Category Archives: Breakfast

Streusel Coffee Cake

It seemed appropriate to have a really, really special coffee cake to start the day of college graduation.  I found this recipe and tweaked it a bit.  The promise was something akin to a Starbucks offering. I don’t know about taste, but Starbucks baked goods are in a class by themselves in presentation.  I was sold!

What I love about this recipe is it doesn’t take any unusual ingredients.  If you have the following on hand, you are 2 hours or so from coffee cake bliss!

All purpose flour–4 1/2 cups

Granulated sugar–approx. 2 1/3 cups

Brown Sugar–1 1/3 cups

Butter–1 cup (2 sticks)

Cinnamon–2 tablespoons

Greek Yogurt, plain (can use regular)–3/4 cup

Milk–1 1/4 cup

Eggs-3 large

Chocolate chips–white/dark chocolate, 1/3 cup each

vanilla & salt & baking powder & cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare a 9 x 13 pan with baking spray.

Mix together for streusel topping:

2/3 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup flour

1/2 tablespoon cinnamon

4 tablespoons butter, melted

Mix together for filling:

1 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

For Cake:

Beat 3/4 cup butter until creamy in mixer.


1 teaspoon salt, 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, 1/3 cup brown sugar.  Beat into butter.  Add 2 teaspoons vanilla.

Now–beat in 3 eggs, ONE at a time. 

Whisk in a bowl:

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3 3/4 cups flour

Whisk in a measuring cup:

3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 1/4 cups milk

Okay, here’s the part that is a bit more work…you want to add about a third of the flour, BEAT, a third of the milk/yogurt, BEAT until you have added it all. 

I like to throw a towel over the mixer when adding flour so it doesn’t “fly” everywhere. 

When the batter looks like this

you are ready to assemble your cake

Put half the batter into your prepared pan

Sprinkle with filling and half of your chocolate chips–I did a black/white version–half with dark chocolate/half with white chocolate

Spread remaining batter onto filling/chips;swirl batter slightly with a knife to incorporate filling

Sprinkle with topping

Sprinkle remaining chips on top

Bake a full 60 minutes.  Check with a toothpick into the middle to make sure it’s done.

Let cool on wire rack for 20 minutes.

Cut and serve from pan.



This post is linked to Real Food Wednesday:


Thanks to Baker Chick for the inspiration:


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Filed under Breads and such, Breakfast, Eating well, Special Desserts, Tea time

Breakfast Sausage Gravy

Who can resist old fashioned biscuits and gravy?   I think sausage gravy has a reputation of being  difficult to make–not so!!   Try it soon with homemade biscuits, English muffins or potatoes.

Simply Wonderful Sausage Gravy

Your favorite brand of breakfast sausage

Flour (I used white whole wheat, but use what you like best)

Milk/water (whole, half and half, cream, evaportated…your choice again)

In a heavy saucepan, crumble sausage and brown on medium heat.


Sprinkle with flour.  A good ratio would be 1.5 pounds of sausage to 1/2 cup flour.  It’s a forgiving method.  You want the sausage to be coated with flour so it soaks up the fat.

Cook briefly to brown the flour.  Pour 2 cups of milk over the sausage.

Stir as the milk is incorporated into a thick sauce.  Bring to a boil and stir and boil for one minute.  Add additional milk or water to thin as needed to make the sauce to your liking.

A thick, meaty breakfast gravy to serve in just minutes.  Simple, real food for real appetites.

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Filed under Breakfast

Protein Bars–Quick, Easy, Nutrient Dense

Looking for a protein bar?  Are you properly overwhelmed at the offerings?   How about trying to find one that is soy free?  “Good luck!”  Because soy is so cheap and readily available and high in protein per ounce, soy is WAY overused in the protein bar market.  As are artificial sweeteners.  Is there an answer to the need for a quick, tasty protein fix that doesn’t affront you in the natural foods department?  That was the challenge.  We are quite pleased with the result.  Not cookies, but a decent protein bar.  Without soy isolate, which, by the way, I hate :(.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

First, the dry ingredients:

3 cups old fashioned oatmeal

1/2 cup sesame seeds

1/2 cup coconut, shredded

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 cup chopped peanuts

1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries

1 cup vanilla whey protein powder, if using a protein powder offends you, you could use oat or other grain flour

Then we will use the following for the “wet” ingredients:

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/3 cup honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup Greek honey yogurt, full fat

1 cup natural peanut butter

Mix all dry ingredients together and pour into food processor

Process to make into a coarse crumb

Dump dry ingredients back in to large mixing bowl.

Now for the wet ingredients:

Blend together

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/3 cup honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup Greek honey yogurt, full fat

1 cup natural peanut butter

Whisk until fully incorporated

Pour over processed dry ingredients


it will be a thick batter

Line a sheet pan with foil…I am a big fan of the non stick foil

Pat into pan

Bake for 15 minutes

Cool 10 minutes on rack

Remove carefully from pan and cut into bars  (I use a pizza cutter)

Lift  bars onto baking sheets

leaving an air space between them

Bake another 15 minutes

Cool.  If your peanut butter always needs a chocolate fix, drizzle melted chocolate on the top

Chill to harden chocolate.  Wrap in foil.

A nice supply of additive free, natural protein bars.

Quick fix for the on-the-go crowd.

This recipe would lend itself to all sorts of changes (different dried fruit, seeds, etc)…I choose what I had on hand.  Adapted from

This post is linked to Real Food Wednesdays:



Filed under Breakfast, Eating well, Snacks

Salted Caramel Butternut Squash

Who knew you could have butternut squash for dessert? Or breakfast? Or all by itself for a snack?  With this recipe all sorts of butternut squash eating opportunities present themselves.  I confess!  Yes, I ate almost the whole recipe myself over a couple of days at various times and meals.  Salted/Peppered Caramel is showing up in all sorts of foodie sites.  Here’s a great starter recipe for you!

