Category Archives: Breakfast

Pineapple Pancake Syrup

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While maple syrup is delightful, sometimes you feel a little bolder at breakfast time. When I get bored or simply want something unexpected, I make up my own syrups. Since I had a huge amount of leftover pineapple upside down cake and sweet potato pancakes from breakfast at Snooze in Denver (which could be a huge post in its own right, seriously GO THERE, it’s amazing), I decided to make a pineapple-y syrup to go with them. This would be a great syrup to make and have breakfast in bed for Valentine’s Day (or the Saturday following).
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Ingredients:
1/2 can pineapple chunks
1/4 cup pineapple juice from can
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup orange juice

Step 1: Put all ingredients into a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then simmer 5-20 minutes, until it thickens to your liking.

These were the sweet potato pancakes, so those got extra love: melted marshmallows!

Step 2: Pour over pancakes. Stuff yourself silly, and smile. I bet this would taste great over my Perfect Pancakes too.



What’s your favorite way to top pancakes?

 

Homemade Cinnamon Raisin Soft Pretzels

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I’ve had a love affair with everything you can make homemade for quite some time now. From homemade oven-baked bread (that didn’t work very well… I need to try that again), to perfect pancakes, applesauce muffins, and even infused liquor, I love when I can take a few simple ingredients and make a whole lot of something I otherwise would have to buy at the store. Someday soon I will foray into making my own yogurt, bagels, kombucha, and sauerkraut too. 
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One thing I’ve had in the back of my mind to try was soft pretzels. They seemed like an easy enough task, though I wasn’t sure. History claims that a very long time ago, AD 610 according to TLC Cooking, a monk was frustrated with his class and had some leftover bread dough. He rolled the dough out into rolls and made the iconic pretzel shape to resemble hands crossed in prayer. Originally called “pretiola”, Latin for “little reward”, they were quickly re-named “brachiola” which means “little arms”. They reached Germany, where they became a huge hit and were known as bretzels. This translated in America to pretzels, and so the famous street/fair/and sports event food took its place in our history.
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So when I found on Sally’s Baking Addiction a 30 Minute Pretzel recipe, I knew I had to try it. However, my favorite soft pretzel is the Auntie Anne’s cinnamon raisin with glaze, so rather than a plain salt that’s what I was after. With a few tweaks, I was sure I could re-create that $6 treat for far less. This recipe ended up making 8 medium-sized pretzels. I’m sure you could cut it in half for one, or make smaller ones for young-uns. You can also omit the cinnamon and use less sugar and just roll in sea salt for regular soft pretzels and dip in mustard or cheese. In fact, I think I’ll need to make another batch of plain this weekend…
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Ingredients:
1.5 cups water
1 packet yeast
1 cup sugar or brown sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp cinnamon
1/4 cup raisins
4 cups flour plus extra
2 eggs, beaten
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Step 1: Pour the yeast into 1 1/2 cups warm-ish water and stir. You don’t have to wait for anything to rise, just mix it well.
Step 2: Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl. (Flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and raisins). Add in the yeasty water and mix with your hands. Add more flour if needed. Once you have a fairly rubbery dough, break off a fist-sized chunk and place on a floured surface.

Step 3: Roll the dough out into a long strand, then cross it over into the pretzel shape. I’m actually going to try making letters and other shapes next time.

The next step is optional. Rumor has it boiling in baking soda water gives pretzels that chewy texture and browned color. Boil 1 cup baking soda in 9-10 cups water. Dunk the pretzels, and let boil for 5 minutes, then dry on a rack before baking. **Oh wait… it said 30 seconds. That could explain a lot. Only leave them in the boiling soda water for 30 seconds if you do this step**

A little hint: putting a wooden spoon across the top of a pot keeps it from boiling over. At least up to a certain point.

My post-baking conclusion was that while the boiling did cause a different color and taste, I like the pretzels without the baking soda step better, so I won’t be doing that in the future. However feel free to experiment yourself, maybe the altitude has something to do with it… #ColoradoBakingProblems

Step 4: Beat the eggs in a flat bowl/plate and coat the pretzels fully.

