Archive for the ‘Breakfast’ Category

Blackberry Farm Griddle Cakes

April 28, 2013

IMG_9714In the latest issue of BonAppetit I was drawn in by an article on 10 foodie hotels. When you combine the adventures of travel and the deliciousness of good food, you definitely have my attention. And, I was not surprised when the #1 hotel was Blackberry Farm in Tennessee.

As a child, my family from the south met our family from the north in this remote, luxurious yet rustic resort in the Smokey Mountains. I remember it fondly. I remember the down mattress covers, pillows and comforters; I remember the bowls of sweet candy in every room in the inn; I remember the misty mountain views; and I remember the rich, southern charm. What I don’t remember, though, was the food. I was somewhere between ten and fifteen, so the foodie appeal of the resort was somewhat lost on me. And it is a shame, since today I would give anything to experience the food lovingly written about in BonAppetit.

Although the cost is somewhere about $1000 a night, the issue gives you the ability to bring a dish from Blackberry Farm home – their griddle cakes. So, naturally, we decided to recreate the experience on a rainy Sunday morning.

The ingredient list is nothing short of intimidating. And I will admit, when I read it, I thought I could just use whole wheat flour instead of the oat flour, buckwheat flour and brown rice flour mix the recipe calls for. But my husband insisted we do the recipe justice, and I am so glad he did.

We found the flours at Whole Foods (nowhere else, though), and it turned into an expensive breakfast, yet we were able to mix additional dry mix for more griddle cakes at a later date (saved in a container for another weekend).

I don’t know what flour did the trick, but the nutty flavor of the griddle cakes, combined with the texture of the cornmeal makes for a hearty and absolutely delicious breakfast. It was worth every penny and every trip to the grocery store looking for the elusive flours.

I highly recommend these, made the way I did with extra dry mix for easy griddle cakes later. Then the rest is cake. Well, pancakes. And although the steep price of Blackberry Farm might mean that I don’t experience its beauty again, I can at least experience its breakfast.

BLACKBERRY FARM GRIDDLE CAKES
Serves 6

Fast-track this recipe by tripling the dry ingredients and storing them in a jar. At breakfast time, scoop out 2 1/4 cups. All the other measurements stay the same.

1 large egg
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup gluten-free oat flour (I didn’s use the gluten-free version since we couldn’t find it)
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1/3 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup buckwheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil (for skillet)

Whisk egg, buttermilk, and maple syrup in a small bowl. Whisk oat flour, cornmeal, rice flour, buckwheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.

Whisk buttermilk mixture into dry ingredients, then whisk in butter until no lumps remain.

Heat a large nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium heat; lightly brush with oil. Working in batches, pour batter by 1/4-cupfuls into skillet. Cook until bottoms are browned and bubbles form on top of griddle cakes, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook until griddle cakes are cooked through, about 2 minutes longer.

http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2013/05/blackberry-farm-griddle-cakes#ixzz2RneqXXHI

Pineapple Upside-Down Pancakes

April 28, 2012

Breakfast is most likely the meal I make the least. Five days a week I am running out the door with a coffee and a granola bar, then on the other two we are generally headed to our local spots for something a bit more substantial like a quiche or some eggs.

So, it is rare that we stay in and I make something more than a bagel. But, when I saw this recipe it looked intriguing and simple enough that I wouldn’t have to spend my Friday night buying the relevant ingredients. The basics we all have (flour, etc.), and hopefully rum falls within that list for most of us as well. The only “special” ingredient was sliced pineapples, which fortunately can be bought in an can at anytime and stored in your pantry for this special occasion.

The result is not only incredibly tasty (and not too sweet as I had feared) but also beautiful. The pineapple soaked in rum, cinnamon and brown sugar has such a comforting quality, and the texture is the perfect contrast to the fluffy pancakes. And, if you have little ones around (like I did the week following this recipe’s debut), you can add some cherries for eyes and cut the pineapple in half for a mouth. My nephews thought they were the coolest pancakes they had ever seen.

So, stock your pantry with a few cans of pineapples and stay in one Saturday and Sunday to make this crowd pleaser. You will look like a star with little effort, and your belly will thank you. Thanks to Bon Appetit for this recipe!

PINEAPPLE UPSIDE-DOWN CAKES

Makes 8 pancakes
Pineapple:

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
1 large pineapple, peeled, cut into eight 1/2″ rounds, cored
3/4 cup dark rum
1/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar

Pancakes:

1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Nonstick vegetable oil spray

PREPARATION
Pineapple:

Melt butter with cinnamon stick in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Cook until butter begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Add pineapple slices; cook until light golden brown, 4–5 minutes per side. Remove skillet from heat; add rum and brown sugar. Cook over medium-high heat until juices are thick and syrupy. Transfer pineapple to a plate; let cool. Reserve syrup.

