Articles and Media

Brunch! Old Fashioned Comfort

by Ana L. Palles

Oatmeal Pancakes and Buttermilk Syrup My mother loves pancakes. I will often catch her humming happily to herself mid morning as she ladles the mixture onto her hot griddle. My mom is a tiny thing, active and thin, and rather than sit down to a full meal, she’ll nibble at things throughout the day.

Pancakes are one of her favorite treats. She likes them thin and will often spread jam on them instead of syrup. The look of pure joy in her eyes as she sits there enjoying the hot cakes with a cup of coffee is priceless.

As for my family, they will take breakfast fare any way, any time. My youngest daughter will sometimes call on her way home from school and ask if we can have “Breakfast Dinner”. The answer, of course, is always an enthusiastic YES! My mother smiles and approves!

Here are a few breakfast favorites you might want to try!

Buttermilk Syrup

3 tablespoon Dark Amber Maple Syrup
3 cups sugar
2 ¼ cups buttermilk
3 teaspoon baking soda
¾ cup butter
¾ teaspoon vanilla

Combine the ingredients and bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Simmer on low while you prepare the pancakes. Use a medium stock pot, about 8-10 quarts as this will foam due to the baking soda. It yields about a quart of syrup.

Wholesome Oatmeal pancakes

1 quart buttermilk
1 ½ teaspoon salt
4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sour cream
4 eggs
1 cup Old Fashion Oats
2 cups all purpose unbleached flour
1 1/3 cups specialty flour like Spelt, Amaranth, Kamut
1/2 cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup cornmeal
¼ cup of flax seeds
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder

Mix buttermilk, salt, baking soda and sour cream. Let the mixture foam, then stir in the eggs.

Mix the remaining dry ingredients together. Add the buttermilk mix, stirring to incorporate. Adjust as needed for your environment, i.e. add additional flour or milk if needed. This recipe can be made the night before and allowed to sit in the refrigerator overnight.

The Oatmeal Pancakes and Buttermilk Syrup yield 10-12. The base recipes for Oatmeal Pancakes and Buttermilk Syrup were passed along to me by a coworker several years ago. Ever the cook, I had to play around with them a little bit. See what you think.

Lavender Apple Muffins

Lavender Apple Muffin I enjoy using lavender in recipes because it offers such an unexpected element. When I first made these muffins, I wasn’t really sure what to think until I realized that I was craving the next bite of that moist muffin. They are now a much loved favorite.

1 ½ cups unbleached flour
½ cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ cup milk
2 eggs
½ cup melted, cooled butter
1 Tbsp. Lavender flowers
1 cup peeled and diced apple
½ tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Line 12 muffin tins with paper cups. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, then add the milk. Slowly stir in the cooled, melted butter. Pour the egg mixture slowly into the flour mix. Stop as soon as the flour has been incorporated. Do not overbeat. Stir in the lavender flowers and the chopped apple. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until a cake pick inserted in the center comes out dry.

Breakfast Casserole

This breakfast casserole recipe is one of those quick and hearty, efficient recipes. It is designed to be made ahead of time and allowed to sit overnight in the refrigerator. It has meat, cheese, eggs and bread. It is perfect when you want something easy, delicious and kid friendly. What a great way to get the little leaguers or the outdoor hikers fed and nourished.

1 lb light sausage any variety
6 slices buttered bread
8 eggs, beaten
½ cup milk
1 ½ shredded cheese (swiss, cheddar, mozzarella, whichever you prefer)
1 small tomato, diced
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp dry mustard

Optional 2 Tbsp. finely chopped herbs (parsley, cilantro, thyme, whatever you prefer)
1 Tbsp. finely chopped green onion

Break up and brown the sausage. Drain the fat. While sausage is cooking, prepare a rectangular baking dish, 9x13 by buttering or spraying with oil. Line the bottom of the baking dish with the slices of buttered bread, buttered side up.

Beat eggs and milk. Add mustard powder and herbs. Set aside.

Top the bread slices with the browned sausage. Pour the egg mixture over the bread and sausage. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight. Bake the next morning at 350 for 45 minutes, covered with the foil. If you wish, uncover during the last few minutes of baking to allow it to brown.