Browsing Category

Morning Foods

Egg Dishes/ Morning Foods

Asparagus with Poached Egg, Toast and Bacon Vinaigrette

What better reason to have a brunch than a rooster table-cloth!

I didn’t need a reason to have a brunch but my rooster table-cloth has had me wanting to do brunch and have a bunch of friends over. The friends never got asked over for this recipe; someday they will.

While working at Williams Sonoma for 6 years I collected so many of their tablecloths and paid next-to-nothing for them once they went on sale. The rooster table-cloth is navy blue and have these cool roosters (and I’m not even a rooster fan.) along the border of the cloths which is just screaming or “crowing” make brunch and serve it on me.

So what should I do? Of course, make brunch but as it turned out the bunch with friends was just my husband and myself. I couldn’t wait to try to make this so rather than fuss with a bunch of other dishes and arrange time for friends to actually make it over for brunch I made it just for the two of us.

I was tracking down this chef (John Fleer) who now works at Rhubarb restaurant in Asheville and read where he had worked at the Blackberry Farm Restaurant located at the foothills of The Smoky Mountains in Walland, Tennessee, so I had to mosey on over to the Blackberry Farm website to see what was going on. Of course, the first place I look is the restaurant and the menu where I happened upon a menu item Asparagus with Poached Egg, Toast and Bacon Vinaigrette and thought I could do this without a recipe. We have eaten at Rhubarb in Asheville but this wasn’t on his menu at that time.

Continue Reading…

Dessert/ Morning Foods/ Pies/Tarts

Rustic Citrus Almond Tart

Rustic and beautiful citrus tart.

All I can say is “wow”, this was one beautiful tart. Not too tart and not too sweet, as Goldilocks said “it was just right” and I think all the ladies that tried it at my craft circle enjoyed it.

I’m sure you have all heard that snapping turtles bite and don’t let go. In Alabama they use to (may still do) call a snapping turtle “thunder turtles” because they believed that once bitten by the ST that it would not let go until it thundered. So, what does a snapping turtle have to do with this recipe.

Well, I have a problem letting go of an idea for a recipe I’ve seen or a product I have not used before. See the chunky sugar on the above tart. Well there’s even a story there. While in France back in 2012 (see, I told you I hold on to an idea for a long time) we spent a week in Provence after doing Paris (liked Provence much better) and we stayed in Eygalières in Provence area. This little commune, town, or whatever they call a town less than 1,700 actually had two bakeries a couple of grocery stores (very small, one English-speaking the other not) and one very good restaurant, sous les micocouliers which we ate at our first night there. I still get emails from them with their menus and I can’t read a word of it. (I just looked at their website and I never noticed they have “English” version.)

So, back to the story about the sugar. Every morning we would walk down to one of the local bakeries and buy some beautiful and delicious pastries (see below) for breakfast before heading out for the day. Usually at least a couple of the things we purchased had this sugar that stayed chunky. I couldn’t find it in the small local market but when I came home I looked until I finally located it I think on Amazon (of course). The sugar has been sitting in my pantry since then just waiting to be used for something special. This sugar will not melt and disappear as normal granulated sugar does at baking temperatures. I want to try it on some cinnamon elephant ear pastries sometime soon.

Continue Reading…

Breads/Biscuits/ Morning Foods

Sweet Potato Waffles

What a beautiful way to start a weekend.

Back in 2012 I posted my Bacon Belgium Waffles and told you about how my mother always use to put one slice of raw bacon across the batter after she had pour it into the waffle iron; and oh what a waffle that made. Once you have tried the bacon in the waffle, you will never want a waffle without bacon.

So, I have this new Paderno Spiralizer machine and was thinking about trying a different version on that waffle. Here’s how the morning progressed. My husband was up early and had already had a bowl of oatmeal so I had to convinced to try my waffle. After spiraling the sweet potato, which took all of about 2 minutes, I proceeded to try and cook them in the waffle iron (see pic below) but when I piled them onto the cooked waffle, they were pretty sad and pathetic looking.

My next step was to try deep frying them which only took about 5 minutes and I had a crunchy pile of coiled sweet potato fries which went on top of the bacon waffle, lathered in butter and surround with some pure maple syrup. Now, this was ready for him to eat and it got a thumbs up.

Then I started thinking of other breakfast ideas where I might use this new gadget of mine. How about some eggs benedict and you make a big pile of white potato curls and pile them high over the bendict or some scrambled eggs on top of a big plate of crunchy curly potatoes. I guess you are getting the idea that I love this new gadget that I got from Amazon.

Continue Reading…

Appetizers/ Bread/ Morning Foods/ Pastries

Granny Hester’s Sweet Potato Biscuits

Wish I knew this Granny.

I don’t often get foods from companies to try out for the blog so I was excited to get a note from Darlene, PPR Communications, Granny Hester’s Sweet Potato Biscuit asking me if I would like to try their sweet potato biscuits. The company is doing some testing in our area in Sam’s Club and she came across my blog. Their sweet potato biscuits are already being sold there and at our Trader Joes.

