Tag Archives: brunch

Honey cornmeal pancakes

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Three places you can guarantee I will be on a Saturday morning in Atlanta: 1) Walking to Ponce City Market to get coffee from Spiller Park, 2) laying on my couch watching an episode of the Pioneer Woman or 3) in my kitchen making the best food of all time, pancakes.

I’ve been making the most out of the box of cornmeal I bought recently as we are in the thick of chili and cornbread season. A few weeks ago I made this cornbread which was the perfect mix of not-too-sweet and extremely moist for a chili dinner, and I also made these cornmeal waffles to top off another chili dinner! I highly recommend both recipes if you like corn! (sorry Arianna)

This Saturday morning, we had a good girl-talk group at my St. Charles casa – my roommate Kelley, my sister, and I sat and chatted whilst the sweet cakes sizzled 2 inches away in my shoebox kitchen. Winter 2015/2016 has been a fun time for communal eating at my house and I’m learning more and more about how to entertain without a) pulling my hair out and b) burning my house down.

From entertaining thus far, I’ve learned that to get my sister to come over asap, I should keep a bag of bagels on hand in the freezer (which happens to always be the case), and that apparently a paper bag can entertain up to 20 people in my living room for at least 4 hours.

A few weeks ago, my friends and I ran the Will to Live 5k (find our stud teammate William at 2:17 in the video) in memory of our friend Harry and later that night decided to all re-convene at the house where I live along with three of my high school friends. Clearly the first thing I thought was “what will we eat?” while I think others had the cocktails covered. Besides playing “the bag game,” where you try to pick up a paper bag with your teeth while balancing on one foot, we ate these carnitas accompanied by the necessary guac and salsa.

For breakfast entertainment, I try and have the coffee going before people get here and to have a sweet and savory option. My sister doesn’t like sweets as much (still not sure how we are related), so I usually provide the bagels, and some people don’t even really want breakfast which makes the stocked coffee jar that much more important!

Another thing that’s key here is getting the music selection right. To start off the new year, we matched the mood of a yoga class taught in my living room with the “Acoustic Soul” Spotify playlist. When Julia and I cook together, we play country often. With my sister and roommate Kelley, we listen to Mat Kearney’s Air I Breathe on repeat along with Needtobreathe, I Am They, Chris Tomlin, and Casting Crowns.

Pancakes are my comfort food – both in the fact that they’re a warm, sweet dish and that they remind me of so many good memories.They’re comfortable.

Though I’ve been bad about posting some of my recipes lately, I’ll share with you a few here in addition to the pancakes that I made lately.

Melissa Clark’s Sweet and Spicy Chicken – so so great, had it again the next week

Spiced jam cake with Salted Caramel Chocolate Ganache

Honey Mustard Brussels Sprout slaw and Curried Chicken Salad for a bridal shower

 

On to pancakes!

Honey Cornmeal Pancakes, adapted just slightly from Brooklyn Supper

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup white wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup fine cornmeal – I used the regular yellow kind from Kroger
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 TBS unsalted butter
  • 2 TBS coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp fine grain salt
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup buttermilk, or a mix of buttermilk, yogurt, and regular milk
  • 2 large eggs
  1. Heat your oven to 150-200 degrees, this will be for the pancakes that are ready but need to stay warm before you’re ready to eat.
  2. Start by measuring the butter, coconut oil, and honey into a small bowl. Pop them in the microwave for about 15 seconds at a time to melt all together. Let these cool for a few minutes – you don’t want to add to the pancake mix when it’s too hot because it will curdle the eggs.
  3. Whisk together  both flours, cornmeal, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl until evenly mixed.
  4. In a separate bowl or in a glass measuring cup, whisk together milk and eggs.
  5. Mix the buttermilk/egg mixture into your dry ingredients until JUST mixed evenly (try not to overmix).
  6. Then, pour in the honey butter mixture and fold into the batter.

IMG_00237. Heat a wide skillet to medium heat (my burner tends to get really hot so I put it at around medium) and melt about a 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil.

8. Here’s where you have some room for creativity. I like to pour a ladle-ful at a time per pancake, but if you like minis you could do just a few tablespoons. If you like your cakes really big, you could do ones that fill up half the pan that are closer to 3/4 cup. I went with around a 1/3 scoop mix of batter at a time into the pan.

