Dragonfly Home Recipes

Recipes, Photography, Musings

Category: Breakfast (page 1 of 3)

Cozy Oatmeal Baked Apples

Fill your kitchen with the iconic smell of baking apples and cinnamon with these cozy oatmeal baked apples.  Cored apples are filled with an oat-brown sugar-cinnamon mixture and then baked until the apples are soft and the oatmeal mixture has a cake-like consistency.  The moistness of the baked apples surrounds the oatmeal mixture to make a heart-warming dessert or breakfast that is full of nutrients and delicious comfort.

oatmeal baked applesI love all types of baked apple-cinnamon recipes, and this one is a bit different to me because the apple is stuffed with a filling inside of it instead of sliced and used as a filling.  Because it’s a bit different, it makes a festive dessert or breakfast, especially served with some vanilla ice cream or drizzled with some maple syrup, or even caramel sauce.  We had them for breakfast this morning straight up without any added toppings, and they were so good!

oatmeal baked appleI added two new cookbooks to my collection over the holidays, and I adapted this recipe from one of them–Savor by Ilona Oppenheim.  I love the photos in this cookbook, and the recipes are natural, beautiful, and seasonal.  I made a few changes from the recipe in the book to fit the tastes of my family–but I am so grateful for the idea and the basic framework.  This is a dessert/breakfast that is easy to make and comes together quite quickly, plus you can feel good about the wholesome ingredients.

oatmeal baked applesThe holiday season is over now, and it is time to get back to work, time for the kids to go back to school and indoor soccer, and hopefully time for me to put some positive new intentions and habits into practice in my little corner of the world.  We spent a few days up in northern Michigan over the New Year, and it was so refreshing and invigorating to be up in that cold, clean air!

Getting away from the routine allowed us to have some good family time when we weren’t rushed or pulled in a bunch of different directions.  We played some long games of Pokémon Monopoly (thanks to my son 🙂 ), went sledding, and walked along the snowy beach.  I loved all the lights in town on the dark evenings–lights in the trees, lights on the shops and restaurants, lights reflected in the water along the beach, and especially the fireworks over the lake on New Year’s Eve.

This is such a good time of year for introspectionand for making home a warm and cozy place.  Walking in the cold air clears the head.  It is also definitely the time of year to make warm, nourishing things in the kitchen.  These oatmeal baked apples hit the spot this morning.  Happy New Year!  I hope you all have a great weekend, and stay warm! I will be sharing this recipe over at Angie’s virtual potluck, Fiesta Friday, co-hosted this week by Quinn @ Dad What’s 4 Dinner and Monika @ Everyday Healthy Recipesoatmeal baked apples

Cozy Oatmeal Baked Apples

  • Servings: 6
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 6 medium to large apples (I like Honeycrisp or Jonagold for this)
  • 1 cup of old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of fine sea salt
  • 1 and 1/3 cups of milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter, melted

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with parchment paper.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, walnuts, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt.  Mix well with a fork.  Make sure your butter is melted.

In another bowl, combine the milk, vanilla extract, egg, and melted butter.  Stir well. Add the milk mixture to the bowl with the oat mixture, and stir well with a wooden spoon.

With a paring knife, cut off the tops of the apples.  Set the tops aside.  With the same knife, carefully cut around the core and cut out the core (you can also use an apple corer).  Scoop out the seeds and rest of the core with a spoon, if necessary.  Leave 1/2 inch at the bottom of the apples intact, with the holes in the core about an inch wide.

Place the cored apples on the prepared baking dish.  Spoon the oatmeal mixture into the cavities of the apples, filling them as full as you can.  Place the tops back on the apples for baking.  If you have oat mixture left over, you can bake it in a small baking pan and bake it alongside the apples.  (I put mine in a min-loaf pan and it made a cute little cake-like loaf).

Bake the stuffed apples in your 350 degree oven for about 40-50 minutes, or until the apples are soft and the oat mixture is set.  These taste best warm, but can also be served at room temperature.  Enjoy!

