Mom’s French Toast

August 14, 2012 § Leave a comment

Sometimes you just crave the foods you grew up on. Like any 13-year-old girl normal, adult woman will tell you, a birthday is not really a day but rather, can extend into a series of events all revolving around the “birthday girl.” In this spirit, I trekked up to Philadelphia to continue to celebrate my now long-gone birthday with family and friends. Lucky for me, I was treated to exactly what I was looking for–my mom’s french toast.

Perfect with bacon and eggs.

As this is a mom recipe, it is not measured or recorded but rather eyeballed and felt so I took my camera to document the process. What I love about this version is that there is one bowl and a skillet involved. I can definitely manage that clean-up.

Match the egg count to how many people you are feeding. For 4 people, we used 4 eggs (two slices per person)

Then milk is added and whisked together.

I would say about 1/2 cup for 4 eggs.

The real secret is a dash of cinnamon and a drop of vanilla extract.

About 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp vanilla.

Once you dip the bread (I like a hearty, grainy variety for texture), it’s off to a heated skillet to brown on each side.

About 5 minutes per side should do the trick over medium.

Add some butter and heated syrup and a sprinkle of confetioners sugar and you are good to go.

And yes, I still get a “It’s Your Special Day” plate.

If you are hungry for more (HA) be sure to check out my guest post today on the fabulous Once In a Blue Room blog  (while the beautiful Emily is away in England-jealy). She is style and design oriented so everything on there is adorable, fabulous or genius–usually all 3!

Snooze, Denver

August 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

What I thought was an even BETTER brunch experience out in Denver was Snooze, an A.M. Eatery. You can expect a wait (about an hour for 2) but that is fine because they have very cool, fun sidewalk games for all the people waiting outside like cornhole and sidewalk chalk.

Honestly I don’t even remember this few people waiting outside, there was much more of a crowd throughout the wait

We went to the Ballpark location which I admit was not my favorite area of the city but they have a few other locations that I may need to check out. The trip was worth the hike though. Inside, the place is hopping. The retro-futuristic (if that is a thing) booths are packed full of chic-edgy (if that is a thing) people. They have a great breakfast cocktail list and you’ll hear some fabulous Michael Jackson tunes that make you want to get up and dance. At breakfast. You can just tell everyone in there LOVES their job.

This + this = I’m ’bout to get up on my booth and shake it.

And then there is the pancake special everyday. Today it was Chocolate Chip with bananas and whip cream–to which we immediately said yes before even looking at the menu.

It was basically a banana split pancake minus the strawberries. It was sweet and rich and the pancake was soft and fluffy. Perfect.

Then it was the  Breakfast Burrito for me and the Breakfast Pot Pie for him.

I’m not sure if the photo captures the enormity of this thing. Packed full of scrambled eggs, black beans, cheese, hash browns. And that green chili sauce that you just want to lick. I got mine with avocado.

This pastry was so perfectly flaky and buttery, I’d eat it any time of day. Smothered with homemade rosemary sausage gravy.

Oh, and if I didn’t already feel like I was in San Fran, we passed this on the way home.

 

Painted piano for the people 

A beautifully hand-painted upright piano in the middle of the mall (probably leftover from this project). I didn’t take a picture of the sign but it said something along the lines of, “We invite everyone to sit down and play.” Make music. Make peace and love. Ok I improvised there; I love this city!

Le Grand Bistro & Oyster, Denver CO

August 8, 2012 § Leave a comment

We started our trip with brunch at Le Grand Bistro & Oyster Bar. We picked it because it was near our hotel and the barbecue festival happening in LoDo–and it was the perfect spot! We chose to sit outside on such a gorgeous day but the inside was very typical French brasserie feel with lots of white tiling, chandeliers and bar stools.

Plenty to choose from on their menu.

Is there a better way to start the day than champagne and beignets?

The beignets are served with a fresh lingonberry jam. No I did not make that up, it’s a real thing and it’s delicious–sort of like a cranberry only not quite as tart.

Duck Confit Hash

Gruyere and Ham Crepe. I made the mistake of ordering my eggs scrambled which was a little bit of a weird texture but the crepe was so light and somehow fluffy it was all good.

