Learning to cook … one kid at a time

Blueberry Pancakes “With Dip” November 6, 2011

Filed under: Breakfast,Things that make me smile — gastromami @ 6:12 am

Breakfast is a special time of day for the Dahlkemper/Steenberge clan – especially when at “camp” (which refers to the cabin in the Adirondacks but now blankets any Steenberge get-together)

Some of my earliest memories are of my aunts & mom, with sweatshirts thrown over their nightgowns, pulling eggs & juice out of the fridge while Papa manned the pancake griddle.

And we always had pancakes made from this:

New Hope Mills Buttermilk Pancake Mix

It truly is the best pancake mix I’ve ever bought and/or eaten.  The pancakes are light and fluffy and all you need is water!

In our family every pancake needs two things:  Pure Maple Syrup (from New York – but sometimes in a Vermont can!) and fruit.  The fruit can either be inside (bananas or blueberries) or on top (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries).

Since we picked blueberries no less than 5 times during our August trip to Erie, Ren has become, shall we say, obsessed with blueberry pancakes.

For a kid that still fits into 18-24 month pants he puts away anywhere from 3-5 regular-sized pancakes in a sitting – “with dip.”

Here is what started it all:

Let me set the scene …

It’s 6:30 AM and, while the adults were up all night drinking wine and playing euchre, Ren & Charlotte are up and ready to roll!

“What do you want for breakfast?”

“Do you want to walk up to the chicken coop and pick some eggs?”

“Nah, how about pancakes!?”

“Blueberry pancakes?”

“Yea, sure!”

“Pancakes mom.  Finish making your coffee and give us pancakes”

(I was, I’m sure, wearing a sweatshirt over my nightgown – ’cause that’s how we Steenberge women roll)


Unable to take turns …

They work together …

But I’m not sure they are too happy about that!



Ren & Charlotte approved!

“Good pancake making, cus”


Pistachio-Chai Muffins June 6, 2011

Filed under: 'Nack! (Snacks!),Breakfast — gastromami @ 11:49 am

I love muffins.

Usually I just make my favorite Dutchy Crust Muffins

but when Cooking Light had a section on Healthy Muffins I just had to try these Pistachio-Chai Muffins

I actually had read this article and though – my mom would love these.

In fact, my in-laws were here and my father-in-law, Reni senior, loves bread so I thought this would be a great time to make some muffins!

The only problem is that I wasn’t sure whether it would be too much chai to enjoy with my normal afternoon chai latte?

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 chai blend tea bags, opened
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Cooking spray
1/3 cup shelled dry-roasted pistachios, chopped
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon water

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda & salt in a large bowl

Stir well with a whisk

Cut open 2 chai tea bags

Add tea to flour mixture and mix well

Combine buttermilk, butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 lightly beaten egg

Stir well with a whisk

Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and add the buttermilk mixture

Mix well

Divide batter evenly between 12 muffin liners, lightly coated with cooking spray

Top each muffin with pistachio nuts

Bake at 375˚ for 15 minutes, or until pick inserted in the center comes out clean

Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes

(place a pan or liner under the rack to catch any extra glaze)

In a small bowl mix 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, powdered sugar & 1 tablespoon water

Stir until smooth

Drizzle the sugar glaze evenly over the muffins


Ren approved!


Pastelitos de Guayaba y Queso January 7, 2011

Filed under: Breakfast,Dessert!,For Helpers! — gastromami @ 10:55 am

Or Alternatively Titled:




My husband does not eat breakfast.

He eats eggs, sautéed in rice … but at midnight.

He eats bacon (boy does he eat bacon!) …  but for an appetizer.

He eats cereal, out of a large Swanky’s cup … for a snack.

But, honestly, I never see the man eat before noon.


However, I love breakfast and so, for his birthday, I made Reny the one food he would eat that early:

Pastelitos de Guayaba y Queso

or (for those of us who speak English)

Cuban Guava and Cheese pastries




I have to say, Cuban pastries have become my numero uno food while we are in Miami – the last time we flew down to see family, we flew Delta and boy, what a mistake!  Unlike the American Airlines area, there is no Cuban coffee shop to get some pastelitos and cafe cubano!!  Let me tell you, my heart was broken as we had to endure the wait for our luggage and ride without my Miami favorites, and, I must thank my sister-in-law Caro for stopping in Homestead so I could fulfill my craving before we headed to the Keys!




Anyway, Ren woke up at the crack of dawn (how did he know it was the only day of the year when I have “morning duty!?)

So I made myself some cafe con leche and we began working on breakfast for Dada.



To start:

Cut up guava paste and cream cheese into 1/2 inch pieces

Beat one egg in a bowl, set aside

Make a simple syrup:

Add equal parts sugar and water in a small saucepan on the stove.

