Breakfast and Brunch

confiture à la fraise

Posted by on May 29, 2015 in Breakfast and Brunch | 0 comments

Confiture à la fraise sounds so-- French. When the local sweet red gem-like strawberries grabbed our attention at the market, I bolted to David Lebovitz again for a strawberry jam recipe.


Two years ago when our apricot tree produced lugs of fruit his instructions won me over; we had a seemingly endless supply of thick glossy golden jam.


Each pound of berries generates a pint of jam which easily can be adjusted from a few jars to a boatload.


Slice the clean, stemmed fruit into a heavy bottomed pot and add sugar, lemon juice and rinds.


Let the berries mingle for a few hours; stir occasionally and marvel over the shiny fruit.



Bring the berries to a gentle simmer.


As it cooks foam will rise and is easily skimmed.


David advises a cooking time between 10 and 15 minutes before testing the ’wrinkle’ on a frozen plate.


I settled at 20-25 minutes. The color deepens and your kitchen smells like a childhood candy store.


Ladle the hot confiture into sanitized random jars or jelly glasses and top with lids. It thickens even more as it cools.


Sweet and lemony, pile it on slices of whole grain toast for a summertime delight.  Then, make more.



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Good Morning

Posted by on Apr 27, 2015 in Breakfast and Brunch | 2 comments

Gluten-free eating is trending with people we love.  A few ripe bananas and my fresh found love for creamy almond butter became the cornerstones of a gluten-free quick bread creation.

Almond Butter Banana Bread


One ripe banana yields about ½-cup mashed banana;









which partnered with yogurt, almond butter, coconut oil and two egg beauties.


















gluten-free flour, almond meal, golden flax seed, spices and the rest find their way into the mix.









Ceramic can bake at a lower temperature--









After the loaf is cool; drizzle it with a handsome glaze.  The bread is moist with a seemingly complex texture.


Maybe, the best ever loaf to keep near an heirloom teacup;

even though, your Grandmother was without a gluten-free app.




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Shifting Sides

Posted by on Mar 18, 2015 in Breakfast and Brunch | 2 comments

Strata, similar to a frittata or a layered casserole is a quintessential American brunch or potluck wonder. Cubed bread, eggs, and cheese combine naturally to form layers of savory baked squares. With oodles of bread and cheese choices, tasty aromatic and vegetable additions, plus the simple convenience of overnight preparation; it is ideal for taking on the road.  Strata is perfect for a morning Bible study spread; wedged next to crudities, puffed quiche, mini  fruit muffins, studded pastries,  crunchy granola cups, tangy yogurt, and deviled eggs.










Truth be told, I have never been bowled over by frozen artichoke hearts.  They seem sort of bland and coarse.  The allure of Cooking Light’s recent Artichoke and Spinach Strata was the use of frozen vegetables (from TJ’s) ready for thawing.  The recipe reviews weren’t very encouraging either.  But, I had the stuff and I upgraded it to MP approved status anyway. My first thought was the size of the dish seemed off.  For my purposes, 9x13 seemed right—so I matched the increased size of Trader Joes’ products accordingly-- with more bread, eggs, milk, and cheese.








I didn’t bother cooking the spinach; I just thawed it and squeezed it dry.  I combined the ingredients, adjusting the eggs to 6 jumbo, the Jack to 6 ounces, and covered the top with Parmesan.  I bumped the milk up to 2 1/4 cups 2% and the Dijon to 1 tablespoon.








The bread needs to be wet.








Also, amp up all the seasonings; that carries every bite of flavor.








The strata chilled overnight.  In the morning, it was set on the counter for at least an hour.  It baked covered for 40-45 minutes and then uncovered until it was golden brown.









I set it on the long buffet with a substantial square missing.  (MP sighs a little when he sees a savory dish leaving our compound).  It was gone in very short order.  Another meatless side dish to offer this springtime--



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Cheer Up Your Oats

Posted by on Feb 16, 2015 in Breakfast and Brunch | 5 comments

Is your life-sized heart-shaped box of chocolates nearly empty? Stow it for a few days and make Cinnamon-Raisin Breakfast Bars.















Hot water and a half pound of dates pull together everything you crave; toasted nutty oat texture, protein, and warm spice without a smidgen of sugar.  I left out a dark chocolate drizzle during our January Fast— but look outside; it’s not January any longer.















Simmer pitted dates in water to create a date paste








as you combine dry ingredients.








Adding almond butter supplies just right creaminess to unite oats, raisins, this, and them.








Getting it glued together takes some time.  Smooth peanut butter with chopped peanuts even dried cranberries could be other mix-in options.








Press the mixture into a prepared 8x8 baking dish and refrigerate.  Because the bars aren’t baked, they remain soft.   Microwave 2 ounces of dark chocolate and ½ teaspoon of coconut oil for 30 seconds to make the chocolate drizzle.








We love their “sweet gooi-ness” (wrapped up into individual packages for easy grab and go energy). If that sounds canned…it was.








Forget breakfast time; I peel one open after dark.

Thanks, Uncle Clinty

I am so obsessed; I can’t figure out to hide them from--me—




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Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins

Posted by on Oct 22, 2014 in Breakfast and Brunch | 2 comments

These moist, cake like muffins are sweet and suprisingly simple to make, and are an ideal way to use half a can of Trader Joe’s organic canned pumpkin leaving the other for another sweet or savory baking day.















Simply combine all the wet ingredients. Whisk the dry together;








gently fold cranberries into the batter and load the paper liners.








Note the Cooking Light recipe suggests baking the muffins for 25 minutes—mine baked up in 15 minutes.








Eleven sweet petite pumpkin muffins studded with tart bursts of cranberry were toted off to Bible Study this morning—except this little one who stayed home for MP—Wheee!


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The New Baby

Posted by on Oct 20, 2014 in Breakfast and Brunch | 0 comments

Izzy loooves breakfast and a Dutch Baby could be at the top of her list right alongside Lemon Ricotta Pancakes.









Back in the day when we still had sleepovers, a puffed Dutch Baby arrived to dress up with lemon zest and sweet berries for a lazy breakfast.











Saturday after Iz’s volley ball game at City Gym, I made an autumn inspired Apple Dutch Baby with Apple Cider Syrup.








The syrup takes about 45 minutes but keeps for a week—so make it ahead of time. Cast Iron is best and solidly resolves clean up.








Tart buttery Honeycrisp apple slices heady with cinnamon swaddled with slightly sweetened batter









rush to a very hot oven; and then delivered this scrumptious baby to a happy heart. Go Maroon!

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience,

kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;

--Galatians 5:22 ESV


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