Category Archives: Breakfast

More Than Just a Bowl of Cherries….

Photo Jul 23, 12 50 58 PM INTRO

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Hi Everyone,

I hope you are enjoying your summer so far, but if you live in any part of the country that is going through a heatwave, torrential rain or tornadoesstay safe. 

My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

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Bob and I planned on cleaning out the attic of old holiday decorations this weekend. (I have so many items). I just can’t believe how much I have accumulated over the past 20 years. I used to decorate the entire house for every holiday when my son was small. Now he is a man with his own house and I don’t use half the decorations I have, so it’s time to say goodbye to clutter.

Because of the heat we postponed the attic cleaning for another day. Bob insisted on going up in the attic for a few minutes just to count how many boxes we had and came down with a small brown unmarked taped box.

He asked what this was that was sitting alone in the corner of the attic and I had no clue. I have to tell you, it felt like Christmas morning opening this box with the excitement of a surprise.

Once I opened it, I found some of my mother’s dishes.

A dish I loved as a little girl, a combination snack plate & cup “cherry” dish. This brought back a flood of memories for me. My mother and I had many breakfasts on the back patio with these dishes. I always thought they were so fancy when I was a child.

They are fine china from Japan, part of the Toscany Collection and the pattern name is “Marischino”.

They are now considered vintage! 

How old am I?

Photo Jul 23, 11 33 12 AM CUP AND SAUCER

I am the youngest of three daughters and there was a 14 & 11 year age gap between me and my sisters. When my sisters were in school, I was still home with mom.

My mother would make wonderful muffins and pound cakes and she used these dishes for us to have breakfast on the back patio with her baked goods.

That was a real treat not having the usual cereal, oatmeal or eggs.

We would go out early morning once my sisters left for school and just enjoyed nature and listening to the birds chirping. The time of day when the rest of the world is still asleep and the dew is still on the grass.

I wanted to use these dishes right away and since I just bought the most delicious cherries in Whole Foods, this was meant to be. I don’t have any of my mother’s baked goods recipes but I do know how to make a cherry crostata and that is fairly easy so I was off.

I always keep an extra store bought pie dough in the refrigerator whenever I want a crostata or if I get unexpected company and I need something quick, so I was well prepared. I pitted the cherries and started the baking.

Photo Jul 23, 12 50 27 PM CROSTATA

I decided to make some cherry crumb muffins while I was at it and serve it with Morello cherry preserves.

Photo Jul 23, 11 25 50 AM MUFFINS

(Both recipes can be found at the end of this post).

While the crostata and muffins were baking I carefully washed each plate and cup and then set a quick simple table.

I would have had breakfast on the patio like mom and I did back in the day, but Bob would never be able to handle the heat even for a short period of time. Even the patio umbrella wouldn’t have helped him. I love hot weather but my honey needs air conditioning, so we had breakfast indoors.

I used a sage green and white woven tablecloth with matching napkins. I love this particular tablecloth and napkin set because the pattern is reversible and I get a lot of use out of it.

(Both sides shown below.)

Photo Jul 23, 11 30 04 AM REVERSIBLE TABLE CLOTH

I wanted to highlight the dishes a little more and I didn’t quite have the right color placemat so I went with a glass charger instead. The charger has a little beaded design around the rim which adds a little sparkle to the table and still lets you focus on the plate.

Photo Jul 23, 11 34 40 AM CHARGER

The flatware is white with silver threads running through it, very simple. This will match my tray and coffee accessories.

Photo Jul 23, 11 28 18 AM (1) FLATWARE

I decided to put the coffee pot, creamer and sugar bowl on a separate tray. 

Having everything on the tray looks nice and neat.

I have had this silver tray with white handles and matching coffee pot and accessories for 30 years since I got married. It has seen a lot of tablescapes.

Photo Jul 23, 2 01 30 PM TRAY

No breakfast table is complete without flowers, so I added some white heather to a new vase I just bought.

I keep a box in my garage cabinet of all artificial flowers that I use for my tablescapes and this bunch was just right. 

This vase is my new Homegoods find that I am in love with. A vase from Italy for $7.99. I loved the pattern the minute I saw it and it was perfect because I incorporate the color green in a lot of my tables.

The only downfall is that it is very thin (that is what you get for $7.99), so you have to be extra careful with it.

Photo Jul 23, 11 26 48 AM VASE

 In addition to my floral centerpiece, I thought a bowl with fresh cherries would look lovely as an addition to the table.

Instead of a fruit bowl, I thought of something else I could use. I received this 1 qt. enamelware colander for Christmas last year and thought of it immediately because it has a cherry design.

