breakfast

Orange Oatmeal Scones

Orange Oatmeal Scone

I just love fresh scones, still warm from the oven. These scones have a nice, crunchy outside and crumbly, tender middle. The orange juice and orange zest gives them a wonderful flavor. The oatmeal gives them a lovely texture and the raisins add just a bit if sweetness.

These are great served warm, topped with sweet butter and jam. They are perfect for breakfast or brunch.

You can also use these scones as the base for a berry shortcake. Split, topped with sweetened berries and some whipped cream, they turn into a simple and tasty dessert.

 

 

Orange Oatmeal Scones

2 1/2 cups flour
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup very cold, unsalted butter – cut into chunks
1 egg
1/2 cup orange juice
2 t. grated orange peel
1 cup raisins – plumped and well dried
Glaze
milk, sugar, orange zest

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (double two sheets if you have them – one inside the other). Preheat oven to 425 F. In a large bowl, place flour, oatmeal, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda and mix together. Cut or rub in butter to make a mealy mixture. Stir in egg and orange juice. Add orange peel and raisins. Mix to make a soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead for a few minutes. Roll or pat out into a thickness of 1/2 inch. Using a serrated cookie cutter cut into disks or rounds. Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar and orange zest. Bake until nicely browned – about 14 minutes. Makes about 24.

Pancake and Waffle Recipes

Vanilla and Cinnamon Belgian Waffles

Breakfast in bed is a great way to thank Mom. You don’t have to wait for Mother’s Day, either.

Whether eaten in bed, or around the table, nobody complains when you make waffles or pancakes for breakfast. I  assembled some of my favorite waffle and pancake recipes, so you could pick the one just right for Mom.

I also included recipes for some of the fruit toppings and syrups. Some of the recipes call for baking mix, so I included a recipe to make your own.

 

 

Vanilla and Cinnamon Belgian Waffles

2 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 t. cinnamon
2 eggs, separated
1-1/2 cups half and half- or milk
1 cup butter, melted
2 t. vanilla extract

Sliced fresh strawberries, powdered sugar or syrup

In a bowl, combine dry ingredients. In another bowl, lightly beat egg yolks. Add milk, butter and vanilla; mix well. Stir into dry ingredients just until combined. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into batter. Bake in a preheated waffle iron according to manufacturer’s directions until golden brown. Serve with strawberries, powdered sugar or syrup. Yield: 10 waffles (about 4-1/2 inches).

 

Pumpkin Waffles

¾ c. mashed, cooked pumpkin or winter squash
½ c. flour
1 egg, beaten
¾ c. half and half or milk
1 T. melted butter or oil
1 tsp. baking powder
1 t. cinnamon
½ t. nutmeg
½ tsp. salt
Pinch of cloves

Combine all ingredients, mixing until smooth. Cook in prepared waffle iron until golden brown.

Chocolate Therapy Waffles

 2 eggs, room temperature

1/2 stick butter, melted and cooled

1 t. vanilla

1 c. buttermilk

1 c. flour

3/4 c. sugar

1/2 c. cocoa

1 t. cinnamon

1/2 each baking powder and baking soda

1/4 t. salt

1/4 t. nutmeg

Beat first three ingredients until light and foamy, about 2 minutes. Stir in milk. Beat in dry ingredients just until blended. Bake until waffles are cooked through. Makes 4 cups batter. Serve with whipped butter or sour cream and fresh fruit. I like them just dusted with powdered sugar, too.

Bacon Waffles

1 pound sliced bacon
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, separated
1½ cups milk
¼ cup butter, melted
In a skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Drain; crumble and set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Beat egg yolks, milk and butter; stir into dry ingredients until smooth. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into batter. Add bacon. Before making each waffle, stir batter. Bake in a preheated waffle iron according to manufacturer’s directions until golden brown.

Orange Pecan Waffles

2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 t. orange zest
2 eggs
1 cup orange juice
½ c. milk
½ c. melted butter
1 T. vanilla
¾ c. pecans. Note: Probably would have been better to chop them up a little. I just tossed them in the batter whole.

Whisk together dry ingredients and set aside. Beat together remaining ingredients and add to dry ingredients mixing until smooth. Cook in a waffle iron until crisp.

Blueberry Pancakes

2 c. biscuit mix*
1 c. milk
2 eggs
1 c. fresh or frozen blueberries

Combine mix, milk and eggs until just blended. Fold in berries. Pour batter by scant 1/4 cups in lightly greased griddle or skillet over moderate heat. Turn when pancakes are dry around the edges. Cook until golden brown. Makes about 13.

* Like Bisquick or Jiffy Mix or home made- recipe follows

Biscuit Mix*

8 c. flour
1 c. powdered milk
1 c. powdered buttermilk (or 1 more cup powdered milk)
1/4 c. baking powder
1 T. salt
1 1/2 c. shortening*

Combine dry ingredients and cut in shortening until well mixed. Store in tightly covered container. Makes 10 cups.

* You can substitute coconut oil or butter for the shortening- but mix will have to be kept cool. Refrigerate if using butter and use within 3 months.

Blueberry Syrup

4 c. blueberries
1 c. water
1½ c. sugar

In saucepan heat berries and water to a boil and boil 2 minutes. Crush berries with a potato masher as they cook. Add sugar and cook for 10- 15 minutes on medium heat until mixture thickens.  Process syrup with an immersion blender or in a blender until smooth.  Cool, then refrigerate. Keeps a couple of weeks. Makes about 3½ cups.

 

Pumpkin Pancakes

2 c. baking mix – like Bisquick or Jiffy Mix – I make my own*
3 T. brown sugar
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. nutmeg
1 1/2 c. evaporated milk
1 c. solid pack pumpkin
2 eggs, beaten
2 t. vanilla

Combine dry ingredients in mixing bowl and set aside. Whisk together wet ingredients and stir into dry ingredients. Lightly grease a skillet and cook over moderate heat. Use about 1/3 c. of batter per pancake. Turn when edges appear dry. Makes 16.

 

Peanut  Butter Pancakes

1 c. buttermilk baking mix, like Bisquick or Jiffy mix, I make my own

2 T. sugar

1 egg

1/3 c. peanut butter

2/3 half and half

1/4 c. water

Combine baking mix and sugar and set aside. Whisk together remaining ingredients until smooth and add the dry ingredients, stirring until just combined. Heat and lightly oil skillet and use 1/4 c. of better for each pancake. Cook over medium heat. Turn when edges appear dry. Makes 8.

Red Grape Syrup

  I took about 2 cups of frozen grapes and set them in a small skillet with about 1/4 cup of sugar. I let this mixture cook over medium high heat until the grapes were tender and the liquid in the pan had created a syrup. I didn’t need to add water as the frozen grapes gave off their juices as soon as they started to heat up. With fresh grapes you might want to add a little water to get the whole process going. It took about 15 minutes in all. While the grapes were cooking I made the pancake batter and began cooking the pancakes. When the pancakes were done I topped them with a few grapes and a drizzle of the pretty grape syrup.

 

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.