Your post-kids brunch: Mayhem-like, with your usual lack-of-sleep hangover. With any luck, you’ll be able to get to the Sunday paper in a week or so.
Brunch isn’t what it used to be, perhaps, but you can still have all the gourmet goodness—and have fun whipping it up with the kiddies, too, thanks to Jennie Perillo. The foodie and mom of two behind the blog In Jennie’s Kitchen, she’s beloved for her simply delicious family fare. Her new book Homemade With Love: Simple Scratch Cooking from In Jennie’s Kitchen is filled with recipes for creative comfort food, infused with her warm writing, and sprinkled with loving memories of her husband, Mikey, who passed away unexpectedly in the summer of 2011. The book itself is just plain beautiful: Oversized with gorgeous photos, the kind of cookbook you want to leave on your kitchen counter as decor.
Jennie’s a brunch devotee. As she says, “I love the creativity—what other meal gives you the freedom to serve pastries and goods side by side with salads?” She’s a mess devotee, too: “Embrace cooking with the kids for the fun, bonding experience it’s supposed to be,” she continues. “Don’t stress over spilled milk, and flour scattered all over. Instead, focus on the important lesson they’re learning—how to feed themselves, emotionally and physically.”
These brunch recipes from her new book are all healthy, delicious and truly fun to make—you’ll never miss the Sunday papers.
Recipes reprinted with permission from HOMEMADE WITH LOVE © 2013 by Jennifer Perillo, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group.
Images: First three photos by Penny De Los Santos; last two courtesy of Jennifer Perillo
Vanilla Blueberry Waffles 1 of 5These are about a hundred times better than anyone that comes out of the box.
Makes 10 4-inch waffles
1 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs, beaten
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups All-Purpose Baking Mix (recipe follows)
1 cup frozen blueberries
In a medium bowl, beat the buttermilk, eggs, butter, and vanilla with a fork until well mixed. Add the baking mix, and stir until just combined and there are no visible traces of flour. Gently fold in the blueberries. Let the batter sit for 5 minutes. Grease the waffle iron if it is not nonstick. Scoop batter onto each waffle mold, filling it by two thirds. The amount of batter you will need depends on the size and type of your waffle iron. Close the waffle maker and cook the waffles according to the manufacturer's directions. Serve immediately.
All-Purpose Baking Mix
Makes 4 cups
3 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated natural cane sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
Add all the ingredients to a large bowl and whisk until well combined.
Kale, Mushroom & Cheddar Casserole 2 of 5I love having friends over for brunch, but I also like sleeping in on the weekends—thankfully, my daughters are late risers, too. I can prep the casserole the night before, let it sit covered in the fridge, and pop it into the oven an hour before company arrives.
3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 bunch kale (preferably Tuscan), ribs removed and leaves thinly sliced
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 ounces cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/2 loaf ciabatta bread, cut into 1/8-inch/3-mm-thick slices
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk 4 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish and set aside. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the kale and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and onion to the skillet, and the remaining oil if the mixture looks too dry. Season with the salt and pepper to taste. Turn the heat up to medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms and onions are tender and lightly golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool 5 minutes.
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs and milk together until well mixed.
Use one third of the bread slices to cover the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Spread half of the kale mixture over the bread layer. Sprinkle one third of the cheese on top. Repeat this process to make one more layer. You will have the last third of the cheese remaining. Set it aside.
Pour the eggs over the casserole, and use a rubber spatula to gently press down the casserole layers to absorb the egg-milk mixture. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Let the casserole sit for 15 minutes to further soak in the liquid, or cover tightly with foil and refrigerate overnight.
Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 25 to 30 more minutes until the cheese is golden and bubbly. Let the casserole sit for 5 minutes before cutting into portions to serve.
Steel-Cut Oats with Créme Fraîche, Raisins & Pistachios. 3 of 5This combo is one of my favorite oatmeal toppings. If everyone in your family can't agree, then set up a make-your-own-oatmeal-bar with bowls of assorted nuts and dried fruit.
1 1/2 cups Basic Steel-Cut Oatmeal (recipe below)
2 teaspoons packed light or dark brown sugar
4 tablespoons raisins
4 teaspoons crÃ¨me fraÃ®che
4 teaspoons chopped, shelled pistachios
Divide the cooked oats into two deep bowls. Sprinkle an even amount of sugar and raisins on top of each bowl of oatmeal. Add 2 teaspoons of crÃ¨me fraÃ®che to each bowl. Sprinkle the pistachios on top, and serve immediately.
Basic Steel-Cut Oatmeal
Serves 6 to 8
1 cup steel-cut oats
Pinch of sea salt
Add 4 cups of water to a 4-quart pot. Bring to a boil. Add the oats and salt, stir, and reduce the flame to low. Cook until the oats begin to thicken, the grains are slightly tender, and the water has mostly absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Turn off heat, cover the pot, and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
Greek Yogurt Pancakes 4 of 5I'd been successfully using yogurt as a substitute for eggs in baked goods for a few years before it ever occurred to me to try the same thing with pancakes. While I was at it, I figured I'd make them a little lighter, too, so I swapped in canola oil for the butter. One bite and you won't miss a thing, at least not until you get to the bottom of the stack on your plates.
Makes 10 pancakes
1 1/3 cups Whole Grain Baking Mix (recipe below)
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Add the baking mix to a medium bowl. Pour the milk, yogurt, oil, and vanilla extract into a separate small bowl. Beat with a fork to combine. Pour the liquid mixture over the dry ingredients and stir with the fork until just mixed, and there are no visible traces of flour.
Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Place a pat of butter into the pan and swirl the pan to coat the cooking surface. Drop generous spoonfuls of batter 2 inches apart into the skillet. Your pancakes should be about 4 inches across: any larger and they won't cook evenly. Cook until the edges are set and air bubbles form on top, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook 1 to 2 more minutes until the underside is golden. They can be served "to order" as they come off the griddle, or piled onto a platter and served family style.
Whole Grain Baking Mix
Makes 4 cups
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup oat flour
3/4 cup dark rye flour
4 teaspoons granulated natural cane sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
Add all the ingredients to a deep bowl and whisk until well combined. Store in a tightly sealed container or plastic zip-top bags for up to 2 months. Ingredients will settle while stored, so be sure to stir it thoroughly, or shake well, before using.
Granola & Berry Smoothie 5 of 5I love starting the day with a smoothie, but sometimes feel like I need a little more substantial "stick to your ribs" breakfast. That's where a bit of granola comes in!
1 cup Homemade Granola, preferably without dried fruit (recipe below)
2 cups frozen strawberries, blueberries, blackberries or raspberries
2 cups milk
Add all the ingredients to a blender. Blend until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve immediately.
Makes 6 to 7 cups
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup raw unsalted nuts or seeds, such as shelled pistachios, sliced almonds, pecan halves, cashews, or pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon flax seeds
1 tablespoon white or black sesame seeds
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 cups dried fruit, such as raisins, dried cherries, currants, or diced apricots
Preheat the oven to 300ºF.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, flax seeds, sesame seeds, salt, and cinnamon. Whisk together the olive oil and syrup, then pour over the dry ingredients. Stir until the mixture is well coated.
Spread the granola onto a rimmed 11-inch x 17-inch baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the oats and nuts are a deep golden color. Remove the granola from the oven, stir in the dried fruit, and set the tray on a wire rack to cool completely. Store in a tightly sealed jar for up to 2 weeks.