Posts tagged breakfast
Posts tagged breakfast
Weekend baking project: one hour (ish) bread
Making bread is a rare thing in my house. Well, any yeasted bread-type recipe really! (Save for my quick rising pizza dough recipe). Most days I just don’t have the time to wait for the dough to rise multiple times. Its not that I don’t have the patience (because I do), it is more the waiting and timing and scheduling of the rising of the dough. I like to enjoy my weekends, people!
So when I came across this recipe for a supposedly “one hour” bread, I was intrigued. Could a tasty, good quality loaf of bread really be made in about an hour? I decided to find out for myself.
After assembling all of my ingredients, I got to work. I decided to make this manually (i.e., to not use my stand mixer) for my first try, but I would definitely use the mixer next time. Kneading is tiring for the arms! The dough came together fairly easily and quickly, then it was time to rest for a mere 30 minutes in a warm spot.
After a mere 25 minutes in the oven, I had bread! We waited as long as we could to let it cool before cutting into it, which was tough! This is definitely a dense bread, with an excellent crisp crust. We thought it was great for such little effort and rise time.
You can click here to see the recipe, which I found on the funny Cravings of a Lunatic blog.I followed the recipe and the directions as best as I could, with the only difference being that I added about a tablespoon of olive oil to the liquid mixture before adding in the flour. I believe the key to what enables you to make this bread so quickly is the instant/quick-rise yeast (I used Fleischmann’s). This yeast basically eliminates the need for the first rise according to Fleischmann’s website, which makes sense in terms of how quickly this bread comes together in this recipe.
I would definitely make this again! We gobbled ours up within a few days and it stayed fairly fresh after the first day, which was good. It was also nice toasted when we ate it with some homemade soup. If you’ve ever wanted a quick bread recipe, look no further!
Weekday lunch idea: kale, ham, mushroom and feta frittata
I am always looking for ways to spice up my weekday work lunches, so I thought, why not a frittata?
I came across this recipe on the lovely I Breathe…I’m Hungry blog, and loved the simplicity but deliciousness of the ingredients used in this frittata. To round out my lunch, I decided to serve the frittata slice over a bed of chopped kale, which would wilt nicely when microwaved at work.
The result was great! A filling, healthy lunch that was speedy to make ahead of time, and easy to put together each night for my lunch the next day. I will definitely be making more frittatas for my work lunches!
Kale, ham, mushroom and feta frittata - adapted slightly from I Breathe…I’m Hungry
- cooking spray for the pie dish
- 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
- 1/2 cup chopped deli ham
- 4 Tbsp finely chopped kale
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 4 eggs
- 4 egg whites (we buy the ones in the carton, but you can use regular eggs and keep the yolks for a later project)
- 1/4 cup milk (I used 1%)
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 cup light feta cheese, crumbled
- salt and pepper to taste
You have the option to first fry the mushrooms or you can leave them fresh. Giving them a quick fry makes them more flavourful, but it is up to you.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and spray your pie dish with cooking spray.
Mix the eggs, egg whites and milk in a bowl until the yolks are completely combined. Add the nutmeg, salt and pepper and stir again.
Pour into your prepared pie dish (I used a 9” pie dish). Evenly distribute the mushrooms, ham, kale, parsley and feta into the egg mixture. Press the veggies/ham/feta down if they are sticking out too far for your liking.
Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until the mixture is set, and the edges are beginning to brown gently. Serve warm, or cool and cut into four (or more) slices to be used in your weekday work lunches. Serve on a bed of chopped kale!
Weekend breakfast: yet another pancake recipe
I almost always try a new pancake recipe whenever the husband and I make pancakes. It seems silly, I know, but since we hardly ever make pancakes, and since I still haven’t discovered a recipe that I find to be perfect, I figure, why not try a different recipe until I find a great one? (Or, at least one that we love enough to make again).
Nigella calls these “American breakfast pancakes,” which is kind of amusing, but seeing that she is British, perhaps not surprising. We were looking for this exact kind of pancake: light, fluffy, and thick. I was really pleased with the result: so much so that I might even use this recipe again! Do you have a favourite/go-to pancake recipe?
