Category Archives: Breakfast, Brunch

breakfast and brunch foods including eggs

Carrot Orange Pecan Loaf

I absolutely LOVE this recipe.  I could eat this carrot orange loaf every day.  I created it for my Cafe but have started making it at home on my days off because my kids can’t get enough of it and I love it because it’s LOADED with carrots.  Win win.

If you want it for breakfast it’s AWESOME just sprinkled with brown sugar, BUT if you want to make it more of a dessert (suggestion:  serve it warm with vanilla ice-cream!!!), just mix some icing sugar with fresh squeezed orange juice until it’s a thick spreadable texture and lather the top of the loaf with it once cooled.  Then top with crushed pecans if you want the nuts!  Soooooo good!!!

INGREDIENTS (makes one loaf)

  • 2 cups packed shredded carrot (at home I use a hand-held blender.  At work I just grate the carrot on a cheese grater!).
  • 1 large orange (all zest and juice used) (reserve a little orange juice if making the icing sugar glaze)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup canola oil + more for coating loaf tin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (+ more for topping loaf)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup (or as much as you like!) pecans
  • optional:  1/2 tsp almond extract
  • optional:  powdered sugar

METHOD

  • In a large mixing bowl combine orange zest and juice, carrot, egg, milk, oil, vanilla and sugars.  Mix well.
  • In a separate bowl mix together cinnamon, baking soda and powder, salt and flour.
  • Mix wet and dry ingredients.
  • Pour mixture into a WELL OILED loaf tin.
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • If NOT using icing sugar glaze, top with crushed pecans and sprinkle a generous amount of brown sugar on top.
  • Bake for 65 – 80 minutes and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.
  • (If glazing, combine orange juice with about a 1/2 cup of icing sugar to desired consistency and spread over cooled loaf. Add crushed pecans immediately before glaze hardens).

Decadent Bacon, Sausage & Spinach Quiche

quiche with fork

quiche with cheese and green onion

quiche with cheese and green onion

Quiche is one of my favourite dishes to make.  I love how versatile it is.  You can literally put just about anything into a quiche.  I love making vegetarian quiche loaded with tomatoes, bell peppers and tonnes of fresh herbs during the warmer months.  During the winter months I tend to use more hearty ingredients like mushrooms, leeks, bacon, sausage and/or ham.

Quiche is one of those dishes that everyone seems to do a little differently.  You would think it would be a very simple ratio of milk/half and half to eggs (much like the ratio of oil to vinegar in a classic vinaigrette).  However, I have literally looked up dozens of quiche recipes over the years and I don’t think I’ve seen ONE recipe that has the exact same ratio of eggs to milk!!  I suppose it all comes down to personal preference.  Do you want your quiche to be more ‘custardy’ or more ‘eggy’?  I believe I have found, what I feel is, a perfect balance (:

I believe that the key to a truly amazing quiche is in the technique.  When I’m making the filling, I sauté my meat and/or vegetables with the herbs, deglaze with half and half and bring to a boil, let it cool completely and then whisk is my egg mixture before putting it all into the pie shell to be baked.  This allows all the flavours from the pan to be incorporated beautifully into the custard mixture for a really flavourful quiche.

Quiche is especially great to make for special occasions and/or when you’re having a lot of people staying over night.  You can make the filling a day or two in advance and then just fill the pie shell(s) the morning of and in under an hour you have a decadent, beautiful and delicious breakfast/brunch/lunch, with almost no work or clean-up, that can serve as many guests as you like!  Just pair it with a side fruit or green salad and you’re all set!

I use deep dish frozen pie shells for my quiche.  I can’t be bothered to make my own crust because the store-bought one is just fine.  If it ain’t broke….

The ingredients below are suggestions and the measurements certainly don’t need to be exact (except the egg and half and half).  If you want a vegetarian version, just omit the meat and add some bell peppers or your favourite vegetable(s) instead!

quiche without garnish

quiche without garnish

INGREDIENTS (makes 1 quiche)

  • 1 1/4 cup half and half (or 2% milk for a healthier/lighter quiche)
  • 3 large eggs (or 4 small ones)
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 3 – 4 strips bacon
  • 1/2 cup Italian Sausage meat (out of casing)
  • 1/4 cup leek (white part only) – small dice
  • 1/4 cup shallot (or white onion) – small dice
  • 3 cup spinach (about 1/4 cup cooked and drained well)
  • 1/2 cup white mushrooms (or whatever mushrooms you like!) – sliced
  • 1/4 tsp fresh thyme (parsley is also nice) – chopped
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1/8 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp salt – 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp white pepper
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1 deep dish pie shell

