Quinoa Banana Breakfast Bake

As we begin a new year, all thoughts (and blogs, news feeds, info-mercials, etc.) turn to healthy eating and detoxing from the gluttonous amounts of sugar that was most likely consumed during the previous month.

Strangely enough, I didn’t bake and/or eat nearly as much as I thought I did, as evidenced by the fact that my jeans are suspiciously looser right now. Either that, or devious little elves stretched them out while I was sleeping.

That’s kind of creepy to think of little elves in my closet during the night….

Anyway, on to more pressing matters –  not only was this breakfast bake easy, it was delicious and very healthy. The leftovers reheated nicely and I may have most definitely added more chocolate chips to my bowl.


Quinoa Banana Breakfast Bake – adapted from Jeanette’s Healthy Living

  • 1½ cup quinoa, rinsed and drained well
  • 3 cups water
  • 6 eggs
  • ¼ cup + 2 tbs. milk
  • 1½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 mashed bananas
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Bring water to boil; add quinoa. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes until water is absorbed and quinoa is cooked. Remove lid and spoon quinoa into a large mixing bowl. Let cool. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon and sugar. Add to quinoa and mix well. Stir in mashed bananas and chocolate chips. Spoon into a large greased baking dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes until breakfast bake is set.

Glazed Cinnamon Rolls

Happy National Dessert Day!

side note: I love food holidays :)

Question: Do Cinnamon Rolls qualify as dessert? Or are they strictly relegated to the “breakfast/brunch” category? Considering Alexander and his friend Dale singlehandedly ate 3/4 of the batch at 1:30 pm, I think it’s safe to say that these can go either way.





What I liked best about these rolls was that they weren’t drowning in sugar and/or smothered in frosting. Granted, cream cheese icing has its place (on carrot cake, just sayin’), but sometimes it can be a little overwhelming.

NOT! Who am I kidding? These were practically the diet version of cinnamon rolls.

ummm, not really. 

But they were very, very, yummy.

Glazed Cinnamon Rolls – adapted from epicurious.com

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 2 1/4 tsp rapid-rise yeast
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature, beaten
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 tbs. unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pan
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Vegetable-oil cooking spray

For the filling:

  • 1 1/4 cups packed dark-brown sugar
  • 2 tbs. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 6 tbs. unsalted butter, room temperature

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbs. plus 2 teaspoons whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Make the dough:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add flour, yeast, and sugar. Mix on low speed until well combined. Add eggs and mix on low to combine. In a small pot, heat milk, butter, and cinnamon over medium-low heat until butter is melted and mixture is between 120 and 130°F (use a thermometer).

Add warm milk mixture and salt to stand mixer. Beat on low speed 2 to 3 minutes, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl with a spatula. Beat on medium speed until smooth and elastic, 2 to 3 minutes. Dough will be very sticky.

Lightly oil a large bowl with cooking spray. Form dough into ball and transfer to bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.

While dough rises, line a 9 x 12 pan with parchment paper and set aside.

Make the filling:

Mix brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in medium bowl.

Make the glaze:
In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla.

Assemble and bake:
Preheat to 375°F and position rack in center of oven. Punch down dough and transfer to floured work surface. Roll out to 16-by-12-inch rectangle. Spread butter over dough, leaving 1/2-inch border on the long sides. Sprinkle filling mixture evenly over butter, then add pecans. Starting at a long edge, roll dough toward you into a log, pinching gently to keep it rolled tightly. With seam side down, cut dough crosswise with a thin sharp knife into 8 equal slices.

Place rolls in the baking dish, arranging cut side up; rolls will be touching. Cover baking dish with plastic wrap then a kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until almost doubled in volume, 40 to 45 minutes.

Bake rolls until tops are golden, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and invert immediately onto rack. Cool 10 minutes. Turn rolls right side up. Drizzle glaze over rolls and serve immediately.

Our Favorite Buttermilk Waffles

I was under the illogical assumption that I had a firm grip on the holiday hustle and bustle.


Can you believe that I actually thought that? Sometimes I wonder about my brain’s capacity for reality…..

I guess I’m not too far behind, though, considering I’ve spent the last two days cleaning, organizing, decorating, and preparing my lists…..I just have a few last minute gifts to pick up tomorrow and then I think I’m all set.

“Think” being the operative word…..

However ……. most importantly, we have our tree. A real tree.

** big grin **

That always makes me happy. Trimming will commence Friday evening, complete with a fabulous repast, cocktails, holiday music, and lots of fun and laughter.

I guarantee it.


Buttermilk Waffles – adapted from Everyday Food

2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
2 tbs. sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups low-fat buttermilk
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 275 degrees; set a rack on a baking sheet, and place in oven. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together buttermilk, butter, and eggs; add flour mixture, and mix very gently until batter is combined.
Heat waffle iron according to manufacturer’s instructions; spray with nonstick spray. Pour batter onto iron (amount depends on iron size), leaving a 1/2-inch border on all sides (spread batter if necessary). Close iron; cook until waffles are golden brown and crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to rack in oven to keep warm; repeat with remaining batter.

Baked Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Oatmeal

When the weekend hits, I like to put time and effort into making an extra-special breakfast for the posse – because school mornings usually consist of the “grab-a-protein-shake and head out the door drill”.

So by the time they surface during the weekend, (remember, they are teenagers) I’m usually just coming home from a 20-25 mile bike ride. Therefore, my goal is to make something ahead of time in the slow cooker (which of course keeps it nice and hot for them…and me), or have something prepped and ready to pop into the oven.


This breakfast definitely fit the latter category – and it was deeeeeee-licious. I think it would do equally well, if not better, in the slow cooker, though – it would give the bottom a nice contrasting crust from the soft interior.

One year ago: Carrot Zucchini Bread

Baked Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Oatmeal – adapted from serious eats

Note: The original recipe called for the addition of chopped apples, but since Alexander isn’t too enthused about fruit in his oatmeal, I used the next best thing – chocolate.

2 cups old fashioned oats
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup Grade B maple syrup
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 tbs. melted unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ounces apple sauce
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter bottom and sides of an 8 by 8-inch baking pan.

In a large bowl, combine oats, light brown sugar, baking powder and cinnamon. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg, maple syrup, milk, butter, vanilla extract, and apple sauce until well combined. Pour liquids over oats and stir to combine. Stir in chocolate chips. Bake until golden brown and oatmeal has set, about 35 minutes. Serve warm.