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Enjoy this sweet, crunchy granola by the handful for snack or atop a big bowl of yogurt for breakfast. Easy to make and easy to customize to taste, this Chocolate Coconut Granola is sure to please. 

Chocolate Coconut Granola

Disclaimer: Thank you to #Choctoberfest Sponsors  Barleans, The PinterTest Kitchen and our gold sponsor Imperial Sugar for providing prizes for #Choctoberfest free of charge. These companies, as well as sponsors Rodelle and Davis Chocolate also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #Choctoberfest . All opinions are my own.

Do you prefer your breakfasts sweet or savory? I enjoy sweet breakfasts – like pastries and cinnamon buns – but tend to find that I’m hungry an hour or two later. For that reason, I tend to enjoy savory breakfasts with a protein + carb combo. When I want to satisfy my sweet tooth while still having a fairly healthy breakfast, my default is to turn to granola.

Made at home, granola is not nearly hard as most of what you might purchase at the grocery store. It’s actually quite easy to make and very easy to customize to your liking. This particular granola has a wonderful richness from the Rodelle cocoa powder, and sweetness from the Imperial Sugar and toffee pieces. There is a subtle coconut flavor from the coconut oil and the unsweetened coconut chips. Slivered almonds adds crunch and protein. Served with a bowl of your favorite yogurt and you have a sweet but relatively healthy (and filling!) breakfast.

This particular recipe is also a wonderful snack. I’ve been eating it by the handful instead of a piece of chocolate, to satisfy my post-dinner sweet tooth.

Chocolate Coconut Granola

If you’re not familiar with Imperial Sugar, I’d encourage you to check them out. Based in Texas, Imperial Sugar has been manufacturing and distributing sugar and sugar products to the US since 1843. Their sugar products are 100% natural and non-GMO. Check them out for great Halloween and holiday recipes for you to make and enjoy with your loved ones.

Chocolate Coconut Granola

If you haven’t entered the #Choctoberfest giveaway, be sure to scroll down and enter via the Rafflecopter. The prize pack is worth over $450 and includes enough sugar to keep you baking for the next year, as well as a $100 Williams Sonoma gift card, a set of Barlean’s products and a HUGE bag of Lindt truffles. Full giveaway details here.

Chocolate Coconut Granola

Yield: 5 cups of granola


  • 1/4 c. plus 1 Tbs. coconut oil, divided
  • 1/3 c. cocoa powder (I used Rodelle)
  • 1/4 c. honey
  • 1/4 c. granulated sugar (I used Imperial Sugar)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract (I used Rodelle)
  • 3 c. oats
  • 1/2 c. slivered almonds
  • 1 c. unsweetened coconut chips
  • 1/2 c. toffee bits


  1. Preheat oven to 275F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Grease with 1 Tbs. unmelted coconut oil and set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan, melt 1/4 c. of coconut oil. Whisk in cocoa powder, honey, sugar and salt until sugar is melted and ingredients are thoroughly combined (whisking constantly). Remove from heat and add vanilla extract.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, toss oats, silvered almonds, and coconut chips to combine. Add coconut oil-cocoa mixture and toss to coat.
  5. Spread onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 45-50 minutes until golden brown. Turn off oven and allow the tray to sit in the oven for another 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
  6. Break granola into pieces. Toss with toffee bits and store in an airtight container.
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Recipe Notes:

  • I actually tossed the toffee pieces in pre-baking. The end result was still a deliciously sweet  bite to complement the rick cocoa powder, however, the toffee was no longer individual pieces. Do whichever you please. 🙂 Although not intentional, I enjoy the granola with the melted toffee pieces in there.
  • This recipe was adapted from Bobby Flay.

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Being a working mom, I always wish that I had more time with my kids – time to go out and do things. You know, trips to the parks, local museums, children’s events… that sort of thing. With our current routines, I feel like there’s just not enough time to do all of that, with working 5 days a week, finding time to do laundry, clean the house, grocery shop, and still manage to find some time to see friends and decompress a bit. But the one thing I think my hubby and I have been pretty good at is taking our kids out to the local farms to pick fruit during the summer and apples and the obligatory Halloween pumpkins during the fall.

The past couple of years, I’ve been lucky enough that my parents were in town for strawberry picking. The first year we went, we set off with the intention of picking some berries and maybe making a batch of the jam that my mom used to make when I was growing up. We accidentally ended up with close to 20 pounds of strawberries. Needless to say that day was filled with 3 times as much jam-making as anticipated (in addition to setting aside berries for freezing and eating) and a number of trips to the store to pick up extra supplies.

