Category Archives: Breakfast

Breakfast Fried Rice

 

Whenever we order Chinese  I get really excited. Not just because that little chubby kid is coming out of me and I get to indulge in greasy chicken and broccoli and crispy fried dumplings, but also because there is always a ridiculous amount of rice left over! Usually brown rice (you’ve got to be a little healthy when indulging, right?)

 

The beauty of leftover, plain brown rice is that there is an endless slew of possibilities to create a wonderful dish with the initial step taken care of already!

 

This time I used the rice for breakfast. I had sausage, eggs, peas, corn, and leftover rice. Which equals breakfast fried rice!

 

 

 

Breakfast Fried Rice:

 

½ an onion – roughly chopped

4 garlic cloves – roughly chopped

 

1 cup ground pork sausage – I used jimmy deans signature recipe, but breakfast would be good too!

 

2 cups cooked leftover brown rice

1/3 cup peas

1/3 cup corn

4 eggs – whisked

Olive oil

 

 

Start with a large heavy pot – if you have a wok now is the time to use it! Turn the heat on high and add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Toss in the onions and garlic and let them cook until transparent – stir consistently or they will burn.

 

Next add the sausage meat and cook it through until it’s just starting to brown and get crispy, break it apart with a wooden spoon as it cooks.

 

Now add the brown rice, stir to combine. After about two minutes the rice will be warmed through and starting to fry a bit – add more oil if it is sticking too much.

 

Add in the corn and peas and stir in – if frozen give them a few extra minutes to cook through.

 

Once the peas and corn are cooked through (taste test it!) slowly pour oven the egg, stir to incorporate and let it cook for about 4 more minutes or until the egg is obviously cooked in (it will seem to disappear, but will coat rice so that it almost looks curdled)

 

At this point the texture is up to you! I didn’t let it fry too much longer as I was super hungry, but it you want crispier, add a bit more oil, let it keep cooking and be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan!

 

 

Enjoy!

 

Chocolate Cranberry Coconut Granola…Almost a Kitchen Fail.

 

You can’t win’um all folks.

 

This week I wanted to make a batch of granola – something I’ve done many times with consistant success.

 

This week did not want me to make a batch of granola. Timing was off, I didn’t have the ingredients I like to use, and it was a thousand degrees and humid. But I was feeling headstrong and stubborn, so I persisted. The record for me versus the anti-granola-making-energy is a tie leaning towards the anti-granola-making-energy…and easily arguable that that stupid energy won.

 

Normally I use a slew of nuts and seeds and coco nibs and thick luscious liquid to bind everything together, but this time I didn’t have enough of the nuts and my liquid element wasn’t thick enough for everything to come together. I also attribute a lot of the issue to the fact that there was 80% humidity that day. Looking back I realize it was a loosing battle to try and remove the moisture from food when the air quality wants nothing but to surround said food in a bubble of water.

 

With that said. This recipe may be great on another day – add more maple syrup, nuts and chocolate and you’ll have a winner.


 

SIDENOTE: you can tell based on my enthusiasm that I wrote out the recipe before the granola came out of the oven…

 

Chocolate Cranberry Coconut Granola:

1 cup pure cranberry juice – unsweetened

½ cup pure maple syrup – not the fake stuff

½ cup coconut oil

 

4 cups rolled oats – not quick oats

2 cups unsalted raw sunflower seeds

¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

 

½ cup crushed almonds

 

1 ¼ cups shredded coconut – not sweetened

 

In a sauce pan over med-high heat bring the juice, syrup and oil to a soft boil. Meanwhile in a really large mixing bowl combine the rest of the ingredients, excluding the shredded coconut, toss a bit to combine and set aside.

 

Once the sauce is boiling add in the coconut and stir to combine. It will look a little strange – sort of foamy and, quite honestly, a little gross. Let it cook for just a minute, then turn off the stove and pour the mixture over the ingredients in your big bowl. Carefully mix to combine (I have basically thrown granola all over my kitchen trying to mix too hastily).

