Happy Mother’s Day!

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In addition to our regular menu, we offered a special Mother’s Day Breakfast this morning. The rain even held off, so that we could serve breakfast on the porch.

Mother’s Day Breakfast

Tangerine Mimosas

Fresh-Baked Raspberry Muffins (recipe)

Bacon, Turkey, Spinach & Cheddar Cheese Omelettes made with local  pork

Fresh Berries & Oranges

To all of our guests and all of the wonderful mothers out there – especially mine! – Happy Mother’s Day!

What’s For Breakfast?

Some very nice guests from Oklahoma gave me a bunch of fresh asparagus from their garden. What a treat! Now, I am trying to figure out how to incorporate it into breakfast this morning. As I write, I’m thinking that my special of the day will be Scrambled Eggs Primavera. The dish is still taking shape in my mind, but I am thinking fluffy scrambled eggs served atop a bed of baby yellow potatoes with sautéed  asparagus, Vidalia onions and cherry tomatoes, garnished with a dollop of crème fraîche and chives from my garden. I had better get back to work. It’s a good thing that everyone is have a late breakfast today! Have a wonderful weekend!

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Honey-Glazed Raisin Pecan Muffins (Gluten-Free)

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Honey-Glazed Raisin Pecan Muffins

2 c. white rice flour (gluten-free)

1/2 c. dark brown sugar

1 T. baking powder

2 1/2 t. ground cinnamon

1 c. Greek yogurt (full-fat)

1/2 c. melted butter

1/2 c. honey, plus extra for glazing muffins

2 lg. eggs

1 c. mixed jumbo raisins

1 c. chopped pecans

muffin papers or foils

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to  400 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with papers or foils.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and cinnamon. Set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together yogurt, butter, 1/2 c. honey, and eggs. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and then stir with a mixing spoon until no dry spots appear. Fold in raisins and walnuts.

4. Divide batter between muffin cups, mounding batter up in the center of each muffin and rounding with the back of a spoon. (Batter will stand above the top of the muffin pan.)

5. Bake for 20 – 23 minutes or until firm to the touch. Remove muffins from the oven and immediately glaze each with about 1/2 t. of honey, spreading honey with the back of a spoon. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. Muffins are best served warm with a bit of butter or jam. Enjoy!

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Have a lovely weekend!

Golden Moment

This morning, while waiting for muffins to come out of the oven and guests to come downstairs for breakfast, I decided to take advantage of a little free time to take photos of a mocktail for Morning Star Weddings – my other blog. The only trouble – I also had to wait for the sun to come up and get high enough in the morning sky so that I could get enough light for my photos. So I got all set up and played around with practice shots while waiting. This is one that I took of flowers that I was using as background filler. I was happy that it turned out because I really liked the contrast of materials. Have a lovely day!

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Chocolat Chaud (French-style Bittersweet Hot Chocolate)

ChocolatChaud

The other day I was reading J. A. Brillat-Savarin’s The Physiology of Taste and his discussion of chocolate gave me the greatest craving for a rich cup of chocolat chaud. As we have been experiencing cool weather here in Manhattan, Kansas the past few days, the timing was perfect; but, of course, being Kansas, the weather is supposed back up into the 80’s by mid-week. That’s how it goes here. I hope that you are having a lovely autumn! Enjoy the recipe!

Chocolat Chaud

6 oz. best-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1/4 c. boiling water

about 2 c. warm milk

cinnamon sticks for garnish

optional other ingredients & garnishes: brown sugar, Chantilly Cream, cinnamon sugar, chocolate curls

Directions:

1. Place chocolate in a 2-qt. sauce pan over low heat. Pour boiling water over chocolate. Stir until smooth.

2. Gradually stir in 2 c. of the warm milk. Taste. If the flavor is too strong for you, stir in more milk to taste. If desired, stir in a bit of brown sugar.

3. Once you have reached the desired flavor, continue stirring until smooth and hot – but not boiling.

4. If you have an immersion blender, whip the hot chocolate until frothy. Ladle into warmed serving cups. Garnish each with a cinnamon stick. If desired, top with Chantilly cream, cinnamon sugar and/or chocolate curls. Bon appétit!

Note: As with just about anything you make, the are a number of ways to make chocolat chaud. Some recipes omit the hot water. You can use more or less milk if you desire. (About 2 cups of milk is the minimum that I like to use without having to sweeten the beverage.) If you have the patience to wait, after you have warmed the hot chocolate mixture and balanced the flavors, remove it from the heat, transfer to a glass container and allow it to sit for several hours in order to thicken. Return chocolate to clean saucepan, then gently warm mixture and continue with step 4.

Iced Minted Orange Juice

My first waitressing job was working evenings at a deli while I was in high school. Early on, I was scheduled for a Saturday morning 7 a.m. shift. Until I got on the floor to serve tables, I didn’t realize that apart from the owner who was in her office doing book work, I was the only employee working. That meant that I was cooking, serving, and busing tables … with no training on the breakfast shift. Fortunately, I knew how to cook, but I was a little flustered nevertheless. Not thinking, I served orange in a large glass of ice to one of the customers – after all, that was how I liked to drink my orange juice. Boy did he chew me out. “Who drinks orange juice with ice? What are you thinking!?” But, I still like my o.j. with ice, and Minted Orange Juice – a blend of iced mint tea and orange juice – is served just that way. This is a beverage that I came up with for serving with breakfast in heat of summer when o.j. seems a little too heavy and yet it feels too early in the day for iced tea. Enjoy!

Minted Orange Juice

6 c. cold water

1 cinnamon stick

1 c. clean fresh-picked mint leaves, plus some for garnish

12 oz. frozen orange juice concentrate

1/2 – 3/4 c. sugar, or to taste

4 c. ice cubes, plus ice for serving

1. Place water and a cinnamon stick in a pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Add mint leaves. Cover pot and steep for 15 minutes.

2. Place orange juice concentrate, 1/2 c. of the sugar, and ice cubes to a pitcher. Strain mint tea into pitcher. Stir until concentrate, sugar and ice cubes are dissolved. Taste. If desired, stir in the remaining 1/4 c. of sugar.

3. Chill until serving. Serve over ice and garnish with mint leaves.

Note: If you don’t have fresh mint, substitute 4 mint tea bags.

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Sweet Cherry Muffins

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Sweet Cherry Muffins

2 c. all purpose flour

1 c. granulated white sugar

1 T. baking powder

1/2 c. melted butter

1 c. buttermilk

2 lg. eggs

2 t. vanilla extract

2 c. dark sweet cherries, pitted and coarsely chopped (frozen ok)

cinnamon sugar

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Prepare 10 1/2-cup ceramic ramekins with butter and flour or with baking spray;  or line 12 standard muffin cups with muffin papers, with butter and flour, or with baking spray.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and baking powder. Set aside.

3. Stir together butter, buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla extract until well combined. Stir mixture into dry ingredients until dry ingredients are evenly moistened. Fold in cherries.

4. Scoop batter into prepared muffin cups. Using the back of a spoon, shape tops of muffins into a slight mound. Sprinkle tops of muffins with cinnamon sugar.

5. If using ramekins, place ramekins on 2 baking sheets. Bake for about 15 – 20 min for 12 muffins or about 22 – 27 minutes for 10 muffins. Muffins should be firm to the touch when done.