Tag Archives: Breakfast in Bed
Post by Alison Hein.
You gotta love food history – it’s just plain confusing. Take French Toast, for example. Invented in France, right? Non! The very first reference to a dish of bread soaked in milk appeared in the Apicus, a historical collection of Latin recipes dating back to the 4th or 5th century. The Latins called it Aliter Dulcia, or “another sweet dish.” A German version that appeared several hundred years later was called Arme Ritter, “poor knights,” and it’s not until the 14th century that a French recipe for Pain Perdu, or “lost bread,” shows up.
The bottom line is that cooks from all generations and geographies shared a common understanding: stale bread can not only be revived when dipped in milky eggs and grilled to a crisp, but can even be made delicious.
Dinner Roll French Toast is a fun variation – a mini-breakfast sandwich, stuffed with plump, juicy berries, dusted with powdered sugar, and drizzled with thick maple syrup. Have your young chefs help you cook, and magically turn stale rolls, or hotdog or hamburger buns, into something spectacular. Like our ancestors, they can turn “lost bread” into an amazing find – a delicious, grilled-to-a-crisp breakfast in bed.
1 cup milk
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
4 small dinner rolls, sliced in half (Challah or brioche are good choices)
2 to 4 tablespoons butter
1 cup mixed berries, or other fruit
Confectioner’s sugar, for garnish
In large, shallow bowl, whisk together milk, eggs and cinnamon. Dip dinner roll halves into the egg mixture, turning once to completely saturate. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in heavy skillet. Add rolls and cook over medium to medium-low heat, turning once, until golden and cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes, adding more butter as needed. Place one dinner roll on each of 4 plates, and top with mixed berries. If you like, place some fruit on the bottom of the roll, cover with fruit, and cover with the roll top. Sprinkle lightly with confectioner’s sugar. Serve warm with maple syrup.
Makes 4 servings.
Post by Alison Hein.
Please forgive me for starting this post with a national service message. The entire Northeast was recently ravaged by Hurricane Sandy. Many people who live in the area are still suffering from the aftermath, in need of shelter, clothing, and food. Please help by donating whatever you can at www.redcross.org. Every little bit helps!
Now, here’s an easy autumn breakfast recipe highlighting seasonal apples – just right for all those extras you got at the you-pick. Baked with granola for crunch, and topped with flavored yogurt for protein, these little fruit make a warm, comforting, nutritious breakfast. Use tart apples, like Granny Smith or McIntosh, for pie-like flavors. If you like, add some apple pie spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, mace or cardamom) for a deeper aromatic undertone.
Changing the type of granola you use can greatly alter the flavor profile of your baked apples. Experiment with different nuts, coconut, or dried fruit varieties. Or, refer to a prior Breakfast in Bed post for Lusciously Light Granola.
If you like, swap out the apple juice for brandy, and the yogurt for whipped cream, for an old-time, boozy dessert. Or, simply stick with the program for a warm, comforting breakfast in bed.
2 small, tart apples (about 4 ounces each)
¼ cup to ½ cup granola
¼ cup apple juice
1 to 2 teaspoons honey
4 tablespoons vanilla yogurt
Mint sprigs, for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 325°. Core apples, leaving skin intact, and place in small baking dish. Fill cored center of apples with granola. Pour honey in bottom of baking dish and drizzle with honey. Bake 30 to 40 minutes until apples are cooked through and soft, and granola is lightly toasted.
Spoon yogurt over apples, garnish with mint, and serve while still warm.
Makes 2 servings.
Post by Alison Hein.
Happy Halloween! Why not feed your little hobgoblins a nutritious, fun breakfast before the trick-or-treat candy overload?
In this recipe, harvest pumpkin is seasoned with chipotle, then oven-roasted to a sweet and smoky blend. Roast the pumpkin in the evening, if you like, and wafts of cinnamon and spice will scent your kitchen with autumn aromas. Consider serving some smoky pumpkin with dinner as a seasonal side.
In the morning, fill your little cast iron cauldrons with roasted pumpkin, then top with a bacon, egg and cheese mix that puffs up to a lovely golden brown when baked. Dig in deep, to fill your spoon with a Halloween flavor-packed combo, and a smoky, holiday breakfast in bed suitable for even the fussiest hobgoblin.
Note: I purchased my amazing little cauldrons from Lodge Manufacturing, a family-owned Tennessee company more than 100 years old. These cast iron gems provide great, even cooking, and an irresistible presentation!
1 small pumpkin, about 3 pounds
½ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon chipotle pepper
4 slices bacon
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
To roast pumpkin, preheat oven to 350°. Using large knife, slice pumpkin in half, just to one side of the stem. With a metal spoon, scoop out seeds and pulp, scraping sides of pumpkin until clean and smooth. Slice pumpkin into strips approximately ½ inch thick. Mix olive oil and chipotle pepper. Brush olive oil mixture on pumpkin slices and place on heavy baking sheet. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, turning once, until pumpkin is lightly browned and cooked through. Remove pumpkin from oven and let cool until it can be handled. Remove skin with paring knife, and chop pumpkin slices into small cubes, approximately ½ inch square and set aside.
