Tag Archives: brunch recipes

Fun Friday: Baked Oatmeal: It’s not just for breakfast

6 Jun
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I’d eat this for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

ORIGINALLY POSTED MAY 10, 2013: The other day I came across a great new recipe for baked oatmeal. It was on Skinnytaste.com, a blog I follow on Facebook. I love all kinds of oatmeal from steel cut to overnight to baked.

This recipe also had a fruity combination that I love: strawberry and rhubarb. I didn’t have rhubarb, but I noticed that it had bananas in it, and strawberry and banana is another top favorite combination of mine so I decided to make it without the rhubarb.

Besides the fact that I skipped the rhubarb, the other thing about this recipe is that I made it as an after school snack, not for breakfast! It was so good, and everyone had seconds, everyone loved it and there was very little left over.

I would definitely make this recipe again and if I had rhubarb, I’d throw it in there, but it was also fine without!

Without further ado, here, from the Skinnytaste Blog
For the fruit filling:

  • 2 1/2 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 3/4 cup rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium ripe banana, sliced thin
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup honey
This snack was quick to put together with simple ingredients.

This snack was quick to put together with simple ingredients.

For the Oats:

  • 1 cup uncooked quick oats (use GF oats if Gluten Free)
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 3/4 cup fat free milk (or any milk you desire)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS
Preheat the oven to 375° F.  Lightly spray a 9 x 9″ ceramic baking dish with cooking spray; place banana slices on the bottom of the baking dish and set aside.

Combine the strawberries and rhubarb in a large bowl. Add honey, sprinkle with cornstarch and toss until fruit is well coated and place in prepared baking dish over the bananas.

In a medium bowl, combine the oats, half of almonds, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt; stir together.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining honey, milk, egg, and vanilla extract, then add to the oats.

Pour the oat mixture over the strawberries and rhubarb, making sure to distribute the mixture evenly.  Sprinkle the remaining almonds over the the top.

Bake the oatmeal for about 40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the oatmeal has set. Serve warm from the oven.

What’s for Dinner Wednesday: Ham and Spinach Puff Pancake

12 Mar
A dish from my past! Delicious memories!

A dish from my past! Delicious memories!

Every so often I come across a recipe that reminds me of my childhood because it’s a recipe from my mom and I grew up eating it. Today’s recipe is one of those. I came across it when I was looking for a different recipe. It’s another one that although I grew up eating it, my kids had never had it, meaning it’s been “that long” since I’ve made it.

I like this recipe because it’s adaptable. You can fill the center of the pancake as is, or you can add in or take out ingredients or change them all together to suit your needs. We were out of mushrooms this time around so we didn’t use them even though the recipe calls for them. There are lots of combinations that would be great in the center of this pancake and it’s great for a variety of taste buds!

I love kitchen science. The kids' eyes pop when they see how big this rises in the oven.

I love kitchen science. The kids’ eyes pop when they see how big this rises in the oven.

This recipe is a little long, but I encourage you to give it a try anyway. It’s a fun recipe to watch bake in the oven because it puffs up quite a bit and it’s neat to show the kids the difference before and after. We had it for dinner, but it’d also be great for a brunch or even for a breakfast dish.

Enjoy!

HAM AND SPINACH PUFF PANCAKE
INGREDIENTS
PANCAKE:
1/4 cup butter (I used I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter)

2/3 cup flour

3/4 cup milk (I used Skim)

2 eggs

1/2 tsp. salt

We filled our puff pancake with ham and spinach. What would you put in yours?

We filled our puff pancake with ham and spinach. What would you put in yours?

FILLING:

3 tsp. butter

2 cups (8 oz) sliced fresh mushrooms (this time around I didn’t have any so they’re not pictured)

1/2 lb. cooked and cubed to 1/2″ ham

10 oz. package chopped, frozen spinach thawed and well drained

1 1/2 cups (6 oz) shredded cheddar cheese ( I used very little cheese due to our dietary restrictions, and this time I used reduced fat provolone cheese.)

DIRECTIONS

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

In a 9″ glass pie plate melt 1/4 cup of butter in oven  (2-4 minutes).

Simple ingredients make this pancake easy to prepare.

Simple ingredients make this pancake easy to prepare.

In large bowl combine milk, flour, eggs and salt.

Using wire whisk or rotary beater, beat until smooth (2-3 minutes).

Pour batter onto pie plate. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Meanwhile, in 10″ skillet, melt 3 tsp. butter. Stir in mushrooms, cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until mushrooms are soft (5-7 minutes).

