Sharing a seriously fun love for food

Category: Breakfast/Brunch

Brisket Hash with Brown Shallot Gravy

Brisket Hash with Brown Shallot Gravy

Beef is not only what’s for dinner, it’s also what’s for breakfast. And what a hearty breakfast this is. Loaded with country potatoes, cheese, herbs and spices plus gorgeous chunks of beef brisket. Topped with a couple of eggs – served your favorite way – and a savory brown shallot gravy!

It was not uncommon to have beef for breakfast at the ranch. Often it was in the form of a pan-seared steak served with eggs and biscuits hot from the oven. A hearty breakfast was key to get through a day of working cattle.

My Grandad in the foreground, with two of his younger brothers at the Powell ranch.

This is a layering of unbelievable flavors and tastes. Country-style potatoes are tossed in olive oil and butter then in both garlic and chili powders. Then they’re sautéed with thyme until the potatoes are tender and lightly golden brown. Toss in a handful of shaved nutty Fontina and Parmesan cheese and chunks of that succulent beef brisket. Finally, slide the eggs on top and add a spoon or two of that rich gravy made with beef stock and shallots!

There are several steps in this dish but you can take some shortcuts. For the potatoes grab a bag of Simply Potatoes’ diced potatoes, found in the dairy case in most food markets. We frequently use both their diced potatoes and hash browns and always have great results.

And for the brisket, you can use leftover brisket you might have cooked and stashed in your fridge or head over to your favorite barbecue spot and have them slice some up for you.

I did the latter. We just happen to be dear friends with the family that owns one of the best spots for barbecue in North Texas, Feedstore BBQ and More. They use certified Hereford beef for their hickory smoked brisket and everything is meticulously prepared on site using their custom rubs and recipes. (And yes, they ship!)

For the gravy, shallots are sautéed in butter adding their subtle, savory note to a rich beef stock creating a luscious brown sauce.

Thickened with flour and finished with a touch of cream, it’s perfect for ladling over the brisket hash. If you want to do a bit of meal prep you can also make the gravy ahead of time. When you’re ready to serve simply reheat adding a little cream or beef stock if it needs to be thinned.

You might not be working cattle, but that’s no reason to skip an unbelievable breakfast. This is one delicious way to start the day!

Brisket Hash with Shallot Gravy

For the shallot gravy:

2 tablespoons butter

1 small shallot, sliced very thin – about 3 tablespoons

2 tablespoons flour

¼ to ½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

1 cup water

1 tablespoons concentrated beef stock, such as Better Than Bouillon

½ cup cream

To make the shallot gravy:

Melt the butter in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add the sliced shallots and cook until very tender and translucent, about 5 minutes.

Whisk the flour into the butter and shallots until smooth. Add ¼ teaspoon of the kosher salt – reserving the remainder only if needed – and black pepper. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes.

Stir in the water and the concentrated beef stock. Continue whisking and cooking over medium heat until the gravy has thickened, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Stir in the cream. Check for seasonings and add the additional kosher salt if needed.

To make the brisket hash:

1 package diced potatoes, about 20-ounces or 4 cups

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 tablespoons butter, melted

¾ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

½ teaspoon chili powder

½ teaspoon garlic powder

4 to 5 sprigs fresh thyme, or about 1 teaspoon dried

8 ounces cooked sliced beef brisket

½ cup shaved blend of Fontina and Parmesan, such as Sartori’s Reserve Cheese Tuscan Blend

4 to 8 eggs, cooked over easy or to your preference – 1 to 2 eggs per person

To make the hash:

Place the diced potatoes in a large bowl. In a small bowl mix together 2 tablespoons of the olive oil with the melted butter. Add the kosher salt, black pepper, chili powder and garlic powder, stirring until well blended. Pour the seasoning mixture over the diced potatoes, stirring to coat well.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the potatoes and the thyme. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring once after about 8 minutes.

Add the brisket, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook for about 5 minutes just until the brisket is warmed through, then add the cheese.

Top with eggs and the shallot gravy.

Serves 4.

Brisket Hash with Brown Shallot Gravy, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

May 8, 2019
: Serves 4.

Beef is not only what’s for dinner, it’s also what’s for breakfast! And what a hearty breakfast this is! Loaded with country potatoes, cheese, herbs and spices and chunks of beef brisket. Top with eggs served up over easy and a savory brown shallot gravy!

By:

Ingredients
  • For the shallot gravy:
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small shallot, sliced very thin – about 3 tablespoons
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoons concentrated beef stock, such as Better Than Bouillon
  • ½ cup cream
  • For the brisket hash:
  • 1 package diced potatoes, about 20-ounces or 4 cups
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 to 5 sprigs fresh thyme, or about 1 teaspoon dried
  • 8 ounces cooked sliced beef brisket
  • ½ cup shaved blend of Fontina and Parmesan, such as Sartori’s Reserve Cheese Tuscan Blend
  • 4 to 8 eggs, cooked over easy or to your preference – 1 or 2 eggs per person
Directions
  • Step 1 To make the shallot gravy:
  • Step 2 Melt the butter in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add the sliced shallots and cook until very tender and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Step 3 Whisk the flour into the butter and shallots until smooth. Add ¼ teaspoon of the kosher salt – reserve the remainder and use only if needed – and black pepper. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Step 4 Stir in the water and the concentrated beef stock. Continue whisking and cooking over medium heat until the gravy has thickened, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the cream. Check for seasonings and add the additional kosher salt if needed.
  • Step 5 To make the brisket hash:
  • Step 6 Place the diced potatoes in a large bowl.
  • Step 7 In a small bowl mix together 2 tablespoons of the olive oil with the melted butter. Add the kosher salt, black pepper, chili powder and garlic powder, stirring until well blended.
  • Step 8 Pour the seasoning mixture over the diced potatoes, stirring to coat well.
  • Step 9 Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the potatoes and the thyme. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring once after about 8 minutes.
  • Step 10 Add the brisket, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook for about 5 minutes just until the brisket is warmed through, then add the cheese.
  • Step 11 Top with eggs and the shallot gravy.
Coconut Waffles

