Tree Classics Favorite Recipes: 10 Breakfast Essentials

Healthy and satisfying are the two main requirements for an American breakfast. Tree Classics shares with you 10 must-have dishes to help you start your day right.

All-American breakfast of fresh fruits and whole grain cereals from Tree Classics
Photo by ralph and jenny via Flickr CC BY 2.0

1. Maple-Glazed Pears and Cereals

Eating tasty maple-glazed pears and cereals for breakfast can give you the nutrition you need for sustained energy. Real maple syrup features high levels of antioxidants, zinc, and manganese, which keep the heart healthy and boost the immune system.

Pears are a good source of fiber, vitamin E, C, B2, potassium, and copper. Whole grain cereals contain many essential vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that have been linked to significant health benefits, such as lowering the risk of coronary heart disease, diabetes, and colon cancer.

2. Oatmeal with Banana and Molasses

Delicious and comforting, warm oatmeal with banana and molasses can satisfy your hunger easily, and it can make you feel full until lunch. The whole grain oats in this meal help prevent heart diseases and type 2 diabetes, and also help lower bad cholesterol. Bananas add flavor while helping dieters reach weight-loss goals and keep bowels healthy. They also provide nutrients that regulate heart rhythm and contain vitamin compounds for eye health. Sweet organic molasses, which has a high mineral content, is a healthy energy-booster as well as a natural laxative.

3. Whole Grain Pancakes with Maple Syrup

Whole grain pancakes are a delicious way to add fiber and nutrients to the body first thing in the morning. These pancakes will help you feel full longer than do white flour pancakes. The milk and eggs in the pancake batter also provide protein and calcium. Additionally, eggs are a great source of vitamins A and B as well as other nutrients needed for nerve and brain health. Top the pancakes with maple syrup to increase their health benefits!

4. Granola Yogurt Berry Parfait

Make breakfast more fun with this granola yogurt berry parfait. Assemble it by layering your favorite granola, plain yogurt, fresh blue berries and other fruit. Drizzle with honey. Made from oats, granola is rich in fiber and antioxidants. Yogurt contains probiotics that promote good digestion. Blueberry is known as the antioxidant super fruit because of its high concentration of antioxidants.

5. Breakfast Quinoa

Quinoa is usually served in savory side dishes but it also makes a wonderful hot breakfast meal. This high-protein seed contains all nine essential amino acids, and has almost twice as much fiber as most other grains. Serve it with milk, honey, cinnamon, and blueberries for a tasty, healthy breakfast treat.

6. Turkey BLT Sandwich

Turkey bacon is a healthy alternative to pork, which has long been a staple of American breakfast. Turkey bacon is a rich source of dietary protein and vitamin B12, and comes with a relatively low fat content while retaining the flavor of regular bacon. Romaine lettuce adds crunch to the sandwich, as well as fiber, folate, and antioxidants. Sweet, juicy tomatoes are a rich source of potassium, vitamins, and cancer-fighting lycopene. The whole wheat bread maximizes the nutritional goodness of this meal with more fiber.

7. French Toast with Blueberries and Strawberry Jam

French toast stuffed with fruit and jam is a refreshing way to wake up in the morning. French toast offers nutrients from egg and milk, and because bread is rich in carbohydrates, it gives you the energy you need to start the day. Top it with blueberries and strawberry jam – and the classic breakfast becomes even more appetizing.

8. Tomato and Basil Quiche

Quiches are great for breakfast or brunch, and are ideal for families on the go. You can whip a batch at night and enjoy it hot or cold in the morning. Eating a tomato and basil quiche lets you enjoy the flavors and nutrients of eggs, milk, tomatoes, and basil, which not only lends a sweet, earthy aroma but also offers an impressive list of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins K and A, and minerals calcium, manganese, and iron.