Since then, we’ve prepared a bit better. We still pick roughly 20 pounds of strawberries, but with the intention of canning more (my brothers and uncles have been over the moon with gifts of homemade jam). My son and daughter have a blast picking and eating the fresh berries, and my daughter can’t wait to get into the kitchen with Mommy and Manna (aka Grandma) to make some jam. It’s a family tradition that makes everyone happy.

This jam can be made as chunky or smooth as you’d like, depending on how much you crush the strawberries. And I’ll give you my little secret – It’s on the sweeter side, and makes a wonderful topping for vanilla ice cream as well.

Cooking Note: I’ve made jam this two years in a row now, both times with my parents. I highly recommend taking advantage of the prep steps noted below, as the jam cooks up pretty quickly. If you have a second set of hands around to help with setting the timers and getting the jars ready for you, use them!

Strawberry Jam

Adapted from Certo

Makes 8-10 Cups


  • Canning jars, with lids and bands
  • Very hot water (i.e. heat on a stove until very hot or boiling)
  • Wax, for sealing the jam
  • A small inexpensive pot with a lip, for melting the wax (I recommend one designated solely for this purpose)
  • Tongs, to move hot jars
  • A large (8+ quart) stainless steel stockpot, for making the jam (Don’t got smaller – the mixture will bubble up a good bit)
  • A stainless steel ladle, for portioning out the hot jam
  • A wide-mouthed funnel, for portioning out the hot jam
  • A baking sheet, lined with aluminum foil
  • Kitchen timer


  • 5 c. barely crushed strawberries (from ~8 c. whole strawberries, hulled)*
  • 7 c. granulated sugar (I used Dixie Crystals sugar)
  • 1/2 tsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 packet Certo pectin

* Strawberries were barely crushed – smashed once or twice with a potato masher so that most were not whole. Don’t worry if it looks too chunky – the strawberries will break down more as they cook.

Prep: Wash jars and clean out sink. Place clean jars in the sink.

Fill a medium stockpot (~10+ cups) with water and start heating on stove. This water will be used to heat up canning jars.

Start melting wax in a small pot on another burner. When wax is completed melted, keep warm on lowest setting.

Place foil-lined baking sheet on the counter next to the stove (or wherever you’re going to be filling the jars). Set kitchen timer nearby.

Make the Jam: In a large (8+ quart) stainless steel stockpot over high heat, combine crushed strawberries, sugar, and unsalted butter, stirring constantly until sugar is melted. Bring to a rolling boil, 8-10 minutes.

When mixture is very close to a boil, take hot water and fill waiting canning jars. The goal is to keep the jars very hot, so refill as needed, if the water cools before the jam is ready.

Stir to make sure the mixture is fully at a boil. Boil for 1 minute (time it!). Stir in Certo. Return to a rolling boil (happens very quickly, within a minute) and continue boiling for another minute. Turn off stove.

Can: Working quickly, empty water from canning jars and move jars onto waiting baking sheet. Using the funnel and ladle, quickly fill jars with jam, leaving about an inch of room at the top of the jars. Top off with about a 1/2 inch of melted wax. Let jars rest, allowing the jam to thicken and cool, and the wax to harden and seal in the jam.

If jars don’t completely seal (wax moves around or jam starts to come up above the wax), remove wax and store in the fridge for immediate use.

Store sealed jars in a cool place.

Serving: When read to open a jar, use a fork or knife to puncture the wax and remove from jar. The wax may be cleaned and set aside to be remelted for future canning.





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This post is sponsored in conjunction with #BrunchWeek. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the #Brunchweek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

And don’t forget to enter the giveaway. Details on our wonderful sponsors, the prizes they put together for you, and the place to enter to win, here.

In my opinion, a good brunch ends with a tasty dessert. You can never go wrong with homemade cinnamon buns of some sort, like the apple-cinnamon buns from earlier this week. But something I want something a little lighter in flavor. Something just a little bit sweet. Something that cause me to lose complete self-control, because if I’m going to be honest, homemade cinnamon buns do that to me.

Enter: a lemon poppy seed loaf cake. This particular cake is made with Nielsen-Massey’s lemon extract instead of fresh lemon juice and confectioners sugar instead of granulated sugar, giving it a pound cake-like texture and a light, lemon flavor.

This recipe was heavily adapted from Epicurious. The original recipe is a plain cake, made to serve 12-16 people. I’ve adjusted the ratios and added the lemon and poppy seed to create what I consider to be a light ending to your brunches.

Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf Cake

Heavily Adapted from Epicurious

Makes 10-12 Slices


  • cooking spray
  • 12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 lb. Dixie Crystals confectioners sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. Nielsen-Massey lemon extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. + 3 Tbs. all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
  • 1 Tbs. poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 325F. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle bottom and sides with flour, tapping out extra. Set aside.

