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THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on TheNibble.com,
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Archive for Breakfast

TIP OF THE DAY: Baked Oatmeal With Blueberries & Almonds

Last year we published a recipe for baked oatmeal with strawberries. It was a big hit.

Here’s a baked oatmeal dish with a different flavor profile: blueberry and almond, courtesy of the London-based blog, Pip & Little Blue. You’ll find many other delicious recipes on the website.

“Pip” created this recipe to be heart-healthy, child-friendly and easy to make. “It has to be both one of the yummiest and healthiest breakfasts in my repertoire,” she says. “It may feel like you’re indulging and eating cake for breakfast, but this is jam-packed full of blueberries, oats, soy milk and almonds, all proven to be good for your heart and low in fat to boot. Way way better than [plain] porridge [see note below].

You can reheat slices in the microwave at home or at work, for a nutritious breakfast every day in 30 seconds.

RECIPE: BLUEBERRY & ALMOND BAKED OATMEAL

Ingredients For 8 Servings

  • 1/2 cup butter (plus extra for greasing)*
  • 2/3 cup soft brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly whisked
  • 2 cups cow’s milk or soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups rolled oats†
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder**
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch salt
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1/3 cup flaked almonds
  •    

    baked-oatmeal-pipandlittleblue-230

    It may look like cake, but it’s baked oatmeal for breakfast! You can use an oblong pan, but doesn’t the oatmeal look prettier in a round one? Photo © Pip & Little Blue.

     
    *Substitute margarine for a heart-healthy version, or dairy-free spread for a dairy-free version. (Many margarines have small amounts of dairy- or milk-derived ingredients in them.)

    †For a gluten-free version, use gluten-free certified oats and gluten-free baking powder.

     

    blueberries-basket-balduccis-230sq

    Fresh blueberries are not in season until summer. Instead of pricey imports, consider buying frozen blueberries. If they’re not sweet enough for you, toss them in your sweetener of choice before adding them to the recipe.

     

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 375°F/190°C and grease a deep 9-inch baking pan or deep dish.

    2. CREAM together the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Beat in the eggs, milk and vanilla extract. Stir in the oats, ground almonds, baking powder, cinnamon and salt until all the ingredients are incorporated.

    3. ARRANGE 1 cup of blueberries on the bottom of your baking dish. Spoon the oatmeal mixture on top, even the surface out and scatter the flaked almonds and remaining blueberries on top.

    4. BAKE for 40-45 minutes, or until the oatmeal is springy and golden on top. Serve warm , with extra fruit or a splash of milk.
     
    WHAT IS PORRIDGE?

    Porridge is a dish made by boiling ground, crushed, or chopped cereal grains in water or milk. Optional flavorings can be added, from spices to fruits or cheese.

    Porridge is usually served hot for breakfast, in a bowl or dish. It may be sweetened with sugar or served as a savory dish (cheese grits is an example).

     

    Any cereal grain can be turned into porridge. Buckwheat, oats, wheat (Cream of Wheat, Wheatena) and rice (Cream of Rice) are most popular in the U.S. Worldwide, barley, fonio, maize, millet, rice, rye, sorghum, triticale and quinoa are also made into porridge.

      

    Comments (2)

    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: CedarLane Egg White Omelettes

    It’s a new year and you’ve resolved to eat better. Get started by eating a good breakfast.

    We flipped for CedarLane’s Egg White Omelettes, which go from freezer to plate in 4-1/2 microwave minutes. Eat them directly from the paper baking dish—no dish washing required.

    You’ll benefit from 18-23 g of protein (depending on the variety) and all-natural ingredients. The calories range from 230 to 300 (the latter includes turkey bacon).

    While these are egg white omelettes, made without the cholesterol-laden egg yolks, you wouldn’t know it. They both look and taste like the whole egg, conventionally yellow and very flavorful. They do, however, contain cholesterol from the cheese (and the turkey bacon), but it’s a net savings over a whole egg omelette.

       

    garden-omelette-box-230

    A delicious omelet in 4-1/2 minutes. Photo courtesy CedarLane.

