Category Archives: Breakfast

Homemade Granola

It’s Saturday morning and I love to pour myself a cup of coffee and browse through my cookbooks and magazines for a new recipe.

I’d seen a recipe in one of my Bon Appétit magazines for granola by Molly Wizenburg. Molly writes for the magazine, and also has a blog called Orangette.  She always has earthy, wonderful recipes that I love, so after scanning the ingredient list, I realized I had everything I needed in my pantry, and set about making this granola.

I started out by roughly chopping up some walnuts.  Molly’s recipe calls for pecans, but I’m partial to walnuts and this is the beauty of granola.  You can switch it up and play around for a recipe that’s perfect for your taste.  Swap out the honey for some maple syrup for a new flavor.  Add whatever makes you smile.

Measure three cups of oats into a large mixing bowl.  I used quick cooking oats, as I didn’t have any old fashioned in the house, which worked just fine, but next time, I’ll use the whole  oats.  I think steel-cut would be amazing as well.  Add in three tablespoons of brown sugar.  Also add in one teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger and a heaping 1/4 teaspoon of salt.

Stir this all up with a large spoon, taking care to get the spices mixed all into the oats and nuts.

In a small saucepan, add in two tablespoons of canola oil and 1/3 cup of honey.  Warm this over low heat on the stove until it’s nice and thin and the honey has melted a bit.  Whisk it together.

When the honey mixture is nice and warm and thin, drizzle it right over your oat mixture and then taking your spoon, mix it all up again.  Your oats will get moist and darken a bit from the honey.

Spread this onto a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment or a Silpat mat.

Take your large spoon and really spread it into an even layer.

Pop this into a 300º oven for 40 minutes.  Set a time for 10 minutes.  Take your pan out and give it a stir.

Continue to do this two more times.  Each time your oat mixture will be a little toastier looking.  That’s where the flavor lies my friends.

Just before the last 10 minute bake, Stir in one cup of your dried fruit of choice.  I used cranberries.  I love their tartness.

Stir everything up one last time and bake for the last 10 minutes.

You’re supposed to let this cool before you eat it, but I love it warm.

I like it with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt on top.  You could also make it without the dried fruit and serve it with vanilla yogurt and berries.  Yum!

Kayla and her roommate Brettley  are coming home tomorrow from India.  Brettley’s parents are driving here from Iowa and then staying over Sunday night, and I thought this would be a nice healthy breakfast treat to have Monday morning.

I hope there’s some left by then.

Katie’s Printable Recipe – Homemade Granola


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Skillet Breakfast Hash – A One Pot Wonder

A cast iron skillet.

My mom gave me this skillet, and I’m reluctant to post this recipe because I’m afraid she’ll ask for it back.

Mom, are you reading?

If so, you’re not getting it back!  Mr. Wonderful won’t let you have it after this morning’s breakfast!

Skillet Breakfast Hash.

Start by pouring 2 tablespoons of oil into a skillet.  If you have cast iron, I highly recommend it for this recipe…it just does something wonderful to the potatoes.

Turn your burner on high and get it really hot.  The key to these crispy potatoes is cutting them small and putting them in a smoking hot pan.  Don’t worry about peeling your potatoes.  There’s no need.

Unless you just truly hate crispy skinned potatoes.  In that case, I might ask you…


Okay, chop up 4-5 medium size russet potatoes into small cubes – and by small I mean 1/4 inch cubes.  Toss them into your skillet and don’t stir for about 2 minutes at all.  You want the bottoms of the cubes to brown nicely before turning them.

See the browness? That’s what you’re looking for.  Now stir them a bit and let them set again for another 2 minutes.  Then dump in one-half of a medium size onion, chopped fine.  Chop the onion pieces roughly about the same size as the potato chunks.  If at any point, you think you need more oil, add another tablespoon or two.

Stir these into the mix and let them cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Now, toss in one cup of chopped ham. I love the little pre-chopped packages at the grocery store, and always have some in the freezer.  But if you have leftover ham from Thanksgiving, this would be a wonderful way to use it up!  Again, make them small chunks.

