Tag Archives: Brunch

recipe goodness :: know-thy-farmer scrapple omelet

Scrapple Omelet

Scrapple Omelet

Scrapple what? This is a clear case of “I know a guy.” I was hanging out at the greenmarket with Keith from Grazin’ Angus Acres last week and he pulled out this special treat to share. What is it? What do I do with it?

Locally called “everything but the oink,” scrapple is typically made of hog offal, such as the head, heart, liver, and other scraps, which are boiled with any bones attached to make a broth. Once cooked, bones and fat are discarded, the meat is reserved, and  cornmeal is boiled in the broth to make a mush. The meat, finely minced, is returned to the pot and seasonings, typically sage, thyme, savory, black pepper, and others, are added. The mush is formed into loaves and allowed to cool thoroughly until set.

Scrapple

With my know-thy-farmer treasure in hand, I marched home, pulled out a pan, cut a few 1/4-inch slices and pan fried the scrapple until it formed a lovely crust. The result? Better than bacon! It’s crispy, salty, meaty — exactly the partner you want for your eggs. If you can manage to find some scrapple from a local farmer or friendly butcher, I highly recommend giving it a try — this puts Jimmy Dean to shame.

Know-Thy-Farmer Scrapple Omelet

Individual serving

2-3 1/4-inch slices of scrapple
olive oil
2 eggs
salt and pepper to taste
chives or parsley for garnishing

  1. Cut 2-3 1/4-inch slices of scrapple and add them to a warm pan with a drizzle of olive oil. Leave whole or break up into smaller pieces, but continue to turn, getting both sides crispy.
  2. Whisk two eggs with salt and pepper and add to the pan once the scrapple is crisp.
  3. Using a rubber spatula, create small holes in the middle of the omelet to let the liquid go to the bottom to cook.
  4. Once the egg starts to firm, flip the omelet by sliding onto a plate and turning over back into the pan.
  5. Cook until both sides are cooked through and then serve with a sprinkle of maldon salt and fresh herbs.

All About the Incredible Edible:
Cumin & Dill Dijon Egg Salad with Radish Sprouts
Secret DiLaura Family Frittata with Sweet Italian Sausage
How To Cook The Perfect Sunny Side-Up Egg
How to Cook the Perfect 8.5 Minute Egg
How to Cook the Perfect Poached Egg {with Ramp Butter!}
Inside-Out Scotch Eggs w/ Ground Lamb, Harissa Yolk & Panko Gremolata
Southern Breakfast Egg Casserole
Wild pokeweed {or Aspargus} and field garlic breakfast tart  

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recipe goodness :: spritzy sunday morning citrus cocktail

Spritzy Grapefruit Juice

Spritzy Grapefruit Juice

Let’s approach this a few different ways. 1) You want to jazz up your sparkling water or cut back on buying overpriced “grown-up” soda, 2) you wish you could enjoy a grapefruit without it taking longer to carve each segment than it does to actually eat the darn fruit or 3) you’re swearing off drinking on weekend mornings, but man you wish you could still savor the refreshing bubbly cocktail {this is for you preggo ladies}.

There’s really nothing to this — and quite honestly, it’s genius and refreshing. Looking for a non-alcoholic breakfast in bed treat to serve mom on mother’s day? You can thank my lazy morning for this citrus cocktail creation.

Spritzy Sunday Morning Citrus Cocktail

1 grapefruit {I prefer red or pink}
Sodastream water {or store-bought sparkling water}

  1.  Cut grapefruit in half and remove any seeds
  2. Squeeze directly into a wide-rimmed glass or into a bowl if that is easier. Allow the pieces of grapefruit to squeeze into the glass with the juice and help a few along with your finger or spoon if needed. Those little bits make this all the more enjoyable.
  3. Top with sparkling water and enjoy! Of course, those of you who just can’t manage a spritzy cocktail without the real bubbly can replace water with your favorite cava, prosecco or champagne.

More Breakfast in Bed Mother’s Day Options:
Blueberry, Lemon & Coconut Pancakes
Herbed Buttermilk Biscuits
How to Cook the Perfect Poached Egg {with Ramp Butter!}
Olive Oil and Maple Syrup Granola

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Holiday Recipe Inspiration: Small Bites and Seasonal Sippers

‘Tis the season to stock the bar. While it’s a time for tradition, it’s also a time for surprises. So if you’re looking to spice up the table with a few new twists as well, I hope you find inspiration in the list below.

Happy Holidays from 8.ate@eight! 

BREAKFAST {energy for gift deluge}

Blueberry, Lemon & Coconut Pancakes
Secret DiLaura Family Frittata with Sweet Italian Sausage
Herbed Buttermilk Biscuits
Royal British Cranberry-Almond Breakfast Scones

How To Cook The Perfect Sunny Side-Up Egg
How to Cook the Perfect 8.5 Minute Egg
Southern Breakfast Egg Casserole

DRINKS {we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet!}

Alton Brown’s Bourbon Mint Julep
Autumn Manhattan {Herby Garnished Classic a la Tippling Bros.}

Fireside Sparks {Champagne Cocktail a la Tippling Bros.}
Smokey Margarita {a la Tippling Bros.}

Stand-Out Spanish Sangria

SNACK’EMS AND SWEETS {can’t resist ’em}

Cinnamon Sugar & Dark Cocoa Almonds
Inside-Out Scotch Eggs w/ Ground Lamb, Harissa Yolk & Panko Gremolata
Homemade Ricotta and Melted Leeks
Mini Wild Mushroom Shepherd’s Pie w/ Scotch! {bottom of post}
Rosemary, Truffle and Parmesan Chips or Fries

Union Square Bar Roasted Rosemary Nuts
Millionaire’s Shortbread Worth a Billion Bucks
Perfect Pear Cranberry Pie 

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Do This!: Vote for The Chocolate Gallery Cafe for Best Breakfast

Strawberry Stuffed French Toast

It’s that time of the year again — I’m calling in all my favors to get you to vote for my Aunt and Uncle’s family-run restaurant, The Chocolate Gallery Cafe, which has been nominated again for Detroit’s Best Breakfast Award.  If you live outside of the Motor City and your first response is “I’ve never eaten there,”  all you have to do is take a look at the picture above to know and trust it is well-deserved.  I’m asking for this favor not only because I think it is THE BEST, but because as a small family-run business, an honor such as this is essential to keeping the coffee flowing and the omelets flipping — so do your part and spread the love!

