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Tag Archives: brunch

Lemon Monkey Bread

8 May

If you like lemons and lemony creations, you will love this one.  We are overt lemon enthusiasts around here.  My all-time favorite lemony dessert are these best-ever, most lemony lemon bars.  I could eat the entire pan.  One of my favorite savory lemon dishes is a  fabulous lemony pesto.

Now, let’s talk breakfast.  Introducing my new favorite citrus breakfast piece.  Hello, Lemon Monkey Bread.

Lemon Monkey bread

If you take a peek around our blog, you’ll find that we adore great breakfast/brunch concoctions.  Savory or sweet, gotta be simple, and must be deemed unquestionably delish!  This lemon monkey bread fits the bill.

Lemon Monkey Bread 2

I really, really like that this lemon monkey bread doesn’t rely on pudding mixes or food coloring.  The lemony glaze is the star of this monkey bread, plus plenty of fresh lemon juice and zest.

Lemon Monkey Bread 3

The result is an unbelievably light and airy texture with a refreshingly lemony taste.  The slightly crunchy topping offsets the tender bite underneath, with just the right amount of sweetness.

Lemon Monkey Bread 4

Because I’m the polar opposite of a morning-person, I made this lemon monkey bread the night before, minus the drizzle.  I let it cool, wrapped it up, and waited until morning to drizzle ‘n devour.  An absolute keeper.

Enjoy!

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LEMON MONKEY BREAD (makes 12 rolls)

INGREDIENTS

12 Rhodes frozen white dinner rolls or Rhodes Texas rolls (not warm ‘n serve variety)
zest of one large lemon
1/2 cup white sugar
3 TB salted butter, melted
butter for greasing

For the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2-3 TB fresh lemon juice (slightly more or less, depending on desired consistency)

DIRECTIONS

Thaw frozen dinner rolls just until no longer frozen but still cold (not yet risen).  Butter a 9×13 baking pan or two round cake pans.  Cut rolls in half and arrange in pan cut-side down, 1/2 inch apart.  Drizzle with melted butter, evenly over rolls.

Mix lemon zest and sugar together in a bowl.  Sprinkle a third of the zest/sugar mixture evenly over the rolls.  Cover and let rise until rolls are doubled in size, approx. 1 hour, depending on your room temp.  (I covered my baking pan with an equal-sized baking pan in lieu of cling wrap, to give room for rolls to rise upward.)

Preheat oven to 350F, with rack on lower middle.

Carefully sprinkle remaining zest/sugar mixture evenly over the rolls.  Bake 16-18 minutes or just until golden.  (If it is the night before, let baked rolls cool completely.  Cover and let sit at room temp until ready to reheat.)

Combine glaze ingredients and drizzle over warm rolls.  Serve while still warm.

Source:  Chew Out Loud, adapted from mybakerlady

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Honey Pear Bread

22 Mar

Quick breads are one of my fave things to bake for breakfast.  Now, I don’t wake up extra early to bake.  I’m a bear if awoken too early.  I don’t even try to pretend I’m Miss Sunshine at the crack of dawn.  Instead, my happy night-owl self prefers to strut around the kitchen in the evening, baking something yummy for tomorrow’s breakfast.  Honey Pear Bread makes an awesome breakfast, particularly if it was baked the day before 🙂

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I often bake various quick breads on the weekends so the family has something extra yummy for breakfast when they wake up.  They love this moist, tender, pear-filled bread with the perfect balance of sweetness, thanks to honey and brown sugar.  Honey Pear Bread is loaded with healthful ingredients, making it a no-brainer for both flavor and nutrition.  One loaf lasts about one day in our household.

Honey Pear Bread 3

This Honey Pear Bread is a tasty alternative to apple breads, when you’re looking to deviate from the norm.  I love that this bread uses firm pears, because pears are almost always firm at the store when I buy them, and I don’t have to wait for them to soften!  A bit of immediate gratification.

Honey Pear Bread 4

This recipe makes extra batter, which is perfect for tender muffins – bonus!  Dense, moist, chock-full of goodness, and superbly satisfying.  Make some Honey Pear Bread, and sit back to enjoy it with your morning coffee.  Or afternoon  snack with tea.  Or dessert with ice-cream on top 🙂

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Honey Pear Bread (or muffins) keeps really well.  Both texture and flavor are much better the day after it’s baked.

