Archive for the Breakfast/Brunch Category

Bourbon Cajeta

Posted in Breakfast/Brunch, Dessert, Mexican with tags , , on March 26, 2011 by Cooking For Mark

Cajeta, better known as “Dulce de Leche” in South America and Spain, is a rich caramel sauce and a staple in every Latin American home.  It is the Nutella of Europe and the peanut butter of the United States. We eat it for breakfast with a piece of toast and coffee, we use it as fillings in cookies and cakes, or, it is simply eaten by the spoonful.

It’s incredible how food or smells can bring back certain memories you would otherwise not recall.  Like my mom’s arroz con leche or avena.  The smell of the simmering sweet milk and cinnamon takes me back to our small home in Mexico.  I can see my mom standing over the stove stirring while I attentively watched every step impatiently waiting for my warm bowl.  Or Pozole, which instantly takes me to my grandmother’s ranch where she would ritually kill and feather a chicken while I hid in horror and proceeded to pretend my delicious chicken soup was vegetarian. The cajeta, however, reminds me of my grandpa.  Every time he came to visit us in Guadalajara he brought my mom and I a jar of homemade cajeta.  And as long as we had that jar, our mornings always started just a little bit sweeter.

I know they now sell “dulce de leche” in grocery stores, but it doesn’t come close to the real thing.  Although making it is time consuming, it is sooo worth it.  So grab a good book, make yourself a cup of coffee, and be prepared to stir (off and on) the entire afternoon.

I you don’t have the time, however, here is a little trick – and no, it does not consist of boiling a can of condensed  for 4 hours risking an explosion with cajeta all over you ceiling and walls (yes, I have seen it happen).  What you do is place the contents of a can of condensed milk into a baking dish and place it into a nice water bath.  Bake in the oven at 425 for about an hour until it is a nice caramel color.  You’re welcome.


  • 4 c. Goats Milk
  • 4 c. Whole Milk
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 2 small cans media crema (table cream), or 1 c. heavy cream
  • 3 c. Sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp  salt
  • 1/3 c. bourbon
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract


  1. Place milk, cream and sugar on med heat in BIG saucepan (to prevent it from spilling over). Stir occasionally.
  2. When it starts to boil, add baking soda and salt, stir.
  3. Turn the heat down to low and stir every 30 mins or so.
  4. Cook until you get a deep caramel color. (Mine took about 4 hours on super low.  If you cook on med heat it should take about 1.5-2 hours).
  5. When the color is where you want it, add the bourbon and vanilla.
  6. Let cook for an extra 15 minutes. Take off heat.
  7. The cajeta will thicken as it cools.  Transfer the Cajeta into a jar let cool completely. Place in refrigerator.


Pumpkin Pie Stuffed Pancakes

Posted in Breakfast/Brunch on November 7, 2010 by Cooking For Mark

I know, another pumpkin recipe.  But I feel like I am allowed to be slightly obsessed with pumpkin this time of year, as is everyone else.  I haven’t made pancakes in a while, and I had buttermilk I had to use up so woke up this weekend determined to make these.  Originally I was going to make pumpkin pancakes with chocolate chips (Mark’s favorite), but I decided there was not enough pumpkin in these.  That’s when I came up with the stuffed with “pumpkin pie” idea with the leftover pumpkin puree. I still made Mark’s with chocolate chips topped with maple syrup, but mine were regular pumpkin pancakes topped with nutella. I think mine was better.

This pumpkin filling would also be great with crepes.  I think I may just try that for tomorrow’s breakfast! Update: I tried this crepe recipe with the leftover pumpkin filling…to die for! Even better than the pancakes, in my opinion.

Pumpkin Pancake Ingredients:

  • 2 c. flour, sifter,
  • 3 tbsp powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp baking powder, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice (or nutmeg)
  • 1 c. buttermilk
  • 3/4 c. pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 c. club soda
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature and lightly whisked
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Semi sweet chocolate chips (optional)
  • Toppings: nutella or maple syrup (optional: nuts, whipped cream)

Directions: combine wet ingredients and dry ingredients in separate bowls. Combine the two GENTLY and let sit for about 10 minutes. On buttered or oiled griddle pour 1/4 c. batter and lightly spread out. Cook on med heat, flip and cook all the way thorough.

