Tag Archives: Breakfast

Breakfast Isn’t Boring Anymore

10 Feb

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In our house we do breakfast every day, I mean a full breakfast. My daughter isn’t a big lunch eater so we try to pack in the nutrition in the AM as best we can. I make a mean poached egg and slamming Matzoh Bri, the occasional Hash or the ever popular Chilaquiles. Over the years my husband has become quite the breakfast maker, he started off on the weekends and He even took over school weekday breakfast for a whole school year. He’s got his own funny recipes like the Framble, and the Encharadia.
Weekday breakfast is back on my plate now and we are board! I’ve made it my mission to try and make breakfast new again. It doesn’t take much effort to make it fun or different. The night before I set out bowls and chopsticks so when they sat down they had a surprise!
Today I made Breakfast Fried Rice, they ate it up, I will be a staple on our breakfast menu from now on. You can use brown rice and add frozen peas and carrots and anything else you can dream up. We like Applegate Organic Bacon, it’s thin and not too salty. You can add a sliced orange to finish the meal with just like at a Chinese restaurant!

Breakfast Fried Rice

When making fried rice it is best to use leftover rice, it clumps and soaks up the flavors well. Make your rice the night before and you can even make and chop, the bacon the night before. For ease I crack and scramble the eggs in a separate container. In the morning I just add the eggs to a pan scramble, and then add the rice.
Serves four

2 cups cooked white rice
5 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
Three large eggs
Salt
Pepper
Soy sauce
2 Tbs. grape seed oil or coconut oil
1 avocado, sliced

Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Eggs, scramble until almost dry, remove from pan, set aside.
Add rice and chopped bacon to pan (you may need more oil if not using a non stick pan)
Fry rice until hot, stirring rice until cooked through, add eggs back to pan with rice. Season with salt and pepper.
Add soy-sauce and sliced avocado to taste.
Serve in boxes or bowls.

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Breakfast in Bed (kind of)

30 Jul

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 “Noosa Finest Yoghurt would like to serve you an Aussie-style ‘brekkie in bed,’ hand delivered to your door on a morning of your choice.”

Um OK, who doesn’t like breakfast in bed? When Noosa decided they wanted to drive to Novato to serve us brekie we said heck yes-sir-ee!! We usually eat eggs but I made an exception for this morning. I set the alarm for 7:30 and on the dot at 8 the van rolled up. Out came the most bubbly delivery gal, the sun wasn’t out but it didn’t matter she was so sunny and cheerful.

Not only did we get yoghurt hand delivered we got, organic granola, fresh juice and fruit brought right to our door. She unpacked her cooler onto the breakfast table and then we went outside to take photos of the van. She drove back to San Francisco and we dug in. We opened all the flavors right away, tasting them and giving our opinions. The raspberry was a hit even though I didn’t think I would like it, I loved it.   I really loved the honey flavor and so did Claire. The fruit purees are delicious too, not gummy or overly sweet. Noosa yoghurts stay away from artificial ingredients of any kind, including flavors, colors and preservatives, it just feels like good homemade food.

contact-page-sb-img1I had seen them at the store but I never picked one up but now I will, for sure, in fact when we were in Nantucket last week I grabbed a few at the market there. Noosa uses the best seasonal produce the market has to offer, and pack it in clear tubs so you can see for yourself the lusciousness of what you’re about to enjoy. And it was lush, I am used to lactose free yogurt so this to me was like the most creamy luscious treat.  I had never had Aussie style yoghurt, it has a uniquely sweet/tart tang and thick, velvety texture, I’m hooked. Noosa is made in small batches, on-site at the family-owned Morning Fresh Dairy in Bellvue, Colorado, and infused with locally produced clover alfalfa honey.images

We decided that we could get used to this breakfast delivery thing. I think this would be a great business for someone, I am lazy in the morning, just ask my husband! Once a week can someone can come over and bring breakfast to us,  I would be so in to that?

Yoghurt has roots all over the world, India, Greece, Bulgaria, Switzerland, France and so on…..It’ s used in savory and sweet dishes you can read more here.

Lets clear up this spelling thing…yogurt or yoghurt?

The word is originally derived from Turkish, to be curdled or coagulated; to thicken. There are many variations of spelling but they are mostly all pronounced the same so spell it however you want. Just don’t forget to try Noosa!!

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Sorry Noosa I don’t think I’ll be tasting the Vegemite anytime soon…I’m sure it’s delicious 😉

Artisan Bread at Home for Real!!

14 Feb

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Wondering where I have been? Wow, I can’t believe that it is a whole new year! I have been working on my new cookbook, writing articles, shooting other cookbooks with my husband and working in our

new Art Gallery!

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In most places in the Northern Hemisphere it’s winter, but here in Northern California it’s only “kind” of winter. We moan and groan about the 39 degree mornings but it warms up to 60 plus by noon. The sky is blue and the air is crisp, I imagine it’s what Spring feels like everywhere else. I know some of you are digging out, so we really have nothing to complain about, do we? I have been making stews, soups and slow cooked braised turkey and it’s time for a change.