Taking pictures with steam coming out of the pan is always a challenge.

Stir the ham in and mix everything up real well.  Allow the ham to brown up a bit, about another 2-3 minutes.

Then take a spoon and make 4 indentions into your hash, all the way to the bottom of the pan.  Make your indentions a couple inches in diameter.

Crack an egg into each hole you just made.

Sprinkle some salt and pepper over all and cover your pan with a lid, preferably a glass one so you can watch what’s going on.

The skillet is going to crisp up the bottom of the eggs, and the steam from the lid being on is going to cook the tops of the eggs.  Watch for the desired doneness you like in eggs.  It took ours about 4-5 minutes.

And just look at this.

Mr. Wonderful wandered into the kitchen at this point and his eyes lit up, and his smile got broad, and he kissed me and fell down on the tile and worshipped me.

Well, not really on the worship thing, but his eyes did light up.  I saw them.

We set the table and poured some apple cider and coffee and brought the skillet right to the table.

And it was a beautiful, beautiful thing.

A truly beautiful thing.

I’m thinking other things would be great in this also, maybe some chopped red or green pepper, or my favorite pepper of all time – the heavenly poblano.  What would you add?

Katie’s Printable Recipe – Skillet Breakfast Hash

Cooking with Love,


Skillet Breakfast Hash on Foodista


Filed under Breakfast

Eggs Benedict – Mr. Wonderful’s Favorite Breakfast


The first year we were married, Mr. Wonderful and I went to Vegas.  We stayed at the Stratosphere.  That’s the hotel you always see on the CSI lead-in that looks like a space-ship. And if you stay at the Stratosphere, be prepared to walk…or learn how to ride the bus-system, cuz it’s at one end of the strip.

Which is GINORMOUS.  And takes forever to walk.

And we were there in August, and walking with a feeling of a blow-dryer blowly hotly in our faces.  MAN, it was hot in Vegas in August!

Anyway, every morning, instead of venturing forth to discover new worlds of food in Vegas, the culinary adventure capital of the world, we ate at the buffet at our hotel.

Mostly because we were so stinkin’ tired of walking.

In the 115º heat.

And every day, Mr. Wonderful ate Eggs Benedict.  Seriously, we stayed for 6 or 7 days, which is WAY too long to stay in Vegas, and he ate them every single day.

I knew that, when we left, it was my moral responsibility to learn to make this dish for him.  Why, you say?

Because I love him to death, that’s why.  And just like the Lindt Truffles episode, what makes him happy, makes me happy.

So of course, I looked up recipes, but I had two problems.

#1 -Cooking anything with egg yolks is a pain in the patootie.  The whole “egg-curdling too soon” thing always scares me off, which is why I still have an eight-dollar set of real vanilla beans in my spice cupboard patiently awaiting the day I will sally forth and attempt Creme Brulee.

#2 -Poaching eggs – the one cooking skill I have never been able to master.

Lemon Curd? Check.

Thai Curry or Pad Thai?  Check.

Sushi?  No problem.   Check.

Korean Bulgogi?  Check.

Poaching Eggs?


So anyway, I searched, and I found the solution.  I’ll show you.

Start by making your Hollandaise Sauce.

Hollaindaise Sauce is scrumptious.  And it can make or break your Eggs Benedict.

I found the perfect way to make these.  In a blender.

No curdling eggs, much like my Fuss Free Lemon Curd.  Seriously, blenders are my salvation.

Take 3 eggs and separate the yolks from the whites.


Don’t cry if you bust a yolk. You should cry if you’re trying to make sunny side up fried eggs and you bust a yolk.  But here in the world of Hollandaise?

No worries.  You’re going to blend them up anyway.

Save the whites for a meringue or something.  Maybe you’ll go on a diet after  this meal and make an egg-white omelet or something?

Yeah right.

