Friday, May 29, 2009

Marmalade-Stuffed French Toast with Orange Syrup

Found this recipe in an old Bon Appetit magazine a long time ago and have made my own little changes to it. It is a great twist on French Toast and easy to make! As much as I would love to eat it each and every time I make it, I know I should really only have it once a year. Great for a holiday breakfast when calories don't count!

4 servings
10 minute prep time
20 minute cook time


1 8oz brick of cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup marmalade
1/4 cup powdered sugar

French Toast

1 French loaf bread
4 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

3/4 cup orange juice concentrate, thawed
1/2 cup butter
1 cup simply syrup
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Zest of 1 orange


1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees and prepare a baking sheet.

2. Combine orange juice concentrate, butter, and simple syrup in a small sauce pan. Stir over low heat until butter melts. Keep mixture on low heat until it reduces by 25%. Add cinnamon and orange zest, mix, and cook for 5 minutes longer. Remove from heat or keep warm.

3. In a kitchen mixer, cream together cream cheese, marmalade, and powdered sugar. Set aside.

4. Cut French loaf bread into 8 equal parts, at least 1 inch thick. Cutting through the top crust of each slice, make a pocked in each slice of bread. Spoon a generous tablespoon of the cream cheese and marmelade mixture into the center of each slice.

5. In a large kitchen bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla extract, almond extract, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

6. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Dip 4 stuffed bread slices into egg mixture and place in hot skillet. Cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer French toast to baking sheet and place in preheated oven. Repeat dipping and cooking until all bread slices are cooked.

7. Serve 2 French toasts to a plate and top with warm orange syrup. Enjoy!


Quick & Dirty Tips

Stuffing the toast can be a bit messy. I suggest putting the bread in the fridge over night and slicing it cold with a bread knife. I then use a paring knive to make the pocket. Instead of spooning the filling in, I put all the filling into a piping bag and pipe it into the pocket.

Orange syrup can be made several days in advance. Just reheat when ready to use.

If you don't want to use French bread, you can use two slices of white bread. Make a sandwich with the filling and then cut in half. Dip in the egg mixture and serve one "full sandwich" to a plate.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Coconut & Ricotta Pancakes with Ginger Syrup

I found this recipe on and made just a few changes. The pancakes turnout nice and moist without a cheesy flavor. The syrup completely complements the deliciousness of the pancake. "An exotic new spin on a breakfast classic."

I could eat a heaping stack of these divine little cakes of amazingness...

6 servings
10 minute prep time
20 minute cook time

Ginger Syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
3 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks
Zest of 1 lemon

4 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup whole milk
2/3 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
2/3 cup flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut


1. Combine all the ingredients for Ginger Syrup in a small sauce pan. Stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Boil until mixture reduces to about 1 cup. Meanwhile...

2. In an electric mixer, beat egg whites in a large bowl until stiff peaks form. Meanwhile...

3. In another large bowl, whisk together egg yokes, milk, ricotta, flour, sugar, baking powder, vanilla extract, and salt. Once combined, stir in coconut.

4. Fold egg whites into prepared batter while being careful not to over mix.

5. Heat oven to 170 degrees.

6. Melt a teaspoon of butter on a griddle or large fry pan over medium heat. Working in batches, drop 1/4 cup of batter into the pan. Cook until bubbles form in the middle of the pancake and evenly browned, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook 2 minutes longer. Transfer pancakes to a baking sheet and keep in a 170 degree oven until all the batter is cooked. Add butter to the pan after each batch.

7. Arrange 3 or 4 pancakes on a plate. Garnish with fresh fruit and pour warm ginger syrup over the top. Enjoy!


Quick & Dirty Tips
Syrup can be made up to two weeks in advance. Just keep covered in the refrigerator.

Batter can be made ahead up to 12 hours in advance without the egg whites folded in. Cover bowl with plastic wrap touching the top of the batter. This will prevent a skin from forming. Whip the egg whites and fold into the batter when ready to cook.

I wanted to do grilled bananas sliced on the diagonal but just didn't have the time to do it... next time!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Pumpkin Sliver Dollars

Pancakes are the first real "food" that I remember cooking when I was a kid. Dense and rich, pancakes were a favorite all around my house growing up. Pancakes are delicious... but why not try something a little different? Nothing tastes better than pumpkin pie so, lets combine the two!

