Tag Archives: brunch

Recipe: Corn Cakes with Fresh Corn & Green Onions

Browsing through some recent issues of Cooking Light for the pretty pictures recipe inspiration, I came across these “Silver Dollar Corn Cakes.” As I do love my pancakes, I was intrigued by this more savory variant. Turns out that we had bought corn and green onions in our last shopping and so had almost all the ingredients on hand.


The corn cakes turned out really well, acting not as a side but as the main event for our dinner, complementing chard and green beans. F thought they were great — even with ketchup! I could also imagine them being good with a dollop or two of sour cream. These are basically cornbread in pancake form, so they’d be great alongside any meaty main. We actually enjoyed the leftovers with fried eggs for Saturday brunch. I made most of my corn cakes bigger than silver dollar-sized, in part because that shortened the cooking time, but the little ones are so cute that I might do them all small next time.

Corn Cakes with Fresh Corn & Green Onions (adapted from Cooking Light Aug 2014; serves 3-5)


  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 – 1.25 cups buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups fresh corn kernels (from 3 cobs)
  • 4 green onions, minced


  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and eggs.
  • Stir the dry mixture into the wet mixture, then stir in the corn kernels and green onions.
  • Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat. Add dollops or ladlefuls of batter to the pan and cook about 2 minutes per side.



Recipe: Zucchini Bread


Happy to be back in the home London kitchen, Sunday put me in the mood to work with food. I had been planning to make granola and pizza dough, but then I remembered seeing frugal feeding’s recipe for “courgette loaf cake” — aka zucchini bread. As it is zucchini season and we happened to have a couple in the fridge, I thought the bread would make a delicious post-run treat and that F would enjoy it after returning from a very long cycle. (For the record, he did enjoy it — so much so that we devoured half the loaf between the two of us on Sunday alone.) I was also surprised at myself for not already having a go-to zucchini bread recipe (though I do have these tasty zucchini bread pancakes) so had to remedy that quickly!


This quick bread is packed with zucchini, well-spiced, and not too sweet. Lemon zest — which I was initially skeptical about — adds a nice, zesty brightness to the flavor, and I subbed in some whole wheat flour for a semblance of health. The result is a moist, filling, delicious loaf, great on its own or warm with butter.

Zucchini Bread (adapted from frugal feeding; makes 1 loaf)


  • 200g plain/all-purpose flour
  • 100g whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • pinch of salt
  • 325g zucchini, grated (~1.5 medium zucchinis)
  • 125g brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 150mL sunflower oil (or other neutral oil)
  • optional: 50g (~1/2 cup) pecans or walnuts


  • Preheat the oven to 180C (160C if using a convection oven). Grease a loaf pan.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda & powder, spices, lemon zest, and salt.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the zucchini, brown sugar, eggs, and oil.
  • Pour the wet into the dry mixture and stir to combine. Stir in the nuts, if using.
  • Scrape the batter (it will be thick) into the loaf pan and bake for 60-70 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean. (You may have to cover the loaf with foil partway through baking, so the top doesn’t burn.)


Recipe: The Best Wholegrain Banana Bread


I’ve finally got it: the perfect banana bread. I’ve been fiddling with my sour cream banana bread recipe for a while, trying out different flour substitutions, and this combination produced the best one yet. It’s a moist, slightly nutty banana bread with a tight crumb and rich flavor. Even better? There’s no white flour to be seen and there’s hardly any added sugar.


If this doesn’t become your go-to banana bread recipe, I don’t know what will. Even though it might feel like you’re eating cake, this banana bread gets a big burst of health from ground almonds, ground oats, and three bananas. Make it now — you won’t regret it.

no white flour there!

no white flour here!

The Best Wholegrain Banana Bread (makes 1 loaf)


  • Wet:
    • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 2 eggs
    • 1/2 cup sour cream OR plain yogurt OR crème fraîche
    • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • Dry:
    • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
    • 1/2 cup cornmeal
    • 1/2 cup ground almonds (pre-ground, or grind your own)
    • 1/2 cup ground oats (I pulsed whole/quick oats in the food processor for a few seconds)
    • 3/4 tsp salt
    • 1.5 tsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • to taste: fresh grated nutmeg
    • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • optional: 3/4 cup chopped nuts and/or chocolate chips


  • Preheat the oven to 175C/350F and grease a loaf pan.
  • In a medium bowl, mash the bananas and mix in the other wet ingredients.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
  • Pour the wet into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Stir in the nuts and/or chocolate chips, if using.
  • Bake for 45-55 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean.


