Tag Archives: breakfast

Big O’s peanut butter snacks

When I was a kid we had a children’s cookbook filled with recipes designed for grade schoolers.  I can picture the book exactly: yellow cover, line drawings and a red plastic spiral binding.  As vivid as that image is, I can remember only one recipe we made from that book.   I can’t actually be certain that it wasn’t the only one we tried, but I recall the taste perfectly.  Essentially they were no-bake peanut butter balls, in which peanut butter and honey held O-shaped oat cereal together (okay, fine, I’ll say it: Cheerios).  We used a health food brand called Oatios (which I just confirmed still exists and is sold through Amazon, what a trip!), so my sister and I dubbed these Oatio balls.  The recipe also called for powdered milk, which I assume was mainly for the nutritional boost.


I had several reasons for recalling these recently and attempting to make them with my son (who is nearly 3). Continue reading Big O’s peanut butter snacks

Cranberry-orange bread, or What to make when life gives you sour oranges

I’m back.  Sorry for the hiatus.  There were colds, holidays, travel, life, yada, yada, yada.  Anyway, I’m back, and I have lots of ideas for new posts.  Today’s is about oranges.  And baked deliciousness.


This time of year my mind turns to citrus.  There’s something magical about the sunshine a Florida orange or Texas grapefruit represents on your breakfast plate when the weather in your neck of the woods is dark and dreary.

Growing up in New England, we relished such treats from faraway lands.  When I was young, my great-grandfather wintered in Florida and every year he’d ship a box of grapefruits to us.  I can still picture where the case sat on the bench in our mudroom, just off the kitchen.  My mother would ration them, reminding us each time she prepared one for us (all those little cuts being a true act of love, wouldn’t you say?), that this was a treat to have them shipped to us.  I can’t explain why that makes them superior to those that had been shipped to the grocery store, but I still (perhaps irrationally) agree.

Alas, this is not a recipe inspired by exotic treats shipped from distant groves by a loved one.  No, it’s an updated version of a family favorite, busted out to use up our sadly sour oranges.

Allow me to share a bit of background.  Continue reading Cranberry-orange bread, or What to make when life gives you sour oranges

Green eggs, no ham: A post-holiday restorative breakfast


After a major food-focused holiday sometimes I like to eat a bit lighter for a spell, trying to focus on the veggies and lean proteins that may have been conspicuously absent from my carb and gravy laden plate.  Eggs nestled in sautéed greens is one such recipe.  Perfect for restoring order to your body while still fueling you through the morning.

And I don’t know about you, but I feel mighty accomplished if I’ve eaten dark leafy greens before noon.  It leaves me with one less thing to worry about over the course of the day.  Like exercising first thing in the morning.  You get to feel healthy and righteous all day long, never worrying you might not get around to it later.   But this is easier and yummier than working out. Continue reading Green eggs, no ham: A post-holiday restorative breakfast

Make-ahead breakfast: Pumpkin pie baked oatmeal


We eat a lot of oatmeal around here.  Rolled and steel-cut.  Simmered and microwaved.  Baked in muffin tins and in slabs.  So when I came across a recipe for pumpkin oatmeal, you knew I had to try it.  (It is pumpkin season here at Economist at Home, after all!)  The prep for this version is quick and easy, but it requires a long lead time – 24 hours to soak the oats before cooking and 40 minutes to bake before serving.

So, pick a day you could realistically pop this in the oven 40 minutes before breakfast and not have your whole day thrown off (a weekend perhaps?).  Working backwards, set aside 5 minutes two nights prior to your baking day to soak the oats and another 10 minutes the next night to mix in the other ingredients. Continue reading Make-ahead breakfast: Pumpkin pie baked oatmeal

Rustic pumpkin custard

I’m a simple girl.  I love desserts as much as the next person, probably more, but I prefer to focus my culinary energy on getting the family fed.  If I have time and energy left over after ensuring our three squares are taken care of, I might consider making a dessert, but not often.  When I do go the extra mile, it’s usually in fall or winter, as the siren call of pumpkins and apples beckons me.


Sure, I love to peruse beautiful recipes as much as the next foodie.  The gorgeous photography, sumptuous description of the flavors…  but they lose me after that.  I rarely have the heart to make a dessert that requires copious amount of rich ingredients.  I think my limit is about a half a stick of butter.