 

 

 

Apple Crunch Bars

Are you bored with your breakfast and snack choices? These apple crunch bars are the perfect way to change things up a bit while still delivering great nutrition and deliciousness.  A base and topping of oats, pistachios, brown sugar, and whole wheat flour surround a cozy apple-cinnamon filling for a healthy treat that tastes like a cross between an apple granola bar and a bite of apple crisp.

apple crunch barsI posted a recipe for cranberry almond bars about a year ago, and these apple crunch bars are similar to those, except for the obvious change in filling, and this time I used pistachios in the topping instead of almonds. The filling is a version of my basic homemade applesauce recipe, and the base and topping are loosely adapted from a recipe I found in Real Simple magazine in September of 2015.

apple crunch barsI love these apple crunch bars! The apple-cinnamon combination is always so cozy and comforting, especially when the apples are bubbling away in a pot on the stove.  And the crunch mixture is so tasty, so full of salty-sweet flavor from the pistachios and brown sugar, with such a crunchy, crumbly texture that mixes so well with a fruit filling.  They really are a great breakfast choice, snack, or even a guilt-free dessert, if that’s what you are looking for.

apple crunch barsIn a few days (I can’t believe it is coming up so quickly!) my family will be celebrating Thanksgiving.  It is the time of year when we consciously think about what we are thankful for, about gratitude.  I recently checked out a book from the library about the spirituality of gratitude, because it is something I want to cultivate more deeply in my life.  It is easy to be grateful when things are going well, and more challenging to feel gratitude when things don’t go our way, or when we are struggling.  I am enjoying (though it is sometimes really hard!) going further into this practice.

I was raking leaves yesterday afternoon, and our dog kept sitting right in the middle of the tarp I was using to drag the leaves to the back of our property.  Then when I finally got him off of the tarp, he would run alongside me as I was dragging it and either step on it or grab it with his mouth and start tugging.  He didn’t want me to get anything accomplished!  He wanted those leaves to fly and scatter with the wind.  I love that about our dog.  I hope you all have a great weekend! Antonia @ Zoale and Petra @ Food Eat Love are co-hosting Angie’s Fiesta Friday this week, and I look forward to sharing this recipe over there.apple crunch barsapples and peelsthree apples

Apple Crunch Bars

  • Servings: 12 bars
  • Print

Ingredients:

For the filling:

  • 3 medium sized apples, diced
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup of water

For the base and topping:

  • 1 cup of old fashioned rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup of pistachios, shelled (raw almonds or walnuts may be substituted, if desired)
  • 3/4 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon of salt (optional)
  • 8 tablespoons (or 1/2 cup or 1 stick) of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup of brown sugar, packed

Directions:

For the filling:

Wash, peel, and dice the apples.  Place them in a small or medium pot, along with the vanilla, cinnamon, and 1/4 cup of water.  Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer on low for about 20 minutes, or until the apples are tender.  Let the filling cool slightly, then mash it with a potato masher so it becomes somewhat smooth.  Let it cool while a bit more and the filling will thicken a bit as it cools.

For the base and topping:

While the apples are simmering, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line an 8 inch square baking dish with two crisscrossed pieces of parchment paper, leaving an overhang of paper on all sides, pressing the paper down inside the dish.

In a blender or food processor, pulse or puree the oats, whole wheat flour, pistachios, baking powder, and salt until finely ground. Transfer to a medium sized mixing bowl.  Stir in the brown sugar.  Using a pastry cutter or a fork, cut in the butter and continue to work it in until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs about the size of a pea, and everything is well combined.

Reserve 1/2 cup of the crunch mixture for the topping.  Press the remaining crunch mixture into the baking dish, using a straight-sided glass or measuring cup to pack it down evenly.

Spread the apple filling over the bottom crust, distributing it evenly.  Scatter the reserved 1/2 cup crunch mixture evenly over the top.  Bake until golden, and set in the middle about 35 to 45 minutes.

When it is done, let it cool completely (the cooler it is, the better the bars will hold their shape–I can’t always wait till it’s totally cooled!).  Then, holding the overhanging parchment paper, lift the crunch out and transfer it to a cutting board and cut with a sharp knife into twelve bars. Enjoy!

