These bluebery yogurt muffins will keep you full all morning long!

Blueberry Yogurt Muffins

I’m a baked-good addict. Fresh bread, straight from the oven. Cupcakes, even box cupcakes. Bagels for breakfast slathered in cream cheese or butter or jelly. Let’s not even get started on brownies. When we first got married my husband kept asking why I bought cheap bread. My reason was if it was the sub-par sandwich stuff, it kept me from eating it all.the.time.

Because of this, I’m always game to check out a health-ified bread option. So when Logan requested blueberry muffins, I went hunting for an option that didn’t really end up being a cupcake without the frosting.

These bluebery yogurt muffins will keep you full all morning long!

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Dessert for breakfast, otherwise known as Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Bread!

Cinnamon chocolate chip bread

I hope everyone is enjoying some slower days in this last week of 2016! We’re watching lots of TV and playing with our Christmas presents. In the spirit of this holiday laziness, here’s an easy but festive breakfast bread.

I love desserts masquerading as breakfast. It’s as if adding cinnamon or fruit makes them acceptable for the main dish. So how do you make something as tasty as cinnamon bread better?

You add chocolate!

Dessert for breakfast, otherwise known as Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Bread!

This quickbread comes together easily and uses mostly ingredients you already have. It’s great for hosting overnight guests: breakfast is easy and uncomplicated, and you can make it in advance!

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Chapel Hill on my #trianglebucketlist

Triangle Bucket List: a conclusion

Over the years following my study abroad in Australia, several of my international friends visited me. I was thrilled to see them but always struggled with where to take them. After taking them on a tour of my campus, feeding them North Carolina barbecue, and introducing them to my local friends, I was always at a loss for what to show them about my hometown. It’s a fantastic place to grow up, but what here appeals to someone just stopping through?

It took me a few years, but since graduating I’ve really grasped what this place has to offer. The idyllic college campus is only the beginning: the variety of fun, the arts presence, the scope of restaurants and the access to nature only scratch the surface of what makes the Triangle special.

I love my city.

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These egg muffins make for annuturitious easy breakfast on the go or a cute addition to brunch!

Easy Egg Cups

Figuring out breakfast is a daily struggle for me. That’s because I typically get up exactly as early as I need to without any extra time.

I’m not a snooze button fan, I just start with the alarm set for the precise amount of minutes I need to get out the door on time. Now that I’m working out in the mornings, that means I put my gym bag, work bag, and purse next to the door the night before and set the alarm for 15-20 minutes before leaving. It’s enough time to check my Instagram feed, throw on some clothes, grab something to eat and hit the road.

These egg muffins make for annuturitious easy breakfast on the go or a cute addition to brunch!

Meaning, breakfast has to be fast and portable. Usually a banana does the trick, and I’ve gone through phases of hard boiled eggs. Individual sized yogurts are another favorite. But each of those feels pretty spartan on their own – certainly I only hit one food group, and post workout I don’t really have time to eat anything else before work.

Enter: egg cups. These muffin-like servings of scrambled eggs are individually portioned, can be as healthy or as flavorful as you want, and offer a good mix of protein and veggies for your morning!

These egg muffins make for annuturitious easy breakfast on the go or a cute addition to brunch!

Start by sauteing your veggies. Onions first!

These egg muffins make for annuturitious easy breakfast on the go or a cute addition to brunch!

After a couple minutes, add the other veggies that need cooking. Today I used peppers & carrots.

These egg muffins make for annuturitious easy breakfast on the go or a cute addition to brunch!

Next tomatoes!

These egg muffins make for annuturitious easy breakfast on the go or a cute addition to brunch!

Finally, add in the spinach, just long enough to wilt.

These egg muffins make for annuturitious easy breakfast on the go or a cute addition to brunch!

When the veggies have cooked, whisk your eggs, milk, and spices.

Eggmuffins11

Divide the veggies amongst the muffin tin. Add any meat or cheese too – I included some leftover pork, which was DEFINITELY a good decision.

Eggmuffins12

Distribute the egg amongst the cups. Don’t fill them this full, they expand.

