Breakfast

All posts in the Breakfast category

Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

Published March 14, 2015 by jenmatteson

Bananas and peanut butter. What a classic combination!

Peanut Butter Banana Muffins Yet again, I was stuck with two lonely, overripe bananas that my husband wanted nothing to do with. I forewent the regular banana bread, and thought I’d try some muffins. Not just banana muffins, but banana and peanut butter muffins. Yum! These muffins have less sugar and fat than your typical waistline-enemy, using honey and non-fat Greek yogurt. You also get a great serving of whole grains if you substitute whole grain flour for all-purpose. Sadly, the whole grain flour makes them look a little blah, but trust me, they don’t taste like it.
Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

These are pretty simple to make, and for me, I had everything required in my kitchen already. I LOVE when that happens. If you want an extra treat, melt some peanut butter to go on top of these suckers. I didn’t try it, but I’m guessing you won’t regret it!

Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

Source: Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction
Servings: Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:

2 large bananas, ripe to over ripe, mashed with no chunks
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup non-fat plain Green yogurt
1 large egg
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2  cup creamy peanut butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour (all-purpose would work)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray 12-count muffin pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk mashed bananas, honey, brown sugar, yogurt, egg and milk together until combined. Whisk in peanut butter and vanilla until smooth. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, whisk flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients, and whisk until just combined.

4. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake for 5 minutes at 425 degrees, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and continue to bake for 12 minutes more, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

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A twist on an old favorite: Swirl Banana Bread

Published November 12, 2014 by jenmatteson

My hubs loves bananas, and he’ll buy them any time he goes shopping on his own (so almost never). The problem is, he won’t eat them all before they start becoming a bit…questionable. Of course, my initial go-to is banana bread, but I thought this time I’d change it up slightly. After taking a look at the ingredients in this bread, I’m not sure you could call it bread, it is basically a cake. Oh well – it’s delicious!

Banana Swirl Bread

I ended up using a combination of unsweetened, bittersweet and semi-sweet chocolate. I thought I had more bittersweet in the cupboard, but I guess it’s now on my shopping list. But the unsweetened and semi-sweet chocolate seemed to balance each other out nicely. The bread wasn’t too sweet, which I liked. I also subbed skim milk for whole. I’m not a huge fan of spending $4 on a half-gallon of milk that I’ll only use 1 cup of, so I thought I’d give it a whirl. If you choose to use whole milk, I’m guessing the texture may be slightly more rich, but I’m not sure it’s really needed. While measuring the milk, I was slightly distracted and poured an entire cup. I ended up adding about 3/4 cup, instead of just a 1/2 cup, so the batter was runnier than it probably should have been. This is what I blame my poor “swirl” on 🙂

Banana Swirl Bread

This is an excellent way to use up some old bananas, and also spice up your same old boring banana bread!

Banana Swirl Bread

Banana Swirl Bread

Source: Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
Servings: 1 loaf

Ingredients:

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1½ ripe bananas, peeled
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
zest of ½ a lemon
1 tablespoon dark rum
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup skim milk

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter or non-stick spray loaf pan, dust the inside with flour and tap out the excess. Place the pan on an insulated baking sheet or on two regular baking sheets stacked on top of the other.

2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.

3. In a small bowl, mash the bananas with the lemon juice, zest, and rum.

4. Melt the chocolate and 2 tablespoons of the butter together in a microwave oven or in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water.

5. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the remaining stick of butter at medium speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the sugars and beat for another 2 to 3 minutes, until light and smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in the vanilla. The batter will look curdled, and it will continue to look curdled as you add ingredients. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add half the flour mixture, mixing only until it is just incorporated. With the mixer running, pour in the milk; once blended, add the remaining dry ingredients. Scrape down the bowl and mix in the mashed bananas.

6. Pour a little less than half the batter into the bowl with the melted chocolate and stir to blend. Drop alternating spoonfuls of both batters into the prepared pan. Using a table knife, swirl the batters together, taking care not to overdo it.

7. Bake for 1 hour and 20 to 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted deep into the center of the cake comes out clean. Check after 30 minutes and if the cake starts to brown too much, cover it loosely with a foil tent. Transfer the cake to a cooling rack and let it rest for about 15 minutes before unmolding, then cool the cake to room temperature right side up on the rack.

