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Easter Brunch

14 Apr

I love Easter. It always makes me think of new beginnings, a fresh start and of course, Cadbury creme eggs (lots of them).

Today I bring an Easter Brunch inspiration. I think brunch is a fantastic meal to have at Easter time. Everyone has time to go to church or sleep in late and then afterwards a no hassle relaxed brunch. For brunch there are usually lots of options; pastries, omlettes, cakes, cheese boards…the works. I chose three recipes I think would add a great touch to a brunch menu. They are all simple and affordable. I also laid out an Easter/Spring tablescape and added a delicious cocktail.

ON THE MENU

Deviled eggs

Stuffed mushrooms

Fruit Fluff

Peach “mimosa”



Deviled Eggs

This is a brunch staple and of course well suited for Easter. Deviled eggs turn simple boiled eggs into a creamy flavourful treat.

WHAT YOU NEED 

Makes 6

Eggs -The number of eggs you use will give double that number of deviled eggs as they are served as halves. I used 3 eggs so I got 6(only 4 shown)

1 tbsp Mustard– I used a spicy mustard

1 tbsp Mayonnaise– This is optional but it does add a certain creaminess

Spices– I used salt, black pepper and paprika, just a pinch of each.

Deviled eggs ingredients 




WHAT TO DO 

1) Hard boil eggs, let cool and remove shells.

2) Cut eggs in half and gently remove yolks. Set whites aside.

3) Add condiments and spices and mix until a smooth paste forms.




4) Place paste into piping bag (you can use a zip lock and snip the end) and pipe into egg whites.



Deviled eggs 


Stuffed mushrooms 

I remember the first time I had this version of stuffed mushrooms. My mother brought them home from a local Italian bistro and my life was changed. Something about soft, tart cream cheese against the crunch of a fresh mushroom is a perfect match.

WHAT YOU NEED 

Mushrooms– I used 8 medium sized ones (they were unfortunately a bit bruised)

Cream cheese– The amount you use depends on the number and size of the mushrooms but about 2 tbsp fill 8 medium sized mushrooms.

Spices– I used lemon pepper and some oregano.

Mushrooms and cream cheese 


WHAT TO DO 

1) Add spices to softened cream cheese and mix.

2) Place in a piping bag and pipe into mushrooms. 

Mushrooms and cream cheese mixture



3 )Top with oregano 


Stuffed mushrooms 



Fruit Fluff 

This is my take on an Ambrosia salad. I substituted cool whip with Greek yogurt for a healthier twist and a more “brunchy” feel.

WHAT YOU NEED 

I used arbitrary amounts, a little bit of each. The amounts you use depends on how much you plan to make.

Greek yogurt- The one I used is plain combined with honey so it’s already sweet. A great alternative is vanilla but really any flavour you prefer can be used.

Fruit– I used  mixture of frozen fruit (cherries, strawberries, lingonberries) and fresh  (strawberries and blueberries)

Mini marshmallows

Fruit Fluff mixture

WHAT TO DO

Mix altogether and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Peach “Mimosas”

What’s the best part about brunch? The fact that you get to splash your juice with wine. Lol. Now mimosas traditionally consist of wine and citrus juice hence my use of air quotes. Technically this is a peach cocktail but when doing brunch, we call it a mimosa.

WHAT YOU NEED 

White wine

Peach juice

Canned peaches

Peach mimosa ingredients 




WHAT TO DO 

1) Place 1 or 2 peach slices in the bottom of the glass and muddle it a bit (mash it with a spoon if you don’t have a muddler, which I don’t)

2 ) Fill glass halfway with wine.

3) Top off with peach juice and add a straw.

Peach “mimosas”



Tablescape

An important part of entertaining is creating ambience. For this I chose a simple, clean fresh look in keeping with the idea of a relaxed yet sophisticated setting.

This tablescape employed some crafty skills but all were simple. My colour scheme was pink, white and gold.

Table runner

I made a table runner of sorts by overlapping lots of doilies along the Centre of the table. I added a touch of gold by swiping gold paint over them in a random fashion.

