breakfast · snack

Chocolate-Strawberry Granola

I hope your weekend was a blessing! Let’s start your week off with a great granola for breakfast or snacking!

I love the chocolate granola I buy in the grocery store, but it is very expensive. I was happy to find a recipe and then tweak it a little bit to come up with a recipe that I like even better than the grocery store version!

Sprinkled over Greek yogurt and fresh fruit, this is a favorite breakfast!

Chocolate Strawberry Granola

½ cup coconut oil
¼ cup honey
¼ cup brown sugar
3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
3 cups oats
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup of freeze dried strawberries, crushed
3 Tablespoons chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a small saucepan, heat sugar, oil and honey until sugar dissolves and mixture starts to bubble. Turn off stove and remove from heat.
2. In a separate bowl add oats, walnuts, cocoa powder and salt. Add sugar and oil mixture and vanilla.
3. Stir to coat and pour onto a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 275°F for 40-45 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes.

4. Set tray on the counter and sprinkle with chocolate chips and stir to melt into the granola. Allow to cool and add strawberries.

Sweet, slightly crunchy, and chocolate-y, this is so good any time of the day! Also, I have occasionally found the freeze dried strawberries at The Dollar Tree!

I store the granola in a large glass jar when it has cooled completely.

I’m working on some glitches with my blog media, but if you want to see a picture of this granola, go to my Instagram account and you’ll find it there! Look for the camera/Instagram icon on this page. Click it and you’ll find the granola picture there!

Have you ever tried Chocolate Granola? I hope you’ll make this simple recipe. My traditional recipe is here and a healthier version is here.

breakfast

Avocado Toast with a Sweet Twist

On normal days (no special occasion happening) I like breakfast to be something with some protein, but also quick to prepare. One of my new favorite morning meals is Avocado Toast with a sweet twist.

The sweetness comes from a drizzle of honey over all the layers! That little bit of sweetness is the perfect touch! Of course I also sprinkle on Everything But the Bagel Seasoning. I like to make my own. It’s so much cheaper and I can control the ingredients. Let me tell you how I make my Avocado Toast and then I’ll share the Everything Bagel Seasoning.

Avocado Toast

  1. Make the avocado mixture by mashing up one ripe avocado with about 1/4 cup of light mayo. Add salt to taste.
  2. Fry an egg in a small saucepan sprayed with cooking spray. I like mine over easy.
  3. Toast the bread.
  4. Spread avocado mixture over toast.
  5. Top with egg.
  6. Sprinkle with Everything bu the Bagel Seasoning.
  7. Drizzle with honey.

Everything But the Bagel Seasoning

  • 4 Tablespoons White Sesame Seeds
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Poppy Seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons Dried Minced Garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons Dried Diced Onion
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Mix in a bowl, then store in an airtight jar.

Have you tried Avocado toast? It seems a little strange at first, but one bite is all it takes to convince most that this is a breakfast that will change up the breakfast routine in a super-delicious (and sweet) way!


breakfast · Brunch

Hash Brown Egg Skillet

When morning rolls around I’m not ready for food. Just hand over a nice cup of coffee with flavored cream and I’m good for a couple of hours. But I know I need to eat, so I eventually do.
But what to eat? Scrambled eggs…not my favorite.
French Toast? Only once a month…too fattening.
Pancakes? I like them but it’s too much trouble and not enough protein.
However, I’ve recently been making an egg dish once a week that my husband and I both really enjoy. I call it Hash Brown Egg Skillet. It’s so delicious and is done in about 15 minutes.

You could tweak this recipe to add what you like, but for our tastes I use onions, shredded hash browns, Canadian Bacon and eggs. As the recipe name says, it’s all done in a skillet on the stove. One pan – one great recipe! Here’s how you make it:

Hash Brown Egg Skillet

  • 1 -2 Tbl. Olive oil
  • 1 1/2 Cups Frozen Hash Browns
  • 2 Tbl. chopped onion
  • 3 slices Canadian Bacon
  • 2 or 3 Eggs
  • Salt and Pepper

Place Olive oil in a skillet. Add chopped onion and frozen hash browns. Season with salt and pepper. Over medium high heat, brown potatoes on one side, then flip over and brown other side. This is when I add my Canadian bacon, just to warm it up. Before they get completely brown, make small wells in the potatoes. Crack egg and pour into the wells. Lower heat to low temp and cover with a lid. Let eggs cook until they are they way you like them. I go for sunny side up because we love the yolk runny. I check to be sure the yolk still jiggles after the white is cooked. Using a spatula, divide the portion for each plate and serve!

I served it with sour dough toast and fresh fruit sprinkled with Chocolate-raspberry granola. (The granola is Love Crunch) Yum!

This is a great Sunday breakfast when dinner usually comes later than normal. It’s also a healthy meal and fits into my WW menu plan nicely! I hope you’ll try this! It’s so good…even for non-breakfast lovers!

