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Archive for the ‘Breakfast/Brunch’ Category

fruitskewers

These fruit skewers are one of my favorite things to serve at showers, parties and lunches. They only take a few minutes to put together, look beautiful on the plate and are easy to pick up. I vary the fruit depending on what is looking good and in season. The dip incorporates cream cheese, vanilla yogurt and powdered sugar and has just the right balance of sweetness and tang.

Try these out next time you need to bring something to a shower or luncheon! They will be a hit!

Fruit Skewers with Vanilla Cream Cheese Dip
(A Bakin’ and Eggs Original)

Ingredients:

1 cantaloupe, diced
1 pint strawberries, cut in half
1 pineapple, diced
Bamboo skewers
1 block reduced fat cream cheese (8 ounces), softened
1/2 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
3/4-1 cup powdered sugar (adjust amount to taste)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Place six pieces of fruit on each skewer, alternating fruits. Arrange on a platter.

Combine cream cheese, vanilla yogurt, powdered sugar and vanilla in a large bowl. Mix on high speed with a hand mixer until combined and fluffy. Sample the dip and adjust ingredients to taste.

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strawberrymuffins

With a fridge full of fresh cherries and strawberries, I found myself wanting to make a batch of muffins. I was looking for a very simple recipe where I could just stir in the chopped cherries and strawberries into the batter. I scoured the Internet for recipes and the only one that truly appealed to me was this recipe I saw on a blog I’m unfamiliar with, Cucina Nicolina.

I made six strawberry and six cherry muffins (I just divided the batter at the end). The muffins were exactly what I was looking for. I really enjoyed the texture and appreciated that they weren’t overly sweetened. The flavor of the fruit was the star.

Muffins are the perfect on the go breakfast. I usually just stash them in the freezer and grab one on my way out to work. These have been a welcome change to the banana muffins that I’m typically stocked with.

Strawberry (or Cherry) Muffins
(Recipe source Cucina Nicolina)

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup milk (I used 2 percent)
2 cups cherries (pitted) or strawberries, roughly chopped (or 1 cup of each if you want to mix it up!)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare muffin pan with cooking spray or liners.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, mix together egg, vegetable oil, sugar and milk. Make a hole in the dry ingredients and pour in wet ingredients. Mix together until just combined. Do not overmix. Batter should still be fairly lumpy. Stir in chopped fruit (if you’re doing a combination, you will want to divide the batter first).

Fill muffin tins about two-thirds full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden in color.

Yield: 12 muffins

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strawberryscones2

My grandmother’s birthday was yesterday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY MEMA!) and I wanted to send her a package with some goodies. She has loved scones ever since I made them for a brunch when I graduated from college. Since strawberries are in season, I decided that fresh strawberry scones would be perfect to send! She received them yesterday and loved them. She said she would share the chocolate biscotti that was also in the package but the scones were all hers!

These are a great breakfast on a spring or summer morning!

Fresh Strawberry Scones
(Recipe source Good Things Catered)

Ingredients:

2 1/4 – 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (depends on how ripe your strawberries are)
1/4 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling (I used turbinado sugar for sprinkling)
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick (8 tbsp) butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1 egg
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup milk
1 cup fresh strawberries, diced

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine egg, yogurt and milk. Whisk to combine. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine.

Cut butter into flour by using a pastry cutter, two knives (or if you’re impatient like me your hands) until all pieces of butter are smaller than pea size. The flour mixture should be coarse looking. Add the strawberries into the flour mixture and toss to coat. Add the wet ingredients into the mixture and mix lightly with a fork until dough comes together.

Turn dough out onto well floured work surface and pat into large ball. Cut dough ball in half. Shape half of the dough into a flat disk shape and cut into 8 slices. Repeat with other dough half and place both onto a baking sheet. Sprinkle with sugar and bake for about 25 minutes or until slightly browned.