     

     

    spinach-omelete-plate-230

    Each variety is delicious. Here, the popular spinach omelette. Photo courtesy CedarLane.

     

    Tender and tasty, the options include:
    The omelettes are available in four delicious flavors, so well seasoned, they don’t even need a shake of salt.

  • Garden Vegetable & Mozzarella Egg White Omelette: mozzarella cheese and a garden full of veggies—potatoes, red onions, green and red bell peppers, zucchini and tomatoes.
  • Green Chile, Cheese & Ranchero Sauce Egg White Omelette: green chiles and cheddar cheese topped with a delectable ranchero sauce. Not hot or spicy, just delicious.
  • Spinach and Mushroom Egg White Omelette: spinach, mushrooms and both mozzarella and feta cheeses.
  • Uncured Turkey Bacon, Vegetable & Cheese Egg White Omelette: turkey bacon with potatoes, bell peppers, cheddar and mozzarella cheeses.
  •  

    Beyond breakfast, the omelettes are delicious for lunch or a light dinner with a big salad.

    Each individual-portion box has an SRP of $5.00. Learn more at CedarLaneFoods.com.
     
    OMELETTE VS. OMELET?

    It’s French versus British spelling. Both are correct: Omelet is easier to spell while omelette is more elegant.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Eggnog French Toast

    Stuffed_French_Toast_SpiceIslands-230

    Eggnog French toast looks like the regular kind, but packs a punch of extra flavor. Photo courtesy Spice Islands.

     

    Save some of tonight’s eggnog for tomorrow’s French Toast. Eggnog is substituted for the milk that’s normally beaten with the eggs.

    With this recipe, from Taste Of Home, prep time is 10 minutes, cook time is 20 minutes.

    For an even eggier flavor, use challah or brioche instead of conventional bread.

    RECIPE: EGGNOG FRENCH TOAST

    Ingredients For 8-10 Servings

  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups eggnog
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla or rum extract
  • 20 to 26 slices of bread, depending on desired portion size
  • Optional garnish: confectioners’ sugar, berries
  • Maple syrup
  • Preparation

    1. BEAT the eggs, eggnog, sugar and extract in a bowl. Soak the bread in the mixture for 2 minutes per side.

    2. COOK on a greased hot griddle until golden brown on both sides and cooked through.

    3. DUST with confectioners’ sugar if desired, and serve with syrup and optional berries.

     
      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Gingerbread Waffles

    gingerbread-waffles-blueberries-driscolls-230

    Gingerbread waffles for Christmas! Photo courtesy Driscoll’s.

     

    Here’s a nice surprise for the long Christmas weekend: gingerbread waffles. Prep time is just 15 minutes, plus 15 minutes to cook.

    Imported fresh blueberries are pricey in the winter, so feel free to use frozen berries or other, more affordable berries.

    To make pancakes instead of waffles, follow the recipe below and reduce the milk to 1/4 cup.

    RECIPE: GINGERBREAD WAFFLES WITH BLUEBERRY-
    ORANGE SAUCE

    Ingredients For 8 Servings

    For The Waffles

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 package (6 ounces) blueberries
  •  

    For The Blueberry-Orange Sauce

  • 1 package (6 ounces) blueberries
  • 1/2 cups orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MAKE the sauce: Combine the blueberries, juice, sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat; boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat or keep warm until ready to serve. If you use a small (1-quart size) saucepan, the sauce will thicken without overcooking.

    2. STIR together the flour, sugar, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and salt in a medium bowl until combined. Whisk in eggs, milk and butter until smooth. Stir in the blueberries.

    3. POUR one cup batter onto the center of a greased, heated waffle maker. Bake about 5 minutes or until the steaming stops. Remove carefully. Serve waffles hot from the iron, or keep them warm by placing on a rack over a baking sheet in a 200°F oven while preparing the remaining waffles.

    4. SERVE with warm blueberry-orange sauce.

     
      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Homemade Bacon Jam

    BLT-Tart-Bacon-Jam-2-domesticfits-230r

    In this clever version, bacon jam on toast is turned into a holiday treat. Photo courtesy DomesticFits.com. Here’s the recipe.

