Friday, February 6, 2009
Back again from jury duty, which pretty much entailed me sitting around all morning -- the wheels of justice turn ever so slowly. As promised, here's another installment of "Cibus Corner", hosted by my sister and chef extraordinaire Jane.
Chef Babs, aged 9*
I have always been a big fan of breakfast. Indeed, I really can't go a day without it. Breakfast is a wonderful way to kick off the morning and I always look forward to my first (of three!) cup of coffee. Normally, I eat a bowl of cereal and a banana, but on the weekend or when I have guests staying the night, I like to do something a little more special. The following recipes are delicious and easy. For those of you that do not cook, but are faced with a weekend with the in-laws or friends who have high expectations about your culinary abilities (a certain med school couple springs immediately to mind), I highly recommend trying these recipes. They are simple and definitely have the big "wow" factor.
This first recipe comes from Paula Deen. In general, I like Paula's food, but I usually only cook her dessert and breakfast recipes since her dinner entrees are rich enough to raise my cholesterol level well above 300 at the tender age of 26. I have to say though, when it comes to desserts and breakfasts, Paula is hard to beat. This recipe that my sister's sister-in-law (not sure what that relationship would be with respect to me) made over the Christmas holidays really blew everyone away. It is simple but does require some prep the night before, which does have the benefit of making things really easy and quick in the morning -- all you have to do is pop it in the oven! For those of you that don't normally bake, you can definitely master this one. All you do is throw some frozen dinner rolls (dough, not already cooked) into a bundt pan and top with pudding (not instant) mix, sugar, and nuts. I recommend using frozen yeast rolls, and Paula calls for butterscotch pudding mix, but we used vanilla and it turned out great. Serve with some hot coffee, orange juice, and a side of fruit, and you have a breakfast that kids, spouses, and guests will love! Again, rather than copying it here verbatim and to give proper credit to Paula, you'll have to click on over to her recipe here.
If you are looking for a more traditional breakfast, or perhaps one where the kids can get involved, then pancakes are always a winner. My favorite pancake recipe is definitely Nigella Lawson's "American" pancakes (recipe here). The ingredients are simple, and her tip to just put all of the ingredients in a blinder, whirl, and pour directly onto the griddle could not be easier! For a more sophisticated pancake, add blueberries, bananas, or strawberries. I prefer to eat my pancakes with jam on top (kind of like a crepe) rather than with syrup. I recommend stacking the pancakes high and offering a variety of jellies, real maple syrup (for the adults) and the Aunt Jemima for the kids. In addition to pancakes, I would offer some scrambled eggs whipped with a touch of milk or cream and a side of fruit.
My other favorite morning breakfast recipe is also a Nigella Lawson recipe, but sadly I could not find it posted on either her website or the Food Network's. It's published in her book How to be a Domestic Goddess (which should be on every cook's shelf) in the kids' section -- yes, they are that easy. Plus, no special equipment is required: you don't even need a hand-mixer to make these muffins. All you need are two ripe bananas and some honey. The other ingredients are basic baking fare (flour, salt and baking powder/soda). Whenever I have two extra bananas I whip these up for breakfast. A bonus with these muffins is that they have no added sugar (just the honey) and the only fat in them are two tablespoons of butter for the whole batch. I throw in some chopped walnuts for some added texture. These are great to keep around all week and will last up to four days when stored properly.
Next Week: A classic comfort food dinner made healthy! So good, that your Alabama boyfriend will not notice that he is not eating fried chicken.
* - Editatrix's Note: This photograph was reproduced here without the prior written consent of its subject, Chef Babs. However, since an image's copyright is in the ownership of its maker and not its subject, Editatrix avers that she is well within her right to do so. Besides, she who owns the blog calls the shots, and the Editatrix maintains the photo is cute.