Photo Jul 23, 11 17 20 AM COLANDER

This colander is wonderful because it comes with a drain plate so you can leave your washed fruit on the table.

Photo Jul 23, 1 19 21 PM TRAY WITH CHERRIES 2

It is part of the Barbara Gullett collection for the company Golden Rabbit.

Photo Jul 23, 1 17 20 PM COLANDER WITH CHERRIES

In addition to the cherry design, it comes in blackberry, herbs, lettuce, radish and strawberry.

I know I sound like an ad for the company but I am not being paid by them, I just love this product. While I am at it, even the box is beautiful if you give it as a gift. Okay, I’m done.

Photo Jul 23, 1 01 09 PM GIFT BOX

If you have a similar decorative colander and don’t want to use it to serve fresh fruit on your table, use it for a floral arrangement. Colanders looks nice in the summer filled with sunflowers or daisies.

Breakfast was delicious and Bob loved having cake for breakfast. I felt like I was a little girl back in time, having breakfast with mom.

I hope you enjoyed discovering along with me, one of my buried treasures from my mother. 

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well, 

Diane

Photo Jul 23, 12 51 54 PM CLOSE

Cherry Crostata

Ingredients:

  • Prepared pastry dough (uncooked), enough for a 9-inch pie pan
  • 1 lb. of cherries (stems and pits removed)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 tbsp. fresh orange juice
  • ½ tsp. orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 whole egg, beaten OR 2 tbsp. orange marmalade (with 1 tsp. water)
  • 1 tbsp. turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw)
  •  
  • Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl, add the cherries, orange juice, zest, cornstarch, sugar and a pinch of salt, and mix thoroughly to combine.

On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out to a 10-inch circle, about 1/4-inch thick. Transfer dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Cooks Note: sprinkle a layer of very fine breadcrumbs on the dough before you add the cherry mixture. This will prevent the bottom of the crostata from getting soggy from any of the cherry juice.

Pour cherry mixture into the middle of the dough, leaving a 1-inch border. Fold the edges of the dough over the fruit to enclose and make a 2-inch crust all the way around the crostata. Fan the edge as you go around folding the dough.

In a small bowl, mix together the marmalade and water. Brush the marmalade mixture onto the 2-inch crust. Sprinkle crust with turbinado sugar.

Place the pat of butter on top of the fruit mixture. 

Bake crostata until the crust is golden brown and the fruit is tender, about 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool at least 15 minutes.

Serve warm or at room temperature with your favorite ice cream 

Cooks Note: Use store-bought frozen and thawed cherries for a shortcut!

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For those of you who prefer a homemade pie crust, this is the recipe that I use…

Basic Pie Crust by Martha Stewart

YIELD: ONE 9-INCH CRUST

Ingredients:  

  • 1- 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for rolling
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons ice water

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, briefly pulse flour, salt, and sugar. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons ice water. Pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed (if necessary, add up to 2 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon at a time). Don’t over mix.
  2. Turn dough out onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Fold plastic over dough; press to shape into a 1-inch-thick disk. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour (or up to 3 days).
  3. On a floured piece of parchment paper, roll dough to a 14-inch round with a floured rolling pin. Wrap dough around rolling pin, discarding paper; unroll over a 9-inch pie plate (opposite). Gently fit into bottom and up sides of plate (do not stretch dough).
  4. Using kitchen shears, trim dough to a 1-inch overhang. Fold under itself to form a rim and press to seal. Using thumb and forefinger, crimp rim of crust. Refrigerate until ready to use, up to 1 day.

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Cherry Crumb Muffins…

Adapted from a blueberry crumb recipe for the website  KITCHEN GENIUS.

35 minutes  – yields 12 muffins

INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line or butter muffin tin.
  2. To make topping: put flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl and toss together. Add in the cold butter bits, and toss to coat, then use your fingers to rub the butter into the dry ingredients until you have irregularly shaped crumbs. Set aside the mix in the refrigerator while you prepare the batter.
  3. For the batter: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the brown sugar.
  4. In another bowl, whisk the melted butter, eggs, milk, and vanilla together until well combined.
  5. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry, and fold together quickly to blend. Fold in the cherries. The batter will be lumpy.
  6. Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups, sprinkle some topping over each muffin, and use your fingertips to gently press the crumbs into the batter.
  7. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a thin knife inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean.
  8. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from the tin.

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Enjoy!

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Dutch Baby

2016-08-01 12.37.30 - DUTCH BABY.jpg WITH NAME

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Hi Everyone,

I was just writing my menu for Easter and I was thinking about what I could add to our Easter breakfast table. Michael is coming home this year for the holiday and I wanted something new to go along with the usual croissants and I immediately thought of a “Dutch Baby”.