OPTIONAL GARNISH:  

  • 1/2 cup cheese (feta, grated mozzarella or cheddar or a bag of your favourite mixed cheese blend)
  • 1/4 cup green onion
  • 1/4 cup sliced cherry tomato

METHOD

mis en place for the quiche

mis en place for the quiche

  • Par-cook the bacon (cook until about half way done.  It should still be quite fatty.  Drain excess fat and keep pan for cooking the rest of the ingredients.
  • Remove the sausage from its casing and chop the par-cooked bacon into bite size pieces.
  • Steam the spinach then blanch in ice water and squeeze out any excess liquid.
  • Slice/dice onion/shallot, leek, mushroom and finely chop the thyme and/or parsley.
  • Bring the pan you cooked the bacon in to medium heat and add butter (or you could just use some of the bacon fat for cooking).
  • Add sausage, bacon, mushrooms, salt, pepper and thyme and cook until bacon is beginning to crisp and sausage is browning, breaking it up into little bite sized pieces with your wooden spoon.
  • Add leek and shallot and sauté for another few minutes until soft and fragrant.

quiche ingredients in pan

  • Add half and half (or milk), spinach and a pinch of nutmeg and bring to a boil stirring often to ensure all the bits on the bottom of the pan get incorporated into the liquid.

quiche adding cream

  • Turn off heat and allow mixture to cool COMPLETELY.
  • Whisk eggs, a little salt and parmesan cheese together and then whisk into the cooled mixture.
  • *NOTE:  You can now store the mix in the fridge for up to 3 or 4 days OR you can put it in the pie shell immediately to be cooked.
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Poke defrosted pie shell with a fork all over so the shell doesn’t bubble up and place in oven on middle rack for 5 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and let cool.  Decrease oven temperature to 350 degrees.
  • Pour mixture into pie shell and place in oven.  Cook for 40 – 50 minutes or until the centre is just cooked.  (It should have a slight giggle right in the centre when you lightly shake it).
  • Remove from oven and turn oven off.
  • Add garnish to quiche such as shredded cheese, green onion, cherry tomato, etc., if desired.
  • Place quiche back in the still-warm oven just long enough to allow the cheese to melt.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 – 15 minutes before serving.

Suggestion:  Serve with a side salad or a bowl of mixed fruit

quiche out of oven

 

Cherry Coconut Cashew Bars with Dark Chocolate

cherry coconut cashew energy bars with dark chocolate

cherry coconut cashew energy bars with dark chocolate

Granola bars and/or energy bars I have bought in the past have always been loaded with additives and other things I don’t want.  They’re also either too dry, too crunchy, too sweet or have too much fat and calories.  The few that I do like are REALLY expensive.  So a while back I decided to try my hand at making my own.  I figured it would be really easy.  It wasn’t.  I tried a LOT of different recipes and although some of them were good, I didn’t find anything that was great.  Some of them were too dry and fell apart.  Others were too chewy and dense.  The list goes on and on.   I decided to use a few different recipes as a guideline to get the ratio of ingredients right so that my bars would be the consistency I wanted, but I made up my own recipe based on my favourite things (I’ll eat ANYTHING with cherries and dark chocolate!!).

After making this recipe FIVE times, I have finally come up with what I feel is the perfect amount of each ingredient.  The wonderful thing about this recipe is how you can simply substitute one thing for an equal amount of another to customize it.  For instance, you could use almonds or peanuts instead of cashews.  You could use almond or cashew butter in place of peanut butter.  You could use sunflower and/or pumpkin seeds instead of coconut.  You could use milk chocolate instead of dark chocolate.  You could even use cranberries instead of cherries…  You get the idea.

Now that I have the ratios down, I will be experimenting with all kinds of amazing flavour combinations!  (I already tried the recipe with dried blueberries and almonds instead of cashews and cherries and it was amazing).

MONEY SAVING TIP:  Some of the ingredients can be quite expensive (nuts, dried cherries, coconut, etc).  I always recommend buying any ingredients possible from the bulk bins to save LOTS of money.  My dry storage is now filled with jars of assorted nuts, dried fruit, seeds, chocolate chips and other ingredients I can ‘play with’!

