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Dining In: Beating the breakfast blahs

by Karen Diefendorf

Quick and healthy blender breakfast
From the American Institute for Cancer Research
   1 c. sliced fruit or berries (bananas, peaches, strawberries, pears, blueberries)
   4 oz. low-fat or skim milk, or low-fat or non-fat plain yogurt
   1 tsp. honey, sugar, or maple syrup
   1 Tbsp. unprocessed wheat bran
   In a blender or food processor, combine the ingredients and process until smooth. Pour into a tall glass. Each 1-glass serving contains 1 gram fat and 202 calories.

Puffy oven pancake with fruit filling
   1/2 c. unsifted flour
   2 Tbsp. syrup
   1/2 c. milk
   2 eggs
   1/4 tsp. salt
   1 Tbsp. butter or margarine
   3 c. assorted sliced fruits or berries (fresh or frozen)
   Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In medium bowl, combine all ingredients except margarine and fruit. Beat until smooth. In 9-inch pie plate, melt butter in oven. Remove from oven and pour batter into hot pie plate. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Arrange fruit in center of pancake. Top with additional syrup if desired. Serve immediately. Refrigerate leftovers.

Baked apple French toast
   1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar
   1/2 c. butter
   1/2 c. prepared strawberry spreadable fruit (in the jam and jelly section)
   2 tart apples, peeled and sliced
   1 loaf (12 inches) French bread, cut into 1-inch slices
   5 eggs
   1 1/2 c. milk
   1 tsp. vanilla
   In a medium saucepan, cook sugar, butter, and spreadable fruit until butter melts. Pour into a 9x13-inch baking pan and spread to coat bottom. Arrange apple slices over syrup. Place bread slices over the apple slices. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients and pour to coat bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven 40 minutes or until knife inserted into center of bread comes out clean. Cool slightly before serving. Makes 6 servings.

Eye-opener omelette
   1 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. butter
   1/4 c. chopped onions
   1/4 c. chopped celery
   1/4 c. chopped green bell peppers
   2 tsp. minced fresh garlic
   1/2 c. canned crushed tomatoes
   1/2 c. chicken stock
   6 large eggs
   1/4 c. milk
   1/2 tsp. pepper sauce
   Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a heavy 10-inch skillet over high heat. When it sizzles, add the onions, celery and bell peppers. Cook and stir for two minutes, then stir in the garlic. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring and scraping as the vegetables brown and start to stick, for two minutes more. Stir in the tomatoes and cook for 1 1/2 minutes. Add the stock and cool, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft and the sauce is thick, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat.
   This recipe makes enough sauce for two omelettes, but each omelette is made individually. For the first omelette, whip together 3 eggs, 2 tablespoons milk and 1/4 tsp. pepper sauce. Melt 1 teaspoon butter in a heavy 9-inch skillet over medium-high heat. When it sizzles, add the egg mixture and cook until the eggs begin to set, about 30 seconds. As soon as there is a base of cooked egg on the bottom, use a spatula to pull the eggs from the outer edge of the pan toward the middle, giving the uncooked egg mixture a chance to cook. Continue pulling the cooked portion toward the center of the pan, cooking for about two minutes, or until the eggs are almost cooked through. The top should still be a little loose.
   Spoon about 1/4 cup of the sauce over half the omelette and fold the other side to form a half-moon shape. Carefully slide the omelette onto a serving plate, and spoon another 1/4 cup sauce on top. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make the other omelette. Serve immediately.

Breakfast scones
   3 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
   1/2 c. sugar
   1/2 tsp. salt
   1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
   3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine
   12 oz. ground pork or turkey sausage
   1 1/2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
   3/4 c. buttermilk
   In a skillet, cook the sausage until lightly browned. Drain well and set aside. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. With a pastry blender, cut in the margarine until the mixture resembles crumbs. Sprinkle the shredded Cheddar cheese and the sausage over the flour mixture and toss lightly.
   Add the buttermilk to the flour mixture. If the dough is too sticky, add a little extra flour to the mix. Flour your hands and knead the dough about 20 times, adding flour if you need to. Let the dough rest for about five minutes. With the counter surface floured, press one-half of the dough into a circle, sealing the edges as your work the dough. Use a 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter dipped in flour to cut out the scones. Repeat with remaining dough. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Best when served hot from the oven or at least warm. Serve with butter, maple syrup, and/or strawberry preserves. Makes 1 1/2 dozen.