Well, hello! It’s been approximately eight million years since I posted a recipe. This possibly has to do with the insanity of having four children and the added bonus that right before I had Hannah in October, my real camera decided to stop working.
(I’m pretty sure it has sand in the lens and won’t retract … but it would probably cost more to fix than to replace it. Argh.)
My husband keeps telling me my iPhone will take pictures that are just as good. I don’t really think so, but they’re good enough for me, for now.
This is one of the recipes I’ve probably made the most over the last six or seven years. It’s my go-to when I want to take a meal to someone; I find that when there’s a meal train, people usually bring chicken casseroles or pasta. And that is fine and AWESOME, but I think breakfast for dinner mixes it up a little.
This Berry French Toast recipe comes from Cooking During Stolen Moments, which was one of my VERY favorite food blogs ever. Almost everything I ever made from there was a hit. Unfortunately, the site is not accessible any more. I am so glad I had this one written down in my recipe book so I didn’t lose the recipe! I’ve only adapted it slightly – mostly I just skimp on the berries because I like a lot of chewy, eggy bread. It’s delicious with fresh berries of any kind, but you could also use frozen ones – or peaches!
Serve with a side of bacon or sausage for a delicious meal any time of day.
Delicious berry-enhanced French toast casserole is taken over the top with a brown sugar drizzle.
1 loaf French or Italian bread
2 to 3 c. berries
1 1/2 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 oz. cream cheese, cut into cubes
4 T butter
1 c. light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Start with day-old bread, or cut bread into large cubes a few hours before you want to start making this and let them sit out to get slightly stale. Slice strawberries into quarters. Blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries can be left whole.
Place a layer of bread cubes in a 9x13-inch baking dish. Add most of the berries, reserving about 1/2 cup. Top with the rest of the bread cubes.
Whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, and almond extract. Pour evenly over the bread. Top with remaining berries, then dot with cream cheese pieces. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 375F. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add brown sugar and whisk together until the sugar begins to melt and the mixture is smooth, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cinnamon. Drizzle sugar topping over the casserole. Bake for about 40-45 minutes, covered, until egg is set.
Let sit for a few minutes before cutting and serving.
To make dairy-free, use almond milk instead of dairy milk and leave out the cream cheese. If you are taking to a new mom who is breastfeeding, you might ask if she is avoiding dairy. (I usually am.)
What do you do when your strawberries are getting too ripe to eat? Throw them in a baked good, of course! My kids were thrilled to have something different to eat for breakfast, and I even threw it in their lunch boxes one day in lieu of a sandwich.
I am excited about the arrival of strawberry season – are you? I guess it depends where you live, but here in Tennessee the strawberries are starting to be ready to pick. In fact, I was going to take my kids to pick strawberries today at a farm in north Georgia, but the zealous pickers on Thursday and Friday apparently dried them out. Oh well! We’ll try again soon.
1 c. white whole wheat flour (or use another cup all-purpose)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. buttermilk, or milk soured with lemon juice
1 to 1 1/2 c. diced strawberries
2 T sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
Grease a loaf pan and set aside. Preheat oven to 350F.
With a mixer, cream together butter, cream cheese, and sugar. Scrape sides of bowl, then add eggs one at time with mixer running. Add vanilla.
In a bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to wet ingredients and mix until just blended. Add buttermilk and stir just until combined. Fold in strawberries by hand. Spoon batter into loaf pan and smooth the top.
Mix together sugar and cinnamon for topping, then sprinkle evenly over the top, pressing in gently. You may not want to use all the mixture.
Bake 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool before cutting.
I’m determined to make it through a bunch of the recipes I’ve Pinned this year. I have a mere 5,400+ Pins … and most of them are probably recipes. Because mostly I use Pinterest for its original intent: to have a visual bookmarking system.
Since I have a dorm full of high school boys waiting to be fed, I should have no problem finding someone to feed these recipes, right? Every Wednesday, Mr. V has a small group of boys (6), and then Thursday nights I aim to feed the whole dorm with a larger recipe (usually dessert).
I’m not sure if this coffee cake was a hit with the boys – I haven’t checked with Mr. V – because his small group is largely students from China and Hong Kong. The Chinese are not like Americans when it comes to sweets, I’ve found. But really, I don’t care. Because it’s AMAZING and I am so glad to have unearthed this recipe.