9. Chunky Apple Muffins

Muffins are a delicious way to get the energy you need for the day. They’re great for a quick breakfast or snack, and, like quiches, can be made the night before. Filled with oats, bran, and plenty of fruit, these chunky apple muffins contain plenty of fiber. In addition, apples are high in potassium, which helps control blood pressure, and quercetin, a powerful antioxidant that protects brain cells from degeneration.

10. Spinach Breakfast Stuffins

Combining spinach, red bell pepper, egg, milk, and whole grain bread cut into cubes, spinach breakfast stuffins are not only filling but also packed with nutrients. The spinach provides vitamins K, A, C, B2, and B6 as well as minerals such as magnesium, folate, manganese, iron, calcium, and potassium. Red bell pepper gives the body phytochemicals and a decent amount of fiber.

Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day. With these healthy recipes, you can eat like a king and get the energy and nutrients you need to get going.

At Home with Tree Classics: 2 Easy Ways to Mix Old and New Styles

A popular misconception about home decorating is that a room has to stick with one style or period. In reality, combining old and new pieces can give your home a sense of richness and depth.

By skillfully mixing a variety of styles, you can create an inspiring look that transcends periods and gives an impression of having been assembled over time. Here are two easy ways you can spruce up your home with a tasteful blending of classic and modern furnishings.

Option 1: Add Classic Elegance to Modern Spaces

In this living room, a restored Victorian settee and classic wing chair are paired off with a sleek, modern sofa. Old empty photo frames provide texture to the clean white wall, and also create contrast to the purple metallic art. The recurring colors in the fabrics, accessories, and furniture weave all the pieces together.

How to mix old and new furnishings
Contemporary Living Room by Danville Interior Designers & Decorators Nina Jizhar

 

Using a family heirloom or a favorite antique as a focal point makes a modern room more interesting. Because an old piece often has a story to tell, it can bring a sense of warmth to a space that may be considered rigid and impersonal. In this modern kitchen, a wonderful large antique table that is a bit worn around the edges adds a touch of history.

How to mix old and new furnishings
Modern Kitchen by San Francisco Architects & Designers John Lum Architecture, Inc. AIA

 

Retro pieces are great for introducing a sense of nostalgia in a modern environment. The best thing about retro pieces is that they blend well in contemporary settings. Funky accessories like these old-fashioned poster and wall-mounted rotary phone look charming in a modern kitchen.

How to mix old and new furnishings
Contemporary Kitchen by Toronto Interior Designers & Decorators Palmerston Design Consultants

 

Option 2: Give a Contemporary Touch to a Quaint Setting

Breathe fresh life into a traditional space by placing updated pieces. This is often the easiest formula to achieving a modern yet cozy room. The brushed nickel faucet and silver light fixtures in this kitchen provide a cool contrast to the warm-colored countertop and wall tiles. The result is a functional space with a quaint and homey atmosphere.

How to mix old and new furnishings
Traditional Kitchen by Glen Ellyn Kitchen & Bath Remodelers The Kitchen Studio of Glen Ellyn

 

You can also retain the old world charm of a place by preserving brick walls as accent walls. In this quaint breakfast nook, the old brick archway remains, while the inner walls have been given a sleek paint finish.

How to mix old and new furnishings
Eclectic Dining Room by Denver Interior Designers & Decorators Andrea Schumacher Interiors

 

Many people think that mixing the old with the new can make a room feel chaotic. With these two easy decorating options from Tree Classics, you can take any style or period, and give your room a timeless look.

An Apple a Day: 30 Wonderful Apple Recipes for September

Three delicious apples

In celebration of the Apple Month of September, Tree Classics pays homage to America’s favorite fruit. Here are 30 healthy and delectable apple recipes, from appetizers to desserts, to keep the doctor away each day:

Appetizer

Apple Relish

Apple relish is a simple delicious dish that brings out the goodness of the more ordinary flavors of hamburgers and hot dogs. Cooking this sweet tangy appetizer is as easy as combining chopped green apples with green and red bell peppers, sugar, and apple cider vinegar. Season it with salt and pepper to taste. OPTIONAL: Add raisins and spice with a pinch of cayenne pepper and turmeric for a bit of heat.