Place butter in a large bowl, and beat on medium speed with a handheld mixer (you can use a stand mixer if you prefer) until light and fluffy. Add sugar, beating until incorporated. Add lemon extract and eggs, beating until combined. Repeat with flour. Scrape down sides of the bowl. Add poppy seeds and mix one last time.

Pour into prepared baking pan and bake for 45-55 minutes, until top is beginning to brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool on a baking rack for 10 minutes before removing from pan, and returning to baking rack to cool completely.

Take a look at what the #BrunchWeek Bloggers are creating today!

BrunchWeek Beverages:
Blackberry Mint Bellinis from Sweet Beginnings
Cardamom Rose Cocktail from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Lemon & Blueberry Mocktail from Girl Abroad
Mango Pina Colada from The Spiffy Cookie
Sparkling Mojito Lime Rickies from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures

BrunchWeek Egg Dishes:
Cheesy Asparagus Bacon Quiche from The Nifty Foodie
Creamed Asparagus Omelet from Wholistic Woman
Eggs in Hell from kimchi MOM
Asparagus and Cheddar Frittata from My Catholic Kitchen
Spring Veggie Quiche from A Day in the Life on the Farm

BrunchWeek Breads, Grains and Pastries:
Apple Cheddar Cream Cheese Danish from Amy’s Cooking Adventures
Apple Cinnamon Bread from It Bakes Me Happy
Gluten Free Apple Waffles from Gluten Free Crumbley
Banana Bread Buttermilk Pancakes from Love and Confections
Blackberry Cream Cheese Sweet Rolls from Pink Cake Plate
Brown Sugar Poptarts from Big Bear’s Wife
Creme Brulee French Toast from The Barbee Housewife
Cherry Almond Coffee Cake from The Chef Next Door
Cheddar Dinner Rolls from Family Around the Table
Cinnamon Apple Danish from Nik Snacks
Garlic and Herb Pull Apart Bread from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf Cake from Books n’ Cooks

Mocha Eclairs from The Redhead Baker

BrunchWeek Main Dishes:
Country Ham Biscuits with Peach Mustard from Palatable Pastime
Ham, Apple and Cheddar Melts from Cookaholic Wife
Ham, Egg, and Asparagus Breakfast Pizza Rants From My Crazy Kitchen
Shaved Asparagus, Herb Cream Cheese, and Smoked Salmon Pizza from Sarcastic Cooking
Yumbo Sliders from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings

BrunchWeek Fruits, Vegetables and Sides:
Rhubarb Crunch from Cooking with Carlee

Biscuit Bar with Flavored Sugars from Sew You Think You Can Cook
Low-Fat Apple Coffee Cake from Hardly A Goddess

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This post is sponsored in conjunction with #BrunchWeek. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the #Brunchweek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

In case you’ve forgotten, or are visiting for the first time, I want to remind you that our generous sponsors have donated some amazing prizes for #BrunchWeek readers. There are more than a few prizes to get excited about – high quality food from our sponsors, gift cards, gift sets that include marble pastry boards and slate cheese boards… Seriously good prizes. Head over, check out the details and enter to win, here.

So glad today is Hump Day, because this week has been a bit rough already. First off, I have all of these amazing #BrunchWeek recipes to remind me that instead of being in the kitchen whipping up breakfast pastries and savory eggs dishes, I’m stuck behind a computer, at a desk without a window all day long. But work has been a bit of a doozy too. I started off yesterday with great intentions of actually crossing things off my to-do list, and I accomplished not one of those things. Constant disruptions, surprises (and not the good ones) and travel between meetings meant that I actually got very little accomplished. Today is so packed that I’m not going to get much done either.

So with this start to the week, it should be no surprise that I’m already looking forward to the weekend, which is blissfully empty of any real plans. If the weather cooperates, we’ll probably go to the zoo with the kids and some good friends, but right now, I’m loving the fact that we can be bums on the couch all weekend if we want to. Maybe I’ll be able to try out one of the recipes I’ve bookmarked this week? Maybe even one of the oh-so-tempting pastry recipes from a fellow #BrunchWeek blogger.

In my house, sweet breads and pastries are an indulgence, and rarely make an appearance. It’s not that we don’t love them – we do! But we tend to show little self-restraint around these goodies. This small-batch recipe for apple cinnamon buns disappeared quicker than I would like to admit. Between the sweet apple-cinnamon sugar filling and the vanilla glaze, it was hard to stay away.

