1. TULIP TOMATOES
15 large cherry tomatoes
16 stalks of chives
8 oz. cream cheese
1 teaspoon dried basil
salt and pepper
1. With stem side down, cut a cross in the top of each cherry tomato (about 3⁄4 down the tomato).
2. Using a spoon (grapefruit spoon works very well) to gently scrape out the tomato seeds.
3. Take a grilling skewer or toothpick and make a hole where the stem currently is. You may need to twist the skewer in a circle a few times to make room for the chive to fit through.
4. Finely chop or grate cucumber.
5. Mix cream cheese, cucumber and basil in a bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste.
6. Add a teaspoon of cream cheese mixture into each tomato tulip (adjust depending on size of tomatoes).
7. Insert a chive into the hole at the bottom of each tomato.
8. Use a damp paper towel to clean any excess cream cheese filling from outside of tomatoes.
9. Prepare the tulip bouquet on a large plate or platter. Use the extra chive stalk to wrap around the tulip stems to complete the bouquet.
2. BLUEBERRY LEMON OVEN PANCAKE
4 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or substitute additional all-purpose flour. Regular whole wheat flour will result in a denser texture)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen—if using frozen no need to thaw first)
Serving ideas: powdered sugar; additional lemon zest; butter; honey and/or pure maple syrup; jam; whipped cream; ricotta cheese; Greek yogurt; additional berries
Place a rack in the center of your oven. Set a 9x13-inch baking dish on the rack, then preheat the oven (with the dish in it) to 425 degrees F.
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or a medium mixing bowl with a hand mixer (or by hand with some elbow grease), briskly combine the eggs, milk, vanilla, and lemon zest. Add the all purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, sugar, and salt. Continue whisking until the batter is very smooth and no lumps remain.
If you need to do so, melt the butter and have it on hand. Keep a pastry brush or similar on hand as well.
When the oven has preheated, remove the baking pan from the oven and immediately pour in the melted butter. Be careful, as the butter will splatter and sizzle when it hits the hot pan. With a pastry brush, quickly spread the butter up the sides of the pan, then pour in the batter. Sprinkle the top with 1/2 cup blueberries.
Bake the pancake for 20-25 minutes, very puffy, deep golden brown on the top edges, and the center has set. Check the pancake at the 15-minute mark. If it has already begun to turn very brown on top, place a sheet of aluminum foil loosely over the the top to shield it, then continue baking as directed. Dust with powdered sugar. Slice and serve warm with desired toppings.
3. BREAKFAST GRANOLA CUPS
4 Tbsp butter
1/4 Cup honey
1/4 Cup molasses
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups old fashioned oats (not quick cook)
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup flax seed
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup dried cranberries
To a small sauce pan, add the butter, honey, molasses, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt.
Heat until butter is melted and ingredients are combined. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
In a separate bowl mix together the oats, wheat germ, flax seed, almonds and cranberries.
Pour the liquid over the dry ingredients and stir until completely coated.
Place the mixture into the fridge for about 30 minutes to cool.
When ready to bake, grease up a muffin tin and fill each opening about 2/3 full.
Using your fingers press into the center of the hole and then work your way around the edges to form a bowl. If the dough is sticky, wet your fingers with cold water, shake them out, and proceed. Repeat as necessary.
Place the bowls into an oven preheated to 325 degrees. For regular sized muffin cups, cook about 15-17 minutes. For mini muffin cups, cook about 10-12 minutes.
Let cool completely before removing from the tin.
Store in an air tight container. When ready to eat, pull one out and fill with the yogurt of your choice. Top with fresh berries.
4. BREAKFAST PIES
Here's what you will need for 4 pies:
1 sheet puff pastry dough, thawed
Fresh thyme or parsley for garnish (optional)
Salt and pepper
PIE VARIATION #1
Sliced bacon, cooked
Swiss cheese, shredded
Spinach, roughly chopped
PIE VARIATION #2
Sliced mushrooms, sautéd
Cooked ham, sliced
Cheddar cheese, shredded
Cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut the puff pastry sheet into 4 equal squares and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Using a knife, score a 1/2-inch edge around each pastry square, cutting about halfway through the dough. Bake for 10-12 minutes until puffed and golden.
Remove the pastry squares from the oven and push down the inner portion of the dough with a spoon or spatula to create a raised rim on the sides.
For Pie #1, gently arrange a few slices of bacon around the edge. Then add the spinach and the cheese to the inner portion of the shell. Top with an egg and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste
For Pie #2, gently arrange a piece of ham in the inner portion of the shell. Then add the mushrooms and cheese. Top with an egg and tuck in a few cherry tomato halves. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Return the pies to the oven and bake 15 - 20 minutes until the eggs are cooked the way you like.