Archive for the ‘Breakfast’ category

Nutella Day Smoothie

February 5th, 2013

I managed not to miss Nutella Day this year! I’m so very proud of myself – I even managed to get some Nutella into my belly for breakfast, rather than suddenly remembering at nine o’clock at night. Well done, me.

This may not be the healthiest of breakfast smoothies, but it’s mighty tasty and kept me full right up to lunch.

Nutella Day smoothie

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1 big spoonful of Nutella (1 tbsp or more)
1 very ripe banana
1 1/2 cups almond or skim milk

Blitz everything in the blender until smooth.
Serve and smile.  :)

Overnight Cinnamon Buns

March 27th, 2012

Cinnamon buns

My parents are leaving on a two-week trip to London next week.  To encourage them to come back after their vacation is over, I made a batch of overnight cinnamon buns.  The recipe comes from The Frugal Girl, and it turned out beautifully.  The dough was easy to work with, and baked up light and fluffy.  The filling was sweet, gooey, and had just enough cinnamon spiciness.  I have a feeling these will get made fairly often in my little kitchen.

Kale and Swiss Cheese Quiche

March 12th, 2012

Kale and Swiss cheese quiche

Oh, quiche.  I love you so, and yet I rarely make you.  I don’t know why, as you aren’t exactly a complicated dish to prepare.  Bake some pastry, saute some veggies, whisk some eggs, and voila!  Dinner (after a quick stint in the oven) is served!

1 round of pastry (see here for my usual recipe)
3 cups finely chopped kale
1 leek, halved and thinly sliced
1/2 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
3 tbsp flour
4 eggs
1/4 cup milk

Roll out your pastry and fit it into the bottom of a pie pan.
Bake the pie crust for 10 minutes at 400º while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Cook the kale and leeks in the olive oil until softened – about 7 minutes.
Mix the veggies, cheese, seasoning and flour in a large bowl.
Take the pie crust out of the oven and lower the temperature to 350º.
Pat the cheese and veggie mix into the bottom of the pie.
In the same bowl you used for the veggies and cheese, whisk together the eggs and milk.
Slowly pour the egg mixture over the quiche fillings.  At this point, you can also sprinkle on some bonus cheese, if desired.
Bake the quiche for 30-40 minutes, or until the egg at the middle is set.

Guest Post: Beer Batter Pancakes with Butter Rum Syrup

February 22nd, 2012

A guest post from my bestie, Connolly:

pancakes

You are correct. That IS whipped cream on those pancakes.

I had to look up “Pancake Tuesday” and discovered that it takes place the Tuesday before Lent begins. Mardi Gras. Fat Tuesday. The idea is to use up all the fats in the fridge before the season of fasting (lol!).  If you’re into giving stuff up for 40 days, good on ya. I’m sure it makes you a much better person. I, however, have pancakes left over for tomorrow and they were pretty phenomenal.

Why, you ask? For the same reason as plenty of other things I cook are phenomenal. Booze.

The Pancake:

2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp (or less) cinnamon
1 can of beer (blonde)
2 eggs (separated)
a splash of vanilla
3 tbsp. butter

Mix the dry ingredients together. mix in the beer, egg yolks and vanilla.
Whip the egg whites until they’re stiff. Fold them into the batter.
Melt the butter in a frying pan, pour it into the batter. You’ve just killed two birds with one stone and greased your frying pan. Done-ski.
You could add a little milk (or more beer) if you like a thinner pancake. If you go with beer, you’ll have some drinking to do.
Fry up big, fluffy pancakes until they’re golden.

The Syrup:

3 tbsp. butter
1 cup maple syrup
2 oz. spiced rum

Put this stuff in a saucepan and simmer it until the butter is melted. I’m sure this is what unicorn blood would taste like. Thanks, Lord Voldemort. It’s hard to do the right thing when there is syrup involved, isn’t it?

Don’t make plans to go anywhere immediately after eating these. The rum is a bit of a kicker. Oh, and is there tequila in that orange juice? Why, yes… Yes there is…

Special thanks to Strater Patrick for quality control. Thanks also, to Bitchin’ Kitchen for the original recipe which I adapted, due to not having the right ingredients.