Recipe: Raspberry Cream Scones


Maybe I should start a “Saturday morning scones” series, since it’s seeming to become a habit (two times counts as habit, right?). Yes, these delightful raspberry cream scones materialized on a Saturday morning and were delivered to F in bed. These scones are adapted from Joy the Baker’s Tiny Strawberry Cream Scones — I used raspberries instead of strawberries and subbed in some whole wheat flour to feign giving them a healthy twist.


Okay, I don’t really care that these aren’t healthy. They are delicious: soft yet crumbly, creamy, and a little bit salty. Best enjoyed warm and slathered with butter (or clotted cream, if you prefer), but equally as good the next day. They almost don’t need jam, since the raspberries lend them a nice sweetness.

Raspberry Cream Scones (adapted from Joy the Baker; makes 8-10 medium scones)


  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (I bet ground almonds would also work well)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 – 1 cup heavy/double cream
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup fresh berries (I used thawed raspberries that had been fresh-frozen)


  • Preheat the oven to 215C/425F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the vanilla extract.
  • Drizzle the cream into the dry ingredients, then stir until combined — it’s okay if the dough is a little dry.
  • Gently stir in the raspberries.
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and knead a few times until it comes together.
  • Pat the dough into a 2cm disk and cut out scones, placing them on the baking tray. Reform and re-cut the dough until all of it is used up.
  • Bake the scones for 12-14 minutes or until they are cooked and golden-brown on top. Serve warm with butter and/or jam.


Recipe: Crepes with Smoked Salmon, Sour Cream & Dill


Springtime makes me crave easy, light, delicious dinners. I whipped up these partially whole wheat crepes with smoked salmon and dill on a Monday evening, and they were the perfect thing with some leftover potato salad and a green salad. All I did was use this crepe recipe, replacing the buckwheat flour with whole wheat flour. Fill a fresh crepe with a strip or two of smoked salmon, a dollop of sour cream, some capers, and a sprinkle of fresh minced dillVoila! Dinner. (Or lunch. Or even brunch!)

Recipe: Saturday Morning Scones

There’s something wonderful about sleeping in on Saturday, waking up to sunshine, and having coffee in bed while reading the news. The only thing enhancing that experience is making fresh scones and eating them warm — preferably while back in bed.


That’s how a recent Saturday went. I was up and awake well before F, who had had an early Friday morning so needed a good long sleep. I was craving simple scones and did a quick Google, finding this BBC Food recipe. Less than 30 minutes later, I had a tray of beautifully golden, round and heart-shaped scones, two of which I brought to F in bed along with the traditional butter and strawberry jam (that’s how the Brits do it).

just add jam

just add jam

These scones are seriously simple to put together and I was really pleased with how they turned out — lightly sweet and not too dense or fluffy. I dressed mine up with some cinnamon, but feel free to leave them plain or add some dried fruit of your choosing. I’ll definitely make these again!

Saturday Morning Scones (adapted from BBC Food; makes 6-8 small-medium scones)


  • 225g plain flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • optional: 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 55g cold unsalted butter
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 150mL milk (I used semi-skimmed but feel free to go for whole milk or cream)
  • 1 egg, beaten (to glaze)


  • Preheat the oven to 200C and lightly grease a baking sheet.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon (if using).
  • Cut the butter into chunks and work it into the flour mixture with your fingers (or a pastry cutter) until the butter is evenly distributed.
  • Stir in the sugar and milk until the dough just comes together.
  • Turn the dough onto a floured surface, knead it gently a few times, then pat it into a 2cm (3/4 inch) thick round.
  • Use a round cookie cutter or a glass to cut out rounds of dough. Place them on the baking sheet and re-form and re-cut the dough until there’s none left.
  • Brush the tops of the scones with beaten egg and bake 12-13 minutes or until risen and golden brown. Serve warm with butter and jam.