Coconut Waffles

It’s the weekend so what better way to start things off than with a delicious breakfast bread – with steam rising from the top, crispy on the outside yet tender and fluffy on the inside. These golden waffles are layered with flakes of toasted coconut and warm notes of pure vanilla with just a hint of almond. Morning meals just got a bit more interesting!

Every trip I take to Atlanta I come home inspired. There are so many wonderful places for brunch and with our love for good food, Emily always knows about great spots. On a recent visit we dined at a favorite spot and ordered coconut waffles for the table to share. And they did not disappoint. So once I was back home in Texas I was on a quest to recreate this dish.

Sweetened flaked coconut is the star attraction but amping up the coconut flavor seemed necessary. Many of the same basics for waffles are included in this recipe. Buttermilk always makes for a tender quick bread and is frequently used in pancakes and waffles. It’s often blended with regular milk so to boost that luscious coconut flavor I added a cup of coconut milk in place of the regular milk then substituted coconut oil in place of vegetable oil.

Start by toasting the sweetened coconut to a golden hue. Toasting brings out the depth of flavor from this tropical drupe – more commonly known as a fruit.

Blend cornstarch into the dry ingredients to balance out the gluten in all-purpose flour. This brings a cake flour quality to the batter creating a light, delicate waffle.

Finish by adding a depth of flavor from pure vanilla extract and a hint of almond extract that plays nicely off the coconut.

Top with a creamy pat of butter and serve with warm maple syrup and more toasted coconut – yum, just yum!

Coconut Waffles

1-1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut

2 extra-large eggs

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup coconut milk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ teaspoon almond extract

2/3 cup coconut oil, melted

1-1/2 cups flour

½ cup cornstarch

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

Butter and maple syrup for serving

Spread the shredded coconut evenly on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in a 400-degree oven for about 10 to 12 minutes or until toasted and golden in color. Stir every 5 minutes so that the coconut toasts evenly.

In a medium-size mixing bowl whisk the eggs along with the buttermilk, coconut milk, vanilla extract, almond extract and melted coconut oil.

In a large mixing bowl whisk the flour with the cornstarch, sugar, kosher salt, baking powder and baking soda.

Pour the egg and milk mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk just until blended. Add 1 cup of the toasted coconut and gently stir into the batter. Let it rest for 15 minutes.

Lightly spray the interior of a waffle iron with a cooking spray. Heat on the medium setting and when hot fill each well with batter. Cook for about 3 to 5 minutes or until the waffles are crisp and golden.

Serve hot with butter, warm maple syrup and top with additional toasted coconut.

To keep the waffles warm you can place them on a wire rack set over a baking sheet in a 200-degree oven. Any leftover waffles can be frozen and reheated in a 350-degree oven or popped back in your waffle iron.

Makes 14 individual waffles.

Coconut Waffles, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

April 26, 2019
: Makes 14 individual waffles

These golden waffles are layered with flakes of toasted coconut and warm notes of pure vanilla with just a hint of almond. Morning meals just got a bit more interesting!

By:

Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • Butter and maple syrup for serving
Directions
  • Step 1 Spread the shredded coconut evenly on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in a 400-degree oven for about 10 to 12 minutes or until toasted and golden in color. Stir every 5 minutes so that the coconut toasts evenly.
  • Step 2 In a medium-size mixing bowl whisk the eggs along with the buttermilk, coconut milk, vanilla extract, almond extract and melted coconut oil.
  • Step 3 In a large mixing bowl whisk the flour with the cornstarch, sugar, kosher salt, baking powder and baking soda.
  • Step 4 Pour the egg and milk mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk just until blended. Add 1 cup of the toasted coconut and gently stir into the batter. Let it rest for 15 minutes.
  • Step 5 Lightly spray the interior of a waffle iron with a cooking spray. Heat on the medium setting and when hot fill each well with batter. Cook for about 3 to 5 minutes or until the waffles are crisp and golden.
  • Step 6 Serve hot with butter, warm maple syrup and top with additional toasted coconut.
  • Step 7 To keep the waffles warm you can place them on a wire rack set over a baking sheet in a 200-degree oven.
  • Step 8 Any leftover waffles can be frozen and reheated in a 350-degree oven or popped back in your waffle iron.

 

Orange Marmalade Bread

Orange Marmalade Bread

A light pecan crunch and a gentle wisp of cinnamon compliment the subtle and wonderful bittersweet tang of marmalade in this beautiful golden loaf.

Orange marmalade is the surprise ingredient in this vintage quick bread recipe. It’s an easy mix by hand. This bread starts with classic baking ingredients then it’s spiced with ground cinnamon and layered with nuttiness from toasted pecans. An earthy depth from orange marmalade brings the batter together.

