Breakfast

Hobo Egg Grilled Cheese

Naturally I ponder about my favorite foods multiple times throughout the day so it is no surprise that I also fantasize about ways to make them even better. To make the ultimate version of all your favorite foods, now that is the dream.

When I stumbled upon this ingenious idea to elevate my family’s beloved hobo egg I almost couldn’t breathe from the excitement. A. Hobo. Egg. Grilled. Cheese? Must. Make. One. Now.

And of course my list of recipes to try is so long I didn’t get to it until many months later, years even, but I’m so happy I finally did. Combining the best of breakfast and lunch this is a spot-on lazy Sunday brunch meal.

Cheese and eggs have been a classic combination since the stone age when a caveman accidentally knocked a bowl of cheese curds onto his sizzling dinosaur egg omelette, or so I imagine, so before even taking a bite you know this sandwich is about to blow your mind.

And it does, again and again with every bite until you find yourself standing over the stovetop already making a second one. I hope you enjoy as much as I did, and don’t forget the bacon!

Hobo Egg Grilled Cheese
 
Yield: 1 serving
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 slices bread
  • 2 slices cheese, preferably cheddar, American, or any cheese that melts well
  • 1-2 slices cooked bacon
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper
Directions
  1. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Meanwhile prepare your grilled cheese by covering one of the slices of bread with the cheese and bacon then sandwiching the other slice of bread on top. When placing the bacon on the sandwich try to keep it around the corners of the bread so it doesn’t get cut out when you later cut out the circle from the middle.
  2. When the butter is melted and the pan is hot carefully place the grilled cheese in the skillet. Place a pan lid or tent a piece of foil over-top the sandwich in the skillet to help the cheese melt.
  3. When the cheese has started to melt and the bread is very lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes, carefully flip the grilled cheese. Cook until the other side of the bread is very lightly browned, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from the pan.
  4. Using the rim of a glass or a 2” cookie cutter cut a circle out of the center of the grilled cheese. Enjoy as a pre-meal appetizer. Press down on the sandwich to flatten it slightly.
  5. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in the skillet over medium heat and return the sandwich to the pan. Carefully crack an egg in the hole of the sandwich. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 3 minutes then carefully flip over. Cook until the egg is no longer jiggling, but still feels soft to the touch, about 3-4 minutes. You want to make sure the whites are cooked through, but the yolk is still runny. Remove from the pan, cut in half and serve dipping the sandwich halves into the runny yolk.

 

Hobo Egg

This recipe goes by many different names, and very few of them make any sense at all. Toad-in-a-hole, egg in a basket, one eyed eEgyptians; where did these bizarre titles come from? In my family it is called a hobo egg. I thought my dad had just made that up one day and we were odd for calling it that, but I just Googled “hobo egg” and apparently other people call it a hobo egg as well! Fancy that.

If you haven’t had this fantastic breakfast staple it is essentially an egg fried in the hole of a piece of bread. You get a runny fried egg and a piece of buttery toast to sop up the yolk all at once.

It may seem like a simple dish, but I thought it was fitting with Father’s Day coming up on Sunday. This was, and still is, one of my favorite quick breakfast meals and was one of my dad’s specialities.

When I was younger only my dad could make the hobo egg, it just wasn’t the same if someone else made it. Our shared love of breakfast is just one of the many things my dad and I have in common. If I had a quarter for every time my dad and I got into such an intense laughing fit simply because the other person was laughing and had to stop ten minutes later because our sides were ready to split open, well you get the idea.

Other than our identical sense of humor and his signature laugh, my dad is my rock. He is smart, generous, sensitive, ambitious and is the person I always look to for guidance. I love our close relationship and am so lucky to call him dad. So happy Father’s Day, dad, and thanks for making me special hobo eggs all those years ago!

Hobo Egg
 
Yield: 1 serving
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 slice of bread
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper
Directions
  1. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Using the rim of a glass or a round cookie cutter with a 2” diameter cut a circle out of the center of the slice of bread. Place the bread in the melted butter and let lightly brown a minute or two on each side.
  2. Carefully crack an egg in the hole of the bread while in the skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 3 minutes then carefully flip over. Cook until the egg is no longer jiggling, but still feels soft to the touch, about 3-4 minutes. You want to make sure the whites are cooked through, but the yolk is still runny.

