Category Archives: Breakfast/Brunch

Apricot-Honey Granola

This golden granola reminds me of summertime! The combination of chopped and chunky dried apricots and golden raisins taste great together. Apricot-Honey Granola has a lot of other good things that I often add to my homemade granolas: sunflower kernels, coconut flakes, wheat germ or flaxseed, and chopped nuts. It’s sweetened mostly with honey and a bit of brown sugar. You can serve it as a cereal with milk, in yogurt parfaits, or just as it is, for a snack.

APRICOT-HONEY GRANOLA by NancyC

Makes about 12 cups

  • 6 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 1/4 cups hulled, raw sunflower kernels (if using roasted, add them in after baking)
  • 1 1/4 cups sweetened or unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ or ground flaxseed
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup light olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 2 cups chopped dried apricots

Preheat oven to 325˚F. Line two 10×15″ rimmed cookie sheets or one 13×18″ rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

In large bowl, toss the oats, sunflower kernels, coconut flakes, wheat germ or flaxseed, and chopped pecans; set aside.

In small microwaveable bowl, heat honey for 20 to 30 seconds to make the consistency thinner. Then, in medium size bowl, blend honey, brown sugar, olive oil, and salt, blending everything well.

Pour the honey mixture over the oat mixture and toss until the oat mixture is well-coated.

Spread this mixture onto the prepared baking sheet(s) and bake at 325˚F for 20 minutes; remove pan from oven to stir and  toss the mixture (for even baking). Return to oven and bake an additional 15 minutes, until granola is golden.

Remove from oven and add the golden raisins and chopped dried apricots to the mixture on the pan; toss to combine everything well. Let mixture cool completely on pan (the mixture will get crunchier as it cools), then store in a tightly-sealed container for 2 to 3 weeks.

When I make granola in the summer, I usually do it early in the morning, when it’s still cool. I try to avoid using the oven later in the day because my place gets so hot! But it’s worth making this yummy granola, even if you do have to get up extra early to do it! 🙂 Have you made any granola lately? What do you like to add to yours?

Sharing at Fiesta Friday, Weekend Potluck, Meal Plan Monday, Create with Joy.

Advertisements

Bacon Onion Mushroom Quiche

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I haven’t had much success with making homemade pie crusts. I know I need more practice, and just don’t seem to have the time. Which is why this quiche appeals to me, because I can use frozen pie crusts in it. If you are a good pie crust-maker, then you could use your own homemade crusts.

I also like this quiche because it has bacon, green onions and mushrooms in it. I take the easy route and use a pouch of real bacon pieces, but you can always fry your own bacon and crumble it. Or, if you’re not a meat-eater, you can leave out the bacon and add in some chopped tomatoes. So you can make this quiche the real easy way or make it a little more homemade, depending on how much time you have. Another great thing about this recipe is that it makes two quiches (you can halve the recipe if you just want to make one). Perfect for breakfast or brunch!

BACON ONION MUSHROOM QUICHE by NancyC

Makes two 9″ quiches

  • 2 frozen 9″ deep dish pie shells
  • 1 (3-ounce) package real bacon pieces (about 3/4 cup)–or substitute 3/4 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 5 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 (4-ounce) can sliced mushrooms (or mushroom pieces and stems), well drained
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Fiesta (Mexican style) Blend cheese
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups Half & Half (light cream)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • a few dashes of salt
  • a dash of pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. flour

Position your oven rack in the center of the oven, and preheat oven to 375˚F. Remove the pie crusts from the freezer and let thaw for about 5 minutes. Prick the bottom and sides of the crusts with a fork to help prevent bubbles from forming in the crust as it bakes, and bake for 8 minutes. Remove pie crusts from oven–there may be some bubbles in the crusts, so just gently pat the bubbles down. After removing crusts from the oven, reduce heat to 350˚F.

In large bowl, combine the bacon, green onions, mushrooms, and cheeses; mix together and set aside. In medium bowl, whisk together eggs, Half & Half, sour cream, salt and pepper, and flour. Add this mixture to ingredients in large bowl, and mix well. Then distribute mixture evenly between the two pie crust shells, put in the 350-degree oven and bake for 45 minutes or until set (I like to put the pie crusts on a large rimmed 13×18 baking pan while the quiches are baking–it’s easier to put them in and take them out that way). Also, you can cover the quiches with foil the last 10 minutes of baking if your crusts are getting too browned.

Note: The egg filling will be a little puffed up when you take it out of the oven, but it settles down as it’s cooling.

I like making the full recipe so I have two quiches–one to eat now and one to freeze for later! Do you enjoy making quiche and do you make your own crust or use pre-made crusts?

Sharing at Fiesta Friday, Meal Plan Monday, Inspire Me MondayWeekend Potluck

Fresh Strawberry Bread

Fresh strawberries are the best! And I love making things with them too, whether it’s a smoothie or a baked treat. Like this Fresh Strawberry Bread–it’s so good and moist, and has lots of little chopped strawberry chunks in it that give it a great strawberry flavor. This quick bread is great for a summer breakfast or brunch, but it’s sweet enough that it can also work as a dessert, too.

Just so you know, the batter is on the thicker side. The loaves bake up with a nice slight rise and come out of the pan without sticking if you grease and flour your pans. Another nice thing about this recipe is that it makes two loaves! So you can share a loaf with someone, freeze it, or eat both of them up, which is probably what you’ll be tempted to do. 🙂

FRESH STRAWBERRY BREAD by NancyC

Makes 2 (9×5″) loaves

  • 3 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup light olive oil or canola oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups chopped fresh strawberries

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour two 9×5″ loaf pans; set aside.

In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt, blending well.

In medium bowl, blend the light olive oil, eggs, and chopped strawberries. Add this mixture to the flour mixture and mix everything until flour mixture is just moistened (do not overmix). The batter will be thick!

Divide batter into the 2 prepared loaf pans, spreading evenly in pans. Bake at 350˚F for 40 to 42 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a serving plate and cool completely.

I’ve only gone strawberry picking a few times, but I do want to try to do that more often. I usually buy my berries at farmers markets or the grocery store and thankfully, they usually have a good selection. Have you made any good recipes with fresh strawberries this summer?

Sharing at Meal Plan Monday, Weekend Potluck, Inspire Me Monday.

Strawberry-Kiwi-Banana Smoothie

For me, summer is smoothie weather and I love having them for breakfast! It’s always fun trying out different flavors. Strawberries, kiwifruit, and bananas are a great combination, and this smoothie uses frozen banana slices to help thicken it and make it creamy. This smoothie is good and easy to make. And using a slice of kiwifruit as a garnish adds a nice colorful touch! Try this out for breakfast or for a healthy afternoon snack.

STRAWBERRY-KIWI-BANANA SMOOTHIE by NancyC

Makes about 2 cups

1 medium size banana, sliced and frozen

  • 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 kiwifruit, peeled and sliced
  • 1/3 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt (or substitute a dairy-free yogurt)
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup milk (you can use low-fat, soy, or almond milk)
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon ground flaxseed
  • Optional: a slice of kiwifruit for garnish

Add frozen banana slices, fresh strawberry slices, kiwifruit slices, yogurt, honey, milk, and flaxseed, if using, into a blender. Blend mixture for 1 minute or until smooth and creamy. Pour into a glass, add a slice of kiwifruit as a garnish, and enjoy!

This smoothie is a real treat and it’s nice that it’s healthy, too! I love making things with fresh fruit–especially strawberries! Are you a fan of strawberries, too?

Sharing this recipe at Fiesta Friday, Meal Plan Monday, Weekend Potluck, Inspire Me Monday.