American breakfast pancakes - adapted very slightly from Nigella Lawson (click on my photo above or here to link to her page).
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- a pinch of salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 large eggs (break into a bowl and beat before adding to blender)
- 2 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled
- 1 1/4 cups milk (I used 1%)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- butter for frying, optional (we did not use the butter - we simply cook ours in a non-stock pan, no cooking oils required).
Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until ingredients are mixed. For a Blendtec, use the “Batter” setting. Depending on how big you make each pancake, this recipe made about 12 pancakes for us. We froze the leftovers and they froze well!.
Sunday fun day! Hearty brunch (with homemade grapefruit/clementine juice care of the husband), and making pesto with basil collected from my parent’s garden.
Loooooove Saturday mornings ❤️
Stock your pantry: homemade toasted oat and coconut muesli (recipe from Joy the Baker)
I love all things oatmeal, and I had been toying with the idea of making my own muesli to use for various breakfast and snack recipes. Sometimes I find that eating my oatmeal hot in the summer can be trying, so having a different option is key for maintaining my routine for a quick and healthy breakfast.
I am also obsessed with cold overnight oats (see here and here), so I thought that making my own muesli would be the perfect way to enhance my overnight oats. What better way to start than with a delightful recipe from the Joy the Baker blog?
Click here to see Joy the Baker’s recipe. I made it exactly as described, except for the following changes: I halved the recipe (which worked very well), and I used pre-toasted, sweetened coconut as it was all I could find at my local Bulk Barn. One thing that I really loved about this recipe is the toasted oats: it adds a subtle depth of flavour that is so tasty! And, when you see the recipe, you will see that toasting your oats is as easy as turning on your oven.
I’ve had this for breakfast for a few days now, and it is deeeeelicious! I have been using an 8 oz/ 1 cup/250 ml mason jar. I fill it about half way with the dry muesli, then top it with 1% milk until it is completely immersed. Lastly, I added fresh blueberries to fill up the rest of the jar. It sits overnight in the fridge, then I have a tasty and cool breakfast all ready to take with me to work! What could be better or easier?
Brunch for dinner: poached eggs, asparagus and smoked salmon on a scone (kind of like an eggs benedict minus the Hollandaise sauce!)
The husband had to work late a few nights recently, which gave me the opportunity to experiment in the kitchen and get a little wild with my dinners! I have been on a major asparagus kick lately, and I wanted to incorporate it into my dinner in a way other than grilling/roasting it.
Knowing that I had a pack of smoked salmon sitting in my freezer, I thought, why not go the simple route and have brunch for dinner? So I found this recipe (click on my photo above) from the Canadian Living website to use as my inspiration. For a special treat, I walked up to Thyme & Again (a wonderful food shop) on my lunch hour to grab one of their whole wheat cheddar and chive scones to use as my vessel for the toppings.
This is truly a dream meal for me: I could eat this every night! Instead of making Hollandaise, I opted to dress my open faced sandwich/Benedict with a simple drizzle of fresh lemon for some freshness and zing. Totally delicious!
Poached eggs, asparagus and smoked salmon on a scone
Serves 1 - adapted from Canadian Living
- 1 scone/English muffin/bread of your choice, halved to make two slices/pieces
- 2 eggs
- 4 slices smoked salmon
- 6 asparagus spears
- a few lemon wedges
Gently steam your asparagus and set aside. Toast your scone.
Poach your eggs (leave the yolks runny). Now build your sandwich: pile 3 asparagus spears on each scone half, then 2 slices of smoked salmon on top of each scone half. Lastly, top with the poached egg, then a squeeze of lemon. Make sure you pierce your egg yolks to let them coat your entire sandwich! Enjoy!
Brunch at Izakaya
Ok, ok, so I promise that, even though it may not seem like it, I DO INDEED cook at home every single day, but I’ve been so busy lately that our meals have been made up of mostly the same things that we tend to eat all the time, like grilling some chicken breasts and steaming some veggies. Pretty much not a lot of blog-worthy cooking! I finally got around to trying out a couple of new recipes this weekend, so I’ll have some fun stuff to share soon!
