Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Breakfast

As promised but a bit belated, here are the recipes for the dishes I made for our Mother's Day brunch.

I wasn't much of a breakfast eater before I got pregnant. It wasn't deliberate; I've just never had much of a morning appetite. A travel mug of skim milk and some fruit was usually about it, and I would usually consume it in my car while I made my way through the traffic. In the winter I liked to prepare a bowl of oatmeal, milk, and frozen strawberries and blueberries, which I would heat and eat as I checked my email at work.

On Mother's Day it was a pleasure to eat heartily from every dish I prepared, as breakfast was the most difficult meal to manage during the first half of my pregnancy. Pregnancy-related nausea is notorious for rearing its ugly head upon the first hint of an empty stomach, and trying to choke something down in the morning when you already feel sick is no easy feat. For a while, racing to get something in my stomach before the dry heaves kicked in was my morning routine. "It's coming, baby!" I would plead, ripping open a box of cereal and stuffing a dry handful into my mouth.

I cycled through cereals for a while. The first one that sounded good to me was Kashi Go Lean, since it has lots of protein. I'd eat it with ground flaxseed and chopped walnuts.

Then suddenly: ew.

Oatmeal with frozen berries, walnuts, and flaxseed rescued me and lasted for quite a while.

Next it was Life cereal. Mike ran out and bought two huge boxes of this, but quickly learned not to stock up on any particular item. After just a few days, I abandoned Life cereal and gave the second jumbo box to my co-worker.

Back to Kashi for a while. And then suddenly, bizarrely, a sweet cereal was the only thing I could handle. I am embarrassed to admit that I fed my fetus Lucky Charms for two solid weeks. Sugar and artificial flavors and coloring! Eat up, little man! (I'd usually have an OJ chaser to cut the guilt)

Anyhow, you get the picture.

We're heading to Chincoteague tomorrow morning, where we'll be staying in an old Victorian B&B and undoubtedly eating huge breakfasts every morning (I'll think fondly on the smoked salmon and eggs that we ate at every B&B in Ireland). I'm getting a prenatal massage while we're there- that should help burn off some of the extra calories, right?

Heh heh.

Try some of these while I'm gone and let me know what you think.

Breakfast Burritos (makes 6-7 burritos)
from the May 2005 Vegetarian Times
(must be made one day ahead. Time-saver for the day of the party! Awesome!)

Ingredients:

2 t. olive oil
1/2 medium onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 10-oz pkg. frozen chopped spinach (I used fresh spinach, cooked it until wilted, and then squeezed it out and chopped it)
2 T. fresh dill
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
Dash hot pepper sauce (optional)
1 3/4 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
6 8-inch flour tortillas (I squeezed seven burritos out of this recipe)
4 large eggs, beaten
2 c. skim milk
1 T. all-purpose flour
1 t. mustard powder

Grease a 9x13 baking dish.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Sauté onion and pepper for 5 minutes, or until tender. Add garlic, and cook two minutes more. Stir in spinach, dill, salt, and pepper; cover and cook about 5 minutes or until spinach is thawed (if using frozen. If using fresh, less cooking time is required). Season with pepper sauce and stir in 3/4 cup cheese.

Spoon about 1/3 cup of spinach/veggie mixture down the center of each tortilla. Roll tortilla tightly; place seam-side down in baking dish.

Whisk together eggs, milk, flour, and mustard powder, and pour over tortillas. Cover dish with foil and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 350F. Remove foil and bake burritos 45 minutes, or until eggs are set. Sprinkle with 1 cup of cheese and bake 5 minutes more, or until cheese has melted and begins to brown. Let stand 10 minutes before serving with salsa and sour cream.


Yogurt & Herb Bread
(This is a quick bread- no yeast. I've had this recipe forever and can't remember where I got it. I made this the morning of the brunch so it would be nice and warm, but you could do it a day ahead.)

Ingredients:

1 c. unbleached white flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
3/4 t. salt
1 cup firm plain yogurt
5 T. melted butter
2 eggs
1/3 c. honey
2 T. minced fresh dill
1 t. dried oregano
1 t. dried thyme
1 t. dried basil

Preheat oven to 400F.

Lightly grease a medium-sized loaf pan.

Sift together the flours, baking powder & soda, and salt into a medium-sized bowl. Make a well in the center.

In a separate bowl, beat together the yogurt, melted butter, eggs, and honey. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients along with the herbs. Mix with a wooden spoon until thoroughly blended.

Spread into pan and bake 40-45 minutes, or until a knife inserted all the way into the center comes out clean.

Let sit 5 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on rack for 20 minutes before slicing.


Roasted Asparagus
(I always try to include asparagus when I cook for my mother-in-law, since they're her favorite)

So easy, and so delicious. I made these in my little toaster/convection oven, since the big oven was occupied (oh, double oven, on and on I dream of thee!). Preheat oven to 400F. Just get yourself a bunch of asparagus, choosing firm, bright stalks with tight tips (they're in season right now! But not for long! Hurry!), wash thoroughly and trim any tough ends, and place on an oiled baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until tender, usually about 15 minutes. You can serve these at room temperature if you want; no need to screech at your guests to QUICK! COME EAT THESE!


Fruit Salad

I used sliced mango, raspberries, and blackberries.


Little Apple Turnovers (makes 9)
(Very simple, if you don't mind the mess of rolling out pre-made pastry. Do these the day of. I made them right before everyone arrived, then put them in the oven while we started on the rest of the food)

Ingredients:

3 cups chopped, peeled apples (I like Granny Smith or any kind of tart apple)
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
1 sheet prepared puff pastry (Pepperidge Farm makes it- check the frozen foods section of your grocery store)
Confectioners' sugar

In a saucepan, stir together apples, lemon juice, and sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes (or until softened). Cool.

Preheat oven to 375F.

Thaw pastry according to package directions (or make your own! Go you!). Roll out to a 12-inch square (I LOVE this for rolling out small amounts of pastry. Mine is wooden, though). Cut into 9 squares.

Place 1 1/2 T. filling in the center of each square. Brush edges of pastry with water and fold over into a triangle shape. Press the edges lightly to seal. Prick the top of each with a fork (for ventilation).

Place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 20-25 minutes or until puffed and golden. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar and serve.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Mary Ellen said...

Oh, little apple turnovers! Like little wrapped gifts! They sound lovely.
I have the double oven. And it's very very nice, except that one of my babies likes to swing from the bottom handle and I think that must not be very safe...

11:44 AM  
Blogger Bearette24 said...

Those turnovers sound good.

5:32 PM  

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