Category Archives: breakfast

Bacon Cheddar Muffins

I’ll let my roommate’s reaction speak on this recipe’s behalf.

Reaction 1:
(gasp) These might actually be better than ABC sandwiches.

Reaction 2, one minute later:
These are the best muffins I’ve ever eaten.

Don’t even pretend you’ll just be eating these for breakfast. I know better.

Recipe adapted from this one. (These folks called for a tablespoon of salt. A TABLESPOON. I’m not tryna’ give you all hypertension.)

Bacon Cheddar Muffins:
2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
6 slices bacon, cooked and broken into small pieces

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 12 standard-size muffin cups. (I greased mine with leftover bacon grease. TMI?)
2) Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda in medium size bowl.
3) Combine milk, butter and egg in a separate bowl. Combine wet and dry ingredients.
4) Gently stir in cheese and bacon. Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling about 3/4 full.
5) Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into centers come out clean. Cool in pan for 2 minutes; remove to wire rack or plate.

Next time, I think I’ll press a chunk of cheddar cheese into the center of each muffin. And maybe add a few more slices of bacon.

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Cinnamon Raisin Bread


For some inexplicable reason, this cinnamon raisin bread is still sitting on my counter, despite being baked on Saturday.

I promise that it’s really delicious; it’s just that I haven’t really been home much, and the granola is so darn convenient, and apparently I have better self-control than I originally thought.

[Pause here implied, as I go cut myself a slice. Okay… two slices.]

I highly recommend setting out a plate of butter next to the bread. Let it get to room temperature so when you cut a slice, and the toaster is simply too far away, no butter melting is required.

I think this days-old bread wants to be made into French toast by now. It’s on the verge of stale, and only beaten eggs and milk can save it. Stay tuned.

This recipe explains the cinnamon-raisin-swirl-bread-making process way better than I ever could. (And there’s more pictures!)

Tomorrow, however, there will be bacon cheddar muffins. I swear it. And just to better prepare you:

Almond Coconut Granola

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about breakfast. Perhaps it’s the promise of new beginnings that pervades this time of year–the hope for a fresh start on January 1st and, by extension, each morning. The impending possibilities make me want to wake up and eat something delicious.

Or perhaps my breakfast fixation evolved from my obsession with reading Ruth Reichl’s Twitter page. The former Gourmet editor posts an update nearly every day about what she’s eating for breakfast. I’m jealous of anyone who possesses the creativity and financial means to create a new breakfast every morning.

But you’re also looking at someone who, as a child, ate oatmeal every day for more than a year. (By choice. Or, more likely, to avoid having to make a choice.)

That little girl would be very proud of this recipe, I think. It still involves oats and brown sugar, but it’s also portable. And you can put it on practically everything without fearing judgment. There are oats! There are almonds! I’ve even done my part to Save the Bees of NC with local honey.

May all your breakfasts be so hopeful ‘n’ wholesome. Until you read my post about cheddar bacon muffins. Then you have my permission to be bad again.

Granola recipe adapted from Joy the Baker.

Toasted Almond Granola:
4 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup slivered raw almonds
1 cup whole raw almonds
1/2 cup shredded coconut (I used unsweetened flakes)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup coconut oil (you can use vegetable oil in a pinch)
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1) Place oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees. Line one large with parchment paper or Silpat.
2) In a large bowl, combine oats, whole almonds, slivered almonds, coconut, cinnamon and salt.
3) In a medium saucepan on medium heat, melt butter, then whisk in coconut oil, honey and brown sugar until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
4) Pour the sauce over the oat mixture and toss together with a spoon or two to ensure that the oats are covered thoroughly.
5) Press mixture down gently onto baking sheet. Bake for about 9 minutes. Remove from the oven, stir granola and place back in oven. Bake for another 9 minutes, stir again and put back in the oven for about 9 minutes more.
6) Let cool on the pan before placing in an airtight container.

Also, if you’re looking for other delicious granola combinations, this basic recipe from Chocolate & Zucchini is wonderful.

I’ll be posting more breakfasts over the next few days, especially now that my classes don’t begin until 3:30 on Mondays and Wednesdays. A few recipes will involve bacon. You know how I feel about bacon.

Let me know if you’ve got a recipe I simply have to try, bacon-centric or otherwise.

Cranberry Orange Muffins

It’s finals week here, so our brains deserve a good breakfast. And a good afternoon snack. And a good dessert.

Fortunately, this recipe fulfills of all those needs. Not too much sugar, a nice bite of cranberry, and the smell of orange zest on your hands all day long.

Actually, let’s be honest. I only have one more final, and it’s not the kind to fret over. Thus, I plan on spending my days using up my stockpile of butter and flour. So, really, this recipe fulfills that need.

I juiced fresh oranges, which is way time consuming since I don’t have a citrus juicer. (Mom, dad, I know you’re already buying me a fruit-related Christmas gift, but if you need more ideas…)

I used a combination of walnuts and almonds. Also, the three oranges I juiced still didn’t render enough orange juice, so I added a bit of milk, as well.

