Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Holiday Breakfasts and Brunches

Holidays are a great time to think about breakfasts and brunches. So nice to gather friends and family together in a more casual and informal way. Check out my September 17, 2009 blog for more breakfast and brunch ideas, including the omelet which is great with the Breakfast Cake below.

Breakfast Cake 
This quick bread needs to be baked and eaten immediately. It loses its interest if allowed to sit around for very long. You can do steps 1, 2, and 3 ahead of time. Wait to add the liquids to the dry until your guests have arrived, assuming you want a little time to chat and drink something bubbly before eating. Your house will smell just wonderful. While the cake is baking, you can make some omelets if you want.


2 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sugar
½ cup (1 stick) butter, cut into ½-inch squares
1 tablespoon brown sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon ground coriander
1 egg, beaten
¾ cup milk

1. Blend the flour, sugar, and butter together with a pastry cutter, a food processor or your fingers until the mixture is crumbly.
2. Move ¾ cup of this mixture to a second bowl. It will become the topping. Add the brown sugar and cinnamon to the topping.
3. Add the baking powder and the coriander to the original mixture. Mix in well. Combine the beaten egg and the milk.
4. Stir the milk/egg mixture into the baking powder/flour mixture. Pour this batter into a buttered 8 x 8 pan. Sprinkle the cinnamon mixture over the top.
5. Bake in a 350ºF oven for 35-40 minutes or until the middle of the cake bounces back and the cake has slightly pulled away from the side of the pan.
Serve hot or warm.

Makes one 8 x 8 pan.
Adapted from my handwritten cooking notebook from Japan, 1971-73. Unknown provenance.

Crunchy Granola
Believe it or not, there was a time when the only way to eat granola was to make it yourself. Way back in the 60s, Quaker Oats was still just rolling regular or quick-cooking oats—nothing as exotic as granola. I have recently started making this again thanks to my former husband finding the original handwritten recipe and sending it to me. It is just delicious with yogurt, fresh fruit, or milk. You can also put the granola into small jars from IKEA or the hardware store, wrap them with a bow (or not) and give them for holiday presents.

Dry ingredients:
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 cup dried coconut, unsweetened
1 cup wheat germ
½ teaspoon salt
Add any seeds or chopped nuts you have on hand

Wet ingredients:
1 tablespoon vanilla
½ cup canola or other vegetable oil
¾ cup brown sugar (I know it’s not wet but it works best in this group)
¾ cup hot water

1. Combine the dry ingredients.
2. Combine the wet ingredients.
3. Add the wet to the dry. Mix well.
4. Spread evenly on two rimmed baking sheets.
5. Toast in a 275°F. oven for about 60-80 minutes, stirring every 20-30 minutes, until it is golden brown and crunchy enough for your taste. You might want to rotate the sheets halfway through baking. You can use convection bake if you have that setting on your oven. Regular works fine too of course.
6. Cool on sheets. Store in an air-tight tin or a large glass jar.

Found originally, I believe, in a newsletter for Albany Village, (University of California married student housing) sometime between 1966 and 1970. To the left is my handwritten copy, recently acquired.

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