Category Archives: breakfast recipes

Brown Sugar Sweet Potatoes and Apples

october 18, 2017

brown sugar sweet potatoes and apples

It’s not the easiest thing to plan fall menus when the humidity and temperature are still elevated past September. The calendar, however, clearly shows autumn is in full swing and I am getting mentally prepared. Local summer produce has an inner time clock that tells production to halt making way for fall delights like squashes, sweet potatoes and hearty greens. There is change in the air. A stroll around my  local farm stand with beautiful rusty-dusty sweet potatoes and fragrant multi-hued apples tumbling from bins and boxes can bring back my inspiration every time this season of bounty rolls around. Continue reading

Green Tea Chia Parfaits

september 1, 2017

green tea chia parfaits

 

Brain food is anything that delivers mental clarity, won’t cause you to crash after eating and is a better overall choice. Notice I avoid categorizing brain food as healthy or “good for you”. Nothing preachy here. Guilt associated with eating is not my thing. All things in moderation. For powering up the old Thinker, picture lentils, beans, grilled fish and anything under the banner of Mediterranean cuisine. For breakfast, I’m loving chia seed pudding made with coconut milk and the anti-oxidant power of green tea. Add local stone fruits and  you have an entire meal of brain-boosting tastiness.

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Goat Cheese Quesadillas

november 4, 2016

goat cheese quesadillas

 

 

 

If you’re like me, you keep a stash of emergency items in your freezer that are easy to defrost, heat and enjoy when life gets over scheduled. Usually it’s my Turkey Meatloaf with Sundried Tomato, Spinach and Feta, each portion individually wrapped and ready to devour with a super quick version of smashed potatoes.

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Apple Plum Smoothie Bowl

september 24, 2016

apple plum smoothie bowl

 

A couple of years ago, I grew tired of my breakfast routine and tried starting my day with smoothies. Fruits, Greek yogurt, almond butter and red kale growing in my tiny garden patch  – all went in the blender, with the occasional toasted nut and seeds.

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Spring Vegetable Spoon Bread Tart

may 20, 2016

spring vegetable spoon bread tart

You can craft a savory tart with any number of crusts. Bubbly yeasted pizza dough, flaky pastry crust and crispy semolina flatbread to name a few; or you can make a crustless tart and make lots of folks happy. One of the current trends is to go paleo with crusts made from cauliflower, with or without cheese.

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Parmesan Spoonbread Souffle

september 26, 2014

parmesan spoonbread soufflé

 

Spoonbread is the ultimate Southern comfort food.  Served hot from the oven with a generous dollop of soft butter, it satisfies.  Creamy and hot, and quite possibly made from locally milled cornmeal, spoonbread  can be made plain jane, with sweet milk or buttermilk, studded with kernels of fresh corn or with any number of variations like the pumpkin spoonbread currently on the fall menus of The Good Eats Company.

The word soufflé can strike fear in the heart of even the most dauntless chef or home cook. Failure to rise.  Lumpen appearance.  Gritty texture.  Their mercurial nature makes soufflés poor candidates for make-ahead prep; they must be served right away, and like all things that go up, they must come down, and sometimes before they are presented.

I don’t miss soufflés on restaurant menus because I never much cared for super fluffy foods that lack a certain heft – too airy for my taste.  But I do love a good spoonbread,  and retooling my favorite vintage recipe to resemble a towering soufflé, while bringing it down to earth with some freshly grated parmesan cheese, suited me (and my tasters) just fine.

Today’s spoonbread features not only colorful pastured eggs from Teal Brooks’ Pine Fork Farm, but also fragrant white cornmeal from historic Woodson’s Mill in nearby Nelson County, Virginia.

Woodson's Mill white cornmeal and pastured eggs from Pine Fork Farm in Quinton, Virginia

Woodson’s Mill white cornmeal and pastured eggs from Pine Fork Farm in Quinton, Virginia

Fine in texture and nutty in flavor, it makes the perfect cornbread (I use it to make the skillet cornbread for Little House Green Grocery’s Sunday Suppers) and heavenly spoonbread.  Since the late 18th century, the millstones of Woodson’s Mill have used water power from the Piney River to grind corn and other grains, providing sustainable, preservative-free products sold locally and beyond. This quick and easy bread (don’t be put off by the electric mixer) makes a great breakfast entree and would make a fine accompaniment to entrees like chicken with wild mushrooms and carrot and chorizo sausage with lentils and tomato.

Here is your weekend recipe for southern comfort, y’all. Enjoy!

parmesan spoonbread souffle

recipe by Michele Humlan, The Good Eats Company

makes four servings                                                            parmesan spoonbread soufflé

ingredients

four eggs, separated, at room temperature
2 cups milk, preferably whole
1 cup white cornmeal
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon sugar
½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons baking powder
directions

  1. Preheated oven to 350 degrees and butter four 10 ounce oven ready ramekins.
  2. In heavy two quart saucepan, bring milk to scalding (just to the boiling point) and gradually whisk in cornmeal to avoid lumps.
  3. Over low heat, whisk frequently and cook until smooth and thickened, about 2 minutes.
  4. Whisk in butter, salt and sugar.
  5. Off heat, whisk in egg yolks.
  6. With electric mixer, beat egg whites just until peaks begin to form.
  7. Whisk parmesan cheese into cornmeal mix, then gently whisk in baking powder just until incorporated.
  8. With spatula, gently fold in about one third of the beaten egg whites, then gently add the rest until just combined – okay to see a few streaks of egg white.
  9. Working quickly, divide mixture between the ramekins and bake 20 minutes or until puffed and very lightly golden.
  10. Serve immediately with lots of good butter.

cook’s tips

  • eggs are easiest to separate while still chilled, but room temperature whites whip better
  • have all ingredients at room temp to avoid shocking or stiffening the cornmeal mixture
  • whip the egg whites just until they begin to hold peaks – overbeating gives a grainy texture
  • add part of the whites gently to lighten the cornmeal mixture, then gently add the rest, folding with a spatula and avoid whisking
  • baking powder, your leavening agent, is called double acting because it starts working when liquid is added, and when heat is applied; work quickly once baking powder is added to your recipe – letting mixtures sit on the counter will decrease rising power

 

Bacon Buttermilk Pancakes

february 21, 2014

bacon buttermilk pancakes

 

It was a pancake kind of day.  Chilly, with the last vestiges of snow tucked into the deep recesses of shrubbery.  Pancakes by a crackling fire, with hot tea, fresh citrus and bacon. Continue reading

ginger cinnamon applesauce

october 15, 2013

ginger cinnamon applesauce

The heady perfume of Virginia apples at my local roadside stand draws me in, and I load up my box with way more than I can use in a week.  What’s a cook to do?  Well, cook ’em up, of course.

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breakfast bistro salad

june 7, 2013

breakfast bistro salad

 

In the clear light of an early summer morning, just-picked local produce is pristine in appearance and calls forth the cook’s desire to improvise.  What can be created from the bounty of tables and baskets overflowing with homegrown goodness?

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caramelized bacon

april 19, 2013

caramelized bacon

Two ingredients – bacon and light brown sugar.  Two words – absolutely, and without a doubt, delicious. Last weekend I made two appetizers and two desserts for our neighborhood progressive dinner.  Appetizer number two was medjool dates stuffed with homemade herbed cheese.  Fruit and nut chocolate bars made it to the dessert table, as did green tea chocolate almonds.

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