Blueberry Chocolate Chunk Pancakes

Blueberry Milk Chocolate Chunk Pancakes: Ready to Eat

I have a confession to make….On Saturday’s I eat whatever I want. During the week I try to eat mostly healthy, and most days I do rather well, but on Saturday if something strikes my fancy then by golly I’m going to eat what I just can’t get out of my head! A couple of weeks ago that was pancakes and I couldn’t decide if I wanted to make chocolate chip pancakes or blueberry pancakes. What to do? What to do?

Now I’ve made pancakes and posted them on Dianne’s Dishes before, but these were different. This took three different cravings (blueberries, chocolate and pancakes) and rolled them into one! Obviously this is not an everyday sort of food, but if you want to splurge I HIGHLY recommend looking no further!

The really neat thing about these pancakes is that you sort of get a three in one taste combination as well. In one bite you get a blueberry pancake vibe, in another you get a chocolate chip pancake feeling and then finally in some bites you get a blueberry/milk chocolate combo that just hits the spot! So if you like a little chocolate in your pancakes, or a little blueberry, just think about combining them and you’re there!

What You’ll Need:
2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour (Note: As always feel free to use white whole wheat flour instead.)
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/3 cup of organic cane sugar
1/8 cup of safflower oil
2 eggs
1 1/3 cups of buttermilk
Milk chocolate, cut into chunks (Note: You could use chocolate chips if you liked, or another version of chocolate.)

Preheat griddle or skillet over medium heat.

In a large bowl stir together flour, sea salt, baking soda, baking powder and sugar until well mixed. Add remaining ingredients and stir until thick batter forms. Set aside.

I like to line up my ingredients in a row so it’s easier to get to what I need as I go:

Blueberry Milk Chocolate Chunk Pancakes: Ingredients Ready to Cook

Once your pan is heated brush it with oil or spray it with non-stick spray and ladle batter onto the pan:

Blueberry Milk Chocolate Chunk Pancakes: Ready for Blueberries and Chocolate

Add blueberries and chocolate:

Blueberry Milk Chocolate Chunk Pancakes: Adding the Blueberries and Chocolate

Cook until bubbles start to form an then flip quickly:

Blueberry Milk Chocolate Chunk Pancakes: Flipped

Cook for a minute or two and then I like to flip them back over just to make sure everything is cooked through:

Blueberry Milk Chocolate Chunk Pancakes: Flipped

Remove from pan and repeat until you run out of batter.

Blueberry Milk Chocolate Chunk Pancakes

Serve with maple syrup and butter and then dig in!

Blueberry Milk Chocolate Chunk Pancakes: Dig In!

Notes: You could do this with any fruit and chocolate combo that you liked.

Strawberry Muffins

Strawberry Muffins

I’ve really been enjoying the strawberries we’ve gotten from our CSA. I miss my little strawberry patch that I planted at our old house. (Though I’ll readily admit there isn’t much else I miss from there! ;oP) When strawberries are in season my first task is eating them all by their little selves. Once that thrill wears off, which is about a week or so, I start doing other things with them. I have frozen some for later, I’ve made salads, I’ve made jam, ice cream is always a good idea and then I decided it was time to do some baking!

But what to bake? You can always make strawberry shortcake…I mean who doesn’t like that classic? Or you could make another classic…Cobbler! And then there are always muffins! Blueberry muffins are usually the norm around here when muffins are made, but this time around I wanted to make some strawberry muffins because I’ve always wanted to try them!

Jamison works from home a lot. I like it when he works from home. It’s nice to have him in the house even though he’s working anyway. But when he goes in, from time to time, I like to send in treats with him to work. It let’s me try something and have a little of it, without having to worry about eating it all myself! This way I got to have my muffin and eat it too so to speak! ;oP

For the past two weeks Jamison has had to go in each day because he’s teaching a class, so last week I decided that it was high time to make a batch of strawberry muffins and send them in with him. I liked how these turned out…The strawberry flavor was just right, while the muffin itself was very moist and tender. I’ll definitely be making these again. If you like strawberries then this is the muffin for you!

Strawberry Muffins: Ready for Jamison to Take to Work

What You’ll Need:
2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup of organic cane sugar
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 cup of vanilla Greek yogurt (Note: I like Oikos.)
2 eggs
1/8 cup of safflower oil
2/3 cups of buttermilk
2 cups of strawberries, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Strawberry Muffins: Strawberries

In a large bowl stir together flour, sugar, salt and baking powder until well mixed. Add yogurt, eggs, oil and buttermilk and stir until completely incorporated and thick batter forms. (Note: Flours is a finicky thing. You might need to add a little more buttermilk. You want the batter to be thick enough to sort of hold up the strawberries, but still be able to be stirred without strain.)

