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Archive for the ‘Brunch’ Category

It’s apple season!!!!  I am so excited!  I have several apple recipes lined up to make/try this week!  I went to a local orchard and purchased a peck (that’s 10 ish pounds) of a new variety of apples that we haven’t tried before.  Did I also mention the apple cider we picked up?  Yes, fresh apple cider right from the source!!!  I love the fall!!!!

With young children in the house, I have been more interested in how things are grown then I ever used to be.  For instance, I chose the orchard we visited based on the fact that they use Integrated Pest Management opposed to traditional spraying of the whole orchard!  Finding out that it is becoming more and more common as we as consumers push for safer food production.

So, now that I’m home with all these apples, sit back and prepare yourself for a few ways to use all these apples!!!

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Apple Cinnamon Pancakes – You could add smoke Applewood Smoked bacon, or sausage and make this a lunch or even a quick weeknight dinner!

Ingredients:

2 Cups all-purpose flour

2 Tbsp sugar

2 Tbsp ground cinnamon

4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 eggs

1 1/2 C milk

1/2 cup butter flavored Crisco – melted

1 large apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped.

Directions:

In glass measuring cup, melt Crisco in the microwave in 30 second increments until melted.  Set aside.

In large bowl, mix flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.

In another bowl, mix milk and eggs.  Beat slightly.

Combine milk and egg mixture with dry ingredients.  Mix until moistened.  Add melted Crisco.  Stir just until blended.  Fold in finely chopped apples.  Pour onto hot griddle using a 1/4 cup measuring cup.  Pancakes should be flipped when bubbles appear on top.  Flip once, and allow the other side to get golden brown.  Repeat with remaining batter.  Serve with syrup, or butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.

Allow leftovers to cool on cooling rack.  When cooled completely, wrap in plastic wrap and store in refrigerator.  Reheat in oven or microwave.

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OK…So I know that I just posted Banana Bread, but you have to understand…I had lots of bananas to use!!!  That, and we just met our 1st grader’s new teacher.  She is requesting only healthy treats.  So I thought I would try a twist on an old favorite or two and see what I can do to make them healthier.  With no butter in the muffin itself and whole wheat flour, I think that they classify as healthy!  If you don’t have whole wheat flour, you can substitute for all purpose flour, but I do encourage you to at least try them with the whole wheat flour.  My family is not a group of health food lovers as you are sure to see by a soup I plan to post later this week.  I chose not to tell anyone that they were “healthy” until after they ate them.  I must say by the reaction I got…all 12 muffins gone in less than 24 hours…they didn’t even notice that these are good for them!!!  Let me know what you think!

Ingredients:

1 egg

1/3 Cup apple sauce

1 tsp vanilla

3 ripe bananas

1/2 cup white sugar

1 1/2 Cups whole wheat flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

Topping:

1/3 Cup packed brown sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

2 Tbsp whole wheat flour

1 Tbsp butter – cold

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°.  Grease 12 cup muffin tin.

In a large bowl, beat egg.  Add applesauce, vanilla, bananas, and sugar.  Mix until well blended.  Add flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.  Stir until dry ingredients are moistened.  Fill muffin tin evenly with batter in all 12 cups.  Bake for 13 minutes.

While muffins are baking, make crumb topping.  Mix brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour in a small bowl.  Cut in butter.  After the initial 13 minutes, remove muffin tin from oven.  Carefully pat the crumb topping on the muffins.  Return muffins to oven to bake an additional 5 minutes.

Remove pan from oven and allow muffins to cool 10 – 15 minutes before removing from pan.

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As much as we love bananas, we seem to have a few that get beyond what I would eat!  But, they are perfect for banana bread!  This is a recipe that my mom handed down to me at my bridal shower.  The card it is on is smugged with splatters over the years, but it is the recipe that I turn to time and again!  When spread with a great jam, this even makes a simple dessert.

Ingredients:

1/2 c butter

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

2 large or 4 small ripe bananas

2 C flour

1 tsp baking soda

pinch of salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream butter and sugar together.  Add eggs, vanilla and bananas.  Beat until bananas are well broken into the batter.  Add flour, baking soda and salt.  Mix just until blended.  Place into a greased bread pan and bake for 1 hour.  Cool 10 minutes in pan, then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.  Excellent with butter or jam!

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A quick, easy, delicious breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  This is such a light tasting and refreshing twist on french toast.  The syrup is sooo yummy.  I saw this in a Taste of Home magazine a while back, tweaked it a bit, and here are the results!

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Orange Syrup:

1/2 cup orange juice

1/3 cup corn syrup

1/8 cup sugar

1 T salted butter

3/4 tsp orange extract

To make the syrup:  Combine all ingredients except the orange extract in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Stirring constantly, boil for 2 – 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and add the orange extract.  Syrup will bubble slightly as you stir it in.  Note this is more of a sauce than a syrup.  Will be runny, not thick!  Reheat syrup just before serving.

French Toast:

4 eggs

1 cup milk

1 T sugar

pinch of salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

12 slices french bread – approx 3/4″ thick

In a medium bowl, beat eggs, milk, sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg together.  Dip bread into egg mixture, allowing to soak 15 – 20 seconds on each side.  Cook slices on a high heat griddle until golden brown on both sides, flipping only once.  Keep warm on a hot sheet pan in a 200 degree oven until ready to serve.

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Breakfast anyone???

Mini Quich

You have got to try these little guys.  They are bite size pieces of heaven.  I have been making them for about 4 years or so.  Don’t think I’ve used the same ingredients twice, and what is really nice about them is that you can suite them for any taste.  Did I mention that they are easy, but everyone will think you spent lots of time on them?  I make them often for brunch or even a quick supper.

Mini Quiche

1 package refrigerated pie crust (2 crusts)

1/3 cup milk

2 eggs

1/2 cup very finely chopped ham

1 green onion (both the white and the green parts), very finely chopped

1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly spray a 24 “slot” mini-muffin pan.  Unroll one pie crust on a lightly floured surface.  You will need to roll the crust out a little bigger, but not too thin.  Cut 12 circles (approx. 2 3/4″ in diameter) from the crust.  (Note, if you don’t have a round cookie cutter, use a glass as your cookie cutter.)  Repeat with the 2nd crust.  Place the circles into the mini-muffin pan.  You can use a fancy little tool meant to push the crust down or you can simply use your fingers to shape them to the pan.

Mix the milk, eggs, ham, onions, cheese and seasoning.  Using a small cookie scoop (or a spoon), fill each of the crust “cups” with filling.  Bake 18 to 21 minutes.

You can substitute the fillings for whatever your family likes.  If you are using lots of vegetables, you may need to cut back a little on the milk as the vegetables will add moisture.  I have made these with ham, bacon, pepperoni or Canadian bacon.  I have also made them with just cheese.  Or with all veggies.  Think tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers, even zucchini.  They are wonderful!

Let me know if you try them.  Would love to hear what you think!

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