Category Archives: Food and Drink

Lemon Blueberry Scones with Honey Glaze

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Scones are pretty versatile for breakfast or for an afternoon snack with tea. I made a lemon blueberry version with a honey glaze that was easy to prepare and tasted delicious. We have some great local honey providers, including Hungry Hill and Golden Angels Apiary, and for this recipe, I used a wild rose honey in place of sugar. I also made a honey glaze to brush over the scones after baking. This honey has a wonderfully strong honey flavor with subtle floral notes.

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Here’s the list of ingredients:

Scones (makes 8) adapted from Pastry Affair’s Lemon Blueberry Scone recipe

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 lemons, zested
  • pinch salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, very cold
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup blueberries

Honey Glaze

  • 1/8 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 8 teaspoons honey (or 3 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons)
  • juice of 1 lemon wedge

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And here’s the method of preparation:

Scones

  1. In large bowl, combine flour, honey, baking powder, baking soda, lemon zest, and salt. Using your fingers (or a pastry blender), incorporate butter into flour mixture, crumbling butter into pea-sized or smaller pieces.
  2. In small bowl, whisk together heavy whipping cream and egg. Pour into flour mixture and combine until dough forms. You may need to add in an extra splash of heavy whipping cream. Carefully fold in blueberries.
  3. On a floured surface, place dough and form into a circle, flattening the top until dough is one inch thick. Cut into eight wedges and transfer to baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350F or until lightly browned.

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Honey Glaze

  1. Combine melted butter, honey, and lemon juice.
  2. Brush scones immediately after removing from the oven. Additionally, brush scones again after 15 minutes.

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I like these scones because they aren’t overly sweet, and the lemon is subtle. It tasted great with a cup of green tea. Other versions would be fun to try: lavender honey, pumpkin, or savory scones. Enjoy!

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Sweet Potato Quiche: Two Gluten Free Versions

Quiche is such a versatile breakfast dish – you can add any cheese, meat, or vegetables to it, and it’s delicious! I’ve seen a few recipes lately that use sweet potatoes to line the pan in place of a pastry crust. Sweet potatoes taste good and are healthy. That sounds like a nice gluten free option instead of trying to make a gluten free crust with things like garbanzo flour, potato starch,  and tapioca flour.

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For my sweet potato quiche experiment, I made two versions: one with mushrooms and sausage, and one with kale. Both with yummy cheese, of course.

Here’s the list of ingredients for the mushroom and sausage quiche:

  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 carton of button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 breakfast sausage links
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup (or a little more) cheddar cheese, shredded
  • tbsp flour

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And here’s the method of preparation:

  • roast sweet potato and mushrooms at 415F until tender
  • cook sausage links in small saute pan; chop once cooled
  • line a lightly buttered pie pan with roasted sweet potato
  • lightly coat cheese with flour
  • combine egg, half-and-half, cheese, nutmeg, and salt and pepper in bowl; pour into pie pan
  • add mushroom and sausage to pie pan
  • bake at 325F for 40 – 45 minutes

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Here’s the list of ingredients for the kale quiche:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 bunch of kale, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cup (or a little more) Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 1 tbsp flour

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And here’s the method of preparation:

  • roast sweet potato at 415F until tender
  • saute kale until tender, add garlic and cook additional minute
  • line a lightly buttered pie pan with roasted sweet potato
  • lightly coat cheese with flour
  • combine egg, half-and-half, cheese, nutmeg, and salt and pepper in bowl; pour into pie pan
  • add kale to pie pan
  • bake at 325F for 40 – 45 minutes

Overall, I liked the mushroom and sausage quiche best – it was the most flavor. The sweet potato was great in both, but I think the kale quiche needed some extra salt because it didn’t have a salty, buttery pastry crust to compliment it. Also, something crunchy to add more texture – maybe pine nuts? I’d definitely make these again, and it’ll be fun to try some other combinations! Broccoli, Swiss chard, or artichokes would be good, and adding bacon to anything would be amazing.

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Breakfast Bread Pudding

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Bread pudding for breakfast? Sure. This version of bread pudding is a mix between cinnamon rolls and a French toast casserole. Josh bought an amazing loaf of cinnamon-swirl bread from Montana Gold Bread Company, and I knew I wanted to make something fun with it. I couldn’t decide between making classic French toast or a French toast casserole, and then I thought about cinnamon rolls… when you combine all three, you get breakfast bread pudding!

