Posts tagged Breakfast

Stay-Cation 2012

Stef and I had our very first wo-cation planned.  We got our shit together (sometimes it’s hard for us to make a game plan), decided on New Orelans, booked flights and a room and were ready to go a month out from our decided departure date.   

Wo-Cation:  when two women that are lifetime friends go away on vacation to rage or, in our case, eat, shop and be merry.

With Hurricane Isaac on the horizon, wo-cation 2012 was in danger of not happening.  We spent two nights on the phone, Stef in DC and me in NY, deciding whether or not we should brave the storm.  

If there’s flooding and power outages, we’ll put on sundresses and galoshes and make it work!

If there’s flooding and power outages, we’ll be miserable and sweating!

We went back and forth, watched videos on the internet, tracked the storm on and even called the hotel to inquire about the state of things in New Orleans.  Al Roker was standing in water as high as his thighs, Lester Holt almost blew away and the hotel couldn’t be reached. It was decided - we were not going away on wo-cation.  Maybe sometime in the Spring we’ll come for you, New Orleans.  

Where do two non-driving adults with expired passports go on vacation?  The thought of re-booking and re-researching was too much for our Brooklyn-ness to handle. 

Last year, Stef and I did a DC stay-cation - so this time around, NY was up for grabs.  

Stef would arrive on a Friday and we would do things like eat homemade jambalaya and whiskey soaked bread pudding.  We even went on a walk to score a massive horchata at Los Portales, a local Mexican restaurant. 

Bread Pudding

On day 2 we hauled to the beach, something Stef and I would often do together when we were younger.  B82 to the B9 to the Q53 to Neponsit Beach.  This time we took the  LIRR to Long Beach.  The LIRR on Labor Day Weekend may leave you with anger, anxiety and regrets for the human race, but the beach sure was killer.

Long Beach style

At the beach we chowed on shrimp po’ boys (which never tasted so good).

Shrimp Po’  Boy

We also ventured to a carnival. I don’t recommend the Long Beach carnival. Actually - I do. Go and frighten your children, they’ll never ask you to take them to a carnival ever again.  Stef did remind me that most of the carnivals we went to as kids were just like this one, low budget and a little shady. 

Ferris Wheel

On day 3 we got wild, walking and shopping (it’s kind of impossible to walk 5th Ave. without weaving in and out of Lord & Taylor and other shops), eating and afternoon drinking (a bottle of Rose, fish and a gelato topper were had at Eataly), and visit to  the Museum of Sex (just so we could say we at least went to a museum).

Panda style (Stef coined panda style)

After the museum, we had an appetite - so we went off to eat once again.  I had to take Stef to the Arepas Cafe for a Venezuelan treat, it’s one of my go to spots for late night noms and beers in the neighborhood. 

On the morning of day 4, there was a bagel breakfast (Brooklyn Bagel makes the best around) and some quality time with Wendy Williams.  We went for massages (because who doesn’t like getting their butt rubbed and being mounted for $50 an hour), saw a Broadway show (Newsies - one of Stef’s all time favorite movies brought to the stage), dinner of mac & cheese, mussels and salad with a side of antics at William Hallet and dirty pickle martinis at Sweet Afton.

Day 5 was all about touring the city and not walking.  The best way to do this? Take a ride on a double decker bus!  This ride will change your view of the city.    As a native New Yorker I never thought about doing it, but the view from the top of the bus coupled with a nice breeze make for a perfect day. I’m cheesy. But I only tell the truth here.



The double decker bus tour was followed a hop-on hop-off boat ride.  What views you can take in during a torrential downpour! I had also just gotten a dirty water dog before boarding the boat. When it started to rain, I nearly slipped and died. If I were to go, it would certainly be fitting if I had a hot dog in my hand - a wiener in my mouth. Did I go too far? 





The evening ended with an episode of The Mindy Project on hulu; over which we consumed an entire pizza pie from Sac’s Place.

Every night Stef would watch me fall asleep on the couch.  If I’ve been out all day,  stop to fill my belly and then sit - there’s no chance I’m staying awake - the need to sleep takes over my body.  Stef could tell you that I’ve been this way since I was a wee-T.  

Having Stef over gave me an excuse to cook.  An excuse to serve and do and act like my mom (who I’m realizing I really am turning into despite my efforts to fight against).

Thanks for the jambalaya shrimp po’ boy & bread pudding recipe, Emeril Lagasse. 