Once batter is mixed slowly stir in strawberries and stir until just mixed:

Strawberry Muffins: Batter

Line a muffin pan with muffin liners. (Note: If I’m making muffins for us I use silicone cupcake liners instead of paper. You can use them over and over and they cut down on waste! When I’m making something to send out I use the traditional paper liner.)

Fill each cup 3/4ths of the way full:

Strawberry Muffins: Ready to Bake

Bake for 18-20 minutes until muffins are golden and stick done.

Serve immediately or let cool and store in an airtight container.

Strawberry Muffins: The Inside

Notes: You could add half strawberry and half rhubarb if you wanted to shake things up a little bit. Or how about half strawberry and half blueberry?

Blueberry Cashew Granola

Blueberry Cashew Granola

I love granola! In the past I’ve experimented with several granola recipes, because well you know me…I like to experiment! It makes the perfect snack or even a great breakfast alone or with some yogurt. Not only is it versatile, it’s yummy too!

For a while I’ve wanted to try a version that was minus an added fat source. The first batch I made used butter and the second go around used peanut butter and while this one has fat in the cashews themselves it does not have an added fat beyond that.

This version also utilized dried blueberries and let me tell you I LOVE dried blueberries! If you aren’t a blueberry fan you could just as easily use raisins, or even dried cranberries, though I wouldn’t do that and if you’ve been Dianne’s Dishes for a while you’ve heard my cranberry rants, but to each their own.

Homemade granola is not only really easy to make, it’s cheaper, and the flavor just can’t be beat! If you’ve never tried your hand at making a batch try it…Trust me you can’t go wrong!

What You’ll Need:
2 cups of whole grain oats
2 cups of cashews (Note: You can use raw or roasted. I used some that were roasted with sea salt.)
2 cups of coconut flakes (Note: You want big flakes. I like Let’s Do Organic Coconut Flakes.)
2 cups of pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds)
2 cups of dried blueberries
1 cup of maple syrup

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Blueberry Cashew Granola: Mixed

In a large bowl mix together oats through blueberries and toss to mix. Pour maple syrup over mixture and stir to coat.

Spread mixture out on a very large baking sheet:

Blueberry Cashew Granola: Ready to Bake

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown:

Blueberry Cashew Granola: Baked

Let cool completely and then break up and store in an airtight container.

Notes: Next time I make this I’m going to spread the mixture between two pans instead of baking it on just one. You could add other seeds or nuts to the mixture if you liked. Sunflower seeds are always a good addition an sometimes I like to add hemp seed too.



OK first let’s do a little house cleaning so to speak! ;oP

Friday Link Love will be back next week. I thought you’d enjoy a recipe to round out Breakfast Week instead. I hope you’ve enjoyed Breakfast Week…I know I have!

What’s For Dinner will also be back next week. My parents were here most of the week and I was enjoying spending time with my Mom versus telling you what we were having for dinner. Watching her with Alexis is so much fun! Also I’ve got some great recipes lined up for next week too so be sure and check back then!

Now let’s talk some hashbrowns!

Hasbrowns are a classic breakfast dish. I had never actually made them, though I often order them when I have breakfast out. They were really simple to make and tasted fabulous! These went perfectly with the Mushroom Frittata…Just the right mix of crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. They are just perfect for a weekend breakfast treat!

What You’ll Need:
2 large potatoes, shredded
1/2 a red onion, chopped
Sea salt
Black pepper
Olive oil

Hashbrowns: Potatoes Draining

Shred potatoes and place potatoes and onions, along with a sprinkle of sea salt in a strainer and let drain over a glass bowl for about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Coat a skillet with olive oil. Toss the potato, onion mixture together to make sure they are completely mixed and drained. Add some freshly ground black pepper and toss again to mix. Press mixture into the prepared skillet and bake for 20-25 minutes until crispy. Remove from oven and serve.

How easy is that??

Notes: You can leave out the onion if you like. You could also toss in some cheese.

Blueberry Muffins

Breakfast Week: Blueberry Muffins

Muffins are often a favorite breakfast food. I’ve made them before, but I wanted to lighten them up a bit. I decided to leave out the butter and use a small amount of safflower oil instead and I didn’t miss the butter at all!

