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288 posts categorized "09) Breakfasts, Brunches & Buffets "

02/05/2024

~ An Apple-a-Day & Granola Too, Breakfast for Two ~

If you're not too lazy to peel and slice one apple in the AM, and if you keep a bag of granola in your pantry, a steaming-hot, flavorful and filling breakfast is five-minutes from your fingertips. What I like about this "what I cook for me" recipe is: everything. As a kid, I loved stewed apples -- somewhere in between apple pie filling and chunky applesauce, they are less sweet with a less thickened, au natural, taste and texture. My mother made stewed apples to serve with her pork roast for dinner, but, she'd always set a small bowl aside...... View full recipe for "~ An Apple-a-Day & Granola Too, Breakfast for Two ~"

01/20/2024

~ Say Cheese Please: Making Perfect Welsh Rarebit ~

Welsh rarebit -- the original cheese toast. It's worth mention that I've only eaten what I believe to be the real-deal once. It was in the latter 1990's, in Wales, in the exquisite Coed-Y-Mwstwr Hotel (coy-dee-moo-ster). It came to me as a complimentary side to a lovely salad (which I ordered after returning from shopping in the city of Cardiff). The cheese toast, along with everything else in this hotel, was perfect. I kicked off my high-heels and enjoyed it in my lavish room, overlooking the How-Green-was-My-Valley countryside, with a very English G&T too. I gave cheese toast a lot...... View full recipe for "~ Say Cheese Please: Making Perfect Welsh Rarebit ~"

01/05/2024

~Swiss Chocolate, Cherry & Almond Puff Pastry Braid~

Imagine eating a freshly-baked, still-warm chocolate croissant at your favorite coffee shop. Just thinking about one of those divinely decadent indulgences makes me happy. Now imagine it super-sized, more than enough to feed four, with sweet cherries and crunchy almonds added to it too. Need I say more? Valentine's Day will be here before we know it, and, if you're looking to surprise the chocolate lover in your life with something truly sweet, stash the ingredients on this list in your pantry and freezer, then, start counting the days to February 14th. Tick, tock. From appetizers to entrées to desserts......... View full recipe for "~Swiss Chocolate, Cherry & Almond Puff Pastry Braid~"

12/30/2023

~ Sweet Sausage, Apple & Cheddar Puff Pastry Braid ~

We all have our favorite breakfast and brunch casserole recipes -- I'd be lost without mine. They taste great, they're typically relatively easy and budget-friendly to prepare, and some can even be made ahead (mornings are hard enough as it is), but, let's be honest: casseroles aren't elegant. They're low-key, family-style, comfort food -- the blue jeans of the food world. Newsflash: Occasionally, it's necessary to dress up for a special occasion -- and that extends to the food. If I told you I have a small repertoire of AM meals that make a stunning presentation, taste as good as...... View full recipe for "~ Sweet Sausage, Apple & Cheddar Puff Pastry Braid ~"

12/25/2023

~ Cloudberry Jam, Brie, Almond & Puff Pastry Braid ~

Circa 1980-1985 -- better known as the cloudberry jam period of my life. One of my husband's business associates (a man from Norway temporarily working here in Happy Valley) introduced us to a Norwegian specialty: small squares of grilled bread cheese topped with cloudberry jam. It was served as an appetizer at a cocktail hosted by Rolf and his Swedish wife. I fell in love with this cheesy treat immediately -- and said so. When I reciprocated the invitation, I was gifted a jar of the jam, a small brick of bread cheese, plus, a tin of stroopwaffes as a...... View full recipe for "~ Cloudberry Jam, Brie, Almond & Puff Pastry Braid ~"

11/10/2023

~ Dare to be a Square: Individual Breakfast Frittatas ~

As an egg lover, for me, a frittata is a relatively-easy quick-to-make hunger-satisfying meal any time of the day -- for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner or late night snack. It tastes great served hot, warm, at room temperature or cold, and, leftovers reheat beautifully in the microwave. A bit of slicing, dicing or chopping is typically required, but it's minimal, and, since frittata can also be a tasty way to use up leftovers from a previous meal, in some instances, no knife is required. In my food world, making individual-sized frittatas, a perfectly-portioned quick-as-heck protein-packed meal or snack that I...... View full recipe for "~ Dare to be a Square: Individual Breakfast Frittatas ~"