Dump your egg yolks into the blender.  Also add 2 teaspoons lemon juice.  We don’t like our Hollandaise Sauce too-lemony.  The original recipe I tried called for 2 tablespoons.  Wayyyyyyyy too lemony for us.

Also add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, just because, we live in Oklahoma and feel the need to add cayenne to everything.

And it just makes you feel kind of sassy.


Now, in a skillet, slowly and lowly melt one stick of butter.


Whir up your egg yolk mixture.  Then leaving the blender running on low, begin to drizzle in your melted butter.


The butter is going to do 2 things.  It’s going to emulsify, or thicken up your egg yolks into an amazing rich sauce.  It’s also going to cook your egg yolks from its heat.

Pour your wonderfully rich, creamy yellow sauce into a pitcher.


Now your sauce is done. The worst is over and it’s time to get serious.

It’s time to poach eggs.  Which I, the author of a cooking blog can’t do the way you’re supposed to.

I’ve lamented over it, torn my sackcloth, spread my ashes, and it’s just not happening. Sorry.

I will conquer it.  Just not this week.

Instead I have a egg poaching pan.  I think it weighted down my wallet a whole $3.00 at a kitchen shop.


Three dollars is nothing compared to peace of mind.

You just spray this lovely baby. Crack three eggs into it and place it into a medium-size skillet of steaming water.


Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

Or the white flecks on the surface of those eggs.  It’s just the cooking spray doing something weird.

Cover your pan and simmer for about 5 minutes tops.  I like my eggs yolks gooey, with all the whites firm.


Meanwhile in another pan, turn it on medium and toss in some pieces of canadian bacon, bacon or, as I did, prosciutto.


Just watch your meat until it browns.  Since I am a multi-tasker, I almost made it before I got a few black burnt flecks on the prosciutto.

I am hiring a sous-chef, effective immediatley.  Anyone interested?

Take a  couple slices of  wheat English muffins.  Pop em’ in your toaster.


By now, your eggs should be done, as should your meat and English muffins.

Wipe the sweat off your brow from the art of multi-tasking and assemble your masterpieces as follows:

One toasted English muffin.  You only need one side (top or bottom) for one serving.


Layer on one prosciutto slice.


Place one slice of your favorite cheese.  I used a sharp cheddar, cuz frankly? It was the only thing worthy in the fridge.  But whatever makes your heart sing is okay.


Place your beautifully easy-poached egg (cuz you cheated and can’t do the proper way) on top of the cheese.


Take the heavenly creamy-rich Hollandaise Sauce you made and drizzle it over the top.


And if you’re feeling a bit spunky and like-a-perfectionist who wants to make your husband remember an amazing week in Vegas, sprinkle some crumbled prosciutto and chopped parsley over top.


Because, you see, if he’s happy.

I’m happy.

That’s just the way it is.

Cooking with love,

Eggs Benedict on Foodista


Filed under Breakfast

Pumpkin Scones with Pumpkin Spice Icing

By Katie


Sunday morning I took these pumpkin scones to our marriage class.  My kids were not very happy with me.  You see, I let them taste them the night before.  They were most distressed to learn that was the only one they were getting.

I’m going to have to make these again real soon to bring peace back to my household.

I am not a big fan of hard scones.  I like ones that have more of a softer give.  More cake-like.  These fit the bill perfectly, and if you love the flavors of pumpkin pie?

You’re going to love these.

First for your dry ingredients. Dump the following into a mixing bowl. 2 cups of flour, 1/3 cup brown sugar, and 2 teaspoons baking powder.

Also add 1/2 teaspoon of the following:
Cloves,Cinnamon, Ground Ginger, Nutmeg,  and Salt

Picnik collage2

Mix up the dry ingredients real good with a whisk.

Now take 1/2 stick of very cold or frozen butter.  Sigh…of course I’m doubling this, so pay no attention to my incorrect pictures, as usual.  HEY! Adults eat a LOT of scones on Sunday morning!

Cut your butter  into thin slices.


