Category Archives: Breakfast/Brunch


Make that #Oatober….someone at Quaker Oats is pretty genius.

Could it be this guy??


This is the first Quaker for Oats – trademarked in 1877. They’ve been working the genius marketing for a while.

And in 1891, Quaker put the first recipe on the back of the box – for Oatmeal Bread…A few years later Fannie Farmer had a Quaker Oats Bread in the Boston Cooking School Cookbook. Coincidence? I think not!


2 cups boiling water.
1/2 cup molasses.
1/2 tablespoon salt.
1/2 yeast cake dissolved in
1/2 cup lukewarm water.
1 cup Quaker Rolled Oats.
4 3/4 cups flour.

Add boiling water to oats and let stand one hour; add molasses, salt, dissolved yeast cake, and flour; let rise, beat thoroughly, turn into buttered bread pans, let rise again, and bake.

By using one-half cup less flour, the dough is better suited for biscuits, but, being soft, is difficult to handle.

To make shaping of biscuits easy, take up mixture by spoonfuls, drop into plate of flour, and have palms of hands well covered with flour before attempting to shape.

The Boston Cooking School Cookbook
By Fannie Merritt Farmer (1896)pp.59-60.

This makes a pretty dense loaf…and pretty is the wrong word, too. But it makes great toast. Maryetta’s Oatmeal Bread is a lighter brighter oatmeal bread option.

My other oat adventure today was thanks to Martha Stewart.


Martha Stewart, probably kicking herself for not coming up with Oatober.

In the September issue of Martha Stewart Living she had a tip and recipe for quick cooking steel cut oats.


I eat oatmeal for breakfast pretty much every morning and have for years. I believe that oats truly brought my cholesterol levels down, down and fast, and frankly eating breakfast is pretty easy, pretty inexpensive and has far fewer side effects then most of those little pills…. not to mention more pleasant and easier to remember in the fog of morning. Oats are the base, the only choices I have to make are what to put in them. That choice I usually make at the market, and do the same breakie all week. Ah, blueberries and cinnamon! Oh, Parmesan and pepper!  Dropt egg and rooster sauce; cranberries and honey….The Gracious Pantry has some pretty inspired oatmeal toppings. Back to oats –

Steel cut out are nubbly and more textured then rolled outs.


Extreme closeup of rolled oats – the roller goes over them and they get very very thin



Steel cut oats – are chopped – chunky – chewy

Steel cut oats take longer to cook and are not zippy quick or mindless in the morning. I do not want to spend my dawn’s early light time at the stove stirring porridge.There’s always a slow cooker option, but then I’d be making lots, and have to repack to re-heat…not easier.


soak them the night before, and then 5-10 minutes in the pan – easy peasy! I made enough for one – so 1/4 cup of steel cut oats, 1 cup water and a pinch of salt in my littlest sauce pan and pop the lid on. It sat on the stove overnight, so was there to greet me when I put the coffee on, and after the first cup I remembered why it was there….


This look very much like my little yellow pot, which pretty much lives on top of my stove.It’s that kind of workhorse.

After the second cup, awake and ready to rejoin the world, I brought the oats and water and the pinch of salt to a boil. I then lowered the heat to a fairly active simmer and stirred it from time to time until the water was gone and it was just oaty goodness and no longer liquid. A tooth test – firm, some give, but not hard, not little pebbles. Done. Under 10 minutes, maybe 7 or 8.

Rolled oats take 5 minutes at 50% power in the microwave. The new directions on the box say 3 minutes at 100%, but this just make them pasty. Take the 2 extra minutes!

Martha eats her oatmeal with golden raisins and currants and a slash of low fat milk. Sweet and milky are not my cup of tea. I had some butter and a little cheddar cheese.

There is a really great oatmeal muffin recipe lurking in one of my cookbooks…apples or was it apple sauce? Fortunately, I have all of Oatober ahead of me to find it.


My Bowl of Oatmeal was not a movie…and I not on speaking terms with my breakie.


Filed under Autumn, Breakfast/Brunch, Pantry, Recipe

Pancakes! Pancakes!

Today is Shrove Tuesday

 a/k/a/ Mardi Gras


Fat Tuesday

and is also, also known as


That would be today, day before Ash Wednesday, which is the day when Lent begins. Today is the day to traditionally chow down before the fasting begins. Chow down on pancakes.

pancake EC

Eric Carle walks you through everything you need to do to make pancakes in this gem. First, harvest the grain…..

