Good things to eat

Posts tagged ‘Brunch’

Curried Kale Pancakes with Maple Glazed Onion topped Eggs!

Now I  know that all of the experts say that the key to a good food blog is enticing pictures of the dish that pull people in to read further and maybe even attempt your dish.

But I made something so delicious for brunch today, that I just had to tell you about it immediately.  I wasn’t even thinking that I would write about it because I had no idea it would be so good.   But then we gobbled it down and I never got a chance to take any pictures!

Hopefully just my description of the item will be enough to do the trick for you!

As anyone who has been following this blog for any length of time knows all too well,  I am a big fan of kale!  And that I like to use it in untraditional places.  Case and point in my kale pancakes.  But I have to say that this recipe is one of most looked at postings on this blog.  And in fact, if you Google kale pancakes, it is the first item listed!  On ALL of the interweb!!

So this morning I felt like making some eggs, but was out of bread for toast and it is a bit of a dreary winter Sunday so I didn’t feel like going out to get any.

What to make?  I didn’t really feel like anything too sweet………of course the kale pancakes!

So I whipped up a batch of the pancake batter, only I changed it up a bit and actually this version is completely Vegan.

Into the blender went:

  • 2 whole cloves fresh garlic
  • about 2 cups worth of ripped kale leaves, stems removed
  • 1 cup plain almond milk
  • 1 cup ( or more till you achieve right consistency) chick pea flour (or flour of your choice)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp curry powder

Whiz that all up in the blender and then let sit a bit.

Meanwhile, heat up your skillet ( I used two at a time to move things along quicker).

Once they are ready, add a bit of butter or oil of your choice and make your pancakes as you normally would.

Keeping the cooked ones warm in a low oven.

Once your pancakes are all cooked, use one of the skillets to caramelize an onion.

When it is well caramelized, douce it with a generous glug of good maple syrup!

Meanwhile, in the other skilled, fry up as many eggs as needed.  I did them to a nice “over easy” so that when you put them on top of the pancake and cut into them, the nice creamy yoke will ooze all over.

When ready to assemble, place pancakes on the bottom, then over easy eggs and then top with the maple covered onion!

Oh MAN was that good!

And if you were so inclined, feel free to add a little bacon or sausage to the equation and some extra maple syrup on top and you will have an impressive brunch item indeed!

I really wish I had a picture for you, cause it was THAT good!

Kale

Savory Bread Pudding

Here’s another little gem you might want to enjoy over the holidays……..

I call it a “savory bread pudding” but I’m sure you could come up with other names for it.

Savory Bread Pudding

This could be used as a nice alternative to stuffing (dressing) if you are still looking for a bready side dish without all the turkey bother.  It does have dairy and eggs, but no turkey juice, so the vegetarians can eat this.

Here is what you will need:

  • aprox 3 cups of cubed bread of some kind
  • 1 onion or shallot finely diced
  • 1 cup of mushrooms of your choice, sliced
  • 1 -2 cups of chopped baby spinach ( depending on how much you chop it)
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 tsp dried thyme ( or poultry spice if you have that)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup of 1/2 & 1/2 cream ( or whipping cream if you are inclined)
  • few dashes of hot sauce
  • some cheese ( I used some good white cheddar and a little bit of blue and parmesan cause I had it)

Heat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a pan with butter or olive oil.

Then in a frying pan with a bit of butter or olive oil, saute the onion and mushrooms, then add the thyme or PS and the S&P.

Meanwhile, cube your bread into 1/4 or 1/2 inch cubes and add them to your greased pan.  Then add in your cooked onions and mushrooms and toss them all together.

*************************************************************************************************************

Then lay on a layer of spinach and a good handful or two of the cheddar cheese and then stir those into all the other stuff till everything is thoroughly mixed.

***********************************************************************************************************8

Then is a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the cream and the hot sauce.

Then pour the eggs and cream all over the bread then kind of swirl it around to make sure everyone is getting a little of the creamy love!

Even squeeze the bread down into the cream a bit to make sure it is all getting a bit soaked.

Then finish with a few sprinkles of the other cheeses like some blue cheese and parmesan.

Pop into the hot oven for at least 1/2 hour and then have a look at it.  Giggle it a bit, if it is still too wabbly, put it back in for a few minutes.

Then you might want to put it under the broiler for a few minutes just to brown off the top.

*************************************************************************************************************

*************************************************************************************************************

To be honest, I probably could have just eaten a big bowl of the stuff by itself.   But instead I used it as a side dish with a spicy sausage stuffed Portobello mushroom.

************************************************************************************************************

But I definitely feel it is worthy of a holiday side dish!

Pumpkin Scones

I thought what with Thanksgiving rapidly approaching ( this weekend here in Canada but next month in the US) that I would re-run a favorite seasonal treat that I tried last year.

