Eggies in a Basket – the perfect Valentines Day Breaky

Full disclosure- Violet wasn’t even here during the making of this dish as Grandmas are freakin’ wonderful and she had a V day sleepover. She did arrive home during the “enjoy” step however and snag some bacon (for what I am told is her FOURTH breakfast haha – she just might be a hobbit.) 

I, like everyone else on the internet apparently, first wanted to make this dish after seeing it prepared on V for Vendetta, a great film.

 

V makes eggies

 
The marvel of V being able to make the eggies is that he was able to score real butter during a time of strict rations. I’ve seen a few very,very wrong recipes for this dish out there, but even the most misguided seems to grasp the base principal; this dish is all about the butter. 

There are only three things you need (in addition to a pan and spatula, come now don’t be so literal), good bread, good eggs and any kind of butter you can get your hands on. Here’s hoping you aren’t living in a dictatorship like V was and it isn’t too much trouble to get that last ingredient. 

My husband says this was one of the best breakfasts he ever had, so get crackin’ and make your loved one a Valentine’s dish to remember (that doesn’t even come close to breaking the bank).

 

Our Valentines Day Breakfast

 
Eggies in a Basket 

Turn frying pan to medium and melt 1 tablespoon of butter per piece of bread. 

Tear a hole in centre of each slice. 

Once butter is melted, place bread in pan for a few seconds then flip, ensuring both sides have sucked up some buttery goodness. 

Crack an egg into a wee bowl and carefully pour into centre of each slice (or crack directly in bread hole if you are a pro).

Once the whites have started to firm up a little and turn white (this only takes a minute or two), get a spatula out but before you flip, get another tablespoon of butter ready and throw it in and melt a bit beside the bread, then flip bread and let it soak up all that melted butter. 

Many recipes say to wait a few minutes at this point but that will result in over cooked eggs. If you want some runny yoke, remove from the pan as soon as both sides of bread are nicely browned and crisp. 

Serve immediately, with a mimosa because they are awesome. 


Advertisements

Flourless Banana Chocolate Mini Muffins 

 

mini muffin or two bite brownie ? You decide!

 
Just to be clear, I love flour. All forms of gluten really, but flour based things in particular. But when my daughter was born (nearly 2 years ago now I can’t believe it!) I had an “aha” moment where I realized I was entirely responsible for everything that went inside this tiny person’s body and my choices would inform her relationship with food for the rest of her life. 

Woah- that’s a lot of pressure! I started to learn more about food and consider my nutritional choices more carefully. Two years later I am sixty pounds lighter than before pregnancy and am still learning so much about food and how it works in our bodies. Although my little one is no stranger to Tim Bits and sometimes eats things with “Mc” in front of them, she also loves kale chips, spinach smoothies and as of last night, these tasty, fudgy little two bite brownie type mini muffins. 

Thanks to Emma over at Better with Cake for the original recipe which I made a few changes to. They were soooo good and everyone at work shouted “send me the recipe!” in between mouthfuls. They satisfied my craving for something fudgy last night and were even better the next day when my little one was looking for a treat. The best thing is – not one dirty bowl! They are made in the blender and come together before the oven preheats 🙂

Flourless Banana Chocolate Mini Muffins 

Makes approx 36 mini muffins (can also halve recipe) 

2 eggs

1/2 cup maple syrup

4 teaspoons of vanilla or scrapings of one vanilla bean 

2 tablespoons of butter or coconut oil, melted and cooled sightly

2 overripe bananas

4 tablespoons cocoa power 

4 tablespoons of unsweetened nut butter (I used sunflower but peanut, almond, cashew or similar would be fine- if you are using regular sweetened peanut butter reduce the maple syrup)

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1 teaspoons of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon (I used epicure pumpkin pie spice)

1 teaspoon of sea salt 

4 tablespoons of mini semi sweet or dark chocolate chips

2 tablespoons of semi sweet mini chocolate chips 

—–

– Preheat oven to 350 f and line a mini muffin tray with papers or grease.

– Place all ingredients except choc chips into your food processor or blender and process/blend until well combined. FYI – the batter will be very, very runny. Don’t worry! 

-Add your 4 tablespoons of chocolate chips and stir to combine.

– Spoon/pour batter into your prepared muffin tray (I use approx 2 teaspoons per mini muffin).

– Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips on tops. 

– Bake for 10-12 mins until the tops spring back when lightly pressed and a toothpick has just a few crumbs attached when inserted into the centre.

– Allow to cool in the muffin tray slightly before transferring directly into your mouth to a wire rack to cool completely.

These are better (and less banan-y) the next day but are also good warm! 

Overnight French Toast Casserole 

I’m not sure how it took me this long to discover the following recipe, but it is deliciously magical in ease of preparation and a must try for a brunch or breakfast-themed weeknight dinner.

Whenever I entertain, I seem to follow a strict pattern of inviting too many people and  attempting to cook too many different brand new dishes all at once. Ultimately I am left scrambling in the kitchen and can’t enjoy the company of my guests. A few weeks ago I broke this habit by making at least 3/4 of my Pumpkinfest Brunch menu make ahead dishes that took little or no prep the day of.