Remove from oven  and let cool on baking sheet for about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

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This is an easy breakfast casserole that you can whip up on a weekend morning for a delicious breakfast or brunch. Brandon had been asking me to make his aunt’s “breakfast pizza” for years. I’m not exaggerating. I finally gave in and had him describe it to me. It was definitely less pizza and more casserole. I did some research online and through a variety of sources came up with this. While I’m not sure if it’s an exact replica of  “breakfast pizza” he enjoyed it and we’ll be making it again.

Crescent Breakfast Casserole
(Recipe source…kind of came up with this one on my own after online research)
Printable Recipe: Crescent Breakfast Casserole

Ingredients:

8 oz. can of crescent rolls (I used reduced fat)
8-10 slices of bacon, fried and crumbled OR your choice of breakfast meat (ham, sausage, etc.)
6-8 eggs, beaten
2 cups shredded cheese (jack, cheddar, colby – whatever you have on hand)
2-3 tbsp milk
salt and pepper, to taste
cooking spray

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and prepare a 13 x 9 or 11 x 9 baking dish with cooking spray (use 6ish eggs if you’re using the 11 x 9 and 8ish if you’re using the 13 x 9).

Line the prepared baking dish with unrolled crescent roll dough, letting it come up the sides a bit. Press together seams.

Layer the crumbled bacon and cheese over the crescent dough. Beat eggs with milk, salt and pepper and pour over bacon and cheese.

Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the center is set. Let cool for a few minutes and then cut into squares and serve.

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banananutellabaked

We have a jar of Nutella in the pantry that I bought to make Nutella Croissants. Last weekend I was making banana muffins and thought it would be fun to put a dollop of Nutella in the center before baking. It was a good idea. Especially warm. So next time you make your favorite banana muffins, try layering a teaspoon of Nutella in the batter. You won’t be disappointed!

Banana Nutella Muffins
(Recipe source Cooking Light and Bakin’ and Eggs)

Ingredients:

2  cups  all-purpose flour
3/4  tsp  baking soda
1/2  tsp  salt
1 /2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4  cup  butter, softened
2  large eggs
1 1/2  cups  mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
1/3  cup  plain low-fat yogurt (can sub non-fat yogurt, greek yogurt or sour cream)
1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
3/4 cup Nutella
Muffin liners or cooking spray

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Line muffin tins with liners or coat with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk. In a separate bowl, combine banana, yogurt and vanilla.

Beat sugar and butter with a mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy and well blended, about 1 minute. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana mixture and beat until blended. Add flour mixture and beat at low speed just until moist.

Fill muffin tins about 1/4 of the way full with the batter. Place 1 teaspoon of Nutella in the center of each muffin. Fill muffin tins with remaining batter. They should be about 3/4 full.

Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on wire racks – but remember – these are best enjoyed warm!

Yield: 12 muffins

nutellabananamuffins

nutellabananafilled

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nutellacroissants2

Brandon is a huge Nutella fan. I saw this recipe for Nutella Croissants a few weeks ago and sent the link to Brandon. He pretty much demanded that I get the ingredients for it the next time I was at the grocery.

This is a very easy recipe and a very yummy treat for breakfast or dessert. We had them for breakfast this morning with fresh fruit and cafe au lait. Gotta love Sunday mornings!

nutellacroissants

Nutella Croissants
(Recipe source Vintage Victuals)

Ingredients:

Nutella
Refrigerated croissants (any size, just follow cooking directions on tube)

Directions:

Preheat oven as directed on the tube of croissants.

Pop the tube and unroll the dough. Place a dollop of Nutella in the middle of the wide half of the croissant. Roll up the dough, starting at the wide end and rolling towards the small end. Place on a cookie sheet.

Follow baking instrutions on your tube of croissants. Remove from oven when golden brown.

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individualcinnroll

I got the urge to make cinnamon rolls last Saturday and I couldn’t stop thinking about them all day. After my 13 mile training run, I certainly felt like I could splurge on cinnamon rolls for breakfast on Sunday.

