Posts Tagged ‘breakfast’

The summary of cranberry consumption over the course of my life is as follows:

1%        freshly harvested whole cranberries!

10%     dried cranberries – usually in harvest salads

89%     cosmopolitan martini’s

I must go on record.  I love everything about cranberries – the bright vibrant red color, the intense, acidic pop in your mouth when you eat them and let’s not forget they grow in BOGS!!

You may think my Cosmo consumption percentage is a bit high.  Let me go on record.  Freshly harvested, whole cranberries are always my first choice.  I wish these delightful, refreshing, sour nuggets of deliciousness were available more often.  But alas…..the only time I see fresh, whole cranberries in our produce section is around the Holidays.  The rest of the year I am relegated to Cosmo consumption.

When the fresh whole cranberries arrive each Fall in the produce section, I always make this sour cream streusel coffee cake first.  This light, fluffy sour cream laced coffee cake topped with contrasting bright, acidic, whole fresh cranberries and pecan caramel streusel makes your mouth water.  It’s great as a morning coffee cake, but is so satisfying and rich it makes a great dessert too.

Fresh Cranberry Sour Cream Streusel Coffee Cake

From Nantucket’s Sarah Leah Chase


Coffee Cake

1 stick butter (1/2 cup) @ room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs @ room temperature

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 TBSP freshly grated orange zest

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup sour cream

12 oz whole fresh cranberries

Streusel Ingredients

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup flour

2 tsp ground cinnamon

4 TBSP (1/2 stick) butter

1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Butter and lightly flour a 9 by 13 inch baking pan.

To prepare the coffee cake, cream 1 stick of butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until light and fluffy.

Add 1 cup sugar and beat again until light and fluffy.

Beat in the eggs one at a time.  Add the vanilla and freshly grated orange zest.

On the side, sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together.  I like to sift my dry ingredients together onto a sheet of parchment paper.  Then when it is time to add the flour mixture to the batter, I pick up two sides of the parchment paper, position it over the mixer and pour the flour mixture in.  Flour can compact and become dense when it sits in the storage container, that’s why it is important to sift.  Sifting makes it light and fluffy again before using it in the batter.

The flour mixture and sour cream are then added to the batter in alternating stages, mixing after each addition.  This is another essential step to ensure a light and fluffy coffee cake.

The easiest way for me to remember how to add them to the batter is in this sequence:

1/3 of the flour mixture, then 1/2 cup of sour cream, then 1/3 of the flour mixture, then 1/2 cup of sour cream, then 1/3 of the flour mixture.

After each addition mix on medium speed for a few seconds until it is incorporated into the dough.

The batter will now be very thick and creamy.

 Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.

Sprinkle the fresh whole cranberries on top of the batter.

In separate bowl, prepare the Streusel Topping next.  Slice 4 TBSP of butter into pats.  Toss the butter, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon together in a small mixing bowl.

Cut in the butter with two knives or a pastry blender until the mixture is crumbly and the butter pieces are the size of a small pea.

Stir in the chopped walnuts or pecans.

Sprinkle the Streusel Topping over the cranberries on the coffee cake.

Bake the coffee cake for about 45 minutes until a knife inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.  Cut into squares.  Enjoy!


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I didn’t like yogurt.  I love the tang and tartness of yogurt, but steered clear for years because it was just a little bit…slimy going down.  Then I discovered greek yogurt and sing its praises from the mountaintops.  Greek yogurt is regular yogurt with some of the liquid extracted so the consistency is more like sour cream. (not slimy!)  My favorite brand is Fage (pronounced Fa-yeh).  Costco just started selling non fat 36 ounce tubs of the stuff.  A very happy day for me.

As a little side note, I often have this uncanny ability to fervently wish Costco would start stocking some key item integral to my happiness and fulfillment in life and …..walla it soon appears at the store.  How do they do that?

I also didn’t like making breakfast smoothies at home.  Equipment issues.

Then I discovered The Ninja!

Seriously, this is hilarious.  I am very minimalistic when it comes to gadgets in my kitchen.  Clutter makes me anxious, so the bar is pretty high for anything to make the cut and actually land in my cupboard.  If your product is named after a cartoon superhero and is marketed through infomercials touting its ability to do everything under the sun including achieving world peace, ummm….chances are its not making the cut.

I stand humbled.  I always use frozen fruit to make my smoothies and there is nothing like the vertical blade system on the Ninja to pulverize the fruit.  I have a breakfast smoothie almost ever morning, so I got over myself and bought one.  I got mine at Kohl’s with the 30% off any item in the store coupons they often mail out.

So this is the smoothie I made this morning:

Greek Yogurt Strawberry Breakfast Smoothie


1 cup frozen Strawberries

3/4 cup all natural fruit juice (I used cranberry)

1 cup greek yogurt


put the strawberries, juice and yogurt in the blender

blend until smooth (about 30-45 seconds)


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Kids love baked German pancakes.  The eggy batter is cooked in the oven rather than on a griddle.  Because more eggs are used there is a lot more protein than in regular griddle pancakes.  While baking the pancake billows up and turns the most delicious golden brown.  It’s a perfect lazy weekend morning endeavor.  Very, very easy and quick to make but special enough to warm hearts.  Take it out of the oven, sprinkle it with powdered sugar and serve it quickly.  A little butter and syrup to finish.  Awww…a heavenly moment to the start of the day.

Be forewarned I am indulging myself today and allowing a wee bit of meandering before sharing the recipe.  Don’t be alarmed.  I promise we will get to that scrumptious baked German pancake.  Trust me.

I don’t admit this often but I have a treasured collection.  Not of rare coins, baseball cards or rocks.  I like collecting juicy little nuggets of entertaining information.  My little cache of juicy nuggets is always with me.  That way if things get a tad dry or boring I can whip it out and jazz things up a bit.

Much like the coin collector at the weekend flea market, I frequently entertain myself by trolling around collecting my little nuggets.  When I come across something really random twice in a row from completely different sources it is deemed merely a coincidence.  However, if it happens three times in a row it is serendipity.

And I always perk up and pay attention when I have a serendipitous moment.  We’ve all had them.  It’s God’s way of giving you a wink and a nod with a sparkle in his eye.  Go ahead, jump in and explore this a little.  You never know where it will take you.  Drop that smooth stone in the pond and see where it ripples in your life.

So that explains why I am now the proud owner of “The Breakfast Book” by Marion Cunningham, published in 1987 and available to be in my hands almost immediately thanks to serendipity and Mr. One Click over at Amazon.   Ms. Cunningham (of The Fannie Farmer Cookbook fame) and The Breakfast Book are beloved by many and revered in the arena of American home cookery.  I haven’t spent a lot of time with her yet but am looking forward to.

Baked German Pancake

adapted from The Breakfast Book by Marion Cunningham


3 large eggs at room temperature

1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 cup all purpose flour, sifted

1/2 tsp salt

2 TBSP butter, melted

confectioner’s sugar to dust after cooking


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Butter a cake pan or an oven proof skillet.

Break the eggs into a mixing bowl and beat until frothy.

Pour in the milk and blend well.

Sift in the flour and salt while whisking steadily to blend and smooth.

Pour in the melted butter and mix so the batter is smooth.

Pour the batter into the greased pan.  Bake for 15 minutes at 450 degrees.  Then quickly turn the heat down to 350 and cook another 10 minutes.


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