Apple Salsa with Cinnamon Chips

Great both as an appetizer and snack, this fruit-and-chips combo is a sure fire hit! Make the apple salsa by combining apples with strawberries, pears, or grapes, along with a few tablespoons of orange juice, grated orange peel, and brown sugar. Spoon the salsa over cinnamon-sprinkled flour tortilla, and enjoy with your friends!

Baked Apples with Feta and Thyme

Apple, cheese, and a little seasoning make up this glorious appetizer all foodies will appreciate. Try this by baking apple halves with apple cider and thyme, and stuffing the centers with raisins, feta cheese, thyme, and olive oil. The saltiness of the feta cheese balances the sweetness of the apples and raisins quite beautifully to make this dish a lovely way to start your meal.

Sausage Apple Tarts

This savory puff pastry tart will fill your kitchen with appetizing aromas. The best thing is it takes only 15 minutes to bake! Just stir-fry the sausage and onion with the apples, and scoop up about a tablespoonful into each muffin pastry. Bake and sprinkle with cheese.

Apple Chicken Rolls

Stimulate your appetite with this winning dish that combines two of the world’s most favorite foods. To make apple chicken rolls, place finely chopped apples, onions, parsley, and breadcrumbs on top of the chicken. Roll and secure the chicken with toothpicks, and brown it in a skillet with melted butter. Splash a little wine or brandy while cooking.

Tuna-Apple Mini Melts

Give a refreshing spin to your canned tuna with this healthy, tasty bite-sized appetizer recipe. Combine mayonnaise, diced apples, celery, red onions, hard boiled egg, and tuna. Add lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Divide the creamy tuna-apple mixture among phyllo shells then top with cheese. Broil until the cheese melts.

Main Course

A savory dinner using apples

Grilled Apple Chicken

This elegant dish is sweet, juicy, and very filling. You can even slice any leftover chicken into strips and serve them on a bed of salad greens or as sandwiches. To make grilled apple chicken, marinate chicken breast halves in a mixture of apple juice, lemon juice, soy sauce, honey, garlic powder and ground ginger. Grill over medium heat on each side or until juices run clear, and serve with apple rings.

Pork Chops with Apple & Onions

Pork chops with sautéed apples and onions served over rice or mashed potatoes offer fantastic flavors that never disappoint. Start by seasoning pork chops generously with salt and pepper, then sear pork chops to a nice golden brown. Sauté onions and apples in butter, and cover the chops with the apple mixture.

Apple Cider Beef Stew

Apple cider beef stew is a simple and sweet meal the whole family will enjoy. Apples and apple cider give the beef in this recipe a mellow sweetness. To make the dish, season beef cubes with flour, salt, pepper, and thyme. Brown the beef on a large pot with olive oil. Add apple cider, water, cider vinegar, and bay leaf.  Stir in carrots, potatoes, onions, celery, and apple. Serve with a hearty bread.

Ribs with Apples and Sauerkraut

Savor the aroma and flavor of pork country-style ribs with apples. Combine potatoes, carrots, onion, browned pork ribs, and sauerkraut in electric crockery cooker. Mix apple cider, caraway seed, and cloves, and pour over sauerkraut. Turn the drippings into gravy by boiling it with apples and flour diluted in water.

Lamb Shoulder Chops with Apples and Prunes

Bring a touch of French country into your dining table by serving lamb shoulder chops with apples and prunes.  Sauté apples in butter, add shallots and garlic, and a mixture of brandy, vinegar, prunes, and bay leaf. Boil until liquid is reduced to a glaze, and season with salt and pepper. Serve over medium-rare lamb chops.

