Lemon Coriander Pancakes

In attempt to not apologize for the infrequency of my blogging regimen (again), let’s talk about books.

I am or used to be an avid reader. I remember well completing series after series of children’s books- The Boxcar Children, Babysitter’s Club, Animorphs, Goosebumps, etc. I also recall seeing every episode of Rugrats, and really most Nickelodeon shows, created, so I’ll also make a point of the seemingly endless free time afforded to my childhood. As I got older, books became more complex, profound. Their meaning expanded beyond a simple story: soon, the very characters became references for identity, and the settings became imaginative worlds to which I could draw parallel my own experiences. Favorite books became more important than television, than movies, than soccer practice. I defined myself by introversion, by my ability to sit down and read for hours without fatigue. The books I read and loved were compared and contrasted to the literary lists complied at the beginning of the school year, and I felt some odd sense of shame when I hadn’t yet read a classic “every one else had.” I read through high school, I read through college, I even read voraciously on breaks in graduate school.

So what do I read now?

I’ve belonged to book clubs and made friends of people who love to read equally. I talk at length about the purpose and intention of novels with my brother, who likely now balks at the slow pace of my consumption. A book a month now seems challenging, not for the objective time to complete the reading, but for the procrastination and/ or schedule demanded of the remaining 28 days. I’ve been reading the same book since February, that I argue I enjoy, but will I finish by June? Seeing as it’s May 31, unlikely.

The list of novels and short stories I have set aside to read is growing and growing, and I compel my passion for completing them by my sense of identity that still includes “reader.” In fairness, I read news, blogs, trivial headlines, and biased and purportedly unbiased articles on a daily basis. But with every intention I plan to invigorate anew my love for fiction, in hopes that this phase of my life is one of the only in which novels have demoted their position.

Anyways, here is a great recipe for lemony and herbal pancakes, to mix up your Sunday morning. Maybe you’ll follow the stack with a few enjoyed pages of your favorite book.

Lemon Coriander Pancakes

Serves 3-4

1 cup all-purpose flour (or 1/2 all-purpose, 1/2 whole wheat pastry flour)

2 tbsp. granulated sugar

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground coriander

 

1 large egg, room temperature

2 tbsp. melted butter, slightly cooled

3/4 cup milk

1 lemon, juiced

Zest of 1 lemon

Butter and maple syrup to serve

In a graduated cup measure 3/4 cup of milk, then add the lemon juice and stir. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.

In a medium mixing bowl stir together the dry ingredients. Melt the butter in a small bowl. Add the egg and whisk together. Add the butter and egg mixture, as well as the lemon zest, to the milk and stir. Add the liquids to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

Heat a griddle to 350 degrees. Pour out 1/4 cup of batter to make 8-10 pancakes. Cook until small bubbles appear on the surface, then flip (about 2-3 minutes). Cook an additional 2-3 minutes until the center is set.

Plate the pancakes and top with butter and maple syrup. Enjoy!

 

Advertisements

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes with Maple Cider Glaze

Is there anything more stereotypically fall than pumpkin? And by pumpkin, I of course mean pumpkin spice, because if you asked the opinion of tweens and young adults everywhere what their favorite fall flavor is, it would absolutely be pumpkin spice, but if you presented them with pumpkin puree, most would turn their nose up entirely. In fact, I think pumpkin is notoriously a missing ingredient in the infamous pumpkin spice latte (which isn’t that great, guys? like, it’s pretty good, but try one from a local coffee shop. way, way better). Now, don’t get me wrong: I LOVE PUMPKIN SPICE. I also love pumpkin, but particularly when it’s flavored with cinnamon and nutmeg. So you can hate me; I’m predictable. But I would say the best argument for pumpkin spice (outside of the aforementioned, over-popular latte) is pancakes.

Pumpkin spice pancakes are little soufflés of joy. Cake-like and fluffy from the pumpkin puree, made expertly more delicious by the combination of cinnamon and maple syrup: they are the reason to be excited about breakfast in fall. (I’ll take a step to the side for a moment to say that pumpkin spice waffles are totally amazing as well, I just don’t have a waffle maker. Eh hem, future secret Santa). Instead of maple syrup, I made a maple cider glaze to top these pancakes to switch things up. It is delicious, although I’m usually partial to a traditional version. The glaze is simply outstanding when poured on top of some whipped, melting butter, though, so I’d advise you try it.

