Archive for ‘Breakfast’

June 4, 2014

Grape Cakes

Have you ever baked grapes?

It’s weird and funny. But kinda tasty.

Especially when you bake them into mini cakes.

Made out of pancake batter.

I started this blog as a record of my adventures in the kitchen, and this was sure a quirky little jaunt, if not a full out adventure.

These grapes were staring me in the face. Taunting me really. Bake me bake me, they shouted as I took out milk for my cereal or veggies for a salad.

But grapes are not a super common item in baked goods, at least not in their full fresh glory. So, I figured I would need something a little funky.

I adapted my favorite pancake recipe and plunked a grape in each. As any good kitchen scientist would do, I also made some control groups: halved grapes, strawberry slices, brown sugar, and plain.

The cakes themselves were delish! The grape was a little surprise tart burst in the middle. The sliced grapes probably work a little better than the whole ones. As far as my other control groups – the brown sugar topped cakes may have a future home in my breakfast repertoire. They were GOOD.

The downsides of this adventure? I should have used muffin tin liners – these guys stuck to the sides of the pan like it was their JOB. Also, the ones with fruit are really best when warm. The next day, they were a little less quirky and a little more funky.

As all adventures go, I learned some lessons, saw some sights, and got some stories to take back to the campfire. Plus I made something called grape cakes. That’s enough for me!

Grape Cakes
makes about 20-24 mini muffins


4T butter, melted and cooled
1/4 c plain greek yogurt
1/2 c skim milk
1 egg
1 cup flour
2 T sugar
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
grapes, cut in half

Line a mini-muffin tin with liners and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Whisk together yogurt, milk, and egg, and then slowly whisk in butter. In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Fold wet ingredients into dry ones, being careful not to overmix.

Fill the mini-muffin tins about 1/2-3/4 full. Plop a grape, cut side up, into the center of each muffin. Do not press down – it will sink on its own. Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden and set. Let cool about 5 minutes in the pan. These treats are best enjoyed warm!




May 22, 2014

Blueberry Breakfast Treat

Sometimes it is important to say an extra thank you to the people you love.

Sometimes it is fun to surprise someone in the middle of a regular old work week.

Sometimes it is good to leave a warm blueberry treat on the counter before you slip out of the house to go to work.

It will make you smile all day.

Blueberry Breakfast Surprise

Serves 1-2 people

Large handful of blueberries (enough to fill 2 ramekins almost to the top)
1 T flour
spoonful of sugar ( to taste)
squeeze of lemon

1 T brown sugar
2 T butter, cut into chunks
2 T flour
sprinkle of salt
dash of vanilla

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter 2 oven-proof ramekins. Stir together filling ingredients.

Use your fingers to combine the topping ingredients until crumbly. Divide between the two ramekins.

Bake for about 10-15 minutes or until juices bubble and top is golden. Surprise someone you love.

July 25, 2013

Peach Blueberry Bread Pudding

It’s been a busy couple of months over here. I wrapped up grad school, sent my first graders off to a summer of watching tv reading and playing outside. Then, I packed up my car and drove off to my new life in quiet upstate New York with my future Mr. Lane and our child cat, Arthur.

After settling in for a few short days, I have been off on a whirlwind of visiting family, attending weddings, and (fingers-crossed)  job interviews.  Okay, there has been a little wedding planning going on in there too. So I haven’t had time to share with you the craziness of my closet-sized kitchen in my new home, which has actually been able to produce some pretty magical things, considering I can span the whole thing if I spread my arms out.

Anyways, I am writing to you now from the Jersey shore, a place that I have vacationed with my family since I was a little girl, my mother since she was a little girl, and my grandmother since she was a little girl. The devastation from the storm here is quite heart stopping, but Restore the Shore is in full swing and folks are out on their bikes, in their bikinis, and working hard to get summer back to normal.

I am here with my whole family, and my brother Dan decided to make a billion loaves of bread the other day. (Hmm… I am feeling a guest post coming on…) While he is quite masterful and the bread was very delicious, we couldn’t finish it all before it got stale. So, I made bread pudding!

I have a weird relationship with bread pudding. I always say I don’t like it, but then when I am eating it, I really do like it. This recipe was a winner, with fresh peaches and blueberries from the local NJ farmstand. It tasted like french toast. We thought some  walnuts would have been a great addition, but here is the recipe as I made it!

