Category Archives: Breakfast

Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake

Yesterday my daughter and I went with some friends to pick blueberries.  E was very excited about it, but being a 3-year-old I didn’t have great expectations of the day going well.  She’s just not one with nature.  She takes after her mama!  Surprisingly, she totally embraced blueberry picking and didn’t want to leave, she kept saying “I’m not done!” when I would try to guide her to the car.  All in all, we picked one gallon of fresh, sweet blueberries.

My Blueberry-Picking Cowgirl!

On the ride home, she was super excited about doing something with our blueberries.  We decided things like cake, muffins, scones and yogurt covered blueberries would be made, and we would also freeze some.  By the way, if you plan to freeze fresh blueberries, don’t wash them first.  Anyway, after looking at Pinterest’s “blueberry” search results, I decided on this Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake.  It was easy to make and the flavor was superb!  I just love when you combine blueberry and lemon, what a great flavor combo!  The only thing I can say bad about it is that mine was a bit crumbly, I’m going to cut back the flour a little next time and see what happens.  I’ll definitely make it again though, the cake didn’t even make it to breakfast, it was half gone before dinnertime!

Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake

Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake
Recipe from Alexandra’s Kitchen

1 stick butter, softened
zest from one large lemon
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
1 additional tbsp sugar (for sprinkling on top)
1 egg, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour (see my comments above, I’d go with maybe 1 and 3/4)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
2 cups fresh blueberries, washed and patted dry
1/2 cup buttermilk


Preheat oven to 350.

Using a mixer, cream together the butter, lemon zest and sugar.  Once fluffy and mixed, add in the egg and vanilla, beat just till mixed.

Toss the blueberries with 1/4 cup flour.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the rest of the flour, salt and baking powder.

Slowly add the flour mixture and the buttermilk to the butter mixture, alternating each one just a little at a time.  Fold in the flour-coated blueberries.

Spread batter into a greased 8×8 pan and sprinkle that reserved tablespoon of sugar over the top.  I didn’t use a whole tablespoon, but that’s your choice.  Bake 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.  Allow to cool 15 minutes before serving.

What one gallon of blueberries looks like!

Nutella Pop-Tarts

Despite the large number of desserts I’ve been posting lately, I’m not actually a big sweets eater.  Often when I make something sweet, I bring some to friends and neighbors, otherwise it’ll go bad at my house.  But that’s not always the case.

I took my daughter and her little BFF to a cupcake bakery in our town.  While I’m not one to get a big cupcake, I am one to get the chocolate hazelnut pop-tarts they offer!  They are amazing!  I think it is all in their crust, it’s buttery and flaky, oh so good!  I was telling my dad how wonderful they are and he found me a recipe for Nutella pop-tarts.  It’s basically a cheater recipe because it uses store-bought pie crust dough, so it isn’t quite as good as the local bakery.  But it’s still darn good!  These are so quick and easy, perfect for a last minute dessert or breakfast.  I’m going to try soon making my own dough, but for now these satisfy the craving nicely.

Nutella Pop-Tarts
Recipe from The Jelly Shot Test Kitchen

1 package refrigerated rolled pie crust (in a box by the biscuits)
1 cup Nutella hazelnut spread
powdered sugar


  • Preheat oven to 425.
  • Unroll a pie crust and cut the rounded edges off, then cut into rectangles (a pizza cutter works well here).
  • Place a dollop of Nutella on half of the rectangles, then cover with the other rectangles.  Seal edges with your fingers, then crimp the edges with the tines of a fork.
  • Repeat process with the other pie crust.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes, until turning golden.
  • Allow to cool completely, then make a glaze with powdered sugar, very little milk and a splash of vanilla.  Top with sprinkles.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Banana Bread

I’m a Pinterest addict.  I admit it.  I probably need a 12-step program because I cannot tell you how many times a day I look at it.  This is especially bad because not only are there neato home and craft ideas, but bazillions of yummy recipes.  And I want to make them all!  This is not good for a dieter.

So when I’m having something at my house, I see that as my chance to make something delectable without feeling guilty because I’ll only take a bite to taste it.  I decided to make this absolutely sinful banana bread for a playdate and it was a huge hit.  It was sooo freaking good.  I went ahead and threw in a quarter of a pack of chocolate chips because heck, why not!  It was so rich and packed with chocolately goodness! There was one small piece left and I made sure my husband ate it, I could not be trusted alone in the house with this bread!

