Archive for category Breakfast

Nana’s Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins

IMG_8489.JPGI remember when I was a kid we’d go to Jordan’s Basement with my mother. Frankly, it was horrible. The only way I’d agree to go without carrying on was to make her promise to buy me something. There was also the trip to the food area and those great blueberry muffins.

Bill contributed this recipe. I didn’t ask him how she managed to get the Jordan Marsh recipe, but I’ve made the smallest of changes to his recipe. For the sugar on top, I’m recommending Demerara sugar.

You can, of course, grease the muffin tins and cook directly in the tin. I, however, prefer to use the muffin cups inside the tin.


1/2 cup of butter, softened

1 cup of sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp of pure vanilla

2 cups of all-purpose flour

2 tsp of baking powder

1/2 tsp of salt

1/2 cup of milk

2.5 cups of fresh blueberries

Demerara sugar (for sprinkling on top)


Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Either grease your muffin tins or place your muffin cups inside the tin.

Cream together the butter and sugar using a hand mixer. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well.

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mixture, alternating with the milk. Mix well with a hand mixer.

Gently fold in the blueberries.

Spoon the mixture into each of the muffin cups until they are about three-quarters full. Sprinkle Demerara sugar on top.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm with whipped butter and a nice, strong cup of coffee or espresso.


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Real Vanilla Bean Pancakes

Vanilla Bean PancakesFeeding the kids is always kind of crazy. They all love waffles, like the Vanilla Bean Belgian Waffles I posted in this blog. Some like French Toast, but some do not. The two oldest absolutely love pancakes. So, I’m posting a recipe here for real vanilla bean pancakes.

The great thing about pancakes is that they freeze so well. I like to make more than I need for a breakfast because I can use it later when we feed the kids “Breakfast for Dinner,” which is always a treat for them. (Or, for when my sixteen-year-old walks in from school and asks me to make her pancakes.)


2 cups all-purpose flour

1-3/4 cups milk

2 tbsp baking powder

2 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup melted butter

3 tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

1 vanilla bean


Mix together the dry ingredients. Add the eggs and melted butter to the milk in a large bowl.

Slowly add the dry ingredients. Whisk to combine. Then, cut the vanilla bean down the middle and scrape the beans into the batter. Whisk again.

Allow the mixture to sit for at least ten minutes while the griddle heats. When I use the non-stick griddle, I don’t even use butter to make these.

Of course, you can serve them in the traditional manner…with pure maple syrup. But they are good many other ways, like with fresh blueberries and dusted with confectioner’s sugar. Feel free to use your imagination! Your options are limitless!


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Vanilla Bean Belgian Waffles

Belgian WafflesThe first time I ever had true Belgian waffles was in old Quebec City at this little storefront waffle place. That’s the only way I can describe it. All that was inside was a counter with stools. If we were lucky enough to find a seat, then we’d sit down. Most mornings on our trip there, we’d order them and take them with us. Most Belgian waffles call for a teaspoon of vanilla extract, but I prefer real vanilla bean. The taste is more intense, and I’m big on vanilla flavor. Generally speaking, you need about two inches of vanilla bean to replace a teaspoon of vanilla extract, but I like to use a half of a vanilla bean. I also prefer Demerara sugar to regular white sugar because of its caramel notes.

Vanilla beans are easy to use. Just start at the top and poke a hole, then slice down the middle and scrape the beans out. The beans, which are very small, do not need to be mashed. They will adhere to the knife you are using. That’s all you need to do. It isn’t rocket science. Of course, you can always use 1 tsp of vanilla extract instead. The choice is yours.


2 cups of all-purpose flour

3/4 cup Demerara sugar (white is fine here also)

3-1/2 tsp baking powder

2 large eggs, separated

1-1/2 cups milk

1 cup butter, melted

1/2 vanilla bean, opened and the beans scraped out (do not do this in advance)


Combine flour, sugar and baking powder in a bowl.

In a separate bowl, lightly beat egg yolks, then add milk, butter and the vanilla beans. Mix this concoction well, and do not panic if the butter appears to look lumpy after it is melted and added to the milk. This is not a problem.

Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Do not use an electric mixer. You do not want to over beat the batter.

Use an electric beater to beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Then fold the egg whites into the batter.

Bake waffles in a preheated waffle iron, according to manufacturer’s instructions, until golden brown. I have a non-stick waffle iron, but I generally spray it with Pam anyway to prevent the first batch from sticking. You’ll probably get about 10 waffles from this batter.


There are any number of ways to serve Belgian waffles. Of course, the way my kids like them is with warm maple syrup. However, you can serve them with confectioner’s sugar, or with berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries) and whipped cream. These also make a great ice cream sandwich. Use your imagination, folks!


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New Orleans Beignets

Beignets (2)If you have been to New Orleans, but haven’t visited Café du Monde for Beignets, then you don’t know what you’ve been missing. This is a totally decadent breakfast treat. These are traditional French donuts without the hole in the middle.

The right attitude here is to serve these with a dark coffee. You can always get yourself some Community Coffee (coffee with chicory) like they serve in New Orleans. I like these with Espresso con Panna (espresso topped with whipped cream).


1 package of active dry yeast

1/4 cup warm water (110-115 degrees)

1 cup evaporated milk

1/2 cup canola oil

1/4 cup sugar

1 tbsp nutmeg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

4-1/2 cup self-rising flour

Oil for deep fat frying

Confectioner’s sugar


In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the milk, oil, sugar, nutmet, vanilla extract and egg along with 2 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky). Do not knead. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Punch dough down. Place on a floured surface, then roll into a 16″ x 12″ rectangle. Cut into 2″ squares.

In an electric skillet, heat oil to 375°. Fry squares, a few at a time, until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Roll warm beignets in confectioners’ sugar.

Note: This recipe makes about 4 dozen beignets. Call some friends.

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