Apple Glazed Turkey

Why wait until November when you can relish Thanksgiving’s culinary super star today? Mix apple cider or juice, butter, and honey, and brush over the entire turkey 45 minutes before it completes cooking. Glaze the bird several times more before finally removing it from the oven.

Side Dish

Apple Cole Slaw

A selection of side dishes that use apples

Our Apple Cole Slaw complements a meal with the delicious flavors of fruit and veggies in a sweet dressing. Plus, it’s so easy to throw together. Just mix together cabbage, apples, carrots, and green onions. For the dressing, combine mayonnaise, brown sugar, and a splash of lemon juice.

Apple Mashed Potatoes

The addition of apples in mashed potato makes this side dish a real winner, and it works great with any meat! To prepare, mash boiled apples and potatoes. Add butter, vinegar, and sugar. Top with bacon and onions, and a dash of ground nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Wild Rice Pilaf with Cranberries and Apples

Add color and flavor to your favorite fall meal with a great side dish recipe that features the perfect blend of tart cranberries and the nutty, earthy taste of wild rice. Combine diced apples with cooked wild rice pilaf. Stir in a mixture of oil, vinegar, and sugar, and top with toasted almonds, cranberries, raisin, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

Apple Salad

This sweet, creamy apple salad recipe has a beautiful mix of flavors and textures. You’ll love the crunch of the apples, celery, and nuts, the sweetness of craisins, and the citrus undertones in the dressing. Make this side dish by combining sour cream, mayonnaise, sugar, and lemon juice. Add chopped apples, craisins, and nuts, and serve on lettuce leaves.

Green Apple Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

Give a light, crisp, and delicious contrast to rich turkey dishes and heavier meals with this Green Apple Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette recipe. The side dish offers cool, tangy, tart, and crunchy layers of textures and flavors achieved by combining celery, apples, and walnuts in  a vinaigrette of Dijon mustard, honey, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Brussel Sprouts with Apples and Bacon

Smokey. Crisp. Sweet. Savory! All these come together in this hearty side dish perfect for the fall. Make this delicious medley by combining bacon crisps with caramelized onions, charred sprouts, and cooked apples. Spice it up with a dash of pepper.

Beverage

apple smoothie

Honey-Apple Tea

Enjoy a nice cup of comforting tea infused with the refreshing taste of apple. Brew green tea. Add apple juice and garnish with apple slices. A good dose of fresh honey makes this hot concoction sweet and smooth. Sprinkle some cinnamon if you want an aromatic burst of sweet and spicy flavors.

Apple Iced Tea

Relish the flavors of fall in this thirst-quenching iced tea recipe. Brew English breakfast tea and stir in cinnamon quills, and apple juice. Add apple and lemon slices, ice cubes, and mint sprigs. Sweeten with brown sugar or honey.

Cinnamon-Apple Cooler

In need of a refreshing drink to combat stress? Go for our Cinnamon-Apple Cooler. Add cold water and grape juice to brewed tea. Pour in ice-filled glasses with a splash of soda. For a richer flavor, add lemon slices.

Apple Banana Pear Smoothie

Celebrate autumn’s bounty with this healthy, refreshing concoction. Mix apples, bananas, and pears with ice cubes. Blend until smooth. You can also go without the ice by slicing and freezing your fruits at least one hour ahead.

Apple Cider, Cranberry, and Ginger Cocktail

This tangy beverage is a great way to start a festive dinner. Serve this punch to entertain the crowd. To prepare, muddle cranberries with sugar, then stir in apple cider, ginger beer, lemon juice, and gin (optional). Serve chilled or over ice.

Carrot-Apple Smoothie

Packed with powerful health benefits, this delicious smoothie is the perfect way to jumpstart an autumn morning.  Combine baby carrots, apples, and banana with orange juice, and blend well.

