Dutch Apple Pie.

Sometimes, pie dreams are thwarted.

Blame climate change. Those finicky seasons which came a couple weeks earlier this summer. They’re to blame. Which, in a way, is true. Because what’s a girl to do when she has flour, butter, sugar, and salt all ready for a blueberry crumb pie, only to find that the wild blueberry trees are unfortunately sans a blueberry harvest? (Or ‘motherload’ as my clearly agri-challenged family likes to call it.)

The obvious answer is ‘check the trees before you make any pie-laden plans.’ That however, requires too much forethought for beach living.

But the great thing about pie is that, if you find yourself with a crust and a streusel topping but without any wild blueberries, literally any fruit can fill the empty place in the pie dish. And while our foraged-intentions fell apart in the blueberry abyss, there’s nothing wrong with substituting a couple store-bought apples in lieu of berries tiny, wild, and blue.

The result is pie, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Recipe on the following page.

Continue reading “Dutch Apple Pie.”

Breakfast Cookies.

Something terrible happened. Something life changing.

I came to the realization that I can’t, everyday, eat cookies, pastries, cakes, and the likes for breakfast. Six days a week, fine, pastry and butter-filled heaven. But seven days a week? That’s just too much sugar for breakfast.

I know, I shed a couple tears too.

Ah the responsibilities of growing up. Limiting yourself to six pastries a week.

I making big adult strides as it turns out.

But since cookies and sweets for breakfast are really a phenomenal thing, the best thing perhaps to start off a day alongside a cup of coffee. And so I give you…fat-free(ish) cookies. What’s more, they’re made with beans.

Of course, they’re not totally fat free. Because even in my new adult state, I couldn’t bake up a batch of any kind of cookie without chocolate chips and an egg or two. Sorry, but that’s just a couple steps too far.

Absurd you say, bean cookies sound ridiculous. But here’s the thing, as far as a cookie-hybrid goes, as far as trying to eat a ‘healthy’ cookie instead of something loaded with, you know, butter, these are pretty darn good cookies. They’re studded with loads of chocolate, raisins, and walnuts and glossing over the fact they’re sans fat for the most part, they taste of everything an oatmeal cookie should be. Cinnamon, vanilla, the rustic texture of oats. They’re good cookies, especially warm and with a cup of coffee. True, they are not the full-fat cookies you love and crave, but they’re delicious as a healthier breakfast. What’s more, they’re good for you, as far as cookies go. Protein-filled with loads of flavor.

If eating beans hidden in my cookies means I can eat cookies for breakfast, that’s something I can get behind. Of course, I understand if this whole healthy episode has traumatized you, dear readers. Never fear, while I’m eating these healthy cookies at least a couple times a week, there are still those (couple) days a week when I’m eating full-fat, sugar drenched, and frosted things at well. As it turns out, I’m not quite ready to act like an adult at every breakfast.

Recipe on the following page.

Continue reading “Breakfast Cookies.”

Snowdrop Cookies.

As it’s 80 degrees outside consistently day to day now, it’s time to retire cake for breakfast. It’s officially the end of spring, or summer if the sky would have us believe and while cake is appropriate for cold weather breakfast, cookies are the new hot thing for endless summer days.

One day, yes, all my teeth will fall out. Most likely earlier than average, considering the amount of sugar going into my breakfasts. But that day is not now, or even later this week and thus, it’s cookies for breakfast.

A little chocolate here, bittersweet and white together, combined for a perfect brownie-like bite. Counteract the richness with a healthy dose of pristine powdered sugar and hello Snowdrops.

It’s summer outside but in the cookie jar, it’s only winter. Snowdrops, or chocolate crackle cookies, are one of those lovely baked goods that are more impressive in appearance that one would expect, considering how easy they are to make. A little rolling of the dough, a powdered sugar bath and voila! Snowdrop cookies by the dozen.

Eventually I suppose, I’ll have to sit down and make a real breakfast. One with flax, orange juice, and maybe some wheat toast, a breakfast that is lacking in large quantities of sugar. There’ll be no sugar in my coffee, no cookies in sight. But hey, I’m about a month off from the end of school. I think a couple cookies are in order.

Recipe on the following page.

Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Polenta.

Sometimes you want a bowl of comfort for breakfast and what’s more, you want it savory. None of that creamy oatmeal drizzled with maple syrup and topped with brown sugar nonsense. Nope, none of that. Though that can be nice too, I’m never one to knock sugar… But sometimes, what you’d rather have is a bit more cheesy, salty, and hey, maybe topped with a bit of bacon. Yes, that sounds nice.

There is nothing quite like a hot bowl of polenta for breakfast, brunch, or really even dinner. Polenta, that slightly coarser cousin to grits, is a bowl full of body, of rich carbs swirled together with cheese and butter. Topped off with a few slices of bacon and a fried egg, it is the perfect thing to start a day or greet you at the end of one.

To add to the wonder—as if bacon, eggs, and cheese could get any better—polenta practically makes itself. Cornmeal, water, and just a dab of attention results in a beautiful polenta. After that, any and all cheese can be added. Polenta is a great vessel for all the leftover bits of cheese you may have lying around and while I went with the classic brunch trio, you can really top polenta with anything. Leftover greens, garlic, a swirl of crème fraiche, anything goes. Consider a bowl of polenta like a blank pizza crust—anything can be piled high on top. Except this time around, there is no dough to roll.  Bellissima.

Recipe on the following page.

Blueberry Coffee Cake Loaf.

Some of the best things to wander into a kitchen and find in the mornings are swirled and covered with streusel. Though to be fair, some of the best things ever, regardless of time and location are swirled and covered with streusel.

I’m breakfast-cake addicted, as this lemon loaf and pound cake prove. There is truly nothing better than a slice of cake for breakfast. Not that statement really needs any backing-up or further argument. It’s a slice of cake after all, and you’re only young once. Might as well eat cake for breakfast. Especially when there’s no one around to tell you not to…

This cake really isn’t anything special, save for the fact that it’s absolutely delicious. It’s a standard coffee cake, complete with streusel, except in loaf form for easy consumption. Just imagine, a slice of coffee cake on the way to class, alongside coffee, with a good book, or after a night of bar trivia. Yup. Fills in the space in your stomach left behind by pitchers.

Unfortunately, my title-machine was a bit broken. I’m going to say it was distracted by an overload of cake. Hence the hastily tagged on ‘loaf.’ Sorry. If you’re really that disappointed in my creative-naming abilities, I suggest making a cake. And having a bit for breakfast. Any disappointment will disappear, I promise.

Recipe on the following page.

Paula Deen Pound Cake.

Cake for breakfast. It’s happened again. A slice of pound cake, barely toasted and drizzled with honey sure is a great way to greet the day. I believe I’ve settled it—the correct time for cake is no longer solely post-meal for dessert but rather, as the meal, first and foremost. Breakfast, being the lovely flexible meal that it is—ranging from chorizo to omelets to chilaquiles to sticky buns—is a perfect time to enjoy cake.

Last week I had the pleasure of road tripping from Chicago to Tampa and back again, stopping along the way at the welcoming homes of many teammates. At one such home down in Georgia, to which we rolled up at around 2:30am after an odd meal in Nashville, there was this Paula Deen Pound Cake. Sitting there on the counter, with a plate to the side where the delicate, perfectly textured cake crust had been reserved, was heaven. Cake for breakfast is the new thing (here in my kitchen) but cake can work wonders at anytime, as this pound cake demonstrated there in that Georgia kitchen.

It is a simple cake. Butter, sugar, eggs, flour, sour cream, vanilla. That’s all you really need to start a day, or end a night.

Recipe on the following page.