Memories and healthy recipes for your dinner table.

Tag: RECIPES – Breakfast

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies

There is a fresh strawberry stand within biking distance from our home. The strawberries are always so juicy and sweet. Problem is I have two little ones who can down a whole flat of berries in one day. My daughter did not like the idea […]

Jen’s Basic Granola Reserve

Granola is a combination of grains (particularly oats), nuts, dried seeds and fruits seasoned with spices. It makes a terrific breakfast cereal with yogurt or milk. Take some along for a quick pick-me-up snack. Homemade granola is not like the hard clusters found in cereal boxes […]

Biscuit 101- The History of…

In the South the term “biscuit” often refers to a light, fluffy, flaky, buttery bread usually served with breakfast. In England and other places around the world however, a biscuit is more like a hard scone or “cookie” served with tea or coffee.

The History:
The word “biscuit” derives from the Latin “panis biscoctus,” meaning “bread twice baked.” The history books tell us that the “biscuit” began as a simple paste of flour and water. The paste was baked, removed from the pan; then cooked again in a cooler oven until thoroughly dried out. The result was a hard, portable “cracker” with an extraordinary extended shelf life. “Biscuits” were very popular among the sailors and travelers because they were lite and could last for months.

Meanwhile, the more civilized areas of the world started exploring alternate baked goods. These ancient civilizations experimented with eggs, butter and cream; in addition to, sugar, fruits and honey as well as spices from the Middle East. The first shift from the unyielding biscuits were small cake like confections popular in Persia during the 7th Century AD. During the Medieval Ages the culinary techniques for making sweet and savory cake-like biscuits were introduced to the Europeans during the invasion of Muslims into Spain and the Crusades.

Biscuits World Wide:
Throughout the centuries biscuits have been called many things:
British- Ship’s Biscuit (Hardtack)
French- Gaufrettes wafers,
Jewish- Mandelbrot
South Africa- Rusk
German-Zwieback
Australian / New Zeland- ANZAC (War Biscuits), (Afghan biscuits were derived from the Australian ANZAC)
Dutch- Speculaas (ginger flavored type cookie)
Scotish- Shortbread
Italy- Biscotti
Russain / Ukraine- Tea Cakes
Egypt- millet bread called dhourra cake
Persia- cookies
Middle East- Barazek

In early America the pioneers favored the “soda biscuit” or as the Chuck Wagoners referred to them, “Cowboy biscuits”. Soda biscuits were usually cooked in iron dutch ovens.These were cast-iron pots with lids that could be used over an open fire. The biscuits were were rolled then placed in the pot. After the lid was set in place the cook would layer coals from fire on top of the lid. The heat created a small portable oven.

The “Marlyand”, “Beaten Biscuit” or “Appalachian biscuit” is thought to predate the leavened soda biscuit of the settlers. Before the 1900’s corn bread was a favored commodity in the Appalachian mountains. Corn bread was cheap to make as the corn was grown in abundance locally. The bread did not require a fancy oven or pans as did the “biscuits” eaten by those of society.

At the turn of the century the settlement movement placed women volunteers in low income areas in the South to help alleviate poverty. The Appalachians contaminated corn products or “musty corn” were thought to be the cause of pellagra. “A life-threatening disease similar in effect to leprosy.” Families were faced with a choice to eat the stores of corn and risk death or starve during the winter months. The women hoped to help the Appalachians adopt a healthier diet. They taught them cooking lessons introducing the wheat flour “Beaten Biscuit.” The beaten biscuit was not a realistic choice for the impoverished community. The biscuits required imported wheat flour in addition to a special oven to regulate temperatures; moreover, the biscuits needed to be beaten with a mallet on a marble slab 300-500 times to incorporate air into the dough.

Seeing the need for reform the Appalachains were taught how to make a simpler version called the “Cat Head”. It was basically a Southern buttermilk biscuit the size of a cat’s head. The dough was pinched off, then rolled into a ball, and placed with sides touching into an iron skillet. Today corn bread still remains the chosen bread for many in the Appalachian territory.

Other biscuits from the 1900’s include:
–The “Touch of Grace” or “Angel” biscuit. These are very light and similar to a yeast roll but still considered a biscuit. They were a fool-proof recipe for new brides because the recipe called for two leaveners in case one failed.
–The “Rolled” biscuit- dates back to the late 1800’s. The dough was rolled out then shaped with a cutter.
–The “Drop” biscuit– the dough is the consistency of a batter. The batter is dropped by spoonfuls rather than cut or pinched.
–“Refrigerator” biscuits – arrived in the 1930’s. They are tubes of prepackaged biscuit dough.

