Blueberry Scone Cake

Blueberry Scone Cake

I love this little cake so much. Not only is it original and easy, but it’s absolutely delicious. It will always be special to me since it is the last recipe I shared with my dear friend Chris before she passed away.  We loved cooking together and sharing recipes, and I’ve been thinking about her so much, I felt compelled to share this recipe here.   This cake is awesome for anytime of day, including breakfast.  It’s buttery moistness and all around deliciousness will (hopefully) make you very  happy. Continue reading

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Breakfast Pizza

Breakfast Pizza

I made this last weekend when a few of the kids were home.  It is inspired by the many recipes for it that I have seen on the web.  It got a “2 thumbs up” response from the girls, and it was just as tasty the next day when it was reheated.  Like regular pizza, it’s totally versatile, so interpret this recipe and use what you have on hand.  I felt as though some feta or goat cheese blobbed on top would have made this even better and will add it next time.  This would also make a nice lunch with a side salad.

Breakfast Pizza

Serves 4

I premade pizza dough (usually available in the freezer section, near bakery in grocery store)

1/4 cup onion, finely sliced

1 large clove garlic, minced

4 cups baby spinach

2 tbsp water

1/2 tsp salt

6 large eggs

1 tsp worchestershire sauce

1/2 cup salsa

2 cups grated old cheddar

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Spray pan that you will be using. I used an 11″ tart pan, but feel free to use any type of pan with at least a 1″ side (to hold in filling).  A 9″ x 13″ would be fine.  Spread dough into pan, and up sides. Trim if necessary to desired thinness. *note* if your dough is cold and uncooperative, put it in the microwave for 20-30 seconds to warm it up. Once spread into pan, place in oven and bake for 9 minutes. Remove from oven.

In large pan over medium heat, saute onion in a teaspoon of oil or butter.  When translucent, add garlic and continue to cook for another 2 minutes. Add spinach, 1/2 tsp salt and 2 tablespoons of water and stir. Cover until spinach wilts, about 30 seconds or so.  Remove from heat.

Spread salsa over partially cooked pizza dough. Place spinach mixture over salsa, spreading evenly.  Mix up eggs with 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper.  Pour over spinach mixture, then top with cheddar.

Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes or until center no longer jiggles and cheese is melted and bubbly.

Let cool 5 minutes. Slice and serve. Enjoy.

Spread dough, the partially bake for 9 minutes.

Saute onions and garlic, add spinach and salt, cook until spinach wilts

Spread partially cooked pizza crust with salsa

Spread spinach mixture over salsa

Pour over mixed eggs, then sprinkle with cheddar

Bake until set, cool for a few minutes, then enjoy.

Gratuitous aerial view.

Almond Thumbprint Snack Cookies

Healthy Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Cookie

Use your favourite jam

 

When you’re feeling like eating some baking, but you really shouldn’t go too crazy, as in, you want to justify eating cookies because they are made with healthy ingredients — or you are looking for a nice snack cookie – these fit the bill perfectly.  I really like these because they taste like an excellent treat, but all the ingredients are essentially healthy. I made them with mostly organic ingredients as well, so all the better. You can customize them by adding your favourite jam for the centers. I have used raspberry here and they are so good.  I still ate 4 or 5 of them, but oh well, I threw caution to the wind. So sue me.

I imagine they would suffice for a breakfast on the run as well.  Super easy and they freeze well.

Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Cookies

inspired by The Nourishing Gourmet

Makes about 24-30 cookies

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups whole or sliced almonds, ground coarsely in processor

3 cups oatmeal, ground finely in processor

1/2 cup melted butter or coconut oil

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp cinnamon

3/4 cup maple syrup

2 eggs, beaten

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp almond extract

Directions:

Heat oven to 350F.  Prepare baking sheets with silpats or parchment paper.

Grind almonds coarsely in a food processor  by using the ‘pulse’ button. You don’t want them too fine, you still want to see little chunks of them.  Remove from processor and place in large bowl.

Process oatmeal the same way, except you want it to be quite fine, so push the ‘run’ button for 10-20 seconds.