I upped the ante by using double the amount of Bayou Blast in the jambalaya and for the po’ boys.  The whiskey sauce for the bread pudding seemed like a little much, so I opted to free pour whiskey into the cream/milk mixture for the bread pudding.  Chocolate chips also trump raisins in any dessert, so I replaced natures candy with the good dark stuff.

But, most of all, thanks for the lifetime of friendship -  Stefanie Covey.  I love you with my whole heart.


Thursday, September 6, 2012   ()

The Omelet: A Late Night Delight

Open-faced Omelet

I arrived home from Spanish class at 10:15pm to a grumbling belly.  I usually don’t work myself up to the point of hunger pangs, as I can often be found snacking - an almond here, a cherry there, a dark chocolate square in the purse - I’m rarely cornered without provisions.  Admittedly, my diet has suffered over the past few days because I haven’t gotten to the grocery store after spending this past weekend away.  I’ve been enjoying a lot of fruit juice from a mid-town truck (however they’ve lost my patronage after today’s slimy watermelon juice incident.  And of course, I still drank it - I was desperate.), I had mediocre (and overpriced) dumplings from the Rickshaw stand in Times Square (dry wrappers, dipping sauce that was missing depth of flavor), yogurt pretzels - undoubtedly my highlight - and a Weight Watchers granola bar I managed to snag from my aunt and uncles pantry before hauling ass back to NY on a NJ Transit Bus. 

The thought and sight of an empty refrigerator gives me anxiety.   Refrigerators filled solely with condiments, carrots so dry they’re flaking white and garlic so old it’s sprouting - make me uncomfortable. The one thing I always manage to leave in my refrigerator are eggs.  Eggs can save any dinner, any evening you arrive home drunk and starving at 3am, and any morning after breakfast you might have with a gent if you let him stay.

Tonight, I turned to my eggs.  With the sensation of lingering r’s on my tongue - lesson 1 in class included rolling - I entered my kitchen and let an egg rescue me.  Into my omelet went the few cherry tomatoes I hadn’t eaten last week, scallions that stayed fresh, and a bit of brie that survived its time in my home (normally cheese is not safe in my presence).  Finally, my mouth met a real meal.  

I moved from my kitchen to my livingroom, turned on the television and planted myself on the couch.  I broke my own rules regarding eating on the sofa and watching tv while doing so - double shame.     

An Olive Garden commercial reminded me of the very first date I ever went on.  During my senior year in college a close friend was kind enough to set me up with a boy that was delightfully awkward.  He came to my door bearing flowers and we shared spaghetti pomodoro, unlimited bread sticks and a never ending salad as we sat across from one another at a small candlelit table at the Olive Garden . When we kissed his tongue crept inside of my mouth, moving back and forth like a fish just released from the water - rapidly flopping its tail fin until it ceased to move any longer.  His tongue felt wrong, and despite those kisses we continued to date and engage in odd conversations about Celine Dion and the importance of waxing the floors when a guest is coming to visit.

He’s now married and living in Brooklyn.  I hope he and his wife enjoy breakfast for dinner as they cuddle and share kisses.  

I sat on my couch, in my slip, braless, fan pointing towards my face but cooling my  whole body.  For a moment I imagined what it would be like to be Beyonce,  as I quietly hummed Bootylicious while commercials buzzed in the background.  I felt my lips stretch across my face and form the shape of a smile.  I was thankful to be alone in my home.  

Relieved to be alone and eating eggs for one, at least in this moment.  
A proper dinner indeed.   

Open-faced Omelet 
*serves 1

2 eggs + 1 white (beaten)
2 tsp. olive oil
2 scallions (whites only)
8 cherry tomatoes (sliced into rounds)
Red pepper flakes
Kosher salt
1-2 oz. cheese

-Heat olive oil in a non-stick skillet, sauteing scallions and cherry tomatoes - then sprinkle with red pepper flakes
-Add eggs and cheese, sprinkle with salt
-Serve with buttered toast and find comfort in eating breakfast for dinner 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012 — 1 note   ()

Welcome Home

I was on a whopping work project, moving apartments and moving offices - all at the same time …

My face stepped back into adolescence, which hasn’t been cute …

Late nights at work, sleeping on the floor, donating furniture, packing boxes, unpacking boxes, making large purchases - all while layering on foundation, in an effort to mask my stress acne - dominated my time.  