With a pastry cutter or 2 sharp knives, begin to cut your butter into the dry mixture.  Do not let a pastry cutter intimidate you.  It’s actually quite therapeutic.


You should start to see your butter and flour mixture begin to form little chunks about the size of peas.

Grab a new medium-size bowl.  Scoop in  1/2 cup of canned pumpkin.  To this add 1/2 cup of heavy cream.  Whisk them smoothly together.


Now crack one egg into a bowl. Whisk it with a fork.  Mix it into your pumpkin/cream mixture.


Now you’re going to take your pumpkin mixture or wet ingredients and add them slowly, a little at a time into your dry mixture.  Not too much! Just until everything is mixed thoroughly.  I used my dough hook, but this dough is wet enough, you could probably use your paddle as well.


When you’re done, you’ll have a pretty stick wet dough so I’d recommend spraying your hands with baking spray to handle it.

There are a couple different ways to cut scones.  Either way you use, place  your shaped dough form into the freezer for about 15 minutes to ensure even cutting and firming the butter back to its coldest form.

First, the round method.  Plop your dough onto a lined baking sheet or pizza stone that’s been sprayed.  Mound the center higher than the outsides edges of the dough.


After chilling for 15 minutes, cut with a pizza cutter into 8 wedges.  You can make them thinner if you like.


Or you can make a rectangular shape on a regular baking sheet.  I would aim for 3 inches wide unless you want really large scones.


Take your pizza cutter and cut lines across the width of the dough.  Then cut those squares in half diagonally.


I tried both and really favored the rectangular piece for ease of cutting, but liked the shapes of the wedges from the round one better. Next time I would make the rectangular piece longer and thinner as the pieces were humongous.

Whichever way you choose, make sure you lift your pieces with a spatula and pull them apart so all the pieces can bake around all sides.


Put your pan into your oven on the center rack and bake for 15 minutes.  They should be just starting to brown and when you stick a fork or toothpick into the  the center of the largest one , it should come out  clean and not wet at all.

Remove from the oven to cool.

While they’re baking, make your frosting.

Sift a cup of powdered sugar into a bowl.


Add 1 tablespoon of your canned pumpkin.

Add 1/4 teaspoon of each:

cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ground ginger


I probably should have cleaned up that bowl before I took a picture, but we like to keep it real here in Reality Kitchen and those sifter thingies are hard to tame.

Begin to drizzle some more of your heavy cream into the powdered sugar mixture.  Whisk all the ingredients together until very smooth.  You’re looking for the consistency of molasses here.


Now, for those of you without a sweet tooth, you will be absolutely satisfied with a warm scone and a cup of tea.


But for those of you who want a little bit more…shall we say…SPECIAL?

Pour yourself a warm mug of cider or coffee and spread on the spiced frosting.


Lord have mercy…

Katie’s Printable Recipe- Pumpkin Scones with Pumpkin Spice Icing

Cooking with Love,

Pumpkin on Foodista
Pumpkin Scones on Foodista


Filed under Breakfast

Broccoli Garlic Pancetta Quiche


The other day, I began experimenting with actually using my Gourmet magazine instead of just chucking it into my Foodie Shrine Basket.

I made this yummy salad and to go alongside it – I made this quiche also.

The 2 together were fabulous!


Mr. Wonderful and I had an amazing Saturday lunch.

 This quiche begins by baking your crust.  If you’ve read my blog, you know at this point, I’m somewhat intimidated by pie crust.  IF you really want to make the crust that Gourmet uses, I am including it in the printable recipe.

Let’s just say I really didn’t feel like making it.  So I used my old faithful, and instead of putting it in one 9 inch pan, I put it in some ramekins for the 2 of us.  Either way, press the pie crust down into the pan(s), and go ahead and leave some of it hanging out -rustic style.  I love rustic food.  It looks so much more appealing to me than pretty, perfect food.



