It’s been a long while since I’ve been able to do an impulse breakfast like this. But this Sunday morning, we were sleeping in late after a party at a friend’s the night before, I had the ingredients for this on hand, and I was in a headspace to be able to cook, and I decided to go for it. (Again, major sign that the meds are working – I have not been able to do this as much as I would liked to in the last few years. Fuck depression, yay meds.)

Dutch babies are always fantastic, especially on a cold winter morning. And with all the holidays, odds are you’re going to have all these ingredients in your kitchen already. (Tieghan also recommends maple syrup and whipped cream, but tbh the cranberry butter is more than enough.)

Do the thing. It’s wonderful.

Cinnamon Spiced Dutch Baby with Cranberry Butter
Makes one big ass dutch baby, enough for two people minimum

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • .66 c whole milk
  • .66 c flour
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • (1 T hazlenut liquer – didn’t have this on hand, maybe try Grand Marnier)
  • 1.5 t ground cinnamon
  • pinch ground nutmeg
  • dash salt
  • 4 T butter (2 T of this melted)

For the cranberry butter

  • 4 T butter, softened to room temp
  • .25 c leftover cranberry sauce (I picked some up from Trader Joe’s)

Preheat your oven to 450, and put out the 4 T butter for the cranberry butter to start softening. In a blender, blend together the eggs, milk, flour, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, the 2 T melted butter, and salt, until smooth (pics 1 and 2), and no flour clumps remain.

In the last five minutes of the oven preheating, take a cast iron skillet and the 2 T butter, and add to the oven, letting the oven melt the butter all over the skillet (pic 3).  Once the oven is preheated, pour the batter into the skillet (pic 4), and bake for 25 minutes, until the dutch baby is puffed and browned on top (see pic 6). (Don’t open the oven in the first 15 minutes of baking, or it will deflate!)

In the last ten minutes of the dutch baby baking, mix together the butter and cranberry sauce until combined (pics 5 and 7).

Then, transfer the dutch baby to a plate, and spread the cranberry butter over it, letting the heat of the dutch baby melt the butter. (I could probably have used more of the cranberry butter here, however, I do now have leftovers for future dutch baby making.)

And then, enjoy your wonderful breakfast, ideally while playing some Destiny 2 and cuddling.

Happily, kind of, I am currently so far behind on this blog that this has now completed the loop to this being back in season! Go me!

Egg nog. Dutch babies. This is pretty much an A+ combination on all fronts, especially as the cold finally starts to settle in over Chicago. So make this this weekend, and treat yourself. You’ve earned it.

Egg Nog Dutch Baby
Makes one dutch baby

Ingredients

  • 2 T butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 c egg nog
  • 1 c flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 t vanilla
  • .5 t nutmeg
  • 1 T sugar

Preheat your oven to 400, place the butter in the cast iron skillet, and place the skillet in the oven to melt the butter (see what pic 3 looks like for what this will look like after the oven has preheated).

Combine all other ingredients in the blender (pic 1), and blend until combined (pic 2). Once the oven has preheated, swirl the skillet to coat it in butter, and then pour the batter into the hot skillet (pic 4).

Place back into the oven, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden and puffed (pic 5), and then om nom it!

I’ve been wanting a waffle maker for a while. Specifically, the Captain America shield one (I am trash). I was lucky enough to get some money for Christmas, and to find it super cheap in the post-Christmas sales, so lo and behold, I now own a pretty damn awesome waffle maker. The boy and I have gotten into the habit of me making waffles in the morning when he comes over here on the weekend, so expect to see hella waffle recipes from me in the near future, to say the least. 

These waffles in particular are pretty damn great. Just a touch of booze, a dash of eggnog spices, and altogether lovely. It takes a bit of trial and error to get just the right amount to get the nice shape you see above, but for those of you with this waffle maker: fill the star and the first ring or so. 

Eggnog Waffles
Makes 6-8 waffles

Ingredients

  • 1.5 c milk
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 t active dry yeast
  • 2 c flour
  • .5 t nutmeg
  • pinch ground cloves
  • pinch sea salt
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 7 T butter, melted
  • 1 t vanilla extract (I substituted vanilla bean paste here bc I’d just run out of vanilla extract)
  • 2 T dark rum, brandy, or bourbon (optional, I used Kraken, personally)

Mix your milk and sugar and microwave until lukewarm (between a minute and a minute thirty seconds at this amount), then stir in your yeast, and set aside to let foam. 

Meanwhile, whisk together your flour, nutmeg, cloves, and sea salt in a large bowl. Create a well in the center of the bowl, and add in the yolks of the three eggs, the melted butter, the vanilla, and your booze of choice if using, mixing until you have a smooth batter. 

Meanwhile, take your egg whites and use an electric mixer to beat them until you get stiff peaks, and then fold them into the batter. Let the batter stand 30 minutes. 

