Posts Tagged ‘Breakfast’

Easter Tea Ring

It has been a week since my last post and I offer my apologies.  It has been a hectic few weeks at work and, as a result, I have not been spending much time in the kitchen.  Today is finally a day off but, along with the culinary endeavors, many other things have been neglected, as well, so today is one of those “productive” days off.  It is still Sunday, however, which always deserves a special breakfast.

As you may recall, I rang in 2008 with a New Year’s Pretzel and froze half of the dough for later use.  Yesterday I pulled that dough out of the freezer and let it defrost in the refrigerator so that we could enjoy an almost ready-made breakfast this morning.  My bread baking cookbook, The Cook’s Encyclopedia of Bread Machine Baking by Jennie Shapter, has a recipe that I’ve had my eye on for some time: an Easter Tea Ring.  I decided to make the tea ring today because Dan and I won’t be home for Easter – we’ll be leaving on Saturday to spend six days on Kauai.

The book’s version calls for a dried fruit and pecan filling, which I replaced with fresh berries and sliced almonds.  I also subbed in the sweet dough from the New Year’s Pretzel.  I was able to quickly roll out the dough, fill it, and set it aside to rise for thirty minutes, during which time I weeded out a spot behind the cottage for a new garden plot.  Then I popped it into the oven to bake for 30 minutes, during which time I uncluttered the cottage.  We then enjoyed the tea ring with a pot of Earl Grey tea on the back deck.    This recipe is very easily adaptable to whatever you want to fill it with – be creative!

Easter Tea Ring
Adapted from The Cook’s Encyclopedia of Bread Machine Baking

½ recipe of New Year’s Pretzel dough
1 tbsp + 1 tsp Earth Balance butter
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup sliced almonds
¼ cu shredded coconut
¼ cup golden raisins
½ cup fresh blueberries

3 tbsp powdered sugar
1 tbsp orange juice
Sliced almonds for decoration

1.    Place the dough on a floured surface and roll it out to a 12” by 18” rectangle.
2.    Melt the Earth Balance butter and brush it over the dough.  Sprinkle the sugar, cinnamon, almonds, coconut, raisins, and blueberries evenly over the dough.
3.    Starting from one long end, rollup the dough (just like when making a jelly roll).  Turn the dough, if necessary, to ensure that the seam is on the bottom.
4.    Curl the dough into a circle, brush the ends with the remained of the EB, and press together to seal.  Place the ring on a lightly oiled baking sheet.
5.    Use a pair of scissors to snip through the circle at 1 ½ – 2” intervals, making sure to cut 2/3rds of the way through the dough each time.
6.    Cover the dough with lightly oiled plastic and leave it in a warm place for about 30 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 400F.
7.    Bake the ring for 25-30 minutes, until golden.  Cool on a wire rack.
8.    While the ring is still warm, make the glaze by mixing together the powdered sugar and orange juice.  Place a sheet of wax paper under your cooling rack to catch any dripping glaze.  Drizzle the glaze over the ring and sprinkle with sliced almonds.
 We also had an unexpected visitor drop by for breakfast this morning:

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Another weekend, another lovely Sunday morning. This particular Sunday morning, however, I indulged in my lazy day morning ritual – big mugs of earl grey tea and catching up on leisurely reading – a bit longer than usual and breakfast time eventually became brunch time with us not yet eating. I had gotten out of bed with visions of crepes in my head, and when I finally got around to making us our morning meal I was dismayed to remember that all of my vegan crepe recipes require an hour of chilling time in the refrigerator. Well, that simply wouldn’t do – we wanted our crepes now. While what I came up with may not meet the strictest standards of crepes they are, indeed, light, delicate pancakes, and not only are they delicious – they are quick. We filled ours with cherry preserves but the beauty of crepes is that they are so versatile that their limitation is only your imagination. These crepes are not too sweet so they can also pair nicely with savory fillings for a lunch or a dinner.
Makes 6 six inch crepes
1 cup whole wheat flour
½ tsp baking powder
1 pinch salt
1 dash cinnamon
1 ½ tbsp canola oil
1 cup soymilk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp agave nectar
1. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Add the wet ingredients directly into the dry ingredients (no need to mix the wet ingredients in a separate bowl) and whisk until smooth.
2. Heat a small skillet over medium high heat and coat lightly with non-stick cooking spray.

3. Spoon a thin layer of batter into the skillet and spread to cover the bottom. As soon as bubbles form on the batter (about 30 – 45 seconds) flip the crepe over and cook for 30-60 seconds on the other side. Remove crepe from the pan and repeat with the remaining batter. Keep crepes warms by wrapping them in foil.

4. To assemble: spread a light layer of the filling of your choice onto each crepe, leaving just a little room at the edges. Fold each crepe in half and then fold each in half again. Lightly dust with powdered sugar (and cocoa, if so inclined) and serve.

