Archive for the ‘Breakfast’ Category


Matcha Tea Granola

January 24, 2018

I was out on maternity leave during Thanksgiving and Christmas, so I ended up making several DIY food gifts for my family for the holidays. This granola was one of them. I’m always looking for more inventive ways to use matcha tea powder (like my favorite matcha tea cookies), and I thought this recipe posted by Bakerita sounded delicious and easy to put together (especially with having a newborn to care for). Turns out it was indeed both easy and tasty, and I’ve made several more batches for myself over the past few weeks!

If you didn’t know that there was matcha coating this granola, I’m not sure that you’d be able to place the flavor in a blind test. It provides a slight earthiness to offset the sweetness, which I enjoy but my husband does not. Fortunately my dad tends to enjoy the same flavors that I do, so after the jar I gifted him was all consumed, he looked up the recipe and made some for himself too!

One thing to note: this granola doesn’t stick together in clumps once baked. I don’t personally mind granola with a finer texture, but if you’re looking for chunky granola, you’ll need to modify the sweetener/oil to match a recipe that provides the texture you prefer. Enjoy!

Matcha tea granola

See recipe


Poppy Seed Coffee Cake with Cardamom Streusel

December 27, 2017

Doing more housecleaning of blog post drafts that I started and never finished!

This streusel cake that I made for one of my former coworkers’ birthdays gets elevated beyond a standard poppy seed cake with the addition of cardamom. The streusel topping provides textural contrast to the soft crumb of the cake. Great dessert when you’re looking for something not-too-rich and slightly out of the ordinary flavor.

Recipe is from the Bon Appetit Desserts cookbook. Enjoy!

Poppy seed coffee cake with cardamom streusel topping

See recipe


Rhubarb Muffins with Almond Streusel Topping

June 22, 2013

My dad grows rhubarb in his garden and he’ll periodically bring me a bunch or two when it starts to get too large. I am always excited to receive it! Rhubarb is definitely under-appreciated as vegetables go, probably in part due to poor preparation. Raw rhubarb stalks are incredibly tart, and if they’re very thick, they can also be fibrous near the base. These factors are certainly challenges to work with, but if you peel the bases of the thickest stalks and temper the tartness with the right amount of sugar (but not too much!), rhubarb has an awesome fruity flavor that can really shine in a lot of different dishes.

As much as I love rhubarb fools, this time I was itching to try something different, something that didn’t involve cooking the rhubarb down. While I was browsing through back issues of Saveur online, I came across these muffins. Rhubarb in muffins? Definitely fit my criteria of something different! I was fairly surprised that the rhubarb is added to the muffin batter raw; it seemed like it wouldn’t lose its tartness and would stay too crunchy. But I figured they had tested the recipe and probably knew what they were talking about, so I added the rhubarb raw as written! And the recipe writers were correct: the rhubarb softened enough and turned sweet during baking, similar to blueberry muffins. Enough of the tartness remained to nicely complement the sweetness of the streusel topping. Overall a great success! Gave one to my dad as a thanks for the rhubarb and he said it looked and tasted like it was from a professional bakery. Thanks, Dad! :)

Rhubarb muffins with streusel topping

See recipe


Sticky Buns

January 9, 2013

One of my favorite special treats when I was a kid was going to the mall with my mom and splitting one of Cindy’s Cinnamon Rolls’ enormous sticky buns, all warm and gooey and topped with crunchy pecans. Eventually that mall closed down and there were no more Cindy’s franchises in the area. But then I grew up and realized I could bake for myself, so I now present you with the recipe I use. :)

The dough is the same basic sweet dough recipe from the ATK Family Baking Book used in both my cinnamon rolls and monkey bread, and the assembly is almost the same as the cinnamon rolls. Rather than baking the rolls and then adding frosting, the bottom of the pan is covered with the sticky bun topping and the rolls are turned out upside down after baking.

The topping can be made with either pecans or walnuts; I prefer pecans because there’s nothing better than nostalgic comfort food. These are also a favorite of one of my coworkers, so they make a relatively frequent appearance at my work. :) Enjoy!

Sticky buns

See recipe


Puffed Apple Pancake

December 18, 2012

The German apple pancake recipe in the ATK Family Baking Book is awesome, but it takes a little while to make because you have to sauté the apples before baking. We had a lot of apples that needed to be used before they started getting soft, but I wanted something faster than the ATK recipe to make for brunch during our friend’s weekend visit. So I was flipping through Bon Appetit’s Fast Easy Fresh cookbook and this recipe caught my eye. It doesn’t require the apples to be sautéed on top of the stove; they get pre-cooked for a few minutes in the oven before adding the batter.

I was very pleased with the way it turned out! Not exactly the same texture as the ATK recipe, but equally delicious. :) Unfortunately this isn’t the type of recipe that can be made ahead of time. It must be served as soon as it comes out of the oven: like a souffle, it starts collapsing as it cools. But it’s perfect for a weekend brunch dish when you have a little bit of extra time in the morning!

Puffed apple pancake

See recipe


Breakfast Strata with Spinach and Gruyère

October 16, 2012

Strata is one of those amazing foods that somehow I only end up making about once a year. One of my absolute favorites, but it requires a bit more planning ahead that the usual breakfast food and an hour of baking time in the morning (not to mention it’s quite rich and heavy), so it’s best for a special occasion. In the past I’ve always brought along the ingredients to make it on the last day of the youth group winter weekend retreat, but sadly there was no retreat this past year. Using any occasion for an excuse, Boss’s Day seemed like a good enough reason. My manager is actually out of town this week, so my coworkers and I shared the strata this morning and all she got was a picture, haha!

The reduced wine, Gruyère cheese, and shallots give this breakfast dish a slightly more sophisticated flavor than the typical combination of pork products (bacon, sausage, ham) with eggs and American or cheddar cheese (although strata made with sausage and cheddar is also excellent). I prefer savory breakfast foods to sweet ones, and I love complex combinations of flavors, so you can imagine that this would easily make it into my top ten list. :)

This recipe, from the ATK Family Baking Book, has been my standby strata recipe for several years. While it initially looks like a lot of steps that will take a long time, you can get the bread in the oven right away to start drying out, prep the rest of the ingredients, and do everything but the final assembly during that 30-40 minutes. Weighting the strata down before baking is an important step that you don’t want to skip; it helps to eliminate dry pockets in the bread. The recipe can easily be doubled to feed a large group: assemble in a 13-by-9-inch pan and increase the baking time to 60-70 minutes.

Breakfast strata with spinach and gruyere

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Butter-Toasted Oatmeal with Sticky Apple Topping

January 21, 2012

Last weekend it was far too cold to make our way to the public market (where our usual Saturday breakfast fare comes in the form of breakfast tacos from La Placita), and oatmeal sounded like it would hit the spot. This recipe in my Gourmet Today cookbook caught my eye since we still had some apples left over that we had picked in the late fall (and which were started to get a bit soft), and I had plenty of time that morning to cook the steel-cut oats.

Steel-cut oats are whole oats that have been cut crosswise into a few pieces after processing, whereas more commonly found rolled oats are steamed and then flattened into flakes. They can take up to 40 minutes to completely cook, compared to about 5 minutes for rolled oats, so this is definitely a weekend or day-off breakfast! The extra time to cook is totally worth it, however. Steel-cut oats have a chewy texture which is never gloppy, and toasting them slightly brings out their nutty flavor. The hot apple topping adds a perfect amount of sweetness, making this a wonderfully warming and satisfying breakfast. Any leftovers can be kept up to 3 days and reheated in the microwave.

Oatmeal with apple topping

See recipe