Eat & Drink

Breakfast recipes from scones to potato hash for Valentine's Day and beyond

Pomegranate and White Chocolate Scones from Jefferson House bed-and-breakfast.
Pomegranate and White Chocolate Scones from Jefferson House bed-and-breakfast. Special to The Star

Hearts and flowers, greeting cards and chocolates, spa treatments and exquisite dining all create romance on Valentine’s Day.

But what about making breakfast at home for your sweetheart? Bed-and-breakfasts know just what to serve to start the day off with a bit of romance, and the owners of Kansas City’s Jefferson House and Oak Street Mansion agreed to share their favorite recipes.

Whether you create their sweet or their savory breakfast dishes on Valentine’s Day — or both — your sweetheart will long remember your efforts.

“I think cooking for someone is a very romantic thing to do,” says Theresa Robinson, who owns the Jefferson House with her husband, Peter.

The Robinsons were living in England until they fell in love with Kansas City during Theresa’s ceramics residency at Red Star Studios. Today guests share their 1890s house, which features vintage woodwork and European antiques, modern private baths, contemporary art and a location near restaurants and shops in the West Side neighborhood.

Theresa’s breakfasts incorporate local and seasonal ingredients. Favorite dishes include panna cotta with honey and toasted nuts and apfelpfannkuchen (German baked apple pancake) served on ceramic tableware made by Theresa.

For Valentine’s Day, Theresa serves heart-shaped Pomegranate and White Chocolate Scones or her hearty waffles, a twist on Bubble and Squeak (a British dish of cabbage and potatoes fried into cakes).

“Romance is for showing the person you love that you’re thinking about them,” Peter says. “Breakfast here is a time to relax with your partner, to think only of yourselves and enjoy a unique experience. The menu may be inspired by a recipe from an 18th-century London coaching inn or a Breton village in 20th-century France.”

Jefferson House, 1728 Jefferson St. 816-673-6291; jeffersonhousekc.com

Artful romance

Located near the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Oak Street Mansion offers luxury lodging amid an international art collection owned by the Roland and Marcia Sabates family. Their son, John, manages the Georgian revival-style “art hotel” where works of art are grouped by theme to give every room a different character.

“I think the art is romantic, and there’s so much art in this neighborhood,” John says.

Guests are treated to fresh-squeezed orange juice, fresh pastries or yogurt with mint served on gorgeous vintage china. Fingerling Potato Hash is a year-round favorite, made with spinach, baby bella mushrooms, bell pepper and onion, and topped with two lightly poached eggs.

But for Valentine’s Day, Sabates and his staff serve Vanilla Belgian Waffles with a strawberry balsamic or blueberry bourbon reduction or Red Velvet Pancakes With Sweetened Cream Cheese, Coconut and Toasted Pecans near a cozy fireplace.

“Romance is about whomever you’re eating with, good ingredients and a comfortable environment,” he says. “We put a lot of care and thought into everything that we serve.”

Oak Street Mansion, 4343 Oak St. 816-730-1754; oakstreetmansion.com

Lisa Waterman Gray is a freelance food and travel writer from Overland Park.

More wake up calls

▪ Southmoreland on the Plaza

116 E. 46th St.

816-531-7979

Owners: Nancy Miller and Mark Reichle

Located near the Country Club Plaza, this B&B inside a 100-year-old house has welcomed guests since 1990. “You’re nestled here in the city, and … can stroll down to have cocktails at the Plaza or visit the Nelson,” Nancy says. “You’re celebrating with each other.”

While fresh cookies and hot beverages, and complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres are typical guest perks, champagne and frosted, heart-shaped cookies are other possibilities on Valentine’s Day. Guests may also celebrate with specialty items such as heart-shaped bacon with chipotle and brown sugar or chocolate waffles with mint butter cream.

▪ Casa Somerset

16315 W. 287th St., Paola, Kan.

913-557-9288

Owners: Mike and Christine Hursey

Casa Somerset was built to resemble an Italian villa. Italian music and wine can be enjoyed by a fireplace or on the veranda. Valentine’s Day breakfasts may include heart-shaped waffles with warm maple syrup. The Hurseys also serve their version of bicerin, a beverage invented in Turin, Italy, featuring “layers” of coffee, chocolate and cream.