Table runner from doilies




Flowers

I went with pink and white carnations. Carnations are often a very affordable option from the florist costing only a few dollars. I used about 4 bunches in all keeping  the look minimal.

I swished some of the same gold paint onto the flower petals to keep with the theme and placed them in jelly jars.

Flowers




Centre piece 

My “Centre piece” began with ambition. In fact, the failure of this centrepiece led to the final colour scheme, so maybe it was for the best.

For the centerpiece of an Easter Brunch I had to incorporate eggs somehow. I decided to dye some eggs. People have different methods of doing this. The best way I’ve found is using regular food and egg dye and a bit of vinegar to allow for better uptake of colour.

I removed the contents of the eggs by making a small hole at one end and simply allowing it to run out, gently shaking if you need to. Don’t waste your egg ! I put mine in the refrigerator and made omelet the next day.

I mixed the dye, vinegar and water in a mug. I find you get a more even coating if you use a mug.

As it happened the only colour that worked out was the pink (the yellow one broke and the purple came out streaky)

Once my one surviving egg was dry I splattered it with the by now ubiquitous gold paint. I displayed it in a mini jelly jar on a bed of Easter egg shaped jelly beans.

Centre piece




I placed the flowers and Centre piece on the table runner and laid the table with simple white plates and bowls.

The tablescape and settings

Table with food

Deviled eggs 


Stuffed mushrooms



Fruit Fluff



Peach mimosa


Easy breezy Easter Brunch. Hopefully some of these ideas will inspire you if you plan on doing brunch for Easter or any other occasion. Have a happy Easter and an awesome day!

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Love Crepes

1 Feb

Hello and welcome to Febuary, the month of love (I suppose). When it comes to Valentine’s  I tend to not be impressed by cutesy pink lovey dovey stuff but I do like the ideal of doing something nice for someone you love whether it be your mother, sister, best friend or significant other. 

Love crepes




This recipe is one for red velvet crepes smothered in a Nutella ganache. Decadence in the form of breakfast. Nutella is an excellent crepe filling (my favorite ) and I thought making it into a rich sauce would be a tasty twist know top of these crepes. I used the recipe from Joy of Baking but adapted it to make it red velvet flavoured.

WHAT YOU NEED 

Crepes

This makes about 2 servings of 10-12 heart shaped crepes

1) 1/2 cup of flour

2) 1 tbsp of white sugar

3) 1 egg – brought to roomtemperature 

4) 1 50mL (approx 2/3 cup) of milk.

5) 1tbsp melted butter

6) 1 tsp vanilla extract 

7)1 tbsp cocoa 

8) Red food colouring – use as much or little as you like.

Ingredients 


Ganache Sauce 

Note this recipe isn’t very precise, you can add more or less of each ingredient you suit you.

1) 4 tbsp of Nutella – only 2tbsp pictured here 

2) 1/4 cup of milk 

Ganache ingredients 




WHAT TO DO 

 Crepes

1)Blend ingredients in a food processor /blender /nutribullet until it forms a smooth watery batter. 

Crepe batter




2) Place batter in refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

3) Place a skillet on high heat and add a bit of butter letting it melt and spread over the entire surface of the pan.

4) Place the cookie cutter on the skillet then pour batter to fill in.

Pour batter into cookie cutter 




5) Allow to cook until edges appear browned then remove cookie cutter (to avoid burning the metal)

Remove cookie cutter 




6) Flip crepes and allow to finish cooking. Make as many as you like, they will be stacked.

Stacked crepes


Ganache sauce

1) Bring milk (or heavy cream) to a boil in a save pan or heat in microwave.

2) Pour over Nutella and mix until a smooth mixture is formed.

Sauce



Finished crepes and sauce




You’re done! Feel free to serve the sauce on the side or Pour it over the crepe tower allowing the sauce and crepes to merge flavours.

