The Ultimate Breakfast Sandwich

I’m back! I know it’s been FOREVER since I’ve posted anything. For those of you who don’t know, I had a baby 3 months ago! He’s been keeping me very occupied along with the blog I have for him!

In other exciting news, I got a new camera for my birthday! It’s the Canon Rebel which I’m so obsessed with! I’ve been doing a lot of research, and this seems to have the most bang for my buck.

Now, back to the food! As you may know, having a newborn is a LOT of work. Those first few weeks are a blur. I don’t even remember what I ate half the time. I would just grab the closest thing with the most protein  (usually a spoonful of almond butter or a handful of nuts) and be on my way.

Stew was home with me in the mornings for the first few weeks, so I was actually able to eat a good breakfast. My go-to-meal was some variation of an egg sandwich. I figured it had protein and would keep me full until the next time I was able to eat! I finally had time to take a decent picture of it, so I can actually share it with you!!

This particular sandwich has turkey bacon, brie, egg, and lettuce on it. My plan ahead trick is to cook all the turkey bacon in the beginning of the week and keep it in a ziplock bag so it’s ready for me! All I really have to do is cook the egg. I also like to switch it up and put spinach, mozzarella or cheddar, and avocado on there. The sky is the limit when it comes to sandwiches!! I hope you enjoy!IMG_0291

The Ultimate Breakfast Sandwich

cooking spray

2 slices whole grain bread

1 egg

1 slice turkey bacon, halved

1 slice brie cheese

lettuce

salt and pepper

Coat the bottom of a nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Cook the egg to your liking (mine was over medium). Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

To assemble the sandwich, place some lettuce, the two halves of bacon, brie, and egg on the bottom slice of bread. Top with the other slice of bread.

Spray the same skillet with cooking spray and put the sandwich in the pan (much like a grilled cheese). Cook until the bottom piece of bread is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Spray the top piece of bread with cooking spray and flip. Cook until the cheese is melted and the bottom piece of bread is golden brown, about another minute. Feel free to switch out ingredients! You can always use a different kind of cheese, spinach, and pork bacon instead. Enjoy!

Share This:

Brioche Cinnamon Buns and Loaf

Stew and I were wanting cinnamon buns for so long! The weekends would go by and we just didn’t plan on making any. Finally, I was watching Food Network one day and The Barefoot Contessa was on. Ina made these little brioche dinner rolls that looked fluffy and delicious. So I thought, I can turn THOSE into cinnamon buns! Turns out the recipe is HUGE so I actually had to turn it into 2 separate breads. I made one cinnamon loaf and one batch of cinnamon buns. That was perfect because I actually sliced and froze the bread. The bread is great for toasting with a little coconut butter or jam on top! It’s the perfect afternoon snack! The buns actually didn’t last that long. Since it was only two of us, we couldn’t eat the whole batch. So in the future I would actually make those for a brunch where there were more than 2 people! We made a good dent though. They are definitely a lot of work but worth it. It was a labor of love, but there’s nothing like a warm homemade cinnamon bun for breakfast!

Brioche Cinnamon Buns and Loaf

Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa’s Mini Brioche Rolls

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup warm water (110 to 120 degrees F)
  • 1 package dried yeast
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 4 1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar (divided)
  • 2 Tbsp cinnamon (divided)
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon milk, for egg wash

Directions

Combine the water, yeast, and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. (If the bowl is cold, start with warmer water so it’s at least 110 degrees when you add the yeast.) Mix with your hands and allow to stand for 5 minutes until the yeast and sugar dissolve. Add the eggs and beat on medium speed for 1 minute, until well mixed. With the mixer on low speed, add 2 cups of the flour and the salt and mix for 5 minutes. With the mixer still on low, add 2 1/4 more cups of flour and mix for 5 more minutes. Scrape the dough into a large buttered bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

The next day, allow the dough to sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Meanwhile, grease 20 mini brioche tins. Set aside.

Place the dough in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, add the softened butter in chunks, and mix for 2 minutes, adding additional flour (about 1 cup) as needed to make a ball. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board and divide the dough in half.

