Honey Granola with Cranberries and Figs

I was never one to eat just yogurt. Yogurt itself just seemed weird to me. Don’t get me wrong–I was happy to cook with it or churn up a batch of frozen yogurt, but just eat it straight? Well, Stephanie showed me what I was missing all this time: a good granola recipe.

A good, tangy, sticky-with-honey, nutty, granola that chews back when you crunch into it was that special something I needed to turn me on to yogurt. Or to just eating fistfuls of granola for that matter. Its stupid easy to make, way better than the myriad of choices you can grab at the grocery store (for an arm and a leg), and a fantastic way to start your day (or just to snack on). I like to work a little bit of dried fruit in there, but the nice thing about granola: it is very forgiving and very open to experimentation. For… click to read more…

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Strawberry Jam

Long-time followers of this blog know, my love of strawberries is no secret. So when strawberry season rolls around here in North Carolina, I over-indulge big time (I even finally dug up 40 sq ft for a strawberry garden in the backyard). So what to do when even I find I can’t consume these plentiful strawberries quickly enough? Prepare for the dark days ahead and preserve them by making strawberry jam! Its pretty hard to beat the flavor of good, home-made jam, and if you’ve never made your own, its incredibly easy.

yields approximately 6 (8 oz) half pint glass preserving jars

  • 3 and 1/3 pints strawberries (about 2.5 lbs)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 box pectin
  • 3.5 cups granulated sugar

As with all home preserve-making endeavors, be sure to follow safe canning practices. That means a few things:

  • Wash the jar(s) in warm soapy water and then submerge in boiling water until you’re

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Blackberry Glazed Doughnuts

For the better part of my life, I had never really considered how simple and straightforward it would be to make doughnuts at home. Until making paczkis, I had come to accept that the likes of Dunkin Donuts were as good as it got. Oh how wrong I was.

Not only can you indulge for breakfast–you should. Saying its like having deep-fried cake for breakfast might make it sound like a not-so-healthy idea, but everyone should enjoy a good doughnut now and then…and this is a good doughnut. Tender inside, crisp and golden on the outside–just what a good doughnut should be.

I was largely by this recipe for cake doughnuts. This recipe is a solid base recipe to play around with flavor-wise. I went with a light touch of spice (cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla) and a sweet, tangy, purply blackberry glaze. I’ve also played with a coating of cinnamon-sugar, a dusting of powdered sugar,… click to read more…

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Chilaquiles

If I had to pick a favorite class of food as of late, I’d have to go with Mexican.
The flavors are always big, bold, and exciting, the food looks rustic and mouth-wateringly good, and it never fails to hit the spot. So you might discount me some given my predisposition when I say that this dish is absolutely incredible comfort food: chilaquiles.

So what are chilaquiles? They’re like nachos but far more awesome and actually authentic rather than some over-priced pub appetizer. I think the best way to describe it is a casserole of stale/fried corn tortillas, a sauce of your choosing (red, verde, molé–whatever), and a whole bunch of whatever else you have handy (chicken, eggs, avocado, radish, cheese, crema, etc). This dish is meant to be relatively simple to prepare, a great way to make the most of leftovers/random odds and ends, and most of all, is said to be great hangover food. Chilaquiles… click to read more…

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Brioche French Toast with Strawberry Compote

After having made sticky buns recenly, I found myself with brioche dough handy. I’ve finally come to terms with a fundamental part of the breakfast food pyramid missing from my repetoire of go-to day-starters: the morning-time cousin of bread pudding, yes, French Toast.

Brioche French Toast with Strawberry Compote

French Toast, like many “common” breakfast items, might seem less than exciting to many given how many sad, sorry versions are so readily available out there. This is meant to change that in a big way. Heck, this borders on dessert given how incredibly rich this is.

The secret here is simple: the key behind a good French toast is good bread. For this, I baked a loaf of brioche–a dense, rich, buttery bread that is delicious in it’s own right (which is why I had to eat some just with a dab of jam). You want a bread that can absorb a respectable amount of custard, has… click to read more…

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Honey Pecan Sticky Buns

Sticky buns are an odd thing for me. Are they breakfast or dessert? I could swing either way and be happy. I remember eating them as a treat after dinner when I was younger or as an on-the-go breakfast when heading out on a boat in the wee hours of the morning. Granted, I’ve always said that some of the best breakfasts are essentially desserts, so I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised.

Honey Pecan Sticky Buns

The core behind any sticky bun recipe is simple: awesome, sweet, sticky buns. The variety then comes in two fashions: how to make the dough and what to dress the buns up with (e.g. glaze, cream cheese frosting, nuts, etc). In making these, I chose to follow the sage approach from one of my favorite baking-oriented books: Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. The buns themselves are made of brioche, a dense, rich,… click to read more…

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