     

    You’ve got time to whip up a batch of bacon jam, either to serve at Christmas breakfast or to give as a special gift.

    Thia recipe is from chef Johnny Gnall, who teaches us that….

    JAM + BACON DRIPPINGS = BACON JAM

    “Sure, pork loins and roasts may get slathered or served with a fruity condiment,” says Chef Johnny. “But cured pork like bacon, guanciale, pancetta and prosciutto, used sparingly, makes a great accent and can steal the show, even in scant amounts. When you cook salt pork products or pork chops, simply save the drippings and make bacon jam!

    “I keep a jar of bacon drippings in my fridge, adding to it each time I cook bacon. One of my favorite uses for the bacon fat is when I drop a tablespoon or so into a small sauce pan and add a few spoonfuls of whatever jam I happen to have on hand.”

    Here’s the easy and inexpensive recipe (you don’t use expensive bacon, but the by-product from cooking it):
     
    RECIPE: EASY HOMEMADE BACON JAM

    Ingredients

  • Bacon drippings
  • Jam of choice
  • Fresh rosemary or thyme
  • Toast
  • Preparation

    1. WHISK together the bacon drippings and jam in a small pot over medium heat. Heat just enough to melt the bacon fat and blend together, and add the chopped herbs to taste.

    At this point, all you need is a thick slice of toast to make a very delicious and indulgent breakfast on the go. You could top it with an egg.

    You could top it with arugula and cherry tomatoes for a Christmas appetizer or hors d’oeuvre, as in the photo. Or you could…

    2. MAKE a sauce. You can stretch the bacon jam out with broth or water and use it as a quick and simple sauce over or in whatever grain you are serving. It goes particularly well with something hearty, like farro. Just a little of this rich, sweet concoction can turn any grain into a belly-warming home run. Or, dab some on mashed potatoes!

     
      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Christmas Tree Eggnog French Toast

    This recipe from Driscoll’s Berries tastes best when using slightly stale bread and soaking it overnight in the eggnog mixture. You can, however, make it at the last minute without the advance prep work.

    For Christmas breakfast, most of the prep can be done the night before. In the morning, just brown the toast and trim to assemble your tree. Place it on the dining table and watch the tree disappear quickly!

    You’ll have more berries than you need to decorate the Christmas tree, so serve them in a bowl on the side. Find more berry-laden recipes at Driscolls.com.

    RECIPE: CHRISTMAS TREE EGGNOG FRENCH TOAST

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 8 thick slices dense, stale bread* (country white or wheat
    bread)
  • 2 cups eggnog
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 cup blackberries
  • 1/4 cup raspberries
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • Dash freshly ground nutmeg
  • Optional: maple syrup
  •  
    *If the bread is fresh, let the slices sit uncovered for a few hours to dry out.

     

    christmas-tree-eggnog-french-toast-driscolls-230

    Turn French Toast into a Christmas tree. Photo courtesy Driscoll’s.

     

    Preparation

    1. LINE a large, shallow baking pan with bread slices. Mix the eggnog with the eggs, vanilla and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Pour the eggnog mixture over the bread, turning the slices once to coat both sides. Cover pan with foil and refrigerate overnight.

    2. HEAT a greased griddle over medium heat. Cook the bread slices about 2 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Remove from pan then cut the 2 bottom corners off at an angle leaving the top crust intact. Bottom of the slice should now be in a V pattern.

    3. PLACE the slices on a platter and create a berry Christmas tree by layering berry slices V side up to form a pyramid shape. Arrange a single blackberry as a stump, sliced strawberries for the tree skirt and 6 raspberries as a tree topper. Then create a garland of small blueberries. Top with dusting of nutmeg and powdered sugar for snow. Serve with an optional side of maple syrup, and a bowl of the extra berries.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Baked French Toast

    National French Toast Day is November 28th. Take a break from Thanksgiving leftovers and enjoy this baked French toast casserole—part French toast, part bread pudding.

