Archive for the ‘Breakfast’ Category

Plum Streusel Coffeecake

I was at the farmer’s market the other day and found the most beautiful, gigantic looking plums.  They must have weighed a pound at least.  So I got about 5 of them and decided that’s what I was going to take to my life group at church on Sunday.  I only got a small taste of this light and flavorful cake, but I guess it’s a good sign when you turn around to go for seconds and it’s gone.  This recipe is from a 1995 Gourmet magazine.  It makes two coffeecakes, which makes it perfect for this season- just freeze away one for Christmas morning!

Plum Streusel Coffeecake

For streusel
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup walnuts
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into pieces and softened
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
For cake batter
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 pound plums (4 to 5 medium), sliced
confectioners’ sugar for sifting over cake


Preheat oven to 350°F. and butter and flour a 9-inch round or square baking pan at least 2 inches deep.

Make streusel:
In a food processor pulse together streusel ingredients until combined well and crumbly.

Make cake batter:
In a bowl with an electric mixer beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy and add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, and vanilla. Sift in flour with baking powder and salt and beat until just combined.

Spread cake batter in pan, smoothing top, and arrange plum slices over it in slightly overlapping concentric circles. Sprinkle streusel over plum slices and bake cake in middle of oven 1 hour, or until a tester comes out clean. Coffeecake may be made 1 week ahead: Cool cake completely in pan on a rack and freeze, wrapped well in plastic wrap and foil. Reheat cake, unwrapped but not thawed, in a preheated 350°F. oven until heated through, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool cake slightly on a rack and sift confectioners’ sugar over it. Serve coffeecake warm or at room temperature.


Read Full Post »

Jewish Apple Cake

Goodness I admire those who faithfully blog every day!  It gets hard on some days, even though I regularly cook, to actually take the time to sit down and type it all up.  But I am so excited about some recipes this week!  Thanksgiving week is always very anticipated in our household, mostly because of my husband Jeremy who loves this holiday the most.  And I agree with him that it is a great holiday where we actually set aside time as a nation to give God thanks for what He’s abundantly blessed us with. 

The food part is of course another wonderful reason we love it!  Both of our families live in town so we usually have an earlier Thanksgiving lunch with his parents and grandmother, and then venture over to my parent’s for dinner.  Needless to say, it is a lot of food.. of course Jeremy doesn’t mind.. 😉   This year his parents and grandmother are going to California to spend Thanksgiving with my sister-in-law and her family, so we will only be  having one meal- which means it has to be extra good!  There are some things my husband has grown to expect from his very-traditional-American-Thanksgivings, which can be pretty different from our more Ecuadorian-American-Thanksgiving meals.  For example last year there were no mashed potatoes, but there was an amazing black rice with raisins my grandmother makes instead.  But all Jeremy said was, “No mashed potatoes?  Where do you put your gravy?”  LOL  It was funny because it’s so different.  I think every family has their own traditions.  So this year, as strategic food coordinator,  I made sure somebody took on the task of mashed potatoes.  I am also making sure there are plenty of desserts, so this year that is my task (along with homemade cranberry sauce and stuffing). 

Instead of staying up until 2am baking pies, I decided I would plan a little better and start all the baking early.  This way Jeremy and I will be able to run a 5k on Thanksgiving morning (in order to shed a few calories before stuffing ourselves with more) instead of last minute baking.  I have decided to make three desserts, there of course has to be something with pumpkin in it, so I am making a pumpkin gooey butter cake (by request).  There also has to be apples, or at least some kind of fruit, so I am making a Jewish Apple Cake adapted slightly from SmittenKitchen’s blog.   And finally a pecan pie from Dorie Greenspan’s “Baking” book.   Today I’m blogging about the Jewish Apple Cake as it bakes in the oven… ahh, the smell 🙂

Jewish Apple Cake

6 apples, Mom uses McIntosh apples
1 tablespoon cinnamon
5 tablespoons sugar
2 3/4 cups flour, sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a tube pan.  Peel, core and chop apples into chunks.  Toss with cinnamon and sugar and set aside.

Stir together flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl.

 In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, orange juice, sugar and vanilla.

Mix wet ingredients into the dry ones, then add eggs, one at a time. Scrape down the bowl to ensure all ingredients are incorporated.

Since I just have a regular tube pan and not the one with the false bottom, I changed the recipe a bit.  First I spread half of the apple mixture on the bottom of the pan.  Then pour half of batter into prepared pan.

Spread half of apples over it. Pour the remaining batter over the apples.  Bake for about 1 1/2 hours, or until a tester comes out clean. I’ll post a picture of the finished results when it is finished baking!


I should add that I finally tried this cake on Thanksgiving and it was wonderful…super moist, with wonderful plump and moist pieces of apple, yet the outer crust is slightly crusty and the combination is just great!  So much more interesting than apple pie!

