My sister-in-law, Anna, loves Biscuits and Gravy. It’s one of her favorite American breakfasts. Whenever she comes to visit, we always make sure to go out for breakfast and invariably, that’s what she orders. Biscuits and Gravy is an old American favorite, especially down south. It’s literally a biscuit topped with sausage gravy, sometimes also called Sawmill Gravy. For this recipe, instead of just baking my biscuits in the oven, I cooked them in a waffle iron. The little wells made by the waffle iron made perfect little pockets to catch more of the savory gravy. Yum! Added to that, they looked so darn cute! If you don’t have a waffle iron or you’re feeling lazy to pull it out, just bake your biscuits in the oven like normal.
WAFFLED BISCUITS AND GRAVY
1 lb. bulk breakfast sausage
1/3 cup flour
3 cups milk
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 tsp. dried sage, optional
1/4 tsp. pepper, or to taste
1/4 tsp. salt, or to taste
8 biscuits, homemade or purchased refrigerated biscuit dough (like Pillsbury)
butter for greasing the waffle iron
Brown sausage in a medium pot, breaking up with a spoon, until completely cooked.
Sprinkle in the flour and stir till flour is all absorbed.
Pour in the milk, stirring well.
Add green onions, sage, pepper, and salt. If using refrigerated biscuits, you may want to omit the salt because store-bought biscuits are pretty darn salty.
Continue to cook, stirring until thickened.
Cover and keep warm over low heat.
Preheat waffle iron on medium-high heat. Brush center lightly with melted butter.
Place 1 biscuit round into waffle iron and gently close without pushing down.
Cook halfway, then close lid completely and continue cooking until biscuits are golden and cooked through.
Repeat with remaining biscuits.
To serve, place a biscuit on a plate and top with sausage gravy.
It’s blueberry season! Every year, my sister Helen takes her daughters blueberry picking with a bunch of their school friends and their families. They go to this blueberry farm up in the hills and have an absolute blast while they’re there. Helen’s youngest daughter, Sophie, is a little blueberry-picking speed-demon and can fill up a bucket faster than you can say blueberry pie!
Anyway, whenever they go, they always make sure to bring me back a bagful of the beautiful little blue gems. This year was no exception. The berries are always so sweet and juicy. If you’ve never had blueberries fresh off the bush, you’ve got to find a way to try some. Commercially sold blueberries are good, but they pale in comparison to these ones. I think it’s time for some Blueberry Buttermilk Cake!
BLUEBERRY BUTTERMILK CAKE
2 – 2½ cups fresh blueberries
3 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs, room temperature
1 cup buttermilk
¼ cup demerara sugar (or white granulated sugar)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 9×13-inch baking pan.
Place blueberries in a small bowl.
Take 2 tablespoons of the flour and toss it with the blueberries. Coating the blueberries with flour helps keep them from sinking to the bottom of the cake as it bakes.
Combine remaining flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl.
In another bowl, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Add vanilla and beat in eggs, one at a time.
Beat in the flour mixture, alternating with the buttermilk, in three additions until completely combined.
Fold in blueberries.
Spread batter in prepared baking pan.
Sprinkle top evenly with demerara sugar.
Bake for 45-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cake can be served warm or cool completely before serving.
NOTE: If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make your own homemade buttermilk by placing 1 tablespoon of lemon juice in a glass measuring cup. Add enough milk to the cup till it reaches the 1-cup line. Let stand for 5 minutes, then whisk with a wire whisk for a few seconds.
This is another dish that’s going on my Christmas Breakfast table this year. It’s a play on one I saw from the Food Network Kitchens a couple of years ago. It’s different because it’s made with tater tots instead of the usual hash browns. I use canned corned beef which is more readily available year round from my local grocery store. If you prefer to use fresh corned beef, by all means go for it! Just chop 1½ pounds fresh corned beef into ½-inch cubes and use it in place of the canned corned beef in this recipe.
CORNED BEEF TATER TOT CASSEROLE
1 bag (32 ozs.) frozen tater tots
1 small yellow onion, chopped
½ red bell pepper, chopped
½ green bell pepper, chopped
2 cans (12 ozs. each) corned beef
8 large eggs
1½ cups whole milk
1 tsp. dry mustard
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with olive oil or cooking spray.
Set aside about 2 cups of the tater tots to use for topping.
Arrange remaining tater tots in single layer on bottom of prepared baking dish.
Drizzle a little olive oil over the tater tots or spray lightly with cooking spray.
Bake about 25 minutes or until tater tots are golden brown. Set aside to cool.
In large skillet set over medium-high heat, sauté onions, red and green peppers.
Add corned beef and cook, breaking up corned beef with the back of a spoon and stirring together well. Allow to cool.
Whisk eggs together in a bowl, then whisk in milk, mustard, salt and pepper.
Spread corned beef mixture over cheese.
Pour egg mixture over everything. If making ahead, cover the casserole at this point and refrigerate overnight.
To cook, remove casserole from refrigerator at least 30 minutes before baking.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Scatter reserved 2 cups tater tots over casserole.