6 servings
10 minute prep time
15 minute cooking time

1 1/4 cups buttermilk
3/4 cup canned pure pumpkin (not canned pumpkin pie)
4 large eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 1/3 cup flour
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sliced almonds, chopped
Butter or non-stick spray


1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment or tin foil.

2. Whisk together buttermilk, pumpkin, eggs, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and almond extract until well blended. Add melted butter and whisk again. Whisk in flour, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until combined. Stir in sliced and chopped almonds.

3. Lightly butter or spray a large skillet and place over medium heat. Working in batches of four, pour 2 tablespoons of batter into heated skillet. Cook until bubbles form on the top and the sides are dry; about 2 minutes. Turn silver dollars over and cook until the second side is browned; about 1 minute. Transfer to the baking sheet and keep warm in the oven until all the batter is cooked.

4. Serve four or five silver dollars to a plate with warm Vermont maple syrup and whipped cream. Garnish with almond slices.


Quick & Dirty Tips
If you prefer regular sized pancakes, just make them that big! They are a bit moist and maybe harder to flip which is why I choose to make the recipe a silver dollar one instead.

I like a little whipped cream. Check out the whipped cream recipe that I posted under Peach & Berry Ginger Shortcakes. I would halve the recipe.

Keep the heat low or the silver dollars will burn and not cook through. The oven will keep them nice and warm so there is no rush.

If all you can find in canned pumpkin pie, omit the sugars or sugar to taste.

Always use real maple syrup. People who don't have sold their soul to the devil.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Caramelized Onion & Apple Quiche with Swiss Cheeses

Real men eat quiche!

At least I do... and I love it. Especially when it is filled with delicious cheeses from Switzerland. While living there, I learned about all the great cheeses that Switzerland produces and was introduced to my greatest of all love affairs.... Gruyere. Though hard, pungently stinky, you'll be surprised at how creamy, sweet, nutty, and slightly salty this cheese is when melted. No other cheese compares! In most fondue recipes, Gruyere is the first cheese that is called for and is always melted with other complementing cheeses. I stuck to the traditional and used Emmenthal, which here is America we simply call, "Swiss Cheese." This quiche is jam-packed with the good stuff and you'll love how light and fluffy it comes out...

6-8 servings
30 minute prep time
50-60 minute cooking time

1 unbaked 10 inch pie crust (sold in two-packs in the dairy section)
1 medium yellow onion, sliced thinly
1 Fuji apple or any flavorful apple of your choice, diced
6 large eggs
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk (avoid reduced fat if you can)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 lb Gruyere, shredded
1/4 lb Emmenthal (Swiss Cheese), shredded
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a 10-inch pie dish with pie crust, press into sides, crimp the edges, and poke the bottom and sides with a fork. Line with parchment paper and fill with pastry weights (uncooked rice or beans... this prevents the crust from rising while baking). Transfer to oven and bake 12-15 minutes until edges turn golden brown. Meanwhile...

2. In a skillet with a bit of olive oil and butter, saute onions and apples over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Cook until caramelized and avoid browning or burning. Meanwhile...

3. In a large mixing blow, whisk together eggs, heavy cream, whole milk, salt, and pepper. Add cheeses and mix until well combined.

4. Once the pie crust is baked, discard pastry weights and immediately transfer onions and apples to the pie crust. Pour egg and cheese mixture over the top. The liquid may overflow over the crust, but there is no worries about that. Spread the cheese so that it is even throughout the pie shell. Sprinkle the top with nutmeg.

5. Bake quiche at 375 degrees until completely cooked through, about 40-50 minutes. To test for doneness, shake the quiche--a cooked quiche will not wiggle. Double check by sticking a knife in the center--if it comes out clean, your quiche is done! The top should be golden and the egg should be firm. Serve warm... enjoy!


Quick & Dirty Tips
I once cooked this at 350 degrees on accident. It took longer to cook by almost 20 minutes but came out a little fluffier. If you like that... do it!

You can add just about anything you want to this dish. Just saute it with the onions and apples. Bacon crumbles are always tasty!

I don't measure out the nutmeg. I just use a microplane, a whole nutmeg nut, and put on as much as I like... and I like it a lot. Microplanes are a must have for a modern kitchen in my opinion...

