Category Archives: Breakfast

Pear and Poppy Seed Bread

As you can see I’ve lost track of what CSA week I’m on. I’m still getting boxes and barely keeping up with using it all (but doing pretty well!). Overall I’ve been really happy with the box contents, especially the recent addition of melon, pears and apples! The only problem with pears is they ripen quickly after they are picked so we had a few heading over the hill before we had a chance to eat them. To solve that problem, I made a triple batch of this bread, which I turned into two loaves and a dozen muffins. Although I liked the loaves, the muffins went like hotcakes so I will probably make more of those next time. Hotcakes? Hmmm… yes.

Pear and Poppy Seed Bread

Pear and Poppy Seed Bread

Pear and Poppy Seed Bread
(slightly adapted from Cooking Light)

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup chopped peeled ripe pear
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in pear; make a well in center of mixture. Combine buttermilk and next 5 ingredients (buttermilk through egg) in a bowl; stir well with a whisk. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Spoon batter into an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray.

Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

For muffins, spray a muffin pan and bake 20 minutes. Remove and cool on a rack or serve warm.

Breakfast of champions.

Breakfast of champions.

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CSA Week 6: Kale and Eggs Breakfast Skillet

My farm box this week included lettuce, green beans, Japanese eggplant, cucumbers, pattypan squash, new potatoes, sweet peppers, blueberries, broccoli, beets and basil. I don’t even want to think about all the stuff still left from last week. You can bet on one thing though. There’s still some kale.

Out of all the kale recipes I have tried over the last couple of months – and there’s quite a few – this is actually my favorite way to make it. Which is a little odd considering that instead of hiding it, blending it, or otherwise disguising it, it is actually the star of this dish. I use a tiny bit of olive oil, but not much, making this more like a dry sauté. You get a little char on the edges and the texture, instead of wilted and limp, is almost a little crispy. When the yolky egg breaks and blends with it, well, it’s just pretty darn good. I make this a couple of times a week (not always for breakfast), sometimes tossing in a few mushrooms or other veggies, and sometimes just by itself.

I have the hardest time cooking sunny side up eggs, and I think it all comes down to being impatient, a quality that is especially present when I’m hungry. The key (I do learn eventually) is to turn down the heat and allow them to cook slowly. This way the bottoms don’t burn or overcook before the tops get done. It will also keep your veggies from burning or needing to be stirred as well. If you are having trouble getting those tops to set, or if it’s just taking too dang long, simply stick a lid on it for a minute or two and you’ll be good to go.

Kale and Eggs Breakfast Skillet

Kale and Eggs Breakfast Skillet

Kale & Egg Breakfast Skillet

2 cups kale, coarsely chopped
4-5 button mushrooms
4 eggs
Olive oil
1 small clove garlic
Salt & pepper

Heat skillet over medium heat. Drizzle with just a bit of olive oil (1-2 teaspoons). Add kale, mushrooms and garlic. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5-7 minutes, until veggies are tender. Turn down heat to low. Make little wells in the vegetables. Break eggs into wells. Cook on low for about 4-5 minutes or until tops of eggs are set. You can cover if you want them to cook a little faster, but resist the temptation to turn up the heat, you’ll just overcook the bottoms of the eggs and veggies. Take it slow you’ll be happy you did.

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CSA Week 2: Drink Your Greens!

I picked up my second CSA farm box from Sun Gold Farms this weekend and my fridge is once again overflowing with produce. In this box: A huge head of leaf lettuce, a big cabbage, fava beans, sugar snap peas, curly kale, parsley, five zucchini, spring onions and a basil plant. I used almost all of last week’s produce but still have a partial cabbage and some mint, plus some broccoli that I picked up somewhere. I also bought blueberries and tomatoes at the market. Obviously there is plenty of salad on the menu this week, plus some broccoli and spring onion soup and probably some slaw and at least one other thing involving cabbage. But yesterday, it was all about the smoothies.