Dessert

A delicious apple pie

Apple Peach Cobbler

Cap off your dinner with this apple peach cobbler recipe. A crowd pleaser, this baked dessert combines sliced peaches and apples with a pinch of ground cinnamon and nutmeg, topped with a crumbly batter. Serve it warm with vanilla ice cream.

Bavarian Apple Torte

With gorgeous layers of buttery crust, cream cheese filling, and apple toppings, the Bavarian apple torte is a must-try. To make this rich dessert, combine cream cheese, egg and sugar, and pour into a pastry lined pan. Top it with a mixture of apples, sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle with almonds. Bake and serve.

Caramel Apples

Surprise kids and adults this September with this decadent Halloween treat. Insert popsicle sticks into crisp apples, and cover the fruit with a layer of hot caramel, and then a layer of chocolate. Dip the bottom part of the apples into peanuts or coat with chopped candy bars.

Apple Spice Cake with Apple Cream Cheese Frosting

This apple spice cake is a great way to impress guests and conclude a nice family dinner. You’ll love how it’s deliciously spiced with ginger, nutmeg, and cloves, and filled with apple butter in between. The apple cream cheese frosting on top gives it the right amount of sweetness.

Caramel Apple Sundae

A decadent treat such as this caramel apple sundae is guaranteed to end your meal in a sweet, comforting note. The dessert combines rich layers of caramelized apple wedges, cinnamon ice cream, and some pecan-oat crumble, topped with whipped cream.

Peanut Butter Apple Dessert

Everybody loves peanut butter and apple, and this recipe turns the classic childhood snack into a nice dessert.  To make, layer a mixture of graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, peanut butter, and butter. Cover with whipped cream cheese and top with apple pie filling.

This September, celebrate good health and good bounty with these yummy apple recipes. Happy eating!

Image no. 2 courtesy of Apolonia at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

5 Heartwarming Gifts for Grandparents

A grandmother and grandchild holding hands

September 8 is a special day for the family: it’s Grandparents’ Day! Tree Classics recommends five treasures that say how much you love Grandpa and Grandma. Make these together as a family and celebrate the wonderful people in your life.

Hug Pillow

Grandparents love it when the kids give them big hugs. Every time Grandma and Grandpa miss your little ones, let them give your kids’ personalized hug pillow a tight squeeze. Make a cute pillow that features the children’s handprints, names, photographs, or baby clothes. You can also ask them to write a sweet note for Grammy and Grampy, and put this on a postcard-inspired pillow.

Luggage Locator + Personalized Keychain

Show that the whole family is always thinking of Grandpa and Grandma by gifting them with something they can take even during their travels. This luggage locator will assist them in finding their checked-in bags from the carousel at airports. For an extra special touch, attach the remote transmitter of the luggage locator to a personalized keychain that features your kids’ artwork and name.

Photo Book / Corkboard with Pictures

Express your love and appreciation for the grandparents in your life. Design a Grandparents’ Day photo book using images taken throughout the year, as well as old favorites that your grandparents can browse through. You can also make corkboards and photo holders featuring cute pictures or silly expressions of grandkids. This gift, along with a heartfelt note, is guaranteed to make Grandpa and Grandma smile!

Flowering Plants in Personalized Pots

Make Grandma and Grandpa feel special when you gift them with a carefully chosen flowering plant. Giving plants as a gift is always a charming and affordable way to surprise Grams and Gramps. This beautiful gift becomes even more sentimental when the pot is decorated with the grandkids’ hand or footprints.  Get extra crafty by making a photo flower pot that features their fun pictures.

Artwork by Grandchildren

Art projects for kids and parents make for wonderful keepsakes for grandparents. Have the kids draw something special for Grandpa and Grandma, and embroider or trace these drawings using a fine tip Sharpie on a tote bag, bookmark, or tea towels.

From sharing funny anecdotes to teaching new things, grandparents shower grandkids with love and enrich their lives in so many ways. Say “Thank you!” by gifting them with heartwarming presents on Grandparents’ Day!