Category Archives: breakfast

Sausage & Pumpkin Flapjack Apple Butter Stacks

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Phew! That was a mouth full! Literally. You’ll want to stuff your faces with these babies.

Ok. Let me decode it a bit for you.

Sweet country style breakfast sausage patties. Check. Apple buttery gravy. Pancakes… but with pumpkin! Because I pimp everything with pumpkin. And cinnamon. And nutmeg. You can’t go wrong. With honey apple butter in between, topped with a few slices of apple and parsley. If that isn’t enough to convince you, the stackage styling is fulfilling enough in itself. It’s like breakfast Jenga. (Boyfriend totally gets food styling props for this one though… I was in the shower while that business happened. Professional huh?)

Bust out that gravy boat! And make these for your next lazy Sunday morning brunch.

You’re welcome.

Sausage & Pumpkin Flapjack Apple Butter Stacks

Adapted from Rachael Ray Magazine, December 2007

Serves 4

  • 24 oz uncooked bulk country style sausage
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for gravy
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/4 cups plus 6 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 cup apple butter
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 small apple, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Heat a heavy, medium skillet over medium heat. Divide the sausage into 8 portions, then form into thin patties. Add 4 patties to the skillet and cook until browned and crisp, about 3 minutes on each side. Transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. Repeat with the remaining patties.
  2. Add enough melted butter to the sausage fat to equal 2 tablespoons total. Over medium heat, whisk in 2 tablespoons flour for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in 1 1/4 cups milk until the mixture boils, then continue to cook, whisking, for 1 minute more. Add 2 tablespoons apple butter and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the gravy to a pitcher; keep warm.
  3. Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium heat. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together the remaining 1 1/2 cups flour, the baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter, 1 cup plus 6 tablespoons milk, pumpkin puree, and spices. Stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture.
  4. Spoon 1/4 cup batter for each pancake onto the griddle and cook until bubbles form, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip and cook until springy, 1 minute more. Make 8 pancakes.
  5. Spoon some gravy onto each plate. Spread 4 pancakes with apple butter and place on the gravy. Top each with a sausage patty, another pancake, more apple butter, another sausage patty, a few apple slices and more gravy. Sprinkle with the parsley.
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Foodlandia: Broder

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broder1
2508 SE Clinton St.
Portland, OR
Breakfast – Lunch: Everyday 9AM-3PM
Dinner: Thursday-Saturday 6PM-10PM
broder2
Oh Broder. How I love thee. This place frickin’ rocks. The whole menu is glorious. The food is glorious. By far, one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had in my life. Yes. It’s that damn good.
I mean, c’mon, you can’t win my heart over any more by having roasted acorn squash with fried sage leaves as a vegetable side dish. And having humungous cardamom sweet rolls bigger than the size of my face. Over-easy eggs cooked to perfection with funny yolks and sweet apple sausage. Not to mention the hidden apple pancakes below the eggs, mixed in with the luscious sour cream and maple syrup. By far, my dream breakfast. Better than my dream breakfast. Holy crap.
Hipster, casual kitschy Scandinavian decor, cute ceramic dishes, this place is five stars, hands down. I can’t wait to try their aebleskivers. I can’t wait to try out their dinner! Swedish meatballs with lingonberry jam? Yes, please! As Portlander M.Ward would say, “oh, take me back and try me one more time”. Oh boy, it would be more than one more time.
Yes, indeed.
Additional pics: here and here.

Foodlandia: The Screen Door

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After recently returning from my second excursion to Portland within the last four months, stuffing my face full of delicious and extraordinary top-notch cuisine, experiencing the best of some of the best there is, I’ve realized it might be wise to put all of that food photography to use and do some restaurant reviews. Somewhat of an overwhelming task, I have to admit, as I feel as though I’ve covered a lot of ground. But all the more to share with you!