Recipe: Buckwheat Crepes


In college, a friend and I used to get together periodically for crepe-making and tea. Crepes have been on my mind (and “to make” list) for a while. Recent build-up to Pancake Day — what UK-ers (UK-ites?) call Shrove Tuesday — finally motivated me to whip up a batch for Sunday brunch (not that I celebrate such a holiday, but any excuse to make pancakes is a good one in my book!).


These crepes are adapted from smitten kitchen — all I did was substitute some buckwheat flour for some of the plain flour. They turned out really well. F and I enjoyed them with combinations of caramelized bananas, peanut butter, chocolate, and maple syrup. Next time we might go savory, with smoked salmon and dill or eggs and cheese. The crepes themselves aren’t sweet or salty, so you can go either way with the fillings. Get creative!

Buckwheat Crepes (adapted from smitten kitchen; makes 10-12 crepes, enough for 2-4 people)


  • 3/4 cup plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 1/4 cup buckwheat flour OR whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk (I used semi-skimmed)
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted & cooled


  • Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk vigorously or blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Cover the bowl and pop it in the fridge for at least an hour and up to two days.
  • Take the batter out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you’re ready to make the crepes.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and grease it with a little bit of butter.
  • Pour 1/4 cup of the batter into the skillet, swirling it around until the batter covers most of the pan’s surface evenly. Cook for about 1 minute, then ease a spatula under the edge of the crepe and flip, cooking for another 20-30 seconds. Repeat until the batter is gone (no need to re-grease the skillet).
  • Serve crepes with your favorite sweet or savory fillings.


Recipe: Cranberry-Apple Crisp


This autumnal crisp tastes great on a chilly, windy evening during any of the fall and winter months. I’ve adapted my crisp from two recipes that have been on my “make soon” list for a while: the filling comes from smitten kitchen, and the topping from Cookie and Kate. Friends coming for dinner on a Saturday evening gave me a perfect excuse to try this out. Sarah, Joe, and F certainly helped it disappear quickly!



Cranberries and apples really shine underneath a subtly sweet, slightly chewy topping. It tastes great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or dollop of Greek yogurt on top. (F and I enjoyed the last two portions with Greek yogurt for post-cycling brunch the next day.) The crisp is also pretty healthy; yes, there’s a bit of brown sugar here and there, but all the rest is just fruit, ground almonds, and whole grains.

Cranberry-Apple Crisp (adapted from smitten kitchen & Cookie and Kate; serves 6-8 generously)


  • Filling:
    • 3 cups fresh cranberries (can be fresh-frozen)
    • 2/3 cup brown sugar (I used dark brown; feel free to use light brown)
    • zest & juice of 1 lemon
    • zest of 1 orange
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
    • 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored & diced
  • Topping:
    • 1.25 cups oats
    • 2/3 cup almond meal (ground almonds)
    • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
    • 1/3 – 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1/4 tsp sea salt
    • 5-6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
    • 3 tbsp plain yogurt


  • Preheat the oven to 350F (175C).
  • Make filling: Stir together all of the ingredients and spread in a medium baking dish.
  • Make topping: Whisk together the dry ingredients, then stir in the butter and yogurt until the mixture is evenly coated.
  • Dollop the topping onto the fruit mixture and spread it evenly without packing it down. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until the fruit is bubbling and the topping looks set and golden-brown (you may have to cover the crisp with foil partway through if the topping browns too fast).


Recipe: Spiced Pear Coffee Cake


This spiced pear coffee cake, adapted from Joy the Baker’s “pear crumble coffee cake” (I opted for no “crumble”) is similar to the moist apple spice loaf I made last year in its spice profile and fruit chunks. It is almost healthy enough to eat for breakfast, and it’s certainly good enough for an afternoon snack with a mug of tea.


Cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg lend earthy, autumnal flavors to a spongy cake speckled with lots of pear chunks. Despite the denseness of the batter, the cake turns out surprisingly light and springy. The just softened pears impart a delightful, nutty flavor. (Speaking of nuts, I might add some next time, for texture.) The cake has a slightly crunchy, golden-brown top.

Spiced Pear Coffee Cake (adapted from Joy the Baker)


  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg (freshly ground/grated is best)
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted & cooled
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 medium pears, cored & diced
  • optional: 1/3 cup chopped walnuts


  • Preheat the oven to 350F (175C) and grease a square baking pan.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (through nutmeg). Stir in the sugars.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the butter, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Add to the dry mixture and stir until combined — the batter will be quite thick.
  • Gently fold the pears into the batter, scrape everything into the baking pan.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean. Let cool for 20-30 minutes before serving.


