Tag Archives: breakfast

Cinnamon and Sugar Muffin Puffs

Cinnamon PuffsEvery once in a while I just need something super indulgent for breakfast. Most of the time that means doughnuts for my family. When our favorite doughnut shop retired earlier this year we were at a loss. We’ve tried many of the other neighborhood spots, but none of them are quite as good. Although I recently took a doughnut making class, I have not yet made them at home on my own. So I have succumbed to simply making muffins on a regular basis. This recipe is my version of a churro in muffin form. I hope you enjoy.

Shopping List:

2 cups flour
1 cup milk or cream
2/3 cup brown sugar or granulated sugar (I used brown.)
2 eggs
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
8 tablespoons vegetable oil


4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl start by whisking together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and spices.
  3.  Make an indentation in the center of the bowl and mix in the vanilla, milk and eggs.
  4.  Spoon these into a well-greased mini-muffin baking tray. Bake for 12-14.
  5. When they are done pop them out of their tray and roll them quickly in the butter, sugar and cinnamon topping.

Maple-Spice French Toast

P1070394When we head out of town I like to clean out the refrigerator before we go, so that upon return I don’t find some unidentifiable food that’s morphed into something other worldly. I normally make it into an opportunity to eat soups and salads for most of the week prior to the trip. Which in return makes me feel better about gorging myself on vacation food.

Recently we traveled for a long weekend, and I did what I could and used as much produce as possible beforehand, but I still had half of a loaf of bread to leave behind. This was inevitably due to all the salads we ate, but I just popped it in the refrigerator so that it would still be salvageable when we returned. Unfortunately it was a little dry to use for sandwiches, but it was perfect to make a big batch of french toast.

From time to time I will make french toast on the weekends during the school year, but eating it mid-week is a treat for my kids. Occasionally when I have extra time I will make a big batch like this and freeze it for those busy school days.

Shopping List:
9 slices of bread, about half a loaf
3 large eggs
3/4 cup milk of your choice, I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk
3/4 teaspoon of maple flavoring
3/4 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
powdered sugar and berries for serving

1. In a shallow bowl beat together the eggs, milk, maple flavoring, spice and sugar. Then turn on your griddle to medium and grease it with a little butter.
2. Once the pan is hot, dip each slice of bread in the egg mixture one side at a time. Then cook the bread for 1-2 minutes per side.
3. Serve with berries and powdered sugar. Or cool and store in freezer-safe storage bags. If frozen, microwave for 20-30 seconds per slice.
Serves: 3-4

Super Indulgent, Mini-Chocolate Pancakes


I know it seems pretty unlikely, but this week I am turning forty. Yep! You heard me right. I think I’m certainly on the older end of some other food bloggers, but whatever. For those of you wondering how I’m handling this milestone, I can honestly say that I feel pretty good. In fact I feel fabulous! In my forty years I’ve accomplished quite a lot, career, marriage, kids….blah, blah, blah. But I am thrilled there is so much more to come, the tough infant years and struggling with balancing it all is behind me.

So it’s not only my birthday this week, but also my three-year blogiversary…and Valentine’s Day. The stars could not have aligned better for a perfect little breakfast treat post. Continue reading Super Indulgent, Mini-Chocolate Pancakes

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Quick Bread

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Quick BreadLately, I’ve been on this kick where I am trying my best to avoid buying so many prepackaged snacks for my kids. When they were toddlers it was no problem to get them to snack on fruits and veggies, but with the hectic lifestyle that seems inevitable for kids (and moms). All that running between activities after school, of course. I’ve fallen into that trap that I told myself I would never do…rely on endless carbs that result in my kids having no appetite for dinner.

In the spirit of making changes to our eating habits, this just seemed like a good fit. Over the past couple of years I have tried making Peanut Butter Chip granola bars, Peach-apple fruit leatherTropical Pineapple Smoothies and  of course Chocolate Chip Zucchini muffins, my neighbor’s favorite. But none of these truly felt all that healthy or satisfying for the kids.

And then, for a while there I went down the route of a mini-meal after school with Pizza Pop ’ems and chicken taquitos, but there is only so much reinventing I can do. That’s when I thought of making oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, but this time turning them into a quick bread. What a fab idea, right? There must be a recipe out there for something like this, surely Quaker Oats might have one, but alas no. It was Sunset magazine that saved the day. With a few easy tweaks to suit our palate this became a winner. And it made a large enough loaf to last a long 3-day weekend.

Shopping List:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips.

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

2 large eggs

1/4 cup melted butter.

For the streusel:

1/4 cup softened butter

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup flour


1. In a large bowl mix together 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 cup rolled oats, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup chopped pecans, and 1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips.

2. Stir in 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, 2 large eggs, and 1/4 cup melted butter.

3. In a separate small bowl mash together the ingredients for the streusel.

3. Pour into a greased and floured 9-cup loaf pan. And top with streusel mixture.  Then bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Adapted from Sunset Magazine

Banana Caramel Sauce

I’ve been wracking my brain on how to use up my bananas once again. I’m kind of tired of the banana bread idea, and I was thinking about making some sort of jam. But then again I’m not all too sure that would turn out well. Considering that my hubby drinks a lot of banana milkshakes as it is, I thought this might be a good extension of that. And since I’m not really a fan of bananas in dessert, this was a stretch for me.