As with any quick bread, take care to not over mix the batter – it starts off stiff but once you add the marmalade you’ll have a dreamy orange batter.

Bake just until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The result is a sturdy loaf with an almost caramelized crust.

It has a flavor that’s perfect for breakfast but it’s also a perfect lunch companion alongside a salad. Serve it plain, with a smear of mascarpone…

or perhaps a bit more marmalade to bring the notes full circle!

Orange Marmalade Bread

3 cups of flour

3-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ cup sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 extra-large egg

¾ cup milk

1 cup chopped toasted pecans

2 tablespoon vegetable oil

¾ cup orange marmalade

Toss the flour into a mixing bowl, reserving 1 tablespoon. Whisk together with the baking powder, kosher salt, sugar and cinnamon.

Whisk together the egg and the milk.

Combine the milk and egg with the flour mixture.

The batter will be very stiff.

Toss the pecans with the remaining tablespoon of flour. Add the pecans, the vegetable oil and the orange marmalade stirring just until the batter is blended.

Scoop into a large loaf pan (9”x5”x3”) that has been sprayed with a cooking spray.

Bake for one hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes than turn out on a wire rack to cool completely.

Serve warm or room temperature, plain for with a smear of mascarpone and perhaps a touch of orange marmalade.

Makes one large loaf.

Orange Marmalade Bread, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

April 8, 2019
: Makes one large loaf.

A light pecan crunch and a gentle wisp of cinnamon compliment the subtle and wonderful bittersweet tang of marmalade in this beautiful golden loaf.

By:

Ingredients
  • 3 cups of flour
  • 3-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 extra-large egg
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 cup chopped toasted pecans
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup orange marmalade
Directions
  • Step 1 Toss the flour into a mixing bowl, reserving 1 tablespoon. Whisk together with the baking powder, kosher salt, sugar and cinnamon.
  • Step 2 Whisk together the egg and the milk.
  • Step 3 Combine the milk and egg with the flour mixture. The batter will be very stiff.
  • Step 4 Toss the pecans with the remaining tablespoon of flour.
  • Step 5 Add the pecans, the vegetable oil and the orange marmalade stirring just until the batter is blended.
  • Step 6 Scoop into a large loaf pan (9”x5”x3”) that has been sprayed with a cooking spray.
  • Step 7 Bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Step 8 Let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes than turn out on a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Step 9 Serve warm or room temperature, plain for with a smear of mascarpone and perhaps a touch of orange marmalade.
Irish Freckle Bread

Irish Freckle Bread

Though I’m not prone to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day, it seems appropriate to give a nod to this charming old holiday. No green beer here but instead a fruit and nut studded loaf that creates a celebration fit for a Saint!

In flipping through dozens of recipes for the traditional Irish Soda Bread, I ran across this gem in one of my favorite “go to” cookbooks for baking guidance – “The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion”. It’s a fabulous book loaded with history and tips on all things baking. With a few tweaks for personal flavor preference, the outcome is almost addictive! This loaf is full of luscious dried fruit – golden raisins, currants, plump dried apricots and dates – all steeped in rich, black tea.

This medley of flavor is nestled into a beautiful whole wheat batter balanced with the crunch of toasted walnuts and deep but subtle sweetness from brown sugar.

Before baking, this quick bread is dusted with a sprinkling of sugar crystals creating a delicate finish to the top crust of this golden loaf.

A nutty, fruity bread – perfect for breakfast or brunch.

Or maybe whip up a batch of whipped cream or whiskey sauce for a tantalizing dessert! An absolutely delicious bite but no need to wait for St. Patrick’s Day to enjoy this delectable Irish Freckle Bread!

Irish Freckle Bread

1 cup golden raisins

½ cup currants

1 cup dried apricots, chopped into small pieces – about 30 apricots

1 cup dates, chopped into small pieces – about 22 dates

1 cup hot strong black tea, brewed with two tea bags

1 cup chopped toasted walnuts

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup white whole-wheat flour

1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

1 extra-large egg

1 tablespoon sugar

Combine the raisins, currants, chopped apricots and chopped dates in a mixing bowl.

Pour the hot tea over the fruit and stir to mix together. Allow the fruit to steep in the tea until completely cool, about 15 minutes stirring frequently.

In a large mixing bowl add the brown sugar along with white whole-wheat flour, the pastry flour, baking powder and kosher salt. Mix on medium speed until the dry ingredients are blended together, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the fruit and tea along with the butter, blending on low speed until the fruit is mixed into the batter, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Stir in the egg, mixing on low for about 2 minutes.

Scoop the batter into an 8” round cake pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

Sprinkle the tablespoon of sugar over the top of the bread.

Bake in a 325-degree oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until the bread tests done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let the bread cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around the edge of the pan and turn the bread out on a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes one 8-inch round loaf.

Irish Freckle Bread, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

March 13, 2019
: Make one 8-inch round loaf.

This loaf is full of luscious dried fruit - golden raisins, currants, plump dried apricots and dates – all steeped in rich, black tea. This medley of flavor is nestled into a beautiful whole wheat batter balanced with the crunch of toasted walnuts and a deep but subtle sweetness from brown sugar.

