Remember that Quaker oatmeal? The kind that came in packets? The one that came in many different flavors? I was a particular fan of the Maple Brown Sugar flavor, but the Apple Cinnamon flavor came in a close second. It was always hard to choose! I don’t know if it’s still around, but I figured it would be probably be pretty easy to make at home. Always a girl to “want it all”, I decided that if I was making it, I sure wasn’t going to be choosing anymore, because truthfully Maple, Apple, and Cinnamon all worked perfectly together. Given my current obsession with the Instant Pot, the path was clear. Instant Pot Maple Apple Steel Cut Oats. Done and Done. …
There’s something so warm and cozy about a good brunch, right? I always appreciate a lazy morning full of good food during this crazy holiday season. Last week I was walking through our local grocery store and saw that the dairy case was full of egg nog. Typically, it’s not the first thing I reach for this time of year (it’s so sweet!) but my husband loves it so I figured I would pick him up a carton as a little treat to kick off the holidays. As I stood there trying to decide what kind to buy, I had an idea for this delicious Egg Nog French Toast.
I’ve been making a lot of french toast lately as a quick and easy breakfast for my toddler and my four year old. I typically make a kid friendly version with a little less sugar, whole grain bread, and plenty of cinnamon. This time, however, I wanted something perfect for the grown ups – a crispy edged, soft center, sweet treat to go with a good cup of coffee and maybe some salty bacon. With that in mind, I grabbed a carton of traditional egg nog and a carton of almond milk egg nog and finished my shopping.
The next morning as I set out to test my recipe ideas, I realized that in addition to the almond milk egg nog, I had accidentally picked up a slightly un-traditional version of classic egg nog. Made by Southern Comfort (yes, the whiskey liqueur), it’s a non-alcoholic flavor twist added to prepared egg nog that is a little sweet, a little spice, and so very delicious. There’s a hint of whiskey flavor that comes out in the best way. FYI: This is not a sponsored post and I have absolutely no connection to Southern Comfort. It was really just a happy grocery accident.
As most traditional french toast recipes start with a custard mixture of eggs, milk or cream, sugar and some spices, I figured the best way to use egg nog, essentially a custard itself, was to keep it really simple and see what happened. I whisked together some egg nog, a few eggs for binding (since there aren’t actually that many eggs in commercial egg nog), and a pinch of cinnamon and a bit of salt. From there, all it took was some butter, a hot griddle, and a loaf of day old french bread. A few tweaks to the recipe and it was a winner, folks. My husband and taste tester in chief declared it a winner and I now have another reason to buy egg nog!
A few notes about the recipe: I find that all french toast recipes work best with day old bread. I like to use french bread for this recipe, though brioche is also amazing. If you don’t have any day old bread lying around, you can briefly toast up your sliced bread in the oven at 200 degrees for about 10-12 minutes and it will work just as well. I did also try making it with the almond milk egg nog. I liked it a lot, but it’s definitely not as rich or creamy as this version. If you’re dairy free though, it’s a great option. Speaking of dairy, be generous with the butter on your griddle. You can use a cooking spray if you want, but honestly, it’s just so much better with butter. And finally, when it comes to toppings, real maple syrup is amazing. So is our Bourbon Vanilla Whipped Cream.
Do you have any winter brunch recipes you love? Send us your favorites! We’d love to hear what you’re making this holiday season.
- 1 loaf french bread, preferably day old
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup egg nog (I used Southern Comfort classic)
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar, for sprinkling
- 1 tablespoon butter (unsalted) for the pan
- Heat a griddle or large nonstick skillet over medium high heat.
- Slice your bread into approximately 1 inch thick slices.
- In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs.
- Whisk in the egg nog, cinnamon, and salt.
- Melt the butter on your griddle or skillet.
- Briefly soak each slice of bread in the egg mixture and then place on the buttered skillet.
- Allow to cook 3-4 minutes or until golden.
- Sprinkle the top with a generous bit of sugar and flip, cooking the other side 3-4 minutes until done.