I don’t think I met one meal I didn’t like. I swear, there must be something in the water up there. Chefs are held to a higher standard, perhaps? More creative and precise palates? All I know is that Portlandia = foodie paradise. And quite conceivably the number one reason as to why I want to plant my roots in such a place.
So here goes: I now present to you my foodie restaurant experiences from Portland, OR. Or, what I like to call, Foodlandia.
Enjoy.
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THE SCREEN DOOR
2337 E Burnside St
Northeast Portland ‘hood
Southern, Cajun/Creole
Oh goodness. The dear Screen Door. How I love thee. My first breaking the fast meal of my stay. And it definitely set the stage. Arriving around noon time for Sunday brunch, the one hour wait was pretty inevitable. Running on practically nothing and ready to eat a horse, I convinced myself it would be worth the wait. After looking at their sample menu online (brunch, veggies) multiple times before I arrived, I would not be discouraged. Talk about dream menu! Every single item on the veggie menu sounded completely GENIUS. Any restaurant that incorporates winter root veggies like butternut squash, sweet potatoes, beets, parsnips, or chard is a winner in my book. GIVE IT TO ME.
The atmosphere was lively, loud, and full of beautiful Portland people: young, tattooed hipster parents with their gorgeous well-behaved babies, groups of fixie-riding hungover friends nursing their Bloody Mary’s, and couples so cute they make you wanna puke.
I knew I was in the right place.

Waitress with arms full of buttermilk fried chicken and sweet potato waffle dishes.
Delivering to a large group of hungover, 20-something year-old males.
They all ordered the same thing. And ate every last bite.
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A side order of the sweet potato waffle and maple bacon.
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Root vegetable hash with chard on a bed of parsnip puree.
Over-easy eggs.
Toast.
Heaven.
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Alabama scramble? With grits.
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Thankfully my eyes weren’t much bigger than my stomach. I was happier than a pig in shit. Pretty much all of my favorite foods coming together in one awesome meal. Words cannot describe the degree of foodie contentment that came over me.
Most delicious comfort food ever.
One of the best breakfasts of my life.
I hope you’re convinced now. What else do you want me to say? Here’s more evidence, if you need it.
If you’ve never had a lesson in patience, this will teach you. The patience was worth it.
PS. The Portlandia television series filmed a scene in the kitchen of this restaurant, dubbing it as the “Porch Light” undercover. Can’t fool me. I recognized that yellow building and blue sign in an instant! Apparently the grandiose gastronomical chef culture of Portlandia has gone to the heads of Armisen and Brownstein. And probably a few others.

Ginger Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal

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Goodness gracious. Only 14 more days left of school for the semester and then I can officially say I survived 1/4th of dental hygiene school. I am so damn proud of myself and the progress I have made and all of the new skills I have acquired. Jumping into something I pretty much knew completely nothing about and (surprisingly) excelling as well as I have been. It’s a good sign. Waking up at 6:30 most mornings, full days at school Monday thru Friday, has been a bit of an adjustment. Granted, it could always be worse, but it ain’t easy. (This is also a nice reminder.) But really though, time has flowwwwwn by. Unbelievable.
That being said, Thursday mornings are the only weekday morning that I can “sleep in”. My body’s internal alarm clock doesn’t really understand that concept, but at least I try. Usually I end up going for a long run, hitting the books, grabbing something quick to eat, then heading off to class to take radiographs in the afternoon. But today I decided I wanted to change that up a bit.
I got up. I did some yoga (my back and legs are thanking me–thank you, yoga). Meditated. Then meditated upon what to make for breakfast. Pumpkin. Ok. Oatmeal. Not again! Hmm, how could I make it even tastier than normal? I KNOW! BAKED pumpkin oatmeal!
I think I might explode.
I actually recall seeing several recipes in the past for pumpkin baked oatmeal and always thought, who has a darn hour to wait around for that thing to bake? When I’m hungry for breakfast, I’m hungry, dangit! I didn’t think I could be able to handle it. But today I made myself.
It wasn’t so bad.
It was worth the wait.
baked pumpkin ginger oatmeal.
Warm. Comforting. Gingery. Pumpkin-y. Raisin-y. Nutty. Delicious. Healthy. Goodness. Pretty much just like pumpkin bread pudding. And there are caramelized bananas on the bottom as a nice surprise, too. Is it breakfast, dessert, or a breakfast dessert? I’ll let you decide.
And now I can save myself some time in the morning by not having to make a pot of my usual pumpkin oatmeal! Awesome.
(I just now had my second serving of the day as a dessert warmed up with a few bites of The Penny Ice Creamery‘s brown butter spiced pecan, winter squash, and brown butter sage ice cream. They are wonderful compliments to any Fall-related dessert, let me tell ya. I kind of died and went to heaven.)
(Oh yes, and I do in fact take pictures of my breakfasts on my front porch in my pajamas for the entire neighborhood to see. I hope they find it as entertaining as I do.)
Ginger Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal
Makes approximately 4-6 servings
Adapted from here


