Category Archives: breakfast

Pitaya (Dragonfruit) Breakfast Bowl

FullSizeRender_1

I’ve been sporadically buying these for a couple weeks down here in San Antonio, and realized lately I better learn how to make them myself, because $9 for a breakfast bowl is notttt happening. Dragonfruit (or Pitaya, if you want to be really fancy about it) is a crazy-looking fruit that’s packed with antioxidants and is a gorgeous bright pink color the stuff my eight year old birthday party dreams were made of. I combined a frozen smoothie pack of this with some coconut water and frozen cubes of fresh papaya and banana, plus about a tablespoon of chia seeds that I soaked overnight. Then, you blend it into “eat with a spoon,” not “drink with a straw” texture, top artfully with fruit and toppings of your choice and serve to your fiance, who will think this is so pretty he’ll instagram it (Hi Brendan!).

PITAYA (DRAGONFRUIT) BREAKFAST BOWL (makes 1)

  • 1 packet Pitaya Plus Smoothie Pack (NEPA friends – check Wegman’s)
  • 1/2 frozen banana (peeled and cut into slices)
  • small handful frozen papaya cubes
  • Coconut water, about 1/3 a cup
  • 1 tbsp. soaked chia seeds (optional)
  • Toppings (your choice): Sliced fresh banana, raspberries, blueberries, coconut flakes, granola, kiwi, etc.

1. In a Nutribullet or a blender, combine the smoothie pack, frozen banana and papaya, chia seeds and coconut water. Blend until it’s an “eat with a spoon” consistency (add more frozen banana or even ice to thicken it, or more coconut water to thin it).

FullSizeRender IMG_0981

2. Pour carefully into a smallish bowl.

3. Top creatively with fruit, granola, coconut etc. There are so many options for this beautiful, insanely healthy way to start your day. Enjoy!

FullSizeRender_2

 

 

Butterscotch Baked French Toast




IMG_6121

My parents were hosting a brunch the day after the stateside celebration of my cousin EM and Kristina’s wedding, and my mom was all, “Just bring something over that everyone will like. Brunch starts at 11.” So, since A. I planned on being mildly hungover B. I love sleep, especially on the weekends, more than anything, and C. I still wanted to make something good, I started searching for make-ahead brunch meals that I could put together the night before and just throw it into the oven the next morning. When I found Smitten Kitchen’s “boozy baked french toast,” the words read like a song. This was the one.  I love Smitten Kitchen, and I love anything that tastes this good with minimal effort, and I especially love the post-event rehash with some of my favorite trash-talkers (my family).

If you’re looking to throw together something that requires little effort the day before, but is hands-down amazing – and also may or may not soak up your New Year’s hangover – this french toast is here to save the day.

BUTTERSCOTCH BAKED FRENCH TOAST (serves 6, generously – barely adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

Continue reading

Breakfast Bananas

There’s this adorable restaurant in Scranton called Mansours, and every time I go in there I want to hunker down and spend the day there. It’s just beautiful and so welcoming.  It also doesn’t hurt that their food is amazing, and they serve La Colombe coffee, which I really miss from when I lived in Philly and there was a La Colombe about every block or so. They also serve one of my very favorite breakfasts. Are you ready?  Bananas, covered in peanut butter, rolled in really good granola and drizzled with honey. I know. I finally decided to try and make this myself since, you know, they’re not open every day. Enjoy.

BREAKFAST BANANAS (serves 2)
– 2 bananas
– Approx. 3 tbsp. peanut butter
– Really good granola-trail mix blend. This is key. Get something that’s flavorful and has whole almonds, cranberries and whatever other flavor you’d like on this. I used a mix of Wegman’s Organic French Vanilla and Almond Granola and Cranberry Sunshine
– Honey


1. Cut off the very top and bottom of the bananas.


2. With a knife, cover the bananas in peanut butter. I used Justin’s honey-peanut butter, which was awesome on this.

Continue reading

Polenta Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon and Lemon-Dill “Hollandaise” Sauce

Weekend breakfasts have been out of this world lately. Just about every Sunday we sleep in, then cook up a great brunch and listen to our motown playlist while reading the paper. It makes me feel like my life is grown-up in the way I used to think about adults on tv shows as a kid, like Denise Huxtable or most of the cast of ThirtySomething. Anyway, for this, we skipped the traditional english muffin base and used polenta baked with butter and sage, which was incredible. Then, of course, Wild for Salmon’s unbeatable Hickory Smoked Salmon (and seriously, I don’t know if I can ever go back to salmon other than wild-caught like this – night and day difference between the two), gently poached eggies and the lemon-dill sauce. It’s December. Make this then snuggle up with somebody you love this weekend.