Apple Cinnamon Buns

Dough from Joy the Baker; Filling & Glaze by Books n’ Cooks

Makes 6-8 Cinnamon Buns

Ingredients for the Dough:

  • 1/2 c. whole milk
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbs. Dixie Crystals granulated sugar
  • 1 packet Red Star Platinum Baking Yeast
  • 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 large egg yolk

Ingredients for the Filling:

  • 4 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 c. Dixie Crystals granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 Lady Alice apple (or other favorite sweet apple), medium-dice

Ingredients for the Glaze:

Make the Dough: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine milk, butter and sugar. Stir occasionally, until sugar has dissolved, butter has melted, and mixture is hot. Remove from heat and allow to cool, until mixture is warm (110-115F). Add yeast, stir, and let sit for 5 minute to activate. Mixture should begin to foam.

While milk mixture cools, whisk together yeast, flour and salt. Add egg yolk and milk mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon to incorporate. If dough appears too wet, add flour a little at a time. In the bowl, kneed dough a few times, scooping up any extra flour in the bowl and bringing dough together. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 10 minutes, while preparing filling.

Prepare the Filling: Combine sugar, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

Dice apples, if you haven’t done so already.

Assemble the Cinnamon Buns & Bake: Preheat oven to 350F.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough into a 9×12 inch rectangle. Brush with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar. Spread apple pieces evenly over dough.

Tightly roll dough at the longer edge into a coil. Slice into pieces 1 1/2 to 2-inches thick.

Grease a 8×8 or 9×9 baking pan with remaining 1 Tbs. softened butter. Place cinnamon buns in prepared pan, with about 1/2 and inch between them, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Set in a warm place (I put mine by the oven that is preheating) and allow to rise for 30 minutes.

Remove plastic wrap and bake for 20 minutes, until cinnamon buns are golden brown and puffed up. Remove from oven and cool slightly.

Last Step – Glaze! In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, softened butter and vanilla extract. Add water, 1 Tbs at a time, until glaze reaches desired consistency. Mine was thick and spreadable, but melted into gooey deliciousnes when spread over still hot cinnamon buns.

Serve immediately, while still hot. Cinnamon buns can be stored in an airtight container or wrapped slightly for 24 hours, but are best when fresh.



Take a look at what the #BrunchWeek Bloggers are creating today!

BrunchWeek Beverages:
Pineapple Citrus Smoothie from It Bakes Me Happy.
Southern Spiked Mango Iced Tea from The Crumby Cupcake.

BrunchWeek Egg Dishes:
Cheddar Asparagus Mini Quiche from Amy’s Cooking Adventures.
Goat Cheese and Asparagus Breakfast Souffle from Palatable Pastime.

BrunchWeek Breads, Grains and Pastries:
Apple Cheddar Chop Bread from A Day in the Life of the Farm.
Apple Cinnamon Buns from Books n’ Cooks.
Apple Lekvar Sweet Rolls from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings.
Apple Hotteok (Fried Stuffed Pancakes) from kimchi MOM.
Apricot Danishes from Sarcastic Cooking.
Braided Apple Ginger Danish from The Spiffy Cookie.
Bourbon Banana Waffles from Forking Up.
Cinnamon Sugar Apple Muffins from Rants From My Crazy Kitchen.
Easy Popovers with Honey Butter from Hardly A Goddess.
Glazed Cinnamon Buns from That Skinny Chick Can Bake.
Strawberry Rhubarb Almond Rolls from Wholistic Woman.
Ultimate Cheese Muffins from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner.

BrunchWeek Main Dishes:
Breakfast Loaded Tatertot Casserole from Big Bear’s Wife.
Grilled PBJ with White Cheddar and Bacon from Nik Snacks.
Steak and Eggs Oscar Style from The Redhead Baker.

BrunchWeek Fruits, Vegetables and Sides:
Aloo Tiki with Apple-Tamarind Chutney from Culinary Adventures with Camilla.
Asparagus Salad from Cookaholic Wife.
Asparagus Caprese Salad from The Barbee Housewife.
Cheesy Potato Asparagus Tart from Sew You Think You Can Cook.
Garlic Roasted New Potato and Asparagus Salad from An Edible Mosaic.
White Cheddar Pimento Cheese Spread from Love and Confections.

BrunchWeek Desserts:
Chocolate Rose Truffles from Cooking with Carlee.
Coffee Almond Fudge from Family Around the Table.

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This post was created to be entered into the Food and Wine Conference Make It With Milk recipe contest, sponsored by Florida Dairy Farmers. I received no compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.

In a couple of weeks, I’ll get to live it up in all my foodie glory at the Food and Wine Conference in Orlando, Florida. Although it’s the conference’s 5th year, this will be my first year attending. I’m beyond excited. The Food Wine Conference brings together bloggers, small business owners, winemakers, chefs, public relations professionals, traditional media, new media, authors and brands and covers topic such as social media, cookbook writing, and food photography. Be sure to check out their website for more information on the conference, the schedule, and the sponsors, as there’s still time to register.

