Tag Archives: breakfast

Pumpkin Oatmeal Breakfast Bars


It’s that time of year – the weather is starting to cool down (then warms up again just when you think it’s time to pull out the sweaters).  Around this time of year, I start thinking, dreaming, of the leaves turning.  I joyfully browse the Oriental Trading Co. catalog for Halloween goodies, and get excited to see pumpkin everything!

Yes, I am one of those people who could drink a PSL (pumpkin spice latte) year round, but don’t.  Because that is something to look forward to.  Fall is my favorite season.  I love making warm soup, baking fresh bread, and experimenting with fall recipes.

I ran across a recipe from Modern Parents Messy Kids for Super Powered Oatmeal Bars.  While my kids can down an entire banana in about 30 seconds (which is pretty impressive when you only have 7 teeth), I am not much of a banana fan.  So, I decided to modify the recipe to replace bananas with pumpkin.  I also added pumpkin pie spice, a drizzle of molasses, and chocolate.  Well, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are one of the BEST.  And breakfast can’t be too healthy all the time.  Plus, chocolate comes from a bean so its basically a vegetable anyway.  Right?

The bars made from this recipe are dense, soft and chewy.  Plus, they really fill you up, and you can eat them on the go!

Hope you are looking forward to the fall season.  🙂

Pumpkin Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

  • 1 large can (29 oz.) pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 Tbsp almond butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp molasses
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup raisins or craisins
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups steel cut oats
  • 1/2 cup flax seeds, ground
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 2 cups chocolate chips (optional)
  • 2 cups pecans (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Line 2 – 9″x13″ pans with parchment paper.  Set aside.
  2. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and stir until well mixed.
  3. Divide mixture in half, and place half in each pan.  Smooth into an even layer with a rubber spatula.
  4. Bake 45-50 minutes, or until the middle is done (check with a toothpick to make sure it isn’t too goopy).
  5. Lift the bars out by the parchment, and let cool completely.  Cut each  pan into 18-20 bars.  Wrap each in plastic wrap, then in a ziptop freezer bag, and freeze, if desired.

Zucchini Breakfast Puff


So, I have to go on a temporary low-carb diet.  I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes– twins can put a lot of stress on their mama’s body!  I’m usually fine with snacks, lunch and dinner, but breakfast has been a bit of a challenge.

Luna bars have become my new best friend for busy mornings.  They taste great, and are low-glycemic– but I still have to balance them with a little more protein like a hard boiled egg or stick of cheese.

Scrambled eggs are off the table for now.  It’s a pregnancy thing- not that there’s anything wrong with scrambled eggs.  I like quiche, but it takes too darn long to make.  Plus, it can be too eggy sometimes.

Then I ran across this recipe in the latest issue of Taste of Home (you need to be a member of Taste of Home to open the link).  This was perfect!  I could bake it up on the weekend, slice into 6 servings, wrap each serving, and freeze a few.  A thawed piece only takes 45 seconds to heat in the microwave.  It’s low enough in carbs for breakfast, high enough in protein to balance the carbs out, and it has lots of veggies.  Veggies for breakfast!  That’s the kind of thing that makes you feel all healthy and stuff.

There was one problem when I made the recipe as directed.  It was… blah.  Very blah.  No flavor kind of blah.  So, I made a few modifications, and came up with some variations to try over the next few weeks.

My modifications included adding seasoning (garlic salt), and using two types of cheese instead of 1.  Viola!  Flavor!

Do you feel all healthy and stuff when you eat veggies at breakfast?

Zucchini Breakfast Puff

  • 3 large eggs (I used the kind with omega-3)
  • 1/2 cup canola or olive oil
  • 1 lb zucchini, shredded (about 3 small)
  • 1 cup reduced fat baking/biscuit mix (heart smart Bisquick)
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.  Spray a 10″ oven proof skillet with baking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, beat eggs.  Slowly whisk in the oil to the eggs.  Once fully combined and thickened, add zucchini, baking mix, cheeses, and garlic salt.  Stir well.
  3. Pour batter into prepared skillet, smoothing the top.
  4. Bake 25 minutes, or until puffed, golden, and the center is set.
  5. Let cool about 15 minutes.  Loosen the edges of the puff from the skillet and slide onto a large plate.
  6. Cut into 6 pieces and serve warm.

This recipe stores well- just wrap each piece in plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze.  Thaw overnight in the fridge if frozen, then just unwrap, place on a plate, and heat in the microwave on high for 45 seconds.  DIG IN!


  • Broccoli Cheddar Breakfast Puff: Replace Zucchini with broccoli (thaw a bag of frozen broccoli and chop it up into small pieces), use all sharp cheddar cheese.  You could also add some HAM if you have it.
  • Italian Zucchini Breakfast Puff: Add 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved, and 1/4 tsp dried basil.  Replace cheddar with mozzarella.
  • Bacon-Spinach-Artichoke Breakfast Puff: Omit Zucchini.  Use a small box of frozen spinach (thawed, and wrung out in a towel to get rid of excess moisture), 1/2 cup artichoke hearts, chopped fine, and 1/3 cup bacon bits.  YUM!

Fruit Smoothie

Some of you know that I have a fairly recent addition to my kitchen. A recent addition that I LOVE so far.  You would love it, too.  It’s my Vitamix blender. The other blenders are going in the garage sale that will happen in a few weeks. 

The Vitamix is AMAZING!  It can do anything a regular blender can do, plus make soup.  SOUP!  It will heat the water and everything.  I am definitely going to take advantage in a few weeks when the weather starts cooling down. 🙂

This morning, I had a smoothie and an almond butter waffle sandwich.  YUM!  Smoothies are great because they are very forgiving.  Hope you have fun experimenting with different fruit combinations!

