glazed pumpkin doughnut muffinsI’ve been slowly working my way through the recipes on my Fall Pinterest board. Last Saturday Erik and I made an awesome homemade breakfast that consisted of biscuits and gravy and these pumpkin doughnut muffins. Donut or doughnut? Whatever.

Erik actually made 90% of these doughnut muffins while I wore Juliet in the Becco. She ran over with her hands up and asked “momma doing??” and wanted to be held to observe us baking. Measuring flour while holding a toddler is not so easy so I read the directions to Erik while he did most of the work.

I’d look over every once and a while and noticed him haphazardly measuring the spices and I felt compelled to reminded him that baking is a science and I’d appreciate it if he measured exactly. He really loved that.

These muffins were a big hit. We had my sister and her husband Drew over for breakfast and they both complimented all the food. Juliet ate two. She licked the glaze off first.

Glazed pumpkin doughnut muffins (recipe via Tidy Mom via Martha Stewart)

Ingredients 
3/4 cup butter (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups pure pumpkin puree (from a 15-ounce can – save extra for glaze)
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs

For the Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon half & half (or milk)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons pure pumpkin puree
1/4 heaping teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 Tablespoons butter, melted

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 standard muffin cups with cupcake papers (or butter and flour if not using liners).

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.


In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, vanilla and pumpkin puree.


In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down bowl as needed. With mixer on low, add pumpkin mixture, then flour mixture and beat to combine.


Spoon 1/3 cup batter into the prepared pan, filling the cups nearly full, and bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove pan to a cooling rack and allow muffins to cool for about 10 minutes.


Meanwhile, prepare the glaze by placing powdered sugar in a medium bowl, slowly whisk in milk and vanilla until there are no lumps. Continue to whisk while adding pumpkin puree, spice and melted butter until smooth.


Place a layer of wax or parchment paper under the cooling rack. Dip the muffin crowns into the glaze, place the muffins back onto the cooling rack and allow the glaze to harden. Dip a second time, if desired.


A couple notes, I made the glaze hurriedly and didn’t whisk the powdered sugar with the milk enough for the clumps to disappear. So the glaze doesn’t look perfect and sort of lumpy. Also, I thought these muffins were more like muffins than doughnuts. I think the cake-like texture is supposed to resemble a doughnut but it’s a bit of a stretch, if you ask me. Regardless, these are great and totally perfect for a fall weekend breakfast. 

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On Saturday morning Juliet woke up with her eye swollen shut. She had been bit by a mosquito the day before at daycare right by her eye, so I knew the swelling was a result of that. It was freaky looking, and I was a bit spooked and worried. I called the nurse line at her doctor’s office and also consulted with a friend who is a pediatrician and they both assured me the swelling would go down and she would be fine.

While Juliet didn’t seem to be too bothered by the swollen eye, she had a bit of a cold and was pretty grumpy Saturday. So we decided to have a lazy day at home. The weather was perfect for it, cold and rainy, so I didn’t mind a day in. I think Juliet enjoyed it too. We played and played and played. I baked while she napped. I actually spent a lot of time in the kitchen while Erik hung out with Juliet. In addition to these scones I made applesauce in the crockpot and butternut squash soup. It must be fall!
I want to bake a thousand pumpkin recipes over the next month. I’ll have to settle for 4-5. I’ve never made pumpkin scones before and thought these would be a nice challenge. I craved anything and everything sweet when I was pregnant with Juliet, now I just enjoy sweets every once in a while. And I don’t like anything overly sweet. That’s why scones are great. This recipe only called for 7 tablespoons of sugar for the scone itself (not including the glaze, which could certainly be skipped). Scones are actually pretty easy. They seem intimidating but they are not much more difficult than muffins in my opinion. You just have to get a bit of practice in with cutting butter into a flour mixture. I’ve done it plenty of times since I’ve made my fair share of pie crust and other baked goods. But really, it’s easy. And you can do it with a pastry cutter, your hands or a food processor. For these scones I used my pastry cutter.