 

Divide the mixture onto parchment lined cookie sheets or into coconut-oil-greased cupcake tins.

 

If you go for the cookie sheet press the granola into a thin even layer.

 

If you go the cupcake tin direction press the granola down so that it comes up about ¾ of the way up the tin, again make sure it’s even.

 

Bake in the oven at 225’ F for about a half an hour or until it’s nice and golden. Don’t forget to check regularly after the 15 minutes mark as it can go from raw-looking to dragon-fire charred in a matter of seconds.

 

A little trick I’ve picked up with granola is that if you want cereal consistency, break the granola up right away, but if you want clusters or bars let the tray dry COMPLETELY – this is especially necessary for the cupcake tin version. It’s tedious, annoying, and I often don’t have the patience for this, but there is something extra tasty about clustered granola – plus it’s better for travel!

 

 

All-in-all the taste is mostly there it just never got crispy darn it!

 

May you have better luck and more pleasant weather!

 

ENJOY!

Doughnuts! Maple Bacon, Coffee Coffee, and Lemon Poppy Seed!

This morning we took the dog (Albus Dumbledog) to Prospect Park. It was  absolutely beautiful walking near the big lake then latter Albus run free amongst the other doggins as they frolic and chase tennis balls…and then jumped into the lake. Ah the simple pleasures of dog life. I wish I got the same joy out of slobbering on tennis balls, but I alas my palette is more complex. I crave much more involved flavors…like doughnuts (good segway, right?). Today I made doughnuts, mostly just because I wanted doughnuts. Gluten-free doughnuts.

 

 

As an avid Pinterest-er and viewer of food-porn I have stubbled across the lazy-mans homemade doughnut a few times – i.e. grands biscuits. Though I couldn’t bring myself to try that version, I was inspired by the concept of biscuit + frying = doughnut. So I grabbed a bag of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-free Biscuit/baking flour mix. I have to say this was an amazingly successful experiment!

 

Doughnuts:

2 eggs plus one yolk – whisked until foamy

3 tbsp butter – whipped

½ cup sugar

1 24oz bag of bob’s Red Mill gluten free biscuit/baking flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tbsp tapioca flour

pinch of salt

1 1/3 cup buttermilk

 

 

Fill a deep pot with 5 inches of corn oil, and heat on med-high.

 

Combine eggs sugar and butter. Sift flours, powder, soda and salt then combine with the egg mixture. Slowly add the buttermilk with the mixer on. Mix just until combined.

 

 

Dump the dough onto a floured surface and roll out to an inch thick. If you have biscuit cutters here’s your chance to use them. If, like me, you do not have biscuit cutters it’s time to get creative! I used a juice cup for the big circle, then cut a plastic bottle in half and used the open spout to cut out the center doughnut hole (see the photo).

 

 

 

 

 


Try to get the most out of the first rolling – the second gets a little denser.  This recipe made about 2-dozen doughnuts and after a certain point I decided to just tear off pieces and make a bunch of doughnut holes.

 

Test the oil to make sure it’s hot enough with a small piece of dough – it should bubble and sizzle when you drop it in and rise to the top very quickly. Carefully drop in your doughnuts three at a time (depending on your pot size, just don’t crowd them or the oil will loose too much heat). Flip when the edges are noticeably golden – about a minute. Flip again after a minute, then remove after ten seconds.

 

 

Dip in glaze then sprinkle with decorative items.

 

 

Doughnut toppings:

To make a glaze combine equal parts liquid and sugar – if it seems to thin add more sugar. Adjust as you need to.