- Keep warm and serve immediately with syrup and extra butter!
Another trip to the cabin this weekend introduced me to my new favorite food. Although I must admit I was skeptical at first, this Bacon and Egg Breakfast Pizza quickly won me over. And now I’m introducing this pizza to you. You. Are. Welcome. …
We just celebrated my very favorite holiday of the year, Thanksgiving. I don’t know about you, but for me it wasn’t just the Thanksgiving dinner, but also all of the other meals that made the weekend so special. I hosted the Thanksgiving holiday at my cabin, and that meant that I also needed breakfast for a crowd. Apple French Toast Bake is one I’ve been making for a few years, and is both adult and kid approved. And the very best thing about it? Not only is it foolproof, but you make it ahead of time!…
Many years ago, I was overwhelmed with a stressful full time job, raising two kids and trying to appear that I had it all together (To be completely honest this may have not been so many years ago, or even so many months ago, in fact this may still describe my life today…but I digress). I was starting to find my way in the kitchen and was starting to read different food blogs. One in particular, Smitten Kitchen, spoke to me. I love Deb Perelman and her witty prose and her tiny kitchen in New York City. Her writing makes you feel like you are drinking coffee at her table while she is cooking for you. And at that time in my life, I was particularly in need of this. (Thanks Deb!)
So when a Facebook group I am a part of suggested we do a Smitten Kitchen Cookbook Challenge, I was all in. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, correct? The challenge was designed to go chapter by chapter. One person (and sometimes more than one) would make a recipe and review it, and we would continue on until every recipe in the chapter was completed. This sounded right up my alley. Mushroom Tart? Game on.
Due to my vacation, I entered in round 3 (Sandwiches, tarts and pizza) with the Mushroom Tart. I chose this partially because I really love tarts, partially because I really love mushrooms, and mostly because I knew no one else in my mushroom adverse house would even try this-so I’d have it all to myself (yay! leftovers!). And what a great choice it was! Shallots and mushrooms combined with marscapone, fontina and parmesan to form a hearty filling. Cornmeal in the crust gives the crust dimension. I happen to love herbs, so I added rosemary, because I personally think everything should contain rosemary.
I served this Mushroom Tart with a simple arugula salad, lightly dressed with Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar Reduction from Queen Creek Olive Mill (if you haven’t checked out this family owned olive farm in Arizona, you need to!). Not only was it a great dinner, it was a great lunch (for the WHOLE next week).
Don’t be put off by all of the steps, many can be done somewhat simultaneously. A few tips: slice the mushrooms small enough to be bite size, if you like herbs, feel free to use slightly more thyme AND rosemary, and if you haven’t checked out Smitten Kitchen-do so now!
- 1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
- ¼ cup yellow cornmeal
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 6 Tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, diced + a smidge extra for greasing the foil
- 1 egg
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 shallots, sliced thin
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ½ pound (225g) cremini mushrooms sliced into bite site pieces
- 1 pound (455g) assorted mushrooms (shiitake, oyster, chanterelle, more cremini) sliced into bite sized pieces
- 1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
- 1 teaspoon rosemary, chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- ¼ cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup grated fontina cheese (Can substitute provolone)
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- TO MAKE THE CRUST (TART SHELL):
- Place flour, cornmeal, and salt into the bowl of your food processor and then pulse to combine.
- Add the chilled butter and pulse until butter is in small bits.
- Add the egg and pulse until dough clumps.
- Lay out a piece of plastic wrap on a clean counter.
- Place dough on plastic wrap and cover with an additional piece of plastic wrap.
- Using a rolling pin, roll dough out to a 12 inch circle.
- Remove the top piece of plastic wrap and invert the crust over a 9-inch tart pan.
- Use your fingers to push the crust against the corners and sides of the pan.
- Put the tart pan on top of a baking sheet, and place the pan into the freezer for 20-30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375ºF.
- Remove the tart shell from the freezer. (keep on the baking pan)
- Grease one side of a 12 inch piece of aluminum foil with butter.
