Spring is my favorite time of year! There are so many things that I love about this season. Sundresses, birds chirping, bright green grass, and of course asparagus. Asparagus that can be made into a tasty asparagus frittata! So delicious! Did you know that May is National Asparagus Month? Go grab a bunch and get cooking!
I actually hated asparagus as a kid. That’s probably because It is abundant at my parents’ house and we ate it all the time growing up. Like every night. Dinner was usually something on the grill, asparagus and spinach salad. I also detested spinach salad for many years. It really wasn’t until about five or six years ago that I started to love vegetables as much as I do. I would turn my nose up at tomatoes or raw mushrooms and now I basically eat them by the pint! That has been a really beneficial part of growing up, especially as a vegetarian, because it was difficult to eat the right way when I was so picky! I’m glad that stage is behind me, but I still gag if I get a mouthful of mustard and can not stomach a green olive. Ick.
This asparagus fritatta is a wonderful breakfast or brunch meal, but I’d be lying if I said I don’t make it for dinner too! Light and fluffy eggs, a touch of salty parmesan and wonderfully tender asparagus. I used a feta asparagus frittata recipe from Taste of Home as a starting point. I used parmesan instead of feta and decreased the eggs so it would more easily feed two. I served it with a fruit salad and we still had some leftovers! If you add some chopped ham, or serve with a breakfast meat, I really think you could make this serve up to four!
- 5 eggs
- 11-12 asparagus spears
- 2 Tbsp onion, minced or finely chopped
- 1 T olive oil
- 2 Tbsp cream
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan
- 2 T grated parmesan
- pinch of salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 350. Cut the woody ends from asparagus spears and discard.
- In a bowl, whisk eggs, cream, salt and pepper, grated parmesan, and all but a handful of shredded parmesan and set aside.
- Add asparagus and a small amount of water to a large skillet a cook over over medium heat until crisp-tender.
- Drain water from pan and remove stalks. Cut each spear to half the length of the pan you intend to bake the fritatta in. Leave the end with the tip whole, but finely dice the ends.
- Add diced asparagus, onions, and oil to skillet. Cook over medium heat for several minutes, until onions are fragrant.
- Add egg mixture and and cook 3-5 minutes, until nearly set. Arrange remaining stalks on top of eggs and sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 7-8 minutes, until completely set.
I’ve really been loving cauliflower lately. When I saw it was on sale last week at my local grocery store, I was all over that! I debated making a batch of my favorite cheesy cauliflower soup, but knew I should crawl out of my comfort zone and come up with something new. I decided on a cheesy cauliflower bake. I wanted it to be super cheesy and creamy in the center with a crispy panko topping. That is exactly what I got; it was perfect!
After browsing quite a few recipes for inspiration (on pinterest, of course), I settled on a recipe to use as a template for my delicious creation. I started with this cheesy cauliflower bake recipe from Mels Kitchen Cafe, added onions, changed out the topping, and made a few other adjustments.
I like to use sharper cheeses for dishes like this or homemade mac and cheese; I absolutely love that sharp taste when the cheese is melted. I used a mix of sharp cheddar and mozzarella (about 1 1/2 c cheddar and 1/2 c mozzarella), because it was what I had in my fridge, but of course, you could use any cheese you like. I wanted to cut some calories so I stuck with 1% milk for this dish. You can substitute heavy cream or half and half (or half cream and half stock/broth as Mel did) for the milk, and it might turn out thicker/creamier. Don’t get me wrong, this cauliflower bake was creamy; but it wasn’t terribly thick. Overall, I’m super happy with this side dish and will definitely make it again! It will be perfect for family get-togethers over the holidays or an easy potluck dish!
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp flour
- 2 1/2 cups milk, slightly warm
- 1 head of cauliflower, broken into florets
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1/2 tsp dried parsley
- 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 2 cups shredded cheese, divided (I used sharp cheddar + mozzarella)
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs.
- Preheat oven to 350.
- In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and flour and cook until golden and fragrant.
- Slowly whisk in the milk. Add cauliflower, onions, parsley, mustard, salt, and pepper and stir.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for 6-8 minutes, until cauliflower is tender.
- Remove from heat and stir in 1 1/2 cups of the shredded cheese and all of the grated parmesan.
- Pour mixture into a 9x13 baking dish and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and sprinkle with remaining cheese and panko breadcrumbs.
- Bake an additional 10 minutes until topping is golden brown.