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RECIPE (one large 9×5 loaf + ten muffins, OR 2 smaller loaves)

INGREDIENTS

1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup honey
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 TB vanilla extract
1 1/4 tsp table salt
1 tsp baking soda
3 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground allspice
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 TB ground flax meal (dry)
5 cups of very firm pears, peeled and diced

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350F, with rack on lower middle position.  Generously grease one large loaf pan and line a muffin pan (or grease two loaf pans for two smaller loaves.)

In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, olive oil, applesauce, and honey.  Stir together.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Stir to incorporate.

In another large bowl, combine salt, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, allspice, all-purpose and wheat flours, and flax meal.  Mix dry ingredients well.  Gently fold honey mixture into dry ingredients, just until completely moistened.  Gently fold in pears, distributing evenly.  Pour batter into prepared loaf pan(s) and/or muffin tin.

For single large loaf, filled almost to the top, bake 60 minutes or until toothpick comes out almost clean, with few moist crumbs attached.

If splitting batter between two loaf pans, bake 45-50 minutes or until toothpick comes out with few moist crumbs attached.

For muffins filled almost to the top, bake 20-23 minutes or until toothpick comes out with few moist crumbs attached.

Source:  Chew Out Loud, inspired by allrecipes

Eggs Benedict Casserole

28 Dec

Last weekend, Hubby and I took the boys out for a morning surprise.  This year, we have been all about surprising the kids with out-of-the-blue outings.  They love the unexpected discovery of a Minivan Express ticket (idea via Pinterest, my current addiction), signaling that they have 10 minutes to don their coats, shoes, and dash into our minivan for an unheralded adventure.

Hey, if I have to drive a minivan, I’m gonna make it fun.

Eggs Benedict Casserole

Our most recent adventure included a stopover with Santa and his elves.  Then, we headed out to brunch.  One of my sweet boys, knowing me so well, scanned the menu for Eggs Benedict – my all-time favorite breakfast dish.

Eggs Benedict Casserole 2

Eggs Benedict is awesome for breakfast/brunch at a restaurant, but not exactly the quickest thing to whip up at home.  Not for me, at least, because I am not a morning person.  SO not.  Which is why I jumped with excitement when I found this Eggs Benedict Casserole that can be assembled the night before and baked when you need it!

Eggs Benedict Casserole 3

This Eggs Benedict casserole is full of savory goodness.  Tasty and delish!   It won’t be exactly like classic Eggs Benedict, of course, because the eggs here are fully cooked.  This is more like an egg bake that includes the players of Eggs Benedict:  Canadian bacon, English muffins, eggs, and homemade Hollandaise sauce.  I haven’t tried packet sauces, but I’m sure that would work in a pinch also.

Enjoy your mornings!

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RECIPE (one 9×13 dish)

INGREDIENTS

1 lb Canadian bacon (ham works, too) – chopped
6 English muffins, split and cut into 1-inch pieces
8 large eggs
2 cups milk
1 TB onion powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
fresh chopped parsley for garnish

For the Sauce:
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1-2 TB lemon juice
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup melted butter
salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

Grease a 9×13 baking dish.  Place half of the Canadian bacon in bottom of dish.  Top with English muffins.  Follow with remaining Canadian bacon.  In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, onion powder, kosher salt, garlic powder, and black pepper.  Pour evenly over top of casserole.  Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.

Remove casserole from fridge at least 30 minutes prior to baking and preheat oven to 375F.   Sprinkle casserole evenly with paprika.  Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes on lower middle rack.  Uncover and bake 10-15 minutes longer or until the center is done.  Sprinkle with fresh parsley, if desired.

Meanwhile, make the sauce:  In a double broiler or metal bowl over simmering water (don’t let bowl touch water), constantly whisk together egg yolks, heavy cream, lemon juice, mustard, and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Continue whisking until sauce is thick enough to coat back of spoon.  Reduce heat to low.  Drizzle in melted butter, whisking constantly.  Add more salt/pepper if needed. Serve sauce immediately with casserole.  (If sauce stands too long and gets too thick, add a bit of hot water to thin out, 1 tsp as needed.)