Read Full Post »

My son and I went for a run the other morning.. the weather in Florida was just perfect!  And afterwards to replenish our energy I decided to make a smoothie, I used only what I had around the house, and it ended up being amazing.  It is more like a fresh juice than a smoothie, but it was really nice!  If you like it to be thicker use frozen bananas instead.  It was heavy enough for after a run, yet light at the same time.  And parents- this is a great way to get your kids to drink a juice with a veggie in it-pumpkin!  It adds a nice touch to it, but seriously, if I hadn’t made this, I wouldn’t know there was pumpkin in it!

Tangelo Banana and Pumpkin Smoothie

Half of a Tangelo (or orange)
1 ripe banana
2 tbsp pumpkin pureé
2 cups ice

Place your banana, ice, squeezed tangelo and pumpkin in your blender and blend!  It is an incredibly refreshing drink, of course my son loved it!  Enjoy it outside with family!










Read Full Post »

These last few weeks have been busy as I have been preparing to make all kinds of food for a bazaar at my church.  I have been wanting to sell a few items I feel I make especially good, like homemade granola, a few preserves, pumpkin butter, and salsa.  I have been researching canning lately and was extremely excited to take a class at my local Williams & Sonoma.  Now feeling prepared, I just finished making my first batch of jarred pickles!  These, I expect, will be far better than the store ones with a million preservatives.  And you know I added my own gourmet touches to them :). 

Anyway, back on track.  This morning for breakfast I knew I wanted to use up a bag of different breads that we had from our barbecue last week.  We had portuguese and french-style rolls that had slightly hardened, but I knew would be good for something.  Does anyone else have that issue?  You buy good bread at your local bakery and two days later it’s hard?!  Well, you don’t have to throw it away!  Save it, or freeze it if you think it could go bad, and then when you are ready, this is the recipe for you!  My dad has always made our family a savory french toast.  Goodness, I love this french toast for breakfast.  But this will not be the exact recipe,  it is a derivative of it, because I cubed the bread more like for a bread pudding.  And I used the ingredients I had on hand.  I was pleasantly surprised when I tried it right out of the oven…amazing!  You can make this recipe the night before and leave it in your fridge until the morning, then throw it in the oven- or you can make it the morning of, like me. 

Savory Ham & Cheese Bread Pudding

4-5 cups of cubed day-old (or week-old) bread  (or enough to fill 2/3’s of a 8×11 pan)
8 large eggs
1 cup of heavy cream or milk (i only used cream because I had just run out of milk!)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
6 slices of ham
1 ½ cups of shredded cheese (I used a combination of fontina and sharp cheddar)
1 tbsp fresh chopped italian flat leaf parsley


Preheat your oven to 350°

Cube your bread and place in an 8×11″ rectangular dish.  Next, beat your eight eggs, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. 

 Add your cream or milk and 1/2 cup of water and whisk together. 







Slowly pour your egg mixture over your bread, allowing every bread to be soaked in egg mixture.  Then with your hand or a fork, press bread down slightly, so that the cubes on top also absorb the egg mixture.  Do this again in about five minutes. 







Meanwhile, dice your ham, and shred your cheese.  Then use almost all of it, reserving just a few tablespoons for later, and lightly mix it in with the bread cubes.  Then press down again on the mixture to soak up some more. 










Sprinkle the top with the remaining ham and then cheese, and finally the chopped parsley.  Put into the oven for 40 minutes, or until it is golden, puffy, and springs back when touched. 

Goes into oven at 350

Comes out smelling of fontina and freshly baked bread...

Read Full Post »

This morning after a nice run in beautiful weather I decided to make Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes for my son and me. These pancakes are really great, they are very moist and you may not even want syrup! On a side-note, I thought I lost my camera (this tends to be a trend in my house with a 2-year-old) so I wasn’t able to take many pictures. I did find it after some picking up, however, so I’m extremely happy, as buying cameras tends to get expensive 🙂 You can adjust the ingredients in this recipe to fit your lifestyle. I was thinking of my vegan friends while making this and thought this was the perfect breakfast, I would just replace the buttermilk with almond milk, use an egg substitute and vegetable oil for the butter. I actually used 1.5 cups of whole wheat flour this time, and only 1/2 a cup of unbleached all-purpose flour. They are slightly more dense, but not too noticeable at all. I loved it and my son did as well. So here it is…

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup wheat flour
6 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 and 2/3 cups buttermilk
3/4 cup canned solid pack pumpkin
3 large eggs – lightly beaten
1 Tablespoon melted butter

Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and the spices in a large bowl.

In a medium bowl, stir together the milk, pumpkin, eggs and melted butter.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until smooth.

Dollop the batter in 1/4 cup amounts onto a well-greased skillet or large frying pan set to medium heat. Cook until tops bubble and turn and cook other side – about 2 minutes per side.

It makes about 20 pancakes and each is approximately 100 calories.  I freeze mine into 2 pancake servings to have during the week.  You can add chocolate chips to yours for an indulgent treat!

