Gourmet Veggie Mama

Tag Archives: Breakfast

Blueberry Muffins

Two words: Blueberry. Muffins.

Berry season is here, and the farmer’s markets and stores are brimming with fresh, local strawberries, blueberries and blackberries. I do love blueberries, and my favorite way to enjoy them is in muffins. Perhaps that’s wrapped up in childhood memories for me, since my mom often made blueberry muffins for breakfast. I think they were from a  box, but they sure were good. And these are even better.

Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins ~ Gourmet Veggie Mama

Folks, these are some of the best muffins I have ever had… and I consider myself a muffin aficionado.

Before I go crazy with expressing my love for these muffins, though, I would like you to meet my new BFF. His name is White Whole Wheat Flour, and he is now indispensable in my kitchen.*

*I was not compensated in any way for this post. I just think this flour is the bee’s knees.

white whole wheat flour

White whole wheat is actually whole wheat flour — it’s just a different type of wheat that has a lighter texture and flavor than “regular” whole wheat. So, basically, it’s a nice way to get the nutritional content of whole wheat without all the heaviness and (to some) overwhelmingly hippie-ish taste.

I bought white whole wheat flour for this recipe, since it was suggested in the original (from King Arthur Flour), and I was almost out of whole wheat flour anyway. I’m a convert! Normally I wouldn’t substitute more than half the flour in a given recipe with whole wheat, but I may be more bold with this stuff.

But anyway — the muffins! My friend Andrea recommended this recipe, and it was an absolute hit. I sampled one while it was still warm from the oven, and Oh. My. So good.

Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins ~ Gourmet Veggie Mama

 

Let’s just say I ended up eating three of them right then and there. Yes, they’re healthy-ish, since they’re made with whole wheat flour. (And if you don’t share my enthusiasm for white whole wheat flour, you can use regular whole wheat flour instead — two of my friends did, with pleasing results.) But they are moist and tender and sweet-but-not-too-sweet and just downright delicious.

Enjoy! And try one still warm from the oven — it’s  a must!

Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • 2¼ cups (10 oz) white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup (7½ oz) brown sugar
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (preferably double-strength)
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 1½ cups buttermilk
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin, or line with cupcake papers.
  2. Combine the flour, brown sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl and whisk to combine and break up any lumps.
  3. Stir in the blueberries.
  4. Mix the vanilla, oil and buttermilk in a separate bowl and beat into the dry ingredients until just combined.
  5. Spoon the batter into the muffin pan, filling each cup about ¾ full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  6. Cool for 5 minutes, and then turn the muffins out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy at least one while they’re still warm!

 

Breakfast for Dinner

Hey! It’s a post that’s not about running! This is still a food blog, right? Right.

So let’s talk breakfast for dinner. While I’ve been ramping up the miles, I haven’t been devoting as much time or energy to cooking (shocking, I know). So what’s my favorite lazy meal? Breakfast for dinner, of course!

scrambled eggs

Not too long ago, a put together a super-easy dinner of scrambled eggs (with some scallions and parsley thrown in for good measure), sourdough toast, frozen oven reds (thanks Alexia — you always come through in a pinch), plus a quick and easy chipotle-sour cream dipping sauce. The sauce doubled as a great spicer-upper for the eggs, too. In fact, it was such a favorite that I’ve made it several times since, and I’m including the recipe (such as it is) below, so that you can enjoy it, too.

My secret to great scrambled eggs? Cream cheese. I totally stole that idea from an old friend who used to be a line cook. They turn out creamy, fluffy and delicious every time. That is, if you can keep your little kitchen helper from eating all the cream cheese before it gets mixed into the eggs!

Breakfast tacos are always a hit, too. Scrambled eggs, plus some frozen hash browns, sour cream, cheese and salsa? Yes, please.

breakfast tacos

Wrap it all in a tasty homemade tortilla (or even a store-bought one — I won’t tell as long as it’s one of the good ones) and you’re got yourself a tasty meal.

Our recent favorite breakfast-for-dinner is biscuits and gravy, but that’s the hubby’s department. Just a nice ladle of cream gravy on top of a fluffy homemade biscuit, plus a couple of fried eggs, is an awesome meal.

biscuits and gravy

Hubby can’t resist adding a side of bacon to his, but he makes the gravy vegetarian for me. True love!