I’ve been stalking the conference’s website and Facebook page for the past couple of weeks in excitement. The announcement of the Make It With Milk contest completely derailed my productivity at home, as I wracked my brain for ideas on what to make for it. A milkshake was the first thing that popped into my mind. But I have a secret to share. I am incredibly unadventurous when it comes to milkshakes. Vanilla. Just vanilla. Pure perfection. I’m much happier to experiment with pastas, soups, and breakfasts… the latter of which won out.

My kids are currently obsessed with pancakes. They put enough syrup and sprinkles on them that I can experiment with flavors and not hear the “it looks different” whines. And thus, the cheddar-cornmeal pancake was born. The kiddos drowned the pancake in syrup while my hubby and I enjoyed the savory pancakes, brightened by the sharp cheddar, topped with sweet brown sugar apples. Win, win for everyone.

Cheddar-Cornmeal Pancakes with Brown Sugar Apples

By Books n’ Cooks

Serves 4-6

Ingredients for the Brown Sugar Apples: 

  • 4 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 3 small to medium-sized apples, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 c. light brown sugar

Ingredients for the Pancakes: 

  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. cornmeal (I used white but yellow would give the pancakes some nice color)
  • 2 c. milk (I used 2% but use whatever you have on hand)
  • 2 large egg
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbs. baking powder
  • 4 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 5 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (a heaping cup)
  • cooking spray

Make the Apples: In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add butter and half of brown sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. Add remaining 2 Tbs. of brown sugar and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until apples are softened, about another 10 minutes.

Make the Pancakes: While the apples are cooking, make the pancakes.

Preheat an electric frying pan to 250F, or a large skillet (non-stick if you have one) over medium-low heat.

Add all ingredients except cooking spray (duh!) in a large bowl and whisk to combine.

Spray frying pan/skillet with cooking spray. Use an ice cream scoop, large tablespoon, or 1/8-cup measuring cup to portion pancakes into prepared pan, giving them at least an inch in between – they’ll spread. Cook until bottom is set and top is starting to bubble a little bit. Flip and continue to cook for another couple of minutes until cooked throughout. Remove from pan and repeat until batter is used up.

Serve hot topped with brown sugar apples.


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This post is sponsored in conjunction with #BrunchWeek. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the #Brunchweek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

Before I start telling you about my new favorite entree to serve for brunch, I want to remind you that there’s also an awesome giveaway. Our generous sponsors have created some amazing prize packs, and I’m hoping that one of the Books n’ Cooks readers wins one of them. Check out the details and enter to win here.

So I wasn’t kidding about when I said that today’s post is my current favorite main course to serve for brunches. I first made these burritos in December, for a holiday brunch with a set of good friends. They received rave reviews from all of the attendees. And my hubby and I enjoyed the leftovers – frozen and reheated – for quick but flavorful breakfasts after the holiday season was over.

While the burritos I made in December were wonderful, I took the original recipe and tweaked it slightly, mostly skipping the bacon to make it vegetarian (and frankly, to cut prep time) and increasing the amount of eggs, for a nice hearty burrito. This recipe does make a huge batch, which makes it perfect for feeding a crowd or for freezing for quick weekday morning breakfasts. (Directions for freezing and reheating included below.)

I hope you enjoy my first recipe this #BrunchWeek. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post to check out over 3 dozen fabulous brunch recipes.

Breakfast Burritos

Adapted from RecipeTin Eats

Makes 16 Burritos

Ingredients for the Vegetable-Bean Filling:

  • cooking spray
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1-14 oz. can stewed tomatoes
  • 1-14 oz. can low-sodium black beans, rinsed
  • 1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients for the Enchiladas:

  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 24 large eggs
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 c. shredded Cabot Vermont Sharp Cheddar Cheese, or other favorite cheddar cheese
  • 16-8 inch flour tortillas

Optional Toppings:

Make the Vegetable-Bean Filling: Heat a large skillet, coated in cooking spray, over medium heat. Add garlic, onion and bell pepper, sauteeing until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, breaking up the strewed tomatoes into small pieces. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until sauce thickens. Remove from heat and allow to cool while you make the eggs.

Make the Eggs: In a large bowl, season eggs with salt and pepper. Whisk.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add butter, allowing to melt. Add eggs to skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally until eggs reach your desired doneness. (I prefer eggs to be fairly dry, but I know others prefer scrambled eggs more watery. Eggs will continue to cook a bit in pan, and again in the oven.) Remove pan from heat.

Assemble & Bake the Enchiladas: Spray two 9×13″ Pyrex or other dishes with cooking spray. Set aside. Preheat oven to 400F, while assembling the enchiladas.