Yesterday I was having some issues. Issues with being a total klutz, to be exact. Every time I turned around I was knocking something over or dropping something or running into something. You would think smoothie making would be a pretty safe choice, since chopping and/or major cooking could lead to disaster on days like this. So I threw everything in the blender, and pressed go while I scrambled a couple eggs to go with it. As I’m beating the eggs, I noticed that as the blender is blending, it’s sort of traveling along the counter top with the vibration, and out of the corner of my eye I see it start to tip off the counter. In a flying leap I lunged over there and caught the floor-bound blender (as it’s still blending) one-handed (!) and as I’m setting it safely back on the counter I bumped the bowl of scrambled eggs and further scrambled them as they fell to the floor, splattering everywhere. I turned off the blender (yay, me!), cleaned up eggs, rescrambled, cooked eggs, and then poured my smoothie into glasses, dribbling a bit down the sides, but happy with the consistency, which was no doubt improved by its brief flight. I don’t recommend trying any of that at home.

If you don’t like to cook your greens, and you’re sick of eating salad, stuff those greens into a smoothie and drink them instead. You can change up the recipe to your liking depending on what fruit you have available, but I find the berries usually mask the taste of the greens, some stone fruit or banana adds sweetness and adding some herbs or citrus adds a bit of brightness as well. My kids love these and never complain about the bits of greenery I add to them. With some of the more hardy greens, be sure to have plenty of liquid and blend a little longer than usual. If you have a wimpy blender I’d probably go with spinach instead of kale since it liquifies much easier. I usually freeze all the fruit, but if your fruit is not frozen, add some ice cubes to give it that smoothie texture.

Blues and Greens Smoothie

Blues and Greens Smoothie

Blues & Greens Smoothie

2 big leaves of kale, ribs removed
1-2 cups blueberries, frozen
2 nectarines (fresh or frozen)
Mint – a couple of sprigs, stems removed
1 big scoop of plain yogurt
A few ice cubes if you want it extra cold or if your fruit isn’t frozen
1-2 cups sparkling water, juice, coconut water, regular water or milk (I like the sparkling water because it makes it just a tiny bit fizzy!)

Blend everything together thoroughly. Kale is a pretty hardy green, so I usually add some extra liquid and let it blend a long time to really pulverize it so I’m not chewing my smoothie, because nobody loves that. Add a little more liquid if needed to make it a drinkable consistency. Pour into glasses and enjoy while it’s cold. This made enough for 2-3 servings.

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Farmers Market Frittata

Not sure what you guys do with your Saturdays but mine usually start at farmers market. I go and get a mocha from the coffee cart and then start my rounds. This usually includes eating enough samples to qualify as breakfast and filling up my giant market bag so full I can barely carry it back to the car.

For this frittata, you can put just about anything in it that you happen to have on hand. This week I had purchased zucchini, cherry tomatoes, goat cheese and red onions. And eggs! Don’t forget the lovely eggs from happy happy chickens who wander around and peck things and live like chickens should. Feel free to substitute ingredients if there is something you like better or need to use up!

This makes a dandy breakfast, but I’ve also been known to serve it with a giant green salad and call it dinner.

Farmer's Market Fritatta

Farmer’s Market Fritatta

Farmer’s Market Frittata

1 zucchini, sliced
Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup red onion, sliced
Goat cheese
5 eggs
Salt & pepper

Chop veggies. Beat eggs with a bit of salt & pepper in a bowl. Set aside. Heat 10″ skillet over medium heat. Add a bit of olive oil. Add onion and cook for a minute or two. Add zucchini and tomatoes. Sprinkle with a dash of salt and pepper. Cook for 1-2 minutes until zucchini is barely tender.

Veggies in the pan. Just a quick saute is all they need to bring out the flavor!

Veggies in the pan. Just a quick saute is all they need to bring out the flavor!

Pour eggs over veggies. Swirl to cover veggies evenly. Dot with goat cheese and sprinkle with a bit of parmesan.

If some of your veggies stick out don't worry about it, it will all come together just fine.

If some of your veggies stick out don’t worry about it, it will all come together just fine.

Cover and turn heat down to medium low. Cook for 5-10 minutes until eggs are set on top. Cut into wedges and serve hot. Pairs perfectly with a side of fruit or salad.




