As a homeschooling family, I only have to cram breakfast in while packing lunches and getting out the door on time once a week. We have a weekly co-op, and every Tuesday, amid the scramble, I marvel at all you moms and dads who run the gauntlet of morning activity every day. “Where are my shoes?” “I forgot my water bottle!” “No, you cannot wear flip-flops! It’s pouring down rain and 40 degrees!” It’s pure insanity. Getting some food in the kid’s bellies is the worst part. Breakfast is just not a meal that you can finish in the car easily. You either chow down at the table, or get to enjoy the smell of stale milk wafting from the back of the van for weeks on end after your precious 6 year-old dumped his cereal all over. Yeah. Breakfast is an in-the-house meal. Unless you make up a batch of these delicious Oatmeal to Go Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins. They are completely portable and absolutely scrumptious.
Easter is coming! Here’s a round-up of some of my favorite springtime breakfasts, sides and desserts, perfect for your family get-together this week! Just click on the recipe title to be taken to the full recipe! Enjoy and Happy Easter!
You know what’s great? The little lip balms that look like mini eggs. Piano music on a blustery day. Smiley face stickers. Finding a ten-dollar bill in an old purse. Laughing so hard you cry a little. And most of all…cinnamon rolls. Specifically, these cinnamon rolls. The best EVER. No, I’m not kidding. They are perfection.
My mother has been making this cake as long as I can remember. As a child, the thought of a vegetable baked into a cake was just supremely odd. Now I know that little flecks of zucchini melt into the chocolate batter making the texture and richness just perfect.
Great neighbors are hard to come by. I know someone (who shall remain nameless) who lives next to a family where the kids play a game called “Am I Being Murdered?”. An activity that’s such fun, it has to be enjoyed during every single hour of every single day. A jolly good time for the whole housing development I’m sure. On the other end of the spectrum are the good folks who reside just over the fence from me. Specifically the very talented gardener of the family, who delivers just picked fruit and vegetables to my greedy doorstep all summer long. I get nature’s bounty freely given with zero effort on my part. It’s simply divine. Just this week I’ve received zucchini, cucumber, apples (two kinds), and most delicious of all, plums. They arrive in bags and buckets. Fragrant, juicy, mildly tart and perfect.
It didn’t take much convincing for my children to believe that plums are far better than candy. They have free reign to enjoy a succulent treat from the plum basket whenever they want. Both munchkins are now consistently a sticky mess of dribbly plum juice and I don’t even care.
This recipe is a quick bread that tastes dangerously close to a cake. It’s sweetness and light with a hint of tart sprinkled throughout from the plums. Delicious. It would be perfect for a brunch, ladies tea, afternoon snack, or dessert. Basically, whenever you want to eat it, do.
You can use yogurt instead of sour cream if that’s what you have handy. The batter is nice and thick so all those beautiful plum pieces won’t sink to the bottom of your bread. I also baked this in mini loaf pans as well as a 9-inch square cake pan. Both turned out with a perfect texture and golden crust. Just adjust your bake time accordingly. I started by baking about 30 minutes then checked on my cake bread every 5 minutes or so until it was done.
Plum Cake Bread
adapted from Allrecipes.com
1 cup pitted, chopped plums
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup brown sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray, or line with parchment paper.
2. Sprinkle chopped plums with 1 tablespoon of flour in a bowl, and toss to coat. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat the butter, white sugar, and vanilla extract with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs. In another bowl, sift together 1 1/2 cup of flour with salt, cinnamon and baking soda. Stir the dry ingredients into the egg mixture, alternating with sour cream until the mixture forms a smooth batter. Lightly stir in the flour-coated plums, and pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle the top of the batter with brown sugar.
3. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool in the pan 10 to 15 minutes before removing from pan for slicing.
Let me warn you right up front that for the next week or so, you’ll be hearing a whole lot about my best friend Bethany. You may remember her from these Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes I made to say goodbye when she (sob) left me to move to Maui. Obviously there are benefits to her living there. Namely, we have a place to stay for the very reasonable price of free. Actually, Bethany does requires one thing…that you allow her to Martha Stewart you while visiting. She’s a meet you at the airport with a lei, basket of chocolates and lotions on your bed, act as your chauffeur/chef/activity coordinator, wash and fold your clothes, play with your children, pack a cooler and a bag of goodies for the beach, provide you with rockin’ sunblock, and set up an umbrella so your pale freckly skin is protected kind of friend. Being with Bethany is, in a word, ah-mazing. Bonus, we have equally out of control hair and manic smiles when being blown off the edge of the world on top of Haleakala. It’s always a good thing to have friends who are equals on the crazy train of life.
Someday I will learn how to manage a bunch of bananas. Meaning, I’ll buy just the right amount that are exactly the correct ripeness so as not to have two or three that go brown on me before they’re eaten. Until that day comes, I have to figure out new and exciting things to do with the abandoned-too-ripe-to-be-consumed-any-way-but-as-banana-mush bananas. Since my children have teeth, it seems cruel to feed them anything the texture of baby food. This recipe screamed out to be made for two reasons.
#1: I love banana bread.
#2: I love scones.
Combining the two into one amazing breakfast food? Genius!