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Apple Pecan Buttermilk Pancakes

Fluffy pancakes with apples, pecans and a touch of cardamom |


For the past year, whenever I made pancakes I would make my Cornmeal Ricotta Pancakes or these Raspberry Oatmeal Yogurt Pancakes by my friend over at Inspired Edibles.  Both have been our favorite pancakes for quite a while, but now they have some serious competition.

With this year’s plentiful and delicious fall apples, I’ve been making these Apple Pecan Buttermilk Pancakes.  They are so moist, and can be sweet or a little tart depending on the type of apples used.  The pecans add a bit of a crunch, and if you toast them first, you get a little extra flavor that complements the apples quite well.  Top the pancakes with warm maple syrup for a delicious weekend brunch.

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Peaches with Fried Grits and Pecans

A breakfast of fried grits, sliced peaches, toasted pecans and mint, topped with maple syrup #breakfast #grits #peaches @mjskitchen


Do you find yourself stuck in a rut for breakfast at times, bored with another smoothie or bowl of cereal with fruit?  If so, then I think you’ll find this breakfast – Fried Grits with Peaches and Pecans – quite refreshing.  It’s a hearty breakfast, but not heavy.  It’s sweet and savory with lots of texture and flavor, and it’s also quite versatile in that you can use just about any fruit you have on hand.  We just really like it with peaches.

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Quick & Easy Cherry Jam

A quick & easy cherry jam, no pectin, just cherries, sugar and lemon juice |


Very seldom do I get a special request to make something, but last week Bobby came home with 2 pounds of fresh cherries and asked “Will you make me a cherry jam?”.  How could I refuse?  The 2 pounds gave us enough cherries for a pint of jam, plus a few to snack on.

The recipe below is one of my quick & easy jams.  It makes one jar of cherry jam that is intended to be refrigerated and eaten, not sealed and stored for the winter.  There are three ingredients – cherries, sugar and lemon juice.  The process requires no large pots of boiling jars and lids, and only about 20 minutes of stirring.  The most time consuming part is pitting the cherries.  The result of about 45 minutes of work? … a pint of cherry heaven!

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Quick & Easy Meal Ideas

Quick & Easy Meal Ideas @MJ's Kitchen |


We all have the need for a variety of quick & easy (Q&E) meals to fall back on for those nights when we just don’t have the time or the energy to put together an elaborate or time-consuming meal.  However, because we still want to eat good food that tastes like we did put a lot of effort into it, our quick & easy meals need to be delicious.

Today I’m sharing some of my favorite meals and meal ideas that I’ve been using for many years. They all take less than 45 minutes from start to finish and most take less than 30 minutes. I’ve also included links to some Q&E meals that I have on my list to try. I hope you find a few that you too, can use to make your life a little easier.

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Cranberry Orange Steel Cut Oats

Steet cut oats with cranberries, orange and nuts. It tastes like cranberry bread! |


These Cranberry Orange steel cut oats were inspired by my favorite Tried and True Cranberry Bread recipe.  Like the bread, three simple ingredients – dried cranberries, orange zest and nuts – transform a boring bowl of oatmeal into a creamy, healthy, nutty, and tasty breakfast.

If you’ve ever made steel cuts, you know they take 30 to 45 minutes to cook, unless, you pre-soak them.  I used to soak them overnight, but since I found myself forgetting most nights, I’ve gone to a pre-soak in the morning.  While I’m steeping my first cup of tea, I boil some water, pour in the oats, cover and let them soak until I get hungry.  It only takes 30 minutes but they can soak as long as you want. Once pre-soaked, the oats only take about 15 minutes to cook up.

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Spiced Chocolate Atole

Spiced Chocolate Atole: Chocolate almond milk with atole (blue corn flour), red chile and other spices |


One of my favorite breakfasts when I was a kid was a pop tart and a glass of chocolate milk made with Bosco.  Now that I’ve grown up a bit, I still like my chocolate milk, but I’ve made the switch from Bosco to chocolate almond milk and instead of pop tarts, I prefer a slice of banana bread or cranberry bread.  Also, instead of just plain chocolate milk, I whisk in a little atole (toasted blue corn flour), a dash of ginger, and a few other spices, for a spicy hot beverage that is quite satisfying on a cold morning.

This Spiced Chocolate Atole is a version of champurrado, but is lighter (not as thick) than most champurrado recipes and is also lighter than my winter atole smoothies I shared back in 2013. It is also much easier to make.  Nothing to blend, just a little whisking.  In the winter, I like it hot, but it can also be served cold for a summer beverage.  Just make it the day before and refrigerate.

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Grits with Red Chile and Cheese

Grits with red chile paste, roasted red chile and cheese |


As many of you already know, grits and chile is one of my all time favorite breakfasts.  At least once a week I’m cooking up a pot of grits and in the cooler months, we could be eating them 2 to 3 times a week.  With all of the great chiles out there it is pretty easy to keep our grits exciting by changing up the flavor with different chiles and cheese.  In previous years, I’ve shared my chipotle, feta and grits and my grits and green chile.  Now it’s time for Grits with Red Chile and Cheese.  These grits are just as easy to make as all of the others and can be made in less than 20 minutes; however, you do need some kind of red chile paste and either some roasted red chile or roasted red bell peppers.

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Green Chile Home Fries with Leeks and Carrots

A spicy stovetop winner with country fried potatoes, leeks, carrots and New Mexico green chile. @MJsKitchen


It is personally a challenge for me to make a potato dish without adding green chile especially during green chile season, and a challenge for which I gladly accept failure.  Potatoes and green chile are two ingredients that are just meant for each other and that’s all there is to it.

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Hash Brown Cakes with Andouille Sausage

Hash Brown Cakes with Andouille sausage and red chile pepper flakes.


There are potato cakes and then there are hash brown cakes.  Hash brown cakes are made with grated, uncooked potatoes, where as potato cakes are made with mashed potatoes.  My preference – hash brown cakes – any day of the week.  The Hash Brown Cakes that I’m dishing up today have it all.  They have andouille sausage, some diced vegetables, Pecorino Romano, and last, but not least, a very special red chile flake all the way from Turkey.  Serve these cakes with a vegetable side, some pinto beans or top with a fried egg for a complete meal.  See the Kitchen Notes for more side suggestions.

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