Berry Cake With Lavender Sugar

Make a weekend breakfast special with this lovely berry breakfast cake.  It’s full of fresh blueberries and black raspberries, and it’s  sweetened with the subtle flavor of homemade lavender sugar–a taste of summer in every bite!

lavender on railingThe lavender in our garden is thriving. I’m kind of surprised, considering how hot and dry this past month has been, but I am happy to see it.  It is gorgeous and it smells so good! I’ve been wanting to use it in some way, and then recently I came across a post by Laurie, of the blog ten.times.tea, for lilac sugar. The lilac sugar sounded so good and looked so pretty, it made me want to try lavender sugar.  I found that there is lots of information out there about making your own lavender sugar.  What a fun and simple way to use lavender, and what a subtle flavor the lavender gives the sugar. You can use lavender sugar to sweeten tea or flavor lemonade, and you can use it in baking.

berry breakfast cake with pink linenAt the same time that I have been wanting to use my lavender, I have been wanting to bake with fresh berries–the blueberries that are in season now, and the black raspberries growing wild all over my yard.  So I made this lovely berry breakfast cake, sweetened with my own homemade lavender sugar. It is so delicious and festive for a summer breakfast! The breakfast cake recipe comes from one of my favorite cookbooks, Hollyhocks & Radishes by Bonnie Stewart Mickelson.  The only thing I changed was that I used a combination of blueberries and black raspberries, and I used lavender sugar instead of traditional white sugar, and butter from grass-fed cows instead of vegetable shortening.  I am very happy with the result! The lavender sugar is not essential in this recipe–if you don’t have extra time, conventional sugar can be used just fine, and any kind of fresh berries would work.

berry breakfast cake on table 2The Hollyhocks & Radishes cookbook is such a gentle reminder of the beauty in using the food growing around us, and also the simple elegance of hospitality.  Such a simple gesture as making a cake or a salad or a plate of sandwiches for others can be so satisfying to both the giver and the receivers.  We have had the opportunity to extend some old-fashioned hospitality to a variety of people this past week, and it has been so much fun to get together with old friends who now live far away, and to have friends of our kids in our house and around our table.

berry breakfast cake in hands 3Life can get very fast-paced and over-scheduled these days, and it’s so nice to slow down sometimes to cook and bake, to pick lavender and make lavender sugar, or spend the whole afternoon at a nearby lake.  To eat breakfast on the porch or a picnic dinner at a park, and let the dinner and conversation last till dark.  Sometimes it takes guests and hospitality to make us slow down, and what would we do without it.  We need to do more of it.

berry breakfast cake with vaseI hope you all have a great weekend! It is mid-summer, and feels every bit of it to me. I look forward to checking out some new recipes at Angie’s Fiesta Friday this week! If you are ever in a food rut, that is a great place to go to check out some really interesting blogs.berry breakfast cake overheadlavender sugar overheadlavender sugar on porchberry breakfast cake on porch

Berry Breakfast Cake with Lavender Sugar

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Print

for the lavender sugar:

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of lavender buds
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar

Directions:

Pick a handful of lavender.  Remove the blossoms and buds from the stems and measure out 2 tablespoons. **If you wash the lavender, or if it is damp when you pick it, make sure it is completely dry before you combine it with the sugar.  (If you don’t have access to lavender in your garden, you can buy culinary lavender buds at health food stores or specialty food places.)

Place the lavender buds and the cup of sugar in a food processor (I used a blender).  Pulse or blend for a couple of minutes, stirring in between pulses, till the sugar and lavender are well mixed and the lavender is broken down a bit.

Spoon the lavender/sugar mixture into a clean, dry glass jar with a tight-fitting lid.  Let the mixture sit, covered, for a day or at least overnight.  Double or triple the recipe if you want to make more lavender sugar.  Use this delightful sugar to sweeten tea or lemonade, or use it in baking. Enjoy!