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Tropical Oatmeal

I must have the shyest blog readership on the internet, or it just may be that no one was interested in sandwiches or soy ice cream this past week. Whatever the case may be, I am finding it a bit lonely to be blogging in forum void of comments or discussion – the silence is deafening here, people! “Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?” Echo …..

Consider it a desperate plea for greater use of the comments feature. 🙂

On a techno-savvy note … per Emily’s suggestion, I’ve added some RSS feed subscription options to the sidebar. Activate, sit back, and let the magic of the internets do the work for you!

And now, onto today’s food of interest: oatmeal. One of my favorite things about the weekend is the leisurely morning ritual I can indulge in: sleep in a bit, enjoy a big mug of tea on the couch, and then make breakfast – a real breakfast, not the speedy fare that I rely on during the week. Yes, today is Monday; however, happy memories of yesterday’s breakfast continue to dance in my head. A breakfast mainstay at the Outpost is oatmeal, but we prefer a more winsome, more decidedly switched-on version than the one Wilford Brimley admonished you to eat in the late eighties and early nineties. I typically use the “Old Fashioned” style oats that take a whopping 5 minutes to cook up on the stove top. Sometimes I mix it up and use extra thick rolled oats, which take about 20 minutes to cook up. This recipe is the five minute version so keep in mind that you will have to adjust the recipe per the instructions on your package of oats.



Tropical Oatmeal

1 3/4 cups water
1 cup oats
1/4 tsp salt
1 mango, diced
1 1/2 tbsp ground flax
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/3rd cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup chopped coconut

1. Bring water to a boil. Add oats, salt, mango, flax, and brown sugar. Simmer over medium low heat for 5-6 minutes.

2. Remove from heat and cover for 2-3 minutes.

3. Add almonds and coconut. Enjoy!

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If I were asked to name my least favorite breakfast food to make I would, without hesitation, answer “waffles.” It’s quite sad, really. I love the waffle. I love the crunchy exterior and the fluffy soft inside. I like the nooks and crannies that serve as little buckets of goodness that deliver the perfect amount of syrupy deliciousness to your mouth with each bite. Unfortunately, waffles also happen to be traditionally made with dairy and smothered in butter, which makes them verboten on most breakfast menus for a vegan. Most vegans simply compensate for this by whipping up their own bundles of waffle love in their home kitchens. I, however, have been challenged by the waffle. Something always seems to go awry with my waffle attempts – they end up undercooked, overcooked, burned, in pieces, stuck to the waffle iron, bland, tasting like baking powder, or just plain ugly and tasteless.

This morning Dan and I were discussing what to make for breakfast when he offered to make us some pancakes. The silence he was met with conveyed my thoughts, to which he responded, “No, really – I can do this. Just give me a recipe. It’s like a chemistry experiment.” Well, then – “Let’s do this together,” I say, followed by, shockingly, “But instead of pancakes, let’s make waffles!” Perhaps it was the comforting assurance of back up that led to my crazy talk. No matter, waffles it was … it was our mission.

We took stock of our fruit – apples, bananas, mangoes, and blueberries – and decided upon a peanut butter banana waffle, with just a touch of carob for a hint of chocolate undertone. Dan also insisted that no matter what kind of waffle we made we would have to incorporate Tofutti cream cheese, which I though would pair well with the peanut butter to create a rich, creamy, smooth tasting waffle.

I am happy to say that these waffles were the most perfect waffles I have ever been a part of making! I opened the waffle iron upon the first waffle with trepidation, expected to see the usual mess – but instead I was treated to the sight of a perfectly browned, fluffly waffle. This recipe turned out four big, beautiful waffles that all tasted delicious. Already we are planing another batch that will be a dessert waffle, topped with some vanilla soy ice cream.



Peanut Butter Banana Waffles

  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp carob powder (can substitute cocoa)
  • 1 pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 ripe mashed banana
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp Tofutti cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 cup vanilla soymilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla


1. Preheat your waffle iron per the manufacturer’s instructions.

2. Sift dry ingredients together into a medium bowl.

3. In a seperate bowl, combine the mashed banana, peanut butter, and cream cheese and mix. Add the oil and vanilla and mix until incorporated, then mix in the soymilk until well combined.

4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until well combined. Your batter will be thick.

5. Lightly spray both the top and bottom waffle griddle and add 2/3rds cup of batter to the waffle iron, spreading out the batter slightly before closing the iron. Our waffles took about 4 minutes to cook up into perfect waffles, but be sure to check your manufacturer’s instructions for times. Repeat for each waffle, taking care to spary the iron with oil between each waffle so as to prevent sticking. Keep dine waffles warm by covering them with foil.

6. Serve with sliced bananas and warmed maple syrup.

Update:  These waffles kept us going all day!  PB + nanner waffles = power food.  Who knew?

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