Tag Archives: breakfast

monkey bread for brunch

Good friends coming over for brunch is the perfect excuse to try that recipe you’ve been dying to try. For me that would be The Kitchn’s Monkey Bread with Bourbon Crème Anglaise.

I don’t think I’ve had monkey bread since I was a kid. I remember my aunt making a recipe that includes instant butterscotch pudding. This is a little labor intensive, but the beauty is that most of the work happens the night before. In the morning you just take it out of the fridge to rise for an hour and then bake. You can time it perfectly.

As if monkey bread isn’t magical enough, this recipe includes crème anglaise for dipping. Of course we decided to serve it in (what else?): mason jars.

Since bourbon is my favorite, I added a little extra. I also used some of my stash of vanilla bean in place of extract. I’d never made crème anglaise before. It is divine.

I recommend the recipe highly. Monkey bread is sort of like cinnamon rolls and donut holes had a baby. I will probably be making this for many brunches to come.

What are your favorite brunch recipes? I think I need to attempt a souffle next.

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breakfast in a jar: eggnog oatmeal custards

Time for another baked oatmeal.

This one is a little more decadent and sweet, perfect for a holiday. These small servings work well as one component of a large brunch.

eggnog oatmeal custards
Makes 12 small servings

⅔ cup sugar
half a vanilla bean, split
6 egg yolks
4 cups lowfat eggnog
2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons bourbon
3 cups oatmeal

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Whisk or beat the scrapings of the vanilla bean and sugar together until the vanilla is no longer in clumps. Add egg yolks and beat lightly. Add eggnog, nutmeg, bourbon, and oatmeal. Stir until combined. The oatmeal will soak and absorb some liquid while you prepare the mason jars.

Bring a kettle of water to boil. Lightly butter 12 wide mouth half-pint mason jars. Place the jars in two large baking dishes. If you don’t have the right jars available, you can use ramekins.

Using a canning funnel, divide the oatmeal mixture evenly between the jars (about 1/2 cup in each). Then pour the boiling water into the baking dish until water comes halfway up the sides of the jars.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, until set. The center should not jiggle.

You can eat them warm after cooling slightly. If you prefer more of a chilled custard dish, cool completely and put the lids on the jars and refrigerate.

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Gingerbread Baked Oatmeal

When we were pinching pennies for our $5/day food project, we got into the habit of making big batches of peanut butter & banana baked oatmeal. It keeps us from eating cereal for breakfast day after day. It’s quick & easy to throw together a big batch of baked oatmeal. You simply warm a piece up in the morning or even grab it on your way out the door to eat at your desk. Levi missed the bus the other day, and while Jess drove him to school he was able to eat a homemade, healthy breakfast in the car. It just works for us.

When fall rolled around, I decided we needed to add a new flavor to our repertoire and came up with pumpkin chocolate chip baked oatmeal. Since we are eating this stuff so often, I decided I needed another new recipe to work into the rotation. I must have holiday foods on the brain, because gingerbread seemed perfect.


crystallized ginger

As always, this is sweetened just enough to be flavorful. It’s breakfast, not dessert. I packed it with the flavors of ginger (ground, fresh, and crystallized!) and molasses. If you’re feeding little kids who find ginger spicy, omit the fresh and crystallized ginger. They could have a dollop of vanilla yogurt or whipped cream on top.

Gingerbread Baked Oatmeal

⅓ cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup full flavor/dark molasses
¼ cup butter, melted
2 eggs
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups oatmeal
½ cup flax meal
3 cups milk (soy, nut, or dairy)
⅓ cup chopped crystallized ginger (about 2 ounces)

Preheat oven to 375° F and butter a 9X13″ baking dish.

In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, molasses, melted butter, eggs, applesauce, grated ginger, spices, baking soda, and salt. Add oats, flax meal, and milk. Stir to combine. Pour into prepared baking dish and sprinkle the crystallized ginger over the top evenly.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until set.

Makes 12 servings.

I used a molasses marked “full flavor”. This is a second molasses. It’s dark, but not as dark as blackstrap. Molasses grades are first molasses, second molasses, and blackstrap molasses. Molasses is the byproduct of making cane sugar. The sugar cane is boiled to extract the sugar crystals. The numbers in the molasses grades refer to how many times it was boiled. First molasses has the highest sugar content and the mildest flavor, while blackstrap has had the most sugar extracted, leaving behind the most concentrated flavor and minerals. Even this second molasses contributes some calcium, iron, and magnesium to your breakfast.

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red thumb fingerling potatoes

A quick reminder of the beauty of nature on a Sunday morning when I sliced open some fingerlings to make the family a simple roasted potato and scrambled egg breakfast.