I have been eating a LOT more nuts, seeds and oats lately and it’s been amazing.  I find that I’m snacking much less on sugary or carb heavy foods and the protein and fibre from the nuts and seeds keeps me full for hours.  I always grab a small energy bar or just a handful of nuts before a workout and I’ve been performing better than ever.

I’m not going to be turning into a gluten-free vegan any time soon but incorporating all these natural, super healthy ingredients into my diet is definitely becoming part of my lifestyle as opposed to a fad.

The below bars are my favourite flavour combination yet.  I’m obsessed with the mix of cashews, coconut, cherry and dark chocolate!!  SO GOOD.  I hope you, and your family, enjoy these as much as mine does!

*Anywhere you can afford to use natural, organic ingredients, I always recommend it.  However, it can increase the cost significantly so it’s completely up to you.  One of the main reasons to make your  own bars, after all, is to save money.

INGREDIENTS (makes 16 square bars)

DRY

  • 1 Tbsp flaxseed
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup puffed rice (you could use brown puffed rice.  I used Rice Krispies)
  • 3/4 cup unsalted cashews – rough chop
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips (use less if you want to make them even healthier)
  • 3/4 cup tart dried cherries
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 tsp salt

WET

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (natural peanut butter is recommended)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract

METHOD

  • Heat ‘wet’ ingredients and the salt over low heat in a pot until smooth and combined.  Around 2 minutes.
  • Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl (except chocolate chips unless you want the chocolate to melt).  It’s great both ways.
  • NOTE:  If you want the chocolate to melt all the way through, add the chocolate into the mix before you add the wet ingredients.  If you want to have chocolate chips throughout, LEAVE THE CHOCOLATE CHIPS OUT OF THE MIX UNTIL AFTER YOU ADD THE WET INGREDIENTS TO THE DRY INGREDIENTS.  (Otherwise the warm peanut butter mixture will melt the chocolate.  I learned this the hard way).
pouring wet ingredients into dry ingredients

pouring wet ingredients into dry ingredients

  • Pour wet ingredients from the pot into the dry ingredients in the bowl and mix to combine (I use my hands to do this).  Once it’s cooled down a bit you can add the chocolate chips.
  • Line a baking pan/dish with parchment or wax paper and spray with Pam cooking spray (or use a little canola oil).
  • Press the mixture firmly and evenly into the pan.
energy bars pressed into pan

energy bars pressed into pan

  • Refrigerate  for at least ONE HOUR.
  • Carefully lift parchment/wax paper out of pan and onto cutting board.
  • Cut into bars in whatever size or shape you wish.
energy bars cut into squares

energy bars cut into squares

  • Store in an air-tight container at room temperature with parchment paper separating pieces so they don’t stick together.

energy bars

 

 

 

Delicious Apple Cheddar Buttermilk Drop Biscuits

apple cheddar buttermilk drop biscuits

apple cheddar buttermilk drop biscuits

It was pouring rain outside yesterday and my boys were feeling antsy.  They both have the sniffles and a cough so I didn’t want to take them out anywhere.  After over an hour of playing video games I insisted they shut them off and that’s when my toddler began a full-blown meltdown.  I needed to find something to calm him down and keep them both busy for a while.  They were both bored and miserable.

My go-to when my kids are bored and stuck at home (and have already filled their quota of TV and/or video game time) is to grab a simple recipe and cook/bake with them.  It’s a great way for them to learn something and spend quality time with me; and the best part is, it’s actually something I enjoy just as much, if not more, than they do.

Yesterday I decided to make warm apple cheddar buttermilk biscuits.  They’re quick, really easy for the kids to help make and perfect to snack on by themselves for an afternoon treat.  (They were supposed to go with dinner, but they didn’t make it that long!  They’re best served warm right out of the oven anyway).  They turned out so beautifully that I think I’ll be serving them again with Thanksgiving dinner this year!