He recently discovered the recipe for Hisako’s biscuits in The Salt Lick Cookbook and has been going to town making them — which makes me plenty happy. They are awesome biscuits, and the leftovers are great with a little butter and honey for breakfast the next morning.

honey biscuit

I think that makes it breakfast-for-dinner-for-breakfast, right? That just about blows my mind.

Chipotle Sour Cream
Author: 
Recipe type: sauce
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 chipotle chili in adobo, minced
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • garlic powder to taste (optional)
  • salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients well in a small bowl. Add salt to taste. Serve atop breakfast tacos, or scrambled eggs, or as a dipping sauce for oven fries.

 

Leftover Extravaganza

“Tis the season. You know, the season of lots and lots of leftovers. Do you have them? At this point, they are just hanging out in the fridge, begging to be used ASAP or tossed. Here are a few tasty ideas that will hopefully help keep you from feeding a post-feast feast to your compost pile.

  • Sweet potato waffles. We added a nice hefty scoop of leftover sweet potato casserole (topping and all) to our favorite waffle batter.
    sweet potato waffles

    Breakfast time!

    Not only were they excellent,  the leftover waffles freeze well so that you have quick breakfast for mornings to come!

  • Bon Appétit’s Thanksgiving leftovers slideshow has a bunch of excellent-sounding recipes, including pumpkin flan (a great use for that partial can of pumpkin you have in the fridge).
  • Brussels sprouts pizza. Yeah, seriously. We had this for dinner the other night and it was so good. We already had some leftover grilled pizza crusts in the freezer, so it was quick and easy to throw together (the hubby finished them off on the grill).
    brussels sprouts pizza

    Eat your veggies!

    My vegetarian version included halved roasted Brussels sprouts, mozzarella and manchego cheeses, sautéed spinach and a sprinkle of fleur de sel and crushed red pepper. The hubby’s version included Brussels sprouts, bacon and mozzarella. Both were delicious (or at least so I hear).

  • Cranberry brie bites. I stumbled across these on Rufus’ Guide to Food and Spirits, and I must have them now. What an awesome use of leftover cranberry sauce (which is plentiful in my fridge right now).
  • Mashed potato cakes. Obvs. I wrote about this one yesterday, and it was tasty.
  • Stuffing stuffed mushrooms? Yes please!
  • Last but not least, here are a bunch of ideas for all that leftover turkey from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe and A is for Austin.

Who doesn’t love pancakes?

This weekend, we were up in Fort Worth visiting family. The hubby’s brother was in town, along with his lovely new wife, and in honor of the occasion, we got the whole crew together for a pancake breakfast.

Are they ready yet?

Actually, as my sister-in-law would say, the pancake bar became the occasion. She was the hostess of this shindig, and the mastermind behind the DIY pancake bar, and my other (newly acquired!) sister-in-law provided the amazing pancake recipe, while all four kids and their significant others pitched in to help with the cooking.

A work in progress.

I love the concept: Make a batch of (in this case, insanely good) pancakes, then let people choose their own add-ins and serve ‘em as you cook ‘em. It’s the same basic idea behind our other favorite party idea (DIY grilled pizzas), which is probably why I like it so much.

We made several batches of pancakes and cooked them up in shifts on an electric griddle, four at a time, with such add-ins as blueberries, bananas, chocolate chips, pecans, and even (for the omnivores among us) bacon.

Pancakes, DIY-style.

You guys, these pancakes were good. So, so good. Like I will be dreaming about them good.

Oh, yum.

They were nice and crispy on the outside, but fluffy and soft on the inside. They were thick and rich and they melted in my mouth. The secret, as with so many things, was plenty of butter.

My favorite add-ins were chocolate chips (of course) and pecans. Nora preferred hers with blueberries.

One happy kid.

Even plain, these pancakes would have blown my mind. I can lay no claim to having made these, but I assure you, you can’t go wrong with this recipe. Enjoy, and invite some of your nearest and dearest over to share the occasion with you!

Buttermilk Flapjacks
From Saveur: The New Comfort Food, via One Wife Winging It

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbs sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
12 Tbs butter
2 cups buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl to combine.

Whisk togther the buttermilk, vanilla, and eggs. Melt 4 Tbs butter and cool slightly, then whisk into the buttermilk mixture. Pour the liquid mixture into the flour mixture and stir until just combined.

Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium heat and add 1 Tbs butter. Let it melt until the foam subsides. Spoon in about 1/2 cup of the batter and cook until bubbles come through the flapjack, up to four minutes on each side. Once cooked, place the flapjack on an oven-safe dish in a warm oven.* Repeat. Makes about eight flapjacks.

* Or, if you are lucky enough to possess one, make them several at a time on an electric griddle.

Cinnamon-Pecan Pancakes

I ran 12 miles this morning. It was a good run with good friends, and the first 10 miles were great. The last two miles… not so much. It was hilly and I was tired, and I started really feeling the fact that I had been out late the night before. Yeah… and the fact that I opted for wine pairings at dinner, and then we went out for drinks afterward.

Regardless, 12 miles! That’s my longest run (I think) since I ran the Wine Country Half Marathon last October, and it’s the first of many longer runs to come in my marathon training. I was tired and hungry. Pancakes were in order.

Oh yeah.

After a nice warm shower, I did some quick Googling and came up with a basic pancake recipe that didn’t call for an egg, since we were out of eggs (yeah, I know). I ended up using the recipe for Fluffy Eggless Pancakes in this thread as a basis, and since it’s fall and I love pecans, I threw some in. Why not?

Of course, we didn’t have syrup, but that was okay.

Nora didn’t mind.

Obviously I need to go to the store soon.

Cinnamon-Pecan Pancakes
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp sugar*
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 Tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbs water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • ½ cup pecan pieces, toasted
Instructions
  1. Mix the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and baking powder in a large bowl. Add the milk, oil, water, and vanilla, and mix until incorporated. The batter will be a little lumpy. Set aside to rest for a few minutes.
  2. Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the butter is melted, pour it into the bowl with the batter and mix.
  3. Using a ladle or a measuring scoop, pour about ¼ cup of batter onto the pan for each pancake. Sprinkle a handful of pecan pieces over each pancake. Cook until bubbles form on the surface and flip with a spatula. Cook until golden brown and serve warm.
Notes
* I used coconut palm sugar, since I am trying to go a month without processed sugar. I cheated last night, though… dessert was part of the Restaurant Week menu at Foreign & Domestic, and who am I to turn down a course? That’s just silly.

Family dinner… and migas!

I just cooked dinner for the whole family for the first time since Nora started eating “real” food… and mama needs a glass of wine.

I know that may be a little surprising. You see, ever since Nora was itty bitty, the hubby and I have had dinner after she’s in bed. With her bedtime creeping a little bit later, though, we have been discussing starting to eat dinner together as a family before she goes to bed, and this weekend we decided to try it out.

In theory, it should have been fine. Nora was playing outside with her daddy and some other kids from the neighborhood, and I ventured inside to get dinner started so I could have everything on the table by 6. But, you know what they say about best-laid plans.

Nora has been pretty cranky from teething lately,* and combine that with mounting frustration from her legs just not being quite long enough to ride the tricycle she wanted to ride, and ka-blooey. Inside comes the hubby with a very upset munchkin, and all she wanted was her mommy. Mommy’s lap, and Mommy’s attention — nothing else would do. One can’t very well cook migas with a child sitting on one’s lap on the floor.

* Those two-year molars, I tell ya. No fun at all.

The hubby pinch-hit for a while, with me feeding him instructions, and then eventually Nora was feeling better and ready to play for a while. Daddy was an acceptable playmate, so I took back over the dinner preparations. Of course, by this time, it was nigh on dinnertime, and Nora started begging for crispy tortilla strips the moment she saw them come out of the pan. With a little daddy-run interference and fancy footwork, I was able to heat up some broccoli and get that and some berries on the table for her to munch on while I finished dinner. Whew. Finally it was time for the hubby and I to sit down and eat, too.

And eat we did.

The migas were good, fortunately, despite their haphazard preparation. Nora enjoyed them thoroughly, peppers and all… although she might have preferred a big plate of tortilla strips heaped with sour cream and cheese instead.

More cheese, please!

Mama will be testing out some crock pot and other make-ahead meals soon to try to avert this situation in the future. So, help a mother out: What are your favorite make-ahead meals?

For now, though, it’s time to sit down and enjoy a glass of wine. I highly recommend the migas, as breakfast or dinner, but try to make them when there’s not a clingy toddler around.