I love their story of how the biscuit recipe came about. Granny Hester came up with this recipe while experimenting for the perfect biscuit for her husband before he left for the Navy in WWII. The recipe was eventually handed down (like all good grandmothers do) to a granddaughter who started making these biscuits for family and friends and now works out of a 50,000 sq. ft. building (former sock mill) in Ft. Payne, Alabama.

I’ve done sweet potato biscuits before for an appetizer so I couldn’t wait to try out their biscuits with a couple of other recipes. For my first try I used the frozen biscuit, split it and then grilled it on a panini grill and topped with some pulled pork, slaw and pepper rings for a fancy slider for New Year’s Eve. It was really good that way because the biscuit got kind of crisp, almost like a chip.

My second try was using the biscuits with ham and orange marmalade; I made these many times when I catered. Cooked biscuits, split, top with ham and orange marmalade then back in the oven to warm up.

On Granny Hester’s site they have a Sweet Potato Cinnamon Roll made from their biscuits so that was definitely going to be breakfast one Saturday morning and those are in the opening picture.

Continue Reading…

Dessert/ Desserts/ Pastries

Christmas Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce

And I thought I didn’t like bread pudding!

Are you a connoisseur of bread pudding? Do you have your favorite kind of bread, or ingredients? What kind of sauce do you like, Cognac sauce, whiskey, or bourbon or rum sauce?

Honestly, I have always said I don’t like bread pudding; guess I thought it was like just eating more bread with your meal, and who needs that. Then one year I made a Pumpkin Bread Pudding for a catering job and was told by someone who it was one of the best she had eaten. I still didn’t try that recipe until recently and I have to say I enjoyed it very much.

This Christmas Bread Pudding is a recipe from Boudro’s Restaurant in San Antonio and I’ve been told by a friend’s husband (who is a connoisseur of bread puddings) that it is one of the best he has tasted. I decided to change the raisins in Boudro’s recipe to golden raisins and to keep with the season I will add dried cranberries in place of the raisins when I make this Christmas Day.

The name was changed to “Christmas Bread Pudding” because this seems like the perfect dessert for your Christmas dinner and you have to make it before everyone starts counting those nasty calories in January.

Continue Reading…

Morning Foods/ Pastries

Baked Oatmeal with Some Twist

Oatmeal or Boatmeal? Depends on who’s eating it.

Maybe you don’t remember the scene out of Oliver Twist where the little boy is eating gruel (see pics below) but I do and for some reason I think that’s why I never cared for the bowl of mushy stuff. I just never saw the appeal to a bowl of lumpy cereal. Seems like steel cut oats are all the rage these days but when I did the comparison, there doesn’t seem to be that much difference so don’t feel guilty not making that bowl of oatmeal that takes about 45 minutes to cook.

While visiting in Chicago back in September on a cold wintery day (ok, it wasn’t that cold but 40’s is cold coming from Texas) my daughter-in-law, Missy, made some oatmeal for the boys one morning. This wasn’t just plain old oatmeal but it was BOATMEAL with little sails in each boat. She make one chocolate/chocolate and one with cooked cinnamon apples that we had left over from dinner the night before. She uses a basic recipe she found on Pinterest then adds in what she thinks the boys would like. The chocolate/chocolate one she sweetens with banana, syrup and chocolate chips. I’m using a chocolate ganache to sweeten mine because I had some left over ganache from making chocolate martinis one night (I rimmed the glass with it).

Continue Reading…

Bars/ Cake/ Dessert/ Morning Foods

Lemon “Goat” Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Nothing better with a cup of tea than this lemon coffee cake.

Something about the word “lemon” always makes me pucker. Several years ago after returning from Italy I decided I was going to make some
limoncello; we enjoyed it while there and I though how easy could that be to make. So, I go about gathering my ingredients which were a lot of lemons, sugar and vodka. I still think I had either cheap vodka or to0 high of a proof of vodka. Here’s what happened in my little experiment. I did the first stage which might have taken 20 days (not the link I gave you), then I strained it off and did something else to the mixture and I think I had to wait another 20 days. So the morning of the 40th day I couldn’t wait to try it and 8:30 in the morning I poured myself a shot. Wow, it was terrible. I ended up throwing it all away and just bought some at the liquor store.

You won’t throw away this this lemon cake. When I found this recipe at My Lovely Little Kitchen I notice the different cream cheese she used. So when I went to the store to get my ingredients I bought goat milk cream cheese not remembering that she used Greek yogurt cream cheese. I had never heard of either one. When I traced her recipe back to see where she got the idea I ended up at Two In The Kitchen and she had used regular cream cheese and looking further, I saw her recipe came from a fruit filled coffee cake recipe from a Better Homes and Garden book. Interesting how recipes evolve with each time they are baked.

Continue Reading…

Bread/ Morning Foods/ Pastries

My High School Cinnamon Roll

Do you have fond memories of high school?

One of my high school memories that I can close my eyes and am transported back to the 60’s is from my home economics class. I loved home ec class, is that hard to believe? Not really. I liked the sewing somewhat but the cooking was more fun. I don’t remember what we cooked any of the four years that I took Home Ec except for our cinnamon rolls. The class would make these cinnamon rolls and sell them to students during lunch. Could you EVER smell the yeasty, cinnamony aroma up and down the halls of our two-story building. And, the kids couldn’t wait to get a break to go buy one. If I remember correctly, we charged 10 cents each, what a bargain!

