Rediscovering the Joy of Cooking

October 29, 2008

Biscuits and Gravy

Filed under: breakfast — Emily @ 4:44 am

I lived in Nashville, Tennessee for 5 years (through college and graduate school—which included my first 2 years of marriage). Since it is in the South, one of the most popular dishes is biscuits and gravy. You will find this EVERYWHERE—from hotel buffets, brunches, my college cafeteria breakfasts and on just about every restaurant breakfast menu. I think even McDonald’s has biscuits and gravy in Nashville! Needless to say, it is delicious! I don’t often find it here in L.A (although there is a delightful stall at the L.A Farmer’s Market on 3rd and Fairfax that has a pretty good version!) It is a very easy meal to throw together and actually isn’t *that* bad for you if you keep your portions reasonable. Tonight we had “Dinner for Breakfast” and this was an excellent change from the normal pancakes or waffles. I served it with some turkey bacon and used Pillsbury buttermilk biscuits for a quick meal. If you are going to make homemade biscuits, I recommend buttermilk since it is the most authentic to have with the gravy.

Sausage Gravy

1 lb. pork sausage (I prefer Jimmy Dean in a roll—no casings)
7 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3-4 cups milk (I used 3 to make it a bit thicker)
1/2 tsp sage
1/4 tsp salt

A few dashes of onion powder

A few dashes of freshly ground pepper

In a large skillet over medium heat cook the sausage and onion until sausage is no longer pink. Drain, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings in skillet (depending on your pork, you may not need to drain). Stir flour into sausage and drippings until blended. Cook and stir until light golden brown. Add seasonings and gradually stir in milk. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir until desired thickness.


October 23, 2008

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins

Filed under: breakfast, dessert — Emily @ 2:23 am

Another recipe from Annie’s blog that I have loved!! These were delicious—and very easy to whip up with things I already had in the pantry. These make a great breakfast….yum! And can you ask for a better combo—peanut butter and chocolate chips? I think not. Make sure you have plenty of milk on hand.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins


2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

2/3 cup brown sugar

6 tbsp. butter, melted and cooled

½ cup peanut butter

2 large eggs

1 cup milk

¾ cup chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 375°. Line a muffin pan with 12 paper liners.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and brown sugar. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, peanut butter, eggs and milk until smooth. Add in the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Divide batter evenly between prepared muffin tins, filling each to the top.

Bake for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Source: Annie’s Eats

April 26, 2008

Crispy French Toast

Filed under: breakfast — Emily @ 7:48 pm

Back in December, Aaron and I stayed at the gorgeous La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla, California. For breakfast Aaron had crispy French toast and the next day he starting asking if I could try to recreate this recipe. Now, I am not a big breakfast food person (I think it is because I don’t like maple syrup), but I decided to try to recreate the recipe for him. This was what I came up with. We served it for Christmas morning. Unfortunately, I did not get a picture because my family dug into it so quickly!

Crispy French Toast

3 eggs
1 cup half-and-half
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups corn flakes cereal, crushed to 1 cup
8, (3/4 inch thick) diagonally cut slices French bread
strawberry syrup
Fresh strawberries, raspberries and/or blueberries

1. Grease 15 x 10 x 1 inch baking pan. In shallow bowl, combine eggs, half-and-half, sugar, vanilla, and salt; beat well.
2. Place crushed cereal in another shallow bowl. Dip each bread slice in egg mixture, making sure all egg mixture absorbed. Coat each slice with crumbs.
3. Place in greased pan; cover. Freeze 1-2 hours or until firm.
4. Heat oven 425 degrees F. Bake bread slices 15-20 minutes or until golden brown, turning once. Serve with syrup and fresh berries. If desired, garnish with whipped topping.

Gorilla Bread

Filed under: breakfast, Uncategorized — Emily @ 7:36 pm

This post is way overdue! I was looking for something special and different to have on Christmas morning. I decided to make monkey bread. However, when I started looking for recipes, I came across Gorilla Bread—which looked even tastier! It was definitely a hit and I want to start making it a tradition to have Gorilla bread on Christmas morning every year!