POLENTA EGGS BENEDICT WITH SMOKED SALMON AND LEMON-DILL SAUCE (makes breakfast for 2 very lucky guests)
– 4 eggs
Lemon-Dill sauce
– 4 precooked polenta circles
– chopped fresh sage, approx. 8 leaves
– 4 tbsp. butter
Wild for Salmon’s Hickory Smoked Salmon 

1. Get the polenta ready. You want to get a package of it precooked, then cut it into 1/2 inch slices.


2. Next, cut circles out of those slices with either a cookie cutter or a measuring cup (Kitchen hacks. You’re welcome). 


3. Melt the butter, chop up the sage, and combine.


4. Brush the polenta on both sides with the butter and sage mixture. Bake at 400 for approx. 30 minutes, or until firmer (crispy-ish) and golden. Set aside to cool while you make the eggs.

Continue reading

Fall Breakfast Sandwich – Roasted Butternut Squash, Fried Egg, Bacon, Crispy Sage

The first Sunday brunch in the new place really made it feel like home. Bren and I woke up, got a ridiculous grocery order to stock the fridge, and then put together this incredible breakfast sammie. Roasted butternut squash serves as a savory base, bacon crisped within an inch of its life added the crunch and saltiness, fried egg made it breakfast-y, and the browned-butter crispy sage was the perfect topping. We made some Zummo’s coffee, halved a grapefruit and brought everything out to our awesome sun porch to have breakfast while listening to a Sunday morning Motown playlist and reading the Sunday edition of the Scranton Times, which Brendan dominated today.

I’m writing this from the porch and currently 100% content with life. Make this breakfast sandwich and enjoy your Sunday!

FALL BREAKFAST SANDWICH – ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH, FRIED EGG, BACON & CRISPY SAGE (makes 2)
– 2 whole-wheat english muffins, halved and toasted
– 1.5 cups of butternut squash
– 4 eggs
– 4 slices of bacon
– 8 sage leaves
– 3 tbsp. butter
– 1 tbsp. EVOO
– Kosher salt & fresh black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 425.

2. Cut off probably 3 inches of the top of a butternut squash (so you don’t waste the rest of it), then rub the cut side with a little bit of EVOO.

3. Place the squash cut-side down on a baking sheet, roast for approx. 40 minutes. Take out of the oven and allow to cool while you put everything else together.

4. In a larger pan, add the bacon over medium-high heat. Flip when the underside starts to get crispy, pushing the bacon around the pan to make sure it gets cooked and crispy.  Remove and drain on paper towels.


5. Meanwhile, in a non-stick or enamel skillet, melt 1.5 tbsp. butter and 1 tbsp. EVOO over medium heat.


6. Crack the eggs, one at a time, into a ramekin. Add to the skillet when the butter/oil mixture starts to be shimmery and have tiny bubbles. 

7. I cooked 2 eggs at a time. Gently add each one to the pan, let them set a bit, and then cover with a lid to steam it all together. This takes about 5 minutes – in about 3, uncover the pan and add a little kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to the eggs.  When finished (you can cook them as long as you want for yolk consistency – I cooked the yolks all the way through, but might try this again with the yolks a little runnier), remove with a spatula to a plate and cook the other 2 eggs the same way.

8. In a different, smaller pan, melt the butter slowly over medium low heat while the eggs are cooking. When it starts to get a little brown (brown – not black, otherwise throw it out and start over), add the sage leaves and shake the pan while the butter coats them and they get crispy.

9. Remove the skin from the butternut squash, cut into chunks and add to a bowl. Mash. This needs nothing as apparently butternut squash is the world’s perfect, most tasty food when roasted.


10. Toast the english muffin halves, then assemble – a spread of the butternut squash, then the bacon, the fried egg and top it all with a couple of crispy sage leaves.

 

11. Serve and watch your boyfriend be completely impressed by how you’re changing his entire opinion of squash. Happy Sunday.




Bagels a la Heather

Sometimes I get recipe ideas from the weirdest places. In this case that place was, “Lies That Chelsea Handler Told Me.”


Chelsea Handler is hilarious and apparently the world’s greatest liar. Her coworkers and friends – who wrote this book together about the times she’s full-blown made up the most ridiculous stories ever, which they believed 100% – seem like they love her despite this. And “Lies  That Chelsea Handler Told Me” is just another in the series of Chelsea Handler books that made me laugh out loud. 

