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Archive for the ‘breakfast’ Category

Well. A lot of life has been lived since I last popped in here! 

A sugar shack has been built. 

We’ve been collecting sap. 

And look! Syrup! And sugar. And sugar bears!

Last spring my brother tapped a tree up at our cabin and just for fun boiled down a cup or so and made a thin syrup. That was all that was needed to get my dad’s wheels spinning and around Christmas, he and Brad and some of my brothers started a sugar shack. Mid February they purchased an evaporator and we’ve been learning the syrup details ever since. 

What hard work! I’ll never again complain about the price of real syrup. It’s worth every penny. 

I’ve been learning so much about trees, sap, and syrup the last few weeks. This week we made maple sugar and today I baked with it. 

Whoa. So wonderful!! I never purchased maple sugar before so I don’t know if ours is the same but it made some fabulous muffins. 

We also made some maple sugar candy and the leftover wet sugar I ground up and used in these muffins. I’m guessing these would be just as yummy using regular maple sugar but for now I’m writing the recipe exactly as I made it. 


Maple Streusel Muffins 

Topping:

1/3 cup moist maple sugar

1/4 cup fine maple sugar

3 T all-purpose flour

1/4 t cinnamon

2 T melted butter

Mix all together and set aside.

Muffins:

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 T moist maple sugar

1 T baking powder

1 egg

1 cup milk

1/4 cup melted butter 

1/4 t salt

Mix floors, sugar, and baking powder in large bowl. 

In small bowl mix egg, milk, butter, and salt. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and divide between twelve greased muffin tins. Sprinkle topping on evenly. Bake in preheated 350F oven for 15-18 minutes or til toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. 

Remove from tins and place in a cloth lined basket. Eat immediately with a smear of butter. Swoon and repeat. 

Yield: 12 regular muffins 

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I realize I should probably be starting out with a how-to on feeding a sourdough starter but for now I’ll leave that to the pros like Peter Reinhart and Nancy Silverton


Once you have that figured out, waffles are easy!


I have never come close to matching my mom’s waffles but these are the ones that turn out best for me :: light and airy with just a hint of sourness. 


Sourdough Waffles

2 cups milk 

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup white starter, 100% hydration

2 T honey

2 eggs

1/4 cup melted butter

1/2 t salt 

1 t baking soda

Mix milk, flour, and starter. Cover and let sit on counter overnight, 8-12 hours. 

Add remaining ingredients and whisk well. Cool in preheated waffle iron until browned and lightly crisp, about 3-4 minutes. Eat immediately with favorite toppings or store at room temp for a few days. I’ve never frozen them but I’m sure it would work. We heat the leftover ones in the toaster. 

Yield : about 4 large waffles (serves 4)

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I have been meaning to make this for years. I’m now sad it took me so long. What on earth was I waiting for?!  

 This sauce is so simple. And then you just throw some eggs on top and breakfast is ready.

I like the hint of spice in the tomato sauce. Quite warming on a chilly winter morn. 

PS. Spellcheck keeps wanting to change shakshuka to sharks hula. I’m giggling at the thought of sharks wearing leis and dancing about.  

 Shakshuka

1 T olive oil

1/4 cup diced onion

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup chopped bell pepper 

1/2 t chili powder

1/2 t cumin

Pinch red pepper flakes

Sprinkle of salt

Pinch of sugar or drizzle of honey 

2 t tomato powder (or 1 T tomato paste)

1 pint canned diced tomatoes

4 eggs

Parsley (fresh is best but dried will work mid-winter)

Salt/pepper

Heat olive oil in skillet. Add onion and sauté a few minutes. Add garlic and stir until fragrant. Add bell pepper and sauté a bit more. Throw in spices, sweetener, and tomato products. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened. 

At this point I transferred half of the mixture to a smaller skillet because I wanted a personal size serving. I saved the other half of the tomatoes for another day. 