Covered in sauce



Ready to serve



These. Were. Delicious. Do you hear me? Delicious! I could honestly see this being served at a cozy, kitchy but trendy cafe in some trendy city. Lol. The mild cocoa flavour in the crepes is complimented by the delightful hazelnut flavour from the Nutella. The crepes are light and moist and the sauce is rich. This is a winning combo. 

Make this for someone you love and have an awesome day! 

Healthy Snack- Chia Pudding Pots

26 Jan

Today’s recipe is an easy versitile one, so easy I almost feel guilty for calling it a recipe. This is chia pudding which is actually super trendy these days, something I didn’t realise until I decided to do this post. 

Chia Pudding Pots


FunFact: I used to work at a health food store way back in the day. I’m talking wayyyy back. I was a university student and the owner was a nutritionist. The name of her business was “Chia Seeds” . She explained to myself and all the others who would be working there that the chia seed was small but powerful. It had so many benifits for something so insignificant in appearance  (it was a bit of a life lesson too)
So what IS chia?

Chia is the seed of the chia plant which is a member of the mint family. The seed is very tiny, like sesame seed size and it is rich in nutrients including omega fatty acids, some vitamins and minerals. 

Chia seeds have long been popular among the “health food” set but recently has become far more mainstream making a massive debut on pinterest(lol). Chia seeds can be added to smoothies, health bars and cereals. However,  a notable property of chia seeds is the fact that they become swollen and gelatinous once exposed to liquid. This makes for a great puddding. A healthy, nutritious pudding. 

I will be making 3 variations of chia pudding today ; vanilla spice, chocolate and berry.But really the options are limitless.

WHAT YOU NEED  (for each)

1) 1/4 cup of chia seeds (I used black chia seeds , yiu can use white ones if you like)

2) 1/3 cup of vanilla almond milk (or whatever type of milk you prefer)

3) 1 tbsp of honey – add it to your preference

4) 1/4 tsp of assorted spices– I used cinnamon and nutmeg

5) 1 tbsp of cocoa powder

6) Assorted berries– I had strawberries and blueberries 

7) Containers for storage (I used small jelly jars but for more practicality you can use small resealable plastic containers)

8) Blender/Nutribullet 

Ingredients 

WHAT TO DO 

 Pour almond milk into container and add honey and mix.

Vanilla spice

1) Add chia seeds and spices then mix in well.

Add chia seeds and spices
Chocolate

3) Add cocoa powder and mix

Cocoa added




Berry blast

4) Chop fruit and add a few pieces to the mixture and stir.

Add fruit




5) In your blender/nutribullet etc blend the fruit with a bit of water forming a slurry.- I did it separately for visual effect.

Fruit slurry


6) Place your mixtures in the refrigerator and let them sit for a few hours,  until a gelatinous consistency is formed. I left mine overnight. 

Your treats are ready to eat!

Ready to eat


These are great healthy “to go” snacks that you can make long ahead of time. You can play around and try a multitude of flavours. These would also make an amazing dessert for a dinner party. It’s different but tasty.

The chia seeds become fluffy and gel like and it truly tastes like a pudding. The different additions all go well with it because the chia seeds lend to sweet flavours.

Definitely try this one and definitely have an awesome day! 

Blogmas Bonus- Cranberry Scones

25 Dec

Blogmas Bonus – Cranberry Scones

Hello and Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it and Happy Holidays to everyone.

Back in November when I was meticulously planning each and every Blogmas post, I asked my sister to do a guest post on something sweet and easy to make. I told her what daybI was thinking of putting it up and told her to get back to me.

Well she did. Yesterday. But I digress. Better late than never.

This recipe is taken from our favourite online baker Stephanie fron Joy of Baking (I have referenced her more than a few times)

Since this is Kristine’s post I will present it the way she did.

Ingredients

image

2 cups of flour
1/3 cup of white sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup of unsalted butter
2/3 cup of fresh cranberries
2/3 cup of milk

She left out the candied fruit and the almonds listed in the original recipe.