I also simplified the streusel and the frosting a little bit. And to be honest, I think I would like this even more without the frosting. I find buttercream to be too sweet for me – I prefer cream cheese frostings if any. But, sadly, the cake is not real pretty without it. Maybe if there was streusel on the top, too, it would help that? I may give that a try next time.
There is nothing really virtuous about this to make it breakfasty; the cake simply feels more like a coffee cake because it is dense, fruity, and has streusel. So tell yourself it’s breakfast, or be honest and serve it up for dessert.
(I had some for breakfast this morning. I won’t tell.)
2 T grapeseed oil or melted coconut oil or melted butter
Maple Buttercream Frosting
4 T butter, melted
2 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 T maple syrup
2 T milk
For the Filling
In a large saucepan, combines peaches, cinnamon, brown sugar, and flour. Cook over medium heat 10-15 minutes, until it melds together and the peaches are very soft. Try not to eat all the filling. Set aside to cool.
For the Cake
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a bundt pan well.
With a mixer, cream butter and sugars together. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and sour cream and mix well. Sprinkle salt and baking powder over the batter, then turn mixer on low. Add flour 1/2 cup at a time until batter is uniform.
By hand, fold in the peach pie filling.
Make the Streusel
In a bowl, mix almond meal, brown sugar, and cinnamon together with a fork. Drizzle oil or butter over the top, and then stir until clumpy and oil is mixed throughout.
Back to the Cake!
Pour half the batter into the greased bundt pan. Sprinkle two-thirds of the streusel mixture on top of the batter. Spoon remaining batter on top, then sprinkle with the remainder of the streusel.
Bake 50-55 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Cool in pan for 20 minutes, then turn over onto a plate, patting on the sides to release the cake. Cool before frosting.
Melt butter in a big bowl, then add powdered sugar and cinnamon and stir. Add maple syrup and 1 T milk. Add more milk if needed to reach a good consistency. If you want a runnier frosting, cut down sugar to 1 1/2 cups. For a more spreadable rather than pourable frosting, add more powdered sugar.
These crispy cookies are chock-full of healthy ingredients. A drizzle of white chocolate might help you fool your kids into thinking they’re not.
I’ve been working on stocking my freezer for the school year lately. For lunches, I’ve made Pizza Sauce, Pizza Rolls, and Pizza Balls from Weelicious Lunches; some easy baked chicken nuggets; PBJ Smoothies frozen in silicone pop molds; and a couple muffin recipes that will work for breakfast, lunch, or snacks. For breakfasts, I’ve also thrown in a few waffles and extra pancakes as well as both baked and unbaked muffins!
I listed these cookies on a post I did two years ago at ParentLife: 25 Make-Ahead Breakfasts for Back-to-School. But I had never actually tried them. So today, tucked inside due to the pouring rain, I decided it was time.
The original recipe calls for mashed banana instead of eggs. I didn’t have any that were ripe enough, so I just used eggs as a binder. I added some coconut sugar for a little sweetness. I’ll admit that these still are not very sweet. I like the almost bitter taste from the allspice mixed with the sweet bite of dried fruit. But I drizzled a little white chocolate over most of them to help my kids enjoy them. They are used to pretty sweet baked goods (and yes, often prepackaged granola bars), but if yours will eat straight oatmeal or don’t have much sugar, you can leave off the topping.
I am super happy with how these turned out, and I will be enjoying them for breakfast along with my kids on these busy back-to-school mornings.
Note: These are gluten-free as written. Use gluten-free oats if necessary. For a nut free cookie, simply substitute some type of flour for almond meal.
These crunchy, granola-bar like cookies are simple to make and easily customizable. Add finely chopped nuts, mini chocolate chips, or whatever else suits your fancy. You can substitute 3 mashed bananas for the eggs or applesauce for the oil if desired.
1 c. dried fruit of choice, chopped if needed (I used dried blueberries and raisins)
1/4 c. grapeseed or melted coconut oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1 oz. chocolate of choice (white, dark, milk, whatever) (optional)
Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
In a bowl, whisk together oats, coconut, salt, cinnamon, allspice, sugar, and almond meal until combined. Add dried fruit and stir, making sure fruit does not clump together.