These egg muffins make for annuturitious easy breakfast on the go or a cute addition to brunch!

Fresh out of the oven: puffed up and gorgeous!

These egg muffins make for annuturitious easy breakfast on the go or a cute addition to brunch!

Cute enough for a brunch and easy enough for early mornings!

These egg muffins make for annuturitious easy breakfast on the go or a cute addition to brunch!

Keep them in the fridge and microwave for 30 seconds for an easy and protein-packed breakfast!

EASY EGG CUPS

INGREDIENTS:

  • 12 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • spices of your choosing (this time, I used garlic salt and a Greek seasoning blend)
  • diced onion
  • diced peppers
  • diced tomatoes
  • spinach
  • other veggies
  • cheddar cheese

STEPS:

  1. Saute your veggies. Vary the cooking times to get everything softened properly: start with onions, then add peppers a couple minutes later, then tomatoes, and finally the spinach just until wilted.
  2. Whisk eggs in a large bowl until well beaten. Add milk and spices; blend thoroughly.
  3. Grease a muffin tin, and divide the veggies and cheese between them. Also add any meat you want (bacon, sausage or another meat that you’ve got laying around).
  4. Pour the egg mixture on top of the veggies.
  5. Bake at 375°F for 25-30 minutes, until fluffy and golden brown on top.

 

These egg muffins make for annuturitious easy breakfast on the go or a cute addition to brunch!

So go, with a filling breakfast!

The links above contain affiliate links, which means I get a few cents (at no extra cost to you) if you book or buy something via that link. This helps me keep costs down and posts up! All images copyright Teaspoon of Nose.

Ye Olde Waffle Shoppe might be my favorite breakfast place on Franklin Street!

Ye Olde Waffle Shoppe

If you’re in Chapel Hill for any length of time and need breakfast, you have to get breakfast one day at a Ye Olde Waffle Shoppe.

Located right on Franklin Street, it’s a popular spot with students and locals alike. The front room works like an old-school diner, with the food made right in front of the bar seating. The back room has more booths, and was built with the beams from a closed-down Greek Orthodox church!

Ye Olde’s food is simple: no-frills breakfast and lunch fare, although I have literally never seen anyone order any lunch food there. Breakfast is what draws you in.

Ye Old01

The food is simple, homey, and filling. I usually get an omelet, which are enormous. Lots of options for fillings, but the cheese is the best part: melty and oozes out the sides, so pick one with cheese. And like all good breakfast places, include hash browns or grits and biscuit or toast. All for under $8. Did I mention you won’t leave hungry?

Ye Olde Waffle Shoppe might be my favorite breakfast place on Franklin Street!

That being said, I agonize over the menu every time I go, because their best thing is the m&m pancakes. These things are straight up addictive. The pancakes are as big as your head and fluffy as all get out, so you’ll love them even plain. But add m&m’s? It’s over. Guaranteed to put you in the happiest of food comas, these pancakes do not disappoint.

When I go with Logan, we’ve begun the happy habit of each ordering our meal and getting an order of m&m pancakes for the table. It’s a win-win, really, because I can order my high protein omelette breakfast and still enjoy the sugary chocolatey fluffy amazingness of pancakes.

Ye Olde Waffle Shoppe might be my favorite breakfast place on Franklin Street!

If you go on a weekend, especially a football Saturday, you will definitely have to wait at least 30 minutes in a line that snakes past everyone enjoying their breakfast. Normally I’m not one for lines, but this place is worth it, I promise.

To sum up:

  • If you visit Chapel Hill, you must eat here.
  • If you eat at Ye Olde Waffle Shoppe, you must get m&m pancakes.

Good, you’ve got it. Enjoy!

Ye Olde Waffle Shoppe might be my favorite breakfast place on Franklin Street!

all images copyright Teaspoon of Nose

 

 

Beasley's Chicken & Honey: where the biscuit is the size of your head!

Beasley’s

I’ve been hearing about Beasley’s for years now. People always have good things to say about it, but I knew nothing about it other than everyone who goes enjoys it and that it’s a chicken and waffles place.

