Apple Omelette

Lately I have been craving breakfast foods all day long.  Since I don’t actually eat breakfast (unless a Diet Coke counts as breakfast), I like to eat this omelette as a light lunch or as new way to spice up breakfast for dinner, which is one of the world’s best inventions.  This isn’t a traditional omelette- it’s almost more like an eggy pancake.  Either way, it’s delicious.

Also, this omelette is a perfect way for me to use up a part of an egg. Since I eat alone most days and am bored by leftovers, I am always scaling down recipes.  This means lots of recipes only need half or a fourth of an egg.  It was always a pain to try and use up the remaining egg, and I can only eat scrambled eggs so much.  This omelette is an easy way to make a yummy dish using only part of an egg.  Or if you do not have an egg remains problem, you can always use a full egg.

For any of you who are afraid making the dreaded, finicky omelettes: fear not.  Many years ago, I once made an omelette.  And I did not like it- probably because I followed the recipe instructions and didn’t cook my eggs as much as I like.  So, this omelette is not hard- the flip is a little tricky- but just make sure to cook it according to how you like your eggs.  I definitely go against the rule and like my eggs very well done.

APPLE OMELETTE
INGREDIENTS
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup flour
1 egg
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Salt
1 small apple, chopped
1 teaspoon melted butter, divided
DIRECTIONS
In a small bowl, whisk milk and flour together.  Whisk in egg, granulated sugar, and salt.  Fold in chopped apple.
Heat small skillet over medium heat.  Brush the pan with half of the melted butter.  Pour in egg mixture and cook for 2-4 minutes.  Pour remaining butter into the pan and fllip (I do this by sliding it on to a plate which is sometimes easier).  Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.  Serve with additional apple slices or top with a pinch of cinnamon if desired.
Serves 1.

French Toast Monte Cristo

I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas.  We have a few days to recuperate (and shop some more sales) before New Year’s Eve.  For our Christmas celebrations, we had our traditional dinner of Singapore Noodles, ham & sausage, and dumplings at my aunt and uncle’s house.  We then came back home with full bellys and rested up a little bit for the big day.  And then on Christmas Day we made our traditional Sausage Cups for brunch/lunch (look out for the recipe soon, they would work great for a New Year’s Eve party).

We have no set tradition for Christmas dinner, having tried many different variations of roasted chicken, turkey dinner, and more.  This year I wanted to try a new food tradition for dinner: a Monte Cristo.  For those of you who have not been lucky to enough to have eaten a Monte Cristo, it is a turkey, ham, and Swiss sandwich that is then completely deep fried.  It is then sprinkled with powdered sugar and served wit raspberry preserves.  It is glorious, my friends.

Well you may have noticed that the picture of my sandwich is not deep fried.  Well, we had some deep frying issues.  I had a good batter and hot oil, but when I dipped my bread in the batter, it became soggy, and it was difficult to completely cover the sandwich, meaning oil soaked in during frying.  The sandwiches we got tasted good, but the oil lurking inside was likely to give us a holiday stomach ache   Not fun, especially when we had so many desserts waiting to be eaten.  Instead, we had a Monte Cristo alternative: Challah French toast with griddled turkey/ham and melted Swiss in between.  Topped with powdered sugar and maple syrup, with raspberry preserves on the side.  Yes, my friends, make this.

A short disclaimer: this sandwich will in no way help you take revenge on people who caused you to be falsely imprisoned.

FRENCH TOAST MONTE CRISTO
From Cinnamon Freud
INGREDIENTS

6 slices Challah bread
3 eggs
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
6-8 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Nonstick Spray
Roasted Turkey and/or Ham, thinly sliced
Swiss cheese, grated
Powdered sugar
Maple Syrup
Raspberry preserves

DIRECTIONS

In a large bowl, whisk eggs, milk sugar, vanilla, and salt together.  Heat a griddle over medium high heat.  Spray with nonstick spray.  On one side, layer you lunch meat of choice and top with a slice of Swiss cheese.  Cook for 2-5 minutes, covering with lid if needed, until cheese begins to melt.

Quickly dip two slices of challah bread into the egg mixture.  On the other side of the griddle*, cook the bread for 1-3 minutes per side, until golden brown.  Transfer meat and cheese onto one slice of your French toast.  Place the other French toast on top and slightly compress together.  Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.  Transfer to broiler if you need to melt cheese further.  Repeat for the remaining two sandwiches, spraying the pan with nonstick spray in between.

Top with sprinkling of powdered sugar.  Dip into maple syrup or raspberry preserves.  Sandwich can be eaten by hand or with knife and fork, depending on the amount of toppings.

Makes 3 sandwiches.

*You can make all three sandwiches at once if you have a large enough griddle.  If you do not have a griddle pan large enough to cook both the meat and French toast, you can use two separate pans to cook each at the same time.

Classic Cream Scones

This baking season was a season of some horrific surprises.  Apparently, many of my mom’s homemade recipes that I believed to be her creation from her natural motherly instincts come from the boxes and bags of ingredients.  The horror! The horror!

