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Banana Flaxseed Muffins

10 Jan

banana flaxseed muffins

I got the recipe for these easy and delicious muffins from my friend Jan Wanetick. The notable thing about the recipe — besides the ease of making it and the great taste of the muffins — is that it’s vegan! The flaxseed takes the place of egg in binding the other ingredients and adds a little extra nuttiness. If you don’t care about being vegan, you can use dairy butter and milk, as I did. White flour works fine too, if you don’t have whole wheat. And I bet you can sub pumpkin or sunflower seeds for the nuts, if you need to take them into a “nut-free” environment.

You can buy flaxseed meal in many supermarkets. I got mine at Trader Joe.

By the way, I discovered a great new trick for chopping nuts! I had always used a nut chopper. In fact I have two, one with a rotary blade that you operate with a crank handle, and another with a blade on a plunger that you pump up and down. They’re both a pain to clean up. At Chautauqua over the summer, we didn’t have a nut chopper, so I put the measured amount of nuts in a sandwich bag and rolled over them with a glass jar; doesn’t matter if the jar is empty or full. After just a few passes, the nuts were nicely chopped and there was nothing to clean up!

Ingredients:

1½ cup whole wheat pastry flour
½ cup flaxseed meal
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
¼ cup soy butter
1 cup sugar
2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
¾ cup soy or almond milk
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well.

Grease muffin tins or use cupcake papers. Fill each muffin cup two-thirds full.

Bake for 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Makes 1 dozen muffins

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Sweet Potato Breakfast Casserole

26 Sep

IMG_3143

Here’s another breakfast recipe that was a big hit during our summer as hosts at the Everett Jewish Life Center at Chautauqua Institution. It would be a great break-the-fast dish after Yom Kippur!

You can mix it up the night before and leave it covered in the fridge. Take it out at least 20 minutes before you want to bake it.

I made it several times. Once I used a package of Morningstar Farms Chipotle Black Bean Crumbles instead of the veggie sausage, and that was also good.  It was even easier because I didn’t have to thaw and crumble the sausage, just dump in the contents of the package.

Ingredients:

4 cups shredded sweet potatoes
4 oz. butter, melted
8 eggs
8 oz. vegetarian sausages (links or patties), thawed and crumbled
12 oz. shredded cheese (Cheddar, Mexican blend, Italian blend are all good)
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup finely sliced fresh spinach (or 1 10-oz. package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry)
2 cups small curd cottage cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Mix the sweet potatoes and butter together and press into the pan, covering the bottom.

In a large bowl, blend the eggs well and mix in the sausage crumbles, cheese, onion, spinach and cottage cheese. Spoon over the sweet potato layer.

Bake about an hour until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 8 to 12

 

Corn Cakes

11 Oct

corn-cakesEvery August my son plays with his bluegrass band at the Wilson County Fair in Tennessee. One year he brought us back a bag of “traditional stone ground corn” from the Livesay Grist Mill at Fiddlers Grove in Lebanon, Tenn.

On the back of the bag is a recipe for “Miss Valerie’s Hot Water Cornbread” — which I ignored for the longest time because it doesn’t include eggs, like my usual cornbread recipe, and I wondered how it could be any good. Then my daughter said she’d tried it and loved it, so I gave it a try, and she was right!

I think of cornbread as something baked in a square  or round pan and then cut into squares or wedges. In this recipe, the cakes are fried on the top of the stove.

These corn cakes are very easy to make, and the they taste yummy with a drizzle of maple syrup.

Ingredients:

1 cup stone-ground cornmeal
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbs. sugar
1 cup boiling water

Directions:

Mix dry ingredients, then pour in hot water and mix quickly.

Heat 1/4-inch oil in a skillet, and drop the batter by tablespoons into the hot oil. Fry until golden on both sides.

Makes about 8 to 10 cakes.

Hazelnut Biscuits

13 Sep

hazelnut-biscuitsIn a fit of I-don’t-know’what I bought a package of hazelnut meal (actually labeled Natural Ground Filberts) last Passover, and never used them. So when I saw this recipe in the New York Times I was thrilled. It was part of a fruit cobbler recipe (this was the topping) – and I’m sure that would be yummy, but I tried them without the fruit, as biscuits for breakfast, spread with butter and marmalade and served with scrambled eggs. They were deelish! I used milk instead of cream with no ill effect. And the recipe would probably work just as well (though taste a little different) with almond meal instead of hazelnut.

Ingredients:

½ cup hazelnut meal
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
1 Tbs. baking powder
½ tsp. kosher salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/3 cup cold heavy cream, plus more for brushing biscuit tops
¼ cup cold whole milk

Directions:

In a small skillet, cook the hazelnut meal over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until golden brown and fragrant, about 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool completely.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine cooled hazelnut meal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine.

