Tag Archives: Breakfast

Week of the Garbage Plate: Crispy Homefries

This is a tried and true method for making crispy homefries, straight from someone who always mucks it up. Either they take forever, or they come out unevenly cooked, or they burn… but these are perfect. Delicious, crispy, soft on the inside, and evenly cooked.

These homefries will sit nicely next to your cold mac salad on the plate, serving as a lovely little bed and ready to hold your burgers. But that’s the next step, and you’ll have to wait til tomorrow for that gem.

On the menu:
Crispy homefries
Serves 4 (or makes enough for 2 plates)

4 large potatoes (Russet or Idaho will work fine), diced into 1/2 inch cubes
3 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil
Salt and pepper

Place diced potatoes between two damp paper towels and microwave them for 2 minutes on high. Heat oil in a large heavy bottomed iron skillet over medium heat. Add potatoes in a single layer and do not touch them for four minutes! This step is so important to get the crispiest crust possible. After cooking for 4 minutes, toss the potatoes and let rest for cooking again for 4 minutes. Continue this process for around 20 – 30 minutes or until the potatoes are crisp and golden on all sides.

Remove potatoes from the skillet and put on a paper towel to drain the excess oil. Toss immediately with salt and pepper. Plate next to mac salad on a large plate.

Note: It should be noted that because these potatoes are the basis of your plate, they’re not overly flavored on purpose. If you’re making these for breakfast, I would add diced onions and finely chopped red and green peppers after the potatoes have cooked for around 15 minutes.

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Banana Muffins with Brown Sugar Glaze


I found this recipe on a great food blog called That’s So Yummy and they call for brown sugar cream cheese frosting. But you all know how I feel about waiting for baked goods to cool before I frost them. So I combined this recipe with my donut muffin topping and VOILA. When The BF tasted one he said, “Is there BUTTER on these?! You’re gonna give me a coronary…” And then he happily ate 2 more. We call that success.

On the menu:
Banana muffins with brown sugar glaze
Makes 14 muffins
Adapted from this recipe at That’s So Yummy

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cupcake tin with muffin papers.

In a large bowl, combine butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Blend in the egg. Add mashed bananas and stir with a spoon until incorporated. Add flour, then baking soda, then baking powder, then cinnamon, then nutmeg, then salt. Mix all ingredients together by hand with a large spoon. Add milk and vanilla and stir until combined.

Fill each muffin cup to almost full (5/6 full). Bake for around 37 – 40 minutes or until tops are light brown in color. Remove muffins from tin and let cool for 5 minutes before glazing.

Glaze:
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon

In a small saucepan, melt butter and brown sugar together over low heat. Pour into a shallow bowl and whisk in cinnamon. Note: this mixture will probably separate, so you might have to whisk it back together every 3 – 4 muffins.

Dip the top of the muffin in the butter/sugar mixture and let cool on a wire rack. Or, eat every single muffin before they cool. I won’t blame you.

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Cherry Vanilla Waffles

I feel I have to start off with an apology for this sad picture. These waffles do not look very appetizing, but lately I’ve had this food-blogger-problem where I eat everything before I photograph it. And honestly, who wants to read a post about food if they can’t see what it looks like first? I know this, friends, because I am of the same ilk. So while I missed out on sharing a zucchini, sun dried tomato, lemon ravioli, and a skillet lasagna, I couldn’t miss out on sharing this one, too.

I used cherries in this recipe because I found them at a little bodega for $1.25 a pound (A DOLLAR TWENTY FIVE A POUND! Thank you, Queens!) and had a surplus. But you could use any ripe, sweet berry.

On the menu:
Cherry vanilla waffles
Makes 2 full sized Belgian waffles

NOTE: You will need a waffle iron for this! I have no idea how you’d do it without one. Sorry Charlie.

1 1/3 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
8 Tbsp egg whites*
1/2 cup butter (1 stick) melted
1 3/4 cups milk
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup cherries, pitted and quartered

Preheat your waffle iron.

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together. Add melted butter, vanilla, and milk and blend until combined. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixture just until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into the batter just until incorporated. Add cherries and stir until evenly distributed in the batter.

Pour 2 full cups of batter onto the griddle, adding a bit of extra just so the batter reaches the far corners of the iron. Cook each waffle according to your iron’s specifications. Top with butter and maple syrup, or lemon curd, or powdered sugar, or just eat them straight off the griddle. Not that I would do that. Just saying.

*Note: the original recipe that I based this on (from Food.com) calls for 2 eggs, separated. I think using all egg whites gives the waffles a lighter texture and I usually have a carton of egg whites in my fridge. If you do want to use 2 eggs, just separate the egg and yolk, add the yolk into the dry ingredients during Step 1, and follow the rest of the directions as written regarding the egg whites. Still easy and still delicious!

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What Is a Meal?

Pancakes with bacon hidden inside, topped with apples

I have an ongoing discussion with my friend Nicole on what constitutes a meal. I vehemently defend anything I’ve ever posted on this blog, and she denies most of it.