I just felt like making bread, it is warm, comforting and I knew my family would love it! Half the joy of bread making is the smell of it baking, and this one smells really good!

I know some of you are saying to yourselves that you can’t make bread, but you can. Whenever I need to reference a recipe I have two places I go, The old tattered Joy of Cooking cookbook and America’s Test Kitchen. Sometimes I just need an idea on a measurement to a method and these two sources can be so helpful. This time I wanted a fast easy bread recipe so I went to AMT and there it was….easy bread.

My Dutch Oven needed a change from all the stew-y things it has been churning out! Bread, I never thought of making bread in it, I assumed it was meant to hold soup-y, sloppy, slow cooked meats….not bread. What flavors would you add to this bread? Lemon zest and rosemary was our plan but we got distracted and forgot.

Oh, let me tell you from now on it IS my bread oven, not my Dutch Oven. It turned out a gorgeous loaf of golden, crackl-y  artisan bread. So dust yours off and get out the flour because you are going to want to make this recipe.

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Really Really Good Bread Recipe (adapted from America’s Test Kitchen)

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The recipe calls for a mild lager but I used a medium/darker one. I liked the depth of the flavor a lot in the finished product.
The bread is best eaten the day it is baked but can be wrapped in aluminum foil and stored in a cool, dry place for up to 2 days.

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (15 ounces), plus additional for dusting work surface

1/4 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast

1 1/2 teaspoons table salt

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water (7 ounces), at room temperature

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons mild-flavored lager (3 ounces)

1 tablespoon white vinegar

1. Whisk flour, yeast, and salt in large bowl. Add water, beer, and vinegar. Using rubber spatula, fold mixture, scraping up dry flour from bottom of bowl until shaggy ball forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 8 to 18 hours.

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2. Lay 12- by 18-inch sheet of parchment paper inside the empty bowl (no need to clean it between steps) and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface and knead 10 to 15 times. Shape dough into ball by pulling edges into middle. Transfer dough, seam-side down, to parchment-lined bowl and spray surface of dough with nonstick cooking spray. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until dough has doubled in size and does not readily spring back when poked with finger, about 2 hours.

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3. About 30 minutes before baking, adjust oven rack to lowest position, place 6- to 8-quart heavy-bottomed Dutch oven (with lid) on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees. Lightly flour top of dough and, using razor blade or sharp knife, make one 6-inch-long, 1/2-inch-deep slit along top of dough. Carefully remove pot from oven and remove lid. Pick up dough by lifting parchment overhang and lower into pot (let any excess parchment hang over pot edge). Cover pot and place in oven. Reduce oven temperature to 425 degrees and bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove lid and continue to bake until loaf is deep brown and instant-read thermometer inserted into center registers 210 degrees, 20 to 30 minutes longer. Carefully remove bread from pot; transfer to wire rack and cool to room temperature, about 2 hours.

 

Gluten Free Shortstack

10 Oct
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Pancakes cooked fresh day one.

In general I am not a lover of sweet breakfast, I am more of a savory girl in the wee hours. Just stay out of my way until I get my coffee and every thing will be fine. My daughter and husband love pancakes so I make them from my tried and true recipe. The problem is that I eat mostly gluten free, so pancakes first thing don’t sit well with me and they are sweet to boot! Sometimes I get sick of sipping my coffee and watching my family eat those warm pancakes. Today I decided it was time to join them for breakfast. Now I have tried about every mix out there and they are ok but none compare to this recipe. I do think the King Arthur flour makes a difference in the final taste. There is no “off” flavor in these cakes and the almond meal makes them sturdy but not gritty. Now the problem is that I loved them and may be turning into one of those sweetie breakfast people! I vow to go syrup free, it’s so sweet…well unless there is bacon then I’m in!

Day two pancakes.

One thing I did experiment with was saving the batter in the refrigerator overnight. The pancakes were better on day two and held their shape better too. The day two were rounder and more pancake-ish. I did think they tasted better too! They were a tiny bit flatter than the day one cakes. You can add a 1/4 tbs of baking powder on day two just before cooking if you want them to puff more.

Day one pancakes

Enjoy this recipe….and share with your gluten free friends. If you are using frozen berries thaw them first. When you add frozen berries to the batter the center cooks too slowly and the outside will be over cooked. Thaw them in a cup in the microwave, the blueberry “water” is a nice addition to the cakes. When you spoon the berries in onto the raw cakes dribble some of the blueberry “water’ on them too.