With the confidence from my upbringing destroyed, I had to bake away the pain (Just kidding, a recipe is a recipe and all that matters is that what you make tastes delicious.  Props to mom for cooking anything for us little brats).  When I want to try something new, I often turn to my cooking holy book: Cook’s Illustrated.  I love their explanations and scientific recipe testing techniques.  I have yet to have one of their recipes fail me.

I have had very few scones in my life, just the occasional Starbucks scone at the airport or some store bought scones as snacks. They were all just okay, but these scones were crumbly, slightly sweet, and tender.  Want to treat yourself to a light tasting breakfast these holidays?  You need to look no further.  And you’ll feel so fancy eating these scones instead of a handful of cereal that your pinky may involuntarily rise into the air.  These are a great gift to bake up for your friends and family.  Or serve it as part of your Christmas breakfast.

CLASSIC CREAM SCONES

Barely Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated
INGREDIENTS

10 ounces all purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
5 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
2/3 cup currants
1 cup heavy cream
Turbinado sugar, for topping*

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 400°F.

In a food processor combine flour, sugar  salt, and baking powder.  Process for 5 seconds to mix.  Sprinkle cold butter on top and process until crumb mixture forms.  Transfer to a large bowl.  Stir in currants and then heavy cream.  Stir until soft dough forms.

Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead into soft ball.  The mixture will be very crumbly still but press into a 9 inch circle.  Cut into 10-12 small pieces   Transfer to baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Sprinkle with sugar, if desired.  Bake for 10-11 minutes, rotating pan halfway through.

Cool on wire rack for at least 10 minutes.  Eat warm or at room temperature with butter or cream cheese.  Store in airtight container (they flavor gets better over time, so try to save some for the next day).

Makes 10-12 scones.

*You can also use normal granulated sugar.

Candy Corn Pancakes

Let me take a wild guess about something.  I bet right now you just may have some extra candy on your hands.  Or, if you’re like me, you are planning to go on a shopping splurge in the upcoming days when all the candy is discounted to make room for turkeys.  I plan on stocking up on candy so I have enough to last me until next October 31st.

Candy corn is a classic October treat.  I love it since it basically tastes like a chewy piece of sugar.  Is there anything better than just eating a sugary treat?  You may be saying “No.  No, there is not”, but here is some news: you can put sugary candy corn in pancakes!  And you can eat them for dinner!!This is a decadent Halloween treat that will help rot your teeth even more. Pancakes dotted with chewy, sweet candy corn and all topped with warm honey or maple syrup is a great incentive to make you want to get out of bed in the morning (or to help you make it through the day so you can eat them for dinner).  You can use any pancake batter you want (even instant, Hungry Jack being my preference).  I used an oatmeal based batter in order to incorporate a little health into these pancakes.  Oatmeal counteracts the candy corn, right?  In this batch I also used a caramel candy corn, which was good, but I think the classic plain candy corn is still the best Halloween treat (followed by pumpkin peeps).

(And if you have some Snickers or other candy bars to use up, check out my Baked Snickers Empanada!)

Happy Halloween!
CANDY CORN PANCAKES
Pancake Batter Adapted from The Sweets Life
INGREDIENTS
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup quick oats
2 eggs
1/3 cup light brown sugar
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2-2 cups milk
Nonstick spray
3/4-1 cup candy corn, chopped
Maple syrup or honey, for topping
DIRECTIONS
In a food processor or blender, combine flour, oats, eggs, light brown sugar, salt, baking powder, vailla extract, and milk.  Start with only a portion of the milk, adding more as needed.  Process until smooth.  Transfer to a measuring cup with a spout. Let sit for about 10 minutes.
Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium high heat.  Pour a batch of batter into the pan, allowing time for batter to spread before pouring more.  Sprinkle chopped candy corn on top.  Cook for 1-2 minutes.  Flip and cook 1 minute.  Remove from pan and keep warm.  Repeat with remaining batter.
Top with warm maple syrup or honey if desired.

Breakfast Pineapple Tortilla

First things first:  Thank the sweet lord it is finally the weekend.  The full schedule of the semester has officially begun, and as a result, cooking is becoming more a chore to try and fit into my schedule.  I was just scraping by making “just okay” meals and was loosing my culinary motivation- until out of sheer random choice, I made this recipe.  I am reinvigorated- loved cooking this and got a lot of work done after eating it.
I am always looking for new recipes to try, and as a result, I don’t remake recipes a lot, even if I really love them.  I ate this pineapple tortilla three nights in a row- I think it’s safe to say I really liked it.
It’s a very simple recipe with only a few ingredients, but the combination is so good.  Salty, sweet, and crunchy.  It’s a good way to start your day at breakfast, take a break at lunch, or satisfy your grumbling stomach as a midday snack.  Putting cheese on fruit may just become my new thing.
I still have some Fontina cheese left, and I’m contemplating buying another pineapple just so I can make this again.
BREAKFAST PINEAPPLE TORTILLA
INGREDIENTS

8 corn tortillas
4 tablespoons melted butter, divided
1 pineapple, chopped
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 ounces Fontina, grated
1/2 cup panko

DIRECTIONS

Preheat broiler.