*FYI - my face is on the mend.  

Although I wasn’t cooking much, life has been exciting and feel good.  

The new apartment has a proper kitchen, meaning it is no longer a part of my living room.  

In addition to the kitchen, there’s also a proper dining area …

As a result of this move and living in an adult space - decorated with my things, not with dressers, blankets and accents owned by others that I then inherited - I’m rocking a sick kool-aid smile.

Here’s a little peek at the new place - and there are also 2 recipes below.  I cooked up my first batch of french toast and frittata, among many other delights (that I have very dicey pictures of).  There was penne and vodka sauce, garlic bread stuffed with fresh mozzarella and, of course, broccoli rabe and sausage with honks of cheese and bread.

Thanks for coming to my new table, friends and family - you know who you are.

Mad noms to come!  

My, what a long and large kitchen you have …

Peg board with grandma and mom’s cooking utensils.  I’m sorry I donated your furniture, but I kept all of the cooking equipment.  

A few things to note: real counter space, cabinets large enough to fit pots and pans … width wise, a large stove and a deep sink.  Extreme happiness indeed.  

Dining area with newly painted chairs.  I figured devoting 12 hours to painting was more cost effective than spending $400-$500 on chairs.  The round table is being swapped out with a rectangular table and bench, so I can accommodate 8-10.  Put on your sweatpants.

Aside from my kitchen, I’m just obsessed with the light in this place and the radiator covers. It’s the small things.

I have a bedroom, living room, large hall and bathroom - but that would be weird if I posted all of those photos.  I’m already a very quirky woman, no one needs any more ammunition.  

Now some food …

French Toast
*serves 2

4 slices bread of your choice (I went with this DELICIOUS flax and nut bread I found at my new little supermarket.  I was going to go a challah-ing, but I was “trying to be moderately healthy” because sometimes I do that)
3 large eggs
1 T. heavy cream 
1 T. pure vanilla
Dash of cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg
Butter or non-stick spray for cooking
Fresh fruit of your choice
Chopped walnuts (if you’re into nuts)
Confectioners sugar for topping
Warm maple syrup

-Heat griddle pan over medium flame, coat with butter or non-stick cooking spray
-Beat eggs, cream, vanilla and spices
-Dredge bread in egg mixture
-Place on griddle and cook until golden brown on each side (about 2 1/2-3 minutes on the first side then 1 1/2-2 on the other)
-Serve topped with fruit, nuts and powdered sugar (a little butter on each slice when you plate, you know - if you’re not being health conscious - and warm maple syrup  

Roasted Pepper & Tri-color Tomato Frittata 
*serves 6 

12 large eggs
1 pint tri-color tomatoes (sliced in half)
4 pieces roasted pepper (I roast my own and keep them in the freezer to have them on hand, but you can opt out of using if you don’t have them around.  The tri-color tomatoes and other flavors make this frittata delicious)
2-3 cloves garlic (grated)
1 T. olive oil
8-10 basil leaves (chiffonade) 
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3-4 oz. fresh mozzarella (cubed)
3 T. grated Locatelli

-Preheat ove to 375 degress
-Place tomatoes, roasted peppers and basil in a mixing bowl and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Put aside.
-Beat eggs
-Add vegetables to egg mixture
-Mix in cheeses
-Pour mixture into a 7x11 oblong baking dish that’s be coated with non-stick cooking spray
-Bake for 35-45 minutes until eggs set (pump oven up to 400-450 for the last 5 minutes of cooking for deeper browning on top)
-Serve with crusty bread, prosciutto and side salad   

Saturday, May 12, 2012   ()

Drunken French Toast

Panettone French Toast

Recipe follows story

Christmas morning breakfast wouldn’t be complete without Panettone.

1st course:  Struffoli
2nd course: Panettone

Rather rum with a bit of Panettone.  My dad liked to hit the bottle early on Christmas Day.  A drinking man he was not, but rum on his Panettone - well, he would soak the cake through. 

Mom: J, stop it!  Cut it out!  No more!
Dad: Ev, why don’t you relax!
Mom: No, stop!

Dad, still pouring - honking slice of Panettone drowning in a pool of rum.  Eaten with fingers and washed down with coffee, I can still picture him - digging in - smiling - claiming his Christmas morning meal.   

Mom said dad exercised restraint this Christmas, he didn’t even wet the paper plate, Tinamarie.  He just used a little.