But who can resist weekend brunch on the patio on a late spring morning? I met some friends for brunch at Izakaya on Elgin Street one recent weekend, wondering what brunch at a Japanese restaurant might be like. I was pleasantly surprised!
Many of Izakaya’s brunch items have a Japanese/Asian twist, from the togarashi (chili pepper) seasoning on the home fries to the sweet soy sauce on the yakiniku beef, which is what I decided to order. The yakiniku (which translates to grilled meat) beef and two eggs was a 6 oz grilled striploin steak topped with mushrooms and a soy drizzle, served with two eggs any way (I chose over easy), togarashi-dusted home fries and toast. It was delicious! The steak was tender, the eggs perfectly drippy, and the togarashi on the home fries provided a bit of heat to spice up my brunch.
The service at Izakaya was also great - our coffees were kept filled and hot, and the staff seemed totally ok with us lingering on the patio (it wasn’t too busy). Overall, the brunch wasn’t anything mind blowing, but it was tasty and fresh. I’d definitely return!
Brunch at Pressed Cafe
A fellow foodie and friend had texted me a photo a while back that got me really excited: an eggs benedict but with waffles! I immediately had to know where she had enjoyed this beautiful sight, and the answer was Pressed Cafe.
Funnily enough, I had been meaning to go to Pressed Cafe for a very long time, but with a long list of ‘must try’ places, it had continued to be shuffled lower in the list for no reason in particular. But with this new information (and my love for all things brunch) it had suddenly become very important to get there ASAP!
So the husband and I went to check it out one Saturday morning a few weeks back, and I can say with total confidence that it did not disappoint! I had a bit of trouble deciding between which of their waffle brunch items to order as they all looked so good. In the end, I opted for the Natasha, which is two delicious Belgian waffles that come topped with the Whalesbone’s smoked trout, two poached eggs and a whole lot of hollandaise sauce. So simple, but so totally delicious, this is brunch at its best for me! The smoked trout was plentiful and the waffles were tender and not overly sweet. The whole plate came together wonderfully!
The husband was feeling more of a lunch vibe, so he ordered one of Pressed’s sandwiches, which is what they are most known for. A fresh ciabatta bun came topped with smoked chicken, roasted red peppers and goat cheese, and was served with a side of in-house made sweet potato chips and a pickled green bean. He enjoyed it very much, but it didn’t necessarily top his list of best sandwiches in Ottawa.
I would definitely return to try other versions of their waffle brunch, which I forgot to mention comes with bottomless coffee or tea (they serve Equator, which is one of my favourite local roasters). It is a very relaxed cafe with self-serve seating and food ordering - a great place to relax and enjoy a delicious brunch any weekend morning!
Weekend breakfast: toasted steel cut oatmeal (with leftovers for work lunches!)
Who knew that such a simple thing as toasting your steel cut oats could completely transform the flavours? I didn’t figure this out until recently when I tried yet another recipe from what is quickly becoming one of my all-time favourite cookbooks, Jennifer Bain’s Toronto Star Cookbook. I will now be toasting my steel cut oats every time!
The toasting of the oats imparts a deeper, more rich and earthy flavour, which I loved. I changed the cooking process from the original recipe a little bit but I think this works even better, plus you don’t have to dirty a pot AND and frying pan this way! Feel free to change up the toppings/add-ins to anything you like in terms of dried fruit, nuts and other delicious goodies. Enjoy!
Toasted steel cut oatmeal - very slightly adapted from the Toronto Star Cookbook
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 cup steel cut oats
- 4 cups water
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 tsp salt (optional)
Pure maple syrup for serving
In a large non-stick skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. When it begins to foam, add the oats, then cook, stirring constantly, until oats are golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Add the water and cranberries to the same skillet, and simmer over medium heat, uncovered and without stirring (or very minimal stirring), until the mixture thickens, about 20 minutes. Then add salt (if using) and stir lightly.
