I’m a bit behind in the game of making savory waffles. One bite of these, though, and it was easy to forgive myself, using that “better late than never” excuse. My eternal thanks to Catherine McCord’s new cookbook Weelicious Lunches for inspiring me to make my own version using my All-Purpose Baking Mix.
Crazy as it may seem, I found my cupboards sans baking powder this past weekend. Not willing to give up my plan to make pancakes, I took a moment to think my regular recipe through. Baking powder acts as the leavening agent to make pancakes rise nice and fluffy. I figured I could mimic that effect if I just separated the eggs, beat my egg white until it formed stiff peaks, and gently folded it into the batter. It worked like a charm! So, if you find yourself short on baking powder, or just forgot to add it to your shopping list, all is not lost if you’re craving some fluffy, hot pancakes for breakfast.
The other morning I woke up fully intending to just have some baguette with butter and jam for breakfast. Then I spied the apricots I bought at a farmstand sitting on the counter. My intention was to make preserves with them the night before, only to realize I was running low on sugar. I know, that sounds hard to believe, but all my summer vacationing has left my home pantry in need of restocking.
After an indulgent summer, and a few rounds of fried food between the OC Fair and the fish shacks along Route 6 in Cape Cod, this smoothie is the perfect energy booster. I can’t think of an easier, or tastier way, to get two cups of kale into my body in record time. Frozen blueberries are the trick to keeping this smoothie icy cold without watering it down, which is what plain old ice cubes would do. It does need a little liquid to help puree everything. I used some fresh squeezed OJ in an effort to keep it dairy-free, but you can use yogurt or milk if you want to add a protein punch to it. A spoonful of flaxseeds would be great too; I just didn’t have any in my vacation pantry.
If you want to make a vegan version, just swap in agave nectar for the honey. I’m thinking maple syrup might be nice too, but I haven’t tried that yet. I do recommend using some sort of sweetener, though, to temper the tartness of the berries and earthy taste of the kale. As-is, this blueberry kale smoothie was a homerun with my five-year old.
One last note—you don’t need a fancy high-powered blender to whip up this smoothie (though that’ll make the job faster, no doubt). I made this using a 350 watt Black & Decker blender I found in the vacation cottage we rented. No crazy motors, or bells and whistles. I did have to stop every minute or so, and push the ingredients down with a wooden spoon, but that didn’t discourage me in the least.
Generally, I prefer pastries and baked goods the day they’re made, but decided to bake these muffins the night before, so we could wake up to a homemade breakfast. They held up perfectly, wrapped in parchment paper. All I had to do was get coffee brewing the next morning. This will no doubt be a go-to breakfast for us once school starts up again in a couple of weeks.
I’m going to make a confession, but you have to keep it between us, okay?
About a year ago, I went to brunch with a couple of friends, and Olga ordered a dutch baby with blueberry compote. I had no idea what it was, but feigned excitement when she and Maggie talked about it before we arrived. A bit later, a small cast-iron skillet arrived at the table. Underneath the blanket of warm blueberry sauce was a fluffy, light as air puff of egg and flour.
Little did I know the chance to make this at home was right under my nose. My eyes had always glanced over the recipe for oven puffed pancakes in my Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book. You know, the one with the red check gingham cover.
For years I dismissed it, thinking why crank up the oven for something I’ve always made on the stovetop? Yes, stupid me. My punishment for lack of culinary curiosity all those years was missing out on one of my family’s favorite meals now—dutch baby.
A dutch baby is more than simply a baked pancake. In fact, its base is primarily eggs, and for that reason it’s become my go-to dinner on busy weeknights, of which I seem to be in a pattern of never-ending ones.
And it all started with an email from my friend Michelle. She sent a few recipes to try out from her new book The Whole Family Cookbook. In it was one for a baked apple puff. Having spent some time in a heated affair with making dutch babies after that brunch at Little Giant, I knew exactly where this recipe would lead me.
Or so I thought.