Step 5: Brush on some butter and cinnamon/sugar if you want extra sweetness. Bake the pretzels at 425 for 10-15 minutes, until nicely browned. Make sure to watch for burning.

Step 6: To make the glaze, take 1 cup powdered sugar and mix in 2 tbsp melted butter, 1 tsp vanilla flavoring, and 1-3 tbsp milk (depending on the consistency you want).

Drizzle the glaze over your pretzels and enjoy!

Warm and chewy right out of the oven, these pretzels were fantastic! Just as good, if not better, than anything I’ve had from a mall or baseball field. Will definitely be making these regularly, they are so easy and take less than a half hour total time.
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National Pretzel Day is April 26, so you have plenty of time to practice and perfect your favorite recipe!
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80% of all pretzels in the United States are made in Pennsylvania, where the hard pretzel originated. Unfortunately the Pretzel Museum in Philadelphia has closed, but they leave behind some fun facts:
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bullet Pretzels without salt are called baldies.

bullet An 1859 parade in New Orleans featured a float carrying a pretzel-baking machine.
bullet An average pretzel has 3.5 grams of fat and 260 calories.
bullet German kids wear pretzels around their neck for good luck on New Year’s. 
bullet Pretzels top some Christmas trees in Austria.
bulletA page in the prayer book used by Catharine of Cleves depicts St. Bartholomew surrounded by pretzels which were thought to bring good luck, prosperity and spiritual wholeness.
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For lots more fun facts on pretzels check out the TLC website.


What’s your favorite type of pretzel or topping?



Vegetarian Breakfast Strata

I’ve said many times, and I’ll say it again, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
I’ve also said many times that I love easy, make-ahead meals. This breakfast strata could be put together or baked the day before and stored in the fridge if needed. It is super simple and could incorporate any type of veggie or bean you prefer. You can make it completely vegan by using egg substitute and no cheese too.
 
Ingredients:
3 slices bread
1 can beans, slightly mashed
1/2-1 cup vegetable (spinach here)
8-10 eggs, beaten
sprinkle of cheese

Step 1: Lay the bread in an oven-safe pan sprayed with oil. Layer on the mashed beans, cheese and spinach.

Step 2: Add the egg mixture.

Step 3: I sprinkled more cheese on top. Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes, until eggs are fully cooked.

Mmmmmmm! Hot, healthy, and protein packed breakfast. Actually this doesn’t necessarily have to be for breakfast, you could have this any time of the day.

 
What are your favorite strata ingredients?

Bacon & Egg Breakfast Biscuits

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We all have heard how breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Yet busy mornings, waking up late, or a lack of energy in the a.m. can stymie any attempts to be culinarily courageous before noon. This recipe is an easy weekend project which can make a few dozen little bacon-wrapped breakfast packages you can store and re-heat for a quick breakfast on the go all week long. If you can keep yourself from eating them all at once.
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Ingredients:
1 pound bacon 
1 1/2 dozen eggs
2 packages biscuits
Shredded cheese (optional)

Step 1: Line some muffin tins with a strip of bacon.

Curl it around so the bacon makes a little cup.

Step 2: Crack an egg into each bacon cup. Cover with the biscuits. Add cheese if you want.

Step 3: Bake at 350 for ~40 minutes, until egg is cooked fully and biscuit is crispy and golden brown.

 

 

 

 

These little biscuits are absolutely perfect. The biscuits are buttery and crispy, the bacon is of course bacon, and it all comes together for a handheld protein powerhouse. The bacon does make it a little greasy so beware of that.

 How do you get breakfast on busy mornings?

 

Perfect pancakes

There is nothing quite as wonderful on a lazy Sunday as fresh, homemade pancakes. And they are actually quite easy to make. Just four dry ingredients plus four wet, and maybe some chocolate chips, fruit, or nuts. This would also be a great Christmas morning breakfast or brunch.  Total time required is roughly 20 minutes. This recipe makes about 10 hotcakes. 

