Breakfast Smoothie

Breakfast Smoothie To Go

I would be happy to say that I’ve discovered the world’s best and most perfect smoothie recipe, and share that recipe with you.  But the truth is that I don’t think such a recipe exists.  Your perfect smoothie is a combination of what you’re in the mood for and what you have in the kitchen.  But I’ll tell you how I make my favorite breakfast smoothie.

It starts with a frozen banana, which are never in short supply in my freezer.  I don’t even do anything to prepare them after they’ve gone all spotty-brown on the kitchen counter.  They get tossed in the freezer peel and all.  When I’m ready to make a smoothie, or even Dorie’s yummy banana Bundt cake, I plop them in the microwave about 30 seconds.  Then I just barely slice lengthwise down the peel, open it up, and cut the fruit into a few chunks.  Ready. [Read more…]

English Muffins

I’ve never thought twice about buying English muffins from the grocery store.  For years I’ve opened that store-purchased bag, sliced one open, dropped it into the toaster, and been content with what popped out. 

English Muffin Pile
But the first time I looked through the Dahlia Bakery cookbook and saw pages of English muffins topped with ham and eggs, Hollandaise, and fruity jam, I wanted to try making them myself.  This project required waiting for a Saturday that I could commit the time for all the steps involved with resting and proofing the dough, but let me tell you, it was worth the wait. 

English Muffins 3

As suggested by the authors, I prepared the dough the first day, then shaped and baked the muffins the next day.  I won’t lie; the shaping part turned out being pretty messy.  When the instructions said to divide the dough into equal pieces, I reached for my food scale as I always do when making dinner or hamburger rolls.  But that wasn’t going to happen.  The dough was much too wet for that, and I couldn’t be tempted to add more flour.  I used a bench scraper to finish dividing the dough, and they may not have all been the same size but I was okay with that.

English Muffins 2

When the muffins finished baking and I pulled them out of the oven, they actually looked like I hoped they would.  I cut into one and saw the beautiful, craggy holes that are perfect for soaking up endless varieties of toppings.  And then I took a bite.  You know when you spend a decent amount of time on something, and it actually meets all your expectations?  Yeah, that’s totally what happened. [Read more…]

Baked Chocolate Doughnuts

I understand that you try to have a healthy breakfast most days.  Really, I do.  Monday through Friday is all about high-fiber cereal and green smoothies.  But when the weekend rolls around and you just want to have cake for breakfast, I’m here for you. Baked Chocolate Doughnut

This recipe for baked chocolate doughnuts is another winner from Tracy at Shutterbean.  Imagine soft, chocolaty cupcakes topped with a rich espresso glaze, and baked in a pan with holes in the middle.  There you have it.  It helps that they’re so easy to whip together.  Perfect for mornings after you’ve slept in (just a little).  [Read more…]

Cinnamon Honey Scones

Happy 2013!Honey Cinnamon Scones

I thought it would be fun to start out the new year by baking something from the Bouchon Bakery.  I know the cookbook came out way back in the fall of 2012, but it’s a pretty hefty book with so many recipes to choose from.  Actually, that’s not true.  I woke up one Sunday morning in December with the intention of filling the house with the aroma of cinnamon honey scones, but it didn’t work out.  Cinnamon Honey Scones

You see, when I saw the recipe in Thomas Keller’s new book, I knew they’d be perfect for a Sunday morning, but I didn’t actually read the recipe all the way through.  I should have known better with a recipe from Mr. Keller, because these scones required a little preparation the day before.  Whoops. Cinnamon Honey Scones

Fast forward a few weeks later when I remembered to start the scones on Saturday.  Despite the list of steps and ingredients, these cinnamon honey scones are no more difficult than other scones to make.  The cinnamon honey cubes are the component prepared in advance, and they are worth it.  Honey, cinnamon, and butter are mixed with flour to make a paste, which is frozen and cut into cubes and scattered throughout the scone dough, where they melt into pockets and ribbons of flavor. [Read more…]

Bacon Cheddar Biscones

 I think I’ve found my favorite basic biscuit recipe.

I just can’t decide which flavor combination I like to bake into them. I’ve made this recipe several times as a sweet breakfast treat with cinnamon chips and drizzled with cinnamon glaze.  But this version with aged white cheddar cheese, crispy chopped bacon, and green  onions is just fabulous.  I used the best aged cheddar I could find and it paired so well with the tangy buttermilk and freshly ground pepper.  Don’t expect gobs of melted cheese inside though.  It bakes right into the dough, and that is just fine by me.

I don’t know which I like better, but there is no need to decide.  They’re both delicious. [Read more…]

Pumpkin English Muffin Bread

Picture this.  It’s a lovely fall morning, perfect for staying indoors and baking.  Even better, for baking pumpkin bread that fills the house with the aromas of cinnamon and warm spices.  Everything was in place until there was a knock at the door.  Who was it?  It was that familiar girl Carmen karma, coming to pay another visit.
I opened my laptop to find Jessica’s recipe that looked like heaven, only to be stuck in hell with a crashed computer, for the second time in a month.  In the grand scheme of things, it isn’t a serious problem.  However, I would like to be able to settle on a laptop and move on.
[Read more…]

Cinnamon Chip Biscones with Cinnamon Glaze

What, you may be asking, are biscones?  Oh, they’re just possibly my favorite thing to stick in the oven on a Sunday morning, ever.  The word may look like a typo, but this baked treat is a tasty combination of a biscuit and a scone, and easier than either of them to prepare.  They come from Back in the Day Bakery, the same book that I found this savory Sunday morning turnover.

 

I’ve made these biscones several times now, and each time after I finished mixing the dough, I didn’t expect them to turn out well.  The process is so different than making scones or even the easiest biscuits.  There’s no rolling, patting, or cutting out scraps of dough.  Instead, everything is dumped into a bowl and combined with an electric mixer, scooped out with a cookie scoop, and baked into soft and tender pastries.  [Read more…]

Easy Ham and Cheese Brunch Pastries

I love to spend time in the kitchen on Sundays.  I might wake up early when it’s still breakfast-time and throw together a batch of muffins to bake while I read the newspaper and peruse the sales ads.  Lately, it’s been more likely that I’ll wander in just after noon and spend the afternoon preparing dinner.  And sometimes it’s nice to spend the morning being lazy and then put together a quick brunch.

These pastries are perfect for just that.  The only real planning involved is remembering to leave the frozen puff pastry in the fridge overnight to thaw.  I combined Black Forest ham from the deli with some shredded mozzarella that I already had, and after tossing in the spices, they were in the oven in less than ten minutes.
[Read more…]

Classic Blueberry Muffins

After spending some time pondering about which treat to share first, I decided on these little gems.  I can’t count how many times I’ve made them.  They are super quick to mix together.  And since the butter is melted, there is no need to get out the mixer.  Bonus.

The original recipe uses lemon zest, and they are delicious.  But when the mood strikes to make blueberry muffins, I don’t often almost never have lemons on hand for zesting.  I do usually have almond extract in the pantry, and it is a nice compliment to the blueberries.  These muffins freeze beautifully, and make nice treat to take out of the freezer for a quick breakfast.

[Read more…]

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