For the Cinnamon Buns:

Working with one half, roll out to about 11×15 inch rectangle and about 1/4 inch thick. Spread 1 Tbsp softened butter over the surface of the rectangle. Sprinkle 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1 Tbsp cinnamon evenly across the surface. Sprinkle raisins on top. Starting with the long end, roll into a log, seam side down. Cut the ends off (add them to the other half of dough). Then cut into 8 even buns (starting at the halfway point). Place in a buttered round cake pan and cover with a damp towel. Set aside to rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.

For the Cinnamon Loaf:

Working with the other half, roll out to about a 9×9 inch square. Spread 1 Tbsp softened butter over the surface of the square. Sprinkle 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1 Tbsp cinnamon evenly across the surface. Starting with one end, roll into a log, seam side down. Tuck the ends under and place into a buttered loaf pan. Cover with a damp towel. Set aside to rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. When the dough has risen, brush the top of each with the egg wash and bake cinnamon buns and loaf for 35-40 minutes, or until the tops spring back and it sounds slightly hollow when tapped. Let them stand for 10 minutes and turn the buns and loaf out onto a wire rack to cool.

Share This:

Pumpkin Spice and Chocolate Chip Granola

I’ve been in total baking mode lately. I’m pretending it’s Fall, even though it’s still 90 degrees during the day. The only problem with baking is that I end up with all of these empty calorie laden treats calling my name case in point, the chocolate chip cookies sitting on my kitchen counter that I’m hoping the hubs will eat before I do! I was all ready to make a pumpkin spice cake filled with WHITE flour and ZERO nutritional value. Then I thought, let me see if I can create a semi-healthy recipe that will satisfy my empty calorie-pumpkin-spice craving! Well, let me tell you, I DID IT! When I bit into this granola, I felt like I was in pumpkin pie heaven! I opted to put in just enough chocolate chips for a sweet bite, but not too many where I’d feel guilty after eating it. You can definitely leave the chocolate chips out and replace them with nuts or dried cranberries, which would be delicious too! I wish you could have been here while this was baking. It literally smelled like Thanksgiving in my house (minus all the calories)! I hope you enjoy this little Fall treat! 
Pumpkin Spice & Chocolate Chip Granola
3 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
 1/4 cup coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine all ingredients in your standing mixer and, using the paddle attachment, stir on low until well combined. Spread the granola onto a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. GENTLY toss the outer granola into the center so the edges don’t burn. Keep in mind, the chocolate chips are melted and will spread throughout the granola a bit. That’s ok! Continue to bake for another 20 minutes. Let cool COMPLETELY on the baking sheet. Once cooled, store in an airtight container.  Enjoy!

Share This:

Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Muffins

I have been loving muffins these days. Last week I made morning glory muffins (that recipe is to come). This week I had some lovely blueberries that I wanted to use, hence my lemon blueberry ricotta muffins. Ricotta cheese makes these muffins so moist and fluffy! They’re so refreshing.

Start by combining the lemon zest and lemon juice. Let that sit and get nice and lemonie while you get the rest of the ingredients together. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Wash and dry the blueberries. In a standing mixture, beat the ricotta cheese until it’s smooth. Then add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Next, beat in the buttermilk and the extract.

Mix in the dry ingredients, about 1/3 at a time, followed by the lemon juice/zest mixture. Then fold in the blueberries. Use about ½ cup ice cream scoop to fill muffin tins.

I’ll be honest, I don’t usually let muffins cool before eating them. These were no exception. There’s nothing like a warm muffin right out of the oven! 

Blueberry Lemon & Ricotta Muffins

zest of 1 lemon

1 lemon, juiced

1 C ricotta cheese

2 large eggs

1 C buttermilk

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 C all purpose flour

1 C Oat flour

3/4 C sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup fresh blueberries washed and dried.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line 15 muffin tins with paper liners.

Combine the lemon zest and lemon juice. Let that sit and get nice and lemonie while you get the rest of the ingredients together.

Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Beat the ricotta cheese until it’s smooth. Then add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Next, beat in the buttermilk and the extract.

