Fancy Breakfast Friday: Black Friday

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Starting the day before Jack’s birthday and continuing until Thanksgiving, I made a batch of cookies, three cakes, three Thanksgiving sides and we hosted a taco party/piano recital at our house.  So, I was thinking of taking a Fancy Breakfast Friday off.  But then I had a better idea!!! Delegate.  We still have to eat, right?

As Dave says, when in doubt, make a bagel supreme.  That is what is pictured above.  Yum! Dave makes an excellent bagel supreme.

Then went out to breakfast with the kids to one of our fave spots.  Dots.  I had a latte.

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And just because I have to have at least one thing to brag about, here is the cake I made for Jack’s birthday.

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It’s called the Game of Thrones Cake.  I have now officially perfected it.  Although, I did try to rush the last few steps and my chocolate swords started to melt.  I had to put the rest of it together outside and hope for the best.

I used this recipe in a bundt pan at 350 for 55-60 minutes.  Maybe a smidge too long.  I cut the cocoa a bit because it literally calls for more than what normally comes in a tin.  And I wasn’t going to send Dave back a second time for more.  I’ll do a Game of Thrones Cake tutorial before the next season comes out.

 

 

 

Fancy Breakfast Friday: Pumpkin Muffins

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I’ve made this recipe for pumpkin muffins or bread 3 times now.  I love it because it uses a whole can of pumpkin so I don’t need to plan a use for two portions of a pumpkin can.  (Although I did learn I can make pumpkin cake and pumpkin donut holes at the same time out of one can.  And since I made pumpkin cake for Thanksgiving, I assume I will be making pumpkin donut holes at some point this weekend.)

But the recipe is self contained.  It’s also written to be a one bowl recipe which awesome.  It makes a spectacular loaf of bread, but it also can make 18 muffins.  Since we get way fewer than 18 servings out of the bread, I have been going the muffin route.  However, the bread is also worth making because the cinnamon and sugar on the top makes an amazing crust. I haven’t been able to replicate that with the muffins.

Everyone loves this, although Luke keeps suggesting that I add chocolate chips.  It seems perfect as is, and I already have a chocolate chip pumpkin muffin recipe, I just prefer this new one right now.

I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Fancy Breakfast Friday: Corn Tortillas

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At Dave’s request, I made corn tortillas from scratch as a basis for huevos rancheros.

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I bought the masa harina at King Soopers instead of getting the real deal from one of my many other options in Boulder.  King Soopers also had something more authentic looking than what I bought (the Quaker brand) but the bag was a lot bigger and I had a suspicion I would go back to buying tortillas after making them once so… I bought the smaller bag.

When I got home I realized I bought the darn bag for flour tortillas.  As I already have 4 kinds of wheat flour, I returned it for the corn flour.  Luke and Lucy walked to the grocery store with me, so that was a nice outing.

Breakfast was delicious, obviously.  But the leftovers were… crackery.  In retrospect I wonder if I overcooked them.  It took me about 5 tortillas to get it “right”.  I suppose I’ll make them again as I have a lot of masa harina left over.

I read that it’s hard to get the shape you want with a rolling pin.  The preferred method is to use a tortilla press.  Even though I knew I wasn’t going to end up with perfectly round tortillas, I was surprised at how misshapen they were, and at how annoyed I was by that.

I did spend a lot of time thinking of the people who lived in the Mesa Verde area while I was rolling my tortillas.  (This is just an excuse to share vacation pictures.)

I already shared my book for this week in my book club post on Monday, but here it is again.

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Book Club: Smash the Patriarchy

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Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay– I can’t really do a book review here because I just started reading this, but I like it so far.  It’s a book of essays.

Between The World and Me by Ta-Nahisi Coates– I have recommended this before.  Its a letter from a man to his son about the dangers of growing up black in America, and about how race is a social construct.  I kept waiting for the solution to be presented, but it’s a description of the world as it is today from a perspective you may not have.

Americanah by Chimamamda Ngozi Adichie –  This book is fiction, and I read it over a year ago.  Many parts of it remain vivid in my memory, which I think is a sign of a well written book.  It is a story about a Nigerian immigrant’s life in American, and eventual return home.  While I was looking up the link, I saw that she has also written a book called We Should All Be Feminists, which I haven’t read but I just ordered it from the library.

Shrill: Notes from a  Loud Woman by Lindy West – I read this a while ago, and I had resisted at first because some of Lindy’s essays or blog posts rubbed me the wrong way when I read them on Jezebel.  But reading this book gave me more perspective and background on her thoughts and where she is coming from.  She writes about the fact that words matter, and they way we talk affects the way people are treated.  It’s also very funny.

I’m Judging You by Luvvie Ajay– I haven’t read this yet, but I plan to soon.  I like the idea of a book that will make me laugh and contain a plan for being better on social media.

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Fancy Breakfast Friday: Pan Dulce

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Luke had pan dulce in his Spanish class as part of their Día de los Muertos celebration so he put in a Fancy Breakfast Friday request.  I have never made pan dulce, nor did I know how to say it, so I went with the King Arthur Flour recipe. In retrospect, I should have considered a couple recipes, maybe one with a prettier topping, because these didn’t turn out like the pan dulce at la pastelería.   (Or should I say la panadería?  There’s been some debate here this morning.)  There’s that point in the recipe where it says, “Just before baking, use a pan dulce cutter to press a pattern into the topping.” That’s when you give up on looks and hope that it tastes good.

I followed the recipe to step 9 the night before and then left them in the fridge over night. In the morning, they had until the oven was warmed up to rise on the counter and then they were cooked.

