Believe it or not, every now and then I like a healthy treat. Although I mostly crave baked goods of the gooey, chocolaty variety, it’s nice to take a break from all that and bake up something that’s actually good for me. For some reason, the other day I had a serious craving for bran muffins….how odd. Who craves bran muffins?! Anyway, I remembered I had a box of Bran Flakes cereal in the pantry and thought I’d try making a bran muffin with it. These were actually very light and fluffy (you can thank the banana for that) and not heavy or overly “bran-y”. We really enjoyed them with a little butter and honey. My coworkers loved them too! Next time you need a good, quick, healthy muffin, gives these a try- they’re highly satisfying and actually good for you!
Banana Bran Muffins
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups bran flakes cereal
1 1/4 cups fat-free milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 ripe bananas, mashed
Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In large mixing bowl, combine bran cereal and milk. Let stand about 2 minutes or until cereal softens. Add honey, egg and oil. Beat well. Add flour mixture, stirring only until combined. Stir in the banana. Spoon evenly into 12 muffin pan cups fit with cupcake liners.
Bake at 400 degrees about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.
Recipe source: adapted from Kellogg’s.com
For some strange reason, scones are something I don’t often make. I really have no idea why, because I actually love them. They’re like biscuits, but slightly sweeter and you can add any number of ingredients to customize them however you like! Chocolate chip, strawberry, cinnamon, ginger….anything you want! I chose to make lemon blueberry because I had a couple of big, beautiful lemons and a pint of fresh blueberries just begging to be used. These were SO good! Light and tender, just bursting with fresh lemony flavor and full of big, juicy blueberries – a perfectly delicious breakfast (I really need to make scones more often!)! Believe it or not, I’m not one of those people who love overly sweet, heavy foods at breakfast – sure, I’ll indulge in a stack of chocolate chip pancakes every now and then, but really, I prefer more subtle breakfast foods, like scones. They’re ever-so-slightly sweet and light enough that I can have more than one.
I started with Dorie Greenspan’s Basic Cream Scones recipe, made a few changes and came up with a truly delicious scone that I know I’ll be making many, many times. If you’re looking for an easy, delicious breakfast recipe, this one won’t fail! Oh! And an exciting tidbit about this post- I’m guest posting over at Beantown Baker today as part of her Friday Favs series! How fun! Head over to Jen’s site and check out my post and be sure to check out all her other fabulous recipes as well! Thanks again, Jen, for inviting me to participate!
Lemon-Blueberry Buttermilk Scones
2/3 cup buttermilk
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
zest of 2 large lemons
1/2 pint fresh blueberries
5 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small cubes
1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water, for egg wash.
sugar, for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Beat egg, buttermilk and lemon zest together and set aside.
In large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together. Add the butter and using a pastry cutter, fork or your fingers (Dorie prefers using her fingers best) cut it into the flour until you have a pebbly mixture the size of peas.
Pour the egg and cream into the flour/butter mixture and stir to combine with a rubber spatula. Very gently, fold the blueberries into the dough, being careful not to crush them. When the mixture is totally incorporated, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and pat out until it is 1 inch thick. Using a biscuit cutter, cut out circles and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper; alternatively you can just cut the dough into squares or triangles.
Brush the tops of the scones with the egg wash, then sprinkle generously with sugar. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until the are nicely browned. Serve immediately. Store any leftovers in an airtight container. Makes approximately 10 scones.
Recipe source: heavily adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home to Yours
I have to confess that one of my favorite fast-food treats is Whataburger’s breakfast taquitos. Particularly the potato, egg and cheese variety. They’re huge and full of crispy tater tots, scrambled eggs and lots of cheese. LOVE it! Unfortunately, like most places, they stop serving breakfast at 11AM, so I can’t get them at dinner time (shucks, Whataburger!), so I just made my own! These were so good and a teensy bit healthier since I didn’t deep-fry my potatoes. Topped with a big spoonful of homemade salsa, these weren’t only better than Whataburger’s, they were some of the best breakfast taquitos I’ve ever had! Go me!