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups milk
1 whole egg
3 tbsp melted butter
1 tbsp vanilla 
Optional: 1/2 cup chocolate chips, fruit, nuts, oats, etc.

Step 1: Mix the first four dry ingredients in a large bowl. (Add whatever extras you like).

Step 2: Mix the next four wet ingredients into the dry. If you want to, you can set this aside for 10-20 minutes to shower or watch the news or brew some coffee.

Step 3: Heat a frying pan over medium heat and spray with cooking oil. Pour in about 1/3 cup batter per cake. Cook until batter shows bubbles, about 4 minutes.

Step 4: Flip the cakes when golden brown and cook another 1-2 minutes.

Serve with syrup, preserves, whipped cream, honey, or whatever you like on your pancakes.


This recipe produced light and fluffy cakes with the perfect amount of sweetness. I’m pretty proud of this batch I must say. Try making your own Pineapple Pancake Syrup to go with them.



What is your favorite type of pancake?



Chai Apple & Brown Sugar Oatmeal

What is this, a post on Thursday?!? Why yes, turns out I’m just brimming with ideas and recipes lately, so I decided to add in Thursdays to my weekly Sunday/Tuesday posts. This way you get 33% more flavor and information! I’ll keep this up as long as I can y’all.

Warm oatmeal is one of my favorite comfort foods for a cold winter’s day breakfast. You can buy the store packaged versions, or make your own at home for much cheaper. All you need is some oats and whatever you like in your hot cereal. Chai Apple & Brown Sugar is my favorite combo. But try dried apricots and orange juice, or banana and blueberry. Sky’s the limit!

Ingredients:
1 cup quick-cook oats
1/2 medium apple
1/4 cup chai tea concentrate (instructions below)
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 cup hot water or milk

Step 1: Place a chai tea bag into 1/2 cup water. Microwave for 5 minutes or boil on a stove, this will cause some evaporation and the chai tea flavor to concentrate. Chai tea has cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and allspice in it which will add to the delicious taste and smell of the oatmeal! 

Step 2: Dice up the apple. In a bowl, mix the oats, tea, water or milk, sugar and apple pieces. Microwave for about 2 minutes. The apple will become soft, the oats cook, and all the flavors mix.

Step 3: Mix well and pour on a drizzle of syrup.
This warm, sweet, hearty breakfast will satisfy your taste buds and fill you up to keep you going until lunch.


What’s your favorite type of oatmeal?


Sausage gravy & biscuits

 

If you asked my family if ever they thought they’d see the day where I not only willingly ate sausage gravy and biscuits, yet alone cooked it myself, they would call you crazy.

For the longest time I was very against sausage in any form; ground, patties, links. Well, I’m living proof that tastes change over time. The more times I tried sausage gravy & biscuits, the more I liked it. However, I am also aware that commercial gravy is horrific for you. I had a can of biscuits in the fridge and sausage was on sale $3/pound at my farmer’s market.

I couldn’t resist buying a nice, fresh ground pound of sausage and trying my hand at this artery-clogging breakfast favorite. Turns out, it is actually quite easy. I did cheat and use canned biscuits rather than make my own. But the gravy is more art than science, use your own judgment and tastes when adding milk and flour to make it the consistency you want. You could also use cornstarch to thicken it rather than flour for a gluten-free option.

Pro tip: this sausage gravy would be great over just about any meat or grain, like chicken and mashed potatoes, or ham and rice.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound sausage
  • 1 can biscuits
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • Salt & pepper

Step 1: Brown the sausage in a frying pan. Once fully cooked, remove the sausage, drain the fat and set aside.

Step 2: Bake the biscuits in a 350 oven for 10-12 minutes.

Step 3: Add the flour to the pan you cooked the sausage in, slowly whisk in the milk. Add all the milk, and bring to a simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Step 4: Add the cooked sausage back in and mix well. Pour over warm biscuits and enjoy!