I think my favorite part about deciding to make something is the search for the perfect recipe. I probably spent an hour browsing cinnamon roll recipes online. I finally decided on a recipe from The Way the Cookie Crumbles. This is one of the blogs I follow regularly and I love her scientific approach. I knew if Bridget had been trying to perfect her cinnamon roll recipe for years, it must be good.

The dough came together really quickly and was so easy to work with. I put it all together and left it to rise while we went out for sushi. After dinner, Brandon and I had fun rolling them out and putting them together. We couldn’t wait for breakfast the next morning!

Once assembled, we left them to rise overnight in the refrigerator. It was so nice to get up Sunday morning and have breakfast already taken care of. All I had to do was make the glaze.

Next time, I will probably add a little more salt to the dough. For whatever reason, I like well-salted baked goods – especially anything bread-like. I would also add more butter in the cinnamon filling. And last, I think I’d do more of a cream cheese glaze. I added more than the recipe called for but I still would have liked more. It’s all up to your taste!

All in all, the texture of the roll was amazing. This is a really easy dough to work with and a great treat for a weekend morning.

img_2107

Cinnamon Rolls
(Recipe from The Way the Cookie Crumbles)

Ingredients:

DOUGH
½ cup whole milk
7 tbsp unsalted butter (I used salted and left out the 1 1/2 tsp salt, next time I will still add the salt)
½ cup warm water (about 110-115 degrees)
1 envelope (2¼ teaspoons yeast)
¼ cup (1¾ ounce) sugar
1 large egg, plus 2 large egg yolks
1 ½ tsp salt
4-4 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the work surface

FILLING
¾ cup packed (5¼ ounces) light brown sugar
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1 tbsp melted butter (next time I will add a little more butter – maybe 2 or 3 tbsp, to taste)

GLAZE
1 cup confectioners sugar, sifted to remove lumps
2-4 ounces cream cheese, softened (to taste)
½ tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tbsp milk, until you reach your desired consistency

Directions:

Heat the milk and butter in the microwave until the butter melts. Remove from microwave and set aside until the mixture is lukewarm (about 100 degrees).

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, mix together the water, yeast, sugar, egg, and yolks at low speed until well mixed. Add the salt, warm milk mixture, and 2 cups of the flour and mix at medium speed until thoroughly blended, about 1 minute. Switch to the dough hook, add another 2 cups of the flour, and knead at medium speed (adding up to ¼ cup more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, if necessary) until the dough is smooth and freely clears the sides of the bowl, about 10 minutes. Shape the dough into a round, place it in a very lightly oiled large bowl, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Leave in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in bulk, 1½ to 2 hours. (Especially in the winter, I like to let my dough rise in the oven. I find that the kitchen is a little too cool. I turn the oven to warm for a few seconds, switch it off and then put the bowl of dough in.)

After the dough has doubled in bulk, press it down and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, shape the dough into a 16 by 12-inch rectangle, with a long side facing you. Mix together the filling ingredients in a small bowl and sprinkle the filling evenly over the dough, leaving a ½-inch border at the far edges. Roll the dough, beginning with the long edge closest to you and using both hands to pinch the dough with your fingertips as you roll. Moisten the top border with water and seal the roll. Lightly dust the roll with flour and press on it ends if necessary to make a uniform 16-inch cylinder. Using a sharp, serrated knife, cut the roll in 12 equal pieces and place the rolls cut-side up into a greased 13 x 9 baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in bulk, 1½ to 2 hours. (This is where you have the option of letting them rise overnight in the refrigerator.)

When the rolls are almost fully risen, adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. (If you left them in the fridge overnight, let them come to room temprature before baking.) Bake the rolls until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of one reads 185 to 188 degrees, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, stir the glaze ingredients together until smooth. Glaze the rolls and serve.

cinnamonrollsiced

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