Pancakes:

Preheat oven to 325°. Set a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet. Whisk first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Add buttermilk and next 3 ingredients; whisk until smooth.
Heat a griddle or large heavy skillet over medium heat. Lightly coat with nonstick spray. Working in batches, pour batter by 1/4-cupfuls onto griddle. Cook each pan- cake until golden brown and bubbles form on top, about 2 minutes. Top each pancake with a pineapple ring. Flip; cook until pancake is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Place pancakes on prepared rack and bake in oven until cooked through, about 5 minutes.
Rewarm reserved pineapple syrup. Divide pancakes among plates; drizzle with pineapple syrup.

Banana Bread

October 10, 2010

Impromptu baking has become somewhat of a new hobby of mine. By impromptu, I don’t mean feeling the desire to bake an apple pie on a Saturday, going to the grocery store to get the necessary ingredients, then turning a food craving into a reality. I mean looking at my kitchen and saying – hmmmm, I have everything I need to make this yummy sweet treat at this very moment – so I will! It started with cookies, because let’s face it, a day doesn’t go by when I don’t have all the necessary ingredients for cookies on hand. It generally happens about 10pm at night in conjunction with a chocolate craving.

But lately, I have had a bit of a banana problem. We eat them weekly, but the bunch doesn’t always get consumed before good old oxygen takes over and turns them brown and mushy. This baking, as you may have guessed, stems from the sick feeling in my stomach I get when perfectly good ingredients go to waste. When I know that if I just add a few eggs, flour, sugar, etc., I can turn those unwanted bananas to a warm and inviting loaf of banana bread.

But, the dilemma that generally follows is the fact that I rarely have milk or buttermilk on hand. So, one day when I was searching for a recipe that didn’t require those two “moistness ingredients” I found this recipe using something else I would hate to have go to waste in my fridge – creme fraiche. I had half a container left, and it was the perfect use for it.

The result was an amazingly moist, flavorful and delicious banana bread. And the best part is, it would be amazing with a few cups of chocolate chips – for those late night cravings.

Thanks to Gourmet for this perfect go-to recipe for when I can’t bear to see overripe bananas and creme fraiche go to waste!

NOTE: The reviews on the Web site show that sour cream is a great substitute for creme fraiche. if you don’t have it on hand. So they seem to be interchangeable!

BANANA BREAD
Makes 2 loaves (can easily be cut in half, which I did)

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs at room temperature for 30 minutes
2 1/3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cups coarsely mashed very ripe bananas (6 large)
1/4 cup crème fraîche (or sour cream)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/3 cups walnuts (4 ounces), toasted and chopped (optional)
2 cups chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 2 (9- by 5- by 3-inch) metal loaf pans, then dust with flour, knocking out excess.

Sift together 3 1/4 cups flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt into a bowl.

Beat together eggs and sugar in bowl of electric mixer at medium-high speed until very thick and pale and mixture forms a ribbon when beater is lifted, about 10 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add oil in a slow stream, mixing, then mix in bananas, crème fraîche, and vanilla. Remove bowl from mixer and fold in flour mixture and walnuts (if using) and chocolate chips (if using) gently but thoroughly.

Divide batter between loaf pans, spreading evenly, and bake in middle of oven until golden brown and a wooden pick or skewer comes out clean, 1 to 1 1/4 hours.

Cool loaves in pans on a rack 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack. Turn loaves right side up and cool completely.

Overnight Baked French Toast

September 2, 2010

I will admit, I don’t make breakfast much. It isn’t that I don’t like it, or don’t have time – it just always seems on the weekends after sleeping in, we would rather just relax with a bagel and coffee in our sunroom or go to our favorite local coffee shop or diner.

But, last weekend my husband biked 150 miles for MS over two days, and after day 2, I wanted to feed him a huge feast for brunch. I have always wanted to try an overnight french toast, especially because if it was good, it would be the perfect recipe for company (since it doesn’t include spending time in the kitchen making to order).

This particular recipe came from the cookbook Blend It! from Good Housekeeping. It is a great book of dips, smoothies, baked goods and drinks all using your handy blender.

Not only did this taste fantastic (almost like dessert!) but it looked beautiful, especially with fresh fruit on top. Word of advice, don’t panic when you look at the bread in the oven and it looks like it is going to pop out of your glass dish and take over your kitchen – when you take it out and it starts to cool, the whole things puffs back down.

Thanks again to Good Housekeeping for this great brunch recipe!

OVERNIGHT BAKED FRENCH TOAST
Serves 8

12 slices firm white bread
6 large eggs
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon maple syrup

Arrange bread slices in four stacks in 8-inch square baking dish. In blender, combine eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and blend until mixture is smooth. Slowly pour egg mixture over bread slices; press bread down to absorb egg mixture over any uncoated bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In small bowl, stir brown sugar, butter and maple syrup until combined. Spread evenly over each stack of bread. Bake until knife inserted 1 inch from center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. Serve with fresh fruit and additional syrup (if desired). Sift with powdered sugar.