The glaze is (sort of literally) the icing on the cake. It is really easy to whip up (honestly, it takes a minute) and not only adds prettiness to the scones but also another hint of sweetness (but not too sweet, at all).

I’ve had too many dry scones in my day and these are not dry whatsoever. They are actually quite moist and go perfectly with your morning cup of coffee.

My little girl’s eye is looking much better today and she is totally back to her normal self, thank goodness.

Pumpkin scones with a spiced glaze (recipe via Brown Eyed Baker)

INGREDIENTS:

For the Scones:
2 cups all-purpose flour
7 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
6 Tablespoons cold butter
½ cup canned pumpkin
3 Tablespoons half-and-half or milk (I used whole milk)
1 large egg
For the Powdered Sugar Glaze:
1 cup plus 1 Tablespoon powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
For the Spiced Glaze:
1 cup plus 3 Tablespoons powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pinch ground ginger
1 pinch ground cloves

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger in a large bowl. Use a fork to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until mixture is crumbly and no chunks of butter are obvious; set aside.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, half-and-half and egg. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients, and form the dough into a ball. Pat out dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a 1-inch thick rectangle about 3 times as long as wide. Use a large knife or a pizza cutter to slice the dough twice through the width, making three equal portions. Cut each of the portions in an X pattern (four pieces) so you end up with 12 triangular slices of dough. Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until light brown. Place on wire rack to cool.
4. To make the powdered sugar glaze, mix the powdered sugar and milk together until smooth. When scones are cool, dip the scones top into the glaze, let it drizzle upside down for a moment and then place it back on the wire rack (I used newspaper to catch the dripping glaze).
5. To make the spiced glaze, while the powdered sugar glaze is firming, combine all of the ingredients for the spiced glaze. Drizzle over each scone with a spoon and allow the icing to dry before serving (about an hour).
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I love brunch. I love quiche. Now that I’ve made my first strata I love strata, too. What’s not to love? It’s basically a dish with eggs, cheese and veggies poured over bread cubes to form sort of an egg bread pudding. Yum.

This dish is pretty healthy. Kale is all over farmers’ markets right now and you can get a huge bunch of it for $1 – $2. It’s a bit of a hassle to prep and wash kale but definitely worth it. Everyone knows how healthy kale is and how it’s a super duper food. I like kale, but I don’t love kale, like some people do. This dish would be great with spinach as well.

Kale and goat cheese strata (recipe adapted from Super Natural Everyday cookbook by Heidi Swanson)

Ingredients

Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups milk (I used whole organic milk)
6 large eggs
3 cups day-old whole wheat bread, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 cups chopped kale (washed and woody stems removed, leaves only)
1/2 cup goat cheese, crumbled

Preparation

Rub a splash of olive oil in a 9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle the baking dish with lemon zest and set aside. Instead of using a 9 inch baking dish I used 8 small ramekins.

In a medium bowl, whisk the olive oil, mustard, salt, and pepper with a splash of the milk. Whisk in the rest of the milk and the eggs.

Put the bread in the prepared baking dish and top with the kale and half of the goat cheese. Gently toss with your hands – just enough that the spinach and cheese mixes with the pieces of bread. Make sure the bread is relatively level in the baking dish. Very slowly drizzle the egg mixture over the bread and sprinkle with the remaining goat cheese. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F with a rack in the top third of the oven.

Bake the strata, uncovered for 45 to 55 minutes, until the egg is set in the middle and the edges are browned. If you are using ramekins it won’t take as long to bake, about 30 minutes, but check it often.

Serve warm.

Note, for richer flavor, add more goat cheese. You can never have enough goat cheese, in my opinion. Also, I felt there was quite a lot of bread and the dish became very bread-y. Next time I would reduce the amount of bread by 1 cup. 

I think my next brunch recipe challenge is going to be a souffle. Have you ever tried one? I’m a bit intimidated. Please comment and share any strata or souffle recipes you have. Check out the breakfast category for all the former yummy posts and recipes.

Have a great Monday.

