Breakfast

Perfect Buttermilk Waffles

Perfect Buttermilk Waffles  |  Lemon & Mocha

Waffles. Just typing the word makes me want to shout with excitement. WAFFLES! There, that’s better. Great waffles are crispy on the outside with a soft, subtly sweet interior. Who doesn’t love great waffles? Pile them high with butter and maple syrup, layer them with whipped cream and fresh fruit, smother them in melted Nutella and banana slices… the combinations are endless. And you know how I feel about flavor combinations.

Perfect Buttermilk Waffles  |  Lemon & MochaPerfect Buttermilk Waffles  |  Lemon & Mocha

We can all agree that great waffles are, well, great. But what if you want more? What if you want your waffles to overachieve, to be the best of the best, to reach for the stars?! Then you need to be able to strip the waffle platter down, remove all the syrups, fruits and toppings, and be left with just a damn perfect waffle that can stand on its own. As I’m sure you’ve seen from the title, these, my friends, are Perfect Buttermilk Waffles.

Perfect Buttermilk Waffles  |  Lemon & Mocha

My dad shares my waffle love. Breakfast is his favorite meal so whenever we go out we do it right. Over-easy eggs, bacon, toast, sausage, hash browns, omelets, English muffins; we order it all. And yes, I did mean all those items at the same time. No matter what else we order, my dad and I always, always order a waffle to share.

Perfect Buttermilk Waffles  |  Lemon & Mocha

We’ve been questioned on the volume of our breakfast order, we’ve been told we will never finish everything and one surly waitress even made us shift to a larger table, huffing that our food order would never fit! We laugh at their remarks and then dive in, waitstaff eyes wide as we do serious damage on the spread in front of us. We always judge a breakfast place by its waffle and if these Perfect Buttermilk Waffles came out of the kitchen it would go right to the top of our list.

Perfect Buttermilk Waffles  |  Lemon & Mocha

If you don’t have a waffle iron, this Cuisinart is the one we currently have in the Lemon & Mocha kitchen and we use it at least every few weeks. If you aren’t looking to start up Waffle Wednesdays (it’s a thing!) in your kitchen, simply thin the batter slightly with milk to make crispy outside, fluffy inside pancakes.

Perfect Buttermilk Waffles  |  Lemon & Mocha

Perfect Buttermilk Waffles
 
Yield: 8-10 waffle squares
Ingredients
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled in a medium mixing bowl
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1½ cups buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions
  1. Turn on the waffle iron to get it hot and spray with nonstick cooking spray, depending on manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine then create a well in the center for the liquid ingredients.
  3. Add the eggs to the cooled butter mixing bowl and beat until frothy. Add the buttermilk and vanilla extract. Beat again until well-combined.
  4. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the well in the dry ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. The buttermilk and leavening will create a batter full of air bubbles.
  5. Pour the batter onto your waffle iron in batches and cook according to manufacturer’s instructions. If working in batches, let waffles rest on a cooling rack after they are cooked, or place them directly on the rack of your oven or toaster oven on a low heat to stay warm.
Notes
If you don’t have buttermilk handy, you can use the following substitution. Put 1 tablespoon of lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup. Fill the measuring cup with milk (I use skim, any milk-fat percentage should work) until it equals 1½ cups. Let sit for 5 minutes before using in the recipe.

Recipe from Food.com.

Avocado Toast

Avocado Toast  |  Lemon & Mocha

Have you heard of avocado toast? This simple breakfast dish has been trending all over Pinterest and Instagram for the past year. It’s been blogged about, tweeted, favorited, snapped, and of course consumed like crazy. Even with the flurry of social media, I first heard of avocado toast at a work breakfast potluck last spring. Side note:  work breakfast potluck is the absolute best way to start a workday. Between all the bacon, waffles and egg casseroles, the person doling out slices of avocado toast seemed more than a little bizarre to me.