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400F (200C) and butter or line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk dry ingredients then cut butter in. Use a pastey blender of you have one if not use forks or knives creating course crumbs.

image

image

Add the cranberries and gently mix

image

Add milk and stir careful not to overmix

image

On a floured surface knead dough four times then form a circle about 7 inches (18 cm) in diameter.

image

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Cut it into 8 triangles and brush top with milk.

image

Bake for 20 minutes or until crust is brown.

image

My sister gave these to some of her cowokers for Christmas. They make great gifts or a light dessert to have with coffee after all the heavy Christmas dinner.

Enjoy and have an awesome day!

Cozy Christmas  Breakfast 

24 Dec

BLOG-Mas DAY 24!

I feel like breakfast at Christmas time should be a little special and these two recipes are bound to be. The first recipe is Cinnamon pancakes with Blackberry syrup and paired with a spicy hot cocoa. 

WHAT YOU NEED 

Pancakes 

1) 1 1/3 cups (135g)Pancake mix 

2) 1 tbsp cinnamon

3) 1 cup Blackberries  Any type of berries will do. I chose blackberries because they were the cheapest st the supermarket. 

4) 1/2 cup (48g)  White sugar 


Ingredients 


WHAT TO DO 

Pancakes 

1) Add cinnamon to pancake mix and stir in. 

Add cinnamon 

Mix in cinnamon 

2) Add water and mix well. 

Batter

3) Heat skillet and make pancakes to desired size. 

Cook pancakes 

Stack





Syrup

4) Place blackberries, sugar and teabag into a skillet or saucepan.

Ingredients in skillet 

5) Add  water and bring to a boil.

Boil





6) Adjust to a simmer until syrupy in consistency 

Syrup 

7) Pour over pancakes. 

Pancakes with syrup 




Spicy hot cocoa 

WHAT YOU NEED 

(Makes one 16 oz(475mL) cup )


1) 1/4 cup(56g) Chocolate morsels /chips

2) Cocoa powder  (unsweetened )

3) 1 tbsp of White sugar 

4) pinch of Salt

5)2 cups (16floz )of milk

6) 1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper 


Cocoa ingredients 


WHAT TO DO 

1) Place all the dry ingredients including the chocolate morsels into a saucepan and mix until chocolate has melted.

Ingredients in saucepan 


2) Add milk and let simmer 

Cocoa in pan

3) Pour into cup and top with marshmallows and pepper 

Finished cocoa 

Your breakfast is ready to serve! 

Finished breakfast 

This is a delicious cute breakfast.  The cinnamon adds a festive feel to the pancakes and the fruit based syrup gives it a more complex grown up flavour.

The hot cocoa is rich and decedent and the pepper adds a most unexpected  dimension. It gives a slow smokey burn that somehow goes beautifully with the chocolate  (because what doesn’t go beautifully with chocolate? )

Definitely try this one out and have an awesome day !

Pumpkin- 3 ways

25 Sep

Pumkin squash

Hello

It’s that time of year everyone,; where pumpkins are abundant both in our decor and our pallets. I personally am a pretty hardcore pumpkin lover (pre PSL craze). It’s affordable, nutritious and very versitile as I will demonstrate with these three recipes.

Each of these recipes can be eaten at a different course throughout dinner if you wish and two stand alone as great appetizers for entertaining. 

PUMKIN GINGER SOUP SHOTS

This soup is totally on trend now. There isn’t a cocktail menu that doesn’t offer some version of pumkin soup, often with ginger ,but it was really my mother who I first got this recipe from as she has been making this concoction for years. Let us proceed.

WHAT YOU NEED 

1)Pumpkin- 300g/11oz/0.6lbs

2)Ginger-approximately 1/4 cup shredded (more if you want a bigger ginger punch)

3)Seasonings-I used salt and black pepper but you can use whatever you wish.

4)Belender/nutribullet/food processor 

WHAT TO DO 

1) Cut pumpkin into small pieces, leaving the skin on.

Cubed pumpkin

2) Bring water to a rolling boil in a saucepan and add pumpkin and cook.

Boiling pumpkin 


3) Once cooked, remove from stove and allow to cool before removing the skin (it will be much easier now)
4) Place into blender and add ginger and seasonings along with some water (add a few tablespoons at a time ) then blend until smooth and soup like.

Pureed Pumpkin




5) Pour into shot glasses or bowls and serve!

Pumpkin ginger soup


This tastes just as you might imagine. Thick and creamy with a spicy pop from the ginger. This is a beautiful soup without ginger as well. This recipe makes 2 small (appetizer )  bowls or about 12 shots of the soup.

PUMPKIN MASH

This is a dish I’ve eaten for many years but never had a name for it so I made this up. It’s basically doing what you might do to potatoes if you were making mashed potatoes.

WHAT YOU NEED 

1) Pumpkin – 300g /11oz/0.6lbs

2) 1/4 cup sugar- I used coconut sugar but any brown sugar will do.

3) Seasonings- garlic powder, black pepper and salt (you can add whatever you want)

4) Blender/Food Processor /nutribullet (optional)

WHAT TO DO 

Repeat steps 1-3 for the soup.

4) Mash the pumpkin using a fork or mashing tool.

Mashed pumpkin 
5) Add sugar and seasonings and mix.

Pumpkin, sugar and seasonings
6) This step is optional of you want a very smooth uniform consistency;  place in your blender for only a few seconds to make it smoother but not liquified.
7) Plate and garnish.

Pumpkin mash
This is a nice alternative to mashed potatoes and a great way to incorporate a healthy nutrient rich food. If you want to make it healthier you can nix the sugar. It won’t be the same but it’s still good. This recipe makes 2 servings.


PUMPKIN FRITTERS

This recipe is the piece de resistance of the entire post. This sweet treat is a family favourite and anyone from my homeland of Barbados knows these very well. Pumpkin fritters are basically like egg less pumpkin pancakes or pumkin donut holes, that’s the best way I can describe them. Let us begin.

WHAT YOU NEED 

1) Pumpkin -300g /11oz/0.6lbs

2) 1/2 cup brown sugar

3) 1 cup milk (I used almond milk)

4) 1 cup flour

5) 1 tsp vanilla extract 

6) 1/2 tsp cinnamon -I mixed mine with ground nutmeg

7) Confectioners sugar mixed with cinnamon  (for coating)

8) Blender /nutribullet /food processor  (optional )


Ingredients 
WHAT TO DO 

1) Cube and peel pumpkin 

2) Place pumpkin, a few chunks at a time into your food processor and chop. ALTERNATELY, grate pumpkin- this is far more time consuming and labour intensive but works just the same.

3) Add all the ingredients into a bowl and mix.

Ingredients in bowl

Mixed

4) This step is optional. At this point the mixture will be lumpy which is alright but if like me you prefer it a bit smoother then add to the blender for a few seconds until it reaches you preferred consistency. 

NOTE: This worked for these measurements, but for me each time I make it, it’s differnt, I suppose it depends alot on the pumpkin itself, so if you find its too think add a bit more milk, small amounts at a time and if it’s too runny add a bit more flour.
5) Heat oil in saucepan and add approximately a tablespoon full of batter at a time- this is all dependent on the size you want. I wanted them to be small enough to eat in 2 or 3 bites. The batter should sink to the bottom of the pan immediately then easily rise up to the top of the oil, you may have to give the fritters a nudge with your fork.

6) Remove from oil and dry once golden brown in colour.

 At this point you can just eat them, especially if you’re having them with your breakfast but I decided to do a bit more so they are even more delicious .

7) Toss in mixture of confectioners sugar and cinnamon. 

8) Plate and serve.

Pumpkin fritters 
I do not have words to accurately describe how delicious a well made pumpkin fritter tastes. Nothing will do them justice. They are sweet and flavourful thanks to the spices. The pumkin makes them dense and adds that distinct pumpkin flavour that nothing can quite imitate. The dusting of sugar on top makes them even tastier. And the smell is so good. These are excellent appetizers for a dinner party, a great side for brunch or just a nice sweet, semi- healthy snack.
I hope you enjoyed these recipes, thank you for reading and have an awesome day! 