Migas
Adapted from this recipe from Stella Cooks

2 Tbs butter
4 corn tortillas, cut intro 1/4″ strips
6 eggs
1/4 cup milk or cream
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp smoked paprika**
1-2 minced hot peppers, to taste (jalapeños or serranos work best)
2 small sweet peppers (or 1 large), stemmed, seeded, and chopped
1 small red onion (or 1/2 large), finely chopped
grated cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, for topping
sour cream, for topping
salsa, for topping

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tortilla strips and fry until just crispy, stirring occasionally. Remove the strips to a paper towel to drain. Turn the stovetop heat to low.

Meanwhile, crack the eggs into a medium bowl. Whisk lightly until the yolks are broken, then drizzle in the milk or cream, continuing to whisk. Add the salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin, and smoked paprika and whisk lightly to mix. Then add the peppers and onions, stir lightly, and set aside.

Pour the egg mixture into the skillet, and allow it to sit for just about a minute, then begin to stir. The mixture will quickly begin to firm up. Continue to lightly fold the eggs over repeatedly until they reach the perfect consistency.

Spread the tortilla strips over two plates. Top with the scrambled egg mixture. Sprinkle the grated cheese over the top of the eggs, and add generous dollops of sour cream and salsa to the tops. Serve immediately, while still hot.

** What do you mean you don’t have any? Go get some! It’s my favorite spice ever, and, as a vegetarian, I use it in all kinds of dishes to help substitute for the smoky flavor of bacon.

Happy blogiversary to me!

It has been a year since my first post. How time flies! But, at the same time, it seems like I’ve been writing this blog forever. Funny, that’s just about how I felt on Nora’s first birthday. I simultaneously couldn’t believe she was already a year old, and felt like I had been her mommy forever and couldn’t imagine life without her.

Not that I’m likening my child to my blog… Well, maybe just a little bit. Taking care of both of them has become a labor of love. Nora, and writing about food and life with Nora and other miscellany, have both brought richer meaning to my life.

In honor of my first blogiversary, I am making a list, in no particular order, of my 10 favorite posts from the past year. Enjoy, and please let me know if you’ve tried any of the recipes out — I’m always looking for creative feedback.

1. Black bean burgers — finally!

I have to include this one, solely because it took so long to puzzle out what I think is the perfect recipe. Who needs frozen Gardenburgers when you’ve got these babies… and even quinoa burgers for a change of pace now and then.

2. 10 Easy Salad Ideas. This has been a really popular post, and I’m happy that people seem to have found inspiration for lunches here. Kudos to my friend Melissa for making a special request for this post, and for test-driving several of the recipes.

3. Pasta with Sun Gold tomatoes.

I don’t know what it is about this pasta, but it is just about my favorite tomato dish ever. The Sun Gold tomatoes (which grow like crazy in our back yard) have the sweetest, mildest flavor, and the sauce is so silky and delicious.

4. Grilled pizzas.

I’m psyched that my whole wheat dough came out well, and I love being creative with toppings. Grilled pizzas just may be my favorite meal!

5. Vanilla jasmine martini.Of all the drinks I’ve tried over the past year (and with Cocktail Thursday, there have been a lot!) this is my favorite. It’s such a lovely, elegant flavor.

6. Vegetarian cassoulet.

I just like that this is a classic dish, vegetarianized… and not in a way that leaves you missing the meat. I also love that it’s winter comfort food, and that it takes a long time (but most of it non-active time) to make.

7. On Choosing. I have to include this one for sentimental reasons. I spoke from the heart, and I’m glad that my daughter will someday be able to look back and know how I came to live this particular part of my life the way I have.

8. Pumpkin pancakes.

So good. Such excellent, excellent breakfast-y goodness. I can’t wait until it’s fall again.

9. Grown-up mac and cheese.

I am a noted mac-and-cheese enthusiast, and this is my favorite. It’s all grown up… and delicious. I have to mention, as an aside, that Nora has started asking for “mac” by name, at least a couple of times a day. She truly is my daughter.

10. Broccoli cheddar bites.

I haven’t made a batch of these in a while, but I really should. Nora loves them, and I love to sneak a couple off her plate, too! They’re super-simple, freezeable, and one of my most popular recipes.

It has been quite a year, and going back through these posts has really brought it all back. Thanks for coming on this journey with me, and here’s to more years to come!

Zucchini bread

Confession time: I am not the world’s biggest fan of zucchini. I think it stems from the summer we grew zucchini in our yard, and were forced to eat it over and over and over, the plant did so well. If I never have another side of grilled zucchini, it will probably be too soon.

Of course, we always get lots of zucchini and summer squash in our CSA box around this time of year, so I have to do something with it. I do have a few recipes in my bag of tricks that I still like, even after our Summer of Zucchini, but what better to do with it than make zucchini bread?

Yes, please.

After much experimentation, I have come up with what I think is the perfect recipe. It gets a lovely, caramelized crust, and it looks downright pretty with the bright green zucchini shreds in it. While I wouldn’t claim it’s health food, it makes a darn good breakfast, and it freezes well, too. Add some butter while it’s still warm (or lightly toast it), and it’s perfection.

A little slice of heaven.

For the record, you can use any kind of summer squash, but I still call it zucchini bread. It’s just easier. I used a mixture of zucchini and sunburst squash this time. You can also make muffins by adjusting the baking time a smidge — it’s lovely either way.

Zucchini Bread
Makes 2 loaves

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3 tsp ground cinnamon
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups sugar
3 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini or other summer squash (not drained)
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 325°. Grease and flour two 8 x 4-inch loaf pans.

Mix the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl. Beat the eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture, and mix until combined. Stir in the zucchini and walnuts.

Divide the batter between the prepared pans. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a rack for 20 minutes. Turn the loaves out onto the rack, and completely cool.

Greek yogurt pancakes

A couple of nights ago, I found myself at home alone (well, with a sleeping baby upstairs), as the hubby was out of town. I decided to treat myself to breakfast for dinner, and I made pancakes, inspired by Becky’s post the other day.

Yum.

They were amazing — fluffy, light, and awesome. The best part is the Greek yogurt, which is one of my favorite ingredients. It’s high-protein, creamy, and it tastes great.

The original recipe called for vanilla yogurt, but I had plain in the fridge already, so I just went with it. I think the extra sweetness and vanilla from the almond milk made up for it. For the record, FAGE is totally worth the extra money — it’s so much more delicious than any other brand of Greek yogurt I’ve tried.

Greek Yogurt Pancakes
Recipe modified from Chobani Kitchen via Clover and Thyme

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt
1 egg
3/4 cup vanilla almond milk

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk the Greek yogurt, egg and almond milk into the dry ingredients, and stir until just combined.

Heat a skillet or griddle over medium-high heat, and scoop 1/4 cup batter onto the preheated surface. Flip when the edges appear dry and bubbles appear. Cook until golden brown. Repeat until all batter is used. Makes about 12 pancakes.

Pumpkin Pancakes

What could be a better fall breakfast than fluffy pumpkin pancakes with toasted pecans and maple syrup? Nothing, that’s the answer.

I stumbled upon this recipe on Pinterest, and the photo alone had me drooling, so I knew I had to try it out. Although I had high expectations, they were surpassed! These pancakes were absolutely fantastic.

This is the stuff.

I am an admitted sucker for pancakes. My all-time favorites are the gingerbread pancakes with pecans at Magnolia Cafe in Austin. I love them so much that I usually insist we make room in our schedule for breakfast or brunch there anytime we’re back visiting. These pancakes come close to Magnolia’s awesomeness. I will definitely be making them again.

Nora definitely agreed. She was so enthusiastic about these pancakes that she stuffed herself and ended up puking a little bit later. Good times.

With that glowing introduction, and without further ado, I present pumpkin pancakes!

Pumpkin Pancakes
From Sweet Pea’s Kitchen with my modifications

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of allspice
1 cup milk
6 Tbsp canned pumpkin puree
2 Tbsp melted butter, plus additional for cooking
1 egg
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ground ginger, salt, nutmeg, and allspice. In a separate bowl, stir together milk, pumpkin puree, melted butter, and egg. Fold pumpkin mixture into dry ingredients.

Melt some butter in a skillet over medium heat. Pour in 1/4 cup batter for each pancake. Cook pancakes about 3 minutes per side, and keep warm on a plate in the oven. Serve with butter, pecans, and syrup.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The recipe called for a relatively small amount of pumpkin, though, so now I have an opened can of pumpkin sitting in the fridge. Any suggestions for what to do with it in the next day or two? I’m thinking pumpkin muffins, but I could definitely be persuaded…

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