Archives for posts with tag: breakfast

Honey Scone

I’ve had bees on the brain this spring. For the last few months, I’ve been learning all that I can about beekeeping in preparation of getting my own hive. After months of reading, taking classes, and attending meetings of the local Beekeepers Assoication, I finally got my bees! I made this little video of them the morning after installing the hive on my roof. I took the footage with my phone, so it’s low quality, but I had to share! I can’t wait for the first honey harvest. I’m sure my posts are going to be a little bee centric over the next few months. Hope y’all like honey!

Chocolate Brioche

I found this recipe for mini chocolate brioche several weeks ago and I had been waiting for a chance to make it ever since. On first glance the recipe seemed really involved, and since I’ve been busy getting ready for an art show, I didn’t think I had the time to make it.  So, I’ve been biding my time and dreaming of coffee and sweet bread. Last weekend, I needed a little break from all my art-makin’ and I decided it was time to treat myself to a sweet sunday breakfast.

This brioche dough needs to rise 8 to 12 hours, so you start by making the dough and then letting it rise overnight. There are a lot of steps, but since they are broken up, it turns out to take more planning than effort. The end result really is amazing, your efforts will yield a subtly sweet and tender bread with a dark chocolate center, finished off by hints of honey. I’m SO glad I found the time to make it. Seriously, I felt like a baking superstar. This recipe has definitely found a permanent spot in my cooking repertoire.

Baby Chocolate Brioche:

From: Patricia Wells At Home In Provence 

  • 1 TSP active dry yeast
  • 2 TBS honey
  • 1 cup lukewarm milk (105°F)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 TSP salt
  • 5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3 ounces of good quality dark chocolate (I use 83% Cacao) Divided into 12
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 TBS whole milk
  • 1 TBS sugar
  • extra honey for drizzling (optional)

step one, make dough

1. Combine the warm milk, honey, and yeast and let it stand until it’s foamy, about 5 minutes.

2. Add the olive oil, eggs and salt, and stir to blend.

3. Add the flour a little at a time, slowly mixing everything together. When the dough forms a ball, knead in the remaining flour. Knead until the the dough is soft and smooth, but still firm. If the dough is still sticky, add more flour.  This step can be done in a heavy duty electric mixer if you happen to have one (I don’t).

4. Tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Let it rise 8-12 hours.

step two, divide into 12

5. An hour before you want to bake the rolls, remove the dough from the fridge, punch it down and divide it into 12 equal portions.

step three

6. With the palm of your hand flatten each ball of dough into a disk and press in a portion of the chocolate into the center. Then reform the ball around the piece of chocolate, so that the chocolate is completely covered.

step four

7. Place the rolls on a baking sheet, and cover with a clean towel. Let the dough rise another 30-45 minutes.

8. Preheat the oven to 400°F

glaze

9. Make the glaze by beating the egg yolk, then blending in a tablespoon of milk, and a tablespoon of sugar. Brush each roll with the glaze.  (Drizzle the optional honey on the rolls if you want a little extra sweetness… which, come on, you do.)

10. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the rolls are a deep golden brown.

Now, prepare yourself for a delicious and luxurious breakfast.

Growing up, I ate a lot of banana bread. My mom always kept bananas in the house for us to bring to lunch or have for breakfast.  But the thing is, we hardly ever actually ate them. So come the weekend, we’d have banana bread! I suspect the real reason my mom bought bananas was to make bread with them, and if one of us kids happened to eat one along the way, then great.

Now that I’m all grown up and buying my own food, I do the exact same thing.  I’ve just gotten used to always having bananas on the counter, because I really don’t like them. I try to eat them all, but inevitably one or two get over ripe.  So I throw them in a ziplock bag and freeze them until I have enough for a big batch of banana bread.

Banana bread is an awesomely straightforward breakfast to make on the weekend. When you’re all groggy in the morning you don’t want to make something finicky and complicated. For this recipe you simply mix wet ingredients, mix the dry ingredients, mix them together, then you throw it in the oven and go back to bed for an hour. Easy peasy.