Stir in ham and spinach. Continue cooking until heated (3-4 minutes).

Stir in one cup of cheese.

Spoon filling into center of hot pancake.

Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of cheese. Heat until melted and serve.

A delicious weekend breakfast: Baked Eggs

29 Jul
These were absolutely fabulous!

These were absolutely fabulous!

This past Saturday I was in the mood for something different for breakfast. I wasn’t sure what, but I knew I didn’t want the same old thing.

While I was pondering what I was in the mood for, I remembered that when my kids slept over my parents’ house last, they had mentioned a new baked egg breakfast they’d tried. My mom found it in “Dash” magazine, and it had ham in the muffin cups with the eggs cracked inside, and parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. The kids had loved it and I’d been meaning to try it here ever since.

At the same time, I also remembered that Alex’s new “High Five” magazine had come in the mail this week, and that coincidentally, the recipe had been one for baked eggs as well. It was slightly different in that it didn’t call for ham on the bottom but instead had diced tomatoes and shredded cheese.

So, I decided to combine the two recipes. The bake time and temperature was the same for both recipes. The only difference was the ingredients and we liked everything the two recipes called for.

They.Were.Amazing.

Fabulous.

Delicious.

We loved them.

I highly recommend you try these out the next time you are craving something different for your breakfast. They’d even be great for a brunch.

Fast, easy.

Into the oven they went. One pan, couldn't be any easier!

Into the oven they went. One pan, couldn’t be any easier!

Here’s what I did:

1) Spray each muffin well with nonstick spray.

2) Place a slice of ham in the bottom of each muffin well. I actually used deli ham that was sliced in half. One half into each spot.

3) Place about a teaspoon or so of diced tomatoes on top of the ham. (One large vine ripened tomato was enough for all 12 portions.)

4) Sprinkle some shredded cheddar cheese over the tomatoes. (I used nonfat cheddar.)

5) Break one egg into each spot.

6) Sprinkle a little bit of salt and pepper on each.

7) Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until the yolks are as firm as you desire and the whites are cooked through.

Serve with toast or an English Muffin if you’d like.

Fat Free Strawberry Muffins (vegan)

5 Apr
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Happy Easter!

This past weekend was Easter. Normally we host Easter but this year my parents decided to host, and I was looking for something new to bring to add to their spread.

Since embarking on our new fat-free menu plans, I’ve been doing a lot of what we like to call “healthifying” and “defatifying” of our old recipes in order to make them something we can all eat.

It’s easy enough to do to almost any recipe: wheat flour instead of white, or half wheat/half white, egg substitute instead of eggs, fat free plain yogurt instead of oil, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter instead of butter.

Even though it’s not hard to change over a recipe to make it healthy, it was such a great find when I came across the blog Fat Free Vegan Kitchen on Facebook. I was thrilled because it meant the work was done for me. The recipes are already fat free. What a relief.

When Susan posted some yummy looking strawberry muffins on her blog in the week leading up to Easter, I knew I’d found my new contribution for Easter brunch. The recipe called for everything I had on hand, including strawberries. For our brunch I doubled it and it made 15 muffins.

The response to this new recipe was outstanding. Everyone who tried them loved them, and there were only a few left at the end of the day. It’s definitely a recipe I’d make again, and I absolutely loved that for us they were worry-free because they were definitely fat free.

I hope you’ll venture on over to Fat Free Vegan Kitchen and check out some of Susan’s other recipes. And, I hope you’ll try these delicious muffins! You’d never know they were fat free. With summertime coming, we’re heading right into fresh strawberry season. Hang onto this recipe!

**For our modifications, I used skim milk instead of non-dairy. I used a dash of sugar instead of stevia, to sweeten the batter a bit, and I added more confectioner’s sugar to thicken up my glaze a bit. It seemed too runny to me at first.**

I’ve included all of Susan’s instructions as well as her notes and nutritional information. I find her blog very helpful and informative.

The glaze on these was delicious!

The glaze on these was delicious!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup strawberries, whole
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk (as needed)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar (optional)
  • 4 teaspoons strawberry puree or all-fruit spread (optional)
  • a few drops vanilla extract (optional)DIRECTIONS
  • Preheat oven to 350. Prepare a mini-muffin pan by oiling it lightly or filling with paper liners.
  • Place the strawberries in a food processor or blender and process until they are pureed. Measure out 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the puree into a small bowl and set aside any remaining puree for another use. Add the maple syrup, non-dairy milk, lemon juice, and vanilla.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the strawberry mixture. Mix until just blended–do not overmix. Fill mini-muffin cups with about 1 tablespoon of batter each. Bake at 350 F, checking after 10 minutes. When a toothpick comes out clean, remove and allow to cool completely. Frost if desired (see Notes below).

