Breakfast platter

BM #116 : Week 2, Day 4
Theme : Platters

Arranging platters for this week had been fun. I never realized it before that toast and pancakes can be served in a much better manner than what we were doing. We just bring a jar of peanut butter or maple syrup to the table and serve ourselves and that was it. But when we had this platter, all the choices were right in front of us…so we had each pancake with a different topping. Nutella and strawberries pair well. So does banana and peanut butter. I didn’t add bananas to the platter even though I had it at home.

My son loves overnight chia seeds. It’s very handy to have especially when is back from his classes and needs something quick and filling. For this platter, I left the sweetener out since there was so many to choose from. Overnight oats are also easy to make and again, for this platter, you can add peanut butter or jam or both or Nutella to flavor it if you prefer.

Even though this is a breakfast platter, we had it as an early dinner. I know…pancakes for dinner!! I had some leftover hot chocolate pancakes that I used up for one of the pancakes. The second one was a banana and oats based pancake from the King Arthur Flour Whole grain book. Both recipes are keepers i might try the hot chocolate ones later during Christmastime.

Scroll down for pictures and the recipes.

The breakfast platter has

  1. Hot cocoa pancakes
  2. Apples
  3. Blueberries
  4. Overnight chia seeds
  5. Oranges
  6. Bread
  7. Oats banana pancakes
  8. Strawberries
  9. Overnight oats with chia seeds
  10. Walnuts and almonds
  11. Chocolate chips
  12. Butter
  13. Maple syrup
  14. Strawberry jam
  15. Peanut butter
  16. Nutella

Overnight chia seeds:

Add 1/4 cup chia seeds with 1 cup milk of your choice. I have used coconut milk here. Cover with a lid and Refrigerate overnight. Use any of the options above for sweetener and toppings at the time of breakfast. My son had it with maple syrup and strawberries. I prefer liquid sweetener like maple syrup, honey or agave. It’s easier to mix it in than sugar as everything will be cold.

Overnight oats with chia seeds :

Mix 3 tablespoons oats, 1 teaspoon chia seeds, 3/4 cup milk in a container. Cover and refrigeration overnight. Next morning add plain or flavored yogurt to bring it to the texture you prefer. At breakfast time, mix in the sweetener of your choice and top with whatever you like from the spread.

Banana Oats pancake:

  • In a mixing bowl, mash 3 small ripe bananas. Add two tablespoons melted butter or oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Stir in 2 eggs.
  • In a different bowl, whisk 1 cup oat flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir in the mashed banana mix. If the mix is too dry, add water in tablespoons until you get a pancake batter consistency.
  • Wait for ten minutes and prepare pancakes. Serve with any of the toppings from above.

Hot cocoa pancakes:

  • Whisk together 1.5 cups of flour, 4 packets of Swiss miss hot chocolate packets and 2 teaspoons baking powder in a mixing bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, mix 1 cup milk, 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons melted and cooled butter or oil.
  • Mix dry and wet ingredients together. Add a few more tablespoons of milk, if needed to bring it to the pancake batter consistency.
  • Prepare pancakes with the batter and serve with syrup or Nutella or anything of your choice.

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Strawberry Jam Butter

BM #109 : Week 4, Day 3
Theme : Dips and Spreads

During the holidays, we had been to a gourmet shop and came home with some interesting items – Jalapeño spiced honey, ginger flavored mustard which is great in salads and raspberry butter, which was absolutely delicious with bread! So when I was using the spiced honey for yesterday‘s chia jam, I remembered the raspberry butter and decided to make a strawberry version.

You can hardly call this a recipe, it is just mixing softened butter and jam of your choice with a whisk or a fork. To keep the emulsion smooth, make sure that everything is at room temperature or else the butter might harden and will look like it’s curdling. If that happens, you might have to heat the bowl for a few seconds until the butter is softened again and turns smooth.

Just like ghee, butter can survive a few days outside the fridge if the kitchen is not too hot. So if you are making a small batch of jam butter, it doesn’t have to be refrigerated. But this is your personal choice, if you are not comfortable leaving this outside, it can stay in the fridge. You might have to warm it up a bit before you spread it on the toast.

Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 stick butter (1/4 cup, ~50 gms), softened
  • 3 tablespoons strawberry jam (or per your taste), at room temperature

Method:

    Using a fork or a hand mixer, beat in the jam with the butter.
    The jam and the butter has to be at room temperature for the mixture to be smooth. If it’s straight from the fridge, the mixture might look curdled. You can heat the bowl for a couple of seconds or use a hair dryer to warm it up and then beat again to get a smooth paste.
    Serve on buttered toast.

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Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” chocolate chip cookies

BM #106 : Week 3, Day 2
Theme : Baked Dishes

I am a big fan of Hershey’s cookbooks. Those come with recipes that you can try without fear of failure. The Hershey’s best brownies and “Perfectly chocolate” chocolate cakes have been my go-to recipes for many years now. I am surprised that I missed their recipe for cookies until now. This is again from one of their baking books. My son wanted cookies with white chocolate chips and that’s what we made. 

I had made this to celebrate the birth of my nephew who was born just before Diwali. Shreyas helped me a bit with baking, but mostly he was interested in trying out the cookies. As is my ‘tradition’, the first batch had quite a few burnt cookies. The first batch is always a trial batch for me to figure out the time needed to bake. But with chocolate cookies, its hard to tell when they are cooked because of their dark color. So there were some cookie casualities :D. But the rest were saved and distributed to our friends. 

Read on for the recipe.

Recipe source: Hershey’s Recipe Collection Book

Makes about 4 dozen, depending on the size

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter ( 2 sticks / ~220 gms)
  • 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups plain flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips

Method:

  1. Heat oven to 375 F. 
  2. Beat softened butter with both the sugars and vanilla until light and creamy in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add eggs, one at a time and beat it in.
  3. In a smaller mixing bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. This helps in breaking lumps in cocoa. Add this dry mix to the butter mix in batches and beat in low speed until well incorporated.
  4. Turn off the mixer,  add the chocolate chips and mix it in with a spatula. 
  5. Take a rounded teaspoon of cookie dough. Place this into a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Repeat with the rest of the dough, leaving enough space between it to allow the cookie to spread. 
  6. Bake 8-10 minutes or until set. Cool slightly in the sheet itself before moving to a wire rack. Cool completely and store in airtight containers. 

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Chocolate Chip Cake

chocolate_torte1

 BM #105: Week 2, Day 2
Theme : One country, One category

A chocolate cake with a good dose of chocolate chips in it and topped with a chocolate glaze – That could be the definition for dessert! The one here is even more sweeter than the rest, because my son baked it for our friend’s anniversary. He insisted on baking and I decided that’s a great thing. The problem with him baking is that he looses interest half way through and then it would be up to me to take care of the rest. That’s the reason why I chose a simple cake, one with not much of decorations. That way he can do most of the work and truly claim to his work of art :-).

I am a big fan of Hershey’s baking books. I have never had a dud from any of their books. What I like about most of their recipes is the simplicity. This cake was easy to put together and it is from Hershey’s Recipe Collection.

Read on for the recipe.

chocolate_torte2

 Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2sticks, ~220 gms)melted butter
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 2/3 cups cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Melted white chocolate for decoration

 

 

 Heat oven to 350F/180C. Grease and line a 9″ cake pan. In a mixing bowl, combine 1 cup melted butter, 1.5 cups sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat well. Now add 3 egg yolks, one at a time and beat after each addition.

 

 

 Add 2/3 cups cocoa powder, 1/2 cup plain flour and 3 tablespoons of water. Beat well. Stir in 1 cup chocolate chips.

 

In another clean mixing bowl, Beat 3 egg whites with 1/8 teaspoon of cream of tartar and 1/8 teaspoon salt until stiff peaks form. Fold this carefully into the chocolate mixture.

 

Pour this into the prepared pan. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the top begins to crack slightly. Take off the oven and let it Cool for an hour. Carefully take it out of the pan and cover with cling wrap and return to pan until you are ready to serve.

For the glaze, combine 1 cup chocolate chips(semisweet or dark) and 1/4 cup milk in a small saucepan. Cook over very low heat, stirring continuously until the mixture is smooth. It shouldn’t boil. Remove from heat, let it cool until it thickens a bit – 10 to 15 minutes or so. Pour this glaze on top of the cake and spread with a spatula. You can cover the sides as well. Decorate as you wish, here its a few lines with melted white chocolate.

chocolate_torte3

Sending this entry to Kid’s Delight – Anniversary party.

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