Source:  Chew Out Loud, adapted from Taste of Home

Cheesy Ham and Hash Brown Potato Casserole

27 Dec

Know anyone who is looking for ways to use up that holiday ham?   Our family is pretty good about eating leftovers, but after a couple of days, we’re ready to transform it into something that feels new.

This Cheesy Ham and Hash Brown Casserole is one of our favorite ways to renew a leftover ham.  It’s a hands-down phenomenal brunch dish.  In fact, it’s popular enough to bring out for dinner.  Good grub is a winner at any time of day 🙂

Cheesy Ham 'n Hash Brown Bake

This Cheesy Ham and Hash Brown Casserole is easy to throw together the night before and bake up the next morning.  If you need something easy and super tasty for brunch on New Year or an upcoming weekend, here it is.  It’s the perfect fuss-free, wake-up-late breakfast cure.   Totally my style.  Did I mention this is a fabulous way to use up leftover ham?

Cheesy Ham 'n Hash Brown Bake 5

This yummy dish is chock full of cheese, ham, frozen hash brown, and whatever add-ins your palate desires.  We like a bit of red bell pepper for texture and color, and of course sprinkled with crumbled bacon on top – because a bit of bacon makes everything better.  Even the kiddos inhale this cheesy casserole.

Cheesy Ham 'n Hash Brown Bake 3

This Cheesy Ham and Hash Brown Casserole is also one of our favorite things to bring to brunch potlucks.  You’ll want to keep this recipe in a safe place for your next potluck contribution.  It’s a popular crowd-pleaser, and you’ll love going home with an empty casserole dish.  Though a little left over could be good, too 🙂

Cheesy Ham 'n Hash Brown 4

Here’s to a carefree, delicious weekend morning.  Enjoy the rest of the holidays!

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RECIPE (one 9×13 casserole)

INGREDIENTS

32-oz package frozen plain hash brown potatoes
2 cups cooked, diced ham
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 cans condensed cream of potato soup
16 oz sour cream (lowfat is ok)
2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
5-6 slices cooked bacon, crumbled (real bacon bits work, too)

DIRECTIONS

In very large bowl, combine:  frozen hash browns, ham, bell pepper, cream of potato soup, sour cream, Cheddar cheese, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper.  Gently mix until thoroughly incorporated.  Spread evenly into a greased 9×13 baking dish.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and crumbled bacon.   If not baking yet, wrap tightly and place in fridge until ready to bake.

Preheat oven to 375F.  Bake 45 min to 1 hour on middle rack, until bubbly and golden on top.  Serve immediately, while hot.  Enjoy!

Source:  Chew Out Loud, adapted from allrecipes

Texas French Toast Bake

19 Dec

Technically, I suppose “French” toast isn’t Texan.  But this scrumptious French Toast Bake is big and hearty, and the saying goes that everything is bigger in Texas.

Texas French Toast Bake, 2

What makes this French Toast Bake superb is the use of Texas Toast, in place of regular sliced bread.  If you aren’t familiar with Texas Toast, it is typically found in the sliced bread aisle of grocery stores, and the thing about it is… well, it’s Texas-sized.  It looks like white bread, sliced extra thick and made extra dense.

Texas French Toast Bake

I usually buy whole-grain bread, so it’s something special for me to reach for the enriched stuff.  Though whole-grain sandwich bread has come a long way in texture and flavor, the white slices brought me back to my childhood.  Back when wheat bread tasted like cardboard and my mom kindly bought us white loaves.   It’s a special occasion to bite into these Texas soft slices.  It’s hard not to cheat and eat the bread straight out of the bag.  Just remember that you’ll need to use almost the entire loaf for the French Toast Bake, so try.  Just try.

Texas French Toast Bake 3

This is one of the most ideal, no-fuss offerings for brunch on Christmas, New Years, or any weekend morning.  It’s simple to assemble the night before.  Wake up late the next morning, pop it in the oven, and give your family a carefree smile.  My family loves anything French Toast-ish, and they flipped for this one.  Devoured the whole pan the same day.  I’m talking no leftovers, not even a few crumbs.

Texas French Toast Bake 4

This Texas French Toast Bake is something that will easily go on your family’s list of favorites.  The thick, dense slices of Texas Toast soak up the custard perfectly.  The brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon meld together like magic.  It’s just the right amount of sweetness.  You can serve with pure maple syrup, but you might not need it.