You may substitute heavy cream or half and half (or half cream and half stock/broth) for the milk to make it thicker.
When it comes to breakfast, I don’t mess around. No cheap granola bars or sugar-coated cereal here…okay, maybe sometimes, but I try to be both creative and healthy on the regular!
You know what they say: breakfast is the most important meal of the day! On my days off of work, I even wake up and make my husband breakfast…aren’t I just the sweetest?! No, I just know how important it is to eat right (especially at breakfast) and if I didn’t give him a push in that direction, he’d happily eat Honeycomb or Cap’n Crunch every morning.
I actually had to start slowly and work my way toward being able to eat much in the morning. I used to get a stomach ache if I had more than a piece of fruit in the first hour that I was awake, but I’m now able to eat breakfast foods full of protein and fiber without feeling sick at all! These pancakes may not be full of protein or fiber, but they sure are delicious!
Can you ever really go wrong with funfetti or cake mix? Nope. Put them together and what do we get? Well, look at those sprinkles.
Delicious. And sprinkles don’t lie.
These pancakes are so much fun! They’d be perfect for a birthday breakfast or brunch! I encourage you to try them; you could even add cake mix (and sprinkles!) to premade/store-bought pancake mix. I’ve said before that sprinkles make everything better and these pancakes are here to testify to that!
Funfetti Cake Batter Pancakes with Buttercream Icing
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1/2 cup cake mix
- 1/2 Tbsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/8tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 Tbsp melted butter
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 3 Tbsp sprinkles
- 4 Tbsp butter, softened
- 1 - 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat nonstick pan or griddle over medium heat.
- In a medium bowl, mix flour, cake mix, sugar, baking soda, and salt with a whisk.
- In a separate large bowl, lightly beat the egg, then whisk in milk, melted butter, and vanilla.
- Add the dry ingredients and whisk until incorporated. Adjust consistency by adding flour or milk until you reach your desired thickness. Fold in the sprinkles.
- Scoop 1/4 cup sized amounts onto the griddle and cook until bubbles appear throughout the pancake and the edges begin to cook; this will only take a couple minutes. Then flip and cook the opposite side for an additional 1-2 minutes, until golden brown.
- For the icing: Beat butter until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar and continue to beat until incorporated, add additional powdered sugar to thicken if desired.
Eggs in a Basket are pretty high on my list of favorite breakfast foods. And I Really love breakfast, so that’s saying something. To add a festive twist to this otherwise very ordinary breakfast, I used a heart cookie cutter to cut the center of the bread out. My heart isn’t as noticeable when cooked because the bread slid a little bit when I flipped it, but I promise it was there, see?
This really is so simple to make, just butter a pan and turn it to medium heat. Cut a hole in a slice of bread with a cookie cutter, glass, jar, or even tear it. You can cook it sunny side up if you’d like, just brown the bread on one side for a couple minutes, then flip it, and crack an egg into it. Cover and let cook until it is done. I prefer cracking the egg into the bread right away, cooking it on one side for a couple minutes, flipping it, and cooking the other side.
French toast is one of my favorite things to eat – if not MY favorite – and because it’s so easy to make, it’s also one of my favorite breakfasts to prepare. This bananas foster sauce was a completely wonderful addition to an already perfect breakfast meal. It was so sweet and flavorful and it made the whole kitchen smell absolutely delicious! I can see myself making it again to serve over ice cream.
French Toast: (serves 3-4)
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk (or regular milk)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- 6 – 8 pieces of bread
- butter for greasing the pan
- Mix eggs, almond milk. vanilla and cinnamon with a fork or whisk in a wide, shallow bowl.
- Add a small amount of butter to a large frying pan and heat on medium-high heat.
- Dip bread slices in egg mixture for at least 10 seconds on each side, then place on frying pan. Cook until bottom is golden brown, flip and repeat.
Bananas Foster Sauce: (adapted from http://basil-albi.blogspot.com))
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 maple syrup
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of nutmeg, allspice, and salt
- 2 bananas (slightly underripe), sliced
- Melt butter over low heat. Add brown sugar and stir until dissolved.
- Add maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg. allspice and salt and cook for three minutes.
- Bring it to a simmer, add the bananas and cook covered for five minutes.
