orange buttermilk pancakes with blackberry maple syrup

Orange Buttermilk Pancakes with Blackberry Maple Syrup

Made-from-scratch pancakes take a few minutes longer to make than the pre-packaged mix, but they are definitely worth the extra effort. These tender and flavorful Orange Buttermilk Pancakes are perfect for soaking up the homemade Blackberry Maple Syrup. I topped these pancakes with fresh blackberries and peaches, but any other berry, sliced bananas, and toasted nuts would be delicious as well. Continue reading

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chocolate pecan cinnamon rolls with mascarpone orange glaze

Chocolate Pecan Cinnamon Rolls with Mascarpone Orange Glaze

We normally have my family over for a big Easter Sunday celebration, complete with an egg hunt, but not this year.  Since I’m getting too old to be crawling around the bushes hiding eggs, and my nephews are way too old to be hunting around for them, our family plans never materialized. My husband and I ended up having a quiet holiday weekend alone, with plenty of chores, and our taxes, to keep us occupied.

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orange ricotta pancakes with kumquat and candied ginger compote

Orange Ricotta Pancakes with Kumquat and Candied Ginger Compote

Growing up, part of our weekend routine included my mom’s pancakes.  My brothers and I loved the way she made them, stacked up high with a pat of butter on top and clear syrup dripping down to the plate. We would watch her cook them, eagerly awaiting the bubbles to form on top, signaling that it was time to flip. We would tease my brother, and laugh about how the dimple on one side of his cheek resembled a bubble on the pancake. Then, we would eat our breakfast, all together as a family, before we were all off in different directions – my parents shuttling my brothers to their Little League games and me to my organ lesson or to the library.
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breakfast sandwich

Breakfast Sandwich with bacon, eggs, and aioli sauce

This is one of my favorite things to eat when I get a craving for bacon. I was introduced to this breakfast sandwich a few years ago at Square One Dining in Hollywood, and I’ve been making it at home ever since. This sandwich is delicious in its simplicity, thereby letting each element shine. The key is to use good-quality ingredients. I start out with thick slices of brioche bread, with the ends cut off. Then, just as they do at Square One, I also like to use the applewood-smoked, thick-cut variety from Nueske’s, an online purveyor of smoked meats from Wisconsin. Then, I generously spread the garlicky aioli, which is the secret ingredient to this terrific sandwich.

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eggs in clouds, italian-style

Italian-style Eggs in Clouds

I love serving Sunday brunch at home; it is so relaxing, especially with an easy-to-make dish like this.  Since I already had parmesan cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and pancetta in my refrigerator and a basil plant growing in my kitchen, it was an easy decision to make this an Italian-style breakfast.   Continue reading

french-style zucchini olive cake

I was looking for a new recipe to try using the last of my homegrown zucchini, and I found this from one of my favorite food blogs, The Kitchn.  It is actually a recipe for a cake salé, the French term for a savory cake, using kalamata olives, grated zucchini, and tangy goat cheese.  Many French households have their favorite variation which is often served at picnics, potlucks, and parties, where it is usually served as an appetizer with a glass of wine or Champagne. Continue reading

bacon jalapeño and cheddar cheese biscuits

I love finding more and more ways to use my cast iron skillet.  I know this isn’t a new idea, but I had never thought to use it for biscuits before. What a wonderful way to bake biscuits because they turn out beautifully brown on all sides, with slightly crisp bottoms.  Plus, the biscuits sucked up all the flavor from the drippings of the bacon, which I had cooked in the pan beforehand. Continue reading

caramel brioche sticky bun

Ever since I came back from my trip to New York City, I’ve been obsessed with trying to recreate the fabulous foods I had – the melt in your mouth sticky buns at Maialino, the pretzel croissant at City Bakery, the goat’s milk ice cream at Victory Garden, and the Chocolate Green Tea Lava Cake at The Spot, among others. Continue reading

mini sugar doughnuts

Mini Sugar Doughnuts

When it comes to doughnuts, there is a dizzying array of choices, but for me it really comes down to one – a sugar doughnut.  I much prefer the light and airy yeast-based doughnuts to the denser and chewier cake doughnuts.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a maple bar or chocolate doughnut every once in a while, but I really favor the slight crunch of all the sugar that coats the exterior of the fluffy, melt-in-my-mouth goodness of the simple sugar doughnut.  The inspiration for these doughnuts came from a restaurant in Seattle called Lola.  One of the items on the breakfast menu is Made to Order Doughnuts with Seasonal Jam and Vanilla Mascarpone.  The hot mini doughnuts come to the table in a white paper bag and the wait staff vigorously shakes the bag to ensure that copious amounts of sugar adhere to the fried dough. Totally Awesome!

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breakfast ham and egg tarts

breakfast ham and egg tarts

Looking for something simple, yet elegant to serve at your next Sunday brunch? Why not try these breakfast tarts? They’re so easy to make and very versatile, too. The tart shells may be blind baked the night before and covered loosely with a tea towel or parchment paper and kept at room temperature. Then, in the morning, just fill the shells and bake. I have served these tarts with various fillings (prosciutto, sautéed mushrooms, bacon), herbs (chives, thyme, oregano), and cheeses (parmesan, Gruyère, fontina), and get rave reviews from friends and family every time. With less time spent cooking, I get to spend more time with my guests. Continue reading

bacon and egg cups with cremini mushrooms

I knew immediately when I saw this post on Joanne’s amazing blog, Fifteen Spatulas, that I would be making mini bacon and egg cups. After all, it’s got three of my favorite things – bacon, eggs, and cheese. The beauty of a recipe like this one is that it can be easily customized to our own particular tastes.  The eggs can be cooked over easy, medium, or even scrambled. There are many varieties of cheeses that would work well.  Proscuitto may be substituted for the bacon.  You see, the possibilities are endless.  For my version, I added some crimini mushrooms that I sautéed in butter with a little garlic and chives.  For the bread on the bottom, I cut rounds from a couple of slices of buttermilk bread. Continue reading