Cornbread Strata and Meet Bindi!

My apologies again for disappearing. I know I said I was back after my last hiatus, but then something very exciting happened….we got a puppy! Meet Bindi our lab mix little cutie.

photo(3)

I absolutely love this little pup, so much so that I find it difficult to spend time cooking or writing instead of playing with her! I think we’ve now gotten into a more routine schedule and I hope to posting much more often. If any of you have suggestions for how you balance blogging with family, work, pets and other priorities I’d love to hear them!!

And now for the food. The mornings have started to get a bit cooler, which makes me want to just curl up with something warm and cozy for breakfast. I had 3/4 of a loaf of cornbread and some sauteed onions left over from earlier in the week and decided to try a strata to use it up. You can really make this with any type of bread, but cornbread gives it a nice fall feel. I like to add a little
King Arthur Vermont Cheese Powder to my cornbread. I know, I know cheese powder? But this is a great ingredient that can add extra flavor to mannny dishes. Bread that is a day or two old generally works best for this as well.

Cornbread Strata
Cornbread (note: this is half the amount that I make if I’m making the bread to eat, the strata doesn’t require as much unless you’re feeding a crowd)
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon King Arthur Vermont Cheese Powder (optional)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg
4 tablespoons butter, melted

Sauteed Onion:
1 large onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt
pepper

Strata:
1 pan cornbread (see above)
4 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Make the cornbread: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, cheese powder, thyme and parsley in a large mixing bowl. Combine the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into a baking dish and bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes, until the edges start to brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Saute the onions: Add the olive oil to a pan on medium-low heat. Slice the onion thinly and add to the pan. Cook the onions slowly for about 10 minutes until they’re soft and start to brown just a little. Salt and pepper to taste. Let the onions cool.

Make the strata: Cut the cornbread into small chunks and place about 1/2 in the bottom of a baking dish. Combine the rest of the strata ingredients and the cooled onions in a bowl and whisk lightly. Pour half of the mixture over the bread. Place the rest of the bread in the dish and pour the remaining mixture evenly over the bread the cover it. Add some more grated cheese on top if you like. Bake at 350 for about 35-40 minutes until the eggs are cooked. Enjoy!

photo(5)

photo(4)

photo(6)

photo(7)

Breakfast Bites

photo(46)

I have to admit, these aren’t the prettiest little things but they came about out of necessity. I usually start my mornings with a large coffee and a yogurt. Unfortunately, the past couple months I haven’t been feeling great after eating my morning yogurt. I’m not sure if I’ve developed some type of lactose intolerance (is that possible?) or what, but I’ve decided I need to switch out my yogurt for something else at least a few days a week.

While trying to figure out what else would be a good morning snack, I rummaged my cupboards for healthy ingredients. I also knew I would need a little bit of sweetness in this to make it just as appealing as my delicious creamy yogurts, hence the chocolate chips. These little breakfast bites only take a few minutes to make and you can add whatever you like into them. If you don’t have wheatgerm, feel free to leave that out. Add some dried fruit or try another kind of nut if you want.

Breakfast Bites
1/2 cup almonds
2 teaspoons water
1/4 cup oats
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 teaspoons wheat germ
2 Tablespoons chocolate chips
2 Tablespoons honey
pinch of cinnamon

1. Place the almonds in a food processor and pulse them a couple times, then add the water and continue pulsing them until you get a sticky mixture. It should be a little soft but still have tiny bits of almonds in it.

photo(44)

2.  Add the almond mixture and the rest of the ingredients to a small bowl and mix to combine.

photo(45)

3. Roll the mixture into bite-sized balls and store in the fridge until you’re ready to eat them, enjoy!

photo(47)

Apple and Nutella Cinnamon Rolls

photo(8) photo(9) photo(10)

I have to give credit to my husband for the genius behind these cinnamon rolls. While I was debating what I should put in them, he suggested Nutella, I immediately decided to go with that idea and it I’m glad I did. This weekend I ran my first 5k. I begrudgingly signed up for it after my husband and friend decided to do it and had been dreading it ever since. For those of you who don’t know, I absolutely HATE running, I never run and I certainly never understood the idea of paying to run. But it turns out the 5k was actually pretty fun and kind of motivated me to see if I can do another.

After successfully finishing the race, I decided I deserved an indulgent Sunday morning breakfast. Given the chilly weather and my seemingly endless surplus of apples I decided a cinnamon roll was the perfect choice. These were great treats, super soft and gooey on the inside perfectly browned on the outside. These would definitely make a great breakfast Thanksgiving morning to tide your family over until the big meal is ready.

Apple and Nutella Cinnamon Rolls
Dough:
3 1/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons meted butter
3/4 cup milk
1 large egg

Filling:
1 large apple cut into small chunks
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
4 Tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup Nutella

1. Combine the flour, yeast, salt and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. In a separate bowl add the milk, melted butter, the egg and combine. Using the dough hook attachment slowly combine the wet ingredients with the dry until it forms a ball. If your dough seems really sticky add a bit more flour.

photo(11)

2. Place the dough in a bowl and cover with a towel. Let the dough rise for 60 minutes.

3. To make the filling add the cut up apples to a bowl and then mix them with the lemon juice. Combine the rest of the fillings ingredients with the apples.

photo(13)

4. When the dough has risen place it on a floured surface and begin rolling it out (I have limited counter space so I had to do this in two batches). Roll the dough out evenly until its
about 1/4 inch thick.

5. Spread the filling in the middle of the dough. Roll the dough up and cut off the ends. Cut the dough into 2-3 inch segments and place on a baking sheet.

photo(14) photo(15)

6. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes, until the rolls begin to brown. Some of the filling will likely spill out while they’re cooking but that’s ok. Enjoy!
photo(8)