For the berry breakfast cake:

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup lavender sugar (you can use regular white granulated sugar if you prefer)
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, soft and at room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of all-purpose, unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/3 cup of milk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 2 cups of fresh berries (I used a combination of blueberries and black raspberries)

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Lightly grease a 9 x 9 inch baking pan.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the lavender sugar, egg yolks, and butter until creamy.  In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.  With a wooden spoon, stir the dry ingredients into the butter mixture.  Add the unbeaten egg whites and stir until well mixed.  Add the milk and vanilla and stir to mix again.  Fold in the berries.  If you are using blueberries, gently stir in a bit of flour to the blueberries before folding them into the batter, so they won’t sink to the bottom.  Gently stir until the berries are combined with the batter.  Spoon the batter into the baking pan and bake for 30-40 minutes, until the cake is golden and the center springs back to the light touch.  Serve warm. Enjoy!

 

 

Cherry Berry Breakfast Jars

Tart, juicy cherries and sweet blueberries are layered with Greek yogurt, granola, and chia seeds to make a healthy, beautiful breakfast bursting with flavor.  Mason jars make this not only pretty (I love how they show the colorful layers), but they are also practical–just screw on the lid, put the jar(s) in the cooler, and you have a portable breakfast or snack.

cherry berry breakfast jars on porchSummer fruit really is a special treat. There is just nothing like being able to walk out the door and pick fruit right in your own yard, or pick it up from a nearby farm stand.  You can taste the bright sunshine in every bite, and something with that much fresh flavor and naturally bright color has to be loaded with beneficial nutrients!

I wanted to do a post in honor of our cherry trees this week, because they have given us such great fruit this season!  We planted them a few years ago as tiny little trees, and over time we have nursed them, protected them from hungry deer, and watched them grow.  This is the first summer we have been able to harvest more than a handful of cherries from them, and I am so excited about it! Tart cherries have been a favorite of mine since I was a child.  Lots of good childhood memories are mixed in with the pursuit of good cherries and cherry pies. To have them now growing in my own yard feels like a huge luxury, and I know how my dad would love it.

cherries in white bowl 3Our two cherry trees, though still not large, are just loaded with bright red tart cherries! So far, we have been eating them too quickly to make a pie filling, but these easy breakfast jars are perfect.  The sweetness of the blueberries helps balance the tart flavor of the cherries, and really, you could substitute any seasonal fruit if you don’t have cherries or blueberries.

cherries and berries 2This recipe is so simple, yet it is so delicious and so pretty that it is worth remembering and sharing.  My kids, who were definitely in a breakfast rut, have been loving these jars the past couple of mornings.  I think it has to do with the freshness of the fruit and the novelty of the layers instead of everything just mixed up in a bowl.  You can use your favorite yogurt and favorite granola, and sweeten it all with honey if you are using unsweetened yogurt.

cherry berry breakfast jar overview 2I hope you are all enjoying some summer air and summer fruit! We went camping last weekend, and it was just what we needed.  To be away from routines and to be surrounded by nature, getting back to the basics.  It felt like time kind of stood still for us for a couple of days, and we had some good family exploring new territory and sitting around the campfire, roasting marshmallows and listening to the fire crackle and pop.  The trees, the lakes, the fresh air and stars at night all soothed my soul.  And the juicy, tart cherries give vitality and hope.  I hope you are all having a good week! I am going to share this tasty recipe at Angie’s Fiesta Friday, where lots of great food bloggers gather to trade recipes and inspiration.cherry berry breakfast jars in hands 3cherry berry breakfast jars with stripescherry tree

Cherry Berry Breakfast Jars

  • Servings: 4 half-pint sized jars
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of fresh tart cherries, washed and pitted
  • 1 cup of fresh blueberries, washed
  • 2 cups of Greek yogurt
  • 2 cups of your favorite granola
  • 1 teaspoon of chia seeds (optional)
  • 1/4 cup of honey (use if your yogurt is unsweetened)
  • 4 half-pint sized mason jars

Directions:

Wash the fruit and remove the pits from the cherries.  Set out the yogurt, granola, chia seeds, and mason jars.  In each mason jar, spoon in a layer of yogurt, fruit, granola, and a 1/4 teaspoon of chia seeds. Repeat the layers.  Serve immediately or cover with the mason jar lids and refrigerate or take with you in a cooler.  Enjoy!

Two Easy Quinoa Breakfast Bowls

Superfood quinoa is combined with fruit, nuts, almond milk, and natural flavorings to make up a delicious, healthy, energizing breakfast.  Mix and match the fruits and the nuts, add more toppings if you wish! These breakfast bowls help keep me sane on busy mornings.  They can be thrown together quickly and are packed with protein and flavor to start your day in a positive way.

Made up of ingredients many of us keep on hand, these breakfast bowls are easy to make in the morning when your brain is not fully awake, yet once they are eaten, they provide the body and brain with lots of high-quality energy.  To make things even easier, you can cook a batch of quinoa ahead of time, and then in the morning, warm up the desired amount on the stove in a bit of almond (or regular) milk. Then just add the desired flavoring (maple syrup or honey and vanilla), fruit, and nuts, and you have breakfast.  If you are cooking the quinoa that morning, just use twice as much liquid (water or almond milk) as you do quinoa, and simmer it for about 15 minutes, until tender.

There are endless combinations you can use for this type of breakfast bowl–in this post I am just sharing two basic and easy ones that I enjoy, because sometimes the most simple recipes are the most accessible and helpful in our everyday lives.

dried berry quinoa breakfast bowl 4Our mornings are still chilly at this time of year, so a nice warm bowl of quinoa with fruit and nuts is comforting and cozy, as well as delicious and healthy.  Spring comes in fits and starts here, rarely smoothly.  Following our spring snowstorms we had a major heat wave, and now it’s back to damp, foggy weather today.  The spring peepers have started, stopped, and started peeping again at least a couple of times in the past couple of weeks.  They say that after the peepers have started and stopped peeping three times, then spring is finally here to stay.  I have lost count, but we must be about there.  Our lilac bushes and cherry trees have little buds on them.  A birch tree we thought was dead has just sprouted tiny little leaves!

banana quinoa breakfast bowl 6With spring comes soccer for our kids, which means full schedules and lots of muddy laundry, mixed with lots of fresh air and fun.  I get a chance to spend time with my fellow soccer moms, who are some of my favorite people on this earth.  Last night they helped me identify some recipe ideas to develop in the coming weeks, since we are all in need of quick, energizing foods and spring crock pot ideas to help us get through these active times with grace and vitality.  I have lots to work on!

dried berry quinoa breakfast bowl editNo matter what the weather is–cold or hot, damp or windy, have you noticed how good the spring air smells?  It is full of the promise of new life and new experiences, while at the same time waking up long-buried emotions and bringing back memories from past springs.  No wonder spring is such an emotional time! That’s why it’s important to have a good, stabilizing breakfast.  I hope you all have a lovely weekend! I’m sharing this post with Angie’s Fiesta Friday, co-hosted this week by Judi @ cookingwithauntjuju and Cynthia @ eatmunchlove.

Two Easy Quinoa Breakfast Bowls

  • Servings: 1
  • Print

For Quinoa with Dried Berries and Pecans

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of cooked quinoa (follow the package instructions, or gently warm up one cup of leftover quinoa in some milk)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of almond milk (or cow’s milk, if you prefer)
  • 1-2 teaspoon of maple syrup or honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • a handful of dried cherries or dried cranberries
  • a handful of chopped pecans

Directions:

Spoon 1 cup of cooked quinoa into a bowl.  Moisten it with the desired amount of milk.  Stir in the maple syrup or honey and the vanilla.  Top with desired amount of dried cherries or cranberries and pecans. Enjoy!

For Quinoa with Sliced Banana and Walnuts

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of cooked quinoa (follow the package instructions for cooking, or gently warm up one cup of leftover quinoa in some milk)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of almond milk (or cow’s milk, if you prefer)
  • 1-2 teaspoons of maple syrup or honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • a handful of chopped walnuts

Directions:

Spoon 1 cup of cooked quinoa into a bowl.  Moisten it with the desired amount of milk.  Stir in the maple syrup or honey and the vanilla.  Top with the banana slices and the desired amount of chopped walnuts.  Enjoy!

 

Older posts