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Breakfast

A Bread You Knead To Know About

Homemade bread used to intimidate me. But after the first couple of times, I realized how unbelievably easy it is to make. Sure it takes a while, but the end result is so worth it. This bread, is amazingly delicious and easy to make. The freshly baked cinnamon bread smell that will overwhelm your house is reason alone to try this out. But let me tell you, once you take the first bite, it’s over. I dare you not to go back for more. When I made this bread for a recent brunch, I was a bit bummed when the bottom got a little too toasty. I was worried that it wasn’t going to taste good, but I was wrong. Even with the toasty bottom I could not stop eating it. I would highly recommend, if you are wanting to try homemade bread for the first time, try this recipe. You will be so happy you did. It also the best morning comfort food. You know those mornings when you just need a little something to make you smile before you head out. This can be your smile. Or, it’s the perfect fall morning and you are looking for something to celebrate that with, this is your jam!

Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread

Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread

Ingredients

For the dough

For the filling

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the yeast, milk, flour, butter, sugar, egg, salt and cinnamon. Mix briefly until a dough forms. Note, here I had t scrape down the sides a bit. Switch to the dough hook and knead on a low speed until the dough is mostly smooth and clears the sides of the bowl. (about 3 minutes) Add i n the raising and continue to knead about 3 minutes more, until the dough is smooth and supple and the raisins are fully incorporated.
  2. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl turning once to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and pat into a round. Fold the bottom 1/3 of the dough up and fold the top 1/3 of the dough down, in business letter fashion.
  4. Fold the right and left sides into the center, in thirds, forming a rectangle. Press down to seal. Return to the bowl, cover and let rise again until doubled, about 40 minutes.
  5. Generously butter a 9x5 - inch loaf pan. Because my bread got a bit toasty, you may want to also include some parchment paper on the bottom. To make the filling combine the cinnamon, sugar, and water in a small bowl. Whisk until well combined. Return the dough to a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a 10x12 - inch rectangle. Brush lightly with the beaten egg.
  6. Sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar onto the dough, leaving the outer edges clear. Fold the edges of the long sides of the dough about 1 inch.
  7. Beginning with the short edge, roll the dough up into a tight spiral log, gently pressing as you go. Pinch the seam shut, and place the loaf seem side down in the prepared baking pan.
  8. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a clean towel and let rise until the dough rises just above the edge of the pan, about 30 minutes.
  9. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. When the loaf has risen, brush the top of the loaf lightly with the remaining beaten egg. Bake, rotating the pan halfway through, until the loaf is golden brown, about 45 minutes. If it seems to be browning too quickly, tent loosely with foil. Cool in the pan 5 minutes, then transfer the loaf to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

Notes

Recipe from Everyday Annie

When All Else Fails There is Pumpkin Spice

I don’t know about you, but I literally feel like I’m running in place lately. I just cannot get ahead and I absolutely hate that feeling. It’s been hard to wrap my head around all the things I have coming up. So, in typical me fashion I find comfort in food. I know, it’s not good to eat your feelings, but I’ve also been told it’s ok when you are at least aware that you are, and that you are making the conscious decision to do say. It may not really be the best, but I am going with the second piece of advice and consciously deciding to eat my feelings. It’s not all bad, I mean it lead me to these beautiful pumpkin spice French toast sticks. A while back I made this version and loved them so much I almost ate the entire plate, or I did eat it all, my memory is blurry….. But in all honesty, they were really….really….good. While we were on vacation in August, I made a batch of the pumpkin cream cheese muffins, and we were talking about how good they would be in French toast form. The original chat included a  variation of stuffed French toast, which may come later. But for now, I wanted something that didn’t take a lot of time to whip up that hit the spot for the pumpkin spice craving, and was easy to follow. Then this recipe was born. It’s an adaption of the first recipe. I warmed up the spices a bit and used pumpkin pie spice in the topping. Not only did the house smell amazing, there were happy tummy’s in the house. #winning!

Pumpkin Spice French Toast Sticks

Pumpkin Spice French Toast Sticks

Ingredients

For the French Toast Sticks

For the Streusel Topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with a Silpat baking mat or non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Cut the bread into 3 sticks. In a shallow dish, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, pumpkin puree and spices. Dip the bread sticks into the egg mixture, letting excess drip off. Place on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 9 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, add the flour, brown sugar, and pumpkin pie spice to a small bowl and mix to combine. Add in the butter and work together using your hands until the mixture is crumbly.
  4. Remove the french toast sticks after 9 minutes. Flip them over and top with the streusel mixture. Place them back in the oven and bake another 9-10 minutes or until they are golden and streusel is set.
  5. Remove from the oven and serve warm. Serve with maple syrup, confectioners sugar, fruit, if desired. Or, eat them plain because they are amazing as is!

Notes

A Berry Good Smoothie

I am SO late to the protein shake game, but I’m not going to apologize for that. I have tried various protein shakes, and they are awful. Also, they are not that filling and I’m still hungry an hour later. But, I am trying to be healthier so I decided to try my hand at a smoothie that incorporates protein powder. I happened to get a hemp protein powder that does not taste half bad. I went with vanilla, and used vanilla almond milk (sweetened – I mean baby steps here) and honestly I could barely taste the protein powder. What I like about a smoothie vs a shake is I am controlling the ingredients and the fruit combinations. Since school is back in session, more kids are at daycare, and we are now all exposed to more germs, I’m boosting my immune system with a triple berry threat. To make my breakfast a bit more filling, I usually have a piece of whole grain toast with some peanut butter to help hold me over. It’s also a great, fast breakfast and something I can easily eat/drink on my ride into work.

Berry Vanilla Smoothie

Berry Vanilla Smoothie

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Add all of the ingredients to your blender, and blend until smooth.

Notes

The Secret

The thing is, I want to be open and honest with my son about what he’s eating. The flip side, I want him to eat his darn vegetables. It’s been a struggle, at home. Apparently at school (daycare) he’ll eat most of what they put in front of him. A fellow blogger recently posted a school lunch she prepared for her kids. I commented on the post, and she had the most smack in the face honest and PERFECT advice, this is also why I LOVE her blog!) She was like 3 year-olds don’t get to make demands. Which is so true. I was letting him get the best of me because it was easier than dealing with the dinner time meltdown. But in the long run is that really in his best interest. Not at all. I claim he gets his pickiness from his father, because I’ll basically eat anything. But regardless, it’s up to me to help encourage him and fix that problem. I’m happy to share that we’ve been making progress. We have a deal that he tries at least one bite of a veggie and then he gets to show me how big his muscles have grown and how fast he can run. Win-win for me! He ate the darn veggie and I get to see his adorableness being so proud of himself. I have been getting more creative with hiding veggies in some foods. This recipe, in particular, has a secret ingredient. Zucchini! We have SO much of it (that’s also an understatement) that it was a great way for me to get a veggie in there and use some of it up. I had every intention of making this more of a muffin, but when I ran out of cocoa powder and had to melt chocolate chips, they became more brownie/cupcake like. No complaints here! The next time I make these, I will probable shred the zucchini a bit more finely, or chop it more after shredding it, because he could clearly see it and was hesitant, but gave it a shot and was pleasantly surprised.

Chocolate Muffins

Chocolate Muffins

Instructions

  1. Line muffin tins with paper liners and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt. Whisk to combine.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, oils, melted chocolate chips, and vanilla.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Mix just until everything is incorporated and no white remains. Fold in the shredded zucchini.
  5. Fill the muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Notes

This is an original recipe.

Basically the Best Pumpkin Muffin

 

It’s just about that time of year again. No, not fall…. pumpkin time. For me, it’s pretty much started. Although I’m into all things pumpkin, we are in the midst, literally, of packing to go away on our last summer vacation. I am so excited to be heading out in just a few short hours, but we are also getting our kitchen cabinets painted, and I have a lot of packing to do. So stress level pretty much reached. But that’s ok, because I made these muffins and have already ate two…. What?! I’m burning all of these calories packing. Anyway, these are quite literally some of the best pumpkin muffins I have ever had. They are the single item that opened by eyes to all things pumpkin and have turned me into the most basic of pumpkin lovers. The original recipe is a bit involved. I’ve eased up the process a bit. I just don’t think it’s necessary and have never been disappointed with the results.

 

Seriously though. Look at that deliciousness. I feel like this batch is the best that I’ve made. Which is great because they are coming along with us on our trip. It’s such a great treat. They are perfect for breakfast, or snack, or lunch.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Ingredients

For the filling

For the muffins

For the topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two muffin tins with liners and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, spices, salt, and baking soda. Whisk to combine. In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, pumpkin and oil. Whisk well until smooth. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated.
  3. In a separate bow, prepare the filling. Combine the cream cheese and confectioners sugar. Using a hand mixer, mix until blended and smooth.
  4. To prepare the topping, add your sugar, flour, cinnamon and butter to a small bowl. Using your hands, mix together until the mixture is coarse and the size of small peas.
  5. To prepare the muffins, place 1 scoop of batter into the prepared muffin wells. Enough to cover the bottom. Using a spoon, place one Tbsp, or so, of the cream cheese mixture on top. Cover with an additional scoop of batter. You may need to use a spatula to help cover the cream cheese with the top layer of batter. Add on the topping and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Let cool in the muffin tin for about 10-15 minutes before removing.

Notes

Adapted from Annie’s Eats.