Salted Caramel Butternut Squash

2 medium butternut squash

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup brown sugar, light or dark, your preference

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

(Adapted from Barefoot Contessa)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Peel and removed seeds from squash.  Cut into cubes. Place in large bowl.

Melt butter in small saucepan

Add sugar, salt and pepper

Whisk into butter

Pour butter mixture over squash

Using your hands, coat squash with glaze (butter/sugar mixture).

Spread on sheet pan.

Bake 45-50 minutes, until beautifully caramelized

So simple, so delicious at any temperature–warm, cold or piping hot!


This post is linked to “Tempt my Tummy” Tuesdays.


Filed under Breakfast, Eating well, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Lunch, Side Dishes, Snacks

10 Grain Wonder Bread

Do you wonder how you might make healthy bread with only five minutes to spare?  The artisan bread revolution started by Dr. Hertzberg and Zoe Francois has entered the whole foods realm with another book, Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, to follow their Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.  Our post, Bread for Everyone introduced their concept.  Although I added whole grains to their recipes, I am excited they have published a book that features whole grains.  My sons love multi-grain bread; this is the first recipe I made from their new book.  In case you are asking…, this does not taste like the slow rise bread that was a part of our lives in simpler times, but it is “good enough” for the ease of it’s preparation.

Ten Grain Bread

This is all you need!

2 cups Bob’s Red Mill 10 Grain Cereal

3 cups white whole wheat flour

2 cups unbleached flour

1 1/2 tablespoons yeast

1 tablespoon KOSHER salt

1/4 cup vital wheat gluten

3 1/2 cups lukewarm water

Whisk together the cereal, flours, yeast, salt, and vital wheat gluten in a large bowl.

Pour water over flour mixture.

Mix together with a spatula.

As you stir, if all goes well,  it will form a ball.

Plop dough into a large plastic container.

Let rise 2 hours at room temperature.

Use spatula to deflate.

You can shape, rise and bake now or refrigerate dough until you want it as much as 10 days later.  When you want your loaf…..

Remove dough from refrigerator.

Weigh (you can guess if you don’t have a scale) a pound of dough…grapefruit size.

Shape into a oblong loaf…I made three loaves.

Be careful to keep the “skin” on the surface…don’t plummet the dough but gently shape.

Place on parchment if you have a stone to bake on or a baking sheet.

Let rise until your finger leaves an indentation, about doubled…approximately 40 minutes unrefrigerated, 90 minutes from the frig.

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees well ahead of baking time.

Ready to bake:

Slide dough onto stone or place baking sheet in oven AND add 1 cup hot water to a pan on bottom rack of oven to add steam.  In 30 minutes, you will be rewarded with this!


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Filed under Breads and such, Breakfast, Eating well, Side Dishes

Walnut Pesto (Crema)

Another recipe lurking around my files has been Walnut Crema….a pesto made with walnuts and red onion instead of basil and Parmesan cheese.  The pictures were lovely and it sounded so intriguing….and I am always looking for new offerings for my vegan son.  I was pleased with the results.  Some of the ways to use crema:  as a substitute for mayo, on pasta, as a dip or spread akin to hummus or on your next pizza instead of tomato puree. Feeling adventuresome?

Walnut Crema

Simple ingredients:

1 1/2 cup walnuts

1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 small red onion

Kosher salt

Fill a large pot with water; add 1 teaspoon salt.  Bring to a boil.

Add walnuts to steam basket, if you have one…….or you can just put the walnuts directly into the water.

Place basket into boiling water and blanch for 10 minutes, or until walnuts are tender.

Remove basket and drain, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid.  Blanching removes the bitterness of the walnuts.

Dice the red onion.

Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a saute pan.  Add onion and a generous sprinkle of kosher salt.  Saute until golden brown, approximately 7 minutes.

Combine the sauteed onion, walnuts and reserved cooking liquid into food processor.

Process until creamy.

With the processor running, stream in remaining olive oil.

It should resemble hummus. If it seems a bit thick, add a little water.

Let sit at room temperature, covered, for two hours.

Although not a vegan serving option, we spread it on whole grain bread, sprinkled with cheese AND


A taste sensation.


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Filed under Breakfast, Eating well, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Lunch, Main Dish, Side Dishes, Vegan

French Toast Waffles

French toast waffles... a novel idea for that neglected waffle iron.  I saw this recipe in the Sunday supplement of our newspaper back in August of 2010(!) and it has been in my files tempting me each time I would see it.  Finally, the “clean-up” of the files was happening the other day and it seemed like a wonderful breakfast for this “back-to-school” season.  And it delivered just as promised:  a lovely, nutritious breakfast sure to please those peanut butter and jam fans at your house.

French Toast Waffles

I especially appreciate recipes that use my everyday kitchen pantry items.  Who doesn’t have:

3 eggs (I was making three sandwiches…one extra large egg per sandwich)

whole milk

whole grain bread


peanut butter



Crack the eggs into a baking dish, add a generous splash of milk and scant amount of vanilla.

Spread two slices of bread with peanut butter and jam to make the infamous PB & J sandwich.

Beat the egg mixture thoroughly.

Dip the sandwich in the egg mixture….

Flip over carefully to soak the other side.

Gently place into your preheated waffle iron and squish a little.  It will take a bit but the bread will yield.  Remove when the waffle iron says “done” (on ours the light turns off).

Serve with your choice of syrup.

One bite and we wonder what took us so long to make this easy breakfast treat!



Filed under Breakfast, Eating well