Tag Archives: breakfast

Cookbook Review: Whole Grain Mornings

For a long time, my recipe discovery was largely dependent on Google. Craving chicken fried steak? Find a blog with a recipe! Search Pinterest boards! Check Bon Appetit or the Kitchn! But in an interesting turn of events, I’ve come full circle and begun cooking out of paper (well, sometimes Kindle edition) cookbooks again. Of course, many of these cookbooks are written by food bloggers whose blogs I’ve come to love, so it’s all totally meta in the best sort of way.

With that in mind, I’m planning to review some of my new favorite cookbooks and share them with you. First up: Whole Grain Mornings by Megan Gordon. 

whole-grain mornings

Overview:

Even in the Kindle app, the layout and design are lovely. I do love a cookbook that looks as good as its recipes taste. It’s organized by seasons, a feature I appreciate as someone who attempts to cook mostly local, seasonal food. Sub-level organization breaks recipes down into Busy Weekdays, Slow Sundays, Brunch, and Spreads and Toppings, making it easy to guesstimate how much time and effort is involved in each recipe. As one might expect, recipes are based on whole grains. The book goes beyond the standard whole wheat and oats to include Amaranth, Buckwheat, Millet, Bulgur, and a few other not-so-common grains.

Recipes I’ve Made:

    • Whole-Grain Buttermilk Pancakes, p. 37
    • Make-Your-Own Signature Granola, p. 34
    • Strawberry Rhubarb Quick Jam, p. 71
    • The Very Best Oatmeal, p. 30

The Whole-Grain Buttermilk Pancakes are quite delicious. In fact, there’s half a jar of the mix in my cabinet right now. They go perfectly with Megan’s Strawberry Rhubarb Quick Jam. Making jam is one of my kitchen loves, but often I don’t have the time or the patience for the canning process. Small batch freezer jams for the win! The addition of rhubarb gives the strawberry jam just a little something extra.

Meg’s Make-Your-Own Granola recipe is one I’ve made several times, always with good results. I love being able to mix and match different fruit/nut/seed combinations. So far, hit combos have been blueberry-almond-macadamia, apricot-pistachio, and hazelnut-cacao-fig. My husband loves that the granola is almost savory and not too sweet. I sent a jar with him to work on a particularly hectic morning, expecting at least half of it to come back. Let’s just say I never saw it again! 

I had the Very Best Oatmeal for breakfast just the other day, and it was a lovely change from my usual microwave-for-two-minutes bowl. It’s not a recipe I would make every day, because it uses two pans and takes a little more time than my microwaved version, but I’ll keep it in mind for days when I have a little more time and want something different.

Whole Grain Mornings is full of delicious, hearty breakfast and brunch recipes. I highly recommend it! I’m looking forward to the days when I’ll be able to eat gluten and dairy with abandon again so I can try the Pear-Hazelnut Oat Muffins and the Honeyed Ricotta.

The Only Breakfast Casserole Recipe You’ll Ever Need

 

I realize this title makes a lofty claim. But I’m certain that, once you try this recipe, you’ll agree. It’s my go-to breakfast casserole and I’ve never been disappointed. Unlike cheap pizza stones, disappointing iPhone releases, and cans of pureed orange squash that masquerade as “pumpkin”, this casserole won’t let you down. I promise.

This recipe was born out of the combination of two delectable dishes. I have a half-formed theory that in general, a truly great recipe must be a combination of at least two other recipes. Don’t ask me to prove it, because I can’t- but I’d wager that 9 times out of 10, my absolute favorite recipes include ingredients or techniques from multiple recipes. This one is a combination of Pioneer Woman’s Sleepin’ in Omelette and a fabulous ham strata that one of my mom’s best friends makes- with a few tweaks by yours truly.

One of our favorite office traditions involves the celebration of birthdays. Each time a birthday rolls around, we all bring food to our Tuesday staff meeting. Nothing says “you are loved” like a table full of delicious breakfast food! I usually try to bring something savory because, after all, muffins and coffeecakes are a dime a dozen in the breakfast world. And don’t get me wrong- I love me some muffins and coffee. But a warm, savory dish that includes bacon, sausage, bacon, eggs, cheese, and/or bacon? That’s the breakfast that really shines in my book.

A few preparation notes: If you’re like me, you probably won’t look at this recipe with enough time to bring your cream cheese to room temperature. No problemo- it’s just a little easier to mix with the sausage if you do. Microwaving it for a few seconds will also do the trick. Just make sure you unwrap it from the foil first. (What? I’m the only one who’s ever accidentally microwaved foil? Figures.) If you don’t have dry mustard, a small squirt of regular mustard will do the trick. With chives, this casserole is delicious. Without chives, this casserole is delicious. You can also use whatever random bread (even if it’s slightly stale) that you happen to have lying around if you don’t have onion rolls, although it’s significantly better with them. Just makes sure you have enough bread chunks to cover the bottom of the pan and then some. If you don’t have cheddar, use provolone. Or mozzarella. Or whatever other kind of cheese happens to be lurking in your refrigerator.

What I’m trying to say here is this: do not allow the list of ingredients to keep you from making this casserole. Make it anyway. You’ll thank me later.

Ingredients
6 whole Onion Rolls
1 lb Sausage
1 cup Grated Cheddar Cheese
8 ounces Cream Cheese, room temperature
1 stick Butter
10 whole Eggs
2 cups Milk
1 teaspoon Chopped Chives
1/2 teaspoon Dry Mustard
1/2 teaspoon Salt
a few grinds fresh Black Pepper
1 dash Cayenne Pepper
Instructions
Brown sausage, then drain. Generously butter a 9×13 baking dish.
Tear onion rolls into chunks and place them in the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Combine sausage and cream cheese; drop by spoonfuls on top of bread and cheese. Cut 1 stick of butter into pats and place over the top.
Mix remaining ingredients and pour over the top of bread/cheese/sausage mixture. I like to leave a few bread chunks- especially around the edges- sticking up out of the liquid so they get a little bit crusty, but that’s completely up to you. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, preheat your oven to 325 degrees and bake, covered, for 45 minutes. Then remove foil and continue baking at 350 for 10-15 minutes. Let cool for at least ten minutes before serving.