Posts tagged ‘breakfast’

March 10, 2011

Apple Struesel Muffins


Apple Struesel Muffins

This week, I celebrated International Women’s Day (March 8th). I know that to Americans, it’s an unknown holiday, but being born in Europe, my family always celebrates it. My dad actually mentioned to me this year on March 8th, “Can you believe they don’t know what this holiday is here, but 45 minutes away in Canada they’re celebrating it?”

As a part of my Women’s Day ‘celebration’, in addition to emailing a cheesy e-card to all my close girlfriends, I brought in these Apple Struessel Muffins to the hospital and handed them out. They are a perfect mix of sweet and tart (the tart coming from the Granny Smith Apples) and the crumb topping is to die for.

Happy (belated) International Women’s Day!

Apple Struesel Muffins


2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups chopped peeled Granny Smith apples


1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons cold butter


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. In another bowl, beat the eggs, sour cream and butter. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in apples. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full.
For topping, combine sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cut in butter
Bake at 400° for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Serve warm.
Yield: 20 muffins.

Taste of Home Cooking

February 2, 2011

Red Pepper and Leek Mini-Quiches


Leek and Red Pepper Mini Quiches

This is one of the last recipes  that I plan on posting from my sister-in-law’s baby shower…but I just had to post it. These were so delicious that my husband even ate a few and he absolutely refuses to eat quiche usually. Truth be told, I have never cooked with leeks but that has now changed since making these. Smelling the leeks while cooking the quiches, I knew that this was going to be good.

These would be perfect as a fancy brunch dish or just a good start to a weekend. I’m looking forward to trying out different combination of vegetables in them.

Leek and Red Pepper Mini Quiches


For the cheddar pastry

1/4 lb. white cheddar cheese, cut into chunks
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
1/4 tsp. salt
8 Tbs. (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 to 3 Tbs. cold water

For the filling:
1 1/2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 leek, white portion only, or 2 large shallots, finely chopped
1/2 small red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/4 lb. dry-aged white cheddar cheese, grated
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3/4 tsp. Dijon mustard
3/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper


To make the cheddar pastry, in a food processor, pulse the cheese until crumbly. Add the flour and salt and pulse until the cheese is finely crumbled. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles fluffy bread crumbs. Drizzle the egg over the mixture and pulse twice. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Sprinkle 2 Tbs. water over the mixture and pulse until a rough mass forms. If the mixture doesn’t come together, add another 1 Tbs. water.

Place the pastry on a lightly floured work surface and shape into a smooth ball. Divide in half. Roll out half the pastry into a large round 1/8 inch thick, pushing the dough outward from the center and rotating it about a quarter turn each time you roll, sprinkling more flour underneath as needed.

Using a 2-inch cookie cutter, cut out as many pastry rounds as possible and ease them very gently into the cups of a mini-muffin pan. The bottoms should remain rounded and the dough edges flush with the rims. Gather up the scraps, reroll, cut out additional rounds and line additional cups. Repeat with the remaining dough half, working in batches if necessary. You should have a total of 48 lined cups.

Preheat an oven to 400°F.

To make the filling, in a small sauté pan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the leek and sauté gently, stirring occasionally, until tender but not browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and add the bell pepper and cheese. In another bowl or large measuring cup, whisk the eggs until blended, then whisk in the cream, mustard, salt and cayenne. Add the egg mixture to the leek mixture and whisk to combine. Pour 1 Tbs. of the filling into each of the pastry shells, evenly distributing the solids and liquid.

Bake the quiches until they are puffy and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer the muffin pan to a wire rack and cool for 5 to 10 minutes (the quiches will sink a little as they cool). To loosen them from the muffin cups, run a thin-bladed knife around the sides, then carefully lift the quiches out of the cups. Arrange on a platter and serve.
Makes 48 warm bites.

Source: Williams Sonoma

January 26, 2011

Cranberry and Blueberry Mini-Muffins


Cranberry and Bluebery Mini-Muffins

I have to start off by saying, these are my absolute favorite  go-to muffins.

I don’t think I’ve ever run into a person that has not enjoyed these…and I’ve been making these for years so I have a pretty large sample size. They’re soft and delicious and practically melt in your mouth…and the crumb topping…there aren’t even words for it.

I usually make these with just blueberries and full-size, but it being winter and having made these for a baby shower, I made mini-muffins and included cranberries and you know what? They tasted just as good with cranberries…and the fact that they were mini just meant that I could eat twice as many of them.

Cranberry and Blueberry Mini-Muffins


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup fresh cranberries

For the crumb topping
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder.
Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture.
Divide batter evenly into two mixing bowls.
Fold in blueberries into one bowl and cranberries into the other bowl.
Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.

To Make Crumb Topping:
Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.