Poke the bottom of the crust with a fork all over so it won’t bubble when cooking.  Gourmet recommends putting foil inside and weighing it down with beans, but I found my method worked beautifully.

And I didn’t have to waste any beans…or foil.


Put your pie(s) on a lined baking sheet and bake until the crust turns golden brown – about 20-25 minutes.

While that’s baking, start a medium saucepan with water to boil on the stove.  Chop up a head of broccoli into florets.  That means, not much stem and just the flowery end of the broccoli.

Also grate 2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese, and peel 2 cloves of garlic.

broc cheese garlic

We need to make garlic paste.  If you love the flavor of garlic, but don’t like the crunch of biting into it, try making garlic paste.

Sprinkle some kosher salt on the garlic.


Take the flat part of a large chef’s knife and begin to smash the salt and garlic together using the edge of the knife.




Toss your broccoli florets in the boiling water for about 4 minutes.


After 4 minutes, drain and rinse them with cold water to stop the cooking action.

In a medium mixing bowl, crack 6 eggs.


Pour in one and one-half cups of half-and-half.


Add 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper and a pinch of salt.


Add in your garlic paste to the egg mixture.  Whisk it all up real good!


By now, your crusts will be done.


Ladle in your egg mixture, leaving room for broccoli and cheese to top them.


Carefully sprinkle a generous portion of your broccoli into the egg mixture. I chopped mine up a bit for the ramekins, but if you make the larger pie – no need.



Sprinkle on your cheddar cheese.

Grate some Pecorino Romano or Parmesan over the top.  Both have a nice salty bite that really finishes things off well.



Top with your crispy browned pancetta rounds.


Gourmet’s recipe didn’t call for pancetta, but I made 4 extra rounds when I made the salad, so I thought it’d be a great addition.

Pop these into a 375º oven on your lined baking sheet for 40-45 minutes.

Let cool 20 minutes (yeah right!).



Get out your fork.  Get your honey pie.  Sit down and have a Gourmet-fabulous meal that will make you smile


Katie’s Printable Recipe – Coming tomorrow~

Cooking with Love,


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Poppyseed Muffins

By katie


Every once in awhile, I like to post one of these super-easy, nothing-to- it recipes that even a beginner can handle with no problem.  This is one of those recipes. That way, my old high-school friend Lisa won’t accuse me of being a Martha Stewart wannabe. Seriously, I’m not even close.  Do you hear me? Not EVEN!

If you only saw my life on a daily basis, the flour on my nose and shirt, the weeds in my garden, no one would ever accuse me of that again.

Actually, most recipes aren’t that difficult if you just enjoy it. But sometimes, you just don’t feel like cooking for a long time…or baking.

Saturday night, I knew I needed to make something for our class Sunday morning.  Unfortunately, it was almost midnight. And did I mention that I sent Mr. Wonderful out at 11:40 PM looking for coconut cream pudding for this recipe?

And that, my friends, is why I call him Mr. Wonderful.

Cuz he went.

And then later, he confessed that he really wanted to go to the Wal-Mart anyway to look at fishing lures.  BUT, he got my pudding…at another store, cuz Wal-Mart didn’t carry it.

I needed something quick, something with out a lot of fuss but it had to be something good.

These muffins came to mind.  A treat from the past, my mom used to make these as a quick bread, but somewhere along the line, they evolved into muffins.

Super moist and dense, they are a pleasant surprise to bite into.  The moistness comes from a packet of pudding and ….

Cake mix.

C’mon now, what is muffin batter anyway but flour, sugar, salt….all the ingredients in, YES, cake mix!

Throw a few simple ingredients into your mixing bowl and a mere minute later you’re pouring the smooth batter into bread or muffin tins. Try this recipe, you won’t be sorry!

Katie’s Printable Recipe- Poppyseed Muffins



Filed under Breakfast

Pesto Veggie Frittata

By katie


Sometimes, one finds one-self with a produce drawer full of half-cut-up vegetables.

If one I’m not careful, I end up with a bunch of half-cut-up vegetables with strange green fuzz growing on them.