 

i was able to make the pumpkin tarts, hasbrown casserole, quiche, cheeseplate, and the french toast bake the day before

 
This was by far the easiest and most popular dish at the party and certainly fed a large crew! I even made a half sized version last night for dinner and served with fresh fruit and peppered bacon. 

My adaptations to the original recipe from Food.com are the additions of vanilla, nutmeg, allspice, salt and maple syrup.

The first time I made this I had leftover pumpkin pie filling and stirred 1/3 cup in the egg and it was very tasty and subtle. 

Some pecans on top would also be lovely! 

 

full sized version

 

Overnight French Toast Casserole 

SERVINGS 9-12 

1⁄2 cup butter 

12 slices white bread (I use a freshly sliced italian or french loaf)

1 cup brown sugar (*You may wish to reduce the amount of sugar used to 2/3 cup.)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon allspice or ground cloves

Dash of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 eggs

1 1⁄2 cups milk

1 tablespoon maple syrup 

Powdered sugar and maple syrup (for serving)

DIRECTIONS

Melt margarine in a 9 x 13 baking pan.

Put 6 slices of bread in bottom of pan.

In a bowl mix 1 cup brown sugar with spices and salt. 

Sprinkle 1/2 of this sugar mixture over bread.

Add another layer of 6 slices of bread.

In a bowl, whisk eggs with milk, maple syrup and vanilla until well blended.

Pour over bread layers.

Sprinkle with remaining sugar mixture.

Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Bake covered at 350F 30 minutes.

Uncover and continue baking 15 minutes or until set and browned.

Top with powdered sugar and drizzle with maple syrup before serving. Raspberries and whipped cream served on the side make it very decadent! 

Leftovers reheat very well. 

 

make it in 10 minutes one night or morning and enjoy later!

 


Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips

IMG_5459.JPG
All too quickly summer is fading into the background and fall is taking over. Soon we will be onto soups, braising and slow cooking. But for now, try to hold onto it a little mouthful of summer (and cinnamon buns!) with this recipe. I decided to make this last minute for a brunch a few days ago and was able to find local strawberries, peaches, and apples to include with the rest of the imported fruits (mangos, limes, and kiwis; lucky you if these are YOUR local fruits!) which I think really made the dish.

This unique recipe was a hit and is perfect for this time of year. People were a little cautious at first but once it is announced (or labelled) as “Fruit Salsa” everyone is on board!

I adapted these recipes from The Yummy Life and only made a few small changes. Although the original author and other versions I have seen (including the similar one from Pampered Chef  via “The Girl Who Ate Everything” which includes preserves) note that you need to make this just a few hours before you serve it, I think it would be fine if you made it the night before and just added in the zest and apples the next day (apples changed colour and became softer and zest took over flavour profile).

Drain your salsa before serving (or serve with a slotted spoon).

*The original recipe for the chips uses water, which likely works just fine. However Alton Brown, Julia Child, and I all agree that the chips made with butter will be far, far, tastier.  When served at an event, it’s worth it!

Store in zip lock bag for your event if transporting but then a glass jar is your best bet.

Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips

serves 10 as a light appetizer

Salsa:

1 mango

1/2 pint of strawberries

2 kiwis

2 apples, peeled

1 peach (can replace with another mango)

2 limes

2 tsp. of lime zest

1 tablespoon of honey

Dice all of your fruit small like you would if making fresh salsa or chopping onions. Toss with remaining ingredients. Tastes very good when served immediately, even better an hour later, and is okay after that for about a day.

Chips:

1 package of whole wheat tortillas (large)

1/2 cup of melted butter (may need more)

3/4 cup of white sugar

pinch of salt

2 tablespoons of cinnamon

1/8th tsp. allspice (opt.)

Preheat oven 400f

Line several cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Mix sugar, salt, and spices together.

Layer your tortillas on one cookie sheet and begin brushing both sides lightly with melted butter*, then stacking them on a different cookie sheet.

When you are done with the buttering, go through and sprinkle sugar mix on both sides of tortillas and stack them back on the first cookie sheet. Cut through them with a pizza cutter or sharp knife and divide like a pizza.

Space out on your cookie sheets (you may have to do multiple batches but if you have enough cookie sheets and a convection oven, maybe not! Reduce temperature by 15-25 degrees if using convection).

Cook for 8-10 minute or until crispy. Cool before storing.

Homemade Instant Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Packets

IMG_5212-0.JPG
Today the beautiful and wonderful miss baby Violet did not want to be put down while I made myself something to eat and the cupboards were a little bare. Out of chia, bread, granola, nuts and running low on fruit – what is a gal to eat ? Something at least semi-nutritious that can be made with one hand…Well, within a few minutes I had a little bowl of warm heaven. I A few minutes after that I had 3 more bags ready to go for another day. We’ll see if I get to eat them or if they are poached by my lovely food-tasting and thieving husband. This tastes very similar to a package of instant oatmeal you might buy, but you can control the sugar and salt and the cost is much less (this can be as low as 3 cents a packet!).