In a small paragraph written by Chelsea’s coworker and panelist Heather McDonald about her breakfast, though, I read:  “You slice the bagel, scoop out all the carb-infested middle, then toast what’s left, and pile on light cream cheese, tomatoes, and cucumbers, and a hint of fresh lemon juice. You get all the crunch and flavor with half the calories!” This, of course, spoke straight to my heart. 

My parents had this gorgeous dinner party last night, and Brendan and I slept over afterwards, and for breakfast this morning I came down to the bagels and coffees for us from my dad. My parents had everything for these Heather McDonald bagels in their fridge, so there you go. I wasn’t feeling great so I made these, got a glass of fresh-pressed OJ and went upstairs to have breakfast in bed, which was exactly what I needed. When’s the last time you had breakfast in bed? Make this and Treat Yo’ Self.

BAGELS A LA HEATHER 
– Bagel
– 1 tbsp. capers, chopped
– 2 tbsp. cucumbers, chopped
– 2 tbsp. tomatoes, chopped
– thin layer of cream cheese
– squeeze of lemon

1. Scoop out the “carb-infested middle” of the bagel. Toast.

 

2. Add a thin layer of cream cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes and capers. Top with a squeeze of lemon and enjoy.







Whole-Grain Blueberry Sour Cream Pancakes


There are some days that just need blueberry pancakes, and today is one of those days. I used to make pancakes with a mix, but honestly, this is so much tastier, and you can gauge what goes into it too. Sour cream pancakes + blueberries = perfect Sunday morning. 

WHOLE-GRAIN BLUEBERRY SOUR CREAM PANCAKES (makes about 12 pancakes)
– 4 oz. sour cream (1/2 cup)
– 1 container honey greek yogurt (a little more that 1/2 cup)
– 1 tsp. vanilla extract
– 2 tbsp. sugar
– 1 egg
– 3/4 C. whole grain, whole wheat flour
– 1 tsp. baking powder
– 1/2 tsp. baking soda
– 1 tsp. cinnamon
– pinch nutmeg

1. Whisk together the sour cream, honey greek yogurt, vanilla, sugar and egg. 

2. Gently fold in the blueberries.

3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg.

4. A little bit at a time, combine the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. 

5. Over medium heat, melt a pat of butter. When melted, add the batter a little bit at a time into pancake shapes.

6. Flip when the edges start to look cooked, then cook on the other side until done.


7. Serve with maple syrup and butter and enjoy the rest of your weekend!



California Eggs Benedict

You guys, I think this might be my new favorite breakfast. Poaching eggs is apparently the easiest thing in the world and they look so impressive. Take some avocados, smoked salmon, and the The Best Dressing Ever for a little heat, put them on whole-wheat English Muffins, and you have an unbelievably delicious, healthy-ish, completely filling breakfast that – honestly – puts just about every weekend brunch you could pay for to shame. Brendan and I had these for breakfast this morning, and both of us were taking our sweet time finishing them because we didn’t want to get to that last bite. SO GOOD.

CALIFORNIA EGGS BENEDICT (serves 2)
– 4 fresh eggs
– 3/4 avocado, sliced
– 4 oz. smoke salmon
– 2 whole wheat English Muffins
– a little bit of butter
– a little bit of kosher salt (optional)
The Best Dressing Ever

1. In a smaller sauce pot, heat about 6 inches of water over medium high heat. The temperature here is key – you want it to be bubbling but not boiling. Add a little white wine vinegar and a little kosher salt.

2. Crack 1 egg into a concave ramekin. If the yolk breaks, toss it and start again. 


3. When the water is ready, swirl it with a spatula into a little tornado of water. Gently spill the egg from the ramekin into the “eye” of the tornado. 

4. Let the egg cook for approximately 3-4 minutes. You want the egg yolk to be a little bit set but mostly runny, not firm. When yolk is ready, remove with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel. Repeat with the other 3 eggs, one at a time.


5. Meanwhile, slice the avocados and get out the smoked salmon.


6. When you add the last egg to the poaching pot, lightly toast the English Muffins. When toasted, add a little butter to melt. 


7. Remove the last egg from the water, turn off the stove, but leave the water on the stove.

8. Have your super talented boyfriend get out his bad-ass camera to take the following pictures.

9. Top English Muffins with smoked salmon and avocado slices.


10. To reheat the first few eggs, add them back to the poaching pot for a minute to reheat in the warm water. Remove and drain.