Ah, I just love weekend breakfasts. My next job will start after 10 am…

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Don’t worry; coffee makes its way into that mug

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes with Maple Cider Glaze

Serves 2-4

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

1 cup all-purpose flour (or 1/2 cup whole wheat and 1/2 cup all-purpose, mixed)

2 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/8 tsp. ground cloves

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tbsp. sugar

1 cup organic milk, anything but skim

1 1/2 tbsp. butter, melted

1 egg

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Maple Cider Glaze

2 cups powdered sugar

1 tbsp. maple syrup

2-3 tbsp. apple cider

 

In a mixing bowl, whisk or sift together the flour, baking powder, spices, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, melted butter, egg, pumpkin puree, and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and whisk lightly, until the batter is just incorporated. Allow to rest.

Prepare the cider glaze by mixing powdered sugar with warmed maple syrup and cider, adding in intervals to achieve a thin consistency.

Heat a skillet to 350 degrees Fahrenheit or a non-stick pan over medium heat. Lightly butter the skillet or pan surface. Add the batter and cook for about 3-4 minutes, until the underside is lightly browned and bubbles appear on the surface. Flip and cook an additional 2-3 minutes until the opposite side has browned and the pancake is cooked through.

Serve immediately, in a photographically-pleasing stack, with maple cider glaze poured over the top. Enjoy with coffee (maybe even a pumpkin spice latte).

 

 

Summer Frittata

Well, it happened. I moved. I moved and I threw wedding parties and I rode my (used-but-new, totally awesome) bike and I tried to go to bed on time (and failed). I moved, and I’m tired. I’m anticipating some sort of settling in moment that hasn’t quite happened yet, and I’m still peering out windows wondering when my roommate will come home (how strange to live alone again). I get home from work and the night is entirely my own, and my mind races with the lack of evening structure. Where are my friends, steps or blocks away, texting or calling or just being known in the skyline in the distance? Where is my dog, bothering me and napping on my couch? What is demanded of me here, in this completely new city, not at all far from where I once lived, but entirely unknown just the same? Where is the bike path, the best place to run, the most convenient grocery store? I come home, and I enjoy the HBO and Internet access I made sure to install promptly, and then I forget that I can do whatever I want. I guess I do, in that I stay still, and try to create calm. But then I don’t, in that I lost the bursting-but-fleeting productivity that inspired me to unpack my apartment and now just sit among the final boxes on a mattress on the floor. I feel decidedly unsettled, I’d counter.

So in attempt to control my time, I post again. A recipe I ate ages ago, back in my old kitchen. I suppose soon enough a recipe will come here from the new one (I actually already have one to be shared), but, for now: the remaining moments of my Chicago (genuinely Chicago) summer. I made this frittata for an easy night of cooking, and also as a means to eat more vegetables. I eat breakfast incredibly early, at a time at which most people don’t have an appetite. But it’s now or never, and sweets become heavy and unappetizing when eaten day after day (breakfast sweets, that is). So I intended to create a savory recipe I could reheat and eat quickly, which, when lacking the flour to create a quiche crust, becomes a frittata. (Strange side: my new apartment lacks a microwave, and I’ve missed it thrice already). This frittata wrangles up the varying summer produce with a delicious eggy binder, and it tastes fresh and savory and warm all at once. I included a recent Trader Joe’s find: mediterranean feta. It’s feta cheese, but better, including a few herbs and spices that complement well the flavors of this recipe. Obviously, a plain feta or even goat cheese would pair well here also, but if you find this ingredient, it’s worth including.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Summer Frittata

Serves 4

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 bunch broccoli, cut into small florets

1/2 zucchini, sliced into quarter rounds

9 large (farm-fresh!?) eggs

1/4 cup milk, anything but skim (cream if you’re fancy)

1/3 cup mediterranean feta cheese, crumbled

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the broccoli florets and zucchini, and sauté the vegetables until lightly browning, about 5-8 minutes. Once browned, distribute evenly through the bottom of the pan.

Whisk together the eggs and milk. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables and stir lightly to evenly distribute everything.  Sprinkle the feta cheese evenly over the egg liquid. Cook the eggs in the pan, still over medium to medium-low heat, until the bottom is just setting and the edges just begin to appear firm. This time can vary, but should take about 5-10 minutes.