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Pesto Potatoes with Poached Eggs & Spinach

Any meal that is centered around potatoes is going to be a winner in my book. There is no better way to get me to eat a whole bunch of spinach than to pile some wonderful potatoes on top of it.

I’ve been known to make this particular meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner (sometimes more than once in a day if I have leftovers). Not only that but the potatoes used in this regularly show up as a side dish for dinner or breakfast as well.  Now that summer is approaching, I already have one pot of basil growing with more to join it soon, which means pesto in my fridge ALL SUMMER LONG!

If you have your favorite pesto recipe or store brand, feel free to use that. For my fresh basil pesto, click here. Or for something slightly different, try my recipe for hazelnut pesto.

Pesto Potato Masterpiece!

Pesto Potato Masterpiece!

Pesto Potatoes with Poached Eggs & Spinach
(Serves 2-3)

2-3 cups red potatoes, quartered
2-3 tbsp. basil pesto
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
Salt & pepper
Eggs (1-2 per person)
3 cups spinach
Handful of kalamata olives, pitted

For sauce:
1 tbsp. mayonnaise (or olive oil if you don’t like it creamy)
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. pesto

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook about 10 minutes until fork tender (but not mushy). Drain potatoes. In a bowl, whisk together 2-3 tbsp. pesto, 2 tbsp. olive oil, 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar and a pinch of salt & pepper. Add potatoes and toss to coat.

Divide spinach between two plates.




Top with potatoes.

Then potatoes. Mmm.

Then potatoes. Mmm.

Bring a small pan of water with 1/2 tsp. of vinegar to a boil. Gently break eggs into the pan (1-2 per person). Turn heat down to simmer. Cook 3 minutes until whites are set. Remove with a slotted spoon and lay on top of potatoes.

Perfectly poached eggs on top. If you prefer your eggs a different way, do your own thing here.

Perfectly poached eggs on top. If you prefer your eggs a different way, do your own thing here.

Mix together sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Scatter a few olives on top of the eggs & potatoes. Drizzle everything with sauce, add a grind or two of fresh pepper and eat!

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Chili Roasted Pineapple Fries

Some recipes are barely recipes.  They are more about me needing something to go with something, and well, I have this pineapple…

This dish defies any predetermined meal placement.  I served this with a side of BBQ chicken, but it would be just as good with a scoop of ice cream for dessert, or alongside a couple of scrambled eggs for breakfast.

One of my favorite Mexican restaurants is this little place in my home town, run by a Mexican lady who is always singing.  Last time I ate there, she gave me a couple of little tins of spices that she’s planning to start selling. I scored ground cinnamon and this wonderful ground chipotle pepper.  I’ve been putting it on everything!  You may think peppers and pineapples don’t go together, but you’d be wrong!  The kick from the peppers and the sticky sweet touch of honey is the perfect combo.

Chili Roasted Pineapple

Chili Roasted Pineapple

Chili Roasted Pineapple Fries

Fresh Pineapple
Ground chipotle pepper (or any ground chili/red pepper powder)

Preheat oven to 400˚. Slice pineapple up into whatever shapes you like.  Cover a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Lightly brush tops of pineapple with honey and sprinkle with ground chili pepper.

Cut into whatever shapes you like.  I prefer little stick shapes.  When I cook these on the grill, I do big sticks, the height of the whole pineapple.  Or you can do skewers of chunks if you prefer.

Cut into whatever shapes you like. I prefer little stick (french fry) shapes. 

Roast for 10-15 minutes, until just starting to turn brown. If you prefer grilling to roasting, these are perfect on the grill!

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April’s Eggs Florentine

“Florentine” seems to be the vague describer of anything with spinach.  I never knew that spinach and Florence were that closely connected but that seems to be the case.  Is it the birth place of spinach?  Or just the first place they thought to put eggs and spinach together?  Who knows? All I know is that it’s a pretty yummy combo.

If you look up recipes for Eggs Florentine you will find a pretty wide variety.  Everybody has their own little spin. But usually, it’s some sort of riff off Eggs Benedict.  There is some sort of bread, spinach, poached eggs, and some sort of sauce – sometimes it’s hollandaise, some times Mornay, or something else.

