Foolproof Oven Poached Eggs

April 7, 2014 in Breakfast

Perfectly poached eggs will change your life. Or at least your brunch.

Oven poached eggs

The perfect tool for poaching eggs? Your oven!

Poached eggs are such a Julia thing to make, don’t you agree? Yet, they are the Achilles heel of many a home cook like myself.

So, when I had a group of women coming over for brunch, I wanted to go for the Oooh’s and Aaah’s. I wanted to serve Eggs Benedict with asparagus, but was afraid to attempt poaching eggs for 6 people. But, there is a really simple tool to use to make poached eggs almost effortlessly: your oven!

Turns out you can poach eggs perfectly in your oven! Yes, sorry Julia Child, but eggs just aren’t that easy to poach on the stove top. Even if you are a dedicated foodie like Deb Perelman at Smitten Kitchen, it’s still a complicated and arduous task.

I tried this technique as a test a few days before I wanted to serve them, and they came out perfect the very first time. Perfectly cooked whites. Perfectly oozy yolks. Perfect perfect. And as easy as cracking eggs into muffin tins.

Happy Brunch, Everyone!

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Chocolate Pancake Love Letters

February 5, 2014 in Breakfast, Holidays

Love messages written in pancake letters for your valentines.

Chocolate Valentine Pancakes for your Sweethearts

Chocolate Valentine Pancakes for your Sweethearts

There is no better way to write “I love you” than with pancake batter!

Do you own a pancake pen? Well, you should. You can be a kitchen skillet artist for less than $10, and that includes the pancake batter.

Once in awhile, I just have to make “cutesy food.” And on Valentine’s Day – it’s mandatory for me.

Some wise person once said “Honey comes from bees, and apples come from trees, but pancakes come from heaven.” Pancakes are so warm and comforting and the perfect way to start your Valentine’s Day, I say.

X O Means more written in pancake letters, no?

X O Means more written in pancake letters, no?

 – posted by Donna

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Breakfast Lettuce Wraps Recipe

January 13, 2014 in Breakfast

Lettuce Wraps for breakfast. Why didn’t we think of this before?

Lettuce Wraps - Breakfast Edition

Lettuce Wraps – Breakfast Edition

I love, love, LOVE lettuce wraps. They are a Must Order for me whenever I see them on a menu. Anne and I are both huge fans of the Asian Lettuce Wraps at Kalyn’s Kitchen - I make them all the time. And so I don’t know why I never thought of lettuce wraps for breakfast before. But. Now this is my new breakfast obsession, especially on Sundays when we do a more relaxed morning meal.

I love to serve dishes like this where diners can assemble their own dish – and at a slow pace so you can have conversation as you go. Like fondue – Such fun!

So just plate up the cooked components and set them in the center of the table and let diners scoop out their favorite fillings into their own lettuce leaves.

If you’re like The Hubs, who can’t eat most things – let alone scrambled eggs – without ketchup, You can serve drizzling sauces like ketchup or salsa or an Asian sauce. But I like this dish very simple. Without any sauce, these are a fabulous low carb way to start your day!

The restaurant classic Asian first course. Only for breakfast.

The restaurant classic Asian first course. Only for breakfast.

– posted by Donna

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Farmer’s Market Baked Eggs in Zucchini Recipe

August 7, 2013 in Breakfast, Vegetarian Entrees

Zucchini Shirred Eggs Square

Baked Eggs. Eggs in Cocotte. Shirred Eggs. An egg by any other name would be as yummy.

And what did we ever do before farmer’s markets? This week is Farmer’s Market Week, and I’m a believer!

In honor of Sneak Some Zucchini on to Your Neighbor’s Porch Day tomorrow I am sneaking some zucchini into a breakfast dish. Whaaaa??? Zucchini for breakfast??? Trust me on this one – yummy and easy and garden fresh! Baked eggs are yummy and easy to make, and I love this pretty presentation with the zucchini wrapping around the eggs.

I did a spinach and ricotta base for the eggs, then placed a long zucchini slice around the edge of the ramekin and cracked an egg into the middle. Simple. Pretty. Delicious. And a bonus: helps get rid of zucchini!