Place the pan into the oven and cook until the frittata is completely cooked through, which can be recognized by gently shaking the pan and noting no movement of the eggs, about 12-15 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven, cool slightly, and enjoy.

This can easily serve a crowd, or can alternatively offer leftovers for a week. Whichever you please. Maybe you’re busy.

 

Caramelized Onion, Sun-dried Tomato, and Goat Cheese Quiche

Quiche. Oh my god, quiche. I love quiche. It is astoundingly underrated. For instance, when you go to brunch, what do you have swimming in your head, what options are you fanning through mentally? Omelet, egg scramble, french toast, pancakes, eggs benedict, fresh juice, eggs-in-a-basket, biscuits and gravy… the classics. But as you frustratingly toy between deciding sweet or savory (eventually just going for the huge breakfast platter that combines both), quiche is just sitting there on the side, being absurdly perfect, waiting for you to remember. Quiche isn’t offered at every restaurant or brunch place. It’s a little bit “fancy,” and it may only be available at your delicious-yet-kind-of-hipster/trendy neighborhood haunt. (I can think specifically of my favorite brunch place in the city- Birchwood Kitchen- with their quiches sitting poised atop a glass cabinet of salads and baked goods). So it’s fair that it’s not a regular go-to when you’re sitting down for brunch on a Sunday morning at 11am. But I am here to fight for it. Fight for its representation. Because, guys, it’s basically PIE filled with EGGS. With fillings that are delightful and usually perfectly fresh and almost always healthy yet delicious.

So you can’t get it out all the time, or maybe you still insist that you can’t make french toast at home (eh hem, you can), but there’s no reason not to delight in the wonder that is quiche when the craving hits. (It’s actually hitting you right now, you just don’t remember). There is a crust to quiche, and I personally am annoyed when Pinterest links and Internet sites quote recipes for “crustless quiches,” because those totally already exist, everyone; they’re called frittatas, and they are too delicious, in their own way. But making a crust can scare people away, moreso than even French toast or pancakes from scratch. If you have 5 minutes, a rolling pin, and butter and flour, you can make pie crust. It’s even easier in a food processor, but absolutely not necessary. If you were to be making an actual fancy pie, I’m certain there would be more crust rules. But you’re making a brunch item. This just needs to taste good.

Now, the second part of quiche that has people worried is the filling. What should you put inside there!? Eggs, obviously, but the additional components and flavor combinations are endless. It’s at least as expansive as the variety afforded to omelets, but with the benefit of not compromising the tedious and delicate cooking process of preparing an omelet. I like things to be relatively simple, in the interest of highlighting genuine flavors, and am a huge sucker for caramelized onions all the time. The beauty of these ingredients (which are listed below) is that they are available and delicious at any time of the year. If it’s summer and you would prefer to highlight the bounty of summer vegetables then available, by all means do so. But this quiche is a good staple and a good place to start.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Caramelized Onion, Sun-dried Tomato, and Goat Cheese Quiche

Serves 6

Crust

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (or a 50/50 ratio of all-purpose and whole wheat)
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 8 tbsp./ 1 stick/ 1/4 lb. of unsalted butter, cold and diced
  • 3-6 tbsp. ice water, reserved

Filling

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced thinly
  • 2/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • Salt & pepper to season, to taste
  • 5 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk, anything but skim
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 oz. (about 1/4 cup) goat cheese, crumbled

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a 9-inch pie pan by coating it thinly with butter and set aside.

Begin by preparing the filling. In a medium sauté pan, over medium heat, add 1 tbsp. olive oil and the sliced yellow onions. Cook until lightly browning and softened, about 15 minutes. Add the chopped sun-dried tomatoes, mix, and heat through. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