Reese's Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Reese’s Peanut Butter Banana Bread (with chocolate chips!!)
Recipe from Cookies and Cups

3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1.5 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
8 oz bag Mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (look in the candy section)
1/4 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the bananas, sugars, egg and oil.  In a smaller bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
  • Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture and stir until well blended.
  •  Fold in the peanut butter cups and chocolate chips then pour into a loaf pan that has been coated with nonstick spray.
  • Bake 50 minutes to an hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the bread comes out clean.  If the bread is browning too quickly, you can lower the heat a little.

Gooey Goodness!

Baked Eggs with Cheddar and Potatoes

These days with so many websites devoted to food sharing, we’re used to being inundated with over the top sounding dishes.  And it gets to where even things that are so over the top, aren’t really that surprising or exciting anymore.  Am I being too cynical?  Sorry.  Sometimes you just want something simple.  Something comfortable.  Something that makes you feel all warm and cozy inside.

I participated again in a food blogger recipe swap.  I’ve done it a few times before, this time the theme was potatoes.  When I received the recipe I needed to make (from Melissa at I Was Born to Cook), I was very excited because it sounded perfect and just like love in a pot.  This was very easy to put together and cook, I managed to get a three-year old to bed while cooking it!  It definitely wasn’t a diet recipe but it was oh so good, I’m really hoping my hubby forgets that we have leftovers in the fridge, I’d like those for lunch tomorrow!

This would be fantastic on a cold, rainy night.  Or even on a night where you just had a bad day.  Or you know, for breakfast.  ;)

Baked Eggs with Cheddar and Potatoes

Baked Eggs with Cheddar and Potatoes
Recipe adapted from I Was Born to Cook

3 tbsp butter
1.5 lbs. small red potatoes, diced (skin on)
2 cloves garlic, minced
seasonings to taste (I used Creole seasoning)
4 large eggs
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (I used Cabot’s Vermont White Cheddar)


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Melt the butter  over medium heat in a deep oven-safe skillet.  Add the potatoes and cook until soft (you may have to add a little water to prevent sticking) and add the garlic, cook for an additional minute or two.  Season to taste and remove from heat.
  • Make four holes in the potatoes and crack an egg into each.
  • Bake 10 minutes until the egg whites are cooked.  Do not overbake (as I did) because you want your egg yolks to be runny.
  • Sprinkle with cheese and return to the oven for one more minute, until the cheese has melted.  Serve immediately.


Cinnamon-Raisin Granola

In my new quest for weight loss, I’m trying to eat healthier.  No brainer, right?  Well some things I just never have had before, including granola.  I mean I’ve had the granola bars before but never had regular straight up granola and it seems to be the “it” thing to make these days.

Lucky for me when we had our Biggest Loser brunch, my friend Jennifer brought some granola and yogurt.  I gave it a try and loved it.  I loved it so much that I found myself wishing I had some more that same afternoon.  And that evening, I went to the store and got the ingredients and made it.  I think my husband thought I had lost my mind, such an immediate love for GRANOLA??  Then he ate some.  And he loves it too.  So try it, might be your new favorite thing!  Thanks for sharing, Jen!

Cinnamon-Raisin Granola

Cinnamon-Raisin Granola
Recipe from Jennifer D., originally from All Recipes

4 cups old-fashioned oats (don’t use instant or quick, they won’t get as crisp)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup raisins


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Pour oats into a large bowl, set aside.
  • In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, oil, honey and cinnamon and bring to a boil.  Once it’s boiling and the sugar has dissolved, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.  Pour over the oats and stir in, folding untill well incorporated and no clumps are forming.
  • Spread in a large shallow low-rimmed baking pan and bake 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  When it’s golden brown, remove and stir in the raisins.
  • Store up to 3 weeks in an airtight container.

Cinnamon-Raisin Granola

Baked Praline French Toast

I know, you’re thinking “Christen has fallen off of the diet wagon for sure!”  But you would be wrong.  This, believe it or not, is a diet dish!!

The moms club I’m in is doing a Biggest Loser, so we decided to have a Biggest Loser brunch and all made a relatively healthy/low-cal brunch dish.  We brought copies of our recipe to share with each other, so you’ll be seeing some of those other dishes coming soon, there were some good ones.  I got mine from the Holly Clegg Trim & Terrific cookbook, Home Entertaining the Easy Way (given to me by my soon-to-be sister-in-law, Michelle!).  I just love Holly Clegg, she seems so personable and being a Southern girl like myself, I like her recipes!  The orange flavor gave it a different taste from the norm, but a good different.  This one was a definite win, it did not taste “diet” at all, everyone loved it.