INGREDIENTS (makes 12)

  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup cold butter
  • 1 packed cup extra-old cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 1 cup grated cored, peeled apple
  • 2 green onions, fine dice
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk (regular milk would also be FINE here!)
  • 1/8 tsp fresh cracked pepper

METHOD

  • In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
  • Using a cheese grater, grate the cold butter into the dry ingredients.
  • Grate the cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese (if not using pre-grated) and apple and add to dry ingredients.
  • Add the green onion.
  • Using a fork, stir in buttermilk (or regular milk) to form the dough.  Do not over-mix.
  • Using a 1/4 cup measuring spoon, drop dough balls about 1 1/2 inches apart on a greased baking tray (you could also use parchment paper but I just used Pam cooking spray and they didn’t stick at all).
  • Bake in a 425 degree pre-heated oven for 13 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
apple cheddar buttermilk biscuits

apple cheddar buttermilk biscuits

 

HEALTHY & EASY soft boiled “eggs benny” with tomato sauce

soft boiled eggs benny with tomato sauce

soft boiled eggs benny with tomato sauce

I love a good eggs benny but don’t make it at home except on very special occasions because poaching eggs is a bit of a pain and hollandaise sauce (a creamy sauce of melted butter, egg yolks, and lemon juice or vinegar) is time consuming and BAD for you!  haha.  However, when I still want that ‘eggs benny’ type dish but also want something quick, easy and healthy I make my own version.  (NOTE: I always keep English muffins in the freezer so I have them on hand when I want them).

Instead of poaching the eggs, I just cook them in boiling, salted water for 8 minutes.  I use a whole grain English muffin and I omit the hollandaise sauce in favour of a zesty tomato sauce or even a simple tomato salsa!  I use whatever meat/fish & cheese I have on hand and grab whatever fresh herbs are ‘speaking to me’ that morning (:  Seriously, there are ENDLESS combinations for this dish.

Healthy soft boiled eggs benny 'the man's portion'!

Healthy soft boiled eggs benny ‘the man’s portion’!

Today, I had some left over salumi so I used that and just melted some cheddar with it. (We don’t normally have processed or cured meats in the house because they’re packed with fat and additives, but it was left over from a gathering where I served charcuterie).  I put the oven on broil and toasted the English muffin for a few minutes, then I added the meat and cheese until just melted and warm.  Lastly, I  placed the egg on the muffin, topped it with tomato sauce, added chopped tomato from the garden, avocado, and some basil and parsley, and voila!

Healthy ‘soft boiled eggs benny’ in 10 minutes!  

*If you want to be SUPER healthy, omit the meat and cheese and add more of your favourite veggies to the dish!

 

 

Spiced Banana Bread (a family favourite!)

banana bread on plate

banana bread on plate

banana bread done in pan

banana bread done in pan

Whenever I have bananas that are starting to get too ripe I just throw them into the freezer.  Then when I want to make a smoothie or banana bread I just pop them in the microwave for 45 seconds (just long enough to be able to easily peel them) to defrost.  The key to this recipe is using frozen (then thawed) bananas.  It really intensifies the banana flavour!  I also use just a tiny bit of almond extract because I love the nutty, almost cherry-like, flavour it adds to my baking.

This recipe is a family favourite.  The kids love having this as a special breakfast treat and it’s great to pack as a snack when we’re on the go.  We even warm it slightly and serve it with caramel sauce and vanilla ice-cream for a delicious dessert!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/2 c brown sugar (plus more for sprinkling on top)
  • 1/3 c softened butter
  • 2 Tbsp canola/vegetable oil (you can omit the oil if you want less calories but it makes helps make the banana bread really moist!)
  • 3 medium bananas (from frozen or very ripe is preferable)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 c flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract (optional)

METHOD

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and grease a loaf tin.
frozen bananas

frozen bananas

wet and dry ingredients for banana bread

wet and dry ingredients for banana bread

  • In a food processor, cream together sugar and soft butter.  Add eggs and blend.  Add bananas, vanilla extract, almond extract and oil and mix on high speed until all is blended together.
  • In large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
  • Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix with spatula until combined.  Pour into loaf tin.  Sprinkle with a little brown sugar (you could also add some oats, walnuts, chocolate chips, or whatever you want on the top!) and place in preheated oven.
mixing ingredients for banana bread

mixing ingredients for banana bread

  • Bake 50 minutes or until a toothpick or skewer comes out clean.  Time will vary slightly depending on the size of bananas used.  Let cool for 15 – 20 minutes.
Banana bread in loaf pan before baking

Banana bread in loaf pan before baking

Mexican Vegetable Salsa (perfect for eggs!)

mexican salsa in bowl

Today I woke up starving.  The whole family is at home this morning so I’m forgoing the gym in favour of a family hike (a family that moves together, stays healthy together).  We need to eat something nutritional and filling to give us energy that will last the whole morning.  I DO NOT want to deal with whiny lethargic kids on this walk!  Haha.