Oh, this is important – be sure to scrape out all the gooey yummy goodness you’ll find on the bottom of pan.  Enjoy!

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RECIPE (one 9×13 pan)

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup melted butter (1 stick)
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 loaf Texas Toast
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cup whole milk
1 TB vanilla extract
2 TB light brown sugar, mixed with 2 tsp cinnamon
Powdered sugar for sprinkling
Real maple syrup for serving, if desired

DIRECTIONS

Put butter in a microwave safe bowl and microwave in 20 second increments, stirring in between, until melted.  Add 1 cup brown sugar and stir until well incorporated  Pour into bottom of a greased 9×13 pan, spreading mixture evenly.

Beat eggs, milk, and vanilla until incorporated.  Set aside.

Lay a single layer of Texas Toast in pan, cutting pieces to fit if needed.  Spoon 1 cup of egg mixture over bread.  Sprinkle with half of the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture.  Repeat with second layer, ending with a sprinkling of brown sugar/cinnamon mixture.

Cover tightly and chill overnight in fridge.

Bake at 350F for 40-45 minutes, covered for the first 30 minutes, and uncovered after that.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.  If desired, serve with pure maple syrup.

Source:  Chew Out Loud, adapted from Rach’s Blog

Easy Pull Apart Sticky Buns

14 Dec

The holiday season seems to bring out the breakfast in people.  The holidays grant us special mornings when the family can sit down for breakfast together in a more leisurely manner, rather than the usual rush-off after scarfing down a bowl of cereal.

Easy Pull Apart Sticky Buns 2

A hot breakfast or brunch is actually my kids’ favorite meal year-round, but we don’t always have time for it.  We try really hard to have hot breakfast as a family at least on the weekends.  This is why I am often scouting for easy but delicious ideas for that first meal of the day.  These Pull Apart Sticky Buns are just that… so easy and delish.

Easy Pull Apart Sticky Buns 3

I love these phenomenal cinnamon rolls, which are the best ones we’ve had and totally unparalleled, at least in our book.   If you taste those, you’ll be entering the hooked category.

But sometimes we just need something in a pinch.  These Easy Pull Apart Sticky Buns are one of the quickest solutions towards enjoying a tasty breakfast treat.  It’s perfect for holidays like Christmas morning, when the kids and family are calling for your attention away from the kitchen.  It’s equally great for any day of the year, when you just want a quick morning treat that is assembled in minutes.

Easy Pull Apart Sticky Buns

All you need is a couple tubes of buttermilk biscuits, and you’re good to go.  I like to use the natural (no artificial stuff) biscuits for mine.  Your favorite brand will do.  I use pecans in mine, but if you have nut allergies, just go without nuts.  This literally takes minutes to assemble.  We all love recipes that are super easy to pull off, yet wonderfully impressive.  Nobody has to know you didn’t slave for hours over these fabulous sticky buns.

Easy Pull Apart Sticky Buns 4

Yummy, yum, yum.  Said my beloved peeps.  This one’s a keeper for sure.

Now you have an excuse to sit down and enjoy a morning treat.  With minimal effort and lots of “mmm’s” coming your way!

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RECIPE (1 bundt pan)

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 tubes of large buttermilk biscuits
3 TB melted butter
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)
powdered sugar for garnish

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 375.  Generously grease a nonstick bundt pan.  Whisk together the melted butter and maple syrup in a bowl.  Set aside.

In another bowl, combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and nuts until incorporated.

Pour half of the syrup mixture into bottom of greased bundt pan.  Sprinkle half of the brown sugar mixture on top.  Gently lay one biscuit at a time into the pan, overlapping them (like tilted dominoes.)  Use enough biscuits to form a ring of overlapping biscuits (I used 1 1/2 tubes.)  Top with rest of the syrup and brown sugar mixtures.

Bake on medium-lower rack for 20-22 minutes, or just until golden brown.  Cool a few minutes in pan.  Invert carefully onto serving plate, and serve immediately while still warm.