I also decided to use lemon juice, instead of lemon zest and I really liked how that turned out. The lemon juice gave just the right pop to the blueberries, without making them overwhelmingly lemony. They complimented each other perfectly!

So if you like blueberry muffins these will hit the spot! These are just perfect to take to a breakfast gathering or even to make for a special weekend breakfast.

What You’ll Need:
2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour (Note: You can use white whole wheat flour instead if you like to make them even better.)
1 cup of organic cane sugar
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1/2 cup of vanilla yogurt (Note: I used Stonyfield Farm’s Fat Free French Vanilla. If you want you can use plain yogurt instead.)
2 eggs
The juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 cup of buttermilk
2 tablespoons of safflower oil
1 – 15 ounce package of frozen blueberries, thawed, rinsed and drained

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a large bowl stir together flour, sugar, sea salt and baking powder until completely mix. Add yogurt, eggs, lemon juice, buttermilk and safflower oil and stir until batter forms. Fold in blueberries and place batter in muffin tins that have been lined with cupcake liners. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Breakfast Week: Blueberry Muffins

Notes: Next time I make these I’m going to set out 1/2 a cup of blueberries to add to the tops of the muffins. Alexis wants to try this using strawberries instead of blueberries. We’ll let you know how that turns out!

Peanut Butter Banana Pancakes

Breakfast Week: Peanut Butter Banana Pancakes

Pancakes…What’s not to like? Why not take those pancakes and shake them up a bit? What better combo than peanut butter and bananas? These pancakes are just perfect all by themselves, or topped with a little butter and maple syrup. Pair that with a couple of slices of bacon and you’ve got a perfect sometimes breakfast that really hits the spot!

What You’ll Need:
2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour (Note: You can use white whole wheat flour if you like.)
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 cup of peanut butter powder
1/4 cup of safflower oil
1/4 cup of honey
2 bananas, mashed
2 eggs
1 1/3 cups of buttermilk

Heat a large pan or a griddle over medium heat until heated through. Test it by dropping a few drops of water on the pan. It should sizzle when it’s ready.

While the pan is heating in a large glass bowl mix together flour, sea salt, baking powder, baking soda and peanut butter powder until completely incorporated. Add oil, honey, mashed banana, eggs and buttermilk and stir until totally mixed.

Once the pan is ready brush it with oil or spray it with non-stick spray and ladle batter into rounds on the hot surface. Cook, flipping once until browned on both sides and done through. This usually takes 3-5 minutes depending on the size of your pancake.

Serve immediately.

Breakfast Week: Peanut Butter Banana Pancakes

Notes: The riper the banana, the stronger the banana flavor. You could also add a cup of chopped honey roasted peanuts for a bit of a crunch.

Sausage and Cheese Two Ways

Sausage and Cheese Two Ways

Today we’re actually going to pull one out of the archives and it might surprise you a bit!

I have a confession to make…Once in a blue moon, usually every couple of years, I actually like to have a little Velveeta. I don’t know if you’d call it a guilty pleasure or just a comfort factor, or a blast from childhood, but there you have it…My dirty little secret! ;oP

You’ll probably be surprised how I enjoy it too. I don’t like to use it to make a grilled cheese sandwich, or to top scrambled eggs, or even to make a version of macaroni and cheese, or any other way you might think I might use the product. The way I like to use it, is with sausage!

Growing up, occasionally my mom would pair sausage and Velveeta and the put it on top of toast. The thought of this takes me back to childhood so quickly! As I’ve grown older I’ve done the process by using cheddar, but to be honest, and this may shock some of you, I actually prefer this dish with the Velveeta! Don’t get me wrong, for every other dish I can think of, hands down I’d go to cheddar first, but for this, I just want that old familiar taste, but either way it’s a fabulous way to add a little spice and goodness to your breakfast. A friend of mine even says the Velveeta sausage mixture makes a good dip!

So below I’ll give you the methods for both and you can make it either way you choose. What’s better in life than choices? ;oP

What You’ll Need:
1 pound of breakfast sausage, cooked and crumbled
8 ounces of Velveeta, cubed or cheddar, shredded

Cook sausage and drain if necessary. If you’re using Velveeta add the cubed Velveeta directly to the pan:

Sausage and Cheese Two Ways: Velveeta Ready To Melt

Cook until Velveeta melts, stirring frequently.