Nice work daddy.  
Although I did enjoy hearing you and mom duke it out, it must be nice to start the morning without an argument.   

And in a pretty home, out on Long Island, overlooking a big yard, filled with fat squirrels chasing one another - we too had drunken Panettone.  Although, my aunt, uncle, cousin and myself explored a different avenue for early morning rum consumption.

Tina: Aunt Deb, you think that’s enough rum?
Aunt Deb:  Yeah I think that’s enough.
Tina: Ok.  Ok.
Aunt Deb: Well, I don’t know - I think your dad would use more than that.
Tina:  You’re right, he would.

Aunt Deb was a little more heavy handed with the rum than she would’ve normally been, as we free poured booze in our egg wash and enjoyed some delectably drunken Panettone french toast.  

Delicious would be an understatement.

So, Christmas morning breakfast is dedicated to my dad, Gennaro Raphael Corrado, the man who likes a slice of Panettone with his rum. 

And while we ate breakfast and unwrapped gifts this morning, we already moved on to conversations revolving around, yes, more food.

Next year, I’m buying everyone matching sweat suits for the holiday.  Breathable and non-binding clothing is the only thing one should wear when marathon eating is going down.   

Panettone French Toast
makes 6 servings (2 slices per person)

1 Panettone cut into 12 1” slices
6 eggs
2 T. half and half
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2-3 T. of rum
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
4 T. butter
Griddle pan
Butter for serving
Warm maple syrup
Powdered sugar

-Heat griddle pan over medium flame with butter
-Beat together eggs, half and half, vanilla extract, rum, cinnamon and nutmeg
-Quickly wet each slice of Panettone, on both sides, and place on the hot griddle
-Cook until brown, about 3-4 minutes on each side
-Serve topped with butter, warm maple syrup and powdered sugar

Sunday, December 25, 2011 — 5 notes   ()

Heaping Helpings Of Hot Pepperpot Stew: A Guyanese Christmas Treat

Hot Pepperpot Stew

Recipe follows story

I picked up this recipe for Guyanese hot pepperpot stew when I was out in Canarsie, talking to Smally, on day two of my visit to the neighborhood.

Hot pepperpot stew is made with a hodgepodge of meats onoins, garlic, hot peppers, fresh herbs and cassereep.  Cassereep is an extract made from the root of the cassava plant and it has a molasses like consistency.  This ingredient serves as the primary source of flavor in Guyana’s national dish and it is also responsible for giving hot pepperpot stew its distinct, rich brown, almost black color. 

Not only is hot pepperpot stew Guyana’s national dish, but it is often eaten on Christmas day.  The longer this stew sits, much like any meat packed stew or gravy, the sweeter it gets.  For breakfast, hot pepperpot is enjoyed with homemade bread and for dinner it’s eaten over rice.

So, thank you - Smally - for sharing your family recipe and helping me shop for ingredients.  Last weekend, my friends and I celebrated a Guyanese Christmas with a large vat of hot pepperpot stew.

And the stew kept on giving, as I ate it for dinner all week long.

Next time you find yourself on the L train, get off at the last stop, walk over to Smally West Indian Food Market on Avenue L and tell Orin Small you’re looking for ingredients to make hot pepperpot stew - he’ll be more than happy to help you out and share more recipes if you ask. 

Hot Pepperpot Stew
makes 8-10 servings

4 cows feet (optional)
1.5 lbs each - lamb shoulder, beef oxtail, veal neck bones (or any meat on the bone of your choice)
.5 lb. pork stew meat
3 large onions (diced)
Water to cover meat
1 bottle Cassereep
8 cloves of garlic (minced)
8 wiri wiri peppers (minced)
1/3 c. dried thyme

-Place cows feet in a large stock pot
-Cover with water and place over a medium high flame, brining to a boil and cooking for 1 hour
-In a separate pot, add oil and brown lamb shoulder, oxtail, veal neck bones and pork stew meat for 3-4 minutes on each side.  Then remove meat from the pot and set aside
-Add the onions and garlic and saute for 7-8 minutes or until they are sweating
-Combine all meat in one pot with onions, and garlic, cover with water, add cassereep, thyme, wiri wiri peppers and bring to a boil
-Once boiled, lower flame and allow everything to simmer for 2.5-3 hours, or until meat is shredding, tender and falling off the bone
-Serve with Guyanese bread or rice

Friday, December 23, 2011 — 1 note   ()

On Paying In Food, Love & The Need To Have A Fully Stocked Refrigerator

Kale, Potato and Leek Quiche

Recipe follows story

While most food bloggers are basking in the glory of cooking Thanksgiving dinner and thinking of all of the fun new twists to put on old favorites, I’m catching up and writing about food I’ve made, prepared and shared over the past two weeks (while I watch my mother run around like a mad-woman. I’m not a mean food blogger - I promise, she doesn’t want me to help - and I really do enjoy it when someone wants to cook for me too).

