Tag Archives: Breakfast

Maple Sausage, Pepper, & Potato Breakfast Casserole

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Husbands ask for a lot of things…and some requests are harder to grant than others. Like when they try to convince you that entertaining the idea of them growing a mustache for a month will make them look cool or when they think its a good idea to watch television in place of folding laundry. Thankfully, one for a breakfast casserole was something I could happily oblige to. Not only does it make husband happy (and possibly more inclined to fold laundry while watching football) it’s easy to throw together and tastes amazing.

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mmmm cheese and sausage, what more could you ask for?

Here’s a little story for all of you, we’re friends now right? It seems as though we’ve had a pretty steady friendship for the past 6 months and I feel ready to open up to all of you. Anyhow, now that we’ve established our virtual relationship, here’s the story. This one time, my very sweet husband, thought it would be a great idea to cook me breakfast. He actually surprised me while I was still sleeping. I woke up to a very proud husband. Matt announced, “I made you eggs!” I smiled and was excited about his very thoughtful gesture. He poured me a glass of orange juice and said “Not only did I make you breakfast, but there is a secret ingredient!” Yeah, I was worried too. So I smiled, picked up a forkful of the mystery eggs. I couldn’t even chew it….it tasted that bad! I gulped it down. Care to guess what was in them? Maple syrup, hot peppers, and feta cheese. Don’t get me wrong, these are actually a few of my favorite things. Mixed into eggs together however, not so great. I politely ate my whole plate but I’ll tell you I sure didn’t ask for seconds…

The Ingredients: 

Makes an 8 x 8 pan

  • 8 0z frozen of potatoes  
  • 5 eggs scrambled
  • 1 lb of breakfast sausage
  • 1/2 red pepper & 1/2 yellow pepper, diced
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup of freshly grated cheese, I used pepperjack (I actually roughly chopped a block of cheese and put it in my food processor to grate it; great time saving tip!)
  • Salt and pepper

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Pomegranate and White Chocolate Scones

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I can’t even begin to explain how much I love a good pastry in the morning with my coffee. My brain sometimes tells me that it’s a bad idea, but look how delicious these scones look. How bad could they be? Thankfully I figured out a way to make them taste fantastic but not be a huge calorie bomb like many of the purchased baked goods (for example a blueberry scone from Starbucks is almost 500 calories per serving; gasp! but they’re so good!). Now you can have your cake (scone) and eat it too. This recipe only has a few tablespoons of sugar and absolutely no butter. Seems too good to be true doesn’t it? Seriously though, you won’t believe how good they taste until you give them a try.

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Feeling less guilty about drooling over them yet?

The flavor combination may seem a little weird to some, but it’s actually pretty amazing. I found myself with about 4 cups of pomegranate seeds after buying two gigantic softball sized pomegranates and needed to find a creative way to use them. I started reminiscing about some chocolate covered pomegranate candies I’ve had in the past and voila a new recipe was created. If you’re not sold on the flavor paring feel free to add blueberries, strawberries, diced apples etc. instead. Hope you enjoy them! They are a fantastic treat and ridiculously easy to make.

The Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 3 tbs of sugar
  • 3 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • zest of one small orange
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 1/4 cup  half and half (or substitute half regular milk if heavy cream now makes this recipe horrifying to you)

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White Cheddar, Chive, and Sage Biscuits and Chorizo Gravy

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White Cheddar, Chive, and Sage Biscuits and Chorizo Gravy

Homemade biscuits are one of my favorite things to make…not too mention they are simple and delicious! Once you try them, you’ll honestly never go back to buying canned biscuits again. I have a recipe that’s from right near my hometown that I have been using for years, with fantastic results every time. Today I decided to add 1/4 cup of aged white cheddar, 1/2 tsp of chives, and a small amount of chopped sage to my favorite biscuit recipe.  I hope that you’ll give them a try soon! You’ll have them prepared and in the oven in less than 10 minutes.

I know for some, the idea of making homemade gravy is a little daunting. I have a slurry maker from Pampered Chef that makes this task super easy. All I do is add a few tablespoons of flour to about a cup of milk with fresh cracked black pepper and within 5 minutes of cooking a delicious gravy is formed. If you don’t have a slurry maker, you can make this without problem by whisking together the flour and milk together before adding it to your pan. It’s really that simple!

The Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of chorizo sausage or sausage of your choice; ours was spicy chorizo so I didn’t have to add many spices but if you buy plain I’d recommend adding red pepper flakes, black pepper, and fresh herbs
  • 3 tbs flour
  • 1 cup of milk + more to add to pan until desired amount of gravy is made
  • Salt and fresh cracked black pepper

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100% Whole Wheat Waffles. A Sunday Favorite.

