Tag Archives: breakfast

Summer breakfast

summergranolaONE OF MY FAVORITE THINGS about summer is my everyday breakfast. It’s simple: plain yogurt, topped with fresh fruit and granola. But each day I enjoy it with seasonal fruit– raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, apricots, peaches, plums or pears — and I consider it a treat!

Some years ago I wrote here about a granola made with very little oil and some applesauce, to reduce the granola’s usual high calorie count. Well, I have to say, that granola was good, but it was just a little too spartan! (for granola, that is. Muesli, which doesn’t have oil, would be a good alternative if you’re seriously watching weight — and it’s also good with yogurt and fruit.)

These days I just make a more classic granola, using a mixture of oil, maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon to coat the oats, and add a healthy dose of nuts and seeds. It’s not the richest granola you will ever taste (I know someone who makes granola with butter rather than oil, for example) but it’s pretty darned good.

Oh– and is it caloric? Yup, I’m sure it is, but if you just use it as a topping, you can justify that little luxury, can’t you?

This recipe will just about fill a quart jar of granola. Or put some in a zip-lock bag and take it with you on a road trip, on the plane or camping. Make a double batch and share with friends. You can easily adjust the nuts, seeds, spices and dried fruit to your taste (for example, I don’t use almonds as Steve is allergic to them; but hazelnuts or walnuts are great alternatives).

With this recipe and some fresh fruit, it just may be summer all year long!

Summer Morning Granola

  • 2 1/2 cups oats (preferably organic)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon (more or less to your taste) cinnamon,  or other spice (cardamom, ginger, etc.) or mixture
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup coarsely chopped nuts
  •  2 to 4 Tablespoons seeds (sunflower, flax, sesame)
  • 1/4 cup oil (I use grapeseed)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • optional: dried fruit such as raisins, dried cranberries, dried apricots
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees

  2. Combine the oats, salt and spice(s) in a large bowl.

  3. Stir in nuts and seeds to distribute.

  4. In a small pan (or microwave bowl) combine oil and maple syrup and gently heat to warm. Add water and vanilla; whisk together and pour over the oat mixture.

  5. Spread out the mixture evenly on a rimmed cookie sheet and bake for about 30 minutes or until a toasty golden brown. (It’s a good idea to check the mixture after 25 minutes.)

  6. Let cool in the pan atop a rack, then add raisins or other dried fruit if desired. Store in a quart glass jar or other container.

 

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Filed under baked goods, breakfast, summer, Uncategorized

Spring supper (or breakfast)–with biscuits

My ratio of cooking/baking to blogging is about 20: 1. I’m not one of those people who has to take photos of every meal or blog about it.  And usually, Steve is not a big fan of the blogging impulse.

So, the other evening, when I more or less threw together a supper that looked a lot like  breakfast and put it on the table, I was really surprised to hear Steve say, “Aren’t you going to blog it?”

Okay, then. I took a couple quick photos before we dug in.

The inspiration came from having some asparagus around.  I remembered making something that had baked eggs on top of steamed asparagus. I never did find the recipe I was looking for, (though I later saw a similar recipe for asparagus with eggs that was called “Asparagus Milanese.”) — but I ended up making a variation with roasted potatoes and asparagus.

Here’s how it went: I cut up a few Yukon Gold potatoes and half an onion, tossed them in a tablespoon or two of olive oil and some salt and pepper and put them on a cookie sheet in the oven (400 degrees) to roast……

After about 15 minutes or so (20?) I tossed some asparagus on top of the potatoes (I also drizzled a little oil over them, and sprinkled on some salt) and then, after those were mostly done — the timing so far doesn’t need to be really precise–I cracked open an egg and carefully let it sink over the asparagus (if I’d had the aspagus a little flatter, the egg might have looked even better.) The original recipe calls for one egg for each person, by the way.

I just kept checking to see if the egg was as done as I like it, the yolk still a little runny (but not so much). A guideline for the eggs –between 8 and 12 minutes.

Oh, in the last minute or so, I sprinkled on just a tiny bit of  grated pecorino cheese. Parmeggiano, Romano, or sharp cheddar would do as well. Or skip it.

While that was in the works, I decided some biscuits would go really well with this supper. The timing to do both these dishes and serve them hot is a little tricky though, unless you have two ovens (I don’t!).

I won’t write much about biscuits here, because years ago I wrote about that subject as well as I could, in an essay called “Still Living with a Biscuit State of Mind.” (it was published in Christian Science Monitor).

All of the above essay still applies, except I now dispensed with the two knives and just use my fingers to “cut,” or more precisely, rub the butter into the flour….

Oh, do you want the recipe?

Biscuits

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter, cut in four pieces
  • 3/4 cup cold buttermilk

Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Mix the flour, salt, baking powder and soda together in a bowl and cut or rub in the butter until it’s in little pieces. Stir in the buttermilk with a fork until the mixture comes together as a moist, but not sticky dough.

Turn onto a floured board and knead just a couple times (you never want to overwork a baking powder/soda dough). Roll out the dough about 3/4″ thick with a rolling pin (or a wine bottle if you don’t have a rolling pin), cut into biscuit shapes with a biscuit cutter or the rim of a glass dipped in flour. You’ll have 10 to 12 biscuits or so. Any leftover dough can be just formed by hand into a little patty (or you can make them all this way).

Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for about 10 minutes, or till they’re golden. Serve hot.

Tip: I like to roll out the dough, then fold it in half and roll again. This makes it so the biscuits break open neatly in the middle when you want to put on some butter, jam, honey, etc.

This is my favorite biscuit cutter, which I've had for about 100 years. Well, at least 25.

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Filed under baked goods, spring, supper time, Uncategorized, vegetables

What’s for breakfast?

I don’t mean the special ones or Sunday ones (waffles, scones, frittatas, biscuits, etc–more on those later).

What about ordinary breakfasts?

During the week, I eat oatmeal or steel cut oats nearly every day. (Tip on cooking steel cut oats: start the night before to cut the cooking time. For two people, I put 1/2 cup of steel cut oats in a cooking pot and pour two cups of boiling water over it. Give a quick stir and cover with a lid. In the morning, it’s ready to cook the rest of the way, in 5 or 10 minutes.)

It would be a pretty boring eating oats day after day –were it not for fruit. I top the oats with some flax (fiber and nutty flavor), a nice dollop of yogurt, some fruit and a sprinkling of nuts.

Italian prunes cooked with a little bit of sugar make a beautiful sauce

Italian prunes cooked with a little sugar make a beautiful sauce

That brings me back to those Italian prunes or plums.

I had some left over after Zwetchgenkuchen, so I cut them, cooked them with a little sugar, (and cinnamon and lemon zest) and then had a lovely sauce to brighten drab oatmeal.

Actually, I think oatmeal is pretty good, the way I make it.  (Although, if it had equivalent nutritional value, I’d probably just eat buttered toast every morning.)

I’m curious, readers. What do you eat for (ordinary) breakfast? Are you happy with your breakfasts or do you long for something more appealing…..?

Leave me a comment and let me know!

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Filed under breakfast, fall, fruit, musings, Uncategorized