If you have a ton of the green squash lurking in your garden, or if your neighbor sneaks some on to your porch, I highly recommend 
50 Amazing Zucchini Recipes
 over at Kalyn’s Kitchen. She always inspires me – especially this time of year with my garden overflowing!

- posted by Donna

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Eggs Benedict in Artichoke Cups and Easy Blender Hollandaise Sauce

July 7, 2013 in Breakfast, Entrees

Eggs benedict in artichokes for a spectacular breakfast or brunch.

Artichoke Eggs Benedict

Eggs Benedict in Artichoke Cups  - right out of the oven!

Breakfast for dinner, anyone? Do I ever have a spectacular dish for you.

Artichokes are not usually breakfasty. But, I have an obsession with cracking eggs inside of vegetables – see for example, my Flower Power Eggs or my Eggs in Avocados or Onion Ring Eggs. I thought Why NOT artichokes? – with Eggs Benedict inside them so there would be more sauce to dip leaves into. The leaves dipped in egg yolks and in Hollandaise sauce is divine. And after all the leaves are spent, use a spoon to scoop up all the goodness of the heart with the eggs and sauce and crispy Canadian bacon. Divine, I tell you.

I boiled the chokes for 30 minutes, let them cool and cut their tops off, leaving about 3 inches as a base. Then I pulled out the center portion of the very soft leaves and then scraped out the thistle portion, leaving the heart intact. Next, I put them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and smashed them slightly with the palm of my hand so that they would spread out on the baking sheet and the opening in the middle would be large enough to accommodate the egg. I brushed them with a little vegetable oil.

I blended up some easy blender Hollandaise and poured a little into each artichoke well. Then I cracked an egg on top of that and sprinkled with some strips of Canadian bacon.. I threw them in the oven and broiled them to cook the egg and to get the leaves crispy.

Artichokes

– posted by Donna

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Bow Tie Brunch Eggs Recipe for Brunch

April 21, 2013 in Breakfast

Bow Tie Brunch Eggs

Bow Tie Brunch Eggs

If I had to choose only one food to eat every day for the rest of my life, I might choose eggs. How much more versatile can a food be – the very same egg can be whipped into clouds of merengue or boiled so the yolk is like a cheese sauce. And such an amazing substance comes with its own packaging!

I love eggs – probably in all of the 100 ways Escoffier taught to cook them.

And I love brunch. And, since I am a mom, I can state this with authority: Moms love brunch! It is a time when you can sit back, relax, feel pampered and share with loved ones. Brunch is an island of serenity in a fast-paced world. So, why not save big bucks and stay home for brunch this Mother’s Day?

You can fancy your brunch up with an edible bow tie garnish. Really, Mom will love this.

For this spectacular presentation, here is all you do: Cut the green part of a leek (most will be about 8 or 10 inches long); blanch in boiling water for just 30 seconds – and longer and the leek will be too mushy to work for this. Plunge the softened leek into very cold water. The, take two pieces of blanched leek and form each piece into one half of a bow and secure it by tying with a small piece of leek to hold the half-bow shape. Then, lay the half bows on top of each other to form a bow shape. Top this, Martha Stewart, if you dare!

I like serving this bow tie egg on top of some potato leek hash, but you could serve it as a topping on so many things: eggs benedict, polenta, huevos rancheros, any eggy breakfast dish that calls for an egg as a topping. And Mom will be so impressed when you serve her Mother’s Day breakfast in bed!

– posted by Donna

Breakfast Sushi Rolls Recipe. Brunch anyone?

March 21, 2013 in Breakfast

Breakfast sushi rolls for a simple, stunning breakfast.

Breakfast Sushi Rolls

Breakfast Sushi Rolls for a stunning simple breakfast.

Confession time: I had never made a rolled omelet. Even though I love omelets, and even though Julia Child, my culinary hero, made them hilariously on an episode devoted entirely to this French culinary classic. ==sigh== Foodie demerits deserved. I am happy to report I am a reformed woman. I even tried a new innovation: BAKED rolled omelets.

The rolled up version can contain fillings and – thought I – why not cut the omelet into pieces and eat just like sushi? Yes, I do think this way.