Beasley's Chicken & Honey: where the biscuit is the size of your head!

So when I recently made plans to grab dinner with a friend, and she mentioned that she lives a block from Beasley’s, I jumped at the chance.

Lucky for us, we ate on the early side, because this place fills up! As we left, the line eyed our seats hungrily.

Beasley's Chicken & Honey: where the biscuit is the size of your head!With cafeteria-style seating and menu on chalkboards, the feel is relaxed, like your neighborhood hangout.

 

Their bar menu had a bunch of local breweries represented, as well as a tasty-looking cocktails. I went with the French 237, which was perfect mix of sweet and tart with pomegranate liqueur, lime, gin, and St. Germain. I’m in a phase where I will drink JUST ABOUT ANYTHING with St. Germain in it. That’s how good it is. And Beasley’s didn’t disappoint!

We started off with an order of crispy cheesy grit fries. Jordana promised me these would blow me away, and she was right! First off, they’re enormous. Less fries and more giant chunks. I’m saying that as a great thing – they were warm and creamy and savory and addictive. You don’t even need the sauce, but its a good vinegary counterpart for those of us who love that contrast.

Beasley's Chicken & Honey: where the biscuit is the size of your head!

Jordana warned me that the portions at Beasley’s are monstrous, so I went with the chicken biscuit, thinking it would be smaller than the full chicken and waffles. Let me just say: if it is truly smaller, then the chicken and waffles must be truly huge.

Beasley's Chicken & Honey: where the biscuit is the size of your head!

So with chicken biscuits the size of my head,we dug in. A touch of honey added a surprising layer to the buttery biscuit and crispy chicken. I guess I should’ve seen it coming, the full name of the place is Beasley’s Chicken + Honey. It was practically perfect, although I’m a bad Southerner because I don’t care too much for green tomatoes (unless fried – then I’m a fan).

Beasley's Chicken & Honey: where the biscuit is the size of your head!

To sum up: stuffed! Happily!

I will say that once we finished eating, the closeness of the other patrons and the waiting line of hungry people encouraged us to take our party elsewhere and share our table with others still waiting for their fried chicken goodness.

Beasley's Chicken & Honey: where the biscuit is the size of your head!

Beasley’s is a great place to grab a bite and catch up with friends. From the mason jar glasses to the chalkboard menu, the ambiance is relaxed, fun, and just a tiniest bit funky. While nothing holds a candle to my beloved Dame’s, the next time I’m seeking a good dinner place in Raleigh I’ll beeline to Beasley’s!

all images copyright Teaspoon of Nose

 

 

Make this sausage egg casserole the night before, so all you have to do is bake and you've got gourmet breakfast!

Sausage egg casserole

While I love breakfast casseroles conceptually, I usually end up finding I’m too lazy to pull them together when it comes down to it. Especially when the ingredients can be eaten separately (eggs, bacon, sausage) easier and pretty close to just as delicious, minus the extra step of baking in the oven. When I wake up in the morning, I’m hungry, so the eggs end up being scrambled with veggies and we call it a day. So I don’t make many breakfast casseroles.

Make this sausage egg casserole the night before, so all you have to do is bake and you've got gourmet breakfast!

Then I had this one at a friend’s house. It was so fantastic that I knew I had to give it a shot. AND LO AND BEHOLD, you do 80% of the work the night before anyway! Even better.

So give this one a shot and you’ll be Breakfast Queen.

And everyone loves the Breakfast Queen, amiright?

Make this sausage egg casserole the night before, so all you have to do is bake and you've got gourmet breakfast!

Ingredients, prepped.

Make this sausage egg casserole the night before, so all you have to do is bake and you've got gourmet breakfast!

First, cook your sausage. Drain off excess fat.

Make this sausage egg casserole the night before, so all you have to do is bake and you've got gourmet breakfast!

Remove the crusts from the bread, then cut into 1/2 to 1-inch chunks (or about).

