Category Archives: Breakfast in Bed
Post by Alison Hein.
Go dust off your waffle iron and whip up some morning magic! These lightly sweet, chocolatey treats take only a little effort, and are sure to delight both young and not so young. A touch of cocoa powder in the batter is enough to provide a hint of decadence – great for brunch or special occasions.
Make sure your waffle iron is well-heated before you begin. Each waffle will take about 5 minutes to cook. If you’re planning a big breakfast shindig, preheat your oven to low and then turn it off. Pile each waffle onto an ovenproof plate as they finish, cover them with a light tea towel, and keep them warm until you’re done cooking.
No need to waffle on this one – all it takes is a little alchemy to produce a bewitching breakfast in bed.
2 cups flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1½ cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ cup sour cream
Combine flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl. In separate bowl, add milk, eggs and vanilla and beat until frothy. Pour oil into liquid mixture and stir well. Using a wooden spoon or hand mixer, gradually add liquid mixture to dry ingredients until batter is smooth. Stir in sour cream.
Spray waffle iron with cooking spray and heat to high. Pour ½ cup to ¾ cup batter into center of iron, making sure you have enough batter to evenly spread across the surface of your waffle iron. Cook until waffle is deep brown and crisp, and pulls away easily from iron, about 5 minutes. Serve warm with melted butter and maple syrup or chocolate sauce. Top with fruit, if you like.
Makes 4 to 5 waffles.
Post by Alison Hein.
I’ve recently begun experimenting with almond milk in my cooking and baking. Almond milk has a creamy texture and mildly sweet, nutty taste. It is dairy-free, contains no cholesterol, and is low in calories. Besides that, it is delicious! I completely understand why it is now so popular and available.
I’m entranced by the simplicity of this pancake recipe. The almond milk is sweet and rich enough that there is no need for sweetener or shortening. The texture, somewhat thicker than usual pancake batter, takes a little getting used to. But the end result is well worth the learning curve. Not as many bubbles appear (you’ll need to peek at the bottom of the pancakes while cooking), and the almond cakes will not brown as much when cooked.
I’ve been using my old cast iron pan for frying, which is so well-seasoned that I don’t need to use any shortening at all. Amazingly, I don’t feel the need for butter – a splash of maple syrup or chopped, fresh fruit seems just right.
Use almond, buckwheat or rice flour if you are looking for a gluten-free pancake option. Or, toast some almond slivers in advance for a nice, crunchy topping.
You’ll soon come to see why almond milk was a staple in medieval kitchens, and why it is a wonderful choice for breakfast in bed!
1 cup flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup almond milk
Cooking spray, butter, or vegetable oil, for frying
Combine flour, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Whisk in the egg, then the almond milk, until batter is thick and smooth.
Heat a pan or griddle on the stove over medium to medium low heat. Splash a few drops of water on the pan to test the heat. The pan is ready when the water drops sizzle immediately. Add cooking spray or a small amount of butter or oil. (If you have a well-seasoned cast iron pan, you may be able to completely dispense with any type of shortening.)
Ladle about 3 tablespoons of batter into the pan for each pancake, and spread out a little in the pan. Cook until small bubbles appear throughout the pancake, about 1 minute. Flip once with spatula and continue cooking until lightly golden, another minute or so. Serve hot with real maple syrup or chopped, fresh fruit.
Makes about 8 3-inch pancakes.
Post by Alison Hein.
You never know just how important St. Patrick’s Day is until you marry an Irishman. J With Kevin’s encouragement (um, nagging?), I’ve had fun posting an array of Irish recipes suitable for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations during the past few years: St. Patrick’s Day Soda Bread, Irish Wheaten Bread, and Mrs. O’Callaghan’s Irish Scones. Oh my, I almost forgot Aunt Frannie’s Irish Coffee! (Just proves how un-Irish I am.)
I love Irish cooking for its deep simplicity, and for the focus that captures a food’s essence. Take potatoes, for instance. In this easy (and simply devourable!) Potato Farl Recipe, only four ingredients are used – potatoes, butter, flour and salt. Mashed potatoes are mixed with a little butter and just enough flour to make them pliable. Add an egg, or a little baking soda, for an extra lift if you like, or remain pure and traditional without.
A “farl” is anything that is cut into a quarter round. Potato farls are often called potato cakes or potato bread. If you like them savory, top them with fresh chives or ground black pepper. If you like them sweet, sprinkle a little cinnamon and brown sugar on them. If you’re like me, pick them up directly from the hot pan, douse with salt, and eat them immediately while trying not to burn your tongue.
I used golden potatoes because I love their sweet, mellow flavor and their sunny hue. But any kind of potato that is mashable (uh, I think that’s all of them) – reds, russets, fingerlings – will work well here for a devourable St. Patrick’s Day breakfast in bed.
1½ pounds potatoes
2 tablespoons butter, plus an additional 2 to 3 tablespoons for frying
1 cup flour
Salt, to taste
Peel, wash and dice potatoes. Place in a heavy pot and add water to cover and a dash of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain, return to pot along with 2 tablespoons of butter. Mash, ensuring potatoes are smooth and without lumps. Allow potatoes to cool.
When cool, add flour and salt to the potatoes and mix well. Turn out onto a floured board and knead for a minute or so, until mixture is smooth and somewhat elastic. Split dough in half and shape each half into a round, approximately 6 inches in diameter and ½ inch thick.
Melt a tablespoon of the remaining butter in a heavy pan over medium heat. Cook the potato cakes until golden brown, turning once, about 3 to 5 minutes. Serve warm.
NOTE: If you like, make the potato farls the day before and refrigerate until ready to use. Reheat them in a 350°oven for 15 minutes before assembling and serving.
Makes 8 potato farls.
Post by Alison Hein.
Google “Eggs à la Luis” and here’s what you’ll get:
Eggs Louis Armstrong (sounds intriguing!);
Huevos con Jamón (sounds delish!); and even
Dinosaur Egg Fossil (yikes! please don’t make me eat that!).
Well, the real Luis is my friend Luis Acevedo of Luis Acevedo Interior Design, and the real Eggs à la Luis is a healthy breakfast recipe I concocted just this morning. You see, I was having a bit of a design crisis, so I persuaded Luis to come over and help me out. He good-naturedly agreed to come first thing the next day. To me, this means breakfast must be served.
Only trouble is, my usual impressive fanfare of crêpes, pancakes and waffles was not going to cut it, as Luis recently put himself on a strict diet. Thus, I decided to do some simple scrambled eggs jazzed up with lightly sautéed vegetables still with a bit of crunch. I chose asparagus for bright, fresh flavor and a wild mushroom assortment for texture and depth. A dusting of salt, fresh ground black pepper, and a pinch of spicy chives finished the eggs.
Crisped, whole wheat pita triangles served as cute, bite-sized shovels, just right for scooping up tiny gobs of savory eggs. Sweet, juicy grapefruit became a healthy mini-dessert.
We enjoyed our Eggs à la Luis while working through my design solution. But you should have yours as a solution for breakfast in bed. Perhaps next time we google this will be on the top of the list!
1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup fresh asparagus, chopped
½ cup fresh mushrooms, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
Fresh chopped chives, for garnish
1 whole wheat pita
1 ruby grapefruit
Heat olive oil in small, heavy pan over medium low heat. Add chopped asparagus and mushrooms to the pan and cook until gently cooked, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Break eggs into a small bowl and whisk well. Add egg mixture to heated pan and allow to cook slowly and gently. Stir and lift frequently with wooden spoon to avoid sticking. Continue to cook until eggs are to your liking, another 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Slice the pita bread into eight triangles. Place in toaster and toast until crispy. Peel and segment the grapefruit. If you like, peel off the grapefruit’s inner skin as well.
To serve, place four toasted pita triangles onto each plate. Divide the eggs equally onto each plate and top with fresh chives. Add a few grapefruit segments to each plate and serve immediately.
Makes 2 servings.
Post by Alison Hein.
Yay! It’s March! I was out in my garden this morning and spied tiny little green nubs wrestling to push themselves up through the earth. I even caught sight of a wayward robin! Soon the temperatures will climb and the earth and trees will be dressed in greenery. Time to start the switch from hearty pancakes and healthy oatmeal over to fresh fruit and frothy smoothies!
Cantaloupe may not be the first melon you’d think of when firing up the blender, but it’s dense consistency and sweet, mellow undertones make this a fruit made to be puréed. A little pear juice makes a nice contrast with the melon and adds a fresh note.
Variations are endless. Use apple instead of pear juice, or skip the juice altogether for a thicker smoothie. For all the juice-conscious out there, go ahead and replace the juice with fresh spinach, kale or wheat grass instead.
Well you get the idea. Smoothies couldn’t be simpler or more perfect, and for once, I don’t have much more to say on the topic. I’m not even recommending breakfast in bed. Just go froth yourself up some fruit, then take your lush and frosty smoothie outside. Take a deep breath in. Spring is in the air!
2 cups fresh cantaloupe (or other melon), peeled and chopped into small cubes
1 cup ice
½ cup pear juice
½ cup low fat vanilla yogurt
Lime slices, for garnish (optional)
Wash the outside of the cantaloupe. Slice in half and scoop out seeds from center. Slice and skin melon, then chop into 1-inch cubes.
Place ice in blender. Add chopped melon, yogurt and pear juice. Purée until thick and smooth, about 1 minute. Pour into glasses. Garnish with sliced lime.
Makes 2 smoothies.