Muffins and biscuits. More muffins in the oven at that point.

With apologies to Jane and Michael Stern, of “Road Food” fame, and damn, do I miss hearing them every Saturday morning on WKNO in Memphis now that I’m an Arkansas public radio listener, and hey, KUAR/KASU peeps, can y’all do something about putting Splendid Table on the air here so a sista can hear it?

I am headed out on a road trip tomorrow, going to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, AR, where I used to live, and spending a few days in that part of the world with a girlfriend and her niece and adopted niece. (I understand all about those “adopted” kinfolk, having several.) I need a break, albeit I have had a fair amount of road time lately, but this comes at a good time, as I have hit a semi-slack period at work, though it promises to pick up by the latter part of August.

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bkfst pizza 0715

What was left of the breakfast pizza after four women and two kids filled up.

Got a throng in the house for breakfast? Fed people breakfast strata until you’re sick of breakfast strata? Tired of cycling batter through the waffle iron?

I give you the breakfast pizza.

This thing is just about guaranteed to please picky eaters, as long as they like sausage, eggs and cheese. (Who doesn’t? Few people I know.)

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2017 odds and ends

January 7, 2017

Bacon. Sous vide bacon. Because, bacon.

Bacon. Sous vide bacon. Because, bacon.

Still attempting to get back into the swing of cooking in this new year. One thing I HAVE managed to do is cook two or three good breakfasts, even though I haven’t done much in the way of dinner. Well, I did cook dinner last night, albeit it took twice as long as I thought it would and I don’t have any pictures.

But I have pictures of breakfast, yes, I do. Above would be a basic breakfast I cooked one day this past week, when I knew I’d be busy as the dickens all week and this might be the major meal of the day. And it contains one of the cooking revelations I’ve discovered recently, namely, sous vide bacon.

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Recycling-R-Us

December 27, 2016

M'mmm. Recycled breakfast. Sheer brilliance, if I did come up with it myownself.

M’mmm. Recycled breakfast. Sheer brilliance, if I did come up with it myownself.

Because, well, sometimes, you bring home carryout you just don’t want right then. And when you can recycle last night’s dinner into this morning’s breakfast, that’s a win any way you look at it.

Yesterday, after Child A and I made a pilgrimage to the nail salon for post-Christmas manicures and pedicures, she decided we were hungry. Now, I did not really think I was hungry, but by the time I got the 1,000 feet from the nail salon to the Steak Escape drive-through, I was hungry. And a cheesesteak sounds marginally healthier (not that I’m sure why) than do most fast food offerings. So I ordered a small steak, no peppers, on wheat bread.

And then I saw they had loaded baked potatoes, with bacon and cheese. OK, I needs me one of those. Got that, too.

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Baking breakfast

May 2, 2016

A collection of convenience: Baked oatmeal muffins.

A collection of convenience: Baked oatmeal muffins.

For some reason, even though my office is two dozen steps from my couch, which is probably less than three dozen steps from my bed, and I don’t have to dash out of the house in the morning after hurrying to get ready, I still find myself wanting something simple, grab-and-go-ish, for breakfast.

So when I saw a recipe for baked oatmeal, I snagged it and determined to make it.

The recipe is here. My two changes were to sub for the cup of brown sugar, a half-cup of honey, and to use almond milk in place of skim. They were plenty sweet. My other change I’d make the next time I made them will be to stir the fruit up in the muffin; it wants to fall off. I’d probably also think in terms of putting some nuts in them. I think it’d be particularly good with dates and pecans, like bran muffins are. That’s on the agenda for the next batch.

You keep these in the fridge, nuke them for 30 seconds, and boom, there’s breakfast. And it’s probably somewhere around 125 calories. You could add protein powder to the mix to give yourself a protein boosts, too, or cooked quinoa. Two of them would be equivalent to a full bowl of oatmeal.

They taste like, well, oatmeal. The applesauce is not noticeable. I did store these in a plastic bag with some others I’d made that had bananas in them, and I swear these picked up some banana taste. They’re pleasingly solid, like a dense muffin, and plenty moist.

While I was about it, I also made another breakfast recipe that wound up being a similar prep, with a bit different taste. It was shown as a bar cookie, but I made muffins out of it. The recipe calls for:

  • Three ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/3 cups applesauce
  • 2 cups uncooked oats
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

and baking at 350 for 10-15 minutes. This one makes about 9 muffins.

This one I made several changes to. I added a couple of eggs and a couple of glugs of oil (maybe 3 tbsp) because I thought it needed it. I cut back on the cinnamon a bit (in the first one as well). And for good measure, I added a couple of tablespoons of peanut butter powder. Peanut butter…bananans…made sense to me. Again, I’d stir the fruit up in it. I might add nuts; these didn’t seem to need it as much as the others did, maybe due to the peanut butter flavor. Really, I think banana chips would have been good.

Because of the addition of the eggs and oil, these were very similar in texture and character to the first batch, the flavor different, of course, due to the add-ins. It would be easy enough to use either basic recipe, increasing or decreasing the almond milk to account for the difference in moisture in the mashed bananas vs not including them. I’m going to try some with ginger next; I love the ginger flavor on my granola. In fact, molasses instead of honey would accentuate that even more.

I took a dozen with me as a hostess gift this past weekend, and left a dozen in the fridge at home. Had one for breakfast this morning. Good stuff. Wouldn’t want it all the time, but certainly good for a change. They’ll stay in the lexicon. I see no reason they couldn’t be frozen and just nuked a little longer.

So if you ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em need a quick breakfast on the go some morning, just drive by, slow down, and I’ll toss on in the window for you.

 

Children B and A, AGC 1 and 3. Ain't they cute?

Children B and A, AGC 1 and 3. Ain’t they cute?

While the above photo is worthwhile because it contains two-thirds of the prettiest, smartest, most adorable people in the world (Child C and her son weren’t with us, more’s the pity), it is also worthwhile because it’s a restaurant idea I find absolutely fascinating and don’t see why they aren’t cropping up everywhere.

This is Pfunky Griddle, in the very hipster enclave of Berry Hill in Nashville. A quick examination of the table, if you can tear your eyes away from my family, reveals said griddle in the center. Think the local hibachi place, but smaller grill-to-table ratio.

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Breakfast bounty

February 21, 2016

Latkes, et al. Good stuff.

Latkes, et al. Good stuff. 

Weekend?

House guest?

Sounds to me like a fine excuse for a good breakfast.

Which is exactly how I started off my Saturday: to-wit, with latkes, eggs and bacon.

I had my latkes two ways; one with a poached egg yolk atop it, and one with a combo of Greek yogurt and apple butter. I would be hard-pressed to say which was better. I do love me a latke permeated with runny egg yolk; but then again, my homemade apple butter….

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