Sausage gravy & biscuits

Ingredients

  • 1 pound sausage
  • 1 can biscuits
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • Salt & pepper

Instructions

  1. Brown the sausage in a frying pan. Once fully cooked, remove the sausage, drain the fat and set aside.
  2. Bake the biscuits in a 350 oven for 10-12 minutes.
  3. Add the flour to the pan you cooked the sausage in, slowly whisk in the milk. Add all the milk, and bring to a simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Add the cooked sausage back in and mix well. Pour over warm biscuits and enjoy!
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http://www.budgetepicurean.com/less-than-5/sausage-gravy-biscuits/
I can feel my taste buds cheering, and my arteries crying…

Everything bagel with lox & cream cheese

Since I was first introduced to lox during my undergraduate studies I’ve been in love. Lately I’ve been noticing that it’s more and more popular in restaurants, which makes me happy. Unfortunately it is rather more expensive for smoked salmon than an egg. Therefore, any chance I get to make it myself I jump at. Last week salmon went on sale at the grocery store, and that was my cue. I was a happy camper for almost a week of breakfasts.
The fanciest of places also have capers, lemon, and tomato and onion slices. I’m not terribly fancy though.

Ingredients:
1 everything bagel (or whatever kind you like. Onion, wheat, regular.)
2 tbsp cream cheese
1 oz or so smoked salmon (also known as lox)

Step 1: Spread the cream cheese over the bagel.
Step 2: Rip pieces of salmon and place it around the bagel. See if you can hold yourself to only an ounce… I did but only because I wanted it to last.
Step 3: I also sprinkled lemon juice and sea salt over each half.

Steak & Eggs 2 ways

Men everywhere be jealous… I was moving and had 4 packs of frozen steaks I needed to use, so I had steak at every meal for 3 days straight. =) With baked potatoes and caramelized onions, in fajitas, and for breakfast, it was a very beefy few days and I loved it. Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures of the dinners, but trust me in that they were good enough to repeat sometime, so they may show up at a later date. Here are my 2 favorite breakfasts with marinated cow muscle…

Ingredients:
2 thin steaks
4 eggs
2 slices cheese (or 1/4 cup shredded)
2 tbsp worchestershire sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
(optional: 1 tbsp hot sauce and/or fish sauce)

Day 2: add a tortilla

 Step 1: Marinate the steaks in worchestershire, soy sauce, fish sauce and vinegar overnight.

 Step 2: Place steaks in a sprayed frying pan over medium heat. Cook about 5 minutes, until browned, then flip and cook another 2-3 minutes.

 Step 3: Beat the eggs in a separate bowl, and add the cheese. Remove the steaks from the frying pan and add the eggs. Cook the scrambled eggs, stirring often, until the consistency you like.

 Day 1: A steak separate from the eggs to enjoy one bite at a time.

Day 2: Cut the steak into slices before cooking. Wrap the steak and eggs in a tortilla and sprinkle the cheese on top. 

Both ways are delicious, the tortilla has the added benefit of being slightly portable. The marinade is simple yet delicious and compliments steak well. Both a delightful protein-packed ways to make your taste buds feel pampered at breakfast. Or any time of day really. I wouldn’t be mad about this at dinner time.

Breakfast Pitas

A friend had bought several wheat pitas and didn’t want them all so she gave me a few. Being that I was moving in three days and didn’t have much food left in the fridge, I used up the rest of my eggs to make breakfast pitas! So between this post, my breakfast strata, country-style skillet and short cut, you have no excuse to not be well-fed in the mornings!

Ingredients:
1 wheat pita
2 eggs
1 tbsp sriracha
1/4 cup shredded cheese

Step 1: Break the eggs into a sprayed frying pan and cook until whites harden. Flip and cook on the other side another 2 minutes.
Step 2: Cut one half of the pita open to create a pocket. Stuff the cheese into it, and then the cooked egg on top.
Step 3: Squeeze on a little bit of sriracha (or Tabasco, or salsa, whatever). Then fold one open end over, rolling the pita into a little football-shaped taco. Enjoy!

The nice thing about pitas is that they are portable, and more spill-proof than burritos, which tend to leak out the end.