Cranberry scones with pistachio and Cream Cheese glaze. Since the beignets weren’t enough sweet for one breakfast.

 

 

 

 

Sunday Brunch Menu

July 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

I love chalkboards. This is meant to host our Nashville bucket list but it’s too fun to not update!

This Sunday we hosted  a little brunch in exchange for getting some prints and pictures that had been lying around the house finally hung (and as an extra bonus got to have a little dog run around!). I thought 1:00 seemed a little late for the french-toast-casserole-route so the dishes leaned more toward savory–save the scones.

I like to plan out my oven time so I know how long before people start to arrive I have to start getting things in. With the quiche taking an hour, I wanted to get the scones in first so that we’d have something to munch on if it went over time.

Some people are just not scone people (my mom) but I thought these had just the right touch of sweetness and a tartness from the lemon and cran combo. I used the recipe from Candice Kumai’s Pretty Delicious which focuses on health conscious recipes so with 4 grams of protein and only 4 grams of fat, you really don’t need to feel guilty ending (or starting) brunch on a sweet note.

I like the triangle shape so as not to be confused with a biscuit. They just beg for a spot of tea.

This was the first time I tried making a quiche. I found this recipe by Martha Stewart but am not a huge fan of leeks so filled my quiche with zucchini, tomato and gruyère instead. I’m guessing any veggies that float your boat would do.

I sauteed the zucchini for 5 minutes in a little bit of olive oil, salt, pepper and basil and tossed in some sliced plum tomatoes for the last minute.

 

I got caught using a frozen pie crust when the filling overflowed on me but it turned out just fine.

The Skinny Mini BLT’s were also from Pretty Delicious. I love the extra health kick from the avocado and the cookie cutter shapes were a really cute idea!

The book recommends toasting the bread and oven-baking the bacon at the same time to save time. I would take the toasts out before the bacon though, mine were just a tad overdone.

The spicy-sweet honey mustard was perfect with the saltiness of the bacon. 1/2 cup dijon mustard with 1 tbsp. honey.

To round out the meal, I kept the spring salad simple and used the ole’ fried goat cheese trick. All in all, very easy to complete. I wouldn’t necessarily call anything “make ahead” in the sense where I would do it the night before, but all of these recipes are PERFECT for entertaining because nothing has to be served hot out of the oven. I just let them collect on my counter as I moved onto each new recipe.

I haven’t gotten great at presentation. I bet you could go nuts with cute china for the scones and little plates for the BLT’s

 

 

Tavern Brunch, Nashville

July 23, 2012 § 1 Comment

Let me just start by saying I love any atmosphere that’s conducive to cocktails. I’d been to Tavern before to enjoy the later bar scene and small plates but when the suggestion came up for brunch, I was interested to the see if the scene was the same. With just a wee wait (even with a party of 5!), we were able get one of those large, wraparound booths perfect for people watching or concentrating on what seems to be the national bowling championships on ESPN (it was a lot more exciting than it sounds) on one of their enormous TV’s. The crowd was good-looking, well-dressed and in my expert opinion, down for a drink. The menu had some different options outside the eggs-benedict-box which I was excited to see (i.e. Singapore Stir-Fry) and all in all it was a great brunch experience. I would definitely return.

Ok, these weren’t actually on the menu but hey, when a girl’s gotta have cheese fries, she’s gotta have cheese fries. They were nice enough to comply and the cheese was a delicious, spicy dip that could definitely double as queso.

Singapore Stir-Fry. Why is rice from restaurants so sticky and perfect?? I can never get that texture at home. The flavors were sort of similar to take-out fried rice but it tasted healthier and the bite of cilantro really brightened it up.

Can never go wrong with a good ole’ bacon cheeseburger.

Huevos Rancheros are normally my go-to so I was so glad when someone else at the table ordered them. Cheese and tortilla in a skillet. Yum.

I don’t know about you but I love getting something sweet to share among the table at brunch. Blueberry Cornmeal Waffle does the trick.

 

 

 

 

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