Top with shredded cheese.
Bake until egg mixture is set and top is golden brown, 55 – 60 minutes.
This is a great casserole to serve for breakfast on a weekend morning. I’m making it for Christmas breakfast this year actually. It’s easy to do and better still, you can make it a day in advance. I like to serve this casserole with a bowl of salsa on the side. Yum!
BREAKFAST CORN CASSEROLE
3 Tbsp. butter
1 small onion, chopped
4 ozs. chopped fresh kale
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves (can substitute dried)
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
2 cans whole kernel corn, drained
2 cans cream-style corn
1 lb. ham, diced
½ cup sour cream
1 box cornbread mix (like Krusteaz or Marie Callenders)
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13 pyrex glass baking dish.
Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat.
Add onions, kale, thyme, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until kale is soft and onions are translucent.
Add corn, ham, and sour cream, and cook until hot and bubbly.
Pour corn mixture into prepared baking dish; set aside. If making ahead, cover and refrigerate overnight at this point.
Next day, remove casserole from refrigerator at least half an hour before baking.
Prepare the cornbread batter according to directions on the back of the package.
Stir 1 cup cheese into cornbread batter.
Pour cornbread batter over corn mixture in baking dish.
Top with remaining 1 cup cheese.
Bake for 35 minutes or until corn is bubbling and corn bread topping is done.
Everybody knows Pillsbury’s famous Taco Crescent Ring. Well, this is a play on that recipe but made into a yummy breakfast dish. I just love crescent roll dough, don’t you? It’s so versatile and you can do so much with it from sweet desserts to savory meals. This recipe is really easy to put together and is great for a breakfast or brunch shindig.
CRESCENT BREAKFAST WREATH
1 can (8-ozs.) crescent roll dough
breakfast meat: ½ lb. bulk breakfast sausage, browned; or ½ lb. ham, chopped; or 8 slices of bacon, fried crisp and crumbled
¼ cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped green or red bell pepper
1 cup frozen hash browns
6 eggs, beaten
1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar, colby, monterey jack, or any kind you like)
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. (I didn’t have any so I used waxed paper.)
Unroll crescent roll dough and separate into eight triangles.
Arrange triangles in a circle on prepared cookie sheet with the short ends of the triangles towards the center and overlapping a little, and the long ends pointing outwards to form a sun shape.
Fry the onions, bell pepper, and hash browns in a large frying pan until potatoes begin to brown.
Remove from heat, add cooked meat to hash brown mixture and stir together well.
Scramble the eggs in a skillet until eggs are almost cooked but still moist.
Stir scrambled eggs into hash brown mixture.
Spoon filling over overlapping portion of crescent rolls, using your hands to help press and shape the filling into a ring.
Pull points of triangles up over filling and tuck under dough in center to form a ring.
Carefully sprinkle cheese over top of ring.
Bake 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and crescent rolls are golden brown.
Cool slightly to allow filling to set.
Slice into wedges and serve.
NOTE: To transfer the wreath to a serving platter, carefully run a spatula between the ring and the parchment paper to separate them, then slide the wreath onto the platter.
I read about Coconut Toast on this blog called Laugh With Us Blog. It reminded me of this Filipino coconut dessert we ate all the time growing up. It was called “bukayo.” Bukayo is a native coconut “candy” made by cooking fresh grated coconut and sugar together. One of these days, I’ll have to post a recipe for you guys so you can see what it’s like. Our cusinera (cook) — yes, we had a cook when I was growing up — used to make it for us for an afternoon snack all the time. It’s usually shaped into little balls or little flat patties, but Manang Francisca used to just pile it all into a bowl and we each got to have a tablespoon or two of it. Saved her the work of rolling it into balls, I guess.
Anyway, the coconut in this recipe is prepared a bit differently as it has egg in it, but it reminded me a lot of bukayo. Of course, piling it onto bread takes it up a notch. How clever is that? Then you actually get to eat it with your fingers! No spoon needed. And eat it you will! Esther from Laugh With Us Blog wasn’t kidding when she said this was a must try. OMG! You’ll not only eat it with your fingers, but you’ll lick every little crumb off said fingers, too! It’s that good!
½ cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flaked coconut
9-12 slices of bread
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
In a medium bowl, mix the butter, sugar, egg, vanilla and coconut together.
Spread the mixture onto each slice of bread.
Arrange bread on an ungreased cookie sheet or jelly roll pan.
Bake for about 15 minutes or until toast is lightly browned.
NOTE: The original recipe is supposed to make enough mixture to cover 12 slices of bread. Apparently, we slather it on a lot thicker than that because we only get 9 slices of bread per recipe. LOL! Just spread the mixture on as thickly as you like. You’ll get anywhere from 9 to 12 pieces of toast.
Also, for those of you looking to cut down on your sugar intake, I’ve made this recipe with only 3/4 cup of sugar. It’s just as delicious as it is with the full amount.