Heat your waffle maker according to the instructions, and then scoop the batter into the maker, cooking according to directions. And then, enjoy your wonderful breakfast (and if you have any leftovers, use them for breakfast for the week!).

So, now that I’m finally settled in the apartment where I am for realsies living now that I am down in Chicago, I figure it’s time to break in the kitchen. And let me tell you, it’s an amazing kitchen. Big fridge, gas range and oven and microwave, undermounted sink, lots of cabinets, a pantry, it’s everything I’ve wanted in a kitchen, ever. 

It’s been a damn long week, and these were already on the docket for me to make in the near future. But last night, I decided to move it up because it’s been a REAL shitty week at work, and I wanted something nice for me and the boyfriend to wake up to. This recipe is going to need some tweaking for the future (imagine this with brown butter!), but for a first try, this was a real good thing to have for breakfast while cuddling and playing Borderlands 2. 

Lemon Sticky Buns with Lemon Glaze
Makes appx 10 – 12 buns, depending on how you cut them

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1 package active dry yeast (appx 2.5 t)
  • .75 c milk, warmed
  • .5 c (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • .25 c white sugar
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 4.5 c flour
  • .5 t salt
  • .25 t nutmeg

Sticky Lemon Filling

  • 1 c sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 T (half stick) unsalted butter, very softened, but not fully melted
  • .25 t ground ginger
  • 1/8 t nutmeg
  • .25 c fresh lemon juice

Glaze

  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • .25 c fresh lemon juice
  • 1 c powdered sugar

Take your milk and microwave it for about 45 seconds, so that it’s warm, but not scalding hot. Mix it together with the packet of yeast, and let stand for a few minutes, until it’s nice and foamy. Then, in a large bowl, mix together your softened butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, lemon zest, and 1 c of the flour, until you have a nice, sticky dough base. Then, add the salt and nutmeg, and slowly, the rest of the flour, until you have a good sized sticky dough ball.

Then, take your dough ball, lightly flour the surface you’ll be working on, and knead the dough for five minutes, until you have smooth, stretchy ball of dough. Put the dough back in the bowl, cover with a towel, and let sit for about an hour, until the dough doubles in size. 

While the dough rises, make your lemon filling! For this, be sure that your butter is very, very soft, but not to the point of melting; my butter was partway melting, which is probably why my filling didn’t quite turn out perfectly, I think. Anyways, start out by rubbing the lemon zest and sugar together, until well combined. Then, slowly mix the butter in, until the mixture is thick and creamy. Then, add your nutmeg and ginger in, followed, slowly, by the lemon juice. The lemon juice will thin out the mixture, but it should still be creamy. (As you can see in pic 4, this didn’t happen for me, but it still worked.) Toss the filling in the fridge, and be sure it chills for at least a half hour; ideally, you work on the filling immediately after you start the dough rising, and let it chill for that full time. 

After your dough has doubled, take it and use a rolling pin to roll it out to roughly a 10 x 15 rectangle on a lightly floured surface (see pic 5). Take your lemon filling, and spread it evenly over the dough. Start rolling from the top long edge of the dough, and work your way down, rolling it as tight as possible and pulling the dough taut to keep the filling in. If your filling is too thin, it’ll leak out the ends, like mine did (see pic 6). Then, take a pan (I used a round cake pan), and cut your roll into twelve even pieces (I only got ten out of mine), and put your rolls into them, nestling them together (see pic 7). If you end up having the mixture leak out the ends, just brush it over the tops of the buns. 

At this point, if you’re me, you cover the pan with a towel, and throw it in the fridge over night. The next morning (or right away, if you decide to make it all at once), let the buns rise for at least an hour, until they’re puffy and doubled in size (see pic 8). While the buns finish rising, preheat your oven to 350. Then, put the buns in the oven for 35 minutes, until they’re golden brown (see pic 9), and a toothpick inserted into the doughy parts comes out clean. 

While the buns bake and cool, combine the lemon juice and cream cheese until light and fluffy, and then slowly whisk in the powdered sugar, until you have a nice smooth glaze.

Once the buns have cooled a bit, but are still warm, spread the glaze over the buns, cut into them, and enjoy the glorious lemon goodness!

Little bebe potatoes are just starting to come in at the farmer’s market, and with my abundance of lemon juice and severe lemon kick lately, this seemed like a great recipe to try out. It’s quick, simple, and results in some utterly fantastic, tender potatoes. 

Lemon Butter New Potatoes
Lasts appx 3 lunches as a side

Ingredients

  • Appx 1 lb new potatoes (this was probably closer to a pound and a half, look at your local farmer’s market for these)
  • 1/3 c butter
  • 3 T lemon juice (fresh squeezed if you can get it)
  • 1 t sea salt
  • 1 t lemon zest
  • dash pepper
  • pinch nutmeg

Wash your potatoes, and peel a strip around the center of them. Put them in a pot, pour enough water over them that they are covered, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for fifteen minutes.