By:

Ingredients
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • ½ cup currants
  • 1 cup dried apricots, chopped into small pieces – about 30 apricots
  • 1 cup dates, chopped into small pieces – about 22 dates
  • 1 cup hot strong black tea, brewed with two tea bags
  • 1 cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1 extra-large egg
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
Directions
  • Step 1 Combine the raisins, currants, chopped apricots and chopped dates in a mixing bowl.
  • Step 2 Pour the hot tea over the fruit and stir to mix together. Allow the fruit to steep in the tea until completely cool, about 15 minutes stirring frequently.
  • Step 3 In a large mixing bowl add the brown sugar along with white whole-wheat flour, the pastry flour, baking powder and kosher salt. Mix on medium speed until the dry ingredients are blended together, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Step 4 Add the fruit and tea along with the butter, blending on low speed until the fruit is mixed into the batter, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Step 5 Stir in the egg, mixing on low for about 2 minutes.
  • Step 6 Scoop the batter into an 8” round cake pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
  • Step 7 Sprinkle the tablespoon of sugar over the top of the bread.
  • Step 8 Bake in a 325-degree oven for 1 hour and 10 or until the bread tests done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Step 9 Let the bread cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around the edge of the pan and turn the bread out on a wire rack to cool completely.
Peanut Butter Bacon Bread

Peanut Butter Bacon Bread

A beautiful golden loaf of bread chock-full of roasted peanuts and delectable bits of bacon – yes bacon! All swirled in a luscious peanut butter batter.

It seems our love affair with bacon has gone on for years. This is a fun and utterly delicious recipe I found while digging through my Mom’s collection. This unusual recipe dates back to the late ‘50s and includes many familiar ingredients in a traditional quick bread and some that are unique.

Sweet and salty flavors play well together with a creamy peanut butter batter loaded with roasted peanuts and crispy bacon. The results will surprise you. At first bite it reminds you of a peanut butter cookie, not overly sweet but definitely full of peanut butter flavor. Then the crunch of the peanuts and oh, that bacon make for a delightful loaf!

If you can’t find unsalted roasted peanuts – most on store shelves are salted – it’s easy to roast your own. Look for raw peanuts, preferably without their trademark red skins. I buy nuts from North Richland Hill’s Farmer’s Market – a local farmer’s market. The nuts and dried fruits are some of the best I’ve ever come across. Roasting your own peanuts only takes about 20 to 25 minutes. Their nutty aroma will fill your kitchen in the most amazing way when they’re roasted to perfection! Roast a big batch and freeze any extra to maintain their freshness.

Then there’s that marvelous bacon! If you haven’t tried Pederson’s Natural Farms bacon, search them out. Two of my favorites are the applewood smoked bacon and the cherry smoked – both are wonderful! For this recipe you’ll need a 10-ounce package, about 9 to 10 slices. Anytime I cook a large batch of bacon I find the oven is the easiest – and the least messy – way to cook it. Spread the bacon out on a wire rack, flipping it occasionally until it’s crispy and crunchy through and through.

Roasted peanuts and crisp, crumbled bacon – hidden treasures inside this peanut butter bread!

Perfect for a brunch or luncheon, snack or dessert – this rich savory, salty, lightly sweet bread will surprise and delight!

Peanut Butter Bacon Bread

1 cup milk

1 extra-large egg

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon melted shortening

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup chopped roasted, unsalted peanuts

1 cup crumbled crispy bacon

Whisk together the milk and the egg.

Pour the sugar along with the shortening into a mixing bowl. Add the milk and egg and mix on medium-low until blended, about 2 to 3 minutes then add the peanut butter.

Continue mixing on medium speed for another 2 minutes then stir in the vanilla extract.

Reserve about 3 tablespoons of the 2 cups of flour to coat the nuts and the bacon. Whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder and kosher salt.

Add the flour mixture to the batter in two batches and blend on low speed just until the flour disappears.

Toss the chopped peanuts and the crumbled bacon with the 3 tablespoons of flour. Blend into the batter on low speed.

Scoop the batter into a large loaf pan (9”x5”x3”) that has been greased, floured and preferably lined with parchment paper.

Bake in a 350-degree oven for 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Cool the bread in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes then remove from the pan and finish cooling on the wire rack. Keep the bread refrigerated and warm to room temperature for serving.

Makes one large loaf.

To roast raw peanuts: Spread them out on a rimmed sheet and pop in a 400-degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring once or twice while they roast.

To cook bacon in the oven: Line a rimmed baking sheet with heavy-duty foil. Set a wire baking rack over the top and lightly spray it with a cooking spray. Lay the strips of bacon out on the wire rack and cook in a 400-degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes, turning 3 to 4 times while it cooks. You want the bacon very crisp.

Peanut Butter Bacon Bread

February 22, 2019
: Makes one large loaf.

A beautiful golden loaf of bread chocked full of roasted peanuts and delectable bits of bacon – yes bacon! All swirled in a luscious peanut butter batter.

