French toast is one of those easy, but comforting breakfasts that’s no fuss to whip up but feels luxurious on a leisurely weekend morning. For a fun fall twist to this classic dish, add pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg to the milk mixture. Continue reading “Pumpkin French Toast in October”→
Sometimes all it takes to inspire change is trying something new. I went grocery shopping this week and bought some light English muffins. I never buy English muffins, always whole wheat bread or occasionally even small bagels, but never English muffins. That changes now! The spongy, holey dough is truly a vehicle for any topping you can imagine. Crispy when toasted, English muffins have officially breathed life into my breakfast routine. Suddenly I find myself mashing avocado, slicing tomatoes and poaching eggs (trying to poach eggs, I should say. I tried and failed, but hey – the point is, I am inspired to try.) Continue reading “Breakfast Just Got Better”→
I’ve never been one to show a lot of interest in food trends or new kitchen gadgets, but there’s one craze on food TV lately that’s got my attention. For all intents and purposes, we’re going to call it The Waffle Iron Movement. Have you seen the chatter? Evidently, the waffle iron, that little machine we plug into the wall to make fluffy buttermilk waffles, is capable of so much more. I’d like to preface this post by saying today’s “recipe” requires zero cooking ability.
Enter canned cinnamon rolls.
The Food Network’s Sunny Anderson taught me this trick while I was watching The Kitchen earlier this week. As they say on the show, “I tried it, and I liked it!” Essentially, the waffle iron can cook cinnamon rolls in less than half the time it takes to cook them in the oven. And yes, the waffle iron cooks them all the way through.
When cooked, the cinnamon rolls take on a crunchy exterior and remain tender on the inside. It’s amazing how this works!
While the cinnamon rolls are cooking, rest the icing packet on top of the waffle iron to loosen it up!
Add about a tablespoon of half and half to the packet and work it in with a spoon until the consistency is drizzleable.
How’s that for breakfast on-the-go? Golden brown with great texture, you don’t even have to worry about the dough oozing out from the sides of the waffle iron. Clean up is easy!
They look and taste like real waffles. Ideal for college students in a dorm room, or apartment dwellers with galley kitchens, this trick is super fun. Plus, using an appliance to create something it wasn’t designed for makes me feel like a true rebel. I’m living on the edge these days.
Now, I’m not saying this idea trumps the good ol’ cinnamon roll every time. There’s not too much that can replace the soft, ooey-gooey pleasure that a properly cooked cinnamon roll elicits. But, if you’re in a hurry (and who isn’t in the mornings?), this trick is worth the minimal effort. Are you likely to try it?
Ree Drummond’s Waffle Maker Quesadilla combines cheese & salsa for a quick snack. Photo Credit: FoodNetwork.com
Bobby Flay’s Peanut Butter French Toast is a fun take on the classic PB & J. Photo Credit: FoodNetwork.com
It doesn’t get more traditional than good ol’ pumpkin pie. It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without it! Inspired by Paula Deen’s Maple-Buttermilk Pumpkin Pie in the magazine “Paula Deen’s Fall Baking,” this recipe is a slight variation of the original, but doesn’t deviate too far off the course. Have you ever heard of Buttermilk Whipped Cream? That is a new one on me, and boy am I glad I discovered it. Thank you, Paula! Whatever you do, resist the urge to eat this pie with standard Cool Whip. Take the extra 5-minute step to make Buttermilk Whipped Cream. You won’t regret it! I took the liberty of using Pumpkin Spice Syrup instead of maple, and added just a touch more sugar. Sweet and creamy, it’s mouth-watering served warm or cold. Enjoy a slice with a cup of hot coffee and a good friend. Add this dessert to your Thanksgiving table or Autumn baking list and your entire home will beckon the changing leaves!