Continue to simmer until the oats have absorbed most of the water but are still slightly chewy, about another 5 minutes.
Remove pan from heat and let stand, uncovered, for 5 to 10 minutes to thicken.
Serve warm, drizzled with maple syrup. Refrigerate any leftovers and reheat easily in the microwave (add a splash of water for moisture if you desire).
Weekend breakfast: mocha crunch steel cut oats and a 5-minute quinoa flake bake
I’m always looking for ways to spice up my steel cut oats, so when I came across this recipe on The Kitchn website, I was pretty excited to give it a try (click here to link to the recipe). Chocolate and coffee are two of my most favourite flavours, especially when it comes to oatmeal. This recipe uses unsweetened cocoa powder to create the deep, dark chocolate colour and flavour. This also allows you to control how sweet you like your oatmeal. I added just a very small drizzle of maple syrup as topping, but I did not add any actual sweetener to the oatmeal mixture.
This oatmeal was delicious! A total treat, I wouldn’t make it all the time, but for something different, it is perfect. I adapted the recipe slightly from the original to suit what I had on hand, and my adapted version is below.
Mocha crunch steel cut oats - serves 2 to 4
Slightly adapted from The Kitchn
-3 cups water
-1 cup steel-cut oats
-1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
-2 teaspoons instant espresso
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1/4 cup roasted pecan pieces
-1/4 cup cinnamon chips
-Milk or cream, to serve
Optional: 1 to 2 tablespoons sweetener (sugar, maple syrup, agave nectar, honey, etc.)
Bring water to a boil. Stir in oats, espresso, cocoa powder, and salt. Bring back to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring frequently, until the oats reach your desired tenderness. Remove from the heat and stir in sweetener of choice.
Meanwhile, while the oatmeal is cooking, mix the pecan pieces and cinnamon chips in a small serving bowl.
When the oatmeal is ready, serve hot with milk or cream on the side, and sprinkled liberally with the pecan and cinnamon chip topping.
The other part of this post is my 5 minute quinoa flake bake, but I won’t go into detail about how mine turned as this was my first time attempting to make this. I bought a large sack of GoGo Quinoa Flakes recently and I have been looking for interesting ways to put it to good use. I used this recipe from Healthful Pursuit, and I liked it, but am still tweaking it. Give it a try and let me know what you think!
Weekend brunch: Spanish asparagus revuelto
While visiting my family this past weekend, my Mum wanted to try a new recipe for Sunday brunch. She had found the recipe in the Hamilton Spectator and thought it looked delicious (click on my photo to link to the website and recipe). Rather than cooking up our usual bacon and fried eggs, she thought this would be a bit more interesting.
A delightful concoction of Spanish chorizo, fresh asparagus and egg, this recipe is a flavourful take on brunch. I served mine over a bed of fresh baby spinach for some extra green goodness!
Spanish asparagus revuelto - from the Hamilton Spectator
Serves four to six
-2 peeled garlic cloves, plus ½ teaspoon minced garlic
-2 cups bread cubes, made with day-old bread cut in ½-inch cubes (we used whole wheat sandwich bread)
-salt and pepper
-2 ounces diced Spanish chorizo (we used President’s Choice)
-1 bunch thin asparagus, about 1½ pounds, cut in 1- to 2-inch lengths
-3-4 green onions, chopped
-8 large eggs, beaten
-½ teaspoon Spanish paprika
-2 tablespoons roughly chopped Italian parsley (we used curley parsley)
Put 3 tablespoons olive oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add peeled garlic cloves and let them sizzle until lightly browned, then remove. Add bread cubes, season with salt and pepper, lower heat to medium and gently fry until lightly browned and crisp, about two minutes. Remove bread and set aside to cool.
Add chorizo and fry lightly. Add asparagus, season with salt and pepper, and stir-fry until cooked through but firm, three to four minutes. Add green onions and minced garlic and cook one minute more.
Season eggs with salt, pepper and Spanish paprika. Pour into pan and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, just until soft and creamy, two to three minutes. Add parsley and serve immediately, topped with the fried bread cubes (we mixed the bread cubes in instead of using them as a topping).