Here’s the list of ingredients:

  • 2 tblsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • cinnamon bread, cubed (about 1/3 of a loaf)
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 3.5 oz brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • dash or two cinnamon
  • powdered sugar glaze (milk or water, powdered sugar, vanilla extract)

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And here’s the method of preparation:

1. Preheat the oven to 350F, and butter a rectangular baking dish (I happened to have two 8″ square baking dishes so used those instead of one large dish).

2. Slice the bread into cubes and place in a large bowl. Pour the cream over the bread and set aside until soft.

3. Beat the eggs and sugar until smooth and thick. Add the vanilla, the melted butter.

4. Toss the egg mixture with the bread gently to blend. Pour into the pan and bake until browned and almost set, approximately 30 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, make glaze: combine milk or water with powdered sugar in a small bowl until desired consistency is achieved. Add a drop of vanilla extract. Stir to blend thoroughly.

6. When dish is done baking, let cool slightly, then top with glaze.

This is one of those dishes that makes your entire house smell great. It’s best served immediately but is also delicious reheated later. Enjoy!

IMG_2634Note: I forgot to take a picture of the breakfast bread pudding after drizzling the glaze on top, so this image will have to do! It was yummy and was eaten before I remembered to document the finished dish.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Coffee cake seems like one of those special occasion breakfast items – it’s like dessert for breakfast, really. And I’m not a big fan of sour cream, but it is wonderful in this cake. I don’t know the original source for this recipe, but it was one of Josh’s culinary class assignments and I thought I’d give it a go. It’s a winner. It made the whole house smell like cinnamon, sugar, and butter, plus it tasted really good.

the coffee cake before it went into the oven

the coffee cake before it went into the oven

Because this came from Josh’s baking class, many of the dry ingredients are defined by weight – I put our little kitchen scale to good use.

measuring the granulated sugar

measuring the granulated sugar

Here’s the list of ingredients:

Streusel Topping

unsalted butter, cold 1.5 oz.
brown sugar 2 oz.
all-purpose flour 1.5 oz.
cinnamon, ground 1/2 tsp.
salt pinch
vanilla extract 1/4 tsp.

Cake

all-purpose flour 9 oz.
baking powder 1 1/4 tsp.
salt 1/2 tsp.
cinnamon 1/2 tsp.
unsalted butter, soft 4 oz.
granulated sugar 7 oz.
eggs, room temperature 2 whole
vanilla extract 2 tsp.
sour cream, room temperature 6.5 oz.

preparing the streusel and measuring the cake ingredients

preparing the streusel and measuring the cake ingredients

And here’s the method of preparation:

1. Preheat the oven to 350F or 325F if using a convection oven. Bring butter, eggs, and sour cream to room temperature for cake batter.

2. Grease and flour an 8″ square baking dish.

3. For the streusel: place all streusel ingredients in a mixer with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the mixture is even in color and texture. Set aside.

4. Sift together the dry ingredients for the cake. Set aside.

5. Place the butter and granulated sugar in a mixer with a paddle attachment. Cream on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla.

6. Add the sour cream and dry ingredients alternately, beginning and ending with the dry. Do not over mix.

7. Spread the cake patter in the prepared pan. Top with streusel.

8. Bake for 45 – 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool cake in the pan for 30 minutes on a wire rack. Run a paring knife around the cake and gently remove. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.

Enjoy!

finished product: yummy sour cream coffee cake

finished product: yummy sour cream coffee cake

Homemade Granola

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Since cooler temperatures and shorter days are just around the corner, I started thinking about fall breakfasts. It’s a bit too early to jump into pumpkin muffins and mulled apple cider, but granola sure would be a perfect transition.

Homemade granola is easy to make and is extremely customizable. Josh loves walnuts and I love almonds, I like dried fruits but Josh prefers less sweets, and we both like cinnamon and coconut so I made “his” and “hers” granola using roughly the following proportions:

  • 1 1/2 cups oats (not the quick cook kind)
  • 1/3 cup chopped nuts
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
  • dried fruit

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Mix together the first five ingredients in a bowl, then lightly drizzle with olive oil. Stir in either honey or maple syrup (or a combination of the two) then spread the mixture onto a cookie sheet that has been thinly coated in olive oil so that it doesn’t stick. Bake in the oven at 300F for about 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10 or so minutes. If you use maple syrup, the granola gets a dry crispy texture, and if you use honey, it has a shinier, thicker texture. Both are nice.

