Buttermilk blueberry breakfast cake

I’m terrible at writing new posts. It’s bad. To make it up, can I buttery you up a big slice of buttermilk blueberry breakfast cake? It’s pretty good. Which is an understatement. When you take a bite, it reminds you of being 5 years old at your grandmas house. With sleepy eyes and heightened senses, you can smell your grandma pulling the cake out of the oven from your bedroom. The crispy, sugary top and the moist blueberry middle, I wouldn’t be surprised if you started to cry a little. I know I did.

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Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake

Serves 6-8

½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tsp. lemon zest or more — zest from 1 large lemon (I did 3 tsp of orange zest I had frozen, it was perfect!)
7/8 cup* + 1 tablespoon sugar**
1 egg, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour (set aside 1/4 cup of this to toss with the blueberries)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 cups fresh blueberries
½ cup buttermilk***

* 7/8 cup = 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons
** This 1 tablespoon is for sprinkling on top
*** To make homemade buttermilk, place 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup. Fill cup with milk until it reaches the 1-cup line. Let stand for five minutes. Use only 1/2 cup of the prepared mixture for the recipe.

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cream butter with lemon zest and 7/8 cup of the sugar until light and fluffy.

2. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Meanwhile, toss the blueberries with ¼ cup of flour, then whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder and salt.

3. Add the flour mixture to the batter a little at a time, alternating with the buttermilk. Fold in the blueberries.

4. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan (or something similar) with butter or coat with non-stick spray. Spread batter into pan. Sprinkle batter with remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes. Check with a toothpick for doneness. If necessary, return pan to oven for a couple of more minutes. (Note: Baking for as long as 10 minutes more might be necessary.) Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes

Something magical just happened this morning.

It was beautiful.

It was delicious.

It was lemony.

It was poppy seed-y.

It was soft.

and moist.

Covered in butter.

and a little bit of maple syrup.

O, lemon poppy seed pancakes, how I love you.

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Little hands make light work…or a lot of work 😉

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Lemon zest makes me a better person, I’m sure of it.

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Did you know that every gram of seeds has about 33 micrograms of morphine and 14 micrograms of codeine. Cover that with flour, sugar, butter and syrup and you have Christmas morning.

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Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes

(makes a lot! About 20 small/medium sized pancakes)

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups buttermilk

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 tablespoons poppy seeds

butter, shortening, or vegetable oil for frying

maple syrup for serving

In a small bowl combine granulated sugar and lemon zest.  Rub together with your fingers until sugar is fragrant.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Stir in the lemon sugar.  Set aside.

In a separate bowl (or you can use a large liquid measuring cup), whisk together buttermilk, eggs, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and melted butter.  Pour the wet ingredients all at once into the dry ingredients.  Add the poppy seeds and stir to combine.  If a few lumps remain, that’s no problem.  Let the batter rest for 10 minutes while the griddle heats.

Place a griddle, or a nonstick saute pan over medium heat.  Add a bit of butter, shortening, or vegetable oil to the pan.  A teaspoon of fat will do for a n0nstick saute pan, a bit more fat may be necessary for a griddle.  Dollop batter onto hot pan.  For small pancakes, I use about 2 tablespoons for each pancake.  For larger pancakes, I use about 1/4 cup of batter.  Cook until golden brown on the bottom and and bubbling on top.  Flip once and cook until golden brown on each side.

Place cooked pancakes on an oven-proof plate and place in a warm (about 150 degrees F) oven until all pancakes are cooked and ready to serve.  Serve with butter and warm maple syrup.

ENJOY!

Granola

Warm.

Soft.

Crunchy.

Chewy.

Healthy.

Versatile.

Hints of coconut.

Bites of nuts and fruit (optional)

Want to put raisins in? Go Ahead!. Want to put dried apples in? GO AHEAD! Want to put nothing but oats in? Yup, that’s right, GO AHEAD!

Granola is just so wonderful. There’s no wrong way to make it. It’s pretty much full proof! And I like recipes like that. No brainers, because sometimes, with babies running around I really don’t have any. (…Actually even without babies running around, I still sometimes don’t have any.)

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Pour all those beautiful oats into a big bowl

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Then add all your coconut, nuts, seeds, oat bran and wheat germ.

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Get your honey, molasses, salt, brown sugar, oils, cinnamon and vanilla and stir together, bringing it to a soft boil. Is it bad to drink that stuff? It smells so good.

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Pour onto the dry stuff and stir together. Wow, that just looks great.

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Beautiful

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Spread it on a baking sheet, and sneak a bite of two..if you’re a weirdo like me and enjoy raw oats. Then bake it for 20 min, stirring halfway through.

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Pull it out of the oven, (eating a bite or two while severely burning your tongue) and let it cool to room temperature. Then enjoy!

My favorite granola recipe

8 cups of rolled oats
1 1/2 c wheat germ
1 1/2 c oat bran
1 cup of almonds
1 c pecans
1 – 1 1/2 cups of coconut
1 1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup of molasses
3/4 cup of honey
1 cup coconut oil
1 tbl cinnamon
1 tbl vanilla
1 cup of dried fruit

1) Line baking sheet with foil

2) Combine oats, wheat germ, oat brean, seeds, and nuts into a bowl

3) Stir together salt, brown sugar, molasses, honey, oil, cinnamon, and vanilla. Bring to a bowl.

4) Pour over oat mixture and stir to coat. (I like to drizzle more honey over the entire thing, stir, and do it once more)

5) Spread evenly on baking sheet and bake for 20 min, stirring half way through

6) Cool, then stir in dried fruit

Pico de Gallo

We are at the peak of gardening season and we can’t pick the tomatoes fast enough! If you are unable to eat 20 lb of tomatoes every week, don’t let them just go bad! There are so many things you can do with all your uneaten tomatoes: Tomato sauce, tomato paste, Pico de Gallo (my favorite) and also just cans of chopped up tomatoes to use later.

I don’t really have a formal recipe for Pico de Gallo but the key to good Pico is simplicity and to have a equal ratio of tomatoes to onions. Don’t forget to use your tastebuds to determine how much of the other ingredients you want.

Portia’s non-recipe Pico de Gallo recipe

5 or so large tomatoes

1-1 1/2 large onions

2-4 limes depending on preference

1/2 – 3/4 of a cilantro bunch (depending on preference)

1) Slice tomatoes open and remove the seeds plus the tops and bottoms.

2) Chop the tomatoes and onions up to the size you prefer (I like them small).

3) Pick cilantro leaves. Make sure no stems get into the Pico. (This can be a daunting task. If you can, get your husband, wife, friend,  or child to do it!)

4) Finely chop cilantro.

5) Stir all together and add the juice of the limes one at a time so you don’t overdue the lime. Stir together, taste, and adjust.

6) EAT! (We really love Juanita’s gluten free tortilla chips. (SO AMAZING and way better than the other tortilla chips).

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Portia Westesen