Monday Dig + Almond Poppy Seed Pancakes

Ah, yes, Saturday mornings with no work! I especially love Saturday mornings and cooking up a special, yummy breakfast. When I set my alarm for the mornings during the week, I usually think I am leaving myself enough time for at least 10 minutes to sit down and enjoy breakfast. Not. No matter how much time I leave, I seem to be running out the door with my breakfast in hand. That brings me to this week’s “Monday Dig”…

Ever since my husband’s aunt gave us honey and I made these awesome energy bites, honey has been sitting on my counter whispering softly, “You want toast.” Who doesn’t love a good piece of buttered toast? My favorite toast has always been restaurant toast–especially those crazy Greek’s and their family restaurant toast. Don’t worry, I’m Greek, so I can call them crazy. But lately, I think my own buttered toast drizzled with honey might be my new favorite kind of toast.

Heaven Sent Peanut Butter

 

This bread happens to be from the Great Harvest Bakery down the road. I LOVE their bread. The one pictured is their High Fiber 5 bread. I love all the nuts and seeds in this bread! So tasty.

Although I’m digging this honey toast regularly, my husband and I were totally digging these Almond Poppy Seed Pancakes for breakfast on Saturday.

Heaven Sent Peanut Butter: Almond Poppy Seed Pancakes

 

My husband actually made these for me once before one Saturday morning but I had had a long week so he snuck out of bed to let me sleep and made me these wonderful pancakes. They were wonderful…buuuuut missing one key part–the almond syrup that goes along with the recipe. On the original recipe he forgot to scroll down far enough to see that there was more to the pancakes. Oh well, they turned out great that day with regular syrup. But if you are going to indulge in these, I suggest making the almond syrup because it makes them that much better!

Go ahead. Indulge a little this next Saturday or Sunday morning. It’s allowed every once in a while.

Heaven Sent Peanut Butter: Almond Poppy Seed Pancakes

 

Almond Poppy Seed Pancakes 

Recipe Adapted from: Cooking Classy

Pancakes:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup 100% white whole wheat flour, or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 cup poppy seeds
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, or vanilla extract

Almond Syrup

  • 1/4 cup salted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

Pancakes

Preheat your griddle to 325 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, milk, sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, almond extract, and vanilla extract for one minute. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture and stir until just combined. The batter will be slightly lumpy.

Using a 1/4 cup, pour the batter onto the preheated griddle. Flip the pancake when golden on the bottom (bubbles won’t necessarily appear as they do in this pancake recipe). Cook the opposite side until golden. Serve warm drizzled with the almond syrup. Garnish with toasted sliced almonds or more poppy seeds, if you would like.

Almond Syrup

Melt the butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Whisk in the sugar, cream, and buttermilk. Cook the mixture until it begins to boil and the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and add the baking soda and almond extract, whisking for 10 seconds until the mixture is frothy and foaming.

Serve the pancakes warm with warm almond syrup. Enjoy!!

Heaven Sent Peanut Butter: Almond Poppy Seed Pancakes

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Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal

Raise your hand if you love peanut butter? Well, I hope your hand is raised for this one…Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal! Yuuuummmm!

I started making this recipe when I lived at my parent’s house. A couple years ago, there was 5 of us living there at the time. The first time I made this recipe I made it on a Sunday night to provide a yummy breakfast for the rest of the week. Rest of the week? Yeah, wishful thinking. I came down the stairs that Monday morning–the last one to leave the house (it was only 7:30 a.m.!)–and there was maybe, MAYBE, 2 portions left of the baked oatmeal! My family RIPPED through the oatmeal. Oatmeal! Okay. Breathe. Sorry for raising my voice a little. I’ll calm down now. I can be calm because it is just myself and the hubby in the house now. Okay, wait…hopefully he won’t eat it all before I get the chance. Yikes, I better get moving…

You should get moving too. You gotta get this baked oatmeal in the oven for breakfast or an afternoon snack. Heck, make it for dinner. It’s THAT good. (Sorry for raising my voice again.)

Heaven Sent Peanut Butter: Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal

Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

Mix all ingredients together and stir until well combined. Spread into a lightly greased 13×9 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Serve warm and with milk, if desired.