 

Maple Bacon:

Maple Syrup

Confectioners Sugar

Sprinkle crispy bacon

 

 

Coffee Coffee:

Manhattan Special coffee soda

Confectioners sugar

Sprinkle with ground espresso

 

 

Lemon Poppy Seed:

Lemon juice

Confectioners Sugar

Sprinkle glazed doughnut with peppy seeds

  

 

Lavender Sugar:

Dried lavender flowers

Granulated sugar

 

 

Cinnamon Sugar:

Cinnamon

Granulated sugar

 

 

I was a little impatient with my glazing – it will stay on better if you give the doughnuts a chance to cool down first…I didn’t wait because I couldn’t. Either way these are my kind of doughnuts, they’re crispy yet soft and not too sweet. The perfect fit for my whim of a craving.

 

ENJOY!

 

 

Grandma Aurora’s Pecan Pie Muffins (made Gluten-free)

Today is one of those chilly, breezy days where everything smells fresh and familiar. As though everything you see is a memory of something wonderful, long forgotten. It’s the kind of day that makes me think of my childhood and my favorite things to do as a kid. One of which was cooking with my Grandmother. This past christmas she and my Grandfather gave me a recipe box that they made from crab bushel wood (they live on the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia).  The box is filled with my grandmothers recipes. It’s really an adult treasure chest.

 

 

Going with the sentiment of the day I decided to whip out the recipe box and choose something to whip up. I chose my Grandma’s Pecan Pie Muffins. They are chewy, crunchy, buttery, nutty goodness. They aren’t too similar to regular muffins – they aren’t as dense, there is no “top of the muffin” and they don’t really rise that much. BUT they are freaking amazing and, for me, a perfect way to travel back to my grandma’s kitchen

 

 

Grandma Aurora’s Pecan Pie Muffins (made Gluten-free): 

1 cup chopped raw pecans

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

½ gluten-free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill All-purpose)

1 heaping tsp baking powder

sprinkle of salt

2 large eggs

½ cup (1 stick) melted butter

splash of Grand Marnier  (or other orange liquor, or vanilla extract, or experiment, or leave it out)

 

 

Combine the flour and sugar, add in the nuts and salt. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs until foamy/bubbly, then slowly drizzle in the melted butter whisking continuously (if you dump it all in at once you’ll end up with scrambled eggs. Ew.)

 

Pour the egg mixture over the flour/nut mixture and stir to combine. Splash in your Grand Marnier and mix it in.

 

This is a very runny batter so don’t be scared if it looks different than other muffin batters…the emphasis is really on “Pie”.

 

Pour into a greased or paper lined muffin pan filling each section about ¾ full.  These muffins don’t rise that much (even the non-gluten free version stays pretty low).

 

Cook in a 350’ F oven for 10-15 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and perfectly crunchy looking.

 

This batch makes twelve muffins.

 

 

 

 
 

 

One of my favorite things about my Grandmother is how she always remembers good stories and little details about everybody. For example, she always has honey out for me in the morning to go with my coffee even though I’m the only only one who drinks it that way. She also gives the absolute best presents and somehow makes them even more special than the inherit specialness (yes that’s a word). On my recipe box she added a reminder of a very funny afternoon I spent with them down in Virginia.

 

We were eating lunch on their front porch under a giant umbrella when we noticed a tree frog perched high up on the shaft. We had been hearing this frog for a while, but couldn’t figure out where he was, so we were all very excited when we finally discovered him hiding in the umbrella. He seemed perfectly content to just hang out while we were eating and we went about preparing our lunch – wraps. I had a wrap layer on my palm to which I had just applied some mayo – I like more mayo than I should – and was reaching for the mustard…and that’s when Mr. Frog decided he didn’t want to be on the umbrella anymore, so he jumped down, landed on my chest and I smashed my mayo loaded wrap into my own face!

 

The frog hopped off of me and onto a tree branch before I even knew what happened, and of course the next ten mayo-covered minutes were spent in hysterics over the ridiculousness of the whole scene!

 

On top of my recipe box my Grandmother painted that green frog. Every time I see it I am both a smiling fool and have a strong desire to wash my face.

 

 

I really need to get back down to Virginia.

 

 

ENJOY!