Lay tortillas on a clean work space. Place 2 generous tablespoons (I used the tablespoons that came with my everyday silverware set) of vegetable-bean mixture onto tortilla, spreading to cover. Top with two generous tablespoons of eggs. Roll tightly and place seam-side down in prepared dishes. Repeat until fillings are gone.

Sprinkle with 2-3 cups of shredded cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until cheese is melted and enchiladas are starting to brown.

Serve hot, topped with salsa and/or fresh avocado.

To Freeze: Make and cook enchiladas all the way through. Allow cooked enchiladas to cool. Place enchiladas individually on a piece of wax paper. Roll and tuck ends. Place wrapped enchiladas in a freezer bag and freeze until serving.

Enchiladas can be microwaved straight from freezer (remove wax paper), but they heat quicker when they are allowed to defrost for 30-60 minutes (basically the amount of time it takes me to get to work. 🙂 )

Take a look at what the #BrunchWeek Bloggers are creating today!
BrunchWeek Beverages:
Homemade Orange Julius from A Day in the Life on the Farm
Kimchi Bloody Mary from kimchi MOM
Mimosa Bar from Love and Confections

BrunchWeek Egg Dishes:
Asparagus & Pancetta Frittata from The Chef Next Door
Breakfast Burritos from Books n’ Cooks
Chilaquiles from The Redhead Baker
Coddled Eggs with Bacon and Cheddar from Family Around the Table
Eggs Benedict Breakfast Tacos from The Spiffy Cookie
Parmesan Polenta Brunch Bowl with Asparagus and Sausage from Cooking with Carlee
Put an Egg on it Mac and Cheese from Sew You Think You Can Cook
Smashed Sweet Potato Rosti with Butter Poached Egg from Nik Snacks
Smoked Eggs over Asparagus from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
Spinach Baked Eggs with Habanero Cheddar from Sweet Beginnings

BrunchWeek Breads, Grains and Pastries:
Apple Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread from Pink Cake Plate
Apple Crumble Bread from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Apple, Sausage & Cheddar Oven Pancake from Wholistic Woman
Cheddar Asparagus Breakfast Tarts from It Bakes Me Happy
Cinnamon Roll Oatmeal from Big Bear’s Wife
Cinnamon Roll Pizza from Palatable Pastime
Best Dutch Baby Pancake Recipe from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
English Raisin Scones with Apple Jam from The Crumby Cupcake
Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls from Gluten Free Crumbley
Strawberry Lemonade Muffins from An Edible Mosaic
Strawberry Rolls with Orange Icing from The Nifty Foodie
Tiramisu French Toast from Brunch-n-Bites
Twisted Star Cinnamon Rolls from Amy’s Cooking Adventures

BrunchWeek Main Dishes:
Biscuits and Gravy Bubble Up from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
Cheesy Bacon Chile Rellenos from Rants From My Crazy Kitchen
Country Fried Steak & Eggs with Habanero Cheddar Gravy from Forking Up
Homemade Chicken Sausage & Egg Stromboli from Hardly a Goddess
Spinach, Artichoke and Asparagus Strata from Cooking in Stilettos
Ultimate Cheddar Grits Bowl from The Barbee Housewife
Veggie Loaded Breakfast Enchiladas from Sarcastic Cooking

BrunchWeek Fruits, Vegetables and Sides:
Apple and Creamy Ricotta Crepes from From Gate to Plate
Apple Cheddar Bites with Honey and Pepper from Feeding Big
Spring Asparagus Salad from Girl Abroad
Sweet Pea Sipper from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Thai Asparagus Slaw from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner

BrunchWeek Desserts:
Baltimore Peach Cake from Cookaholic Wife
Mandarin Orange Bundt Cake from My Catholic Kitchen





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When I was in high school, I took my first trip abroad. It was a special trip – just me and my grandmother. She took me to London where we had the most amazing time. We saw the castles and museums. We accidentally arrived to see the opening of Parliament and ended up seeing the queen (my teenage mind was BLOWN!).

One of the highlights of that trip was shopping at Harrod’s – which my grandmother and great aunt used to rave about – and staying for high tea. There, I fell in love with the wonderful tradition of mid-afternoon tea, dainty little finger sandwiches, and sweet breads, pastries, and cookies.

I’ve been to England a handful of times since that amazing trip with my grandmother, but never had tea at Harrod’s again. But whenever I do go, I make sure scones and clotted cream are part of every trip. I have yet to find a clotted cream that lives up to my memories of that tea at Harrod’s, but I do love recreating scones at home. They’re a wonderful addition to an afternoon tea, but most frequently, I serve them with homemade jam for breakfast when we have overnight guests.