Brush corn tortillas with 3 tablespoons butter and place in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Broil until crisped, 8-10 minutes.*  Let cool slightly.

Lower the temperature in the oven to 400°F.

Stir light brown sugar and pineapple together.  Top tortillas with pineapple.  Top with Fontina.  Stir together panko and remaining 1 tablespoon melted butter.  Top tortillas with panko.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown.  Serve warm.

Makes 8 tortillas.

*You can also just warm the tortillas in the microwave if you want to eat like a soft taco- just skip the broiler step.

Cake Batter Waffles

Eat your heart out easy bake oven.

I am slowly adjusting to my new home, but I am still missing home and my family a little bit.  Even more so (I jest), I am also missing our family waffle iron.  Waffles are a great option for breakfast or for breakfast for dinner.  And what is even better than waffles?  Waffles that taste like cake.

I whipped  up a batch of these bad boys before I left home.  One whiff of this batter cooking up, and you will be transported back to your childhood days when you would cook mini-cakes with a light bulb.  If you ever are overcome by the feeling of wanting to return to the easy days of childhood, make a batch of these waffles.  With some cake mix and soda, you get some instant happiness.

And waffles that taste like cake for breakfast is a great way to get back in the groove for all you students returning back to your classes and books.

CAKE BATTER WAFFLES
From Cinnamon Freud
INGREDIENTS

1 box cake mix
3 tablespoons canola oil
14-16 ounces cream soda
Sprinkles, optional

DIRECTIONS

Preheat your waffle iron.  In a large bowl whisk cake batter, canola oil, and 14 ounces cream soda together.  Fold in sprinkles if desired.  Add more cream soda to adjust consistency.  Pour batter into waffle iron and cook according to manufacturer’s instructions.  Serve with additional sprinkles, maple syrup, and whipped cream.

Makes approximately 10 4-inch square waffles.

Baked Oatmeal

Throw out your preconceived notions about oatmeal.  This baked oatmeal is the antithesis of the instant oatmeal packets which always turn out mushy, flavorless, and boring.  It uses steel cuts oats, which are very different from traditional oatmeal.  Steel cut oats are chewier, nuttier, and I love them.  Baking them up with some fruits creates a warm, substantial breakfast that gives you the energy to make it through to lunch.  No watery oats here!

The possibilities of flavor combinations are endless once you have the method of baking steel cut oats- I have made many versions of this oatmeal.  My personal favorites have been apple, pear, and peanut butter banana (almost like a dessert oatmeal).  Make this on Sunday morning for breakfast then enjoy the leftovers for the rest of the week.  Or eat it for a heart warming, comforting dinner like I do

PS- Can you see a sassy food blogger reflected in my utensil? How did she get there?

BAKED OATMEAL
INGREDIENTS
1 cup steel cut oats
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
2 apples, chopped*
1 cup milk
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For serving: peanut butter, cream cheese, maple syrup
DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter a baking dish (about 2 quarts).

In a large bowl, combine steel cut oats, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and pecans. Stir in chopped apples. In a large measuring cup, whisk milk, maple syrup, egg, and vanilla extract together. Pour oat mixture into prepared baking dish. Spread in an even layer. Pour liquid mixture over top. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until oatmeal is set and top is golden brown. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes. Serve with peanut butter, cream cheese, or maple syrup if desired.

Serves 4.

*For the fruit you can also replace apples with 2 pears, 2 bananas, 2 cups blueberries.  Or you can mix and match with blueberry banana, apple and pear, and more.

Mini German Pancakes

Have you ever made a pancake and went “Awwww” as you looked at it.  If you haven’t, then you obviously have not made these adorable puffed pancakes.  Sometimes, miniature sized things are just too cute.

Not only are these pancakes adorable, but they are also low maintenance.  They are a perfect addition to your breakfast.  While you cook your eggs, bacon, sausage and other breakfast items, these pancakes take care of themselves as they bake.  Within a half an hour you have adorable, puffy, soft German pancakes.  Make them sweet with syrup and powdered sugar or savory with eggs, chives, and cheese.

MINI GERMAN PANCAKES
Slightly Adapted from Our Best Bites
INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
Nonstick cooking spray
Melted butter, for topping

DIRECTIONS

Put mini muffin pans in oven.  Preheat oven and pans to 400°F.  Let pan sit in preheated oven for 5-10 minutes.


In a large bowl, whisk flour, milk, eggs, vanilla extract, and salt together.  Working quickly, spray preheated pans with nonstick spray.  Fill each mini muffin tin about 3/4 the way full.  Bake for 14-17 minutes, until pancakes are puffed and golden brown.  Brush with melted butter.  Serve with powdered sugar, fruit jam, and maple syrup for a sweet pancake, or serve with scrambled eggs, chives, and cheddar cheese for a savory pancake. 


Makes 24 mini pancakes. Serves 2-3.