I wanted to avoid any Julia-like mishaps – egg shell bits, omelets flipped onto the floor, etc., etc. - so I followed the method of Real Mom Kitchen (recipe tweaked a bit, of course – Hey! I’m a food blogger!) and baked the eggs in an oven in a 9 by 13 pan. You have to bake this in the oven until egg mixture is firm so that the short “rolls” will hold up and stay upright and not just slump over. So you will get a little more color on the outside of the omelet than an Iron Chef would approve. Just FYI.

You can add any fillings you like - but to keep the “sushi” theme, rice should be one of them. The parchment paper is not optional, since it helps with the perfect rolling – but use aluminum foil if you don’t have parchment.

Easter brunch, anyone???

Breakfast Sushi Rolls

What could be cuter for brunch than breakfast sushi rolls?

– posted by Donna

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Pomegranate Red Velvet Pancakes Recipe

February 11, 2013 in Breakfast

Pomegranate Red Velvet Pancakes

I’m pretty sure there is a law somewhere mandating that every meal on Valentine’s Day must include some chocolate. Yes, even breakfast.

Yet, breakfast should include something healthy. Hmm.

The Prefect Solution: Pomegranate and chocolate. In pancake form.

Lots of folks have made Red Velvet Pancakes. Check out the flap jacks from Deborah at Taste and Tell, the Queen of Red Velvet Innovations – she even has a Red Velvet Week every year! Her Red Velvet Pancakes inspired me.   My contribution to this dish is that I used pomegranate juice – both for the color and for the tartness – which pairs well with the richness of the chocolate.

And for your syrup – use chocolate syrup. Hey! It’s Valentine’s Day!

– posted by Donna

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Salsa Verde Huevos Rancheros Recipe

June 11, 2012 in Breakfast, Vegetarian Entrees

Salsa Verde adds a fresh green flavor to classic huevos rancheros.

Huevos Rancheros Square
Salsa Verde Huevos Rancheros

One of my favorite go-to dishes of all time is huevos rancheros.  I have been making Huevos Rancheros constantly for 35 years! It is one of my easy go-to breakfast-for-dinner dishes. It is a seriously delicious dish with a perfect balance of everything: sweet, salty, creamy, fresh, bright, homey, spicy, comforting, fulfilling.

And the very best thing about it? It can be ready in just a few minutes.

I decided to switch up the sauce to try a lighter green version, and I must say that this is competition for my classic standard recipe. The freshness of the zucchini and veggies makes this worthy of adding to you weeknight go-to Breakfast for Dinner list.

Just throw some zucchinis, jalapenos, tomatillos, onions on the grill until lightly charred. Then, whirl them in your food processor. Add lime juice, just a little salt and some honey for sweetness and cilantro at the end for freshness. Add in a dash of cayenne pepper sauce if you want a kick. Such a delightful summer sauce! Then, toast a few corn tortillas on your grill or in a dry skillet. Ladle on the tortillas a thin layer of refried beans, your sauce, a cooked egg, some diced chiles, a little red bell pepper and some crumbled queso fresco cheese. Summer perfection on a plate! Read the rest of this entry →

Pineapple Upside Down Banana Pancakes

April 16, 2012 in Breakfast, Vegan Recipes

Like Pineapple Upside Down Cake. Only for breakfast.

Pineapple Upside Down Panckaes

Remember Pineapple Upside Down cake? Oooey-gooey brown sugar and pineapple rings that top a yellow cake. My Grandma used to make this as a very special treat – and she added pecans that she grew in her backyard (and I sometimes got to help pick!). Thank you, Alta if you’re reading this blog from Heaven!

So, I saw this idea in Bon Appetit this month, and it just screamed “MAKE ME!”

Their recipe really didn’t work for me – too much brown sugar in the skillet that burned before I could get the pineapple and the pancake cooked. So. Plan B.

I made a sugarless vegan version – a banana holds the pancake together, and is a perfect flavor match with pineapple! And I cooked the pineapple rings with just a little oil in the skillet, and no sugar. Perfection!

These are great if you’re having company for breakfast and don’t want to make just “plain” pancakes. Make sure it is someone old enough to understand Pineapple Upside Down Cakes. Or get out your Grandma’s recipe and show them.

Either way, it will be a breakfast to remember!

– posted by Donna