 

Orange Pancakes with Toasted Coconut Butter

I’m not sure why I love pancakes so much. Maybe it’s because you just mix everything in a big bowl, ladle it in a hot pan and next thing you know you’re chomping away on breakfast. Maybe it’s because the flavor combinations are endless and I love the possibilities they present.

But I have a strong feeling it’s because they are basically dessert and there is certainly no question I would eat dessert every meal if I could afford to buy new clothes each month. Think about the word pancakes. See it? Cakes made in a pan. Covered in maple syrup. Also known as sugar. And it’s acceptable to eat these for breakfast! The world is good!

I have several different lemon pancake recipes I enjoy so my love for citrus prompted me to try substituting orange. These orange buttermilk pancakes are light and fluffy with a bright orange flavor from the orange zest and juice.

I wanted a little something extra to complement the pancakes and came up with this toasted coconut butter. So yummy! The orange and coconut together is a tropical explosion of flavor that is so good on it’s own you don’t even need syrup. But go ahead and put some on anyways because when else can you pour sugar on a cake and eat it for breakfast?

Orange Pancakes with Toasted Coconut Butter
 
Yield: 8-10 pancakes
Ingredients
for the toasted coconut butter
  • 3 tablespoons shredded coconut
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
for the pancakes
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
Directions
for the toasted coconut butter
  1. Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the shredded coconut in a single layer and stir in the skillet until the coconut is mostly browned. Remove from the heat and set aside.
for the pancakes
  1. Rub the orange zest into the tablespoon of sugar in a small bowl until the sugar has turned a pale orange. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt until combined.
  3. Whisk together the egg, buttermilk and melted butter in a large bowl. Add the flour mixture and orange sugar to the liquid mixture and stir until just combined. The batter is supposed to be lumpy so make sure you don't over-mix it.
  4. Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium heat. Melt some butter in the pan to coat it. When the butter is hot in the pan add ¼ cup of batter for however many pancakes will fit on your griddle or pan at one time.
  5. When the top of the batter has started to bubble all over carefully flip the pancakes and for about 2-3 minutes or until cooked through. Continue until all the batter has been used up.
  6. Serve the pancakes with coconut butter and maple syrup, if desired.
Notes
The amount of pancakes will vary based on the size you make them.

Pancakes slightly adapted from Becky Bakes.

Pomegranate Molasses Coffee Cake Loaf

Coffee cake is one of the many foods that reminds me of my grandma. I love the soft cake, sweet ribbons of cinnamon sugar and the icing coated top of my grandma’s coffee cake. When she lived with me she would make them regularly, even storing big slices in the freezer so I could pull them out and microwave them for 30 seconds for an after school snack. Although I’m reminded of my grandma because she was the one to bake the coffee cakes, I’m more reminded of the morning ritual that would occur.

As the first two people awake every morning my grandma and I would get to share some alone time. It was different than the alone time we would spend in the car on the way home from field hockey practice and different than the alone time we would spend during our weekly mall trips. The business of the day had not yet begun; the house was quiet and the mood in the kitchen was serene. Now when I go down to visit my grandma we usually get a little alone time, but it’s not that the same as those early kitchen mornings we used to have. The minute I tasted this pomegranate molasses coffee cake loaf I knew my grandma would approve.

Baking this coffee cake loaf could not be easier, but even if it required expert skill and extreme brain power I would still implore you to bake it because it is just that amazing. The cake is moist and perfectly spiced. And the crumble, yes please. I love my grandma’s icing, but I must confess that this crumble takes the cake. Literally. I could eat a plate of just the crumble topping.

I will have to bring my grandma a loaf the next time I visit, but in the meantime I will enjoy it myself and squirrel away big slices in the freezer for midmorning snacks.

Pomegranate Molasses Coffee Cake Loaf
 
Yield: 1 loaf
Ingredients
for the cake
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
for the crumble
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x5” loaf pan with parchment paper, lightly coat with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Whisk the eggs, buttermilk, oil, molasses and vanilla extract in a small bowl.
  4. Carefully stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Mix in the melted butter until just combined.
  5. In a medium bowl combine the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt. Using a fork of pastry blender cut in the butter until well combined.
  6. Pour half the batter into the prepared loaf pan then top with half the crumble mixture. Pour in the rest of the batter then top with the rest of the crumble mixture. Bake for 55 minutes or until the top is golden.
  7. Remove the loaf from the oven then let cool in the pan for half an hour. Remove the loaf from the pan and let cool on a cooling rack for another hour.
Notes
*If you don't have buttermilk put 1 tablespoon of lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup then fill the rest of the way with milk. Let sit for 5 minutes before using in the recipe. Any milk from skim to whole will work.
*Although the cake won't cut as well while it's still warm it's worth to cut a messy slice just to taste this baby while it's warm!