Place bacon in heavy skillet, and cook on medium low to medium heat until crisped, about 8 to 10 minutes, turning several times. Drain on paper towels, cool, and chop into small pieces. Set aside.
Crack eggs into medium bowl and whisk until thick and smooth. Stir in mozzarella cheese, chopped bacon, and salt and pepper to taste.
Lightly oil cauldrons (½-pint baking dishes), and place ⅓ cup of chopped, roasted pumpkin into each of two cauldrons. Pour egg mixture evenly into each cauldron, on top of pumpkin. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes, until eggs are cooked through and puffed up.
Makes 2 servings.
Post by Alison Hein.
There’s an old story about the discovery of butter: a nomad filled his skin bag with goat milk, strapped the bag across his mount, and rode across the desert from dawn to dusk. When setting up camp that evening, he was surprised to see that his forgotten milk had turned into a thick, yellow, tasty substance.
The scientific process of creating butter includes agitating whole cream until the fragile membranes that surround milk fat are broken, allowing fat droplets to form and join. More churning hastens the separation of cream into butter and buttermilk. In other words, if you shake, beat, or whip cream long enough, you will eventually get butter.
Perhaps you think this is time-consuming and unnecessary. All that will change as soon as you taste your first sweet and salty bite of thick, yellow, homemade butter. Have your kids help with the preparation, and watch their eyes widen as white turns to yellow, and cream turns to butter. Slather some on thick, crisped toast, and rediscover the perfect, homemade breakfast in bed.
1 pint heavy cream
1 teaspoon large-grain salt (I used Pink Himalayan)
1 to 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (optional)
Pour heavy cream into large, deep bowl to prevent excess splatter. Using an electric mixer, beat cream on high until whipped cream begins to form. Keep beating, until cream begins to flatten and turns slightly yellow. Continue to beat until butter clumps form, and buttermilk separates from solids. Depending on your mixer, this process will take between 7 and 10 minutes.
Pour butter and buttermilk into colander to drain. If you plan to retain buttermilk for cooking or baking, be sure to drain butter into a large clean bowl. After draining, rinse butter well with cold water, then squeeze and knead by hand until all liquid is removed from butter.
Place a sheet of waxed paper in a 4-inch by 4-inch square dish. Spread butter on top of waxed paper to form an even layer, and fill the square dish. Cover and refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes. Trim to desired shape. Sprinkle with salt and fresh thyme leaves.
- Salted butter – add salt to cream before whipping.
- Sweet butter – make Maple Butter or Honey Butter
- Herbed butter – for a savory butter, add a variety of fresh herbs and spices to soft butter. Form into a log on a sheet of waxed paper. Slice into rounds and use to top toasted bread, roasted potatoes, or grilled steak
Makes approximately 5 to 6 ounces butter.
Post by Alison Hein
The first Oktoberfest took place in Munich, Germany more than 200 years ago, on October 17, 1810. It served the joint purpose of celebrating the recent marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese, and drinking up the last of the spring beer before the new brewing season. Today, Oktoberfest is the largest folk festival in the world, attended by more than 7 million people, with a staggering 7 million + liters of beer imbibed during the festival’s 2 ½ week run!
My own little personal Oktoberfest involves neither weddings nor beer, but my favorite German breakfast, and the consumption of lots of good, strong coffee. Simple soft boiled eggs, warm, golden dippable yolks, and a hunk of dense, earthy rye bread slathered with butter. Best of all, a few scant slices of rich and salty Bauernschinken – a lightly smoked “Farmers’ Ham” that I can never get enough of.
If you can’t find Bauernschinken, smoked ham or prosciutto make fair substitutes. Although, honestly, in that scenario I skip the ham altogether, and simply make buttered toast points for egg-dipping – a long-time tradition in my father’s family. Be sure to liberally salt your Weiches Ei, for a festive, German breakfast in bed. Prost!
Weiches Ei mit Bauernshinken Brot
2 slices thick, hearty rye bread (toast if you like)
2 teaspoons butter, softened
4 very thin slices of Bauernschinken, or substitute prosciutto or smoked ham
Salt, to taste
To make Bauernschinken Brot, use plain rye bread, or toast it, if you like. Spread butter on rye bread or toast slices. Top each slice of buttered rye bread with 2 thin slices of Bauernschinken. Serve open-faced with soft-boiled eggs.
To boil eggs, fill a small, heavy saucepan with enough water to cover eggs. Bring water to a boil over high heat. Place 1 egg on a large spoon, gently lower into the boiling water, and carefully remove the spoon when the egg touches the bottom of the pan. Repeat with second egg. Cook for exactly 5 minutes. Remove from water and place on dish towel or paper towel. Dry, and serve immediately with plenty of salt. Serve with Bauernshinken Brot or buttered toast spears on the side. Delicious with strong, hot coffee.
Makes 2 servings.