Heat over med-high heat until the sugar is completely dissolved and the liquid is clear.

Set aside.

(The night before I had pulled the frozen puff pastry out of the freezer and defrosted in the fridge.)

Lightly roll out one sheet of pastry – this prevents the pastry from being “too puffy.”

Using a pizza cutter, cute the pastry sheet into 4 equal squares.

Place, in the center, a slice of cream cheese and top with guava paste.


Guava paste!?  What’s that?  And where do I find it!?

Actually, you can find guava paste pretty much anywhere now!  (even in Erie, PA!)

We tend to buy it at local Asian/Latin markets but you can find the Goya brand in the Latin section of most groceries.


Brush all four edges of each pastry square with beaten egg.


Fold the pastry over top of the guava and cheese, forming a triangle.

(In Cuban bakeries, you can tell the type of pastry by it’s shape – guayaba y queso pastries are always triangles)

“Crimp” the edges with a fork and poke once in the top for a vent.

Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Brush the top with beaten egg and (this is important!) place the tray in the freezer for about 10 minutes before baking!!

Bake at 400˚ for 8-10 minutes until the pastries look like this:

Brush with simple syrup and continue baking for an additional 5-8 minutes until golden brown.

This step is the most important (and hardest for me!):


The guava gets extremely hot and you will burn your mouth if you eat them too early!  (Trust me – I know!)






Dutchy Crust Oatmeal-Fruit Muffins December 1, 2010

Filed under: Breakfast,For Helpers!,Recipes — gastromami @ 9:12 am

I’m making my way through family recipes.

I don’t know if it is the onset of fall and the desire that comes with that change in season to hunker down with my family;  to sit in a warm house, filled with wonderful smells of baking and roasting.

It could be that I’m missing my family as another child is growing away from his/her relatives.

Or, I could just be hungry!

No matter the reason, these muffins were a staple in my house growing up and we make them all year around here!  I love love love cranberries and get so frustrated when I can’t but them come Spring and Summer.  So last year I got smart and stocked my freezer.  These can be made with blueberries or cranberries but I definitely prefer the latter.





For the muffins:

3/4 cup AP flour

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup fresh or partially thawed frozen cranberries or blueberries

2 eggs

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup butter, melted


For the “Dutchy Crust”

1/4 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup AP flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon






Pre-heat oven to 400˚





In a large bowl, mix flours, oats, sugar, baking powder and soda




Add fruit and stir to coat


In a small bowl beat eggs with a fork


Beat in buttermilk and butter


Add to the flour mixture and stir until blended

Fill lined muffin tins 2/3 full


Prepare Dutchy crust by combining all ingredients


Until crumbly


Top muffins with Dutchy crust.

Bake at 400˚ until pick inserted in center comes out clean (15-25 minutes for muffins)

Can be baked in a greased, 9″ square pan for 30-25 minutes.

From my family to yours, Enjoy!


Easy, Fast, Crustless Quiche September 22, 2010

Filed under: Breakfast — gastromami @ 3:07 pm

This is the easiest quiche recipe e.v.e.r.

My dad made this quiche all the time.  It does take longer to cook, than say, pancakes but it was always a good Sunday when we woke up and these were cooking in the oven.  The base of the quiche is three simple steps, with ingredients I always have in the house (eggs, milk, bisquick).  The key is just using whatever is laying around to always make it new and interesting.

Since iron-rich food is on my meal plan for the next 7 months, I used TONS of spinach in mine, cheese and tomatoes!

Pre-heat the oven to 375˚

Spray a pie pan with cooking spray and add your ingredients:

(i.e. cheese, tomatoes (here), ham, mushrooms, zucchini, you get the idea….)

I used a combination of gruyere and cheddar

one large tomato, chopped

In a blender add:

1 cup Heart-Healthy Bisquick

4 eggs

2 cups milk

That’s the base!  1 cup Bisquick, 4 eggs, 2 cups milk!  So easy!

I like to add my seasonings into the blender also;  be generous!

Today I used oregano, sage, salt and pepper

If I am including spinach in my quiche I like to also throw that in the blender.  Why, you ask?  Because I can get A TON of it in there if blended and, if blended up with all the yummy stuff, little fingers can’t pick it out!

See, a LOT of spinach!  I used almost an entire bag of spinach for one quiche!  Yum!

Pour the egg and milk mixture over your ingredients in the pie pan

and bake at 375˚ for about an hour

until golden brown and firm in the middle!

Let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving!

Ren approved!


I had a craving …. September 20, 2010

Filed under: "Fast Food",Breakfast — gastromami @ 12:38 pm

… for an egg sandwich

So we ate some for breakfast.

Ren loved it.

I’m sorry there is no picture but I was in a pregnancy-induced food heaven.

So I’ll leave you with this: