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For a change, try breakfast fare at dinner

Sometimes I don’t want “dinner” at dinner time; I want breakfast.

As a rational person I know that you can eat any food at anytime (hello, pizza for breakfast, anyone?), but when it comes to dinner, we seem to need to have a meal that includes meat, potatoes and or vegetables.

Nah, I say. Some days I just want pancakes or waffles or even a bowl of cereal and not a burger, chicken or pasta. Often my family agrees. If, by some chance, they don’t agree with the queen of the kitchen’s menu choices, they get to make their own meal which, of course, couldn’t possibly be as delicious as mine.

I suggest you try the following recipes. Having them for dinner is optional, but trust me, your family will thank you for the change of pace and taste.

Pear and Honey Oatcakes

1 1/2 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking soda

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/3 cup quick cook oatmeal

2 1/2 cups of buttermilk, half-and-half or milk

4 eggs, separated

1/2 cup brown sugar

4 to 5 tablespoons butter, melted

2 pears, grated

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Warm honey

In a large bowl combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt and set it aside. In another bowl mix together the oats and buttermilk and then let it rest for 8 to 10 minutes. In a third bowl combine the egg yolks, brown sugar and melted butter. Add the egg mixture to the oat mixture. Mix slightly then stir in the grated pear. Slowly add the flour mixture and pecans to the oat mixture and stir by hand until just combined (do not over mix). Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Fold the egg whites into the oat batter. Heat up a large fry pan or griddle over medium high heat. Add 2 or 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil to the pan. Ladle the pancake batter into the hot oil. Cook each side until browned (about 3 minutes). Serve with warm honey. Serves 4 to 6.

Caramel Custard Apple Puff

Make this up in the morning, cover and refrigerate and then pop it in the oven when you get home from work or school.

1/2 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons corn syrup

1 pound Italian bread, cut into bite-size pieces

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced

6 eggs

1 1/2 to 2 cups whipping cream or half-and-half or a mixture of both

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 tablespoon frozen orange juice concentrate

Zest of 1 orange

1/4 teaspoon salt

Cinnamon sugar mixture

Place aluminum foil on the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan (should hang over the sides) and then grease it well and set aside. In a small saucepan combine the butter, brown sugar and corn syrup. Heat until butter is melted and then whisk to combine, making sure the mixture doesn’t burn. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan. Arrange bread slices and apple slices in the pan over the caramel mixture. Pack it tightly. In a bowl combine the eggs, half-and-half, vanilla, orange concentrate, orange zest and salt; whisk until combined. Pour egg mixture over the apples and bread. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to one day. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle the top lightly with cinnamon sugar and bake until the top is puffy and golden, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes then serve. You can serve it directly from the pan or you can invert the pan on a flat serving dish and then peel back the foil. Serves 6 to 8.

Breakfast Bundles

1 frozen bread dough, defrosted

Flour

8 ounces sausage, crumbled

1 teaspoon oregano dried or 2 teaspoons fresh

1 cup parmesan cheese

Additional parmesan for topping

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet and set it aside. Lightly dust a cutting board with flour. Roll the bread dough into a rectangle and then spray the top with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle the sausage, 1 cup parmesan cheese and oregano on top of the dough and then roll the dough up jelly roll style. Seam side should be on the bottom. Cut the stuffed log into 1/2 -inch thick slices and place the rounds on the prepared cookie sheet. Sprinkle the top of the rounds with the additional parmesan. Bake 15 minutes or until just golden. Makes 16 rolls, 2 rolls per serving. Great with scrambled eggs.

– Submitted by Margie Crenetski of Chicago Slice of Life is a food column that offers recipes, cooking advice and information on new food products. It appears Sundays. If you have a question about cooking or a food item, contact Eileen Goltz at ztlog@frontier.com or write The Journal Gazette, 600 W. Main St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802.

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