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100% Whole Wheat Waffles. A Sunday Favorite.

I love waffles almost as much as I love pancakes. I especially love whole wheat waffles because they act as a great complex carbohydrate that keeps me feeling full longer. Eating carbohydrates in the morning sets your body up to have a lot of great energy for the morning and afternoon. Eating carbohydrates also ensures that your body burns exactly what it’s supposed to: stored carbohydrates and fat. If you skip breakfast, your body actually gets tricked into storing fat instead of burning fat because it views the lack of food consumption as a “threat.” As a result your body stores fat (think your body’s very own rainy day fund) for the impending tough times ahead. Not only does your body store fat, it uses protein from your muscles for fuel instead. Using your muscles for fuel leads to muscle break down. Never good. If you eat the right kind of carbohydrates, you’re actually doing your body a favor and setting yourself up for great results in the gym. Simple carbohydrates (think white sugar, breakfast pastries, white bread etc.) are the enemy–they spike your blood sugar and when eating them in excess, encourage your body to pack on the pounds. No bueno. So no more feeling guilty about ingesting the right kind of carbohydrates–complex carbs are the good guys.

Anyway, these waffles definitely do the job of keeping you full because they are super hearty–seriously, I only eat one and I am satisfied for hours. If you’re not sold on eating just whole wheat waffles or if you don’t think that you’ll like the taste, I have a few alternative suggestions for you. If you add a few tablespoons of orange juice to the whole wheat batter, the orange juice actually cuts down on the classic nutty taste (I absolutely love this taste though). Don’t worry though, you can’t actually taste the citrus flavor. If you don’t have orange juice and are still nervous, you can always just substitute half all purpose flour until you are feeling more brave. I hope you enjoy them!

The Ingredients:

Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour–I used King Arthur Flour 100% Whole Wheat
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar–I’m sure sugar or agave would work equally as well 
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk–I microwave mine for about 30-45 seconds to get the chill off 
  • 1/3 cup canola oil–I usually make substations to keep oil out of my recipes, but keeping the oil in this recipe is actually kind of a must if you enjoy crispy waffles. It’s the secret to getting them crispy and not soggy. I’m sure you could reduce it to a lower amount, but I haven’t really messed with the amount yet
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons of quality vanilla
  • Add a splash of orange juice if you want to reduce the nutty flavor

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The Best Pancakes Ever…Seriously…

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The Best Pancakes Ever…Seriously…

I absolutely adore pancakes. I especially love whole wheat ones because of the nutty flavor the whole wheat flour imparts. This pancake recipe is so simple and so delicious you’ll never buy boxed pancake mix again. I’ve tested a lot of recipes, being a huge pancake aficionado, but have been using this particular recipe exclusively for the past 5 years or so. I have no idea where I found it either because I literally had it scribbled on a torn piece of paper before I memorized it. These pancakes really lend themselves to creativity–I sometimes sprinkle pumpkin pie spice into the batter, add chocolate chips, or even splash apple cider into the batter in the fall. I always add cinnamon and vanilla to my pancake batters because those two flavors always register as comfort food for me.

The pancakes are so tall, light, and fluffy. All of the key factors in a fabulous pancake. If you’ve never made from scratch pancakes before, you’ll be glad you tried these. I serve mine with Maine Blueberry Syrup…it is the best! Real syrup is such a great investment compared to the artificial counterpart–for me it really does make all the difference in the world. These really are the best pancakes I’ve ever tried–I hope you love them as much as I do!

The Ingredients:

Makes 6  Medium Pancakes–Family greater than 3, I’d recommend to double the recipe 

  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (I used King Arthur’s) or all-purpose flour if that’s all you have
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • A generous sprinkle of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice 

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Heavenly Baked Pumpkin Donut Holes

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Heavenly Baked Pumpkin Donut Holes

One of my favorite things about fall is when Starbucks brings back the Pumpkin Spice Latte! Though I’m not ready for fall yet, I was craving pumpkin so I decided I would try to find a recipe to fulfill my craving. Boy did I succeed! These pumpkin doughnut holes are quite possibly my favorite thing I’ve ever made for breakfast. I can’t even tell you the last time I’ve had a doughnut–I can never bring myself to eat one even if I have the most severe cravings because I know they are fried and filled with fat. Besides the butter & sugar in this recipe, these are a pretty solid option to fulfill your craving without going overboard. I honestly didn’t adjust the doughnuts to look like they are glowing either–I swear they glow on their own they are that heavenly. Matt had a request for a cream cheese glaze that put these doughnuts even more over the top! They are so delicious–you won’t be disappointed!