Mix in the dry ingredients, about 1/3 at a time, along with the lemon juice/zest mixture. Fold in the blueberries. Use about ½ cup ice cream scoop to fill muffin tins.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.

Cool for 5 minutes before removing and cooling completely on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. You can also freeze in a ziplock bag and they thaw out nicely!

Share This:

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola

This is for all you chocolate and peanut butter lovers out there! I am obsessed with that flavor combination. To me, there are no two things that go better together, not even peanut butter and jelly! In fact, my favorite dessert is chocolate ice cream with a scoop of peanut butter mixed in. YUM!

Which brings me to my granola recipe. I’ve seen tons of variations for granola out there. So I decided, why not make a chocolate and peanut butter version?! This granola is more of a “snack”. I tried it with Greek yogurt, but the tang in the yogurt did not go well with chocolate. So, I either have it with milk or alone. It tastes like you should feel guilty after eating it; but honestly, there are so few chocolate chips in the whole recipe that it’s really not bad for you! Make sure to let the granola cool almost completely before adding the chocolate chips. That way they don’t melt and form a clump. A little warmth from the granola will melt the chocolate just enough to spread it out evenly and coat some of the granola. I hope you love it! 


Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola

2 cups quick cooking oats

1 cup peanuts

¼ cup coconut oil, warmed to liquid

¼ cup honey

¼ cup peanut butter

¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

¼ tsp salt

1 Tbsp instant coffee powder

½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine all ingredients, except for the chocolate chips, into the bowl of a standing mixer. Mix on low until well combined. Spread mixture onto a baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes. Move granola around halfway through the cooking time to keep edges from burning. Let granola cool almost completely. Transfer into a bowl and stir in chocolate chips.  A little warmth from the granola will melt the chocolate just enough to spread it out evenly and coat some of the granola. Store in an airtight container.

Share This:

Nest Eggs

Nest Eggs are one of my favorite breakfast dishes. They brings back memories of when I was a kid. This was my dad’s specialty. It was the only breakfast he knew how to make. It’s so simple, yet so delicious! Start off by buttering two slices of whole wheat bread on both sides. You can change up the bread if you’d like. You can even use rice bread and make it gluten free. I use my coconut butter instead of regular butter, but you can use any butter you’d like. Then take a glass and cut circles into each slice of bread. These are your “nests”.

Crack one egg into a glass measuring cup with a spout. The spout makes it easier to pour into your “nest”. Heat your skillet to medium low and grease with coconut butter. Place your “nests” and bread circles into the skillet. Pour the first egg into the nest and then crack your second egg and pour into your second nest. Sprinkle the eggs with salt and pepper. Once the white part of the egg sets, flip your nests and the bread circles. Cook until eggs are done but the yolks are still runny. Cook the rounds until they are crisp.

The bread circles are used for dipping into your egg. Once those are all used up, cut into the nest. It’s a delicious mix of egg, bread, and salt. The flavors blend perfectly together! 

 

Nest Egg –Serves 1

2 pieces whole wheat bread

2 eggs

coconut butter

salt

pepper

Spread coconut butter or regular butter evenly on both sides of the bread slices. Use a glass with a diameter smaller than your bread slice to cut rounds into each slice. This is your “nest”. Heat your skillet to medium low. Grease the pan lightly with coconut butter. Place the nests into the pan, along with the two bread rounds. Crack one egg at a time into a small bowl or measuring glass with a spout. Pour each egg into the center of the “nests”. Sprinkle eggs with salt and pepper. Cook until the white of the egg starts to set. Flip and cook until the yolk is runny.  Flip the two rounds to brown on the other side.  Use the rounds to dip into the yolk. Enjoy!

Share This:

Granola

This is a staple in my house. It’s so incredibly easy to make. I don’t even know why I buy cereal! Just throw all of the ingredients into the bowl of your mixer and mix it on low until the ingredients are evenly distributed. Using a standing mixer is key because it evens out the flavors. 

I love to have it as cereal or with yogurt and fresh fruit in a parfait. It’s especially good right out of the oven! Enjoy! 

Granola-4-6 servings 

2 cups quick cooking oats

1 cup mixed nuts, chopped (I used almonds and pecans)

1 cup dried fruit (cranberries, pomegranate, raisons, etc)

pinch salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

¼ cup sweetened condensed milk

2 tbsp honey

¼ cup coconut oil, warmed to liquid

1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine all the ingredients in your mixing bowl and mix on low until combined. Turn mixture out onto a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes. Mix with a spatula halfway through to keep edges from burning.

Share This:

Green Goddess Shake

While the holidays are definitely a time to overindulge, there are times when I just need a break from all those heavy dishes! Stew and I had our Christmas Cocktail party this past Saturday night. It was so much fun! We had tons of friends and family over, all drinking wine and having a great time. The food was delicious! I made a vegetable Stromboli, a meat Stromboli, mini turkey sandwiches, brie cheese and cranberry bites, sausage balls, cookies and brownies, and a veggie platter. So we ate a lot of heavy food to say the least! I went to bed feeling so full! I hate that feeling. When I woke up in the morning, I wasn’t hungry. That’s when I know I’ve eaten too much the night before. So instead of having cereal or oatmeal for breakfast, I made my favorite green shake. After all, it’s still in the 60s and 70s here! Why not take advantage?

I definitely recommend a Vitamix for this shake.  If you don’t have one, use a softer green like spinach; that way you don’t have chunks of leaves in your shake. I add almond milk, kale, frozen banana, berries, and agave into my Vitamix and blend it up on high until it’s completely smooth. YUM! The great thing is, you can change up the ingredients and make endless variations of this shake. I felt like a million bucks after I drank this! It definitely tastes much better than it looks. Although, I’ve gotten quite used to drinking green things!

Green Goddess Shake

Ingredients:

1 cup almond milk

1 Handful (about ½ cup) of kale leaves (or other green washed well)

½  frozen banana

½ cup frozen blueberries

¼ cup frozen strawberries

1 tbsp Agave Nectar

Add all the ingredients into your high speed blender and blend on high until the shake is completely smooth. Enjoy!

Share This:

Best Buttermilk Pancakes

Stew and I went to a Christmas party last night. Needless to say, there was tons of food! I swore I was going to eat a nice light breakfast today. But sometimes, you just can’t resist the urge for good old fashioned buttermilk pancakes, especially on a Sunday morning! I had some buttermilk left over that I needed to use, so it worked out perfectly! Stew was on table duty, while I worked on the pancakes. These are truly the best buttermilk pancakes EVER!

I perfected the art of pancake making at an early age. I like to use cooking spray instead of butter because it makes a nice even golden color. I get the pan to medium and do a little test droplet to make sure the pan is not too hot so the pancakes cook on the inside and don’t get too crispy on the outside. Once they start to get a few bubbles, it’s time to flip! While I make the next batch, I put the pancakes on a sheet pan in the oven at 200 degrees just to keep them warm. Usually, we like to mix it up by adding fruit to the batter, but this morning we decided to use homemade cranberry butter! It was the perfect addition to these light and fluffy pillows of perfection!

Best Buttermilk Pancakes
Makes 8-10 pancakes

½ stick of butter melted
1 cup of buttermilk
1/3 cup club soda
1 large egg
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
¾ tsp baking soda
1 ½ cup flour
½ tsp salt

Melt the butter and let cool. In a medium bowl, sift together baking powder, baking soda, flour, and salt. Once the butter is cooled, mix butter with buttermilk, club soda, egg and sugar in a large bowl. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Whisk until just combined. Heat a griddle or frying pan to medium heat. Spray the griddle with cooking spray. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle. Use approximately ¼ cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

Cranberry Butter


1 stick of unsalted butter at room temperature
½ cup cran-apple relish

This is the perfect use of leftover cranberry sauce from holidays! Just mix the left over cranberry sauce/relish with a stick of softened butter in the food processor! Scoop it into a pretty bowl using a large ice cream scoop. So easy!

Share This: