Category Archives: Breakfast

Breakfast recipes

Flora’s Chocolate Drizzled French Crêpes with Ricotta

One of our exchange students, Flora, left us with this delicious authentic French recipe.  It is to die for.  Not as good as the little one-man stand we visited outside Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, with its snow-cone shaped, oozing Nutella and banana, side-street treat, but it’s close.

You’ll need:

  • 2 eggs
  • 10g or 1 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 100g or 3/4 cup flour
  • 250ml or 1 cup whole milk
  • 2-3 tsp. water
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. beer

In a bowl, whisk together eggs. 


Sift together flour and salt then add in eggs.  Pour in the milk with 2-3 tsp. water.  Mix in the melted butter and beer, cover and refrigerate for 2-24 hours.

The best scenario is to make the batter at night, refrigerate it and when you wake up for breakfast, the batter is ready for use. 

Pour the batter into a shallow dish or plate. 

With your crêpe maker (easiest way to make crêpes with a light sensor to tell you when they are complete), dip the pre-heated surface into the batter. 

 Wait for the orange light to turn off, flip the crêpe onto a plate.  Continue until you have  used all of the batter.

Take your thin, pancake-like crêpe and place Nutella, and ricotta cheese in the center.

Fold each side over into a cigar shape and drizzle with chocolate. Bon Appétit!

The crêpes themselves crisp on the side that sits directly on the crêpe maker.  The inside stays sort of puffed and soft.  They are sturdy, but thin, so if you order these at a restaurant and they come out as thick as a pancake, you know it’s not the real thing.  The ricotta is a light and fluffy cheese that doesn’t add much flavor, but gives the crêpe a distinct texture.  It works with both sweet and savory meals.  Erica went sans the cheese and just stuffed her crêpe with melted chocolate. 

You can really experiment with fillings. One idea is to look up a crêperie and attempt one of their creations. Ham & Cheese, Broccoli Cheese, Powdered Sugar & Strawberries, Whip Cream & Blueberries, Spinach Artichoke & Parmigiano Reggiano, Nutella & Bananas…  The possibilities are endless. 

If you wanted, you could have a whole day of crêpes. Breakfast: Eggs,  Bacon & Cheese. Lunch: Broccoli, Ham & Cheese. Dinner: Portabello, Spinach & Feta.  Dessert: Chocolate, Crushed Graham Crackers & Marshmallows.


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Filed under Breakfast, Dessert, Food, Lunch/Dinner

The Moistest Banana Bars Ever

Wondering what to do with those brown bananas that are starting to attract fruit flies?  Well one concept is to peel them and freeze them for smoothies, but an even better idea is to make these breakfast bars from Gooseberry Patch.image

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar

Mix your dry ingredients in one bowl: flour, sugar, baking soda, salt.  In another bowl mash together the wet ingredients: bananas, shortening, eggs, vanilla.

Next, combine the wet ingredients with the dry until the flour mixture is just moistened.

Grease a 13″ x 9″ pan and pour the batter in, spreading out evenly.  Bake in the oven at 350 degrees Farenheit for approximately 20 minutes.

When cool, cut into squares and serve using a sifter to sprinkle fresh powdered sugar on top.image

Another topping option I didn’t make because I was out of cream cheese, and not feeling like a 20 minute drive to the store, is cream cheese frosting. All you need to do is cream together one package of cream cheese, a stick of butter, 2 cups of confectioners’ sugar and 1 tsp. of vanilla extract.  Then top the frosting with chopped walnuts for an extra nutty crunch.image

I’ve never had banana bread this moist, fluffy or tasty before. The top stays sticky where the sugar seems to rise and sit.  The inside is extremely light and fluffy, unlike most banana breads, which are a little dense.  It’s not over-filling and makes a larger quantity than a small bread pan would.  My mom suggested it needed walnuts, which, if you make it with the cream cheese frosting, would be the cherry topping of the sundae.  It’s an easy, grab-and-go breakfast for the week.





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Shake It

I was on my way to the grocery store to attempt a new mediterranean inspired “dip,” to spread on roasted vegetables when my mom’s friend insisted I come home. Turns out I’m on “mom” duty for the next week, so I attempted to make my mom an easy, healthy meal she didn’t have to chew.  This also makes for a vitamin-rich, energy-boosting breakfast.

To make:

  • 1 low-fat yogurt, flavored
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 packet of Amazing Meal
  • 1/4 cup frozen fruit of choice
  • Swig of Fuze juice drink

In a Magic Bullet or blender (I’m turning into a fan of the bullet. You just flip your blender upside down and automatically have a cup with a handle.) blend together the bananas, yogurt, Amazing Meal, a gulps worth of flavored Fuze to create a drinkable consistency, and your favorite frozen fruit for thickness.


We’ve had these Amazing Meal sample packets sitting in the cabinet for quite some time, and what better time to boost your immune system with vitamins than when you are sick?  Unfortunately, our frozen fruit abundance depleted and all I could find were cranberries which seemed like they’d be way to tart for a shake.  They actually helped the overly sweet shake by adding a tart, heartiness. 


Pour in a glass and enjoy!  And don’t let the “green juice,”  as my younger cousin calls it, color scare you away.

It was sweet and delicious.  Overly sweet for my taste buds, but my mom loves fruit, in everything, including salsa.  So she was pleasantly surprised by the fruity natural sugars and thickness that still fit through a straw.

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Filed under Breakfast, Drinks, Food

Fruit Preserves Granola Bars

Fresh. Nutritious. Rich, but not overly sweet.

This recipe is a perfect way to sneak in a serving of fresh fruit and grains to your family, and the best part is it’s a piece of cake to make.

You’ll need:

  • 1 box Jiffy Oatmeal Cookie Mix
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1/4-1/2 cup Fruit Preserve
  • 1/4 cup granola

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.


In a bowl, blend together the room temperature butter and the Jiffy Oatmeal Cookie mix. In an ungreased 8 x 8 baking pan, press a little over half of the mixture into the bottom of the glass pan. Make sure to cover all open spaces with a thin layer.


Next add 1/4-1/2 cup of your favorite fruit preserve. I used Bumbleberry, a jar of Blackberries, Rhubard, Apples, Red Raspberries and sugar that my boss brought back for us all from a U-Pick fruit farm in Michigan.

Going back to your remaining half of the oatmeal and butter combination, stir in 1/4 cup of plain granola.  Sprinkle the chunks on top of the fruit preserves.  There will be open spaces, but scatter the topping as even as possible.image

Cook in the preheated oven for 25-35 minutes or until the top is an inviting golden brown color.  Let cool and cut into squares.

Much the same as coffee cake topping, the crunchy granola-oatmeal globs cook to an excellent, candied, grainy embellishment.  Oozing out of the crevices of the granola topping is the fresh fruit preserve.  It’s a healthier, tastier version of jelly with whole fruit pieces blended with sugar and pectin to make a jelly.  The chunks of fruit characterize the texture of the bars with a slightly mushy, chewy chomp.  At the very bottom, the oatmeal and butter create a solid base holding the whole dish together.  Delicious, nutritious, and will have your family calling you ambitious.


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Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

This is a great treat to wake up to or snack on at lunch.  It can get your kids and husbands to eat their vegetables without even knowing it.  I decided to make this when my boss gave us all club sized zucchini’s from her garden.  I didn’t even use half of the zucchini with two batches of this bread.  That’s some healthy soil right there.image


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1/2 cup Diet Coke
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded zucchini (not packed)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Farenheit.

In a bowl, mix together your dry ingredients: flour, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and chocolate chips.  The whole wheat flour is an acquired taste, so if you prefer, use white. I used mini semi-sweet chocolate chips to accentuate the mini bread loaves I ended up with.image

In another bowl, whisk together the egg, vanilla extract, butter, Diet Coke, milk and zucchini.  The recipe I found on reccommended apple sauce, which would make this bread much sweeter and super moist, but we didn’t have any in the cabinet or fridge.  I took Caroline’s earlier suggestion of Diet Coke in cake batter in place of the wet ingredients.  I minimized the wet ingredients, but added milk for a thicker, heartier dough.  You can also grate the zucchini directly into the dry ingredients bowl, as it will sit directly on top instead of sinking to the bottom of the wet ingredient bowl so you can see how much you have grated.  I used a simple hand cheese grater, which was perfect for the huge size of the zucchini.

Combine your wet ingredient bowl into the dry ingredient bowl and stir until just mixed.  You will see the beautiful green of the zucchini radiating against the dark chocolate chips.  Scrumptious.

Crisco/butter either a 9″ x 5″  bread loaf pan or for my second batch I used 4 mini aluminum loaf pans for an individual touch I could give away at work.  These come with cute plastic covers, but will need a lot of attention with the Crisco/butter in each crease. 

Pour the batter in your pan.



Bake for 50-60 minutes at 325 degrees Farenheit. image
If you are using the mini pans, cook for approximately 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

The zucchini adds a nice texture to the bread, but the taste really comes from the chocolate chips, wheat flour and brown sugar.  I personally didn’t notice a difference in taste when using Diet Coke in place of the “wet ingredients” but in the future will use apple sauce for bread as it will add more moisture.  The Diet Coke would be great in a box cake mix in place of the eggs, oil and water. The wheat flour adds a healthy flavor and slight grain texture that may or may not put you off, so as mentioned, white flour will suffice.   Like my boss did, your husband and kids may ask you if there is really zucchini in the bread.

Add a little butter to your warm slice of bread for moisture, or eat directly from the pan. Either way this chocolatey, thick and flavorful bread is quite appetizing.

