Cinnamon Crumb Coffee Cake

Everything in moderation. It is something I’m still working on for myself. But I also want to be able to impart that bit of knowledge to Olivia.  There are all these blog forums and sites, many of which I peruse and participate in, that have people who go crazy making sure their child has nothing but vegetables and vitamins and fiber. They go insane talking about what is appropriate to give to their children. Fish? It’s got mercury! Muffin? Boo to sugar! Rice? Sure, if you want to poison your child with arsenic!  Look, I’m as passionate as the next mom about their child’s health.  We exclusively breastfed (literally not a drop or bite of anything else) for the first 7.5 months of Olivia’s life. Then, up until she turned one, Olivia had every vegetable, fruit, nutritiously-cooked recipe you could imagine. Everything was whole grains, no-or-low sodium, high protein, high fiber, full of iron, etc. I am so glad I did that. Olivia has an appetite like no other. And she likes it all. She loves her vegetables and fruits and will even gulp down my freshly juiced green drink chock full of veggies. She eats spicy food like a champ.  But look – when she turned the big ONE, we decided that we wouldn’t go crazy and let her have some sugar (vs. making a fruit ‘cake’).  She had a delectable cake that she ate a bit of.  I respect all you parents out there who decided to go that route and before you bash me for having given Olivia sugar, hear me out.  

Sugar, like everything else, is a part of life.  Sure, there are some people out there who literally do not eat a drop of sugar or salt, etc. But that’s not us. And I’m guessing, that won’t be Olivia.  So, sugar is a part of life. And rather than keeping her from it, I’d rather teach Olivia that nutritious food is amazing and a little treat every now and then never hurt.  So, yes, she’s had a bite of our favorite churro from Disneyland. And yes, she has tried some fried tacos. But more often than not, she eats incredibly healthy and delicious food. I’m not worried.  

Now, onto our indulgence. Yesterday, I decided that I was hungrily wanting some coffee cake. And, lucky for us, we had all the ingredients on hand. This coffee cake is absolutely delectable. A real treat for your weekend.  Now, let’s start with the recipe.

What You’ll Need:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour 

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 cup sugar 

1/2 cup butter, melted 

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons all purpose flour

2 tablespoons butter

What You’ll Do:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. To make the batter, you’ll sift 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt together and set aside.  In another bowl, beat the egg until it is frothy.  Beat in sugar and butter until combined.  Add milk, sour cream, and vanilla.  Add to flour mixture a little at a time and mix on low until combined. Be sure not to mix it too much.  If the batter is too stiff, then just add a touch more milk.  To make the crumb topping, combine the last 4 ingredients (make sure your butter for the crumb topping is chilled) in a small bowl and mix. Set aside. 

Put 1/2 the batter into an 8×8-inch greased pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle 1/2 the crumb topping over the batter.  Repeat with the other 1/2 of the batter.  Pop in the oven for 25-30 minutes.  And there you have it!

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A delicious way to start our Sunday that Tastes Oh-So-Good!

~ M ~

 

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Mini German Pancakes

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

I can’t believe it is already 2014! 2013 went by in about half a blip. Having a little baby in the home will do that to you! Seeing Olivia grow so quickly and change so much in a year made this year just fly by! I do hope your holidays and last night’s NYE shenanigans were phenomenally wonderful!!

Now that those pleasantries are over with, I am so sad I haven’t posted in so long. Once all those holidays hit, we have sort of been running all over!  Well, here is a brand new post for the brand new year! 

Seeing that babysitters can be a bit hard to come by, we stayed in last night for NYE. Not too big a deal. We did miss out on a dear friend’s party, and though we would have loved to have gone to ring in the New Year with them, we aren’t the biggest of partiers, so a cozy night in works just fine for us.

Instead, this morning, we headed over to another dear friends’ house and made breakfast. They, too, have a baby so we knew they would be awake early 😀 We brought over some champagne and orange juice for mimosas (Buck’s Fizz?), our Savory Breakfast Pudding, and we made some Mini German Pancakes.

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Who doesn’t love pancakes for breakfast or brunch, right? The problem we always run into with making pancakes for people is that it always takes so long since you want to make them to order so that they’re warm. Or you make them jist before everyone eats, and inevitably they’re all a bit too cool by then.

This recipe solves that problem while still being simple (dare I say, simpler than “regular” pancakes?) and delicious.  Plus, they look impressive so you look like a kitchen savant.  I’m sure I’ve piqued your interest by now, so let’s get started.

What You’ll Need:

1 cup milk
6 eggs
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. orange zest (optional, but recmmended..duh!)
1/4 cup butter, melted

What You’ll Do:

Ready for how simple this is?
Preheat the oven to 400º.  Throw everything, except the butter, in a blender (we, of course, used our wonderful Vitamix). Blend the batter until smooth and there are no lumps in the batter. Slowly pour in the melted butter and blend a bit more. You’ll want to pour it slowly because the butter is hot – you don’t want to inadvertently cook up the eggs in the blender!

Once it is blended up (and keep in mind that the batter is much more liquid-y than regular pancake batter), lightly grease a muffin tin (or if you have a phenomenally well-working non-stick muffin tin, then go ahead and skip that step) and pour the batter into the muffin tins, evenly. You’ll want to fill each little muffin “well” up about halfway.  Set your timer for 15 minutes and pop the muffin tin into the oven.  15 minutes later, the pancake batter has “magically” formed little pancake “cups” all on their own.

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Fill your pancakes with whatever you want! We filled ours up with fresh blueberries & freshly diced strawberries, a touch of maple syrup on top, and a dusting of powdered sugar. So easy, delicious, and seemingly-impressive…and all the pancakes are done at the same time! Plus, depending on how you dress up your pancakes, this recipe is relatively low in sugar! Good for everyone in the family and Tastes Oh-So-Good!