11. Top smoked salmon and avocado slices with poached eggs.



12. Get out the Best Dressing Ever, and drizzle over the eggs. 



13. Top with a sprinkle of Kosher salt (optional). 

14. Cut into the middle of the yolk so it spills over the English Muffins. Brace yourself for enjoying one of the best breakfasts you’ll ever have.  



Poached Eggs with Thyme over English Muffins with Avocado, Cheddar and Tomato

Ok, seriously. Do you guys have any idea how simple it is to make poached eggs? These were the result of my first time ever making them. !!!  If I can do it this easily, you can too. There are a couple basic tricks that will make this a piece of cake. Get ready to wow whoever’s lucky enough to be over for breakfast.

POACHED EGGS WITH THYME OVER ENGLISH MUFFINS WITH AVOCADO, CHEDDAR AND TOMATO (serves 2)

– 4 eggs, super fresh (fresh is key)
– 2 whole English muffins, cut in half
– Fresh thyme
– Good cheddar, cut into curls
– Avocado slices (about 1/2 an avocado)
– Slices of plum tomato 
– splash of white wine vinegar
– kosher salt & pepper
– butter

1. Heat about 5 inches of water in a pot – temperature is key here. I slowly brought up the heat on this to medium, medium high, so that it was starting to gently bubble but definitely not boiling.

2. Crack an egg into a ramekin, making sure you keep the yolk intact.
3. When the water temperature is at that perfect “starting to bubble, definitely not boiling” temperature, throw in a splash of white wine vinegar and a little kosher salt. Make sure the salt dissolves.

4. Get a spatula and swirl the water in the pot into a little whirlpool. While the water’s spinning, gently slide the egg into the middle of the whirlpool (the eye? Do whirlpools have an ‘eye’ like tornadoes do?). You’ll see the egg start to swirl itself together, as it cooks. If it sticks to the bottom of the pot, gently nudge it up with the spatula.

5. Leave it alone for about 4-5 minutes. You want the egg center to be runny, not overcooked. This is probably the only hard part about this, trying to gauge when it’s ready. Keep practicing – it’s a delicious experiment.

6. When the egg is ready, scoop out with a slotted spoon. Set on paper towels to drain. Repeat with the rest of the eggs. 
 

7. Meanwhile, toast the english muffins. Top with a little butter, avocado slices, tomato slices and cheddar curls.

8. Put the eggs on top of the assembled english muffins. Top with a little kosher salt & pepper, and some fresh thyme, too.

9. The best part – gently cut into the yolk of the egg – the poached yolk is all you need for a topping on one of the most delicious breakfasts you’ll ever have.


Breakfast Bake: Spinach, Feta and Caramelized Onion

I really love breakfast bakes – they’re so easy to make, you can throw it together in 15 minutes and have a reheatable breakfast for almost the rest of the week, and they’re so versatile, too. In this past I’ve made a baby kale & feta bake and one with leeks, smoked salmon, cheddar & cream cheese, but this one is more of a Greek flavor…spinach, feta, onions and a little dill. It was fantastic.

BREAKFAST BAKE: SPINACH, FETA AND CARAMELIZED ONION (makes 8 slices)
– 8 oz. spinach 
– 1/2 a vidalia onion, sliced into thin moons 
– 1 tsp. chopped dill (optional) 
– salt & pepper 
– 10 eggs (6 whites and 4 whole eggs) 
– 1/3 C. milk 
– 1 tbsp. butter 
– 1 tbsp. EVOO 
– 1/3 c feta 
– 1 tsp. herbamare or 1/2 tsp. salt & 1/2 tsp. pepper 

1. Preheat oven to 375. 

2. Grease pan lightly with dab of EVOO.

3.  Melt butter over medium low and saute onions until translucent, then beginning to pick up some rich color.   


4. Remove from heat and add spinach, stir until wilted. 


5. Add dill (optional) and herbamare or salt/pepper.

6. Make the first layer a mix of spinach & onions.

7.  Add crumbled feta for the second layer.


8. Beat the eggs, milk & a little more salt/pepper, then add to the top of the spinach/onion/feta layers. Use a fork to kind of stick the eggs down into the mix so they get covered. 


9. Bake, uncovered, for 30-35 minutes, or until a knife can be interested cleanly. Don’t open the oven to check on this until you’re almost positive it’s ready, or it’ll fall! 

10. Let stand uncovered for at least 5 minutes before serving. Cut into squares or slices and enjoy.