9. Let your pancakes cook for about 2-3 minutes on the first side, until bubbles form across the entire surface.

IMG_002410. Flip with a spatula, and cook on the other side for about a minute.

IMG_002511. Put the ready pancakes on a baking sheet in your low-temp oven until ready to eat so that they stay warm. Meanwhile, for each additional round of pancakes, add a little more coconut oil to just coat the pan each time so as not to burn the cakes

IMG_002612. Serve with maple syrup and fresh fruit!

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Office baking: Blueberry Coconut Almond Baked Oatmeal

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Hi. Remember me? Brown-haired, smudged-glasses-clad, Gilmore girl of the pancake-loving sort? This post may help explain the time lag as I’ve entered a new stage of cooking. In fact, if I were doing a market analysis of cookbooks/blog offerings, I’d say I’m filling a gap here. It’s called “analyst-office-baking” and it’s not for the faint of heart.

Here’s how I’ll let you know if you’re cut out for this sort of cuisine: do you find yourself wishing you had time to make breakfast before work in the morning? Do you sometimes make smoothies for breakfast but then feel too bougie and adult and basic be–(you get the picture) and want real food? Do you find yourself at the office OFTEN??? I think I’ve described a very large population of people. Last question is, are you committed to steppin it up knotch?!!? That’s the big question peeps.

I was talking to someone the other day about living out what you say you’re going to do and really, it’s hard. Do you say you want to cook more and eat healthier? I surely do but then find myself eating leftover Cookout milkshakes for dinner (peanut butter has protein, OKAY). So here’s the sort of thing you do when you want to eat healthier but “don’t have time.” You bring. it. to. the. office.

Maybe not the most ideal thing to do, but hey, if a few oats and the wafting smell of warm butter and coconut luring from the 2 inch wide snack room put a little pep in your step, I’d say it’s a win for this week.

Many of you may have heard of my oatmeal-cart dream. Well, while I haven’t been so good about saying-I’m-gonna-do-it-and-doing-it, I have been slowly working my way through kinds of oatmeal recipes. It all starts back in college when I made the microwave kind and it would ALWAYS blow up in the microwave. Why does that happen? Lately I’ve even explored pumpkin baked oatmeal!

These days, I’m usually working with steel-cut oats of the McCanns kind, but I have wanted to venture into the baked oatmeal side of the species. To be honest, I also REALLY wanted to see my co-worker Jon, dubbed “johnny springtime” on a particularly nice day, become overjoyed at what he’s described as his favorite style of oatmeal.

Key ingredients to making this kind of cooking work:

  • The bag – make sure you’ve got your yuppie Whole Foods reusable tote to carry your ingredients in
  • A toaster oven at your office
  • Tups – get some good tupperware, preferably mason jars if you’re cool and can and stuff
  • Hungry eaters to taste test – nuff said

I chose to take a stab at Heidi Swanson’s Baked Oatmeal. I couldn’t 100% tell you why Heidi is such a legend in the blogging world, but she is. You’ll see her referenced often, and I wanted to finally test out one of her recipes.

The great thing about this is that you can really substitute out any nuts or berries. I have frozen blueberries on hand usually, and the good thing about that is that if you’re office baking, it’s probably thawed by the time you’re at work. Unless in fact, you work from home, in which case I shouldn’t have to instruct you on how to office bake.

I am just now realizing that many of my friends reading this may walk/subway to work. A few strategies to making this work for you:

  1. Drag a wagon to work with your cooking ingredients, thus saving your shoulder the stress of carrying a heavy bag of ingredients
  2. Introduce yourself to a cute girl/guy on the subway and ask them to help you carry your ingredients to work
  3. Buy ingredients at the grocery store close to your office
  4. Fill a large backpack with all your ingredients, strapping eggs to your stomach wrapped in bubble wrap so as to not crack them.
  5. LOL, I’m giggling at the suggestions above. Please let me know if you take me up on them

Okay, ready to cook??