Enjoy!

Cold Brewed Iced Coffee…Simplified!

I don’t know about you, but I can’t drink hot coffee in the summer time. There is just something about it. It isn’t just that it is hot, but the flavor too. I just can’t do it. And even though I’m not an everyday kind of coffee drinker, maybe only 2-3 times per week, I still spend way too much money at the coffee shops getting an iced coffee or iced latte. It kills me to pull my wallet out like that. But when I have early 5 a.m. shifts at work when I worked the previous night until 9 p.m., coffee is needed.

Heaven Sent Peanut Butter: Cold Brewed Iced Coffee

Even though I have been pinning iced coffee recipes for a about a year, I never actually took the time to brew my own…until now. Cold brewing iced coffee is really easy, it just takes time in advance to make it. The coffee has to sit for about 12 hours and then you have to strain it. It really isn’t laborous, just a little time consuming. But if you are anything like me, it is worth the mulah in the end. Plus, you can add your own flavors to it. For me, it’s just plain old half & half. My husband prefers the Coffee Mate Natural Bliss creamer (no trans-fats). And if you love your coffee shop’s shots of a flavored syrup, you can brew this coffee on your own and purchase your own syrup pump from online. We’re talking about lots of savings here!

I recommend getting a good, quality coffee to brew your own. In the Milwaukee area here, my husband and I tend to by loyal to our local shops, like Alterra and Stone Creek Coffee. Stone Creek is our favorite and within walking distance of our place, but Alterra has a baked oatmeal to die for! If anyone has a recipe like that, let me know, I’ve been searching long and hard to find a recipe to match Alterra’s!

Heaven Sent Peanut Butter: Cold Brewed Iced Coffee

 

Cold Brewed Iced Coffee

Recipe Adapted from: Smitten Kitchen

Makes: 2 drinks

  • 2/3 cup medium-coarse ground coffee
  • 3 cups water
  • Coffee filters
  • Your favorite creamer or sugar

In a large bowl, measure your ground coffee. Add the 3 cups of water, ensuring all of the coffee grounds are soaked with water. Cover and allow the bowl to rest at room temperature overnight or for 12 hours.

Using your actual coffee maker, add a coffee filter. Pour in your coffee/water mixture to the coffee filter until almost full, allowing it filter down into your coffee pot. Let the mixture filter for a few minutes until nearly all filtered. Change your coffee filter. Add the last half of the coffee/water mixture to the new coffee filter allowing it to filter into the pot once again. It will take a few minutes to completely filter.

Refrigerate in your coffee pot or fancy pitcher until ready to drink. Add to a fancy mason jar or regular glass filled with ice. Add your favorite milk, creamer, or drink black. Enjoy!!

 

 

Make Your Own, “Egg McMuffins”

Boy, do I go through food phases. There was one point that I had Quaker’s maple brown sugar instant oatmeal with peanut butter and ground flaxseed for probably a year straight…every.day. It was until Quaker changed their original recipe to a lower sugar recipe that it all changed. I didn’t like the new flavor and stopped eating the oatmeal every morning. I know, I know, they have gone back to their original recipe. Still not the same. I haven’t had instant oatmeal for maybe a few months now. Doesn’t do anything for my tastebuds at the time being. I can’t say that I won’t ever get in that food phase again, because it could very well happen.

Even though I go through many food phases…or dietetically speaking, I have “food jags” where I pretty much will only eat one food…I also go through food droughts, especially for breakfast. Lately I have been struggling to find a healthy breakfast that satisfies both my tastebuds and keeps me full. I decided to try these “Egg McMuffins” inspired by The Yummy Life. I decided to try them mostly for my husband who loves his McDonald’s Egg McMuffins but probably can only count the number of these sandwiches he’s had since we’ve been together on one hand–or so I think! The reason I say I tried them for him is because I hate eggs. Can’t stand the smell, can’t stand the taste. I’ve never liked them. But a traumatic experience last year with hospital scrambled eggs has left me scared for life. I don’t intend on trying them again anytime soon. Don’t push me.

