Archive: Breakfast

Vacay Vittles: Tropical French Toast

I’m going to be straight with you: While the rest of the country has been enduring a December deep freeze, I’ve been enjoying tropical trade winds and 80-degree temps on Vieques, Puerto Rico, my tropical home away from home. Sorry, but somebody has to do it. Ripe papaya. (Kim O'Donnel) In addition to replenishing my vitamin D supply, I’ve been having great fun cooking in the house we’ve rented up on a hill. The kitchen is well equipped and has a sunset view at dinnertime, with an occasional rainbow emerging after a late afternoon shower. We’re here this week with two other couples, including fellow Post blogger Liz Kelly (Celebritology). Sarah (aka Mrs. Fonz) arrived with a loaf of challah bread from a Jewish bakery in New York. All three gals immediately shouted “French Toast!” and I began to think of the breakfast-y possibilities, what with papaya in the fridge,...

 

By Kim ODonnel | December 18, 2008; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (3)

'Morning, Sunshine: Is Breakfast on Your Menu?

Last week's issue of New York magazine takes on breakfast, a tasty multi-course spread on the meal that people either love or hate. We've all been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, the fuel that fires up the engine and takes your brain to a higher level. As much as I do appreciate the sound advice, I rarely wake up hankering for a meal to start to the day. I'm an early bird alright, but I prefer my worms after coffee, thanks. One of my favorite parts of the New York package is "What I Ate This Morning" poll; the responses are fascinating, covering the gamut from cigarettes to four hard-boiled eggs. All this breakfast banter got me thinking: What happens when you rise and shine? Does breakfast figure into your routine, and if so, is it a slow or rushed affair? When I waited...

 

By Kim ODonnel | June 9, 2008; 08:31 AM ET | Comments (0)

Neighborhood Crumb Cake

There's a place near Casa Appetite, a place where the Mister and I like to go if nobody feels like cooking. It's become our neighborhood joint, even though it's too far to walk and it's not really a joint at all. I grew up just outside of Philadelphia, where diners and delis were (and still are) an integral part of the cultural landscape. This kind of localized, community eating is harder to come by in a cosmo city like Washington, so when you do find a neighborhood spot, you latch on real quick and don't let go. Crumb cake, a reminder of the good ole days. (Kim O'Donnel) The place in question is The Liberty Tavern, a renovated historic building (a Masonic lodge in a former life) on a corner in Clarendon, Va. The cool kids probably know it more as the 'in' place for a drink, but we've managed...

 

By Kim ODonnel | February 15, 2008; 10:32 AM ET | Comments (8)

Leftover Pumpkin Gets a Breakfast-y Makeover

There was talk in Friday's blog space about what to do with leftover turkey and the more obvious Thanksgiving trimmings such as cranberries and stuffing. However, I overlooked the lonely container of pumpkin puree sitting in my fridge, one cup remaining from dessert and begging to be used. Pumpkin pancakes: A great way to use up leftover puree. (Kim O'Donnel) I immediately thought of the jug of Vermont maple syrup given to me by my visiting father-in-law, and wondered if there was a way to combine the two ingredients into some kind of wonderful breakfast over the long holiday weekend. Pancakes are among my favorite things to make for those rare lingering mornings (although recently, I made blue corn pancakes one Thursday pre-work morning for me and Mister MA, to which he declared, "Let's have pancakes every Thursday!"), and I kept thinking, if only I could come up with a...

 

By Kim ODonnel | November 26, 2007; 09:25 AM ET | Comments (13)

Fixing Your Own Granola

Breakfast cereal is an American invention. Rewind the tape all the way back to the mid-1800s (way before Tony and his frosted flakes), when one Sylvester Graham, a Presbyterian minister, created "graham bread," the first version of graham crackers. Homemade granola, just out of the oven. (Kim O'Donnel) His curiosity and desire to diversify his vegetarian diet paved the way for granola. By the 1860s, Graham had developed "granula," baked graham crackers broken into smaller pieces and soaked overnight in milk to make it soft enough to eat for breakfast. Over the next 20 years, a Seventh Day Adventist by the name of John Harvey Kellogg (yes, that one), also tinkered in the kitchen to make his own version of a ready-to-eat cereal, which he also called granula. The Graham posse challenged Mr. Kellogg in court, which forced him to change the name to "granola." The rest, as you may...