Source: Adapted from: AllRecipes

January 10, 2011

Cheese Souffle


Cheese Souffle

Have I mentioned my undying love for breakfast? There’s nothing like waking up late on a weekend, rolling out of bed and rummaging around the pantry in search of potential breakfast food. I have never eaten cheese souffle before I baked it,  but it sounded like something interesting to make. On those weekends that I have nothing better to do, I enjoy ‘experimenting’ with food and seeing if I can make something new and delicious.

This cheese souffle was the perfect start to my Saturday morning. It was light, fluffy and, most importantly, cheesy…perfect for Francis (he’s a complete cheese addict).

I was a bit concerned with how temperamental souffles are known to be,but realized that if the egg whites are whipped properly, it should rise. This souffle will definitely be one of my regular weekend favorites.

Cheese Souffle


Butter at room temp for greasing souffle dish (ramikin)
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan
3 Tbsp butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups milk, hot
4 large egg yolks
6 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese
5 egg whites plus 1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Use room temperature butter to grease a souffle dish. Add the grated Parmesan and roll around the mold to cover the sides. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for five minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a small saucepan, heat the butter. Allow all of the water to cook out.
In a separate bowl combine the flour, dry mustard, garlic powder, and kosher salt. Whisk this mixture into the melted butter. Cook for 2 minutes.
Whisk in the hot milk, and turn the heat to high. Once the mixture reaches a boil remove from the heat.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks to a creamy consistency. Temper the yolks into the milk mixture constantly whisking. Remove from the heat and add the cheese. Whisk until incorporated.
In a separate bowl, using a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer whip the egg whites and cream of tartar until glossy and firm. Add 1/4 of the mixture to the base. Continue to add the whites by thirds, folding very gently.
Pour the mixture into the souffle. Fill the souffle to 1/2-inch from the top. Place on an aluminum pie pan.
Bake in the oven for 35 minutes.

Source: Alton Brown

January 3, 2011

Crepes or Blini (in Russian)


Strawberry Crepes

Weekend breakfast is a big deal in our house…huge. Between medical school, Francis’s job and his weekend MBA, we have extremely busy weeks, so we love to have relaxing Sunday breakfasts. These “Crepes” were something that I grew up with…except they were always called “Blini” or “Blinchiki” in Russian and they were usually topped with red caviar (I know…weird if you’re not Russian but it’s so so tasty).

Having married an American boy, I still enjoy my red caviar whenever I can get it (which is sadly, not that frequently), but now I fill my blini with whipped cream and strawberries. These strawberry-filled crepes make for a sweet start to a lazy weekend morning.

Crepes (or Blini)


1 cup flour
3/4 cup milk
2 large eggs
1/2 cup water
2-3 Tbsp melted butter
Nonstick cooking spray (for pan)


In a blender or food processor , combine all ingredients (except nonstick cooking spray), pulsing 10-15 times.
Refrigerate for approximately one hour.
Heat up small non-stick skillet sprayed with cooking spray. When it is heated, pour 1/4 cup portion of batter onto skillet. Spread it evenly throught skillet.
After 20-30 seconds (when small bubbles begin to form in the center), flip the blin (crepe).
Cook for 10-15 more seconds.
Keep crepes warm in the oven.
Fill with whipped cream and fresh strawberries.

Source: Adapted from Alton Brown

December 29, 2010

Mama’s Corn bread Muffins


Cornbread Muffins

My mother,   never baked when I was growing up. Don’t get me wrong, she cooked plenty, making tons of delicious Russian and Romanian / Moldovian salads and main dishes, but baking was just not something that appealed to her.

This summer, when I came home for a visit and the aroma of baked goods filled the air before I made it past the garage door, I thought that we were the target of some strange home invasion where the intruder baked for the victims before he robbed them. Apparently, my mother had discovered the joy of baking…muffins to be exact. She had baked about four dozen cornbread muffins. Since then, these muffins have become somewhat her ‘trademark’. She bakes these about once a week, and their comforting taste truly reminds me of home.

This week, when she had to bring in a dish for a work potluck, we didn’t have to brainstorm too hard for the perfect ‘Stella’ dish. These muffins, like my mother, are warm, comforting and, well, efficient (taking only 5 minutes of prep time). I was glad to help make (and definitely glad to taste-test) these muffins) with her.

Mama’s Corn Bread Muffins


1 1/2 cups Mozzarella cheese (or whatever cheese suits your fancy), shredded
2 boxes corn muffin mix (we use Jiffy)
2 large eggs
3/4 cups buttermilk
1 14.5 oz can sweet corn


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Line muffin tin with paper muffin wrappers or spray with non-stick spray.
In a large mixing bowl, combine corn muffin mix, egs, buttermilk and corn.
Fill each miffin tin spot 2/3 of the way full. Top with shredded cheese.
Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Source: My mother…though I believe she saw this recipe some time ago on Semi-homemade with Sandra Lee.