By:

Ingredients
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 extra-large egg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon melted shortening
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup chopped roasted, unsalted peanuts
  • 1 cup crumbled crispy bacon
Directions
  • Step 1 Whisk together the milk and the egg.
  • Step 2 Pour the sugar along with the shortening into a mixing bowl. Add the milk and egg and mix on medium-low until blended, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Step 3 Add the peanut butter and continue mixing on medium speed for another 2 minutes then stir in the vanilla extract.
  • Step 4 Reserve about 3 tablespoons of the 2 cups of flour to coat the nuts and the bacon. Whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder and kosher salt.
  • Step 5 Add the flour mixture to the batter in two batches and blend on low speed just until the flour disappears.
  • Step 6 Toss the chopped peanuts and the crumbled bacon with the 3 tablespoons of flour. Blend into the batter on low speed.
  • Step 7 Scoop the batter into a large loaf pan (9”x5”x3”) that has been greased, floured and preferably lined with parchment paper.
  • Step 8 Bake in a 350-degree oven for 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  • Step 9 Cool the bread in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes then remove from the pan and finish cooling on the wire rack.
  • Step 10 Keep the bread refrigerated and warm to room temperature for serving.
  • Step 11 To roast raw peanuts: Spread them out on a rimmed sheet and pop in a 400-degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring once or twice while they roast.
  • Step 12 To cook bacon in the oven: Line a rimmed baking sheet with heavy-duty foil. Set a wire baking rack over the top and lightly spray it with a cooking spray. Lay the strips of bacon out on the wire rack and cook in a 400-degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes, turning 3 to 4 times while it cooks. You want the bacon very crisp.
Blueberry Cinnamon Smoothie

Blueberry Cinnamon Smoothie

Plump and sweet blueberries blended with creamy yogurt, spiced with a surprising note of cinnamon and an extra touch of sweetness from honey. A gorgeous and delicious concoction!

Having breakfast on the go – or having none at all – has unfortunately become a way of life for most of us. This smooth and fruity beverage is a great way to start your day, whether you’re sitting at your table on in your car!

The food markets have been loaded this winter with gorgeous blueberries. Even in mid-February they are absolutely delectable! When buying fresh blueberries look for fruit with a deep color, no shriveling – something that happens with aging fruit. Then flip the carton over and check for any signs of mold or spoilage. But if you live in an area and all you have available are frozen berries, you can most certainly use them.

The ingredients for this cold beverage are quite basic, many items you might already have on hand. Milk and blueberry yogurt provide the foundation for this drink. The extra cold creaminess comes not from frozen yogurt or ice cream but a frozen ripe banana. Cinnamon and honey create a background that accentuates the blueberries in a delightful way.

Toss everything into your blender and in less than a minute or two you’ve made breakfast.

No need to skip your morning meal – grab a straw and go!

Blueberry Cinnamon Smoothie

¾ cup milk, 2% or whole

1 cup blueberry yogurt, regular or low-fat

2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

1 frozen banana

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon honey

Pour the milk into a blender along with the yogurt.

Add the blueberries.

Cut or break the frozen banana into 3 to 4 pieces and drop into the blender.

Toss in the cinnamon and drizzle the honey into the blender.

Start by processing on low speed for about 10 seconds. Increase the speed to medium high for about 20 to 30 seconds until smooth.

Cover and refrigerate any extra you have left over, then give it a quick stir before serving. Makes 2 large drinks.

Blueberry Cinnamon Smoothie, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

February 18, 2019
: Makes 2 large smoothies.

Plump and sweet blueberries blended with creamy yogurt, spiced with a surprising undertone of cinnamon and an extra touch of sweetness from honey. A gorgeous and delicious concoction!

By:

Ingredients
  • ¾ cup milk, 2% or whole
  • 1 cup blueberry yogurt, regular or low-fat
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1 frozen banana
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon honey
Directions
  • Step 1 Pour the milk into a blender along with the yogurt.
  • Step 2 Add the blueberries.
  • Step 3 Cut or break the frozen banana into 3 to 4 pieces and drop into the blender.
  • Step 4 Toss in the cinnamon and drizzle the honey into the blender.
  • Step 5 Start by processing on low speed for about 10 seconds. Increase the speed to medium high for about 20 to 30 seconds until smooth.
  • Step 6 Cover and refrigerate any extra you have left over, then give it a quick stir before serving.
Chocolate Waffles with Whipped Raspberry Ricotta

Chocolate Waffles with Whipped Raspberry Ricotta

Crisp waffles with a light touch of chocolate and vanilla, topped with a creamy whipped raspberry ricotta cheese.

Valentine’s Day is less than a week away so why wait – start by celebrating with these beautiful chocolate waffles. Waffles are a quintessential brunch item and make a perfect palette for creating something special. Looking for a great brunch idea for Valentine’s Day I decided something with chocolate seemed to be in order. But often any deviation from the classic takes a turn to something so cloyingly sweet it’s too much even for a dessert! But this waffle strikes a gentle balance of chocolate and sweetness – and not too much of either.

Start with our basic waffle recipe then add a rich dark cocoa powder. Add a splash of pure vanilla and chocolate extracts plus some espresso powder to highlight the subtle tones of chocolate. Just enough sugar is stirred in to play off the cocoa powder but not so much that the result tastes like you’re making dessert.

The waffles are cooked until they have that light crunch then topped with a heavenly whipped ricotta – a delicate blend of ricotta with a touch of cream, pure vanilla paste, a dash of warmth from ground cinnamon and lightly sweetened with dark brown sugar. Fold in some raspberry jam and it’s a delightful compliment to the chocolate waffles.

Some quick notes on ingredients. Always use a high quality pure vanilla extract – yes, it makes a difference. Chocolate extract is a wonderful thing to keep on hand. It deepens chocolate flavors without overpowering other flavors. Nielsen-Massey is my go to for extracts and flavorings, their products can be found online or in specialty food stores.