Since my daughter Kayla returned from her Haiti mission trip (look for a future post from her), I have been ever-mindful of the way we tend to waste food and leftovers, and have been trying really hard to use up even the little scraps in new and creative ways.

I had a drawer full of red and yellow bell pepper halves, and a bunch of green onions itching to be used this Saturday.  I also went outside to find that my dear little herb garden was overflowing with basil.


I set about to picking it, and ended up with this rather large colander of the beautiful, green, fragrant leaves. I left the roma tomato in the picture so you could see just how big this colander is.


I made 3 decent-size recipes of my pesto.


Little did I know we would devour one-and-a-half of these beauties on Saturday night with our wonderful friends Melisa and Steven on homemade pizza.  Thank God for an abundance of basil, I say.

I threw all of these hodge- podge of ingredients together in a frittata.

A frittata is nothing more than a fancy name for an omelet.  Mr. Wonderful thought it seemed like a quiche with no crust.  It actually starts out just like an omelet, but instead of flipping it over, the filling is put right into the eggs and the frittata is started on the stove and finished off by popping it into the oven and served open-faced.

Now I had my skepticisms about this process.  I don’t like browned scrambled eggs and therefore, had doubts I would like it.  What I found, however, is the frittata is extremely creamy and tender and I am now hooked.

Best of all, frittatas are super easy and fast to make!

I made this in a smaller 6 1/2 inch skillet and cut in half, it was perfect for Mr. Wonderful and I’s brunch alongside some blueberry pancakes.  You could make it in whatever skillet you like, then cut it in wedges and serve just like quiche.

I started by chopping up a couple tablespoons of red and yellow bell pepper and also a couple of green onions.  I also used about  a cup or 2 of fresh spinach.


I put a tablespoon of olive oil in my skillet and turned the heat on medium.  Toss the pepper and onion into the skillet and saute them until they begin to soften.


Stir them around every minute or so.


When they soften up a bit, (after about 5 minutes) add in your spinach. It may look like a lot, but believe me, spinach wilts down to nothing when you cook it.


This was just under a minute of my spinach sauteing.


While your veggies and spinach are sweating down, mix up your eggs.

I used 4 eggs for our frittata.  If you’re using a regular 12 inch skillet, you’d probably want to go with 6-8 eggs.

Crack your eggs into a bowl.


If you were my mom, you’d remove the little white stringy things (does anyone know what those things are?)  I figure they add more protein and who has the patience to remove them anyway?

My mom does, that’s who.

Add in about 2 tablespoons of milk and whisk the whole thing up!



Pour your egg mixture into your skillet right over top of your veggies.



While it’s cooking, sprinkle some cheese over the top.


You can see in the above picture how the edges are beginning to set.  Let the mixture cook until it’s about 1/2 way cooked.  Make sure you have medium-low heat, you don’t want the bottom to burn.

Take it off the stove and dollop it with some pesto.


I used about 3 tablespoons.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Put it on the top rack of a 400º oven for about 2-3 minutes.  Check it with a fork for doneness.  You can let it really brown up if you like.

IMPORTANT!!! Before you remove your pan from the oven – remember to use an oven mitt or towel!

I know that seems like a no-brainer, but sometimes people (I) just think…it’s a skillet, and grab it with my hands.

Did I just say that out loud?

Is this thing on? Tap…tap.

I preferred mine tender and not too overcooked, so I opted for the less-browned look.


Cut it into wedges and serve it up.  Garnish with a sprinkle of your leftover veggies or some chopped basil or even a nice shaving of parmesan would be wonderful.

Frittatas are fun to play with.  You can use so many varieties of toppings – asparagus, potatoes, artichoke hearts, broccoli, ham, bacon, pancetta – the possibilities are endless!

Katie’s Printable Recipe – Pesto Veggie Frittata

Have you made a frittata? What are  your favorite ingredients? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

Cooking with Love,

Pesto on Foodista


Filed under Breakfast