Chef Mike believes that a couple exploring flavors together create bonds, and sharing kitchen duties at home can be romantic. “Be sure to take your time and don’t rush,” he says. “Romantic music and a little dancing in the kitchen are great, too!”

Jefferson House Pomegranate and White Chocolate Scones

Makes 8 to 10 servings

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream, divided

3/4 cup pomegranate seeds (about half a pomegranate)

1/2 cup chopped white chocolate (or use white chocolate chips)

Fruit compote or honey butter, for serving

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and  1/3 cup sugar. In a separate bowl, mix together vanilla and 1  1/2 cups heavy cream. Add pomegranate seeds and white chocolate into the flour mixture and toss to mix until just combined.

Drizzle the cream mixture over the dry ingredients, stirring as you pour. (Use a gentle stir with a wooden spoon; you don’t want to break down the pomegranate seeds.) Continue stirring the mixture only until a dough begins to form. Knead dough gently on a lightly floured surface to form a ball. Flatten dough and roll out to  3/4 -inch thickness.

Use a floured biscuit cutter to cut scones. Place 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheet. Brush with 2 tablespoons cream and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until golden brown and cooked through, approximately 15 minutes.

Serve scones warm with fruit compote or honey butter.

Per serving, based on 8: 459 calories (44 percent from fat), 22 grams total fat (15 grams saturated), 66 milligrams cholesterol, 57 grams carbohydrates, 7 grams protein, 489 milligrams sodium, 1 gram dietary fiber.

Oak Street Mansion Vanilla Belgian Waffles

Makes 3 to 4 servings

For the waffles:

2 1/2 cups cake flour

Pinch of salt

1 tablespoon baking powder

3 eggs

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 cup whole milk

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled

For the Strawberry Balsamic Reduction:

2 cups frozen strawberries

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Blueberry Bourbon Reduction:

2 cups frozen blueberries

1/2 cup sugar, approximately

1 tablespoon brown sugar

Dash of cinnamon

1 tablespoon vanilla

1/4 cup bourbon

Fresh berries and whipped cream, for garnish

To make the waffles: In a large mixing bowl, combine cake flour, salt and baking powder.

Into two separate smaller bowls, separate eggs. Combine yolks with sugar, vanilla, milk and melted butter. Whip whites until fluffy.

Add egg yolk mixture and egg whites into flour mixture; stir until just combined but don’t overmix.

Cook according to waffle iron instructions and keep on wire rack in a warm oven until ready to serve.

To make the Strawberry Balsamic Reduction: In a saucepan over medium-low heat, combine strawberries, sugar, balsamic vinegar and vanilla. Simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. (Makes 1 cup.)

To make the Blueberry Bourbon Reduction: In a saucepan over medium-low heat, combine blueberries, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and bourbon in a saucepan. Simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. (Makes 1 cup.)

To serve: Drizzle waffles with syrup and top with fresh berries and whipped cream, if desired.

Per serving, based on 3, with Strawberry Balsamic Reduction: 967 calories (37 percent from fat), 39 grams total fat (22 grams saturated), 306 milligrams cholesterol, 135 grams carbohydrates, 17 grams protein, 957 milligrams sodium, 3 grams dietary fiber.

With Blueberry Bourbon Reduction: 1,032 calories (36 percent from fat), 39 grams total fat (22 grams saturated), 306 milligrams cholesterol, 145 grams carbohydrates, 17 grams protein, 967 milligrams sodium, 3 grams dietary fiber.

Oak Street Mansion Red Velvet Pancakes

Makes 1 dozen (5-inch) pancakes

For the pancakes:

2 cups all-purpose flour

Dash of salt

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 large eggs

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted and cooled

About 2 cups buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon cider vinegar

1 teaspoon red food coloring

For the sweetened cream cheese:

1/2 cup cream cheese

1/4 cup powdered sugar

Dash vanilla extract

1/4 cup whole milk, divided

Coconut shavings, toasted pecans and maple syrup, for garnish

To make the waffles: In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder and cocoa powder.

In a separate mixing bowl, combine sugars, eggs, butter, buttermilk, vanilla, vinegar and food coloring. Mix dry ingredients into wet but don’t overmix; the batter should be lumpy.

To make the cream cheese: Whip cream cheese and powdered sugar on medium speed with a mixer. Add vanilla and  1/4 teaspoon of milk at a time until you reach desired thickness.