Recipe from How Sweet It Is.

Nutella Stuffed French Toast with Vanilla Pecan Butter

I have a confession to make. I have never made french toast. Well, before today’s post of course. It had been sitting on my kitchen bucket list of fifty things I want to conquer in the kitchen for quite some time now so when Matt suggested making it I decided to rise to the challenge. Except it wasn’t a challenge at all! French toast is so simple that I cannot believe I put it off for so long.

Today’s creation is Nutella stuffed french toast with vanilla pecan butter. I’ll give you a minute to let that sink in. I had a jar of chocolate hazelnut spread sitting in the cabinet after making some other sweet treat I will be sharing with you in a few weeks. I was wondering how we should use it up so I wouldn’t succumb to eating the whole jar with a spoon and asked Matt what he thought we should do with it. Without hesitation he suggested making Nutella french toast and using up the leftover vanilla pecan butter from the pomegranate brussels sprouts. Genius! See why I love this guy? Well also for other reasons besides his knack for all things delicious and resourcefulness in the kitchen, but that’s not important right now.

What is important is that you grab some Nutella, crack a couple eggs and start making this french toast right now. Unless of course you’re at work or it’s the middle of the night and you are fresh out of chocolate hazelnut spread. Otherwise you have no excuse! At a friend’s house? They won’t mind if you borrow their kitchen for this dish. Dinnertime? Hello, ever heard of breakfast for dinner? In a canoe in the middle of a lake? Well what the heck are you doing reading my blog right now?

I used challah for my french toast, but you can really use any type of bread as long as it doesn’t have a lot of holes. Brioche is a popular choice because it has a high butter and egg content so it adds a nice richness to the dish. The thick slices of french toast slathered with creamy chocolate hazelnut spread and then griddled until crispy on the outside while still soft on the inside was enough to make me swoon. But then I added the butter speckled with real vanilla bean seeds and crunchy toasted pecans and I was in heaven. Complete breakfast or snack-time-dinner-time-just-not-canoe-time heaven. Enjoy!

Nutella Stuffed French Toast with Vanilla Pecan Butter
 
Yield: 2 servings
Ingredients
for the french toast
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, divided
  • Cooking spray or 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 slices thick cut bread, challah or brioche suggested
  • 6 tablespoons nutella, divided
for the vanilla pecan butter
  • ¼ cup pecans
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
Directions
for the french toast
  1. In a shallow bowl large enough to fit the slices of bread beat the eggs with a fork or whisk. An 8” x 8” Pryex pan works well.
  2. Add the milk, vanilla, ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon and ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg then mix or whisk to combine.
  3. Heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat and coat with cooking spray or the tablespoon of butter.
  4. Make a sandwich with 2 slices of the bread and 3 tablespoons of the nutella. Lay the sandwich flat in the prepared egg mixture and let sit for 1 minute. Flip the sandwich and let sit for another minute. Pick up the sandwich and let all the excess egg mixture drip off. If there is a lot of excess egg mixture that won’t drip off push off with the fork or whisk.
  5. Place on the heated griddle or skillet. Let cook for 4 minutes, or until brown, then flip. Cook the other side for 4 minutes, or until brown. Remove from the heat and top with the vanilla pecan butter.
  6. Repeat for the remaining serving.
for the vanilla pecan butter
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Evenly spread the pecans on a baking sheet and place in the oven until toasted, about 5 minutes. Once toasted, remove from the oven then chop once cool.
  3. In a small bowl combine the butter and vanilla bean seeds then add the pecans. Stir until combined.
Notes
This makes a lot of extra vanilla pecan butter. Use it for more servings of french toast, to top pumpkin pancakes or to make the pomegranate molasses brussels sprouts posted a couple weeks ago.

French toast slightly adapted from Half Hour Meals.
Butter from Bobby Flay.