I owe my marriage to the UFC. Yes, you read that right. My husband and I met one night after I was getting off of work and decided to join some of my co-workers for drinks at a small bar around the corner. My husband was already seated at the bar, which was the only one in the area showing the fight that night. I sat down next to him, we started chatting and now, five years later here we are.
The fights come on at 4am here because of the time difference, and at 4:01 I can find him, sitting on the couch with coffee
screaming quietly talking to the TV. After the last fight I got to thinking that it might be nice for him to have something to snack on while he watched. However, I know I’m not a morning person so getting out of bed at 3:30 in the morning to make him a “fight morning” snack just wasn’t going to happen.
I spent a few weeks mulling over what kind of snack I could make that would be reminiscent of game day food, but breakfasty* since he would be enjoying it with coffee; that could also be a “make ahead.” These breakfast taquitos are what I came up with. I’m pretty sure some fast food place or convenience store back in the States does something like this, but I’m not sure which ones. Either way, they were good when I baked them right after assembling them and they were equally good straight from the freezer into the oven on “fight morning.”
1 potato, diced
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 can green chili’s, drained
2 tablespoons cumin
1 teaspoon chipotle hot sauce
2 tablespoons butter, divided
4 rashers turkey bacon
2 cups cheese (you can do more or less, but we like a lot of cheese)
12 small flour tortillas
Salt/pepper to taste
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place turkey bacon on a tin foil lined baking sheet and bake until crispy, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and drain on paper towels. Chop into small pieces and set aside.
While the bacon cooks, make the potato hash. Melt butter in a large sauce pan over medium high heat. Toss in potatoes, onion and chilis. Season with cumin and hot sauce. Brown the potatoes and onions and then toss in garlic. Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook until the potatoes are just fork tender, about 5 minutes. When the hash is done, remove from the pan and set aside.
Whisk the eggs (add a bit of water or milk, depending on how you like your scrambled eggs.) Melt the rest of the butter in the sauce pan over medium heat. Pour in eggs and scramble. Remove from heat when they reach your preferred doneness keeping in mind that the eggs will continue to cook when the taquitos bake (we prefer our eggs scrambled hard, aswith the local eggs, anything less makes us sick.)
To assemble the taquitos: Line a baking tray with foil and spray with cooking spray. Warm the tortillas in a microwave for 10 seconds to soften them. Keep a moist towel over them while you work. Place cheese, then hash, bacon and eggs along the center of the tortilla. Roll tortilla up and place seam side down on the baking sheet. Continue with the remaining tortillas and ingredients.
At this point, the taquitos can be baked or frozen*. If you are baking them, spray the tops with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt. Bake in a 400 degree oven until they are browned and crispy and the filling is warm, about 10 minutes. Serve with salsa
*If you are freezing them, cover the baking sheet and place into the freezer for 30 minutes or until the taquitos are firm. Then they can be placed in a storage bag or container. To bake, place them on a baking sheet, spray with cooking spray and salt the tops. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes.
*The first batch I baked right after assembling and didn’t use cooking spray or salt the tops and they didn’t brown as nicely. Then over the weekend I came across this on pintrest and saw that they used cooking spray and salt on top, so I tried it on game day and that was definitely better.
*Yes, breakfasty is a word….look it up 🙂 :
p.s. Hop on over to Make Ahead Meals for Busy Mom’s blog hop here to see my link or link up yourself!
Although Bahrain is a relatively small island, we spend a lot of time in the car because traffic can be very heavy. Back in the States, car rides used to mean a bit of personal time for me. The kids were happy to look out the window or maybe watch a video (yes, we broke down and got the SUV with the built in DVD player in the back seat, don’t judge) and I would listen to NPR on XM radio. It was always a nice way to start the day. But here, XM doesn’t work and the kids, the poor kids, get so tired of long rides all the time. So they still get to watch their video in the back to keep them happy (they’re educational, don’t judge) but they pay more attention to the music I put on. “M” has gotten quite opinionated when it comes to music; the girl knows what she likes. If she had it her way, we would only listen to the Black Eyed Peas (don’t judge) but there is only so much Boom Boom Pow that I can take. But we’ve recently found a good compromise in Jack Johnson. Car rides again have become blissful as we put the windows down, turn Jack Johnson up and all is right in the world. Or at least just our car for the time being. Sometimes I even hear “C” hum along to a song.