Fruit Smoothie
Frozen Fruit Chunks (I got a bag from Costco that has pineapple, papaya, mango and strawberries)
agave nectar or sugar

1.  Fill up your cup with fruit chunks– the cup you intend to drink out of.  Once the fruit chunks are in there, pour the milk in to the halfway mark, then add water until the cup is 3/4 full of fruit and liquid.  Add about a TBSP of agave nectar or sugar.  Dump it all into the blender.

2.  Give it a whirl until all the fruit is crushed up and it has the proper consistency.  Add more liquid if needed– the Vitamix is great because it has a plunger stick that helps all the fruit get down to the blade.

3.  Pour into the cup you measured with, stick in a straw, and sip.  Now GET TO WORK!!  🙂

Have a happy day!

PS- Please forgive the sideways smoothie pic.  The silly computer loaded it sideways and I can’t get blogger to rotate it! 

English Muffins

As promised, here is the recipe for the lovely English Muffins we made during the cooking class in Arkansas.  The flavor is not like those sold in the store– its much better.  Because these English Muffins are made in one day rather than by the multiple day starter method, they don’t have a lot of nooks and crannies. 

English Muffins

1 cup milk
2 Tbsp sugar
1 (0.25 oz.) package active Dry Yeast (I use 1-1/2 tsp)
1 cup warm water (110°F)
1/4 cup melted shortening
6 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt

1.  Warm the milk in a small saucepan until it just begins to bubble, then remove from heat.  Mix in the sugar and stir until dissolved.  Let cool until lukewarm.  Meanwhile, dissolve yeast in the warm water in a small bowl.  Let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes.

2.  In a large bowl, combine the milk, yeast, shortening, and 3 cups of flour.  Beat until smooth.  Add the salt and the rest of the flour.  The dough should be soft.  Knead about 8 minutes or so.  (I did all of this in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook).  Form dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl.  Cover and let rise until doubled (about an hour or so).

3.  Gently deflate the dough.  Roll out to about 1/2 inch thick on a clean counter top.  Cut rounds with a biscuit cutter (an empty drinking glass or CLEAN empty tuna can will do in a pinch).  Sprinkle a large piece of waxed paper with cornmeal and set the rounds of dough on it to rise.  Dust the tops of the muffins with cornmeal as well.  Cover lightly with plastic wrap and let rise another 30 minutes.

4.  Heat a large griddle over medium heat.  Grease well (I used canola oil).  Cook muffins on the griddle for about 10 minutes per side over medium heat.

5.  Keep baked muffins in a warm oven (150°F to 200°F) until all have been cooked.  Allow to cool completely, and store in plastic bags.  Split and toast or use in your favorite English Muffin Recipe. 

–A Breakfast Souffle recipe will follow shortly as one use for the English Muffins from this recipe.

Josie and Heather proudly showcasing their beautiful English Muffins.

Cream Scones with Devonshire Cream and Fresh Strawberry Jam

This is the first installment of the Arkansas Cooking Class recipes!  You are sure to LOVE these light, flaky scones. 

The Cream Scones recipe is from On Cooking, page 956.  This is the Culinary Textbook that the Research Chefs Association uses as its reference.  The recipes I’ve tried from the book have been wonderful– but get ready to do some math.  Some of those recipes are written for a crowd!

The Devonshire Cream recipe was one the chef found on a website, but I’m not sure which one.  The Strawberry Jam was something we just threw together in class.  The amounts in that recipe are estimated based on my memory– let’s hope I remembered correctly.

You’ll notice that the ingredients listed in the baking recipes are all weights– not cups and teaspoons.  We did this for a reason.  Flour can weigh more or less depending on how humid it is.  Weighing the flour gives you a more accurate measure than using cups.  Also, I’m sure everyone has heard that baking is a science.  Well, IT IS!!  Every baking recipe is a careful balance of chemical leaveners, acids, bases, enzymes, salts, etc.  Mess with one part of the equation and the whole thing will go out the window– literally!  Leave out the salt in a bread dough and it will rise too fast and taste bland.  Out the window to the birds with that one! 

Ok.  That’s enough ranting.  On to the recipes.

Cream Scones
1 lb. all purpose flour
1-1/2 oz. white sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
4 oz. (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold
2 Lg egg yolks (save the whites for later)
11 fl oz. half and half

1.  Sift the dry ingredients together, making sure they are blended well. 
2.  Cut in the butter using a pastry blender (U-shaped with 3 or four blades and a handle).  The mixture should look mealy.  Be sure not to over mix. 
3.  Whisk the half and half with the egg yolks.  Add to the mealy mixture and combine just until the dough begins to hold together.
4.  Roll out the dough to a thickness of about 1/2 inch.  Cut into triangles.  Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and brush the tops with half and half.
5.  Bake at 400°F for about 10 minutes.
6.  Brush the tops with butter while hot.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Devonshire Cream (aka Clotted Cream)
4 oz. mascarpone cheese (Italian cream-style cheese)
1 c. heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp powdered sugar or caster sugar

1.  Place all ingredients in a stand mixer with the whip attachment.  Whip until well blended and the consistency of spreadable cream cheese. 
2.  Store covered tightly with plastic wrap in the refrigerator.

Fresh Strawberry Jam
1 lb. fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/3 cup sugar (approximate– may need to add more depending on how sweet your strawberries are)
1-2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 envelope fruit glaze

1.  Place strawberries, sugar and lemon juice in a pot over medium heat.  Cook until fruit is soft and the mixture is syrupy, about 20 minutes.  Mash lightly with a potato masher until it is the desired consistency.
2.  Prepare glaze according to package directions.  Cool slightly, then blend with strawberry mixture.
3.  Store covered tightly with plastic wrap in the refrigerator.