Pineapple-Coconut Bread Pudding 
1 (20-oz) can crushed pineapple
¾ cup sugar, divided
2 c. cream or coconut cream*
½ tsp. salt, divided
1 loaf stale French bread, cut in 1" cubes, or a pound of other bread, cubed
1/2 tsp. cardamom
3-4 eggs 
1 c. whole milk or coconut milk
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. shredded coconut

If your bread isn't already stale and dry, put the bread cubes in the oven at 375 until they're dried out.  
Make a caramel sauce- combine 2 Tbsp. juice from the canned pineapple with 1/2 c. sugar in a saucepan.  Heat on high until brown, stirring often.  Add 3/4 c. cream; stir until the caramel chunk has dissolved.  Add 1/4 tsp. salt.  Pour about half of this into the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan.  Save the rest.
Mix together bread, undrained pineapple and cardamom.  Dump into a 9x13 pan.  Using the same bowl as before, beat the eggs, then stir in 1/4 c. sugar, the remaining cream, milk, vanilla, and 1/4 tsp. salt.  Mix until  sugar dissolves.  Pour all of this over the bread and let sit for 5-20 minutes to soak.  Sprinkle the coconut over the top.                                          

Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes, until center is set.  Serve warm, with a little of the remaining caramel sauce drizzled on top.

*If you don't have cream, use milk instead, for a total of 3 cups.  Also melt 1/4 c. butter and beat it in with the eggs.

 

 
 
Mmm.... bacon, eggs, and toast!   

Or not.

Toast:
Pound cake, sliced and toasted.  Then buttered.

Eggs:
The white:  I used some quick frosting  (1 cup powdered sugar, 2 tbsp. melted coconut oil, a bit of vanilla, and enough milk-- any kind-- to let it softly hold its shape.)  Other options include nearly-melted commercial vanilla frosting, stirred sour cream, stirred vanilla yogurt, or stirred Greek yogurt.
The center is a dried apricot, plumped in hot water for about 20 minutes, then blotted dry and shaped by hand to look more round.  I stuck a whole almond inside to make the 'yolk' stand up better.
To make the 'yolk' look more wet, I brushed it with a little bit of corn syrup.

Bacon:
Today I found some natural fruit rolls that I'd not seen before.  I bought some, and found that rather than being the smooth, flat rollup I expected, it was full of different thicknesses in the stripes the machine put down.  This enabled it to pull off in strips to eat.  And it resembled bacon!  One roll yields about four  1 1/4" wide strips, which I cut using a pizza cutter.   Make them ripple a bit when you put them down.
 
 
We have one peach tree, a fairly early variety.  The little thing produced itself proud this year; we kept thinning, and thinning those peaches throughout the season, fearing the weight of the ripened ones would damage its fairly young form.   We still got somewhere around 1 1/2 to 2 bushels of ripe ones.  Most of them were preserved as rolls of fruit leather, with many more eaten fresh, made into creamy smoothies, or baked into this favorite coffeecake, which we serve as breakfast food.  I got the recipe when I was nineteen and in college, from a friend my age who also loved to bake.  She ended up living in the same apartment complex and I, and we shared several food-related experiences.  She and I drowned our boy-centered troubles one night by staying up late, crying with each other's stories, and consuming an entire cheesecake.

But back to the peaches...
There's nothing like biting into a warm, juicy peach fresh off the tree... or a tree-ripened peach from wherever you can buy them.  If you're not so fortunate, you can use either fresh, frozen, or canned (and drained) peaches for this, but the best flavor- as you'd expect!- will be from using the freshest, sweetest, juiciest peaches you can get.  