 

Chef Jen’s Favorite Gluten Free Griddlecakes

 

1 1/2 cup gluten free flour, (King Arthur)

1 Tbs baking powder
1 scant teaspoon kosher salt or (1/4 tsp table salt)
1 Tbs sugar
1/3 cup almond meal (Almond flour*)
1 1/4 cup milk
1 large egg
3 Tbs butter , melted (I used Earth Balance)
1/2 cup fresh or frozen thawed blueberries
Mix all the dry ingredients together, add milk and egg, whisk out lumps. Add melted butter mix until just blended. Heat a cast iron skillet or griddle on medium heat. Grease the pan with butter or Earth Balance. Pour batter on hot griddle slowly by 1/4 cup amounts. Sprinkle berries on each cake. Flip when you see small bubbles around the edges.
Eat!
*I used Bob’s Red Mill almond meal.

Using Up Your Buns

22 Aug

French toast from leftover buns

For some reason I am a terrible recycler, I mean I am great at recycling food, a master perhaps? When it comes to knowing what goes in the blue bin, I’m not a star. I am surrounded by the world’s best recyclers, composters  and general waste-not-ers. I know my daughter watches me, for instance, should I rinse out the dog food can more thoroughly before I toss it in the bin? Does the milk carton go in the garbage or the recycle?  She knows what to recycle and how to do it and often corrects me.  It’s questions like these that don’t keep me awake at night. But what does keep me thinking is what am I to do with all the bread I have in the fridge or those fading apples?  I hate wasting food and most chefs feel the same way, that’s why we use corn cobs to make flavorful stock for polenta or scraps of veggies to enhance a dull broth.

Bread is a real sore spot for me, I am almost all gluten free but my family is not. I find myself buying bread that the two of them can’t finish. The bun situation is the worst, there are always too many buns to burger ratio or you have to buy an extra bag of buns because you are one or two short. Then what, it sits in the back of the fridge alone getting stale? Or you make a great attempt at freezing the abandoned but by the time you resurrect them they are freezer burned and even more tasteless than when they were fresh. Remember a two posts ago I wrote about the At Home Burger, the bun issue happened  for real, so I’m sharing the issue with you because I know you have the same problem, darn buns!

So, use them up for breakfast the next day. Make a regular French toast egg mixture and soak those buns in it. They cook up just right, problem solved! Now after that burger and French Toast we better get to the gym and get those kids outside to run around!

Basic French Toast

Mix the egg up the night before, cover and chill to make the AM easy.

3 eggs

3/4 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 burger or hotdog buns

Topping

Maple sugar, cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar 

Fresh fruit and vanilla yogurt

Method

Beat eggs in a shallow container ( I prefer square )

Add milk, and vanilla, beat until frothy and light in color.

Separate the buns, poke holes in the top and bottom, soak each in the egg mixture, first on one side, then the other.

Heat a skillet on medium, add butter or butter substitute

Cook both sides until golden about 5-7 minutes.

Serve on warm plates.

Protein-a-luscious: A Fancy Pants Breakfast

25 May
Finished nests just out of the oven

If you know me you know I am a breakfast junkie, I am a believer in high protein breakfasts for kids. I think they act better, think better and grow better. With good for you foods in the early hours of the day their brains function much better than with sugary or even no breakfast. Some kids just don’t like eggs so this is for kids who don’t like eggs.  Call them nests! I saw this recipe on Simply Recipes and I instantly loved the concept. The original recipe called for Gruyere cheese but I happened to have a cheddar and jack blend so I went with that. I have changed this recipe, I upped the servings and added a few tips of my own, enjoy!

I like making a few extra smaller puffs (as we call them) ones without egg just to snack on! So snack on and on….
My daughter said it was the best breakfast EVER!
I can’t wait to start experimenting with some other ideas using this technique stay tuned.

The Bird is in the Nest (wink wink, That’s code) Egg Nests originally from 

La cuisine est unjeud’enfants


Ingredients:
4 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup grated Cheddar / Jack Pepper or Paprika (optional)
Serves 4
Preheat the oven to 450°F with a rack in the middle. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or non stick silicone mat. Separate the egg yolks from the whites. Keep each individual yolk in half of a shell on a rimmed plate or small bowl. (this way you don’t have to dirty four little bowls, making for an easier clean up.)
Yolks awaiting to be deposited in the white nests

Place the egg whites and salt in a very clean mixer bowl. Beat the egg whites with a whisk attachment in a mixer (or using a hand mixer), start on low speed working your way up to high speed, until stiff peaks form. Do not over beat the eggs here, you’ll want them silky not chunky.

With a rubber spatula gently fold in the grated cheese, doing your best not to deflate the egg whites.
Create four equal mounds (or more) of the egg white mixture on the lined baking sheet. Form the mounds so they look like nests, using the back of a spoon make indentations in the centers.
Place nests in the oven for 3- 4  minutes until firm but not browned. After 3 minutes, take the pan out of the oven and gently add an egg yolk to the center of each nest. Return the baking sheet to the oven and cook for 4 more minutes. Sprinkle with a small amount of salt.
Serve immediately.

Tip* Make sure your egg whites are yolk free, free of any fat, the yolk will cause the whites to misbehave. 

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