Ketchup is always a nice dipping sauce... even if you are eating fancy cheese! Try warming it in the microwave instead of having it cold. Or, spice it up with a few shakes of Tobasco!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sweet & Spicy Bacon

When I found this recipe I nearly had a heart attack. Bacon is so good on its own and this recipe just makes it fabulous, ridiculous, down right naughty, and delicious. I paired this with Peach & Berry Ginger Shortcakes and the flavors complement each other quite well! You be the judge...
6 Servings
5 minute prep time
25-35 minute cooking time

1 lb thick-cut or extra-thick cut bacon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
Pinch of red pepper flakes


1. Move oven rack to the center and preheat to 400 degrees. Line two baking pans with parchment paper.

2. Arrange bacon slices on baking pans making sure that no pieces are overlapping. Bake for 15 minutes. Meanwhile...

3. Stir together cayenne pepper, black pepper, brown sugar, and red pepper flakes.

4. After 15 minutes of baking, remove bacon from oven and reduce heat to 350 degrees. Sprinkle half the pepper and sugar mixture over bacon, turn, and sprinkle remaining mixture on the other side.

5. Transfer bacon back to oven and bake and additional 15-20 minutes until bacon is crispy and a rich golden brown color. Drain on paper towels and serve hot or cold.


Quick & Dirty Tips
Try to use thick-cut bacon. If you can only get regular thin cut bacon, reduce the cooking time and cook at 350 degrees for the whole time. Keep an eye on the bacon so that it doesn't burn. Believe me... you'll want the good stuff! If you want less spice reduce the cayenne pepper and omit the red pepper flakes. If you like it hot... just add some more! This pairs well with a slightly sweet dish but will definitely stand out on its own!

Peach & Berry Ginger Shortcakes

It seemed like every other day in the summer, my grandmother would make homemade shortcakes and whipped cream for strawberry shortcakes in the summer. The strawberries she used were always fresh! We use to go in the woods around our house and pick all kinds of berries... blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and occasionally we would find the random strawberry. Needless to say, we always had enough berries in our house... and bags and bags frozen in the deep freezer for use throughout the winter. Although not my grandmother's recipe, I thought this was a way to give honor to the traditional with a modern twist. I'm sure she would have loved it and I hope you do too!

6 servings
30 minute prep time
20-25 minute cooking time

2 cups flour
6 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon flour
Dash of salt
1/2 cup chilled butter
1/2 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
1/2 cup ginger ale
2 tablespoons whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
3 peaches (white peaches if available)
2 cups mixed berries (i.e. blackberries & raspberries)

Whipped Cream
2 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line two baking pans with parchment paper.

2. Whisk together flour, 6 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add butter and rub in with your fingers until a very coarse meal forms. Or, prepare in a food processor, giving several pulses until the butter is pea-sized. Add chopped ginger and stir to coat. Add ginger ale and mix until mixture is moist.

3. Gather dough and roll into a uniform log. Cut 6 equal rounds and reshape as needed into 2 1/2 inch rounds. Place three shortcakes on each baking pan, spaced well apart.

4. Mix together 2 tablespoons whipping cream with 2 tablespoons sugar. Brush mixture over the tops and sides of shortcakes.

5. Bake shortcakes 20-25 minutes until a knife comes out clean from the center. They will be a bit flat... don't worry! Remove baking sheets from oven and let shortcakes cool on the sheet. While they are baking...

6. Slice peaches into wedges, removing the core. Toss with additional berries and 3 tablespoons sugar. Set aside.

7. Combine whipping cream, powdered sugar, almond extract, and vanilla extract and whip on high speed until mixture comes to peaks that hold themselves up.

8. Place one shortcake on a plate, spoon a big dollop of whipped cream, and top with peach and berry mixture. Garnish with matchstick sliced crystallized ginger, sit back, and enjoy!


Quick & Dirty Tips
Shortcakes can be made a day ahead of time and kept in a ziplock bag. Place an apple wedge or a slice of bread in the bag to keep them moist. Also, the shortcake freeze quite well and only need a few seconds in the microwave to come back to life! Make sure to make the whipped cream within a few hours of serving it. It holds up nicely if kept in the refrigerator.

For the shortcakes to come out well, the butter must be chilled. Work fast so that the butter is as cold as possible when putting in the oven. I use white peaches when they are available, usually in late May and early June. They have a unique flavor that is lighter then a regular ripe peach. The shortcakes will come out a bit flat. You are welcome to cut them in half horizontally, like the traditional serving, but I don't cut through mine. If you don't like ginger, just take it out!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sausage & Potatoe Breakfast Casserole

This is a savory breakfast treat that is both meaty and cheesy! I use the 1 pound sausage rolls that you find in the freezer section of the grocery store but you can use breakfast links... just take off the casings.