This recipe is an adaption of a more traditional banana nut bread recipe. I use 2:1 ratio of flour to cornmeal and include dried fruit along with walnuts. The addition of the cornmeal and dried fruits makes this bread more substantial and a little less cake-like. I tend to like hardier breakfast over pastries and this is reflected in this version of banana bread.

Ingredients:

Dry Ingredients:
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Wet Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (optional)
  • 1/4 cup dried coconut (optional)

Directions:

  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Mix in the optional nuts and dried fruit at this point.
  4.  Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean.

breakfast with andrew

 

Okay, I know… that title is bad. I just couldn’t help myself. I’m a sucker for puns. But seriously, eggs are eggstraordinary. Ahem… extraordinary. Wait! Don’t go! I promise that’s the last one. They are packed with protein and vitamins and we all know they’re delicious. I eat an egg with toast for breakfast almost every day. Eggs are a staple of my diet because they’re simple, filling, and give me a great energy boost to get the day started.

I was contemplating potential topics for this week’s post one morning as I was making breakfast and a realized I’ve never written about my favorite breakfast food. I grew up eating plain scrambled eggs but once I started cooking for myself I began to take advantage of the limitless ways to cook them. You can get fancy with frittatas and quiche, or you can go super simple with a fried egg. This week’s post is a tribute to a few simple and awesome ways to cook eggs.

eggs sunny side up

Sunny side up is arguably the simplest way to prepare eggs. The key to tender eggs is to cook them slowly over low heat. You start with a preheated pan over high and add some butter. Add the egg to the hot pan and once the whites loose their translucence immediately turn the heat to low.  Season with pepper and remove from the heat when the whites are completely firm.

Shirred eggs or baked eggs take a little more time than frying eggs but they’re also more luxurious and easy to make in quantity. They’re perfect for brunch or the weekend when you have more time in the morning. You need custard cups or small ramekins, cream, salt and pepper, and of course, eggs.

Preheat the oven to 375. Put a teaspoon or two of cream in each cup, then crack one egg into each cup and place them on a baking sheet. If you want you can top add grated cheese and other spices. Bake for 10-15 minutes. They are ready when they are just set. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

eggs poached
Poaching eggs takes practice, but if you’re not striving for perfection it’s fairly easy. Bring one inch of water to a boil in a sauce pan and add one teaspoon of vinegar and a teaspoon of salt, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Break the egg into a small bowl, one at a time, and slip them gently into the simmering water. Cover the skillet and cook for 3-5 minutes. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and serve on toast.
soft boiled
There is something sweet and dainty about eating soft boiled eggs from an egg cup. It’s a delicate procedure that I find really satisfying. So often, I find myself rushing through breakfast. It’s nice to slow down and really enjoy the simplicity of eating the egg out of it shell.  The best way to boil an egg is to fill a sauce pan with enough water to cover the eggs and not to crowd the pan with eggs. The water has to circulate around each egg. poke a hole in the big end of the egg with a pin. This relieves pressure and keeps the egg from cracking. Use a spoon to lower the egg into the water. Boil for 4-5 minutes and remove from the boiling water and briefly run under cold water. Use a knife to crack the top of the egg and scoop out with a spoon.
hard boiled
Making hard boiled eggs is the same procedure as above but you boil them for 10-12 minutes. If you want really well done yolks, boil for 15 minutes. After you’ve finished boiling them, immerse the eggs in cold water for a minute or two. This cools them off rapidly and pulls the cooked egg away from the shell, making it easier to peel.

Brunch

Sunday brunch is the best. Breakfast foods are my favorite and Sunday brunch is the one meal of the week that I can really indulge my love of pastries, eggs, and pancakes. This weekend my friends Justin and Katie were visiting from Seattle and I invited them over for brunch. It was the perfect opportunity to make a big-ass breakfast.

On the menu were banana bread muffins, soft boiled eggs, with strawberries, blood oranges, and raspberries. I’ve had my eye on a recipe over at Pinch My Salt for cheddar and parmesan scones and used this brunch as an opportunity to try them out. Boy, oh boy they were tasty. Not surprising when the main ingredients are cheese and butter. Plus! The scones have my favorite hot sauce in them: Sriracha. Really, its a winning combination.