08/30/2023

~ Nice & Easy No-Nonsense Quick-Mix Apple Bread ~

Nice and easy, no-nonsense, quick-to-mix. One bowl, a whisk and a spatula -- no mixer required. Yep. Those words accurately sum up this recipe, and, the end more than justifies the means, meaning: it's hard to believe something this easy can taste this divine. While apple bread isn't the most photogenic (brown food in general isn't), don't let its monochromatic appearance fool you. It's dense but not heavy, has a delicately-moist crumb, and, it's bursting with apple flavor -- perfect for any Fall breakfast or brunch buffet table. Me? I love it toasted (on the rack of my toaster oven,...... View full recipe for "~ Nice & Easy No-Nonsense Quick-Mix Apple Bread ~"

08/20/2023

~ Creamy Old English and Pimento Cheese Crab Dip ~

During the college football season, I add a few staples to my pantry and refrigerator lineup. When you live in a college town, you never (and I mean never) know when you're going to need to fix a quick appetizer. I make sure I'm never without pasteurized crabmeat in my refrigerator and Kraft Old English and Pimento Cheese spreads in my pantry. If the doorbell rings or the fans on the couch run out of wings, I can have crab dip on the cocktail table in about five minutes. Give me five minutes, I'll make you some great crab dip:...... View full recipe for "~ Creamy Old English and Pimento Cheese Crab Dip ~"

08/15/2023

~ Old English Cheese Spread & Crabmeat Canapés ~

These appetizers were one of our Happy Valley tailgate traditions. I fondly remember one of our members, Joan Reilly, making them for our early AM pre-tailgate tailgates -- prior to leaving for the stadium. She and her husband Joe lived close to Beaver Stadium, and, it was not unusual for us to meet, as a group, on the cul-de-sac in front of their house, to wait for our friend with the RV to arrive from Harrisburg. While we were all chatting and sipping Stan's Bloody Mary's, Joan would pass around a baking sheet full of her cheesy English-muffin-based crabmeat canapés....... View full recipe for "~ Old English Cheese Spread & Crabmeat Canapés ~"

08/10/2023

~ Southern Comfort: Classic Pimento Cheese Spread ~

When I was a little kid, pimento cheese spread was a staple in our refrigerator -- right next to the Old English cheese spread. I had absolutely no idea it was Southern. I thought it was Kraft. To this day, if someone puts a jar on of the store-bought stuff on the table next to a box of Ritz crackers, I'm more than happy to sit down and dig right in. Slather it between two slices of white bread and make me a pimento-cheese grilled-cheese sandwich and I'll follow you anywhere. Known as "the caviar of the South, or, "Southern...... View full recipe for "~ Southern Comfort: Classic Pimento Cheese Spread ~"

08/05/2023

~ She's Gone Bananas: Banana-Walnut Bundt Cake ~

How many bananas can a gal put into a bundt cake? Every time I bake this banana cake, I push the envelope a little farther, and, today I used the entire bunch. Six bananas. It yielded a total of 3 cups mashed bananas, and, the recipe, which started out using 1 3/4-2 cups, came out super-moist and full-flavored -- just perfect. Often times, this is how recipes are developed or improved upon (by trial, error and gutsy experimentation). That said, me thinks I'll stop improving this one. The original recipe came from my mother's recipe box and I'm pretty certain...... View full recipe for "~ She's Gone Bananas: Banana-Walnut Bundt Cake ~"

07/05/2023

~ A Very Berry Sour Cherry and/or Blueberry Cobbler ~

While I adore a traditional cherry or blueberry pie -- who doesn't -- sometimes, especially July thru September, the months when there is so much (too much) growing in the garden, I need to speed things up in order to make use of all the fresh fruits and vegetables in a timely, manner. When it comes to "short shelf life" fruits like sour cherries and blueberries, this cobbler is my solution. All I need is four cups of one or the other or a combination of both, along with 15 minutes of hands-on time and: dessert is in the oven....... View full recipe for "~ A Very Berry Sour Cherry and/or Blueberry Cobbler ~"

04/10/2023

~Corned Beef Brisket & What Corned Actually Means~

Corned beef isn't just for St. Patrick's Day in my kitchen. We enjoy it in several different ways more than once a year. Corned beef is beef brisket that has been brine-cured in a solution of salt and water typically used for pickling or preserving food. Brisket is the cut of beef taken from the breast section under the first five ribs. It is sold without the bone and divided into two sections. The flat-cut has minimal fat and is more expensive than the more flavorful point-cut. Brisket requires long, slow cooking and is best when braised. The term "corned"...... View full recipe for "~Corned Beef Brisket & What Corned Actually Means~ "

