breakfast

100 Dandelion Blossom Muffins

100 Dandelion Blossom Muffins

I was teaching a class on cooking with honey. I made these muffins. Since dandelions are blooming now, it seemed like a good choice for last night. The class really enjoyed them.

The curious name for this recipe comes from my own curiosity. I wondered just how many blossoms I would need to get about a cup and a half of petals. I decided to make muffins with some of the dandelions blooming in my yard. I have a lot of dandelions, and I wanted to use a really decent amount in my muffins. I started counting as I trimmed them and  stopped when I had a cup and a half. It turned out to be 100 flowers. So now, if you want to make this recipe, you will know when you can stop picking!!!

If you can’t beat them, eat them. I actually am a big fan of dandelions. I have organized dandelion cook-offs and edited a dandelion cookbook. I eat the leaves, and  a tea made from the roasted roots. The flowers are a wonderful ingredient in cooking, too. They are used to make dandelion wine and I enjoy adding them to fritters, pancakes and other baked goods. So here is my recipe for dandelion muffins.  They are pretty tasty, tender, light and not too sweet.

 

100 Dandelion Blossom Muffins

 

2 c. flour

1 T. baking powder

½ t. salt

1 egg, beaten

1½ c. half and half

1/3 c. honey

¼ c. melted butter

1 t. vanilla

1 t. orange zest

1 ½ c. dandelion petals*

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners or grease them, set aside. In medium bowl, combine flour with baking powder and salt and set aside. In another bowl, combine egg with half and half, honey, butter, vanilla and orange zest. Beat by hand until well mixed. Stir in dandelion blossoms, then stir in flour mixture. Do not over mix. Stir just until flour is mixed in. Spoon batter into prepared pans, filling them about ¾ full. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned on top. Great served warm with butter and honey. Makes 12.

 

* To prepare the dandelion blossoms you want to trim of the tough base and just use the petals in the recipe. Some of the green sepals will get mixed in, and that is OK. Measure the petals after trimming. I picked 100 flowers and ended up with about 1½ cups of petals.

 

Amy’s Hot Cross Buns Bread Pudding

Amy’s Hot Cross Buns Bread Pudding

The first time I made this dish, it was sort of an accident. It was right after Easter, a few years ago. I was having dinner with friends, and I was in charge of making dessert. I had leftover hot cross buns, so I decided to re-purpose them into bread pudding.

The end result was really good. So good, that my friend Amy said it was one of the best desserts I had ever made. I now bake extra hot cross buns, just so I can make bread pudding from them.

 

You could use home made or store bought buns for this recipe. My recipe for hot cross buns is at the bottom of this post.

Amy’s Hot Cross Buns Bread Pudding

12 c. torn up hot cross buns- I used 8 buns

2 c. half and half

1 c. milk – I used almond milk

1 c. sugar- or less if you are using frosted buns

5 eggs

1 T. vanilla

1 T. cinnamon

Frosting:

1 c. powdered sugar

4 t. milk

In large mixing bowl place the torn up buns. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over the buns. Stir to moisten evenly. Spoon mixture into a buttered 9×13-inch pan. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes or until bread pudding is set and a little golden on top. While the bread pudding is baking combine powdered sugar with milk to make a frosting thin enough to drizzle. Let bread pudding cool 10 minutes and drizzle with frosting.  Serves 8-10.

 

Traditional Hot Cross Buns

 

Love you, Amy. Miss you.

 

Veggie “Roses” Tart

Veggie “Roses” Tart

This tart is sure to get some attention at your next party. A flaky crust and cheese filling are topped with veggies. The special part, is that the vegetables are rolled up to resemble roses. Simple and elegant.

It really is easy to make, although a bit time consuming. It can be made a day or two ahead, baked, and then just reheated when you want to serve it. There are three parts to it. The crust- which I made using a favorite pie crust recipe. The filling- a mix of cheeses, eggs and some herbs. Finally the topper. Various veggies, peeled into thin ribbons, wound into little “roses”, and placed on the cheese layer. My friend, Kat, saw a similar creation and posted it. I loved it, and decided to try and create one of these tarts myself. I switched some things from the one she posted. I made my own crust and used some different veggies. So here is how I did it.

The crust:

This is an old family recipe. Simple and flaky. It makes 2 crusts- so I used the other one for another dish. You could make two tarts or freeze the rest for another time.

Flaky Pie Crust

2 c. flour
1 t. salt
3/4 c. shortening, chilled, or use lard or coconut oil, I used coconut oil
1 T. cider vinegar
4-5 T. cold water
Combine flour and salt and cut in shortening. Toss in vinegar and water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough holds together. Use a fork to toss the ingredients together and as soon as the mixture holds together stop adding water. Makes 2. Chill well before using.

The crust was rolled out, using half the dough,  and fitted into a 9-inch tart pan. I blind baked it- to insure it would be cooked through- because the tart doesn’t cook that long. I poked the crust all over with a fork, then I topped the crust with a sheet of foil and then a pound of dry pinto beans. You can use pie weights, if you have them or uncooked rice. I have a jar of pinto beans that I keep just for blind baking. The crust is placed in a 425 degree oven and baked for 15- 20 minutes. It should be taken out of the oven before the edges get too brown. Set aside until you are ready to fill it.

 

The Filling:

I used a combination of cheeses and eggs, with some seasonings. I am not sure I needed the eggs- but I wanted the cheese to set up.

1 (15 oz.) container ricotta cheese

1/2 c. Parmesan cheese

2 eggs

1 t. salt- or to taste

1 t. dried oregano

1 t. dried basil- or 1 T. fresh basil

healthy dash of hot sauce

Combine all ingredients and spread over the crust.

The veggies:

Even though these are listed last, you might want to get them ready ahead of time. I used a vegetable peeler to make “ribbons” out of the veggies I used. You could also use a mandolin, if you have one. Some were going to be hard to roll- so I steamed them in the microwave, in batches, for several minutes. That softened them up and partially cooked them.  They should be tender- they don’t get much softer in the baking process. Dry them off on paper towels.  When I was ready to use them- I grabbed a “ribbon” and rolled it up, adding more ribbons until I had a little “blossom”. As I made them I stuck them in the cheese mixture- already spread over the crust. Sometimes I used 2 veggies in one flower to make it look more interesting. Once the surface was covered, I pressed them down a little so they would all be the same height, roughly. Season with some salt.

I used

2 zucchini

2 yellow summer squash

2 really big carrots – made for wider ribbons

1 really big beet*

I had some pieces left over and just made a stir fry with them.

Baking the tart:

Place the tart on a baking sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for about an hour. Crust should be nice and golden around the edges and the veggies should be tender.

* The beet was the trickiest- but I wanted that pop of red. I peeled the skin off first, then tried to peel the longest pieces I could. Some were a little short, but once steamed, they still worked pretty well. sometimes I’d finish a beet center off with a longer zucchini ribbon to hold it together.

 

Spread cheese mixture over the crust

Spread cheese mixture over the crust

Start placing the "roses" on the cheese mixture

Start placing the “roses” on the cheese mixture

Keep filling in the tart until full.

Keep filling in the tart until full.

Breakfast Pita Pizza

Breakfast Pita Pizza

Breakfast Pita Pizza

I like to use pita bread as a crust for pizza sometimes. I normally go with traditional toppings. This morning I decided to use one of my homemade pita breads for a hearty breakfast style pizza. I started with the pita bread- topped it with a scrambled egg and a drizzle of barbecue sauce. Then I added a cooked sausage patty cubed up. Finished with a little shredded cheddar cheese and then popped it in the toaster oven to heat through. Hearty breakfast for a chilly day.