They have been nominated for and won countless local and national awards, which speaks volumes for the love and passion they pour into their family run business. While The Chocolate Gallery Cafe has been crowned the 1st place winner for the past two years and placed in the top 3 for the past four, it IS the undying energy they pour into their food and service that is the most compelling reason to support, visit and love this family cafe. So read on, drool over the pictures of their food, VOTE and then tell any friends or family you know in Michigan to stop by for a meal they are sure to enjoy!

The Chocolate Gallery Cafe opened its doors over 17 years ago, but got its start even earlier when a love for chocolate and hours of experiments in a home kitchen resulted in the recipe for their famous award-winning Chocolate Buckingham Torte. So rich it has royalty in its name. The award-winning Chocolate Buckingham Torte is layered to perfection, with a chewy brownie bottom, creamy chocolate mousse center all topped off with crunchy English toffee and whipped cream florets that provide the ideal contrast to its other rich layers. The answer to every chocolate lover’s quest for the perfect dessert, this torte is the jewel of my Aunt Cathy and Uncle Chuck’s boutique cafe.

Chocolate Buckingham Torte

With many food fans clamoring for their desserts and a catering business taking off, The Chocolate Gallery decided to settle on a home and open a quaint cafe in Warren, Michigan, where their talents could be showcased and enjoyed on a regular basis — breakfast, lunch or dessert!

And thank goodness, because have you ever had something as delicious as Strawberry Stuffed French Toast (pic at top)? Made from thick cut french bread, stuffed with cream cheese and fresh strawberries, heated to crispy perfection and topped off with a warm homemade strawberry puree — 100% deliciousness!

Not extravagant enough for you? Like the line between breakfast and dessert to be crossed? Not surprising that The Chocolate Gallery Cafe does too! And so was born The Very Berry Stuffed French Toast, topped with a drizzle of premium chocolate and homemade whipped cream.

Very Berry Stuffed French Toast

More of a traditionalist? How about the Fresh Blueberry Pancakes to satisfy your morning sweet tooth? Light and fluffy, they are the perfect breakfast bed for those sweet Michigan blueberries to burst with warmth on.

Fresh Blueberry Pancakes

A Menu Must: And for those of us that are just plain ‘ole egg lovers, The Eggs Benedict is out of this world. Topped with homemade hollandaise sauce and served with a side of cafe potatoes, this savory selection wins my vote.

Eggs Benedict

Hungry yet? Dreaming of breakfast or a sweet treat? Hopefully you live close enough that a visit to The Chocolate Gallery Cafe can be a reality, but if not, for now you can support this sweet cafe with a click of a button and a vote to win Best Breakfast in DetroitThe Chocolate Gallery Cafe is also available for Full Service Catering, Chocolate Fountain Rentals and custom sweet treats, including Truffles and Molded Chocolates.

Map3672 Chicago Road, Warren, Michigan
Reservations: Not Taken (Open Thurs-Sun 8am-2pm)
Phone: 586.979.1140
Photos: John Martin Photography

 

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recipe goodness :: how to cook the perfect poached egg with melted ramp butter

Perfect Poached Egg with Melted Ramp Butter

They don’t call them Spring chickens for nothin’. The grass is newly growing and our little pecking friends are spreading their wings, enjoying the fresh Spring forage. This is the season when truly free range eggs can especially be savored. And seeing as how they are my favorite food, I thought I would dress them up with another Spring favorite — ramps {looks like a spring onion, smells like garlic — a match made in heaven!} After poaching the eggs, one little dollop of the intensely flavorful ramp butter will make a dish so good, it  should be illegal. So swing by your local greenmarket, pick up the goods and make yourself {or your mother} a spectacular Spring brunch. More Mother’s Day Breakfast Inspir-egg-tion below!

Poached Egg with Melted Ramp Butter
Serves 2 

2 free range farm-fresh eggs
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon ramp butter {recipe below}
Salt and pepper to taste

Ramp Butter
Makes 1 lb

1lb unsalted butter
3.6 ounces ramps
zest of 2 lemons
1 teaspoon Maldon salt

  1. Blend ramp butter ingredients together in a food processor and add to an air-tight container to keep in the fridge.
  2. Bring a small sauce pot of water to a boil.
  3. Add vinegar.
  4. Crack your eggs into separate small bowls.
  5. Turn the boiling water down to a low simmer. Swirl the water into a whirlpool and pour the egg into the pot, one at a time, but close in timing.
  6. Cook for 3-4 minutes until white is firm and then remove with a slotted spoon into a serving bowl.
  7. Add 1/2 tablespoon of ramp butter to the top of each warm egg, allowing it to melt and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

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recipe goodness :: royal british breakfast scones

Best British Breakfast Scone

I know you’re playing hooky from work tomorrow to watch the Royal wedding, so you might as well whip up a mean batch of English scones to enjoy while you’re glued to the telly. This recipe is modified from Richard Bertinet, a French baker living in Britain, so you know it must be good! It’s sweet and flaky with little surprises of nutty, chewy bites hidden inside — all you need is a little devon cream and a spot of tea to make this a tip top morning.