If you want to use cheddar then skip below to the toast assembly.

Preheat oven to broil.

Now it’s time for the toast!

First we’ll take a look at the cheddar version. Place a piece of toast on a baking sheet and top with a layer of sausage:

Sausage and Cheese Two Ways: Ready to Top with Cheddar

Next top with cheddar:

Sausage and Cheese Two Ways: Cheddar Ready to Broil

To make the Velveeta version simply spread the Velveeta/sausage mixture onto the toast.

Next up comes broiling. You want to broil for about 1-2 minutes. Just enough time to melt the cheese if you’re doing the cheddar version and to make the mixture slightly bubbly if you’re using Velveeta:

Sausage and Cheese Two Ways: After Broiling

Serve immediately.

Notes: You could use other kinds of cheeses using the same method as the cheddar. Obviously this isn’t something you want to eat everyday either in terms of calories/fat and such.

Cinnamon Buns

Cinnamon Buns: Yummy Bite

Before we found out Jamison couldn’t have gluten cinnamon buns were one of his all time favorite breakfast foods. I keep trying to come up with a gluten free version that he would like, but so far I haven’t had a lot of luck. We’ll get back to that in a minute….

For me I was a sometimes cinnamon bun sort of girl. I would have one occasionally and enjoy it, but my ideal breakfast is something much lighter. I’m not much of a morning person truth be told and I prefer cereal or some sort of fruit to get things started. But as I said above from time to time though I would get the urge to indulge and lately I kept thinking about cinnamon buns and thinking about them a lot.

So I started thinking, but I felt guilty about making them because I didn’t want to taunt Jamison. He however said I should just make them, so I did! And oh boy these were good! Who doesn’t like a fresh, warm, fabulous cinnamon bun? Top them with a little cream cheese frosting and you’ve got the prefect, sinful breakfast sometimes treat!

Cinnamon Buns: Dough

What You’ll Need for the Dough:
2 cups of warm water (Note: I just use warm tap water. You want it warm to the touch, but not hot.)
1/2 cup of organic cane sugar
2 tablespoons of yeast
2 teaspoons of sea salt
4-5 cups of unbleached bread flour

In a large glass bowl mix together water, sugar and yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes or until mixture is foamy. (Note: Sometimes it foams within a minute or two. When it’s foamy you’re good to go.)

Add sea salt into the foamy sugar/water/yeast mixture and stir to mix. Next slowly add flour until dough ball forms. (Note: As with any bread you might need only some of the flour, all of it or more. When dough forms stop adding flour.)

Turn dough ball out onto a floured surface and knead for 1-2 minutes. (Note: You want to knead just until the dough is elastic. You don’t have to knead it for a long time.)

Now you’re ready for the next step….Finishing the buns!

Cinnamon Buns: Ready for Cream Cheese Icing

What You’ll Need to Finish the Buns:
1/2 stick of butter, melted
1/2 cup of organic cane sugar

First you want to roll out your dough to about 1/4 of an inch thick:

Cinnamon Buns: Ready for Butter

Next you want to brush the surface of the dough with melted butter and then sprinkle with sugar and then cinnamon:

Cinnamon Buns: Cinnamon and Sugar

Then you want to start to roll the dough on one of the long sides:

Cinnamon Buns: Starting to Roll

Keep rolling until the dough is completely rolled:

Cinnamon Buns: Rolled and Ready to Slice

Next using a serrated knife, cut the dough into slices roughly 3/4ths to 1 inch thick:

Cinnamon Buns: A Slice

Place slices on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat:

Cinnamon Buns: Ready to Rise

Set baking sheet in a warm place (I like to put them in the oven with the light on) and let rise until roughly doubled in size:

Cinnamon Buns: Risen

After the buns have risen preheat oven to 350 F. (Note: If you use your oven as your rising spot, be sure and take the buns out BEFORE you preheat!) Bake for 25-20 minutes or until golden brown:

Cinnamon Buns: Baked

You can eat these plain OR you can frost with cream cheese frosting. (See below.)

Cinnamon Buns

What You’ll Need for the Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 – 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
1 stick of butter, softened
2 cups of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla

Cream together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Slowly add sugar and mix until completely incorporated. Add vanilla and stir until just mixed. Use immediately.

Notes: Sometimes I use natural brown sugar instead of organic cane sugar. You can use as much, or as little, cinnamon as you like. I normally use 2-3 tablespoons at least.