Peach Blueberry Bread Pudding
Adapted from Joy the Baker

stale bread, cut or torn into 1″ pieces (enough to loosely cover/fill your baking dish)
1 medium peach, peeled and sliced
1 generous handful blueberries
2 cups milk (I used skim, you could use whole for a richer taste)
1/4 cup butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Arrange stale bread pieces in a 9″ pie dish, cake pan, or square baking dish – whatever floats your boat. You should have enough bread to fill the pan, but with plenty of holes and space for liquid and fruit. Toss in the peaches and blueberries and use your hands to distribute evenly.

Next, gently heat the milk and butter in a small saucepan over medium/low heat. Stir often, heating just until the butter melts, but without boiling the milk.

Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs, sugars, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Once the butter has melted, slowly pour the hot milk/butter mixture into the bowl, whisking constantly to distribute the heat. Pour the mixture over the bread and fruit, making sure that all of the bread pieces get fully soaked in liquid.

Cover the baking dish and refrigerate for 8-12 hours, or overnight. About 2 hours before you want to serve the pudding, preheat the oven to 350 F. Take the bread pudding out of the fridge, remove the cover, and bake for approximately 45 minutes, or until the top is getting crispy but the middle still wobbles a bit when you shake the pan. Let the pudding set for at least 30 minutes before serving, lukewarm.

April 26, 2013

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

I love muffins. The day I found out just how unhealthy muffins typically are, I was pretty crushed. I always viewed them as the “healthy alternative to a donut at Dunkins.” Uh. Yeah right. Let’s not even go there.

Anyways, I know that there are some healthy muffin recipes out there. This is not one of them. However, this is a delicious muffin recipe, which, in my humble opinion, is way more important. If I am going to eat some bran applesauce muffin… well, I’d rather just eat some applesauce and a bowl of bran cereal. No need to spoil a decent muffin.

These lemon poppyseed muffins are perfect for a lazy Saturday morning. The original recipe included a glaze, but I didn’t even feel these needed it. They are best paired with a cup of English Breakfast tea and a warm kitten on your lap.

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins
adapted from Food Wishes

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick (1/2-cup) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup white granulated sugar
finely grated zest from 2 lemons
2 large eggs
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a muffin tin.

Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Place the lemon zest and sugar in a small bowl and rub together with fingertips to release the lemon flavor. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and the lemon zest/sugar mixture. Beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing to incorporate after each addition. Stir in 1/3 of the dry ingredients until just incorporated, and then mix in the lemon juice and 1/2 of the buttermilk. Add half of the remaining dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Add the rest of the buttermilk, stir in, and then the remaining dry ingredient. Do not over mix. Gently fold in the poppy seeds.

Divide the batter between the 12 muffin cups and bake for about 30 minutes, or until slightly golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from tin and let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

June 19, 2011

Happy Father’s Day Tom!

Tom, I made you some scones.

Sorry, I ate them all myself.

But I thought of you while I was eating them, because you taught me to love scones. You taught me to bake delicious scones. You taught me how to use a pastry cutter. You taught me that scones are merely a tasty vehicle for butter.

What more could a girl ask for in a step-dad!

And don’t worry, I didn’t really eat them all myself, I shared a few 🙂

Love you Tom! Happy Father’s Day to the best step-father a girl could ask for

Buttermilk Cranberry Scones
Adapted from Pinch My Salt

2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
1/2 cup buttermilk, or milk with half a tablespoon of vinegar (let sit for a few minutes)
1 large egg
1/3 cup cranberries, chopped up
a bit heavy cream or melted butter (optional, for brushing tops of scones)

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk or sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt. Add butter chunks and toss lightly with flour; place bowl in fridge.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and buttermilk; place bowl in fridge.
  4. Measure out and chop the cranberries; set aside. Prep a baking sheet with parchement paper or light greasing. Lightly dust a counter top with flour. Pour a little bit of heavy cream or melted butter in a bowl and have a pastry brush handy.
  5. Remove bowls of flour and buttermilk from fridge. Cut butter into flour with a pastry blender or rub together with your fingertips until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add cranberries and stir to combine.
  6. Add buttermilk mixture all at once to flour mixture and stir until the mixture clumps together. Dump mixture out onto floured counter top and, with floured hands, gather into a ball and knead once or twice to combine everything. Pat into a circle about 1/2 inch thick. Cut into 8 slices, like a pie, or cut with biscuit or cookie cutters into whatever shape you prefer. Put scones on lined baking sheet and brush lightly with heavy cream or butter if desired
  7. Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 13-15 minutes until lightly browned. Remove to cooling rack.
  8. Eat them in honor of your step-dad!