Best British Breakfast Scones
Quantity: 12-15 | Prep: 20 minutes | Resting: 15 minutes | Baking: 20 minutes

150g salted butter
600g plain flour
150g fine sugar
40g baking powder
140g dried cranberries (can substitute raisins)
140g sliced almonds
190g heavy whipping cream (approx 190ml)
190g milk (190ml)
2 eggs, beaten with a pinch of salt for an egg wash

  1. Preheat the oven to 425º F
  2. Rub the butter into the flour in a mixing bowl.  Add the sugar and baking powder.  Add the sultanas and mix until they are evenly distributed
  3. Add the cream and milk and mix with your scraper until all the ingredients are bound together.  Lightly dust your work surface with flour and turn the dough out onto it.  Press down, then fold it in half, then press down again, fold again the opposite way, and then repeat, until you have a rough square.  Flour the top and bottom of the dough, cover with a tea towel (linen is best but use cotton if not) and rest in a cool place for 15 minutes
  4. Lightly flour the work surface and then roll the dough out to a thickness of 2.5-3 cm.  Brush off any excess flour.  With a sharp knife, cut out the scones in squares (about 6 cmx6cm)
  5. Lay on a baking tray, making sure that the scones are not too close together.  Roll out any scraps of dough and cut some more scones until you have used all of the dough.
  6. Glaze the scones with the egg wash.  Wait 2 minutes and then glaze again.  Turn down the heat of the oven to 400ºF and bake the scones for around 20 minutes until they are well risen, and the top and underside is golden brown.

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recipe goodness :: southern breakfast casserole

Southern Hospitality Casserole

It’s Masters week in Augusta! My dad and I were lucky enough to attend on Monday thanks to our Atlanta-based friends who scored some tickets for us — I do believe my dad will die a happy man now. I hear these are the hardest tickets in sports to come by, so recognizing ya’ll won’t be attending, I thought the next best thing was to bring the South into your home.

Southern hospitality is unlike anything I have experienced in other areas of the country {then again, it’s not hard to be impressed when you live in New York}. My dear friend Ann wanted to make sure we had a “meal that would stick to our ribs” and get us through a full day of hitting the links, so she rose with the roosters and baked this amazing egg casserole for us. The great thing about this recipe is that it should be prepared the day before, so you can do all the dirty work ahead of time and just throw it into your oven in the morning. The result: a delicious and easy Southern hospitality-breakfast that  will impress your guests.

Southern Breakfast Casserole
350º | Bake 1 Hour | Prep Night Before

10 slices white bread
1 lb ground sweet sausage
2 cups sharp shredded cheese
2 cups mild shredded cheese
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
3 cups milk
6 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper

  1. Remove crust from the bread and cut into squares.
  2. Saute sausage and drain well on paper towel.
  3. Arrange half of the bread squares in the bottom of a lightly greased 9×13 casserole dish.
  4. Top with sharp cheese, then sausage, remaining bread squares, and then mild cheese.
  5. Dissolve mustard in a little of the milk. Beat eggs and add the milk, mustard, salt and pepper.
  6. Pour mixture over all the layers.
  7. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  8. Bake uncovered in a 350º oven for 1 hour or until firm and browned.

If you really want to get creative, I bet this would be darn good with rosemary-sourdough bread or mixed with a little spicy sausage! Or for you vegetarians out there, some hearty mixed mushrooms would be amazing. Enjoy ya’ll!

A Yankee’s Breakfast:
Blueberry, Lemon & Coconut Pancakes
Secret DiLaura Family Frittata with Sweet Italian Sausage
Herbed Buttermilk Biscuits
How To Cook The Perfect Sunny Side-Up Egg
How to Cook the Perfect 8.5 Minute Egg

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Barcelona Digested: Food for Foodies

And so comes the end of my Barcelona digestion. The recap of everything there is to love about Mercat de la Boqueria, how chocolate is central to Catalonia and where to go when you want to eat like a local, can only be ended with a summary of the places you must visit if you’re someone like me. Someone who takes more pictures of her food, than any 15th century painting or statue. The best thing about Barcelona is its astounding mix of traditional and avant garde — for that reason, it might just be one of my top 10 favorite cities to eat in.

Tapac 24 {Tapas and Great Breakfast | L’Eixample}
Tapas bar of acclaimed chef Carles Abellan, owner of Comerc 24. Great place to grab a full breakfast if you’re craving more than a typical croissant or boccadillo. It’s just off Passeig de Gracia, so an easy stop in this area before or after you check out the block of discord and Gaudi’s famous architecture. I had the most delightfully crispy edged egg, with a gooey yolk that ran all over a pile of roasted potatoes and chorizo. Um, yes. Why don’t they eat more breakfasts like this in Barcelona?

Breakfast at Tapac 24

Federal {Australian Farm-Fresh & Great Breakfast | Poble Sec}
Poble Sec is a new up and coming area, and is home to some of the best new restaurants {Ferran Adria of El Builli fame just opened Tickets and 41º here}. Federal is Australian-owned and serves an amazing full breakfast, which is hard to find in Boccadillo-loving Barcelona. The kitchen closes at 4pm on Sunday and there is always a wait, so plan to get there no later than 3pm. I had the most amazing coconut-banana bread w/ honey labne and a free-range egg with a yolk the color of a setting sun. Amazing.

Coconut-Banana bread with labne honey

Free range eggs straight from heaven

ABaC {High-End Dining |Tibidabo}
ABaC is the Per Se of Barcelona. Very quiet dining, inventive cuisine, extremely attentive service.  This should be on any high-end dining list and is worth every penny. I’d tell you everything I ate, but would ruin the surprise — just know that there was frozen “lipstick” involved.