Potato, Egg and Cheese Breakfast Taquitos
1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
half an onion, chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper
2 large flour tortillas (I used the burrito size)
salsa, for serving (optional)
Put the potatoes in a pot and fill with enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are just beginning to soften, about 5-7 minutes. You don’t want them to cook all the way; they’ll finish cooking in the skillet. Drain and set aside.
Heat the vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium heat; add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes, or until soft. Add the potatoes, salt and pepper and cook for another 5-10 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked through and starting to get brown and crisp around the edges.
In a separate skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Crack the eggs in a bowl and whisk until homogeneous. Add to the hot skillet and stir constantly, until all the eggs are scrambled. Season with salt and pepper.
To assemble: Wrap the tortillas in a damp paper towel and heat in the microwave for 10-15 seconds, until warm. Divide the eggs, potatoes and cheese between the two tortillas. Top with salsa if desired. Serves 2.
Recipe source: Sing For Your Supper original, inspired by Whataburger (thanks, Whataburger!)
I’m one of those people that loves breakfast-for-dinner. For me, it’s like a special treat getting eggs or pancakes or biscuits and gravy at dinner. I used to love it when my mom would make breakfast for dinner – she’d fix a huge cast iron skillet full of scrambled eggs, a big plate of biscuits, sausage gravy, jelly and coffee. My dad is the pancake maker- as long as I can remember, he’s always been the one in charge of pancakes, which we’d also have for dinner a lot. YUM! I seriously LOVE breakfast-for-dinner! What a concept! So, naturally, I like to make it myself as often as possible. The other night, neither of us could decide what we wanted for dinner, so I rummaged around in the fridge and came up with this knock-out recipe. It’s one of those lovely “throw it all in” recipes that I just adore so much. You can put in whatever you like! Onions, potatoes, mushrooms, tomatoes…the possibilities for dish like this are endless! A perfect breakfast or breakfast-for-dinner meal!
4 flour tortillas
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled into pieces
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
4-5 slices jarred jalapenos, chopped
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
salsa, for serving
salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place tortillas on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 5-7 minutes, until slightly crisp. Set aside.
In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Place the eggs in a large bowl and whisk until homogeneous. Stir in the cooked bacon, peppers and salt and pepper. Pour into hot skillet and stir continuously until eggs are completely cooked and scrambled (about 5 minutes).
Lay two tortillas on each plate. Top with the scrambled egg mixture, shredded cheese and salsa. Serves 2.
Recipe source: Sing For Your Supper original
I think as food bloggers, sometimes we tend to try to improve everything. Put our own spin on it. “How can I make this recipe even better?” or “what can I substitute to make this even more delicious?” And that’s just fine! That’s why we have readers, of course- because we take things and make them our own. But sometimes, we tend to forget that some recipes are simply perfect as is. Like this recipe for pumpkin bread. It’s one of the most popular recipes on allrecipes.com; everyone makes it. And for good reason! It’s perfectly moist, has just the right amount of spice, the pumpkin flavor really comes out and….it’s always, always perfect! It’s the only recipe I use for pumpkin bread. So naturally, I had to stop myself when the normal urge hit to start substituting and adding (think butterscotch, caramel, crushed gingersnaps…). In the end, the only things I added were a few chopped walnuts and some fresh cranberries. No substitutions. And it was perfectly, wonderfully delicious. This bread always reminds what I love most about Autumn – baking. There’s just something magical about baking up a golden brown loaf of warm, spicy pumpkin bread. Your entire house smells warm and welcoming!
Pumpkin Cranberry Walnut Bread
-recipe slightly adapted from allrecipes.com (originally named “Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread”)
1/2 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup water
1-1/2 cups white sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
3/4 cup fresh cranberries (frozen is fine too- no need to thaw)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a loaf pan.
In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Gently stir in the chopped walnuts and cranberries. Pour into the prepared pan.
Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaf is done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Good mornin’, good moooornin’! It’s great to stay up late, good mornin’, good mornin’ to you! Sorry. Hope you don’t mind if I hit you with a little Debbie Reynolds this morning! A personal favorite of mine…Anyway, I’m particularly excited about these muffins- they’re the perfect way to wake up in the morning! They’re cheery, colorful and full of tons of juicy, delicious fruit – who wouldn’t want to have one of these first thing in the morning?! I got the idea for these from my favorite kind of yogurt – Yoplait makes a strawberry-orange-banana yogurt called “Strawberry Orange Sunrise” and it’s super delicious! I thought it would be fun to create a muffin based on these flavors, and while I’m at it, go ahead and add in a little fresh peach (YUM!). So I got in the kitchen with my Michael Jackson blaring (yes, there was indeed some booty-shaking involved…not gonna lie) and whipped these little babies up. They’re moist, fruity and just perfect with a cup of hot coffee bright and early in the morning! Enjoy!
Strawberry Orange Sunrise Muffins
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 stick butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 ripe bananas
1 1/2 cups strawberries, hulled and chopped
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1 medium-sized peach, peeled and chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners. In a small bowl, mash the bananas. Add the strawberries, orange juice and peach. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a separate bowl, mix together the sugar, cooled butter, eggs and vanilla extract.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix just until combined (you’ll have a very thick batter). Gently stir in the fruit mixture. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until muffins are golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Makes about 18 muffins.
There’s a store near our house that sells locally grown fresh fruits, vegetables and grains (and organic groceries) and every summer they’re literally bursting with ripe, delicious summer fruits and veggies. I go all the time and stock up on berries, peaches, corn on the cob, watermelons, etc. Every summer, I’m up to my ears in fresh berries and I love it! Luckily, I just happen to have some delicious blueberries, raspberries and blackberries and immediately, Ina Garten’s recipe for Tri-Berry Muffins pop into my head. What a fantastic way to use all three berries!
Unfortunately, my sweet hubby has been in Miami for two days training for a new software. Big time bummer (thank heavens he comes home tonight! Yippee!!). I had been planning all week to bake him something delicious to take on the plane (besides his travel-size bag of mini-Oreos), and these muffins were the perfect thing! Great for a snack and breakfast!
-adapted from Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa At Home cookbook
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/4 cups milk
2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
1/2 cup fresh blackberries, sliced in half
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line muffin tins with paper liners.
Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together in a large bowl. Stir with your hand (or a whisk) to be sure the ingredients are combined. In another bowl, combine the milk, eggs and melted butter.
Make a well in the middle of the dry mixture, pour the wet mixture into the well, and stir until just combined. There will be some lumps but don’t overmix the batter. Add the blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and sugar and stir gently to combine (*be really careful when you do this, otherwise the batter will turn blue!)
Using a large spoon or scoop, spoon batter into the muffin cups to fill the liners. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean and the tops are nicely browned.
Yield: 16 to 18 muffins
Since Mother’s Day is fast-approaching and so many of us are busy making meal plans, I thought this would be the perfect time to give you a list of some of my best “mom-friendly” recipes. And since Brunch is most often the meal of choice for honoring our moms, here are some of my favorite Brunch recipes. Don’t forget, Mother’s Day is May 9! Show your mom how much you love her by hosting a relaxing Brunch with these simple, delicious dishes!
Bacon, Asparagus and Mushroom Quiche- everybody loves quiche; and luckily, this one is as simple as they get! If you’re short on time, use a store-bought pie crust. Mix the filling, pop it in the oven, and presto! Hot, delicious quiche!
The Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls – I made these for my Mother’s Day Brunch last year and they were a HUGE hit. And let me tell you, I felt oh-so proud of myself for conquering yeast and ending up with such a delicious result! If you’re as scared of yeast as I am, don’t worry – these are so simple and straight forward, they’re almost fool-proof! You can do it! And you’ll look like a rock star making awesome homemade cinnamon rolls for everybody!
Or if you’re short on time but still want delicious cinnamon rolls – these Easy Sticky Buns are perfect! They use frozen puff pastry so they come together in literally no time, but they’re not lacking in flavor (or wow factor!)!
Here’s another super-quick one: Lindsay’s Simply Sweet Coffee Cake- it’s as simple as arranging refrigerated biscuits in a pan, topping with melted butter, cinnamon and sugar and baking. Easy and delicious!