To make the crust, mix the flour(s) and salt together in a medium mixing bowl. Add the cold and diced butter, and, using your fingertips, mix the butter into the flour. The butter should gradually breakdown to pea-sized pieces, and the whole mixture will look almost sandy with small clumps. Then, slowly add the ice water, starting with 3 tbsp. then adding by 1/2-1 tbsp. as needed. Mix the water into the flour mixture with your hands until evenly distributed. You should continue to add water until you have a shaggy dough that forms the shape of your first when you squeeze it and just stays together in a small ball. Pour the dough out onto a floured surface or counter (there should be some dry scraggly bits) and mold into a flat disc. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough into a circle about 2-3 inches wider in diameter than the pie pan. The dough will likely break a bit as you roll it out, but just push the broken pieces back together. The easiest way to transfer the dough to the pie pan is to roll it onto the rolling pin and then unroll it over the pan. Press the crust dough into the pan, consolidating the dough at the edges to form an even, slightly thickened ridge elevated about 1/2 an inch above the edge of the pan. Your dough will likely be an uneven circle, so just transfer pieces as needed to more “thin” areas. From here, you can flute the edges of the dough if you want, or just leave it as is. To flute the crust, indent the crust from the outside with the pointer finger of your right hand against the counter-pressure of your thumb and pointer finger of your left hand, making a triangle of dough, essentially. Go around the entire crust that way. It won’t look perfect. That’s fine.

Once the dough is complete, add your vegetables. Ideally, you should have about 2 cups of vegetables in your quiche with a standard pie pan (if your pan is deeper, you may want to amp up the veggies by another cup or so). Whisk together the eggs, milk, and 1/2 tsp. of salt and pour over the veggies. Scoot the veggies around some if needed so everything is evenly distributed. Top the filling with goat cheese, sprinkling it evenly over the quiche.

Place the quiche in the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes, until the center is set (the eggs shouldn’t wiggle or jiggle in the pan, but rather look quite firm and fluffy). Remove the quiche to cool slightly, for about 10 minutes, and serve.

 

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

 

Delicious, buttery pie crust, with creamy eggs and the burst of sweet then savory then cheesy flavor. Make a quiche next time. Please.

Chia Seed French Toast with Blood Orange Strawberry Syrup

So this was not my birthday breakfast (see this post), but this was a delicious breakfast from last weekend. Yes, I made French toast again. I wanted to experiment with healthifying French toast a little bit. Not too much; it still needs to be creamy yet crusted and delicious. But I figured the basics of French toast- egg, bread, milk- didn’t need to necessarily combine into an overly indulgent dish. In fact, it takes to these additional healthy ingredients and toppings very well, and I actually found this preparation more filling and satisfying. The blood orange strawberry syrup draws on this lingering-winter, almost-spring produce I’m noticing now, combining the acidic, thick-skinned winter fruits with the delicately sweet spring flora. They’re a match made in heaven; the perfect sweetly tangy topping to the more heavy toast below. I used chia seeds to amp up the nutritional profile, as chia seeds are a great source of omega-3 fats and other minerals. I also wanted to see if they’d add a bit of a crunch to the toast (spoiler: not too much, really). Regardless, this French toast was phenomenal, with way less added sugar than the typical preparation topped with maple syrup, and more nutritious as well. (But if you want something more indulgently custardy and traditional, use this recipe).

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Chia Seed French Toast with Blood Orange Strawberry Syrup

Serves 1

2 thick slices (about 1 inch) of country bread, preferably multi-grain or whole wheat

2 eggs

1/4 cup milk

1 tsp. honey

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tbsp. chia seeds

Blood Orange Strawberry Syrup, to serve:

  • 1 cup hulled and halved strawberries
  • 1 tsp. blood orange zest
  • 2 tbsp. blood orange juice, freshly squeezed (feel free to eat the remaining fruit)
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Start by preparing the blood orange strawberry syrup. Mix the syrup ingredients together in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Allow the mixture to come to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium low. Allow the syrup to simmer until the strawberries are broken down and it has reduced to about half the initial volume, about 15 minutes. The syrup will be thick with small strawberry chunks, but still pourable. Set aside to cool slightly.

Whisk together the egg, milk, honey, and vanilla extract. Pour the egg mixture into a shallow pan (I use a pyrex baking dish) and toss the chia seeds throughout the mixture. Soak the bread in the eggs, making sure to evenly distribute the chia seeds through the batter on the toast. Allow to soak for 2 minutes, then flip to soak the other side.

Heat a griddle to 350 and lightly grease with butter. Add the French toast and cook for 4-5 minutes. Flip then cook the opposite side for another 4-5 minutes.

Plate the French toast and top with the blood orange strawberry syrup.

 

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Enjoy for a filling yet healthier weekend breakfast.