ABaC: Maresme peas royal with Iberian consommé and citrics, barnacles and sea cucumber

La Botifarreria de Santa Maria {Spanish Meat Market | Born}
If you’re looking to smuggle some acorn-fed Iberico ham, Serrano ham or sausages in your suitcase, this is your place. If meat is what you’re looking for, come here and take in all the varieties — there’s even a Coca-Cola infused sausage.

Cured Meat!

Honey and Cheese Market {Market}
Stop by this market every other Friday and Saturday outside the Santa Maria del Pi church. Another great place to pick up some local goods for gifts — sample honey from eucalyptus, thyme, oranges, lavender, you name it and pair it perfectly with some delicious local goat and sheep’s cheeses.

Hone and Cheese Market

Other previous written-up foodie favs:

Cacao SampakaArtisanal Chocolates to die for

Mercat de La Boqueria The best market on the planet. Clearly, since it’s in every Barcelona Digestion that I wrote.

Everything you want to read about Barcelona:
Barcelona Digested: Hang with the Locals – Cava and Cafe Catalonian Style
Barcelona Digested: Chocolate Central
Barcelona Digested: Mercat de La Boqueria
recipe goodness :: barcelona favorite recreated | balsamic chick pea salad

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Wintry Weekend Inspiration

Looking for something to warm the soul this weekend? Here are a few favorites that will make for a great way to start your day or a cup of warmth to end the evening.

BREAKFAST {of champions}

Secret DiLaura Family Frittata with Sweet Italian Sausage
Herbed Buttermilk Biscuits
How To Cook The Perfect Sunny Side-Up Egg
How to Cook the Perfect 8.5 Minute Egg

Italian Wedding Soup

SOUPS

Best Butternut Squash and Green Apple Soup
Grandma’s Italian Wedding Chicken Soup

Autumn Manhattan

DRINKS {cheers!}

Autumn Manhattan {Herby Garnished Classic a la Tippling Bros.}
Fireside Sparks {Champagne Cocktail a la Tippling Bros.}
Smokey Margarita {a la Tippling Bros.}

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How to Cook the Perfect 8.5 Minute Egg

The other night I was at a loss for what to make for dinner. As I’m walking home from work my friend asked “what’s in your fridge — I love this game!?” I took a mental inventory — some homemade panettone that my mother made for Christmas, the last remaining eggs from a local farm that were a gift from a friend, some leftover rice and carrots. Hmmm — not very inspirational. Nothing screamed dinner to me, but she suggested making breakfast for dinner with her favorite 8.5 minute egg technique that will produce something between a hard-boiled and soft-boiled egg — a little bit gooey {just how I like them}, but still firm. Add a little salt and pepper and you have the perfect 8.5 minute egg. And dinner.

As someone who loves eggs, this preparation completely changed my life {dramatic, I know!} But I love nothing more than showcasing the lovely golden yolk that is the product of a well-raised hen. In my book, that previously only involved making the perfect sunnyside up egg — hard boil, scramble, omelet it and you lose the gooey yolk that I love so much. So if you’re looking for a little egg inspiration for breakfast, lunch or dinner, give the 8.5 minute egg technique a try — it won’t disappoint.

How to Cook the Perfect 8.5 Minute Egg

1-2 Eggs per person
Salt and pepper

1. Bring enough water to boil that will cover the eggs {but don’t add to the pot yet}.
2. When the water is at a rolling boil, gently place the eggs into the boiling water and cook for EXACTLY 8.5 minutes.
3. After 8.5 minutes, run cold water over eggs to stop the cooking process.
4. Once cool, peel the shell off each egg, cut in half in a bowl or plate to showcase the golden center, sprinkle with salt and pepper and enjoy!

Crack Open More on Eggs:
recipe goodness :: secret dilaura family frittata with sweet italian sausage
recipe goodness :: how to cook the perfect sunny side-up egg
Greenmarket: Put Smarter, Cheaper & More Scrumptious Food on Your Table
Michael Pollan Agreed With Me, $8 Eggs Are A Good Idea
The Art of Brunching Well @ L’Artusi
A Better Brooklyn Breakfast @ Dizzy’s Finer Diner

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recipe goodness :: herbed buttermilk biscuits

Herbed Buttermilk Biscuits

Today is my dear friend Kristin’s birthday — the same one who went to Paris and loves all things french. So in honor of her big day, I made her these incredible herbed buttermilk biscuits from french food writer and cookbook author, Dorie Greenspan. I love when someone takes something so ordinary {enter biscuit} and adds one small, but brilliant touch {enter thyme} to reinvent the old standard. Dorie is a master with pastry, so I had no doubt these would turn out to be a fantastic breakfast treat, but biting into the warm, flaky biscuit and surprising your still somewhat sleepy taste buds with the fresh herby thyme is a delightfully unexpected way to start your day.

Herbed Buttermilk Biscuits
{From Dorie Greenspan
; adapted from Baking From My Home to Yours}

Makes 12 biscuits | 425º | Cook Time: 14-18 minutes

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 TBS baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp dried or 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, crushed between your fingers
6 TBS cold unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces
3/4 cup cold buttermilk, well shaken

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 425º F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, soda, sugar and thyme together in a bowl. Drop in the butter and, using your fingers, toss to coat the pieces with flour.  Quickly, working with your fingers, rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is pebbly.  You’ll have pea-size pieces, pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and pieces of every size in between – and that’s just right.

Pour the buttermilk over the ingredients, grab a fork and toss and gently turn the ingredients until you’ve got a nice soft dough.  Now reach into the bowl with your hands and give the dough a quick gently kneading – 3 or 4 turns should be just enough to bring everything together.