Blueberry Scones

Published September 2, 2014 by jenmatteson

I’ve been on a bit of a berry kick lately, and unfortunately, my eyes were bigger than my berry hungry stomach. Get it!? Of course, the best price for berries is Costco, where you get a crap-ton (yes, it’s a scientific measurement) for the same price your local grocery sells those teeny tiny cartons. So, while it’s a better bang for your buck, it’s quite a bit of berries to eat for two people. Not to mention that I eat mostly blueberries – what we have the most of – and Nate exclusively eats raspberries (which, yes, I prefer, but are SO much more expensive).

Blueberry Scones

We were heading out of town for the 4th of July weekend, so I knew if we didn’t eat them up, they’d go bad. I decided to make something we could take with us for the weekend, so I whipped up these beautiful blueberry scones.

I may or may not (mostly may) have been making a handful of other things at the same time, so I overlooked the fact that there is lemon zest in these. Whoops! They still taste awesome, but I wished I remembered because they would have had just a little more pop! The scones are flakey and light, and not too sweet. A perfect little breakfast snack – a great idea to bring to share at work or any brunch gathering!

Blueberry Scones

Blueberry Scones

Source: Adapted from Marth Stewart
Servings: 8

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tbsp. sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 tbsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, picked over and rinsed
1 tsp lemon zest
1/3 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing tops
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together flour, 3 tbsp. sugar, baking powder and salt. Add butter and pulse until the largest pieces are the size of peas. Transfer to mixing bowl and stir in blueberries and zest.

3. In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together heavy cream and eggs. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in egg mixture. Lightly stir with fork until dough just comes together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead a few times to mix well.

4. Pat dough into a 6-inch square about 1 1/4 inches thick. Using a floured knife, cut into four 3-inch squares, then cut squares in half on the diagonal to form eight triangles. Transfer to prepared baking sheet, brush tops with heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 20-22 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer to wire rack to cool.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Published March 19, 2014 by jenmatteson

A few days ago, I got a wax and facial from my girlfriend who is an esthetician.  It was awesome.  Even better, we drank wine, before, during (mostly me during) and after.  She offered me some snacks after, one being a lemon poppy seed scone.  I’m not typically a pastry person – and it’s definitely not because I don’t like them, but because they are sooo sooo not very good for you.  I like to use up my calories in wine 😛  Anyway, I did have one, and it made me really want to make them.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Clearly, you can see I didn’t make scones, rather muffins.  I thought this would be a slightly healthier option, with a little less butter.   I also substituted apple sauce and extra baking powder for eggs. But, you really can’t hide that full stick of butter in the batter.  Oh well, we must indulge every now and then.  I think I’ll try out the lemon poppy seed scones next time.  My pumpkin scones turned out so well, it’d be too hard not too.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

The lemon zest and juice keep these light and fluffy muffins tasting bright and fresh.  Nate has taken one to work most days for breakfast; I think they are perfect for on the go, snacks or breakfasts!

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Source: Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod
Servings: Makes 12 large muffins

Ingredients:

2/3 cup sugar
grated zest of one lemon
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
juice of one lemon
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (sour cream will work here)
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 tbsp. poppy seeds

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray muffin tin with oil or place paper muffin cups in molds.

2. In a large bowl, rub sugar and lemon zest together with fingertips until fragrant and sugar is moist.  Whisk in flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In another large bowl, whisk together lemon juice, Greek yogurt, eggs, vanilla and butter until well blended.

3. Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients and gently stir to blend, careful not to over-mix.  Fold in poppy seeds.  Divide batter evenly into muffin tins (I made smaller muffins, not in a mini muffin tin, so they were more reasonably portioned, so it ended up making 18 medium muffins instead of 12 large). *If you like them just a bit sweeter, sprinkle some coarse sugar over the top of the divided batter.

4. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until tops are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.  Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack before removing from pan.