- Press the foil, butter side down, against the crust.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove foil (carefully!) and bake for another 8-10 minutes until crust is golden.
- Remove tart shell from the oven to a cooling rack.
- Turn oven down to 350ºF.
- TO MAKE THE FILLING:
- Heat the olive oil and butter in a large sauté pan.
- Add the shallots and sauté over medium heat until soft, approximately 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic and sauté for an additional minute.
- Add the mushrooms, thyme and rosemary.
- Although it seems that all of these mushrooms won't fit, don't worry, if you keep stirring, the very large volume of mushrooms will be quickly reduced!
- Saute the mushrooms over high heat until tender and the released liquid has evaporated, approximately 10-15 minutes.
- Add the salt and pepper and stir.
- Allow mushrooms to cool.
- In a medium bowl, combine mascarpone and milk, whisking until smooth.
- Whisk in the eggs and then add the fontina and parmesan.
- Finally, add the mushrooms and stir to combine.
- TO MAKE THE TART:
- Place tart shell back onto baking pan.
- Add the filling to the tart shell.
- If you haven't already turned the oven down to 350ºF, do so now.
- Bake for 25-40 minutes until golden and the custard is set.
- Cool the tart on a cooling rack for 10 minutes.
- Slice and serve.
You know how sometimes you make those mistakes that you look back on and say “I didn’t mean to do that, but I am sure glad I did!”? Those mistakes that occur because you’re on warp speed, and you just need to slow down a notch or two? Well this Sausage and Roasted Red Pepper Egg Bake was born out of one of those mistakes. And a glorious mistake it was… (WARNING: This egg bake is not for the sausage averse…)…
These Lemon Blueberry Ricotta Waffles have been a huge hit with my family. Brunch, is my favorite meal, and if you haven’t noticed don’t worry, there will be many more brunch posts coming!. So many different things you can eat for brunch-sweet, savory, sweet AND savory! My kids, however, lean towards the sweet, every time. So when I was rifling through my many cookbooks (Shhh…I might have a little cookbook addiction) and food magazines, I found this beauty. We happened to be up at the cabin for the weekend, and when I decided to make these waffles for breakfast on our last day up there, there were three very enthusiastic supporters.
Waffles are a “all hands in” food in our house. My daughter measures ingredients, my son cracks the eggs, who ever is the most awake stirs the mixture, and my husband mans the waffle iron. We can churn out a very respectable stack of waffles in a very short amount of time, which is good when my clan is hungry. Luckily, these waffles are pretty quick, even if you’re making them on your own-hopefully while enjoying some alone time in the kitchen with a strong cup of coffee.
These waffles were perfect. Not overly sweet, just right. Tangy due to the addition of the lemon zest. Best of all, these Lemon Blueberry Ricotta Waffles allowed me to use up that last bit of ricotta left over in my refrigerator, and I do like to use up leftovers! Speaking of leftovers, if you run out of blueberry syrup before you run out of the waffles, you could try topping the waffles with a little bit of lime curd (from our last post)-I bet it would be fabulous!
What are some of your favorite brunch foods?
- 1¾ cups of all-purpose flour
- 4 Tablespoons sugar, divided
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup skim milk
- ½ cup ricotta cheese
- 2 Tablespoons melted butter + extra for coating waffle iron
- 2 Tablespoons canola oil
- 1 Tablespoon lemon zest + extra for garnish
- 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, divided
- 1 large egg
- 1 Cup blueberries + extra for garnish
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- Preheat oven to 200ºF.
- Mix dry ingredients (flour, 2 Tablespoons sugar, baking powder, and salt) in a large bowl.
- Combine wet ingredients (milk, ricotta cheese, melted butter, canola oil, 1 Tablespoon lemon juice, lemon zest and egg) in a medium sized bowl.
- Make a well in the dry ingredients, add wet ingredients to the well, and combine until moistened.
- Coat waffle iron with melted butter or cooking spray, to create a nonstick surface.