Blueberry Coconut Almond Baked Oatmeal, adapted from Heidi Swanson

  • cups rolled oats
  • cup almonds, toasted and chopped
  • teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1/2teaspoon fine-grain salt
  • cups almond milk
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • large egg
  • tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • teaspoons vanilla extract
  • half a bag of frozen blueberries
  • 1/3 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  1. Preheat toaster oven to 375 and butter a 8×8 square pan
  2. In a bowl, combine, oats, baking powder, salt, and half the nuts. Listen to your co-workers joke by the coffee maker and ask them to make you a cup while you’re prepping ingredients.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk egg, milk, half the butter and vanilla together
  4. Spread about half the berries in the pan and then sprinkle the oat mixture over it.
  5. Pour in the milk mixture, shaking the pan slightly to ensure the liquid gets in the pan evenly. Then pour the rest of the berries evenly over the top, sprinkle the coconut, and sprinkle the last bit of nuts.
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the pan is nice and golden brown. During the time that this is cooking, check email, make another cup of coffee, say hi to your boss, twiddle your thumbs, and most importantly, get excited breakfast is on the way!!!!
  7. Take the pan out and let cool for a few minutes. Cut in slices and top with more butter and syrup. Enjoy with your co-workers Patrick and Jon (oh wait, that’s just me) and carry on with your day! Carpe diem!!

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“Brinner from the Threeg”

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Here it goes….first guest post (from the one and only Edward. For those of you unfamiliar with “the Threeg,” it refers to an apartment in the land of Buckhead where Ed and his roommates live).
This post is dedicated to my dear friend Miss Katie.  It is truly an honor to have been asked to be the first guest poster for the blog; and you can only image how humbled and flattered I was when the BeetsMe queen herself asserted that I was “the most handsome and culinarily gifted of [her] friends” **

**(In true BeetsMe fashion, we may be taking a few liberties with the facts / quotes here).

Wthout further ado…

 BeetsMe Presents: Brinner from the Threeg

The inspiration for this recipe comes from a Sunday family tradition in the Sampognaro household – Breakfast for Dinner (“Brinner”).  Mama Carmen was always a visionary in finding the most efficient ways to feed the present and future physicians of America, and the Brinner tradition is no exception — no better way to get rid of the Sunday scaries than with a simple, tasty meal everyone can look forward to.  I like this recipe in particular because its quick, highly customizable (there are various combinations of meat and vegetables you can substitute), and makes for great leftovers.  I made up this recipe myself for 2 main reasons: 1) to have a pre-made breakfast prepared for the rest of the week, and 2) to incorporate more vegetables into my diet earlier in the day.  But you don’t need to have these goals to appreciate this recipe.

Breakfast Shepherd’s Pie

Portion serves 5 average eaters, or 1 cross training private equity professional

What You’ll need

Ingredients

·         9 Eggs (beaten)

·         12oz ground bison (but you can substitute for any lean ground meat)

·         1 medium onion (diced)

·         1 large sweet potato – (baked or raw, diced roughly)

·         2 cups broccoli (chopped)

·         1 TSP paprika

·         1 TSP salt

·         1/2 TSP black pepper

·         Your choice of oil

·         8oz of cheddar cheese [Optional]

Other

·         Favorite outfit [read: dress for comfort – Coffield approval Optional]

·         Chef’s Choice Music [HMU if you need any spotify or soundcloud recommendations]

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Directions

1.        Preheat the oven to 350°F

2.        In a large bowl, beat the eggs together with the paprika, salt and pepper. Mix in the chopped sweet potato. Set aside.

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3.        In a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat add oil and brown your choice of meat. Once meat is cooked, remove it to a separate bowl.

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mmm.  bisons

4.        In the same skillet, add the onion and broccoli and sauté on medium heat until they are softened (~6 mins), then returned the cooked meat  to the pan.

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3295.        Pour the egg mixture into the skillet. Turn off the heat and stir the ingredients to combine.  Once complete, cover the top with your choice of cheese (if you are electing to do so)

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6.        Put the entire skillet into the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the eggs are set and not runny.

I forgot to take a picture of this part….

meem

7.        Serve directly from the skillet or slice and store for leftovers.

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Easter Cinnamon Swirly Buns

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Hello hello! Happy Easter (belated, that is). I decided to have a bit of a comeback attempt this year with my Easter cooking. Last year, I was SO excited to finally make cinnamon buns for Easter that I had the dough, filling, and topping all planned out ahead of time and felt so prepared. Then when it actually came time to bake the buns, I got caught up talking to a visitor and they burned!!!! They were so pretty but no one really ate them…so, here’s to you, comeback-katie-cinnamon-swirly-buns, you did it.

