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Archive for the category “Breakfast”

Best Granola Recipe Ever

I made some granola from a recipe by Laura of Wholesome Junk Food and loved it.  I gave the recipe to my sister and she loved it.  She told me later that she had passed the recipe on to several other people who had tried it and loved it.  I recently gave the recipe to my cousin, who is enjoying it, and now her sister wants the recipe too.  Obviously time for a Smorgasbite recipe post!

Honey Toasted Granola
Adapted from The Wholesome Junk Food Cookbook by Laura Trice
Yield: 6 cups

4 cups rolled oats
1 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds (I often use a variety of nuts/seeds, combining to 2c)
2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup sugar (I usually omit this)
2/3 cup honey (can substitute maple syrup)
1/2 cup oil (olive, canola, whatever)

1. Preheat oven to 325. Grease shallow 14 x 11 inch pan.

2. Combine dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately and then mix well. Spoon into prepared pan, firmly patting the mixture to the edges.

3. Bake for 30 minutes, turning the pan and stirring every 10 minutes or until golden brown.  (I find it often takes longer but that may be because I usually make a double batch. Just bake until it’s golden brown, that’s the key.)

Simply Suppers’ Lemon Pound Cake

My friend Rachel hosted a Saturday brunch a couple of weeks ago.  My contribution was Lemon Pound Cake from the cookbook Simply Suppers by Jennifer Chandler, a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu in Paris.  Thanks to Katie for sending me this cookbook; I’ve been loving many of its recipes.

Glazed Lemon Pound Cake
1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened, plus extra to grease the loaf pan
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra to flour the loaf pan
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter-flavor all-vegetable shortening
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest

For the Lemon Glaze:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons water

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.

2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, shortening, and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs and mix until well combined. Add the reserved flour mixture and mix until well blended. Add the milk, vanilla extract, lemon extract, and lemon zest. Stir to blend. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean,
about 60 to 70 minutes. While it is still in the pan, pierce several holes in the cake with a knife or skewer. Prepare the glaze and top before the cake is completely cooled or removed from the pan.

4. To make the glaze: In a small bowl combine the melted butter, sugar, lemon juice, and water.  Stir until the sugar has dissolved, about 1 to 2 minutes. Pour the glaze over the cake and let the cake sit in the pan until the glaze is fully absorbed, about 20 minutes.

5. Remove from the pan and transfer to a serving plate. Serve at room temperature.

Serves 8.

Camping Oatmeal

The summer I was 12 years old, my friend Emily and I attended a hard-core canoeing camp in the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness Area of northern Minnesota.

It was on this trip that I learned an incredible fact about camping: that it makes all food taste amazing, regardless of its actual quality/flavor.

This fact was confirmed a couple of weeks ago when my husband and I ventured north of the city to camp and hike.  Breakfast was incredibly simple: rolled oats boiled in water over a camp stove, with raisins, walnuts and cinnamon added thereafter.

Result?  Best. Oatmeal. Ever.

Recipe: Taste of Home’s Honey-Oat Granola Bars

I had a small gathering of friends over on Friday night to watch some livestream of TED 2010 in Long Beach.

We decided on a potluck approach to the evening so, among other things, I whipped up a batch of some Honey-Oat Granola Bars from the Taste of Home Cookbook, Cooks Who Care edition (by the people who publish Taste of Home cooking magazine- free issue offer on the website).

This is a pretty new cookbook, and it’s enormous with over 1300 recipes in every category imaginable.  A person’s name and hometown is associated with each recipe, which gives me that all-fuzzy-inside feeling.  You know, if Marlys in Cincinnati loves this recipe, it must be good 😉   I’ve noticed the ingredients tend to be budget-friendly and many of the recipes could likely be made with staples you already have in the pantry.

The Taste of Home Cookbook also features 21 heart-warming stories of people helping others through food-related efforts. The Cooks Who Care cookbook ed. celebrates the recipes and charitable acts performed by Cooks Who Care. The hope is that these stories and recipes will hopefully inspire others to make a difference in their communities.

I added a meyer lemon glaze to the top of mine to add a bit of festivity.

Honey-Oat Granola Bars with Meyer Lemon Glaze


4 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup chopped salted peanuts
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup sunflower kernels
3/4 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. In a large bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, peanuts, chocolate chips and sunflower kernels. Stir in the butter, honey and vanilla until combined (mixture will be crumbly). Press into a greased parchment paper-lined 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan.

2. Bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes or until browned and bubbly. Cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack; cut into squares. Cool completely before removing from pan. Yield: 3 dozen.


1 Meyer lemon (can substitute regular lemon)
1-1.5 cups powdered sugar

1. Place powdered sugar in a small bowl.  Squeeze lemon over bowl so juice pours into bowl, being careful to catch any seeds.  Whisk until combined and smooth.

2. Pour over honey-oat granola bars.

Thanks to Anjali for sending me this cookbook!

Recipe: Raspberry Orange Muffins

It’s been fruit, fruit, fruit and more fruit lately.  I think I’m ready for spring and summer.

This Raspberry-Orange muffin recipe and photo come from Driscoll’s.  They are quite orange-y tasting which set them apart from other orange muffins I’ve had in the past (which have tended to be more orange colored than orange flavored).

Raspberry – Orange Muffins
My oh-so-typical substitutions: Whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour; walnut oil instead of canola oil; plain yogurt instead of sour cream.

1            6 ounce package Driscoll’s raspberries
1 ¾        cups whole wheat flour
1 ½        teaspoons baking powder
½           teaspoon baking soda
½           cup plain yogurt
½           cup packed brown sugar
¼           cup walnut oil
2-3         teaspoons grated orange zest (about 1 orange)
¼           cup orange juice
1            large egg

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Line a muffin tin with 10 paper liners or coat with cooking spray.
3. Rinse and drain berries. Pat dry with paper towel.
4. Stir together flour, baking powder and baking soda in a small bowl.
5. Combine sour cream, brown sugar, oil, zest, juice and egg in a large bowl. Stir in flour until partially moistened.  Add raspberries and stir in gently until evenly mixed.  Do not over-stir.
6. Divide batter evenly between muffin cups, filling each about ¾ full.
7. Bake 20 minutes until golden brown and toothpick inserted comes out clean.
8. Cool in pan 5 minutes.  Serve warm or remove and place on wire rack to cool completely.

Bagels Homemade: Sesame, onion and salt

I consider most Saturday mornings productive if I get up, perk some coffee and read a few sections of the New York Times all before noon.  Compared to many weekends during college, this is, after all, an improvement.

This morning, I forever raised the bar for Saturday Morning Productivity.  I made homemade bagels.  Yeast, water, sugar, salt, flour, kneading, resting, rising, shaping, boiling, and baking.  They’re perfect and delicious.

I followed this recipe by Aimee of Under the High Chair and, gasp, I followed the recipe exactly.  Double gasp, this included using white flour.  I did keep the raw cane sugar for the sugar.  And I did allow myself one creative flourish for a topping: dehydrated onions mixed with salt.  (Poppy seeds and salt on the rest.)

Here’s the biggest shock, though.  How does Aimee, a mother of two wee ones, manage to make homemade bagels?  And how find time did she videotape herself shaping the dough for the helpful video tutorials?  And how does she clean everything?

‘Cause I just glanced in my kitchen, and it looks like a flour mill and a poppy seed factory exploded simultaneously.

Good thing some productivity can be postponed until the late afternoon.

Spiced Peach Cranberry Compote

Spiced jarred peaches and cranberries come together for a delicious warm compote. Perfect for Christmas morning or… even Christmas Eve morning!

Spiced Peach Cranberry Compote

Recipe by Hilary

1 28-oz jar Rosie’s Spiced Peaches
1 bag frozen or fresh cranberries
Dash of cinnamon
Sugar to taste

1. Drain syrup from jarred peaches into heavy medium saucepan.  Add cranberries and stir.  Heat on medium, covered, stirring occasionally, until cranberries pop.

2. Think about how large you want your peaches to be in the compote.  If you’re serving the dish on its own plate, perhaps you want to keep the peaches as halves.  Or, maybe you want them to be smaller, in which case you should cut them now.  Also, discard the couple of cloves from the jarred peaches- they’ll be difficult to remove (and to remember to remove) from the final dish.

3. Add peaches to cranberries and stir.  Sprinkle the dash of cinnamon (being careful not to let it get clumpy) and stir again.  Add a bit of sugar and taste.  Then continue adding sugar until you’re happy with the level of sweetness.