Espresso powder is essentially instant espresso and available in most food markets in the coffee aisle. Espresso and coffee actually boost the flavor of chocolate. Though you don’t want to add regular ground coffee you can use brewed espresso or strong, dark coffee – just adjust the amount of milk you use in the waffles.

The vanilla paste used in the whipped ricotta is pure vanilla, thicker than a vanilla extract. It lets you to add the gorgeous flavor without thinning the topping and the specks of vanilla bean pop through!

Though I used raspberry jam in the whipped ricotta but you can certainly add your favorite fruit jam or serve it as is. It’s delicious either way.

And if you want a bit of decadence you can certainly swirl on some chocolate sauce!

No need to go out for brunch – put on the coffee and whip up a batch of chocolate waffles for your special Valentine.

Chocolate Waffles with Whipped Raspberry Ricotta 

For the waffles:

2-1/2 cups flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

¾ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ cup cocoa powder

¼ cup sugar

1 teaspoon instant espresso

2 extra-large eggs

2-1/2 cups milk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon chocolate extract

¾ cup vegetable oil

For the whipped raspberry ricotta

1 carton ricotta cheese, 15-ounces

¼ cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon pure vanilla paste

2 tablespoons brown sugar

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

6 tablespoons raspberry jam

For garnish – fresh raspberries, maple or chocolate syrup

To make the waffles:

Whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla and chocolate extracts plus the vegetable oil.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, kosher salt, cocoa powder, sugar and instant espresso.

Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and whisk just until blended.

A few lumps are fine. Let the batter rest for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Heat a waffle iron on medium setting. Lightly spray with a cooking spray and ladle about ¼ cup batter into each well.

Cook for about 3 to 5 minutes until the waffles are crispy on the outside.

For the raspberry ricotta:

In a medium bowl add the ricotta cheese, the cream, vanilla paste, brown sugar and cinnamon.

Using a hand mixer beat on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffed, about 2 minutes.

Fold in the raspberry jam.

Serve the waffles with the ricotta cheese, fresh raspberries or chocolate sauce.

You can make the batter ahead and refrigerate overnight. Serves 4 to 6.

Chocolate Waffles with Whipped Raspberry Ricotta, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

February 8, 2019
: Serves 4 to 6.

Crisp waffles with a light touch of chocolate and vanilla, topped with a creamy whipped raspberry ricotta cheese.

By:

Ingredients
  • For the waffles:
  • 2-1/2 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 2-1/2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon chocolate extract
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • For the whipped raspberry ricotta:
  • 1 carton ricotta cheese, 15-ounces
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla paste
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons raspberry jam
  • For serving: fresh raspberries, maple or chocolate syrup
Directions
  • Step 1 To make the waffles:
  • Step 2 Whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla and chocolate extracts plus the vegetable oil.
  • Step 3 In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, kosher salt, cocoa powder, sugar and instant espresso.
  • Step 4 Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and whisk just until blended – a few lumps are fine.
  • Step 5 Let the batter rest for about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Step 6 Heat a waffle iron on medium setting. Lightly spray with a cooking spray and ladle about ¼ cup batter into each well. Cook for about 3 to 5 minutes until the waffles are crispy on the outside.
  • Step 7 To make the whipped raspberry ricotta:
  • Step 8 In a medium bowl add the ricotta cheese, the cream, vanilla paste, brown sugar and cinnamon. Using a hand mixer beat on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffed, about 2 minutes.
  • Step 9 Fold in the raspberry jam.
  • Step 10 Serve the waffles with the ricotta cheese, fresh raspberries or chocolate sauce.
  • Step 11 You can make the batter ahead and refrigerate overnight.
Spiced Pear Bellinis

Spiced Pear Bellinis

Sparkling cocktails shouldn’t be reserved for special occasions or the holidays. And here’s one good reason to pop the cork on the bubbly! It’s a refreshing twist on the classic Bellini delivered with a subtle sweetness from fresh pears and a hint of spice from cinnamon and nutmeg.

With an extra bottle or two of Prosecco left in my fridge post New Year’s – toasting the last weekend of the first month of 2019 seemed to be in order. I also had a handful of ripe pears on my counter so this was a great fit for my “leftovers”!

Purée ripe pears…

then add a splash of pear brandy – a gorgeous spirit made with over 30 pounds of pears in very bottle. Even if you’re not one to sip on such, brandy and cognacs add a beautiful depth in cooking or cocktails.

Toss in a sprinkling of ground cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg to highlight the delightful flavor of pears then finish with a generous splash of chilled bubbly.

You’ve got an elegant drink for your brunch menu or cocktails for a relaxing afternoon or evening curled up in front of a fire!

Spiced Pear Bellinis

¼ cup pear purée, about 2 ripe pears peeled and cored

½ teaspoon of Fruit Fresh

2 teaspoons pear brandy

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1-1/4 cup Prosecco or champagne, well chilled

Purée the ripe pears using an immersion blender or standard blender. You will need ¼ cups of the purée. Stir in the Fruit Fresh to help preserve the light color of the pears. You can refrigerate the pear purée, covered for a day or two.

Pour the pear purée into a cocktail mixer.

Add the pear brandy along with the cinnamon and nutmeg.

Stir or whisk to blend the spices into the pear purée.

Add the chilled Prosecco and stir well.

Pour the Bellinis into champagne flutes or white wine goblets. Makes 2 to 3 cocktail depending on the type of barware you use.

