Any Kitchen Will Do

Give me a kitchen and I will cook.

Archive for the category “breakfast”

Pancakes a la Coconut Flour

coconut flour pancakes

On weekend mornings we sometimes go to a restaurant for brunch. More often then not we end up making complicated orders to cut out starches and wheat, or rely solely on the a la carte menu to fit our diet. Inevitably the ordering process is interrupted while the server makes a trip back to the kitchen to confirm whether or not we can substitute a salad or vegetables for the hash browns and toast. Skimming through the majority of the menu items, most of which involve cakes, toasts, waffles and syrups, reminds me of Sunday mornings growing up. After returning home from church we would all change into our sweats and dad would set up the production line – he would make dozens of waffles, which we would eat on for a month out of the freezer, and enjoy hot, fresh ones immediately. Other days he would make pancakes, with a resulting mound of leftovers reaching a foot high or more. Those extras went into the freezer, too. There was always a bag of one or the other that could be pulled from and popped in the microwave for a quick meal anytime. I have avoided making waffles or pancakes since our shift to wheat free eating because of the obvious barriers of wheat and syrup. After pondering for a while and looking into a bunch of recipes, I think I came up with one that will fill in the sentimental weekend brunch gap. Thank you Carol over at Ditch the Wheat for the trial and error and the resulting great recipe (even though I did tweak it a bit). The cakes turned out great – when Big D and I bit into them we looked at each other, our eyes got wide and we shared our amazement at how similar they were to the pancakes of our childhood! Topped with some Kerry Gold Irish Butter and some Da Vinci sugar free syrup, they were extremely satisfying. Making them also brought back some fond memories of my dad, who passed away about two years ago and always spent happy times in the kitchen. We are definitely making these again, if for no other reason than because I promised Little B we would do so, after seeing her face was so sad when she learned they were all gone. Gotta stock up that freezer! And next weekend I am gonna show her how to eat them with my mom’s wonderful southern contribution slathered on top – peanut butter!

Pancakes a la Coconut Flour

2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
Sprinkle of ground cinnamon
3 large eggs
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut flour, sifted
1 tsp powdered stevita (or 1 Tbsp Stevia in the Raw)
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp sea salt
Additional coconut oil or butter for cooking

Cream together the coconut oil and cinnamon. Add the eggs one at a time. Add coconut milk and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Add coconut flour and stevita. Mix until smooth. Lastly add cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Do not over mix the batter. Over mixing will result in the baking agents (cream of tartar & baking soda) not working. Use a ladle and pour small amount of batter into a crepe pan or large frying pan with butter or coconut oil on medium heat. Flip once the bottom is light brown and edges are set enough to flip without losing shape. The pancakes will not bubble as much as “regular” pancakes. Serve immediately with a drizzle of syrup. One batch makes about 8 pancakes, so double and triple as needed to feed your clan.

Camp Scramble

camp scramble 5We went on a final camping trip in Maryland before moving west. This time I actually remembered to take pictures of our typical breakfast – a rare multi-step pictorial is provided for your viewing pleasure. Not because pictures were necessary, but because I just went a little picture crazy and could not decide on a single one. Our egg preparation process, which reduces any extra mess, and gives Little B an opportunity to help without being to near the propane stove that often sits a bit precariously on a tilted picnic table. Although this overnight trip did not require much prep before leaving home (we actually hit the grocery store on the way to the campground), we often take a few extra steps before going camping to make meals delicious, yet simple. For example, mixing ground beef with herbs and spices and dumping it in a resealable bag makes for some flavorful burgers without having to schlepp a bunch of spices separately. For eggs we often break them into resealable bags – enough eggs for using one bag each camp morning – and the transport in the cooler minimizes the space used up by eggs and helps to scramble them en route. Simple salt, pepper and butter completes the dish. This most recent trip included the addition of cheese to officially call the result a scramble instead of just scrambled eggs. And yes, for you egg connoisseurs, I appreciate the difference between the purity of scrambled eggs and the corruption of adding non-egg ingredients. This resealable bag technique also works well at home with little ones who have not yet mastered the use of a whisk and bowl, but want to help.

Camp Scramble

8 – 9 eggs (2-3 eggs per person)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp butter
Resealable bag – quart or gallon will work

Break eggs into bag.

camp scramble 1











Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add cheese.

camp scramble 2nd











Smush and mush bag contents until yolks and whites are combined.

camp scramble 3











Heat pan to medium high, add butter. When butter is melted pour egg mixture into heated pan and stir gently until egg is cooked.

camp scramble 4











Meaty Fritatta

meaty frittata

Yep. We are on a run of two meals a day. Not because we are watching calories or anything, but because we are having big holiday lunches or dinners, or leftovers of big holiday lunches or dinners, so any other meals are simple and small. For example, we have quick plates of eggs and greens, or a plate of antipasto because of a big meal happening later. Here is a meal that can use leftover meats and will keep you filled until “the” big meal later. A fritatta is easy to put together while also giving you (aka, me) a few minutes sit and sip some coffee while it cooks, but before digging in. Besides the holiday balancing of big meals, this is something we have on weekend mornings when we are not exactly sure what to do for the day. It is a great time to sit and ponder what we are going to discover in the world with Little B. The awesome part these days is that Little B is very vocal about what she wants to do, and not do, so having a conversation with her about our activities while brunch cooks is pretty darned cool.