As it happened, the box I was unpacking while waiting for the Blizzard (I’m sure it has a name, but we are NOT on speaking terms, raging storm and I) was the pile of magazines that was beside my reading chair the night before the fire in my old place. Since it was a Friday night, and the recycling was due on the curb first thing Tuesday morning, I was going through my April issues, earmarking, ripping out, passing on…..It’s a little spooky to find a magazine folded back to a page you left it on months earlier, let me tell you.

But FoodNetwork Magazine April 2015 issue was a special BREAKFAST issue

FNMApr 2015

So, of coarse, there’s a pancake story.

Pancakes, Your Way

click the links






17th century English  Hunger is following Jack of Lent, riding a fish, following Shrove Tuesday who has a pancake pan, and possibly some weight issues….

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Filed under Breakfast/Brunch, Eating, Holiday, Lent, Recipe

Crunchy/ Egg Nog/ Texas/Cranberry and Bacon Stuffed/ French Toast

Yep, that’s what I want, just as soon as I finish inventing it.

I started craving it yesterday, which wasn’t a particularly crunchy sort of day – a little gritty, perhaps,  but no crunch. The other elements started creeping in, one by one.

It was an open a box, take everything out and deal with it sort of day, the days one has LOTS of after moving. The ‘And just which past life of mine is this thing a remnant of?‘ sort of day. AND a total ‘Christmas is happening this week?’ denial day  sort of day.

It was also the day to Rescue the Aloe Vera.

You might remember the Aloe Vera as a carrier of toads into the ancestral abode….or maybe that was a Facebook moment…In TRUE Lucy and Ethel fashion, I can’t get whatever stupid thing will let me insert and then write some more, so it will come at the end, and therefore be in the NightCap position, not the ReCap place.

Anyhow, in some circles this plant is already famous. And before, before, before the plant was semi-famous, one of my  Pilgrim wasbands, John Forti,  gave me (and several dozen others) aloe vera divisions from his epically  happy aloe vera, that did do so well for me that several years later I gave aloe vera to any and all takers that I had divided up from my divisions….and after years (close to 2 decades) of cats who loved to knock plants over and tussle them out of their pots to play with their roots….I still had a very healthy, though beaten back, plant. I had meant to re-pot it last Fall, but it was too heavy to carry down the stairs….so it was a definite for this Spring.

But I hadn’t gotten someone bigger/stronger/younger then I (that would be my son) to carry it out for me  ….before the fire.

So the plant, with some ado,  was moved to the ancestral home and placed on the deck and was happy. So happy that it’s root-bound self started to burst out of the planter – sideways – so it was plunked into plastic waste paper bin, as a temporary measure to keep root and plant in the same zip code temporarily…. O tempora! O mores! 

The container was one of convenience, and not a judgement about the plant .

waste basket

A NICE plastic bin, like this white one. Also – MEMO to those who photograph white furnishings against a white background – not the best choice. Just sayin’.

That was in May. This is now December. Can you feel the guilt?

Back to Saturday….

First I had to find the boxes that had the pots in them; and the boxes with the saucers and the boxes with the potting soil. Then I had to wash the pots, because the ones that were the right size OF COURSE where the ones that I had put away with out washing.Wash them or toss them out, don’t save the washing up for later I tell me self and never seem to learn.

potting soil miricle grow

And I had 2 opened bags of soil….now I just have a little left of one. I did think that there was a third bag…..

As I examined the poor, sad  plant I realized I didn’t know where my garden tools were….so I improvised, thank you ceramic knife and stainless cooking spoon. Did I mention the reason I re-pot outdoors is because there are some things I have never learned to do neatly? In the end, I put a double layer of newpapers down on the bathroom floor and had to.


Three new pots of aloe vera.

And then the clean-up of the re-potting.

Somewhere in all the washing up, I started thinking about egg nog.

Like how almost NO ONE published a homemade egg nog recipe in the holiday magazines. Not that I would. More then once. Maybe twice. And then there’s that whole raw egg thing. That’s why no one makes it at home. Maybe.

But I had already purchased some, the egg nog of my youth:


Hood’s Golden EggNog – a little nutmeg on top – perfect.

And just how did egg nog become part of a Christmas tradition, when traditionally this is the time of year when hens lay least?  There is also an entire Nog family out there that has no egg…


Notice – NOG, No EGG. Don’t be fooled

Since I had the egg nog (not the no-egg nog) in the house already….could EggNog French toast be far behind?

And Crunchy French Toast, I have learned from Water St Cafe, home of some pretty fine French Toast, both crunchy and stuffed. The secret to their crunchy is …..


I have some corn chex, left from another project…..hmmmmm/

Water St Cafe also has a French Toast that is  both Crunchy and Stuffed…..with blueberry cream cheese.

This morning the Boston Globe Magazine  – baked French Toast

Now about the Texas Toast…

I got an early Xmas present of Smoke & Pickles

smoke and pickles

Edward Lee

Anyhow – Edward Lee mentions Texas Toast with several different dishes.Texas Toast is just sliced double thick bread.

Double thick bread slices in an egg nog (maybe a little rum) definitely a little nutmeg, and some sort of bacon/cranberry sauce stuffing….maple syrup is just too much sweet with egg nog, baked and not fried.  I’ll let you know what I decide and how it turns out.

The Recap/NightCap:

Kathleen Wall's photo.
Kathleen Wall's photo.
Last night, brought the potted plants in from the deck so they wouldn’t turn into plantcicles. This morning there was a little blob or blot in the floor – whatever could it be???????Not dust, but a little frog. Not the little frog in the picture, Mamma and me were tooooooooo busy scooping up said frog in a dustpan and gently holding him down with the broom bristles and going to the back door and unlocking the locks and setting the dustpan down and lifting the broom and finding NO FROG…..back inside, scooping Mr. Frogget once more and FINALLY getting him out the door. Because everyone should have an adrenaline filled Lucy and Ethel moment between coffee and breakfast.
October 19th, 2015

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Filed under Breakfast/Brunch, Christmas, Uncategorized

Sunday Brunch

My most common Sunday Brunch this year is a cup of Jamincan Me Crazy coffee and a cranberry-orange muffin at Kiskadee…..

I bought some grapefruits for something, but ate them. Just peeled and ate them. Not the something.

I bought some more, because they were for something…something….something .. what WAS it????

And I just found my grapefruit spoons – I love digging into half a grapefruit at a time with a pointy spoon, but that wasn’t the something, although it will happen, frequently, over the course of the winter grapefruit season.

While cleaning up another unpacking corner I found the pages I ripped from October’s

Food Network Magazine:


Bobby Flay’s Brunch Menu

with – ta da – Grapefruit and Mint Salad

It’s a great brunch menu

Here it is –

Creamy polenta with braised greens and poached eggs



Make you own chili oil? No thank you

My brain immediately translates it to: polenta with chains….been there, done that

He does make the polenta with milk (which you can also do in the slow cooker) which I almost never think of doing because I almost never have milk just about – it’s a separate trip to the store, another new item on my shopping list- and he braises the mustard greens with garlic, red onion and a little red wine vinegar to serve on top of the polenta and underneath the poached eggs. Mustard greens are a good and flavorful green for this. Bless his heart for not suggesting kale. Making polenta and braising greens is so far a no sweat morning, providing there is ample coffee earlier…..

Poached eggs are – well, poached eggs. Since I’m a huge fan of the hot hard-boiled egg, I would probably do that instead because not eating food prepared the way you like it from your own kitchen is just a little twisted, although poaching is pretty easy, and a broken poached egg on top of the greens and polenta would be layers of yumminess…..

Grapefruit salad with honey mint dressing

He uses both white and ruby red grapefruit, with the chopped mint on top sure looks pretty – but it also smells mouthwatering with that little dab of honey, in my minds nose.


Why was this sooo familiar?

Oh, right – grapefruit salad with black olives

And then he makes sausage – homemade chorizo – into patties, which is the absolute easiest way to make sausage. He even uses ground pork from the market.



Like I didn’t already have a Kitchen Crush on him.

Homemade Chorizo Patties


Although my grandmother’s grinder is around here somewhere, should I take it into my head in a fit of total insanity to buy a pork shoulder and grind my own while I’m still unpacking and it’s the month with Christmas in it. The grinder was in one of the boxes that was moved with my brothers; I saw it and we even talked about it. It was in a storage box that was part of a system of storage boxes, which means there’s more than one of those boxes, so far, none of them is the grinder box. I’m pretty sure.

My other grinder – the one I bought for sausage workshops – is in the kitchen…what, you don’t have more than one grinder?

It will be needing a place to live, either here, or, as soon as I find Nonna’s, somewhere else altogether. I also have a sausage stuffer I’ll never need again, between my Kitchen Aid (which has a stuffing attachment) and the stuffer attachment that goes with the grinder, that I think works with the old Nonna grinder. I just need to find it and try it again. Moving is so much more work then just packing and unpacking.

The boxes of things to be given away keep growing.

Back on the brunch front ….This menu really needs a sweet muffin/roll/biscuit/coffee cake something to enjoy with a second pot of coffee when all the heavy lifting eating is done.

Maybe some Jamican Me Crazy coffee and  cranberry muffins…..

coffee hat

Of course he looks sad – the coffee is missing his mouth! Cruel fashion!


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Filed under Autumn, Breakfast/Brunch, Recipe