Although it doesn't look like the prettiest dish try it and you won't regret it! I will admit to having some guests send this back... but they later regret that they didn't try it. It just doesn't look like breakfast food. The people who brave it's looks, fall in love with it's taste! As Charelle told me this morning, "Everyone eats with their eyes first."

At least everyone in the kitchen and the housekeeping staff is excited to have some delicious breakfast...

6 servings
10-20 minute prep time
30 minute cooking time

1 lb russet potatoes, shredded and drained
Salt & Pepper
1 lb breakfast sausage, casings removed
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk or half & half (do not use reduced fat milk)
1 medium red onion
3/4 cups shredded Gouda
3/4 cups shredded sharp cheddar
Dried parsley flakes
Grated Parmesan cheese


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter or spray a 2 inch deep 8x8 baking dish.

2. In a skillet with a bit of olive oil, cook shredded potatoes till they just start to turn brown. Salt and pepper lightly. Transfer to your prepared baking dish. At the same time...

3. In a skillet, cook sausage over medium-high heat until brown, breaking into small pieces. Mix in flour and then add the milk. Cook until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens, stirring occasionally. At the same time...

4. Chop red onion as fine as you like. Transfer to the baking dish on top of the potatoes. Top onions with 1/2 the Gouda and 1/2 the sharp cheddar.

5. Transfer the sausage mixture to the baking dish on top of the cheese. Top with the remaining cheese and sprinkle with dried parsley flakes.

6. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the potatoes are tender. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve hot.


Quick & Dirty Tips
I grate the potatoes and cheese using a food processor with the grating blade attached. It works so fast and you know the ingredients are fresh. You can also buy frozen grated potatoes or "hash browns" from the freezer section and skip the grating altogether. If you do grate the potatoes, make sure to drain as much liquid from them as possible. This helps speed up the cooking time.

Experiment with the cheeses. Just make sure that there is a 1 1/2 cups total in there. I bet this would taste good with a good imported Gruyere with fontina or emmental.

Use only a little bit of salt with the potatoes. The sausage is pretty salty to begin with but I do think it is important to season the potatoes a bit. Otherwise, they taste a bit bland on the bottom...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Eggs Benedict with Orange Mock Hollandaise

This recipe is actually a little healthier over real hollandaise sauce and tastes so good! Why a mock hollandaise? Well, when people are eating over a course of an hour or two, it is so easy for real hollandaise to separate and/or over-cook. The mock sauce is much more forgiving and only needs a stir every 15 minutes or so. The less I have to remember, the better!

You'll be amazed when you try the orangey-citrus flavor on top of eggs... it blew my mind! Who knew those flavors went so well together? I like my yokes runny so under poach if I'm at your breakfast table...

6 Servings
10 minute prep time
15 minute cooking time

6-12 slices of 1/4-inch thick deli ham (Black Forrest or maple)
1 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Zest of 1 large orange
3 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Few drops of your favorite hot sauce, i.e. Tabasco
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
6 English muffins, split, and toasted
Softened butter
12 eggs
Chopped fresh basil


1. First, zest orange and then juice it. In the top pan of a double-boiler or small metal mixing bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, orange zest, orange juice, lemon juice, and hot sauce until well blended. Set aside or cover and refrigerate.

2. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Fill bottom half of a double boiler with water and set over medium-high heat. Fill a skillet with 2 inches of water, add vinegar and salt, and bring to a boil over high heat. While waiting...

3. Using a biscuit cutter, cut ham slices into 12 rounds or trim into pieces big enough to cover the size English muffin you are using. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ham rounds and cook on both sides until they begin to brown; about 2 minutes per side. Remove from skillet and transfer to oven to keep warm.

4. Start preparing English muffins. Toast, butter each half, and then transfer to the oven to keep warm. Cover loosely with aluminum foil.

5. Stir mock hollandaise sauce over bottom double-boiler until heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. At the same time...

6. Reduce heat of poaching water to simmer. Crack one egg into a cup. Using a spoon, stir in one direction to create a "whirlpool" in the skillet. Remove spoon and quickly drop the egg in the middle. This will create a perfectly shaped poached egg. Cook until the whites are set and yoke is to desired doneness, about 3 minutes for a medium-set yoke. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate and then to the oven to keep warm.