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Baby Food Session 2

Ash and I went at it again. Our 3-month expiration date from the first baby food experiment was two days away.  I forgot my food processor, but her extremely nice and helpful neighbor brought over her brand-new, never-before-used baby food maker, the Babea Babycook.   This little machine, which we thought would be a disaster, is designed for making a day to a weeks worth of food at once. Say you want to make carrots (which unfortunately Ash’s baby HATES, so we didn’t try it with them), you just pop in the hard, fresh carrots, add water to the left compartment in the picture and flip the switch to steam. Wa-lah. No extra dishes.  One you are done steaming the carrots all you need to do is remove the plastic steamer part and replace with the orange cover.  The blender/food processor does it all. It will mash these to the perfect pureed consistency needed for baby food.  I’d stray away from the recipes in the book, but if you want to create gourmet baby food, they incorporated together such things as tomatoes, basil and pasta.  The book did have a great way of showing the food groups and how you met all of them for your baby.


This time around, Ash and I used our brains to make everything run more smoothly, or so we thought. This really is a process, but if you only do it every three months, worth every minute spent.  So, thanks again to Tobi for teaching me how to cook a butternut squash because it saved us half an hour of sawing, trying not to cut our fingers off, and a much easier cook time/mash span.  All you have to do is cut the squash in half, add a little olive oil to a roasting pan to keep it from sticking, and broil for 15-25 minutes or until the squash is soft all around.  The peel will then just spoon off and you can easily run your knife through to create manageable sized pieces for blending.  We also found roasting the potatoes, while creating another skin, uses less time.  The steamer would have been perfect for the sweet potatoes.  We also utilized the potato peeler and apple cutter this time around.

As Ash’s baby is now in the 6-9 month range, we were able to eliminate adding formula to his fruits and veggies.  Also, there was no allergic reaction to the first round, so we were able to mix and match.  Ash found that he wasn’t a huge fruit fan, so hopefully by making combinations such as squash, apple, banana, and pineapple he will be more keen on eating the fruits.  Squash and sweet potatoes were among his favorites, so we made extra of these.  We also used new fruits and vegetables, not mixing the new ones together but rather putting one new fruit in with a mix of things we know he is not allergic too.   The only downfall to not adding formula this time around was the fruits are naturally watery and needed something extra to make them less of a soupy disarray.  The sweet potatoes, corn, apples, and banana needed the added juice to fully dissolve, so were great pairs for the marsh-like fruits such as cantaloupe, honey-dew melon, clementine and pineapple.

The corn, green beans, and peas were a LOT easier this time. We learned from shelling sweet peas, that all your hard work amounts to minimal food.  The frozen vegetables and fruits aren’t coated in a syrup or anything unheard of for babies to eat.  We were able to heat these up in the microwave or on the stove top then simply liquefy them in the blender. 

It was easiest to blend everything, set each food aside next to a label and then mix them all together at the end in a bowl.  This created a lot of dishes, but wasn’t a problem thanks to her handy dishwasher. Her sticker label system and perfectly portioned containers again worked great for stacking in her freezer and pulling one by one to defrost in the fridge.  It’s a fun project for anyone that has children starting on solids.

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Erin McGuire’s Morning Eggs

McGuire makes THE best eggs, hands down. So here is my attempt at a recreation of the wonderous things she again cooked for Leah and I last Monday morning.  I unfortunately didn’t have the right vegetables on hand, but these turned out alright too.

You will need:

5-12 eggs
Salt & Pepper
Vegetables: I used diced tomatoes (we were out of the grape tomatoes), spinach, black beans, and dried chili peppers
Dash of Rosemary

Begin by heating your frying pan on low with a teaspoon or so of oil, or Erin usually uses the olive oil spray.  In a mixing bowl whisk together your eggs with some salt and pepper. Add in the vegetables (Cook beforehand if necessary i.e. green peppers and onions) and garlic.  Pour batter into the heated frying pan and top with cheese adn a dash of rosemary.image

The trick is to not touch the eggs. Let them sit and cook on the bottom. When they start to emit steam and you are sure the bottom will be nice and browned, flip the egg batter over to completely cook.  Let this side sit also and brown (not burn).  You will end up with large chunks that are cooked to perfection.  Top with more cheese, salt and pepper and serve.  If you cooked with a whole chili pepper or two, now is the time to remove this.image

There is something about the way McGuire cooks them that I can’t master, as you can see from my picture.  She’d make a dozen or two eggs before tailgating ND football games in college, and even then we raved about her egg cooking abilities.  They still tasted great, but I haven’t mastered the technique of browning them perfectly.  She is going to show me how one day, until then I’ll stick to my mushier, less firm scrambled eggs or letting her cook.  Waking up to the smell of breakfast was absolutely amazing, and I now know what it must feel like to be cooked for. Thanks again McGuire!image

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Filed under Breakfast, Food, Gluten-Free