Notes

To prepare frosting, combine 6 tablespoons confectioners sugar, 4 teaspoons strawberry puree or strawberry all-fruit spread, and a few drops of vanilla extract. Stir well. If frosting seems too runny, add more sugar; if too stiff, add more puree. Frost center of muffins lightly just before serving (if you use too much, it will drip off), and refrigerate any leftovers.

To make these completely sugar-free, replace the maple syrup with more strawberry puree, and add stevia to taste.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s) | Cooking time: 10 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): about 20 mini-muffins or 6 regular-sized ones

Nutrition (per mini-muffin, without frosting): 35 calories, 2 calories from fat, <1g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 73.9mg sodium, 48.4mg potassium, 7.8g carbohydrates, <1g fiber, 2.8g sugar, <1g protein, 1 points.

Nutrition (per serving, with frosting): 47 calories, 2 calories from fat, <1g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 74.1mg sodium, 48.5mg potassium, 10.9g carbohydrates, <1g fiber, 5.7g sugar, <1g protein, 1.3 points.

Strawberry Compote for your next breakfast or brunch

22 Mar
We've made this twice already since finding the recipe in a magazine.

We’ve made this twice already since finding the recipe in a magazine.

Being a breakfast/brunch fanatic, when I saw this compote in a FamilyFun magazine recently, I knew I had to try it.  I love compotes of all kinds.  We already have a great recipe for a blueberry compote and one for a peach compote, but I’d yet to try a strawberry compote.

It was shown over crepes, which we love, but right away I could picture it over homemade waffles, over pancakes, french toast and even as a topping for our healthy mini cheesecakes.

The first time I made it, it was a hit right away. I served it with the mini cheesecakes as a dessert, but I spotted a cute little girl who shall remain nameless to protect her identity, eating it right out of a bowl with whipped topping, spoon in hand, no cheesecake in sight.

It was that good.

The second time we made it, it was for crepes, which we are actually having for dinner. We put out a variety of fillings and toppings, (remember our crepes buffet from a past post?) and this strawberry compote was a perfect topper and even a perfect filler, for strawberry banana crepes. I had a combination of fresh strawberries and bananas along with the compote in mine.

Heavenly.

So, with many people choosing the brunch option for the upcoming Easter holiday meal, I thought I’d post this recipe today, in case you decide to include it in your menu. The recipe is delicious, fast and easy, a check plus in my book. I keep a variety of frozen fruits on hand so we used a one pound bag of frozen strawberries from Aldi’s for this recipe.

STRAWBERRY COMPOTE *from FamilyFun, February 2013
INGREDIENTS

1 pound fresh or frozen strawberries, quartered plus more for garnish if desired. (I did not quarter them, as they were frozen.)

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Super-easy directions make this a great recipe for a busy day.

Super-easy directions make this a great recipe for a busy day.

DIRECTIONS

1.) In a medium saucepan, stir the strawberries and sugar together. Let the mixture stand until the fruit’s juices release, about 30 minutes. (If you are using frozen strawberries, heat them with the sugar over medium heat until they’re defrosted, about 2 minutes *mine took longer.*)

2.) In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and lemon juice. Combine them with the strawberry mixture. Simmer the sauce on medium-low until it thickens, about 10 minutes, then set aside.

See what kinds of things you can think of to serve this with!

Again, mine took a little longer to thicken, but here is what it looks like when it's done, so cook until it is thickened. You'll be able to tell.

Again, mine took a little longer to thicken, but here is what it looks like when it’s getting thicker, so cook until it is thickened. You’ll be able to tell.

And last but not least, my gift: Smart Mug for my lunch

28 Jan
One mug has my morning coffee and one mug has my soup for lunch!

One mug has my morning coffee and one mug has my soup for lunch!

I got the coolest gift this year for Christmas!

I wanted a mug that I could plug into my car AC adapter in order to reheat my coffee during the day. Oftentimes, I’ll leave the house for work with a mug of hot coffee, get to my destination in just a couple of minutes, and then when I come out an hour or so later, my coffee is now ice cold. Then I drive around all day, wishing I had that hot coffee.