Recipe Swap: Steak and Eggs with Molasses-Beer Sauce

Published June 21, 2013 by jenmatteson

One thing that I really like about the recipe swaps is that you never know what you’re going to get, and many times it forces you toWC-Recipe-Swap-badge-1 try something slightly out of your comfort zone.  This week’s swap theme was cooking/baking with alcohol.  Now who wouldn’t want to participate in this!?  Once again, the swap was hosted by Sarah, at A Taste of Home Cooking.  For the swap, I submitted my Guinness barbecue sauce, and was assigned steak and eggs from Coleen at The Redhead Baker.

Steak and Eggs with Molasses-Beer Sauce

Steak and eggs aren’t really my thing.  We don’t eat a lot of steak at home, very close to never.  I’d rather pay someone to cook it perfectly for me and only eat it once in a great while, but this wasn’t just any old steak and egg recipe, it was steak and eggs with molasses-beer sauce.  Sounded good enough, and I figured Nate would like it no matter what.  Now my problem was finding the time to make this.  We had an insanely busy last few days, and trying to fit in this recipe proved to be quite the task.  So when did I end up making this?  The night before it was due, which is pretty much a no-no in the swap world.  What if it doesn’t turn out right?  What if you forgot something at the store?  What if your pictures suck?  Many of these are things that could easily happen to me, but I had no choice.

Well, the only thing that went wrong was that the pictures weren’t stellar, but that’s okay.  I was very proud my steak cooking abilities.  It turned out a perfect medium, which is exactly how I like my steak.  The eggs were great, although not very photogenic.  The best part was the sauce.  To me, it was like a cross between an A1 steak sauce and a barbecue sauce.  It was sweet and spicy (of course because I added extra cayenne), and as stated by Coleen, this would be excellent on a burger!  Nate said it was really good with the yolk from the egg.  I’m guessing since I’m out-of-town all weekend, Nate will try it out on a burger, and maybe more eggs and leftover steak, and let me know how it turns out.

Steak and Eggs with Molasses-Beer Sauce

Steak and Eggs with Molasses-Beer Sauce

Source: Adapted from The Redhead Baker
Servings: 2

Ingredients:

For the sauce:
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 medium onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup apple juice
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup lager-style beer
3/4 tsp yellow mustard
1 tsp lemon juice
3/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
3/4 tsp paprika

For the steak and eggs:
1/2 lb boneless sirloin steak
salt and pepper
1 tsp olive oil
4 eggs

Directions:

1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add onions and garlic and saute until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add remaining sauce ingredients and whisk until combined.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, until the sauce is reduced to about 1 cup.  *Sauce can be prepared in advance and refrigerated overnight.

2. Heat grill or skillet to medium high heat. Season the steak with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.  Cook steak for about 5 minutes, flip and cook for another 4-5 minutes for medium-rare doneness.  Remove from heat and let rest.  *If sauce was made in advance, gently re-heat in a small saucepan while cooking the steak.

3. Spray a medium skillet with cooking spray and place over medium heat.  Gently crack two eggs in the pan, leaving yolk intact for over-easy.  Cook until bottom egg white is set, about 2 minutes, and flip.  Cook for another 30 seconds to 1 minute to desired doneness.  Slide out onto serving plate and repeat with remaining two eggs.

4. Thinly slice the steak against the grain and divide among the serving plates.  Top with 1-2 tbsps of the molasses-beer sauce.

See what the other ladies cooked up for this boozy swap!

Apple Cinnamon Muffins with Oats and Flaxseed

Published June 10, 2013 by jenmatteson

I was picking up ingredients for my no-bake energy bites, and thought I’d take a peek to see if my store had ground flaxseed.  In the past, I’ve purchased the whole flaxseed from the bulk section at the store.  Unfortunately, it was too fine already for me to process in a food processor, so I just used it as is.  In the baking section, there is a large section of Bob’s Red Mill brand items, different types of specialty flours, mixes, grains and more.  Of course they did have it, and I never even looked.  Oh well.  Now I have a whole bag.  As I grabbed the bag, I noticed the bran muffin recipe on the back.  I already had all the other ingredients besides bran, so I thought I’d try them out and use rolled oats instead of bran. I know it’s not the same thing, but no sense in buying something I can easily sub with something I already have, right?