Recipe: Classic Buttermilk Biscuits

Sunday evening, after a brisk but sunny afternoon at the ZSL London Zoo in Regent’s Park, F and his visiting friend S made a delicious British beef, leek, and mushroom stew. Naturally, I offered to make biscuits, since stew practically begs for some kind of carb to dredge through the broth.


I thought about making these biscuits (but not these, which are best enjoyed on their own) — which have been delicious every time — but we had a lot of buttermilk in the fridge so I opted for a classic buttermilk biscuit, courtesy of smitten kitchen. The fluffy, buttery biscuits were the perfect complement to the hot, brothy stew. They’d be great alongside my mom’s beef stew, too. Don’t discount day-old biscuits, either — spread a bit of soft cheese onto one for a nice afternoon snack.


In my mind, buttermilk biscuits are supposed to be savory, so I used a minimal amount of sugar in these. Feel free to add more if you like sweeter biscuits. These would also be great with some minced chives or scallions mixed into the dough.

Classic Buttermilk Biscuits (adapted from smitten kitchen; makes 6 medium-large biscuits)


  • 280g (2.25 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 15g (1 tbsp) baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 5 g (3/4 tsp) salt
  • 125g (9 tbsp) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk


  • Preheat the oven to 200C (400F) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients (through salt).
  • Add the chunks of butter and use your fingers to work the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
  • Stir in the buttermilk until a shaggy dough forms. Use your hands to finish forming the dough.
  • Tear off chunks of dough and gently form them into rounded patties, then place them on the baking sheet.
  • Bake the biscuits for 12-15 minutes or until they are golden brown. Serve warm with your favorite stew.


Recipe: Pancake-Dipped Apple Rings

Just a quick note and a micro-recipe of sorts. A week or two ago, A Cozy Kitchen posted this recipe for “spiced apple ring pancakes.” Basically, you dip apple slices in pancake batter and then cook them like pancakes.

Adrianna made a special, apple-ring-specific batter for her recipe. I didn’t. As I was mixing up my signature banana pancakes (using buckwheat and whole wheat flours plus cornmeal, all in equal amounts), I decided at the spur of the moment to try the apple ring-dipping technique.


It worked! The result is fluffy pancake enclosing slightly softened apple: delicious, especially spread with peanut butter and drizzled with maple syrup. Make these with your pancake batter of choice. Pumping up the spices — cinnamon, nutmeg, maybe some allspice and/or cloves — will give the rings a nice fall-like flavor. Just remember that if you like your apples slightly more cooked than not, cut the rings more thinly.


Banana Pancake-Covered Apple Rings (inspired by A Cozy Kitchen; makes 4-6 apple ring pancakes)

What to do:

  • Make this pancake batter, or another favorite pancake batter
  • Core an apple and slice it into 1/4″ rings.
  • Heat some oil in a pan over medium heat.
  • Submerge each apple ring in the pancake batter, gently shake off any excess, and place the rings in the pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side, then enjoy warm with peanut butter and maple syrup.


Recipe: Mushroom & Leek Quiche

This mushroom and leek quiche is no ordinary quiche…it is a delicious, indulgent, deep-dish quiche.


The following recipe was inspired by smitten kitchen’s “over-the-top mushroom quiche.” Ours isn’t quite as over-the-top as Deb’s, but since F and I had never made quiche before, we looked to smitten kitchen for some general guidance in crust-making, egg and milk proportions, and cooking time.

The crust turned out perfectly. Flaky, buttery, just barely browned. It’d be just as good for a sweet pie — apple, berry, you choose. If you need proof of the crust’s goodness, just look at the tower of butter that went into the dough:

Leeks and mushrooms, with the help of some thyme, come together beautifully for a smooth, fall-like flavor. The silky egg mixture binds everything together, and a bit of cheese on top and underneath lends a hint of salty richness. This quiche is equally as good warm and cold — enjoy it for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner.