Homemade scones are so incredibly easy to make, and unlike many that you find in stores and shops, the texture is quite soft.


Want more scone recipes? Try my bacon, cheddar & chive scones or my cranberry walnut scones.

Vanilla Cardamom Scones

Adapted from Savory Simple

Makes 12 Scones

Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together:

  • 3 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbs. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cardamom

Using two forks or a pastry cutter, cut in

  • 12 Tbs. cold unsalted butter

until mixture is crumbly. Finally, fold in:

  • 1 c. half-and-half
  • 1 Tbs. vanilla paste

Mixture will just start to come together, but will remain very crumbly. With clean hands, knead dough until it comes together. Divide in half and form into two 7-inch rounds. Set on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Slice each round into 6 pieces. Brush tops with

  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until tops are golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool on baking sheet for a few minutes.

Serve hot or warm.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days.



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When I would tell family and friends how picky my daughter was, they wouldn’t believe me. They had to witness her gagging – before the food even touched her lips – before they realized I wasn’t exaggerating.

Miss. Hazelnut is now three and a half and there’s been a lot of improvement. We have a variety of techniques that, when combined, have improved her eating immensely. We shamelessly bribe her with lolly pops for trying something new. We take a hard line and will sit at the dinner table for an hour until she tries <insert this new item> before finish the meal. We put sprinkles on pretty much any breakfast food so that she’ll eat it. We have learned to describe or prepare things in ways that appeal to her silly side. But honestly, as she’s gotten older and seen her parents, brother, and friends eating other things, she’s just gotten more amenable to trying new things on her own.

The one place we’re still lacking, though, is veggies. The fights about trying a vegetable are much more fierce and even once she tries the veggie, she often doesn’t like it and may even make herself gap (TBD if that’s real opinion or her stubborn streak). Any time I can hide a vegetable in something I know she’ll eat, I call it a win. These “orange” pancakes were one of the more recent wins. I appealed to her silly side with the orange color, and her sweet tooth with chocolate chips (with her plate topped with rainbow sprinkles). But I don’t feel too bad because  know that there’s whole grain and pumpkin mixed in with the extra sugar we added. These pancakes are light on spice to appeal to her palate (feel free to bump up the cinnamon for a more sophisticated palate) and froze well for breakfasts throughout the week.


My daughter is still just a bit to young to have sleepovers regularly, but every once and a while, when we share a sitter with friends, Miss. Hazelnut spends the night with her best friend. I can’t wait for her to have planned slumber parties at our house, so that the girls can stay up late gabbing and rise in the morning with an extra special breakfast. I can’t wait to make these pancakes for her and her friends, and am excited to try some of the other slumber party favorites that the #SundaySupper tastemakers have dreamed up.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes

By Books n’ Cooks


  • 4 Tbs. whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. table salt
  • 3 Tbs. sugar
  • 1/2 c. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 c. pumpkin puree
  • Cooking spray

Preheat an electric frying pan or skillet to 300F (medium-low on a stove top)

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, sugar, and chocolate chips.

In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, vanilla and pumpkin puree. Add to the flour mixture and with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, stir to combine.

Spray frying pan or skillet with cooking spray. Ladle out pancake batter into prepared pan. (Each of my pancakes used a scant 1/4 cup of better). Cook untouched until edges and center starts to set. Flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes to finish cooking.

Serve hot with maple syrup or other desired topping.

I hope you enjoyed this recipe! Now I’m off to bookmark and Pin other great recipes for my daughters next sleepover. Thanks to Marion at Life Tastes Good for hosting this week’s #SundaySupper Sleepover Favorites event!






Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.
Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.



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Today, #BrunchWeek comes to an end. If you haven’t entered to win one of the prize packs provided by our amazing sponsors, I encourage you to visit this post and do so – and quick! The giveaway ends today! I think you can tell from the photo below, there are some seriously awesome prizes being offered, and I’d be thrilled if one of my readers won one of them.


For the final day of Brunch Week, I wanted to make something healthy for those of you who are looking for not only great brunch recipes but who need quick, easy breakfasts that are convenient for someone constantly on the go. Muffins work for both. This particular recipe is one of the healthier ones I’ve made, using a combination of whole wheat all-purpose flour, cake flour, and ground oats. It has a sweet orange muffin with bursts of bright cranberries. Serve it for brunch, or make it on a weekend to grab on your way out to work during the week. Either way, enjoy!

Cranberry Orange Muffins

Cranberry Orange Muffins

Makes 12 Muffins

By Books n’ Cooks


  • cooking spray
  • 1 c. old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 c. whole wheat all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. cake flour
  • 1/3 c. Dixie Crystals granulated sugar
  • 1/3 c. light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 heaping c. frozen cranberries, halved
  • 2 tsp. Nielsen-Massey orange extract
  • 1/3 c. unsweetened apple sauce
  • 3/4 c. milk (I used 2%)
  • 1 large egg white

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a muffin pan with cooking spray and set aside.