Even though I can’t stand the smell of eggs, I still attempt to make them for my husband. Now tuna, that’s never happening. Don’t worry, he knew it from the start. Sorry, cutie…

Anyway, I decided to make some with eggs for him, and some without for myself. They turned out pretty great! Feel free to add your own variations. Different cheeses, meats, spices/herbs, etc. Here’s the standard recipe you can make on Sunday and have an on-the-go breakfast throughout the week.

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“Egg McMuffins”

Adapted from: The Yummy Life

  • 6 large eggs
  • 6 100% whole wheat english muffins
  • 6 slices canadian bacon or 6 coked turkey sausage patties
  • 6 slices reduced-fat, sliced cheddar cheese
  • Ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using a lightly greased jumbo muffin pan, or 6 ramekins, add the eggs one by one. Once in the pan, using a knife or fork, break the yolk of the egg so it slightly spread among the egg white. Add a dash of ground black pepper to each egg.

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Bake the eggs for 10-15 minutes, until the egg is set and there is very little wiggle. Let the eggs cool completely.

Once the eggs are cooled, assemble the sandwiches by slicing the english muffin in half. Add a slice of cheese to each muffin, folding the corners of the cheese to make sure little cheese hangs over the edge. Add the cooked (cooled) meat and place the cooled egg on top. Lastly, wrap each sandwich in parchment paper or wax paper, place in a freezer bag, and freeze.

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To Reheat: If thawed, microwave 35-45 seconds on high power. If frozen, microwave for 3 minutes on 50% power, rotating the sandwich every 30 seconds.

Enjoy your healthy “Egg McMuffin”!

Breakfast for Dinner

I have the most amazing mom in the whole world. I mean it. Throughout my school days, my mom made us a H-O-T breakfast every morning! Yes, a hot breakfast before the kids, Dad, and Mom headed out the door for the day to start. French toast. Pancakes. Muffins. You name it. But Friday’s were always cinnamon roll Friday. I distinctly remember walking down the stairs with our meals neatly placed in our specific seats on the kitchen counter. Yep, we were that spoiled. I hope to some day be able to take after my mom to do this for my kids. Breakfast is important! If you aren’t eating breakfast every day, stay tuned for a nutrition lesson on the benefits of eating breakfast in a few days!

I also take after my mom for many things. One being some of our dislikes and likes of foods. I was never a little girl who dreamed about her wedding, until my now husband came around–I was a tomboy at its finest. But one thing my mother and I shared was our love for cheesecake. My mom and I talked about cheesecake as my wedding cake since I was a kid. It took a little convincing for my husband to agree (he is crazy about cake!), but our wedding cake was amazing with a cheesecake center! Marble cake, chocolate buttercream, cheesecake, chocolate buttercream, marble cake, and all covered by buttercream frosting. Yeah, I know. We ate the “anniversary cake” that is supposed to be frozen until your first anniversary within a week after getting back from our honeymoon.

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Anyway, I also take after my mom in our dislike for fish and eggs. Yeah, I know. Those are two huge food groups. You are asking yourself: No Greek omelets? No healthy salmon? No scrambled eggs or egg whites? Nope. So unfortunately, you won’t see any recipes of that sort on this blog. My apologies.

But do you like pancakes? Yeah, me too. You will find those types of recipes here. Good thing.

Last night I decided to make a quick easy dinner since it was just me. If you are looking for a quick easy dinner or a weekend morning breakfast, try out these Oatmeal Pancakes! Add a side of scrambled eggs for some lean protein at your own discretion.

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Oatmeal Pancakes

Serves: 2-3

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 egg

Place all ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth.

If you don’t have a big enough food processor, like me, mix all ingredients together in a bowl and mix until decently combined. The batter will still be lumpy. Add half of the batter into the food processor at a time and puree until smooth. Place the pureed batter into a separate dish, or a liquid measuring cup that will make it easy to pour on to the griddle. Puree the last half of the batter and place into the measuring cup.

Heat your griddle to 325 degrees (oil, if needed) or a lightly oiled frying pan over medium high heat. Pour the batter to desired size, but still small enough to flip easily! Flip when bubbles form throughout the pancake, like so:

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Flip and brown the opposite side. Serve hot and enjoy with desired toppings! Yum!

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