1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
2 (12-ounce) cans refrigerated biscuits (10 count)
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.Spray a bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray. Mix the granulated sugar and cinnamon. In a saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar over low heat, stirring well; set aside. Cut the cream cheese into 20 equal cubes. Press the biscuits out with your fingers and sprinkle each with 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon sugar. Place a cube of cream cheese in the center of each biscuit, wrapping and sealing the dough around the cream cheese. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the nuts into the bottom of the bundt pan. Place half of the prepared biscuits in the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, pour half of the melted butter mixture over the biscuits, and sprinkle on 1/2 cup of nuts. Layer the remaining biscuits on top, sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon sugar, pour the remaining butter mixture over the biscuits, and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of nuts. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Place a plate on top and invert.

Source: Paula Deen

November 17, 2007

Pancakes and Eggs (page 795 and 130)

Filed under: breakfast, eggs, Uncategorized — Tags: , — Emily @ 7:57 pm

I admit that I generally use Bisquick to make pancakes. This time, I decided to make them from scratch. I’ve never used a recipe for scrambled eggs either, but I thought I’d check out what Joy had to say to see if my technique was up to par. My intention was to make buttermilk pancakes, but in the heat of the moment, I forgot to make the proper substitutions, so I just made regular pancakes—and made a few chocolate chip ones. Making pancakes was a nice excuse to use my wonderful All Clad griddle that I got for a wedding gift and have rarely used. It was such a treat to make pancakes on a real griddle. I’ll definitely have to start utilizing it more often.

Pancake-making equipment:

“Although a skillet can be used, pancakes are more easily made on a flat griddle. The most efficient of these fit over two burners, providing enough room to cook 6 pancakes at a time.”

“A griddle should always be heated before use. You will know it is ready when a few drops of cold water flicked onto the surface bounce and sputter; if the water just sits and boils, the griddle is not hot enough, and if it evaporates immediately, it is too hot.”

Basic Pancakes (makes about twelve 5-inch cakes)

Prepare and preheat your griddle

Whisk together in a large bowl:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Whisk together in another bowl:

1 1/2 cups milk

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 large eggs

1/2 teaspoons vanilla (optional–I used it)

Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and gently whisk them together, mixing just until combined. If you wish, fold in one or more of the following:

1/2 cup plump raisins or other very finely diced soft-dried fruit

1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries or raspberries

1/2 cup finely chopped nuts, toasted

1/2 cup thinly sliced ripe bananas

1/2 cup crumbled cooked bacon

1/2 cup shredded cheese

1/4 cup shredded sweetened dried coconut

1/4 cup grated semisweet or milk chocolate

Spoon 1/3 cup batter onto the griddle for each pancake, nudging the batter into rounds. Cook until the top of each pancake is speckled with bubbles and some bubbles have popped open, then turn and cook until the underside is lightly browned. Serve immediately or keep warm in a 200 F oven while you finish cooking the rest. Serve with:

Pure maple syrup or honey

Pats of butter


My husband and our friend who is staying with us were so eager to eat, that they whisked away the pancakes before I could take a proper picture, so this is the only one I have. However, I think you all can use your imagination to figure out what pancakes and eggs look like!

Scramble Eggs (Basic recipe):

You can use a nonstick pan and cut back on the butter if you prefer.

Beat together until the whites and yolks are completely combined:

3-4 eggs

Scant 1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper or paprika, or a few drops of hot red pepper suace.

Melt in a skillet over low heat:

1-2 tablespoons butter (I used 1)

When the butter begins to foam, pour in the egg mixture. With a wooden spoon or a heatproof rubber or metal spatula, push the eggs gently as they set, folding and stirring them into soft curds. Stir more quickly as the eggs thicken. Continue to cook until the eggs are just set, creamy, and still moist, 2-5 minutes. They will continue to cook and firm up for several seconds off the heat. Transfer the eggs to warmed plate and serve immediately.

I added a sprinkle of cheddar cheese before I removed from the skillet and let the cheese melt a little. Very tasty.

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