In a small bowl, mix together eggs, oil, and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients and stir until moistened throughout.
Here is the method I used to bake these. You can also use a cookie scoop and press down until firmly packed, or roll balls with your hands.
Using a round-ish cookie cutter, scoop about 1 1/2 Tablespoons of dough onto your pan. Press down until the dough is packed together, then lift the cookie cutter off.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, until edges are browned. Cool on racks.
If desired, melt chocolate in microwave for about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until smooth. Drizzle over cookies or spread the tops with the melted chocolate. Let cool and harden before serving.
I talk a lot about “feeding the boys.” I even have a Pinterest board called “Goodies for the Boys.” But I realize if you’re a more recent reader to my blog, you might have NO idea what I am talking about.
We live in a boys’ dorm on a private high-school campus. Yep, IN the actual dorm. We live in the basement (which is why any decent pictures I’ve taken are probably outside). And once a week (at least), my husband is on duty. That means he’s in charge of check-in, monitoring study hours, and doing a last lights-out sort of run in the dorm. He also has a small group of 5 or 6 boys that he’s sort of responsible for. He keeps in touch with their parents and communicates with their other teachers. The small group meets once a week, too, in the morning of a school day.
You know who really appreciates home-cooked food? High-school boys (HOOOONGRY) who are away from their mamas.
That’s why I make a valiant attempt to cook something for his small group and also for the larger group when he’s on duty.
I thought he was on duty last night, but it turns out he had switched. I’d already planned to make this cake, though, so I went ahead and did it. And from what I hear, it was devoured in approximately 23 seconds. Mr. V and I taste-tested it and can tell you it really is delicious.
The cake batter is enhanced with extra eggs, making it, well, eggy, mimicking a sweet dough. With the brown sugar-cinnamon filling and glaze, it’s a lot like a cinnamon roll. But easier. And CAKE!
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl and use a hand mixer), combine flour, sugar, and baking powder. Use lowest setting to stir together.
Add sour cream, eggs, and oil. Beat for 2 minutes, until smooth and thick.
In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar and cinnamon.
Pour about 2/3 of the batter into the bottom of your pan. Sprinkle with brown sugar/cinnamon mixture. Drizzle the rest of the batter over the top (it should cover most, but not all of the brown sugar).
Bake for 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
While the cake is baking, mix powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt in a large measuring cup. Stir in milk gradually, until the icing is pourable but not thin. Pour over hot cake when it comes out of the oven.
Let sit at least 10 minutes before cutting into it. It tastes really good warm, but I don't think anyone will complain about it being room temperature, either.
The original recipe calls for a yellow cake mix. If you really don't keep flour and sugar on hand, it's fine to substitute the first three ingredients with one; however, I'm all for simplifying ingredients when possible. This way you avoid the additives in a cake mix.
Do you suffer from grocery amnesia? I can’t count the number of times I’ve gotten halfway through a recipe and went to reach for that ingredient I was sure I had just to find it wasn’t there after all. My short-term memory is just nonexistent, so this is a regular occurrence in my kitchen.
A. Beg Send husband to store to pick up forgotten ingredient(s), while trying to maintain quality of already-cooked recipe.
B. Go to neighbor’s house. This works if you have friendly neighbors with well-stocked cupboards. If you live in a dorm with others who eat in a dining hall and are rarely home during the day anyway? Not so much.
C. Improvise or substitute.
The frequency with which I use Option C is the reason why I can’t direct my husband to just prep a recipe. It’s sad.
I was in the middle of prepping my Secret Recipe Club find for the month when I was forced to pursue Option C. Barb’s Almond Doodle Cookies looked delicious to me. And then I went to grab that bag of sliced almonds I was sure was in the freezer … and alas, it wasn’t there. Anywhere.
So I used pecans.
Fascinating story, right?
Barb’s blog, Mom’s Fridge, is full of monthly menu plans, simple recipes, and COOKIES. I love cookies. I don’t do much normal cooking anymore since we generally eat in the dining hall, but I do bake for us and for the boys who live in our dorm.
These delicious, puffy, sugary cookies will definitely be in my repertoire now. The cinnamon-pecan blend is a little unusual but absolutely mouthwatering.