Lightly dust a work surface with flour and turn out the dough.  Dust the top of the dough very lightly with flour and pat the dough out until it is 1/2-inch thick.  Don’t worry if it isn’t completely even. Use a knife or biscuit cutter to divide the dough into 12 pieces and transfer the pieces to the baking sheet.

Slide into oven and bake until the biscuits are puffed and golden brown, 14 to 18 minutes. Serve immediately {with delicious jam or honey — Fauchon is my favorite french jam if you really want a franco-breakfast}.

Breakfast Inspiration:
recipe goodness :: how to cook the perfect sunny side-up egg
Give Your Monday Morning Mug a Kick in the Pants with Kicking Horse Coffee
Greenmarket: Put Smarter, Cheaper & More Scrumptious Food on Your Table
Michael Pollan Agreed With Me, $8 Eggs Are A Good Idea

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recipe goodness :: secret dilaura family frittata with sweet italian sausage

I think my grandmother would be more proud than angry that I’m sharing her recipe for Frittata with Sweet Italian Sausage. Her frittata evokes memories of the holidays, so I thought it’s the perfect time to share with all of you. Every Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter morning for the past 32-ish solid-food eating years, I have walked into a kitchen smelling of roasted sausage and sweet buttered Italian panettone toast.  Inevitably the kitchen also smelled of grandma’s spaghetti sauce, slowly simmering away for the evening feast. I cannot recount a past holiday when grandma’s frittata was not the start to a day filled with family and good eating. And even now that my grandmother is no longer with us, my dad has taken over as the frittata master — beating, cooking and flipping our breakfast to perfection. Tradition is good.

Her frittata is not rocket science, but requires a little skill with the flipping of a hot pan, which could result in a dozen eggs on your shoes, if unsuccessful! But the finished product is worth the risk and makes for a beautiful breakfast presentation to share with friends and family. We’ve been making this every year with italian sausage, but you can always get creative and substitute veggies, cheese, fresh herbs, whatever!

DiLaura Family Frittata with Sweet Italian Sausage

Serves 5-6 | Prep Time: 5 mins | Cook Time: 40-50 mins. including roasting sausage

1 dozen eggs {2 per person, plus 1-2 extra for good measure}
3/4 lb sweet italian sausage {I love Grazin’ Angus Acres grass-fed beef sausage}
1 TBS olive oil
1/4 C water for thinning
salt and pepper to taste

Step 1: Roast sausage for 30-40 minutes at 375° in a baking dish. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. {Note: Sausage can be cooked a full day in advance to save time and make the breakfast prep quicker}.

Step 2: Crack eggs into a large bowl and add ~1/4 cup of water, salt and pepper generously {my dad actually uses the very precise method of putting the bowl under the faucet and turning it on for a second to add water}. Beat eggs until a light froth forms on top.

Beat eggs and cook sausage

Step 3: Cut each cooked sausage at a 45 degree angle into 1/4-inch thick pieces. Heat a medium sized non-stick omelet pan to medium heat with 1 TBS of olive oil. Place as many slices of sausage as will fit side by side in the bottom of the pan and brown lightly for ~2 minutes. Reserve any excess slices to serve on the side. Using tongs, flip each piece individually and brown the other side.

Brown sausages slices on each side

Step 4: Remove any excess oil with a spoon. Pour beaten egg mixture into pan over browned sausage slices.

Our beaten egg mixture over browned sausage slices

Step 5: Using a rubber spatula, continuously move around the side of the pan, pulling the firm egg away from the edges, allowing liquid to pour over the edges and stream to the bottom. Also use the spatula to break through the middle of the frittata creating small holes in the center where egg liquid can seep through the bottom. Be sure to also push the sausage slices into the firming egg. When almost all of the egg liquid has gotten firm, get prepared to flip.

Pull edges away with spatula to allow liquid to pour over edges

Step 6: Use a platter that is larger than the pan with angled edges. Remove pan from heat, place platter upside down on top of the pan and hold firmly in place. QUICKLY flip pan and platter, angling slightly away from you so any excess liquid won’t run onto your hands or arms {my dad prefers to do this over the sink, just in case he accidently spills, so there is no egg on the floor}.

Hold platter firmly and quickly flip frittata from the pan to the platter

Step 7: Slide upside down frittata back into the pan from the platter, so the uncooked side is now on the bottom of the pan. Cook 2 more minutes or just enough time to firm the remaining liquid egg. Rinse and dry platter while frittata finishes cooking.

Slide back into pan to firm uncooked side

Step 8: Flip the frittata back onto the platter. The last side cooked is less brown and looks better when presented facing up. Cut into equal sized pie slices and enjoy!

Last side cooked facing up

More Eggs that Are Everything They’re Cracked Up to Be:
recipe goodness :: how to cook the perfect sunny side-up egg
Greenmarket: Put Smarter, Cheaper & More Scrumptious Food on Your Table
Michael Pollan Agreed With Me, $8 Eggs Are A Good Idea
The Art of Brunching Well @ L’Artusi
A Better Brooklyn Breakfast @ Dizzy’s Finer Diner

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The Art of Brunching Well @ L’Artusi

L'Artusi Bloody Mary

It was not long ago that I was raving about my dinner at L’Artusi, the attractive, open-kitchen Italian spot tucked down one of those non-perpendicular West Village streets.  So when they asked me to come preview their newly created Brunch menu before the public unveiling this Sunday {October 17}, I couldn’t help but spread the love again. I am an encourager of exemplary eating establishments. When I have a great meal, I want you to know about it. I want you to go. Tomorrow! So pick up the phone, make a reservation {212.255.5757} and then keep reading.

