Poached Eggs with Creamy Brussels Sprouts and Bacon

Recipe here.

This was quite yummy, kind of like a hybrid between our favorite Brussels sprouts and Eggs Benedict. The only thing is that it wasn’t quite as tasty as either one is. And, as my 14-year son so accurately pointed out, “Don’t take this the wrong way, Mom, but, even though this tastes really good, it kinda looks like barf.” Can’t really argue with that. And the way that I made it looked exactly like the picture accompanying the recipe, so I can’t really claim cook error for the unattractive nature of the dish. It was tasty, though. Enjoyed it once, probably won’t make it again.

Blueberry-Banana Pancakes

Recipe here.

These were absolutely fantastic.  Seriously; you MUST try these.  You can’t have more than about three on the griddle at any one time, just because the bananas have to be pressed into the batter fairly quickly after getting the batter down and you have to move fast, but they’re wonderful.  They’re a little more labor-intensive than your average pancake recipe, but well worth it.  The tart blueberries are the perfect foil for the banana, which gets even sweeter as it cooks.

I didn’t want to have to worry about cutting the banana to fit the pancake and what to do with the leftover banana stumps, so I just made the pancakes large enough to accommodate a quarter of a banana each (the same length as half a banana, just split lengthwise, as well.)

Pumpkin Walnut Cranberry Quickbread

Recipe here.

This was a fantastic recipe.  It makes two loaves, so we nibbled on one for a couple of days and then sliced and froze the other, so that we could pull it out, as needed.  I wrapped the frozen slices individually, so that they kids could pull them out and take them to school (they thaw by snacktime.)

I used pecans, instead, because we prefer them to walnuts.

I’ll definitely be making this again.

Giada’s Almond Pancakes

Recipe here.

Made these for Boy’s birthday breakfast.  Pray for me; I officially have two teenagers in the house!

These were absolutely delicious.  They are considerably sweeter than most pancakes recipes (many recipes don’t even contain any sugar,) and so, consequently needed MUCH less syrup over the top of them, but the almond flavor was outstanding and we will DEFINITELY be making these again.

Wondering what to do with the remaining mascarpone (mine came in an 8 oz container) and the remaining almond paste (ditto – 8 oz container?)  You can freeze them both (chop/crumble the almond paste first) for a future batch…or you can buy some puff pastry and sliced almonds and make these.  You’ll have just enough almond paste.  Then, the other 4 ounces of mascarpone?  Try this!

Almond Croissants

Like my Wizard of Oz coffee mug?  Yeah, we got a little obsessed around here for a while, but it has, blessedly, passed…

OK, so if you dig the flavor of almonds, you really owe it to yourself to make these right away.  I’ve made them a couple of times over the past few weeks and they are really something special, especially when they’re hot out of the oven.

Almond Croissant Turnovers

(recipe adapted from this one)

1/2 package frozen puff pastry

1/4 cup canned almond paste

1 egg, beaten

1/4 cup sliced almonds

Thaw the puff pastry (you’ll use only one of the sheets in the package…wrap the other one tightly in plastic wrap and keep it in the freezer) at room temperature, wrapped in waxed paper or plastic wrap, for about 45 minutes, until it’s soft enough to handle without it breaking.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Carefully unfold the sheet and lay it out flat on a lightly floured work surface.  Using a pastry cutter or pizza cutter, cut the sheet into four equal-sized squares.  Gently spread one tablespoonful of almond paste onto each square, stopping about a half-inch away from the edges of each square.

Starting at one corner, gently fold each pastry square over, diagonally, to form a triangle over the filling.  Beginning on the folded side, gently press any excess air out of the dough and then press the edges of the triangle to seal it, using a minimal amount of the egg (applied with a pastry brush) as glue, if necessary.  Repeat with each pastry square and then place all of the filled and sealed croissants on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Brush each croissant with a thin but thorough (cover the whole surface, but don’t douse it and try not to apply so much that it bleeds over onto the parchment paper) coat of the beaten egg.  Sprinkle each croissant with a coating of the sliced almonds (as many or as few as you’d like…a small clump or coat the whole thing…your choice) and bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or until the croissants are golden brown and the almonds on top are toasted.

Let cool for about 1 minute while you brew your coffee,  and then enjoy.

Nota Bene:  I only use half the package of puff pastry, because there are four of us in my family, but you could obviously very easily double this recipe, by using the whole package, to make 8 croissants…or as many as you might need, if you’re serving a crowd.  I haven’t tried it yet, but I also think it would be fun to cut each sheet into 16 tiny squares and make mini croissants…stay tuned!

Dorie Greenspan’s Lemony Sour Cream Muffins

Recipe here.

These muffins were absolutely fantastic.  The melted butter gives a rich flavor and helps develop a delicious, crusty muffin top.  These will be a definite repeat.  Yum.

The recipe doesn’t specify, but this makes 12 muffins.

We served the muffins with a strawberry-banana-black grape fruit salad and some scrambled (mostly) egg whites.  When I make a recipe (such as custard or spinach-ricotta tortelli) that uses a lot of egg yolks, I’ll save the whites and either make meringues or macarons or just use them for scrambled eggs the next morning, for a slightly lower-cholesterol option.   I’ll usually add one or two whole eggs, also, for better flavor.   A good blend, to ensure palatability, is about 5 egg whites and 2 whole eggs (with some McCormick low sodium Montreal Steak seasoning – YUM!) to serve my family of 4.