Archive for the ‘Breakfast’ category

Jam, jam, jam

September 19th, 2011

I have broken another canning barrier and moved from pickles to jams.  With what seemed like an overabundance of fresh BC fruit in the stores, it was hard to resist.  The ripe smell of blueberries, peaches and plums drifted through the air of the produce section, and I was helpless to resist. I came home with two bags full of fruit and set about putting up a dozen jars of jam – six blueberry, six plum.

Biscuits and jam

The plum jam comes from a recipe by Julie van Rosendaal on Parents Canada.  It starts out as big chunks of firm, golden plums with purple skins, and ends up a soft, ruby-hued jam.  The blueberry jam is made with lemons and honey and comes from Tart and Sweet: 101 Canning and Pickling Recipes for the Modern Kitchen.

Tea time

I’m still thinking of making a few more batches of jam to see me through the winter.  I’d like to have enough stashed away so that I can give some away at the holidays, maybe take some out to the coast for my sister.  I think I’ve put every single canning book on hold through my library, so we’ll if inspiration strikes.

Summer of Pizza

July 10th, 2011

Breakfast pizza

This summer is shaping up to be the summer of pizza.  I can’t get enough of its cheesy, toasty goodness.  I’ve had it for dinner, lunch, and now, breakfast.  The egg topping was inspired by a re-read of Jamie Oliver’s Jamie At Home and I can’t wait to try it again as it was quite easily the best breakfast (or brunch) I’ve had in ages.

I rolled out the dough, smoothed on a bit of olive oil, laid out tomatoes (with a whole basil leaf underneath each slice), sprinkled on cheese, and then topped it all off with a fresh farm egg.  A few minutes in a very hot oven, and voilà – a breakfast pizza, ready to eat.

Pizza party mosaic

Another Jamie Oliver inspiration was that of hosting a pizza party.  I whipped up some dough using my KitchenAid mixer and my friends brought over the toppings.  We ended up with various mixtures of sliced sweet peppers, Capicola, green olives, mushrooms, fresh spinach and basil leaves.  Mine is the one in bottom right – it spent the most time closest to the lit barbecue burner.

Yogurt Bran Muffins

April 4th, 2011

Yogurt bran muffins

Thanks to one of my lovely coworkers, I now have the best bran muffin recipe ever.  They’re soft and light and go beautifully with a morning cup of coffee.  This morning’s batch was made with raisins, but they’d be great with walnuts or blueberries stirred in instead.

1 cup plain yogurt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup wheat or oat bran
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup dried fruit or nuts

In a medium bowl, stir together yogurt and baking soda.
In a large bowl, beat together sugar, egg and oil until smooth.  Stir in vanilla and bran.
In a third bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
Alternating with the yogurt mixture, stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
Gently fold in fruit or nuts.
Spoon batter into muffin cups and bake for 8-10 minutes at 350ºF.

This would be a fun recipe to make with kids – when you stir the baking soda into the yogurt, it poofs up to double the size.  Very fun to watch!
It’s also a good recipe for doubling – these muffins freeze very well.

Happy (belated) Nutella Day!

February 7th, 2011

Nutella on buttermilk biscuit

Oh, Nutella.  Another year has come and gone, and once again, I’ve missed your special day.  I was going to make it up to you by wrapping you in pasta or swirling you through a Bundt cake, but at the end of the day I decided nothing quite shows off your flavours like a sweet buttermilk biscuit.  (except possibly a steaming hot crepe, but only when in Paris)  To make things special enough, I’ve placed you lovingly on one of my fancy china plates.

The most important thing about making perfect, high-rise biscuits is the temperature of the butter.  Michael Smith goes so far as to suggest freezing, then grating the cup of butter, but in the middle of winter, when it’s -18 outside (and it doesn’t feel that much warmer inside unless you’re snuggled up in bed or near the oven) I find that butter straight out of the fridge will work just fine.

2 cups white flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter
1 cup buttermilk

In a large ceramic bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.
Cut the butter into chunks, then work it into the flour using a pastry blender.
Add the buttermilk and gently work the dough into a ball.  You may need to add another tablespoon or two of buttermilk.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface.  It should be about an inch thick.
Cut out the biscuits using a round biscuit-cutter or the top of a juice glass.
Arrange the biscuits on a baking sheet and bake at 375ºF for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Once the biscuits are out of the oven and cool enough to handle, cut them in half and top them with a generous spoonful of Nutella.

Harvest Granola

October 4th, 2010

Harvest granola

Mornings are always better when they come with a bowl of granola.  My usual granola recipe is from Yummy Supper – chunky and chewy, with lots of cranberries and almonds.  My mom uses Nigella Lawson’s recipe from Feast which uses applesauce as one of the sweeteners.

When I was out in Vancouver, my sister’s friend had a bag of homemade granola her parents had sent from home.  It was full of pretty green pumpkin seeds and golden flax.  I used this as the starting point for the recipe below.

1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup cane syrup
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup golden flax
1/2 cup sesame seeds
4 cups oats
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup dried cranberries

In a large bowl, stir all the ingredients (except the cranberries) together until everything is evenly distributed.
Dump the granola out into a very large cake pan or a deep broiling pan and spread out in an even layer.
Roast at 325ºF for 45-60 minutes, stirring gently at 15 minute intervals.  The granola should be evenly browned when it’s done.
Once the granola is out of the oven, stir through the cranberries.
Cool completely before storing in an air-tight container.

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