I plan to individually wrap and freeze most of them before they all find a way into my stomach by tomorrow.

Cranberry Orange Muffins:
2 teaspoons grated orange rind
3/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup canola oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 cups all-purpose flour (about 9 ounces)
1 cup sugar (set aside one tablespoon for topping)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups coarsely chopped cranberries
1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

1) Preheat oven to 500 degrees. (Lower to 400 right before placing the muffins in the oven.)
2) Combine orange rind, orange juice, canolia oil and egg in a bowl. Add flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Stir until just combine.
3) Fold in cranberries and walnuts.
4) Coat muffin tin with oil and pour in batter. (I filled the cups to the very top to make 12 big muffins.) Sprinkle sugar on top. Lower oven heat to 400 degrees. Bake for about 17 minutes, or until the muffin top springs back when touched.
5) Run a knife around outer edge of each muffin cup. Carefully remove each muffin.

Chicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuits

This is Andrea. Andrea is my newest food model. (No meat dresses here, though. Sorry.)

At home, the logical next dinner following roast chicken is chicken pot pie. Mom’s orders. Who am I to question years of logical cooking? Leftover chicken practically begs to be combined with gravy and vegetables. Its lil’ carcass gets cold in the fridge, all lonely next to the unfriendly cranberry juice cocktail.

Also, roommate and I are collectively experiencing a cold that is single-handedly (virally?) keeping tissue and decongestant companies in business. So chicken pot pie is also the logical antidote, the ultimate in feel-good meals. (Aside from chicken noodle soup, which I’ll post about Tuesday.)

And, as I always enjoy a good food personification opportunity, sometimes it’s comforting to pretend that I am one of those buttermilk biscuits, steaming away in a bubbling mixture of Delicious Things. I’m quite certain that my recovery would be drastically expedited if I had a chicken pot pie hot tub. My birthday’s in a few weeks, FYI.

Chicken Pot Pie:
2 carrots
2 celery stalks, diced
2 C. peas
1 onion, diced
2 TB butter
2 TB flour
1 C. milk
2 C. chicken stock
2 C. cooked, cubed chicken
1 tsp parsley
salt & pepper

1) Heat chicken stock in medium sized pot. Add carrots, cook until a bit soft. Meanwhile, cook celery and onion with butter until softened. Sprinkle in flour.
2) Add celery and onion to pot. Stir in peas, add salt, pepper and parsley. Remove pot from heat.
3) Once the mixture has cooled slightly, stir in chicken and milk.
4) Pour into a deep-dish pie pan, making sure to leave room for biscuits to expand as they bake. Drop in biscuits (see recipe below) or top with pastry dough. Place pie pan on top of a cookie sheet, in case your pie pan runneth over. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Buttermilk Biscuits:
2 1/2 C. flour
1 1/2 TB sugar
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
6 TB butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
1 C. & 2 TB buttermilk

1) Combine flour, sugar, baking power, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Rub in butter cubes with your fingers until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.
2) Add the buttermilk until a soft dough forms.
3) Place the dough on a floured work surface. Knead slightly and flatten until 1-inch thick. Cut out biscuits with round cookie cutter or with the opening of a jar. Combine remaining dough and cut additional biscuits.
4) Place biscuits on an ungreased round cake pan so they all touch slightly, or, if adding to pot pie, gently place biscuits on top of pot pie mixture. Follow directions above for baking.
5) Bake any solo biscuits at 425 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Buttermilk Pancakes

Nothing gets my family out of bed faster than the smell of buttermilk pancakes puffing up on the stove. (Also true for roommates.) This particular recipe tastes like weekends should: light and easygoing, but a little bit indulgent. Like staying in bed snoozing for that extra hour on Saturday morning. Delicious accompanied with a dab of butter and a generous gulp of maple syrup, they also taste amazing peppered with blueberries or chocolate chips or pecans or… I love that this recipe helps me get rid of all the extra buttermilk I perpetually have in the fridge, but I’ve heard rumors that yogurt makes an equally yummy substitute.

One added benefit of these pancakes: they’re just a bit spongy, soaking up maple syrup on your plate and, once consumed, that last regrettable cocktail you had last night.

Buttermilk Pancakes:
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 TB sugar
3/4 t baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup milk
blueberries or chocolate chips or pecans, if desired

1) Whisk dry ingredients together.
2) In a separate bowl, blend butter and eggs, then add buttermilk and milk.
3) Add wet to dry and stir until well-combined.
4) Let batter rest 8-10 minutes. Meanwhile, set a pan on medium heat.
5) Depending on pancake size preference, pour batter onto pan. Add blueberries or chocolate chips or pecans, etc.
6) When batter has been bubbling for about a minute, flip the pancake. Cook for another minute or two.
7) Eat with maple syrup. The real kind. I promise, it’s worth it.