For this week, Amanda and I were in the mood for some brunch. Since with the holiday and the new year, it’s definitely brunch hosting season. We wanted to share some interesting, low maintenance, and somewhat nutritious brunch ideas that would definitely please a crowd, just in case you still had a few people around to share a meal and you were sick of something too heavy. This breakfast pizza, a twist on the classic Shakshuka, might be something that is a little different, has a little bit of a kick to wake everyone up and is easy as can be. In addition, if you have a big day of eating ahead of you, as I often do when family is around, this will both be likely a different flavor profile than your future meals and has at least some nutrition. Overall, it’s a nice meal to add to your breakfast rotation, even if it’s not a special occasion and just a random Saturday, and its convenience is big selling point.
If you’re hosting a New Years Day get-together, sometimes being alone in the kitchen preparing a feast can be a much needed social pause (introverts ftw!). Often, though, at breakfast I just want to enjoy my tea and not dirty too many dishes. Since this pizza’s sauce and crust can be made in advance, it’s fairly low maintenance (which, I mean, I don’t know how you celebrate New Year’s Eve, but it you might not be in the mood to do too much). However, the results are pretty impressive so if you still need to get away, feel free to relax and sip your tea while hiding in the kitchen and pretending you’re slogging away.
Pizza Sauce Ingredients:
- 1 cup of crushed tomatoes
- 1 tsp Hungarian Half-Sharp paprika
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp vegetable or grapeseed oil
- Pinch of salt
Heat a small saucepot over medium heat and add the oil. Add your diced onions and salt to the pot and sweat them for 2-3 minutes until translucent in color. Add the minced garlic and stir in with onions, cooking for an additional minute.
Add your remaining sauce ingredients and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before adding to your pizza or make ahead of time and store in the fridge for up to 3 days in a sealed container.
Other Pizza Ingredients:
- Pizza Crust (I used premade Naan but any flatbread would do, or you can make your own)
- Feta Cheese crumbles
- Spinach Leaves
- Preheat your oven to 425°F (if using a pizza stone or baking steel, preheat the oven for 45 minutes at least).
- Spread a nice dollop of sauce onto your pizza crust (up to you how much you want although I went a little thicker than I normally would since Shakshuka is all about the sauce).
- Top with a few spinach leaves and feta cheese evenly distributed.
- If you’re planning on using a pizza stone, I would recommend transferring your crust and ingredients at this point in time. If using a baking sheet, no worries. Create a divot in the pizza sauce if possible and crack an egg or two into the divots or wherever you think the egg will not run off the sides. Try to make your egg placement so that the pizza will have good egg coverage.
- If using that pizza stone/steel, quickly and carefully crack the egg directly onto the pizza on the stone.
- Bake for 12-18 minutes, monitoring how the eggs are set. Ideally you want set whites and fairly runny yolks. Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly and serve. Enjoy!
Wine Pairing: I mean, I know a Mimosa is my go-to breakfast drink, but that’s what I’d probably have. If you’re going the breakfast for dinner route or if you wanted to just go full on glass of wine (I’m not above it) I think I’d still pick a light wine like Pinot Grigio but a Beaujolais would go well also.
This is the time of year that is both incredibly cheerful and magical with the twinkling lights on all the houses and sweet aromas filling our kitchens, it can also be incredibly stressful as we all rush to make a dish for the office potluck we forgot or shop til we drop for the perfect gift for all our loved ones. While we know there are so many people in our life we want to show that we appreciate, some can slip through the cracks until it’s too late. With Christmas inching closer, Amanda and I wanted to share our answers to some homemade tokens of friendship to give to someone in your life even if that person is yourself (hey, it’s yummy ok?). Plus, with everything else we have to worry about this season, we definitely didn’t want you to have to log any extra kitchen hours then you already are. Granola was my low effort, but still glamorous was my answer to this challenge.
Granola is something that is widely enjoyed but people don’t tend to have it that often or bother with making it themselves. With the pumpkin and wintery spices, it is the perfect festive treat that dresses up nicely in a jar and a ribbon. The ingredients are fairly inexpensive as well so it won’t break the bank, and it’s a nice change of pace from all the Christmas cookies going around (although I love those as well). This granola goes so well topped on a bowl of plain yogurt, which might be a nice switch after all those family slightly heavier family breakfasts that seem to go with the season, or it can be enjoyed as a little sweet snack after dinner. It keeps for a while in the fridge as well so it’s something that can be enjoyed long after the season ends.
- 1/3 cup of pumpkin puree
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 cup steel cut oats
- 1/2 cup raw almonds
- 1/2 cup of chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Combine the oats and almonds in a large mixing bowl.
- On the stove over low heat, combine the pumpkin puree, maple syrup, spices and salt and stir until everything is warm and well mixed.
- Remove the pumpkin mixture from the heat and pour over your oats. Stir the oats with a wooden spoon until the pumpkin mixture is fully combined.
- Spread the oat mixture over a lined baking sheet as flatly and evenly as you can.
- Pop the baking sheet in your oven and cook for 45-50 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes or so. This will ensure that the granola doesn’t burn.
- After baking, allow the granola to cool fully and then stir in your chocolate chips. You may then transfer to an airtight container and your granola will keep in the fridge for up to two months.