03/30/2023

~ Wake up to Grands Brand Cinnamon-Roll Waffles ~

If you are a fan of cinnamon-rolls with ooey-gooey cream cheese frosting, it's time for you to meet the easiest, best holiday or special occasion breakfast ever. Easiest. Best. Period. You will not be calling anyone twice to the table that morning. That said, you will need a Belgian-style waffle iron to make these, meaning a waffle iron with deep grids. To make the waffles using a regular waffle iron, substitute a tube of Pillsbury's regular, smaller--sized cinnamon rolls. One pre-made ingredient + one Belgian waffle iron = amazing. 1 tube Pillsbury Grands cinnamon rolls w/cream cheese glaze ~ Step...... View full recipe for "~ Wake up to Grands Brand Cinnamon-Roll Waffles ~"

03/25/2023

~The Bacon, Lettuce & Tomato BLT Everything Bagel~

This Everything Bagel BLT sandwich is everything one could ask for in terms of a BLT sandwich -- lots of crisply fried bacon, crunchy lettuce and fresh tomato slices served on a toasted everything bagel that's been slathered with a tangy whipped chive-and-onion cream cheese spread. It doesn't have to stop there. If your a fan of the turkey club sandwich, feel free to add a generous pile of your favorite shaved deli turkey atop the bacon. If you think you'd enjoy a fried or poached egg on your bagel sandwich (even though I am not of fan), I won't...... View full recipe for "~The Bacon, Lettuce & Tomato BLT Everything Bagel~"

02/05/2023

~ Love is the Sweetest Personal-Sized Apple Pie(s) ~

The only thing that could possibly be more heartwarming than a home-baked apple pie for dessert on Valentine's Day, or almost any occasion, would be a personal-sized apple pie -- for me it would be absolute perfection. The great part about serving personal-sized pies is they're so easy to serve -- no slicing and no transfer from pie dish to plates, which means no crumbs scattering all over. The only things it requires (next to a good apple pie recipe) are the right size pie dishes and a foolproof formula that allows you to make as many as you want...... View full recipe for "~ Love is the Sweetest Personal-Sized Apple Pie(s) ~"

12/30/2022

~ My in-a-Jiffy-Mix Double-Delicious Quick Cornbread ~

Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix. Currently priced at $1.50 for each eye-catching blue-and-yellow box, which is up from a mere 59 cents a year ago, it's been a time-saving staple in my pantry for over four decades. A week ago, there was discussion on one of my Facebook friend's pages about store-bought cornbread mixes. We discussed the rising cost, and, which one us "cheaters" consider the best. As it turned out, almost unanimously (Martha White gets honorable mention), it was the Jiffy brand. We went on to share our favorite ways to "doctor it" up. Fun, yum and don't tell anyone...... View full recipe for "~ My in-a-Jiffy-Mix Double-Delicious Quick Cornbread ~"

11/06/2022

~ Gobble, Gobble -- Cranberry-Walnut Banana Bread ~

It happens every November, and, I'm reasonably certain I do not stand alone. Us ooks can't wait to heat our ovens and bake some goodies. In my kitchen, quick breads and pies are perfect for November -- cookies and confections can wait their turn until December. A loaf or three of banana bread or pumpkin bread, followed up by a short-list-selection of pies appropriate for the Turkey Day holiday (apple, pumpkin, pecan, sweet potato, etc.) keeps me happily occupied. Luscious anytime of year, but, perfect for November: For the dry ingredients: 1 3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour...... View full recipe for "~ Gobble, Gobble -- Cranberry-Walnut Banana Bread ~"

09/25/2022

~Classic-Style Chunky Tuna, Egg & Shell Pasta Salad~

We Americans have been eating tuna salad for over a hundred years. The first reference to tuna salad appeared in 1907, and by 1914 dozens of recipes had been published. Tuna salad, classically made with with celery and mayonnaise, was a spin off of chicken salad, with tuna salad being touted as more convenient (due to the use of canned tuna) -- a big reason for its rise in popularity. Because of its nutritional value, it was marketed as diet food during the 1960s. Until the 1800s, the sardine was the canned fish Americans ate. Tuna was available, but, what...... View full recipe for "~Classic-Style Chunky Tuna, Egg & Shell Pasta Salad~"