Nicole: Macaroni and cheese is NOT a meal.
DISAGREE

Nicole: Pancakes are cake, NOT a meal.
DISAGREE

Nicole: A muffin is NOT breakfast, it’s cake.
DISAGREE

Now, anyone who knows me knows that I can pretty much call anything into a meal. For one solid week last year I ate nothing but chocolate cake and red wine for dinner. If it’s 6PM, and I eat a slice of cake and drink a glass of wine, and then I’m full, and then I go to bed… how come that’s not dinner? I’m not feeding it to my growing children, or even my hungry boyfriend. Nicole would probably argue that there is literally zero nutritional value in chocolate cake and red wine (except for all those antioxidants! what whaaaaat). And that’s her argument against macaroni and cheese, and pancakes, too. Zero nutritional value. Does a “meal” have to have a certain amount of nutritional value to actually be worthy of the name? I dare you to find a single, city-living lady who has never called cheese and crackers dinner.

What do you think, guys? What’s a meal? Are pancakes a meal if you add bacon? Or top them with apples? Why is spaghetti with sauce and garlic bread considered dinner, but not pancakes? Why is a bowl of Lucky Charms breakfast, but not slice of pound cake (FYI: they both have TONS of sugar). Is greasy Chinese takeout a meal even though it has endless amounts of MSG, fat, and oil? How about a pepperoni pizza?

I rarely ask outright for your comments, but this time I want them! Go ahead. Comment away. That’s right… I’m lookin’ at you.

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Lemony Goodness


One time I had a friend over for dinner and she offered to bring dessert. “What’s your favorite?” she asked. “Cake,” I answered. “In all its forms.”

To me, and George Costanza*, a muffin is just a piece of cake that’s acceptable to eat for breakfast. So I bake a lot of muffins. A. Lot. These are moist, delicious, and they have so much lemon in them that they’re actually a bit tart. Sunday was so sunny and spring-like that lemon muffins seemed like a no brainer.

On the menu:
Lemon Yogurt Muffins
Makes 12 muffins 

1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp lemon zest
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1 cup plain yogurt
6 Tbsp butter, melted
1 Tbsp lemon juice

Glaze:
1/3 cup lemon juice (the juice from 2 lemons)
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp lemon zest

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a medium sized bowl, combine first 6 ingredients. In a separate bowl, blend egg, yogurt, melted butter, and lemon juice together with an electric mixer. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients, just until moistened. Fill lined or greased baking cups 2/3 full. Bake for 20 – 22 minutes, or until tops of muffins are lightly browned.

Let muffins cool for 5 minutes. In the meantime, in a small saucepan over low heat, combine lemon juice, sugar, and lemon zest until combined. Poke 6 – 8 holes into each muffin (still in the pan) and spoon 1/2 Tbsp of glaze over each muffin. Let cool for 30 minutes and then remove from the pan.

*”Anyway, so I was coming along here, and I felt like a piece of cake, you know? But then I thought, it’s morning, I should really have a muffin. I like those chocolate chip ones. Then I figured, well, they’re really both cake. So I, uh, I sat on that bench for a little while, twenty minutes or an hour, and then I figured, check and see what you were up to.” – Seinfeld

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Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Muffins: A Love Story


If I could, I would make everything into a pancake. The lemon/blueberry combo idea has been on my mind for weeks and weeks, so naturally I decided I would make them into pancakes along with the tub of ricotta I had in the fridge. But The BF not-so-subtly reminded me that I had made pancakes every weekend for 2 weeks and maybe not everyone is cool with a steady diet of pancakes… I don’t claim to understand those types of people, and maybe I never will.

In any case, I gave in and made the next best thing: muffins. And let me tell you kiddies… these are good. Really, really good. If you’ve never baked with ricotta before, or have been skeptical, these will have you singin’ a different tune.

On the menu:
Blueberry lemon ricotta muffins
Makes 12 muffins

2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup milk
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
Zest of 2 lemons
1 cup blueberries (I used frozen but if you have sweet, fresh blueberries, use ’em!)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to blend together the ricotta, milk, and butter until completely blended. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add the lemon zest and mix well.

Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix together just until incorporated. Add the blueberries and stir together with a rubber spatula*. Your batter should be relatively firm, but if it’s on the dry side you can add just a splash of milk.

Divide batter evenly into 12 pre-greased or lined baking cups. Bake for 26 – 30 minutes, or until the tops are a light golden brown color. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for around 15 minutes. Remove from the pan and let cool completely.

*Note: fresh blueberries are very delicate and you’ll want to be careful mixing them into the batter so they don’t get squashed. And yes… squashed is a technical term.

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Chocolate Therapy


Ever have one of those days? You know what I mean. THOSE days. When anyone who crosses your path is gonna get an earful whether they asked for it or not? That was Saturday. I blame the phases of the moon.

In any case, here’s a recipe for one of those days. This recipe is surprisingly healthy, compared to store bought muffins. If you’re craving something sweet, these definitely fit the bill without completely desecrating your diet.

On the menu:
Chocolate muffins
Makes 24 muffins

2 2/3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 cup sour cream (I used reduced fat)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk (I used 1%)
1 apple, shredded
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. In a different bowl, beat together the eggs, sour cream, water, milk, apple, and vanilla. Combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients just until incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips.

Line each cup of the muffin tin with a paper liner. Fill each cup 2/3 of the way full with batter. Bake 20 – 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let sit in the tin for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

*Note: this recipe originally had vegetable oil instead of an apple, but I find most recipes use oil to make cakes moist. Apples will do the same thing with none of the fat! You can also use 1/2 cup apple sauce. The only downside to this substitution is that the cake might stick to the liner… but that’s what your teeth are for.

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