 

By Kim ODonnel | May 1, 2007; 10:59 AM ET | Comments (0)

Eureka! Homemade English Muffins

In this week's What's Cooking chat, a reader from Honolulu asked for a recipe for homemade English muffins To the muffin-y rescue came a reader from Oakland, Calif., who shared a tried-and-true recipe from Winos and Foodies, a New Zealand-based blog. Oakland was kind enough to convert the measurements for us non-metric cooks. Details are below. English muffins getting griddled. (Kim O'Donnel) Also an English muffin virgin, I took this recipe as a cue. It was my turn as well to get griddlin' and see what the fuss was all about. I've always been impressed by restaurants turning out their own English muffins, but for some reason never thought I should recreate the experience myself. I kept thinking I'd never get that nooks and crannies thing down like our old pal Thomas. I studied the recipe several times and kept thinking, what's the catch? This seems so easy. I even...

 

By Kim ODonnel | March 22, 2007; 10:33 AM ET | Comments (29)

Banana Muffins for a Good Cause

Today's post is for banana lovers only; if you're not a yellow-peeled fan, I apologize in advance (plus, I come without ideas for substitutions). However, the recipe in question, which comes from Heidi Swanson's "Super Natural Cooking," asks us to re-evaluate our pantries in the spirit of more wholesome, healthful eating. Swanson goes the extra mile to source out more wholesome ingredients for her recipes, which, in some cases, bear some explanation. Banana-walnut muffins flavored with a jolt of espresso. (Kim O'Donnel) To wit, the Espresso Banana Muffins that I tried out over the weekend call for natural cane sugar rather than regular ole white granulated stuff and white whole-wheat flour rather than all-purpose. Although I'm a regular user of natural cane sugar (sugar from sugarcane -- not from beets -- with a natural brown color), it was my first time working with white whole-wheat flour, and for that I...

 

By Kim ODonnel | March 19, 2007; 11:01 AM ET | Comments (16)

Make Way for Beignets

I know, it's been a tough week in weather land. If you're lucky, you've got a long holiday weekend just ahead, with some extra time to recover from the wintry mishegas. An extra day also means more time to play in the kitchen. It's a chance to dive into projects that are either too complicated or time consuming for the average worknight supper. The afternoon is all yours to get floured up, fried on and just plain curious. Beignets and coffee. (Kim O'Donnel) This weekend in particular coincides with two distinctly different, culinary-centric cultural events - Chinese New Year (Sunday, Feb. 18) and Mardi Gras (Tuesday, Feb. 20). Today, I present Weekend Project Option Number One - beignets (say BEN-YAY), that classic New Orleans fried-dough snack and quintessential breakfast treat. Until last week, I had never made beignets, a dish I supposed I'd leave to the experts. That assumption, it...

 

By Kim ODonnel | February 15, 2007; 10:49 AM ET | Comments (23)

Breakfast Breadcrumbs

After a revelatory experience with a batch of buttermilk-infused white bread, I decided to keep going. I was on a roll, a loaf run, a trail of bread crumbs. (Okay, okay, I'll stop.) Aside from my excitement level that was running on a bread-adrenalin high, I wanted to see what it would be like to bake bread two consecutive days in a row. Breakfast of champions: Raisin-walnut bread. (Kim O'Donnel) With a soft crumb that made me nostalgic for Pepperidge Farm's "Very Thin White Bread" (white paper lining wrapped inside plastic bag), the buttermilk white was a bit tangy by its lonesome, but I loved it with jam, and saw promise in its toastability. Yesterday's lunch was one slice folded over, bookending a piece of leftover roast chicken -- a pairing that was reminiscent of a steamed Chinese bun -- sweet, soft and well, maybe too soft for everyday use....