07/31/2022

~ Pasteurized Crab -- What's in the can for that Cost ~

A couple days ago I restocked my supply of pasteurized crabmeat for the upcoming tailgate and holiday season. I do it every year around this time, and, I was down to my last can, so, I bought three more. Like most folks, I love to eat crabmeat, and, while fresh crab is indeed a delicacy, for my purposes pasteurized crab is my first choice. Like fresh crabmeat, it must be stored in the refrigeratory, but unlike fresh crab it has a very long shelf life -- up to 18 months. What's not to love about that. Because it's pasteurized, it's...... View full recipe for "~ Pasteurized Crab -- What's in the can for that Cost ~"

07/06/2022

~It's the Season for Savory Sweet Corn & Herb Cakes~

I didn't invent adding cooked corn kernels, savory herbs and/or spices to pancake batter. Our Native Americans are credited with that, the precursor to our present-day pancakes. They were called "nokchick", translated to mean "no (or not) cake" by the European colonists (who arrived with a host of their own pancake recipes which had existed in Europe for centuries, dating all the way back to the Romans who called them "alita docia", which is Latin for "another sweet".) In the American colonies, pancakes were known as hoe cakes or johnny cakes, and, flapjacks or slapjacks, made with buckwheat flour or...... View full recipe for "~It's the Season for Savory Sweet Corn & Herb Cakes~"

06/30/2022

~ Stop Frittering Around & Fry Up A Batch of Fritters ~

Here in Pennsylvania, I grew up eating savory deep-fried corn fritters in July and August, when local sweet corn is in season, and sweet apple fritters in September and October, when local apples are in season. I grew up eating potato pancakes as well, which are technically a type of fritter, but, we don't refer to them as such because they are pan-fried. Doughnuts were/are made on Doughnut Day, and, even though they're deep-fried, we don't call them fritters either. Why? Like their precursor cousin, the beignet, they don't contain any chopped protein, fresh or dried fruits and/or vegetables, and,...... View full recipe for "~ Stop Frittering Around & Fry Up A Batch of Fritters ~"

06/26/2022

~ Lox, Gravlax and Smoked Salmon -- Your Choice ~

Lox, gravlax and smoked salmon -- they are all cured salmon products, and, while they look similar, they are all distinctly different. For lovers of cured salmon, we all have a favorite. For example, I prefer smoked salmon to lox and prefer lox to gravlax. There's more. In my food world, I tend to serve one or the other for breakfast or brunch -- I don't think of it much as a dinner fare. For lovers of cured salmon, the good news is, they can, for the most part, be used interchangeably in recipes, and, they can be served any...... View full recipe for "~ Lox, Gravlax and Smoked Salmon -- Your Choice ~"

06/05/2022

~Welsh Rarebit or Rabbit = the Original Cheese Toast~

Say cheese please -- lots and lots of hot and bubbling, oooey, gooey cheese please. If those words got you salivating, try these on for size: a savory cheese sauce made from sharp cheddar cheese, egg yolk, Worcestershire sauce, English mustard and beer slathered onto thick-slices of toasted bread and broiled until bubbly. Here in America, when a cheesy craving hits us, we treat ourselves to an all-American grilled cheese sandwich. The British have a different twist on it, and Welsh rarebit is referred to as the original cheese toast (or cheese on toast). Welsh rarebit (pronounced rabbit) is a...... View full recipe for "~Welsh Rarebit or Rabbit = the Original Cheese Toast~"

06/02/2022

~My Frittata Formula -- To Feed Two, a Few or a Crew~

Learning to make a frittata is a valuable culinary lifeskill. Commonly referred to as the Italian version of an omelette, a frittata is a concoction of whisked eggs and cream, sliced, diced or chopped previously-cooked vegetables, meat or seafood and/or grated cheese. I prefer to compare it to a custard-like quiche without a crust rather than an omelette because, like a quiche, a frittata is traditionally round and rather thick -- not at all elongated and comparatively flat (like the French and American omelettes). There's more. I think of an omelette as something that goes from stovetop to table in...... View full recipe for "~My Frittata Formula -- To Feed Two, a Few or a Crew~"