7. The Build: 2 English muffin halves on each plate. 1 slice of ham on each half of English muffin. 1 tablespoon mock hollandaise. 1 egg atop each half and drown it all with more mock hollandaise. Sprinkle with freshly chopped basil and serve immediately.


Quick & Dirty Tips
I don't usually put the eggs in the oven since I am serving usually only two at a time. To make up for this, I use two saute pans so that I can make two poached eggs at the same time. I then transfer them with a slotted spoon right on to the ham and English muffin.

Roasted sweet potatoes go great with this dish!

Baked Sourdough French Toast with Caramel Glaze

Bar-none my favorite breakfast dish! Surprising, because I didn't like french toast much growing up. However, once I discovered Baked French Toast, my taste buds said, "we want more!" Make sure to use almond extract... it makes all the difference! This recipe doubles and triples very easily. Of course, no calories and no carbs... yeah right!

6 servings
20 minute prep time
40-45 minute cooking time

1 loaf sourdough bread
6 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup half & half
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon almond extract
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
softened butter
cinnamon sugar

Caramel Glaze
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter or spray a 9x13 inch baking pan.

2. Cut sourdough loaf into 1 inch thick slices. Cut larger slices in half to make 12 semi-equal sized pieces. Lightly butter each side of bread and lay in baking pan. Pieces will be snug together.... squeeze it all in.

3. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, milk, half & half, sugar, vanilla extract, almond extract, ground cinnamon, and ground nutmeg. When well combined, pour over bread slices. Turn bread slices to help absorb the liquid. Set aside.

4. In a sauce pan combine butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, and corn syrup over medium-high heat. Once butter if fully melted, keep stirring until mixture starts to bubble. Keep on heat an additional 2 minutes, stirring constantly, but do not let the mixture come to a heavy boil. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.

5. Turn bread over one more time and drain off any excess liquid that has not been absorbed from the pan. Spread 1-2 tablespoons of the caramel sauce over the top of each slice of bread. Immediately place in preheated oven.

6. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes until brown and bubbly. Serve two slices to a plate. Dust with cinnamon sugar if you like!


Quick & Dirty Tips
You can partially make this the night before. Pour the liquid over the bread, cover, and refrigerate overnight. You'll be amazed when you wake-up in the morning and there is no more liquid in the pan! Make and apply the glaze in the morning and bake. In my opinion, both ways taste the same!

Use day old (or a few days old) sourdough bread. If you use fresh baked sourdough, reduce the liquid a bit otherwise it will come out a tad mushy for my taste. I usually leave the loaves of sourdough in the refrigerator a few days.

You're welcome to use maple syrup (real Vermont only please), but I think that this comes out sweet enough. I serve warm maple syrup on the side but very little is ever used.

If you overcook the caramel, it will be like taffy when it is done baking. Okay if you like that but if you don't, toss it and start it over.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Welcome to the Breakfast Table...

and welcome to my blog!

Why did I start a blog? I often post on Facebook what I am cooking at The Pomegranate. Most days, someone usually comments back, "that sounds delicious" or my personal favorite, "can you cook that for me?" Also, when I check in the dining room, guests want to know, "how did you make that?" I've been called countless times for a good breakfast recipe or for advice on a sweet treat for the morning or afternoon snack. So, I'm creating this blog for you and all my guests! Not only will you find mouth-watering breakfast fare but sweet and savory afternoon tea treats!

I hope you find my recipes to be unique and delicious! Without leaving your home, you'll be able to enjoy the great breakfast and teas that guests at The Pomegrante Inn enjoy each and every day. And, I promise to be honest in my opinions of them! Right off the bat.... I'll take a sweet breakfast over a savory one any day!

Why breakfast? It is my favorite meal and reminds me of my grandparent's Richard and Shirley. Growing up, the three of us prefered going out to breakfast over dinner any day. Vermont maple syrup, fresh eggs, and breakfast sausage were staples in our home. Buttermilk pancakes or golden waffles were always served on the weekends and it was always a treat to have "breakfast for dinner." So, in a way this blog is a little tribute to them...

As a bonus, I'll be able to keep track of all my recipes and instantly make changes to them as I perfect them each week. Check in often and I'm sure you'll find something mouth watering. Comment with your variations on the recipes and let me know what worked and what didn't. I'd love to read your stories...

So grab your whisk, make sure your knives are sharp, preheat the oven, and belly up to the table! Bon Appetit...