Bacon, Egg and Cheese Breakfast Strata (you’ll need to scroll down to the bottom of the post, there are a couple of other recipes in there)- I made this for my first Mother’s Day Brunch and it was sooooo good! The good news is, you can make it the night before and bake it the next morning, so there’s no stress involved! I love the green chiles in this; they really add a great burst of flavor that goes really well with the eggs and bacon.
Anytime I serve brunch I always like to have a variety of baked goods, fresh fruits, savory dishes and drinks. Also make sure you’ve got a good balance of sweet and savory (personally, I always tend to lean more towards the sweet side, since my family definitely likes their sweets!). If you didn’t see anything here that floats your boat, head over to my friend Katie’s blog, Good Things Catered; this girl knows her Brunch! She has such wonderful tips for hosting and entertaining- you’re sure to get some fantastic ideas from Katie!
Whether you’re hosting or maybe just bringing a covered dish to your sister’s house this Mother’s Day, I hope I’ve given you some good ideas to help get you started. These are all great, no-fail recipes that are super simple and super delish (that’s pretty much what I’m all about!)- and they’re great for anytime, not just Mother’s Day! Enjoy!
**And don’t forget about my $60 giveaway that ends May 7th!
I recently saw this bread on Memoria’s blog, Mangio da Sola and knew immediately I wanted needed to try it. And boy am I glad I did – I found a winner! I actually ended up making this two weeks in a row we liked it so well! After making it twice, I discovered I had actually been doing it wrong (oops); instead of doing two layers of cinnamon/sugar, I just dumped it all in the middle. Well, I actually think I like it better that way – it makes for a nice, thick layer of gooey “cinnamony-ness”…mmmm, cinnamony-ness. Anyway, the bread part is actually more like a buttery, soft pound cake, and the layer of cinnamon/sugar adds the perfect amount of sweetness and flavor. We really loved this one…it will most definitely be in the regular rotation from now on! Great for company, too – absolutely perfect with morning coffee!
Cinnamon Swirl Bread
-adapted from Mangio da Sola
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup white sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup cooking oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9″x5″x3″ loaf pan. Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
Combine the 1 cup of white sugar, flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl or mixer bowl. In a separate bowl, beat egg. Stir in buttermilk, vanilla and oil. Make a well in the flour mixture and add the egg/buttermilk mixture. Stir just until mixed. Do not over-mix.
Pour half of the batter into loaf pan. Sprinkle with half of the cinnamon mixture. Repeat (obviously I didn’t do this and it turned out great). With a wide rubber scraper or spatula, swirl mixtures together with a down and up circular motion.
Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until done. Cool in pan for about 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
Look, it’s smiling at us!
The word ‘parfait’ always reminds me of my good friend Michael. There’s a quote from the first Shrek movie about parfaits that we used to think was so funny; so naturally, we quoted it all the time (Michael does a really good ‘Donkey’ impression).
Anyway, hubby and I have started running every evening, getting healthy, etc; so naturally, we’ve altered our diet a little (chocolate chip cookies stay, though. There will never be a world in which I exist without chocolate chip cookies. Never.). We’ve been eating a lot of plain non-fat yogurt sweetened with honey in place of desserts, which is great; especially with some fresh fruit mixed in. So of course I was excited when I received a box of the new Special K Granola to try out and review. And what better treat to make with granola than parfaits!
A little yogurt/honey mixture, a little granola, some blueberries and bananas and presto! – delicious parfaits (I could’ve stacked each layer neatly in a pretty glass like real parfaits, but this was much easier)! The crunch of the granola is great mixed with the soft fruit and sweet yogurt- a great dessert, breakfast or snack. I also received a box of Special K fruit crisps, which honestly, I didn’t really like, so I just won’t go there. But the granola really is good – it would be great in Dorie Greenspan’s Granola Grabbers, which are some of my favorite cookies.
Next time you need a healthy dessert or breakfast, try one of these parfaits – they really are satisfying and delicious! I won’t post a recipe, because really, you don’t need a recipe, you just pile stuff in a bowl and go wild. Enjoy!