini in the starring role.  Look for them on Thursdays, which I am designating as “Theme Thursdays”.   After zucchinis, I’ll see what other food items there might be that I can do the same thing with.  It’s kind of fun to see how many different ways a particular food can be incorporated into the various categories of dishes.

Last summer at the farm stands near me, I saw a few yellow zucchini, and I tried one.  Except for the color it is the same as the green variety.  This year, I’m seeing a lot more of them.  In fact my neighbor was selling some really large ones for $1.00 each.  Of course, I bought several, thinking how apt they would be to feature on a blog called “Delicious on a Dollar”.  Watch for them to show up in some of these posts.

Yellow zucchini.

Yellow zucchini.

Today we will start with these pancakes that are moist, savory and delicious hot from the griddle;  or warm,  at room temperature….even cold.  They can be for breakfast,  or dinner, whenever you are in the mood for some non-traditional pancakes.

For breakfast with sausages.

For breakfast with sausages.

I have experimented with these pancakes and added an ear of cooked corn, cut from the cob.  They were delicious served with salsa and sour cream.  You can also vary the cheese used and get a somewhat different flavor.   And if you don’t have scallions, try grating a sweet onion instead.   Many recipes that use zucchini have you squeeze the liquid out of the zucchini, but this recipe doesn’t require that as long as you cook the batter just after it is made.  If you let it sit a while the zucchini will add too much moisture and the batter will become wet.  If that happens, just add some more flour to compensate.

Recipe:  ZUCCHINI-CHEESE PANCAKES

Yield:   about 20 pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup chopped chives or scallions;  about 1 bunch scallions trimmed and chopped
  • 2 tsp. salt, to taste
  • 1 tsp. dried basil**
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano**
  • 4 cups coarsely grated zucchini; about one 10″ zucchini
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ** substitute 2 tsp. Pizza Seasoning for the dried herbs, if desired. reducing salt to 1  1 /2 tsp.
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan, cheddar, Monterey Jack or other cheese  ( or a combination).

Preparation:

1.  Preheat a griddle or frying pan over medium-high heat;  If you have an electric griddle, set the heat to 400*F.

2.  Beat the eggs with the oil, salt and pepper until thoroughly combined.

3.  Add the herbs, scallions, zucchini, and cheese, stirring to combine.

4.  Stir in the flour.  This will be a very thick batter.

A very thick batter.

A very thick batter.

5.  Grease the hot griddle lightly.  Drop the batter in 1/4 cupfuls onto the griddle; spread the batter to about 3 1/2″ to 4″ diameter.

Spread batter to about 4" rounds.

Spread batter to about 4″ rounds.

6.  Cook the cakes for 3 minutes, or until they’re brown on the bottom, and bubbles have appeared on their tops.  The top surface will appear somewhat dry and set.  (My pancakes did not get bubbles on top.  Lift the edges, and peek at the bottom.  If brown, turn them over.)

Turn over when they start to get brown.

Turn over when they start to get brown.

7.  Flip the cakes, and cook them for about 3 – 4 minutes on the second side, or until they’re as moist/cooked as you like when you break one open.

8.  Continue cooking until you have used all the batter.

9.  Serve warm with butter and grated cheese, salsa and sour cream, or applesauce.  Store any leftovers, tightly wrapped, in the refrigerator.  Reheat in a toaster or toaster oven, if desired.

Serve with butter and grated cheese.  YUM!

Serve with butter and grated cheese. YUM!

SOURCE:   King Arthur Flour

Pimiento Cheese Omelet

Pimiento-Cheese Omelet

Pimiento-Cheese Omelet

You know those open-faced pimiento cheese BLT sandwiches I wrote about here?  Well, there was just a tad of cheese mixture left over, and not being one to throw out or waste food, I put it into the fridge.

So now, here it is Sunday morning, and I’m making an omelet,  when out of the blue I thought of the pimiento cheese in the fridge.  Bingo!!  I’ll  put it into the omelet.  Instead of putting the cheese into the egg mixture, I partially cooked the egg/omelet and while the center was still wet dropped gobs of cheese on it.  Then folded it onto itself, covered the pan and let the heat finish cooking the egg and melt the cheese.  WOW!  moments of genius come at the most unexpected times! 😀

IMG_4467

This was so good it was incredible.  The cheese was just the right amount so that it did not overpower the delicate egg, yet added an extra wonderful flavor.  I think it might be worth having a small tub of pimiento cheese mixture in the refrigerator at all times just for such moments.  When genius strikes, one needs to be ready!!

PIMIENTO CHEESE OMELET

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 2 or 3 eggs, beaten lightly with a whisk,
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 – 2 tsp. water
  • 1 – 2 tsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. pimiento cheese

Lightly beat the eggs with a whisk in a small bowl.  Add salt, pepper and a little water.  Mix well.

In a medium skillet, over medium heat, melt butter.  Swirl pan to coat.  Pour in the egg mixture and allow cooking to begin,  As the edges become set, lift gently and allow the liquid egg to run underneath at the edges.

When as much liquid egg has “run under”, but the top is still wet,  spoon small dabs of pimiento cheese over the top.  Then lift one side of egg and fold to the middle, lift again, and fold onto itself.  Turn off the heat, cover for a short time and allow the cheese to melt.

Fold the omelet in thirds and let the heat melt the cheese filling.

Fold the omelet in thirds and let the heat melt the cheese filling.