 

The Ingredients:

Recipe adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod 

Yield: 24-30 donut holes

Cook Time: 10-12 minutes

For the Donuts:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup wheat flour (don’t have whole wheat flour? Substitute with another 1/2 cup of all purpose)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice 
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup canned plain pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/2 cup milk

For the Cinnamon Sugar Coating:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon

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Egg and Potato Breakfast Tartlets

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Egg and Potato Breakfast Tartlets

How awesome is it to not have any plans on Saturday morning? Very. Matt and I stayed in bed a few hours longer than usual. We watched the Tour de France and delayed our usual Saturday morning workout. I pulled myself out of bed around 11am to start throwing together a quick breakfast. I checked in our fridge and saw that we had an 8oz can of the Pillsbury seamless dough. I’m usually very anti canned anything–but actually picked up a few of these cans because I had a coupon and they were on sale one day in the grocery, so I actually brought them home for free. Not a bad deal–plus I realized they had potential to become something quick and delicious. So I’ll let my distaste for prepackaged food slide just for today.

Anyhow, I decided to create Egg & Potato Tarts. All you need is a muffin pan and you can create them too–in less than 20 minutes including cooking time. They will also impress if you decide to have a few friends over for brunch. Plus they really can be made into whatever you want them to be! I’ve made several variations from bacon, egg, & cheese to poblano, corn & egg. All equally delicious and just requires a little imagination. It’s also essentially a one pan meal–so not only is it quick to pull together, you also don’t have to waste your time doing dishes and cleaning up afterward.

The Ingredients:

  • 1 oz can of seamless pastry dough
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Frozen Potatoes–Mine were the Potatoes O’Brien so they already had onions & peppers added in
  • Cheese–I used Mozzarella
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Cooking Spray

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Strawberry Peanut Butter Wraps

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Strawberry Peanut Butter Wraps

Sometimes it is really hard to convince yourself to eat breakfast in the morning but you have to because it really is the most important meal of the day. Your body uses food–primarily carbohydrates (this is your body’s favorite food to fuel source)–as it’s go to source for energy. It’s important to eat a healthy, balanced diet to not only keep your metabolism going but to also keep your brain functioning on early mornings. I know some people skip meals in order to reduce their calorie intake because they think that this will help them burn stored fat–well, unfortunately the body doesn’t quite work that way.

Skipping meals is actually bad for your metabolism. The body gets tricked into preservation mode when you don’t eat enough calories/a balanced diet. What does preservation mode mean? It means that your body is actually tricked into storing fat/won’t give up fat because it thinks that there are impending bad times ahead–you can thank evolution for this phenomena. When food used to be scare, our bodies would store and hold onto as much fat as possible–think of it as your bodies very own rainy day fund.

This is what really happens in the body.

  • Body breaks down carbohydrates –> energy
  • Once carbohydrate stores are depleted–>body looks for other sources to break down for fuel in the body…
  • HEALTHY BODIES (diets rich in protein/complex carbs)–> body will breakdown stored fat –> energy
  • NOT SO HEALTHY BODIES (i.e. not enough calorie intake/not a balanced diet): body goes into preservation mode –> body skips fat break down–> body breaks down protein for fuel

What this all means? If you don’t ingest enough protein and carbs, your body will actually start munching on its own muscles for fuel. Not good!

Extreme athletes that push themselves to extreme limits will use protein as a source of energy after all other stores are depleted–but they also know how to replenish protein quickly so it doesn’t do damage to their bodies. The average person–who say is walking to work–shouldn’t be using protein as a source of energy at all. That’s why it is important to eat a diet that has both protein and healthy carbs. One of my favorite college professors always used to tell us “Carbohydrate ingestion–spares protein breakdown”–as you can tell she was anti the extreme low carb diets. So what she was saying is that if you eat enough complex carbohydrates–your body will never go into that preservation mode & burn your muscle tissue. What it is really all about is feeding your body the right kind of carbs–complex carbs, in place of insulin spiking simple carbs. My strawberry peanut butter wraps offer a great source of protein and complex carbs with a side of antioxidants & vitamin C from the strawberries. It is a great on the go snack/breakfast–just wrap it in aluminum foil and eat it burrito style on the go. Couldn’t be more simple or tasty.

The Ingredients:

  • Multigrain tortillas
  • Peanut or Almond Butter
  • Sliced strawberries
  • Raw Agave syrup for drizzling