Pumpkin Spice Pie
1 (15-Ounce) can pumpkin
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup of Pumpkin Spice Syrup
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon (or more to taste) pumpkin pie spice
One 9-inch store-bought frozen pie crust (I’m not above it!)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin and next 8 ingredients. Roll thawed pie crust over 9-inch pie plate, crimping edges with a fork. Pour mixture into prepared crust. Bake for 85 to 95 minutes or until center is set and a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool for 1 hour before serving.
Buttermilk Whipped Cream
(Makes about two cups)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon good pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
In a large bowl, beat cream with a mixer at high-speed until soft peaks form. Add all remaining ingredients, and beat until stiff peaks form. Plop a big dollop on top of a slice of pie, then sprinkle with cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice. Then EAT!
“What kind of Thanksgiving dinner is this? Where’s the turkey, Chuck? Don’t you know anything about Thanksgiving dinners? Where’s the mashed potatoes? Where’s the cranberry sauce? Where’s the pumpkin pie?” ~ Peppermint Patty
In my family, Easter Sunday has always been a special time to gather around the kitchen table after celebrating the resurrection of Jesus at church. I can’t think of a better way to give praise than with a bounty of beautiful food. Whether you’re popping a spiral ham in the oven and pairing it with scalloped potatoes, or opting for a special mid-morning brunch after the Sunrise Service, I hope some of my favorite recipes will tempt your palate. I’ll share three that are menu must-haves including Vidalia Onion Quiche, Best Grape Salad and Spicy Cheddar Long Straws. Choose one, or make them all. Happy Easter, y’all!
Vidalia Onion Quiche This recipe appears in the cookbook “Savannah Celebrations” by Martha Nesbit
4 Slices bacon, minced
1 Large Vidalia Onion, chopped
3 Tablespoons flour
2 cups half-and-half
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 ready-to-roll pie crust
½ cup shredded Swiss cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Fry the bacon in a medium skillet until it is very crispy. Remove the bacon to a paper towel to drain. Drain off all but one tablespoon of the bacon grease. Saute the onion in the grease until it is very tender and just beginning to turn brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the flour.In a quart measuring cup, measure the half-and-half. Add the eggs and whisk together. Add the salt, pepper, and thyme. Place the pie crust in a deep-dish glass pie dish. Crimp the edges. Prick the bottom and sides of the crust. Layer both cheeses in the bottom of the crust. Distribute the bacon pieces and sautéed onion over the cheese. Pour the egg mixture over all.
Place the pie dish on a cookie sheet for ease in handling and put in the center of heated oven. Bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 45 minutes longer or until the center of the quiche is set. You may need to cover the outer edge of the crust with foil to prevent over-browning.
Who doesn’t love cream cheese and graham crackers? Beware–the cold and juicy grapes in this crowd-pleaser are addictive. Thanks to my Aunt Susan for introducing me to such a fabulous recipe!
2 lbs green seedless grapes
2 lbs red seedless grapes
8 ounces sour cream
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, to tasteTopping Ingredients
1 cup brown sugar, packed, to taste
1 cup crushed pecans, to taste
Graham Crackers, crumbled to taste
Wash and stem grapes. Set aside. Mix sour cream, cream cheese, white sugar and vanilla by hand until blended. Stir grapes into mixture, and pour in large serving bowl. For topping: Combine brown sugar, and crushed pecans. Sprinkle over top of grapes to cover completely. Chill overnight.
“Our best tip for successful cheese straws is to shred your own cheese. It’s stickier and blends better than pre-shredded cheese.” – Southern Living
I can testify to that! These cheese straws have become one of my go-to snacks for entertaining any time of the year. I think they’re especially great at brunch with a Bloody Maria. Their buttery texture crumbles and melts right in your mouth.
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces and softened
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons half-and-half
Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare dough, and turn out onto a well-floured surface; divide in half. Roll each half into a 12- x 8-inch rectangle (about 1/8 inch thick). Cut dough into 3/4-inch-wide strips using a sharp knife or fluted pastry wheel, dipping knife in flour after each cut to ensure clean cuts. Place strips on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until edges are well browned; cool on baking sheets on wire racks 30 minutes.
