Tag Archives: brunch

Honey Muffins with Minted Berries

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.

I love weekend mornings and the foods that accompany them.

There’s really nothing like sitting down with your steaming cup of coffee with the morning light streaming in. And if you have a honey muffin with some minted berries, well, that’s even better.

It’s a small batch, as always, I am trying to adapt to cooking for one (and sometimes two), but this can easily be doubled or tripled.

Honey Muffins with Minted Berries

makes 4
Honey Muffins

3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey, plus more for glaze
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 egg, beaten
1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon orange extract

Minted berries
1/2 cup chopped strawberries
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup raspberries
2 teaspoons honey
1 tablespoon mint, cut into thin strips
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter muffin tin and set aside.

Sift together the flour and baking soda.

Add sugar, honey, butter, egg, sour cream and orange extract. Stir until just combined.

Spoon into muffin tin. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from tin and glaze with honey.

Combine strawberries, blueberries, raspberries with the honey and mint.

Serve warm.

Sweet Orange Cardamom Rolls

I love my dad. He’s my scuba diving buddy and fellow nerd. He’s good-natured and almost never gets angry. He is an adventurous eater. He is simultaneously serious and silly and will always be there to help you out of a jam. I really couldn’t ask for a better dad. So thank you Dad, for being mine.

In my family, we are pretty low-key about holidays. No extravagant gifts or giant fuss. Instead, there might be a nice meal or some family outing, like a walk through the park or an afternoon movie. One of our favorite breakfasts were these sweet orange rolls that come out of can from the refrigerator section. Hey, I wasn’t always a food snob. I think they must have put crack in that icing or something equally as addicting. I always volunteered to make them so that I could have first go at the remains of the icing container. Sweet, dough-y, orange-y weekend morning amazingness.

I can’t be with my Dad today for Father’s Day, but I have been thinking a lot about those weekend mornings – the simplicity and the joy of popping open one of those weird roll canisters and racing to be the first one to the icing container. So here’s my version … Sweet orange rolls with cardamom.

The dough is essentially the same as these Cinnamon Rolls, I’ve just modified the filling and the glaze.

Sweet Orange-Cardamom Rolls

makes 9 rolls

1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 large egg, beaten
juice from 1/2 orange
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
zest from 2 oranges
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
juice from 1/2 orange

Combine milk and butter in small pot. Heat over medium-low heat until butter melts and mixture is warmed to 120 – 130 degrees. Pour into stand mixer bowl, fitted with paddle attachment. Add yeast and pinch of sugar. Let stand until foamy, about 15 minutes.

Add 1/2 cup flour, rest of sugar, egg, orange juice and salt. Beat on low speed for about 3 minutes until well combined. Continue to add in remaining flour slowly, until flour is absorbed and dough is sticky.

Change out paddle attachment for dough hook and knead for about 10 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic. Form into a ball, oil lightly, cover and let rise until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.

Mix brown sugar, cardamom and orange zest in a small bowl.

Punch down dough. Roll out to a 9 x 13 inch rectangle. Spread butter over dough. Sprinkle filling evenly over butter. Starting with the long edge, roll dough into log. With seam side down, cut dough crosswise into 9 equal slices, ~3/4 inch wide.

Butter a 9 inch square glass baking dish. Arrange rolls, cut side up in dish.. Cover with plastic wrap (can be place in the refrigerator at this point and left overnight and when ready continue with the second rise). Let dough rise, until doubled in volume, about 45 minutes.

Bakes rolls in a preheated oven at 375 degrees, until tops are golden, about 20 minutes.

Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar and orange juice and beat until smooth. Spread glaze over rolls.

This one’s for you Dad.

Pull-Apart Lemon Bread

And so continues my lemon obsession. Really, I’ve starting buying lemons in three pound bags. But they are just so bright with their yellow color and smell so good. How could you not love them? In particular, when the sourness is paired with sugar – talk about a winning combination. So when I came across this post via Twitter, I knew that I wanted to give it a try. Layers of sweet yeast dough interspersed with lemon peel sugar and iced with a tangy lemon cream cheese icing. My mouth waters just thinking about it. It would be perfect for brunch or afternoon tea.

Pull-Apart Lemon Bread

originally from Flo Braker

Sweet yeast dough
1/3 cup milk
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 3/4 cups bread flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs, at room temperature
Lemon sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons lemon zest
4 tablespoons butter, melted
Lemon cream cheese icing
3 ounces cream cheese
1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice


Put milk and butter in a microwave-safe bowl and heat until butter is melted, about a minute.

Add water and let cool 5 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, combine yeast, sugar and milk mixture.

Let sit for 15 minutes or until nice and foamy.

Add 2 cups of the flour and salt. Mix until combined.

Add vanilla and eggs.

Work in the remaining flour and knead with a dough hook until dough is smooth and elastic.

Cover and let dough rise until doubled in size, about an hour. Make lemon sugar while dough is rising.

Combine sugar and lemon zest.

Back to the dough. Once risen, roll out into a 12 x 20 inch rectangle.

Cut into 5, 4 x 12 inch strips.

Brush butter over a single strip of dough and sprinkle with lemon sugar. Layer a new piece of dough and repeat with butter and sugar. Continue with all five layers.

Cut stack in 2-inch wide pieces.

Place stacks, cut side up, in a floured 9 x 5 inch bread pan.

Cover and let rise until double in size, about 45 minutes.

Bake at 350º for 30 minutes.

Let rest in pan for 15 minutes before inverting to remove loaf.

For lemon cream cheese icing:

Cream together cream cheese, powdered sugar and lemon juice.

Finally, ice the loaf, making sure to get frosting goodness in all the nooks.

If my obsession with lemons ever ends, I might also try this with a cinnamon sugar filling …

Breakfast Scramble

It’s a tough call, but I am pretty sure that weekend breakfast/brunch is my absolute favorite kind of meal. Whether its with girlfriends at a favorite restaurant, with Scott in his screened-in porch or when it’s just me by myself sitting at my dining room table, bathed in the springtime sunshine – there is something about the simplicity and the casualness of the meal that I adore.

When it’s just me here in Minneapolis I might make french toast or more often, a breakfast scramble. When I was a kid my family would go to our cabin in the Cascades on the weekends to go skiing or hiking, depending on the season and more often then not we would have a scramble for breakfast, or “ranch breakfast” as we called it then. (Don’t ask me where the name came from – I have no idea.)

It’s not a pretty dish, I might even venture to call it homely. But it is cozy, comforting and reminds me of home and my childhood weekends at our mountain cabin. It’s not as sophisticated as an omelet nor as cumbersome as cooking all of the components separately. What it is – is versatile. At its base are onions, potatoes and eggs and whatever else you may have in your refrigerator.  Meat, veggies, greens and cheese can all be incorporated in any kind of combination. And it always works.

Breakfast Scramble with Ham, Cheddar and Arugula

Start by sauteing some diced onions over medium-low heat.

Add some diced potatoes (frozen hashbrowns will also work well).

Season liberally with your favorites – mine are salt, pepper and Tony’s.

Add some chopped ham.

(If using bacon or sausage I would suggest cooking it first, transferring it to plate and cooking the onions and potatoes in the leftover grease.)

Next, take a couple of eggs.

And scramble them.

Cook until mostly done. Add some arugula and cook until wilted.

And top with some shredded cheddar cheese. Heat until cheese is melted.

And that’s it. I think it takes about 20 minutes.

Now to take advantage of this rare spring sunshine …