So no, this isn’t Jack Johnson’s recipe for pancakes, but if you’re a fan, you’d know he’s got a song named Banana Pancakes. “M” loves to sing along to it and the lyrics couldn’t be more appropriate for our weekends:
But baby, you hardly even notice
When I try to show you
this song It’s meant to keep you
From doin’ what you’re supposed to
Like wakin’ up too early
Maybe we could sleep in
I’ll make you banana pancakes
Pretend like it’s the weekend now
And we could pretend it all the time
Can’t you see that it’s just rainin’
There ain’t no need to go outside
All too fitting because our kids usually wake up with the sun (which was so fun when we first got here and the sun rose at 4 in the morning!) And last week was the first time that it’s rained since we’ve been here, well actually since March I’m told. So this weekend, I thought we could all use a lazy day and some banana pancakes!
Jack Johnson Banana Pancakes
4 ripe bananas
2 cups Bisquick mix (what, I said lazy weekend!)
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cinnamon, divided
1 tablespoon nutmeg, divided
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons water
Mash two of the bananas in a large bowl. Mix in the milk, eggs, vanilla, half of the cinnamon, and half of the nutmeg. Stir in the bisquick, being careful not to over mix (lumps are good.)
Warm a non stick skillet over medium heat. Ladle the pancake mix onto the skillet and cook until the edges bubble. Flip and cook until brown on the other side as well. Continue with the remaining batter.
While the pancakes cook, slice the remaining two bananas and set aside. Add the brown sugar, water, cinnamon, nutmeg into a small skillet and heat over medium -high heat. Cook until the brown sugar dissolves and the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Gently toss the bananas in the sugar mixture.
To serve, top the pancakes with the caramelized bananas and sauce.
This week was our turn to host our playschool group and the theme was birds. Everything centered around birds, the songs, the crafts, stories, the games, and of course, the snack. I served pretzels as the twigs birds use to make their nests, julienned carrots and cucumber to be the worms birds pull from the ground, and made granola bars with seeds, nuts, and fruit, like little birdies like to eat. Both the kiddies and mommies loved this crunchy snack. Oh, excuse me, all of the kiddies except for my own, of course!
I thought it would be easy to find a healthy recipe for granola bars, but it actually proved to be rather difficult. I was hoping for a chewy bar, as some of the children who attend school are younger and do not have a full set of teeth, but every recipe that promised a chewy bar was FULL of sugar and butter. I guess that’s what makes the bars chewy. So when I found Alton Brown’s recipe, I knew it would not be the chewy bar I had envisioned, but seemed to be the one I could easily modify to make it pretty healthy. Besides, I have yet to try a recipe from Alton that I haven’t loved. Also from my extensive internet search, I realized that what seemed to be most important when trying to make granola bars was the ratio of wet to dry ingredients. Too many dry ingredients seem to make hard, crumbly granola. While too much of the wet ingredients made bars that were too sticky and fall apart. These bars, while not chewy, stayed together without being rock hard. Even the younger ones of the group were able to enjoy this birdie snack!
Birdie Granola Bars
*Adapted from AltonBrown’s Granola Bars
3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup salted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons applesauce
6 1/2 ounces chopped dried fruit, any combination of apricots, cherries or blueberries (I used a tropical fruit blend with coconuts and also added some craisins to the mixture as well)
Butter a 9 by 9-inch glass baking dish and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spread the oats, sunflower seeds, and wheat germ onto a half-sheet pan. Place in the oven and toast for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In the meantime, combine the honey, brown sugar, and applesauce in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook until the brown sugar has completely dissolved.