Pumpkin Scones

I see a version of these in my local grocery store every year and it always bothers me how expensive they are!   And they REALLY aren’t as good as these!

Givem a try and impress your people!

Pumpkin scones

 

Veggie Pie

Well here’s an easy one for you, a quick mid-week supper or a Sunday lunch!

As you may know, I’m a big fan of “clean out the fridge” dishes and this one is a perfect example of that.

You can pretty much use most vegetables that you would cook on this one.

Now when I say “cheated” with ready-made puff pastry……..I’m not really being that outrageous.  I mean I live with a professional Chef and even HE never makes puff pastry from scratch!!

So start with some store-bought puff pastry and roll it out as per manufacturers instructions.

Then cut it into manageable sizes.  Squares or like I have here, sort of round mini pizza sizes.

Roll up the edges slightly because you want to make the inside deep enough so stuff doesn’t run out.

Put on a baking sheet and bake in the oven ( see temp on pastry package)  for about 15 minutes.

Top with your vegetables of choice.

We happened to have some left over roasted squash, already sweet and smokie and perfect for this.

And some carmalized onions and some fresh asparagus.  Arrange them evenly all over the dough.

Then you are going to add:

  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • salt & pepper

Whipped up together and poured evenly over the vegetables, kind of like if you were making a very thin Quiche.

Finish with your favorite cheese.

Here we have a few knobs of my favorite goat cheese.

Bung them in the oven ( see pastry package for temp).

And bake until the pastry puffs up, the egg and cream set and  the cheese gets melty!

Serve with a side salad and you are in business!

Veggie pie

************************************************************************************************

Very Berry Cakes

I found myself with and abundance of berries.

I use them in smoothies and freeze them and all that but I feel that blackberries in particular kind of annoy me in a smoothie.  I find that the  seeds get caught in your teeth.

I was going to make some muffins but I didn’t have any baking cup liners and didn’t feel like greasing and cleaning and all that nonsense, so I just opted for some pancakes instead.

I always make my batters in the blender because then you can pour it easily into the frying pan.

So start with your favorite pancake recipe.  I use a lot of “groovy” stuff in mine to make them more nutritious, like oatmeal and chia and all that, but any batter will do.

Then add about 1/2 cup or more of black berries, or the berries of your choice.

The black berries make the cakes super purple, which in some circles is kinda cool.

While they are cooking on the first side, I gently add a few blue berries to each cake, that way they stay in one piece and don’t make the cakes double purple!

Keep the cooked ones warm until you are ready to serve.

I didn’t feel like the usual maple syrup so I added a dollop or two of my favorite lemon goat cheese and a few drizzles of honey.

Very Berry Cakes

Very nice way to start the day!

Sweet Potato Pancakes

Those of you who visit regularly or have been following along, know that I am a big fan of the savory pancake!

I just think that it makes such a more interesting side dish than plain ol rice or potato.  And I find them so particularly good when accompanied by a “saucy” dish because they suck up the juice and are so comforting.

The first ones were the KALE pancakes.   A particular favorite because I like to hide greens!

Then there were the Roasted Tomato pancakes, where was pretty much the kale pancakes with the addition of sweet roasted grape tomatoes.  Also a hit around here.

And then of course there was the Spinach Crepes stuffed with Mascarpone cheese which were just simply decadent.

This time I’ve made sweet potato pancakes.

Now I don’t want to argue with anyone, because there is much debate about which is which and this argument is perpetuated by restaurants who call “yam fries”  sweet potato fries!!

Just so we are straight:

  • YAM – big gnarly tuber with brown skin and dark orange flesh
  • Sweet Potato – looks very much like a yam only it has light ( almost yellow) skin and flesh

So I peeled, diced and boiled one large sweet potato.  Then drained it and mashed it like you would regular potatoes.  Only don’t add any of the butter and milk and what have you.

Although, if on the off chance, you ARE the kind of person who has left over mashed sweet potato in the fringe WITH all the butter and milk then those are perfectly fine to use.  I just didn’t want you to go to all the trouble.

In a blender add:

  • 2 cloves of garlic and or 2 green onions ( rough chopped)
  • mashed sweet potato once they have cooled.

Blend those together then add:

  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour (or whole wheat, spelt etc whatever you are into)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg (optional if eggs aren’t your thing)  just add 3 tsp of baking powder instead
  • 1 1/2 c. milk  ( I use almond but any milk will do)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Also feel free to add a little bit of  say ground cumin or chili flakes to zing it up a bit.

Then in a non-stick skillet or whatever your favorite pancake pan is, pour in dollops of batter, wait for the bubbles to appear then turn them over!

Keep the cooked ones warm in the oven until you are ready to serve.

We had them for our Sunday dinner with some roast and veg.

Yum-ee.

Toads in a hole

An oldy but a goodie.

Although I have no idea why they call it this.  But whatever.

Take a couple of slices of bread and cut a nice big hole in the centre.  ( The “hole” portion of the dish)

You can either use the holes for something else, like feeding the birds, OR you can toast them up and use for dipping.

Then, you can either use bacon drippings or a dab of butter in your frying pan and make sure it is nice and hot, then add your bread with the holes in them.

Toast on one side and then flip the bread.  Then ever so carefully break an egg ( The “toad” portion ) into the centre of the hole.   Cook until the yoke is still a bit jiggly and then serve.

Quick and simple.

Toads in holes with bacon and dipping rounds

************************************************************************************************

Thanksgiving Breakfast

I know you will all be up to your eyeballs in turkey talk so I thought I would change lanes a little and talk about what to eat on Thanksgiving for breakfast!!  I mean you are gonna need your strength for a long day of cooking and what not!

Every year around this time my local grocery store comes out with these and I usually give in and buy a batch but always say to myself “I could make those!”  So this year I am giving them a try.

PUMPKIN SCONES

I scoured the internet for a good recipe.  They vary widely and some seem super easy while others are quite involved.

This is the one I settled on…well…mostly   ( click here if you want to follow along  )

The result was quite nice.

Scones cooling

They actually took a little more involvement and certainly a lot more dishes and clean up than I really cared for on an already big cooking day but they were very tasty.

I only used the simple glaze instead of the full on spice glaze because I just didn’t have time to wait for them to cool and all that.

I’ve got potatoes to peel and stuffing to make!

Glazed Pumpkin scones

But they were very nice and gave a good sugar rush to get me going and the Chef loved them too.  But then again he loves anything sweet!

Actually their taste was very reminiscent of a childhood favorite.  Pillsbury apple turnovers, those ones that came in that weird roll up can that you had to whack on the counter to release the doughy goodness and then bake up and glaze with the odd little bag of icing!

Happy Thanksgiving!   If you are here in Canada that is……..Happy Sunday to the rest!

Pumpkins in the sun

Peanut butter chocolate banana bread

Sometimes you just gotta take things up a notch!

I was feeling a bit sorry for myself and was looking for a treat.  I had some bananas on their last legs and was just gonna make some plain ol banana bread but then things got a little out of hand.

I started with a regular recipe ( click above or use your favorite recipe) but then when the batter is complete,  I added about three heaping table spoons of peanut butter.  I used the natural kind by any will do.  Mix it in thoroughly.

Then at the VERY end I tossed in some chocolate.  Large chocolate chips would work best but I only had one of those heirloom blocks of chocolate from the freezer.  Doesn’t everyone have one of those?  It was bought on special or for some Christmas baking that never happened?

We always had one in the freezer that I think my Grandmother won on a trip to the Hershey factory one year.  We had it for years!

But oddly, all you have to do is take it out and get a big knife and hack some of it off and then chop it up!

Toss it in the batter but only give it a quick little mix so it will keep it’s shape.

Bake as usual.

Peanut butter chocolate banana bread

Let it cool and slice it up and try it with a little regular cream cheese instead of butter.  This will definitely pick up your mood.  Or make a great weekend breakfast with a nice cup of tea.

Peanut butter chocolate banana bread with cream cheese

*********************************************************************************************************

Breakfast idea?

So what to do with left over corn bread pizza crust?   Could happen!

Well, why not make it into some sort of breakfast item?

Replace your usual toast, english muffin or what ever else you usually put under your eggs with the corn bread.

Think of a nice eggs “benny” (  that’s what they call eggs Benedict around these parts) on corn bread.

Or some rancho huevos on corn bread instead of tortilla!   Adds so much extra flavour!

Or what I did this morning, just some grilled up bacon with an egg on top and my favorite ol chipolte style Tabasco sauce on top!

Add a little tomato and avocado to freshen it up!   You could even have this for lunch!

Bacon and eggs on corn bread

**************************************************************************************************

Salmon and pancakes

So put them all together and what do you get?

We have “What we had for dinner”!

However this would make a really good brunch or lunch too.

Start with the roasted tomato pancake as the base, top with salmon, add some healthy greens and then drizzle with a little left over salmon cooking juice and you have yourself a lovely meal.

Maple ginger salmon with roasted tomato pancakes

*********************************************************************************************

Mother’s Day idea

Happy Mother’s Day!!

I gotta tell ya, I’ve fed this one to a few mothers in my day!

As is usually my advice, the most important ingredient in this dish is creativity.  Oh yes, and love of course!

Fire up the oven to the predictable 350 degrees.

Then grate some potato.  I find that Yukon gold work best for this sort of exercise.  Rinse the grated potato in a cullender and then put them in a clean tea towel and stand over the sink and SQUEEEEEZE them until you get out as much water as your little hands can manage.

Put them in a mixing bowl and add one beaten egg, 1 Tbsp of flour and some salt & pepper.

If you want to them to another level, you could add some grated onion or even some grated carrot which makes them slightly sweet and is a good place to hide carrot!  Just make sure what ever extra you add is pretty dry, you don’t want to add any extra liquid!

Mix that  up and then you can make little patties about the size of a playing card…..if the card was round…..and fry them up in a shallow pan with enough oil to cover the bottom…….then flip.

OR and this is what I usually do, mostly because I hate how frying things in oil seems to leave a smell in the house for a week……I put them on a baking sheet with our ever friendly parchment paper. I make the patty and then brush them with a little olive oil.   This version is obviously a little healthier too.

Meanwhile.

You will need a muffin tin.

Depending on the number you want to make, line each muffin hole with prosciutto.  Then this is where the creative part comes in.  Find your favorite filling.  It could be a bit of cooked spinach, or mushrooms, or smoked salmon, something left over from dinner last night………you get the picture.  But you will need about a table spoon of what ever it is to add to each prosciutto cup.  And feel free to mix and match!  Then you want to add a bit of cheese, like goat cheese or feta or even some creamy brie, again, whatever tickles your fancy.

Then, carefully crack an egg into the top of each muffin hole, covering up the surprises inside.  And toss em in the oven to bake.

Keep an eye on them.  You will know they are ready when the egg starts to dull over.  Just give the tray a slight giggle and you will see where the yoke is in the cooking process.  But be careful, a minute too long and they will be hard and rubbery!

When they are done, carefully lift the baked prosciutto eggs out of the muffin hole and place them on top of the potato pancake and voila!  You are in business!

A very nice brunchy treat!  Even if you aren’t a mother!

Sunday lunch in the country

When living in Victoria BC, “going to the country” to look at the scenery seems a little silly because everything is so beautiful most days that a ride to the so-called country just seems like over doing it!

But every now and again it is nice to “get out-of-town” and spend the afternoon taking a  drive to look at all the other beautiful landscape.

Kayaking in the Pacific Ocean

Today we headed out of Victoria and  up the West Coast of Vancouver Island, on highway 14 towards Port Renfrew.  This is fairly wild country but still populated enough that you aren’t completely in the wilderness like many other parts of the island.  There are a few Provincial parks along the way that are popular camping, hiking or picnicking locations.

We decided to stop for lunch at a popular resort that is at about the half way mark between Victoria  and Port Renfrew.  A place called Point No Point.

Point No Point

They boast a cute little restaurant with a spectacular view along side cottages of various sizes and amenities all nestled into the side of the hill overlooking the Juan de Fuca Straight.

http://www.pointnopointresort.com/

Restaurant at Point No Point

The Restaurant looks pretty unassuming from the outside but is extremely cozy and inviting inside.  With a sweet little lobby filled with books and games to pass the time or wait for your table.

Lobby at Point No Point

Fireplace at Point No Point

The lobby then leads out the dining room that looks out over the ocean.

Dining room at Point No Point

The view

Once we got over the thrill of the breathtaking view, it was time to order lunch.

What’s your favorite breakfast?

I don’t mean the “what ever it is” that you like to eat every day.  For instance like me who could probably eat toast with peanut butter every day of my life…….no…..I mean, what’s your favorite “special” breakfast?  The one you get on your birthday or make for someone on the holidays, THAT kind of breakfast.

When I was a kid, my favorite special breakfast, that my mother usually only made at Christmas was French toast stuffed with bacon and sausage.  When I say stuffed, I just mean, the bacon and sausage was in between two French toasts, like a sandwich.  I loved that breakfast.

Later in life a restaurant that I frequented in Montreal, that was a breakfast only establishment, kicked it up a notch for me.  They called the dish the “Dennis the Menance”.  It consisted of two French toast, like our family favorite, only this one had peanut butter, bacon and banana in the middle!!  I was in heaven!!

Last time I was at that restaurant they had taken that dish off the menu, I was devastated.  I’ve never seen it on another menu since.

I’ve been thinking about this dish a lot lately so this morning we were out at one of our favorite breakfast joints and it was early and not too busy so I pleaded with the server to talk the Chef into making me the dish I’ve been longing for.  She was intrigued and agreed to ask.

She brought me this.

French toast with peanut butter, bacon and banana

It was good.  But not exactly what I was looking for.  This one used big fancy bread which was fine from a French toast point of view but was a bit too bready for what I was looking for because it overwhelmed the filling.

The one I long for is just two slices of plain ol sandwich bread……I mean they can even be nice multigrain sandwich bread, but they need to be thin and well soaked in the egg mixture before cooking so they are nice and soft.  And then when you cut it you get the full three layers of the two slices of bread and the filling all in one bite.

I guess I’ll just have to make some at home.

%d bloggers like this: