Blueberry Cheesecake Smoothie

August 7, 2014 in Breakfast, Dairy-Free, Desserts, Vegan Recipes

Cheesecake for Breakfast? With this creamy vegan blueberry smoothie, YES.

Blueberry Cheesecake Smoothie

Blueberry Cheesecake Smoothie

As Donna is an intrepid go-getter who’s always on the move, I’ve never gotten the honor of helping take care of my inspirational blog partner and mentor before. But I recently had the opportunity to help out just a little last month, when she was in need of a non-chewing diet for a thankfully short spell. In my ensuing exploration of the latest in smoothies, from green to protein and everything in between, I encountered this great collection by The Blender Girl.   I only had a few days to fill Donna’s freezer with smoothie-stock (frozen into ice cube trays then cubes stored in ziploc bags) and gazpacho, but I’ll happily come back for another round of TLC someday.

Of all the fantastic, ridiculously healthy recipes in Blender Girl’s book, my personal favorite was the luscious Raspberry Lemon Cheesecake. The innovation, used here and in several other smoothies, is using soaked raw cashews for the creamy texture. Brilliant! I’ve made it for myself at several times since getting back hope, and experimented with variations, my favorite of which is the blueberry version here (in no small part thanks to it being berry-picking-with-kiddos-season in Portland). As with any smoothie, add probiotics, flax, or any other supplements you like.  Read the rest of this entry →

Zucchini Petals Frittata Recipe

June 20, 2014 in Breakfast, Vegetarian Entrees

Don’t you just love zucchini season?

Zucchini Frittata Recipe

Pretty zucchini petals top a luscious frittata

I am one of those strange people who loves zucchini season – for more than just zucchini bread. I love it in so many things – and I look forward each year to when it is abundant and cheap!

As proof that I love zucchini, I have made it in many, many creative forms: I have made zucchini rolled into a one pot meal, turned into savory s’mores, baked in ramekins with eggs, made into salsa verde, and stirred into zucchini crudo salad.

My latest zucchini fest involves a skillet and eggs: a frittata. Instead of just dicing it and stirring it into the egg mixture, I decided to try a more attractive way of using the zucchini – it turned out so pretty – sort of an edible breakfast centerpiece. The zucchini slices look just like flower petals arranged artistically.

You need an 8 to 10 inch non-stick skillet for this recipe – I used an 8 inch, and the frittata puffed up to the top and was the perfect thickness.

This is an easy, quick dinner with just a few ingredients – yet pretty enough to impress friends and neighbors. A summer staple at our house, for sure!

– posted by Donna

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Homemade Chicken Apple Sausage

June 16, 2014 in Breakfast

Homemade sausage lettuce wraps for breakfast. 

Home made chicken sausage

Chicken Sausage Lettuce Wraps

When I thought about the term “homemade sausage,” I thought of meat grinders, casings and spending hours and hours in the kitchen. Turns out, none of this is true. Sausage is fun and easy to make. Turns out, you can make sausage with a food processor in minutes.

When my favorite grocery store was out of my usual favorite – their own store-made chicken sausage – I decided to try my very first foray into making sausage at home. Just chill your meat really well (part frozen is best!) and cut it into chunks. Then, you just pulse everything in your processor until the meat is in tiny bits. It is a revelation, I tell you!

I added both fennel and sage, because those are two classic “sausage” tastes, in my kitchen at least. You could pretty much use any of your favorite spices or herbs.

And, chicken needs just a little fat added to the mix, so I used pancetta, which is mostly fat. If you choose beef or pork , you could probably skip the added fat. Whatever ingredients you use, this sausage has so much less fat and artificial ingredients than most store bought sausages.

Since this is so much easier than I thought it would be, I plan to make sausages again and again, trying out different meats and veggies and spices. I highly HIGHLY recommend this to you as a fun kitchen adventure!

– posted by Donna

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Foolproof Oven Poached Eggs

April 7, 2014 in Breakfast

Perfectly poached eggs will change your life. Or at least your brunch.

Oven poached eggs

The perfect tool for poaching eggs? Your oven!

Poached eggs are such a Julia thing to make, don’t you agree? Yet, they are the Achilles heel of many a home cook like myself.