4. Serve warm.

*I was very pleased with Rosie’s Spiced Peaches (Stello Foods) in this recipe.  The peaches are beautiful and the spices add a wintry flavor and aroma to the compote.  You could also use your own canned peaches and spices.  Fresh peaches technically could work, but fresh peach season doesn’t align with hot-fruit-compote season so well. 

Recipe: Mufcake = muffin plus cupcake

The dividing line between muffin and cupcake has always been a bit hazy.

I think people prefer to say “muffin” when they’re eating it before noon and when they’re trying to be healthy.

Once, at Perkins Restaurant in Minnesota, the “muffin of the day” was double chocolate chip with cappuccino frosting. The worst part? I ordered it.

To be fair, my mufcakes are nutritious: whole wheat, 5 bananas and cocoa powder (full of antioxidants).

Chocolate Banana Whole Wheat Mufcakes

Adapted from Pinch My Salt, a San Diego-based food blog

1/2 C. (1 stick) butter
1 C. sugar (per usual, I used raw/unrefined)
2 eggs
1.5 C. mashed ripe banana (~5 bananas)
1 t. vanilla
1/4 C. half and half
2 C. whole wheat pastry flour
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/2 C cocoa powder

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. In a large bowl, mix butter, sugar, eggs, bananas and vanilla.
4. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder.
5. Stir the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients.
6. Pour this mixture into muffin tins that have been greased or lined with paper cups. (I made 6 large mufcakes and 12 mini mufcakes.)
7. Bake for 45-60 minutes, depending on size of muffins- use a toothpick to test. Cool at least 10 minutes.

To emphasize muffin-ness, spread with peanut butter and banana slices.

To emphasize cupcake-ness, top with chunky coconut frosting.

Recipe: Apple Buttermilk Bread or Muffins

With a bushel of apples from our pick-your-own adventure, I’ve been creating a few apple recipes.

I’m currently serving on a jury and I brought in this bread one morning last week to share with my fellow jurors.

It is not very sweet, the buttermilk is palatable, and there is a subtle, surprising fusion of sugar and salt. At least that was my interpretation.

The other jurors simply said, “Mmmm.”

Apple Buttermilk Bread or Muffins

Adapted from 101 Cookbooks, a great recipe/wholesome food blog

2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup demerara sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled a bit
1 T lemon juice
1 medium apple, cored and diced
3 tablespoons large grain raw sugar
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat oven to 400F degrees, racks in the middle. Grease and flour muffin tins if you’re making muffins or a loaf pan if you’re making bread. (Parchment paper also works for the loaf pan.)

Combine the flour, baking powder, and sugar and salt in a large bowl. In a separate smaller bowl whisk together the eggs and the buttermilk, whisk in the melted butter, and add the lemon juice. Pour the buttermilk mixture over the flour mixture and stir until just combined – try not to over mix. Batter will be lumpy.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, pushing out toward the edges. Now place the apple pieces across top. It’s okay if they overlap a little, but try to cover the entire surfaces of the bread/muffins. Sprinkle with the large grain sugar and then the salt. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until cake is set (or a toothpick in the center comes out clean), and a touch golden on top. Muffins may take a bit less depending on their size. My yield was one shallow loaf pan (perfect for snack-sized slices for 12 angry men 9 happy jurors) and 6 medium-to-large muffins.

Recipe: Apple Cinnamon Granola

There are two types of people: those who eat breakfast and those who don’t.

Thankfully, this recipe works for both types. Granola is tasty with milk in the morning but is also good in the afternoon or as a midnight snack.

There are a lot of granola recipes out there but I have to admit that most just don’t cut it for my no-nonsense, minimal-fuss and, perhaps most importantly, dishwashing-avoiding priorities. Melting butter, mixing things in various bowls, etc etc… and by then I don’t even read the rest of the steps.

Apple Cinnamon Granola the Easy and Healthy Way

Recipe by Hilary

2 cups rolled oats

1/4 cup demerara sugar mixed with 1/4 cup water

1 small gala apple

1/2 Tbsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400F. Put parchment paper on the biggest cookie sheet you own. Spread rolled oats evenly on top and pour sugar/water mixture on top. Sprinkle cinnamon. Cut apple (with skin) into little pieces and add. Bake for 20-30 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes, until oats turn golden brown. Apples will be a little shriveled.

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