Multigrain Raisin Bread PLUS a Giveaway!

November 14th, 2011

I love my kitchen – especially on cold, snowy days like today.  Its bright turquoise paint and cherry red accents make it feel fresh and summery, even in the bleakest of Novembers.  While the kitchen was already blue and white when I bought the house, the red is what really makes it feel like mine.  My Kitchenaid stand mixer was the first pop of colour, followed soon after by coordinating cafe curtains, sewn by my grandmother.  The mixer was also a present from her, for completing my Master’s degree in 2008.

Kitchenaid

Playing around in the kitchen is so much better when you have all the right tools to work with.  My mixer whips up breads, cookies and cakes without so much as batting an eye.  My knives work in tandem with the perfect cutting boards to slice, dice and chop to (amateur-acceptable) perfection.  And now, I’ve discovered another kitchen tool, one that I’ve had sitting in my basement for a while, but had yet to break out and use.

Clay baker bread

A year ago, I inherited a clay baker.  It was stashed away in its box, on the off chance that maybe, I might want to make a pot roast for one.  (unlikely)  Then the other week, the thought of using it to bake bread popped into my head.  All the cool bakers talk about using baking stones and steam to get the perfect crust – why wouldn’t a clay baker work perfectly for bread baking?  After bopping around the internet for a while, I found that yes, this was certainly possible, and had been tried by a few bakers, who mostly wrote of their findings on bread baking forums.  Enter a batch of grainy raisin bread dough, a soaked clay baker, and a cold, early winter afternoon.  The gorgeously browned results can be seen above.

KitchenAid Food Processor - Contour Silver Now for the part I know you’ve all been really waiting for - the giveaway.  Last week, I was asked if I would be interested in giving away a shiny new 13-cup Kitchenaid food processor for the holidays.  It slices, shreds, chops and purees, and comes in a couple of great Kitchenaid colours – white, black, or space-age silver.

Interested in winning the food processor? Just leave a comment telling me what you’d make if you won.  The deadline is December 1st, 2011, at which point I’ll put all the entries into a  hat and randomly pick a winner.  One caveat – you must be Canadian to win.  Good luck!

 

Multigrain Raisin Bread

1 1/2 to 2 cups white flour

1 package active dry yeast

1/4 cup honey

3 tbsp butter

1 cup milk

1 tsp salt

1 egg

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup stone ground oats

1/2 cup grainy hot cereal *

1/4 cup chopped almonds

1 cup plumped raisins **

In the bowl of your mixer, stir together 1 cup of white flour and the yeast.

In a large, microwaveable pitcher, mix the honey, butter and milk.  Warm for a minute at a time, until the butter has just barely melted.

Stir the warmed milk, salt and egg into the flour and yeast, beating at medium speed for 30 seconds.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then continue to mix at low speed for 3 minutes.

Swap out the paddle mixer for the dough hook.  Add the whole wheat flour, grains, almonds and raisins on low speed, a single ingredient at a time, letting the hook bring everything together into a sticky lump.

Slowly add another half a cup to a cup of white flour, still keeping the mixer at low speed.  The completed dough should be kneaded for 5-8 minutes, until smooth and elastic.

Place the ball of dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover and let rise for at least an hour, until doubled in size.

Punch down the risen dough and shape into a smooth, round loaf.  Place the ball of dough on a large rectangle of parchment paper, cover and let rise again for 30 minutes.

While the dough is going through this final rise, soak both halves of a clay baker in water, drying the inside of the base before adding the dough.

Lift the risen dough on its parchment paper into the base of the clay baker.  Top with the lid and place in a cold oven.  Turn the oven up to 375°F and bake, covered, for 35 minutes.  At this point, remove the lid of the clay baker and continue cooking the bread for another 15-20 minutes, or until browned on top.

Take the clay baker out of the oven, lift the parchment paper and bread onto a wire rack and let cool to room temperature before slicing.

* I used some Daystart cereal from the Daybreak Scheresky Mill in Saskatchewan.  It’s a mix of millet, buckwheat, oat bran, flax and sunflower seeds.

** To plump raisins, toss them in a bowl and cover with water.  Microwave for 1 minute, then let sit for at least another 10 minutes before draining and adding to the dough.

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