Once the oat mixture is done, remove it from the oven and reduce the heat to 300 degrees F. Immediately add the oat mixture to the liquid mixture, add the dried fruit, and stir to combine. Turn mixture out into the prepared baking dish and press down, evenly distributing the mixture in the dish and place in the oven to bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow cooling completely (at least 1-2 hours.) Cut into squares and store in an airtight container for up to a week.
I know what you’re thinking: I thought the title of this post was Banana Biscuits, not Banana Muffins?! Well I had quite a hard time with it; in fact I’ve spent all morning trying to decide what to call these banana things. You see, it all started when once again, I have bananas that no one wants to eat. I didn’t want to make bread. I thought about scones, but my hubby shot that down. I’ve got a recipe for sweet potato biscuits that I’ve been meaning to make, but I thought I could substitute bananas no problem. Wrong! Maybe smashed bananas are runnier than smashed sweet potatoes, maybe it just wasn’t the best biscuit recipe, I don’t know. They taste like a biscuit with a hint of banana, but have the texture of a muffin. Either way, they taste good so I guess I can’t be too upset.
Since the flavor of the bimuffin, muffiscuit, whatever, was pretty mild so I decided to top them with quick stove top compote made of dried cranberries. The sweet tartness of the cranberries complemented the buttery-banana flavor well.
On an entirely different note, I would like to thank Shannon at Just as Delish for passing along the Versatile Blogger Award! To see the bloggers I passed along the award to and my seven facts, click here. Thanks again, Shannon!!!
Banana Biscuits with Cranberry Compote:
*Adapted from Sweet Potato Biscuits at epicurious.com
2 Ripe bananas, smashed
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
1 tablespoon (packed) dark brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of ground nutmeg
8 tablespoons (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, plus 2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup chilled milk
1 cup dried cranberries
Zest of one lemon
1 tablespoon sugar
To make the biscuits: Preheat to 425°F. Butter a muffin tin pan.
Whisk flour and next 5 ingredients in large bowl. Add cubed butter to flour mixture; toss to coat and rub in with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Whisk 3/4 cup mashed bananas and milk in medium bowl. Add to flour mixture; toss with fork. Divide evenly among muffin tins. Bake 10-15 minutes, or until tops are browned, and a toothpick can be inserted and come out clean. Cool on a wire rack
While the biscuits bake, prepare the compote: Place cranberries, zest, and sugar in a small pot. Cover with water. Boil until water reduces, berries plump and burst, about 15 minutes. With a wooden spoon, mash the rest of the berries to make thick compote.
To serve: Split slightly warm biscuits and spoon compote on top
Filed under: Breakfast, Dessert | Tags: Dorie Greenspan, French Friday's with Dorie, Madeleines
I debated making this week’s FFwD recipe just because I knew we were going to be eating cake all weekend on account of my husband’s birthday. However, I already felt like a Dorie slacker because I didn’t make last Friday’s Cinnamon-Crunch Chicken. I looked for the cinnamon cookies she used to “crunchify” the chicken for two weeks and was unable to find them. I thought about ordering them off of Amazon.com, but I knew they wouldn’t arrive in time.
So needless to say, I decided that I couldn’t let another Friday go by without participating; I am new to the club, after all. I am so glad that I made these tasty little cakes. Dorie says that the cakes are best if you allow the batter to rest several hours to overnight, which was perfect. I made the batter yesterday evening, and then I got up early this morning to bake them off. My family woke up to the smells of cinnamon and orange and had a warm treat waiting for breakfast.
I’ve never eaten, let alone made Madeleines before and I was pleasantly surprised by these. I thought the orange and spice was very nice. These would be perfect if you have overnight guests over the holidays. The only slight change I made to Dorie’s recipe was to half the amount of butter and use applesauce to replace it.
This, like most of Dorie’s recipes, is a great jumping off point. While I will definitely be making this one again, I can’t wait to tweak it with some other flavor combinations.
*As per the rules of French Friday’s with Dorie, members only post pictures, not recipes. If you would like the recipe, you can buy the book, Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan. If cooking your way through Dorie’s book sounds like fun, you, too can join French Friday’s with Dorie by clicking here.