I usually make this just for me, so cooking up a fancy sauce for one isn’t always practical. Instead, I usually mix together a quickie sauce that in actuality is closer to a salad dressing.  It’s a little lighter, and definitely quicker.  And if you don’t want to mess with it, honestly sometimes I just skip it altogether.

April's Eggs Florentine

April’s Eggs Florentine

April’s Eggs Florentine

1-2 pieces of sourdough bread (usually the sourdough I buy is giant so I just cut one piece in half)
1/2 tsp. vinegar (any kind)
2 eggs
1/2 cup baby spinach
1 tsp. mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. dijon mustard
Dash of dill
Dash of cayenne
1 tsp. lemon juice

In a small skillet, add a pinch of salt and vinegar to about an inch of water.  Bring to a boil.  Break eggs into the water and turn down to medium.  Cover. Stick the bread in the toaster.  When the toast pops up, the eggs should be done.  Scatter fresh spinach on top of toast and, using a slotted spoon or spatula, lift eggs, let water drain off, and place onto spinach.  In a small bowl mix mayo, dijon, dill, cayenne and lemon juice.  Drizzle over the top of eggs and serve.

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Individual Spinach Quiche in Phyllo

There’s just something about food made in tiny individual forms that makes me happy.  I’m really not sure why.  They are so cute and delicious and let’s face it, it’s fun to say you ate 4 quiche for dinner.

Instead of the traditional pie crust, I used phyllo dough for the crust in these.  I was in the mood for something light and flaky and it was the perfect solution!  As an added bonus, they were also really pretty and had a satisfying crunch.  Since you’re making individual servings they are also really easy to customize to different tastes if you have a mushroom or feta hater among you.

This recipe makes a dozen quiche, but don’t be surprised if everyone eats three or four.  If you have some left over, they are great for breakfast the next day, but the phyllo will lose its crunch after a night in the fridge.

Individual Spinach Quiche in Phyllo.  How pretty is that?

Individual Spinach Quiche in Phyllo. How pretty is that?

Individual Spinach Quiche in Phyllo

1 package phyllo dough (you will probably only use half of it)
2 tbsp. butter, melted
1 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
4 oz. mushrooms
5 eggs
1 1/2 cups half n half
Pinch of nutmeg
Salt & pepper
Feta cheese
Pine nuts

Preheat oven to 375˚.  Spray a muffin pan (regular size, for 12 muffins) with cooking spray and set aside.

In a bowl, whisk together eggs, half n half, nutmeg and a bit of salt & pepper.  Set aside.

Unroll your phyllo dough and cover with a slightly damp towel so it doesn’t dry out.  On a clean surface, lay out one sheet of phyllo dough.  If you haven’t worked with phyllo before, be warned it is quite fragile, but it’s not tragic if it tears. If it does, just set the pieces side by side and keep going.  Brush lightly with melted butter (it does not have to be perfect).  Top with another sheet and brush lightly with butter.  Repeat with another 3 to 4 sheets, until you have a stack of 5-6 sheets of dough.  Cut into 6 squares.

Yes, it looks like paper.  It even feels like paper.  But it tastes like dough.  It's magic!

Yes, it looks like paper. It even feels like paper. But it tastes like dough. It’s magic!

Place each square into a muffin well, pressing to shape the square to the bottom of the well.  Repeat process with another 6 sheets of dough, and press into the other wells, making 12 pie crusts.

Tiny pie "crusts"

Tiny pie “crusts”

Saute mushrooms in a small skillet until browned.  Put a few mushrooms in the bottom of each quiche.

Mushrooms.  Don't like mushrooms?  Just leave them out.

Mushrooms. Don’t like mushrooms? Just leave them out.

Squeeze liquid from thawed spinach.  Place a wad of spinach in each quiche and spread out a bit.


Top with a few crumbles of feta cheese (or any other cheese you’re fond of).


Pour egg mixture over the top of the veggies and cheese, being careful not to overfill.  This is most easily accomplished by using a measuring cup with a spout or a small ladle. Top each quiche with a few pine nuts.


