A Very Basic Pancake Recipe

IMG_8829Pancakes are usually made when we have the time to linger over breakfast (a rarity on a farm), have houseguests, or if it just happens to be a rainy Saturday. We’ll make extra, to be enjoyed cold with a bit of jam, as a mid-afternoon treat. My pleasure in making these is the fact that they are so very basic. Eggs, milk, flour. They are never too thick, or gummy, just completely enjoyable. No leavening agent required, as the eggs do the work.

Next time you awake to a lazy, rainy morning, give them a try with a knob of butter and a drizzle of real maple syrup. Continue reading

Dutch Baby

IMG_6567For a few summers when in my teens, I was fortunate to be taken along to the Okanagan for a few weeks to babysit.  Besides spending hours on the beach and boating, I soon took over the morning breakfast ritual.  Out behind their cabin was a wood oven with a ¾” sheet of steel for a cooking surface.  I would go out early, and get the fire going, until the steel was just the right temperature.  Previous summers lighting the woodstove on Thetis gave me the necessary skill set at the ripe old age of 14.

The first day I made French toast.  I’d been told that the children weren’t fond of it, but went ahead anyhow.  I love French toast, especially when sprinkled with sugar and drizzled with lemon.  I won the kids over the first go; they’d just never had it with a custardy center.  By the end of our second week there, the neighbours had started “dropping” by at breakfast, often with a loaf of bread or some eggs.  One morning I made breakfast for 20.  This was most probably my first catering gig.

Even though this is not a recipe for French toast, it is a recipe for an easy breakfast dish that tastes great with sugar and lemon!

The Dutch Baby is basically a huge popover.  You can use a small cast iron pan, enameled bake ware, or a plain cake pan, anything from 8-9” in diameter.   All you need is equal volumes of eggs, milk and flour, with a bit of butter.  When it comes out of the oven, its sides will have risen up well over the edge of the pan.  Simply invert it onto a plate and serve with a sprinkle of sugar and a drizzle of lemon ~ fresh fruit, a dollop of preserves or a bit of syrup work well, too.  Plan on sharing one between two, or one each for hungrier folks. Continue reading

Parmesan & Bacon Strata with Spinach

IMG_4890This is my very favourite Strata.  To be honest I’ve never been a fan of Stratas in general. Ones I’ve had in the past tend to have too much cheese, too much sausage, and left me feeling overfull.  To fix this, I thought it best to figure out the right ratio of bread, egg, & milk.  Once that was figured out, I started to build it up with just enough ingredients to give it a full flavour.  I’m happy to serve this for any breakfast / brunch event, and it disappears quickly.

The bread, egg, & milk ratio (1# bread to 3 cups milk and 10 eggs) can be accented with either savoury or sweet ingredients; just use your imagination.  For instance, add some vanilla and maple syrup to the egg mixture, and tuck in some thin apple slices and pieces of cream cheese.  This will give you a lovely, French toast type Strata.  Be inventive! Continue reading

Popovers

IMG_4066We’re not much of a family for pancakes.  Occasionally we make a batch of waffles, maybe twice a year.  However these little treats are a family favourite.  Easy to put together, then nothing to do but leave them to cook in the oven.

They have a steamy, custardy center, which is perfect with a spoonful of jam tucked inside.  The only oil used is that to grease the pan.  With berry season arriving soon, and a whole summer of “no-school” mornings ahead, take the time to bake these, then sit outside in the sunshine and munch through them all while fresh. Continue reading

Polenta & Veggie Slice

IMG_2910A warm breakfast without eggs or gluten is easy to do ahead of time by making this savory polenta slice.  It makes enough for 4 good-sized servings, and has enough of a nutritional punch to keep you going for several hours.  Simply reheat it either by using the microwave or gently frying in a bit of oil or butter.  If you want to add more protein, put some grated cheese on top, and broil it until the cheese is melted.  My favourite add on is to top a slice of polenta with a poached egg.  Either way, it is delicious and nutritious, an easy start to your day.  Continue reading