Make this sausage egg casserole the night before, so all you have to do is bake and you've got gourmet breakfast!

Beat eggs, and add milk, salt & mustard.

Make this sausage egg casserole the night before, so all you have to do is bake and you've got gourmet breakfast!

All three parts, ready to be combined.

Make this sausage egg casserole the night before, so all you have to do is bake and you've got gourmet breakfast!

Combine in a bowl, stir well, and add cheese.

Make this sausage egg casserole the night before, so all you have to do is bake and you've got gourmet breakfast!

Grease a 8×11 baking dish, then pour the mixture in. Cover and refrigerate overnight!

Make this sausage egg casserole the night before, so all you have to do is bake and you've got gourmet breakfast!

The next morning, let is sit on the counter for 30 minutes, then bake 40 minutes at 350°F.

The result is a golden melt-in-your-mouth egg casserole. Great for a crowd too!

SAUSAGE EGG CASSEROLE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb pork sausage (I went spicy to add a kick!)
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 slices bread, cut into 1/2-1 inch chunks
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

STEPS:

  1. Cook the sausage in a skillet. Crumble well and drain excess fat.
  2. Meanwhile, beat eggs. Add milk, salt, and mustard.
  3. Add bread, cheese, and sausage to egg mixture.
  4. Grease an 8×11 baking dish and pour contents in. Cover in saran wrap and refirgerate overnight.
  5. The next morning, set out for 30 minutes or so before cooking. Bake (uncovered) for 40 minutes at 350°F. Top should be golden brown, and it’s done when a knife comes out clean.

Make this sausage egg casserole the night before, so all you have to do is bake and you've got gourmet breakfast!

Enjoy!

all images copyright Teaspoon of Nose

 

 

A chocolate morning at Mad Hatter’s

So hopefully y’all academically minded people are nearly done with your semesters and headed into the sweetness of summertime! But in the meantime, finals loom. Being married to someone in law school makes me feel like I deserve a degree of my own. I should receive a Juris Doctor of Making Sure There’s Food in the Fridge And Laundry is at Least Sort of Done and Sharing My Husband With the Other Woman Named Law School. Or something.

The good news is that we’re nearly there! Logan graduates in a few short days and we are PUMPED. It’s basically all I can think about. Three years of this. He’ll study for the bar all summer and then we get to be humans again!! Sweet freedom is close.

But since studying has been his main activity over the past three years, a low-bar date idea has always been to go camp out in a coffee shop together and work. When my job allowed me to partially work from home, this was great. Nowadays I’ll grab my laptop or a book to entertain myself with for a few hours while he does Law School Things.

For our most recent study date, we went to Mad Hatter Bakeshop & Cafe in Durham!

A chocolate morning at Durham's Mad Hatter Bakery!

The best part about Mad Hatter’s is they’re a little bit of everything: bakery, coffeeshop, restaurant. They’ve got a killer cookie spread, plus the breakfast offerings are definitely worth checking out!

MadHatter02

Irresistible!

The added advantage of great patio seating and generally enough tables inside means that while this place is often full, we’ve never had to search too hard to get a cozy table to ourselves.

This particular visit happened right near my birthday, so I decided to indulge with a mocha accompanied by a chocolate chip scone. [Can you tell I love chocolate? Subtlety has never been my strong suit.]

A chocolate morning at Durham's Mad Hatter Bakery!

Chocolate perfection.

Espresso drinks come with a little cookie for dunking, which is just about the cutest thing ever. This one tasted like animal crackers! And if you can’t tell, the scone was enormous. More than enough for a morning snack.

Logan took the more restrained route with regular coffee (free refills beat fancy espresso, law school life) and a chocolate croissant. All the dessert share a similar hugeness: these delicacies are not for the faint of heart. Just the way I like them!

MadHatter03

I like some ambient noise when I’m getting things done, and Mad Hatter’s is perfect for that. My visits are typically on Saturday mornings, which means there’s more catching up than studying around me, but ambiance works for both. It’s also really close to Duke’s campus which ups the student atmosphere, but it’s definitely not an undergrad-only place: on the weekends plenty of families stop by for a cookie and coffee break!