SaveSave

SaveSave

The Easiest Sweet Cornbread

This cornbread is so good, you’d never guess it was so easy! If you’ve ever been to a restaurant called Tippins (as far as I know, there’s one in Kansas City, Tulsa, and Dallas) and had their delicious sweet cornbread, this recipe tastes a lot like that. It’s great with chili or just on its own, warm and served with honey butter.

A friend had told me about this cornbread recipe after I talked about how good the Tippins cornbread was. And when I made this for a potluck, everyone wanted the recipe. They couldn’t believe how easy it was. It’s made with a blend of cornbread mix and cake mix. I typically like to make things from scratch, but I do like to make this every so often. If you’re not crazy about baking with mixes, this recipe may not be for you. But it is really, really good, so you might want to make an exception and try this out!

THE EASIEST SWEET CORNBREAD WITH HONEY BUTTER by NancyC

Makes a 9×13″ pan

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour a 9×13″ baking pan or line with parchment paper; set aside.

In large bowl, blend the dry Corn Muffin Mix and Golden Yellow Cake Mix. Add the eggs, milk, and water, blending everything well. Beat mixture for 2 to 3 minutes.

Bake at 350˚F for 20-22 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Remove from oven, cool for 10 minutes, then cut into squares and serve.

This cornbread tastes really good with honey butter! (see recipe below)

Note: You can make cornbread muffins with this batter if you prefer–baking time will be about 15 minutes.

HONEY BUTTER:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 Tablespoons honey

Mix softened butter and honey until well-blended; spoon into a small serving dish and serve with cornbread.

Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? If you need something quick and easy to make for a large meal or gathering, keep this cornbread in mind!

Sharing at Inspire Me MondayFiesta Friday, Meal Plan Monday, Weekend Potluck

SaveSave

SaveSave

Whole Wheat Chocolate Banana Bread

When you have ripe bananas and are craving something that’s chocolate and a little on the healthy side, this is a great recipe to try! This quick bread has lots of chocolate flavor and some buttermilk, Greek yogurt, and light olive oil to make it moist. It’s also made with whole wheat flour and sweetened with brown sugar and honey.

This Whole Wheat Chocolate Banana Bread bakes up into a nice dense loaf of chocolate goodness, thanks to the mini semi-sweet chocolate chips that are mixed into the batter. It’s great if you like chocolatey things for breakfast or brunch, or it makes a great afternoon snack or even a simple dessert, maybe with some ice cream or frozen yogurt!

WHOLE WHEAT CHOCOLATE BANANA BREAD by NancyC

Makes one 9×5″ loaf

  • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup mashed very ripe bananas (about 2 small)
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup light olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour a 9×5″ loaf pan; set aside.

In large bowl, blend the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; set aside.

In medium bowl, blend eggs and brown sugar together until smooth. Add in the honey, mashed bananas, buttermilk, Greek yogurt, oil, and vanilla extract. Add this mixture to the flour mixture in the large bowl and stir just until all ingredients are combined. Fold the mini semi-sweet chocolate chips into the batter, stirring until they’re evenly distributed, then spoon batter into prepared loaf pan.

Bake at 375˚F for 42 to 44 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean or almost clean (if you overbake, the bread will be too dry). Let bread cool in pan for about 5 minutes, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.

It’s fun trying different flavors of banana breads–there are so many different ways you can make it! Do you have a favorite banana bread recipe?

Sharing this recipe at Fiesta Friday, Weekend Potluck, Meal Plan Monday. Inspire Me Monday, Hearth & Soul.

Mocha Banana Pecan Overnight Oats

I’ve noticed lots and lots of recipes for overnight oats in the last few years and have been wanting to try making some. I finally got around to doing that after receiving some complimentary breakfast coffees from Community Coffee. They sent me one of their new products, Amber Sunrise Blend, along with their tried-and-true Breakfast Blend.

Amber Sunrise Blend has a smooth, bright, pleasant flavor and smells wonderful as you’re brewing it. As one of my friends said, “It’s a coffee you want to wake up to.” The light roast Breakfast Blend also has a nice smooth, mild flavor–a great coffee to start your day with.

