Merciful God, You are great in compassion and Your tenderness for us is without measure. We ask You to give us today our daily bread, and also provide for the needs of all of Your hungry children around the world. Through Christ Your Son and Our Lord. Amen.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Six-Thumbs-Up Brunch

We are a Sunday brunch kind of family. We usually attend noon Mass and arrive home around 1:30 p.m. Having had breakfast early and nothing to eat before Mass, we're usually pretty hungry by the time we get home. But, since everyone around here loves big breakfasts, breakfast food is usually what they want, even though it's afternoon. It's difficult to find something I can prepare (other than just plain eggs) after Mass that doesn't take an hour to cook. We enjoy breakfast casseroles, but by the time a breakfast casserole cooks, it would be 2:30 or later. We're hungry now! It's even more difficult to find something quick now that we're trying to keep everything lower in fat.

For brunch yesterday, I made some Cinnamon Bun Bread before we left for Mass (we left just as it came out of the oven) and a big Ham and Potato Omelet after Mass. This brunch menu was a huge hit and fit the bill in more ways than one.

The Cinnamon Bun Bread (recipe from "Cooking Light") was wonderful. I cannot think of a better bread I've made in the recent history. It was moist and soft and cinnamony and sweet. The kids loved it and Doug loved it. And it was also wonderful left over. It was really incredibly easy, too. Baking it before Mass gave the loaves time to cool, so that when we arrived home, I started the omelet and then iced the loaves. The great part is, they were low in fat, but you would never know.

The Ham and Potato Omelet (also "Cooking Light") was great, also. Using frozen hash browns made the process very quick -- start to finish, less than 30 minutes (probably closer to 20-25). The omelet was also fairly low in fat, but, again, you'd never know by tasting it.

Though I used both recipes from Cooking Light, I modified them slightly -- either because there were ingredients that are not on the reflux diet, or there were steps that I omitted because I didn't find them necessary. Below are my versions.

I did not read the directions carefully when making my bread.
Instead of rolling from the short side, I rolled from the long side and
cut the roll into five pieces -- thus the five humps on my bread instead of three.
I have italicized that part in the directions below for emphasis.

Cinnamon Bun Bread
2 loaves

1 package dry yeast
1/4 c. white sugar, divided
1 c. warm milk
3/4 c. warm water
1/4 c. butter or stick margarine, melted
1 t. vanilla extract
1 egg
5 c. all-purpose flour, divided
1 t. salt
2/3 c. packed brown sugar
2 t. cinnamon
1 T. butter, melted

1 T. butter, melted
1 c. powdered sugar
2 T. milk
1/2 t. vanilla extract

Combine milk and water in a large bowl mixer bowl.
Dissolve yeast and 1 T. white sugar in warm milk mixture; let stand 5 minutes.
Stir in 1/4 cup melted butter, vanilla, and egg.
Add 4 1/2 cups flour, 3 T. white sugar, and salt to yeast mixture;
stir to form a soft dough.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface
and knead until smooth and elastic,
adding flour when necessary to keep it from sticking, for about 7-9 minutes
(or use dough hook in mixer -- for about 5 minutes).

Place dough in a large oiled bowl, turning dough to coat top.
Cover and let rise in a warm place for about one hour or until doubled in size.
Punch dough down. Divide in half.
Roll each half (or press with hands) into a 14 x 7-inch rectangle
on a floured surface.
Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon.
Sprinkle each dough portion with half of brown sugar mixture,
leaving a 1/2-inch border.
Roll up each dough rectangle tightly, starting with a short edge,
pressing firmly to eliminate air pockets, and pinch seams and ends to seal.
Cut each dough roll crosswise into 3 pieces.
Place 3 pieces, cut sides up, into each of two loaf pans coated with cooking spray.
Cover with greased plastic wrap or damp tea towel
and let rise 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 350°.
Uncover dough, and bake at 350° for 35 minutes or until loaves are golden on top
and sound hollow when tapped.
Immediately brush tops with 1 T. melted butter.
Cool in pans 10 minutes on a wire rack, and remove from pans.
Cool loaves on rack almost completely before glazing.

To prepare the glaze,
mix in a bowl,
1 T. melted butter with powdered sugar,
milk, and vanilla until blended and a thick drizzling consistency,
adding a few more drops of milk if necessary.
Spread with a knife over tops of loaves.

Ham and Potato Omelet
4 - 6 servings

1/4 c. low-fat milk
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. black pepper
5 extra large eggs (0r use 6 large)
1 T. vegetable oil
4 c. packaged frozen hash brown potatoes (southern style)*
1 cup chopped low fat ham **

Preheat oven to 450°.
Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.
Add potatoes; sauté for 5 minutes.
Stir in ham; sauté 1 minute.

Combine first four ingredients, stirring with a fork.
Stir in egg mixture.
Bake at 450° for 12 minutes or until set.
Cut into wedges.

This would be good served with some shredded cheese,
if you're not watching the calories,
or some fresh diced tomatoes.

* The original recipe called for hash browns with onions and peppers,
but for the reflux diet, I used plain.
You could use the peppers and onions potatoes and omit the onion powder.
A note about hash browns -- I do not buy the expensive name-brand hash browns.
The brand name was $2.50 -- on sale.
The "other brand" that I bought, was $1.05 -- regular price.
As long as the ingredients are real potatoes,
you don't need to spend extra for brand name --
you're just paying for advertising and coupons.

** I used Hillshire Farms deli ham.
This is the brand I buy for sandwiches --
it's low in fat and tastes pretty good.



Barb, sfo said...


"Southern style" hashbrowns--are those the "cubes" or the "shreds"?

scmom (Barbara) said...

Southern style is the little cubes.

Lenetta @ Nettacow said...

I knew you'd have a good St. Lucia recipe. :>) We're always a bit behind, but I think I might try to put this together for tomorrow's breakfast. Thanks!

I had a thought on breakfast cassseroles if you wanted to try to make them work for eating after Mass - you could have it prepared and then put it in the oven on timed bake, set to start half an hour to 45 minutes after you leave. It shouldn't hurt to have it sit and wait for a while if you don't get back exactly when it's done.