Other ways to eat biscuits:
Cream Cheese Biscuits with Chocolate Gravy
Peach Cobbler
Shortcakes
Chicken and Dumplings
Biscuits and Gravy
Scones
Cheddar and Herb

Cranberry Orange Baked Oatmeal To-Go Bars

Next to pancakes oatmeal is our second favorite breakfast food. What I love most about baked oatmeal however is it is portable. Wrap some up to take on a hike or make a batch for an afternoon snack. Reheat the leftovers for breakfast the next […]

Banana Oat Pancakes

Yum, yum pancakes. Oatmeal banana pancakes. I so love pancakes. I think my son could eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. He is a picky eater. Occasionally he will surprise me like the time he ate hummus with carrots. He did not start out […]

Pannenkoek Dutch Apple Pancakes

Dutch Apple Pancakes

Last month I met some friends for breakfast at a local cafe. As a self-proclaimed pancake luver I decided to try the Dutch Apple Pancakes with sauteed apples. I was unsure with my decision because I am not a fan of the goopy sugary apple pie filling that typically smothers a beautiful stack of flap jacks at the more commercial establishments. I was more than pleasantly surprised when the waiter returned with my order. Our server placed before me three huge pancakes nestled on top of one another each one incorporated with sauteed apple slices and topped with a dollop of lightly whipped cream. They tasted as mouth watering as they looked with a crispy buttery outside and a tender pancake inside. The apple slices were actually cooked in each pancake. A clean simple dish.

Pannenkoek is a Dutch pancake that is larger and thinner than the fluffy American pancakes but slightly thicker than crepes. A traditional pannenkoek is about 10-12 inches in diameter and are usually infused with slices of bacon, sausage, fruits or sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. They can be made thinner and rolled up like a crepe or eaten like a pancake with an endless combination of fillings and toppings from salmon to pizza to sweet.

We took our regular pancake recipe and thinned it out with a little more milk and butter. You can choose to saute the apples in a little butter and cinnamon sugar beforehand or use thinly sliced raw apples. Add sliced almonds or chopped pecans for an nice variation.

2 sweet cooking apples such as McIntosh, Fuji or Gala, cored and thinly sliced or cut in rounds
3 cups flour
4 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
2 good pinches of salt
4 eggs
2 cups plus 4 tbsp milk
5 tbsp melted butter

Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Whisk in eggs and half the milk until thickened. Add the rest of the milk to make a thin batter. Whisk in the melted butter. Mix until smooth.

Spray or heat a little butter or vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Pour in the batter to make desired sized pancakes. Immediately arrange the apple slices on top of the pancakes. Generously dust with cinnamon sugar. When tops start to set with bubbles flip over. Continue to cook 30 seconds to 1 minute more until bottoms are slightly browned.

Makes 10 large pancakes or 14 small.

Family Togetherness: Wednesday Breakfast

“Frukostdags” by Hanna Pauli Wednesday morning breakfasts appeared one day without any solicitation on my part. On Wednesday mornings I like to make pancakes. They make for a nice variation from the typical egg burritos or oatmeal. One Wednesday morning I was surprised to discover […]

Cowboy Cornmeal Omelets

In this post we begin with a recipe for an omelet made from a cornbread batter as opposed to eggs. I could not find white cornmeal mix in our local grocery store. Instead I used plain yellow cornmeal in place of the mix. Not completely […]

Savory Orange Honey Butter

Honey butter is very easy to make and tastes wonderful on everything from corn bread, muffins, french toast and rolls. I thought I would make up a batch for a special holiday breakfast treat. The orange zest is a nice compliment to the salty butter and naturally sweet honey. Slather some on a biscuit for a satisfying dessert.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 honey
1 tsp grated orange zest

Whip the butter, honey an zest together until well combined.

Variations:
– To make a glaze use melted butter in the place of softened butter. Whip in the honey and zest. Allow to cool in the refrigerator overnight.

Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes

It is not very often our five year old volunteers to help cook. This morning he was eager to take position as my assistant chef.  He mashed the bananas, whisked the dry ingredients and then combined the two. This helpful streak of his has been […]