Peachy Pecan-Streusel Coffeecake
Cake:
1/2 c. butter, softened 
3/4 c. sugar (1 cup if you like things very sweet)
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. sour cream or yogurt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. sliced peaches

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Butter or spray a 9x13 pan; set aside.  Cream together the butter and sugar; beat in the eggs.  combine all dry ingredients, add to butter mixture alternately with sour cream and vanilla.  Beat just until smooth.  Spread batter in prepared pan.  Arrange peach slices over batter.  Combine the streusel ingredients and sprinkle over peaches.  Bake 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean (no batter clinging, only crumbs if anything).  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Streusel:
1 c. chopped pecans
1/4 c. brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp. cinnamon


 
 
Warm, chocolatey, just sweet enough, high fiber, and with little pockets of gooey melted chocolate chips!   My sister-in-law posted a similar recipe on Facebook.  It sounded delicious and had very little added sugar.  The original recipe called for applesauce instead of oil, but I'm a fan using healthy fats alongside carbohydrates so that my kids and I aren't hungry again an hour after breakfast!  It helps you process the fiber in these, too.

Chocolate Fudge Banana Muffins - makes 12
(can be gluten-free and dairy-free)

3 medium bananas, very ripe, mashed (about 1 cup)
2 eggs
1/4 brown sugar
1/4 c. oil or melted butter (I like coconut oil in these)
1/3 c. cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/3 c. oat flour (or you can use all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
chocolate chips, optional (1/4- 1/2 cup)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 12-cup muffin tin.  
Whisk together eggs and brown sugar.  Mix in the oil, cocoa powder, and vanilla.  Mix the dry ingredients and add to the wet.  Stir in chocolate chips.

Divide between the muffin cups; bake about 17-23 minutes, or until the top of a muffin springs back lightly when gently pressed.
 
 
This is a great fresh jam to eat fresh. It also freezes well, so is a good freezer jam.  Since the berries are not cooked and there's not enough sugar to help preserve it, its fridge life is fairly short.  If you're keeping it in the fridge, try to use it within about a week.  If left too long, it will get moldy (you'll know if it does!)   But it's SO GOOD fresh!  My eight-year-old made a batch two nights ago; we ran out yesterday.  I made another batch this morning, and between spreading it on our pancakes at breakfast, and using it on warm bread this afternoon, it's gone again!

Pectin-free Strawberry Freezer Jam
1 pound strawberries, washed and hulled (green parts pulled off)
2 Tbsp. honey (or to taste; use any sweetener you prefer)
2 Tbsp. chia seeds, OR 1 Tbsp. ground flax seeds

Mash the berries with a fork, or chop in a blender until they're the consistency you want.  Stir in the honey (or other sweetener) and the chia.
 After this sits for about half an hour, the chia (or flax) will gel as they absorb the extra liquid.  Keep refrigerated or frozen.

Makes about 2 1/4 cups.

Come to think of it, a drop or two of orange essential oil would be really, really goo
 
 
Today I read a research article about how having breakfast as your biggest meal of the day  rather than dinner can lead to both better insulin sensitivity and increased fertility.  In the study, they had women consume about 980 calories at breakfast, which was just over half the amount for the whole day.  If you use two slices of homemade or other good-quality whole-wheat bread (about 120 calories apiece), one large egg  (80 cal), and a one-ounce slice of real cheese (about 100 cal), you're almost halfway there.  I love to eat this with a fresh apple (a medium-large apple is about 100 calories).  

OK, so that's still not up to the numbers in the study.  But it's a great breakfast anyway.  Maybe make two?  

In less time than it takes to go through the drive-through, you can have a breakfast sandwich you made yourself.  At the bargain-hunting prices I pay for food (including making the bread), a two-slice sandwich costs just under $ .30.  (The bread costs me about $ .50 for a 1 1/2 pound loaf.  See the recipe here.)  
Dress it up with anything you want on it, or leave it simple.  I don't add salt to the egg because the cheese and bread are salty enough for me. For more flavor, add a sprinkle of oregano or other seasoning.  You can make it as healthy as you like; I use homemade whole-wheat bread for a breakfast that sticks with me for more than an hour.

Here are the quick instructions:  microwave one beaten egg for about 45 seconds, top it with a slice of cheese, put this on top of a slice of toast.
If you want a sausage-and-egg sandwich, before cooking your egg, put one precooked sausage link into the cereal bowl, chop it up with the fork, then add the egg and beat it. 

The photos below have more detailed instructions.
 