- Spoon waffle batter onto waffle iron (use amount suggested by your waffle iron manufacturer). How much you need to use per waffle will impact how many waffles you get...
- Cook until golden (my waffle iron has a timer, if yours does not, the cook time will be anywhere between 3-5 minutes).
- Place waffles on a plate in the 200ºF oven to keep warm.
- Repeat until batter has been used up and you have a plate of golden waffles
- In a small saucepan, combine blueberries, 2 Tablespoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.
- Bring blueberry mixture to a boil.
- Use a spatula, fork or wooden spoon (be careful here, your wooden spoon could get stained!) to mash the blueberries.
- Simmer for 3-5 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly.
- Serve waffles with syrup, garnish with additional blueberries and lemon zest!
Confession time: when a friend recently suggested making Cranberry Orange Rolls as a breakfast dish for our cabin weekend, I didn’t immediately jump at the idea. I mean, cranberries in January? I only seem to appreciate cranberries around Thanksgiving, and after that, well, I’m not usually thinking about those tart little fruits. We typically plan all of our meals for cabin weekends in advance, sharing recipes and making long lists of things we need for our cooking adventures. So a few days later when my friend texted to tell me she couldn’t find cranberries, I was secretly a little relieved. I was ready to hit up my recipe stash and find something I considered a more traditional winter staple – warm, doughy, and filled with cinnamon or maple, or even apples.
With my list in hand, I headed to my local co-op where, lo and behold, what did I find staring at me when I walked in? You guessed it, piles of fresh cranberries. Fresh organic cranberries. So I did what any good friend would do and I tucked away my old recipes and I bought those cranberries.
It turns out sometimes friends just know best, because after my first bite of these perfectly tart and sweet rolls, I knew I may have a new favorite breakfast dish. Traditional cinnamon rolls are great, but these jewel toned beauties are on a whole new level. The recipe, adapted from Deb Perelman’s amazing blog Smitten Kitchen, is a total keeper. Lesson number one: always trust your friends. Lesson number two: never count the cranberry out, it just may surprise you!
- 4 large egg yolks (we saved the whites for an egg bake we made the next day!)
- 1 large whole egg
- ¼ cup sugar
- 6 Tablespoons butter, melted
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- ¾ of the zest of one large orange (the other ¼ will be used for the filling)
- 3 and ¾ cups of all purpose flour
- 1 packet of instant (rapid rise) yeast
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- I cup light brown sugar
- ¼ of the zest of one large orange
- 1 and ½ Tablespoons of butter
- 3 and ½ Tablespoon of freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- Place egg yolks, whole egg, sugar, butter, buttermilk and ¾ of the orange zest of one large orange into the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Whisk ingredients together until well combined.
- Add 2 cups of flour, yeast and salt to dough, stir until combined.
- Switch to the dough hook.
- Add remaining 1 and ¾ cups of flour and knead dough for 5-10 minutes.
- Scrape dough into a oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
- Allow to rise until doubled (approximately 2 and ½ hours).
- In a food processor, pulse the cranberries with the brown sugar and leftover orange zest (1/4 of total orange zest from large orange) until coarse. (you may need to scrape the sides of the food processor with a spatula until all of the cranberries are coarsely chopped).
- Melt the butter and set aside.
- Butter a 9x13 inch baking dish.
- Roll the dough out on a lightly floured countertop until it is a 18 inch by 12 inch rectangle.
- Brush the dough with the melted butter.
- Spread the cranberry-brown sugar-orange zest mixture over the dough.
- Roll the dough into a long log, being careful to keep the cranberry mixture inside the dough.
- Cut the log into sections, halving the log until you have 12 even sections.
- Carefully arrange the sections in the baking dish, with even spacing between them.
- Cover with plastic wrap and place baking dish into refrigerator (to rise overnight).
- The next morning take rolls out of the refrigerator and allow to warm to room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Bake rolls until golden, approximately 30 minutes.
- Whisk the orange juice with the powdered sugar until smooth.
- Spread the icing over the warm buns.
- Serve and enjoy!