Category Archives: Breakfast Foods

Memories of Meals Past: Quesitos, A Pastry By Any Other Name

Crunchy, cream-cheesy bites of sweetness!

Crunchy, cream-cheesy bites of sweetness!

Things that go together: doughnuts and coffee, sugar and spice, cheese and crackers, me and anything chocolate, and…cooking and drag queens?!???

Apparently so! The other day I came across a funny youtube video when I was surfing the net for cooking videos. The title of the series is “Cooking with Drag Queens“, and it is, literally, a cooking show where the hosts cook with drag queens. In full drag. The dishes seem nice if not polished to a T, but the drag queens are definitely polished and then some! (I wish my hair was half as good). The show isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I did find it fun, and liked the documentary parts of each episode the best. And then of course I had to try one of the recipes!

Which recipe? Quesitos! Because they sound like a version of the Venezeulan cachitos that the DH introduced me to (my waistline will never be the same). Quesitos are a pastry filled with sweetened cream cheese; very easy to nom upon. Cachitos are sort of like mozzarella sticks covered in dough and fried, but much tastier than that description. Personally, I wonder if there are many versions of cachitos/quesitos/cheese-filled pastries-savory-sweet-or-otherwise floating around Latin America.

Whether or not there’s any relationship between the two cheese pastries, I decided to try the recipe shown in the youtube video, but with a classic me twist (substitutions, oh YEAH!). Instead of the filo dough that the hosts suggested, I used spring roll wrappers that I had sitting in my freezer. And instead of the brown sugar that they suggested to sprinkle on top, I ground up some of the cane sugar block that I had in my kitchen cupboard (courtesy of a shopping trip by the DH to a South American store).

The results? I loooooved that filling! So yum! The spring roll wrapper pastry I wasn’t super thrilled about, and the filo pastry, eh, I’m just not feeling it. I’m not sure what the best wrapper would be. Any suggestions, my cooking confreres?  Let me know in the comments!

Next Post: Buns, buns, bunnnnnnssssss…aka Dinner Roll Odyssey. I’m pretty sure. Or maybe chocolate cake.

Memories of Meals Past: Carrot Muffins & Apple-Pear Butter

Fluffy, moist, and vegelicious!

Fluffy, moist, and vegelicious!

I had some carrots in the fridge that I wanted to use up, and I was craving something sweet but healthy, so last night I made carrot muffins using this recipe. I meant to post it last night but after baking until the wee hours of the morning, I thought I should actually get some sleep, so while it’s not a tbt feature, it is technically a memory of meals past. Good enough, I say!

In terms of the recipe, I swapped the raisins for dried cranberries, since I don’t keep raisins in the house (not a big raisin fan) but I always I have dried cranberries for baking. I also stirred in about 1/3 c. ground flax seeds, because I had them in the fridge and why not add some omega-fatty-acids? Good for the brain and all that! And then I added a pinch of ground cloves.

If I made it again, I would add some additional spices, and definitely some nuts. I had this warm out of the oven with some chilled homemade apple-pear butter (I used this recipe but subbed in some pears for some apples because why not), and OMG, my mouth was in Autumnal heaven! The flavours of fall all melded together and became so drool-worthy that my mouth is watering again as I type this, no joke.

I didn’t read the comments on the recipe beforehand, and if I had, I probably would have reduced the amount of oil in the recipe, just to up the healthiness quotient, but they turned out fantastic, so maybe I wouldn’t have after all.

I packed a muffin and some apple-pear butter for lunch today, and then ate them while sitting with a couple of cool cats. I offer pictorial proof.

Not catnip-flavoured? Not interested.

Not catnip-flavoured? Not interested.

Cat was curious but not impressed. But if you make these, your mouth will be! Just be sure to add in those additional spices. And if you do, let me know what combo of spice you favour for flavour!

Next Post: Peanut butter cups! Really! And wine jelly bonbons.

All-Natural, Protein-Rich Smoothies & How to Eat Your (Hidden) Greens

Can't see the kale, can't taste the kale...but it's in there!

Can’t see the kale, can’t taste the kale…but it’s in there!

One of my friends is a holistic nutritionist and recently ran a 30-day smoothie challenge on her fb page. Shout out to @KarinRHN! She lives in a converted schoolhouse, goes on wildfood foraging adventures, and grows her own heritage vegetables. Needless to say, she’s living a holistic foodie’s dream. I normally just eat cereal for breakfast (works for my IBS issues, I’ve found), but her gorgeous pictures of smoothies, and her delicious sounding recipes inspired me to create my own smoothie.

I also came across some dried kale powder in Bulk Barn last week and thought it would be the perfect addition to a smoothie. I ignored the additive-rich protein powder in the bin beside it, and went for the pure stuff: 100% dried kale. I put it on my kitchen counter to remind me to make smoothies for breakfast.

So smoothies were on my mind. And then I came across a recipe on Buzzfeed last week, that talked about adding almond butter to smoothies, and I thought, huh, I’ve got peanut butter…I wonder if that works?

Let me tell you, it does! Read on for the super-easy, super-DELICIOUS recipe!

Invisible Kale Smoothie

  • 1 tbsp. peanut butter (all natural, chunky)
  • 1/3 c. frozen Ontario strawberries
  • 1/3 c. frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 c. ice cubes
  • 1 c. Greek yoghurt, vanilla
  • 1 generous tsp. dried kale powder
  • 2 tsp. ground flax seeds (ground, so you can digest them)
  • optional topping: homemade chocolate granola

Blend all ingredients together. And…done! If it’s a bit thick, you can add in a bit of milk, but I like mine thick so I rarely add that in.