I was just going to add some peppers and onion from my leftover vegetable skewers into some eggs, but then the avocado, fresh tomatoes and cilantro in the fridge caught my eye and gave me inspiration to be a little more playful.  Besides, the kids aren’t big on veggies in their eggs, so by making a salsa instead, the kids can have plain eggs and the adults can enjoy something with a little more flavour.  I love the cilantro and cumin flavours in this salsa.  Those flavours always remind me of my trip to Cabo a few years back!

NOTE:  If you have any leftover salsa, it will last up to 2 days and would be awesome in a wrap with some ham or turkey or even thrown into a soup or salad!

final egg on plate

INGREDIENTS (serves 2 to 4 depending on how much salsa you want on your eggs!)

Again, these measurements are guidelines. Adjust to your personal taste.  It would be really hard to screw this recipe up.  Haha!

  • 1/4 cup mixed bell peppers (I just diced up the leftover grilled peppers and red onion I had from last night’s dinner, but you can also just use whatever fresh ones you have in the fridge!)
  • 1/4 cup feta – crumbled
  • 2 Tbsp red onion – diced
  • 1 Tbsp green onion – chopped
  • 1 ripe vine or cocktail tomato (or whatever you have available)
  • 1/2 medium sized avocado – diced
  • 1/8 tsp garlic – minced
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 3 Tbsp cilantro – chopped (if you don’t have fresh cilantro use 1/8 tsp of coriander, but fresh is better!)
  • 1/8 tsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

OPTION:  If you like things spicy, throw in a few dashes of your favourite hot sauce!

METHOD

SALSA:  Mix all ingredients in a bowl.  Taste and adjust seasoning as desired!

ham and egg in pan

EGGS:  melt about a teaspoon of butter and about 2 Tablespoons of diced white onion in a pan on medium heat until onion is soft.  Add diced, cooked ham (if you want meat) and scrambled eggs (I added 1/4 cup of cottage cheese to the egg mixture for added protein.  Always season the eggs with salt and pepper BEFORE you cook them).  Stir the eggs constantly, using a spatula, and when they are cooked but still very runny, turn the heat off, put down  the toast in the toaster, and mix eggs a few more times to finish the cooking process.  (Turning off the heat BEFORE the eggs are completely done ensures you don’t end up with dry eggs.  Now take the eggs off the burner and let sit in the warm pan for a minute while you wait for the toast and set the table.

“Italian style” Egg Frittata

Egg on plate done

 

 

 

 

It was one of those lazy mornings where we all slept in until almost 9am.  By the time we got going and the grown-ups had drank their coffee, it was after 10:30.  A perfect time for brunch!  It was a beautiful day out and there’s rain in the forecast beginning tomorrow (Friday) through to Tuesday, so we decided we should definitely get the kids outside for some fresh air and exercise while it’s still nice.  We decided to go hiking.  But first we needed something substantial to eat.  Looking through the fridge I wanted something healthy, but hearty enough that, with the exception of a light afternoon snack, I wouldn’t have to eat again until dinner.  What I had on hand (and ALWAYS do) is eggs and cheese.  I had some leftover fresh mozzarella that I had bought for a caprese salad the other day and my basil is plentiful in my balcony herb garden.  I also had some leftover homemade tomato sauce in the fridge and meatballs in the freezer (which only take 2 minutes to defrost in the microwave).  I decided on an “Italian Style” frittata!  (For those of you who don’t already know, a frittata is basically an omelette that doesn’t get folded over).

NOTE:  If you add leftover spaghetti into this egg dish it would make a great dinner entree!

INGREDIENTS  (serves 2 adults a very large portion or 4 smaller portions)

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp butter (less if you’re being health conscience)
  • OPTION: heaping spoonful of cottage cheese (which I put into the eggs for added protein)
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce (OPTION: use fresh chopped tomatoes with some onion and garlic if you don’t have sauce on hand!)
  • 4 meatballs (pre-cooked)
  • 4 slices of FRESH mozzarella cheese (use regular mozza if you don’t have fresh but it’s just NOT the same!)
  • 2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • OPTION: 1 slice provolone cheese (I used it simply because I love the stringy texture and I had it in the fridge)
  • 6 or so leaves of basil (more if you love basil!)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

Eggs MEP1   Egg 2 scramble with cheese

Beat eggs together with a generous amount of salt and pepper and the cottage cheese, if using. Meanwhile put the oven on broil.  Get toast ready in toaster (but don’t put down until frittata goes into the oven).

