In the Midwest (and maybe all over the country), you can enjoy breakfast for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I think everyone has a special childhood memory of the excitement that came along with being allowed to eat pancakes with maple syrup for dinner some evenings. In reality, our parents were probably exhausted and couldn't come up with something more creative for dinner that night, but every kid felt like they were getting away with something.
Throughout the Midwest everyone has a favorite breakfast spot, whether it's the Golden Nugget or trendy brunch spot in Chicago, a classic diner like The Fleetwood Diner in Ann Arbor, or a Coney Island in southeastern Michigan. And they all have something in common: breakfast is served any time of day or night. You can enjoy the most comforting meal of the day whenever you need it. I love making and eating breakfast. Here a few of my favorite recipes.
Blueberry Baked Oats and Granola
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 cup cinnamon raisin granola
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 3/4 cups milk (whole or 2%)
⅓ cup maple syrup
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons melted butter or canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 pint (12 oz) fresh or frozen blueberries or mixed berries, divided
2 teaspoons brown sugar
Preheat oven to 375. Grease the bottom of a 9x9 baking dish or round/oval baking dish with 1 tablespoon of the melted butter or oil. In one bowl, mix the dry ingredients together: oats, granola, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients: milk, maple syrup, 2 eggs, remaining melted butter or oil and vanilla.
Put half of the blueberries in the bottom of the baking dish. Cover the berries with the dry oat mixture. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and make sure the dry ingredients are completely covered, tapping the top if you need to. Place the remaining berries along with the brown sugar on top of the dish. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the berries are bubbling on the sides and the top is golden. Let cool for 20-30 minutes. The dish is best served warm or at room temp with a dollop of yogurt.
1 ½ cups heavy cream
1 to 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar or Swiss cheese
Kosher salt and pepper
1 (9 inch) premade pie crust (at room temperature)
Handful of chopped ham, bacon and/or veggies (peppers, onion, broccoli, spinach)
Preheat oven to 375. Gently roll out crust on a dusting of flour just a little bit to make sure the pie crust fits your pie plate. Place pie crust in pie dish and flute the edges of crust after folding the excess perimeter of dough under itself around the edge of the pie plate.
Beat the eggs with cream, salt and pepper. Use a spoon to mix in the cheese, ham and any other additions. Pour the egg mixture into the prepared crust. Bake for exactly 40 minutes. A knife should come out of the center clean of eggs, and the top of the baked quiche will have a slight rise to it, but will also remain set when the pie dish is gently shaken. Allow the quiche to cool for at least an hour before serving. The eggs are so dense, the heat will remain in the dish for a long time. You want to eggs to set up and be somewhat firm when you serve the quiche. If you need to wait longer before serving, just cover the quiche with foil.
Stuffed French Toast
1 loaf thick bread (Brioche or Texas Toast)
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened and divided
1/3 cup jam
2/3 cup fresh berries (any berry that complements your jam)
1 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
Butter (for pan or griddle)
Heat an electric griddle to medium low heat or a traditional griddle pan on the stove over medium heat. Mix the softened cream cheese with jam in a small bowl. Gently add in the berries. Spread the mixture on one piece of bread and top it with another slice of bread, essentially making a sandwich. Don’t spread the cream cheese mixture all the way to the edge of the bread, though – you don’t want it coming out of the sides on the griddle. In a shallow, medium sized bowl whisk the eggs, milk and vanilla. Melt butter on griddle. Working in batches, dip the sandwiches in the egg mixture for 10 seconds, place the stuffed French toast on hot griddle for about 4 minutes on each side. Top with maple syrup or powdered sugar, whipped cream and more fruit.