Trying to regularly get back to this blogging thing. Something has been off for the last few weeks. Maybe it has something to do with not spending time here. So let’s try it again. We’ll start with something simple. The basics. Breakfast.
I’ve been thinking about breakfast a lot recently. Rumor has it, I might be cooking breakfast on a tv show with one of my all time favorite legends. I’m still afraid of jinxing it, so while I don’t want to over-gush just yet, I do want to talk about breakfast.
To me breakfast isn’t about starting the day off right physically. Sure, I try to eat mildly healthy so that happens. But for me, breakfast is about starting the day off with a feeling. Letting yourself feel maybe for the first time, getting yourself ready for all the other things you’ll feel that day. Nothing has changed since you were in bed…you’re still in your pajamas, your eyes are still a little shut because it’s bright out, you probably haven’t even spoken yet. But then there’s that first sip of coffee that makes your brain tingle. The sound of cracking an egg. The flavors of an everything bagel or cheddar cheese that remind you of breakfasts mom and dad used to make. Tastes and smells and little observations that make you feel. It’s your first chance to connect with something. Isn’t that what you get out of bed for? Those feelings, that connection, is what wakes me up. What gets me going in the morning and keeps me going all day long. It’s how you start your day off right.
I often fall into breakfast habits, so I’m trying to switch it up a bit. Stay in tune with what inspires me. Find new connections. A few weekends ago I had a friend over and we made these cinnamon brown butter waffles with maple berries. The thing about breakfast is that there isn’t and there shouldn’t be too much work to it. After all, your eyes might not even be open. A few stirs, a machine that does the work for you, and a new friend to talk food with. It’s simple. We should eat more breakfast.
Cinnamon Brown Butter Waffles
- 7 Tbs butter
- 1 3/4 cup flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 Tbs cinnamon
- 1 Tbs sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk, room temperature
Preheat waffle iron. Brown butter over low heat. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and cinnamon. Beat in eggs and milk until combined. Pour mixture over headed waffle iron and cook to your iron’s instructions until waffles are golden brown and crisp.
Maple Berry Compote
In a small saucepan, cook berries (I used raspberries and blackberries) with some good maple syrup. You could also add some bourbon. Cook until reduced into a sauce.
As much as I love holiday evening festivities (sparkly dresses, champagne, cheese plates!) I think I love holiday mornings even better. Family gathered around the kitchen, pj pants and fuzzy socks, nibbling on leftover desserts from the night before, filling up coffee cups one by one, planning the day ahead…yes, that’s my favorite.
Our holiday mornings traditionally involve a baked blueberry french toast. My mom or aunt will make it the night before, let it soak overnight, then pop it in the oven as everyone is coming downstairs in the morning. It’s one of the best smells to wake up to. I’m partial to the blueberry (I’m a sucker for traditions), but I also love this sweet pumpkin pecan version I made recently too. It’s a chinch to make so you won’t be spending whole a lot of extra time cooking (better spend that time watching movies with your cousins). I’m thinking this is perfect breakfast for the morning after Thanksgiving or Christmas…especially served up with a side of bacon and hot coffee.
Pumpkin Pecan French Toast
- 1 baguette, sliced
- 7 large eggs
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or a combination of cinnamon and nutmeg)
- 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 3-4 tablespoons brown sugar for topping
- 1 cup chopped pecans for topping
- Slice day-old baguette into 1-inch thick slices. Line a large baking dish with slices.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, pumpkin puree and spices until well combined. Pour mixture over bread and push down with your hands until it’s all soaked and mostly covered. Cover with saran wrap or lid and refrigerate overnight.
- In the morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees, uncover and top with brown sugar, additional cinnamon and pecans. Bake for about 40 minutes or golden brown and no longer wet. Serve immediately for breakfast or with a scoop of ice cream for dessert.
There are many ways I’m pushing myself recently. Trying things that I know can really pay off. Because I have the time and the energy now. Be productive, learn about myself, and do better all at once.