Cheesy Sausage Rolls

Chessy Sausage Roll

As a kid from time to time my mom would make sausage rolls. I can’t remember exactly how they were made, but I remember there was a dough of sorts, along with sausage. For a while now I’ve been thinking of making a sausage roll, but I decided to take it a step further and add some cheese, because seriously, how can you go wrong with sausage and cheese??!?!?

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What You’ll Need:
1 cup of warm water
1 tablespoon of yeast
2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 pound of sausage, cooked and crumbled
1 to 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar or Colby cheese (Note: I used Colby Jack. You can use as much cheese as you like or as little. It’s completely up to you.)

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Mix yeast and warm water and set aside until it foams.

In a large bowl stir together flour and salt. Slowly add water until dough ball forms. (Note: You may need all of the water, some of the water or even have to add a bit more. Humidity and flour…Such a strange relationship! ;oP You want this dough to be basically like pizza dough in consistency.) Once dough ball forms turn out and knead the dough on a floured surface for 1-2 minutes until elastic.

Once dough is kneaded shape it into a rough rectangle and roll the dough out until it is roughly 1/4 of an inch thick:

Chessy Sausage Roll: Dough

It doesn’t have to be perfect so don’t sweat it if it’s not.

Next add sausage to the dough spreading it out relatively even layer:

Chessy Sausage Roll: Sausage

I cooked the sausage and had it in the fridge ready to go.

Next add the cheese:

Chessy Sausage Roll: Cheese

Again use as much or as little if you like. You could even just skip the cheese and have your basic sausage roll, but really who would want to do that! ;oP

Carefully roll the dough into a roll:

Chessy Sausage Roll: Rolled

I usually roll from the longer side to longer side making it a longer roll.

With a serrated knife carefully cut the roll into slices and place on a baking sheet:

Chessy Sausage Roll: Ready to Bake

This is basically the same principle you use when making cinnamon rolls.

Place baking sheet in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until slightly browned and cheese is melted.

Serve immediately.

Notes: You’ll need to store these in the fridge. You can reheat them before serving by placing them on a baking sheet in the oven at 375 F for about 10 minutes.

Breakfast Casserole

Breakfast Casserole

This is a holiday favorite in my family. Normally we would have it on special occasions including Christmas morning after opening gifts. When Jamison’s parents were visiting a few weeks ago I decided it would be the perfect time to whip one up. You can make it up the night before and then bake it the next morning, or you can bake it the day before and just reheat it right before serving. It’s simple, quick and delicious. What’s better than that?

What You’ll Need:
Bread (Note: I use whole wheat.)
1 pound of sausage, cooked and crumbled
2 cups of shredded cheese (Note: I used Colby Jack this go around, but Cheddar or Colby works fine too.)
10-12 eggs, beaten
A pinch of sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup of milk (Note: Any dairy will work. I’ve used milk, half and half, heavy cream and even evaporated milk when it was all that is available in the past.)

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Spray a 13 X 9 inch baking dish with non-stick spray and line with bread:

Breakfast Casserole: Bread

It’s ok if you have to tear the bread to get it to fit. I even like to plug some of the holes in between the slices of bread, but you don’t have to if you don’t want to.

Next spread out cooked sausage over the bread:

Breakfast Casserole: Sausage

Make sure it’s relatively even, but it doesn’t have to be perfect.

Sprinkle the top of the sausage with cheese:

Breakfast Casserole: Cheese

Sausage and cheese…Doesn’t that look fabulous already?

Next whip eggs together with salt, pepper and milk. When thoroughly mixed pour into the baking dish:

Breakfast Casserole: Ready to Bake

Again it doesn’t have to be perfect and every inch of bread doesn’t have to be soaked with egg. It all blends together as it cooks.

Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown and egg is set. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Notes: There are many variations of this casserole. You can use hashbrowns for the base instead of bread, you can use ham instead of sausage, etc. I prefer it with sausage and bread, but to each their own. If you do make it with the hashbrowns it is gluten free which is nice, but Jamison wouldn’t eat this to begin with so it wasn’t a concern. My mom’s original recipe also called for ground mustard and buttering the bread and then cutting it into cubes, but I didn’t find that the ground mustard added anything, and the buttering and cubing was just extra steps that weren’t needed. If you want once it’s assembled you can put it in the fridge covered overnight and bake the next morning. Or you can bake it the night before and then reheat it on 350 F for about 20 minutes until cheese is bubbly.