My recipe only has a slight modification from the recipe at The Spice House and this is a great source for some info about how different types of cinnamon might effect the taste.

Homemade Instant Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Packets

for one packet

4 tablespoons of quick cooking oats
1 tablespoon of brown sugar or coconut palm sugar
1- 2 teaspoons of raisins
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
Tiny pinch of allspice
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup of boiling water or cold milk

Mix all ingredients except liquid in ziplock bag or small jar.

When ready to serve, pour mix into bowl and add the water OR the milk.

For water, stir well and wait about one minute (until thick).

For milk, stir well and microwave for 1 minute. Stir again and serve !

IMG_5209-0.JPG

Chia and Hemp Heart Granola

mmmm... very tasty and good for you :)

mmmm… very tasty and good for you 🙂

Ah, granola, or hippie crack if you prefer. So much better home made and easy to modify to your tastes. I had made granola before but this time I wanted granola that was somewhat loose but also had clusters, which are better for snacking on. As with most things culinary I started off with some Alton Brown recon and ended up combining his granola and granola bars recipes as a base for my own. The result is a nutritional powerhouse that will make your house smell like hippie crack heaven.  I stored mine in jars and after about a week the bit that was left wasn’t as crisp – easy to fix this by putting your granola back in the oven (on a cookie sheet) for 15 minutes or so at 325.  Keep an eye on the fruit ( i sometimes remove the fruit for re-baking) as it will burn WAY before the oats/nuts do. When I make granola I like to give some away but also have enough for breakfast for my husband and I for at least a week so I don’t muck around. This is a decent sized batch and will make about 1-1.5 cereal boxes worth. Kids LOVE this and you will feel good givin’ it to em.

And hey, when your house smells like hippy crack heaven and you go to take this out of the oven (for the first time of many I’m guessing), don’t worry that it hasn’t crisped up. As it cools it sure will!

UPDATE: New easier method! See below for details. Also if you are ever out of oats but have a bland box of oat and nut/fruit cereal around just substitute 4 – 4.5 cups of a muesli type cereal for all the oats, nuts, and fruit.

Chia and Hemp Heart Granola

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 cup sliced almonds
3/4 cup of shredded coconut
1 cup of  roughly chopped raw or roasted almonds
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup hemp seed hearts
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup honey or real maple syrup (just eyeball it or oil your measuring cup to avoid a sticky mess)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter or grapeseed/ vegetable oil
2 tablespoons molasses
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons sea salt
1.5 cups large dried fruit, any combination of apricots cherries, raisins, etc. (Currants are too small. Roughly chop apricots.)
—-
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread the oats, sunflower seeds, nuts, and coconut onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Place in the oven and toast for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In the meantime, combine the honey or maple syrup, molasses, brown sugar, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Cook until the brown sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture begins to froth up. Add vanilla and stir.

Once the oat mixture is done, remove it from the oven and reduce the heat to 300 degrees F.

Sprinkle spices, chia, and hemp hearts over oat mixture and stir to combine.

Pour the warm sticky mix over the oat mixture, stir well, and pat down into your largest parchment lined cookie sheet.

granola before baking

Bake for 30 minutes or until an even brown, no need to stir. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before storing in jars, ziplock bags, or tupperware.

IMG_4844.JPG

IMG_5229.JPG

Hashbrown Casserole

I recently took this to a holiday breakfast and it was a big hit! Great anytime of the day and super easy, but not very healthy. I looked at dozens of recipes and tried a few out before perfecting this one, which is pretty damn good. You could add bacon but I don’t as I usually have a few vegetarians in my midst, and green onions or chives are almost as good as the leeks, but I find raw white onions are too much.
Any good melting cheese (or a combo) works – try mozzarella, jack, cheddar, or parmesan.
Kids love it, and great as a side dish to any meat and a salad in addition to breakfast.
A potluck hit! photo (4)

1 can of cream of chicken, cream of celery, or cream of mushroom soup
1/2 container of sour cream
1 cup of milk
1 cup of cheddar, mozz, or jack cheese
1 package of frozen hash browns, thawed
1/2 cup of melted butter
1 tsp. paprika
1.5 tsp. salt (or to taste)
1.5 tsp. cracked black pepper (or to taste)
2 fresh leeks, with top 3 outer layers peeled away and dark green top cut off
(or 3 green onions, fresh, diced or 1/2 cup of chives)
1 cup of mozz. jack, or cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350
Butter a large casserole dish (sometimes I make two small casseroles with this recipe and freeze one for a quick side dish)
In a large bowl, whisk together soup, milk and sour cream until smooth.
Add in cheese and stir.
Dump bag of hashbrowns on top of creamy mix in bowl, and pour melted butter overtop. Sprinkle on paprika, salt, and pepper.
Stir well
Pour into casserole dish and top with cheese
Bake uncovered for 30-40 min or until golden and bubbly like in photo.