05/29/2022

~ Mel's Savory Bread-Machine-Brioche French Toast ~

Because I make brioche in my bread machine about once a week, the long task of baking brioche from scratch is a non-issue for me. Not only do I have great bread on-hand all the time, this enables me to make remarkably awesome French toast any damned time I want to. That said, not being a sweet-seeking kinda morning girl, I love to make a savory version of French toast by soaking thick slices of the brioche (which is enriched with milk, eggs, butter, sugar and salt) in a tangy, whole-grain mustard-laced milk and egg mixture. It's marvelous served with...... View full recipe for "~ Mel's Savory Bread-Machine-Brioche French Toast ~"

05/26/2022

~Curry-Up with a Summertime Curried Chicken Salad~

Just like I have preferences in movies, I have preferences in chicken salads. I prefer white-breast- over dark-thigh- meat, roasted chicken over poached, greasy rotisserie chicken makes me cringe, and, I want my chicken hand-pulled instead of diced or cubed, because the latter looks plasticy and fake. Error on the side of under-dressing mine, as I want to taste the chicken, but yes, by all means, please add some lightly-toasted seeds or nuts for crunch. I enjoy it served as a forkable salad or as a sandwich, but, if served as a salad I want it on tender soft lettuce...... View full recipe for "~Curry-Up with a Summertime Curried Chicken Salad~"

05/02/2022

~ Kebab, Kabob, Shish Kabob and lots of Kababba ~

Kabbaba is the ancient Aramaic word meaning to char or to burn. Medieval Persian soldiers, who used their swords as instruments to grill food over open fires in the field of battle, are credited with inventing kabobs. It was only natural that this simple method of cooking food relatively fast on a "sikh" (a metal skewer), made its way into the kitchens of the royal houses, then onto the tables of the common folk and eventually into the streets, where vendors cooked and sold them for breakfast, lunch and dinner (where they untreaded them onto or inside some form of...... View full recipe for "~ Kebab, Kabob, Shish Kabob and lots of Kababba ~"

04/14/2022

~ RedHot & Honey-Butter Chicken Wings & Waffles ~

Chicken and waffles was a childhood favorite of mine. Fast forward to adulthood -- it still is. I love the Southern-style crispy-fried chicken kind and, the Yankee-style PA-Deutsch tender pulled-chicken w/gravy kind. Cluck, cluck. In my food world there's also a third variation: Pub-grub-style deep-fried chicken wings and waffles. On paper, this might sound like a rather strange duo, but, in reality, a steaming hot waffle with honey butter melting atop it is the ideal foil for some hot-out-of-the-deep-fryer RedHot-sauced Buffalo-style chicken wings. Trust me, skip the French fries -- the switch to waffles with wings will change your life,...... View full recipe for "~ RedHot & Honey-Butter Chicken Wings & Waffles ~"

04/02/2022

~ Cheese-Stuffed Sausage and Mushroom Omelette ~

Nothing fancy, surely not gourmet, just three available-to-everyone ingredients, sausage, mushrooms and onions. All three together as one, well, they're my favorite topping combo on a cheese- or double-cheese pizza, and, they're my favorite add-in combo to a cheese- or double-cheese omelette. For those two reasons alone I always keep my favorite brand of fully-cooked breakfast sausage, generic canned sliced-mushrooms and a sweet Vidalia onion or two on hand. Yes, my favorite toppings for my favorite pizza or bagel-bites snack pizza and my add-ins to my favorite omelette are indeed, always right at my fingertips -- and I wouldn't have...... View full recipe for "~ Cheese-Stuffed Sausage and Mushroom Omelette ~"

03/30/2022

~ Chick-fil-A -- Rave Review of Five-Dipping-Sauces ~

For the love of chicken sandwiches, I admit to being a fair-weather fan of our local Chick-fil-A fast-food chain restaurant. All of THEIR not-my-cup-of-tea politics aside, on occasion, if it's a really nice day and I feel the need to relax and get away from my stove, I enjoy the drive across town to pick up one of their signature chicken sandwiches. As one who loves chicken sandwiches many ways, their trademarked slogan, "We didn't invent the chicken, just the chicken sandwich," their "Eat more Chikin" cow commercials, and, Doodles, their mascot, all make me smile. When one is perusing...... View full recipe for "~ Chick-fil-A -- Rave Review of Five-Dipping-Sauces ~ "

03/21/2022

~No Secrets in Hidden Valley Ranch's Secret Sauces~

I am a huge fan of Hidden Valley ranch dressing. If you and yours are too, be it a picnic, potluck or party, Hidden Valley Ranch has a secret sauce ready and waiting on a shelf in a grocery store near you. Labeled as Golden, Spicy, Smokehouse and Original, there is one that is guaranteed to be a great mate to whatever fare you're serving. No one enjoys a scratch-made condiment more than me and no one enjoys a creamy scratch-made condiment more than me, but, I gotta be honest, when I come across one or four in my store,...... View full recipe for "~No Secrets in Hidden Valley Ranch's Secret Sauces~"

03/09/2022

~Pretty-in-Pink Pickled-&-Piped Deviled-Pickled Eggs~

Pickled eggs can be made several ways, but the ones I love and the ones my family always made were the Pennsylvania Deutsch version, which are sometimes referred to as pickled-beet eggs or red-beat eggs. My mom and grandmother served them but once a year as a side-dish on our Easter feast table, but, in local Pennsylvania Deutsch communities, pickled eggs were and still are a very popular tavern food -- they can be found marinating in large jars on bar tops next to beer taps all over Pennsylvania. It takes about five days for hard-cooked eggs to pickle, so,...... View full recipe for "~Pretty-in-Pink Pickled-&-Piped Deviled-Pickled Eggs~"

01/03/2022

~HISstory vs HERstory -- The Story of Eggs Benedict~

A la Benedict. It means in-the-style-of eggs Benedict. For runny-egg lovers, this is the la-tee-da, ooh-la-la, creme-de-la-creme of fancy-schmancy, artery-clogging AM indulgences: two golden-toasted English muffin halves, each topped with a slice of smoky ham, a perfectly poached egg and a generous drizzle of buttery hollandaise sauce. This all-American breakfast and brunch specialty has been gracing the tables of high-end restaurants for over a century. There are three claims to this beloved dish's origin, with only one being widely-accepted as the real-deal. Culinary Fisticuffs? The Battle Between the Benedicts!!! HISstory vs. HERstory: Thanks to a food article appearing in the...... View full recipe for "~HISstory vs HERstory -- The Story of Eggs Benedict~"

11/18/2021

~ Tis the Season to Learn the History Behind Eggnog ~

Eggnog means eggs in a cup, and it is used on both sides of the Atlantic to toast to health. Nog is an old English term for a small wooden cup. It descended from a hot British drink called posset, made from eggs beaten with milk, sugar and some type of spirit. During that period, alcoholic drinks were served at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Because it was cooked, posset traveled and adapted well to local tastes. One such place: the American colonies, which were full of farms which were full of chickens, cows and lots of cheap rum -- our...... View full recipe for "~ Tis the Season to Learn the History Behind Eggnog ~"

11/12/2021

~ For the Love of Omelettes -- An Omelette Oration ~

I am a lover of omelettes. I've always enjoyed a savory breakfast more than a sweet breakfast, and, the omelette easily turns two or three eggs into a satisfying meal. That said, I am a much bigger fan of the fluffy American-style omelette vs the skinny French omelette, Don't get me wrong, I do like them both, and, while the French omelette is indeed iconic, in my opinion, miracle of miracles, we Americans actually improved upon it. By allowing our version to get a little golden on the outside, which gives it a bit of extra flavor and texture, and,...... View full recipe for "~ For the Love of Omelettes -- An Omelette Oration ~"

11/09/2021

~ Cinnamon-Roll Pancakes w/Cream Cheese Drizzle ~

Fresh-baked cinnamon rolls in the morning. I wish I had the inclination to make them for more than special occasions. That was, until, while watching A Million Little Things on TV last week, I learned about: cinnamon-roll pancakes. Where have these been all my life? For the love of breakfast and brunch, I had no idea that an easy-to-make cinnamon swirl mixture squirted onto a few pancakes while they're cooking would propel them from ordinary to extraordinary in a few short seconds. The finishing touch, a cream cheese drizzle (instead of the typical maple syrup), gives them all the yummy...... View full recipe for "~ Cinnamon-Roll Pancakes w/Cream Cheese Drizzle ~"