Meaty Veggie Fritatta

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
½ sweet onion, finely chopped
8 ounces sausage, roughly chopped
8 ounces ham or bacon, roughly chopped
1 cup broccoli, finely chopped
8 eggs
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried parsley
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
2 cups shredded cheese, a combination of cheddar, colby jack, monterrey and pepper jack

In large frying pan add oil over medium heat. When oil is hot add garlic and onion. Cook until they begin to brown. Add sausage, ham and broccoli. Toss and cook until broccoli begins to wilt. In medium bowl while meat is cooking add eggs, basil, oregano, parsley, cumin, salt and pepper. Whip until eggs yolks and whites are combined and spices are mixed up. When meat is ready add eggs and stir until meat mixture and eggs are combined. Turn heat down as low as possible and sprinkle cheese on top. Cover pan and cook for ten to fifteen minutes, until eggs are set and cheese is melted all the way to the middle. Remove from heat and leave covered for about ten minutes. Uncover and slice into wedges. Serve with fresh fruits and vegetables.

Oniony Omelet

So many weekday evenings there is a need for food, but not necessarily a desire for cooking. Don’t get me wrong, I adore cooking, but sometimes I walk into the house in the evening and just want to collapse and enjoy my family while doing the minimum necessary to prepare for the next day, much less for the evening. That includes dinner. Preparing a quick meal can add to the evening enjoyment, but only as long as it stays quick. The past couple of weeks have included crazy busy long days at work, so the oldie but goodie – breakfast for dinner – is ideal and filling. For me, there is just something about an oniony, cheesy omelet that hits the spot. Slap a couple of tomato slices on the side and dinner is served!

Oniony Omelet

1 Tbsp butter
½ small sweet onion
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 slices ham, finely diced
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp dried parsley
3 eggs, cracked and mixed
½ cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese

In medium skillet melt butter over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic. Saute for a few minutes until they begin to sweat. Add ham and cook until ham, garlic and onions begin to brown. Add salt, pepper and parsley. Lower heat to medium low. Spread out ham mixture in pan. Pour in egg and swirl pan around to spread it out. Let cook for a few minutes until egg sets. Using a spatula pull egg in from the edges of the pan. When egg from the middle of the pan begins to bubble slide your spatula under half of it and quickly flip it over the other half of the egg, pushing a little from the middle to complete the folding in half. Cover and cook for another minute until the egg is to desired doneness. Serve immediately.


Blueberry Coconut Flour Muffins

Little B used to not like blueberries at all. We stopped even offering them to her, then suddenly, they were the best thing since sliced bread! They still come after blackberries, but they rank pretty high with her these days. When we celebrated Lammas a couple of weeks ago we wanted to honor the day with what is typically use of traditional first harvest items, and the recognition that days are getting shorter and cooler. Well, not cooler yet, but linger in the anticipation. First harvest is usually grains; more specifically, wheat. Since we are avoiding wheat there was a need to focus on a more creative symbolic dish. We mixed up some grain free muffins with a different seasonal harvest item – blueberries! They were wonderful accompaniments to the other harvest items on which we feasted: apples, zucchini, pork and wine. We had a lovely evening releasing regrets and looking towards autumn – what I consider my favorite time of year. I used coconut flour again, which has become a favored ingredient in my baking lately – it does not take much to go a long way and it is good for you! I hope you enjoy the muffins, for we did, in all their bluberry-ness.

Coconut Flour Blueberry Muffins

6 eggs
4 Tbsp plus 2 Tbsp (or 12 1/2 tsp) butter
2 Tbsp heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 drops liquid stevia
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup powdered erythritol
1/2 tsp baking powder
8 ounces blueberries

Preheat oven to 400F. Prepare muffin pan with liners. In mixing bowl blend together wet ingredients. In separate bowl combine dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir just until combined. Gently fold in blueberries. Divide batter among the 12 muffin cups. Bake for about 15 minutes until tops begin to brown. Let cool for about ten minutes before serving.

Update 11/26/12: Little B and I made a batch of these muffins tonight. A tweak made some doubly delicious muffins! We threw all the wet ingredients, along with the blueberries into a blender and whipped them all up together before combining with wet ingredients. We also added juice from half a very juicy lime – about 1/5 cup (very juicy lime). The tweaks made them more moist and the sweet and tang of the berries and juice worked great together. Everything else remained the same in the recipe.

Scotch Eggs

The nostalgia is dripping from my entries lately. Never fear, it continues here. Starting in high school my friends and I would go to the Texas Renaissance Festival every autumn. It ran October through November on weekends. The trip was a big deal for us because it did not include parents. Since we could not get permission (or collect the funds) for an overnight trip, our adventure was a freakishly long marathon. A one way trip from San Antonio to the festival north of Houston was at least four hours. The round trip, plus time at the festival (and staying up late the night before leaving) equaled a twenty hour day. It was a lot of fun and a lot of gas station stops. We returned home tired and smelly and happy, with bags smelling of incense and full of Christmas presents. Our first stop in the festival grounds was always along the right edge of the outer ring, to eat our first of many treats – Scotch eggs. They were great sources of protein after the doughnuts we grabbed in Flatonia and the empty calories of candy and chips. Here is a low carb version that reminds me of the festival snack. We will be going to the Maryland Renaissance Festival in August, and I am curious to see if they have them. On this fine Sunday morning while the summer sun shone brightly through the kitchen window I made a batch that tasted so very good, and introduced Little B to the dish – she inhaled her egg and ate some of Big D’s and mine. After the feast was over we lamented the fact we did not include some theme music. Consumption of the next batch will definitely include the tunes of Tartanic! I took guidance for this recipe from here. Have a happy day, and always return to happy thoughts and places whenever you can.

Scotch Eggs

1 pound hot breakfast sausage (we typically use Jimmy Dean All Natural or Spicy style)
8 medium boiled eggs, peeled
2 raw eggs
1 cup golden flaxseed meal
1 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Combine the flaxseed meal and salt together in a bowl. In another bowl whisk together the two raw eggs.

Divide the sausage into eight piles. Using your hands, press the sausage into a patty in the palm of your hand. Place a hard boiled egg in the middle of the patty and and mold the sausage around it until it is completely and evenly covered.

Roll each sausage covered egg in the raw egg, then each in the flaxseed meal to coat it. Repeat with the remaining eggs, then roll them all once more in the meal until it is gone.

Place the eggs on the foil-lined baking sheet, at least two inches apart. Bake the eggs until the outside is browned and the sausage is cooked through, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let the eggs rest for 5 minutes. Slice in half and serve with mustard.

Cold Brewed Coffee

I just spent $3.00 for a big iced coffee. It is not exorbitantly expensive, but probably ten times what it would cost to make for myself. Now that hot weather has invaded my life I could not be less interested in steaming cups of java. Today’s iced drink reminded me that I need to pull out a big jar and grind some coffee. My favorite caffeine boost in the summer is cold brewed coffee. It is easy and delicious and does not require a coffee maker (which we are lacking right now). I like mine with a little cinnamon and cream. Big D tasted this batch – I have made many but he never before partook. As is my opinion, he thought the cold brew made for an extremely smooth, strong finished result. He usually likes triple shot espresso concoctions called sludge or the like, so I was surprised that he liked my little cold brew. I use dark roasted coffee (not French Roast – yuck) and there is no bitterness. Just deep, toasty flavors that only weaken slightly as the ice melts. Of course, there are endless possibilities when it comes to doctoring up the final product with spices and creams and sweeteners. Deep in the summer I lean towards just a splash of cream, then as fall nears I go heavier on the cinnamon and nutmeg, before I finally turn to hot coffee as the summer wind is replaced with cool breezes. I first learned about cold brewing long ago from my old friend Brian, then was reminded of it again years later by the guys over at The Bitten Word. I tweaked it a little since first making it for myself, but their version is wonderful.

Cold Brewed Coffee

1 cup dark roasted coffee, coarsely ground
4 cups cold water
Optional flavors for serving:
Heavy cream
Half and half

In a quart sized jar* with screw lid add water and coffee. Screw lid on tightly and shake. Place in refrigerator for 24 hours. Leaving it for more than a day will not hurt it. Strain liquid into another jar or bowl, through a sieve with coffee filter lining it. Rinse jar and return coffee to it. Store in refrigerator. To serve, fill your serving cup about ½ way with coffee and add ice until glass is filled. If the coffee is too strong for you add a bit of water. If you like, stir into the coffee about 1-2 Tablespoons heavy cream, a dash of cinnamon and any sweetener or other spices – the way I like it – or have it straight, which is delicious, too!

*Before my french press broke I would use it for the brewing and straining. It is a smaller volume, but makes for a faster process. The proportions are different, but I try to do 4:1 water to coffee, and it works out the same as using a jar and slightly clumsy process of straining with sieve and filter. When you put it in the fridge leave the plunger up, then before serving gently press it down to filter the coffee.