We’ve all had pizza for breakfast. Like cold leftover pizza – I’m not the only one, right? It’s not a great breakfast, but it’s a quick solution when you oversleep and have thirty seconds to grab a slice and walk out the door. Don’t be deceived by the title, though, this is not that kind of breakfast. This is on a separate, much more appropriate ‘pizza for breakfast’ level! Sometimes traditional breakfast food gets repetitive, but with a recipe like this (or cinnamon roll pancakes!) to excite your tastebuds, you’ll never get bored!
Breakfast Pizza (serves 2)
- 12-inch size pizza dough (recipe follows)
- 1 tsp pesto
- 2 Tbsp chopped green onions
- 1/4 cup diced tomato
- 1/4 cup shredded mozzerella cheese
- 2 Tbsp shredded parmesan cheese
- 2 eggs (you could do 3, too)
- I made the dough the night before. I divided it into 4 portions, and froze 3 of them. I put the remaining 12-inch portion in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, take dough from fridge and let it set on the counter for at least 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425.
- Shape with your hands or roll out the dough to desired shape and place on a baking sheet. (We like thicker crust, so we rolled it to ~10 inches) Build up the crust and poke the bottom several times with a fork.
- Bake at 425 for 5 minutes.
- Remove dough and spread pesto over the top. Sprinkle the cheeses, then green onions and tomatoes. Crack the eggs over the top. If you don’t like runny egg yolks, you could whisk the eggs first and then pour them over the top.
- Bake for an additional 11-13 minutes, until crust is golden and eggs start to firm.
Basic Pizza Dough (from food.com) (makes 4 12-in crusts)
- 3 cups flour
- 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 Tbsp oil
- Whisk together 1 3/4 cup flour, salt and yeast. Add warm water and oil and wisk for 3 minutes.
- Add 1 1/4 cup more flour and mix with a wooden spoon.
- Place dough on floured surface and knead an additional 1/4-1/2 cup flour into the dough, until it is lump free.
- At this point, divide the dough and wrap what you won’t be using in saran wrap and freeze (each quarter of the dough is a 12-inch circle). When ready to use, thaw dough in the refrigerator.
- Preheat oven to 425 and let thawed dough set at room temp for 10 minutes before shaping. Then roll dough out to desired size.
- Place on baking sheet, build up the crust a bit and poke the bottom with a fork several times. As long as there is flour over the bottom, it shouldn’t stick to the pan.
- Bake for 8 minutes at 425, add toppings, and bake an additional 8 minutes.
My love of breakfast food is no secret. There is no shame in whipping up a batch of french toast for dinner or having a late night bowl of cereal – In college, I spent many nights sitting in the dorm hallway with one of my good friends and a
bowl bag of cereal. You can imagine my excitement when I happened upon these Cinnamon Roll Pancakes – I was inspired. That next weekend they made an appearance on my stove-top, with a few minor alterations to the recipe. I used these copycat IHOP pancakes as the base, and made a couple changes to the cinnamon swirl and icing. I’ve actually never been to IHOP so I can’t say whether the pancakes were comparable or not, but they sure were delicious! And that icing? Amazing! It was the perfect union of cinnamon rolls and pancakes.
Copycat IHOP Pancakes (serves 4-5):
- 1 1/2 cup flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/4 cup buttermilk (or if you’re me, 1 Tbsp lemon juice + the remaining milk to make 1 1/4 cup)
- 2 Tbsp butter, melted
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together.
- Add egg, sugar, buttermilk, butter and vanilla and continue to whisk until no clumps remain.
- Preheat a pan until a drop of water sizzles immediately when dropped onto pan.
- Place ~1/4 cup of batter on griddle and pipe cinnamon swirl over the top. Flip when the middle is bubbly and the ends begin to cook.
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
Combine everything in a small bowl and mix with a whisk or fork. Transfer to a plastic bag and snip the corner.
Cream Cheese Icing:
- 1/4 cup butter
- 3 oz cream cheese
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3/4-1 cup powdered sugar
- Put butter and cream cheese in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir, and continue to melt for 15 second intervals until completely melted.
- Add vanilla and powdered sugar and whisk until smooth.
- Spoon onto pancakes and enjoy!
These are not your average banana muffins. These babies are L-O-A-D-E-D. Banana oat muffins with browned butter, walnuts, milk chocolate and semisweet chocolate chips, and an oat crumb topping.
Yep, they taste just as amazing as they sound. Light and moist, and not overly sweet. They are appropriately muffin-y, not like some banana muffins that just taste like banana bread in a muffin cup. Perfectly delicious.