I’ve been a little too busy to bust a blog. 

 Just 2 weeks ago I spent two days preparing food for a very special visitor.
I was lost in a whirlwind of cooking.  

My Aunt Deb was coming to help me paint my apartment.

I finally committed to a color.  After three years of stark white insane asylum walls, I decided to commit.  I made the commitment because, truth be told, although my apartment is tiny - she packs a lot of love and good memories.  She holds a lot of good meals.  Forget about the dudes I’ve cooked for or brought home that I’ve shared my space with.  This garden level palace is all mine, and my landlord moved out and told me I can take on the front garden.

It was time to paint.

Who gives a shit if I can get burglarized, abducted or stalked by a predatory neighbor?
Who gives a shit if the new folks upstairs listen to really terrible electronic and techno music  - and played Landslide on repeat for an hour last week?
Who cares if kids drink 40’s on my stoop in the summer?

I’m going to have a garden.
I’ll be able to plant shit this summer.  
A 3x5 patch of dirt is hard to come by in this city, and I’m not throwing that opportunity away.  I’ll take all of the risks listed above.  I can learn to dance to electronic music.  I can play Rave by myself.  I’m down with Stevie Nicks.  I just purchased a renters insurance policy.

I’m not scared.
I am golden.   

At this rate, I’ll have that washer and dryer by 35.

It was time to paint.

And, my Aunt Deb is somewhat of a domestic diva.  A demi-god of painting, procuring product and selecting colors.  I’m a first class idiot when it comes to that.  I know what I like and I have my own style - and it’s called so mis-matched it’ll all match.  With some of my most prized pieces being finds from the street, antique shops and family heirlooms.  And by heirlooms, I mean my mom and dad’s first end tables when they got married.

Fine, I’m sentimental - and a garbage picker.  

I’ve painted before, but never under the wing of one that actually knows what they’re doing.  My aunt came to Queens and she meant business.  She brought drop cloths, trays, brushes, big rollers, little rollers, step stools, rags, painters tape, and I could go on.   We saddled in for a two day painting expedition.  I learned the art of cutting into walls, how to properly coat a roller, and other painting techniques that will forever be invaluable - as I’m sure I’ll be staying in my box long enough to necessitate a touch up or two. 

I spend a lot of time with my aunt and uncle, at their lovely oasis out on Long Island. When I go to visit them they do nothing short of make me feel like their home is my home.  We spend a lot of time eating, drinking wine, watching films and laughing. They’re just about the coolest and biggest hearted people I know.  A very rare find, if you will.   

And, if you ask me … when someone special comes to visit, there’s nothing worse than a refrigerator that isn’t full.

I wanted my refrigerator to be so full she wouldn’t close.  It’s not often that anyone cooks for my aunt.  It’s rare when she’s not doing something for someone else or giving a piece of herself and her time to others.  She’s this sort of saint that I can’t quite imagine ever being like.  She’s strong, she tells it like it is, and she loves me - even when I’m an idiot.  Even when I’m absurd and quirky and making rotten jokes. She loves me for being myself.  

I couldn’t give her back the time she dedicated to helping me with this project.
I couldn’t give her back everything she has emotionally and physically given to my mom and my family.
I couldn’t give her back all the love and support she’s always given me.   

But I could give her food.
I could give her meals, with memories assigned to each day and night we spent painting together, that she would remember for years to come.

Here’s the food roll:

Kale, Potato and Leek Quiche
Who doesn’t love a slice of quiche for breakfast or lunch?  This one was made with all of the goodies I acquired at the farmers market, so it’s a bit of a delightfully fresh mash up of flavors and veggie love.  

Tomato Bisque
Is Aunt Deb’s favorite soup.  I know she loves soup.  Period.  And when isn’t soup satisfying in the fall?  If you don’t like soup, for shame, and please do not continue to read my blog.  