Every good brunch deserves a bloody mary. And every good bloody mary deserves some “hmpf”. What I mean by that is I want spice and all sorts of goodies in my Sunday cocktail — I want veggies, I want olives, I want lots of little bits floating around giving me that liquid-salad-with-a-kick kind of feeling. Because frankly, if I’m drinking on a Sunday morning {thank you Tippling Bros.}, I need to feel like I’m getting some sort of nutritional benefit. L’Artusi’s Mary does just that — and with a cherry, err, pancetta cube on top.

Graciously our very helpful server also suggested we start with the bread basket. This isn’t just any roll and butter basket. This is a collection of seasonal, bready goodness — a cranberry muffin, cherry scone and some dark, nutty bread that I couldn’t get enough of. All served with a side of whipped, soft, creamy butter and a lovely plum jam.

L'Artusi Bread Basket

My favorite of the two mains we ordered was the Eggs Florentine. We already know my obsession with eggs,and that I assert high expectations for any egg dish that I order at a restaurant. And this exceeded them ten-fold. Served on crispy polenta {clever Italian substitute to the ‘ole english muffin} with lovely, bright green spinach and a perfectly poached egg that oozed creamy, golden goodness, the florentine was then lovingly topped with a tomato-hollandaise, again adding a unique flavor profile and twist to the classic preparation.

L'Artusi Eggs Florentine

We were also treated to an unexpected dish that has my vote for best contender on the menu. The Polenta Amatriciana is probably best shared between two people because of its richness. A bowl of polenta {that I’m sure has no shortage of butter in it} is topped with the same amatriciana sauce that graces their bucatini on the dinner menu. This stuff is amazing — a combination of tomato, pancetta and red chilis, it is smoky and slightly spicy. What else would you want on top of a bowl of creamy polenta? An egg? Yes, I thought so — a perfect poach floats on top of this bed of delight, just waiting to be broken open so all the eggy yumminess can swim around with all the other flavors. And to really round this out, the entire dish is finished with some freshly grated parmesan cheese.

L'Artusi Polenta Amatriciana

How about the sides? You can’t go wrong with the pancetta bacon or the super crispy rosemary potatoes. I agree with the person verbally singing the praises of that pancetta bacon and if you need a little crispy, salty potato to soak up your Saturday night, well then you’ve found them!

“This the the best bacon I’ve ever eaten in my life” — overheard @ L’Artusi

The Skim: And that, my friends, was a brunch worth sharing. I expect L’Artusi’s sunday brunch will be just as popular as their dinner is, but even if you can’t manage to get a reservation, you are always welcome to walk in and eat on the really comfy stools at the bar or start with one of their creative morning cocktails or fresh juices while you wait.

Map228 west 10th {btw Hudson & Bleecker}
Reservations: Taken!
Phone: 212-255-5757


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I ♥ Eggs Too:
The Art of Eating {and Drinking} Well @ L’Artusi
A Better Brooklyn Breakfast @ Dizzy’s Finer Diner
Community Food & Juice: Fresh & Fantastic Fare
Weekend Brunch: Eat Eggs @ Edward’s
Greenmarket: Put Smarter, Cheaper & More Scrumptious Food on Your Table

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Crop to Cup Creating Quality Community Coffee

Crop to Cup Coffee

Bike stop #2: Brooklyn’s Crop to Cup. We had only just finished breakfast and certainly weren’t yet in need of a caffeine pick-me-up, but couldn’t resist a stop in this quaint coffee cafe where brick walls and unmatched chairs welcome you to stop and enjoy a different kind of joe.

Crop to Cup‘s mission is to support the coffee family farmer community beyond what you can expect from Fair Trade brews, employing what they call their “20, 5, 10” program. What that means is farmers receive 20% over market price for their coffee, plus 5% of their coffee’s selling price in coffee consuming communities, plus 10% of company profits. Why should you care? Coffee farmers sell into an open market. They sell to Crop to Cup because they pay higher prices and higher prices encourages farmers to work their farms with more care and commitment creating premium quality coffee that you will no doubt taste in your cup.

There is certainly no shortage of coffee cans on the market, but why not try one that is better for you and the family farmer community. Click here to meet the family faces behind your crop and here to find C2C coffee near you. Good Coffee comes from Good People.

Crop to Cup Coffee, Brooklyn: 139 Atlantic Ave {btw Henry & Clinton St}

Wake Up and Smell the Coffee:
Give Your Monday Morning Mug a Kick in the Pants with Kicking Horse Coffee
Summer Fancy Food Show: Full Belly and Learnings Digestion
recipe goodness :: how to cook the perfect sunny side-up egg
Community Food & Juice: Fresh & Fantastic Fare

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A Better Brooklyn Breakfast @ Dizzy’s Finer Diner

Dizzy's Finer Diner

Breakfast, the most important and my favorite meal of the day, pretty much means the bar is set perpetually high for a meal worthy of a write-up. Recently I went on an all day Brooklyn bike and bite ride {more to come} with my friend Beth, so I was especially pleased to start the day out right with a great brunch at Dizzy’s Finer Diner. The decor is nostalgic, giving you the feeling of a throwback diner, but the menu goes far beyond over-buttered toast of yesteryear.

If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile you know I have a strong affinity for eggs. So when some place goes and does something new and egg-citing, I just can’t help but praise the perfect poach and encourage all who take the time to browse the blog to Eat Here! They call this treat Teo’s Italian Eggs — which consists of two poached eggs served over crispy cubed focaccia and drizzled with olive oil, parmesan, fresh basil and red pepper flakes. It’s all served in a bowl, allowing you break into that little pocket of goodness and capture everything as the yolk pours out over the focaccia. Imagine a little mini toast, only this one has absorbed the flavor of pressed olives, rich creamy eggs, bright herby basil, sharp, salty cheese and then a little kick of red pepper. The beauty of all this is the simple ingredients. You don’t have to live in NYC or venture across the bridge to enjoy this — just toss those same ingredients in a bowl and try it from your own kitchen.