As the final course of the “Single ingredient: 3 courses” dinner that Amanda and I planned, dessert was the most difficult to plan. Again, flavor boredom was a big concern and while I had kept it a little different between the Potato and Mushroom Galette and the Curried Potato Dumplings, I didn’t want to get potato fatigue. As you know, I am a fan of chocolate and remembering how surprisingly delicious the salty-sweetness of chocolate chip potato chips are, I knew I wanted to put my own spin on that combination for this dessert.
This can, and probably should be made in advance so I made these desserts a day ahead of times since those dumplings were time consuming. This gave them enough time to chill and tempt me every time I opened the fridge. These are absolutely worth a try.
- 1/2 family sized bag of potato chips(about 2-2/12 cups when crushed)
- melted chocolate and potato chips for garnish
- 4 oz semisweet chocolate
- 1 pkg cream cheese
- 1/2 cup brown sugar for cheesecake
- 1 stick of butter
- 2/3 cup of brown sugar
- Butter the inside of six 3″ baking rings and place on wax paper, all on a baking sheet.
- Pour your potato chips into a smaller bag or into a bowl and crush with your hands until you have small but 1/4″ pieces. Once crushed you should have around 2 or 2 1/2 cups of chips.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and then add the brown sugar and a pinch of salt.
- Still over the heat, stir the butter and sugar mixture until the sugar is no longer grainy and the mixture begins bubbling (about 3-5 minutes). Continually stir for 1 additional minute and remove from heat.
- Add the potato chips to the caramel mixture and stir until all the chips are coated and everything is well incorporated.
- Spread this potato chip caramel into the bottom of each of the rings and chill for at least 1 hour.
- Melt the chocolate by microwaving in a heat proof bowl for 30 second intervals and stirring in between each interval until chocolate is smooth.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese and sugar on on medium speed until smooth.
- Add the melted chocolate and mix on medium speed for an additional 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary.
- Spoon the cream cheese mixture onto the tops of your cooled bases and chill for an additional hour.
- At this point you can remove the rings (a knife run around the edges can help separate them) and top with chocolate covered potato chips if desired. Enjoy!
Merideth and I watched Psych in college together, and now it’s BACK!! Well, for one night only, but we’re still excited. Cinnamon pie, featured in it’s Twin Peaks episode, sounded delicious and, without too many recipes online, mysterious. Here is my version (Merideth’s is here). I’ve heard it both ways.
- 1 pie crust, thawed
- 2/3 brown sugar, lightly packes
- 1/3 sugar
- 1 tbs cinnamon
- 2tbs flour
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Combine sugars, flour, salt, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl.
- Add cream and extracts and gently stir until combined.
- Pour cream mixture into the crust.
- Cook for 40-45 minutes, turning halfway through.
- Refrigerate for four hours or overnight. Enjoy!
“Are you a fan of delicious flavor?” Because you guys, something wonderful is happening this week! You hear about Pluto? That’s messed up, but what’s not messed up is the much anticipated return of my favorite TV show of all time for one night only this Thursday (Dec 7). Psych is a pretty important show to Amanda and me as you can probably tell from our pineapple theming and the Shawn and Gus duo can always help us unwind after a long day. I can never go too long without a Psych binge which is why we wanted to go all out for the Psych movie airing this week.
Since food centers so prevalently in Shawn and Gus’ lives as well as ours, our natural response is to get cooking for that premier. One of the many dishes that intrigued us the most was the Cinnamon Pie from the “Dual Spires” episode. In this Twin Peaks themed episode, Shawn and Gus are lured to a tiny town with promise of a Cinnamon Festival where they try cinnamon pie so gould “it could bring tears.”. I mean, how could we not try to make that, right? Amanda and I both have different interpretations, and honestly I’ve heard it both ways. Now, don’t be exactly half of an eleven pound Black Forest ham and try this pie for yourself.
- 1 Pie crust to fit a 9″ pie pan (you can go store bought or I used this recipe, which was a nice savory complement to this sweet pie)
- 1/2 cup of butter-softened (1 stick)
- 1 1/3 cups dark brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tbsp Bourbon
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup flour
- Preheat your oven to 375°F
- Press your pie crust into your 9″ pie pan and crimp the edges. Fill the crust with some kind of weight 2/3 of the way to the top of the pan. You can use dry beans, actual pie weights or I used a layer of foil filled with sugar.
- Bake the weighted pie crust for 20 minutes and remove from the oven. Reduce oven to 350°F while you prepare your filling.
- With an electric mixer, beat together the butter and brown sugar until resembling wet sand, about 3-5 minutes.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time, waiting until fully incorporated after each addition. Add the cinnamon, bourbon, vanilla and salt at this point as well.
- Stir in the buttermilk with a wooden spoon until all the elements are incorporated and then sift in your flour. Give everything a stir and pour into your prepared pie crust.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes until the middle is no longer jiggly and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. If the pie crust starts to look a little dark on the outsides while baking, cover the edges with foil. Allow to cool for 1 hour and then chill if desired before serving. Maybe watch some Psych while you enjoy the cinnamon aromas (you don’t even need the super-smeller to appreciate). Top with powdered sugar or whipped cream and enjoy!
Wine pairing: Since this is such a sweet pie, I’d say a full-bodied red would be a nice choice to go with it. Something like a spicy Malbec would be nice, and pretend it’s from Mira’s vineyard to add to the experience. See you on Dec 7 for “Psych: The Movie”