It was a lot of food… but hey, brunch counts for two meals. Between the muffins, fruit, and spicy cheese scones there was a good balance of flavors and the variety kept the meal interesting. Good job, me.

We all ate our fill and then took a nice long walk around Berkeley. Brunch with friends is really a great way to spend a Sunday morning.

Banana brunch muffin

Ingredients

I’ve been tinkering with a banana bread recipe and I’ve got it where I like it. There’s just enough fruit and veggies in it to make it seem like a nourishing breakfast item, but it’s still breakfast cake in its truest form. Here’s the recipe I used for my muffins:

Banana Brunch Muffins

  • 3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 grated carrot
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Mix in the sugar, cinnamon, egg, and vanilla. Then mix grated carrot, cranberries, and sunflower seeds.
  4. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in.
  5. Add the flour, mix.
  6. Pour into a greased muffin pan.
  7. Bake for 35-40 minutes. The muffins are finished when the fork comes out clean.

Thai Brunch

Berkeley has many culinary treasures but one of my favorite is brunch at the Thai Buddhist Temple. It is a unique experience that draws a huge crowd every Sunday.  Thai brunch is a fundraiser for the temple but it has become a Berkeley institution. It is extremely popular and tops the list of places to take visitors to give them a real Berkeley experience.

The food is served cafeteria style in a courtyard behind the temple. There is a wide selection to choose from and it is all tasty and cheap. Tents, folding tables, and chairs make up the dining area but it is often so crowded that diners spill into the front yard to sit in the grass.  It is a bit chaotic but it’s a lot of fun.  The temple is tucked in a neighborhood in South Berkeley and I am lucky enough to live around the corner!

This weekend my friends Stephanie and Dakota came over from San Francisco to have a taste of Thailand with me. We got there late, so there were long lines and they were starting to run out of entrees but we were still able to get a good selection of vegetarian curries. Seating was limited, so we took the food back to my apartment to enjoy it on the back porch. It has been unseasonably warm and sunny, so it was a great day for some porch sittin’. The lovely weather and sharing good food with friends made for an excellent Sunday.

If you’re ever in Berkeley on Sunday, I recommend you swing by the temple and give Thai Brunch a try!

Curries

granola ingredients

To round off my last post on yogurt, here is a tasty recipe for homemade granola. Making granola from scratch is super easy and cheap. Granola is a staple in my diet (pretty appropriate for a Berkeley dweller, huh?) and making it from scratch allows me to customize it to my taste. Plus, quality granola from the grocery store often costs $6-$10 for a small bag, which is unaffordable at the rate I consume it. This recipe costs less and will leave you with more granola than you know what to do with.

When making your granola, use whatever ingredients you like. Granola can be made using any grain (or combo of grains), nuts, spices, and dried fruit that you prefer. You can also control how sweet it is by adding more or less honey.  It’s up to you to make it your own.

Basic Granola Recipe:

  • 4 cups of grain flakes. (Such as oat, rye, wheat, spelt, or any other)
  • 1/2 Cup of butter. (You can use more or less as desired)
  • Vanilla
  • Spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, etc.)
  • 2 cups lightly chopped nuts (you choose!)
  • 1 cup chopped dried fruit (really, its up to you!)
  • 1/3-1/2 cup of honey
  • plus anything else you want! (Such as coconut or flax seeds)

granola

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a sauce pan melt the butter and mix in the spices and vanilla. In a large mixing bowl mix the grain flakes, nuts, and any additional ingredients such as flax seeds or coconut. (Do not add the dried fruit yet. You mix the fruit in after the grains and nuts have been toasted in the oven.)  Pour the melted butter and spices over the grains and nuts and mix together. Make sure to coat the grains evenly. Spread the coated mixture onto a baking sheet in a thin layer. You will probably have to do two batches. Bake for 25 minutes total, stirring the ingredients halfway through.

After you remove from the oven drizzle the honey over the granola while it’s still warm. Mix to coat all the flakes. Add the dried fruit and combine. Let the granola cool completely and store in an airtight container. The granola will keep for about a month. Enjoy!

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