Also, in case you were wondering: they do in fact offer more than just chocolate items. Behold: danishes everywhere.

A chocolate morning at Durham's Mad Hatter Bakery!

We camped out for a couple hours. I’m one of those people who never wants to be bored, so I brought two books, my journal, and about four laptop-based projects. Of course I really only worked on about two of those things all told, but never hurts to be prepared! Logan slogged away at his studies.

A chocolate morning at Durham's Mad Hatter Bakery!

After a couple hours, we gave up our table to head home. If you’ve got to study, doing it with chocolate and coffee feels like the best possible scenario!

A chocolate morning at Durham's Mad Hatter Bakery!

What’s your favorite study spot?

all images Teaspoon of Nose

Looking for a fantastic breakfast crockpot to feed a crowd? This egg hashbrown dish is your winner!

Crock pot breakfast egg casserole

For Taylor’s brunch-themed bridal shower, I claimed making an egg casserole. I otfen end up making desserts at these sorts of things, because I love any excuse to make something sweet. But I wanted to take advantage of the chance to cook for a crowd and expand my breakfast repertoire!

Looking for a fantastic breakfast crockpot to feed a crowd? This egg hashbrown dish is your winner!

Looking for a fantastic breakfast crockpot to feed a crowd? This egg hashbrown dish is your winner!

I wanted it to be gluten free and to have some veggies in there, just to sneak some extra flavors in. After spending entirely too much time on Pinterest, I ended up taking this recipe, changing it to fit my needs, and then cooking it overnight in the crockpot the night before to simplify the day’s preparation for the party! (Seriously, crock pots are possibly the best invention ever.)

Plus, bacon.

Looking for a fantastic breakfast crockpot to feed a crowd? This egg hashbrown dish is your winner!

Dice your peppers, onions, garlic and tomatoes.

Crockpot breakfast casserole 02

Cook the bacon chunks, then add the onion.

Looking for a fantastic breakfast crockpot to feed a crowd? This egg hashbrown dish is your winner!

Add the peppers and garlic. After a few minutes, add the tomatoes. Cook until all the veggies are softened.

Crockpot breakfast casserole 05

Let the veggies cool a bit. Meanwhile, whisk egg and milk together.

Looking for a fantastic breakfast crockpot to feed a crowd? This egg hashbrown dish is your winner!

Alternate layers of potatoes, salt & pepper, cheese, and veggies.

Looking for a fantastic breakfast crockpot to feed a crowd? This egg hashbrown dish is your winner!

End with potatoes and cheese!

Looking for a fantastic breakfast crockpot to feed a crowd? This egg hashbrown dish is your winner!

Once all the layers are done, pour the egg mixture over everything.

Looking for a fantastic breakfast crockpot to feed a crowd? This egg hashbrown dish is your winner!

Cook the crockpot on low for 8 hours.

Looking for a fantastic breakfast crockpot to feed a crowd? This egg hashbrown dish is your winner!

You end up with a messy, hearty, tasty breakfast that feeds as many people as you can host!

Crockpot breakfast casserole 12

One note: the quantities in this recipe are huge. We were feeding 30 people at this shower, and there were only two protiens, so I really didn’t want to run out. Also, I have a giant crockpot  which can handle this much. Make sure you can fit all this if you keep the quantities!

CROCKPOT BREAKFAST EGG CASSEROLE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 12 oz bacon (one package, typically), cut into chunks about 1 inch wide
  • 1/2 large onion
  • 2 bell peppers (yellow, red, or orange)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 16 large eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded cheese *
  • 2 lbs shredded hash browns, frozen

*= Cheddar is a traditional choice. This time, I used Trader Joe’s quattro formaggio – think a parmesean and fontina combo.

Looking for a fantastic breakfast crockpot to feed a crowd? This egg hashbrown dish is your winner!