Bake for 20-30 minutes until egg mixture is poofed up and crust is golden brown.  Let sit for 5 minutes or so to cool and set up.  Use a butter knife to carefully lever each quiche out of the pan and transfer to a plate.  These are great served with a big green salad.

When they are done, they look like this.  Yum!

When they are done, they look like this. Yum!



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Thanksgiving Leftover Fritatta

Fritattas are my favorite dumping grounds for leftovers.  I have used everything from potatoes to rice to tortillas for the base, but up until now, I’ve never used stuffing.  But I had a bunch left from Thanksgiving and, while I’d happily just eat a bowl of it, I forgot to snag any gravy from mom so this time I decided to do something different with it.  I also added some of the leftover roasted veggies.  Now you could also add a little turkey if you want…but I saved mine for sandwiches.

Thanksgiving Leftover Fritatta

Thanksgiving Leftover Fritatta

Thanksgiving Leftover Fritatta

1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup mixed veggies (I used leftover roasted carrots and green beans)
1 cup Thanksgiving stuffing
4 strips bacon
5 eggs
1/4 cup shredded cheese

Heat a 10″ skillet over medium heat.  Cook bacon until crisp.  Remove and drain on paper towels.  Discard the grease in the pan.

One of the most useful things I've learned on Pinterest.  Put a piece of foil in a bowl, pour your grease into it.  When it cools and solidifies, simply crumple it up and throw it away.  Genius!

One of the most useful things I’ve learned from Pinterest. Put a piece of foil in a bowl, pour your grease into it. When it cools and solidifies, simply lift it out and throw it away. Genius!

If needed, add a drizzle of olive oil.  Sauté the onion for 1-2 minutes.  Then add the roasted veggies.  Stir and cook until onion is tender.

Leftover veggies.

Leftover veggies.

Add stuffing and cook until heated through.  Chop bacon and add to stuffing mixture.

Stuffing and bacon into the mix.

Stuffing and bacon into the mix.

In a bowl, beat eggs with a pinch of salt & pepper.   Pour eggs over everything and swirl around to coat.  Don’t worry if it doesn’t cover everything.  Sprinkle with cheese.

Almost there!

Almost there!

Turn heat down to medium low, and cover.  Cook 10-15 minutes, or until top is set.  Cut into wedges and serve.

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Spinach-Feta Omelet with Pine Nuts

I’ve given up buying cereal.  Whenever I do, we each have a bowl and then watch it sit on the shelf thereafter, slowing going stale.  Suffice it to say none of us are big fans of the stuff, in spite of the occasional craving.  I feel better and less hungry throughout the day when I have a bit of protein in the morning instead.

This delicious omelet makes a perfect breakfast or lunch.  The pine nuts add a nutty touch that works beautifully with the spinach.  Add them near the end of sauteing the veggies, since they burn easily.

Spinach-Feta Omelet with Pine Nuts

Spinach-Feta Omelet with Pine Nuts

Spinach-Feta Omelet with Pine Nuts

1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
3/4 cup baby spinach, coarsely chopped
1 tsp pine nuts
2-3 tbsp. feta cheese
2-3 eggs
Salt & pepper

Beat eggs with a pinch of salt & pepper and set aside.

Heat a medium skillet (I prefer a 10″ skillet for omelets) over medium heat.  Add a drizzle of olive oil and rub around skillet to coat entirely.  Add onion and sauté 2-3 minutes, until tender.  Add spinach and pine nuts.  Cook, stirring frequently another minute or two, until spinach is slightly wilted.  Remove veggies to a plate.

Cooking the veggies.  I only cook until the spinach is just barely cooked.

Keep an eye on the veggies so your pine nuts don’t burn!

Add eggs to the skillet.  Swirl around to coat the bottom of the pan.  Using a spatula, push or lift the edges of the egg, tilting the pan so the runny egg fills the empty spot.  Keep doing this until there is no runny egg.  You will end up with a bumpy, moon crater surface of an omelet, with the egg mostly cooked but still glossy on top.

Scatter cheese all over the surface, and then put the veggies just on one half.



Cook a minute until cheese starts to melt, fold omelet over, slide out of the pan and serve immediately.

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