Category: Breakfast

Banana Walnut Orange Blossom Muffins

Banana Muffins

Rise and Shine! It’s breakfast time. Get a hold of these Banana Walnut Orange Blossom Muffins to start your day. You won’t be disappointed. The muffins are loaded with bananas, walnuts and Orange blossom Water (my not-so-secret ingredient).

Banana Muffins

My best recipes come to me when I see an ingredient in dire need of being used. I’ve shared with you before a recipe for Banana Bread. It’s a total hit in our house. I really wanted to come up with something better than just your average banana bread. That seems pretty standard, right? Bad bananas means bake banana bread. Then I got to thinking about my favorite Middle Eastern sweets and decided to fuse the two together. If you’ve ever made qatayef with walnuts (قطايف), you know that the pancake stuffing consists of walnuts, white sugar, cinnamon and orange blossom water. Add to banana muffins and you have a one-of-a-kind sweet breakfast treat.

Banana Muffins

Speaking of Qatayef … isn’t Ramadan right around the corner? There will be plenty of walnut and cheese filled sweets to go around for 30 days and 30 nights. Okay, if we’re lucky, 29 days.

Tell me I’m not the only person this happens to. I buy bananas green and then all of a sudden they become dark brown before I get the chance to use them up. Well, my mom’s been really good about using up the bananas. She makes whole grain Belgian waffles and tops them with banana slices. I’m drooling just thinking about it.

Banana Muffins

This last batch of bananas was pretty strange. I bought them when they were green. I swear to you they never turned that bright yellow color. They just went straight from green to brown, almost overnight.

Banana Muffins

 

 

Banana Walnut Orange Blossom Muffins

Yield: About 18 muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 5 tablespoons White Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 3 Tablespoons Orange Blossom Water
  • 4 Medium Bananas
  • 1 ½ cups All Purpose Flour
  • ¼ cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ½ cup Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 1 large Egg

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F
  2. Line your muffin pan with paper muffin cups
  3. In a small bowl, combine the chopped walnuts, cinnamon, white sugar and orange blossom water and set aside
  4. In a separate, medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, brown sugar and salt, and set aside
  5. In the bowl of your stand mixer, or a large bowl, add the mashed bananas, egg, and butter. Beat until thickened (you can use a hand-held beater as well)
  6. Slowly add the dry ingredients, continue beating until combined, 1-2 minutes
  7. Stir in the cinnamon walnut mixture
  8. Spoon the batter into you muffin cups, filling about 1/3 to 3/4 way up
  9. Bake on the middle rack for 18-20 mins
  10. Cool on a wire rack and then serve
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New Year’s Champagne Pancakes

Champagne Pancakes

Now that 2016 is behind us, it’s time to start the New Year off right. Has anyone actually gone to the gym this week? I did! Now that we made it through week 1 of exercise and eating right, it’s time to celebrate, again, with Champagne Pancakes. Come on … you’re entitled to a cheat day, or two.

Leftover bottles of New Year’s champagne? No problem. Don’t put them away just yet. While you may have opted to just pour champagne into you morning glass of orange juice for an instant mimosa, consider saving some for your pancakes. Say what?? Yes! Boozy champagne pancakes. Before you write off champagne pancakes, you have to try them. The bubbles give the pancakes added fluffiness, while the champagne frosting is a fun substitute for syrup. You’ll find that it’s a similar consistency and just so fun with sprinkles on top! So pour yourself a mimosa and start your first weekend of 2017 off with a breakfast celebration.

I loved these pancakes so much, they may just become a new celebratory breakfast tradition. There are so many things to celebrate. Just think of the possibilities: Birthday Champagne Pancakes, Congrats on Your New Job Champagne Pancakes, Bridal Shower Champagne Pancakes, Valentine’s Day Champagne Pancakes, Graduation (College+) Champagne Pancakes, Wedding Day Champagne Pancakes, Just Bought A House Champagne Pancakes, My Best Friend Just Got Engaged Champagne Pancakes… the possibilities are endless. Call them whatever you want, as long as you’re celebrating.

 

Champagne Pancakes

 

New Year’s Champagne Pancakes

Yield: About 12-14 pancakes

Ingredients

    For the Pancakes
  • 2 cups Original Bisquick® mix
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Cooking Spray
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 3/4 - 1 cup Champagne
  • For the Topping
  • 1 16oz package Vanilla Frosting
  • 3-4 Tablespoons Champagne