I saw Geoffrey Zakarian make this on the TV show, “The Kitchen.” It looked so easy and I thought it would be perfect for my Christmas morning breakfast since I planned to have a waffle station where everyone could make their own belgian waffles on the spot. Good choice! It was delicious and was a hit with the family. Definitely a keeper for future holiday breakfasts.
½ cup eggnog
½ cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons butter
Combine eggnog and maple syrup in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by one-quarter, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and swirl in butter to melt.
Serve warm as a topping for pancakes, French toast, or waffles.
I haven’t made these muffins in a long time. I don’t really know why. Maybe because my kids are grown up now? But when they were younger, I made these muffins a lot. The kids really loved them. They’re great for breakfast, brunch, or an after school snack. They’re also great packed for dessert in a school lunchbox. I love them warm with an ice cold glass of milk. Mmmmm………
1½ cups self-rising flour
1 cup quick cooking oats
¾ cup sugar
½ cup butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup milk
¼ cup sugar
½ tsp. cinnamon
extra melted butter for topping
Mix flour, oats, and ¾ cup sugar together.
In another bowl, mix egg, butter, vanilla, and milk together.
Add wet mixture to dry mixture and stir until just combined.
Fill 12 muffin cups 2/3 full.
Bake at 400ºF for 12 minutes or until light golden brown.
While muffins are baking, mix ¼ cup sugar and cinnamon together for topping.
When muffins are done, brush tops with a little melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar topping mixture.
My best friend, Gigi, and I were “born friends” just like my other best friend, Pilar. Gigi’s mom and mine were classmates in the 3rd grade and remained friends throughout their school years and subsequently their married lives. Though we technically didn’t choose to be friends, Gigi and I get along like the proverbial house on fire. Gigi is well-read, open-minded, kooky, generous, and hard-working to a T. She worked for the State of California for years while raising her daughter as a single parent so was often too busy to cook elaborate meals. But a year ago she retired and now finding herself with more time on her hands, she’s been dabbling in the kitchen more and more.
Gigi sent me this recipe for Lemon Ricotta Pancakes. On a visit to Canada a few months ago, she stayed at the Fairholme Manor Inn, a lovely bed-and-breakfast in Victoria, British Columbia. The Fairholme’s owner, Sylvia Main, has published two cookbooks of breakfast and brunch recipes that are served at the inn. These Lemon Ricotta Pancakes are among one of their more popular breakfast items. Anyway, I thought I would give them a try and I must say, they were definitely delicious. Light and fluffy with a hint of lemon flavor, my daughter Bashful loved them! That being said, they were a little tricky to make.
The challenge came not from making the batter, which was unusual to say the least. (I’ve never made pancakes with a meringue mixture folded into them!) The challenge came from the actual cooking process. This pancake batter is sooo soft and light that flipping the pancakes takes care and patience! I would advise pouring the pancakes a little bit smaller than normal-size pancakes to make them easier to handle when flipping. You should also grease the pan with a little bit of butter or margarine before pouring each pancake to ensure it doesn’t stick. It won’t hurt to butter the edge of your spatula, as well. Just stick with it and work slowly. After the first couple of pancakes, you’ll get the hang of it.
LEMON RICOTTA PANCAKES
5 eggs, separated
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
2½ tsp. baking powder
dash of salt
zest of 1 large lemon
1 cup milk
1¾ cups (15-oz.) ricotta cheese
½ cup sugar
Preheat griddle or skillet on medium heat.
In a bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks.
Sift and mix the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Combine with egg yolks, lemon zest, milk, and ricotta cheese.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy.
Gradually add the sugar, creating a meringue.
Gently fold meringue into the egg-ricotta batter.
Lightly oil griddle with butter or margarine and pour about ⅓ cup batter onto center.
Cook until bubbles form around edges.
Carefully flip pancake to cook other side until golden.
I got this recipe from one of the girls at work. She said her mom makes it for them all the time. I’d never heard of biscuit dough made with 7-Up so I was really curious to try this. The biscuits turned out pretty good. The recipe makes a super sticky dough but if you sprinkle your work surface generously with extra bisquick before turning the dough out, and then sprinkle the top of the dough with more bisquick before patting it flat, it really helps a lot. You could substitute flour for sprinkling if you like.
4 cups bisquick baking mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup 7-up
½ cup butter
Preheat oven to 425ºF.
Place butter in a 9×13″ pyrex baking dish and put into oven to melt the butter.
Remove baking dish from oven once butter is melted.
Mix bisquick, sour cream and 7-Up together in a bowl. The dough will be very soft and sticky.
Sprinkle extra bisquick onto work surface and turn dough out.
Sprinkle a little more bisquick on top of dough.
With your hands, gently pat the dough to about 1-inch thick or so. These biscuits don’t rise very much so you want to have your dough be fairly thick.
Cut out 12 circles using a biscuit cutter or an overturned glass.
Arrange biscuits on top of melted butter in baking dish. A bench scraper or spatula helps to transfer the soft dough from the work surface to the baking dish.
Bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown.
Note: I like to cut 2½-inch diameter biscuits which fill up my baking pan nicely, but you can certainly cut them larger or smaller. It’s up to you to decide what size you want your biscuits.