 

Birthday Pancakes

I’m 26 today! It may be windy and cold in Chicago, but the sun is out, and I’m feeling the love from family and friends here in the city and far away on the East coast. Time to celebrate and start the day the best way I know how: with a mountain of fluffy pancakes.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Birthday Pancakes (Chocolate Chip and Pecan)

Serves 1-2

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tbsp. sugar

3/4 cup milk

1 tbsp. butter, melted

1/2 whisked egg (sorry that’s inconvenient; double the recipe to make it “normal”

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tbsp. dark chocolate chunks

1 tbsp. pecans, chopped finely

Sift together the dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, melt the butter. Add half of a whisked egg, 3/4 cup milk, and vanilla. Whisk together the wet ingredients and pour over the dry. Using a whisk or a fork, lightly mix the batter until just combined. A few lumps here and there are fine. Set the batter aside to rest for 5-10 minutes. It’s relatively thick batter; it makes them extra fluffy.

Heat a griddle to 350 degrees. Have canola oil, grapeseed oil, or butter available to lightly grease the pan.

Chop the chocolate and pecans and mix in a small bowl. Set aside.

Pour about a teaspoon of oil or butter onto the griddle and spread with thinly.

Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to pour the pancake batter onto the griddle. Use the bottom of the measuring cup to swirl the batter into a circle (the batter will be thick). I was able to make 4 5-inch pancakes. Sprinkle the chocolate and pecans onto each pancake, and press them lightly into the batter.

Allow the pancakes to cook for about 3 minutes, until the batter is just bubbling (since it’s so thick, it won’t be as obvious as usual, especially with the pecans and chocolate covering the top). Once the underside is done, flip the pancakes and cook another 3 minutes, until golden brown and cooked all the way through.

Top with a pat of butter, some sifted powdered sugar, and, of course, maple syrup. This was incredibly filling, but oh-so-fluffy and delicious. An indulgent breakfast for a newly 26-year-old, starting this year RIGHT.

Greens, Eggs, and Pan

This may be my favorite savory breakfast, save the more indulgent rare quiches and restaurant-finds, and it’s one of my go-to “I don’t have anything for dinner” meals. I can’t count the number of times I topped toast and greens with eggs and called it dinner while in graduate school, starving mid-study session and short on the patience required to prepare a more “substantial” meal. But what’s odd is now I find myself craving it, kind of in the way breakfast for dinner or cereal nights are sometimes preferable to mindfully prepared dinners. And, beyond that, with the right bread, and the right greens, these ingredients genuinely blend perfectly together, the yolk coating the somewhat bitter greens and enhancing the buttered, yeasty bread below. So you’ll need to excuse my Dr. Seuss pun (it was too easy), as this is not some distasteful dish to run away from, but rather a delicious escape from time-intensive meals. And for anyone wondering, pan means bread in Spanish, and it was the only way to make this rhyme work.

I know some are wary of a runny yolk, but I have to insist you give it a try. I owe my own experience to my best friend and former roommate, who introduced me to the bread-in-drippy-yolk combo, which absolutely blew my mind.* There are eggs, scrambled or otherwise, on a whole spectrum of deliciousness. But an egg over easy, yolk loose and sauce-like, is just second to none. But, if you’re a first-timer, over medium may be a safe place to start. You’ll get a little runny yolk action, but mostly have a pretty firm egg. Just… don’t go straight for the scramble. So many lost eggs out there.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Toasted Bread and Greens with Eggs Over-Easy

Serves 1

2 slices good bread (I used half of a demi-baguette, but sourdough or a seedy wheat would also be excellent)

1 tbsp. butter, divided

2 cups arugula or other green (spinach or a delicate spring mix work nicely)

2 large brown eggs (organic, free range preferably)

In a small sauté pan, melt 2 tsp. butter over medium heat in the shape of your bread slices. Place the bread flat-side down onto the pan, pressing firmly to coat the bread with melted butter. Heat the bread until toasted and just browning in butter, then remove from heat. Alternatively, if your bread is fresh and soft and perfect, just spread 1 tsp. softened butter on each slice.

Top the bread, toasted or otherwise, with the greens.

In the previously used sauté pan, melt the final teaspoon of butter over medium-low heat. Crack the eggs side by side into the pan, making sure to keep the yolk intact. Cook the eggs until the bottom of the egg-whites are set, about 2-3 minutes, then cover with a lid. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, until whites are fully set but the yolk is still runny (it should move loosely when you go to move the eggs with a spatula). If a more set yolk is desired, cook for a few more minutes covered, until the thin layer of whites surrounding the yolk are more opaque, and the egg is less mobile.