Pumpkin & Acorn Squash Soup
Because I had a pumpkin to cook and some acorn squash that I also foraged for at the market.  And there can never be too much soup. Never. Options are always good and welcome in my world.  I like a tasting, and so does my aunt.  A smattering of flavors really came through in this kitchen concoction, and I couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out for a first try.  

Pasta A La Genovese
A traditional Neopolitan sauce of caramelized onions.  Made with lamb shoulder, veal necks, onions and wine, this is by far one of my favorite childhood meals. My grandma would make it, occasionally, on Sunday’s.  It was special.  My aunt never had it, and I hadn’t ever made it - so I thought this the perfect opportunity to channel grandma, make some sauce and share it with one of my favorite women in this world.  

For now, a quiche recipe - with more to come.

Kale, Potato and Leek Quiche

1 deep dish pie crust
3 medium leeks (greens discarded and whites finely chopped)
1/2 head of kale (stems removed and finely chopped)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
6-8 baby yukon gold potatoes (cubed into bite sized pieces)
2 T. butter
3 T. olive oil
1/4 water
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 eggs
1/4 c. ricotta
1/4 c. locatelli
3 oz. fresh mozzarella (cubed)
2 tsp. baking powder 

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-In a large bowl, beat eggs, ricotta, cheeses, baking powder a little bit of salt and freshly ground pepper - and put aside
-To a deep skillet, set over a medium flame, add butter and leeks - sauteing for 3-4 minutes
-Add garlic and toss
-Add potatoes and saute mixture for an additional 7-8 minutes, constantly tossing 
-Add kale in portions, drizzling with olive oil and tossing in between additions
-Once all kale is added and all olive oil has been used, continue to toss and saute until kale begins to wilt/cook down - about 10-12 minutes
-If mixture looks dry, add in water and continue to toss, until kale is fully cooked
-Toss with salt and pepper and add this vegetable mixture to the egg mixture and combine
-Place pie shell on a baking sheet, then pour filling into pie crust and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until middle of quiche is set

Share with someone you love.   
Share only with someone special.   

Wednesday, November 23, 2011 — 26 notes   ()

Pretending To Know What It Feels Like To Be Held

Breakfast Scramble

Recipe follows story

Since I long to be held and my needs are not being met, I’m looking to my food to help me out.  I’m stuffing acorn squashes and now I’ve made a breakfast wrap.

One trip to the grocery store - ok, there were several this week - and I’m falling back in to old patterns.  Once again I’ve started shopping like a woman who is not single but has a family of 5.  I really struggle with this issue.   I should seek help for it. It’s a fierce battle between one busty brunette, a whole produce section, and meat product that looks too irresistible to not buy and try.

Who cares if I often cook only for me, I’ve got taste-testers at work and friends, who for the most part, will entertain my weeknight hodgepodge meals and my weekend breakfasts.

I invited Nancy over for breakfast,  last Saturday, so we could tap into some turkey bacon I’d been fantasizing about.  

There I go, fantasizing about meat again.

Breakfast Scramble
serves 2

1 T. olive oil
6 slices turkey bacon (chopped)
1/2 of a red onion (diced)
1 jalapeno (seeds removed and diced)
1/2 of a red bell pepper (diced)
4 eggs
3 T. half and half
1/4 c. grated pepper jack cheese
1/4 c. grated cheddar cheese
2 wraps (warm)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tomato and half of an avocado (sliced thin, drizzled with olive oil, salt and 1 clove of minced garlic)

-Heat oil in a medium skillet, over medium-low heat and add turkey bacon, onions, red pepper and jalapeno - sauteing for 7-10 minutes
-Scramble eggs with half and half, cheese, salt and pepper
-Set skillet flame to low and add egg mixture
-Cook eggs low and slow until no longer runny and completely cooked through - about 10-12 minutes
-Spoon breakfast scramble into wraps and serve with sliced tomatoes and avocado or salsa 

Friday, November 11, 2011 — 4 notes   ()

Baking For Forgiveness

Apple Muffins

Recipe follows story

You know those apples I wished would bake themselves …

Well, thankfully, they didn’t.  
I actually needed them because they had a bigger purpose. 

I needed to make Apology Apple Muffins.

There are a series of photos on my iPhone, from last Friday night,  wherein my friend and I are smiling, pointing at wine bottles, staring at cheese with a drunken sex-like glow.