Recently I found out about a grocery service that delivers. Great, sometimes going to the store with two kids in tow is not fun (wait, did I say sometimes, I really meant every time) so having my groceries brought right to my door seems like a win-win. I can shop at my leisure, and I don’t have to deal with two preschoolers begging for treats, candies, and coins while I would like to quietly peruse isles. The service seemed to work well, the only catch was all fresh produce and meat can only be ordered by the kilogram.
Well I wanted some bananas, but almost 2 pounds is way more than we could eat before they went bad. Oh, and not to mention, someone (who shall remain nameless) has a little problem going number two after eating bananas. Sorry, is mentioning bodily functions T.M.I. on a food blog? Well if you have kids, you know that this is a topic that is regularly discussed. Yay for poop!
Anyway, I thought banana bread would be a great way to use up some of the extras, but I wanted to add a little twist. Nutella. I was very pleased with the way these came out, especially since I heavily tweaked the recipe. The banana flavor was present, but not over powering, it was slightly sweet, and the nutella added a nice flavor as well. My husband said he didn’t really care for it, but asked for a few slices in his lunch the next day to go with his coffee (faker!) The kids, on the other hand, loved it. I could barely shoot the bread before “M” was trying to eat a piece of “cake.”
Banana and Nutella Bread
*adapted from peanut butter-banana muffins at epicurious.com
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium)
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup nutella
2 large eggs
1/3 cup applesauce
1/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease 4 small loaf pans, or 12 muffin cups. Stir first 4 ingredients in small bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat bananas, honey, nutella, eggs, applesauce, sugar and vanilla in medium bowl to blend. Beat in flour mixture. Divide batter among muffin cups or loaf pans.
Bake bread until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 20 minutes for muffins, 35 for loaves. Transfer muffins or loaves to rack; cool.
A while ago my mom told me about a breakfast casserole she made and she finally sent me the recipe (HI MOM.) It’s really more of a method than a recipe, as you can put whatever you have on hand in these “muffins.” I had planned to make one large casserole in my new spring form pan. I thought I could pop it right out and slice it up. I would serve some as” breakfast for dinner” that night and freeze the rest for a quick breakfast during the week. Well, I’ve never had a spring form pan before and I didn’t know that it wasn’t sealed. I arranged my filling neatly. First a layer of potatoes, then the sausage, then the cheese. I was smiling thinking how nice each layer would look when I sliced this bad boy up. Oh, but then….I poured the egg mixture over the potatoes and sausage. I turned around to open the oven door and heard dripping. I turned back around to see a huge puddle of the egg mixture all over the counter top and dripping to the floor. Sadly, I mixed up more eggs and milk and spooned the pretty potato, sausage and cheese into muffin cups.
However, the smile returned to my face when I pulled these little “muffins” out of the oven some time later. They smelled wonderful, the eggs had puffed up around the filling and the cheese on top was golden brown and crunchy. While they weren’t as pretty as my original vision, they were delicious.
Sausage, Egg and Potato “Muffins”
3 large potatoes, scrubbed and cubed
2 red onions diced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon rosemary
2 cups Hillshire Farm Lite Sausage, diced
3 tablespoons green onion, diced
2 cups shredded cheese (I used half pepper jack, half cheddar), plus extra for topping
1 cup milk
Salt/pepper to taste
Toss the potatoes and red onions with oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary. Roast in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes, or just until the potatoes are tender and the onions caramelize (this can be done up to 2 days ahead of time, cooled and refrigerated.)
Sauté sausage over medium-high heat until crisp and edges start to brown. Set aside and cool. Once the sausage is cooled, toss with the green onion.
To assemble the muffins: Divide potatoes, sausage, and cheese among 12 greased muffin cups. Pour the egg mixture 2/3 of the way up each cup. Sprinkle cheese on top of the muffins.
Bake “muffins” at 350 degrees for 35 minutes, or until the eggs are set and the cheese on top starts to brown.
These can be served warm or at room temperature.
*Extras can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 1 month. To reheat, bake them on 400 for 20 minutes until warmed through.