Are you a breakfast lover or do you eat just because you have to?

With love from my country kitchen,

Some non-hurried breakfast favorites are:
Best Blueberry Coffee Cake
Sweet Potato Pancakes
Baked Oatmeal and Easy Banana Bread

breakfast · dessert

Tart, Delicious Cranberries!

If you have fresh cranberries left from Thanksgiving, or you see them in the produce section in the store, I have two great ways for you to use them!

The first use is to put them in your morning oatmeal during the last few minutes of the cooking time. I use Old Fashioned Oats, so I boil equal parts of water, milk and oatmeal, then simmer for a few minutes to thicken it up. While it’s simmering I throw in a good handful of fresh cranberries. Oh, that tartness is the perfect fruity addition!

I also add some chopped walnuts and a sprinkling of brown sugar for the perfect winter-y breakfast! You won’t be satisfied with Corn Flakes every again after enjoying this variety of warm, nutty oatmeal!

Now for another perfect combination – cranberries, apples and orange juice for a winning recipe that is from Cooking Light, let’s talk dessert.

Apple Cranberry Crumble

Ingredients:

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces
6 cups sliced peeled Braeburn apple
1 cup fresh cranberries – I used 1/2 dried and 1/2 fresh
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Preparation
Preheat oven to 375°.
Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, and butter in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Combine apple and cranberries in a large bowl. Combine juice and remaining ingredients; pour over apple mixture. Toss well. Spoon apple mixture into a 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with flour mixture. Bake at 375° for 40 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown. Serve warm.

The crumbly topping!
Ready for the oven

I love this dessert. I added a small scoop of ice cream for a special finishing touch!

If you need another idea for your cranberries, please try this muffin. I share this recipe every year because it’s too good to live without! Also, if you have canned Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce, use it to make this coffee cake that is to die for!! When I had my baking business, these were so popular, and for good reason!

You’ll be (cran)berry happy you tried any of these recipes! Sorry, I couldn’t resist!

With love from my country kitchen,

breakfast · Fast meal · Make-Ahead

Bump up your breakfast game

I always eat breakfast, but I find it the most difficult meal to want to prepare. I’m ready to get my day started and don’t like fussing over that first meal of the day. Can anyone else relate?

It’s for that reason that I try to have this things on hand that are either quick to prepare or can be made ahead and just warmed up.

If you’re like me and struggle with getting breakfast ready, let me share a few of my favorite go-to morning meals.

Baked Oatmeal with apples or bananas is hearty, easy to prepare and reheats nicely. Here’s one of the recipes I use often. This same page has a delicious Banana Bread that’s another great addition for breakfast, and it’s also a lighter version!

Bakedoatmeal1 (2)

Baked Eggs With Hashbrowns and Canadian Bacon
Here’s an egg dish with all the morning breakfast foods! It is also hearty and reheats well.

Baked Eggs with Hash Brown Crust
  • 6 spray(s)cooking spray
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3 cup(s)frozen hash brown potatoes
  • 1 small uncooked onion(s), thinly sliced
  • 1⁄4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1⁄4 tsp dried thyme, plus more for garnish
  • 3 slice(s)uncooked Canadian bacon, diced
  • 12 large eggs

Instructions:
1. Place oven rack in middle of oven. Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat a 12-hole standard muffin pan with cooking spray.

2. Heat a medium skillet over high heat; add oil and swirl to coat pan. Reduce heat to medium-high; add potatoes, onion, salt and thyme. Sauté until lightly golden and tender, 5-7 minutes; remove from skillet. Spoon about 1/4 cup potato mixture into each prepared muffin hole; bake 15 minutes – Less if you want a runny yolk!

3. Meanwhile, return skillet to heat; add Canadian bacon. Sauté until crispy on edges, 3 minutes. Remove from heat; set aside.

4. Crack an egg, one at a time, into a small ramekin or cup; gently slide an egg into each muffin hole. Bake for 9 minutes; remove from oven and evenly divide bacon over eggs. Return pan to oven; bake for 3 minutes more.

5. To serve, run a knife around edge of each egg and lift out onto individual plates or a serving platter; sprinkle with dried thyme and serve immediately.

6. Serving size: 1 baked egg with hash brown crust

Then there’s this Fruity Peanut Butter Toast I made recently and LOVED!! It’s as pretty as it is delicious! It’s simply whole grain bread, toasted and topped with peanut butter and whatever fruit you like. Then add a tiny drizzle of honey over the fruit. So good!

There’s no need to go without breakfast just because you don’t have time to stop and make it in the morning. Get a jump on things and prepare ahead so you can have a delicious meal at the start of your day!

Anyone else love breakfast but dread making it?

I hope you’ll refresh your breakfast routine with one of these easy ideas!