Category: Morning Beginnings

Banana Bread

I had this banana bread at a restaurant in Los Angeles, I was lucky enough to get the recipe, but when I got to my kitchen, it was a little hard for the home cook to follow. My version is a little simpler and a little yummier.

It works best if you can measure your ingredients, but I put the conventional measurements after the ingredient.

Banana Bread
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Banana Bread
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Instructions
  1. Preheat a convection to 325°. If you don't have convection use 350°. Grease a 9X13 pan with butter or non-stick spray.
  2. In the bowl of a stand-up mixer whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking soda and baking powder. In a separate medium bowl combine bananas, butter, eggs, vanilla and buttermilk. Whisk until smooth, some lumps are okay, do not over mix. Immediately before you bake, add banana mixture to dry ingredients. Pour into prepared pan and put directly into ready oven.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes. check with toothpick. It should be almost clean. Bake for an additional 5 minutes and the toothpick should be clean. Remove from oven and cool in pan for 10 minutes. You can cut and serve warm or at room temperature.
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Nut Free Granola

One of my daughters is allergic (sensitive) to nuts. It’s not anaphylactic but she does get bad skin rashes. She loves granola as a snack, so I set out to create a nut free granola that she would enjoy.

It wasn’t so easy because not everyone in my family likes chia seeds or flax. A lot of recipes called for wheat germ which was met with a resounding “NO”!. So needless to say I just started experimenting.

I started every batch with old fashioned oats. I knew my family likes those. Then I started adding seeds. Which seeds would fit universally at any meal, and would we all like them? From there I added chocolate chips but they didn’t taste like the right fit so I switched to cacao nibs. Then I wanted to sweeten it. I din’t want to use sugar and honey was too sweet for us. I ended up with Pure Maple Syrup. It is set but has just the right bite of bitter. Finally, I wanted some chew, so I started adding dried fruits. A little salt elevated the flavor and I used olive oil to pull it all together.

The recipe is below, but here are a few notes:

You can use coconut oil instead of olive oil, if you prefer. The dried fruit is completely up to you but I used apricots, , dried blueberries, cranberries. Next time I will try cherries to.

For seeds I used sunflower, pepitas (pumpkin), sesame and hemp hearts. You can use any combination. And you can use nuts if you like.  In my second batch I used coconut flakes. It definitely a personal choice.

To see some tutorials of other recipes, subscribe to my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPPyv_hHuBwjDyhMSBoGVkg?view_as=subscriber

As always please follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/whiskinthesouthern/

I love and read all your comments and suggestions so please send them. Enjoy the granola!

Nut Free Granola

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Nut Free Granola

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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°
    Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. In a large bowl stir together the oats, seeds, and cacao nibs. Toss in oil and syrup.
    Add a nice sprinkle of kosher salt and turn out onto prepared baking sheet.
    Smooth out to a single layer and bake for 20-30 minutes. rotate half way through and stir.

  3. When seed mixture comes out of oven, pour into same bowl and let cool a few minutes.

    Add dried fruit and toss well. Pour back onto baking sheet and let cool completely.

  4. You can store this in mason jars or other airtight container for 2 weeks in the pantry. You can also freeze for up to 3 months.
    This makes a great gift!

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New Year Biscuits!

So here we are the beginning of January 2020! As I think about resolutions, I’m trying tone way more mindful and intentional (which just happens to be my word for the year). So one of my resolutions is to eat breakfast more often. That also includes having quick and easy breakfast available for me and my family to grab.

The first thing I made in this new year is biscuits. Yes, I know they may not qualify as a healthy breakfast but I also believe that anything made at home with quality ingredients better than anything processed outside my kitchen. If combined with a healthy protein and some fruit or veggies, a biscuit breakfast can take you all the way to lunch, without temptation.

I started with my Great-Grandmother’s Biscuit recipe. It laid out most of the ingredients and these instructions:

“Work in enough flour to work out. Cut. Bake”

By the way flour was not listed as an ingredient. I was able to cull together some instructions and made some beautiful biscuits. I have given you a few more instructions. Enjoy!

Please go to Instagram and follow me: @whiskinthesouthern

New Year Biscuits!
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New Year Biscuits!
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  1. Preheat oven to 475° In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder. Grate butter, into flour mixture, on large hole side of grater box. Work in with hands. You want a coarse meal feel. Put butter/flour mixture in freezer for a few minutes, here. You want everything to be cold when you start to work it.
  2. Take bowl out of freezer and make a well in middle. Pour buttermilk into well and start to mix together with a wooden spoon or your hands. The dough will be sticky. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, gently, 15 times. Add more flour if you need and start to roll out dough to 1/2" thick. Then fold in half and repeat, 5 times. This step is important because you are forming layers.
  3. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper. Once dough is ready to cut, use a biscuit cutter and cut straight down. Do not twist when making biscuits. Twisting forms a seal and prevent steam which prevents lots of layers of flaky goodness. Place biscuits on parchment paper about 2 inches apart.
  4. Bake at 475° for 15 minutes. Watch your biscuits. Every oven is different and you want a nice golden brown biscuit. When biscuits come out of oven brush tops with melted butter, immediately. Let cool for just 5 minutes before serving warm biscuits.
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Cookies for Breakfast (or Bars)

We just came through Thanksgiving and I know I am FULL! I’m really trying hard to not gain weight this year, through the holidays.

I love the idea of grabbing a granola bar or something quick, in the morning. The problem is that a lot of the commercial bars you can get at the grocery store are really high in calories, fat or sugar. I made this recipe the first time and it was too dry to “slice and bake”, as I wanted.  I pressed it into a sheet pan and made it into bars.  They were good, maybe a little dry but good. I added a 1/2 cup of applesauce and got the moisture I was looking for. This made a perfect cookie.

I hope you enjoy this quick breakfast recipe and don’t gain any weight during the holidays!

Cookies for Breakfast (or Bars)

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Cookies for Breakfast (or Bars)

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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325°.

    Beat Butter, honey and salt until creamy.

    Add flour, baking soda and vanilla and beat until blended. Add applesauce until just combined.

  2. Fold in dried fruit and nuts. I used apricots and walnuts but you can choose your own combination. How about cherries and almonds? Go tropical with dried pineapple and macadamia nuts.

  3. Shape dough into a log. I like a bigger cookie, so a larger roll is better.
    Wrap in plastic wrap and store in refrigerator for at least 8 hours. Slice 1/2" cookies and bake on silpat or parchment paper, lined cookie sheet.
    Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

  4. You can also make these into bars, follow all the same directions, but press dough into a 9X13 pan or 1/4 sheet pan, lined with parchment paper. Bake until golden brown. It shouldn't take more than the same 20 minutes. Cool and then cut into 12 - 14 bars.

  5. Stir together sugar and juice until desired glaze consistency. Drizzle over cookies or bars when completely cooled.

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