I hadn’t achieved a glow like that in months.  

There might even be a photo where I’m sticking my entire hand through my giant hoop earring and waving at the camera.

Clearly, one baked good wouldn’t be enough.
So I made a batch of Please Forgive Me Pumpkin Scones.

What does one do when they’ve gone out to dinner, to a fantastic restaurant in the East Village (where a family member works), gets loaded, takes pictures, and doesn’t calculate the tip properly?

That’s right, you write a card, bake a sweet treat and march back down to the scene of the crime - even though the thought of re-entering in sobriety is mortifying.  Even though the thought of walking through Tompkins Square park haunts you because you feel like you might very well bump in to someone you used to date while out on his night walk with his very cute dog.  Luckily, I only managed to bump in to Alan Cumming and his two dogs.  

I made the drop-off last night, and I was thanked with a hug and many smiles and Ciaos.  In making an ever so graceful exit, I tripped down the restaurant stairs and prayed neither my cousin nor his manager saw the slip of my foot.  

I left feeling confident in my baking decisions; as confident as I could be. I recalled a conversation I had with my cousins wife.  She recently made an apple cake and pumpkin muffins last weekend, so I knew they might enjoy seasonal treats in their package.  She and I often chat about baking and cooking and I know she understands my love for it - so there was no better way for me to communicate my feelings.

Sharing food and using words is the only way I know how to say thanks and I love you.

Sweets can heal any moment in time - right?

I know I’ve ended many an ill date with dessert and always felt a little better inside - even if I never saw the person again.  Sure, it doesn’t remove the awkwardness or a bad kiss.  Sweets do not magically erase the moment where you tell the manager at a restaurant that you love his voice. Then when he walks away, but is still in ear shot - you tell your friend you want him to yell at you in bed.  No, no, no.

But, I tried.  

There are restaurant rules and in my pea sized brain they exist as follows:

1.  Never go back to a certain location with a new date if you’ve had a bad date there.
2.  Never go back to a restaurant where you’ve gotten sick in or where you’ve fallen off of a bar stool in drunkeness.

Bad juju.  

3. Wait two years (or more) before going back to a restaurant where you feel the need to apologize (I’m sure I made a bigger deal of this in my head) for your behavior with a box of muffins and scones.  

I was happy to bake and put my love for food in a box and offer it from my heart to my cousin and his wife.  

I hope they enjoy the treats.
I hope I’m allowed to have dinner in the East Village again.  

Apple Muffins

2 large apples (peeled and cubed)
1 stick of butter + 3 T. (softened)
3/4 c. sour cream
3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. flour (sifted)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
Non-stick cooking spray

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees, coat muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray a put aside
-Cream stick of butter and sugar, add eggs, vanilla - continue to mix - add sour cream and incorporate well
-Sift together flour, baking soda, powder and salt - adding to wet mixture and blending well
-Once flour is completely mixed in, gently fold in apples
-Spoon muffin batter in to pan and top with crumble (instructions below)
-Bake for 20 minutes and let cool on a wire rack

For Crumble Topping

-Cut 3 T. of butter in to small pieces, add brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and combine well (with fingers or a fork), until mixture is crumbly

Pumpkin Scones With Spiced Glaze
*referenced the Starbucks Pumpkin Scone Recipe, but made some tweaks based on my own scone recipe 

2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour 
1/3 c. sugar 
1 T. baking powder 
2 tsp. pumpkin spice
1 stick of butter (cold and cubed) 
1/2 c. canned pumpkin 
1/4 c. heavy cream 
2 large eggs

-Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices in a large mixing bowl
With a fork, pastry knife, or food processor, cut butter into the dry ingredients until mixture is crumbly and no chunks of butter remain
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk pumpkin, heavy cream, and egg
Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients and form dough into a ball
-Pat out dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a 1-inch thick rectangle
-Use a large knife to slice the dough into 5 equal portions and cut diagonally to produce 10 triangular slices of dough 
Place on prepared baking sheet (covered with parchment paper or a Silpat)
-Bake for 14–16 minutes until scones turn light brown and cool on a wire rack before you ice

Spiced Glaze

2 c. confectioners sugar
1 tsp. pumpkin spice
1/4 c. heavy cream 

-Combine all ingredients with a baking spatula and ice scones 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011 — 3 notes   ()