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Banana Bread with Espresso Glaze

Oohhhhhh look at that warm, sweet, gooey glaze!

Banana bread with espresso glaze...easy and delicious dessert or breakfast, warm and not too sweet, easy banana bread recipe

I’m not really into icings or glazes, but this espresso glaze takes something as simple as banana bread to a whole other level.  This banana bread is fairly straightforward, albeit with a little topping of crunchy turbinado sugar and a hint of cinnamon and espresso powder.  But add that glaze and you have a bona fide hit on your hands.

Banana bread with espresso glaze...easy and delicious dessert or breakfast, warm and not too sweet, easy banana bread recipe

What’s great about the recipe is that it can feel really special, or just be an everyday sort of thing.  I’m not hugely into banana bread, but I am hugely into this.  Seriously, what are you waiting for?  It can be in the oven in 15 minutes.  Go.  Go now. [Read more…]

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Snickerdoodle Zucchini Bread

This bread is the BOMB!

Snickerdoodle zucchini bread...cinnamon-sugar is my kryptonite

Cinnamon-sugar is my kryptonite in general, so it’s no surprise that I was drawn to this recipe.  It’s all the best things about my snickerdoodle bread (which is amazing, but also will make a major dent in your calories for the day), combined with a bit of whole wheat flour and fiber from zucchini.  Make no mistake, this is definitely a breakfast dessert, but it’s now only a bit of splurge rather than a complete diet derail.

Snickerdoodle zucchini bread...plenty of sweet, with a bit of healthy mixed in

The hardest thing is finding the cinnamon chips—if you see them, buy like 6 bags!  (Though this may be part of the scarcity problem…).  I think Hershey’s discontinued theirs, so I’ve been buying them on the Amazon black market, and will need to look elsewhere soon.  Cinnamon chips are seriously the best, and appropriate in all manner of delicious breakfast and dessert recipes.

Snickerdoodle zucchini bread

This was a hit at work.  And I had trouble keeping my hands off it.  I had a piece with my morning espresso, but went back several times throughout the day for another bite.  I probably had three pieces total, one bite at a time! [Read more…]

Maple and Oat Scones

This is my new breakfast obsession.

oat-maple-scones-done

I don’t know the last time I found a scone recipe I was so into.  Don’t get me wrong, I love scones, but they’re generally more of just a vehicle for condiments, an excuse to slather on jam or honey.  The scone itself is not so much the point.  But these scones are completely the point.

oat-maple-scones-baked

These are absolutely divine with a tiny bit of honey, but they’re honestly even amazing without anything at all.  There’s butter and maple syrup baked right in, so they really don’t need anything.  And they only took a few minutes to whip up and get in the oven.  Perfect for company, or just for you to devour by yourself with coffee and a blanket on a cold winter morning… [Read more…]

Tex Mex Breakfast Casserole

It is a truth universally acknowledged that I am a super lazy breakfast casserole maker.  Which is why I basically refuse to try new recipes, because they all have, like, a billion ingredients (which makes them expensive) and require way too much prep work.  So it’s pretty unusual for me to take on this recipe on a Thursday night for Friday morning department breakfast.

But boy, am I glad I did.

Easy Tex Mex Breakfast Bake

While this requires a tad more prep than my usual recipe (mostly cooking up the potatoes), it was super yummy and totally worth it.  The prep probably only took 30 minutes total, and I was also getting a coffee cake in the oven as well so I could have cut that down a bit with some focus.  The spice mix is awesome, and the tortillas add a great texture along with the black beans.  This is definitely going into my regular breakfast rotation.

tex-mex-breakfast-casserole-potatoes-onions-peppers-cooking-closeup

It’s also worth nothing that this is really doggone healthy as well.  Full of protein and fiber, and weighing in at around 100 calories per serving (assuming a 15-serving pan…probably more like 130 calories per serving if you have hungry people).  It was super filling and stuck with me all morning.  I had a second helping for a late lunch, in fact.

Tex Mex Egg Casserole

I made a few changes to the original recipe, including omitting the bacon out of laziness—also, turkey bacon doesn’t quite have the same effect.  I considered adding ground beef instead, but I was both lazy and cheap.  And honestly it doesn’t need it.  I also left out the cilantro (meh) and added cheese because…duh.  There’s a lot of flexibility in this recipe, so if there’s something you’re dying to add or substitute, go for it.  I’m not the boss of you. [Read more…]

Jam Streusel Coffee Cake

This coffee cake is like the Sound of Music in real life.  It’s all about my favorite things.

Jam Streusel Coffee Cake slice

Jam?  Check.  Streusel?  Check.  Excuse to eat dessert for breakfast?  Check.

jam streusel coffee cake jam swirls 2

Coffee cake is kind of a perfect food.  It is easy to whip up and throw in the oven, leaving you to focus on other things.  It can be made the night before if you’re on a tight schedule in the morning.  It’s fancy enough for a brunch or shower.  It CAN even be a dessert.  And this recipe is particularly great, in that the cake itself is lovely and light and moist and fluffy—helped along by the buttermilk, greek yogurt, and extra egg yolks. [Read more…]

Apple Pie Scones

I had other things I planned on posting this weekend, but I just couldn’t keep this recipe from you for a minute longer.  This recipe needs shared IMMEDIATELY.