So, when I had a group of women coming over for brunch, I wanted to go for the Oooh’s and Aaah’s. I wanted to serve Eggs Benedict with asparagus, but was afraid to attempt poaching eggs for 6 people. But, there is a really simple tool to use to make poached eggs almost effortlessly: your oven!

Turns out you can poach eggs perfectly in your oven! Yes, sorry Julia Child, but eggs just aren’t that easy to poach on the stove top. Even if you are a dedicated foodie like Deb Perelman at Smitten Kitchen, it’s still a complicated and arduous task.

I tried this technique as a test a few days before I wanted to serve them, and they came out perfect the very first time. Perfectly cooked whites. Perfectly oozy yolks. Perfect perfect. And as easy as cracking eggs into muffin tins.

Happy Brunch, Everyone!

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Chocolate Pancake Love Letters

February 5, 2014 in Breakfast, Holidays

Love messages written in pancake letters for your valentines.

Chocolate Valentine Pancakes for your Sweethearts

Chocolate Valentine Pancakes for your Sweethearts

There is no better way to write “I love you” than with pancake batter!

Do you own a pancake pen? Well, you should. You can be a kitchen skillet artist for less than $10, and that includes the pancake batter.

Once in awhile, I just have to make “cutesy food.” And on Valentine’s Day – it’s mandatory for me.

Some wise person once said “Honey comes from bees, and apples come from trees, but pancakes come from heaven.” Pancakes are so warm and comforting and the perfect way to start your Valentine’s Day, I say.

X O Means more written in pancake letters, no?

X O Means more written in pancake letters, no?

 — posted by Donna

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Breakfast Lettuce Wraps Recipe

January 13, 2014 in Breakfast

Lettuce Wraps for breakfast. Why didn’t we think of this before?

Lettuce Wraps - Breakfast Edition

Lettuce Wraps – Breakfast Edition

I love, love, LOVE lettuce wraps. They are a Must Order for me whenever I see them on a menu. Anne and I are both huge fans of the Asian Lettuce Wraps at Kalyn’s Kitchen – I make them all the time. And so I don’t know why I never thought of lettuce wraps for breakfast before. But. Now this is my new breakfast obsession, especially on Sundays when we do a more relaxed morning meal.

I love to serve dishes like this where diners can assemble their own dish – and at a slow pace so you can have conversation as you go. Like fondue – Such fun!

So just plate up the cooked components and set them in the center of the table and let diners scoop out their favorite fillings into their own lettuce leaves.

If you’re like The Hubs, who can’t eat most things – let alone scrambled eggs – without ketchup, You can serve drizzling sauces like ketchup or salsa or an Asian sauce. But I like this dish very simple. Without any sauce, these are a fabulous low carb way to start your day!

The restaurant classic Asian first course. Only for breakfast.

The restaurant classic Asian first course. Only for breakfast.

– posted by Donna

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Farmer’s Market Baked Eggs in Zucchini Recipe

August 7, 2013 in Breakfast, Vegetarian Entrees

Zucchini Shirred Eggs Square

Baked Eggs. Eggs in Cocotte. Shirred Eggs. An egg by any other name would be as yummy.

And what did we ever do before farmer’s markets? This week is Farmer’s Market Week, and I’m a believer!

In honor of Sneak Some Zucchini on to Your Neighbor’s Porch Day tomorrow I am sneaking some zucchini into a breakfast dish. Whaaaa??? Zucchini for breakfast??? Trust me on this one – yummy and easy and garden fresh! Baked eggs are yummy and easy to make, and I love this pretty presentation with the zucchini wrapping around the eggs.

I did a spinach and ricotta base for the eggs, then placed a long zucchini slice around the edge of the ramekin and cracked an egg into the middle. Simple. Pretty. Delicious. And a bonus: helps get rid of zucchini!

If you have a ton of the green squash lurking in your garden, or if your neighbor sneaks some on to your porch, I highly recommend 
50 Amazing Zucchini Recipes
 over at Kalyn’s Kitchen. She always inspires me – especially this time of year with my garden overflowing!

- posted by Donna

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Eggs Benedict in Artichoke Cups and Easy Blender Hollandaise Sauce

July 7, 2013 in Breakfast, Entrees

Eggs benedict in artichokes for a spectacular breakfast or brunch.

Artichoke Eggs Benedict

Eggs Benedict in Artichoke Cups  – right out of the oven!

Breakfast for dinner, anyone? Do I ever have a spectacular dish for you.

Artichokes are not usually breakfasty. But, I have an obsession with cracking eggs inside of vegetables – see for example, my Flower Power Eggs or my Eggs in Avocados or Onion Ring Eggs. I thought Why NOT artichokes? – with Eggs Benedict inside them so there would be more sauce to dip leaves into. The leaves dipped in egg yolks and in Hollandaise sauce is divine. And after all the leaves are spent, use a spoon to scoop up all the goodness of the heart with the eggs and sauce and crispy Canadian bacon. Divine, I tell you.

I boiled the chokes for 30 minutes, let them cool and cut their tops off, leaving about 3 inches as a base. Then I pulled out the center portion of the very soft leaves and then scraped out the thistle portion, leaving the heart intact. Next, I put them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and smashed them slightly with the palm of my hand so that they would spread out on the baking sheet and the opening in the middle would be large enough to accommodate the egg. I brushed them with a little vegetable oil.

I blended up some easy blender Hollandaise and poured a little into each artichoke well. Then I cracked an egg on top of that and sprinkled with some strips of Canadian bacon.. I threw them in the oven and broiled them to cook the egg and to get the leaves crispy.


– posted by Donna

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Bow Tie Brunch Eggs Recipe for Brunch

April 21, 2013 in Breakfast

Bow Tie Brunch Eggs

Bow Tie Brunch Eggs

If I had to choose only one food to eat every day for the rest of my life, I might choose eggs. How much more versatile can a food be – the very same egg can be whipped into clouds of merengue or boiled so the yolk is like a cheese sauce. And such an amazing substance comes with its own packaging!

I love eggs – probably in all of the 100 ways Escoffier taught to cook them.

And I love brunch. And, since I am a mom, I can state this with authority: Moms love brunch! It is a time when you can sit back, relax, feel pampered and share with loved ones. Brunch is an island of serenity in a fast-paced world. So, why not save big bucks and stay home for brunch this Mother’s Day?

You can fancy your brunch up with an edible bow tie garnish. Really, Mom will love this.

For this spectacular presentation, here is all you do: Cut the green part of a leek (most will be about 8 or 10 inches long); blanch in boiling water for just 30 seconds – and longer and the leek will be too mushy to work for this. Plunge the softened leek into very cold water. The, take two pieces of blanched leek and form each piece into one half of a bow and secure it by tying with a small piece of leek to hold the half-bow shape. Then, lay the half bows on top of each other to form a bow shape. Top this, Martha Stewart, if you dare!

I like serving this bow tie egg on top of some potato leek hash, but you could serve it as a topping on so many things: eggs benedict, polenta, huevos rancheros, any eggy breakfast dish that calls for an egg as a topping. And Mom will be so impressed when you serve her Mother’s Day breakfast in bed!

– posted by Donna

Breakfast Sushi Rolls Recipe. Brunch anyone?

March 21, 2013 in Breakfast

Breakfast sushi rolls for a simple, stunning breakfast.

Breakfast Sushi Rolls

Breakfast Sushi Rolls for a stunning simple breakfast.

Confession time: I had never made a rolled omelet. Even though I love omelets, and even though Julia Child, my culinary hero, made them hilariously on an episode devoted entirely to this French culinary classic. ==sigh== Foodie demerits deserved. I am happy to report I am a reformed woman. I even tried a new innovation: BAKED rolled omelets.

The rolled up version can contain fillings and – thought I – why not cut the omelet into pieces and eat just like sushi? Yes, I do think this way.

I wanted to avoid any Julia-like mishaps – egg shell bits, omelets flipped onto the floor, etc., etc. – so I followed the method of Real Mom Kitchen (recipe tweaked a bit, of course – Hey! I’m a food blogger!) and baked the eggs in an oven in a 9 by 13 pan. You have to bake this in the oven until egg mixture is firm so that the short “rolls” will hold up and stay upright and not just slump over. So you will get a little more color on the outside of the omelet than an Iron Chef would approve. Just FYI.

You can add any fillings you like – but to keep the “sushi” theme, rice should be one of them. The parchment paper is not optional, since it helps with the perfect rolling – but use aluminum foil if you don’t have parchment.

Easter brunch, anyone???

Breakfast Sushi Rolls

What could be cuter for brunch than breakfast sushi rolls?

– posted by Donna

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