Apple Cinnamon Muffins with Oats and Flaxseed

I now have the opportunity to work until 8 PM every Wednesday and every third Thursday.  Did you watch the last season of The Office?  You know when Jim and Pam start marriage counseling and they are supposed to use the word “opportunity” for things they’d rather not do.  Please note the use of the word “opportunity” in that first sentence of this paragraph.  However, working until 8 means I don’t have to be in the office until 11 AM.  Seeing as though I was up and at the gym by 5:30 Thursday morning, I decided to use the rest of my time to get some grocery shopping done and make us a healthy snack.  The snack was going to be the energy bites I mentioned earlier, but I was excited to try something new and went with the recipe I just discovered from Bob’s Red Mill.

Apple Cinnamon Muffins with Oats and Flaxseed

My decision was a pretty good choice.  I really enjoyed the muffins.  I altered the recipe on the bag slightly by using some whole wheat flour, of course adding oats in place of bran, and omitting the nuts.  The only reason for this is because I forgot.  Next time.  The batter was pretty thick and I was afraid they’d be dry, but they were super moist and quite filling.  Even better, they are only 155 calories and 2.5 grams of fat per muffin.  Not bad!

Apple Cinnamon Muffins with Flaxseed and Oats

Apple Cinnamon Muffins with Oats and Flaxseed

Source: Bob’s Red Mill
Servings: Makes 18 muffins

Ingredients:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup flaxseed meal (ground flaxseed)
3/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cup shredded carrots (3-5 carrots, depending on size)
3 small apples or 2 large, peeled, seeded and shredded
1/2 cup raisins
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, flaxseed, oats, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  Stir in shredded carrots, apples and raisins.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together milk, eggs and vanilla.  Add to other mixture and stir until well combined.  Mixture will appear dry, but just keep folding it until the entire mixture is moistened.

3. Spoon mixture into muffin pan, filling cups about 3/4 of the way.  Bake for 15-18 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes in muffin pan, then transfer to wire rack to finish cooling.

Croissants

Published May 12, 2013 by jenmatteson

I have really been putting these off because I knew how time-consuming they would be.  But, I’m really running out of time to get my 30 Before 30 list done, so I had to bite the bullet and go for it.  It was actually a good weekend to make these because it was slightly chilly, and ridiculously windy.

Croissants

I was home alone on Friday night, and whilst making enchilada sauce, cilantro pesto and prepping my veggies for the week, I thought it’d be a good idea to start the dough for the croissants.  I’d just spent the afternoon at my parents house, relaxing by the fire with a cocktail, and then stopped at the grocery store on the way home.  I got in my comfies, cleaned up the kitchen (of course only so I could get it dirty again), and opened up Baking with Julia to start the croissant dough.  Like a good girl, I had already read through the entire recipe (and it’s LONG), so I knew what to expect.  I knew I could let the dough do its second rise overnight in the fridge, so I wanted to get to that point. Well, guess what?  I didn’t get any compressed yeast at the store, which was the first GD thing on the ingredient list.  Seeing as though I was already in my comfies and had a glass of wine poured, I decided not to go to the store again.  Plus, I wasn’t even sure my store would carry compressed yeast (I’ve never bought it before), so I didn’t want to take the chance of running out to grab some, and coming back empty-handed.  What a waste of time.

Layered Croissant Dough

Croissants

Instead, I Googled a recipe for croissants using dry active yeast seeing as though that was what I had on hand.  First recipe to come up: Martha Stewart’s.  Now, she may be a thieving felon, but damn, that woman knows her way around a kitchen…and a home.  I would absolutely love to live with her for a week.  Okay, a month.  Minimum.  Though I know Momma Marsha was counting on me to make Julia Child’s croissant recipe (from the cookbook I borrowed from her), I went with Martha’s, purely for convenience.

Croissants

Convenience is the farthest thing from making croissants, which I knew going into this from Momma Marsha.  While making them, I thought, I don’t think I would ever make them again unless I wanted to punish myself.  I didn’t at all think it was hard, but it really is time-consuming.  I started the dough on Friday night and finished late late on Saturday night.Everything seemed to be going swimmingly, until I got to the baking part.  The bottoms of the croissants completely burned.  The tops looked pretty, tasted buttery and were ultra flakey, but the bottoms were far from elegant.  I’m thinking maybe I let them rise in too warm of a place and the butter melted before putting them in the oven.  That being said, I might attempt these one more time (not any time soon) so I can get a better result.