Instructions

    For the Pancakes
  1. Heat griddle or skillet over a medium-high heat
  2. Meanwhile place all pancake ingredients in a large bowl and whisk until smooth
  3. Spray the griddle or skillet with cooking spray
  4. Pour batter onto the griddle/skillet and cook until the outer edges are dry and bubbles start to form. I use a ¼ cup measure to make the perfect size.
  5. Using a spatula, flip the pancake over and cook until golden brown ( 1-2 minutes)
  6. Remove from the heat and set aside
  7. Repeat until the batter is finished
  8. Top with champagne frosting and sprinkles
  9. For the topping
  10. Empty the contents of the frosting into a small bowl
  11. Add champagne
  12. Whisk until combined
  13. Spoon onto each pancake and top with sprinkles
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Sweetened Condensed Milk Pound Cake

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We’ve all noticed the latest feature Instagram rolled out with. In case you missed it, I’m talking about Stories. Stories make the Instagram experience more personable — for better or for worse. You can follow your favorite bloggers (or friends) and hear their voices, follow them around the world and experience a day in the life of … whoever. 

Many have expressed their love/hate/frustration with the new feature, stating that Instagram basically stole Snapchat’s thunder. I would have been okay with Snapchat, but for the blog it was missing one key feature that really deterred me from using it for the blog, or at least not as often as I would have liked to. And that is, the ability to seamlessly switch between accounts without having to log in and out. 

I like to keep my personal life separate from my blog life. That’s not to say I don’t share some of my personal experiences on the blog anyway. But there are things I share on my personal snap chat account that wouldn’t necessarily be interesting to my blog followers. That being said, there are also some things that are better shared on the blog account, and not so much on my personal account. For that, I am happy Instagram incorporated this feature. Although, there definitely need to be some updates/changes. For starters:

  • I need a way to filter out who I want to follow and who I don’t. It’s super overwhelming to go through all the stories without knowing who’s next. I’d still like to see their photos, just not necessarily their stories.
  • There has got to be a better way to see your views. I don’t always want my oldest story to show up. 
  • The Type A in me has to clear notifications…which means I have hundreds of stories to tap through. I’m talking a good 1-2 hour chunk of my day watching and clearing stories.

In conclusion — oh man, this is starting to sound like a term paper — I’m sticking with Instagram stories for MCO. I can’t completely break up with Snapchat. So, friends, you can still follow my random stories on there! 

See you on Instagram … 

Pound Cake_4

 

Pound Cake

 

Sweetened Condensed Milk Pound Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 4 Eggs
  • 4 tablespoons Melted Butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon Almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt, pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. In a stand mixer or hand-held mixer, beat butter, condensed milk, eggs, vanilla and almond extracts
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the flour and baking powder
  3. Add the flour mix to the wet ingredients
  4. Beat until smooth
  5. Pour into a loaf pan
  6. Bake at 325 for 1 hour, 15 mins
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http://www.measuringcupsoptional.com/2016/08/10/sweetened-condensed-milk-pound-cake/

Pumpkin Jam

Pumpkin Butter_2

Can we talk about Pumpkins for a minute? From the day after Labor Day through Halloween you can’t escape pumpkins. They’re everywhere – the grocery stores, the malls, the 7-11, people’s porches – everywhere. Come the beginning of November and magically we’ve transformed from pumpkin everything to Christmas two months early. It’s not to say I didn’t enjoy pumpkins during the season with my pumpkin spice coffee creamer, pumpkin cheesecake and a day trip to the Pumpkin Farm. I’m all about enjoying what every season has to offer. What I do find frustrating is when on November 8, I’m looking to make a from-scratch pumpkin recipe, I get to my local grocery store and there are literally no pumpkins in sight. What is a girl to do?! I may or may not have had a slight panic attack and called none other than my mother (because as we all know, moms have the answers to everything). Lucky for me, she reminded me that there’s a nursery not too far from home that had a ton of pumpkins left. In that moment I was saved from having to use canned pumpkin puree for my homemade pumpkin jam.

Pumpkin Butter

Pumpkin Jam

Ingredients

  • 1 whole pumpkin
  • 1 1/3 cups Brown Sugar
  • ½ cup Honey
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  3. Remove the seeds from the pumpkin and cut into large slices
  4. Place the slices on the baking sheet and bake for 45-50 minutes, until soft
  5. Remove from the oven and separate the flesh from the skin
  6. Place the pumpkin flesh into a large pot
  7. Add honey, brown sugar, cinnamon and ground cloves
  8. Stir and bring to a boil, stirring regularly
  9. Once the mixture thickens, place in a blender a puree (or use a hand blender)
  10. Refrigerate before serving
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http://www.measuringcupsoptional.com/2015/11/11/pumpkin-jam/

Eggy Avocado Toast

Eggy Avocado Toast_2

Avocados are the best thing that’s happened to food since bread. Once a very California thing has made it’s way over to the East Coast and we’re loving it. Salads, sandwiches, eggs, pastas…you name it, I’ll add avocado to it. So when Sunday rolled around and I wanted something brunchy, but not too heavy, I upped the avocado toast game.