It turns out Michelle’s recipe re-ignited my lust for making this pretty easy dish, and the eggs lend a protein punch, making it a perfect breakfast-for-dinner meal. After getting all hot and heavy with Michelle’s apple version, I expanded my horizons into the savory realm.
The first time I branched out, it was with fingerling potatoes sliced into coins, thinly sliced shallots and shredded cheddar cheese. The next time I subbed crispy homefries for the fingerlings, earning bonus points for using up leftovers from the past weekend’s breakfast.
Since that fateful day I opened Michelle’s email, I’ve also swapped in almond extract for the vanilla and added lemon zest. I even made a lemon ricotta variation, but that one needs a bit of tweaking before I can wax poetic about it.
The moral of this story?
Eat your breakfast—every chance you get.
As for Michelle’s recipe for the baked apple puff, go order a copy of The Whole Family Cookbook today. You won’t be disappointed, and the color-coded age specific instructions make it easy to assign tasks so the kids can help out. I’ll be posting a recipe for my savory fingerling, shallot & rosemary dutch baby soon, either here or at In Jennie’s Kitchen.
And if you’re looking for some ideas for a quick No Fast Food Friday meal, why not make it a breakfast for dinner night. Here’s few recipes to get you started.
Savory Waffles — Eat, Play, Love
Oat Ricotta Pancakes — In Jennie’s Kitchen
Toad in the Hole — Three Many Cooks
Gluten-Free Whole Grain Crepes —Gluten-Free Girl & The Chef
Breakfast Casserole — Savory Sweet Life
Tomato Jam & Mozzarella Eggy — In Jennie’s Kitchen
Breakfast Polenta — 101 Cookbooks
Manchego Cheese Grits — The Merry Gourmet
Steel Cut Oats with Caramelized Onions & Ricotta — In Jennie’s Kitchen
Finding a way to navigate life in these ever-changing times can be paralyzing. The advent of technology and explosion of 24/7 media means we have more information at our disposal than we can ever really hope to digest.
A simple trip to the supermarket requires the stealth research of a journalist, armed with credible sources.
But what is credible in this day and age, since news—be it in print, online or television is not objective? You know where someone stands immediately whether they watch Fox News or CNN, reads the New York Post or New York Times.
The best advice I can offer is to take a moment and consider the effect our collective purchasing power has on what makes it to supermarket shelves. Perhaps if we truly pondered the big picture—the world beyond our borders, the planet we are leaving to our children, then there would be only one real convenient way of eating.
I find my curiosity piqued as my eyes wander over the ingredients strewn across the conveyor belt just ahead of my own items. Is it fair to cast judgement based solely on one’s grocery purchases? I know deep down the answer is no. Food is a complicated ingredient in all of our lives. The decision of what to buy is often compromised by budget and time available.
I sometimes question if I’m over-thinking my own approach to feeding my family. Then as I peruse labels, I realize cooking from scratch is the only way I can peacefully co-exist with the planet.
This article from NPR’s Public Radio Kitchen is a glimpse of what is inherently wrong with today’s food system. Then I read this piece in the New York Time’s and it reminded me I’m not alone in my struggles with decisions when it comes to politics of the plate. I find myself raising many of the same questions as Yoon does in her article.
As those moments creep into my daily life, I stop myself and take a long, deep breath. Rather than feel overcome with helplessness, I retreat to the kitchen and go on with life the only way I know how.
There’s an ongoing joke during mealtimes in my house. Once a plate hits the table my daughter asks “is there ricotta in here mom?”. Eight year olds, or at least the one that shares my gene pool, don’t dream of warm, creamy curds by the spoonful.
Oatmeal seems simple enough, but it’s a divisive breakfast in our house. I love the nutty, toothsome texture of steel cut oats, as does my youngest daughter. The Mr. and my 7-year-old prefer old fashioned oats. Luckily, steel cut oats are forgiving, provided you don’t overcook them, so I can make a pot on Mondays and heat portions as the week goes on.