Spiced Pear Bellinis, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

January 25, 2019
: Makes 2 cocktails.

A refreshing twist on the classic Bellini delivered with a subtle sweetness from fresh pears and a hint of spice from cinnamon and nutmeg.

By:

Ingredients
  • ¼ cup pear purée, about 2 ripe pears peeled and cored
  • ½ teaspoon of Fruit Fresh
  • 2 teaspoons pear brandy
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1-1/4 cup Prosecco or champagne, well chilled
Directions
  • Step 1 Purée the ripe pears using an immersion blender or standard blender. You will need ¼ cups of the purée. Stir in the Fruit Fresh to help preserve the light color of the pears. You can refrigerate the pear purée, covered for a day or two.
  • Step 2 Pour the pear purée into a cocktail mixer.
  • Step 3 Add the pear brandy along with the cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir or whisk to blend the spices into the pear purée.
  • Step 4 Add the chilled Prosecco and stir well.
  • Step 5 Pour the Bellinis into champagne flutes or white wine goblets.
Sausage and Tomato Frittata

Sausage and Tomato Frittata

Fluffy eggs tossed with three types of wonderful cheese – nutty Fontina, Parmesan and creamy Ricotta. Then roasted cherry tomatoes, fresh thyme, parsley and arugula are added along with some gorgeous Italian sausage. All together, you’ve got one amazing frittata!

Hearty enough for dinner yet perfect for breakfast or brunch, frittatas are essentially a cross between an omelet and a quiche. They’re a delicious way to feed a group but don’t wait until you have a crowd to make one. I often whip one up just for the Engineer and myself then gently reheat the leftovers.

Frittatas are easy to make and the combination of ingredients is limited only by your imagination. This version comes compliments of Emily and is a takeoff of a recipe from Bobby Flay, one of our favorite chefs.

Made with cherry tomatoes – always sweet and full of tomato flavor – along with a variety of herbs and greens including fresh thyme, parsley and peppery arugula.

Plus a blend of cheeses – Parmesan, Fontina and ricotta and the savory flavors of Italian sausage make this dish a delight for the palate.

Emily and I made this over the holidays and got a jump on brunch by prepping some of the steps in advance. You can cook the sausage and roast the tomatoes the day before and refrigerate overnight. Then when you’re ready to eat the frittata comes together quickly!

Top with an extra dollop of luscious ricotta and serve on a bed of arugula. Easy. Flavorful. Wonderful!

Sausage and Tomato Frittata

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar

1 pint cherry tomatoes, about 18 to 20 tomatoes, sliced in half

1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided

2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves or ½ teaspoon dried

¾ pound mild sweet Italian sausage or pork breakfast sausage if preferred

8 extra-large eggs

¾ cup shaved or shredded Fontina cheese*

¾ cup shaved or shredded Parmesan cheese*

1-1/4 cup ricotta cheese, divided

¼ cup chopped parsley

1 cup arugula, packed when measuring

2 tablespoons butter

* Sartori’s Reserve Cheese Tuscan blend is a beautiful blend of shaved Fontina and Parmesan cheese, perfect for this frittata.

Pour 2 tablespoons of the olive along with the balsamic vinegar into a small baking dish. Toss in the cherry tomatoes, ½ teaspoon of the kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon of the black pepper and the thyme.

Roast in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes. Let the tomatoes cool while you mix the other ingredients for the frittata.

Pour the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil into a nonstick, ovenproof skillet and warm over medium-heat. When the oil is shimmering add the sausage and cook until the meat is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.

Transfer the sausage to a bowl lined with paper towels to capture any renderings off the sausage. Wipe the pan clean and set aside for the frittata. In a large bowl whisk the eggs until light.

Add the remaining ½ teaspoon kosher salt, the remaining ¼ cup black pepper, the Fontina cheese, Parmesan cheese, 1 cup of the ricotta cheese, ¼ cup chopped parsley. .

Stir in the arugula, the roasted tomatoes and the sausage.

Heat the butter in the skillet over medium heat. Pour in the egg mixture and if needed work the ingredients in the pan to evenly distribute them in the frittata.

Cook over medium heat until the edges of the frittata start to set up.

Bake in a 350-degree oven until the eggs are set in the center, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Let the frittata set for about 5 minutes then transfer to a cutting board or serving platter.

Top with the remaining ¼ cup of Ricotta cheese.

Serves 6 to 8.

Sausage and Tomato Frittata, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

January 23, 2019
: Serves 6.

Fluffy eggs tossed with three types of wonderful cheese - nutty Fontina, Parmesan and creamy Ricotta. Then roasted cherry tomatoes, fresh thyme, parsley and arugula are added along with some gorgeous Italian sausage. All together, you’ve got one amazing frittata!