Serve warm with toast and breakfast meat or with a salad for a dinner entree .

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SOURCE:   a Carolyn Original

Baked Coconut French Toast with Tropical Fruit Compote

Baked Coconut French Toast with Fruit Compote

Baked Coconut French Toast with Fruit Compote

We are now officially into summer.   The weather is sunny, hot and beautiful; and I’m cooking up something special for our breakfast.  Something with a tropical vibe to it.

What started me down this path was a recent purchase  of a large bag of unsweetened, flaked coconut, (read, large flakes),  by Bob’s Red Mill.  Don’t ask why I bought this when I already have two bags of the standard, sweetened flaked coconut on hand.  In addition, I’m not one to use a lot of coconut, even though we like it, because of my concern for the oil content.  Well, not everything I do always makes perfect sense, so now I must devise ways to use coconut.  Expect to see more recipes featuring coconut popping up in the near future. 😀

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Baked French Toast, a somewhat “showy” breakfast, is really easy for me to serve on a weekend morning.  I assemble it all the evening before, put it in the fridge overnight, and just take it out and bake it in the morning.  While the toast is baking, I put together a fruit mixture, that I’ll loosely call a Tropical Fruit Compote, so you’ll think I really spent a lot of time planning for how this was all going to go together.   😀

The French Toast and fruit mixture complemented each other nicely  and provided a “summery” feeling to a breakfast that we enjoyed eating out on the deck.IMG_4379

BAKED COCONUT FRENCH TOAST

Yield:   Serves 4

For the Toast:

  • 8 slices ( 1/2- inch thick ) diagonally cut Italian bread
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 1/4 cups coconut milk ( or almond milk)
  • 4 large eggs, or 1 1/4 cups egg substitute
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract ( to increase coconut flavor, use coconut extract)
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut

1.  Spray a 13 x 9 inch baking pan with cooking spray.   Arrange the bread slices snugly in the dish.

2.  Combine the milk, eggs or egg substitute, sugar and vanilla, stirring with a whisk.  Pour evenly over the bread.  Turn the bread slices over to coat evenly.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

3.  Preheat oven to 375*F.  Remove bread mixture from refrigerator, uncover, and turn bread slices over.  Sprinkle evenly with coconut.  Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Sprinkle on coconut before baking.

Sprinkle on coconut before baking.

4.  Bake, uncovered, at 375*F for 30 minutes or until coconut is golden.  Serve warm with fruit compote.

Just out of the oven--smells wonderful!

Just out of the oven–smells wonderful!

For the compote:

Colorful fruits go into the compote.

Colorful fruits go into the compote.

  • 1 mango, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh pineapple
  • 1 dark purple plum, pitted and sliced
  • 1 large kiwi, peeled, and sliced
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice

Combine all ingredients.  Cover and chill over night,  or prepare while toast is baking.  Serve alongside the French Toast.

A Tropical Breakfast

A Tropical Breakfast

SOURCE:   Taste of Home

Strawberry and Cream Scones

Strawberry and Cream Scones.

Strawberry and Cream Scones.

After I finished making my Very Berry Strawberry Cookies, I had a partial package of freeze dried strawberries left, with no plan for how to use them up.  Then I noticed a packaged mix for strawberries and cream scones in a baking catalog.  That gave me the idea I needed for how to use the strawberries.

Warm, tender, and flaky.

Warm, tender, and flaky.

Since fresh strawberries can be difficult to incorporate into baked goods, adding too much moisture to the finished product, I reasoned that the freeze dried berries would provide the color and intense flavor of strawberries without the excess liquid.  I rehydrated the strawberries, squeezed out the extra liquid, chopped them up a little and proceeded with my standard recipe for cream scones.  The bright little bursts of flavor turn these into very delightful scones, especially served warm with some strawberry jam.   It was mid-day when I baked these, so when they came out of the oven I had one with a cup of tea, but they are also great for breakfast, too.

STRAWBERRY AND CREAM SCONES

Yield:   Makes 8 scones

Ingredients:

The essentials for strawberry cream scones.

The essentials for strawberry cream scones.

  • a generous 1/2 cup freeze-dried strawberries
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour ( I use half whole wheat flour)
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

1.  Place freeze-dried strawberries in a small bowl and cover them with warm water.  Leave to soften for about 5 minutes.  Drain and pat dry with paper towels.  Chop coarsely and set aside.

2.  Preheat oven to 400*F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or grease lightly.

3.  Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.  Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or rub with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Cutting in the butter.

Cutting in the butter.

4.  In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, whisk together the eggs and cream.  Add the cream mixture and chopped strawberries to the dry mixture.

Adding in the egg, cream and strawberries.

Adding in the egg, cream and strawberries.

Stir together lightly to make a sticky dough.  Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead gently about 6 times, just until it holds together.  Add a little flour if necessary.  Pat the dough into a 6 to 7-inch round, about 3/4-inch thick.  Cut with a sharp knife into 8 wedges.  Transfer to the baking sheet and brush the tops of them with a little cream.

Brush tops with a little cream before baking.

Brush tops with a little cream before baking.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until set and golden brown.  (Mine were perfect at 15 minutes).

Serve warm with butter and strawberry jam.  Delicious!!!

Asking for some strawberry jam!

Asking for some strawberry jam!

Heaven in the shape of a scone!

Heaven in the shape of a scone!

SOURCE:  adapted from a recipe for cream scones by Rennie Darling:  Muffins, Scones, and Quick Breads