Muffins are one of my favorite breakfasts on the go. I must admit that I love all breakfast foods, but I especially love the convenience of something that is already baked and ready for me!
I highly recommend browning the butter, it adds a slightly nutty depth of flavor that I especially love with the banana flavor here. If you aren’t sure how to do it or how to know when your butter is browned, there is an excellent tutorial on how to brown butter from How Sweet It Is, complete with pictures for each step. That said, simply melting the butter will suffice. You can leave out the chocolate chips or walnuts or swap in whatever you’d like.
Loaded Banana Oat Muffins
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 cups old fashioned oats
- 3 bananas, mashed
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup milk chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Oat Crumb Topping
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp flour
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp cold butter
- 2 Tbsp old fashioned oats
- Prepare Oat Crumb Topping: Mix brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in the butter with a fork or pastry cutter until the mixture is crumbly. Add oats and combine.
- Grease or line a muffin tin with paper liners. Preheat oven to 375.
- Brown the butter. (you could just melt it if you don't want to take the extra step to brown it). This can be done on the stove or in the microwave. To use the stove, just heat over medium heat until fizzing and cracking stops, the butter turns brown and has a nutty aroma. In the microwave, microwave high for a minute, then stir, then continue to microwave at 20-30 second intervals and stir, until the same (should take about 5 minutes).
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and oats with a whisk.
- In a separate bowl, add mashed banana, sugar, egg, and brown butter and mix (you can use a beater, but a wooden spoon works just as well).
- Add the dry and wet ingredients together and mix until just combined (don't over-mix), then fold in walnuts and chocolate chips.
- Spoon batter into prepared pan and sprinkle with crumb topping.
- Bake for 18 minutes.
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 5.3 oz container of vanilla greek yogurt
- 3 medium bananas, mashed (1 1/2 cups)
- one 3.4-ounce box vanilla instant pudding
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste
- Preheat oven to 350F; grease (or spray) and flour the pan.
- In a large microwave-safe mixing bowl, melt the butter, about 1 minute.
- To the melted butter, add the sugars, eggs, vanilla, yogurt, and stir or whisk to combine. Add the bananas and stir to incorporate.
- Add the dry pudding mix and stir to combine.
- Add the flour, baking soda, salt, and stir until just combined, taking care not to over-mix or bread will be tougher.
- Pour batter into pan and bake for 50 to 58 minutes, or until top is golden and set, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
- Allow bread to cool in the loaf pan for at least 20 minutes before removing from the pan and transferring to a rack to finish cooling.
Vanilla Browned Butter Glaze
- 1/4 cup butter (half stick)
- 1-1 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted (I used just over a cup)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1-2 Tbsp cream or milk (I used 1 1/2 tbsp milk)
- Brown the butter. You can do this on the stovetop by heating the butter over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 5 to 7 minutes, or in the microwave by microwaving on high for 5 to 7 minutes. It is done when it turns a nice brown color and there is no more sputtering or foaming, and has a nutty aroma. Just be sure to watch it closely and start checking it every 15-to-30 seconds starting at about the 5-minute mark. Transfer hot butter to medium-sized mixing bowl and allow it to cool for about 10 minutes.
- Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and whisk to combine.
- Based on desired glaze consistency and taste preference, add the cream one tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached, playing with sugar and cream ratios as necessary.
- Spoon or drizzle glaze over the top of the bread before slicing and serving.
Nervous about browning butter? Check out this tutorial at Ambitious Kitchen – its awesome!
Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day…well, I should say breakfast food is my favorite type of food because I have no shame in eating breakfast at any hour. Honestly, I’m usually in such a zombie-like state in the morning that I just have a piece of fruit…it’s not until after a cup of coffee that I can actually get myself to cook something. But, a midday egg burrito? You betcha! Pancakes for dinner? Yes, please! Late Night Waffles? Say no more.
This eggnog French toast is festive and delicious! I made is using homemade bread and it had a wonderful, rich flavor. This serves one or two but you can double or triple the recipe as needed!
Eggnog French Toast
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup eggnog
- pinch cinnamon
- pinch nutmeg
- 2-3 pieces of bread
- With a fork, whisk the egg, eggnog, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl big enough for dipping.
- Dip the bread in the egg mixture and allow it to soak for a couple minutes.
- Butter a hot pan or griddle and place bread on it.
- Cook for a few minutes on each side until golden brown.