Years ago in culinary school one of my instructors told us he had a friend who was a franchise owner of a TJ Cinnamons and that one of their secret ingredients for their cinnamon rolls were crushed “red hot” candies. So, over the years I have made these rolls with and without the cinnamon candies; you can decide whether to add them or not.

Our class also made pecan rolls, which I will also make one day for you to try. They were the gooiest, pecan rolls ever and sticky but in a very good way.

Continue Reading…

Bread/ Morning Foods/ Muffins

Raspberry Muffins with Streusel Topping

Chocolate chips make this raspberry muffin chocolicious.

There is definitely one advantage of growing older. And that is that I don’t have to get up until I’m ready. And, well I can stay up as late as I want watching TV, go anywhere I want to go, when I want to go. I guess there are quite a few advantages. I love going to the movie at 10:30 in the morning and I average 1-2 movies a week (and I do ask for senior rates — didn’t think I would ever be glad to say I wanted “senior rates”).

Do you think “hoarding” is something that happens as we age? I get an upset stomach watching those hoarding shows. I do, on the other hand tend to hoard food; especially berries that I pick in the summer months or in the case of these raspberries that I got for .99 cents and bought 40 cartons to put in the freezer.

So, one Tuesday morning after a good 8 hours of sleep I decided to whip up these muffins to take to my craft circle. Do you see that happening a lot lately? I know they will be eaten. I have to be honest, a few weeks ago, I tried a gluten-free orange muffin and decided to add some extra orange extract. They were AWFUL, tasted like a mouthful of alcohol and when I noticed they were not being eaten, I threw them away. Gluten-free items are not my favorite things to make and I learned my lesson about adding too much extract; and, I would like to be known as that lady who brings “good” stuff.

Continue Reading…

Dessert/ Desserts/ Morning Foods/ Pies/Tarts

Very Berry Breakfast Pudding

Very Berry Breakfast…..

Could there be anything better than a bread pudding for breakfast? This isn’t called a bread pudding probably because who would eat bread pudding for breakfast? Call it Very Berry Breakfast Pudding and it has one drooling over the name alone and you don’t have to wait for dessert to eat it.

The making of bread pudding can be traced back to the 11 and 12th centuries and is popular in many countries with each one having their own twist to the recipe. I’m sure bread pudding came about when there was leftover stale bread in the house and not wanting to waste anything the homemaker added this and that to it and came up with a scrumptious dessert; in this case a breakfast treat.

There are two kinds of websites I like to look to for recipes, Bed and Breakfast sites and Winery sites; I have found delicious recipes from both sites; and this “pudding” will be a welcome breakfast treat any time.

Continue Reading…

Bread/ Morning Foods/ Scones

Walnut Lavender Scones

The scent of the lavender will sweep you away.

You will not be raising your pinky while you are having tea with these scones.

A few years ago (many years ago in fact) at a tea conference I learned two things that stuck with me. One, you never split a scone and put your jam and Devonshire cream on it and put it sandwiched back together (you eat the halves separate); and two, when you drink tea you REALLY aren’t suppose to hold your pinky out. Of course, you can eat and drink however you want but I guess that is correct tea etiquette. Hey, when I drink my tea sometimes it is in a cup with no handle.

I wanted to bring back some lavender from our trip to France a couple of years ago but didn’t; so when I saw this dried culinary lavender in a spice shop in Austin, I just had to buy some. Then, it took me about a year to get around to trying my scone recipe using the lavender to make the most “scentful” walnut scones I have made. And, it didn’t hurt that I had some lavender growing right outside my back door to get in the picture. Picture perfect.

Continue Reading…

Egg Dishes/ Morning Foods

Impossible Ham and Cheese Pie

Not so impossible!

Aren’t you always looking for a new recipe to try out on company? Whether they are family or friends, this is easy and won’t have you up before dawn preparing this yummy treat.

I can just look at the picture above and it gets my mouth-watering. The taste of the melty cheese, the onions and the tiny pieces of ham is what your dreams will be made of when you preparing your breakfast menus for the weekend. Top the impossible pie with some salsa for an extra tang and you have a great breakfast dish.

This recipe can be changed up so many ways; try different cheeses, serve it for brunch, lunch or “breakfast for dinner”, add some jalapeños to the filling. I changed the flour to a King Arthur Gluten Free blend and could not tell it was not made with “real” flour. So, if there are any of you eating gluten-free because you have to or because you want to, try substituting a GF blend; you will be amazed at the results. (A few weeks ago, my grandson, Milo asked me “Gran do you eat gluten-free things because you want to or because you have to?”) The answer is I don’t have to but when I can substitute something gluten-free as the flour in this recipe, I will give it a try.

The Impossible Pie appeared first back in 1968 and was popularized by General Mills and General Foods to help promote their products in making this pie. There are sweet versions and savory version. Just Google “Impossible Pie” and you will be amazed at the different recipes that will come up.

Continue Reading…