 
 Today I have a free e-book offer for you, a cookbook, “The Egg and I.” It has tons of recipes for making omelets and frittatas, along with great tips on mastering eggs in the kitchen.

It's just over 40 pages of recipes for all kinds of omelets plus pages of frittatas

You can get it here, and you'll get to choose from four formats: PDF, Microsoft Word, HTML, or Kindle

Here's what Dennis Weaver, the cookbook's author, says:

The difference between a frittata and an omelet is that the ingredients in the frittata are mixed into the eggs instead of folded into an omelet. Usually a frittata is started on the stovetop and then baked in the skillet in the oven. They are sometimes called flat omelets or farmers’ omelets. They are larger and cut into slices to serve.

This is not your ordinary e-Book!  It has 31 different scrumptious omelet recipes. Omelets you won’t find anywhere else plus more than $30 in recipe books. Plus it tells you how to make them and gives video instructions.  Start making omelets like a pro. You can 
eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  

The last time we visited my son and his family in Minnesota, we stopped at Keys Café in Saint Paul where I had “The Loon Omelet” which personifies how versatile an omelet can be. The Loon Omelet is made with wild rice, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, Swiss cheese, turkey, and topped with a hot mushroom sauce.

You can even make a party out of omelets, or host the next family gathering with an omelet bar. You’ll learn how here.

Omelets are easy, you can make one in as little as five minutes. You can make American omelets, Italian omelets, puffy omelets, and Irish omelets; even an omelet casserole.

Breakfast at your house will never be the same.
 
 
Everyone knows you can make bread with zucchini- but what if you have a giant yellow summer squash hiding in the garden?

Both zucchini and yellow squash-- either straightneck or crookneck-- are summer squash, with a similar flavor and texture, and CAN be interchanged in recipes.

My family's favorite quickbread is Lemon Zucchini Bread- so today we got Lemon-SummerSquash Bread.  I no longer shred zucchini -or this squash- for recipes, but puree it instead.  No more strings.  As a bonus, if I'm freezing some for later use, the texture does not change when thawed, unlike shredded squash.  

AND, if you're pureeing the squash, you can have the blender (or food processor) mix all the wet ingredients for you.

This bread is great for breakfast.

The recipe is found over here, though the blender method is below. 
 
 
Do you love German Pancake but don't have enough time in the morning to bake one?

Try the microwave!   The five minutes, above, includes the time to mix the batter; it takes under one minute to cook.

It won't get brown and crispy on the edges, but it tastes pretty close to the same, especially if you happen to have some browned butter or ghee to use at the bottom of the cup.

This version makes 4 individual servings, or cut everything to 1/3 and have one little bit larger serving.

Five-Minute German Pancake

1 cup milk
1 cup flour
3 eggs
4 tsp. melted butter, ghee, or browned butter

Whisk together milk, flour, and eggs until smooth.

Pull out 4 (6 oz.) microwave-safe cups/bowls/mugs.  Place 1 tsp. melted butter in bottom of each.  Pour 1/2 cup batter in each; microwave until puffy and almost dry on the center top, about 45 seconds.  Drizzle with lemon juice and sprinkle with powdered sugar, or use whatever toppings you prefer.
 
 
Start with regular bread dough- and turn it into a treat!

I love the flavor combination here- the bright flavor of candied orange peel, the sweet-tartness of snipped dried apricots, and the hearty depth from pecans. This bread is at its best after a day so the orange has a chance to permeate the whole loafwhen toasted: great with butter, but heavenly with cream cheese.  Yum.  I like it for breakfast.

This batch was made using 100% whole wheat dough, but use whatever you're making anyway.

Mix up a batch of dough (like this one).  Set aside one loaf's worth of dough.  Stretch or roll it to about 8x16 inches.  Sprinkle evenly with 1/3 cup diced candied orange peel, 1/3 cup (2 oz) dried apricots, snipped, and 1/3 c. pecan pieces.  Roll up starting with the narrow end.  Place in a greased 8x4 loaf pan, seam side down.  Let rise and bake as usual, adding 1-2 extra minutes to the baking time.  Cool and slice.