Dizzy's Italian Eggs

The Skim: Most people are only half awake when they eat breakfast, but the food at Dizzy’s Finer Diner will open your eyes and make you take notice of their fresh flavor combinations. Not. Just. Another. Egg. On. Toast.

Map: {511 9th Street}
Reservations: Not Taken
Phone:
718-499-1966

A Half Dozen Eggs:
Michael Pollan Agreed With Me, $8 Eggs Are A Good Idea
Weekend Brunch: Eat Eggs @ Edward’s
Greenmarket: Put Smarter, Cheaper & More Scrumptious Food on Your Table
Community Food & Juice: Fresh & Fantastic Fare
recipe goodness: cumin & dill egg salad with radish sprouts
recipe goodness: Creative Crowd-Pleasing BBQ’d Pizzas {yes, with eggs!}

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Gone Fishin’ :: Back in a Week…

Farewell Bachelorhood!

As I referenced in a previous post, I’m off in San Francisco to be the best groom’s girl I can be in my brother’s wedding this weekend. Jackie, my soon-to-be sister-in-law, works for Ghirardelli. She’s pretty darn sweet as a person, but it also doesn’t hurt that she brings a dowry consisting of a lifetime supply of chocolate. Welcome to the family!

I’m sure I will have no shortage of things to blog about upon my return — I promise it will be more interesting than a post about rice and will include musings from Napa. In the meantime, visit some old favorites…

Make A Delicious Dinner For Friends:
Kickin’ Ancho Chili Fresh Citrus Margarita
Avocado & Tropical Fruit Salsa
Orzo, Spinach & Feta Summer Salad
Whole-Grain Mustard & Rosemary Pork Chops
Grilled Thyme-Cumin Vegetable Kabobs
Violet’s Lemon Cheesecake with BBQ’d Summer Berries {bottom of post}
More Recipes >>> EAT@HOME

Keep Busy in the City:
Do This!: Artisanal Premium Cheese & Wine Classes w/ Jessica Wurwarg
Greenmarket: Put Smarter, Cheaper & More Scrumptious Food on Your Table
NYC Best: Summer Sausage & Other Seriously Good Eats @ Summerstage
NYC Best: Take the Dull Out Of Cooking {Knives} with Samurai Sharpening @ Chelsea Market

Enjoy a Cold One in the Garden:
Not so Standard Biergarten
Mission Dolores {Accomplished}: Great New Brooklyn Beer Garden
Nothing says Warm Weather Like a “Gut Biergarten”

And in the Spirit of Weddings, Go on a Date!:
Summer Lovin’ Me Some Oysters @Mermaid Oyster Bar
Highlands Highlights: Scottish Plaids, Pub Fare and Hand Crafted Cocktails
The Red Cat: Comfortable Quarters & Cuisine
Love, Love Shabu Shabu: Fun to Say and Eat
August in April
Bocca di Bacco: I say PotaTO, You say PoTATo
barmarche: Some Clever Crudites

Eat Up!
Christina

Sibling Fun in Tokyo

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Do This!: Vote for The Chocolate Gallery Cafe for Best Breakfast


Full disclaimer, The Chocolate Gallery Cafe is my Aunt Cathy and Uncle Chuck’s restaurant. But just because I’m related to them doesn’t mean they haven’t been turning out some of the best breakfast and desserts that people have been enjoying for years. And just because you haven’t eaten there {why haven’t you?} or don’t live in Detroit, doesn’t mean you can’t cast a vote and support their family run business from afar. They have been nominated for and won countless local and national awards, which speaks volumes for the love and passion they pour into their family run business. This year, The Chocolate Gallery Cafe has been nominated again for Detroit’s WDIV Best Breakfast award, so read on, drool over the pictures of their food, vote and then tell any friends or family you know in Michigan to stop by for a meal they are sure to enjoy!

The Chocolate Gallery Cafe opened its doors over 16 years ago, but got its start even earlier when a love for chocolate and hours of experiments in a home kitchen resulted in the recipe for their famous award-winning Chocolate Buckingham Torte. So rich it has royalty in its name. The award-winning Chocolate Buckingham Torte is layered to perfection, with a chewy brownie bottom, creamy chocolate mousse center all topped off with crunchy English toffee and whipped cream florets that provide the ideal contrast to its other rich layers. The answer to every chocolate lover’s quest for the perfect dessert, this torte is the jewel of my Aunt Cathy and Uncle Chuck’s boutique cafe.

Chocolate Buckingham Torte

Chocolate Flourless Decadence Torte

With many food fans clamoring for their desserts and a catering business taking off, The Chocolate Gallery decided to settle on a home and open a quaint cafe in Warren, Michigan, where their talents could be showcased and enjoyed on a regular basis — breakfast, lunch or dessert!

And thank goodness, because have you ever had something as delicious as Strawberry Stuffed French Toast? Made from thick cut french bread, stuffed with cream cheese and fresh strawberries, heated to crispy perfection and topped off with a warm homemade strawberry puree — 100% deliciousness!

Strawberry Stuffed French Toast

Not extravagant enough for you? Like the line between breakfast and dessert to be crossed? Not surprising that The Chocolate Gallery Cafe does too! And so was born The Very Berry Stuffed French Toast, topped with a drizzle of premium chocolate and homemade whipped cream.