Pulse oats in a food processor until finely ground. Transfer to a medium bowl and add all-purpose flour, cake flour, both sugars, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Gently whisk to combine. Fold in cranberries, just so that they’re coated in the dry mixture (to prevent sticking together).

In a separate, small bowl, gently whisk apple sauce, milk, and egg white. Use a spatula to fold wet mixture into dry mixture until just barely combined. Use an ice cream scoop to portion into prepared muffin pan, filling each cup until 3/4 full.

Bake in preheated oven for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Disclaimer: Thank you to #BrunchWeek Sponsors: Red Star Yeast, Dixie Crystals, Cabot Cheese, Vidalia Onion Committee, Sage Fruits, Nielsen-Massey, KitchenIQ, and Le Creuset for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #BrunchWeek. All opinions are my own.

Be sure to check out the last of the #BrunchWeek recipes, below.

Cranberry Orange Muffins Prep

Nesting measuring spoons from KitchenIQ.

Cranberry Orange Muffins_Pint

BrunchWeek Beverages:

BrunchWeek Breads, Grains and Pastries:

BrunchWeek Fruits, Vegetables and Sides:

BrunchWeek Main Dishes:

BrunchWeek Desserts:

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BW Logo 2016Since having kids a couple of years ago, brunch has become one of my favorite times to host friends. It’s not just that it doesn’t get in the way of early afternoon nap time. It’s that brunch is (for me and my family) one of the easiest, most stress-free times to entertain. I find it’s easy to put together an impressive menu with very little effort. I’ve got it down to a science. Literally. With this formula, I can’t go wrong:

Egg dish + grain/carby side side + fruit dish

With this formula, I’ve got an easy, filling, balanced meal. Frittatas and quiches are my favorite egg dishes. I’ll frequently pair that with a fresh scone or muffin, or even homemade granola (served with yogurt) and then round off the meal with a serving of fresh fruit.

Today, I created two varieties of fruit salad, both of which are tossed with a light poppy seed vinaigrette. In the first, I jazz up some berries, grapes, and kiwi with a little fresh mint and in the other, I let the brightness of sweet Breeze apples (a new variety that originated in New Zealand, but is currently being grown in Washington State and introduced to US markets by Sage Fruit) and grapes shine through. Both were wonderful, but feel free to use your favorite in season fruit.

Do you have a standard menu or formula for brunch entertaining?

As a reminder, our amazing sponsors have generously donated some wonderful prizes. Visit here to learn more about our sponsors and enter to win one of the the awesome prizes they so generously provided.

Fruit Salad with Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

Make Ahead: Vinaigrette and fruit salad may be made ahead of time, but don’t mix until just before serving, so that the fruit doesn’t get soggy.

Fruit Salad (Two Ways) with Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

By Books n’ Cooks

Serves 5-6

Ingredients for the Salad:

  • 5-6 c. fruit, sliced into roughly 1-inch pieces (I used a mix of strawberries, raspberries, kiwi, and grapes)
  • 3 Tbs. fresh mint, coarsely chopped


  • 2 Breeze apples, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1-2 c. red seedless grapes
  • 1 c. mixed berries (I used raspberries and blackberries)


  • Your favorite mix of fresh fruit

Ingredients for the Vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 c. vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 Tbs. honey
  • 1 Tbs. poppy seeds

Apple Fruit Salad with Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

Gently toss fruit and mint to mix. Set aside, or refrigerate until just before serving.

To make the vinaigrette, combine all ingredients in a jar and shake well (or, combine in a bowl or measuring cup and whisk well). Refrigerate until just before serving.

Add half of the vinaigrette to the fruit salad and toss to coat. Add more as desired. (I used only half of the vinaigrette for the 5-6 cups of fruit.)

Disclaimer: Thank you to #BrunchWeek Sponsors: Red Star Yeast, Dixie Crystals, Cabot Cheese, Vidalia Onion Committee, Sage Fruits, Nielsen-Massey, KitchenIQ, and Le Creuset for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #BrunchWeek. All opinions are my own.

Fruit Salad with Poppy Seed Vinaigrette for Brunch Week

Don’t forget to check out today’s other #BrunchWeek recipes, listed below.

BrunchWeek Beverages:

BrunchWeek Breads, Grains and Pastries:

BrunchWeek Fruits, Vegetables and Sides:

BrunchWeek Egg Dishes:

BrunchWeek Main Dishes:

BrunchWeek Desserts:

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