Baked Praline French Toast

Baked Praline French Toast
Recipe from:  Home Entertaining the Easy Way

6 tbsp margarine
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 tbsp light corn syrup
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 eggs
3 egg whites
1 cup orange juice (I used the Trop 50 kind)
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
1/3 cup skim milk
1 tsp orange zest
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 loaf (1 lb) French Bread, cut into one inch slices

In a small bowl, combine the margarine, corn syrup and brown sugar, microwaving until the brown sugar has dissolved, stirring occasionally.  Pour into a casserole, then sprinkle with the chopped pecans before arranging the bread slices over the pecans.

In a larger bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients and whisk to combine.  Pour evenly over the bread and cover, refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake 30 minutes, serve immediately.

Calories:  288

Baked Praline French Toast

Sugar Crusted Vanilla French Toast

The local moms club I’m in is always doing fun activities.  I hosted one at my house last week that was really different.  We had a pajama party potluck brunch.  Of course nobody spent the night, everyone just came in their pjs (I’m sure my neighbors were wondering what was going on!) that morning.

We joked around that we should call it the pinterest party, since more than half of the dishes were “found” on pinterest, including mine.  Sugar crusted vanilla French toast seemed like it would be just right, and even better that it could be prepared the night before with only minimal work the next morning.  The ingredients consisted mostly of things you would have on hand, so it’s really inexpensive to make.

Sugar Crusted Vanilla French Toast

Everyone seemed to really love it.  I made a double batch but it wasn’t necessary, I ended up with a good bit left over.  But the leftovers are great, that was no problem! :)  The crust is really, well…crusty when it’s leftover but it softens in the microwave, have no fear.

Sugar Crusted Vanilla French Toast (Single Batch)
Recipe from:  Phenomenon

1 loaf french bread, about 1lb. (plain, of course)

3 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 – 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
pinch of sea salt

Sugar Coating:
1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tbsp light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract


  • Slice the bread into 1 inch slices.  Spray a casserole (just big enough to fit the bread) with nonstick spray and arrange the slices in the dish.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the custard ingredients.  Pour evenly over the bread in the dish and cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate overnight.
  • The next morning, remove the dish from the refrigerator and discard the plastic wrap.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the butter just till melted.  Add the brown sugar and corn syrup and whisk well to combine.  Microwave again in thirty-second bursts, whisking after each time until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is bubbly and hot.  Whisk in the vanilla extract.
  • Pour evenly over the top of the bread and bake about 40-45 minutes, until golden.

Sugar Crusted Vanilla French Toast

Nutella Cinnamon Palmiers

Oh Nutella, how I love thee!! And I love my fab cuz Erica for introducing me to this amazing condiment many years ago.  I really love the stuff, it’s like bacon, it just always makes things better!

A few weeks ago I posted a recipe for pesto palmiers.  When I made them, I was thinking about how yummy it would be to do little bite size cinnamon roll palmiers.  For a nice brunch, perhaps.  When the MOMS Club I’m in decided to do a potluck brunch, I knew I had to try making them.  And why not add some Nutella in while I’m at it?!  It was fantastic.  The few that weren’t eaten at the meeting/brunch were pretty quickly devoured by my husband when he got home!  I have a feeling that they will be making frequent appearances!

Nutella Cinnamon Palmiers
Recipe a Cooking With Christen original

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 tbsp butter, melted
For the Icing:
powdered sugar
small amount of milk
a few drops of butter extract

In a small bowl, mix the sugar, cinnamon and melted butter until it’s a coarse mixture.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 12×12 square.  Spread a light layer of Nutella evenly over the dough, then sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar over the Nutella layer.  Lightly mark an indentation at the 3-inch mark, the 6-inch mark and the 9-inch mark.  Fold the top down to the three, then the six, then the nine.  Repeat with the bottom half.  (See Confections of a Foodie Bride for examples!)  Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the freezer until firm.

When its firm, preheat the oven to 375.  Make an egg wash with one egg beaten with a splash of water.  Cut the dough into 1/2 inch slices.  Place slices on a baking sheet topped with a silicone mat, brush lightly with the egg wash, and bake for 8 minutes.  Remove from oven, flip over and continue baking until light brown.

While they’re baking, make your icing.  Mix some powdered sugar with a small splash of milk and a few drops of butter extract.  Stir well, the mixture should be thin enough to stir easily, but thick enough to stick to the palmiers.