By:

Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, about 18 to 20 tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves or ½ teaspoon dried
  • ¾ pound mild sweet Italian sausage or pork breakfast sausage if preferred
  • 8 extra-large eggs
  • ¾ cup shaved or shredded Fontina cheese*
  • ¾ cup shaved or shredded Parmesan cheese*
  • 1-1/4 cup ricotta cheese, divided
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • 1 cup arugula, packed when measuring
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • * Sartori’s Reserve Cheese Tuscan blend is a beautiful blend of shaved Fontina and Parmesan cheese, perfect for this frittata.
Directions
  • Step 1 Pour 2 tablespoons of the olive along with the balsamic vinegar into a small baking dish. Toss in the cherry tomatoes, ½ teaspoon of the kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon of the black pepper and the thyme. Roast in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes.
  • Step 2 Let the tomatoes cool while you mix the other ingredients for the frittata.
  • Step 3 Pour the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil into a nonstick, ovenproof skillet and warm over medium-heat. When the oil is shimmering add the sausage and cook until the meat is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
  • Step 4 Transfer the sausage to a bowl lined with paper towels to capture any renderings off the sausage. Wipe the pan clean and set aside for the frittata.
  • Step 5 In a large bowl whisk the eggs until light. Add the remaining ½ teaspoon kosher salt, the remaining ¼ cup black pepper, the Fontina cheese, Parmesan cheese, 1 cup of the ricotta cheese, ¼ cup chopped parsley.
  • Step 6 Stir in the arugula, the roasted tomatoes and the sausage.
  • Step 7 Heat the butter in the nonstick skillet over medium heat. Pour in the egg mixture and if needed work the ingredients in the pan to evenly distribute them in the frittata.
  • Step 8 Cook over medium heat until the edges of the frittata start to set up.
  • Step 9 Bake in a 350-degree oven until the eggs are set in the center, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Step 10 Let the frittata set for about 5 minutes then transfer to a cutting board or serving platter.
  • Step 11 Top with the remaining ¼ cup of Ricotta cheese.
Avocado Bread

Avocado Bread

Ripe avocados baked into a quick bread with beautiful tones of ground cinnamon, pure vanilla and crunchy pecans. This will throw your avocado toast into a different dimension!

I had seen this recipe in a number of my older cookbooks and with the wild popularity of toast topped with avocados, my curiosity got the better of me. So I decided to sacrifice three perfectly ripe avocados and give it a try. Add the basic ingredients of any great quick bread plus the amazing combination of whole eggs with a generous dose of cinnamon, pure vanilla extract and toasted pecans.

The result was a quirky looking green batter that turns into a wonderfully tender and delicately spiced nut bread!

Also known as alligator pears, thanks in part to their shape and texture of their skin, avocados are an extremely popular fruit. But until recently their main culinary contribution seemed to serve as an addition to salads or as the main player in guacamole.

I love avocado toast mainly because I’m quite fond of avocados. But my engineer doesn’t share my passion. He’s not a fan of avocados – too much guacamole in the 70s! So when I made this I intentionally neglected to tell the engineer what was in it. He walked in the backdoor while the bread was baking and he was hooked. The aroma is captivating and the avocados blend nicely into the spiced flavor of the batter making it hard to guess this bread’s “secret” ingredient!

Use ripe avocados and it’s okay if they have a brown spot or two from being a bit overripe. You just want them soft enough to mash. The avocados in the batter provide a creamy platform to transport those great flavors you’re tossing into the mix.

An unusual combination for sure! But what’s created is a bread perfect for pairing with chicken salad for lunch or alongside fruit for brunch –  or just a slice for snacking!

Avocado Bread

3 extra-large eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

1-3/4 cups sugar

2 cups mashed ripe avocados, about 3 large avocados

3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

3 cups plus two tablespoons flour, divided

¼ teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 cup toasted chopped pecans

Beat the eggs on medium-high until they are light in color, about 4 to 5 minutes.

Pour in the vegetable oil and the sugar and continue beating on medium speed until light and creamy, about 3 minutes.

Blend in the mashed avocados and then add the vanilla extract.

In a small bowl whisk together 3 cups of the flour, the baking powder, baking soda and ground cinnamon.

Add about 1 cup of the flour mixture at a time to the batter, mixing on low speed just until the flour disappears.

Toss the toasted pecans with the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour. Stir into the batter on low speed.

Divide the batter between 2 small loaf pans, 7” x 3” that have been sprayed with cooking spray. Lining with a sheet of parchment makes a clean and easy removal from the pan.

Bake in a 350-degree oven for 55 to 60 minutes or until the bread tests done with a toothpick. Cool the bread in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove from the pans and cool completely.

Makes 2 small loaves.

Avocado Bread, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

January 21, 2019
: Makes 2 small loaves.

Ripe avocados baked into a quick bread with beautiful tones of ground cinnamon and pure vanilla.

By:

Ingredients
  • 3 extra-large eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1-3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 cups mashed ripe avocados, about 3 large avocados
  • 3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups plus two tablespoons flour, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup toasted chopped pecans
Directions
  • Step 1 Beat the eggs on medium-high until they are light in color, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Step 2 Pour in the vegetable oil and the sugar and continue beating on medium speed until light and creamy, about 3 minutes.
  • Step 3 Blend in the mashed avocados and then add the vanilla extract.
  • Step 4 In a small bowl whisk together 3 cups of the flour, the baking powder, baking soda and ground cinnamon.
  • Step 5 Add about 1 cup of the flour mixture at a time to the batter, mixing on low speed just until the flour disappears.
  • Step 6 Toss the toasted pecans with the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour. Stir into the batter and mix on low speed.
  • Step 7 Divide the batter between 2 small loaf pans, 7” x 3” that have been sprayed with cooking spray. Lining with a sheet of parchment makes a clean and easy removal from the pan.
  • Step 8 Bake in a 350-degree oven for 55 to 60 minutes or until the bread tests done with a toothpick.
  • Step 9 Cool the bread in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove from the pans and cool completely.