This year, this was one gift I really wanted, a mug that would warm up my coffee. There are lots of them out there, but this one says “Tech Tools” on it and its official name is the Princess International PI-4121 Red Retro Smart Mug. You can get it here on Amazon.com.

I totally love my mug. This weekend I used it after church. Similar to a work day, I often leave the house to go to church, bringing my coffee in the car with me. Ten minutes later we get there and I sadly say goodbye to my coffee because I know that later when I come out, it’s going to be cold while we run our errands during the hour the kids are at CCD.

Not anymore. This Sunday, my coffee was still semi-warm when I got out to my car, but all I had to do was plug in my mug, flip the little switch on the cup and wait for it to hit about 100 degrees. I was golden. I enjoyed every sip of my coffee during our hour.

With every sip, I thought, “This is the coolest thing.”

But actually, it’s not even the coolest thing of all.

My friend Paula, of the blog My Soup For You, enlightened me to the fact that rather than keeping cookies in my purse and in my car for when I’ve missed lunch and am totally starving after being on the road all day, I could plan ahead just a little bit and make a soup that I could drink, such as her Creamy Lentil Soup, which I’ve linked over to just above. (If you remember, I don’t really love traditional lunches, such as sandwiches, so I never pack one. Plus, I’d rather eat cookies anyway.)

Paula said that now that I had this nifty mug, I could then put my soup into my mug, and flip the switch when I’m ready to eat.

Amazing!

And guess what: She was right!

A couple of weeks ago I did not have enough time to go home in between stories for lunch, so I packed our chicken and veggie chowder for the road. I had time to sit in my car and eat it though, so I took a spoon with me when I left the house.

I left one story and turned on my mug to heat up my soup, so that before I had to go into the next story I had time to eat my soup.  It made my day so much more enjoyable because I was not starving. I don’t like to go and buy food for lunch when I’m working unless I absolutely have to, so I was happy to have avoided that. I went from my second story to my third one with a full belly.

And then, I had my cookies for dessert.

This mug has gotten great reviews from others, and I hope that my experience continues to be as great as it already has been so far, because I really love being able to take soup on the road.

Farewell to Summer and Hello Chocolate Chip Muffins

27 Aug

Goodbye Summer! See you next year!

Summer has come to an end.

For us, school begins tomorrow, so even though officially it’s still summer on the calendar, it’s all over. In my mind, summer really ends when Don starts back to work full time, the second week of August. So it’s been over for a while, really.

I can’t complain. He has lots of days off in the summer, I have lots of days off in the summer, we do lots of fun things in the summer, we had an AMAZING opportunity this summer that really changed our lives, with the Kids’ State Dinner trip.

So I can’t complain, but I’m still sad to see it go. I still kinda want to cry as I think of the school year beginning again. I’m not ready to let it all go.

I *really* love summer.

Caroline is starting middle school, Elizabeth’s going into fourth grade and Alexandra into second. It’s going to be a busy year, a different year with them in two different schools on two different schedules. I’m sure it’ll take some getting used to.

And so, though it’s Monday and I usually post my “What We’re Doing for Fun This Summer” posts on Mondays, I can’t today, because I’m sad that summer is ending.

What I can do though, is share a new recipe with you.

Each year on the first day of school I make muffins for breakfast the night before. It’s a busy morning on the first day, hectic, and we also have a special tradition where my parents come up to see the kids go to school, just as my grandparents did  each first day of school when I was younger.

This year I’ve made several new muffin recipes and I’m not sure which two kinds I’ll be making for tomorrow’s first day, but I tried a new recipe for chocolate chip muffins last week. It might be in the running. I could use a chocolate chip or two about now, I think.

I found this recipe last week on Allrecipes.com when Alexandra asked for Chocolate Chip Muffins for breakfast. It said, “Easy, quick and good,” and I was sold. It was indeed all of those things and I’d make them again for sure.

Maybe for tomorrow morning.

The first day of not-summer.

CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS

I got to use my mini chocolate chips which were part of my birthday gift from my mother-in-law, Mary Lou, the ones she got me from Hershey Park, in this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C). Grease bottoms only of 12 muffin cups or line with baking cups.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, chocolate chips, and salt; mix well. In a small bowl, combine milk, oil and egg; blend well. Add dry ingredients all at once; stir just until dry ingredients are moistened (batter will be lumpy.)
  3. Fill cups 2/3 full. Sprinkle tops of muffins before baking with a combination of 3 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoon brown sugar.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 1 minute before removing from pan. Serve warm.

    I loved the sugar/brown sugar topping on the tops of these muffins. It was light but still sweet and crunchy.