Break eggs into the tomato sauce. Cover and simmer 5-15 minutes, depending on how hard you like your eggs. Check tomato sauce occasionally to make sure it’s not burning. 

Sprinkle with parsley, salt, and pepper and serve with crusty bread (toasted sandwich bread will do). 

Serves: 2

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  I’m not in my normal kitchen today. The pantry is a bit sparse but don’t worry, we didn’t starve.  I brought along the dry ingredients, premixed, for simple muffins to go with the jar of soup I also toted with us.   The muffins were delightfully simple and satisfying.   The type of fat you use here will really change the end flavor. I used olive oil and loved the slightly earthy undertone it brought. Butter would be delicious, too, of course. Bacon fat or lard could be nice if you want a meaty flavor.  

 And these guys could be the base for a myriad of add-ins. Fruit, veg, protein, take your pick…whatever is floating around in your fridge or pantry! 

 Simple Muffins

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup all purpose flour

2 T sugar

1 T baking powder

1 egg 

1 cup milk

1/4 cup fat, melted if necessary 

1/4-1/2 t salt (depending if fat is salted)

In a large bowl, mix flours, sugar, and baking powder. 

In a small bowl, whisk the egg, milk, fat, and salt until combined. Add to dry ingredients and only mix until barely combined, no more. A few lumps are fine. 

Divide between 12 greased and floured muffin cups. Bake at 400F for 12-15 mins or until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. 

Enjoy warm with toppings of choice. 

Yield: 12 regular muffins

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I thought I didn’t like mashed potato pancakes. Turns out I was doing it wrong. The egg in the batter is important. And by all means, please fry them in lard. Mmmmmm.   

Mashed Potato Pancakes

2-3 cups leftover mashed potatoes

1 large egg

Handful of grated cheese

Salt/pepper

Flour (whole wheat, white, or a combo)

Mix everything together, using enough flour to make a thick batter. It will depend how much milk you used in your mashed potatoes. Fry in 1/8-1/4 inch hot lard. Be sure to let them brown well on both sides. Don’t mess with them prematurely or you’ll break the seal of good taste! Serve hot with sour cream or ketchup. 

Yield: about a dozen 3-inch cakes

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Oh dear me. This is my new favorite breakfast. It can simmer on the stove while I prepare everyone else’s eggs and then they all run off to their respective duties while I sit and enjoy these molten juices.   

The tomatoes really do melt in your mouth. The way they slump in the cream. Ooohhhh. I want another pan of them and I am full.   

Tomatoes in Cream

Adapted from my cousin Jennifer’s blog

Roma tomatoes, cored and halved

1-2 t butter per tomato

1-2 T heavy cream per tomato

Salt and pepper

Melt butter in a skillet. Place tomatoes cut side down in the butter. Sprinkle with salt and poke the backs with a knife. Simmer 5 minutes and then flip them. Continue simmering and flipping at 5 minute intervals until tomatoes are pretty much falling apart, about 20 minutes total. Pour in the cream, sprinkle with pepper, and heat through. Serve hot with buttered toast. 

3 tomatoes and two pieces of toast fills my belly right up. 

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I never knew what to do with leftover oatmeal. There wasn’t ever enough to feed all of the kids leftovers the next morning (and heaven forbid one of them gets the oatmeal while the others are left with eggs!). I dealt with tears for a while until it dawned on me that hey, leftover oatmeal sets up so let’s make a cake!   

And the kids adore it. Win!  

Sliced Oatmeal

(I used dried blueberries in the cake pictured.)

Cooked oatmeal (I cook mine with milk)

Dried fruit (raisins, craisins, blueberries, chopped apple snitz, etc) 

Sweetener of choice (maple syrup, brown sugar, etc.)

Mix all together, preferably while the oatmeal is still warm. Smash into a casserole dish or small round cake pan. Chill thoroughly. Serve cold, plain or with milk. 

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