Category: Breakfast

Date Filled Cinnamon Rolls

Date Filled Cinnamon Rolls

Happy New Year! And Happy Date Filled Cinnamon Rolls! (we can hit the gym next week)

2017 was one heck of a year. I celebrated a major milestone birthday. Then had a magical summer and fall to follow. I did a ton of international travel. 2017 was my year. I felt energetic, brave and empowered; like I could take on the world. I didn’t let life beat me down. Chocolate Cake, may or may not have had the power to pull me out of a pretty brutal disappointment. As I look back, 2017 was good to me, for the most part. I guess there’s no such thing as perfect.

Date Filled Cinnamon Rolls

 

2018 will be the year of me – Me, Zayna, and Me, Measuring Cups Optional. 2018 will be my selfish year. Why? Because it just so happens that if you’re not just a little bit selfish, the world will eat you up alive. Sounds horrible, but also true. See, in 2017 I learned a very valuable lesson: I am the most important person to me. I’m the only person who can bring myself happiness and help myself reach my goals. Yes, family and friends are the best. They provide invaluable moral support. I couldn’t live a day without them. But I was missing something really important—looking out for myself. I was too busy bending over backwards for other people last year that I lost sight of myself. As December came to a close, I realized that for the last year, everyone else was looking out for their own best interests. They made choices. They made decisions. They did things to make themselves happy, to get ahead, to get what they want, despite others, and sometimes, at the expense of others. I don’t condone being selfish at the expense of other people. That kind of selfishness ends up doing more harm than good, hurting the people who matter the most to you — oh yea, and karma has as a way of coming back around.

Date Filled Cinnamon Rolls

This year, my small change is to put me first, and MCO, of course! I have so many exciting things coming to the blog this year, I really can’t contain my excitement! I was hoping to launch some of those things today, but they just aren’t ready yet. Womp womp. That’s alright … stay tuned. So many exciting things to come in 2018.

Date Filled Cinnamon Rolls

Date Filled Cinnamon Rolls

Date Filled Cinnamon Rolls

Yield: 12 Rolls

Ingredients

    For the Dough
  • 1 cup milk, warmed
  • 1 tablespoon dry active yeast
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • For the Filling
  • 1 12oz package medjool dates
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • For the Frosting
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon orange blossom water

Instructions

    For the Dough
  1. Place milk in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle yeast on top
  2. Wait 5 minutes, then add 3 tablespoons butter, salt, sugar, egg and flour
  3. Use a dough hook, and turn the mixer on low speed, slowly increasing the speed as the dough holds together
  4. Add flour to the bowl as needed to keep it from sticking
  5. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover and put in a draft-free place (like a cool oven) for 1.5 hours
  6. For the Filling
  7. Pit the dates, then soak in boiling water for 15 minutes, then drain
  8. Use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment to mash the dates
  9. Add cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar
  10. Continue to mix until well-combined
  11. Prepare the Rolls
  12. Preheat oven to 350
  13. Between two sheets of parchment paper, roll out the dough to about 12in x18in
  14. Melt 3 tablespoons butter, use some of it to brush the dough, set aside
  15. Between two new sheets of parchment paper, roll out the date mixture
  16. Remove the top sheet and flip into on the dough, peel away the remaining parchment paper
  17. Starting on the long side, roll the dough and date mixture together, keeping a round shape
  18. Use unscented/unflavored dental floss to cut rolls about 1 inch apart
  19. Place in a parchment-lined baking dish
  20. Bake for 20-25 minutes
  21. Make the frosting by whisking together the powdered sugar, whipping cream and orange blossom water
  22. Frost the rolls as soon as they're out of the oven
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Iraqi Breakfast: Bagila bil Dihin [Fried Eggs over Broad Beans]

Bagila Bil Dihin Fried Eggs Over Broad Beans

Who loves breakfast? I love breakfast! As a matter of fact, I love it so much I look forward to huge weekend breakfasts – Brunch, if you may. Usually because by the time I wake up, make coffee and get started in the kitchen, we don’t eat until somewhere around Noon or 1pm.

I’m trying something new and completely out of my zone: Iraqi breakfast. Yes, it’s a little different. Iraqis have a couple dishes that aren’t quite like the Palestinian ones I’m used to [see below for my faves]. One of which is Bagila bil Dihin. It sounds like a heart attack, since the translation is “beans with fat.” In reality, it’s just Fried Eggs over Broad Beans over soaked pita bread and topped with hot oil. Bagila is the Iraqi word for beans, broad beans or lava beans to be exact. Aside from Bagila bil Dihin, they also have a sweet dish Kahi and Geymar. What is it exactly? It’s layers of flaky pastry drowned in a sweet syrup topped with clotted cream. I used the recipe from Sara over at Add A Little Lemon. It’s delicious and super easy to follow. Trust me, you’ll love it with some freshly brewed tea.