A special treat: Flapjack’s Pancake Shack
Who knew that Ottawa would fall in love with a small shack serving up pancakes, panwiches (a pancake breakfast sandwich), and other delights like pancake poutine, all over the course of one the coldest and longest winters that we’ve had in quite some time.
I finally got my chance to try one of their most popular menu items, the Jimberrr! Watson panwich - a concoction of two of their buttermilk pancakes (secret recipe!), double-smoked bacon, a fried egg and a slice of gouda cheese, all served with a side of real maple syrup (and cutely named after our mayor, Jim Watson). It was delightful! The pancakes are everything that pancake dreams are made of: they’re light and fluffy with that perfect buttermilk flavour. The rest of the sandwich was just as excellent, and everything came together wonderfully.
This is a fun little spot, and I can’t wait to go back to try more of their menu items! Ottawa has gone pancake crazy, and I love it!
Brunch at the Scone Witch
Does it ever happen to you that a restaurant up and moves and you have no idea about it until you just happen to stumble upon the new location completely unintended? Well that happened to me recently as I stumbled upon the new location of the Scone Witch while taking some out of town guests down to Winterlude a few weeks ago.
Granted it had been some time (well, a very long time) since I’d been to the Scone Witch’s location on Albert Street, but in all of my internet reading about the food scene in Ottawa, I had not heard of it’s move to Elgin Street to a beautiful new (and HUGE) space.
So it was a few Sundays later when I met some friends to give it a try. I had also never been to the Scone Witch for weekend brunch, so it was a double shot of new for me.
Their brunch menu is quite small, but just go with it: you’re there for the delicious scones anyway! It is also kind of pricey, but worth it. I ordered the breakfast plate, which comes with scrambled eggs and your choice of topping (I chose smoked salmon, of course), fruit, salad, a scone of your choice and jam (or clotted cream AND jam for a little extra). I also ordered the largest cappuccino they could make for me to accompany my breakfast, which was fantastic. All in all, a great brunch: light and delicious. I went with one of my favourite of their scones, the oatmeal, with wild blueberry jam. It was heavenly.
I will definitely be back to the Scone Witch’s new location - it is bright, airy and much larger (read: more seating, less chaotic) than their Albert Street location, all which makes for a much more relaxing and enjoyable experience. Plus, there’s no better spot to get a scone in Ottawa!
Weekend project: slow cooker baked beans (round 2)
I loved making baked beans so much the first time (see here) that I have already made my second batch! I tried a different recipe this time around - this batch has no booze and I soaked the dried beans overnight before putting them in the slow cooker. Why eat baked beans from a can when you can make your own?
I was very pleased with this batch of baked beans. They were so tender with a hint of sweet and smoke - perfection to me. This recipe is a keeper! Click on my photo to link to the original recipe or see my adaptation below.
Slow cooker baked beans - serves 8-10 as a side dish
Slightly adapted from chow.com
- 1 pound dried navy beans (about 2 1/2 cups)
- 8 ounces thick-cut bacon slices (about 6 slices), small dice
- 1 medium yellow onion, small dice
- 2 1/2 cups water, plus more for soaking the beans
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup dark molasses, also known as robust (not blackstrap)
- 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (I used grainy Dijon)
- 1 tablespoon salt, plus more as needed
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
Place the beans in a large bowl or stock pot and pick through them, discarding any broken beans or stones. Cover the beans with at least 3 inches of cold water. Allow to soak uncovered at room temperature for at least 8 hours or overnight. Drain in a colander. Place the beans, bacon, and onion in the slow cooker.
Whisk the remaining measured ingredients in a bowl until combined. Pour into the slow cooker and stir with the beans, bacon and onions until thoroughly combined. Cover and cook on low heat until the beans are tender and the liquid thickens slightly (it will thicken more as it cools), about 9 hours (test them at 8 hours to see if they are tender to your liking.
These freeze really well; I like to freeze them in batches for the husband and I to enjoy on the weekends for breakfast.