Gently, with a spatula, top the greens and toast with the eggs. Use a fork to break the yolk and allow to run all over. Eat with a fork or with your hands, whichever is more feasible and more messy. It’s more enjoyable that way.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Finish the meal with a beautiful blood orange on the side. Dinner and dessert now complete. You are free to go about your scheduled evening activities.

*Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

In tribute of the classic, buttered bagel dipped into 2 over easy yolks, whites scooped up with the bagel in hand. Also, this is a good example of a more “over-medium” egg.

French Toast (Breakfast for Dinner)

I’ve already spotlighted pancakes as a perfect breakfast-for-dinner meal. I stand by those humble ‘jacks as the most iconic and cravable dinner substitute. And, to be honest, I made this french toast for brunch one Saturday. But, I thoroughly support the indulgence of creamy, custard-laden egg bread, fried until crisped and doused in maple syrup. I support it at breakfast, brunch, lunch, and, today, dinner. French toast at your favorite diner-style brunch place (or even classy and/or organic brunch restaurant) seems to be almost unachievable in a weeknight kitchen. The exterior crunch, the fluffy middle, the perfect ability to soak up maple syrup… it all seems lost when you yourself dip your bread in eggs and flop it into a sauté pan. But I’ve dabbled in French toast enough now to make a bold statement: it can be done in your own kitchen and on your own time. It does involve a bit of a splurge on one uncommon ingredient- egg bread- but from there it’s really the usual suspects that transform bread into an indulgent almost-dessert (but it’s not; it’s breakfast. it’s fine). Please, please, please so much try this at home.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

French Toast

Serves 4-6

1 loaf egg bread (or Challah or Brioche bread), sliced into 1 inch slices

6 large eggs

1 1/2 cups whole milk

1 tbsp. honey

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 tbsp. salted butter, to cook

Heat a griddle to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, or heat a large sauté pan over medium heat.

In a bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, honey, and vanilla extract. Pour the custard mixture into a wide dish. Soak 2-4 slices of bread at a time, allowing to rest in the custard for 2 minutes per side.

Butter the griddle or sauté pan and add slices of coated bread. Cook for 3-4 minutes then flip; the custard should be browning and crisping in places. Allow to cook another 3-4 minutes on the alternate side. Plate to serve, best with toppings of butter, a sprinkling of powdered sugar, and a heavy pour of maple syrup. If serving later, keep the French toast warm by placing between towels on a baking sheet in a 200 degree oven.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

 

Pour syrup on top, watch the butter run all over the French toast, think about sleeping in maple syrup, lift fork, and dive in.

Trail Mix Baked Oatmeal Squares

Due to my dog’s intense separation anxiety, I get dressed in the dark. I sneakily pack a pre-prepared breakfast in my purse, and I (as silently as possible) grab my lunch from the refrigerator. I throw a bone into his dog bed, put on my coat (but don’t zip it), and grab my shoes (but don’t waste time putting them on). I slip out the door and walk to the elevator, and I finish getting ready to bear the cold. I probably spend 15 minutes in my house once I get up in the morning before I’m out the door, and I hear Oscar ruffle out from under the blankets in about that time, eager to see what’s been going on while he’s been asleep. My point is: I need quick, I need quiet, and I need ready-ahead-of-time breakfasts. I’ve dabbled in all sorts of hand-held breakfasts I can eat while I drive to work (once I’m at work, I’m at work, and I can’t eat). There are a slew of internet references to breakfasts on-the-go, but how many can you eat while you drive? This has been the sticking point. Also,my microwave beeps too loudly, so this breakfast must come at room temperature or directly from the refrigerator. It seems superfluous to toil over breakfast ideas so much (it’s just food), but I go a solid 6 hours until lunch time, and I like to start my day on a healthful track. So I revise my statement: I need quick, I need quiet, I need ready-ahead-of-time, I need hand-held and truly on-the-go, and, very importantly, I need healthy and delicious.