Savory Breakfast Pudding

Ahhh, Fall.  My very favorite season.  I’ve lived in Southern California for most of my life now so we, unfortunately, don’t get too much of an Autumn chill and I miss it so (I spent my childhood on the East Coast where there are actual seasons).  Nonetheless, Fall remains one of my favorite seasons.  The chill in the air (though today is supposed to be a toasty 85 degrees) and the start of my favorite holidays (um…hellloooo Thanksgiving!).  

For the past few years, our dear friends have hosted a Fall Breakfast at their place.  Oddly enough, even if we are lucky enough to have a chilly weather streak, without fail it is always unseasonably warm the day of Fall Breakfast!  This year, with our friends having moved into a beautiful new place, Fall Breakfast was a wonderful way to help break in the new place.  Only thing is, our friends also have a brand new baby.  Those of you who have been through new parenthood know that the last thing you want to do is to host a party and cook up a storm.  The natural solution? Your friends do most of the cooking and you just sit back and enjoy.  And that’s what we did.  All the friends were responsible for a dish or two and breakfast came together quite nicely.  It was also Olivia’s first Fall Breakfast with our friends and their baby girl’s first official Fall Breakfast.  Quite momentous.

For our dishes, we thought we would do one sweet dish and one savory dish.  TJ and I figured that he’d make some pumpkin pancakes at their house the morning of.  I decided the savory dish to complement that would be our Savory Breakfast Pudding.  It’s a bread pudding – but savory.  That description kind of throws people off a bit, but I promise you it is delicious.  It is like a breakfast sandwich – in casserole form.  I originally got this recipe from an Emeril Lagasse recipe.  I’ve changed a few things about it to suit out tastes a bit more.  Either way you go, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!

What You’ll Need:

2 tablespoons of butter + 2 tablespoons of melted butter

1 large yellow onion, sliced into thin rings

About 6 ounces of bacon, roughly chopped

About 6 ounces of sausage, casings removed and crumbled **

Few teaspoons of minced garlic

8 large eggs

3 cups of whole milk

1 cup of heavy cream

1 teaspoon of Essence (recipe below if you want to make your own, which I highly recommend)

Large pinch of salt

Pinch of fresh ground black pepper

8 stale croissants, torn up into 1/2 inch pieces

2 cups of grated Fontina or Gouda

1/2 cup of bread crumbs

1/2 cup grated Paremsan

What You’ll Do:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish.  We just lightly greased our dish with butter.  In a skillet, melt 1.5 tablespoons of butter and toss in your onions.  Saute the onions until they are soft and starting to caramelize. Throw in your chopped up garlic and cook another few minutes.

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In another skillet, melt the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of butter.  Add your bacon and cook for about 3 minutes.  Remove the bacon and drain on a paper towel.  In the same pan, cook up your crumbled sausage for about 3-5 minutes until browned.  Remove the sausage and drain on a paper towel.  Set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs up.  Whisk in the milk, cream, salt, pepper, and Essence.

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Once it is all mixed in, throw in your torn up croissant pieces.  Make sure the croissant pieces are covered in the egg mixture.  Let sit for 5 minutes.

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Now, throw in your sausage, bacon, onions, and 2 cups of grated Fontina or Gouda (we used Fontina here because..well, because that’s what Trader Joe’s had on hand that day!).  Stir to combine and let sit for another 5-10 minutes.

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Pour the mixture into your lightly greased baking dish.

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Bake covered for 40-50 minutes, until almoat completely set.

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What we did is prepare the dish the night before the breakfast.  You can assemble it up to this point (before you pop it in the oven).  Cover it with foil and pop it in your fridge, unbaked, for 8 hours/overnight.  The next morning, we simply started by uncovering the dish and baking it for the 40-50 minutes, as directed above.

In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs (feel free to use seasoned bread crumbs, etc. It is quite delicious), grated Parmesan cheese, and 2 tablespoons of melted butter.  Uncover the pudding (if you’ve covered it with foil to prevent crazy browning) and spread the Parmesan bread crumbs evenly over the pudding.

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Increase your oven temperature to 375 and pop the pudding back into the oven for another 15-20 minutes (yup, pop it in while the oven is increasing in heat…no need to wait for it to fully get to 375).  It is done when the top is nice and toasty and the rest of the pudding is set (just insert a knife and see if it comes out rather clean). Wait 15 minutes before eating. There you have it! This is best served hot.

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** VARIATIONS **

Play around with the type of sausage you’d want to put in.  Hot sausages are great to use and gives this dish a nice kick.  We have even used Kielbasa and just chopped it up super small.  Whatever you’re in the mood for, try it out!

This is a great dish to bring over for a potluck, great for holiday breakfasts when the family is all gathered around.  It is so easy and you can just let it soak up all the great flavors overnight.  Next morning, pop it in the oven and there you have it – a great breakfast ready for the family (or friends, of course!) that Tastes Oh-So-Good.

Emeril’s Essence

This is a great combo of seasonings to have on hand and you can find his recipe here.  I have also listed out the ingredients below for your convenience (I’m so nice, right?!).

2 1/2 tablespoons of Paprika

2 tablespoons of Salt

2 Tablespoons of Garlic Powder

1 Tablespoon of Black Pepper

1 Tablespoon of Onion Powder

1 Tablespoon of Cayenne

1 Tablespoon of dried Oregano

1 Tablespoon of dried Thyme

MIx it up. And, in the words of Emeril – “BAM”! You’ve got yourself some Essence.

~ M ~