 

By Kim ODonnel | January 10, 2007; 10:15 AM ET | Comments (10)

Happy Halloween, Pumpkin Muffin

Pumpkin bread is one of my favorite things in the world. It's one of the few reasons I tolerate autumn (the other being the almighty apple). In my book, things get even better when raisins are thrown into the mix, but I know not everyone shares my love for the teeny dried fruit. (Those mini boxes of Sun-Maid raisins have been a thread in my life since grade school.) Pumpkin muffins studded with raisins and pepitas (Kim O'Donnel) I like how pumpkin bread settles in with a cup of coffee, be it breakfast or late-afternoon snack time. I take comfort in its golden harvest color, its spicy perfume and its earthy crumb. With Halloween just a few days away and the doorstep jack-o-lantern de rigeur (at least for this weekend), a pumpkin-y treat is undoubtedly in order. In keeping with a festive theme, I upped the pumpkin ante and made...

 

By Kim ODonnel | October 27, 2006; 10:27 AM ET | Comments (30)

Let Them Eat (Breakfast) Cake

I'm a sucker for summer bounty. I spend hours upon hours strolling the local farmers markets, overloading my bag with various berries and stonefruit as they come into season. There's nothing better in the mornings than a breakfast of fresh fruit, but there are only so many blueberry pancakes and bowls of fruit-topped granola and cereal that I can take. Never one to turn down indulgences before noon, I've turned to making fruit-laden breakfast cakes. Less sugary than coffee cakes, breakfast cakes are a delicious way to showcase summer fruit. They're also a luxurious offering to houseguests -- I revel in presenting homemade baked breakfasts to unsuspecting visitors. Simple to throw together, pretty as a picture and divine the following day, these beauties also work as a simple dessert with vanilla ice cream. As they dry out, I top them with a bit of vanilla yogurt. The blueberry pudding cake...

 

By Erin | July 25, 2006; 08:33 AM ET | Comments (0)

Breakfast Club

Saturday morning, I was faced with a classic farmer's market dilemma: Raspberries were on sale -- 2 half pints for $5 -- but would I be able to use them before they turned to mush? The humidity already pushed them one step closer to raspberry puree, so I would have to act fast. Raspberry-corn muffins. (Kim O'Donnel) As I stood in line waiting to pay, my mind raced over the various damaged razzie possibilities. A vinaigrette would be nice, but I was hankering for coffee and a carb. That's it. I would make muffins. On the drive home, I remembered the tried-and-true-ability of "The Best Quick Breads" by bread guru Beth Hensperger. I peeled through my batter-stained pages and sure enough, there was something I could do with raspberries and a muffin tin. From start to finish, these lovelies take an hour, and they stay moist (if wrapped in plastic)...

 

By Kim ODonnel | July 17, 2006; 10:29 PM ET | Comments (0)

Gluten-Free True-Blue Breakfast

Always on the lookout for new cookbooks, I was eager to crack open my newly arrived copy of "World Vegetarian Classics" by American-Brit cook Celia Brooks Brown. In addition to penning cookbooks, Brown appears on BBC's food channel and is a private chef, whose celeb client list includes Chrissie Hynde and Stella McCartney. When shopping for a new veggie title, I was particularly drawn to Brown's assertion (stated on her Web site) that "Vegetarian food still has a boring, brown, 'socks and sandals' stigma" which she has endeavored to reverse. If photos are an important ingredients in your cookbooks, this title will appeal; they are big and beautiful and dotted throughout the book. Brown has compiled 220 recipes from around the world, neatly organized by continent. Although keen to try the Pacha Rice (Egypt) and the Akara with Pilipili (black eye pea cakes from Nigeria), I made a beeline for...

 

By Kim ODonnel | July 17, 2006; 09:52 AM ET | Comments (0)

 

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