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pumpkin chocolate chip baked oatmeal

Happy first day of fall, y’all! This is worthy of celebration, so we decided to make a breakfast of our favorite fall flavor combination: pumpkin & chocolate.

pumpkin chocolate chip baked oatmeal

4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 cup chopped walnuts, divided
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips, divided
2-1/2 cups pumpkin puree
3 cups milk (soy, nut, or dairy)
3 eggs
2 teaspoons maple extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and butter a 9X13 inch baking dish.

In a large bowl, combine oats, sugar, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and 3/4 cup each of the walnuts and chocolate chips. Reserve the remaining quarter cup each of walnuts and chocolate chips to sprinkle on top at the end.

In another large bowl whisk the pumpkin, milk, eggs, and maple extract until combined. Pour the wet mixture over the dry mixture and fold until combined.

Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle the reserved nuts and chocolate chips over the top. Bake until golden on top and no longer jiggly, about 35-40 minutes.

Makes 9 generous servings. Serve warm (after cooling for 10-15 minutes) or reheat in the microwave with a little milk.

This is not quite dessert for breakfast, because it is really just sweet enough. It’s kind of like pumpkin pie and a healthy bowl of oatmeal had a baby, with the richness of chocolate and some walnuts for a little crunch. Levi was the first to try it this morning before school, and he dubbed it “really good” on a scale of good to really good. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, since he doesn’t often get chocolate for breakfast.

And how about a link list in honor of the first day of fall?

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day twenty-nine


(Click here for an explanation of the project.)

Here’s what we ate for $4.78 yesterday, January 30, 2011.

Uh-oh, only one more day after this! Are you going to miss us?

BREAKFAST

8 ounces TJ’s organic plain yogurt $0.70
1/4 cup cocoa hazelnut granola $0.22
2/3 banana $0.17

LUNCH

tempeh & fried egg sandwich with sprouts & chipotle aioli $1.31
mineola $0.42

DINNER

red bean chipotle burgers on multigrain buns $1.11
baked onion rings $0.85

total $4.78

Whoa, that cocoa hazelnut granola recipe rules! And bonus points for being cheap yet decadent. We wanted to make some homemade organic cane syrup, but it always seems to come down to time. Even though it was not advised, we subbed honey to keep things simple and it still tasted great. I was surprised this was so cheap, hazelnuts and all. We are keeping the serving size small to keep it healthy. If you’re curious about nutrition, Jess calculated the info.

Those burgers were pretty great, too. It is tough to find a good veggie burger recipe. We are trying not to get all of our protein from soy, and trying not to buy so much processed food. There is so much highly processed “health food” and vegetarian products on the market today. It’s great to have that option, but we’re trying to do better as much as we can. I used chickpea flour as my flour of choice for the recipe. They definitely tasted like bean burgers, but they were good, flavorful bean burgers. Good thing we liked them, because I made a double recipe which will be four dinners for our family. At 22 cents a pop, they sure do make Boca Burgers seem like something we won’t need to buy for a very long time.

And holy crap, BAKED ONION RINGS! Those were the highlight of the meal. Maybe not as good as the real deal, but unbelievably close. Thanks, Martha.

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day twenty-eight


(Click here for an explanation of the project.)

Here’s what we ate for $2.23 yesterday, January 29, 2011.

BREAKFAST

caramelized onion grits with a poached egg $0.50

LUNCH

leek & potato soup $0.52

DINNER

Big-Hearted Macaroni & Cheese with Artichokes $1.21

total $2.23

We aren’t exactly winning any nutrition awards today, now are we? We started off with good intentions and just got busy. We meant to eat other fruits and vegetables throughout the day and it just never happened. It seems like every weekend there is a big long list of things we want to accomplish, and it feels impossible to ever get to them all. Do you know the feeling? Well hey, at least we got to go on a date to see Blue Valentine at our favorite little theater in Tacoma.

And hey, how cool is it that we had enough leftovers in our fridge to eat different meals for lunch and dinner?

I do have to admit that Levi ate some fast food french fries. That sounds kind of terrible, but I swear there is an explanation. He was drawing a still life of salt and french fries for an art project, and he paid for the fries with his own money. This from the kid who could probably count the number of times he’s had french fries from a fast food chain on one hand. He blew some minds in health class this semester when they found out he has never eaten at McDonald’s ever before, and we didn’t break that record since he thought the Wendy’s package would be more attractive.

Oh, and grits with caramelized onions? A+. We intended to add cheese and realized it didn’t need it. Now if only grits had a significant amount of dietary fiber we’d be set.

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