Allow the palmiers to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet, then remove to a wire rack set over parchment paper.  Dip one side of the palmiers into the icing,then place icing side-up on the wire rack and allow any drips to fall onto the parchment paper.  Let the icing harden, then serve.

Nutella Cinnamon Palmiers

Baked Blueberry Doughnuts with Lemon Glaze

There are a few people in my life that are major fans of doughnuts.  I have been curious for a while about the doughnut pans that you use to bake them.  I mean let’s face it, the deep-fried doughnuts with chocolate icing and sprinkles that my daughter would consume for every meal if she were allowed – are not healthy.

When PreventionRD posted a recipe for blueberry doughnuts, which are MY favorite, I decided to go buy one of the pans.  It was really easy to make, it was just like baking a cake.  And speaking of cake, I need to say this.  If you are going to eat this and expect it to taste exactly like a deep-fried doughnut, you’ll be disappointed, because it doesn’t.  But it does taste very good, my husband said he likes them better actually.  It’s more of a light cake texture, in the shape of a doughnut.  They’re great (made even better by the fact that they are less than 100 calories each!).  I guess I’ll have to figure out how to make the chocolate and sprinkle ones for my daughter now!

Baked Blueberry Doughnuts with Lemon Glaze
Recipe Adapted from Prevention RD

2 cups cake flour (or 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour + 1/4 cup cornstarch)
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp lemon zest
3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk, at room temperature
2 eggs, lightly beaten, at room temperature
2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup blueberries, halved

Lemon Glaze:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 Tbsp low-fat milk, plus more to thin out, if desired
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Mix well, then mix in the lemon zest.

To the flour mixture, add the buttermilk, eggs, applesauce and vanilla, stir until well incorporated but do not over-mix.  Gently fold in the blueberries.

Spray doughnut pan with nonstick spray.  Pour batter into each of the doughnut molds, filling halfway.  Bake 8-10 minutes, until the edges are lightly golden (the tops will still be pale).

While the doughnuts are baking, make the icing:
Mix the powdered sugar with the vanilla, milk and lemon juice.  Stir well.  It should be thin enough to coat the doughnuts, but still fairly thick so it stays and doesn’t just drip off.

When the doughnuts are done baking, allow them to sit in the pan for four minutes, then remove.  Dip one side in the icing and set on a cooling rack placed over parchment paper.  Allow the icing to harden.

Baked Blueberry Doughnuts with Lemon Glaze

Homemade Biscuits with Sausage Gravy

A local restaurant here has these huge fluffy biscuits with buttery-tasting sausage gravy and it is AMAZING.  I don’t even want to think about how unhealthy it is because it’s my favorite breakfast item there.  You can’t even see your plate for all the biscuits and gravy!

We decided to try making it for a “breakfast for supper” night.  I’m not enough of a morning person to wake up and have to start rolling out dough and stuff.  Honestly, I normally don’t even eat breakfast.  Anyway, I was really pleased with how this all came out.  I think next time I’ll just substitute regular butter for the shortening in the biscuits, but the gravy was great – hubby even said it was better than the restaurant.  He gets brownie points. :)

Homemade Biscuits with Sausage Gravy
Biscuit Recipe from:
Sausage Gravy recipe my own creation

Biscuit Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
3 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup shortening or butter (one stick)
1 egg
2/3 cup milk

Sausage gravy ingredients:
1/4 stick butter (plus more, to taste)
4 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 pkg breakfast sausage, crumbled
salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

To make the biscuits:

Preheat oven to 450.

In the bowl of your mixer, add the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt, mix well.  Add the butter or shortening in small amounts, mixing until it is a coarse mix.  Mix in the egg and milk just until evenly moistened.

Turn onto a floured surface and kneed twenty times.  Roll out until it’s 3/4 inch thick and cut with biscuit cutters.  Place on baking sheets (I used a silicone mat) and bake 8 minutes or until turning golden brown.

To make sausage gravy:

Brown the sausage in a small pan, drain and set aside.  Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and add the flour.  Cook two minutes, being sure to scrape the sides and corners of the pot.  Add enough milk to break the roux up, mix well.  Add the sausage and a little more milk, until it is a thick consistency but still thin enough to pour over biscuits.  Season to taste with salt, pepper and extra butter.  I like mine buttery tasting!  Serve over biscuits.

Fluffy Biscuits

Biscuits with Sausage Gravy