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I have a borderline obsession with brunch. It’s my favorite meal and brunch food is one of my favorite types of food to prepare. I think brunch entertaining is the best kind of entertaining. You get to serve pretty, bubbly cocktails like mimosas and bellinis and it’s totally acceptable to serve half of the meal with store-bought items like croissants and donuts. Quiche is always a great option for the main dish and it can be served at room temperature, so there is no worrying about timing the meal perfectly to serve hot out of the oven. Less stress and more time for sipping mimosas and enjoying your guests.

I’ve made a ton of different quiche recipes over the past few years and this one is my favorite. It is creamy and bold. I mean…some of the key ingredients are blue cheese, cream and cream cheese. It’s as good as it sounds. But probably not good for you. Did I mention I ate it with a chocolate donut?

Herbed quiche with blue cheese (recipe via Martha Stewart)

Ingredients 

1 refrigerated pie crust

6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 ounces blue cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mixed herbs, such as parsley, thyme, tarragon, chives, and/or oregano (I used 2 tablespoons fresh chives and 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)
Directions 
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Unroll the pie crust and press into a pie pan (alternatively you can use mini tart pans, I found that one pie crust fills 3-4 mini tart pans. I used 3 but probably could have used 4 with a bit less crust in each pan). Prick the bottom and sides of the crust with a fork. 
Place the pie pan (or mini tart pans) on a baking sheet, and bake for 9 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and set the tart pan on a wire rack to cool. 
Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, blue cheese, and butter. Whisk in the eggs until well blended. Stir in the cream, milk, salt, pepper, and herbs. Pour the filling into the partially baked pie shell. Return the tart pan to the baking sheet and bake, rotating the quiche halfway through, until it is puffed and golden brown, 25 minutes. The quiche is done when a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove the tart pan from the baking sheet and set it on a wire rack to cool for at least 5 minutes before slicing. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.

Please note, you will have extra filling if you use mini tart pans instead of a pie pan. You can either reduce some of the milk and cream and eliminate one of the eggs so that you have less liquid or pour the additional liquid into ramekins and bake without the crust. Either option is great.  
Here are a few brunch entertaining posts and links to some of my favorite quiche recipes. Happy brunch entertaining!  
Juliet’s one year “Baby Love” first birthday party – part 1 and part 2
Oh and if you have any favorite quiche/egg bake recipes please comment and share. 
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I took Monday off this week and spent the entire day hanging out with Juliet. It was awesome momma/daughter time and I couldn’t have asked for a better day with her. I was so busy at work last week, and even though I had a whole weekend with no work, I felt I needed another day to spend with my girl. Fortunately, I have the vacation time to use and it was a perfect day to take off (no major meetings, no major deadlines.) It may be the last day I can take off in a while. And so I took full advantage.

I could tell Juliet really enjoyed having me all to herself all day. She was so content all day long. So was I. We had a lazy morning and then headed to a splash pad/water park with my mom. The weather was great and Juliet squealed with happiness at all the splashing/dripping/spraying water. She LOVED it.

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So these frittatas may not be the prettiest things in the world but my girlie loves them. I recently bought the Weelicious cookbook and this was the first recipe I tried. These frittatas are great because you can swap out the veggie ingredients for whatever is in your fridge.

I’ve packed these in Juliet’s lunches and have been giving them to her for breakfast.  They would also be nutritious snacks.

Baby Frittata (recipe via Weelicious cookbook)

Ingredients

3 eggs
2 Tablespoons of milk (I use Organic Whole Milk)
2 Tablespoons of grated Parmesan (I had shredded cheddar so that’s what I used)
1/4 cups diced asparagus
1/4 cups diced tomatoes (original recipe calls for sun-dried tomatoes)

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and spray or grease 12 mini muffins cups with oil or butter.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together.  Stir in the remaining ingredients.

Place a heaping tablespoon of the egg/vegetable mixture in each muffin cup.

Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until golden and set.

I liked these, too.  You can double the recipe and fill a regular size muffin pan for a brunch with friends.  The minis would be great appetizers for a cocktail party.  I’m a big fan of recipes that work for baby and momma.

Excited to try more of Weelicious recipes for my girl.

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