December 9, 2012 by caitlinvaclark
I love the idea of non-traditional hostess gifts, as in breaking away from the old stand-bys: a bottle of wine or christmas cookies. Of course, I also love getting a bottle of wine. So really, maybe I just love the idea of presents. But there’s a simple holiday thrill in coming up with something thoughtful to give. When attending parties this season, one of my favorite ideas is bringing your hosts breakfast for the next morning. It’s so nice to start your morning with something delicious before attacking all the dishes and crumbs and recycling.
Chris and I attended a holiday open house at one of his coworker’s homes last night. Their house was beautiful, warm and inviting, and they provided a wonderful spread of food and drinks- even homemade eggnog!!
Here’s my recipe for a simple hostess gift for any parties you might attend this season: bread and butter…
Cranberry Banana Walnut Bread and Maple Butter, that is.
This recipe makes two loaves so you can keep one for yourself. I’m assuming you’ll want a tasty and ready to go breakfast after a night out, too!
Cranberry Banana Walnut Bread
Makes 2 loaves
2/3 cup butter, melted
5 ripe bananas, mashed
¾ cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbs lemon or orange zest
½ tsp nutmeg
3 cups flour
½ tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 cup chopped cranberries
1 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350˚F.
Combine the first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Lightly beat and then add the eggs, one at a time.
Stir in the vanilla, zest, and nutmeg. Then add the flour, salt, and baking soda. Once well combined, gently stir in the cranberries and walnuts.
Divide into two bread pans. Bake for 50 minutes. Check to see that a toothpick comes out clean. If not make 5 more minutes.
Allow to cool 10 minutes in the pan. Then remove and cool completely on a wire rack. Or cut while still warm and slather with maple butter (recipe follows) and enjoy!!
1 stick butter (8 Tbs), room temperature
¼ cup maple syrup
Once the butter is softened, use a handheld mixer and blend butter with syrup until well combined and smooth. Form into a log, rolled into wax paper. Place into the fridge to set.
While I was at it this morning, I wanted to clear out the refrigerator a bit, and the easiest way to do this on a Sunday morning is a frittata. I had 9 egg whites left from my lemon curd earlier this week, plus some extra roasted potatoes from my Coq au Vin soup.
Leftover central becomes a great breakfast! I added two more eggs, a few splashes of milk, some sharp cheddar cheese, and some seasonings. Lately I’ve been on a kick of adding Penzey’s breakfast sausage seasoning to my eggs. Even if I don’t have meat, it gives the an extra zing.
The key to a frittata is a well buttered pan. Add your veggies or meat, pour in your egg mixture, and just let it set. Once the edges begin to cook, it’s ready for the oven.
10 minutes later and a flip onto a cutting board and breakfast is served! Don’t forget that the pan has been in the oven- no bare hands on the handle, please!
General Frittata Recipe
2 Tbs milk
1/2 tsp breakfast sausage seasoning or salt and pepper
1/2 to 1 cup any combination of vegetables, meats, and cheese
Butter for pan
Preheat oven to 400˚F.
Whisk together the eggs, milk, and seasonings.
Heat an 8 or 9 inch oven safe pan over medium heat. Coat the base and sides with butter. Add the vegetables or meat. Pour in the eggs and top with cheese.
Allow the eggs to begin to set, about 4 minutes.
Carefully place the pan in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Check to see that the center of of the frittata doesn’t jiggle. Remove from oven and invert onto a cutting board.
Slice and serve.