And while I don’t have an objection to a little cream, I don’t routinely buy it, so I rarely have some on hand.  Probably my number one (scrooge-like) rule about making desserts is that I won’t shop expressly for their ingredients.  I’m only willing to consider a recipe if I already have all of the components (or reasonable substitutes) at my fingertips.

And don’t get me started on the directions for fancy recipes.  I read one the other day that was as long as a chapter of my dissertation.  I’m tired from just reading the thing.  No longer interested in making it.  Moving on… Continue reading Rustic pumpkin custard

Pumpkin pie smoothie

Here we go.  Pumpkin recipe number two.  This one uses up, or perhaps annoyingly leaves you with, half a can of pumpkin puree.  Never fear.  There are more pumpkin recipes coming that will give you additional excuses for opening another can, or using up what’s left from making these smoothies.

This recipe uses traditional pumpkin pie spices, but is a bit tart.  If you’d like, add extra maple syrup to make it sweeter.  Either way, the earthy pumpkin and tangy yogurt will come through.  Sweet, sour, earthy and spicy.  Delicious.


Time: 5 minutes
Yield: ~4 cups

2c plain yogurt (or vanilla, omitting the vanilla and maple syrup)
1c pumpkin puree
1-2T maple syrup
1t vanilla
½ t ground ginger
½ t ground cloves
½ t ground nutmeg
1-2T coconut oil (optional)

Place all ingredients in a blender.  Blend until smooth.  Enjoy!


Do you have a favorite way of using up half-cans of pumpkin?  We’d love to know.  Share your ideas in a comment below. 

Lazy weekend breakfast for autumn: Pumpkin pancakes

Are you ready for the onslaught of pumpkin recipes??? Now that zucchini season is winding down my thoughts turn to pumpkins, squash and apples. I haven’t made it out to the orchards for apple picking just yet, so pumpkin it is!


I found some beautiful heirloom varieties at the farmer’s market, which I’ll use to make a simple dessert (perhaps a custard?) in which the pumpkin really sings. And, my grocery store ran a sale on organic canned pumpkin last week so I stocked up to use in recipes where the taste of pumpkin (and possibly tin) is more muted. Think muffins, bread, and pancakes.

The first in that series is pumpkin pancakes. Continue reading Lazy weekend breakfast for autumn: Pumpkin pancakes

Maple-lime yogurt sauce


I love a hot breakfast. During the week we rely on homemade muffins and oatcakes stashed in the freezer, and oatmeal cooked on the stovetop or in the slow cooker (the recipes for which I will eventually post). But on the weekends I like to make something that I wouldn’t have time to do during the week. Something that has us lingering around the table in our pajamas and feeling the sheer joy of a leisurely Saturday morning. Continue reading Maple-lime yogurt sauce

Homemade yogurt: Another great use for a slow cooker

Doesn't that look satisfying for just 10 minutes of work?
Doesn’t that look satisfying for just 10 minutes of work?

I’m not sure whether it’s because of the busy schedules,  getting dark early, or the slight nip in the air, but the beginning of fall reminds me to bust out my slow cooker.  (They are actually a great way to cook in the summer, too, because they don’t heat the kitchen too much, but we tend to crave the fresher taste of quick cooking on the grill or stovetop in summer.   When fall rolls around again, I want to return to the slow cooking taste of stews and other hearty dishes that have been gently cooking all day.

But this is not one of those recipes.  No, this is yogurt.  And it’s so simple you won’t believe it.  The only tricky part is finding a day you are home long enough to attend to it periodically.  It requires only a few minutes here and there (shown below in parentheses), but the timing matters.  Let me break it down with an example: Continue reading Homemade yogurt: Another great use for a slow cooker

Zucchini muffins with walnuts. And another confessional.


We are pretty hooked on muffins around here.  We eat them at least twice a week.  When I’m really on top of my game (or drowning in produce) I have three different kinds in the freezer at any one time.  Of course these days, one of those has to be zucchini.  At last check, my single zucchini plant had grown to 13’ by 9’ – completely overtaking the sidewalk.  To get the visual, click through.  Continue reading Zucchini muffins with walnuts. And another confessional.