What’s awesome about this recipe is that the Greek Yoghurt and peanut butter make it high in protein, the ground flax seed gives it a dose of omega-fatty acids, and the frozen fruit and kale powder gives you a generous dose of fruits and veggies. Basically, it couldn’t get any healthier!

And it tastes soooo good! Fruity, creamy, and with a hint of peanutty goodness! Mmm…I know what I’m having for breakfast tomorrow!

Next Post: Peanut Butter Cups or Grind-Your-Own Garam Malasa? Choices, choices!

Maple-Cinnamon-Walnut Monkey Bread, with Apples

Baked and about to  be eat! Oh, sticky deliciousness!

Baked and about to be eaten! Oh, sticky deliciousness!

I saw a recipe for maple apple cinnamon buns a few months ago, and it inspired me to create this deliciously sticky brunch (or dessert!) recipe. It’s a quick bread, so there’s no waiting for the dough to rise, which means it’s actually pretty quick to put together and bake. And just like my pumpkin cinnamon buns, there’s corn starch in the dough, so they’re extra fluffy, which I like!

The maple flavour is subtle but adds a nice note to the brown sugar flavour. My favourite bits are the crunchy sides. Mmm…buttery, crunchy, maple-y bites! You can double the recipe to make a much more sizeable monkey bread, but you’d need to have a large family to eat it all! Or the metabolism of a racehorse. Neither of which I have.

Maple Cinnamon Walnut Monkey Bread with Apples

Dough:

  • 2 c. flour
  • 2 tbsp. corn starch
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 3/4 c. milk 

Everything Else:

  • 1/4 c. maple syrup
  • 4 tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 c. walnuts, chopped
  • 2 apples, peeled and cut into little chunks

Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together, and cut in the butter until it looks like peas. Mix in the milk, and set aside the dough. It’ll be lumpy and wet, but that’s ok!

Mix the melted butter and maple syrup. Set aside. Mix the brown sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon and set aside.

Ring of yumminess!

Ring of yumminess!

Get a bundt pan and put it in your workspace. Roll the dough into little chunks, the size of Timbits (doughnut holes, for all you non-Canadians out there). Take each little ball of dough, and roll it in the butter/maple syrup mixture, and then in the cinnamon/brown sugar/nutmeg mixture. Place in the bundt pan. Repeat until you have a ring of little balls all around the base of the pan. Sprinkle half the walnuts and half the apple chunks over them. Repeat with remaining dough balls, and remaining walnuts and apples chunks. If there is any of the brown sugar mixture left, sprinkle that on the very top, and pour the remaining maple syrup and butter mixture over the very top.  

Bake in a 400 degree oven for half an hour, and then let sit for at least 15 minutes so that the syrup cools and holds the dish together. Loosen the edges of the bread, place a plate on top and invert. Remove the pan and voila, your fancy-looking dish is done!

Monkey bread before baking. The nuts and apples make it healthy, yes?

Monkey bread before baking. The nuts and apples make it healthy, yes?

You can drizzle a simple glaze on top like I did, but it’s probably healthier not to. I just mixed up some icing sugar with a dash of milk and vanilla extract and drizzled it with a fork right on top of the warm monkey bread.

Then the DH and I dug in! Only half is left now. I think I’ll freeze the rest, because after eating that much, all I can think of is floating in a cool vat of iced cucumber water. So cool. So cleansing. There must be a spa treatment like that out there! *grin*

Next Post: Baked Zucchini Coins — a low-fat and tasty way to satisfy your French fry craving while eating green veggies.

Memories of Meals Past: French Toast with Homemade Oatmeal Bread

French toasted goodness, with homemade bread and homemade preserves! And milk. Does a body good!

French toasted goodness, with homemade bread and homemade preserves! And milk. Does a body good!

This week’s Memories of Meals Past: A few weeks ago, I woke up on the Friday of a long weekend and thought, huh…I feel like baking! So I baked a couple of loaves of bread. I tried out a new recipe (this one) and I’m glad I did! It’s an easy-peasy recipe for two loaves of bread, with minimal work.

Officially, it’s a recipe for white bread, but me being me, I subbed in a cup of oats for one of the cups of flour. I wanted to add a bit more nutrition to a white bread recipe, and I didn’t have any whole wheat flour in the house, so oats it was. Turned out FABULOUS!

Bread with jam -- delicious, delicious jam! (technically preserves, but we won't quibble)

Bread with jam — delicious, delicious jam! (technically preserves, but we won’t quibble)

Within 36 hours, the DH and I had demolished both loaves. It’s really easy to eat fresh bread! A few slices for breakfast with my homemade strawberry cranberry jam, a few slices with cheese for lunch, a few slices with dinner, a few slices for that midnight snack, and before you know it, a loaf and a half is gone.

I woke up on the next day and realized there was only a half loaf left. And I tend to crave carbs on the weekend, so I made up some French toast using the remaining half loaf of bread.

I’ve posted the recipe here, but it’s very basic, and easily customizable: mix an egg or two, a cup of milk, and a teaspoon of vanilla extract in a bowl. Slice the bread and soak the slices briefly on each side. Fry it up in a pan with lots of butter. Serve with homemade preserves and perhaps a dash of icing sugar. Demolish and wish there was more!

French toast is great with homemade bread, but it’s almost as good with stale bread or bread with freezer burn. Waste not, want not, after all!

See how nicely it slices? I totally recommend this recipe!

See how nicely it slices? I totally recommend this recipe!

And speaking of waste not, want not

Next Post: Lemon Meringue Tarts! Or, what to do with leftovers.