A few notes before you start cooking: The quiche takes some time from start to finish, so you’d probably be smart to do it on a weekend or another day when you have at least three hours to spare. That said, much of the time is inactive, for dough chilling and quiche baking. Many people swear by par-baking quiche crusts, but we didn’t do it and thought the crust was perfect — just the teensiest bit soggy but otherwise golden and flaky. For the milk, feel free to use any combination of cream/milk/half-and-half that you prefer; we used mostly semi-skimmed milk and it was a little watery, so next time we might just use whole milk. Quiche is already indulgent, so why not?

Mushroom & Leek Quiche (with some help from smitten kitchen; serves 6-8)


  • Pastry Crust:
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 225 grams (1 cup / 2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, in small chunks
    • 1/4 cup (60 ml) water, ice cold
  • Quiche Filling:
    • 3 leeks, sliced thinly
    • 3-4 cups mushrooms, sliced thinly
    • olive oil, for sautéing
    • 1-2 tsp dried thyme (use more if using fresh thyme)
    • 6 eggs
    • 3 cups milk and/or cream (we used 2.25 cups semi-skimmed milk + 3/4 cup single cream)
    • to taste: salt, pepper, nutmeg
    • 1-2 cups grated cheddar cheese (or other melty cheese of choice)


  • Make the crust: Whisk together 1 cup flour with the salt, then cut in the butter with a mixer or your fingers until a dough starts to form. Work in the rest of the flour, then the water (you may not need the entire 1/4 cup). Form the dough into a flat, round disc, then wrap it in plastic wrap and chill it in the fridge for at least an hour.
  • When the dough has chilled, prepare the crust: Lightly oil a springform cake pan. Cover your surface with flour and put the disc of dough on it. Sprinkle the dough with flour, then carefully roll it out into a 16″ round. Gently roll the dough onto the rolling pin, then carefully unroll it into the springform pan. Press it into the bottom and up the sides of the pan, then chill in the fridge for 20 minutes, while you prepare the vegetables.
  • Preheat the oven to 325F (160C).
  • Prepare the vegetables: Slice the leeks and mushrooms, then sauté them in olive oil over medium-high heat until soft, 5-10 minutes. While the veggies are cooking, whisk together the eggs and milk/cream. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste. Grate the cheese.
  • Assemble the quiche: After the crust has chilled for 20 minutes, take it out of the fridge and sprinkle half the cheese over the bottom of it. Fill the crust with the leeks and mushrooms, then pour in the milk-egg mixture.
  • Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the top, then pop it in the oven for 1.5 hours (you may need to cover the quiche with tinfoil halfway through, so the top doesn’t burn). Let the quiche cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.


Recipe: Baked Apple-Buckwheat Pancake

Sunday brunch. More pancakes. Of course!


The baked apple-buckwheat pancake is a different sort of pancake from the one I usually make. This apple pancake — not to be confused with my moist apple hotcakes — is mixed up in a skillet and baked in the oven until puffy and golden. The perfect thing with which to greet a gorgeous fall morning, especially after a long run or cycle.

Baked pancakes — aka “Dutch baby” or German pancake — are like a cross between a crepe and an American-style pancake. F said it’s the kind of pancake he grew up eating. We love its density and that it’s eggy and moist.


I adapted the following apple-buckwheat pancake from this Gourmet recipe. I added some buckwheat flour and decreased the sugar for an extra health punch; a sprinkling of cinnamon enhances the fall-like flavors. It comes together quickly and bakes for a scant 10 minutes — just enough time for you to brew another pot of coffee. Then dig into the gorgeous golden, puffy pancake. Enjoy it plain or drizzled with maple syrup and a dollop of yogurt.

Baked Apple-Buckwheat Pancake (adapted from this recipe; serves 2 generously)


  • 4 tbsp salted butter
  • 2 small (or 1 large) apples, cored & cut into 1/4″ wedges (feel free to peel the apples, if you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used semi-skimmed)
  • 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • scant 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • dash of cinnamon


  • Preheat the oven to 200C (400F).
  • Put the butter in a skillet and melt over medium heat. Pour half the melted butter into a medium bowl.
  • Slice the apples and throw them into the pan with the remaining butter. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the apples start to soften, 3-5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, combine the rest of the ingredients with the butter in the medium bowl. Blend with an immersion blender — or put in an actual blender — until smooth.
  • Pour the liquid mixture into the pan with the apples, the pop the pan in the oven and bake for 8-12 minutes, until golden brown and puffed up.