Read Full Post »

It may be too soon for you to notice, but I love cheese… especially goat cheese.  All different kinds of goat cheese, and I usually at least keep two different kinds on hand:  feta cheese and a creamy goat cheese log.  I love the saltiness of it and the tangy finish I experience; try replacing your average cheese with a new cheese like this, and it may take your dish to the next level.  So since today my day was packed and plan A for dinner went out the window, I decided plan B had to be extremely easy and fast since I started dinner at 7:45pm.  This used to be no problem in our household before, since my very latin family usually sat down to eat at 8pm, but with a small toddler this can be a problem.  So breakfast for dinner it was!  Kashi blueberry waffles and a baby spinach and feta omelet. 

6 eggs
1/4 cup of  milk
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup baby spinach (or two handfuls)
2 tbsp of crumbled feta cheese

Heat a non-stick small frying pan with 1 tbsp of olive oil to medium high.  Wisk eggs, milk, salt, and pepper together. 

Once the pan is hot and the oil has thinned (olive oil is a bit thicker when cold), add half of your egg mixture.  Allow the egg to begin to cook around the edges, and with a spatula gently loosen the edges and push back, allowing the uncooked egg mixture to fill those spaces. 

 Continue to do this until most of the bottom of the egg is set.  Before I flip the egg, I ensure the top is not too runny, by covering my pan with a lid for about 1 minute.  When I uncover and see that it is mostly set, I quickly run my spatula underneath the egg to ensure it is loosened (or give it a slight shake), then with a quick motion of the hand, as if pushing the hand forward and slightly up, flip your omelet, and make sure it lands on the pan.  If you are not comfortable with this you can flip it onto a plate and then slide the omelet back onto the pan on its other side.  But if you want to practice (only way to get good at it) flip it over a clean surface, like a clean sink, or clean countertop.  This way if it doesn’t land right, you can use your spatula to put it back on your pan ;).  *If this sounds totally elementary, please ignore, but I know there are a few out there who wish they could perfect their “omelet flipping”.  Don’t give up! 

 Once the omelet is back on your pan, golden side up, add your handful of baby spinach (remember fresh spinach will reduce in proportion once it wilts) and top the spinach with 1 tbsp of feta.  Again, another tip I use, is to cover with the lid again, to give the spinach and feta an extra “hand” and to speed up the process.  After 30 seconds to a minute I uncover and use my spatula to fold one side of the omelet half way over the other.  Press down slightly so it will stay.  And you have successfuly made your Spinach & Feta omelet! 

Now onto the next one.  With a paper towel briefly wipe down your pan, add your remaining olive oil, and repeat the process again.  Now you have a chance to practice your omelet flip again ;).  This is a fabulous meal, omelets certainly don’t have to be only for breakfast, and it can be served with breakfast sides, or with potatoes and fruit.  Extremely healthful and full of flavor.

Read Full Post »

Pear Clafoutis

Have you ever realized you were supposed to take something to an event, and no longer had time to run to the store?  That’s what just happened to me today- I was invited to a playdate to my friend Amy’s house and did not want to show up empty handed, especially since she was sweet enough to provide lunch.  As I took a look around my house to see what my options were, with the limited amount of time I had, I camped on 2  pears in my fruit basket.  Ok.. pears.. and I have flour, sugar, butter, etc.  So I remembered a country-French dessert called Cherry Clafoutis… it’s almost like a puffy pancake with a pudding/custard-like center and traditionally with cherries inside it.  And the best part is that it only takes about 20 minutes in the oven.  So I decided to try my hand at a Pear Clafoutis. Pronounced kla-foo-TEE, have fun with that 🙂

1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
2 tbsp sugar
3/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 bartlett pears
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp white sugar
confectioner’s sugar
whipped cream or yogurt (to serve)

Preheat your oven to 425°.  Wash your pears, remove core, and give them a large dice (size of dice, haha, no pun intended).  In your blender place the flour, 2 tbsp sugar, salt, eggs, milk, and vanilla.  Blend for about 60 seconds and incorporate well.  When your batter is smooth, set it to the side.

Next in a ovenproof 9″ skillet or pyrex pie dish melt the butter over medium heat, allowing it to coat the bottom and sides of pan. 

Add the pears and mix them with the butter, allow them too cook 3 minutes until the pears have softened.  Next sprinkle the rest of the sugar (I actually forgot this step and it still turned out good!) and let it turn into a syrup-about 1-2 minutes.  

Now pour the batter over the fruit and put it in the oven for 20 minutes.  Do not open the door of the oven during this time.  Baked until the clafoutis is puffed and golden brown along the edges.  Dust with confectioner’s sugar and serve with whipped cream, crème fraîche, or yogurt. 

After making this, with a prep time of maybe 10 minutes max, I realized this could be one of the easiest desserts I’ve ever made (with a cool exotic name that will wow your guests)!  I actually tested it on two of my mom friends, who said it tasted like a combination of a pancake/crêpe and custard, and they did clean their plates 😉  It serves about 4-6 people depending on the size of your slice, but it was very nice.. not too sweet, and nice and light.  Perfect for a special breakfast or brunch, or as a light dessert after lunch.  It’s so easy- you can’t afford not to make this one!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »