Pancakes

After more than 6 years of trial and error we have found the one. The recipe that produces our perfect Sunday morning pancake. They are fluffy and tender. They are a sturdy cake, that don’t deflate as you keep them warm in … Continue reading

Banana-Apple Bran Muffins

Hello muffins. Muffins have gotten this really sweet rep as a breakfast food….however, muffins really are just cake in disguise. I mean, triple-chocolate muffins? Who are we kidding? By adding bran, bananas, and apples…at least you can say there is … Continue reading

Lemon Scones

  These scones are really good. No really. They’re good. They flavour is bright and citrusy, but not overly so. The texture is cake-y. Yes, cake-y. This is not some dry scone that you need to slather with all sorts … Continue reading

Baked Eggs with Sweet Potato and Kale

When we were in England this past fall, I had a slice of quiche from a small bakery – it had butternut squash, spinach, pine nuts and feta. And definitely a lot of cream. It was one of my favourite … Continue reading

Homemade Granola

I swear this isn’t a post urging you all to abandon your recent habits of “leftover cookies for breakfast”. I first tried this recipe for a breakfast potluck this December at work. I had contemplated baking some muffins, or a … Continue reading

Huevos Rancheros

May 5th. Cinco de Mayo. As a Canadian, the fifth day of May means a reason to have a margarita with your favourite cuisine of south of the border(s).  I must say, we certainly don’t wait around for a single … Continue reading

Maple Bacon Scones

At 7:00 tomorrow morning there will be millions of Canadians glued to CBC with the hopes that our men’s hockey team will have a repeat golden performance in Sochi. Many of these millions will be kicking back a few morning … Continue reading

Strata with Roasted Red Peppers, Tomatoes, Basil, and Feta

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Strata. Frittata. Quiche. I couldn’t tell you the technical differences between all of these similar, yet different, egg dishes. To me, the Fritatta is more like an omelet, finished in the oven. A quiche involves a crust. And a strata is more ‘puffy’. Or, an egg casserole…if you will.

We tend to gravitate towards the strata end of the spectrum. It’s very hands off and can be prepared in the morning or night before (however, I have had enjoyable results when we did not prepare it in advance). It’s perfect for breakfast, brunch, or, most often for us, dinner.

This meal is a template. Once you have that ‘idea’ of bread, eggs, and milk you can play around with the veggies, cheese, and meat options to produce a different flavour combination. There are tonnes of different milk/egg ratios out there…here is one more.

This fed the two of us, but my husband likes to eat all the things. Double or triple as necessary for your family unit!

Ingredients
½ loaf hearty bread, cut into 1 inch cubes (this is a multigrain loaf)
6 eggs
1 ½ cups milk
½ jar roasted red peppers (about 1-2 peppers), diced
Handful of basil leaves, chopped
½  tomato (or handful of cherry tomatoes), seeded and diced
50g feta cheese, crumbled
Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Grease a glass pie dish/baking vessel of your choice.
  2. Whisk together eggs, and milk. Add peppers, basil, tomato, and salt and pepper.
  3. Layer bread on bottom of dish. Pour egg mixture over bread, ensuring all the bread is coated (but not necessarily covered). Top with feta cheese. Let sit until ready to bake, at least 15-20 minutes (or covered in the fridge if preparing in advance).
  4. When ready, preheat the oven to 350F.  Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until puffed and cooked through.

Sources:
Adapted from:
Smitten Kitchen
Canadian Living
Joy of Cooking

Pumpkin Spice Muffins (with a crumble topping)

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I find that when October hits, we are absolutely bombarded with pumpkin EVERYTHING. To be honest, I have never been that interested. I never opt for the pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving; I don’t really care for the infamous Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks…what’s all the fuss?

Last week a colleague brought in some muffins. “Pumpkin Spice”. Obviously. Pfft. Suddenly, the afternoon crash hits. I find myself wandering over to the muffins and escorting one back to my cubicle. I size it up. Smells good enough…

Oh, baby.

Not 24 hours passed before I baked a dozen for myself; jazzed up with a crumble topping. I’ve had the pumpkin “Kool-Aid”.

These puppies are moist and flavourful; I declared them the best muffin to come out of my oven. Try them and see for yourself.

Makes 12 muffins
Ingredients
1.5 cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (original recipe called for cinnamon)
1 cup white sugar
7 ounces (or just under a cup) of canned pumpkin
¾ cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs

Oat Crumble Topping
½ cup oats
2 tablespoons flour
¼ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 tablespoons butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Prepare your muffin tin with liners, or grease the tin directly.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together: flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and salt
  3. In a large bowl, mix together eggs, pumpkin, and oil.
  4. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet, and mix until just combined.
  5. Divide batter among prepared muffin tin. Top with crumble (see below)
  6. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Oat Crumble Topping

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and ‘crumb together’ with hands until it feels somewhat like wet sand.
  2. Note: the above picture used ‘quick oats’. I think I would prefer large flake!

Source:
Recipe for muffins provided by co-worker – original source to come!

Two Recipes, One Post – Peach Jam and Peach Iced Tea

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It’s a peachy frenzy! So, I realize it’s late September and here in Southwestern Ontario we may be at the bottom of our peach baskets. However, what better way to use up those peaches that are less than perfect than jam? And to top it all off, you use the skins and pits to steep into an iced tea.

The original jam recipe called for a lot more sugar than we felt we wanted to add. We took a chance and cut it in half, with the hopes it wouldn’t affect the pectin process. It’s a ‘looser’ jam (but certainly not ‘runny’), more like a preserve, which is my preference anyway.  I hope you enjoy and find some time this weekend to stock your pantry with the tastes of summer.

Peach Jam
Our recipe yielded 3 x 250mL jars. We used the oven method for sterilizing our jars and equipment as seen: here.
Ingredients
8 Peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped
1.5 to 3 cups white sugar (we used between 1.5 and 2 cups)
1 tablespoon lemon juice (or lime juice, which is what we used in a pinch)
¼ to ½ teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Prepare the peaches, reserving the skins and pits if preparing the recipe for peach iced tea (below).
  2. Pulse the peaches in the food processor. OR, mash with a fork/potato masher as the jam cooks. Chop smaller if using this method.
  3. Combine peaches with lemon juice, salt, and sugar.
  4. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
  5. Continue to boil (while stirring) for about 10-15 minutes, until the jam passes the ‘cold plate test’. Place a small plate in the freezer while the jam is simmering. At the 20-30 minute mark place a teaspoon of jam or so on the plate. Place it in the fridge for 2 minutes. Bring out the plate and draw a line in it with your finger. If the line stays (and the jam doesn’t close in on itself again), then it’s ready. Remove from heat. Otherwise, simmer longer.
  6. Ladle into prepared jars.

Source: Adapted from Martha Stewart

Peach Iced Tea
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Ingredients
Skins and pits of peaches from above jam making adventure
3 bags of black tea (we loyally brew Tetley brand)
1-2 teaspoons white sugar (optional)
Splash of lime juice (optional)
4-6 cups of boiling water

Instructions

  1. Fill the kettle and turn it on. Easy enough.
  2. Place the tea bags in a large heatproof bowl
  3. Place the peach skins and pits in a fine strainer over said bowl.
  4. When water has boiled, measure/pour water over peach scraps and tea bags. Let the tea steep for about 6 minutes. Remove bags.
  5. Allow to cool, serve with ice cubes.
  6. You may notice some sediment; if you desire you may further strain this through cheesecloth…I did not.