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Archive for the ‘Breakfast’ Category

Biscuits’n’Gravy

It’s hard to believe this graced my table.  Biscuits and gravy.  Gravy.  GRAVY.  Not my thing.

But every once in awhile you have to do something in the name of love, right?  And sausage is my husband’s love.  And sausage n gravy n biscuits just might be his ultimate love.

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And so the other night this graced my table. Of course I couldn’t leave well enough alone and had to serve up Maple Cornmeal Biscuits with Sausage Gravy. But I don’t know why I bothered because for Nate the tried and true will always be best. And for me biscuits and gravy will always be something I could live without for a long time. Like forever. That long.

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How perfectly fitting that I’ve moved into our new, temporary home with it’s wonderfully retro dishware making it’s debut on a wonderfully retro dish.

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Classic Croissants

Fine Cooking is a helpful fantastic magazine for technique education.  They don’t just spotlight a recipe for a perfect pie crust.  They include step by step photos and instructions and explain why the methods and ingredients were chosen.  I’ve made croissants once before (and ate them all up rather quickly), but when I saw Fine Cooking had featured them in an instructional piece I knew it was time to try again.  Oh and my baby was finally sleep trained so yes, it was time to try again.

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Fantastico were the results!  Perfectly crunch outside, perfectly flaky inside.  Gobs and gobs of buttery goodness.  They gave measurements and guide to make 15 large croissants and this was the only part I ignored because I wanted croissants of all varieties.

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Classic croissants

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Vanilla sugar croissant clusters

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And never to be left out, pain au chocolat

Instead of including the recipe, I’m sending you straight to Fine Cooking where you, too, can benefit from the purty pictures and long, long, long instructions:  Classic Croissants at Fine Cooking

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With the chill in the air and a sweater on today, doesn’t it just seem like the perfect day for comfort food? And what better way to end the meal than to tuck into a bowl of warm bread pudding.

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Here was Saturday morning’s result of the 80 lbs. of cinnamon roll dough I accidentally made.  Maple Walnut Cinnamon Rolls.  Take your basic recipe and add a touch of maple flavoring to the dough, some chopped walnuts to the filling, and top it with a maple glaze.  After all, despite being a firm believer in the fact that there is nothing better than the original cinnamon roll dough, when you’ve got 80 lbs. of it … it’s time to get a little creative with some of your pans!

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Abundance

Just over a week ago I tried out a new recipe for cinnamon rolls.  I still don’t feel I’ve ever found “the one.”  I noted that this recipe called for about 2 extra cups of flour than most I’ve used.  I figured, no matter, I needed something to take to a potluck and having an extra pan or two in the freezer would just be bonus.

Well, two extra cups of four turned into about 5 extra cups of flour.  I failed to note that the recipe guaranteed you would need more flour to form the dough.  Although, I found it a little dumb that they didn’t note you’d need about THREE extra cups.  Sheesh.  I just kept mixing and adding, mixing and adding.

Then we had to run out the door really fast so I shoved the dough in a bowl to rise and off we went.  This is what I came home to:

Holy dough!  It took me two more days and 6 pan-fuls to use up this dough.  And now my arms are broken the end.

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Welcome to Saturday morning at our house …

Okay, well, maybe once a month.  The other Saturdays I’m still setting my alarm to jump out of bed and get out the door after shoving a bowl of cereal down my throat.  But every once in a while I like to feel like it can really be Saturday.  And a Saturday is NEVER Saturday without a yummy breakfast treat, due to my childhood spoiling of waking up to pancakes, French toast, or cinnamon rolls. 

(My dad was also known to whisper in my ear, “Kelley, wake up.  We’re having cinnamon rolls,” when in fact NO cinnamon rolls were to be found because he’s like that sometimes.  The disappointment in such memories is still palpable.)

But these aren’t cinnamon rolls.  They aren’t at all.  They require a lot less effort and might impress your Saturday socks off even a bit more.  These are based off of the Blackberry Blintzes they serve at my favorite Idaho Sunday brunch place.  I’ve got no recipe for them, but I’m confident you can spin them together just as I did.  So here’s what you need:

Crepes!  Pull out your favorite recipe and go to work.  Maybe one of these days I’ll post my favorite, easy, match conversion crepe recipe that works to feed 1, 3, or 30. 

Blackberry Sauce:

Blackberries
Cornstarch
Sugar
Water
Lemon juice/zest

Toss the berries with about ½ T. of cornstarch.  Then throw everything in a sauce pan together.  Let it burble down until the berries are saucy.  You can let it go longer for more sauce, less chunks or take it off sooner to preserve more berry pieces.  Just take and make sure you have enough sugar and enough lemon zip to make this sauce bright.  I know you can do it!

Filling:

Ricotta or cottage cheese: Choose your weapon of choice.  I prefer the texture of cottage cheese but others prefer ricotta.  Both work.  Both are used in different traditional blintz recipes.  If you have one on hand, go for it.
Sugar
Vanilla
Lemon zest

Okay, so put your cheese of choice into a blender or food processor and whir until it’s more smooth.  Add the other ingredients, going light on the sugar and tasting along the way.  Whir together again.  Taste and whir until you like it.  The filling should not be overly sweet as it will have the blackberry sauce and in my house, maple syrup on top of that!

So I think you can figure out how to put these together.  Run about 1 T. of cheese filling down the center of the crepe, roll up, and spoon the sauce over top.  Serve with maple syrup for those of us who just find it necessary on any type of breakfast item.

*And okay, if someone really wants it, I might get less lazy and give you some better proportion guidelines.

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Promise me when you make these pancakes, because you ARE going to make these pancakes, you will not skip out on making the vanilla custard sauce as well.  Take or leave the cinnamon sugar butter, but not the vanilla custard sauce.  Well, okay, maybe the cinnamon sugar butter is amazing but I wouldn’t know.  It seemed like a lot of fuss when I could just as easily spread butter on each hot pancake and then simply sprinkle cinnamon sugar over this.  But maybe I’m being simplistic.

I’m getting off of my main point and that is that these are delicious.  Just delicious!  Like “I’d make them on Christmas morning”, delicious.  If you love pancakes and you love bread pudding these couldn’t possibly be wrong.  I’m still confused as to how it even works but somehow the outside tastes like pancake and the inside stays perfect bread pudding consistency.

And then when you drizzle (or drench) it in vanilla custard sauce it becomes like a beautifully wrapped gift or the perfect breakfast dessert.

Bread Pudding Pancakes with Vanilla Custard Sauce and Cinnamon Sugar Butter
From Southport Grocery and Café
Serves 6

Bread Pudding Pancakes
14 slices of firm white bread, crusts removed and cut into 1 inch squares*
2 ½ cups milk
3 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 ¼  cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter

Place bread in a large bowl.  Add milk.  Let bread soak for about 10 minutes until softened.  While bread is soaking, mix together in a small bowl the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Add flour mixture to the bread and gently fold until just about half incorporated.  Add eggs and vegetable oil.  Mix gently.

Melt butter in skillet.  Drop batter in 1/3 cup fulls.  Cook 3-4 minutes on each side.  Pancakes will have a moist bread pudding-like inside.

Serve pancakes topped with cinnamon sugar butter with a ramekin of vanilla custard sauce on the side.

* I hate nebulous bread measurements … were these sandwich-sized slices, were they sliced thick or thin?  Who knows.  I used a French baguette and cut 16 pieces sliced about an inch thick.  Then I peeled the crust off each, which was a little time-consuming but to cut around a small, round baguette seemed a good way to throw out half the bread with the crusts.

Cinnamon Sugar Butter
½ pound unsalted butter, cold
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Melt ¼ pound of butter in a small saucepan; add salt, cinnamon and sugar.  Cook until the sugar is dissolved.   Add remaining ¼ pound of cold butter. Whisk with hand mixer until creamy and fluffy.

Vanilla Custard Sauce
1 pint heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, cut in half lengthwise and seeds scraped out
4 egg yolks, whisked
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Put heavy cream in a sauce pan.  Add the vanilla bean pod and seeds.  Bring to a simmer.  Add sugar to egg yolks and whisk until all there is no clumps.  Add ¼ cup of warm heavy cream mixture to egg yolk mixture and whisk immediately; this is called ‘tempering’.  Add the egg yolk mixture to the warm heavy cream.  Simmer while mixing with wooden spoon until thickened and coats the back of the spoon.

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