I’ve been missing you all lately and have been whipping up a lot of quick meals without much photography. I’m working on my pancakes, having tried zucchini pancakes (like zucchini bread) and strawberry ginger almond pancakes, and I’ve really been trying to get more make-ahead meals going. I made some delicious banh-mi from a food52 recipe that I’d love to share with you guys once I get it right.

I’m going to be honest about the intricacies of cinnamon buns. Here’s my take, be meticulous, be patient, and don’t skimp on the sugah-buttah mix. It’s all in the sugar here.

Ok so I made the first step around 7 pm the night before. And I’m SO PLEASED with the smitten kitchen recipe I used because you don’t have to mix yeast with water and wait for it to bubble. I tend to get the water temperature wrong or don’t wait long enough if I do that, etc. The Rapid Rise yeast here is the best thing since that blackberry ginger King of Pops popsicle I had yesterday.

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What I learned here is that adding flour to sticky dough is the impatient way to go. Apparently adding extra flour can make the dough tough and that if you just keep kneading the sticky dough, scraping up the scraps and mashing it back together, the dough will become smooth and lose its unbearable stickyness. PS – how about that Cards against Humanity card – “Why am I sticky?”

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I let this little ball-a-dough sit on my counter until approximately 1 am. This was when I felt like a real live baker, woohoo late night baking!! Except I wasn’t actually at the baking step, yet. So at this time, I’m craving my pillow, and stave it off by mixing up a yummy walnut, brown sugar, cinnamon filling. I adapted the filling from Deb’s other cinnamon swirl buns recipe, mixing 3/4 cup brown sugar with 2 TBS cinnamon, and using 1/4 cup butter to spread over the dough. This part was actually pretty fun. Roll gently, but firmly, and use a serrated knife to cut up these guys.

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Give them some room in the baking pan and cover lightly with plastic wrap. I refrigerated them over night and got up 30 minutes early to let them come to room temp before baking them. For the icing, I didn’t want to use cream cheese so I just mixed together powdered sugar with some almond milk and little vanilla extract to the consistency I liked. They totally couldve used more icing but hey, there was a solid amount of butter and sugar inside the yummy buns!! Make things if you really feel like doing the work, have the time, and want to celebrate the fact that Christ is risen! Here’s a pic of our amazing spread at my cousins’ house. It was a beautiful breakfast with my amazing family. A wonderful way to celebrate our rebirth in Christ and kickoff the Easter season.

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Maple Bacon Biscuits and BRUNCH

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That six letter word, ladies and gents. Brunch. I think I speak for allthesingleladies when I say that brunch is THE best six letter word out there. Whether you’re a boozy brunch person, a quiet tea and crumpets kinda brunch person, or a Carrie-Bradshaw-swanky-NYC-bruncher, it’s always the best.

This past Saturday, the reason for celebrating was nothing, really. Just another attempt at making my life a Nora Ephron movie, these maple bacon biscuits and my soul sistah Claire made it a wonderful morning. Claire and I used to have this blog which you should totally check out called lachansondusoleil where we shared thoughts and art while attending different universities (<- ok am I British?)  We spent the night before poring over cookbooks when of course the obvious answer was in the SmittenKitchen book.

Here’s something to remember. If you are supposed to use bacon fat as part of the shortening to make the biscuits, don’t use turkey bacon. You don’t really get pan drippings :/. But that’s ok! Because it just means you get to use more butter 🙂

When you make these, take up Deb’s suggestion to freeze the biscuits you won’t eat BEFORE baking them. Biscuits are absolutely the best the day they are made, so I would follow her suggestion and freeze the pre-baked cut out biscuits you don’t want in a freezer bag. Key part to this recipe: soaking the cooked bacon in the maple syrup for a few minutes. Um, yum!

Flippppiinnnn bacon

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Cutting the butter into flour, baking powder, salt. Big debate over whether to use a pastry cutter or our hands. Our hands won the debate.

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Claire, professional bacon chopper

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Oh yeaaaa. This took a little bit of work, I must say. Claire was really smart to add some more of the buttermilk and ice water to get our dough to come together. While we used the rolling pin to even out the dough, I think Deb is really on point by telling you to flatten out the dough with your hands. It makes it less likely to become tough and keeps the shape relatively compact. We made them a bit thinner than she suggests!

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And….

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