Tag Archives: brunch

Roasted Kielbasa and Potato Casserole: An Easy Meat and Potatoes Dinner You Can Feel Good About


I very much grew up in a meat and potatoes household. Our dinner menus were as predictable as the negotiating was to get out of doing dishes. Every night there was a meat entree — ground beef made into burgers, meatloaf, sloppy joes — with some form of potato — be it baked, mashed, or frozen fries. A side of canned green beans or corn would round out our plates. And for dessert we never received more than two small sandwich cookies.

This is my comfort food. This is what I fall back to when I’m homesick, too exhausted to think through a meal plan, or just want to keep things really simple.

So many of my recipes are fresh takes on old favorites, and that’s exactly what I’m serving up here. There’s nothing new with this recipe, it’s been served out of casserole dishes for decades. What is new is the realization that you can make it a little more wholesome, but just as savory, familiar, and comforting. (more…)

Sunny Side Up Breakfast Sandwich: Because We are Free to Eat Egg Yolks Again!


While most people like to take advantage of sleeping in on a weekend morning, I roll out of bed and start cooking. Similar to most other families, mine is a crazy kind of busy all week. But on Saturdays we get one another’s undivided attention over a hearty breakfast that fuels our equally busy weekends. Since I have a preschooler who rises at dawn, sometimes my version of sleeping in is letting someone else cook, and that’s where I found this sandwich.

One morning at a favorite local breakfast dive, I poured over the menu and couldn’t find anything I wanted. However, the BLT on the lunch menu called to me, especially with the mention of avocado and tomato slices. I asked them to breakfast-ize it with an over-medium egg. They did, and it was glorious. It seemed so obvious, yet, I’d never thought about it before!

Any guilt you’ve harbored for the last few decades over eating a fried egg, well go ahead and shake it loose. Cholesterol is no longer the nutritional enemy we’ve been told to avoid. Our Mary Hartley, RD explains why we are no longer relegated to egg white omelets. That’s why we’re celebrating over runny egg yolk sandwiches! (more…)

5-Ingredient Fig and Honey Breakfast Quinoa is a Deliciously Strong Start to Your Day

fig honey breakfast quinoa

Few things are as satisfying, or good for you, as a bowl of oatmeal in the morning. It’s a powerhouse breakfast food with satiating fiber and protein. But would you believe there’s a grain that can fuel you longer with more fiber and protein? It’s quinoa.

quinoa bowl
Sound too freaky? I used to think the same thing, until I started experimenting with the neutral-flavored grain that ranks amongst the best super foods. The opportunity to have an even stronger start to my day was all the encouragement I needed to try this grain outside of dinner. (more…)

Work it Off: 3 Ways to Burn Off the 450 Calories in French Toast

One of my favorite breakfasts of all time is french toast. But because it’s mainly carbs and sugar—as in, lacking in protein, fiber, and most nutrients—I don’t order it all that often. But the other morning I made an exception and ordered up a plate. It was delicious. Don’t get me wrong—it was no Banana Bread French Toastbut it was still super tasty. Thick challah bread, tasty Vermont maple syrup, and lots of fresh berries on top. Yum!

french toast

Of course, this early AM indulgence cost me a fair number of calorie: 450 calories, to be exact.

How could I have burned off the 450 calories in my breakfast?


building deck

I could have helped my boyfriend build his deck for 70 minutes. (more…)

The More the Berrier with Summery Blueberry Muffin Tops

The best part of the pizza? That very first bite of the pointy triangle end.

The best part of a cinnamon roll? The ooey-gooiest center.

The best part of the muffin? The top. Duh!

blueberry muffin tops

My completely made up statistic that 99.5 percent of people would rather eat the top of the muffin exclusively, rather than what a friend of mine calls “the stump,” is the reason an entire pan has been created to let you accomplish such baked good sorcery. There’s no waste; just bake the part people actually want to eat!

I know it’s warming up outside and the last thing you want to think about doing is firing up the oven. But berries are in season! So, you kind of have to. Rules and what not.

blueberry muffin tops pan

Blueberries are one of those can’t-fail foods, at least from a mom perspective. I don’t care what my four-year-old’s mood is, what she is or isn’t liking that week, or where we are — blueberries always get a yes. They are one of the original super foods, so it’s a no brainer to add them to pancakes, salads, smoothies, or just devour a fist-full every chance you get. One of the few, rare “blue” foods that occur in nature, those juicy little beads of sweetness can stand on their own with a healthy dose of fiber, a bit of protein, potassium, vitamin c, anthocyanins, antioxidants, and a host of other good-for-you goodness.

blueberry muffins

So when I tell you this recipe calls for blueberries, do not be shy. Dump ’em in! The more the berrier, right?

You’ll notice we don’t add any sugar to this recipe. A generous, drizzly pour of honey with some natural applesauce really take on the heavy responsibility of sweetening these muffins. It’s not a two-man job though, the lemon juice, vanilla yogurt, and of course the blueberries, all carry their own weight in that department, too.

honey and applesauce

However, just before baking, I do sprinkle the tops with just a pinch of raw turbinado sugar. This gives the muffin that glazy top that you’d ordinarily create with a streusel topping, but without gobs of butter and white sugar.

sugar topping muffins

I use half-and half all-purpose and whole wheat flours. This gives me the bulk of fiber in a better flour with the texture we’ve all become accustomed to with white flours. To make up the difference, I add just a bit of uncooked oats for more fiber and a denser bite.

baking muffin tops

After it’s all whisked and folded together, scoop that batter into a pre-formed muffin top pan. Roughly 20 minutes later, you’ll have a pile of muffin tops that are just jam-packed with blueberries! You’ll want to save them all for yourself, but they’re so darn cute that sharing will seem like a reasonable option, too.