Avocado Toast  |  Lemon & Mocha

My love for avocado and my foodie curiosity led me to try some and wow. Just wow. Why had I never thought of this before? The crunchiness of the toast, the creaminess of the avocado, the slight tanginess of the teeniest bit of mayonnaise and the saltiness from the sea salt flakes… wow, oh wow. Those of you who have experienced avocado toast before are currently nodding your heads and walking to their kitchen to pop some bread in the toaster. Those of you who haven’t experienced this simple phenomena should take note and go do the same so you can add a new breakfast staple to your routine.

Avocado Toast  |  Lemon & Mocha

Avocado Toast
 
Yield: 1 serving
Ingredients
  • 1 piece of whole wheat bread
  • 1 schmear of mayonnaise, roughly 2 teaspoons
  • ½ avocado, sliced
  • Maldon Sea Salt Flakes, or coarse sea salt
Directions
  1. Toast the bread. Spread a very thin layer of mayonnaise on the toast. Top with the sliced avocado and a very generous sprinkling of sea salt flakes.

 

10 Minute Mini Breakfast Tacos

10 Minute Mini Breakfast Tacos  |  Lemon & Mocha

Sometimes the best dishes are the ones that take you under 10 minutes to make, but still cause you to dance around the kitchen shouting, “Omg, this is SO good!” in between mouthfuls. Before getting reminded that your excited eating habits need to be worked on so the heimlich doesn’t become necessary. But sometimes these things cannot be controlled. I’ll work on it though.

10 Minute Mini Breakfast Tacos  |  Lemon & Mocha

These mini breakfast tacos are the perfect mid-week breakfast, weekend brunch, after school snack, quick dinner and picnic staple. Okay, maybe not the last one. But for everything else this dish is up for the job.

10 Minute Mini Breakfast Tacos  |  Lemon & Mocha

I like to add some creaminess to my scrambled eggs by adding a little cream cheese. It’s a great trick someone taught me years ago. It doesn’t impart the cream cheese flavor on the eggs, it just makes them creamy and fluffy.

10 Minute Mini Breakfast Tacos  |  Lemon & Mocha

How easy is this dish? Well let’s see, you first put some cheese on a few corn tortillas and heat in the microwave. Meanwhile scramble up some eggs. Top the cheesy softened tortillas with the fluffy eggs and any other toppings on hand, including salsa, avocado, sour cream, peppers and onions. Done!

10 Minute Mini Breakfast Tacos  |  Lemon & Mocha

These mini breakfast tacos are so easy it’s dangerous. How can breakfast tacos be dangerous? Because you can make so many of them that while you’re chomping away and exclaiming in delight how good they are you might require the heimlich. So eat responsibly folks.

10 Minute Mini Breakfast Tacos  |  Lemon & Mocha

10 Minute Mini Breakfast Tacos
 
Yield: 1 serving
Ingredients
  • 2 corn tortillas
  • ⅓ cup shredded cheese (cheddar, monterey jack and pepper jack are all great options)
  • ½ tablespoon butter
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon cream cheese
  • Salt, pepper and a sprinkling of any other favorite seasonings (I like to sprinkle on some garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and cumin)
  • Salsa, avocado and any other desired toppings
Directions
  1. Place the corn tortillas on a plate and sprinkle the shredded cheese over top. Set aside for now.
  2. Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Once melted add the beaten eggs, cream cheese and seasonings. Let the eggs cook a little then begin to scramble them, making sure to flip them over and break them up often so they remain light and fluffy without getting crispy.
  3. Meanwhile heat the cheese-topped tortillas in the microwave for 45 seconds.
  4. When the eggs have cooked through and are still fluffy (I like to take mine off as soon as they look cooked through) remove from the heat and divide over the top of the two cheesy tortillas.
  5. Top with salsa, avocado or whatever other toppings you like.

 

 

Banana Bread French Toast with Caramelized Bananas

Banana Bread French Toast with Caramelized Bananas  |  Lemon & Mocha

When I made french toast for the first time in the form of my Nutella stuffed french toast with vanilla pecan butter, it opened up a new door of possibilities for me. As is typical of my list-loving self I sat down and excitedly scribbled a whole page of french toast ideas. Any type of slightly sweet bread or sturdy cake out there was jotted down along with complimentary toppings and sauce ideas.