Very Berry Stuffed French Toast

More of a traditionalist? How about the Fresh Blueberry Pancakes to satisfy your morning sweet tooth? Light and fluffy, they are the perfect breakfast bed for those sweet Michigan blueberries to burst with warmth on.

Fresh Blueberry Pancakes

A Menu Must: And for those of us that are just plain ‘ole egg lovers, The Eggs Benedict is out of this world. Topped with homemade hollandaise sauce and served with a side of cafe potatoes, this savory selection wins my vote.

Eggs Benedict

Hungry yet? Dreaming of breakfast or a sweet treat? Hopefully you live close enough that a visit to The Chocolate Gallery Cafe can be a reality, but if not, for now you can support this sweet cafe with a click of a button and a vote to win Best Breakfast in DetroitThe Chocolate Gallery Cafe is also available for Full Service Catering, Chocolate Fountain Rentals and custom sweet treats, including Truffles and Molded Chocolates.

Map: 3672 Chicago Road, Warren, Michigan
Reservations: Not Taken (Open Thurs-Sun 8am-2pm)
Phone: 586.979.1140
Photos: John Martin Photography


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recipe goodness :: blueberry, lemon & coconut pancakes

Blueberry Pancake Ingredients

I woke up this morning craving pancakes. I can’t tell you why, because anyone who knows me knows I’m an egg girl. But pancakes for breakfast were going to happen today and you can thank me later for this pancake recipe because it far exceeded my expectations and cravings! If you have pancake mix on hand, this recipe won’t take you longer 10 minutes before you have a hot stack of good mornin’ ‘cakes.

Blueberry, Lemon & Coconut Pancakes

Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 5 minutes
Makes ~8 Pancakes

1 cup pancake mix (I used Nature’s Path)
2/3 cup cold water
1 TBS vegetable oil
3/4 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup coconut
Zest of one lemon

In a medium size bowl, stir pancake mix, water and oil until most lumps are gone. Don’t over mix, if there are still a few lumps, that’s ok. Add blueberries, coconut and lemon zest and stir to mix evenly.

Heat a large non-stick skillet to medium-high heat and lightly brush with butter or vegetable oil. Pour batter to desired size and let pancakes sit approximately 15-30 seconds until you see air bubbles coming through the batter or when you lift with a spatula the underside is light brown. Flip and cook an additional 15-30 seconds until lightly brown. Remove. Repeat. Eat. It’s that easy! These pancakes have so many good flavors, I choose to eat mine with just a bit of butter spread on top.

Note: The water, oil and pancake mix proportions were according to the Nature’s Path package instructions and make thicker, fluffy pancakes. Feel free to adjust per your brand’s instructions, but opt for the thicker pancakes so they hold up to the whole blueberries.

Blueberry Lemon Coconut Pancakes

Hungry for more breakfast?
Community Food & Juice: Fresh & Fantastic Fare
Weekend Brunch: Eat Eggs @ Edward’s

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Weekend Brunch: Eat Eggs @ Edward’s

Spicy Huevos Rancheros @ Edward's

Sometimes it’s good to change it up from your favorite brunch spot, where you can roll out of bed and know exactly what you’re going to order. If you’re looking for a nice little spot this weekend to do just that, head down to Edward’s in Tribeca, where open air seating, aluminum tiled ceilings and mirrored menus create the atmosphere of a relaxed european cafe. Sip on some $5 mimosas and catch up with old friends while you peruse the egg-centric menu.  Eggs any way is the name of the game — benedict, florentine, norwegian, a la mexicana. But in my opinion, the way to go is with the always popular huevos rancheros. Served with a healthy helping of black beans and fresh pico de gallo, these huevos rancheros stand out from the norm with an extra spicy kick from a roasted tomato ranchero sauce. Yes, I must say, this all works well together and probably encourages the quick consumption of an extra mimosa or two.

The Skim: It’s not fancy, it’s not the place to see and be seen, but the food is darn good, the atmosphere is relaxed and with $5 mimosa and bloody marys, Edward’s has the making of a relaxing brunch spot that will not disappoint.    {136 West Broadway btw Duane & Thomas}

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Community Food & Juice: Fresh & Fantastic Fare

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Weekend=brunch. Sunny long weekend=outdoor brunch. There is no better place to settle in for a delicious cup of joe and ‘egg’cellent sunnyside-up-something, than my favorite UWS-get-your-morning-going hot spot, Community Food & Juice. Usually buzzing with Columbia students and adventurous eaters willing to explore a 3-digit neighborhood {located @ 112th/broadway across from the Tom’s, the infamous Seinfeld diner}, C F&J lures brunchers with seasonal, local and organic fare that is simple, yet unique.

Orange Juice sound good? Try blending it with their freshly squeezed carrot juice for an ultra-orange, vitamin C-packed morning refresher that will help clear away the fuzzy head. Or if you’re more of a hair-of-the-dog kind of person, I highly recommend the Wasabi Prairie Mary that features house made bloody mary mix and wasabi powder for that extra kick that any good Mary requires. As for the more substantial part of the meal, you really can’t go wrong. The blueberry pancakes with maple butter syrup are one of the most popular dishes and have diners sopping up that liquid gold and asking for more. My favorite dish is a slightly new twist on an old classic. The B.E.L.T. is what a true breakfast sammie should be — double cut applewood bacon, a runny sunny-side-up organic egg, lettuce, tomato & mayo served on sourdough toast with a side of carrot hash browns. Is there really anything more you need to start your morning out right?

The Skim: Forget the breakfast sandwich from the cart guy on the corner and treat yourself to fantastic, fresh fare at Community Food & Juice. While most restaurants consider brunch a money making complement to their main dinner menu, C F&J’s brunch is the standout favorite meal of the day. So go on and get Juiced! {2893 Broadway, btw 112th/113th}


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