For more brunch inspiration, check out these photos (provided & styled by The Stylish Steed) from a brunch party I hosted at home. Some Kinda Good, good food and good company, that’s what it’s all about!
Food tastes better when you buy local. For Sunday morning brunch recently, I made french toast and bacon, but not just any french toast and bacon. On Saturday, I visited the Statesboro Mainstreet Farmers’ Market where I purchased a pecan loaf from Sugar Magnolia Bakery and Cafe and a pound of smoked bacon from Hunter Cattle Company. The sweet bread was the perfect thickness when sliced just right, and the Georgia pecans provided a nice crunch and texture that regular loaf bread lacks. Dusted with a touch of confectioner’s sugar, it was all I could do to take one picture before I savored every bite. And the pig. Never have I tasted the flavor of hog meat so profound and assertive.
Only available on Saturdays, the $4.50 pecan loaf at Sugar Magnolia Bakery and Cafe is hand-shaped into a round and baked. When the bread comes out of the oven, the top is sliced into what resembles a tree to allow steam to escape. When purchased, the bread is so fresh, you can still see the white flour on top in its brown paper sack. It’s so rustic and fun. For french toast, slice the bread about a 1/4 inch thick.
French toast is awesome for a few reasons: 1) It breaks up the monotony of pancakes and waffles, 2) Everything you need to make a batter for it is usually readily available on-hand or easy to get, and 3) It takes no time! For the batter, beat two eggs, whisk in a cup of milk or half & half, cinnamon sugar and a pinch of salt. Soak slices for about 30 seconds on each side.
Melt half a stick of butter in a skillet over medium heat. Toast slices about 2 minutes on each side until golden brown and beautiful like the one in the center. Flip. Repeat.
Meanwhile, cook your bacon. For one pound of Hunter Cattle Company smoked bacon, you’ll pay a little less than $10, and when you think about what you’re getting, you can’t put a price tag on your health. Learn how choosing pastured pork can benefit your well-being. You’re guaranteed to taste the difference.
Drizzle it with syrup or eat it without. You decide. There you have it. Breakfast locally inspired.
Breakfast on vacation. It’s probably my favorite meal. Whether you rise with the sun or sleep until 10 a.m., the food at Palmer’s Village Cafe on St. Simons Island will motivate you to get up and moving. They take pride in their ingredients and present plates with no detail undone. I’ve never been when there isn’t a crowd and that’s because, where there’s good food, you’ll find people.
I appreciate the thoughtfulness of the menu items. There aren’t many places you can go to find an omelet with crab meat and homemade pimento cheese garnished with grilled, pickled okra. The dishes are regional too, like the Coastal Delight: an open-faced whole egg omelet topped with goat cheese, sautéed shrimp, spiced pecans and arugula. The breakfast items range from $3.95 to about $12.
Smack dab between the Island hardware store and a small real estate company on Mallery Street, locals and vacationers fill the seats at Palmer’s. It’s my favorite place to start the day on the Island.
I ordered the Challah Bread French Toast served with Palmer’s Village Cafe signature maple syrup. You won’t find Aunt Jemima here. The Fresh Fruit side dish had juicy orange segments, sliced bananas and red strawberries.
Now, y’all didn’t think I forgot the meat, did you? Not just bacon or sausage…country ham. Salty and seasoned just right. That’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout!
Artwork by local artist Cathie Parmelee decorates the walls and is available for purchase.
This is my favorite piece.
Colorful coffee mugs bring in fun pops of color.
Open for breakfast and lunch Tuesday – Sunday from 7:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., you’ll feel welcome from the moment you step inside the creaking front door. No matter how busy Palmer’s may be, the staff members will make sure your coffee cup is full and you’ve always got everything you need.