STEPS:

  1. Clean and dice the onion, bell peppers, garlic and tomatoes.
  2. Heat a large skillet, then put the slices of bacon in. Cook bacon until crisp, then add the onion, peppers, and garlic. After 2 minutes, add tomatoes as well. Cook until all veggies are softened. Remove from heat.
  3. Beat eggs with a whisk or fork and add milk. When well combined, set aside.
  4. Grease your crock pot.
  5. Lay down a layer of hash browns – about 1/3 of the bag. Lightly sprinkle some of salt & pepper.
  6. Top with 1/3 of the cheese Add a layer of the bacon and veggie mix.
  7. Repeat steps 5 & 6 until you’ve used all the hash browns, cheese, and veggies.
  8. Pour the egg mixture over everything, making sure it all gets coated.
  9. Cook on low for 8 hours. This is a great one to set up overnight and have ready in the morning for breakfast!

Looking for a fantastic breakfast crockpot to feed a crowd? This egg hashbrown dish is your winner!

What’s your favorite breakfast food to feed a crowd?

all images copyright Teaspoon of Nose

 

A yogurt bar is perfect for a brunch themed bridal shower!

Bridal shower yogurt bar

This spring and summer will be a whirlwind of wedding related events. Two of my dear friends and college roommates are getting married this summer, and both asked each of us roommates to be bridesmaids! Which has been an AMAZING honor – it has been so much fun to celebrate both these women who I love so dearly!

This past weekend, Taylor’s bridesmaids threw a bridal shower.It was so much fun!

Celebrating Taylor with a brunch-themed shower!

Taylor & her bridesmaids!

Celebrating Taylor with a brunch-themed shower!We decided to do a brunch-themed party: who doesn’t love brunch?!?

The theme ended up being especially fitting, considering the gifts she received were almost entirely for the kitchen! Never have I ever seen so many darling matching kitchen dishes – most of the Pioneer Woman line made an appearance! I’m looking forward to the future dinner parties on her gorgeous kitchen set.

We had a gorgeous spread- the biggest muffins you’ve ever seen, mimosas and bellinis, fruit, two egg casseroles, as well as some of the best dips I’ve ever tasted!

Celebrating Taylor with a brunch-themed shower!

And cake. So much delicious cake.

Celebrating Taylor with a brunch-themed shower!

One of my favorite parts of the shower was another food item. [Really, no one should be surprised that I focused on the food.] Trying to think of another breakfast/brunchy  item that would please a crowd, I came across the idea for a yogurt bar! (Thanks Pinterest.)

Celebrating Taylor with a brunch-themed shower!

The concept is super simple: get a couple types of yogurt and all your favorite tasty toppings in one place, and let people go crazy!

Advantages of a yogurt bar:

  1. customizable – people can do what they like!
  2. easy to make work for vegetarians/gluten-free
  3. gives a healthy option if people feel so inclined. You know, if you need to balance out those mimosas and muffins.

It perfectly fit a bridal shower too: the yogurt is rich and smooth and creamy, striking the right balance between decadent and light, combining fun and sweet and healthy.

For our shower, I chose three types of yogurt. We had about 30 people there, so I wanted to try and have options for everyone!  I bought plain Greek yogurt, vanilla Greek yogurt, and plain (non-Greek/regular) yogurt. I kept my flavors basic, to better dress up with toppings!

A yogurt bar is perfect for a brunch themed bridal shower!

Toppings we used included: granola, strawberries, bananas, honey, and chocolate chips. You can’t go wrong with fruits, so feel free to experiment and see what people like the most!

At the shower I picked vanilla Greek yogurt with strawberries and chocolate chips. [Adding chocolate chips to anything is a win, right???]

A yogurt bar is perfect for a brunch themed bridal shower!

Another plus: whatever leftovers you have will feed you breakfast (or dessert!) for the next couple days. I’ve been starting my day with plain Greek yogurt topped with a splash of honey or bananas all week, and loving it!

Celebrating Taylor with a brunch-themed shower!

That’s my favorite brunch-themed party food! Enjoy!

A yogurt bar is perfect for a brunch themed bridal shower!

all images copyright Teaspoon of Nose