Mix all ingredients together in the bowl.  Form into 1 1/2 tablespoon size clumps. (a small cookie dough scoop works well for this).  Place on cookie sheet about an inch apart and bake for 9 minutes. Remove from oven to indent your cookies with your finger or a cylindrical spoon handle. Return to oven and bake for another 8-9 minutes until starting to brown on the edges. Using a tiny spoon, fill indents with your favourite jam. Cool. Enjoy.

Grind up your oatmeal in processor

After baking 9 minutes, remove from oven and make your indents. Return to oven.

When fully baked, add a dollop of your favourite jam

A delightful snack with a cup of tea

Delightful and healthy

 

 

Smashed Baby Taters

smashed baby potatoes with ketchup

Here’s a simple way to cook potatoes that everyone loves. Great on their own, or as a side with practically anything.  Excellent with breakfast too.

Smashed Baby Taters

makes about 4 servings

3 lbs baby white and red potatoes, cleaned and trimmed

1/4 cup butter

sea salt

Directions:

In a large saucepan,  place potatoes. Cover with water and a generous teaspoon of salt. Cook until just tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and cool for a few minutes until they are  easy to handle.

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Between both palms, ‘smash’ potatoes gently until their skins break and the potatoes are flattened slightly. Place them in the pan without crowding them too much. Sprinkle very liberally with salt.  Let smashed potatoes cook until browned, then flip and repeat. Add more butter if necessary, bearing in mind that butter is good for you. Remove from pan when brown and crispy. Serve and enjoy.

Boil potatoes in salted water until fork tender, about 8 minutes.

when cool enough, gently smash those babies

Saute over medium heat, don't foget to be liberal with the salt. Potatoes need salt.

 

Quick Cheesy Drop Biscuits

cheesy tender delicious biscuits

Here’s a really good recipe to make – it’s a basic drop biscuit recipe but I’ve thrown in some old cheddar and a little garlic powder.  So, if you want plain biscuits, take those two items out. It’s a big recipe – I made small biscuits here (for a potluck) and I got about 45 biscuits (about 3 inch diameter after baking).  Alternatively, you may want big, fat drop biscuit and you can go right ahead. Adjust your baking times accordingly. These are fast and so easy.

Quick Cheesy Drop Biscuits

makes about 20 large or 40 mini biscuits

2 eggs

4Tbsp granulated sugar

2 cups milk

2 Tbsp melted butter

 

4 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking soda

3 tsp cream of tartar

2 cups shredded old cheddar

1 tsp garlic powder (optional)

 

*additional melted butter to brush on tops

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425F.  Prepare baking sheets with parchment paper or silpats.

Mix 1 cup of the milk with the eggs and sugar until combined.

Add the remaining cup of milk and melted butter.

Mix dry ingredients together, stirring in shredded cheese and  garlic powder.   Add to milk mixture.  Stir until just combined. Dough should be wet and sticky.

Drop blobs of dough on baking sheets. Bake 7-10 minutes for small, 12-15 minutes for large or until bottoms are lightly browned.  Brush with

melted butter, if desired. Cool slightly, these are best enjoyed warm.

mix wet ingredients, add cheese to flour mixture, then combine

mix cheese in with flour mixture

mix until just combined. Dough will be sticky.

drop blobs on baking sheet. Small or large, you decide.

bake until bottoms are browned and tops bounce back when pressed with a finger

brush tops with melted butter if desired.

these are awesome with soup or stew or on their own

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Makes 24 muffins

Here’s an easy and awesome recipe to have on hand. First of all, it makes a delicious, ‘loved by everyone’ muffin.  Secondly it’s easy,  and thirdly, it’s a big recipe and makes 24 regular sized muffins.  My mother came across this recipe a few years ago and everyone who’s tried the muffins and the recipe loves it. Don’t let the fact that  pumpkin is used throw you off, in fact, don’t bother to tell people it’s pumpkin until after their eyes open wide and they say “this is soooo good”.  Great to make when you have a crowd coming, or have to bring treats to a potluck.  *A good beginner recipe.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

from A Taste of Home

makes 24 regular size muffins (recipe can be halved)

4 eggs

2 cups sugar

1 can pure  pumpkin  (14 oz can or half of the big can (28oz) not pumpkin pie filling)

1.5 cups veg. oil (I used 1 cup of grapeseed oil and 1/2  a cup of extra virgin olive oil)

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp salt

2 cups choc chips

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Prepare muffin tins and place muffin tin on a baking sheet.

In stand mixer or with hand mixer, mix eggs and sugar together until well blended. Add in pumpkin and oil. Mix well.

In separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt (dry ingredients).  Add dry ingredients  to pumpkin mixture. Mix just until well combined.  Fold in chocolate chips until well distributed.  Fill muffin tin (greased or with muffin liners) to top. Bake in 400 oven for 16-20 mins, until top bounces back when touched, or tester comes out clean.

*you will notice that when baking muffins or quickbreads, the mixing of the wet, then dry, then combining them with minimal mixing is usually the procedure used.

Mix wet ingredients together well

Combine dry ingredients, then mix into wet until just combined

Make sure dry ingredients are mixed in well, but don't overmix.

Fold in chcolate chip or chunks gently.

Fill muffin tins just to top.

Everyone LOVES these muffins.

For the Love of Scones

Scones with butter and jam

Scones

What’s not to like about a scone? They are delicious and tender, plain with butter or dressed up any way you like. Their creation requires a little bit of technique, but it is quickly mastered and so very worth it. Try these plain ones, and  once you are comfortable with making them, the sky is the limit as far as modifying their flavour goes. Another benefit:  you can make your dough, cut your scones, place on a tray and freeze, then put them in a freezer bag once they are frozen.  Pull them out and cook anytime — fresh scones!  So. Follow along, and be gentle. The more gentle you are with your dough, the more tender your scones will be.

*for frozen scones, do not defrost, but increase cooking time as needed.

Plain Scones

adapted from Breakfast Lunch Tea by Rose Bakery

makes 12-16 large scones or 24-32 mini scones

Ingredients

3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup wheatgerm, whole wheat flour, cornmeal or oat bran  (optional) (I used cornmeal)

3 tbsp baking powder

2 (heaping) tbsp granulated sugar

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 1/4 cups milk (lactose free if necessary, soy milk, or regular

1 egg, beaten (to glaze the tops)

butter and jam, to serve

Directions

Preheat oven to 400F, and line a baking sheet with parchment or silpat.

In a large bowl, combine flour, wheatgerm (if using), baking powder, sugar and salt.

Toss in the butter pieces, toss in the flour, and then begin combining it with your fingers. Squeeze the butter, then drop it back in the flour, find another piece, squeeze it, and continue in this fashion until your butter/flour mixture looks like big breadcrumbs (see picture).

Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour in exactly 1 1/4 cups of milk (300 ml).  Use a fork to mix it into the dry ingredients. Finish pulling your dough together using your hands, without overworking it, just until it comes together.  If by chance it is too dry, add a little more milk, or if too sticky add more flour. It should not be sticky at all.

On a lightly floured surface, pat the dough into a circular shape, about 3 cms thick, then cut crosswise like a pie into triangles.  Either make 2 large discs, or 4 smaller discs,  depending on whether you want big scones or small scones. (I made small ones here).

Glaze the tops with beaten egg if desired (I didn’t), and bake 12-20 minutes until golden and risen. (these small ones took 14 minutes).  Cool a little, then slice and slather with butter and jam. Enjoy with a coffee or tea and a good friend.

Toss butter pieces into to flour mixture

Squeeze butter into flour mixture, drop, and squeeze again

When mixture resembles large breadcrumbs it is ready for next step

Make a 'well' and pour in milk.

Use a fork to mix the flour and milk together. Don't overwork.

Use your hands to put dough together, form into discs and cut into triangles.

Place on baking tray with a little bit of room in between

Bake for 12-20 minutes, depending on size, until golden and risen

Spread with butter and jam. 🙂 Wasn't that easy?