11/06/2021

~ PB&J Lovers Stuffed Banana Bread French Toast ~

Looking for a way to turn the heart-warming memories of the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches of your youth into a decadent adult indulgence? Whether you are or you aren't, just know, this'll do it. For us American breakfast eaters, iHop has schooled us on the term "stuffed French toast", and, ranked by popularity, PB&J stuffed French toast is at or near the top of that list. In fact, for PB&J lovers, it's hard to imagine anything being better than PB&J stuffed French toast. Newsflash, there is: PB&J stuffed French Toast made using banana bread. It's so good, Elvis would...... View full recipe for "~ PB&J Lovers Stuffed Banana Bread French Toast ~"

11/03/2021

~Best Basic Banana Bread - Simple & Straightforward~

My mom didn't love to bake, but, she did bake a few things on a regular basis. We always seemed to have some chocolate chip cookies, an apple pie or a loaf of banana bread. When the cookie jar was down to the last few, out from the pantry came a bag of chocolate chips. When the last slice of pie disappeared from the pie server, a half dozen apples came out of the crisper-drawer of the refrigerator. And, year round, there always seemed to be a bunch of bananas on the countertop ripening for the next loaf of banana...... View full recipe for "~Best Basic Banana Bread - Simple & Straightforward~"

10/31/2021

~ Johnnycakes -- Precursor to the American Pancake ~

My first experience with Johnny cakes was in 1992 We decided to take a tennis vacation and headed to the Killington Ski Resort in Vermont. During the Summer, Killington offers tennis packages and first-class accommodations. We drove nine hours, along winding, two-lane interstate and country roads looking at truly picturesque mountains and greenery. It was idillic, and, we had enough free time for sight-seeing, shopping in country stores and eating in local restaurants too. I ate my first Johnny cake at the resort for breakfast before hitting the courts on our first day. I liked them so much, I ordered...... View full recipe for "~ Johnnycakes -- Precursor to the American Pancake ~"

10/28/2021

~Frambled Egg - a Cross between Scrambled & Fried~

What the heck is a frambled egg? A funny typo? Is frambled even a word? The first time I saw it in print, I kinda did think it might be a typo, but, it got my attention and I kept on reading. The definition revealed it is a trendy new cooking term for something many of us older foodies, like myself, have been doing for years: making scrambled eggs without whisking the eggs first. Yep, it's even easier than making scrambled eggs -- you don't need a cup (or a bowl) or a fork (or a whisk). There's more. Eggs...... View full recipe for "~Frambled Egg - a Cross between Scrambled & Fried~"

09/18/2021

~My Gluten-Free Brioche Made in the Bread Machine~

Bread. It's said to be the staff of life. A basic staple. Want proof of that? Just go to the grocery store in any time of community angst or crisis. It is the first item to disappear from the shelves. From one end of our food world to the other, every country and culture, rich or poor, eats bread in some form. Here in America, bread, homemade or store-bought, in households like mine and yours, can be found on our tables for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Most of us take this slice of life for granted. That said, this is...... View full recipe for "~My Gluten-Free Brioche Made in the Bread Machine~"

08/18/2021

~ Slightly-Spicy Creamy Cajun-Creole Hot Crab Dip ~

I grew up eating hot crab dip in the Chesapeake Bay area where it is made with Old Bay Seasoning, Frank's Red Hot Sauce, dry English mustard and white cheddar. I thought it was the ultimate crab dip until I tasted hot crab dip made in New Orleans, where it is made with Cajun seasoning, Louisiana Gold Hot Sauce, Creole mustard and cream cheese. Both versions also contain Parmesan, mayonnaise, onion, and garlic, plus, in NOLA during Mardi Gras, for festive color, they throw in some green and red bell pepper too. When eaten in close proximity to either place,...... View full recipe for "~ Slightly-Spicy Creamy Cajun-Creole Hot Crab Dip ~"

08/06/2021

~ The Bell Pepper Season & Why We All Love Them ~

Ok, maybe we ALL don't love the bell pepper but the majority of us do, including me. Served raw or cooked, they impart both flavor and color in all sorts of dishes from cuisines all around the world. At first sight, it's hard not to be attracted to their bold green, red, orange or yellow color, and, even if a recipe calls for a specific color, it's nice to know they can be used interchangeably -- although the green bell pepper is not quite as sweet as the others. Store-bought or home-grown, kept stored in the refrigerator, they have a...... View full recipe for "~ The Bell Pepper Season & Why We All Love Them ~"

06/07/2021

~Caramelized Onion, Gruyère & Dijonnaise Omelette~

As a bigger fan of fluffy American-style omelettes vs skinny French omelettes, and, as an advocate for savory breakfasts over cloyingly-sweet breakfasts, this egg-cellent caramelized onion-stuffed cheese omelette is one of my favorite ways to break the fast -- it tastes every bit as good as it looks There's more. It pairs perfectly with a bloody Mary for breakfast (no orange or grapefruit juice with this omelette please), a glass of wine for lunch, or, a pilsner of beer for dinner. Caramelized onions seem to slip through the cracks when many of us are pondering breakfast. Trust me when I...... View full recipe for "~Caramelized Onion, Gruyère & Dijonnaise Omelette~"

06/01/2021

~So You'd Like Perfectly Caramelized Onions on That~

Caramelized onions are a marvelous condiment to have on-hand. They're an awesome topper for a hamburger, steak or cheesesteak, they're wonderful on pizza, and, oh-my-sigh, I love them in a cheese omelette for breakfast. That said, it does take a bit of time and patience (not energy) to properly caramelize onions, about 40 minutes, but, on average, that's how long it takes onions to properly caramelize on the stovetop, and, after all, one can't serve French onion anything without properly caramelized onions -- quite frankly, they're the star of any French onion show. The words I use to describe the...... View full recipe for "~So You'd Like Perfectly Caramelized Onions on That~"

05/20/2021

~ Esther's Buttery Sugar-Topped Pecan Shortbread ~

Esther's been a friend of ours for over 40 years. Last Tuesday morning she stopped over for coffee -- after a year of quarantine, it was not only great to see her again, it felt great to invite a friend into the kitchen for a person-to-person visit. I made some of my super-easy Grand's cinnamon-rolls cups, which got the two of us chit-chatting about quick-and-easy sweet treats that go great with the first cup of AM caffeine. Esther mentioned a shortbread recipe she makes a lot, as in: for all occasions. I asked her for the recipe and I wrote...... View full recipe for "~ Esther's Buttery Sugar-Topped Pecan Shortbread ~"

04/11/2021

~ Unembellished Perfection -- Classic Cheese Toast ~

Cheese toast served with a side of tomato soup. Also known as cheese-on-toast, these two go hand-in-hand together, and, truth told, I enjoy dipping this munchy-crunchy oven-toasted side-dish into my creamy-steamy soup better than the overwhelming favorite amongst the masses: the slightly-greasy skillet-fried grilled cheese sandwich (served with a side of tomato soup). I'm not sure why. Perhaps it's because my dad preferred cheese toast to grilled cheese, or, perhaps it's because it was one of the first meals my mom allowed me to prepare sans supervision. To a budding young cook -- kitchen independence is bliss. Everyone makes cheese...... View full recipe for "~ Unembellished Perfection -- Classic Cheese Toast ~"

03/18/2021

~ In a Jiffy Corn Pancakes -- The Best of Both Worlds ~

The best of both worlds -- corn pancakes. They're a combination of pancake batter and Johnny cake batter mixed together in one bowl to make: corn pancakes. They're wonderful -- slightly sweeter and considerably-lighter than typical Johnny cakes. In a perfect world, I'd get up in the wee hours of the AM and make 'em from scratch. Well, newsflash, it's not a perfect world, and, I can still make a great corn pancake breakfast by combining store-bought pancake mix and store-bought corn-muffin mix. No eye rolling please -- once you stick a fork in one of these and take a...... View full recipe for "~ In a Jiffy Corn Pancakes -- The Best of Both Worlds ~"

02/08/2021

~ In a Jiffy-Mix Delicious Cornbread w/Green Chiles ~

Breakfast, lunch or dinner, more-often-than-not, a corn muffin or wedge of cornbread is a welcome addition to the table. Served hot or warm slathered with butter and/or a drizzle of honey, puts it over-the-top. That said, while corn muffins and cornbread are easy enough to make from scratch (if you use enough yellow cornmeal on a regular basis to justify keeping a bag in your pantry), there is a popular and inexpensive way to speed the process up and still produce a seriously-delightful loaf of this beloved Southern staple. It's called Jiffy corn muffin mix, and, at 59-ish cents a...... View full recipe for "~ In a Jiffy-Mix Delicious Cornbread w/Green Chiles ~ "