So I scoured the web in search of what I was looking for and lo and behold I found a recipe from Emeril for Bananas Foster, the New Orleans classic (that I’ve never tried because of the aforementioned condition). and that’s when I decided that this banana dessert idea might just include enough butter and sugar for me to enjoy it. And f course since the kiddos were going to partake in this yummy treat I ditched the liquor and replaced it with vanilla. Although, FYI, the liquor does cook off, it’s just that the flavor that it  leaves behind is not one that I think kids would enjoy. Hey, guess what? It was honestly pretty good. Again, I think this is due to my love of butter, I’m not totally converted yet.

Shopping List:

2 bananas sliced into 1/2 inch chunks

1/2 cup of brown sugar

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup of toasted walnuts

pinch of salt


1. In a small sauce pot over medium heat, melt the butter and brown sugar. The sugar will begin to look glossy and no longer granulated.

2. Add the cinnamon, vanilla and bananas. Cook for approximately 5 minutes, depending on the ripeness your bananas. You want them to be fragrant and slightly mushy.

3. Let the sauce cool 1-2 minutes and then pour 1/4 cup over some quality ice cream, or stir into some vanilla yogurt for a wonderfully decadent, but super simple dessert.

Adapted from: The Essence of Emeril

Serves: 4

Fresh Strawberry Hand Pies


Fresh Strawberry Hand Pies

The super-concentrated flavor of ripe strawberries had permeated our house. We had hit our limit on the berry in its raw form, since I grabbed multiple boxes for multiple weeks when they were on sale at the grocery store. Now what to do with the last box before they go bad? Ah Ha! I thought I’d take another stab at making hand pies, but this time a sweet take on the pleasureful pocket. My version of the store-bought breakfast toaster pastry, but in this adaptation there’s real fruit and not nearly as much sugar. Not to mention that these babies are pretty easy to make and store for a quick breakfast on the run.

Shopping List:
1 package pre-made pie dough (includes 2 dough circles)
1 lb. strawberries, roughly chopped to about 2 cups
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water
powdered sugar for dusting
cookie cutters for fun shapes
1. Remove pie dough from the refrigerator, but not packaging. It must come to room temperature before working with it.
2. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare your baking pan with parchment paper or silpat for even baking.
3. In a small sauce pot on medium heat cook the strawberries and sugar until the strawberries start to resemble jam.This will take about 15 minutes.
4. Remove the strawberries from the heat and let them cool while you are working with the dough.
5. On a floured cutting board, unroll one of the pie dough circles. Cut out 6 3-inch rounds using either a highball glass or cookie cutter. Smoosh together the remaining scraps and roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thick and cut two more rounds. These are your bottoms. Lay them out on your baking sheet leaving about an inch between them.
7. Now, unroll the second pie dough circle and repeat the process to make 8 3-inch rounds. With this set of rounds you need to create a vent so the pies don’t explode. I cut out little ovals with a tiny cutter, but you can snip a 1/2 slit in the center of each.
8. Spoon about 1 tablespoon strawberries on top of the first set of pie rounds, leaving about 1/2 inch border on the edge of the dough. Moisten the edges with just enough egg wash to get the dough wet.
9. Place the vented circle on top of the first one and press them together with your fingers or gently with the back of a fork. Paint a bit of the egg wash on the tops of the pies, so that they get golden brown while cooking.
10. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the pies are golden and cooked through. Dust with powdered sugar or make your own icing for more sweetness.
**Friendly Tip: You can let these cool and then pop them in a freezer-safe bag. Just like the store-bought brand you can pull one out of the bag at a time and reheat it in the toaster before you head out the door.
***Variation: You could replace the strawberries with other fresh berries, stone fruits or apples.
Makes: 8 hand pies

Strawberry Coffee Cake Muffins

Strawberry Coffee Cake Muffins

I’ve been making this coffee cake for a few years now. It’s made appearances at baby showers, Christmas morning, and as a holiday gift to friends. I make it when guests are in from out-of-town or just a special breakfast is in order.

It’s pretty versatile too. When I started making this I used fresh strawberries (as the recipe suggested) but since then I have mixed it up a few times. I’ve had success with frozen mixed berries (no sugar added) and fresh apples. I think any stone fruit would work well too. Since I am constantly in a rush every morning that school is in session, I thought why just why not turn it into bite size bits of heaven.

Shopping List:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
For Crumb Topping:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) cold butter, cut in pieces
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
1 tablespoon confectioners sugar
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees and coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.

2. In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In small bowl mix egg, milk, oil and vanilla.

3. Make well in center of flour mixture. Add egg mixture to well. Beat with wooden spoon 1 minute until evenly moistened. Divide evenly into prepared muffin pan. Divide strawberries among muffin cups..

4. In small bowl, mix flour and sugar. Cut in butter with pastry blender until crumbly. Stir in nuts. Sprinkle topping over strawberries.

5. Bake at 350 degrees F for 12-15  minutes. Let cool in pan on wire rack.  Dust with confectioners sugar. Makes 12 servings.

For standard coffee cake form: Bake in an 8 x 8 inch greased pan for 40 minutes.

Source: Family Circle Magazine