canola oil cooking spray
1 Tbsp ghee
2 large yellowish-green bananas
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp pure maple syrup


2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup dried fruit (I used half raisins, half chopped dates, and a little chopped crystallized ginger)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp chai spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups almond milk
1 cup pure pumpkin puree
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp freshly grated ginger
1 tsp pure maple syrup


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat an 8-inch square or round baking dish with cooking spray.


Melt the ghee in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced bananas and cook for about 2 minutes, gently flipping to evenly brown both sides. Add cinnamon and maple syrup and let the mixture boil/thicken for about 30 seconds. Spoon the bananas into the bottom of the dish in an even layer. Set aside.


In a medium bowl, mix together the oats, dried fruit, nuts, brown sugar, baking powder, and spices. Set aside.


In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, pumpkin puree, egg, grated ginger, and maple syrup.


Stir the oat mixture into the milk/pumpkin mixture. Pour over the bananas in the dish.


Bake for 15 minutes at 375, then turn up the oven to 400 and bake for another 15 minutes until the top is slightly crisp and browned. Optionally, if you dare trying, you could bake the entire thing at 400 for probably about 25 minutes and be okay, I just wanted to make sure the center would set and not be gooey/raw. It’s up to you.


Allow to cool a few minutes before serving. Tip! Great alongside a dollop of vanilla or plain yogurt.

Migration to a Town Where Tree, Swallows, Houses

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Golden delicious apples on California black bread,
crunchy almond butter, drizzled with avocado honey on top.
Saturday simplicity:
-waking up to rain
-yoga
-abhyanga self-massage
-meditation
-writing
-preparing the above with a cup of peppermint tea
-the forest and the outdoors
So easy to make and quite delicious. Putting it under the broiler for about 3 minutes partially cooks the apples so they’re all nice and soft and crisps up the bread a little. I found the avocado honey a few weeks ago at this great little fruit and vegetable stand on my way home from Ayurveda school one evening. The adorable pea green label caught my eye at first, and then I saw that it said avocado. AVOCADO HONEY?!? You’ve got to be kidding me. Genius. The avocado is very subtle but I’d like to say it rounds out the honey with a little more of a creaminess and nutty flavor. There are tons more of honey flavored infusions too, like orange blossom, or sage, for example. I can’t wait to sample some of the others once I finish this one.
Went for a trail run in the forest when the rain took a break and it was invigorating and delightful. It was almost like an obstacle course. Tree trunks to hop over and under, puddles to jump around. The ground was soft and moist and muddy and dirt was splattered all over the backs of my legs and the bottom tracks of my shoes are completely saturated but oh it was so much fun. Laughing at myself and smiling whenever I was close to slipping and falling on my ass and/or down the cliff. No one around. The crisp and dewy smell of fresh rain oxygenating my blood. Sixty minutes of solitude, sweat, and good music. And the icing on the cake was washing it all off in the new outdoor shower.
Today has felt like a DIY retreat. Putting health and well-being first I believe is crucial for everything else falling into place. It’s good to take care of yourself. Now off to the kitchen to do a spin off of a ReadyMade recipe to make some sweet potato and beet pancakes with a thyme and lemon zest sour cream sauce.
I’m loving life.
(And the fact that James Mercer is coming back to my music library with some awesome new tunes with Danger Mouse in about a week and a half. YES! Is it just me or is he looking more and more like Kevin Spacey these days?)
**EDIT: Full album now available for streaming here! Thank you NPR!**

Pumpkin Waffles, Pimped!