Bagila Bil Dihin Fried Eggs Over Broad Beans

My favorite kind of breakfast is Palestinian breakfast. I’m talking mana’eesh, foul, hard boiled eggs, falafel, labaneh, honey and eshta, olives, fresh tomatoes and cucumbers, and lots of pita bread. The bigger the table, the better.

I have vivid memories of childhood Sundays filled with Arabic lessons and tables full of my favorite goodies afterwards. I usually woke up way too early and put all my Arabic books and homework together before my aunt came over to deliver a couple hours of rigorous Arabic tutoring. We essentially did a week’s worth of tutoring in a few hours. Thanks Amto! It totally paid off. The best part, though, was breakfast! It was a little hard to focus when I could smell a delicious mix of onions, zaatar and falafel, but I pulled through.

Bagila Bil Dihin Fried Eggs Over Broad Beans

Iraqi Breakfast: Bagila bil Dihin [Fried Eggs over Broad Beans]

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • ½ lb Dried Broad Beans
  • Lemon Juice from one lemon
  • Dash of Salt
  • 2 large Pita Breads, cut into large cubes
  • ½ cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Onion, cut into thin slices
  • 2 tablespoons Parsley, chopped
  • 3-4 Eggs

Instructions

  1. Soak the broad beans in water overnight then drain.
  2. In a medium pot, bring the beans to a boil with a dash of salt and lemon juice. Boil until softened (about 20 minutes), then remove the beans from the water, and set aside. Keep the water boiling over low heat, it is essential for the next step.
  3. To prepare the bread, place the bread cubes in the boiling bean water and remove immediately (just dip once and remove), then place on your platter
  4. Pour the broad beans over the bread
  5. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over low heat, add the onions and fry until caramelized
  6. Beat the eggs and pour on top of the onions without stirring
  7. Once the eggs have cooked through, place the fried eggs over the beans and pour any extra oil over the whole platter
  8. Top with chopped parsley
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Mom’s Favorite Whole Wheat Banana Nut Pancakes

Whole Wheat Banana Nut Pancakes

For as long as I can remember, every time my family and I went to IHOP, my mom always swapped out the plain old buttermilk pancakes for harvest grain and nut and topped them off with pecan syrup. That’s just the way it was. IHOP = Harvest Grain and Nut Pancakes. We don’t, however, go to IHOP regularly. Mostly because mom and I are usually on a diet or health kick, and walking into any IHOP means we’re definitely overeating. How can you not overeat when you can get a whole omelet with crispy hash browns and a side of pancakes?! It’s almost impossible. So we reserve IHOP for rare occasions.

Whole Wheat Banana Nut Pancakes

This year for Mother’s Day, I treated mom to my own version of her favorite pancakes, Whole Wheat Banana Nut Pancakes. I’ve fully accepted that as the oldest with two brothers, I’m wholly responsible for coming up with the plan, and consequently executing said plan and allowing the boys to take some credit. I was pleasantly surprised when this year, T took it upon himself to pick up cards for both he and my other brother, oh yea, and the newest four-legged addition to our family, Leia.

Whole Wheat Banana Nut Pancakes

Every family has its own traditions. Ours happens to be reading cards. I’m not really sure when it all started. We kind of forewent the gifts, and decided that Hallmark says it best. We each generally pick out a card that represents our individual personalities. Hallmark’s gotten really good at figuring people out. How is it that one becomes a greeting-card writer anyway? Hmmm .. I guess that’s another discussion for another blog post.  In any case, we gather around the table and hand over our cards and, then the tearful reading of the cards begins. Year after year, I somehow find a way to pick the sappiest card. But this year, I didn’t want us to cry. I wanted us to just be happy and grateful for our amazing mother.

So as I started reading through the daughter-to-mother cards, I picked one up and straight up started crying in the middle of the store. Before I got to the end, I closed the card up, looked around to make sure no one saw my outburst, and put it right back on the shelf. I still ended up with a heart-felt card, just not a tear-jerker.

And so, we enjoyed our Whole Wheat Banana Nut Pancakes with butter pecan syrup and ended breakfast with our traditional card readings.

Whole Wheat Banana Nut Pancakes

 

Mom’s Favorite Whole Wheat Banana Nut Pancakes

Serving Size: 6 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups Oatmeal, ground in a food processor
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon Cinnamon
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 cup Buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup Pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Walnuts, chopped
  • 4 medium bananas, sliced

Instructions

  1. Heat griddle or skillet over a medium-high heat
  2. Meanwhile place all dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix until combined, then add wet ingredients 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 sliced bananas and butter pecan syrup
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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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http://www.measuringcupsoptional.com/2017/03/22/banana-walnut-orange-blossom-muffins/

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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http://www.measuringcupsoptional.com/2017/01/06/new-years-champagne-pancakes/

Sweetened Condensed Milk Pound Cake

Pound Cake_3

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/

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