I loved oatmeal as my breakfast of choice back when I luxuriously dawdled over breakfast at home, but it is impossible to eat with a spoon in the car (I tried once- very risky and unstable). I perused the internet for awhile, as I often do, and saw a few recipes for baked oatmeal. This was enlightening! It’s like oatmeal you can hold in your hand! And, just like oatmeal, the varieties are endless. I’ve become incredibly in love with trail mix recently- I think it has something to do with Trader Joe’s extensive and fantastic options- and I realized oatmeal is the perfect medium for incorporating trail mix flavors. Thus, my absolute favorite breakfast was born (excluding the few times I’ve made donuts… those were the best. I’ll have a recipe at some point).  Even if you have time in the morning, these definitely warrant a try. I’d imagine they’re delicious heated warm on a plate with a side of coffee.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Trail Mix Baked Oatmeal Squares

Serves 4

2 cups old-fashioned oats

1/2 cup mixed nuts (I used peanuts, walnuts, and pecans)

1/3 cup dried cranberries or raisins (or other dried fruit)

2 tbsp. chopped dark chocolate

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

2 tbsp. honey

1 1/2 cup milk

1 egg

2 tbsp. coconut oil, melted

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare an 8×8 square baking dish with a thin coating of oil or non-stick spray.

In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients. Add honey to the dry mixture and stir until loosely clumped. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, and coconut oil. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix. Allow the mixture to set for 5-10 minutes. Pour the oatmeal mixture into the baking dish and put into the preheated oven. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes, until edges are just browning and the oatmeal is firmly set. Allow oatmeal to cool, then serve warm. Alternatively, oatmeal can be cooled entirely and refrigerated, later sliced into squares to serve for the road.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

 

I usually am so excited for weekend breakfasts, intentionally and lazily preparing and eating pancakes or eggs and toast. But these oatmeal squares give those meals a run for their money, and keep me functioning at work as well.

 

Classic Pancakes

I have tried (what feels like) hundreds of pancake recipes trying to find the perfect Saturday morning pancake. Traditional buttermilk, straightforward mixes, Bisquick pancakes from my grandma, oatmeal pancakes, pumpkin pancakes, and more… all of these have made their way into my kitchen some weekend morning. But nearly every time I try a new recipe, always not quite certain that the last one was the right one. I’ve certainly made some very good pancakes, some I’d even call absolutely delicious, but the classic pancake seems to be the most elusive. I can’t promise that these pancakes will be your perfect classic pancake, but they’re definitely the best I’ve had so far. So good I’m sure I’ll make them again. Maybe so good they’ll be my staple (everyone needs a regular pancakes-for-dinner recipe). They’re fluffy but not pretentious, and they take on a dose of maple syrup like a champ. They’re not too heavy, but they’re also not insubstantial. They’re pancakes, guys. Let’s just eat them.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Classic Pancakes

Adapted from this recipe

Makes 8-10 pancakes

1 cup all-purpose flour (or 1/2 all-purpose, 1/2 whole wheat pastry flour)

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

2 tbsp. granulated sugar

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1 large egg, room temperature

1 cup milk

2 tbsp. melted butter, slightly cooled

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Softened butter and real maple syrup, to serve

In a mixing bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together melted butter, egg, and milk until well combined. Add 1 tsp. vanilla extract at whisk. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and whisk slowly, until the flour is just incorporated. Let the batter set; a few lumps are fine.

Heat a griddle to 350 degrees F, or a large skillet over medium heat. Use a small dab of oil or butter to grease the griddle or skillet, or spray with non-stick cooking spray. Scoop about 1/4 cup of batter onto the griddle or skillet and heat the pancake until the edges are just browning and small bubbles appear on the top of the batter, approximately 3-4 minutes. Flip the pancake and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, until browned on both sides. Repeat the process until all pancakes are cooked. If you have any extras, cool the pancakes on a cooling rack and freeze for later use (pancakes reheat in the toaster to almost-good-as-new).

Stack the pancakes as high as you can and top with real! maple syrup. A dab of butter won’t hurt. A couple pancakes actually isn’t too bad to start your day, calorically, and may even make up a healthy-but-indulgent breakfast with a side of fruit.

And maybe you’re having breakfast for dinner; I certainly won’t stop you. After all, how can you think of maple syrup pouring over pancakes and not want to whip up a batch ASAP?

Perfect-Classic-Pancakes-Po

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Yea, it’s time for pancakes. The good kind.