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Pumpkin waffles! Finally! Thanks to the help of a gluten-free pancake/waffle mix, I made these puppies in less than five minutes and they came out perfectly. My culinary brain has been quite imaginative and resourceful lately, as you might be able to tell from the picture above. I concocted a savory dish that is perfect for any time of day, although this seems very brunch-appropriate. I raided my fridge for everything savory and sweet that I was craving and sounded good. There’s no real recipe for this, so I’ll just do a little explaining…
It’s really rather simple. First, I sauteed some sliced crimini mushrooms, sliced turkey breast, freshly chopped sage, and green onion in some ghee. While that was going, I kept it a little warm on the stove while I made the waffles. You can make your own waffle base, of course, but since I had some mix to use up, I used Pamela’s. I followed the basic recipe on the back, and added about 1/2 cup of canned, pureed pumpkin and an appropriate amount of pumpkin pie spice. Spooned the batter into the waffle maker, let it do its thing, and then topped each waffle with the saute, plain greek yogurt, fresh raspberries, and some cranberry apple and pumpkin butters. Deeeeelicious, if I do say so myself. I’m definitely making this again very soon!

Pumpkin French Toast

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I’m already having a ball pretending it is Fall. (And by no means did I intend to make that rhyme, I swear.) This past week has been filled with pumpkin spice frappucinos, smoothies, turkey and sage crepes with cranberry sauce, butternut squash crepes topped with maple syrup and vanilla bean ice cream for dessert. And pumpkin french toast, of course, thanks to handy dandy Vegan Brunch!

Now I have to be honest and say that this probably isn’t the best french toast I’ve ever had. But don’t take my word for it — it might have had something to do with the fact that I prepared and refrigerated the mixture ahead of time so I could whip it up before school one morning. The consistency was a lot thicker and probably didn’t soak up into the bread as well as it should have. My fault. I’ll definitely try this over again (minus the refrigeration). Not bad at all for being dairy-free! It’s really very simple. All you need is some canned pumpkin and a semi-stale loaf of sourdough bread (assuming you have the rest of the pantry staples)! They’re delicious with some yogurt or cottage cheese on top, fresh raspberries and some powdered sugar, and a little pumpkin butter (if you have it!) on the side. Yeah, pumpkin butter! Now all I need is some Trader Joe’s pumpkin beer and I’m good to go…

Pumpkin French Toast from Vegan Brunch
1 cup pureed pumpkin 1 1/2 cups soy milk 2 tablespoons cornstarch 2 teaspoons cinnamon 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8 slices semi-stale (ie. 3 days old) sourdough sliced in 1-in-thick pieces cooking spray/oil for the pan
1. Mix together pumpkin, milk, cornstarch, spices, and vanilla. 2. Spread out sourdough slices on a rimmed baking pan in a single layer. Pour the pumpkin mixture onto the bread and flip the slices to coat. Let sit for 10 minutes, then flip over and let soak for 10 minutes more.3. Preheat a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spray with cooking oil or drizzle a little oil into the pan. Cook about half the soaked bread for 5 to 7 minutes on one side and about 3 minutes on the other. When ready, the toast should be golden to medium brown and flecked with some darker spots. Keep warm on a plate covered with tinfoil while you cook the second batch.4. If not serving immediately, cover the toast and place in a 200 degree F oven for up to an hour. Serve with suggestions stated above (PUMPKIN BUTTER!!!!!).