Put my phone down and go to bed early so I can wake up early and GSD before noon. Not only show up for pilates, but hold that pike higher for a few extra seconds. Ask him out. Read for fun and read about business. Take the extra time to try something new in the kitchen.
Ok, not that this banana bread is going to change lives, but pushing my creativity in the kitchen fosters ideas at my desk and in my relationships too. I could have made my go-to banana bread, but those four over-ripened bananas were telling me to do more. You have the time and energy to do more. And that’s really just a beautiful thing. So I changed things up a bit. I did things a little differently and I learned – about consistency, patience, collaboration, selling. After all that, turns out I love this recipe even more and have decided that everything should be coffee-glazed.
Time, energy, coffee glaze. Those are my three favorite things right now. How are you pushing yourself if you have those things at your fingertips?
Coffee-Glazed Peanut Butter Banana Bread
makes one 9 x 5 loaf
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 large egg
- 2/3 cup sugar sugar
- 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter, melted and cooled
- 4 large bananas, mashed
- 1/3 cup milk
- 2 Tablespoons strong coffee
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a loaf pan with non-stick spray or grease with butter, sprinkle some flour to lightly coat sides. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk egg and sugar together until smooth. Whisk in vanilla, peanut butter, and butter. Then add the mashed bananas and milk and mix until combined. Slowly add in dry ingredients mixing with a spatula or wooden spoon until batter comes together.
- Pour batter into loaf pan. Set pan on a baking sheet and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until center is set and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool completely.
- While baking, prepare glaze. Brew strong coffee and mix a couple of tablespoons with some powdered sugar until it becomes thick. Drizzle on top of cooled bread.
While I’m so excited for fall (mostly boots and slouchy sweaters), I’m all about making the most of summer fruit before it disappears. After I made this peach cake at home a few weeks ago, I brought back to DC with a me a few extra Jersey peaches. I was planning to meet a few friends that weekend for coffee around the city, and I wanted to bring them a little treat to thank them for being awesome during my job transition.
This was my first time making scones and I found this recipe to be so simple. I’d make them again for a weekend brunch and maybe add plums, raspberries, or orange zest this time. Grab one with your morning coffee, read a magazine, and soak in the sunshine before it’s all pumpkin and plaid out there. So what are you cooking/baking this lovely summer weekend?
Makes 8 scones. Adapted from Tyler Florence
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar + extra for dusting
- 5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, divided into chunks
- 1 1/2 cups fresh peaches, chopped into bite-size pieces
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Sift together the the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Using a pastry attachment (I keep mine in the freezer), cut in the butter to coat the pieces with the flour. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs.
- Fold the peaches carefully into the batter. Make a well in the center of the batter and pour in the heavy cream. Using your hands, fold everything together just to incorporate; do not overwork the dough. Prepare a lightly floured surface and press the dough into a rectangle about 12 by 6 inches. Cut into 8 rectangles.
- Place the scones on an ungreased cookie sheet and sprinkle with some extra sugar. Bake for 15 to 20 until the tops have browned a little. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Oh hey happy April! I’m still on a bit of an orange kick last week after I made these orange ricotta dessert pizzas. So to try out a different citrus/cheese combo, I made this orange poppy seed mascarpone pound cake. I think the mascarpone makes it pretty rich, but I still enjoyed having a small slice of it for breakfast, or as a dinner/dessert combo after a long day at work. This would be perfect for a weekend brunch with friends paired with prosecco and a savory bread pudding.
I just love the fresh and bright orange flavor – a perfect way to welcome spring.
Orange Poppy Seed Mascarpone Pound Cake
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup poppy seeds
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons grated orange zest from a medium orange
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice, from the same orange
- 8 oz. container of mascarpone cheese
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- Preheat oven to 350°. Greece a loaf pan and set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl, mix together flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer add sugar and orange zest. Using your fingers, rub the zest and sugar together so it’s blended and fragrant. Add mascarpone, eggs, vanilla, and vegetable and beat on medium speed until combined. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture into the wet mixture until fully combined.
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake for about 45-50 minutes until the top is golden and a toothpick comes out clean.