Source:  Chew Out Loud, slightly adapted from stamps4fun, via Pinterest

Favorite Pumpkin Scones with Spice Glaze

30 Oct Favorite Pumpkin Scones

We’re finally gearing up for a little Halloween fun here.  We’ve totally procrastinated this year, with so much else going on.  I have yet to check that all the pieces to my kids’ costumes are existent and intact.  I barely had time to make sure we have enough candy to hand out to all those trick or treaters.  A little last minute, right?  With some exceptions, Halloween is lucky to get a courtesy nod amidst the fall/winter holidays.  As one child in my son’s class proclaimed in disbelief, “We don’t even get the day off school?!”

Better Than Bakery Pumpkin Scones

Yes, the 31st will come and go, we will have a sugar overload, and then everyone will be eagerly anticipating the next major holiday.  At least, we carved out all the kids’ pumpkins last weekend and read our annual Pumpkin Story while we yanked and threw out out all the yuckies inside the huge round gourds.

Better Than Bakery Pumpkin Scones

Seriously, I could barely bend my fingers after carving all those pumpkins.  And our kitchen was an orange mess.  Yet…the memory making, the kids’ excitement, and the Pumpkin Story make it all worth it.  And now there they are, four smiling squash, adorning our porch and ready to shine tomorrow night.

Favorite Pumpkin Scones

In honor of pumpkins everywhere, I’m sharing the best Pumpkin Scone I’ve ever had.  In fact, it may well be one of the best tasting scones of any flavor.  This scone is not your everyday, average scone.  This pumpkin scone is amazingly delish, and I think you’ll love the recipe as much as I do.

Favorite Pumpkin Scones

This Pumpkin Scone is tender and moist on the inside.  It’s packed with yummy spices, giving it a delightful holiday flavor and bringing out the pumpkin.  What everyone loves in this scone is the addition of cinnamon chips and white chocolate chips.  Cinnamon chips can be found at many grocery stores, especially seasonally.  Be sure you pick up a bag before they’re gone.  I love including pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds), which are readily found in the stores right now.  The pumpkin seeds give this scone a fantastic texture and delicious flavor.  Pepitas seem to be selling like hotcakes right now, so grab some on your next grocery trip.

Enjoy this special morning treat. 🙂

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RECIPE (12 scones)

INGREDIENTS

2 3/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/3 – 1/2 cup white sugar, depending on whether you like it sweeter
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
1 cup cinnamon chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup Pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds)
2/3 cup canned pure pumpkin
2 large eggs
coarse sugar and cinnamon for sprinkling on top
milk for brushing on

Spice Glaze
1/2 cup powder sugar
1 TB whole milk
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves

Directions

In large mixing bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices.  Work in cold butter (I use my fingers) just until mixture is unevenly crumbly; some larger chunks of butter that remain unincorporated are fine.  Stir in cinnamon chips, white chocolate chips, and Pepitas.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin and eggs until smooth.  Add pumpkin egg mixture to the dry ingredients.  Stir until all is moistened and holds together.  If dough is sticky, just scrape it into a ball and wrap with cling wrap.  Place in fridge for at least 30 minutes or until dough is cold enough to be workable.

Line two plates with squares of parchment paper (parchment should extend past the plate) and sprinkle some flour on parchment.   Divide dough in half and place each half on a separate plate.  Pat each half into a 6 inch circle, about 3/4 inches thick each.  Carefully slice each circle into 6 wedges.  Separate wedges so there is at least 1/2 inch space between them.  Brush each wedge with milk and sprinkle with coarse sugar/cinnamon.

Place the plates into freezer for 30 minutes (this helps the texture and rise.)  White scones are chilling, preheat oven to 425F.

Transfer parchment paper with scone wedges onto baking sheet.  Bake scones 18-19 minutes on lower middle rack, watching to make sure they don’t over bake.  Once they are golden on top and a toothpick comes out mostly clean (a few tender crumbs are fine.)  The edges should look baked, not wet or doughy.

While scones are baking, make Spiced Glaze.  Mix together all glaze ingredients and whisk to incorporate well.

Remove scones from oven and cool a bit.  Drizzle with spiced glaze and serve warm.  Wrap any leftovers in airtight container and keep at room temp.  Do not put in fridge.  Glazed scones keep well for a day or two.

By Chewoutloud, adapted from King Arthur Flour

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