    The recipe is from Pepperidge Farm, which uses its Cinnamon Swirl Bread; but if you can’t find it, you can use any cinnamon or cinnamon-raisin loaf.

    Prep time is 15 minutes, chill time is 1 hour or overnight. Bake time is 45 minutes, so if you do the prep and chill in advance, all you have to do is wake up and preheat the oven.

    RECIPE: BAKED FRENCH SWIRL TOAST

    Ingredients for 8 Servings

  • 1 loaf (16 ounces) Pepperidge Farm Cinnamon Swirl Bread, cut into cubes
  • 3/4 cup sweetened dried cherries or cranberries
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 cups half and half or milk
  • 2 teaspons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon sugar or confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoons whipped butter
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  •    

    baked-french-toast-pepperidge-farm-230

    Baked French toast is like bread pudding. Photo courtesy Pepperidge Farm.

     

    pepperidge-farm-cinnamon-swirl-230

    We love all the Pepperidge Farm swirl breads. Photo courtesy Pepperidge Farms.

     

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Place the bread cubes and cranberries into a lightly greased 3-quart shallow baking dish.

    2. BEAT the eggs, half-and-half and vanilla extract in a medium bowl with a fork or whisk. Pour the egg mixture over the bread cubes. Stir and press the bread cubes into the egg mixture to coat. Refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.

    3. BAKE for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar. Serve with the butter and syrup.
     
    IS FRENCH TOAST FRENCH?

    Nope! Here’s the history of French Toast.

     

      

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Umpqua Oats Single Serve Oatmeal

    We’ve grown fond of single-serve premium oatmeal cups. The grab-and-go packages are easy to tote, requiring only a half cup of hot water and three minutes of sitting time to turn into a nutritious breakfast or snack. The al dente oatmeal needs no milk, although occasionally we add some.

    Umpqua Oats sent us samples of their line, and we felt good eating every one. The all-natural flavors include:

  • Jackpot: raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and pecans
  • Kick Start: blueberries, cranberries, sunflower seeds and more
  • Mostly Sunny: apples, cranberries and raisins (nut free)
  • Not Guilty: blueberries, apples, flax, chia and no added salt or sugar
  • Old School: apples, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, walnuts and almonds
  • RU Nuts: walnuts, sunflower seeds, almonds and flax
  • Salted Caramel: caramel pieces with pecans and sea salt
  • Vanilla Almond Crunch: almonds, vanilla, honey and vanilla almond granola
  •    

    salted-caramel-beauty-umpquaoatsFB-230

    Just add hot water. Photo courtesy Umpqua Oats.

     

    trio-beauty-230

    Three of the eight grab-and-go varieties. Photo courtesy Umpqua Oats.

     

    The benefit of Umpqua Oats over instant oatmeal is that the brand uses the whole hulled grain, rather than processed “instant” oats, providing more fiber in addition to better texture. There’s also less sugar than sweetened instant oats.

    The line is certified kosher by Blue Ribbon Kosher and certification by the Non-GMO Project.

    Umpqua Oats is currently sold at more than 2,000 retail outlets across the United States. For more information or to order online, visit UmpquaOats.com.

    Founded in Oregon by two moms and now headquartered in Las Vegas, Umpqua Oats was one of the first purveyors to provide a quick-cooking, single-serve oatmeal product based on high-quality ingredients for taste and satiety.

    Umpqua is a river in southwest Oregon. The name means “thundering waters” or “across the waters” in the native Umpqua language.

     

      

    Comments

    PRODUCT & GIFT: Pumpkin Granola

    Artisan granola specialist My Favorite Indulgence slow-roasts gourmet granola in small batches. The result is very flavorful, and crunchier than most granolas.

    Flavors include Granola With Nuts, Nut Free Granola and Chocolate Mocha Granola. But a timely seasonal gift is the Pumpkin-Spiced Granola (it’s available year-round).

    Made with certified non-GMO ingredients on a base of oats, the rich flavors derive from real pumpkin, spices (cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg), almonds, walnuts, dried cranberries, brown sugar and maple syrup.

    A 10-ounce pouch is $9.95. There’s free shipping with a purchase of three pouches or more. Handsome gift wrapping is available.