Nothing spells Sunday like poached eggs. You know, like brunch-style eggs benedict poached eggs that complete my Sundays. In the past, I left egg-poaching to the experts, top brunch spots in DC. Not to say I hadn’t tried poaching eggs. I tried. I went through cartons of eggs only to fail miserably at the whole getting the egg and the eggwhite to stay together. So I gave up for a while…Until recently when I found this video for poaching eggs in a strainer. It sounds odd, but I tested it. Take my word for it. I wouldn’t recommend something I haven’t tried and remember, I’m the girl who wasted at least two cartons of eggs trying to get an edible poached egg.

Thank you Health Magazine and Food & Wine for teaching me how to poach an egg! http://www.health.com/health/video/020859576,00.htmlhootPostID=b86c8e403c3ff572604c0bd0b1c5d374

 

 

Eggy Avocado Toast Eggy Avocado Toast_4

Eggy Avocado Toast

Ingredients

  • A couple thick slices of your favorite bread
  • 1 Avocado
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tablespoon Butter
  • 1 clove Garlic, crushed
  • Salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. In a skillet, melt the butter and sauté the garlic for 1 minute
  2. Add the sliced bread, flipping once – toast on both sides
  3. Remove from heat
  4. In a small bowl, smash the avocado and add salt to taste
  5. Poach two eggs
  6. Spread the avocado mixture on the toast
  7. Top with poached eggs (watch the video)
  8. Serve warm
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http://www.measuringcupsoptional.com/2015/08/23/eggy-avocado-toast/

Ground Beef Skillet Hash

Ground Beef Hash_2

I’ve been on a short hiatus from blogging. Not intentionally. Every once in a while I get caught up with other things in my life—namely, my day job, and other life events.

For those who follow me on Instagram and Snapchat, you know I’ve been busy on travel to Turkey and counting down to my birthday! Another year older and hopefully a little bit wiser.

Turkey was amazing. Aside from busy workdays, I got a few hours to myself to do some shopping and check out some of the sights. This is my second trip to Turkey. The last time was in 2011 and I spent a week in Istanbul – one of the most amazing Asian-European fusion cities I’ve been to. The views are breathtaking, the shopping is well worth the trip and the food is to die for! This time around, I spend a little less than a week in Antalya at a resort some ways away from the city. I also tried to document the delicious food I tried while on travel, which leads me to #MCOTravels and #MCOEats, two hashtags I started to document the adventures of MCO around the world and also delicious food consumption at the coolest, yummiest places – to include, but not limited to, restaurants, bars, food trucks and other people’s home cooking. So follow along on Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat for the latest!

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Turkish Tea and Sweets

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Turkish Delight
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Adana Kabob
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Spices
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Turkish Bread and Ayran Yogurt Drink
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Touring the Ruins

 

In honor of Birthday Month, I first want to thank my family and friends for their texts, whatsapps, calls, Happy Birthday singing (very talented), Snaps, Instagram shout outs and Facebook messages. I’m so blessed to have you all in my life. I’ve made a few birthday resolutions that I will do my very best to adhere to. This year I resolve to:

Wash my makeup off before bed. I know! This has got to be the number one beauty rule. But something about getting water all over my hair while I remove remnants of my makeup just wasn’t appealing. Until now. I even bought these really cute headband towels so I can get excited about the evening makeup removal routine. 

Try not to procrastinate. This also happened to be my New Year’s Resolution. I was doing so well. At the 4-month mark, it’s time to focus again.

Make better life choices.  I don’t make bad choices per se. But this year, I’m going to focus on myself. I’m going to do what’s good for me, as opposed to what’s good for everyone else except me. And that gut feeling I usually ignore? I’m going to do a better job of listening to it… or at least try really hard to!

As we say in Arabic – عقبال مئة سنة Wishing you a full life to 100 years old!

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Ground Beef Skillet Hash

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • 1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
  • 4-5 Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 Onion, Chopped
  • 4-6 Eggs
  • I can sliced Mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon Worcester Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 tablespoon Garlic Salt
  • Pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Heat a large cast-iron skillet, or oven-safe skillet, over medium-high heat
  3. Add vegetable oil and heat for 1 minute
  4. Add the onion and mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes
  5. Then add the ground beef and potatoes and cook until the meat is browned
  6. Add garlic salt, paprika and Worcester Sauce
  7. Cook on medium-low until the potatoes are soft, stirring occasionally. About 15-20 minutes
  8. Make small holes around the pan (4-6 holes, depending on how many eggs you’re using)
  9. Crack the eggs into the holes and cook over low heat until the whites form
  10. Remove the skillet from the heat and place in the oven for 5-10 minutes, until the yolks have hardened
  11. Serve warm with bread
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http://www.measuringcupsoptional.com/2015/04/09/ground-beef-skillet-hash/

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