About five minutes before your potatoes are done, in a separate small pot, melt your butter, and then mix in the lemon zest, salt, lemon juice, pepper, and nutmeg. Remove the butter sauce from heat. 

Drain your potatoes, put them in whatever you will be storing/serving them in, and then pour the butter sauce over them and toss to fully coat. And then, enjoy the tender lemony-buttery amazingness.

Some days, you’ve had a real fucking long week, and you are looking for some real comfort food, but also to turn the comfort factor up to ten by adding some really, really good cheese. This is possibly my new favorite mac and cheese recipe, ever. Getting all the cheese properly grated takes some time, but the end result is so, so worth it.

I picked up most of the cheese from the farmer’s market, and for the brie, I went with a triple cream brie, because yes. I also substituted panko for bread crumbs, because panko are the best version of bread crumbs (light, airy, and they stay crispier longer). It’s also going to last me a good long while, too, because of the sheer amount this makes. 

Cheesemonger’s Mac and Cheese
Lasts a damn long time; at week two of this as a main for lunch

Ingredients

  • 1.5 c coarsely grated gruyere cheese (I used what I had leftover from making toast soldiers, which was about maybe half of a 6 oz block, and a bit of a .33 lb block to top it off)
  • 1.5 c coarsely grated aged sharp cheddar (I used a 6 year aged white from the local farmer’s market, about a third total of a pound block)
  • 1.5 c brie, rinds removed and diced (I cut the rinds off of a pound of triple cream brie and just diced it all up, probably ended up being closer to 2 c)
  • 4 T butter
  • .25 c flour
  • pinch thyme (fresh thyme leaves if you have them, otherwise ground works fine)
  • ~1 t nutmeg
  • 4 c whole milk
  • 1.75 c panko
  • 1 lb penne pasta

Mix your grated gruyere, aged sharp cheddar, and brie together in a bowl, and reserve one cup. Chill both the bowl and the reserved cup. 

Melt your butter in a large pot over medium heat, and as soon as it melts, add in your flour, whisking until the mixture turns golden brown. (You could probably also brown the butter to amp up the flavor even more.)  Add in your thyme and nutmeg, followed by your milk, whisking until it’s thickened and smooth (about four minutes). Add the 3 c of cheese mixture, and stir until the cheese has melted into the sauce, and is smooth.

In another pot, cook your penne according to the directions on the package, and preheat your oven to 375 while it cooks.  After draining the pasta, take a large glass pan and pour the cooked pasta into it.  Pour the cheese sauce over it, and toss to coat. Take that remaining 1 c you had of the cheese mixture, spread it over the top of the pasta and cheese sauce, and then spread the 1.75 c of panko over the dish. Bake for about twenty minutes until the panko start to turn golden brown and the sauce bubbles (see the difference between pictures six and seven). 

(The original recipe has you baking these in separate ramekins, but that seems a bit unecessary to me. In addition, the instructions at the end aren’t that clear as to how long you need to actually bake it – there are two sets of instructions for doing it ahead and doing it day of, and they’re not separated out – but as far as I can tell the twenty minutes at 375 is how long you’re supposed to bake it.)

Deb posted this recipe over on Smitten Kitchen right as I was starting to plan Christmas meals and such, and really, this was utterly perfect timing. My da has a waffle iron (I don’t yet but that may be changing), and the idea of her Gramercy Tavern gingerbread in waffle form is utterly amazing. (Only used buttermilk in these, but next time? Absolutely using stout.) Not really sure how accurate the output on this was, as I split the batter to make a less gingerbready version for some of my sisters. Regardless, this was the perfect way to wake up Christmas morning. 

Deep Dark Gingerbread Waffles

Ingredients

  • 1 c flour
  • .75 t ground cinnamon
  • 1 T ground ginger
  • dash ground cloves
  • dash nutmeg
  • 1.5 t baking powder
  • .5 t baking soda
  • pinch sea salt
  • .5 c (really, shitton of options here – I used buttermilk, apple cider, yogurt thinned with milk, and even stout beer)
  • .5 c molasses
  • .5 c dark brown sugar
  • .25 c white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 T butter, melted

Whisk together your flour, spices, salt, and baking sugar and powder.  In a smaller bowl, whisk together the molasses, dark brown and white sugar, egg, butter, and your additional wet ingredient of choice, until mixed together. (If the butter cools a bit and makes little white splotches in the batter, this is okay.) Mix together the wet and dry ingredients until just combined.

Heat your waffle iron to medium, and then use a rubber spatula to spoon the batter into the iron until the individual waffle molds are about ¾ths full. Be sure you have it greased, or these WILL stick. Cook according to your waffle iron’s directions, maybe a minute or two more if the batter is particularly moist. 

To remove, open, let rest for about 30 seconds, and use a tong and spatula to lift the corners out and wiggle it gently out of the mold. Let cool a little further, and then sprinkle with powdered sugar (and syrup if you really want to, but they likely won’t need them).