So what do overnight oats and coffee have in common? Well, I came across an overnight oats recipe on the blog at the Community Coffee site that includes coffee as one of the ingredients–along with oats, cocoa powder, banana slices, and other yummy ingredients. I made a few tweaks to the recipe and added some chopped dark chocolate on top. It’s a special mocha-flavored treat for breakfast–or you can have it later in the day as a healthy snack!

MOCHA BANANA PECAN OVERNIGHT OATS by NancyC, adapted from Community Coffee

Makes 1 serving

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup vanilla Greek yogurt (or substitute the same amount of milk)
  • 1/4 cup strong brewed Community Coffee (I used the Amber Sunrise blend)
  • 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 banana, sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped pecans (toasted or untoasted)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon chopped dark chocolate (72% Cacao works well in this)

In small jar or bowl with tight-fitting lid, combine oats, yogurt or milk, coffee, honey, cocoa powder, vanilla, and cinnamon. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Top with banana, chopped pecans, and chopped dark chocolate just before serving.

I used 72% Cacao dark chocolate when I made these overnight oats–it gives the oats a good rich cocoa flavor without making it too sweet. I can see now why overnight oats are such a popular breakfast item–they’re so easy and convenient to make! Have you tried making overnight oats yet?

Sharing at Fiesta Friday, Meal Plan Monday, Inspire Me Monday, Weekend Potluck.

Yogurt with Mixed Berries, Walnuts, and Dark Chocolate

This is such an easy and healthy recipe for breakfast, a snack, or dessert! it’s from a new book called The SirtFood Diet. Before I received my review copy, I had never heart of “Sirtfoods.” In a nutshell, what I read in this book was that polyphenol nutrients from certain plants are good for us. And plants that have “noteworthy amounts” of sirtuin-activating polyphenols are called “Sirtfoods.” I know this sounds pretty technical, but the book gives a good explanation about all this. It also provides information about the top 20 Sirtfoods, along with other foods that are beneficial. I found that I actually like a lot of these foods, which include Arugula, Garlic, Green Tea, and even Cocoa!

This book explains that Sirtfoods, rich in special nutrients that help activate the same “skinny genes” in our bodies that fasting triggers, can help in effective weight loss–and so the Sirtfood Diet was created by nutritionists Aidan Goggins and Glen Matten. I haven’t tried the diet, so I can’t endorse it, but I’m sharing what the book says about it. The diet includes a plan for losing 7 pounds in seven days, along with keeping the weight off. There’s a recipe section that includes a good variety of healthy dishes–some even include chicken and beef. The authors also recommend having a good juicer to get the most benefits from this diet.

After looking through the recipe section, I decided to try this yogurt recipe because I loved all the ingredients and it was so simple to make. Simple as it is though, I actually made this recipe the wrong way! I put the berries over the yogurt instead of the yogurt over the berries! it does work better to put the yogurt over the berries as the recipe says, so be sure to layer the ingredients right! Even though I made this wrong, it does look pretty, doesn’t it? 🙂

YOGURT WITH MIXED BERRIES, CHOPPED WALNUTS, AND DARK CHOCOLATE from the SirtFood Diet

Makes 1 serving

  • 1 1/3 cups mixed berries (I used some organic fresh strawberries and frozen blueberries)
  • 2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt (or vegan alternative, such as soy or coconut yogurt)
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons dark chocolate (85 percent cocoa solids), grated

Add the mixed berries to a bowl and top with the yogurt. Sprinkle with the walnuts and chocolate.

That’s all there is to it! I’m so glad dark chocolate is good for you, even if it’s the 85% cocoa solid kind; I actually like the really, really dark chocolate better than the sweeter varieties.

Are you a healthy eater and have you heart of Sirtfoods?

Sharing at Fiesta Friday, Meal Plan Monday, Weekend Potluck, Inspire Me Monday, Full Plate Thursday.

Coconut Date Granola

Coconut Date Granola @NancyC

It was time for me to make some homemade granola–I make it every few months and this Coconut Date Granola is a sweeter granola than I usually make, because in addition to honey and maple syrup (I usually use one or the other, or some of both) this also is sweetened with light brown sugar. It also has the natural sweetness of chopped dates, which are really good for you. Some other healthy ingredients in this recipe include pepitas, sunflower kernels, coconut flakes, and chopped pecans. And some light olive oil, too.

I shared this granola with some friends and co-workers, and they all really liked it. So if you’re a granola-lover, you’ll have to keep this recipe in mind!

COCONUT DATE GRANOLA by NancyC

Makes about 13 cups (halve the recipe to make a smaller amount)

  • 6 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 3/4 cup wheat germ or ground flaxseed
  • 1 1/2 cups raw pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds-you can use roasted pepitas, but add those in after baking)
  • 1 1/2 cups hulled, raw sunflower kernels (you can use roasted kernels, but add those in after baking)
  • 2 cups sweetened or unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 2 cups chopped pecans
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup light olive oil
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped dates

Preheat oven to 300˚F. Line 2 rimmed baking/cookie sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

In a large bowl, toss the oats, wheat germ or ground flaxseed, pepitas, sunflower kernels, coconut flakes, and chopped pecans; set aside.

In a small microwaveable bowl, heat honey for 20 to 30 seconds to make the consistency thinner. Then, in a medium size bowl, blend honey, maple syrup, olive oil, brown sugar, and salt, blending everything well. Pour honey/maple syrup/sugar mixture over oat mixture and toss until the oat mixture is well coated.

Spread granola mixture on prepared baking sheets and bake at 300˚F for 48 to 55 minutes, until mixture is golden, stirring mixture every 15 minutes. Remove from oven, stir in the chopped dates (half of the dates for each baking sheet), and let granola cool completely (the mixture will get crunchier as it cools). Some of the granola may dry in larger clumps, so you may need to break those into smaller pieces. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three weeks.

This granola makes a great breakfast with milk. It also makes a great breakfast parfait with yogurt. And it also makes a yummy snack to munch on later in the day! Do you make homemade granola, and what is your favorite kind?

Sharing this recipe at Weekend Potluck, Fiesta Friday, Meal Plan Monday, Inspire Me Monday.

 

Whole Wheat Banana Bread

Whole Wheat Banana Bread @NancyCUsually when I bake things I use unbleached all-purpose flour. But I had purchased some organic whole wheat flour and was wanting to try making something with it. I like baking quick breads and I hadn’t made any banana bread lately, so I decided to try making a loaf of Whole Wheat Banana Bread. I thought it turned out really well! It’s a good, hearty banana bread with lots of chopped nuts and healthy ingredients like honey and light olive oil (although it does have some brown sugar in it). The mashed bananas and plain Greek yogurt make this loaf moist and It doesn’t have a strong wheaty taste, so it should appeal to anyone who likes banana bread.

WHOLE WHEAT BANANA BREAD by NancyC

Makes 1 loaf

  • 1/3 cup light olive oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 3 1/2 medium)
  • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 325˚F. Grease and flour a 9×5″ loaf pan; set aside.

In large bowl, blend oil, honey, brown sugar, and vanilla, then add in eggs, mixing well. Stir in yogurt, then add in the mashed bananas, mixing everything together.

In medium bowl, blend flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix just until ingredients are combined–do not overtax! Fold in chopped nuts.

Pour batter into greased loaf pan and bake at 325˚F for 48 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let loaf cool in pan for 5 to 10 minutes, then remove and cool on completely on wire rack.

I baked this loaf on a chilly morning and it was the perfect snack for later in the day! I want to make more things with this organic whole wheat flour that I have. What do you like making with whole wheat flour?

Sharing at Fiesta Friday. Meal Plan Monday, Weekend Potluck, Inspire Me Monday.