Let me tell you how we discovered this “Dutch Baby” treasure.

In 2012 our son started school in Buffalo, NY and Bob and I would take the eight hour drive upstate and visit him and stay in his apartment four or five times a year. One visit, Michael told us that he found a breakfast place that he thought we would like and off we went. We loved it.

It is “The Original Pancake House”.

 On Niagara Falls Blvd. in Amherst, NY. 

2016-06-05 09.45.03.jpg THE ORIGINAL PANCAKE HOUSE

It was like taking a step back in time and the food was delicious. Not a fancy place, just a great atmosphere, friendly people and “home cooked” food.

We became regulars every time we visited and we always ordered either eggs with bacon and sausage, omelettes, pancakes, waffles and french toast. (The homemade breakfast sausage is to die for). Everything we ordered was delicious.

We loved this place so much that we told all our friends that had children and grandchildren going to schools in the area that this was the place to go. I became a walking advertisement.

In addition to our usual fare we would see waitresses passing our table with the “specialties of the house”, German apple pancakes and large Dutch Baby entrees. I thought the Dutch Baby was just a souffle and didn’t pay much attention.

Bob would always say that he had to try a Dutch Baby; every time he saw one pass our table.

In 2016, Michael graduated and we were moving him to Rochester and we had our last breakfast at The Original Pancake House. Bob said he had to order the Dutch Baby that day or he would never get another chance to try one.

He ordered it and the waitress explained that it would take 20-30 minutes to prepare. Wow, 30 minutes, I couldn’t imagine what went into preparing this and so we waited.

When it arrived at our table, it came with a side tray of condiments. The waitress asked Bob if he wanted to put it together himself or should she. There is a special order to the condiments.

Bob gladly gave her the job.

Photo Nov 16, 3 26 40 PM.jpg Dutch baby tray

Dutch Baby is filled with butter, lemon juice, confectioners sugar, more butter and fresh strawberries along with fresh strawberry syrup on the side.

I have to say, once it’s put together it is a work of art. 

Here is a photo of Bob tasting his first “Dutch Baby”.

Look at his face…he was so happy.

2016-08-01 12.38.03 - BOB DUTCH BABY.jpg WITH NAME

Of course I had to taste it and it was absolutely delicious. It is a cross between a souffle and a pancake having a child. And with just one bite, you close your eyes and the world stands still for a moment. It is light, fluffy, sweet and sinful.

 Bob was both thrilled he finally ordered a Dutch Baby and upset he didn’t order it sooner during the four years we visited Buffalo.

He talked about this Dutch Baby for weeks and I knew that I would have to find a recipe and try to duplicate the heavenly experience he had.

I searched google, found a recipe and was surprised to find it only had five ingredients.

I had all the ingredients in the house, a blender and a cast iron skillet and I was ready to give it a try.

I watched it rise behind the oven door, the way I used to watch Jiffy Pop popcorn rise on the stove top (showing my age again). It was very exciting.

I put it all together with the butter, lemon juice, confectioners sugar and strawberries and I was quite pleased with the end results.

I called Bob to the breakfast table and he was shocked!

His eyes opened wide and he was speechless. Very sorry I don’t have a picture of that.

He absolutely LOVED it and he was a happy man.

So here is a picture of the first Dutch Baby that I ever prepared. 

Not bad for a first try…

Photo Feb 14, 9 48 14 AM.jpg MY DUTCH BABY

I think The Original Pancake House would be very proud of me.

Theirs on the left and mine on the right.

It really is a lot easier than it looks and I wanted to share the recipe with all of you.

It is now a staple on our breakfast rotation.

Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed and you will definitely impress your family and it is great if you have guests.

Have fun cooking !

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

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Dutch Baby

This is not my original recipe.

I copied this recipe from google, but I don’t remember the name of the site I used. I was just so excited that I found the recipe.

Ingredients:
3 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup of milk
1 tbsp. sugar
Pinch of nutmeg

4 tbsp. butter

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425

Combine in the blender or hand mix.. eggs, flour, milk, sugar and nutmeg

Place butter in 10 inch heavy skillet and place in oven till melted, don’t let it burn , then add batter to the skillet and cook in the oven for 20 minutes till puffed and golden then …
Lower heat to 300 and cook 5 minutes more, remove from the oven and place on a warmed serving plate.

