Posts tagged ‘Breakfast’

March 12, 2014

Healthy Homemade Granola

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Sometimes I wonder why I created this blog. An outlet for my food obsession? To share the food I love with friends and family? A channel to share my resentment towards Martha Stewart? I guess it’s all of the above.  I made a commitment to myself a long while back that if this blog begins to feel like work, causing me any angst, it would be time to call it quits. I used to feel that I had to post weekly, which quickly became bi-weekly… which started to give me shpilkes. I have to remind myself that no one has set a quota for me to meet. If for nothing else, it brings me personal joy and satisfaction to write and share a little something. Being so opinionated takes a lot of energy <insert cheesy smiley face here>.

At this point I’ve decided how often I share something new is irrelevant to sharing something awesome. If it’s not delicious, I won’t share it. If I wouldn’t serve it to guests in my home, I won’t post it. I think cooking is not only an expression of creativity, but a way to feed the souls of the ones we love. I just had two of our South African relatives here for a short visit and they enjoyed this granola, so my theory seems to be working.

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This simple granola recipe is the quintessential reason why I love sharing this blog. It’s so easy to make, there’s no reason not to give it a try. Granola and yogurt is a favorite breakfast here and though I’ve found store-bought granola that is lighter on the fat and sugar, I thought there must be a way to make it even better for us. Here’s what I came up with and it’s damn good! We’ve been eating it over plain Greek yogurt with a drizzle of honey and for dessert, sprinkled on vanilla frozen yogurt with a bit of real maple syrup (emphasis on the word real… not the artificial Log Cabin stuff). This recipe makes enough to store in a contain to pick at all week-long.

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INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats (not quick cooking)
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 4 tbsp grade A amber maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

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1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

2. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Using your hands, mix it together. The coconut oil, though initially solid, will soften as it warms from your hands. Make sure everything is evenly coated.

3.  Pour the mixture onto your prepared sheet pan and bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until it becomes golden, stirring occasionally.

4. Remove the sheet pan from the oven and set it on the counter to cool. Once cooled completely, pour into an air-tight container and store in your pantry.

Enjoy!

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VARIATIONS… The great thing about this recipe is you can use any combination of dried fruit and nuts you like. I was thinking next time to try chopped dried apricots, pistachios and raisins or dried cherries and almonds. You really can’t mess this up. You can even add other spices. Nutmeg, cardamom and even a pinch of cloves. Mini chocolate chips would be a sweet addition, just add them after you bake the granola and it has cooled. 

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May 5, 2012

Bananas Foster French Toast

There’s nothing healthy about this rich delicious breakfast. My husband saw someone on TV making Bananas Foster French Toast and decided I had to try and make it. He loves anything banana, so he began to haunt me with his request. I think you should make Bananas Foster French Toast. Doesn’t Bananas Foster French Toast sound really good? I heard you were making us Bananas Foster French Toast on Sunday. You know, you never make Sunday breakfast for us. Oh, you’re going to the store? You should see if they have some challah, so you can make us Bananas Foster French Toast. I’m not kidding! Really annoying, right? I think he was actually whispering it to me while I slept, thinking that it would come to me in a dream.  I’d wake up and say, “I have this really strange urge to make Bananas Foster French Toast.”

He won.

INGREDIENTS FOR THE FRENCH TOAST (Serves 4)

  • 1 loaf challah bread (about 8 thick slices)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk (I use skim milk)
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter, divided

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees and place a sheet pan with a wire rack in the oven.

Whisk together the eggs, milk, half and half, vanilla, salt and sugar in a low casserole dish (I use a glass Pyrex pan).  Heat a griddle or large non-stick skillet on medium-high heat with one tbsp of butter. Working in batches, place the slices of challah in the custard mixture and let soak for 30 seconds or so, before turning over to soak the other side. Once the butter has melted, place the custard dipped challah in the pan. Grill for about 3 minutes per side, or until golden and firm. Transfer each finished slice of French toast to the preheated oven to stay warm.  Repeat with the remaining challah slices, using the other tbsp of butter as needed. Keep in the warm oven until ready to serve.

INGREDIENTS FOR BANANAS FOSTER

  • 4 bananas, thick slices
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup dark rum

In a medium size non-stick skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and add the brown sugar and cinnamon. Using a wooden spoon, stir until the sugar has dissolved and combined nicely with the butter. Stir in the banana slices and cook for a few minutes, until the bananas begin to soften. Raise the heat slightly and add the rum. Stir and cook until the rum is heated through. The alcohol will cook off as it simmers.

TO SERVE

Spoon the Bananas Foster over the French toast slices and sprinkle with a little powdered sugar. Decadent, sinful and yummy!

On a side note, a few nights after Alan’s fancy breakfast, I made a second batch of the bananas to tweak the recipe and we had it over vanilla ice cream for dessert. Better than the French toast if you ask me!

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