Heavenly Hots

February 14, 2010

Hi, this is Sarah’s husband, Rob, guest blogging today. It’s Valentines Day, and I have been wanting to make this pancake recipe from the NY Times Sunday Magazine for a few weeks. They are called “heavenly hots” and are smaller, lighter and tastier than the gut bombs that pancakes tend to be. They come from the Bridge Creek restaurant in Berkeley, California. Some tips, again courtesy the NY Times magazine: Don’t cook them all the way through… be careful while flipping, and you need to let the dough sit and chill overnight, so if you want ‘em Sunday, start Saturday.
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 tblspoons cake flour (I used regular all-purpose flour.)
2 cups sour cream
3 tablespoons sugar
Crisco for greasing the griddle.

1) Whisk together everything except the vegetable shortening in a large bowl or blender. Chill the batter overnight. Will keep for a week.

2) The next day, heat up the skillet or griddle over med heat, lightly coat with shortening. Drop small spoonfuls (3/4-1 tablespoon) on the griddle, you want a cake less than 3 inches in diameter – think silver dollar sized cakes). When a few bubbles form, flip em, but good luck.. might take a few practice runs. Don’t overdo them, you want the interior creamy. Serve with butter, syrup or honey. Original article is here.

Butterscotch Coffee Cake

January 7, 2010

I am the first to say this is not an original recipe. I didn’t think of it. Paula Deen didn’t even think of it (although she did put together this great butterscotch rendition). For years, people have used frozen yeast rolls to make an amazing coffee cake. The crazy thing is, I just learned it this past Christmas!

If you want a REALLY easy coffee cake for entertaining, this will soon be your go-to recipe. There is literally no work involved, but you do need to take a little action the night before. The yeast rolls puff up overnight as the yeast rises.

Word of caution (and I am warning you as a woman who did this) – PLEASE get the right kind of rolls. Don’t get refrigerated rolls. Don’t get rolls that are not yeast rolls. If you wake up in the morning and they look the same, try try again.

I made this and brought it to my in-laws for Christmas morning and it had that great “wow” factor I was going for. And, the best thing was it didn’t take the kind of work it looked like to do it!

Thanks again to Paula Deen for this one!

BUTTERSCOTCH COFFEE CAKE
6-8 Servings

16 to 18 unbaked frozen yeast dinner rolls
1 (3-ounce) package regular butterscotch pudding mix, not instant
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted

The night before place frozen rolls in well greased Bundt pan. Sprinkle dry pudding mix over rolls. Sprinkle brown sugar over pudding mix. Sprinkle chopped pecans over brown sugar. Pour melted butter over all. To prevent the dough from forming a hard crust while its rising overnight, cover with a damp towel or tightly wrap with plastic wrap. Let rise overnight at room temperature, about 8 to 10 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Bake in oven for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Turn pan over onto a serving platter to remove. Serve by pulling apart chunks with forks.

Coffee cake the night before - before it rises

Coffee cake the night morning - after rising

Glazed Lemon Bread

February 23, 2009
Lemon bread cooling...

Glazed Lemon Bread

I hear people quite often say, “Do you like to cook or bake?” It seems to be commonly an if/then statement. Either someone has the personality of doing things on a whim, inserting creativity, tasting as they go, and expressing themselves in a unique way. Or, they like to follow things by the book, knowing that every time the dish will come out the same.

Perhaps because my personality seems to span the two spectrums, I love to cook AND bake. They are different, sure, but they each have their own unique pleasures.

But I truly believe that even though baking does have a specific formula – there IS room for creativity. Granted, you do have to make sure you have the correct egg count, put in a levening agent, etc. But, if you know the purpose of each ingredient, you can start seeing the options. Spices can be added, you can alter white vs. brown sugar, butter vs. shortening – all to get different results.

The following recipe is a great baking example of following by the book but also being creative. The recipe came verbatim from Bon Appetit, but if you are more into orange bread than lemon bread, you could alter it a bit – using orange zest instead of lemon zest and orange juice instead of lemon juice.

This bread is great for breakfast, a snack, dessert and also makes a beautiful and delicious gift.

The glaze is the best part, so make a point to take the extra step of making it, as well as puncturing the bread with a toothpick to let the glaze permeate into the bread. It forms a sweet and tart glaze that truly makes the bread unique.

Glazed Lemon Bread (one loaf)
1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly butter/spray a standard size loaf pan. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer, beat one cup sugar and butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Mix in lemon peel. Beat in dry ingredients alternately with milk in 3 additions each. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake until tester inserted into center of bread comes out clear, about one hour.

Meanwhile, combine remaining 1/2 cup sugar and lemon juice in heavy small saucepan and stir over low heat until sugar dissolves.

Transfer bread in pan to rack. Pierce top of bread all over with a wooden skewer. Gradually spoon lemon glaze over hot bread, adding more as glaze is absorbed. Cool lemon bread completely in pan on rack.


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