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Experiment with the ingredients and flavors that you like! You can add vanilla extract, any kind of dried fruit (cranberries, figs, dates, raisins), maybe some ginger, or add a handful of chocolate chips after baking for a tasty trail mix. So delicious with milk, yogurt, or sprinkled on top of your favorite cereal.

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Cheesy Biscuits with Chives

biscuits fresh from the oven

biscuits fresh from the oven

Biscuits are such a nice treat for breakfast – warm, buttery, and they taste great plain or with jam, gravy, or an egg on top! There are a lot of good looking recipes out there, so I’m going to test a bunch of them – it’ll be good practice for me plus I’ll see which ones are keepers.

For my first try at making biscuits, I went with this cheesy chive biscuit recipe from A Cozy Kitchen. The only thing I added was a bit of crushed red pepper flakes. A little zip of flavor sounded like it would go well with the cheddar and chives.

chives, cheddar cheese, and red pepper flakes

chives, cheddar cheese, and red pepper flakes

These were really simple to put together. I needed a little more buttermilk to get my dough to hold together, but all-in-all very easy. You don’t even need to roll out the dough – just press it out with your hands. I loved that part! If you have a biscuit cutter, great, but if not… a stemless red wine glass works really well, too.

cutting out the biscuits

cutting out the biscuits

Was anyone else a fan of Raffi? I was singing his “Biscuits in the Oven” song while baking these: biscuits in the oven gonna watch ’em rise, biscuits in the oven gonna watch ’em rise, biscuits in the oven gonna watch ’em rise – right before my very own eyes.

cheesy chive biscuits (with red pepper flakes)

cheesy chive biscuits (with red pepper flakes)

These tasted pretty delicious, and the addition of red pepper flakes was nice. I may try reducing the amount of butter next time, but then again, they didn’t get as nice and fluffy as I expected, so maybe I overworked the dough. A few things to work on next time I make biscuits. Practice makes perfect.

Do you have any biscuit recipe suggestions?

Pancakes with Blueberries, Sprinkles, or Chocolate

Time to start perfecting some mouthwatering breakfast recipes. We’ll be sharing our cooking experiments with you as we go – this is going to be fun!

mis en place

mis en place

Josh and I love making a hot breakfast on Sunday morning or for “brinner” during the week, and pancakes (or hotcakes or flapjacks) are one of my favorite breakfast foods to make and eat. I’ve used the same pancake recipe, fluffy and sweet with a touch of vanilla, for a long time. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? Or wait, could pancakes get even better?! Here are some super simple upgrades to a basic pancake recipe you can make in a pinch.

First up, blueberries with nutmeg and lemon zest. Blueberry pancakes are classic, but I threw in a dash of nutmeg and some lemon zest for a bit of a blueberry muffin taste. The lemon zest makes the pancakes light and fresh. These pancakes also smelled amazing as they cooked up on the griddle.

blueberries and lemon

blueberries and lemon

blueberry pancakes

blueberry pancakes with nutmeg and lemon zest

Next up – sprinkles! I absolutely love sprinkles, and I thought “why not put them in pancakes?” They don’t add any flavor but definitely make pancakes festive and fancy looking. They’d be a great for a birthday breakfast.

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sprinkles

sprinkles

pancakes with sprinkles

And finally, this one was probably my favorite: cinnamon and chocolate chips. Chocolate chips are another classic ingredient for pancakes, but with the addition of cinnamon, the pancakes have such a rich and warm taste. They’re delicious, and they look elegant, too.

chocolate chips and cinnamon

chocolate chips and cinnamon

cinnamon with chocolate chips

cinnamon and chocolate chip pancakes

Wondering what I did with all the various leftover batters? Mixed them all together and made crazy pancakes, of course!

blueberry with nutmeg and lemon zest, sprinkles, and cinnamon with chocolate chips!

a combination of all three varieties

I would love to know your favorite pancake ingredient – how do you spice up pancakes for Sunday brunch or for a casual Saturday morning?