Banana Bread Granola

Hi friends!  We had an awesome long weekend celebrating my youngest brother’s wedding this past weekend.  The Bell family just keeps growing! The wedding took place at Trump National on Lake Normal and the venue couldn’t have been more beautiful.  Welcome to the fam, Sara!

On Monday I had the urge to dirty up the kitchen a little bit and I am more than happy with the banana bread granola that I made.  The ingredient list is short and your kitchen will smell AMAZING as you bake the crunchy goodness.  The granola is perfect for snacking by the handful (yes, please), on top of yogurt, or with a little milk in a bowl.

The base of the granola is oats along with walnuts and pecans for the nuttiness that we all love in banana bread.  For sweetness, maple syrup and a little raw sugar.  I love coconut in banana bread and this recipe calls for coconut oil to help it “clump” and become granola. Everything is spiced with a little cinnamon and salt and a mashed banana lends it’s flavor to really give it that banana bread flavor.

bananabreadgranola

Addicting.

A little sweet.

Super crunchy.

Nutty.

And tastes just like Momma Bell’s banana bread.

Pear and Gruyère Strata

Visits with your grandparents should always end with a something sweet.  When we made plans with Mawmaw and Pawpaw a couple of months ago for them to visit, I immediately started planning our short but sweet visit.  I knew that I wanted to send them home with a full belly on Sunday morning so that they wouldn’t have to worry about stopping to grab lunch on the way (because, well, there’s nothing in between here and there worth stopping for until you get the Wilmington).  Also knowing that our Saturday was pretty full, I decided to pick a breakfast that could be prepped before they ever arrived.

The Pear and Gruyere Strata is incredibly easy to prep and involves no cooking before the strata actually cooks the morning you plan to eat.  Cinnamon bread (I used a gluten free cinnamon raisin bread) is layered on the bottom of a baking dish and then topped with a mixture of sliced pears (I left the skin on), butter and sugar.  On top of the pear mixture goes shredded gruyere and then a final layer of cinnamon bread.  In a bowl, combine milk (I used 2%), eggs (I used 1/2 cup eggs that were whisked instead of egg substitute), sugar and cinnamon.  This all mixture gets poured over everything.  Cover and place in the fridge for at least eight hours (mine sat in the fridge for almost 24 and it worked perfectly).

The next morning, simply uncover, sprinkle with sugar and bake for about 50 minutes.

Breakfast is ready!

strata

Serve with copious amounts of coffee!  And bacon if you really love your grandparents.

 

 

Flying Biscuit’s Creamy, Dreamy White Cheddar Grits

When we have overnight guests, I do my absolute best to plan menus that are made for the people that are visiting.  Like I mentioned yesterday, my parents still talk about the lamb chops that we had at one of our wedding parties years ago so I knew that lamb would be a winning dinner.  And a few weeks ago my dad commented on the homemade pasta we made that I featured on the blog so I really wanted to make homemade pasta while he was here.  My momma loves grits.  And crunchy bacon.  No matter where we go for breakfast or brunch, 99% of the time she orders grits, bacon and fruit.  So that’s just what we had on Sunday before they headed west.

grits

I decided to make some special grits and researched the recipe for the Flying Biscuit recipe.  It didn’t take my long to find a recipe that seemed legit.

Changes I made to the recipe:  I used whole milk instead of half and half and I used regular grits, not quick-cooking (only because those are items I had on hand).

The grits were amazing.  Super smooth, cheesy and perfect.  I really think using white pepper instead of black pepper makes a world of difference.

I served our grits with bacon (crunchy for Mom), sausage and some fruit.

Now my breakfast this morning seems really boring…

Fluffiest Multigrain Pancakes with Almond Butter Drizzle

Oh man!  I wish we were devouring this breakfast right this moment.

fluffypancakes

We enjoyed this plate of flapjacks and bacon on Sunday after a long, long walk.  And while the bacon isn’t the healthiest breakfast option, the pancakes are incredibly good for you.  The pancakes start with soaking rolled oats in buttermilk.  While the oats are soaking, mix together the remaining ingredients (the only change I made was using gluten-free flour instead of whole wheat) and making the drizzle.  I think the drizzle was my favorite part because well, I love nut butter.  The drizzle was made by thinning out the almond butter with some warm water and a little maple syrup for sweetness.

The pancakes were fluffy but didn’t make you feel stuffed.  I also loved the almond butter drizzle as I’m not really a “sweet” breakfast kind of gal.

Do you call them “pancakes” or “flapjacks”?

They’re definitely pancakes in my world.

My Favorite Bowl of Oatmeal

There are three breakfast combinations that I eat on the regular.  You’ll find me digging into a bowl of yogurt with either raw oats or a crunchy cereal plus nut butter, a waffle with nut butter and two scrambled eggs or oatmeal.

Over the past several months I’ve found myself wanting oatmeal more and more – especially on cold mornings.  I haven’t always thought oatmeal was the most filling breakfast but I think I’ve come up with the winning combination that keeps me full and powers me through a couple of workouts some mornings.

oatmeal

Here’s how I make it:

Place 1/3 cup of oats, 1 cup of almond milk, a sprinkle of salt and 1 teaspoon of chia seeds in the saucepan.  I allow this to soak for about 10-15 minutes (while I drink a cup of coffee and do my morning devotion).  Turn the heat on and allow it to cook, stirring a lot until it begins to thicken and get super creaming.  Add in 3 tablespoons of egg whites or whites from 2 eggs at the very end of the cooking process (extra protein!) and stir until it’s cooked completely.  Move the oats to a bowl and top with a tablespoon of nut butter.

That’s for the basic oats!  You can mix it up by adding half of a sliced banana in during the first step for some added sweetness and extra creaminess.  You can top your oatmeal with the sprinkle of granola for some crunch.  Add cinnamon for an even more comfy bowl of oats.  The possibilities are endless.

What’s your go-to breakfast?  Oatmeal:  yay or nay?

Tailgate Thursday {sweet potato and sausage strata}

The Pirates haven’t been on a winning streak this season.  And because of our record, we’ve been playing in the noon time slot more weeks than not at home.  Honestly, I don’t really mind the early start time.  We head to Greenville fairly early, enjoy a few mimosas and a little food and we’re home in time for dinner.  It’s kind of perfect and totally shows my age.

Anyways, a few weekends ago I made a sweet potato and sausage strata for Big Guy and me to enjoy on Saturday and it turned out better than ever.  It’s a little sweet, it’s a little savory and it’s absolutely perfect for the holiday season.  The strata can be assembled in advance and simply bring to room temperature and bake in the morning.  This recipe could also easily be doubled or tripled if you have a crowd to feed.

sweetpotatocasserole

I used turkey breakfast sausage instead of chicken (due to what our grocery store offered) and that’s the only change I made in the recipe.  I loved the texture that the sweet potato chunks gave to the dish and the addition of the maple syrup paired with the flavors of the sausage was perfection.

This recipe is a keeper!

 

CB&C

Toast just got an upgrade!  And this cashew-carrot toast is perfect for breakfast, lunch or as a snack.

First your going to make carrot ribbons with a vegetable peeler.

Then marinate the carrot in a mixture of EVOO and apple cider vinegar.

Crisp up a slice of bacon.  Yes, bacon.

Toast your bread!

Slather on some cashew butter (if you haven’t tried cashew butter yet, don’t wait another moment!).

Pile on the carrots.

Sprinkle on the bacon.

Top it all with some salt and pepper.

cbc