Grilled Banana Peanut Butter Pita

21 Aug

Hello

I wanted to incorporate grilling and something sweet so I threw this together. I also,made a coconut cream drink to compliment it.

This is great as a fancy but healthy breakfast option or a great evening snack.

WHAT YOU NEED 

1) Pita bread (In my sweet summer salad pizza post I explained why Pita is such an affordable versitIle option )

2) Ripe bananas 1 banana per pita bread is fine.

3) Peanut butter- The one I have is pre blended with honey. If you are using unsweetened peanut butter you may have to add some honey to this recipe.

4) Yogurt- I used vanilla flavored yogurt because it adds sweetness and the flavour doesn’t overpower anything else.

5) Brown sugar- this is to sprinkle onto the bananas while grilling them.

6) Cinnamon 

7) Griddle 

The ingredients you need 

WHAT TO DO 

1) Turn the griddle on and let it heat up- If you don’t have a griddle or a grill or a pan with grill lines you can just as easily do this in a regular pan, you just won’t get the coveted grill marks but the taste will be the same.

2) Mix 2 parts yogurt with 1 part peanut butter (if you prefer a stronger peanut flavour you can do half and half )

Yogurt and peanut butter

Mixed concoction 

 3) Slice your banana lengthwise – I thought it would look better this way once grilled but alas…. this is easier said than done. It took me two tries to get these looking semi acceptable.  If you’re more comfortable slicing the banana the “regular ” way feel free.

Peel the banana



Slice the banana – 1st attempt 

Slice the banana – 2nd attempt 

4) Place the sliced banana on the griddle and sprinkle the sugar on top and grill until toasty brown.

Bananas on the grill

5) Spread the peanut butter /yogurt mixture over the pita ( I warmed mine up first)

Warm up the pita



Peanut butter mixture spread

6) Add the grilled banana then sprinkle some brown sugar and cinnamon top.

Finished product 




Coconut Cream drink 

I thought a nice creamy refreshing beverage would go along perfectly with this. Coconut compliments the banana and the peanut butter beautifully. I also had to jump onto the coconut milk trend.

Coconut milk like any other plant based “milk” is a bit of a misnomer as it is simply a liquified version of the white flesh found in dry coconuts. This is not to be confused with coconut water (I’ve heard some persons erroneously state they are the same thing) which is the clear liquid found in green coconuts and also not to be confused with coconut jelly, the translucent sweet gelatinous lining found in green coconuts.

I digressed…

Anyhow I love that the coconut is getting it’s due praise and people are finding new exciting ways to incorporate it into their diet. I must point out that coconut milk is very fatty(albeit good fats) and extremely high I’m calories so don’t  expect to replace your soy or rice milk with it consequence free.

Due to the fatty nature of coconut milk, the drink I made mixes it with the much more watery and lower calorie almond milk. You can use whatever type of you want.

This recipe makes 1 16oz glass of drink 

WHAT YOU NEED 

1) Coconut milk/cream (1/2 cup)

2) Almond/Rice/Soy/Cow’s milk (approximately 2 cups)

3) Brown sugar (I used coconut sugar)

4) Cinnamon 

5) Nutmeg

The ingredients for the drink

WHAT TO DO 

1) Throw all the ingredients into a blender or nutribullet and mix for about 30 seconds. Alternately you can mix it using a spoon, just be sure to dissolve the sugar and disperse the cinnamon and nutmeg.

2) Pour into a glass and enjoy!

Coconut milk drink

3) To make a more adult version add a shot of coconut rum to this mix.

Coconut rum

I think you could make up a big batch of this to serve for a party -especially the adult version 😉 😉 

Enjoy your banana, peanut butter and yogurt pita with your coconut milk drink and have an awesome day!

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