To serve: Serve waffles with cream cheese. Garnish with coconut shavings, toasted pecans and maple syrup.

Per pancake: 280 calories (29 percent from fat), 9 grams total fat (5 grams saturated), 60 milligrams cholesterol, 43 grams carbohydrates, 7 grams protein, 313 milligrams sodium, 1 gram dietary fiber.

Oak Street Mansion Fingerling Potato Hash

Makes 4 to 6 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 pounds fingerling potatoes, diced

1 white onion, large dice

Salt and pepper, to taste

1/4 teaspoon garlic salt, or more to taste

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 red bell pepper, large dice

8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced

A handful of fresh spinach

1 tablespoon olive oil

8 to 12 eggs

Vinegar, for poaching

In a large nonstick skillet, add olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add potatoes, onion, salt, pepper, garlic salt and cayenne pepper. Turn down the heat and cook gently over low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning.

When potatoes are cooked through, add bell peppers and cook 3 to 4 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. until vegetables are tender. Remove the skillet from the heat and add spinach, allowing it to wilt. Set aside.

Fill a saucepan with 2 to 3 inches of water and add a couple of tablespoons of vinegar; this will keep the whites of the poached eggs intact. Bring the water to a boil, then turn the heat down and allow to come to a gentle simmer.

To poach the eggs, crack one into a bowl, making sure not to break the yolk. Gently lower the bowl to the water surface and slide the egg into the hot water. Repeat the process with another egg. Allow both eggs to cook 2 to 3 minutes, until the yolks are covered with a thin white film. Use a slotted spoon to gently remove the egg from the water and drain. Repeat the process with the remaining eggs.

Top each serving of hash with two lightly poached eggs.

Per serving, based on 4: 421 calories (36 percent from fat), 17 grams total fat (4 grams saturated), 424 milligrams cholesterol, 49 grams carbohydrates, 19 grams protein, 288 milligrams sodium, 6 grams dietary fiber.

Jefferson House Bubble and Squeak Waffles

Makes 10 to 12 servings

For the waffles:

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 onion, chopped

3/4 cup mixed vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts, beets, kale, potato (precook root vegetables)

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

3 ounces precooked bacon/ham or sausage, chopped

1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh green herbs of your choice

1 1/2 cups milk

3 eggs

4 tablespoons butter, melted

Poached eggs, for serving

For the hollandaise sauce:

2 large egg yolks

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Salt and pepper, to taste

Pinch of paprika, optional

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter

For the blueberry compote:

3 cups blueberries (if using frozen berries there is no need to thaw)

1/4 cup water

3/4 cup sugar

Juice of 1 lemon

To make the waffles: Heat waffle iron according to manufacturers’ directions.

Heat olive oil in a pan, add onion and vegetables and cook over medium-low heat until just beginning to caramelize; cooking time will vary according to the vegetable combination you choose. Remove vegetable mixture from heat and set aside; allow mixture to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and pepper. Sprinkle in the cheese, bacon/ham or sausage, and chopped herbs; gently fold through the flour mixture using a fork. Add the cooked vegetables and, using a fork, gently fold into the flour mixture.

In a separate bowl, combine the milk and eggs and whisk together with the butter. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix just until blended.

To make hollandaise: Put egg yolks, lemon juice, salt, pepper and paprika in blender and process on low speed until combined. Melt butter until sizzling. With the blender on low, slowly add the melted butter to the egg and lemon mixture. Continue to blend until mixture emulsifies and becomes thick, approximately 1 minute. (Sauce can be kept warm at the back of the stove for an hour or so but is best used straight away.)

To make compote: Place berries, water, sugar and lemon juice in heavy saucepan, boil uncovered for 5 minutes until berries begin to pop. Reduce heat and continue to cook until compote thickens slightly. Remove from heat, serve warm or at room temperature. Compote will keep in the fridge for a week or so.

To serve: Ladle the batter into your hot waffle iron and cook until desired doneness. Serve hot, with a poached egg, hollandaise sauce, or a drizzle of wild berry compote, if desired.

Per serving, based on 10: 425 calories (50 percent from fat), 24 grams total fat (13 grams saturated), 159 milligrams cholesterol, 43 grams carbohydrates, 11 grams protein, 650 milligrams sodium, 3 grams dietary fiber.

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