Croissants

Croissants

Source: Martha Stewart
Servings: 16 croissants

Ingrdients:

1/3 cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees)
2 1/4 tsp dry active yeast
1 tbsp sugar, divided
1 tbsp salt
1 1/3 cups warm milk (110 to 115 degrees)
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
2 tbsp olive oil
3 1/2 sticks (14 oz) chilled unsalted butter
1 large egg yolk
2 tbsp heavy cream

Directions:

1. In a liquid measuring cup, combine water, yeast and 1 tsp sugar.  Allow to proof for 5 minutes.  In another measuring cup, combine remaining 2 tsp sugar, salt and warm milk.

2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour.  Add yeast mixture, milk mixture and oil.  Blend everything together by cutting and pressing with a rubber spatula, incorporating all flour.  The dough will be wet.

3. On a well floured work surface, turn the dough out and let rest for 3 minutes to allow the flour to absorb some of the liquid.  Start kneading by lifting edges and flipping over onto the other side.  Continue movement, turning from one side to the other, end over end until dough is smooth and draws back to shape when pressed out, about 8-10 times.  Do not over-knead.

4. Transfer dough to clean bowl.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.  Punch down and turn out onto lightly floured work surface.  Using floured hands, push dough into 12-inch by 10-inch rectangle.  Fold dough in three, like a business letter, and transfer to a lightly floured baking sheet or plate.  Cover with plastic wrap and set in warm place to rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.  You could also let it rise overnight in the fridge.

5. Punch down the dough, cover with plastic, and return to refrigerator for 20 minutes.  This will allow the gluten to relax, making it easier to roll out.

6. Place butter on a lightly floured work surface and beat with rolling-pin to soften.  Smear butter out with the heel of your hand so it’s spreadable consistency, but still cold.  Refrigerate if it becomes soft and oily.

7. Place dough on a lightly floured work surface and roll out into 18 by 10-inch rectangle.  Facing the rectangle, lengthwise, spread the butter as evenly as possible on the upper two-thirds of the rectangle, leaving a 1/4 inch border.  Fold the bottom, unbuttered, third of the dough up to the middle.  Fold top third down to cover it.

8. Lightly flour the top of the dough and the work surface.  Turn the dough so the edge of the top flap is to your right.  Roll dough out into 18 by 8-inch rectangle.  Move quickly, starting within one inch of the end near you moving to within one inch of the far end.  Fold dough in thirds as before.  Wrap in plastic and return to fridge for 1 hour.

9. Remove dough from refrigerator and sprinkle with flour and deflate dough by tapping lightly with rolling-pin.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 8 minutes, to relax gluten, if necessary.  Repeat rolling and folding process, as above, twice more.  If butter has hardened and congealed into flakes, beat the dough with light firm taps, from one side to the other, until butter has softened.  It must be able to stretch the length of the dough and width of the rectangle inside the dough as your roll it out until it has softened.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours, or overnight.  If refrigerating overnight, cover with board and 5 pound weight.  Resting overnight will facilitate shaping.

10. Place chilled dough on lightly floured surface.  Deflate dough.  Roll dough out to 25 by 12-inch rectangle.  Cut in half, lengthwise.  Return one half of the dough to the refrigerator.  Cut the other half into triangles with a 5-inch base.  One half should make about 8 triangles.

11. Roll the triangles out to enlarge slightly.  Roll toward the tip, creating tension by using your other hand to stretch the top of the triangle away from you.  The dough should overlap 3 times, with the tip sticking out from underneath.

12. Place on parchment paper lined baking sheet, about 2-inches apart, curving inward, creating a crescent shape.  Cover with lightly with plastic.  Repeat with second piece of dough.  Let stand in a warm place very spongy and doubled in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

13. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.  In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolk and heavy cream.  Lightly brush over the tops of the croissants.  Open oven door and spritz heavily with water from a spray bottle and quickly close the door.  Place croissants in oven and spray the bottom of the oven with water once more.  Bake until puffed and golden brown, about 15 minutes, turning after 10 minutes to ensure even baking.  Reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees and continue to bake until cooked through, about 5 more minutes.  Transfer to wire rack and cool for 15 minutes before serving.

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