Then put a few pats of butter on top, and spread around, then squeeze some fresh lemon juice all over it and then sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar … then top with fresh strawberries.. you can make a strawberry sauce using frozen strawberries in syrup …warm up and serve on side of Dutch baby

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download.png PANCAKE LOGO.jpg USE THIS

photo courtesy, The Original Pancake House menu

Birthday Breakfast For Two – April in Paris

stock-vector-paris-symbols-seamless-pattern-romantic-travel-in-paris-vector-203986717 - PARIS SYMBOLS - INTRO REVISED

(photo credit: shutterstock.com

2015-04-13 11.55.25- BREAKFAST II - REVISED

(Click on photos to enlarge)

With all the rushing around and cooking for Easter, Bob and I wanted a very quiet breakfast for the two of us for my birthday last weekend. I wanted a very simple and cozy tablescape – nothing fancy. I decided I would use my “Bon Appetit” dishes and mugs and that reminds me of Paris.

So off we go to “April in Paris”… 

2015-04-15 13.38.07 - DISHES

Whenever you see paper goods or home decor with a Parisian theme, it seems that the colors are always black, white and pink. Since the dishes are black and white, all I needed to take out was the pink tablecloth. 

2015-04-13 10.42.21- PARIS TABLE REVISED

So the tablecloth and dishes are done, now I needed a charger and flatware. I chose a black charger to highlight the plates and black flatware to match the charger.

2015-04-15 13.12.54 - CHARGERLooking at the “Bon Appetit” knife and fork design on the dishes reminded me that I have napkins with a similar pattern that I bought in Pier I last year; so I added them to the tablescape as well. 

To continue the Parisian theme, I added nickel fleur de lis napkin rings.

2015-04-13 10.18.58- NAPKIN REVISED

I used my white and silver coffee set from Fortunoff’s,

2015-04-15 13.01.53 -COFFEE SET

a Parisian theme trivet for the coffee pot

2015-04-15 13.42.15 - TRIVET

along with a Parisian themed tray to hold the creamer and sugar bowl. 

2015-04-15 13.40.51- TRAY

Now to the best part, breakfast itself.

I chose a pink vintage glass cake plate (one of my favorites) to display macaroons (another favorite).

Unless you are baking your own, I think the best macaroons are by “LaPetite Macaron Company” and sold at Queen City Cupcakes in Patchogue, NY.

It’s very hard to make a flavor choice. Let’s see, there is pistachio, red velvet, lemon, hazelnut and salted caramel just to name a few. I am a “lemon girl” myself.

Every bite is a little taste of heaven.

2015-04-13 11.53.53- MACAROONS REVISED

To have a Parisian breakfast, you need more than macaroons, so we wanted croissants. Bob and I love the croissants from Williams Sonoma and I always have some in the freezer. They arrive frozen; you let them rise the night before you need them and bake for 15 minute in the morning and the house smells WONDERFUL !

It’s like waking up in a bakery. I always get the plain and chocolate assortment.

Try them; you will definitely be glad you did.

2015-04-13 11.54.26- CROISSANTS -USE THIS

(If you really want to go one step further, Williams Sonoma also sells “croissonuts”.)

For a little fun, and to add to my Parisian theme, I placed a replica of the Eiffel Tower on a white ceramic cake plate to display the croissants. 

2015-04-15 13.39.04- eiffel

I bought this replica a few years ago from Amazon and honestly, I don’t remember what I originally wanted to use it for. Now it has a purpose again.

I know this looks like a lot of pastry for two people for breakfast, but Bob and I will be snacking on these pastries for days. Wish you could join us.

2015-04-13 10.43.11- BREAKFAST CLOSE UP REVISED

All I need now is some juice and coffee, and breakfast is complete.

Place Setting

2015-04-15 13.08.31 PLACE SETTING

Tablescape Details

Bon Appetite ceramic dishes & mugs – from Crate and Barrel

Black charger – from Bed, Bath and Beyond

Fleur de lis napkin rings- from Bed, Bath and Beyond

Paris themed tray from Homegoods

Napkins from Pier I

Pink tablecloth from Linens and Things

White ceramic cake plate from Williams Sonoma

Pink vintage glass cake plate from Pier I

Eiffel Tower replica from Amazon

Black Cutlery from Bed, Bath and Beyond

“Paris” trivet from Amazon

White coffee set from Fortunoff

Croissants from Williams Sonoma

Macaroons from Queen City Cupcake, Patchogue, NY

Thank you for letting me share my “Parisian Birthday” breakfast table with you.

2015-04-13 10.44.21 -PARIS BUFFET

Next time, I will have a French Bistro tablescape for lunch with quiche and Croque Madame sandwiches.

Bon Appetit!

Until my next post, stay well and make every day a celebration!

Diane

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symbols-paris-19940960- PARIS CLOSING LINE

(photo credit: dreamstime.com)

Bonjour!