Biscuits and Gravy

Our foster son, Tall P, is a good old southern boy. He loves his sweet tea, meat, mac n cheese and of course biscuits and gravy. We went to a diner for breakfast last week and he really wanted some. The plate came out and he dove in, but was sorely disappointed. The gravy was tasteless and the biscuits were mediocre. For anyone it would be a let down, but for someone who really likes good biscuits and gravy it was even worse. He looked so sad. I am not exactly sure where to find good biscuits and gravy in Maryland, so I decided to just make him some. Now, I know how to make biscuits and I know how to make gravy, but I had to grill him about what exactly he likes about a good plate of biscuits and gravy to make sure I did them right for him. Growing up I was never very interested in the dish, because my dad always made SOS (um, stuff on a shingle), which reminded him of Army mess halls. I never cared for the stuff, and frankly, biscuits with white sausage gravy always reminded me of the SOS. No thank you. I must say, my combination of biscuits and gravy came out pretty darned good, and was nothing like the SOS my dad made. Sorry dad, you lose this one.

Biscuits and Gravy

For the Biscuits
2 cups all purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Pepper to taste
1 tsp sugar
1/3 cup oil
2/3 cup milk

For the Gravy
¼ pound ground sausage, with drippings
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1 cup milk

In medium pan cook sausage over medium high heat until browned, about five minutes. Set aside. Preheat oven to 375. In mixing bowl stir together flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and pepper. Add oil and milk. Using a fork stir together ingredients until well combined and dough forms. On a floured surface roll out dough to about an inch thick. Cut out biscuits with a round glass or dough cutters – makes about nine 2” round biscuits. Place biscuits in buttered baking dish or cookie sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes until slightly brown on top.

When biscuits are about half done turn the heat back on under the sausage with drippings. When it starts to sizzle add butter to melt. Add flour and whisk together thoroughly with butter, sausage and drippings to make a smooth roux. Let flour darken a bit. Add milk and continue whisking until gravy thickens. When biscuits are ready spoon gravy over them and serve, eating them immediately.

Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

You may have noticed an influx of vegetables and meat in my entries lately. It is because we are watching our carbohydrate intake and there is no subtlety in the absence of starches. Alas, Brigit is still a lover of such things and is at an age where if she shows interest in food I definitely want to make it available. She has a constant interest in peanut butter and a dynamic interest in bananas, so I combined the two into a muffin, based on the still limited stocking of our pantry. She inhaled a muffin after dinner and there is already one packed for her to munch on during tomorrow’s commute, so I think they are a success. Some vitamins and protein are no so bad, in spite of the processed flour and sugar. I will take what I can get with my almost three-year old. Oh yeah, the 17 year old foster son Paul (who thinks it is weird to do a food blog, but finds it totally reasonable to text and IM all day) promises to eat some, but not right after dinner. Teenagers. Ugh. I was not altogether creative on this one – I just wanted to use up the old bananas and have something to make that involved Little B in breaking eggs and smooshing stuff. They came out really great, so go forth and make some muffins! Here is the source.

Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
2 ripe bananas, mashed

Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl beat together the peanut butter, oil, eggs, milk and bananas. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Spoon the batter into 12 well greased muffin cups. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Makes 12 muffins.

Hash Brown Cups

We are still living sans kitchen. I am starting to dream about cooking things that are sauteed, baked, seared, broiled and browned. Pretty much things you can’t do in a microwave. Speaking of brown…I like my hash browns brown. Some of them can be unbrown, but I like the crispy parts and the almost crispy parts the best. Especially with a little hot sauce, salt and pepper sprinkled on them. I first made these hash brown cups for a brunch when I was not going to have enough time before it was time to eat to cook them properly. I have not done it yet, but I am thinking of having a cuppy brunch some day – hash brown cups, eggy cups and maybe some cinnamon roll cups. Then I can be really creative and serve beverages in cups and everything will be just cuppy! Okay, now that tangent is out of me I can return to the hash browns. If you make them ahead of time a bit of the crispy may be lost, but they reheat just fine. The picture shows some I took out a bit early because I was running late for an appointment, so don’t do as I do, do as I say!

Hash Brown Cups

1 package (30 ounces) grated potato hash browns, thawed
1 cup finely grated parmesan
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic, diced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
3 Tbsp olive or canola oil

Preheat oven to 375F. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Divide potatoes among 12 well greased muffin pan cups. Bake for about an hour until bottoms are crispy. The potatoes touching the pan will brown but the very tops will not brown much at all. Remove from oven and let cook for about 20 minutes. If you take them out too soon they may not keep their molded form, so avoid the temptation to take them out early unless there is actually a problem and smoke is pouring out of the oven.

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