    Alas, the individual snack pack size is temporarily sold out, but keep checking: They make great stocking stuffers and party favors.

    Get yours at MyFavoriteIndulgence.com.

     

    my-favorite-indulgence-granola-pumpkinpkg-230

    Gourmet and giftable: Pumpkin-Spiced Granola. Photo courtesy My Favorite Indulgence.

     

    THE HISTORY OF GRANOLA

    Granola was invented as a healthy breakfast food in 1863 by Dr. James Caleb Jackson, owner of a sanatorium* in upstate New York. It was the world’s first dry, manufactured breakfast cereal.

    At that time, the standard American breakfast was a cholesterol-laden hot meal of eggs, bacon, sausage and beef or chicken, hot cereal, biscuits, toast, butter and jam—a British tradition that evolved to fortify the gentry for a day of sport. (The less wealthy had a ready supply of eggs from their own eggs; fresh eggs also were easily accessible to city folk.)

    Granula became granola when Dr. John Kellogg, who founded a sanatorium in the midwest, produced a similar product with the same name. So, “granola” was born of a trademark lawsuit.

    Check out the history of granola and the difference between granola and muesli.
     
    *Also spelled sanitorium and sanitarium, it indicates a medical facility for long-term illness. While many specialized in the treatment of tuberculosis and other diseases that were not curable before the advent of antibiotics and other medications, others catered to the affluent in a more spa-like environment, where their digestive problems and other discomforts were treated with a regimen of rest and good nutrition.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Cheese Strata With Kale, Sausage & Caramelized Onions

    cheese-strata-kale-sausage-eatwischeese-230r

    Cheese strata with kale and sausage. Photo
    courtesy Eat Wisconsin Cheese.

     

    Today is gray and chilly, perfect comfort food weather. We’re whipping up this cheese strata, which was created by Annalise of the blog Completely Delicious for Eat Wisconsin Cheese. It’s another way to use stale bread, although fresh bread works fine.

    Enjoy it for brunch or lunch with a green salad.

    RECIPE: CHEESE STRATA WITH SAUSAGE,
    KALE & CARAMELIZED ONIONS

    Ingredients For 8 Servings

  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1/2 pound pork breakfast sausage roll
  • 1-1/2 cups yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cups packed kale, stems removed and coarsely chopped
  • 9 cups French or Italian bread, cut into cubes (about
    1 baguette)
  • 1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) Fontina cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) Wisconsin Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2-3/4 cup whole milk
  • 9 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  •  

    Preparation

    1. MELT 1 tablespoon butter in sauté pan over medium heat. Add sausage and cook until browned. Drain on paper towel. Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter and onions to pan and cook over low heat until onions are soft and caramelized, 15-20 minutes. Add kale and cook until wilted, stirring frequently.

    2. BUTTER a 9×13–inch baking dish. Distribute 1/3 bread cubes in bottom of dish. Top with 1/3 of sausage, kale and onions. Sprinkle with 1/3 of Fontina and Parmesan. Repeat layering with remaining ingredients.

    3. WHISK together in large bowl the milk, eggs, mustard, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Pour over baking dish, making sure all bread cubes are moistened. Press mixture down so it lays flush with the top of baking pan.

    4. COVER with buttered foil and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.

    5. PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Let the strata come to room temperature for 30 minutes. Bake uncovered 50-55 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Store leftovers in fridge.

     

    lacinato-black-tuscan-dinosaur-kale-beauty-goodeggs-230r-r

    Kale, kale everywhere. Photo of Black Tuscan Kale (Dinosaur Kale) courtesy Good Eggs.

     

    WHAT’S A STRATA?

    A strata or stratta is a layered casserole dish, similar to a quiche or frittata. The base is a mixture of bread, eggs and cheese, to which any variety of ingredients can be added. Sausage or ham and vegetables are particularly popular.

    Strata is the plural of stratum, the Latin word for layer.

    According to Wikipedia, the earliest strata recipe known is from 1902, a gratin of layers of bread, white sauce, and cheese, but no eggs.

      

    Comments

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