Blueberry Muffin Tops
makes 6

INGREDIENTSmuffin tops recipe

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp honey
1 egg
1/4 cup natural applesauce
2 Tbsp lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 oz. vanilla Greek yogurt
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 Tbsp. raw turbinado sugar, optional


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Mix dry ingredients in one bowl.

3. In a second bowl, beat the egg with the other wet ingredients.

4. Fold the wet ingredients in to the dry, then gently add the blueberries.

5. Lightly mist the pan with cooking spray, then add the batter. If you choose, sprinkle the tops with raw turbinado sugar.

6. Bake about 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.


Turkey Burger Sliders with Blueberry Balsamic Reduction

S’More Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Cake Muffins Recipe is In Season!


Recipe by Brandi Koskie; photos by Kacy Meinecke


2 Bloody Good Summer Brunch Cocktails: Blood Orange Mimosa and Bloody Rosemary

It’s 5:00 somewhere has got to be the best excuse in the book to grab a drink. As I write this, it’s 5:20pm in Lisbon, Portugal. By that math I could have a wine with lunch. But people would scowl and wonder if I had a problem.

And I don’t. Really.

Fortunately, brunch has made it acceptable to start your day drinking a wee bit earlier than lunch and way earlier than 5:00. The happy hour rises at dawn with mimosas, bloody marys, and bellinis! They really can be the perfect complement to a late-morning meal of fresh asparagus and prosciutto crepes or hearty frittatas.

We’ve made over two of our favorite brunch cocktails – the mimosa and the bloody mary. They use whole, fresh ingredients rather than junky mixers and have inspired new tastes on standard classics.

blood orange mimosa

The Blood Orange Mimosa uses three ingredients: Splashes of champagne, blood orange juice, and a hint of fresh basil. Your guests will be toasting you for this delightful addition to brunch. Prettier, sweeter, and possibly more refreshing than a basic OJ mimosa, this one is as charming as it is delicious. (more…)

Spring is the Time for Savory Asparagus Prosciutto Crepes with Balsamic Reduction Drizzle

The biggest draw of brunch is the possibility of creating that perfect marriage of savory and sweet, as breakfast tends to be sweeter and lunch much more savory. It’s also a perfectly good excuse to get a little fancy in the kitchen for no reason at all. All of that comes together in these crepes that are just as beautiful to admire as they are to devour!

asparagus crepe
My mother-in-law is somewhat of a crepe connoisseur. A self-proclaimed “Army brat,” she grew up in Europe where the world’s best crepes were a regular part of her family meals. I knew if I could win her over with these Mediterranean-inspired homemade crepes that we were on to something. It’s safe to say they got the MIL seal of approval!

asparagus crepes

We used a whole wheat flour and white flour mixture to give us the nutrition and the texture we wanted in these super-simple crepes. Then, we stuffed them full of some of the best ingredients we know: a handful of spring’s first asparagus, tender and salty prosciutto, creamy and sweet goat cheese, and a little bit of tart lemon zest.  (more…)

The Easter Dozen: 12 Surprising Recipes for a Perfect Easter Brunch Celebration

Easter is symbolic of so many things, but for me, it is the sure sign that spring has arrived. I love brunch in the spring more than any other season. It just seems as delicate and pretty as the season itself, which provides a pretty good excuse to take my meals to the patio.

This Easter, while the kids gather eggs and trinkets left by the elusive bunny, and your family celebrates the Easter holiday and all that it means to you, enjoy a little bit of this and a little bit of that from our well-appointed brunch menu.

Like a bag of jelly beans, there’s something in here everyone will like! But unlike those beans, it’s all way less processed and far more indulgent and nutritious.

Carrot Cake Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting

carrot cake muffins

You don’t even know! Dessert meets breakfast in a muffin that’s almost too good to be true. Bake a batch and hope the bunny doesn’t make off with all of these, made with whole grain flour, fresh carrots, and a to-die-for cream cheese frosting filling.

Eggs Baked in Avocado

egg avocado

Turn your egg hunt upside down when diners discover this exquisite way to serve breakfast. Not only is it chock full of protein and healthy fats, but it looks adorable and is incredibly easy to prepare. (more…)

Have Dessert for Breakfast with Frozen Banana Ice Cream Parfaits

There are some foods that are better enjoyed at a restaurant. Parfaits are not one of them. They’re often way too sweet, more so than is necessary. A breakfast parfait should be light, subtly sweet, and filling. And that’s exactly what we’ve created.

frozen banana parfait
Forget what you know about yogurt parfaits and follow along closely. Here, the yogurt is a garnish and homemade “ice cream” takes center stage. See, when you freeze bananas and blend them, the texture is eerily similar to ice cream. When you add a little vanilla, you’d be hard pressed to recognize the difference. (more…)

Celebrate Spring with a Batch of Carrot Cake Muffins

Let’s be honest, muffins are just breakfast-approved cupcakes. But why does dessert get to have all of the fun? There’s really not an answer so we made one up in the form of a wholesome carrot cake muffin for breakfast. Trust us on this one.

I don’t even like carrot cake, and it was all I good do to eat just one of these. So, maybe I do, in fact, like carrot cake?

carrot cake muffins

With spring’s arrival, it’s hard not to lunge head-first in to the freshest produce around. Carrots are an early arrival, ready for picking in April and throughout the summer months. Whether brunching, celebrating Easter, Mother’s Day, or just looking for a better weekday breakfast, these muffins are a bright addition to your menu!

carrot cake pancake ingredients
This recipe has all the components of a good muffin recipe and a good cupcake recipe and you get to have it at breakfast without any awkward self-doubt. Wholesome carrots, sweet pineapple, and warm vanilla combine with whole wheat flour to make a pretty darn healthy muffin. (more…)