As I was prepping the dough the night before Luke asked what I was doing and I told him that I was making pan dulce with a “ch” sound and he got the sweetest smile on his face.  I thought it meant, “Wow what a great and loving Mom I have.”  But when he said, “Uh.  It’s pronounced Pan Dulce” I realized it was a smile of “You dummy.”  That’s OK, if anyone appreciates Fancy Breakfast Friday, it’s Luke.

Instead of halving the recipe and then making smaller portions, as I have been doing lately, I accidentally made the whole thing, and came up with 8 instead of 10.  They were huge.  Jack almost missed the bus because it took him so long to eat his.

I took a picture with the book I read last week too, The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan.  It’s a little book about a good man.  Each chapter is from the perspective of a different character.  I read about it in the New York Times Book Review where Tana French recommended it, and Tana French had been recommended to me by my Aunt Linda, so I knew I had to read it.

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Fancy Breakfast Friday: My Go-To Pancakes

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I’ve made these pancakes for Fancy Breakfast Friday before, but I never shared the recipe.  The reason I made something as standard and boring as pancakes is that I have had an ongoing buttermilk situation.  I know I have complained about King Soopers before but here I go again.  They have goat, soy, almond, cow, banana, chocolate, coconut, cashew and probably more types of milk.  But last time I looked for buttermilk they didn’t have any.  The dairy guy said, “You know, you can just add a splash of lemon or vinegar…”  And I said, “I KNOW! I’m the queen of making fake buttermilk.  But when I plan ahead and I’m at the store, it’s because I want ACTUAL buttermilk.”  But I said it very nicely.

This time I did find some, but all they had was a half gallon.  Has anyone ever needed more than a pint of buttermilk? No.  So I used buttermilk in the biscuits last week.  I had halved that recipe, so that left me with half a gallon minus 1.5 cups.  To use a bit more, I tripled this pancake recipe that I usually double.  (The next day I made cornbread with some more of the buttermilk and I still need to use the rest assuming it hasn’t gone bad.)

Here is the basic recipe – this is for one small batch of pancakes – I always double it, sometimes triple it.  This is adapted from Simply Colorado, which was a wedding shower gift.  (It’s old.)

My Go To Pancake

1 cup buttermilk or yogurt.  (The yogurt makes it very think.  If I use yogurt I double the recipe and do half milk/half yogurt.)
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup whole wheat flour (when I tripe I do 2 cups whole wheat and 1 cup all purpose flour)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
optional blueberries

Add all dry ingredients to a bowl and mix with a fork.

Measure the milk in a measuring cup that is larger than the amount of milk you are using.  Crack the egg into the measuring cup and stir well with a fork.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir with the fork until just mixed.  Allow to rest for a second while you heat the griddle.

I make these pancakes in a smiley face skillet.  Using a ladle I fill each face with batter and put a spoon full of frozen blueberries on top.  When the edges look cooked and bubbles are rising I flip the pancake onto another heated skillet.  There is no way I could accurately flip the pancakes onto the faces in the skillet.  So my smiley pancakes are one sided.  This actually makes it go a lot faster since I have two skillets cooking pancakes at once.

My other pancake secret is that I keep them warm on a plate in the microwave.  This is great in the summer when you want  warm pancakes, but you don’t want the oven heating up the house.  This is a trick I learned from Dave.

These pancakes were loved by all, and eaten all weekend, sometimes as a pancake and peanut butter sandwich.  Sometimes toasted. Sometimes just at room temperature like a piece of delicious bread.

If you are looking for a trip down memory lane, please feel free to read this description of Luke’s first day of kindergarten.   It came up when I was searching my blog for “pancake”.

Fancy Breakfast Friday: Big Buttermilk Biscuits

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This recipe is from Oprah magazine and I found the baked egg aspect intriguing.  This was supposed to make 12 huge biscuits, so I decided to follow my brilliant plan from the bagels last week and half the recipe and then stretch it to 8.  My old theory use to be, “As long as I am baking or cooking I might as well make 1000 of everything.”  That explains why I would only make cookies once a year.  Once, right after I had given away all my cookies someone asked me to make 2 dozen cookies for the teachers.  I begrudgingly did it and I learned a valuable lesson.  It’s a lot easier and less time consuming to make a smaller amount of something.  Especially something that may not be the healthiest thing in the world to have around the house.  Long story short (too late) I halved the recipe.

This recipe calls for a 3″ biscuit cutter, which I do not have because until this point in my life I have exclusively made drop biscuits.  I used a large jar.  And guess what? I ended up with 12 biscuits.  The only thing I can figure out is that I rolled the dough to half the thickness I needed.  Otherwise the math doesn’t work out.

I only made 4 biscuits with an egg in them because I thought they would be gross as leftovers.  And to be honest, I wasn’t sure how they’d be fresh out of the oven either.  The non-egg biscuits came out looking golden and gorgeous.  I left the eggs in a little longer because they hadn’t really turned golden and the eggs looked very runny.  Finally I tapped one of them to see just how runny they still were and my finger bounced right off.  They felt like rubber.  The boys found the egg inside the biscuit to be quite fascinating, and fun.  They tasted good, the biscuit was very buttery and the egg had a kind of hard boiled quality to it.

Everybody got a biscuit with an egg baked in, some bacon, and half a burnt grapefruit.  For the grapefruit, I put some sugar on top and caramelized the sugar with my creme brûlée torch.  Fancy, I know. (This idea came from Centro, which used to have my favorite breakfast in town before they changed chefs.)

This was a fun breakfast.  I would make it again if it was requested.