Cut butter into flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives (or your fingers) until the mixture resembles coarse meal with a few pea-sized pieces. If the butter starts to get warm, put the bowl in the fridge for a few minutes.

In a small bowl, combine the cream and milk and quickly stir it into the flour mixture with a fork. Do not overwork the dough.

Drop the dough in 8 to 10 mounds on a baking sheet. Brush the tops with cream and sprinkle with a little sugar.

Bake about 15 minutes, until lightly browned.

(If using to top cobbler, use a favorite filling or make one from 2 lb. peaches, 2 cups blueberries, 2 to 4 Tbs. sugar, ½ tsp. vanilla. 1 Tbs. cornstarch and a pinch of salt. Toss to combine and place in baking dish.)

 

Cinnamon Apple Bread

13 Jan

apple breadI can’t give credit where it’s due because I can’t remember the publication from which I clipped this lovely recipe. I made it for a potluck a few months ago and it went over really well. In looking for a photo, I noticed I posted a similar recipe, Apple Dapple Cake, last August. This one is less sweet and doesn’t include nuts.

Ingredients:

⅓ cup brown sugar (not packed)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
⅔ cup white sugar
½ cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1½ tsp. vanilla extract
1½ cups flour
1¾ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ cup milk
1 large apple, peeled, cored and chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease and flour a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.

Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl and set aside. Beat white sugar and butter together in a bowl using an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Add vanilla and mix in.

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in another bowl and stir into the butter mixture. Add milk and mix until smooth.

Pour half the mixture into the prepared loaf pan. Add half the apples and half the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture. Then add the rest of the batter, the rest of the apples and the rest of the brown sugar/cinnamon. Lightly pat the apples into the batter and swirl the brown sugar mixture through the apples with a finger or spoon.

Bake about 45 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove and cool on a wire rack. Cool completely before slicing.

Bundt Noodle Kugel

24 Dec

Bundt Noodle KugelNeed a fancy-shmancy but easy-to-make dish to bring to a festive New Year brunch? This is just the thing!

This recipe came from a Detroit newspaper but I can’t remember which one. It says it comes from Barbara Klein of West Bloomfield, who got it from her mom, Irene Eagle. The original recipe was very sweet, so I cut back on the sugars a little.

The hardest part is getting the kugel out of the Bundt pan without breaking it, so be sure to grease the pan very well. When you pour the melted butter into the pan, be sure to swirl it around so it coats the entire bottom of the pan.

Ingredients:

½ cup melted butter, divided
½ cup dark brown sugar
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 16-oz. package medium noodles
1 tsp. salt
4 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. cinnamon
⅓ cup sugar
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 apples, cored, peeled and sliced
¾ cup yellow raisins

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook the noodles according to the package directions and drain. Spray a bundt pan with cooking spray. Pour ¼ cup of the melted butter into the bundt pan. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the butter and place the chopped nuts over the brown sugar.

In a large bowl, mix the remaining ingredients. Add the noodles and mix thoroughly. Pour into the bundt pan and bake about an hour until the kugel is firm and brown.

Remove from oven, loosen the sides with a spatula and turn the pan upside down on a serving plate. Scrape out any topping that remains in the Bundt pan and press onto the kugel.

Serves 12

Sour Cream Banana Bread

2 Jul Banana Bread

Banana BreadI like bananas to be ripe, which means yellow with brown sugar spots on them. In warm-weather months like this, bananas go from green to ripe in just a few days, and then they’ve only got another few days to go until they’re over-ripe and too mushy to enjoy.  But there’s no need to fret when that happens — it’s a perfect excuse to make banana bread!

For a long time we relied on The Joy of Cooking’s Quick Banana Bread recipe. It’s a good recipe so I don’t want to denigrate it. But one day I had some sour cream that needed to be used, as well as over-ripe bananas, so I searched the Web for another recipe. This recipe is adapted from one I found on food.com. It’s very moist and rich-tasting but not too sweet, and it’s excellent with cream cheese.

Ingredients:

½ cup butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1½ cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. cinnamon
1 cup mashed bananas (2-3 bananas)
½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
½ cup sour cream

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a large loaf pan. (If you cut parchment paper to shape and put it on the bottom, you can be sure it won’t stick.)

Cream the butter or margarine and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Mix the dry ingredients and add to the egg mixture alternately with the bananas. Stir in the sour cream and the nuts and mix well. Bake for about an hour, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack. Cool completely before slicing.

Makes about 12 slices