Banana Bread French Toast with Caramelized Bananas  |  Lemon & Mocha

One such idea was banana bread french toast with caramelized bananas. I’m not the first to think of this genius idea, but I was eager to make it nonetheless. Some overly ripened bananas provided me with the perfect opportunity.

Banana Bread French Toast with Caramelized Bananas  |  Lemon & Mocha

After my banana bread was made and cooled completely overnight I cut it into 1” thick slices. After dipping in the egg mixture and cooking in my frying pan I caramelized some banana slices in butter and brown sugar.

Banana Bread French Toast with Caramelized Bananas  |  Lemon & Mocha

The end result was magnificent: a delicious excuse to eat dessert for breakfast. Not that you need an excuse, but if you do now you have one.

Banana Bread French Toast with Caramelized Bananas  |  Lemon & Mocha

I made my banana bread with walnuts for some added texture, but you could always toast some walnuts to place on top of the finished french toast.

Banana Bread French Toast with Caramelized Bananas
 
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 banana bread
for the caramelized bananas
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 banana, sliced into coins
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
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.
  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. Lay two of the slices of banana bread flat in the egg mixture and let sit for 1 minute. Flip the slices and let sit for another minute. Pick up the slices 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 of r 4 minutes, or until brown. Remove from the heat and top with the caramelized bananas.
  6. Repeat with the remaining serving.
for the caramelized bananas
  1. Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the banana slices and brown sugar. Carefully stir to coat. Continue to cook the banana slices until softened and coated in the syrup, about 5 minutes.

Breakfast Sandwiches

Breakfast Sandwiches  |  Lemon & Mocha

I get excited over everything food related and that includes kitchen gadgets. I’ve never ranked my kitchen gadgets, but if I had to this nifty thing would definitely be in my top five. What is it, you ask? A round microwave egg cooker! This little contraption costs less than $4 and has revolutionized breakfast in my house. Crack an egg in the cooker. Beat with a little milk, salt and pepper. Close the lid and microwave for one minute. Ta-da! A perfectly cooked fluffy round egg perfectly sized for breakfast sandwiches.

Breakfast Sandwiches  |  Lemon & Mocha

I haven’t even gotten to the best part- if you throw in some cheese after it cooks and quickly close the lid again the steam will completely melt the cheese. Yeah, that’s right. I’ll give you a minute to soak that all in. My Aunt Dottie shared this gadget find with me last summer and I would not be able to count all the egg sandwiches I’ve made in it over the last year. I talked it up so much that several of my friends have purchased it and are now cooking their own easy egg sandwiches, too.

Breakfast Sandwiches  |  Lemon & Mocha

After I made a bunch fresh I started experimenting with freezing them for even quicker weekday breakfasts on the go. I am happy to report that these freeze well and taste good reheated in the microwave. So go ahead and get cooking!

Breakfast Sandwiches
 
Yield: 1 sandwich
Ingredients
  • Lightly toasted English muffin
  • 1 slice ham
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 thin slice of cheese that melts well, such as cheddar or monterey jack
Directions
  1. Put the English muffins halves down on a clean surface and place the slice of ham on one of the halves. Set aside.
  2. Crack the egg into the microwavable egg cooker or an eight ounce ramekin. Pour in the milk and a little bit of salt and pepper. Lightly beat the egg mixture then microwave for 1 minute.
  3. Carefully remove from the microwave and quickly place the cheese on top of the cooked egg while still in the cooker or ramekin. If in the ramekin place a plate or tupperware lid on top to help keep in the steam that will melt the cheese.
  4. When the cheese is melted, run a spoon around the edge of the cooked egg then remove and place on top of the ham slice. Take the other half of the English muffin and place it on top.
Notes
To freeze the breakfast sandwiches: make sure you very lightly toast the muffins so they don’t get hard when you reheat them in the microwave. Let the sandwich cool then tightly wrap in plastic wrap. Place the wrapped sandwiches in a labeled freezer bag before putting in your freezer.
To reheat the frozen breakfast sandwiches: remove from the plastic wrap. Wrap in a paper towel and place on a plate. Microwave for 1 minute, or more if needed.