breakfast and brunch

Breakfast for dinner: omelets anytime with Julia

The newly released movie, Julie and Julia has everyone celebrating the late  and very wonderful American chef Julia Child.

I love her enthusiasm for even the simplest of meals and this video detailing the proper way to make an omelet is a classic. Child introduced the French technique to an American audience hungry for a new and nuanced way of cooking.

Break some eggs and enjoy a simple satisfying meal.

I wonder what's for breakfast

“"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"

"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"

"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet. 

Pooh nodded thoughtfully.

"It's the same thing," he said.”

My feelings exactly.  Right now I think a waffle from the Waffle & Dinges truck would be just about right.

Brunch after the Easter Bunny

Stuffed French Toast
After the Bunny's hit the trail, try this twist on a classic brunch French Toast recipe (McCormick's)

Stuffed French Toast
serves 8


1 tub (8 ounces) whipped cream cheese

1 tablespoon brown sugar

3 teaspoons McCormick® Cinnamon, Ground, divided

1 1/2 teaspoons McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract, divided

16 slices Italian bread (1/2-inch thick)

1/2 cup apricot preserves or jam

5 eggs

1 cup milk

2 tablespoons butter, divided


1. Mix cream cheese, brown sugar, 2 teaspoons of the cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla in small bowl until well blended. Spread 2 tablespoons of cream cheese mixture on each of 8 slices of bread. Spread 1 tablespoon of preserves on each of the remaining 8 slices of bread. Press one each of the bread slices together to form 8 sandwiches.

2. Beat eggs in shallow bowl. Stir in milk, remaining 1 teaspoon cinnamon and remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla until well blended. Dip sandwiches in egg mixture, soaking for 2 minutes on each side.

3. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in large nonstick skillet on medium-low heat. Place 4 of the sandwiches in skillet. Cook 4 to 5 minutes per side or until golden brown. Repeat with remaining sandwiches, adding remaining 1 tablespoon butter to skillet. Serve French toast with maple syrup, if desired.

That's so special: eggs and caviar

A pic a day 001

Mom was right. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I like breakfast so much that sometimes I have it for dinner!

There is a benefit to following the inverted pyramid method -- eating your big meal in the beginning of the day and gradually decreasing the amount of food you eat. For starters, you eat less during the day if you start it off with protein, fruits and grains.   A light dinner makes for easier digestion and better sleep.

I don't particularly care for cereal. It's quick and if you have young kids, they can make their own breakfast on Saturday morning so you can sleep in.  General Mills and company should use this gem as a marketing tool. I guarantee the Sugar Pops would fly off the shelves.

But, all kidding aside (wink-wink), I like to have breakfasts that look posh but are actually pretty effortless.  So much the better if I can have a delicious and nutritious breakfast for my evening repast.

One of my favorites: a simple omelette served with a dollop of sour cream topped with a big spoonful of caviar.  Looks fabulous, tastse great and takes mere minutes to prepare.  The special-ness factor runs high when you break out the caviar. 

Celebrate your special-ness.  

One Banana, Two Banana

Food & georgia 005Unlike Jessica Seinfeld, I've had very little luck fooling my kid by sneaking fruits and vegetables into other foods that my kid likes.  My kid has a sniffer that won't be fooled.

I pureed bananas and put them in his pancakes -- with a few chocolate chip to throw him off track.  Ha!

"This tastes funny," he sniffed and shoved the plate away.

I made strawberry smoothies to get a fruit into him.  Good thing I like strawberry smoothies because I was the only one drinking it.

One week he loves vanilla yogurt, the next week he's not touching the stuff. 

Until a month ago, he refused to eat all fruit. Now it's grapes, grapes, grapes.  I have a picture of him eating a banana at about 18 months.  My proof that he did, indeed, eat this maligned tropical delight.

It's a challenge sorting out what to do with all those bananas I keep buying, hoping against hope.  I used to freeze them and make smoothies.  Recently I made some banana bread with a recipe that I love from Gourmet's cookbook.  Naturally, I had to tweak it because I wanted something festive.  In went with the chocolate chips.  Macadamia nuts optional. Next time I think I'll add some glaceed cherries.

It makes a huge loaf, so there's plenty for me to eat now and later. And in case I tire of gooey chocolatey and tropical banana bread for breakfast, I can always transform my leftover loaf into a fabulous bread pudding with caramel rum sauce. Just substitute banana bread for brioche and go bananas!

Eggs Maria

The Eggs Benedict Alternative

Breakfast is the best meal of the day.  

I love breakfast so much that often I have breakfast for dinner.

What I adore about cooking in my teensy test kitchen is that I don't need a lot of fancy gadgets to make really fresh, really wonderful dishes.  

Gadgets are great and I am amazed at how they can make your time in the kitchen simpler, faster and easier.  

But they are expensive, they take up space (which is at a premium in my itty-bitty Brooklyn apartment) and you don't really need them.  

Accoutrements are delightful, but not an absolute for great meals.

Today I was in the mood for eggs, but I didn't want your average eggs over easy and a couple of pieces of buttered toast.  I wanted something brunch-y like Eggs Benedict.  

However, I didn't want to spend an hour in the kitchen stirring up Hollandaise and I didn't have any Canadian bacon or English muffins.

What I did have was some eggs, some polenta that I'd molded after making a yummy dish of polenta with wild porcini and sage butter, some salsa and some fresh tomatoes from my garden at 611.

Voila! Eggs Maria.