Pumpkin Pie Filling Ingredients:

  • 1/4 c. cream cheese
  • 2/3 c. pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 c. cool whip
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • Cinnamon + pumpkin spice

Directions: Combine until smooth and creamy. Spoon 1/4 c. in between 2 pancakes and top with a layer of nutella OR maple syrup.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

Posted in Breads, Breakfast/Brunch, Dessert with tags , , , , on October 31, 2010 by Cooking For Mark
Pair these warm cinnamon rolls with a cup of coffee and you have the perfect fall breakfast.  And no need to wake up early either.  If you make these the night before, all you do is wake up and place them in the oven.  The pumpkin cinnamon sent will soon fill your house and everyone will be waking up with mouth-watering curiosity. Also, these are a bit healthier than most cinnamon rolls. Go ahead, take a look at the ingredients..yup, no butter and still delicious!
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls Ingredients: (Bake at 350 Degrees for 20 minutes)
  • 1/3 c. buttermilk (or regular)
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tsp dry active yeast
  • 1/2 c. pumpkin puree (canned)
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 -3 c. flour

Directions: combine all ingredients except flour and mix thoroughly. Add flour 1/2 c. at a time until it forms into a ball without sticking to your fingers.  Knead for 7 minutes. Cover with damp cloth and let rise for 1 hour. Prepare filling.


  • 1/3-1/2 c. pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice (or nutmeg)
  • 1/3 c. chopped pecans or walnuts (or choc chips!)

Directions: After the dough has doubled in size, punch down and roll out to about the size of a cookie sheet. Spread a thin layer of pumpkin puree and then a layer of sugar/cinnamon mixture. Top with nuts (optional).  Roll lengthwise and cut 1 inch pieces. Place parchment paper on pizza pan and assemble the rolls around so that they are touching one another. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes. Bake in preheated oven at 350 for 20 minutes. Take out of oven and sprinkle with powdered sugar and a bit of cinnamon. Decorate with cream cheese swirl.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1/2 package cream cheese, @ room temp
  • 1 tbsp milk (approx.)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon
  • Approx 1/4 c. powdered sugar, to taste

Directions: mix ingredients together until smooth.  Use ziplock bag to decorate the rolls.

Note: These cinnamon rolls are not the overpowering, sugary drenched rolls you may be used to.  Personally, I don’t like that. But if you do, feel free to glaze it with a sugar frosting and then add the cream cheese on top.

Veggie Tortilla Quiche

Posted in Breakfast/Brunch with tags , , , on October 31, 2010 by Cooking For Mark

This is probably one of my top favorite breakfasts.  It is super delicious and healthy.  The hardest part is waiting for it to bake, which is why the leftovers are even better!

Veggie Tortilla Quiche Ingredients (Bake at 375 for 30 minutes)

  • 3-4 whole wheat tortillas
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1-2 handfulls mushrooms, cut
  • 1/2 bunch spinach, washed and cut
  • salt/pepper
  • 1 small can artichokes
  • 2 roasted red pepper slices (jar)
  • 1/3 c. feta cheese
  • 1/3 c. mozzarella cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 c. milk or yogurt


  1. Saute onions, garlic, mushrooms and spinach for about 4-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Place tortillas on a greased pie plate. Top with sauteed veggies.
  3. Top with artichokes and sliced roasted red peppers
  4. Add feta cheese and half of mozzarella cheese
  5. Beat eggs and milk. Season with a tiny bit of salt and pepper. Add to veggies.
  6. Top with remaining mozzarella cheese.
  7. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Let it cool for about 5 minutes. Enjoy!

Chupa Chups waiting for her breakfast…

Baked Chilaquiles

Posted in Breakfast/Brunch, Mexican with tags , , on October 6, 2010 by Cooking For Mark

Chilaquiles is a traditional mexican breakfast where corn tortillas are fried, scrambled eggs are added and either a red or green sauce is mixed in, topped with sour cream and cheese. Although I like chilaquiles, I don’t like soggy tortilla chips or the egg mixed in with the tortillas. So I make mine a bit differently.

My version of chilaquiles: a pyramid of black beans, crispy tortilla chips, green enchilada sauce and mozzarella cheese, baked until the cheese is gooey and bubbly, topped with a fried egg, cotija cheese, sour cream, cilantro and scallions. Slightly different technique, huge difference.

Ingredients: (serves 4)

  • 12 corn tortillas, cut in triangles and fried until golden
  • 1 can green enchilada sauce
  • 1 can black beans
  • Mozzarella or pepper jack cheese
  • Cotija cheese or feta
  • 4 fried eggs
  • Green onion
  • Red onion
  • Cilantro
  • Jalapeno
  • Sour cream

Directions: preheat oven to 450. In oven-safe bowl, add about 1/3 c. black beans. Top with fried tortilla triangles, lots of green salsa, and mozzarella cheese.  Bake in oven until cheese is melted. Place a fried egg on top, and garnish with cotija cheese, cilantro, green onion, red onion, jalapeno and sour cream.

Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Muffins with Walnut Crumb Topping

Posted in Breakfast/Brunch, Dessert with tags , , , , , , , , on September 9, 2010 by Cooking For Mark

Perfectly moist blueberry and white chocolate muffins with a cream cheese center and a sweet crumb walnut topping. Perfection. What’s more, you can freeze these muffins and have one whenever you get a craving for a “fresh” blueberry muffin!

I went blueberry picking almost a month ago and got a bucket full of blueberries.  I have been snacking on them almost every day, either plain or with yogurt (my favorite breakfast/snack/dessert!). I never thought they would last this long but they are now showing signs of aging. I needed to use up these babies so I gave in and made these muffins. I am not a big muffin person, and I am also not really into baking with fresh berries. I would much rather use frozen berries and eat the fresh ones plain. But when you have an abundance of fresh blueberries like I did…well…you just can’t resist.

Batter Ingredients:

  • 2 c. flour
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 c. canola oil
  • 1 c. buttermilk or yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Orange zest (optional)
  • 1 1/2 c. fresh blueberries tossed in 1 tbsp flour (helps the berries not sink to the bottom)
  • 1/2 c. white chocolate chips


  1. Combine dry ingredients, set aside.
  2. Combine wet ingredients and mix together.
  3. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix GENTLY! Do not over-mix. Your batter should be lumpy, so just mix until ingredients are incorporated.
  4. Gently add blueberries and white chocolate.

Cream Cheese Ingredients:

  • 1 package cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • Lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • Powdered sugar, to taste (about 1/4 cup)
  • (optional) mash 1 ripe banana into cream mixture

Directions: Mix until you have a creamy mixture

Walnut Crumb Topping Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp butter, cold
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 c. ground walnuts

Directions: place all ingredients in food processor and mix until crumbly. If the butter gets too soft put it in the freezer for a few minutes.

Assembling the Muffins:

  1. Place about 2 tbsp muffin batter in muffin liners or greased muffin pan
  2. Place about 1 tbsp of cream cheese filling in middle
  3. Top with another 1 tbsp muffin batter to seal
  4. Finish off with about 1 tbsp crumb topping
  5. Bake at 375 for about 18 minutes.

Caribbean Rum Bread Pudding

Posted in Breakfast/Brunch, Dessert with tags , , , , , on August 22, 2010 by Cooking For Mark

I hardly ever make bread pudding, mainly because Mark hates the consistency of it, but also because it is slightly unhealthy..just slightly. Because my brother, sister and their friends are visiting from Utah I took the opportunity to feed them something I usually don’t get to make.  I made this for breakfast, and served it with fruit and yogurt to make it a bit more balanced and healthy.

The result? Everyone loved it (and I say everyone since Mark didn’t get any). The custard had a great flavor, but I think what made this so good was the challah bread I used.  I made a honey cinnamon challah bread about a month ago to make french toast.  I froze the leftover bread and it was perfect for this quick and easy breakfast.  If you want to make your own challah bread google a recipe or find one on youtube, and add honey and cinnamon. It’s a bit time consuming but you will have a huge loaf of good quality bread perfect for french toast or bread pudding.  Why, you ask? Well, the challah bread is more dense than most breads so when you soak it in a custard it will not fall apart. Using day old bread that is a bit crusty also helps make it better. If you don’t want to make it and can’t find it at the store, get day old french bread or even stale croissants. Don’t use loaf bread, you will not get the same results.



  • Challah bread, or dense good quality day-old bread


  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 1 c. coconut milk
  • 1/2 c. regular milk
  • 1/2 c. condensed milk
  • 1/2 package cream cheese (optional)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/4 c. caribbean rum
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks


  • Rum drunken raisins (see below)
  • walnuts
  • coconut flakes
  • Orange marmalade (or pineapple)


  1. Grease casserole dish
  2. Cut challah bread into 1 inch cubes to fill about 2/3 of dish
  3. Blend custard ingredients together
  4. Add custard to bread
  5. Add rum drunken raisins
  6. Refrigerate overnight
  7. Next morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees
  8. Add walnuts, shredded coconut, and a thin layer of orange mermalade
  9. Heat in water bath for about 30-45 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean
  10. Serve warm or cold.

Rum Drunken Raisins:

  • To a handful of golden raisins add enough rum to cover. Place in jar and let the raisins sit in counter for at least 1 week, preferably 2.
  • The more time you let the raisins sit, the plumper they will get and will absorb all the rum. Also, the longer you let it sit the less it will taste like alcohol.