Apple Pie Scones

I spent almost a week home with the family for Thanksgiving, and it involved a fair amount of cooking and baking.  Sabbath morning my mom asked what I’d like to make to go along with our awesome chili-cheese omelettes.  I needed something simple and fairly quick, since we were all starving, and scones felt like the simplest option.

apple pie scones wedges ready to bake closeup

I was really tempted by a cinnamon scone recipe I’ve been eyeing for months, but then this jumped at me.  I took a chance, and BOY, did I make the right choice?!

apple pie scones baked

The strangest thing about this recipe is that it doesn’t include any milk or buttermilk.  That made me nervous, and I was worried these would be dry or wouldn’t rise well, but I was totally wrong.  The shredded apples and the applesauce gave them all the moistness they needed, and the texture was perfect.  They’re pretty healthy as scones go, and have such a great flavor. [Read more…]

Healthy Eating in 2015…Back to Basics

I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions. I don’t judge people for making them or anything, but I’m more of a believer in making a change as soon as you see the need for it, not waiting for some contrived start date. Plus, if my old gym was any indication, few people keep them. It was nuts there the first few weeks of January, then back to normal within a month.

HOWEVER, I know that lots of you are making resolutions right now, and I myself have definitely slipped into bad habits over the last few months. I’ve got to lock it down now. Every time I call the Chinese place I want to go all Becca on myself…

Here is my healthy manifesto, though:

1) Healthy doesn’t mean unsatisfying—I believe things can taste good AND be good for you.

2) This is NOT a diet, this is about making good choices most of the time. I don’t believe in diets. Diets involve deprivation, and when you tell yourself you can’t have something it just makes you want it more. They’re unsustainable and that means that eventually people revert to their old ways. Plus, they’re just not fun, and I believe in fun. (And food. I love food.)

3) Quality of food  (i.e. packed with as many nutrients & as few chemicals as possible) is much more important than type, quantity, fat content, etc. And exercise is and always will be critical. Never underestimate the power of walking. Walking is amazing for body and soul.

So I’ve outlined some of my favorite healthy recipes below. This is as much for me as anyone else…for the last few months my schedule has been insane and I’ve been totally exhausted. That means I’ve been choosing convenience over everything else, eating out more often and have lacked the willpower to use portion control like I should. So now that I’ve had a week or so to decompress, I’m getting back to my good habits. [Read more…]

Apple Pie German Pancake Bowls

German pancakes, where have you been all my life?!?!

Apple Pie German Pancake Bowls done

A few weeks ago, I realized on a Thursday that the next morning was my breakfast day. But, in addition to working long hours, my co-workers and I were going out for a department event, so it was going to be a late night. I racked my brain for something I could easily throw together the next morning, but that would be hearty and unhealthy enough for my (probably slightly hungover) co-workers. This recipe was perfect because it was pretty easy, and had a baking break in the middle where I could also throw the frittata into the oven.

apple pie german pancake bowls apples chopped

While I’d heard of Dutch babies (another name for German pancakes), I’d never made them and I’m not sure I’d even had them. But they are awesome! There’s no sugar in the actual batter (some recipes I’ve seen have a tiny bit), but you load them up with whatever awesome fillings you want. Because they have a lot of eggs in them and a lot less flour, they also stick with you longer.

apple pie german pancake bowls struesel topping2

These have a delightful homemade apple pie filling and then some streusel on top, and are entirely decadent (yet surprisingly not that bad for you). This has opened a whole world of German pancakes and Dutch babies to explore now that I can’t get them out of my mind. [Read more…]

Traditional Spanish Tortilla

See, I would have called this a frittata. And apparently I would have been wrong.

Traditional Spanish Tortilla done

One of my co-workers is half Spanish, and one time he brought in a traditional Spanish tortilla for breakfast. While it looked exactly like the frittatas I’m so fond of, it just had a slightly different flair. The gold potatoes are delightfully tender and add a delicate base to the dish. Many also include onion, asparagus, chorizo, and other fillings. The recipe below called for tarragon, though I used fresh rosemary and oregano instead.

Traditional Spanish Tortilla

Spanish tortillas and frittatas are very similar, though there are a few differences. Tortillas are always egg- and potato-based, while frittatas only have to have eggs. Also, apparently the main difference is that you’re supposed to flip a Spanish tortilla on the stovetop at the end, versus finishing in the oven like a frittata. I’ll definitely be trying this method next time—I’m trying to wheedle my co-worker’s recipe out of him! [Read more…]

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp Breakfast Bars

Y’all, I have never once cooked with rhubarb before this recipe. In fact, I could probably count the number of times I’ve had rhubarb on, like, half a hand. Which is creepy when you think about it (half a hand, that is, not rhubarb).

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars

There’s something about rhubarb that screams spring…maybe it has a really short seasonality or something? I’m definitely not a rhubarb expert. What I *do* know is that rhubarb is quiiiiiite tart, which is why it’s usually paired with very sweet fruits like strawberries, and takes a little extra sugar to make it edible.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars done

These bars look like a dessert (and they could be, with a few tweaks), but they’re really a healthy, fiber-ful, antioxidant-filled whole grain breakfast treat.

strawberry rhubarb crumb bars rhubarb chopped

The star of these is obviously the strawberries and rhubarb (which is like a girly-looking, super tart celery), but the crust and crumble topping has a lovely light sweetness to it, made hearty by the oats and whole wheat flour.

On a side note, I’ll bet the first person to bite into a rhubarb stalk expecting something either sweet or celery-like later seriously reconsidered their willingness to try new things. It is NOT good raw. I’m guessing it was entertaining to watch, though… [Read more…]

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