Egg 3 MEP

Get your cheese(s) assembled and anything else you may want to serve with this meal such as  sliced avocado or other seasonal fruit.

 

Melt butter in pan on medium heat and add the egg.  Scrape the egg from the bottom and sides constantly.  You want the egg to be cooking but still runny.

Egg 5 cooking

You don’t want scrambled eggs here.  You want it to cover the bottom of the entire pan.  You’re just starting the cooking in the pan and finishing in the oven.

 

Now remove from heat and add the sliced/chopped meatballs, the cheese and the tomato sauce (or fresh tomato). Put in oven for 2 minutes or until cheese is melted and egg is cooked but NOT browned.

Egg 8 out of oven

Remove from oven and add fresh torn basil.  Divide and serve alone or with toast and fruit (:

Turkey BLT with Fried Egg and Cheese!

blt

I had some bacon and turkey meat leftover (not the processed kind but actual sliced turkey meat) and some beautifully ripe tomatoes on hand so naturally I thought of making a BLT.  But not just any BLT!  This one includes a fried egg, avocado, and sliced red onion – oh, and lots of cheddar cheese.  Any kind of cheese would be great on this.  Mozzarella, Provolone, Monterey Jack, Havarti…..  You get the idea… (:

To make a truly great sandwich, you need great bread.  Make sure you love the bread you’re using.  And the tomatoes HAVE to be ripe.  I know you can’t really see the tomatoes in this picture, but trust me, there’s LOTS in there!!

INGREDIENTS  – measurements:  Use your judgement.  Enough of each to make the sandwich the way YOU like it

  • 3 – 4 strips bacon
  • Turkey meat (enough to cover a slice of bread!)
  • Avocado
  • Red onion – a few slices
  • Ripe vine tomato
  • Mayo
  • 1 egg
  • Iceberg lettuce
  • Cheddar cheese
  • 3 pieces of GREAT bread (I used Dempster’s 12 grain bread because that’s what I already had)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

METHOD:  

Should be pretty self explanatory as it’s a sandwich.  Haha.  I can tell you that after cooking the bacon in the oven (I always cook bacon in the over because it’s less messy and the bacon always cooks evenly) I turned the oven off, threw the turkey onto the bacon and left it there to warm up a little until I was ready to assemble the sandwich.

When I cooked the egg, I used a little of the bacon grease from the pan instead of butter (:

Bursting Blueberry Muffins

 

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5

6

We went berry picking the other day and loaded up on enough blueberries to last the year!  They were so big and delicious that even my son (who doesn’t normally care for berries) devoured them while picking AND after we brought them home.  I have used the below recipe many times and have tweaked it a little bit each time.  I think I have finally perfected it.  You be the judge.  I welcome comments and suggestions!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1 Tbsp veg/canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp lemon extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk (I use 2% but 1% or skim would do as well)
  • 2.5 heaping cups fresh or frozen blueberries (I used fresh today but use frozen when they’re not in season.  Just defrost before adding to mix)
  • Brown sugar (to sprinkle on muffins)
  • Pam cooking spray (to spray muffin holders)

METHOD

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl.  In a mixer (I use a small hand mixer) combine butter, oil and sugar and cream together.  Add eggs one at a time (every recipe always says to do this and I’m not sure why but I do it anyway….lol) and mix.  Now add the milk, lemon extract and vanilla extract until all is combined and smooth.  Now, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until all is mixed together.  Gently fold in 2 CUPS ONLY of the berries (leaving 1/2 a cup out).

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Put muffin/cupcake liners into tray.  Spray lightly with pam cooking spray.  Add muffin mix into liners until it comes to the top.  Now strategically place the remaining berries around each of the muffins and sprinkle with brown sugar.  (I like to press the berries in a bit to ensure that they get into the batter enough to not fall off after being baked).

Bake for 25 – 30 minutes on middle rack.  Stick a knife/toothpick/skewer in.  They’re ready if the knife/toothpick/skewer comes out clean (without batter on it).

Let cool for 10 minutes and enjoy!